Yoga District https://www.yogadistrict.com Mindfulness, Yoga & Lifestyle Wellness Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:07:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 124397291 Teacher Feature: Jennifer https://www.yogadistrict.com/teacher-feature-jennifer/ Fri, 05 Oct 2018 15:55:47 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10634 Meet Jennifer! She is one of our lovely teachers at Yoga District. For Jennifer, yoga has helped her to not only navigate many of life’s transformations but also create her […]

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Jennifer - Home practice

Meet Jennifer! She is one of our lovely teachers at Yoga District.

For Jennifer, yoga has helped her to not only navigate many of life’s transformations but also create her own positive self-transformations too.

“I love that this community is non-judgemental, loving, and supportive. I can’t express how much that has meant to me and what a positive impact it has had on my life.”

Check out her class schedule below and read on to learn more about Jennifer:

Monday 9:30 PM, Candlelight Restorative @ Bloomingdale
Wednesday 9:30 PM, Candlelight Restorative @ Bloomingdale
Friday 6:30 PM, Reboot Yoga + Restorative @ Columbia Heights
Saturday 1:30 PM, Restorative Yoga @ Bloomingdale
Saturday 3:30 PM, Ashtanga Flow (All Levels) @ 14th St.
Saturday 5:15 PM, Candlelight Restorative @ Columbia Heights
Sunday 8:15 AM, Ashtanga: Full Primary Series (Levels 1.5-3) @ Glover park
Sunday 5:00 PM, Candlelight Powerful Flow Yoga 1-2 @ Glover Park

Jennifer Head shot

Yogi Beginnings

My name is Jennifer; you can also call me Jen or Jenny 😉

Wellness is important to me. I ran cross country in high school then continued running afterwards to stay healthy and de-stress.

I grew up in Illinois, so I ran through prairie preserves to connect  with nature and loved the meditative aspect of it.

Running a marathon when I was twenty-two allowed me to check off a life dream. Then I searched for a new physical and mental outlet. Since high school, I’ve been complementing running with practicing at home with yoga videos.

Yoga has entered my life during transformations.

The first type of studio yoga I practiced regularly was hot yoga because that studio was close to where I lived. The runner in me liked to sweat. I tried different styles and gravitated to Ashtanga Yoga since it builds heat naturally. That’s what got me hooked!

I went through personal growth in my early twenties and was fortunate to find work at a yoga studio. Deepening my physical yoga practice guided me to get out of my head and become grounded in my body. This enabled me to start to live from a more authentic place.

Then I attended my yoga teacher training, where I learned meditation. This allowed me to dig deep to take my next steps — all from a place of love and gratitude for the journey.

I share yoga to help others experience the groundedness, self-assurance and non-judgemental awareness that I’ve gained through my practice.

Teaching Yoga

Jennifer Tree Pose

I love all the classes I teach!

I lived in South Asia for two years and have close personal ties to that region — I did my teacher training there! I love the opening and closing Sanskrit chants along with the traditional Ashtanga sequence. It keeps me connected to that time in my life and to the heart of what yoga means to me.

I love teaching restorative yoga and meditation because they remind me of the importance of depth and intention.

I personally enjoy a balance of intensity, relaxation and mindfulness in my yoga practice. I also like to challenge myself to try new things. So I love teaching flow classes to mix things up and often experiment with new sequences to match the vibes I get from each of the classes I teach.

Advice to New Yogis

I used to be intimidated by yoga studios; now I know there is no cookie-cutter way to be a yogi. I love Yoga District because it cultivates such an inclusive environment and allows us teachers to be our authentic selves.

Before I became a yoga teacher, I worked at a studio. This allowed me to deepen my practice without having to pay for expensive classes. If price is a barrier then I tell people to check out work/study opportunities.

When I experienced some of my most major transformations through yoga, I was not strong enough, flexible enough, or balanced enough to do a lot of poses. I share that with folks who are new to the practice because asanas, though empowering, are not the point of yoga.

Living and Learning in Washington, D.C.

I am grateful for the amazing friends that I have in this city and I love hanging out with them. I did a lot of deep personal work to cultivate a safe, healthy, uplifting group of people around me — my sangha. I was glad to see that Yoga District recently hosted the Building Community and Connection workshop so that more people can experience those benefits.

I also love the sense of community that I feel throughout DC. Krerk and the team at Aroi, the Thai place next to our Bloomie studio, let me sit inside their restaurant before I teach my class when it’s raining. Celeste at Trader Joe’s on 14th St. teaches me about wine when I stop in before my Saturday Ashtanga class.

I am blessed to really enjoy these day-to-day moments.

Jennifer Embryo Pose

Life in the form of a Yoga Pose

Garbha Pindasana (Embryo Pose) is my favorite pose! I have rolled around, collided with people, fallen apart, then pulled myself up, eventually laughed and smiled while building strength throughout it.

 

 

 

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How Being Mindful of Your Mindlessness is Beneficial https://www.yogadistrict.com/how-being-mindful-of-your-mindlessness-is-beneficial/ Mon, 24 Sep 2018 18:38:43 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10617 Mindlessness is Important People talk about mindfulness all the time but I can’t ever recall anyone talking about mindlessness. Patrice Ford Lyn, professional life coach, examines the benefits of combining  being […]

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Mindlessness is Important

People talk about mindfulness all the time but I can’t ever recall anyone talking about mindlessness.

Patrice Ford Lyn, professional life coach, examines the benefits of combining  being mindlessness and mindfulness.

Mindfulness

Many people confuse mindfulness with meditation. Meditation is a tool you can use to achieve mindfulness, but meditation isn’t a requirement. Mindfulness is the awareness of what’s going on inside and outside of your body. It is about being in tune with your surroundings. It means taking advantage of that knowledge to help you see the world and your problems in new ways. This can enable you to be more productive and innovative.

So, if you want to give mindfulness a try, take five minutes when you are alone and sit still. (You can set a timer.) How does your body feel? What thoughts or emotions come up?  If sitting in silence isn’t your thing, then consciously drink a cup of tea or slowly savor every mouthful of a meal.

Mindlessness

The key difference between mindfulness and mindlessness  is our level of consciousness.  We are in a state of mindlessness when we are unaware of what is happening to us or around us. We are on autopilot without a clear connection to what we are feeling or doing. For example, can you remember a time when you came home and crashed on the couch and started channel surfing, not really watching anything in particular?  Or, maybe you remember driving and missing your turn because you weren’t paying attention. I have been there.

Mindful Decision

Mirror sides of mindlessness and mindfulness

Mindlessness and mindfulness work well when used together.  If you have an important presentation coming up, spend focused time preparing, then take a break and do something that allows you to be on autopilot – like playing Angry Birds. When you come back to the presentation, you will likely find yourself with more clarity than if you pushed yourself to get everything done in one sitting.  

This finding isn’t an endorsement for long periods of mindlessness or driving on autopilot. It is an acknowledge that resting your mind has real benefits. So, what is the best balance of mindfulness and mindlessness in your life?  Now that you know that they both are beneficial, you can make a mindful decision.

For more information about Self-Care.

Setting Boundaries Workshops

Patrice Ford Lyn, certified professional coach

Four part series: every Saturday October 13th, 20th, 27th and November 3rd

H street studio
7:30-5:00 pm
Sign Up: here

In this four-part series we will be deepening our understanding of self-care, the ways and reasons it differs for individuals and communities, and how to develop and sustain a self-care practice that works for you. Ready to take better care of yourself?

To find out more about Patrice and her coaching work visit: www.catapultlifecoaching.com.

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Learn How to Set Good Boundaries https://www.yogadistrict.com/setting-good-boundaries/ Fri, 07 Sep 2018 19:00:25 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10587 “Yes I can.” “No I can’t.”  Simple enough, right? Are you good at setting boundaries? Your answer is likely a bit more nuanced than a simple “yes,” or “no.” Setting […]

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  • “Yes I can.” “No I can’t.”  Simple enough, right?
  • Are you good at setting boundaries?
  • Your answer is likely a bit more nuanced than a simple
  • “yes,” or “no.”
  • Setting personal boundaries is a form a self-care. Read on as Patrice Ford Lyn, professional life coach, discusses personal boundaries and how to improve setting them in your life.

    Personal Boundaries

    Let’s unpack them a bit.  

    Setting Boundaries

    Personal boundaries are physical, emotional and mental limits we establish to protect ourselves from being manipulated, used, or violated by others.

    How do we know when someone has crossed one of our boundaries?  Two feelings are also cues: discomfort and resentment.  For example, you haven’t set a firm boundary if you resent someone for complaining for 15 minutes every morning about their personal life.  A firm boundary in that situation could be any of the following responses:

    • “It is so good to see you, let’s catch up later” (and turn around)
    • “I can’t talk right now” (and go back to working)
    • “My morning is busy, I will come find you when I have a minute.”

    Setting Boundaries

    Does setting boundaries in the above example feel tough or easy for you? If it feels challenging, take a look at the 10 ways to build better boundaries. I imagine some steps will feel harder than than others.  Use that information to understand yourself a little better.  What fear, belief, or expectations do you hold that make a step particularly challenging?  

    Do you know someone who is great at setting boundaries? Don’t be so sure. There are six types of boundaries. It is easy to see someone and say they are good at setting boundaries. However, while they may be great at setting work boundaries, they could also have a hard time setting personal boundaries.  

    Each of us may feel a different level of ease with boundary setting in general now or in different parts of our lives. We can have a different relationship to our emotional boundaries than we do to our mental boundaries. Maybe our comfort with setting sexual boundaries differs from our comfort with physical boundaries? Take a look at the infographic and see what feelings arise as you think of boundaries in each of the six areas.                  

    Most people have trouble setting a boundary at some point. Are any of these six particularly easy or hard for you? Without judgement, what else have you learned about yourself?   

    Influences on Personal Boundaries

    6 Types of Boundaries

    Boundaries are deeply personal.  They are influenced by emotional factors that may not even operate at the conscious level. For example, insecurity about work deliverables may lead one to labor more than someone who feels like promotion is inevitable. Similarly, someone who is driven by being liked will have a harder time setting boundaries with friends than someone who is more attentive to their own self-care.

    Boundary setting is also often driven by familial and cultural expectations.  “That is not how we do things.” Sometimes we want to set a boundary but feel we can’t. “It’s okay if you don’t call me. It is okay if I have no one to talk to. I guess I will just have to talk to myself.” That is a lot of pressure.  You can set boundaries without feeling bad. What would make it easier for you is to set boundaries that aren’t driven by fear? A change in perspective can change everything.  

    For more information about Self-Care.

    Setting Boundaries Workshops

    Patrice Ford Lyn, certified professional coach

    Four part series: every Thursday October 4th, 11th, 18th and 25th

    14th street studio
    7:00-8:30 pm
    Sign Up: here

    This series will provide you with steps and practice for setting boundaries. We will explore why this is challenging, how to peacefully address the challenge, practice setting boundaries, and develop a personal plan for setting boundaries. Come and learn how to create healthy boundaries in a safe environment.

    To find out more about Patrice and her coaching work visit: www.catapultlifecoaching.com.

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    Examples of Women in Yoga History https://www.yogadistrict.com/examples-of-women-in-yoga-history/ Fri, 31 Aug 2018 22:06:10 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10584 Reverence for the female creative energy appears throughout yoga’s long history. Parts of the Vedas forbids men from performing any Vedic sacraments without his wife, and forbids men from performing […]

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    Reverence for the female creative energy appears throughout yoga’s long history. Parts of the Vedas forbids men from performing any Vedic sacraments without his wife, and forbids men from performing the sacraments once widowed.

    Another example of women’s longstanding central role in yoga history is the role of Para Shakti, the Cosmic Mother, or universal feminine creative energy in pure form. This is referenced in the Vedas, the Tantras, the Puranas and the Upanishads according to the text Bhavani Nama Sahasra Stutih (The Thousand Names of Bhavani):

    Worship of the Divine as Sakti, the Supreme Mother, creative puissance, is as old as the Rg Veda. It is not an alien graft as held by some… It is a fact that is often overlooked that the major Deities with feminine appellations in the Veda are not there as ‘wives’ of Gods. Illa, Mahi, Daksina are Divine Powers in their own right. Actually there is no question here as to who is superior, the male or the female Deity. The truth is that both are the same Reality, the same consciousness in two poises. The unique position of the Divine Sakti continues in the Upanisads. Uma Haimavati, Teacher of the Gods, She who opens their eye to the truth of existence, is lauded as Supreme. The Tantras continue the tradition though in certain lines of development they install the Sakti above Siva. The Gita speaks of Para Prakrti which is none other than Para Sakti. The Puranas register a change in approach. Their nomenclatures undergo a modification, their symbolism is more opaque. Even there we have Puranas that place the Devi in a special relationship with the Deva. At times the Gods are obliged to merge into the personality of the Saviour Mother. Aditi continues to be supreme in one form or other.

    From the book, Yogini, Unfolding the Goddess Within, by Shambhavi Chopra:

    In Hindu thought, the Yogini represents the Yoga Shakti herself, the Kundalini, as well as the resident powers or female deities of the different chakras. The Yogini possesses the power of Yoga herself and can awaken that in others, not only generally but at any point or place in the body or mind. A man’s ability to achieve the higher states of Yoga can be facilitated by his association with such a female companion who reflects this energy…

    This spiritual energy is not something that a man can extract or take from a Yogini at will. She chooses when and on whom to bestow her blessings. Her ability to enhance a man’s spiritual development depends upon her innate divinity as awakened and brought to fruition by her own yogic practices, which include envisioning herself in the forms of various Goddesses and investing herself with Their appearances and ornaments, tender and wrathful expressions, and supernatural powers for liberating beings. By conferring energy and grace upon a man – ”blessing ” or ”empowering” him – she is not weakening herself but rather sharing her energy voluntarily with one who has won her favour by meeting the various requirements that she may impose…

    The Goddess is a great Yogini, devoted to Shiva, yet matching His powers. She is the embodiment of pure energy, the Mother and matrix of all manifestation, the source of all time, space and creation. As they practiced Yoga together, Shakti accepted Shiva as her Guru, and he taught her the ways of transcendent being to guide her to her ultimate liberation. Shiva in turn also accepted Shakti as his Guru, and she initiated him into his ultimate liberation through putting him in touch with the supreme power of consciousness.

    Gargi Vachaknavi, a female ancient Indian philosopher who some credit with writing many hymns in the Rg Veda, is another figure confirming women’s long-standing importance in the yoga tradition. In The Yogayajnavalyka Samhita written by Sage Yajnavalkya around the 8th century BCE, Gargi challenges Sage Yajnavalkya’s understanding of the soul. Desikachar, whose text Heart of Yoga you may have read by now, translated The Yogayajnavalyka Samhita into English.

    Scholar and author Vidya Dehajia cites another example of reverence for women in the form of worship of the 64 Yoginis:

    The worship of 64 Yoginis is seen commonly between 800 and 1300 AD and temples dedicated to Yoginis were built during this time… In most of the well-conserved temples, the sculptures of Yoginis are intact and none of them are erotic as in other temples. This is because this cult did not believe in sex as a path to self discovery.

    An example in more recent times, Ramakrishna’s wife was regarded her as an incarnation of the goddess Kali. His disciples addressed her as divine mother. If you’re interested in learning from living female yogis who some believe are embodiments of the divine feminine, please look into Mother Meera, Sri Mataji Nirmala Devi, and Amma the Hugging Saint, to name a few.

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    Teacher Feature Edwin https://www.yogadistrict.com/teacher-feature-edwin/ Fri, 24 Aug 2018 16:19:43 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10561 Meet Edwin one of our lovely teachers! Learn about his personal journey with yoga and how he encourages students to have their own transformative experience. “Yoga has helped me nurture […]

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    Meet Edwin one of our lovely teachers! Learn about his personal journey with yoga and how he encourages students to have their own transformative experience.

    “Yoga has helped me nurture my own individuality.”

    Feel feel to attend one of his classes and read on to learn more about Edwin.

    Edwin’s Class Schedule:

    • Tuesdays 8:00 PM, Flow Yoga 2-3 @ H Street
    • Thursdays 6:35 PM,  Flow Yoga (All Levels) @ DuPont

    Introduction to Yoga

    I found yoga through self-inquiry as part of a medical condition. I was hooked after my first class (Hatha Yoga with Yoga Nidra).

    Edwin - Yoga Teacher

    Meet Edwin – One of Yoga District’s lovely teachers

    Teaching Yoga

    Sharing yoga with others is something I am passionate about. It fills my life with joy and gratitude.

    My personal journey after practicing yoga is the reason I teach. I am now more grounded and have a different outlook on life as a whole. Yoga has helped me nurture my own individuality. As a teacher, I acknowledge and celebrate each student’s uniqueness and promote self-care.

    I encourage students to listen to the body, the breath, and the heart. I always say that we are only given one body in this lifetime. As such, we must treat our bodies like temples.

    I like to challenge students with poses they are uncomfortable with or poses they feel they don’t have what it takes to master. A challenging pose for students is classic headstand. Classic headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) relieves stress and anxiety, but it also makes people feel empowered once they get over the fear of being upside down. I had a moment of exhilaration when I was first able to hold a classic headstand in a room packed with fellow students. I would love to see other students in my classes have the same experience.

    Teaching Meditative Yoga Flow

    Edwin's Class

    Edwin teaches yoga class

    My favorite style of class to teach is Meditative Yoga Flow. It allows the student and the teacher to integrate breath work with yoga asanas, which in turn ignites the energy that flows through the inner self. This style of class also brings us back to the basic tenets of the yoga practice: one universe comprised of many souls connected as one with one common purpose.

    Challenging Yoga Moment

    I remember judging a person with a disability who came to one of my classes and changing the style and level of difficulty based on the

    experience. I learned that in the process, I was judging myself. I immediately realized I needed to accept my own shortcomings and went back to my original sequence.

    Yoga Practice Advice

    Practice from the heart and always remember to pay it forward. The way yoga comes to each of us is unique and it has different meanings. Yet, at the heart of every practice, there is a quest for unknown answers that resides within each individual.

    A yoga practice is not static. There are peaks and valleys. To stay motivated and to continue growing in the practice, one needs to acknowledge and accept this fact.

    Advice to First Time Yogis

    You must try the practice at least once. When you do, remain open to the experience. Don’t place any labels and hold no judgement. The experience will show itself in ways you could never imagine.

    3 Lessons Learned from Yoga

    1. Respect for self and others

    2. Love for self and others

    3. That I am an imperfect, perfect being

    DC Yoga Community

    My favorite thing is the closeness of the yoga community because there is no sense of competition.

    I believe that everyone in this world can benefit from yoga practice at any levels. Given that DC is so diverse, I don’t think that any particular group can benefit more than others. Every single person in this city can benefit from the practice. However, each person’s experience will be unique to their own journey.

    Edwin - Yoga Teacher

    Edwin practices yoga in his home.

    Life in a Form of a Yoga Pose

    Peacock (Mayurasana) pose took me years to master. Just like it took me years to work on the parts of my inner self that make me the person that I am today.

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    Sleep Hygiene Should Be on Your To Do List https://www.yogadistrict.com/sleep-hygiene-practice/ Sat, 04 Aug 2018 23:00:32 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10518 A good night’s sleep is a form of self-care. Pamela is a certified Yoga Alliance Registered (E-RYT 500) Instructor, Sleep Wellness Coach, HeartMath Coach and Mindful Yoga Therapist. She had struggled […]

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    Pamela Stokes Eggleston

    Pamela

    A good night’s sleep is a form of self-care.

    Pamela is a certified Yoga Alliance Registered (E-RYT 500) Instructor, Sleep Wellness Coach, HeartMath Coach and Mindful Yoga Therapist.

    She had struggled with insomnia, secondary PTS and stress which led to sleep deprivation. Read on to find out how a Sleep Hygiene Practice changed her life and how it could benefit you too!

    Sleep Deprivation

     Sleep Deprivation

    Sleep Deprivation

    Most of us don’t get enough of sleep. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 70 million people in the United States are sleep deprived.  

    I was one of those people. As the spouse to a wounded warrior with post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), I experienced sleep deprivation along with my husband.  What I didn’t do was deal with the issue head-on. Subsequently, I felt drained of energy and I was not fully functional. I quite Ambien, a prescription medication, and created a self-care regimen.

    What’s worked for me:

    • regular yoga practice
    • develop a nutrition and natural lifestyle regimen

    Through this process, I learned that sleep was invaluable and necessary.

    Sleep Hygiene: Self-Care Practice

    Aloe Vera Plant

    Try having an Aloe Vera Plant in the bedroom

    Sleep hygiene is a group of habits that help you to get a good night’s rest.  As a sleep deprived nation, a sleep hygiene practice is critical.  It’s a vital component to any self-care plan.

    Some immediate tips that you can start using today:

    1. Eliminate all of the blue light in the bedroom.
    2. Use the bedroom for two things: sleep and sex.
    3. Get some oxygen friendly plants to add to the bedroom décor like aloe vera or English ivy.
    4. Use relaxation tools like deep breathing and body tensing and releasing before going to bed.

    Relaxation Response

    Savasana

    Try Progressive Muscle Relaxation before bed

    Use methods to promote the relaxation response (a term created by Herbert Benson, MD in 1974):

    The stress (“fight-or-flight” ) response stems from our sympathetic nervous system (the accelerator) is the opposite of the relaxation response (state of deep relaxation). Whereas, the “rest and digest” of the parasympathetic nervous system (the brake) alters the short and long term physical and emotional responses to stress.

    Yoga is also a great way to cultivate the relaxation response and help us get better sleep.

    Yoga 2 Sleep Training

    • Saturday 8/11- Sunday 8/12
    • 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
    • Find out more information and sign up here
    Pamela Stokes Eggleston

    Yoga 2 Sleep Training

    My challenging sleep journey is the main reason why I created Yoga2Sleep and its Yoga Teacher Training (Y2S YTT).  

    In this training:

    Five main areas will be discussed throughout this training:

    1. physical
    2. mental
    3. emotional
    4. spiritual
    5. environmental

    Participants will come away with the tools to teach yoga for sleep and relaxation as well as to create a comprehensive self-care regimen.

    If you are interested in Sleep Hygiene then find out more information from our Sleep Hygiene series.  

     

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    Teacher Feature – Andrea https://www.yogadistrict.com/teacher-feature-andrea/ Thu, 26 Jul 2018 01:36:19 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10371 Meet Andrea one of our lovely teachers! She shares her transformative experience with yoga along with encouraging advice for new and long practicing yogis. “We grow with small changes that […]

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    Double Pigeon

    Andrea- Yoga District Teacher

    Meet Andrea one of our lovely teachers! She shares her transformative experience with yoga along with encouraging advice for new and long practicing yogis.

    We grow with small changes that build us up to our optimum level of experience.

    Feel feel to attend one of her classes and read on to learn more about Andrea.

    • Andrea’s Class Schedule:
    • Wednesdays 8:00 PM, Core- Focused Slow Flow @ Bloomingdale
    • Sunday 12:00 PM,  Flow Yoga (All Levels) @ H Street

    Astavakrasana

    ​Even when you are challenged, remind yourself to smile

    Teaching & Practicing Eclectic Flow Yoga

    My favorite style of class to teach is an eclectic flow. It is inspired by various aspects of Power, Rocket and Ashtanga. This is by far my favorite yoga practice because it teaches you the delicate balance between strength and flexibility. These two concepts directly translate to life.

    As we experience life, we learn it takes both strength and flexibility to adapt to change. We realize how to move through moments of discomfort, both physically and mentally. This prompts transcendent growth in life and yoga. I attempt to incorporate this parallel in practice, so students (and myself) can apply those lessons in daily living.

    Handstand

    “To perform every action artfully is yoga” -Swami Kripalu

    Life in a Form of a Yoga Pose

    Handstand (Adho Mukha Vrkasana) because like life, we grow with small changes that build us up to our optimum level of experience. While being inverted, you activate the core, the fingers, the shoulders, and the legs. We do this upright without a second thought but when we invert then our view changes. There are days when I maintain the pose while other days I wobble and make repeated attempts. Overcoming the fear of being upside down in the pose, whether mentally or physically, has taught me to trust myself in all areas. When the mind and body are ready then you will achieve what you seek.  

    Introduction to Yoga

    I attended my first yoga class with a Yoga District instructor friend. I was open to trying something new and had no idea what to expect. It was by far, one of the most physically and mentally challenging experiences I’ve had since running track in high school. I thought it was a beginner level class but to my surprise it was actually an intermediate to advanced class!

    Experiencing that class with my best friend, taught me where my body and mind could go if I was simply open to the idea of change. From then on, I began taking three-four classes a week and it was the start of developing the passion for yoga I have now.

    Lessons Learned from Yoga

    Tuck Handstand

    Strength & growth will come, as long as you are willing to stay patient & trust your journey

    The top three things yoga continues to teach me daily are to patience, acceptance, and awareness. I am far from perfect and I have so much more to learn on these three topics. Yoga has helped me to embrace those areas within myself and intrinsically grow. 

    Yoga has been an overall transformative experience and contributes to my positive lifestyle changes. The relationship with ourselves is of great importance.

    How we physically and mentally feel is a direct reflection of the relationship within. Yoga has taught me how to connect with myself.  To have a growing pride of the space I create within myself.

    My diet has changed dramatically. I have been vegan for a little over a year.  I have gained a better sense of the environments that best serve the life I desire to create. Yoga in essence, has created a mirror, a way to look at myself through asana (postures practiced in yoga), breath & movement. It has not always been easy but the personal discovery has been tremendous.

    Advice to New Yogis

    Bakasana (Crane)

    Give yourself an opportunity to explore yoga & ignite the creative soul that exists within

    I would say, embrace the idea of trusting and investing in YOU. Most often, barriers to starting a practice are feeling a lack of adequacy, strength or flexibility.

    I equate starting a practice to venturing into anything new in life. When you start a new job or meet someone new: you are exploring a process, learning new skills, and expanding your mind to new depths. Approach yoga similarly. We are meant to be adaptable and fluid, which is only one of the many tenets yoga teaches.

    As with most physical disciplines, the tangible components (strength and flexibility), inevitably come with time and dedication. It’s the process of learning the intangibles, which makes yoga uniquely transformative.

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    It isn’t you. Loneliness is an Epidemic. https://www.yogadistrict.com/lonliness-and-finding-community/ Mon, 16 Jul 2018 14:51:30 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10335 If you’ve been experiencing feelings of loneliness lately, you are not the only one. Patrice Ford Lyn, professional life coach, shares her insights into the epidemic of loneliness and the […]

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    Find community at Yoga District.

    If you’ve been experiencing feelings of loneliness lately, you are not the only one.

    Patrice Ford Lyn, professional life coach, shares her insights into the epidemic of loneliness and the steps we can take to find and maintain community.

     

    Feeling Lonely is hard

    Loneliness is an epidemic.

    It’s hard to make friends in DC.”

    I hear this weekly from people of diverse nationalities, ethnicities, income levels, religious beliefs, gender identities, etc.  We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization. Yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s – 40% of American adults say they feel lonely.

    Building community can be challenging but it is critical. Experience and research tell us that “loneliness kills – it places our bodies in a chronic stress state and increases inflammation and is possibly a more significant health factor than obesity, smoking, exercise, or nutrition.

    Dr. Robert Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development says, “Social connections are really good for us, –  people who are more socially connected to family, friends, community, are happier, physically healthier, and live longer than people who are less well-connected.”

    “Taking care of your body is important, but tending to your relationships is a form of self-care too. That is the revelation.”

    Building a Community

    Photo courtesy of Partice Ford Lyn

    So now what do you do?  Community isn’t the number of likes you have on Facebook or followers you have on Twitter. Those are generally comprised of loose connections. You probably wouldn’t call any of them if you fell down the steps and needed a ride to the doctor. Let’s say you muster up some energy and decide to go out! You grab your keys and go to where the people are.

    There are a lot of people in community spaces and at events – galleries, parks, clubs, markets, lounges, religious/spiritual spaces. But we know that you can be lonely in a crowd.

    Maybe instead, you decide to find a special someone –  a girlfriend, boyfriend, friends with benefits, et al and create community with them. Well, we also know that you can be lonely in a marriage.

    “It’s not just the number of friends you have and it’s not whether or not you’re in a committed relationship. It’s the quality of your close relationships that matters.

    I know people who are the life of the party and are exceptionally lonely because they don’t feel connected to the very people with whom they appear to being having so much fun.  Sometimes the loneliest people don’t look lonely at all.

    Many of us like our own company and there’s nothing wrong with that. Having time to ourselves to decompress or enjoy a good book are healthy activities. But if you are at home by yourself imagining the fun others are having (#FOMO), pay attention.  

    There’s no way around it. There are times when we want to laugh, share a meal, and spend time with people we care about and who care about us. But what if you don’t know where to go or who to call? It may sound daunting but it really doesn’t have to be.

    We CAN create community. But, how?

    Photo courtesy of Partice Ford Lyn

    Ask yourself:

    1. Why: First, figure out what is making you feel lonely.

    -Is community what you need or is something else happening?

    2. What: If you are desiring more meaningful connections then identify the qualities of community that you have most appreciated in the past.

    -Do you want to be a part of a team or club and work on relationships based on common interests?
    -Are you hoping to reconnect with people you once felt really connected to?
    -Would you like to get to know your neighbors better?

    3. Challenges:

    -What has prevented you from taking these steps in the past?
    -What makes it challenging to take steps now?
    -Which challenges are you prepared to take on?

    4. Resources:

    -What resources, information, starting points, etc., exist for you to build community?
    -What is the first step you can take?

    5. How:

    -What are the qualities of friendship that you bring to these communities?
    -How do you show up and contribute?

    6. Growth

    -What are the ways you may need to stretch to have the community you want?
    -What may you need to do or see differently?

    7. Clarity

    -How will you know when you have begun to create the community you want?

    Photo courtesy of Patrice Ford Lyn

    Community and Connection Workshops

    Building Community and Connection: DC Group Coaching Series
    Every Monday from 7/30, 8/6, 8/13, 8/20

    • 14th Street studio
    • 7:00-8:30 pm
    • Sign Up: here

     

    It is okay to feel lonely sometimes. Loneliness is a normal human emotion and almost everyone experiences it at some point.  It can be caused by a variety of factors not just a lack of community. In fact, profound loneliness can sometimes be traced back to childhood experiences and is not solved by building more community.  

    However, if you want to figure out how to build connections that feel fulfilling then join the Community and Connection group coaching series.  

    We will explore:

    • where community is or isn’t present in our lives
    • how positive connection and community looks and feels to each of us
    • steps for creating, maintaining and growing the communities we want

    Come and be in community with others who want to be in community and build community.  Look around, it’s probably about one out of every two people you see. If you are not ready to be in a group coaching setting then contact me for a free consultation for 1-1 support.

    Interested in finding out about more Self-Care?  Learn how to sustain self-care practices in the self-care series starting July 30th. 

    The post It isn’t you. Loneliness is an Epidemic. appeared first on Yoga District.

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    Restorative Yoga https://www.yogadistrict.com/yoga-practices-restorative-yoga/ Mon, 09 Jul 2018 21:33:17 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10307 Embrace the Calm Deep breath in. Slow sigh out.  Body sinks to floor. Mind becomes decluttered.   I attended my first restorative yoga class during a high stress week. This […]

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    Supported Spinal Twist

    Salamba Bharadvajasana (Supported Spinal Twist)

    Embrace the Calm

    Deep breath in. Slow sigh out.  Body sinks to floor. Mind becomes decluttered.  

    I attended my first restorative yoga class during a high stress week. This passive practice has become a beautiful counter to my hectic life. Plus in this hot summer it is an excellent way to cool the body down. While it’s not always easy to relax one’s mind and body, the benefits are abundant.

    Read on as Christine, a Yoga District teacher, highlights the principles and practices of Restorative Yoga.

    If you’re wondering about Restorative Yoga then don’t be afraid to try it. Feel free to attend one of our Restorative Yoga classes  and Christine’s upcoming workshop (listed in post).

    Origin and Principles of Restorative Yoga

    Supported Savasana

    Supported Savasana (Supported Reclining Pose)

    Relaxation is the antidote to stress!

    Restorative Yoga, also known as the “Rest and Digest”, practice originated from the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar . It brings deep relaxation and balance to both the mind and body. One of Iyengar’s senior teachers, Judith Lasater popularized Restorative Yoga in the U.S. calls it “an active relaxation.”

    The comfort and needs of the individual are met with the use of props to support the body in relaxation poses. Along with the props’ support, Restorative Yoga also uses gravity to assist with relaxation and release of tension. Minimal light to darkness, silence, warmth, and natural or calming breathing are used to reduce excess stimuli and keep the muscles and mind tranquil.

    Additional helpful info:

    Legs Up the Wall

    Viparita Karani (Legs Up the Wall)

    This is a self-care practice that counters the chronic stress and fast-paced lifestyle of the modern day.

    The supported poses and calming breathing provide deep restfulness that nourishes the organ systems of the body and activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System (digestion). This balances our body’s “fight or flight” stress response that comes from the Sympathetic Nervous System.

    Restorative Yoga gives time and space for ourselves, allowing us to just be, giving the body a chance to heal itself and the mind a time to settle through relaxation.

    Common benefits:

    • Relieve effects of chronic stress
    • Reduction of blood pressure
    • Improves sleep
    • Improves digestion
    • Reduces muscle tension and general fatigue

    Sources and recommended readings:

    Restorative Yoga Class

    Supported Butterfly

    Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Butterfly Pose)

    Restorative yoga classes are accessible for new and experienced yoga practitioners. They can be adapted for various conditions and injuries. A class typically consists of only a few postures. A little goes a long way!

    Classes generally begin with grounding and breathing practices in a seated or reclined restorative pose. Then a slow transitions to each supported pose, held up to 15 minutes.

    Props such as blankets, bolsters, blocks, and straps are offered in different variations and can be adjusted in each pose as needed. The purpose is to find a comfortable position with the props. This will allow the body to release on its own with minimal or no effort.

    I often tell students, “You are not supposed to feel a stretch, but rather a sigh of release as if you can fall asleep in the pose.”

    If you feel a pull or a stretch, the sensation will only intensify countering the active relaxation.

    Come explore Restorative Yoga Class at Yoga District:

    • Mondays 9:30 PM, Candlelight Restorative Yoga @ Bloomingdale
    • Mondays 1:15 PM, Gentle Flow + Restorative Yoga @ I Street
    • Mondays 7:45 PM, Gentle Flow + Restorative Yoga @ I Street
    • Tuesday 6:15 PM, Restorative Yoga @ 14th St
    • Wednesday 9:30 PM, Candlelight Restorative Yoga @ Bloomingdale
    • Thursday 5:30 PM, Refresh + Restore: Gentle + Restorative Yoga @ 14th St
    • Friday 6:30 PM, Reboot: Yoga + Restorative @ Columbia Heights
    • Friday 6:30 PM, Restorative Yoga @ 14th St
    • Saturday 12:15 PM, Restorative Yoga @ 14th St
    • Saturday 1:30 PM, Restorative Yoga @ Bloomingdale
    • Saturday 5:15 PM, Candlelight Restorative Yoga @ Columbia Heights
    • Sundays 3:00 PM, Restorative Yoga @ Dupont
    • Sundays 4:15 PM, Restorative Yoga @ H Street
    • Sundays 5:15 PM, Restorative Yoga @ 14th St

    Cool and Calm, A Restorative Yoga Workshop for Sailing into the Summer Season with Ease 

    Resting Dragonfly

    Resting Dragonfly

    • Saturday June 14th
    • 2:30- 4:30 pm 
    • Sign up here for the the workshop

    During this 2 hour workshop, your body and mind will cool and ease the from the intensity of the summer. Students will be guided through a series of gentle stretches and comfortable restorative poses. This will be combine with breathing practices, visualization, and meditation for the summer season.  It is designed to lead the body to gently open and release into a deep relaxation. Hands-on healing and aromatherapy will be offered.

    Join me and you might just fall in love with the Restorative Yoga!

     

    Interested in finding out about other Yoga Types?  Learn about Dharma Yoga and Ashtanga Yoga

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    Sipping the Heat Away with Refreshing Smoothies https://www.yogadistrict.com/healthy-refreshing-smoothies/ Fri, 06 Jul 2018 01:22:47 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10299   Fight this heat wave with a cold refreshing homemade smoothie! While outside is ablazed with sun and intense heat, enjoy some relief with these healthy and delicious recipes. Read […]

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    Jessica in the Kitchen Smoothies

    Jessica in the Kitchen

     

    Fight this heat wave with a cold refreshing homemade smoothie!

    While outside is ablazed with sun and intense heat, enjoy some relief with these healthy and delicious recipes.

    Read on for Smoothie Recipes and stay cool!

     

    I am under the impression that all of these recipes are Vegan and most are Gluten- Free.

    Please remember you can always alter any of the recipes I recommend to suit your dietary needs and preferences.

    ADD A FROZEN BANANA

    Nourish and Fete Banana Smoothie

    Nourish and Fete

    A not so well kept secret of vegans is that frozen banana makes an excellent base for any smoothie. It’s adds a creamy texture without an overpowering flavor.  It’s an excellent substitute for dairy items like ice cream or yogurt. They are a healthy and beneficial addition to any smoothie! Bananas are high fiber potassium rich food with a resistant starch that has prebiotic effects.

    A favorite smoothie of mine is quite simple with only 3 ingredients:

    • 1. Add 1.5-2 sliced & frozen bananas to a blender
    • 2. Add almond milk
    • 3. Add a pinch of cinnamon
    • 4. Blend all the ingredient until desired consistency.

    Tips: Try different amounts of almond milk and cinnamon until you reach your preferred consistency and taste.

    Feasting not Fasting Banana Smoothie

    Feasting not Fasting

    Variations:

      1. For a chocolate version then add some unsweetened cocoa powder
      2. Try another type of non-dairy milk instead of almond milk  
      3. Add in flaxseed or vanilla extract like in Wholesome Banana Almond Milk Smoothie
      4. Throw in some oats and almond butter like in Vegan Banana Butter Almond Milk Smoothie

    Try these creative recipes: 7 Quick & Easy Vegan Banana Smoothies  

    HEALTHY SMOOTHIES

    Minimalist Baker Layered Mango Smoothie

    Minimalist Baker

    Why not make a homemade smoothie?  Not only do they taste great, are healthy but they cost much less than buying one at a juice or smoothie shop.

    Here are some wonderfully refreshing options:

    Tips: Avoid adding too many ingredients.  The best tasting smoothies usually contain only a few ingredients.

    DETOX VEGAN SMOOTHIES

    This Savory Vegan Detox Smoothies

    This Savory Vegan

    For when you want something refreshing and cleansing:

    Beneficial Ingredients:

    Summer never tasted so good!

    Want more Recipes? Check out  Healthy Treats or Soup.

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