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

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3:54 pm

Meditations in the Forest

 

The forest is sacred to me.  Something almost magical happens as I make my way down a trail. I notice the texture of the moss on the trunks of trees, the movement of the leaves in the breeze, and the sounds of creatures scurrying to escape my unwanted presence. And the forest pulls me in.

 

The lush expanse of vegetation and richness of color remind me of abundance, and I feel blessed. The bramble of blackberry vines and untamed undergrowth remind me of the wild implulse of life insisting on expression. Decaying stumps and animal scat speak of a necessary release and return to elemental oneness. 

 

My breath deepens; my existence expands beyond the boundary of my skin. I feel connected to all life in the forest, and she calls to my soul. I become aware that my arms and open hands are lifted tree-ward, skyward.

 

Abrupt contraction. Oh no, did anyone see? Is there anyone else on the trail? I snap back into my physical form. What just happened? Was this a form of Samadhi, deep meditation? And if so, hey, does that mean that I am an advanced yogini now? That would be cool.  My analytical mind, manas, and sense of separateness, ahamkara, are hard at work trying to label, plan, and explain.

 

The trail goes deeper into old growth. Trees who have lived ages whisper of a common origin, them and me.  Again my awareness expands. Again my arms are uplifted. And this time I do not care if anyone else is watching. The pulsation of life reverberates in my body.  Just as water exposed to heat is helpless to become steam, I am helpless but to dance. If you are there, watch my ecstatic yoga. Join me.  

 

This time contraction returns with sweetness. My feet plant solidly on the trail. I am grateful to the confine of physical form which allows me to function in this world as mother, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, lover, teacher, and all the multiple forms I take. And I remember.

 

Spanda is the Sanskrit term for the pulsating nature of the universe. It is derived from the root spadi meaning to move a little. It is “the subtle creative pulse of the universe as it manifests into the dynamism of living form.” (Spanda foundation,spanda.org)  As we practice yoga, we become more and more aware of the cycle of expansion and contraction. The contrast between the two can be quite unnerving, but need not be.  Yoga also teaches us to ride these currents gracefully.  My abrupt contraction was due to self-consciousness, fear of judgment, pride, and shame. Yet even still, I can learn to use such occurrences as fodder for self-study. No need to worry; it is yet another opportunity for practice. My second wave of contraction was more yogic, more balanced, more integrated. Yeah, and no cause for pride.  Cycles repeat, hence the name cycle. 

 

Yoga, as it has come to me, never promises reduced occurrence of pain, death, confusion, grief, contraction.  It does teach, however, a reduction in suffering as we learn to dance with the rhythm, the spanda, of life.

 

Angela Grace teaches 5 weekly Flow Yoga classes, offers private Yoga sessions, as well as numerous workshops such as Yoga at Lumos Winery and Yoga Teacher Trainings


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5:29 pm

What is Thai Massage?

What is known in the West as Thai massage is not massage at all, but rather an ancient energy-based healing system that combines acupressure, reflexology, and assisted yoga postures. Treatment effects are enhanced when the patient is fully relaxed and breathing deeply. This traditional healing practice, called Nuad or Nuad Boran in the Thai language, stands in contrast to western massage therapies.
 
Traditional Thai massage uses no oils or lotions, and the recipient remains clothed during a treatment. There is constant body contact between the practitioner and client, but rather than rubbing on muscles, the body is compressed, pulled, stretched and rocked in order to clear energy blockages and relieve tension. The practitioner uses thumbs, palms, forearms, elbows, knees and feet to create a dance of movement on the body of the recipient. In this process, joints are opened, muscles and tendons are stretched, internal organs are toned, and energy is balanced. The overall effect is one of deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and physical and mental well being.
 
Nuad Boran (known in various forms as Thai massage, Thai Yoga Massage and other terms) began to evolve in Thailand over 2,000 years ago. Based on healing principles similar to those utilized in other non-western healing therapies, the Thai system focuses on circulation of vital energy in major pathways called sen. The major energy lines are manipulated, and important pressure points along these pathways are stimulated to help break down blockages, stimulate energy flow and restore balance and harmony.
 
Identifying features of traditional Thai massage are integrated yoga postures which are performed on the recipient. Through assisted yoga, the body is stretched in ways that are difficult to attain through individual exercise and yoga practice. The result of a full-body Thai treatment is often an exciting and powerful mind/body healing experience, bringing both the recipient and the practitioner to heightened states of physical and spiritual well-being.
 
For many, traditional Thai massage is also a spiritual discipline in that it incorporates the practices of mindfulness (breath awareness) and loving kindness (focused compassion). These techniques, when shared by practitioner and client, help bring the treatment session to a focused and deep level.

Tim Enright, LMT, YA200 offers Thai Yoga Massage in 60, 90, and 120 minute sessions. Schedule your session here or contact Tim at 541-231-2622.