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December 2019   *   Season of Lights
Mary Yoga ENews  *   Issue #168

The Hero's Journey
My humble wood-carved nativity scene, above, sits between a meditating yogi, and a miniature Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of the arts.
Apropos for an artist family of pilgrims in love with all the ways Light seeks to express itself in the world.
And the message that I hear again and again, despite man's fearful attempts at distortion, is divinity whispering to creation: "You are loved."

The stable speaks it. Every rainbow, sunrise speaks it.
The trillions of cells in our bodies constantly communicating to us speak it.
Yoga is the science and art of quieting the noise so we can hear it.
It may not be what you had in mind when you started stretching and sweating, but it is what yoga, which means yoke/unite, can offer: connection to the self.

And we access it from both outside and inside. We clear the physical body. We ride on the breath body. We strengthen the mind body. We journey within the wisdom body. And we rest, refreshed, in the bliss body.

We take our hero's journey inward through our five deepening realms, five subtle bodies. And at the heart of that labyrinth: love.

It is one modality of the sacred labyrinth available to each of us: the desert trek led by our own inner magi, should we choose to take it. 
It is not the only way, but it is one way we can ride through the noisy town square of life, and arrive quietly at the manger of our own heart.
And there, we may hear the divine message whispered to each one of us: "I am love."    
2020 Schedule At A Glance
Weekly Classes in New York City
Pure Yoga New York Weekly Yoga:
Pure Yoga Eastside - 203 E.86th St. (3rd Ave)
  Monday: 10:30-12:00 Slow Flow Meditation
  Monday: 12:30-1:30 Yoga Nidra Meditation
  Tuesday: 12:30-1:30 Restorative
  Thursday: 12:30-1:30 Restorative
Pure Yoga Westside - 204 W.77th St. (Amsterdam Ave)
  Friday: 12:15-1:30 Flow & Restore L1
Cosmic Fit Club Weekly AcroYoga - Court Square, L.I.C.
  Friday: 6:30-7:30PM AcroYoga Basics *no partner needed
  Friday: 7:30-8:30PM Thai Massage *no partner needed
Retreats, Workshops, Trainings, Immersions
1/4-1/11: ReSOULutions Retreat #6: RISE, Rayos Del Sol,
  Costa Rica, w/Juan Gamboa and ReSOULutions Tribe Teachers
2/14: ValenTHAI for All ~ 7:30-9:30PM Cosmic Fit Club, LIC
2/15: Valentine Restorative ~ 3-5PM Pure Yoga East NYC
2/16: ValenTHAI for Couples ~ 2:30-4:30PM Om Factory NYC
100-Hour Restorative Teacher Training Pure West NYC
        4 Weekends, 4 Levels: March 7 - April 19, 2020
Level 1: Basics ~ March 7-8, 2020
Level 2: Intermediate ~ March 21-22, 2020
Level 3: Thai & Nidra in Restorative ~ April 4-5, 2020
Level 4: Thai, Nidra & Integration ~ April 18-19, 2020
5/2-5/3: 25-Hour Yoga Nidra Training, Pure West, NYC
5/9: Mother’s Day Restorative ~ Pure East, NYC
5/22-5/25: Therapeutic Lunar Immersion ~ Pure West NYC
  ~ 30 YACEP hours Restorative Yoga, Thai, Fly; w/K.Capano
6/12-6/14: Wagging Tail Yoga Retreat Bethel, NY Catskills
  ~ with Ora Ramat, retreat center owner, co-host, co-teacher
8/7-8/9: New York AcroFest, NYC
10/17-10/18: 25-Hour Yoga Nidra Training, Pure West NYC 
Winter Classes
I am so appreciative of my yoga studio homes, and the huge variety of yoga styles and classes that I get to teach and to enjoy taking!
In 2020, watch for more AcroYoga offerings in the mainstream, as I am a big believer in the benefits of acro (Greek=high) merged with yoga (Sanskrit= union) making possible higher union in every field in the real world, off the mat, equally as much as on the mat!
For relationships, friendships, workplaces, AcroYoga offers real-life positive benefits from your very first class, as your skills learned translate immediately off the mat into life.
Far beyond the mere acrobatics of body stacking and yoga flight, we celebrate the elements of communication and collaboration, of trust and playfulness; elements that we as children instinctively enjoyed as our birthright, and easily reclaim through this wonderful, enjoyable group practice.
Watch for a Handstand and AcroYoga class at Pure East in mid-January, with Sonja Rzepski and myself team teaching. Sonja is an aerial artist and ashtanga yogi, and she is, as I am, a Certified Yoga Therapist.
So, physical and emotional safety are priorities for us, even as we create fun, dynamic learning around inversions, flight, and touch. We inaugurate this specialty class, perhaps twice monthly, beginning in mid-January (details TBD), and we hope to open it to non-members and Class Pass students as well, so your non-member friends may take it. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, each Friday, meet me at Cosmic Fit Club for AcroYoga Basics 6:30, and Thai Yoga Intro 7:30. TGIFridays!
(I have excellent subs when I'm away on retreat January 3 & 10.)
All are welcome! No partner needed!
Cosmic is running some excellent year-end sales! Check it out! And your first Cosmic class is always free.

Lit-Up Seasonal Reads, Pt. 2
Both my favorite Brené Brown books, Daring Greatly and Braving The Wildnerness, quote Theodore Roosevelt's 1910 Paris, Sorbonne speech, and its excerpt below, "the Man in the Area" quote:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
   ~ from Citizenship in a Republic, Theodore Roosevelt

As we move into 2020, in what arenas of our lives do we feel willing to strive, do the deeds, know the great enthusiasms? The spending of ourselves in a worthy cause? Daring greatly?

Trivia: Theodore Roosevelt was the first President to fly an airplane, to own a car, to have a telephone in his home and travel outside the borders of the U.S. while still in office. 
Poems: Mary Oliver
American poet and Pulitzer Prize winner Mary Oliver (1935-2019) quietly and stirringly over six decades created a life's work of ecstatic nature poetry. Here are two pieces from a lovely gift: Devotions, her 2017 self-curated collection of selected poems spanning the years 1963-2015.
At Blackwater Pond, c.1980 
At Blackwater Pond the tossed waters have settled
after a night of rain.
I dip my cupped hands. I drink
a long time. It tastes
like stone, leaves, fire. It falls cold
into my body, waking the bones. I hear them
deep inside me, whispering
oh what is that beautiful thing
that just happened? 
I Wake Close To Morning, c.2015
Why do people keep asking to see
God's identity papers
when the darkness opening into morning
is more than enough?
Certainly any god might turn away in disgust
Think of Sheba approaching
the kingdom of Solomon.
Do you think she had to ask,
"Is this the place?" 

In this issue:
The Hero's Journey
2020 Schedule At A Glance
Winter Classes
Lit-Up Seasonal Reads, Pt. 2
Poems: Mary Oliver
Gifts & Gifting
Lit-Up Reads
Email Privacy
Gifts & Gifting
Every blade of grass has an angel that bends over it and whispers, "Grow! Grow!"
  ~ Talmud
... And so do we... And we too, may whisper to others ....

My Fave charities this season:
Heifer International
Children International
Feeding America
God's Love We Deliver
NYC Rescue Mission
Bowery Mission
Crossroads NYC
My Fave campaigns for unified hope and change:
Marianne Williamson
Andrew Yang
What are yours? Do share!
Lit-Up Reads
Holidays and summers, I treat myself to my favorite luxuries: reading & more reading!

Fave books this holiday season include some newbies, & oldies-but-goodies:

Brené Brown, Mary Oliver, Paulo Coelho, Thich Nhat Hanh, Abraham-Hicks, Paramahansa Yogananda, Gabby Bernstein, Wayne Dyer, Andrew Yang, & the kids' yoga cookbook, Yummy Yoga.

See my delish eggplant pizza!

Life and love are always a leap of faith. We do not and cannot know all that they will bring.

Nor would we want to eliminate surprise, and the gifts of growth and learning.

Thirty-six years ago, we met in August and married in December. 
We took a leap of faith. I moved from Toronto to New York. And our lives continue to grow and evolve together. 

À la belle vie! To life, to love, to faith, to growth!

My third ReSOULutions Retreat, with Juan Gamboa, Esco Wilson, and retreat tribe, takes place this year at Rayos del Sol in Costa Rica, Jan. 4-11. Above photo by Grant Henry Media.
If you're missing us this year (feeling spontaneous, anyone? jump on it!) watch for 2021 RR in a whole new locale!
And watch for my June 12-14 Wagging Tail Yoga weekend retreat, already booking! Register now to save your spot! Space is limited!


Carpe diem, dear yogis.
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Happy New Year!
Have the brightest of seasons of light!

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Mary Aranas Yoga  •  310 Lexington Avenue  •  NY, NY 10016

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