Holiday Drive for the Family Inn

Holiday Drive for the Family Inn

1449248856013November and December

 

The Family Inn is the local emergency shelter here in Kingston. This holiday season we are organizing a drive of necessary supplies of which they are in need. Please bring the donated items to the studio and we’ll bring it over to the shelter. Thank you in advance for your support of this necessary facility in our community.

The Family Inn is in need of the following:

  • watercolors from Pelican
  • Sketch pads
  • portfolio folders
  • paint pads (for watercolor projects)
  • drawing pencils (both color and charcoal)
  • journals
  • pillows
  • socks for kids and adults
  • slippers for kids and adults
  • dental floss and toothbrushes for kids and adults
  • bathrobes for kids and adults
  • tissue boxes
  • sippy cups
  • nailclippers for kids and adults
  • bodywash for kids and adults
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • Mustela baby products
  • Aveno baby products
  • twin sheets and pillow cases
  • blankets for twin beds

Standing Rock Benefit Class – Tuesday, December 13th, 6-7:30pm

Standing Rock Benefit, The Yoga House

Benefit Class for Standing Rock

Tuesday, December 13th

6:00-7:30pm

By attending Leigha’s regularly scheduled House Flow class on Tuesday evening, December 13, 6-7:30pm, you will contribute directly to the Oceti Sakowin Camp at Standing Rock who are busy preparing for a frigid season of protest. Read more about their efforts to stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline on their website.

This effort is inspired by a collective of yogis from the Hudson Valley. Visit the indiegogo campaign to read more about this movement of inspired yogis.

Monday Night Chant Sessions

Monday Night Chant Sessions

Every Monday 8:15pm

Beginning October 3rd

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We’re excited to announce that beginning Monday, Oct. 3, The Yoga House will be hosting Monday Night Chant Sessions led by the studio co-owner, Jacqui Nash, at 8:15pm (after the 7pm House Flow class). Each week, we’ll explore the use of music and the vibration of our voices with traditional chants and mantras and the accompaniment of the harmonium as an extension of meditation and of connection to our practice. The sessions will be about 30 minutes, and attendance at the 7pm is not necessary. We hope that you will join us! These sessions are free of charge.

A Special Flying Flow Class to be held at BSP, Saturday, September 17th, 7:30-9am

Hi Flying Yogis & Yoginis!

On Sat., Sept. 17th, we’ll hold our Flying Flow class at BSP’s upstairs springy, bamboo-floored dance space. This way, we can spread our wings and fly (and fall!) without fear of putting a foot through someone else’s rib cage or noggin. Not that we don’t thrive on the intimacy of our own space… It’s just that, this’ll be an adventure.

If you park at The Yoga House, just cross the street and find the red double doors in the corner of the giant brick building. That’s the back door to BSP. It’s got a sign that says, “Standard” above it and an arrow pointing down to it! — Official address is 323 Wall Street. The doors will be unlocked and someone will be there to guide you to the second floor dance studio.

I’ll be unlocking The Yoga House at around 7, so please grab a block, a strap, and a blanket if you don’t have your own. We’ll have to drop props back off before Felipa’s folks start coming in, around 9:15 + we’ll want to get our ninety minutes in, so arrive on time!

I’m really looking forward to the chance to play around with a lot of room for movement

Peace, peace, peace,

Leigha

 

 

May Focus: Meditation & The Last Three Limbs of Yoga

May Focus of the Month

Meditation & The Last Three Limbs

meditation focus the yoga house kingston new york yoga hudson valley

The first yogis aimed to solve a problem that still pervades today. It’s called the “monkey mind,” and it refers to the ever-firing, overly anxious human brainscape that has added a layer of frazzle and fret to our already-fraught condition. A complete yoga practice is designed to give us enough clarity to see our experiences for what they are rather than through the carnival mirror-style distortion of emotionally reactive, memory-attached consciousness. If you were to crack open the Yoga Sutras, you would not have to get very far to see how important a meditation practice is as part of the yogi’s journey. Sutra #1 says, essentially, “Following are the teachings of yoga….” Sutra #2 goes on to say, “The purpose of yoga is to still our thoughts. If you master this sutra, you need not read on to the rest.”

Meditation occupies some significant territory on yoga’s eight-limbed ladder, taking up three of the last three rungs on the climb toward enlightenment. The breakdown is fascinating:

Dharana, the 6th limb, has to do with concentration. The suggestion is to fix your mind upon an object until you become so absorbed that there is little room for the mind to do much needless worrying or past/future travel as it is wont to do. A funny fable tells us of an acolyte meditator who once shut his door and fixed his mind upon a bull until he barreled out of the room with horns and hooves himself. The take-home is twofold: Be as focused as this acolyte, but be wary of where you place your attention.

From the recommendation to concentrate upon a single object spring many forms of modern-day meditation: from mantra and japam meditation, or repetition of a significant sound; to guided visualizations; to the use of a talisman; to the use of a drishti, or focal point; to the tuning in to a single sense, such as hearing or touch; to the holding in mind of a spiritual figure. Dharana is an essential practice that prepares the mind for deeper states of contemplation.

Dhyana, yoga’s 7th limb, comes closer to the definition of meditation as we think of it, the suggestion being to sustain concentration for a prolonged period of time, fixing the mind upon a single object while quelling the tendency to name, categorize, judge, or assign value to that which is in focus. To sit in this style of meditation is to see reality with perfect clarity, leading to an awareness unstained by the ego’s preferences or priorities. Eventually, the yogi’s subject becomes the Self that dwells within the self, and he/she abides in sacred, nondual reality.

Eight Limbs of Yoga

When the mind succeeds in accurately reflecting reality, the yogi perceives her true nature in which self and other are unified. To sustain this clarity of consciousness is to live in Samadhi, or liberation, the 8th limb. A meditation practice helps us to collect more and more moments of pure awareness so that we may finally reside around the clock in “bliss that defies description.” Those who have experienced samadhi describe it as a coming home or as an experience of sweetness and peace that cannot be conveyed in words. Paramahansa Yogananda offers as vivid an account of samadhi as is available, describing it over the course of many paragraphs in Autobiography of a Yogi:

Soul and mind instantly lost their physical bondage and streamed out like a fluid light from my every pore…  My sense of identity was no longer narrowly confined to a body but embraced the circumambient atoms…My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive… An oceanic joy broke upon calm endless shores of my soul. The entire cosmos, gently luminous, like a city seen afar at night, glimmered within the infinitude of my being….

Brain & Meditation

Excitingly, scientists have discovered that meditation really does help keep ego in check, increase empathy, and provide mental clarity, affirming the claims yogis have been making for millennia. Neuroscientists have identified the portions of the brain responsible for emotional reactivity, autobiographical memory (or ego) creation, self/other distinctions, present-centered attention, and time/space awareness. Interestingly, these locations in the brain become markedly restful during deep states of meditation, and a regular meditation practice increases gray matter in many of these regions, helping us to function optimally even when the meditation session has concluded.

Although we often begin and end class with a brief meditation, we will place special emphasis this May on listening to the silence beneath the sound and to heeding the call of highest consciousness. We look forward to sharing these sweet moments on the mat!

In peace,

 

Leigha & Jacqui