Nicole’s short film: “Not Just Another Grocery Store”

Many of you know that, in addition to teaching yoga, Nicole Musgrave is a graduate student in the Folk Studies program at WKU. But you may not know that she has also added “ethnographic filmmaker” to her skill set!

In spring 2017, Nicole produced a short ethnographic film, “Not Just a Grocery Store,”  which centers on an Iraqi-owned international grocery store in Bowling Green. This business began in response to the lack of access to food products–such as halal meat–that are specific to the needs of Muslim immigrants and refugees.  The maintenance of traditional foodways practices is one way in which immigrants and refugees create continuity within changing contexts.

Using ethnographically-based research, Nicole’s film explores how the store and its owners foster a sense of community among the city’s varying immigrant and refugee groups. Additionally, it looks at the important role the grocery store plays as an informal social service center, with the store owners assisting newcomers in navigating the challenges of starting life in an unfamiliar place.

To see Nicole’s work for yourself and learn more about the Jasmine International Grocery Store, watch the film on YouTube.

Jasmine International Grocery Store
(just off Russellville Road)

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Yoga to treat back pain: study shows results similar to physical therapy

A recent study of treatment options for lower back pain reports on the results of 320 participants in the Boston area:  participants were treated with physical therapy, yoga, or education.  The study concludes that the participants in the yoga and physical therapy options had similar amounts of improvement in both pain and functioning over time.

Specifically, participants who completed the physical therapy and yoga options reduced their use of pain medication substantially:

When the study began, about 70 percent of the patients were taking some form of pain medication. At the end of three months, when the yoga classes were wrapping up, the percentage of yoga and PT participants still taking pain medication had dropped to about 50 percent. By comparison, the use of pain medication did not decline among participants in the education group.

See this story from NPR’s Morning Edition for more information and links to several helpful resources, including the detailed manuals distributed both to the participants in and the teachers of the yoga option.  The participant manual provides instructions for accessible home practices that follows the protocol in the study.

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Training Thursday: Frances enrolls in extensive anatomy module

Welcome to a new occasional series on our blog, Training Thursdays!  As yoga teachers, we are also always students, and this series will highlight some of our training experiences, both in-progress and completed.

To kick off the series, we are taking a look at Frances‘ enrollment in Yoga Anatomy Fundamentals, a 40+ hour hybrid class.  Taught by Leslie Kaminoff and Amy Matthews, the authors of the popular text Yoga Anatomy, this training helps yoga teachers establish a broad base of knowledge.  It provides analogies and stories and guides the instructor through physical experiments that make anatomical knowledge both accessible and meaningful.

Leslie and Amy are internationally recognized experts in and teachers of anatomy, breathing, and body work. They guide yoga instructors through more than 20 hours of online lesson content, using the text and lesson sheets, and 20 hours of in-class group training to discuss, share movement exercises, and further explore.

Frances notes:

I chose this training because I felt that this would give me additional tools to apply to my own practice and to access as an instructor. I would like to be able to use this material to make poses accessible for any student, to be able to know what to do when students have an injury and still want to practice, and be able to use simple cues to help each student to find success on the mat.

We all look forward to benefitting from Frances’ enhanced anatomy knowledge!

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Benefits of Mindfulness: Dr. David Vago’s TEDx Nashville talk

In this recent TEDx Nashville talk, Dr. David Vago, Research Director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University, illustrates how practicing mindfulness strengthens mental and physical health.

Near the end of the talk, Dr. Vago notes

Although we do not have any control over what has happened in the past, we have the power in this moment, going forward, to choose how you pay attention to your thoughts and emotions.  Every moment, then, becomes an opportunity…to change the way we perceive the world and ease the burden by which there is potential for destructive emotions like anxiety, anger, and sadness.

To be introduced to or to continue your practice of mindfulness, we invite you to join Alice at our monthly Meditation@the Museum class at The Downing Museum, held the fourth Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.  The June session meets on Saturday, June 24, and you can register at this link.

For another opportunity to learn about and practice meditation, check out One Dharma Bowling Green; this group gathers each Wednesday at 7 p.m., and it will be meeting in the lounge at the 4yoga studio for several weeks beginning on June 14.

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Curious about Sivananda yoga? Join Emily for a Basics class in June!

Several of you already have had opportunities to take class with Emily Pike Stewart, who moved to Bowling Green last August, and to enjoy the style of yoga she teaches, Sivananda. For folks who are unfamiliar with Sivananda yoga but interested in learning more, Emily has shared this description.

Created by Swami Vishnudevananda in the 1950s as part of his mission to introduce Western students to traditional yoga, Sivananda classes are taught worldwide and intersperse breathing practices and challenging but low-impact movements with brief periods of deep relaxation. This combination boosts energy and focus, strengthens/lengthens the muscles, stabilizes balance, and improves spinal and nerve health while calming the body, mind, and spirit.

Everyone is welcome in a Sivananda class! Variations are available for differing levels of experience or ability. The basic Sivananda sequence remains the same in each class, offering the opportunity to witness your own progression over time. Sivananda is a welcoming, accessible, classical practice that teaches us yoga is greater than physical exercise and can be as easy or as challenging as we need it to be. For more information, visit www.sivananda.org.

To experience Sivananda yoga yourself, join Emily for a Basics class this month on Tues., 6/6, or Tues., 6/13, both at 4 p.m.!

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June 2017 focus and class schedule

It seems that everyone is feeling the joy of lush, new growth and the beauty of early summer with uplifting spirits! Focusing on purification of the body and mind this month seems appropriate, like sitting in a beautiful garden with warm spring rain washing away all impurities so that you can receive the light of the sun.

The first niyama, saucha, states that the process of purifying the body and mind results in being less distracted and less identified with them; as a result, we can see our true divine nature revealed. When our body is ill, we drag it around as a burden; in contrast, when it is healthy, we wear it like a glove. To detoxify the body, we have organs to do the work: the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, and colon. But how do we detoxify the mind? One technique is to relax deeply, allowing both physical and mental tension to dissolve. Through this deep relaxation, we can create space to observe our thoughts and examine our desires.

To practice saucha in June, allow yourself to rest deeply in the savasana you experience at the conclusion of each class. For additional guidance and a more sustained relaxation experience, join us for one of our six Anjali Restorative classes. The Anjali style of restorative yoga, developed by Shannon Paige, with whom Angie is studying, provides imagery and breathing practices to help release tension and nourish the student. Restorative classes require no previous yoga experience, just a willingness to allow props and instruction to help you rest and restore.

New class and special event:

  • Weekly Restorative class. In response to requests for additional evening classes, in June we have added a Restorative class every Thursday at 7 p.m.
  • Book club meeting. Our quarterly book club, hosted by Cassandra, will meet on Sun., June 11, at 1:30 p.m. Our June books are Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton and Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison. We welcome participation from everyone–you do not need to have finished either of the books to share your thoughts about them (along with tea and snacks).

June updates:

  • Classes at The Downing Museum. In June we continue at The Downing Museum for our second-Saturday yoga class and fourth-Saturday meditation class. The $5 class fee remains the same as at the studio, and we are grateful for the demand for these classes and for the opportunity to practice in such a beautiful space twice each month. See this post for links to the online registration forms—which will be disabled when the classes are full—and instructions about how to be added to the wait list.
  • Seven opportunities to practice with Debbie Marquette. We are excited to welcome Debbie as the teacher for seven classes in June; whether you enjoy a Gentle, Basics, or Mixed-level class, you will have a chance to practice with Debbie this month.
  • Sunday edition of Restorative class. In addition to the weekly Thursday Restorative classes, Angie will continue to offer the monthly Sunday-night Restorative class. This month, it meets on June 18 at 5:45 p.m. Create your own mini-yoga-retreat by taking Chie’s 4 p.m. Basics class that afternoon and then staying for the Restorative class.
  • Saucha focus for Living Our Yoga. This month’s Living Our Yoga class, on Fri., June 30, focuses on the first niyama, saucha. Team-taught by Alice and Angie, this class combines the traditional yin asanas with thematic readings and teachings to enhance students’ experience and to create conditions that may take them deeper into the mind, body, and spirit aspects of their practice.

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

Installation_art2_Downing_2017-05

Installation artwork by Eleanor Davidson at The Downing Museum (May 2017)

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Registration now open: June’s classes at The Downing Museum

In preparation for next month, we have opened registration for June’s classes at The Downing Museum.  Because space in the gallery is limited, we require pre-registration to manage the class sizes and are unable to accommodate drop-in students.  Therefore, if you would like to join us for one or both of these classes, offered at our usual class fee of $5, use the link(s) below to reserve your space.

Yoga@the Museum, taught by Cassandra:  Sat., 6/10, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/yoga-themuseum
Meditation@the Museum, led by Alice:  Sat., 6/24, 11 a.m.—tinyurl.com/meditation-themuseum

If you click on the link and discover that the class is already full, email Angie at yoga.me@gmail.com to be added to the wait list.  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 Angie immediately so that she can offer your place to someone from the wait list.

And if your June plans keep you from joining us, remember that we offer the yoga class on the second Saturday and the meditation and movement class on the fourth Saturday of each month.  Of course the folks at The Downing Museum welcome you to visit the museum and/or the arboretum any time they are open!

Joe Downing pieces displayed in the gallery

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Memorial Day weekend schedule (2017): join us for any or all of our 6 classes!

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 class!  4yoga will maintain its usual class schedule on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and hold a special holiday class on Monday, giving you 6 opportunities to practice:

  • Friday, 5/26:  9:30 a.m. Gentle class with Angie.
  • Friday, 5/26:  5:30 p.m. Yin class with Alice & Angie (Living Our Yoga class focusing on the 5th and final yama, aparigraha or non-possessiveness).
  • Saturday, 5/27:  9 a.m. Basics class with Cre.
  • Sunday, 5/28:  8:30 a.m. Spiritual Warrior class with Cre.
  • Sunday, 5/29:  4 p.m. Basics class with Nicole.
  • Monday, 5/29:  9 a.m. Mixed class with Chie.

If you are visiting our studio for the first time, note that there is no need to pre-register for a class, although we do encourage new students to arrive about 15 minutes early. Also, you are welcome to borrow mats and other props at no additional charge.

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

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Special offer for South Warren Middle School parents: complimentary class!

Update (6/10):  Registration is now closed for the two complimentary classes.  However, we invite you to join us for any of our 15 weekly classes:  see the full schedule here, and the class descriptions here.  In keeping with our mission to provide affordable yoga to our community, our class fee is $5 per student.


We are looking forward to returning to South Warren Middle School for its 3rd Annual Health & Safety Fair on Thurs., May 18. We hope the 7th graders are ready try some yoga with us again this year!

Heather Kessler leads SWMS 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 classes, follow this link to register: tinyurl.com/SWMSyogaclass.

Classes will be accessible for all levels of students, including beginners, and there are two day/time options:

  • Sat., June 10, 2-3 p.m.
  • Sun., June 11, 7-8 p.m.

You are welcome to register either for yourself or for yourself and your student; however, if your 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 7 a.m. on Sat., June 10; we will disable the link and update this announcement when the complimentary classes are full.

If you are unable to attend one of the complimentary classes, we welcome you to 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 the class description page and then email us (4yoga.me@gmail.com) if you have any questions about the best class for you.

We look forward to seeing many of 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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June book club: join us on Sun., 6/11, at 1:30 p.m.

On Sun., June 11, our quarterly book club, hosted by Cassandra Cantrell, will hold its third meeting.  We hope you can join us at 1:30 p.m. for tea, snacks, and discussion of elements of both of these books.  Even if you are only able to read part of one of the books, bring a snack and come share what you thought of what you read!

June’s books for book club!
(photo credit: Cassandra Cantrell)

Our June books:

  • Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga by Sally Kempton
  • Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison (available on CD from the Warren County Public Library if you enjoy audiobooks)
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