Register for the Beginner Yogi Series at The Yoga Garden πŸŒ»

As you begin your yoga journey, the first steps can be overwhelming. “What type of yoga is best for me? How do I find a teacher? What IS yoga, anyway?”

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This Beginner Yogi Series provides a solid foundation of knowledge and practice to get you started. You’ll learn and practice basic yoga postures, including variations and contraindications. You’ll practice basic breathing and relaxation techniques to soothe and/or energize the nervous system. In addition, a basic, accessible meditation technique will get you on your way to self-guided practice.

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There are many schools of yoga, and I find it crucial to ensure the practices I share are time-tested and also fit into our modern lives. These practices are rooted in a well-established, living tradition passed down in an unbroken chain of master yogis — the Himalayan Tradition. In this series, you’ll experience yoga in its traditional, holistic form … which will set you firmly on your unique path of yoga. Join me!

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When: Sundays, 4pm — 5:15pm, September 9th — October 14th

Where: The Yoga Garden

Tuition: $75 for 6-week series, at-home practices, and discount on class pass upon completion.

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Register at info@yogagarden.rocks or 724.970.2273.

Many Paths, One Yoga

TYG meeting

The more I learn, the less I know that I “know.”

It was tough for me to see the yoga community I was part of for 2 years dissolve as the studio closed in May. Like your first love, this community was my first experience as a yoga teacher … & while I was nervous EVERY DAY teaching class, I was excited to share the practices that have supported me over the past 10 years. The Love Yoga community was small & dedicated, about the art & science of Yoga, & generous in the community. A place & people I came to know & felt known.

I was honored to teach the final classes before the doors closed, & practice a final closing meditation — thankful for Kristin’s vision & for teaching alongside Kristin & Alycia, & offering the benefits of our work to the Universe.

Fast forward to July ⏩

I’m attending my first team meeting at The Yoga Garden (TYG). A new community, a new vibe, new opportunities. I’m nervous again … it takes me a while to warm up to new situations πŸ˜‰. There’s positive energy from fellow teachers, & new vision for me to absorb & share.

A new place to know & to be known. And to realize (again) how LITTLE I know — which is exciting.

Yoga comprises a variety of paths. The staff at TYG travel with & share different yoga traditions, each with time-tested teachings & practices. I find it fascinating to learn about the similarities & differences. Here’s a book on my list, suggested by TYG cofounder Caitlin, about her tradition of Kundalini yoga:

Are you attracted to a certain teacher’s style or practice? Ask where they’re coming from — what’s the philosophy & science behind their teaching? Wht did their training look like? What does their practice look like today? Who are their teachers, & how do they stay connected to their tradition? (I’m open to innovation, don’t get me wrong … AND I am wary when a teacher is unable to offer the tradition / teachers from which their practice originates.)

There are many paths in Yoga … & yet if there’s ONE THING you remember from my ramblings today, remember this: Yoga is not exercise.

(in the Western definition of exercise as “fitness”)

There is so much more to “Yoga” than physical postures … In my experience, the American “yoga industry” has introduced millions to yoga (yay!) … AND done yoga a great disservice by advertising yoga as fitness, a weight-loss program, or a way to get a toned butt.

Many of us — including me — came to yoga with fitness in mind. And that’s ok! The physical aspect of Yoga often makes us “just feel better.” Great!

And then we find our breath, & that we can manipulate the breath for our well-being. We notice our mind, how often it RUNS away, & that we can practice ways to be more fully present. We realize Yoga teaches lifestyle practices off the mat that bring harmony & ease.

Let’s acknowledge how little we knew that first mat practice, how much there is to learn, & be bold in sharing the depth & breadth that is Yoga.

I’d love to hear from you — how has your knowledge & practice expanded since your first encounter with yoga? What have you learned? What do you want to learn?

While I await your thoughts, a few notes:

— I’ll be out adventuring from August 12th to the 26th. Classes at The Avenue will resume August 27th!

— I invite you to check out the variety of class options at The Yoga Garden … Try a new style, & ask your teacher about his/her teachers & tradition.

— Check out the Garden Party on August 19th! Info below:

A quote I’m loving right now: “We are all just walking each other home.” Many paths, one Yoga.

Summer Reading

A feast for your eyes! I sipped a cold matcha at Bee-You Cafe (delish — you must go) after teaching at The Yoga Garden this morning … & asked cafe owner Courtney if I could check out the beautiful book at the counter. To thumb through & take in the gorgeous photos of “Whole Beauty” by Shiva Rose will inspire your day!

Last night being a New Moon, I was particularly interested in Shiva’s tips for gently clearing out what’s not needed to make way for the new. For example, I’ll concoct a homemade facial / body scrub this weekend to reveal some glow, & get back to my meditation practice (maybe a future post — my habit/not habit of meditation πŸ˜‰ ).

Simple, meaningful self-care — what’s that look like for you? I’d love to know more in the comments below.

See you on the mat somewhere in Uniontown!

Cheers, E

A Cool Treat on a Hot Summer Day

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Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

After 4th of July yoga class this morning, I walked home in rising temps & humidity. Does anyone else’s body run super-warm anyway (or experience hot flashes) … then you ADD outside temps? Bleck!

So I gathered some essential oils, epsom salts, & coconut oil & started filling the tub.

Here’s what I did: Filled the tub with cool/lukewarm (not cold) water … will save the hot water for winter. Then I added oils based on their “cooling” properties, & hopped in:

— 5-10 drops each of Peppermint, Geranium, & Lavender essential oils — Clary Sage would have been ideal, but I didn’t have any on hand (I use Doterra)

— A couple tablespoons Coconut Oil (I use Banyan Botanicals) — actually, I didn’t measure, so it was probably more!

— 1-2 cups Epsom Salts

 

Feeling the heat? Give this bath a try. Step in, lay back & enjoy. A little soothing music, some cucumber water to drink — those joys are on my list for next time!

 

Note: The oils don’t mix fully with the water, so you’ll need to swirl the surface every so often to distribute … Fun in the tub! Also, when you’re ready to hop out, be careful — the coconut oil makes the tub floor slick — rinse the tub with dish soap afterwards. Pat yourself dry (vigorous rubbing creates heat, which you just let go of!) & allow the coconut oil to continue to moisturize/cool your skin.

 

Such good stuff, I can’t even tell you how good I felt — more light, less heat in body & mind. Figured I’d share on this hot summer day … with more heat to follow. Of course, you may have access to a cool stream, lake, pool or other body of water that calls your soul! Stay cool out there, Yogis!

 

What do you do to stay cool in the summer? I’d love to try your suggestions too! If you’re feeling frisky, share in the comments below =).

Get my updates for Hatha Yoga Classes in Uniontown!

This summer I’m using Remind to send updates about important class information.

To sign up for Hatha Yoga Class notifications*, please visit
https://www.remind.com/join/hy2016?utm_source=email&utm_medium=android&utm_campaign=join_invite

*I’ll only update you as needed, and you can remove your info at any time.

What’s in Your Water?

When is the last time you noticed your water intake? How do you feel when you’re well-hydrated? Body? Mind? Spirit?

I’ve known for a WHILE that I’m chronically dehydrated. After many years in the outdoors chugging fluids constantly, maybe I got bored with the whole thing. My recent stint of 4-5 cups of green tea daily, with a little water in the side, might not be something to replicate either (as you’ll learn in the video link below).

Summer heat & humidity encouraged me to revisit my practices around hydrating my body.

So a few weeks ago I downloaded an app to track my water intake. The difference in body & mind is noticeable. (Duh, right?!)

I’ve also been experimenting with Kishu charcoal filtration sticks the past few weeks. Got the suggestion from Phoebe Lapine’s book, “The Wellness Project.”

While our budget doesn’t support a whole-house filtration system, these little sticks are cost-effective in my water bottle.

I noticed a difference in the taste right off … less “chemical-y,” more smooth … & tried it out on Jim, who noticed too. He’s a good sport with my experiments.

Here’s an interesting video on hydration according to your dosha, the season, or lifestyle from an Ayurveda (Yoga’s sister science) perspective:

LINK: How Much Water Do You Really Need?

Are you a natural at hydration? Or do you have your own tips & tricks for keeping the fluids movin’? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Note: I share my experiments for educational purposes only. Ya gotta do what’s best for you! I get no kickbacks from these companies … just the joy of learning :).

Cheers! Erica

Cooling Peppermint Towel — Welcome Summer!

My boy, Baxter, “coolin’ his jets” πŸ˜‰

Need a little pick-me-up for the mind as you cool down in Savasana? Enjoy a cooling peppermint towel on your forehead post-practice:

You’ll need:

Soft washcloth

Doterra Peppermint Essential Oil

Large bowl of cool water

Simple How-To:

1) Add 8-10 drops peppermint essential oil to bowl of water. (Doterra oils are potent; sometimes less is more!)

2) Soak washcloth for 5-10 minutes.

3) Remove washcloth, wring out, then fold into thirds. Roll up, and place in fridge while you’re on your mat practicing ;).

4) Before settling into Final Relaxation Pose (Savasana), grab your peppermint towel, settle into Final Relaxation, and gently place folded washcloth over forehead. Aaaaahhhhhh …

Note: Make sure your essential oils are of good quality … Sensitive eye areas deserve … You deserve … the best!

Hope to see you in class this week! Check out my class schedule above! Cheers, E

Full Moon

Full Moon … a time to take in the fullness of what you’ve been dreaming, planning, cultivating. A few poses here to inspire an openness to what is becoming.

Take a few Moon Salutations to warm the body in a reflective way. Then go with how your body wants to move! Maybe add a few reflective poses like the ones below. Note: The “lived-in” quality of my home doesn’t stop the practice πŸ˜‰ … Create an oasis on your mat, whatever your chaos!

Let me know your fave moon-inspired poses in the comments ;).

Anahatasana — Heart-melting Pose … Whoa to the long arms in this pic πŸ˜‚ …
I don’t know the name and yet I love the dignity, the reflecting back, and the outer hip stretch!
Forward Fold — rest your head on 1 or 2 blocks. Reflective, turning inward.

Wide-Legged Forward Fold with block to support head.
Enjoy the full moon and all you are becoming!

Yoga Classes — New Locations in June!

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Happy Day, Friends! Pencil in your yoga classes for summer with me! Hatha classes will continue at Love Yoga through May 31st … so keep showing up for yourself =). In June, I become a “free-range,” traveling yoga teacher!

UPDATE: On June 4th, we roll out our mats at The Avenue – A Center for Arts & Healing. It’s a home-y space with loads of light, a little kitchen (tea & snacks!), bathroom & a little outdoor seating area. Lots of options for parking too. Here’s a peek:

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I’m so grateful to Amy and Ryan for opening this space again to yoga (Y12SR classes were held here too!) … I know our positive community will bring good vibes to the building & spread those vibes like confetti in Uniontown.

Morning classes will run Monday to Thursday, & you can choose an easy-going, challenging, strength-building or restorative class. Drop-ins $10. Ten-class passes will be available for $90 (cash or check — old-school!). I teach at a few other places in town, so don’t hesitate to contact me about other locations — or if you’d like a private session or classes for your school or workplace.

One aspect of Hatha Yoga is “the union of opposites.” Summer brings heat & light, so this summer we will focus on cultivating sustainable heat (rather than burnout/depletion), alongside cooling postures & breathwork.

Never done Hatha Yoga? If you’ve been to a modern yoga class, you’ve experienced some aspect of Hatha. Many modern forms of yoga (vinyasa, yin, power, flow, etc.) are derived from traditional Hatha Yoga. Hatha Yoga is a holistic system of practices — postures, breathwork, relaxation & meditation, along with lifestyle practices — & you will experience many/all aspects of the Hatha system within each class at The Avenue (or wherever I may be teaching!).

I hope you’ll join me this summer in class — the practice of Hatha Yoga is more than postures. No flexibility required. Beginners welcome. Seasoned practitioners from any tradition welcome. Fellow yoga & wellness teachers welcome. No drama, competition, or photoshop here. Simple. Traditional yoga for our collective well-being. Real bodies/minds/spirits practicing life together.

I practice Hatha Yoga because the systematic practices work. I become more myself in mind, body, spirit. I share Hatha Yoga because it works. We become more ourselves with each practice — & we change the world. One small, dedicated community at a time.

Share this post with a friend interested in a positive-vibe community of practice this summer!

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I bow deeply to Love Yoga, to Kristin, Alycia & the Love Yoga community who have been my yoga home for 2 years. You have allowed me to flow, tumble, & get back up again with grace. We have changed the world, & will continue to do so as we go out from this place. The light in me honors the light in each of you. — E

44

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Changes.

I turned 44 this week. Third graders rushed me at school with open arms — “Happy Birthday, Ms. Engel!” (so sweet) “How old are you?” (wait …)

But that’s what we adults ask kids, right? “Happy Birthday! How old are you? … Ten years old … WOW … Are you having a party? … etc. etc.”

For all the issues I’ve worked through with self-confidence over the years, owning my age hasn’t been one of them. So when a kid asks me how old I am, I answer. I’ve earned every one of those years, by God, & I don’t resist the change in number.

Changes. Resistance.

I also learned on my birthday that the venue of my yoga community for the past 2 years is closing. How do I deal with the resistance to this change?

There were many reasons my yoga mentor prescribed a consistent meditation practice to me last year. Not a physical practice — a sitting practice. I’m discovering another reason now.

So I’m sitting. Letting life live through me. Feeling upside down … yet waiting to see how this side might be better than the side I’m on now.

I’m so grateful for 2+ years in this community of practice. My fellow teachers & I have dedicated ourselves to sharing the yoga practices from our respective yoga traditions, traditions with unbroken lineages for generations. I continue to strive for authenticity in sharing the yoga teachings of the Himalayan Tradition — yoga is deeper than making shapes with bodies — teachings which ultimately manifest healing & one-ness in mind, body & spirit.

Changes. Resistance. Let life live through. Prepare for what is to come.

So, as I begin my 45th circle around the sun, I’ll meet with my yoga teacher & mentor for wisdom, with my fellow Himalayan Institute teachers for support, & enjoy every moment with my community of practice. Immeasurable gratitude to each of you <3.

If you’re interested in beginning or continuing your yoga journey with me, checkΒ HERE for class times & venue updates!

What changes are you experiencing? What resistance? How are you letting life live through you, & preparing for what’s to come? I’d love to read more in your comments.