Tag Archives: yoga class

Happy Mothers’ Day!

mystery-called-life-mother[1]Always the requests to post the playlists. Here are the Mothers’ Day mixes from Saturday. Word to your mother!

Vinyasa at 10:00
They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo) Sting Nothing Like The Sun 
Shaking The Tree Peter Gabriel Feat. Youssou N’Dour Shaking The Tree: 16 Golden Greats 
Freedom Richie Havens Resume: The Best of Richie Havens
Mother Father Dave Matthews Band Everyday
No Woman No Cry Bob Marley & The Wailers LIVE!
Your Mother Should Know The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen Queen Greatest Hits I
Woman John Lennon The John Lennon Collection
Great Grandmother India.Arie Testimony: Vol.1, Life & Relationships
Mother Pink Floyd The Wall [Disc 1]
Mothers Of The Disappeared U2 The Joshua Tree
Woman’s Gotta Have It James Taylor In The Pocket 
Mother Nature’s Son The Beatles The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2] 
Mother’s Maiden Name Ben Carroll Lover Undercover
Woman’s Work Tracy Chapman Matters Of The Heart 
Four Women Nina Simone Anthology
A Child Is Born Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Together Again
Sylvie Sweet Honey In the Rock Folkways: A Vision Shared – A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly
Beautiful Me’Shell Ndegeocello Bitter

Beginning at Noon

They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo) Sting Nothing Like The Sun 
Shaking The Tree Peter Gabriel Feat. Youssou N’Dour Shaking The Tree: 16 Golden Greats 
Freedom Richie Havens Resume: The Best of Richie Havens
Your Mother Should Know The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen Queen Greatest Hits I
Woman John Lennon The John Lennon Collection
Great Grandmother India.Arie Testimony: Vol.1, Life & Relationships
Mother Pink Floyd The Wall [Disc 1]
Mothers Of The Disappeared U2 The Joshua Tree
Woman’s Gotta Have It James Taylor In The Pocket 
Mother Nature’s Son The Beatles The Beatles (White Album) [Disc 2] 
Mother’s Maiden Name Ben Carroll Lover Undercover
Woman’s Work Tracy Chapman Matters Of The Heart 
Four Women Nina Simone Anthology
A Child Is Born Tony Bennett and Bill Evans Together Again
Sylvie Sweet Honey In the Rock Folkways: A Vision Shared – A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly
Beautiful Me’Shell Ndegeocello Bitter

Victor

Chakras

I found myself teaching  mula bandha, the root lock, in class a few weeks ago.   (It hadn’t really been a part of the plan that day.  It just sort of spontaneously emerged.)  I allowed myself to give some very specific physical instructions, which I don’t usually do.  You see, There are some schools of yoga that believe we shouldn’t teach the bandhas or ‘locks’ in the body.  The idea is that as one progresses in the asana practice the bandhas happen automatically, without one having to think about it.  Teaching the bandhas is at best unnecessary, and at worst confusing.   Because of this, I have resisted little more than a mention of  the locks  in an effort to remain true to  my own teachers, especially when I’ve felt I didn’t yet have enough information or experience to warrant making those choices on my own.  Lately I’ve been a little more…well…experimental.

What happened that day was that the class evolved to include the principles  of  muladhara chakra; and we continued work with the root chakra for the remainder of the week.   The following week we focused on the second chakra, and we’ve been climbing up the spine ever since.

A couple of weeks ago, when it became time to move on to vishuddha chakra, the energy center located at the throat,  something changed in me.  In the previous weeks leading up to the heart chakra I was feeling inspired, directed, and clear about what to bring into my chakra classes.  I had been looking forward to the classes, and even wished I had more time to delve more deeply into this work.   But this particular week, when I began thinking about vishuddha, I hit a wall.

The feelings that came up for me were not blaring and loud, in fact it took me a while to notice them.  But they were powerful.  When I thought about teaching, I felt lethargic and bored, as if the sound of my own voice was becoming tiresome…bla, bla, bla.  I was also experiencing a mild sense of dread at the idea of getting ready to teach.  I started to have the ‘Monday Blues’.  And found myself approaching my week with a ‘just make it to Friday’ kind of attitude’.   The feelings were so mild, that I could have easily dismissed them.  But I took notice, and went about preparing to teach about the energetic wheel at the throat anyway.

Later it occurred to me that until that week, I had been teaching about concepts I understood relatively well.  I have infinite work to do in my own practice; and by no means do I see myself as an expert in the subtle energies of the body.  However, up until the 5th chakra I was confident in my philosophical knowledge and experiential understanding.  I had what I felt was more than enough fodder to bring to a few hours of teaching on the subjects.  But the throat chakra...

I see myself knee deep in the mud of vishuddha. My everyday efforts as a teacher, a mother, a wife, a woman, and a human are centered in exploring my voice, living my truth, sharing and moving toward my dreams, trusting in our interconnectedness, and channeling the energy of a passionate heart for the good of my family —and ultimately all beings.  This is my daily work —the very seat of my triumphs and failures.  These are my challenges.  This energetic center is where it gets sticky interesting for me.

Caroline Shola Arewa, the author of Opening to Spirit,  explains, “when energy is allowed to remain in the lower chakras, limitation continues.  The beautiful body temple becomes a prison and we cannot see beyond earthly reality.  As energy ascends through the heart into the throat, our horizons broaden.  Our sense of awe and wonder increases, our path in life is illuminated and our direction becomes clear.”  When I read these words, I feel like she is describing my process.  However, I feel like a babe in the woods, at the very, very beginning of this opening.  Looking up towards the sun through the trees and blinking the sleep out of my eyes.  This is my chakra.

Aaahaaa.  The source of my resistance.  My disinterest.  The doldrums of my spiritual ascension.  I am stalled out!  And then I Remembered (with a capital ‘R’):  Slow down, go in, dig deeper.  Because it’s all in there.  This I really do believe.  The answers are inside of us.  We are whole.  And we are wholly connected to every being that came before.  Even, perhaps especially, the ones who spent their lives sitting in caves contemplating the nature of the universe, mapping the chakras and the nadis, practicing coming into full being-ness.  All this comes from within.

Wednesday morning we slowed down.  I knew it was the right thing.  We began class with three oms, we breathed, we held, we focused, we rested, and we ended with om.  Dear students, I’m not sure what your experience was, but the chanting of om at the end of that class was ethereal (get it? throat chakra?  Ether?).  It was as if we were all vibrating together, like tuning forks resonating to the waves of energy enveloping us.  I can’t know how it was for you, but my own experience was of deep peace and complete wonder at the very extraordinary, almost visible energy in the room.  A palpable sense of connectedness, and a delicious,  deep, lingering shift seemed to be present in all of us.  For me, it was one of those magical moments upon which years of practice and a renewed desire to share yoga can rest.  Another layer fell away.  Inspiration.

The purpose of this post?  It doesn’t really matter what is known, practiced, taught, thought about, learned.  Slow down and bring awareness into your body.  Tune into the sensations there, and all the other things that drift into your awareness.  Allow all thoughts, feelings, and sensations to have relevance.  Let nothing go unnoticed, and the nature of that which is within, the fabric that holds us together: bone, fiber, blood, breath, space, light, light, light…. becomes known.  That knowing, sometimes fleeting, sometimes brief, is…Radiant (with a capital ‘R’).

Keep with the practice.  Practice is good.

In Gratitude, Valerie

Tapas – Hungry For Yoga

Jocelyn in TapasThis week we’re discussing the yoga principle tapas and people keep getting hungry during class. The definition we’ve been working with in class is commitment, dedication, and passion. And while all of these capture the essence of tapas, making a commitment to one’s self and one’s yoga practice, there is something to the experience of hunger that illuminates the practice of tapas.

When there is a hunger to practice yoga, there is tapas. Too often we silence the inner hunger to do what is best in exchange for what is easy or expedient. Tapas is an honoring of our best selves. It is a practice of listening to our need for effort in the direction of progress and growth. So when you are at the moment of internal decision: “I could go to yoga class, or I could go run these errands, or check my facebook page, or….” call on tapas to support your best self.

When there is a hunger to practice peace, there is tapas. The definition of peace as a noun misses it’s true nature. Peace is a practice that requires strength, courage, determination, and consistency. Peace is best practiced with the full intensity of our being and this is what tapas brings to our yoga practice.

Bring tapas to your yoga practice. With tapas you will find the support you need when there is adversity and inspiration to be your best in every moment.

Victor

New Year’s, Early

I love yoga. I really do! But sometimes I can’t muster up the strength to get by booty to class. After work and school, you would think I’d be chomping at the bit to put myself in a relaxing environment. But I just get so tired and lazy, its truly frustrating! Even though I know it will feel so good to get a little work out and center myself, it can be all too much for me at times.

I admire all the students at NOURISH who come to class on a weekly basis. Heck, some even come daily! You all are truly inspiring to me and I love coming to class when you are there. I love practicing yoga with the people I am working for and with. It gives us a bond that is more than just a hello! in passing by the front desk or a reminder call for their next appointment. What we all have going on at NOURISH is truly unique and I am proud and lucky to be a part of it!

Think of this as my New Year’s Resolution: From here on out I want to make a commitment to myself and do the things that make me happy on a weekly basis! This means going to Tuesday night yoga with Victor, hanging out with Emily, Brittni & Kate more often, doing nice things for my boy friend and pursuing a new hobby. I also think it would be nice to do my homework and reading on time….

Thanks for the inspiration and NOURISHment : )

Kate P

Yoga and Broccoli

When the idea of yoga, nutrition and wellness was first put forward to me by my beautiful wife, I approached it much like a toddler approaches broccoli… with fear and trepidation. After eventually succumbing to her pleas to take me to a yoga class, I was pleasantly surprised… and embarrassed; most of the class breezed through the poses while I ached from muscles I never knew I had. Still, it gave me a new found respect for everything I had previously dismissed as “for hippies” and sparked my interest.

Arriving at Nourish a year later, I promised myself I would embrace everything with an open mind and try to make some healthy changes. I’ve been here just over a month now and although I’m still a while away away from doing head stands and turning my back on pepperoni pizza, I can honestly say… I feel better. Just spending time in an environment that puts an emphasis on health and wellness has made me make better choices inside and outside of the Nourish studio. They are not big changes, but everyone has to start somewhere. So now, I try to take a yoga class every week, and I stretch every night and a few days ago, when offered the chance of a fried pork sandwich or vegetable pasta, I went for the pasta. Why? Because there was broccoli in it. And these days, I really love broccoli.

Anthony