Season’s Greetings and Happy Holidays LIC Neighbors!

Happy Holidays LIC! We did it, we found our home!  Pranavah Yoga Studio now resides, nestled on the corner of 48th Ave and Vernon Blvd. We’re doing everything we can to make our little abode presentable to you for the New Year, stay tuned!

It’s that time of year again, the holidays are here our lives become invariable busier: busier with work, engagements, holidays parties: parties with friends, with colleagues, family gatherings. Oh and don’t forget holiday shopping. In NYC  we have the luxury of not being exposed to gigantic malls, but if I close my eyes and remember life near the suburbs of San Francisco, I can still see parking lots jammed packed with cars circling trying to find a parking space. That vision alone increases my stress levels.

Although the holidays are jovial time, people connecting with friends, colleagues, business associates and loved ones, it’s a juggling act. Our lives, already full and busy, become busier because of tradition and custom. We’re adding another layer of “fun” on top. Let’s face it, you probably want to see your eccentric uncle and beloved aunt, they make you laugh, or least feel “normal.” And life wouldn’t be complete unless you’ve had a good dressing down once a year from an endeared sibling. For work: your appearance is mandatory and since you’ve gone through the effort, you might as well stay for the party… the food and drinks are pretty good. Try not to become too intoxicated or go home with that person that sits across from you in the office, your life is already complicated….

The holidays are fun, but they’re also intense, emotional and clustered together within a six week period. If your Thanksgiving wasn’t a hit, any sign familial discord, you’ll spend the next holiday back peddling or avoiding the offended party in the kitchen and hallways. You may need a chaperone to the bathroom, by all standards  a good time. The best part is, you’ll have anywhere from eight days to four weeks to squirm over this future encounter, or find a way out.

Ok, I jest a little, exaggerate the truth, so you get the point of additional stress revolving around holidays due to the culture of busyiness, fully booked schedules, less than amicable or inappropriate interactions. Now seriousness: It has been said, most notably by Mr. Iyengar “almost every dis-ease has a stress component that contributes to the deterioration of our bodily systems.”  So, here at studio, we’re offering you a special Pranavah Restorative Workshop & Deep Mind Body Relaxation for a few weekends in January to help you through these crazy times and see you through the New Year.

In restorative yoga you can starting the healing your mind and body by doing passive and cooling asanas which in turn increase the relaxation response: a physical state of deep rest that changes the physical and emotional responses to stress. The postures, breath, and relaxation techniques are very useful skills you will learn to gain control over your body’s stress levels. By doing less physically demanding poses or totally passive poses, you conserve and build up your energy reserves. Restorative yoga is sacred act and a gift to yourself. It is closer to the more advanced practices of yoga, svadhyaya and pratyahara. It invites you to withdraw the senses and be in the postures for extended period of time. When you withdraw the senses, you are often invited to look at your breath, to study it, follow it, without altering it. Sometimes a teacher will invite you to do a few cycles of pranayama that will further the relaxation response. To be physically relaxed and mentally alert is the art of restorative yoga, and that leads to a deeper practice of yoga. A quiet mind and calm body is the segway for all spiritual inquiry and meditation.  Additionally, restorative yoga has broad health benefits like the reduction of physical and emotional pain, the restoration of full sleep cycles, increased energy and decreased fatigue. It clears the mind and increases creative thinking, and you emerge from the workshop very calm and spacious. We, your new neighbors at Pranavah Yoga Studio invite you to join us to quiet your mind and calm the body with two of our special workshops: Pranavah Restorative Yoga & Deep Mind Body Relaxation and Yoga Nidra. We will help you to help yourself  into the New Year.

Please join us for a sumptuous Pranavah Restorative & Deep Mind-Body Relaxation Workshop the last two Saturdays of January at 3 pm and Pranavah Yoga Nidra Workshop the last two Sundays of January at 4pm. You yourself can be the judge and see if you experience the benefits that are stated here, and widely attributed to Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra.

Before we sign off, nod and a humble bow to the Great Master Teachers to whom we owe the existence of these modalities either due to their invention, learned by their masters or inherent knowledge they shared with humanity:

First to BKS Iyengar to whom we owe the development of blocks, blankets, bolsters, straps, and the use of walls, and the whole system of restorative yoga. Iyengar stopped many yogis from being active. It’s a difficult challenge for some of us to be still, but Iyengar made the static postures and practitioners comfortable enough to be still. After my first restorative class at the Iyengar Institute in NYC, I was convinced Iyengar knew well the practice of Yoga Nidra (although I didn’t know the name at the time): the principles of being still, aware and awake, senses withdrawn, mind alert or focused on the breath or inner realm. The energy at the Institute was very clean, subtle and unpolluted. It bought me back to my experience of Yoga Nidra that I spontaneously experienced as a teenager: I created the circumstances and it happened. It challenging to talk about those experiences,  place, space beyond language. However, the Bihar school does an excellent  job at that: get acquainted, read their books, and your horizon will expand ten fold.


Second a heart felt thank you to Krupa Shivarthy of the Bihar School of Yoga who travels the world teaching the art and science of Yoga Nidra, and to the Bihar School for making the art and science of Yoga Nidra accessible to all people. The Bihar School systematised the art and science of Yoga and Yoga Nidra so the lay person can follow a path or pattern to begin their practice. They developed a language for the practice so the lay person can do and articulate their experience more or less, until they no longer need to articulate and go beyond the mind.

Another master teacher very good at going beyond the mind is Dharma Mittra: a nod and deep bow to Dharma for sharing his knowledge of Raja Yoga and Yoga Nidra. When I think of Dharma, I think of Nike’s slogan, “just do it.” Some of us like to take things apart and learn the rules, study the perimeters of a method, like dancers that learn the art of dance. Some dancers know how to dance intuitively and dance from the heart, they leave the counting and rules for someone else. Dharma teaches from the heart, and he doesn’t get stuck in details. One of Dharma’s greatest gifts to his students is his Yoga Nidra at the end of class. He calls it savasana at the end of an intense asana class, but it’s the best savasana in town. He gives an abbreviated Yoga Nidra at the end of class. Sometimes it feels like space and time are not longer relevant and you’re touching a new plane.  Whatever it is, it’s magic, and I can only aspire to give to you, what Dharma has given me.

It is my sincere resolve to give you the gifts I’ve learned from Dharma, Krupa & the Bihar School, and Iyengar yoga restorative classes.

Remember your teachers, they bring and keep the knowledge on this plane for humanity to enjoy.

Happiness and Peace to All Beings, Om Shanti Om
Pranavah Yoga Studio

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