A special Halloween Class – The Mask I Wear

A special Halloween Class – The Mask I Wear

Come join us as we take you on a magical journey of deep meditation into your inner characters followed by yoga movement and poetic creativity.  You’ll delight in a different way to celebrate the many masks you wear.  Please come with a Halloween face mask, your yoga mat and eye pillow and a whimsical spirit. Your spirit guides for the night will be Nancy Levenson and Courtney O’Malley.

 

Date:  Thursday, October 26
Time:  6-8PM
Location:  NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness Studio – 8981 Stonecrest Way – Highlands Ranch, CO 80129
Cost:  $19 per person, adults only

RSVP:  Via the contact form or call 303.725.1434

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness is a private yoga studio located in the heart of Highlands Ranch.  Come Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

Finding Our True Body Through the Practice of Yoga

Finding Our True Body Through the Practice of Yoga

Commentary by Ana Balzar

Yoga comes from a Sanskrit word, which means, “to join” or “to yoke.” So, what exactly are we “joining” or “yoking” in yoga? In short, yoga is teaching us the means of attaining union of the individual soul with the universal soul by bringing us (the individual soul) to a greater level of self-awareness and self-realization so that we can one day achieve enlightenment. In many ways, the practice of yoga is about unlearning habits that the human world teaches us, which ultimately causes much of our suffering, and keeps us from attaining our Bliss. Yoga is a journey to our True Self, the Self that exists deep inside all of us, but is often covered by layers of muck we acquire as we journey through life.  Sometimes the muck comes from society, sometimes from the ones closest to us, and other times it is our own muck, the expectations we hold for ourselves in our mind that keep us away from our True Self.

Lately, I have been reflecting on the physical body in relation to the journey towards the True Self. In the West, our physical body is a representation of ourselves to the world. People read our identities on our bodies, we judge lifestyles from bodies, we perceive socio-economic status from bodies, we determine worth, predict behavior, and we often have a whole range of reactions and feelings based solely on how we read each other’s bodies: whether it’s love, discrimination and hate, judgment, appreciation, or perceptions of beauty, our bodies represent us, whether the stories other people read on us are accurate or not. How we read the physical body is dependent on our experiences in the world, and it’s also based on societal norms and standards for bodies. To see what kinds of bodies are valued most in this society, all you have to do is look at the covers of magazines: the women are predominantly white, skinny and blonde, with expensive clothes and perfect looking skin and teeth. We are generally not taught to embrace ourselves—the messages we receive tell us to exist within a certain kind of box.  It’s no wonder that we have an eating disorder pandemic, and that the beauty and diet industries are one of the most profitable businesses out there. Whatever happened to being happy? To being true to who we really are? There has been a lot of push back in recent years: from the happiness movement, to an increase in more body positive images in the media, however there’s a lot of work to be done to change societal and personal messages we’ve been receiving our entire lives.

I’ve gone through my own struggles with my body: my body image has often been a source of suffering for me, a layer of muck I’ve had to learn how to clean in order to know my True Self.  Many women experience these struggles in different ways- whether they are perceived as fat, skinny, curvy, overweight, stick thin- it doesn’t matter. Someone, somewhere along the line has said something to us about our body that has made us want to change it.

For instance, at the age of 11, I was teased about my body size for the first time. At the age of 13 a teacher of mine remarked on all the weight I’d gained over the summer, publicly, in front of all my other classmates. I remember pinching my stomach and the sides of my belly, I remember pulling back the fat of my inner thighs and imagining my legs slim like a model, imagining myself beautiful, skinny, and wanted. I controlled how I ate for a few years, and I lost 20lbs at one point, and then I gained it all back. I tried diets, I tried baggy clothing, I exercised obsessively, I cut out all dessert, all carbs, and all things delicious, to become my perception of thin. And I never got there- it’s never quite good enough. I have curves: breasts, hips, and thighs that will never fit into size 2 or 4 jeans unless I starve myself and end up in a hospital bed.  Though there was suffering through those years, the journey led me to discover my True physical body- and it looks different than anyone else’s True physical body, as its meant to. Sometimes you have to do everything wrong in order to understand and learn what’s right for YOU.

After years of torturing myself over my body appearance, I entered into the world of yoga. Not because I thought it would help me change my relationship to my body, but because I thought it would help me mold my body into what I wanted it to be.  I’d read articles about women losing weight from a regular yoga practice, so I thought I would try it too, in hopes that it would work those same miracles for me. Instead of losing pounds, I gained deep self-awareness of my body. I heard my body speak to me, and for the first time I truly listened to what it was trying to tell me all these years. Instead of silencing it with diets, mindless gym exercises, regimented eating schedules, I listened and heard all the ways it wanted to move, how it desired to be fed, when it wanted to rest. It took me years of listening and practicing to understand my body, and when I did, I achieved true contentment in my physical form. I wasn’t denying myself food that I love to eat, I wasn’t doing exercises that I hated doing- everything about the way I moved my body, what I chose to put in my body was about MY desires, not how others were telling me to treat my body. I discovered that dark chocolate with almonds is my staple dessert, and that my body will tell me when it craves it. I discovered that my body loves to run outside because it allows me to connect with nature, because it builds my strength, because it gives me peace and time for myself. My body loves to experience movement through dance, through different types of yoga, and through barre classes.  My body wants to build strength, and that’s how it experiences its beauty. Sometimes, my body just wants to rest, and I shouldn’t push my body when it wants to be still even if my mind is telling me that it “should” exercise. My body craves a mostly vegetarian diet because that’s when it feels light, content and energized for the day. There are days my body wants meat and chips and ice cream. And so, I listen to it. Because that’s what it means to follow your Body’s Bliss. Ever since I’ve been following this Bliss, my body has been happy, and I’ve never been happier with my body. I’m still a size 12, like I’ve been most of my life. There are many ways to be a size 12- but this size 12 fits my body and my bliss. The size doesn’t matter- it’s how you feel in whatever size pants you wear, whether you are a size 2 or a size 16. This size is right for my body; this way of existing is how my body is at peace and in health.

Let your focus be your True Body, not your imagined body. Don’t use the scale to determine whether your body is where it should be. Let your body speak to you, and then listen to it with every beat of your heart because by listening, your body will teach you how to truly love all of yourself.

Ana Balzar is an MSW and Certified Yoga Instructor.  She received her 200HR Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.  NamasteWorks Yoga is a private yoga center in Highlands Ranch Colorado offering private yoga sessions and teacher training.

Yoga Teacher Training – Highlands Ranch – A Perspective on Choosing the Right School

Yoga Teacher Training – Highlands Ranch – A Perspective on Choosing the Right School

Embark on a Yoga Training that Supports You First, then Others.  Yoga Teacher training is growing in popularity every year, and program costs merit that you spend the time, to ensure you are making the right choice for your future.

These are my personal recommendations to help you maneuver through the maze of options.   I’ve mentored many students over the past seven years of providing training, and many I’ve encouraged to go elsewhere. If you still need guidance after reading this, consider setting up a FREE 30 minute consultation with me.

Rather than simply going to the studio closest to your home, the one you take classes from or the one that’s the cheapest, it is worthwhile to look for the right school and the right person/team to train you. You need to find someone who is experienced and whose teaching style and personality you find inspiring.

It really depends on what you want out of your yoga training. If your interest lies in getting into teaching as fast as you can with limited focus on the eight limbs of yoga, anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, asanas,  adjustments, pranayama, mediation, philosophy, Koshas, etc. then choosing a weekend program may be right for you. However, if you want an in-depth understanding of the yogic process, a well accredited school is worth every penny spent.

Read more

Embark on a Yoga Training that Supports You First, then Others

Embark on a Yoga Training that Supports You First, then Others

If you want to offer Yoga as a healing art, or supplement your existing practice with yoga, or deepen your own personal practice and, save money at the same time, then please join us for the 2018 200-HR Integrative Yoga (IYT) immersion training and accept our $300 discount before September 1, 2017.

Along with offering Yoga with a focus on health and wellness to the general public, you will learn tools and techniques to develop Yoga-based programs to support a wide variety of health care issues. The 200-Hr IYT immersion program is from the lineage of Joseph and Lillian Le Page and utilizes their training tools, decades of research and program enhancements all coupled with hands on expertise and wisdom from Nancy Levenson, the Affiliate Program Director.

This program is open to anyone with a basic foundation in Yoga and is especially suitable for body-workers, health care professionals, occupational therapists, physical therapists, clinical psychologists, respiratory therapists, family therapists, social workers, experienced yoga instructors, and anyone desiring to deepen their own personal awareness of their body/mind and spirit.

2018 Registration Now Open – And a $300 Savings Too!

THERE’S A REASON TO ACT NOW. When you sign up early, you save $300. off our tuition fee. If you apply and are accepted prior to September 1, 2017, you will receive a $300 discount. Our classes are small on purpose and securing your space is the best way to ensure you will be in the program.

To be considered for the upcoming class, please send us an email via our contact form on our website (http://namasteworksyoga.com/contact) or call 303.725.1434.

You will embark on an intimate and insightful journey of yoga, as you explore yoga with a new vision – As A Healing Art. This intensive non-residential program takes you deep into the world of yoga and its therapeutic applications. Sessions include;

  • A Multidimensional Approach to Yoga
  • Explore the Deeper Practices of Yoga with Prana Vayus, Chakras, Nadis, Mudras and more
  • Understand, Design and Develop Health and Wellness programs for a variety of ailments
  • Interpret the Interactive Psychology and Philosophy of Yoga
  • Assess and Connect to the Physical and Energetic Anatomy, Physiology & Kinesiology
  • Study hallmark movement practices

2018 DATES – January 20-June 17.

The 200-HR program is based on 180 contact hours and 20 non-contact hours.  We run a weekend format designed for existing professionals, meeting Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00a-6:30pm.  The 180 contact hours usually meet every third weekend with a few exceptions.

Scheduled dates (subject to change) are; Jan 20/21, Feb 10/11, Mar 03/04, Mar 17/18, Apr 7/8, Apr 28/29, May 12/13, Jun 2/3, Jun 16/17.

The 200-HR program is the foundation program and we are a RYS, Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. Find out more by visiting us at http://namasteworksyoga.com/teacher-training or calling 303.725.1434.

9th Annual Free Yoga in the Park – Highlands Ranch – Printable Schedule

9th Annual Free Yoga in the Park – Highlands Ranch – Printable Schedule

The 2017 printable schedule for the 9th Annual Free Yoga in the Park is released.

This free to the community event hosted by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and  in participation with the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts is released today with all the information you need to enlighten your Saturday mornings this spring and summer.  The volunteer instructors; Nancy Levenson, Jena Sawyer, Charmaine Stattman, Barbara Bloodgood, Kate Roberts, Renee Carrillo and Jess Bonasso have been listed for you to follow your favorite teacher or come out and explore the practices of each.  This year’s theme is “The Radiance of Yoga & Nature,” where each instructor will blend nature with mind/body yoga exploration.

Print your own schedule  and Like our NamasteWorks Facebook page too!

Come out and join the growing beginners and seasoned yogis at opening day, May 27, 8:15-9:15 am at Civic Green Park in Highlands Ranch.

Meet Free Yoga in the Park Instructor – Jess Bonasso

Meet Free Yoga in the Park Instructor – Jess Bonasso

Jess Bonasso is new to NamasteWorks Free Yoga in the Park this year but, has been practicing yoga since the early 2000’s when chronic low back from scoliosis & degenerative disks led her on a quest for a holistic approach to health & healing that didn’t involve surgery. After leaving the corporate world to become a burnout recovery & prevention coach, she received her 200 HR yoga teacher certification from Samadhi Yoga Studio and thus began her new life as an entrepreneur & business owner!

Since 2007,  she has taught between 1-4 classes/week and even 10 years later still looks at the classes she teaches as a joyful hobby that allows her to teach & share her yoga with the world. She spends her days working with modern-day, high-reaching superwomen who are struggling to juggle it all re-ignite their radiance & set themselves free! And, if she’s not teaching yoga or working with a high-reaching super woman you can find her on a walk or hike in nature with her man & dogs, cooking for friends & loved ones, or soaking in a natural hot springs somewhere.

Join Jess and all of our amazing instructors this  summer at Free Yoga in the Park, starting Saturday May 27, 2017 from 8:15-9:15 hosted by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.  For more details on the remaining schedule and what to bring, visit http://namasteworksyoga.com/events.

Meet Yoga in the Park Founder & Instructor – Nancy Levenson

Meet Yoga in the Park Founder & Instructor – Nancy Levenson

Nancy is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness, LLC, a premier provider of mind/body wellness services and NamasteWorks Outdoors.  Nancy’s mantra is helping others, especially women, find and reclaim their inner SPARKLE .   She is a certified yoga therapist  (C-IAYT), nature guide and modern day Sherpa.  Her areas of fascination and expertise, blends classical yoga, energy work, and mind/body therapy with nature, art, painting and wild women play,  in guiding clients to discover their own inner light and passion. If she could, she would sprinkle JOY in everyone’s life and remind them of their own true nature as a path to wholeness.

After her own nervous breakdown, she discovered her path to wellness was rooted in yoga, meditation, wilderness and nature work. Today, 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.  Nancy started Free Yoga in the Park nine years ago, guides women’s wilderness retreats and camping, hosts women’s programs all in an effort to help minimize stress, anxiety and depression and live to our fullest life.

Join Nancy and all of our amazing instructors this  summer at Free Yoga in the Park, starting Saturday May 27, 2017 from 8:15-9:15 hosted by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.  For more details on the remaining schedule and what to bring, visit http://namasteworksyoga.com/events.

Meet Free Yoga in the Park Instructor – Charmaine Stattman

Meet Free Yoga in the Park Instructor – Charmaine Stattman

Charmaine is a registered yoga teacher, massage therapist, and Reiki Master. She has been offering massage and therapeutic yoga services to the community for over 17 years and rolls out her mat with us as we open the 9th Season of Free Yoga in the Park Highlands Ranch.

Yoga, energy work and massage therapy has changed her life in so many ways, on both the giving and receiving end. She works closely with self-care practitioners, chiropractors and athletic sports trainers to increase awareness for herself and her clients. Her hobbies include yoga, meditation, hiking, biking, dancing, reading, coloring, laughing, enjoying time with friends and family, and loving her life!  Charmaine received her 200 HR Integrative Yoga Teacher training from NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness .

Join Charmaine and all of our amazing instructors this  summer at Free Yoga in the Park, starting Saturday May 27, 2017 from 8:15-9:15 hosted by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.  For more details on the remaining schedule and what to bring, visit http://namasteworksyoga.com/events.

Meet the Instructor – Jena Sawyer

Meet the Instructor – Jena Sawyer

Jena’s journey into yoga, meditation, and mindful movement started many years ago in pursuit of stress relief and a better night’s sleep. She has spent countless hours studying, exploring, learning, and cultivating practical applications and relatable perspectives. She loves to share these and is enthusiastic about helping others travel their own unique path to well-being.

Her passion is helping people create more ease… in their mind, body, relationships, work, and life. She urges them to start wherever they are rather waiting for the elusive someday.  Her “option-rich” classes center on breath and awareness, with suggestions for variations and encouragement of personal exploration in each posture.

Jena teaches classes for the Highlands Ranch Recreation Centers and also offers coaching, workshops, and retreats. Her self-published book, Yoga Thinking, offers tools and techniques to help modern-day yogis apply yoga’s wisdom to their everyday life.

Join Jena and all of our amazing instructors this  summer at Free Yoga in the Park, starting Saturday May 27, 2017 from 8:15-9:15 hosted by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.  For more details on the remaining schedule and what to bring, visit http://namasteworksyoga.com/events.

Meet Free Yoga in the Park Instructor – Kate Roberts

Meet Free Yoga in the Park Instructor – Kate Roberts

If there was ever a survivor story that blended the benefits of yoga, it’s Kate Roberts story of meeting life again through her practice. She began her life-long love of Yoga after being severely injured in a 2000 car crash, and found that it helped her to find ‘balance’ (figuratively and literally) in her life as she recovered from her injuries and completed college.      Kate is a Certified Yoga Instructor and eared her 200-HR Integrative Yoga therapy certification from NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.  Kate earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human and Health Performance—Health Promotion, and a Minor in Art from Montana State University Billings in 2010. She enjoys gardening, reading, arts and crafts, and walking, playing and pretty much doing everything with her dog Maggie.

Join Kate and all of our amazing instructors this  summer at Free Yoga in the Park, starting Saturday May 27, 2017 from 8:15-9:15 hosted by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro Districts.  For more details on the remaining schedule and what to bring, visit http://namasteworksyoga.com/events.