Friday, April 21, 2017

Inversions

I woke up this morning thinking about inversions. I see so many practitioners on Instagram and Facebook doing amazing handstands and headstands, but did you know that an inversion is really any asana that brings your heart above your head?
Beginners can often feel intimidated by inversions, but there are many that are quite simple and easy to integrate into your practice. These include downward facing dog, dolphin, and even the first stage of head stand, with toes remaining on the ground. Supported shoulder stand is a great one as well.
The benefits of inversions are plentiful. In fact, many people believe that inversions are the fountain of youth. The physiological benefits include stimulation of the nervous system, increased blood flow to the brain and body, cleansing of the lymphatic system, and increased energy. The psychological benefits include warding off of depression, as well as increased mental functioning, memory and concentration. I always tell my students that turning yourself upside-down, in the simplest of terms, gives you a whole new perspective on things. It works!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Honoring Rumi

Jalal ad-Din Muhammed Rumi - more commonly known as Rumi - was a 13th-Century Sunni Muslim Persian poet and mystic. It is no wonder that his poems have been translated into languages all over the world. As a yoga teacher, I have had the honor of sharing his poetry with my classes on many occasions, and his beautiful words sometimes move me to tears. He eloquently paints a portrait of the philosophy and practice of yoga, and provides a timeless mirror for our personal journeys. I invite you to enjoy one of my personal favorites:


The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
                                         ~Rumi

Sunday, April 16, 2017

You CAN Have it All

Have you ever been in a yoga class and something that the teacher said happened to truly resonate with you? It happened to me yesterday. Polly, of Change Yoga Studio in Jamaica, VT, was in the middle of leading us through utkatanasa when she said, "You CAN have it all - the challenge of the pose, as well as the joy of the pose." As everyone in the class struggled to go deeper, pressing the heads of our thigh bones parallel to the floor and stand firmly in our feet, we tried our best to lift our rib cages, open our hearts and reach our arms skyward - all the while relaxing our shoulders and focusing on the breath. With all of this thinking and trying to perfect each pose, we sometimes forget to sink into the samadhi, or meditative bliss of the pose. We sometimes have to remind ourselves to do one or the other - to try to perfect, or else enjoy the sensations that come up. I started to consider 'having it all' in a different way. We tend to think of 'having it all' as being synonymous with having many possessions and much good fortune in life; but what about describing 'having it all' as opening the door to the frustrations along with the joys, the precariousness along with the balance, and unknowing along with the knowing? I am constantly learning new things about life from my yoga practice, my journey, which, by the way, is not always smooth. It informs me, reminds me to look at things in new ways, stay humble, and feel gratitude. So, with an open heart, I invite you, too, to embrace the idea of 'having it all', and remember all that 'all' entails.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Yoga-inspired Poetry

Have you ever read yoga-inspired poetry? One of my favorite books from which to share passages in my own classes is a little book called Yoga Poems ~ Lines to Unfold By, by Leza Lowitz.
The creativity that flows within us and feeds our practice of yoga, art, and poetry/writing is common among all humans. We are all one.

Coming Soon! May's FEATURED YOGA STUDIO of the Month!

We will soon unveil our Featured Studio of the Month of MAY! Dan and I are SO excited to take a trip cross country to meet with the owners, experience the studio, take photos of the space, and, of course - take a class. We are not yet revealing the name of this studio - we can't ruin the surprise - but we can give some hints: It's a well-established studio in the gorgeous region of Southern California. The featured logo is REALLY cool too, and we can't wait to order our next batch of member mail order Real Yoga Studio Tshirts! 
Dan taking photos of the Breathing Room Center in Blairstown, New Jersey

Monday, April 3, 2017

Real Testament from April's Featured Yoga Studio Owner



Image may contain: one or more people
Attention Yoga Lovers
I am writing to tell you some exciting news that comes from a former YTT student, Erin Meyers. My friend Erin recently launched an online venture to promote yoga studios all over the planet - and the practice of yoga in general.
Each month one selected yoga studio will be showcased, with a uniquely designed T-shirt, photos and write-up on the site: realyogastudiotshirts.com.
As a fellow yoga-lover joining this monthly subscription community, you will receive a soft, 100% cotton, fair trade T-shirt each month, featuring the logo of that studio and its location. Here's the most exciting part: Breathing Room is the featured kick-off studio!

"I am SO honored to showcase Breathing Room Center for so many reasons," says Erin, "but most importantly, it is where I earned my YT certification. And of course, anyone who has ever seen the BRC knows it takes the cake as far as gorgeous studios go! Cheryl's radiant and positive energy is exactly what we envisioned for this project, and she was so supportive of our idea! Thank you, Cheryl!"


Believe me, the honor is all mine, Erin. Nothing gives me more joy than seeing the ripples that come out of Breathing Room's wave, and I am happy to support this project. So please do check it out! Go to the website & sign up to receive the debut T-shirt, featuring Breathing Room Center.


Imagine the surprise of finding a special tee from an ACTUAL yoga studio in your mailbox EVERY month! Join the growing members list & visit the site for free gift ~ RealYogaStudioTshirts.com.


Thanks to all, and thanks to Erin for your beauty, art & inspiration.

Namaste
Cheryl           
Cheryl Paulson, my cherished friend and teacher. Photo by Janice Hedden

Our July Featured Studio is in Mexico!

Our July Featured Studio, Tribal Yoga, is located in Tulum, Mexico - one of the most beautiful places on Earth! To see pictures of and read ...