Nava Newsletter Sept 11-17 2017

Dear Community,

Our 6-Week Fall Schedule starts TODAY!! Yeah! Sarah kicks off the schedule with today’s Yoga for Men class, with some vinyasa classes later in the week; Leanne continues with her Gentle Yoga class plus a strengthening noontime class; and we welcome Robin to Nava Yoga this year, who will be teaching Hatha Yoga. Julie will return from tour to teach after this 6-week schedule, and Greg will return from Hawaii in Jan 2018 to teach for the Winter schedule.

Of special note, Leanne will offer a gentle yoga class at 8pm on Sunday, Sept. 17th in honour of Kristin Johnston. She was a yoga teacher based out of Halifax who was murdered by a romantic partner in March of last year. Sunday would have marked her 34th birthday. We are asking for a donation of $10 (or more) and the proceeds will go to The Haven’s Come Alive (www.thehaven.com) bursary program. Please let us know if you plan on attending, and if the interest is very high we may need to find a bigger venue or offer 2 back-to-back classes. Leanne is honoured to help celebrate the beautiful life of this woman whose life was tragically cut too short.

We’d like to continue with weekly newsletters to remain connected with you, let you know of specific class details, and include features like exploring key elements of yogic texts, mantras, “Pose of the Week”, etc. Feel free to email navayogainfo@gmail.com should you have any specific requests for these additions!

One final note regarding class punch cards. The current policy has them expiry 1 year after the date of purchase. This isn’t changing. However, we currently have many cards that are over this 1 year time frame. These card holders have until the end of this current 6-week schedule to use them entirely, after which time the cards will be discarded.

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CLASSES
Monday
5:30-6:30PM Yoga for Men w/ Sarah

Tuesday
5:30-6:45PM Beginner Vinyasa w/ Sarah
7:30-8:45PM Gentle Yoga w/ Leanne

Wednesday
12:00-1:00PM Slow, Strong & Steady w/ Leanne
5:45-7:00PM Hatha Yoga w/ Robin Attas

Thursday
5:30-6:45PM Ashtanga Vinyasa w/ Sarah

Sunday (One-off class)
8:00PM Gentle Yoga in Honour of Kristin Johnston w/ Leanne

6-Week Registration Prices:
$72 for one class; $132 for two classes

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YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI (Greg)
I thought I’d start the supplemental section of the newsletters with Patanjali’s definition of yoga. (This feature completely flamed out after the birth of my daughter…sorry!):

(Chapter 1, Sutra 2)
Yogas chitta-vrtti-nirodhah
“Yoga is the cessation of the modifications of the mind.”

As noted in a long-ago newsletter, the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” is a foundational text that describes the process of yoga as the union of the little egoic “self” with the absolute “Self”. This process involves the dissolution of who we *think* we are (e.g., the body, the mind, the emotions, the intellect) into who we *really* are. And who we really are cannot be adequately described with words; it cannot even be thought of accurately–it is a directly embodied experience.

The mind has been described as a drunken monkey stung on the tail by a scorpion (i.e., it is erratic, changing constantly). While the mind usually projects itself loudly and obstructively, it is actually of an extremely subtle nature, as anyone who has experienced prolonged periods of meditation can attest. As the mind chatter diminishes, however, and one begins to focus on fewer objects, the movement from concentration (dharana) to meditation (dhyana) occurs, ultimately leading to complete absorption (samadhi). The oft-used analogy of samadhi is like falling asleep; it happens naturally and is a state that cannot be forced or thought into.

In spiritual circles like yoga there can be a tendency to “spiritualize away” that which is unagreeable to us by believing things like “This is all an illusion”, “None of this is real”, “It’s God’s will”, et cetera, implying that our actions are inconsequential. Note, however, that yoga is a process that is only successful when one dives deeply into their own self to uncover everything that one is not. This process will be difficult at times as we are confronted with the power we’ve given our attachments and aversions. Though challenging, this process reveals the grace of our unique, divine expression. And only then, it is said, do we have true choice of how we wish to act and live. So, in this spirit, may we all journey and support each other to become the True Self.

Have a wonderful week everyone!
Nava Yoga

Nava Newsletter Sept 4–10 2017

Dear Community,

Our 6-Week Fall Schedule starts next Monday, Sept. 11th and ends Monday, Oct. 23rd (excludes Thanksgiving Monday). Please find the schedule and price details below, and contact the studio should you wish to reserve your spot!

Note that Julie will not be teaching for this schedule due to extensive tour travel commitments. She very much looks forward to seeing you all for the late Fall schedule! Note also that Greg will be teaching “Yoga for Men” this evening at 5:30–6:30pm. This is his final class before his departure later this week.

Finally, Nava Yoga is thrilled to have Robin Attas join our team to teach Hatha Yoga on Wednesday evenings. Robin completed her 200-hour Hatha Yoga teacher training through Open Door Yoga in Vancouver, BC in 2010. She has practiced and/or taught various styles including Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Prenatal, Power, as well as classes for women recovering from trauma, and English-Spanish bilingual classes. Robin recently arrived in Sackville as a visiting assistant professor of music theory at Mount Allison University.

Welcome Robin!

Have a wonderful week everyone!
Nava Yoga

Monday
5:30- 6:30- Yoga for Men
w/ Sarah Smith, Leanne Laracey, & Makyla Walerickton

Tuesday
5:30- 6:45- Beginner Vinyasa
w/ Sarah Smith
7:30- 8:45- Gentle
w/ Leanne Laracey

Wednesday
12:00- 1:00- Slow, Strong & Steady
w/ Leanne Laracey
5:45- 7:00 Hatha
w/ Robin Attas

Thursday
5:30- 6:45- Ashtanga Vinyasa
w/ Sarah Smith

Registration Prices:
$72 for one class
$132 for two classes
Drop-in options also available (space permitting)
See our website for student/ low-income options!

 

Shivaratri–the night of Shiva

Dear Community,

Today marks the celebration of Shivaratri–the night of Shiva. Yogeshwar is Shiva as the Lord of Yoga, who was able to transcend the phenomenal world after exploring the duality of experience through the power of yoga. The sage Patanjali tells us that yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. Yoga helps one to see the world as it really is–without obstruction from opinions, emotions, and preconceptions–by nurturing clarity, dispassion, and wisdom.

For this reason, yoga traditions honour Shiva as their original guru. The asanas we mimic awaken our latent consciousness (whether or not we are aware of this!) as we continue our journey Home. The practice of yoga supports us through each and every layer of consciousness that we experience—the good, the bad, and the ugly. Thus, yoga is a practice of unfolding the spiritual, highest self in an honest and methodical way.

An integral aspect of this journey is the expansion of the mind beyond the narrow confines of the mind-body system. To this end, the breath is a natural and effective approach (i.e., pranayama), because it forms a direct link between the body and the mind. Shiva represents the prana of pure consciousness that is beyond time, space, and duality, which we can–without question–experience directly as we explore within ourselves pratyahara, dharana, and dhyana. It simply takes effort and surrender…over and over and over again…until it doesn’t!

Shivaratri is a day characterized by fasting, prayer, and chanting Shiva mantras throughout the day and night, most notably Om Namah Shivaya and the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra. Interested folks can read more about Shivaratri here (just a randomly googled blog): https://umayogini.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/shivaratri-the-night-of-shiva/.

My changed family situation precludes me (Greg) from spending the night at the yoga studio this year. However, to celebrate Shivaratri I’ll be guiding a flow-style yoga class TOMORROW morning (Saturday, Feb. 25th) between 9:00–10:15AM. Donations to the foodbank will be greatly appreciated.

Om Namah Shivaya!

Nava Yoga Newsletter: Jan 9th- 15th

Happy New Year everyone!

The Winter 2017 schedule starts tomorrow (Monday, Jan 9th.)

We are really proud of the great team of teachers that we have at Nava this year! I (Leanne) will be offering Gentle Yoga classes, Sarah will continue with Ashtanga, Makyla will be back and offering Gentle and Core and Back, Julie will continue with Yin, Restorative, and Vinyasa Flows, and Greg will continue with Hatha and Yoga for Men! There is truly something for everyone, so feel free to get in touch with us about what class might be the best fit for you or go to the website for more detailed descriptions of classes.

We strongly encourage class registration, but drop-ins are always welcome! By registering you are making a commitment to your yoga practice, saving money on the cost of each class, and we will also gift you with a “First Class Free” card to give to a friend for every class that you register for! As a studio, it’s helpful for us to receive your support by registering. Please note that if you are a student or have low-income, you are welcome to take advantage of $10/ class registration or drop-in price. More details on prices can be found here. To register, please email us and we will put your name on the list for that class and you can pay by cheque or cash on your day, or by e-transfer.

Thank you for your continued support and I hope to see many of you in the studio this year!

Leanne Laracey

Nava Yoga Newsletter: Dec 18–24

Namaste Dear Friends,

This week marks a transition week as we offer a slightly modified schedule to offer make-up classes for registered students who happened to miss a class. As always, drop-ins are welcome to all of the yoga classes. In this regard, please note that Julie’s Restorative Class on Sunday afternoon @ 3:30PM has space for 2 more people. Please contact Julie directly or the studio to reverse your spot.

Additionally, Sarah T. guides the final meditation class on Monday before the holidays and the arrival of her new baby. We wish her the very best and hope she returns to Nava Yoga to offer more meditation classes once she’s settled into her new family life. Finally, the next Ekadasi falls on Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24th. To mark this occasion, Greg is offering a special yoga class between 10–11:15AM. See below for further details.

All of this week’s classes include:
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Sunday, December 18th:
Restorative Yoga w/ Julie 3:30–4:45PM

Monday, December 19th:
PWYC Express Flow w/ Julie @ 12:00–12:45PM
Intro to Yin w/ Julie @ 1:30–2:30PM
Yoga for Men w/ Greg @ 5:30–6:30PM
Meditation w/ Sarah T @ 7:00–8:30PM (Final class, Registration closed)

Tuesday, December 20th:
Intro to Ashtanga w/ Sarah S @ 12:00–1:00PM
Vinyasa Flow w/ Julie @ 5:30–6:30PM
Gentle Yoga w/ Leanne @ 7:00–8:15PM

Wednesday, December 21st:
PWYC Express Flow w/ Greg @ 12:00–12:45PM
Hatha Yoga w/ Greg @ 5:30–6:45PM
Intro to Yin w/ Julie @ 7:30–8:30PM

Thursday, December 22nd:
Hatha Yoga w/ Greg @ 1:30–2:45PM
Intro to Ashtanga w/ Sarah S @ 5:45–7:00PM

Saturday, December 24th:
Fasting/PWYC Ekadasi Yoga w/ Greg @ 10:00–11:15AM

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EKADASI

Ekadasi is a Sanskrit word for the number 11 and indicates the 11th day of each half of the month in the Vedic lunar calendar, occurring roughly twice per month. The movement of the moon is believed to be directly correlated with the quality of the mind, which is said to be ripe for concentration/meditation on Ekadasi. Fasting, in part or fully, is an integral part of Ekadasi so as to focus one’s energy/prana on the Divine Self rather than mundane things. Regardless of one’s convictions, fasting gives the body-mind system a rest from dietary irregularities and over indulgences. The class is free for “fasters” and PWYC for others.

Om Namah Shivaya

Nava Yoga Newsletter: Dec 11–17

Namaste Dear Friends,

We hope this finds everyone well and happy. This is the final week of our late Autumn schedule, with next week being a make-up week for missed classes (and drop-ins). Please note that Greg is currently away and so his teaching schedule has been modified (see below). Additionally, today’s Restorative Yoga with Julie is full (sorry, no drop-ins).

All of this week’s classes include:

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Sunday, December 11th:

Restorative Yoga w/ Julie 3:30–4:45PM

Core & Back w/ Leanne 5:15–6:30PM

Monday, December 12th:

PWYC Express Flow w/ Julie @ 12:00–12:45PM

Intro to Yin w/ Julie @ 1:30–2:30PM

Yoga for Men w/ Julie @ 5:30–6:30PM

Meditation w/ Sarah T @ 7:00–8:30PM (Registration closed – course is full)

Tuesday, December 13th:

Intro to Ashtanga w/ Sarah S @ 12:00–1:00PM

Vinyasa Flow w/ Julie @ 5:30–6:30PM

Gentle Yoga w/ Leanne @ 7:00–8:15PM

Wednesday, December 14th:

PWYC Express Flow w/ Julie @ 12:00–12:45PM

Hatha Yoga w/ Leanne @ 5:30–6:45PM

Intro to Yin w/ Julie @ 7:30–8:30PM

Thursday, December 15th:

Hatha Yoga w/ Greg CANCELLED

Intro to Ashtanga w/ Sarah S @ 5:45–7:00PM

Saturday, December 17th:

Morning Flow w/ Leanne @ 10:00–11:15AM

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YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI

Last week we began the 3rd chapter of the Sutras by outlining the final 3 limbs of Patanjali’s ashtanga yoga system: dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption), collectively called samyama. This week we explore a few later sutras that discuss the nature of Prakriti and how understand and benefit from its transformations.

(Chapter 3, Sutras 7–12)

7. These three aspects of yoga are the internal factors of the previous five external factors (limbs).

8. But even these are external compared to the “seedless” state of samadhi.

9. Through the constant replacement of disturbing thought waves by one’s self-mastery, the mind is transformed and gains mastery of itself.

10. Its flow becomes undisturbed through repetition.

11. The transformation (leading to the ability to enter) samadhi comes gradually through the elimination of distractions and the rise of one-pointedness.

12. One-pointedness of the mind occurs when the contents of the mind that rise and fall at two different moments are identical.

The practice of yoga is concerned with changing the outgoing nature of the mind, through which we seek happiness and create our identities, to an inward state of mastery. This state is called nirodha, in which we rest in Purusha. This practice occurs each and every moment (even now!..and now!). For this reason, it is beautiful (and sometimes frustrating!) practice that can be applied in any situation at any time. This steady flow of concentration and discernment of real versus unreal changes the nature of the mind from outgoing to ingoing.

As we’ve all experienced, the mind tends toward either multiplicity or unity. The ingoing nature of the mind unfolds gradually and naturally as we develop its unitary or one-pointedness aspect, ultimately becoming samadhi. Mastery of the mind through repetition creates new (sattvic) habits that have the ability to eliminate old, painful samskaras (impressions). The thought waves (vrittis) rise and fall moment-by-moment. Usually, we experience thousands of vrittis within just a few minutes. The mind can only entertain one thought at a time, so as one thought rises, another falls, and so on. One-pointedness occurs when the vritti that is falling and the vritti that is rising both carry the same thought.

As a practical tool to facilitate this movement, reducing one’s breath rate has a profound effect on reducing the number and intensity of the vrittis. It really works!

Om Namah Shivaya