WORKSHOP: Herbal Medicine Demystified with Rachel Milford

Sunday, March 15th, 1 – 3PM

An introduction to herbal medicines and how to use them

Herbs and spicesJoin Knoxville herbalist Rachel Milford for an introduction to the world of herbal medicine. We’ll talk about when and how to use herbs, the different forms in which you can take them (teas, tinctures, etc), safe and effective dosage, and more.

We’ll also discuss different approaches to working with herbs and focus on 2-3 tonic herbs to start using every day.  Class will include a plant meditation, as well as tea tasting.  Everyone will get to bring home their own nourishing tea blend. Bring your own mug!

Rachel Milford

Wellness Ally | Herbal Medicine & Whole Foods

www.reclaimingyourroots.com  |  reclaimingyourroots@gmail.com

Class cost: $35.

Class space is limited and prepayment is required to reserve a spot.
To register, please contact Rachel (
reclaimingyourroots@gmail.com)
or Patty (pattyyogamail@gmail.com) to sign up.

Sign me up for the Workshop

Banishing Burnout Stress

by JENNIFER PIRTLE, originally published here in Yoga Journal

For eight years, Karl LaRowe worked in the emergency room at an inner-city hospital in Portland, Oregon. As a crisis intervention counselor, he helped hundreds of people each month cope with everything from domestic violence and depression to psychosis and suicide attempts. Eventually, the constant adrenaline rushes and biweekly 48-hour shifts took their toll. “I wasn’t sleeping well,” says LaRowe. “Thoughts about the patients would come crashing into my mind, and I became acutely aware of noises.” He began to drink heavily and to use drugs, and spiraled into a deep depression.

stress imageWhen antidepressants and talk therapy didn’t help, LaRowe felt he had no choice but to quit his job. After drifting for a while, he remarried and moved to Singapore, where he met a master of qi gong, a Chinese system of exercise and breathing performed in a meditative state. It was this ancient technique, which he now practices for 15 to 20 minutes every day, that LaRowe says gave him back his life. “I got lots of ideas in therapy,” he says. “But nothing was happening. Qi gong was my first experience of really feeling the frozen energy in my body release.” Eventually, LaRowe returned to the health field; he now works two to four
days a week assessing mental health clients in the court system. “Though my schedule is very busy, the difference is that today when my day is done, it’s done,” he says. “I no longer take my patients home with me.” He also leads regular workshops on body awareness, breathing, and compassion fatigue—things he wishes he’d learned about years earlier—for social workers, psychologists, and other professional caregivers.

As LaRowe learned, making your work less stressful doesn’t have to mean leaving it behind for good. (And how many of us can hope to do that, anyway?) Instead, the key is to transform your relationship to the stress so that it no longer overwhelms you. More and more people are discovering that mind-body practices like yoga, qi gong, and meditation can be hugely helpful in shifting the way they react to stress.

The need for anti-stress practices has become increasingly urgent. Americans work nine full weeks more per year than our peers in Western Europe. And even if we get time off, we don’t always use it: At least 30 percent of employed adults don’t take all their vacation days, according to a 2005 Harris Interactive poll. Each year, Americans hand back 421 million days to their employers. Constant emails and ever-increasing workloads have too many of us working through lunch and staying late, yet still feeling as though we can never catch up. The upshot, say experts, is that we’re overscheduled, overworked, and just plain overwhelmed.

“Burnout is the biggest occupational hazard of the 21st century,” says Christina Maslach, Ph.D., coauthor of Banishing Burnout: Six Strategies for Improving Your Relationship with Work. “Today’s work environment has lost its human dimension. Global economic pressures, along with technological advances such as pagers and email, have altered the landscape irrevocably. Given these new challenges, it’s no wonder that our relationship with our work is under constant strain.”

The always-on approach brings with it enormous moment-by-moment mental and physical costs. Unyielding stress floods your body with a cascade of hormones: Adrenaline pumps up blood pressure and makes your heart beat faster; cortisol raises your blood sugar level, and, if it remains chronically elevated, can erode your immune system. Not only does such chronic stress make you more susceptible to ailments such as migraine headaches and irritable bowel syndrome, but research increasingly shows it can raise your risk for more serious conditions, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and depression.

A team of researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) found that stress may even accelerate aging at the cellular level. The study found that the blood cells of women who had spent many years caring for a child with a health condition appeared to be, genetically, about 10 years older than the cells of women whose caretaking responsibilities were less prolonged.

Although the study focused on caregivers, the findings apply to overworked employees, too. “People with other sources of life stress showed similar relationships between their levels of stress and cell aging,” says Elissa Epel, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF and the study’s lead author.

Stress itself, Epel emphasizes, is neither inherently good nor bad. Instead, how you perceive and react to it determines how it will affect your health. “In the study,” she explains, “the perception of stress was more important than whether one was under the strain of caregiving or not.”

Read more here on Yoga Journal

WORKSHOP: Partner Yoga for Couples

Partner Yoga for Couples with Athena Engelman, E-RYT500, Saturday Feb. 14th, 2015

A few pictures of the couples class from Valentine’s Day. What a great class! Look for announcements for our next couples class this summer.

IMG_1556 IMG_1559 IMG_1560 IMG_1562 IMG_1555 IMG_1568 IMG_1570 IMG_1564 IMG_1567 IMG_1569 IMG_1554 IMG_1561

WORKSHOP: Yoga for Winter Blues

Yoga for Winter Blues Workshop taught by Dr. Irina Diyankova 

depression

This workshop is for anyone who tends to get down during winter.

Whether you experience just a little bit of sadness or fatigue at times or a full blown clinical depression, you can benefit from the practices taught in this session. We will cover a wide range of yogic pauses, breathing practices, and meditations that specifically target mood improvement/stabilization and energy levels.

You will receive handouts for home practice with different exercises that can be performed no matter how low energy or down you are. No previous experience with yoga is necessary.

When: January 24, Saturday  2:00 – 4:30 pm

Fee: $40; discounts for advanced registration and for therapist’s referrals

Irina

Dr. Irina Diyankova

 

For more info or sign up, visit dr-irina.com and click on the “Yoga for the Winter Blues Workshop”

 

WORKSHOP: From Stress to Balance: A New Year of Self-Care

Start the new year off with an afternoon of delicious nourishment and self-care!

herbal-remediesJoin Knoxville herbalist Rachel Milford to explore stress as a root cause of illness and learn how it effects our immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. We’ll learn what medicinal herbs and foods we can use daily to decrease stress, increase strength and vitality,and bring balance back to our bodies. As part of this nourishing day, everyone will also get to make and take home their own 8 oz medicinal herbal tincture. Class will also include nourishing teas and homemade treats. Come relax and indulge yourself in an afternoon of self-care.

January 25th, 1-3PM

Class cost: $40 (includes 8oz tincture, teas, treats, and handout)

Prepayment is required to reserve a class spot.
To register, please contact Rachel (reclaimingyourroots@gmail.com)
or Patty (pattyyogamail@gmail.com) to sign up.


Presented by Rachel Milford
Wellness Ally | Herbal Medicine & Whole Foods

www.reclaimingyourroots.com  |  reclaimingyourroots@gmail.com

Restorative Workshop with Athena Engelman

Athen Engelman, ERYT-500

December 6th, 3:00-6:00PM

This special restorative workshop will be led by Patty Dougherty’s teacher, Athena Engelman, a world-class instructor and facilitator.

This workshop is for the student who is looking for a deeper understanding of their restorative practice. You’ll learn how to bring the restorative poses explored in class into your home practice.

Restorative poses are beneficial for:
•    Hypertension
•    Depression
•    Stress levels and an overall improvement in wellbeing
•    Improves sleep quality
•    Metabolic processes

 $50 for early bird signups, $60 after December 1st.

To reserve a space, contact Patty Dougherty  /  865  951  6024 (text or call) Email: pattyyogamail@gmail.com

 

Om Alone

BY MARK EPSTEIN

Originally posted here in Yoga Journal

Quiet PeopleThe yoga class was just beginning, and I had not been coming for very long. I was pretty much in my own world and concerned with getting myself set up properly. The class was a little late getting started, and we were all lined up expectantly on blue sticky mats, like overgrown preschoolers ready for nap time. Ready with blocks, blankets, and belts, we waited for the teacher to gather himself into his leading role.

I was fond of this before-the-beginning beginning; it was a between-state, a bardo, a passageway from one world to the next. Dressed in our yoga clothes, we could be anybody, or nobody, but we were unmistakably ourselves. I could not even see very well, having left my glasses and keys askew in my shoes at the back of the Manhattan studio. The feeling in the room was anxious but cautiously optimistic, as it is in the therapy office when a new but eager patient has just come in, before she has told me much of her story. I like this period because of how unstructured but brief it is; it never goes on long enough for me to start getting anxious but gives me a needed respite from the rest of my structured day. As when flying between cities in an airplane, I am suspended for a time. The remnants of my outside life can settle down before the tasks of this inside practice take over.

I do not intend this to be mean, but I was taken aback by what happened next. (The unconscious knows no negatives, I was taught when studying Freud. If someone tells me they don’t mean to offend me, I know they probably do.) Nothing out of the ordinary really happened. The new yoga teacher sat down in the front of the class and took a deep breath. He told us to sit up straight and close our eyes. He sang a mantra and asked us to chant it back to him. It was not an unfamiliar mantra, but something in his tone disturbed my reverie. What was it? I wondered. He was only chanting Om, for goodness sake. But something else was coming through the sound, an insistent quality, not quite a demand but an expectation.

I felt a wall going up around me and noticed that he got a tepid response from the class. “It’s not just me,” I consoled myself; other people had also contracted. He continued, bravely, but his song had more of that unrelenting tone. He wanted something from us, all right. It was there in his voice. I was reminded of visiting a friend in Minneapolis and walking around one of the lakes with her one summer afternoon. Everyone we passed was so resolutely cheerful, I had trouble believing they were real. Their greetings seemed to carry an implicit demand that I be cheerful in return. Our yoga teacher had a similar agenda for us, and the class did not appreciate it.

The teacher only repeated the mantra three times; the whole thing was not a big deal. It would have been nice if we had come around and started to sing and turned it into something positive, a big exhalation, but we did not do so. A few people ventured a response. I did not give much of one. I thought back to another teacher’s chanting, though. Her class was the first I ever attended and her singing, too, caught me off-guard; it had never occurred to me that there would be chanting during a lunch-time yoga class.

Read more here on Yoga Journal….

Let’s Be Honest

by Sally Kempton, originally published here in Yoga Journal

BeingHonestThere’s an old joke about two American Mafia enforcers who are on a mission to recover money from a Russian drug dealer. The Russian speaks no English, so the Americans take along a Russian-speaking accountant to translate. One of the enforcers holds a gun to the Russian drug dealer’s head and demands to know where he’s stashed the money. “Under my wife’s mattress,” says the dealer. “What did he say?” asks the gunman. The accountant replies: “He said he’s not afraid to die.”

On a 1 to 10 scale, with polite lies (“No, that dress doesn’t make you look fat”) at the low end, and outrageous, destructive lies like the Russian accountant’s at the high end, your worst falsehoods would probably rate no more than a 3 or 4. Yet those lies are probably lodged in your psyche, still giving off smoke. You can justify them, but some part of you feels the effect of every lie you’ve told. How? In the cynicism, distrust, and doubt that you feel toward yourself, and in your own tendencies to suspect other people of either lying or concealing the truth from you.

Realizing the effect that lying has on your soul is just one reason that, at some point in your spiritual life, you will feel the need to engage in the yogic practice of truthfulness. As with all the great yogic practices, doing so isn’t as easy as it might seem.

Twenty-five years ago, inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography, My Experiments with Truth, I decided to practice absolute truthfulness for one week. I lasted two days. On the third day, a man I was trying to impress asked me if I’d read the sage Vyasa’s Brahma Sutra, and I heard myself answering, “Yes.” (Not only had I not cracked that difficult text of Vedantic philosophy—I’d never actually laid eyes on it.)

A few minutes later, I forced myself to confess the lie, which wasn’t so hard. In general during my experiment, it turned out to be fairly easy not to fudge the external facts of a situation. But practicing factual truthfulness made me even more aware of the web of unspoken falsehoods I lived with. Falsehoods such as the pretense of liking a person I really found irritating. Or the mask of detachment with which I covered my intense desire to be chosen for a certain job. It was an informative week, and it led me to one of the more searing self-inquiry practices of my life. I was forced to confront the multiple masks that disguise dishonesty. I was shown why honesty is so much more complicated than it first appears.

Tell It Like It Is

The conversation about the meaning of truthfulness has been going on for a long time. I see three sides to it. On one hand, there’s the absolutist position taken by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra: Truth, or satya, is an unconditional value, and a yogi shouldn’t lie. Ever. The opposite position—familiar to anyone who pays attention to the behavior of the government, corporations, and many religious institutions—is what used to be called “utilitarian.” This is the materialist position supported by Western philosophers such as John Stuart Mill and by texts like the Arthashastra, the Indian book of statecraft, which we might call the precursor to Machiavelli’s writings. The basic utilitarian posture goes something like “Always tell the truth except when a lie is to your advantage.”

The third position strives for a kind of ultimate balance and demands a high degree of discernment. It recognizes the high value of truth but points out that truth telling can sometimes have harmful consequences, and so needs to be balanced with other ethical values such as nonviolence (ahimsa), peace, and justice.

Read more here in Yoga Journal

Create a Life You Love!

Reconnect with the source of your happiness.

By Nora Isaacs (originally posted here in Yoga Journal)

yoga_meditation cropThere are times when you know just what to do, and life seems to rise up and support you and your ideas. And then there are times when it is all a little murky, and you might feel a bit lost. Thankfully, you have your yoga practice to come to—a time to tap into a deep connection with yourself and remember who you really are and what is most important to you. Nothing could be better.

When you bring the spacious awareness you experience in your yoga practice to your whole life, you’ll experience the kind of presence that will make you stop in your tracks, engage your senses, and find joy in daily life. But for most of us, accomplishing that is easier said than done. Often it requires a conscious effort to examine the status quo, push in new directions, and find fresh approaches to evoking that same sense of grounding, connection, and happiness we find on the mat.

Here, then, are 10 possibilities to help you get there. Put these ideas into practice one at a time, or try several at once. You might want to welcome one of them into your life as an offering to the New Year. Whatever approach you choose, here’s to feeling more alive, more present, and more aware of what makes you happy.

1. Get Energized About Your Future

Your yoga practice helps you live in the present, but life in the world demands a certain amount of decision making and planning. What’s your vision of where you want to go and how you’ll get there? When you take a proactive approach, your dreams are more likely to become reality. Knowing what you want is, of course, the first step.

If you need help discovering your life’s path, start by talking it out, says Nancy Wagaman, a life coach in San Diego. You can develop a goal list and create affirmations, she says. You can draw a picture of your future—even pray for guidance. “There are so many ways to energize the new vision you want for your life. The more you energize it, the more you draw that energy to that vision. And the universe tends to support you,” she says.

Of course, your vision may change over time, but the important thing is that you’re an active participant in your future.

2. Plug Into Your Spiritual Self

Reconnecting with your innermost self can open the doors to an entirely new and unpredictable path. At 33 years old, Susan Nicolas was a yoga teacher living in San Francisco and dating. But her singular focus on meeting a husband and starting a family was causing her heartache. On the advice of friends, she signed up for a vipassana retreat. During 10 days of silence and insight meditation, she came face-to-face with her attachment to getting married and to the unfinished dynamics of past relationships. “Through a lot of struggle and occasional glimpses of true stillness, it seemed the obstacles in my life dissolved,” she says. “I felt more in touch with my true self than I ever had.”

Getting away from routine relationships and environments makes it easier to drop into stillness and examine the undercurrent of your life. Once you do, you can plug into a connection with your divine nature. On retreat, you can also practice accessing your true self so that you can call on it anytime in your life.

A month after her retreat, Nicolas unexpectedly reconnected with an old sweetheart who is now her husband of eight years. “The experience during those sometimes difficult 10 days was like removing a stopper in the mouth of my life,” she says. “Everything simply flowed forth as it should.”

How to: Check with a favorite teacher or retreat center for upcoming dates. Even a weekend away that includes meditation, yoga, rest, and silence can be enlightening if you set an intention to retreat.

Continue reading here on Yoga Journal


 

Front EntranceThe planters are planted, the draperies are hung, the flowers are blowing lightly in the breezeway. Isn’t our entrance inviting?

 

We’re ready for your visit!