Fall Newsletter; New Classes & Upcoming Workshop

Labor Day has come and gone, and so we bid adieu to Summer.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, our long warm days have been  filled with adventure, friends and family.  As we turn our attention towards Fall I hope you will carry the nourishing energy of the sun with you as the days begin to grow shorter and cooler.

For many of us, September brings a return to structure.  The kids are back in school and we can resume our regular routines, or maybe even begin new ones. What do you look forward to returning to?  What new routines do you seek to embrace?  How can your yoga help to strengthen your commitments to yourself and others?

This week, I return to my regular teaching schedule and look forward to seeing all of my students again.  I’ve missed you! Most of the classes will stay the same but I have added an advanced practice class on Tuesday evenings.  If you are looking to up-level your practice be sure to join me for this deep and expansive class featuring stronger asana variations and more time for pranayama and meditation.

To welcome the Fall, I will be hosting a workshop September 27, 1:00 – 4:00pm at River Tree on Structure and Dynamic Transitions of the Sun Salutations.

Sun Salutation – Surya Namaskar  is nothing less than a prayer to the sun, the earth and all that is in between.  As we move through these poses we nourish the body and spirit in deep and powerful ways.

This sequence of 8-14 poses can be found in its entirety or separately in almost every yoga class.  If you have ever wondered how to step fully into and through each of these powerful poses, then now is the time to learn to own them, enjoy them and truly benefit from them.

This workshop will focus on the elements of alignment within the poses, techniques for transitioning between the poses and the role of the breath throughout the poses.

The workshop is suitable for all bodies and all levels.  Learn how to modify and adapt the poses to ensure safety, and enhance your practice. Space is limited, so do sign-up early.  Call 425-765-3173 to reserve a place for your mat.

 

 

Inspired by the Sun & Surf

I spent last week on the beach in Mexico.  I played in the waves and soaked up the sun and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my family.  Being a California girl, I find that I sometimes need a break from the  Pacific Northwet.  I am so grateful that I was able to take this time to restore and renew.  A big shout-out to my subs for covering for me while I was away.

Indeed I am recharged.  I am looking forward to a busy teaching schedule for the next few months.  I am pleased to announce that I am now part of the wellness team at a Naturopathic clinic in Redmond.  Starting next week I will be teaching a Hatha and Wellness class on Tuesday & Thursday mornings at 9:15am at Alpine Integrated Medicine in Redmond.  If you are looking for a more natural and holistic approach to your health care, do check them out.

Classes at River Tree Yoga (located at Tree House Point) continue to grow.  We have tweaked our schedule just a bit to further meet the needs of our students.  There is now a single class on Monday & Wednesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00pm.  You no longer need to choose flow or restorative, this hour and a half class provides a comprehensive practice which will help you to work out the kinks in your system, inspire you to reach deeper, and allow you to relax more fully.  We also offer classes on Saturday mornings at 9:30 – Vinyasa Flow Style.

And don’t forget about Village Green Yoga, where I have been teaching for several years now.  Monday & Wednesday mornings we study alignment, Tuesdays & Thursdays at noon, its an hour of gentle therapeutics, and Tuesday & Thursday evenings we get the music out and flow.  Sunday mornings its all about going deeper with great music and fun times.

This weekend I will head down to Oregon for the Cannon Beach Yoga Arts Festival.  If you don’t have plans for the weekend, I highly recommend this event.  It features exceptional teachers in a beautiful and low key environment.  Oh, and did I mention beach?

Quote for the week by David Gershon:

How can we create sustained positive impact in the world, in the shortest amount of time, for the highest number of people?

That’s it for now.  Check out the schedule page for class times and locations.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Holiday Greetings and Abundance for 2014

Solstice Fire

Solstice Fire

Happy Holidays Everyone

As we turn the corner from darkness to light, we look to the New Year and see so many opportunities for expansion and fulfillment.

River Tree Yoga continues to grow, serving an enthusiastic population of yogis who love the woods, nature and their practice in equal measure.  Yoga in the Pond Room has become a haven for many and our workshops an inspiration for all.  I will continue to teach Wednesday nights 6:30-8:00pm, and alternating Saturday mornings at 9:30am.

Mark you calendar for January 19th, 1:00 – 4:00pm for Foundation for a New Beginning, the first workshop of the year will focus on Ten Fundamental yoga poses – perfect for building your home practice and/or deepening your understanding of the poses you see so often in class.

Village Green Yoga has also expanded, adding more teachers and opportunities for learning across a broad range of yoga styles and techniques.  My classes continue to be popular with students frequently coming early to reserve their favorite spot.

  • Sunday Morning Vinyasa has grown to become such a warm and nurturing community of yogis, that we all look forward to the weekend, just so we can spend our Sunday mornings together yoga-ing, laughing and healing.
  • Monday & Wednesday morning’s Hatha Integration Class is the workshop class for the studio.  Come and explore your favorite asanas, practice pranayama and meditation. Study and Inquiry are the hallmark of this alignment-based class. So much to learn, so many ways to deepen.
  • Tuesday & Thursday Mid-Day Bliss/Gentle is just exactly that; a gentle exploration of posture and breathe, which is massages the mind, body and spirit. An hour of movement in the middle of the day – a beautiful way to renew and inspire.
  • Tuesdays and Thursday Evening Vinyasa Flow is a steady and playful sequence tuned to some awesome vibes, designed to get the heart rate up and the stress out.

I offer to all a bow of gratitude for your continued  support throughout the years.  It has been an honor and pleasure to be your teacher, as you continue to be my muse.

May the blessings of the season and the twinkle of bright lights bring joy and peace to you and your loved ones.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Live Music at Gratitude Workshop

Dear Seattle Yogis,

Are you ready for an amazing workshop, guaranteed to open your heart to the abundance of the Holiday Season?  I can’t wait for this Sunday.  I just got off the phone with our musicians and I am so psyched.  We are going to move and chant and be moved by their incredible voices and rhythms.

See you soon.

Diana Bonyhadi

A Practice of Gratitude
Sunday, November 24th
1:00 – 4:00pm

Welcome the Holidays with this Essential Heart Opening practice featuring live music by Tova Ramer and Steve Grant.

Steve has been singing Kirtan for years and has performed with his Bhakti Bliss Band as well as studied with Jai Uttal and Gina Sala. Tova has been singing for years in Jewish, interfaith and folk rock groups in the Seattle area.  She’s inspired by Snatam Kaur, Gina Sala and Deva Premal.

This workshop features heart-opening asanas such as backbends to help you open more fully to the experience of the holidays and digestive asanas to help with you process the physical and emotional  abundance of the season.

Our flow will be beautiful and deep and enhanced by the sweet sounds of live kirtan.

Open to students of all levels.

River Tree Yoga
6922 Preston-Fall City Road
Issaquah, WA, 98027

$40/student, pre-registration strongly recommended.
Workshop limited to 15 students

Contact Diana Bonyhadi to sign up
425-765-3173
Diana@KharmaBellaYoga.com

 

So Many Yoga Books – How to choose?

Happy Friday Yogis.

 

I hope it has been a good week for you.  Mine has had its share of ups and downs, including a most unfortunate auto accident.  Now I get to practice my own best advice.  Breathe, rest, ice, careful alignment and good posture.  I guess the positive is that as a result of the accident, others around me, are being more careful in their own driving practices.  My husband is convinced that as a result of my accident, he was saved from having one himself, as he was now being more present and cautious at the wheel.

Students in my classes at River Tree Yoga and Village Green Yoga continue to inspire me. This week I was honored by a guest at Tree House Point/River Tree Yoga who said her practice with me on Monday was the best addition to an already perfect vacation.  I figure that is a good thing, seeing as the next part of her vacation was going to need some modification – no she can not go to Mount Rainer.

I just came upon this book list from an article published on YogaJournal.Com.  Many of my students ask me for my recommendations on what to read.  I think this article does a remarkable job of listing and describing some of the best resources in the yoga book world.  This is by no means comprehensive and some of my favorites are not listed, but it is a good start.

One more thing.  Here is a beautiful video of Vladimir Horwitz playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23.  It is fun, it is inspiring, and heart warming.  I must say that in many ways this man is a true yogi.  He is so present, skillful, learned, humble and joyful.  Enjoy!

 

Happy Weekend Yogis

Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

 

Reclaiming Routine – Monday-Wednesday Morning Classes Return!

Hello Yogis and Yoginis,

For those of you who live in the Seattle area, I hoped you enjoyed the lightning show tonight as much as I did. The power of mother nature never fails to inspire me.

We are half-way through September and I am now stepping back fully into my routine.  My daughter has returned to school and our schedule has once again become full.  There is something nourishing about routine.  In a strange sort of way, I find it allows  me to do more in less time, without confusion and fatigue…  There is freedom in structure?…there is freedom in alignment?…yes, I guess there is yoga in everything.

I am happy to announce that starting tomorrow morning, I will once again be teaching my Monday/Wednesday morning Hatha Integration class at Village Green Yoga.  If you are looking for a careful, thoughtful, intentional, heart-based yoga class that allows you to explore and deepen your understanding and practice of yoga, join me Monday & Wednesday mornings at 9:30.

Beautiful NewsVillage Green Yoga has a gorgeous new bamboo floor.  Not only is it beautiful, it also is a great floor upon which to practice.  It has a bit of a give, but not too much, it is level and smooth but not slippery. I love it and I bet you will too.

So, here it is.  The New Fall schedule in its entirety.  I look forward to seeing you on the mat.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

Village Green Yoga

Sundays             9:45 – 11:00am

Mondays             9:30 – 10:45am

Tuesdays              Noon – 1:00 & 5:30 – 6:45pm

Wednesdays        9:30 – 11:00am

Thursdays         Noon – 1:00 & 5:30 – 6:45

River Tree Yoga

Wednesdays   5:00 – 7:00pm

Wednesdays    7:30 – 9:00pm

Alternating Saturdays    9:30 – 11:00am

New Fall Schedule

Dear Yogis & Yoginis,
I hope you have had a marvelous summer. Truly, summer in the Northwest is a wonderful thing.  And now with the rain pouring and the skies filled with thunder and lightning, it officially feels like Fall.
I have spent the summer meditating, yoga-ing, gardening, going to concerts, berry picking, making jam and pickles, reading, and enjoying my family. I  also traveled to Cannon Beach to host a workshop on core movement. It was a sold-out success, so there is a very good chance I will offer it again here in the Fall.
I am returning to my regular teaching schedule in September, along with a couple of new additions. While I enjoyed my “mini-sabatical,” I have missed being with my students on a more daily basis.  However with the Jewish High Holy Days beginning this week, it will be a couple of more weeks before I resume my morning classes.  A big thank you to the most wonderful Bonnie Dike for nourishing my classes while I was on leave.  Isn’t she amazing?
I am very excited to announce that I will be teaching alongside my dear friend Inga Rouches at our new endeavor River Tree Yoga at Tree House Point in Fall City. Come out to the woods and experience the beauty and magic that is River Tree Yoga, a studio dedicated to inspiration, connection and growth. River Tree Yoga is conveniently located on the Preston Fall City Road, minutes away from Sammamish, Issaquah, Fall City, Snoqualamie & Carnation. Click here to see our beautiful new website, get our class get schedule, or find directions.
River Tree Yoga, Fall City, WA
Wednesdays
5:30 – 7:00pm     Hatha Integration

7:30 – 9:00pm    Yoga Bliss

 
Village Green Yoga, Issaquah WA
Tuesdays & Thursdays

Noon – 1:00pm    Midday Bliss

5:30 – 6:45pm     Hatha Flow

Sundays:

9:45 – 11:15am Hatha Flow

 

 

KharmaBellaYoga, Sammamish, WA

Private, small-group, corporate, and offsite yoga services designed specifically to meet your yoga needs.

Call to schedule – 425-765-3173

I Look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Happy Spring & Happy Backs

250px-Chinese_Wisteria_BlütentraubenHello Yogis and Yoginis.

Happy Spring.  We have had so much sun here in Seattle it almost feels like Summer.  But I’m not fooled, I know we will get a bit more rain to ensure the lushness of our gardens and forests. Oh but isn’t it beautiful here in the Springtime. This picture is of the Wisteria in my garden – Wow.

And in case you are one of the many who has suffered from allergies this Spring, the hot sunshine these past two weeks should have helped to clear out the last of the pollens, and you should be feeling much better.

A big thank you to my students for their support and understanding last week when my back decided to bail on me.  Getting out of bed, off the floor and out the door was almost more than I could handle, but your kindness nourished me and I thank you. Once again I am so grateful for my yoga, as I know that is what helped me move and return to wellness so quickly. Well that and plenty of rest and ice.  For those of you who also suffer from periodic low back pain/trauma here is the yoga sequence I used.  I did this cycle gently at least twice a day.

Low Back Care Sequence:

  • Low back massage while lying on your back, knees drawn to chest, move knees in small circles, first one direction, then the other, and then in opposite directions.
  • Pelvic lifts while lying on your back with feet on the floor, gently curl tailbone up towards ceiling.
  • Alternate leg extensions while lying on your back with knees into chest, reach one leg away, lower slowly towards the earth (stop if it hurts), pause, then change legs.
  • Arm extensions while lying on your back knees bent, feet on the floor, reach arms over head.
  • Supported low bridge with arm extensions. The first couple of days I just used a book, then as my back began to recover I moved up to a block.  I also explore lifting my legs in the air for a variation of shoulderstand.  At first I could not lift my legs, but after a couple of days, having my feet in the air was very restful.
  • Cat-Cow – very slowly.
  • Supported child’s pose – put a bolster under you and rest with a softly rounded spine.
  • Leg extensions from neutral hands and knees.  Extend one foot out behind you keeping the foot on the floor, toes tucked, reach through heel. Perhaps even extend opposite arm forward.  Continue to draw belly towards spine.
  • Supine thread the needle. Lie on your back, bring both feet off the floor, knees over hips, cross left foot over right knee, reach through legs, and gently draw right thigh towards you while pushing left thigh away.  You can also extend the right leg straight up. towards ceiling. Do both sides.
  • Happy Baby. Lie on your back, bend both knees and draw them into the body and then beside the body, hold onto the soles of your feet with the soles of your feet facing the ceiling.  Extend back body along the ground.
  • Plenty of rest on your back with legs resting on bolsters, knees bent, and/or legs up the wall.
  • Ice ice baby

Summer News:  Starting July first, I will be taking a semi-sabbatical from teaching for two months.  We have found some wonderful subs to cover my weekday morning and evening classes at Village Green Yoga.  Meditation Circle will continue on Thursday evenings at 7:00.  So do keep your practice up and check out these amazing teachers.  I will continue to teach my:
Sunday Salutation Class         9:45 – 11:15,
Midday Bliss Class,                  Tuesdays & Thursdays noon – 1:00pm.

Enjoy these glorious Spring days.  I look forward to seeing you on the mat and around town.

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Passover – Traditions which inspire and transcend

Hello to all my favorite yogis.

Sorry, I have not written in a while.  Seems that keeping a proper blog is not in my constitution.  Oh well, I can let that go.

Tonight begins the Jewish Festival of Passover.  Like all good Jewish traditions, this one centers around food.  But it is not just any food, this is a meal, and a week of meals that is designed to remind us that we were once slaves in Egypt, and by the grace of G-d we were able to escape to freedom.

Tonight we will gather around our tables and tell the story of our escape from enslavement.  We will eat foods that will remind us of the tears of our ancestors, the hard work they did building pyramids, and the bread they were unable to finish baking in their rush to leave.

Passover provides us a unique opportunity to remember that we are not the only ones who have suffered slavery.  And more importantly, it encourages us to work to end the slavery that exists in  world today.  Yes, people all over the world are enslaved; children in sweat shops, children in the sex trade, adults in unsafe jobs with unfair/negligible wages, indentured servitude, battered spouses, and unfortunately the list goes on.  We don’t have to dig very deeply to find the ugliness of physical slavery in every corner of the world.

And our enslavement is not only physical. We are trapped by our computers, TVs and cell phones.  We are preyed upon by advertising which makes us think we are incomplete without the newest, latest, greatest whatever.  We suffer hunger, sexism, racism, global warming, etc. We are trapped by our childhood tapes of what it means to be good.   Spiritually and psychologically almost all of us are held by something.

And so here is Passover, and we get a chance to look about and within and choose once again to fight against slavery.  We get to rededicate ourselves to fight for freedom.  Freedom from the shackles of both physical and emotional bondage.

So, here is the work.  Look around and help out.  There are many programs out there that fight against modern-day slavery.  Pitch in, lend a hand  or send a dollar.  To quote  a favorite musician,  “none of us are free if one of use is chained.”

And also look inside, and see what are you willing to let go of this week?  Select something that is holding you back from living fully as your wonderful self.  How are you enslaved, and by what?  I know this is hard work, and it takes a brave heart to begin to let go of those chains.  Even the Israelites were reluctant to leave.    Slavery wasn’t good, but at least they knew it.  Change and freedom is scary, it is the unknown, and in the land of the unknown, we need to reach deep into our hearts for strength.  But isn’t it better that we live lives of wholeness, lives of connectedness, even if it means stepping into the wilderness.

In my classes this week, I will be encouraging my students to use their yoga practice to find the strength to touch their points of constrainment, to use their asanas to open their hearts, to become flexible enough to open the places that were closed within before.  We will be exploring backbends and their counterposes – opening our hearts and stepping into moments of awakening. And then from these moments of awakening, we can connect and be powerful in our openness and our oneness, and walk the path of yoga beyond the mat.

Shalom & Namaste
Diana Bonyhadi
Issaquah, WA

Why I didn’t set any New Years Resolutions

Summary
This blog is too long.  You are too busy to read all of it.  Here’s what you need to know:
Give up New Years Resolutions – set a single word intention instead.  Carry it every where with you.  Use it to realign your life and allow you to be more present.  Take ten minutes every day for yourself and let the intention seep into your pores. Wait, Stop, you are too busy for that – never mind.

Happy New Year!

This year I thought I would throw out the tradition of setting New Years Resolutions and replace it with setting a New Years Intention.  My goal was to distill my hopes for the year into a single word that I could paste to my computer, mirror, desk and other such assorted places.  A word that would call me back to the moment and remind of what I want to embrace in 2013.

Choosing the word/intention wasn’t as easy as I thought.  I mean if it was to become my mantra for 2013, I’d better choose pretty carefully.  But of course there is always that problem of over-thinking.  What the heart puts forward is usually right, even if my brain wanted to do an override.

On Sunday, as I was listening to a free jazz concert at Seattle First Baptist Church (Sunday Jazz Vespers – first Sunday of every month)  my intention rang out.  Enjoy!  I had toyed with words that were similar: chill, relax, smile, cherish, relish, but when “enjoy” popped through I knew it was right.  There I was in a great old Seattle church listening to some really good jazz.  It was wonderful. But as often happens, my mind would wander and I would find myself thinking about what I had to do this week.  The music would fade and for a few moments I would no longer be there.  As the mantra enjoy crept back in, I would return my attention to the moment and immediately I was happy, thrilled in fact to be sharing this moment with my husband and loving the music.

My goal for 2013 is to bring more joy to my life.  Or maybe a better way to say it is, I want to take time to truly enjoy my life and all the beauty that surrounds me.  I have a wonderful family, amazing friends, I live in a beautiful place and I have the best job in the world.  On top of that, there is so much to see and do here in Seattle and on this great planet.  So why not enjoy it?  What keeps me and so many I know from feeling truly happy?  I am too busy.

I posted this link on my Facebook page and I encourage you to read it.  The author Reggie Ray reminds us that most of us are so caught up in our busy-ness that we lose our ability to simply enjoy the moment.  This really struck a chord with me.  How often do we find ourselves rushing from one programmed event to the next, telling ourselves and everyone around us how busy we are.  Busy-ness has seemingly become a badge of honor.  “Hi, how are your?  I am super busy, how about you?  Yep me too, you should see my to-do list…” I think that it is this busy-ness that has gotten in the way of our simply enjoying the moment.   We run from one thing to the next, each event important, but each losing its value as a result of our obsession with doing so much all the time.  It gets so bad that we find ourselves unable to stop.  And even if we do stop, we are busy planning how we will get the next thing(s) on our “to-do” lists done.

So for 2013, I will embrace joy.  Joy in the moment. Joy in doing less.  Joy in not multitasking.  I am reminded of the Tasahara monk who spoke of the joy of dish washing.  Now dish washing can be a drag, especially if I spend the time washing dishes thinking about what I am to do next, and next after that and so on.  But if I harness my awareness to the dish washing itself, then I can enjoy the feeling of warm water, silky soap and squeaky, clean dishes.  Even the sense of completion when the dishes are done. And so it goes with all things.

Being present in the moment enables us to find more joy in whatever we are doing.  And if it turns out that as we become more fully present, we realize that what are doing brings us no joy at all, then at least we have attended carefully enough to know we must create change.  We learn to identify that which brings us joy and that which brings us pain.  With this knowledge we can then make choices that will enable us to gather more joy into our hearts and to let go of those actions, commitments, activities that simply contribute to our busy-ness and not to our fulfillment.

To those of you who are now firmly convinced of my polyanna-ness, let me acknowledge that I know most of you are householders, as am I.  Householder is a term used to recognize our need to work and maintain a home/family.  We all have jobs and burdens to carry, and families who need us. Our workloads may be heavy, the kids may be tiring, our parents my be challenging, but that is our life.  The question is how do we live our lives and  not just pass through them.

For me it has always been through yoga and meditation.  But this year I plan to up the ante and embrace joy.  What will you do?

Questions to ponder:

  • How much of my life is consumed with busy-ness?
  • How present am I in my daily actions (e.g.driving, walking, bathing, working, playing, resting)?
  • How often do I simply stop and rest for 10 minutes without trying to do anything?
  • Could I set aside 10 minutes for myself on a daily basis?
  • Did I set some resolutions for 2013?  What do they have in common?
  • What single word could I choose as my intention for the year?

 

Happy New Year

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi