On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

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Yoga can help us transform many aspects of our life, including our diet. It helps us cultivate mindfulness so that we look at what we eat in a new light, and notice how different foods affect our energy & health. Yoga also nurtures a greater awareness of the ethical and environmental implications of our food choices.

 

Whether you’re curious about eating a healthier diet but lack the resources & support, or you have already been making healthy changes and want to go even further, this Immersion is for you. Through fun field trips, a potluck & movie night, reading and group discussion, learn how eating healthier really can be easy, delicious and so much better for you, your family & our planet!

 

 

VEGAN POTLUCK & MOVIE NIGHT ~ SAT, MARCH 18, 6-9PM

GROUP BOOK DISCUSSION ~ SAT, MARCH 25, 10:15AM-12:45PM

VEGAN RESTAURANT & FARMERS MARKET ~ SAT, APRIL 22, 11:30AM-1:30PM

FIELD TRIP TO LOCAL FARM ~ SAT, APRIL 29, PM TIME TBD

 

 

You will come away from this Immersion with greater insights about where your food comes from and lots of valuable resources to help you eat a healthier, more vegetarian/vegan diet.

 

 

$150 early reg by 3/5; $160 after

Click HERE for more details & to register.

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chakras

 

 

In this 2-part Immersion we will spend time examining which of our chakras is out of balance—as a result of physical or emotional issues that may require our attention. We will then work individually with each chakra to find balance and healing through:

 

*YOGA ASANA

*MANTRAS

*MEDITATION

*CONTEMPLATION

*JOURNALING

 

 You will come away from this workshop with a more relaxed mind & body, greater self-awareness and some tools for self-care.

 

Saturdays, January 21 & February 11

10:15am-12:45pm

$105 early reg by 1/7; $115 after

Click HERE to register!

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Halfway through week two of our ‘Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga’ session our second law, the Law of Giving & Receiving, took on a whole new meaning. In the wake of a very divisive presidential election, many of us came into the yoga studio feeling shocked, saddened, scared, frustrated, betrayed and confused. At times like this it is so important to draw upon our yoga and meditation practice for inner peace and clarity.

 

The Law of Giving & Receiving reminds us that we are all part of the same life force energy, that we all breathe the same air, that we are all interconnected. We must remember this at all times, not just when it is easy or convenient. We must not stop the circulation of love, kindness, acceptance and compassion. 

 

With that in mind, I wanted to let you all know that one of my long-time Yoga Room students, Sandy Momper, an associate professor of Social Work at U of M, is headed to Standing Rock this Wednesday to join the peaceful protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline that is slated to traverse through sacred Sioux land. I asked her if there was anything I or other Yoga Room students could do to help. She sent me a list of needed supplies (below), but said probably the best way to contribute would be through monetary donations, and she would be happy to take any checks made out to Sacred Stone Camp with her. Please remember that part of the reason people are protesting this Pipeline is because it will have a negative impact on the Sioux’s water supply. The election of Trump, who just tapped a climate-change skeptic to oversee the EPA transition, should have us in the Great Lakes state concerned about our beloved lakes and our water supply as well. It is time to take action! If you are so called, please give to this good cause–by either bringing in a check to the yoga studio that I can give to Sandy, or contributing on your own–and keep circulating the love!

 

NEEDED SUPPLIES (For more info, check our FAQ)

Supplies, cash, or check donations can be sent to:

Sacred Stone Camp P.O. Box 1011, Fort Yates, ND 58538

or

202 Main Street Fort Yates, ND 58538 We also have an Amazon Wish List.

>>At this time we have a surplus of clothes and are only seeking very warm, good condition coats, sweaters, and other winter wear.

>>>Please be aware that we only have limited solar and wind power at the camps.

TOP NEEDS

* FIREWOOD (PREFERABLY OAK, MAPLE, ASH)

* TIPIS/TIPI POLES/TIPI LINERS FOR WINTER

* PICK-UP TRUCK W/ 4 WHEEL DRIVE

* TRAILERS/CAMPERS (FOR WINTER SHELTERS)

* SNOW TIRES – VARIOUS SIZES

* GIFT CARDS FOR LOWES OR MENARDS (THERE IS NO HOME DEPOT NEARBY)

* WALL TENTS WITH WOODSTOVES AND POLES

* SLEEPING BAGS FOR SUBZERO TEMPERATURES (INC. MILITARY STYLE)

FULL SUPPLY LIST

* BANNERS, SHEETS (WE LOVE IT WHEN YOU MAKE BANNERS AND SEND THEM TO US!)

* BATTERY PACKS FOR CHARGING PHONES

* CANVAS – HEAVY DUTY ONLY PLEASE

* CAR PORTS

* CARTS AND WHEELBARROWS FOR HAULING WOOD

* CIGARETTES-MARLBORO REDS AND CAMELS

* COME ALONGS

* FIREWOOD (PREFERABLY OAK, MAPLE, ASH) <<< THIS IS ONE OF OUR BIGGEST WINTER NEEDS

* FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

* PROPANE

* FUR BLANKETS

* TESORO GAS CARDS

* GAS GENERATORS

* GIFT CARDS – LOWES/MENARDS, AMAZON, VERIZON

* INSULATED CARHARTT TYPE COVERALLS, OVERALLS, COATS

* LIGHTERS

* MATERIAL FOR TOBACCO TIES (ALL COLORS)

* MONEY

* PAINT (INC. SPRAY PAINT)

* PICK UP TRUCK

* POWER INVERTER

* PROPANE HEATERS (SMALL)

* ROPES, TIE DOWNS

* SHIPPING CONTAINER 20 FT

* SLEEPING BAGS (FOR 0 DEGREES F AND LOWER – PLEASE NO WARM WEATHER BAGS AT THIS TIME)

* SNOWMOBILES

* SNOW TIRES (INQUIRE FOR SIZES)

* SOLAR CHARGERS FOR ELECTRONIC DEVICES

* SOLAR PANELS, INVERTER

* STORAGE BINS – HEAVY DUTY – ALL SIZES

* TARPS – HEAVY DUTY ONLY

* TIRE CHAINS

* TENTS (THAT CAN STAND UP TO HIGH WINDS, SNOW, SUBZERO TEMPS)

* THERMAL BED ROLLS

* TIPIS AND TIPI POLES

* TIPI LINERS FOR WINTER

* TOW STRAPS

* WALKIE TALKIES WITH LONG RANGE, CB RADIOS

* WATER BUFFALO (TANK)

* WATER TANK WITH HEATER

* WINTER COATS (FOR VERY COLD TEMPS, GOOD CONDITION ONLY PLEASE)

* WINTER SALT FOR ROADS

* WOOD STOVES (MOSTLY SMALL ONES FOR TIPIS)

* YOUNG WARRIORS!!

 

wearewatercampofthesacredstones

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In week two of our seven week November-December class session, we put the Law of Giving and Receiving into practice on our yoga mats. The Law of Giving and Receiving states that the universe operates through a dynamic exchange, and we must be open to giving and receiving in order to keep the life force circulating within us.

 

We are giving of ourselves so much throughout our life that is important to remember to give to our self, to fill ourselves back up so to speak. One nice way to do this is through our yoga practice. On our mat we can be aware of our breath and our body and just be grateful that we have the opportunity to experience life in this human form. We can listen to and honor our body, and really give it what it needs that day. And we can take time to reflect on all the benefits we receive from our practice–physical, mental and emotional. 

 

After class this morning, one of my students was telling me that in some cultures that are more community-focused than our society, it is seen as selfish to not be open to receiving help or gifts from others because this is a form of taking care of yourself, and if you can’t take care of yourself you will not be able to take care of others in the community. Selfish to not take care of yourself. Hmm, something interesting to think about.

 

 

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Wow, I can’t believe I have been a Registered Yoga Teacher for 17 years now! When I look back at my early years of teaching I have to admit that I cringe a little. There was just so much I didn’t know back then. Over almost two decades I have learned and grown so much, getting to the place where I am today, confident not just in my abilities to come up with interesting sequences and themes for my classes, but to really be able to assess my students’ movements to see what kind of physical issues and postural imbalances they might be carrying over to their yoga mat, and then to help them find possible solutions to these issues.

 

To that end, I have invested a lot of time over the last few years furthering my education as a yoga teacher by attending workshops and webinars, mostly (but not exclusively) having to do with anatomy, an area that seems to be lacking in most yoga teacher training programs. Many of these workshops and webinars were taught by highly-acclaimed yoga teachers, doctors and other experts in their fields. I have learned so much from them, and I feel that they have really deepened my yoga teaching. I am able to apply what I’ve learned in my group classes and working privately with students who need very tailored sequences to work on specific physical issues they are experiencing. Some of the subject matter I’ve studied include:

 

Postural Alignment (Gokhale Method)

YogAlign Method

Yoga for High Blood Pressure

Yoga for Back Pain

Yoga for Arthritis

Yoga for Lymphatic Health

Yoga for Insomnia

Yoga for Sacro-Iliac Instability

Yoga for Scoliosis

Yoga for Piriformis Issues

Yoga for Tight Hamstrings

 

If any of these topics are of interest to you or relate to issues you have, please consider setting up a few private sessions with me where we can spend some one-on-one time focusing on your specific challenges and coming up with yoga sequences tailored to addressing them. I also love to work one-on-one with students who want to begin or deepen a meditation practice, and who want to practice ‘svadhyaya’ (self-study) through reading selections and discussions. You can find more information about my private sessions at http://yogaroomannarbor.com/private.php

 

 

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My 4:30 Hatha class asked me what smelled so good when they came in to the yoga studio yesterday. It was my first batch of Lentil Kale soup of the season! I love this recipe because it is healthy, tasty and easy. I was asked to share the recipe (which I’ve had forever, cut out of a natural health magazine if I recall correctly) , so here it is…

 

Lentil Kale Soup

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 large carrot, sliced thick

6 c vegetable stock

1 c brown lentils

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (or use fresh if still in season)

3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 t dried thyme)

1 bay leaf

3 c thinly sliced kale leaves (or swiss chard)

Salt & Pepper

Balsamic vinegar

 

1. Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot and saute to soften, adding garlic toward end of this time.

2. Add stock, lentils, tomatoes, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.

3. Stir in kale and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove thyme branches and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper to taste. Season with balsamic vinegar.

Makes about 8 cups.

 

 

 

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This is the last week of our ‘8 Habits of Love’ session. This week’s theme is the Habit of Community. I had just gotten done mentioning in my Hatha class this morning that one way we can easily build community is to simply smile and acknowledge the people we walk past on the street everyday. Shortly afterwards I saw this Facebook post from one of my long-time students (who hasn’t even been to class yet this week to know what theme is!).  Here’s what she wrote:

 

“While walking from my car to my office today, I saw a little old lady pulling a cart, much like my grandmother used to do on her way to the grocery store. She was without umbrella and I was close enough to the office that I gave her mine. Pay it forward, friends.”

 

So how can you help build community today?

 

 

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This week started off our 8 Habits of Love yoga session, based on the book of the same name by Ed Bacon.  This chapter was about the Habit of Generosity, and spoke to the understanding that all our decisions and actions come from either a place of fear or a place of love.  We can realize an immense release and freedom from fear if we can accept and perpetuate the belief that the Universe is kind and generous.  We can practice letting go of worry about not having enough and that ‘scarcity mentality.’ 

 

After my Vinyasa yoga class this morning, one of my students shared a great story about the Habit of Generosity.  She had recently gone to visit her 4 year old granddaughter in Boston, and they had made cookies.  There were only a few left and my student suggested they mail some back to grandpa in Michigan.  The granddaughter did not want to part with the few cookies left; she wanted them for herself.  Finally, she was talked into sending the remaining cookies to grandpa. They walked to the post office to mail the cookies and then stopped at a coffee shop on the way home to get a cup of coffee for grandma.  The woman behind the counter saw the 4-year old and remarked how cute she was and said, ‘Here, have a cookie!’  Gotta love how the Universe works.

 

 

 

 

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For the final week of our ‘Wisdom from the Virtues Cards’ session, the card that I pulled from the deck was Truthfulness.  Here’s a little of what it said:

 

“Truth is the bedrock of integrity on which we build all our other virtues.  It’s an ongoing commitment to live by what is real, authentic and true for us…Our words and actions are trustworthy…We investigate the truth with our own eyes…we are not here to live another’s dream or to be all things to all people.  We live by our own true nature.”

 

This is a great virtue to work with on our yoga mat.  We cultivate Satya, or truth, each time we assess ourselves honestly and work at our own pace without need for apology, feeling like we have to keep up, or comparing ourselves with others.  I personally have found it very liberating to do this on my yoga mat.  A similar yogic term, Sat Nam, means ‘I am truth’ or ‘truth is my essence.’  We use our yoga practice to peel away the layers–the things we are defined by, our obligations, the social ‘masks’ we wear, the emotional baggage we carry with us, etc–letting all these things go, until we can connect to the core, our true self, who we really are.  Ultimately, the question we need to ask ourselves is, ‘Am I being truthful with myself and living my most authentic life, being the person I am really meant to be?”

 

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Our Virtue card this week in my yoga classes was Acceptance.  I was very excited to actually find an image of the card online to share with you:

 

 

Some things worth thinking about and reminding ourselves of, both on our mat and off!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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