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This is Home

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As the beginning of the calendar starts again,  I am inspired to be working closer to home, a renewal of how I spend my time in the community that I choose to live. This helps me to slow down and stay on a even path without running in too many directions, which is easy to do in our modern times despite a mindful try.

Home is also a concept that comes into play when I step onto my yoga mat or stop and take pause. It reminds me to tune back into the only truth that we really know- our next breath. Home is in these breaths and they define the deeper level of connection to ourselves.

As the daylight subtly lengthens to once again transform our surroundings, consider slowing down enough to speak from the heart and to listen for its vibration calling you right back to home. To the frequency of a breath, the pulse of the heart and the balance of our nature.

CLASSES- Winter 2016

Abide Yoga : 

Monday- 9:30-10:30 AM: Slow Flow: Take ‘Er Easy

Thursday: 9:30-10:45: Abide Vinyasa: Some Kind of Eastern Thing

 

FLY

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“Happiness”, as my teacher Max Strom defines, “is the daily experience of a meaningful life.” For the yogis out there: self study. Consider that the mind of your heart is your emotional intelligence. The part that asks questions- moral, ethical questions which you display through your actions. Consider happiness and peace being more in balance. I define peace here as the ability to feel without threat during  smooth and rough experiences.

If you are to consider your own happiness, consider all possibilities. Ask questions to your nearest and dearest about how they define happiness and ask happy people in your life their perspective. Then give yourself a clear picture to fly.

Happiness is_______________.

 

 

Rough and Smooth

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“The peace we are looking for is not peace that crumbles as soon as there is difficulty or chaos. Whether we’re seeking inner peace or global peace or a combination of the two, the way to experience it is to build on the foundation of unconditional openness to all that arises. Peace isn’t an experience free of challenges, free of rough and smooth, it’s an experience that’s expansive enough to include all that arises without feeling threatened.”      -Pema Chodron

Mudra Practice: Hand gestures:method of Citta Bhavana- Cultivating a specific state of mind

VAJRAPRADAMA MUDRA: Buddhist mudra   vajra- thunderbolt, powerfully focused energy, unshakable confidence and inner strength

Vajra also means lightening bolt and diamond suggesting something powerful, indestructible and luminous.

Vajra alternate meaning- “true self”, Pradama meaning “trust” or “confidence”

Interlace fingers in front of your heart while seated or in standing yoga practice, creating a web of both strength, but softness, as if you are tying a safe web over something precious.

Close eyes and center your attention into your breathing, feeling breath in the chest, solar plexus and side ribs

“I come in peace because I am peace”

 

What happens in Family Yoga?

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Yoga is about balance and connection. Watch this video explaining what happens in Family Yoga done recently by Wanderlust and Yoganonymous and find even a few minutes to connect and breathe with the people who you love the most in your world.

Family Yoga , September 19,  1-2 PM at Oasis Yoga Spa, Solon, OH

Family Yoga incorporates yoga games, story-telling, partner poses and relaxation techniques so that you may bond with your family and receive new and inviting ways to connect with each other. Through yoga and mindfulness it is possible for anyone to increase focus, build self-esteem and harness a more positive & peaceful outlook on life. Registration @ Oasis Yoga Spa

Weekly Kids Class: Sundays at 1:45-2:45 PM- Little Yogis at Yoga Roots in Cleveland Heights

New Classes, Changing Seasons

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In the matter of a couple days it seemed, the  tree leaves are falling and there is a coolness in air. My yoga practice is getting warmer and my daily routines are changing along with the season.

New Classes:

Monday am: 9:30- 10:30 AM- Slow Flow at Abide Yoga, Larchmere/Cleveland

Tuesday am: 9:30-10:45 AM- Zen Flow at Oasis Yoga Spa, Solon

Sunday– Little Yogis at Yoga Roots, Cleveland Heights,  1:45 PM-2:45 PM- Ages 3-10. This class is good for kids who need some Sunday structure, but in a fun, playful way. (Parents are welcome to attend and participate.)

 

 

The practice isn’t broken

“Yoga is broken.”, I have heard.

“Bastardized gymnastics”, says the offended.

Yoga pants are a Western cultural caste system.

The images of yoga are not connected to the lessons.

At the root is the practice. The art. The technology. The discipline. The wonder. It cannot be compared to playing an instrument; however, one could argue that you may equally find the untouchable in both the music and the movement.

It is easy to be cynical of something that you do not understand. Its forms and functions may not ever embrace your spirit and that is where the art and practice of yoga compels so many people. Millions of Westerners practice the ancient and once fiercely guarded secrets of yoga with an indifferent attitude and unawareness for the pathway into transformation.

There are many places to get your information nowadays, but none better than getting in touch with your own intuition and letting that guide the limbs of a yoga practice. If you seek more zen, become your own teacher and find more space to open to possibilities. If you want to reach greater physical strength and balance, embed yourself in a classical discipline and go from there with knowledge.

The practice is not broken, but bendable, supple, available, transformative. If it is truly acknowledged.

How Teaching Kids Yoga Helps Me Save The World

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I’ve been teaching kids yoga for a little over a decade in schools, yoga studios, community centers, parks, synagogues and churches. I have had some of my hardest teaching hours logged in front of frisky three year olds and classrooms of jumpy adolescents. Teaching kids yoga and mindfulness is challenging. You cannot assume you have control of the group and you must harness the collective energy that adults more freely give a yoga instructor in a studio setting.

Many an energetic teacher have opted out of teaching the smaller set. While many parents desire the calmness that yoga could create for their child, they are unable to find or unwilling to pay a skilled teacher who is artful at adapting yogic principles to the different ages and stages of development. In addition, coming up against classes with behavior and discipline issues is discouraging. Nevertheless, I find that many teachers, especially those without children or newly trained instructors, are missing the opportunity for the wisdom of teaching “big souls in little bodies”, as Yogi Bhajan put it.

Yoga and mindfulness can be the middle ground for some of our most pressing issues today: violence, education, healthcare, sustainability; the yoga practice can alleviate and transform many of these difficult challenges for adults and children everywhere. Yoga calls upon any human, of any religion or culture, to ask those greater questions of ourselves and practice for peace and connection. We are so fortunate to have the time and space to contemplate our greatest desires for ourselves and our kids- to live in awareness and remembrance that the best things in life are not things.

I have logged those hours for kids yoga and will continue to tally them up. I will review my curriculum for my summer Peace Camp and think about how I have the jewel of an opportunity to teach kids this important practice. Teach kids that when they place their hand on their heart that they are home- right there with the recognition of a breath- no matter how hard the situation, the problem, the background, we can always uncover our most otherwise wasted potential. Let kids have a chance at a peaceful world and a peaceful self. Let all of the abundance and balance available to all of us fall upon this future generation.

 

 

Practice (Earth)

The smell of distant summertime in the rotting leaves on the ground, hues of time find me nostalgic.

I come to sit on the Earth.

I come in peace. I call in peace. Crave peace. Weave peace in a loom over my heart.

I come to sit on the Earth.

The practice gets me through the rise and fall. I breathe in and out. I listen to this breath. I open precisely. I open gently.

I come to sit on the Earth.

Water rushes over the rocks in the clear stream energetically falling down the fall, down into the history of nature.

I come to sit on the Earth.

Into love not fear, away from the darkness and toward the light. Taste the nectar and disregard the poison.

I come to sit on the Earth.

A thunderbolt of golden courage greets me into another day. I am bathed in gratitude, illuminated by my resilience.

I come to sit on the Earth.

On the other side of the pain and sorrow lives joy and love. Send and receive. Moment by moment. Balance by balance.

I come to sit on the Earth.