New Year, New Meditation Offerings!

We are thrilled to announce five January opportunities to meditate together at the studio!

If you would like to start each week on a mindful note, join Beshka Moore on Monday mornings at 8 a.m.  Begin your day with this meditation class designed to calm your mind, settle your body, and bring a new and softer focus to the rest of your day. In this class, we will begin with breath work which will prepare us for guided mindful meditation. This one-hour class is wonderful for all levels of yoga and meditation experience—beginners are welcome!  

About the teacher:  Beshka discovered meditation as a college student and found that it “changed everything” for her.  She been meditating more than 25 years and teaching meditation for more than 8 years.  In addition, Beshka has both participated in and led meditation workshops.  In this class, Beshka will begin with foundational and accessible meditation techniques.  She will also teach a variety of techniques, including options like breathing, awareness/mindfulness, loving kindness/forgiveness, healing the inner child, chakra healing/balancing, guided visualization, and learning to deal with uncomfortable emotions. 

If you would like to continue the monthly meditation you started at The Downing Museum or just prefer a Saturday session, join Alice Simpson on Sat., Jan. 25, at 11 a.m.  In this 70-minute session, participants will explore several approaches to mindfulness meditation, including breath awareness, body scan, mindful eating, guided visualization, and mindful listening. We will also study the practice of R.A.I.N., a mindful way of managing difficult situations.  We welcome both beginners and experienced meditators to this transformative practice.

About the teacher:  Alice has practiced mindfulness and vipassana meditation for over 10 years. She completed the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at Vanderbilt’s Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in 2014. Since then, she has studied other styles of meditation and deepened her knowledge of evidence-based mindfulness practices. Alice has been formally teaching mindfulness workshops and classes and guiding mindfulness meditation in a variety of settings for over five years. Alice’s approach of “one size does not fit all” is especially appealing. In her classes, she teaches open and fresh concepts consistent with the four foundations and nine attitudes of mindfulness. 

We are delighted that both Beshka and Alice are sharing their decades of combined meditation experience and expertise with our community!

As with our yoga classes and in keeping with our mission to make yoga and meditation accessible to our community, these sessions are drop-in (no reservation needed) and have a $5 class fee.  Students are always welcome to borrow studio props, including chairs, to provide comfort and ease.

Selection of Alice’s meditation resources on the mantle at the studio.
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Training Thursday: Debbie B. and Shigeko focus on breath and chanting

We begin 2020 by sharing information about a three-hour workshop that Debbie Berry and Shigeko Sleeper attended in November at Be Happy Yoga and Salt Cave.  Breath-Focused Asana and Chanting was led by Shailaja Madhavan, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, from Atlanta, Georgia.

Debbie gained these insights from the training:

Asana practice done with breath awareness and movement have many physiological and psychological benefits such as managing stress, achieving calmness, promoting better sleep, regulating the nervous system, and strengthening the immune system 

Sound and chanting can also affect the Autonomic Nervous System by helping us regulate breath, helping to deactivate the wandering mind, and may aid in memory retention and improve the ability to focus 

We did a yoga practice together involving breath and chanting to experience these benefits. I was amazed at the effect chanting and intentional breath patterns had on calming the mind.

Shigeko echoed Debbie’s comments about the impact of chanting on her mind:

What I learned in that class was chanting is really meditating. Chanting helped me to concentrate on what I was doing.  First, it was not easy to do two things at the same time, chanting and working on the poses.  It forced me to use different parts of my brain that controlled language and mobility.  Once I got used to it, the two became one and nothing else was in my mind.   

I used that method in one of my classes at Franklin Library.  The students had the same reaction as I did.  They were overwhelmed first then became very focused.  All the movements were not very vigorous but I felt I had a lot of work on both my mind and body.  I would try that in one of my 4yoga classes.  Everybody, watch out, I will challenge you!!!

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Welcome 2020: schedule, pose of the month, and survey

As we prepare to welcome 2020, we are excited to share the pose of the month and class schedule and to ask for your feedback to help us in our ongoing planning.  Read on to discover our focus for January, our new offerings to kick off the new year, and a link to our survey.  We are grateful to Sydni for selecting January’s pose and contributing the following information about it.

January Pose of the Month

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)

Setu = bridge

Bandha = lock

Sarva = all

Anga = limb

Asana = pose 

Bridge pose is a wonderful posture and widely accessible backbend that has many benefits. It is strengthening, helping us to move well into the new year; grounding, helping us to be present, stable, strong; heart opening, helping us to welcome with acceptance whatever comes to us. 
In the physical sense, Bridge pose is great for the posterior chain, running from the soles of the feet all the way up the back and neck to its end point at the forehead. As we’ve spent so much time sitting in cars or airplanes to see family, or resting on couches catching up with loved ones, it’s good to open up the front body again for a fresh start to a new year. 

Bridge is also said to stimulate the root chakra, the heart chakra, and the throat chakra, leading to grounding, forgiveness, love, and clear communication. 

And so, we begin a new year. As always it’s important to know where we have come from to fully understand where we are. No matter what your 2019 held for you, it brought you to today. Allow your bridge to lead you to not only feel rooted and secure in your past, but also to move into a new season with an open heart so that you can be present in the moment you are in. 

—Sydni

Holiday classes and potluck:Looking for a class on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day?  Or a year-welcoming potluck brunch?  Join us at the studio!

  • New Year’s Eve 9 a.m. class with Heather.  Join Heather for a mixed-level practice on the morning of New Year’s Eve.  Mixed-level classes are accessible to students at all levels of experience, and this is our only class on the holiday.
  • New Year’s Day 10 a.m. class with Cre.  Ring in the new year with a morning New Year’s Day class with Cre, which is also a mixed-level class.  Although it is our only class on this holiday, it is followed by brunch!
  • New Year’s Potluck Brunch at 11:30 a.m.  Whether you join Cre for the first class of the new year or opt to have a more leisurely start to your day, please join us for our traditional potluck brunch, beginning at 11:30 a.m.  We will provide a selection of juices, a variety of hot tea, and table service.  Bring your favorite brunch item to share as we celebrate the beginning of 2020 together.

New classes: In addition to continuing to offer our regular full schedule of studio classes, we are delighted to provide these new opportunities to practice together in January!

  • Weekly meditation with Beshka on Monday mornings. Join Beshka Moore at 8 a.m. on Mondays to begin your week with this meditation class designed to calm your mind, settle your body, and bring a new and softer focus to the rest of your day. We will start with breath work, which will prepare us for guided mindful meditation. This class is wonderful for all levels of experience:  no prior yoga or meditation experience is necessary.  This class will last 60 minutes, and students are welcome to stay for Beshka’s 9:30 a.m. Basics yoga class after meditation concludes.
  • Mat Pilates with Susan begins Jan. 8.  Looking for a class that focuses on core strength?  Look no further!  Susan Stanton will offer weekly, drop-in Mat Pilates classes on Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. The Mat Pilates method is safe and low impact, pairing perfectly with a regular yoga practice to further strengthen the core, improve balance, and increase overall flexibility and coordination. Every exercise is performed with attention to the breath, proper form, and efficient movement to isolate target muscle groups. These classes will last 60 minutes and are offered at the same $5 class fee as our yoga classes.
  • Saturday drop-in classes for beginners with Angie.  These special classes will meet at 11 a.m. the first three Saturdays of January (Jan. 4, 11, and 18).  They will introduce beginning yoga students to 4yoga studio space, yoga etiquette, basic yoga postures—including alignment principles and breathing techniques—and the structure of a yoga class.  Each 70-minute class will follow a similar structure, and students are welcome to attend one, two, or three sessions.  We have all the supplies needed, so just bring yourself and your class fee, which is $5.  Please wear clothes that will allow you to move comfortably.
  • Meditation@the Studio on Jan. 25 with Alice.  While December concluded our regular monthly yoga and meditation classes at The Downing Museum, we have transplanted the meditation class to the studio!  The date will remain the same—4th Saturday whenever possible—and the time will change only slightly to 11 a.m.  Although the $5 class fee remains, the class will now be all drop-in (no need to pre-register).  We hope you can join Alice Simpson on Sat., Jan. 25, at 11 a.m. to begin this new tradition.

Student survey:  we would be very grateful for your help as we continue planning for 2020!  We have created a brief, anonymous survey that should take only a few minutes of your time to complete, and it will help us determine how best to serve our community in 2020.  Please share your ideas here.

Inclement weather policy:  during inclement weather, we decide on class cancellations independently of local schools’ decisions.  If we do need to cancel a class, we will announce that decision at least an hour before the class begins and in two ways:  

Should the weather be uncertain in the next couple of months, please keep an eye on these online resources for updates.

For a full list of January classes, please see the calendar page or pick up a hard copy at The Pots Place.  We also post an image version of the schedule each month and the day’s classes each morning on our Facebook page, where we also create events for special classes, should you find it convenient to keep up with us there.  

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Training Thursday: Leslie hosts 4yoga teacher workshop!

To conclude 2019, we bring you a new kind of training update: one where the teachers of 4yoga have met to learn from and with each other. Based upon a teacher’s suggestion, 4yoga launched a quarterly teacher workshop schedule in 2019, with teachers taking turns leading the sessions in areas where they have had additional training and/or have developed specific expertise.

In February, Frances led four of us in a brief chair practice, discussing what she has learned about using chairs to make poses more accessible to a variety of students. She also distributed a pair of useful handouts so that we can all improve our ability to provide chair yoga to students.

In May, Angie facilitated a discussion about sequencing classes successfully. She collected advice and tips from thirteen of us in advance via an online survey and synthesized that information into a handout for the seven of us who continued the conversation in person.

Although we were unable to meet in August, we resumed in November with a lively discussion hosted by Leslie at her home. On Nov. 16, nine 4yoga teachers gathered to enjoy delicious food and to talk about what we have learned from recent teacher trainings. To help prompt our conversation, Leslie posed two questions in advance:

  1. Does the practice of yoga need to evolve to reflect the needs of today’s student?
  2. What have we learned in recent study about how to ensure safe and balanced practices for our students?

We enjoyed getting to know each other and discussing ways that we can continue to build upon—and, in some cases, revise—what we have earlier learned and taught. We agreed that our common goal is to prepare and share sequences to help students build strength, increase flexibility, and enhance balance.

Oh, and we mustn’t forget to mention Leslie’s co-host for the event—the charming Spot, who eagerly awaited our arrival!

Spot watches for guests
Nov. 2019
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2019 Christmas week schedule: 11 classes + 1 workshop

Spending time in Bowling Green during the week of Christmas, either as a resident or a guest?  Please join us for one of our 11 yoga classes or our special holiday workshop!

If you have questions about our class styles, please first see our Class Descriptions page and then drop us an email (4yoga.me@gmail.com) so we can help match a class to your needs.

  • Sun., 12/22:  8:30 a.m. Spiritual Warrior with Cre; 1 p.m. Holiday Hatha + Meditation Workshop with Debbie M. (90 min., $10); 4 p.m. Basics with Deb L.
  • Mon., 12/23:  9:30 a.m. Basics with Beshka; 5:30 p.m. Flow with Susan.
  • Tues., 12/24 (Christmas Eve):  no classes.
  • Wed., 12/25 (Christmas Day):  no classes.
  • Thurs., 12/26:  9:30 a.m. Gentle with Angie (thanks, Angie, for subbing!); 4 p.m. Basics with Deb L. (thanks, Deb, for subbing!); 7 p.m. Restorative with Angie.
  • Fri., 12/27:  9:30 a.m. Gentle with Debbie B; 5:30 p.m. Yin with Deb L.
  • Sat., 12/28:  9 a.m. Basics with Carmen; 4 p.m. Basics/Restorative with Deb L.

For those of you visiting our studio for the first time, all of our studio classes last 70 minutes and are drop-in, so just show up—no need to pre-register.  Please arrive about 15 minutes before class begins to give yourself time to sign in, meet the teacher and fellow students, and settle in on your mat. You are also welcome to borrow mats and other props at no additional charge.

In keeping with our mission as a community studio, our class fee is $5/class, payable by cash or check.  Debbie’s workshop is $10.

Whether or not we see each other at the studio this holiday season, we hope that you are able to celebrate in all your favorite ways!

Fountain Square Park from the studio, 2013

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December 6-8 schedule: studio and downtown

We are looking forward to a busy weekend Dec. 6–8, both at the studio and downtown! If you plan to join us—and we hope that you do!—please review this list of classes and downtown events so that you can plan your travel accordingly.

  • Fri., Dec. 6: classes at 9:30 a.m. (Gentle with Trudy) and 5:30 p.m. (Yin with Alice). Downtown Lights Up and Christmas Open House takes place 3:30–9 p.m., and the final BG Gallery Hop of the year begins at 5 p.m.
  • Sat., Dec. 7: classes at 9 a.m. (Basics with Debbie M.) and 4 p.m. (Basics/Restorative with Chie). The Bowling Green Christmas Parade begins at 9:30 a.m. Its route starts at Main and College Streets and ends at 6th Avenue and State Street.
  • Sun., Dec. 8: classes at 8:30 a.m. (Spiritual Warrior with Cre) and 4 p.m. (Basics with Heather). Holiday Hatha + Meditation workshop at 1 p.m. with Debbie Marquette (90 min., $10).
Fountain Square Park through the studio wreath
(Dec. 2014)
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December (2019) pose of the month and class schedule

Welcome to December!  We are excited to share the pose of the month and class schedule, and we are grateful to Cre for selecting December’s pose and contributing the following information about it.  Also, check out this page for Cre’s detailed instructions for the pose, providing guidance for your home practice.

Pose of the Month

Tadasana  (Mountain Pose)

Tada = mountain + Asana = pose

As we move towards the end of another wonderful year, it’s nice to go back to the basics. We’ve made it through the twists, turns, and challenges of this year and can now stand tall in its completion. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is a foundational pose for all standing poses and inversions. It may not look like much, but keeping our bodies active and aligned is hard work. In Mountain Pose we are aware of each part of our body and the role it plays in stacking bones and keeping the spine long.

—Cre

Updates and events: 

  • Yoga@the Museum and Meditation@the Museum.  Although December will conclude our regular monthly classes at The Downing Museum, we are grateful for dozens of opportunities to practice there over more than three years!  And we hope that you can join us in December if you’ll be in town.  We have several spaces remaining in the yoga class with Leslie and a few available for the meditation session with Alice. (Click the links in the previous sentence to access the registration forms.)
  • Holiday Hatha + Meditation with Debbie Marquette.  (Dec. 8 edit. We have a new date for the workshop: Dec. 22.) We are delighted that Debbie is offering a special, 90-minute holiday workshop on Sunday, December 22, 1-2:30 p.m.  This workshop is appropriate for students of all levels, and it will feature hatha yoga, pranayama (breath work), and meditation.  It is a drop-in event (no registration is required), and the fee is $10.
  • Holiday class 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.  In addition, after the New Year’s Day class, we will gather for a casual, potluck brunch.  Heather will teach at 9 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, and Cre will teach at 10 a.m. on New Year’s Day.  To ring in 2020, free to come for class and stay for brunch or just to join us at 11:30 a.m. for eating and socializing in the lounge.
  • Lost and found.  We have accumulated several items, primarily clothing, at the studio.  If you are missing something that you may have worn to or brought to class, please check the lost and found soon.  At the end of the year, we will donate remaining items to a local organization.

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

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December (2019) pose of the month: Tadasana

Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tada = mountain
Asana = pose

Cre not only selected our pose for December but also shared her instructions for creating the pose—read on for guidance in building your own Mountain Pose at home.

As we move towards the end of another wonderful year, it’s nice to go back to the basics. We’ve made it through the twist, turns, and challenges of this year and can now stand tall in its completion. Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is a foundational pose for all standing poses and inversions. It may not look like much, but keeping our bodies active and aligned is hard work. In Mountain Pose we are aware of each part of our body and the role it plays in stacking bones and keeping the spine long.

Here’s a quick journey through Mountain Pose presented as if you are in my Sunday morning Spiritual Warrior class

Let’s start with our palms together at our hearts, standing tall.
Feet under hips – release arms to side and then palms forward.
Close eyes or allow gaze to become soft.
Invite an awareness to the bottom of your feet. Lift your toes, dropping one at a time starting with the baby toes.
Imagine your feet porous, able to draw energy up from the earth into your legs.
Sense your toes pushing into the floor and feel the energy moving into your ankles, up into the lower legs.
Feel the energy lift and define your knee caps. Squeeze the quadriceps. Draw tail bone under. Draw navel into the spine.
Lift your heart – let it shine.
Draw down with the shoulders, reaching the tips of your fingers towards the floor.
Feel the energy surging up the spine through your neck.
Draw the chin slightly into your throat and feel the extension of the energy through your neck and into the crown of your head.
Feel your entire YOU!
Allow your eyes to open and smile.

—Cre
Cre demonstrates the start of Tadasana

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Thanksgiving weekend, 2019: 9 opportunities to practice!

The Thanksgiving season reminds us to let all of you know that are grateful for the opportunity to serve 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 nine classes that fit your schedule.
 
Wednesday (11/27): 
  • 9:30 a.m. Basics class with Heather
  • 5:30 p.m. Flow class with Deb L.

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day, 11/28):  

  • 9 a.m. Mixed-level class with Chie.  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, 11/29):

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

Saturday (11/30):  

  • 9 a.m. Basics class with Cre
  • 4 p.m. Basics/Restorative class with Angie

Sunday (12/1):

  • 8:30 a.m. Spiritual Warrior class with Cre
  • 4 p.m. Basics class with TBA, when we finalize the December schedule

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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Treat yourself to a December class at The Downing Museum!

As we have recently announced, after enjoying practicing with hundreds of you for monthly classes at The Downing Museum, we will conclude those regular yoga and meditation classes in December. But we still have two more opportunities to practice in that beautiful space, and we would love for you to sign up for one or both of them! *

  • Yoga@the Museum:  join Leslie Weigel for this Basics-level practice on Sat., Dec. 14, at 10:30 a.m. by registering here.  Our basics classes incorporate asanas (poses), breathing exercises, and awareness linking the breath to movement.  They focus on alignment, offer modifications to help students at varying levels of experience, and are moderately paced.
  • Meditation@the Museum:  join Alice Simpson on Sat., Dec. 28 at 10:30 a.m. to explore several meditation techniques, including mindfulness, guided, mantra, walking, and listening meditations.  We welcome both beginners and experienced meditators; please register here.

* Registration requirement: to respect the space in the art gallery, participants must pre-register for all of our @the Museum classes.  If you register and later find that you cannot attend, please notify us know immediately so that we can offer that space to another student. 

Registration deadline: to allow us to prepare for the @the Museum classes, registration closes at noon the previous day or when the class reaches capacity, whichever occurs first.

Cancellation policy: participants who cancel the day the class meets or no-show prevent other students from being able to attend.  Therefore, please help us serve our community by honoring your registration commitment or by providing at least 24 hours’ advance notice if you cannot.

Even gray days are good days at The Downing Museum and Baker Arboretum
Nov. 23, 2019
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