Blog2020-11-09T01:28:21+00:00

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Transitioning Gracefully Through Change

October heralds the beginning of moving from summer to fall. Mother nature transitions from warmer weather to cooler temps often in the same day! Many bemoan the fact that once fall passes winter arrives. Yet, the only constant in our life is change and being able to move through changes as easefully as possible is one of the goals of yoga. Yoga offers many tools to help you navigate change. Number one is becoming aware of your breath. If you resist change often your breath becomes shallow and you end up in a "fight or flight" reaction. That is your bodies cue to slow down, practice ujaii breathing- the smooth, deep, rhythmic breathing that sounds like a

Labor Of Love

Labor Day is a holiday that is celebrated in our country as a reminder to honor all those who labored in difficult times. It led to the advent of unions to bring about much needed changes in work conditions. My parents' generation and those that came before often withstood many hardships in their line of work. My grandfather worked for Bethlehem Steel and endured extreme heat and long hours along with major safety concerns. And yet, he was grateful for the work especially when he lost his job during the depression. During this time my grandfather labored with love in his garden. He grew everything they needed in a half-acre lot and provided for his neighbors as

Summertime is HERE!

June 1st marks the meteorological start of summer. The days are growing longer as we move towards the summer solstice which is at 11:31 PM on June 20th this year. That day marks the longest day of light and signifies that we are moving from darkness to light. This past year's pandemic plunged many into darkness. From staying indoors more, dealing with loss and illness, working and zooming from home, students dealing with virtual learning and so much more. It was a time for everyone to reflect and regroup. To go inward and reflect on what truly matters in your life. Many were caught in the struggle of just surviving throughout this historic time. Now we are

Yoga Integrates All Parts of our Being

In the philosophy of yoga there is five sheaths of our being known as koshas. These are layers that move from our outer being to our inner self. They are: Physical Body- known as annamayakosha which is our form, our muscles, organs, skin,etc and the vehicle that encompasses our spiritual essence. This is also where we experience the five senses: what you see, taste, hear, touch and smell in your day-to-day experiences. Becoming aware of the stimulus coming in is a part of the yoga practice. Energy Body- known as pranamayakosha which is our life-force energy that moves through us via our breath. It fills us with energy and the practices of pranayama (breathing exercises) are

The Season of Grounding

Mother Nature is moving towards spring and the growing season- once we get past all these crazy swings in temperature! It is a time to focus on the qualities of the earth. In our yoga practice we strive to bring these qualities into our body/mind/heart so that we navigate the ups and downs in our lives as gracefully as possible. Earth represents heart qualities that include steadfastness along with consistency. It speaks to our roots as well- celebrating our own unique heritage and bringing the gifts of those that went before us forward into our own lives. To take the time to reflect by journaling as well as honoring our ancestors. Some of our upbringings were not

Adhikara – Studentship of Yoga

There is a term in yoga called adhikara which is known as studentship. There are 3 levels of being a student of yoga. In the early stages of practice many come to their mat intermittently in a class format. This denotes a mild interest in yoga. Then you have the student who decides that yoga is going to be a part of their life by committing to a one or two time a week practice to deepen their understanding and gain the physical benefits. Others decide to go all-in by developing a daily practice of yoga, delving into the philosophical texts like Patanjali's yoga sutras and exploring yoga as a lifetime practice. What level are you? I

​Spring Equinox

The spring equinox happens on 3/20/2021 and it signifies rebirth and renewal. After a year of dealing with the pandemic hope is on the horizon. More people are getting vaccinated and life will start returning to a new normal in the near future. It is still safest to get together outdoors and celebrate nature as spring approaches. And remain vigilant with mask wearing indoors. In my long walks in nature, I notice the crocuses coming up out of the ground, the grass getting greener, the ducks and geese returning to my backyard pond and nature reawakening all around me. It is a time to savor. The spring equinox has a balance of daytime and nighttime. Another reminder

The only constant in life is CHANGE

As we spring forward by moving our clocks up an hour it reminds me that everything in life changes. Sometimes the transitions that we go through happen very slowly almost unnoticeable moment by moment. Yet, every day our bodies are continually changing in the process of aging and we adapt in many ways to navigate change as gracefully as possible. This week marks the one-year anniversary of all the changes that Covid brought into our lives. Being able to slow down, shelter in place, work and play in new ways and so much more has been quite eye-opening. Learning how to offer yoga on Zoom and flow with the changes this pandemic created has been a learning

Focus on Gratitude

Gratitude is defined as the state of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation and to return kindness to others as a response. Being able to focus on gratitude in your day-to-day life and experiences enhances the quality of your life along with everyone you come into contact with. You radiate an energy of positivity that can be felt by others. People who are grateful are more likely to overcome hardships. As we all slowly move back to a new normal way of living, we can reflect on all the lessons we are grateful to have learned along the way. For me, it has been of time of prioritizing what really matters and slowing down in order

Perseverance

One of the definitions of perseverance is the ability to do something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. It requires steady adherence to a course of action, belief or purpose. Heart qualities include persistence and determination along with steadfastness. This past year with the pandemic affecting everyone has been a time where we all must persevere. One way is to remember all the blessings that you have and to embrace any lessons that you can glean from this experience. For me, the ability to move to online classes during the worst of the case numbers and to keep calm and carry on with the goal to offer yoga at a time when it is needed now

Ajna Chakra – The Third Eye

Ajna is the energy center known as the Third Eye. It is located between the eyebrows and about a half inch above them. The back of this chakra is located just beneath the bony protrusion of the occipital bone in the back of the skull. In the middle of the Ajna center is the Pituitary Gland, known as the master gland of the endocrine system, as it secretes hormones that stimulate the functions of all the other endocrine glands in the body.Ajna is known as the Third Eye because of its connection to the human talent of intuition. Our intuition is another way of seeing and knowing without invoking our traditional senses. In fact, I think of

Vishuddha Chakra – The Throat

You might wonder why the famous piece of artwork above is the title picture for an article on the Throat chakra, Vishuddha. For me, this image represents the fullness of vocal expression. Have you ever felt so angry, frustrated, stuck, or fearful that all you can do is scream? You can't form words and so the only way to express what is inside you is a primal scream. I'm sure you have had such moments; I know I have. Vishuddha, is all about communication, expression, vocalization of our experience. It is associated with the human talent of truth.We share our inner state with the world, mainly through our words. Sometimes in written form, but also by voice.

Anahata – The Heart Center

I feel like I could write a novel on the heart chakra, but I'll try to keep it to a blog!Anahata lives in the middle of the chest and encompasses the lungs, heart, the thymus gland and the arms. The color of this chakra is green and it is connected to the earth element of air. The heart center is the bridge between the lower triangle of the first three chakras (our connection to the earth) and the upper triangle of the 5th, 6th, and 7th chakras (our connection to infinity). This center reminds us the WE are the connection between heaven and earth! It is from the power of our collective hearts that we make our

Restore & Love “Yin”self – A Special Valentine’s Day Class

Show yourself a little love on Valentine’s Day. Join Vickie as she leads you through a calming yin practice of deep stretching finishing with relaxing restorative poses. You will need a couple of blocks and a blanket. Take the time to be your own Valentine! Click here to register . We look forward to seeing you on zoom on Sunday, February 14, 3:00-4:30. $15 investment.  

Manipura Chakra – The Navel Center

The third chakra, known as Manipura, is located in the middle of the torso. It includes the kidneys and adrenal glands, the digestive organs of the stomach and gallbladder, the liver, pancreas and the diaphragm. The navel is like a bullseye right in the middle of the chakra. Manipura is the seat of our will and personal power. It is from this center that we are able to assert ourselves into the world and manifest our purpose.The color of this chakra is yellow and it is associated with the earth element of fire. When you hear expressions like, "she has guts," or "he's got a fire in his belly," they speak to the power and energy of

Svadhistana Chakra – the Sacrum and Sex Organs

The second chakra, Svadhistana, is located in the region of the sacrum in the back body and the reproductive organs in the front body. This energy center is associated with passion, desire, movement, change and the ability to balance dualities and polarities. It is also related to the human talent of creativity. It is from this center that we express our passionately held beliefs and views. From this energy, we create; not only in the sense of reproduction, but also works of art, music, and literature, and in the act of living in the here and now; doing whatever makes us feel fully alive. When we vibrate from this center, life is colorful, fun, and full of

Muladhara Chakra – The Root

I always begin my classes in the new year with a study of the chakras. Chakras are foundational in yoga anatomy and a little hard to wrap a Western mind around as they are more theoretical in nature than what we typically associate with our physical body. In yoga, we recognize multiple different layers of the body, starting with the physical and emanating out to the subtle and ethereal aspects of our being. One of these layers is the energetic body, which is responsible for the flow of Prana, or life energy, through the physical systems. The chakras are the main "organs" of the energetic system. Invisible to the eye, these 7 or 8 energy centers (depending

​Setting Intentions for 2021

As we approach the New Year most people begin with resolutions to make it better than the one before. Many of these are centered on being healthier by resolving to lose weight, eat better, exercise more, etc. Health is wealth and it matters immensely to your quality of life. Yet, these determined resolutions often fall by the wayside within weeks of the New Year. In yoga, we like to set intentions- known as a sankalpa. Sankalpa means an intention formed by the heart and mind. It involves a resolve as well to focus your energies physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually on what truly matters to you. It is a tool meant to refine the will, and to

Letting Go of 2020

By Angela Nichols It's been a heck of a year, hasn't it? A global pandemic with a nationwide lockdown, highest unemployment we've seen in decades, closed businesses, protesters in the streets, wildfires, hurricanes, an election that is still being contested, and a lot of death. Many people that I know can't wait for 2020 to be over while others are sad to see it go. The range of reactions to the events of the past year are as varied as our political points of view. Some are anxious to return to "normal," life (whatever that is), others feel that the global reset we've experienced was needed; to slow down the pace of life, to let the

Winter Solstice – Celebrating Darkness and Light

The Winter Solstice is officially December 21st of this year. It is a sacred time to recognize the longest night or hours of darkness on this day. Then to remember that the light of the sun will begin to lengthen in the days following. It also marks the start of the winter season in the cycles of nature. There are many ways to honor this time of year. When I grew up on the eastside of Indy in Irvington, we celebrated this time with a luminaria. My father would put sand in paper bags with a single votive candle and then line them up along the sidewalk that led to the front porch. At dusk all the

Yoga as a Practice of Self-Care

Yoga attracts people for many reasons. Some come to relieve back pain, others to learn how the practice can help them become more flexible and still others come for the community and support they receive in the process. There are as many reasons as there are students that practice. I came to yoga in the midst of going through a painful divorce 24 years ago. Going to a gym and working out regularly was just not enough to help me mentally or emotionally. When my church offered a class, I decided to check it out. From that first experience I was hooked. Yoga gave me a more integrated approach to healing through the physical practices and the

Restorative Yoga with Myofascial Release Workshop

We’re excited to bring back this popular workshop! Click here to Register! Treat yourself for the holidays with this relaxing and restful offering from Vickie, live-streamed online over Zoom. This special event class uses props and balls to allow your body to let go and release. You will need 2 blankets, tennis ball or foam roller and blocks at home. Pre- registration is encouraged and the investment is just $15. Click here to Register! or click Class Schedule at the top ot the page and go to “Workshops”.

Gratitude

The week of Thanksgiving is a reminder to pause and reflect on all that you are grateful for in your life. Gratitude is the quality of being thankful for : readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Just today I got a lovely card and a bottle of wine from one of my yogini friends who has also been a long-time student at the center. She expressed her appreciation with so much thoughtfulness it made my heart happy. Then I got home and there were flowers delivered on my doorstep from my beau Randy. He expressed that he wanted to "fill my love tank" so sweet! If that wasn't enough, I opened my e-mail and

Perseverance and Patience

Perseverance and patience... These two qualities go hand in hand as we pass the 9-month mark of Covid-19 with the numbers of those affected continuing to explode. Perseverance is defined as having steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. Patience is defined as having the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. As we approach the holiday season these two qualities are imperative for maintaining the CDC guidelines- which means avoiding large family gatherings or crowds and continuing to wear a mask, practice social distancing and wash your hands regularly using hand sanitizer when needed. Be ever vigilant in order to protect yourself and others by

Setting an Intention for Attention

We live in a time of overwhelming use of screen time via I-pads, phones, video games and being logged in too much! It has shortened our attention span as we swipe through too often. Yoga and meditation are the antidotes for this challenge. Yoga asana helps you to prepare your body for meditation. It helps to release the tensions that have built up during the day. The physical body needs the Attention so that it can function optimally through the various movements in a safe way. Nurturing your body with healthy foods and drinking plenty of pure water will help your energy levels as well. Getting quality sleep and rest is necessary as well. Meditation is the

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