Tag Archives: Workshop

TONIGHT! Moving into Stillness …

30 Dec

Embodied Intention Setting for the New Year

Stillness_Peace

Painting by artist Claudia Tremblay

Join Suzy, Sylvia and Jessie for a two and a half hour workshop to help you connect with your body and set a deeply inspired intention for the new year.

Wednesday December 30, 2016
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
at
Sedro Woolley Physical Therapy
$5-$15 sliding scale


100% of proceeds will be donated to Animals As Natural Therapy.  ANT offers healing programs based on the knowledge that animals can teach humans important life skills: respect for self and others, trust-building, and clear communication. As a 501(c)3 non-profit, ANT operates out of Windy Acres, a one-hundred-year-old, 5-acre farm in Bellingham. Windy Acres provides a peaceful, secluded spot for animal and human partners to practice their healing work. Over the past decade, ANT has touched the lives of thousands of children and adults.  Learn more here!


The Workshop

Take the classical New Years Resolutions deeper inside for an experience that won’t fade as the year progresses.  When we connect with our physical bodies, we can open a gateway to a deeper truth.  As we listen inward, we can find surprising insights that, if we choose, can guide us through this new year.

This Workshop is open to beginners and all levels.  We will begin with a warm up, exploring gentle yoga and graceful ballet movements led by Sylvia, Certified Registered Yoga Instructor.  Suzy, Yoga Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist, will guide us through some Tai Chi, Yoga, and neuro-facilitation movements to really connect with flow.  Jessie, Experienced Registered Yoga & Meditation Instructor, will bring us into stillness with a gentle cool down and an Intention-Setting meditation.

Throughout this workshop, we will quiet the mind and connect within to find our highest intention from inside, then set it strongly and affirm it within a supportive community setting, establishing the foundation for a New Year guided by our embodied insights.

No previous yoga experience required.  Bring a mat if you have one, don’t worry if you don’t (yoga mats will be provided).  Bring your friends!  You may RSVP to reserve your spot, or just come join us the day of.


 

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”

—Rumi

All proceeds benefit Cascade Job Corps HEAL program.


The Instructors

Jessie-ProfileJessie Tierney is a 320-hour Yoga Alliance Certified & Registered Yoga Instructor through the Shambhava School of Yoga.  She is en route to Physical Therapy school, where she plans to integrate yoga, horses, and the outdoors with Physical Therapy for a complete, holistic approach to  healing that addresses the physical, emotional, and subtle body.  Yoga transformed Jessie’s life in profound ways, and she is deeply honored to offer this empowering practice to others.  She currently teaches at the Sedro Woolley Center for Holistic Wellness.  Learn more about Jessie at YogAscent.wordpress.com and HorsebackYoga.wordpress.com; contact her via phone 312.857.3454 or Jessie Yoga at gmail dot com.

suzieSuzy Cornell was born and raised in Seattle, WA and received her BA in Physical Education from Western Washington University in 1985.  She has over 20 years experience in the field of Adult Fitness and has taught Yoga and Pilates for over 10 years.  She received her yoga certification from Pacific Yoga at The Yoga Tree in Seattle, and has continued her education through YogaFit, Inc, obtaining certifications in Levels 1-5, Prenatal Yoga and YogaFit for Seniors.  She was certified in Pilates through Balance Within in Redmond.  She currently teaches at the Sedro Woolley Center for Holistic Wellness.  Learn more about Suzy at SkagitValleyBodyFree.wordpress.com, contact her via phone 206.669.0857 or email her from her site.

Sylvia_TraskSylvia Trask began practicing yoga at age 10, inspired by the quiet it brought her inside.  She studies her yoga bible, Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar.  Sylvia has shared her practice for four decades in many settings: on the trail with fellow backpackers and trail maintenance friends, in the classroom, in ballet and yoga studios, and naturally into whatever setting she finds herself in.  Yoga is a central element in Sylvia’s life and flows freely into everything else, including ballet, massage therapy and her gardens.  Sylvia currently teaches yoga at the Woolley Market three days per week.  Contact Sylvia for more information: 360-707-8321.


Help us spread the word!

(flier coming soon)

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New! Calendar of Yoga Classes!

25 Mar

I am excited to announce that I now have a go-to calendar for all Yoga classes, workshops, events and more, thanks to Google Calendar.  You’ll be able to find this calendar on my Yoga Classes page on the YogAscent site and on my home page on the Horseback Yoga site.  I hope you find this useful!

 

 

Moving Into Stillness …

11 Dec

Embodied Intention Setting for the New Year

Stillness_Peace

Painting by artist Claudia Tremblay

Join Suzy, Sylvia and Jessie for a 2-hour workshop to help you connect with your body and set a deeply inspired intention for the new year.

Saturday, January 3, 2015
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
at
The Woolley Market (upstairs) in Downtown Sedro Woolley
$5-$15 sliding scale
100% of proceeds will be donated to Cascade Job Corps’ HEAL (healthy eating active lifestyles) Program, offering students yoga classes, reflexology, good foods, and healthy living educational opportunities in Skagit Valley.


The Workshop

Take the classical New Years Resolutions deeper inside for an experience that won’t fade as the year progresses.  When we connect with our physical bodies, we can open a gateway to a deeper truth.  As we listen inward, we can find surprising insights that, if we choose, can guide us through this new year.

This Workshop is open to beginners and all levels.  We will begin with a warm up, exploring gentle yoga and graceful ballet movements led by Sylvia, Yoga & Ballet Instructor.  Suzy, Yoga Instructor and Licensed Massage Therapist, will guide us through some Tai Chi, Yoga, and neuro-facilitation movements to really connect with flow.  Jessie, Yoga Instructor, will bring us into stillness with a gentle cool down and an Intention-Setting meditation.

Throughout this workshop, we will quiet the mind and connect within to find our highest intention from inside, then set it strongly and affirm it within a supportive community setting, establishing the foundation for a New Year guided by our embodied insights.

No previous yoga experience required.  Bring a mat if you have one, don’t worry if you don’t (yoga mats will be provided).  Bring your friends!  You may RSVP to reserve your spot, or just come join us the day of.


 

“I have been a seeker and I still am, but I stopped asking the books and the stars. I started listening to the teaching of my Soul.”

—Rumi

All proceeds benefit Cascade Job Corps HEAL program.


The Instructors

Jessie-ProfileJessie Tierney is a 320-hour Yoga Alliance Certified & Registered Yoga Instructor through the Shambhava School of Yoga.  She is en route to Physical Therapy school, where she plans to integrate yoga, horses, and the outdoors with Physical Therapy for a complete, holistic approach to  healing that addresses the physical, emotional, and subtle body.  Yoga transformed Jessie’s life in profound ways, and she is deeply honored to offer this empowering practice to others.  She currently teaches at the Sedro Woolley Center for Holistic Wellness.  Learn more about Jessie at YogAscent.wordpress.com and HorsebackYoga.wordpress.com; contact her via phone 312.857.3454 or Jessie Yoga at gmail dot com.

suzieSuzy Cornell was born and raised in Seattle, WA and received her BA in Physical Education from Western Washington University in 1985.  She has over 20 years experience in the field of Adult Fitness and has taught Yoga and Pilates for over 10 years.  She received her yoga certification from Pacific Yoga at The Yoga Tree in Seattle, and has continued her education through YogaFit, Inc, obtaining certifications in Levels 1-5, Prenatal Yoga and YogaFit for Seniors.  She was certified in Pilates through Balance Within in Redmond.  She currently teaches at the Sedro Woolley Center for Holistic Wellness.  Learn more about Suzy at SkagitValleyBodyFree.wordpress.com, contact her via phone 206.669.0857 or email her from her site.

Sylvia_TraskSylvia Trask began practicing yoga at age 10, inspired by the quiet it brought her inside.  She studies her yoga bible, Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar.  Sylvia has shared her practice for four decades in many settings: on the trail with fellow backpackers and trail maintenance friends, in the classroom, in ballet and yoga studios, and naturally into whatever setting she finds herself in.  Yoga is a central element in Sylvia’s life and flows freely into everything else, including ballet, massage therapy and her gardens.  Sylvia currently teaches yoga at the Woolley Market three days per week.  Contact Sylvia for more information: 360-707-8321.

Help spread the word!

Moving_Into_Stillness_Flier01

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Here is a pdf of the Moving into Stillness flier.

Reflections on the Restorative Reiki Workshop

5 Jan

What an incredibly powerful workshop!  I feel so privileged to be in a position to share the energy of Reiki and the beautiful philosophy and life-science of Yoga with participants at the Restorative Reiki Workshop: Intention-Setting for the New Year.

“What you seek   …
is seeking you.”

~Rumi

We worked through four stages of preparation–each in a different restorative yoga asana–by practicing mindful embodiment (being truly present in and listening to our bodies), reflection on past joys and learnings, opening our hearts to a deep sense of gratitude for all, and surrendering to discover our Deepest Heart’s Desires (which were inside all along, and once discovered, served as our Intentions at the culmination of the workshop).

Below are some examples of Restorative Postures:

YogAscnet_Restorative_Yoga_Collage

Restorative Yoga Postures offer us a chance to experience passive, deep, mindful (and sub-conscious) healing.  Spending up to twenty minutes in postures that are fully supported by bolsters, blankets, blocks and straps, our bodies are invited to truly surrender ~ letting go of tension on a deeper and deeper level with each exhalation.  Not only does this practice support the alignment of our physical body, but it also teaches us how to cultivate a still, clear mind–the alignment of our subtle body–which is being shown over and over in scientific communities to have myriad benefits.

The Reiki healing attunement and hands-on adjustments throughout the workshop helped clear the space for deeper, more whole and uninhibited healing to occur, aligning our energy and awareness toward our greatest good.

“Our instinctual desire for periods of stillness and reflection to digest and process our daily experience is always within us.  Creating time for this, either as a formal or informal meditation practice, enables us to address life’s discomforts as they arise.

We already spend hours of every day forgetting we have a body.  To be alive is to be embodied.

As you begin to quiet the mind from busy thoughts, discomfort raises its head, begging for attention.  An emotion, belief, or memory may surface.  Instead of analyzing the story behind it, let your body feel the sensation that accompanies it.  You might even take this sensation out of the body.  Ask it questions about what it might need or actions you might take.  When discomforts are engaged as messengers, they can become allies.”

~ Jacqui Neruater in Yoga Chicago Magazine

What a gift!  To be able to slow down long enough to discover our deepest heart’s desires, then make a commitment ~ pen-to-page, then voicing it aloud ~ to our Intention.  But perhaps it is not a gift, but our duty, our promise to ourselves, a virtue: “Leisure is not the privilege of a few who can afford to take time, but the virtue of all who are willing to give time to what takes time–to give as much time as a task rightly takes.” -Brother David Steindl-Rast

By setting aside our daily time for meditation, reflection, art-making, love-making, we are serving the greatest good, nourishing ourselves so that we can be of greater service to all.

“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”

~Albert Einstein

I offer a heart-felt thanks to each of you for making the time for what matters.  2014 is going to be an incredible year!

And here … let us honor our intentions:

“I am already whole.”

“I am peace.”

“I am already healed.”

“I love my body!”

“I radiate health & vitality.”

“I take the time I need to nourish my heart every day.”

“I am already nourished and strong.”

Thank you, thank you, for co-creating a world full of love and light.  Please feel free to reflect, respond, or add your own intention below.

Namaste.

Restorative Yoga Study & Results

28 Nov

In my Biology course at Western Washington University, we were assigned a 2-hour service project of our choosing: we were to make a video documenting our service and at least 3 points of connection to topics we covered in class over the course of the quarter.  I was excited to integrate yoga into this project, and nearly as soon as I designed the study, a Free Restorative Yoga Workshop, I all 7 participants had signed up.  Please enjoy my final video or peruse the details of the study below.

As a service project in my Biology course at Western Washington University, I chose to offer a Free Restorative Yoga Workshop to my community. Within the workshop, I conducted a simple physiology study measuring the effects of Restorative Yoga on Stress. Here are the results.

More at https://yogascent.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/restorative-yoga-study-results/

Hypothesis

“If you practice Restorative Yoga (passive yoga with an emphasis on breathing and meditation), stress will decrease, pain will decrease, pulse will decrease and oxygen saturation will increase.”

Methods

RESTORATIVE YOGA
Restorative Yoga is a gentle and passive practice designed to promote healing on deep emotional and physical levels. Taught with an emphasis on breathing, meditation, and with precise attention to body alignment in the carefully-planned and sequenced postures, this practice is accessible to nearly anyone.

MEASUREMENTS
I used a questionnaire for participants to rate their pain and stress levels on a 0-10 scale before and after the workshop.  I also used a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen saturation and heart rate.

Results

The graph below shows oxygen levels at the start of the workshop (the 0 hour), halfway through the workshop (the 1 hour) and at the end of the workshop (the 2 hour).  6 participants’ oxygen saturation levels did not support my hypothesis: instead of increasing, as I was predicting because of the emphasis on slow, deep breathing, their levels decreased during the workshop and then increased again once they sat upright at the end and I took the readings one last time.  One possible confound for my study of oxygen saturation: it is possible that participants got so relaxed that they forgot to engage in the deep, diaphragmatic breathing.

o2sat

Heart rate results supported my hypothesis: rates declined to their lowest level at the middle of the study, then increased again but not to the level of the start.

HeartRate

Here is a graph of the average level of pain and stress for all participants for before and after the workshop.  Both stress and pain decreased significantly from the start to the end of the workshop.

StressPainThis final graph outlines the average percent change from the start to the end of class.  Oxygen Saturation showed a zero percent change.  Heart rate decreased 19%.  Pain decreased 32%.  Stress decreased 63%.

% Change

Discussion

My results showing that yoga is correlated to a reduction in pain are supported by studies measuring yoga’s impact on issues from fibromyalgia to chronic low back pain. One of the participants in this study reported to me that she walked in with a migraine, and it was nearly gone by the end of the workshop.

Yoga is becoming widely known in the medical community as an antidote to stress, and the results of my study reflect this finding.  For these reasons, yoga is being used increasingly in clinical settings for anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.

Restorative yoga appears to be correlated with a reduced heart rate, which may be why we see the reduction in stress and pain: the parasympathetic nervous system is activated through deep, slow, controlled breathing, causing the stress hormone cortisol to lower and the relaxation response to activate. This can be an empowering realization for an individual who deals with stress and learns tools for helping to control this response.

I hypothesized that a yoga class with emphasis on deep breathing would increase blood oxygen saturation–especially given what we learned in class about slow oxidative and fast glycolygic muscle fibers. In this case, the intensity of exercise was quite low, so participants were obtaining energy in the form of ATP by way of Oxidative Phosphorylation–the slow oxidative process. However, deep breathing does not appear to impact oxygen saturation in this case. There is a possible confound in my study: Perhaps participants were so relaxed that they stopped deep breathing altogether.

Beyond this Study

Yoga as a life strategy has been around for over 5000 years.  The practices of yoga have been perfected, replicated, and repeated uncountable times since then.  In the most ancient texts, before our time of mathematics and measurements, there were accurate recordings of things like the speed of light by ancient yogis.  One could think of yoga as the greatest body of empirical evidence in the world, due to so many trails over such a vast period of time.  Western science is now investigating yogic principles, and many of these teachings are being supported by scientific studies.  It is my goal to help further this work.

I personally resonated with the idea of the Scientific Method as Life Strategy because it encourages curiosity, awareness, and mindfulness–as does yoga.  Through observation, a clearer and clearer picture of life emerges.

For example, in science, as we learn that eutrophication destroys the very life systems that sustain us–by polluting our water, killing our fish and creating huge dead zones on our oceans–we can use these facts to inform our decisions about things like whether to use synthetic fertilizer or compost in our gardens.  We can come to a way of seeing the world that is most true, and then derive action from that vision.

What yoga offers beyond the purely objective realm of science is something that I think can help us to navigate through the biggest crisis of our time: Climate Change.   Science shows us that we must act now.

“If we start this year–2013–and if we achieve a 6% global reduction in carbon emissions this year and every subsequent year, and if we begin a massive global reforestation and soil sequestration campaign, we can keep the temperature rise on Earth below 2 degrees centigrade. If we wait until 2020, it’s 15% reduction a year. If we wait until 2030, we have run out of time.” -James Hanson, NASA Climate Scientist

Like Kathleen Dean-Moore said in her Vanishing Ice Talk (and in the incredible book, On Moral Ground), Climate Change is a moral dilemma.  And I’m posing that Yoga offers us a system combining the scientific approach with mindfulness and a framework for action: a way to navigate that dilemma, and create a world that is supportive of life’s systems.

Yoga teaches us that our inner reality becomes manifest in our lives, and that our outer world is reflected within.  This suggests that as we purify our outer worlds, we will enjoy reduced rates of stress, cancer, hypertension, even diabetes.  And as we purify our thoughts, emotions, and actions, our outer world will become more beautiful, diverse, and life-sustaining.  We live in a time of transition, and the gifts of yoga coupled with science provide us with the tools we need to shape the future of our species and the planet.

Thank you and Namaste.

MountBakerSunSalutation

There are a thousand ways
to kneel and kiss the earth.

~Rumi

__________________________________________

Sources

Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  “Natural Patterns of Sleep.” http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/science/what/sleep-patterns-rem-nrem accessed 11/25/13.

Raub, James A. “Psychophysiologic Effects of Hatha Yoga on Musculoskeletal and Cardiopulmonary Function: A Literature Review” Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. December 2002, 8(6): 797-812.

Satyapriya, Maharana, et. al. “Effect off integrated yoga on stress and heart rate variability in pregnant women.”  Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics.  2009 March; 104(3): 218-22.

Sovik, Rolf.  “The Science of Breathing – The Yogic View.”  Progress in Brain Research.  1999; Vol 122: 491-505.

Wren, Anava A., et al. “Yoga for Persistent Pain: New Findings and Directions for an Ancient Practice.”  Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain.  2011 March; 152(3): 447-80.

“Restorative Yoga My Way” Photo on MeghanTelpner.com

“Yogi Seal” Photo from http://www.harappa.com/indus/33.html

“Eutrophication” Image from http://www.pewtrusts.org