I feel like 2023 has been the year I recovered from Covid.
In March of 2020, I had been teaching in multiple locations in Hunterdon and Warren County when I suddenly found myself locked in my house and filling the role of homeschool teacher to a first grader and a special needs 16 year old. It was a bit of a jolt, if you can imagine. I finally got back to teaching in the Fall of 2021, only to lose my mother a month later. As many of you know, there are no words to describe that shock. Although I continued to teach once a week, I felt like I was still getting my bearings in all of 2022. By the end of that year, I really felt like I had reached some kind of safe ground to launch from, energetically and emotionally. I made a vague intention that I was going to get out of my comfort zone and teach more.
Now we're closing out 2023, and I am so very happy to see how that intention played out. I'm especially pleased to have gotten to know so many wonderful students at the Library and the Riverside Wellness Center, along with my steadfast crew at Riegel Ridge. I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for helping me find the way through my own personal darkness. Practicing yoga with you brings me immense joy and meaning, and I'm grateful for you all!
I am also so grateful to my sangha in Frenchtown at Yoga Loka. I will always be a teacher who sees herself first as a student and a practitioner, and I know that my online and in-person spiritual studies groups are my emotional path forward through obstacles and confusion. I am eternally grateful for my mentors and teachers, especially Bonnie Pariser and Uma Parvathi Nanda Nath Saraswati.
As we turn the page to close out 2023, I wish you all health and happiness in the coming year, and I'm looking forward to even more joy and connection as your teacher and friend!
For our gentle yoga chair and mat practice this month, I'll be playing beautiful classical piano music composed by local musician (and yogi!) Heidi Breyer. Heidi just departed to live in Germany where she has family, but I'm sure we'll be seeing her back in Frenchtown for visits!
Heidi and I are fellow yoga students at Yoga Loka in Frenchtown, and her soul is as sweet and deep as her music. Her most recent album "Amor Aeternus: A Requiem For the Common Man" is inspired by the Latin Mass and is performed with a full choral ensemble. During classes I have been playing her earlier albums, and my favorite is "Moonlight In Empty Rooms."
You can find her streaming on all platforms with her latest single releases, updates, blog, and samples of her albums on her website at www.heidibreyer.com.
We're busy, right? But we can't keep running around forever, no matter what the calendar tells us. So let's just stop, drop, and RELAX into some gentle yoga!
This month on Friday mornings at Riegel Ridge, we will take it slow. On December 1st, we will do our regular monthly Joint Freeing Series practice. Every Friday after that, we will continue to relax with gentle yoga postures (like the "Reclined Cobbler's Pose" above) and extra long relaxations at the end of class, which include a lavender oil head and neck massage by your truly. Seriously!
In Chair Yoga at the HC Main Library, Riegel Ridge, and Riverside Wellness Center, we will move with gentle flowing poses to classical music, sending our bodies into rest with a moving meditation that is more like a beautiful dance. I'll be playing the simply gorgeous piano music by Frenchtown composer Heidi Breyer. If you check out her music (streaming everywhere) you will NOT be disappointed.
Go to the schedule page to see which class fits into your day!
I want to share with you the yoga I practice, teach, and live.