Of Seasons, Yoga And Labyrinths…

Hand’s down, fall is my most favorite season.  A time to draw inward, which ultimately leads to growth and expansion outward.  All it takes is paying attention to nature, studying the trees and the critters as they hunker down, expend less energy, drop what they no longer need, forage and nest.  How we exercise, the foods we eat and how they are prepared, our sleep patterns–all of this changes as the season changes–if we allow ourselves to pay attention.  Yoga helps me pay attention and notice the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) changing needs of my body, mind, and spirit.
This Thanksgiving marks the Fifth Annual Grace & Gratitude Yoga Practice At Advent Lutheran. This Thanksgiving morning class is truly one of my most favorite classes to teach all year.  Not only is it a wonderful way to commemorate the holiday season, but it brings together yogis from all my different classes to create some pretty brilliant and magical energy!  I invite all of you to attend if you can, and feel free to bring friends and family as well.  We are blessed with a large room in which to practice, so let’s fill it up!  We will flow through an all-levels spirited and heat-producing practice, followed by an extended savasana and a brief seated meditation to seal our practice with a sense of grounding.  This year’s class will be donation only–pay only what you can, even if it’s nothing at all.  There will be a donation box in the church lobby before you enter the room.  I will not be teaching the day after Thanksgiving this year, so be sure to make plans to attend Thanksgiving morning, November 25, 9:00am-10:30am. I look forward to seeing many of you there!
I am blessed to have the opportunity to teach some of my weekly classes at Advent Lutheran Church.  Advent was gracious enough to open it’s doors to me when I taught my very first community service class over five years ago and has continued to support yoga in our community ever since.  As a thank you to all of you that attend, as well as give back to our surrounding neighbors, all yoga classes at Advent Lutheran during the month of December will be FREE with a donation of food or money to benefit the Volunteers Of America Everett Food Bank. Over the last five years,  Yoga At Advent yogis have donated hundreds of pounds of food and given hundreds of dollars to help feed the hungry in our area.  This year I am partnering with www.yogisfeedthehungry.org to help get the word out and unite yoga teachers and food banks throughout the country.  Come join us, each Monday and Thursday morning, 9:00am-10:15am in the Fellowship Hall.
Finally, I am thrilled to be facilitating another labyrinth walk this holiday season.  Join me on Sunday, December 5th, 5:30pm-8:00pm at Advent Lutheran Church for a candlelit labyrinth walk. Labyrinths have been used for centuries for walking meditations, spiritual healing, prayer, and personal growth.  Unlike a maze, the path of the labyrinth gently leads you to the center, with no obstacles or dead ends to negotiate. The simple act of placing one foot in front of the other while in silent prayer or meditation can bring clarity and a profound sense of peace to one’s life. Come when you can, stay as long as you wish, leave when you must.  I will be there throughout the evening to help answer questions and give guidance.  Labyrinths are appropriate for all ages, including children, but please keep small children close as there will be lit candles around the periphery of the labyrinth.  There is no charge for this event, and it is open to the community. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
November is a time when we pause and give thanks to that which we are grateful for.  Without a doubt, I have tremendous gratitude in my heart to all of you who choose to practice yoga with me throughout the year.  Without you, I could not do what I do.  I learn from you, I am inspired by you, and your stories and experiences truly touch my heart.