Friday, August 26, 2016

Meet Emily MacLean: Our Yogi Advisor

Meet Emily MacLean!

Many of you may recognize her from class, but she is also our Yogi Advisor! Emily helps the studio run smoothly by communicating with new students, handling member accounts, and overseeing the ongoings of the studio, and we are so grateful to have her!

Many thanks to Emily for being such an important part of the Namaste team since she started at the beginning of the year. If you see her around, be sure to say "Thanks!" and maybe someday you'll find yourself practicing next to her!

Photos by Dave Getzschman

Where are you from, and what brought you to Highland Park?
My family moved to Highland Park in 1978 from the East Coast.  So I was actually brought here by my parents.   In the past three decades I have lived in Davis, Boulder, Oakland, France, Philadelphia and a few other places but I have found my way back to HP 

What is the first thing you noticed about Namaste Highland Park?
That it existed.  I was delighted to see that the neighborhood had a yoga studio.  That was the sign that Highland Park was undergoing a renaissance. 

Do you remember your first yoga experience? What was your impression of yoga & what brought you back?
My first experience with yoga was in Boulder in 1993.  I took a one month course, 2 times a week.  I was fascinated by all of it; the movement, the meditation, the language.  I’ve been smitten ever since.

What's something you could talk about forever?
Urban Farming,  The Grateful Dead, Chaos Theory, Time Travel, Jane Austen & Eyre, Porch Dwelling, Puja, My Feet, Comedy & Tragedy, Yoga

For new student questions and questions related to your membership package, Emily can be reaching at!


Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Yoga and Pregnancy: How to Sweat when you’re Expecting!

Written by Dana Kraft

Although I have my certification in pre and post-natal yoga, the majority of yoga classes I teach are advanced level Vinyasa or mixed level flows. Throughout my years of teaching, many expectant mothers have come to my class or have wandered into a class where I have been a student and wanted to practice because they tried pre-natal yoga and didn’t get the workout they wanted. This is more common than one would think. Women who are expecting want to make sure they still feel just as active and healthy as they were before they became pregnant. The truth is, the body is going to change and there are necessary modifications that need to be made during a yoga practice. However, this does not mean that women cannot practice in an open level Vinyasa class while they are still in their first or second trimester, it just means that they need to KNOW and UNDERSTAND their modifications and their limits.

Undergoing changes while pregnant can bring up excitement, fear, discomfort, among other emotions, but knowledge is power! Yoga and meditation can help immensely during this time. If getting your sweat on is important to you, then knowing how to treat your body during practice is imperative because not all yoga teachers are pre and post-natal certified. It can be helpful to go to a few pre-natal classes if you have never practiced yoga before, or have a practice but don’t know your modifications for pregnancy. Always ask your doctor if you are cleared to practice before stepping on the mat after finding out you are expecting, and avoid heated yoga!

If you are interested in learning how to modify your practice for
pregnancy, join me for our August Workshop Series: Yoga for Pregnancy!

Pre-Register for a single class: $17
Drop-In for a single class: $25
Pre-Register for all four weeks: $60

* pre-register here on our website!

Week 1: August 7
Prenatal Yoga
This workshop is designed to educate, pregnant women, women who are planning to get pregnant and practice yoga and yoga teachers on how to safely practice yoga throughout pregnancy.
The workshop includes the effects of pregnancy on the body, benefits of yoga in pregnancy and postures to aid common discomforts. Modifications of yoga postures will be taught and discussed. Students will learn about the cautions of practicing while pregnant as well as what poses to avoid. Appropriate pranayama (breath) practices will be reviewed. This workshop is appropriate for those new to yoga, but also for seasoned practitioners and anyone else who is interested in understanding the complex changes that occur in pregnancy. This two hour workshop will include discussion and a vinyasa flow with modifications and adjustments for pre-natal practitioners.

Week 2: August 14
Chakras for Mamas

This workshop focuses on the comfortable, supported postures of Restorative Yoga. Through a chakra based pre-natal sequence we'll drop into a deep state of physiological relaxation that many women find to be helpful in increasing mental, emotional and physical comfort throughout pregnancy. By subduing the sympathetic nervous system's fight, flight or freeze response and igniting the parasympathetic nervous system, a birthing mother can surrender into a state of mindful connection and ease where her body opens more efficiently, comfortably and healthfully. Within this state of deep surrender, women find it much easier to draw on their primal birthing resources and remain more connected to their babies, partners and the power of this sacred transformation.

Week 3: August 21
The Power of the Squat: Preparing for Birth

This workshop is designed to help strengthen the muscles used when giving birth. Students will learn intelligent sequencing using their pelvic floor, kegel exercises, and appropriate pre-natal core work to help prepare them for birth. Anatomy of the pelvis and muscles of the pelvic floor will be discussed and activated to develop strength and stamina. Class will end with a peaceful meditation to counter act the fiery power of the squat.

Week 4: August 28
Child Birthing Workshop with Special Guest

Join us for a workshop with childbirth educator and doula Emily Herakovich. Get all the questions you might have about childbirth answered!

This workshop is designed to inform women about the details of labor and delivery. Students will learn about the basic physiology of birth and alternative techniques to coping with pain and discomfort. Further discussion will focus on the relationship of the baby's position and the mother's pelvis to the length and ease of labor. Class will end with a question and answer period, along with a show and tell of various items that can be brought with and used during labor and delivery.