April 2018 focus and class schedule

This month we continue to use the yoga sutras as guidelines to master the mind (because when the mind masters us, we usually suffer).  Our April focus is yoga sutra 1.33, which Swami J. interprets this way:  “In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil.”

Realize that the goal of this sutra is not to be a “good” person, but to stabilize and purify the mind to bring peace of mind.  This peace, in turn, allows the mind’s surface to be as calm and still as glass (think of a mountain lake reflecting majestic mountains and sky) and helps us to reach deeper states of meditation. Because the mind always holds the positive and negative sides of any situation, we need to intentionally train it to the positive.  We all have gone to the negative channel at one time or another—for example, when we encounter someone who is happy and we get grumpy and push them away because we are not happy at that time, when our plans get abandoned because our partner becomes sick and we get frustrated or angry, when we feel inadequate or jealous if we see someone who is acting selflessly, and when we toxify ourselves with anger and judgement toward what we perceive as evil or wrong.

Here is an awareness practice to catch yourself and then redirect:  first, notice if you are headed down a negative rabbit hole of thought; then, realize that the ego (small mind) is usually the part that gets hooked by those negative thoughts.  Recognize that the true Self (high mind) is the part that feels connected to everything, holds no fear, and is at peace.  Namaste (the light in me sees the light in you).

April updates and special events: 

  • New class:  Saturdays at 7 a.m.  Are you a morning person who would like to begin Saturdays with a practice?  Then come join Ashley on Saturday mornings!  This new Basics-level class will incorporate Ashley’s  Yoga for All training, which means plenty of props and modifications.  As she says, it’s rated “E for EVERY body.”
  • Yoga and Meditation opportunities at The Downing Museum.  Join us in April as we continue to welcome spring at The Downing Museum:  this month Leslie will teach the yoga class on Saturday, April 14, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which meets on Saturday, April 28.  For details and to register, see our website.
  • Yoga for All Series #4 on Sundays.  To reserve a spaces in the 4-week April installment of Ashley’s Yoga for All series, which meets on Sundays at 2 p.m. and begins on April 8, complete this brief registration form.
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class.  On Friday, April 27, Alice and Angie continue team-teaching the Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with exploration of selected yoga sutras.  This month, our focus will be on sutra 1.33.

For a full list of April classes, please see the calendar page–or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place.  (Please note that we had three teacher updates, but no class changes, after we released the printed schedule.)

We also post a brief schedule reminder each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.

Accessing studio after class has begun:  Remember that even if the front door is locked when you arrive, you can still join us for class. Just come to the back door of The Pots Place (look for the blue building) and ring the buzzer.  The teacher will then unlock the door remotely for you to enter through the pottery studio.

Downing_redbud_tulips

Spring at The Downing Museum! (April 8, 2017)

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April Yoga for All series: registration open!

Update (4/5): After having learned that several Yoga for All regulars are unable to attend all the Sundays this month, we have decided to open up this class to everyone! Instead of a series, it will be a drop-in class at the usual $5 class fee. We hope that both returning and new students are able to join us one or more Sundays in April to experience the Yoga for All style.

Original post: We are excited to announce that registration for the 4-week April Yoga for All series is now open!  The first class meets on Sunday, April 8—see the flyer below for more details, and use this registration form to sign up!

If you’ve been thinking about joining us for this series but are still on the fence, consider what this participant has to say about her recent Yoga for All experiences:

Let me tell you, Yoga for All has changed my life. Last year at this time I couldn’t climb a flight of stairs. This year, I can practice soccer with my kids and climb three flights….

April Yoga for All flyer
(credit: Ashley Chance Fox)

For more information about Ashley and her Yoga for All training, check out our Training Thursday post.

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Join us for an April class at The Downing Museum!

As April draws near, we have opened registration for our upcoming classes at The Downing Museum, where spring is especially lovely! We hope that you can join us to practice in this beautiful space, especially since these classes are available for our usual affordable fee of $5!

To honor the capacity of the gallery, class size is limited; therefore, registration is required.  However, the registration process is quick and easy:  just complete the brief online form at the link below. After she receives the form, Angie will send you a confirmation email; then, near the time of the class, she will email a copy of the museum’s policies.

Yoga@the Museum, taught by Leslie: Sat., 4/14, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum

Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice: Sat., 4/28, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/meditation-themuseum

If you click on the link and discover that the class is full, email us at yoga.me@gmail.com to be added to the wait list. In your message, please include your first and last names, your preferred email address, and whether you will bring your own mat.

If you register and later find that you are unable to attend, please email us immediately so that we can offer your place to someone from the wait list.

Should your April schedule keep you from joining us, watch for our May class dates. And the folks at The Downing Museum welcome you to visit the museum and/or the arboretum any time they are open!

Spring at The Downing Museum
(April 8, 2017)

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Attention morning people: new Saturday class at 7 a.m.

Do you like to get your Saturdays off to an earlier start?  Then Ashley has the perfect yoga class for you!  Beginning on April 7, she will offer a 7 a.m. Basics-level class each Saturday!

In this class, Ashley will draw on her Yoga For All training, which helps her personalize the class to everyone’s needs by using props and modifications.  She looks forward to seeing you at the studio on Saturday mornings!

(And remember that, if you prefer your yoga to happen later in the day, we offer two other opportunities to practice on Saturdays:  at 9 a.m. in a Basics class and at 4 p.m. in a Basics class that concludes with a few Restorative poses.)

New Saturday Class: 7 a.m. with Ashley!

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March 2018 focus and class schedule

Two foundational practices of yoga are stated in yoga sutra 1.12, where we learn that our thought patterns (mentioned in yoga sutra 1.2) are controlled through practice and non-attachment (abhyasa vairagyabhyam tat nirodhah).

First, let’s talk about practice. A great teacher once declared that all the intellectual knowledge in the world doesn’t stand up to the benefits of an ounce of practice. For example, let’s use meditation as a practice that you decide is worth your investment of time. It is better to set a goal of 5 minutes a day for meditation that is sustainable, rather than 30 minutes that you may enthusiastically intend to do but you cannot sustain.  This is the first step in making meditation a practice:  set an attainable goal and stick to it!  Don’t give up because “nothing happens,” or intense emotions surface, or you are not able to be in a state of bliss.  When sitting in your practice, just notice how the mind wants to slip into the habitual grooves of thinking about work, school, relationships, or to be in any other place in time (past or future) other than now.  This is the practice—to watch the mind and call it back to breath, sensations in the body, present-time emotion, or mantra…to experience what is happening now.

Now we come to non-attachment.  You may think to be successful at this practice would result in you becoming a bland, boring person. To the contrary, success at non-attachment means you are in the world with Everything—not just attaching to the things you love or avoiding what you don’t love.  The world becomes a sensory playground of delight when you don’t have to possess or control it. As a practice, contemplate the meaning of this statement: Love is what’s left when you let go of everything you love.

March updates and special events: 

  • Yoga and Meditation opportunities at The Downing Museum.  Join us in March for springtime at The Downing Museum:  this month Cassandra will teach the yoga class on Saturday, March 10, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which meets on Saturday, March 24.  For details and to register, see this post.
  • Yoga for All Series #3 on Sundays.  To secure one of the remaining spaces in the 3-week March installment of Ashley’s Yoga for All series, which meets on Sundays at 2 p.m., complete this brief registration form.
  • Yoga for All Workshop.  Curious about Yoga for All but haven’t been able to commit to a full series?  Join Ashley on Saturday, March 17, at 11 a.m.  In this 90-minute workshop, she will introduce the Yoga for All philosophy, lead students through a practice, and offer refreshments and time for Q&A.  Complete the registration form to reserve your space.
  • Opportunities to practice with Debbie.  We are delighted to welcome Debbie Marquette back to the studio for five classes in March!
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class.  On Friday, March 30, Alice and Angie continue team-teaching the Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with exploration of selected yoga sutras.

For a full list of March classes, please see the calendar page–or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place.  We also post a brief update each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.

Accessing studio after class has begun:  Remember that even if the front door is locked when you arrive, you can still join us for class. Just come to the back door of The Pots Place (look for the blue building) and ring the buzzer.  The teacher will then unlock the door remotely for you to enter through the pottery studio.

Daffodils at The Downing Museum

Daffodils at The Downing Museum (Feb. 24, 2018)

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Sign up for March’s @the Museum classes!

In preparation for March, we have opened registration for our upcoming classes at The Downing Museum, where spring is beginning to make itself known! We hope that you can join us to practice in an especially beautiful space, especially since these classes are available for our usual affordable fee of $5!

To reserve your space, use the link(s) below.  After you complete the form, Angie will send you a confirmation email; then, near the time of the class, she will email a copy of the museum’s policies.  If you do not receive the confirmation message, you have not submitted the form—please complete it again.

Yoga@the Museum, taught by Cassandra: Sat., 3/10, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum

Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice: Sat., 3/24, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/meditation-themuseum

If you click on the link and discover that the class is full, email us at yoga.me@gmail.com to be added to the wait list. In your message, please include your first and last names, your preferred email address, and whether you will bring your own mat.

If you register and later find that you are unable to attend, please email us immediately so that we can offer your place to someone from the wait list.

Should your March schedule make you unable to join us, watch for our April class dates. And the folks at The Downing Museum welcome you to visit the museum and/or the arboretum any time they are open!

Daffodils at The Downing Museum (Feb. 24, 2018)

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February 2018 focus and class schedule

The first three yoga sutras are like reading the inside cover of a book; they give you an overview of what is to follow. First, you have come to pick up this book. Second, you discover the task is to master, integrate, still, and regulate the thought patterns of the mind field. Third, you learn that the goal of these practices is to rest in the awareness of your true self and not the false identities of the small ego. Then you become the witness and master of your thoughts, emotions, and actions, not the slave to them.

As a starting practice to master the patterns of the mind field, understand that your mind can be in one of these five states (from the lowest to the highest): disturbed, dull, distracted, one-pointed, and mastered. At any given moment, ask yourself this question: what state is my mind in now? Awareness of the current state will help you to remove the obstacles to moving up to the next level. The condition of your body—including diet, fitness, and illness—can all impact the state of your mind. When the body is healthy, it is not an obstacle to the higher states of mind.

Here we are deep in winter hibernation, hopefully feeling successful in those resolutions to be healthy in the new year. No matter where you are, you can start now to tune in to your body and take care of it with the goal of having a focused and peaceful mind.

February updates and special events:

  • Book Club: Why Buddhism is True. Join us in the lounge on Sunday, February 18, at 1:30 p.m. for what promises to be a lively discussion of Robert Wright’s recent book, led by Cassandra. We’ll provide hot tea; please bring a vegetarian snack to share.
  • Yoga for All Series #2 on Sundays. To secure one of the remaining spaces in the February installment of Ashley’s 4-week Yoga for All series, which will continue meeting on Sundays at 2 p.m., complete this brief registration form.
  • Yoga and Meditation opportunities at The Downing Museum. Join us for our ongoing monthly classes at The Downing Museum. This month Leslie will teach the yoga class on Saturday, February 10, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which meets on Saturday, February 24.  Register at these links:  Yoga@the Museum, Meditation@the Museum.
  • Saturday-afternoon Basics/Restorative class continues. At 4 p.m. on Saturdays, Chie continues to enhance our weekend schedule with this hybrid class that begins with a more active yoga practice and concludes with relaxing, restorative poses.
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, February 23, Alice and Angie continue the Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with exploration of selected yoga sutras.

For a full list of February classes, please see the online calendar–or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post a brief update each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.

Inclement weather policy: during inclement weather, we decide whether or not to cancel classes independently of area school districts’ decisions. If we cancel a class, we publicize that information at least one hour before it begins, and we announce all class cancellations in these three ways:

View from the studio
Jan. 18, 2018

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Register now for February’s @the Museum classes!

In preparation for February, we have opened registration for our upcoming classes at The Downing Museum! We hope that you can join us to practice in an especially beautiful space, especially since these classes are available for our usual, affordable fee of $5!

To reserve your space, use the link(s) below.  After you complete the form, Angie will send you a confirmation email; then, near the time of the class, she will email a copy of the museum’s policies.  If you do not receive the confirmation message, you have not submitted the form—please complete it again.

Yoga@the Museum, taught by Leslie: Sat., 2/10, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum

Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice: Sat., 2/24, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/meditation-themuseum

If you click on the link and discover that the class is full, email us at yoga.me@gmail.com to be added to the wait list. In your message, please include your first and last names, your preferred email address, and whether you will bring your own mat.

If you register and later find that you are unable to attend, please email us immediately so that we can offer your place to someone from the wait list.

Should your February schedule make you unable to join us, keep an eye out for our March class dates. And the folks at The Downing Museum welcome you to visit the museum and/or the arboretum any time they are open!

Exhibit at The Downing Museum

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Just added: February Yoga for All series!

Have you been participating in the January Yoga for All series and would like to continue practicing with Ashley?  Or maybe you would like to begin or to re-start your yoga journey with a four-week series that emphasizes yoga’s accessibility for all bodies?

We are delighted to announce the February series of Yoga for All—see the flyer below for details, and use this registration form to sign up!

February Yoga for All series just added!

For more information about Ashley and her Yoga for All training, check out our Training Thursday post.

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Gentle class returns to Ephram White Park: Mondays at 11:30 a.m.

We are excited to announce that the Gentle class is making a return visit to Ephram White Park in 2018!  Beginning on Jan. 22 and running for six consecutive Mondays at 11:30 a.m., Angie will offer a weekly, abbreviated Gentle yoga class to the clients of the Warren County Parks & Recreation Department Senior Center.

Mats and all props—including chairs—are all provided, and students who prefer to use the chair throughout class are encouraged to do so.  Classes will initially last 45 minutes and will work up to 60 minutes if students wish.  Because Warren County is paying Angie’s teacher fee, there is no charge to participants.

We look forward to returning to this community center, to sharing yoga with existing friends there, and to making new friends this year!

All are welcome at Ephram White Park!

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