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Gratitude Practice: She’s The First

She’s the First sponsorsScreen shot 2015-03-04 at 11.55.43 AM girls’ education in low-income countries, giving them the chance to become the first in their families to graduate from secondary school.To fulfill this mission, She’s the First mobilizes supporters to fund scholarships and gives a clearer understanding on complex global issues related to poverty.

Harnessing technology and social media, She’s the First is committed to connecting sponsors and scholars around the world in innovative, mutually beneficial ways to foster mentorship, philanthropy, equality, and leadership. Ultimately, our student leaders and scholars become the change agents who break cycles of generational poverty and transform our world. -(Mission statement found at www.shesthefirst.org)
Click here to check out their reel!

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Heart Opening & Twisting Flow

  • SONIC YOGA 2011 CAMPAIGNBegin in sukkasana, comfortable seat. Ground your sitting bones into the mat to lengthen the spine and bring the shoulders down the back to lift the heart
  • Inhale the arms up overhead and on an exhale, twist to the right, placing your left hand outside the right knee and planting the right hand behind you
  • Inhale back to center and exhale twisting to the left
  • Return to center, come to hands and knees and take a few cat/cows
  • Step back to plank then lower to bhujangasana
  • Exhale and lower the forehead to the mat, inhale lift the heart and return to cobra.
  • Repeat several times
  • Exhale to adha mukka svanasana
  • Inhale the right leg up into a down dog split
  • Exhale and step the foot between the hands, lower the left knee and the top of the foot to the mat and rise into a low lunge. Reach the arms up and lean back to deepen the backbend and open the heart
  • Step back to plank and move through a vinyasa
  • Lunge on the left side
  • Vinyasa
  • Down dog split with the right leg
  • Step the foot forward to a low lunge with the knee off the mat. Reach the heart forward.
  • Keep the left palm planted on the mat and inhale the right arm up, coming into a twist
  • Release the twist and inhale the arms up into a high lunge
  • Warrior 3
  • Release the top leg and come into uttkatasana
  • Bring the hands to prayer and twist to the right
  • Return to uttkatasana and twist to the left
  • Uttanasana
  • Vinyasa
  • Repeat sequence on the left
  • Instead of a vinyasa, lower all the way down from plank and inhale into shalabasana
  • Adha mukka svanasana
  • Inhale the right leg up to down dog split
  • Step the foot forward and inhale into a high lunge
  • Bring the arms to prayer and twist to the right in parivrtta parsvakonasana
  • Return to high lunge and step the back foot in so the entire sole of the foot rests on the mat and fold over the front leg in parsvatonasana
  • Step back to plank and take a vinyasa
  • Repeat sequence on the left side
  • Come to sit on your knees, please the hands on the sacrum and lift the heart and hips forward into ustrasana. Reach for the heels with the hands to go deeper
  • Child’s pose
  • Supine twist
  • Savasana
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The Spring Equinox – A time to serve

The Spring EquinoEquinoxx will take place on March 20, marking the end of winter and the beginning of spring.  The equinox is a biannual astrological event that occurs when the plane of Earth’s Equator passes the center of the Sun, at which point the tilt of Earth’s axis neither inclines away from nor towards the Sun, resulting in day and night being equal in length. Literally and figuratively, the Spring Equinox marks the transition out of darkness and into the light. It is a moment of rebirth and as such, it is a wonderful time to check in with yourself and set goals for the months ahead. While the Autumn Equinox is an appropriate time for inner goals, the Spring Equinox is an opportunity to think of ways in which you can serve the world around you, whether that be volunteering in your community or simply spending more time with friends and family.

When it comes to your yoga practice, twists and heart openers are great asanas to incorporate this time of year. Twists are wonderful for their detoxifying and purifying effects on the internal organs. Try poses such as ardha matseyandrasana, parivrtta uttkatasana or a more gentle supine twist. Practicing heart opening poses opens us up to opportunities for growth, which we can then use to serve the community. Examples include bhujangasana,  dhanurasana, ustrasana, and urdhva dhanurasana. Here is a brief sequence you can practice at home that incorporates both twisting and heart opening.

So during this time of rebirth and transition out of the darkness and inward reflection of winter and into the light of spring, take some time to think about where you are in your life and where you want to be, paying particularly attention to ways in which you can serve your community and others. Keep your heart and your mind open to the opportunities around you, you never know where they will come from and where they will lead you.

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Discovering What Is Sacred – Training and Master Class

ElizabethRossaThe question, “Why Meditate?” seems to be a growing topic in conversation, and the simplest explanation might be to just be. The simplicity of this particular explanation also presents a paradoxical complication, for our lives, as we experience them, are a constant flow of ideas, exchanges and relationships. Therefore, the intention to meditate holds the space to pause, breathe and notice that we are both being and becoming. The great tantric traditions do present our existence as a pulsing, creative, never-ending unfolding of consciousness as everything and everyone. During our time together we will experiment with a variety of meditation techniques as learned by Elizabeth from her primary meditation and philosophy teacher, master Sally Kempton. Sally’s much celebrated book, Meditation for the Love of It: enjoying your own deepest experience will be our primary resource.

In this module we will learn and practice a number of subtle and powerful contemplative and meditative techniques, all designed to help us open ourselves to the sacred and equip us with tools we can use to nurture, cultivate, and expand our awareness through every cell of the body/mind. The techniques will include: finding the space or madhya between breaths; mantra chanting; tonglen (a Tibetan esoteric breathing and visualization practice designed to cultivate altruism and universal compassion); grounding and centering methods; and pranayama. There will also be time for contemplative questions and self-inquiry/conscious conversation.

Please purchase a copy of Meditation for the Love of It: enjoying your own deepest experience at www.sallykempton.com/products/

$350 or $315 for Sonic TT Grad

Students may take the training (cost above) or just the morning Master Classes:

The Meditation of Moving: Saturday, March 21st | 9:00 – 11:00am
The Meditation of Moving II: Sunday, March 22nd | 9:00 – 11:00am
Each class is $30 ($25 for Sonic TT Grad)

These contemplative and challenging practices will explore the internal forms of yoga through a sequence of poses based in the exquisite Ashtanga tradition as taught by the wildly intelligent, Richard Freeman. These classes will also creatively explore inversions and the finishing asanas. Very often, these postures can be ignored or rushed in a typical yoga class. Therefore, this will be a great opportunity to unpack and relish some of the most grounding and healing poses of the practice.

Sign up today!

 

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Women’s Circle – Saturday, March 15th

Screenshot 2015-03-01 at 9.54.29 AMJoin a brave group of women to meet monthly and connect with their feminine wisdom. Within the circle, women unite to empower their voices, enhance their courage, reinforce their compassion, and connect with their wisdom. We meditate, play music to access our heart’s knowledge, remember our mothers and grandmothers, share, and enjoy sisterhood. Oxytocin is a woman’s natural de-stress hormone. It helps our muscles to relax, lowers blood pressure, reduces cortisol levels, has anti-anxiety effects, and promotes healing. Gathering with women releases oxytocin! This circle is open to all traditions and levels, and beginners are especially encouraged to attend.

Saturday, March 15th | 1:30 – 3:30pm | Suggested donation – $20

Please contact 646-727-0332 (voice or text) or andrea@TheGaiaHealer.com to save your spot and/or ask questions!

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Pose of the Month: Ardha Chandrasana

New York yoga photographer Sofia Negron Ardha chandrasana half moon pose sonic yoga krissy shieldsKrissy Shields chooses Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana).

When I was a kid I would star gaze and watch the moon with its wild variety of shapes and colors. I still do this. My favorite is watching a full moon rise over the beach with it’s hue of bright orange. Often, I dream of the crescent moon like a smile in the sky.

This month let’s shape shift as we explore the many dimensions of Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana). While we need balance, it also offers us room for expansion and creativity. Try it against the wall for fun playing with the lack of symmetry. I love where this pose can go and the variety it gives to all levels of practitioners.

Gaze. Rise. Dream.

And here’s a video link: http://youtu.be/M8843tNqtt8

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Children’s Classes!

banner-sb-ngyttOn March 6-8th, Sonic Yoga is hosting the Next Generation Yoga Teacher Training where adults will gather to learn about the wonderful world of kids yoga! Included in this intense curriculum are demo classes for kids age two to seven. These classes will be taught by Nicole Koleshis, NGY trainer, and will allow trainees to observe what they are learning — always an inspiring opportunity. We welcome your participation!

Below is the schedule for free demo classes. If you would like to sign up, please contact Nicole at 206-280-1408 or yoga.with.nicole@gmail.com and include:

  • Class preference
  • Your name
  • Your child’s name
  • Child’s age
  • Mobile phone number

Schedule of opportunities:

Kids Yoga for 5-7 yr. olds  (8 spots available)
Friday, March 6th at 3:45-4:30

Kids Yoga for 3-4 yr. olds  (8 spots available)
Saturday, March 7th at 11:00-11:45

Family Yoga for 2-3 yr. olds  (5 spots available)
Sunday, March 8th at 10:15-11:00

Participation is on a first come basis. Classes will be held at the Sonic Yoga studio. You will receive an email confirmation before the class.

Namaste,

Sonic Yoga and Next Generation Yoga

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Continuing Education: What Are Your Teaching Your Self?

ContEdContinuing Education with Keith Partington
Building – and teaching from- your personal practice.

As a 200-hour grad you’ve assimilated a ton of information. How do you move from holding and making sense of that information into real knowledge? Through daily self-practice, teachers move beyond seeking the guidance of others and toward teaching from their own tangible experience. The results lead to teachings that come from within, giving you a unique and striking voice amongst the competition while guiding others through wisdom, not by rote.

In this workshop you’ll learn how to craft a simple, sustainable daily practice, and how to draw from that to make your classes uniquely, dynamically authentic.

Saturday, March 14th | 2:30 – 4:30pm| $40
Sign up today!

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Diving Deeper: Transitions

DivingDeeperTransitions – staying present, moving through.

Take your practice deeper using awareness and imagery to release tension as we break down the transition between poses in Surya Namsakar (Sun Salutation) and other common asana sequences. So much happens in the space between where we begin and where we arrive, both in our practice on the mat and in life, to miss it is to miss the opportunity for transformation. Join me in this playful exploration of why you might be avoiding transition and discover the power in learning to stay.

Saturday, March 7th | 2:30 – 4:30 | $30
Sign up today!

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Praise be! Spring is coming!

Jo-ListeningPraise be! Spring is coming!  Word around town is that this has been energetically one of the most trying winters in a long while.  The bitter cold and biting wind have literally turned everyone inward in bracing position, jaw locked, shoulders hunched to do battle with the forces of nature which seem determined to test our stamina. Metaphorically, I think this is what has been going on as well…as if the winter has been pushing the far reaches of our hope and inner faith in light. With no seeming end in sight, we “march” onward and our persistence is rewarded by the daily upward creeping tendrils of sun.  Look up!  Look up now though the chilly wind still blows with March’s tempestuous tantrums.  Today, as I write, the blue of the sky is a shade I haven’t seen in a long while and my suncatcher is dancing the spectrum across the room with renewed energy.  The colors remind me to fall in love (again) with all the shades and seasons that life has to offer.

And so I’ve decided…Just now

Rather than continue to brace myself, though it is cold, I will bravely bare myself  to the dance of dark and light as it reaches its operatic March proportions.  I will walk forward hands and heart open into the moment of truce where the stillpoint of the season arrives.

Care to join me?

Og Mandino’s wonderful words come to mind… They sing to the inner equinox and celebrate with ecstatic love the challenge and growth-giving blessing of the dance of opposites throughout our lives.

“I will greet this day with love in my heart.
And how will I do this?
Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again.
I will love the sun for it warms my bones;
yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit.
I will love the light for it shows me the way;
yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars.
I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart;
yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul.
I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due;
yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.”
– Og Mandino

Much Love and Infinite Blessings,
Jo

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