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It has proven more challenging than I realized to process leaving the Savannah Yoga Center. After giving my 2 weeks notice last week, I knew that it would take some time to process all the emotions that arise upon leaving something I have been a part of for so many years. So students, please know that I haven’t forgotten you, but that a bit of time to digest all that is unfolding was needed before I could find the words to all that I was feeling.
And of course, what is revealed in the end is quite simple: THANK YOU.
To all my students- I deeply thank you. Some of you have been practicing with me for several years now, some are new- and to all of you- it has been my honor and privilege to come in each week and bear witness to your practice, to your awakening and to share space with you. It was my honor to share my experience, to offer you the opportunity to practice mindfulness and to be able to hone my craft as a teacher.
It is no exaggeration, to say that my time in Savannah has been one of great growth, healing and awakening and as fellow yogis and students, you have been part of my path. I am grateful and privileged to have been even one small part of yours. And although, I will not be supporting you at the front of the classroom at the Savannah Yoga Center, please know that I support you nonetheless.
I encourage you to continue the practice of mindfulness in all its forms and wherever it leads you in life. I encourage you to use the tools you learn- not only when it’s easy, not only on your mat, but to do the deeper work that leads to awakening- even when it’s unglamorous and seemingly unsung. Even when you stumble, even when you fall back asleep, each moment is the opportunity to awaken again. I encourage you to keep on moving into the light, into your deepest knowing… and to have some fun along the way. Remember, it isn’t all toil and trouble to awaken.
There are big changes on the horizon for me. I am finishing up some final details and when they are all sussed out, I will announce the news. Until then, my current schedule still stands for the month of October at the Yoga Co-Op: Sundays 5:30pm Yin and Mondays 5:30 Yoga Nidra.
Please stay tuned and check the blog for details to come… and know this: I am truly grateful for all the years I’ve had the honor of teaching you. Bearing witness to someone’s awakening is a great gift and you have given me this treasure week after week, year after year. Thank you.
I’m the Coordinator for this year’s event and guess what kids?
It’s time to get yer GLOBAL MALA ON!
Global Mala is an international event held every year. Yogis from all around the world come together to practice, support each other as a community and raise awareness and awake-ness.
Founded by Shiva Rea in 2007 and now in partnership with Yoga Month and Yoga for Peace, the Global Mala Yoga for Peace is a seed of a world-wide experiment into the power of meditation in action. This event is offered in conjunction with worldwide celebrations of the Global Mala project in over 50 countries, uniting the global yoga community from every continent, school of practice, and approach to form a “mala around the earth”.
For Global Mala Savannah, we also raise money for a local cause. Each year we pick a cause to partner with and all the proceeds of the event go to supporting the needs of that cause. My hope as Global Mala Savannah Coordinator this year is to extend this event to not only the yoga community but to the burgeoning mindful community of Savannah. Those who are living, working and practicing mindfulness in all its forms.
The theme of this year’s Global Mala event is Nourish Savannah and our Recipient is the local chapter of Backpack Buddies– grassroots effort to feed school aged children who might otherwise go hungry. During the school day, most children in need are provided meals through government programs, but when Friday rolls around, many children are faced with a weekend of wondering if they will have enough to eat. BackPack Buddies organizes and mobilizes churches, temples, companies and organizations to prepare backpacks of food for students to take home for the weekend, ensuring they will be nourished even when they are not in school.
Spearheaded by Norman and Julie Hirsch of Congregation Mickve Israel, Backpack Buddies Savannah has enlisted congregations who are help to feed children in need. Each congregation is partnered with a school and puts together weekend food packs that they deliver to the school. Teachers and staff at the schools assemble the bags of food into the backpacks that have been provided by BackPack Buddies and distribute to the children in the program to take home for the weekend.
The event is open to experienced yogis, novices and those who don’t know a down dog from a dirty dog! There will be a vigorous practice followed by a gentle practice (you can do one or both!) as well as a kids practice. There will be a silent auction and raffle of amazing donations from the yoga and mindful community and the Savannah Food Co-Op will be there selling great local and organic goods.
This year the registration is a $25 suggested donation for adults and $5 for kids. And when I say, suggested… I mean suggested! If you have more to give, please do. If not, donate what you can and join us for the event. Your donation is valued and so is your presence.
Please join us for this event to nourish the community and nourish yourself in the process. You can register or donate to the event at the Yoga Co-Op, Savannah Yoga Center, the Yoga Room, Savannah Power Yoga and Bikram. Visit the Global Mala Savannah Blogto keep updated on the event, see what great donations are coming in and support our growing mindful community. And please spread the word- at the water cooler, on your Websites, Blogs, Facebook, Twitter, smoke signals, etc.
Until I see you on the mat… Live. Breathe. Be.
Savannah’s loss is Asheville’s gain. Former SAV resident and lovely friend of mine, Jessica Hedrick, is now based in Asheville, NC and has opened White Sage, a space of the healing arts of Massage Therapy, Reiki and Yoga.
I first met Jessica at the Savannah Yoga Center as I trained her as a volunteer there and as a regular student in my classes. It was evident through her practice she had experience with movement and still she was open and inquisitive to the tools of yoga in both the similarities to dance and the differences.
Jessica’s mindfulness, dedication and compassion came through not only on the mat or through her work as a reiki master, but in her everyday actions, words and energy. Now as a certified Yoga teacher, Massage Therapist and Reiki master, Jessica offers a wide array of tools for students and clients to step into their own healing.
I can’t say enough great things about Jessica. She is a talented and wonderful person. So if you’re in Asheville, get yourself over to White Sage to spend some time with Jessica and step deeper into your own awakening.
Beginning Monday, September 12th, 10am, Kate Jacobson will be teaching a Restorative Yoga Class at the Yoga Co-Op. Woo hoo! I feel strongly about adding more Gentle, Restorative and simply slower more mindful classes to the yoga options in Savannah. Don’t get me wrong, I love a vigorous class and flow can absolutely be a mindful practice. Those of you who take some of my flow classes can attest that they are quite challenging both physically and mentally. However, without balancing mindfulness and breath with asana, then it’s really just Jazzercise, now isn’t it? So slowing things down can be essential for most people in this hectic day and age. Most of us can relate to stressed out minds and bodies. Some of us are healing from injury or just need some extra TLC and that’s when a Restorative Class can really make a difference.
Kate describes her class like so: “This Restorative Class will emphasis reducing the effects of stress. It is especially beneficial for times before, during and after major life events such as the death of a loved one, change of job or residence, marriage, divorce, etc. This restorative practice is helpful to counter the effects of a busy, fast-paced lifestyle.”
So I know that there aren’t a ton of Gentle or Restorative Classes compared to the intense flow yoga that’s out there but now you have one more opportunity to practice taking care of yourself. Join Kate Mondays 10am at the Yoga Co-Op starting September 12th. Make time for it. You are worth it.
Last minute subbing! Come join me tonight (Thursday Aug. 4th) at the Savannah Yoga Center for a Super Gentle class that I am subbing. Class starts at 6pm. Get there a little early to check in without rushing around. Now, you can also reserve your place and/or pay for class online.
Come on down and do something nice for yourself for dealing with all this heat!
See you on the mat!
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
It’s our way of giving back to the community and giving those who are flirting with the idea of yoga a chance to get a taste of what it’s all about at the Savannah Yoga Center.
Plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early to secure your spot. Bring your own mat if you have one, if not we have some for you to use (first come first serve, though) and if you plan to take a Flow/Hot or Dynamic Class, bring water and a towel.
I’ll be teaching Saturday 11:20 Flow Class (fairly vigorous) and 12:10 Restorative (super duper gentle) so come on down and have some yoga fun. You can take as many classes as you’d like. Bring your friends and family too. Class Cards and select items in the Boutique will be on sale. Click HERE for a printable Yoga-Fest 2011 schedule.
NOTE: Regularly scheduled classes that fall after 4pm will be held as usual.
Other Lives isn’t a band that plays music. They are architects of soundscape. That’s the only way to describe their latest album, Tamer Animals. I play the song, For 12, in my Flow classes fairly often lately and those of you regulars will recognize it’s haunting, dream-like quality.
Sometimes music can be a distraction to practice- however the sounds and movement created in For 12 lend themselves to becoming an avenue for deeper presence and free flow in my asana.
There are only a few more slots open for my 3 hour comprehensive yoga workshop, HANDS~HEART~FEET tomorrow, Sunday, June 12th, 1-4pm at the Savannah Yoga Center. We’ll focus on 6 different yogic methods that can help us create the space to be present and to cultivate the inquisitiveness to our internal experience that is required for walking deeper on our path.
This workshop is for anyone interested in not only honing their physical practice, but also in practicing techniques that give us the foundation to live our yoga off the mat as well.
If you’ve already registered, please bring water, your yoga mat if you have one and any props that you use regularly. We will have mats and props for those who don’t have their own.
Ok. It’s summer here in Savannah. It’s humid. It’s hot. And it can get a little ugly. Even those who generally like the heat can find themselves wilting into a puddle of sticky, sweaty goo hoping for a cool breeze every now and then. Savannah can turn into a scene from Night of the Living Dead, zombies walking around town in a daze with crazy hair, fried skin and parched mouths. If you’re lucky, you might get a grunt or nod from someone- if they can conjure up the energy to do that. So, here are a few products that can help you maintain some semblance of humanness over the sweltering summer months.
Solar Recover’s Save Your Skin is an elixir from the gods. My friend Trish first introduced the product to me many years ago. On a long weekend in the hot desert heat of Nevada, a friend in our group was so fair skinned he actually burned in the shade. By the first night he turned lobster red and all we could see was two beady eyes blankly staring out at us in desperation.
Trish pulled out the ol’ Solar Recover Save Your Skin and we each took turns spritzing the poor guy all night. Upon waking the next morning, we heard screams from his room, “I’m TAN! Oh my god, I’m tan for the first time in my life!”
I don’t know how it works but t’s all-natural and it smells fresh and revitalizing. And it can take a sunburn and turn it into a tan or at the very least, lessen the burn. Even if you don’t burn, it makes your skin feel and look great. You can’t just spray it once though. You’ve got to spritz throughout the day/night, and if you are really burned, you’ve got to keep that spritzer next to you like a Hampton’s socialite.
The result is lovely skin and it refreshes your senses too. The bonus is that it’s natural, the company is mindful and the owners/creators are awesome. I had an hour-long conversation the owner, about skin, life, writing, etc. and he’s great. It’s a product you can buy knowing the people behind it are kind and mindful. Check out their website HERE. You can buy all kinds of stuff online. In Savannah you can get some of their products at Brighter Day Natural Foods. If it’s not in stock-, which unfortunately is often the case, you can ask them to order more. If you order online, just buy a case. Everyone is going to try to steal it from you anyway and you’ll use it like a fiend throughout the summer.
Moroccan Oil for your hair is fantastic way to keep from turning into your evil twin over the summer months. And anything Moroccan already sounds exotic and mysterious, right? The smell is outrageously delicious and the oil helps keep your hair from getting so out of line that you get arrested for Public Indecency.
There are several brands out there, it’s all a derivative of Argan oil. The brand, Moroccan Oil is sleek and sexy and the scent is dreamy but it’s pricy. The less sexy looking packaging of Agadir has just a slightly different scent and the bottle looks like someone’s Middle Eastern grandpa might have this in his cupboard, however it still smells great and is much less expensive.
I’m sure there are even more options out there. Whatever you choose, you want to make sure it has real Argan Oil in it. After a while of using it, you’ll slowly turn from Ol’ Crazy Hair Mcgee to Just Ol’ Crazy Mcgee whose hair is kind of nice and smells good. And this isn’t just for the girls. The scent isn’t flowery or “girly”. Guys, you’ll smell dreamy too.
All around Savannah, I can hear lips smacking and tongues wagging because of thirst. And sorry, even though it is liquid, beer ain’t gonna hydrate you. After living in Savannah for 5 years, I have learned that beer is the official “water” of Savannah, however, sometimes you gotta actually hydrate and when you are too dehydrated even water won’t do the trick very well. There is a balance of electrolytes that the body needs to efficiently process liquid to actually make it effective in it’s hydration. It’s that combo that helps the body hydrate most efficiently.
One of nature’s perfect concoctions for hydration is Coconut Water. Not to be confused with it’s creamy cousin, coconut milk, coconut water is clear-ish and comes with chunks of coconut pulp or without. It’s slightly sweet without being overpowering and it’s a perfect way to hydrate without all the other junk those “power” drinks have in them. And even though I like science experiments as much as the next person, this drink isn’t made by men in lab coats mixing test tubes of flavor derivatives, by-products or adding colors to make it pretty. It’s from a coconut. Period. If you want to make it pink, you’ll have to add your own food coloring.
If you are not a coconut kind of guy or gal, try it anyway. It’s not like what you know from sweet coconut cream pies or candies. People who don’t even like the taste of coconut often still love coconut water. I get mine at any of the Asian markets here in Savannah for 79 cents- $1.50 a can. Some of the brands they sell have some added sugarcane but not as much as the Mexican brands- which are super sweet and not thirst quenching at all. You can buy coconut water at health food stores or gourmet markets. They sell brands that are organic for $3-4 a can. Either way, try keeping some cans of it on hand for the hot days of summer. You can make some space for it in the ‘fridge next to your Savannah “water”.
Most of all, enjoy the summer and continue to make time for your asana practice… I doubt Phil Spector did yoga and look what happened to him.
Beginning May 17th, I’ll be teaching a Tuesday 1pm Yoga class at St. Thomas Episcopal Church on beautiful Isle of Hope. This class is for all levels, primarily focusing on honing poses for strength and flexibility as well as the restorative aspects of Yoga (i.e. this is not a Dynamic Flow kind of class.) The class is open to the entire community of Savannah, regardless of religious affiliation or yoga experience.
Tuesday, May 17th begins our 6 weeks of sessions for $60. To sign up and to secure your space, email: Rev. Deacon Geri Lee Nelson at Gerileenelson@aol.com or call her at (912) 355-3110
I’m subbing at the Yoga Co-Op Savannah for Power Hour, Friday 5:30, May 13, 2011. Bring water and a towel. It is Power hour after all. One potent hour of asana to get your weekend started right. Classes are $13 for non-members and $10 for members. The Yoga Co-Op Savannah is located at 2424 Drayton St. See y’all there!
Join me, Sunday, June 12th, for my 3 hour comprehensive yoga workshop, HANDS~HEART~FEET at the Savannah Yoga Center. We’ll focus on 6 different yogic methods that can help us create the space to be present and to cultivate the inquisitiveness to our internal experience that is required for walking deeper on our path.
This workshop is for anyone interested in not only honing their physical practice, but also in practicing techniques that give us the foundation to live our yoga off the mat as well.
Join me this Saturday at 1:15pm for my new Restorative Class at the Savannah Yoga Center. My Restorative class focuses on releasing muscle tension, pranayama to soothe and calm, and allowing the body and mind the opportunity to slow down and let go.
This is a gentle practice that is great for those who are new to yoga, those healing and for seasoned yogis who want to balance their vigorous practices with gentle practices.
My regular Saturday Yoga Flow class from 11am-12:30pm continues as usual, for those who are looking for a more dynamic practice on Saturdays.
What is more sacred than to bring nourishment to another human being–spiritually, emotionally and quite literally by bringing food to those who need it?
Senior hunger is a serious threat to nearly 6 million seniors in the United States each year. Nationwide, the Meals on Wheels program works to alleviate senior hunger. Each day, the MOW program serves over 1,800 hot meals to homebound seniors in Chatham County and 6 surrounding counties. They depend on the commitment of their wonderful volunteers to deliver these meals and hope to be able to expand the numbers of clients they serve with the help of more volunteers in the future.
The commitment to volunteer is one hour a week during lunchtime and they try to match volunteers to routes that are near where they live or work. Offices and church groups can adopt routes and share in the responsibility together. The Meals on Wheels program not only nourishes seniors, it gives them daily interaction with volunteers and gives family members peace of mind that someone is checking up their loved ones each day.
This year, MOW is hosting their first annual 5K on May 14th. Information and registration can be found on their website: www.seniorcitizens-inc.org/ and at fleetfeet: www.fleetfeetsavannah.com/miles-meals. To learn more about volunteering visit: www.seniorcitizens-inc.org.
They are also looking for volunteers to help out on race day. Anyone interested can contact lovely, fellow Yoga teacher and Director of Volunteers for Senior Citizens, Inc., Lauren Cruickshank directly at LCruickshank@seniorcitizens-inc.org. And be sure to spread the word!
In honor of Earth Day this Saturday April 23rd, (everyday should be Earth Day don’t you think?) my Saturday 11am-12:30pm Flow class at the Savannah Yoga Center (usually $14) is only $10! An Earth Day treat for you.
So come down, get yer practice in and then walk down to Forsyth Park to join the Earth Day Festivities. See you on the mat!
Starting May 7th, I’ll be teaching a Saturday Restorative Yoga Class at the Savannah Yoga Center. The days you feel like a little dynamic practice you can attend my Sat. 11am Flow as usual and for the days you need to tend to yourself and balance the hectic pace of life with some gentleness, you can join me for my 1:15pm Restorative class.
Suitable for all levels- from those healing from injuries, to those who are in prime form and want to create a balance between dynamic and gentle. This class focuses on releasing tension from tight muscles, breathing and will end in a 20 minute guided Yoga Nidra (deep yogic sleep) practice.
I encourage all students to alternate their vigorous practices with gentle/restorative practices as well. Having one without the other is to leave out the crucial element of balance in your practice. You’re gonna thank yourself when you come! See you on the mat!
Beginning April 11, 2011, I will begin teaching a Monday night 5:30pm Intermediate Yoga Class at the Hospice of Savannah. I’m thrilled to be offering yoga to those who offer so much of their love and energy to the care of others. George Cox, who developed this yoga relationship with Hospice will also be teaching Beginner’s classes at Hospice during the week. Currently the class is open to Hospice Staff and volunteers.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for Hospice of Savannah click HERE for more info.
The Yogathon in Forsyth Park is this Saturday: April 9th, 2011 from 12-3pm. This is a benefit organized by Louie’s Kids to raise money to bring a ‘Fit Club’ to a school here in Savannah through COPE (Childhood Obesity Prevention & Education) The program will provide children with nutritional, physical and emotional tools to prevent and reverse the effects of obesity. I’m honored to be one of the yoga teachers leading the 108 Sun Salutations this Saturday.
You can be part of this great event in several ways: Click HERE to donate. No donation is too modest… every bit helps! Or if you’d rather, you can Click HERE to join my team and participate (minimum $20 donation required- this can be your money or from sponsors that you recruit.)
I WILL be teaching my regularly scheduled Saturday, 11am Flow class at the Savannah Yoga Center the day of the event, then I’ll be heading down to Bandshell at Forsyth Park to join in on the Yogathon. For those of you who aren’t able to participate in the Yogathon, you can still get your practice in with me and then come down to the park to cheer us on!
Thursday, April 14, 2011, 7-8pm, I’ll be subbing a Super Gentle Yoga class at the Savannah Zen Center. This class will focus on bringing the body and mind back into balance through restorative asana, pranayama and a 20 minute Yoga Nidra (deep yogic sleep) practice. Bring your mat and water.
Space is limited so if interested please reserve your spot by using the form below (none of your info will be published). Class Cost is a $10 donation.
SORRY GANG… THIS CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED
They only ask for your email and you can opt out of any future emails. This money would do so much to help the many strays, abused and neglected animals here in Savannah. This contest is sponsored by the ASPCA.
You can VOTE once a day until April 15, 2011. Please vote each day and post this on your BLOG, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, etc. and EMAIL everyone you know and chat it up at the water cooler and with strangers you meet! This is BIG! We can do it!
Just a reminder: tomorrow, March 26th, 2011, in addition to my usual Saturday 11am, All Levels Yoga Flow class at the Savannah Yoga Center, I’ll be subbing for the Saturday 9am, HOT Detox class too. Two opportunities to get yer yoga groove on together. See you on the mat!
Ok, kiddies! Buckle those car seats in… we’re going to Yoga-town! It’s kinda like Funky-town, with less disco and more Om’ing.
Starting March 21, 2011, every Monday, I’ll be teaching a Kids Yoga class at the the Yoga Co-Op Savannah. Through yoga, we’ll learn balance and gain strength through asana (poses). We’ll learn to focus through pranayama (breathing) and we’ll end class just like the grown-ups do… with a nice rest pose!
Kids ages 3-7