News & Thoughts   about your culture


 

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
November 20, 2014

Yoga Culture Snow Policy


We do our best to hold classes.  If we cancel, it will be posted on our Facebook page. Please note that you do not need to have a Facebook account to view our page. Also, we won't exercise the late cancel/no show cancellation policy if we cancel for snow.

The following are courtesies, not policy (as they are not as technologically reliable as Facebook):

We cancel the class on our website schedule. If you signed up for class, our software sends an auto email.  Please note that one time our email provider went down, so we couldn't send an email. Sometimes our website refuses to update immediately. Facebook hardly ever goes down, which is why we use it for our cancellations.

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
November 13, 2014

Commitment Assistance

In November of 2011 class started with announcements and Jenny explained Commitment Assistance. Attend 4 classes a week over the holiday season and you would receive a zippy pair of striped yoga socks to ring in the New Year. Inspirational e-mails would also arrive to cheer you on through the holidays. Clearly some of my fellow Yogis were intrigued and up for the challenge and some thought...no...well, maybe?

I very much needed some inspiration. Yes, it was the holidays and the stress, excitement and joy started to ramp up. I also learned that my mom was terminally ill. I knew it was soon to be that dig-down-deep-super-hero time.I signed up for Commitment Assistance feeling I could use all the strength and inspiration I could get. Hey, if I got to class at all I would be in the plus column. But yoga helping someone through a difficult time is really not what this is about.

It’s about what happened next. I started coming to my usual classes and really tried to focus on the “be here now”. Just a chance to stop and breathe.The more classes I attended the better I felt. Kind and friendly faces carried me along. Week one...no problem. But then life got messier as it has a way of doing. I had to start going outside of my favorite schedule. I showed up when it was cold and dark outside and my warm pajamas and cozy couch were calling my name. I experienced different teachers. I heard cues in ways I had never heard them before. Was that my hearing or my listening?  My ears opened and my head cleared if only for that hour. I went to basics class which my ego was sure I didn’t need. I drank up restorative which every part of my being was craving but I had previously just never thought to try. If level 2 was my only choice and I felt totally drained, I went giving myself permission to do what I could which was usually more than I anticipated. I made friends with props and modifications. Just getting to the studio- my oasis- and being open to any and all classes,  was a gift. My yoga really became “a practice”. I was pleasantly surprised to experience what I had heard, that every time you come to the mat there is something to be gained.

In the end I got my zippy socks and so much more. It was the best gift I had ever given myself. It was so awesome I gave myself the same gift the next year.

 

Beth

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
November 8, 2014

Dear Yogi,

I have been working in the healthcare field for many years. My workload keeps getting heavier and my patients need me. When I reach the end of the day I am just exhausted and feel depleted. I want to be there for my friends and family as well. When I climb in bed at night my mind races and my body aches. I love my job but how can I be there for myself as well?

Your friend,

Constant Caregiver



Dear Constant Caregiver,

Being able to care for others begins with yourself. Being aware of your own needs and listening to that inner voice is key.A yoga practice helps you develop the tools to listen to that voice. Nourish your physical body and learn to find some calm in your hectic world. You have a big heart to do what you do, let yoga nourish you. The world needs awesome caregivers like you so take good care of yourself!

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
September 18, 2014

Dear Yogi,


I’ve been going to basic classes for some time now and would love to make the transition to Level 1 classes, but I’m not sure of what to expect.

Dear Dubious, you’re in luck!

We offer a semi-private that can help you feel more comfortable transitioning to Level 1. Semi-privates have a maximum of 6 students which allows for individual attention . Also, the class focuses on breaking down aspects of a level 1 class so you can enjoy experiencing it at a slower pace.

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
September 11, 2014

Dear Yogi,

I just love my job as an educator. It’s back to school time and I wish I knew a way to help keep myself at my best for my students, my family and myself. It’s so easy to get overwhelmed!

Excellent Educator

Dear Excellent Educator,

You spend so much of your day nourishing your students. Yoga will help keep you nourished and at your best. A yoga practice will help you relax, energize and center yourself. A physical asana practice will help keep you on the move. Stretching and strengthening will get you through your active day. Using your breath and quieting your mind with meditation can reduce your stress and help you respond rather than react. Practicing yoga at a welcoming and friendly studio will also open your heart and feel fabulous. Yoga is perfect for back to school!

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
September 11, 2014

We Remember

Each year on September 11 as I recall with sadness the horrors of that day and pay respect to the significance of this day in our history, I also feel a tremendous amount of gratitude. I am thankful for the people in my life; my family, friends and teachers. I feel fortunate to be able to love fully and deeply. I feel joyful that I have the opportunity each day to teach my passion. I feel appreciative to be part of a Satsang, a community of people who recognize that we are all walking together on this Earth. Perhaps we can all light a candle today to remember all those lost, all those suffering, and to remember all we have to be grateful for.


You are me and I am you.
It is obvious that we are inter-are.
You cultivate the flower in
yourself so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself so
that you do not have to suffer.
I support you, you support me.
I am here to bring you peace.
You are here to bring me koj.
-Thich Naht Hahn

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
July 31, 2014

Dear Yogi,

With osteoporosis running in my family, how can yoga support my quest for strong healthy bones as I approach my mid 40’s? Dear Bone Hunter, besides providing a superior form of weight-bearing that stimulates bones to retain calcium. yoga also helps stimulate and distribute the flow of synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints between the bones. Check out a few more reasons why yoga is a wonderful way to support healthy bones and fight against osteoporosis:
 
 
  • Yoga’s weight-bearing poses take the body through its full range of movement.
  • While other weight-bearing exercises tighten the body, yoga “lubricates” the joints by giving them an internal massage.
  • Yoga builds bone strength evenly in both the upper and lower body.
  • Yoga postures have a beneficial effect on the endocrine glands, which contribute to the formation of strong, healthy bones.
  • Yoga has a positive effect on the adrenal glands-reducing stress levels and inhibiting excess calcium secretion.
  • Yoga improves balance and coordination, helping to prevent fails.
  • Yoga prevents and can even reverse the most visible and obvious symptom of osteoporosis and aging: the shortening and rounding of the spine.
 
 
Adapted from Yoga and the Wisdom of Menopause by Suza Francina

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
July 24, 2014

Dear Yogi

I am afraid to fly. Lifting my feet away from the floor with just the support of my arms, is too scary and I don't think I'm strong enough. Arm balances aren't for me, right?

Dear Afraid to Fly,

What a terrific question. Flying can be very scary if you don't know what you are doing. The great part of attending a workshop, especially designed to work on arm balances is that you learn step by step on how to approach them and can ask specific questions regarding what you are finding difficult. Arm balances require strength, flexibility, practice and knowledge. During this workshop, you practice key poses that help you gain more strength, flexibility and knowledge. It can be very scary not knowing what to do and what is expected. You aren't expected to lift your feet off the floor, but you are expected to learn and be inquisitive about what your body is doing and what it can do to prepare yourself to one day move into these poses. Let the knowledge gained set you free from your fear.

allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
July 23, 2014

Listen to the Music

Hi Yogis,

The Doobie Brothers said it right, "Listen to the Music". Music has such a profound affect on us. It can transport us back in time, reminding us of times and places in our past, it can energize us, it can calm us. Hearing all the instruments in a beautiful composition of music finally merging together at the crescendo can bring about tears of joy. 

Yoga practice gives us opportunities to fine tune our most important musical instruments. The practices help us to understand the melodies of well-aligned mindful asanas and the more subtle harmonies of the breath, and the integrated symphony of meditation.   When we practice these ancient techniques we are not only creating beautiful music, but we are also stepping back to turn the volume up enough to listen to this divine vibrational sound.

 

Wendy


allison.schleck@hotmail.com
allison.schleck@hotmail.com
July 23, 2014

Contentment is Closer Than You Think!

Hey Yogis,

This Monday at Basics Class, we began with a guided relaxation, alternately tightening and releasing different muscle groups. The goal of our relaxation was to be able to turn our focus inward, letting go of tension, tightness, and the need to be in control. We then flowed through our practice, breathing, stretching, moving and finally, relaxing.

 At the beginning of practice, we shared a quote about looking on the bright side versus looking on the not so bright side. “Pick one morning and stop every hour and notice what went wrong in that time period….That afternoon, stop every hour and notice what went right.” When did you feel a sensation of SANTOSHA, or contentment? Look inward, be thankful and feel contented! Thank you, as always, for sharing your energy with me! See you soon!

 

Lucille

 April 17, 2014

teachers_allisonDear Yogi, This Yoga Nidra sounds good but I think I'm going to fall asleep.  Should I even bother?

Dear Sleepy Yogi
Yoga Nidra is a type of meditation that induces complete relaxation mentally, physically and emotionally.  It is important to take care of all aspects of your health.  Falling asleep is completely normal and almost expected, especially if you are new to this meditation practice.  If you are embarrassed about possibly falling asleep, let the teacher know prior to class.  She can wake you up if she notices you have drifted.  Likewise, if falling asleep at home is a challenge, a complete Yoga Nidra practice is equivalent to about 4 hours of regular rest.  Plus it completely rests and rejuvenates your body and mind.

Join Allison for Relaxation 101: Yoga Nidra tomorrow night.  Sign up here.

 April 17, 2014

teachers_marieanneWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Marie-Anne answers 7 questions.

1. Why did you start yoga?

I really have no idea why I walked into my first yoga class, other than I thought it would be a really cool thing to be able to stretch and move into poses. I have always been drawn to movement and the human body. 

2. Was it love at first sight?

Yes it was! I was completely in love after my first class. I immediately felt alive and awake for the first time in many years. As much as I loved it, I was also afraid. It brought up my insecurities, fears & doubts. I knew that I was stepping into something powerful, so needless to say I stopped going to yoga after a handful of classes. It wasn't until several years later that I returned, but this time it was for good and nothing was going to stop me.

3. Who are your favorite teachers?

I am moved by teachers who are passionate about what they do. I am awed by teachers who selflessly want to help others make a difference in their lives. My favorite yoga teacher is Dr. Joseph Michael Levry, who's unconditional love and compassion for humanity is a source of inspiration to me to be the best person I can be every day. He reminds me that it is the little kind things we can do for others that can make big differences.

4. What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

I believe as long as I am breathing I am learning. I will always be a student. Every person that I meet has something to teach me. Every experience is an opportunity to grow and learn, especially the ones that are difficult. 

5. What is your favorite pose?

My favorite pose is constantly changing. Right now I am drawn to balancing poses. I would say Dancer Pose, Natarajasana is rocking my world right now. 

6. Who is your favorite band?

Uuuggg! There is no way I can choose one band. I love music. All kinds. There are soooo many crazy, creative, talented musicians. 

7. What movie can you watch over and over again?

Chocolat, Amélie, The Princess Bride, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, anything by Wes Anderson or a good musical like Moulin Rouge or Cabaret...and many, many more.

 April 10, 2014

photo-11_copyDear Yogi, I know that practicing yoga helps my balance and strengthens my muscles, but can it help the internal organs? I often suffer from indigestion. Although not life-threatening, it is uncomfortable and annoying. Are there specific yoga practices for a healthy digestive system?

Dear Bummed-Out Belly, Yoga philosophy lays a lot of emphasis on good digestive health. Certainly the types of foods and when and how you eat affect your health and digestion. If you take moderate amounts of simple nutritious food, less energy is spent by the body to digest food. Stress definitely plays a role in digestive health, so try to eat in a pleasant environment, and balance your day with opportunities for relaxation and meditation. Certain asanas can also be quite useful for assisting digestion and speeding up your metabolism. Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose) is a wonderful pose to practice to assist the processing of foods. Also, simple seated twists can alleviate reflux and constipation.

Join Wendy this Friday, April 11th at 6:30 for her workshop on Yoga Practices for Core Health and Strength.  Sign up here.

April 10, 2014

Danielle Caparelli headshotWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Danielle answers 7 questions.

1. Why did you start yoga?

To decrease stress, get stronger, improve my posture.  I was in college at the time, and I was always slumped over a table studying!

2. Was it love at first sight?

No! I was in an aerobics room, in the basement of an old gym building, with wall to wall mirrors, with a bunch of football players, I just didn't get the purpose of doing a "Warrior I" and I couldn't balance long on one foot! I felt out of place in the class, and didn't go back until 2 years later.

3. Who are your favorite teachers and why?

Jason Crandell, Amy Ippoliti, Kathryn Budig, Marc Holzman - They are all very concise, clear and direct in their teaching styles.  They paint a picture when they teach. They have a deep understanding of anatomy and acknowledge the importance of alignment.

4. What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

Always be open and willing to learn and educate myself.  There is always something to learn from someone else, even if they are not a "teacher".

5. What is your favorite pose?

Savasana.  It took me a while to appreciate and truly understand this pose, in fact, I had the deepest experience during my teacher training. This pose makes my yoga practice feel complete and balanced, while being a challenge at the same time. Except for this one time, a few years ago, I left a yoga class after a great savasana and I literally could not drive my car I was so relaxed - I sat in the parking lot for 10 minutes! 

6. What is your favorite band?

More than one! I love Jack Johnson, The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Michael Franti, Moby.  Anything calming, upbeat with inspiring lyrics.

7. What movie can you watch over and over again?

The Notebook!

April 3, 2014

Lucille AlaskaWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Lucille answers 7 questions.

1. Why did you start yoga?

I first began yoga about 16 years ago. I had a very full, hectic life teaching full-time as a language arts specialist and raising three children. I always felt I never had enough time to “get it all done” and to have “time for myself.” A friend suggested I try a yoga class.

2. Was is love at first sight?

I took my first class at a local studio and remember thinking on my way there: “Why am I going to yoga? I’m already exhausted, have lessons to plan, papers to correct, lunches to make for the next day, etc., etc., etc. I took the class, and began really relaxing about midway through and all of a sudden, it was over! I loved it and felt relaxed and serene on my way home. This was a totally new feeling for me and it felt really wonderful! So, for me, beginning yoga was love at first sight!

3. Who are your favorite teachers?

My favorite yoga teachers are Natasha Rizopoulos and Jason Crandell. I like both of them because their practices reflect what I like in yoga: good solid sequences with great cueing.  I love the practices that are featured in Yoga Journal and the mini-sequences on Facebook. I embrace their philosophies of being a constant student! I also greatly admire Patricia Walden, who embodies strength, stamina, and endurance in all her poses! My other favorite teachers are children!  Having taught for over 27 years, I love watching how children are masterminds at “living in the moment.” We can all learn so much from them! “The child is father to the man.”

4. What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

To me, being a constant student is synonymous with being a life-long learner. I feel it is important in all areas of life to be a constant student by always seeking to learn more, be curious and improve my efforts. A constant student knows that change can come gradually, almost invisibly, or it can be explosive, like a waterfall rushing down a mountain! This is what is often referred to as a “light bulb” moment. I have experienced both types of change in my yoga practice through the years and I am thankful for both of them! 

5. What is your favorite pose?

I have two favorite poses: Tree and Eagle. I love both of them because I love being outside surrounded by the beauty of nature and they both epitomize the beauty of the great outdoors to me. Every time I go for a hike, I need to do at least one of them.

6. What is your favorite band?

My favorite bands are the Beatles and U2. I like their music and songs and have enjoyed them for a long time!

7. What is a movie you can watch over and over again?

A movie I never tire of watching is Sleepless in Seattle. What can I say? I’m a hopeless Romantic!

I love being a part of the Yoga Culture community! I think the students and staff at Yoga Culture are the best there are on our precious planet earth!

March 27, 2014

TT Walking Meditation TarrywileComments from Graduates of Yoga Culture's Teacher Training Program had this to say...

I forged relationships with Jenny, Wendy and the other Teacher Trainees - talk about acceptance, support and love!

I've become more like the person I always wanted to be - more accepting of myself and others. 

I look for and find joy everywhere.

The healing nature of the practice brought relief to aching misalignments in my body.

The Yoga Sutras brought insight to my mind, and some even became mantras in my life.

I am endlessly thankful for knowledge and experiences gained through this program, as it continues to transform my life.

I’m definitely much happier and deal with stress in a much healthier way.  

Taking yoga classes is great, but doesn’t compare to the immersion-like training one receives during TT.

The more I learned, the more I wanted to know. The harder it got, the stronger I became.The further I was coaxed out of my comfort zone, the braver I became. As our community came together, the closer we became.

I was surprised that I could relieve my own back pain.

The depth and intensity of Teacher Training spoke to me loud and clear! 

Me, meet Me deep.

I realized that I am capable of recognizing how to make myself happy.

My notion of Yoga drastically changed ... better yet, evolved. My yoga practice went from just physical activity to a way of life.

Training sessions inspired critical thinking and self-evaluation.  The teacher training helped to make Yoga make more sense!

I think the mentor-student relationship is a very special one, and not to be taken for granted. I think to get the best out of any learning experience there needs to be a mutual trust, respect and appreciation from both sides. I felt that way about my mentors at Yoga Culture.

March 27, 2014

Rebecca Garudasana EagleWhy Yoga Improves Your Game, by Rebecca Heiden

Preparing for golf is an exhaustive task. You have to tighten your swing, practice your short game, get in the right frame of mind and get physically fit. Or you can practice Yoga and accomplish all of the above. – Gary McCord (PGA Tour Player).

Golf is an intensive mind-body sport, requiring strong mental discipline. Yoga teaches us how to stay present, focused and on task, which can positively impact both internal and environmental challenges on the green.

The physical components of the golf game (flexibility, balance and strength) are addressed and enhanced with a consistent yoga practice.   A consistent practice can: 

  • Improve range of motion, which allows proper coiling and uncoiling of the torso and spine.
  • Lengthen short, tight muscles, which are the number one reason for swing faults.
  • Reduce the risk of injury, due to increased flexibility.
  • Improve balance in the stance and throughout the entire swing plane.
  • Enable efficient weight transfer, generating power and accuracy through increased balance.
  • Allow full extension of the body towards the target with proper balance.
  • Increase distance by generating power and speed by strengthening the muscles of the core & lower spine.
  • Assist in maintaining a proper spine angle.
  • Increase oxygen flow to muscles and relieve stress through proper breathing techniques.
  • Promote sport longevity.

Rebecca teaches the semi-private lesson Yoga for Golf this Sunday, March 30.  Sign up here.  She will focus on relaxation and breathing techniques as well as poses that specifically address the needs of golfers.  Worksheets with helpful hints and a sequence detailing poses for golfers will be sent home with students. 

March 27, 2014

Allison Sears TowerWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Allison answers 7 questions.

1. Why did you start yoga?

I started yoga because it seemed like the perfect compliment to my martial arts training at the time.

2. Was it love at first sight?

Not at all.  I liked in and I did it everyday but I remember looking up at the clock thinking man when will this be over.  After a while though I stopped this whole external yoga approach, looking at other people, trying to figure what was going on and looking at the clock and started to really get into my body and the actual practice.  From there, my love of yoga took off but I definitely had to pass through a hurdle.

3. Who are your favorite teachers and why?

I love yoga teacher Jason Crandell and his attention to detail.  Shiva Rea and her fluidity.  Jenny Schuck and her amazing Sequencing which she opened my eyes up to.  Shihan Edwinn Chan for teaching me that there is a lot more to this world than just punching and kicking through it.  My 11th grade Spanish teacher for giving me back my confidence.  I have a lot of teachers and I'm fortunate to have learnt or continue to learn from them.

4. What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

Always doing something to get you closer to what you seek.  As a yoga student, I may not get the chance to physically get on my mat everyday, but reading (possibly in supported Supta Baddha Konasana) something yoga-related or seriously contemplating my actions or reactions helps me to move forward on my journey. 

5. What is your favorite pose?

King Pigeon - ultimate bliss pose for me for many reasons.

6. What is your favorite band? 

Bon Jovi

7. What movie can you watch over and over again?

Mulan!

March 20, 2014

Beth Little Dancer Natarajasana_copyWhy Yoga Culture is Good for Your Heart! by Beth Perlman

When I was 24 years old I became a CPR instructor. I learned the life saving techniques as well as learning the skills to be a teacher. I spoke of heart risk factors and keeping your heart healthy for a long and wonderful life. I took great joy in sharing these life saving skills  and helping people feel empowered in the face of a cardiac emergency.

Jump ahead a mere 27 years and here I am. I am still teaching CPR. I dare say I am a better teacher now all these years later. Experience sure, but there is also a greater understanding of life and it’s uncertainty. I have raised children, cared for friends and family and realized I am not as invincible as I felt at 24. I don’t think anyone is surprised by the advice to eat well, exercise, manage stress and get enough sleep. It may not always happen but I think the knowledge is pretty well known.

I recently learned something else. I learned that my yoga practice and specifically being a part of the Yoga Culture community is indeed good for my heart. A special combination of magic ingredients can actually bolster the health of my heart. Our wonderful kula, or community, Jenny created for all of us is a heart sanctuary.

When you come to the studio you are invited to an asana practice. The physical practice is good for your physical body. You improve your circulation, your flexibility and your heart's ability to adjust to variable rates. You also see happy friendly faces that ease your bad days and often listen to a talk in the beginning of class that makes you feel alive and thoughtful. You belong, you are comfortable and, like Norm on Cheers, everybody knows your name. But wait, there’s more!  Restorative practice really allows you to let go and learn to help yourself relax both in mind and body. You even have the chance to constantly learn, explore and deepen your practice with all the offerings at the studio. You dare yourself to move from Level 1 to Level 2 or try inversions. And whether you contribute to the food pantry or attend a charity class or do some community service (karma), yoga also contributes to your heart health.

So who knew you were helping your heart health the first time you walked in the door!

Beth teaches the semi-private lesson Yoga for Heart Health this Saturday, March 22 at 2:15.  Sign up here.  And do your heart more good by attending our Charity Class for the Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation this Friday, March 21 at 7pm.

March 20, 2014

img_beachEmbodying Everything, by Jenny Schuck

In yoga, we do more than exercise.  You can practice yoga without paying attention and that would be mere exercise.  You can also pay attention and bring mindfulness to just about anything - soccer, running, washing the dishes.  Yoga is a great place to learn this mindfulness so that you can embody your other activities.  As part of our Teacher Training, we do a walking meditation at Tarrywile.  We keep silence as we walk and we prepare by reminding ourselves to be aware of all our surroundings, including the feeling of our feet in our shoes touching the ground.  Typical responses after the hike include, "Whoa, I heard so many things!" and, "I never noticed how bright the green of the leaves was."  When you diminish the chatter of the mind, all the senses kick in at a higher level than when the chatter is dominant.  It is unlikely that you will stop the chatter completely, unless you devote your life to meditation, but any stilling that you can attain will invite the instincts to thrive.  In time, you learn to allow your senses to sense and you learn trust your instincts.  Embodying any and all activities makes life more pleasurable by slowing it down and making you notice it.
 

March 20, 2014

Pam Headstand ArubaWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Pam answers 7 questions.

1. Why did you start yoga?

I starting taking yoga when I was looking for a way to de-stress. I was trying different types of classes and yoga really spoke to me. 

2. Was it love at first sight?

Yes! It was definitely love at first sight! I loved how peaceful it made me feel. I loved how strong and connected I felt, physically, emotionally and spiritually. It spurred me on to explore yoga more deeply... I couldn't get enough!

3. Who are your favorite teachers and why?

I love the alignment based and thoughtful sequencing of Jason Crandell. I love the adventurous spirit and playfulness of Kathryn Budig. I am inspired by the spirituality and self empowerment that Seane Corn infuses her classes with. They all inspire me in different wonderful ways.

4. What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

Being a constant student means we are always learning...there is so much to learn! Learning nourishes our brains and our souls...and makes life more interesting. 

5. What is your favorite pose?

That's a tough one... I love them all! Let's see... I really love Salamba Sirsasana (Headstand), any variation! Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon) also feels really good. But Savasana.... Oh Savasana.... I love you!  

6. What is your favorite band?

Oh, another tough one! Keith Urban melts me... I find myself listening to a lot of Jason Mraz. I find him very yogic! But as far as a band, it would have to be Aerosmith! If they are playing within driving distance, you will probably find me there! There are life lessons in those lyrics! 

7. What movie can you watch over and over again?

Who can get enough of The Wizard of Oz ( "You've always had the power my dear, you just had to learn it for yourself." Very yogic!) or Grease? Not me! But I love Forest Gump ("Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Yes, very yogic) and have seen it many times. <3 Now I want to watch it again!

 

March 13, 2014

Danielle Caparelli headshotDear Yogi, I've heard yoga is supposed to be good for women as they go through the hormonal changes of menopause. How does yoga help women throughout this time in their lives?

Dear Wise Woman, Well, as many women experiencing menopause already know, it can be a stressful and challenging time.   On top of hot flashes and mood swings, there are also the responsibilities of work, kids, and aging parents.  As the stress level rises, so do the symptoms of menopause.

Yoga practice, including pranayama (breathing), restorative poses, and meditation are the most useful techniques to help minimize the effects of stress during menopause.  The physical practice, or asana, of yoga is also helpful because as stress increases, so does the hormone cortisol which contributes to the loss of calcium from bones.  This explains the link of stress and osteoporosis.  Unlike many other forms of exercise, the weight-bearing poses in yoga, such as downward dog, help build bone strength.

Menopause is a milestone of change, which is inevitable.  Practicing yoga can help us balance the challenges of menopause with acceptance.

Join Danielle this Sunday for a semi-private lesson aimed at techniques and poses to help ease the transition of menopause.  Sign up here.

March 13, 2014


Caitlin Side PlankWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Caitlin answers 7 questions.

1. Why did you start yoga?

When I was a teenager,  I experimented with yoga because I thought it was "cool." I didn't really know anything about it at that point and I didn't stick with it. Later, when I found appropriate teachers and an awesome yoga studio (guess who?), I was able to reap the stress-relieving benefits of a consistent practice.  As I began to notice physical changes in my body as well as changes in my outlook on life I knew I was hooked! 

2. Was it love at first sight?

No, it definitely wasn't an immediate love. When I first tried yoga at home with classic Rodney Yee videos, I never understood why we kept ending up in Down Dog. The pose was so uncomfortable for me and I got bored with the repetition. Maybe the basement wasn't the most inspiring place either.  It definitely took a few years before I actually enjoyed yoga. Taking an all-levels class as a beginner is not an encouraging introduction to yoga. As soon as I found the right class where I was able to participate, things started to click. 

3. Who are your favorite teachers and why?

I like teachers that are real. They are not trying to be superstars, esoteric or showy. When teachers are real, yoga is real. My favorite teacher is probably Jason Crandell. He has a commonsense way of presenting the yoga practice, both in terms of the physical practice, but also the elements of mindfulness and breath awareness. 

 4. What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

There is always something to learn. Even when I think I know a pose pretty well, or a teaching element, I take another teacher's class and I see things from an entirely different perspective. It's refreshing and it makes me think.  The interesting thing about becoming a yoga teacher is that as I present themes, philosophy and suggestions to students, I am forced to look at myself and ask, "Am I practicing what I preach?" It's easy to sit in front of a class and explain to students that they should go slow, or not force things, or not judge... But to really apply this to oneself takes practice, objectivity and honesty.  

5. What is your favorite pose?

One of my favorite poses is Ardha Chandrasana. I love the combination of finding stability in your standing leg and expanding outwards from your lifted leg and arm. Rooting and opening, strength and flexibility. If I am feeling extra grounded, I will hold my top foot and open my chest even more and start to backbend. It helps that my mat is right next to a bed in case I need somewhere convenient to land. 

6. What is your favorite band?

It's hard to pinpoint a favorite. Here are a few: Ben Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, Sara Bareillis, Coldplay, Zac Brown Band and Maroon 5.

7. What movie can you watch over and over again?

The only movies that I can really watch over and over again are Christmas movies.  My family has a tradition of watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation every year on Christmas. Somehow, despite the fact that you know what's coming, that movie is always funny. Unwelcome houseguests, cat food in the jello mold, and squirrels in the Christmas tree. Our Christmas always seems pretty good!!

March 6, 2014

home2Who are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Michelle answers 7 questions.

Why did you start yoga? 

It was totally out of curiosity. I had seen people practicing it but I had tons of misconceptions about it. So took me awhile to walk into a yoga class. 

Was it love at first sight? 

It was absolutely love at first sight. For that time I was allowed to be a kid again. Roll on the floor, grab my toes and pay attention to things that I had been taking for granted my entire life.

Who are your favorite teachers? 

I like Jason Crandell quite a bit. He explains the poses very well and he is a big advocate for making classes accessible to everyone. In terms of other inspiring teachers, I had an Organic Chemistry teacher that was absolutely amazing. He would always push students to think for themselves and find their own answers. He guided the students to find knowledge.  That is something I aspire to be able to do in my classes. 

What does “being a constant student” mean to you? 

Being a constant student to me is a humbling experience. It is to be okay with not having all the answers and not to be stuck striving for perfection. It is the state of mind that even when you think you know something really well, you stop and realize that there is so much more to know.

What is your favorite pose?

My favorite pose is Anjaneyasana (Kneeling Lunge). The answer is simple: My hips are usually tight and it feels really good. 

What is your favorite band? 

I don’t have a favorite band. I listen to things for a while then I move on. Then I come back to it and so on. Lately I have been listening to The Be Good Tanyas.

What movie can you watch over and over again? 

I cannot watch movies over and over again! A movie that I have recently watched that I really enjoyed was Once Upon a Time in the West.

February 27, 2014

photo 3_copyDear Yogi, I tend to hurt my lower back from time to time. But then I have to stop practicing yoga until the pain is gone.  Is it possible to continue my yoga practice when my back is causing discomfort?

The first thing I must say is that it is always a good idea to check in with your doctor and get an ok for exercising. Now, giving that you have been cleared by your doctor, the answer to your question is yes. But (and this is a big but!) only if you practice yoga mindfully. This means entering every pose slowly, carefully giving time for the body to feel and for the mind to observe and receive the body’s feedback. Transition between poses are equally important. Keep close attention to what movements increase or decrease your level of back discomfort. For example, for some people the tilt of the pelvis makes a big difference on their level of back pain. So get as much information as you can from your body and try to avoid movements that create discomfort. That means modify, modify, modify - using blocks, straps, the wall, etc.  And of course ask the teacher when in doubt.

Other things to consider: avoid deep backbends or forward folds, especially during a flare up. Also, begin your practice by stretching the hamstrings and opening the hips. Poses such as Viparita Karani (Legs up the Wall) and Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle) are great to settle in before class starts.  If the forward folds and backbends during Sun Salutations cause discomfort, replace the Up Dog and Down Dog with Cat and Cow (it should be okay as long as you stay in the Mammalia class of animals).

Take this challenge as an opportunity to get to know your body better.

February 27, 2014

photo-11_copyWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Wendy answers 7 questions.

Why did you start yoga?

I started practicing during college as a way of reducing stress.  Initially my practice was primarily meditation, specifically the work of Jon Kabat Zinn. My interest in asana developed after that, and it felt like a natural linking of meditation, which was exciting, new territory for me, and physical movement, which I had always had more familiarity with.

Was it love at first sight? 

Not quite. I had some bizarre early experiences, and had a hard time letting go of my natural inclination to compete and push. Once I found Kripalu in 1989, I was hooked. I fall in love with yoga more and more everyday, and I fall in love with being able to witness the tremendously profound effect that this Practice has on others.

Who are your favorite teachers and why?

Gillian Comstock was a wonderful early teacher in Vermont. She lived on a commune in a yurt, grew her own food, and shared all her resources with the other families on the commune. Although our lives were so entirely different, it amazed me how what we both wanted out of our lives was so similar. We were both just looking to be happy. I learn so much from Rodney Yee about precision; precision in alignment, the subtleties of it all, and also how precise he is with his language and communication. Sharon Gannon and David Life helped me understand that what I do on my mat is merely a snapshot of what is going on off of my mat. I am deeply inspired by their devotion and dedication to living morally and ethically. Mrs Byers was my 3rd grade teacher who taught her students to believe in themselves and not be afraid to take risks.

What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

Life is the coolest classroom, and when I remember that, I try to learn from my mistakes, from what challenges me, and from my relationships with others. A constant student means my eyes are open wide, my ears ready to listen, my heart is ready to feel, and my hands are ready to touch.

What is your favorite pose?

It totally depends on the day, the season, my mood...but ALWAYS Savasana! I used to hate it. I felt like it was a waste of time to not be doing anything. Now I realize that it is when I am in Savasana that everything happens!

What is your favorite band? 

Hardest question ever! I am a huge music fan, and I like almost every genre. Some classic faves: Phish, Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, The Smiths, Velvet Underground

What movie can you watch over and over again? 

Sixteen Candles, The Graduate, Fargo

February 20, 2014

Dear Yogi, I have such tight hips.  I would love to be able to sit comfortably on the floor and do some of the poses that call for flexible hips.  Why are my hips so tight?  Are there certain poses I can work to increase my mobility?

Dear Hips of Steel, You are not alone! Many of us modern day yogis have tight hips simply due to the fact that we spend a significant amount of time sitting. Whether sitting at your desk at work, during long hours commuting or during that guilty pleasure Netflix hour before bed, we are not putting our hips through their full range of motion - hence the tightness and rigidity. Another factor to consider is your favorite non-yoga exercise routine. Activities like cycling, running, and dancing are great for strengthening the muscles around the hip joints, but over time can cause this area to become tight. The good news is that practicing a few simple hip openers each day can restore mobility in the joints and allow you to sit more comfortably on your mat; it can improve posture and help with overall circulation to the legs.

A simple pose to loosen the outer hips is ankle to knee on a chair. This version of the pose puts less pressure on the knee than the more traditional version on your back (Flipped Pigeon). Sit up nice and tall on the edge of a chair. Make sure both feet comfortably reach the ground and that your feet are directly under your knees, hip distance apart. Cross your right ankle over your left knee. Keep your right foot flexed for the duration of the pose. You may already feel a stretch in your outer right hip. This may be more than enough for you. If you would like a deeper stretch, re-lengthen your spine, and start to hinge your torso forward from the hips, keeping your hands behind you on the chair seat.  Stay here for 5-10 breaths, continuing to soften into the pose. Gently upright your torso and take a few breaths with both feet on the floor before repeating the pose on the second side. 

Another area that becomes tight is the front of the hips, or the hip flexors. Chronic tightness in this area can impact the position of the pelvis, which in turn leads to pain and discomfort in the lower back. A great way to open this area is with lunges. Start of on all fours in a tabletop position. Step your right foot forward to the inside of the right hand.  Extend your left leg back, pressing down through the ball of your left foot. Make sure that your right foot is directly over the ankle. Feel the back of the left thigh lifting towards the ceiling. You can place your hands on two large books or another sturdy object if you find it difficult to keep your chest reaching forward. Another option is to bring the back knee down to the floor, padding as needed. Stay here for 5-10 breaths before switching to the second side. 

Try practicing these simple stretches at least once a day. Notice how, with repetition, you begin to notice more ease in the hips and low back. You may even feel like you're standing a little bit taller!

Join Caitlin this Sunday for a semi-private lesson focusing on opening tight hips. Go here to sign up.

February 20, 2014

teachers_jennyWho are the Teachers in Your Studio?  Jenny answers 7 questions.

Why did you start yoga?

I was curious.  I had moved to the city and there were studios around.  So I tried it.

Was it love at first sight?

I really liked it.  I was sort of scared by how much I liked it.  I was blown away by the idea that you were supposed to be mindful and not push past your limit.  But I had a dance injury and the vinyasa style I was doing made my injury hurt worse.  So it took me awhile to get past that injury and really get into yoga.

Who are your favorite teachers and why?

Rodney Yee for his extreme understanding of the physical body, his eloquent instruction and his laid-back attitude, Natasha Rizopoulos for her extreme understanding of mobility and immobility and her wildly precise instruction, Tias Little for his vast knowledge of yoga and study of the movements a body can perform, Patricia Walden for being the picture of a strong, yet compassionate woman who is amazing at her job - she translates information from the Iyengars to her students in the best way, Henry David Thoreau and Jack Kerouac for their studies of nature and humans, Ms. Johnson of Seymour HS Chemistry and Physics for seeing potential in everyone and putting them up to the challenge, Dr. Bell of Cornell Univ. for nurturing his students' desire to learn.

What does “being a constant student” mean to you?

Study study study.  Practice daily with interest and curiosity.  Read.  Study with good teachers. Walk the walk.  Study study study.

What is your favorite pose?

This changes from time to time.  Right now, Parsvottanasana.  It combines some of my tight places with some of my loose places, so I feel good in it, but it works on things I need.  Most awesomely, it releases and relieves my forever-tight upper spine through forcing me to ground my feet (and in turn, my mind).

Who is your favorite band?

Ooh, tough one.  If we get past the Beatles, I’ll have to say Dave Matthews Band. 

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  When I was in college, I had a TV with no reception and no cable.  I had a VCR someone threw away and I had one tape.  Guess which one.  If you ever want to know the lines, just ask.

February 13, 2014

On the Fence about TT?  Here's a Thought . . .

As we explore yoga, many of us feel the desire to deepen our relationship to our practice.  This exploration occurs in various ways: attending classes and workshops, building a home practice, researching various principles of yoga and learning about meditation and other practices that enhance a yogic experience. The quest for knowledge within a practice as deep as yoga is endless, though finding opportunities to grow can be challenging.  There may not be a workshop on a topic you wish to explore. You may need guidance or mentoring to fully understand a posture or philosophy.  Or you may desire additional support as you grow your practice.  

Teacher training is a wonderful way to have the support and access to information so difficult to find when pursuing a deeper understanding of yoga.  While TT is a tool to become a teacher of yoga to others, it is more importantly a way to become a teacher to yourself - on the mat and off.

Understandably, the cost of a TT program often derails interested yogis, especially if they are not considering becoming a teacher.  Though if you consider the cost of workshops, seminars, yoga classes and other purchases made to learn more about yoga and your practice, a TT course is one of the most financially efficient ways to deepen your practice.  When you break down the hourly cost for Yoga Culture’s 200-hour TT, you find it costs only $13.50 an hour to have the opportunity to learn and grow into your practice while having a wonderful support group and knowledgeable mentors at your side.

Learn the specifics of our TT program here.  Go deep, yogi, go deep.

February 13, 2014

Dear Yogi, I would like to try shoulderstand and maybe even headstand, but I've never done them before and they make me nervous. Do I need to do them?  How do I begin practicing them?

Dear Right Side Up Yogi, Whoa, what a great question!  There is nothing normal about turning your body upside down, so it's understandable you would feel nervous about doing an inversion like Shoulderstand or Headstand.  These postures are huge in the yoga world because they have seemingly endless benefits with consistent practice.

Going to class regularly builds the strength and the alignment you need to do inversions.  So you're already halfway there, yogi!  Then you should go to a workshop specifically aimed at learning inversions, like my Inversions workshop this Saturday.  This way, you can work the steps that lead up to these postures. Be sure to ask questions about your personal inversions practice.  You won't need to go upside down into the full pose, but you can learn how to set up your body.  The idea is to get comfortable knowing where your body is when your head or shoulders are on the ground.  Over time with consistent practice of these components, you can take the feet off the ground into the full inversion.

You may be surprised how your current practice is helping you learn inversions without even realizing it.

Email your Dear Yogi questions to us at WeAreYogaCulture@gmail.com.

Join Allison this Saturday for an Inversions workshop. Learn the steps and actions that lead to these postures, whether you decide to go into the full inversion or not. Go here to sign up.

February 6, 2014

Dear Yogi, At this time of year, I tend to get kind of down and I can't seem to shake it.  I've heard that yoga can help.  Can you tell me how?

Dear Down Yogi, 

Simply put, yoga can make you feel good! Practicing yoga increases endorphins in the body, which encourages feelings of happiness and a positive state of mind.  Focusing on your breath and staying tuned in to the present helps to settle the mind, quieting your racing thoughts or negative judgments. As you continue to work with the breath, your nervous system starts to relax and you may find that coping with life's challenges becomes a bit more manageable. While there's no substitute for the long sunny days of summer, your yoga practice can be energizing and uplifting. Warm the body with a few rounds of Sun Salutations. Notice your strength and resilience as you practice standing poses such as Warrior 2 and Chair pose. Open the chest and free your heart center with Bridge pose or Upward Facing Dog. End your practice with a few seated poses to become grounded before practicing Savasana. Come back to your practice whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, sluggish or blue. 

Join Caitlin (who, in real life, is a Social Worker) this Sunday for a yoga practice to improve your mood. Explore and gather tools to help you deal with the ups and downs of life. Go here to sign up.

January 30, 2014

Dear Yogi,

My back hurts when I stand up from a forward fold, with my feet together or wide apart.  What can I do?

Curling or rounding the spine, though it may seem gentle, actually creates load on the lower spine - this often leads to pain.  You’ve heard your teacher say, “bend your knees, hands on hips, come up with a flat back.”  This keeps you from placing load on the lower back and free of the accompanying pain.  So bend your knees, place your hands on your hips, and - leading with the chest - come up with a flat back!

Email your Dear Yogi questions to us at WeAreYogaCulture@gmail.com.

January 23, 2014

img_beachLook So that You See, by Jenny Schuck

My sister mentioned the other night that a fitness guy was showing yoga poses as stretches in his videos.  The Seattle Seahawks coach mandates yoga and meditation for all his players.  When I watch baseball on TV, the players are doing Prasarita Padottanasana on the sidelines.  Physical therapists are using yoga poses to rehab patients.  Yoga is everywhere.  Everyone is realizing its benefits.  

What does it mean to have a yoga practice?  We at the studio have been recommending practicing 3 times a week or more because we believe that would constitute a true yoga practice.  So what do you, the practitioner, get from doing yoga 3 times a week?  Perhaps escape.  Understandable.  We all need to escape sometimes.  But what about going in deeper?  The opposite of escape. Climbing deeper down into problems and responses - be they physical or emotional, of the body or of the mind.  The great meditator Krishnamurti always said you have to look right at things to understand them - look right at love, at sorrow, at anger, jealousy and pleasure.  We yoga teachers are always asking you to look right at your tension, your range of mobility, even your bones and muscles.  What are you looking 'right at'?  What do you need to look right at?  And as you see it, look deeper, look more closely and keep opening your eyes to it.  When you practice often enough, you get good at this. You get good at looking and at seeing.  There is much knowledge and acceptance that come from seeing clearly.

Pat yourself on the back for having a yoga practice.  Chances are some part of you is doing this to more deeply understand the world and other humans.  Keep your practice going and try to practice often enough that you become proficient at seeing.  Keep looking so that you can see.

November 14, 2013

Cailtin and Michelle share an office sequence you can do in your cube!

Perhaps you are sitting at your desk right now. How long have you been sitting there? When is the last time you had a good stretch? Do you feel any tension in your neck or shoulders from working at your desk all morning? Try this chair yoga sequence at work. You can do most of this in your chair and you won’t need any props or your yoga pants!
 
First, put your computer on sleep mode, close your door, and turn the ringer down low. Try to limit distractions as you bring your attention inward. Depending on your environment, take your shoes off.
 
centered (2)Start off by taking a few deep breaths at your desk.
Sit towards the edge of your chair and feel your abdominal muscles engage to support your spine.
Plant both feet flat on the floor.
Gently close your eyes.
Place your hands on your thighs and continue to breathe through your nose, slowly deepening your breathing.
Feel your shoulderblades on your back and notice the broadness across the collarbones.
 
head turns (2)Head Turns
Turn your head to the right. Take a full inhale and exhale.
Bring your head back to center.
Turn your head to the left. Take a full inhale and exhale.
Bring your head back to center.
 
 
 
 
sun breathsSun Breaths
Take 4-5 sun breaths. Inhale as you bring your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Exhale as you lower your arms back down by your sides. Connect your movement to your breath and go at your own pace. 
 
 
 
 
 
seated cow (2)seated cat (2)Chair Cow/Cat
Keeping your palms on your thighs, take an inhale and lift your head and chest to gently arch your spine (Cow). On your exhale, round your spine and tuck your chin towards your chest (Cat). Continue to move through chair Cow and Cat following your inhalation and exhalation. Repeat for 2-3 minutes.
 
 
side bend (2)Side Bends
Lift your arms overhead and interlace your fingers, palms face the ceiling. Take a deep inhale here, reaching your palms towards the ceiling. Exhale and side bend towards the right. Inhale back to center. Exhale and side bend to the left. Repeat this cycle 3 times.
 
 
 
chest opener (2)Chest Opener
Bring your hands behind you and interlace your fingers. Start to reach your arms away from you, maybe bringing the palms all the way together. Move your shoulders down and back and feel your chest open.
 
 
 

twist (2)Twist
Place your left hand on your right knee and place your right hand behind you on your chair. Take a deep inhale to lengthen your spine. On the exhale, slowly rotate the torso towards the right. Make sure to rotate the entire spine; turning the head last.
Come back to center.
Place your right hand on your left knee. Inhale to find length, exhale twist to the left.
 
wall dog (2)desk dog (2)Wall Dog/Desk Dog
Stand up from your desk and move to the wall. Stand facing the wall with your toes touching the wall. Place your palms on the wall at hip height. Walk your feet back and bend at your hip creases so that your torso becomes parallel to the ground. Your body will resemble the shape of an L. If you have any tightness in the back of the legs, feel free to bend the knees here. Feel the spine lengthen as you press your hands into the wall, engaging the muscles in your arms. Keep the low belly firmed in order to support your low back. Stay here for at least 5 breaths.
Alternatively, this can be done right at your desk with your hands on the edge of the desk.
 
fold (2)Uttanasana in your Chair
Sit back down in your chair. Spread your knees out to the sides. Take a deep inhale. On the exhale, fold the torso down between your thighs, towards the floor. Release your head and neck. You can rest your hands on the floor, or hold opposite elbows. 
 
 
 
 
seated 4 (2)Seated Figure 4
Keeping your left foot on the ground, cross your right ankle over your left knee. Keep your right foot flexed. Stay here, or hinge the torso forward to open the right outer hip. If you feel any pain in your right knee, upright your torso. Take at least 5 breaths here, before switching to the second side; crossing your left ankle over your right knee.
 
Bring both feet on the floor. Gently close your eyes and notice how your body feels after your movement break. Take a moment to clear your head and notice your breath. Stay here for as long as you need. Perhaps set a timer for 3-5 minutes for a brief seated meditation. As you are ready, slowly ease your way back into the work day.
 
This sequence can be done at any point during your day. You can do this before you get settled in for the day, maybe before lunch, or during the afternoon slump. Taking a few minutes to do these simple exercises at your desk can relieve stress, increase productivity and, most importantly, make you feel better overall.
 

October 17, 2013

Cailtin and Michelle share a home sequence to remind us to love our feet.

While the official pedicure season may be coming to a close, paying attention to your feet is always in season. From bearing the weight of the body to squeezing into your favorite shoes, our feet need some serious TLC. 

For this practice you will need: blocks (or something similar), a tennis ball and a rolled-up blanket.

photo 1-1_copy1. Lay on your back and lift both legs up. Begin to point and flex your feet for about 5 breaths. Then, roll your ankle in one direction (simutaneously moving both feet in one direction), then in the opposite direction for approximately 1 minute. While you work on waking the foot muscles, keep your core engaged. Feel free to grab behind the thighs f

August 15, 2013

Having taken his 5-week course, Danielle introduces meditation and gives us some techniques from one of the world's foremost meditation teachers, Jon Kabat-Zinn.  This information is re-printed from Kabat-Zinn's Book Wherever You Go, There You Are.

What is Meditation?

“Meditation is the process by which we go about deepening our attention and awareness, refining them, and putting them to greater practical use in our lives.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Meditation is the art of paying attention, of listening to your heart.  Rather than withdrawing from the world, meditation can help you enjoy it more fully, more effectively, and more peacefully.” – Dean Ornish

When can I start to meditate?

“You certainly have to be ready for meditation.  You have to come to it at the right time in your life, at a point where you are ready to listen carefully to your own voice, to your own heart, to your own breathing – to just be present for them and with them, without having to go anywhere or make anything better or different. This is hard work.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

What is mindfulness? 

“The heart of Buddhist meditation.  Mindfulness means paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.  This kind of attention nurtures greater awareness, clarity and acceptance of the present-moment reality.”

Sounds simple…but it requires effort and discipline. Meditation is about stopping and being present.  Mostly, we run around doing.  Are you able to come to a stop in your life, even for one moment? Could it be this moment?  What would happen if you did?

One way to stop the doing, is to shift into the “being mode”.  Think of yourself as an eternal witness, as timeless.  Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all.  What is happening?  What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear? 

Try this:

Stopping, sitting down, becoming aware of your breathing once in a while throughout the day.  It can be for five minutes, or even five seconds.  Let go into full acceptance of the present moment, including how you are feeling and what you perceive to be happening.  For these moments, don’t try to change anything at all, just breathe and let go.  Breathe and let be.  Die to having to have anything be different in this moment; in your mind and in your heart, give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.  Then, when you’re ready, move in the direction your heart tells you to go, mindfully and with resolution. - Jon Kabat-Zinn

August 12, 2013nt0812viewfinder-3003

Yoga at Tarrywile gets a full page spread in the Danbury News-Times!

 

 

June 26, 2013

IMG_0690

Check out the video from our Summer Solstice Celebration at Tarrywile Park

Check out the photos on our Facebook page

 

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