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September 2019 Theme: Compassion

What We Need Now More Than Ever Is Compassion

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.

Mary Beth Markus

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.

Mary Beth

Intro to Yoga

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.

  • Research has proven that slowing down is the key to relaxation and optimal health. Desert Song supports this approach.
  • We teach safe alignment with custom variations designed to build strength and flexibility.
  • We teach mindfulness techniques to bring calmness and serenity into the way you live your life.
  • We teach breathing for better health to calm stress issues like anxiety, insomnia and high blood pressure.
  • We teach practical philosophy covering the 8 limbs of yoga and what it means to honor your body.

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.

New Artist Exhibit: Students of Kathy Taylor

New Artist Exhibit: Students of Kathy Taylor
Monday, December 2, 2019 - Saturday, February 8, 2020
Finding Peace - the Healing Heart

Finding Peace - the Healing Heart Artist Statement: All of the artists exhibiting in this show study and create at Studio 6020, Center For Creative Development. Most have been painting for many years and a few are new to our program. The theme for this exhibit is SERENITY. The artists have created with their unique voice, a “feel” of inner peace. Some artists use color to express this theme while others use symbolism. It is our hope that the viewer will also “feel” the sense of calm that this exhibit evokes. Enjoy! Kathy Taylor Growing up in Southern California during the “60’s”, Kathy was exposed to endless change and a bohemian lifestyle. In the early 80’s she relocated to Phoenix, Arizona where she studied with numerous artists including Dick Phillips her greatest influence. As an intuitive artist, the content of her work is often ambiguous and rooted in a trust of that intuitiveness. In 2007 Kathy founded Studio 6020 where she nurtures budding artists and shares these concepts through her Creative Development courses. Taylor exhibits in galleries throughout the United States and Europe. Her work is in numerous private and corporate collections including: Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, AZ; AT&T, Phoenix, AZ; Campeau Corporation, Boston, MA; Juhl Marketing Inc., Scottsdale, AZ; Stroebe, Zine & Assoc., Portland, OR.

Teaching Techniques and Practicum
Saturday, February 1, 2020 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Heidi Lichte, E-RYT-500, CYI

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Somatic movement: How to add this effective method into a yoga class to re-pattern habitual tension This workshop will explore the understanding and practice of somatics based on the work of Dr. Thomas Hanna. This method of bodywork shifts our tissues in a way that goes beyond what we have all learned about stretching. Rapid improvement in function and tension relief occurs from this slow, mindful and feel good approach. Experiential practice as well as teaching time will be included. 3 CEU's

HeARTful Affirmations Workshop
Saturday, February 1, 2020 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Terry Parvan

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Art for the HeART! Creating art using a message, quote or lyric. Create a message for self-focus (or to share with someone special) on this simple art project that anyone can do. These simple reminders help us kick start our hearts and souls into thinking more deeply about love, peace, joy, kindness and connection. It can help make our world smile...if only for a minute and then it's all worthwhile. In this workshop, you'll get to choose and create one (1) 4x4 collage canvas from the examples shown. We'll be using special papers, ink, stamps and beautiful messages. All supplies will be included. The workshop includes a special handout that you can use to fill your next several months with positive messages. Please bring an apron, if you choose, as we will be using matte medium and glue sticks. Artist’s Bio Click Here Winifred Street is a tree lined street in a small town in southwestern Minnesota where I grew up. It’s where much of my creative talents were shaped and molded and, more importantly, remembered. It’s the place where I learned that “if it’s to be, it’s up to me.” My high school art teacher, Mr. Jaycox, inspired in me the possibility that I had artistic talent. He once told me to never stop making art, that I was pretty good. Of course I stopped making art and went on to decades of doing other meaningful things. It’s funny how things eventually come full circle in life. Today, I call myself a mixed media artist who creates Affirmation Art, Message Art, heART art, Mixed Media Collage, Art Cards that have been upcycled and more. I like to use acrylic paint, paper, fabric and fiber, inks and color washes, found objects, vintage buttons and so much more. Most pieces have a vintage feel with colors that are earthy, rich and vibrant. I like my canvases to have a timeworn, aged look around the edges as if it’s been picked up and lovingly handled for many years. I never know how anything will turn out but everything has timeworn qualities and I’m always pleasantly surprised with the results. My mantra in sharing art is to “embrace imperfection” in all that I create. So you might see a little ding here or a word that’s not quite lined up straight somewhere else. It’s really all about the message that I’m sending and there is a message within everything I create. The message is what’s most important. My workshops are technique based, include new product release, collage, watercolor, use of acrylic paints, stencils, stamping, gelli plate, building backgrounds, image transfer and so much more. I do some custom work as well and if you’d like to see some of those finished pieces or are interested in a custom creation, please contact me. or visit my Etsy shop at: I hope you enjoy my work. I certainly have enjoyed sharing it with you. Peace, love, art, forever! Terry Parvan

Upcoming Events

Sound Healing and Toning Meditation

Sound Healing with Kelly Greene
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Kelly Greene

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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. $25 in Advance / $30 at the Door - preregistration is encouraged. 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.

Exploring Ancient and Emerging Modalities
Saturday, February 8, 2020 12:30 pm -1:30 pm
Lori True


ACUPUNCTURE Commonly used to treat pain, acupuncture is increasingly being used for overall wellness including stress management. Traditional Chinese medicine explains acupuncture as a technique for balancing the flow of energy. By contrast, many Western practitioners believe acupuncture boosts your body’s natural painkillers. If you’ve never had acupuncture, you’ve never seen needles this thin.

Applications in Yoga Anatomy and Physiology
Sunday, February 9, 2020 10:30 am - 1:00 pm
Judy Pyanowski, RYT 200, LMT, NBCTMB

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About Sciatica. This workshop offers the possibility to understand, identify and experience: - the structures involved in the various causes of sciatica - how the yoga poses help or aggravate the condition - the role of alignment - how to develop your own and your students' body and postural awareness to establish the most effective and efficient alignment available Along with some lecture, it will be a more movement and asana based learning experience. 2.5 CEU

Energies of Love
Saturday, February 15, 2020 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
Sharon Danley, EEM-CP

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Create a happier, more joyful, and more loving relationship! Energies of Love Workshop Saturday, February 15, 10:30 - 12:30 | 2 people $60. Sharon Danley, Eden Energy Medicine, Certified Practitioner, EEM-CP Gain knowledge and techniques from ancient energy healing and spiritual practices that will forever change the way you understand relationship. Let's have fun and start improving relationships! Open to all relationships: Romantic Partners. Parents/children. Siblings. Friends. In this 2 hour workshop you will: • Take a personality assessment quiz • Receive a brief overview of the invisible energy forces (The Five Elements) that shape relationships. • Learn how to keep the energy of relationship positive and growing, • Overcome the obstacles to truly thriving with one another. • Lovingly prevent & resolve differences • Feel more seen and understood by your partner • Improve your relationships at the most fundamental, rapid, and enduring level. • Learn exercises to balance your Element • Learn the best practices to support your body and your Element I look forward to sharing time with you!

Erin Finkelstein, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner M.M., GCFP

Feldenkrais®- Awareness Through Movement
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 7:15 pm - 8:30 pm
Erin Finkelstein, Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner M.M., GCFP

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Weight of the World: Awareness Through Movement® Workshop to Free your Neck and Shoulders This workshop will explore novel movements that can help distribute the effort of your neck and shoulders more evenly throughout your skeleton. Newcomers welcome, no previous experience necessary. Included in the workshop price is a recording of the movement lesson available for your personal use for one month. $20 in Advance / $25 at the Door - preregistration is encouraged.

Yoga: An Invitation to Wholeness

Yoga: An Invitation to Wholeness
Saturday, February 22 - Sunday, February 23, 2020
Christina Sell

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Weekend Workshop with Christina Sell While the postural practice is clearly a physical practice, there is no reason to limit its scope to physical-only. Hidden in every cue, alignment protocol and posture is an invitation to greater self-knowledge and self-understanding. As we examine the poses and learn to observe ourselves in them, an interior world of energy, insight, and clarity emerges. This weekend workshop is a dynamic foray into asana practice, inspiring philosophical teachings and simple mindfulness techniques to help you connect more deeply with yourself. Christina Sell's teaching style is progressive, clear, and fun. Expect demonstrations, explanations, and practices designed to meet you where you are. -- Standing Pose Emphasis 10:30am to 1:00pm -- Forward Bends Twisting Emphasis 2:30 to 5:00pm — Back Bend Emphasis 10:30am to 1:00pm — Restorative Poses and Meditation Emphasis 2:30 to 5:00pm $65 per session / $235.00 for the full series Christina Sell has been practicing yoga since 1991 and teaching since 1998. She is the author of Yoga From the Inside Out: Making Peace with Your Body Through Yoga, My Body is a Temple: Yoga as a Path to Wholeness, and A Deeper Yoga; Moving Beyond Body Image to Wholeness and Freedom. Known for her practical wisdom and down-to-earth teaching style, Christina travels nationally and internationally leading workshops, trainings and seminars on yoga and spirituality. She resides in Buena Vista, CO with her husband, her aging father, two affectionate cats and the world's best dog, Locket.

Golf Conditioning Workshop

Golf Conditioning Workshop: Part 2
Saturday, February 22, 2020 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Kathy Lucia, B.S. M. ED

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Zen and the Art of the Golf Swing This workshop builds on Part 1 with: - A short pre-round warm-up - 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 Wednesday, 2/19/2020, cost is $60. As of 2/20/20, the cost will be $65. Space is limited, so register early!

Doug Keller – The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga
Save the Date!! Friday – Sunday, May 1 – 3, 2020
Doug Keller, E-RYT 500


The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga 10 CEU HRS Under Electives. Preregistration required. Full payment required with registration. Space is limited, so register early. Doug Keller has been teaching workshops and trainings in the therapeutic applications of yoga over 17 years and is known not only for his effectiveness in communicating this ever-evolving approach in these trainings, but also for his extensive writing on the topic in magazines, journals and his two-volume work, 'Yoga As Therapy." In addition to traveling and teaching, he has also served as a Distinguished Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health in their Master's Degree program in Yoga Therapy. This program is state-approved and accredited for granting a Master's Degree in this field and is fully accredited by the International Association of Yoga Therapists.

Laconda from afar

Yoga Retreat to Italy
Saturday, June 6 - Saturday, June 13, 2020
Mary Beth Markus, LMT, E-RYT 500, CYI

$2540 per person double occupancy/$3050 single Occupancy

Picture walls of stone aged by the centuries. Fresh, cozy rooms filled with ancient and exotic furniture. Gardens on manicured lawns and olive trees. The scent of lavender and rosemary filling the air. A swimming pool kissed by sunlight. Numerous paths running through woods, down to the stream in the valley below. Aperitifs sipped on the verandah watching the setting sun. Candle-lit dinners and calm nights under a star filled sky. All around, just beyond the crown of hills stand Umbria's many cities of art, abundant in their treasures, elegant shops and traditions. 2020 Italy Trip Details: Trip cost: $2540 per person double occupancy, $3050 single occupancy. Last day to reserve your space: January 15, 2020 Secure your space with a $500 deposit (refundable until January 15, 2020 minus $50 service fee) Additional Payments Schedule: by Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - $1500 is due by Wednesday, March 17, 2020 - final payment in full is due No refunds after May 1 - unless the spot can be filled. Trip schedule: Coming soon. Included in Trip Package:  Scheduled Group transportation on days of arrival and departure  Exclusive use of Villa for 7 nights, three meals a day while on premises, (beverages not included), Spa, Pool, wellness area, wireless internet access, use of Yoga Studio, daily room service, towel change every 3 days etc.  1-2 All Level Yoga and/or Yoga Nidra sessions per day with Mary Beth.  Three optional excursions to the nearby Umbrian towns of Assisi, Gubbio and Orvieto, abundant in treasures, traditions, art and shopping.  Yoga mats and blankets Not included in Trip Package:  Air Transportation  Spa treatments or resort extras  Wine (available for purchase at Locanda, corkage fee for wine not purchased from Locanda)  Transportation outside designated dates and times