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Autumn updates

 

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Namaste yogis and yoginis!

Warm greetings from Cambodia! It feels like endless summer here, but the children are returning to school and the rainy season has just about finished, which means the approach of autumn in the tropics.
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How was your summer? Did you keep up your practice? Personally, I feel incredibly grateful for another great season of teaching yoga and expanding my horizons. The summer began with workshops in Maine, and ends with workshops in Cambodia. In between I did a whole lot of teaching in Cambodia to inspiring people of all ages and abilities from all around the world.
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Looking forward into the autumn, I will be in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a bit longer. I’m teaching daily at Navutu Dreams and Anahata, for anybody still in Cambodia, and am running a series of workshops at Navutu Dreams in September, starting Sunday, 10th September. The theme for the workshops, in line with my November retreat, is Deepen Your Practice. The idea is that in 2 hours, you have more time than in a standard 60-90 minute class to explore alignment and more subtle aspects of particular postures, to practice variations, and to work on expanding your practice to include pranayama and meditation.
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Doesn’t that sound like a yogi’s dream? How would you like to do that a couple of times a day for a whole week? (Who wouldn’t?!) But wait, you can: There are a few spots left on my November 12-18 retreat at Ashok Tree in Tiruvannamalai, India. It’s going to be a fabulous week of stretching and toning the body, relaxing the mind, and nourishing the spirit in the beautiful environs of Mt. Arunachala. This package has amazing value and includes airport transfer, local tours, and an Ayurvedic massage. If you’re already booked in, I hope you’re getting excited (I know I am); if you’re thinking about it, let me know if you have any questions and how I can convince you. And if you’ve never been to India before, this will be a beautiful, peaceful introduction. I’d love to share this place with all of you, but there are only a few spots left, so book your mat soon!
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned in this year of teaching in South/Southeast Asia, it’s how amazingly diverse and beautiful – and rapidly growing – the international yoga community is. Retreats provide such a valuable opportunity to take time from your normal life to nourish yourself and spend time with like-minded yogis and yoginis. This time spent building your yoga community (sangha) and establishing new friendships with fellow yogis who can share the experiences – the rewards and struggles of yoga practice on the mat and off – is one of the intangible benefits of retreat that stays with you long after the retreat has finished. Give yourself this gift.
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Wherever you find yourself this autumn, I hope that you breathe easy and find your flow on and off the mat.
 Love and light,
Kath
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It’s my birthday month: Early bird retreat pricing extended to July 31!

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Happy summer, yogis and yoginis!

First, let me tell you how humbled and heartened I am by the many positive responses I’ve received regarding my November Deepen Your Practice yoga retreat. What an amazingly beautiful yoga community we have, and what a great opportunity it will be to deepen your ties to your community and your own practice for a week in India! I know it isn’t possible for everyone to make the trip, but you will all be there in spirit.

For those who have been considering the trip, or who have asked, here is some clarification on the pricing. (And if you have had trouble accessing the Ashok Tree website, they have had technical difficulties recently, so try it again – or you can email or contact me through the form below regarding booking or any questions. Sorry for any inconvenience!)

Early bird pricing, which lasts until the end of July, is as follows:

  • Standard room – private – £450 £405
  • Standard room  – shared – £350 £315 (couples only, must be booked together)
  • Deluxe room – private –     £525 £475
  • Deluxe room – shared –     £400 £360

Such great deals, don’t miss out!

Answers to a few other FAQs:

Q: What airport should I fly into?

A: Ground transport from Chennai (airport code MAA) is included in the retreat package. Bangalore (BLR) is also nearby, and transport can be arranged for a nominal fee.

 

Q: Do I need a visa for India?

A: Yes, you do, and it’s quite simple. You can get a 30-day e-visa online just a few days before you travel. You present the print-out for your approved visa upon arrival at the airport in India. (There is even a special queue for these visas at immigration, which is generally much shorter than the regular one!)

Any other questions or concerns about travel to India? Give me a shout.

No more excuses now, I’ll see you on the mat in India!

Namaste.

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Deepen Your Practice Yoga Retreat, November 2017 in Tiruvannamalai, India

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Happy summer, yogis and yoginis! Greetings from Cambodia!

After an all-too-short but very sweet few weeks of classes in midcoast Maine, I am back in Cambodia, teaching in Siem Reap. While I miss the beautiful, long Maine summer days, I’m enjoying this opportunity to gain experience teaching at a retreat center — particularly leading up to the retreat that I will be leading in November in India to which I am very pleased to invite you.

Enjoy sadhana, authentic practices in the home of yoga, and sangha, a beautiful community of fellow yogis. This will be a week to truly Deepen Your Yoga Practice and find the alignment between mind, body, and spirit. Imagine getting to practice Hatha Yoga, Prana Kriya Yoga, and Meditation every day for a week, in a place where the rest of the world just falls away and you can fully relax.

The retreat will take place at the ashram where I did my yoga training in South India, Ashok Tree, a beautiful retreat center set in a friendly village just outside of the pilgrimage town of Tiruvannamalai and adjacent to Mount Arunachala; it is a hidden gem that I would love to share with you. In between morning and evening yoga classes, you will have the opportunity to visit the 9th-century temple in town, climb Mt Arunachala, visit other local sites of interest, relax on the grounds, or get a treatment at the on-site Ayurvedic clinic. I can guarantee that the hardest part of the week will be when you have to leave.

The 7-day retreat package includes 6 nights of lodging, 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day (the food here is truly amazing – all fresh, local and organic!), daily yoga and meditation classes, airport transfer from Chennai, one Ayurvedic massage, and local tours. A selection of rooms are available – standard or deluxe, single or double, etc. – and prices range between £350-£525.

Full details and booking are here. Feel free to contact me with any questions through the form below.

This is going to be a very special week at a very special place and I do hope you can join me to deepen your practice.

Namaste.

New classes and workshops in Maine!

Happy Spring and almost Summer! Let’s welcome the sun on the mat!

I’m so pleased to announce a spate of classes and workshops that I’ll be running over the next few weeks at Thomaston Yoga Studio.

Thursday evening Yoga & Meditation, 7pm – May 18, 25, June 1, 8
Unwind from the workday with gentle yoga and meditation. In yoga, the asanas (postures) are meant to strengthen and detoxify the body in order to maintain optimal health and to prepare for meditation. We will begin the class with a basic hatha-based sequence to stretch and tone the body, connect with the breath, and quiet the mind. The class will conclude with a guided meditation as we tune into our inner experience and deepen our connection with ourselves – and, ultimately, with each other. This class is open to everyone, beginner to advanced practitioner; no experience of yoga or meditation is necessary.

Saturday, May 27, Hatha Sun Salutation I, 8:30-10:30am
Hatha is a strong and supportive practice that balances out right and left sides of the body. In this workshop we will begin very gently with stretches and simple asanas to stretch and warm-up the body, working up to the Himalayan hatha series 1 sun salutation, a complete practice in itself, which will strengthen and tone the body using the breath. We will finish with restorative poses and a nice relaxation. Do you want to get your summer started with strength and balance? I’ll see you on the mat.

Saturday, June 3, Prana Kriya Yoga, 8:30-10:30am
Not your usual sun salute and vinyasa fare, Prana Kriya combines specific movements, or kriyas, with the breath to energize and stimulate the mind and body. This is a fun practice that emphasizes the breath and its coordination with the body. It is by turns slow and meditative, and physical and dynamic. Still, it is suitable for all levels and everyone is highly encouraged to sample this special practice if you haven’t experienced it before.

All classes and workshops will be at Thomaston Yoga Studio, on Main Street in Thomaston.

Classes are $15 and workshops $25.

Contact me by email or over Facebook for more information or to register.

I’ll see you on the mat!

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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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Aum for my Autumn Teaching Schedule

Don’t you just love those crisp fall mornings with the clear sun, the feeling of freshness, the smell of  morning dew … This season is such a natural time to come back inside physically and mentally, reconnecting with yourself, returning to familiar routines, and remaining attuned to circadian rhythms. Much as I love this time of year, I also know how hard it can be to find your way onto the yoga mat on the cooler and darker days. The body’s just a little bit stiffer, whines a little bit more, makes all kinds of excuses why now is not the best time to fit in your yoga practice.

Well, that’s where I come in. I’ve got a full spate of classes for the fall months with plenty of morning and evening options. So whatever suits your temperament best, choose a time and keep your date on the mat!

Step 1: Check out my Fall Teaching Schedule. There are a few changes to note: September 27 will be my last Tuesday morning Gentle Yoga class at Thomaston Yoga Studio. And from October 12, my Thursday evening Yoga+Meditation class in Thomaston will shift to Wednesdays at 6:30pm [note time change].

What will I do with my Thursday evenings? I’m excited to announce that for 6 weeks starting in November, I’ll be teaching a short course (off the mat!) on the contemporary History of Yoga at the Dancing Elephant called “What is Yoga?”. Have you ever wondered about what’s at the core of “yoga” as it goes more mainstream; and what is ‘authentic’ among all of the different classes offered at studios these days; or where yoga comes from in general? Are you a history buff who just loves to delve into specific topics and learn what was going on ‘way back when’? Look no further. And mark your calendars now. It’s going to be a nice stretch for the brain muscles – nice, gentle, and soothing, aummm.

More information, including registration, can be found on the Dancing Elephant website or by contacting me. Further details will follow shortly, so watch this space!

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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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