Tag Archives: yoga

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I’m new here…

“I’m new here”

These words illicit an enormous amount of fear and vulnerability for me.  As a young child we moved often;  as a result, walking through new experiences today takes effort, courage and faith. Let me tell you a quick story giving an example that I am not alone in what I need in these situations!

Recently Michael and I shared the day with a wonderful group at our Matching Pictures Workshop.  During one of the communication exercises a guest shared her experience attending a new yoga studio.  On her arrival she announced to the desk staff, “I’m new here.” The desk staff smiled and continued on with her duties.  She thought she shared that she was needing information, connection, and comfort, yet her perception was the receptionist was not very helpful.  woman on yoga matThe check-in process involved one of the new-fangled touch pads and there weren’t any directional signs for changing rooms or lockers. She announced again, “I have never been here before, how do I sign in?” Rather than explain how to sign in the receptionist walked to the front of the counter and quickly completed the sign in for her. Our friend expressed to us her feeling of embarrassment at this point in the interaction.  She then asked the woman where she should put her stuff during class. The desk staffer waved her arm in the direction of the wall of cubbies. So while this is an extreme example of “losing strategies” it is one worth sharing.  It is indicative of the daily conversations we have, in our heads and out loud with others that do not meet our needs.

The point of the exercise  at our workshop was  to show that we sometimes engage in “losing strategies” when we communicate, we make statements rather than asking for what we need. Our guest was able to relate how she did not get her needs met because she did not make a specific request. Part of Compassionate Communication is learning to identify what we are feeling and needing and making an appropriate request in order to get our needs met.

So here is the cool part. For those not aware I am a yoga teacher as well. I would like to think I am  a gracious and attentive teacher and host, especially in the yoga studio. And as I shared above, when it comes to new experiences I am very sensitive and empathetic to people’s vulnerability in  trying things for the first time. The next morning I was at the Connecticut Yoga Center preparing to teach my Sunday morning class and 3 new people arrived!  It was one of the students very first yoga class ever! The young woman walked up to the counter and said “I have never been here before.” My heart smiled! The example from our guest the day before was so fresh in my mind that I knew exactly what this new yoga student needed! She was making a  statement rather than asking for  what she needed- information, connection and comfort but because of my own practice with Compassionate Communication I was able to identify that.  I went around to the front of the counter and with a smile I explained to her how to sign in, then I took her by the arm, led her to the studio, showed her where everything was, and helped her set up her mat.  The look of relief and peace on her face indicated to me that her needs were met.

Helping the new woman sign in and feel comfortable at the yoga studio was the most important yoga I could have practiced that morning; connecting with another human being through empathy. Yoga means union, we are one, we feel the same feelings, we experience the same fears and joys. Compassionate Communication has taught me to express my needs appropriately so that I have the best opportunity in getting my needs met. It also teaches me to listen with empathy for the needs of others so that I may be of service in times of need.

Matching Pictures: An Introduction to Compassionate Communication

“That’s not what I meant!”

How many times have we found ourselves muttering this under our breath? How do we find the peace within our hearts and with those we love? How do we practice meaningful communication in order to get our needs met appropriately?

20130913_214132Experience new approaches to communicating that help us connect with others and our divine energy. During the workshop we will participate in several fun exercises that will help us practice and explore listening with empathy and expressing ourselves with an open and loving heart.

This workshop is appropriate for couples, siblings, families or individuals looking to connect with their loved ones with more intention.  The skills can be applied to all relationships, especially ourselves!
This workshop is based on the work of Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication, a language of compassion, referred to as NVC. For those of you unfamiliar with NVC you can visit the Center for Nonviolent Communication’s website and read the first chapter of Rosenberg’s book:

https://www.cnvc.org/Training/nvc-chapter-1 


Feel free to contact Jennifer or Michael to discuss how NVC may bring peace to you,  Jenniferc@sustainablereflections.com or Michaelc@sustainablereflections.com

To register and pay securely online, please fill out the form below.

Registration and light breakfast fare are from 8:00am -9:00am
Registration Fee of $75.00 includes all the materials needed for the workshop which you will keep, a light morning breakfast fare, a catered healthy summertime lunch and afternoon refreshments. Please wear whatever you are most comfortable in. Our workshop room is a beautiful sunlit room on the waterfall overlooking a beautiful pond.
The workshop will begin promptly at 9:00am.

Garden of Gethsemane Yoga

This is my favorite time of the Ecumenical year.  I love the real, scared and tender Jesus we see and hear in the garden of Gethsemane.  His questioning of “Why me?” is a familiar one to us as humans.  In this season I am reminded of this very personal question.  Not only am I reminded, but I find the gratitude and the humility in the question “Why me?”  Why did God choose this yoga ministry for me?  This is a ministry of helping people keep the temple of their body strong and sacred, and to keep clear and pure the offerings of love and devotion at the altar of our hearts.

As Jesus takes his human-ness, feajesus-in-gethsemane1r and reluctance to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, so too, will we take our journey into our hearts and onto our mats to discover “Why me?” What is our duty in this life? As a Christian am I keeping up with who God created in me? What is our calling?  We all share in this very human moment that Jesus had in the hours before his ultimate offering of love.

By searching our hearts and bodies through the practice of yoga we find the Lord’s answers coming straight from our hearts. I am so honored to share this with the members of First Church of Christ, Congregational UCC in Middletown, CT.  This is my love offering to the God in you.  Join me in this quiet all levels yoga class to find the edge of God’s purpose for you.

Jesus meditating

I will be offering this class for six weeks on Sunday evenings beginning February 22 at 6:00pm – 7:30.  All levels are welcome and encouraged.  Wear modest, loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and a towel. The class will be 90 minutes of a Classical Hatha Yoga Practice; deep breathing, sun salutations and asana (postures) followed at the end by a deep relaxation practice called Yoga Nidra. Bring a blanket, sweatshirt and warm socks for deep relaxation.

The Garden of Gethsemane

This is my favorite time of the Ecumenical year.  I love the real, scared and tender Jesus we see and hear in the garden of Gethsemane.  His questioning of “Why me?” is a familiar one to us as humans.  In this season I am reminded of this very personal question.  Not only am I reminded, but I find the gratitude and the humility in the question “Why me?” jesus-in-gethsemane1 Why did God choose this yoga ministry for me?  This is a ministry of helping people keep the temple of their body strong and sacred, and to keep clear and pure the offerings of love and devotion at the altar of our hearts.

As Jesus takes his human-ness, fear and reluctance to God in the Garden of Gethsemane, so too, will we take our journey into our hearts and onto our mats to discover “Why me?” What is our duty in this life? As a Christian am I keeping up with who God created in me? What is our calling?  We all share in this very human moment that Jesus had in the hours before his ultimate offering of love.

Jesus meditating

By searching our hearts and bodies through the practice of yoga we find the Lord’s answers coming straight from our hearts. I am so honored to share this with the members of First Church of Christ, Congregational UCC in Middletown, CT.  This is my love offering to the God in you.  Join me in this quiet all levels yoga class to find the edge of God’s purpose for you.

I will be offering this class for six weeks on Sunday evenings beginning February 22 at 6:00pm – 7:30.  All levels are welcome and encouraged.  Wear modest, loose, comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat and a towel. The class will be 90 minutes of a Classical Hatha Yoga Practice; deep breathing, sun salutations and asana (postures) followed at the end by a deep relaxation practice called Yoga Nidra. Bring a blanket, sweatshirt and warm socks for deep relaxation.

Please go to our Calendar page to find out dates and times.