Introduction to Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga

I am very happy to be teaching an introduction series to Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga, taking place at Open Door in White River Junction, Vermont! A couple of weeks ago, I was curious to see if there were others in the Upper Valley practicing yoga in the Ashtanga form, if anyone would be interested in meeting up to practice together occasionally, and/or if there was interest in learning. So I sent an inquiry to the community email listserv, and the enthusiastic responses I received were heartwarming! We’ll see how this goes. We begin November 30, details below. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Introduction to Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga – 4 week series:

5:30-7:00 pm, November 30, December 7, 14, 21

Open Door Integrative Wellness, White River Junction, Vermont

Register here.

In this 4-week series, learn the foundations of Ashtanga yoga to establish a grounding, uplifting, and sustainable personal yoga practice. We will begin from where we are, progressively adding on to the practice each week, with attention to proper alignment, breath, focus, and internal awareness. Individual adaptations will be presented to serve any circumstances. By the end of the series, you will be equipped with a well-rounded yoga practice to do at home and take with you anywhere, and you will be ready to practice in a Mysore class (in which each student practices at their own pace, with personal assistance and guidance from the teacher). This series is appropriate for those new to yoga (or simply new to the Ashtanga form); more experienced students will also find it enriching to revisit the foundations in detail, look again, and begin again.

Week 1 (November 30) – Foundations of breath, prana/apana, Surya Namaskar A/B

Week 2 (December 7) – Backbends and closing sequence postures

Week 3 (December 14) – Standing sequence

Week 4 (December 21) – Seated postures, introduction to Primary Series

Register here.

Note: Following this 4-week introduction series, this class will become a Mysore-style class.

from Kenya, with love.

It has certainly been an interesting year so far, everywhere in the world. I am now living in Naivasha, Kenya for the next few months and will likely return to the US in December if all goes as planned. I do not currently have any classes, workshops, or retreats on the calendar, but please stay in touch! I would be delighted to hear from you.

And most importantly, keep practicing – and let compassion radiate into every aspect of your comings and goings, every relationship and conversation, every thought and interaction. This life should be sweet for us all.

still in India.

It is now August 2020, and I am still in India, despite all the difficulties and unfortunate circumstances associated with the current pandemic.  My husband and I are safe and well, living in a village in the Himalayas near Uttarkashi.

During months of lockdown at Parmarth Niketan ashram in Rishikesh this spring, we filmed many yoga practices.  If you are looking for some guidance or inspiration for practice, you might find something interesting in the archives here (all given freely).

I hope to connect again in some way, sometime soon.  In the meantime, I’ll be sending love.  Stay in touch.

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unstoppable.

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At some point, in this lifetime or perhaps in another one, a fire will be lit inside you.  You will become insatiably curious about the nature of reality, of consciousness, of what this all is, and how the pieces fit together.  You will no longer hide away the overwhelming thoughts of infinite time, of space, of the certain death of your body.  This longing to know will not be satisfied by any theoretical, measurable, philosophical, or intellectual understanding, nor by faith in words passed down over centuries or millennia, in an epic game of miscommunicated “Telephone”, from those who may have understood.  No, this deep, intimate craving must be fulfilled by direct personal experience, an understanding of Truth well beyond the capacities of the intellect – and you will realize that this is possible, and has been done before.

Day by day, moment by moment, you will train, with great persistence and discipline, and gradually things will change, sometimes in thrilling leaps, but mostly in imperceptibly small gradients over time.  The physiological control, comfort in the body, quality of the breath and the thoughts, the texture of awareness, a sense of fearlessness (what is the worst that could happen?).  With perfect timing, the appropriate teachers and teachings will show up, in ways and in forms you could not have imagined.  After experiencing unbelievable physiological and sensory phenomena, you will come across descriptions of precisely these experiences, articulated in texts written thousands of years ago, and you will know that you are not alone.  This path has been walked before, and the trail is marked well, if you know where to look.  There are many ways to find the trail, and an infinite number of trailheads.  The fire will grow.

Pieces will come together, and you will increasingly see or sense different layers within the tapestry of space-time, and perhaps become aware of something brilliant and unchanging behind the tapestry.  You will follow your trail, wherever it leads, with great determination and effort, but in an unhurried, efficient way.  There will come a time when the inner fire becomes irresistible and all-consuming, and it will be time to let yourself jump fully into the flames.

Then you will be unstoppable along your path – despite all the obstacles and distractions, the suffering, the sickness, the injuries, the sun, the storms, the joy, the pain, the guilt, the hunger, the bliss, the slog, the peaks, the valleys, the deaths, the births, the doubt, the trust, the love.  You will be unstoppable, until you are free.

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Monday evening classes in October.

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Happy fall, everyone.  I was not planning to teach yoga in any formal way this fall, but then my friend Julia Horn invited me to teach on Monday evenings at the Eldorado Springs Art Center this month… and I had to say yes.  So I invite you to come practice with me in this very special place, nestled in the heart of the canyon!  It is a lovely, easy drive from South Boulder, and not to be missed.  Payment is on a sliding scale (i.e. whatever seems right and affordable to you).

Classes will involve physical postures, breath techniques, and focused meditative internal practices throughout.

All Levels Hatha/Vinyasa Yoga

Monday evenings, 6-7 pm

October 7, 14, and 28

Eldorado Springs Art Center

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Summer.

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Here we are, with the most daylight of the year here in the northern hemisphere – and it feels wonderful. Light in the mornings, light in the evenings, big batches of kale and arugula pesto from the garden…

While the weather has been cool here in Colorado this spring, with snow still covering the high mountains, it has been hotter than usual in other parts of the world (like on the Greenland ice sheet). During the day, I work on modeling how the Greenland ice sheet retreats in a warmer climate, simulating the complex global physics and interactions of the atmosphere, land, and ocean. I go to seminars to hear other scientists talk about the circulation patterns and biogeochemical systems that make our planet habitable, and how they are changing.

As you are aware, many pieces of the Earth system are changing rapidly, in extreme ways, and on timescales much shorter than in Earth’s past climate cycles. As humans, we are collectively conducting a grand experiment with our planet by altering its carbon cycle in a big way, and we don’t fully understand the cascade of irreversible tipping points we are approaching (or have already tipped, in some cases). It will be interesting to see what happens.

You cannot separate yourself from the natural world, as you are woven tightly into the intricate web of life. Realizing this fact is a key part of the process of Yoga.  When you acknowledge this interconnected quality of existence, you can’t help but try to be kind and gentle.  Every action has far-reaching effects, so take responsibility and be deliberate in what you choose to consume and support, the things you buy, the food you eat, the clothes you wear. Get away from the computer, the phone, and the air-conditioned indoor environment. Open the windows, eat lunch outdoors, and live outside as much as possible. Enjoy the sunshine, the fresh warm air, the smell of young leaves and flowers and dirt, the caress of grass on your bare feet, the Earth rising up to hold you, the brilliant sky a container for it all.

Soak up the summer and the soaring majesty of our world. Don’t miss what’s here!