The River Valley Yoga Center Blog

/The River Valley Yoga Center Blog
The River Valley Yoga Center Blog2018-08-01T12:15:51-04:00

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Recent Blog Posts

The Joy In Letting Go

Fall in New England is nothing short of spectacular.  There is color and light everywhere.  Even on the gray days the trees shine.   As full and bright as the show is, I wait and watch for the trees to lovingly let go of their leaves.  The fiery leaves don't fall, but dance their way to the ground.  I am amazed how the season shows us the joy in letting go. In yoga philosophy, the season reminds many of us of Aparigraha.  Aparigraha is the letting go.  Translated by B.K.S. Iyengar as, "without possessions, without greed," we can think of it also as non-grasping.  In this consumer culture, how often do we feel weighed down by the material things we want, and perhaps the societal things we think we should want or have?  All this wanting inhibits our ability to feel at ease within our lives. Aparigraha is freedom from wanting more and more. Iyengar writes in his commentary on Sutra II.39 that, "When one is steady in living without surplus possessions and without greed, one realizes the true meaning of one's life...Aparigraha means not only non-possession and non-acceptance of gifts but also freedom from rigidity of thought.  Holding on to one's thoughts is also a form of possessiveness..."   How often do we find ourselves grasping to old thoughts or beliefs about ourselves or our relationships? Aparigraha is subtle and difficult to practice, so how can we invite the practice of aparigraha into our lives? Gratitude. Find gratitude around you.  Small gratitude, big gratitude, whatever size you like.  Wherever you can find it.  Finding gratitude is like finding a small sanctuary amongst all this wanting and limited thinking. When we find it, gratitude suggests, maybe we really are okay. Maybe even there is an abundance of tiny things to be [...]

Kate L. Northampton, MA 

I was immediately (and continue to be) impressed with Suzie Goldstein’s individualized approach. Suzie’s knowledge of the intricacies of the body is spectacular, and our one-on-one sessions focus extensively on isolating and training particular muscles in my body so well that I actually replaced physical therapy with our one-on-one sessions.

Jane S., Northampton

Suzie's brightness of spirit and gift with words set a tone in class of joy, acceptance and possibility. Her ability to demonstrate and articulate poses inspire a deepened spiritual and physical practice every time I come to the mat.

Anne P., Northampton

Kim's warmth and openness welcomes every student -  experienced or beginner. She offers many options to all levels so no one feels awkward or left out. Her Friday class is the best way to end my busy week!

Beth L., Haydenville

My absolute favorite part of Suzie's class is when she gives assists in class.  Her assists are thoughtful and personal. Her knowledge of the asanas and human anatomy makes me feel safe and supported in each pose.

Stephanie G., Easthampton

Suzie's emphasis on building a practice from a firm foundation creates a sense of security that results in a blossoming of openness, on the emotional as well as physical places.

Finding Ishwara In The Wilds of Montana – Part 1

Montana is a beautiful state full of mountains, rivers, lakes, and wildlife.  My days in Glacier National Park were incredibly soul quenching and invigorating.  I clocked about 30 miles over the two and half days I was in the park, and witnessed some of the most beautiful vistas I have ever seen.  To sit alone in the mountains and let my eyes feast on such beauty broke my heart wide open.

Reflecting On Practice

I recently discovered a photograph of myself in Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) from 2012. Although not the beginning of my yoga practice, the photograph does represent the beginning of my deep dive into exclusively practicing and studying Iyengar Yoga. Now, another six years have gone by. Through disciplined practice and the incredibly skillful guidance of my teacher, progress has come.

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