This is a beautiful tribute to a life lived in balance. Maia Helles is 95 years old, a former Russian ballet dancer who lives a yogini life in many ways. Take some time to find balance by watching this 4 1/2 minute video . . . You can spare the time, and it’s beauty for the spirit!
My friend Maia from julia warr on Vimeo.
Last week, we spent some time in the wonderful world of back bends, using the concept of lila, the sanskrit word for “play.” Back bends open the heart as well as the spirit. It was an amazing week, watching people finding their ways into asanas like urdhva dhanurasana, or wheel pose, who never thought they’d be there! If you’ve ever been in a yoga class doing back bends, it also makes everyone quite giddy . . . the yoga of a good laugh is great for the spirit! As a teacher, it was amazing to watch the difference between the attempt to “effort” into something, versus lightening up a bit, letting it be playful, and seeing where that playful immersion will take us. Pure joy!
Okay, not really . . . but you feel like you’re levitating. Jump for joy! This picture taken at Bliss Studio in a wonderful class taught by my friend and mentor, Danielle Eastman.
We’ve been challenging ourselves with some poses that bring up abhinivesa (sanskrit) or fear. Sometimes, handstand is that kind of a pose. We counter the fear response with our breath, focus and good humor . . . and it always helps when you are hanging out (or down) with your friends! This image is from a workshop with Tiffany Woods held at Nourish Studio.
“Do or not do . . . there is no ‘try.’ Be open to yes.” -Yoda
Little did I know, when I was coming up with a name for my website, that Yoda had already beat me to it! I love that the little green guy with the pointy ears came up with the idea first. He’s such an iconic yogi! My friend and teacher, Nancy Burtenshaw, speaks of being “open to yes” as the expression of yoga that we take off of the mat and into our lives. The first principal of Nia invites us to “choose the sensation of joy,” and then to dance and be that joyful presence in the world.
As a yoga and Nia instructor residing in an area of eastern Washington/Northern Idaho we fondly call the “Palouse,” being open to yes is a way not only to practice yoga and dance, but to live. As your teacher, we work and play together to find beautiful and creative ways that we can nurture your ability to say “Yes” to the things in your life that will enable you to live more fully and congruently. As this website develops, I hope it will help you find encouragement, inspiration and an online community forum that will nudge you toward your own expression of “Yes.” Please come back as content is added, including my class teaching schedule, class prices, events, and more posts.
Are you game? Then ready, set, go!