Thai Massage Workshop with Phoebe Diftler

This is a two-hour Guided Thai Massage Experience. Phoebe will guide you through giving and receiving a Thai Massage Therapy session. Sunday, January 31, 1-3PM.

Starting at the feet and working up to the head, the technique combines Trigger Point Treatments, Deep Pressure, Massage, Yoga Poses, and Energy Work, as well as other techniques. Wear loose fitting clothes, come with a partner, or meet one at the workshop!

Connect with Patty, 951- 6024 or to sign up for this wonderful workshop!

$30 per person.

Beginner Flow with Cristina McClure

Beginner Flow with Cristina McClure, RYT   |  Monday, 5:30PM

Cristina McClureCristina has been on the path of practicing yoga since 2003. She has been called to help others in discovering the many health benefits as well as the peace of mind that yoga inspires. The Yoga Asanas are the tools that she uses on her journey of self-discovery and she is honored to have the chance to share this journey with others. Cristina desires to offer guidance and support along the Path to anyone that earnestly seeks a healthy, more holistic life. The practice of yoga is more than just exercise, it is strongly encouraged that all serious yoga practitioners explore all eight limbs of yoga and discover for themselves the peaceful nature of reality.

The Asanas are where we start to cultivate strength in the body and calm the mind. Sharing her knowledge with others is Cristina’s good fortune. “I enjoy helping people, it starts with taking care of our bodies, when our bodies are clean and healthy we are able to think with more clarity and begin to live life from a more divine and spiritual place. I believe that I am a servant of the community and I attempt to make the world a better place, one person, and one breathe at a time.

Cristina is also a licensed hairstylist and has a hair studio in the Rocky Hill area of West Knoxville named Yellow Sky Salon where she also offers expertise and sales of DoTerra essential oils. 

Cristina teaches many forms of yoga including: Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Power, Restorative and Yin.

You can reach Cristina at

Fall Workshop: Yoga, QiGong, Dance and Acumovement

Flowing Fusion —Yoga, Qi Gong, Dance and AcuMovement 

Sunday, October 25 –1:30 – 3:30PM

Exploring the Bighearted Energy Life Has to Offer…
Come Heal and Enjoy!

Join us at Breezeway Yoga Studio for an educative and fresh flow of HeartYoga with Mebbie fused with Qi Gong, and Curative Reflexology and Dance with Beverly (Belle) Kent.
We’ll synthesize our time together in Deep Relaxation and Meditation to carry us through the Fall.
Belle will teach some of her techniques on and off an Acupressure Mat and Pillow called a Bed of Nails…which might sound intimidating but believe us – it’ll be good for whatever ails you… (Please look up for an introduction and practicing on the mats is optional)

Connect with Mebbie Jackson to sign up: or call 8 6 5 – 6 7 9 – 9 6 4 2.


Breezeway Yoga in Cityview Magazine

InsideCityViewBreezeway Yoga and Balanced You Studios were recently reviewed in Knoxville’s Cityview magazine. We were thrilled to see instructor Jill Bartine on the cover as she is such an amazing spokeswoman for our studios and for yoga. The article offers a broad view of the Knoxville yoga scene and the various great yoga studios within our community. Click the page at left to read the article.


Join us at Yoga Fest at Circle Park!

YogaFestImageJoin Patty and other Breezeway Studio instructors as they lead classes at UTK’s Yoga Fest on Thursday, September 24th at Circle Park.

The Center for Health Education and Wellness will be partnering with various campus and community constituents to host the second ever University of Tennessee Yoga Fest. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to join us for an afternoon of relaxing yoga practice and meditation at Circle Park on September 24th. There will be raffle prizes, professional instruction, and healthy snacks available to participants that partake in the event. Please direct questions to:

Be one of the first 100 people to RSVP by showing your support for Yoga Fest 2015, and get a free t-shirt. Request your t-shirt here:


Mark your calendar for Patty’s next restorative yoga session

restorative pose with blanketsFriday, October 16th | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Relax. Renew. Restore. The next Restorative Yoga Session with Patty Dougherty is scheduled for Friday, October 16th, 7:00 – 9:00 PM. Restorative yoga is a series of supported poses with gentle stretches and simple inversions.

Spaces go quickly for this class so connect with Patty soon to reserve a space – 951-6024 or email

Flow Motion

BY JASON CRANDELL  | originally posted here in Yoga Journal


upwardDOGIf you’ve ever taken a flow class, you’ve no doubt heard the teacher call out “Chaturanga, Upward-Facing Dog, Downward-Facing Dog”—over and over again. Known as a vinyasa, this sequence is often inserted between poses, making them the most repeated poses in a flow-based class. When done correctly, they build suppleness, strength, and endurance. They also require the spine to extend, as you arch into Upward Dog, and then lengthen as you move into Downward Dog—ultimately bringing it into a neutral position. These poses cleanse the palate of the body so it’s ready for the next pose.

Chaturanga and Upward Dog are difficult and demanding for any practitioner, and repeatedly slogging through them can feel like an uphill battle. Ever feel your neck tense and your shoulders hunch as you take a nose-dive into Chaturanga, ultimately collapsing into a heap on the floor? Or press into Upward Dog and feel a sudden twinge in your lower back, causing you to rush back to Downward Dog to find some ease? These common—and natural—mistakes can be avoided if you learn proper alignment and build strength to sustain it through the entire flow. In the long run, mindlessly racing through these poses can lead to injuries—typically to the delicate shoulder joints and the lower back.

Learning these poses in detail can be challenging, particularly in a flow class where the rhythm often takes precedence over the subtle nuances of the postures. So as you watch your fellow students move through Chaturanga and into Upward Dog, you might feel pressured to fake the poses and keep up with the class, rather than stand out as the solitary neophyte. But I urge you to resist this temptation.

Instead, I beg you (as I do my own students) to learn them slowly and to modify them. Rather than fake their motions and bypass their difficult aspects, develop these postures with finesse and mindfulness. In fact, if you allow yourself to be new—and a little lost—rather than bluffing the motions, your learning curve will be steeper. As you learn this modified version of Chaturanga and spend time hovering just above the floor allowing your arms to quiver, you’ll build strength. And as you extend your stay in Upward Dog, you’ll create the opening in your chest and upper back necessary to master more complex backbends. Give yourself time to pause, rewind, and replay the poses and one day, without gritting your teeth or holding your breath, you too will lower with control into Chaturanga and float effortlessly into Upward Dog.

Chart Your Chaturanga

Come onto all fours with your palms directly underneath your shoulders and your knees several inches behind your hips. Rest your shins and the tops of your feet on your mat. Spread your fingers wide and press the base of each one into the floor in order to distribute the weight of your upper body.

Next, bring your awareness to your belly and pelvis. Tuck your tailbone slightly and gently firm your lower belly (just below your navel). These two actions are vital in both Chaturanga and Upward Dog because they elongate and support your lower back.
Now, slide your shoulders away from your ears and squeeze the bottom tips of your shoulder blades together. Feel how this awakens your upper back as it broadens your chest. Gaze forward as you relax your jaw, soften your brow, and even out the texture of your breath.

With your knees on the floor, move your chest forward and down as you slowly bend your elbows and squeeze your upper arms into the sides of your body. Moving your chest forward and down—as opposed to only down—will keep your elbows aligned over your wrists and maintain the natural supportive architecture of your shoulders and arms. As you descend, keep your hips in line with your shoulders and chest.

Continue to move your chest forward and down until your upper arms are parallel to the floor—but not any lower (your elbows should form about a 90-degree angle). Remain here for two full breaths, staying with the intensity of Chaturanga instead of rushing through it. Breathe evenly and soften your facial muscles while you navigate the difficulty of this moment. If it’s too hard, back off and maintain your body’s integrity rather than overworking the pose, which leads to collapse or strain. If you’re unable to keep your upper arms parallel to the floor, back out of the pose by lifting higher up instead of crashing to the floor.

After a couple of breaths in modified Chaturanga, lower all the way to the floor. Then press back into Balasana (Child’s Pose) for a moment of rest.

Onward to Upward Dog

When practicing backbends it’s not the depth of your backbend that matters. It’s more important to distribute the curve evenly along the full length of the spine. This is difficult to do in Upward Dog because you’re supporting the weight of your entire torso with your arms and legs. But don’t be discouraged—Upward Dog strengthens your shoulders, arms, and abdomen, even if it’s not your deepest backbend.

Before tackling Upward Dog, consider this anatomical information. Your pelvic bone is one of the heaviest bones in your body—and it’s more or less your center of gravity. This means that without proper support, it tends to sink toward the floor. While it’s common to work hard in your upper body in order to stay lifted, the key to supporting your weight in Upward Dog is to use your belly and legs to hold the pelvis stable. This makes the posture easier and more sustainable.

From Child’s Pose, come back onto your hands and knees. Move through modified Chaturanga, hovering two inches above the floor. Then transition into Upward Dog by straightening your arms and stacking your shoulders directly over your wrists. Your shoulders may end up in front of your wrists, which leads to strain. So look down at your hands to gauge where your shoulders are and adjust accordingly by moving yourself forward or back.

Now that your arms and shoulders are properly aligned, you can focus on your legs. To counteract lower back compression in Upward Dog, keep the sacrum broad and long. To keep it broad, rotate your legs internally by spinning the outsides of your thighs toward the floor and pressing the pinky toes into the mat. To keep it long, draw your tailbone toward your heels—as you did in Chaturanga—and draw your lower belly up into your body. After these refinements, straighten your legs vigorously, lifting your shins and knees off the floor. As you do this, don’t squeeze your buttocks. It may be difficult to keep the buttocks soft and the legs firm, but squeezing the buttocks will jam the lower back.

At this point, the only things touching the floor are the tops of your feet and the palms of your hands. To complete Upward Dog, make a few last adjustments in your upper body: First, observe how your weight is distributed on your hands and wrists. Is it concentrated on your wrists? Localized on one side of your palm? Or is it dispersed evenly? Make subtle shifts in your hands and arms until the weight is evenly distributed and no part of your wrists are being stressed. (You can check this by looking at your mat—if you see an even handprint, you know you’ve got it.)

Stay in the pose as you lift, broaden, and draw your chest forward. Lift your collarbones as if they were going to loop over the top of your shoulders, and slide your shoulder blades down your back. As you did in Chaturanga, draw the lower tips of your shoulder blades toward each other and firm them into the back of your chest. Bring your shoulders down and back and observe how this helps lift your chest even more. Lastly, with your head placed directly over your shoulders, gaze forward and up. Avoid dropping the back of your skull toward your shoulders. Instead, maintain an easy, natural curvature of your neck as you look up.

After three to six breaths in Upward-Facing Dog, bring your knees to the floor and transition into Child’s Pose.

All Together Now

Now that you’ve practiced Chaturanga and Upward-Facing Dog separately, you can link them together and incorporate your breath into a flowing sequence.

Begin on all fours with your wrists directly under your shoulders and your knees about a foot behind your hips. Draw a full, smooth inhalation into your body. As you exhale, bend your elbows and lower your chest downward (and forward) until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Inhale and straighten your elbows until your shoulders are directly over your wrists. Continue inhaling, filling your lungs to the brim, and lift the top of your thighs and knees away from the floor. Exhale and shift back onto all fours, or, as you do in Sun Salutations, come into Downward-Facing Dog.

Practice these poses consistently and they’ll feel less clunky and more silken. When this happens and the postures feel natural and graceful, congratulate yourself (humbly) and begin to lift and straighten your legs as you practice Chaturanga. Most important, enjoy the feeling of flow in your body at every stage.

WORKSHOP: Thai Massage with Phoebe Diftler

Sunday, Aug 30 | 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

phoebe diftler thai-1This is a two-hour Guided Thai Massage Experience. Phoebe will guide you thru giving and receiving a Thai Massage Therapy session. 

Starting at the feet and working up to the head, the technique combines Trigger Point Treatments, Deep Pressure, Massage, Yoga Poses, and Energy Work, as well as other techniques. 

The benefits include; increased flexibility, relaxation, stress-release, circulation, and sense of well-being and comfort in the body, as well as release of negative physical and emotional patterns and traumas. 

Wear loose fitting clothes, come with a partner, or meet one at the workshop!

$30 per person.

Connect with Patty, 9 5  1- 6 0 2 4 or to sign up for this wonderful workshop!


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  |

Class cost: $35.

Class space is limited and prepayment is required to reserve a spot.
To register, please contact Rachel (
or Patty ( 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