An Evening of Cat-themed Yoga, Nov. 27, 5:45-7:00 p.m.

Please sign up below and join us for a purrrfect evening of cat-themed yoga, a cat slide show, some cat yoga poses, and pretty much any creative cat-themed idea your Aloft teachers are able to conjure. We will even have some cat-themed refreshments and cat-themed music!

It’s all for a great cause-building the new cat shelter, supporting the Humane Society on #GIVINGTUESDAY and to support the Lauren McCluskey Memorial Fund for the new facility. Please feel free to wear a cat costume (maybe some ears?), bring some cat-themed snacks to share, and be ready to stretch and roll like a cat (chair sitting cats are welcome to join us as well!).

 

Sign up here for Cat Yoga fundraiser

Relax and Unwind Yoga

Usher in the weekend with an all levels class focused on relaxing the mind and restoring the body. Erin Wittman will lead you through some flow yoga to begin, and then a journey into unwinding and releasing the tension from the week, ending with guided relaxation. What a wonderful way to head into the weekend!

NEW CLASS OFFERING FOR EARLY RISERS! Rise and Shine yoga

Starting Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 6:30-7:30am

Awaken the body and mind with this all level, floor-based class. The class will include breath work, some meditation, foundational yoga poses during the warm-up and cool-down, gentle flow, and one “focal pose,” which will be taught at different levels. Students are encouraged to take the poses as deep or as gently as they like to honor how their bodies are feeling each day as we move through the class.

This class is taught in a Hatha yoga style, which is a balance between warming up and cooling down the body. This practice will help students stretch out the body and awaken and re-focus the mind after sleep. The intent is for students to leave the class feeling ready and energized for their day.

All levels of students are welcome and encouraged to join Lauren and Julia on Tuesday and Thursday mornings!

Aloft School of Yoga Teacher Training Program

Spring is in the air, and I am pleased to announce that we will once again be offering a 200-hour yoga teacher certification training program at the studio. Some of the modules in this training will also be offered as workshops available to the yoga student interested in deepening his/her practice, as well as to yoga teachers who are pursuing CEUs.

Aloft School of Yoga is a certified Yoga Teacher Training School, registered with Yoga Alliance. This training guides you through yoga asana, philosophy, pranayama (breath work), anatomy, meditation, pedagogy, teaching to particular needs and populations, an exploration of many facets of becoming a yoga teacher. Successful completion of the training will enable the student to register with Yoga Alliance as a yoga teacher at the 200 hour level. for more information about the training, please contact Kristine through the contact button on the website, via email at zak.kristine@gmail.com, or via text or phone (509) 336-1442.

The training is very focused on giving the teachers in training a sustained mentoring approach toward learning to teach yoga. We address specific interests of the trainees in teaching yoga to specific populations with specific concerns, as well as teaching multi-level yoga in a class setting.

We will be having an informational gathering about preparing for the training, costs, and timing of the training, so please let me know if you are interested in attending and I can send you more details or answer questions.

Namaste, Kristine

Candlelight Yoga (All levels): Fridays at 5:30 p.m.

Unwind from the work week with this gentle, candlelit class.  You will stretch, move, and breath in a safe space, leaving you relaxed and detoxified.  Using a combination of gentle vinyasa and yin postures, you will center your mind, strengthen your body, and stretch your tight muscles.  Taught by Lara, Kristine, Aramati, and the teachers of Aloft.  All levels are welcome.  The class is taught as a floor-based class, but you are welcome to come and modify using a chair . . . Priority is simply to come, relax, and BE !

Yoga Summer Intensives

Summer is an excellent time to learn something new!  We are offering a series of summer intensive courses — an opportunity to learn something new, or dive more deeply into your practice. Here’s what we have in store for you!

ASANA AND BEYOND:  Diving Deeper into Yoga  (Friday, July 22, 5:30 p.m.  – Sunday, July 24, 4:15, )  17 total hours  COST:  238.00

Have you ever wondered about deepening your yoga practice? Join Kristine for a mini-retreat that will take your practice deeper as you learn more about yoga, asana, meditation, and the rich philosophy of yoga.

ONE DAY ASANA INTENSIVE: (August 3) / COST $70.00

Take a day to deepen your knowledge of yoga asana.  This workshop will focus on exploring selected poses in depth.

August 3 (Wednesday)

10:00 – 11:30 AM: Yoga as It Is

12:30 – 4:00 PM: Asana In Detail

 INTENSIVE: EXPLORING ANATOMY AND SUBTLE ENERGY (Friday, Aug. 5, 5:30  – Sunday, Aug. 7, 5:30) 16 total hours/COST:  $225.00

This introductory workshop will focus on basic anatomy and introduce the “subtle energy” systems of yoga (the nadis and chakras). Designed for yoga students, the workshop will explore the ways yoga asana, meditation, and pranayama effect the systems of the body.

MINI- RETREAT:  LIVING A “YOGIC LIFESTYLE” (August 13, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.) COST: $70.00

Yoga is much more than a series of body postures. In its fullest expression yoga is a discipline, a path, and ultimately a way of life.  This retreat is an introduction to some of the components of yoga as a “lifestyle.” The retreat will include yoga asana, an introduction to yogic philosophy (with an opportunity for discussion and questions), breath-work or “pranayama,” and a fuller conversation about what it means to adapt yoga as an approach toward healthy living. This is the first in a series of mini-retreats that will be offered on this topic at Aloft Studios.

DAY OF MEDITATION AND MINDFULNESS (Sunday, August 14, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.)/COST:  $70.00

The day will consist of alternating periods of sitting and walking meditation with instruction. The day be held in Noble Silence which means that participants should not engage in conversation or socializing and that cell phones should be turned off and put away.  There will be opportunities for questions and answers after talks and instructions.  Participants should bring a lunch.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND RETREAT:  LEADING THE YOGIC LIFESTYLE (Part 2) (Saturday, September 3, 8:00 a.m.-Monday, Sept. 5, 3:00 p.m.)  18 HOURS TOTAL/ COST:  $175.00

NOTE:  You do not have to have attended part one to attend part two.

Yoga is much more than a series of body postures. In its fullest expression, yoga is a discipline, a path, and ultimately a way of life.  This retreat is an introduction to some of the components of yoga as a “lifestyle.” The retreat will include yoga asana, an introduction to yogic philosophy (with an opportunity for discussion and questions), breath-work or “pranayama,” and a fuller conversation about what it means to adapt yoga as an approach toward healthy living. The intent of this retreat is to not only deepen your practice, but also to enhance your understanding of yoga and support you in finding your path as a life-long practitioner. This is the second in a series of mini-retreats that will be offered on this topic at Aloft Studios. You do not have to have attended previous retreats to participate.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF THESE PROGRAMS, CONTACT KRISTINE THROUGH THIS WEBSITE OR AT zak.kristine@gmail.com.

 

 

We Welcome Janet Keeney, yoga and therapeutic yoga

janet headshotv1We are pleased to welcome Janet Keeney to the teaching faculty at Aloft Studios.  Please read her wonderful bio on the teacher’s page, as well as her class description.

Below is a description that Janet wrote of the class she is teaching, called “Yoga As It Is.”  It will give you a sense of the type of care and detail of the class:

“Over a period of 1 year, yoga practices are taught to develop awareness of, and work toward mastery of, each of our 5 levels of existence. We begin with the physical, and continue to practice at that level, as we progress into more subtle levels. These levels are called koshas, the following being a brief description of each:

1) Annamaya Kosha – The physical level. Asana practice is the primary practice at this level. The asanas not only increase strength, flexibility, agility, coordination, toning, improve balance, body awareness and proper spinal alignment, but they are also designed to create specific spinal movements, (including movements of the spine with breathing), to draw in awareness, postural and spacial awareness, awareness of tensions stored in the body, so they can be released, and an overall awareness, in preparation for meditation. The asanas are also a means to learn to put forth effort with complete relaxation. Chakra work is included in this level, including specific krias, (cleansing techniques), and bundhas, (gentle holding techniques), as well as specific prananyamas, (breathing techniques), for each chakra level.

2) Pranamaya Kosha – The life energy level. Pranayama practice, becoming aware of subtle life forces, utilizing specific breathing techniques. In these practices, students will learn to calm and conserve their life energies, alter the flow of energies for enhancing proficiency in desired activities, and enhance lung capacity. Practices at this life energy level also affect the physical and mental levels, relaxing the body and bringing peace to the mind. Practiced regularly, they also slow the aging process.

3) Manamaya Kosha – The mental level. Premeditation and meditation practices are done for this level, both traditional forms of yoga meditation, and non­traditional forms. Students will develop awareness of the pictorial mind and the verbal mind, and their variable ratios within individuals. With this awareness, students will learn to still the pictorial mind, and quiet the verbal mind, leading to a state of deep peace.

4) Vignanamaya Kosha – The intellectual level. Practices develop awareness of that aspect of our existence that directs our mind, so that mind “becomes an instrument in our hand”; we can become the directors of our own minds, rather that the mind seeming to “have a mind of its own”.

5) Anandamaya Kosha – The spiritual level. Well practiced states of meditation bring us to this level experientially. A map of this level is given intellectually, and a practice is given mentally, in order to bring about the experience of this spiritualSelf, which is total peace, pure bliss….”

Dance with Me . . .

5100025281_c125e2c49e_zI think that most of you know that, very soon, I am heading out to Boston to have brain surgery to attempt to remedy my epilepsy. I am very fortunate to have a talented and loving community of teachers to teach and substitute while I’m away, although classes will be more limited, so please be sure and check the schedule every week. I feel incredibly graced to have such a wonderful group of friends/teachers who have agreed to teach while I’m away, and also to have a loving community of students who have been understanding and supportive. I’m convinced that it takes a village to face up to brain surgery . . . Thanks for being my village.
I’m going to write a separate post about this, but one of the things I find myself wanting to do, as I face this surgery, is dance, and dance, and dance. I have loved having the opportunity to do Nia with many of you, and the joy and the freedom of dancing together seems to be keeping me in just the right, hope-filled space, living in the moment of now, that I need to be in to deal with what is coming up. So keep dancing with me while I’m away and send me your good energy!
Another thing I’ve learned a lot about is the incredible power of the stillness that yoga and meditation/prayer have taught me. About a month ago, I had an extensive series of brain scans at the Martinos Center, a research center of the Mass. General Hospital. Turns out I have a strong ability to make my body and mind very still for long periods of time, which makes for great brain scans. It has been interesting to “see” the images of my own meditating mind, and to discuss with researchers and doctors the power of learning stillness and how it does create a different looking brain.
So dance with me, or be still with me, in the weeks ahead. If you want to follow the details of what’s going on, I have another blog, epileptica.com, that is specifically about the surgery. My husband Jonathan as well as myself will be posting about my journey. In the meantime, I am grateful for the presence of all of you in my life, and it is an honor to teach you . . . One that I don’t take for granted.

Finding Your Quiet Place

IMG_1162Let’s face it . . . We all need a break sometimes.  We need moment to step back, gain some perspective, recognize that we are more than the thoughts and emotions we are having in the immediate moment.  We need a moment to realize that we are more than the physical pain, the grief, the fear, or the illness we are experiencing.  It’s no wonder that, within the traditional path of yoga, four of it’s eight limbs are dedicated to learning to quiet and focus our minds.  In yoga, it’s sometimes called “cultivating the witness.”  We use our breath, our ability to focus and concentrate, our posture, and our intention to become familiar with that part of ourselves that can “witness” our thoughts, feelings, even our discomfort.  We initially learn to recognize, and then gradually to be at home with, this witnessing part of ourselves.  Once found, the witnessing place within us can be a powerful reminder that we are more than the sum of our immediate strong feelings, thoughts, story-lines, physical pain, even illness.  Cultivation of the witness within ourselves empowers us to make choices where before we felt victim to circumstances and situations beyond our control.  We meet the witness as a loving, non-judgmental place within ourselves.  Spending time in this witnessing place creates a sense of sanctuary and peace.

We begin learning this process early on in yoga practice, and then we integrate it into our asana practice.  Once we are able to consistently find it in yoga, it has the benefit of expanding outward into the rest of our lives.

Yoga for Strength and Flexibility

Nervous about yoga?  Tight hamstrings?  Want to build arm and core strength?  Thursday at 5:45 is the class for you.  It’s a class that meets the particular needs of men and those new to yoga.  We use chairs and other “props” to move more deeply into yoga poses.

Can’t touch your toes?  No problem!  Can’t sit on the floor?  Okay!  Have no ideas what yoga pants look like?  That’s just fine!  All are welcome.  All levels invited.  No experience  necessary!  Wear comfortable clothing you can move in.  Taught by Kristine Zakarison.   THURSDAYS, 5:45 – 6:45,  COME JOIN US!