The Art of Self Care: A Day of Yoga & Ceremony
Dec
2
9:00am 9:00am

The Art of Self Care: A Day of Yoga & Ceremony

What does it really mean to care for one's Self? 

In the haste of our modern lives, sometimes self care can be limited to mostly superficial actions (and there’s nothing at all wrong with that). But true healing arises from deep within our being. It’s what happens when we stop and honestly assess where we’re really at at any given moment - what’s arising, what needs to be seen, what we simply need.  And then giving ourselves the time to address those discoveries:  to tend to our inner landscapes. As the winter equinox, the holiday season, and the end of the year approach, the time is perfect to turn our attentions inward and replenish the deep reserves of our soul.

I invite you to join me on a day that will include an alchemy of:
Cacao Ceremony ~ Prajna Yoga practice ~ SATYA movement* ~ Guided & Silent Meditation Healing Sound & Breathwork ~ Nourishing Lunch, Snacks, Tea

Space is limited. $75 before November 25, $90 after. Register HERE.
The retreat will take place at a private studio in Travis Heights.
Details will be sent out after registration. 

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The Yoga of Chocolate Retreat | Sacred Valley, Peru
May
26
to Jun 2

The Yoga of Chocolate Retreat | Sacred Valley, Peru

In Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga, the fifth limb, pratyahara, is often defined as 'a withdrawal of the senses'. With it’s central location it could also be considered the “bridge limb” - the point where the outer can become inner (and vice versa).

However, a less common translation, and more accurate, translation of the word pratyahara is to recover our senses.

Scholars of yoga philosophy often regard pratyahara as the 'forgotten limb' of yoga, it's importance being gravely undervalued and ignored. Pratyahara is intimately related to ALL the limbs of yoga, as they all - from asana to samadhi—contain aspects of pratyahara; It  is the basis for meditation and provides the gateway towards the higher practices of yoga: dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (absorption/oneness). 

"Pratyahara does not mean suppressing the senses! We need our mind and senses to be outward in order to function in the world and enjoy life. Pratyahara means training and mastering the mind and senses so they stop roaming aimlessly, depleting us of our vital energies (prana) in the process." ~ Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, PhD

In this 8 day/7 night retreat, we will turn the spotlight on this forgotten limb, weaving together asana, meditation, breathwork, somatic movement, sacred ritual and ceremony, indigenous healing practices, and (drum roll)... CHOCOLATE as the vehicles with which we will use to recover, revitalize, and deepen our sensory awareness. 

And we will do so while surrounded and supported by the energy of the Sacred Valley of Peru, an area famous for it's apus (which means mountain in Quechua, the language of the indigenous people of this part of Peru). The retreat center hosting us, Sach'a Munay (which in Quechua translates as love from the ancient forests) has been built with the utmost respect for the land, following permacultural principles in all of it's construction. Sach'a Munay is a sanctuary for deep work, with hardly a detail overlooked (including the magestic new yoga temple which has been built on top of quartz crystal & has a window down into the Earth/quartz at the center of the temple.)

What's Included:
~ 7 nights accommodations
~ 3 organic vegetarian meals each day
~ daily Prajna Yoga, SATYA, and meditation classes
~ Despacho ceremony led by Q'ero shaman
~ Cacao Ceremony
~ Temescal Sweat Lodge
~ Trip to Pisac Market
~ Guided Chocolate Tasting
~ Deep Healing & Rest - surrounded by the sacred mountain energy and held by the healing lands of this powerful part of the world. 

More details & registration HERE 

*You also have the option to extend your journey with a tour of several cacao farms in the Quillabamba region followed by a visit to Machu Picchu immediately after the retreat ends. (Details below)

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Mujeres Milagros Chocolate Retreat
Sep
7
to Sep 10

Mujeres Milagros Chocolate Retreat

I'm thrilled to be leading the yoga & meditation offerings at Mujeres Milagros Chocolate Retreat, an homage to the miraculous women who craft, champion and enrich our world through the magic of cacao!

This spirited 4-day gathering includes mindful conversations, intentional bonding and nurturing food. The retreat will convene at the historic Hacienda Doña Andrea situated in the sacred American West just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Find more info and registration HERE

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Sacred Cacao Ceremony & Somatic Journey into the Heart
Aug
20
3:00pm 3:00pm

Sacred Cacao Ceremony & Somatic Journey into the Heart

This August is a really special month! There are two eclipses taking place: a partial Lunar one at the Full Moon on August 7th; and a rare total Solar Eclipse on the New Moon on August 21st. Therefore it is a great time to reset and recreate who you are, what you want to manifest, and how you want to show up in the world. It is an intense month of emotional ups and downs, confusion about what is right and dealing with hard truths. This calls for the flexibility and trust as we may experience turbulances throughout the month. It also calls for courage to go deep within to rediscover our truth, to re-evaluate our lives more closely, and to take action either in letting go or showing up in a new way.

Join me as I join forces with Lynn Tran for a very special, and auspiciously timed, event! In this workshop, our intention will be to come together to honor this transformative time by cultivating a deeper connection to our heart. Experience the transformative properties of cacao and yoga nidra in a magical high-vibration afternoon weaving together ceremony, intention, sound and vibration, reverence and prayer.

Tickets available HERE (Earlybird discount through August 17th)
More info on our Facebook page
 

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The Yoga of Chocolate: A Journey of the Senses | Idaho Springs, CO
Aug
10
5:30pm 5:30pm

The Yoga of Chocolate: A Journey of the Senses | Idaho Springs, CO

In Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga, the fifth limb, pratyahara, is often defined as 'a withdrawal of the senses'. With it’s central location it could also be considered the “bridge limb” - the point where the outer can become inner (and vice versa). With the practice of pratyahara you can cultivate a more intimate relationship to your experience of sensation. (Note: the root word of sensation, along with sensory, sensitive, and sensual, is 'sense'.)

A less common translation of the word pratyahara 'to recover our senses'.

In this workshop, asana, meditation, and chocolate are the vehicles which we use to cultivate that recovery of our senses - that sensitivity that we often lose when when we get caught up in the rapid pace of our lives. We will also explore SATYA, a school of somatic movement techniques developed by Tias Little, to further heighten that awareness. Our eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, heart, and whole body will be opened so that we are free to truly take in the delicate subtleties in the different varieties of movement...and, of course, chocolate!

Chocolate is used as a means of directing the our attention inward, and not at all as a gimick. Chocolate (Cacao) is one of the most complex foods on the planet, more than twice as complex as wine in it's flavor notes! These days the world of chocolate is exploding with innovative new (and established) chocolate makers committed to using the highest quality & flavor cacao beans from around the world. Up until now much of what was known as "chocolate" were really mostly products filled with sugar, dairy, and many other unsavory additives to create the "chocolate flavor".

Fine chocolate can teach us how to slow down and really taste, savor, and enjoy our present moment experiences, whatever they may be! Combining chocolate tasting with the mindful movement and meditation allows attendees to go deeply inward, becoming more attuned to the smell, texture, tastes of the chocolate and of the infinite subtle physical sensations of their bodies.

Preparation: if possible, please do not eat, drink coffee (or any strong tea or kombucha) or smoke for at least 2 hours before this workshop so that your taste buds are rarin' to go!

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Keeping Your Summer Cool | Abilene Yoga House
Jul
22
1:00pm 1:00pm

Keeping Your Summer Cool | Abilene Yoga House

According to Five Element Theory in Chinese Medicine, Summer is the season filled with abundant energy, long days…and sunshine! Especially in Texas! It’s the most yang time of the year and if we’re not mindful about how we’re keeping our self cool all that heat can lead to heat exhaustion, burn out, or a bit too much pitta (or fiery) energy in our systems.

There are many different ways we can manage the heat of summer – through our food choices, simple lifestyle modifications, and by approaching our yoga practice in a way where we are using the poses to help cool our systems down rather than adding to the already abundant heat. This does not mean that you need to avoid “heating” classes, like Vinyasa, and just focus on the “cooler” ones like the Restorative; rather it’s the mindfulness and subtle modifications that you bring to whatever your practice of choice that will help keep you in balance.

As we all know, fire has the power to transform, but if the fire is burning out of control than it could become destructive. Fire is also symbolic of outgoingness, and moving outward in nature and in our lives. In human anatomy, the heart, mind, and spirit are ruled by the fire element. Thus, top priority should be given to the heart, mind, and spirit for staying healthy in summer. In this workshop we’ll do just that.

We’ll discuss which yoga postures are the most heating & how we can cool them down or harness the energy of their heat skillfully. We’ll explore breathing techniques that have quick cooling effects on our bodies. We’ll touch on mudras that can also help to cool down our systems. And, of course we’ll touch on foods that can help keep the organs associated with fire and summer, our hearts & small intestines, cool and functioning happily.

http://abileneyogahouse.com/workshops/

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The Yoga of Chocolate: A Journey of the Senses | Abilene Yoga House
Jul
21
6:00pm 6:00pm

The Yoga of Chocolate: A Journey of the Senses | Abilene Yoga House

In Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga, the fifth limb, pratyahara, is often defined as ‘a withdrawal of the senses’. With it’s central location it could also be considered the “bridge limb” – the point where the outer can become inner (and vice versa). With the practice of pratyahara you can cultivate a more intimate relationship to your experience of sensation. (Note: the root word of sensation, along with sensory, sensitive, and sensual, is ‘sense’.)

A less common translation of the word pratyahara ‘to recover our senses’.

In this workshop, asana, meditation, and chocolate are the vehicles which we use to cultivate that recovery of our senses – that sensitivity that we often lose when when we get caught up in the rapid pace of our lives. We will also explore SATYA, a school of somatic movement techniques developed by Tias Little, to further heighten that awareness. Our eyes, nose, mouth, tongue, heart, and whole body will be opened so that we are free to truly take in the delicate subtleties in the different varieties of movement…and, of course, chocolate!
Chocolate is used as a means of directing the our attention inward, and not at all as a gimick. Chocolate (Cacao) is one of the most complex foods on the planet, more than twice as complex as wine in it’s flavor notes! These days the world of chocolate is exploding with innovative new (and established) chocolate makers committed to using the highest quality & flavor cacao beans from around the world. Up until now much of what was known as “chocolate” were really mostly products filled with sugar, dairy, and many other unsavory additives to create the “chocolate flavor”.

Fine chocolate can teach us how to slow down and really taste, savor, and enjoy our present moment experiences, whatever they may be! Combining chocolate tasting with the mindful movement and meditation allows attendees to go deeply inward, becoming more attuned to the smell, texture, tastes of the chocolate and of the infinite subtle physical sensations of their bodies.

http://abileneyogahouse.com/workshops/

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Creating SPACE: Opening the Side Seams of Our Body | Sun Yoga Center
Jul
16
2:00pm 2:00pm

Creating SPACE: Opening the Side Seams of Our Body | Sun Yoga Center

Opening up our side (lateral) body can allow for more freedom of movement. Tightness in the sides of our body will show up the most in twisting and side bending, but because of the way some of our muscles “overlap” at the side seam of the body, tightness in the sides can also have an impact on both forward and backward bending.

As one might expect, opening the side body can also create more space for the diaphragm, ribs, lungs, and organs to expand. This opening up of our “gills” allows for more breath and prana (energy) to move though out the entire body, and positively affect the functioning of all of the systems (respiratory, digestive, lymphatic, etc).

On a psychic level, when we allow this space to expand, we give ourselves permission to take up more space in the world, allowing our brilliance to radiate and truly be seen.

In this workshop, we'll begin by using SATYA, a non-weight-bearing method of movement developed by Tias Little that allows “stuck” parts of our body to release through slow gliding, sliding, and circular movements. Afterwards, using common yoga poses, pranayama, and mudra we will then continue to explore expanding our lateral body dynamically, working with the force of gravity. The end result will be a feeling of more ease and spaciousness in both one's asana and meditation practices.

sunyogacenter.com

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Sacred Cacao Ceremony | Dallas Yoga Center
Jul
15
6:00pm 6:00pm

Sacred Cacao Ceremony | Dallas Yoga Center

Come experience the transformative properties of cacao in a magical evening layered with experiences. Let go and connect with the self through sacred cacao ceremony, heart meditation, somatic movement, guided pratyahara and sound therapy led by Jyl Kustche, David Sunshine and Kenny Kolter. Prepare yourself for a full sensory immersion into your inner landscape and new awareness of your own personal journey.

Cacao (ka-kow) is a Sacred and Medicinal plant and an ancient teacher and facilitator that assists you with the journey into your heart. Cacao was known to the Ancient Mayans as a powerful heart opener and potent healer.

Chocolate is widely known as an aphrodisiac and this understanding of how it opens our hearts is by no means new. The Aztecs often spoke of Cacao as ‘yollotl, eztli’, meaning “heart, blood”. Western science reinforced this by giving it the scientific name Theobroma Cacao, which means “The Food of the Gods”. What else would the food of the Gods be but love?

Raw cacao is also the most powerful antioxidant in the world, and is the ONLY known food where you will find therapeutic levels of magnesium and the chemical Anandamide, aka the LOVE chemical. (In Sanskrit, Ananda is translated as ‘bliss’) It results in feelings of pleasure and euphoria and also plays a role in moderating pain perception and memory of pain as well as improving consciousness and creativity as it increases blood flow to the heart and brain by up to 40%.

Cacao, when used with awareness, gives us time and space away from the busyness of the world & an opportunity to go on our own inward journey. Cacao is a gentle plant medicine, acting as a vasodilator on the smooth cardiac tissue, so literally it helps to open our heart. As the anatomical heart space is opened, it creates an opportunity for our energetic heart to open as well, offering us a doorway into the places deep within where healing is needed; but it will not push us through until we’re ready. We will create a space for intentions and deep connection to the self in this evening’s journey.

Contraindications: If you are on anti-depressants or anxiety medications, or have high blood pressure, or a history of chronic migraines, we ask that you contact us before signing up for the ceremony so we can discuss whether the cacao work is right for you, or alternatives if it is not. Additional information is available on our website, please send questions to info@dallasyogacenter.com.

http://dallasyogacenter.com/workshops--events

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Friday Night Unwind | Sun Yoga Center | Richardson, TX
Jul
14
7:00pm 7:00pm

Friday Night Unwind | Sun Yoga Center | Richardson, TX

This class is an opportunity to gather inward at the end of the week, to empty the body and mind of stress and to nourish the flame of our spirit. Stress and tension create a contracting effect on our bodies and our energy. This class will focus on supine micro-vinyasa movements that aim to unwind and release the tension in our tissues and in our minds. As we gently coax new space and prana into our bodies, we'll move from a contractive (yang) state to a more open spacious (yin) state of being, leading us into a sublime awareness of the stillness that resides within.

Parameters for participation include: the ability to get up and down off the floor without assistance, freedom from medical devices, and no acute spinal disc or nerve compression.

All Levels

sunyogacenter.com

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Weaving Heaven & Earth - Lake Atitlan, Guatemala Retreat
Jul
1
to Jul 8

Weaving Heaven & Earth - Lake Atitlan, Guatemala Retreat

Weaving Heaven and Earth Retreat
With Adriane Wolf & Jyl Kutsche

July 1-8th, 2017
Villa Sumaya - Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

"Within my body are all the sacred places of the world,
and the most profound pilgrimage that I can ever make is within my own body."
-Saraha, Buddhist saint

This is an invitation to those who are ready to break through to a new experience of
living in the soul and the heart. This experience involves the integration of the Earth, Heart and the Heavens within our physical bodies. This truly is an initiation into the Mystical Heart. Weaving Heaven and Earth is an opportunity to release old programs, epigenetic blueprints and trauma held in the body; and deeply rest and restore.

Using practices rooted in Yoga and Shamanism, and held by the sacred energies of Guatemala's Lake Atitlan, this journey will be an expansive exploration of our own multidimensionality and the ever changing realities that are shifting around us. It is an opportunity to discover the most sacred landscapes and doorways within our bodies. It is an invitation to fully awaken our kundalini and embody the mystical energy of the heart.

Both yogis and shamans view the world as a physical world. The practices we will be exploring in this retreat are aimed to bring a direct awareness to the energy moving through our bodies, known as prana in the yogic system; and also to strengthen the nervous system and balance the glandular system. From this awareness we will experience a deeper visceral understanding of the potential of each asana...awakening to the sacred geometry within each pose...and the mandala which is each and everyone one of us.

Kundalini Yoga – Prajna Yoga – Somatic Movement – Merkaba Activation
Pranayama – Shamanic Journeying – Guided & Silent Meditation

Mantra and Sound Healing - Self Care - Deep Connection With Gaia - Ceremony & Ritual
…........................

Majestically located on the shores of Lake Atitlan, Villa Sumaya is an Eco-Chic Wellness Center surrounded by three volcanoes and the splendid beauty of twelve Mayan villages. An oasis for yoga, healing, rest and contemplation, you will feel yourself transported into a slower rhythm of life as the stressors of our modern lives melt away.

Single Occupancy $2450
Double $1850

(all prices are per person)

What's included:
-Seven nights’ lodging at beautiful Villa Sumaya, all with patio & stunning views
-Three delicious gourmet vegetarian meals per day
-Daily yoga & practices with Adriane & Jyl
-Cacao Ceremony
-Traditional Mayan Fire Ceremony
-Chichimecca Sweat Lodge
-Solar-heated Hot Tub
-Lush gardens, hammocks, and cozy shaded or full sun sitting areas
-Unlimited tea, coffee and purified water service at 24/7 beverage bar
-All Guatemalan taxes
-Staff tips
-Plenty of time to retreat, reclaim and reimagine…

What’s Not Included:
-Airfare to Guatemala (GUA)
-Transportation from airport to Villa Sumaya
($35-$100 depending on whether you ride alone or with a group.
We will help to coordinate this)
-Alcohol (available)
-Fish/chicken at meal times (available)
-Special Dietary Restrictions (Gluten-free, Vegan, etc available)
-Day trips (hiking, shopping, sightseeing)
-Spa treatments
-Incidentals


Earlybird Registration: $100 discount if you sign up by April 10th, 2017
$500 non-refundable deposit required to hold space
Refunds/Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($500.00) before JUNE 1st.
No refunds after June 1, 2017. You may transfer your reservation to another person
as long as you notify Jyl or Adriane in advance. In case of cancellation of the retreat you will receive a full refund. Due to special arrangements made with the retreat centers and hosts, there is no exception to this policy.

Contact/Questions:
Jyl: jylmarie@gmail.com
Adriane: sirikirin@gmail.com

 REGISTER NOW

 

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Cacao Ceremony | The Yoga Haven | Galveston, TX
Feb
16
6:00pm 6:00pm

Cacao Ceremony | The Yoga Haven | Galveston, TX

Cacao (ka-kow) is a Sacred and Medicinal plant and an ancient teacher and facilitator that assists you with the journey into your heart. Cacao was known to the Ancient Mayans as a powerful heart opener and potent healer.

Chocolate is widely known as an aphrodisiac and this understanding of how it opens our hearts is by no means new. The Aztecs often spoke of Cacao as ‘yollotl, eztli’, meaning “heart, blood”. Western science reinforced this by giving it the scientific name Theobroma Cacao, which means “The Food of the Gods”. What else would the food of the Gods be but love?

Raw cacao is also the most powerful antioxidant in the world, and is the ONLY known food where you will find therapeutic levels of magnesium and the chemical Anandamide, aka the LOVE chemical. (In Sanskrit, Ananda is translated as ‘bliss’) It results in feelings of pleasure and euphoria and also plays a role in moderating pain perception and memory of pain as well as improving consciousness and creativity as it increases blood flow to the heart and brain by up to 40%.

Cacao, when used with awareness, gives us time and space away from the busyness of the world & an opportunity to go on our own inward journey. Cacao is a gentle plant medicine, acting as a vasodilator on the smooth cardiac tissue, so literally it helps to open our heart. As the anatomical heart space is opened, it creates an opportunity for our energic heart to open as well, offering us an doorway into the places deep within where healing is needed; but it will not push us through until we're ready.

*Note: Antidepressants can be contraindicated when consuming raw cacao. Please contact Jyl to find out if this could be a concern for you (jylmarie@gmail.com)

In order to get the most out of the experience, it is advised to not eat (or eat lightly) several hours before the workshop begins. Cacao is a mild diuretic, so please bring water as well as a journal or any writing materials you might want to use during the ceremony

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Cacao & Kundalini: Heart Opening Extravaganza
Feb
12
4:00pm 4:00pm

Cacao & Kundalini: Heart Opening Extravaganza

Cacao (ka-kow) is a Sacred and Medicinal plant and an ancient teacher and facilitator that assists you with the journey into your heart. Cacao was known to the Ancient Mayans as a powerful heart opener and potent healer.

Chocolate is widely known as an aphrodisiac and this understanding of how it opens our hearts is by no means new. The Aztecs often spoke of Cacao as ‘yollotl, eztli’, meaning “heart, blood”. Western science reinforced this by giving it the scientific name Theobroma Cacao, which means “The Food of the Gods”. What else would the food of the Gods be but love?

Raw cacao is also the most powerful antioxidant in the world, and is the ONLY known food where you will find therapeutic levels of magnesium and the chemical Anandamide, aka the LOVE chemical. (In Sanskrit, Ananda is translated as ‘bliss’) It results in feelings of pleasure and euphoria and also plays a role in moderating pain perception and memory of pain as well as improving consciousness and creativity as it increases blood flow to the heart and brain by up to 40%.

Cacao, when used with awareness, gives us time and space away from the busyness of the world & an opportunity to go on our own inward journey. Cacao is a gentle plant medicine, acting as a vasodilator on the smooth cardiac tissue, so literally it helps to open our heart. As the anatomical heart space is opened, it creates an opportunity for our energic heart to open as well, offering us an doorway into the places deep within where healing is needed; but it will not push us through until we're ready.

Kundalini Yoga is an ancient technology that is designed to expand awareness and tap into our infinite potential. Kundalini Yoga balances the glandular system and enables us to harness the energy of the mind and emotions.

This practice also balances the chakra system and opens the heart center allowing the practitioner to move through obstacles on many levels. Kundalini Yoga uses physical movement, breath-work, meditation and mantra to achieve an experience of our highest consciousness.

The combination of Cacao Ceremony and Kundalini Yoga is perfect for diving deep inside and unleashing our own raw energy, so we can experience the bliss of who we really are: pure love and pure consciousness!

*Note: Antidepressants can be contraindicated when consuming raw cacao. Please contact Jyl to find out if this could be a concern for you.

In order to get the most out of the experience, it is advised to not eat (or eat lightly) several hours before the workshop begins. Cacao is a mild diuretic, so please bring water as well as a journal or any writing materials you might want to use during the ceremony.

 

 

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Heart Over Hands: Handstands & Headstands
Feb
11
10:30am10:30am

Heart Over Hands: Handstands & Headstands

For many people the thought of inversions can trigger a fear response! It’s not surprising, most of us haven't intentionally turned ourselves upside down since we were kids. But inversions don’t have to be panic inducing. While the picture that might come to mind is one of full headstands (sirsasana) and handstands (adho mukha vrksasana), there are lots of ways to get the benefits of inversions without being a circus artist!

And this is what we will aim to explore in this workshop.

The benefits to inverting are vast. From supporting circulatory and lymphatic flow, to balancing hormones, or energizing our nervous systems, there is much to be gained by going upside down. They are also strengthening – both physically and psychologically, as they can allow us, when done skillfully and patiently, to experience our inner and outer fires. And they allow us to compassionately experience humility, perseverance...and the confidence that can arise from moving through these complex emotions.

The aim of this workshop is NOT to walk away with the “perfect” handstand. That may or may not happen. Doing the fullest expression of the pose is never necessary in order to reap the many benefits of inverting our bodies. Instead we will focus on the elements that go into a strong, solid, stable handstand. And headstand. By dissecting these powerful poses, we will discover where our strengths lie, and the areas that we need to continue to build; and recognize that this will look different for each of us.

And we will have fun!

Prerequisites for this workshop are: a regular yoga practice for a minimum of 6 months.

Contraindications: high blood pressure, glaucoma, pregnancy (if you haven't practiced inversions previously), and any serious wrist or shoulder injuries.

(Disclaimer: the pose in this image will not be practiced in this workshop!)

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Cacao Ceremony
Feb
10
6:00pm 6:00pm

Cacao Ceremony

Cacao (ka-kow) is a Sacred and Medicinal plant and an ancient teacher and facilitator that assists you with the journey into your heart. Cacao was known to the Ancient Mayans as a powerful heart opener and potent healer.

Chocolate is widely known as an aphrodisiac and this understanding of how it opens our hearts is by no means new. The Aztecs often spoke of Cacao as ‘yollotl, eztli’, meaning “heart, blood”. Western science reinforced this by giving it the scientific name Theobroma Cacao, which means “The Food of the Gods”. What else would the food of the Gods be but love?

Raw cacao is also the most powerful antioxidant in the world, and is the ONLY known food where you will find therapeutic levels of magnesium and the chemical Anandamide, aka the LOVE chemical. (In Sanskrit, Ananda is translated as ‘bliss’) It results in feelings of pleasure and euphoria and also plays a role in moderating pain perception and memory of pain as well as improving consciousness and creativity as it increases blood flow to the heart and brain by up to 40%.

Cacao, when used with awareness, gives us time and space away from the busyness of the world & an opportunity to go on our own inward journey. Cacao is a gentle plant medicine, acting as a vasodilator on the smooth cardiac tissue, so literally it helps to open our heart. As the anatomical heart space is opened, it creates an opportunity for our energic heart to open as well, offering us an doorway into the places deep within where healing is needed; but it will not push us through until we're ready.

*Note: Antidepressants can be contraindicated when consuming raw cacao. Please contact Jyl to find out if this could be a concern for you (jylmarie@gmail.com)

In order to get the most out of the experience, it is advised to not eat (or eat lightly) several hours before the workshop begins. Cacao is a mild diuretic, so please bring water as well as a journal or any writing materials you might want to use during the ceremony.

 

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