Reflections on Yoga and Sangha
by Laura Liss, WHS Yoga Instructor
The unfolding of the last 12 months since moving to this area has been an adventure. My husband Bob and I are deeply grateful to have been so warmly welcomed by the people who make up the White Heron Sangha. After living on the east coast for all of our lives - where our roots ran deep - it is comforting to again be part of a community where we've made many meaningful connections.
One of the ways I've become part of the sangha is with teaching weekly yoga classes. Yoga is one of my life passions and when I began this practice many years ago, I was instantly drawn to the power of connection to the moment through the breath and body. This is still true today and is also what guides my meditation practice (surprise, surprise :)). What I've also learned over the years, as my practice has waxed and waned, is that I can only sustain a true and deep relationship with the here and now through consistency.
As I write this, Bob and I are on a trip through the southwest - long car rides, some great meals and many opportunities to convene with nature as we hike through the orange mountains and snowy canyons. Breathing in the fresh air and feeling my footsteps on the earth as I navigate the trails is engaging and effortlessly keeps me in the flow of the moment. After taking a class at a local yoga studio, I realize once again how crucial it is to also move in ways that open and release.
Making the time to care for ourselves in ways that ground, center and open through the body helps us to also connect with one another and share the benefits of our practice. The sangha is now offering yoga classes from 9-10:15 am on Mondays with Kolleen Harrison and and Wednesdays with me. (see yoga schedule)
As we age and our bodies change, so do our limitations and abilities. I've had to adapt my practice over the years and as an instructor, do my best to offer gentle poses with options that are accessible to many. In class, I emphasize the power of checking in with how we're feeling from the inside out and encourage interaction with participants about what they want to work on for a personal and healing experience.
Kolleen is extremely passionate about the mind-body connection and the ways in which yoga can heal and transform us through breath, sacred movement and the spiritual essence held within the practice. Kolleen's style of teaching is for EVERYONE, and EVERY body - with her class focus being one of reconnecting to our bodies, healing our hearts and awakening our souls.