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Hollye Holbrook

Finding the Right Yoga Mat for You

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In comparison to many other practices and activities yoga requires minimal equipment. It is unique in the way that the gear is either highly personalized or completely nonexistent. A mat can be completely optional, however, for those looking to find one to help improve their practice whether it's comfort, size or durability there are a lot of things to consider. Yoga mats come in all shapes and sizes -- if your mat is too thin, it’s going to cause stress on your joints. If it’s too thick and not dense enough, it can affect your balance. So how do you decide what’s the best one for your practice?

A team at Reviews.com recently completed a six-week study on 30 popular mat options on the market to determine which ones had the traction, support, and versatility for every yogi, from beginner to expert. They consulted a panel of instructors and experts, surveyed yoga enthusiasts, and scoured through scientific research to find the top performing yoga mats. Ultimately, they created a comprehensive guide detailing the most important features in a mat, as well as key materials to keep an eye out for.

The perfect mat varies from person to person, and their guide makes recommendations for a variety of preferences. Check out their entire review here: http://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/.

Here are some things to consider when finding a mat that is right for you:

Open vs. closed cell structure - Open-cell mats are good for absorbing oils and sweat, but they are harder to clean. Closed-cell mats are easier to clean, but if you’re going to be sweating a lot you’ll probably need a yoga towel.

Density/thickness/weight - The denser the mat, the more support you have for your joints. But if a mat is too thick and not dense enough, balance poses may feel unstable. Mat thickness ranges from 1/16” to 1/4”. Yoga mat weight can be under two pounds to almost 10 pounds.

Durability - Some mats offer a lifetime guarantee. Natural rubber and some eco-friendly mats tend to last longer. You still have to take proper care of any mat, such as cleaning it regularly and not leaving it outside or in direct sunlight, which will make it break down faster.

Price - With most mats, you do get what you pay for. Yoga mats can range from $10 to more than $100. Just know that the cheaper mats will likely not last as long.

Yoga style & location - Depending on the style of yoga, you’ll need various levels of thickness and traction to hold up when you’re sweating a lot or doing more challenging poses. Also, if you’re doing yoga outside in a forest or on a beach, you’ll need a more durable mat.

Length & size - You want a yoga mat that covers your entire body when you are laying down.
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Hollye Holbrook

June at SGY!

  • A Note from Jess
  • Summer Schedule Changes
  • Summer Special
  • Friends Free Friday
  • Vinyasa in the Vineyard at Valhalla Winery
  • Beloved Teacher Megan Burke returns to SGY this month!
  • Special Summer Solstice Vinyasa and Yoga Nidra
  • Sunset Vinyasa with Jess and Karlene at the Sunshine Sessions Music Festival
  • Music Classs with Jess: Beyonce music mix! 
  • Last chance to catch restorative yoga this month!
  • Posture of the Month: Upward-facing Dog
  • Details of the SGY Teacher Training in Fall 2017


 

Dear SGY Yogis and Yoginis,



Summer is almost upon us!  I always love this time of year...more sunshine, warmer days, waking up earlier with the light, taking evening walks, and getting outside in nature.  We’ve made it through a particularly cold and wet winter, and we hope all of you are looking forward to the next few months!  I sometimes hear from folks that it’s harder to get into hot yoga practice in the summer, and I’d like to offer you a reframe for that.  Summer is my all time favorite time to practice hot yoga.  Your body is already warm from the outdoor weather and your fascia is also more pliable, meaning that your hot yoga practice becomes about opening and deepening, building upon all the foundational work you’ve been doing the last 6 months.  I never feel more alive, more connected, and more deeply grounded than I do during my summer yoga practice.  It’s also the best prep for all your outdoor adventures, and I feel this the most in my ability to nose breathe calmly and deeply while hiking, backpacking, kayaking, mountain biking, climbing, running, or just throwing a frisbee around.  Enjoy your beautiful bodies this summer as a result of your dedicated practice!

 
We always appreciate hearing from you about classes and offerings you’d like to see on the schedule.  Our summer schedule will shift from July through September, with some class reductions and some class changes, and then it will shift once more in October as we gear up for the Fall.  Many of you have requested additional Inferno Hot Pilates Classes and we have heard you!  Many of you have requested that we keep foam rolling on Sunday mornings and we have also heard you on this!  See below for the summer schedule changes, as well as a special summer discounted package.


Speaking of the transformative qualities of summer, a new transformation is in the air for SGY.  Some of you may recall that when I took over the studio 4 years ago, I changed the name from Bikram Yoga Eugene to Sweaty Ganesh Yoga.  This was a name I selected intentionally based on who and what Ganesh represents – as a Hindu deity he is often referred to as the Remover of Obstacles.  In so many ways, yoga is the remover of obstacles in our lives.  Each of us has a story about discovering something we didn’t think we could do and coming more into alignment with our authentic voices and our true selves, whether that be through a job change, a shift in partnership, or a lessening of anxiety and depression.  Yoga is powerful medicine.


Recently, a member of the local Hindu community approached me to express concern over the use of a deity in a brand.  I appreciated her willingness to speak with me and share her perspective, and after hearing her out, I knew in my heart that her concern was valid.  As a studio we are wholeheartedly committed to facilitating and embodying the path of Yoga, which champions diversity and inclusion, creating a safe space for students of all backgrounds and experiences, promoting social justice, and listening to feedback from the community.  In response to this and to better reflect our values and the inclusive experience we currently offer at the studio, we will be changing our studio’s name, and we will be asking for your help with this process.  There is a box up at the front desk where you can write in your suggestions for studio names in the form of ______ Yoga Center.   We will have this box up for the entire month of June, and you are free to make as many suggestions as you like.  Thus far, we are playing with themes of fire and light in the name: Fire and Light Yoga Center, Luminous Yoga Center and Illumination Yoga Center are in the running, and we’d love to hear what creative and beautiful ideas you have!  Follow us on Instagram and facebook this month where we will keep you up to date with current suggestions and you can tell us what you like!
 

It’s been said that change is the only constant force in life…it propels us forward, helps us grow and stretch, and makes us better.  Our yoga practices, our minds, our bodies, and our studio community have grown tremendously in the last four years.  We are committed to this Yogic path of continual evolution as it strengthens us all.  Many thanks to each of you for what you bring to the studio.  I’ve said it before but it bears repeating…walking into SGY and seeing all of you fills me with such deep love and gratitude.  I often think I have the best job in the world.  Cheers to summer metamorphosis, adventure, fire and light!


With love,

Jess


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Summer Schedule Change


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*Effective July 1 - September 30

Monday:
9am C26 changes to Inferno Hot Pilates

Tuesday:
No 4pm C26

Wednesday:
No 6pm Vinyasa; come to Strength & Conditioning instead, which we'll hold in the sun room

Friday:
4pm C26 changes to 4:30pm Inferno Hot Pilates

Sunday:
No 4pm C26


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Summer Special



3 months unlimited yoga for $199

Offer valid July 1 - September 30
Available for purchase now through July 31st


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Friends Free Friday

June 9th

Bring a friend for free to every class you attend!


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Vinyasa in the Vineyard at Valhalla Winery

 Outdoor Yoga in the Vineyard with Joey and Sarah 


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Friday, June 9th
4-5:30pm
$16/ticket
**Ticket price includes one glass of wine following class

Open your heart! Shine your light! And dance all night! Join Joey and Sarah for an incredible afternoon of Vinyasa in the Vineyard at Valhalla Winery. Valhalla Winery (formally Domaine Meriwether Winery), located just 17 miles outside of Eugene in Veneta, offers amazing wines (bubbles – yay! – reds, whites), some beer, and non-alcoholic choices seven days a week. Come enjoy beautiful views and an outdoor yoga class in the vineyard where we will soak up the afternoon and evening sun, root down into the earth like the vines themselves, and open our hearts skyward. Stay after the class for live entertainment, food from a local food cart, and lovely company. The cost for this event will be $16 per person, which includes a glass of wine or other beverage of your choice. We look forward to seeing you soon!

 
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Beloved Teacher Megan Burke returns to SGY this month!


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We are so thrilled to welcome back our beloved vinyasa teacher, Megan Burke. If you've taken her classes before, you know how incredible she is, and if you haven't yet taken her class, you are in for a treat! Catch her on Saturday, June 10th at 11am. Megan will also teach our transgender/gender diverse class on Sunday, June 4th at 7pm.

For Megan, yoga is cultivating compassionate curiosity toward one's self and others. Although yoga is much more than asana, Megan embraces the joy that can come from learning new ways to move and be in one's body. In an asana-focused class, Megan encourages people to prioritize the breath and aims to give tools to develop a thoughtful and dynamic personal practice. Megan is deeply committed to integrating social justice and yoga and finding ways to make yoga teaching and studios accessible to and inclusive of marginalized groups. 


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Special Summer Solstice Vinyasa and Yoga Nidra



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Tuesday, June 20th
6-7:15 Vinyasa with Jess
7:30-8:30pm Yoga Nidra with Aricha Pluid
 
Join us for a special summer solstice celebration on Tuesday, June 20th! We will usher out the longest day of light this year with a 75 minute vinyasa class, led by Jess. Light is something for which we live and breathe, and something that we cultivate in our own hearts and beings through turning inward, opening the body outward, and directing our energy toward positivity and authenticity. Together we will cultivate and celebrate the light within us and all around us as we move and breathe. 

This special class will be accompanied by live music by Ryan Post of the Post Project. He plays an instrument called the hang, that looks a little like a silver spaceship.  The Hang Sound Sculpture was developed in 2001 by PanArt.  The instant creation of melody and rhythm with every tap of it's finely tuned surface makes for a unique acoustic experience.  Ryan Post has been sculpting and performing Hang like instruments for the past 5 years.  He has performed for over 100 yoga classes in Boulder Colorado and is excited to be playing at SGY for the Solstice.  Find out more about Ryan and the hang instrument at postproject.org, and thepostproject.bandcamp.com.


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Following vinyasa class, guest teacher Aricha Pluid will lead a one hour yoga nidra that will replace our restorative class. Yoga Nidra is a sleep-based meditation technique. When the mind is escorted into the background, the wisdom of the body is able to come through and promote deep restoration on many levels. Simply lie down and give yourself permission to release, letting non-doing take over. This special Solstice practice is open to students of all levels. If you're seeking extra physical support, bring an extra towel or two for propping.

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Hello! My name is Aricha Pluid. I am a lover of reading, gardening, and travel. I began practicing yoga at 18 and although I merely sought exercise, I gained far more. Thus, after I received a degree in English, I chose to teach yoga instead of continue down the academic path. In my experience, a regular practice of yoga and yoga nidra meditation reveals powerful opportunities to approach and navigate welcome and unwelcome challenges. My aim is to inspire self-compassion and to encourage a fearless dedication to the practice of listening to (and honoring) innate wisdom. Gazing inward on a regular basis, we can go outward with more trust, love, and ultimately, purpose. My practice features elements of the following: Hatha, Kundalini, Flow, Restorative, Yin, and lovingly, Yoga Nidra meditation. 
 

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Community Classes with Teacher Training Graduates

Sundays from 12:30-1:30pm
 
We continue to offer donation-based community classes every Sunday afternoon 12:30-1:30pm led by our recent teacher training graduates. All classes with be either a 1 hour Core 26 class or a vinyasa flow. Bring your friends! Any donations are most appreciated and all proceeds will go toward a scholarship fund for future trainees.

6/4 Benjamin
6/11 Sarah
6/18 Joey
6/25 David & Kathryne



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Sunset Vinyasa with Jess and Karlene at the Sunshine Sessions Music Festival 


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Saturday, June 24th, 7-8:30pm

Enjoy an entire day of live music outdoors at the Sunshine Sessions Music Festival in Alton Baker Park on Saturday, June 24th!  SGY will have a vendor booth at the event, where you can stop by and share some sunshine with Joey and Stormy!  This amazing day concludes with a sunset vinyasa class led by Jess and Karlene, complete with live music in the background.  Explore balancing, breathing, and opening your body with the beautiful backdrop of nature and sound.  Bring your own mat and some water.  Tickets to the festival and more information is available at: https://www.sunshinesessions.com/



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Music Class


Friday, June 30th

6:00pm • Core 26 Class
Led by Jess
Beyonce music mix!


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Last chance to catch restorative yoga this month!


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Our popular Tuesday evening restorative yoga class will take a leave of absence for our amended summer schedule, July through September. It returns in October, when we also hope to increase the number of restorative classes we offer. If you have day/time suggestions for this, please let us know!

This month, we are so happy to welcome three new restorative yoga teachers to our schedule – Annette, Charity, and Stormy. Some of these classes will include essential oils, for an even more deeply relaxing experience. Join us for these last three opportunities for "adult nap time" as some of our students have fondly called it, June 4th, 18th, and 25th at 7:30pm.

**Restorative yoga will be replaced with Yoga Nidra, an equally as relaxing, meditative and rejuvenating experience, for the special Solstice celebration on Tuesday, June 20th.
 



 


Posture of the Month: Urdhva Mukha Svanasana


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Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (OORD-vah MOO-kah shvon-AHS-anna) is a powerful pose that awakens upper-body strength and offers a wonderful stretch for the chest and abdomen. The name comes from the Sanskrit words ūrdhva meaning "up", mukha meaning "face", śvān meaning "dog".

In Upward-Facing Dog, the most common challenge is keeping the shoulders from creeping up toward the ears. This happens when we rest weight in the wrists.
To avoid this, anchor down into the first finger knuckle of your hands, keeping the forearms rooted like stable pillars to lift the chest out of. Push the floor away to lift the spine up through the crown of the head. At the same time, isometrically pull your hands towards your feet.

Another key challenge in this pose is engaging and lifting the legs. If you don’t press into the tops of the feet and engage the legs, the kneecaps and pelvis sag and rest on the mat. Lifting the uppermost part of the thighs, deep in the hip socket, creates space for the sacrum to slide away from the lumbar spine to prevent potential low-back compression.


Pose type:
Backbend

Benefits:
• Improves posture
• Strengthens the spine, arms, wrists
• Stretches chest and lungs, shoulders and abdomen
• Firms the buttocks
• Stimulates abdominal organs
• Helps relieve mild depression, fatigue, and sciatica
• Therapeutic for asthma

Preparatory Poses:
Cobra; Bridge

Follow-up Poses:
Backbends; Twists

Tips:
• There's a tendency in this pose to "hang" on the shoulders, which lifts them up toward the ears and "turtles" the neck. Actively draw the shoulders away from the ears by lengthening down along the back armpits, pulling the shoulder blades toward the tailbone, and puffing the side ribs forward. If you need help learning this, lift each hand on a block.
• Common postural errors during this asana include overarching the neck and lower back. One recommendation is to keep the gaze directed down at the floor and focus on bringing movement into the area between the shoulder blades

Variations & Cautions:
• To increase the strength and lightness of this pose, push from the backs of your knees along the calves and out through the heels. The tops of your feet will press more firmly against the floor; as they do, lift the top sternum up and forward.
• Avoid this pose if you have a back injury, carpal tunnel syndrome or are pregnant.
• It takes time to build the flexibility and strength needed for Upward-Facing Dog. Practice Cobra Pose as an alternative pose if Upward-Facing Dog is not yet possible for you.

As with all postures, I encourage you to listen to your body and honor where you are mentally, physically and emotionally each day. The pose will be there again tomorrow... practice in such a way that you can be too!

Warmly,
Hollye and the SGY Teaching Team


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“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort. It’s choosing what is right over what is fun, fast or easy. It’s choosing to practice your values rather than simply professing them.”
~ Breneé Brown




 

Interested in Teacher Training?



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Our SGY 200 hour Yoga Alliance certified Hot Yoga Teacher Training program starts up again in Fall, 2017. If you’re interested, don’t hesitate to email Jess at sweatyganeshyoga@gmail.com or speak with any of the current teacher trainees about their experiences.

We will be offering two $500 need-based scholarships and one $1000 diversity scholarship for teacher training in 2017. For scholarship applications, please email Jess.  These applications are due by June 30th, 2017.

Yoga is a lifelong journey of returning home to ourselves by unlocking our true potential, developing a healthy physical body and skillfull mental habits, and living the rich, meaningful, value-laden existence we all seek. In essence, it is a process of becoming more of who we already are. Join Jess Eldridge and her team for this comprehensive hot yoga teacher training at Sweaty Ganesh Yoga this Fall to deepen your knowledge and understanding of Yoga and to learn to guide others along this path.

This is a collaborative, empowering, group-based training that incorporates classical Yoga teachings, psychology, and neuroscience. It offers a strength-based, breath-focused, mindful, non-dogmatic approach to teaching Yoga. Training includes experiential coursework in:

Asana, pranayama and meditation (postures, breathwork and finding stillness)

Anatomy and physiology

The nervous system, including learning to read and calm your own nervous system as well as facilitate a collective, downregulating nervous system experience for your students

Yoga philosophy

Yoga history, including C26 and vinyasa lineages, classical methods and modern developments

Core 26 and vinyasa teaching methodologies

Class sequencing

Hands-on adjustments

Ethics and power dynamics inherent in the teacher-student relationship

Mindfulness practices

Discovering your own unique, authentic teaching voice


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Training meets over 8 weekends from October 2017 to March 2018, including one weekend retreat in Yachats. This is a Yoga Allianced certified 200 hour teacher training.

Training Schedule (all SGY weekends meet Fridays 4-8pm, Saturdays 8:30-6pm and Sundays 8:30am-6pm):

Oct 6-8
Oct 20-22
Nov 10-12
Dec 8-10
Jan 5-7
Yachats Retreat Jan 26-28
February 9-11
March 2-4

Cost: $2850; $2600 Early Bird pricing through September 1st, 2017
Payment plan options are available.
Email Jess for an application packet and more information!

 
 
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