Winter is finally over! Summer yoga-with-hiking to come…

Still Point labyrinth next to the snow covered pond.

Still Point labyrinth next to the snow covered pond.

…though you would not be able to tell from in this photo from our wonderful February 22 Move with Mindfulness, Write with Ease workshop at Still Point. There were hints of spring, however, in the rain that dripped from windows and sunshine that melted the labyrinth path just in time for a meditative walk after lunch, between writing sessions.

Friday evening rain...

Friday evening rain…

...turns into morning sunshine!

…turns into Saturday morning sunshine, just in time!

Due to some health issues which are now resolved–our bodies DO like to surprise us!–March through June have been physical recovery time for me. But now the summer beckons, and a new program will begin at Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center.

Out of the Gym & Into the Woods: Yoga and Hiking at Dyken Pond. 

Did you promise yourself you’d get out into nature more this summer, exercise more regularly? Maybe do some yoga, because you’ve heard it’s so good for you, or you haven’t practiced as often you would like?Want to pay closer attention to your body and breath and deepen your experience in the woods?

You will be guided through at least six to nine yoga stretches and postures (no experience needed!) to warm the body, check in as we hike, and cool off afterwards, bringing awareness and a meditative approach to the gift of hiking various trails at Dyken Pond Environmental Center.

5 to 7 pm on Wednesdays in July and August (except 7/23). Classes are estimated to be $10 apiece with a discount for attending four or more. Yoga experience: Beginner and up. Fitness Level: Able to hike (not just saunter) easy to moderate woods trails for at least an hour. I promise rocks in the paths, tree roots, some up and down walking–and beauty.

Please register through the Education Center:   dykenpond@fairpoint.net or by phone 518-658-2055, and find out more at dykenpond.org or on their Facebook page.

 

Uncurl, stretch and lengthen like this spring fern at Dyken Pond

Uncurl, stretch and lengthen like this spring fern at Dyken Pond

What? Changes Already? Following the Dharma

In re: what is “of-the-essence” lately, I’ve been wrestling with how I feel about leading weekly studio classes.

They’ve been very lightly attended, and in addition, I live in a town with multiple yoga studios already offering a delightful variety of daily classes. I’ve also been reading Stephen Cope’s The Great Work of Your Life, about dharma (simply put, life purpose).

I prepared for each of my scheduled classes, warmed the space with candles and yoga mats, sat in the beautiful silence–and listened.  I watched dawn arrive in downtown Troy, and the hustle-bustle that burst open around 8 a.m. I observed the sun shift through the fall leaves on Monday afternoons.

Because only a small part of yoga is about postures and breathing–yoga also encompasses creating comfort within dis-ease–I asked in the quiet:  What is the meaning of this lack-of-energy, on my part and the part of potential students? And what I am really on fire about?

That’s what I want my life to be:  on fire, lit up, clear on the essence of who I am, what my gifts are, and what I’d like to bring to the world.

In my answers, I kept going to the presuppositions people have about yoga; they think they have to be strong and powerful first, or understand complicated concepts, or be able to wear a bikini or tight-fitting workout clothes to “qualify.”  People WANT to try yoga, but are afraid of injury or embarrassment, being rushed to know something before they are ready, or just not being good enough.

And here I am:  I love listening to people’s individual stories and experiences, having paid attention to the human body and spirit throughout my previous massage career; I know about anatomy and pain patterns, AND how to respond to stress with movement, stretch, aromatherapy, self-care–and now, yoga’s rich variety of tools.  I have used yoga to rehabilitate from surgery and devastating losses; yoga has used me to communicate great and simple truths, to myself.

So I’ve decided–I’ll be guiding people, through a variety of easy-to-attend mini-workshops, to bring themselves as they are and grow from there.  To increase self-compassion, attempt some new experiences (maybe even yoga postures), gently, and then digest them. To pay attention to where their bodies are at this moment,  To slow down. Laugh at the foibles of our busy minds, and humanity.  Feel more deeply. Be a little more present. Learn ways to deal with what life brings, painful or joyous–tools including writing, hiking & walking, breath and meditation practices, and healthful eating.

This is so enthralling! I hope you find something in my on-fire offerings that speaks to you, and I invite suggestions, ideas, dreams, through the Contact Us page here on the website, or in person.

Many of my mini-workshops will continue to be held at my colleague Lesley Kavanaugh’s Troy Healing Arts, where as a studio and healing sanctuary, she is also moving more toward introductory, anatomy- and spirit-based wellness within the approaches of yoga and bodywork.  I am thrilled to be collaborating with her. Look for us at Troy Night Out (Friday, October 25, 5-9 pm) and at Victorian Stroll (Sunday, December 8), at the 270 River Street lobby.

Welcome to Of-the-Essence!

If you’ve been by lately and are looking for classes, please read the latest posts at the “Class changes or cancellations” and “Mini-Workshops” tabs. Yes, changes, already!

Early autumn at Partridge Run

Early autumn at Partridge Run

This website is “under construction,” as we all are:  in process, expectant and wondrously growing, simultaneously feeling the discomfort of new life coming forth.  If you’d like, please “follow” us by email or RSS feed to keep up with the growth, because it is indeed exciting.

As my photo here for fall shows, creek water blurs the details behind a single gorgeous golden leaf.  There’s a sense of hanging, and learning to be comfortable with hanging within the swirling, perhaps moving with what’s around, or not moving. But light glowing through it all.

My hope is to bring that kind of inner stability and peace to my students and the community.

So we appreciate your patience as we build our pages and schedules. Thank you in advance for your feedback, as well.

Please check out the autumn mini-workshops, and Saturday November 2nd Writing & Yoga workshop-retreat, in the tabs above.

Here’s to seeing you around the Capital Region, and on the web.

Jai Bhagwan (May the divine be victorious within you)!