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Thanks to all who made Saturday’s leg of Yoga-Fest a fantastic day! It was great to see you all for my Flow and Restorative classes today. For those of you who couldn’t make it to the Savannah Yoga Center today, you still have tomorrow to take part in our FREE classes. I won’t be teaching tomorrow, but you can head on down and take class with an aray of SYC’s teachers.

For all you dedicated yogis and to those who are just embarking on your yoga path, I’ve got a little treat for you. Usually my classes at Savannah Yoga Center are $14 ($12 for students/firefighters/military & public teachers) however, my classes next week will only be $10.

7/13……….Wed. 5:30pm Beginners

7/13………..Wed. 7:30pm HOT Dynamic Flow

7/16………..Sat. 11am Flow

7/16………..Sat. 1pm Restorative 

Nothing to print. No secret handshakes. Just come in to one of the classes above and get yer yoga on for just $10. Namaste, and see you on the mat

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For those of you who’d like to have a head’s up on what to expect in my next yoga class, please view the video by clicking HERE.  It’s simple really:  Yoga is as Yoga does. Please prepare for class accordingly. See you on the mat soon!

I will not be teaching my Level 2 Yoga class on Sunday nights at the Savannah Yoga Center anymore. Currently there is no class during that 7:30pm time slot but there are still 4 diverse classes being offered on Sundays so you can still get your practice in!

All you Sunday night Level 2 regulars, keep up your meditation practice on your own and I’ll see you in my other classes! All my other classes are the same. Click HERE for my current schedule. See you on the mat soon!

We don’t get many opportunities to ice skate down here in Savannah, but for the holiday’s the Civic Center opens its doors to reveal an icy arena for all to enjoy. A few weeks ago, with some friends, I buckled up into some skates and headed out on the ice. It wasn’t long before I remembered that I really I only like the idea of ice-skating and not actual act of ice-skating.

As a Yoga Teacher, I do have some fairly developed balance skills, but I am just not keen on the cold, or sliding upon ice on what are essentially knives strapped to my feet. It is just not my cup of tea. Not to mention, I’m simply a menace to society out there on the ice.  That being said, I completely appreciate the beauty, grace and dexterity required to skate well and the exhilaration that an adept skater must feel gliding and whooshing along.

As if falling on asphalt wasn't bad enough. Photo Courtesy of The Very Demotivational Posters Blog

So as I retired my skates and I sat on the bleachers to cheer on my pals, I took the opportunity to watch the other skaters in the rink.  I witnessed everyone from young children to seasoned Savannahians attempting to find their own groove on the ice, but one particular little boy stood out to me. He was maybe four or five years old. He was with his parents and a small group of other little children and their parents. While the rink was full of people young and old, flailing and flinging their bodies across the ice in sheer desperate hope that the physics of hurling oneself along would somehow equate to ‘skating’, this little boy did something different. He paid attention.

I saw him watch someone who skated well and take mental notes. He looked at their feet and then his own and proceeded to try for himself what this skater was doing. He pushed off with one foot and then the other, wobbly at first, but with each stride he gained strength, balance and confidence. He was mindful of those around him and he was smiling and having fun. In 20 minutes, I witnessed an evolution of sorts. This little boy was now skating with more ease than most in the rink and with pretty good form.

Watching this child, I couldn’t help but think of yoga, of asana in particular, and how it is easy to forget the importance of form. Not in the sense that we become slaves to an ideal, but the importance of mindfulness in each pose and each breath. After all, form is really just the manifestation of intention.

A Great Intention by Artist Thomas Sheridan

The next time I got on my mat, I asked myself, what is the intention behind this pose? This breath? Is it to challenge myself? To nurture myself? Or perhaps it’s to appease my ego into thinking I’ve mastered a pose that in reality, I need to back off from for it to be the right pose for me in this moment. Like those skaters hurling themselves wildly and carelessly across the ice in hopes that “skating” would happen by accident along the way, we can often play the same sort of mind-games in our asana.  So, can we practice and still challenge ourselves without blasting past our edge? Can we allow ourselves to practice the appropriate form in each moment, for any given pose or breath?

Yes. We can.  It requires us to pay attention, to be mindful and present, to dig deeper than the surface appearance of a pose, deeper than the flood of emotion that we may feel while practicing, and to find our intention behind it all.

Off the mat, attention to form, or lack thereof, is evident in each moment. What form do our actions take? Our words? Our thoughts? Do they serve to enhance our lives or do they sabotage us and others? What is the intention behind those actions, words and thoughts? Even the seemingly kindest of deeds can, at the heart, be devious if the intention behind them has dark under currents. And yet the smallest of thoughts, words or gestures of selfless kindness can positively change a life forever. Form becomes powerful only when intention is potent.

Perhaps in the days to come, as we begin to move deeper into this New Year, we spend a little less time on the showy and grandiose resolutions of the past, and begin notice the form of things and the intentions behind them. Though our yoga practice, in our daily comings and goings, we are given the opportunity to notice and ask the questions:  Is my life taking the shape and form that I want it to? In my body, in my work, in my relationships? What are my intentions in the actions I take, the interactions I have and the thoughts I think?

Instead of flinging ourselves wildly & mindlessly across the ice rink of life, in desperate hope that our lives will somehow accidentally happen the way we want them to, perhaps we take a more mindful approach. Maybe we take the time to learn how to form and shape lives of grace, strength & beauty by cultivating potency in our intentions. In each moment, in each breath, is the opportunity to create a beautiful life. With even the most modest seed of intention, today can be the day that we begin to grow something beautiful.

Savannah Yoga Center located at 1319 Bull St. 3 blocks from Forsyth Park

It’s YOGAFEST time again at the Savannah Yoga Center. Saturday & Sunday, January 15-16, 2011, come join us for FREE YOGA! There are classes for every style of yoga that you’d like to try: Gentle, Restorative, Yin, Ashtanga, Flow, Hot Classes and more. And all classes are FREE during YogaFest.

Wear clothes that you can move comfortably in and bring a mat if you have one (if not, we have some to borrow but first come first serve.) Plan to get to class 10-15 minutes early to sign in, especially if you are new to the center as you will need to fill out a new student form.

The full schedule of YogaFest class schedule is posted online at the Savannah Yoga Center site. I will be teaching the Saturday, Jan 15th, 11am Flow Class. It’s a fairly vigorous class. You might break a sweat. If you are already a regular to my Saturday class bring your family and friends… it’s all FREE!

NOTE: My Sunday evening 7:30pm Level 2 Class will follow YogaFest as usual.

It’s fun! It’s entertaining! It’s interesting! It’s right here in Savannah… and this one has a good cause too!

IT’S PECHAKUCHA!

PechaKucha is very cool format for people to share ideas and passions in a streamlined and focused way. With 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, presenters share their ideas/experiences in a concise and compelling way. It’s entertaining, interesting and it’s right here in our own backyard!

PechaKucha Savannah April 2009 at Structured Green Warehouse Photo by Travis Linville

Created by architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham in Tokyo, 2003,  there are now PechaKucha chapters all over the world. We are lucky enough to have the dreamy Aaron Cohen as coordinator extraordinaire for our very own PechaKucha here in Savannah.

So come on down and share this free exchange of cool ideas. This PechaKucha will be held  right around the corner from the Savannah Yoga Center at the BLACK BOX THEATER at the SPACE Gallery, SATURDAY FEB 20th, 8-10:30pm.

This event is also important, because it is part of the Haiti Relief Benefit. Please consider donating to help rebuild life for people whose lives have been rocked to the core. Every little bit helps. Our spare change can literally change someone’s life. Click Haiti Relief Benefit link above to donate and learn how your donation will be used.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Feb 5-7,  I’ll be at the Southern Women’s Show here in Savannah to promote the benefits of Yoga with Nintendo Wii Fit.
Don’t worry, fellow yogis and yoginis, several thousand years of Yoga won’t be undermined by a machine. And the Wii isn’t going to replace your teacher or your practice at a studio, but for those who are curious about yoga but are overwhelmingly intimidated to go to a class, who might be strapped for cash, or for those who can only get on the mat at 4am or midnight, Wii might be a way to start learning some basics or to keep yourself motivated until the next time you can get to class.
Wii Fit Yoga has been used in schools and introduced Yoga to children who might never have even heard of it otherwise and peeked an interest in several of my own students enough so that they sought out a yoga center to learn more and now are regulars!

2010 Women's Show held at Savannah International & Trade Center

I highly encourage those who are interested in practicing to seek out a qualified yoga teacher in their community. Nothing can replace the good mojo of being part of a yoga class in person or  the assistance of a mindful teacher. And as any student can attest to, there are more than just physical benefits to your Yoga practice. The physical benefits and fitness are really the byproduct of breathing, of mindfulness and being present (as well as all those dang Boat and Chair poses I keep having you do!)

So… all that being said… I hope you drop by the show this weekend at the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center, to enjoy all the food, info on health and more. You can purchase tickets online  for $8 by clicking HERE or for $7 at your local Kroger. And don’t forget to come by and do some Yoga with me!
NOTE:
My Saturday 11am class will go on as scheduled with the wonderful Dawn Tanis teaching for me. And I will be back to teach my Sunday 7:15pm Level 2 Class as scheduled.

Happy Full/Blue Moon, Lunar Eclipse, New Year/Decade!

Whoa!  So it’s been a while since I’ve posted but I’m back in the swing of things again. I hope you all had a dreamy New Year’s Eve and if it wasn’t so lovely, I hope dreamy days are ahead of you. Sometimes New Year’s Eve is more about feeling wonky before you feel the shift into the light of new days. Not only was it a New Year but the close of a decade and a full moon, a blue moon and lunar eclipse! This New Year’s Eve was not for the faint of heart with all that mojo flying around!

My plan to go to the Hostel in the Forest for New Years was thwarted by a sudden and unexpected bout of stomach issues. Oy Vey! However, strangely, I was not too disappointed even though I had been looking forward to this trip for the last month. I had a feeling that the universe was conspiring to keep me where I needed to be and to show me that I needed to release a few more things before moving into the next phase of my life… one of those things being my lunch!

After several days of quiet time with close friends, I am feeling better again and I will be teaching my All Levels Yoga Class tomorrow (Saturday, 1/2/10) at 11am at the Savannah Yoga Center. So join me in moving into the New Year/Decade with some good tunes, some blood-pumping asanas and the good vibes of your fellow yogis and yoginis!

So, whatever this New Year’s Eve brought for you: an epiphany, a sadness, a longing, a dream, a hangover… whatever it brought to light for you or cast darkness on, remember that the days are unfolding as they should and it is our journey to meet them with open minds and open hearts. See you in class tomorrow!

Much Much love,

Dawn!

Dawn Smith

Fun musings. Cool info.
Yoga on and off the mat.

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