On & Off The Mat – A Yoga Blog

by Christy DeBurton

 

Our first Vegan Happy Hour class was a success! I was too busy talking and Bill was too busy cooking to take many pictures, but here’s what we served:

 

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Herbed Walnut Cheese

Zuppa Toscana (Tuscan Soup)

‘Crab’ Cakes

Tempeh Reubens

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Buttercream & Vegan Icecream

Beer, Wine, Cider

 

Everyone was excited about the free Better Half samples from Califia Farms, and we got lots of nice compliments about the class, including one email from a participant today: “Thanks again for a great evening of food, conversations and education about all things vegan!  Loved it!!!”

 

 

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

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Looking for the perfect gift for you, a friend or a loved one who loves YOGA this holiday season? You can choose a $20 e-gift card for a drop-in class, $90 to book a private session with me, $50, $100, or any custom amount you choose.

 

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Send a gift instantly! Order HERE.

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

Every thought we think and every action we take has an impact on the world around us.

 

Every thought we think and every action we take has an impact on the world around us. To be aware of this is to be conscious of our impact on the people in our lives. Sometimes we just want to do what we want to do, but considering the full ramifications of our actions can be an important part of our spiritual growth and awareness. At first, being more conscious requires effort, but once we have made it a habit, it becomes second nature. The more we practice this awareness of others, the more we find ourselves in easy alignment with our integrity.

 

Our thoughts are an important place to begin this practice because our thoughts are the seeds of our actions. It is not necessary or beneficial to obsessively monitor all our thoughts, but we can perhaps choose one thought or action per day and simply notice if we are in alignment with this experience of integrity. For example, we may find ourselves replaying a negative encounter with someone in our minds. We may think that this doesn’t affect the person about whom we are thinking, but the laws of energy tell us that it does. When we hold someone negatively in our minds, we risk trapping them in negativity. If we were this person, we might wish for forgiveness and release. We can offer this by simply letting go of the negative thought and replacing it with a wish for healing on that person’s behalf.

 

With regard to our actions, we may have something difficult to express to someone. Taking the time to consider how we would feel if we were in his or her shoes will enable us to communicate more sensitively than we would if we just expressed ourselves from our own perspective. When we modify our approach by taking someone else’s feelings into account, we bring benefit to that person and ourselves equally. The more we do this, the more we reaffirm our integrity and the integrity of our relationship to the world.

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WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14

5:30-7:30pm 

**SOLD OUT! CONTACT INFO@CHRISTYDEBURTON.COM

TO BE PUT ON WAITLIST.** 

 

In this fun 2-hour vegan happy hour class you’ll discover how easy it is to add more plant-based options to your menus. Sample several healthy, delicious vegan recipes, ask questions, get answers, and separate vegan facts from fiction. Beer, wine & non-alcoholic beverages included!

 

 

 

$45 early reg by 11/7; $55 after.

6 student limit; register soon!

Pay in person at the studio or click HERE* to register.

 

 

Your Hosts: Yoga Room owner Christy DeBurton has a passion for healthy living. She has been a vegetarian for over 20 years and 99% vegan for the past two. Bill Mayer has been a vegetarian for over 25 years and mostly vegan for the past two. A U-M alum, Bill also holds a degree from the Culinary Institute of America in NY.

 

(*Please note: There is a small $2 service fee to pay online with a credit card.)

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It was a perfect fall weekend for our Big Rapids yoga retreat: crisp but mostly sunny, with the fall colors at their peak. Besides enjoying 3 yoga classes and a special workshop and meditation, the 15 participants on this year’s fall yoga retreat took advantage of the weather to hike and bike the trails at the adjacent Hungerford Lake Recreation Area, walk the onsite trails through the woods and along the wetland at the Inn, do some mindful-meditation walking at the Inn’s Labyrinth, and enjoy a bonfire under the stars.

 

Oh, and of course there was the food, which is a highlight of every year’s retreat! The plant-powered menu for the weekend included an Asian Noodle Bar, a Breakfast Burrito Bar, and our yearly favorite Stuffed Squash Saturday dinner and Tower of Power Sunday brunch. And the best part: we didn’t have to cook the meals ourselves! :)

 

It was a great mix of students from The Yoga Room, friends & significant others of those students, and people from the Detroit area and even as far away as Cleveland who found out about the retreat online. And it was a Yoga Room first that 5 of the 15 participants were men! :) I had been contemplating making this my last year for the retreat but there were so many people who said they wanted to come back again next year and bring other friends with them that I am re-considering. If YOU have an opinion, let me know! 

 

Here’s what one participant shared after the retreat: “Thanks for putting together a lovely yoga retreat. Such a special spot. I would definitely return next year if you did it again. So nice to push pause on regular life. Thanks again!”

 

Here are a few highlights from the weekend. You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.

 

 

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR

When dealing with people who seem very unaware, remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening.

 

You may be someone who understands the true nature of reality, perceiving deeply that we all emanate from the same source, that we are all essentially one, and that we are here on earth to love one another. To understand this is to be awakened to the true nature of the self, and it is a blessing. Nevertheless, people who just don’t get it are seemingly everywhere and, often, in positions of power. It can be frustrating and painful to watch them behave unconsciously. We all encounter individuals of this bent in our families, at work, and in all areas of public life. It is easy to find ourselves feeling intolerant of these people, wishing we could be free of them even though we know that separation from them is an illusion.

 

It helps sometimes to think of us all as different parts of one psyche. Just as within our own hearts and minds we have dark places that need healing, the heart and mind of the world has its dark places. The health of the whole organism depends upon the relative health of the individuals within it. We increase harmony when we hold onto the light, not allowing it to be darkened by judgment, anger, and fear about those who behave unconsciously. It’s easier to accomplish this if we don’t focus on the negative qualities of individuals and instead focus on how increasing our own light will increase the light of the overall picture.

 

When dealing with people who seem very unconscious, it helps to remember that everyone must find their own way to awakening and that the experiences they are having are an essential part of their process. Holding them in the light of our own energy may be the best way to awaken theirs. At the same time, we are inspired by their example to look within and shed light on our own unconscious places, sacrificing the urge to judge and surrendering instead to humble self-inquiry.

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I celebrated 20 years of teaching yoga yesterday by hosting about two dozen people for a pool party at The Yoga Room! The weather was perfect and everyone enjoyed sitting out on the patio or floating in the pool. We had a great spread of food (all vegan, of course!), highlighted by my favorite hummus, tabbouleh and baba ganouj from Palm Palace. A special thanks to everyone who helped out with additional food and beverages! It was so nice to see everyone–‘old’ students from when I first started teaching yoga in Ann Arbor, current students, and some yoga teacher friends–one of whom, Colette, is also celebrating 20 years of teaching yoga this year too! I wish I had more pictures from the event (and of everyone who was there) but I was too busy socializing to get that many. Nevertheless, here are some highlights. (You can click on the pictures for a slightly larger view.) Thanks again to all of you who attended and made my celebration so special!

 

 

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR
In order to forgive, we need to stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused to us.

 

When someone has hurt us, consciously or unconsciously, one of the most difficult things we have to face in resolving the situation is the act of forgiveness. Sometimes it feels like it’s easier not to forgive and that the answer is to simply cut the person in question out of our lives. In some cases, ending the relationship may be the right thing to do, but even in that case, we will only be free if we have truly forgiven. If we harbor bitterness in our hearts against anyone, we only hurt ourselves because we are the ones harboring the bitterness. Choosing to forgive is choosing to alleviate ourselves of that burden, choosing to be free of the past, and choosing not to perceive ourselves as victims.

 

One of the reasons that forgiveness can be so challenging is that we feel we are condoning the actions of the person who caused our suffering, but this is a misunderstanding of what is required. In order to forgive, we simply need to get to a place where we are ready to stop identifying ourselves with the suffering that was caused us. Forgiveness is something we do for ourselves, and our forgiveness of others is an extension of our readiness to let go of our own pain. Getting to this point begins with fully accepting what has happened. Through this acceptance, we allow ourselves to feel and process our emotions.

 

It can be helpful to articulate our feelings in writing over a period of days or even weeks. As we allow ourselves to say what we need to say and ask for what we need to heal, we will find that this changes each day. It may be confusing, but it is a sign of progress. At times we may feel as if we are slogging uphill through dense mud and thick trees, getting nowhere. If we keep going, however, we will reach a summit and see clearly that we are finally free of the past. From here, we recognize that suffering comes from suffering, and compassion for those who have hurt us naturally arises, enhancing our new perspective.

 

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I just recently posted some information on the web site about my plan to lead another full-out 4-month Yoga Immersion Program here at The Yoga Room Winter 2019! (Click HERE for more details.) I thought I would share some pictures from one of the previous Yoga Immersions I lead back at the old studio, plus some testimonials from a handful of students who took part. (You can click on the pictures for a larger view!)

 

“My favorite things about the Yoga Immersion Program were having the opportunity to set aside a specific amount of time for personal exploration of yoga, and being able to interact with a like-minded group. Well thought out program. It made me desire more!”

 

“Thank you so much for your time and expertise. Was a great experience.”

 

“I jumped to take this under your teaching. Thank you for offering this – I definitely learned a lot, and deepened my awareness of the depth of yoga.”

 

“Studying the Yoga Sutras has deepened my practice and helped me understand why yoga makes me feel so good. Loved the books!”

 

“I especially enjoyed discussing the ‘nuts and bolts’ of teaching/designing a class. Posture alignment was one of the most helpful things to me of the entire course.”

 

 

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Yoga Room Ann Arbor

Yoga Room Ann Arbor

Yoga Room Ann Arbor

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BY MADISYN TAYLOR
The further you distance yourself from your expectations, the more exhilarating your life will become.

 

As we endeavor to find personal fulfillment and realize our individual ideals, we naturally form emotional attachments to those outcomes we hope will come to pass. These expectations can serve as a source of stability, allowing us to draft plans based on our visions of the future, but they can also limit our potential for happiness by blinding us to equally satisfying yet unexpected outcomes. Instead of taking pleasure in the surprising circumstances unfolding around us, we mourn for the anticipation left unfulfilled. When we think of letting go of our expectations, we may find ourselves at the mercy of a small inner voice that admonishes us to strive for specific goals, even if they continually elude us. However, the opposite of expectation is not pessimism. We can retain our optimism and free ourselves from the need to focus on specific probabilities by opening our hearts and minds to a wide variety of possible outcomes.

 

When we expect a situation, event, or confrontation to unfold in a certain way, it becomes more difficult to enjoy the surprises that have the potential to become profound blessings. Likewise, we may feel that we failed to meet our inner objectives because we were unable to bring about the desired results through our choices and actions. Consider, though, that we are all at the mercy of the universal flow, and our best intentions are often thwarted by fate. As you grow increasingly open to unforeseen outcomes, you will be more apt to look for and recognize the positive elements of your new circumstances. This receptivity to the unexpected can serve you well when you are called upon to compromise with others, your life plans seem to go awry, or the world moves forward in an unanticipated manner by granting you the flexibility to see the positive aspects of almost any outcome.

 

The further you distance yourself from your expectations, the more exhilarating your life will become. Though a situation in which you find yourself may not correspond to your initial wants, needs, or goals, ask yourself how you can make the most of it and then do your best to adapt. Your life’s journey will likely take many unpredicted and astonishing twists because you are willing to release your expectations.

 

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