As a favor to my students who attend class with me regularly, here is that list I promised! Please continue to come practice, and enjoy these wonderful teachers while I am traveling and teaching elsewhere this summer.
Monday June 16 Level 2 10:30-12 SUPRITI
Wed June 18 Level 1 9:30-11 ZOREH
Thurs June 19 Prenatal 10-11:30 KATJA
Thurs June 19 Vinyasa 5:30-6:30 MAGGIE
Sunday June 22 Restorative 11:30-1 MAGGIE
Monday June 23 Level 2 10:30-12 MAGGIE
Wed June 25 Level 1 9:30-11 EMILY
Thurs June 26 Prenatal 10-11:30 EMILY
Thurs June 26 Vinyasa 5:30-6:30 EMILY
Sunday July 20 Restorative 11:30-1 ZHENYA
Monday July 21 Level 2 10:30-12 MAGGIE
Wed July 23 Level 1 9:30-11 ZOREH
Thurs July 24 Prenatal 10-11:30 EMILY
Thurs July 24 Vinyasa 5:30-6:30 EMILY
Thurs Aug 7 Prenatal 10-11:30 KATJA
Thurs Aug 7 Vinyasa 5:30-6:30 KIM
Wed Nov 13, 2013: RELAXATION FOR PLEASURE & ORGASM
Both classes are 7:30-9pm at the Self Serve Store in Nob Hill, Albuquerque. Preregister HERE or call 505-265-5815.
Yoga practice can create access to your ability to feel what is happening in the body, strengthen your confidence in your body/ mind ability, balance hormones, build awareness, tone, and ability to relax the pelvic floor muscles and pelvic & abdominal organs, increase circulation and oxygen to various vital systems, including the endocrine and sexual/ reproductive systems, neutralize the nervous system, which enables increase of both mental/ physical/ emotional relaxation (parasympathetic nervous system response) and simultaneously, sexual excitement/ tension (sympathetic nervous system response), build emotional stability, give insight to what and where are your “edges,” increase feelings of vitality, vigor, and enthusiasm to experience new things, and help support feelings of gratitude, selflove, compassion, and connection, and creativity.
Relaxation opens the gateway to pleasure and orgasm.
Mental Distraction takes us away from our bodily awareness, out of the present moment, and dilutes the intensity and availability of feeling turned on/ pleasure, and challenges out ability to connect with intuition, and our partner(s). The mind habitually will wander; Focus/ Awareness takes practice. Be compassionate with yourself and, as possible, be entertained by the mind, rather than get critical/ frustrated with it.
Sound (especially when long and low toned) helps release the throat/pelvic floor, lengthens exhalation and therefore quiets the nervous system, channels focus/ energy, intensifies pleasure sensations, helps release endorphins, and can assist orgasmic release. Also great for claiming space and giving positive feedback to partners!
Playful Curiosity is a great way to deepen into sexual discovery. Don’t confuse Sincerity with Seriousness. Let what feels good and fun guide you. Keep shifting back into the body’s feedback loop and away from the narrative of the mind.
Stability and Freedom are 2 sides of 1 coin. The more we feel stable, safe, organized, and grounded, the more we can truly let go, get vulnerable, expand, and get ecstatic.
~ Presence building practices, Yoga practice, and physical support (inside: strength, body awareness. outside: props, pillows, walls…)
~ Pelvic Floor Work: healthy tone, awareness and strength
~ Femur grounding to support gentle release of the psoas, pelvic organs, and pelvic floor muscles.
~ Alignment (in our bodies, as well as with our partners)
~ Slowing down to feel what is there.
~ Good, Clear Boundaries and Agreements
Ahisma: Non violence Santosha: Contentment
Bramacharya: Respectful, Healthy Utilization of Sexual Energy
Svadyaya: Self Study(internal learning) Samadhi: Total Freedom/ Bliss/ Self Realization
(from Yamas & Niyamas, the foundations of yoga: in our minds, bodies, and with others)
Exploring embodied sexuality may bring up fears or triggers, yet the very techniques of presence, breath, and feeling through what is there, can be effective ways to release layers of tension, trauma, heavy emotionality, or resistance.
Emily and I will be teaching a fun, playful, yummy Partner Yoga Workshop Saturday, Oct 19th 2-5pm at High Desert Yoga.What could be a better way to spend an afternoon than with nourishing, grounding, playful, delicious assisted poses? Practicing with a partner is one of the most effective ways to experience the aim and meaning of yoga – union – union of mind and body, of self and others, and with the eternal Self that resides in each of us.
In this playful workshop, partners will learn to assist each other in going more deeply into a variety of asana, including standing postures, forward folds, backbends, and twists. The practice will be at turns invigorating, playful, and restorative. Find a partner at the workshop or bring your friend, lover, or yoga buddy. Expect to challenge your limits, connect with your inner self, and connect with the people around you as we continue together on the path to unity.
A partner’s touch can provide strength, awaken insight, invite release, or simply bring a deeper awareness of the present moment – awareness of breath, body, and mind; awareness of habitual patterns, attitudes, and emotions. You and your partner will help each other expand beyond the limits of habit, challenge assumptions, and perhaps move into postures that might otherwise seem inaccessible. Working together, we will cultivate compassionate trust in ourselves and each other. All levels and body types welcome, queer friendly, beginner friendly. Ages 12 to 102!
Price options: Pre-registered: $35 per person, $65 for two. Day of: $40 per person, $75 for two. Preregister in person at the studio, call 505 232 9642 or at highdesertyoga.com
Also, I am teaching a NEW CLASS!! … Starting next week, I will be teaching an ALIGNMENT based VINYASA class at High Desert Yoga 10$, one hour. Rich, deep, muscular, lots of pelvic floor work! Plus a nourishing, full savasana. Thursdays 5:30-6:30pm. AND! North Valley students please note: My 5:30-6:30 Wed Level One class at Dragonfly Yoga will be shifting to be on Mondays. Two great evening classes… hope to see you soon!!
When we slow down we can focus on alignment not only anatomically but energetically: moving prana in a different way from our habit patterns. In this comes real freedom and transformation, in the body but also emotionally, psychologically, we experience ourselves and the world differently, more harmoniously. As the goal becomes not performing poses, but rather stability, organization, and intensity of presence and awareness, strength and flexibility are pleasant side effects, while the true depth and potential of yoga become our reality. Meanwhile, the body is safe, and trust, healing, and the development in self-trust begin to unfold.
The first time I walked into a yoga studio I was terrified. I had just had three panic attacks in 2 days and spent my lunch break at work that day crying in the bathroom. My anxiety had become so bad I confessed to my mom what was going on and she suggested I go to a yoga class. I can honestly say (like many people who practice yoga) that that class changed my life. That night, for the first time in months, I fell asleep within minutes and slept through the whole night. When I woke up I felt like more of my body was sunk into the mattress than usual. I was letting go and relaxing in a way I wasn’t at all used to but I desperately needed.
Since then I’ve practiced yoga fairly regularly for almost 6 years. I’m now a yoga teacher and my friends…
When we perceive our thoughts, feelings and actions to be “good,” it’s easy to “love” ourselves, or at least feel capable of receiving love, appreciation, acceptance, or attention. These feelings build up a healthy form of ego, an ability to appreciate oneself independently of any comparison of competition with an external frame of reference. (In a cosmic sense, the ego, that perspective of separation of the self from all that is “other,” can be a hinderance to our realization of wholeness; however for the purposes of this discussion, in the context of our human existence, having a healthy sense of self, so that we can be capable and responsible, keeps us balanced and available to connect outside ourselves, rather than swinging into the extremes of self obsession, either by placing ourselves way below or way above other people.)
However, when we only feel deserving of love when we judge ourselves as “good,” then anytime we feel our “goodness” is challenged either by others, or our own self, this conditional form of self love diminishes. Because the human mind often generates discontentment, and tends to focus on what needs work, what is “wrong”… we can get stuck in ruts where on some deep, hidden level, we believe we don’t deserve love and appreciation unless we are “good,” perfect… and this self criticism loop tends to bind our attention to ourselves, so we have less attention for the people we love, our projects, our work, our dreams.
When we can learn to appreciate ourselves, even when we are face to face with a challenge: a mistake we have made, an unpleasant emotion, a situation that points to our lack of intelligence, sensitivity, or skill, THEN, we are building our ability to love ourselves. When we are challenged is often when we most need love. This moment of compassion can create the shift we need (often by diminishing our resistance to experiencing what is there) and the external world shifts too: we discover a step we can take to make things right, have insight towards a solution, or have some more space emotionally to breathe through what is there.
In our yoga practice, we can change the nervous system’s patterns in terms of how we react internally to challenge. If a pose is physically, emotionally, or psychologically challenging, we can either go into self criticism, or pause, breathe, back up, and observe, working through the re-patterning with awareness, creating a new way, breath by breath. This process is more accessible when we are not rushed, and if we feel safe to be in our process. This is one reason why the goal of organization, rather than range of motion, in our asana practice serves us greatly.
Asana can affect our ability to sense, release resistance to, and even appreciate, where we are at in our journey. Through practice over time, and even in just one session of asana practice, we can gain a palpable sense of how much more stable and grounded we feel through organizing the bones -the inner scaffolding- so that the soft tissues can release, the organs can cleanse though increased circulation, the breath becomes more available, creating a sense of lightness, and wellbeing, etc. By aligning our physical form, the way prana moves through us is altered, allowing us to shift out of old patterns and into more neutral perspectives. These practices also affect our mind’s dialog of self assessment partly by interrupting the inner critic, and also by quieting the nervous system and releasing tension patterns associated with emotional stress and feelings of failure, anxiety, or regret.
In my workshop this Saturday, I am excited to explore with students, first creating a safe internal space. Restorative forward bends, warmth, darkness, and an embryonic begining will establish a home base in the nervous system. From there we will gradually branch out into stability work, to support us in lengthening versions of backbends, which not only have an energizing, joyful affect, but also can be a bit scary and confrontational, so that in a slow and safe manner we can explore loving ourselves through the challenge of opening.
Another way to look at this sense of appreciation is through the niyama santosha, contentment. Through growing and changing, moving through feelings, challenges, highs, and lows, this healthy form of self love helps us have compassion for ourselves as we change and grow, and therefore compassion for others. Our relationships with others echo the ways we relate to ourselves. As we cultivate and strengthen our ability to accept and love ourselves through the ups and downs, we can more fully love and give attention to our lovers, partners, family, and community.
Feel free print this coupon, share it, and bring it in to High Desert Yoga for a free prenatal class with Avery. This is a great opportunity for pregnant mothers to get an experiential taste of the benefits of prenatal yoga both for comfort during pregnancy, and as embodied birth preparation. In addition, the evolving community of pregnant women in these classes creates a wonderful support network. This special offer is ongoing through the entire year of 2013. Join us!
As we dive into the new year, I have been enjoying a return to the structure and routine of daily life, and the psychological stability that gives. Around the time of solstice my practice became more restorative, introspective, and a way to assimilate the flurry of holiday experiences. While I like to keep a thread of restoration throughout the winter months, the tide of “fresh start” feelings generated in our cultures psyche around New Years has awaked in my body a desire to work muscularly; create stability physically as well as in my mind.
Today I loved practicing some variations of pincha mayurasana (peacock feather pose: a forearm stand inversion) which has profoundly stabilizing affects on the shoulder girdle. When the humerus are grounded, serratus anterior and rhomboid muscles supporting lateral expansion through the chest, and skeletal alignement sound, this pose creates strong foundation for sirsasana, and a lasting after effect of width and lift through the shoulder girdle and upper chest. The mental and emotional mirrors of stability in the shoulders reveal feeling confident, bright, capable, and calm.
I often practice this pose holding on to the base of a folding chair, but today explored stretching my palms wide rather than gripping the chair with the hands. (A fellow student in Kim Schwartz’s delicious Tuesday morning level 2 class had the idea, and we all tried it out after some exploration…) The outstretched palms of the hands, still held against the chair, faced each other in this version. (They faced each other rather than down, as in the full pose. This allowed for less challenge to the external rotation in the upper arms and thus thus the opening in the chest and upper lungs, than if the lower arms were in complete internal rotation, as in the full pose.) This set up felt more challenging psychologically, but created the shoulders to become much more stable, and allowed my chest to open more than when hands, and thus chest, were gripping. Because of this alignment in the shoulders, the foundation of the pose was stable enough that I could articulate pelvic floor strength to lengthen the kidney area and traction the spine upwards, reaching through the inner heels. To find the subtle key awakenings of alignment in the body, (and therefore all the unseen realms, as well) allows so many other components of our work and experience to integrate. The expansion, and freedom, becomes possible through stability. After working in pincha mayurasana for a while, we practiced chakrasana, a pose I find quite challenging. But from awakening the stability in my arms and shoulders, this experience was accessible and the effects permeated into all the levels of my being, sending the waves of shift and transformation deep within. The unknown comes into the known. Breath by breath, anything is possible.
(avery at high desert yoga, new mexico, november 2012)
in the space we create internally, there is that silent neutral, beyond temporality and our ((mis))identification with it, a place of home in the equilibrium resonating inside. how do we taste this silent center? what practices bring us into the space where we can simultaneously ascend//descend into ourselves? how do we experience that threshold, where is that tender edge, where we loose touch, and how long do we go in the haze of karmic pattern, the prana rivers flooding deeper into those familiar canyons, before we realize we have been swept away in the momentum? calling ourselves back, again and again, back to the breath, THIS breath, back to this moment, back to the work at hand, the lover gazing into our eyes, the sink of dishes, the curve of the road ahead, the crying child needing attention, the interface of our body and the pose… at home in the moment, we have all we need to do what needs to be done.