Take Change in Stride

Part of the philosophy of yoga is that we can’t always change the world around us. No matter what we do, bad things will happen and stressful situations will arise. The only thing we have control over—the only thing we can change—is ourselves. We can decide how to react to situations that challenge us. Will we allow them to throw us off center, or will we take them in stride?

Yoga teaches us how to respond to stress patiently. We must experience the physical challenge of the postures without fear, and use deep, calm breaths to move through them. If we can take that lesson off the mat and into our daily lives, we will move closer to the goal of responding to stress in a careful and considered way.

Daily Insight provided by Yoga Journal

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Building Breezeway Yoga Studio

Hi, all!

I want to share the progress we’re making with the new studio. The walls are coming down, the new floor has been selected and ordered and we’ll start painting soon! You may be familiar with Knox Plaza on Kingston Pike which houses Kroger and Mayo’s Garden Center. The new studio will be located closest to the S&S Cafeteria side of the complex.

This is the entrance to the breezeway. I'll have signage produced for the left panels.

This is the entrance sign to the breezeway area. I’ll have signage produced for the left panels.

The studio will be located at the back of the breezeway where it’s quiet and there is little foot traffic. There’s also a back entrance and parking behind the building.

The studio is located in the back of the breezeway.

The studio is located in the back of the breezeway.

The view out of the studio into the breezeway area. I plan to have plants and benches lining the windows.

The view out of the studio into the breezeway area. I plan to have plants and benches lining the windows.

The demolition has begun thanks to Dean Reno the contractor & Michael the muscle!

The demolition has begun thanks to Dean Reno the contractor & Michael the muscle!

Big news!

Greetings to friends, family and students!

I’m so excited to be able to share this news with you… as many of you may know, The Practice Yoga and Wellness Studio at Western Plaza is closing on June 30th and the area will soon be without one of the best studios in town. However, I plan to fill that gap with a NEW studio.

The new location will be called Breezeway Yoga Studio  and will be less than one mile away from Western Plaza in Knox Plaza (the shopping center with Kroger and Starbucks) in the breezeway that is located between Petco and Ross the Boss. Currently, I’m working on the aesthetics of the location with new paint, flooring and decor. My plan is to begin classes on or before August 1st.  In the meantime, please check out the classes offered at Balanced You Studios. Click here for the schedule.

Breezeway Yoga Studio will have a similar schedule to The Practice. For more info and questions about the new studio please contact me by email: dougherty8@gmail.com or leave a comment below.

I can’t thank you enough for your support and I look forward to welcoming you to Breezeway Yoga Studio!

Patty 🙂

Yoga to Lighten Up your Mind, Body and Weight

Originally posted here on jillianpransky.com

Namaste Yogis,

When Prevention magazine called me for an interview, I was super excited for the opportunity to reach such a wide audience with my work. Then, they explained it would be an article on “Yoga For Weight Loss.”

Ugh. I Beginners Yoga for Weight Losspaused and immediately imagined the magazine rack at the supermarket checkout line fighting for attention. Headlines that promise quick fixes are preying on our national sense of inadequacy–if only we could be different we would be happy.

Yoga has given me a fit, strong and flexible body, but as a yoga practitioner and teacher my focus has long been on how the practice helps us cultivate more self-acceptance, compassion, presence, mindfulness, happiness, and overall wellness.  And while I personally know yoga as an amazing holistic approach to weight loss and weight maintenance, I was hopping for the chance to share the bigger, heavier, more enduring changes a yoga practice can bring.

Thankfully, as my conversation with Prevention continued, it was clear that we were on the same page! And, that this was a great opportunity to discuss how finding more peace in our mind leads to more peace in our body, leads to a ‘lightening up’ in our whole being.

Prevention writer Hillari Dowdle had already pulled together a mountain of the latest scientific research illustrating how more gentle, mindful forms of yoga are helping us lose body fat and pounds, and keep it off.  We then discussed how our yoga practice on the mat can change the way we feel and behave off the mat, and how a mindful practice can help us make more nourishing decisions all day.

What is now most exciting for me is the opportunity to share with people that we don’t have to beat ourselves up to encourage change–especially to this huge audience that may more often believe harder is better. As a lifelong athlete I’ve often favored intensity over less sensation. I spent years pushing myself around in everything from exercise to my work life, from keeping my closets organized to getting my list of things to-dos done.  I have found in my own journey that the more gentle, mindful, and caring I am with myself – the lighter, happier and healthier I am in all aspects of my life. I am not talking about laying around all day–I practice every day. And I still get a long list of things done. But, my practice is slow and mindful and filled with time to savor and experience. This brings more compassion, spaciousness and awareness to everything I do.

Now with the June Issue of Prevention on the newsstand and our article in print, I am thrilled to be part of the team that is bringing this healing wisdom to the masses. Perhaps it will help more of us discover that path to health and happiness, while demands discipline and commitment, may be more gentle and easier than we think.

Pick up a copy this month or read the article Surprising Ways Gentle Yoga Can Help You Lose Serious Weight.

Bouncing Back

When crises arise, some people flourish while others flounder. Here’s how your practice can help you build resilience.

By Sally Kempton (Originally posted here in Yoga Journal)

Gina was one of the golden girls of my circle—charming, smart, and seriously cool. As our other friends rode through their mid-20s on roller coasters of elation and despair, Gina maintained an almost daunting level of emotional perspective. She gave birth to a brain-damaged child and cared for him without losing either her detachment or her sense of humor. She went through cancer surgery with her usual rueful grace.

Then her husband fell in love with another woman, and Gina fell apart. It was as if all the accumulated losses of 20 years had finally caught up with her. She cried for hours. She raged at her husband and at her life. And through it all, her friends kept saying, “But she was always so strong! What happened?”

What happened, of course, was that Gina had hit her edge. She met the place in herself where her strength and flexibility gave out.

Like Gina, most of us will hit that edge sooner or later. It is always a crucial moment, because the choices that we make when we meet our edge help determine our capacity for that vital and mysterious human quality known as resilience.

The very sound of the word resilience captures its bouncy, rubbery quality. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines it as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”; psychiatrist Frederick Flach describes it as “the psychological and biological strengths required to successfully master change [emphasis added].”

Resilience lets a writer like Frank McCourt turn the pain of a difficult childhood into a compassionate memoir. It carries a leader like Nelson Mandela through years of prison without letting him lose heart. It shows an injured yogini how to align her body so that her own prana can heal the pinch in her groin. Resilience is essential; without a basic supply of it, none of us would survive the accumulated losses, transitions, and heartbreaks that thread their way through even the most privileged human life.

But there also exists a deep, secret, and subtle kind of resilience that I like to call the skill of stepping beyond your edge. This kind of resilience has less to do with survival than with self-transformation. It’s the combination of attentiveness, insight, and choice that lets some people tune in to the hidden energy lurking within a crisis and use it as a catalyst for spiritual growth. Though psychologists can list the qualities that resilient people have in common—insight, empathy, humor, creativity, flexibility, the ability to calm and focus the mind—this deeper resilience transcends personality traits.

Continue reading here on Yoga Journal.

Words create reality

You can change the world, or at least your experience of it, by becoming conscious of the words coming out of your mouth.

By Sally Kempton (originally posted here in Yoga Journal)

Maya Angelou quoteAt a dinner party I recently attended, the host asked us: “Did your parents ever say something that you’ve carried throughout your life?” As people shared, we were struck by how many of us had been shaped by a parent’s words. The woman whose father had told her,”Whatever you do in life, be the best,” became a successful entrepreneur. The woman who had heard, “Nobody’s looking at you,” spent her career guiding powerful people from the sidelines. Words had literally defined their lives.

The power of words isn’t lost on anyone—just think of the pleasure you feel when someone pays you a sincere compliment, or the discomfort of realizing you’ve spilled a secret you’d promised to keep. Words and the energy they carry make or break friendships and careers; they define us as individuals and even as cultures. We know this, and yet we often let our words flow out more or less unmediated, like random pebbles tossed into a lake. Sometimes, it’s only when the ripples spread and cause waves, and the waves rush back and splash us, that we stop to think about the way we speak.

The sages of yoga obviously understood the human tendency to run off at the mouth, because many texts of the inner life, from the Upanishads and the Yoga Vasistha to the Bhagavad Gita, counsel us to use words carefully. The Buddha made right speech one of the pillars of his Noble Eightfold Path. On the simplest level, these sages point out, unnecessary speaking wastes energy that could be devoted to self-inquiry and transformative action. More important, though, is the power that words have to change the communal atmosphere, to cause joy or pain, and to create a climate that fosters truth or falsity, kindness or cruelty.

Of course, in an era where unsubstantiated rumors roll endlessly through the blogosphere, where lying and concealment and spin are so much a part of public utterance that words have lost their meaning and most of us automatically suspect anything a public figure says, the very idea of right speech can sound countercultural. And yet, as with so many of the yogic dicta, it makes profound sense. So much of the pain we cause ourselves and each other could be avoided if we were just a bit more discriminating about what we say. Our relationships, our work environment, even our feelings about ourselves, can be transformed simply by taking time to think about how words create reality. Yes, words create reality. That’s an understanding you’ll find in most of the great wisdom traditions, but especially the Vedic and Tantric traditions of India and in the texts of Kabbalah, with which they have so much in common.

Continue reading here in Yoga Journal.

Upcoming schedule for PattyYoga classes

Hello!

I’ll be holding Saturday classes this upcoming Saturday, June 7th and the 14th. Hope to see you at either the Flow Class at 8:30AM or the Therapeutic Class at 10:00AM.

eyepillowAnd make plans to attend my Restorative Class on Friday, June 13th, 7:00 – 9:00PM. The Restorative class consists of soothing and well-supported poses that offer us the opportunity to linger quietly for a few moments. These poses have the particular ability to leave us nourished and well rested. Plan to arrive ten minutes early for set up. Cost is $25.00 for a single, $40.00 for a couple.

To reserve a space in the the restorative session, please leave a message below or email me at pattyyogamail@gmail.com. 🙂

Fixing that pain in your neck

Tension can be a pain in the neck. Master these gentle moves to create lasting ease.

By Barbara Benagh (originally published here in Yoga Journal)Pain in the neck

By the time Tatiana Makoukhina came to my workshop last spring on easing tension in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, she’d been suffering from chronic pain for more than a decade. In the early ’90s, as a single mom newly arrived from Russia, Tatiana worried constantly about whether she could make a new life in America with her daughter. She put in long hours as a hotel cleaner—the only job she could find—and felt she could never relax, never stop working and planning. Her back and neck were constantly rigid with tension, she suffered severe migraines, and then she herniated a disk in her lower back lifting a heavy mattress.

Despite her persistent discomfort, Tatiana worked hard to manage her pain and improve her health. Athletic in her childhood—she had loved gymnastics, volleyball, and dancing—she began running and exercising again. Surgery for her disk injury helped with her lower back pain, and her migraines eased once she began practicing yoga regularly in 2002. Still, nothing seemed to banish the tightness, aches, and occasional stabbing pain in her shoulders and neck.

Tatiana certainly isn’t unique: We all live in a world filled with anxiety. We race through hectic days and fall into bed exhausted; we fret over our bills, our kids, our jobs and the state of the planet, too. It doesn’t help that many of us have lives skewed toward the sedentary, with too many hours spent hunkered down behind a computer or steering wheel. Our stress often winds up stored in clenched necks, shoulders, and backs-which eventually weakens our muscles, strains our joints, and limits our range of motion. The tension hangs heavy on our necks and shoulders, as unwelcome as a winter coat on a summer day.

It doesn’t have to be this way, of course. The shoulder girdle is designed so your arms, neck, and shoulders can move freely and easily. Even if you have a history of injuries or have suffered from chronic tension for years, the approach I’ve developed can help you learn to soften your neck and shoulder muscles and restore ease and freedom.

When I ran into Tatiana a few weeks after the workshop, she was thrilled with her progress. Not only had the workshop taken away her pain but, even better, she’d been able to stay pain-free by including 5 to 10 minutes of my exercises in her daily hour of yoga. Her back, shoulders, and neck were feeling more relaxed than she’d ever imagined possible.

Read more here. (find the remainder of the article here in Yoga Journal)