With adversity come wonders

Published on Sunday, April 15th, 2018

Almost two years ago now, our area experienced a wildfire. Called the Goose Fire, it ravaged a wide swath of Black Mountain, which is in our backyard. Each Mother’s Day, Black Mountain is open to the public to walk and revel in wildflowers native to our area. After a fire, many unexpected wildflowers show their faces, such as the one above, the wind poppy. Never before had I seen this magnificent little survivor who showed herself off amid the charred earth. I then set out on a quest to find a wind poppy for my garden. The photo above is the result. Her beauty transformed Black Mountain and my garden this year.

Sometimes the beauty in adversity can be hard to see when you are close to the event. It may take time and distance to see the transformation it brings. I think it is well worth waiting, looking for and appreciating.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 4/16 6:30-8pm A sound meditation will begin our practice tonite.

Thursday 4/19 3-4pm Chair yoga # 3 in this series. I will try again for that lovely savasana I promised last week. We’ll continue to explore our work books.

Thursday 4/19 5-6:15 Let’s work our hips!

A month of transformation

Published on Monday, April 9th, 2018

Here in the Central Valley, our short Spring has begun. Likely, the rains are subsiding as the foothills are green with budding flowers all around. Our Spring here is wonderful although far too short. Our own transformations are life-long, maybe being a bit more noticeable at this time of year. Perhaps you have been faithful to the changes you committed to in January and are reaping the benefits. Perhaps the warmer weather inspires you to kickstart your journey. Wherever you find yourself this April, know that you have it within you to transform your life at anytime.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite April 9, 6:30-8pm Using our intention stones, we’ll have an opportunity to focus our practice on our month of transformation.

Thursday April 12, 3-4pm Chair Yoga. We continue to explore our workbook as we put together our own personal practices.

Thursday Evening April 12, 5-6:15pm Let’s explore our three Namaskars and have a longer Yoga Nidra.

Swamij Froggy

Published on Sunday, April 1st, 2018

One of our long time Yogis brought this wonderful Frog to me last week. He certainly represents perfection in Tree Pose! He will grace our garden. I named him Swamij Froggy. You’ll notice in the title this week, I call him Swamij Froggy. When the”j” is added to the title Swami, it becomes a term of endearment (“dearest Swami”).

Our focus this month is, Emergence: The practice of transformation. Seeing transformation in nature around us, can provide personal inspiration. Nature’s transformation from winter to spring occurs in a rather predictable and dependable manner. A human’s transformation is more unpredictable as it is slower. Perhaps as we never completely transform but are constantly transforming?

This week in Yoga:

Monday Nite, April 2, 6:30-8pm. First Monday Yin.

Thursday, Chair Yoga, April 5, 3-4pm. We begin our last four weeks for this season. We will work on putting together chair practices that address our individual needs

Thursday Evening, April 5, 5-6:15pm First Thursday Yin.

Start dressing in lighter clothing now, as our temperatures will be more unpredictable. We may even have an Thursday class outdoors soon!

Are you closer to the balance you desire?

Published on Sunday, March 25th, 2018

We’ve had month to focus on this topic, from the abstract to the concrete. Are you any closer to your goal? I know that I for one, will keep trying.

Thanks to those who hung with the change we had last Thursday. We will be back on track this week!

Monday nite 3/26, 6:30-8pm We’ll start by learning about a few self-acupressure points I learned about this weekend. Then we’ll have an Ananda inspired practice.

Thursday Chair 3/29 Yoga 3-4pm. We’ll take a few minutes to review Energization exercises before our practice. Let me know if you plan to continue with the class in April. We’ll also talk about acupressure points.

Thursday 3/29 5-6:15pm How about we have a few Yin poses at the end of our Hatha practice

Chair Yoga will continue throughout April. I am still accepting participants. See you this week!

This week in yoga….

Published on Sunday, March 18th, 2018

I took an opportunity this weekend to take a girl’s weekend at the coast with fellow yoga teachers. Thinking about our topic of balance this month, it was certainly what I needed to re-balance. So, this week’s post is brief and right to the point!

Monday nite 6:30-8pm March 19. Let’s create our own practice tonite. I’ll ask for a favorite pose from each of you and we will put it together as our practice.

Thursday Chair Yoga Workshop #3 3-4pm March 22. Energization Exercises begin our practice.

Thursday Evening 5-6:15pm March 22. An Ananda inspired practice.

Please join us as you are able. It’s maybe not a trip to the coast, but you might find a little more balance in your life!

Balance: The yoga kind

Published on Friday, March 9th, 2018

Let’s get down to it. Yoga practice helps our balance. Physical balance becomes more difficult with age, but also with certain medications, chronic diseases, changes in our bodies (like pregnancy) and of course, disuse.When was the last time you walked heal-toe just for fun? Little challenges like heal-toe walking, standing on one leg and such, help keep our brains and ankles communicating. Yes, the ankles. The ankles contain the majority of our body’s balance receptors. You can experience this the next time you do a challenging balance pose. What seems to be working hardest during this pose?

Now, complicate things by adding foot problems: bunions, hammertoes, weak ankles from injury.One of our yogis mentioned to me a condition they were dealing with, hammertoes, which was making standing poses very challenging. This made me realize that many of you may also have these foot challenges. Looking for expert advise, I wrote to Baxter Bell at Yoga for Healthy Aging blog(spot). He is one of my go-to experts for questions. He was kind enough to do a post on this problem. Check it out at http://yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.com, March 9, 2018 post. I will be taking an intensive training from Baxter this July.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite March 13 6:30-8pm. It’s time for the back care class again. We will also talk about Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of yoga.

Thursday March 15 3-4pm. Chair Workshop #2. We’ll go over a meditation technique before we practice.

Thursday March 15 5-6:15 Namaskar practice! There are many namaskars (salutes) but we will do three: Sun, moon and life force. Maybe even have time for a yoga nidra?

Bring a friend and join us! Your ankles and balance will thank you.

Balance: The Practice of Perspective

Published on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

As we begin the month of March, we shift our focus to the practice of balance. During my working life, I constantly found balance in my life to be a unwinnable battle. Time, was what I placed the blame on for not being able to achieve the life balance I desired. Now retired, I have found that time isn’t and wasn’t the issue, the root of finding balance is and has always been, intention. Balance shifts, adjusts and readjusts. Just like our life. I now have time, that elusive element, but don’t always use it thoughtfully. So my challenge today is to use time, what always just seemed just out of reach, wisely and again with intention.

It’s the first week of March, so we know that means YIN!

Monday Nite, March 5, 6:30-8 pm Come Yin with us!

Thursday, March 8, 3-4 pm, Chair Yoga Workshop begins. We have a full class. New folks, please try to come a little early to get settled. Returning folks, please bring your workbooks. We’ll do a brief orientation and then dig in!

Thursday Evening, March 8 5-6:15 pm More YIN! We’ll finish up with a Yoga Nidra.

Hope to see you this week to balance your week.

Aging, disability and perseverance

Published on Saturday, February 24th, 2018

The last few months, I have been walking along side a friend as she faces the big challenges of aging. Bev, was a yoga student of mine during the early thru mid 2000’s. I had bi-weekly group of elders (before I became one!) who were devoted to their yoga practice. I have watched as many of them have transitioned to “the whatever comes next”. Bev, a single woman, with two daughters out of state, has always had a special place in my heart. Creative (an exquisite quilter), funny (sarcasm beyond belief), an avid reader and builder of community, Bev has long held my admiration.

From Thanksgiving time, Bev’s life has been entwined with the health care system. She’s had three hospital admissions and three nursing home admissions in the last three months. We spent her 80th birthday celebrating in the nursing home. From the moment I heard of her health issues, I began to ponder what the future had in store for Bev and how she would cope with the inevitable changes. For myself, I wondered what could I learn from her journey as I ponder my own.

When we are young, we go thru our developmental phases, not knowing otherwise, and come out on the other side as adults. As adults, we continue our developmental challenges, more cognizant of each step. As we age, our developmental challenges become the tearing down of what we spent a life time acquiring. For those of us without cognitive deficits, these changes rock our world. We can see where these changes are leading: dependance, limited choices, ill health. Making each transition with grace, is one of the developmental task of this time. I know Bev will make her life changes with humor, curiosity and maybe a bit of defiance. Walking along side her has helped me to appreciate perservance and grace and prepare for my own inevitable journey.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite 2/26/18 6:30-8pm
Thursday evening 3/1/18 5-6:15pm. March already!!!

Chair you workshop starts 3/8/18. Two spots are left. Let me know if you are in!! sarayuyoga@gmail.com

“I’m bored”. Why to preserver.

Published on Saturday, February 17th, 2018

I must admit, that I have had times when I have been bored with my yoga practice, both the meditation and asana limbs. It is human, I think, to have these times. They feel different than the times when life is so hectic that carving out time to practice is near impossible. During those times,I have wanted to practice and missed it. Being bored doesn’t feel the same. For me, these times creep up on me out of nowhere. Trying to figure out what has shifted in me to cause this boredom has been elusive. I wait patiently for the feelings to drift away and the desire to come back. Despite these breaks, my underlying desire to keep some part of my practice continues. During those times of “asana drought”, I seem to dive more into the yamas and niyamas. In a way, yoga never leaves me. It just changes and re-emerges with more vigor.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite February 19 Happy Presidents Day! Part two of the breathing for our walking meditation. Lets focus on a more standing practice and finish up with a short yoga nidra.

Thursday Evening February 22. I will re-introduce us to Energization Exercises as our practice warm up.

There are 3 more spots for our Chair Yoga workshop that begins March 8. The March workshop is 8-29. We’ll directly move into the April Chair Yoga Workshop April 5-26. Essentially, this will be a continuous 8 week workshop. We may have spaces available for the April Workshop. Stay tuned!

Our memories of perseverance

Published on Sunday, February 11th, 2018

This week I have spent some times remembering the times in my life where I persevered. Just like the pain of childbirth, the pain of these times is hard to feel in the present. I remember the lack of sleep, the lack of self time, worrying about how my children where REALLY faring. When I was closer in time to the life events where I persevered, I would reflect more on the sacrifices and hard things, then I do now. Years out from most of these experiences, I feel a bit of awe of what was accomplished, leading to my life now. Every moment during those time, was worth the pain.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 2/12 our regular hatha yoga practice with a guided savasana

Thursday Evening 2/15 We will mix our hatha with a few yin poses at the end

The next Chair yoga workshop begins March 8-29,2018. A few open spaces remain. Email sarayuyoga@gmail for more information.