Heart Practice Yoga
January 2005 Yoga - Art - Expression
Heart Practice Yoga & Press Newsletter
in this issue

Releasing the Old Year, the Old You

Did you notice that New Year's Day fell on a waning moon? For those who pay special attention to lunar cycles, this day signifies a "letting go" phase before new things can begin.

For me the first few days have been spent cleaning out closets, giving items to Goodwill and books to the library. At the same time, people from the past have come back to help me release some old pains, albeit in extremely difficult ways. This includes saying goodbye to my grandfather who passed away on Christmas Day in the Philippines.

I am comforted and inspired by something that Betsy Downing of Garden of the Heart Yoga wrote:

"My experiences have led me to believe that after we discover the depths of our own true nature of stillness, peace, and strength, the real work begins. We seek to transform those aspects of our personalities, habits, and patterns that block that connection to our peaceful center. It can sometimes be hard work to release our negative mindset; to let go of criticisms, judgments, insecurities, fears, guilt, the ways in which we close our hearts, lack compassion, fail to honor ourselves, become defensive, remember old hurts, and withhold forgiveness of ourselves and others. Through this process of change, however, we learn to connect with the best in ourselves, to clarify our communication, and speak from the heart with firmness and compassion. We begin to live our lives from the larger perspective of our spirituality."

The spiritual path is fraught with both painful and joyful awareness as the Universe sends your soul exactly what it needs at the precise moment. Often the timing or event is not what we would prefer.

I have found it helpful to surround myself with compassionate friends and even professional support. I am grateful for your presence in my life. May this new year bring you many bright blessings.

Garden of the Heart Yoga

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This monthly newsletter is created to provide you with resources to nourish your practice and inspire your spirit. Please send an e-mail if there is anything you would like to see featured for our yoga community.

May your new year foster peace and understanding.
- Peace and Light, Monica Paredes

2nd Annual "Say Yes to Life!" Yoga Event with John Friend - January 15, 2005

This event, held on Saturday, January 15th at The Woodlands, Texas, is held in honor and memory of the life of Ann Friend. Ann was a beloved member of The Woodlands community and special friend to Montgomery College. Along with her many contributions, Ann helped to establish the Academy for Lifelong Learning, an educational program for active older adults at Montgomery College. This special yoga event will pay tribute to her generous support for education and the community.

Ann's eldest son, John, is the founder of Anusara Yoga, one of the most popular styles of hatha yoga, which incorporates Universal Principles of Alignment, the art of inner body awareness and the celebration of the heart. Ann was John's first teacher and to honor her memory, he will be offering three inspirational yoga classes to help raise funds for an endowment fund in her name.

SUGGESTED DONATION: $10 per classroom hour. Your contribution is tax deductible. Sponsored by: The Academy for Lifelong Learning at Montgomery College. All proceeds will benefit the development of the Ann Friend Memorial Endowment Fund.

Please let me know if you would like to carpool from San Antonio. I will put you in touch with several SA students who would like to ride together.

Dream Big and Live Fully - January 28, 2005

During the first of the year we generally take stock of our lives to see how far we've come and how we have laid the foundation for the future. Continuing the theme of surrounding yourself with inspirational support, I have found life coaching to be an extremely useful tool in setting and reaching realistic goals.

In 1998, my dear friend Victoria Crawford began a company called Way of Discovery. She helps both individuals and teams by offering a structure and methodology that assists people in reaching their desired goals while building trust. The Way of Discovery uses various out-of-the-box techniques to help you uncover your potential and release your unique gifts to the world.

For those in the Phoenix area, Victoria is hosting a workshop that will give you the tools to "Dream Big and Live Fully." It is scheduled for January 28, 2005 from 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at The Sanctuary on 5700 East McDonald Drive.

If you are not in the Arizona area, she is available for phone consultations. Victoria is also completing a book entitled Way of Discovery.

The Teacher Becomes a Student

Pedro and I are excited to announce that we are awaiting the arrival of our first little one sometime around July 4th. Luckily avoiding many first trimester discomforts, I have been mainly giving into fatigue and insistent cravings for watermelon.

The news was unexpected, but we feel very blessed and look forward to what life changes we are bound to experience.

To provide and receive support during this time, I will be re-starting my prenatal yoga program beginning Tuesdays January 18th from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Classes will focus on prenatal yoga, meditation, vocal toning, and breath work to prepare us for the challenges of labor and birth. In addition, we will learn about nutrition and holistic birthing techniques and participate in mother nurturing rituals to celebrate and help each other transition to her new role. Some classes may include partner participation if requested by the group.

Mindful Present

Donnabelle Casis', artistic and meaningful yoga jewelry are back by popular demand. From the colorful Italian yarn, to the silver fittings and pewter heart, each piece is made with loving attention to detail. These necklaces harness the healing and energetic qualities of semi-precious stones. The colors correspond to a complementary chakra.

The jewelry is festively packaged and includes a card with a personalized description. Samples of necklace designs include "Clarity & Self-Expression" for the writers on your list, "Friendship & Commitment," for your gal pal; and even "Optimism & Inner Peace" for someone experiencing challenging times.

In Addition...

If you are planning on giving a workshop this year, consider an exploration of the yamas and niyamas and how they provide a base for a home yoga practice. Our Art of the Yama and Niyama cards make a great accompaniment to your lesson.

OUR PRAYERS and love go out to those affected by the tsunamis. Life-affirming opportunities for helping can be found at The Red Cross.

EVENING CLASS OFFERED: I will be subbing for Tia Pirkl's January 6th (Thursday) 7 p.m. Traditional Yoga class at Spectrum's 281 Club location, room 2.