April Beginner/Gentle Yoga Series

I’ll be teaching a Beginners Yoga Series at Peace of Mind Pilates (next to Purple Sage, Cody’s, and Mimmos) throughout April. Please share this post and pass along to those you may know who have been hesitant in starting a yoga practice. Also, perfect for those looking to understand the basics of yoga. $40 for the 4 week series.

You can sign up online at: https://clients.mindbodyonline.com/classic/home?studioid=262764 or contact me if you would like to pre-register and reserve your spot.

Mondays, 11:00am – 12:00pm
4 Week Series in April
Why Yoga? And more importantly, what can it do for me specifically? Yoga is translated from Sanskrit to mean, union, and unlike stretching, yoga is more than just the physical postures one takes during a practice. It’s the connection (or union) of the physical practice to the mind and breath, that allow us to release tension we hold onto often times without even realizing it. While most recognize that by doing yoga their bodies will become more flexible, many do not realize their mind will as well, fostering an awareness of our own body and how it reacts to your everyday environment. In our Beginner’s Yoga Series, we will explore this linking of the body to our mind and breath. As well as, identifying foundational yoga concepts and where your body fits into your own practice. All levels welcome.

Please contact me if you have any questions or if you would like to pre-register.

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Highlights from October

 

I have come to realize I am better at posting on my social media sites than I am at posting to my blog as of late.  For this reason I am going to start a monthly compilation of some of my favorite posts from other social media sites throughout the previous month.  I recognize that not as many of you who follow my blog see the tidbits I post elsewhere.  Please leave me feedback and enjoy!

~ The divine in me salutes the divine in you.  Namaste ~ 


Early in the month I hosted another Yoga for Runners Workshop at SoulShine Power Yoga.  We had a great showing for this workshop and I look forward to hosting more as we move into the spring months.

I love posting client photos and within a couple days I had two different pictures sent to me of Legs Up the Wall pose. On the left, we have Melissa, using the headboard of the bed in her hotel room to rest her legs against after her half marathon…this pose is a wonderful gentle inversion for improving circulation and reducing swelling that can result after a hard run.  And on the right, we have Caleb, who was flying across country and when stuck in an airport used the post to keep lose prior to his Spartan race as it stretches the hamstrings and relieves back tension.


I had so much fun at my official first all teen yoga w12074836_955858364476067_752467091084005770_norkshop.  These 7 aspiring yoginis demonstrated flexibility, strength, patience, and were open to all I introduced them too!

 

 

 

 

 


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And we were all treated to a short but remarkably beautiful fall foliage season.  Here are some images I took driving home from a client’s house in Charlotte in mid-October.  Beautiful color!

 


We also had a very sad day at the Lacourciere household as we closed our v12039412_962066340521936_3872004358151375462_negetable garden for the season. Here we paid tribute to the last of the radishes that were dug up in late October.

 

 

 


Remember yoga is everywhere and becomes a part of everything we do when we are open to all it has to offer.  Each month brings us both opportunities to practice on our mat as well as off.

My Interview with Does It Fit? Lifestyle Program

If you have an extra half hour, check out this interview I did last week with Megan Waite of the Does It Fit? Lifestyle Program. What a great opportunity to talk about what yoga has meant and continues to mean to me through the years and more importantly why I am committed to bringing it to others.

I’d love to hear your comments and feedback.

Enjoy!

The interview can be heard here:  https://lnkd.in/bURcnHS

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2nd Annual Women’s Wellness Retreat

I am honored and excited to again be partnering with Angie Ferenc of Vermont Counseling & Trauma Services, to offer our 2nd annual Women’s Wellness Retreat on Sunday, November 2nd from 1-4:00PM at Infinity Dance Studio in Essex, VT. We will be focusing on wellness through a gentle yoga practice and guided mindfulness exercises in an effort to better be able to enjoy a peaceful holiday season.

No prior yoga experience is necessary so feel free to bring anyone looking for a quiet afternoon of self-care and stress management. Light refreshments will be served.

Fee for the retreat is $50/person.

Please contact Angie at 878-4991 ext. 22 or angieferenc@hotmail.com to secure your spot.

New Year’s Wellness Retreat

Need rejuvenation after the holidays? Mindfulness and Yoga can help! Spend an afternoon focusing on self-care and well being to start the new year with a peaceful mind and relaxed body. You will learn and practice mindfulness and stress reduction skills as well as participate in a gentle yoga practice.

New Year’s Wellness Retreat Saturday

January 11, 2014 1:00pm – 3:30pm

Colchester High School Library

Your wellness retreat guides will be Angie Ferenc, VT Licensed Mental Health Clinician, and myself.

Fee for the retreat is $35/person. Pre-registration is required. Colchester School District employees will receive a $10 discount when you let Angie or Rachel know you work for CSD. This discount only applies to employees.

Space is limited to first 25 registrants and registration is filling fast. To register, e-mail Angie (angieferenc@hotmail.com) or call 878-4991 ext. 22. or email myself (niyamanotebook@gmail.com).

Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat or beach towel. No prior yoga experience necessary. Light refreshments will be available.

Facing Life and Death with Breath

Our Breath is Our StrengthAs one friend copes with the loss of his father and another experiences the birth of her first child, I am again reminded this week of the significance breath holds in our everyday.  Ironically, whether it is new life or death consuming us, we may not always have words but we do always have our breath.  It helps to relieve our tension, reduces anxiety and allows us to work through the many emotions that overwhelm us.

As you breathe in yoga, mindfulness and focus are brought to your mat.  In each pose you take, in each sequence you work through, breath is at the forefront.  You learn to consistently use breath to lengthen, deepen and let go of tension.  You recognize that when you hold your breath your body becomes stiff and strain can result.

According to Angie Ferenc MA, LCMHC of New England Counseling and Trauma Associates, “As a VT licensed clinical mental health counselor, I work often with my clients in learning and practicing tools to effectively cope & manage distressing emotions.  When we find ourselves feeling triggered, stressed, angry, overwhelmed or anxious, we typically are breathing with a tight, shallow breath. This type of breathing sends an instinctual message to our brain to be in fight or flight mode.  Just by focusing on deepening  our breath, our brains are able to shift out of that flight or fight mode  and into a state of calm and relaxation; one of my clients refers to this process as sending a ‘bmail’ to her brain to relax.  In any given day,  humans have over 6,000 different thoughts. That’s a lot of noise and clutter to navigate through!  And often, those thoughts are either focused on the past or the future and leave us feeling stressed and worried.  By drawing attention to our breath during times of heightened stress and anxiety, we are able to move out of our heads and into our bodies.  Focusing on our breath grounds us in the here and the now and allows you to be present and better able to simply be with what is.”

Consider your breath as you move through your day.  When you become overworked or stressed, you may tend to hold your breath or take rapid, shallow breaths.  Yet, when the exertion is over you often let out a deep sigh of relief, allowing your muscles to relax and signaling your brain that all is well.  As you continue to breathe your heart rate decreases and oxygen is transported to your organs and muscles, bringing you back in balance.

To build awareness of your breath you do not necessarily have to use traditional pranayama exercises (i.e., alternate-nostril breathing).  Instead, begin by finding a comfortable position, such as sitting in your favorite chair, lying flat on your back or resting in child’s pose.  Bring focus to your breath; breathing through your nose with a closed mouth helps to warm your body from within.  Notice aspects of your inhalation.  How long is your inhale breath? 3 seconds? 5 seconds? If you expand the length of your inhale do you feel an expansion in your chest or your belly?  Maybe both?  Then take the time to notice these same aspects on your exhalation.

If it seems challenging to detect how your body reacts to your inhale or exhale try using your hands.  Bring your left hand to your lower abdomen and your right hand to your upper abdomen; notice the rise and fall of your belly as the wave of breath moves through your body.  Then try moving both hands to your chest; here observing the rise and fall of your torso.  Does your breath feel shallow or deep?

Hearing our breath, uncovering the steadiness it holds calms and centers us.  Our breath is our strength.

~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~

The Summit

Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you long to return.  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Once you have flown, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you long to return.  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

 

As one of the final weekends of the summer approaches, ask yourself: Where do you long to return?  We built the memory of hiking with my son this summer.  We’ve summited three different mountains.  He is content.  He is happy.  He is excited to go back each time.  Being there with him in turn makes me content and happy, appreciating the stillness we share.  This quote has resonated with me since I came across it.

So again I ask, where do you long to return?  Stop thinking about it.  Stop talking about it.  Go there and appreciate it.

~The divine in me salutes the divine in you, Namaste~