This week in yoga….

Published on Sunday, March 18th, 2018

I took an opportunity this weekend to take a girl’s weekend at the coast with fellow yoga teachers. Thinking about our topic of balance this month, it was certainly what I needed to re-balance. So, this week’s post is brief and right to the point!

Monday nite 6:30-8pm March 19. Let’s create our own practice tonite. I’ll ask for a favorite pose from each of you and we will put it together as our practice.

Thursday Chair Yoga Workshop #3 3-4pm March 22. Energization Exercises begin our practice.

Thursday Evening 5-6:15pm March 22. An Ananda inspired practice.

Please join us as you are able. It’s maybe not a trip to the coast, but you might find a little more balance in your life!

Balance: The yoga kind

Published on Friday, March 9th, 2018

Let’s get down to it. Yoga practice helps our balance. Physical balance becomes more difficult with age, but also with certain medications, chronic diseases, changes in our bodies (like pregnancy) and of course, disuse.When was the last time you walked heal-toe just for fun? Little challenges like heal-toe walking, standing on one leg and such, help keep our brains and ankles communicating. Yes, the ankles. The ankles contain the majority of our body’s balance receptors. You can experience this the next time you do a challenging balance pose. What seems to be working hardest during this pose?

Now, complicate things by adding foot problems: bunions, hammertoes, weak ankles from injury.One of our yogis mentioned to me a condition they were dealing with, hammertoes, which was making standing poses very challenging. This made me realize that many of you may also have these foot challenges. Looking for expert advise, I wrote to Baxter Bell at Yoga for Healthy Aging blog(spot). He is one of my go-to experts for questions. He was kind enough to do a post on this problem. Check it out at, March 9, 2018 post. I will be taking an intensive training from Baxter this July.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite March 13 6:30-8pm. It’s time for the back care class again. We will also talk about Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of yoga.

Thursday March 15 3-4pm. Chair Workshop #2. We’ll go over a meditation technique before we practice.

Thursday March 15 5-6:15 Namaskar practice! There are many namaskars (salutes) but we will do three: Sun, moon and life force. Maybe even have time for a yoga nidra?

Bring a friend and join us! Your ankles and balance will thank you.

Balance: The Practice of Perspective

Published on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

As we begin the month of March, we shift our focus to the practice of balance. During my working life, I constantly found balance in my life to be a unwinnable battle. Time, was what I placed the blame on for not being able to achieve the life balance I desired. Now retired, I have found that time isn’t and wasn’t the issue, the root of finding balance is and has always been, intention. Balance shifts, adjusts and readjusts. Just like our life. I now have time, that elusive element, but don’t always use it thoughtfully. So my challenge today is to use time, what always just seemed just out of reach, wisely and again with intention.

It’s the first week of March, so we know that means YIN!

Monday Nite, March 5, 6:30-8 pm Come Yin with us!

Thursday, March 8, 3-4 pm, Chair Yoga Workshop begins. We have a full class. New folks, please try to come a little early to get settled. Returning folks, please bring your workbooks. We’ll do a brief orientation and then dig in!

Thursday Evening, March 8 5-6:15 pm More YIN! We’ll finish up with a Yoga Nidra.

Hope to see you this week to balance your week.

Aging, disability and perseverance

Published on Saturday, February 24th, 2018

The last few months, I have been walking along side a friend as she faces the big challenges of aging. Bev, was a yoga student of mine during the early thru mid 2000’s. I had bi-weekly group of elders (before I became one!) who were devoted to their yoga practice. I have watched as many of them have transitioned to “the whatever comes next”. Bev, a single woman, with two daughters out of state, has always had a special place in my heart. Creative (an exquisite quilter), funny (sarcasm beyond belief), an avid reader and builder of community, Bev has long held my admiration.

From Thanksgiving time, Bev’s life has been entwined with the health care system. She’s had three hospital admissions and three nursing home admissions in the last three months. We spent her 80th birthday celebrating in the nursing home. From the moment I heard of her health issues, I began to ponder what the future had in store for Bev and how she would cope with the inevitable changes. For myself, I wondered what could I learn from her journey as I ponder my own.

When we are young, we go thru our developmental phases, not knowing otherwise, and come out on the other side as adults. As adults, we continue our developmental challenges, more cognizant of each step. As we age, our developmental challenges become the tearing down of what we spent a life time acquiring. For those of us without cognitive deficits, these changes rock our world. We can see where these changes are leading: dependance, limited choices, ill health. Making each transition with grace, is one of the developmental task of this time. I know Bev will make her life changes with humor, curiosity and maybe a bit of defiance. Walking along side her has helped me to appreciate perservance and grace and prepare for my own inevitable journey.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite 2/26/18 6:30-8pm
Thursday evening 3/1/18 5-6:15pm. March already!!!

Chair you workshop starts 3/8/18. Two spots are left. Let me know if you are in!!

“I’m bored”. Why to preserver.

Published on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

I must admit, that I have had times when I have been bored with my yoga practice, both the meditation and asana limbs. It is human, I think, to have these times. They feel different than the times when life is so hectic that carving out time to practice is near impossible. During those times,I have wanted to practice and missed it. Being bored doesn’t feel the same. For me, these times creep up on me out of nowhere. Trying to figure out what has shifted in me to cause this boredom has been elusive. I wait patiently for the feelings to drift away and the desire to come back. Despite these breaks, my underlying desire to keep some part of my practice continues. During those times of “asana drought”, I seem to dive more into the yamas and niyamas. In a way, yoga never leaves me. It just changes and re-emerges with more vigor.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite February 19 Happy Presidents Day! Part two of the breathing for our walking meditation. Lets focus on a more standing practice and finish up with a short yoga nidra.

Thursday Evening February 22. I will re-introduce us to Energization Exercises as our practice warm up.

There are 3 more spots for our Chair Yoga workshop that begins March 8. The March workshop is 8-29. We’ll directly move into the April Chair Yoga Workshop April 5-26. Essentially, this will be a continuous 8 week workshop. We may have spaces available for the April Workshop. Stay tuned!

Our memories of perseverance

Published on Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This week I have spent some times remembering the times in my life where I persevered. Just like the pain of childbirth, the pain of these times is hard to feel in the present. I remember the lack of sleep, the lack of self time, worrying about how my children where REALLY faring. When I was closer in time to the life events where I persevered, I would reflect more on the sacrifices and hard things, then I do now. Years out from most of these experiences, I feel a bit of awe of what was accomplished, leading to my life now. Every moment during those time, was worth the pain.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 2/12 our regular hatha yoga practice with a guided savasana

Thursday Evening 2/15 We will mix our hatha with a few yin poses at the end

The next Chair yoga workshop begins March 8-29,2018. A few open spaces remain. Email sarayuyoga@gmail for more information.

Our theme this month: Perseverance

Published on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018

It’s a rather interesting coincidence that the month of February we are focusing on perseverance and that February is the 8th anniversary of Monday Nite yoga class. The community of yogis who have ebbed and flowed thru our class these last years gives honor to the idea of perseverance. Thru the many ups and downs of life, yogis keep coming back to their practice. The yogic observance(niyama) of tapas, zeal for practice, is the foundation of returning and returning. There is no doubt that life has a way of taking over our personal time, but that interruption usually passes. And the yogi returns.

Thank you for 8 wonderful years of community.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 2/5 6:30-8pm. It’s the first Monday of the month which means Yin!

Thursday 2/8, Chair yoga, Workshop #4. This week we will”put it all together” for a practice of meditation, pranayama, Energization and asanas.

Thursday Evening 2/8. Yin on tap for our Thursday evening yogis!

Chair Yoga Workshop will be on hiatus until March 8. Let me know if you will return!

It’s the end of January…how did we do?

Published on Saturday, January 27th, 2018

Change is hard. By the end of January, alot of folks have abandoned their “New Years’s Resolution(s)”. some, have modified their resolutions to fit the reality of their life. There’s nothing wrong with that! One way you can bring change into your life without feeling like your resolutions were a bust, is to bring intention into your life. “Why do I come to yoga practice? My intention is to……” fill in the blank. Setting our intention, sets our brain to value the activity. Whatever activity you wish to cultivate.

This week in yoga, flows into February!

Monday 1/29 6:30-8pm A gentle practice with a grounding savasana.

Thursday 2/1 Chair yoga Workshop #3 3-4pm. We’ll use a breathing app to cultivate our breath. Energization exercises will be introduced.

Thursday 2/1 5-6:15pm Let’s move a bit more vigorously and finish off our practice with mindful poses.

Hope you can join us!

Why we march or don’t march

Published on Saturday, January 20th, 2018

In January 2017, many of us chose to attend the Woman’s March. For me, it was a time of deep concern, astonishment, fear and sadness. We again, in 2018 have an opportunity to march together. Another year under our belt has let us see clearly the directions our country, it’s people and the world in general. The new year is a time for re-evaluation of ourselves, our world and what we want for ourselves and our world. What do we wish to preserve and what do we wish to let go? Is the march personal or more a gathering of powerful intentions by many others, or both? If we are marching, what are we marching for?

I hope that my marching today is a positive event as I do it with positive intentions. Showing up to say,”I am here. I stand on the side of love” is my intent. To let my granddaughters know, when they are old enough to understand, that their Bubie stood with other women and men to make the world better for them. Whether marching actually changes what is happening around us,I don’t know. I can hope it changes me and holds me to my beliefs and values. In yogic philosophy, we have the yamas, ahimsa (non-harming), satya (truthfulness), and the niyama svadyaya that provide direction on our life path. I also march with them in my heart.

This week in yoga:

Monday January 22 6:30-8pm a class that we will take our asanas(poses) to a personal level. While all doing the same asanas, we will hold each one to the count of our individual breath.

Thursday, January 25. Chair yoga 3-4pm. In our second workshop we will work on meditation techniques, exploring our individuality in the science of training our mind. We will also explore a Chair yoga curriculum.

Thursday evening, January 25 5-6:15pm. Let’s enjoy a combination class of active asanas followed by relaxation poses.

Please join us in our intention to start 2018, positive, healthier and in good company.

Welcome back!

Published on Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Just a reminder that we will resume our classes at the UU Church of Fresno this Thursday, 7/27 from 5-6:15 pm. We’ll have a “weather appropriate” practice for those who are worried about the heat. Bring your water and wear light, comfortable clothing! Hope to see you there!