Centering in the Middle of Chaos – How Yoga Kept Me Sane

Centering in the Middle of Chaos – How Yoga Kept Me Sane

A client recently shared a story with me about her use of centering in the middle of chaos. She was undergoing a rather intricate surgery to her left eye. I had asked her if she was nervous at all, given my own fear of having anything resembling a blade placed near eyes. She indicated that she arrived at the facility that morning, only slightly concerned. She was placed in an individual treatment room prior to the surgery, and instructed to relax. She shared with me that she immediately began to draw inward, to find her center. Using breathing practices she had learned in  our yoga classes and a mudra to create clear focus, she began to put her mind at ease. After all, this would be a simple procedure, it was safe.

Shortly after this, two attendants walked into her room. She remained in a total state of stillness, breathing and centering when one of the attendants began to complain to the other, that one of the pre-exam tools was broken. The other then stated that he could not open the cabinet door, “it must be stuck, it’s not working.” As these two fumbled in her presence, her mind went from centering to chaos – “what else isn’t working in this place,” she wondered to herself. The two attendants continued on with their dialogue and she took a deep breath, and brought herself back to center…..breathe, follow the inhale, follow the exhale. She started to repeat a mantra in her mind to keep herself centered. Shortly thereafter, she was wheeled into the operating room, concerned. And, moments later she was completely out.

Her surgery went well and I found her story so profound. When engaged in centering we have to be aware that distractions will try and pull us out. Some may be as insignificant as another thought we are having and some so startling to move us away from center altogether. Only through practice do we learn to stay in the present moment, focused on our intention. I was very impressed by her will. Staying centered is hard enough, but it’s quite another story to stay centered in the middle of chaos.

NamasteWorks offers two distinct wellness approaches focused on supporting you on your journey to optimal wellness and living a healthier lifestyle.  We invite you to explore us in depth and learn how we have been helping support wellness since 2006.  We offer, yoga therapy and yoga teacher training in the Heart of Highlands Ranch and Douglas county,

What’s so special about that?

What’s so special about that?

One day, a religious leader came to the Buddha and asked, “When one follows your Way, what does one do in daily life?”  The Buddha replied, “One walks, stands, sits, lies down, eats, and drinks.”  The man asked, “What is so special about that?”  And the Buddha answered, “An ordinary person, though walking, standing, lying down, eating, or drinking, does not know that he is walking, standing, lying down, eating or drinking.  When a practitioner of the Way walks, he knows that he is walking.  When he stands, he knows that he is standing.”  – Sulak Sivaraksa

This is mindfulness – so simple, yet so difficult.  For some mindfulness is a way of life, for others a lost art.  How many of us can classify ourselves as ordinary?  We go through life with little or no consciousness as to each moment that we are gifted.  We have become so disconnected from our inner world, that we live in the outer world with the same awareness. We end most of our days reminding ourselves of our accomplishments and planning for our tomorrow, but to what degree were we truly present to any experience?

When working with clients, privately or in groups, they are asked to leave the past behind, forget the future exists, and explore the present.  To what extent can they take their awareness to the now. They are asked to explore their body, just as it is, to notice the nuances of the breath and how the breath and body co-exist.  Taken even deeper, we explore the mind-body by witnessing, not judging or editing or altering.  We simply bring ourselves into full awareness and learn to reprogram ourselves to be mindful if, only for just this moment.  Mindfulness is not another goal to achieve, rather it is a state of being truly alive.   And when we are alive, mindfulness invokes an awareness that everything is special, every step, every breath, and every moment.  After all, who among us desires to be ordinary?

If you are looking to explore mindfulness as a method to reduce anxiety or just be connected to the present moment, contact us for a private session or to join one of our outdoor or indoor programs.

by Nancy Levenson, Founder and Yoga Therapist at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC.

 

Aspiring Yoga Teacher Scholarship – Spring 2017

Aspiring Yoga Teacher Scholarship – Spring 2017

Have you been contemplating how you might take your yoga off your personal mat and into the world? Ever wondered what it’s like to guide and inspire students on the yoga path but just didn’t have the funds to take the training? Well wonder no more…This week Yoga Alliance announced it’s Aspiring Yoga Teacher Scholarship program for 2017.

The Yoga Alliance® Foundation is giving away 7 Aspiring Yoga Teacher scholarships of $2,000 each. Awards will be given to those who want to attend a yoga teacher training to become an RYT® 200 and meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.

Scholarship recipients must enroll in and complete a teacher training program at an RYS® 200 and register as an RYT 200 within 12 months of being notified of their award. Scholarship funds will be paid in USD by Yoga Alliance Foundation directly to the RYS 200 once the recipient completes training and registers with Yoga Alliance as an RYT 200. Awards cannot be used to pay for training that has already started or has been completed.

Yoga Alliance Foundation strongly encourages candidates to apply who have a strong personal practice, are leaders in their community, and add to the diversity of the yoga teacher community. This includes those who have overcome socioeconomic or other personal obstacles, or who otherwise bring a diverse perspective or background.

To find out more and apply for the scholarship program, just click here.

Our Integrative Yoga Therapy (IYT) 200-HR program has been a standard of excellence in guiding individuals on a personal path or a teaching path. Our school offers the initial training right here in Colorado and if you decide to explore further training, our program extends to a 300 HR and 800 HR program, leading up to your Yoga Therapist Certification. Consider the path of leading others into the beautiful dharma of yoga. Click here to learn more about our program.

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is a Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. Nancy Levenson is the Program Director of the local-based program.

Awaken Your Wild & Magical Self – A Women’s Camping Retreat – Aug. 4-6, 2017 – Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado

Awaken Your Wild & Magical Self – A Women’s Camping Retreat – Aug. 4-6, 2017 – Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Colorado

Celebrate the enchantment of nature and the wildness of your magical self as we gather for a primordial camping retreat. You will enter the mystery of nature and self in a playful and exploratory way, as you deepen your understanding of the Divine Feminine. Nature will act as your guide, giving clues to support your wild and magical inner soul. Your human guides, Nancy and Courtney will be there to help you commune with nature and enliven your PranaShakti (life-force) through mind/body practices, daily yoga, dream work, creative expression, hiking, story-telling, divine feminine circles, and ceremonial drumming and dance.

Camping outdoors invites you to step through a portal, and imagine your wild-self emerge as you deepen your ecstasy with nature and self. There will be plenty of time for solo exploration as well as time spent in community. We will witness the sensory magic that occurs when we collectively share in the creation of our breakfasts and dinners. The campgrounds and campfires will serve to support us as we dive fearlessly into our wild and magical selves.

Accept the call of the wild and join us on this secluded camping weekend in Golden Gate Canyon State Park. Only an hour drive from Denver, our private group camping location is the perfect sanctuary to unleash yourself in nature’s beauty while exploring the wildness of your magical self.

Date: Friday, August 4 through Sunday August 6
Time: Check in is at 1:00pm, check out is 11:00 am
Fee: $298.04 + $7 park pass per day, carpooling is suggested
Venue: Golden Gate Canyon State Park, Private Group Campsite

Space is limited, so secure your magical ticket today just click here

After purchasing your ticket, please send us a quick note to (email: info(use at symbol)namasteworksyoga.com) and we will forward your Wild & Magical camping detailed package.

Inclusions: Your fee covers the cost of the campsite, breakfast and dinner, the program, your guides and your retreat supplies.

Exclusions: All lunches and snacks will be your responsibility. Transportation is not included and we do encourage that you carpool with other participants. You will need to provide your own wild camping gear. A list of needed camping supplies will be provided when you register. Some camping gear can be rented through outdoor shops like REI. We encourage you to bring drums, your journal, sacred costume, and an outdoor yoga mat.

To learn more NamasteWorks Outdoors other nature & Mind/Body programs, visit www.namasteworksyoga.com/outdoors. You can also learn more about your two guides, Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley. This program is brought to you by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC.

The Call to Wildness

The Call to Wildness

 

The call to wildness is real and powerful. What would it take for us to listen and heed the call?  What gifts would be discovered? Could we receive healing? I love this poem for its power to remind me to seek the wildness of not only nature but of my inner self.

Axioms For Wildness

By:  John O’Donohue

Alive to the Thrill

Of the wild.

Meet the dawn

On a mountain.

Wash your face

In the morning dew.

Feel the favor of the earth.

Go out naked in the wind,

Your skin

Almost Aeolian.

With the music inside,

Dance like there is no outside.

Become subtle enough

To hear a tree breathe.

Sleep by the ocean,

Letting yourself unfurl

Like the reeds that swirl

Gradually on the sea floor.

Try to watch a painting from within:

How it holds what it never shows.

The mystery of your face,

Showing what you never see.

See your imagination dawn

Around the rim of your world.

Feel the seamless silk of the ocean

Womb you in ancient buoyancy.

Feel the wild imprint of surprise

When you are taken in by your lover’s eyes.

Succumb to warmth in the heart

Where divine fire glows.

If you want to discover your inner wildness or get back in touch with it, consider joining us on one of our nature-based day retreats, or camping excursions.  Your wellness is waiting. Visit http://namasteworksyoga.com/outdoors to learn more.

Courtney O’Malley is a nationally certified counselor who draws upon her therapy experience, mind/body practices, and group counseling techniques to invite people to discover their true self and connection to nature. She guides nature-based self-discovery programs and retreats in the mountains of Colorado.

NamasteWorks Outdoors makes it simple for you to meet yourself naturally. Our nature-based programs are designed to help you uncover a deeper unity with self and nature through our full day retreats, camping excursions, and self-discovery multi-day retreats.

NamasteWorks Outdoors Therapy Guides

When you journey with NamasteWorks Outdoors, you will be guided by two companions, teachers and lovers of nature.  Both Nancy and Courtney are modern day pilgrims that have walked the path from profound loss, grief, and depression to reclaim their health and wellness through blending mind/body and nature therapy.  Now, they collaborate to welcome other women to step into the wild, leave the urban chaos behind and hear their own voice through the voice of nature.  They invite you to open a pathway to your own vitality as they guide you to find peace, meaning and solitude in nature, while replenishing your body, mind, and soul.

Nancy Levenson, C-IAYT, E-RYT

Nancy is a certified yoga therapist and founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC.   After her own nervous breakdown, she discovered her path to wellness was rooted in yoga, meditation, wilderness and nature work. She calls herself an empath – highly sensitive to the valuable relationship we share with all living things, and the transformative healing qualities nature brings to self.  She guides others to explore their own true self.  Her tools include everything from nature to the physical body to poetry.

 

Courtney O’Malley, MA, NCC

Courtney is a nationally certified counselor. Following the death of her husband, she sought solace in nature. It was there that she received healing, renewal and ultimately transformation. Now, she seeks to find beauty and freedom in her life, and desires deeply to help women find their own theme words that help them live into their truth. Drawing from her therapy experience, mind/body practices, years in the outdoors, she invites women to discover their true self and connection to nature.

 

 

Explore some of their upcoming programs at NamasteWorks Outdoors.

Moonrise Camping

Moonrise Camping

Join us overnight in celebrating the full moon and the feminine as we allow the night sky to speak to the wildness of our soul. The moon and stars will be our light and guide us as we delight in womanhood and nature. We will use a combination of nature walking, creative art, goddess work, reflection and moonlight yoga to bring renewal, peace and transformation. Our program will be infused with storytelling by fire. As women, we will partake in a community dinner prepared by the entire group – you will be advised of what to bring and breakfast will be included by your hosts. No prior camping experience required, you just need the feminine spirit to explore a night out with us.

Date: Friday, October 6 thru Saturday, October 7
Time: 4 pm – 10 am
Fee: $119 pp
Venue: Fly’n B Park, Highlands Ranch, CO

Registration opens this Spring. If you would like to ensure a space in this program, send us a note to notify you on the day registration opens. Program space is limited.

Bring: A detailed camping list will be available once registrations opens.

To learn more NamasteWorks Outdoors other nature & Mind/Body programs, visit www.namasteworksyoga.com/outdoors. You can also learn more about your two guides, Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley. This program is brought to you by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.

Through the Lens and into the Wild Self

Through the Lens and into the Wild Self

This four-hour mid-morning program invites women to explore the beauty of the Highline Canal and develop a candid relationship with nature. With camera in tow, you will be guided to discover the great outdoors and capture the field of the natural world and how these images relate to the inner world of the wild self. Learn how the landscape combined with mind/body therapies can feed our soul. This program includes a 3-5 mile hike to capture nature’s images, self contemplation, time with community and exploring nature in story and texture.

Date: Friday, September 15 or Wednesday, September 20
Time: 9:30-1:30
Fee: $59 pp
Venue: Highline Canal and Fly’n B Park

Registration opens this Spring. If you would like to ensure a space in this program, send us a note to notify you on the day registration opens. Program space is limited.

Bring camera, sunscreen, hat, walking shoes, water and a lunch

To learn more NamasteWorks Outdoors other nature & Mind/Body programs, visit www.namasteworksyoga.com/outdoors. You can also learn more about your two guides, Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley. This program is brought to you by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.

Scars on the Land℠ – Using Nature & Mind/Body Therapy to Heal Ourselves

Scars on the Land℠ – Using Nature & Mind/Body Therapy to Heal Ourselves

This full day program,  in collaboration with the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts,  supports women in our community who are in a transition and seeking strategies for healing through nature and mind/body therapies. Scars on the Land℠ is for women suffering from sorrow, grief, depression or feeling anxious in today’s world. We will use nature, mind/body therapies and creative expression to heal broken places. Exploring the scars that we discover on our land will aid us as we will look deeper inside the scars of our inner selves.

Releasing the body’s memories through somatic movement and yoga, meditation, nature walking, journey mapping, and community circles the program aims to replenish and refuel each participant’s radiance. We will meet at 9:00 on the grounds of the Highlands Ranch Mansion and after spending our morning in nature, we will then arrive in the studio for lunch and the balance of our day’s program.  Lunch and all materials are included.

Event Details
Date: Thursday August 17
Time: 9:00-4:30
Fee: $89 pp
Venue: The Grounds of the Highlands Ranch Mansion and NamasteWorks Yoga Studio

Registration: Registration opens in two weeks. If you would like to ensure a space in this program, please send us a note to notify you on the day registration opens or call 303.725.1434.   Program space is limited.

Bring: water, sunscreen, sunglasses, comfortable walking shoes, hat and yoga mat

This program is brought to you by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.   To learn more NamasteWorks Outdoors other nature & Mind/Body programs, visit www.namasteworksyoga.com/outdoors.  You can also learn more about your two guides, Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley.

Women’s Sensory Experience Nature Event

Women’s Sensory Experience Nature Event

This program invites women to delve into their five senses and explore mind/body work in nature.  In this four hour program, you will experience how balancing and integrating the five senses can lead to optimal health and wellness.  We will invite nature into our day in a playful way, connecting to the morning sun, creating a contemplative space to support sensory awareness as we explore the gardens, meditate, practice yoga, journal and creatively express ourselves alone and in the group.

This program will offer you an opportunity to enliven your senses, opening to receive all of the colors, sights, sounds, flavors and textures of the day.  You will discover how to attune your sensory awareness with the intention of soothing your heart and listening to the flow of life from within. Anytime they call, the lawn and infinity fountains offer relaxation and restoration to permeate your entire being.  Research is proving that just two hours in nature can reduce our stress levels and balance the body/mind, imagine what four can do.

Event Details
Date: Wednesday July 19 or; Thursday July 20
Time: 9:30-1:30
Fee: $59 pp
Venue: Civic Green Park, Highlands Ranch, CO

Registration opens this Spring. If you would like to ensure a space in this program, send us a note to notify you on the day registration opens.  Program space is limited.

*bring a yoga mat, sunscreen, water, and lunch

To learn more NamasteWorks Outdoors other nature & Mind/Body programs, visit www.namasteworksyoga.com/outdoors.  You can also learn more about your two guides, Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley.  This program is brought to you by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.