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News about yoga, health, stress management, mindfulness – featuring Princeton Center for Yoga and Health

The page turns. by Paul Schindel, Three Bears Communications

When we met in 1999, Deborah was mailing out a multipage, black and white, typewritten, xeroxed newsletter every quarter with program notes and her teachings. I made some suggestions that helped PCYH reach more people more economically, and look much better in the process, and we’ve been working collaborators ever since. In time, Three Bears secured the best domain name for the Center (PrincetonYoga.com) and launched the first PCYH website and all of the iterations ever since. We launched the email newsletters, and the social media presence, and did a thousand and one other things to support the Center, the brand, and Deborah.

 

She’s the Earth Mother, Deborah is.  And Princeton Center for Yoga & Health was her medium for making the world a better place through the teaching and practice of righteousness, in various forms. It turns out that I think Earth Mothers are cool, and that we share a lot in common, not the least being our shared birthday. We’re birthday triplets, in fact, because Franzie, too.
Deborah is now free to point her energies in new directions. I have no doubt that everything she does and everyone she engages with will make the world a bit better than she found it.
Communications dones just right. ThreeBears.comLearn more about Paul Schindel, CEO and creative director of Three Bears Marketing Communications: Cute name. Serious results.
Princeton NJ advertising agency creates marketing communications that are strategically smart, impactful and effective.

Alexandra Pillion: Love in the Time of…Corona

We are currently being knocked over by a tidal wave of uncertainty and fear as we collectively navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s that very state of being that is bringing out the shadow sides of humans, and the pain and suffering of the human experience. Dismal, I know. This week, someone stole from my job (a yoga studio!), people are hoarding toilet paper and diapers and soap and not leaving enough for all of us, and schools are closing but not appropriately planning for the thousands of kids who will miss out on meals they rely on during their school day. The list unfortunately goes on, and I know I don’t have to elaborate more because I’m sure you’ve also been inundated with it all, too.

What I don’t think is being brought to the forefront right now is how we can proactively (not REACTIVELY) manage this situation and care for ourselves and one another. But the question is, how can we practice love and self-love in a time when we are scared?

Fear is a motivator for people in a way that promotes reactivity, and reactivity does not always equal healthy behavior. Reactivity is a lot like the fight, flight, or freeze response, and I truly believe many people (especially the ones hoarding goods) are in a trauma response right now and doing whatever they can to survive. What is CRITICAL to practice right now is awareness, mindfulness, wise-mindedness (a healthy balance between thinking emotionally and rationally) and, I think most importantly, love; love for others, and love for ourselves.

Love for others, especially in a time when scary things are happening can look like:

  1. Practicing good hygiene and social distancing so that you can prevent the spread of infection (knowingly and/or unknowingly).
  2. Helping the elderly, economically disadvantaged, and immunocompromised community members you know. Even a phone call to check in (which also practices #1 on the list) can be helpful and loving.
  3. Sharing. Share the goods on the shelves at the grocery store with others. Make space for others to shop and to have their own experience with what’s going on.
  4. Being honest. If you’re sick, say something and keep your distance. Deceit is not loving, in any form.
  5. Being aware of our fear responses, our automatic behaviors, our triggers, which really means:

**Engaging in self-love, which is also a form of love for others.**

When we love and care for ourselves, when we nurture our bodies and minds and souls in the ways they need, we contribute to the collective. We are trend-setters, every single one of us. We create the environment we are a part of. We dictate what our reality is. When we love ourselves, we love others. Isn’t there that saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself”?

Let’s all practice contribution to our communities. Let’s all nurture and nourish ourselves. Let’s protect ourselves and others. We are all in this together.

Read more and follow Alexandra Pillion on her blog.

Cynthia Beers: Anxiety and Depression are real and on the rise!

Cindy Beers has experienced stress, anxiety and depression first hand. She integrates her real life experiences into her teaching and has created an effective workshop/training that can help you find ways to cope and take your life back.

In her own words:

Stress, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD are on the rise. Approximately 40 million Americans have anxiety (or some type of anxiety disorder which includes PTSD and depression) (https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics). As yoga teachers, parents, anyone, how can we help? Simple, by learning as much as you can about the brain, body, and holistic modalities so we can not only help ourselves but our clients.

I built the Yoga for Mental Health program because I needed some help. It was honestly an aha! moment for me. I was in my 300 RYT program where my instructor was teaching us EFT/Tapping and she showed us a video about Gary Craig (who started EFT) working with veterans. At the time I had major anxiety, PTSD, and some depression (great combo right?). So, I started doing EFT twice a day along with my meditation and yoga practice. Immediately I saw differences. It got to the point I was able to get off of anti-depressants and really get a hold of my life. I learned more about the brain and how anxiety/depression/PTSD/stress affects the body. I had some health issues which were befuddling the doctors. Get this, once I started doing the EFT, meditation, affirmations, and yoga daily, my health got better. I realized I had something here. I didn’t share with anyone but knew I was getting better.

About 2016, a colleague of mine had a 13-year-old daughter whose anxiety was off the charts bad. They were thinking of home schooling because her anxiety was really bad. So, I used what I learned and used on myself. It worked! This young lady thrived after her classes. She’s now a sophomore in high school and very outgoing and enjoying being a teen.

This is a great teacher training/workshop which would benefit anyone who wants to help their clients or their own lives. www.cindybeers.com


Learn more about the upcoming training here:

Mindful Yoga for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, & Stress Teacher Training

with Cindy Beers
October 25-27, 2019

The Mindful Yoga for anxiety, depression, PTSD & Stress program teaches a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping), Daily Energy Routine and relaxation.
Learn More

 

Jodie Aiyana Shuster: The Smiling Yogini

We are excited to welcome Jodie Aiyana Shuster to our teaching community!

Jodie, tell us a bit about yourself!

My path to yoga began back in 1998 with a home practice. I took my first class at The Princeton Center for Yoga and Health in 2004. A slight interest turned into a passion. Being a Certified Personal Trainer and a 200 hr. Certified Yoga Teacher I approach yoga as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle – mind, body and soul.

As a person who is well into her 40’s, having a sense of humor is key! My body snaps, crackles and pops and sometimes I show up to class with my pants on inside out, because I changed in the car. The great thing is – no one really cares. It is ok to be a hot mess express from time to time. We are human. Yoga is a place to let it all go, tune into your body and accept the fact that you are a Goddess/God.

My goal is to introduce you to an ancient, beautiful and transformative practice with a light heart. Yoga can be whatever you need it to be. IT IS YOUR PRACTICE!!! From strength and balance to recovery and beyond – yoga is for you!

Who should come to your yoga class?

Everyone wanting to experience a class that will focus on tuning into the needs of your body. Truly listening to your body and the wisdom within it. Special attention is always given to strength, balance and mobility. Both fluid motion and isometric holds – the best of both worlds.

As a big picture, what do you hope to teach your students?

That yoga is for everyone! It belongs to you and me, not just to people who can throw their legs over their head and walk on their thumbs (lol!) In all honesty, my favorite part of yoga is the inclusiveness. There is so much for everyone to learn and glean from a regular practice. Yoga is more than just motion, it is about stillness too and getting to know yourself , above all. Yoga is a seed and how we choose to nurture that seed is what we will get in return. It’s your choice, and that freedom is extraordinary and really unique to Yoga. Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂

What do you enjoy most about teaching yoga?

I love teaching people to reclaim their mats, to own their strength and embody the Gods and Goddesses that we all are!

Who are your greatest influences?

In life, of course, my family. My mother was only the third woman executive in Major League Baseball, so she really instilled in me the drive to shatter the glass ceiling. When she started working back in the early 70’s I watched firsthand what she went through and how she always persevered. My husband remains a huge influence for me – he has a unique ability to remain the calm in the storm (basically calming me down when I need it). He has taught me so much about patience and love.

In business, my mother (again) and Richard Branson. Richard Branson built an empire by treating his employees with respect and dignity, knowing that making your employees happy will make your customers happy. I really value loyalty and he knows how to inspire it!

Yogically speaking, my biggest influences are my fellow teachers, students & clients. Intuitively learning from them on a daily basis. Connecting with this community of diverse people – experiencing life through their perspective, this is truly enriching. Everyday I learn something new. I remain eternally grateful for them and all they have contributed to my life. Special shout to Deborah and My Prana Sisters!!!

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

Two favorites – 1. Virabhadrasana (Warrior) 3 – it is balance and grace combined. The beauty of the form and the meaning of the sanskrit word Virabhadrasana (hero of devotion) has become a defining characteristic in this stage of my life. 2. Lotus – through this posture I have meditated a thousand times and have learned the fragile balance of life and self acceptance. I am grateful I can continue to perform these poses everyday. Namaste

Come and meet Jodie during her weekly classes:

Community Class: Prana Yoga (Mixed Level) – By Donation
Tuesdays, 4:15 to 5:30 pm

These classes integrate physical yoga poses (asanas), breath work (pranayama), philosophy, and relaxation. Teachers sequence each class intelligently and creatively, and guide the students through optimal alignment in each pose. The poses that are taught are moderate to challenging. Some experience is recommended; however variations and modifications are offered so that each student is both accommodated and challenged.

$5 Hatha (Prana) – $5 Drop-in
Mondays, 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Prana Yoga guides students through the prana body with the use of movement, breath, sound, concentration, and meditation. Through an easy to understand approach, students will learn how to apply core sounds to balance and heal the body’s energy centers. The class presents the foundations of Prana Yoga, a guided meditation and breath work in a fun, safe and relaxing environment. No experience necessary. This class is recommended for beginners and/or experienced students seeking a less-challenging practice.

This is a great class to learn and get the feel what to expect in our Prana Yoga Teacher Training with Jeff Migdow, MD, starting November. More information here

Sign up here

JUST ADDED:
Kids Yoga (4 weeks series)

Thursdays, 4:15 to 5:15 pm
4 weeks start 10/3

Moms & Dads, did you know your kids can benefit from Yoga, too? That’s right! Among the many benefits of Yoga are boosting self-esteem and confidence, developing focus and concentration, and easing anxiety. PLUS – it is really fun!!! Let their imagination run wild, let them play and experience the beauty of yoga, all while you may attend one of our Community: By Donation* yoga class of your own getting your Zen on.

(This class is appropriate for children ages 5 – 10 years old.)

REGISTER NOW and SAVE by 10/2

Art at Princeton Yoga: “Equilibrium” by Minako Ota

Princeton Yoga is honored to have received this beautiful painting “Equilibrium” by Minako Ota, a local artist and yoga student.

“Equilibrium”

acrylic on canvas, 2019

We constantly face the duality of life: body & soul, stillness & motion, resistance & surrender… Although these may seem like opposites, their relationships are actually complementary; achieving balance between them is the key to maintaining the serenity and strength required to live a healthy life.  As a symbolic artist, I have always been familiar with the concept of yin and yang, but my yoga practice has allowed me to comprehend it not only philosophically, but also in terms of how it pertains to my body. This holistic understanding lets me feel the alignment between my brain and body, thus inspiring me to create this piece.


Minako Ota is an award-winning artist based in Princeton, NJ. Born in Osaka, Japan, she studied traditional Japanese painting at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, she attended Cambridge University in England where she focused on western painting conservation. Her paintings reflect her persona as a cultural hybrid between Japan and the West. She combines western painting techniques that she learned through her 20+ years as a professional painting conservator and traditional Japanese aesthetics that she grew up with.

For more information on Minako Ota, visit: www.minako-art.com

The page turns. by Paul Schindel, Three Bears Communications

When we met in 1999, Deborah was mailing out a multipage, black and white, typewritten, xeroxed newsletter every quarter with program notes and her teachings. I made some suggestions that helped PCYH reach more people more economically, and look much better in the process, and we’ve been working collaborators ever since. In time, Three Bears secured the best domain name for the Center (PrincetonYoga.com) and launched the first PCYH website and all of the iterations ever since. We launched the email newsletters, and the social media presence, and did a thousand and one other things to support the Center, the brand, and Deborah.

 

She’s the Earth Mother, Deborah is.  And Princeton Center for Yoga & Health was her medium for making the world a better place through the teaching and practice of righteousness, in various forms. It turns out that I think Earth Mothers are cool, and that we share a lot in common, not the least being our shared birthday. We’re birthday triplets, in fact, because Franzie, too.
Deborah is now free to point her energies in new directions. I have no doubt that everything she does and everyone she engages with will make the world a bit better than she found it.
Communications dones just right. ThreeBears.comLearn more about Paul Schindel, CEO and creative director of Three Bears Marketing Communications: Cute name. Serious results.
Princeton NJ advertising agency creates marketing communications that are strategically smart, impactful and effective.

Alexandra Pillion: Love in the Time of…Corona

We are currently being knocked over by a tidal wave of uncertainty and fear as we collectively navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s that very state of being that is bringing out the shadow sides of humans, and the pain and suffering of the human experience. Dismal, I know. This week, someone stole from my job (a yoga studio!), people are hoarding toilet paper and diapers and soap and not leaving enough for all of us, and schools are closing but not appropriately planning for the thousands of kids who will miss out on meals they rely on during their school day. The list unfortunately goes on, and I know I don’t have to elaborate more because I’m sure you’ve also been inundated with it all, too.

What I don’t think is being brought to the forefront right now is how we can proactively (not REACTIVELY) manage this situation and care for ourselves and one another. But the question is, how can we practice love and self-love in a time when we are scared?

Fear is a motivator for people in a way that promotes reactivity, and reactivity does not always equal healthy behavior. Reactivity is a lot like the fight, flight, or freeze response, and I truly believe many people (especially the ones hoarding goods) are in a trauma response right now and doing whatever they can to survive. What is CRITICAL to practice right now is awareness, mindfulness, wise-mindedness (a healthy balance between thinking emotionally and rationally) and, I think most importantly, love; love for others, and love for ourselves.

Love for others, especially in a time when scary things are happening can look like:

  1. Practicing good hygiene and social distancing so that you can prevent the spread of infection (knowingly and/or unknowingly).
  2. Helping the elderly, economically disadvantaged, and immunocompromised community members you know. Even a phone call to check in (which also practices #1 on the list) can be helpful and loving.
  3. Sharing. Share the goods on the shelves at the grocery store with others. Make space for others to shop and to have their own experience with what’s going on.
  4. Being honest. If you’re sick, say something and keep your distance. Deceit is not loving, in any form.
  5. Being aware of our fear responses, our automatic behaviors, our triggers, which really means:

**Engaging in self-love, which is also a form of love for others.**

When we love and care for ourselves, when we nurture our bodies and minds and souls in the ways they need, we contribute to the collective. We are trend-setters, every single one of us. We create the environment we are a part of. We dictate what our reality is. When we love ourselves, we love others. Isn’t there that saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself”?

Let’s all practice contribution to our communities. Let’s all nurture and nourish ourselves. Let’s protect ourselves and others. We are all in this together.

Read more and follow Alexandra Pillion on her blog.

Cynthia Beers: Anxiety and Depression are real and on the rise!

Cindy Beers has experienced stress, anxiety and depression first hand. She integrates her real life experiences into her teaching and has created an effective workshop/training that can help you find ways to cope and take your life back.

In her own words:

Stress, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD are on the rise. Approximately 40 million Americans have anxiety (or some type of anxiety disorder which includes PTSD and depression) (https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics). As yoga teachers, parents, anyone, how can we help? Simple, by learning as much as you can about the brain, body, and holistic modalities so we can not only help ourselves but our clients.

I built the Yoga for Mental Health program because I needed some help. It was honestly an aha! moment for me. I was in my 300 RYT program where my instructor was teaching us EFT/Tapping and she showed us a video about Gary Craig (who started EFT) working with veterans. At the time I had major anxiety, PTSD, and some depression (great combo right?). So, I started doing EFT twice a day along with my meditation and yoga practice. Immediately I saw differences. It got to the point I was able to get off of anti-depressants and really get a hold of my life. I learned more about the brain and how anxiety/depression/PTSD/stress affects the body. I had some health issues which were befuddling the doctors. Get this, once I started doing the EFT, meditation, affirmations, and yoga daily, my health got better. I realized I had something here. I didn’t share with anyone but knew I was getting better.

About 2016, a colleague of mine had a 13-year-old daughter whose anxiety was off the charts bad. They were thinking of home schooling because her anxiety was really bad. So, I used what I learned and used on myself. It worked! This young lady thrived after her classes. She’s now a sophomore in high school and very outgoing and enjoying being a teen.

This is a great teacher training/workshop which would benefit anyone who wants to help their clients or their own lives. www.cindybeers.com


Learn more about the upcoming training here:

Mindful Yoga for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, & Stress Teacher Training

with Cindy Beers
October 25-27, 2019

The Mindful Yoga for anxiety, depression, PTSD & Stress program teaches a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping), Daily Energy Routine and relaxation.
Learn More

 

Jodie Aiyana Shuster: The Smiling Yogini

We are excited to welcome Jodie Aiyana Shuster to our teaching community!

Jodie, tell us a bit about yourself!

My path to yoga began back in 1998 with a home practice. I took my first class at The Princeton Center for Yoga and Health in 2004. A slight interest turned into a passion. Being a Certified Personal Trainer and a 200 hr. Certified Yoga Teacher I approach yoga as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle – mind, body and soul.

As a person who is well into her 40’s, having a sense of humor is key! My body snaps, crackles and pops and sometimes I show up to class with my pants on inside out, because I changed in the car. The great thing is – no one really cares. It is ok to be a hot mess express from time to time. We are human. Yoga is a place to let it all go, tune into your body and accept the fact that you are a Goddess/God.

My goal is to introduce you to an ancient, beautiful and transformative practice with a light heart. Yoga can be whatever you need it to be. IT IS YOUR PRACTICE!!! From strength and balance to recovery and beyond – yoga is for you!

Who should come to your yoga class?

Everyone wanting to experience a class that will focus on tuning into the needs of your body. Truly listening to your body and the wisdom within it. Special attention is always given to strength, balance and mobility. Both fluid motion and isometric holds – the best of both worlds.

As a big picture, what do you hope to teach your students?

That yoga is for everyone! It belongs to you and me, not just to people who can throw their legs over their head and walk on their thumbs (lol!) In all honesty, my favorite part of yoga is the inclusiveness. There is so much for everyone to learn and glean from a regular practice. Yoga is more than just motion, it is about stillness too and getting to know yourself , above all. Yoga is a seed and how we choose to nurture that seed is what we will get in return. It’s your choice, and that freedom is extraordinary and really unique to Yoga. Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂

What do you enjoy most about teaching yoga?

I love teaching people to reclaim their mats, to own their strength and embody the Gods and Goddesses that we all are!

Who are your greatest influences?

In life, of course, my family. My mother was only the third woman executive in Major League Baseball, so she really instilled in me the drive to shatter the glass ceiling. When she started working back in the early 70’s I watched firsthand what she went through and how she always persevered. My husband remains a huge influence for me – he has a unique ability to remain the calm in the storm (basically calming me down when I need it). He has taught me so much about patience and love.

In business, my mother (again) and Richard Branson. Richard Branson built an empire by treating his employees with respect and dignity, knowing that making your employees happy will make your customers happy. I really value loyalty and he knows how to inspire it!

Yogically speaking, my biggest influences are my fellow teachers, students & clients. Intuitively learning from them on a daily basis. Connecting with this community of diverse people – experiencing life through their perspective, this is truly enriching. Everyday I learn something new. I remain eternally grateful for them and all they have contributed to my life. Special shout to Deborah and My Prana Sisters!!!

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

Two favorites – 1. Virabhadrasana (Warrior) 3 – it is balance and grace combined. The beauty of the form and the meaning of the sanskrit word Virabhadrasana (hero of devotion) has become a defining characteristic in this stage of my life. 2. Lotus – through this posture I have meditated a thousand times and have learned the fragile balance of life and self acceptance. I am grateful I can continue to perform these poses everyday. Namaste

Come and meet Jodie during her weekly classes:

Community Class: Prana Yoga (Mixed Level) – By Donation
Tuesdays, 4:15 to 5:30 pm

These classes integrate physical yoga poses (asanas), breath work (pranayama), philosophy, and relaxation. Teachers sequence each class intelligently and creatively, and guide the students through optimal alignment in each pose. The poses that are taught are moderate to challenging. Some experience is recommended; however variations and modifications are offered so that each student is both accommodated and challenged.

$5 Hatha (Prana) – $5 Drop-in
Mondays, 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Prana Yoga guides students through the prana body with the use of movement, breath, sound, concentration, and meditation. Through an easy to understand approach, students will learn how to apply core sounds to balance and heal the body’s energy centers. The class presents the foundations of Prana Yoga, a guided meditation and breath work in a fun, safe and relaxing environment. No experience necessary. This class is recommended for beginners and/or experienced students seeking a less-challenging practice.

This is a great class to learn and get the feel what to expect in our Prana Yoga Teacher Training with Jeff Migdow, MD, starting November. More information here

Sign up here

JUST ADDED:
Kids Yoga (4 weeks series)

Thursdays, 4:15 to 5:15 pm
4 weeks start 10/3

Moms & Dads, did you know your kids can benefit from Yoga, too? That’s right! Among the many benefits of Yoga are boosting self-esteem and confidence, developing focus and concentration, and easing anxiety. PLUS – it is really fun!!! Let their imagination run wild, let them play and experience the beauty of yoga, all while you may attend one of our Community: By Donation* yoga class of your own getting your Zen on.

(This class is appropriate for children ages 5 – 10 years old.)

REGISTER NOW and SAVE by 10/2

Art at Princeton Yoga: “Equilibrium” by Minako Ota

Princeton Yoga is honored to have received this beautiful painting “Equilibrium” by Minako Ota, a local artist and yoga student.

“Equilibrium”

acrylic on canvas, 2019

We constantly face the duality of life: body & soul, stillness & motion, resistance & surrender… Although these may seem like opposites, their relationships are actually complementary; achieving balance between them is the key to maintaining the serenity and strength required to live a healthy life.  As a symbolic artist, I have always been familiar with the concept of yin and yang, but my yoga practice has allowed me to comprehend it not only philosophically, but also in terms of how it pertains to my body. This holistic understanding lets me feel the alignment between my brain and body, thus inspiring me to create this piece.


Minako Ota is an award-winning artist based in Princeton, NJ. Born in Osaka, Japan, she studied traditional Japanese painting at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, she attended Cambridge University in England where she focused on western painting conservation. Her paintings reflect her persona as a cultural hybrid between Japan and the West. She combines western painting techniques that she learned through her 20+ years as a professional painting conservator and traditional Japanese aesthetics that she grew up with.

For more information on Minako Ota, visit: www.minako-art.com

The page turns. by Paul Schindel, Three Bears Communications

When we met in 1999, Deborah was mailing out a multipage, black and white, typewritten, xeroxed newsletter every quarter with program notes and her teachings. I made some suggestions that helped PCYH reach more people more economically, and look much better in the process, and we’ve been working collaborators ever since. In time, Three Bears secured the best domain name for the Center (PrincetonYoga.com) and launched the first PCYH website and all of the iterations ever since. We launched the email newsletters, and the social media presence, and did a thousand and one other things to support the Center, the brand, and Deborah.

 

She’s the Earth Mother, Deborah is.  And Princeton Center for Yoga & Health was her medium for making the world a better place through the teaching and practice of righteousness, in various forms. It turns out that I think Earth Mothers are cool, and that we share a lot in common, not the least being our shared birthday. We’re birthday triplets, in fact, because Franzie, too.
Deborah is now free to point her energies in new directions. I have no doubt that everything she does and everyone she engages with will make the world a bit better than she found it.
Communications dones just right. ThreeBears.comLearn more about Paul Schindel, CEO and creative director of Three Bears Marketing Communications: Cute name. Serious results.
Princeton NJ advertising agency creates marketing communications that are strategically smart, impactful and effective.

Alexandra Pillion: Love in the Time of…Corona

We are currently being knocked over by a tidal wave of uncertainty and fear as we collectively navigate the Coronavirus pandemic, and it’s that very state of being that is bringing out the shadow sides of humans, and the pain and suffering of the human experience. Dismal, I know. This week, someone stole from my job (a yoga studio!), people are hoarding toilet paper and diapers and soap and not leaving enough for all of us, and schools are closing but not appropriately planning for the thousands of kids who will miss out on meals they rely on during their school day. The list unfortunately goes on, and I know I don’t have to elaborate more because I’m sure you’ve also been inundated with it all, too.

What I don’t think is being brought to the forefront right now is how we can proactively (not REACTIVELY) manage this situation and care for ourselves and one another. But the question is, how can we practice love and self-love in a time when we are scared?

Fear is a motivator for people in a way that promotes reactivity, and reactivity does not always equal healthy behavior. Reactivity is a lot like the fight, flight, or freeze response, and I truly believe many people (especially the ones hoarding goods) are in a trauma response right now and doing whatever they can to survive. What is CRITICAL to practice right now is awareness, mindfulness, wise-mindedness (a healthy balance between thinking emotionally and rationally) and, I think most importantly, love; love for others, and love for ourselves.

Love for others, especially in a time when scary things are happening can look like:

  1. Practicing good hygiene and social distancing so that you can prevent the spread of infection (knowingly and/or unknowingly).
  2. Helping the elderly, economically disadvantaged, and immunocompromised community members you know. Even a phone call to check in (which also practices #1 on the list) can be helpful and loving.
  3. Sharing. Share the goods on the shelves at the grocery store with others. Make space for others to shop and to have their own experience with what’s going on.
  4. Being honest. If you’re sick, say something and keep your distance. Deceit is not loving, in any form.
  5. Being aware of our fear responses, our automatic behaviors, our triggers, which really means:

**Engaging in self-love, which is also a form of love for others.**

When we love and care for ourselves, when we nurture our bodies and minds and souls in the ways they need, we contribute to the collective. We are trend-setters, every single one of us. We create the environment we are a part of. We dictate what our reality is. When we love ourselves, we love others. Isn’t there that saying, “You can’t love someone until you love yourself”?

Let’s all practice contribution to our communities. Let’s all nurture and nourish ourselves. Let’s protect ourselves and others. We are all in this together.

Read more and follow Alexandra Pillion on her blog.

Cynthia Beers: Anxiety and Depression are real and on the rise!

Cindy Beers has experienced stress, anxiety and depression first hand. She integrates her real life experiences into her teaching and has created an effective workshop/training that can help you find ways to cope and take your life back.

In her own words:

Stress, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD are on the rise. Approximately 40 million Americans have anxiety (or some type of anxiety disorder which includes PTSD and depression) (https://adaa.org/about-adaa/press-room/facts-statistics). As yoga teachers, parents, anyone, how can we help? Simple, by learning as much as you can about the brain, body, and holistic modalities so we can not only help ourselves but our clients.

I built the Yoga for Mental Health program because I needed some help. It was honestly an aha! moment for me. I was in my 300 RYT program where my instructor was teaching us EFT/Tapping and she showed us a video about Gary Craig (who started EFT) working with veterans. At the time I had major anxiety, PTSD, and some depression (great combo right?). So, I started doing EFT twice a day along with my meditation and yoga practice. Immediately I saw differences. It got to the point I was able to get off of anti-depressants and really get a hold of my life. I learned more about the brain and how anxiety/depression/PTSD/stress affects the body. I had some health issues which were befuddling the doctors. Get this, once I started doing the EFT, meditation, affirmations, and yoga daily, my health got better. I realized I had something here. I didn’t share with anyone but knew I was getting better.

About 2016, a colleague of mine had a 13-year-old daughter whose anxiety was off the charts bad. They were thinking of home schooling because her anxiety was really bad. So, I used what I learned and used on myself. It worked! This young lady thrived after her classes. She’s now a sophomore in high school and very outgoing and enjoying being a teen.

This is a great teacher training/workshop which would benefit anyone who wants to help their clients or their own lives. www.cindybeers.com


Learn more about the upcoming training here:

Mindful Yoga for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, & Stress Teacher Training

with Cindy Beers
October 25-27, 2019

The Mindful Yoga for anxiety, depression, PTSD & Stress program teaches a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, meditation, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT/Tapping), Daily Energy Routine and relaxation.
Learn More

 

Jodie Aiyana Shuster: The Smiling Yogini

We are excited to welcome Jodie Aiyana Shuster to our teaching community!

Jodie, tell us a bit about yourself!

My path to yoga began back in 1998 with a home practice. I took my first class at The Princeton Center for Yoga and Health in 2004. A slight interest turned into a passion. Being a Certified Personal Trainer and a 200 hr. Certified Yoga Teacher I approach yoga as a way to maintain a healthy lifestyle – mind, body and soul.

As a person who is well into her 40’s, having a sense of humor is key! My body snaps, crackles and pops and sometimes I show up to class with my pants on inside out, because I changed in the car. The great thing is – no one really cares. It is ok to be a hot mess express from time to time. We are human. Yoga is a place to let it all go, tune into your body and accept the fact that you are a Goddess/God.

My goal is to introduce you to an ancient, beautiful and transformative practice with a light heart. Yoga can be whatever you need it to be. IT IS YOUR PRACTICE!!! From strength and balance to recovery and beyond – yoga is for you!

Who should come to your yoga class?

Everyone wanting to experience a class that will focus on tuning into the needs of your body. Truly listening to your body and the wisdom within it. Special attention is always given to strength, balance and mobility. Both fluid motion and isometric holds – the best of both worlds.

As a big picture, what do you hope to teach your students?

That yoga is for everyone! It belongs to you and me, not just to people who can throw their legs over their head and walk on their thumbs (lol!) In all honesty, my favorite part of yoga is the inclusiveness. There is so much for everyone to learn and glean from a regular practice. Yoga is more than just motion, it is about stillness too and getting to know yourself , above all. Yoga is a seed and how we choose to nurture that seed is what we will get in return. It’s your choice, and that freedom is extraordinary and really unique to Yoga. Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂

What do you enjoy most about teaching yoga?

I love teaching people to reclaim their mats, to own their strength and embody the Gods and Goddesses that we all are!

Who are your greatest influences?

In life, of course, my family. My mother was only the third woman executive in Major League Baseball, so she really instilled in me the drive to shatter the glass ceiling. When she started working back in the early 70’s I watched firsthand what she went through and how she always persevered. My husband remains a huge influence for me – he has a unique ability to remain the calm in the storm (basically calming me down when I need it). He has taught me so much about patience and love.

In business, my mother (again) and Richard Branson. Richard Branson built an empire by treating his employees with respect and dignity, knowing that making your employees happy will make your customers happy. I really value loyalty and he knows how to inspire it!

Yogically speaking, my biggest influences are my fellow teachers, students & clients. Intuitively learning from them on a daily basis. Connecting with this community of diverse people – experiencing life through their perspective, this is truly enriching. Everyday I learn something new. I remain eternally grateful for them and all they have contributed to my life. Special shout to Deborah and My Prana Sisters!!!

What is your favorite yoga pose and why?

Two favorites – 1. Virabhadrasana (Warrior) 3 – it is balance and grace combined. The beauty of the form and the meaning of the sanskrit word Virabhadrasana (hero of devotion) has become a defining characteristic in this stage of my life. 2. Lotus – through this posture I have meditated a thousand times and have learned the fragile balance of life and self acceptance. I am grateful I can continue to perform these poses everyday. Namaste

Come and meet Jodie during her weekly classes:

Community Class: Prana Yoga (Mixed Level) – By Donation
Tuesdays, 4:15 to 5:30 pm

These classes integrate physical yoga poses (asanas), breath work (pranayama), philosophy, and relaxation. Teachers sequence each class intelligently and creatively, and guide the students through optimal alignment in each pose. The poses that are taught are moderate to challenging. Some experience is recommended; however variations and modifications are offered so that each student is both accommodated and challenged.

$5 Hatha (Prana) – $5 Drop-in
Mondays, 12:00 to 1:00 pm

Prana Yoga guides students through the prana body with the use of movement, breath, sound, concentration, and meditation. Through an easy to understand approach, students will learn how to apply core sounds to balance and heal the body’s energy centers. The class presents the foundations of Prana Yoga, a guided meditation and breath work in a fun, safe and relaxing environment. No experience necessary. This class is recommended for beginners and/or experienced students seeking a less-challenging practice.

This is a great class to learn and get the feel what to expect in our Prana Yoga Teacher Training with Jeff Migdow, MD, starting November. More information here

Sign up here

JUST ADDED:
Kids Yoga (4 weeks series)

Thursdays, 4:15 to 5:15 pm
4 weeks start 10/3

Moms & Dads, did you know your kids can benefit from Yoga, too? That’s right! Among the many benefits of Yoga are boosting self-esteem and confidence, developing focus and concentration, and easing anxiety. PLUS – it is really fun!!! Let their imagination run wild, let them play and experience the beauty of yoga, all while you may attend one of our Community: By Donation* yoga class of your own getting your Zen on.

(This class is appropriate for children ages 5 – 10 years old.)

REGISTER NOW and SAVE by 10/2

Art at Princeton Yoga: “Equilibrium” by Minako Ota

Princeton Yoga is honored to have received this beautiful painting “Equilibrium” by Minako Ota, a local artist and yoga student.

“Equilibrium”

acrylic on canvas, 2019

We constantly face the duality of life: body & soul, stillness & motion, resistance & surrender… Although these may seem like opposites, their relationships are actually complementary; achieving balance between them is the key to maintaining the serenity and strength required to live a healthy life.  As a symbolic artist, I have always been familiar with the concept of yin and yang, but my yoga practice has allowed me to comprehend it not only philosophically, but also in terms of how it pertains to my body. This holistic understanding lets me feel the alignment between my brain and body, thus inspiring me to create this piece.


Minako Ota is an award-winning artist based in Princeton, NJ. Born in Osaka, Japan, she studied traditional Japanese painting at Tama Art University in Tokyo. Upon graduation, she attended Cambridge University in England where she focused on western painting conservation. Her paintings reflect her persona as a cultural hybrid between Japan and the West. She combines western painting techniques that she learned through her 20+ years as a professional painting conservator and traditional Japanese aesthetics that she grew up with.

For more information on Minako Ota, visit: www.minako-art.com