be brave

Hi All! Despite the crazy snow, we are still having class tonight at Breathe Om Yoga in Swarthmore, PA.  The roads, sidewalks, and parking lots are clear and the studio will be nice and toasty warm.  More than ever, we need to come to the mat and work on connecting our breath with movement to be grounded, balanced, and for tonight – open to living life to the fullest!  We’ll work on heart-opening poses that will help reinforce good posture and undo that hunched-over feeling we get from sitting at desks all day.  Brave the snow and cold, and warm up with this all levels vinyasa class.heart_swat.jpg

Come to 100 Park Avenue, 2nd floor at 6pm for a 75 minute vinyasa flow class. The first class with me is discounted at $12, after that the drop in rate is $17.  If you like the class and want more, you can buy a 10-class card for $150.

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balancing at 6pm

Tonight! All Levels Vinyasa class at  Breathe Om Yoga in Swarthmore, PA at 6pm focusing on balance.  Expect to challenge your equilibrium and find strength with breath-connected asanas.tree_ann_swat

Come to 100 Park Avenue, 2nd floor at 6pm for a 75 minute vinyasa flow class. The first class with me is discounted at $12, after that the drop in rate is $17.  If you like the class and want more, you can buy a 10-class card for $150.

get grounded

In tonight’s All Levels Vinyasa class at  Breathe Om Yoga in Swarthmore, PA we will be focusing on getting grounded.  Expect to create a foundation which includes putting down roots through our connection with the mat and testing our balance with breath-connected asanas.Screen Shot 2016-01-11 at 9.53.13 AM

Come to 100 Park Avenue, 2nd floor at 6pm for a 75 minute vinyasa flow class. The first class with me is discounted at $12, after that the drop in rate is $17.  If you like the class and want more, you can buy a 10-class card for $150.

Hope to see you there!

mama and baby yoga class

Yesterday I had the pleasure of teaching a Mama and Baby yoga class to a private group of practitioners in my hometown of Swarthmore, PA. (Many thanks to my sister Ursula for making the connection for me, to Katie for spearheading the communication between us all, and to Maris for hosting us in her beautiful home.)

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Baby Crunches – lifting head neck and shoulders off the ground while making funny faces or smiling at baby

 

The moms arrived with their 7-8 month old babies in tow, and the first thing I noticed was how graceful they all are with juggling multiple tasks at once- while the baby is held in one arm, the other arm is rolling out the yoga mat, etc.  Maybe there is some biology behind why women are better multi-taskers than men – we have to be in order to get it all done!

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Giuliana just learned how to crawl last week and gave her mama Gina quite a workout!

We began by introducing ourselves and sharing a recent milestone/moment that each baby had made.  Whether it was crawling for the first time, giggling, clapping or blowing raspberries, each mom was equally proud of their baby’s accomplishments.  I loved seeing that sweet glow of pride across their faces.

 

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Downward Facing Dog with visual connection/facial expressions

After our breath exercise connecting mama’s breath to the baby held closely, and visualizing expanding the center of calm from within mama to include baby, we did some gentle warmup poses like Cat/Cow, Downdog, and my favorite – Kiss the Baby Planks.  You’ve never heard so many peals of delight when mama is at the bottom of her plank and kissing the baby!  We then modified the Sun Salutations to hold baby, place baby down and maintain connection to breath through each flow.

 

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Zelda popped into a handstand with help from her mama Maris

The babies all had such great personalities, and you can see they are already their own little people even at this age.  They were even brave enough to try handstands! (I guess the moms were even more courageous to allow it.)

 

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The mamas were ready for Warrior 2 holding baby on the hip, no problem.

After a bevy of standing poses, the mamas were tired and we sat down for some seated and reclining poses, like Fly the Baby for Your Core, and Baby Benchpress Bridge.

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Baby Benchpress Bridge with Katie lifting Freddy from her hips
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Baby Presses: mamas engage the core and push into the lower back for stability while lifting baby up and down.  Sarah and Walker, front; Erica and Isabel, back                             
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Fly the Baby for Your Core! 

The idea in these yoga poses is to include baby, whether through touch, facial expressions, or physical movement.  And then of course, when the baby has ideas of his/her own of how things should go, just rolling with it. I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have witnessed the strong connections that these mothers have with their children.  It’s like nothing in the world! I think the benefit of doing yoga with your baby is evident – you can intensify the bond between you and your baby, get out of the house, get a good workout while having fun and connecting with other moms.  And of course – if mama is calm, baby is hopefully calm too.  You have to take care of yourself first.  Thanks everyone for the beautiful experience! Keep up the good work and hope to see you soon!

 

mondays at 6pm – vinyasa class in swarthmore

I’m excited to announce I’ll be teaching a regular All Levels class at Breathe Om Yoga in Swarthmore, PA – my hometown!! Come to 100 Park Avenue, 2nd floor, Mondays at 6pm for a 75 minute vinyasa flow class. The first class is discounted at $12, after that the drop in rate is $17.  If you like the class and want more, you can buy a 10-class card for $150.  It’s going to be a great year for yoga!  It all starts with the breath, and connecting your breath with movement.  From there, we’ll be exploring the asanas as I have learned them from Dhyana Yoga in Philadelphia.   The poses can be adapted to any level practitioner. Hope to see you soon.w.2_Ann.png

 

slay the ego

There’s a story about Durga, the warrior goddess, and how she took out a whole army of demons one by one – with the help of other goddesses like Kali popping out of her third eye to join the cause (although really they are all of one goddess.)  The demons or asuras had taken over the world at that point, and because of a clause that said ‘no gods’ could defeat them, the male gods called upon Durga, a goddess.

Durga gains access to the demon kingdom by saying she wants to marry a demon king, but her rules state she must first be defeated in battle by her would-be husband.   The demons love her pluck and determination, and are bewitched by her comely appearance.  Surely no female could defeat these rulers of the world! The demon kings send their minions to fight her.  She annihilates them in short order, and they soon realize they are not dealing with an ordinary woman.  One of the demons has a pretty epic trick up his sleeve – every drop of his blood that is spilled only creates more clones of himself.  As soon as she realizes this, she sends Kali to lick up each drop of blood before it hits the ground.

durga doing battleWith no army remaining, the demon kings must fight her themselves, and despite her fierceness their egos remain unchecked and they are still confident they can defeat her. They challenge her to fight alone instead of with the help of the other goddesses – and Durga responds by absorbing the goddesses into her form, stating that they are all of her body and she has in fact been alone all this time.  Her form is now very powerful and bright, and of course she ends up killing both the demon kings.   They die smiling, being filled with the light and warmth of the all powerful goddess.

I’d like to think of this story when my ego is getting the better of me, and envision my inner Durga slaying those demons.