Knowledge for Bliss

She’s been helping them build a strong body, mind and spirit for years; now yoga teacher Maria Bliss’ students are helping her to build a business.

After three years of holding classes at Mercer Island’s Sunnybeam School, the Island resident is moving her studio, Yoga Bliss, to its first retail space in the Mercer building in the Town Center.

“I could never have done this without these women,” Bliss said. One of them taught her how to lay floor tiles. Another took charge of setting up her stereo system. Others have pitched in with everything from cleaning to picking up her kids for her.

Neighboring businesses have pitched in, too — Six Walls has contributed its color expertise, while the manager at Bennett’s next door made sure the work parties were well-fed.

Yoga Bliss officially opens its doors for classes Monday, Jan. 15. The studio will hold two days of free sample classes and refreshments on Jan. 20 and Feb. 10 to welcome in those who would like to give yoga a try. Whether you’re a teacher like Bliss, or a new student, everyone could learn something new.

The new Yoga Bliss studio is located at 7650 S.E. 27th St., Suite 134. Info and schedules are available online at, by e-mail at, or by calling 275-2300.

Comeback kid

Mercer Island teenager Sasha Gumprecht has proven that she’s not just some one-hit wonder.

Last March, we published a feature story on Gumprecht’s surprise skill on the hunt. The then-17-year-old MIHS student had killed her first buck on her very first try, with a single shot atop a Colorado ridge from a distance of three football fields.

The article and accompanying photos ruffled a few feathers on the Island, with some readers expressing their opinion that the Reporter was glorifying the killing of animals for sport.

Gumprecht is back from this year’s trip to Colorado, and this time, we’ll spare you the photos. The details, however? I’m afraid not (whether the news is good or bad is up to you to decide).

“We called in a 5x5 bull elk that Sasha got with one perfectly placed shot,” her dad, Tom Gumprecht, wrote in a letter. The accompanying photos show his daughter skinning the beast.

Two days later, she hit another deer, but had to track it up and down through three canyons to get a clear shot for the kill. Thankfully, her dad spared us pictures of her gutting that one.

Ladin lovers

Ladinland? Ladinistan? The caves where Osama bin Laden might be hiding? Just where does one go to speak Ladino?

Seattle, apparently. Our area has one of the largest U.S. concentrations of speakers of Ladino, an ancient form of Castilian Spanish spoken by the Jews in central Spain before being expelled during the Inquisition in 1492.

Written originally in the Hebrew alphabet and incorporating many words from Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Turkish and French, the obscure but living language is being taught right here on Mercer Island at the JCC.

For information, contact Roni Antebi at 232-7115, ext. 269.

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