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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yoga Reflections of ’09 and looking ahead to a New Year

Sitting down to write the plan was to write about my top 9 yoga moments of ’09. I’ve already blogged about many of those moments; doing yoga with my kids, rediscovering headstand and yoga with the didgeridoo. As I began to list those moments, the one thing that came back to me over and over again was how yoga helped me grieve the loss of my father As the New Year approaches and I reflect on life over the past year, I’m grateful to have yoga as part of me, and part of my life. Forget about the first 8 moments, the number one gift of yoga, beginning each moment new with each breath.

2009 was a year of healing for me after the sudden loss of my Dad in Nov. 2008. High Street Yoga opened its doors only two months before my Dad’s passing. A few short weeks after his death, I began to teach again. My leg shook with every balancing table pose and my body, mind and spirit were numb. But with each pose and each class, the lessons of yoga taught me to live each moment in the present. I measured my healing in the moments of breath; in the time that I could sit, undisturbed without thought. Initially those moments were brief. I tried setting a timer to meditate, but usually gave up quickly. I tried doing DVD’s in my living room, but usually turned them off within 5 minutes. Eventually I learned to be kind to myself and recognize my limitations. There were many days when my mind could not be still, but somehow, I stopped and acknowledged each effort.

Yoga taught me to surrender to the feelings of grief and despair. Many days my only practice was folding into child’s pose and trying to feel comfort and serenity. We are not taught how to grieve. There are plenty of books that explain the stages of grief. Yoga helped me grieve and find my way home again.

As I say at the end of each class “We take the effects of our yoga; open heart, open body, open mind and radiate them to others” In this New Year discover your open heart, body and mind, find your truth, your peace and radiate them to the people in your life.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays! No Yoga this week 12/29 and 12/30! See you after the New Year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Winter Solstice and 108 Sun Salutations

The winter solstice is a special day of the year celebrated by many cultures because it marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year.

Surya Namaskar, the Sun Salutation, is a series of 12 postures performed in a single, graceful flow. Each movement is coordinated with the breath. The Sun Salutation builds strength and increases flexibility. Different styles of yoga perform the Sun Salutation with their own variations.

The number 108 carries spiritual significance in many cultures:
108 is the number of "Upanishads" comprising Indian philosophy's "Vedic texts".
108 is the number of names for Shiva (a really important Hindu god).
108 is the number of names for Buddha.
108 is the Chinese number representing "man".
108 is the number of beads on a Catholic rosary.
108 is the number of beads on a Tibetan "mala" (prayer beads, analogous to a rosary).
108 is twice the number "54", which is the number of sounds in Sanskrit (sacred Indian language). 108 is six times the number "18", which is a Jewish good luck number.
108 is twelve times the number 9, which is the number of vinyasas (movements linked to breath) in a Sun Salutation
1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands
for Infinity.

Yoga studios across the world gather on the solstice to honor the season and tradition. Typically this ritual is performed 4 times a year, with the start of each season, to acknowledge the changing world around us. It usually takes about 1 1/2 - 2 hours to complete. Some people believe that doing 108 Sun Salutations is a way of breaking out of the darkness that accumulated from the long winter. Join us at High Street Yoga on Monday 12/21 at 9:00 am for 108 Sun Salutations!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tips to Finding Balance during the Holidays with Yoga

• Live fully in the moment. Allow yourself to be fully present in with out looking ahead or mentally crossing off the ‘to do’s’

• Accept “what is”….Give up wanting what you don't already have and learn how to accept what you cannot change. During the holidays this yogic philosophy is especially important. Plans change, the ‘perfect’ gift can’t be found, cookies burn. If you are feeling overwhelmed try experimenting with this yogic affirmation: Breathe in and think to yourself, "What I have is enough." Breathe out and think, "What I am is enough." Breathe in and think, "What I do is enough." Breathe out and think, "What I've achieved is enough."

• Let go of attachments… You may have an idea of the perfect holiday visit or dinner with friends and family. Sometimes things may not go as you imagined. Let go and learn to look at all the planning the gifts and the love that went into the event rather. Release expectations and disappointments.

• Look at the calendar as a whole and try not over schedule. Accept invitations with joy and say no with love.

• Most importantly reclaim family time. Spend time together, quietly enjoying the spirit of the season.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

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Print a Coupon from the Clipper Magazine for a free yoga class at Pottstown's High Street Yoga and Wellness