fall 2018 special events and workshops.

It is always my honor to share the teachings of yoga. Sometimes, I look at out the class of students gathered together at Westport Yoga KC and am stunned; I think, “This is so cool! These people are so eager to learn! They CHOSE to put their self-care at the top of their already-full ‘priority list’ and show up on the yoga mat to practice and learn these incredible teachings!”

And I know– life’s ‘priority list’ does fill up quickly. Mine does, too. But here’s the thing: the teachings of yoga show us how to navigate our lives with grace and commit to a gentler way of being that is grounded in self-care, care of others and care of our communities. As Donna Farhi says:

“Yoga does not remove us from the reality or responsibilities of everyday life but rather places our feet firmly and resolutely in the practical ground of experience. We don’t transcend our lives; we return to the life we left behind in hopes of something better.” 

I offer you this array of Special Events and Workshops in hope that you will firmly and resolutely choose self-care to heal your everyday experience. Please join me. Registration for Fall 2018 Events and Workshops opens July 18, 2018 here: Westport Yoga KC Pricing

September 2018

  • Stay-Cation Yoga Retreat with Lisa Ash Drackert. Saturday September 8, 2018. from 8 am- 2 pm. Details Here.
  • Meditation for Stress Relief, a 3 week course meeting on Thursday mornings June 13, 20 and 27 from 9-11 am. Details Here.
  • Writing-to-Wholeness Workshop with Julie Edge and Lisa Ash Drackert. a 6 week course on mindfulness and writing. Begins Sunday 23, 2018 4:00 pm.  Details Here.

October 2018

  • Stay-Cation Yoga Retreat with Lisa Ash Drackert. Saturday October 10, 2018 from 8 am- 2 pm.  Details Here.
  • Fasica Release Friday with Lisa Ash Drackert. Friday October 12, 2018 at 6 pm.  Details Here.
  • Myofascial Release Workshop with Lisa Ash Drackert, Saturday October 20 at 2 pm.  Details Here.

November 2018

  • Restore and Meditate Advanced Teacher Training Weekend. 25 Continuing Education Units for Yoga Teachers: November 9-11, 2018.  Details Here.
  • Gratitude Thanksgiving Candlelight Flow, Donation Class befitting Rose Brooks Center: Wednesday November 21, 6 pm.  Details Here.

December 2018

  • Meditation for Stress Relief, a 3 week course meeting on Sunday afternoons December 2, 9 and 16 from 2-4 pm.  Details Here.

Registration opens July 18, 2018! These events WILL sell out! Invest in yourself today: Westport Yoga KC

are you sometimes stressed? (me. to.)

Ok, so I understand that stress can make us stronger (hello Stress Wood and Biosphere 2) but I don’t actually know anyone who wakes up and says: “Bring on the stress! I want to endure and persevere today!” with a great big smile on their face.

I sure don’t. I sometimes feel overwhelmed and stressed just by the IDEA of being overwhelmed and stressed. The best way I have found to acknowledge, transmute and transform stress is meditation. Meditation has about a million psychological and physiological benefits: enhanced immune system, increased brain nueroplasticity and decreased sense of alienation and anxiety to name a few.

But my absolute favorite benefit is how it decreases our stress response. Something we all need. And it’s something we can all learn.

I love introducing Meditation as a technique to lower stress and increase hope, health and happiness. I shared a technique I call “60 second quick-fix” for stress on my blog last spring and have an extensive offering of free Guided Meditations here.

But my absolute favorite way is by teaching my 3 Week Course: Introduction to Meditation for Stress Relief. I teach it twice a year and it always sells out. This updated curriculum includes new research based on the MBSR technique, clinical trials and every day application of mindfulness. Please join me:

Introduction to Meditation for Stress Relief

Sundays December 3, 10 and 17, 2017  2 pm-4 pm

Investment:

This 3-part series is a perfect introduction to Meditation. We will explore the modern-day benefits of meditation and how you can integrate the practice into your life to relieve stress.

In each session, I’ll teach Breathing Techniques, Concentration Techniques and Meditation Techniques which cultivate attention, deepen focus and embrace stillness. You’ll have the opportunity to practice meditation in an encouraging group setting and engage in conversation with classmates. You will also learn ‘quick-fixes’ to trigger the relaxation response in your brain and body. The course includes a take-home manual for future reference and suggestions on how to successfully plan your at-home meditation practice.

(Limit 18 students; please note: there are no partial or full refunds for this event.)

 

special event: February 18. candlelight flow vinyasa class.

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candlelightflow class feb 18Join us for a SPECIAL CLASS to welcome the Lenten Season and celebrate Ash Wednesday (pun intended)  at Westport Yoga KC.

Candlelight Flow Vinyasa Class
Wednesday February 18, 2015
7:30 pm at Westport Yoga KC

(All Levels Welcome.  Regular Class Prices Apply.)

The Lenten Season is a time to welcome change and renewal into your life.  This Special “New Moon Candlelight Flow” Vinyasa Class is designed to bring you into a state of deep meditation through movement.  All Levels and All Ages of yogis are welcome to practice with us.   Not sure what ‘Vinyasa Flow’ is?  Learn more here.

Westport Yoga KC
4304 Bell Street, Fl 2
Kansas City, MO 64111

 

candlelightflow class feb 18

tunes 2.0

After teaching at the Lululemon Plaza Store on Mother’s Day, I’ve received a slew of requests for my rockin’ Vinyasa Playlists… I won’t reveal all my secrets (you need to come practice with me to hear them all!) but here is a screen shot of my playlist called LuluParty.  Happy Listening.

lululemon party

 

See you soon,

-lisa

Westport Yoga featured at Lululemon Stores

Great News! Westport Yoga KC is the featured Yoga Studio for the month of May at the Lululemon Athletica Country Club Plaza location.  Come take a free Sunday morning Brunchasana with our inspiring teachers.  All classes begin at 11:00 am on Sundays; bring a mat, a friend, and a Sunday smile.

I’ll be teaching on Mother’s Day morning: May 11, 11:00 am.

View More: http://janamariephotos.pass.us/lisa-ash-yoga

Come share in a nourishing practice (bring your mother) and then head to a nourishing brunch with your family.

For more information visit Westport Yoga KC or the Lululemon KC Plaza site.

See you there!  Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

small momma

-lisa

spring specials on Private Instruction.

SprView More: http://janamariephotos.pass.us/lisa-ash-yogaing Specials on Private Yoga Sessions are here!   Work one-on-one with Lisa to fine-tune your current asana alignment or to learn yoga for the first time.

Classes sold in packages of 3 sessions.

3 Lessons ONLY $205  (over $20 in savings)

Classes can be scheduled as Private (1 person) or Semi-Private Lessons (2 to 3 people). 

(Prices valid April 10- April 30, 2014. Must be redeemed in full within 4 months of purchase date. Cash or check only.)

Email ash.lisamarie at gmail.com or use the form at the bottom of this page.

Locations and times are negotiable; private sessions are generally scheduled for Saturday or Sunday afternoons.  Early mornings are also available.  

Aparigraha April 101: introduction to the how and why of life.

Aparigraha April 101: introduction to the how and why of life.

“You know,” Eric confided in me the other day, “I sorta wish my family wasn’t used to the lifestyle we live… my kids have so many toys that they are constantly bored. We are constantly stressed about cleaning our house and maintaining everything.  I get up every day and go to my J-O-B, but that’s all it is: a job to keep the money rolling in.”  Eric told me he wished that he could do something different with his days, perhaps become a personal trainer or a physical therapist, but he felt like there was too much baggage holding him back.  I told him: be patient, go for it when the time is right, and take the Aparigraha Challenge… maybe he’d discover that he didn’t have to hold on to all the things holding him back.

Aparigraha is the Sanskrit word for the yama commonly translated as non-hoarding. (Side note: I’m not talking about obsessive hoarders like that TV show…. I know Eric’s wife and she keeps a clean house; I’m talking about the simple non-relinquishment of all the ‘excess stuff’ in your life that magnifies discontent).  I’m challenging all my students and readers, for the month of April, to take my weekly Aparigraha Challenges.  Every week, I’ll post one 5 point challenge.  Read the post, (feel free to commiserate with my failures and celebrate with my successes when appropriate), reflect on your current lifestyle, and then follow the directions for one week.

Ok, so what does aparigraha look like and why would the yoga sages even care about how disorganized my closet is?

First is the obvious: having more ‘stuff’ in your life requires more energy to take care of that ‘stuff.’  Do you need one car?  Possibly, probably.  In Kansas City, Missouri, the answer is probably yes, because this is a geographically expansive city and distances between work and home are likely to be too far to bike or bus for most people.  But, do you need three cars?  Probably, no.  If you own three cars, you spend an exorbitant amount of time and resources taking care of those cars, licensing those cars, changing the oil in those cars, etc.  Time that could instead be spent loving your family, engaging in acts of personal healing such as yoga and meditation, or in service to others.  All actions that will, undoubtedly, enhance the quality of your lived experience and your community.  With the money you are not using to take care of three cars, you could save someone’s life (countless national organizations are looking for cures to chronic diseases like the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society) or create a more just and sacred community where all children are embraced as people of worth (check out The Children’s Place KC and Operation Breakthrough, which are outstanding local non-profits providing children a safe place be loved).

Have you ever heard the motto, attributed to Mother Theresa, “Live simply so that others can simply live”?  That’s what we are going for here.

The second perspective of aparigraha is internal.  Practicing aparigraha, at its finest, is practicing letting go of everything that is no longer serving you.  This means abandoning anger, righteousness, egotistical desires, frustration, and complaining.  It means letting go of worn out beliefs, deserting societal structures that you feel are unethical, and maturing your spiritual understandings.

This month, we will delve into the nuances of aparigrahaAparigraha doesn’t necessitate total renunciation of material items.  (I happen to think that, yes, I do need all four tubs of Christmas decorations that are stored in the basement, Mike.  And yes, I do need an entire set of Pyrex dishes, not just one bowl.  I’ll hold on to those, thank you.)  Instead, aparigraha is about letting go of things accumulated in our spiritual lives, emotional lives, and physical lives that no longer bring joy.

The Yoga Sutras say: “If you persevere in overcoming possessiveness, you will wake up to the how and why of life.” (adapted, II.39)

When my life is overrun by ‘stuff,’ I can’t see clearly in my busy, hurried, overwhelmed life.  It’s like looking for my missing sock in the depths of my sock drawer and realizing that my sock drawer has been invaded by scarves.  I can’t see to the back of the drawer to find the object of my desire (my REI merino wool socks, as it turns out) until the scarves are removed, re-folded, re-considered, and returned to their rightful place.  Overcoming possessiveness means learning through your yoga practice (that you don’t need socks? … we practice barefoot, after all) that the bigger picture in life is much less complicated than it seems:

You are perfect, whole and complete.  You are nothing less than a manifestation of Divine goodness and are created to exist in a state of authentic love.  You are meant for health, happiness, and wholeness at your Soul’s level.  That is the promise of yoga. 

Everything else is just stuff.

Time to wake up to the how and why of life.  Take the Aparigraha April Challenge:

  1. Read.  Each week, I will post actions YOU can take to live a simpler, aparigraha-inspired lifestyle.
  2. Try.  Follow my recommendations.  At least try one.
  3. Share.  Tell me how it’s going.  Individuals succeed at a higher rate when we are accountable to a community.  Share your successes, frustrations, failures and ‘aha moments’ with me through the comment section of this site, or email me at ash.lisamarie at gmail.com
  4. Breathe.  Making a lifestyle change takes longer than one week, and often longer than the required habit-changing 21 days.  Give yourself time.  Be Patient.  But go for it.  (Even you, Eric.)

The challenges will include everything from cleaning out your closet, healing your heart, reducing waste in your home, conserving the Earth’s precious resources, and relinquishing habits that no longer serve you.  Challenge yourself to live simply and tell me all about it.  I double-dog dare you.

-lisa

IMG_1831

photo cred EMA

 “If you persevere in overcoming possessiveness, you will wake up to the how and why of life.” (adapted, II.39)

practice loving-kindness

loving-kindness.

Your yoga practice is a great teacher because it presents this lesson: how to accept what our bodies are able to do (and how they look!) while simultaneously challenging our bodies to move beyond their perceived limits to find more freedom of movement and mobility.  In the process, we learn to be gentle with our self-judgments and with our lower backs.  We learn to love our bodies and love the simple fact of being able to move.  And we do the best we can.
The Yoga asanas are just one way we learn, through trial and error, through sweat and success, how to stop striving to find love outside of ourselves, and instead, find love inside.
This can only be done by practicing loving-kindness.  World-renowned author and Buddhist monk Pema Chödrön presents the talk “The Freedom to Love”, where she elucidates her modern-day interpretation of the ancient practice of loving-kindness.  This is also called metta meditation.
It’s worth the watch. 

In this short video, she explains how learning to practice loving-kindness changes your perspective on life.  Loving-kindness makes “a big difference in terms of your ability to be able to relax with yourself… It’s sort of like connecting with the best of ourselves,” Chödrön explains.
Yoga is the same way: it offers us a chance to connect with the best of ourselves.
I’ve found, personally, that when I connect with and appreciate ‘the best in myself’ I’m more appreciative and accepting of ‘the worst of myself.’  When I’m practicing loving-kindness toward myself I’m more accepting of my own flaws.  When my anxiety is high, or my self-esteem low, or when I’m feeling guilty and overwhelmed trying to meet the impossibly high expectations of others, I take a big yoga breath and remind myself: I’m doing the best I can.  This is the same thing I learned to say when I repeatedly fell on my face trying to learning pincha mayurasana (forearm stand) for three years.  I’m doing the best I can, I’d say.
When I learned to say this, to love myself despite my biggest anxieties, I also learned to accept (with more ease) people in my life who triggered my anxieties. This was not easy.  But, the more I practiced loving-kindness towards myself, the easier it was for me to realize:
 “That person is probably doing the very best he can… even if it’s not what I would want him to do.”  
Then I could relax (a little bit more).  And love (a little bit more).  Want to be able to relax into yourself?  (Even it it’s just for a few blessed minutes?)  Well.  Here’s your chance.
Finish February, the month of LOVE, by learning this metta meditation.

loving-kindness-e1355686322789

Say it every day.  With sincerity.  Start loving yourself a little more.  Let me know how it goes.

*Note: parts of this blog post and this image can be found on Westport Yoga’s blog accessed here. 

-lisa