What is Meditative Yoga?

Pranayama, chanting, and meditation are always my favorite part of a yoga class, yet these are the practices that are usually given the least amount of time or skipped entirely. My Meditative Yoga class grew out of my desire to share these practices which have benefited me the most.

As an acupuncturist, I have noticed that many of my patients would benefit from more skillfulness in ways to do less and relax more. Depletion of the physical, mental, and emotional energy can be addressed by learning how to relax fully at each of these levels. Learning how to slow down, let go, and discover the wealth of ease and vitality that arises from simply being present is the goal of this class.

We begin each class with a body scan to get us grounded in our bodies and out of the mental busyness of the day. Simple pranayama (breath work) and mudras to open the lungs precede our practice of chanting. I bring my harmonium and lead the class in a very simple Sanskrit chant for about 10 minutes to experience the vibration of the sounds of the chant and feel the warming of the body from the deep breathing that happens when we chant, followed with time to notice the building of the subtle energy (prana) that is strengthened by both pranayama and chanting. Read More »

Meet Lynn Maloney

I first met Lynn Maloney at Kirtan at the original alleyCat studio years ago. Lynn Maloney has been part of alleyCat since the early days, having known Ken and Kathleen as residents of the Kripalu Center. Having been the beneficiary of both her acupuncture practice and her yoga classes, I can attest to her vast knowledge of presence, awareness and sacred practices.  Read on to learn more about what inspired Lynn to become a yoga teacher and ultimately an Acupuncturist. Lynn Maloney teaches monthly Meditative Yoga classes at alleyCat on from 2-4p the 3rd Saturday of the month.

aCY:  What drew you to the practice of yoga?

Lynn: In my late twenties, I moved to New York City, fresh out of graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I had completed a masters degree in the history of science and a certificate in archival administration. I worked in mid-town Manhattan and flew across the country frequently for my job. It was during this time that I discovered the Kripalu Yoga Center, just two hours north of New York. The peace and aliveness that I felt after my first weekend trip to Kripalu started me on the exploration of  yoga. Guidance to focus on my breath, pay attention to my food at meal time, and enjoy walking on the beautiful grounds, all while free of the stimulus of TV and cars was actually exciting.  I would return to my life in the city with fresher eyes, more attentive to my surroundings, and longing for more of what I had learned at Kripalu.

aCY: What inspired you to become a yoga teacher and what has influenced your style of teaching?

Lynn: My style of teaching has been influenced by the emphasis taught at Kripalu, practicing full awareness on the experience of being on the mat as practice for being fully present to life off the mat.  The knowledge that choosing to shift my focus to my present, embodied experience can change my mental, emotional and physical tension inspired me to share the practices of yoga. The effect of my first yoga classes at Kripalu was a feeling of being centered, relaxed and joyful. Learning that joy was accessible with a simple shift of focus on a few practices of breath, movement, and intention inspired me to learn more. I eventually moved into the Kripalu Yoga Center and stayed for three years, completing my yoga teacher training while I was a resident.

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Kripalu Yoga

All Levels

Kripalu Yoga is a traditional practice of yoga asana (postures) designed to awaken and align the energy in the body, quiet the mind, and access states of deep awareness. A combination of breath work (pranayama) and postures asana) allows you to explore posture flows and deep meditation simultaneously. Class begins with pranayama to bring each participant fully present. Students then prepare for posture flows, opening the body through deep stretches and pratapana (building heat). Posture flows move slowly and purposely, and classes are designed with careful attention to movement and alignment of the spine. Often referred to as “Meditation in Motion”, all students are encouraged to move with the breath and explore each pose within their own physical limit and strengths, making this class appropriate for all levels of student.

Kripalu Yoga Teachers study at the Kripalu Center in the lineage of Swami Kripalvanandijii for whom this style of yoga is named.

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Pranayama

All Levels, Meditative

Prana refers to both the breath and the life force energy itself. This 30 minute seated practice is a guided practice of traditional pranayama designed to increase awareness, quiet the mind and purify the body. The practice concludes with a simple seated meditation. Practicing pranayama, a variety of yogic breathing techniques, has many benefits including increased energy and metabolism, purification, stress relief and relaxation.  

This class is by donation or 1 yoga pass credit.
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All Levels Vinyasa Yoga

 All Levels to Intermediate

Vinyasa, meaning “to place attention in a special way” is a style of yoga where breath and movement are linked together rhythmically, cultivating fluidity, flexibility and strength while balancing movement and stillness. An All Levels Vinyasa class integrates the principals of alignment into a flowing practice experience while offering posture and transition options to students of differing levels. Vinyasa practice moves at a quicker pace than other yoga asana practice and requires basic flexibility, breath awareness and strength. Some yoga experience is suggested. 

Vinyasa style classes are linked to various yoga lineages as vinyasa is a style of practice sequencing rather than a specific yoga tradition or lineage. Monday Noon, Friday 9:15a 
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