Sunday Funday at Yoga Nidra

"So I have this pal Julie Murphy from South Africa who used to be a corporate big wig but is now this great yoga teacher who runs around India for fun and is always talking about things like “alignment” as opposed to shoe sales. For some reason she still likes to hang out with me now and then despite the fact that I long ago replaced my downward dog with a sideways slug-on-the-couch variation. So here we are walking the other day and she tells me about this new practice she has launched called Yoga Nidra which Wikipedia likes to call “yogic sleep”—an hour of lying down on a yoga mat listening to woo-woo music and Julie telling you how to be happy."


Read more... http://bocamag.com/blog/2015/12/07/sunday-funday-at-yoga-nidra/
 

A Fan Letter

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Every so often I take a class at SY that resonates or grabs me…and often for different reasons. Today, 10/24, I had the opportunity to take a Hatha class with Kat teaching. She was “subbing” for another wonderful teacher, Jill, and I knew with either of these accomplished guides, my journey would be lovely.
Both of these instructors have vocal power on their side; each has a very distinctive and commanding voice that bridges the direction-giving and soothing, encouraging aspects of a successful Yoga teacher.
Kat uses words in a way that conjures up  spiritual and ethereal sensibilities. When she speaks of “Taking Grace” during a Sun Salutation, I feel exactly what that means, and where it comes from. The language of Savasana, the releasing, and yet finding that goes along with this sacred asana was enhanced by her expression of “Sanctuary” and “coming home”. Sanctuary is a safe place, and a holy place. In both a religious and social way, it is a refuge, and often considered “holy”. Whether a Bird Sanctuary, or a SafeHouse for children, it IS a place where one is free from harm…the Ahimsa, of Sanskrit.
I enjoy so many of the offerings one finds at SY, and to continue to discover new points of awareness and appreciation just makes me happier that this is a Yoga Home that is also a Sanctuary. Sheri W.
 

The Present Moment

From Sheri Weiner:
In order to feel more at home in the present moment, it is important to try to stay aware, open, and receptive. Being in the present moment requires our full attention so that we are fully awake to experience it. When we are fully present, our minds do not wander. We are focused on what is going on right now, rather than thinking about what just happened or worrying about what is going to happen next. Being present lets us experience each moment in our lives in a way that cannot be fully lived through memory or fantasy.

How do you experience The Present Moment?
 

Musings of a Yoga Teacher

 

 by Yoga Bodhi Bliss 

Leading a yoga class Monday night, I had the students performing standing side-moon pose (parsva chandrasana). I invited, “On your next inhalation elevate your arms slightly higher, and on your exhalation lengthen from your waist and release into a deeper side bend.” One student in particular held my gaze. He took a breath and raised his arms strong and deliberate, and as he exhaled he extended through his torso and relaxed deeply into the pose with purpose, his face radiating triumph. I was touched by his proud, pleased expression and smiling eyes. It was the look of achievement. While it was apparent to me that he could have accomplished this all along, on his own and without my instruction, I was immediately struck by the realization that a teacher wields enormous power over her/his willing students. Teachers have the power to lead willing students toward accomplishments they would otherwise not undertake by their own volition. A teacher’s power is natural and great.

I love the notion that everyone is our teacher and that we learn when our hearts and minds are open to receive the knowledge being presented (gifted) to us. Why is everyone our teacher? Because we are perpetual students by nature, driven by curiosity and an innate need to understand the world and our place in it. We are students and we are also teachers, driven by our need to create, collaborate and contribute.

In my role as his yoga teacher Monday night he, my student, followed my direction and, without hesitation, took a breath and moved mindfully in the direction I asked him to, accomplishing something new to him, something he would not have done on his own. I was part of his success, both as his teacher and as his student. In that brief, fleeting moment he didn’t question me or himself, and neither did I.

What if we realized that we were our own best teacher? What if during each and every moment of the day we lead ourselves, our practice, in a deeper, more thoughtful and faithful direction? What if I taught myself, as my student, that I could accomplish anything and everything I wanted to do? And what if I listened? 

Another Benefit from Your Yoga Practice!

From Sheri Weiner:

As we practice our asanas, we often find the natural or default position of our faces reflect effort, concentration or meditative relaxed countenances.The beauty of the SMILE is that it, too, can become the “default” expression, especially during longer meditations. At times we are encouraged to smile, and by willing it, we make it so, naturally.

Even off the mat we can have more influence on the face we put out to the world. We already know that beauty truly comes from within; but interestingly, by thinking about a smile during our mindfulness, we can express and even create the very happiness a smile represents.

A 19th century Frenchman, G.B.Duchenne de Boulogne worked with and theorized about facial expressions as part of his in-depth research. He was the first to observe that a spontaneously joyful smile cannot be faked. Most people can lift the corners of the mouth, but AUTHENTIC JOY lives in the eyes! Only the “sweet emotions of the soul” can cause the lower eyelids to move the skin around the eyes inward, thereby allowing the eyes to seem to sparkle. 

Just another amazing benefit we receive from a Yoga practice dedicated to making our lives, and of those around us ever better, happier and more at peace.

If you find this to be true, please share your thoughts & comments!