Monthly Yoga Classes

Join me for live yoga monthly via Zoom.

$10 – 15 per class.

Pay what you can. If you are unable to afford class and would still like to participate, please email me. Finances should never be a barrier to yoga.

April: Spring is Yin

Saturday, April 24th ~ 11am – 12pm EST

Celebrate Spring with a yin practice designed to settle the body, calm the mind, and tap into the season’s energy of renewal and rebirth. Enjoy long, luxurious holds of gentle poses. Props such as blankets and firm cushions or pillows encouraged but not required. All levels welcome.

May: Savor the Fullness

Saturday, May 22, 2021 ~ 11am – 12:00pm EST

Enjoy a long, slow, deep practice focused on opening the hips and savoring this moment of full blooming in Spring.This will be a mixed level class.

June: Sacred Balance Weekend Workshop with Abbey of the Arts

June 5 – 6, 2021

This workshop is being presented with Abbey of the Arts.

Join us for a mini-retreat on Zoom to explore the complementary principles of: humility and hospitality; listening, stability and conversion; rhythms, silence and sabbath. Through gentle yoga, meditation, journaling, and discussion, tap into time honored wisdom and practices that affirm a balanced approach to daily living.

Spring is Yin

The sky is glowing that particular sheen of silver just before a spring rain, and the world glimmers as though about to share a lovely little secret. There’s a freshness to the air, an earthy plumpness to this hydrated world of Spring. And I can’t help but revel in the Mahabhutas – the great elements of ether, earth, water, fire, and air – at play during this season. 

Relishing my relationship to nature’s rhythms and cycles offers an abundant source of nourishment and wellbeing. After an unruly bout with some seasonal and state-of-the-world ennui this winter, I notice that my mood is lifting. There’s hope in the world again. (At least in my world. I pray you have the same.) Last year’s stunning spring in North Carolina felt like a pleasant consolation prize for lockdown. This year, I find it to be more of a pollinated promise. There’s plenty of dust and chaos – that won’t change –  but blooms are coming. Peace can be found in tiny pockets of flowers and young maple leaves and reuniting with vaccinated family and friends.

As a woman, I have long learned what it means to live in rhythm and cycle. As a woman who does yoga, I have learned the power of organic, rather than linear, practice. I’m never going to be one to complete a 30-days-to-handstand-challenge or some such thing. Much as I would like to. I know myself better than that. What brings me sustenance is a practice of adaptation. Adaptation to my mood, to varying degrees of physical or spiritual energy or fatigue, and to the rhythms of 28-30 days.  

One of these adaptations is incorporating yin yoga into my catalogue of practice. In yang style asana – typically where we “work hard” or flow from one pose to the next – we are stressing (in a good way) the yang tissue of the muscles, blood, and skin. In yin yoga we stress (in a good way) the more yin tissues of ligaments, bones, and joints. Yang loves to get hot – like the sun.  Yin loves to get cool – like the moon. For me, this attention to the yin side of the body and spirit is deeply nourishing. Like drinking hot water early in the morning, the long holds of yin asanas settle and revive. Even more, the long holds afford an opportunity to saturate my being with a little moon glow of attention to its generally anxious state, and shift it to a deeper gratitude and serenity. 

All this internal renewal keeps me thinking of the greening of Spring. I see that silver sky and think of happy ligaments. I see the blossoms and chartreuse silhouettes of new growth and think of happy marrow and bones. I feel the breeze and my joints move. And the pollen – that’s the clutter that gets integrated through the deep focus of a yin asana. 

On Saturday, April 24th I’ll be leading a yin practice from 11am-12pm on Zoom. It will be recorded so if you can’t join live you can participate later on. We’ll do another long, slow, and deep practice in May – though that won’t be yin specific. More on that later. And, I’m pleased to announce that in June I’ll be leading a virtual, weekend workshop on the themes found in my book Sacred Balance in partnership with Abbey of the Arts. 

I hope you will join me and one another in embracing the rhythms that bring you nourishment. 

Much peace,

Melinda

Photo by Mateusz Stępień on Unsplash

.

Yoga Nidra – A Gift For You

Welcome to 2021.!? I’m not sure which punctuation to use. If 2020 taught me anything, it was the reaffirmation that we never know what comes next. The unknown is our constant companion and learning to embrace it, respond, and work skillfully with the way life unfolds is one of the great benefits of a yoga practice. And, to tap into the Rule of St. Benedict, this unfolding invites us to begin again, and again, and again. 

To start off this new year here’s a little gift from me to you – a sweet yoga nidra practice for release and possibility. All you need to do is lie down (preferably on the floor), maybe cover with a blanket, close your eyes, and just listen.

Yoga – the art of uniting or dancing with complementary opposites – is paired with nidra, which means sleep. Yoga nidra is a practice that facilitates deep relaxation and transformation by taking the practitioner on a journey through the 5 koshas – or “sheaths” – of embodiment. The koshas are a map, a way of describing various layers of our experience. 

Annamaya Kosha – The layer of the body. In yoga nidra we connect with this layer through a rotation of body consciousness.

Pranamaya Kosha – The layer of breath and subtle body. The next stage which is accessed through focused breathing.

Manomaya Kosha –  The first level of the mind or mental body. This is the expression of waves of thoughts, processing data that moves in and out of our awareness. In yoga nidra this is practiced through imagery and alternating attention on opposite experiences such as heaviness and lightness, heat or cold, etc. 

Vijanamaya kosha – The intelligence or wisdom body. On this layer of consciousness we absorb deeper insight into ourselves and the world. In yoga nidra this is accessed through a guided meditation. It’s a bit like dreaming, but here you are in control of the dream. 

Anandamaya kosha – The bliss body. Here the witnessing experience of the dream dissolves and you rest in a feeling of wholeness and integration. 

I confess I don’t practice yoga nidra as often as I could, or probably should. But when I do, WOW! 

I hope this gift brings you a lovely bit a respite as you cross the threshold into 2021. 

I’ll also be kicking off this new year with an asana based, online practice via Zoom on January 16th from 11am-12pm.  You can register for this “Spark Your New Year” practice here >>

May the Grace of Love and Peace guide you in the days to come. 

With love,

Melinda

Virtual Book Launch

Today’s the day! Sacred Balance: Aligning Body and Spirit through Yoga and the Benedictine Way is officially released and available wherever books are sold.

I’d love for you to join me this Saturday, October 17th, EST on Zoom for a virtual celebration and book launch. Together we’ll cultivate balance through a lovely asana and meditation practice inspired by the book, followed by discussion and Q & A. If you’re willing, I’d love for you to briefly share how you practice balance.

Space is limited so please register soon!

See you Saturday!

Oct 17, 2020 10:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

 

%d bloggers like this: