Aparigraha On the Mat
Aparigraha the fifth and final yama refers to non-craving and non-clinging. This can be directly applied to our yoga practice.
One of the most challenging and most rewarding aspects of practicing yoga in a studio setting is the community of like minded yogis and yoginis we practice with. It’s rewarding to know that in our crazy lives we can escape the “rat race” and competition that often comes with the work place to unroll our mats, breathe and move with a group of people all looking for the same thing we are, steadiness, ease, and health.
The flip side to this is that sometimes our denizen of peace mimics the rat race and the competition, and we unwillingly, controlled by our ego and monkey mind begin to crave our neighbors perfectly aligned, graceful revolved triangle. (Yikes! When I even think of that pose my IT band starts screaming at me!!) Or, we yearn for the flawless handstand to jump back to plank.
Believe me I get it!! As a practicing yogini for ten plus years, and a yoga teacher, I have often felt the pull of my ego when kicking up to handstand and falling right out of it, again, and again, and again. I wake up every day and my hamstrings are rubber bands, so freaking tight, everyday.
Aparigraha is an invitation to let go of our ego driven craving. When we allow ourselves the space for acceptance, compassion and gratitude on the mat, the practice facilitates a much deeper unfolding than any arm balance will provide.
We begin to practice this on the mat. We honor our bodies and where we are at. We do the work every day, and celebrate the new growth, flexibility and stability that comes with an asana practice. Then something shifts, we still notice the perfect alignment of our neighbors, the handstand kick-ups in the middle of the room, the seated forward folds that take our breath away; but instead of lusting after these people’s practice, we can be genuinely happy and excited, not just for them and the progress they have made to get there, but for ourselves, knowing that through the discipline of practice maybe some day, we may get there too. BUT, (and this is a big but J) we are not attached to the idea that if we do not ever “get” these poses, we will be less of a yogi/yogini.
Like all yoga, what we practice on the mat, mirrors our lives. We learn to be where we are at, honoring our journey for the miracle that it is then this peace and acceptance ripples into our lives. We begin to notice that our former insecurities and petty jealousies cease to exist. We genuinely celebrate our path and journey, allowing us to genuinely celebrate the people around us.
As for me, my handstand is improving and I am working on it. My hamstrings are still tight as hell every single day when I wake up. That may never change, and I’m ok with it. What has changed is my relationship to my body. I used to curse my hamstrings, curse the intensity of my first forward fold of the day. Now, I welcome it, the physical sensation is like an old friend, it greets me when I step onto my mat and says “good morning friend.” I know that stress and tension in my body is simply information to me from me. This makes me curious about my practice, where will it take me today? What can I learn, what new space can I discover in myself? I take a deep breath in, exhale fold forward, inhale halfway, exhale fold and with the help of aparigraha, lean into the unknown.
with love, k
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featured article in “Local Answers”
Retreat from the Hustle and Bustle of Daily Life at Urban Yoga
Urban Yoga is aptly named, as it is a yoga studio in an urban setting on the first floor of a residential high-rise building in midtown Phoenix. It offers a variety of Haatha Yoga classes and workshops in a fantastic space and even has a spa . The studio has a great boutique in the lobby where you can purchase things like yoga mats, yoga clothes, and cool bags. Read more about this great yoga studio in Central Phoenix below!
A General Overview
Urban Yoga is a great place to practice yoga as they offer 13 different types of yoga classes including Foundations, All Levels Flow and Zen Yoga. Classes are either an hour or an hour and fifteen minutes long and are offered daily from as early as 6:30am to as late as 7:30pm. Rates for classes range from $15 for a drop-in to $108 a month. Urban Yoga also offers workshops for deeper yoga practice and for yoga teacher training. You can get spa services at the studio as well, such as massages, Reiki therapy and Energy Healing. Visit the boutique in the lobby of Urban Yoga, which is open during, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after each class. The boutique offers a variety of eco-friendly, Fair Trade goods, many of which are made locally in Phoenix. Check out the variety of yoga accessories, men’s and women’s clothing and skincare products on sale at the boutique. Urban Yoga is located on 3225 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012. Classes are offered from 6:30am to 7:30pm from Monday thru Thursday. On Friday, classes are offered from 6:30am to 6:00pm. On Saturday, you can take classes from 8:00am to 4:00pm and on Sundays from 8:30am to 5:30pm.
Urban Yoga’s robust schedule of classes makes it easy for people with even the busiest schedules to catch classes during the week. And the variety of classes cater to people of all abilities, from complete beginners to yoga masters. Even within each class, teachers make sure to cater to people of various abilities. The teachers are Urban Yoga are warm and friendly, as well as expert yoga instructors. They are always gentle with their students, but can challenge those who want to be challenged. If you are new to yoga, Urban Yoga offers great beginners classes with a welcoming atmosphere. And if you’re a seasoned practitioner, you will also enjoy the rigorous classes and talented teachers at this studio. Even though Urban Yoga is in an urban setting, parking is plentiful at the covered parking structure next door. And when it’s not too sunny out, you can park at the meters on the street for free. The staff at Urban Yoga make it easy to check-in, and then you just walk in to the yoga space. The studio has blankets, blocks, straps, cushions and other accessories available in the yoga space that practitioners can use during their practice.
What Makes it Great
What makes Urban Yoga great is the beautiful space its in. The main yoga space at the studio has high concrete ceiling and concrete walls. The small amount of drywall that is in the space is painted a serene hue of green. The raw concrete finish of the space along with the warm wood floor provide a surprisingly calming backdrop that facilitates the practice of yoga. The view to the north out of the floor-to-ceiling storefront glass wall also adds to the Urban Yoga experience. The iconic Financial Center building, built in the 1950s, is directly north of the studio and provides an inspiring and beautiful view. The fantastic palo verde trees that line the studio to the north adorn and soften the view to the Financial Center, making it even more lovely. The always friendly, open and warm staff and teachers at Urban Yoga also make it a very nice place to practice yoga. You can expect to be greeted with a smile by the receptionist on staff, and then warmly greeted again, often personally, but your yoga instructor.
The downside to Urban Yoga, is that it can get pricey at $15 a drop-in. If you intend to do yoga more than three times a week, your best bet is to get the $108 per month autopay membership. This is the most cost-effective plan if you practice regularly. But if you plan to take classes two times a week or less, then you can check out the various packages that range from the 5 class package available for $65 to the 50 class package available for $499. But make sure to use up your class package, as it comes with an expiration date.
Urban Yoga is a fantastic place to practice yoga for residents of Central Phoenix. It is conveniently located in midtown and easy to get to, with plenty of parking. The variety and quantity of classes offered in the studio make it a good fit for people with busy schedules and with varying abilities. The beautiful main yoga space at Urban Studio makes it a particularly attractive place for yoga practitioners in the area. And the friendly staff and teachers make sure people keep coming back.
New Arrivals from Teeki yoga wear: made from recycled water bottles!
The Campus Closet: Eco-conscious and Wildly Adorable Teeki Yoga Pants
By Gabrielle Nelson
January 26, 2013 at 9:28 am
You can tell her designs and patterns are influenced by nature; my favorite pair resembles a sunset. Wearing them during a run or intense yoga class is like a dream. Despite being made from recycled bottles, the material is surprisingly sweat resistant, flexible, and breathable.
You can find Teeki yoga pants locally at Urban Yoga, located in downtown Phoenix.
Go active fashionistas!
Read Gabi’s full article here,
http://www.statepress.com/2013/01/26/the-campus-closet-eco-conscious-and-wildly-adorable-teeki-yoga-pants/2,846 Comments »
Manifest Peace in the New Year
Check out AZ Foothills feature on 5 easy ways to manifest more peace in 2013 – one day at a time, one moment at a time. You might be thinking, yeah right, sounds easy, but…. TRY IT – and respond to the blog and let us know more ways to manifest peace in 2013. We want to hear from you!
Happy New Year Yoga Family!
May you and your family be blessed with Peace, Health & Happiness!
Love & Light from everyone at Urban Yoga2,066 Comments »
3 Easy Ways to Live in the Present by Jenn Chiarelli
Check out these great, easy tips from Jenn on how to live in the present each day!
1. Slow down.
Everyone is in a rush these days. In order to live in the present moment we need to slow ourselves down, from our driving, eating, our speech, to our thoughts. In order to experience the present we just need to consciously slow down. The next time you’re chatting with a friend, notice if you take breathes in between your thoughts. Do you cut your friend off or do you stop and listen? This is an important way to do some self study. In yoga this self study or self reflection is called svadhyaya. It’s the 4th Niyama of the Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga.
2. Get out and enjoy nature.
A way to slow down and become more highly aware is to get outside. Enjoy a long walk and listen to the sounds that surround you: the birds, the wind, a dog barking in the distance. Observe what you smell: the flowers, the crisp fall air. Notice what you feel externally (the sun on your skin), and internally (are you happy, sad, calm, uneasy?). Observe your feelings. Connect with the rhythm of nature and notice that you are a part of it all.
Most of the time our breath is completely involuntary, however, in yoga we teach conscious breathing. This will immediately slow you down and shift you into presence. Take a long inhalation, filling your lower belly first, then your middle belly, and finally your upper chest and clavicle. Then slowly exhale from the upper chest, then middle belly, and finally your lower belly. Draw your navel in to expel all the stale air out. Practice this a few rounds. This simple yogic breathing exercise is called 3 part breathe or Dirgha Pranayama. When you’re stressed or overwhelmed, this very simple breathing technique will calm you and bring you to a peaceful state of being.
Take Jenn’s classes Tues, Thurs & Fri from 12-1 pm for an All Levels, Vinyasa Vibin’ Flow !
Read her tips featured in a recent AZ Foothills magazine article here2,317 Comments »
Mary Bruce featured on “Where is My Guru?” on Blog Talk Radio
Check out our very own Mary Bruce featured with Jennifer Nettles from Sugarland. Mary talks about her own teacher, Rod Stryker, her experiences teaching yoga on tour, and her upcoming Master Yoga Immersion (at Urban Yoga!) Click on the title link to listen to the broadcast 🙂
2,678 Comments »
Mary Bruce is featured in Origin Magazine’s September “Inspire Series”
1,396 Comments »
Urban Yoga is a proud sponsor of Yoga Rocks the Park in downtown Phoenix!
Check out Girish’s live music performance & more info on the event by clicking the title link above!
* Urban Yoga will be the featured sponsor with our very own, Jenn Chiarelli co-teaching on MAY 6!
Kate Murphy teaches a simple approach to Bakasana (Crow Pose)
Thanks for your wonderful teaching Kate, and great way of breaking down the pose! Bakasana is accessible for all levels! Click on the title link to watch the video!
Wanderlust Yoga Festival
Urban Yoga was at the Wanderlust Festival on tour in Phoenix May 3, 2011! We also had the largest representation in students & teachers than any other studio — way to go Urban Yogis!1,190 Comments »
Urban Yoga is voted Best of Greater Phoenix Best Yoga Studio 2010!
We are so excited an humbled to be voted the Best Yoga studio in Phoenix for 2010 by the readers of Phoenix New Times!1,370 Comments »
Urban Yoga is Lululemon’s Studio of the Month!
Urban Yoga is Studio of the Month for October 2010! Lululemon is hosting free classes by your favorite Urban Yoga Instructors all month long! Classes are from 10:30-11:30am and held outside in the Biltmore Shopping Center Lawn. Come and practice with us on Sundays in October !591 Comments »
Mary Bruce leads Sugarland’s lead singer, Jennifer Nettles though a yoga class featured by Nike
Congrats Mary! Click on the title link to view the video
270 Comments »
Urban Yoga is voted one of the top 5 yoga studios in Phoenix by Haute Living!
Read our feature here…
- If you’re looking to incorporate yoga into your daily routine as part of a greater change in lifestyle, you might want to consider checking into Urban Yoga. Located in a beautiful high-rise condo development, the very zen Urban has all the qualities and ambiance of both a yoga studio and a healing and wellness center. In addition to instruction in meditations and many forms of flow yoga, including power flow, Urban also offers services in reflexology and shiatsu, life coaching and hypnotherapy, reiki, acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine, and aesthetician and massage services. There are also lockers, showers, and even a sizable boutique with fitness products. The studio’s calendar is filled to the brim with upcoming events. On June 13 at 10:30 a.m., an Urban instructor will hold a free community yoga class at Lululemon Athletica at Biltmore Fashion Park, and rumor has it there will be prizes given away. Visit the studio’s site for details regarding pricing and schedules.
Urban Yoga is located at 3225 North Central Avenue in Phoenix (602) 277-9642
For the full article, click here1,471 Comments »
Beth Shaw from YogaFit leads Charity class
Beth Shaw from YogaFit visiting Urban Yoga for a Charity class
ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT HALO ANIMAL SHELTER
Donations in any amount will be greatly appreciated
Click on the title link to view a video clip!
847 Comments »
Charity Class with Desiree Rumbaugh
Desiree Rumbaugh and partner, Andrew Rivin, will be leading a Heart Opening Yoga Flow at Urban Yoga
March 17, 2010
Suggested Donation $20
ALL PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT TEEN LIFELINE, A LOCAL TEEN SUICIDE HOTLINE
Girish returns to UY for Diamonds in the Sun CD Release Tour!
Join us ~ Friday, January 15, 2010 @ 7:30 pm !
Live music with Girish and Yoga class led by Julie Blew, followed by a Kirtan
1,131 Comments »
50 Days. 50 Yoga Studios – Urban Yoga is Phoenix featured studio!
In the summer of 2009, Kasey went to 50 yoga studios in 50 days. The project was a GAIAM sponsored series that originally aired on the site formerly known as yogamates.com. This was the first vlogging series.
Urban Yoga was 1 of 2 featured studios in Phoenix!1,583 Comments »
Girish on Yoga Vision Tour at Urban Yoga!1,317 Comments »
We made Phoenix Picks Writer’s Favorites for 2008! Read on…
” Life has been somewhat, how do you say, nerve-racking for the past few weeks. Our shoulders have so many knots in them that people have been asking us if we ring the bells at Notre Dame. We’ve tried wine, but that just makes us pissy and hate the light. We’ve tried muscle-relaxers, which make us unable to operate heavy machinery (aka, drive), which is not so good. And we’ve tried eating our feelings, which just makes us feel, well, like a manatee.
When we heard about the new Urban Yoga studio, we figured we’d give it a shot. And lordy, lordy, are we glad we did! With the soothing scent of incense in the air, soft lighting and a Zen atmosphere, we felt immediately calmer.
The actual work-out, however… Honestly, we found it difficult to sun salute while wiping sweat out of our eyes, making sure our rolls were covered and glaring at the elfin waif next to us who was touching her nose with her feet while balancing on her whosie-whats-it. Nevertheless, we persevered, and were pleasantly surprised to find that we felt so much better. As much as I detest working out, I can’t help but admit that yoga has helped me immensely. Not only am I a twist and bend Gumby (a definite attention-grabber for the men, ladies!), but I’ve also been able to find some much-needed calm in this little chaos-prone world.”
~ Rebecca Cannon783 Comments »