World’s Oldest Yoga Teacher– 95 Years Young!

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95 years young, Tao Porchon-Lynch  

April 26th in Overland Park, KS

Two workshops at Mark Blanchard’s Progressive Power Yoga

3665 W. 95th St, Overland Park, KS (In Ranchmart)

Saturday, April 26

10:00am to Noon:  “There is Nothing You Cannot Do:” Aging Gracefully: Wisdom Through the Ages

2:00-4:00pm:  2.5 hour Advanced Practice “The Eternal Energy of Yoga”

Tao Porchon-Lynch is truly living proof of the effectiveness of a life-long yoga practice. Her colorful life of glamour and grit, from marching with Gandhi to the French Resistance and heyday of Hollywood, brings a unique and unparalleled experience to her students.

            Join us as we host this inspiring 95-years-young yoga grand master and explore the eternal energy of yoga. Tao will integrate breath and movement, and share with us the experience of her “yoga tango.”  Using the four pillars of yoga-pranayama (breath work), mudras (gestures), bandhas (energetic locks) and chakras (energy centers), we will explore the rich potential of the body to renew, heal and revitalize.

More information on workshop details and prices can be found here. More information on Tao can be found here.

new Mommy and Me Session: April 4- April 24.

Yay!  Little Yogi’s are the best… Bring your little one for Mommy and Me Yoga Sessions and you can both benefit from peace and joy of your yoga practice.  Thursdays, 5:30 pm April 4- April 24 at Mark Blanchard’s Progressive Power Yoga.  located in Ranchmart Shopping Center at 95th and Mission in Overland Park, Kansas.

$40 for the 4 week session with Lisa.   Spaces are limited!

hadlie and mat

 

Not sure what to expect?  Read here.

Ashtanga Workshop with Jörgen Christiansson.

Inspiring and humble Ashtanga teacher Jörgen Christiansson will be in Kansas City for a workshop at Maya Yoga the last weekend of April.  I’ve practiced with Jörgen in Los Angeles and couldn’t be happier to recommend his workshop to all yogis.  He has a beautiful spirit!  Previous Ashtanga experience is required for most sessions, but anyone is welcome to the Saturday afternoon session.

Friday, April 25th, 5:30-8pm: Primary Series, with Pranayama and Q & A session
Jörgen will lead you through the complete Primary Series, using traditional counting and correct vinyasa methods. Experience the benefits of this detoxifying practice.

Saturday, April 26th, 9:30am-Noon: Mysore Style Class
A group class, where students individually practice at their own pace. Jörgen will be providing one-on-one instruction and adjustments to the students. Prior Mysore style class experience is required.

Saturday, April 26th, 2:00-4:30pm: Sthiram & Sukham (Steady & Ease) Philosophy and Asana Class
We will explore Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.46: “Sthira Sukhma Asanam- the posture should be steady, comfortable and grounded in joy.”

Sunday, April 27th, 9:30am-Noon: Primary Series into the Second Series, with Q & A Session.
Jörgen will lead you through the full Primary Series and give an Intro to the Second Series.

Full Workshop: $180, plus tax ($196.83); Individual Class: $50, plus tax ($54.68)
Please sign up at the studio or send in a check to:

Maya Yoga
215 W. 18th Street

Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64108

questions: kathleen@mayayoga.com; 816-679-1053

Jörgen Christiansson is a certified KPJAYI (Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute) teacher. He first started practicing Yoga in his native country Sweden at age 13. Jörgen has traveled extensively throughout India, until meeting his teacher Sri.K. Pattabhi Jois in 1988. With over 20 years of teaching experience, Jörgen continues the tradition of Ashtanga Yoga in the same manner as taught to him by his Guru. Jörgen has a unique ability to sense each student’s limits and capabilities. With his positive and inspiring nature, he safely helps his students break through old patterns and fears. 

Jörgen resides in Los Angeles and is the owner of Omkar 108 Yoga: http://www.omkar108.com.

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More information can be found on Maya’s website.

happy spring.

To celebrate the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, get yourself outdoors and reflect on the wonder of nature.  This poem, taken from Mary Oliver’s West Wind, is the perfect inspiration.  Breathe in the promise of newness.  Open your hands to the world.

Spring.      by Mary Oliver
“This morning
two birds
fell down the side of the maple tree
like a tuft of fire
a wheel of fire
a love knot
out of control as they plunged through the air
pressed against each other
and I thought
how I meant to live a quiet life
how I meant to live a life of mildness and meditation
tapping the careful words against each other
and I thought—
as though I were suddenly spinning like a bar of silver
as though I had shaken my arms and lo! they were wings—
of the Buddha
when he rose from the green garden
when he rose in his powerful ivory body
when it turned to the long dusty road without end
when he covered his hairs with ribbons and the petals of flowers
when he opened his hands to the world.”
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What is your favorite thing about spring?  How will you greet the freshness of this season?

Looking forward to your thoughts.

-lisa

yoga habit to yoga blessing.

 habit to blessing.

Yoga is so much more than our Tuesday night 90 minute stretching at our yoga studio.  It has the possibility to be the most important habit that you will ever undertake.  Here’s why:

“Yoga becomes a habit when we realize our body simply feels better after we practice.

It becomes a habit when we return day after day to our mat, yearning for courage and strength in our lives.

It becomes a habit when we yearn for the moment of ease and serenity that we experience after our yoga practice and wish to carry it with us when we leave this place.

It becomes a habit when we yearn for this feeling of all-encompassing grace and delight in the healing it brings to our Spirit.

It becomes a blessing when we yearn for others to experience the same things.”

-lisa

At the beginning of class a few months ago, I challenged you to spend time thinking of all the ways your practice has been a blessing in your life.  I asked you to write these down on a piece of paper and bring it to class the following week.  A few of you smiled, nodded, and then promptly forgot your homework (or ignored my directions? I’m not sure which…).  So, now, here’s your chance.

You know that your yoga practice IS a blessing in your life.  You’ve told me that it  weaned you off your daily Tylenol for back pain. You’ve told me that it reduced insomnia and you can now sleep for six hours a night. You’ve told me that you caught yourself before falling on the icy sidewalk because your balance has improved so dramatically.  You’ve told me that your 10K split time was faster because your open hip flexors allowed a longer stride out.  You’ve told me that you were better able to handle the grief of losing your father to cancer because of your mindful meditation practice.  I want to hear more.

How has your yoga practice been a blessing to you?  Don’t just think about it.  Write it down.  Share it.  Leave a comment, email me, facebook me, text me.  It can be just one word.  It can be an essay.  Stretching our bodies is a good habit.  Appreciating the blessings in our life is an even better habit.

**Giveaway!  Responding in the comment section of this page enters your name into a drawing for a Free Giveaway:  A small book entitled 1,001 Ways to Live in 10001 waysthe Moment  by Barbara Ann Kipfer.

 

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

-lisa

3 lessons to learn: how to become ‘less-stressed.’

My best friend ate an acorn yesterday.  He snapped up, chomped up, and swallowed that acorn whole before I even knew that he’d sniffed out something to eat.  Immediately, I freaked out:  I’m fairly sure that dogs are allergic to acorns.  (I didn’t freak out as much as I did when Russell ate an entire piece of pizza on the sidewalk outside The Bronx last fall… but, still, I was not happy about the acorn.)

Russell SmallAll day long, I waited for him to get sick, washcloth on hand to prevent any doggie-puke from drying on my bed.  And you know what?  He was fine.  He is fine.  He’s a tough cookie.

My dog-mom anxiety was unwarranted and (probably?) unhelpful.  Last night before drifting off to sleep, I remembered an article written by my dear friend Carrie Wood, called “The Acorn Lesson in Healing.”  Carrie is a Spiritual Counselor based in Ontario, Canada, and was one of my first spiritual mentors.  In this article, she remembers a similar, slightly traumatic experience from her childhood involving an acorn and gives us Three Lessons to become “less-stressed.”

She writes:

“I barreled out of the house barefoot to run and get my father, and ended up jamming an acorn between my big toe and toe nail.  I’m sure I cried bloody murder, and in my young eyes, there was enough blood to prove it.  Dad swept me off my feet and rushed me to the bathroom, resting my bloodied legs in the bathtub.  He was calm and collected. . . I on the other hand was freaking out.   My heart was racing, I went into a full blown sweat, and my breathing was shallow and frantic.

Dad was searching through the medicine cabinet and then came towards me with what appeared to be tape of some kind, bandages, and a bottle of what I thought to be rubbing alcohol.  “Don’t put that on me, it’ll sting!” I cried.  Without hesitation, he told me to close my eyes, and just keep taking really deep breaths. 

Before I could finish my first “deep breath” that acorn was yanked out from under my toe-nail, and something poured over my foot, I looked down at what appeared to be a tub filled with blood, and in my panic, he said,  “It’s Iodine.  It’s red, see!“ and poured more out to prove my blood loss would not be fatal.   I believed him.   Up to that moment, I feared a trip to the hospital; poking, prodding, and even surgery!  (I know, what a drama queen, eh?)  Per request, I resumed my deep breaths while he dressed my wound.

Lesson #1: 

Thoughts drive our emotions!

My heightened panic was a direct result of worrying about what my future might be like.  I suspect the pain I was experiencing was also rooted more in my worries than the actual experience of the moment.

Lesson #2:

Where my attention goes, energy flows! 

Focusing on my breath and more specifically, taking deep breaths taught me how to redirect my thoughts.  As long as I was focused on my fearful outcomes, my body was in agreement . . . my heart rate increased, my breath was quick and shallow and my anxiety increased.  When my attention shifted to breathing with intention, I increased the amount of oxygen to my lungs, slowed my heart rate, and broke my “stress cycle”.

Lesson #3:

Help from another person opens our situation to resources beyond our awareness.

I learned that day, that my father had served as a medic in the military and  previously worked caring for burn victims in a hospital ward.  Even without his background if he was unable to manage the situation, he would have called on someone who could.  The small scar on my right big toe was proof of my traumatic experience and retold “swapping horror stories” throughout my childhood.  No matter what emergency my parents responded to, my brother’s many broken bones, my sister’s cracked head, the tick burrowed into my head. . . their response was basically the same.  I am aware that there are far more horrific injuries many of us have encountered in our lives.  My story is not meant to trivialize more harmful situations, or belittle very real problems.  It is simply a story to illustrate how to begin to heal what is broken, one step at a time.

Don’t worry, everything will be fine.

Take deep breaths and calm down.

We’ll get you taken care of…”

My Russell was fine.  Carrie was fine.  We will ALL be fine… but we must learn to consciously control our breath, our thoughts, and our constant emotional reactions to stressful situations.  That’s were yoga comes in.  Trust me, it takes practice.   I hope these lessons are helpful to you in your search for a life of happiness, health, and wholeness.

-lisa

Carrie’s article can be found here on her blog, To Make Whole. She would love to hear from you.

how to deep clean your yoga mat.

It’s time: Spring Cleaning!  (I love it… clearing out the old dust, making way for fresh air in my house and organizing my closet… it’s the best.)  Which means it’s warm enough to hang your yoga mat outside to dry.  Finally.

You probably already use an after-practice cleaning spray on your mat before rolling it up and taking it home, but when was the last time you REALLY scrubbed it?  (Dirt is ok to lie in when you are camping.  Not when you are at the yoga studio… or in your house… Mike.)

mat cleaner

Here’s my regimen:

  1. Rinse your bathtub.
  2. Lay your yoga mat in the tub, as flat as possible.
  3. Assemble the following:
    1. Borax Household cleaner
    2. Salt (cheap is fine!)
    3. Scrubbing brush (like the one you use to clean your shower)
  4. Liberally sprinkle (read: dump) Borax and Salt on the dirtiest parts of your yoga  mat.
  5. Wet the scrubbing brush
  6. Focus on the areas of most use (where your hands and feet are in Downward Facing Dog).
  7. Scrub, Rinse, Scrub, Rinse, flip your mat over.
  8. Repeat.
  9. Hang your yoga mat outside on your porch to dry, or drape it over the backs of two chairs.  (No mat maker will ever suggest putting your yoga mat in your dryer.  It breaks down the durability.  I do it anyway, if it’s too cold outside.)
  10. Spritz your mat with your favorite Mat Cleaner, I like these for extra smell-good power.

Make sure you let your mat dry completely before your next practice.  Wet mats can be slippery!

Why these products?

  1. Borax Household Cleaner:  Although there is some debate over the merits of Borax, most DIY experts will contest that it is relatively safe, non-toxic and cheap.  It can be found in the cleaning aisle at most hardware stores.
  2. Salt: Gentle abrasion helps clean the dirt from porous pockets in Yoga Mats.  It’s safe, non-toxic, and cheap. Unlike dish soap or other cleaners, if residue remains on your mat after rinsing, salt will actually increase your grip while practicing.  You won’t slip when your hands start to sweat.

Practice saucha and deep-clean your mat at least once a month, or more often if you are practicing daily.  Happy Spring Cleaning!

~lisa

show up.

get up and show up.

your yoga is only 1% theory and 99% practice.  get up.  show up.

I ran into a friend this week who “took the summer off” from yoga classes because her kids were out of school. (Yay for summer! And yay for spending time with kiddos!) She promised she’d make it back to class in September.  September turned to January.  Now it’s March.  It was her third class back.  She felt amazing.  She felt rejuvenated.  She felt fresh and solid and glad to be back to a routine.  “I mean, I do my Sun Salutations and everything after I get off my treadmill, but it’s not the same.” she confided. “Sometimes I just need a little accountability.  I’m a better me when I do my yoga practice.”  That’s right, lady:

Get up, dress up (or dress down… I wear yoga pants, which are practically pajamas, every day) show up, and never give up.  

See you on the mat.

~lisa