Valentine’s Day at Yoga in ME

It’s February and we’re thinking about love. Valentine’s day is near! Stores are full of pink and red decorations, cards, flowers, fluffy stuffed animals. But love doesn’t have to be materialistic! At Yoga in ME, we celebrate all kinds, shapes and sizes of love. We celebrate love between family members, intimate partners, friends, neighbors, and (maybe most importantly) self love!

This year on Valentine’s day, we invite you to give yourself a little extra love.

Drink a warm cup of tea, curl up with a good book, go for a walk. Spend some time practicing self care by doing something you love, just for the joy of it! YOU are worth it! You. Are. Enough.

Some of us may not “feel the love” this year, and we want you to know that is okay too! You are not alone.

We want all of our members to know that you are a loved and valued part of this community. Each and every person who comes to this studio is an important part of making us who we are. Whether you come once a season, or four times a week, your energy is a part of the greater whole and we are grateful for you!

If you’re looking for a way to give back to the community, consider striking up a conversation with someone at the studio that you haven’t met before. Many of us shy yogis need to feel invited into a conversation before we’ll participate. In honor of the season, consider “sharing the love” with someone new. You never know what’s going on in someone’s life outside the studio. A warm smile, a hello, or even a hug, can go a long way!

Wishing each and every one of you a happy Valentine’s day!

Once In A Blue Moon

Stay tuned for a Blue Moon celebration!

The year 2018 is going to be a very exciting year. Why you ask? 2018 is not only going to bless us with one Blue Moon, but TWO Blue Moons!

January and March are the two months in 2018 that will host a Blue Moon speculator. What does this mean exactly? By astrological definition, this means Earth will be able to witness two full moons that fall within a single calendar month, in this case January 31st followed by March 31st.

Although the Blue Moon will be visible internationally, the prime time for us New Englanders will be 8:27AM EST. From the United States, the Blue Moon that we will be viewing is technically considered a waning gibbous moon, however, it is going to have the appearance of being full to naked eye. If you look closely, you just might be able to catch a glimpse of Regulus, the 1st-magnitude star in the constellation of Leo the Lion.

What is the significance of these Blue Moons you may wonder? Depending on who you ask the answer is significant! Another occurrence of two Blue Moons in one calendar year will not happen for another 19 years!

Now, the biggest question of them all: Is the moon going to turn blue? Unfortunately the answer is no. Due to various astrological reasoning and theory, the name of the moons is based off of the natural phases it goes through annually.

Although astrology and yoga are not technically related, many yogic traditions have been born around the movement of the stars and moons, there are even  Moon Salutations you can do! (As seen on Yoga Journal: https://www.yogajournal.com/videos/moon-shine).

Yoga in ME will also be celebrating in this astrological phenomenon so stay tuned and keep an eye up at the stars!

 

Namaste!

 

 

Do Your OM Thing: OM 101

Om, the sound of the Universe

Where were you when you had your first “OM” experience? What did you feel? What did you think? Reflecting upon it now, it was probably a very strange experience to chant this mysterious sound with others not knowing what or why this is even happening. We all started there at some point.

After a few classes and maybe a bit of home chanting, some of us may have begun to incorporate the word into our daily practices, singing it before and after class with your fellow yogis. But do we really know what we are actually saying, or connecting too? Here is a little OM 101.

“Om” originated from the ancient Sanskrit language as an attempt for the meditating rishis to associate a feeling with a verbal representation or sound. This sacred word was created due to the difficulty to express how “Om” represents everything, and is the seed of all creation, in essence it represents the Universe. Some even go further to say it is the organic sound the Universe made when it was created. Chanting “OM” creates an internal vibration that is thought to bring that individual into sync with the Universe and all other beings. Furthermore, the chant of “OM” is said to bring yourself into awareness with physical realities of the world and the body, as well as unlock more subtle impressions of the mind and soul.

Although the word looks simple: two letters that spell “om”, there are in fact four parts to the sacred chant. When sung out loud, or internally, the proper pronunciation comes out as “AUM”, with a pause at the end. The “Ahh” sound represents the creation aspect of the Universe, or the beginning of all sounds and is supposed to connect us to our deeper sense of Self. The “U”, sounding “oooh”,  represents the energy maintaining the Universe and therefore connects us to our own internal energies and senses. The “Mmm” sound encompasses the transformative energy of the Universe and should unite us with the awareness of oneness and connection with all. This is where you may begin to feel a slight vibration within the jaw, the shared vibration by all. The last part of “Om” is the silence that follows the sound, also knows as anagata. This silent vibration is said to be the pure consciousness of the Self and the unity with the Self and All.

Now, when it comes to the chanting, even that is a practice in itself. It is one thing to sit in the class and join in the chant because that is what everyone else seems to be doing. It is a completely separate and unique experience when you begin to chant to connect to something bigger than yourself. All the reading and research in the world cannot enlighten one who does not chant with intention or with passion. So the next time you are taking a yoga class, and the “Om” chant is offered, see if you can fully place yourself in the moment and acknowledge each of the four parts, and then sit in the bliss and unity.

“OMMMMMMMMMM”

 

 

Stick with Love, This Day and Every Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Anger is a silly thing. It seems so effortless to become angry, act angry and remain angry in any given situation or at any individual. The most difficult aspect to anger is letting it go, completely and with compassion. Yes, you may forgive someone for something they did, but do you ever fully forgive them for upsetting you or making you feel angry in the first place? There may always be that underlying tension just waiting for the next time to bubble up to the surface.

In the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day,  I would like to share one of my favorite quotes from him (I could share many of my favorite MLK quotes, but that’s for a different time!). Mr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said:

“I have decided to stick with Love. Hate is too great of a burden to bear”.

The irony in this simple statement is quite comical as majority of people unconsciously chose to bear their burden of hate.

Anger that is left unchecked or ignored eventually transforms into a stronger version, such as resentment or hate itself. In his 2015 TED talk, Kailash Satuarthi said:

“Anger is within each one of you, and I will share a secret for a few seconds: that if we are confined in the narrows shells of egos, and the circles of selfishness, then the anger will turn out to be hatred, violence, revenge, destruction. But if we are able to break the circles, then the same anger could turn into a great power. We can break the circles by using our inherent compassion and connect with the world through compassion to make this world better. That same anger could be transformed into it.”

Love and compassion has the power to break the chains that anger and hatred hold on our hearts. Love can cut through the most hateful hearts and bring a light into even the darkest of souls. Martin Luther King Jr. understood the power behind love and chose the path of love and compassion to guide him through difficult or trying times.

Recently, I read a book for a book group at a local yoga studio (Yoga in ME), and I am so thankful I did. Author and life-changer, Brene Brown, explained in her book Braving the Wilderness that “people are hard to hate close up, move in”. That one sentence made me pause for quite a long time and thought about my levels of hate and how that hatred would be affected by proximity to that individual or situation. That simple, yet profound statement has such a true meaning that you almost want to be mad at it. Both Brene Brown and Martin Luther King Jr. have found success and peace in choosing love over hate.

With all the tragic events occurring, it is easy to get swept up in the sea of hatred that seems to be flooding the world and saturating hearts of many. Even as a practicing Yogi, I too find myself randomly angry or upset with a group of people or a situation that is occurring. But as Brene mentions, “we pay for hate with our lives, and that’s too big a price to pay”, and no amount of hatred is worth a human life.

The next time you find yourself in a hating position, do your best to recognize your angry emotions and take some time to dig down deep into the roots of those unpleasant feelings or thoughts. If it is a person, visualize zooming in on that person until they are right in front of you and then handle the situation from a loving and understanding perspective. Choose love.

Peace,

Dannika

 

5 Reasons YOU Need A Weekend Retreat

If you’re like many of us New Englanders, making the investment to participate in a Weekend Retreat seems like a big financial commitment. Many of us think of these types of purchases as a luxury… or even selfish. As frugal New Englanders, we are reluctant to make a big investment in something we perceive as only benefitting ourselves.

But guess what!? Participating in a weekend retreat is NOT selfish. Making the investment in your own self-care is actually a great way to “fill up your cup” and make sure that you are able to offer your best self to your daily commitments and to the others in your life who depend on you!

Here are just a few reasons to join us on our weekend retreat :

1. Take time to focus on YOU

I touched on this a little bit already, but I have to talk about it again because it is SO IMPORTANT. Some of us write off self-care because it seems.. well… selfish. But taking time to practice self care is extremely important for your mental and physical health. If that still doesn’t seem like a valuable way to use your time, remember that taking are of YOU is a way to ensure that you are able to rise to face all of the challenges life throws your way! Plus, if you’re down and out, you are less able to care for those in your life that depend on you. Taking care of yourself by spending a weekend practicing yoga, meditating, and eating healthy is a great step towards being the best you possible!

2. Community

This weekend retreat is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with like-minded individuals. Yoga in ME is beloved by many for our diverse and welcoming community. You’ll have a chance to connect with other yogis both on and off the mat and get to know the people you practice next to every day. Meals will be prepared and eaten as a group, family style. And that’s just one of the ways that we will be sharing as a community during the retreat. We’ll be practicing, eating, sleeping, breathing, discussing, sharing and relaxing as a group all weekend! We can’t wait to hang out with you!

3. Learning

Are you interested in deepening your practice? Learning more about the 8 limbs of yoga? Getting into the details and the practices that we don’t have time to get into in a 60-minute class? On this retreat, you’ll have full access to Lydia and Nancy for the whole weekend! While we have a plan for the weekend, discussions will follow the lead of the group. This means that we’ll have a chance to delve into the topics that particularly interest YOU. Between the 2 of us, we have over 20 years of yoga experience and expertise to share with you. The shared experiences and knowledge of the group are another valuable resource that we can’t wait to tap into. Plan to leave inspired and excited!

4. Relieve Stress

It’s no secret that yoga and meditation are great for relieving stress. And we’ll have the unique opportunity to be immersed in these practices for a the whole weekend. Time will be set aside for asana, meditation, breathing practice, and even rest! This is an opportunity to learn new relaxation techniques, and hone the ones you already know. We’ll be placing an emphasis on self care, nurturing ourselves and the group. Leave feeling relaxed, renewed, and ready to face the week ahead!

5. Be Fully Present

We’ll be physically close to home, but far away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. During the retreat, we invite you to unplug and join us on an adventure towards being fully present. This weekend retreat will be an opportunity to be fully present with the group and the community, taking a break from the stress and anxiety that so often come hand in hand with work and home life!

Convinced? Spots are filling up FAST. Sign up to reserve your spot here!

Still not sure? Lydia and Nancy are available to answer any questions or address any concerns that you still have. Ask us at the studio, in the comments below, or contact us. We want to hear what you have to say!