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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Yoga in 2010, Setting a New Years Intention the Yogic Way, 30 Day Yoga Challenge and some Press in the Mercury

As I signed in to post this I found that it is my 100th post! That seems so appropriate for New Years Eve!

Yoga 2010

So much happening this time of year… I haven’t had the chance to reflect and write about yoga in 2010. My journey with yoga continues to be about healing after the loss of my mom in March. My meditation practice continues to deepen as I’ve found two amazing meditation teachers locally to practice with. My physical practice continues to be gentle and slow. I’ve been working toward full pigeon, reaching up and over my head to grab my foot.

2011 ~ My Intentions and how to set yours

Moving into 2011 I’m working toward stepping out of my comfort zone with yoga, embracing some of the more advanced poses and sitting in meditation longer. I plan to write a curriculum for teaching yoga to school aged kids and explore more options for teaching kids. I will visit more church lunch bunch groups and teach seniors chair yoga. In the spring I will organize Team Pottstown at an amazing breast cancer event in Philadelphia. I will reach out to other yoga teachers and studios in the community and organize a community event. I will continue to make yoga more accessible to everyone and I hope to continue to inspire yogis on and off the mat.

Setting resolutions can be disappointing. To read about how you can set your intention the yogic way, check out my blog post from last year.

30 Day Yoga Challenge

My practice has been inconsistent over the past few weeks. I love New Year’s because it is a clean slate. I know that in order to change a habit or create a new one it takes time. I proposed to my yoga students to join me in a 30 day yoga challenge beginning January 2nd. It is a home based practice. I am creating an e-mail support group where we can share questions and challenges. I will also send out links to suggested sequences. 21 brave yogi’s signed up for the challenge and I look forward to the group energy. It’s not too late to join in. This is a virtual group so you don’t need to live in Pottstown to join.


My other yoga blog is linked to the Community Town Square Bloggers in the Pottstown Mercury. The Mercury is featuring each blogger throughout the holidays. Click here to read the Q and A about the Yoga Blog.

Namaste’ and Peace in the New Year

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

20 Item Emotional Gift Guide for the Holidays

I received an e-mail from a friend and fellow yoga teacher with this emotional gift guide. I hope it resonates with you. May you find peace and enjoy the spirit of the season.

This holiday season let’s remember that not all gifts are wrapped in shiny paper and decorated with ribbon and bows. There are many intangible gifts we can share with those who deserve special recognition.....for who they are, what they do, and the important role they play in our lives.

Here’s a 20-item emotional gift guide which I hope will be meaningful for you in this season of celebration. Please share it with family, friends and colleagues:

- To yourself....respect, confidence and faith.
- To a friend....a heartfelt and caring spirit.
- To a family member....dedication, communication and understanding.
- To our natural world....protection and preservation.
- To a good cause....generosity and ardent advocacy.
- To a traveler....an open door of hospitality.
- To our military and first responders....honor and appreciation.
- To a customer or client....excellent service.
- To the ill and hurting....concern and healing comfort.
- To the hungry and homeless....compassion and emergency services.
- To the abused, neglected and abandoned....hope and security.
- To someone with a special challenge....recognition and acceptance.
- To the addicted and troubled....a positive path to recovery.
- To an infant and toddler....attachment, attention and safety.
- To a child and teen....patience, guidance and a good example.
- To a parent in need....a helping hand.
- To an elder, reverence....gratitude and dignified care.
- To everyone you see, friends and strangers alike....a smile and positive energy.
- To people of every age....unconditional love.
- To all the peoples of the world....justice and peace.

Monday, December 20, 2010

108 Sun Salutations and the Winter Solstice

Yesterday I attended a 108 Sun Salutations Class to welcome winter at the
Soul Center in Phoenixville. All proceeds of the class were donated to The Clinic in Phoenixville, serving uninsured and under insured with low-cost or free medical care since 2001. The class was set to live Sitar Music as we were lead through the Sun Salutations by three yoga instructors.
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.

Yoga studios across the world gather on the solstice to honor the season. Typically yogis do 108 Sun Salutations. 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 108 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.

Last winter I performed the 108’s with a friend. This was my first time with a group. The class was lead by three instructors. Each instructor led three rounds of 12 Sun Salutations. Participants were encouraged to listen to their bodies and rest in child’s pose and to take drinks. Each instructor led us through Surya Namaskar A. The repetitive movements were meditative. My thoughts settled into the movement and breath. I felt calm and clear. My own yoga practice is gentle and reflective, not as physical as some. For me, this was stepping out of my comfort zone. I learned quickly, not to lower down in plank but just flow from plank to up dog with my toes tucked and then to down dog. This modification worked for me and allowed me to flow and breathe.

Yoga is not only meditative, it is also fun. Everyone laughed when someone upfront said they were dying for a cappuccino. On the last round the instructor encouraged us to set an intention. He suggested the importance of this because last year he set the intention to the universe that Cliff Lee would come back to the Phillies.

I enjoyed the little touches they did to make the class special; the cool peppermint water they sprayed on us which felt great because the room was heated, the cool stones placed on our forehead during Savasana and the tea, apples and cookies after class. The class was amazing. I felt great and only a little sore. After some forward folds this morning I feel really good. I look forward to the 108’s each season, with a class or on my own.

I’m often asked the significance of the number 108. This is from a blog I posted last winter.
Why 108?

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
108 is the number of Sutras in the Yoga Sutras.
1 stands for Higher Truth, 0 stands for Emptiness and 8 stands
for Infinity.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Yoga Holiday Cards

I love these yoga inspired holiday cards from Yoga Dudes. Check out their website for some fun yoga inspired cards, jewelery, clothes and more

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tai Chi at High Street Yoga

Coming in January Tai Chi! Taught by Dr. Richard Stephenson of Montgomery Community College. Saturdays at 9 am beginning January 8th. Begin the new year with this ancient practice and enjoy the lasting benefits. Contact Barbara for more details.