How to View Your alleyCat Yoga Student Account

Do you have questions about registering and deregistering from classes, if you have an active yoga pass and how many credits you have on your yoga pass? Watch this quick video to find out how use your student account!

Becoming Still

Winter brings with it a hectic hustle unlike no other time. As a yogi and a nature lover my natural inclination is to become reflective and quiet this time of year. Long cups of tea, reading and writing by the fire is my preference as we move toward the darkest days of the year. But as a business owner (oh the conflicts are many) this time of year calls for action. There are so many minute details and the inevitable need to manage multiple obligations. Though I personally choose to celebrate Solstice over any other winter holiday, family traditions and obligations require my presence. And then there is the unending pressure and the heighten emotions that come with holiday expectations and avoidance of those expectations. The doing and swirling and tension builds on all side, swirling and churning. 

Inside of me I have been feeling a strong urge to explore stillness in a way that I have never felt so strongly. The energy all around me feels frenetic and slightly out of control. The outer world is saying, society is saying, “You must do something NOW and on my terms.” Nature is saying, “Turn inward and rest.” Today particularly, the Winter Solstice, my Inner world is sending a different message. Higher Awareness says, ” Do not act. Be still. Listen. Let the darkness fall. Be with the quiet, be with the dark. Breathe in, listen deeply, reflect. Breathe out and be with the churning, embrace the darkness until stillness comes. Be present here in this moment as if you have nothing else to do, nowhere else to be. Be stillness itself. And when you move again, move with renewed spirit to act, with Awareness.” I believe it is time to listen to that awareness.

Happy Solstice. May we all find stillness in the darkness and celebrate the light, for it is never lost. ~ Jai, Bhagwan, Susan 🙏l

Staying Sane in a Turbulent World

Outside a gentle rain is falling on the tin roof of the cabin. Curled up in bed with my laptop, the slanted ceiling of the bedroom loft is alive with the sound of rain. My gaze lands on the sloped hillside outside the second story window where the colors of fall light up the landscape even through the rain. The leaves of the trees blow freely in the wind. I am present, tuned into the clicking of the keys as I type, the rhythm of the breath inside me, and the changing beat of the drops on the roof. In this moment, the world is safe and quiet, a simple heaven of sight, sound and touch.  

This week I am spending a few days in a cabin in the woods, hiking, writing, and watching the stars. For a time, the rhythm of the days are not determined by the ping of the phone, the arrival of emails and the busy preparation for yoga class, offering my energy and presence to others; for a time I am offering the gift of presence to myself. The reward of this attention is clarity, inner quiet, and the exquisite sweetness of moving slowly. The morning rain is an added bonus, a message from nature to take my time. Read More »

Patience and Letting Go

At the end of my recent nine day training at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, Massachusetts, I was asked to reflect on what I wanted to remember about being there and the teachings I learned. If I reduced this to two words, they would be “patience” and “letting go.”

For me, patience most often happens when I have taken the time to center myself in the morning in preparation for the day ahead. Then, throughout the day, using my breath to relax and soften into life just as it is has been invaluable. Maybe it’s a “letting go” breath (deep breath in, big exhale with a sigh) or maybe it’s a longer meditation that’s required and it can mean the difference from being caught in striving or centering softly into the present. Read More »

Chinese Medicine Tips for Fall Health

Tips for Preventing and Treating Illnesses due to Metal Imbalance: Lung and Large Intestine

As we enter autumn, we move into the time of year associated with the Metal element in Chinese medicine.  The organs that express the Metal element in our bodies are the lungs and large intestine.

COLDS AND FLU
To prevent and treat a cold, do a nasal wash with a neti pot twice each day (In place of a neti pot, you may use a Nasopure bottle, available at Clover’s. In case of fever, nasal wash is not recommended). Eliminate dairy, use warming spices and herbs (ginger, pepper, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, chili) in teas and food preparation. While pranayama and aerobic yogic practice (e.g. surya namaskar) are helpful in preventing illness, it is necessary to reduce these practices during illness and focus on restful practices such as yoga nidra, silence and meditation. Get enough rest and avoid overeating in order to conserve prana. For congestion, inhale steam for 10 minutes daily.

ASTHMA
Ayurveda and Chinese medicine recognize that healing asthma is not possible if constipation is not relieved. Both traditions acknowledge a connection between asthma and emotional issues related to serious loss experienced in childhood. Yoga nidra is recommended as a means of relaxing spasm of the chest and lungs and chanting om is suggested as a tool for strengthening and relaxing the body. It may be necessary to use neti (nasal wash) in order to facilitate the practice of pranayama. Appropriate postures will vary from person to person. Read More »