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.

New Yoga Teacher Training Class starts March 18 at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness

New Yoga Teacher Training Class starts March 18 at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness

There is so much depth to Yoga, it’s much more than just learning a few asanas/postures or how to breathe.  It’s a comprehensive lifestyle system of meeting each moment with bliss.  If you’ve ever considered deepening your exposure to yoga, offering the mind/body aspects to your existing clients, or felt an overwhelming desire to help others, we invite you to consider joining our new training starting,  March 18.

The 200hr Yoga Teacher Training  is for those who want to supplement their existing healing practice with yoga, or deepen their own personal practice. Along with offering Yoga with a focus on health and wellness to the general public, you will learn tools and techniques to teach Yoga-based wellness programs in a wide variety of complementary health care settings. The 200Hr Integrative Yoga Teacher Training is an  immersion program from the lineage of Joseph and Lillian Le Page and utilizes their training manual coupled with hands on expertise and wisdom from Nancy Levenson, an IYT Affiliate Program Director.

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

The 200HR program is the foundation program and Integrative Yoga Therapy also offers a national 300HR and 800HR program that leads to a Yoga Therapist Certification. The advanced yoga therapy programs are detailed at Integrative Yoga Therapy

S01-YA-SCHOOL-RYS-200 (2)The program is registered with Yoga Alliance as a 200-hour Teacher Training program and your instructor carries the highest certification in yoga therapy, a C-IAYT.

So step on the path, join our upcoming 200-HR class beginning March 18.  Send a request for more information via our contact form.

2017 DATES – Mar 18 through July 30.

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 and this class will have a four day offsite in New Mexico.  Scheduled dates (subject to change) are; Mar 18/19, Apr. 8/9, Apr 29/30, May 20/21, potential offsite in New Mexico – June 1-5, June 24/25, July 8/9, July 29/30.

 

2017 Free Yoga in the Park – Highlands Ranch, CO

2017 Free Yoga in the Park – Highlands Ranch, CO

NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro District announced today the 9th Annual Free Yoga in the Park event dates.  The program invites the entire community access to yoga for free, Saturday mornings, runs from May 27-August 19, with the exclusion of two exempt dates.

This program welcomes participants to relish the great outdoors while replenishing body, mind and spirit.   Beginner and seasoned yogis are invited to step into the mind/body park – Civic Green Park – the crown jewel of the great outdoors of Highlands Ranch. Once here, participants will delight in the welcoming sounds of nature, be dazzled by the blue skies overhead, drop into the lush lawn underneath, as they explore the edges of their body, mind and spirit.

Each unique session runs from 8:15-9:15 am.   Led by seasoned instructors, participants are guided on a journey that starts with a grounding meditation, a yoga movement practice and a nourishing drop into the Earth for reflection.  Each practice then moves from the mat, into the community, and out into the world.

“We are pleased to have created a program that integrates the great outdoors with the great indoors of self and celebrates and suffuses an entire community with the radiance of yoga and nature,” said Nancy Levenson, founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and Free Yoga in the Park, Highlands Ranch.

Excluded dates:  June 10 and June 24

200 HR Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training 2017 – Colorado – Open House

Open House
Saturday, September 10th – 10am-12noon, 2017

Open House NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness

Are you considering yoga training with a therapeutic focus or know someone interested? Then join us for our Program Spotlight to learn more about our 200HR program starting January 14, 2017.

This spotlight is all about you and answering questions you may have about teacher training, homework, outcomes, and more. Come to this informal session and Discover Yoga as a Healing Art.

This program is open to anyone with a basic foundation in yoga and is especially suitable for occupational therapists, physical therapists,yogis, health care professionals and other mind/body modalities seeking to enhance their overall practice.

Nancy Levenson, Program and Affiliate School Director for Integrative Yoga Therapy will be on-hand, along with other graduates of the program to offer insights and answers to all of your questions. This program is non-residential and runs every third weekend, beginning January 14th. It’s not too late to join us, just RSVP. Event held in our private studio in Highlands Ranch.

RSVP by September 8th, send a message through the contact page or call 303.725.1434

Free Yoga in the Park – Highlands Ranch 7/30/2016

Ride, Run, Walk, Dance, Skip, Drive..

However you get there, join us for FREE YOGA in the Park in Highlands Ranch tomorrow morning. We have only two weekends left for you to step into the great outdoors and experience a morning awakening. As our 8th season comes to a close, you will be guided tomorrow by Barbara Bloodgood and the final day August 6, Nancy Levenson.

It’s an opportunity to bond with nature, to shift perspective, to observe at a subtle level and develop a relationship with the Divine.

Program starts at 8:15 at Civic Green Park. Full details athttp://namasteworksyoga.com/events.   Program is brought to you by NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and the Highlands Ranch Metro District.

yoga in the park 2016

SoulSutras Adventures in Nature

SoulSutras Adventures

It’s as easy as a day in nature…

Friday, July 22 or Saturday, July 23

Or Join Us for Both

IMG_7750Do you think it’s possible to reach a deeper understanding of your inner call by talking to a tree, or listening to a meadow? Accept this invitation to wander and discover the very essence of self through the gift of nature.  Our guided day adventures are designed to help you delight in the gentle progression of your inner landscape using the outer landscape as your medium.

The word Sutra (Sanskrit) translates as thread.  When we accept the invitation to follow the thread of our life we awaken the depth of our innermost self.   Most of us don’t have the practical tools necessary to answer the call of our inner voice, leaving us depleted and moving through life lacking inherent joy and happiness.  Nature becomes the conduit to unravel our soul’s thread.

We warmly invite you enter your sanctuary at our soul immersion day adventures.  You will be hosted by two guides, Nancy Levenson and Karin Dietrich.

We will wander in nature, right here in our lovely state.  While each day trip is completely different, you will discover aspects of self through yoga, meditation, wandering through nature, natural art, journaling, reflection, time alone and in community, poetry and more. Every adventure works to deepen your self-awareness and ultimately bring forth your true nature.  We will meet at our designated location at 8am and finish at 3pm.  All nature trips are within one hour of Denver and you should be in good physical shape for a slight climb.  More details will be sent once your register, along with a health and waiver form.

Cost of the program for one day is $29, or choose both days for only $59.  Pack your own lunch and snacks and bring water and sunscreen.  Space is limited, so act fast as these programs will sell out.   If you would like to join us for one of these days or both, RSVP – by calling 303.725.1434 or send us an email from the contact form on the site.    We do accept MC/Visa.

 About Your Guides

Nancy GuideNancy Levenson

Nancy’s mantra is helping others Discover Nature & Yoga as Healing Arts.  She is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness and SoulSutras Adventures.   After a 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 and healing qualities nature brings to self.  She guides “wanderings” in the great outdoors to help others explore their own soul contracts, wisdom and true self.  Her tools include everything from the physical body to poetry.  She believes JOY is our birthright.

Karin GuideKarin Dietrich

After a successful career in nutrition therapy and healing arts, a series of challenging life events forced Karin to take time out for herself to rebuild her own body, mind and spirit. In this transformative process she discovered the amazing Healing Power of Nature and reconnection with Life and Spirit through solo time in the outdoors and months-long travels in her camper van. Creating awareness and presence, being vs. doing, and connecting to the wisdom of Nature, Oneness and Life is what she now shares and enables others to experience through gently guided immersion workshops in nature.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving” – Lao Tzu

 

 

Summer Solstice 2016 – June 20th

Summer Solstice, which occurs today at 4:30 MST,  marks the day each year where the sun graces our sky, creating our longest day and shortest night.   In the tradition of time immortal, yogis have honored the summer solstice by practicing 108 sun salutations.

Sun Salutation, is the graceful sequence of postures linked together to create a dynamic flowing motion.  Each posture is linked with breath, with each pose counterbalancing the previous pose to create an overall body, breath and mind practice with the intention of awakening your own inner sun.    Discover the therapeutic effects of spending time with the sun today.

Summer Solstice 2016

 

 

About Nancy Levenson:  Nancy’s mantra is helping others Discover Yoga as a Healing Art and their personal path to their wellness. She is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.  She explores the tools, history, philosophy and science of yoga in working with clients to discover their own innate healing process. If she could, she would sprinkle JOY in everyone’s life and remind them of their own true nature as a path to wholeness.

She loves guiding yoga retreats all over the world and has recently added private one-on-one desert excursions and private retreats for clients to explore their own contracts, soul wisdom and spirit animal through a practice called, SOULSutras.

 

Consciousness Like Ours – Meditating with Rainer Maria Rilke

A mediation commentary by Nancy Levenson

I believe our spirit thrives when we open our morning to meditation.  The Eighth Elegy by Rainer Maria Rilke offers us an opportunity to mediate on the free nature of our beingness.  Opening ourselves up to God before us allows our spirit, body and mind to breathe in wellness and wholeness.  When we explore the rich texture of the words of a poem during our mediation we can discover aspects of self, that may have been buried deep inside ourselves.  I encourage you to find your own deep meaning in this poem, perhaps a favorite passage that speaks just to you.  Or, simply mediate on the quote I offer you today.

 

NamasteWorks Yoga - A Deer - Rainer Maria Rilke

The creature gazes into openness with all

its eyes. But our eyes are

as if they were reversed, and surround it,

everywhere, like barriers against its free passage.

We know what is outside us from the animal’s

face alone: since we already turn

the young child round and make it look

backwards at what is settled, not that openness

that is so deep in the animal’s vision. Free from death.

We alone see that: the free creature

has its progress always behind it,

and God before it, and when it moves, it moves

in eternity, as streams do.

We never have pure space in front of us,

not for a single day, such as flowers open

endlessly into. Always there is world,

and never the Nowhere without the Not: the pure,

unwatched-over, that one breathes and

endlessly knows, without craving. As a child

loses itself sometimes, one with the stillness, and

is jolted back. Or someone dies and is it.

Since near to death one no longer sees death,

and stares ahead, perhaps with the large gaze of the creature.

Lovers are close to it, in wonder, if

the other were not always there closing off the view…..

As if through an oversight it opens out

behind the other……But there is no

way past it, and it turns to world again.

Always turned towards creation, we see

only a mirroring of freedom

dimmed by us. Or that an animal

mutely, calmly is looking through and through us.

This is what fate means: to be opposite,

and to be that and nothing else, opposite, forever.

 

If there was

in the sure creature, that moves towards us

on a different track – it would drag us

round in its wake. But its own being

is boundless, unfathomable, and without a view

of its condition, pure as its outward gaze.

And where we see future it sees everything,

and itself in everything, and is healed for ever.

 

And yet in the warm waking creature

is the care and burden of a great sadness.

Since it too always has within it what often

overwhelms us – a memory,

as if what one is pursuing now was once

nearer, truer, and joined to us

with infinite tenderness. Here all is distance,

there it was breath. Compared to that first home

the second one seems ambiguous and uncertain.


O bliss of little creatures

that stay in the womb that carried them forever:

O joy of the midge that can still leap within,

even when it is wed: since womb is all.

And see the half-assurance of the bird,

almost aware of both from its inception,

as if it were the soul of an Etruscan,

born of a dead man in a space

with his reclining figure as the lid.

And how dismayed anything is that has to fly,

and leave the womb. As if it were

terrified of itself, zig-zagging through the air, as a crack

runs through a cup. As the track

of a bat rends the porcelain of evening.


And we: onlookers, always, everywhere,

always looking into, never out of, everything.

It fills us. We arrange it. It collapses.

We arrange it again, and collapse ourselves.

 

Who has turned us round like this, so that,

whatever we do, we always have the aspect

of one who leaves? Just as they

will turn, stop, linger, for one last time,

on the last hill, that shows them all their valley – ,

so we live, and are always taking leave.

 

About Nancy Levenson:  Nancy’s mantra is helping others Discover Yoga as a Healing Art and their personal path to their wellness. She is founder of NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.  She explores the tools, history, philosophy and science of yoga in working with clients to discover their own innate healing process. If she could, she would sprinkle JOY in everyone’s life and remind them of their own true nature as a path to wholeness.

She loves guiding yoga retreats all over the world and has recently added private one-on-one desert excursions and private retreats for clients to explore their own contracts, soul wisdom and spirit animal through a practice called, SOULSutras.

Easing PTSD with Yoga-based Trauma Therapy – A Personal Journey

A commentary by Kate Roberts – a recent graduate of the 200 HR Integrative Yoga Therapy training at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness.

I came to Yoga by way of a car crash that nearly killed me, ending life as I knew it and the life that I had planned. I was 20 and had just discovered who I wanted to be and where I wanted my life to go when I earned by EMT-B certification with the intention of enrolling in nursing school when I returned to college. All that changed on July 16, 2000, when I visited my sister’s family on their ranch in Paradise Valley, MT, to meet their newest edition, Tyler, while on my days off from Lake Hospital in Yellowstone National Park. After driving to Emigrant for pizza and a movie my sister’s car was run off the 75 mph highway by an oncoming motorist in too big of a hurry and passing a motor home on a double-yellow line. My four month old nephew and I were both flown to St. Vincent Hospital in Billings, MT, where he was pronounced brain-dead and I underwent brain- and various other- surgeries to save my life. I was placed in a medically-induced coma for one of the two months I was in the hospital, opening my eyes for the first time on my Dad’s birthday, August 8th. Rehabilitation began while I was still an In-patient, doing such things as re-learning how to walk and how to hold an eating utensil. After my discharge, I continued rehabilitation with four more grueling months of physical therapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy. I was then spit-out of the medical system a fully-formed and healed adult… except that I wasn’t.

The American Psychological Association defines trauma as “an emotional response to” a negative event in one’s life. According to Judith Herman (1992) in Trauma and Recovery, traumatized individuals can range anywhere from a raped college student to a military combat soldier, from a car crash survivor to a grown man who was sexually abused as a child, from a prisoner-of-war to a housewife who is a prisoner in her own home. Survivors of trauma often suffer from a plethora of debilitating side-effects and symptoms which negatively impact their “quality of life” and are collectively known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD (Emerson et al., 2009; Sparrowe, 2011).

Findings from studies by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and others have shown Yoga-based trauma therapy to ease the “fight-or-flight” response (e.g. increased heart and respiration rates) triggered by the body’s sympathetic nervous system, which is a problematic and intrusive symptom among those suffering from PTSD (Emerson et al., 2009; Sparrowe, 2011). Trauma-sensitive Yoga was found to positively affect how patients were able to self-regulate (“calm down”) and reduce distressing physical and emotional symptoms when used in conjunction with traditional therapy methods in the treatment of trauma-induced PTSD (Sparrowe, 2011).

About three years after suffering my Traumatic Brain Injury, and while attending community classes in preparation for returning to college, I found Yoga. At my eldest sister’s prompting, my Mom suggested I attend a Yoga class—even researching where and when—until I finally acquiesced. It was a community class that consisted of women my Mom’s age. Unbeknownst to me at the time, the building and room used for the class, as well as the Yoga instructor, were all highly suitable for a Trauma-sensitive Yoga class (Emerson et al., 2009). The location of the building was one of safety for me, as it sat next the St. Vincent campus; the environment within the building was one of reverence, hushed but welcoming; the Yoga room contained no windows and no mirrors, had adequate but low lighting, and there was minimal outside noise; the instructor was friendly, welcoming, and very knowledgeable—everything I needed at this time in my life when nothing felt normal, including me.

Because survivors of trauma often dissociate from their bodies, the objective of Trauma-sensitive Yoga is to reacquaint a survivor with sensations in their body, which is similar to what I was doing at this time in my recovery: I was not only re-learning how to inhabit and maneuver my physical body, but I was also re-learning how to mentally re-connect with sensations in my body (Sparrowe, 2011). This was a loving and gentle Yoga class, where modifications for each body type were taught and encouraged.

Yoga taught me how to re-inhabit my body fully, how to interpret and regulate how I react to sensations, and how to embrace the new “me”.

Sparrowe, L. (2011). Transcending Trauma. Yoga International magazine. Retrieved from this source.  http://www.traumacenter.org/products/pdf_files/yoga_transcending_trauma.pdf

Emerson et al. (2009). Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: Principles, Practice, and Research. International Journal of Yoga Therapy, 19. Retrieved from this source.   http://givebackyoga.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Trauma-IJYT-Article_.pdf

Herman, J. L. (1992). Trauma and Recovery. Retrieved from this source.   https://www.uic.edu/classes/psych/psych270/PTSD.htm

American Psychological Association. (n.d.) Retrieved from this source.   http://www.apa.org/topics/trauma/

Bio PictKate Roberts is a Certified Yoga Instructor as well as 200-RYT certified. She began practicing Yoga after being severely injured in a 2000 car crash, when she found that it helped her find ‘balance’ in her life as she recovered from her injuries and completed college. Kate earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human and Health Performance—Health Promotion Option and a Minor in Art at Montana State University Billings in 2010.  Kate recently completed her 200HR Integrative Yoga Therapy training at NamasteWorks Yoga + Wellness adding therapeutic yoga to her teaching skills.  She enjoys gardening, reading, arts-crafts, and walking her dog Maggie.