Saturday, September 27, 2014

Yoga Nidra Chakra Evolution


While I was in NYC, along with reuniting with beautiful friends, and taking class with my beloved teacher, Sri Dharma Mittra....I also had the chance to teach a Chakra Workshop at Yoga Nidra Studio.  Yoga Nidra Studio is an amazing space that is owned an operated by a student of mine, Stephanie Gianetti.  This place is a labor of love, and she has inspired so many people to the practice of yoga.  The space itself is beautiful, and the positive energy of the people who take regular classes is infectious.  I am so grateful to have been part of Stephanie's journey as a teacher, to witness her transformation during teacher training, and to call her friend.  Regardless of if people take Yoga Teacher Training and use it to open a studio, deepen their practice, or go on to teach at all, it is always amazing to see how the torch gets passed and inspires many others.  Stephanie has so much love in her heart, sprinkled with a dash of a quick wit, so it is no surprise how students are drawn to her center. 
Chakra Evolution @Yoga Nidra... Group Pic

This for me was a Karma Yoga experience, a chance to give back, and the beautiful part was that the entire group of participants also gave back because proceeds went to a local school (The William O'Conner School) that helps provides programs for kids with special needs, specifically autism.

Another big surprise of the day was my lovely friend, and fellow yoga sista Carissa came.  Carissa had already surprised me with one of the most beautiful mala's ever, that she created from her own heart and hands!!  The irony was, during my Yoga Teacher Training, I was silently thinking how it would be beautiful to see Carissa again.  That same day, she came in for Master Class!!!  Also, silently I wishing for an amethyst mala.  There were none for sale at Dharma's and one day I ventured with a friend to a local crystal shop, but they did not have any either.  Carissa never knew that I had a quiet hope to do Japa mala meditation on an amethyst mala, but I guess on a subconscious, cosmic level,....she did.  Thank you Universe, and thank you Carissa.  Another example of how powerful our thoughts are.  I am hoping soon Carissa will be showcasing her creations, so many others can have a crystal japa mala experience. 
Beautiful Mala made by my beautiful friend Carissa

The ladies began to line in the studio, laying out their mats.  I like to learn people's names and very soon, I realized the front row had doubles of the same name.  We laughed as one person suggested all the Kathy's and Maria's put their mats in the same line.  As the room began to fill with more eager bodies, and the aromatic fragrance of Panchavatti dhoop insence was softly spreading in the room, we began.  After Stephanie introduced me as one of her biggest influences, I was quick to say "Not sure if that is good or bad" and the laughter that erupted was so joyful, I knew this was going to be a fun afternoon.  Carissa also got a beautiful shout out, as she was another primary influence on Stephanie's early practice as well. 
More Highlights from a beautiful workshop @ Yoga Nidra
The sound of Aummmmm commenced our Yoga journey, and soon we began with chanting, and I was so touched by how joyfully people shared in the singing!  It was awesome.  While we did our chants to Ganesh, the meaning of surrendering fears and obstacles takes priority in every chant.  With the concept of an offering, we progressed with pranayama, yoga asana, bija mantra for the chakras, and concluded with a short Yoga Nidra.  At the very end, we added in one Kundalini type of Kriya for awakening the chakras.  It was a beautiful afternoon for our subtle body.  Special thanks to all the lovely ladies who shared in this Sangha, to Stephanie for inviting me, to Carissa for that beautiful mala and sharing your awesome energy in the space, and to Anthony for capturing such lovely photos of our day.  For those of you in NYC looking for a beautiful place to deepen your yoga practice, take the D Train to Dyker Heights and lay your mat in Yoga Nidra for class, your mind-body-spirit will thank you!  Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

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