Join us on April 6th to raise abundance for Nicole's recovery while having an amazing time for YOU also! There will be yoga classes all day leading into a sound healing session and a dance party that night. Beginning Monday, April 1 the Sedona Hot Yoga will be open EVERYDAY from 11-1 for purchasing raffle tickets (we have had AMAZING prizes donated) and placing bids on the silent auction (EPIC items)! All cash and check donations are also very appreciated and can be made there. The studio will be open ALL DAY SAT, APRIL 6th for this as well. Winners of auction and raffle prizes will be announced on Sun, April 7th at 3pm. The studio will open that day at 2:30. You do not need to be present to win. Blessings!
I am unbelievably lucky to teach a class once a week to 3-7 amazing mothers here in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek. We meet at one of their homes every single Thursday at 10 a.m. and I have to say that this class is by far my favorite one of the week. I absolutely love to watch these strong and extremely loving mothers become even more strong and calm and collected as the weeks pass on. I am always wowed by their ability to stay focused and present despite the occasional toy drill going off near them (or on them lol) during savasana, an occasional cry in the nearby kids play room, or a little monkey crawling on their backs while in child's pose or downward dog (I sometimes don't even need to assist, the kids do it for me heehe!) I think that my favorite part is the smiling... at the end of class we are all smiling. I want to share this experience with more mothers, so I've developed the following... please tell your friends and share the love:
Yoga for Mom
I understand how difficult it is to justify paying for a babysitter as well as a yoga class each day. It is also understood how challenging it is to get together with girlfriends during the week when the children are still at home and possibly not in school. The Yoga for Mom's Yoga Class offers you an opportunity to gather your girlfriends and the children at your home and to reward yourself with yoga and meditation as the kids play together... you know you deserve it. Ashley's empathic and intuitive teaching style creates a group yoga class that is challenging, yet rewarding. Aware that each group is different; she will read the energy and dynamic of the class and present a series of postures conducive to an engaging, deeply reflective session. This yoga class covers a full range of asanas: sitting, standing, balance, forward and back bends, twists, hip openers and sun salutations. So call your friends, pick a day of the week and a time that best works for everyone, and then simply make a commitment to honor and love yourself one day a week. Not only will your yoga practice help you remain centered and present throughout the rest of the week, it will also introduce your children to the power of mantra and breath work. It is so amazing to see and hear the effect of a simple "OM"... How one moment they are laughing, playing and making noise around you, but then they suddenly become calm and reflective when they hear you chanting a simple "Om" with your girlfriends. And let us not forget the benefits to your social life as well :)
Rate suggestions are based on groups of 5 women or more... groups that are smaller than 5 people, please consider adding a few dollars to cover transportation costs and aromatherapy expenses.
1 hour = $5 per mom
2 hours = $10 per mom
Yoga for Mom Testimonials
❤ It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Ashley practicing yoga. She truly cares about each person in the class and tries to suit her class to each students individual needs. She is also very knowledgable with essential oils which I find fascinating. I'm also doing poses and yoga I never thought possible. Ashley is abundant with her knowledge of yoga, her compassion for her students and her love for teaching. Thank you Ashley!!!! ! Danielle G. - 2013 (Yoga for Mom Student)
❤ One would be honored to practice with an extraordinary teacher such as Ashley. Her knowledge, commitment and passion for yoga is present in all she does and teaches. She has a gift to be able to help and guide each individual with their own yoga practice. I feel blessed to have found Blessed Yoga! ~ Ruthy B. - 2013 (Yoga for Mom Student)
What's up with yoga festivals? Why gather teachers in one place over a long weekend? What's the intention? Flying or road-tripping, paying for food and lodging, and then the buying tickets. Oh my god, this might get pricey! Is it worth it? Let's take a look. The answers lie within the questions.
There is a shift occurring within yoga culture. Well, there's always a shift. Social media has opened up the larger community to practitioners at home and in local studios. At the click of a mouse, a mountain of knowledge is available for our practice. Communication has never been so fluid and immediate. Teachers outside of our immediate sphere are accessible unlike ever before.
The yoga festival physically exposes you to quality teachers that grace our yoga culture. They are dedicated to honing the craft of teaching with care and attention. They represent lineage in order to preserve the deeper nature of yogic practice. Sign me up, right? Well, you have one weekend and so many choices. The point is to look at the festival as a place to get your feet wet with certain teachers. Treat it as the dream buffet for the yogic student.
Connection stands true within the practice of yoga. We are not islands unto ourselves. Connecting with like-minded people serves a human need that is within us all. When interaction steps out of cyberspace into physical form we truly are in a place of heartfelt satisfaction. Connection amongst many leads to community. Here is where things get super cool.
The sense of community that is available at yoga festivals sends chills up the spine. Picture hundreds or thousands of people gathered for a weekend with a common goal of practicing and connecting. You end up immersed in the ultimate fun fest. People are experiencing a level of teaching unlike ever before. Music is in the air. Hearts are wide open. Connecting with old friends, making bonds with new ones. Loving life to the fullest, everyone attends with clarity in their mind, body and spirit. If you could experience a lengthened bliss state, it just might be at a yoga festival.
Today was my last day of guided sadhana... it might also be the last sadhana led by my teacher Zaz Occhiline, which makes me sad, because I adore his guidance... but I'm also happy for him. He'll get to practice sadhana on his own now and it's been a long time for him, since he's always guiding students... He deserves a nice long break from holding space for others.
Still... I felt sadness as soon as he told me this was it... I felt a sense of separation and heartbreak and a little fear... he has been my teacher for so long and now I am basically on my own. The thought originally scared me... and so I thought about it some more... and meditated on it... and came up with the following idea which has helped me deal with the heartbreak and sense of separation and fear of losing my yoga practice or taking steps back without his yearly guidance... instead of moving forward. I've often practiced sadhana with him as a way of "checking in", "resetting" etc... I guess I worried that I would forget how to do that... or to even remember to do it without a schedule set in stone by him.
Anyways, I think the following moment of clarity is also fitting for February... since February is also the month of love and many of you have probably experienced heartbreak and a sense of separation as well, although probably not exactly in the way I just did. I hope this thought of mine helps you feel more comfortable with it...
I've developed the idea that I/You can't really experience connection if I/You don't also have the sense of separation... Heartbreak is part of the human condition - if it comes off the table, so does love itself. Vulnerability is what makes life worth living; without it we'd lack meaning and purpose.
*sigh.... 30 days of rising before the sun rises... practicing yoga, pranayama, mediation for hours and hours... Will I continue this daily practice? I don't know. I think so... for a while longer at least. I hope to continue on this trajectory throughout the year; throughout my life. You never know though. Everything changes. Throughout the years of my yoga practice... sometimes I might go months without one downward dog in my life... and then I come back to my mat and I think, "Wow... why did I ever leave you?" Lately, those moments and lulls in my practice have come further and further apart, so I think that maybe this time, I might just stay with it... forever. But who knows, right? I guess the point is that everything is temporary and it's important to not feel guilt or attachment for ending my sadhana, when I do, but to instead feel present and grateful for every second I have on this planet. Every moment is sacred. No matter how I spend it.
I've learned so much from this years sadhana. I wish I could explain or share everything that I have learned and experienced. This time it was so different. Every single blessed moment sank into my pores and into my heart. I feel so nourished and loved and loving. It's amazing really... what 30 days of self love, nourishing and yoga discipline can do. I feel stronger than I've ever felt. Happier. Whole. Loving. Content. Peaceful. Grateful. SO GRATEFUL. I feel like I'm definitely still walking down my dharmic path... living my destiny... with presence and grace.
I applied for a vipassana mediation course today at the Dhamma Maṇḍa, also known as the Northern California Vipassana Center, and means "the essence of Dhamma" in Pali. I'm on the wait list... I'm very excited. Why am I doing it? Like I said... to continue with this trajectory... to learn and experience and share. :) It makes me happy just thinking about it.
I want to share a passage with you that a student at 7 Centers (David) shared with me today. It's so beautiful. I am grateful to him for bringing it into my life:
Click here to view the new yoga schedule for the last week of January :)
*sigh... I'm closing in on my last week of guided sadhana with Zac and 15 other yogis at 7 Centers Yoga Arts Academy.
I've spent this day catching up on a little sleep (slept in until 9), yoga with Nathan at Sedona Hot Yoga, and sharing love with others.... I've been so happy lately... it's hard to tell exactly which part of my life is providing it all... yoga... teaching... friends... new loves and lights in my life.
I feel blessed and grateful. A little tired ;) but still full of enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to February... to being a whole year younger/older in my life. To meditating on what that means exactly.
Everything is so temporary.... making every second of my days so sacred and special. The more I realize this as the truth, the more I somehow hold on tighter while still letting go... it's hard to explain... it's all so bittersweet.
Guess what I did this week? I went to a Yagnya ceremony here in Sedona at 7 Centers Yoga Arts Academy. Let me tell you all about it :)
What do fire, rice, ghee, cow dung, and mantra have to offer for the spiritual transformation of humanity? A lot actually. These are some of the key ingredients that are required in performing a Yagnya, an ancient Vedic fire ceremony that dates back to the origins of the civilization of the Indus Valley area, now known as India. The Vedic cultural landscape of that time was deeply protected and prosperous on behalf of the consistent offering of Yagnya. The holy Seers and Rishis performed this sacred ceremony for many causes including the healing of diseases, proliferation of social harmony and justice, and as a connection to the higher planes of spiritual dimension for wise guidance and Self- realization. It can be observed that our current cultural and spiritual landscape is calling out for a Rebirth into a time of harmony, peace, and prosperity once again. Yagnya is the root source of cultivating a pure and positive energy field whereby all BEINGS receive the original vibratory memory of our Natural State; Pure Love.
Ancient Vedic Technology: Through chanting powerful sound currents of sacred Mantra, sublimating purifying earth elements such as rice, ghee, barley and herbs (known as Havan Samagri) into the Sacred Fire Kunda (a custom built fire ceremony pit), combined with our communal healing intention for All Beings; the performance of Yagnya holds the divine alchemical power to permeate waves of healing bliss far and wide. It allows this precious time of transformation to be protected and guided by the Grace inherent in Surrender; another translation of the word Yagnya.
Timeless Benefits: Yagnya is a Cosmic Gift that showers tremendous vital energy (Prana) and spiritual strength from the upper cosmic planes (a healing effect known a Parjanya). Scientific beyond words, and perhaps human understanding, it has been credited as the ancient creative ceremony that gave birth to ALL forms of existence. It is tremendously healing and uplifting, offering PROFOUND purification, from the densest to the most subtle, of all life forms, and is especially supportive in protecting agricultural integrity.
Modern Dharma: Yagnya is still performed in its mother land of India, on a regular basis. As a dharmic path, certain souls born here have been upholding the sacred power of this ancient ceremony through a deeper mystical understanding of how important Yagnya is for the spiritual evolution of humankind.
Swami Ghan Shyam: Born in Haridwar India at the foothills of the Himalayas,Swami Ghan Shyam was transferred the knowledge of Yagnya through his Spiritual Master, Shri Sachcha Baba of Allahabad, in the late 1970s and has been offering Yagnya worldwide since for the benefit of our spiritual transformation. He spent 11 years in silence as a personal Sadhana, graciously blending his days of tapasya with 9 hours of Yagnya EVERY DAY. The Divine Mother appeared before him in name and form, expressing her love and grace, encouraging Swamiji to share his inner findings with the world, through the amazing healing power of Yagnya. For more information read…
It was an amazing experience! If you would like to know when the next Yagnya Ceremony takes place, keep an eye on the events page here on this website or sign up for our Blessed Yoga Newsletter.
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Do you? Do your friends and family? What about your co-workers? You can give them all a copy (and get one yourself) as an Earth Day present with this free digital edition download of the April/May issue. Namaste :)
Yoga Journal Digital Download
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being.
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