Give it all you’ve got!

Published on Saturday, March 11th, 2017

This week in yoga….looking toward the sun staying with us a bit longer each day. The time change moves us just a bit closer to Spring, and we open up to new possibilities. As this month’s our theme is Risk: The practice of Daring, we contemplate moving our physical practice forward by holding poses longer, being more mindful as we evaluate our bodies after each pose, noticing our improvements in strength and balance. Even as we know our limitations today, we anticipate our expanding them tomorrow.

Join us Monday evening from 6:30-8pm for a practice focused on keeping our precious backs healthy. Ony,Thursday our first Chair Yoga Workshop begins from 3-4pm. Then our Thursday evening practice, 5-6:15 pm will include slow vinyasa with work on a new challenging pose. Bring your desire to connect with others as we explore how yoga can give us ease in the body, mind and spirit.

All are welcome! Please remember to pre-register for the Chair Yoga class (email me at sarayuyoga@gmail.com), as handouts are provided and class size is limited.


March: The month of risk-taking

Published on Saturday, March 4th, 2017

Our theme for the month is the practice of daring:risk-taking. For the yogi, each practice is an act of risk. We come to our practice in our unique body, in a unique state of mind and spirit, to move in challenging ways. Our balance maybe off, our mind wildly criticizing, our spirit unsettled, but we try. We risk.We return. We continue.

Yoga practice offers us a sample of personal risk-taking. For some students, just showing up for class is a risk. Even those who have an active practice, progress in their practice only comes with risk. That does not mean putting ourself in harm’s way. It means knowing all our capacities in that moment; physical, mental and spiritual. Then, moving, challenging ourself, in an appropriate way for that day.

Monday evening will be our only practice this week. It’s the first Monday of the month, so Yin is our style. Please join us from 6:30-8 pm at the UU Church of Fresno. All our welcome! There is no Thursday March 9 practice. Our Thursday evening practice will resume next week March 16!


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!


Niyama:Svadyaya,self-study

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!