Is back pain part of your journey?

Published on Saturday, March 9th, 2019

I often say that we all get something to deal with in our body. If your “something” is back pain, this week’s Hatha practices are for you. Yoga has been a wonderful adjunct to help people heal, prevent and strengthen their back. Yogi’s have understood the important of the spine in health for millennia.They have focused on the energy flow of the spine as an important part of a yoga practice. But the benefits of yoga extend to the bones, muscles, ligaments and discs of our spine as well. Movement of the spine is rarely discouraged by medical doctors in the face of back pain. “Motion is lotion”.

Come and enjoy two different back care practices this us this week!

Monday Nite, Hatha Yoga 3/11, from 6:30-8pm. A practice based on 17 postures used in multiple studies for those with chronic back pain.

Thursday 3/14, Chair Yoga 3-4pm. Come breathe, relax and move!

Thursday, 3/14, Hatha Yoga 5-6:15pm More back care.

Let’s discover ways to make us more comfortable on our journey.

The Journey is yours.

Published on Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

I remember my first “real” yoga class. I write “real” because my very first experience with a yoga class was at a gym, taught by a Physical Therapist, who was not a trained yoga teacher(read, physical practice only). I ended up developing probably the worst (certainly the most memorable) cold of my life the day after the class. While there was no connection, I didn’t go back.

Years later, I found a different yoga experience taught by a yoga teacher. After she introduced me to the class as the newbie, she asked me what I hope to gain from my practice.Then recently diagnosed with cervical stenosis (a painful compression of nerves in the neck), consciously I was there to see if this yoga thing could strengthen my muscles and help relieve my pain. What came out of my mouth in response to her question was,”I am looking for a spiritual path”. Where did that come from? The next leg of my journey began.
What’s your story? I would love to hear what brings you or brought you to the practice of yoga.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite March 4, 6:30-8pm. First Monday of the month yin.

Thursday March 7, 3-4pm Chair yoga. Let’s continue to develop strength, balance, agility and equanimity all from a chair!

Thursday March 7 5-6:15pm. Ease into our yin practice. Enjoy the peace.

Savasana: The Ultimate Asana of Trust

Published on Sunday, February 24th, 2019

Every week, as a teacher, I take a moment to reflect on the trust I feel from the yogis in class. Not just the trust to safely lead the class, but to provide a nurturing environment for their savasana. It can be difficult for us to let go and rest in savasana even when we are in our own home. Being able to trust and physically and mentally let go, is an act of trust. While yogis are finding their place in this pose, I am watching over the group. Together, we create a space for our group.

Savasana can be a time of healing, reflection, and integration. Just like any other asana, it takes practice. According to studies, settling our nervous system takes an average of 13 minutes. Most of us don’t stay in savasana long enough to fully relax. Others, fall asleep, which is a form of relaxation, but not the point of savasana. We try to find that place in our consciousness between fully awake and asleep. Finding it takes time and practice as anything worthwhile does. Yoga Nidra is a specific practice to help you find this sweet spot. You can find examples on YouTube.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 2/25 from 6:30-8pm. Gentle easy stretches.

Thursday Chair Yoga 2/28 An hour of movements designed to connect our mind/body and improve our daily function.

Thursday Evening 2/28 from 5-6:15pm Gentle easy stretches.

Hope to see you at class this week!

Chair Yoga Balance Class Update

Published on Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Today, 2/21, we would normally have Jenny Gaede teaching an exclusive balance class focus. Jenny injuried her foot and is unable to teach today. We will still have class today with some emphasis on balance. See you this afternoon!

Trusting in our own vision

Published on Saturday, February 16th, 2019

Whether we deeply consider it or not, we each have a vision of what our life will be like. How your story will go.But it seems that that vision may not roll out as we mentally envision. Have you heard yourself say, “Wow, that’s not how I expected this would be!” Welcome to the club of life! Our trust follows (or not) as we
lean into the universe (God, your Guru, Jesus) as a stabilizing force to get us thru. We have hope that the issue will resolve and trust in our ability to come thru. This is also part of the equanimity that we strive to develop. It is really all connected.

I was recently honored with a copy of the book Yoga Wisdom:Warrior Tales Inspiring You On and Off Your Mat(Stephanie Spence, author), a book in which a yogini tells her story thru the lens of yoga and its teachings. She relates her personal journey while weaving in the wisdom she gathers from other yoga teachers that she meets on her travels. Her book is such a wonderful example of how the wisdom yoga has to give us can weave its way thru our lives.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 2/18 6:30-8pm. It is President’s Day, but we will still gather! Join us for gentle hatha yoga class.

Thursday 2/21 Chair Yoga 3-4pm. Jenny Gaede will guide us thru poses that improve our balance.And who doesn’t need that!

Thursday evening 2/21 5-6:15pm. A nice mixture of movement and stretching.

What encourages Trust in you?

Published on Saturday, February 9th, 2019

I am always honored by the trust yoga students place in the teacher. You come to class, open, curious and willing to try things that may be out of your comfort zone. Even the act of lying in savasana is an act of trust.Yet, there are those who have experienced personal trauma that makes this trust tenuous at best. Our yoga practice can help work on this. Intentionally acknowledging the feeling of emotional discomfort during the practice, brings that feeling to the forefront for you to exam.The path of yoga includes a niyama called Svadyaya.This is the act of self study, learning about what makes us tick. As we make the mind/body connection that yoga provides us the opportunity to develop, svadyaya helps us better understand our own inner workings. Relax into this intention during savasana, and see what happens.

This week in yoga:

Monday nite 2/11, Hatha Yoga 6:30-8pm Beside stretching our bodies, come stretch your mind with a gentle practice.

Thursday 2/14, Chair Yoga 3-4pm. Show yourself some love this Valentine’s day with our chair yoga practice.

Thursday evening 2/14 5-6:15pm. We’ll do a “put together” practice tonite where we take everyone’s favorites poses and make them into a cohesive practice.

Happy Valentine’s week!

Trust? That’s a complicated issue.

Published on Monday, February 4th, 2019

This month’s practice theme is, “Trust: The practice of faith in a love that won’t let us go”.When I began pondering the topic of trust, my head started spinning! Maybe it is given freely and easily. Maybe it has to be hard earned. Maybe it is broken easily. Maybe it is continued to be given even when it isn’t warranted. Once broken, it doesn’t seem easy to bring it back. What is having a trust in a love that won’t let us go mean? How do we relate this to our yoga practice? There are now yoga classes taught by specially trained teachers in what is called “trauma informed” or “trauma sensitive”. Many of us have trust issues that linger in our lives from past events. This can make being vulnerable in yoga class, relaxing in savasana or just closing the eyes difficult. Please let me know if you are someone with these issues as there are trained teachers in Fresno/Clovis that I can direct you to.

As the month progresses, we will take some baby steps to begin to unravel this. I have trust in my yoga practice to keep me calm, strong, centered and flexible. I have been a witness to that over the years.Although I have had times when I physically couldn’t practice asanas, I can always practice the other limbs of yoga: the yamas, niyamas, meditation, pranayama. It has been an adaptable practice for this aging human life.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 2/4 6:30-8pm. We begin our 10th year of practice together. It’s first Monday Yin!

Thursday Chair 2/7 3-4 pm Continue your focus on strength, balance, flexibility and equanimity with us.

Thursday Evening 2/7 5-6:15pm Of course, Yin!

Hope to see you this week at class!

What would the world be like if…..

Published on Saturday, January 26th, 2019

We have focused on the possibilities of our lives this month. Although we never know what may await us in the future, we can be sure that our own positive attitude and acceptance can help us ease into any possibilities. Let’s continue to celebrate the wonderful gifts life has to offer us, even when those gifts come wrapped in situations that we may not want. Those are definitely the hardest to accept graciously and to see as gifts. While we love the good stuff of our life, the not so good often proves more learning, healing and satisfaction in the end.

In yoga this week:

Monday Nite 1/28 from 6:30-8pm. Join us for a Hatha class focused on Balance, Strength, Agility and Flexibility.

Thursday 1/30 from 3-4 pm Chair yoga.

Thursday 1/30 from 5-6:15pm Hatha yoga

Join our community of folks living, laughing and loving in this world as we breath and move together!

The Woman’s March, 2019

Published on Saturday, January 19th, 2019

I digress a bit this week during our month of,”Possibility: The practice of Unfolding”, to mention the third Women’s March. The possibility I hope see is that one day equality will be a reality. It is true we have moved the needle toward this possibility, but right now, equality remains a dream. Today in Fresno, I saw and felt the ongoing shift in consciousness among young and old, male, female trans, and folks of all cultural backgrounds. For me to get to see this at least once a year, helps me to stay hopeful and focused. Each year, this gathering is bigger and more diverse. That also gives me hope.

This week in yoga:

Monday Nite 1/21 6:30-8pm. It is MLK day but we still have class. Join me for a mix of Hatha and Yin.

Thursday 1/24 3-4 pm Chair Yoga.

Thursday Evening 1/24 5-6:15pm . Let’s use some props to support our practice!

Our classes are held at The UU Church of Fresno on Alluvial. You will find us practicing in the sanctuary. Hope to see you soon!

Getting out of your own way!

Published on Saturday, January 12th, 2019

I have noticed that when it comes to barriers and obstacles in my life, I am my own worst enemy. I can talk myself out of trying something new faster than anyone else ever could. If I can stop myself from immediately saying “no”, sit back and relax into a new idea or possibility, I usually will give it a go and be surprised. Yoga was like this for me, as my first yoga experience left me oh so sore along with a horrible cold. It took years before I got this experience behind me and opened up to a new possibility. Glad I did.

This week in yoga:

Monday 1/14, Hatha practice from 6:30-8pm.
Thursday 1/17,Chair yoga practice from 3-4pm.

On Thursday evening there is a concert in the Church. We’ll be back to our full schedule next week.

What possibilities call to you right now? Perhaps, you should listen. Hope to see you this week!