Mantras for transitions

Published on Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

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Do you have your own mantra? That’s just a short, personal phrase that you say to yourself silently. A mantra, since it is personal, is the positive direction we wish our mind to take. Sometimes, a mantra can be helpful in a stressful situation, used to relax and reorient our mind when needed or just a little”home” you carry with you. I recently read a book where a young man related his experience of physical pain required him to handle the pain until medical intervention was available. He used his mantra,” (in-breath)Only (out-breath) now”. Very simple. It brought him to the space between the in and the out breath where he was able to manage his pain.

Ananda yoga provides us with mantras for each asana that can help bring that focus to our practice. They are wonderful, but perhaps you have your own mantra to use during each pose. It can be the same mantra over and over, or one of that Ananda mantras that speaks to you. More importantly, mantra’s are about focus, calm and inner peace. Try it!

Our practice this week 8/24, will be an Ananda inspired practice. The weather is warm and a relaxing practice can be just what we need. We begin at 6:30, end at 8pm. Wear light clothing and bring water! See you then!


Mythology and Ideas

Published on Saturday, August 15th, 2015

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As a kid and a young teen in school, I was fascinated when we studied Greek and Roman mythology. I loved the stories that helped the western ancients explain and understand their world. These stories made their experience more real to me.Then, when I discovered yoga as an adult, I found how the eastern ancients described and understood their world thru mythology as well. The eastern ancients also used their bodies as the expression of their myths in order to bring their sacred stories into everyday life. They named yoga poses (asanas) after the deities of their myths and today we have their stories both in the written word and in physical expression of yoga. This week’s practice will include learning the mythology behind Markatasna, monkey pose twist.

This week our Monday nite practice (August 17) will include many poses to promote better sleep. Join us from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. I have added a link for new yogis (on the right) that can provide some guidance on yoga etiquette that may help you thru your first classes!


What are you bringing with you this week?

Published on Saturday, August 8th, 2015

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Each time we step onto our mat, we are different from the last time we found ourselves on the mat. We are changed physically, emotionally and spiritually everyday by the world around us. These may be subtle shifts in us, but these shifts are what create the human we constantly becoming.How we allow these changes to positively impact us, is the control we have over ourselves. We could also allow our daily experiences to negatively impact our personal growth. It really is our choice. It is our choice to use our time on the mat as a time for personal growth.

Our practice this week will provide time to re-ground ourselves. Time for meditation, movement and breathing makes up our practice. We will meet on August 10 from 6:30pm-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno.


August is here! A month of transitions

Published on Saturday, August 1st, 2015

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There is so much that August brings us: the finishing of vacations, new school year, heat (!), thoughts of Fall. As we ponder what this month will bring, we can hopefully find the courage to face all transitions, all change, with courage and acceptance. Yoga offers us tools for making these life transitions easier: pranayama, asana and meditation. Thru each of these yogic practices, we can begin the process of inner healing, outer healing and acceptance of our lives as they are.

Our first Monday of the month practice is a Yin practice. For those who are new to Yin, this website has older posts that can guide you in understanding what benefits you can expect from a Yin practice. Our practice this Monday 8/3/15 will provide you time to focus inward as we prepare for a month of transitions. We meet from 6:30-8 pm at the UU Church of Fresno. Please join us!


Welcoming a new life!

Published on Saturday, August 1st, 2015

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Our Monday nite class has been thru many of life’s events together, but not a birth. This Monday nite, 7/27, we will welcome the impending birth of a daughter for one of our yogis. We have watched as Momma Yogi has blossomed over the months, staying faithful to her practice and to her commitment of birthing a calm and healthy daughter. After our practice, we will celebrate the joy of adding another life to our midst.
Please join us for a practice that will be gentle and kind of a 8 month + mom and her baby-to-be. We hold our class at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial in Fresno from 6:30pm-8pm. This may be the first combination yoga class/baby shower ever!!!


The Joy in knowing your limits

Published on Sunday, July 19th, 2015

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Here in the Central Valley of California we are having a hot summer. That’s not so unusual for us, but there is something about seeing our green lawns disappear that makes the hot weather seem hotter. We “escaped’ this weekend to the Bay Area, Berkeley in particular, to remember what it feels like to wear a sweater and see green.

I love going to Berkeley for many reasons. While there, I always take a yoga class. It is wonderful, as a student of yoga as well as a teacher, to be part of the group dynamic of a formal class.It is a treat. I returned to the same studio I have gone to the last couple of trips. The teacher is extremely experienced and trained for many years in Ashtanga yoga. Ashtanga, is a very physical style of yoga, that has three well defined levels of practice. The class I attended was for Level 1-2. You can Google “Ashtanga Yoga” to get a flavor for what makes it a very popular style of yoga.

Throughout the practice, the teacher encouraged us to find the beauty and joy in our practice and to have integrity. I found that meant to me that I was not physically able to do all the postures, frequently finding myself in child’s pose to rest. I purposely placed myself in the back part of the studio, as I had memory of the prior class I had taken, which was Level 1, and extremely challenging to me. My joy was in the fact that I did as I often tell my own students to do: honor your body’s ability at this moment. Ashtanga and Ananda yogas couldn’t be further apart in the physicality of the practices, but they are not far apart in the element that makes yoga so personal: being in tune with your entire being.

Come find out what yoga is about during our weekly class held Monday notes (July 20) from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. We spend time in meditation, breath work and of course asanas.Hope to see you there!


Practicing Joy

Published on Sunday, July 12th, 2015

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In order to find that place of joy in our lives, I think we must begin with caring for ourselves. Joy is a constant way of being, happiness comes and goes.

To fully care for ourselves, we need to be honest with ourselves about what brings us joy and to take time to practice our joy. For some, it can come in the form of a sport, dancing, singing, playing a musical instrument, writing, painting …. whatever it is, the activity feeds our satisfaction with our life, provides temporary feelings of happiness, and maybe even connects us with our world. We can start to help ourselves live in joy. Our yoga practice can provide us with the self-care time to internally explore this idea. We do this in yoga thru meditation, asana and relaxation.

Please join for some self-care time on Monday July 13 from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. Our practice will provide us with time to focus inward and maybe even identify our joy!


We’ve got that Joy……

Published on Saturday, July 4th, 2015

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When I was a kid at camp, we had a song that we frequently sang. The words are, ” I’ve got that joy, joy, joy, down in my heart. Where?? Down in my heart!”. I remember singing this song around the campfire, on difficult hikes, or even when the homesickness bug would bite me. Even today, the song slips into my brain tapes at times when I need a boost in my mood. Funny thing is, it works!
This is the idea behind the use of a mantra. A simple, personal phrase that you can use internally to reset your own brain tapes. Ananda yoga provides mantras for each yoga pose that can make the practice quite powerful for some people. Others do better with finding a mantra that helps them to redirect their consciousness toward a higher level.
The theme for July is joy. As an adult, the practice of yoga brings me a joy that is physical, emotional and spiritual. That seems to be a hard thing to find in our times!
Please join us on Monday nite July 6, from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno for our first Monday of the month Yin practice. Yin provides a great opportunity to try out a personal mantra if you are so inclined! Come join us!


Gratitude for our song

Published on Friday, June 26th, 2015

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We each have our own unique song. That song, is contained in our life and how we chose to live that special life. Day to day, it probably doesn’t feel so special and unique. But it is because no one else is in our body and mind but us. No one else can have the impact we have on our world. We see that world thru our own lens, while we bring our personality to every event during our day. Being present and full of gratitude each day requires us to take time out for renewal. That is part of what a yoga practice can offer us: renewal of our energy and the time to be present with what our body and mind need to replenish us.

An Ananda focused yoga practice can provide the break we need. This week, June 29, we will practice in the Ananda tradition. This website can provide you with more information on what that means, as well googling “Ananda Yoga” for more resources. Please join us from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno for our weekly practice. This is your time! And we welcome you!


Challenges and relaxation

Published on Sunday, June 21st, 2015

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Yoga is a practice that is adaptable and reflective of our current state of mind and health. With our summer weather already presenting it’s challenges, our weekly practice will reflect this challenge. A practice that combines both active postures and a time of relaxation, addresses our summer needs. Our practice belongs to us, so it should be a mirror of our specific needs and environmental needs at any given time. I am grateful to have found such a practice available to me!
Please join us this Monday June 22 from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. Be sure to keep yourself hydrated today and tomorrow, bring water with you, dress in lite loose clothing and have a lite snack 2 hours before class. See you then!