Exploring our backs

Published on Saturday, June 18th, 2016

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Its time for our quarterly back care class. In actuality, all yoga practices help keep our backs healthy. This particular class is based on 17 asanas that have been used in three or more medical studies looking at successful therapies for back pain. The postures are simple, making them very do-able at home. I have had several students with chronic back pain who have found this practice helpful at keeping the pain manageable. I will provide you with a copy of the practice and pictures of the poses.

Our practice with be on Monday June 20, the summer solstice. We will have a guided savasana. We meet from 6:30-8 pm at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. All are welcomed!

Just a reminder that Tuesday, June 21 is the second International Day of Yoga. There will be a celebration at Regency Hall 1600 Willow Ave in Clovis from 6-8pm that evening. This is the second year of this celebration! Free classes with local teachers, raw, vegan faire and great networking! Maybe see you there?!

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Life imitating monthly theme?!

Published on Saturday, June 11th, 2016

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Imagine my surprise when I slowed myself down enough to figure out that this month’s theme- The practice of getting lost- was what I have been experiencing the last few weeks! Even a yoga teacher needs time to “stop, look and listen”. Going from an active life of work, teaching yoga, etc., to a state of career retirement, has been a surprising experience. I have been preparing for this time for years (the financial part), but only recently came to preparing for the emotional/spiritual aspects. The feelings I am having now remind me of my last son’s 16th birthday, when I realized he would be leaving in two short years. “Better get ready”, I advised myself. So I prepared the best I could, but still cried a river of tears when I dropped him off at college. So my lesson here has been prepare and then be open to the feelings that will engulf you anyway.

So what have I been practicing during this time? Lots of meditation,yoga postures, silence, reading, being in nature and listening. I can see that this transition will take time to fully embrace, but I am ready! I hope each of you can take some time this month, during our practice together or on your own, to listen to your inner guide. He/she may let you get lost a bit, but will also guide you back to your center.

Please join us for an Ananda inspired practice this Monday, June 13 from 6:30 to 8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. If we get lost in our practice, we’ll find our way back together!


A month of exploration

Published on Saturday, June 4th, 2016

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Welcome to June!This is a time of vacations,relaxing, exploring,retreating and just slowing down. Our theme this month is Exploration: The practice of getting lost. For our yoga practice, getting lost in ourselves for a brief time is part of our mini-vacation. We will begin our month of getting lost with a yin practice.

Please join us on Monday nite 6/6/16 at the UU Church of Fresno.Let’s see how getting lost, can bring us home to ourselves!


No Class on Memorial day!

Published on Sunday, May 29th, 2016

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I hope that you find that sacred space for yourself this holiday. See you next Monday, June 6, for a Yin practice. Blessings!


Gratitude affects healing?

Published on Saturday, May 21st, 2016

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Living a life of gratitude does affect healing, according to numerous social science and psychology studies. A mind that is focused on gratitude doesn’t have the space to ruminate on the negative of life. This positive outlook effects our physiology, reducing inflammation(and all its negative consequences) in our body.f Some folks say that gratitude is the parent virtue of all virtues. If putting gratitude forward in our life leaves little room for negativity, reducing our stress levels and increasing our happiness, our overall health and wellbeing will improve. Can we make gratitude as natural as breathing? I believe we can.

There are many ways to incorporate gratitude into our lives. As will all change we want to adopt, making a conscious habit of turning our minds toward gratitude takes some effort. There are many techniques: journaling, mantras, meditation, actions performed with gratitude. I hope we each can find a way to make this healing habit part of us in a way that we find meaningful.

This week’s yoga practice will focus on the healing power of gratitude. As we use our bodies in asana, we can use our mind and spirits to radiate open hearted gratitude. Come join us on Monday, May 23 from 6:30-8 pm at the UU Church of Fresno!

Next Monday, May 30, 2016 Memorial Day, there will be no class.


What is healing to you?

Published on Saturday, May 14th, 2016

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Do we define healing by our own personal experience(or stories we hear from others)? By that I mean, do we strictly think of “healing” as a cure from a disease or condition? Or do we take the mind/body/spirit approach to healing; knowing that when a physical healing does not occur, perhaps a mind/spirit healing does? Are we an active participant in our wellness? What does personal wellness look like to us? I can tell you that from where I stand today, I measure the quality of my own wellness in a more understanding, gentle way (than I did in the past). I believe that one of the many gifts of aging is being present with my own physical, mental and spiritual changes. Letting go of what is not possible anymore and honoring the possible.

One aspect of our own healing (on any level) that we can actively participate in is managing our stress. The last decade in medical research and knowledge has given more credence to the detrimental effects of stress on our beings. Learning ways to handle daily stress is a key to wellness. A yoga and meditation practice can be a great tool for you in finding ways to decrease stress.

For our time together this week, we will focus on how yoga, pranayama (breathing), mediation and purposeful relaxation can be useful tools in wellness and healing. Join us May 16, Monday, from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno for a time of healing. All are welcome!


May: A focus on healing

Published on Saturday, May 7th, 2016

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Our Monday nite yoga focus follows the monthly Church theme. This month is healing, a rich theme for yoga. Each of us gets the opportunity to define “healing” for ourselves: physical, emotional, spiritual. The practice of yoga is both a personal and practical one. Come for physical healing and you may find spiritual or emotional healing. If we subscribe to the notion that mind, body, spirit are not just connected, but are indeed one system, it is an easy step to see how yoga practice is integrative. I came to yoga for physical healing and found so much more!

In addition to our gentle practice this week, I will add a few offerings from Kundalini yoga. This system of yoga focuses on awakening energy while providing a stress reducing practice. I mentioned last blog entry attending a Kundalini yoga class while in Southern California. Since that time, I have done a little study and a beginner’s Kundalini yoga practice that you may find enjoyable.

We gather on Monday, May 9 at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial, from 6:30-8:00. We always welcome new yogis who may have never tried the practice, and those who are seasoned. Please join us as we focus on our own healing!

For more info on Kundalini Yoga, The Huffington Post article: Introduction to Kundalini: The Yoga of Awareness is a good source.


Be adventurous this Spring!

Published on Sunday, May 1st, 2016

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I was fortunate enough to travel a bit this week. Whenever I travel, I try to take a yoga class in a studio in that locale. I found a lovely little studio in Old Towne Orange California called Sunspark Yoga(sunsparkyoga.com). This is a small studio owned by a husband and wife team who are dedicated to providing yoga to their community. What called me to this particular studio was the styles of yoga and that Stacey, one of the owners, has given a TED talk.

What will bring you a sense of adventure this Spring?

This week’s yoga class will be a Yin Class. If you are new to yoga, look on the right hand side of this blog for a link to Yin yoga explanation. We meet May 2, Monday, from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. All are welcome!


Yoga Under the Oaks

Published on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Last week I mentioned an opportunity to practice under the Oaks at the Mackenzie Preserve of the Sierra Foothill Conservancy. The Preserve is located about 20 minutes outside of Fresno off Auberry Road. You can read more about the class and the instructor on the conservancy website at www.sierrafoothill.org. Check the out the tab “classes and hikes” to read about the class Saturday, May 7. The cost is $10 if you aren’t a member, free if you are a member. It could be a good time to become a member, as there are many hikes and educational opportunities available.
You can also access the website if you look on the right hand side of this page and click on Sierra Foothill Conservancy.

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Fearlessly facing change

Published on Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

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One of the Buddhist concepts surrounding fear, is walking toward that which we fear, rather than running from it. The idea is that when you walk toward that which you fear, it loses it’s power over your emotions. When the power is gone, we can view that which we feared, as”no big deal”. In my own life, I find that fear about a situation usually comes from my listening to the viewpoint and reports of others. While it is important to listen to others, we must remember that what they relate to us is their unique viewpoint. When we go into the unknown carrying someone else’s viewpoint, then we are not fully present. Change seem to me , to be less “painful” when it is our experience, our approach.

Please join us this week for our Monday nite yoga practice. On Monday 4/25, we meet at 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. Our time together is spent in meditation, pranayama and asana practice.