On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

Seven retreatants came together for a Day of Mindfulness at The Yoga Room this past weekend. They came for a variety of reasons: Two couples attended–one of which have a 7-month old baby, so they were looking forward to some peace, quiet and relaxation; a middle school principal wanted to deepen her own mindfulness practice so that she could bring mindfulness into her school; one woman is a caregiver for a friend in the last stages of cancer so she needed the retreat to re-center and ground herself; others were looking to deepen their meditation practices in a supportive setting.

 

After some brief introductions we began observing Noble Silence as a way to deepen and intensify our mindfulness experience. We did a Yin yoga practice to prepare our bodies for the 20 minute sitting meditation that followed. After a short break we enjoyed a simple vegan lunch of lentil soup and bread, where we continued our Noble Silence practice for 20 minutes to be mindful of what we were eating, where it came from, and all the effort and love that went into it, and then chatted for 10 minutes while we enjoyed our cupcake dessert. We then shifted back into silence for a mindful walking meditation to a small, old cemetery down the road where a Civil War soldier is buried, spending a few minutes in contemplation there. Upon our return we did a longer, 30 minute seated meditation, and then closed with a group discussion where we each shared our experience of the day.

 

Some of the most important things we tried to keep in mind during our Day of Mindfulness: connecting to our inner stillness, shifting into the witness/observer role, practicing present moment awareness, and practicing non-judgment toward ourselves when our mind wandered off. 

 

Everyone agreed that having a full 4 1/2 hours to commit to our mindfulness/meditation practice was very beneficial. (In fact, I shared some information on a recent study on meditation that showed that although a short, daily practice is good, the most beneficial effects to our brain occur during more intensive meditation retreats. So…needless to say, we are all looking forward to more Days of Mindfulness here at The Yoga Room. Stay tuned and join us for the next one!

 

Here is what a one retreatant shared about her experience:

 

“It was a wonderful day. I enjoyed the Yin Yoga to start the session. It got me back in touch with my body and also relaxed and loosened my muscles so that I could sit still for the first sitting meditation of the day. The sitting meditation was easier than I had expected and the time seemed to go quickly which surprised me. The Mindfulness Walking Meditation was enjoyable and helpful. It is something that I can see myself practicing even as I walk my dog. Probably the most enlightening and surprising experience of the day was the Mindful Eating we practiced at lunch. What an eye opener!! There was quite a bit of discussion about that. BTW–the lunch was wonderful!! I also appreciated the Noble Silence. It was something that I had been looking forward to. I hope that you will  be repeating this workshop in the future. I will definitely be there. Just a little story about the day after the workshop. That next day I found myself in a very frustrating situation. It started to get the best of me. Then I said to myself, “Look you were at a meditation workshop yesterday–for heavens sake use what you learned”. So I found a Deepak Chopra  meditation on YouTube, sat down, closed my eyes and settled into it. It had a tremendous affect on me and allowed me to be open in a different way to the experience. I had a dramatic shift that day and was very surprised by all the positive moments that ensued just because I took the time to be still and meditate.”

 

You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.

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I just wanted to share a few pictures from our Fall Yoga Retreat at Inn at the Rustic Gate in Big Rapids this past weekend. 

 

A lovely group of 10 joined me for Yin, Kundalini, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga classes, as well as a Yoga ‘Potpourri’ Workshop that consisted of meditation, a Posture Clinic/Ask the Teacher Q&A Session, and even a little Thai Yoga Massage! 

 

During our free time, some people ventured out to the local Amish communities to buy apples, baked goods, sauerkraut and more, while others enjoyed sampling the local microbreweries in town. A few of us stayed behind in the cozy Inn to read and nap. ;)

 

While we didn’t have the best weather this year, it was still good enough to be able to get in some mountain-bike riding at Hungerford Lake Rec Area, and take some short hikes on the Inn’s 150 acre property. And of course, take my annual labyrinth walk. 

 

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the food. It is always a highlight, especially the Stuffed Squash for Saturday dinner and Tower of Power (if you’re curious, ask me what’s in it–or see if you can figure it out from the pictures below!) for Sunday brunch!

 

Feedback from one participant: “I wanted you to know I enjoyed the weekend and learned some things that will help my practice and improve my poses. Your skill and thoughtfulness made it all a great a experience. I enjoyed meeting and talking with all of the participants. It was a warm and friendly group……and the innkeepers were wonderful, too!”

 

(You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.)

 

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We had such a good time at our first ever R&R 1/2 Day Retreat here on The Yoga Room grounds. The morning Yin yoga class set a peaceful, relaxing tone for our day. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a lovely plant-based lunch al fresco (prepared by yours truly, with help from my awesome husband!). Then there was time for hanging out by the pool, reading and chatting with friends before getting into the warm 85 degree water for a fun Aqua Yoga session. I think everyone would probably agree that the floating Savasana at the end was the best part. So relaxing! 

 

Want to join us next time? Sign up soon for our July 22 R&R Retreat HERE. There are only a handful of spots left–don’t miss out!

 

(Click on each picture for a slightly larger view.)

 

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chakras

 

I’ve gotten lots of requests over the years for audio sessions of my popular ‘Journey Through the Chakras’ 8-week session. Here they finally are! Explore the physical and emotional aspects of each chakra–or energy center–in your body and use these 1 hour ‘slow flow’ sessions to clear energy blockages and regain balance in your body and in your life. Purchase individually or buy the 8-session ‘box set’ for the price of 7! 

 

PURCHASE HERE

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SATURDAY, JULY 22, 10:30AM-2:30PM
My first R&R 1/2 Day Retreat of the summer is sold out and students have been asking if I’m going to host another ‘spa day.’ The answer is yes! As a complement to our active ‘Yoga for Your Summer Activities’ session, we are going to immerse ourselves in rest and relaxation during this 1/2 Day Retreat:
*Light-hearted Aqua yoga class with floating Savasana*
*Free time to relax by the pool*
*Light lunch on the patio*
*Meditative Yin yoga practice*
This retreat only has 7 spots available, so click HERE for more details and sign up soon to reserve your spot!

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Finding Time for Rest & Stillness:

A Half-Day Retreat

Saturday, June 24, 2017

10:30am – 2:30pm

**SOLD OUT**

 

It’s not ‘how do we make time for rest and stillness’ but ‘why are we not committed to that, and what stands in the way of that?’ As a complement to our active ‘Yoga for Your Summer Activities’ session, we are going to immerse ourselves in rest and stillness during this 1/2 day day retreat.

 

Relax, de-stress and enjoy an oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You will create space to show yourself compassion and lovingkindess so that you may leave here feeling a greater sense of well-being and be more in touch with what really feeds your soul.

 

Our retreat will begin with a light-hearted Aqua Yoga session and relaxing floating Savasana (bring your own floaty) in the heated pool. Afterwards, enjoy time for poolside relaxation and a light lunch on the patio. Our retreat will close with a meditative Yin yoga practice.

 

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While Marta is away on maternity leave this spring her Monday 6pm Yin class will be subbed by yours truly! Her Thursday 9:30 AM Hatha class will be subbed by my good friend and former Yoga Room teacher Colette McLogan. Some of you ‘old-timers’ will remember Colette from when she taught here many years ago, and she and I led yoga retreats together at Song of the Morning. During the last few years she has dedicated herself to studying and practicing Vipassana meditation, as well as serving as a board member for the Michigan Vipassana Association.

 

Colette and I both became yoga teachers way back in 1998. She is an accomplished 500 E- RYT in both yoga and Ayurveda. She completed her studies in Yoga with Jonny Kest at the Center for Yoga, Michigan and Ayurveda with Dr. Lad at the Ayurveda Institute, New Mexico. She co-founded Yoga Therapy of Michigan, Inc. and has conducted several teacher trainings, workshops, retreats and well over a thousand classes!
As a Registered Nurse with a Bachelors degree in Science, Colette understands the holistic aspects of healing. Her classes are both challenging and introspective, going from gross to subtle in body (asana) mind (meditation) and awareness (breath).

 

Check out Colette’s class on Thursday mornings this May & June!

 

 

colette mclogan

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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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Back by popular demand! As many of you know, I take the opportunity during the 2-week holiday break from regular classes to offer some fun, interesting drop-in classes that you don’t see during the rest of the year. I’ve extended the Early Registration Deadline to the day of each class so you can still save $5/class! Pre-registration is required as space is limited. Sign up early as classes will likely sell out. Sorry, these classes may not be used as make-ups.

 

 

**Visit my Square Store HERE to reserve your spots online.** 

 

 

Monday, Dec 19, 6-7:15pm
Winter Solstice Yin Yoga *SOLD OUT! ASK TO BE PUT ON THE WAIT LIST!*

 

Join us (a little early this year!) for our always popular Winter Solstice class–a calming and meditative Yin practice-the perfect antidote to the high energy activity of the holiday season. Take some time for yourself to slow down, relax and de-stress with a peaceful, quiet practice. This class may have extra spots available in the loft for those who carpool!

 

 

Tuesday, Dec 20, 9:30-10:45am
Align & Refine: Hatha 

 

During this class we will take a little extra time to ‘workshop’ some postures that we commonly see in our Hatha practice but don’t always have time to break down in class: Warrior 3, Prayer Pose, 1/2 Moon, Cobra, Plank, Forward Bends, Revolved Triangle, Boat, Reverse Table, etc. Take this opportunity to get your alignment checked, ask questions and learn modifications. Bring your requests!

 

 

Tuesday, Dec 20, 6-7:15pm
Align & Refine: Vinyasa

 

During this class we will take a little extra time to ‘workshop’ some postures that we commonly see in our Vinyasa practice but don’t always have time to break down in class: Chaturanga, Up Dog to Down Dog transition, Jumping through to Forward Bend & Sitting, Balances, Wheel, Plow to Fish pose transition, etc. Take this opportunity to get your alignment checked, ask questions and learn modifications. Bring your requests!
Thursday, Dec 22, 6-7:15pm
Holiday Rx ‘Energy Flow’

 

Here’s your prescription for spending time with family and friends over the holidays! We’ll begin our practice with the Kundalini yoga kriya to brighten and protect our aura/energy field, and then move on to an immune system-boosting Vinyasa flow appropriate for all levels. Come fortify yourself!

 

 

Tuesday, Dec 27, 9:30-10:45am
AM Shoulders, Neck & Upper Back Clinic *SOLD OUT! ASK TO BE PUT ON THE WAIT LIST!*

 

Do you have tight, tense shoulders or back pain? Do you slouch? Do you sit at a desk or in front of a screen for a good part of your day? Has your yoga teacher recommended this class to you? If your answer is yes to any of these questions, reserve your spot ASAP! We’ll stretch tight muscles in the front of the body, ‘wake up’ weak muscles in the back, work on softening tense shoulders, focus on improving posture, and alleviate common shoulder, neck & back problems. 

 

 

Tuesday, Dec 27, 6-7:15pm
PM Shoulders, Neck & Upper Back Clinic

 

Same class as above, but an evening time!
Thursday, December 29, 6-7:15pm
Yuletide ‘Detox’ YIN-YASA 

 

We’ll warm up in the first half of the class with a detoxifying Vinyasa flow appropriate for all levels (think twists!), and then melt into some luxuriously long Yin stretches for the second half of the class to help us unwind and relax during this busy holiday season.

 

 

**Visit my Square Store HERE to reserve your spots online.** 

 

 

namaste angel

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