Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cat Days of Winter

There is the "dog days of summer", why not "cat days of winter"? We can learn a lot from our feline friends about how to take care of ourselves during the colder, darker months:
1) Sunbathe. Ever notice how cats will go to extreme lengths to catch a nap in the sun? If we all had that dedication to our vitamin D intake, we would help balance hormones and lower our risk of cancer.
2) Stretch. Anywhere, anytime in any direction. Lose the tension by undulating your spine a little every day, just like a cat.
3) Move mindfully. Cats are known for their grace, but if you watch a cat closely, you'll see they are very particular about how, where and when they step. Can you imagine taking a tentative step off a curb, then pulling your foot back and repeating that several times? You indeed would be ready to move once you finally committed to it!
4) Groom. Another things cats are known for is their obsessive grooming habits. Imagine you massaged your skin as much as a cat does (sans tongue!); you would be moving your skin and muscles continually, easing tension, improving circulation and lymph drainage - which is key to a healthy immune system.
It's no wonder cats are always napping; it takes a lot of effort to maintain this level of self care. Meow!

Schedule updates and special events; please click description for more details...
  • Saturday, Dec 11: FREE Community Restorative Class 1:00-2:30pm at Soula in downtown San Jose. Come early, only 20 spots available!
  • Sunday, Jan 2: Donation-based Gentle Yoga Class 5:00-6:30pm at Breathe in Los Gatos; all proceeds will support yoga for cancer survivors through
  • New class! Beginning Tuesday, Jan 4, Lorien will teach an ongoing yoga for cancer support class at Breathe in Los Gatos; this class is donation-based.
  • New class! Beginning Sunday, Jan 9, Lorien will teach an ongoing gentle yoga class at Breathe in Los Gatos.
  • Saturday, Feb 5: Yoga as Cancer Support workshop 1:00-4:00pm at Breathe in Los Gatos; this workshop is donation-based and is for patients, caregivers and professionals working with cancer.
  • Date TBD: Yoga for Cancer Support at Home workshop at Stanford hospital in Palo Alto; this workshop teaches patients and caregivers how to practice yoga at home, using household props and addressing common obstacles. This workshop is offered free of charge through the Stanford Cancer Support Program.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ticking Clocks and Other Blocks (to Meditation)

I once experienced a student walk out of a restorative class that I was teaching because the clock ticking in the room was irritating her and she couldn't relax through it. I felt empathy, since I am also easily distracted by repetitive sounds. I went to a meditation teacher, Sharon Allen (who I am so fortunate to share space with at GGBC), and asked her what she recommends for this type of distraction. She offered a practice that I have found priceless, once that I have expanded on and that often helps me during meditation. Here is what she shared with me, along with my development.
First, identify the sensation (in this case, it is the sound of a ticking clock). Really focus on it, as if you were going to describe it later on to someone. Be interested in its qualities. As you rest your awareness on the sensation, notice if there is any change in its qualities. Next, notice that while there is a space for this sensation, there is also a space where this sensation doesn't exist. In the case of the ticking clock, there is a space in the room where there is an absence of the sound. Allow your awareness to rest there fully. Notice any judgements or opinions about the sensation or non-sensation and let those pass. Rest in this awareness of sensation for as long as you are able to stay with it without attaching to the sensation. You may begin to notice other sensations, but do so with this balance in mind, taking in the sensation and non-sensation and meeting both with equanimity. I work this way with sound, bodily sensation (breath, physical discomfort), thought and emotion. Try it - even for just 5 minutes a day - and see how it makes you feel.

Schedule updates
  • Please see Lorien's schedule page for ongoing classes appropriate for all levels of health and abilities.
  • Coming soon: therapeutic and cancer support classes in Los Gatos beginning Jan, 2011.
  • Retreat with Barbra Brady coming next spring in Sonoma; more details coming!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Fall Changes

It's hot - well into the 90's during the day. The leaves are falling and the wind in blowing. Welcome to California's Fall. This time of year brings about change; in fact, it's the only thing about a California Fall that you can accurately predict. Change can be wonderful, but stressful to most of us. It is more important than ever that you listen to your bodies, ground through your feet and find quiet moments of stillness. I am not immune to the stresses of change myself, so I am extra vigilant this season about getting enough sleep, rest and relaxation. Use your practice as medicine; remember the tools of meditation, pranayama and asana to keep or improve your quality of life... it's what yoga is all about.

A new resource
Instead of my monthly What we are practicing now... write-up, I will be posting class sequences on a separate blog. You can access that blog here, or reference the link to the left. I hope it informs and assists you. Please feel free to comment!

Schedule updates
  • Thursday nights are happening in Campbell! Move with us at the 5:30 Hatha Flow class or sink deeply into the 7:15 Yin class at The Yoga Studio.
  • Wednesday Yin classes at GGBC in Campbell are now 6:00-7:15pm, and the suggested donation is $12 (or volunteer to help with props). Please spread the word about this great opportunity to go deep into the tissues, no matter your level of health or wealth!
  • Coming soon: cancer support and therapeutic classes on Tuesdays in Los Gatos; more details TBD...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Graceful Living

I have been thinking about grace lately. It's always been my desire to move through life, taking changes and disappointments with a graceful ease, because that is almost the opposite of what I had been doing until recently. I made a decision to find ways to improve my grace, but it's not so easy. A few months ago, I began learning a Brazilian martial art form called Capoeira. It combines dance, music, acrobatics and combat into a beautiful flow that really speaks to my heart. As I watch the more experienced Capoeiristas, I notice that quality of grace in their movements: they respond to their partner with attention and an ease that my beginner's body doesn't yet posses. But that is the point: grace takes practice, and sometimes you don't get it quite right. Each time I fall, each time I lose my temper, each time I apologize, I am learning grace. Just like my Capoeira games. Just like my yoga practice. Living gracefully is a practice. As Fall approaches, there are many changes coming; some I will respond to better than others, but all are opportunities to practice graceful living.

What we are practicing now...
Ardha Sarvangasana (half shoulder stand pose) is a wonderful pose for the warmer weather and is an inversion that in most of us can access. To view a picture and instructions, please click here. If your wrists can manage it, try being in this pose for 2 minutes to fully receive its benefits.

Schedule Updates and Events...
  • New Classes Thursdays! Beginning September 30, Lorien will be teaching 2 classes at The Yoga Studio in downtown Campbell. This studio is owned by a fellow graduate of my teacher training program and includes our trainer on its staff. It features Aerial yoga - a wonderfully therapeutic and fun way to practice yoga (see their website for pictures)! Lorien's classes on September 30 will be by donation, benefitting the public schools in Campbell. Please come by, help out the campbell community and see this beautiful space! Note new opening date.
  • September 25, 1:00-4:00pm Yoga and the Cancer Journey Workshop with Lorien and Michelle Duguay; hosted by Soula Power Yoga studio in downtown San Jose. $35 pre-registered, $45 day of. For more information, see Special Events or contact Lorien. Please help spread the word about this workshop so that all who are affected by cancer can learn how yoga can support them.
  • October 1-3 Yin and Yang Yoga Retreat with Lorien at Mount Madonna Retreat Center in Watsonville; there are only 2 spots left!!! Contact Lorien ASAP if you are interested in going. See Special Events for details.
  • Coming soon! Lorien will be teaching at another new studio opening in Los Gatos... stay tuned for more details.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ask and You Shall Receive

Sometimes asking for what we need or want is a hard thing to do. Maybe we aren't quite sure what it is that we need, so defining it is the challenge. Or maybe, the act of asking is foreign and riddled with fear. I had been mulling this idea over for a while when I came up with the plan to get really clear on what I wanted in my life. I made a simple text file on my computer's desktop and worked on my "request to the universe" for weeks. I prioritized my wishes and kept the language very simple and positive. (I had, after all, been working with bhavana for some time before this process.) After weeks of massaging the text in this file, I started to notice two things: first, my actions, words and thoughts all began to align with this request - rather than wait for the universe to provide these things to me, I would live my life in a way that promoted my request. Second, my requests began to come true! My request encompassed both personal and professional goals, and more and more of those are being met every day. Some of these are long term life goals that I will continue to meditate about and be aware of for years to come. It all began with a request. What will you request?

What we are practicing now...
I call this the "feline spine", and it's a purr-fect summertime practice! Moving fluidly and thoughtfully is a great way to release excess heat from your body. To begin, come into Child's pose and exhale all your breath out.
  • On your inhale, round your back high and bring your shoulders over your wrists into Cat pose.
  • On your exhale, arch your back and pull your hips back towards your feet.
  • Move forward and back that way a few times and when you've got the rhythm of the breath and movement, close your eyes and articulate each piece of your spine, undulating with your breath.
  • Repeat this for as long as you like and then move back into Child's pose (to end the practice) or Downward-Facing Dog pose (to continue the practice). Yum!
Schedule Updates and Events...
  • New Class Thursdays! Beginning September 23, Lorien will be teaching 2 classes at a new studio in downtown Campbell... more details to come!
  • September 25, 1:00-4:00pm Yoga and the Cancer Journey Workshop with Lorien and Michelle Duguay; hosted by Soula Power Yoga studio in downtown San Jose. $35 pre-registered, $45 day of. For more information, see Special Events.
  • October 1-3 Yin and Yang Yoga Retreat with Lorien has moved to Mount Madonna Retreat Center in Watsonville; fees have changed, see Special Events for updates.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Mind Befriends Body

Have you ever had a friend who doesn't really listen to you? You try to explain something and this person talks right over you. It isn't much of a friendship, is it? Now think about your body and mind as two friends. Body continues to quietly speak to Mind, but Mind is oblivious and simply talks over Body. Not much of a relationship in that scenario. When we practice mindfulness through body scanning, we can think of the practice as strengthening this relationship by letting Mind (attention) be led by Body (sensation). This is a way for Mind to befriend Body, creating a deeper bond and better communication between the two - just like with friends. Practice body scanning in a seated or reclined position (see below for how to do a body scan). It is a wonderful skill and perfect for a more internal summertime practice.

What we are practicing now...
Body scanning is a kinesthetic mindfulness practice that brings your attention inward. Begin by finding a quiet, comfortable position, either seated or reclined. Try to place your body in such a way so that there is minimal sensation, using props if necessary.

Bring your awareness to the surface of your skin and notice your weight on the floor or chair. Let your breath be organic and notice how breathing in and out moves your clothing and skin. Release your weight a little more and notice the air all around you. Feel the whole back surface of your body and the whole front surface. Notice your left side and your right side.

Now bring your attention beneath the surface of your skin and turn your mind fully towards your body. Notice any part of your body that is calling for attention and rest your awareness fully there. As your breathe, be aware of how the sensation in this area changes. If you feel tension coming from this area, try exhaling through your mouth like you have just dropped a heavy load; repeat this as many times as you feel you need it. If another part of your body calls for attention, allow your mind to fully rest there. Continue to move your awareness through your body this way, letting your mind be led by sensation rather than thought. If thoughts arise, notice them but don't engage them and return to your practice, beginning at the surface of your skin, if necessary.

Practice this kinesthetic mindfulness for several minutes, then release it. Notice how you feel - mentally and physically. Return your attention slowly to the surface of your skin, clothing, floor/chair, air. Move into your next practice or simply come out.

Note: this practice is a combination of ingredients given to me by several teachers; my gratitude to Cheri Clampett, Arturo Peal, Kelly McGonigal and Sharon Allen. Namaste.

Schedule updates and events... see Schedule for complete class listing
  • Saturday, July 10th: celebrate Lorien's 40th birthday with a free beach yoga class at Moran Lake Beach in Santa Cruz; class begins at 10:30am. Bring water, towel and sun protection; there is limited parking on site. Immediately following the class, there will be a drum circle at the beach house 2 blocks away. Please join us if you are interested - no experience needed, you cannot do this wrong!
  • Yin & Yang Yoga Retreat Oct 1-3 in Sonoma, CA. See Special Events for more details.
  • Cancer support lecture and workshop with Michelle Duguay is set for September 25 at Soula Power Yoga in downtown San Jose. Look for more information coming soon!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Joy, Yoga & You

Occasionally, I come across some really remarkable literature, or kernel of truth within some unremarkable literature that I resonate with completely. I recently bought a book called "Yoga for Chronic Pain Relief" by Kelly McGonigal, PhD. As the name implies, it is a wonderful book for working with chronic pain. What is not obvious is that the book outlines some universal truths in a simple and clear way, so that anyone can benefit from it. (No, I'm not receiving royalties, just want to share what I found.) People who suffer from depression, anxiety or any chronic illness can relate to what she writes. Here is one of my favorite concepts presented in an easy to understand way:

"Yoga identifies joy - a natural sense of well-being, gratitude, and peace - as the deepest aspect of what it means to be human. You might have felt this kind of joy at special moments in your life - the birth of a child, the view of a sunset, or while immersed in hands-on or creative work. These glimpses are not dependent on external events [the key point here]. It is simply easier to be in touch with your natural state of well-being in these special moments.

In the yogic view, joy is the closest to what you might call your true nature. It is not a fast-changing, fast-disappearing happiness that fluctuates according to your thoughts, mood, and present circumstances. In contrast, the ability to feel at peace in this moment is central to who you are. this inner joy is less vulnerable to the changes in your life, and it is not dependent on fixing what is wrong or getting what you want. Even chronic pain [or depression, illness, anxiety, etc.] cannot take away your ability to feel this part of yourself."

Please remember this notion when you are pain - emotional, mental or physical: your true nature is closest to joy, a deep well of bliss that is unchanged by circumstance. It is always there for you, beneath the layers.


What we are practicing now...
Sirsasana II (tripod headstand) is a challenging pose that requires warmed muscles, core strength, healthy neck and wrists and a good dose of courage. It is not to be held as long as traditional Sirsasana, but it is a pose that fits nicely into a dynamic practice. You should be able to hold Bakasana (crow pose) for a few breaths before trying this pose. Make sure you are properly warmed up, too. Here is a wonderful video that shows how to enter tripod headstand.
Be sure to rest in child's pose and then release your neck following headstand. Enjoy!

Schedule updates and events... see Schedule for complete class listing...
  • Coming soon: Stay tuned for the next workshop on Cancer, Yoga & Other CAM Therapies, a lecture and yoga practice that will help anyone in treatment and in remission (and their families). Next date TBD.
  • Save the date: on Saturday, July 10th, Lorien will be celebrating her 40th birthday with a free beach yoga class in Santa Cruz. 10:30am-noon at either Moran Lake, 21st Ave or Sunny Cove beaches... stay tuned for the final location (send me an email if you have a preference)!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Underwater Basket Weaving & Yoga

I am always delightfully surprised by the image conjured up with the term "underwater basket weaving." It is actually a technique for softening the reeds used to weave together a basket (soak them in water and they will become more pliable and easier to manipulate); it is not - as so many picture in their minds, someone in full SCUBA gear sitting at the bottom of the ocean and weaving a basket! Although that view brings quite a smile to my face. What does underwater basket weaving have to do with yoga? Well, if we think of the rib cage as a basket - an image brought to me by my teacher, Tias Little, who calls it a "rib basket", then we wish for our basket to be both strong and supple to allow for deep breaths. I see so many students accessing their abdominal and back muscles (yay!) to the point that they harden and only breathe shallowly (boo!). We have to find the balance between these functions of our rib basket. I love the idea of soaking the tissues in prana to create a supple and strong basket. So, the next time you think about the muscles you use to sit or stand erect, think also of that underwater technique and breathe deeply. ~Namaste.

What we are practicing now...
Forearm plank (if there is a Sanskrit name, I don't know it) is a favorite of the Pilates practitioners and the perfect pose to find the above technique of creating a strong but supple rib basket.
  • Begin by coming to all fours and doing a few rounds of cat (back rounds) and cow (back arches) until you find your neutral spine.
  • Lower your elbows to the floor, placing them directly under your shoulders. Slightly round your upper back, like you are doing a subtle cat pose . This will stabilize your shoulders and begin to engage your muscles.
  • Extend your legs back and really firm your thighs, then extend energy through your heels; better yet, rest your heels lightly against a wall surface and push into that wall.
  • Feel how your rib basket grows hard and lean; keep some of that effort for stability, but soften it about 25% and notice your breath.
Keep playing with the balance of stability and flexibility of your rib basket by using your slow, smooth breath. Rest in Child's pose when you are done. Enjoy!

Schedule updates and events... see Schedule for complete class listing...
  • Coming soon: Stay tuned for the next workshop on Cancer, Yoga & Other CAM Therapies, a lecture and yoga practice that will help anyone in treatment and in remission (and their families). Next date TBD.
  • Save the date: on Saturday, July 10th, Lorien will be celebrating her 40th birthday with a free beach yoga class in Santa Cruz. More details to follow!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Ahimsa & Satya, Compassionate Communication

In high school and college, I was always known by my friends as the "brutally honest" one. You didn't ask me a question that you didn't really want to know the answer to, because I'd tell you - and not in a gentle way, usually. Things have changed for me, though. I have been on the receiving end of some tough conversations, and I've delivered them. It is much more challenging to be kind and honest, but I feel much better after!

In yogic philosophy, there are some observances that are outlined that one should follow if seeking a connection to all things. Two of these observances are called ahimsa and satya. Ahimsa means non-harming and is listed first. I don't think that placement is accidental. Non-harming above all other actions is a good one to adopt. In fact, medical students are taught a similar phrase in medical ethics: primum non nocere is a Latin phrase that means "First, do no harm." Satya means truth. So, if I adopt a philosophy of non-harming truth, or compassionate honesty in my communications, I grow more connected to all things.

It is definitely more work to communicate this way. I must really think before I speak, and keep the strong emotions at bay, reflecting on my own truth instead of reacting to what is happening. It's a wonderful practice, and a great way to take yoga off your mat. It is like a yoga class for your soul. Namaste.

What we are practicing now...
Ustransana (camel pose) is a strong backbend that brings up a lot of fear in students, myself included! I came across this variation and I love it. It feels safe, supported and still a great opening for the chest, throat, stomach, shoulders. The key is finding the balance between tucking the pelvis to find length in the low back and moving the groins back toward the feet so as not to harden the hip flexors. To come into the pose:
  • Set up at a wall. Bring 2 bolsters (a pillow and a foam roller work, too) and kneel in front of the wall.
  • Put one of the bolsters between you and the wall, the other on top of your calves.
  • Now, slide your buttocks down to feel the pelvic tilt; at the same time, draw your groins in and back toward your feet to protect the hip flexors. Play with that alignment until it feels right.
  • Reach back for your prop on your calves (you may lift it higher by tucking your toes under, if needed). Rotate your arms outward to open your chest and shoulders and breathe here. This is a good ending point, especially if you've had fear in this pose before.
  • To go deeper, lift your chest higher and play with bringing your head back. Don't do this if your breathe becomes challenged. Keep the actions in the legs and hips and peel open your heart as you stay here for as long as it is appropriate.
  • When you come out, sit back on your prop for a few breaths. Check in to see if you would like to do another round, or then move into your counter-pose. I like Child's pose, then Upavistha Konasana. Enjoy!
Schedule updates and events... see Schedule for complete class listing...
  • This Saturday! Yoga enChanting Workshop: Join us for a sequence of chest/shoulder/throat opening postures, followed by chanting and meditation. Class is $40 at Willow Glen Yoga.
  • This Sunday! Om for Peace: Join us at Willow Glen Yoga for an hour of chanting "om" as a meditation on peace. We are joining others all around the planet during the same hour as they chant om for peace, too. We'll meet from 3:00-4:00pm on Easter Sunday. Come for however long you like, chant at your own pace, volume, pitch. Join your voice in this beautiful expression for peace! No fee.
  • Intro to Yoga Series: next 6-week series begins on Thursday, April 22 at 7:45pm. This class meets for 6 weeks as we go through the basic breath, physical actions, postures and sequences of yoga. Appropriate for those new to the practice, or those needing a refresher. See Willow Glen Yoga to register. You must pre-register for this series.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Look

As you may have noticed, my web site and blog are now one and the same! I've also changed my email address, but the old one will work until the end of March. I hope you enjoy the new look. Please let me know if there are any issues with getting to information or downloads. As most of us do, I fell into the habit of doing nothing instead of keeping my internet ducks in a row. I spent too much money on a domain name, email and web hosting service. It just seemed too painful to look around and take a chance on something new. Sound familiar? Well, as is the case with me, when I don't do what I need to do, life gives me a little (sometimes big) nudge: in this example, my web hosting service decided to drop that part of their service. Without it, I couldn't justify over-paying for email. And since I was changing things up, I looked around for a new domain name registrar. (By the way, if all of this sounds like a foreign language to you, you are not alone! Just know that there are a few steps involved with creating a web site.) So now I've "cleaned house", in my electronic world... rid myself of old emails, costly services and my website looks leaner.

As all of this was happening, I received another nudge. One night, I was driving my family around and my daughter noticed that my yoga bag was wet: my water bottle had leaked all over it, and some cough drops that I always keep in there (to avoid disturbing students in a relaxed pose with my occasional scratchy throat) melted all over the bag. This was not the first incident, but definitely was the worst. I just couldn't salvage it. I was sad, because that bag was very helpful for carrying all my extra things to class, like cough drops, hair bands, backup CDs for my iPod, writings, notes, etc. As I was pulling the paper mache mess apart, I realized how I really didn't need all this extra stuff. I now have an older, handmade bag that has 1 small pocket for my iPod. That's it. I feel more streamlined when I walk into class now.

Both of these separate events happened without my conscious initiation, but because I was aware, I was able to see them for what they are: an opportunity to streamline, lighten up, and focus on what really matters. I hope your opportunities come along, too, and that they don't involve web sites or cough drops!


What we are practicing now...
I love the pose that yoga teacher Kira Ryder has named Compassion of Christ pose. It's a beautiful shoulder stretch and a twist. It opens the heart, lung and pericardium meridian lines, which can become congested this time of year. Here is a wonderful video of her performing this pose. Enjoy!

Schedule updates and events... see Schedule for complete schedule...
  • Donation-Based Restorative Yoga at Soula Power Yoga in downtown San Jose on FRIDAY, March 5 7:00-8:30pm. Come to this relaxing class for gentle stretching and long, luxurious poses draped over props. All cash donations will be accepted ($15 suggested). For more info:
  • Coming soon... Yoga enCHANTing, a yoga and chanting workshop... stay tuned for details.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Stress, Health & Yoga

It always surprises me when I meet someone who has not heard about the effects of stress on health... it shouldn't, but it still does. So, in case you or your loved ones haven't heard, here is the deal with stress: it's a necessary part of our existence. You need stress to grow and strengthen. When it becomes damaging to your health is when the stress is chronic. Here is a very simplified explanation.

Our bodies are amazing machines, and they are constantly taking in sensory input to determine how to operate. If it determines that there is some threat, your nervous system will initiate the "flight or fight" sequence of events. These events are automatic and will occur whether the threat is real (a car is about to hit you) or imagined (you have a nightmare). If our threats are simple and our responses are simple - get out or get ready to battle, then the responses use up the hormones, muscular contraction and other effects of the fight or flight reflex, so the end result is that our bodies return to normal mode. However, when the process is not completed - for example, you get yelled at by your boss, but it's not appropriate to fight or flee the situation, then the body does not return to normal and all those tensions and hormones are still around. If this happens chronically, then the body cannot fully restore itself to its normal healing modes. This is how chronic stress can open you up to disease.

There are many ways to reduce the effects of chronic stress. Yoga is a well-advertised form of stress-reduction, but not the only one out there. There are also many forms of yoga. Which one brings about your return to relaxation depends on your nervous system. When I first began yoga, I studied the Iyengar method, a very detailed system that taught me about the pulleys, levers, gears, pumps and valves of my body. I then moved into Vinyasa yoga, which taught me to move and breath and sweat the effects out of my system. As my levels of chronic stress reduced, I moved into more static forms of yoga: Yin and Restorative. These forms allow me to access the effects of my stress in very subtle ways and has brought me into my best form of relaxation: meditation.

Please share this information with anyone who doesn't understand the connection of stress and health. Be well.

What we are practicing now...
Parvritta trikonasana (revolved triangle pose) is one of those poses we all detest. But, like leafy greens, it is good for your health and worth making friends with. Click here for instructions on how to get into the pose. Remember to use a block under your hand if you cannot reach the floor while keeping your back flat.

Schedule updates and events... see for complete schedule:
  • Mondays Restorative Yoga at Soula Power Yoga in downtown San Jose will continue! This relaxing class meets each Monday night 7:00-8:30pm for gentle stretching and long, luxurious poses draped over props. For more info:
  • Sunday, February 7th, 1:00-2:00pm: introduction to yoga for the Willow Glen community. This FREE class is open to anyone new to yoga and will be held at Willow Glen Yoga. Send your friends along who are interested but reluctant to join the yoga craze!
  • Sunday, February 7th 2:45-3:15pm: introduction to restorative yoga for the downtown San Jose community. This FREE class is open to everyone and is part of Soula Power Yoga's open house to introduce their healing modalities to the community: acupuncture, Ayurveda, massage and Restorative Yoga. Come on down and check it out!
  • Coming soon... Yoga enCHANTing, a yoga and chanting workshop... stay tuned for details.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Time, Bread Dough and Yoga

It is the beginning of a new decade, and I have been pondering Time. I've let go of the concept that time is linear; it must have been all the time-traveling books or movies I've experienced, or perhaps it's that I have lived long enough to recognize the connections and wonder about the near misses. I now see time as malleable, like bread dough. Every now and then, it gets folded in on itself and I'll witness the fruition of some long-lost decision, or fit some disparate concepts together, or happen to be in the correct location to "bump" into an old friend. My yoga practice isn't linear, either. This past year, I became a beginner again. I began to study again with my first yoga teacher, Denise Wendler, and experienced the newness of muscles, bones and philosophy through my current teacher, Tias Little. It made me curious again, just like I was over 10 years ago! It's made me want to go back and relearn everything again, but this time with less ego... and maybe that's the purpose of these folds in Time. What folds have you experienced, and what are they telling you?

What we are practicing now...
Virabhadrasana II (warrior II pose) is a wonderful pose to bring you fully into the present moment. I direct you to Yoga Journal to describe how to practice this pose, but consider this when you have arrived: your back arm is reaching into the past and your front arm is reaching into the future, but you and your breath are resting patiently in the present.

Schedule updates and events... see for complete schedule:
  • New class on Mondays! Restorative Yoga 7:00-8:30pm at Soula Power Yoga in downtown San Jose; relax and rejuvenate as you rest your body on props and release the effects of stress. Join us on Mondays in January (if the class is well attended, it may be added to the regular schedule).
  • Intro to Yoga 6-week series: An in-depth look at yoga breathing, postures and sequences. The next series begins January 14th and meets for 6 weeks on Thursdays at 7:45pm at Willow Glen Yoga. You must register for the entire series and attendance the first night is mandatory. Class fills up quickly!
  • Beginners 1-Day Workshop on January 30th: For those who are interested in a refresher or cannot commit to a 6 week series, this workshop will cover the basics in a condensed setting. Saturday, January 30th 1:00-4:00pm at Willow Glen Yoga. Class fills up quickly!