Raising our hopes, dealing with our expectations

Published on Saturday, December 9th, 2017

What are realistic expectations to each of us? What do they look like? Only we can answer that for ourselves. Of course, we have expectations and hopes outside of our own lives which may cause us more frustration when they go south. While we aren’t completely (or maybe even partially) in control of societal expectations, I think humankind hold many of the same hopes: peace, enough to eat, a roof over our heads, to feel safe in our own home, to make a contribution to the world, to not contribute to the suffering of others. We carry with us both personal hopes/expectations and societal hopes/expectations. Perhaps, like me, you are feeling dismayed by what you see in societal attitudes and behavior today. How do we impact these changes in direction of society? One person at a time, our attitudes and behaviors. A ground swell. If you search this blog, you will find some information on the 8 limbs of yoga, a how-to guide to live in harmony with our hopes and expectations.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite 6:30-8pm. Our once a quarter focus on our backs. We will learn segment 3 of a new series of poses for the back.

Thursday evening 5-6:15pm. We will celebrate the return of one of our yogi’s who has been out due to illness. We will do a Chair Yoga Practice in her honor and to welcome her back.

Consider letting friends and family know about the Chair Yoga Workshop scheduled for January/February 2018. Contact me for questions (sarayuyoga@gmail.com).

December: Hope-The Practice of Expectation

Published on Saturday, December 2nd, 2017

What has your year been like? Has it met your expectations? Was it all you hoped it would be? Let’s stop for a moment, during this season of “revving up”, to slow down and look at our year. Maybe you have to break the year down into blocks of time (some good, some challenging) in order to see the big picture. But do take some time to look at 2017. That is how we can repeat the positive and not repeat what didn’t serve us. As kids, we likely looked at December as a month of hope and expectation for the big day, December 25. As adults, we have learn to look further into ourselves, our plans and hopes and influence them more significantly. Doing this evaluation requires time and quiet for reflection. And it may benefit from a good friend to hash out what we uncover when we do reflect.

Our yoga practice can help us encourage this reflection. Even if you are a Mom, struggling to juggle kids’, a home and a job, or a retired person looking at an ever changing body, we can allow our time on the mat or on the meditation cushion to inform, inspire and help direct us forward.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 6:30-8pm First Monday Yin!

Thursday Evening 5-6:15 pm First Thursday Yin! Do I hear a collective “Awe”?

A chair yoga workshop is schedule for 2018. It will be 4 consecutive Thursdays, from 3-4pm , held in the sanctuary. The dates are January 18 and 25 and February 1 and 8, 2018. Class is limited to 10 participants. A $3 donation is requested per class and a workbook is provided. Please contact me with questions or concerns at sarayuyoga@gmail.com.


Published on Saturday, November 25th, 2017

My backpack and my hat are symbols to me of my travels. Constantly with me, protecting me, helping me both items are both functional and symbolic. I look at my yoga practice in the same light. Functional as it helps to maintain balance, strength and breath. Symbolic, as the movements tell my mind to settle, become more inward,connect with my core. As you think about what your yoga practice has brought to you this year, I hope you find the gifts you received from the practice and the commitment to continue.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite 6:30-8pm. Let’s have a slow but challenging Ananda practice.
Thursday Evening 5-6:15pm. A little Yin and a little Yang? Getting ready for the upcoming busy season.

Hope to see you Monday and Thursday at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial!

It’s been awhile….

Published on Saturday, November 18th, 2017

It has been a long time since I have been with our little yoga community! We will get back together on Monday 11/20 for our Thanksgiving practice. No Practice on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. Then the week of 11/27, we will resume both Monday nite and Thursday evening classes.

A deep bow of gratitude to Tennille who has given of herself and her time to lead our Monday nite practice these past weeks.

I hope to see you on Monday, 11/20 at 6:30pm (until 8 pm) at the UU Church of Fresno. Bring your thoughts and intentions of gratitude to the mat as we come together to practice. I hope to see you then!


Published on Saturday, September 16th, 2017

We have been diligently studying Italian for four months now. My husband has made great progress, reaching 27% fluency (according to our language app Duolingo). I have only achieved 2%, but I think I have got the important words down. This is our last week together of yoga until after Thanksgiving. I am leaving you in great hands! During this time you will have an opportunity to learn Kundalini Yoga from our Rev.Tim.
Monday nite class will continue from 6:30-8pm throughout my absence. This Thursday, Sept. 21 will be the last Thursday evening until Nov. 30 when it will resume.

As our weather cools (finally!), our practice changes a bit. Still slow and gentle, we can extend our holds and maybe include a few gentle vinyasas.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 6:30-8pm
Thursday evening 5-6:15pm

Haven’t planned our classes yet for the week, so stay tuned for surprises! As always, we practice at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. It has been recommended that we begin parking over by the community gardens, under the overhead lights, rather than at the front of the property, parallel to Alluvial. More on “why” at class!

This website will not be maintained in my absence. Please check to UU Church of Fresno master church calendar on the website for changes.

Let’s be sure self-care is part of our inclusion!

Published on Saturday, September 9th, 2017

In many past post, balance has been a recurrent topic. Finding balance in our physical bodies as well in our lives in general, turns out to be a continuous challenge. Including self-care in our daily life requires planning, balance, and the attitude of importance. It is true that we cannot fully love and care for others, if we don’t fully love and care for ourselves. I see a yoga practice as an expression of self care that has a lot of other positive benefits. It’s the good time we give to ourselves. As with any changes we make in our routine, developing a daily practice, requires intention. Remember, doing a physical yoga practice is only one of the ways to practice yoga. You can get some ideas of ways to do this from a post from 2011/03/23 called The Limbs of yoga.Click on the link within the post to understand the 8 Limbs of a yoga practice..

Once a quarter, we visit yoga for back care. That will be our theme for this week.

Monday nite 6:30-8pm

Thursday evening 5-6:15pm

Remember we have some changes coming up in our classes. Starting 9/25, class will be lead by Tennille. Thursday nite will be on hiatus after the 9/21 class until 11/30. Be sure you pick up a paper copy of the schedule at practice.

September invitation: Inclusion

Published on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017

It seems that this month’s topic is very timely. Our world is going thru a time where our diversity has increased our divisiveness. Our country is polarized for many reasons. Hurricane Harvey actually acted as a catalyst to promote unity of cause: helping Texas. Even in yoga, the topic of inclusion is at the forefront and has been for a couple of years. People of color, people with weight challenges, people who don’t have the “right clothes or equipment” to do yoga, people of a “certain age”, seem to melt into the background of the practice of yoga. Perhaps yoga is a microcosm reflecting the larger world? The wisdom of the Little Prince rings in my head,

“Men have forgotten this truth”, said the fox.” But you must not forget
You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.You are responsible
for your rose…”.
“I am responsible for my rose,” the little prince repeated, so that he would
be sure to remember. “

In our yoga community, we have tamed each other by practicing together. Let’s remain an open community, who invites all that seek to meditate, breath and move to join us.

This week in Yoga: It’s Yin Week!

Monday Nite 6:30-8pm Come experience the delight of Yin: slow, easy and inward. The pace matches our current hot weather. Yes, it is a holiday, but some of you will still want to practice!

Thursday Evening 5-6:15pm Yin again!Some of us just can’t get enough!

A reminder that a temporary change is a’comin’. Note that beginning 9/25 we slim down to Monday Nite Yoga only for several weeks. Practice will be lead by Tennille or our UU minister Tim Kutzmark(a Kundalini Yoga teacher). This will be an exciting time of learning and expanding your practice.Don’t miss it!

Paper copies of practice schedule available at practices!

As August ends…

Published on Saturday, August 26th, 2017

One of my lifetime favorite books is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. I still have my first copy. The Little Prince teaches us alot about living, loving, tragedy and hope. How to say, “Yes”.Pema Chodron, a buddhist nun and dharma teacher, offers her thoughts about what the Little Prince teaches. She suggests we face our fears and challenges head on to give them less power over us.

We have some changes coming up as the Fall approaches. Our yoga schedule will change beginning 9/25. Monday nite yoga will continue each week from 6:30-8pm. One of our devoted and willing yogi’s (deep bow)will lead the class each week during my time away. Thursday Evening class will be on hiatus until 11/30, when it will resume. You can check the UU Church calendar for assistance on which classes are on the schedule. Go to the website www.uufresno.org. At the top of the page click on Activities and open Church Calendar. Look for entries referring to Sarayu Yoga. I also have paper copies available at our practices, so be sure to get one.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 6:30-8pm Honoring our heat wave (last one?), a gentle stretching practice with a yoga nidra.

Thursday Evening 5-6:15pm Again, a gentle practice with a yoga nidra.

Hope to see you there!

Staying positive!

Published on Friday, August 18th, 2017

For me, each week this year has had its own unique challenges. It feels like an emotional rollercoaster, from outrage, to sadness, to disbelief and concern. All this emotional exertion is taking a toll on the resilience I have been working on, chipping away at the edges. I continue to stay on the path of noticing how I am feeling, seeking out extra self-care when needed and disconnecting from my devices. It really has been hard to stay calm and say yes.

The unique challenges of this year have been an growth opportunity for me. There is little time between events, leading to both exhaustion and frustration. Yoga, particularly Yoga Nidra (during the hot weather) has been an important part of my self-care regime. I hope it has been that way for you.

This week in Yoga:

Monday nite 8/21 6:30-8pm. I hope to bring back a few new ideas from a class I will be attending in Santa Barbara this weekend.

Thursday evening 8/24 5-6:15 Let’s have a longer savasana to cap off our week.

Saturday 8/26 at Noon, join me at the Fulton Yoga Collective for an hour of Ananda Yoga. Look for info at Yoga Fest 2017!

Moving into Yes

Published on Saturday, August 12th, 2017

How we move in our bodies, transmits our attitude. How we walk, our posture, our physical openness, speaks to the world about us. Many times, we do the same things with our bodies each day: drive, sit, exercise. Our bodies develop a way or pattern of movement. Yoga helps us develop new ways to move our bodies which can change our mood, our subtle communication to the world. When we spend time to focus on our posture, opening our usually closed over chest, finding our balance, we change the message our body is broadcasting.

In yoga this week:

Monday nite 6:30-8pm We’ll learn a little about the fascia that covers our body, contributing to our movement. We’ll begin with a walking meditation.

Thursday nite 5-6:15pm Let’s continue the exploration of our fascia with a yin and yang practice.

On August 26 at noon, I will lead an Ananda Practice at the 2017 Yoga Fest at the Fulton Yoga Collective(www.fultonyogacollective.com). This is an all day (10am-11pm)event that focuses on a variety of yoga practice, kirtan (yoga music), the yogic lifestyle (including foods and beverages), exposure to Aryuvedic principles and meet like minded yogis. All day ticket (come and go ticket) is $25. If you want to focus on a few individual offerings, they are $15 each session. Hope to see you there!