Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Look Beyond the Obstacle

Why is it so hard to do the things we don’t like, on and off the mat?

Once a week I attend the yoga class of my friend Ann. In exchange for attending her class, I give her massage. It’s a wonderful arrangement for us both. While nearing the end of a balancing class Ann suggested we chose from legs up the wall, shoulder stand and as I was ready for her to say plow, one of my favorites, she said ‘head stand’ We all looked at her with a blank expression. This is a sweet and slow class, I was thinking, Headstand!!! I looked at the other women with the same perplexed look. Lisa, one of the regulars LOVES unsupported headstand and before we knew it, she was in the middle of the room legs reaching, happy as can be. The rest of us were lamenting over what to do, chose the one we love, or step out of our comfort zone and try the more challenging. I still wanted plow pose, but reluctantly, chose supported headstand against the wall. I kicked up and to my surprise (and relief) felt great! I’d forgotten how confident and energized I feel after an inversion. I realized my practice had fallen into a rut and that I often practice my favorite ‘go to’ poses and avoid the ones I find challenging or strenuous. I left the class feeling more energized to tackle the challenging poses and the first on my list is Utthita Hasta Padangustasana, Extended hand to big toe pose, a balancing posture. I hope to practice it daily, but won’t beat myself up if I don’t.

This morning while doing a DVD in my living room the instructor was explaining how to flow from down dog into a seated position and she said “the trick is to look beyond the obstacle”

Look beyond, the obstacle. I plan to look beyond my obstacles both on and off the mat and step out of the comfort zone.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Did You Know?

* Yoga has been practiced in the U.S. since the late 19th century, but gained popularity in the 1960s.

* According to results of a study sponsored by the Yoga Journal and released in June 2003, 15 million Americans, or over seven percent of U.S. adults, are believed to practice yoga, an increase of 28.5 percent from the year before.

* Yoga has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety; accordingly, it is often recommended to relieve the pain and anxiety of chronic conditions.

* Yoga is thousands of years old. Stone carvings in the Indus Valley depicting yoga positions date back 5,000-plus years.

Yoga eases hot flashes and boosts memory.
Sun salutations may be the answer when getting older makes you sweat & forget. A new Indian study involving 120 women found that those who practiced Yoga (along with breathing exercises & meditation) for an hour five days a week had 50% fewer hot flashes & night sweats than those who simply did stretching exercises. The Yoga group also reported improved memory. By helping you unwind, Yoga is thought to free up your mind to control body functioning.” From Yoga Science

Friday, October 9, 2009

Kaleidoscope Angels Open House

Check out this great new store opening locally!

The Kaleidoscope Angels Open House Sunday, October 11th from 11-3pm.

1000 Grosser Road Suite 2AGilbertsville, PA 19525.

It's all things spiritual, aromatherapy, jewelry, framed artwork, tapestries, purses, scarves, books etc.
Jewlery designer Carrie Grabowicz from Hammi Jammi Jewelry will be on hand to take custom jewlery orders..

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

High Street Yoga Celebrates One Year!

This article was written for the paper by a dear friend.

Yoga is the practice of finding tranquility through the union of mind, body and spirit. So it’s fitting that High Street Yoga, 141 E. High St., has spent the last year stretching that definition to include not only people who practice yoga, but also by embracing the community as a whole.
“I think that I wanted to make this a place of community,” said High Street Yoga instructor/director Barbara Kosciewicz. “The idea of yoga in general is to open yourself and so it seemed natural to extend that to others, too.”
To illustrate that, in the year since it opened, High Street Yoga has collected donations for the North Coventry food pantry, held a Toys for Tots Toy drive and offered a special monthly Kid Yoga class for local Moms Clubs as well as Moms Night Outs.
Kosciewicz has been practicing yoga for a decade and has spent the last six years teaching. She jumped at the chance to create High Street Yoga a year ago, in a space that had previously been used for storage above the Academy of Massage & Bodyworks.
“I was a student at the Academy,” Kosciewicz said. “The room was used for storage and Angela (Wagner) and Jim (Funk, directors of the Academy of Massage) asked me if I wanted to help them get a yoga studio started.”
So the space was cleaned out, painted and turned into a room that is warm and tranquil. The soothing yellow walls are appointed with wall hangings and a large “om” symbol, and the space is large enough to allow participants to spread out and relax.
This is the whole point of yoga.
“People don’t take any time for themselves,” Kosciewicz said. “You may read a book or take a bath. But yoga really gives people an hour to relax. It’s really slowing down the mind and slowing down the body and letting yourself completely take care of you. You can completely surrender and completely relax. That’s my focus.”
And because that’s her focus Kosciewicz designs her classes for all levels of experience.
“People say that they’re not flexible,” she said. “But you don’t need to be flexible to begin yoga. Just come exactly as you are. I give modifications for every situation. If you’re pregnant or injured I can modify the postures to what is comfortable for you. Everyone in class looks different because yoga is all about you as an individual and where you are physically.”
A typical class includes breath awareness, centering/meditation, clearly explained asana (the physical postures) and Savasana – the final relaxation. In addition, Kosciewicz will often add some extras to the class and during the past year has offered candle light yoga with live music, a Valentine’s Day Special that added foot soaks, chair massage and tea to the yoga class and a holiday stress buster series.
Continuing the plan to give back to the community, High Street Yoga will celebrate its first birthday by offering half-price classes to anyone who brings a donation for the North Coventry Food Pantry during the first two weeks of October. Each donation also qualifies the giver to raffles and special giveaways.
Classes normally cost $12 each and are offered Tuesday 7 to 8:15 p.m. and Wednesday 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Packages are available and drop-ins are welcome.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Today is a very exciting day for me. Work begins this morning on my Yurt; a traditional Mongolian Circle Hut that I will use as a home based Massage Therapy Business. The Yurt has been a vision of mine even before I became a therapist. Some twists and turns in the road have delayed the process, but now things are falling into place!

Two talented carpenters (and friends) begin today, clearing the land, digging the trench for electricity, and building the platform foundation. The actual Yurt will be delivered on Oct. 22nd and assembly of the Yurt will take a few days.

I feel fortunate to be surrounded with wonderful and talented friends that are helping me with the business. Melia of Priceless Moments by Melia will help with web design; and her sister designed the awesome Exhale logo!

My lifetime friend, Lori, bought me a book over 4 years ago when I began thinking about this, called Circle Houses. The first page of the book says “to the nomad soul in all of us” The quote makes my heart smile!