Archive for March, 2012

Tomorrow evening Ravi Ravindra will talk at the Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Street at 7:30 pm on the subject of a spiritual celebration of Easter; his approach is always interfaith, so I expect it will follow suit with the celebration of Easter as a particular focal point! Suggested donation of $15 will be shared with the Maher project in India. Please come regardless of ability to contribute—- donate what you can afford. Then church is 2401 Cornwall, north of downtown, and the Assumtion Church on the same street. Hope to see you there!

Mercycorps Vision Statement

I thought I would put the “mission” statement on my blog, for Mercycorps. By the way, their assistance is WORLDWIDE, icluding our own country! Their website is full of interesting information, in case you wish to visit. Here is the larger vision as they describe it, pasted below. For me, their efforts reflect yogic action in the world, and they are nonsectarian which is wonderful considering the diversity of philosophical and faith traditions to which my students seem to consider their own.

Our Mission:

Alleviate suffering, poverty and oppression by helping people build secure, productive and just communities.

Our core values:

We believe in the intrinsic value and dignity of human life.

We are awed by human resilience, and believe in the ability of all people to thrive, not just exist.

We believe that all people have the right to live in peaceful communities and participate fully in the decisions that affect their lives.

We value stewardship of the earth’s health, pledging to accountably and efficiently preserve and manage its resources.

We believe that it is our duty to be effective stewards of the financial resources entrusted to us.

March 26th Fundraiser Results

I had a wonderful time teaching backbends, as well as in discussing Sutra 1-33 and guiding pranayama and meditation. I must say, before even leaving the studio at 9 p.m. I added up the money that flowed in for Mercycorps, and experienced delight in knowing that our collective efforts, and donations will bring $276 to the work of Mercycorps, bringing housing, medicine and food to people around the world most deperate for these nessessities. If you have not visited the Mercycorps website, please go…. you will be inspired, and impressed with the organization’s record for efficiency in using funds! I send much gratitude to all those who participated in classes last evening!

Greetings! Here is a quick reminder that I will teach a backbends for all levels class from 5:30-7:00, followed by an exchange on Yoga Sutra I-33, (Focus on compassion) and a pranayama and meditation circle on Monday evening, March 26th, this next week at 8 Petals Yoga; please let me know if you plan to come. YOU ARE WELCOME TO COME TO EITHER CLASS, OR BOTH. REMEMBER, THESE TWO CLASSES ARE FREE, or MAKE A DONATION, 100% of WHICH WILL BE GIVEN TO MERCYCORPS FOR THEIR GOOD WORK!
I am suggesting $10 to $15 per each of the two classes with proceeds in full to be donated to Mercycorps International.
Hoping this finds you well, Elizabeth
Celebrate Easter with Ravi Ravindra in a meaningful and inclusive way in retreat at Turtle Haven, March 30 through April 1, 2012.  Our most recent retreats last year in April and October with Ravi felt the most graceful yet, as we crafted a container with multiple facets that seemed to serve well in generating community support for interspiritual inquiry and reflection.

The Spring theme is A Spiritual Celebration of Easter: A Mythic Journey of Sacrifice, Death and Resurrection.  We will gather in community for a unique spiritual celebration of the Easter season, exploring the symbolic meaning of death and resurrection in our own lives and in that of the collective. Our reflections will dwell in part on different interpretations of the meaning of sacrifice, investigating the cultural overlay that has come to see sacrifice as an undesirable experience. We will see how we might “resurrect” the sacred and mystical dimensions of this historic event.

One of the remarks from the Gospels we will consider is from Phillip: Those who say the Lord died first and then rose up are in error, for he rose up first and then died.  Our explorations will carry us into the heart of the meaning of “rising” before we experience our own physical death. In the spirit of honoring our shared path as Spiritual Pilgrims, we will examine parallels in other faiths such as when Buddha remarked, “Look within, you are the Buddha.” or the remarkable reminder from the Sufi tradition that “If you die before you die, you will not die when you die.”

Our inner travels will engage the intellect, the body, the voice and the senses, as we ceremonially celebrate the spirit of Easter through guided and silent meditations, labyrinth walks, movement awareness exercises, song, and connection with the natural world in the beauty of spring at Turtle Haven on the Nooksack River. We look forward to another immersion in our own cherished and collective community wisdom and that of our warm and wise guide, Ravi Ravindra. 

Tea and good company will be provided, with each retreatant bringing his or her own lunch and snacks.

We will initiate the weekend with a talk by Ravi on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Bellingham; this will be a fundraiser for Maher Ashram in India, open to the public and optional for retreatants at no additional cost.  On Saturday and Sunday, we will meet at Turtle Haven in Deming, for access to the river and forest trails, and the quiet and peace of  the 11 circuit labyrinth.  Saturday’s schedule, which will include a collective lunch, will be 10 a.m. until 5p.m.  On Sunday, we will gather at 10 a.m. and finish our day at 3 p.m. with a shorter lunch period.
We have explored opportunities for out of town participants to stay with a local retreat participant.  Please let us know if you need help with housing.

The cost for this retreat will again be a sliding fee scale of $165 to $190.  Once registered, you will receive a reading list and more detailed information.  Please send your name, address, email address and phone number with the full tuition payable to:  Jillian Froebe, 6551 Rutsatz Road, Deming, WA 98244.   If a payment plan or financial assistance is needed, please let us know.  If something unexpected arises that changes your ability to participate, and you notify us prior to February 29, your tuition will be refunded minus a $50 administrative fee. Tuition is nonrefundable after this date.  Registration is limited to create a more intimate experience, and the retreats have generally been full, so we suggest you register soon.

Questions? Contact Jillian Froebe  360.319.8704   or Elizabeth Kerwin 360.303.3892

The Spring Quarter will begin April 9th, and a flyer is here. Please feel free to pass along the flyer.
Also please note that Ravi Ravindra will be here the last week-end of the month; he will offer a public talk on Friday night March 30th at First Congregational Church on Cornwall Street at 7:30 pm, with a suggested donation of $15 to benefit Maher Ashram.
Also, on the 26th, I will be offering the two classes I have been mentioning in announcements this week. There will be a 5:30- 7pm class, Opening the Heart: Backbends for All Levels, followed by a Discussion at 7:15 of the Sutra I-33, on compassion from Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. The discussion will be followed by a breath awareness (pranayama) period that leads into sitting meditation. I invite any of you to attend for free; if you have the resources/desire to donate money, I am suggesting $10 to $15 per each of the two classes with proceeds in full to be donated to Mercycorps International.
When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.  BKS Iyengar

Monday Mix Up and Fix Up

Dear Friends,

Whoops! For current students enrolled in Monday classes, I have shortchanged by one session the Monday night class this quarter, and am ready to make amends! Last night we had the final Monday night class for the quarter. Thanks Christy for prompting a review of the calendar that revealed my error! I apologize and suggest the following remedy. If you will be attending Spring Quarter, please deduct one pro-rated class from your tuition, based on what you pay on the sliding fee scale. Or, if you are not coming, please contact me re. a refund for a “missed” class, or a certificate for a single drop in to any of my classes any quarter. You could also opt to come to a class this coming week. Please consult the Google calendar on my website to see the classes scheduled for the next two weeks.
May this find you well, as the first spring flowers peak through a late winter snow blanket. With warmth and gratitude, Elizabeth
When you inhale, you are taking the strength from God. When you exhale, it represents the service you are giving to the world.  BKS Iyengar






JUNE 23 – 29, 2012


Program Tuition Fee: $495

Add 6 Day Lodging & Meal Fee: based on your choice of accommodation…Click Here.

*Invite a Friend to the same 2012 Summer Retreat & Receive $100 “Bring a Friend” Discount Each!!! (Details Here)

How do you know if you’re on the right yoga path?  How do you navigate life moved from within?  How do you flow with quiet grace?

The cultivation of the qualities of curiosity, wonder, willingness and vulnerability are essential if we are to fully receive and benefit from yoga’s deepest teaching. Life brings us to this again and again, but do we approach each moment with the openness and undistorted perception to meet life’s deepest purpose?


Join Kira Ryder & Ravi Ravindra on the wondrous journey toward the eternal, which is Now. During joy-filled practice sessions sprinkled with her one-of-kind gentle humor, grace, and skill, Kira will guide you towards experiencing your essence.  Combining asana, pranayama and meditation, she will inspire a keen interest and attentiveness to our intimate tender relationship with life’s vital force, Prana.

Ravi Ravindra will then awaken deep contemplation about the nature of Spirit and Being. Drawing mainly from the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Sutras, as well as the great texts of other major spiritual traditions, Ravi weaves science, philosophy, religion and mysticism in a profoundly relevant manner shedding new light on the wisdom of the texts.

The beacons by which we will navigate through this retreat are:

  • The Heart and Purpose of Yoga
  • Becoming Intimate with the Cosmological Order
  • Dharma, Yajña and Yoga: Responsibility, Sacrifice and Discipline
  • Seeing More Clearly: A Yogi’s Guide to Unknowing
  •  Yoga off the Mat in Daily Life

Kira Ryder is grateful for all her teachers and the teachings that have been so generously shared with her.  Named one of Yoga Journal’s Top 21 Yoga Teachers under the age of 40 “shaping the future of yoga,” Kira is the Den Mother of Lulu Bandha’s and the International Ojai Yoga Crib. Her teaching techniques are designed to prepare the soil in which the seeds of Yoga can be planted.  With attention to the subtle energies and feeling tones, she emphasizes tuning into the alignment within your own heart. Her website is


Ravi Ravindra was born in India and received his early education there. He went to Canada as a graduate student and later as an immigrant. Now he is a Professor Emeritus at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where he served for many years as a professor in three Departments: Comparative Religion, Philosophy, and Physics. He was a Member of the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, a Fellow of the Indian Institute of Advanced Study in Shimla, and the Founding Director of the Threshold Award for Integrative Knowledge. Ravindra’s spiritual search has led him to the teachings of J. Krishnamurti, G. Gurdjieff, Yoga, Zen, and a deep immersion in the mystical teachings of the Indian and Christian classical traditions. He is a prolific author including: Krishnamurti:Two Birds on One Tree, Science and The Sacred, The Wisdom of Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras and The Inner Journey-Myth, Psyche, and Spirit. These and many more can be found on his website:

If you have art you have produced and would like to exhibit, consider presenting it for the June 1st Gallery Walk! 8Petals will be open that evening as part of the walk, for people to visit our lovely space, and see art that sister and brother yogis have created! Please ask Elizabeth or another teacher at 8Petals about the details if you are interested. You will be responsible for displaying and then taking home your own pieces.

How Do You Structure a Home Practice?

Elizabeth published this useful post about a year ago and it seemed like it might be a good time to revisit it.

Students first beginning or aiming to maintain a home practice of yoga asanas often are at a loss as to how to sequence their asanas, as we do in class. The Iyengar Yoga National Association of the United States provides help. You can download two different sets of practice sequences by clicking on the pages below.


Please come back and let us know whether you found these sequences helpful for your home practice!

You can learn more about the Iyengar National Association here.