April 2023

Thank you for being here! We hope you are fully embracing the change in seasons and inviting growth into your life. Don’t forget! June 25-July 1 Allison & Andrew are hosting a Wellness Retreat in Costa Rica. Allison & Paisley still have a few spots open for our Wild Womxn’s Yoga Retreat May 5-7.

This Month’s Resources

Yoga & the Quest for the True Self  

Another excellent read! We have loved hearing Stephan Cope’s story on finding his true self. We also learned a lot about the history of Kripalu which is a lineage we have studied  in our yoga teacher training.

“Millions of Americans know yoga as a superb form of exercise and as a potent source of calm in our stress-filled lives. Far fewer are aware of the full promise of yoga as a 4,000-year-old practical path of liberation—a path that fits the needs of modern Western seekers with startling precision. Now Stephen Cope, a Western-trained psychotherapist who has lived and taught for more than ten years at the largest yoga center in America, offers this marvelously lively and irreverent “pilgrim’s progress” for today’s world. He demystifies the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga, and shows how it applies to our most human dilemmas: from loss, disappointment, and addiction, to the eternal conflicts around sex and relationship. And he shows us that in yoga, “liberation” does not require us to leave our everyday lives for some transcendent spiritual plane—life itself is the path. Above all, Cope shows how yoga can heal the suffering of self-estrangement that pervades our society, leading us to a new sense of purpose and to a deeper, more satisfying life in the world.”

Nordic Curls

If you’re not familiar with the Nordic curl, it’s a bodyweight exercise that specifically targets your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back muscles. Nordic hamstring curls involve pinning the feet down while kneeling and slowly lowering the trunk and legs simultaneously to the ground. This is followed by a slow ascent to the original kneeling position in the reverse of the first phase of the movement. The nordic curl is a predominantly eccentric type exercise that targets the muscles on the posterior aspect of the thigh. A notable feature of eccentric exercise is that it is shown to improve muscle length (i.e. flexibility) just as effectively as stretching over a six week period. Nordic curls increase lower body strength, improve mobility and flexibility, and are a great challenge. Learn more and find some very informative articles here. The Optimal Wellness team has been using the Nordstick 2.0 for an outstanding challenge during lower body workouts.

The 3 Gunas of Nature

Guna is a Sanskrit word which translates as “quality, peculiarity, attribute, or tendency. The three primary gunas (qualities of energy) emerge creating the essential aspects of all nature—energy, matter, and consciousness. These three gunas are tamas (darkness & chaos), rajas (activity & passion), and sattva (beingness & harmony). The awareness and conscious manipulation of the three gunas are a powerful way to reduce stress, increase inner peace and lead one towards enlightenment. The three gunas are described as being constantly influx and interacting with one another. The awareness of the gunas provides a GPS to allow us to make choices to be more balance, peaceful, and harmonious both on and off our mat. Cultivating the ability to identify and understand the nature of the gunas brings us closer to seeing the universal truth of oneness.

Yoga at Spa Walden

Allison is now offering an all levels yoga class in Aurora at Spa Walden on Wednesdays at 6:00 pm. First class at Walden is complimentary! If you have never been to Walden, it is a magical place!