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Community

Meet Dynamic Gentle Yoga Teacher, Mary Koster

I took my first yoga class in an outdoor garden with friends after work in 2000. Those evenings were the best part of a stressful time: I was recently engaged to be married, planning a wedding, and looking for somewhere to live.

Looking back over the past 20 years, I see that yoga has helped me to feel steady as difficult situations keep coming, as Rudy says: “life is relentless”. A yoga class is one of my favorite places to be (in addition to college campuses and airports). I always feel better at the end of a yoga class.

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Cat with eyes closed looking contented
Yoga Philosophy

Santosha – Contentment through Awareness

The sparkling jewel of Santosha (contentment) invites us to drop into awareness of our current experience in the space between the thoughts. Contentment is available at the moment I become aware of what I am experiencing and discover that I have a choice. In one moment, there may be a

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close up photograph of a snowflake crystal
Yoga Philosophy

Notes on Purification (Saucha, the First Niyama)

This month, the Gentle Yogis community-time conversation made a transition. In The Yamas and Niyamas, Debra Adele describes the shift from the Yamas to the Niyamas as being similar to a shift from creating an adult relationship with others to creating an adult relationship with ourselves. We began this past month to explore the Niyamas. The Niyamas are considered guidance for how to approach personal practice. There are two ways to approach the sequence of the five Niyamas. There is a genius to the sequence as listed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra; we studied Saucha/Purification in November and will proceed with Santosha/Contentment in December.

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open hand with butterfly blue sky
Yoga Philosophy

Aparigraha: Releasing My Grip

What an incredible journey! These past few months have been an immense process of self-study and self-discovery. With each new yama I wonder which unseen or long forgotten part of myself I will encounter next.

First, we began with ahimsa, do no harm in thought, word or deed. Ahimsa invites me to ask, may my thoughts, words and deeds be kind to others and most importantly to myself. May this study of the yamas and niyamas be a kind journey, shining the light of awareness as guided by this ancient text, Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. We have been taking these steps with compassionate self-observation as Swami Kripalu has suggested as best we can.

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Bhavani Lorrain Nelson Kripalu Meditation Teacher Kirtan Wallah
Gentle Practice

Concentration Practices as Gateways to Meditation

Meditation is not something we do; it’s something we fall into when the conditions are right. And how do we set the right conditions? By training the mind to concentrate—to be able to focus on an object of some kind without straying.  Is it Meditation? The techniques we’ve been led

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woman feeling peaceful and content in anjali mudra
Yoga Philosophy

What do I need? How much is enough? (Brahmacharya – Moderation)

For community time after the Breath Practice each day, we are in month four of a fascinating journey into the exploration of the Yamas and Niyamas. This month we have opened the treasure chest of Brahmacharya. It has not disappointed. We’ve been surprised and challenged. Brahmacharya’s meaning includes moderation, non-excess, energy management and its translation is “walking towards creation.” I think of it as gathering energy, avoiding wasting energy, to serve my vitality and the highest good.

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puppy not practicing asteya non-stealing
Yoga Philosophy

Asteya, What Do You Have to Teach Me?

Our exploration of Asteya began with stories of childhood and adolescent petty larceny. Shoplifting. Stealing from Dad’s wallet. Taking money from that pumping gas job. The blurred boundaries of the college years when sharing drifted into rationalized taking, “he doesn’t need that as much as I do.” One person shared that “we used to call it ‘stealing from the man,’ reflecting a common attitude that a corporation takes more than it gives.
And, don’t forget tax loopholes, pay phone coin returns and illegal parking.

We acknowledged some regret, remorse, humility, a bit of shame. Yet, we were unaware that we hadn’t really begun the deep exploration of non-stealing that was about to evolve.

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Michelle Carlino Kripalu Yoga Teacher Gentle Yogis Guest Faculty
Community

Meet Gentle Yoga Teacher Michelle Carlino

Yoga has been a saving grace in my life. This ancient practice has served as an anchor through many challenges over the years. It has enabled me to develop a deep relationship with my body, mind and spirit. It is from this place that I teach.
I first began exploring yoga when I was 17. It touched me at a tender time through a small book on yoga my mother gave me shortly before she passed away at that time. I followed the guidelines given and started to feel soft shifts within. I practiced mostly on my own through college, then started with a few teachers.

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chair yoga is not what you think
Gentle Practice

An Unexpected Revelation – Chair Yoga

Does the idea of doing yoga with a chair sound unappealing? Do you imagine chair yoga is not “real yoga,” that it’s for others who are less mobile, or maybe more limited than you? I hear over and over again variations on this sentiment, “I never expected how good I would feel after a chair practice.” Consider chair yoga is not just an alternative to mat/floor yoga; in many ways chair yoga can be an enhancement. The chair is a surprisingly versatile yoga prop and can help you go deeper in your practice.

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Tammy Kaleel speaks about Dynamic Gentle Yoga Teacher Training
Teaching Gentle

Making yoga more accessible

This is the first in a series of videos from graduates of the Dynamic Gentle Yoga Teacher Training with Rudy Peirce.  Are you interested in making yoga more accessible to people who may not think they can do yoga? Learn why Tammy chose this training and how it changed her

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