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Yoga Nidra: A Gift of Rest

May 12, 2019
5:30-6:45PM

No special price, but drop in fees apply if you don’t have a pass.

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Have you ever wanted just 5 minutes to yourself to be able to think clearly? A little break so you focus more throughout your busy week? Have you been curious about meditation, but find it difficult to quiet your mind?  Join us on May 12 from 5:30-6:45 for a special iRest / Yoga Nidra session. This will be a great time to take a break for yourself to rest, relax, and experience meditation without wondering what you are supposed to do next.

Students are encouraged to dress comfortably and bring their own blankets and pillows from home, or you a welcome to use our props as well. During this 1 hour and 15 minute class, Roland will guide you through gentle movements and then offer a guided meditation while you rest in savasana position. You can expect to leave feeling relaxed and ready to face the week ahead; hopefully with a few new tools to help you find clarity along the way.

 

Get In the Best Shape of Your Life

Here we are in February 2019. Many folks have already dropped their gym regimes and the celery shortage has come and gone. In other words, the urgency of new year’s resolutions has slowly abated for many.

But just because the resolutions have waned doesn’t mean the barrage of ads for diets, fit bodies, and lifestyle trends has. In American culture, there is constant noise barking: “Get in the best shape of your life!” “Finally keep off the weight this year!” “Try this new lifestyle plan/supplement/eating strategy and be the happiest you’ve ever been!”

What does it actually mean to be “in the best shape of your life”?

Think about that question for a second.  

What images come to mind?

What beliefs about bodies and health does that bring up?

Many folks associate being “in shape” with weight loss. But is this a true representation of “best shape of your life”?

No.

First of all, it’s exclusionary to think about thin, able bodies as the only kinds that can be in shape. Body diversity is a very real, very important aspect of being human. Second, this view leaves no room for the reality that your “best shape” will change across the lifespan.

Being in the best shape of your life actually has to do with how well you function. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not you can touch your toes at age eighty or how sexy you look at age forty.

Functional fitness refers to movement that improves daily activity. It prepares you for life: pulling, pushing, squatting, balancing, etc. In essence, functioning well is the thing that keeps you able to do the things you take for granted like opening the pickle jar without the rubber grippy thing or balancing while you get in and out of the shower.

When you think about functional movement, think about combo activities: lifting using your back, legs, glutes, arms, and torso. There’s coordinated effort between these muscle groups, the nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems. On the other hand, doing isolated exercises at the gym may give you the look of a toned butt, but not give as much “bang for your buck” or benefit in the long term (think getting up from a low chair when you’re seventy).  

In addition, functional fitness reduces the risk of injury. When you meet the body where it is instead of pushing or overdoing, the body is going to build more strength across multiple muscle groups and increase endurance. Furthermore, your nervous system will thank you for actually listening to it instead of overriding cues that you’re reaching your limit.

Functional movement meets the body where it is. What is functional for a typically abled body may differ from one with disabilities. What’s functional for a twenty year old will be different for someone in their eighties. But they’re both functional. Thinking in rigid terms like “best shape” (i.e. it’s either the best or not good), limits our ability to think flexibly and creatively about how to maximize the potential of our bodies no matter what their ability or age.

So much of our time is focused on big goals like running fast or lifting more. But this is about much more: meeting the challenges life throws at us. Considering functionality as a “best shape” criterion, how do you want to be in the best shape of your life?

Would you like to be able to chase your kids around?

Be able to reach and grab things from a tall shelf?

Get up from sitting on the floor?

Carry more than one grocery bag at a time?

Let us know in the comments below! We love helping people think creatively about sustainable movement and wellness goals. If you have questions about functional fitness or our offerings, feel free to email us or come by the studio to take a class.

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2019 90 Day Challenge

Enroll in the studio January 1-15, 2019
$8 entrance fee

The Challenge

Students can choose to do anywhere from 1 to 6 classes a week. Being consistent is the name of the game. No more than one hot class a day.

Sustainability

Our goal this challenge is for each student to build the skills needed to create a balance of work and rest to take care of themselves. Practice 90 days of meeting your own personal expectations. Step outside your comfort zone, be consistent, and ramp it up or ramp it down.

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Holiday Gift Challenge

November 5 – December 16

$5 Challenge Fee to participate, regular class pricing applies.

Do you find the holiday season to be a head spinning time when all routines are hijacked? Us too! Join us for our simple Holiday Gift Challenge where you can maintain a regular practice and earn a holiday gift to pass on.

Attend two classes a week for the six weeks from November 5th through December 16th. In the spirit of steadiness, to complete the challenge it must be 2 classes per week (Monday-Sunday), not 12 classes in 2 weeks.

All who complete the challenge will receive 2 Free Class Passes to give to anyone who has never been to ODY before. These can be used by the same person or 2 separate people as long as they attend the same class together.

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Foraging Group Ride

Every Saturday in October at 2pm

ODY → Dorothea Dix → Farmer’s Market → Boulted Bread → ODY

Join us all four Saturdays in October for a Foraging Group Bike Ride. We will leave Open Door Yoga Studio at 2:00pm (so arrive a little early please) and leisurely ride to the Farmer’s Market, weaving through the beautiful Dorothea Dix Park. There everyone is invited to grab a snack or produce should they want to make it a grocery trip. By 3:15 we will head back to the studio stopping off at Boulted Bread to complete our food stocking.

All are welcome to join us as we enjoy the beautiful fall weather, biking our fabulous city, locally sourced food, and time with each other! Please be sure to wear your helmet since we will be riding on streets and along traffic and bring a bag that will make transporting your produce easy.

Spaciousness As A Practice

In class, you will often hear us asking you to back off of depth or to not chase the stretching sensation. We know that this contradicts what many of us have heard for years in yoga classes; that it goes against the idea that more movement is better for our joints and physiological health. We have been inundated with the notion of opening our hips or shoulders, opening our hearts and our minds. For every person that needs a bit more available movement in their joints, there are just as many people that need less movement or “openness” to reduce pain and discomfort. Stability and mobility cannot exist without one another.

The trick is finding the balance between those two states that allow our bodies to operate with efficiency and power. When we find that sweet spot we will often feel “spacious”. The power will add an element of weightlessness. We feel unburdened and fluid. The efficiency will make us feel more energetic as if our endurance has multiplied. And while there is definitely work and lots of practice time involved in this process, I have found that it’s mostly a task of changing perspective. Of backing off of ourselves in the mental realm. Of giving ourselves SPACE to figure out where our sweet spot is. Often when we take public classes, we will bypass our built-in guardrails in order to do as we are told or to get a teachers approval.

We can so easily get carried away in the momentum of practicing amongst others. We strive to be good students and have been conditioned all of our lives that that means doing as we are told and believing someone else over ourselves when it comes to what our bodies need. We have also been led to believe that getting to a certain point of flexibility or strength is the goal. What happens if we redefine these arbitrary definitions and flip the perspective?

When you step back and give yourself some space, you can leave the definitions of success and achievement up to your own needs. Success can be finally learning the signals your nervous system is sending you to stop moving at a certain depth in a backbend and actually abiding by that. Therefor nurturing your spine rather than forcing it to fit into a meaningless shape. Success can be staying in final savasana until your system is calm and rested. Just the process of learning the difference between being tired and being calm can be a huge achievement in the path of learning how to care for yourself. When we are able to pause and give ourselves space in the mental realm that is always narrating a list of “must do’s” and “must be’s” we can learn to sense where we are, what we need and what is really happening. With clearer information, we are able to make different decisions about how to use the toolbox of our physical practice.

Many people have reached out about the changing business structure with so much support and interest in why I am turning towards a smaller class size for Open Door classes. For several years, I have struggled on a heart level with WHY I was still trying to get 35 or more people into a class. Why had I created a studio model dependent on that to stay alive? I finally stepped back from my incessant drive to become what I thought I was supposed to become and really looked and felt deeply about where that drive was coming from. In the heart of that, I realized it was contradicting everything in the internal world that made me feel productive and happy. I redefined “success” in my head based on the interactions that made me feel like the teacher I wanted to be. Listening to those signals and paying attention to feedback from my system required going past a healthy point in my relationship with my business. In other words, I had to keep pushing in the wrong direction until I knew for sure it wasn’t the right direction. Once I knew, it was so freeing and liberating. I felt like I had cracked a cryptic code. Inside this spaciousness of knowing what needed to change to continue to nurture the community relieved a huge burden of trying to force a square peg into a round hole, so to speak.

The funny irony is that in order to keep moving towards that spaciousness I have invited in more people, more practitioners, and teachers in order to support the community. Sometimes less space frees us from the constant cycle of trying to fill it. In our physical practice, ending the quest for more depth can often leave you in a shape or position where you have more power and ability to sense clearly. The next time you are in a posture and you feel the urge to go deeper and chase that feeling of stretch, try giving yourself some space instead.

NYE2017-homepage

New Year’s Eve Class 2017

December 31
3-5PM
$30 / $24 for members

Space limited to 40 people
REGISTER NOW

Building Resilience for 2018

Join us for Open Door’s last class of the year as we learn from the past and build resilience together towards healing and growth in 2018!

Resilience helps us adapt to life’s inevitable changes through problem solving, identifying strengths, and building support. In this class, you will deliberately challenge, empower and restore your whole system as we say goodbye to 2017. The room will be moderately heated as we move through a creative twist on our Hot 90 sequence of postures and breathing.

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Shop in Your Sock Feet Holiday Event

Saturday, December 9th
1pm-4pm

Join us at Open Door for our first ever SHOP IN YOUR SOCK FEET EVENT. Our talented community members are coming together on December 9th to share their wares for public purchase. We will have handmade scarves, hand turned wooden bowls, sugar scrub, essential oil blends and we’ll be serving hot cider.

Additionally, Open Door has adopted a family in need that we will be helping throughout the year a portion of the proceeds from this event will be for that family.

 

90 Day Challenge

DETAILS

STARTS:  Monday,  January 9th. You can sign up anytime before January 30th, 2017.
ENDS: 90 Days (13 weeks) from your start date.
PASSES: Use the code Challenge2017 for a 15% discount on our 3 month unlimited pass, or use your current unlimited membership.

All regular classes on our schedule are eligible.

Sign up by adding your name to our Challenge Board in the studio.

THREE LEVELS

This year, we’re offering three levels. Choose to complete 26, 52 or 78 classes in 90 days. In other words, commit to coming 2, 4 or 6 times per week.

More Info

Join the Open Door community in it’s 8th annual 90 Day Challenge. Pick your own level of intensity and meet yourself on the mat! This is not about losing weight or fixing yourself, it’s about stepping up the self-care game. Making the time and honoring the commitment to do the things that have long term benefit rather than short term instant gratification. Maybe it will encourage you to try new things (even better!) and meet new friends who have the same intentions and values. We are all about the big picture and using this Challenge as a way to make big change happen one little step at a time.

Every year we celebrate the end of the challenge with a party and treats for those who participated and those who met the challenge. Extra treats for folks who do not double up to meet the challenge!

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