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

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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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4:29 pm

Make Peace. Start Within.

Bumper sticker philosophy is dangerous. When nuanced philosophical thoughts are boiled down to a catch phrase, so much conversation is lost. For example, take the statement I made above. Make Peace. Start Within. Such statements can be used as a rationale for inaction. Or the phrase might connote a docile sensibility when intense action is required. Making peace in your home might require escape from an abusive situation. Social justice will not happen via meditation alone.

However, often a grain of deep truth is represented on the back of your Toyota Prius.

Make Peace. Start Within.

I am reminded of my favorite teaching on the idea of karma. We cannot recognize external events that are not already at play internally. We recognize sarcasm because we have utilized the body language, intonation, and intent behind sarcasm ourselves. We react to intolerance because our bodies remember the stance of being intolerant. We know how to wage war with others because inwardly directed critical thoughts and violent acts are all too familiar. So, yes, for transformational peace to happen in your life, you absolutely must start with yourself.

The reason I am teaching Making Peace with Your Body is because life-altering compassion is possible. Radical acceptance is passionately liberating. The intensely critical inner football coach is wrong. You are an inherently radiant being, and the techniques of yoga will help you remember.

And the bumper sticker is right. "Be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Gandhi. Be the peace. Be the light. Start with yourself.

Angela Grace, MS, ERTY500, C-IAYT

Workshop Making Peace with Your Body
Saturdays, Oct 7 - Nov 11, 1-3p, $185
Details and Registration here

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1:31 pm

Discovery in Yoga Teacher Training


by Katie Zarajczyk


I knew I would teach yoga while laying in savasana after a kickass, sweaty vinyasa practice. Exhausted on my mat I felt connected in a way I never had before. I was fully present, yet somehow connected to both the past and the future. A few tears fell from my eyes. I knew there was something special happening in that room. I wanted to learn more and I knew I would teach some day. 

It would be years before I finally enrolled in a 200hour teacher training. I met my husband, moved to Canada, and then back to Florida. When the opportunity for training presented itself I didn't think I was ready. I knew I wasn't ready. I couldn't imagine having the courage to stand up in front of a room and lead a class. The teachers I admired had such grace, they were confident, funny, and strong. I didn't consider myself any of those things. 

Yoga teacher training helped me discover that we are all mirrors for each other. Those qualities I admired were a part of me. Gaining the courage to teach through my 200hour training reminds of these words from Marianne Williamson:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

With this in mind, I invite you to be fearless, to take the leap, and join us for a life changing journey. Let's learn and grow together! 

Free Yoga Teacher Training Q&A session August 8th, 7-8pm and August (26th)

Join us and bring your curiosity and questions.
Enroll August 8 for Q&A
Enroll in Yoga Teacher Training!  Woo Hoo!

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5:29 pm

What is Yoga Teacher Training About?


by Jocelyn Fultz

I still remember taking my first steps into a yoga studio. Smiling faces, quiet atmosphere, and a lot of questions in my mind. Though I had done yoga before that day so long ago, nothing quite prepares a person for their first yoga class. You are asked to breathe. You are asked to bend your body in strange ways that seem slightly unnatural. You are asked to be aware of your body. I never imagined that only about 12 months later, I would be pursuing my 200 hour Teacher Training Certification.

I was a massage therapist at the time, having transitioned from an unfulfilling acting career. Enjoying the calm and quiet of the spa environment I was spending most of my time in, I wanted to branch further into the wellness industry. Teaching soothing yoga classes seemed like just the thing to compliment what I already had going on. Of course, monetarily speaking, I had to come up with the funds to train, and luckily, my program was on the weekends and included a payment plan, so I didn't lose too many coveted work hours or sleep over the pricing. Without much hesitation, I dove in.


Going through a teacher training program is so much more than learning yoga poses and how to say the funky sanskrit names. I found myself wanting to know what Yoga actually was. The history, philosophy, ideas about living and "Life" in general - Yoga has something to say on all of it. This understanding unravels with time, and I came to realize that I would never know everything - a freeing thought. Instead, I have always said a Teacher Training program is for anyone who is a Yogic Seeker. Teaching comes from a love of sharing, and you do not need to possess this to deepen your practice.

Entering an environment of like minded individuals enables you to open yourself to all the benefits that Yoga has to offer. A program such as this is immersing you in a yogic lifestyle, while allowing you the benefit of staying in your chosen life. After all, there is no running from it. Your life will always follow you. Best to learn how to be present and welcome it. 

Free Q&A session with Jocelyn July 25th, 7-8pm
Join us and bring your curiosity and questions.

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6:51 pm

Meditation Immersions by Katelin Gallagher


Hello Yogins,

I'm writing to share that two of my dear mentors are holding unique learning opportunities at Live Well over the next two months. If you are curious about some of the more rare and esoteric teachings of yoga and Buddhism -- offered in an accessible format -- this is it! These two are some of the most remarkable teachers I've encountered on my path and I'm really looking forward to sharing them with the Live Well community and the community with them!

Dr. Winston McCullough is a long-time student and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, the psychological sciences, and contemplative perspectives on Christianity. The program "Wise Yogi" will delve into the compelling topic of wisdom in Tibetan Buddhism; Winston skillfully unfolds the profound logic and compassion of Tibetan Buddhism and offers direct application to the most important aspects of modern yogic life: relationships, family, life calling, and the pursuit of well-being.

Kimberley Lafferty is a dedicated practitioner and teacher of Tantric Buddhist and yogic philosophy. She is also a mom, a wife, a doctoral student, and a writer among her chosen roles and thus avenues for spiritual becoming. An expert in psychological and spiritual development, she reveals the philosophy of Tantra through relevant, potent, eye-opening teachings and practices that support both continual "waking up" and "growing up" in already mature audiences. Here is a brief video of her teaching on projection, emptiness, and shadow; this one is a bit longer.

Please Save the Dates and come if you can! Winston and Kimberley are long-time colleagues and these two workshops will flow beautifully from one to the next.

The Wise Yogi with Winston McCullough | More Info & Register HERE | 4/28-4/30 | F: 7:30-9:30pm | Sa: 12-4pm | Su: 2-4pm

Love, Sex, Death: Living Tantra in America with Kimberley Lafferty | More Info & Register HERE | 5/27-5/28 | Sa: 5:30-10:30pm | Su: 5:30-10:30pm (Earlybird pricing thru May 12)

Kimberley will also be giving a free 1-hr lecture before her workshop weekend @ OSU on Thursday, May 25 at 7pm in the LaRaza room in the Memorial Union.

Loving You, Kate

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6:22 pm

Why should a Yogi learn Pilates?


by Lisa Wells

Short Answer: Pilates is all about the core and building strength from the center out.  Pilates builds strength in places that are often neglected in a traditional yoga practice. Core strength and awareness can help heal and prevent back pain.  Core strength that will help prevent you from injuring yourself as you push toward more complicated yoga postures.

Long Answer: Some 17 years ago, a few years after a spinal fusion, still dealing with neuropathy, pain and instability, I asked myself: What was my yoga practice missing?  What needed to be trained and developed in my physical body for better overall health? There were a few answers: 1) I needed more direct core strength; 2) I needed more rotational movement; 3) I needed more freedom of movement, outside of the strict protocols and alignment principles of Iyengar Yoga.

I addressed the first issue by adding Pilates training to my personal fitness regime.  The answer to the second two questions will come in a later blogpost on dancing.  We’ll stick to building core strength in this one.

In the ‘90s, when I started practicing yoga, a common Iyengar cue was ‘soft belly.’ No matter the pose, we were taught not to restrict the breath from moving into our abdomens.  Basically, we were un-training our core muscles. And for someone with my spinal condition (spondylolithesis), this was a cue that may have set up the ultimate failure of my spine in 1997. A few years after surgery, postoperative PT, and continued Iyengar Yoga, I realized I needed a different approach to training my body. My core wasn’t strong enough. And Pilates was the ‘new’ (not really, but new to me) way to strengthen core muscles.

I added Pilates to my weekly movement experiences. The Pilates principles and exercises taught me how to engage and stabilize core muscles as I moved my limbs. I became stronger and more able in everything I did.  A variety of yoga poses became accessible that I could never do before. I had less pain, my sciatica disappeared, and my neuropathy lessened.  Pilates is fairly simply in theory, build strength close to center of the body, in the center of the torso and particularly in the region without bony support between the pelvis and rib cage. When the core is strong, then the limbs can move freely. The core is challenged to hold stability while movement of the limbs provides the challenge to that stability.  Effectively, the limbs become the free weight to train the core. To use a construction analogy, far from perfect but a decent visual, to stabilize a cantilever you need a strong and stable support, like the foundation to which a diving board is attached.  If you build strength in the limbs without building the stable core, failure is inevitable, the diving board will fail if its foundation isn’t true. Pilates exercises and cues give you access to that strong stable support from which to move your limbs safely. 

Done well, Pilates exercises eccentrically train the muscles of the torso. While the cues often sound like classic situps or crunches, the contraction phase of the movement is not the hard part. For example, a Pilates double leg lift starts out looking like a crunch: lie on your back, extend your legs toward the ceiling, place your hands behind your head and curl your head and shoulders off the floor.  The first challenge of this exercise is to hold the abdominal and pelvic floors muscles strongly and force the breath into the lateral rib cage.  The engagement of the deep torso muscles then allows you to hold your spine stable as you begin to lower the legs toward the floor.  The lowering of the legs necessarily lengthens the abdominal muscles, thus requiring a strong eccentric contraction to prevent the spine from extending and the breath from moving into the belly. Often, particularly with newcomers, the motion of the legs will be quite small if the attention to the core stability is honored.  One thing about Pilates, it’s easy to cheat and to do the exercises wrong.  To build eccentric core strength requires the attention to detail that Pilates was famous for.

While Pilates honed some brilliant exercises and principles, clearly drawing from yoga, gymnastics and calisthenics, he was also a bit of a brute and disciplinarian. I do not teach or practice the way Joseph did anymore than I teach the way BKS Iyengar did. I adapt Pilates with the mindset of modern yoga best practices: use somatic cues to develop inner awareness, include anatomical education, both western and eastern, offer balanced spinal flexion and spinal extension, add rotational and range of motion movements, and best of all, never skip on savasana.

Overtime, my classes have become a mash-up of yoga, Pilates, resistance stretching, trauma releasing exercises and somatic awareness. I still call the classes I teach yoga, because I bring what I believe to be a yoga world view of integration and wholeness to the approach. I doubt my students know where one modality begins and another ends. But as Yogis and Yoga teachers, I think it is incredibly important for us to look at what is missing from our yoga practices and to supplement and fill in the physical gaps for ourselves and for our students. 

Register HERE for Pilates of Yogi's



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6:35 pm

Firecider, oh my!

 by Lisa Wells
 
Ayurvedic medicine is all about balance. Taste and sensation are medicine in this somatic system of well being: to fight off the viruses that proliferate in the stagnant cold wet-dry of winter we are advised to add heat, bitter and astringent flavors to our diets. Firecider, although not a traditional ayurvedic medicine, fills the bill.  Firecider is an immune system booster, a deterrent to viruses and bad bacteria, a source of good gut bacteria, with a bonus of the apple cider vinegar base being an standard traditional remedy for arthritis and the pains of aging.

We’ve purchased Firecider (firecider.com) from Shire City Herbals in Pittsfield, MA. You can read about the recipe here (firecider.com/pages/our-story). I was introduced to Firecider at Standing Rock. Shire City donated enough Firecider to camp to keep everyone healthy through the winter. So, each day, people would come by the Med yurts and pour themselves a shot glass of firecider to ward off ill health. I’ve been drinking it daily ever since my journey to Standing Rock, and in spite of the broken arm, have never felt in better health.

Finally, you’ll get to learn what it feels like to be a fire-breathing dragon. We all need a bit of fire-breathing dragon in our minds and bodies these days. Be prepared for a bit of a shock to the system when you try Firecider. It will warm your belly and your mind.  You’ll feel it dousing out any bad bugs hiding in your body. And, you’ll be prepared to fight any battle on your horizon.

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12:07 pm

January 20th: Yoga on a General Strike Day


By Lisa Wells

On January 20th President Obama becomes former President Obama and President-elect Trump becomes President Trump. Many things are happening to mark the day. As someone who finds the President-elect’s misogynistic and racist rhetoric to be unacceptable in ‘my president and the leader of the free world’ I have a strong desire to join the General Strike that has been called for on Inauguration Day. However, I also feel the need to be at the studio and hold a safe place for others who may feel threatened by the incoming administrations agenda and whose spirits can be held safe with yoga. Having talked with Koa and Mona, the other teachers who are scheduled to teach that day, they have similar feelings to me.  So, we’ve made a plan.

1)   Lisa’s 10am Gentle class in the morning will be free to all comers. If you’re on a class pass, I won’t be charging you. If you bring a friend or two or three, they’ll get in free.  I personally don’t want to generate income to feed the economy that day.  I will also be contributing $5/person who attends my class to the Civil Liberties Defense Center (https://cldc.org). The CLDC is a non-profit legal firm out of Eugene that defends cases where civil liberties and constitutional rights are threatened as well as providing civil liberty trainings for activists of all ages.  The CLDC are the lawyers for the Water Protectors at Standing Rock, ND.

2)   Koa (7am and 5:30pm Flow Yoga) and Mona (12pm Pilates) will be donating the profits from their classes to local and national non-profits that defend civil liberties and stand up for women, the indigent and people of color.

I intend to take the spirit of the strike with me into the world on the 20th as a personal ‘buy nothing day.’  And perhaps you’ll join me at the ‘Inaugurate Eco and Social Justice’ (https://www.facebook.com/events/384709295212168/) event and march which will convene at 3:30pm in Central Park and end with tabling and cider in the Odd Fellows Hall around 5pm. I’d love to see you there!

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