The thing about darkness is that we can't see our way through it. We can't think our way through it. We can't talk our way through it. The senses that we celebrate and rely upon in our world do us little good when darkness descends. And so we pause and feel our way inside, retreating like hermit crabs back into the soft center of ourselves. This is where our breath becomes the voice that guides our movement and our heart the ear that listens.
The darkness right now is thick and we are in it deep. Nature is bringing it. Politics is bringing it. The news is bringing it. Our lives are bringing it. Our minds are bringing it.
Denise Levertov, the great Christian mystic poet, writes in her poem Eye Mask:
In this dark I rest,
unready for the light which dawns
day after day,
eager to be shared.
Black silk, shelter me.
more of the night before I open
eyes and heart
to illumination. I must still
grow in the dark like a root
not ready, not ready at all.
What if we don't rush the light and force our desired epiphanies and cheerful inspirations? What if we allow ourselves to accept this period as an opportunity to become (re)acquainted with the inner breath-voice/heart-ear of ourselves and the world? What if we don't just tolerate it, but actually welcome the darkness as a time to learn a different way of seeing, speaking, and hearing? What if, in fact, we choose to rest in it, trusting that we are being held like seeds in a fertile ground?
Lean in/Lean Out: Letting Go of the Conflicts We Carry in Our Bodies
A Master Class with Elizabeth Andes-Bell
Sunday, November 20 * 11:00-1:00 * $25
Our bodies are systems responding to a constant stream of sensation and perception. Our muscles, bones, organs, fluids and fascial systems coordinate our responses in harmony with thoughts and emotions. Our bodies are also energy and awareness in flow. Thus, we are constantly shaping ourselves in a dialogue with gravity, time and circumstance. When we access the fluid matrix, the ground substance of our cells, our bodies let go of the habitual collapses and conflicts we build inside our bodies and our psyches. In this master class, held during her normal Sunday class time, Elizabeth will lead students through an exploration of physical, energetic and mental processes that will subtly shift alignment, thus supporting subtle moment-to-moment transformation. This class is nearly full, so please write firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
Inhabiting ourselves: A Workshop for Women with Lara Kohn Thompson
Saturday, December 3 * 2:00-5:00 * $60
Sunday, December 4 * Private Movement Sessions Available
As women our bodies respond to and shift with the subtly established cycles of nature. Each month we release what is old and invite rebirth within ourselves.. This cycle for all women - and the more specific postpartum period for mothers - offers an exciting opportunity for us to establish new patterns. Open to all, including brand new moms, those well beyond their postpartum years and women who have never given birth, this workshop will offer a deeply restorative and energizing yoga practice, core-strengthening work, and pelvic floor exercises as well as a time for discussion on how we can integrate the various aspects of our selves: the physical, the emotional and the spiritual. Lara will also be available for private bodywork and movement sessions on December 4th. Visit Lara's website to learn more about her decades of experience as a dancer, yoga instructor, massage therapist, and pre and post partum movement specialist. You must pre-register for this workshop, so please write email@example.com by November 28th.
Going Inside: Journey to Your Center with Shamanic Practitioner Michael Brownstein
Saturday, December 17 * 4-5:30 * $20
As we near the winter solstice and await the rebirth of light, nature invites us to slow down and turn inward. In this workshop, we will be led by poet, qigong teacher, and shamanic practitioner Michael Brownstein on a journey to our center. Beginning with an ancient and simple qigong form to center ourselves, we will slow down and tune in to the quiet energy inside our bodies. Then, using drumming and visualization, Michael will lead us in journeying deeper within ourselves, where we will enter a timeless internal landscape and communicate with a power animal or spirit guide for aid in healing as well as solving current conflicts. Shamanism is an ancient practice utilizing techniques developed over many thousands of years that are accessible to everyone. Quiet down, drop inside, and allow yourself to be held and guided by the wisdom inside. Please dress comfortably and bring a notebook and eye covering. Please write firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Upcoming events in 2017:
New Year’s Day Gong Sound Bath with Ricarda O’Conner
Sunday, January 1 * 4-6 * $25
Deepen into Yin with Will Leblanc
Friday, January 13 * 4-8 * $40
Thai Yoga Massage Workshop with Leigh Evans
Saturday, February 11 * 2-5 * $40 -single, $75 - Pair
Women’s Goddess Retreat with Alison Sinatra
Saturday, February 18
Also, I hope you will consider completing some of your holiday shopping at Catskills Yoga House. Not only do we offer gift certificates for group classes and private instruction, but special six month memberships and holiday class card specials will be available soon. Until then, please visit our website for the times and descriptions of our great weekly offerings.
Respecting the presence of this great darkness and grateful for all those who are journeying through it with me, I am yours in movement,