What’s Happening in January 2017 to get You (back?) on your Mat

~ The divine in me salutes the divine in you ~

Every New Year, we are often motivated to detox, kick start, and get moving.  I encTemple at Angkor Wat - Cambodiaourage each of you to consider adding yoga into whatever regimen you currently have set for yourself.  It may be that yoga is a new challenge for you, you’re trying to add power to your practice, or you’re attempting to slow your practice down.  Whatever your motivation, January is always a great time to turn over a new leaf and discover that new you is just another layer of the you you’ve actually always been.

I am offering many opportunities to join me on the mat this month, please click on any of the experiences below to learn more. I can’t wait to practice with you!

Yoga for Kids at SoulShine Power Yoga (Saturdays in January, 1-2PM)

FREE Partner Yoga at Athleta (Sunday, January 8th, 9:30-10:30AM)

Sun Salutations 101 at Peace of Mind Pilates (Sunday, January 29th, 11AM-1PM)

Beginner Yoga Series at Peace of Mind Pilates (Mondays, 11:00AM-Noon, 6 week series starting 1/9)

Power Vinyasa Flow at SoulShine Power Yoga (Mondays and Fridays, 8:30-9:45AM)

Yoga for Runners at Essex Physical Therapy (Mondays, 6:15-7:15PM)

Poolside Yoga at Essex Physical Therapy (Saturdays, 8:30-9:30AM)

Yoga for Kids at SoulShine Power Yoga

Saturdays, January 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th


Register Online Here  *Please create a separate account for your minor to sign them up*
Join me for a fun-filled, four week series of yoga for kids! We will explore fun techniques for decompressing and reducing stress, partner yoga, and lots of games and activities! We will practice active poses (kids-yogaboth individual and partner), balance work, breath work, and relaxation, all in an amusing and entertaining setting. The temperature will be about 80 degrees to help muscles relax. This series is best suited for those aged 7-9, however age is just a recommendation.

Absolutely all levels are welcome!

Please plan to wear comfortable clothes that allow you to move. All participants are encouraged to bring their own mat, water bottle, and hand towel. (Mats are available for use with donation.)

$60 for the 4 week series or $15 to drop-in

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FREE Partner Yoga at Athleta (1 Church Street, Burlington 802.652.1837)

Sunday, January 8th

9:30 – 10:30AM

No registration is necessary for this free event.

Partner Yoga truly lives up to essence of yoga.  Yoga translates to mean “union” and there is no better to enjoy yoga than when in unison with a partner.  You’ll engage in a one hour partner yoga class with me, while also getting a chance to try on Athleta’s newest, softest, total coverage POWERVITA fabric that hugs your body perfectly.

Expect lots of laughter, fun, and yoga!  You’ll also be given an opportunity to enter for a chance to win a pair of POWERVITA capris for you and a friend.

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Sun Salutations 101 at Peace of Mind Pilates

Sunday, January 29th

11AM – 1PM

Register Online Here

Sun salutations are a series of yoga poses performed in a continuous flowing sequence, that are intended to improve strength and overall flexibility of the muscles. However, often participants are uncertain of the poses and either flow through them misaligned or without consideration of personal body limitations.

In this two hour workshop, I will work with a limited number of participants, thereby providing individualized alignment and modification suggestions, that are not necessarily provided during a traditional yoga class. Participants will learn the foundations of the postures that make up sun salutations, building the poses from the feet up to the head with hints and tips on what is most appropriate for individual bodies. Focus will also be given to transitions and how best to flow through the sequences.

Space is limited to only 8 participants. While some knowledge of yoga may be helpful, beginners are welcome to this workshop. Feel free to bring with you as many questions as you like.

$30 if signed up before January 10th / $35 after

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Beginner Yoga Series at Peace of Mind Pilates

Monday 6 week series running January 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and February 6th and 13th

11:00AM – Noon

Register Online Here

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 DSC_8171 cropflexible, 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 this 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.

*Classes only good for these 4 weeks during this time slot. Not exchangeable with other classes. Drop ins will be allowed at regular drop-in rates, or punchcards may be used.

$60 for the 6 week series or $14 to drop in

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Power Vinyasa Flow at SoulShine Power Yoga

Mondays and Fridays


Register Online Here

SoulShine Power Yoga is wholeheartedly dedicated to the health, wellbeing and empowerment of our students.  In this moderately paced vinyasa yoga class all levels are welcome.  This class can work for beginners but has options for more experienced yogis/yoginis.  This class is heated to 95 degrees.

$15 to drop in or you can purchase a punch card

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Yoga for Runners at Essex Physical Therapy



Online registration is not available for this class.

This class is held around the pool deck and the temperature in the room is @88-90 degrees. The idea is to use the heat to open tight muscles we tend to repetitively use when we run.  However, this class is appropriate for anyone looking to stretch and relax their muscles.  This class will take place at the Essex PT Meadows location next to CVS.  Enter through the side pool door (around the back) of the Essex PT Building.  Don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water and hand towel!

$10 to drop in or you can purchase a punch card

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Poolside Yoga at Essex Physical Therapy



Online registration is not available for this class.

This class is a general yoga class, welcoming any age, ability or level.  Your interests help drive the content for the class.  Gain strength, flexibility, balance and breath in this class designed around your needs.  Both modifications and challenges will be offered throughout.  Feel free to let me know prior to class what you are interested in working on. This class is held in the Essex PT Meadows location next to CVS.  We meet around the pool deck.  Please enter through the side pool door of the Essex PT Building.  Don’t forget to bring along a bottle of water and hand towel.

$10 to drop in or you can purchase a punch card

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Rachel Lacourciere, Yoga Teacher | 802.922.7162 | niyamanotebook@gmail.com


Reclined Pigeon Pose

Photo Credit: Melissa Brott Photography

Photo Credit: Melissa Brott Photography

For many of us warmer weather has us outside enjoying the sun, maybe increasing our foot mileage as walk and run.  Consider adding RECLINED PIGEON POSE into your stretching regimen to alleviate tight hips and lengthen stride.

Why use it?
Walkers and runners tend to carry tension in their backs; often due to stiffness that needs to be released in their hips. Reclined Pigeon pose stretches the hips. Looser hips relieve back pain and lengthen stride.

How to get into it
Lie on your back with your knees bent. Place one ankle on your opposite thigh, use a strap or interlace your fingers and place them behind the same thigh, pulling your thigh towards your chest. As you draw your bent leg in toward you (making sure to aim it toward your same shoulder), simultaneously press your opposite knee away from you. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths and then switch sides.

Key Tip
Flex your feet to deepen the stretch.

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

Yoga for Runners ~ Donation Class in Support of Run 4 Brad

runners montage

Photo Credit: Melissa Brott Photography

Yoga for Runners ~ Donation Class in Support of Run 4 Brad

Saturday, May 3rd at 12 Noon

The EDGE (Twin Oaks location)

**Open to the public – you do not need to be a member of The EDGE to participate!**

Join us for a 75 minute Yoga for Runners class at The EDGE (Twin Oaks location). Love to run? Heard about the benefits of stretching fatigued muscles to gain increased performance? Open to all levels this class will lead you through an energetic yoga workout, teaching you how to increase flexibility and strength specifically needed to keep a runner healthy. Learn to stay within your limits, which poses benefit a runner’s body most and how you can easily incorporate a yoga workout into your weekly running regimen.

This class will be held in support of my amazing friend Brad Berman, a truly remarkable father, husband, marathoner and inspiration to me and the many who have been lucky enough to cross paths with him.

On August 4, 2013 Brad and his family learned that he had an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) which had ruptured that morning. Prior to that day, he never knew he had an AVM. In a coma for almost a month and hospitalized for four months, Brad is now home with his family continuing his recovery and improving everyday….

Suggested donation is $15 ~ less is accepted, more is appreciated ~ all donations are tax deductible and will be used to create a lower-limb robotics clinic at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, NY. 

For more information and to see an unforgettable video about my friend Brad’s journey to recovery please visit: www.crowdrise.com/yogaforrunners 

Please pre-register via email: niyamanotebook@gmail.com – sending along your name and briefly describe your past yoga experience, if any.

Stretching Tight Hip Flexors

Lunge Pose

Photo Credit: Melissa Brott Photography

Another great runner’s stretch:


Why use it?

Walkers and runners tend to have tight hip flexors since the hips continually work to support the pelvis. Additionally, stability demands are increased during repetitive motion. Lunge pose allows us to stretch our hips.

How to get into it

Inhale and bend forward at the hips on an exhale; place both hands on either side of your front foot, step your opposite foot back. Palms or fingertips come to the mat. Choose to rest the right
knee on the floor or for an added challenge stay up on the ball of the right toes. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths and then switch sides.

Key Tip

Keep your knee aligned directly above your ankle.

Stretching Toes and Plantar Fascia

Toe Pose Image

Photo Credit: Melissa Brott Photography

Training for a race? Don’t forget to stretch your toes and plantar fascia. Try adding TOE POSE to your post-run stretching….

Why use it
Walkers and runners tend to create stress and tenderness across their plantar fascia. Poses, like toe pose, help us to stretch the connective tissue that runs from our toe down to our heel.

How to get into it
Begin in a kneeling position with your knees together. Inhale while turning your toes under. As you exhale, slowly work the weight of your body over your heels, continuing to breathe into the pose. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths; staying in the position longer as you build stamina and muscle strength.

Key Tip
Keep your hands grounded in front of your knees to lessen the intensity of this stretch.

Lizard Pose for Tight Hips

I was asked yesterday why I use LIZARD POSE in my classes, whether it be Vinyasa Flow, Yoga for Runners or Gentle Yoga. The answer is simple – whether you run or walk your hips naturally tighten often creating back tension. This pose deeply stretches hip flexors, relieving back pain and lengthening stride.

How to get into itLizard pose to stretch tight hips
From a lunge pose, bring both hands inside the forward foot as you inhale. Keep your palms planted on the mat with arms straight or for those with more flexibility rest your forearms on the mat. If it feels more comfortable your back knee can rest to the mat. Attempt to the hold position for 3 to 5 full breaths and then switch sides.

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

Avoiding Pain ~ Sutra 2:16 and 2:17

Temple at Angkor Wat - CambodiaTo bring focus to classes I sometimes like to discuss verses of The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali; an important text of yoga, that lays the groundwork for achieving the overarching goal of yoga to detach and find true bliss. In the last few weeks we have been focusing on Book Two, Sutras 16 and 17.

Sutra 2:16

Pain that has not yet come is avoidable.

Sutra 2:17

The cause of that avoidable pain is the union of the Seer (Purusha) and the seen (Prakriti, or Nature). 

Here the Purusha is us; whereas, the Prakriti is everything else.  Meaning the root of our pain comes with associating either happiness or sadness with our possessions.   Yet, our possessions are not limited to material assets but include how we perceive the world through our own eyes and judgments.  Finding a way to practice non-attachment you tie neither happiness nor suffering to your actions, avoiding possible pain in the future.

A relatable example stems from a conversation I recently had with a friend.  As you set out to run an important race you often have a goal time in mind that you are hoping to attain.  Achieving your aspiration leaves you with a sense of true accomplishment and triumph; a momentary bliss.  But is this true bliss?  After all, it too has an end.  Consider failing to achieve your goal time; the same sense of bliss from running is replaced with disappointment and frustration.  Your accomplishment of actually getting out there and participating in something positive for yourself becomes clouded by artificial highs and lows based on one moment’s performance.

I focused my most recent classes around this topic, not because I have found a way to avoid these highs and lows but to remind myself to take in everything as it comes my way.  Be open to it all without fixating on a particular aspect.  Remembering the “bad” is often a result of what I once perceived as “good” as without it I would have had no frame of reference.

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