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Yoga Travels to Vancouver Winter Olympics

YOGA is the training tool of choice for athletes competing in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Asana creates balanced yet loose muscles, increased body awareness, and mental focus; while attention to the breath helps to control pre-race jitters.

For athletes that are pushing physical and mental limits on a daily basis, yoga provides an opportunity to let go. "Yoga has taught me balance and acceptance," shares Chandra Crawford, of the Canadian cross country ski team. She also believes yoga has improved her focus during races. Many athletes try yoga while in rehabilitation from injuries to remain active while healing, and never stop. Shannon Deanne Bahrke of the U.S. Freestyle Ski team doesn't enjoy stretching, but enjoys her yoga practice because "it's more about moving in your own body and being centered and strong." Figure skaters, freestyle and cross country skiers and speed skaters have all included yoga as part of their training.

The synergistic energy of yoga is also attractive to athletes who are used to competing against others to gain advantages. In a group yoga class bodies are working as one to energize and renew. You don't have to be an elite athlete to seek a chance to SLOW down and reconnect to balance. A consistent yoga practice helps to expand our ability to remain focused on the finish line; whether it's competing for a gold medal, completing a report for the boss, or remaining patient while a toddler ties his shoe for the first time. (to read more about yoga of champions, pick up the February 2010 edition of Yoga Journal magazine)


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Dalai Lama Book Discussions

DID YOU KNOW THAT HIS HOLINESS, THE 14TH DALAI LAMA IS VISITING IOWA MAY 18? In preparation for his visit, we will be holding book discussions at the lounge on February 25 and April 15, at 7pm. Join us for a lively discussion of two titles written in collaboration with the Dalai Lama. Purchase your books now and join us whether you have tickets for His May 18 visit to Cedar Falls or are simply curious and looking to expand spiritually.
As May draws closer, the local media will be consumed with the events surrounding this historic visit. While the January winds and snow sweep across the landscape of Iowa, snuggle into your favorite chair and read one of the books below or watch the movie that studies Tibetan culture, "Seven Years in Tibet," Heinrich Harrer, 1997 (starring Brad Pitt).
  
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Our February 25 discussion will focus on: "The Art of Happiness in a Troubled World" by Howard Cutler, 2009 Attitude and a sense of meaning are the keys to happiness at work, the exiled Tibetan leader tells psychiatrist Howard Cutler in the course of conversations that took place over several years. What will surprise many is the prime importance the Dalai Lama places on reason and analysis, and on the need to acquire "a sense of self that is grounded in reality, an undistorted recognition of one's abilities and characteristics." In order to achieve the kind of happiness that can be sustained even in the hardest times, he says, we must engage in the slow, steady work of training our hearts and minds, rooting out negative habits and cultivating basic human values like kindness and compassion. And what may be most moving is this: if the Dalai Lama is right, and if people do as he suggests - if they learn to see themselves impartially and to analyze their work in light of how many people it touches - they will begin to see, whether they are picking oranges or writing a novel, that the highest purpose of work and, indeed, of life is the helping of others. purchase this book thru amazon   http://tinyurl.com/yhoztnm  

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The April 15th discussion will include: "Becoming Enlightened" by Jeffrey Hopkins, 2009 Drawing from traditional Buddhist meditative practices as well as penetrating examples from today's troubled planet, Hopkins presents step-by-step exercises designed to expand the reader's capacity for spiritual growth, along with clear milestones to mark the reader's progress. By following the spiritual practices outlined in "Becoming Enlightened," we can learn how to replace troublesome feelings with positive attitudes and embark on a path to achieving an exalted state -- within ourselves and within the larger world. purchase this book thru amazon  http://tinyurl.com/yghthg6
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Even is you don't have tickets to be in Cedar Falls on May 18, don't miss this opportunity to learn about the Dalai Lama's life of helping others and to identify opportunities for true spiritual growth. Additional links: Sacred sand: Monks create mandala at UNI:   http://tinyurl.com/yj8gps5 Complete reading list: http://www.uni.edu/dalailama/book-groups Dalai Lama's official website and biography: http://tinyurl.com/ykummzl WHAT DOES HIS HOLINESS' VISIT TO IOWA MEAN TO YOU?

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lounge now offers prenatal yoga

A regular yoga practice is a great way to find balance in your life.  Benefits include building strength and flexibility, and reducing stress; a necessity for everyone, and particularly in those looking for a healthy pregnancy including the time before, during, and after the entire birthing process.  Calm and flexibility achieved through yoga ease the birthing process, thus reducing pain and increasing the joy of giving birth. Smooth pregnancy and a natural childbirth are just some of the benefits of pre-natal yoga. But more importantly, yoga does wonders on the physical and mental development of the fetus.  Our experienced instructor (P.VanMeter) will guide you through a gentle pre or post natal yoga practice enhancing relaxation, comfort, and serenity for this transformational time of life.  Combining breathwork, meditation, and gentle postures designed to adequately open and prepare your body will enable you to have a safe and intimate experience with your unborn child.  After delivery post natal yoga can help heal the body, reducing pain from tension, and breast discomfort as well as help restore the uterus, abdomen and the pelvic floor. Classes offered in six week sessions on Thursday evenings from 6:30-7:30pm at the yoga lounge. Total cost for six weeks, $72. All students are required to receive written permission from their physician and sign a liability waiver prior to participation. (Pre & Post Natal class series is non-refundable and non-transferable. There are no credits for unused classes. Consistency and commitment are the only means of achieving true benefit for mother and baby. Should you experience complications or deliver your baby during the series, supply the lounge with a note signed by your health care practitioner stating that exercise is no longer advisable, and you may use the balance of your classes after the birth of your baby to attend our regularly scheduled weekly classes. Unused prenatal classes expire 90 days after the birth of your baby.)


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Aligning the Chakras thru Yoga

Ever have an off day? For example:  Energy levels seem low for no particular reason, emotions run a little sporadic, memory delays, spinning your wheels but getting nowhere?  Sometimes, no matter how hard we try, certain “off days” just seem to occur.  Chakra energy centers, when unbalanced, may be the cause of these unexplainable issues.  In the New Year, learn more about these major seven energy centers.  Understand how you can be more proactive in maintaining their balance.  Learn the connections between positive and negative chakra balance and how they are impacting your life.  Join us at balance yoga lounge for the Chakra alignment workshop, January 20th at 7pm, and find out how your yoga practice assists the positive chakra balancing. Linette Mace leads this informative workshop on balancing your personal energy. **additional $5 fee covers the cost of essential oils used in the workshop.