76 and sunny on the inside

Wow, where has this year gone?! It seems like just a few minutes ago I was trying to convince all of you Mainers to take time out of your sporty summer days soaking in the coastal sun to remember your yoga practice. Now it’s frigid, approaching winter solstice, and the yoga mat is calling in a different way. “Please, help me stretch out this cold, creaking skeleton,” your body whines. Or maybe it says “YAY! Give me more yoga! I hope we do plenty of those leg balances!”

In any case, winter’s here, the holiday season is in full swing, and, if your mind’s like mine, it’s constantly listing all of the things that need to get done before the holidays or the end of the year. Best antidote to all of the madness – and the cold and dark weather? Yoga and meditation, of course.

Through yoga you can find the inner calm, the inner light that  will literally make you feel warmer and sunnier in the darkest month of the year. It’s a great practice; try it. Dynamic movement and steady breathing is also a powerful way to stay grounded and centered through all of the busyness of the holidays. Give yourself the gift of that hour or so of being present on the mat; it’s one thing that you never regret!

If you can’t make it to class, just doing some basic stretches for a few minutes in the morning and evening – forward fold, wide-legged straddle, downward-facing dog, maybe even a lunge – while breathing deeply and consciously is so beneficial. If even this seems like a ‘stretch’ for you (excuse the pun), make it a New Years resolution to work on your yoga self-practice for the next 365 days – but don’t wait until January, start now, building up a little bit each day.
Whatever works best for you, find your way back to the mat and keep practicing! Come practice with me this month in Maine. Midcoast classes are on as normal until New Years (only cancellation so far is Saturday, December 24 & 31 at the Dancing Elephant, see below). Otherwise, all classes will be on, pending inclement weather or unforeseen obstacles. Any last-minute changes will be posted on FacebookTwitter, and here. 

Then I get to be a student again: In January I fly south to India for warm sun and yoga sadhana. Exhale…. Beyond that, I’m planning my teaching schedule for 2017, which will include yoga retreats at the ashram where I’ll be in South India, and in Stowe, Vermont. Watch this space for more info regarding dates for these.

 
Looking back, it’s been a great year of teaching for me, and I feel so much gratitude for all of my lovely students from whom I’ve learned so much. Wherever you are, I wish you the best on your yoga journey and hope that it carries you through many more seasons.

 
Sending warm wishes and blessings for this holiday season and the new year.

 
Namaste,

Kath

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Weekly Schedule – December 2016

Tuesday, 5:30p – Vinyasa Flow @ The Dancing Elephant, Rockland

Wednesday, 9a – Vinyasa Flow @ The Dancing Elephant, Rockland

Wednesday, 6:30p – Yoga+Meditation @ Thomaston Yoga Studio, Thomaston

Friday, 9a – Prana Kriya Yoga @ The Dancing Elephant, Rockland

Friday, 4p – Hatha Yoga @ The Samoset, Rockport

Saturday, 8:30a – Gentle Yoga @ Thomaston Yoga Studio, Thomaston

Saturday, 10:30a – All Levels Yoga @ The Dancing Elephant, Rockland  [December 17 only!]

Sunday, 10:15a – Hatha Yoga @ The Samoset, Rockport

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Find your Flow this Fall

What a beautiful Maine summer. Who can blame you if you spent it outside drinking in the warm sunshine, sea breezes and cool water, and if maybe you lost your yoga practice somewhere back in June or July? At least you were getting plenty of exercise and fresh air, right?

Suddenly the days start getting shorter, the nights cooler, and the body starts to register this shift in the seasons. Much as we want to hang onto every last ray of summer sun, the fall rhythms and autumn foliage bring back that comforting feeling of routine. We are reminded of the ephemerality of all things, that summer will come around again next year, and the year after that, and so on. Short of a vacation to the tropics, we can’t escape the cooling temperatures and growing darkness any more than we can reverse our own aging process. As Patanjali writes in the Yoga Sutras, “Clinging to life, flowing by its own potency, exists even in the wise.”

Resistance to change may be natural, but it’s also avoidable. Yoga reminds us that we can come back to ourselves, to our own body and breath, and notice how we’re feeling after another quarter turn around the sun. We come back to our yoga practice (sadhana) and welcome the warming asana flows on a cold morning, the inner light of calming meditation on a dark evening, and the fellowship of sharing these practices in community (sangha) in the context of a group class.

This is another way of saying that no matter how long you’ve been away, the mat will always welcome you back. The body and mind will always thank you for taking the time to return to your practice. We may not be able to stop the flow of time, but we can ease our own suffering by not resisting the flow of life. And yoga practice helps us to do this. So as the leaves begin to turn, take a moment to reflect on your practice, on the goals and intentions you want to set for the next season, the changes you’d like to make, and how you want to find your flow this autumn – through yoga practice or otherwise.

My weekly class schedule remains mostly unchanged through the Fall, and will be confirmed over the coming weeks. For now, I’m pleased to announce a new (for me) Wednesday morning Vinyasa Flow class, 9am at The Dancing Elephant, Rockland, which I will be teaching from September 14 onwards. This means that Wednesday morning Prana Kriya Yoga will no longer be offered in Thomaston; but the Friday 9am PKY class will continue as normal in Rockland. More changes to come; watch this space.

Wherever you find yourself this season, keep practicing. And if you happen to be in midcoast Maine and in search of your daily yoga fix, don’t resist: come join in the fun! Namaste.

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Happy Summer! New Classes in Rockland & Rockport

Happy Summer! How’s your yoga practice? Between summer solstice, the full moon, and International Yoga Day, what better way to begin this new cycle than by either recommitting to your practice or starting down the yoga road for the first time?  None that I can think of. So get on your mat; take the yoga journey.

Great weather in the first solid week of summer means most Mainers may not set foot in a studio – but yoga practice should be a constant companion rather than a fair-weather friend. As B.K.S. Iyengar writes, “The person who practices yoga regularly will not become a victim but a master of his or her circumstances and time. The yoga practitioner lives to love and serve the world. This is the essence of life. Peace within, peace without, and peace in the individual, in the family unit, in society, and in the world at large.” Do yoga for peace, yoga for your health, or yoga to find your Self – whatever your motivation, keep practicing. The benefits will be endless.

Point of story: seasons change; the practice remains. Plus, long summer days means there’s plenty of time to fit in a class and still enjoy the great outdoors.  This is just a friendly reminder from the teacher to not let the summer sunshine distract you from your practice… And also a courtesy notice that I’m adding more classes to my teaching schedule – so there are more opportunities than ever to find a convenient class to fit into your week.

Do you yearn for a simple, authentic yogasana class to get grounded and centered? I’m excited to announce that I’ll be teaching Hatha Yoga at the Samoset in Rockport from the first of July. Come practice Friday afternoons at 4 p.m. (starting July 1) and Sunday mornings, 10:15-11:30 a.m. (starting July 3). More details to follow, but start getting ready for July in Rockport!

Wait, there’s more: I’ve also added a Tuesday evening class at the Dancing Elephant in Rockland. No more fat Tuesdays: from 5:30-7 p.m., we’ll be doing Vinyasa Flow to get the body, breath, sweat, everything flowing. Come join me starting next week, June 28, and we’ll salute the summer sun, getting stretched and toned, and radiating light from within. Ahh….

Keep up the great work, I’ll see you on the mat!

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