Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Weekly Donation Classes at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida (just outside Orlando)

Please Join The Yoga Shala on Saturday mornings from 11:00-12:00pm for our DONATION Guided Ashtanga Yoga class

The Yoga Shala is located in Winter Park, Florida (in the orlando area). 927 North Pennsylvania Avenue, Winter Park, Florida 32789. We are close to the Winter Park Village, downtown Winter Park, Park Avenue, and Lee Road.

Guided Ashtanga Yoga class will present the sun salutations, standing postures and finishing asanas from the Ashtanga Yoga tradition in a one hour class led by one of The Yoga Shala's teachers. All levels are welcome!

Donation class (any dollar amount): The month of September all proceeds will benefit New Hope For Kids in Central Florida.

Instructors at The Yoga Shala will be donating their time each Saturday to teach this class. Please come join us each weekend to raise monies for a wonderful cause!

New Hope for Kids provides services to Central Florida children during some of the most difficult and challenging times of their lives. At our Center for Grieving Children in Maitland we offer support to children ages 3 to 18 who are grieving the death of a loved one. These children come to us during a moment of extreme vulnerability - because of a death caused by illness, accident, murder or suicide - suddenly unsure of what the future holds for them. New Hope for Kids Grief Program teaches them that they are not alone and that there is hope.

Our Wishes for Kids Program improves the quality of life for children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. These kids face isolation and educational stagnation resulting from long-term hospital or home care. Physical disabilities may also limit their mobility and access to normal learning and social opportunities. New Hope for Kids provides one very important wish as well as a long-term series of family activities for special needs kids. This gives these children hope for the future and strength to go on striving.

Click here for more information about New Hope For Kids

If you would like more information about The Yoga Shala, please visit our website.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kaiden doing downdog in the kitchen ;)

I hope you enjoy this video! Kaiden is my son. He'll be 16 months on September 3rd and he's already a great little yogi. We took this video about a week ago in our kitchen one night. He know's down dog very well :) Since he was a tiny baby I've always done my yoga practice at home at least once per week so he can get some exposure to the peacefulness of the practice, and the joy I get from it in my life.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Open Your Heart

Open Your Heart

By Maureen Hanusek - Director of Evening Mysore program at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida

Back bends are probably the scariest yoga poses most yogis have ever had to accomplish. And it doesn't matter whether you are binding ankles or simple pushing through a bridge pose; at any stage of the back bend it can be a difficult challenge to move into.

Why do back bends seem like such a struggle? Well I believe that the art of back bending is directly correlated to the amount of love you have in your life. Now that is not to say that someone who can bind their ankles with their hands has more love in their life than someone just learning to push their head up off the floor. What I am saying is that your ability to open your heart and to push through the physical discomfort of breaking that protective barrier around the heart is directly correlated to the way we give and receive love.

Have you ever seen someone hunched over from the shoulders, head stretched forward? Now picture their face. What does it look like? Do they seem like that they have a lot of love in their life? Probably not, as they actively protect their heart.

Picture a couple on their wedding day; the groom standing at the altar, the bride walking up the isle. What do they look like? Shoulders back, chest lifting, crown of their heads reaching to the sky. This couple is full of love, and it's obvious.

Wouldn't we rather look like the couple on their wedding day, everyday? This is what back bends teach us, to open our hearts to people, living and new experiences. But life can be disheartening. Of course it can, this is why we repeat back bends in every yoga practice. Not to mention they help wake up the central nervous system.

Our many experiences with love in our lives may have led us to heartache, and it shows in our posture and our practice. So many reasons to protect the heart, love lost whether it was a child, sibling, parent, friend, spouse or grandparent. Maybe a loved one let us down in the past. As a result we still hold on to these pieces for whatever reason.

Back bending will teach you to let go of these pieces so that we can make space for MORE love in our lives. Being able to receive infinite amounts of love into our lives, and more importantly for us to be able to give infinitely more love to everyone, especially the people who really need it. Like that hunched over acquaintance that has very little room in their heart for love. Creating this space in our hearts though back bending is difficult, but so well worth it.

Isn't this what we all live for? Isn't this what we are meant to do? Isn't LOVE the reason we were all put here on this Earth together? To LOVE one another? So don't you want to do more back bending right now? I though so. ♥

Maureen Hanusek is a dedicated Ashtanga Yoga practitioner and teacher. She runs the evening mysore program at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida. For more information about classes with Maureen click here.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Madonna Loves Ashtanga Yoga!

Awesome Clip from Oprah Show!

Madonna educates Oprah about Ashtanga Yoga.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is Madonna's choice for yoga asana, and it is the only physical exercise routine she does nowadays :)

If you live in Orlando, Florida you can come practice the kind of yoga Madonna loves to do at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida. The Yoga Shala is the only traditional Ashtanga Yoga school in Central Florida and we are here to help you start or deepen your yoga practice! Come join us! Click here for our current class schedule or here for how to get started as a brand new student.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Come Join us THIS EVENING for Life Bliss Meditation Workshop at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida

Life Bliss Meditation Workshop at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida (in the Orlando area)

Experience an Inner Transformation…

with Lourdes Cordero, RYT

Saturday, August 20, 2011

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

The Yoga Shala

927 N. Pennsylvania Ave.

Winter Park, FL 32789



Learn to naturally overcome the barriers of every day challenges by becoming more attuned to your body’s intelligence and being established in the immovable Bliss within… Life Bliss Meditation is a simple, natural, effortless and easily learned technique practiced for 35 minutes. This meditation helps to release stress, reduces anxiety, creates inner peace, improves your relations, and reawakens your intuition.

Please bring a pillow and/or blanket. $10 Suggested Donation (100% Proceeds will benefit the American Diabetes Association). Please Bring a Dish to Share (Optional) for Satsang (Discussion, reflection and/or just enjoying each other’s company).

Friday, August 19, 2011

Personal Goals and Your Practice

Maureen Hanusek, August 19th, 2011

I often tell the story of a friend I met while in Mysore. She had been studying there for a few months and was working on mastering headstand, which many of us know, myself included, can take a long time and be a little scary.

She also wanted to drive a scooter. Having a scooter can give you a lot of freedom, especially in India, and it seems everyone there is driving them. I also know, from experience, that driving a scooter is also scary.

So she decided to set two goals for herself. She decided that when she was able to do headstand, she would also have the confidence to drive a scooter. And that's exactly what she did. The day she got headstand in her practice, she walked right across the street from the shala and rented a scooter. She was a great driver, and often rode me on the back of it.

Creating parallels in our practice and in our lives can help continue the momentum forward. If you create a goal for yourself in your practice, what is the goal that will propel you forth in your everyday life?

As Ashtangis we don't like to brag about our practice to others. It is something we are modest about, but at the same time, it is something to celebrate when all that hard work pays off.
Maybe you wanted that new yoga outfit. So you decide to buy it for yourself when you master marichiansana B. Maybe you have been wanting a promotion at work and decide that you will be ready for it when you master bhjuapidanasa. You may not be a good cook, but will create a great meal when you finally get supta kormasana. What if you know deep down that you want to create a relationship with someone special and believe that will happen when you master back bends?

All things are possible. Our yoga practice is like a road map for our lives. When you feel a little crappy in your practice, there's probably a little crappiness going on in your life. When you feel really good in your practice, I bet you feel really good in your life. It's all connected.
So celebrate your small victories on the mat by creating bigger ones off the mat. When you do, you will always have something to look forward to.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Yoga Shala - Orlando's Ashtanga Yoga School

A very big thank you to Olivia Richardson and Byrant Hardwick for creating this video about The Yoga Shala.

The Yoga Shala is a dedicated Ashtanga Yoga Studio. We offer yoga classes in the Mysore style method, Guided Ashtanga, Beginner's Courses, and Pre-natal yoga. Owner, Krista Shirley, is authorized to teach by the Krishna Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. Our 2,100 sq ft yoga school has a men's and women's locker room, yoga boutique, and a large practice room located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida - just outside Orlando. We also offer workshops with world-renowned teachers. Check out our website to find more information.