scenes from sangha

“while our society’s goal is betterment of the self,
it is not a narcissistic self toward which we aspire,
but a connected self,
rooted in a loving transformative community.

it is because of our participation in the WE
that we learn to be an
I.

“in our communities, we not only learn how to love and grow,
we learn how to forgive, negotiate, compromise, yield, or stand our ground.
imperfect communities teach us
how to love and care for others, how to listen,
and how to share our deepest thoughts and feelings.

They teach us consideration for others,
the limitations of the self,
and again, even most importantly,
how to be an I in the midst of a WE,
how to maintain a healthy individuality
when the pressure to conform to a majority is strong.”
~ Philip Gulley

_____

June 26 | Special Event Series
Walking The Labyrinth + Gentle Yoga

celebrating our community —
with new friends and old

tending to body, heart and mind
with movement, mindfulness + meditation

feasting on soul-nourishing food + fellowship!

_____

July 10 | Walking The Labyrinth

Heavy hearts make leaden feet, I remarked after practice.
We were a small group that Sunday morning, and could
have easily completed the meditation within thirty minutes.
But we spiraled slowly inward, then out —
walking with the weight of personal sorrows
compounded by those of the community and country
raw from the heinous brutalities
we witnessed in the days before we met.
An hour later, we emerged from our silent pilgrimage
still tender but together.

special event series {6/26}: gentle yoga at the labyrinth

Inspired by Sangha’s spring series on Body As Nature, my dear friend Ann Lapo and I are delighted to combine our shared interests by offering three extended practices of movement + meditation at the Labyrinth.

JUNE 26  |  JULY 24  |  AUGUST 7 | SEPTEMBER 11

10 – 10:45  am ~ Gentle Yoga
11 – 12 pm ~ Walking The Labyrinth
12 – 1 pm ~ Cushion-To-Community Park Clean-Up
Food + Fellowship

MOORES PARK IN SOUTH LANSING
*weather permitting*

{Updated 10 August 2016}


ABOUT ANN

Ann is passionate about the practiceannlapo.bio2 of Yoga in all its manifestations in our daily lives. Whether through a formal posture sequence to gain awareness of the body and breath, meditation, a walk in nature, the notes in a song, a commitment to ourselves or making a deeper connection to others in work or play, Ann welcomes it all into her teachings. 
She is proud to have been an educator for over 25 years, loves playing guitar and singing with best friend/life partner, Jeff, loves the land, and cherishes this beautiful life with loved ones near and far. 
Learn more at Yoga with Ann.

special event {6/18}: 18th annual allied media conference

amc16

On June 18th, I’ll lead a healing session at the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. This opportunity has given me pause to pick up an old thread + follow it back to the faded memory of my former life as a graduate student at NYU, where I studied media through a sociological lens — examining race, gender, culture, representation + impact — and earned my M.A. from the Tisch School of Arts/GSAS.

Now, I have the deep honor of helping to cultivate a healing justice practice space for artists, educators, activists, and radical media-makers + offer them an immersion in mindfulness to foster compassion, skillful understanding + authentic connection.

Learn more about the AMC Conference: http://www.alliedmedia.org/amc

mi ice pops yoga kick-off event

We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to kick off this new community yoga series at Hunter Park, which drew families, friends, first-timers, and experienced students!

Organized by artisanal ice pop-maker and long-time yoga practitioner Danielle Welke of MI Pops with support from Joan Nelson, director of Allen Neighborhood Center, MI ICE Pops Yoga will be offered once a month through September.

My friend and fellow teacher Lacey Ingrao and I will alternate as Lead and Supporting Teachers:

June 16 – Lead: Tara
July 21 – Lead: Lacey
August 11 – Lead: Tara
September 29 – Lead: Lacey

 6 – 7 PM | Hunter Park*
*(unless otherwise noted)

 

 

teaching empowered with mindfulness

a couple years ago, i volunteered to teach yoga and mindfulness to elementary schools in my district. when the coordinator shared the announcement that i (and a fellow yoga teacher friend) would be offering 30-minute sessions for 4 weeks, she was met with overwhelming requests from teachers who were eager to introduce these calming, focusing practices into their classrooms. that spring, i was able to teach about 45-50 kids in 3 classrooms at 2 different schools.

since then my focus of my programming has been rooted deeply in the call for spiritual self-care that fosters compassion, skillful understanding, authentic connection and healing justice. and, as such, focused on serving adult practitioners.

but i was happy to accept the invitation from Lansing Schools Education Association to participate in its Teaching Empowered Rally on Saturday, May 7, where i offered two mini-movement demos.

i had oodles of fun co-creating adventures–stretching our imaginations into silly stories and bodies into silly shapes–and teaching my new little friends to wake up the bell and to listen closely to the sound as it faded.

the joy in sharing this practice with children for as  little as 20 minutes: the sweet connection that develops when we offer them our attention, care, smiles, laughter, and the freedom to make a contribution. bursting with energy and kindness, they helped arrange, reset, and roll up the mats; fed me snacks; hung out with me between sessions — sticking close by as i enjoyed a chair massage (where i could hear the middle of 4 siblings explain that she was waiting for ‘my yoga teacher’); and even took over my camera to get silly with the selfie stick and snap a dozen random photos!

when we nourish kids with the gift of our compassionate listening and empower them with mindfulness, they will shine.

 

Walking The Labyrinth: 2016 Season

“I understood at a very early age that in nature,
I felt everything I should feel in church
but never did.

Walking in the woods,
I felt in touch with the universe and
with the spirit of the universe.”
~ Alice Walker

3jewels.labyrinth2016

The new season kicks off Sunday, 5/1, at 11 AM!

View the Full Schedule.

#MarchMindfulness2016: (G)litter Police

This is a parenting joy and a testament to the power of modeling for our children acts of care, connection, and skillful understanding. Without any prompting from me and entirely of his own accord, my Earth Day-born child was compelled to do his part by tending to our home and garden.

Truly, no action nor person is too small to make an impact!

My soon-to-be-6 year old son woke up Wednesday on a mission to get things organized!

Must be the feverish nudgings of spring because he’s actually been on this cleaning kick for a couple of weeks now — packing up old books and toys to give away and meticulously tidying up any surface cluttered with junk the ever-multiplying array of collectibles (his or ours).

It started with rearranging his windowsill full of treasures, the credenza in our dining room, his desk, and a basket of old magazines — which, after stopping him from pitching them all out, we sorted through and recycled.

Later in the day he decided to investigate a stray onion in our garden (his hypothesis: it rolled from the neighboring plot) where he also noticed odd bits of trash that had been scattered around by the winter storms. He launched into action–dashing in for a trash bag then dashing back out to hunt for wind-blown refuse around our communal property.

When I came out to check on his progress, I was tickled to find him singing on the job: I’m the Glitter Police!

Can I say how much I love that he misheard litter as glitter?! If only it were glitter…

HEAR HERE [for deep listening]: The Resilient World We’re Building Now | On Being with Krista Tippett

“In the last year and a half, from the black community in and of itself, as we say “black lives matter,”
you see the light that comes inside of people to other communities that are like, I’m going to stand on the side of black lives.
You see people literally transforming. And that’s a different type of work. And for me, that is a spiritual work.
It’s a healing work and we don’t have it codified. There’s no science to it. Really, it’s — we are social creatures.
Human to human, if you take a moment to be with somebody, to understand the pains they’re going through, you get to transform yourself.”
~ Patrisse Cullors, #BlackLivesMatter Co-Founder

Listen to the podcast: The Resilient World We’re Building Now