Sun Salutation Workshop
Saturday, September 27
1:00 – 4:00pm
River Tree Yoga
Tree House Point
6922 Preston-Fall City Road
Issaquah, WA 98027
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.
Call early to reserve a place for your mat.
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
Vinyasa Flow appropriate for all levels and all bodies. Drop-ins welcome
Wednesdays @ 5:00pm at Issaquah Dance Theatre:
Loving Your Sun: How to get the most out of your sun salutations and learn the fun-damentals of the individual asanas and how to transition safely between them. Perfect for building your home practice and deepening your awareness.
Sunday September 23, 1:00 – 3:30 – Village Green Yoga
Take the time to Meditate: This is a wonderful workshop for anyone who has ever wanted to try meditation and also for those who have enjoyed a meditation practice in the past.This two-hour workshop will include asanas to settle the body, pranayama (breathwork) to focus the mind, chanting and guided meditation.
Sunday, September 30, 1:00 – 3:00pm Village Green Yoga
This weekend marks the official end of summer. Folks are bounding out for their final fling; boating, hiking, beaching, capturing live music. I hope that this weekend you will find some time to celebrate and honor the labors that you have put forth this year.
Often times we find ourselves running from one thing on our “to-do” list to the next. We wonder if we will ever get it all done. By the time we are half way through that list, we are already building the next list. It is this busy-ness of living that wears us down. Without taking time out to appreciate all that we have done, we will forever feel like the mouse on the wheel; spinning and spinning, yet going no where.
This is, I think one of the true gifts of meditation. We set aside time to be in stillness. We give ourselves permission to step off the spinning wheel of the doing and busy-ness of living. This is really hard to do, believe me, I know. I really like my lists. I am a doer of the highest order. And while we may stop our physical activities, the mind is still trying to keep it all going. It takes time for the mind to slow down, and stop making lists and telling stories. But if we get in the habit of sitting, every day, if even for a just a little bit, our bodies and our minds begin to look forward to this time of not doing, to this time of being. If you are new to meditation, or are looking for a refresher class, I will be hosting a meditation workshop September 22 at Village Green Yoga.
So, I am grateful for Labor Day Weekend. I am grateful I have the time to pause and reflect on all that I have done this year. I am grateful to all the workers – that would be all of us – who make this life possible. So a big shout out to farmers, truckers, engineers, laborers, office workers, cooks, writers, yogis, scientists, teachers, all of you who put your time and energy into making a living and making a life. Thank you for your labors of living.
Have a great weekend. Step with ease into the Fall. Lots of interesting things will be happening in the Seattle yoga community. My contributions include a couple of workshops and a meditation circle to begin in October, after I return from a meditation trip to India. A brief summary of my schedule is listed below, more details available through the links.
Shalom & Namaste
Loving Your Sun – A workshop exploring the fun-damentals of the sun salutation series
Intro to Meditation – A workshop offering tips and tools to help your meditation practice.
Day Time Style Location
Monday 9:30 – 11:00 Hatha Integration Village Green Yoga
Tuesday Noon – 1:00 Hatha Integration Swedish Hospital
Tuesday 5:30 – 6:45 Vinyasa Flow Village Green Yoga
Wednesday 9:30 – 11:00 Hatha Integration Village Green Yoga
Thursday Noon – 1:00 Hatha Integration Swedish Hospital
Thursday 5:30 – 6:45 Vinyasa Flow Village Green Yoga
Sunday 9:30 – 11:00 Sunday Salutations Village Green Yoga
Hope you have been having an awesome, amazing and abundant summer. How did you do on that Pacific Northwest checklist of fun? Let’s see, just this week, I logged:
- Blueberry picking
- Visited the San Juan Islands
- Watched the Orcas swim by
- Jumped and played in three separate lakes
- Danced to Pink Martinis at Zoo Tunes
- Meditated – lots and in some really cool places
- Finished a couple of books
Whatever you decide to do these next few weeks make sure it nourishes your soul. So often we forget about that in the hustle and bustle of living, and then I wonder if we really are living. Find Joy & Embrace it.
Next month (September) I will be hosting two workshops at Village Green Yoga. More info to follow shortly, but mark your calendars now.
- Loving Your Sun – learning the fun-damentals of the Sun Salutation Sequence
Sunday, September 23, 1:00 – 3:30
- Taking the Time to Meditate – opening to the heart of a meditation practice.
Sunday, September 30, 1:00 – 2:30
And here it is, the reason for the title of this posting. This is an excerpt from a letter from my rabbi on this week’s Torah portion. The whole of his writing is powerful, but this short bit says it all. Enjoy!
When we make spirituality an essential part of our existence, however, what we are able to see is radically different. Because our spiritual path serves to reconnect us to Source, it expands our awareness beyond the tunnel vision of the ego. In removing our blinders and opening our eyes it also opens our heart. As we become spiritually aware, we are able to see the essential goodness of the world, the miracle of life, the unfathomable gift of our own birth, and the preciousness of relationship. We are able to hold the pain and suffering, the struggling and the fear with acceptance, understanding and compassion. The existence of love brings up feelings of gratitude, the wonder of aliveness, feelings of pure joy. In such awareness the other is no longer seen as a means to satisfy one’s needs; one is able to leave the past in the past, welcome the future with an open heart, and be fully present to one’s experience in every moment, just as it is. When awareness transcends the ego, one can’t help but see abundance and love.
Shalom & Namaste
Home again from vacation. The bags are unpacked, the laundry clean and put away, meals planned for the week, and all of us have returned to the routine of school and work.
Routine which may become monotonous, does provide a stable ground upon which to rest. We know what is expected of us, and how best to manage our strength and energies within it. Routine, which can sometimes lead to boredom, also provides an opportunity for renewal and deeper introspection.
Take for example the sun salutations. We know the routine:
- Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Bhujhangasana/Urdhva Mukha Svanasana
As we breath and move from asana to asana we gain strength and clarity. Each asana is a meditation in and of itself. And yet each asana leads to the next asana, deepening the meditation. As the flow becomes more and more familiar, we begin to deepen our practice and our understanding of ourselves.
Sure, there is room for boredom. All the room your are willing to allow yourself. As soon as you mentally jump ship (so to speak) the asanas no longer provide the foundation for the meditation, and become no more than an aerobic exercise. The true gift of the sun salutation lies in its ability to link our breath, movement and mind into a heart opening practice. One in which we put aside all of our “to-do” lists, and allow ourselves to experience a greater sense of well-being and connectedness.
And there is great room for enhancement and variation. All the other asanas can be incorporated into the sun salutations. Routine becomes enhanced, and yet grounded in a deeper practice.
So, as we return again to the routine of daily living, I find myself embracing my sun salutation practice as a touchstone for renewal and re-entry. May it be so for you as well.
Shalom & Namaste,