Posts Tagged ‘The Yoga Sanctuary’

August Workshop in Punta Gorda 2011

September 6, 2011

At the Yoga Sanctuary’s new premises in Punta Gorda, Florida, I taught my second summer workshop, beginning on Friday evening, August 11, with a class for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Pelicans at the Peace River Wildlife Santuary, Punta Gorda

On Saturday, we moved to the Punta Gorda Women’s Club, a ‘heritage’ building next door for the menopause and post menopause workshop, as the class was too big for the Yoga Santuary. I have taught (and continue to teach) this workshop around the world, and it’s always interesting to see how this subject plays out among women in the various regions and countries. Despite the drug companies bombardment with products to make menopause ‘go away’, women are very much open to taking charge of themselves using natural methods and learning how to navigate through any disturbances brought on by hormonal shifts during this transition with yoga.

Supported Paryankasana

Curving the dorsal spine around the front of a chair

Sunday was backbends, which are always a joy to teach. The workshop built up from the base; we looked at all of the components of a good back bend. Strong arms and legs definitely help if you are going to be pushing up from the floor — but there are other ways of achieving a back bend. In this workshop, we came to an understanding that we need to bend more from the upper (dorsal) spine and less from the lower (lumbar) spine. As these pictures show, variations of Paryankasana strongly featured in this workshop, as well as using chairs to curve over. I have been featuring these poses over the last twelve months or so in all my back bend workshops for women.

Here is my Viparita Dandasana demo, with chair and block. The key to a good pose is the extension through the legs and heels

Urdhva Danurasana with blocks under hands

© 2011 Bobby Clennell.

Report from Florida

August 22, 2010

August has been all about discovering Florida. Very quickly after arriving, we found that we became naturally attuned to planetary rhythms. In the mornings I would open my eyes, and glancing out of my bedroom window, I would watch the sun rise above the little row of villas beyond the lake. The sun would then stream through our apartment, drenching everything with a glorious light.

I taught two workshops in Florida. In Naples at Postures for Suzie Muchnick, I taught sitting poses in the morning and in the afternoon we tackled the balancings.  This was a strong group. Most of the students were in the process of going up for their Introductory II certification.

In historic Punta Gorda at The Yoga Sanctuary for Bonnie Yonker, I taught three classes; menopause and post menopause, drawing yoga, and the principles of alignment. All three of these classes were well attended even though high summer in Florida is the ‘low season’ and many of the residents are elsewhere at this time of year.  This was also a strong, welcoming group of receptive and committed yoga students.

I wish I could tell you I have finally learned how to swim, but until I can swim a length in water that I cannot stand up in, I am not there yet. It’s been a saga, this swimming thing, but having easy access to a pool, and having unlimited sunshine helped a great deal, and I feel that I am on my way.

The other big thing that happened this month – I cut my hair! The long (20 year) ponytail is a thing of the past. It’s now a short, bouncy bob. I was very self -conscious about it for a while but now I can’t imagine it any other way. is reporting much interest in the sound recordings, now available for download on their website, from a weekend workshop I taught earlier in the year.  You can download three of the five classes that I taught that weekend: Menopause, Inversions and Backbends. I also made drawing of the entire list of poses, with additional drawings showing how to get into – and in some cases out of – the poses. These are available as a PDF with each download.

The really big event of the month is the publication of my first children’s picture book, Watch Me Do Yoga, which has been a couple of years, on-and-off, in the making. The inspiration for this book came as I taught a student in my Greenwich Village studio. My student had brought her six year old daughter with her, and had settled her down with some drawing paper and pencils. But the little girl was not happy about having to wait while her mother did yoga and her restlessness and boredom was disturbing the class. She just wanted to go home. Finally, I drew the little girl into the class and taught her along with her mother. She was transformed by the attention as she happily practiced along with us. When the session was over, her mother had quite a job getting her to leave!

Finally, I had wanted to report that I had seen my very first alligator, but we didn’t have time to go find one before we had to return to New York. Maybe when we come back in December (when I teach again at The Yoga Sanctuary, and at Postures), we will get to make that drive through the everglades across Florida from the west coast to the east coast. I will keep you posted!

© 2010 Bobby Clennell.