Intentions for the New Year

by Erin Ipjian

IMG_0909.jpg

Happy New Year, yogis! It’s that time of year when so many of us set out to approach our lives anew and set the elusive new year’s resolution.

This year, how about approaching 2019 with yoga’s version of the new year’s resolution - an Intention.

Resolutions involve control, sheer will-power, and often fail. Just as force does not work well in asana practice, this rigidity in the mind often fails to deliver effective change in our lives.

Yoga practice, on the other hand, invites us to get quiet and listen deeply on the mat, on the meditation cushion, and throughout our lives so that we can begin to notice the impact of our habits and align with those daily practices that serve us and those around us best. Setting your intention for the year ahead (or for a shorter period of time) from this place of awareness is an effective tool from our yoga practice to guide us along the course of life.

This weekend, we invite you to join us for Debbie W’s New Year Restorative Yoga, in which you will enjoy an extended restorative practice, intention setting for the new year, and optional reiki.

Between weekly classes and upcoming special events, we have lots of opportunities to stay connected to your intention in 2019. Check out evolutionyogaglenview.com for our full schedule. Looking forward to practicing with you in 2019, Evolution yogis!

Accessing your Gratitude: a Meditation

by Liz Geifman

IMG_0036.jpg

It’s human nature to focus on the negative.  A hundred things can go right in a day, most of which we won’t even notice or realize. Yet one wrong thing happens and we completely lose our minds. We obsess, we beat ourselves up, and we waste precious emotional energy allowing the negative to take over our day.

How do we redirect our focus and reframe our perspective?

We access our gratitude.

Gratitude is defined as the quality of being thankful; a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

Gratitude connects us to the greater world that we live in.  It elevates our mindset, refocuses our energies and reminds us of our priorities.  Accessing our gratitude can dig us out of the despair we might find ourselves sinking into when life gets stressful and overwhelming.  It reminds us of our value to ourselves, our community, our world.

There are times when true tragedy impacts our lives. Our focus and our emotions must give these situations the attention they require and deserve.  But, in order to live the fullness of our existence, we must allow ourselves to be aware of and to appreciate the blessings in our lives.

We live in a world filled with natural beauty.  Breathtaking landscape full of vibrant colors, scents, and sounds.  Whether your happy place is in the mountains, on the beach, or your own backyard, allow your mind to imagine that place.  Find gratitude for the beauty of this world we are so blessed to live in.

From there let your mind travel to your home, whether it’s your own private sanctuary, a place you share with a partner or with your loving family.  Find gratitude for the roof overhead, the shelter from the storm, the place where you can let down your guard and be the most authentic and relaxed version of you.

Let your mind travel to your family, the people who you are the most grateful to have in your life.  The love you share knows no bounds or conditions.  It is heartfelt and pure.  Find gratitude for the love, the deep sense of caring, and the unbreakable bond that is family.

Sometimes the lines between family and friends blur.  There are those in our lives whose love and support are essential to our making it through each day. It is with these amazing friends that we choose to share our struggles and our joy, and it is with much gratitude that we recognize that they have chosen for us to be in their lives too.

We are blessed with all of this good because we are blessings.  We have so much that is positive and good to offer. When we give of ourselves, when we allow our unique selves to shine, the world is enhanced by our brilliance.  When we look at ourselves with compassion, when we truly see and appreciate the many layers that make up our being, we can access our gratitude and find love for all of who we are.

With the holiday of Thanksgiving on the horizon, we are reminded to think about the blessings in our lives.  Gratitude is available for us to access always.  Find moments throughout your day to notice blessings.  A loved one’s smile, a meaningful conversation with a friend, a triumph at work.  Let these moments sink in deeply.  The more you look the more you will see, and in doing so, you will undoubtedly have found access to your gratitude.

Find Liz at Evolution:

Mondays 5:30-6:45pm Vinyasa Flow

Wednesdays 5:45-6:45pm Mixed Levels

Spotlight on Yin Yoga

by Chuck Frenkel, E-RYT & Yin Yoga Teacher

IMG_4151.jpg

Yin yoga is a yoga practice of mostly seated asana shapes while being in a relaxed state. But yin yoga is so much more than that, as it encompasses the yogic aspects of breathing, meditation, working with our energies/emotions, body awareness, and how we relate to our thoughts. Yin helps us to (re-)connect with ourselves and creates the environment and opportunity in which to do so. We learn how to use our breath and our bodies to better connect with each moment. We learn and practice techniques that help us to observe and relate to our thoughts rather than just react to them. A regular yin yoga practice also helps us to enjoy a better balance in our lives as we (re-)learn how to relax and just “be,” taking some time for ourselves to restore and replenish. -Chuck Frenkel, E-RYT & yin yoga teacher

Practice yin yoga at Evolution:

Monday’s 7:00-8:30pm yin with Chuck
Thursday’s 6:45-8:15pm yin with Polly


Advancing your Yoga Practice

by Erin Ipjian

IMG_3815.jpg

Ever think about what it means to advance in your yoga practice? Yoga is an embodied practice and with time practicing intelligently on the mat, we light up awareness in areas of the body, allowing us to move in ways not possible before. Over time, we might find ourselves moving more deeply into a posture or even balancing on our hands.
.
Ultimately, however, the poses are intended to serve as a vehicle for creating a greater understanding of ourselves and the world around us. And while movement is an important component of a well-rounded yoga practice, so is the ability to slow down and turn more directly towards the heart of what this practice is all about.
.
This Sunday, join Polly at Moving into Stillness: Mindfulness in Moving, Standing, & Seated Meditation. This special class will be an exploration of developing mindfulness on all levels - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Move through gentle yoga poses as a moving meditation, explore what it is to stand in your own two feet, and cultivate spatial awareness within and without. Practice will culminate with a seated meditation. The only prerequisite is an open mind.
.
Sign up to reserve your spot at evolutionyogaglenview.com.

Deepening your Practice

by Erin Ipjian

IMG_0160.jpg

"Don't believe everything you think." -Byron Katie

It's a common story we all have heard -- "I came to yoga to get more flexible/stronger, but what I found was so much MORE."

At the very beginning, we, as yoga practitioners, are often caught up in the physical details, "right foot forward, left food back, and where is my pelvis supposed to be?"  With practice, we start to sense positive shifts happening in our bodies and even discover that we can execute poses that we never thought possible.

As we spend more time on the mat, however, we begin to appreciate that the point of the practice is not nailing the perfect pose. Moving to the rhythm of the breath and refining the details of the poses all serve a deeper purpose -- to become more aware of the noise the mind creates and spend more time connected to the awareness that lives beneath our thoughts and emotions.

This week, we have two wonderful opportunities to delve a little deeper and explore the inner workings of the mind with two meditation and mindfulness classes:

Meditation Series with Polly, Thursdays, 5/10-5/31 5:30-6:30

Mindfulness for the Restless with Kira and Allison, Saturday, 5/12 3:00-5:00pm

Sign up to reserve your spot here.