Firefly Yoga Newsletter August 2018

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Summer is in full swing at Firefly Yoga, and our teacher trainings are hitting their strides. Some of our highlights have been some amazing meditation and mantra sessions with our advanced 300-hour yogis and some fun acro-yoga breaks with our 200-hour group.

Last month, we brought you our new enrichment courses, and we are about halfway through our first sessions. The feedback we've received has been amazing, so we will be continuing to offer new sessions in the Fall schedules.  

  • Yoga Nidra - a 6-week series taught by Lisa Cosmillo Tuesdays at 6 pm September 18 through October 24 at 419 Water Street $75
    • This series will be about YOU. 
    • You will decide what you want to resolve or work on, and each session will include a chance to journal followed by a yoga nidra practice. 
    • For more information on yoga nidra and its benefits.
  •  Mantra - an 6-week series taught by Ronny Pearsall 5:30 pm Thursdays September 20 through October 25 at 419 Water Street $75
    • New mantras each week. Learn and practice, enrich your yoga and meditation practices. 
  • Pranayama - an 6-week series taught by Ronny Pearsall 7 pm Thursdays September 20 through October 25 at 419 Water Street $75
    • New Pranayama each week. Learn and practice, enrich your yoga and meditation practices. 
  • Chakras - an 8-week series taught by Martie Hammons 7 pm Wednesdays September 19 through November 7 at 419 Water Street $100
    • Dive into each chakra each week. From Moolhadara to Sahasrara, learn to use these divine energy centers to deepen your practice.
  • Standing Poses - an 8-week series taught by Lisa Cosmillo from noon to 1 pm Wednesdays September 19 through November 7 at our Lacey studio  $100 (daytime version) 
    • Learn proper alignment and energetic signatures of each of the basic standing poses. 
  • Basic core strengthening poses and practices, a 6-week course taught by Lisa Cosmillo Wednesdays September 19 through October 25 from 5:30-6:30 pm at 419 Water Street $75
    • Improve your core strength and alignment.

There's more to yoga than touching your toes

by Kat Eggers

Often when yoga comes up in conversation people tell me, “I can’t do yoga, because I can’t touch my toes,” or “I can’t do yoga, because I’m not flexible.”  When I try to convince people that there is more to yoga than touching your toes, I am met with skepticism.  In popular culture the concept of yoga is informed by images of extreme flexibility and athleticism.   On social media and in advertising poses like one legged king pigeon pose or an arm balance pose like firefly are used to grab people’s attention.  These poses are indeed beautiful, but they represent a fraction of what the yoga path has to offer its practitioners. 

Did you know that “ahimsa,” the practice of nonviolence, is a way to practice yoga?  Did you know that reading a book or listening to a talk about spirituality is also a way to practice yoga? 

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The yoga postures make up only one of eight limbs that describe the yogic path.  The Sanskrit word for eight limbs is Ashtanga (not to be confused with the popular style of the same name). 

The eight limbs are:

Yama (ethical standards for living)

Niyama (self discipline and practice)

Asana (physical postures)

Pranayama (breath work)

Pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses)

Dharana (focused concentration)

Dhyana (meditation, steady concentration without focus)

Samadhi (bliss)

The first four limbs prepare us for the last four by creating neural pathways of mindfulness. 

The last four limbs describe deeper and deeper levels of self-awareness, culminating in complete surrender and union with the divine. Viewed from the context of the eight limbs, the asanas are one aspect of a path that cultivates wholeness holistically.

If the purpose of the yogic path is to let go into the divine, then the physical postures are a beginning point, a gateway or threshold that we cross over to step onto the path.  Within the realm of asana (physical practice of yoga) there are as many ways to bring intention to the body as there are people.  If the point of physical postures is to train the mind for sitting in mediation, then any kind of mindful movement qualifies.  Being able to touch your toes should not be a prerequisite for the spiritual path, and it isn’t. 

In the West there are styles that begin and end with the physical postures.  There are also styles that incorporate chanting, pranayama, meditation and philosophy.  There is a style out there for everyone.  Swami Kripalu said, “All yogas lead to the one true Yoga.”  At Firefly, we honor this truth by offering many styles of yoga.  We are here to help you find the path that fits your needs, and we wish you many blessings on your journey of discovery.

Lisa CosmilloComment