September Focus of the Month – Cultivating Calm in a Chaotic World

Cultivating Calm in a Chaotic World

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States today. It doesn’t take a diagnosis to feel the impact. Whether it’s your own occasional suffering or a loved one’s persistent condition, anxiety crops up everywhere — draining life of its color, leaving exhausted humans in its wake.

This month we bring you tools to address the anxiety in your life, taught by yogis for millennia. While not a replacement for therapy or medication, yoga offers its practitioners many resources to access calm and peace even when these feel far away.

Some of the many tools of yoga:

  • Breath awareness, or pranayama practices. Ranging from the simple to the adventurous, yoga’s breath practices offer a way to become grounded and embodied, pulling the practitioner out of head space and into body space.
    • This month your teachers will guide you through breath awareness and breath techniques.
  • Gaze points, or drishti. Yoga is very concerned with focusing the mind. Its underlying assumption is that each of us has the power to tame the mind as a charioteer might tame horses. Focusing the eyes on a single spot is just one way to reign in the mind and to bring it under conscious control.
    • Notice when your instructor suggests where you should gaze.
  • Movement, or asana. Not everyone feels relaxed or at ease when they sit down, for instance to meditate. Agitating thoughts, like memories and worries, can sometimes be more noisy when all is still. Physical movement provides a way to lull and vitalize the mind and body, bringing them into better connection, stimulating happiness hormones and elevating mood.
    • The hearty part of any yoga class, consider how breath, gaze, mind and body come into balance when you’re doing asana.
  • Meditation. Anxiety and related disorders can have the effect of tightening and constricting consciousness. Sometimes done prior to movement, sometimes done afterward, meditation has the power to give you access to a wider field of awareness, bringing stressful thoughts into perspective, calming the nervous system, and kicking on the restorative centers of the brain.
    • Even a single minute of meditation can have a powerful effect. Your teachers can point you to more opportunities to learn how to meditate, if that interests you.
  • Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep. Yoga nidra is a restorative practice wherein the instructor guides you into a rested waking state while your body is positioned comfortably. The usual brain centers get a break and the healing centers work their magic.
    • TYH teacher Susan DeRyder and her partner Shawn are offering Asana and Sound Healing with yoga nidra this month, Friday, Sept. 28th, 7:30-9:30pm.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, and yoga’s true impact comes when it is practiced regularly and over the long term as a lifestyle. Tune in to your teachers’ suggestions all month long. Balanced, peaceful, calm and joyful people are especially needed right now, and all the work you do to embody these qualities has a ripple effect “out there.”

Thanks for your commitment to the practice. See you on the mat <3.

 

In gratitude and service,

 

Leigha & Jacquelyn

Chakra Workshop, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2:30-5:30pm

Chakra Workshop with Corinne Gervai

Saturday, February 10th, 2:30-5:30pm

$30 Preregister/$35 day-of

Hosted at our Midtown Studio

chakrasymbolssimpleIn this workshop on the Chakras System led by Corinne Gervai of Euphoria Yoga in Woodstock we will explore what these energy center are, where they are located, what the sounds, senses, colors, elements, symbols that are associated with each one are and how they relate to various aspects of our lives. We will also explore how to weave this information into an Asana (Yogic Postures) class that relates to the various Chakras.

A hand out with information on the Chakras will be provided, so that you can reference the information during the Workshop with ease, as well as in the future when you wish to incorporate it in your classes once you are a Teacher! * A few fun tips on how to remember some of the information by heart will be offered as well.  Corinne is very much looking forward to sharing this time and this rich subject with you!

corinne-2Corinne Gervai is the founder and Director of Euphoria Yoga in Woodstock and has over thirteen years of teaching experience in New York city and locally. She received her Yoga Teaching certification from the Jivamukti Yoga School in the year 2000 after completing the full one year intensive certification program lead by Sharon Gannon and David Life. Corinne taught all levels at The Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City from 2000-2005. Prior to that Corinne taught the Lotte Berk Method which incorporates element of Yoga, dance and therapeutic stretching in New York city and the Hamptons.In 2005 Corinne received her Advanced Jivamukti certification. Upon moving to Woodstock full time in 2005 Corinne taught locally until 2009 when she opened Euphoria Yoga. Corinne offers much gratitude to her main Yoga teachers Sharon Gannon, David Life as well as to all the wonderful teachers that she takes classes and workshops with which continue to inspire her. Corinne offers deep thanks to her beloved students, family and friends that enhance her life daily and her aim is to do the same to the lives of as many beings as she can reach.


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Ashtanga Yoga Workshop – Friday, Feb. 24th, 7-9pm

Ashtanga Yoga:

Self-Discovery Through Practice and Patience

With Jacqui Nash

Friday, February 24th, 7-9pm

$25

The principles of the traditional practice of Ashtanga Yoga can bring a deeper sense of awareness and connection to your practice no matter what style of of yoga you practice. Join E-RYT and The Yoga House co-owner Jacqui Nash to learn about the systems of energies, breath and focus established in the Ashtanga lineage which help create a stronger practice, both physically and spiritually. We’ll dive into the incorporation of these elements to bring you into a fuller awareness of the self while practicing any style of yoga. We’ll also go over some sticking points in the Ashtanga practice in order to feel comfortable with where your body is in the asanas and to find your full potential every time you practice, whether it be Ashtanga or Vinyasa Yoga. All practitioners, new and experienced, welcome.

*3 Continuing Education credits earned for existing RYTs with the Yoga Alliance.


Ashtanga Workshop



Breath, Space, Structure; A workshop with Anne Robinson, Saturday, 11/14

Breath, Space, Structure; Exploring Pranayama and Movement

with Anne Robinson

Saturday, November 14, 2:30-4:30pm

$20 pre-register/$25 day-of

Join Anne Robinson of the Hudson Valley’s MaMA to understand the true relationship of breath and movement in your vinyasa practice. This workshop will begin with feeling the diaphram move with the breath and progress into  experimenting with movement through space, with the awareness on the breath.  We’ll  watch as the shape of the body changes, how that affects the breath, and note how the breath affects the shape change of the body.  We will experiment with and discuss how being in touch with the breath can move the whole being  into a deeper and more expansive place.


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IMG_1291Anne Robinson

Anne Robinson has over 20 years of teaching experience in the fields of dance and yoga. She performed and taught modern dance in Chicago and NYC for many years before becoming certified to teach yoga and meditation at the Integral Yoga Institute in NYC. She has studied extensively with Shiva Rea and Yoga Works, prenatal yoga at Kripalu and advanced anatomy for yoga and yoga therapy with Leslie Kaminoff at The Breathing Project. Her dance and movement training includes Horton, Laban, Body-Mind Centering and Ballet. Her personal practice continues with Shiva Rea, Iyengar, Horton and ballet technique classes and meditation on The Radiance Sutras and with Dr Joe Dispenza. Anne has had many wonderful teachers in life, dance and yoga and hopes to pass on their energy, love, grace and compassion.

 

Hatha, the physical practice of yoga, is a vehicle towards self-awareness. As Iyengar says, ”Health begins with firmness in the body, deepens to emotional stability, then leads to intellectual clarity, wisdom and finally the unveiling of the soul … . We work with the body to perfect the soul.“ As we deepen and connect with ourselves through the practice of Hatha Yoga, we let go of physical, mental and emotional habits that are unnecessary. Yoga starts with the physical and ultimately takes the practitioner to a much deeper level of experience.