Why Yoga In The Mountain Forest?

Why the mountains? There’s something so grounding about yoga in the mountains. It becomes very intuitive to draw inspiration from the solidity of the mountains when we stand tall in Tadasana, and the wildflowers bending in the breeze teach us the slow, flowing pace of surya namaskars (sun salutations).”  Plus, take a cue from professional athletes. Because the body requires more efficient use of oxygen at altitude you will optimize your workout time, so you can spend the rest of your retreat meditating, enjoying wildlife, and reflecting guilt-free.  Step out of your present obligations and gift yourself this tranquil time at White Mountains to release the unnecessary tensions and unhealthy patterns that limit your creative potential. Yoga retreats help you figure out what matters most. Get clear. Get inspired. 

When I signed up for a Hiking Yoga retreat, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This yoga fusion option started in San Francisco three years ago and made its debut in New York City, promising the chance to connect with nature, with stops for yoga along the way.  At first glance, the concept of “hiking yoga” seems like an odd entry in the growing list of hybrid yoga classes, which mix downward dog and tree pose with everything from kickboxing to Pilates and ballet.   I believe hiking yoga on the mountain trail isn’t just a trend.  Hikes require sturdy shoes, not bare feet. On a hike, you swat away bugs, not just the buzzing thoughts yoga teachers suggest you clear from your mind.  Walking meditation brings a number of benefits in addition to the cultivation of mindfulness. It can be a helpful way of building concentration, perhaps in support of sitting practice. The sensations of walking can be more compelling than the more subtle sensations of breathing while sitting. At times of strong emotions or stress, walking meditation may be more relaxing than sitting. An added benefit is that, when done for extended times, walking meditation can build strength and stamina.

The instructor led us through mostly standing and balancing poses.  We were in a secluded spot with birds chirping and a light breeze.  But trying to pull off some yoga poses in sneakers threw me off balance; my triangle pose felt more like a wobbly trapezoid.  The ground was uneven, and birds interrupted the silence as we closed our eyes and did more stretching and a little meditation. But the setting was peaceful, the tree branches rustled overhead, and I could feel myself relaxing.  I enjoyed the change of scenery and the chance to practice yoga in the open air.

To close the class, we talked about “balancing against the challenges of the natural world,” and I realized that was a refreshing change — both from the annoyances of a yoga studio (too many people too close together) and from the man-made hassles of daily life (too many digital distractions). Escaping those familiar routines was the point, and trying to keep my balance with the ground at an angle was a reminder that those little challenges never really go away.

You sign up and RSVP.  If the class gets rained out, or your plans change and you cancel at least 24 hours in advance the event will move to a fully equipped yoga studio located in Waterville Valley Town Square.  The studio is located on the 2nd floor above The Bookmonger, and is conducive for yoga with natural sunlight and accommodate up to 20 people.    

The yoga instructor is certified in Wilderness First Aid.   

Blissful Inner-Reflection Yoga Hike Retreat, Waterville Valley, NH

This day of adventure and serenity will follow you home with the gifts of calmness and outdoor fun. You will see magnificant mountain views.   Details here >>>

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Source: Blissful Inner-Reflection Yoga With Meditation On The Mountain – Yoga for Flexibility or Not with Helen Rita

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Blissful Inner-Reflection Outdoor Yoga

TIMBER CAMP TRAIL – this MODERATE hiking trail follows an old logging road that is well-built and relatively wide for most of it’s length, ascending an eastern shoulder (2800 ft.) of Mount Osceola, with excellent views of the valley’s eastern peaks.  The final destination is the site of an old logging camp – a flat surface,  an excellent place to gather in a seated meditation with a view.  

YOU ARE A MODERATE HIKER – This is a moderate hike with some gradual elevation;  this is not a strenuous hike, but participants must be in good physical condition.  

Please note that this format can be modified accordingly.

THERE ARE MANY BEAUTIFUL, OUTDOOR SPOTS IN WATERVILLE VALLEY AVAILABLE FOR YOGA. WE ALSO HAVE A FULLY EQUIPPED YOGA STUDIO WITH NATURAL SUNLIGHT.  THE STUDIO CAN ACCOMMODATE UP TO 20 PEOPLE.  Call or email Helen to discuss OUTDOOR or INDOOR YOGA preferences.  

TO SIGN UP: EMAIL HELEN RITA, helenyoga@roadrunner.com, CALL 603-960-1470  

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Accomplishments

Helen is a certified yoga teacher and also in Thai yoga bodywork.  She has studied under eclectic and internationally renowned teachers, such as Todd Norian with Ashaya Yoga, Tias Little with Prajna Yoga and Lotus Palm Thai Yoga Massage School in Montreal.

Winter 2018

I completed ‘SATYA I’ & ‘SATYA II’ (Sensory Awareness Training for Yoga Attunement) with Tias and Surya Little at Prajna Yoga, Santa Fe, NM. This is an in-depth study of SATYA movements and how to combines them with asana, breath and meditation.  I’m taught to guide students away from “doing” movement and toward sensing, receiving and “being” movement. As an adjunct to yoga practice, somatic awareness leads to embodied wisdom.  Prajna Yoga offers one of the most in-depth, comprehensive and transformational yoga teacher training programs available today.

Spring 2017

I completed the phenomenal 6-day course ‘Hands-On Adjustments and the Art of Sequencing’ with Tias and Surya Little at Prajna Yoga, Santa Fe, NM.  Practiced hands-on adjusting the poses using props to help modify poses: the wall, a block, blanket, strap, chair, wedge or bolster.  Also received a comprehensive curricula grounded in meditation, yoga, visual aids and discussion, dharma talks, pranayama and chanting.

Summer & Fall 2016

At the invitation of the Lotus Palm Institute of Thai Massage and Traditional Bodywork (located in Montreal),  I helped teach the course, “Assisted Yoga with Adjustments,” from 28 September to 2 October 2016.  While at the Institute, I completed all requirements for the Thai Yoga Essentials Certificate and also successfully completed the course “Thai Style Head Massage.”

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Spring 2016

I studied with with Todd Norian, founder of Ashaya Yoga®, April 15 – 17, 2016 at Lake Champlain Yoga & Wellness.  I attended the Yoga wellness weekend workshop training that consist of a blend of therapeutic alignment techniques, uplifting heart virtues, and the empowering teachings of Tantra philosophy.

I studied with Yogamotion Academy based out of Bozeman, MT, on March 5 – 13, 2016 in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.  I earned 40 hours of CEUs for yoga teachers by completing the “Workshop-Retreat Business Training for Yoga Teachers and Health and Wellness Educators.”  This training prepared me to  facilitate yoga retreats in Waterville Valley, NH, and beyond.  I plan to facilitate a retreat at TOSA Laguna Boutique Hotel & Spa,  Lake Atitlan, Guatemala in 2017.  Stay tuned for the Guatemala trip details later.

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Winter 2015

I returned from India with gratitude and love.  This trip was sponsored by Feathered Pipe Ranch, Helena, MT, one of the oldest centers for conscious living and yoga retreats in the country.  The tour was led by Baxter Bell, MD, RYT 500. We visited Delhi, Haridwar, the Ganges River, Rishikesh, Jaipur, Bharatpur, Agra, Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Sarnath.  I heard noise like never before, saw filthy cities, and poverty that is unimaginable to many in the United States.  I also saw  an abundance of wealth and beauty.  There were communities of love and ceremonies of light and faith that touched my soul.  I am humbled.  

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Fall 2015
  • I completed ‘Thai Yoga Massage Level 2’, Lotus Palm School Certification, at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health.  I learned to adopt massages to accommodate people of different sizes and flexibility, as well as people suffering from common ailments.
  • I attended Kirtan college, a weekend of intensive chanting  with David Newman (Durga Das) & Mira at Satchidananda Ashram (Yogaville).  We did lessons in the Bhaki Yoga tradition and how to lead Kirtan.
  • I attended ‘Up North Yoga Conference’ in Essex, NY on Lake Champlain.  A fabulous workshop presented by Justin Wolfer, Nixa DeBellis, Michael Fergot, Katie Wilson & Magda Janak – sponsored by Michelle Bartz Maron, Lake Champlain Yoga and Wellness.
Spring 2015
  • I attended an annual ‘Yoga in Paradise’ retreat with Suzanne Morgan, Xinalani Retreat Center, Banderas Bay, Mexico. A lot of relaxing yoga classes, workshops, journaling and meditation on the most beautiful beach.  I gave a few Thai Massages and received a few.  Xinalani Retreat Center
Winter 2015
  • Completed Thai Yoga Massage, Level I with Lotus Palm Thai Yoga Massage  followed by Assisted Yoga with Adjustments also by Lotus Palm.
  • Attended Tias Little’s Architecture of Asana training at Back Bay Studio in Boston, MA
Fall 2014
  • Attended the Kripalu’s Annual Teachers Conference on Modern Yoga Therapy.
  • Attended ‘Up North Yoga Conference’ in Essex, NY on Lake Champlain.

“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” Khalil Gibran

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Yoga Schedule for February

SUNDAYS, Open Level Yoga, 9:00-10:15, WMAC 
TUESDAYS, Slow is Strong, 4:30-5:45, Town Square 
THURSDAYS, Slow is Strong, 4:30-5:45, Town Square
FRIDAYS, Restorative, 4:30-5:45, Town Square  
SATURDAYS, Slow is Strong, 4:30-5:45, Town Square 

All group classes at Town Square and WMAC are $15 per class. Adult Fitness passesaccepted at either location. Freedom pass holders get $2 off. Call Helen for a Theraputic Thai Yoga appointment or Private Yoga Class – 603-960-1470

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What is Thai Yoga Bodywork?

Are you an active person?  Do you suffer from stiffness and chronic conditions?  Have you ever experienced a private Thai Yoga Bodywork session?

Thai Yoga bodywork is the ‘metta touch’, the touch in yoga.  Thai Yoga incorporates martial arts moves, rhythmic motion, palming and thumbing along energy lines, gentle stretching, and breath work.  During the session, the receiver lies on the mat in comfortable clothing and relaxes. You will be guided through a series of  Yoga postures, while body’s energy lines and pressure points are being assisted.  It can provide amazing results to reduce stress and ease discomfort. It will improve circulation, help expedite metabolism, boost the immune system and tone the muscles.  No yoga experience required.

>>> Should You Try Thai Yoga Massage?   >>> Origins of Thai Massage    >>> More Information on Thai Bodywork

For Reservations call 603-960-1470
60 min. $80 / 90 min. $110

 

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Yoga Class Descriptions

MIND-BODY MOVEMENT   –   Explore the richness of the relationship between your mind and your body.  This class, based on Somatic principals, uses simple, gentle exercises to help restore optimal resting length and function to muscles that have become painfully tight due to stress, trauma, repetitive motions and/or unconscious habits.  Movements will be guided along with the opportunity to find your own movement vocabulary through basic structured patterns.   Awakening the senses and restore sensory motor awareness to the brain and muscular system.  Asanas will also be incorporated to further enhance flexibility, strength and balance for overall well-being.  This class beginner friendly and suitable for all.

RESTORATIVE – A perfect opportunity to experience a deep state of relaxation where the body can release and heal. Experience prop supported postures with long holds that reduce stress and bring flexibility and balance to the mind and body. Simply let go and surrender. Give your body the natural gift of rejuvenation. Blocks, blankets, bolsters, and straps are optional, and you’ll receive personal assistance for set-up in restorative postures.  This class inspires all levels and adults.  

Helen is a Waterville Valley resident and specializes in Therapeutic Thai Yoga but do teach Vinyasa gentle flow and Yin classes. She is yoga teacher certified and has additional specialized training. She studied under Tias Little, Prajna Yoga and other international eclectic renowned teachers. She studied yoga in the US and internationally in India, Guatemala, Mexico, and Canada. She has a Thai Yoga Essentials Certification through Lotus Palm School, Montreal, Quebec. She also has an Assessment-Based Certificate for Power Pilates Mat Teacher Training.

Any physical exercise done with breath awareness becomes yoga; anything done without the breath is just a physical practice.
~Rajan Narayaran

What is a Pilates Workout

What is a Pilates workout? Power Pilates philosophy was developed by Joseph Pilates.  It is a movement-based, systematic mat workout that emphasizes the core or powerhouse.  It is a flowing style that will transform your body and remove the compensatory weaknesses that contribute to chronic injuries.  There will be noticeable improvement in posture, strength, stamina, flexibility and overall feeling of wellness.