By Mary Beth Markus
In my office I have a small-framed picture of the Dalia Lama shaking hands with Barack Obama. It was a gift to me from one of my instructors who practices Buddhism. Although I am not Buddhist, I resonate with some of the simple, yet profound Buddhist philosophies, especially concerning the human qualities of compassion and loving-kindness.
I was privileged to be in the presence of the Dalai Lama three times as he lectured about life. Each time I was moved by the joyful, wise and loving nature of this great spiritual leader. He has touched many individuals of all religions and creeds with his teachings, not only with the philosophy of Buddhism, but also through the concepts of compassion and love.
In one podcast, the Dalai Lama said: “Let us cultivate love and compassion both of which give true meaning to life. This is the simple religion I preach, more so than Buddhism itself. There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”
He goes on to say that compassion is one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives. Having compassion and understanding for those who we may not agree with can bring us a sense of peace and tranquility.
On a lighter note, I read that compassion also keeps us young. Scientific studies show that people who practice rituals of compassion and loving kindness produce 100 percent more DHEA, a hormone that counteracts the aging process. It also reduces cortisol, a stress hormone, by 23 percent so you feel less stressed, have more energy and can sleep better.
How does one cultivate compassion? Below are a few rituals I have practiced to cultivate compassion. They may be useful to you as well.
Morning meditation – Most mornings I light a candle on my home altar and consciously move into my heart. There I hold all those who have touched my life, including the relationships that have not been as positive as I would have liked. I meditate until I am filled with a sense of peace and send that light out to each of them.
Forgiveness meditation – One way I find compassion towards those that mistreat others is to imagine the suffering that person must have been through in his or her life to act in that way. It helps to put perspective on the intensity of the experience.
Act of Kindness meditation – Sometimes I reflect on simple acts of kindness bestowed on me and consciously open myself to opportunities to share kindness with others throughout my day.
Evening Meditation – Before I fall asleep, I reflect on the experiences of the day with appreciation. Moving into sleep with gratitude allows for a more restful, peaceful slumber.
Compassion is a practice that originates in our hearts. It can be a powerful tool to bring more light into our lives and the world around us. We need this now more than ever.
Blessings to each of you.
Intro to Yoga is $65 or bring a friend and receive a discounted price of two for $110. If you have already taken this course but would like to refresh your understanding of yoga, you can attend for $45.
The practice of yoga does not mean you have to be a pretzel, sweat in sauna-like conditions or have unusual acrobatic skill. Though we live in times that embrace these extremes, we teach what the traditional yogis have known all along: the interconnectedness of the body, mind, and spirit. At Desert Song Healing Arts Center we’ve been sharing this wholehearted approach to yoga for over 30 years.
In this course you’ll receive 6 hours of instruction with a senior teacher. You will be supported every step of the way with hands-on instruction, handouts, question-answer time, and an ongoing resource once you’ve completed the course. As an additional bonus, you will receive discounts to continue on your journey to health.
Applications in Yoga Anatomy and Physiology
Sunday, October 27, 2019, 10:00 am-12:30 pm
Judy Pyanowski, RYT 200, LMT, NBCTMB
Deepen your understanding of the basic workings of the physical body and your ability to apply them to the practice/teaching of yoga. Nervous System Part 2 1) Autonomic Nervous System 2) Sympathetic and Parasympathetic 3) Vagus Nerve 4) Enteric Nervous System & Metabolism 5) Understanding Our Organs 6) Effects of Pranayama This series offers a continuum of lessons to expand your knowledge and understanding of anatomical and physiological concepts that build your ability to incorporate them in your practice/teaching of yoga. Exposure to how our physical body is put together and functions brings understanding and more awareness to how we move and feel. Learn these concepts through lecture, visuals, demo, discussion, asana, and pranayama. Helpful for students and teachers to : -Enhance and deepen your yoga practice. -Expand sensory awareness by discovering the "parts", how they function, and their relationship to other "parts" and to the whole. -Minimize risk of injury in your practice of yoga asana, as well as in your daily life. -Better understand your specific physical needs. -Better understand the teacher's verbal cues and your ability to apply them to your body. -Gain a basic understanding and practical knowledge of medical terms and conditions that you might hear from the doctor. Helpful for teachers to: -Improve the accuracy of and confidence in your teaching. -Get better at "seeing" your students' bodies. -More safely and effectively guide your students with your verbal cues and hands. -Minimize creating conditions for the risk of potential injury. -Gain an understanding of musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions, their description in medical terminology, the possible causes, and how to prevent further injury when practicing yoga and pranayama. Each session offers 2.5 CEU’s which can be applied toward your ongoing Yoga Alliance certification as well as toward your Desert Song 300-hr Certification.
Intro to Tai Chi 3-Week Series
Friday, November 1, 8, 15, 2019 12:30 pm-1:30 pm
Kathy Lucia, Tai Chi Instructor, B.Sc., M.Ed.
Tools for Effective Movement and Balance This 3-week class is designed for any student new to Yang Style Tai Chi or anyone wanting to learn the 24 Step Tai Chi Form taught in the Wednesday and Friday Tai Chi classes. Focus is on stretching, balance techniques, flow of breath with the body, and all the hand and foot movements of Tai Chi. The first 3 steps will be taught, one step per week, of the 24 Step Form. One can be better prepared for the current day classes we offer on Wednesdays and Fridays at 10:15am and 12:30pm after taking this intro class. Wear toe socks (sticky bottom socks) or a very light-soled shoe. The class is performed standing, but the option is available to sit in a chair to rest when needed.
Peri’s Sing and Play Yoga™
Saturday, November 2, 2019 9:00 a.m.-10:00 am
Peri Miller, RYT 200, CYI
Babies & Mamas, Yamas & Niyamas With Sing and Play Yoga, you and baby will experience playfulness, laughter and a sense of calm as you practice yoga. For moms and babies ages newborn to active crawlers.
Golf Contitioning Workshop
Saturday, November 2, 2019, 12:00pm-2:00pm
Kathy Lucia, B.S. M. ED
Zen and the Art of the Golf Swing Although golf season never ends in Arizona, now is a great time to work on improving your game. This workshop offers each participant: - A short pre-round warm-up - An individual evaluation of your address stance and posture, plus individualized exercises to improve your swing. - How to increase flexibility for the golf swing using movement based on Tai Chi, Pilates, and Yoga. - Eye training using Tai Chi for putting - Mental and emotional preparation will be addressed at the end. Clubs will be available-no need to bring your own. Register on or before Friday, 10/25/19, cost is $60. As of 10/26/19, the cost will be $65. Space is limited, so register early!
Advancing Teaching Concepts – Finding Your Voice as an Instructor
Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 7:15 pm-9:15 pm
Stefanie Sichler MC, LPC, E-RYT 200, YACEP
Finding Your Voice as an Instructor Do you want to keep your teaching fresh? Do you ever have teaching questions that weren't covered in your initial training? Do you want to continue learning from and with others? No matter whether you're a seasoned instructor or a newly minted instructor, it's important for us to continue evolving not only our personal yoga practice, but our instruction skills as well. In this ongoing workshop we will cover subjects such as ethics, evolving asana instruction, marketing , injuries, assisting & adjusting and much more. Join Stefanie in a practice and discussion session covering the ins and outs of teaching yoga, while at the same time not overwhelming your already busy schedule. Each session offers 2 CEUs which you can apply toward your ongoing Yoga Alliance certification as well as toward your Desert Song 300-hr certification.
Intro to Yoga 3-Week Series
Thursdays, November 7, 14, 21, 2019, 6:00pm - 7:55pm
Mary Beth Markus – CYI, E-RYT 500
This is the Year to Start or Come Back to Your Mat Intro to Yoga is designed specifically for students new to yoga. The series focuses on primary yoga postures, principles of safe alignment, breathing techniques and yoga philosophy. Students will enjoy personal attention and hands-on adjustments and refinements from the same instructor each week. You may retake our intro series at any time to refresh your depth of knowledge at a "refresher rate" of $45. You can also register by calling Desert Song Healing Arts Center in Phoenix, AZ at (602) 265-8222.
Sound Healing with Kelly Greene
Thursday, November 7, 2019, 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Relax, Unwind & Balance Your Chakras Join Kelly Greene of Prana Reiki. Relax, unwind, and balance your chakras. We'll start with a short guided meditation and move into the beautiful sounds of crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, gongs and wave drum. Kelly Greene has a Master's of Education in Counseling Psychology and Human Relations. She is a Reiki Master Teacher, Master Sound Healer and Medical Reiki Master. At her practice, Prana Reiki, she is passionate about supporting others in their emotional and spiritual transformations. www.pranareiki.com
14th Annual Community Art Festival
Saturday, November 9, 2019, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Community Art Festival featuring local, wonderfully creative artisans and artwork produced here in the state of Arizona, especially from members of the DS Community. It’s time for Desert Song’s Annual Art Festival - our 14th year to host this fantastic event! It’s just one day - Saturday, November 9, from 10:00am - 3:00pm, but it’s a great day to meet a wonderful group of artists and purchase their amazing works of art. There will be 25-30 local Arizona artisans participating. Every year, you will see familiar faces, as well as, some new ones. Expect to see a wide assortment of inspired and diverse media in our festival. There will be something for everyone and every budget. Artwork includes, but is not limited to: • Jewelry - a wide range of styles and materials used • Paintings - acrylic; watercolor; collage, henna • Photography • Glass Art: fused glass; torch work and lamp work; and art glass: blown, flame-worked, kiln-formed • Ceramics • Hand-worked Wood Vessels and Bowls • Clothing, Mandalas, Henna Art • Aromatherapy, Bath and Body treats, CBD oils • Mixed-Media Collage, Cards, Calendars, Books, Bookmarks • Hand-painted boxes, ornaments, puzzles • Hand-carved Wood Walking Sticks, Tables, Wood Art Pieces • Hand-crafted Journals: Metal, Fabric and Vinyl Whether a long-standing Art Festival Artist or someone new to the event, you are sure to find beautiful, one of a kind pieces to take home as gifts for someone special or for yourself (better buy two!). Plus, we’ll have Raffle tickets for sale. You could win a prize personally selected and donated by an artist or a massage from Desert Song - who knows what else! As always, there will be discounts on Massage Gift Certificates, as well as, Class Cards. Take a walk around Desert Song's beautiful grounds! Take a Yoga class (all classes $10 or less). Take a Chair Massage with one of our amazing Massage Therapists. There will be local musicians performing in the garden. And, this year, the Bored Baker Pizza Maker Food Truck will make its Festival debut! They'll take fresh, delicious, hand-stretched dough, add lots of other deliciously fresh ingredients and create amazing Wood Fired Pizzas!!
Veteran’s Day Offering
Monday, November 11, 2019
November is Gratitude Month. Free Yoga Or Mat Pilates Class for Veterans and Active Duty Military. Desert Song would like to honor and celebrate our Veterans by offering a free class (with Military ID) at Desert Song on Monday, November 11.
Prenatal Partner Yoga & Massage
Friday, November 15, 2019 6:00 pm-8:00 pm
Desert Song Prenatal Instructors
Expectant Parents Date Night In this workshop, the expectant mama and her partner will have the opportunity to connect more deeply to themselves, each other and the baby. We will explore yoga poses, breath awareness and massage as well as support techniques the partner can use to assist before and during labor. Through visualization and relaxation exercises we will explore different pain relief options. Join us for an evening of relaxing yoga designed specifically for expectant couples. Whether you are hoping to learn poses you can do together to increase flexibility and strength or seeking to learn tools for managing pain during labor, this offering will be tailored to meet your needs and goals. No prior yoga experience is required. Mamas may bring any partner who will support them through pregnancy and labor.
Feldenkrais®- Awareness Through Movement
Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Erin Finkelstein, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner M.M., GCFP
Awareness Through Movement® Awareness Through Movement® Workshop: Finding ease in getting to and from the floor through gentle and novel movement explorations". New and returning students welcome, no experience necessary.
Applications in Yoga Anatomy and Physiology
Sunday, December 1, 2019, 10:00 am -12:30 pm
Judy Pyanowski, RYT 200, LMT, NBCTMB
Deepen your understanding of the basic workings of the physical body and your ability to apply them the practice/teaching of yoga. This series offers a continuum of lessons to expand your knowledge and understanding of anatomical and physiological concepts that build your ability to incorporate them in your practice/teaching of yoga. Exposure to how our physical body is put together and functions brings understanding and more awareness to how we move and feel. Learn these concepts through lecture, visuals, demo, discussion, asana, and pranayama. Helpful for students and teachers to : -Enhance and deepen your yoga practice. -Expand sensory awareness by discovering the "parts", how they function, and their relationship to other "parts" and to the whole. -Minimize risk of injury in your practice of yoga asana, as well as in your daily life. -Better understand your specific physical needs. -Better understand the teacher's verbal cues and your ability to apply them to your body. -Gain a basic understanding and practical knowledge of medical terms and conditions that you might hear from the doctor. Helpful for teachers to: -Improve the accuracy of and confidence in your teaching. -Get better at "seeing" your students' bodies. -More safely and effectively guide your students with your verbal cues and hands. -Minimize creating conditions for the risk of potential injury. -Gain an understanding of musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions, their description in medical terminology, the possible causes, and how to prevent further injury when practicing yoga and pranayama.
Practicum Workshop for Teachers
Heidi Lichte, E-RYT-500, CYI