This Sunday, March 21, Brenna Lilly RYT-500 welcomes Spring with a 2hour Ashtanga Half-Primary Workshop. It starts at noon and will kick off a series of fundraisers for our UNITY Teacher Traing Fund. Do check out all of the exciting classes coming up!
Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a methodical yoga practice founded on the study of breath, bandha (energetic movement & retention within the body) and drishti (focused gaze). Brenna will introduce us to the opening and closing chants of Ashtanga Yoga, offer philosophical context and lead a fast paced, yet modifiable physical practice.
This fundraiser will be in person and via zoom. Please pre-register here if you plan to attend in person as space is limited. If you are planning to attend via zoom, please make a $50 donation (or more if you wish) prior to the event via our PayPal button at the bottom of our homepage and you will be emailed all workshop documents.
This class was born out of a conversation with Jessica Leff of Parker Mountain Comfort Wraps, in which we felt a desire to “bring our hearts together”. Join us directly after the 9am Classical Yoga class to combine breath, movement, visualization and the element of fire to gain clarity and invite inspiration. Tune in to what your heart needs and how best to support yourself in the holiday season. Sign up here.
I am finding myself rather blue today which is in direct opposition to the magnificent day we are being met with. I am contemplating the weight of what it means to be a good leader. I read once that “a good leader knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” As I reflect on this, I feel the need to reach out.
I am so proud of how quickly we were able to pivot to online classes (really more to Ron’s credit than mine if we’re being honest). The studio experienced no loss of daily yoga offerings! I am so grateful for my instructors, who learned along side me (while social distancing!) how to offer our students the best classes that we are able under these trying circumstances. The UNITY pass was created, in supplement to the 2 By Donation classes to ensure that anyone who wanted to do yoga with us was able to do so. I really couldn’t be more pleased. We made it through month one.
Now, it is looking like we need to remain in this mode of operation for another month and it is time to be forthright. I feel strongly about the community embodied within the studio and am committed to doing everything I can to keep it afloat. That said, we are experiencing no small financial strain. I need your support. Please consider recommitting yourself to your practice and the studio. If you do not need the financial assistance, consider buying your traditional pass rather than the UNITY pass. If you have been staying away because you think you can’t figure out the technology, reach out and let us help you! Invite friends to meet you in a class. That accountability is so great! Buy a gift certificate for Mother’s Day. Or a t-shirt. Or both. Sign up to claim one of the remaining 2 spots for our Fall retreat.
When I named the studio, I just loved the definition of nourish.
to supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
to cherish, foster, keep alive
to strengthen, build up or promote
I never dreamed that so soon after opening, I would be reaching out to ask you to nourish me. Nourish the studio. Nourish our community.
This makes me feel weak. It makes me feel vulnerable. I don’t like feeling this way, but I know that strength lies in allowing your heart to be open and your truth be known. So my truth….I know that yoga changes lives, just as mine is forever changed. I know that it is my joy to be on the path to enlightenment with you, my students. I know that together, we can keep Nourish alive and thriving.
So yesterday, I made the decision to suspend live classes at the studio. This isn’t going to be a coronavirus post because I am tired of discussing it and thinking about it and worrying about it. This post is a love letter of sorts.
Yesterday, we had 3 students in the 9am class and 2 in the 6pm class. Even though I hadn’t made the call, my students were making best choices for themselves by staying away and I applaud that. Last night, I realized that I didn’t have an opportunity to say “see you later”. I didn’t get to tell my students how much I enjoy them. How important they are to me. How grateful I am for them. I didn’t get to tell them that I am often overwhelmed with love for them as I look out over a room in repose in savasana. I didn’t get to tell them how much I will miss them. And I will.
This week, we are discussing the 5th Niyama, ishvara pranidhana which translates as bowing/surrender or recognizing the source (within as well as around you). Can you believe that it timed out that way? There are no coincidences!!! This niyama invites us to surrender the energy and the effort of our actions to this higher consciousness. To the greater good. Also surrender our suffering. The fear, resistance, doubt, anxiety, resentment that might be coming up right now. Lay it down. Surrender it and devote this time of social distancing to the greater good.
So, I embrace my own advice as I surrender my fear of technology. I am trying to wholly embrace this new world and am excited to see how we evolve as a community with it. I am thrilled that friends and family far away may be able to join me in class. I have to be honest, I would never have made this leap to online classes with out this virus, although my brother told me it would be a great idea and expand my base…..last year! Old dogs. lol
Please feel free to communicate with me. Here. Via email. On Facebook. If you need some support or a private class, let’s see what we can set up virtually. This is a whole new world and I stepping in to it with an open mind and an open heart. Until I see you again, know that I am sending you so much love.
What a week I’ve just had! Still processing all of it, from my show to hosting my friend, Erin Byron, to the workshop to extra classes I taught. I feel so grateful to have the opportunity to share yoga and movement!
This week, at Peace Tree Yoga, I will be sharing the story of the pose, Natarajasana, the Lord of the Dance, in my yoga classes. Monday and Wednesday at 9am. I am enjoying digging into Hindu mythology and how these poses invite you to explore attitude and intention.
At the Bow Lake Community Center, I am teaching Monday and Wednesday 6pm and Friday at 9am. We are looking at the 8th limb of yoga this week, samadhi or bliss. This describes a state of union where individual awareness dissolves into an understanding of connection with the Universe, with a higher power, with the greater picture. Every moment provides an opportunity to experience this and we will endeavor to explore this deep connection and awareness this week.
Sometimes, I get on here and write until something meaningful emerges…I hope. Today, I have something I am reflecting on and I am finding the words hard to come by. I went to my aerial class last night and we worked on the silks for a while. I am still working on the cross back straddle and opposite side climbs, but seeing progress.
What was so interesting though is the time spent on the trapeze. We did a pretty. but simple pose standing and then worked on a half mill. This took me back to 5th grade when I would hook my knee over the bars on my school’s playground and spin and spin until the back of my knees bled, then I would put on long pants and keep going. I loved the feeling of spinning! Exhilarating! And although I am afraid of heights, I am not afraid of my face plummeting toward the ground before I come up again.
So, the reason that this has captured my attention is that this was my last solid memory of untainted happiness…before the divorce…before the move…before my brother was torn from my sister’s and my life…..before. Why on this full moon night was this experience offered to me? Is it a step toward healing? Merely a memory? A coincidence? I don’t know that I believe in coincidence so I will continue to allow my thoughts to meander through my memories, observing what it finds. It was an interesting feeling to be transported back to age 11 or maybe the end of 10 because I was 11 less than a month when my world was irrevocably altered.
It was fun to meet that little girl and be simple, unscathed, and walk with her in the moonlight.
I am returned from North Dakota and so grateful to be back to my family, my routine, and to my teaching. I am also pleased to share that Steven of White Mountain Essence will be returning to the the Bow Lake Grange Hall for another sound healing session this Wednesday from 7-7:30pm. Don’t miss this profound experience. Bring extra pillows or blankets to be cozy. Can’t wait to see you there!
The third niyamas is tapas or effort/discipline. It is translated as “to generate light or heat”. It inspires a practice of self-discipline to cultivate our will power.
Like all of the yamas and niyamas, the application for tapas is endless. We can use this will power to draw us back to our intention again and again. It can fuel the fire which keeps us constant in our Practice. This same fire transforms and purifies us as we become more mindful of our impulses and negative behavior and choose to create change for ourselves.
Today, I invite you to engage your inner fire with this simple Breath of Fire exercise.
Close your eyes, place your hand over the area slightly above your belly button.
Picture yourself filled with confidence and vitality.
You will be inhaling and exhaling through your nostrils in even time.
On your exhale draw navel forcibly back to spine.It will be loud.