Friday, January 29, 2010

Winter Reflection Retreat

The Winter Reflection Retreat brought together a diverse group of yogis from around Minnesota and beyond. We joined as a community in the practice of restoring ourselves though self-reflection, discussion, yoga nidra to rest our bodies and minds, restorative and therapeutic yoga, great food and lots of laughter. Thank you to the Amnicon staff and all the participants for making this such a lovely weekend.

Getting ready for Amnicon

Practicing Yin Yoga





Molly and Malcolm have eachother's backs

 The 2010 Winter Reflection Retreat Community

Until next year, Molly McManus and Sara Duke

Monday, January 18, 2010

When do I Rest?

The month of January is turning into a marathon of teaching and traveling. I know I need to take time out for myself to just catch up with slowing down but I'm so busy.

The first weekend of January Dave and I went to CA for a wedding which was awesome! The wedding was fun, seeing all the family was great, and being in warm weather on the beach was a much needed battery recharger.

The second weekend of January we took care of my mom's dog which wasn't really that stressful but it was something that tied us to the house. Emma (the dog) is too nervous to be left alone in the house so we were stuck at home.

The third weekend of January Dave and I went to visit friends in Rochester. We had a great time. We laughed a ton and did fun things like skating, and playing ping-pong and air-hockey. But it was so active that I was quite wiped out when we got home. I think I was dehydrated too. I drank 3 huge cups of tea before bed and didn't have to get up in the night.

The fourth weekend is the Winter Reflection Retreat. I'll be co-teaching with Molly for a 24-hour retreat. We're doing lots of restorative, yin and therapeutic yoga but I know I will be wiped out by the time it is over.

The fifth weekend is the beginning of Sadhana: an intensive study at Yoga North. We will meet 4 times in the next year for a full weekend of study and reflection. I know it's going to be great but I also know my brain will be on overload by the time the weekend is over. Naturally I teach 2 extra classes the week before the study begins.

I know I need to slow down but at the same time I like being busy so winter passes more quickly. I'm not a fan of being cold. I don't really participate in cold weather activities so keeping myself busy is my way of coping. Luckily, I have found something that is very helpful (in addition to restorative yoga): Yoga Nidra. I downloaded a few CD's from Amazon and listened to about 1.5 hours the first night. I felt so refreshed! I was relaxed, yet alert. The CD's I bought were Yoga Nidra by Robin Carnes and Yoga Nidra with James Jewell. If you are going to choose one over the other I would recommend the one by Robin Carnes. She gives a little more background and instruction. There's lots of other CD's out there too.

Namaste ~ Sara

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Restorative Schedule

Winter 2010 brings a change of schedule to Restorative Yoga

I will be teaching Yin Yoga every Friday at Yoga North and once a month on Mondays at Spiritual Deli. See my sidebar "Teaching Schedule" for more details.

Yin Yoga features long-held seated postures which promote a deep stretch in the body. Some poses will feature Restorative style poses, which use props to support the body, allowing a deeper opening, in others we will use no props at all, and sometimes I will draw on my Therapeutic training for pose inspiration. All poses will be held longer than in a regular Hatha class - around 5 minutes per pose. The dynamic of the class will be meditative, focusing on the breath and using the breath to find opening and ease in the body.

Details: Fridays (meets weekly) at Yoga North
Time: 5:15-6:30pm
Cost: Drop-in rate/ punchcard
Dates: Every Friday starting Jan 8

Details: Mondays (1 x monthly) at Spiritual Deli
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
Cost: Drop-in rate/ punchcard
Dates:  Jan 11, Feb 8, Mar 8

I will be teaching Restorative Stations 1x monthly at Yoga North in Thursday's special rotation. (Not a new class, but a new day and time.)

Details: Thursdays (1 x monthly) at Yoga North
Time: 7–8:15pm
Cost: Drop-in rate/ punchcard*
Dates: Jan 28, Feb 25, Mar 25

*Please pre-register for Restorative Stations. This class requires tons of set-up and I need to know how many people will be attending.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A-Z New Year's Resolutions

I received this A to Z list in a holiday letter. I don't know who wrote it - if anyone knows please let me know so I can give credit.

Accept differences
Be kind
Count your blessings
Express thanks
Give freely
Harm no one
Imagine more
Jettison anger
Keep confidences
Love truly
Master something
Nurture hope
Open your mind
Pack lightly
Quell rumors
Seek wisdom
Touch hearts
Value truth
Win graciously
Yearn for peace
Zealously support a worthy cause

Sara's note: I'm sure we can all think of many things we want to do differently in the new year. As we embark on this yearly adventure of change let's remember to be kind to ourselves, to forgive ourselves for our slip-ups, and to work steadily towards our goal.

Happy New Year ~ Peace to All