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.


Gather our energy to prepare for change

Published on Saturday, April 16th, 2016

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How does staying in the “now” help us deal with change? Does it help us trick ourself by not thinking about the future? I think we can’t help but think about the future. We need to plan for dinner, for a vacation, for our retirement. These events are real. A prepared person is wise to make plans for them. I think the message here though is not to miss the “now” by placing your attention fully in the future. And yesterday seems to be the focus of our brain tapes that we replay frequently. Going over and over our mistakes or “should haves’,can bring down our attitude . We can set our daily intention to focus more on the now and less on the past and future. When we do this, change remains a factor, but not the star of the show.
Yoga, particularly an Ananda yoga practice, can help us gather our energies and direct them in a positive direction. We have control of thoughts thru the practices or meditation and asana (poses). Ananda yoga mantras and focus on the energy our bodies generate during our practice and can help us learn to direct that energy to our brain.
Please join us on Monday April 18, from 6:30-8pm of our weekly practice. We will utilize and discuss energy flow during our practice. Come join us!


Contemplating change and adaptation

Published on Saturday, April 9th, 2016

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Change. Our physical changes can be subtle or dramatic.How we react to them provides us with the opportunity to learn how to adapt.

Several years ago I broke my ankle. This meant 6 weeks of no weight bearing and then several months of wearing a restrictive brace. This can be problematic for life in general, but as a yoga teacher, I found this limitation doubly challenging. I truly felt broken. My take away from this time was that the practice, my needing to adapt to my physical limits, challenged my ego more than my body! Of course, I healed, and I realized that my body was not always going to be able what it did even the day before. Learning to be realistic about change and how I wished to adapt was an incredible lesson that I am mindful of on a daily basis.

As our class grows, yogis come to our group with a variety of physical limitations. Just sitting on the floor can be daunting for some! This week, we will have a practice in the chair. You can google “Chair Yoga” and see that many of the poses can be adapted to the chair. I invite all yogis this week, to practice in the chair. I think you will be amazed that what this brings to your practice.
Please join us on Monday nite, April 11 from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno.I invite you to try Chair Yoga (the practice will be such that you can also do it without the chair)this week and maybe have a breaking thru moment!


Impermanence

Published on Saturday, April 2nd, 2016

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Our focus for April is impermanence. We all know that change is the constant in life. But taking the idea of change a step further, we come to impermanence, our own, our love ones, everything. Some will find this idea depressing. It is the reality we all live with. Once we decide that we want to look at impermanence, maybe even ease into the idea, how best to do this? Or even, why do this? Here’s what Buddhist nun and teacher, Pema Chodron says,

“When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”

How will you do things differently? Think differently? Our challenge of this month and beyond.

Please join us for our Yin yoga practice on Monday, April 4 from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno. Our Yin practice will give us time go focus on impermanence and what it means to each of us.


Are you following your bliss?

Published on Saturday, March 26th, 2016

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This month, we are shinning a light on faith. Faith in ourselves and the possibilities faith can usher into our lives. Yoga can provide us with the process of developing faith in the possibilities for our bodies, minds and spirits. It is a tool, available to all, to apply to our everyday lives. Movement, meditation and mindfulness bring the possibilities of deeper connections.

Please join us on March 28th, Monday, from 6:30-8 pm at the UU Church of Fresno for our weekly yoga practice. Our practice this week will be an Ananda inspired practice. See the side bar for more information!


Hold space for the unimaginable and faith will arrive

Published on Saturday, March 19th, 2016

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Anything is possible. Whatever you imagine, you can achieve. We tell our kids this, but do we believe it for ourselves? Do we slowly give in to the pressures and seeming difficulties of life and lose our faith in ourselves? The best way to teach our kids or anyone else, is thru our own example. I will say that at times we may have a goal or a focus in our life that doesn’t come to pass, but another result will come to pass. And often, that result, is close to what we hoped for, and maybe it turns out to be the right thing for us.

Hold space for what it is you want. Look for the result and you will find yourself in charge of your happiness and success. Each week as we practice our asanas, small, positive changes can be found in our body, mind and spirit. As we develop faith in the benefits of the practice, they will appear.

Our first practice of Spring 2016, Monday March 21, will help us begin setting our eye towards Spring. Stretching and rejuvenating our entire being as we learn a bit more about the yogic path. Join us from 6:30-8pm at the UU Church of Fresno.


Back again!

Published on Sunday, March 13th, 2016

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Every quarter, we spend one class focusing on asanas (poses) for the back. This week, whether you suffer from chronic back pain or occasional back pain, I think you will find poses in this practice that you can use. When back pain is your constant companion, you likely know that a daily practice, daily attention, to this condition is vital for your comfort. I hope that you will find some assistance this week developing this routine.

As we go into week two of our monthly theme of faith, I have been pondering what our “will” and “faith” have in common. I recently obtained a mala (bracelet) that has an inscription (in Chinese) that says< " where you place your will, you will achieve". I have replacing the word "will" with "faith". Will, in this context, being my faith in myself. This mental focus, has been a benefit to me! IMG_0471 (1)

Please join us this Monday, 3/14/16 for our Monday nite class at the UU Church of Fresno. All levels are welcome! I think you will find a special group of people who are also walking the path of health and wholeness!


March: Faith, devotion to the possible

Published on Friday, March 4th, 2016

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Each year, my husband and I kick off the Spring/Summer hiking season by hiking the San Joaquin River Gorge. We hiked it very early this year as we felt the profusion of wildflowers in the foothills was an indicator of what we might find. Indeed, we were not disappointed! Part of my intentional trek, is a visit to my favorite tree, growing straight out of a rock alongside the river. I marvel at how it has grown and how it reflects the type of winter we have had. This tree represents to me the resilience and tenacity of nature that I try to encourage in my own life. I think this year, the tree looks particularly happy!I have faith that it will be there next year to guide me.

Much like the tree that has grown out of rock, an infant shows resiliency and tenacity on its way to achieving mobility. Our practice this week will be a Yin practice focused on gaining the strength and flexibility in movements much like the infant does. It is called the Infant series and takes us thru the essential stages an infant experiences in this development.

Please join us at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial on Monday nite March 7 from 6:30-8pm. If you want to learn more about the style of Yin Yoga,Google Yin Yoga and read more!