What a cool surprise!

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Hi Everyone!

I know, I know, awfully quick too be writing another blog but my new friends that come to chair yoga were asking if there was a way to write a testimonial or review. I’m not the most website savvy here so I figured I would write a blog and let them comment on it :) Kind of a testimonial, right?

So, anyway, for those that don’t know much about us here at Sukha Yoga, we’ve recently moved to a new location. The new location moves us from the third floor of hustle and bustle Church St, to the first floor of a residential building on College St. (230 College St. Come visit!!!) directly across from the library. There are pros and cons, of course. Our primary reason for moving was to be able to offer a full schedule of classes. So now, we have a nice full schedule with a few more teachers too :) Another pro of the new location is that it’s pretty darn big so we were able to add a small retail shop to offer yoga accessories, ayurvedic supplies and remedies, great wisdom literature and books, and of course, plenty of clothes and jewelry. The store was totally unanticipated and turned out to be a pretty cool bonus. In addition to the store, we were also able to add a massage therapy / treatment room in the back! Boom, another bonus! I’m sure you want to hear some cons too but I’m not feeding into that ;) Why waste anyone’s time with anything negative…? Back to these pros! Over the course of the first month in operation, we were very fortunate to meet many of the people that live in the residential part of the building and make new friendships. If you know me at all (Noah here), you know I like to talk to people and make friends. In making friends with our new neighbors, we’d often get into “who can do yoga talks” and things like that. Some of the folks in the building have been on the planet a little longer than me and they wanted to try yoga! How cool?!? We figured out a time that would work for them and put a donation based chair yoga class on the schedule. I really wanted to make class special for them. As with a lot of yoga in America, what they had seen on the internet was mostly physical postures. Even the internet chair yoga heavily emphasizes the postures/movements and doesn’t seem to integrate the roots of the yoga practice into it. My logic is, they’re all sitting here anyways, why not have a satsang (spiritual discourse or sacred gathering) with some breathing and movement?? That’s how these classes have shaped to be. We start with some chanting, we have some discussion / story telling, we do some vinyasa (vinyasa : linking breath to movement), and we connect to spirit. What a beautiful way to practice Bhakti Yoga. Who would have thought this class would be so sweet?! I feel so fortunate to get to spend some time with these folks and have these deep, meaningful conversations. I am learning so much from their enthusiasm and character. I really appreciate their openness to trying something totally new and quite foreign.

So basically, this is a blog dedicated to thanking our new friends and a small way to show my appreciation for their loving kindness. Right now we are just doing this once a week but maybe this will grow into something bigger. The more the merrier and if you know of any other folks that might want to add some chair yoga / uplifting conversation into their life, we’d love to get more people included. Thanks for reading! Comments and suggestions appreciated below!!

In service, Noah

What are we doing?!?!


Disclaimer - I’m writing this quickly. I’m not editing it. I’m not a writer by any means. Just hoping to be able to help some people in some way.

Hey! Noah here! I, like I'd imagine many of you, got involved with the yoga practice strictly for the physical benefits. I wasn't looking for relaxation, I wasn't trying to fix an injury, I wasn't looking for enlightenment, I wasn't trying to calm the mind or anything like that. I literally only went to a yoga class because my wife, Cilla, is a teacher (biased opinion - a great teacher, hehe) and asked me to go to class pretty much daily until I finally went on the promise that it would be a good work out. I enjoyed the first class and continued to attend classes. We practiced at a very physical, asana based, studio. It was great. I worked it into my already jammed up schedule as another workout and continued with all “normal” daily activities. These daily activities ranged from work, eating whatever food was closest (healthy most of the time), drinking, and pretty much most stuff that makes us “happy”.

Being that Cilla was permitted to have me practice during all the classes she taught, I was able to practice 4 times a week at the studio. This led to my practicing at home daily as well. Basically, a lot of practice. One day during savasana (final pose where you just lie there -corpse pose) after a thorough body scan, something flickered to me. Not sure what. It did make me start researching yoga. Up until that point, I had only looked at it as a physical activity. Upon searching Audible (unsolicited plug, audio books are great and I encourage listening to as much as you can), I ordered Light on Life by BKS Iyengar and The Lost Teachings of Yoga by Georg Feuerstein. These books opened up a ton of doors to the yoga practice behind the asana and the intention. I started to see that yoga was more than just a physical practice but also a lifestyle and way of living. This way of living had me more tolerant, kinder, and overall, a better person but I still was unknowingly lacking something…

Being that I was still very much into the physical practice, I was attracted to a handstand workshop by a teacher I had seen on youtube that was happening within a few hours of me. I’m always up for a nice drive (time for audible listening, hehe) so I hit the road. I’m generally late to things so I walked into the class a few minutes late. The place was packed. Two guys in front of me made space for me upon seeing me looking around aimlessly. Sweet. So, I rolled out my mat and sat down ready for some handstands. Well, the teacher then informed everyone that we’d be chanting to start class… Great… I thought I was in the wrong place and was tempted to leave. But I stuck it out and the chant struck a place in my heart that I didn’t quite was possible. I had no idea that hearing and participating in this call and response form of chanting with my now teacher, Raghunath, would open my heart in the way that it did. The class following the chant was invigorating, filled with handstands, tough asana and ended with another much louder group chant at the end. I ended up kind of following Raghunath around the New England area and Wanderlust Festival like a stray puppy looking for food. That food being more of the spiritual teachings and Kirtan (call and response chanting) that he incorporated into all of his classes and workshops. There were always Bhagavad Gita references, yoga philosophy applicable to daily life, and lots of “I’m not the body, I’m not the mind, I’m something divine”. This is what I was missing. This led to my wife and I going to India and taking his Bhakti Cultural Immersion Yoga Teacher Training to feed our now spiritually hungry minds.

It seems that a lot of yoga in the west has worked spirituality out of it. Yoga is often looked at as “to yolk”. This has an open translation here and looks to often be associated with mind and body. What if one looked at it as yoking the spirit with G-d or one’s higher power? Upon listening to many of these books referred to, you’ll hear this reference made. Even the last of the niyamas, Ishvara Pranidhana - surrender to G-d, is often left out or interpreted in some other “make this comfortable” for people way. I guess I’m just saying that we all have our reasons for why we do this. It very much starts with some form of physical need for a lot of us. Maybe we want to heal an injury. Maybe we want to get a workout in. Maybe it’s self care, building confidence or getting over trauma. There are lots of reasons but as I’ve learned, the yoga practice was designed to connect us with G-d. In this connecting with G-d, you’ll work on seeing the divinity in all living beings and the planet itself. The yoga practice is also a great way to prepare oneself for the transitions in life. These transitions may range from job changes, school graduations, job firings/promotions, birthdays, accidents and even death. How we handle these inevitable transitions/ups and downs in life can very well determine the quality of life that we live. Embracing the bad along with the good. The yoga has very much taught me to do all of this.

It seems we live in a day and age where society isn’t as enthusiastic about religion or spirituality in general. I get it. I wasn’t very interested in Hebrew School growing up. It didn’t really resonate with me. Maybe it was just my being young. Maybe not. Now with the spirituality that has been cultivated through my teachers and the yoga practice, I can appreciate all religions and forms of spirituality. I work hard to see the good in people even when it seems like a test or bad joke. I guess this is now the reason why I practice yoga. As a yoga teacher, I’ve been told that one of the most important and hardest jobs is to remind everyone that they are spirit souls. If you made it to the end here, I’ll tell you now just that - You are a spirit soul. Be kind to one another. Do your best to see the love and divinity in every being. Take care of yourself and those that you can. Do something positive with the limited amount of control we have with our own lives. Comments appreciated. I’d love to hear your thoughts too!

Happy New Year! New Schedule, more classes, and my morning ramblings...

Good morning and Happy New Year! We're very excited to have added new classes to our 2017 winter schedule.  We are still offering the $65 unlimited monthly passes for all regularly scheduled classes. 

As B. K. S. Iyengar said - “Penetration of our mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat.”  We want you all to be able to practice as much as you can and get a good sweat on.  Maybe we'll even penetrate the mind at some point ;)  No expectations though... 

One quick little thought I wanted to bring up - One must not confuse living in the present moment or the "Now" with shear selfishness.  With all the YOLO, "living in the now", seizing the opportunity, and being in the present moment stuff that comes up around this time of year, we must remember that's not an excuse to just be greedy and out for oneself.   Yes, we should be present, seize opportunities, "live in the now", whatever we want to call it, but it should never harm someone else.  When we make a decision to do something, we should look at how it effects others.  This can be done on a worldly level or a smaller, local level - maybe your work associates, friends, kids, family, partner...   If we're not proud of the decision and wouldn't want every one to know about it, chances are, it's a bad one.  If we need to contemplate whether it's the right thing to do, it may very well not be.  If it benefits us or feeds our desires but could very well hurt others, do we still consider this being present and "living in the now"?  Maybe so, but what kind of "now" is it?   And furthermore, if we're not telling everyone the whole story, then that story is a lie. 

Those are my quick ramblings for the morning.  Thoughts anyone? Who's excited to make some good for everyone decisions this year?!? 



Ram Dass lecture I just started listening to this morning!

Just started listening to this Ram Dass lecture this morning.  He gave it in 1974 after he had returned to America from India.  So far, really good.  I love listening to his experiences.  He says to read the Bhagavad Gita and put yourself in Arjuna, Krishna, Sanjaya, and Dhritarashta's shoes each time that you read it.  Good advice.  I've listened to the Gita quite a few times but haven't ever thought of doing that.  So it looks like I've got to read it another 4 times at minimal, haha.   I'll bet that adds some new understanding.  

Have any of you read or listened to any Ram Dass? What are you reading now? I attached a quick video for you to check out too.  Thoughts? Have an awesome morning!  

Also, it was suggested that we start doing a Sukha Yoga book club.  I'm down for that and would love to listen to everyone's thoughts.  I say we wait until summer and do it outside somewhere. Sound good?  

Our first blog post... Dylan Werner!!!

This is my first blog post so it's going to be quick.  Just trying to get the hang of it.  Blog shall be themed around Dylan Werner because that's a big deal! If you don't know who Dylan is, check out his website here - dylanwerneryoga.com.  Cilla and I took a great handstand workshop with him at Wanderlust earlier this year and hung out with him a lot of the weekend.  He's a solid dude and really lives the practice.  It's cool that he's working us into his schedule as Dylan is literally teaching all over the world all the time.  Another cool aspect of his trip to Vermont is that he's going to be fresh off of a super cultural experience of his own.  I'll let him talk about that with us when he's here.  Don't want to spoil it!

Anyhow, first blog post... how'd I do?!?   I plan to keep doing this and am kind of excited about it ;)