Tag Archive: meditation

For those planning ahead for Autumn, here is our flyer announcing the next retreat at Turtle Haven with Ravi.We’re especially excited for this theme! There will as always also be a public talk on Friday of the retreat. Let me know if you have any questions; other announcements will be forthcoming.

The first class in the Yoga Sadhana series begins NEXT Monday; please be aware that the first three sessions may be taken as individual classes, and the Anxiety and Depression series that starts in April must be taken as a 5 session series. Please contact Elizabeth with any questions.

New Yoga Sadhana classes offered

New Yoga Sadhana classes offered

More about 8 Petals Yoga Studio


yoga sadhana

Please read on if you would like to know about SINGLE CLASSES IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH in the YOGA SADHANA series, or the 5 SESSION YOGA SADHANA SERIES in April and early May, for utilizing yoga in easing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

I have been preparing to offer a monday night series of classes within the “Yoga Sadhana”  framework, for a group of students wishing to explore in their own lives specific use of yoga, reflection, and community support in alleviating symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. There is much evidence to suggest that this approach has noteworthy and encouraging effectiveness. Included with this email is an attachment with information from a Harvard Medical School newsletter you may view about a study done suggesting the positive results for shifting emotional states, through practices of yoga. There have been many studies done along the same lines, especially utilizing Iyengar yoga, but also with other forms and styles of yoga!

In the class, we will not be practicing yoga asana regularly, though we will have some elements of actual asana, breathing practices or restoratives each session; there are many regular asana classes available, and the point of this series is to offer support around building a practice, introducing meditations, breathing techniques, and very importantly, having community connection and support in helping ourselves to feel more free and peaceful. Participants will be strongly encouraged to maintain a daily practice during the span of the couse, and will receive support for the upholding of this practice. We will meet on monday evenings from 7 pm to 8:45pm, for five consecutive mondays, April 7th through May 5th. The cost for the series is sliding fee of $100 to $130 for all five classes.


On February 24th, at 7 pm until 8:45 pm, the Yoga Sadhana class will be a ONE TIME SESSION to explore our own longings, and their connection with spiritual practice, and that dimension of yoga! This class will be offered as a facilitated conversation and a period of meditation and reflection. A sliding fee scale for this one time session: $10 to $20.  Here is a a blessing from the great scholar and teacher John O’Donohue on this subject of longing:

Blessed be the longing that brought you here and that
quickens your soul with wonder.
May you have the courage to befriend your eternal longing.
May you enjoy the critical and creative companionship of
the question “Who am I?” and may it brighten your longing.
May a secret Providence guide your thought and shelter your feeling.
May your mind inhabit your life with the same sureness
with which your body belongs to the world.
May the sense of something absent enlarge your life.
May your soul be as free as the ever-new waves of the sea.
May you succumb to the danger of growth.
May you live in the neighbourhood of wonder.
May you belong to love with the wildness of Dance.
May you know that you are ever embraced in the kind circle of God.

On March 3rd, from 7 to 8:45 pm, the Yoga Sadhana class will focus on HIP OPENERS and YOGA NIDRA, an opportunity to release tension from the hips and legs, and then immerse in a deep experience of the more profound relaxation of yoga nidra. The sliding fee for this class is $15 to $20.


On March 10th, from 7 pm to 8:45, the Yoga Sadhana class will focus on YOGA AND THE BREATH OF LIFE, which will offer guidance in various yogic breathing techniques for increasing vitality, reducing stress, calming, antidote to insomnia, and increased overall sense of well being. The sliding fee for this class is $15 to $20.

Please let me know if you have any questions. To register, please send a check, your contact information, and the class(es) you have selected to Elizabeth Kerwin 214 North Commercial Street, Bellingham WA 98225. Many thanks, and warm greetings in a transitional time of snow and budding branches,

This Friday, Oct 18th, at 7:30PM, Ravi Ravindra will be giving a public talk at 8 Petals Yoga Studio.  Please come – the public is welcome to participate!


As the glorious summer days continue to grace us with sun and abundance, a few subtle signs of waning light and the transition towards autumn gradually reveal themselves. We notice the invitation towards more inner reflection as we move into a new cycle of harvest, then quiet, and the revitalization of our spiritual exploration which comes with Ravi Ravindra’s wisdom, heart and presence. He returns October 18th through 20th, in the usual format, with a Friday public talk in Bellingham at 8Petals Yoga Studio and a Saturday and Sunday weekend retreat in Deming. Our theme this time will be “Journey of the Soul: Self Knowledge and Self Transformation.” Weather permitting, we also plan for time to walk the labyrinth, and to enjoy the forest and river trails, and the ever evolving land and shrines of Turtle Haven (retreat site).

Ravi Ravindra Fall 2013 Retreat Flier Image

To get a pdf of the flyer, click on the image above.

Ravi Ravindra will once again be returning to Bellingham, this time to explore the presence of love in the Bhagavad Gita and the Gospel of John. There will be a Public Talk and Meditation on Friday April 12.There will be a retreat at Turtle Haven in Deming on Saturday the 13th and Sunday the 14th.

ravi flier revised march 2013 jpg

To get a pdf of the flyer, click on the image above.

Come for a day of relaxation and exploration. We’ll begin with a class in restoratives and meditation, followed by a philosophy circle to share what makes yoga a so-called “spiritual practice”! We’ll conclude with an early evening potluck. Come for one part or come for all.


1 pm: Class on Restoratives and Sitting Meditation, $15

(We will sit for up to twenty minutes. Chairs will be available for those who need them)

Short break for tea and snacks

2:45 pm: Philosophy Circle

4-6:30 pm: Potluck Dinner

To register, email elizabethkerwin@hotmail.com with your name, phone and what you will attend. The class is $15. The philosophy circle is offered without cost, but donations may be made to Maher Ashram.

Send checks for class cost and any donation payable to Elizabeth Kerwin, to 214 North Commercial, Suite 300, Bellingham, WA 98225 (Or you can hand them to me in class).
Please register in advance to aid planning and so I can organize carpools!

Questions? 360.303.3892

To download a pdf of the flyer with full schedule and all the above information go here.


First off, you may have noticed that things have been kind of quiet around the blog lately. Elizabeth’s computer is on the fritz. So expect more postings from her when her computer has recovered.

In the meantime, yoga, which is a form of meditation, has been in the news again, this time for its power to diminish pain. According to a  study published April 6th in the Journal of Neuroscience, people who were exposed to a pain (in the form of a painful heat source) experienced 40-57% less pain by two different pain ratings if they were meditating during exposure than if they were not. Morphine typically reduces pain ratings by about 25%.

And these were not expert meditators. They were 15 healthy volunteers who had received four twenty minute long classes in mindfulness meditation. The volunteers were taught to focus on their breath and let thoughts pass, just as we do during savasana.

In the study, the researchers from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in North Carolina found that meditation reduced every participant’s pain ratings, with the reduction ranging from 11 to 93 percent. And brain activity went from very high to undetectable in an area involved in feelings of pain localization and pain intensity known as  the primary somatosensory cortex.

To read more about the study in an article in the UK newspaper known as the Telegraph go here. If you want to see an abstract of the original study go here.

(photo credit: pickthebrain.com)

Meditation and the Brain

18x24   Vintage Anatomy. Brains poster. Human Body. Zombies. Horror. Science.

When we practice yoga – which is a form of meditation – we sometimes feel a change in our state of mind, sometimes during, sometimes after our practice. Some people feel an increased sense of well being or of spaciousness or perhaps a decrease in feelings of stress.

Because so many people report these kinds of benefits, scientists have begun to study the brain to see what exactly is happening in there when we stretch back into a downward dog or a settle into a seated meditation.

One group of researchers looked specifically for evidence of concrete changes in the brain as a result of mindfulness meditation, in which subjects were told to pay attention to the breath and if their attention wandered, to continue to bring their attention back to the breath, just as we do in savasana. In that study, scientists found that people who did mindfulness meditation for 30 minutes a day for 8 weeks, had increased density in their brains in regions associated with empathy, stress, sense of self and memory.

To learn more read this New York Times wellness column.

For more on the possible direct physical benefits of meditation and yoga, go here and here to read New York Times articles about the effects of meditation on heart attacks and here to read about the use of yoga for dealing with a hangover.

(photo credit: http://www.etsy.com/listing/52537210/18×24-vintage-anatomy-brains-poster)