OWY Blog

  • Teacher Training 2015/2016!

    Teacher Training 2015/2016!

    Program Fee:   $2000.

    • $300 non-refundable deposit is due at the time of registration.  
    • Early registration discount of $200 ($1800 program total).  For early registration discount, register by Sept 1 for the fall session, by December 10, 2015 for the winter session.
    • All classes and workshops are free from the date the program is paid-in-full through the end of the Group Training Sessions.  

    Pay in full now and start coming to classes for free!

  • Summer School! (for Fall Teacher Training)

    Accumulate some hours toward Fall Teacher Training (beginning the weekend of Sept. 26) by attending our TT Summer School sessions.  Register now for the Fall Teacher Training and you can attend one or more of the following summber sessions:

    Noon to 3 PM on:
    June 10
    June 24
    July 8
    July 22  

    The focus of these sessions will be teaching practice and correct exeution of standard yoga asana.  

    Register early!  Register now because all classes and workshops are free from the date the program is paid-in-full through the end of the Group Training Sessions.  

    Visit our Teacher Training Page for more information about our program.

  • Guest Post: Jen Divis on Real Yoga

    Real Yoga

    Hip-hop artists debate the realness of their art.  What constitutes real hip hop?  There is something in the essence of this debate that I appreciate; a continual questioning of what makes the art authentic, true.  So I borrow the framework of this questioning when I think about the proliferation of hatha yoga – asana practice - in the western world today.  What is real yoga?  

    The teachings from the yogic mothers and fathers of the sub-continent - spiritual practitioners, innovators, and cosmic luminaries – illuminates for us the true core of yoga and its path is to practice with the intent of experiencing deep infinite stillness, consciousness.  Sharon Gannon captures this perfectly with her statement, “You cannot do yoga.  Yoga is your natural state.” 

    The Yoga Sutras, in which Swami Patanjali codified the teachings, science and practice of yoga is estimated to have been written in the second century CE.  This Classical era text provides 196 threads of yoga wisdom from practices which historians estimate to have been taking place as early as 3000 BCE.  As early as 3000 BCE!  In the first few sutras, Patanjali defines yoga as the cessation of the fluctuation of the mind in which the Seer abides in his natural state (Sutra 1.2 yogas citta vrtti nirodhah, Sutra1.3 tada drastuh svarupe vasthanam).  Paramahansa Yogananda’s beautiful prose inAutobiography of a Yogi echoes the same, “Yoga is a method for restraining the natural turbulence of thoughts, which otherwise impartially prevent all men, of all lands, from glimpsing their true nature of spirit.”

    Yoga, in western mind, is widely synonymous with asana practice; a series of physical postures or poses.  Asana or Hatha yoga practice aims to liberate the bodymind through physical transformation, asana and pranayama practice to achieve deep stillness.  The Yoga Sutras’ single reference to asana,commonly translates to asana is a stable, firm and comfortable position (Sutra2.46 sthira sukham asanam).  The etymological root of asana guides us to the essence of the practice; ‘as’ means ‘to stay’.  Yogi masters know, practice and impart this.  Iyengar and Ashtanga lineages hold poses for a minimum of five breaths.  Hridaya, yin, and restorative yoga hold poses in excess of five minutes on the short side. Sri Dharma Mittra continually reminds his students to remain steady and feel comfortable in an asana.  He cautions that an obstacle to progression is not staying in a pose long enough and instructs us to perform the pose according to our own physical condition.  (You are likely going beyond your condition if you lose stability, firmness and comfort!) 

    Stillness of body, stillness of mind.  Real yoga.

    To me, the diversity of asana practices today is a beautiful unfolding of the yogic way.  Each lineage and practice, when infused in the spirit of these ancient sutras, offers the bodymind an opportunity to transform and move toward stillness.  And, the diversity makes yoga accessible, it lets us gravitate to what we like, what resonates. 

    How does your yoga asana practice bring you toward stillness?  

    Bio:
    Jen Divis is a traveller.  An archer by nature, she is happiest when exploring the beauty of the world -- its cultures, peoples, nature and of course, yoga traditions and practices.  Her inner swimmer has a healthy respect for the technical and alignment focus of the Iyengar lineage and her whole being loves any practice that works to create inner peace.  She is RYT-200 certified from Yoga District studio of Washington DC.
  • Easter Sunday Schedule

    No Classes Easter Sunday

    Regular schedule for the rest of the weekend.

  • Class Notes #3

    1. Yin Yoga

    This Saturday from 10:30 to noon Shannon is teaching a special Yin Yoga workshop.  Like a regular class, but just this one time.  Those of you who have been coming to my classes have been getting a tiny taste of Yin Yoga.  The simplest description is that you hold poses in as relaxed a way as possible for a looooong time, like 3 to 5 minutes.  You get a deep stretch that's just not possible with the shorter times we normally hold poses.  I went to my first Yin class over 10 years ago and it permanently changed the way I practice.  If you like yoga and have been curious about meditation, Yin yoga is the perfect combo of the two.  I put a check in both columns when I practice Yin, meditation and asana.  I often break the rules when I practice Yin (shocking, I know) and altenate between the passive Yin style and the more active/engaged Yang style that we typically practice.  Yin has been a fundamental part of Shannon's yoga for a long time as well.  I practiced with her and some of her friends once.  They spent a good deal of the time socializing!  Yin can be nice like that.  Even though it can feel very "serious" when in a class, it lends itself to a very informal atmosphere, which Shannon is good at setting up.

    And don't be mislead.  Yin yoga is NOT Gentle Yoga or in any other way "easy".  It can be very challenging and thus, very rewarding.  Think pigeon for 5 minutes.  You start to get bored around minute two, then by minute three you can hardly endure the sensation!  It's fun.  Give it a try.  I'm sure Shannon will also set up a nice play list.

    2.  Alternate Nostril Breathing

    This exercise forms the foundation of a good yoga breathing practice.  I've been doing three rounds at the end of every class and will continue to do this for a while.  It's super good for us and if we want to get the full benefits from this ancient practice of yoga (and why wouldn't we?!) then incorporating the breathing exercises is important.  Here is a nice web-link describing alternate nostril breathing if you're interested in more information.

    3. Speaking of meditation, I'll be teaching a meditation class tomorrow night (Wednesday Feb 18th) at Elite Wellness Group at 6:30 PM.  The meditation I teach is a mix of practices, that I would claim are fun:  standing, sitting, moving, maybe chanting, maybe alternated nostril breathing....This class happens once a month on the 3rd Wednesday.