lil omm's Student Scholarship Fund


lil omm yoga was created out of a need for a community-based family yoga center that offered extensive yoga classes and workshops for prenatal mamas, postnatal families, and the ever-changing stages of childhood and parenting. As we grew, neighbors found our classes inviting, warm, and well-balanced, and requested more classes for our adult yoga and meditation program. We’ve been able to add many gentle, slow flow, curvy and restorative options. There is truly something for everyone, at almost every hour of the day, at lil omm.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about how we can reach out to people who have the same needs and want to practice at lil omm, but have financial constraints or circumstances that have made it challenging to step inside our doors. So, I’m doing something to reach those in our community who need us. Who need community, who need a yoga family.

This Thanksgiving, all proceeds from the Family Yoga Class that I’m teaching will support a new scholarship program at lil omm. We hope to provide free or discounted classes to new and returning members of the lil omm community. I KNOW how powerful yoga and meditation are for healing, and I have leaned on my practices to get me through many tough times. There are enough obstacles to making yoga part of your life, and I hope that through this program, we can make our community more accessible.

If you know someone who needs yoga, please send them the link to this page. If you are someone who needs yoga, please let us know a little bit about yourself using the form at the bottom of the page.

You may copy and paste the form in an e-mail to info@lilomm.com or print a copy and mail it to:
Pleasance Silicki
Lil Omm Yoga
4708 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20016.


If you’d like to make a donation to our scholarship program, e-mail us at info@lilomm.com.

How it works
Once your confidential information has been reviewed by me, I will set up an account for you on our scheduling website. You will be able to sign up for classes, just like any other student, and check in normally. I’ll just place a discounted or free class pack or membership in your account. If your circumstances change in either direction, please let me know and I’ll adjust your discount.

We’re so glad to have you as a part of our community! Om shanti,
Pleasance



Your name:

Email:

Phone number:

Street Address:

City/State/Zip:

Age (optional):

How did you hear about lil omm?:



Have you been to lil omm before?:



Please briefly describe why you are applying for financial assistance:



If you are just interested in receiving a discounted class pass/membership, how much can you afford to pay per class or per month? (optional):



Are you seeking a solo adult membership, or will you also be needing childcare and/or classes for the whole family?:

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Mindful Return: Support for New Moms Returning to Work

Lori Mihalich-Levin, a member of the lil omm community since taking prenatal classes with her second child, knows well the struggles new moms can face upon going back to work after maternity leave. Disappointed by a lack of good resources about how to do this return in a calm and empowered way, Lori founded Mindful Return to help new moms make the experience of returning to work less stressful and anxiety-ridden.

On Saturday, February 21 at 7pm, Lori will be leading a new workshop designed to help pregnant and new moms take steps toward planning their own mindful return to work after maternity leave. Here are her answers to some common questions about the workshop:


At what stage should I take this workshop? When I’m pregnant? On maternity leave? Back at work?

ANY of these times is perfect. If you are currently pregnant, learning and getting ready now will help you plan ahead and help you connect with other new moms in the same situation, helping to make your return less daunting. If you are already on maternity leave – but perhaps trying to avoid thinking about going back – now is the time to get some reassurance that you can do this in a peaceful, radiant way. And if you’re already back, you could probably use some extra positive voices helping you get through the day. This workshop is for all of you.


This isn’t my first return to work after maternity leave. Will I still benefit from this workshop?

Absolutely. Every return is different, and perhaps there things that could go better for you the second time around. After my first baby, my return went relatively smoothly; after my second, I had the feeling that 1 child + 1 child = 85 children…and I thought I was drowning. It was my second return that inspired me to create this workshop, a blog, and an online e-course. If this isn’t your first return, I also invite you to join the workshop as a voice of experience.

What will we cover during the workshop?
During our two hours together, we will focus on the following four themes to help make that transition back to work go more smoothly:
  • Creating a mindful mindset for return
  • Mapping out logistics (including child care, pumping and not pumping, sick days and the unexpected)
  • Turning maternity leave into an empowerment opportunity at work
  • Building supportive communities to help you in your return

If you had just one piece of advice for new moms heading back to work, what would it be?
Community matters. When I went back to work, there was an unspoken rule that I wasn’t supposed to talk about how hard it was. Or that I was struggling. Or that I had changed and grown as a person and employee. There were plenty of other women in my office who had gone on maternity leave and returned, and yet I felt isolated. Then one day after my second return to work, I sat down with a colleague who had just recently come back herself after maternity leave. We shut the door and found so much power in talking about our shared experiences. I was inspired to form a “Returning to Work Community” at my office that now meets monthly for lunch and has a Google+ page for sharing experiences and advice. More than anything it’s been connecting to other returning-to-work mamas who have made the difference in my life. So my advice is to reach out. To connect. To find other women in your community who can say “me too.”

Join us on February 21st at lil omm!




Lori K. Mihalich-Levin, JD, founder of Mindful Return, is mama to two beautiful red-headed boys (ages 1 and 3) and is the Director of Hospital and GME Payment Policies at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

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Why Yin? Why Now?



During this busy time of year, it can be hard to make time for all the opportunities our community has to offer. But sometimes, the opportunities we think we don't have time for are what we need the most.

Starting this Friday (11/21), Elissa Margolin will be leading a 3-part yin yoga series designed to help participants restore and renew in the midst of the hustle and bustle the time of year is known for. 

Here is what Elissa has to say about the value of yin in her own practice and what she hopes to offer those who will join her for 1, 2, or all 3 of these workshops: 




"My yoga practice has gone through many evolutions over the years, but right around the time that I discovered yin, I was particularly excited about Ashtanga. I was working one-on-one with an Ashtanga teacher in Vietnam, and I looked forward to a good, cathartic sweat in all of my practices. In the midst of a very busy work life holding a position that took most of everything I had, I was left with little time for me, and my time to move and sweat was particularly precious. Then, as now, I craved physical activity; with limited time, I looked to yoga or a run or a tennis match or an ultimate Frisbee game to achieve the same goals: quiet my mind, energize my body, and reset. I was categorically uninterested in a yoga practice that was slow, or restorative, or yin-like, as I thought it couldn’t possibly achieve that same flushed out, worked over bliss I was looking for.


As I left Vietnam to head to DC, I took a 2-month layover in Bali to attend my first yoga teacher training. My teacher there- an incredible athlete and yogini and mom- began to weave yin practices into our training. From my first exposure, I realized this was exactly the balance I needed. I was challenged in ways that I hadn’t expected, and often in ways that were more profound, or more intense, than my vinyasa practice had ever challenged me. I was hooked.

When I started to teach yin, I discovered that the sense of serenity and balance that I found in the practice was amplified when I taught. And I have a feeling the 10 months of in-the-womb yin practice also had an impact on my son… he has been showing me the art of patience and peacefulness since he was born!

Yin provides an opportunity to explore our edges- physical, mental, and emotional. It challenges us to become acquainted with and stretch our limits- real and perceived, to strengthen our tenacity and simultaneously soften into ourselves.

The holiday season is a wonderful time to nourish yourself with this practice… take some time amidst the hustle and bustle to rest in quiet and stillness, and learn tools to tap in to your own oasis of calm."

Join Elissa on 11/21, 12/19, and 1/16 to explore this practice as a gift to yourself at a time when we often think of others. 

Each workshop is $30/person, or pre-register for all 3 for only $80. You can register here or contact us for more information.


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Teacher Feature: Geneva Moss


Geneva Moss is one of our fabulous family yoga teachers. Certified as a Budding Yogis Kids and Family Yoga teacher, she is thrilled to share the light and healing of yoga, meditation and pranayama with all ages. She teaches our Walkers, Jumpers & Me class (see the video below to learn more about this new offering) and our Yoga for Parents & Tweens Sessions

In this post, you'll learn a little bit more about Geneva, her yoga practice, and what you can expect at one of her classes. 

What's your favorite yoga pose? 

That really depends on the time and day! I always get a kick out of any pose where I find myself upside down. Vrishikasana, or scorpion pose, is one of my favorites. I like the change in perspective and thoroughly enjoy the play of strength and balance.

Describe your yoga classes in three words:

Personal - I teach to the students’ needs and capabilities,
Committed - I am dedicated to being clear and concise - with intelligent sequencing and accessible meditation and pranayama,
Connected - my goal in teaching is to help my students connect to their mind, body, and energy and bring awareness to their own inner teacher.

What is your favorite part of teaching yoga to kids?

Kids are immediately aware of themselves. They are honest and fearless in their openness. I love that! I often say that our children are our best teachers. They teach us how to be completely present to what is happening now and they ask us to challenge our assumptions and habits of seeing ourselves and the world. They also love us completely for who we are - teaching us to see ourselves in our true nature.

Can you share an easy way that parents and caregivers can integrate yoga into their daily routine?

The best way to bring yoga into your daily routine is to just make it happen without challenging yourself to make it perfect. When you find yourself on the floor, practice some of your favorite poses. Yes, your children might crawl on you, the dog might bring you his favorite chew toy and you might even find yourself practicing next to a pile of laundry. That's life and I encourage you to embrace yoga as part of your life and not something separate that you can only get to once a week in a yoga studio. Make it as accessible as possible.

What would you tell a parent considering taking a class with their child at lil omm?

I would say "What a great idea!" Yoga is a wonderful way to bring the family together and taking care of ourselves. Yoga is not something outside of ourselves or our range of capability. Our kids are natural yogis. They understand that yoga is so much more then doing the pose. It's about opening the heart, increasing our sense of well being and increasing self-awareness. Make time for it! As much as possible. Open up to the possibility of what happens when we get together and practice.




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Prenatal Yoga: Use Your BRAIN Part Four - Twists

Written by Michelle Brady

Edited by Sarah Vogel

Guest Writer: Erica Statman, D.C., D.I.C.C.P.


We had such an amazing experience working with an expert for our post on backbends that I wanted to ask another thought leader to share her insights on twists and prenatal yoga.

Dr. Erica Statman, known as Dr. Erica, is a well-respected chiropractor practicing in Fairfax, Virginia. She is well-known and beloved in the Northern Virginia natural birthing community. Below are Dr. Erica’s thoughts on this group of poses and their connection to prenatal yoga:

“A question I am often asked by my pregnant patients is how their level and types of activity may need to change as time goes on. Women are becoming more aware of the many wonderful benefits of prenatal yoga; increased flexibility and strength, mental alertness and calm, the relief of aches and pains and better circulation to name but a few. Women are generally advised to avoid twisting postures during pregnancy. So the question naturally arises: are all twisting postures contraindicated? The answer seems to be “no.”

An important matter of pregnancy to understand is that during its course and the postpartum period, the body undergoes many changes. One of these changes pertains to the ligaments. Due to increasing levels of estrogen, progesterone, and relaxin, a general laxity occurs in the ligaments and joint capsules. And while this is a necessary development, because it allows for spreading of the pelvis during labor and birth, it also sometimes causes unwelcome musculoskeletal instability and pain beforehand.

So, how do twists impact the body during pregnancy? On the positive side, twists can stretch and release the tension in spinal muscles that can build up by being in the vertical position all day. However, there is a concern that by deeply twisting and locking the low back into position such as in the pose called Parivritta Parsvakonasana (or revolved side angle pose) that this may put undue pressure on the abdomen and potentially interfere with blood flow to the fetus (Davis 2014). Twisting repetitively may also change the tone of the suspensory ligaments of the uterus such as the round ligaments and may possibly contribute to in-utero constraint and less-than-ideal fetal positioning later.

So, what can be done to get the benefit of twisting poses without creating problems for baby?


1. Take twists of short duration. Because the body's tissues are already lax, stretches that are shorter in duration allow for comfortable lengthening without imposing instability.

2. Practice open twists. Open twists allow for gentle movement, modification and free movement of the increasingly pendulous abdomen.

3. Listen to the body. If a woman ever feels short of breath, dizzy ,or feels pain in the soft tissues of the abdomen, this may a sign that there is undesired pressure on the large blood vessels in the abdomen or over-stretching of abdominal muscles, respectively. If either of these sensations occur, it is time to release the pose and take a restorative break. When in doubt about a pose, skip it.

As in all areas of care, I recommend that my patients take prenatal yoga classes from instructors who are specially trained to teach pregnant women and for whom it is their major area of interest. Whenever possible, I prefer women go to a class where they can receive individualized attention to make sure that their form is correct and to avoid injury. I believe it is important for instructors to give clear recommendations about twisting positions during their classes and to give mothers homework so that they can progress in their practice of yoga throughout the course of their pregnancies.”

Dr. Erica’s thoughts on twists is a valuable tool for pregnant students as they use BRAIN to evaluate incorporating twists into a prenatal yoga practice:

BRAIN for Twists During Pregnancy

Benefits: Releases tension in the spine, promotes movement and openness.

Risks: Can cause abdominal pressure, interfere with uterine blood flow, contribute to in-utero constraint and negatively impact fetal position.

Alternatives: Practice open twists, hold twists for a shorter amounts of time, limit the number of twists in a yoga practice.

Intuition: Consider the risks and benefits of a twist based on how you are feeling and how it may affect the health of you and your baby.

Nothing: What if you did not do this pose? You could move into another pose or ask your instructor for a modification.

This is the last post in our 4-part prenatal yoga series. Writing this series has been a wonderful learning experience. The pregnant body is a wonder, and I feel that it is important for both prenatal yoga teachers and students to feel safe and informed as they practice. The asanas that are taken and taught should be considered carefully, and as always, BRAIN can be a constant and comforting companion.

I am so grateful to all who have assisted and contributed to our labor of love. My hope is that this series will help prenatal yoga teachers feel educated and empowered to offer safe and thoughtful classes that will benefit their students.

Check out the other posts in our prenatal yoga series:
-Use Your BRAIN
-Inversions
-Backbends



Michelle Brady is a mother to three, a birth doula, prenatal yoga teacher, and certified HypnoBirthing practitioner. In addition to being a birth worker, she offers various yoga and education classes to mothers and their growing families in the Washington, DC metro area.

Sarah Vogel is a communications professional, yoga teacher, prenatal and postnatal fitness instructor, and most important, mom to a 6-month old son. She strives to help her students reap the benefits of yoga and fitness in a safe and empowering environment.

Dr. Erica Statman has owned and operated Maimonides Chiropractic for 15 years. She is a Diplomate in Chiropractic Pediatrics through the International Chiropractors Association and Palmer University since 2008. She is also an instructor for the functional physiology technique called Total Body Modification and is certified in acupuncture. Outside of her practice, Dr. Statman enjoys teaching elementary school life sciences at Gan Israel Academy.









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lil omm's Holiday Gift-Guide

Make lil omm your one-stop holiday shop!  Take a look at our Top Gift Ideas!  We're sure you'll find something for everyone on your list!


Give the Gift of Yoga!  Purchase an e-gift online or pick up a Gift Card in our studio.  Gift Certificates can come in any denomination or for something more specific such as in Intro Offer for new students, a class pass, or workshop/course registration with your favorite teacher!


  • THRIVE: Yoga as Life.  This is a year-long course for anyone who wants to go deeper in their yoga, meditation, and wellness practice.  Learn more about the course, participation, and pricing here.
  • Seasonal Retreats for Women.  What a great gift to share with a special woman in your life.  Our retreats are inspired by Sarah Avant Stover's book, The Way of the Happy Woman: Living the Best Year of Your Life.  Check out our upcoming dates and themes. Our first mini-retreat of the new year will be held on Friday, January 2 @ 7:30pm.
  • Winter Yoga Retreat.  The Heart of Yoga Winter Retreat, co-hosted by lil omm, Simon Says Yoga, and Jen Campbell-Munn will be held Feb 27 - Mar 1 at the Chesapeake Bay Hyatt in Cambridge, MD.  The retreat is designed to be family-friendly so all can enjoy the weekend getaway!  Learn more about hotel accommodations, tentative schedule, and your retreat hosts.
  

Mala Beads, Jewelry, Budhhas, and handmade gifts from LO's very own Dhyana Delatour.  Sales from each purchase support women in Mauritius.  To learn more or to purchase contact Dhyana at dhyanadelatour@gmail.com 

Essential Oils!  We use only therapeutic-grade essential oils from Young Living.  Perhaps you have experienced the warmth of Balance oil on the back of your neck or on the soles of your feet, the cinnamony scent of Thieves throughout the space as we clean and disinfect, or the calming sensation of Lavender as you lay in savasana.  There are oils for every ailment and condition!  Don't forget to pick up a home diffuser as well! For ordering info contact us at info@lilomm.com 

Pangea Organics Skin and Body Care is the perfect gift for both men and women!  Learn more about Pangea here and visit our online store!  We also have a number of products at the studio + samples!



Soul Ku Jewelry, Crystals, and Gifts!  lil omm carries a variety of SoulKu products in our studio.  Stop by to see what's in stock or visit the official site. 




Need a gift for a little yogini in your family?  Try Kira Willey's newest CD, How to Be A Cloud released 11/18/14.  Kira is one of LO's favorite children's musicians! Check out the album's sample on Soundcloud.  Want to make the ultimate kid's yoga gift set?  Pair the album with a LO gift certificate and kid's yoga mat (available for purchase in our studio).


A Great Book or DVD!  Choose from LO-approved books on yoga, meditation, wellness, parenting, and so much more on our Amazon site!  You can also find the Itsy Bitsy Yoga books and titles used in our Thrive course.

lil omm logo apparel and gifts!  A perfect pairing with a LO Gift Certificate or a stand-alone gift.  We carry a variety of logo items including t-shirts (long and short sleeve), hoodies, yoga mats, and water bottles.  Don't miss our collection of BePresent pants-- a yogi favorite!  More logo gifts available via CafePress.

Looking for other wellness gifts?  Check out our list of community resources, which include a variety of health and wellness practitioners recommended by the LO Community.  Check out acupuncturists, doulas, reiki healers, massage therapists, and more!

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THRIVE! A year-long exploration of Yoga as Life.

Pleasance presents THRIVE: YOGA AS LIFE, a year-long course for students who want to go deeper with the practices that promote well-being. The THRIVE course consists of monthly meetings where we support one another in our physical yoga practice, meditation practice, creative projects, and contemplative practices for an entire year.




Who is this course for?
Pleasance created this course for curious seekers who want to find ways to bring more JOY and PEACE into their daily lives.

Is Thrive for you?
"If you enjoy time with very nice people (haven't met any other kind at LO), in a comfortable, open, non-judgemental environment, Thrive is for you.  We look into our own, and everyone else's mirrors to see and learn. Each perspective, and time in life offers new thinking and compassion to where are, and where we are going. I saved the best for last -- and that is that the sessions are led by loving, encouraging and enthusiastic, Pleasance. And, as we all know -- anything "Pleasance" is worth taking time for!"- S.D., Thrive alumni.

What our Students Are Saying? 
"I am so excited that Pleasance has expanded her Thrive series into a year-long course. The three Summer 2014 sessions were a wonderful complement to my regular yoga practice in many ways. In particular, I found the activities and reading provided the perfect foundation to help me develop and enhance my pursuit to create greater balance and prioritize joy amidst the "busy-ness" of life. The Sunday evening schedule was a perfect time of the week to breathe, share, play and create--and Pleasance's personal passions and expertise in this area are downright infectious! At the barest minimum, I get so much out of the Facebook Thrive community group page postings alone. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to build more momentum through a year-long course and have put all the dates on my calendar already! -- PF

Overview
During this journey together, we will read books and articles, as well as have somatic experiences to enrich our studies and practice. You will be supported in your meditation practice, yoga asana practice, creative explorations, and intention and goal-setting. You will spend the year clarifying your joy and the desires you have for your own life.

Over the year together, our themes will be...
*Awareness
*Acceptance
*Focus
*Flexibility
*Balance
*Confidence
*Peace
*Strength
*Compassion
*Energy
*Playfulness
*Connectedness

Each session together will incorporate a variety of tools, practices, and even special guests, who will present on topics related to our theme including: creating Desire Maps, Shaking Your Soul, & a Mindful Eating discussion.

When
The group will meet on the last Sunday of each month from 7-9pm. Please mark your calendar:
January 25
February 22
March 29
April 26
May 31
June 28
July 26
August 30
September 27
October 25
November 22
Dec 20
Participants
In order to keep the intimacy and the experience deeply meaningful for all participants, this group is limited to 10 individuals.

You will be expected to participate in the online forum, keep an open mind & heart, and have a desire to reflect and engage in meaningful conversations and activities around intentional living.

Additionally, each participant will get 2 private 1-hour coaching/yoga sessions with Pleasance over the course of the year.

Payment
This is a Tiered Pay Investment. Please pay the amount that you are able to for the year-long course. You choose the amount that you can pay.  Either $500, $750, or $1000 (there are no refunds or pro-rating for this course.)


Required Reading
Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
A Life Worth Breathing by Max Strom
Paradise in Plain Sight by Karen Maezen Miller

All books can be purchased online via our personalized LO Amazon store.

Please note, there are MANY additional books that will support our study together, if you choose to go deeper. Suggested readings ("Great Reads") can also be found here.


Make-up Policy
There are no make-up classes for missed monthly sessions. It is expected that you may miss 1-2 sessions over the year, due to scheduling and life events. A phone catch-up session can be available for participants who miss classes, and the homework and practices will be shared.

QUESTIONS? email info@lilomm.com for more details.

Ready to Register?  Click here.

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Yin Yoga: a NEW 3-part series at lil omm!

Elissa Margolin leads a new series starting this November.  Come to 1, 2, or all 3 of our upcoming workshops, held once per month on Friday evenings @ 6:30pm.  Indulge in this rich, balancing practice... a perfect counterpoint to the hectic holiday season!

What is Yin Yoga?
Yin is a quiet practice… a practice that affords us the opportunity to turn inward, to find peace and stillness amidst whatever chaos and frenetic energy may otherwise surround us. It is a steady teacher, showing us a way to be with what is, whatever we arrive with and whatever arises as we practice.

The practice offers us a lasting sense of balance, and leaves us better equipped to ride whatever waves of intensity we may encounter on and off our mats. As we take shapes on the floor in seated in supine poses, we go deeper than the muscles, accessing long-held pockets and patterns of tension by targeting the fascia, or deep layers of connective tissue, especially in the low back and hips.

Over the course of the three sessions, we will explore poses to open the feet and ankles, rejuvenate tired and tight legs, tap into chronically tight hips and soothe low back pain, and to massage and stimulate digestive and reproductive organs. Because the fascia is an interconnected web of tissue, work in the low body is also a powerful tool to ease tension in the upper body, including the neck and shoulders.

Yin Yoga is a great practice for all levels, including prenatal and postnatal students.

Our first class will be on Friday, 11/21 @ 6:30pm.  We will explore the energetics of abundance and gratitude.

Next, on Friday 12/19 we delve deeper in the yin practice of letting go, offering up, and giving away.

And finally, on Friday 1/16 our practice will focus on turning inward to cultivate a personal oasis of calm.

Each workshop is $30/person, or pre-register for all 3 for only $80.  Sign Up!

Why Yin?  Why Now? Check out what Elissa has to say about the value of yin in her own practice and what she hopes to offer those who will join her for 1, 2, or all 3 of these workshops

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Me Time Yoga with Holly Clay-Smith

lil omm's Holly Clay-Smith leads a pilot class geared to parents who are evolving into the empty nest stage in Tysons Corner.

WHAT: ME TIME YOGA

WHEN: Saturday Nov, 22 @ 11:30am

WHERE: Historic Pleasant Grove, 8641 Lewinsville Rd McLean, VA 22102

 

 “Finally it’s my time,” writes Washington Post journalist and author Abigail Trafford,…”a time to refresh, revive and re-imagine one’s life.” Me Time Yoga is designed to do just this.

 

 We’ll dance, play and do yoga.  We’ll find ourselves getting unstuck and loosening joints, mindsets and buried sources of inspiration.   Engagement and interaction bring dreams, desires, and masked talents to the surface.  Yoga, partnering, creative group expression, “fire” circles, and just plain fun are on the Me Time Yoga menu, an invitation to a feast of possibility we prepare and enjoy together.  


Suggested donation of $12 for the benefit of Historic Pleasant Grove.  Contribution is tax-deductible and will qualify as a one-year membership in Pleasant Grove, an historically African American church that fell into disuse and is now preserved as a museum and center for study of diversity, race and ethnicity in our area.

 

Class will last one hour and 15 minutes to be followed by a light snack ....

 
Questions?? Contact Holly at holly.yanayoga@gmail.com or call 240-743-8668

                                                    
Interested in this offering held at LO?  E-mail us at info@lilomm.com

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Teacher Feature: Jen Campbell Munn

Jen Campbell Munn is a former dancer, pilates instructor, mama to three kids, and a long-time yoga teacher at our studio. This winter, Jen will also be one of the three guides on our inaugural Heart of Yoga Retreat on the Eastern Shore. Read this post to learn more about Jen, her yoga practice, and what she wants to share with you during the retreat. 


What brought you to yoga?

I have been a mover and dancer my entire life. Initially, I got into yoga (in 1995) to help my dancing; I was living in New York City at the time and looking for something. What I didn’t know I would find was a path with so much heart, and a path towards greater stability, centeredness and joy in my life.

What is your favorite yoga pose?

Picking only one pose is a challenge for me. My initial response is whatever pose I am in! However, I would say that warrior 2 is one of my favorite poses. It allows me to feel grounded, strong, centered, open and really demands my attention.

Describe your yoga classes in three words.

Warm, mindful and sacred

Who has been your greatest teacher? Why?

My greatest teacher has been my first child, Caelan. He’s now 15 years old, taller and certainly stronger than I, and has a heart of gold (underneath his teenage angst). We have grown up together in some ways. I’ve had to learn to bend and shift how I speak and act—with greater kindness, which then comes back. I’ve also learned about creating clear boundaries, which is a lesson I needed (and some days still need) to learn.

Why do you teach at lil omm?

I teach at Lil Omm because I really wanted to be a part of this beautiful community. I adore Pleasance, and truly appreciate how each teacher, student, child and family together help to create a space of play, yoga, healing and connection for all of us to thrive in.

Many of our students are considering attending the Heart of Yoga retreat this winter. What would you tell them about this event?

I know this event will be a time of joy and growing community connection, as well as a time for reflection and practice. There is something really magical that happens on retreat. Just the drive away from home, and the time spent in the car, the change in the scents of the air, you will feel the pressures of daily living beginning to slip away. Easing out from under that pressure, and gifting yourself the time and space to practice and connect, you will open yourself up to what needs to be heard from within yourself. Each of us has our intuition, but all too often, we are too busy to listen. Retreat is a time of deep listening. And, there is great joy to be found with like-minded yogis!

About our retreat in particular, we will really focus in on practicing from a heart-centered place, and living from this same energy. Through every session, whether meditation, asana, a nature walk, or discussion, we will continue to hone in on what it means to each of us to live from a heart-centered space. We will focus in on practices that cultivate warmth for ourselves, our community and the world at large. We will explore practices that we can take with us and use in our daily life. We really hope you will join us!

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