Dear Desert Song Community,

Here we are moving through the month of January at high speed and about to enter a new month, February. The year is taking stride to be a fast one once again. So, we took a deep breath, and took our time with your survey responses, (thank you for taking the time to answer them) and we want you to know we are listening.

There was predominant desire for strength as a yoga benefit and many students are using yoga to develop this component. We added several workshops this quarter that address strength building that I will mention later, but first I would like to share some important dialogue that evolved from our process of building curriculum for the coming months. Basically, we discussed the evolution of what strength means in our culture and how strength is defined at Desert Song.

We think it is important in this conversation about strong yoga, to say that the full scope of what makes us strong, has expanded beyond our old ideas about physical fitness. Even the training of top athletes has shifted from compartmentalized muscle workouts to whole body-mind agility, performance and recovery.

So as our culture slowly evolves from a muscle bound, go big or go home, myopic belief of pain for gain, our picture of strength broadens and it becomes more and more clear that the truth of our strength lies in our level of resilience.

Resilience describes our ability to recover readily from injury, illness, depression, adversity, or the like and to handle change and loss with presence and self-compassion. When we are resilient we are able to cope and think under pressure; we have strategies that ultimately create our best responses to life rather than ill-considered, hasty reactions.

This deeper strength beckons us to stop the cycle of avoidance and consumption that keeps us from ourselves; to instead have the courage to accept where we are with a chance to choose differently. Resilience shows itself with a sense of humor, keeping us tapped into the silly, joyful, child-like energy that lightens the burdens of reality, distrust and pessimism.
So, we at Desert Song believe in this wholehearted view of strength.

  • We are here to help hone strong minds, bodies and hearts so that you feel steady, compassionate and courageous in these challenging times.
  • We teach methods to support the immune system and counter daily stress so we’re able to stay healthier.
  • We represent a community that explores physical movement that frees us from pain, limitation and supports the long view.

We aim to provide a space for inquiry, curiosity, discernment and collaboration knowing that these produce outcomes that serve us and the world far better than acquisition, striving, assumption and competition.

This is Desert Song strong, and we offer the place you can find your core strength while exploring the core of who you are, who you want to be and how you express that in the world. Together we create a resilient community and we are grateful and humbled to be on this journey with you.

Therefore, we are addressing strength as one of several key focuses:

We are excited about our new workshop offerings and hope that they support your intentions to explore what strength means to you.

  • Functional Core with Stefanie Sichler on February 1st will set the perfect foundation for intelligent strength.
  • We have added an ongoing ”Plugged In” workshop series that will explore advanced asana with the skill and safety you’ve come to expect at our studio. The first trio of workshops runs every 3 weeks beginning February 3rd with Evon Hart teaching Backbends, then Stefanie Sichler teaching Inversions on 2/24, followed by Michael Tucker teaching Arm Balances on 3/17.
  • There is a new 3-week Intro to Pilates Foundations series with Michelle Lopez that will begin Monday eve on 2/12 that will be sure to tap into your inner and outer strength and teach you intelligently and safely.
  • We are also here and available to guide you to our physically strong and challenging classes that happen each and every week including a new strength based class on Tuesdays at 9:30 am which will be slightly heated and more flow oriented.

Weekly Strength Focused Classes
Gentle Strength

  • Tuesday 8:45 am, Foundational Alignment with Judy Pyanowski
  • Tuesday 12:15 pm, Chair Yoga with Judy Pyanowski
  • Wednesday 10:15 am, Yang Tai Chi with Kathy Lucia
  • Thursday 10:15 am, Gentle with Pam Leber
  • Friday 10:15 am, Yang Tai Chi with Kathy Lucia
  • Saturday 8:30 am, Gentle with Mary Glover

Basics to All Levels Strength

  • Monday 10:15 am, Pilates with Michelle Lopez
  • Monday 12:00 pm, All Levels with Mary Beth Markus
  • Monday 5:30 pm, Basics with Ann Mullins Bulka
  • Monday 5:45 pm, Full Spectrum with Evon Hart
  • Tuesday 4:00 pm, All Levels Flow with Evon Hart
  • Tuesday 5:45 pm, Functional Core Yoga with Stefanie Sichler
  • Wednesday 8:45 am, All Levels with Mary Beth Markus
  • Wednesday 10:15 am, Yang Tai Chi with Kathy Lucia
  • Thursday 10:15 am, Pilates with Michelle Lopez
  • Friday 8:45 am, All Levels with Mary Beth Markus
  • Friday 10:15 am, Yang Tai Chi with Kathy Lucia
  • Friday 5:30 pm, All Levels with Alisa Gray
  • Saturday 8:30 am, All Levels with Ann Mullins Bulka

Intermediate to Advanced Strength

  • Wednesday 5:30 pm, Intermediate with Evon Hart
  • Thursday 5:30 pm, Advanced with Michael Tucker
  • Saturday 8:30 am, Intermediate Flow with Ellen Martinoni
  • Sunday 11:00 am, Intermediate Flow with Evon Hart

With love and appreciation,
Mary Beth Markus, Heidi Lichte and your Desert Song Staff