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Welcome to Flow Yoga Center where classes are a celebration of life, awakening the very essence of who we are. The warmth of our eco-friendly center and the excellence of our teachers offer a natural haven for those who seek a nurturing and soulful environment.
My first date with my husband was a Friday night Jivamukti class in New York City, and then dinner at the macrobiotic haven, Souen. Though it was almost 8 years ago, this particular Jiva class remains etched in my memory, including a challenging series of poses we practiced called "Picking Up the Step". (Check out the sequence below!)
I think it was the combination of strong love endorphins (I was standing next to my future husband after all!) coupled with the transformative power I typically feel taking a Jivamukti class that committed it to memory.
What's even more amazing to me is that the sequence we ran through that day -- which consists of some super challenging poses -- felt so accessible to me., I was able to flow through it with a genuine feeling of sthiram sukham (a concept from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras which translates as a balance of effort and ease).It was the very essence of the class, its messages and the devotion of the teacher that encouraged my practice that day. This is one of the many things I adore about Jivamukti Yoga -- classes are empowering, memorable, and spiritually uplifting.
When we opened Flow five years ago, it was a gift of coincidence that one of our teachers, Jill Abelson, decided to take Jivamukti's teacher training -- which inspired her practice and teaching deeply enough to plant the seed that has blossomed as Jivamukti at Flow.
Our Jiva offerings have grown each year since. We now offer six (soon to be more) Jiva classes each week, and regularly host Jiva's senior teachers including founders Sharon Gannon and David Life next returning the weekend of March 26, 2010 - save the date!) And finally, I'm so pleased to announce that this fall Flow officially became a Jivamukti affiliate studio!
This month, I asked Jill to contribute to the newsletter to share her thoughts about what makes Jivamukti so special. Here's what Jill had to say - writing from her new home away from home in San Francisco:
In San Francisco, the students often ask me what makes Jivamukti yoga different from regular vinyasa classes. "Are the poses different? Do we do core work? Is it harder or easier?" To answer their questions, I have been saying both "yes" and "no".
The difference lies in the structure of the class, as well as Jivamukti's five guiding principles: compassion, meditation, devotion, scripture, and sound. Another distinct difference is the monthly focus, the purpose of which is to give a philosophical or spiritual context to the practice. The monthly focus is like a rich, beautiful backdrop for the teachings that month; over the years, these teachings leave an indelible imprint on your heart.
The October focus on Non-violent Communication serves up one of Patanjali's most famous yoga sutras:
vitarka-badhane pratipaksha-bhavanam (PYS II.33) -- "When disturbed by disturbing thoughts, think of the opposite."
When negative or destructive emotions like hate, anger, jealousy or the desire to do violence arise within you, cultivate the opposite state of mind. Always see the potential for kindness and goodness in every person and situation, and use that perception to bolster your own expression of kindness and goodness.
Sharon Gannon (Jivamukti's co-founder), explains why and how this is a useful practice for yogis and activists working to change the world. She advises that when you are interacting with others and disturbing thoughts arise that you try to cultivate the opposite thought through listening with a compassionate heart. She recommends trying to "feel" as a means to communicate.
Before speaking she suggests we might ask: "How do I want others to feel?" She advises us not to just lecture or pontificate. Then, she says, "see clearly: rather than separate the world into good guys and bad guys, victims and perpetrators, us and them, look for the peaceful unification we seek as yogis. How can we come together here? How can we understand each other?" When we relate to others in this way, we have succeeded, and bliss is the result. If we can recognize it and celebrate it in others, and we will find it in ourselves. "Liberation, or moksha, is the goal of yoga, and ecstasy, or bliss, is its experience."
We look forward to seeing you in all of our classes this month. Please check our schedule online for a full listing of all of our Jivamukti classes, plus Fall workshops with Cory Bryant, and visiting Jivamukti senior teacher Ruth Lauer!
Are you currently a full-time undergrad at a local university? During the months of October and November, please join us for any weekday class between 9am and 5:30pm and pay only $10/class. These passes must be purchased in studio with your current student ID.
Annual pass sale - pay $950 for a full year of unlimited classes at Flow.
New Classes Added! Jivamukti has been added Tuesdays 5-6pm and Pilates classes being offered Tues and Wed 12pm and 12:30pm.
Visit Flow at the Green Festival and enjoy free yoga, acro and afro - brazilian classes this weekend!
A huge thanks to all of you who attended the DC Global Mala and MC Yogi's recent concert and workshop! We love the energy and spirit you bring to our events - and visiting teachers continue to comment how special the DC yoga community is!
For those of you attending Shiva Rea's workshops this weekend, we are so excited to announce she will be joined by the Mayapuri drummers on Saturday afternoon! If you are taking both Saturday sessions please bring lunch or order a Java Green lunch box so you can hang out with us in the garden during break.
October Bodywork Special: Thai Yoga Therapy 20% off. Thai Yoga Therapy utilizes three major techniques to bring healing to the body and focus the mind: stretching the muscles, ligaments and joints, massaging the fascia, and tension release of acupressure points. Recipients benefit from increased flexibility, range of motion, muscle tension release and a clearer state of mind. For the month of October, enjoy a 90-minute session for $95 with select therapists.
With cold and flu season upon us, join us this month as we explore the detoxifying benefits of Halasana, "plow" pose or "poison-removing" pose. Practiced properly, Halasana stretches and improves flexibility in the spine while also calming the brain and nervous system, helps relieve stress and fatigue, massages and stimulates the thyroid gland and abdominal organs (improving digestion), and flushes mucous from the lungs.
Other Flu tips? The word around Flow is oregeno oil and chlorella!
In addition to over 80 weekly classes, and our monthly First Friday Midnight Yoga - Flow offers an array of workshops, special events and ways to get involved with the community. We recommend signing up early as most sell out!
Wah! Saturday 10/17 Join world-renowned musician Wah! for an evening of inspirational and upbeat kirtan. Hailed as singing "with the voice of a goddess" by Australian Yoga Life Magazine, Wah! has created 10 solo CDs and toured extensively to yoga and meditation communities, bringing her unique and creative style of devotional singing to bhaktis and music lovers around the world.
Midnight Rocket - Take a Red Eye Flight to the Moon (with David Kyle) Friday 11/20 David Kyle, of It's Yoga Puerto Rico, will be leading the class through an intensely strong and sweaty yoga class that will prepare you to fly through the Friday night party like a crazed monkey hopped up on jujubes!
Progressive Ashtanga (with David Kyle) Saturday 11/21 Progressive Asthanga is a style that combines the traditional Ashtanga Yoga of Pattabhi Jois, the non-traditional Ashtanga Yoga of Larry Schultz and adds the encouragement and fusion of personal creativity from David -- aka "The Mula Bandha King".
An Offering of Leaves Master Class -- and book signing (with Jivamukti Senior Teacher Ruth Lauer Maneti) Sunday 11/22 Many students and teachers at Flow have heard about and/or experienced Ruth Lauer Manenti. Affectionately known to her students as Lady Ruth, she is one of the most sought after and revered Jivamukti teachers in the world. Her teachings combine a wealth of scriptural study, intense asana practice and an unparalleled depth of humility and unconditional love.
The Way of the Happy Woman, A Nourishing Holiday Respite (with Sara Stover) Saturday 11/28 In a container of compassion, rest, and mindfulness, we will share yin yoga, flowing yoga, journaling, meditation, and group practices with an intention to rejuvenate, inspire, and deepen intimacy with our own hearts, bodies, and lives.
Bryan Kest Comes to the DC Area atThrive Yoga! Orientation to a Bryan Kest Power Yoga & Power Yoga Class - Friday October 23 Power Yoga Class &. Long, Slow and Deep Stretch Class - Saturday October 24 Power Yoga Class - Sunday October 25: 9:30 am-Noon For full details and times, visit: http://www.thriveyoga.com.
We recommend signing up early as most sell out!
All Hallows' Eve - Dance with the Ancestors (with Angela Ingram) Friday 10/30 Come and dance to the saints and ancestors on All Hallow's Eve , with Afro-Brazilian dance specialist Angela Ingram. This 2-hour class is inspired by the Michael Jackson song, "Reach in." "Put away that shade of sin, and let the love shine in!"
Awakening to Peace through Mindful Meditation (with Dr. Hugh Byrne) Saturday 10/31
This practice of mindfulness allows us to see more clearly our patterns and habits of holding and resistance, and to accept more fully the pleasure and pain, fear and joy, sadness and happiness that occur in life.
Yoga Therapy for Chronic Fatigue and Pain (with Megan Davis) Sundays 11/1/ - 11/22
Living with chronic fatigue or pain can be a cause of constant discomfort and feel like an attack on your reserves of strength, energy, and feelings of well-being. Through asana (postures), pranayama (breath work) and meditation, yoga can help you strengthen the physical body, enhance energy levels, and decrease pain symptoms and fatigue.
Mindful Breath Work for Emotional Healing (with Gopi Kinnecut) Mondays 11/2 11/23 The breath connects us to the many layers within the body. Through awareness and adaptation of breath, one can effect conscious change of destructive habits and negative emotions.
Lets Flip It - Midnight Flow (with Cory Bryant) Friday 11/6
Patanjali's Yoga Sutra 2:33 reads: Vitarka badhane pratipaksa bhavanam. This can be translated to mean "when negative thoughts disturb the mind, cultivate pondering over their opposites". In this workshop we will explore the use of specific asanas - INVERSIONS - to embody this sutra and carry it forth into our daily lives. Note: A percentage of this class profits will be donated to Dreams Fulfilled Relief Organization.
Body of Myth - Inanna's Descent (with Greg Marzullo) Saturday 11/7 Pairing the tale's thematic elements with a vigorous vinyasa practice, you will explore the story of Inanna's confrontation with her sister Ereshkigal and her trip down the dark roads we all must walk.
Jumping into Flow 1 (with Laura Zam) Saturday 10/11 This vibrant, well-structured workshop teaches beginning students all they need to feel confident in a Flow 1 class.
Svadhyaya - Self Study Life Coaching Group (with Carolyn Butcher) Sundays 10/11 and 11/8 This workshop will help you cultivate a practice of Svadhyaya - that's Sanskrit for self reflection and inquiring into your true nature -- through coaching, journaling, movement, meditation, and experiential exercises
Cultivate Gratitude - a Thanksgiving Day Workshop (with Megan Davis) Thursday 11/26 In this pay-what-you-can donation workshop, we will do 60 minutes of vinyasa and pranayama and 30 minutes of restorative poses followed by a 30 minute yoga nidra practice.
Whether you are 18 or 80 you can live a life you love. We all want one - a life we love - but how do we get one and what the heck is a life we love, anyway? By the end of this six week group you'll have all the tips and tools you need to define and live a life YOU love. You'll get many of the same tools I use with my individual clients that help them live extraordinary lives. Each week has a specific focus. The group discussion, journal inquires and action items will infuse your life and cells with all you need to get living a life you love in no time. Visit Vivid Living to learn more!
If you've ever thought about telling a story on the stage (true or fictional) or creating a one-person play, then this is the class in town! Taught by Flow teacher Laura Zam, an award-winning writer and performer, This workshop trains students in both writing and performance. Topics include plot, organic structure, character, use of breath and body, as well as establishing a relationship with an audience. This workshop is for writers who want to act, actors who want to write, all artists wishing to create work for themselves, and anyone with a story to tell. In a nurturing, structured environment, students create an ouline for a full-length one-person show. A short excerpt of this piece is presented in a public performance. NEXT CLASS:Mondays November 19 through November 23 - 7:00 - 9:30 pm $285 -- 10 percent discount for Flow Yoga students! Just use discount code "Flow" when you register.
(As in all yoga practices, allow your breath and the sensations in your body to be your primary guide when practicing!)
Begin in standing forward fold. Press your left foot firmly into the earth as you cup the right heel with both hands and mindfully begin to lift your foot, bending your knee towards your chest as you rise into a standing position. Keeping your heel cupped, extend your right leg, straightening it as you continue to balance on your strong left leg. Stand tall. Next, fold your torso over your extended leg and begin to bend your left knee while lowering down toward the floor keeping your right leg extended. Lower until you are hovering inches from the earth. Pause for a few breaths and begin to ascend back to a standing position. Bend your right knee, release your grip and lower your right foot to meet your left foot, then pause in tadasana.
"When we learn to move beyond mistaken concepts and see clearly, we no longer solidify reality. We see waves coming and going, arising and passing. We see that life, composed of this mind and body, is in a state of continual, constant transformation and flux. There is always the possibility of radical change. Every moment -- not just poetically or figuratively, but literally -- every moment we are dying and being reborn, we and all of life." Sharon Salzberg
"That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves" Garth Stein
Every weekday, Miriam's Kitchen offers a nutritious breakfast to individuals who are homeless in the DC area (typically 200 people or more per day). Cereal is a part of that nutritious breakfast and, unfortunately, the supply has dwindled. Miriam's also provides a light lunch (which often includes tuna or chicken salad) for the guests that attend the Wednesday afternoon cafe. In addition to providing meals for their guests, Miriam's Kitchen offers social services, including meeting needs such as clothing, toiletries, transportation, and haircuts, as well as after-breakfast programs such as art therapy, creative writing, poetry, and even yoga classes! On Saturday, 10/24 or Sunday, 10/25, please stop by Flow to drop off a box of cereal (or two, or three...) that will be delivered right to Miriam's Kitchen.
Need some support for your practice? Glow is stocked with lots of earth-friendly choices including yoga mats, organic yoga clothing, eye pillows, lotions, potions, soy candles, CDs incense and more. We carry amazing clothes made from lush fabrics by eco-friendly brands, including plus we feature lots of hand-made and home-made goodies.
Blessings, Gratitude, Love and Peace and Yoga....
Debra and the Flow Tribe
Flow Yoga Center - DC's Eco-Friendly Yoga Center
1450 P Street NW (next door to Whole Foods)
Washington, DC 20005