DAYLONG MINDFULNESS RETREAT with Michelle

Please check back for future dates.


Keeping it Simple: A daylong retreat to inspire stillness, reflection, and insight….
                 
Longer periods of practice allow us to settle down and touch in to the quieter, more reflective side of ourselves. This retreat creates an opportunity to experience a full day of practicing yoga, meditation and mindfulness within a supportive structure and group setting. The day will include 3 separate yoga sessions (mindfulness yoga and yin) seated and walking meditation, structured activities to support the cultivation of awareness, a silent and mindful lunch period, and sharing within dyads and the group. A period of social silence is built in to encourage the unique experience of sustained inward attention and the cultivation of deeper levels of calmness and clarity.  Please make sure you are available to attend the entire day….we want to maintain the cohesion of the group and be together through the closing activity.

This retreat is limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration is required to attend. Please email you are interested in attending or with any questions or concerns you might have regarding the schedule, and/or the yoga & meditation sessions.  

Email to register and reserve a spot.   villageyoga@roadrunner.com


CULTIVATING MINDFULNESS OF BODY, HEART & MIND with Michelle
 Please check back for future dates.

Mindfulness is "Paying attention to something, in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally." (Kabat-Zinn, 2003)

Mindfulness practice strengthens our ability to be in our lives with greater presence, skillfulness and ease. Through this practice we develop the capacity to regulate and improve our mental & emotional states, and learn how to recognize and free ourselves from the habits and behaviors that create stress and suffering. In learning how to discern between mind states, we cultivate greater stability of our own basic nature….our natural wakefulness. Research has shown that people with a formal mindfulness meditation practices report feeling less stressed, anxious, and depressed, and feel more joyful, hopeful and satisfied with life.  
 
During this 8-week series you will learn the teachings, principles and practices of mindfulness and how to apply it in your daily life.  In an experiential way, you will engage in different mindfulness practices including: sitting meditation, walking meditation, mindful yoga, body scanning, group mindfulness exercise & dialogue, and small group process. We will also explore the latest advances in neuroscience and the encouraging research regarding neuroplasticity, as it applies to mindfulness practice.
 
This series is open to adults 18 yrs. and older. No prior experience with yoga, meditation or mindfulness is necessary. Please be able to participate in as many of the 8 weeks as possible to maintain group cohesion and continuity. It is understandable that you may need to miss 1 or 2 classes due to prior commitments. 

Contact Michelle with any questions you may have, or to register for the series. villageyogakennebunk@gmail.com

MINDFULNESS YOGA AND MEDITATION (Extended Class) with Michelle

(CLASS SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE)

This longer class is designed to offer a deep and integrated practice that strengthens inward focus and compassionate self-awareness. The extra hour allows for a more complete practice incorporating both yin/yang styles of yoga, a deep relaxation and a 20-30 min. seated meditation. 

The essence of this practice is the cultivation of mindfulness- the capacity to meet life, moment to moment, with open-hearted presence. The postures are used as a vehicle for embodying core mindfulness principles, while developing an integrated body-mind practice that encourages awakening on every level of being….the physical, energetic, emotional, and interpersonal. Each class will include a centering, thorough warm-up sequence to prepare the muscles and joints for more active movement, a series of standing poses to increase heart rate, blood flow, and concentration, followed by a series of longer held yin style floor poses that allow for the deeper opening and releasing of the pelvis, hips and low back. Yin poses will be followed by a restorative inversion and a period of relaxation. Following relaxation will be seated, guided meditation in the Vipassana tradition. This class is designed for all levels and can be approached gently or more vigorously depending on your needs and intention. Modifications will be offered throughout the class to make the poses accessible to all. The use of vinyasa (flow) is optional to transition through the standing pose sequence to create a more vigorous practice. You will be encouraged to attend to your own needs and to honor your own appropriate edges. This class is not intended for beginners, given the styles of yoga practiced and the length of the class. 

YIN YOGA with Michelle (no classes at this time)

Yin is a relatively new style of yoga practiced in the U.S. compared to the more familiar and popular Yang styles. Most forms of Yoga practiced in the U.S. are active (Yang) which emphasize muscular movement, contraction, and stabilization, all of which are essential for a healthy body and yoga practice. To balance that active (Yang) energy, we also need the receptive and introspective (Yin) practice that allows inward focus and a feeling of integration and harmony on all levels of being….body, heart and mind. Yin practice complements the more muscular styles of Yoga like Vinyasa & Ashtanga. 

Yin is a unique style of yoga that is most effective when practiced once a week as a complement to your active practice. It is meditative and calming, while at the same time energizing and deep. You are guided through a sequence of longer held floor postures (3-5 minutes each) that specifically target and stimulate the deeper connective tissues, while the muscles remain relaxed and passive. Based in Chinese medicine, it combines focused breathing (pranayama) and intention to stimulate specific energy meridians and their corresponding organs. This increases the flow of energy (Chi & Prana) which stimulates and restores vitality. Yin Yoga specifically targets the hips, pelvis and lower spine. These are the deeper yin tissues of the body, relative to the more superficial yang tissues such as muscles. 

Many students are discovering new depths in postures, deeper ranges of motion, and an increased flow of energy by focusing on the deeper tissues of the body. In addition, they are benefiting from the meditative and introspective nature of the class that places the emphasis on simply 'being' versus our tendency toward the 'doing'. 

MINDFULNESS YOGA & MEDITATION with Michelle (no classes at this time)

This is an integrated practice that offers an hour of yoga followed by a 1/2 hour of seated meditation.This new class is being offered in response to the growing meditation community at Village Yoga and the interest in the combined practices in one session. The essence of this practice is the cultivation of mindfulness, the capacity to meet life, moment to moment, with open-hearted presence. Flowing between movement and stillness the yoga postures are used as a vehicle for embodying core mindfulness principles, while developing an integrated body-mind practice that encourages awakening on every level of being....the physical, energetic, emotional and interpersonal. Following the movement practice and a short period of relaxation will be a seated meditation in the Vipassana tradition. It is here, with the body relaxed and mind focused that we can use meditation to cultivate access to the spacious and kind awareness that is our true nature.