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  971 NW Spruce Ave Ste 101, Corvallis, OR  |  541-224-6566  |  My Account  |

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6:21 pm

Yoga Off the Mat


By Koa Tom

My mind gets stuck on things—it reels on a topic over and over, keeping me up at night and not in present. Yoga is a great tool for taming and channeling this wayward energy, in ways I didn’t expect. Lately, when I’ve found myself up at night, my thoughts racing through my days ahead and all I have to do (as if this will get it done), I start thinking about yoga. I teach, so it sort of starts as work—coming up with a flow or cuing one—but, eventually, just thinking of yoga calms my mind. I realize my breath has lengthened, deepened and evened out. The racing thoughts, and even the thoughts of yoga, slip away and calm in the present returns.

Hence, yoga works off the mat, as we teachers are inclined to say. For me, just thinking of yoga evokes all the feelings and physiological responses that come with a physical practice, so I can get back to studying, writing and enjoying life.

Koa teaches Friday Happy Hour class at 5:30 Fridays. Sign up here.

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4:14 pm

Partner Yoga by Mara Nery


The asana practice is often a solitary one. Even when we are in a class with others, we can feel isolated on our mats. We may practice tuning out the world so we can connect with our Selves. But when we practice together, it’s an opportunity to realize our shared nature. Engaging in postures together provides an opportunity to nurture each other, to practice giving and to learn how to graciously receive. A partner can illuminate different sensations in a posture, which changes how we experience and feel yoga in our bodies, and expands our ideas of what it means to practice “yoga.”

By exploring asana with a partner, we deepen our own practice through listening, observation and mindful movements. This shared practice cultivates playfulness and joy, as well as fostering trust in our partner. We rely on our partners to support us, help us, and guide us through surrender. These shared experiences deepen our awareness and connection not only to each other, but also to our own bodies through shared touch, breath, and movement. We can more fully experience a posture with the help of another. And in this we realize that very few things we do in life are actually the result of our own isolated efforts; that we are in so many ways entwined with one another, relying on each other for support, balance, and guidance.

Join us February 7, 12-2 p.m. Sign up here.
Early bird: $30/pair before February 1, 2015
$35/pair after February 1, 2015

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7:11 pm

What Does Mythology Have to Do With Me? By Angela Grace Greenwood


Passion, intrigue, betrayal, gods, goddesses, demons… What more could one ask? We all love a good story. Anyone else stay up all night to read the final volume of Harry Potter? Have you ever been swept away to Wuthering Heights? Compelling novels and movies spark our imagination and lure into awareness secret yearnings and needs. We play out our longing to pulse with life, to experience even the shadow, and to do battle with our darkest self through the characters in the story.

The ancient yogis looked at forces of nature and saw gods and goddesses at play. They went deep into meditation and saw similar movements in the human psyche. This they labeled god and goddess as well and created fertile, potent mythology. Reading the Mahabarata, one of India’s two epic works, is like reading Harry Potter on steroids.

We as modern yogis and yoginis can leverage Hindu mythology to aid our personal practice. We can use its verbiage and imagery to help describe meditative experiences. Mystics of all spiritual paths have long struggled to verbalize experiences of expanded consciousness. This is where mythology can help. When I contemplate the devastation and blackness left after a forest fire, I can bring to mind the goddess Kali and am reminded that from dissolution springs potential, rebirth. When I enter deep meditation and feel as if my cranium dissolves into the heavens, I can name it an experience of Bhuvaneswari, goddess of sacred space. When I am brought to my knees in awe of an exquisite sunset, I remember goddess Lakshmi and her abundant heart. Remembering the words and images of mythology helps me label, give voice to the sensations in my body and spirit so I can hold the experience and recognize it when it surfaces again.

It works the other way as well. Meditative states are facilitated when using mantras and imagery of the goddesses. When I want to invoke my courage, flexibility and adaptability, I chant to the goddess Durga, contemplate her iconography, and remember her story. Such a practice has the subtle effect of awakening neurological pathways so that I do feel more courageous. I am not calling on an external agency. Mantra is a phrase repeated to animate dormant aspects of our own consciousness. Chanting, storytelling, and contemplating iconography are all right brain activities. Creative exercises such as these rouse the vijanamaya kosha. According to yoga, vijanamaya kosha is present in all people and represents our natural intuition and wisdom. Touching into vijanamaya kosha is said to be one of the most powerful techniques to work for deep personal transformation.

I have found this true in my personal practice. That is why I am so excited to offer two workshops in February entitled The Wisdom Goddesses of Yoga. The workshop on February 14 focuses on the great love story of Parvati and Shiva. You are every character in the story, so this story is not about external relationships. Rather it is the story of that part of you dedicated to personal evolution. On February 28, we will explore the relationship between devastating lose and its inherent potential with the stories of Kali and Lakshmi. We might need a bit of Durga thrown in for courage to face what life brings.

Join me as we use mantra, mythology, meditation and asana as portals to inner love, wisdom, and enduring strength.

Register Here!
Wisdom Goddesses of Yoga~Embrace Your Inner Love 2/14/15 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Price: $39 early bird registration by 1/15/15; $49 thereafter

Wisdom Goddesses of Yoga~ Embrace Your Power 2/28/15 1:30-3:45 p.m.
Price: $39 early bird registration by 1/31/15; $49 thereafter 

Wisdom Goddesses of Yoga~ Move From Love 3/28/15 5:15-7 p.m.
Price: $29 early bird registration by 3/1/15; $39 thereafter

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4:36 pm

Love is Real and Always Available by Kristina Ender


When people ask me why I consider Kira Ryder my teacher, the reply is simple; playing with her brings more love to my life, expands my awareness of self, deepens my sense of connection to all and creates laughter, a whole lot of laughter.

Practicing with Kira is this beautiful dance of going deeply into myself in a fearless and safe manner while simultaneously nurturing a light hearted way of being, of developing affection for the self and compassion for others. For me, this creates an extraordinary space from which to grow, love and be surprised.

This February we'll explore the Primal Longings of our Heart, The Nature and Cosmic Play of Desire, weaving wisdom of the sages, scientists, mystics and monkeys. What will we find in this exploration? I'm not sure! Yet my previous play with her ensures me that she'll draw upon her deep and expansive knowledge of the Yogic traditions to open us up to unseen aspects of our being. We'll be surprised, we'll laugh, we may shed a few tears and we'll feel the fullness our hearts and humanness.

I hope you'll come play with us and experience love; for it's real and it's always available to us. If you'd like to hear more about my personal experiences with Kira, please contact me at Kristina@livewellstudio.com. I'm happy to share.

Learn more Kira in her own words here: Introduction on Yoga Anytime
TED-X: Slip into Something More Comfortable

Visit Kira’s home studio, Lulu Bandha's, here. = http://www.lulubandhas.com/yoga/

Workshop details and registration here. $300 early bird price ends January 20th, thereafter $350

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3:17 pm

30 good reasons to practice yoga by Lisa Wells PhD, ERYT500



Yoga reduces chronic pain.
Yoga lowers blood pressure.
Yoga promotes weight loss
Yoga makes you taller.
Yoga strengthens bones.
Yoga reduces anxiety.
Yoga improves your balance.
Yoga conditions your
cardiovascular system.
Yoga improves strength.
Yoga helps you manage life’s
challenges gracefully.
Yoga increases flexibility and range
of motion.
Yoga improves your breathing.
Yoga improves your sleep.
Yoga eases neck pain.
Yoga helps heal injuries.
Yoga builds a stronger core.
Yoga helps you make friends.
Yoga is accessible to everyone.
Yoga reduces arthritis pain.
Yoga heals back pain.
Yoga improves brain function.
Yoga helps you manage PMS.
Yoga eases prenatal discomfort.
Yoga helps with birth and delivery.
Yoga helps you manage menopause gracefully.
Yoga improves your sex life.
Yoga relaxes your nervous system.
Yoga lowers the levels of the stress
hormone cortisol.
Yoga lowers blood sugar.
Yoga feels good.


10 bad reasons not to practice yoga
I’ve heard each of these from someone over the years.

1. I can’t touch my toes.

Yoga has nothing to do with touching your toes. You might eventually; you

might not. It’s all about the journey.

2. I can’t find a class that works in my schedule.

There are classes in Corvallis as early as 6am and as late as 7pm and nearly

every hour in between.

3. I can’t afford it.

Most studios offer a low cost or free community class weekly. Many gyms

include yoga classes as part of their membership.

4. I don’t know where to begin.

Look for a class labeled: beginner, gentle, restorative, or level 1. All studio’s

have them.

5. It’s too woo woo for me.

Very few yoga classes include esoteric teachings. If you stumble into a class

that does, try a different one.

6. I’m a Christian.

So are many yoga teachers. Yoga and Christianity are very compatible.

7. It’s too hot (too cold) in there.

If you don’t like it hot, stay out of the Bikram Studio. If you do, head right on

over.

8. I don’t have the right clothing.

All you need is something comfortable that you can move in. Old sweats,

shorts, a t-shirt. No fancy gear required.

9. I might get hurt.

Ah yes, you read that article in the New York Times last year. Yes, you might get hurt. But in my experience yoga injuries are much less common than injuries from other sports. If you practice with a good teacher and don’t let your ego push you too fast, you are unlikely to injure yourself.

10. I’m scared.

Us yogis are pretty likable and welcoming people. We especially like newcomers. Come on into the studio and give it a try! You’ll feel better for it.

Yoga • Pilates • Dance
Lisa co-owns Live Well Studio in Corvallis. She has been practicing yoga for 25 years and teaching for 13. She has used yoga to heal from a major back injury, to help with 2 pregnancies and deliveries,
to pass through menopause, to move across the country, to lose her dream job and create a new dream job, and to stay sane and healthy in a tumultuous world.

971 NW Spruce Ave., Corvallis, OR 97330 541.224.6566 | livewellstudio.com

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12:12 am

Making Peace with My Body

By Lisa Wells

For most of my life I have lived with an internal dialogue that has bounced between “Hey, how about a some chocolate?  A hot fudge sundae would be really good right now, or maybe that fabulous carrot cake from the Co-op,” to “You really need to lose some weight. You’re fat. You don’t deserve to eat. If you just lost 5 (10, 20) pounds everything would be better.”  I’ve felt like I had the proverbial devil and angel resting on my shoulders. I always considered the devil to be the voice encouraging me to eat a cookie and the angel to be the voice encouraging me to lose weight. I’ve come to learn that they are one and the same voice and a curse regardless of the verbiage they are spouting at any particular moment.

When they first left me I was almost disoriented. Then I felt free. There was quiet and ease in my mind that I hadn’t ever experienced, at least not in the years I have conscious memory of. The freedom from the desires to overeat and lose weight is extraordinary. The freedom from the voices of self-criticism is more delicious than the Co-ops carrot cake. I actually like myself the way I am. How sweet it is.

And this is what I want for you: to learn to like yourself; to find freedom and ease in your being; and to fall in love with the body you have. Our goal in ‘Making Peace with Your Body’ is not to lose weight, but to change our thinking and to find love for ourselves as we are. In love we nourish our selves with good delicious foods and we move and exercise our bodies in a way that is healthy and joyous.

I invite you to join me on this extraordinary journey of falling in love with the person who most deserves your love.

Sign up Here.

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4:32 pm

“Do we have to stop?” by Lisa Wells

Anyone who has been in one of my classes lately knows I’ve become infatuated with self-massage/body rolling techniques using the small balls and foam rollers. And inevitably, when we finish up a bit of body rolling someone says: “Do we have to stop?” It seems as if our bodies are craving the deep release and relaxation that body rolling gives us. As the soft tissue of the body yields and the nervous system relaxes, we feel ease of pain, relaxation of tightness, and downright pleasure in our tissues. We don’t want to stop. 

So, on Monday afternoons, from 4-5:15pm, starting in January, I’ll be offering a whole class of body rolling so that we don’t have to stop.  We’ll use the balls and foam rollers to release our body’s muscles, fascia, and connective tissues. The release that body rolling creates has been shown to increase range of motion and mobility, increase sports performance, decrease pain, enhance breath capacity, increase energy, reduce stress, and to improve posture, recovery and overall performance. 

This class can benefit everyone, from the ‘arm chair yogi’ to the professional athlete.  For athletes, rolling before exercise has been shown to improve performance and muscle recovery, and to decrease soreness for days after a workout.  For those with compromised health, foam rolling has also been shown to reduce arterial stiffness, improve arterial function and to improve vascular function. What does that mean?  Foam rolling can improve your health.  And that is good for all of us.

If you want to read more about rolling, I highly recommend these three books:  The Roll ModelJill Miller; The Melt Method, Sue Hitzman; and Pilates Props Workbook, Ellie Herman.

I hope you’ll join me on Monday nights, 4-5:15pm, starting January 5. Sign up here!

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2:50 pm

Why take Yoga Teacher Training?


There is such sweetness to life, such richness, such poignancy to be felt in this lifetime. Yoga reveals this in us, but it takes practice. Much practice.

 

Starting in January, Live Well’s teacher training and immersion program begins. Over the course of 200 hours and 10 weekends, we will dive deeply into philosophy, classic texts, postures, meditation, breath work, and anatomy. If you are interested in teaching yoga, our program is a wonderful training ground and provides Yoga Alliance certification. More importantly, however, it is an amazing opportunity for concentrated study and practice with a like-minded group of dedicated yogis. It is an opportunity for personal growth and transformation.

 

According to yoga, our natural state is one of deep contentment, deep joy, and connection. Somewhere in the workings of life, we tend to contract away from openhearted love. The habits that move us away from love can be interesting to overcome. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois said, “Practice and all is coming.” Practice focusing the mind and abundance will show itself. Practice using your breath and vitality will abound. Practice contentment and you will have more than you can wish for.

 

Perhaps you have caught a glimpse of what yoga can offer in your weekly class, and you are interested in learning to live from a state of yoga. Perhaps you are a natural teacher and you are ready to use your talents to share yoga with others. In any case, if you are hungry for deeper practice and study, you are most welcome in Live Well’s teacher training and immersion.

 

For more information, visit http://livewellstudio.com/pages/teacher-training. Or reach out to Angie Greenwood, lead instructor at afgreenwood9@gmail.com.


Payment plans are available.

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3:38 pm

Turning into Darkness: A New Moon Winter Solstice Retreat

Four years ago I took my first winter solstice darkness retreat. Over 3 days at the solstice I avoided the use of any artificial light. I planned my days so I wouldn’t need to cook or navigate anything dangerous between 4:30pm and 7:30am. I meditated in the dark. I practiced asana in the dark. I read and journaled by candlelight. I slept long and deep. I allowed my body to rest. I tried to turn off my personal achievement drive and let go of accomplishing anything. I made no lists. I made no plans. I let go of expectations.

I wasn’t perfect. I cheated a little here and there. I struggled with letting go of the need ‘to do something.’ I reflected on my attachment to my accomplishments and my addiction to achievement. My ego has long been tethered to managing your perception of who I am. My darkness retreat helped me loosen the ropes that bind me to my ego. And stating that out loud, writing it down for you to see, I feel the ropes tighten again. Must be time for another retreat.

And so we will enter the struggle in the dark together. We will slow down. We will nurture the light within us and shine it into the dark places. We will find acceptance for both the light and dark within. We will share stories from our lives.

The weekend will include guided meditation, Hatha Yoga, restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, journaling, Saturday dinner (soup, salad, bread, light desert), time for self reflection and sharing. We’ll meet on Saturday 12/20 from 2-8pm and Sunday 12/21 from 3-5:30pm.

I hope you’ll join us. The experience will be richer if you are a part of it.

~Lisa
Early Bird Cost: $120
Regular Cost (After December 8th): $150
register here

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12:27 pm

Celebrate Yin

As the fall season progresses, we begin to notice the longer nights and colder temperatures. My scarves and hats are back, as is my raingear! The beautiful fall leaves are dropping to the ground, making a cozy blanket over fall gardens and lawns. The farmer’s market abounds in root vegetables like beets, carrots, and potatoes. You could say that yin is increasing around us daily.

Since we are part of the natural world, our day-to-day experience may also be changing. I’m eating more soup and baked foods, and enjoying an evening cup of tea with a good book most nights. We can also mirror the energy of the season in our yoga practice by slowing down and increasing time for meditation and relaxation.

In my Yin Yoga classes, floor supported poses are held for 2-4 minutes at a time. This targets the yin tissues of the body – the deeper muscles, connective tissue and fascia. Working with the rhythm of the season, this 1.5 hour class includes longer time for meditation and pranayama.

Consider how you can honor this season, whether by attending a yin or restorative yoga class, roasting up a tray of root vegetables, starting a meditation practice, or whatever you are drawn to.

Here is a simple recipe for roasted root vegetables to get you started:
Dice up enough root vegetables to make an even layer in your roasting pan or big baking dish (ideas: peeled beets, potatoes, carrots, etc). Mix in some olive oil to coat, salt, pepper, and dried herbs if you are using them. Bake at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes, then give them a stir and add some roughly chopped garlic and fresh herbs if you didn’t use dried. Roast for about 10 more minutes or until done to your liking.


Sign up for Yin Yoga on 12/14/15 HERE

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