Miscellaneous (blog matters, etc)

Late Summer Newsletter–Web Version (Earthquakes, Hurricanes, and the Three A’s)

Dear Friends,

After a summer of drought, we just experienced inside the Beltway the power when the earth shudders and shakes in an east coast earthquake of unusual magnitude.  Now, less than a week after the earthquake, I take appropriate precautions and follow with deep caring the unfolding predictions, photos, commentary, and human reaction on a collective and individual level to the impending traverse up the east coast of Hurricane Irene.

Watching the hurricane reports has led me to remember what it was like when Hurricane Isabel was approaching DC in the summer of 2003.  The day before was gloriously sunny and bright–the way we want summer to be and there was no reason yet to cancel classes nor, once suitable precautions and preparations were made at home. to do anything other than enjoy the day to its fullest.  Fewer students than usual came for class; others must have been preparing or attending to other business.  The ones who came said that the impending storm made them want to practice together even more than usual.

Though I rarely lead chants other than the Anusara Invocation in class, I was moved to lead my students in a chant to Kali–fierce goddess of destruction.  Chanting to Kali allowed us to focus our profound respect for the forces of nature and the dance of the universe throughout the whole of the practice.  Our ability to express our awe and our yearning to flow with the currents and eddies of these extraordinary forces instead of feeling powerless or angry was enhanced by sensitive and careful attention to alignment.

Practicing the three A’s of Anusara yoga–attitude, alignment, and action–for me seems to apply profoundly to the way we want to prepare for and experience what comes with events demonstrating extreme forces of nature.  When we challenge ourselves on the mat we both honor our edge and seek to expand it.  We use the alignment principles in every aspect of a pose to express a perfect respect for the amazing concatenation of abilities and limitations that is human embodiment.  For me, taking what I have learned on the mat practicing with the three A’s has helped make it possible to shift how I am able to respond to whatever comes.  There is not much that serves as a better reminder of how much will just come, no matter how much we prepare and study than earthquakes and hurricanes.  We need to appreciate, though, that while we are not in control, we are not without power.  The power is in choosing how to respond, how we are going to put into practice off the mat, as well as on, the principles of attitude, alignment, and action.

I believe to the very core of my being that we must have profound awe and respect for the mystery and power of the dance of the universe (put that how you will) and love for it, too.   We should be expanding and using existing knowledge of how most safely to weather a huricane or other extreme forces (I am choosing not to say “disasters”).  It is important to take care of ourselves to get into the space where we are most likely to be able to have awe triumph over fear, hopelessness, frustration, or anger because plans have been thwarted and, more important, to find the best path possible in the face of serious loss or harm.  Perhaps this is too easy for me to say, knowing that it will be mostly ok for me; my house does well in storms, and we are only on the edge.  I am more concerned for friends and family all up the east coast and especially Long Island and New York.

In class on Saturday, with or just ahead of the first band of rain, we will be chanting to Kali.  Maybe like last time, we will all have power when the lights around us go out, but that was just a happy side effect (or coincidence, depending on how you look at it) and not the purpose.  The purpose of chanting will be to remind ourselves to prepare to the best of our abilities and then let go of outcome and hang on for the ride.

Hope to see you in class soon.  My summer class at Willow Street goes through the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, and I will be here.  Registration is open for the fall session at Willow Street.  My Saturday noon class continues, and I will also be leading the ninth annual Thanksgiving Day fundraiser for Oxfam.

The William Penn House class is an ever-deepening weekly adventure.  Come join us.

May all be safe and well.
Peace and light,
Elizabeth

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July Greetings–Ultimate Freedom (and Some Free Yoga) (Web Version of E-Newsletter)

Dear Friends,

It is Saturday morning of Independence Day weekend.  I have sat for my morning meditation, watered the garden, pet the cats, and done a few errands around the house.  In an hour or so, I will be heading up to Willow Street to teach my noon class.  As I take the time to care for garden, cats, house, and prepare to teach, I have been contemplating the concept of freedom.

In the tantric shaivite tradition, we are taught that one of the key aspects of spirit is svatantriya — ultimate freedom.  We are also taught that we are ourselves inseparable from spirit, just as a drop of ocean water is no less part of the ocean for being a drop.  Spirit chooses, out of its freedom and play (lila) to embody itself in forms that are limited in space and time.  One of our greatest sources of suffering is feeling bound, thinking that we are stuck with who and what we are in the constraints of this mortal body, with all its quirks, forgetting our own auspiciousness.

I could get grumpy about the need to do errands and to teach on a holiday weekend.  I could feel constrained from my usual activities around town by the combination of single-tracking on the Metro and the influx of tourists for the activities on the Mall, the combination of which will likely add an hour’s communiting time to teach today and to do volunteer work in Georgetown tomorrow at the Lantern Bookshop.  I could choose instead to be grateful that I have a house that needs caring, a garden to water, a class that gives me great joy and abiding satisfaction to share the incredible yoga principles that have so enhanced my own life, and volunteer work that I have enjoyed for over 15 years.

I am not going to be telling anyone that we are without limitation, being as we are in time and space.  We are always and perfectly free, however, to choose to turn towards the auspicious, the light, the good, the uplifting, the highest or we can turn away.  We can act in ways that bring us ever more in alignment with spirit , or we can act in ways that take ourselves and that in our orbit farther from the good.  The more we exercise our freedom to turn towards the auspicious, the happier and healthier we will be, regardless of the fact of life in a mortal body.  That choice is our true freedom and the way to our hearts.

To help you experience svatantriya, to choose freedom of heart, there’s nothing better than some free yoga.  The weekend of July 15-17, Willow Street Yoga will be offering it’s summer free class weekend. I’ll be offering gentle/therapeutics at noon on July 16th in Takoma Park.  Preference is giving to new students and to returning students who have brought new students with them.

For July at William Penn House, I’m offering a two-part freebie:  (1) brand new students get first class free; please invite your friends and neighbors; (2) if you are an existing student who brings a new student with you, you get a free class when the new student comes back for a second class.

Have a wonderful Independence Day, however you choose to celebrate and see you soon.
Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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June William Penn House Classes Back on Location (Web Version of E-Notice)

Dear Friends,

My apologies for any potential confusion.  William Penn House IS able to accommodate Tuesday night yoga classes in June and the conference people.  Please disregard previous notice, or, in the immortal words of Gilda Radnor, “never mind.”

Hope to see many of you soon.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

ps While you are on YouTube, check out some of the other great videos of Gilda Radnor.  She was an extraordinary spirit.

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June Greetings (Web Version of June E-Newsletter)

Dear Friends,

One of the yoga practices in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is sauca, which means cleanliness or purity.  It does have a basic aspect of physical cleanliness, which has lead me this year to do an especially vigorous spring cleaning.  I think following the principle of saucra also applies to the clarity of our intention for the practice of yoga:  are we seeking to experience and act from a place of deep connection to spirit (or good or oneness or divine or whatever you name it)?  In practicing sauca, I think the most basic question is whether we have dust on the mirror that reflects the good in ourselves obscuring our vision, whether there are blockages to the energy flowing to bring us to optimal physical and emotional health, or whether anything is getting in the way of our manifesting our intention?

When it has been too hot to go into the garden over the past month, I have been reorganizing and sorting through old papers.  As a once every five or ten years spring cleaning, it is lasting longer than usual.  I tend to be good about keeping on top of these things, but there are crevises of old records of my life that seem to just get stuck back into a folder to be decided on some other time.  This afternoon I came across intimate letters from a friend who, not long after we went our separate what had become cross-continental ways with regret on both sides, discovered he had brain cancer.  There were a few notes not in envelopes.  I reread those, but did not open the envelopes.  Back into the miscellaneous file until the next time.  The same with the print-outs of emails to and from Peru right after 9/11.  It wasn’t avoidance.  Over time and distance, regret and grief have faded.  I did not have the need or the time to read them now.  They went back into the file because I am curious what will be my reaction to these documents when I am 87 should I be around in this body then.  I find that when I see them after again more years have passed, I can see how much the yoga (asana and meditation) as a steady practice over time has shifted how I relate to my past, to all the decisions better or worse that brought me here today.  I am more at peace with the various detours and convolutions for the teachings and the good at the time, even if they do not appear to have been squarely or most efficiently on the path.

Just as most of us have pieces of paper or things that for some reason get saved, but spend most of their time in a drawer or a file cabinet or a closet, we have thoughts and emotions around past experiences that can emerge into memory at what can seem to be the oddest of times.  With a strong meditation practice, it can sometimes feel like we are cleaning out the closets of our mind.  With a therapeutically focused asana practice, it can seem as though we have found old energetic entanglements, and it may feel that it would have been easier never to have practiced at all.  If we stay steady and keep coming to class and our own practice, we witness how much change can be wrought.  When we remember to bring our clear intention to the yoga mat, the meditation cushion, the garden and the kitchen, the laundry, work and commuting and everything we do, then we in an ever more refined and deepening way open to grace, the fundamental AnusaraR principle.

I am happy to let you know that I am now E-RYT 500.  My spring cleaning on the physical level motivated me to do the paperwork with Yoga Alliance.  My carrying the designation E-RYT 500 means that teachers taking my classes and workshops can get Yoga Alliance continuing education credits, in addition to Anusara study hours.

I am looking forward to studying with Christina Sell at Willow Street Yoga next weekend.  Come join fellow yogis for what promises to be a joyously challenging weekend of classes.  The following weekend, I head up to Vermont for the Anusara Grand Gathering.  If you are going, let me know and we can try to connect.

Special June Location Information for William Penn House Classes:  June 14 and 28, William Penn House will be completely taken over by conference groups.  Class will be held at the house location.  RSVP’s are required.  For those who have been regulars, but who have been full up with other things in life than class, it is a sweet way to get back.

Hope to see you soon.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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Web Version of May Newsletter–Invitation to the Dance

Dear Friends,

One of the most captivating elements of dance as artistic expression for me is that it has the capacity to show the beauty in the full range of emotions.  Whether the choreographer is telling a story or sharing an impression, making a political statement or expressing a feeling, the dancer’s inherent grace can show us that there is beauty in all things, helping us through the artistic medium to abide with what might otherwise seem emotionally intolerable and to celebrate more fully that which would naturally make our hearts sing.

Since I first began practicing asana, it has been for me an embodiment of the dance.  The exquisite technique of the Anusara® principles of alignment  transformed healing work into a dance of exploration.  The expansion of my strength and flexibility in middle age — when because of my dance history I thought only would contract with age — allowed me to express progressively more fully the joy I find in my body.

This year, John Friend’s overarching theme for his workshops and trainings around the world is “Dancing with the Divine.” The theme resonated especially fully for me because I started attending regularly last fall the Sunday contact improv jam on Capitol Hill and have been re-exploring dance after all the shifts I have made with an ever-deepening asana practice.  It has been with an eye towards not only my own dance, but the connection of the community, and our dance of relationship with our living planet that I am choosing which trainings and workshops to attend this year.

When deciding what my study priorities are for the year, I look first at where my practice and teaching could benefit from some deep attention and wisdom offerings.  I look to the local offerings to deepen my connection to my home community and to minimize the environmental impact of getting to be in the same room as the teacher.  I am thoroughly appreciative of how wonderful it is to have a burgeoning and dedicated local community that has incredible teachers and draws others.  When planning which workshops or trainings with John Friend I will attend, I look at whether there is an opportunity to combine a training with a visit to friends or family or an opportunity to see art exhibits or museums that are of particular interest to me.  I like to go to any trainings that I can get to by train and, like even better when it happens, where I do not need a car once I get to the training/workshop location.

Next dance for me with the bigger community is the Anusara Grand Circle in Stratton, Vermont for the summer solstice.  My heart expands with the anticipation of being in the mountains of Vermont with clear, starry nights and bright, vivid almost endless days for a gathering of fellow yoga dancers, those I already know and love, those whom I will get to know better, and those I will meet for the first time.

It is especially exciting to know I will have the opportunity to study with some of the incredible teachers in the international community I am honored to know, but from whom I have not yet had the privilege of taking a class.  It is also a great opportunity to be with people who are just beginning to get excited about Anusara (gatherings like this are a great opportunity to study with John Friend without having the formal application process.)

Local yogis, I look forward to seeing you in regular class offerings in the neighborhood and Willow Street, including just until the end of May, Thursday night restorative yoga.  I expect delightedly to see you, too, as fellow students at many of the incredible offerings both in and around DC and the country.

And if any of you are interested in coordinating a trip to the Grand Circle to celebrate the solstice, send me an email.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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April Greetings–Delving into the Essential (Web Version of E-Newsletter)

Dear Friends,

It has been a mind-boggling several weeks.  The magnitude of the upheavals and the impact on all of the world, including human beings, is beyond my ability to grasp.  Closer up than the unfolding devastation in Japan and the escalating war in Libya, which daily adds to the bankrupting of this country and planet by our wars, I found myself supporting committed organizations, signing petitions, and writing emails saying that I preferred to be locked out of my work place with no pay than to have taken away any existing protection of the environment or provision health care for low income women.  As my mind tries to expand enough to stay present and active, I am more grateful every day to have and share the practice of yoga.

Practicing helps us minimize suffering by changing how we relate to pain and the full range of human emotion.  The goal, I think, is to fully and joyously engage in life with an intention to live as harmoniously as possible with all beings, including our individual selves, and simultaneously appreciate and be wonderstruck at the extraordinary and wild vastness of being that makes the time and space of the known universe seem finite relative to life (lives) on earth.  When we can find both perspectives simultaneously, then we can be engaged, but not attached (vairagya).

How do we focus this intention to live fully and harmoniously in this way?    In the past six weeks, I have had the unbelievably fortuitous combination of circumstances to be able to study with John Friend for three days; to attend the Mahasivaratri celebration with Douglas Brooks, Krishna Das, John Friend, Amy Ippoliti, and Sianna Sherman; Ross Rayburn for a weekend workshop at Willow Street;; Desiree Rumbaugh at a special three-hour practice the following week at Willow Street; and Paul Muller-Ortega via telephone conference.

Wow, that was a whole lot of input for my practice and contemplation, while living itself was getting more intense.  But, it turned out not to be too much because of the singularity of the teachings.  The message I heard from all of these teachers in their own unique and inspiring voices was that is is a good time to get down to get back to basics, or to put it another way, to explore more deeply the essential principles of practice (and of life).  By getting back to the basics in the practice, we can start knowing at a deeper level what is essential for us to relate as deeply and joyously and non-harmingly (yes, I know it isn’t a word, but I’d like it if it were) on and off the mat to ourselves and all in our web of relationship.

In both my practice and my public class offerings, this Spring, I am especially focused on exploring what is essential to experience life at its most joyous while still be conscious and committed to the need for effort to change.  In addition to continuing my regular class offerings, I am pleased to be offering a short course in restorative yoga at Willow Street, “Cultivating Relaxation with Restorative Yoga.”

Restorative yoga is perfect whether you are looking for a gentler way to get started with yoga, an opportunity to relax, or alternative practices for when you are feeling stiff or in pain, or a way for advanced practitioners to explore the alignment principles at the subtlest levels. We will explore a variety of types of supported postures and prop-assisted stretches to enable you to relax into optimal alignment, discover your own space of deep rest and peacefulness, and open your body. The course will also offer simple techniques to ease into sleep, find mini-relaxation moments when things are hectic, and sweeten your home practice–what could be of better service these days?  Everybody welcome. 6 Thursdays, 4/21-5/26.

To get news in between the occasional email offerings or to see my latest short thoughts, please “like” my new “Rose Garden Yoga” page on Facebook.

I look forward to seeing you in person soon.  As always, please feel comfortable being in touch by comment on the blog or by email.
Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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Yoga for the Unexpected Cold Spell This Saturday (Web Version of E-News)

Dear Yogis–

Rain and unseasonable weather in the weekend forecast have you wondering where is Spring?  Instead of longing for the missing Spring, dig deep into the seeds of relaxation with a bolster, seven blankets (give or take a few), and other body and heart warmers, this Saturday at the final “Relaxing into Optimal Alignment”:

Saturday, March 26th, 2:30-4:30p, Willow Street Yoga Center, Takoma Park, $30
After a little gentle stretching and self-massage to bring awareness to the breath and body, we will enjoy the exquisite application of Anusara’s® Universal Principles of Alignment to restful and supported restorative postures to release old patterns and invite in the new to find greater ease of body and mind.

Hope to see you Saturday for our own breath of Spring and do please invite your friends; experienced yogis and complete novices are all welcome.

ps I know I offered to sign a few people up for the blog.  Alas, I cannot do that for you from my computer.  If you want to get emails with the latest blog entries, please go to http://www.rosegardenyoga.com/follow-my-blog, and follow the simple instructions there.  I’ve gotten great feedback on the email version as an easy way to be in touch, so please join us.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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March Madness–What a Line-Up (Web Version of E-Newsletter)

Dear Friends,

When I was in Florida last week for a wonderful, heart-opening Anusara celebration of spirit led by John Friend, I asked several different people whether they had heard any news about the status of the budget talks and the odds of a government shutdown.  Although the substance of the talks would most certainly impact the communities of every person with whom I spoke–from schools or roads or museums in their own communities, to funding for greening their homes, to the ability to listen to National Public Radio or watch their favorite programs on public broadcasting, to the quality and availability of health care and emergency services–not one knew that there were budget talks where all federal domestic programs were subject to having their budgets slashed, nor that the talks have not included more than the most muted whisper about cutting even a penny from the defense budget.

These discussions called to mind a memory of when I was in Costa Rica several years ago for an Inner Harmony Retreat with John Friend when he suggested that we all should broaden our outlook by reading the part of the news that was not what we usually read.  In that regard, he listed the financial and business pages and international relations as news we should be reading.  As I regularly read those pages, I took his exhortation to heart and have made sure that I read some news about sports and television, though I am not much of a sports fan and do not have a tv.  The point of inviting us to expand our knowledge was, I think, multi-purposed.  First, as those who are choosing a tantric path and live fully in the world instead of renouncing it, we take on a responsibility for our living relationship with others and the planet and that takes knowledge, and not just sensitivity and cheerfulness.  It is also an acknowledgement that there are lots of ways that the play of spirit manifests; being broadminded and expansive helps us appreciate the very wildness and extraordinariness of life.  Opening our minds can also help us open our hearts and deepen our relationships with others and with the planet.

I may not know any more about college basketball than I read in the New York Times (though I once came in second when I was compelled to participate in a law firm pool and selected my teams by (1) picking the favorite; and (2) tossing a coin when the seeds were only one apart), but there’s definitely a March Madness aura to this month’s yoga line-up:

1.  Regular classes.  I’ve only gotten positive feedback from the experimental shift to a group practice style with the Tuesday night class at William Penn House.  With group practice style we all face each other (instead of having everyone face the front of the room) when we practice and invite each student share a particular pose, alignment focus, or challenge or embodiment that they want to work on for the class (ok not to share if feeling shy).  By sharing in this way and experiencing what poses and focuses bring an immediate shift, the practice is both more individual and more collective and also helps each student understand the elements of building a home practice for every mood and physical state.  The more students who come on Tuesday nights, the more support for the work of William Penn House, so please invite your friends.

Wednesday house classes continue to be 100% for environmental causes.  Please contact me directly if you want to attend.  Practice is comparable to John Friend intermediate/advanced weekend workshops.

Saturday noon Gentle/Therapeutic class at Willow Street, Takoma Park, is, as always, a sweet and dedicated group, and always welcoming to drop-ins and new friends.

2.  Workshops and Fundraisers with Elizabeth (me).

Join us for a repeat or the first time for just one more opportunity in the winter session and find out why your friends have been giving rave reviews for Relaxing into Optimal Alignment with Anusara Restoratives, Saturday, March 26, 2:30-4:30p, Willow Street Yoga Center, Takoma Park, $30.  After a little gentle stretching and self-massage to bring awareness to the breath and body, we will enjoy the exquisite application of Anusara’s® Universal Principles of Alignment to restful and supported restorative postures to release old patterns and invite in the new to find greater ease of body and mind.  A great workshop and practice for all levels.

Third year in a row and better every time:  Yoga for Gardeners, Saturday, March19, 2-4:30p, Willow Street Yoga Center, Takoma Park, $35.  Learn optimal alignment for digging in the dirt, while nurturing yourself and enjoying the community of your fellow yogi gardeners.  For beginner and more experienced yogis and gardeners alike, find ways to optimize your experience in the garden and on the mat with therapeutic applications of the Anusara principles of alignment. Elizabeth will donate a portion of the profits to benefit the Youth Garden at the National Arboretum and will host a seed swap at the end of the workshop! Everybody welcome.

3.  Incredible Out of Town Teachers Ross Rayburn (March 11-13) (for all levels) and Desiree Rumbaugh (March 18) (intermediate/advanced) will be at Willow Street’s Silver Spring Studios.  I’ll be taking some of the sessions with Ross and the special class with Desiree.  Hope to see you there.  For more information and to register, visit Willow Street’s website.

4.  Book Club at Willow Street. On March 20th, from 5pm-7pm, at the third meeting of the new Willow Street Yoga Center book club, we will be discussing Anodea Judith’s Awakening the Global Heart. Discussions at previous meetings have been engaged, lively, and thought-provoking.

5.  But Wait, There’s More.  Yoga classes all over town taught by my friends and colleagues, meditation every day, teleseminars as part of my meditation and philosophy course with Paul Muller-Ortega, the reverberations from my trip to Miami to be with John Friend and the wider Anusara community, and — not exactly yoga, but pretty delightful and yoga-enhancing — DC Contact Improv Jam every Sunday on Capitol Hill.  Also check out the new “District Kula” web page hosted by my friends and colleagues to bring us all closer together and subscribe to get news about Anusara yoga events around town.

Gear up your own March Madness yoga line-up and email me with any questions or comments.

And as always, please check out and share the blog and Facebook to keep in touch and expand our community.  I’ve also set up a new “Rose Garden Yoga” Facebook page.  Please “like” it (from the page or from the home page of the website) to get the latest sweet yoga thoughts and info in your FB news feed.

Looking forward to seeing you soon around town.
Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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February News–Bring on the Light (Web Version of E-Newsletter)

Dear Friends,

Brrr.  It’s cold out there.  And if it is seeming colder than usual, you are right.  There have only been five winters on record with fewer days above 50F in Washington, DC.  Perhaps, like me, you have noticed that you are feeling just a tad sensitive or edgy or maybe a little blue.  I recognize the symptoms; in my distant past, a therapist suggested that I might have “seasonal affective disorder.”  My prescription for myself when winter has me feeling down?  Do more yoga, keeping a focused intention on cultivating the light of inner awareness.

The form of meditation I practice is intended to allow the practitioner to rest in the light of inner awareness.  One of the aspects of the Anusara principle of “opening to grace” for me is to open to the light in myself and others.  On a more physical level, backbends will open up your heart and make room for the light; core work will warm you up by stoking the agni, the inner fire; forward bends will help you go deep inside to find your own light.  There is a light-filled practice for every day of the week, every time of day, and every mood you are in.

Avoid the temptation to huddle inside, eating too many carbs and hiding away.  When the sidewalks are passable, bundle up and take a long walk.  When you come back inside, do a good therapeutic and restorative practice–it’s as good as hot chocolate (and no one said you couldn’t have the hot chocolate, too).  Invite friends over for a potluck.  Cook bean soups.  Have hot cereal for breakfast and perhaps for dinner.  Balance the warm food with the freshest of fresh food by growing sprouts on the kitchen counter.

Want to light up your yoga fire, sun, inner light with company?  Join me and your friends and neighbors at William Penn House classes on Tuesdays at 6:30.  Need a little R&R or found you have tweaked something shoveling or walking on the ice and snow?  Drop ins are always welcome at the gentle and therapeutics class at Willow Street, Takoma Park, Saturdays at noon.  Give yourself something to look forward to by signing up in advance for the second “Relaxing Into Optimal Alignment with Anusara Restoratives” workshop at Willow Street on Saturday, February 26th.

And plan for Spring with “Yoga for Gardeners,” the weekend of the Spring Equinox–yes, it is only weeks away.  As has been my practice in previous years, my profits will go to support the Youth Garden at the National Arboretum.

Looking forward to sharing, expanding, and delighting in the light with you soon.
Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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Thinking About Restoratives! (Web Version of E-Mailing)

Dear Friends,

Not long after the slush from last night melted in the early afternoon rain, the precipitation falling had started turning into the dreaded wintry mix.  Thunder clapped and the sky was dark, and I have been mighty grateful all day that I was able to work from my warm home.  It is all snow now — quite beautiful.  It is inevitable that I will be out shoveling early tomorrow morning, though whether it will be three or four inches or 8-10 remains to be seen.  It will be heavy underneath.  This is a wet snow.  I will be following my own advice on yoga alignment for snow shoveling (that appeared in December 2010’s edition of Yoga Journal).

It is on nights like this that I find myself planning a good restorative practice.  What could be better after a dark storm and some heavy duty shoveling to surrender to the blissful support of blankets and bolsters, find the sweetness of your breath, shift into optimal alignment, and find a space of deep relaxation.  If this sounds like a dream come true or you want to know what is all the fuss about restoratives, you are in luck.  This coming Saturday, is the first of the winter session series of restorative workshops with me at Willow Street Yoga:

Relaxing into Optimal Alignment with Anusara Restoratives, Saturdays, January 29, February 26, and March 26, 2:30-4:30p, Willow Street Yoga Center, Takoma Park, $30 each (All 3 Saturdays = $75)
After a little gentle stretching and self-massage to bring awareness to the breath and body, we will enjoy the exquisite application of Anusara’s® Universal Principles of Alignment to restful and supported restorative postures to release old patterns and invite in the new to find greater ease of body and mind.  A great workshop and practice for all levels; sign up for the full three-class series and save $15!

Be safe, stay warm, enjoy being snowed in for now if you can, practice gratitude for being able to be snowed in, and delight in dreaming about how wonderful it will be to go on a mini-in town treat of a retreat with two hours of restorative yoga.  Hope to see you.

Peace and light,

Elizabeth

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