Meet the Counselor: Sarah Hager

Sarah’s ‘Pinyasa’ yoga classes have been bringing a playful and honest come-as-you-are spirit of wellness to the Seattle pinball community since early 2018. Born in the stunningly hip upstairs space of Add-a-Ball Amusements Bar & Arcade (pictured), Pinyasa has helped dozens of local pinball players find their best poses, and the judgement-free community makes it easy for new yogis to join in, regardless of fitness experience, injuries or perceived limitations, lifestyle, or any of the many other mental obstacles that keep people from exploring this wonderful practice.

NWPSC is honored to have Sarah teach a special Camp edition of Pinyasa, this Saturday at 1PM PST, on Zoom (link to follow). This beginner-friendly class is a great sampling of her offering, and if you’re hooked, join her again for her regularly scheduled class every Sunday, more info at the Pinyasa FB group. She will also be contributing her pinball focused wrist and back stretches during Alyson’s ‘Campfire Stretch and Storytime’ Sunday at 5:30 PM PST.

Let’s learn more, in her words:

I moved to Seattle in March 2017 after living abroad in New Zealand. Originally from North Carolina, I've loved exploring the northwest through hiking, paddling, biking, and running. I fell in love with the pinball scene in Seattle, and was elated to join the Monday Night Pinball League that fall as a Death Saver. The following spring I merged two of my favorite things - pinball and yoga - to create "Pinyasa," a weekly small-group vinyasa flow upstairs at Add-a-Ball. It's been rewarding and fun to share movement with the community, and deepen friendships along the way.


Campsite location:

When did you start playing pinball?
I grew up on Space Cadet on the computer. When I saw pinball in the wild, I'd beg for quarters and play. In college, there were a few music venues and bars that had machines that I'd play religiously between band sets - I remember South Park, Hook (without sound) and Austin Powers (without the right flipper button so you had to stick your finger or pen in to play). My, do I appreciate pintechs.

What are your top three pins?
Circus Voltaire will forever be in my favorites - the colors, callouts, theme and layout are super fun. It always feels like a treat to play as it's pretty uncommon. The other top two are hard - right now, I really miss Dragon First and Guardians.

What are your other passions?
Outside of pinball, I love to get outside - hiking, biking, paddling, running, etc. I am also very into yoga, practicing regularly since 2012 and teaching since 2016.

Do you have any pinball superstitions or competition rituals?
I have certain superstitions when it comes to competition play. I usually start with left foot forward. If I'm playing poorly, I will come to the conclusion it's my hair and change it from down to bun or bun to braid. I also can't play if Guns N’ Roses is playing.

Who are your role models?
There are so many individuals that have taken time to teach me how to post pass (Chris Chinn, Grand Lizard), how to retrace to where i actually fucked up (Dave Stewart), how to play Ghostbusters after murdering me during my first Adda tourney (Alexa Philbeck), how to win with grace (Hannah Holmberg), how to play scifi games (Jesse Labbe, although showed you psychic test), how to understand and capitalize strategy (Tim Mccool), how to be a leader (Lauren Aquino, Zac Peterson) and how to keep pinball fun again (The Commissioner of the Addaball Wrestling Federation). This isn't exhaustive by any means. We have such a strong community. (TLDR; Hannah's nudging. JESUS WOMAN.)

What are the tournaments you can’t wait to see come back?
My favorite pinball event is Addaball’s 420. Sadly, yet understandably, we missed it this year. The ridiculousness of what the hosts come up with blows my mind each time. Besides the tournament, with machines tinkered with to be even more challenging, the environment is fun and intoxicating, some pun intended.