Updates

SCHEDULE CHANGE

Check out our next Kizomba class with Ricky and Nikki,
Thursday June 8 & 22, 7:30-9 p.m.

Heart Centered Yoga Flow will be at 9:30-11 a.m.
Sunday May 28th.
This same class will be cancelled Sunday June 4th

Slow Flow Yoga will be cancelled Saturday
June 3rd, 8:30-10 a.m. 

 

 

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FOR QUESTIONS REGARDING SERVICES OR CLASSES

PLEASE CONTACT EACH TEACHER AND/OR PRACTITIONER DIRECTLY

In general, we advise you to contact each practitioner for services or each instructor for classes directly by looking up their phone number under the “contact page“.

If you call the center’s main line we may not be able to return your call within a timely manner, especially if you call a few hours before the class or want to have a service on the same day!

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Healing Power of Dance

I never considered myself the dancing type. For fifteen years I was an investment banker.  Climbing the corporate ladder and amassing things- the perfect apartment, great clothes, and shoes.  What I didn’t realize was that I had shut myself off from any connection that I had to my body and spirit.  There were signs that I was disconnected – a ripped calf muscle from running to catch a bus, weight gain, too many bruises and cuts from simple tasks where I just wasn’t present.  I just didn’t pay attention.

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Love in troubled times

A month and half has gone by since the elections happened. After the shock, most people I know have resumed their life yet a lot of my friends have made the decision to turn off the news and focus on where they can make a difference.
Two and half years ago I made that decision myself. I was dealing with a lot of stress; it was clear that I didn’t need to add anything else, especially not from journalists looking to create more drama.
After this election, I made the decision to dig deeper and really ask myself “how can I impact the world around me?

I went back to what I do best and decided not to hold back anymore. I am a firm believer in the power of the heart.

I am far from being perfect, yet I always center myself and my heart daily through my meditation and prayers. I ask for guidance, I ask to see the world through the lenses of my heart. Of course I still react to many things, but I am striving to go deeper, beyond my reactions. I ask to be able to heal the places inside myself where I feel fear. My favorite Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron says  “I cradle the fear in the arms of loving kindness.”
Why doing this might you ask?
Because I believe that love trumps fear – I don’t mean to play with that word, but I do know that the power of love overcomes any fear based thoughts and behaviors we have.
I currently have a friend in my life, someone who has been to jail at an early age because of foolish behaviors related to drugs. When I first met him I was told that he had been in jail, yet I chose to look past that.
I chose to look at his heart. I chose to look at his childhood history. He had been abused by his father. They were very poor and his father was violent. It was of no surprise to me that he would have had some history of acting out himself yet I chose to look past that. I wanted him to know that his father’s belief system, his behaviors, weren’t his own. He wasn’t what his father had told him he was. I believe that all of us, when met with compassion and kindness, have a “soft spot” like Pema Chodron often says in many of her books and recorded seminars. All of us, deep inside are good people.
This past Saturday I received a text from him. “Chantal you mean a lot to me. I know that sometimes our schedules have us running in different directions, but know that you are on my mind and heart, you are one of the best people in my life and I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t met you.”

I made the choice a few years back to look past the “negative story” of my brother and his son who both went to jail at different times. It was a very challenging time, I know that both of them suffered greatly, especially after they came out.

Society is made to keep people at bay, especially after jail time. My brother chose to better himself. He went back to school and completed. He looked for a job for almost two years and every time he would get to the second interview, his background check would come back and he wouldn’t be called back.
I don’t justify people’s actions when they do something that breaks the law yet I choose love over fear. It was extremely painful to watch him struggle and be rejected again and again. He truly wanted to work honestly. I did what I could to help from a distance yet I felt so powerless. All I could do was listen, open my heart to the best of my ability to his suffering and make suggestions.

Currently more often than not, I fail in my mission. I overreact to things and people, I get mad. I want to write people off yet I don’t give up. I take steps toward  opening my heart each day when I sit down for my daily morning meditation.

Like Pema Chodron says “fail and fail again, yet don’t give up on yourself and your ability to soften your heart.
Will you join me in 2017 to look past our differences, to strive towards finding inner peace, cultivating loving kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity even if you fail more often than not?
Even if you touch only one person’s heart and make a difference in that person’s life, you have changed the world.
By opening your heart you shine your own light and light overcomes darkness.
Make 2017 the year where you choose not to hold back in doing what you love the most. Put your efforts in the direction that calls your heart forward.
Know that when you impact the world around you, you impact the world at large!
Until we meet again.. may you find peace in your heart.
Namaste!

Chantal

Yoga, Intuition and Breast Cancer Recovery

I have not been shy about talking about my breast cancer recovery because it was, as for most women, a life changing event. I want to focus on how my long-term yoga practice helped me begin my recovery, as early as two weeks after my first surgery.

Despite my very limited range of motion, I was determined to get back into my yoga practice as soon as I could after my first surgery. Movement has always been a life saver to me. Even though I was under the influence of powerful pain medicine, I began teaching two weeks after my mastectomy. I had told my students initially that I would probably not be able to do much and I counted on them to demonstrate what they had learned from me during the past years without my having to demonstrate, and they were more than willing to go along with my plan.
Read more

The Alexander Technique? What’s that?

by Lisa Lutton, Alexander Technique Teacher, Yoga & Dance Teacher, Reiki Practitioner

The Alexander Technique can help you recognize and change the habits that cause tension, strain, and pain in your body. It’s based on a simple hypothesis: all of us humans approach our lives with more effort than we need. Lessons in the Alexander Technique are about learning to recognize and release the unnecessary tension. It’s a process of learning to subtract effort. We learn to trust the natural intelligence of the body, and we learn to stop interfering with it. Most people seek out an Alexander Technique teacher because they are in pain. Whether it’s back pain, neck, shoulder, or knee pain, RSIs, certain kinds of headaches, sciatica, or one of many other types of pain, the Alexander Technique can help. Some people come because they’re concerned about their posture, or they want a different way of dealing with tension, stress, and fatigue. The Technique is remarkably effective at transforming all of those things, without pills to take, special equipment, or exercises to do. How? The first step is to pause. Try it out right now. Suspend any rush to finish reading this, Read more

Maximizing Your Fun in the Sun

by Jeff Migdow, M.D., Holistic Physician and Reiki Master at Healing Rhythms

The summer season has finally arrived after the long cold winter. We all are glad to see and feel the sun again and the warmer weather. However, even though this is a wonderful time of year, to open the window, clear out the winter clutter, restart our gardens and enjoy outside activities, there are new challenges to be aware of in terms of our health and well-being.

Allergies are the first challenge that comes to many of your minds. Over reactions to the pollens and grasses which are bursting forth with more intensity this year than most years as the flowers and trees and grass all spring up at a similar time. The innocuous pollens which are spread to create new plants can be a nuisance if your immune system over reacts to them. Read more

Coming Home Inside Yourself

by Chantal Leven

This morning as I entered my meditation I could not find peace. What I found was ‘busyness’, anxiety, and an inability to settle. I know that it is part of the meditative experience to be with ‘what is’, not with what I think it should be.

I should be grateful because, for many years, I could not meditate. The mere act of sitting down and being quiet with myself would freak me out. I had an intense urge to get up and move. Don’t get me wrong, I began practicing yoga faithfully when I was 25 years old. Moving and breathing spoke to me. Movement with intention and mindfulness brought me home to myself. Yoga was, in fact, my first ‘home coming’. But I could never meditate. Read more

The Power of Purpose “on and off” the yoga mat

3 years ago I set the goal to do a “handstand”. At first, I could not even conceive of being able to hold my body weight with my arms. I didn’t have the strength and could not imagine lifting my legs up. So I made the decision to practice diligently and one day, after working at it particularly hard, I surrendered and stopped trying to “will” my way to it. I went into child pose, softened my heart and began breathing deeply remembering why I wanted to do this in the first place then tried again. My legs lifted effortlessly against the wall and there I was… upside down. I was so excited that I had to come down and try it again just to make sure that this was not a fluke. Then for the second time, I lifted myself up again! I knew from this point on, that I had created a new “pathway in my body-mind memory” and that no matter what “I would always “know” how to do this again”. Read more

The Meaning of Pain by Dr. Jay Kain

The mere mention of the word “pain” conjures up personal and private memories for each and every individual it affects. The emotional and psychological underpinnings of it often determine how someone will respond to pain, but for the purposes of this discussion I will try to refer solely to its physical aspects. What does pain really tell us? Is it simply that pain is bad and the absence of pain is good? Fortunately, all pain is not bad, nor is its absence an adequate guide to inform us that all is well. Some people can’t stand pain while others suffer in silence. Read more

Self-compassion and goal setting

The practice of self-compassion as a tool for reaching your goals

I refer to battle with illness a few years ago as the beginning of a spiritual awakening. What would be for most people a challenge to overcome, began for me a journey inviting me to look deeper into the root causes of illness. I came from a family of “sick people.” What I mean is that the people in my family didn’t know how to deal with their emotions, and turned towards addictions and physical illness as coping mechanisms to help them manage their stress. I wanted to know why, despite all my best efforts—daily exercise, proper nutrition, yoga, positive thinking—Lyme disease kept coming back into my body, and why my immune system was not strong enough to deal with it effectively, despite the regimen of antibiotics I was taking. Read more

Stress…and its effects

Stress is difficult for scientists to define, because it is a highly subjective phenomenon that differs for each of us. Things that are stressful for some individuals, can be pleasurable for others. We also respond to stress differently. Some people blush, some eat more, while others grow pale or eat less. There are numerous physical and emotional responses to stress. Read more