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“My body may be 64, but my spirit is still in its 30′s….”
Written by a Yoga 4 Life and This Body student, Michelle Wirrell. Michelle attends Gentle, Beginner and Hatha classes in Purcellville, Virginia.
“After years of suffering from mental, physical, emotional abuse, and unbelievable stress in my life, my body began to breakdown. From the age of 40, three knee surgeries on both knees, a tumor removed from my arm, the aortic valve in my heart replaced and an aortic aneurysm repaired, a brain tumor, years of debilitating migraines, the large colon rupturing and then avoiding death by 12 hours. But the final push into despair happened in an elevator accident which left me in unbearable pain for 7 years. Between the pain and the constant state of prescription drugs to keep me sedated, I finally gave up.
After 7 years of being a zombie I fought to grab hold of my life again. I had the doctors wean me off of drugs and fought to overcome the pain and slowly regain my life.
In November 2011, I decided to take a yoga class, something I had been wanting to do since the 70′s. I took an Integral Hatha Yoga Beginners class [with Christie Haran] and my life was transformed.
I started going to yoga classes 4-6 times a week and began meditating again. I asked God what I was supposed to do with the rest of my life. You know the saying “Ask and you shall receive.” Well, He’s had me on a fast track ever since. I was given specific directions as to what He wants me to do with the rest of my time here on earth.
Seven months after starting yoga classes [at This Body Yoga, now Yoga 4 Life], I started the Basic Hatha TT (Teacher Training) at Yogaville (Satchidananda Ashram, Buckingham, VA) and I am now a Hatha Yoga teacher. I walked into my first class with a metal knee brace on, my body hurting every where, and the toes on my left foot hadn’t bent in 24 years. Also, I have a 70% hearing loss in both ears and wear two hearing aides. After my TT, 30 days later, I no longer wore the brace, my body no longer hurt all the time, my toes were bending, and I was doing positions (asanas) I never thought I would ever do. My body may be 64, but my spirit is still in its 30′s.
Never say never or I can’t. I’m here to tell you that if I can overcome all my obstacles, anyone can. I have been through so much in my lifetime, but it was all for my reason for being here; to help others in the same situations. To let them know there is a better life for them. To show them how to obtain it and to give them the courage to never give up.
To fellow Yoga Instructors: You will meet students in your class with similar problems. Treat them with love and compassion. Encourage them and share my story with them.
Love, Peace, Joy and the Light of God and the Universe. Namaste”
♥ Namaste from all of us at Yoga 4 Life
A huge Thank you to Michelle for sharing her challenges, passion, and love for life
YOGA 4 LIFE & THIS BODY
The Main Street Studio will be open from 4-8:30 with two practices: 4:30 Hatha and 6pm Vinyasa.
We will have the boutique open for Holiday Shopping with light appetizers and refreshments after each class! Happiness Hour until 8:30 enjoying Loudoun County wines, merriment with fellow yogis, and personal wellness helpers to answer questions.
Please bring a friend to either practice and your friend practices free! If your friend signs up for a package, you get your class free that night!
Open to all! Brandy Greenwell will be providing ultra premium health and wellness products. Everything from baby products to results driven anti-ageing for men and women, aromassentials to a purifying detox line, shampoo to cosmetics, to vegan protein shakes, vitamins and dietary supplements. All of the products are botanical, not tested on animals and made without toxic ingredients like parabens and others that are ban from skincare outside the US. The company has been green since inception and just received carbon neutral status. I’d be happy to introduce anyone to the pure, safe, and beneficial products.
- AT: 850 B Main Street; Purcellville, Virginia 20132
- When: November 30th
Time to be U – Time to be Happy!
Yoga & Wellness Open Studio
& Happiness Hour
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” ~ Albert Schweitzer
Wed November 21, 2012
- 9:00 am Flow – Beginner Jessi Hughes Main Street STUDIO
- 10:30 am Gentle Christie Haran Main Street STUDIO
- 1:00 pm Flow Yoga Carolyn Connell Main Street STUDIO
- 5:00 pm Hatha 2 Christie Haran Main Street STUDIO
- 6:30 pm Vinyasa/Prana Flow Erin Dewey Nursery Avenue STUDIO
Fri November 23, 2012
- 7:30 am All Level Yoga Lawrie Vick Main Street STUDIO
- 8:30 am Pilates Brandy Greenwell Nursery Avenue STUDIO
- 9:15 am Hatha Lawrie Vick Main Street STUDIO
- 9:30 am Vinyasa/Prana Flow Lara Ward Nursery Avenue STUDIO
See everybody this weekend plus FREE Community Class followed by a Flow this Saturday!! Sunday we are all candle lit to relaxxxxxxxx! It will be a nice treat after the feast and holiday shopping!
- Namaste & Happy Thanksgiving
from all of us at Yoga 4 Life
Journey with Yoga on the Wine Trail…
A day, event, moment, week, or year is not a stage set up by a shining sun, ideal weather, or another. Movement, choice, acceptance, and trusting the universe to let us find ourselves when we let go is where we not just find life, but come alive…
See clearly, hear with acceptance, flow with connection, sing by vibration and move with evolved rhythm.
“See” shines the Sun, for the light bleeds colors into your world.
“Feel,” whispers the Moon,“my energy is near and dear.”
“Speak,” sings the birds, “our songs create waves upon which you can dance.”
“Fly,” buzz the bees, “hope is to continue on our flight to help, give, and grow.”
“Breath,” blows the wind, “into the rhythm of time that leads you to your destiny.”
“Flow,” water beckons, “let go, wash it new; ride my current of collected drops and dew.”
Our July journey on the wine trail is a cozy day of introspection. The clouds in the gray skies claim and capture heat from the sun allowing a peaceful entry to meet together not only in body, but ourselves in mind. The mats quietly go down one at a time until the space is completely filled. Closed eyes for meditation, we create space in the room, body, and self.
The quiet entry to the vineyard and calm canvas painted sky is the backdrop release in the vines. Dispersed throughout the rows, some take the path alone. Sweeping through the vines in the freedom of moving meditation or finding peace in the slow rhythm of walking one foot in front of the other – simplicity.
The cool drizzle and gentle blades of grass give way to our bare feet and rise again as each pass slowly letting go to enjoy the deep red grapes hanging gracefully below the leaves that nourish them. The roots below offer strength and a sturdy foundation of life flowing into the ground into a world only they can see. In our practice, it is that place of sacred self that we meet to heal and connect. Like the center of the earth, getting there is a process of entering layers and sometimes shedding them to the pureness of who we are and where our true soul energy lives.
The slow and steady walk onto our mat begins with linking to that soul center as we find our rhthym with breath and body loosing space, time, temperature with journey through asanas…loosing connection to everything and everyone around us allows the space for true self to rise up and then out to make deeper and truer connections with all souls.
“Dance the dance, sing the song…our shadows may may look similar but voice, touch, tone, and spirits are their own. It is that beautiful moment when they flock together, flow, and harmonize… IdentifyInterlinkInhale to riSE…”
Our practice focus is the Solar Plexus Chakra, Manipura or Third Chakra, and the Root Chakra, Muladhara or First Chakra. The combination is one of combining Fire and Earth elements. Fire is not only heat energy but light as well and the grounding element of Earth replants roots of self.
The heat fills the room as we flow through Moon Salutations (Chandra Namaskara) and a Dancing Warrior heart opening sequences. The three wave flow is based on crafting an intelligent sequence to peak asanas (poses) allow the body to open fully. The kramas (stages) to Parsva Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and variations as the main peak asana(pose). The following sequences all lead to working on the navel region through twisting and opening asanas such as Salabhasana (Locust), visiting Uttanasana between sequences, Supta Virasana, and Dhanurasana. Working on balance and twisting the upper region we grew through twisted lunges within Chandra Namaskara and the evolution to a revolved variation of Anjaneyasana – Revolved, Standing Crescent Lunge Chandrasana.
The journey is not over but our asana practice ends in a Savasana with Tribal Winds, a Native American selection, with flutes, power animals, and soft words. Surrounded by foggy windows and the sweet singing crystal singing bowl that vibrates through the air and right into the core of our being to quiet and calm every last movement of mind. Savasana assists visit each of our students with hand blended chakra oils from Blue Moon that have simmered in stones and crystals. The reading follows and reflects directly on our earth connection, growth, giving and sharing…now we drink wine!
Fabbioli is known well not just for the fabulous wine, but also for their tastings as food and wine pairings. Our tasting was a really fun and energetic presentation by vineyard staff at our own tasting bar. The room still filled with the flowers hand selected for their color relation to the chakras, we tasted and enjoyed the changes that occurred when food was introduced. My favorite is the pear wine with ginger cookie and the Raspberry Merlot paired with locally made chocolate. The detailed description and very thorough presentation of the wine’s own journey to the bottle was so well presented; like taking a food and wine class.
2011 Rosa Luna
Rose’ is a wonderful new summer favorite. Many vineyards are creating them dry which also makes this a nice, crisp, and chilled summer selection. I have really enjoyed tasting the different variations throughout the county this summer. This one is 100% Sangiovese grapes, fermented in stainless steel preserving a crisp acidity with flavors of summer peaches. Their food and wine suggestion is to pair with poultry, white fleshy fish and herb based rubs and sauces.
Light Fare lunch is presented and each student selects their favorite wine to enjoy with fruit, mini hand made sandwiches, and delicious desserts prepared and delivered by South Street Under in Leesburg, Virginia. Please visit their location downtown below Tuscarora Mill or website at: http://www.southstreetunder.com/.
As you well know, our mission is to support local agriculture, business, and farms right here in Loudoun County, Virginia. We were honored to be invited to this vineyard and even more so because Fabbioli Cellars and Yoga 4 Life/Yoga on the Wine Trail’s philosophy is very much lined up – Doug says it best…
“One of my little catch-phrases has been “Get the train going down the track and decorate it while it is moving.” With that is mind; we have started to define the ideals we make in business. Some of these ideals should be obvious for any business and are as follows: good quality products, sound business practices, and the building of great relationships. However an ideal that makes Fabbioli Cellars unique is that this business will continually strive to do a little more for the community, the youth and the Earth. So this brings me to the last of the three “E”s: economics. Some may question the economics point, but I want to make it clear that that is what makes things function. A strong rural economy will slow down land sales to developers and maintain our green community.”
Taking it back to where we began, time after time and it is still the right start…that is what leads you forward, sideways – North, South, East and West – always coming back to center.
Fabbioli Cellars has over 20 years of winemaking experience, their award-winning wines have earned medals at some of the country’s most prestigious competitions, including double gold at the Indy International Wine Competition. The experience of ”Real People, Earth Friendly, Fabulous Wines” is just the beginning of the hospitality you will enjoy stepping into the tasting room. They offer food and wine classes and many others. They are open DAILY from 11-5pm and can be found down Rt. 15 past Leesburg going North towards Lucketts off of the beautiful country, dirt path by turning right onto Limestone School Road. http://www.fabbioliwines.com/
Their wines can be found around the region. The link to the list can be found at their website here: http://www.fabbioliwines.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44&Itemid=71.
Our journey has continued throughout the summer and into the fall. Kim Sullivan is a Wine Passionist who helps to coordinate our Yoga on the Wine Trail events. We welcome you to join us at the following vineyards coming up soon.
All Photographs from this day can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.412783768758020.88989.252543858115346&type=3
“Human giving and trust is the greatest gift of freedom, carefully placing your feet on the earth and a path to be proud of…”
When: October 20, 2012 9:15 am – 12:30 pm
Where: 868 Estate Vineyards
14001 Harpers Ferry Road
Neersville, VA 20132
When: November 10, 2012 9:15 am – 12:30 pm
16804 Hamilton Station Road
Hamilton, VA 20158
Photos by: L. Ward & Kassia Lee Photography
Fabbioli Cellars, Leesburg Virginia in beautiful Loudoun County
I’ve been sidelined from yoga for awhile due to a knee injury. I had my knee scoped a little over a week ago and am still recovering. Before the surgery, I had signed up for a teacher training week with Andrey Lappa, who founded the Universal Yoga system. I was told that I could sit and watch and take notes, but didn’t have to do the asana practices because of my injury. After talking to Mr. Lappa, I tried the first asana practice and found that I could do it with some slight modifications. So I ended up practicing every day.
Teacher training in Universal Yoga is different than other types. You can receive a 100 certification to teach Level 1 after taking two weeks of intensive training. The schedule is tough. Six days of study in a row for each week. You go through two hours of lecture, followed by lunch, then another two hours of lecture. Then, you do about 30 minutes practicing the Dance of Shiva, and then do a three-hour, double-mat asana practice. The day starts at 8:00 and ends around 5:30. The last day of the first week has an asana practice of only an hour and a half, but it is a tantric practice and very challenging.
When I started, as I said, I wasn’t expecting to do the asana practices. However, I ended up doing them and adjusted for my injury. Those practices were, by far, the most challenging I’ve ever had in yoga. The fourth day in particular was extremely difficult, as that was a strength class and
we were pushed to our very limits. Mr. Lappa called us to do poses that I’ve never done before, like dwi-pada koundinyasana, or a strange combination of half-galavasana, half-bakasana, and another strange pose of half-bujapidasana, half-bakasana. There were other handstands that I couldn’t do, some that I’d never seen before, and all of it was challenging.
The other thing that challenged me all week was that we had to do wheel pose every day, often holding it for a long period or doing other things while in wheel. Wheel pose has always been a challenge to me, but I was able to do it fine that week.
Sometimes when we practice we get it into our minds that we’re not able to do something. Maybe it’s a pose, or a sequence of moves, and our minds get so wrapped up in it that we prime ourselves to fail in doing it. I’ve done that many times, thinking so much about a pose that when I try it I can’t do it, and that sets my mind to thinking that I won’t ever do it. But that’s not true. When I was being pushed, and was told “do it!” without time to think, I did it. The lesson to me was to get out of my own way. I had become so caught up in thinking that certain poses weren’t possible, or were too difficult, that I’d set myself up to fail. Truth was, I was better than that. I just did the poses instead of over-thinking, and surprised myself in the process.
Teacher training is about more than just learning yoga. It’s also about learning about yourself. It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. The trick is to carry that through to your regular practice. If you think that you can’t do a pose, don’t over-think it. Just do it. You might just surprise yourself at how well you do.
Photographs: Gayle T. Tiller & Eddie Ankers
Jeremy Lee Farm, Loudoun County Virginia
An Athlete and Yogi
Yoga and Sports Combine
Realizing your inner athlete…
Chad Wiedmaier, Graduate of Princeton University and a four time All-American Lacrosse Champion is also a Yogi. Chad found his practice in High School alongside his mother who not only practices, but teaches. After watching numerous county teams warm up for practice, working with local Girl Scout troops, cheerleaders, and others it is so obvious that yoga and the benefits from proper stretching is not being utilized where we live. Teaching balance to “flyers” on a cheer squad was just amazing. Sitting and watching five teams last Saturday stretch for a two hour games in our Western Loudoun County sports leagues made this a HUGE reality of what COULD be…
“Yoga had helped me in a variety of ways with regards to my athleticism. Most importantly, I think that it has helped with my speed. Having great range of motion in my hips and shoulders allows one to generate more power off of the starting line and out of cuts in the open field. I can’t begin to tell you how much yoga helps an athlete utilize their weight training and speed training to it’s full potential. Yoga also helps to increase the endurance of an athlete. Being able to use full range of motion when running helps to increase the distance taken in each stride, which leads to having to exert oneself less to cover the same amount of distance.
Essentially, yoga helps athletes to run more smoothly rather than using poor technique and efficiency due to tightness in the joints, muscles, and tendons. I also know that yoga has helped me to stay healthy throughout my career. I have never pulled a muscle in my life, to this date, which I think has a great deal to do with the fact that yoga loosens up all of those tight muscle group areas which athletes use in their sports and train heavily with weights. For example, a lacrosse athlete trains their lower body by doing lots of sprints on the field and things such as squats and lunges in the weight room. These movements and exercises cause lots of stress on the glutes, hamstrings, and quads of an athlete. Over time, and during training, these areas can become very tight as more muscles builds in these areas, cause loss in range of motion and tightness in the muscles. Yoga helps to eliminate all of these problems and to keep athletes healthy and on the field.” ~ Chad
- Graduate of Princeton University
- Four-time All-American (2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 1st Teams)
- First player in Princeton University’s 130-year lacrosse history to
- be a Four-time First Team All-Ivy selection and second player in Ivy League history to be a Four-time First Team All-Ivy selection
- First student-athlete in Princeton University history to be the recipient of both the prestigious William Winston Roper Award (1902) for best male student-athlete and the Art Lane Award (1933) for selfless contribution to sports and society.
- Senior Tri-Captain
- Drafted in the first round as the 7th overall selection by professional Major League Lacrosse (MLL)
- Top finalist for the 2012 NCAA Lowe’s Senior Class Award that recognizes on and off field excellence
- Two-time “Tewaartan Trophy” watch list
Chad offers 1 on 1 in-depth player development to learn drills, skills, strategies, and philosophies. He is available in the Western Loudoun area ONLY on Sundays or weekends. If you have children involved in lacrosse this is a wonderful giving experience as he visits his mother, our wonderful Carolyn, here. His contact information is below for your questions or inquiries:
email@example.com :: (908) 347-4651