Tag Archives: Yoga

SUMMERTIME YOGA

13 May

Hayloft-YogaHAYLOFT YOGA

every Tuesday from 7pm – 8pm
at Double S Quarter Horses
15216 Colony Road in Bow WA
$10 to drop in – all are welcome


BackCareYogaBACK CARE YOGA

every Friday from 10:30am – noon
at The Center of Holistic Wellness
609 Murdock Street in Sedro Woolley
$15 – pre-register here.


Supine-Pelvic-tilt-tuckHAYLOFT YOGA
~ OVERNIGHT RETREAT ~

*is now being planned!  Mark your calendar!
at Double S Quarter Horses
15216 Colony Road in Bow WA
July 9-10, 2016time TBA


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)

New Punch Cards

2 Dec

Punch Cards

If your punch card has expired, come in for classes in December-quick!  All expired punch cards will be purged January 1st.  

Starting in January, punch cards will expire 3 months to the day from when they were purchased.  It is my intention that this will help you make the commitment to prioritize your yoga practice and come consistently to class.  This way, the class can progress and we can all grow together!

10 classes for $100
The best value for those of you who intend to come regularly to yoga.  This option gives you three months for ten classes.  That’s $5 off each class – a tremendous $50 savings!

8 classes for $90
This is a good option if you’re looking for a great value but might not be as consistent with classes.  This option gives you three months to attend eight classes and saves you $30.

Drop in rate is $15 per class

How to purchase
Punch cards can be purchased in person with Jessie or online at my secure shop (I can ship them to you or give them to you when you attend your first yoga class).  Punch cards are a great holiday gift idea!

Both class passes expire three months from the date of purchase.


 

Note:  Punch cards can now be used for either Back Care Yoga classes on Fridays (must RSVP ahead of time with 48 hours notice of need to cancel for a refund – no exceptions) or All Levels Yoga Classes on Thursday nights. 

Holiday Gift Bags!

28 Nov

I hope you all have received a holiday gift bag from our wonderful circle of local healers (just scroll down to meet them!) by now.  If not, join me for a yoga class and pick one up!

My contribution to the bags was a small dram of doTERRA essential oil for you to enjoy this holiday season.  Your dram contains one of the following oils (which are my personal favorites!), plus MANY more goodies complements of Jelan …  Read on to learn more about how to enjoy your doTERRA oils and meet the practitioners responsible for your gift bags!

Balance_15mlBalance® Grounding Blend

  • USES: Aromatic, Topical, No Dilution Needed
  • Promotes whole-body relaxation
  • Soothes sore muscles and joints
  • Evokes feelings of tranquility and balance

OnGuard_15mlOnGaurd® Protective Blend

  • USES: Aromatic, Topical, Internal, Dilute for young or sensitive skin
  • Supports healthy immune function
  • Protects against environmental threats
  • Cleanses surfaces
  • Purifies the skin while promoting healthy circulation
  • Energizing and uplifting aroma

AromaTouch_15mlAromaTouch® Massage Blend

  • USES: Aromatic, Topical, No Dilution Needed
  • Relaxes muscles and soothes joints
  • Promotes circulation
  • Supports a healthy inflammatory response


lavender_15mlLavender

  • Uses: Aromatic, topical – no need for dilution, internal
  • Widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities
  • Soothes occasional skin irritations
  • Helps skin recover quickly
  • Eases muscle tension

Slim & Sassy®  Metabolic Blendslimsassy_15ml

  • Uses: aromatic, topical and internal
  • Promotes healthy metabolism
  • Helps manage hunger cravings
  • Calms your stomach and lifts your mood
  • Diuretic stimulant and calorie free

How to use Essential Oils

There are so many ways for you to enjoy your oils!

  • A few drops on the clay charm necklace that is included in your gift bag!
  • One drop on the wrist, rub wrists together, then rub on your neck near your lymph nodes
  • Add to a witch hazel spray for a yoga mat cleaner or all-purpose household cleaner
  • Rub a drop or two into the bottoms of your feet

A Note from Jelan:

The Holiday Gift Bags are up and running!  Much thanks and gratitude goes out to this amazing circle of healers for making these little bits of holiday cheer such a huge success!  I could not have done it with out you!

I would like to acknowledge T. L. Garrett of Mountain Sunrise Pottery for creating the darling little charms you will find in your gift bag.  Teri does beautiful pottery.  Many of you have seen some of her pieces in my salon.  She specializes in “functional ~ unique ~ wearable ~ beautiful” pieces.  You may contact her at mountainsunrisepottery@gmail.com or 406-696-5195 for customized orders.

The charm has not been glazed on purpose.  It is porous to hold and absorb a drop or two of an essential oil to carry your aroma therapy blend with you throughout the day.  They may be worn as a necklace or simply placed near you on your desk, in your car, on your nightstand, wherever you wish.  They make a nice addition to your meditation / prayer practice, or simply to freshen the air in a stuffy environment.  One drop of essential oil will last for several days.  If you have questions about essential oils or would like to purchase additional oils, contact Jessie.  Enjoy!

In addition to the charms, you will find a few small tumbled stones with a brief description of the healing properties for which they may be used.  To use a stone for healing purposes, take a moment or two to think about an area in your life that you would either like to cultivate or release while holding the stone.  Then simply carry the stone with you in your purse or pocket, or place on your dresser, nightstand, or special place to serve as a gentle reminder to yourself of your intention to create positive change in your life.  Explore your heart and mind and Play!

Wishing Each of You and Your Families a Wonderful Holiday Season!

Many Blessings,

Jelan


Practitioners you’ll find in your Gift Bag!


Jelan Petersen, Reiki Master / Teacher, Cosmetologist, Proprietor, The Reiki Sylist

Jelan

“Bringing Beauty to the Body, Mind & Spirit”

Jelan offers a unique healing opportunity for her clients.  Combining the healing energies of unconditional Love and Compassion with traditional salon & spa services, offers a relaxed, fun and safe environment to facilitate subtle shifts of perspective while chatting about day to day events.  Deep healing experiences take place effortlessly as conversations bring issues to the surface.  The energetic environment within the salon offers a reprieve from the outside world, allowing one to connect with their own divine self, relax, rejuvenate, and release.  Healing sessions may be scheduled for more in-depth exploration of your inner being.  Classes may also be scheduled to learn how to connect more clearly with your intuition to heal yourself and others using the healing energy of Reiki.

Jelan combines the healing practices of Reiki,Theta Healing®, Crystal Therapy and her Intuitive Knowledge in her practice.

Hadea Tift, Owner of Skagit Community Acupuncture, Licensed & Board Certified Acupuncturist, Chief Creator

Hadea1Skagit Community Acupuncture provides a radical and yet sensible solution to feeling better on a budget, treating multiple people per hour so that you can afford to come often enough to get better while not breaking the bank.  SCA is a part of a network of practitioners across the country (200 strong!) who believe in offering acupuncture in an affordable setting.  All are individually owned and operated, connected solely by a common goal.

Trained at Bastyr, Hadea uses a Japanese style of needling which is gentle.  She practices distal treatments – meaning that no matter what she is treating (from headaches to back pain to hormonal or digestive issues) she uses acupuncture points that are on your legs, arms, and your head.  Schedule an appointment to experience this unique and effective healing experience for yourself.

Kathleen Sweeney, Reflexologist and owner of the Sedro Woolley Center of Holistic Wellness

Kathleen offers a blend of her many gifts out of the Center of Holistic Wellness, drawing from her most beloved trainings including Intuitive Reflexology, Reiki Raindrop therapy, Structural Relief Therapy, Aromatherapy, custom essential oil blends & perfumes, and plain old fashioned listening!

The Center hosts a lending library, fair trade & local gift store (stop in!), and a myriad of resources including classes, workshops, and healing practitioners to help you find community, wholeness and healing on a deep level.  Sign up for Kathleen’s e-mail list by clicking here.

Suzy Cornell, LMP, CPT, Structural Medicine Specialist, Yoga & Pilates Instructor and owner of Body Free

Suzy Cornell

Suzy integrates her many advanced trainings in the healing arts with an extensive movement background to empower her clients to achieve a high level of freedom and functional ability in their lives.  Through Body Free, she offers hourlong or two-hour massage, Aromatouch, Functional Movement Screens and Structural Medicine treatments out of Concrete and Sedro Woolley.  She also teaches a weekly yoga class at the Center of Holistic Wellness.

Jessie Tierney, Experienced Registered Yoga Instructor & Physical Therapist Aide

Jessie-ProfileI teach therapeutic yoga and offer workshops around the Skagit Valley.  From Therapeutic Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Back Care Yoga and even Horseback Yoga, it is my deepest love to share the benefits of this life-changing practice to all.  I supplement my yoga teaching (and my life) with Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade doTERRA essential oils, which I am thrilled to be sharing with all of you.  You can sign up for my e-mail list by clicking here (be sure you check the box that corresponds to your interests!).

BIOL 349 Physiology Research Project at WWU

9 Sep

Slide1

In my Human Physiology course at Western Washington University, we were asked to conduct a research study on a topic of our choice.   My Physiology Lab partners and I studied the impact of Pranayama and Viparita Karani on mean arterial pressure (MAP is a measure of blood pressure) in college-age women.  Above you can see our poster and below a figure from our paper.

Fig3

Figure 3. Average percent change in mean arterial pressure (MAP) for the treatment and control groups during three time intervals: Posture/Breathing shows the difference between Stages 1 and 2, Recovery is between Stages 2 and 3, and Overall shows the difference between Stages 1 and 3. Error bars show standard error (Tierney et al 2015).

While we did not find a statistically signifiant difference in MAP resulting form the posture; however, we did find that a simple, 5-minute Pranayama practice reduces MAP.  I invite you to have a look at our paper and also take five minutes to practice breathing to the recording I prepared for the study.

Here is a link to the paper.

Here is a link to the breathing recording.

On a side note, our group’s project won Best Poster in our class.
Great work, ladies!

Best_Poster_Partners

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

Like and share on Facebook.

Here is a pdf of the Moving into Stillness flier.

Yoga Class Gift Certificates for the Holidays ~ Reduced Price!

21 Nov

I am excited to offer Holiday-themed $10 yoga class gift certificates!

This is the perfect gift for friends and family, it fits in your stocking and yoga is a gift that keeps giving!

Additionally, I have new Yoga Punch Cards if you’d like to give a larger gift (to yourself or others!), also at reduced prices.

Punch Cards & Gift Certificates are available now at the Center For Holistic Wellness (contact Kathleen)!


New class time beginning January 8, 2015 ~ Thursday evenings at the Center for Holistic Wellness from 7:15-8:15 pm.  This will be an all-levels yoga class, sweet for winding down in the evenings!


Last Thursday evening class of 2014 was December 4 from 6:15 – 7:15 pm


Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

Yoga: The Path of Holistic Wellness

21 Jul

I am so excited to be a guest blogger for the Center for Holistic Wellness’ Practitioner BlogClick here to check out this new exciting forum for community conversation and sharing …

Below is an excerpt from my answer to the question: What is Holistic Wellness & How do we Achieve it?


 

What is Yoga?

Contrary to what many folks believe, yoga is not about turning yourself Modified_Janu_Sirsasanainto a pretzel (although that can be fun, eventually), or sweating buckets in a 100 degree room (although some modern yoga styles do use a heated space), or only for people who are already “flexible” (although yoga will help you to–among many other things–become more flexible). In fact, limiting a definition of yoga to a mere physical exercise routine fails to recognize the deeper meanings–and benefits–of yoga. Yoga is a systematic path of holistic wellness that brings refinement to the body, mind, and the more subtle–what we call the Inner Self. In Sanskrit–the language of yoga (in class, you may hear instructors name poses like Trikonasana or Virabhadrasana)–the word Yoga means Union. Through a variety of practices, yoga empowers us to unite the body, mind, and Inner Self. Yoga is an ancient system (archaeologists date the physical origins of yoga to somewhere around 3000 BC) developed by Rishis in the Indus Valley Civilization as a way to bring about inner growth and evolution. It was understood, even 5,000 years ago, that if the body is in pain, discomfort, or even just imbalance, the mind is distracted, and a connection to the Inner Self is harder to attain (it’s challenging and sometimes impossible to sit and meditate when your back is in pain, your hip is bugging you, or you can’t sit cross-legged). The asanas–physical postures–that we associate with yoga today were originally designed to bring the body into balance in preparation for sitting in meditation for long periods of time. Today in the West, we have taken the asana practice and run with it (or should I say stretched it?), and for many people who are drawn to yoga in our culture, it all starts with the physical body. In a physical sense, yoga not only increases flexibility but it also–and equally as important–increases strength, stability, and overall balance in the physical body. You don’t have to approach asana with a wish to gain deep spiritual insights (although as you continue to practice, you may find that this inner awareness bubbles up happily on its own); you can start your practice where you’re at. Maybe you have a hope to reduce low back pain; perhaps you’d like to develop core strength; you might be looking for a low-impact, gentle form of exercise. All of these are good, and valid, and will certainly be helped by yoga.

The Path to Wholeness

योगश्चित्तवृत्तिनिरोध yogaścittavṛttinirodhaḥ Yoga is the stilling of the thought-waves of the mind.

~Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras 1:2

I’d like to share a bit about my own yoga journey and how yoga guided me on a path to wholeness. I’d tried yoga a few times growing up and never cared for the “boring stretching classes” I attended occasionally with friends. I wasn’t that flexible and didn’t really care to be. Fast forward a few years, when I found myself in college studying Writing in Chicago. I was struggling pretty badly with a newly-diagnosed Anxiety Disorder and Depression: I was being medicated and told by my doctors that I would be taking pharmaceuticals to help deal with what they called my “chemical imbalance” for the rest of my life. “It’s genetic,” they said. Meanwhile, my writing professor, Michael McColly, started our first class of the semester by asking us to push all the desks to the perimeter of the classroom. He had us gather in a circle on the carpet, on hands and knees (in our skinny jeans and Doc Marten boots!). He instructed us to breathe through some simple yoga postures. Cat/cow, thread the needle–very gentle postures–as he taught us to cultivate an inner awareness. No mats, no stretchy yoga clothes, just our bodies and our breath. After just ten minutes of inhaling and exhaling, moving my body in a mindful way, and observing my thoughts without judgement, I felt better than after I took a Xanax. It was this deeply empowering realization that my mental chatter was not me; that I could take a step back and watch my thoughts without getting caught up in them. That class with Michael was the impetus that set me on my path of yoga. I began a daily home practice and signed up at a yoga studio in my neighborhood. For me, yoga was never about the stretching or getting fit or the way my body looked. Yoga empowered me with the tools I needed to heal my heart and my mind.

Holistic Wellness

Pasture_MeditationTo me, Holistic Wellness is a multifaceted balance between body, mind, and Inner Self. And this type of wellness evolves into a joyful lifestyle. It is not an end result or destination; it is a journey, constantly evolving to help us continue to grow. The practices of yoga, including asana (postures), pranayama (mindful breathing), dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) are all effective tools that gently and persistently guide us toward realizing our true nature–the Inner Self. Most importantly, yoga is empowering. Through the practice and teachings, we learn that we are not victims of illness, injury, or imbalance. These things show up in our lives so we can learn and grow from them, as catalysts toward living more authentically, truthfully, and honestly. I gradually got off the medications my doctors told me I’d be taking for the rest of my life because of yoga. Beyond that, though, yoga has taught me how to cultivate an attitude toward all of life that feels happy, healthy and meaningful.

When we are grounded deeply inside, we realize that we are already whole.

I feel so privileged to continue to grow as a student of yoga, and also to share these life-changing teachings with my community at the Center and beyond. I hope you’ll join me for a class sometime.

The highest potential within me honors the highest potential within you. Namaste

All-Natural Yoga Mat Cleaner

27 Jun

It’s a great idea to keep your yoga mat clean, and if you love the mat cleaner I provide at the Center, you’ll be happy to know that it’s made with love from all natural ingredients, and it is super simple to make your own.  Here is how!

The Recipe

  • 1 cup distilled water
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil (You can use any essential oil you love!  Lemongrass is another favorite, and DoTerra is an awesome company to get essential oils from; they’re also available at the CoOp!)

Just shake well, spray down your mat (it doesn’t take much) and wipe dry with a cloth.  Let your mat dry for a few minutes before you roll it up. That’s all it takes for a clean and happy yoga mat!

I sometimes like to spray my mat before my practice so it smells nice in bhaktasana.

Yoga_ToesHappy cleaning!

General Mat Care

  • If you want a more heavy-duty clean, it is also possible to put your yoga mat into the washing machine on a gentle cycle (cold or warm ~ not hot) with natural laundry detergent.  This is how I usually clean the hayloft yoga mats.  You’ll have to hang your mat to dry.  Another option is to clean it off while you shower!
  • If your mat is super-duper dirty and you want a strong disinfectant, fill the tub up with lukewarm water and vinegar (3:1 ratio if you want to be exact).  Submerge your mat for at least twenty minutes.  Rinse and hang dry.
  • Avoid sunlight exposure or keeping your mat in an area that is close to a heat vent.  It’s a good idea to avoid storing your mat in your car.  It will last longer this way.
  • Some rubber mats, like the eco-friendly Jade Yoga mat pictured above, are better washed with just soap and water (no oils).  Here’s what the company suggests:

“As Jade yoga mats act like sponges – and hold water, we recommend simply wiping the surface of your mat on a regular basis with plain water. If your mat needs an occasional deep cleaning, that is fine, but you should be aware that as Jade mats act like sponges, holding soap and water, you must be prepared to thoroughly rinse and dry your mat. You can wash your mats by soaking in a bathtub, hosing it off or in a front loading washing machine (no agitator) on gentle. We recommend a mild soap. Do not use oils, solvents or harsh abrasives. The yoga mat should then be hung or laid flat to dry. DO NOT DRY IN OR ALLOW PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO DIRECT SUNLIGHT.”

Woo, they’re serious about avoiding direct sunlight.

  • If you are in the market for a yoga mat, you might check into this review of a few mats by Consumer Search.

Happy (Aerial Yoga) Birthday Party to Nathan!

19 Apr

Today we celebrated my sweet Nathan’s birthday … with an Aerial Yoga “party” hosted at Riverside The Studio in Mount Vernon!

Aerial_Pigeon1

Given Nathan’s history with  what we dubbed Hanging Yogs,” I thought it would be the perfect celebration to check out an official Aerial Yoga class.

Aerial_Thomas

 

Aerial_Nate

*      It was a celebration on many levels!   *

Aerial_Matney_2

If you’re not familiar, here’s a slice of Nate’s Back Story:  Nathan healed his low back injury–a vertebral disc herniation at L5-S1 (for which 2 different surgeons, upon reviewing his MRI, recommended emergency spinal fusion … they were surprised that he had bladder and bowel function given the way his disc was pressing into his nerves)–by stumbling upon what we call hanging yogs … he discovered a photo of someone hanging upside down from a silk sling and it piqued his interest.  With more research, he found that lots of people with disc herniations find tremendous relief from unloading their discs by hanging upside down (usually on an inversion table).  This inspired him to rig a hammock up at the house and hang upside down for a few minutes throughout the day.  Over time, (coupled with mindfulness, a daily yoga practice, and physical therapy) his disc herniation healed. We were so grateful Nate found aerial yoga and opted to heal his back in a natural way!  And I personally have his journey toward healing to thank for inspiring my decision to go to Physical Therapy school!

Aerial_Pigeon3

We’d never been to a “real” Aerial Yoga class, so I booked this private party through Riverside.  It was a simple process–just call them up and schedule the date, then turn in release forms for all members of the group (unless you are a member of Riverside, then they already have your forms on file).

And today was the big day …

Aerial_Vrksasana

We were greeted by Miranda Keller, a friendly yogini who got us acquainted with The Studio.  They provided all the yoga mats and everything we needed.  Miranda helped us set up our silks to the proper height to match our bodies, put on some soothing music, and coached us into a meditative pose inside the yoga silk.  We tuned into our breathing lengthened our spines … and the class began!

Aerial_Matney

I was expecting it to be fun, but I was completely blown away!  The class was a skillful mix of strength & stabilization postures, with stretching, balance, meditative moments, and restorative yoga.  Miranda helped each of us find the pose that fit our body ~ she was so attentive and helpful ~ and we explored some really fun inversions (hanging upside down in Vampire was definitely a hit for our group!).  We giggled, we breathed fully, we stretched deep ~ I was quite impressed by how using the yoga sling really helped activate some deep core stabilizing muscles that don’t necessarily fire when I practice standing poses on the floor.  In a hanging version of Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana, for instance, having one leg on the ground and the other leg in the sling required a great amount of stabilizing that isn’t normally required: I felt muscles in my deep core and hips that have apparently been a little less than active in my floor yoga practice!  What an enlightening experience …

Aerial_Nadya_Muscles

I am so exited about this new way to practice, bringing a new awareness to my body and my approach.  I can’t wait to go again!

If you are interested in joining a class, it’s easy!  Miranda currently teaches at The Studio on Mondays & Wednesdays at 5:30pm and Thursdays at 10am.  Click here for the current schedule.  You don’t have to be a Riverside member to join the class ~ you can just drop in (but they advise to call ahead to reserve your spot).

Aerial_VampireAbove, Nadya in “Vampire.”

Aerial_Vrksasana_Tree

Happy Birthday, Nathan!

Aerial_Pigeon2

Horray for healthy spines and happy birthday celebrations!

Namaste.

WilderYoga

16 Feb

Yoga in the wild … there’s nothing better!

Trikonasana-2

Nathan and I have enjoyed some nearby hikes over the past weekends, and of course, we’ve practiced yoga on each of our adventures (above, yoga in the Baker River, where at one point Nathan dove in to his waist to get “the perfect shot!”).  I wanted to share some of these with my community.

When we were playing with balance at Deception State Park this weekend, we discovered an entirely new practice by stacking pebbles as high as we could on our physical bodies in various asanas ~ It was a fun way to incorporate nature and find a deeper sense of inner stillness.  For me, having the rocks stacked on my knees while seated felt very grounding, and then when Nathan began stacking the rocks onto my head, I had to instantly drop into a state of deep inner focus in order to keep them from tumbling … and it worked!  After the practice I was able to maintain the same sense of calm, centered focus throughout the rest of the hike.  It was far more powerful than I had expected, and I plan to incorporate some stones into my home practice and explore what depth can be found … I invite you to do the same!

Here are some of the highlights from our happy trails.

We didn’t see any whales this time around, but we continue to look!

Go Seahawks!

25 Jan

Those of you who know me might be confused by this post … I’m not typically one to follow football (or any sport, for that matter).  But since our very own Seattle Seahawks have made it to the Super Bowl this season, and since they have mandated yoga & meditation as a part of their training, I am happy to share this article from ESPN.

Source: ESPN.com

Photo by Peter Yang ~ Source: ESPN.com

From the article:

All Seahawks players are encouraged to use the support staff the way employees in the business world rely on a human resources department. Depressed? Worried about a loved one? Sick pet? The staff wants to hear about it. And if a player is dragging at practice, a coach will be proactive and ask why — instead of jumping to conclusions and berating him in front of his teammates. That includes assistant head coach Tom Cable, the former hothead coach of the Raiders. “I always coached how my coaches coached me,” he says. Working alongside Carroll, 48-year-old Cable says he finally feels as though he’s working with players the right way. “If I go ballistic on a guy because he dropped his outside hand or missed an underneath stunt, who is wrong? I am,” Cable says. “I’m attacking his self-confidence and he’s learning that if he screws up, he’s going to get yelled at. If you make a mistake here, it’s going to get fixed.”

What a positive shift!  Read the rest here.

Bottom line: yoga offers myriad benefits that are applicable to anyone (A.K.A. you don’t have to be a hippie and wear tights to do yoga … although, football players do wear tights … ).

Namaste.

Asana: Janu Sirsasana

6 Jan

Janu Sirsasana (head of the knee pose) is a seated forward fold.

This pose stretches the hamstring muscles, tones pelvic floor and deep abdominals (through breathing), lengthens the muscles of the spine, and strengthens the trunk.  Breathe slowly and fully as you practice, expanding on the inhale and drawing navel toward spine on the exhale; sit up and bend the knees to rest.  Notice sensation in your body, and please come out of the pose if you feel pain.

Janu Sirsasana

  • Eases stress by relaxing the heart and the mind
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Gradually corrects the curvature of the spine and rounded shoulders
  • Eases stiffness in shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers
  • Tones abdominals
  • Relieves stiffness in legs and strengthens leg muscles

Roger Cole, PhD’s article about finding balance in Paschimottanasana ~ Round Control ~ also applies to this pose.  The most common tendency for beginners I see is to round the spine in this pose, which is why I teach it as a neutral spine hip hinge.  However, this is not the full pose, and as you will read in Cole’s article, balance between rounding and neutral is where practitioners can find the best benefit.

_________________________________________________________________________________

Approach these asanas slowly and mindfully. If something hurts, back out of the pose gently and reassess. Do not ever push through pain. The techniques and suggestions presented in these videos are not intended to substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. Jessie Tierney and YogAscent/Horseback Yoga videos and website assume no responsibility for injuries suffered while practicing these techniques. If you are new to exercise or yoga, are elderly, have any chronic or recurring conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, arthritis, heart disease, and so on, seek your physician’s advice before practicing to determine necessary precautions.

Asana: Utthita Parsvakonasana

6 Jan

Utthita Parsvakonasana (extended side angle pose) is a strong, foundational standing pose.

Be mindful of the position of the front knee–never beyond the ankle, and stacked in alignment.  For help with balance, practice next to the wall for stability.  Breathe slowly and fully as you practice, and come out of the pose by straightening the knees whenever you need to.  Notice sensation in your body, and please come out of the pose if you feel pain.

Utthita Parsvakonasana is helpful for:

  • Constipation
  • Infertility
  • Low backache
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sciatica
  • Menstrual discomfort
  • Strengthening and stretching the legs, knees, and ankles
  • Stretching the groins, spine, waist, chest and lungs, and shoulders
  • Stimulating the abdominal organs
  • Increasing stamina

_________________________________________________________________________________

Approach these asanas slowly and mindfully. If something hurts, back out of the pose gently and reassess. Do not ever push through pain. The techniques and suggestions presented in these videos are not intended to substitute for medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program. Jessie Tierney and YogAscent/Horseback Yoga videos and website assume no responsibility for injuries suffered while practicing these techniques. If you are new to exercise or yoga, are elderly, have any chronic or recurring conditions such as high blood pressure, neck or back pain, arthritis, heart disease, and so on, seek your physician’s advice before practicing to determine necessary precautions.