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

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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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2:42 pm

Psychology of the Heart



About five years ago a long-term yogi dharma friend who I hadn’t seen in a while said something striking: “I’ve been practicing the spiritual path pretty well, on a daily basis, for about ten years now – meditation, yoga and ethical living. Something’s really bothering me: I’m not getting happier, my relationships aren’t thriving, and I don’t really like my life so much … what’s wrong?” I knew him to be a sincere practitioner and didn’t doubt the truth of his statement or import of his question ... and he’s not the only one wondering about these things. I’ve spent much of my time since attempting to address the question – in adult workshops and as a Psychology Professor at OSU: exploring the intersections of positive psychology, meditation and yoga, adult development, Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, world religions and the like.
 

So what is the relationship between spiritual practices like meditation and yoga, and happiness and personal growth … for example, from the young but exploding field of positive psychology? And what does all of this have to do with the process of human growth and development? Can one excel in one direction and not in another? Are spiritual growth, human maturity, and happiness the same thing or different? What can we spiritual travelers learn from recent research in positive psychology, meditation, and adult development, to ensure that we are actually on an effective path to thrive, to grow, to flourish … to Live Well?

 

We’ll explore these questions in our Psychology of the Heart workshops, with plenty of time for discussion, personal exercises, and inspiration from like-minded friends and fellow travelers. Come with an open heart and mind … and we’ll learn from each other.

~Winston


Psychology of the Heart with Winston McCullough
November 15 and 16th, 12-4:30pm
$108 for full workshop before Nov. 1
$135 full workshop/$70 single day
Register here Psychology of the Heart
 
http://winstonmccullough.com/

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4:29 pm

Nothing Typical About This Yoga Class

On Saturday, October 4, the 9:00 am class will morph into what I’m calling Yoga & Strength Conditioning.  Recent research is indicating that strength in muscles groups supporting joints is critical for injury prevention and overall function of the body.

This active, energetic class is a combination of traditional yoga poses and conditioning exercises including Pilates mat work, therabands, foam rollers, and balance boards. These exercises are designed for specific conditioning of the stabilizing joints in the body to support rehabilitation from injury and cross training for athletic pursuits as well as to improve daily functional movement and comfort. 

You’re right; this won’t be a typical yoga class. It will include exercises to focus movement, awareness and breath to stabilizing muscles. These muscles are easy to forget and override with the strength of larger group muscles. Conversely, strengthening them will facilitate your asana practice and keep your knees, shoulders, and lower back safe.

And it won’t be a typical fitness class either. Don’t expect crunches, squats, or even many chatarangas.  You can expect to breathe together, move slowly, with intention, and feel what is really happening in the body. In short, we will practice yoga even in movements not typical to a yoga class.

Join me Saturdays, starting October 4, 9 am for Yoga & Strength Conditioning plus a healthy dose of laughter, humility, grace, and joy as we play and grow stronger together.

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2:51 pm

In Tune with the Self

I just took an on-line stress assessment test. My score of 338 put me in the category “You have a high risk of becoming ill in the very near future.” The back story: We’re moving. Both of our sons are moving out of town. One is starting college and the other taking a year off from college. We are remodeling a house and moving to the other side of town. We are growing a large garden with the goal of food independence.  We’ll be landlords. We have a new housemate. Jay has a new job. Those are the big changes. Smaller changes simmer in the background. I’m excited by the changes, and I can feel the stress in my shoulders, observe it in my dreams, and experience it in occasional bouts of short temper.  What to do?

Yoga, of course. I’m sure this doesn’t surprise you; the way I manage my stress is with my yoga practice. The magic of yoga is that it is a recipe that helps your body return to its parasympathetic nervous system state of relaxation. What does that mean?  It means your body has relaxation and healing abilities programmed into it.  Living in constant stress the body gets stuck in it’s aroused state. The aroused state is useful if you need to defend yourself from attack, get a lot done, or get angry at a wrong done. But when you are not under direct attack the physiology of stress will harm your body because the body cannot regenerate and heal itself, digest, or sleep well when it is in its aroused state. Yoga can teach us what we already know, but have forgotten: how to slow down, release stress, return to our relaxation state and let the body heal itself.  It is this experience that I believe is the magic of yoga. It is why Savasana is the most important pose of your practice. When you settle into Savasana after breathing and moving you can let everything go and let your body return to its baseline healing state.

We all need this de-stressing yoga medicine, and that is what Angie and I will be offering at our fall retreat “In Tune with the Self: A Yoga Retreat of Self Care.”  Angie and I will serve up a generous portion of our favorite self-care yoga.  We’ll arrive on Friday evening, share a delicious healthy dinner, followed by a full body restorative yoga practice and a good night’s sleep.  On Saturday morning, you have the option of awaking early for an energizing yoga practice with Angie, rising a bit later for a walking meditation with Lisa, or simply sleeping in until breakfast During the day we’ll have two yoga sessions designed to awaken your internal yogic wisdom, ground that wisdom into your body, and release any residual tension that remains. Saturday night will close with kirtan singing led by the fabulous Johanna Beekman. Sunday morning will begin with the same options of energizing yoga, walking meditation or sleeping in. After breakfast we’ll talk about how to take your yoga medicine and put it into daily practice. And, we’ll tie it all together with a final session of yoga medicine magic.

About our theme: In Tune with the Self. In yoga philosophy, capital S-Self implies the bigger self, the bigger knowing, and the intuitive self we find in meditation, stillness, and asana. Capital S-Self knows how to take care of itself. When we are living ‘In Tune’ with ‘the Self’ we are at our best, our most whole, and our healthiest. It becomes easy to care for the self, (the small s-self, the little self, the day-to-day self) because it is what we want to do.  We (the Self) love our selves into wellness. It feels like magic, but I would argue it is a natural physiological process that we can tap into if we learn the recipe. Yoga teaches us the recipe for finding our Selves. Bonus? As the body relaxes we can tap into our natural states of awe and wonder that feed our souls as well as our bodies.

We truly hope you will join us for a dose of sweet yoga medicine!

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3:03 pm

Yogi of the Month

Our Yogi of the month program helps us celebrate Yogis who exemplify Yoga on and OFF the mat. It is our hope that by sharing our personal stories of Yoga, we inspire and encourage others to find their path to wellbeing. This month we honor and celebrate Ann Schauber. Ann, a long time student at Live Well, (thank you!), embraced our summer unlimited class special and has practiced with us nearly everyday. It's been a joy to witness her expand her practice and share in her spirited presence.

Enjoy Ann's story and may it spark you to bravely explore something new.

What inspired you to up your commitment to practice this summer?
I have been wanting a daily yoga practice for awhile but my daily motivation to do so was not working so the summer special was the incentive I needed. In fact, I declared the summer to be a summer of retreat for me to become more of who I really am. I wanted a daily meditation practice and a daily yoga practice as a part of my retreat. I have done better with the yoga practice this summer, but heh, summer is not officially over yet.

What benefits have risen from your yoga practice?
As a postmenopausal woman, I find that my body needs regular stretching and strengthening to keep the aches and pains away and yoga definitely makes a difference!! In yoga, I am totally focused on my internal body and that in itself is a meditative practice. I find that I am getting to know my body in a whole new and fascinating way. Yoga for me also brings my energetic self fully into my body. My energy tends to hang out above the heart and I need to be more grounded and in my body. Yoga does that for me!

What is your favorite yoga pose? And why?
I don't have one favorite pose. I also have poses that make me groan before I move into them. I can, however, tell you what my favorite yoga class is: my favorite yoga class is when I walk out of the studio feeling like I have stretched muscles I didn't know I had and I feel fully present in my body. It is a great feeling!!

When you are not practicing yoga, what are you about?
I am about being present and listening to my inner guidance and paying attention to what shows up in my life. I am an emeritus professor of Oregon State University and I have a small consulting business called Caracolores, which focuses on working with our human differences within the self, in twos and small groups and in larger groups and organizations. My doctoral studies are in intercultural communication and organizational change. After my time at OSU, I spent eleven years with a school in Whitefish, Montana. I was a student, board member, and later director of the school. I am now focused on blending what I learned about our non-physical self and blending that with our cultural self. And I love that exploration.

What are people surprised to learn about you?
I have two great adult children. People seem most surprised when I tell them that I have a son who works with the sun as a solar physicist. My daughter is an arts educator with a focus on arts integration into the community. Believe it or not, the solar physicist is more employable in this economy.

What brings you joy?
Every day! Watching the birds in our yard, working in our yard, getting out to the ocean, the mountains, the wild places of Oregon.

I am honored to be chosen.
Thanks to Kristina and Lisa for thinking of me.

We're grateful to Manduka for their generous sponsorship of this program.

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4:55 pm

Protecting Your Vitality by Angela Grace Greenwood

Many of you know I am finishing up advanced training in yoga therapy. It has been an interesting path with emotional highs and lows, and many, many trips to Portland over the course of the last year and a half. Near the end of the training two months ago, it dawned on me how profoundly tired I was, bone tired as my mother would say. Life has a way of wearing us down if we are not intentional in self-care. You can think of your body, mind and spirit as a reservoir with input and output. We input energy through the food we consume, the air we breathe, the people with whom we associate, the thoughts we cultivate, and movement of our body. All of this helps fill up the tank. Then we can direct and use, that energy for the work of life. If the outgoing flow of energy is balanced by input and is focused, we have a sustainable energetic system. If, however, our system is unbalanced, leaky, and the outflow disperse, we are ripe for collapse. Such was my case. To replenish my reservoir, I slept as much as my schedule would allow, ate fresh nourishing foods, spent extra time in meditation, walked in the forest, and practiced yoga poses my body called for. There is no choice really. If you are not intentional in protecting your vitality, your human system will self-correct by crashing in some aspect. You will be left without the ability to continue down the paths you love. The teachings and techniques of yoga help us patch the leaks certainly. More importantly, however, yoga teaches us how to change behaviors and thought patterns that are draining us, focus our efforts, and step into a vibrant sustainable life. Join Angela Grace and Lisa Wells for In-Tune with the Self: a self care yoga retreat, October 17-19 at Still Meadows Retreat Center. Learn more here.

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