Training Thursday: Leslie creates own vinyasa

Welcome to our occasional series, Training Thursdays! This installment reports on Leslie’s recent completion of a 4.5-hour workshop titled Create Your Vinyasa.  Gillian St. Clair offered the session at her studio, Steadfast and True Yoga in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, May 26, 2018.

Leslie notes that this workshop provided creative ways of changing familiar vinyasa flows (e.g., sun salutations) by using strategies like re-pacing or re-ordering the poses in the vinyasa sequence. You can experience Leslie’s sequences for yourself in June on most Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m.—her regular Basics class—and also in other Basics and Flow classes.

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June 2018 focus and class schedule

Because the goal of studying the yoga sutras is Self-realization, this month we will take a look at yoga sutra 2.3 (translation and interpretation by SwamiJ): There are five kinds of coloring (kleshas): 1) forgetting, or ignorance about the true nature of things (avidya); 2) I-ness, individuality, or egoism (asmita); 3) attachment or addiction to mental impressions or objects (raga); 4) aversion to thought patterns or objects (dvesha); and 5) love of these as being life itself, as well as fear of their loss as being death. (Avidya asmita raga dvesha abhinivesha pancha klesha.)

It is interesting to notice that these mental barriers to self-realization also correlate to the chakras “below the belt.” Forgetting the true nature of who we are happens when we identify with the animal nature of ourselves. The first chakra—at the base of the spine—is about survival and the root of the fear of death. The second chakra is the pain and pleasure center, where we cultivate attraction to what we like and aversion to what we don’t like. The third chakra correlates to I-ness, our individual power and ownership.

It seems that our current collective human society is stuck in the third chakra; therefore, as you rise above the “tribal values,” you may feel some fear. However, when we as individuals and small groups move above the belt to the heart center, the polarities of pain and pleasure are perfectly balanced, and we realize that what we do to another, we do to ourselves. The love from that center is unconditional and excludes nothing.

Many asanas are great opportunities to focus on the energy centers that the poses stimulate. This month perhaps your teacher can bring those to your attention while you practice with the intention of purifying those centers and noticing what issues you can work on in your life.

June updates and special events:

  • Five chances to practice with Debbie. We are delighted that Debbie Marquette’s schedule allows her to offer five classes in June! Join her in the first half of the month for Basics, Gentle, and Mixed classes.
  • Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum. Come practice with us at The Downing Museum! This month, Cassandra will teach the yoga class on Saturday, June 9, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which will meet on Saturday, June 23. For details and to register, see this post.
  • Yoga for All on Sundays. By popular demand, the Yoga for All class has returned to the schedule at 2 p.m. on Sundays! Join Ashley as she makes yoga accessible for everyone—all sizes, shapes, and abilities—by deploying a body-positive philosophy.
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, June 29, Angie continues the monthly Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of selected yoga sutras. This month, our focus will be sutra 2.3.
  • Cassandra’s summer teaching break. Other than an occasional Yoga@the Museum class, Cassandra will be taking a summertime sabbatical to allow her to attend a week-long Loving Kindness retreat at the Bhavana Society, prepare for the next two levels of Pilates testing, and complete continuing education to better serve 4yoga. She will be learning about providing yoga for cancer, chronically ill, and terminally ill patients and deepening her work with restorative yoga. She writes, “I plan on bringing all of that information home to us at 4yoga so keep on with your asana practices! You have some wonderful teachers at 4yoga, the best in Bowling Green, and I plan on attending as a student as much as possible so don’t be surprised to see me on a mat next to yours!”

For a full list of June classes, please see the online schedule 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.

Photo of Fountain Square Park, taken June 1, 2018

Summer on Fountain Square (June 1, 2018)

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June yoga and meditation classes at The Downing Museum: yoga on 6/9, meditation on 6/23

Registration is now open for our June classes at The Downing Museum! 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 Cassandra, Sat., 6/9, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum

Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice: Sat., 6/23, 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 for confirmation and policy emails, 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 June schedule keep you from joining us, watch for the July class dates. And the folks at The Downing Museum welcome you to visit the museum and/or the arboretum any time they are open!

yoga_4

Practicing at The Downing Museum in March (photo credit:  Jack LeSieur)

 

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Special offer for South Warren Middle School community members: free class!

We are looking forward to our third visit to South Warren Middle School to participate in its 4th Annual Health & Safety Fair on Thurs., May 24. We hope that the 7th graders are ready to show us their yoga poses again this year!

SWMS_yoga_tree_pose

Heather Kessler (The Mobile Mat BG) leads students in tree pose (May 2016)

If your student brings home a business card offering a complimentary class at 4yoga and you would like to sign up for one of these special, SWMS-only classes, use this link to register:  tinyurl.com/SWMSyogaclass .

Classes will be accessible for all levels of students, including beginners, and are offered at these times:

  • Sat., June 16, 11 a.m.–noon
  • Sat., June 16, 1–2 p.m.

You are welcome to register either for yourself or for yourself and your student; however, if a student would like to participate, a parent will need to take the class, as well.

Please note that space is limited and the registration deadline is noon on Thurs., June 14. Update (6/14):  registration for these classes is now closed.

If you are unable to attend one of the complimentary classes, we welcome you to join us for any of our other affordable and accessible community yoga classes:  the class fee is $5, we provide mats and props, and you can see our full schedule on the calendar page.

If you have questions about the types of classes we offer, please check out our class descriptions and then email us (4yoga.me@gmail.com) if you have any questions about the best fit for you.

We look forward to seeing you soon at the 4yoga studio in downtown Bowling Green–above The Pots Place (428 East Main Street), overlooking Fountain Square!

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Memorial Day Weekend, 2018: 8 studio classes + Meditation@the Museum!

If your Memorial Day weekend plans have you in Bowling Green, either as a resident or as a guest, please join us for a yoga or meditation class!

In addition to hosting the monthly Meditation@theMuseum class at The Downing Museum on Saturday, we will maintain our usual class schedule on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and hold a special holiday class on Monday, giving you 9 total opportunities to practice.   Although Meditation@theMuseum requires pre-registration, all of our other classes, as usual, are entirely drop-in—so you can be spontaneous  with your weekend’s activities!

  • Fri., 5/25:  9:30 a.m. Gentle class with Angie.
  • Fri., 5/26:  5:30 p.m. Yin class with Alice & Angie (monthly Living Our Yoga class focusing on Sutra 2.1, the path to realization.
  • Sat., 5/26:  7 a.m. Basics class with Ashley.
  • Sat., 5/26:  9 a.m. Basics class with Angie.
  • Sat., 5/26:  11 a.m. Meditation@theMuseum class with Alice.  Pre-registration required and available here.
  • Sat., 5/26:  4 p.m. Basics/Restorative class with Chie.
  • Sun., 5/27:  8:30 a.m. Mixed-level class with Chie.
  • Sun., 5/27:  4 p.m. Basics class with Chie.
  • Mon., 5/28:  9 a.m. Mixed-level class with Beshka.

If you are visiting our studio for the first time, you may either use the front door (facing Fountain Square) or the back door (ring the buzzer so the teacher can unlock the door remotely).  We encourage new students to arrive about 15 minutes early, and everyone is welcome to borrow mats and other props at no additional charge.

All of our classes last 70 minutes; our class fee is $5/class, payable by cash or check.

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May 2018 focus and class schedule

Continuing with our studies of the yoga sutras, this month we’ll look at sutra 2.1: Yoga in the form of action (kriya yoga) has three parts: 1) training and purifying the senses (tapas), 2) self-study in the context of teachings (svadhyaya), and 3) devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara pranidhana). (The sutra in full reads, “tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhana kriya-yogah.”)

This practice shows how almost every thought you have has either attraction or aversion: I like this or I don’t like that. Addiction is an example of an intense attraction. The goal of this practice is to reduce these strongly colored tendencies of our thoughts and, when we notice them, to practice non-attachment. Just try it someday!  Notice how often you witness yourself say, “I like this experience, object, person, place, food, etc.” or “I don’t like it.”  It’s like living life in a pinball machine, bouncing from what we want to avoiding what we don’t want. The more often you interrupt this process with awareness, the more effectively you can control your actions and words and reduce the effects of emotional turmoil in your life.

May updates and special events: 

  • Yoga and Meditation opportunities at The Downing Museum.  Join us at The Downing Museum in May!  This month, Angie will teach the yoga class on Saturday, May 12, and Alice will continue to lead the meditation class, which will meet on Saturday, May 26.  For details and to register, see this post.
  • Farewell party for Nicole.  We are delighted to celebrate Nicole’s graduation from WKU and to wish her well as she relocates to begin a new job in eastern Kentucky!  Join us in the lounge on Friday, May 18, at 7 p.m. for a potluck farewell party.
  • Mindfulness Roundtable with Pare and Flourish.  We are excited to partner with Pare and Flourish, a networking organization for young professionals.  On Saturday, May 19, Alice will offer a mindfulness roundtable—more information and registration available here.
  • Book Club gathering.  Join Cassandra and other members of our community to discuss Sally Kempton’s Meditation for the Love of It on Sunday, May 20, at 1:30 p.m.  Please bring a vegetarian snack and your thoughts about the book to share.
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class.  On Friday, May 25, 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 2.1.
  • Memorial Day class.  On Monday, May 28, join Beshka at 9 a.m. for our traditional mixed-level holiday class.
  • Alice’s yoga break begins in June.  Alice will be taking a break from teaching Gentle and Yin Yoga at 4yoga beginning in June to take on extra duties at her WKU job. She will continue to guide the monthly meditation class at The Downing Museum and plans to be back on the mat teaching in January.

For a full list of May classes, please see the calendar page—or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place.  Each morning, we also post a brief reminder of that day’s classes on our Facebook page, if it’s convenient to keep up with us there.

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May classes at The Downing Museum: yoga 5/12, meditation 5/26

We have opened registration for our May classes at The Downing Museum! 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 Angie: Sat., 5/12, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum

Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice: Sat., 5/26, 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 May schedule keep you from joining us, watch for the June class dates. And the folks at The Downing Museum welcome you to visit the museum and/or the arboretum any time they are open!

The Downing Museum

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Book Club: Meditation for the Love of It on Sun., May 20, 1:30 p.m.

Curious about meditation?  Interested in beginning a meditation practice?  Already an experienced meditator?  Our next book club book has something for everyone—Sally Kempton brings her 40 years of experience to Meditation for the Love of It:  Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience.

Our quarterly book club, led by Cassandra, will next meet on Sunday, May 20, at 1:30 p.m. in the lounge at the studio.  We welcome everyone to join us, regardless of how much of the book you complete.  Please bring a vegetarian snack to share, and we will provide a selection of hot teas, plates and utensils.

photo credit: Leslie Weigel

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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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