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

Sunday Morning Salutations

Tomorrow is Earth Day.

Time for Sun Salutations to celebrate and honor our beautiful, amazing, inspiring, and nourishing mother earth.

Class will start at 9:45 in the Down Stairs studio at Village Green Yoga.

Join us for a very special class designed to celebrate our connections to the earth, each other and our deepest wisdom.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Happy Valentines Day

Valentines Day is still a couple of days away.  That means you still have time to nurture your own inner Valentine.  Let your practice this week be all about love. 

  • Fall in love with yourself
  • Spoil yourself
  • Send yourself love letters 
  • Listen to romantic music
  • Practice devotion 
  • Practice compassion
  • Practice empathy
  • Open yourself to Grace
  • Fall in love with yourself

Here are a view asanas to support your journey into love.  Hip openers and wide-legged stretches to release all that emotional stuff that gets gunked up in the hips.  Mountain and Warrior Poses to reminds us that we are strong and powerful.  Backbends to help us open our hearts.  And svasana fully propped to help nurture the quiet restful spaces within us.

  • Eka Pada Rajakoptanasana – Pigeon
  • Prassarita Podattanasa -Standing wide-legged forward bend
  • Upavista Konasana – Seated wide legged forward bend
  • Mountain – Standing Tall with Arms overhead
  • Virabradrasana I – Warrior I
  • Setu Bhanda  Sarvangasana- Bridge
  • Urdhva Danurasana – wheel
  • Svasana – Queens Pose with bolsters, eye pillows and blankets
  • Chant – Lokah Samastah Sukino Bhavantu – May all beings everywhere be at peace

Now that you have your practice poses and intentions for the week, I offer you this love poem by Rumi.

A lifetime without Love is of no account

Love is the Water of Life

Drink it down with heart and soul!

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Meeting Hanuman on the Bridge in Rishikesh

The leaves are plummeting to the earth.  My lawn is once again buried in red and gold.  I will have to go out and rake again.  Or, I could also put it off for another day or so and just enjoy the colors.  The sky is clear, the mountains are showing off for me.  And I am feeling wonderful about being alive in this moment, right here and right now.

So much news.  First thank you to everyone who participated in the election this week.  Your care for the future of this country and planet and your vote does make a difference.  I actually could have done with quite a bit less participation from the advertisers and superpacs.  Wouldn’t it be better if we just put a cap on how much is spent on any and all political campaigns.  Candidates would have to win on their goodness and wisdom, and all that money (I think the grand total was 1 billion dollars) could be spent on services and programs much needed in our country.  I’m just saying…

Meditation:  The Meditation Circle at Village Green is up and running.  Every Thursday evening 7:00pm – 8:00pm in the upstairs loft.  If last week was any indication of the energies for the future, this is going to be the best event of your week.  Asana, pranayama and guided meditation; we all practically floated out of the room at the end of the night.

Yoga Classes:  Classes continue to grow.  The morning hatha classes are a great way to explore the depth of your asanas and learn more about alignments and therapeutics.  The evening vinyasa class is a steady flow of postures, linked by breath and some juicy and inspiring music.  And then of course there is the Sunday Morning Salutation Class – this is one amazing class – we all come together and restore one anothers’ soul through the depth of our practice and our commitment to wholeness and well-being.  All of these classes are available for drop-in by pre-registration at Village Green Yoga in Issaquah.

If you are looking for something more personal, sign up for a private session.  These can be scheduled at your convenience, and are a great way to address specific therapeutic issues or to up-level your practice.  Perhaps you want to put it on your holiday wish list – a three session gift package is available for only $175, a savings of $25, and will probably be the best present you get this year.  Shameless advertising I know, but I honestly, it is true – private sessions have made such a difference for so many people, isn’t it time you tried it?  Contact me directly to schedule your private session.

India:  More stories! you say.  What was my big take away? you ask.  What was the high point?  Okay, Okay.  Here’s one for you.  I realized I am afraid of monkeys.  This is weird, because I didn’t think I was really afraid of anything, so learning to accept my fear of monkeys was indeed a big deal.

In Rishikesh, there are two halves to the town.  To travel from one side to the other, you must cross the Ganges River, by one of two suspension bridges.  Both are narrow, both are crowded.  As a pedestrian, you share the bridge with motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles, people, cows, dogs and MONKEYS.  At first I was charmed.  I mean the monkeys are quite cute, and when they have their babies hanging from them their bellies, they are even cuter.  But there are lots of them and they are swinging up and down the cables, and jumping on and off the cables and onto the bridge.  They are reaching for your bags, they are reaching for anything in your arms.  They aren’t afraid and they don’t necessarily let go when you ask them or jump upwards in fright. And you just don’t know if you will be the one the monkeys decide to pick on.

Hanuman Shrine, just down from the Bridge of Monkeys in Rishikesh – click on image for surprising details

And there was another time when a couple of us were walking up from the river at sunset.  We looked up the dirt road and saw about 50 monkeys coming our way.  Yes, I admit that fear was what filled my heart and brain.  This was not my home, it was theirs.  I was the alien, the visitor without permission.  And of course I had heard those horror stories about people being attacked by monkeys without any provocation, and I wasn’t about to go tromping right through that clan of monkeys.

Fear can lead to humiliation, and then right on to strength.  In this case, our fear inspired us to turn around and go back down to the river and ask some locals for help.   One of them looked at us sympathetically, smiled, and asked us to follow him.  Back up the road we went, but this time we had our guide and he had a couple of rocks in his hand.  He tossed the rocks up the road, the monkeys scattered.  He laughed, we smiled, (sheepishly) and proceeded up the dirt track, a bit chagrined and a maybe a bit wiser.

So there you have it, another story about India.  And another couple of lessons learned by yours truly:  1) I am afraid of monkeys.  2) It’s okay to ask for help.  3) The results are sometimes inspiring and sometimes humbling.  And most importantly, 4) opening that door to acceptance has enabled me to look at some other things in my life that are a bit scary.  The more we are able to acknowledge our vulnerabilities, the easier it is to move forward and perhaps overcome them.  Funny that I should relearn these lessons about overcoming obstacles from monkeys – Hanuman is after all a monkey god.

Have a great week.  Happy Fall

Shalom & Namaste
Diana Bonyhadi

Meditation Workshop

Sign up Now

Space is Limited

Meditation Workshop

Sunday, September  30, 1:00 – 3:00

Village Green Yoga, Issaquah

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 (breath work) to focus the mind, chanting and guided meditation. This is a great foundational workshop which will also help prepare anyone who is interested in joining our fall meditation circles, which will meet twice a week throughout the fall.
Cost: $20 in advance. $25 day-of if space permits.
Pre-registration suggested.

I am happy to say that my meditation workshop this Sunday is rapidly filling.  There are only a few seats left.  So if you are interested, contact Village Green Yoga soon.

If you have been wondering what it might be like to start a meditation practice, come to the workshop.  If you are wondering if there was any one else near you who is meditating, come to the workshop.  If you have meditation practice, but need a tune-up, come to the workshop.  If you are looking for answers, they are already inside of you, but come to the workshop anyway.

Have a great weekend.

Shalom & Namaste,

Diana Bonyhadi

The wisdom of having a spiritual practice

Hi Everyone,

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
  • Camping
  • 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

Diana Bonyhadi

Summer Schedule Changes

I find it hard to believe we are half way through summer.  But I know it must be true, because I just sent my daughter off to Camp Nor’Wester for a month, and she won’t be back till the end of August.  That means there are only 6 weeks left of summer.

Earlier in the month I wrote a post about what to do in Seattle in the summer.  How are you all doing with that?  So far I have been to the beach, hiked in the woods and gone berry picking & made some raspberry jam.  I have a lot to do in the next 4 weeks.  Next month, I will cram in all the rest – summer concerts, Shakespeare in the Park, Paddleboard Yoga and a trip to the San Juans, to name a few.  Did I mention I want to go on a food cart junket?

I missed Wanderlust at Whistler (the 3-day outdoor yoga & music festival) – Did any of you go?  How was it?

As you may have noticed there are some changes to my teaching schedule this summer.  New Summer hours:

Yoga at Swedish Hospital:
Tuesday & Thursday     Noon – 1:00    Hatha Integration/Therapeutic Alignment

Village Green Yoga:
Monday & Wednesday Mornings:

9:30 – 10:45     Hatha Integration – Alignment/Anusara Inspired

Tuesday & Thursday Evenings:

5:30 – 7:00    Vinyasa Flow

The Meditation Circle will restart in the Fall.

Speaking of meditation, if you have ever dreamed of going to India to study meditation and/or yoga, there is still time to sign up for Journey to the Source – a 2 week life changing trip to India in October. Travel with Ajayan Borys (Effortless Mind Meditation)and myself to the Majestic Himalayan Mountains and the source of the Ganges River and explore the roots of Yoga and Mediation.  For more information and to sign up, click here.  As the date draws nearer I am getting more and more excited.  Two weeks of meditation and yoga right in the very birth place of the tradition. Ajayan spent many years in this very location deep in meditation, so not will we be traveling to an amazing location, but we will be traveling with an amazing and dedicated teacher. Join us as we reach deeper into the very heart of our practice.

Have an adventuresome August.

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi

Meditation Blog – I will always be a beginner

So I have been meditating off and on for over 20 years.  That seems like a long time when I put it down on paper.  But in actuality, it feels like a short time.  Why?  Because I still feel like such a beginner.

This Fall I rededicated myself to my meditation practice.  I promised myself I would meditate at least twenty minutes a day every day of the week.  Twenty minutes isn’t that long.  Particularly if you think of what a small fraction it is of a twenty-four hour day.  But actually taking out twenty minutes from every day to meditate has been harder than you might think.

And it is not that I don’t want to meditate.  I do.  In fact, I love meditating. It’s just that I can find all sorts of reasons to procrastinate – too much going on around me, I might be interrupted, I just need to make that phone call, and return an email, I woke up late, I will get to it later….

The trick I have found is to either do it first thing in the morning, or at mid-day during my lunch break.  Getting to it in the evening never seems to work.

You can probably tell by all this that I haven’t always meditated every day, but I think that getting to it at least 5 days a week is a good start.

Now about those 20 years of practice.  I have learned/tried a lot of different styles of meditation.  Living in the Bay Area in the 1970’s, Transcendental Meditation (TM) was all the rage.  Since then I experimented with several other kinds of meditation, with varying degrees of satisfaction.

I can’t say there is one best way to do it.  I view all the different styles as useful paths to get to the same place.  Some are more rigid and demanding than others.  All offer tools and techniques to assist you in your journey.  The main thing I have found is that it takes patience and practice.

Here are few tools I have found to be very helpful this year.

  • Listen to Dharma Talks:  They are readily available on the internet.  Google Dharma talks and see where it takes you.  I have over the past year had the privilege to listen to so many wise teachers just by checking out their audio blogs online.  I have learned so much about myself and my practice, and the Dharma path.
  • Insight Meditation Timer:   This is a handy app available for both Droid and IPhone formats.  I turn my phone to silent mode, and choose a preset timer, and off I go.  I have created several presets, so that I can choose whether I will have a 10, 20 or 40 minute meditation.  I love the interval gongs and the ending gongs, and the journal and statistics options are helpful.   It is also nice to see who else around the world is meditating with you.
  • Find a Teacher:  Meditation is both hard and easy.  It is helpful to have someone you trust to whom you can direct your questions.  You will be amazed at what you discover about yourself and your mind while in meditation.  Having someone to talk to about your experiences and to guide you is nourishing.
  • Meditate with Others:  If you have a commitment to share meditation space with others it will help to ensure that you will actually practice on that day at that time.  This is the obvious benefit.  But there is also the amazing energy of being in the same room with other folks who are meditating.  Their energy will support your energy.  For all you know, they too could be wondering about the dust in their navel, but maybe, just maybe, they are deeply connected to the energies of the universe, and that is good mojo.
  • Give Yourself a Break:  Okay, so you skipped the meditation this morning.  The world won’t end.  Okay, so you spent your entire meditation doing your errands in your head.  That’s happens too.  Meditation is not about being perfect.  It is about learning; learning to  watch the mind, learning to calm the mind, learning to learn and learning to connect. Meditation is about everything else and nothing else, and so, it is about learning to give yourself a break.

Yes, after all these years I am still a beginner.  I don’t know what my meditation practice will yield on any given day.  I don’t know if I will be able to sit comfortably or not.  I don’t know if I will have one of those amazing moments of connection and stillness.  I may have none or a may feel transported for the entire session.  But I do know, that just by trying, my response to my world has gotten calmer, and for that I am grateful.

Shalom & Namaste
Diana Bonyhadi

 

 

Issaquah Morning Meditation Starts Monday

Happy Spring.

This is the time of year when all sorts of new things pop-up. The ground is fertile and the weather is fair.  Today the sun is even shining, and my garden is full of flowers.  I am full of gratitude for the bounty of the earth, my family and my community.

Speaking of community, our new meditation circle starts tomorrow at Village Green Yoga  in Issaquah.  That’s right, you asked, you dreamed, you made it happen.

Starting tomorrow morning at 8:40am we will open the doors at Village Green Yoga to anyone who is interested in being part of a meditation circle.  We will begin each circle with an intention and a pranayama practice, and then join each other in silence for a 25 minute meditation.  The circle is open to everyone and will be held twice weekly:

Meditation Circle

Monday and Thursday Mornings, 8:45 – 9:15.

This is a donation-based class.

Doors close promptly at 8:50am and will reopen at 9:15.

I look forward to starting my week with you.

 

Shalom & Namaste

Diana Bonyhadi