Training Thursday: Chie and Leslie complete Yin weekend

Welcome to our occasional series, Training Thursdays! This week we share the news of Chie’s and Leslie’s recent completion of a 14-hour Yin Yoga training at the Asheville Yoga Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

This weekend-long training was offered by Shala Worsley, and it covered a wide variety of topics. In addition to physical postures, yin yoga anatomy, and energy anatomy (koshas and meridians), the training addressed the impact of yin yoga on practitioners’ mind and emotions, shared meditations and visualizations for yin, and demonstrated how to blend a flowing asana practice with yin.

Leslie indicates that the weekend was beneficial to “learn the difference between yin and yang poses and how to incorporate both into our practice.” Chie notes that it was “enjoyable to learn some techniques and lovely to be taught by Shala, who has trained with various well-known yin teachers and shared practices that combine lots of delightful components of their styles.”

This month, we can all reap the benefits of Chie’s participation in this advanced training by attending either of her Friday-night Yin classes: Dec. 7 and Dec. 14, both at 5:30 p.m.  We look forward to seeing you at the studio!

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December 2018 focus and class schedule

Here we are again entering the month of December! It seems like our culture creates a manic episode called “the holidays” to dissociate from the dark and cold of winter, thus delaying the inevitable period of hibernation that hits in January. This phenomenon is a great example of being caught up in the vicissitudes of duality.

The three yoga sutras that address perfection of the posture suggest that we transcend the effects of duality by mastering the posture. Last month, with sutra 2.47, we talked about the strategy of balancing effort with surrender.  In this month, sutra 2.48 suggests that when we master the posture, our minds are under control; then we are in a calm, still place inside ourselves, like the hub of a spinning wheel.

Once you experience this balanced, still, neutral inner space, you can make adjustments off the mat to get back to that place of inner calmness or coherence. You can find this place by cultivating balance between effort and release or doing and receiving, discovering that is possible to feel that balance even while going through a very busy day. Bring your focus to positive emotions of what you are doing and notice your breath so that it becomes even and deep. Focusing attention in the heart center will also help with this exercise.

Wishing you a peaceful and joyous holiday season! 

December updates and special events: 

  • Holiday Meditation + Movement classes with Debbie.  Unplug, relax, de-stress, and renew with a mindfulness-based meditation and movement class guided by Debbie Marquette on Sundays in December.  The class will meet every Sunday except Dec. 23 at 5:40 p.m.  Candles, simple instructions, chairs, floor props, and accessible movement will combine to create opportunity for all levels—including beginners—to pause and discover poise of the soul during this holiday season.
  • Solstice class with Cassandra. Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya: lead me from darkness to light. Join us for 90 minutes of restorative gentle movements with meditation and Aarti (Light giving) Ceremony. If you would like to offer Light to someone special [person or pet(s)], then please bring a picture or a small token symbolic of meaning to you and that Being. The fee for this special class will be $10.
  • Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum.  In December, Debbie will teach the Yoga@the Museum class on Sat., Dec. 8, and Alice will lead the Meditation@the Museum session on Sat., Dec. 15.  Both classes meet at The Downing Museum at 10:30 a.m.  For details and to register, follow the links above—both classes are filling fast, so please sign up soon.
  • Re-introducing Sydni Elhubishi. Sydni begin her yoga practice seriously in 2015 as a supplement to other forms of exercise and completed her teacher training at the Asheville Yoga Center in 2018. Her focus since then is to help others to bring more awareness to the body and mind, to slow down, and to find strength and power within. 
  • Holiday schedule. As is tradition at 4yoga, we will close on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and offer mixed-level classes on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.  Beshka will teach at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, and Debbie will teach at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day; in addition, the New Year’s Day class is followed by our year-welcoming potluck brunch.  Feel free to come for class and stay for brunch or just to join us at 11:30 a.m. to ring in 2019 together in the lounge.
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class.  On Fri., Dec. 28, Angie concludes this year’s monthly Living Our Yoga series.  This class combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of this month’s yoga sutra, 2.48: tatah dvandvah anabhighataha.

For a full list of December classes, please see the online calendar—or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place.  We also post the day’s class(es) each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.  

Accessing studio after class has begun:  If the front door is locked when you arrive, you can still join us for class: come around 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.

Join us for any or all of our seven special classes in December!
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Holiday Meditation + Movement classes with Debbie Marquette!

We are delighted to announce that Debbie Marquette is bringing her special holiday meditation and movement classes to 4yoga on Sunday evenings this December!  Join Debbie for one or all four of these classes, which do not require advance registration.

UNPLUG, RELAX, DE-STRESS, and RENEW with this mindfulness-based meditation and movement class guided by Debbie Marquette on Sundays in December at 5:40 p.m. (with the exception of December 23). Candles, simple instructions, chairs, floor props, and accessible movement will combine to create opportunity for all levels—including beginners—to pause and discover poise of the soul during this holiday season.

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Thanksgiving weekend: 10 opportunities to practice!

At Thanksgiving, as during the rest of the year, we are grateful for the opportunity to practice with members of the Bowling Green yoga community!  If you are in town for the holiday, we invite you to join us for any or all of the following eight classes that fit your schedule.

Wednesday (11/21): 

  • 9:30 a.m. Basics class with Frances
  • 5:30 p.m. Flow class with Cassandra

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day, 11/22):  

  • 9 a.m. Mixed-level class with Shigeko.  All students are welcome to mixed-level classes, where teachers provide options to help students customize their practice.  As is usual for holiday classes, this single class replaces our usual class schedule for today.

Friday (Black Friday, 11/23):

  • 9:30 a.m. Gentle class with Angie
  • 5:30 p.m. Yin class with Angie

Saturday (11/24):  

  • 7 a.m. Basics class with Cassandra
  • 9 a.m. Basics class with Cassandra
  • 4 p.m. Basics/Restorative class with Chie

Sunday (11/25):

  • 8:30 a.m. Spiritual Warrior class with Cre.
  • 4 p.m. Basics class with Chie

All of our classes are drop-in, and the class fee is $5, payable in cash or check.  We also have mats and many other props available at the studio for you to use at no additional charge. Free parking is available on the street or in the parking lot immediately behind The Pots Place (next to Steamer Seafood restaurant).  For more details about each type of class, please see our class descriptions page.

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November 2018 focus and class schedule

Yoga sutra 2.47 suggests that the ultimate goal of a posture is to find a way to be in that posture effortlessly so as to loosen the bond and identification with the body and be able to merge with the infinite or source energy. While the sutra specifically refers to a meditation posture, it is an excellent principle that can be applied to any posture as well as one’s attitude towards life. When working on a meditation posture, surrendering effort allows us to merge with the infinite by softening the ego. Softening the ego shifts one from “I am the doer and I am my body,” into “I am the instrument or conduit” of the life force pulsing through every living thing. Bring the body into balance by aligning the head with the spine and hips.

To apply of this principle to one’s attitude, we can aim for more balance between effort (yang, the doer) and non-effort (yin, the receiver). In our culture we tend to be out of balance by having very busy lives that require us to push ourselves to do more, believing that the amount we do is a measure of strength and success. Instead, we need to make time to be still and flip the “doing” switch into “receiving” mode to help us connect to and listen to our intuition, that small still voice inside that is our guide and that always knows the answer to any question we have. This practice will be of great benefit as we approach holiday season.

In other poses, especially the more strenuous standing poses such as warriors, it is possible to reduce effort and increase relaxation and energetic benefits of the pose. Try this while lying on your back: lift one leg a few inches off the floor, hold for a few seconds, and lower it. Now lift the leg again; this time, try to extend and lengthen out through the foot it as you lift the leg. You will probably notice that the second way feels lighter and requires less effort to hold.

To apply this principle in warrior 2, extend the arms out through the fingertips and engage the muscles in the legs. Press down into the ground and, at the same time, lengthen up the spine through the top of the head. Feel the torso in balance over the hips and the knee in balance over the ankle. Relax the jaw and breathe fully into the sides and back of the ribcage. Notice the subtle energy and power of the pose. Be as relaxed as you can be while you do what you have to do—anywhere, anytime.

November updates and special events:

  • Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum. In November, Shigeko will teach the Yoga@the Museum class on Sat., Nov. 10, and Alice will lead the Meditation@the Museum session on Sat., Nov. 17. Both classes meet at 10:30 a.m. For details and to register, follow the links above—and both classes are filling fast, so please sign up soon.
  • Temporary change in Thursday-night and Friday-night teachers. Because of teachers’ availability for November, Chie will be offering the Thursday-night Restorative class (at 7 p.m.), and Angie will be offering the Friday-night Yin class (at 5:30 p.m.).
  • Thanksgiving schedule. We will maintain our usual class schedule during Thanksgiving weekend with one exception: on Thanksgiving Day, we will hold a single, mixed-level holiday class taught by Shigeko and meeting at 9 a.m.
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Fri., Nov. 30, Angie continues the monthly Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of this month’s yoga sutra, 2.47: prayatna shaithilya ananta samapattibhyam.

For a full list of November classes, please see the online calendar—or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post each day’s schedule to our Facebook page each morning, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.

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Entrance to The Downing Museum (Oct. 13, 2018)

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Join us at The Downing Museum in November!

As we prepare November’s schedule, we have opened registration for our special monthly classes at The Downing Museum.  We hope that you can join us for the yoga class, the meditation class, or both.  Please note the start time of both classes is 10:30 a.m.

Because room in the gallery is limited, you must pre-register to reserve your space:  to join us for one or both of these sessions, use the link(s) below.  In keeping with our mission of making yoga and meditation accessible, each of the @the Museum classes is $5, payable when you arrive.

Yoga@the Museum, taught by Shigeko Sleeper:  Sat., Nov. 10, 10:30 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum

Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice Simpson:  Sat., Nov. 17, 10:30 a.m.—tinyurl.com/meditation-themuseum

Meditation schedule note:  for both November and December, the meditation classes will meet on the third Saturday instead of the fourth Saturday to avoid conflicts with Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday periods.

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Current rotating exhibit at The Downing Museum, art by Todd Fife.  (Closes Nov. 3.)

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7th anniversary open house and free mini-classes: Oct. 20, noon–3 p.m.

The afternoon of Sat., Oct. 20, we will celebrate our seventh anniversary of offering community yoga by opening the studio for three hours of free mini-classes and having the lounge available for meeting other students and teachers!

Each hour and half-hour, a new mini-class begins:  noon, 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m.  See detailed schedule below or on the Facebook Event page.

No registration is needed:  just stop by any time between noon and 3 p.m. for any combination of classes and conversation that suits your schedule.

Whether you’ve been practicing with us since the Dance Images days (glitter, anyone?!) or you just want to check out 4yoga and its offerings, we look forward to welcoming you to the studio on Saturday afternoon!

2018 Anniversary Open House Flyer

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October 2018 focus and class schedule (including anniversary events!)

This month, we turn attention to yoga sutra 2.46: The posture (asana) for yoga meditation should be steady, stable, and motionless, as well as comfortable, and this is the third of the eight rungs of yoga (sthira sukham asanam). Ideally, the head, neck, and hips are in alignment; in turn, the feeling of being balanced reduces the need for effort to maintain the pose. It is also ideal to balance in such a way that you are not slouched or leaning into a chair or couch back. The purpose of this alignment is to avoid becoming drowsy, as meditation is practiced in an alert and a waking state.

However, it is also critical to remember the underlying principle of yoga: do no harm. If you have an injury or limitation that prevents you from sitting comfortably, find any posture that allows you to be steady and comfortable—even if it means lying in savasana. When the spine is in alignment, and the body is not distracted with discomfort, you can then focus on opening sushumna, the central energy channel in the spine. In any posture, opening sushumna can be aided with alternate nostril breathing and by focusing the attention on the cartilage that separates the left and right nostril while you are breathing diaphragmatically.

And always remember the goal of all practice is to ascend to higher states of consciousness where we feel connected in the present moment, courageous, compassionate, curious, and contented.

October updates and special events:

  • Seventh anniversary events. Although 4yoga’s actual anniversary was Sept. 27, we will celebrate in October with three events: a potluck party after the Yin class on Fri., Oct. 5; a book club discussion at 1:30 p.m. on Sun., Oct. 7; and an open house with free mini-classes beginning at noon on Sat., Oct. 20.
  • Yoga and Meditation at The Downing Museum. In October, Leslie will teach the Yoga@the Museum class on Sat., Oct. 13, and Alice will lead the Meditation@the Museum session on Sat., Oct. 27. Both classes meet at 10:30 a.m. For details and to register, see the links above or collect one of the rack cards at the studio.
  • Teacher change for Saturday 7 a.m. class. Although Ashley has decided to take a break from teaching the 7 a.m. class on Saturdays, a rotating roster of teachers has volunteered to teach it during October. Join Cassandra, Tori, Chie, and Leslie to start your Saturdays with a practice!
  • Living Our Yoga Yin class. On Friday, Oct. 19, Angie continues the monthly Living Our Yoga Yin series, which combines a traditional sequence of Yin poses with an exploration of this month’s yoga sutra, 2.46: sthira sukham asanam.

For a full list of October classes, please see the calendar page or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place. We also post the day’s class(es) each morning on our Facebook page, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.

A quiet place for contemplation at the Downing Museum. (Sept. 1, 2018)

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October Book Club meeting: Sun., 10/7, 1:30 p.m.

Curious to learn more about yoga and to discuss yoga with fellow students and teachers?  Our October book club books—Andrea Marcum’s Close to Om and Pema Chödrön’s Always Maintain a Joyful Mind—provide both practical and philosophical advice to enhance our yoga journeys.

Cassandra leads our (roughly) quarterly book club, which will next meet on Sunday, October 7, at 1:30 p.m. in the lounge at the studio.  We welcome everyone to join us, regardless of how much of either book you complete!

Please bring a vegetarian snack to share: we will provide a selection of hot teas, plates and cups, and utensils.

October's book club books:  Close to Om and Always Maintain a Joyful Mind.

Photo credit:  Tori Treangen.

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Labor Day weekend schedule (2018)

If your Labor Day weekend plans include being in Bowling Green and enjoying yoga, come join us on beautiful Fountain Square for any or all of our eight 4yoga classes!

Friday, Aug. 31:

  • 9:30 a.m. Gentle with Tori
  • 5:30 p.m. Yin with Chie

Saturday, Sept. 1:

  • 7 a.m. Basics with Ashley
  • 9 a.m. Basics with Cassandra
  • 4 p.m. Basics/Restorative with Chie

Sunday, Sept. 2:

  • 8:30 a.m. Mixed with Debbie
  • 4 p.m. Basics with Shigeko

Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day):

  • 9 a.m. Mixed level (all students welcome) with Debbie.  Note:  this morning, mixed-level class, is our only class on Labor Day.  As is usual for our holiday schedule, it replaces the usual classes on this day.

In addition to our ongoing community members, we welcome guests who are visiting Bowling Green for the holiday weekend!  All of our classes are drop-in, and the class fee is $5, payable in cash or check.  We also have mats and many other props available at the studio for your use at no additional charge.

Free parking is available on the street or in the parking lot immediately behind The Pots Place (next to Steamer Seafood restaurant).  For more details about each type of class, please see our class descriptions page.

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