Archive Monthly Archives: December 2014

What’s in a Yoga Teacher?

Each month our newsletter contains information about learning opportunities at Sunrise Yoga University. Many of you have joined us for a weekend workshop while some have immersed themselves in the program and earned teaching credentials. As you see these graduates join our roster, you can be certain that they have had extensive training in their craft after completing the 200-hour certification process.
But what about our other instructors – what kind of qualifications do they have?
First of all, every instructor at Sunrise Yoga has completed a minimum 200-hour teaching certification program. Every single teacher and substitute teacher here has either completed a 500-hour certification or is enrolled in that program now. But, the learning process doesn’t stop just because a certification level has been reached. For all of our instructors, the study of yoga has become an on-going effort to continually increase both their yogic knowledge and their teaching skills.
Not all of this continuing education takes place at Sunrise Yoga. Many of our instructors travel to locations around the country to attend workshops and increase their exposure to their craft. For example, I myself accumulated 122 hours of workshop study in three states (NC, TX and CA) one year. While this may not be typical of every Sunrise Yoga instructor, I will say that they all dedicate a considerable amount of time – and money – to expanding their knowledge and keeping themselves current and credentialed.
Of course other facilities may take a different approach, especially if their focus is based entirely on the postural aspect of practicing yoga. But at Sunrise Yoga, every one of our instructors embraces a broader vision and works diligently in the study of yogic history, philosophy and anatomy.
When you attend class at Sunrise Yoga, rest assured that the instructor will be fully qualified to handle the responsibility of conducting that class and attending to the special needs of the students. I take great comfort – and pride – in knowing that. I hope you do too.

A New class for you in 2015! Intro to Yoga with Cathy Howe

Have you always wanted to take a yoga class, but felt unsure about where to start, or even if you could do yoga? Have you not tried a class because you think you have to have a perfect body that bends like a pretzel? Have you wondered why, exactly, people do yoga and what the point is? Well, we have the perfect class for you! Intro to Yoga is a six-class series that will help beginners get acclimated to yoga, while also answering many questions about the poses, purpose and possibilities involved in yoga practice.

When describing the class, instructor Cathy Howe says, “If you search the internet for information about yoga classes, you will quickly discover a variety of styles and options from which to choose. And, many of the websites you visit will display beautiful (and mostly young) bodies in impossibly difficult yoga postures. While that is an admiral achievement for some, what about yoga for the rest of us?

“Many potential newcomers immediately shy away, and with good cause. Without a foundation in the basics of yoga, how would you know that yoga is in fact accessible to everyone, and that yoga will happily ‘meet you where you are”, stiff and inflexible body and all!”


Intro to Yoga provides the opportunity to explore the basics in a safe, friendly and non-competitive environment with other students who are new to yoga. Learn a variety of simple yoga postures, how to do them safely and effectively, and – importantly – why we do them in the first place.

Enroll in Intro to Yoga and discover how yoga can help you:

•Increase your strength and flexibility
•Reduce stress
•Alleviate the aches and pains of everyday living
•Achieve a sense of confidence and well-being
•Improve your balance, posture and sense of stability

The series will run from January 8 – February 12.

Thursday evenings from 6 – 7 pm

$60 for the six-class series

Designed for the new student ages 16-90

All shapes, sizes physical abilities welcome!

Enrollment deadline is January 6 / class size is limited and minimum enrollment is required._ITM2550-Hi-Res

Which Way Are You Looking?

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One month while I was teaching a class on arm balances and instructing students on where to focus their gaze when attempting these challenging poses, I heard myself say to the class, “If you are looking down, that’s where you are going.”
Hmmm….now what exactly did I mean by that?
At first blush, I simply meant that focusing your attention on the floor will likely send you in that direction – down, rather than in an upright and balanced position supported by arm strength. But could it mean something else as well? Honestly, I have pondered this at length and fully believe that “looking down” – both on and off the mat, can and will take you there.
A positive attitude, while it cannot guarantee a positive outcome, can at least stack the deck in your favor. And it can also eliminate the worry and anxiety that comes when you are focusing on or expecting “the worst”.
One of the primary goals of yoga is to reduce suffering in our lives, and isn’t a negative attitude simply self-imposed suffering? I believe that a yoga practice, especially one that is sustained over a long period of time, can help you cultivate a positive attitude and achieve a sense of ease and grace in your life that will make all your experiences more comfortable and rewarding.
New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham has spent a lifetime on the streets of that city photographing the realities of everyday life. Surely no place on earth offers greater contrast than the streets of New York City. About his experience navigating through the jumble, he remarked, “If you look for beauty, you will find it”.
Which way are you looking – up, or down? Let your yoga practice help you achieve a sense of peace and balance both on the mat, and in the jumble of your own life.