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~ Favorite Links, Music and More ~ 

 

Marianne Wells Yoga  - Marianne is my teacher, I completed her 200 RYT in August of 2008 in Costa Rica

Jimmy's Way  - Organization set up in memory of Marianne's son James Wells, to help educate about suicide and suicide prevention. This years summer solstice class was a donation based class, with all money raised going to Jimmy's Way. 

Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Yoga on the Steps  - a cause very near to my heart, this grass roots organization helps the women and their families currently dealing with breast cancer. Yoga on the steps is the annual fundraising event on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 

The Writing Blueprint - Great help for all your writing needs, The Writing Blueprint has helped with press releases for all my events along with help editing  blog entries. 

Salem County Chamber of Commerce - Vote for Best of Salem County until September 24, 2014

 

Spotify - current class playlists 

 

Week 1 ~ Joy of Yoga, beginner workshop notes

Posted 1/9/2014

 

JOY OF YOGA – 6 WEEK BEGINNER YOGA CLASS

What is yoga?

Yoga is the union of body, mind, movement and breath.  They physical poses we do are 1 of the 8 limbs of yoga. The Practice of yoga brings more awareness and integration of the body and mind. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice rather than a task or goal that needs to be completed. Everyone is on a journey, and your practice is your own. It is an individual experience and is always evolving and changing.

Posture/ Alignment

it is important to remember that all yoga originates from the spine
the spine should straight, reaching up through the crown your head, neck and spine aligned
tuck your tail bone/rolling your pubic bone engaging your core – this is what supports your lower back.  

Breathe

Breathing should be soft full and easy. Taking an inhale through your nose, bringing the air into your belly, filling your ribs, and then moving the air to your shoulders. On the exhale, bring the belly button to the spine, hug the ribs together and relax your shoulders. Start to feel the breath brush across the back of your throat – this is our Ujjayi Breath, an energizing heat building breath.

When we control our breath, we control our mind, control our senses and ultimate control or life

During a yoga practice/flow you will make space for your body to move on the inhale and move into that space on the exhale. When we bring our focus to our breath it allows us to stay present in the moment and to block out outside distractions

Just sitting in easy pose and turning your focus to your breath can have amazing benefits on you mentally and physically. Deeper breaths allow more oxygen into the bloodstream.
More oxygen helps you to relax and reduce stress, improves your skin tone, can help you sleep better, and helps burn calories by converting fuel to burn fat.

REMEMBER TO BREATH, FLEXIBLITY WILL COME

YOGA IS NOT ABOUT PUTTING YOURSELF INTO PAINFUL POSITIONS, STRETCH TILL IT FEELS GOOD, AND BREATH TILL IT FEELS BETTER

BE MINDFULL OF YOUR MOVEMENTS, REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE CONNECTING THE BODY W. THE MIND AND THE BREATH

HAVE PATIENCE- this is not acquired overnight, it is a continual process like you yoga practice. Through your continued practice it requires us to be present in the moment and fully experience and live in the now. When we practice with patience a transformation occurs, both on and off our mats. Take when you learn on the mat and apply it to your everyday – your now moments.

 

Setting an intention

Start by scanning you thoughts, search for a thought that holds value to you – Ask yourself,   how am I going to be in this practice?

Set your intention with your breath, consciously inhale then slowly exhale. Follow your breath letting your thoughts flow and ride the breath

Then set your intention with your body, acknowledge the gift of your health and the ability to move around and be in this physical world. Bring your intention into focus by aligning your body and thoughts.

Setting and intention brings clarity to your practice. It is also motivating to have a clear focus. It gives your yoga practice another layer of meaning.

Perhaps your intention is wellness, a sense of peace or acceptance, or maybe a person you would like to dedicate your practice to.

Remember that an intention is not a goal, there is no future outcome. Instead it is a path or practice that is focused on how you are being in the present moment

Once you have finished your practice consider carrying your intention with you into your day – expanding your yoga practice to other aspects of your life

 

 

THE THREE A’S

Attitude – the power of the heart as the force behind every action or expression in a pose; the aspiration to reawaken to our divine nature, and the celebration of life

Alignment – the mindful awareness of how various parts of ourselves are integrated and interconnected

Actions – the natural flow of energy in the body, which provides both stability and joyful freedom

 

The three A’s distinguish yoga poses from mere exercise or stretching. The main intention of stretching is to increase flexibility and mobility. Stretching often aims at creating maximum sensation, usually in a localized area of the body, whereas yoga poses, performed with the three A’s has a profound spiritual intention, a high degree of mindfulness, precise alignment, and balanced energetic action. Also, yoga focuses on extending the light of awareness evenly throughout the body.

 

 

Easy pose                    

Easy Pose or Sukhasana is a relaxation pose intended for Meditation. It promotes inner calm and straightens the spine, opens the hips, and relieves tiredness. As the name suggests, this pose is very easy to do.         

  • Sit down on the floor or a Yoga Mat.
  • Cross your legs, placing your feet below your knees.
  • Clasp your hands around your knees.
  • Keep your head and body straight.

 

 

Seated Twist

Benefits – wakes up the muscles of the spine, massages internal organs

  • In easy pose – with sit bones grounded twist to the left
  • left thumb comes close to the left buttock, spine is tall and straight
  • Eye gaze over the left shoulder
  • Releasing slightly on the inhale, deepen on the exhale
  • hold for a few breaths exhale and twist to the right

 

Seated forward fold                       

Benefits – stretches the hamstrings and spine

  • From staff pose (seated w. legs out in front, feet flexed, sit bones rooted) bring the arms straight out to the sides and up over your head.
  • Inhale and draw the spine up long.
  • As you exhale, begin to come forward, hinging at the hips.
  • On each inhale, extend the spine, and on each exhale, come a bit farther into the forward bend.
  • Keep the neck at the natural extension of the spine.  Do not round the back.
  • Take hold of the ankles or shins, whichever you can reach.

Beginners: Put padding under the sit bones if necessary. Imagine the belly coming to rest on your thighs, rather than the nose coming to the knees -- this will help you keep the spine long instead of curving over.

 

 

 

 

Down dog                        

Benefits – stretches and strengthens the whole body, can help relieve back pain
Downward facing dog is done many times during most yoga classes. It is a transitional pose, a resting pose and a great strengthener in its own right. It may be the first yoga pose you encounter as you begin a yoga practice. Downward dog is so prevalent, even people who have never done yoga have probably heard of it.

  • Come to your hands and knees with the wrists underneath the shoulders and the knees underneath the hips.
  • Curl the toes under and push back raising the hips and straightening the legs.
  • Spread the fingers and ground down from the forearms into the fingertips.
  • Outwardly rotate the upper arms broadening the collarbones.
  • Let the head hang, move the shoulder blades away from the ears towards the hips.
  • Engage the quadriceps strongly to take the weight off the arms, making this a resting pose.
  •  Rotate the thighs inward, keep the tail high and sink your heels towards the floor.
  • Check that the distance between your hands and feet is correct by coming forward to a plank position. The distance between the hands and feet should be the same in these two poses. Do not step the feet toward the hands in Down Dog in order the get the heels to the floor. This will happen eventually as the muscles lengthen.

Beginners: Try bending your knees, coming up onto the balls of your feet, bringing the belly to rest on the thighs and the sit bones up high. Then sink your heels, straightening the legs keeping the high upward rotation of the sit bones. Also try bending the arms slightly out to the side, drawing the chest towards the thighs. Then restraighten the arms.

 

Mountain pose         

Benefits – Improves posture, strengthens thighs

  • Come to standing, feet hip width apart (hip width) – hands can be at sides fingers pointing down, or hands at heart center
  • Lift up all your toes and let them fan out, then drop them down creating a wide solid base.
  • You can separate your heels slightly if your ankles are knocking together uncomfortably.
  • Bring your weight evenly onto all four corners of both feet.
  • Let the feet and the calves root down into the floor.
  • Engage the quadriceps and draw them upward, causing your knee caps to rise.
  • Rotate both thighs inward, creating a widening of the sit bones, and tuck your tailbone in between the sit bones.
  • Tone the belly, drawing it in slightly.
  • Widen the collar bones and make sure the shoulders are parallel to the pelvis.
    The neck is long, the crown of the head rises toward the ceiling, and the shoulder blades slide down the back.

It may seem like you are just standing there, but bringing the body into alignment is hard work. The alignment for Tadasana carries in to many of the standing and inverted poses.

 

 

 

Table

Knees under hips, wrists and shoulders aligned
Benefits -  Stretches the back torso and neck, Provides a gentle massage to the spine and belly organs

Cat

Start in table pose

  • Center your head in a neutral position, eyes looking at the floor.
  • As you exhale, round your spine toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your shoulders and knees in position. Release your head toward the floor, but don't force your chin to your chest.
  • Inhale, coming back to neutral "tabletop" position on your hands and knees.

Cow

  • As you inhale, lift your sitting bones and chest toward the ceiling, allowing your belly to sink toward the floor. Lift your head to look straight forward.
  • Exhale, coming back to neutral "tabletop" position on your hands and knees

 

 

Savasana 

Benefits - Allows the body time to process information at the end of a class.

No yoga session is complete without the final pose – Savasana. The body needs this time to understand the new information it has received through practicing yoga. Even though Savasana is a resting pose, it’s not the same a sleeping! You should stay present and aware during the five to ten minute duration of final relaxation.

  • Come to lie down on the back.
  • Let the feet fall out to either side.
  • Bring the arms alongside the body, but slightly separated from the body, and turn the palms to face upwards.
  • Relax the whole body, including the face. Let the body feel heavy.
  • Let the breath occur naturally.
  • To come out, first begin to the deepen the breath. Then move the fingers and toes, awakening the body.
  • Roll to your right side (keeping pressure off your heart) and then sit back up in easy

 

Namaste

Bring your hands to your heart center, take a bow
Namaste – a greeting, the spirit in me honors the spirit in you

 

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Bee Inspired Instagram photo challenge #ourdailyintention #beeinspired

Posted 12/31/2013

Those who know me know that I love to post on Instagram

It has become one of my favorite forms of social media. 
In the past year I have met some wonderful people through the posts. 

While yoga should be ego free, it is fun and rewarding to challenge yourself
and try new things. It may seem silly but through the posts and monthly "challenges" 
I have found that I am stronger and more confident then I ever thought I could be. 

When done in a safe way, trying new poses can be super rewarding. 
If you are an instagramer follow me @yogagirl429

For the first 10 days of January I am putting together the first
BEE INSPIRED YOGA
instagram photo challenge
Each day I will post an intention, all you need to do is take/post a photo of an asana (pose) that relates to that intention for you


DAY 1 IS THE INTENTION OF BREATHE
take a picture of a pose that allows you to find your breathe, to stay focused on your breathe. It can be any asana, anywhere. 


Setting an intention is the first step in the practice of Yoga. Without intention, it is simply just an exercise. You may have a physically perfect Yoga practice, but without intention it loses its transformational power. Someone practicing with intention will have a very different experience from someone practicing without intention. It gives the practice a deeper purpose.

Post it to either instagram or facebook (if you don't do instagram)
tag me @yogagirl429 and #beeinspiredyoga and #ourdailyintention 
or you can always email or text it to me if you would like to
participate but want to stay alittle more private :)

I am excited to see all of your photos and

to connect with all of you outside of the studio

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New Studio

Posted 12/2/2013

A month into the new space, I am so overwhelmed with all of the love and support. The dedication to your practice is inspiring. 

Thank you for being part of this journey. Starting January there will be a few new classes added to the schedule and more workshops to come

 

A few new things you may have noticed in the new space

 

1. Always remove your shoes at the door ~  Remove your shoes before entering our yoga room as a way of respecting the ancient tradition of the East and to provide a clean environment in which to practice.
there are cubbies in the back for your personal belonging 

2. Try to arrive 5-10 mins before class ~ We no longer need to wait for a class to end before we can enter the studio. This also gives you time to store your personal belongings, use the restroom and get yourself ready mentally before pratice

3. parking ~ street parking is limited, but you can park in the municiple lot across the street

4. Probably the biggest change to the beginning/end of class - we are now OMing. For the first time teaching I finally feel like we are in a space that warrents an OM. You can participate or just receive. Remember there is no judgement, you must honor what is true to you 


Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions. It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean? Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us—that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell. Chanting Om allows us to recognize our experience as a reflection of how the whole universe moves—the setting sun, the rising moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, the beating of our hearts. As we chant Om, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.




Namaste

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