Yoga in ME Food Drive

In 2012, Yoga in ME celebrated our grand opening with a food drive to benefit Footprints Food Pantry. (Footprints serves Kittery, Kittery Point, and Eliot residents) Participating is easy! Bring in any donation (big or small) all week and your class is FREE.

In order to make this event even better for those who are already Yoga in ME members, we also give you one entry into our raffle each time you bring in a donation! This year, we have lots of great prizes available. Prizes include private lessons, yoga gear, Yoga in ME swag & more! We’re also offering special discounts on retail and class passes. A very limited supply of discounted annual pre-paid memberships will be available!

As our community has grown, we have continued to celebrate this tradition each year. Every year, we have collected more & more food to benefit our local Southern Maine community. This year marks our 4th birthday and 5th annual food drive! Each year, we have managed to donate hundreds of dollars worth of food, toiletries, and pet supplies to Footprints. The opportunity to see a physical manifestation of the support of our community is so humbling!

We truly love this opportunity to give back to the community. We are really looking forward to this year’s food drive. Help us make it our biggest donation year yet!

Here is how you can participate:

Bring in any food, toiletry, household supply, or pet item donation. Items must be new and unopened. Footprints requests that any food items be date checked to ensure the product has not passed the expiration date.

Here is a list of items that are consistently in high need:

      . peanut butter
      . canned vegetables
      . macaroni & cheese
      . macaroni & spaghetti
      . canned pasta
      . canned “hearty” soups
      . cold “low sugar” cereal & oatmeal
      . rice – brown and white
      . canned fruit
      . canned tuna
      . ramen noodles
      . beef stew
      . dog & cat food
      . sides – pasta, rice, potato
      . hamburger & tuna helper
      . pasta sauce
      . diapers

We thank you all for supporting us and this community for the past 4 years! We wouldn’t be here without each and every one of you!

How & Why You Should Participate in Our November Gratitude Tree

Every November we practice gratitude by making our Yoga in ME gratitude tree. This is a great and very simple way to bring a little gratitude into your life. Participating is easy and the the end result is a beautiful example of a collection of things that our community is grateful for! Here’s how you can participate:

1. Come in for class! We have lots of leaves all cut out and ready to go!

 

2.  Write something you’re grateful for on the leaf!

3.  Add it to the tree!

4.  Watch the gratitude multiply!

Keep coming in throughout the month of November and watch the tree fill up. It is so fun to watch the gratitude multiply and to have tangible example of the many things that we have to be thankful for! Plus, practicing gratitude is good for you and is a great way to spread love and kindness in our community and beyond.

We look forward to this tradition every year and we hope that you will join us for this fun practice. You are encouraged to participate every time you come in for class! You don’t have to write something different every time you come in, but you can if you want to! We love seeing all of the things that our members are thankful for every year and enjoy thinking about what we are thankful for too.

Too often, we are encouraged to consume and be unhappy with what we have during the holidays. We find that the gratitude tree tradition is a great way to feel even better about what we already have. As our teacher often says, how lucky are we?

We hope that you will join us in continuing this fun and meaningful tradition!

What are you thankful for? Let us know in the comments below, or come in and fill out some leaves!

5 Opportunities to Practice Gratitude at Yoga in ME This Holiday Season

The opportunity to practice gratitude at Yoga in ME  is a very important part of our community. At the end of many of our classes, we offer an opportunity to take a moment of gratitude. Often, I will invite students to think of one thing that they are grateful for today. Practicing gratitude is a great way to improve your interpersonal relationships and spread positivity to others in your life. Practicing gratitude can also bring numerous benefits to YOU. Read more on the “selfish” benefits of practicing gratitude in this post.

Some of you may be thinking “well, that’s all great… but what does practicing gratitude even mean?”. There are many small ways to practice gratitude. Some of these include: keeping a gratitude journal, verbally expressing gratitude to loved ones, or even just thinking about things you are grateful for on a regular basis. Another wonderful way to practice gratitude is by giving back to your community.

If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate gratitude in your life, here are 5 opportunities to practice gratitude at Yoga in ME this holiday season:

1) Join us at our Veterans’ Day Outreach and Fundraising Event

Grateful for our veterans and want to support our FREE Yoga for Veterans Classes? Curious about the class? Now is your chance to try it out and/or ask questions – or just show up to show your support for this life changing program. This is a once a year opportunity for friends and family to join the class to see what it’s like – or to bring a veteran(s) you know that might enjoy their first class more if you were there to support them.

2) Come Practice Gratitude at Yoga in ME at our Annual Thanksgiving Day Gratitude Class

Take some time to care for yourself and cultivate gratitude before the distractions take over the mind. You may notice the rest of the day is truly something you can feel grateful for. Any donation appreciated.

3) Participate in Our Fall Food Drive

How lucky are we to have the opportunity to give back to others? Each year, we celebrate Yoga in ME’s birthday at our fall food drive. During this week long event, we collect a trunk load of food and other items (or more!) to donate to Footprints Food Pantry in Kittery. More information about this fun annual event coming soon!

4) Monthly Give Back Yoga Nidra

At this class, we support a different cause each month. We are grateful to Erica for donating her time to host this class and for the opportunity to give back to some awesome local organizations. We especially love to support local causes that our members are involved in, like End 68 Hours of Hunger. If you are active in a local non-profit please talk to Erica about how this class can help you!

5) Weekly By-Donation Community Class

We are so grateful to our teacher trainees for donating their time to teach this class and Rachel for volunteering to coordinate it! This class is a great opportunity to show your appreciation to these teachers (all you have to do is show up!). It is also an opportunity to support our FREE yoga for veterans program by donating.

Bonus opportunity: participate in our November Gratitude Tree! Read more about that on the blog soon!

We hope that you will join us for as many of these opportunities as possible. These are just a few of the ways that we are practicing gratitude at Yoga in ME this season. How are you practicing gratitude? Let us know in the comments!

My 6 Year Old Wanted To Raise Money For Las Vegas Children “Who Don’t Have Parents Any More” What She Said Next Brought Tears To My Eyes…

On Tuesday, my 6 year old daughter, Lilliana, came home from school and told me she wanted to “send money to the kids in Las Vegas who don’t have parents any more.” I was touched. My girl has a big heart and, as a result, she always wants to help others. Unfortunately, there was just one problem: she doesn’t have much money beyond her piggy bank. I asked her where she was going to get the money. Her response surprised me. In fact, it brought tears to my eyes.

Lilliana told me she wanted to teach a yoga class for kids “because your job is already to help people feel better”.

I was touched that, not only does she want to help, she wants to do it by spreading peace, love and mindfulness in our local community. I can’t think if a better way to raise money to raise money for such a deserving cause! We hope that many of you will consider taking a break from all of the negativity that surrounds us and joining us for this fun class!

Sometimes it feels like we are surrounded by disaster. One tragedy after another plays out on the news. As a result,  it seems like we are powerless to do anything to stop them or help. Seeing tragedies like the recent shooting in Las Vegas, it is easy to sink into this hopeless mindset.

However, my teacher, Beryl teaches that part of our responsibility as yogis is to practice kriya yoga. Yoga in action. Sometimes, even the most experienced yogis need a reminder of this. And sometimes children are our best reminders.

Please join us Saturday, October 14th and 1pm for a fun, playful family yoga class lead by budding yoga teacher, Lilliana and experienced adult and children’s yoga teacher (and mom) Lydia.

Register and/or Donate Here

Live Your Yoga: Staying Calm In Turbulent Times

Bring Your Yoga to Life: Live Your Yoga!

The practice of yoga is a wonderful thing for many reasons. Yoga offers it’s practitioners physical, mental and cognitive benefits. Your yoga mat becomes your sanctuary. A safe haven for your mind, body and spirit to be freely expressed and explored. Yet, for many, their yogic practices and all the life tools yoga provides, gets rolled up into their mat and stored away until they create time to practice once again. However, this does not have to be the case! Instead, we invite you to live your yoga. Bringing it off the mat, and into your every day life!

The beauty of yoga is that can be performed anywhere, at any time, in any circumstance. All of the centering exercises, breathing techniques, meditation methods that you look forward to while on your mat DO NOT have to stay on the mat. This is especially important during times of extreme stress and tension. The past few weeks have been filled with destruction and violence. These are the times when it is most important for us to take a moment to stop and breathe.

Cultivate Calm and Presence

Unfortunately, the times that need your yoga practice the most, you may not have access to your ‘safety mat’. Times challenge your ego, your sense of Self, your faith, anything that may bring you unease. The good news is: you don’t need a yoga mat to do yoga and create peace! Channel your inner yogi and live your yoga at that moment in which you may be feeling those anxieties. It can be as simple as checking in with yourself by conducting a total body scan becoming aware of areas that hold tension, or performing the three-part breathing technique, anything that brings you into the present and clears the mind. Once you have cultivated a sense of internal calm, you will be able to more effectively react to what is causing such turmoil at that specific time.

Love and Kindness Meditation

During times of stress, struggle or anger, it is best to bring awareness to those emotions and  observe them as they are. Here is a meditation practice that may assist in the coping of a unpleasant feeling or situation you find yourself experiencing. Try this meditation in the morning soon after you wake to bring clarity to your day, or practice it at night to bring peace and serenity to your evening.  

 

  • Begin with yourself. Calm the mind/heart and find the center of your being. Generate warm, gentle, loving feelings for yourself:

May I be safe from harm.
May I be happy just as I am.
May I be peaceful with whatever is happening.
May I be healthy and strong.
May I care for myself in this ever-changing world graciously, joyously.

 

  • From yourself, move out spaciously into your immediate surroundings. Include every living being within this circle:
    May all beings in the air, on land, and in the water be safe, happy, healthy, and free from suffering.
  • Stay within your reach. As you feel your immediate surround fill with the power of loving kindness, move on, expanding the surround in concentric circles until you envelop the entire planet.
  • Expand your loving kindness until you are able to visualize Earth, spinning within the vast, mysterious universe. If you like, continue expanding the sense of your loving kindness, filling the endless emptiness of the universe:
    May all living beings everywhere, on all planes of existence, known and unknown, be happy, be peaceful, be free from suffering.  

In these times of environmental unrest, political unease and global instability, and senseless violence, it is easy to fall into the mindset of fear and anxiety, or guilt in the sense you are not doing enough.

Remember, yoga starts with you, and what you receive in yoga you project to those around you. If you can live your yoga, and be the peaceful beacon for those who surround you, you may begin to see subtle changes for the better.

Live. Your. Yoga.

 

-Dannika