December 2016: Expanding Your Practice

During the past six months, my intention (Sankalpa) has been to deepen my home yoga practice.  I used to think that meant rolling out my mat and practicing asanas for at least 20-30 minutes.  I would usually stand in Tadasana and think, "now what."  Then I would move into a few sun salutations and my other go-to poses my body enjoys. 

As a yoga teacher, It is easier for me to create a diverse sequence for the classes I teach week-to-week than to create a sequence for myself.  I tend to gravitate to poses that are easy and feel good.  When I am in a class lead by another teacher, I can mentally unplug and do what I am told.  I am usually encouraged to hold poses longer then I normally would and practice a more diverse sequence getting into poses I don't always enjoy.  I still believe that stepping on my mat and practicing asanas that feel good and nourish me is beneficial.  But I also know practicing postures outside of my comfort zone creates positive growth in my body and mind. 

During the past six months, I discovered the value of practicing yoga in other ways than just postures.  I now consider all 8-limbs of yoga (including meditation and pranayama) to be part of my daily yoga practice.  Off my mat, I am mindful of the yoga yamas and niyamas and how I can incorporate them into my life.  Sometimes I need to practice Pratyahara and remove things from my day that do not bring me into balance.  When I am exhausted and need deep rest, I roll out my mat for a 20-30 minute yoga nidra practice.  Yoga for me is not just my asana practice anymore. 

During this holiday season take time for yourself and practice yoga.  Give yourself permission to let your yoga practice be anything that nourishes your mind, body or spirit.  Please send me a note (i.e., email, FB, at class) and let me know how you are taking care of yourself this holiday season.  

Yin Yoga - December 5

During this busy holiday season, we are pulled in many different directions.  The practice of Pratyahara (one of the 8-limbs of yoga) can help us unplug, replenish and continue moving forward.  Please join me for a nourishing "Triple Burner Meridian/whole-body tune-up" yin practice. 

Chair Yoga - December 12

Our quarterly chair yoga practice will be held on Monday, December 12.  We will incorporate the practice of Pratyahara and expand our self-awareness and inner stability with a potpourri-style class.

Restorative Yoga - TUESDAY, Dec. 27

Our quarterly restorative practice will include poses that balance the chakras and doshas.  This receptive practice allows us to enter into a state of deep relaxation.  We will "let go" of deep holding patterns in our bodies and find a state of balance allowing our bodies to heal.  Put this date on your calendar (and invite family and friends who are visiting) to experience this rejuvenating practice.

Holiday Class Schedule at Plymouth

Plymouth Church will be closed Monday, December 26th and January 2nd. Our weekly yoga class has been moved to Tuesday, December 27th for the week between Christmas & New Year.  A date and location is TBD for the first week in January.

Expanding Your Practice with Sadhana - December 31

Are you interested in expanding your yoga practice?  Would you like to create or deepen your home yoga practice?  Are you curious and want to learn more about Yoga Sadhana? 

Rod Stryker reminds us, "Rather than judging the fact that we can’t always be doing the ideal amount of practice because we’re living a city life...constantly dealing with the impact that all the distractions of living in a city have on our practice, set aside one or two periods of the year to do extremely intense practice ( 7-10 day retreat, 40-day intensely focused home practice, etc.), and then the samskara, the impression that it makes, will have a residual effect and stay with you for the remainder of the year."

We know having a yoga practice nourishes our mind, body and soul.  Consider creating a sadhana for yourself in 2017 and expand your home yoga practice.   Please join me for a special workshop on December 31st from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm at The Family Tree Yoga.  The cost is $25 and you can register by sending an email to  Registration deadline is Tuesday, December 27th. 

Gentle Yoga at The Family Tree Yoga

Gentle Yoga with Mary is back due to popular demand!  We will kick-off the new year with an 8-week session starting Thursday, January 5th at The Family Tree Yoga.  A minimum of 8 students are needed to make this class a reality.  The cost is $100 and checks can be made payable to Yoga by Mary.  Additional students can drop-in for $15/class.  Please send Mary an email to reserve your spot.  Class size is limited and you must register by Monday, January 2nd.