Strength within

Published on Saturday, July 15th, 2017

“The roots of resilience….are to be found in the sense of being understood by and existing in the mind and heart of a loving, attuned and self-possessed other.” Diana Fosha

Our temperatures this month in the Central Valley may have tested our personal resiliency. So many days with high day time temps and little to no relief at night, can wear many of us down. Sleep is such an essential to good health that prolonged disruption is wearing and harmful. This is a good time to practice Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep) to help refresh our brains and our bodies. There are many guided yoga mudras to be found on the Internet (Google or You Tube, “Yoga Nidra”). What Yoga Nidra does is brings our minds into that state between consciousness and sleep. You may recognize this state as the time between being fully awake and drifting off into sleep. Our bodies and minds relax in Yoga Nidra, but we do not fall asleep. Even so, coming back out from a yoga nidra practice, you may feel like you got a refreshing nap.This may help you with the accumulative sleep deprivation many of us feel in the heat. Even short (10-15 minute) Yoga Nidra practices can be helpful.

This week in yoga, ONLY one practice!

Monday Nite July 17 from 6:30-8pm A gentle Ananda practice finishing with a Yoga Nidra.

We will have a break in our group practices with no classes July 20 and July 24. This might be a good time to check out some Yoga Nidra! Hope to see you Monday Nite!


Developing a personal resiliency plan

Published on Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Psychology says that there are many factors/qualities that help us remain resilient thru challenges: belief in one’s self, viewing bad times as temporary, knowing your boundaries,cultivating self-awareness,willingness to sit in silence, self care habits, a sense of humor, and community. Your tribe.
This is what I feel a regular yoga class with a group develops. I marvel at the before class time when people are checking in and catching up. Knowing that in a few moments, we will share silence, laughter, movement and breath. It doesn’t get any better than this!

This week, we will continue to honor the summer heat by making our practices slow and easy. Perhaps more yoga nidra at the end of class??

Monday nite 6:30-8pm Lots of time and space to breath and stretch

Thursday Evening 5-6:15pm More of the same! If you venture out in the heat to come to class, perhaps you will find coolness within!

We practice at the beautiful UU Church of Fresno. Please join us and bring your water!


Resilience: The Practice of Thriving

Published on Saturday, July 1st, 2017

At one time or another, all of us “go off the rails”, “loose it” ” temporarily lose our minds”. Our lives are complicated. Even the most calm of us has times when we feel we are completely disconnected from our body, our mind, the world. Yoga and mediation helps us to bring ourself back to balance, to help us remember who we are, the place where we feel most comfortable inside. Our theme this month is resilience, the practice of thriving. Resilience is learned and developed. Most of us have a certain amount of resiliency innately, but even that can at times be overwhelmed. Meditation gives us tools to settle the mind. Yoga provides us a way to develop/strengthen the connection between our body and mind, improving our resiliency.

This week, our yoga practice is easy to describe. ITS YIN WEEK!

Monday July 3, 6:30-8pm YIN!
Thursday July 6, 5-6:15pm YIN!

Join us at the UU Church of Fresno as we allow ourselves the space to develop resiliency in our own ways. All are welcome!


Altering practice

Published on Saturday, June 24th, 2017

There are many reasons we may need to adjust our practice: injury, recovery from illness/injury, aging, practice environment changes. Yoga encourages us to honor our body. For me, this has been challenging. My body has changed over the years, making some asanas unattainable and even dangerous. I have had physical injuries over the years which required thoughtful changes in my practice. And finally, as we move through the seasons of the year, our practice needs to reflect our environment. This summer, we have been hit hard by hot weather quickly and for an extended time. This doesn’t mean we stop practicing, it means we modify our practice. Our sacred space remains there for us no matter what condition we find our body, mind, and spirit.

This week in yoga at the UU Church of Fresno:

Monday nite 6:30-8pm Join us for a gentle Ananda inspired practice.
Thursday Evening 5-6:15 pm Let’s mix a yin and Ananda practice!

Keep in mind, that only you know your body’s limits and capacity. This heat is a wonderful opportunity to use your inward reflection skills to determine just how much should do during hot weather.You are always welcome to come and practice just what you feel you can. Being in community is part of yoga. See you soon!


Taking stock mid-year: Summer solstice

Published on Saturday, June 17th, 2017

We are so used to the traditions of the New Year. In particular, the tradition of setting New Years resolutions or intentions. Often, we only briefly return to our memory of what seemed like a solid commitment for our New Year, as the days pass on from winter to summer. Here we are at the half year mark, the time we celebrate the year’s longest day. The day where we have the most (day)light to shine back on ourselves and our lives. How have we done? Did we sabotage ourselves with too many things to change? Did life overwhelm us, leaving our good intentions behind? This is a good time to evaluate our year so far, make course corrections if needed, and continue to live in joy!

Keeping in mind the expected >100 degree temperatures anticipated for this week, here is what our practices will be like:

Monday Nite 6:30-8pm We will learn about yoga nidra and our practice will focus on body sensing yoga techniques.

Thursday Evening 5-6:15 pm We will bring in the summer solstice with a Surya Namaskar (sun salute), followed by a reflective, introspective practice.

Please join us to explore taking our practices to a new level with body sensing and interoception this week. Our classes are held at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. All are welcome! Be sure to rehydrate and bring water!


Is back pain lessening your zest for Life?

Published on Saturday, June 10th, 2017

Our theme for this month, is the practice of enthusiasm: Zest. It is difficult to find that zest for life when pain is ever present. Yoga in general can help us deal with the pain that finds our body as we live and age. This week’s practice focuses specifically on a practice that can assist with managing the pain and disability that we can find in our backs. We’ll do this practice as well as give you a copy of it for home use.

In Yoga this week:

Monday 6:30-8 pm Back care practice

Thursday No Practice this week!
Watch this space for the return of Chair Yoga workshops.

We practice at the UU Church of Fresno. Join us!


A wonderful week of Yin!

Published on Saturday, June 3rd, 2017

Doesn’t this peaceful young man make you want to close your eyes and breathe with him!!

Let’s start out our month with two yin practices! As the weather warms, I think I hear a resounding, “Yipee for Yin”. We do need to give our bodies time to adjust to the change in temperature and yin does this for us. It is a different kind of practice, with increased focus on stretching connective tissue while allowing tension and stress in the body to subside. Even so, be sure to hydrate well prior to practice and bring water with you!

This week in Yoga:

Monday nite 6:30-8 pm a Yin practice that focusing on developing such (sweetness or stillness) in our bodies.

Thursday 5-6:15 pm a yin practice for opening the hips as we plan our summer traveling (and sitting!)

Please join us for either or both classes. We meet at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. All are welcomed!


Yoga resumes June 1!

Published on Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Memorial Day is a sacred time for our country.In my own family, we have family members representing WW1,WW2 and Korea. While I wish that war was not part of our national and global reality, it is. I am grateful to those who sacrificed for all of us. This Marc Chagall painting spoke to me about the emotion of war. I hope you take the time on Monday to remember with gratitude.

Thursday, June 1, we return to the mat at the UU Church of Fresno from 5-6:15pm. Our practice will respect that many have not practiced since our last time together. Come stretch and breath and reconnect. Hope to see you then!


See you June 1st!

Published on Saturday, May 20th, 2017

Time to take the opportunity to get out into nature before the summer heat is upon us! This is the perfect time of year to take your practice outdoors!

We will not have classes May 22, May 25 and May 29 (Memorial Day). We’ll be back together June 1 from 5-6:15 pm at the UU Church of Fresno. I hope you take this time to continue your personal practice, enjoy our lovely Spring and be with family!


True Yoga?

Published on Saturday, May 13th, 2017

This week is the last session of our Chair Yoga Workshop. Our group has been open about learning that yoga is not a set of poses, but a practice that we take into our lives. Whether you practice your yoga on a mat, in a chair, in a wheelchair or in a bed, if you embody the heart of yoga, you are “doing” yoga. Bringing this ancient practice back (in some small way) to it’s original purpose, is what our classes are about. “Walking” the path in community with others, extends the practice to a practical way to live.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite, 5/15/17 from 6:30-8pm a practice centered on bring our awareness to how our body and mind link together to bring us both strength and softness.

Thursday 5/18/17 3-4pm Chair yoga, session 4. We will put all our tools together
in this last class using a chair version of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salute).

Thursday Evening 5/18/17 5-6:15pm Let’s move from Yang (activity) to Yin ( quiet) with this dual practice.

As always, we meet at the UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. Classes are accessible to all levels. It is recommended that for Monday Nite and Thursday Evening classes you are able to independently get up and down off the floor.Please feel free to email me at sarayuyoga@gmail.com for questions. Blessings to all!