Online classes available now!

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Many of our classes are moving online!

Are you social distancing to keep yourself and your family safe during this outbreak? If so, you can still keep up with your yoga practice with the same teachers you know and love! Try one of our classes online this week. Many of our classes are cancelled, others are only online, and some are still available in the studio. PLEASE PRE REGISTER at least 2 hours in advance if you plan to attend class, as our instructors will be staying home if no one is signed up.

If you register for an online class, you will be emailed an invitation to join the ZOOM meeting where the online class will take place. Register online on our Mindbody Schedule here.

Please know that if you take a class in the studio we are recommending that practitioners place their mats about 6 feet apart. We ask that you wash your hand before and after class and the studio will be disinfected prior to class and after as well. Teachers will be avoiding hands on adjustments and pranayama that involves bringing the hands to the nose.

We are so grateful for your support during this unprecedented time. We hope we can get back to the studio soon and that all of the small businesses like ours can weather this storm.

Tune in to Facebook live Monday morning 3/16/20 around 8 AM for a quick video about setting up a home yoga practice space.

owner/lead instructor

Finding Balance Through Yin Yoga

The yoga most of us know is active, Yin is not. Yin is yielding, nourishing, replenishing, and occurs in stillness. Hatha yoga is by the far the most popular and well known form of yoga in the West. It targets the main muscle groups of the body, both building strength and flexibility of body and mind as the breath gracefully carries the practitioner in and out of sequences. This style has done an amazing job at bringing both alignment and mindfulness into the world of exercise and activity, but it is only half the experience in a full bodied yoga practice.

Yin yoga lands in the body in a completely different way than most are used to, targeting the ligaments, joints, fascial network, and even the bones. These are considered the “yin” tissues of the body, and are equally important to work with as the more active, “yang” tissues that form musculature. These tissues are accessed when the body is cool, and must be approached with sensitivity and patience. To new practitioners, yin yoga may appear lazy, even boring, since the poses are usually done on the floor, with lots of props and little physical effort. Rather than falling into a flow of movement, the challenge of yin yoga is to tap into your inner flow while remaining still in each posture. Only 10-15 poses are used in a single yin class, and each one is held for 2-5 minutes. While in each posture, breath and intention can be used to release deeply held tensions in the body that may have been silently keeping you from finding that perfect Down-dog or comfortable seated pose.

Taking the time to breath into our joints, ligaments, and connective tissue opens the door for energy to move more freely and effortlessly through the body. Most yin teachers will bring your awareness to this flow of energy through breath and visualization.

The name itself evokes awareness of energy and questions as to what exactly yin and yang even are. In this class we will explore the natural and automatic flow of energy as we currently understand it. All light, all energy expands from its source until the point of completion, then it contracts and fades away to the same place from which it came. We see this pattern in all aspects of the universe. Objects flower into form, and then eventually dissolve once again. The expansive phase of this cycle is the yang current- outward expression. The contractive phase is the yin current- internalization and release. The point in between, where the flow of energy has reached completion in form is where we find ourselves now, neutral poles through which yin and yang meet to dance. We, as beings of form, are poles of completion. Through our physical bodies and present moment awareness, we can learn to balance the yin and yang energies as we move through our lives. While different periods of life are naturally more active or contractive, we can learn to maintain a functional and supportive give-and-take relationship with the subtle flow of our life-force in relationship with the universe as a whole. In more tangible terms- this means being able to remain active and engaged with the world even as you progress into old age. Hatha, alone, can’t get you there.

It’s important to remember that yin and yang are very subtle forces, inaccessible to  the naked eye and often difficult for the conceptual mind to grasp. Through yoga we can learn to know and understand these energies through feeling awareness and direct experience. When these current collide, energy disperses through five elemental patterns, which construct our physical world. Earth, water, fire, air, and ether intermingle to co-create the elaborate universe we observe every day. By balancing the more subtle yin and yang energies, the five elements are able to flow freely from source. Imbalances may still occur from below, within the dynamic flows of each element, so we will become acquainted with these patterns as well. Each week of the five week series will highlight a different element and how it manifests within the physical body, so by the end you will have the basic skills and understanding of how to open and balance your own energy field through Yin yoga.

Written by Dana Ripley LMT CYT

Clark, Bernie, and Sarah Powers. The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga: The Philosophy and Practice of Yin Yoga. Ashland, OR: White Cloud, 2012. Print.

This class will run on Fridays from 12-1PM beginning 3/3/17 for 6 weeks. Sign up for Dana’s Yin Yoga class here.

Give yourself the gift of vision this year

Happy New Year! It seems that with each passing year another set of resolutions comes and goes, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In our adult yoga classes this week we have been talking a lot about “vision.” Having a vision for yourself in the coming year seems a lot less daunting than creating a resolution.

To begin to create this vision we can first make a picture in our mind of what we want to see happen in the coming year. Using all of our senses, including the extra sense of awareness made available by your third eye, we are able to focus in on sights, sounds, textures, tastes, and smells that help solidify this vision.

Once our vision gets really clear we can begin to identify adjectives that come up. Some of these might be feelings that you feel around this vision, or qualities that describe the person who is moving toward the vision. So, say your vision includes a job change. In this case some of the adjectives that may come up might be: open-minded, articulate, calm, prepared, etc. Whatever these describing words are, they will begin to show you what qualities you will need to employ to reach your vision.

Next, we create actionable goals around our vision. For example if we see ourselves reading more in the coming year and actionable goal might be something like this: “I will make monthly trips to the library to help me find great new books to read each month.” or “I plan to save $300/month to help me pay for my vacation this year.” These are in essence the steps that you’ll take to see your vision come to fruition.

Once we have actionable goals we continue our practice of regularly choosing to “see” this vision. Routinely attending to our vision will prompt us to take on and carryout our actionable goals. Throughout the coming months you can come back to this vision through your yoga and meditation practice, while writing in your journal, or even in a daydream and likely feel a renewed sense of forward movement.

Another way you can keep your vision at the forefront of your mind is by creating a “vision board.” There are a variety of ways to do this. Click here to see some examples from Pinterest. Some people are even creating these electronically via downloadable apps like this one from Hay House. While both options have their pros, the one that works the best is the one that gets revisited frequently!

If you haven’t started to create your vision for the new year, hopefully these processes will help. If you have composed one, would you share it with us in the comments section below? We’d love to see it/hear about it. Keep on envisioning, Family Balancers! Namaste!


Why yoga for kids?

You might be asking yourself: why should kids practice yoga? That’s just ridiculous! Yoga is for stressed out adults who need to learn how to relax or need to stretch more! But the truth is that kids need to practice yoga for the same reasons adults do! A regular yoga practice can help the practitioner feel more centered, focused, in-tune with others and with nature, as well as strengthen muscles, improve coordination and balance, gain perspective and flexibility among many other benefits. Sadly, more and more kids are finding these skills harder to come by through our modern lifestyle. So, to counteract all of their screen time, increased sitting time at school, and decreased amount of play: YOGA!

Over the years I have had the privilege of working with yoga practitioners from 0-70 years old all of whom enjoy some of the same benefits, namely an increased level of comfort in their own skin. From babies who are practicing with their parents or caregivers to adults living alone, people who move and breathe with a yoga class can become much more grounded. Yoga can help promote a sense of community among its practitioners. This sense of belonging to a group is a primal sense, that some people, especially those who struggle with their mental health, can find while taking a yoga class. Since yoga is a personal practice many children value their ability to participate, with a group, but in an non-competitive environment.

Many yoga poses actively engage various body systems, so the physical effects of a regular yoga practice can be immense. More and more children these days are choosing a sedentary lifestyle, leading to obesity, high blood pressure, and a host of other health problems. Practicing yoga allows children with all body types and from all activity levels to participate fully and engage in strengthening and stretching activities, often even increasing heart rate, promoting digestion, and calming an anxious mind.

Children are faced with a barrage of stimulation every day. From cell phones, to music, to TV, to media/advertising, friends and family, to a multitude of “stuff,” our children are literally being smothered by input. By giving children opportunities during their yoga practice to tune into their breath and sensations within their bodies we are holding space for them to slow down and reconnect to their being. Teaching children mindfulness through yoga can be a very effective way to help promote healthy mental states of being.

With all of these benefits that so many adults have enjoyed for thousands of years, the question becomes: Why WOULDN’T we introduce this practice to our children? In a world where we are plagued with health problems, physically, mentally, and emotionally, why not teach our children how to care for themselves with the practice of yoga?