Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend! if you’ve been following along with Gov. Baker’s guidance, this was the week that many studios and gyms chose to open. The consensus from the Saturday morning yoga crew was to keep having Zoom classes for now as an option, and I have to say I agree. The restrictions (14ft between mats) are such that I’m finding practice on the mat in my basement, with all of you safe in your homes to be the most enjoyable.
And, I’m adding a Wednesday 9am class to keep us strong and focused mid week. I’ve invested in Acuity for scheduling and waivers, so, starting this week, to register and get the zoom link. Payment is via PayPal, or if you prefer, contact me to arrange another type of payment.
I’m really looking forward to training this weekend, online with Kathryn Bruni -Young. Kathryn is a movement educator in Canada and the founder of Mindful Strengh. She hosts a super informative podcast (Mindful Strength) and she has been a big influence in my yoga practice and teaching! This weekend training was originally supposed to be in Boston, but she’s transitioned it online.
It’s really nice to have something on the schedule to look forward to, I’ve even packed my lunch and snacks like I’m going to the studio for the day:). Looking forward to incorporating the teachings in my classes, look for pop up Zoom classes with me, combining the benefits of strength training with the teachings of Yoga!
Great article, shared by Jill Miller (of Yoga Tune up fame) to a FB group I belong to. www.choprafoundation.org/integrative-interventions-for-covid-19-chopra-library-brief/
If there is one activity that you can do to contribute to your wellness and increase the function of your immune system during this time, it’s meditation. It costs nothing, and studies show, even if you are really ‘bad’ at it, it still works. There are loads of apps that can support and guide you, but even taking a 1 minute break to sit and feel what its like to be in the very breath you are in, one breath at a time.
For kids! Don’t even tell them they are meditating, depending on the age, you could have them focus on a candle (one with a battery is fine!), or clasp their hands with their pointer fingers steepled and pretend they are gazing at a candle, imagine the color, the flicker of the flame, slowly blow it out, and do it with them! If they have hard time falling asleep, guide them thru a “Yoga Nidra” imagining each part of their body relaxing and softening as you go, and do that with them too!
During the day, if you notice yourself spinning into the future, or ruminating on the past, or just feeling overwhelmed, stop, plant your feet on the earth, lift the crown of your head to the sky and take ten long, slow breaths. You’ve got this!
We’ve had a few inquiries about a teen/tween Yoga offering at Millworks! I really enjoy teaching this demographic, and am hoping there’s enough interest to run the series.
Free Preview date: December 18th at 330. To register your child send me a message on FB or email. For more info, click here: Yoga for Teens and Tweens
Isn’t it Ironic, that the holiday of Thanksgiving, where we express gratitude for all we have, and each other, is followed, just hours later, by Black Friday, which is all about gratification! If we could just hang onto the feeling of gratitude for a while longer, think how much money we could save!
In our everyday lives, it can be difficult to stay content. Studies in positive Psychology show a gratitude practice can enhance your well-being and satisfaction with life, and your relationships with others. Often, at the end of a Yoga class, you’re invited to consider someone, or something that you are grateful for. It’s one of the tenets of Yoga: Santosha, or Contentment. This practice reminds us that we have everything we need, and the practice of repeating that to ourselves, keeps us centered and happy in the abundance of all we have.
You can even Bio Hack your gratitude practice, by imagining your desired outcome like it already happened. For example, if you’re healing from an injury, or perhaps anticipating a surgical procedure, you might think: I’m Grateful for a strong body, and the ability to heal.
“Emotions like gratitude and appreciation open your heart and lift the energy in your body to a new place-… It teaches your body emotionally that the event you’re grateful for has already happened, because we usually give thanks after a desirable event has occurred. -from You Are the Placebo: by Joe Dispenza
So, just like we can make ourselves anxious or angry by re-hashing an argument in our mind, or imagining a scenario that may never happen (aka worry) we can alter the state of our mind to a positive emotional state by bringing to mind something we are thankful for. Notice if you experience a lift in your heart, or a smile, the ultimate sign of an elevated mood😊
Give it a try and report back!
It’s fall here in New England, we’re seeing the last blast of color this week, before the trees release the last of their leaves. I’ve seen some memes on Social Media that say ‘the leaves are about to show us how beautiful it is to let go”, which has a nice ring to it. However, I’m realizing that I don’t like to let things go, and I don’t mean the Marie Kondo type of letting go, that, I’m ok with. It’s the letting go of the things I enjoy doing, my habits, rituals, or if Athleta stop making my favorite style of leggings, without a good replacement option, I’m not ok.
As a creature of habit, I like a predictable schedule, I cling to it. This is something I am sitting with in my Yoga practice lately because my routine changed a few months ago, when my Yoga teacher took some time off. I really miss her presence, and her class. I still get to see my lovely friend and teacher, but not in a teacher, student capacity. It feels super trivial to even consider this a “problem”, I know, I’m so lucky to be in a community packed with amazing teachers, with lots of times available for me to join a group class, and I do. But just like all chocolate chip cookies are good, many are great, gourmet even, there’s something about Grandma’s cookies that make them the best, there’s something about that teacher that’s so special. And, I get that the issue is 100% my inability to let go, and make space.
Turns out, there’s a Yama for that! Aparigraha: Non Possessiveness, also translated as non attachment, or non greed. It’s easy to become attached to things that bring us pleasure. The first cookie was good, so we go for the second and third, seeking that same yummy taste, the pleasure. Aparigraha, invites us to enjoy life, eat the cookie, but stop at one. Be able to let go, enjoy life fully, care deeply, without attachment to an outcome, or attachment to when the next cookie will come along!
This Yama, or Ethical Guideline in the Story of Yoga, asks us to let go, make space and trust that nourishment will come.
That’s where the bananas come in, paraphrased from The Yamas & the Niyamas by Deborah Adele:
There’s an ancient process of capturing monkeys in India, in this process, small cages with narrow bars are made and a banana is placed inside the cage. The monkeys come along, reach inside the cage and grab a banana. Then the monkeys begin the impossible task of trying to pull the banana thru the bars. And here’s the amazing thing- at the moment the monkey catchers come along, the monkeys are completely free! There’s nothing that stops them from getting away when they hear someone coming… except letting go of the banana!
If we can’t let go of the banana, our expectations will keep us captive and we find ourselves disgruntled. And it’s not about never enjoying the banana, it’s realizing when the attachment to that banana is causing us to suffer. So, Yogi’s, I invite you to notice what you’re clinging to, and release your bananas. Trust yourself, let go. Your cage is not locked!