Training Thursday: Deb’s 3-day “urban retreat” in London!

As teachers continue learning about yoga, we continue to share Training Thursday posts, and this one takes us to London!

In March 2019, Deb Logan completed a three-day/20-hour immersion with Stephanie Snyder, founder of Love Story Yoga in San Francisco and popular teacher on the online platform Yogaglo. The workshop was hosted by triyoga Camden in London.  As Stephanie described the workshop, its content was “consistent with my teacher training offerings and designed to feel as supportive as it does informative.” 

Deb notes several benefits to the training:

Through such practices as pranayama, chanting, asana, somatic yoga, and in-depth discussions about yoga theory and its practical application, Stephanie promoted her aim to “fill your cup” with a view toward rejuvenation. This immersion was challenging while also deeply restful and restorative. From big-picture overviews to individual participants’ concerns about personal practice and teaching issues, the workshop…strengthened what I already knew while opening up potential new layers of understanding.

In addition, Deb appreciated the immersion’s “discussions about yogic philosophy, primarily emphasizing the Bhagavad Gita, and its applications to ourselves as teachers and as students, to our life experiences, and to those in our inner and outer circles with whom we interact. Applications linking physical with emotional resistance were particularly insightful, especially those addressing deep-seated trauma and its relation to yoga practice.”

For an upcoming opportunity to practice with Deb, join her on Sat., June 15, at 4 p.m. for the Basics/Restorative class!

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Welcome Debbie Berry!

Although we briefly introduced Debbie Berry as a new teacher in the May email, we wanted to share some additional information about her and her connection to yoga as we begin the new month. In June, Debbie will be teaching several Gentle and Basics classes, and she is listed on the schedule as “Debbie B.” To learn more about Debbie, read on!

Debbie has been practicing yoga for 11 years and has been involved in fitness and sports for as long as she can remember. She was first drawn to yoga as a complement to physical therapy to heal from a sports-related injury. More recently, she has used yoga to help improve neck and shoulder pain and to increase range of motion. 

Debbie completed her 200-hour teacher training with Susan Polk at Be Happy Yoga in April and is currently a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) with Yoga Alliance. She believes that yoga provides a great opportunity for sharing community with others in a welcoming environment. 

Off the mat, Debbie has a BS in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA from Auburn University. She most recently worked at WKU as Industrial Partnership Coordinator in the Department of Engineering. 

Debbie and her husband, John, have been married for almost 35 years. They have been in Bowling Green for 10 years and enjoy sharing their home with their 9-year-old wire fox terrier, Chester. Their daughter, Jen, is married and lives in Greenville NC, and their son, Jonathon, lives in Lexington KY. 

Debbie Berry, RYT 200
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June (2019) pose of the month and class schedule

Beginning in June, we are delighted to share a new approach to each month’s focus:  the pose of the month!  Each month, one of our teachers will select a pose and share her thoughts about and experiences with it in our schedule-announcing email.  Then teachers will take up the challenge of incorporating the pose of the month—or variations of it—into their class sequences for all but our yin and restorative classes.  

We look forward to exploring each month’s pose with you, and we are grateful to Debbie Marquette for contributing our first pose of the month!

June’s Pose of the Month

Parsvottanasana

  • Parsva(o) = side or flank
  • Uttan = intense
  • Tan = extend, stretch, lengthen
  • Asana = pose or posture

Parsvottanasana is a standing pose that intensely stretches the chest, shoulders, wrists, legs, hips and back.  This full body pose is commonly referred to as pyramid pose.  Working through the challenges of Parsvottanasana is definitely worth the effort so that the many benefits can be experienced.

For me, it is particularly challenging to find balance and stability in the pose while maintaining alignment.  The shoulders and hips work to align parallel to the front of the mat with the legs straight and split front to back.  Practitioners are also challenged by the classic hand position of reverse Namaste.  The hands are brought behind the back with palms together and fingertips pointing upward.  The chest then opens and lifts as the torso bows over the front leg.  If the hamstrings are not screaming by now, then the wrists are begging for mercy.  For those of us with injuries or limitations, the instructors will share optional tips and guide us into modifications in order that all students will find success and experience the numerous benefits of the pose.

The well-earned benefits of Parsvottanasana include lengthening of the hamstring muscles, allowing us to walk and move with greater ease.  The intense stretch of the shoulders and chest combats habitually rounded shoulders and upper back.  This in turn contributes to healthy respiratory and heart function.  Those able to position the hands in reverse Namaste have the opportunity to stretch the wrists, keeping the joint healthy for daily tasks and work.  But the reason that I continue to explore Parsvottanasana in my home practice is the potential of the pose to calm and soothe the nervous system, mind and spirit as I fold forward and move my attention from the outer world to my inner space.

Join the 4yoga instructors this month as we take a deeper look at Parsottanasana and its relationship to our practice.

Namaste, Debbie M.

June updates and events: 

  • Standing Strong Workshop with Lisa Kearny on Sat., 6/15, at noon.  Have you ever wanted to refine your understanding of standing poses?  If so, join Lisa Kearny for her 2.5-hour Standing Strong workshop on Saturday, June 15.  Read more about the workshop on our website, and contact Lisa directly to register.
  • Registration open for all three @the Museum classes.  If you would like to practice hatha yoga, yin yoga, or meditation at The Downing Museum in June, please sign up now to reserve your space!  Read more about all three classes and their teachers and follow the links to register on our website.
  • Drop-in meditation classes continue.  Alice Simpson offers Mindfulness Meditation classes on the second Saturday and second Tuesday of each month:  these sessions are available on a drop-in basis and for our usual $5 class fee.  Whether you are new to meditation or an experienced meditator, please join Alice on Sat., June 8, at 2 p.m. (in the studio) and Tues., 6/11, at 5:30 p.m. (in the lounge). Read more on this earlier post.

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

Fountain Square Park is Blooming!
May 14, 2019
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Standing Strong Workshop with Lisa Kearny, E-RYT 200

Have you ever wanted a opportunity to fine-tune your understanding of and alignment for standing poses? Then we have just the event for you!

4yoga is excited to welcome Lisa Kearny to host a workshop on standing poses on Sat., June 15, noon–2:30 p.m. The investment for this workshop is $30.

Read more about both the workshop content itself and Lisa’s experience and training below. Then contact Lisa directly to register: you can reach her via email (lkearny@hotmail.com) or phone (908-377-8137).

Workshop description:

Come explore the strengthening qualities of fundamental standing yoga poses from an Iyengar perspective.

Learn how to support each pose through emphasis on alignment to protect the joints and lower back. Once provided with the basic foundations of postures to prevent injury, you can take your yoga practice beyond and utilize these techniques in any type of yoga class.

This is a great workshop for beginners or if you are looking to refine your practice. Learn to move with intention and consciousness to connect and open the body. Continuing education hours are available.

Lisa’s bio:

Lisa Kearny is an Occupational Therapist and yoga teacher with over 10 years of experience. She completed her 200-hour training in New York City and 90 hours of Iyengar teacher training in Nashville.

Lisa studied restorative yoga with Judith Lasater and earned her Occupational Therapy degree at Columbia University. She currently works as an OT in subacute rehabilitation and teaches private and group classes in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

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Practice at The Downing Museum in June!

As summer warms up, come enjoy two local treasures: The Downing Museum and the Baker Arboretum! Join us for a June yoga or meditation class at the museum and stroll the grounds of the arboretum while you’re there!

Whether you are already a fan of practicing at the museum or looking for a first class to experience in this lovely environment, we hope that you can join us in June; please see details below, and use the links to register. *

  • Yoga@the Museum:  join Debbie Marquette for this Basics-level practice on Sat., June 8, 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. [Update (6/7): this class is full, but space is still available in the other two @the Museum classes this month!]
  • Yin@the Museum:  Chie Tanaka offers an afternoon Yin practice at the museum, on Sat., June 22, at 4:30 p.m.—join her by registering here.  Yin yoga works the deeper layers of connective tissue to improve flexibility and hydration of the joints and tissue by using longer, deeper holds of specific, tailored poses. It often targets the lower back and hips, and it can also promote deep release of stress and tension from both body and mind.
  • Meditation@the Museum:  join Alice Simpson on Sat., June 29, 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 to this monthly session; register here.

* Registration requirement: to respect the space in the art gallery, participants must pre-register for the @the Museum classes.  In addition, 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: cancelling the day the class meets or no-showing prevents 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 absolutely cannot.

View from the back patio at The Downing Museum
May 18, 2019
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Memorial Day Weekend, 2019: 7 studio classes + Meditation@the Museum!

If your Memorial Day weekend plans place 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 8 total opportunities to practice.

Although Meditation@theMuseum requires pre-registration, all of our other classes, as usual, are drop-in—so you can be spontaneous  with your weekend’s activities!

  • Fri., 5/24:  9:30 a.m. Gentle class with Deb L.
  • Fri., 5/24:  5:30 p.m. Yin class with Alice.
  • Sat., 5/25:  9 a.m. Basics class with Cre.
  • Sat., 5/25:  11 a.m. Meditation@theMuseum class with Alice.  Pre-registration required and available here.  Registration closes at noon on Friday (5/24).
  • Sat., 5/25:  4 p.m. Basics/Restorative class with Chie.
  • Sun., 5/26:  8:30 a.m. Spiritual Warrior class with Cre.
  • Sun., 5/26:  4 p.m. Basics class with Chie.
  • Mon., 5/27:  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 of The Pots Place (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.

Our classes last 70 minutes, and the class fee is $5/class, payable by cash or check. If you have any questions, just drop us an email (4yoga.me@gmail.com) or send us a Facebook message.

The Downing Museum is lovely in May!
May 18, 2019

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Downtown parking impact for Mon., 5/13 and Thurs., 5/16

Those of us who frequent the Capitol Arts Theatre have been long awaiting the building’s HVAC upgrade! As you plan for upcoming classes, please notice that this project will have an impact on traffic and parking on East Main Avenue during two days:

  • Mon., May 13, 6 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Thurs., May 16, 6 a.m.–12 p.m.

Please see the map below for more details of how travel downtown will be adjusted during these periods. To avoid delays finding a parking space, we invite you to use this opportunity to park behind The Pots Place (in the lot next to Steamer’s) and either to travel down the alley to the front of the shop or to come to the back door and ring the doorbell.

To keep up with the Fountain Square project, follow its Facebook page.

Map of Parking Closures
original source: project text update
black arrow added to point to The Pots Place
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Help cultivating joy: NPR story, “From Gloom to Gratitude”

Do you ever wish that you could elevate your mood with a few simple strategies? A recent NPR story, “From Gloom to Gratitude: 8 Skills to Cultivate Joy,” reports on a research study that showed success when participants practiced 8 skills over a 5-week period.

Feel like you’re living under a rain cloud? Life not going your way? Lots of us have a bit of Eeyore’s angst and gloom.

But here’s the good news (sorry to be so cheery): You can be taught to have a more positive attitude. And — if you work at it — a positive outlook can lead to less anxiety and depression.

The latest evidence comes from a new study of caregivers — all of whom had the stressful job of taking care of a loved one with dementia. The study found that following a five-week course, participants’ depression scores decreased by 16 percent and their anxiety scores decreased by 14 percent. The findings were published in the current issue of Health Psychology.

The course teaches eight skills to help people cope with stress. Techniques include mindfulness and deep breathing, setting an attainable daily goal, keeping a gratitude journal and — yes, it works — performing small acts of kindness.

(emphasis added)

During the Gentle class on Tuesday, May 7, Angie reference this story and invited students to practice, with her, “positive reappraisal” (#6 on the list). To read or hear about the other 7 strategies, along with participants’ perspectives, check out the complete story.

(Spoiler alert: #8 is practicing mindfulness! For guidance in developing your own mindfulness and meditation skills, join Alice for any of our three monthly classes. Drop in for either of the studio classes—typically held on the second Saturday at 2 p.m. and second Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.—or pre-register for Meditation@the Museum at The Downing Museum.)

And let us know your experiences—either with these 8 strategies or other ones that you have found or developed on your own!

View of Fountain Square from the studio.
View of Fountain Square Park from the studio window
May 7, 2019
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May (2019) focus and class schedule

In May, we witness the full crescendo of Springtime as the energy of the natural world builds through sounds, colors, warmer temperatures, increased activity and movement, birth, and growth.  Although our “modern” world of convenience and technology has created an ever-growing separation from the natural world, we still remain greatly affected by the stirrings of spring.

Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, is a system designed to align ourselves with the dynamic rhythms of the natural world we are a part of. As organisms, we are constantly seeking balance. The predominance of water in the springtime is what makes spring have much in common with the Kapha type, or dosha. That type contributes to a decrease in energy and possibly a heavy, lethargic feeling in the body and mind.  Allergies are prevalent now, as well, and may be given as the reason for this heaviness and impulse to slow down. To balance the Kapha influence of the season, you may consider incorporating a more vigorous asana practice as well as a lighter, detoxifying diet. 

May updates and events:

  • Debbie Berry offers two classes.  Many of you already know Debbie Berry from practicing yoga together over the years.  Debbie recently completed her 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training at Be Happy Yoga, and we are delighted that she will be offering two classes at 4yoga in May: on Tues., 5/14, at 4 p.m. and Fri., 5/17, at 9:30 a.m. Debbie is excited to begin teaching and sharing her passion for yoga with others, and she notes that yoga provides a great opportunity for sharing community with others in a welcoming environment. 
  • Drop-in meditation classes continue.  Alice Simpson will continue to offer Mindfulness Meditation classes on the second Saturday and second Tuesday of May.  Just as with our yoga classes, these sessions are available on a drop-in basis and for our usual $5 class fee.  Whether you are new to meditation or an experienced meditator, please join Alice on Sat., May 11, at 2 p.m. (in the studio) and Tues., 5/14, at 5:30 p.m. (in the lounge). Read more on this earlier post on our website.
  • Yoga@the Museum on Sat., 5/11, 10:30 a.m.  This 70-minute Basics-level class, offered on the second Saturday of each month, meets at The Downing Museum, and Leslie Weigel teaches it in May.  Find out more here and register here.
  • Yin@the Museum on Sat., 5/18, 4:30 p.m.  For an afternoon practice at The Downing Museum, join Angie Jones for our fourth Yin@the Museum class.  Read more here and register here.
  • Meditation@the Museum on Sat., 5/25, 10:30 a.m.  Join Alice Simpson for the monthly meditation class held at The Downing Museum.  No prior meditation experience is required—beginners are always welcome.  Learn more here and register here.
  • Memorial Day class on Mon., 5/27, 9 a.m.  Join Beshka Moore for a mixed-level class for Memorial Day.  All are welcome for this class, which will be our only one for the holiday.

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

Studio reminders:  

  • Leaving belongings outside of studio space.  To allow yourself and your classmates to focus on your practice, please leave all personal items—including phones, shoes, and purses/bags—in the kitchen or the hallway.
  • Accessing studio if front door is locked.  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 bright blue door) and ring the buzzer.  The teacher will unlock the door remotely for you to enter through the pottery studio.

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Sign up for a May @the Museum class!

As the weather warms, flowers bloom, and trees leaf out, you likely want to spend some time enjoying two local treasures: the Baker Arboretum and The Downing Museum! Come join us for an May yoga or meditation class at the museum and stroll the grounds of the arboretum while you’re there!

Whether you are already a fan of practicing at the museum or looking for a first class to experience in this lovely environment, we hope that you can join us in April; please see details below, and use the links to register. *

  • Yoga@the Museum:  join Leslie Weigel for this Basics-level practice on Sat., May 11, 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.
  • Yin@the Museum:  Angie Jones offers our fourth afternoon Yin practice at the museum, on Sat., May 18, at 4:30 p.m.—join her by registering here.  Yin yoga works the deeper layers of connective tissue to improve flexibility and hydration of the joints and tissue by using longer, deeper holds of specific, tailored poses. It often targets the lower back and hips, and it can also promote deep release of stress and tension from both body and mind.
  • Meditation@the Museum:  join Alice Simpson on Sat., May 25, 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 to this monthly session; register here.

* Please remember that, to respect the space in the art gallery, participants must pre-register for the @theMuseum classes.  In addition, if you register and later find that you cannot attend, please notify us know immediately so that we can offer that space to another studen

Realize, too, that cancelling the day the class meets or no-showing prevents other students from being able to attend.  Please help us serve our community by honoring your registration commitment or by providing at least 24 hours’ advance notice if you absolutely cannot.

Path at the Baker Arboretum
March 30, 2019
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