21 Days to Abundant Joy

Every summer for many years, alleyCat Yoga practitioners have embarked upon an early morning ritual of practice at sunrise (6:00 – 7:15 a.m.) for 21 days straight. And this year anyone from around the world can take the class LIVE ONLINE over Zoom. Why on earth would someone do that, you might ask? Answer: Because it could change your entire life. 

No joke. After 21 days of getting up and practicing yoga before you start your day, I’m convinced that you will experience one or all of the following benefits: You will feel like a new person. You will have more energy. You will be more confident. You will have better health. You will have more clarity and insight into how you live your life. You will be more loving toward yourself and others. You will be stronger and more flexible in your mind and body. You will love the morning.

This year the 21 Day Sunrise Yoga Adventure will be structured around the first and second steps of the yogic eight-fold path—the Yamas and the Niyamas. These are the ten ethical practices from the yoga sutra that help you live your life with more grace and kindness on and off the mat. Read More »

Why I Love Yoga Nidra

I love magic and mystery and Yoga Nidra is magical and mysterious.

I love juxtapositions and Yoga Nidra invites us to see opposites working together.

I love feeling grounded in the body but yet expansive and Yoga Nidra creates both.

I love the process of self-discovery and increased self-awareness and Yoga Nidra fosters these.

I love new experiences that can be challenging but are so worth it and Yoga Nidra does that.

I love feeling more solid in myself yet connected with all that it and that’s what Yoga Nidra does for me.

New Year, New Mind

As we move into the new year, the new decade, each of us has the opportunity to wipe away the old and intentionally step forward into the new. Meditation practice offers the same benefit, the opportunity to step out of the conditioned patterns of the mind and step into a new space of being, a new relationship with the moment.
 
Meditation practice is central to the practices of yoga and, in fact, IS the point of the practice itself, creating space between the thoughts. Put simply, meditation is a practice in which we train our minds to maintain a steady focus in order to strengthen our attention, deepen our awareness, and cultivate happiness, well-being, and stable peace of mind.
 
We are fortunate to have a teacher with the skill and knowledge of meditation practices that Lynn Rossy brings to the studio. If you desire to begin or cultivate a deeper practice of meditation I invite you to join her for Intro to Meditation on Tuesdays in January. Learn more and register below:
 
 
May we all find inner peace and joy in the coming year. ~ Susan

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 »