Sunday, April 30, 2017

Shree Expert Teacher Focus: Elizabeth Doberneck

Elizabeth Doberneck, RYT 500 Certified Anusara Yoga Teacher, Authorized Teacher of Neelakantha Deep Meditation

Elizabeth is a yoga teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Her intention as a teacher is to help each student find their appropriate edge of growth and transformation, while understanding that even small shifts can bring great healing and a sense of accomplishment. Elizabeth doesn’t just teach this, but practices it herself. Below she shares her experiences regarding a recent trip to India, her meditation practice and a retrospective look at her yoga practice. In addition to her regularly scheduled classes on Sunday morning, Elizabeth will be offering a new meditation course and an Anusara immersion this Fall.  Read on below to learn more about Elizabeth and her new offerings at Shree!

On India:
I recently went on Pilgrimage to India and the highlight of my trip was the five days I spent in the sacred temple of Chidambaram all the way in the south of India, in Tamil Nadu.  It’s the root place of all the teachings of Yoga and Tantra.  In the heart of the temple is the place where Siva Nataraja dances in the sky of consciousness. It was so extraordinary to be a part of the life of the temple and to feel a living connection to the lineage stream of the great wisdom teachings that have been the foundation of my practice and my teachings, of my life really. It was an unforgettable experience and I can’t wait go to back again!

How I became a meditation teacher:

In 2008, I went from having no meditation practice at all to just diving into the deep end of the pool — eventually to realize that not only was I not going to drown but that I had always been meant to do this.  And I had a superb guide to show me how.  That was the summer I met Paul Muller-Ortega, a master meditation teacher who has been teaching people to meditate for nearly fifty years.  I had been searching for my next teacher and there he was.  At the time, the only way to study with Paul was to commit to an entire year of intensive practice and study, so that’s what I signed up for not entirely sure how I would swing it financially or timing wise. This past summer of 2016, with great joy I became an authorized teacher of Neelakantha Meditation, this method of deep meditation that has changed my life so much. I am thrilled to now be able to offer it to my friends and students at Shree in a form that allows anyone to meditate easily and deeply after just two sessions of individual instruction.   

I love my meditation practice!  No matter what is going on in my life, no matter how bad things might seem, it is my absolute one hundred percent reliable refuge.  I sit down, close my eyes and settle into a place beyond all of it; a place that elicits so many different feelings: comfort, contentment, perfect security, peacefulness, abundance, love, a charged meaningfulness that bears all different kinds of gifts within it.  When I open my eyes the outer circumstances of my life may not have changed but I have and that makes all the difference. 

What I wish I had had when I started Yoga:

I am really looking forward to teaching the Immersion I in the Fall.  I love teaching this immersion because it is exactly what I wish I had had when I started yoga. When you feel the benefits of your practice and start to recognize its possibilities for improving your life, you naturally want to know more. I had to visit many different studios to try to learn more about how to advance my poses — how alignment worked, what alignments my particular body needed.  I craved to know more about the breath, about meditation and the perspective on life that yoga offers and that is such an important ingredient in making yoga practice transformative.  I wanted to have a more systematic understanding about all of this but no such thing existed that brought it all together. This is what the Immersion I offers.  Come join us!  We delve into all aspects of yoga so that your personal practice will be accelerated ten fold. You will open up not just your poses and practice but the possibilities of your life overall.

Come meet Elizabeth and learn more about her upcoming offerings at Shree:

Free Information Sessions, reservations required

  • 5/21 1:00 PM learn about the Meditaiton Cousre
  • 5/21 1:30 PM learn about the Immersion
  • 6/11 1:00 PM learn about the Meditation Course
  • 6/11 1:30 PM learn about the Immersion

**Reservations Required. Please text Elizabeth to reserve 646-489-7873.**

Read more about the Immersion and Meditation programs on our website.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Shree's Expert Teacher Focus: Kent Lindemer

In this week’s teacher focus Kent goes beyond the bio and gives more insight into his experiences with yoga during his upbringing and how this has helped shape him into the teacher he is today….

“I remember going on a yoga retreat with my mother at an Ashram in upstate New York when I was a child. I learned how to meditate and breath correctly as well as learning to play a song on the recorder, juggle two balls in the air and walk on my knees in full lotus position!  I found a four-leaf clover laying out in the sun one afternoon. I remember the feeling of laying out in the grass with my mother surrounded by people joyfully meditating, doing yoga, juggling, visiting and laughing. The experience was idyllic and stayed with me. My mother was on retreat studying with Shri Brahmananda Saraswati.  Later she would meet and become a student of Baba Muktananda and years later while living in a small town in Nebraska, the basement of our home became a center for the study of Siddha Yoga every week when a small group came to study, chant, do yoga and meditate.  In high school, I didn’t really have interest in any of this but enjoyed the chanting and often experienced the refrain of Om Namah Shivaya spinning in my head.  I loved to pick up some of the many books on yoga and spirituality that were in our home and was fascinated by the teachings. 

While in high school, I was a devoted gymnast, competing as an all-around gymnast throughout high school and on the local club team.  I took what I knew about Yoga from my mom and from my personal studies reading about the teachings into our team stretching regimen before and after practice.  Later in college, I taught myself to breakdance and developed a love for the possibilities for artistic expression within movement.  I switched majors to study the performing arts and was on stage in many theatre and dance productions throughout college. Looking back, Yoga was always in the background informing and whispering sweetly. It was teaching me to listen, to follow my heart and to seek a fundamental understanding of life's purpose and calling. After college, I moved to Chicago and vowed to dance every day. Following that intent, I started to see the whole of my life as a dance, each moment and each breath.  I made it a practice to listen deeply to that which stirred my heart and I followed that forward into a career dancing for over a decade with the world renowned modern dance company Pilobolus.”

What does your practice currently consist of?

I deepen and follow my breath and listen to and follow my bodies subtle dance. As the dance unfolds, I can then choose how I want to express through and with it. I do this every day periodically throughout the day. I don't need to set down my mat and can even do this practice in its subtle form while standing, sitting or walking. This practice then becomes my work and offering, whether teaching classes, privates or working therapeutically with bodywork clients. When I can't get to my mat then I know I can always drop into this form of Mahamudra practice that I have been cultivating and practicing on many different levels since my college days. 

A few books have been important to me:

Illusions by Richard Bach
The Mustard Seed: The Revolutionary Teachings of Jesus the Mystic by Osho
Waking the Global Heart by Anodea Judith
The Journey to Ixtlan by Carlos Castaneda (and everything else written by Carlos Casteneda or other writers teaching from the Toltec traditions of the Northern Sonoran desert)
The Shiva Sutras of Vasugupta
My favorite health tonic: 
Boil fresh sliced ginger root to make a tea.
Add lemon juice from 1/2 lemon, One Tablespoon Honey (preferably local), One teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Whenever I feel the touch of a cold or flu coming on this recipe does wonders!

Stop into the studio for one of Kent’s classes at the following times:

Tuesday 6:00 to 7:15 pm Beginner Yoga
Tuesday 7:30 to 8:45 pm Aligned Flow I&II

Saturday 11:30 to 12:45 pm Gentle Therapeutic Yoga

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Getting Your BACK To Yoga

As a part of our  gentle therapeutic classes at Shree we have introduced a class specifically tailored to the  needs of those with back pain. Don't let a "bad back" keep you from practicing and even more than that let your practice guide you in supporting and healing your back. 

 Yoga for Back Pain Wednesdays at 6:00 PM.  
See our special promotional offer at the bottom of this post.

Create a Healthy Back – Yoga for Back Pain

Threw out your back? Occasionally sore? Chronic back pain or injury?  This class may be for you.
Focusing on the development of posture, balance and body alignment and a strong, deep inner core, you will be guided through specific yoga poses that can lengthen your spine, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and help return your back to its proper alignment. Beyond physical therapy, it’s the quality of focus, attentiveness, and mindfulness that practicing yoga gives, which really makes a difference.
You can expect to feel better, get stronger and learn how to avoid hurting your back going forward.
Certified Yoga Teacher, Terry Cotter, taught  at the Valley Hospital Spine Center after completing advanced training with Charlotte Stone E-RYT500 with presentations by Elliot J Lerner, MD Neuroradiologist, Valley Hospital.
Benefits you can expect:
  • Muscle strengthening from holding poses
  • Increased flexibility and ability to relax
  • Better posture, balance, and body alignment
  • Increased body awareness: understanding of your physical limits, and motions you should avoid
What some of our students have been saying: 

"I have been struggling with some low back issues for about a year.  It is such a frustrating time.  I have practiced yoga for many years, and now I am unable to move with a lot of discomfort.  Always looking for some help to heal, I was excited to see a “Create a Healthy Back” on the Shree schedule.  I went to Terry’s class full of hope that I would be able to practice and not be so uncomfortable that I would have to stop.  Not only were all my hopes met, they were exceeded. Terry is a wonderful teacher, with compassion, knowledge, and an obvious desire to help his students.  His class moved at a slow pace, really working into the back as he explained what we were working on and more importantly, why.   With a great mix of humor and seriousness, he showed us how to be mindful of our backs.  After class, I thought, “I feel so more open and I am so happy I can move with ease” which is exactly what I hoped for.  But better than that, the next morning, I woke up feeling my back was not quite as stiff and I knew that Terry has made a difference in my recovery. Thank you for developing this class with Terry as the teacher.  I know I will be returning to class.  I would encourage anyone struggling with back issues to come.  It will make a difference in your mobility and attitude. "

"Terry, I'm noticing how different my back feels since I started coming to your class.  I don't feel as stiff and  have noticed that it's easier for me to turn my head and look for traffic while I'm driving; I can turn my head more."

"I look forward to every class, I love how you get me to move and stretch; it seems like you know exactly where I hurt." 

"Great for back pain. Still yoga but sensitive to back issues."

Special promotion: Bring a new friend to their first class at Shree this Wednesday, April 5 at 6:00 PM, and you both receive a free pass to give to someone else to try the studio.

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