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!


Don’t forget: International Day of Yoga in Fresno!

Published on Saturday, June 20th, 2015

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Tonite, June 20 from 5-7pm, come celebrate the first International Day of Yoga in Fresno. The Facebook page (International Day of Yoga) has the most up to date info you will need. The venue has been brought indoors (very good idea with our current temps) to the North Gym at Fresno State. Sounds like an great program!


Back Care class and International Day of Yoga!

Published on Sunday, June 14th, 2015

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We return this week for our Back care class. This is a series we practice once a quarter to focus in on asanas that promote back health.

This Sunday is Father’s day and it is also the first celebration of the International Day of Yoga (June 21). On Saturday, June 20, from 5-7 pm in the Peace Garden at Fresno State, local yoga studios and other affiliated organizations are marking the occasion with a gathering. They have a FaceBook page( International Day of Yoga in Fresno) for more specific information. A yoga class appears to be part of the event!

Hope to see you in class Monday June 15 from 6:30-8 pm. This week we will be practicing around equipment used for the youth summer day camp at the church. Be prepared to find our regular practice space filled with reminders of young people! See you there!


No Class June 8!

Published on Friday, June 5th, 2015


See you back at practice June 15!


June: A month of gratitude

Published on Sunday, May 31st, 2015

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June, a month of gratitude? Don’t we save that for November? Gratitude does seem to intensify in the media during the month of November, yet it is a yogic quality that benefits us all year long. The thing is, it needs to be in the forefront of you thoughts each day, even many times during the day. There are many techniques available for bring the intention of gratitude to our distracted mind each day: a journal, a card with our intention, a daily practice. I think of cultivating gratitude a bit like learning to bring my canvas bags to the grocery store each time I shop. Starting out with the intention. Noticing how I slowly remember more frequently to bring the bags in with me (50% of the time slowly increases to 75% of the time, to 90%). If we can begin each day as we awake with a thought of gratitude, that starts us off on the right path!
June 1 is the first Monday of the month which means a Yin practice for the UU Yogis! Come and join us! If you find that this meditative practice brings up gratitude in your heart, there is a beginning!

NO CLASS MONDAY JUNE 8! WE RESUME JUNE 15!


Memorial Day Practice? You bet!

Published on Sunday, May 24th, 2015

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Please join us on Memorial Day Monday,5/25 from 6:30-8:00 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno for our yoga practice. Our practice will on grace in movement. Look forward to seeing you then!