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

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7:03 pm

Meet Marilyn Sambhavi Polo!

MarilynMeditationHi! I'm Marilyn Sambhavi Polo, an East-Coaster who has happily made Oregon home for 6 years. 

 

For 20 years, I have practiced, studied, and taught meditation, yoga, and Ayurveda. I am a Sivananda Yoga trained instructor and lived on their ashrams around the world, serving as a karma yogi and assisting in teacher trainings.  

 

Professionally, I teach 4th grade at a Corvallis bilingual school, and in a career, I was an academic researcher of psychology & psychiatry. I've taught my 4th graders mindfulness meditation daily and yoga weekly for 3 years and am eager to share my enthusiasm and practical approach to developing a daily meditation practice with the Live Well community. 

 

My years of living in the bustle of New York City, maintaining a very demanding career, trying to nurture my personal life all while trying to sustain a yoga practice have offered me unique insights to building and growing a personal practice that is meaningful to the individual. I invite you all to join the course. Feel free to message me with any questions.  I hope to see you there!  Peace.

 

Enjoy the Silence: Practical Applications to Meditation runs Mondays & Wednesdays, Oct 8 - Nov 7, 7:30-8:30p. 


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6:54 pm

Rest your nervous system. Nurture Resiliency.

Resiliency Yoga with Angela Grace

KoaATom stock 1I am so excited to offer this weekly class as part of a yoga program I'm calling Resiliency Yoga.

 

Resiliency Yoga is the natural outcome of my studies with the NeuroMeditation Institute and of current pain science.

 

Each weekly class will include gentle movement, calming breathwork, and meditation.

 

Here's the twist...all the techniques we practice will either be Quiet Mind or Mindfulness practices. As defined by the NeuroMeditation Institute, both Quiet Mind and Mindfulness practices illicit slow brain wave patterns.

 

I chose the name of this program very intentionally. Dictionary.com defines resiliency as the power or ability to return to the original form...after being bent, compressed, or stretched. It is also defined as the ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.  

 

Any manner of trauma such as persistent pain, health issues, grief, anxiety, or prolonged stress restrict your nervous system's capacity to navigate everyday life. They diminish your resiliency, but don't despair. You can rebuild your vitality.

 

It works like this. Trauma increases your nervous system's threat sensitivity. Once your physiology has dealt with a trauma, it remembers. Your nervous system resets to detect threats more easily and activate your emergency systems more rapidly. It's the once bitten, twice shy philosophy in action.

 

This becomes a problem when your nervous system readjusts to make a heightened state of arousal the new normal. When this happens, your nervous system reacts to non-threatening physical sensations and environmental circumstances as if there were an emergency.

 

Quiet Mind and Mindfulness practices produce an increase in alpha and theta brain waves respectively. The slower brain waves shift your nervous system to a calmer state allowing you to rest and recover, allowing you to nurture your resiliency.

 

Please join me for this extraordinary, healing practice.

 

Starts Wednesday, October 17, 4-5p
This is a new weekly class.

 


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7:21 pm

Each moment is the right moment

I’ve been on a lengthy reading hiatus, sparkedsam-austin-629578-unsplash_copy
by a teacher who reminded me of the power of listening within to hear what can seem like the hearable. It’s been a wonderfully comforting time, listening for what inspires and calls me forward.

 

I recently wondered when, or if, I’d end this hiatus. Our world has so much stimuli, the reduction in input has been sweet and nourishing. And it occurred. I recently came across Ravi Ravindra, one of my teacher’s translations of the Yoga Sutras. Hiatus over.

 

This small yet enormous foundational Yogic text, feels Divinely appropriate at this time of transition. Add to this the energy and uplift of the summer season which can feel like a calling to go and do and be out and about, I was rewarded with comfort on page one with Sutra 1.1. Here, now, is the teaching of yoga.

 

Ravi’s wise commentary includes, “Yoga does not require sitting on a cushion in meditation and it is not limited to a specified hour or a particular posture. Each moment is the right moment and the present moment is the best one.”

 

Yoga is this moment whether we are doing the dishes, tending a garden or hiking up the South Sister. The practice of being present, being here now, is the gift of yoga. May your summer be blessed with the gift of presence, for this is where what can seem un-hearable, can be heard.

 

~Om Shanti,

Kristina


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7:11 pm

Sonic Journey for the soul

Sat Nam, Live Well Yogins!

Are you looking for a way to expand your yoga practice?photo-1505151394-dcbcfdb646a7_copy

Interested in trying something new and a little different?

Why not take your meditation to the next level?

 

Join us for the upcoming Sonic Journey, and discover what a sound bath is all about! 

 

The experience is like a sound massage for your body, mind, and spirit.  Yes, you will hear the sound, but you’ll also feel it.  Allow the waves of sound to gently wash  over you and deeply relax. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to cleanse the mind, and let go of noise and clutter in your life.  It’s effortless - which is why a lot of people like it.  All you have to do  is to show up.  Bring an open heart, an open mind, and allow yourself to receive.

 

What happens in a Sonic Journey? 

We set the stage for your sound adventure by warming up with gentle yoga, quieting your mind with visualization, and clearing your energy channels with breath work. Now you’re ready to take the ride and let your journey unfold in a way that’s unique to you. Simply follow the sound and see where it takes you.

 

How does it work?

Everything in and around us is vibrating at a particular frequency, whether we can hear it or not.

Our very thoughts, words, and emotions all carry unique vibrations.  We create our world and define our experiences based on those vibrations.  With sound, we can positively influence how we feel and function, because those vibrations affect us on a cellular level.

Sound helps facilitate shifts in our nervous system through entrainment - a method of synchronizing our fluctuating brainwaves by providing stable frequencies our brains can attune to. It then becomes possible to down-shift from our normal beta state (waking consciousness) into alpha (relaxed consciousness), and even reach theta (meditative state) or delta (sleep; where internal healing can occur) states.  

Sound also provides a pathway to stillness much like mantra and pranayam help you to arrive at stillness in meditation.  It allows you to effortlessly drop into a state of relaxation, letting go of your analytical mind so you may connect with your spiritual self.

 

What will I hear?

All kinds of instruments!  Singing bowls, bells, chimes, a gong and possibly something we invent between now and then.  (Mark’s hatching some new ideas even as I write!)

The gong is especially good at engaging your nervous system, by offering combinations of overtones and undertones that create endless branches of sound instead of melody based music.  Because the logical, analytical part of your brain can’t “figure it out,” it often lets go, allowing you to drop deeper and deeper into the sonic experience.  

The singing bowls stimulate various chakras and parts of the endocrine system to which they are attuned, bringing forth deep rejuvenation and potential for transformation.  Quartz bowls amplify the sonic energy and can revitalize your system on all levels - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Sound baths are a truly unique experience - one that Mark and I are thrilled to share with each of you!  Please join us for the Sonic Journey and immerse yourself in the fusion of movement, breath and sound. Let’s share this experience together!

 

Please reach out if you have any other questions, I’m happy to answer them!

Namaste and be well…

Amy 

 


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7:07 pm

The Core, Pilates, and You

from Lisa Wells

starpicJoseph Pilates was an enormously creative man.  He started by training himself, then he worked withinjured WWI vets and finally with professional dancers and the elite of NYC. Pilates created a movement and exercise lexicon that can be adapted to almost any body type to increase physical performance and decrease physical pain. Pilates exercises are great as a home workout or in a group class and are  supplement any athletic regime. They will help balance the bodies of yogis, dancers, runners, tennis players, horseback riders, golfers and athletes in general.

Whether you want to learn the Pilates lexicon more thoroughly for your personal practice or to teach, this Pilates Teacher Training is a great opportunity to deepen your understanding of the practice. In addition to the exercises themselves we will learn a tensegrity-based view of human anatomy that explains how Pilates (and Yoga) simultaneously create strength and increase range of motion in the body.

The class will include supplemental functional fitness and eccentric loading exercises for shoulder and hip stability so that you can easily create a whole body workout. As you come to understand the ‘how’ of Pilates, you can become as creative as the man himself, with masterpiece workouts built from your fundamental knowledge and tuned to your or your clients needs.


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6:25 pm

Yoga and Pain

By Angela Grace

pablo-heimplatz-243278In preparation for my workshop on yoga and pain, I have been studying about the nature of pain and
how it affects our nervous system. Pain captures our attention and protects us by activating our emergency responses. That’s how is should be. We want this physiological response active when there is acute tissue trauma or any immediate danger. However, what do we do when pain remains though the threat has abated? Is there a noninvasive, non-drug mediated method to deal with persistent pain?

Our bodies are so amazing. Once your physiology has dealt with a trauma, it remembers. Your nervous system resets to detect threats more easily and activate your emergency systems more rapidly. It’s the once bitten, twice shy philosophy in action. This becomes a problem when your nervous system readjusts to make a heightened state of arousal the new normal. When this happens, your nervous system reacts to non-threatening physical sensations as if there were an emergency.

There is a way to break this detrimental cycle. The solution is to reset your nervous system, to remember that you have a physiological relaxation response that counters your fight or flight response. Your body is indeed amazing.

Two books I highly recommend are Relaxation Revolution by Herbert Benson, MD and The Open-Focus Brain by Les Fehmi, PhD. Both emphasize the power of the mind to bring about healing. Both books provide techniques for resetting your nervous system to a calmer mode and alleviating persistent pain. I also highly recommend attending talks by Dr. Kevin Cucarro. He is a physician who holds talks on pain science in Corvallis. These healers, along with many others, are voicing similar ideas. All pain is real. Pain always functions to protect. We can change our pain experience. Yoga techniques address all three elements of a pain experience.

You can completely change how you experience pain.

I am so excited to share this information. I have been using these techniques myself to help with headaches. The techniques have transformed my experience of pain.

In the Yoga for Pain Resiliency workshop, we will use simple yoga poses, breath work, and meditation to build resiliency in relating to pain. The following is an example of an open focus meditation that we will use in the workshop. This meditation is particularly helpful with headaches.

First, sit in a position that is comfortable for you to maintain for about 10 minutes. Lying down is just fine as long as you can remain alert. Close you eyes and notice how your breath moves in your body. What part of your anatomy moves first on your exhale? What part moves first on your inhale? Just notice with no need to change anything. Observation is always the first, and most powerful, step. Observe your breath for five rounds of exhale and inhale.

When you are ready, explore the following guiding questions adapted from The Open-Focus Brain by Les Fehmi, page 64. 

Can you imagine the distance or space between your eyes?

Is it possible for you to imagine the space inside your nose as you inhale and exhale naturally?

Can you imagine the distance between your nose and your eyes?

Can you imagine your breath flowing behind your eyes as you inhale naturally?

While remaining aware of the boundaries between the space inside and outside these regions, can you imagine the space freely permeating and flowing through these boundaries?

            Stay with your observations as long as you would like. When you are ready to conclude the meditation, slowly open your eyes. Move slowly from your meditation seat.


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6:51 pm

Renew your practice: The Guru Within

from the mind of Jocelyn Fultz, with the lovely guidance of Lisa Wells and Kristina Ender

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Yoga is everywhere. Even in pop culture. I saw  “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” last week. I was reminded again of  how similar to eastern thought the concept of “the force” is. Death and rebirth are explored from many perspectives. Characters struggled with destroying old and decayed ideas in favor of fresh, new ideas, some from untested or questionable sources.

 

In Sanskrit, Guru means “one who dispels darkness and brings forth to light”.  Sound like ‘the force’ to you? Luke needed Obi Wan and Yoda to help him bring out the force, but really, the teacher was always within him.  They pointed at the moon, but the student had to look to see the moon.  Similarly, if we choose to work with a guru or teacher of any sort, we are learning to listen to our inner Guru, our own voice, and what we can learn from our lives and ourselves.

 

Listening to our inner guide and following our own direction can be challenging, even at the best of times. The turn of a New Year is a sweet opportunity to refocus our minds, to be moved and inspired by our inner teacher. Practice and discipline, or Tapas in Sanskrit, are required. Tapas has its root in the Sanskrit verb Tap, which means “to burn.” You might have heard teachers describe this as a sense of heat building in the body, or Tapasya.  We can also apply this concept to a disciplined practice of listening to our inner Guru building heat and stoking the fires of our own light, or if you will, our connection to “the force.”

 

In 2018 may we practice listening with intention. Develop discipline without rigidity. Ignite our desire for our unique personal practice. Renew with vigor our lost habits and recharge from within.

 

Wishing you a blessed year.


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5:56 pm

The Goddesses of Rock


by Angela Grace Faulk, MS, ERYT500, C-IAYT

"This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender.” This phrase was written on Pete Seeger’s banjo. It
conveys the power of music to break down barriers and usher people into states of communion, ecstasy, and commonality. In other words, music speaks to the human condition.


I created the Goddesses of Rock yoga class as a celebration of the pounding pulsation of life that crashes the walls we erect and beckons everyone to movement.

For years, I declined to play music during my yoga classes. Unless the music was carefully chosen, it was either a distraction, or I completely ignored it. Yet, I know music is an extraordinary way to alter my nervous system. On my phone is a play list entitled “Happy Songs.” I play it on all sorts of occasions, including just ‘cause. Without exception, my breath and mood match the song. The music draws me in, and I am transported into the mythology of the lyrics where I play out a variety of psychological roles including heroine and renegade. I return to reality expanded, ready to meet life with gusto. Repeatedly, I gravitate to the gutsy, gravel-ly, visceral intonations of female rock artists, The Goddesses of Rock.

This class is a unique asana class that marries yoga poses with music. We will practice a playfully vigorous sequence that peaks and then eases into shavasana and meditation. The music will be loud at times; earplugs are welcome. Come play. Come move. Come answer the rhythm.

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10:18 pm

Generativity, Generosity & Gratitude

By Kate Gallagherdawid-sobolewski-271380

 

Grace happens when we act with others on behalf of our world - Joanna Macy

 

Over the last six years, Corvallis has become home for me - most of all because of Live Well and this most gracious community.  Thinkers like Joanna Macy, scientists like Erik Erikson as well as yogi masters reveal and remind us how deeply important it is to consider our short and long term, near and far-reaching impact on the world around us and on fellow beings. A term that describes this sentiment is generativity. Perhaps one of the most simply enlightened thoughts we can have is "how can I help?"  How can I make life a little gentler for those I love and for those I will never meet? What can I do now to pay it forward to benefit others in the future?  And while these contemplations are likely our constant companions,  I am moved by the open-hearted generosity and the spirit of generativity in this community. 

 

Last December, Naomi, along with our community, raised over $1000 for No More Deaths.  Throughout the year, the generosity of our community has supported over two dozen people with limited financial means practice yoga.  Just Tuesday night, we raised over $600 to send to UNICEF to support Rohingya refugees.  And this upcoming Sunday, December 17th, we're banding together to support the family of a dear community member with medical debt due to a life-threatening illness.  Lisa will be teaching The Sacrament of Breath from 1:30-3:30pm, and we'll love for you to come.

 

The financial generosity of our community is only surpassed by generosity of heart.  Among the greatest gifts I've received from our community is love...

 

When I was making the decision to move to Corvallis I did a traditional Buddhist divination, by blindly opening a holy book to a page and letting it guide me.  At the time I felt lonely, isolated and afraid about making a big change in my life.  The passage I opened to, however, was like a breath of hopeful reassurance.  I can't remember what the page said exactly, but it was a poem of sorts that talked of being showered with and held in a circle of love.  As I am on the edge of leaving for a year, it comes rushing back to me - how very true this has become... and I am so grateful. Dear friends, you have taught me so much. I came in as a rambunctious yogi and I leave much gentler on myself and on others.  I take these heart-lessons with me. While I don't think this is goodbye forever... a cycle has completed itself, that much feels certain.

 

What's next? Here's a bit about my adventure: 

 

I plan to spend much or all of 2018 in a solitary meditation, practice and study retreat.  During this time I will not be working, socializing or participating in life as usual, but retreating to a place of solitude to stabilize my attention in meditation and grow quiet enough to listen to the heart’s wisdom.  While it is a great privilege and freedom, it is also great work.  It is intensive and trying, and will likely ask everything I have to give. I like to call it a project versus a retreat, because I associate the word retreat with a density of expectations.  And while, naturally, I hope the retreat will bear fruit, the only sane way for me to approach this work is with few expectations so that I might allow the unexpected wisdom of what is before me to emerge.

 

One of my central intentions is to explore the play between and among structure and fluidity, practical prescription and intuition, discipline and ease.  I will be utilizing the rigorous practice guidelines set forth by my Tibetan lineage while also leaning into the emergence of my feminine sensibilities. Many contemplative teachings suggest that pure wisdom and compassion already exist in each of us, it’s only an unmasking and unveiling and un-obscuring that must occur to know them more directly and consistently.  May it be so. May the tangled obscurations of the heart be free.  And may we contemplative seekers continue to un-mask ourselves again and again so that we know the reflection of ourselves in one another ever more vividly. I think there is one true consequence of deep practice and the growing wisdoms of reflectivity and interdependence, and that is generativity, the insight that by giving to others indeed we fill up our own hearts... The insight that your heart is my heart, that labels like yours and mine are only relatively, and not ultimately, true or useful. This is my hope for the project.  

 

I'm due back in January 2019, when I'll guide the second part of our 2018-2019 yoga teacher training; this section of the program will also be offered as a stand-alone contemplative series/meditation immersion also for those not interested in teaching. Please stay tuned to the Live Well website and newsletter as details unfold. Take such beautiful care of yourself. Thank you for absolutely everything. I love you. Kate


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1:43 am

The Body As the Path

13939501819528By Kate Gallagher

This month, we're reveling in and contemplating the yogic path as embodiment... as becoming more intimate with our physical selves and our humanity through the practice of yoga. 

I had a yoga teacher that once said: "Your body, just as it is... is the perfect vehicle for your ultimate enlightenment." 

Decades old stories about my body immediately resisted this notion, but my heart felt hit with a lightning bolt of truth.

I don't actually know what ultimate enlightenment is...what it looks like... or feels like, but I do sense that despite my beliefs, despite the love-hate relationship I sometimes have with my body, it's ability to teach me perfectly remains apparent.

Geneen Roth seems to echo this, from a different angle as she writes:

"It's never been true, not anywhere at any time, that the value of a soul, of a human spirit, is dependent on a number on a scale. We are unrepeatable beings of light and space and water who need these physical vehicles to get around. When we start defining ourselves by that which can be measured or weighed, something deep within us rebels."

While my time as a yogi has convinced me of the wisdom in the body, and of the body, at an absolute minimum, perhaps the body asks for, longs for one simple thing: love.  

I think often about the moment of my death.  The moment when my body ceases to sustain life and vitality as I know it.  If there is one thing on my bucket list for when that time comes (hopefully in more than a handful of decades)... it's that I go out with incredible love in my heart, most importantly for myself.  So at least where there is grief, there will also be love.  Undoubtedly, a radiant love of self doesn't stop there. It couldn't.  

My life has been blessed by interactions with rare such humans who have learned this sophisticated lesson of embodiment, of humanity, of love. What my life would be without the power of example?!  Their love for self has impressed me deeply, and it is their radiant reflections of self-love that I carry in my heart and cultivate day by day.  Should we embark, seriously, on this path of the body, I think this could be our legacy... 

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