All posts tagged: Pittsburgh

Monkey Legs

I remember the day that I learned there was something ugly and wrong with me like it happened yesterday. The summer after third grade, when I was nine, I was invited for a day trip to the beach in Brooklyn, NY.  It wasn’t hot enough for a bathing suit, but we were all in shorts and t-shirts.  It was such a beautiful day and I remember being joyful in body and mind.  We ran up and down the beach chasing waves and I can still feel the quality of light as it danced on the water and reflected back up to my face from the sand.  I have always had thick and beautiful hair and it was pulled back into a braid so the end of it rhythmically thumped on my back between my shoulders as I ran. We finally stopped for a moment to take a break and all of us girls sat in a circle and chatted about the things that nine year old girls chat about.  There was laughing.  After a rest …

Yoga for Labor and Birth

This is a post written over two-years ago, but if you are looking for my current  pregnancy and birth support services, classes and workshops CLICK HERE.  Whether you are having a scheduled cesarean birth, are planning a water-birth at home or something in between, yoga provides wonderful tools for working with the energies of labor and birth in an empowering way.  The techniques you will learn in this workshop are helpful for both the laboring mom and her entire support team.  These ways of breathing, sounding, moving, communicating, making decisions and for touching/interaction, are compatible with all childbirth methods.  This is an experiential workshop so wear comfortable clothes and get ready to make some noise, move around and have a lot of laughs while you prepare to welcome your newest family member with love and light!  No experience with yoga, meditation, or birth is required.  Tuition is for the birthing mother and up to one birth partner/support person.  Ideally, Mom comes with her primary labor and birth support person, but if they aren’t available, then come …

Everything Changes

[I said to Suzuki Roshi,] “I could listen to you for a thousand years and still not get it.  Could you just please put it in a nutshell?  Can you reduce Buddhism to one phrase?”…He was not a man you could pin down, and he didn’t like to give his students something definite to cling to. He had often said not to have “some idea” of what Buddhism was.  But Suzuki did answer.  He looked at me and said, “Everything changes.” ~David Chadwick For the past 24-hours, here in Pittsburgh we have been bathed in the light of the sun through clear blue skies. I feel the sun in the fluids of my body and, all of a sudden, my dreams seem possible.  When you live in a place that offers shades of gray (and not in the exciting way) for most days of the year, the light of the sun brings profound shifts in conciousness.  This shift is welcomed because it is warm, light and inspiring.  As much as this change in season from …

Mary of Greenfield

Statues and images of Mother Mary are pervasive in the Greenfield neighborhood of Pittsburgh.  Even out on a short 6-block urban walk, I passed many unique images of Mary.  Even if we aren’t out looking for the divine, the presence of this nourishing mother figure impacts our lives in ways we may or may not be aware of.  Regardless of your personal connection to this figure, her presence in this neighborhood impacts the spirit and energy of the community itself.  Intellectually, we may allow ourselves to live such distracted lives that we don’t notice the divine images all around us.  We may think that we are non-believers or non-practitioners and that we need to go to a church or temple or religious center to find the divine, yet even a simple and brief urban walk of a quarter mile results in opportunities to think about the presence of beings more powerful and compassionate than humans.  All we need to do is go out and be a witness to what is perceivable to the eyes.  I …

Prenatal Yoga Classes in Pittsburgh

Matrika Prenatal Yoga and Exercise Follow this link to Sharon’s awesome Pittsburgh Yoga Doula website for all things delicious, expectant and new!   Group Class Schedule Wednesday at matrika (1406 S. Negley Avenue, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh 15217) 6:00-7:15 pm Saturday at matrika (1406 S. Negley Avenue, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh 15217) 9:45-11:00 am Tuition $18 for single drop-in class* $90 for 6-class package *First class is FREE when you buy a package the same day that you take your first class Payment Options Bring a personal check made out to SHARON RUDYK Use a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or any debit card Exact cash (no change is available) Matrika Prenatal Yoga and Exercise classes aren’t just regular classes modified for pregnancy!  Sharon has developed a unique system that prepares mothers in mind, body and spirit with the strength, courage and endurance necessary to enjoy a beautiful pregnancy, powerful labor and birth and mothering a newborn.  No experience with yoga or meditation is required, but Sharon suggests that you discuss with your  care provider and get their support …

And on Day 6, We Rest

Day 6 of Week One of Eight with Rodney Yee Today we breathe, we relax and we meditate in supported hero pose.  Yes, we finally have a practice that is just my speed and just what I need after an incredibly stressful week.  I’ve got more adrenaline rushing around my blood and poisoning my organs than I care to admit and this, combined with the almost complete lack of quality sleep is enough.  Truly, enough.  So, thank you Rodney Yee for building in this lovely restful practice and (yippie) a day off tomorrow. Next week, sun salutations.  I’m really looking forward to finding some new inspiration for  my sun salutation practice!   Please feel free to join me in my 8-week program with Rodney Yee. You can share your own experience by leaving comments on this blog. It’s OK if you start on a different day or we get out of sync. This is going to be fun! Posted by Sharon Fennimore Rudyk, the fearless leader of Team Matrika. Are you in Pittsburgh, PA? Join us …

Good Reading

Ever since I could read, I’ve taken great joy in the process.  From the selection of the book to finishing the last page, I’m just happiest when I am reading.  I tend to read for the sake of reading and am not particularly attached to any one genre.  This being said, I take great pleasure in reading novels.  There’s something divine about becoming absorbed in the relationships, experiences and processes of other people when you don’t have to worry about the reality of it all. In both of these novels that I recommend below, the characters struggle with considerable problems and negotiate complicated relationships, but neither are tragic.  What I mean to say is, these are not upbeat or funny novels, but they aren’t going to have you crying into your pillow as you fall asleep either.  Perhaps that is what makes them perfect reading  for this transition from the dark of winter to the lush potential of spring. I’ve recently checked-out and read two good books from the Carnegie Library here in Pittsburgh (I’m …

Pittsburgh’s Demon Mothers

This summer, a number of news stories featuring wandering children found by neighbors or police or children abandoned or left home alone have been featured in Pittsburgh.  Today, was another example of a news story, this one  with a video of both the two year old child in the arms of paramedics and the mother being lead handcuffed and crying. As my yoga studio is inspired by the Matrikas, fierce and intelligent women who held their own in battle and were equally talented at compassion and grace, I feel the call to comment.  The reality is that I do not know the details of theses cases and I am well aware that child abuse and neglect is a terrible social problem.  Even the term “social problem” puts a rather sterile label on what must be a terrible and soul shattering experience for our youngest community members.  Yet, I’m not sure what the benefit of these new stories could possibly be and would be interested in a news feature that reveals the struggles of young mothers …

Remembering the Beginning

I remember my first yoga class.  I was terrified, but also desperate—two emotional qualities that I prefer to limit, never mind experience together!  The terror was due to the absolute distrust that I had that my body could “do” yoga.  The desperation was due to a mounting level of stress that was starting to rule over my days and nights. It was a Bikram class in Philadelphia taught by the extraordinary Joel Pier.  Why was Joel extraordinary?  First, when I went to inquire about the class, he welcomed me in and assured me that my tight, stressed-out, non-flexible and entirely uncoordinated mind and body would only appreciate the task and that it was impossible to fail.  Second, while Joel used the standard Bikram script, he added to it a sense of joy and humour while asking everyone to “just kill themselves!”.  Third, Joel reminded me to smile.  And finally, his patience and insight allowed me to experience the practice on my own, in my own way and safely with respect to my own emotional, spiritual …

Mindful Focus of the Week

Last week, the focus for Mindful Yoga was “the organs.”  We learned to support asana using the internal structures of the body and acknowledge our organs for all that they do.  This week, our focus is the sacral center (2nd Chakra).  I always pick a focus based on what I am working on in my personal practice and recently, for the first time in years, I managed to aggravate my sciatic nerve.  It’s hard to say how I did it—-Demonstrating a reverse triangle when I wasn’t warmed up?  Carrying a heavy messenger bag on one shoulder?  Sitting with my legs crossed for too long?  Good news is that it doesn’t matter how it happened, only that it’s over now and the experience provided inspiration to give some juicy love to the sacrum this week. The sacral area is associated with creativity and when we create and acknowledge sensation here we are filled with optimism, passion and direction.  Life is vibrant! If you can’t make it to Mindful Flow on Tuesday night at Yoga Matrika in …

Politics, Yoga & Pittsburgh

Do you know about Peaceburgh?  As defined on its homepage, it is “A site for networking and celebrating wholeness, oneness and peace in Pittsburgh and around the globe. Hosted by Sven Hosford.”  If you are interested, check it out here: http://peaceburgh.ning.com/ I mention this site now because it includes information on many peaceful ways to support world leaders participating in the G-20 (and those who aren’t) in committing their power and determination to find solutions to some of the considerable challenges facing so many humans that our humanity seems to be at stake.  If you are interesting in joining groups of individuals in Pittsburgh who are committed to peace and globalized compassion—then check it out! There is a Chinese proverb that roughly translates to: If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow.  During the G-20, I recommend that Pittsburgh take this proverb as an inspiration for mindful respsonse to any frustrations, delays or challenges that may occur.  As the world comes to us, we are reminded …

Intuitive Health: Yoga for your Spirit

Kari Samuels will be leading a series of workshops titled Intuitive Health at Yoga Matrika in October and November. Intuitive Health: Balancing your Body, Mind and Spirit We are all born with an intuitive awareness that guides us, protects us, and helps us make purposeful decisions.  Through subtle messages from our body and our circumstances, our inner guidance communicates with us, leaading us towards our natural state of joy, vitality, and self-esteem.  This fun, interactive class offers tools for transforming your life form the inside out.  You will learn how to increase your positive energy, reclaim your power, and start living the prosperous healthy life you deserve. October 21: Listening to your Body’s Wisdom Every day you are receiving messages from your body that guide you towards your personal truth.  In this workshop, you will learn now to listen to those subtle messages, so you can make empowering choices for your body and your life. October 28: Mapping Your Inner Landscape In this dynamic interactive class, you will explore your sacred architecture–the seven major energy …

Krishna Das in the BURGH!

I just wanted to send a shout out to HarmoniZing Pittsburgh for organizing a performance of devotional chanting by Krishna Das here in Pittsburgh.  You can purchase a ticket online for the April 27, 7:00pm performance in Oakland by going to http://www.krishnadas.com or in person at Journeys of Life in Shadyside. Please consider going to see Krishna Das live—-it’s just FABULOUS!

Dance

While I have always harbored a love of dance and desire to move with grace and agility, my body has not been the most cooperative vehicle for bringing this love into fruition.  I love it, but I can’t seem to get it right.  I know this about myself and this awareness has served me well.  Once, I went out on a date with a (seemingly) wonderful man who suggested that, on our next date, we go swing dancing.  I confidently swung my hair aside and smiled to say that I thought it would be fabulous.  Inside, I was already frantic thinking about how I could learn how to swing dance in time for whenever this next date would be.  The next morning, I had already signed-up for swing dance lessons and went every night that week to a local club that offered nightly lessons and live music.  As Mr. Wonderful never called me again, it turns out that I had an infinite amount of time to learn, but my fear of even the possibility of dancing …

Yoga for the Wind

Wasn’t that wind storm beautiful?  Perhaps, if you were one of the Pittsburgher’s whose car was crushed by a falling tree you might not be able to appreciate the beauty of it just yet,  but for the rest of us it was a powerful, sensual and dynamic experience.  No rain, lightning, hail.  Just wind blowing over 35 miles per hour for over four hours in a row with gusts up to 60 miles per hour thrown in for gusto. Yoga has many powerful connections with wind.  First, and perhaps the most obvious, is the wind of breath.  We take the wind of breath in through our nose or mouth and it fuels our bodies with oxygen.  Depending on our breathing pattern we can communicate various messages to our brain through our central nervous system.  As the breath moves through our bodies we use the internal architecture and organs of the body to accept the winds, move them to the available spaces and take the excess to appropriate avenues of escape.  Another, somewhat less obvious connection to yoga(unless you have a …