“CHAIR, CHI, AND PRANA” – A Fusion Class: Chair Yoga and Qigong
Increase your vitality with a class that combines both Chair Yoga with Qigong. Seated and standing yoga poses gently strengthen and stretch the body, while using a chair for support. The ancient Asian practice of Tai Chi and Qigong wonderfully complement the yoga practice as you learn to experience and enhance one’s internal energy system, and work on balance. With these two practices, you will learn practical tools to stretch and tone the body, calm the nervous system, and focus the mind.
GENTLE YOGA: MEDITATION IN MOTION
Restore your inner balance in this gentle yoga class that combines toning and chanting with flowing posture, deepening the meditative aspect of the practice. This class is designed as a moving meditation that helps us slow down our thoughts and connect to our true essence; balance our chakras (the subtle energy centers so vital to overall health, well-being and spiritual development); and harmonize our body, mind, and spirit. Class concludes with a guided yoga nidra (deep relaxation technique) and savasana (relaxation pose) leaving us feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. This class is suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced practitioners.
CORE STRENGTH YOGA (HATHA I)
This lunchtime yoga class is geared towards students seeking a yoga class that is fun, relaxing and non-competitive while at the same time balancing stretching with strengthening yoga poses. Core strengthening pilates-inspired abdominal exercises – often ignored in yoga classes – are conducted with a mini-stabilization ball to prevent any neck or upper back tension. This is a safe and effective way to strengthen the core and especially the lower abdominals. Back strengthening postures are balanced with gentle spinal twists. Connecting yoga postures and movements with mindful breath awareness, allows you to flow at your own pace, so that asanas can be held without any tension. We conclude class with a short meditation and savasana (relaxation pose), to create deep states of relaxation and peacefulness.
- Would you like to explore traditional yoga poses, such as twists, backbends and forward bends, in a new format?
- Do you work long hours seated in front of a computer, and would like to learn how to stretch and tone while at your desk?
- Have you wanted to learn yoga and experience the benefits of yoga stretches and meditation but were unable to do floor yoga?
Enjoy gentle yoga stretches and strengthening exercises while seated in a chair. Standing and balancing poses are conducted with the chair as an optional support. Qigong and simple Tai Chi arms are added towards the end of class, leading us into “Yoga Nidra” – a short seated guided visualization reducing tension in the body and creating a peaceful feeling and state of mind.
“YOGA BARRE: A Fusion Class for Strength and Balance”
Improve balance, strength, and coordination in this fun new fusion class that combines Yoga, Pilates, and ballet barre. Warm up your body with Yoga stretching, strengthen your abs and back muscles with Pilates mat exercises, and learn real ballet technique for strengthening the legs and improving balance. This class will give you the strength and grace of a dancer with the Zen of a Yogi. Wear socks with traction or soft ballet slippers.
Includes Yoga: New Beginners and All Levels.
Tai Chi Easy™ and Qigong
- Experience immediate benefits of Tai Chi – a calm mind and increased energy
- Improve physical balance and coordination
- Cultivate inner peace and harmony
A simplified version of Tai Chi makes Tai Chi and Qigong accessible to everyone. The stress-free Tai Chi sequences are practiced seated, standing, and/ or walking. Both the Tai Chi and the Qigong movements increase balance and coordination skills, as well as create a peaceful state of mind in order to promote inner healing within the practitioner.
If you are curious about Tai Chi or Qigong and their healing qualities, or if you had previously tried Tai Chi and found you could not memorize the sequences, this class is for you! There is no need to memorize a complicated series of movements. In Tai Chi Easy™, the teacher guides the class by example, yet one’s individual and unique style of movement is valued rather than corrected or changed. The class emphasis is on connecting movement with breath, increasing one’s vitality, and engaging in a “moving meditation.” One learns to feel the energy (chi, prana, or life-force energy) that emanates from one’s hands and learns how to play with that energy to promote mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. For more information on this style of Tai Chi, please see www.taichieasy.org. All levels are welcome, from the experienced practitioner to beginners!
Introduce your child to the benefits of yoga in a fun, supportive and playful environment. Children’s Yoga introduces kids to a healthy lifelong activity that is noncompetitive and non-judgmental, yet physically and mentally challenging. Children’s Yoga classes and/ or privates will help develop your child’s ability to concentrate, focus and pay attention. Additionally, yoga poses adapted to the child will strengthen muscles, improve posture, teach coordination, increase flexibility, and inspire self-confidence. In addition, your child will learn the foundations of yoga and yogic themes (such as gratitude and non-violence) in a format that is geared for the younger yogi. Yoga for children teaches them life skills for dealing with stress, and other life challenges. Children’s Yoga can also be organized for a fun birthday party celebration!
AGELESS ON THE MAT – YOGA FOR MIDLIFE AND MORE…™
This lunchtime yoga class is geared towards those of us forty and over seeking a yoga class that is fun, relaxing and non-competitive while at the same time balancing stretching with strengthening yoga poses. Connecting yoga postures and movements with mindful breath awareness, allows you to flow at your own pace, so that asanas can be held without any tension. Core strengthening abdominal exercises – often ignored in yoga classes – are conducted with a mini-stabilization ball to prevent any neck or upper back tension. Back strengthening poses – also important for those of us in our “wisdom years” – are balanced with gentle spinal twists. We conclude class with a short meditation and savasana (relaxation pose), to create deep states of relaxation and peacefulness.
If you’ve been looking for a yoga class to experience the physical and mental benefits of yoga, without having to contort your body into a pretzel, then please come and join us.
HATHA I/ II
This Intermediate level yoga class consists of gentle warm-ups, sun salutations (with modifications and variations), standing, supine, and seated asanas, eye movements, yoga nidra (deep relaxation and savasana), pranayama (breathing exercises), and meditation. We open and close the class with the traditional Integral Yoga peace chants. The focus in the class is on proper alignment, as well as flowing through the movements with ease. Connecting movement with breath awareness and flow creates a moving meditation. Principles from the Yoga Sutras and other yoga philosophy texts are articulated in the class periodically, and always underlie the class foundation.
PRIVATE YOGA SESSIONS
Yoga was traditionally and historically taught on a one-to-one basis. In this one-to-one teacher-student ratio, the student will learn an individualized yoga best suited for his or her own disposition, body type, and particular strengths and weaknesses. Careful attention is placed on correct alignment, breathing exercises best suited for the student’s temperament, and accommodating the goals the student has for learning yoga (e.g., more flexibility, greater muscular strength, meditation skills, relaxation, and stress reduction, etc.). Because we as individuals are always changing and evolving, from day to day, even from moment to moment, private yoga classes are a wonderful way to become aware of one’s true self, from the physical to the mental and spiritual, and to practice yoga in a way that respects and honors that process.
THE BUSINESS OF YOGA
Melissa created this conversational workshop about the business of yoga for spiritual and holistic practitioners because although yoga is a spiritual practice, it is also in our modern, capitalistic society a booming and competitive business as well. In this workshop, we will discuss how we yoga and spiritual teachers can maintain our yogic integrity as we learn how to market ourselves and our teachings, and earn a living in this highly-competitive and often over-saturated field. There will also be practical discussion on social media tools, marketing materials, insurance and liability issues, corporate structures, starting and/or expanding your business, and pay scales. Come with your questions and your experiences, as this will be a discussion-based workshop where we can all share and learn from one another. Bring a notebook or electronic device on which to take notes, and feel free to bring samples of your marketing postcards and flyers, etc, so we can share best (and worst) practices. Often spiritual people are reticent about self-promotion and unfamiliar with standard business practices, so this workshop is designed to help guide yoga teachers and other spiritual practitioners towards more prosperity.
YOGA FOR RUNNERS WORKSHOP
- This 2-hour yoga workshop is suitable for all levels, and will include the following:
- Demonstration, discussion, and practice of various stretches to create flexibility for runners.
- A handout of the stretches practiced in the workshop including warm-ups, mid-run stretches, and a post-run cool down series.
- Practice of the restful states of Yoga Nidra and Savasana (relaxation pose).
- Question and answer period.
Serious runners and weekend joggers will learn why it is important to balance the repetitive forward and contractile movements of running with proper stretching.
BALANCING POSES WORKSHOP
Many students find balancing poses an especially challenging part of the Hatha Yoga class. In this workshop, we explore how to stay “centered and grounded” while standing on one leg. As a former professional ballet dancer and current Tai Chi Easy™ and Yoga teacher, Melissa Mati has a unique background that allows her to share with you the tools necessary for finding your balance. In this workshop, you will explore weight-shifting movements, visualizations, and leg and core strengthening exercises to enhance your Hatha Yoga balancing poses.
SUN SALUTATION WORKSHOP – Take It Apart And Put It Together
This is a great workshop for students who have struggled with certain aspects or the entire sequence of the sun salutation. Melissa “Mati” will isolate and analyze each position in the basic sun salutation flow with enough time for you to ask questions and to learn experientially which modifications or versions work the best for you. You’ll also learn other Yoga poses that build strength and flexibility to prepare for the sun salutation. Then the entire sequence will be linked together with enough time to practice what has been discussed. You will find the sun salutation more easeful, yet still invigorating. This workshop involves discussion and practice, so please feel free to bring a notebook.
YOGA FOR GOLFERS WORKSHOP
Whether you are a serious golfer or a weekend warrior, it is important to balance the repetitive and one-sided movements of golfing with proper stretching. Learn stretches geared for golfers in this practical format that will allow you to immediately use those stretches before, during and after your next 18 holes! This 2-hour yoga workshop is suitable for all levels, including new beginners.
A series of floor-based exercises designed by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900’s and used for years by dancers such as George Balanchine and Martha Graham, as well as by their company dancers. It has now moved into the mainstream, so that non-dancers are also benefiting from the abdominal work, stretching, and toning exercises. Pilates Mat improves postural problems, increases core abdominal strength and stability, increases flexibility, and balances strength with flexibility.
ADULT BEGINNER BALLET BARRE
Strengthen the muscles in your legs, ankles, and feet, by learning simple ballet steps and stretches using the barre as support. Gain the elegant, uplifted posture of a dancer by working on your upper body carriage as well. In addition, your balance and coordination will improve, as ballet exercises emphasize the shifting of weight from one leg to another. Increase your flexibility and mobility during this wonderful complement to yoga, weight lifting, and all other types of exercise and movement modalities.
ADULT BALLET CLASSES AT ALVIN AILEY EXTENSION – SUBBING FOR FINIS JHUNG:
Beginner Ballet Level 1: This class is open to all, whether you have ballet experience and want to review the basics or you are a brand-new beginner. Non-dancers will not be intimidated as the instructions are clear and the class moves at a slow pace . You will begin standing at a portable barre placed in front of the mirror. Most exercises are done with both hands on the barre and proceed slowly and methodically, and the second time you will practice away from the barre so you develop balance and strength. In Ballet Level 1, students learn the basics of correct dance posture, positioning, and balancing on one leg. Your muscles will develop properly so you gain strength and control of your movements. The centerwork includes stretching on the floor, as well as basic dance movements which travel across the floor. Ballet helps with increasing coordination, balance and memory, and movements are coordinated with beautiful classical music.
Beginner Ballet Level 2: After you have learned the fundamentals taught in Level 1, you will be ready to take Ballet Level 2. The class has a shorter and faster barre, and assumes you know the ballet basics. You will learn to work on the diagonal with only one hand on the barre, and exercises are also repeated without holding on, so we develop more strength. Great emphasis is placed on strengthening the supporting side of your body and your standing leg. The centerwork includes adagio, turns, linking steps, large and small jumps. Movements are coordinated with beautiful classical music.
Reiki (pronounced ray-key) is the Japanese word for “universal life force energy.” Reiki energy sessions will help calm the nervous system, relax the body and mind, balance the emotions, and accelerate the healing process (physically, mentally, and spiritually). Many nurses and hospitals have recently been offering Reiki to their patients to help with anxiety and to promote faster healing. In the March ’05 edition of “Prevention Magazine,” Andrew Weil, MD cites a study in which Reiki lessoned fatigue, and calmed patients by lowering their blood pressure and heart rates. During a Reiki session, the practitioner employs a light, gentle touch or places her hands slightly above the client’s body so that this energy can be received by the client. The technique is non-invasive and the client wears comfortable clothing throughout. Soothing music, organic therapeutic-grade essential oils, and beautiful crystals may be employed for deeper relaxation and movement of energy.
MEDITATION AND RELAXATION TECHNIQUES:
Simple yet effective meditation techniques are presented to help students learn how to focus the mind, relax the body, and bring peace and calm to the spirit. Some meditation techniques taught are: mindfulness, breath observation, the use of mantra or silent word repetition, and observation of external stimuli. Other relaxation techniques offered are yoga nidra (deep relaxation in savasana: corpse pose), guided meditations and visualizations, and gentle yoga stretches done in a chair, which could easily be incorporated at the workplace or office desk.
LESS STRESS – MORE PEACE
A STRESS REDUCTION WORKSHOP
Geared towards providing practical tools for alleviating stress, this wellness seminar is a combination of lecture and experiential practices. Simple and practical techniques are presented to help participants learn how to focus the mind, relax the body, and bring peace and calm to the spirit. Examples of some techniques taught are chair yoga; seated, standing and walking tai chi and qigong; use of essential oils; guided meditations; and guided visualizations. In these hectic and busy modern times, we often feel overwhelmed with responsibilities and competing demands for our time and attention. There may also be fears and anxieties about global issues, in addition to our own personal issues. This workshop offers an antidote to the stressors of modern life, especially for those of us living in NYC.
Included in the workshop is a handout discussing the effects of stress, and recommendations for alleviating stress.