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A Note From Tracy 

Although it’s September, I’m just not ready to say happy fall.  These last few days have been such spectacular weather, that on my calendar it still feels like summer.

It’s interesting to me how we change our routines, our plans, our thinking, and especially our attitude according to the seasons.  And yet, really, does it matter what the date is? We have total control over how we react or better yet, act, in any situation. Do I need to be sad about summer being over…no, actually I don’t.  It’s a choice, and it’s my perception that changes how I go about the rest of my day, weeks, and months.

We don’t have a choice in many situations in life, but we certainly do have a choice in our perception of every moment of our lives.  What if I made the choice to be excited about fall and winter?  What if I made the choice to be excited about it as much as I am about spring and summer?  Why am I creating a negative scenario that I don’t have to? Seems weird to do that…..and yet, I do.  

I’m guessing that many of you do too.  Is it just because society tells us that we aren’t supposed to enjoy winter in Chicago?  Or have we replayed the tape in our heads so many times that we hate winter that we feel we don’t have any other choice?  Or, are we just not aware that our perception doesn’t have to be the same as it was in the past?

Well, I for one am going to change my perception.  I know that if I can change my perception of winter, then I can surely change it about other things as well.  I am going to CHOOSE to look at every season with joy.

One of the best ways to change our perspective is to make sure that we keep the peace in our lives.  Restorative Yoga is a style of practice that is designed just for that. Also, there’s a beautiful workshop coming in October that will help you ease into the new seasons with deep peace and joy.  It’s called Candlelight Deep Release with Tracy and Vivian. Read more about both of these below.

Blessings to all of you this beautiful day, and all the beautiful days to follow.  May each day bring you the opportunity to cultivate what brings you joy. Your joy will bring joy to the world.  



Boost the Brain ~ Soothe the Joints


I recently taught a workshop on ways to focus a Yoga practice so that it benefits the two things that age the quickest, our joints and our brains.  It was enlightening, though not surprising, to find through much research that every Yoga practice does just that, whether specifically designed to or not.  But there are some specific points to keep in mind if you are particularly interested in those two areas.  While the workshop gives an experiential touch to the information, I thought it would be helpful to highlight the main points.


1) SLOW AND REPETITIVE:  For arthritic or sore joints, remember to warm them up with slow repetitive motions. Circular motions in both directions are especially helpful as they cover the full range of motion. Holding poses helps to stretch or strengthen the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, fascia etc.), but sore joints will respond better to slow, consistent movement. Example:  If your hips are sore, move slowly in and out of triangle pose instead of holding it.


2) WEIGHT BEARING WITHOUT PAIN: Joints need weight bearing, but if sore or arthritic, it’s important to not overload.  Do the most weight bearing you can without pain. Example: try plank pose with knees on floor if wrists or shoulders are sore, or try plank pose against the wall walking feet as far back as possible keeping hips down.  You should feel the work in the muscles, not the joints.


3) JOINT STABILIZATION: Joints benefit from stabilization. Stabilization comes from strengthening the muscles around the joints. One of the best ways is balance poses.  Try standing on one foot, it doesn’t have to be a specific pose.  If pain is involved, support some of your weight by holding on to a chair with one hand.  Build up to more challenging poses as the joint becomes more stable. 


4) INVERSIONS ROCK! : Both the joints and the brain benefit from inversions, i.e. the head lower than the heart.  Legs up the wall, (as in picture above) releases excess fluid caught in the legs, relieving knee, ankle, and even hip pain.  Downward Dog brings a fresh supply of healing blood cells to the brain, as well as alleviates joint pressure on the spine and pelvis. Even just folding forward in the chair to bring the head lower than the knees can refresh you.


5) CRISS CROSS STIMULATION: Working across the body, or with opposite sides of the body stimulates the brain to create new thinking pathways. Any revolved position will do this, such as revolved triangle.   For a simpler version just reach your right hand down to your left foot, other arm to the sky, come back to center and then do the other side. This too can be done in a chair.  Any time you reach across the body and/or move with opposite sides of the body at the same time (right arm/ left leg) you are stimulating and challenging the brain.


5) JUST BREATHE!: Several breathing techniques help to stimulate the Nadis (small energy centers near the brain).  Alternate nostril breathing, (Nadi Shodhana) being one of the easiest and best. Not only does it stimulate and clear the Nadis, thus the brain, but it leaves you feeling calm and relaxed.  It’s a wonderful way to start a meditation or Yoga practice…..or even just to start your day.  Here’s more about it:

Nadi Shodhana

nadi = channel     shodhana = cleaning, purifying

  • Calms and centers the mind
  • Brings the mind to the present moment and out of the past (releases fears, regret, and worry)
  • Therapeutic for the circulatory and respiratory systems
  • Helps harmonize the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which correlate to the logical and emotional sides of our personality.

Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, and then close it with your ring-little fingers. Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril.

Keep the right nostril open, inhale, then close it, and open and exhale slowly through the left. This is one cycle. Repeat 3 to 5 times, then release.

Ok, so now you have some great tools to keep your joints and your brain healthy and happy.  Keep up your Yoga classes and watch the future roll out with sukha…joy, ease and pleasure! 


Spotlight on Restorative Yoga


Feeling run down?  Dealing with an injury?  Not ready to do an active Yoga class?  Need an attitude adjustment?

Have you thought about Restorative Yoga?  Restorative Yoga is a practice that focuses on relaxation, reducing stress and relieving tensions in the body.  It is done almost exclusively sitting or lying down. The poses are held for a longer time, supported by bolsters and blocks to provide a safe, comfortable platform for the muscles (and the mind) to release.  Restorative yoga is open to all levels and is a great way to pause the over active craziness of life. The setting for the class is soothing with the lights low and the music soft. It’s pretty much the perfect way to end a Monday.  

Class is held every Monday night, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Click here to start your restorative journey.  


Candlelight Deep Release
with Tracy and Vivian


Thursday October 25th 6:30-8:00 p.m.

(Note: this workshop will replace the open level class for this evening)

Enjoy an evening of deeply relaxing Yoga paired with the ethereal sounds of Vivian Yu’s music.  Candlelight will add to the specialness of this evening’s workshop.

Read more about Vivian and her music below...

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Vivian Yanzhe Yu is a pianist and composer based in Chicago, USA. She is also a co-creator of the power ambient duo Magick Potion. Trained in the classical tradition with a wonder lust heart, Vivian blends melodic phrasing with edgy electronics, synth and noise to create a cinematic immersive sound environment. Her composition is haunting, sophisticated with a dose of melancholy. Vivian believes music is the highest form of expression and importantly, it is a universal language to connect and share our mutual humanity. Vivian’s music is available via iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube and AccuRadio.
Copyright © 2018 Yoga Experience, All rights reserved.

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