Thursday Sadhana (benefits a good cause): Mindful movement (yoga) | deep relaxation | seated meditation

Thursdays 6:45-8:15pm in Falls Church. This specialized class is appropriate and safe for all ages and abilities.

Your first class is free.   Email anna@asaya.org  for the sign-in form.

Click on an image to enlarge.

30 percent of the proceeds  from each class will go to Saandhwanam.org (a place of comfort/peace) a small orphanage in Kerala, India which I had the privilege of visiting in Oct 2017 along with a group of 17 American travelers. This is a subject close to my heart as I grew up in an orphanage myself in the same area in India (after I lost my mother when I was 7) and was the beneficiary of kindness from people in the US and Europe. The children at Saandhwanam were happy, confident, loved by the few women who care for them and encouraged to achieve their educational goals. The children are brought up in a pluralistic environment, exposed to all the major religions of India. We had the privilege of joining them for their evening gratitude hour which started with the sacred diya (oil lamp) lighting and went on to chanting from various scriptures. This independent organization with 21 children is solely  supported by a local bank and the local rotary club who provide them with a building to rent and food.  The educational and medical needs of the children are totally supported by donors.  I know we can make a direct impact on these girls’ future, as well as make a connection. I plan to visit them again and check on their progress, when I visit my family.  (See “Causes I support” tab above for more info)

Practicing yoga can help with body awareness, flexibility, strength, mobility, and balance. It also requires you to shift into a more relaxed state, which can help decrease stress, increase focus, and promote a stronger connection with yourself. Yoga can help connect you more deeply to your sense of purpose and awareness of living in the present.

We are currently studying the Ashtanga yoga (8-limbed path).  Each limb/branch is designed to help live a more disciplined life and to alleviate suffering. While you are holding postures I will share with you the yogic philosophy which many found helpful throughout the week. Making it a mind/body practice.

Your instructor Anna is deeply devoted to her meditation and yoga practice and to helping others along the path.  Growing up in India, she watched her father meditate and did sun salutations barefoot. Her studies in yoga, meditation, pranayama (yogic breathing) and ayurveda (the sister science of yoga) started with Indian Master, Kamal Srinivas (one of 8 Indian masters) in 2001.

Training in the US include, Duke Integrative Medicine/integrative-yoga-for-seniors-professional-training in March 2014 and the Thrusday class has all of that information incorporated into it.

There’s not another course out there like the Duke course and here is a bit more info:

Integrative Yoga for Seniors Professional Training is a pioneering eight-day program at Duke University for registered yoga teachers that combines the best of evidenced-based medicine with the ancient wisdom of yoga.  While research into the effects of yoga on health is emerging there is currently a scarcity of scientifically-rigorous evaluation, especially for older adults. For this reason, yoga teachers of seniors are navigating uncharted territory and are frequently dealing with the unknown.  Structured on the foundation of the physiology of aging, this program offers a scaffolding from which to integrate specific recommendations gleaned from what is known and to creatively adapt the practice in areas that are yet to be clarified.

The program covered:

  • How to safely and effectively teach yoga to older adults
  • Health conditions common to seniors including osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease, chronic pain and joint replacement
  • How specific health challenges may affect yoga practice
  • How commonly-used medications may affect yoga practice
  • Hands-on training in teaching skills specific to older practitioners with varied health concerns
  • Yoga practices to help relieve symptoms of common ailments
  • Yoga practices to help improve function and enhance balance
  • Practical strategies for adapting yoga practice to older bodies, minds and spirits

Program developers Kimberly Carson and Carol Krucoff have extensive experience teaching yoga to vulnerable populations and provide hands-on training in safely modifying postures for older adults, especially those new to yoga.   Faculty lecturers, including Duke physicians, exercise physiologists, physical therapists and health psychologists cover health conditions common to seniors, such as heart disease, arthritis and osteoporosis. We also explore special issues related to elderly students, including pain management, fall prevention, and palliative care.

Currently completing the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, a 2-year professional training program for teaching awareness and compassion-based practices. This program is taught by Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach and the certification is issued by the Awareness Training Institute and UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

You will go home feeling relaxed and peaceful.  No prior yoga or meditation experience is necessary.

2. Gentle yoga

Unitarian Universalist church of Arlington (First Monday of the month on Dana (donation) basis)

The class offers a form of movement that is particularly well-suited for meditation. You’ll explore practices that will energize and strengthen you, help you release deep-seated tension and cultivate a sense of presence and well-being. The class is designed to be inclusive for all levels of yoga, from new to experienced. 

3. Core Restore (Yin Yoga)

CorePower Yoga Falls Church (Sundays)

4. Vinyasa Yoga

CorePower Yoga