Looking for a customized class for your community or church group? Here are a few ways gentle yoga can come to you in the comfort of your own space. These sessions are about delving deeper, refreshing inward and exploring self.
Host space provides open, clean floor space with temperate climate around 73 degrees. If chairs and/or open wall space are available, they will be incorporated into the session. Access to space needed 30-40 minutes prior to beginning time and about 15 minutes for cleanup afterwards.
Classes do regularly include changing levels from lying down to kneeling and standing. Chair classes are available by request.
~ Saturdays: June 24, July 29 & August 26 from 12:30 – 2:30 pm ~
This playful series at Yoga On the Square will cultivate melting deeply with gentle yoga postures of the mind, body and spirit blended with time and prompts for reflective writing. Expand your inquiry. Each month will focus on a rich theme of self exploration. Attend one or all!
Bring a soft scarf for covering the eyes and gently wrapping the head. Bring paper and pens, pencils or markers that inspire you. No prior experience needed for this low-key free writing, doodling or simply mindful reflection.
Series early registration by 6/20 $55 ~ Pre-register $20 ~ Drop in $25 ~
Pre-register at www.yotspgh.com or
in person at the studio.
Class led by Charity Leonette, 500 RYT and BA in English with Creative Writing focus. She blends writing, prayer, and stillness into her practice and believes that yoga is for everyone. Her special interest in yoga service is supporting the body for rejuvenation and through transitions.
Yoga dives into these wonderous places. Awareness. New spaces. Releasing. Re-knowing. Being held. Balancing. Gentle movement and touch awareness create part of the experience. Building newness, re-arriving.
This week the tension of my gut started traveling into my neck and throat and head. There was tension, holding and little red flags that my body was throwing up. Today gentle massage therapy (gentle movement and touch awareness) helped my body remember and find equilibrium again. My tight center left my thoracic diaphragm pulling on my low ribs, tight breast bone, achy front of heart and rippling effects head to toe to mood.
Today my front heart softened, jaw balanced, diaphragm relaxed. Ah breath! I yawned and my stomach made noises. Just lovely. My heart remembered it can rest in center with support of the back rather than rushing forward. My left hip moved back into place and my talus found home.
Leaving the chicken and the egg behind as to what holding pattern rippled into another, I feel well now and will saver this and re-remember comfort, rest, peace in my body and whole self.
Our minds, bodies and spirits are beautifully and wonderfully made, beautifully woven, dancing together.
Where do you need some tender loving care? Observe your balance of giving and receiving and support. What will you re-remember? How will you rest? How will you dance?
So what’s your story with these cards, I was asked by a co-worker today. It feels good to be asked our story. To speak a bit of who we are.
My photo cards began this way. A friend began making cards for a another sweet friend who was in treatment for breast cancer. She decorated her cards with her own photos of nature and the psalms and gracious words.
I began making cards when this friend began treatment for ovarian cancer some years later. My cards are different in shape and size, while similar in inspiration, photos that I had gathered on walks with God and my dog, and a scripture to keep inspiration nearby.
So that’s my story with the cards. I have kept making them in memory of my friend, as a personal creative process, my photo therapy, and to spread a little joy.
Private message me if you would like to receive an inspirational photo card. What’s your story today?
Today I was ready — it was the perfect time. I had lunch with me. I drank a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon in my friend’s favorite fashion.
I decided to meet myself where I was at in the moment because that’s what I loved most about my friend — her honest gift of meeting people in the moment. She was present, non-judmental.
Since my friend’s passing to the next life, I have often wondered what she would say to me, if she would be proud of me or disappointed. Today I realized that she would have met me, talked with me, been present and loved me no matter what. So I gave that gift of friendship to myself today.
What are your reflections on friendship?
How do you love, and how do you experience the love of friends?
What gifts have you received, and what gifts will you give to yourself?
A bereavement counselor once asked me what I did in the mornings when my thoughts often drifted to the negative. Good question. Some days I remember this question. Just asking it allows space for positive thoughts.
This morning I purposefully reflected on hopeful words rather than the list of to-dos.
The 23rd Psalm came to mind in wholeness, then in key words of comfort.
Laying down in green pastures.
Cup running over.
Goodness and mercy.
Led me to . . .
Let the day wash over you.
To my delight I found these words returning while driving and doing, keeping my spirit quiet throughout the day.
Then around five o’clock I started mowing my grass and forgot these words. I dropped into DO mode and the to-do list started over.
Then they returned. Sweetness and comfort.
So I close my day in gratitude for the beautiful washing . . . throughout the day and with each new morning. What words come to you in moments of pause where you create space?
Have you had times when . . . you’re going about your day and are aware of pausing and breathing? You held a moment of space for yourself, gave yourself presence to the moment. Have you had the moment of realizing . . . this person crossed by mind. Then you send up a simple prayer, a thought, an intent, holding space for that person.
A friend once told me that her purpose in life was prayer. She had sold her home and lived in a senior community. Her mobility was limited and she no longer was able to drive. Her physical space of living was mostly inside the walls of her one room apartment. She had faced these transitions and losses and many others in her lifetime, yet found the joy in her spiritual gift of presence. She held space for others and herself. Her words carried great meaning to me. They were a broadcast of her hope and joy.
Last year a friend said to me that my journey may be an example to others. I haven’t really stopped to think about that much until this week. I was called upon to talk about grief and loss and presence. I found myself talking about ways others had been present with me and taught me how to be present to myself and my grief. One big thing I learned was balancing holding space for myself and space for others. I was so good at witnessing journeys of others that I forgot to observe my own. With some spiritual companions accompanying me, my journey then began to unfold . . .
I became conscious of restoring and rejuvenating myself, my energy, my spirit . . . I opened to allowing others to hold space for me . . . I looked at who I was and eventually how I could genuinely be present to my journey to genuinely witness for others. I especially need this gift of presence as a hospice worker and a yoga teacher. Here’s a few things I’ve learned —
- That when I hold space for myself, then I can give others that gift.
- That allowing others to hold space for me is a powerful part of the healing process.
- Giving myself the gift of presence includes honoring ways that I am not ready to be present or fully present.
- Grief and loss are like the tide, each wave is it’s own experience, it’s own expression, often beginning before the perceived loss — anticipating the later loss.
- Observing and experiencing are much more powerful than judging.
- The timing may not be what was hoped or planned for, but may be more beautiful that way.
- Being gentle with myself and others is a beautiful thing.
Sacred Companions: The Gift of Spiritual Friendship & Direction by David G. Benner