Miscellaneous (blog matters, etc)

Fall Greetings (Web Version of E-Newsletter)

I hope this newsletter finds you all as well as possible. It’s been a time when I’m feeling oh so fully aware of the vagaries of fate, the wildness of being, the play between the wholly unpredictable and the ordinary and expected, and the joys and benefits of aligning with a sense of order to feel healthy, adaptive, and present to what comes our way. I’m feeling that I am at a crossroads (this is partly physical), but I don’t have particular plans.

This summer, I listened to my own teachings, and in the midst of tending to the responsibilities of work and home and community and relationship, I made sure to take the time to to study and practice, including time away with opportunities to see the stars, to watch the sunrise, to walk in the woods, to swim in a lake, and, on the way to and from, to enjoy New York City.

As always, I’ve been reading widely, much of the reading focused on how we communicate and relate, what we dream, and what tools or ideas we might consider for making more efficacious our web of living relationship. In the fall, I’m looking forward to attending a number of weekend yoga workshops to inform my own practice and also going deeper into studying nonviolent communication.

For now, in the midst of this outrageous dance of life and relationship, with all that we cannot control and the unfolding turmoil of climate and society, I think that what is most important to me is to work with dedication and with my best attitude, to do community service and engage fully as a citizen, to laugh and share food with friends, to make art, and to connect the broader ecosystem, even if it is mostly through my little garden and the trees and the sky of the city. I meditate and practice asana so that I can live such a life as fully, honestly, joyously, and with as much integrity as I can.

The Tuesday night yoga practice at William Penn House continues as an opportunity to nurture our embodies selves and to share conversation about how the practices can help us live more efficaciously. I love it when new people or those who can only come occasionally join us regulars. It is generally all level and suggested donation, with all proceeds going directly to support the work camp program at William Penn House. This summer, William Penn House work campers constructed dozens of vegetable gardens for neighbors throughout the city, sharing the joys of urban edible gardening with and making possible healthier eating for those who otherwise might not have had access. Do come join us on a Tuesday night if you can. More experienced yogis can inquire directly about the Wednesday night house practice.

If you want to get more regular communications, do consider subscribing to the blog to get an email version of what I post–most days that will come as a photo or a few words, every once and a while, something longer–mostly somehow about or informed by my own interpretation of yoga practice and philosophy. Feel free also to join me on Facebook.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

ps The murti of Nataraja was a present just given to me by a friend.  He’d brought it back from India a couple of years ago and thought it belonged more in my home than in his at present.  I hadn’t seen one that I’d want to bring home, but he’s dancing away on my bookcase.

Nataraja

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Web Version of E-Newsletter (Yes, I’m Still Teaching)

Dear Friends,

My apologies for being so long in sending a proper newsletter.  2014 was a challenging year for me.  I started the year sick, ended the year sick, and was limited by injuries for several months out of the year.  Work was intensely challenging on just about every level, day after day, week after week, and it continues to be so.  And then there’s concern about the state of society and the planet and trying to figure out what I, honoring my capacity and limits, can do to do more good and less harm (I’ll never get this sent if I get side-tracked in that direction).

I also had some great adventures, including a major home renovation and an extraordinary trip to Cuba, but then was working too hard in between to appreciate and integrate fully my experiences (which is a yoga lesson in itself–addressing whether we need more stimulation when we haven’t had time to address/process previous experiences whether delights or challenges to mind, body, emotions, creativity).

Yes, I’m still teaching, even though working as much as I am these days.  You can find me leading an all levels group practice with a wonderful group of people on Tuesday nights from 6:30pm -7:45pm at William Penn House in Capitol Hill.  100% of the proceeds (pay what you can; suggested donation $12-15) support the work camp program at William Penn House.  There’s also a weekly group practice for more advanced students on Wednesday nights.  Email if you are interested in the Wednesday night practice.  More info on classes on my rose garden yoga website.

Yes, for those of you who don’t subscribe,  I’m still blogging.  With the help of wonderful web designer, friend, neighbor, and fellow yogi, Jess C, I just updated the look of the website.  I hope to find time to blog about the many layers of meaning that went into the new design, which has the colors of Kali (goddess of sequencing); the murtis are  Dakshinamurti (Siva as teacher) and Saraswati (goddess of learning, the arts, etc.); the books are a small, but important to me as yogini, portion of my library.

If you’re in town, join me for practice one of these weeks or perhaps we’ll run into each other another class or workshop.  Please let me know how you are.  Best way to be in regular touch are to subscribe to the blog.  When there isn’t an interval between working and living and loving, and all the rest, to share more detailed written contemplations about living yoga,I’ll share the signs and exhortations I see around town and remind myself and anyone else who wants the reminder that no matter what is going on, there’s always a moment to appreciate a little beauty–perhaps to notice a heart-shaped cloud in the sky.

Feel free also to friend me or like “Rose Garden Yoga” on Facebook.  Instagram possibly coming soon in my copious free time.  Ha.

Peace, love, and light,

Elizabeth

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Website Glitches

My apologies. I’ve been alerted that some photos haven’t been appearing (giving one of those pesky and disappointing error messages instead) and email being sent through the website is generating a message (erroneously, I add) that my mailbox is full.

I’m doing what I can and have asked for help.  In the meantime, I will do workarounds.  That about sums it up.

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Web Version of E-Newsletter: Holiday Greetings and Schedule

Dear Friends,

I hope you are all doing as well as possible in the midst of this holiday season and that you experience much peace and joy through the coming year.

I write to you in the midst of preparations to leave for a return trip to India, part of the preparations being to let people know what precisely is the holiday schedule for Capitol Hill Group classes.  I will be gone the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s and William Penn House will also be closed during that time.

There is William Penn House practice this coming Tuesday, December 17th, introducing the wonderful Craig Haas, long-time asana student, fellow walker on the path, friend, neighbor, and all around delightful person.  Regular time and place.  I will miss being there with you, but I will be on my way north for a night in New Jersey en route to southern India for a return journey.

I’ll be back full of stories and contemplations from the journey–how could I not–and will begin to share them on the first Tuesday in January–the 7th–when the regular schedule resumes.  Do come join the practice for your own nurture and also because the more people who come the more we give to support the work camp program at William Penn House. 100% of the proceeds of the practice contiue go to benefit that work.

If you want to be in touch in the interim, I’m planning to post some pictures during the trip; do check in with me at rosegardenyoga.com or find me and rose garden yoga on Facebook.  I don’t know yet how often I’ll be online and posting; I expect that I’ll need a few days here and there free of communication devices.  But I will enjoy sharing with you all at least a few times.

Peace and light,
Elizabeth

wreathed dome

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Autumn Greetings–Web Version of E-Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Yesterday, after I was done working and back on my personal computer and before I went to lead the Tuesday night yoga practice at William Penn House, I wrote to President Obama.  I write to the President and others in power on a not infrequent basis.  How can one not participate in the conversation if one spends so much time engaging in energetic and spiritual practices that reveal at an elemental level just how intertwined and interdependent we are with each other and the environment?

I told President Obama that I would be one of the over 800,000 workers who would not be permitted to work while work needs to be done and probably not get paid if we were furloughed due to an impasse on the budget.  I wrote that I’d rather he stand strong on the Affordable Care Act and a budget that takes care of the environment and those in need and emphasizes diplomacy over military action even if that might mean I would be furloughed.  Relatively easy for me to say.  By good fortune, I have not had any major family or medical expenses that would significantly impact savings and budget.  By careful planning and persistent living within my means for all of my adulthood, it would be some time before I would be seriously detrimentally impacted by not working.  I know that many of my colleagues have family or health challenges that would make the loss of even a few days pay a significant budget issue.  My heart goes out to them, and I hope that they are speaking out about how the situation impacts them and that it doesn’t come to that.

Considering the issues presented by the budget impasse led me to contemplate again how we decide when and and in what manner to weigh in on decision or action by the communities of which we are a part.  I’ve also been asking myself how do we find the most insightful and generous balance of self and collective interest and live most gracefully in these turbulent and frightening times.  How do we best engage and also take care of ourselves?  It would be pretty great to have a diet steady in healthy nourishment, enough sleep, love for ourselves and our loved ones, fulfilling work, basic safety of life and limb, access to healing when we are sick or injured, sufficient education to make informed decisions as to our own and our collective well-being, and the will, time, and opportunity to take care of our body and mind through meditative and physical practices or otherwise that suit our temperment and physical make-up.  It would be even greater if the hundreds of millions with whom we are in relationship also had these things.

Most of us don’t have all of these things, even those of us fortunate enough to have them if we made different choices.  How do we find more energy to act and engage in a way that supports the healthiest outcome for all when our own well-being is strained by repeated challenges and how we deal with the limitations of time and space?  For me dealing with my own recent challenges, yoga asana is feeling especially good right now.  Asana feels embracing, energizing, grounding, balancing and is definitely helping me make it through the day.  I hope that whatever life is bringing you at this time you are making time to practice and that what you’ve studied and what you are practicing serve you well.

For the company and the encouragement, to learn new skills and to refine basic ones, and to support those in need in a unique way, please come join us when you can for the all-levels Tuesday night group practice at William Penn House.  Since late this summer, 100 percent of the proceeds go directly to support William Penn House’s workcamp program–a wonderful model for service (in yoga — seva),  On Wednesday nights, a small more experienced group also gets together with me to practice in my home studio.  Email me if you are interested.

For those of you who like to plan ahead, I want to let you know that the annual Thanksgiving Day Fundraiser to benefit Oxfam is back on Capitol Hill this year, and I am delighted that William Penn House is hosting the practice:

When:  Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28, 2013

Location:  William Penn House, 515 East Capitol Street, SE, Washington, DC  20003.

Time:  10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

Yoga Details:

  • All levels class.  Just how we will align and flow to get the energy moving and supporting us will depend on who comes and how many, but be sure that it will be designed to be simultaneously soothing and energizing to help you bring your best self to the formal start of the winter holidays.  Alternatives will be provided for those working with challenges of embodiment.  Advanced variations may also be offered to expand the experience of the abundance of the day.
  • For Most Ages–Children old enough to pretty much stay on their own yoga mat and enjoy trying the grown up poses–depends on the child–are welcome, and then it’s  all ages up from there.
  • Props.  We have plenty of blocks, straps, and chairs; a modest supply of blankets; and a limited number of loaner mats.  Please bring your own mat if you have one and any other props you may need (such as multiple blankets).  Donations of your no longer used props are welcome.

Benefit for OxfamSuggested donation $20.  As in most of the previous years I have offered this class, I will collect checks made out directly to Oxfam, America (preferred) or cash; you could also make an on-line donation before the class.  I will then forward 100 percent of what is contributed to Oxfam, America.  I also will match any individual donations over $20 up to $200.  As always, the amount is suggested; whatever is within your means is a sufficient amount.

No Advance Registration.  Just show up at the door.  Though I enjoy the spontaneity of teaching whomever appears, the more the advance knowledge I have of who plans to attend and how many, the better I can design the class to suit more of your needs and desires.   I welcome your letting me know by commenting on the Rose Garden Yoga page on Facebook or by sending me an email (click here to go to the welcome page of the blog and then click on “contact Elizabeth”).

I look forward to practicing together or otherwise being in touch and hope that all of you are as well as is possible.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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Reminder–No Class Tuesday July 2nd (and Svatantriya)–Web Version of E-Mailing

Dear  Friends,

Just a friendly reminder that there’s no practice at William Penn House or the house next week.  I’ll be off exercising the civil liberties currently available by traveling with my beloved to upstate New York to participate in tantric yoga philosophy camp (I know that’s not everyone’s idea of fun, but for those of us who love philosophy, it is quite wonderful to have found a group of people mostly outside of academia who truly relish such a conversation).  An afternoon and dinner in the City and a visit with my sister and brother-in-law who are only an hour out of the way will further emphasize just how much freedom I have to come and go and to gather in groups and talk and write.  For me to be going on such a vacation was partly good fortune and partly a lot of hard work and partly my balancing many conflicting desires, needs, aims, and possible outcomes, shaped by both the freedoms and strictures of this society.

With regard to the strictures, I’ve seen and experienced just enough work-place harassment and discrimination and scholarship student financial struggle and their impact on my well-being to know that, as many challenges as I have faced, life can be far more burdened and limited by hardship and challenge.  I know from what was given to me and what was denied or only came after much hard work, how important it is that we make the safety nets of education, health care, housing, nourishing and tasty food, and a healthy ecology for all in our society.  I go on these trips to study philosophy or to practice yoga or to surround myself with beauty and flavor not ignorant of how much I have and how much it depended on scholarships and a decent public education and student loans and millions of women (and many men) before and with me seeking autonomy and meaningful choice as to how to live their lives and care for their bodies.

I head out on vacation because I need both rest and inspiration, but I go knowing how much there is to be done at this, as Marge Piercy called it, “cruxtime.”  I go to study and talk, not just for anticipated pleasure, but also with the intention to open up new insight on how, since participation is unavoidable, to navigate more skillfully this volotile time in human history.

I wish you a holiday week in which you are able recognize and experience your truest freedom–even if it is just the freedom of how to respond in the face of outrage or crisis or tragedy–and invite you to come join us for yoga some Tuesday night at William Penn House (click here for info) or the house practice on my return to nurture your body and join in community and conversation.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

 

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Late Spring Greetings–Making Time and Space (Web Version of E-Newsletter)

Dear Friends,
I hope you are thriving to the greatest extent possible under your current circumstances in this outrageous Spring and weathering (pun intended) the wild fluctuations between apparent late winter and seemingly already mid-summer.  My garden has been uncertain at several moments, but partly due to careful attention at strategic points and partly out of love and luck, it is thriving–providing lots of herbs and greens and promising lots of tomatoes and peppers and beans.

I write this letter a bit later than might have been desirable, as the summer session at Willow Street has already started, and my partial sabbatical from yoga teaching evidently has begun.  In practical terms of time and space this is the first time in almost eight years that I am not working weekends (first Saturdays and then Friday evenings) and commuting out to Takoma Park from Capitol Hill to teach.

It took much contemplation to come to this partial sabbatical. Being a part of the Willow Street Community has been and continues to be important to me, and I have learned an incredible amount from the opportunity Suzie Hurley, and Joe and Natalie Miller, gave me to share my enthusiasm for the practices and the teachings with the fabulous variety of people who come to Willow Street as students.  It was an honor and a continuing source of inspiration and focus to be able to study with so many fine fellow teachers over the years.  And change can be hard for me.  It also is hard to let go of something that has been profoundly important.

For my optimal health and well being, though, there just was not enough time for me to work full time and go where my heart is currently leading and also continue to teach on Friday nights or Saturday mornings.  I had to make a shift or start fraying around the edges, becoming less happy with everything.  Better to make some space to breath and feel and think without pressure.  Freeing my weekends fully will give me some of the space and time that I need at this crossroad in my life.  I am moving, I hope, towards a phase where there is more emphasis on nurturing self and relationship more deeply and exploring other creative pursuits with more seriousness.   To be able to work intelligently and with good will as a civil servant at this time and to continue to engage in our society that is in so much upheaval, leads me, for my abiding health and expansion, to the garden and the cat and my own practice and the growing and very special relationship that began on the trip to India (no value judgment implied by the order).  It also will be lots easier for me to study; going to a weekend workshop will no longer require my getting a substitute to cover my absence–expect to see me as a fellow student at the Friday nights of weekend workshops at Willow Street.  New ideas and opportunities for teaching will likely come, but not for the moment.

I continue to lead the all levels yoga practice at William Penn House on Tuesday nights where you will be warmly welcomed by the regulars whatever your age or ability level and will be sure to enjoy the fruits of my new and varied explorations in yoga and other practices, while still keeping to the fundamental structure of class influenced by Anusara methodology.  Please join us.  A portion of each student’s payment supports the work of William Penn House.  While there is a suggested amount, if funds are a challenge, just pay what you can.

Feel free to e-mail me if you are a more experienced practitioner who is interested in the Wednesday night practice or if you are interested in arranging private sessions or semi-private practices with your own small group.

I look forward to seeing those of you who are local on a Tuesday night or at a workshop around town or in the neighborhood and also continuing to share photos and contemplations on this latest phase of my yogic (yes, I know that isn’t a real word) on the blog.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

clouds

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