Pottstown YMCA at 724 N. Adams Street will hold “Yoga in the Yard” on Tuesday, June 11, from 6-7 pm.
Their staff will guide you in an experience of yoga that connects mind, body & spirit, leaving you feeling peaceful, relaxed and wonderful. Come enjoy the fresh air, positive energy and get a complete mind/body workout. Wear comfortable clothes and bring water and your mat.
This event is open to the community. Cost is $10 to non-YMCA facility members. For more information contact Lynn at 610.323.7300 ext. 10 or go to www.philaymca.org.
Wear comfortable clothes, bring water and a mat and join in an hour of yoga outside on the lawn of the Pottstown Y from 7-8 pm on Tuesday, July 24. You will be guided in an experience that connects mind, body and spirit, leaving you feeling peaceful, relaxed and wonderful.
Open to the community – $10, ages 14 and up. Register at 610.323.7300 by July 20 – that’s tomorrow!
All levels are welcome, even those who have never tried yoga before. This yoga session will give participants a chance to gather together and share the experience of balance, exercise and quiet restfulness. “Yoga in the Park,” is an opportunity to connect with others and with the land under our feet.
See the “Yoga in the Park” Facebook page here. Count me in!
The weekend is finally almost here for Yoga on the Steps, which benefits the amazing organization: Living Beyond Breast Cancer. In case you weren’t able to attend our last Positively!Pottstown Happy Hour and you haven’t seen this video circulating around the internet (especially on facebook), here’s the culmination of some fun ideas, a lot of great participation by local business owners and leaders, and the talent of a certain photographer, Melia Rios-Lazo of Priceless Moments
Owner of High Street Yoga and the creative force behind the video, Barbara Kosciewicz offered her thoughts today about the video. She writes of the project:
Throughout the long winter, during each class someone would comment or giggle about a certain pose we could do in a location in Pottstown. We dreamed for spring to come and decided it would be our spring project. Before long, the idea began to grow and evolve into raising awareness and funds for our Yoga team Tri-County for a Cure that is attending Yoga on the Steps on Sunday May 15th. Suddenly the project became much greater than ourselves and became something both fun and meaningful
If you’ve seen a bunch of women dressed in black yoga garb and pink bandanas running around downtown Pottstown in the last few weeks, you aren’t imagining things and we aren’t being invaded by pink ninja yogis.
Last year’s event drew over 1,200 yoga enthusiasts to the Art Museum in Philadelphia to do yoga and raise money for Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a non-profit dedicated to support services for women in treatment and beyond. While many breast cancer organizations focus on finding a cure, LBBC is different. According to their mission statement, their goal is, “To empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life.”
Kosciewicz found out about the Yoga on the Steps event late last year and got a couple of friends, jewelry artist Carrie Grabowicz of Hammi Jammi Jewelry and Joy van Ruler, an artist who designed this year’s team logo, to join her on the steps of the Art Museum. This year, the team has 20 registered members and there is room for more. Fellow yoga instructor, Stephanie Smolik of Yoga-for-Every-Belly, is a team member as well.
So, what does all this have to do with pink-headed yogis running rampant through the streets of Pottstown and encouraging business owners, the mayor and borough manager to strike a yoga pose? Actually quite a bit. The excitement was all about the video the Tri-County for a Cure team is making to raise awareness about breast cancer.
The impetus for the video was a conversation before one of Barbara’s classes about how funny it would be to do yoga in random places around town. Before long the idea had grown to involve raising awareness and funds for the Yoga on the Steps event and the team, Tri-County for a Cure.
Honestly, the first day of filming, I think many of us (myself included) were a little nervous about the idea of being filmed or photographed in yoga poses, but with Melia’s enthusiasm and skill, we all quickly got into the spirit of the day. Before we knew it, we were sitting in prayer squat near the door of a Septa Bus in front of Borough Hall.
We had a schedule, but also grabbed unsuspecting people along the way, and I was amazed at the support we found. We even convinced the UPS driver to pose with us near the police station, and some college kids on the steps at Montgomery County Community College.
“We attracted attention, beeps and awareness. Everyone we came in contact with was supportive of the cause and gave yoga their best shot,” said Kosciewicz. “We talked to people who were survivors, who had family members that were survivors or had lost someone to breast cancer.”
She continued, “At the end of each day filming I walked away energized, but also with the understanding that Breast Cancer is a terrible disease and something that has affected everyone. I would use the word ‘powerful’ to describe the filming days.”
The whole experience was, well, something amazing to experience. We got so many people to come out of their stores, offices, and comfort zones and be a little silly with us for an important cause. Barbara summed up the days’ filming this way (and I agree wholeheartedly): “I enjoyed the interaction with each and every person; the willingness of EVERYONE to do something for breast cancer and for Pottstown’s revitalization.”
The video is set to debut at the next Positively Pottstown Happy Hour on April 15th at the Academy of Massage Therapy and Bodyworks and High Street Yoga, which shares the space on the second floor of the massage school.
For information about the event in May, or to learn more about the organization’s services and mission, you can visit Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s webpage at www.llbc.org
Admit it. You know it’ll make you feel better. You know you should be doing it. Yes, I’m talking about yoga, and I keep putting it off too. So, what’s stopping us?
For me, I keep getting stuck in the same old rut in how I think about a “workout.” Being a former athlete, I’m locked into the idea of going to the gym, breaking a sweat on a machine, lifting some weights, suffering the consequences in my arthritic joints for the next 24-48 hours… and then avoiding the gym for several days.
A conversation with Barbara Kosciewicz, director of High Street Yoga and Wellness, though, has given me new hope that I can break the cycle. The idea of yoga is to open yourself up, and in that spirit, I asked Barbara to tell us what it’s all about. For more details and to see photos of her tranquil studio – yes, you can find inner peace on High Street! – check out her website and her blog.
PP: What’s a typical class like? How long is it? BK: There are many styles and types of yoga. I really like to help people focus on slowing down, focusing on their breath and truly relaxing. A class is an hour and fifteen minutes. The beginning is all about settling in. It’s hard to walk in the door and just start meditating. So we take deep breaths, focusing on the breathing. Then we move into gentle stretching, easing into the physical practice of yoga. The last 10-15 minutes are for deep relaxation.
PP: Your website says: “A typical class at High Street Yoga offers breath awareness, centering/meditation, sequenced and clearly explained asana (physical postures) and, of course, Savasana (final relaxation).” Where do all those strange words come from? BK: There is an ancient Indian text, written in Sanskrit, that’s called the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. It’s based on 8 philosophies or steps to achieve a quiet mind. It’s not a religion. That’s where the terms come from.
PP: What if I’ve never meditated before. What happens? BK: I guide the class to use their breath to still their minds. Meditation is really all about quieting the mind. We take deep, full breaths in and out. The idea is to stop yourself from thinking about work, your day, your lists. Your breath is the one thing that’s constant. That’s the place to always come back to.
By the way, I don’t incorporate chanting into my classes. I want everyone to be comfortable, and some people may be put off by chanting.
Traditionally, yogis did the physical practice of the poses so that they could sustain long hours of meditation. The Western take on this, though, is the reverse – more physical practice, less meditation.
PP: How can I do yoga if I can’t even touch my toes? BK: You don’t have to be completely flexible in order to do yoga. There are several versions of a pose, so I can help people do what’s comfortable for them. We have props, such as blocks and straps, to help people do the poses at their own comfort level.
PP: How many people are in a class, and what should I bring? BK: The class size varies. There could be anywhere from 3-9 people. We have mats that people can borrow, or you can bring your own. Dress comfortably, preferably in layers. And bring a water bottle. Classes cost $12 each, and there are packages available.
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