Falling Awake: Enlightenment

Published on Friday, February 24th, 2017

In reading about the life of the Buddha, one may get the impression that his enlightenment “just happened” as he sat under the Bodhi tree. As if, “Poof”, now you are an enlightened being. I think I held this idea for a long time, feeling that I must be failing on my spiritual path because “I’m not there yet”. I have come to realize that enlightenment comes in moments of our life, not necessarily a static state.

Our yoga practice provides “time away” from our busy lives to “fall awake”. That is, to but aside our minds that are so busy with planning, analyzing, critiquing ourselves. During our practice time, we can more easily focus our attention on what our body and mind is doing/experiencing, as we elevate our spirit. That is what “falling awake” means. When we are in savasana at the end of our practice, we are invited to fall awake into our body and mind as we incorporate the practice.

This week’s classes, Monday 2/27 and Thursday 3/2, will provide us the space to work on this connection. Our Thursday evening class will combine a Yin and Yang practice. Monday’s class is still in the works, at this writing. Remember there is an upcoming Chair yoga workshop March 16-April 6 (Thursdays from 3-4pm) that requires registration. Contact me at sarayuyoga@gmail.com for questions or registration.

Looking forward to seeing you at one or both of this week’s classes at the UU Church of Fresno, on Alluvial!

This week in Yoga…..

Published on Sunday, February 19th, 2017

We have had moments of incredible sunshine and warmth this past week. Along with Spring trying to break thru, we have had winter rains nourishing us. We need and want both! In good time, the seasons will change. Take a moment this week to appreciate whatever nature is giving us, in that moment. We need all patterns in our weather to keep our planet and ourselves, healthy.

No class on Monday, 2/20 as it is President’s Day. Thursday class is on track for 5-6:15pm. We’ll revisit the Bone Health practice.

Please join us at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. All levels are welcome! Come explore what yoga can do for your body, mind and spirit!

What is The Way?

Published on Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Patajanli’s 8 limbs of yoga gives us guide for living a life of connection with ourselves and our world. The yamas, niyamas, asana, pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi are the steps. The Buddha gave us his eightfold path: Right view, Right intent, Right speech, Right action, Right livelihood,Right effort,Right mindfulness, Right concentration. And simply, the Bible guides us with the golden rule ” do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. These systems give us help on our spiritual path.They all focus us internally and externally.

Using the yamas, we have been looking at ahimsa (yama 1), non harming and relating it to our yoga practice and our life. Adding yama 2, satya, truthfulness, we can layer the first two yamas together. Truth telling has been front and center in our national conversation of late, so many of us have been considering this externally. Let’s move the truth-telling to our internal dialogue. We can best non-harm ourselves by being honest with ourselves. In our physical practice, this can be being honest with ourselves when a pose is not good for our body. I like this explanation from Charlotte Bell, a well respected yoga teacher and buddhist practitioner. About satya she writes:

” If we do not know who we are, how can we begin to form relationships based in truth? If we are not aware of the beliefs and thought patterns that color our experience, how can we listen to someone without over-laying our biases? How can make wise and compassionate choices if we are not aware of our intentions?”

This week we will continue our exploration.

Please join us Monday nite February 13 and Thursday February 16 for our yoga practices. Monday nite is 6:30-8pm and Thursday evening is 5-6:15 pm. We meet at the UU Church of Fresno. All are welcomed!

One of our fellow yoga students sent me this link this week about meditation. You may find it as informative as I did. http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/meditation-music-may-reverse-early-memory-loss-adults/

Monday Nite class celebrates 7th year together!

Published on Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Please join us Monday nite to celebrate 7 years of practice together! We will have a Yin practice first and then a small time of sharing treats and conversation. Building a community of connection thru our yoga practice that extends to our life off the mat has taken time and effort. More than ever, our community helps us sustain our self care practices thru the hard times and the easy times. We begin at 6:30 pm on Monday 2/6/17.

On Thursday, we are just beginning to build a second Hatha yoga class. It is 2/9/17 from 5-6:15 pm. The Church has generously provided childcare for this class. We do need to arrange this in advance, so if you desire this, please contact me at sarayuyoga@gmail.com so I can connect you with the childcare organizers.

So what will our practices be like this week? Yin on Monday and maybe a half yin, half yang on Thursday. We welcome all, at all levels of practice or beginning a practice! Blessings to all!

Opportunities abound!

Published on Saturday, January 28th, 2017

Rains 2017

This year, we have had storms on many fronts. The weather storms have been both welcomed and destructive. The social storms continue and those results remain to be seen. As a yogi on a spiritual path, I have turned to the niyama of self-study (Svadhyaya or Swadhyaya) to guide me. This focus provides me with the opportunity to study how what is happening around me affects me as well as how will I respond. The first part is easy, the response part isn’t. My physical practice helps to call my body to action, while meditation provides time to feel, analyze and let go.

As we come to the end of January, I want to express my gratitude to all who took the time to invest in themselves thru our new (and old!) yogic offerings this month. The Chair Yoga workshop introduced the practice to those who thought they couldn’t do a physical yoga practice. The Chair Yoga Workshop will again be offered March 16-April 6, 2017 (Thursdays 3-4pm). It will be open to new and returning students (maximum 10). Monday nite remains from 6:30-8 pm and Thursday from 5-6:15pm. We are offering babysitting for the Thursday class. This requires prior planning so please talk to me if you want this service.

Please join us this week for a class! We will focus on the energy that yoga brings into our bodies!


Published on Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Yoga not only provides us with guidelines for our physical/spiritual health, but also provides us with a format for living in our world. These are called the Yamas and Niyamas. There are 5 of each. Yamas guide us in our active living, Niyamas in more internal activities. I chose svadyaya to explore now as looking at my own feelings and responses to this week’s events. How do I move forward now? How do I handle the bombardment of information that I may not find fits into my values? What are my values? How do I contribute to positive change in the world? What if?

While I am slowly integrating “what is”, I ponder “what if”. I can impact “what is” thru my “what if”? What am I going to do, say, express thru my support and my time? This is what self-study helps us define. Meditation time can provide the opportunity to look inside and help us find our “what ifs”. Being more comfortable in our body thru asana practice, frees us up to spend our time in activities that may require stamina. What are your “what ifs”? Can you sit and listen/study yourself to find out.

You will have several opportunities to practice with other yogis this week.

Monday 6:30-8 pm Hatha/Ananda practice
Thursday 3-4 pm Chair Yoga (#4 in the workshop series
Thursday 5-6:15 pm Hatha/Ananda practice

Please join us! This is the last of our Chair Yoga Workshop series. Next Chair Yoga Workshop will be in March/April. You can contact me thru sarayuyoga@gmail.com with questions about up coming workshops.

Reminder for week of 1/15/17!

Published on Thursday, January 12th, 2017

Please enjoy your long weekend as we celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. No Monday nite yoga class on 1/16/17!

Our Thursday, 1/19/17 classes, both Chair yoga(3-4pm) (#3 in workshop) and Thursday evening class(5-6;15 pm) are on! For our Chair yoga class we will learn about Energization Exercises as we continue to explore chair yoga practice. We’ll focus on our core for our Thursday evening class!

As always, we practice at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial! See you then!

Ready for a week of yoga?

Published on Saturday, January 7th, 2017

We have three classes to share this week! Monday nite we will revisit a series for bone health. Chair Yoga will explore a technique for meditation called Hong-Sau (be sure to read your handouts!). And Thursday evening will have a combined practice featuring both active poses and finishing up with yin poses. Looking forward to sharing time with you!

Times for classes:
Monday nite 6:30-8pm
Chair Yoga 3-4pm
Thursday evening 5-6:15pm

All classes are held at the UU Church of Fresno. With our cooler weather, be sure to wear layers and socks for your comfort!

Chair Yoga can squeeze in 2 more students. If know someone who is interested, please email me at sarayuyoga@gmail.com. Let’s move thru the coming week bringing our own unique gifts to the world! Blessings!

New Classes Start this Week!

Published on Monday, January 2nd, 2017

We begin this new year with two new opportunities for practice. They both begin this Thursday, January 5, 2017.

Our Chair Yoga offering will be the four Thursdays of January from 3-4 pm. The goal of this workshop is to introduce Chair Yoga to those who want to practice yoga, but have been discouraged due to mobility issues. We will of course do yoga asanas with or in a chair, but also explore meditation, breathing and maybe even some chanting!Yoga IS accessible to all who desire it! There are two more spots open for this registration only workshop. Pending interest, this workshop will be repeated quarterly in 2017.

Again on Thursdays, from 5-6:15pm, we will have a second weekly offering of Hatha yoga. This class will be similar to our Monday nite class. Yogis from the Monday nite class wanted a second weekly class, so here it is! I am hoping to get input from the students their desired focus for this second class.

If you are new to yoga, this class will be appropriate for you! Come and check it out! For questions, email sarayuyoga@gmail.com.

Welcome 2017 !

Published on Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Open the door of your mind and spirit! Let in the light and the love of the New Year. It is up to us to create what we want in our lives and in our world. Turn down the volume of the negativity and turn up the volume of your love.

We will start our new year with our regular first Monday nite Yin practice. We meet Monday, January 2 from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. This year brings us another Hatha yoga practice on every Thursday evening and Chair Yoga Workshops throughout the year. January 5 starts off our first Chair Yoga Workshop (Thursdays Jan.5-26, 3-4pm, by registration) and our first Thursday evening (5-6:15pm) practice. Thank you to the UU Church for supporting our practices!!!

Yin yoga is a wonderful way to finish off our holiday season and bring us into the present for our new year. Please join us!

Every week on Thursdays(beginning 1/5) from 5-6:15 pm a second hatha yoga class will also be offered. Monday nite will continue as is. This second class will be similar in intensity to the Monday nite class. No registration is required. Both offerings are donation only (suggested donation is $3) which is given to the UU Church.