Yoga District https://www.yogadistrict.com Mindfulness, Yoga & Lifestyle Wellness Tue, 14 Aug 2018 18:47:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 124397291 Pose of the Month: Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) https://www.yogadistrict.com/pose-of-the-month-warrior-ii-virabhadrasana-ii/ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 16:39:48 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10533   This month’s pose is Warrior II. It is a pose that makes you feel empowered, strong, and ready to take on the rest of your yoga practice. Find out […]

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This month’s pose is Warrior II. It is a pose that makes you feel empowered, strong, and ready to take on the rest of your yoga practice.

Find out about Warrior II: benefits, cues, modifications, variations, and contraindications!

 

Warrior II (Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana II)

Pronunciation: veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh

Vira = Hero, Brave
Bhadra = Virtuous
Asana = Posture
Virabhadrasana = Virtuous Hero Posture


A Pose of Strength + Power

 

Warrior II is a powerful grounded pose that requires a lot of concentration as you engage your arms out to either side of you in a straight line that is parallel to the mat. In a class, after a few sun salutations A you will likely segue into sun salutations B that involve Warrior II.

Disclaimer: If you have any medical concerns then talk with your doctor before practicing yoga. Practice within your own limits.

Benefits of Warrior II:

-Strengthens the shoulders, legs, hips, and pelvis

-Good hip-opening pose

-Isometrically sculpts the muscles in the buttocks and thighs

-Hones your power of concentration

Cues:

Warrior 2

  1. Begin in downward dog.
  2. Raise your left foot into three-legged dog.
  3. Bring your left foot between your hands.
  4. Ensure the back foot is at a 90 degree angle to the front foot. The front foot should be in line with the heel of the back foot.
  5. Ground the heel of the back foot into the mat.
  6. Draw the front hip back and the back hip forward so that your hips are squared towards the side of your yoga mat.
  7. Engage your front thigh so that the center of the front legs’ knee cap is in line with the center of the left ankle.
  8. Keep the front knee directly over the ankle.
  9. Make sure to not overarch your low back and maintain a tall spine.
  10. Draw your abdomen muscles in.
  11. Keep the gaze forward over the front leg and chin parallel to the floor.
  12. Extend both arms so they are in a straight line with your shoulders and parallel to the mat. Your shoulders should be engaged but relaxed so there is space between your chin and shoulders.

Modifications:

-If you struggle with knee pain/weakness, press the front knee into a folded blanket on the seat of a chair.

-Place your legs in a shorter stance with your hands on the back hip.Warrior 2

Variations:

-If you have neck problems, don’t turn your head towards the front hand and look straight ahead.

-Put your arms in Prayer or Eagle.

-Place the hands on the side ribs just under the armpits. This will help keep the lift of the ribcage.

Contraindications:

-If you have knee or hip pain, you should ask your yoga teacher for modifications.

Sources:

Kaminoff, Leslie, and Amy Matthews. Yoga Anatomy, 2nd Edition. Human Kinetics, 2012.

Le Page, Joseph, and Lilian Le Page. Yoga Teachers’ Toolbox, 2nd Edition. Integrative Yoga Therapy, 2005.

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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. 

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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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Weekly Donation Class: American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) https://www.yogadistrict.com/weekly-donation-class-aclu/ Tue, 26 Jun 2018 17:16:40 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10243 HAPPY PRIDE Weekly Donation Class Every Tuesday Columbia Heights Studio 5:15PM – 6:15PM Sign Up here       Another June (Pride Month) has come (and nearly gone) in the […]

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ACLU Pride March 2017

Copyright 2017 American Civil Liberties Union. Originally posted by the ACLU on Facebook

HAPPY PRIDE

  • Weekly Donation Class
  • Every Tuesday
  • Columbia Heights Studio
  • 5:15PM – 6:15PM
  • Sign Up here

 

 

 

Another June (Pride Month) has come (and nearly gone) in the district. At Yoga District, we are proud to celebrate the diversity of our community–including those who identify as LGBTQ+.

Chad, a Yoga District teacher, has been offering weekly donation classes to benefit The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — a champion advocacy organization for the LGBTQ+ community.

ACLU- Dissent is Patriotic

Copyright 2018 American Civil Liberties Union. Originally posted by the ACLU on Facebook

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Since 1920, the ACLU has worked to defend and preserve the rights and liberties guaranteed for all people by the United States Constitution.

What started as a small room full of activists, nearly 100 years ago, quickly evolved into the nation’s premiere civil liberties organization.

The ACLU’s track record of successfully defending and protecting groups that have historically been denied their rights.  

ACLU End Family Separation

Copyright 2018 American Civil Liberties Union. Originally posted by the ACLU on Facebook

This included but not limited to: people of color, immigrant communities, and those identifying as LGBTQ+.

ACLU has over 2 million members, activists, and supporters nationwide, the ACLU has championed LGBTQ+ rights issues from relationships, to parenting, to nondiscrimination protections and more.

Despite advancements in recent decades, many LGBTQ+ people continue to face discrimination in all parts of their lives.

With this reality in mind, folks at the ACLU work daily to “ensure that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.”

Meet Chad & Learn Why He Chose the ACLU

 Chad, Yoga District Teacher

Chad, Yoga District Teacher

My name is Chad Byron and I am a proud member of DC’s LGBTQ+ community and one of the Studio Instructors at Yoga District. $4.50 per student in attendance of my class is donated to the ACLU. The pricing options are the same as regular classes on our schedule. You receive the  same yoga for the same affordable price, it just goes to a great cause.

My initial motivation for donating to the ACLU was personal.  I’m gay, and I trust the organization to put the funds toward protecting my community. After more research, I realized their work is reaching far more people than just those within LGBTQ+ community. That sealed the deal. They need help to do this work and protect all of our civil liberties.

Why Chad Practices Yoga

I practice yoga because it puts me face to face with what’s going on internally. If in a state of fight-or-flight, I am seeing the world through a kaleidoscope, then yoga offers time to hone in the worldview. It reminds me of the abundance in the moment.

What to Expect in Chad’s Class

I enjoy offering a class that presents the poses in a way that offers progression but doesn’t require it.  I weave in some self-care invitations for students like encouraging forgiveness and letting go. Students can expect to get warm, but have a lot of space for introspection.

Chad’s Advice for New Yogis

Thank you for being brave. Every time you show up on your mat you are creating this clean slate for yourself. An opportunity to experience the moments ahead for exactly what they have to offer.

Imagine every moment being abundantly weightless. Ponder this and keep showing up.
Learn more about the ACLU and how you can support their vital work advancing the rights of LGBTQ+ people across the country.

 

 

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Self Care: Why all the hype? https://www.yogadistrict.com/self-care-why-all-the-hype/ Sat, 23 Jun 2018 03:06:41 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10218 Are you uncertain of what self care could look like in your life? “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete” – Jack Kornfield Patrice Ford Lyn, professional […]

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Patrice Catapult Life Coaching

Patrice Catapult Life Coaching

Are you uncertain of what self care could look like in your life?

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete” – Jack Kornfield

Patrice Ford Lyn, professional life coach, shares her insights into the meaning of self-care and how to sustain a personalized self-care practice.

Define Self- Care

Giving yourself time to regroup & recharge

A question popped up on my Facebook feed recently: “What’s the big deal with self-care?  It seems like the new next thing. Now people are taking a shower and calling it self-care. What’s next brushing your teeth?”  A flood of responses came in including:

  • – It’s a way of trying to get women to not think of doing things purely for themselves as being selfish
  • – In the disability community, we usually refer to self-care in terms of finding safe spaces away from abuse and ableism. ‘ Hygiene’ doesn’t need a euphemism because learning to take a shower is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • – Given the people I work with, sometimes getting out of bed and brushing your teeth is the most you can do.  And that counts as self-care because some people really can’t get to the next step

Clearly, opinions vary and the care that is essential for one person isn’t the same as another. We each experience the world differently, absorb traumas differently.  So what is self-care? “Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.” “No matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being.”  Self-care is about: allowing yourself to exhale, to slow down for a moment, to regain a sense of calm and presence.  Giving yourself time to regroup and recharge.

Prioritize Self-Care

Yoga for Runners

Self- Care Activities: Running & Yoga

People decide to prioritize self-care for a variety of reasons.  Maybe they are exhausted, overextended, stressed out, and/or having health problems. What each person does to care for themselves will depend on their needs and circumstances.  Some go on vacations to unplug and decompress while others have parks nearby where they walk, run or just be in nature. Many people find time with their pets relaxing and rejuvenating.

Physical activity like tennis, yoga, running, swimming is a form of self-care of choice for others.  And the truth is, some people do all of these thing while others do none. Some people come to self-care without the financial means to pay for a vacation or regular massages.

Self-Care as Survival

Community

Self-Care: Combat Loneliness with Friends

If you are working two jobs, sleep might feel like the only self-care you can imagine.  If you are in a toxic relationship, work with traumatized populations or live in stressful environments then it can be hard to figure out what type of self-care could be best or you.  Having disabilities makes many experiences in day-to-day life particularly challenging and requires significant work to build in a self-care routine.  For people in any of these situations, self-care is a matter of survival.  So yes, a hot shower can absolutely be self-care and spending time connecting with friends is absolutely self-care. Going to that doctor’s appointment you have been avoiding or learning how to set boundaries are also forms of self-care.   

When you have developed and are implementing self-care routines then you are more aware of what you are feeling . You are better able to honor your needs, manage your emotions, and be your own advocate. You ask for and accept help from others when you need it.

Self-Care Inventory

If you want to do your own self-care inventory here are some questions that might be helpful:  

  1. Are you exhausted?
  2. Do you feel balanced?
  3. Are you kind to yourself?  
  4. How are you showing up with friends, family, coworkers, strangers, your intimate partner(s) and yourself?  
  5. Do you feel healthy?  
  6. Does your life feel like it is running you instead of you running it?
  7. Are you short tempered, depleted, or find yourself over extended?  

If you are happy with your answers then you may not want to do any further exploration.  However, if you decide that how you are showing up isn’t who you want to be in the world or for yourself.  Then, I encourage you to begin identifying what you need and what your barriers have been. It’s the first step, but a necessary first step, to figuring out how to live with more internal peace and wellbeing.

Self-Care as Part of a Routine

As a certified professional coach, it is my job to hold space for clients to feel safe enough to speak their truth about what they need and why it currently isn’t a part of their lives. It is not okay for me to be reckless with my energy and actions when participants need to feel safe.  Being centered is not an option. My self-care is a requirement not only for me but for showing up powerfully for others. As a result, I have many tools on my toolbelt.

Even as a coach, self-care continues to be a work in progress.  Lately, I have been in the flow of a great morning routine: meditating, doing yin yoga and taking time for silent reflection.  I also have tools for when I am on the go: deep breathing, connecting with loved ones, and having short meditations.  As a result, I start my day feeling clearer, kinder and more centered. I am more productive and less reactive. However, in the last few days I realized that the cardio activity that was once a regular part of my day is no longer in my routine.  My next step is to figure out how to build in more cardio for both my physical and mental health.

This infographic from the Cleveland Clinic sums it up well. There are so many benefits that it just makes sense.  As life changes, our needs change and the types of self-care we need may change as well. So, what do you need?  Let’s figure it out.

Self-Care Workshops

Patrice Ford Lyn

Patrice Ford Lyn, certified professional coach & reiki practitioner

Developing and Sustaining a Self-Care Practice: DC Group Coaching Series

  • Series 1 Self-Care: Every Monday from 6/25, 7/2, 7/9, 7/16
  • Series 1 Self-Care: Every Monday from 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23
  • 14th street studio
  • 7:00-8:30 pm
  • Sign Up: here

I often hold group sessions on self care because it is essential to the quality of our spirit and our lives. For some people, coming to my self-care workshop is their first intentional self-care step.  Others attend these workshops because they need support to find their way back to figuring out what works for them and how to commit to a plan. I help participants identify:

  • what self-care means for them
  • what is standing in their way of having the self-care they want
  • how to manage these challenges
  • how to make self-care sustainable

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

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Donation Class: World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii https://www.yogadistrict.com/world-central-kitchen-donation-class/ Fri, 15 Jun 2018 00:02:45 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10192 Salute the Sun! 108 Sun Salutations for the Summer Solstice, benefits World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii. Thursday, June 21st 14th street studio 7:15 to 9:15 pm Sign Up here […]

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World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii

World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii

Salute the Sun! 108 Sun Salutations for the Summer Solstice, benefits World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii.

  • Thursday, June 21st
  • 14th street studio
  • 7:15 to 9:15 pm
  • Sign Up here

Learn more about how World Central Kitchen, aids those in Hawaii affected by catastrophic volcanic activity. Also, how Kelsey’s donation class will honor the Summer Solstice.

Aiding Hawaii after the Volcanic Eruptions

The devastating natural disasters on Hawaii evacuated thousands from their homes. Any donation amount can help bring food and water to those affected. On June 21st, Yoga District is holding a donation class to benefit the World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii.

World Central Kitchen- Chawama Bakery in Lusaka

World Central Kitchen- Culinary Training at Chawama Bakery in Lusaka

World Central Kitchen Mission

World Central Kitchen is nonprofit comprised of a global network of Chefs that empower communities and strengthen economies by combating hunger and poverty.  Projects focus on:

  • Health:  provide clean cooking equipment & sanitation training   
  • Education:  supports school kitchens’ feeding programs & provide sustainable revenue sources
  • Jobs: culinary training to elevate the hospitality workforces’ quality of life (including increase in earnings) & strengthen the local economy
  • Social Enterprise:  Develop food ventures to create jobs (provide transferable vocational skills & increase income) to low-income communities

Chefs for Hawaii Project

World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii

World Central Kitchen- Chefs for Hawaii

After the disastrous Kilauea Volcano eruption, World Central Kitchen activated an emergency kitchen in Pahoa Hawaii. It serves hundreds of evacuees daily.

Every season, I choose to donate to a different non-profit.  Last season, I aided the relief efforts in Puerto Rico following  devasting hurricanes. My students decided to donate to World Central Kitchen. They are doing exemplary work by engaging communities at the ground level.

Hawaii has been struck by catastrophic volcanic activity.  This includes extreme air pollution from ash fallout. We would like to support the inhabitants of Hawaii.  We selected the Chefs for Hawaii project because it provides good food and clean water to Hawaii’s evacuees. All donations from this class will be based on the students’ discretion and ability to give!

Summer Solstice/Summer Mala

Every season, yoga practitioners around the world gather to practice 108 sun salutations.

My first solstice mala was the summer solstice of last year. The mala is a great practice in endurance and humility.  It also is way to build community.  To bear witness to the changes of the natural world. 108 holds significance in a number of faith practices. For some 108 represents the infinite and nothingness in one entity. Those who practice meditation use mala beads to pray or count their breaths. In our mala practice, we complete 108 sun salutations to welcome each new season.

For me, this practice is a time for meditation and manifestation.  We are acknowledging the sun at each point of it’s seasonal journey. In particular, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year.  This mala celebrates the light and warmth of a DC summer.

After a few salutes, the poses and breath begin to merge into hypnotic movement. I love this practice as a way to cultivate a sense of community.  We breathe with one another and send compassion to each other. The summer solstice is also my birthday! It’s a great way to celebrate another year in life.

Summer Solstice Donation Class

Kelsey

Kelsey

When you arrive, you’ll join a circle of mats around an altar. Gathered will be your fellow students and instructors.

I like to incorporate candles, sage, and tapestries but welcome anything students want to add! Particularly in this season, there are an abundance of flowers or plants available. What I love most about the mala is what students bring forward; either in physical objects, music, or poetry.

We begin with some light warm ups for the body (cat/cow stretches and so on). Before each set of 12 sun salutations, we begin in Tadasana to set an intention for the practice. This intention can remain for all 9 sets or change for each one. Between sets, we give each other space and time to rest.  When we can sit with their intentions, and to drink water. If a teacher wants, anyone is a teacher in our space, they can share some words or thoughts. At the end of practice, we settle the body with some counter stretches: like pigeon, triangle pose, and reclined poses. Then, we ease into an extended savasana! I will be around with essential oils and a brief adjustment. We end the mala with space for mediation… or a dance party! The students decide.

I tell students come do one salute or all 108!  Breath with us no matter how many salutes you complete! We need the support.

Come celebrate my 25th birthday with me. I cannot wait to start the summer with Yoga District!

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Yoga District Teacher Feature, Marissa https://www.yogadistrict.com/teacher-feature-marissa/ Fri, 08 Jun 2018 20:33:11 +0000 http://www.yogadistrict.com/?p=10178 Meet Marissa one of our lovely teachers! She shares encouraging advice for those days when you are not feeling motivated to practice or you are too hard on yourself. She […]

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Marissa

Marissa- Yoga District Teacher

Meet Marissa one of our lovely teachers! She shares encouraging advice for those days when you are not feeling motivated to practice or you are too hard on yourself. She reminds to be caring to both body and mind.

Be kind to yourself, you are human, and every peak and valley is present to teach you something about yourself (in yoga and in life).

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

Marissa’s Class Schedule:

  • Mondays 7:45 PM, Rocket Flow Yoga 3 @ 14th Street
  • Tuesdays 8:00 PM, Rocket Inspired Flow Yoga 2-3 @ 14th Street
  • Saturdays 10:00 AM, Ashtanga: Modified Primary Series (All Levels) @ Bloomingdale
  • Sunday 10:00 AM, Flow Yoga 1-2 + Restorative @ Columbia Heights
  • Sunday 11:30 AM,  Rocket Flow Yoga 2  @ Columbia Heights

Teaching & Practicing Rocket Yoga

My own personal passion lies in teaching Rocket yoga. Rocket is a fun and accessible sequence no matter where you are with your practice.

It is a fast-paced vinyasa flow based on the more rigid and traditional Ashtanga sequences.

This sequence is an inspiring practice which truly does hit on strengthening and stretching nearly all parts of the body—back bending, forward folding, inversions, heart opening, arm balances and more.

While Rocket is a set sequence, as a teacher, I am able to add “play” into it. I highlight or concentrate on what each class of students needs or voiced desires. I particularly enjoy Rocket’s origin story. If I have not yet shared it with you, please ask the next time I see you!

Introduction to Yoga

I was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 10. Thankfully through high school it did not cause much pain due to my involvement in swimming, track and dance. However in college, the lack of those activities caused back pain from the scoliosis. Yoga was recommended as means to help alleviate it.

Hanumanasana (full split)

Hanumanasana (full split)

A little intimidated but excited, I started attending a bikram-inspired vinyasa studio. The energy of the room and community of yogis attracted me, yet I kept coming back for how I felt from the practice. I was strong, empowered, challenged, calm, seen and loved.

Yoga Teacher Training Experience

My yoga practice went through its ups and downs through the following years. In 2015, I decided to complete my 200-hour teacher training. I knew it was time to commit to my practice and open myself up to share yoga with others. I was in love with yoga, but I found out quickly there was so much more to learn. Trust me – I am still learning every time I step onto my mat!

Shortly after graduating from Yoga District’s 200-hour training, I was exposed to the Rocket sequence. I immediately enrolled in my first Rocket teacher training with David Kyle at Progressive Ashtanga Yoga Puerto Rico.

Since then, I have completed 100 hours of designated Rocket Teacher Training and a 300-hour training in Progressive Ashtanga Yoga (in Rocket and Ashtanga yoga). Rocket yoga opened up my eyes to Ashtanga yoga, which now is my most consistent personal practice.   

3 Lessons Learned from Yoga

  1.  To Experiment     

Yoga and it’s lessons learned through the practice are highly specific to the individual. As a teacher, I can attempt to share my personal experience with my students. However, I do not want them to take my word for it. Honestly, my desire is for them to doubt me.  

And then, I want them to go back to their mat, to their meditation pillow, (to wherever they need to be) and experiment for themselves.

We must look at yoga as a science. With a scientist’s perspective: test a meditation, a posture, a consistent practice, a breathing practice (whatever it may be) and then take note of what happens.

Observe what occurs within the body, the breath and the mind. Draw conclusions for yourself; perhaps they are the same conclusions you have heard from others. Yet maybe they are different, and that is also perfect.

  1. To Breathe

I would love to rewind and be a fly on the wall in my first yoga class. I am sure I was thinking about everything but the breath:

  • “these poses are crazy,”
  • “omg this girl is standing on her hands,”
  • “ok, they want me to put my foot here, arms here, belly in, relax shoulders,”
  • “you want me to do WHAT?!”

The steady, rhythmic ujjayi breath gives the mind something to focus on. It allows any other thoughts from outside the studio to melt away. For me to come closer to dropping into a meditative state.

My practice on the mat has been helped immensely by focusing on my deep inhales and exhales . Countless times focusing on my breath has helped me get through sticky situations both on and off the mat

  1. To Listen

As a former athlete, my thoughts on the mat can tend to be along these lines:

  • “push harder,”
  • “stretch deeper,”
  • “come on, you can do better,”
  • “look, she can do it; why can’t you?”

 I found it difficult to let myself off the hook to skip a pose. Even if my body was just too tired or in pain. There were times I was able to listen (awesome) but actively chose to ignore it and avoided honoring my body (not so awesome).

A shoulder injury kept me off my mat for weeks. I then realized the value of sacred communication from the body. To not only to listen to it, but to listen mindfully for an understanding to guide your practice. So listen to what your body is telling you and honor whatever it said. After all, this body is the only one we have—for life!

Advice on How to Stay Motivated

Intentionally build your community. Find a yoga friend(s) or asking someone to be your mentor. Then begin to cultivate your community and filled it with built-in buddies to hold you accountable for your practice.

It can be as simple as sending a picture of my toes on the mat each morning to my mentor. Maybe I make plans to attend a class with my favorite yogi friend. Or I tell my teacher I will be there (knowing full well they will check in if I do not show up). Over time, you will figure out what works best for you to keep you motivated with your personal practice!

Ashtanga Pose

Ashtanga Pose

Be Kind to Yourself

It has been over 11 years since I first stepped on the mat. I am the first to admit my practice has not been consistent that entire time. Sometimes a missed day would turn into weeks, or weeks would turn into months. I would be angry and disappointed with myself. How could I call myself a yogi?

Over the years, I have been able to step back and look at the larger picture of my practice. I observed and acknowledged the cycle of it. Sometimes I have peaks and sometimes I have valleys.

If there is a week I cannot get out of bed for Mysore practice, that is okay. I observe, acknowledge, and accept I am in a valley. In time my motivation will come back to that peak with my desire to practice just as strong as ever.

Another tactic is to start small—there is no need to go from 1 to 100 in an instant (i.e. practice full Primary series every single day for a month). Perhaps start with 2 times a week and build up to more consistency from there.

Or allow yourself days in which all you do is a short meditation or 5 Sun As and 5 Sun B’s. Be kind to yourself because you are human. Remember every peak and valley is present to teach you something about yourself (in yoga and in life).

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