Celebrate the Sun!

Celebrate the Sun!

by Cali Bowman

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Yoga in sanskrit is defined as “union”.  The beginning of our practice is understanding this union through the connections of the body and breath; of meditation and clearing the mind; in health and happiness.     

Look deeper for this unification in everything and allow your gaze to lift to the sky.  All cultures, creatures, mountains and seasons on earth share this same larger connection- The Sun!  The sun shines upon all things… stimulating growth and power wherever it’s strong energy is absorbed.

Like everything in our ancient yogic tradition, this is old knowledge…Stonehenge and certain Egyptian pyramids were built to face the Summer Solstice setting sun.  Ancient Chinese cultures revered the Summer Solstice in loud and ecstatic celebrations.  Listen outside and you’ll hear the Mountain Chickadees singing louder and the Douglass Squirrels chittering in praise of the longest day of the year.

During Summer we have a chance to maximize our connection with the powerful sun. To build some awareness to the natural changes that occur with more sunshine try to….

  • Be more aware of the surge of solar energy and cultivate it to achieve great things physically and emotionally.  More sun means more power! 
  • Considered the most “yang” season, mirror the increased heat in your life and feel your heartbeat loudly, sing louder and express yourself to your fullest.
  • Fears naturally dissolve when we are full of the sun’s positive energy and we can literally see more clearly.  Accept challenges! 
  • Laugh often!  In Chinese tradition summer and laughter go hand in hand, so to laugh is to honor the sun.  *Note that sun helps the body release Serotonin, a mood enhancer.
  • Allow Spring’s plans to come into the fruition during Summer.  Mirror the plants surrounding you.
  • Eat vitamin D rich foods which are more easily synthesized by sunlight.  Vitamin D helps to maintain and enrich the immune and nervous systems. 
  • Blood vessels dilate under UV rays which can help lower blood pressure naturally.  Go out and feel how your circulatory system is reacting differently to the sun.
  • Face South for a moment of reverence to the sun each day.  Meditate or practice Sun Salutations to the South.
  • Wear the color red and enjoy fire!
  • Honor the Solar Plexus of the body located in the belly.  Take time to strengthen the stomach, eat clean & easily digestible foods and let your belly bathe in the sun!
  • Balance all this new solar energy by jumping in cold water = Lake time!

Let the sun guide us through our yoga practice and life’s journey, connecting us all along the way!    

Join me in celebration of the Sun on June 23 from 12-2pm at Tahoe Yoga Shala.  

In this workshop we honor the sun through stomach strengthening exercises and work to open this energy to the world through progressive back bending while meditating on the Solar Plexus.  

Our course will culminate with the creation of a Sun Mandala Mind Map while enjoying a cleansing tonic.  Finally a quick jaunt to the river for a cleansing dip to re-balance the inner fire.  Bring a bathing suit and hope to see you there!

REGISTER ONLINE

 

Donation Class for June, July and August

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In the months of June, July and August, the Shala's donation based classes will benefit Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association.  TAMBA is a volunteer-driven nonprofit organization that builds, maintains, and advocates for multi-use trails in Tahoe while providing education to all trail users and hosting fun community events. TAMBA works in partnership with land managers such as the U.S. Forest Service, Nevada State Parks, California State Parks, and the City of South Lake Tahoe. In addition, TAMBA helps maintain more than 100 miles of trail per year.

TAMBA Mission: TAMBA is dedicated to the stewardship of sustainable, multiple-use trails and to preserving access for mountain bikers through advocacy, education and promotion of responsible trail use.

Find more information on their website at http://www.tamba.org

Attend our weekly by donation (cash or check only please) class to support this resource in our community...

Ashtanga Improv: All-Levels on Sunday at 5:30 with Laura

 

Summer Savings

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Summer Savings

Throughout the month of June save 15% on your choice of either a             5-Class or 10-Class Card.

Use Promo Code: SUMMER
May be purchased Online or at the Shala. 

1. Limit one per member.

2. 5-Class Card is valid for 3 months. 10-Class Card is valid 6 months. Pass activates on the date of first use.

3. Pass is non-refundable, non-transferable, and cannot be combined with any other discounts.

4. NO EXCEPTIONS

Click Here to purchase online.

Yoga is for Everyone

by Andrea Snyder

20 years ago I took my first yoga class through the University of Nevada Reno. Although I was just taking it to fulfill credit requirements, I still remember that very first class vividly. While I didn't maintain a regular practice until about 10 years later, I feel that the experience affected what my practice is today. I would love to be able to offer that same gift to someone else. 

I am so excited to have the opportunity to talk to you a bit about my upcoming workshop/series; Yoga Basics, Series 1. This will be the first of a two part series on yoga which will cover everything that encompasses a comfortable and safe yoga practice. Each series section will be 6 weeks. You do not need to take the first one to do the second and vice versa, but it is recommended if you are brand new to yoga.

In Series 1, we will learn the fundamentals of yoga, i.e. basic poses(asanas), breath, modified sun salutations and an introduction to philosophy. You will learn the names of the more common poses in English as well as Sanskrit. Series 1 will start at the very beginning. What is yoga? Where did it come from? Every week we will go over breathing exercises and several different styles of yoga. My goal is that by the end of the series, you should be able to walk into just about any class and feel comfortable with your basic knowledge of poses and modifications. 

Series 2 will expand on what we have already learned, plus dive deeper into sun salutations and pranayama. As I mentioned before, the workshop will focus on yoga philosophy. I want to make this fun and engaging for everyone with plenty of opportunity for questions and lots of open minds and critical thinking. We will hear stories and learn how different poses are linked to different deities and the stories around them. 

Through yoga, I have formed bonds and built friendships that have lasted for years and years. You will always have a connection to the individuals that you attend any workshop with. It's almost as if you all share a special secret about life and the world itself. 

"Yoga takes you into the present moment. The only place where life truly exists" 

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Donation Classes for April and May

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In the months of and April and May the Shala's donation based classes will benefit Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center .  Their mission is to provide quality avalanche and snowpack information to local and visiting backcountry users in theEastern Sierra Nevada with the goal of helping them make better decisions while travelling in avalanche terrain.

More information on their website at www.esavalanche.org

Attend one of two weekly by donation (cash or check only please) classes to support this resource in our community...

1). Chanting on Monday at 3:00 p.m. with Kacey

2). Ashtanga Improv: All-Levels on Sunday at 5:30 with Laura

The Shala is proud to announce that in the months of February and March $450 was raised for local organization, Lake Valley Firefighters Foundation, through our community's attendance in the above by donation classes. Namaste.

Teacher Spotlight: Kacey Davy

Name: Kacey Davy

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Practicing yoga since: 2005

1) Tell us about the first yoga class you took. I had taken a class or two at the gym a few times but I started practicing regularly in 2005. My first class was a really advanced ashtanga class that was way over my head, but I didn’t let that scare me away. I was immediately drawn to the calming and grounding nature of yoga and loved the community environment as opposed to a gym.

Teaching since 2012

2) What do you remember of the first yoga class you taught? My teacher training program was actually an apprenticeship program that was ongoing for several years and so I don’t recall the “first class” I ever taught. My apprenticeship consisted of assisting with my teacher on a weekly basis and after about 9 months I began to sub classes, and then earned my own weekly class. What I remember most is supporting and being a part of our community on a daily basis and getting to know each student and their needs.

3) Who/what are your teachers? Why? My teacher is Zoe Mai, from Trishula Yoga in Collingswood, NJ. Trishula is a unique yoga school that offers traditional Ashtanga Mysore practice, yoga philosophy, Sanskrit and meditation practices.  I feel blessed to have the exposure to many aspects of yoga and a teacher who is established in these practices. I never imagined myself to be a teacher, yet Zoe saw something in me and for her faith, I am forever grateful. 

4) In what ways has yoga supported or impacted your life?  Yoga has completely transformed my life. I worked in the fashion industry and began practicing yoga as a way to balance out the stress from my hectic work life. Ultimately it’s because of the yoga that I transformed my goals and aspirations and ended up living in Tahoe! The practice of yoga brings awareness to your thoughts and behaviors and brings you closer to, or brings you back to who you really are. When I started to pay attention to my fast paced, stressed out lifestyle I started to change my career goals and eventually gave it all up to pursue a simpler, more active life in a community of like-minded people. Yoga supports everything that I do, it keeps me happy and healthy as well as strong and flexible to pursue all of the outdoor adventures Tahoe has to offer.

5) What does your current yoga practice include? Why? I practice Ashtanga Mysore style 5-6 days a week. I’m currently working on the third series – called sthira bhaga, often translated as strength and grace. Sthira means strength and the practice cultivates strength not only in the body but also the in the mind. It’s a challenging practice but it’s not about the poses. Every day is different and the practice is about keeping the energy moving so at least one or two days a week I practice the primary series. 

6) What currently inspires you? The students who tell me how yoga has changed their life inspire me. I often hear that the practice has given them clarity, or has helped to heal years of pain in the body. For some it helps to calm their minds and make them feel grounded. For others, it makes them strong and feeling good about themselves. I’m honored and humbled to be part of the process.

7) What secret helps you to maintain balance and stay healthy? My daily yoga practice keeps me healthy! Also, a short meditation at the end of my asana practice keeps me balanced and feeling grounded. 

8) A fun fact most people don’t know about you? I’ve walked over hot coals, twice! I participated in a couple of empowerment seminars that included a fire walk. I got burned pretty badly the second time and remember telling people at work that I cut my foot while walking barefoot outside for fear that people would think I was crazy walking over hot coals!

9) What do you want to share with the Shala community? I’d like to share that my teaching comes from a place of love. Love for each student in the moment, as you are, without expectation or judgment. I often hear that students are intimidated to try the Ashtanga Mysore method, because they ‘don’t want to think’ and rather be ‘told what to do’, the idea of having to memorize a set sequence seems like ‘too much work’. I’d like to share that there is empowerment in moving, breathing and learning the sequence on your own. Ashtanga also tells you exactly what to do, when to inhale and exhale and what comes next. You just need to memorize a little bit each time. And you’re not alone, we as the teachers work with you individually and help you to learn every step of the way. Every student has begun the same way, with learning the sun salutations and slowly adding on poses once they commit to showing up. Whether it’s once a week or more, the only way to progress is to actually show up and do the work. When you look at other students flowing, what appears to be ‘effortlessly’, through the vinyasas, what you don’t see is that they show up day after day, after month, after year and have committed to the practice.  They’ve struggled and persevered and keep showing up despite the challenges. This is a challenging practice however we modify and make it approachable for every age, and every body type. The Ashtanga method is a system for healing and transforming the body and the mind. The asana practice is a tool to quiet the mind and the stories that we tell ourselves. However it only works if you are willing to take that first step! Come try the Mysore method, there are no expectations, only love and support.

Spring Renewal

by Cali Bowman

Spring Renewal in Honor of the Spring Equinox

Spring is a time of renewal.  As the weather changes the snow melts into water and cleans away a layer of old, creating space for new growth.  Let us join in this natural process by gently cleansing the mind and body through attentive movement, meditation and eating habits.  I invite you to join me in spending a day or possibly even a few days cleansing. While cleansing, be attentive to your own body’s needs.  Add more foods or proteins if it feels necessary.  Make time for more rest and interact gently in your relationships and with the world.

Here are some practices to begin the process of renewal:

  • Cleanse your home.  Specifically removing, reducing or recycling any old and unnecessary clutter.  Dedicate a shelf or windowsill to defining beauty or simplicity in honor of renewal.
  • Reassess your products.  Observe if there are excessive chemicals, old make-up or unused products in your bathroom/shower.  This is the defined room for cleaning the body externally, so take sometime to make your bathroom a pure and cleansing space.
  • Spend some time de-cluttering your purse/backpack, car and even telephone.  Delete unnecessary messages and contacts. Disable unnecessary alerts, apps and other distractions.  Addressing the devices we use daily will aid in defining this as a time of complete renewal.
  • Cleanse your thoughts.  Note any recurrent self-talk and take the time to write down the most common statements you are making to yourself on a notepad throughout the day.  If these statements don’t serve you and are not moving you forward in life, than consider them toxic and make a point of gently sweeping them away whenever they arise. 
  • Drink several glasses of warm spring water throughout the day.  Occasionally add a wedge of lemon. Create a constant flowing river through the body for toxins to flush away.
  • While eating take a moment to settle in to the digestive process with silence and stillness.  Consider and taste all aspects of the food as you eat. Refrain from reading or watching TV.
  • When detoxifying the body opt for a vegetarian diet.  Reduce the consumption of processed foods and chemically treated foods.  Eat smaller portions, more often. If cleansing for multiple days try to maintain consistent eating times throughout the day.

Enjoy all the changes and feelings that arise during times of renewal.  Engage with any movement of energy by gifting yourself a peaceful bath or an elated walk when these shifts occur.

A sample meal plan for our day of cleansing.  

Early Morning Breakfast 6-8am

1 Grapefruit

  • option to add a drizzle of 1tsp Honey mixed with a pinch of Cardamom, Ground Ginger and Cayenne

Hot Tea- Nettle, Dandelion, Mint, Ginger

Brunch 8-10am

Quinoa or other grains such as Amaranth or Buckwheat

1 cup Quinoa

2 cups Spring Water or Vegetable Broth

I cup Fresh Cilantro     

2 whole Limes

2 tbsp Fresh Mint

2 tbsp Coconut Oil, Olive Oil or Ghee

1/4 Red Onion

Mineral Salt and Pepper to taste

*Boil the quinoa in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes without stirring.  Chop onion and mint. Add all other ingredients and mix with quinoa. Serve immediately warm, or refrigerate for later.

Steamed Vegetables

Include a variety of roots, stems and greens and create a beautiful array of colors.  Choose the the freshest vegetables available such as brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, chard, cauliflower, carrots and yams.   

Season with turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.  

*Save the vegetable water from the steamed vegetables and add sea salt or kelp.  

Early afternoon 3-5pm

Drink 2 cups of the vegetable broth created at lunch.

Dinner 5-6pm

Beet Soup

3 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

2 cups Beets

2 cups cabbage

4 carrots

1 potato/yam

1/4 yellow onion

3/4 cup Dill

Mineral salt and pepper

2 tbsp sunflower oil

Fresh cilantro or mint to top

*Chop all vegetables and add ingredients into a pot.  Covering the ingredients with twice their height of fresh spring water.  Boil, than reduce to a simmer for about 1 to 1.5 hours.

Hot Tea- Nettle, Dandelion, Mint, Ginger

*option to add 1/2 lemon, a splash of apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp honey

Click Here to Register for Cali's Spring Renewal Practice on March 20.

 

Keep Calm and Arrive On Time

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The Tahoe Yoga Shala is committed to creating a culture of mindfulness through the practice of yoga posture and philosophy.  The yoga method includes eight essential practices or limbs as listed in the "Yoga Sutras of Patanjali." The first wrung on this ladder is yama, universal disciplines, of which there are five.  Asteya, non-stealing, is the third universal discipline.  Recently, teachers and students alike have expressed a need for mindfulness around the importance of arriving for class on time - i.e. at least 5 minutes before the scheduled start time.  Consistently arriving late to class is a distraction that takes away from the experience of the students who arrive on time.  Yoga philosophy maintains that tardiness steals the time and energy of yourself and others.  If the ultimate goal of yoga is mind control then becoming aware of unconscious patterns is an opportunity to awaken to the habits of conditioned existence.  Seeing clearly requires consistent effort over a long period of time with devotion to the truth.  Practice is the willingness to return again and again to the chosen point of focus, in this case, alignment with one’s highest Self.  The heat generated by the conscious choice to strike out on a new path of thought, word or deed creates the sacred fire in which transformation occurs.

Of course, we understand that from time to time life - traffic, work, family, weather - happens. The opportunity for growth lies in a perpetual lateness that may extend beyond your yogalife into other areas of life as well. We support you in making it safely to class, even if once in a super blue blood moon you are a few minutes late. 

If you do happen to arrive late, as a courtesy to your fellow yogis…

1). Take a moment to come to a full stop, take a few deep breaths and gather your energy.

2). Wait until the opening meditation is complete and movement begins to enter the room.

3). Enter the room, open your mat and get settled slowly and quietly.

Other mindfulness practices include promptly exiting the practice space to make way for the students coming in for the next class and speaking quietly while waiting in the lobby for the previous class to end as a courtesy to any students who may be in final relaxation.

As a part of the Shala’s mission to provide a learning environment, you can expect additional reminders and tools in the form of signage, electronic newsletter, social media and blog posts to help you “keep calm and arrive on time.”  Integrity, service and leadership are just a few of the Shala’s core values and aspirations.  The Shala and its community of teachers reaffirm its commitment to respecting the time of all of its members by honoring our agreement to begin and end our classes on time.    

Donation Classes to benefit LVFF

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In the months of and February & March the Shala's donation based classes will benefit local organization, Lake Valley Firefighters Foundation. LVFF service programs include complimentary CPR certification, elementary school fire safety education, rescue programs and the purchase of specialized equipment for the support of the department and the community at large. Last winter LVFF hosted a "avalanche beacon basin" for community members to come and practice location and digging up lost beacons to mimic the emergency rescue of a partner trapped in an avalanche. Along with this program the department now fills avalanche backpack compressed air cylinders for free. 

Attend one of two weekly by donation (cash or check only please) classes to support this resource in our community...

1). Chanting on Monday at 3:00 p.m. with Kacey

2). Ashtanga Improv: All-Levels on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. with Laura

The Shala is proud to announce that in the months of December & January $535 was raised for local organization, Christmas Cheer, through our community's attendance in the above by donation classes. Namaste.
 

It’s In Our Sharing

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by Brent Grueter

A question.  What is life?  It is a question that we can all ask, but not always see the answer.  It is not simple, yet it is. 

I look to yoga for more.  The word itself means to yoke or make whole, to bring together or to unite.  What is it we wish to bring together?  Our mind, body, spirit, breath, emotions? How?

It's through our actions, our relationships, our communications.  We grow through everything that we do.  So it's not simply what we each do in life, but how we do it.  How we live.  Our ability to empathize.  It is our cooperation that has served us.  We may think that in understanding others and the rest of the world that we may lose our truth, but it is in our ability to love, care and listen to others that we can find our truth. It's in our sharing.  

I would like to talk about partner yoga.  It is not an alternative to your practice, but it is a great addition.  Playful, rejuvenating and connective.  A way to bring the peace, freedom and happiness of your own practice to others. By taking the time to trust and respect another, we can build communication and true listening.  This along with a gentle touch and gravity can help us release fear and pain. Working side by side with another connecting the breath, moving together and grounding down.  The practice can be simple or complex.  It can be a way to bring a partner, loved one, friend or family member into the light.

If you are curious or interested in trying partner yoga please join Crystal and I on February 11th from 12:30pm to 3:30pm. 

REGISTER ONLINE HERE