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Workshops

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The Heart of Yoga: Bhakti and Backbends

A Workshop Honoring the Yogic Path of Devotion

Sunday, July 28, 2024 1:00-3:00pm

Lotusland Yoga SF, 1360 Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA

Discover the heart-centered marg (yogic path) of bhakti through the lens of Indian American yoga teacher, Rowena Mittal, MS, PhD, CYT. In this workshop, we will explore how bhakti, the path of devotion and love, connects deeply with our thoughts and actions, allowing us to feel and express love toward ourselves and others fully in our daily lives. Bhakti marg is one of four yogic paths that also include jnana marg (the path of knowledge), raja marg (the path of mind/meditation), or karma marg (the path of action/service). Practiced alone or together with other paths, bhakti fosters a deep connection with Source. “When we love selflessly, it is a divine love, the love that is referred to as bhakti in the Bhagavad Gita. We see divinity in every aspect of the universe and can do no harm to ourselves or others.” - Rusty Wells

What you will gain

​Understanding Bhakti Yoga

  • Definition, history, and key texts

  • Methods of practice in modern daily life

Heart-Opening Bhakti Flow

  • A lively vinyasa practice centered on front body opening and connection to anahata (heart) chakra (energy center)

  • Asanas (postures) that build back strength and release chest/shoulder tension

  • Skills for safe and easeful backbends

Voice Practice

  • Learn how to use your voice to connect with divinity through the audible and physical vibrational sounds of Om, mantra (chanting), and kirtan (call and response)

  • Translations of Sanskrit words or phrases to English

Why Attend?

Whether you're new to yoga or looking to deepen your practice, this workshop offers something for everyone. For teachers, this workshop may inspire ways to infuse classes with bhakti. 

  • Holistic Learning: Dive deep into the philosophy, history, and practices of Bhakti

  • Heart-Centered Practice: Engage in asana and voice practices that open your heart and allow connection with Self, Other, and Source

  • Practical Integration: Learn to infuse your daily life with love, devotion, and mindfulness

Practical Details

  • What to Wear: Comfortable clothes you can move in

  • What to Bring: A yoga mat, a water bottle, a writing utensil, and a journal

  • What is Provided: Yoga props, mat rentals available

  • Refreshments: Enjoy complimentary herbal chai and cookies

Join us for this enriching bhakti workshop and deepen your connection to the art and science of yoga through the principles of devotion and love. Let’s come together to sweat, sing, study, and shine a light on the sacred practices and teachings of yoga. Together, we'll deepen our relationship with ourselves and the world around us, cultivating a heart-centered approach to every thought, breath, and action.

Register today and take the first step towards a heart-centered, devotional way of living.

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Yoga for Your Fertility Journey

A Workshop on the Science of Yoga for Supporting Egg Retrieval
Saturday, September 7, 2024 1:00-3:00pm

Yoga Flow SF Noe, 4049 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

Join Rowena for this first-of-its-kind yoga workshop in SF to gain the yogic tools for supporting any stage of the egg retrieval journey – from building the courage to book the initial consultation, to considering your options, to the 3-month preparatory lifestyle improvement period, to the stimulation cycle, to recovering from egg retrieval surgery.

​A common question we have when we start our family planning journey is, "Do I have to stop practicing yoga?" Empowering your fertility goes beyond the clinic – it encompasses your holistic well-being.

That's why Rowena Mittal, MS, PhD, CYT, is thrilled to share her Yoga for Fertility Care program with the YFSF community through this workshop. Leveraging her experiences as an MIT-trained biomedical scientist who has developed women’s health technology, a 20-year yoga practitioner, a decade-long yoga teacher, and a patient of fertility treatment herself, Rowena has tailored the 8-limbed yoga practice to meet your needs to stay physically active, mentally balanced, emotionally nourished, and spiritually enlightened.

This workshop will explore yoga practices that foster fertility such as the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (posture), pranayama (breath, life force), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (concentration), and dhyana (meditation). Physical movement is designed to maintain strength, mobility, and circulation while not including twists, inversions, or high-impact pelvic motion.

In addition, this workshop covers why and how we need to modify our practice during treatment, the science behind how yoga can promote egg quality or quantity as well as manage treatment side effects, community resources, and Q/A.

What you will gain

  • An energizing and uplifting yoga practice and community to foster your fertility

  • An understanding of how yoga can promote egg quality or quantity and manage treatment side effects

  • Knowledge about why and how we need to modify our practice during treatment

 

Why attend?

 

This workshop is open to all genders and levels of experience with yoga or fertility treatment. While tailored to students pursuing or recovering from egg retrieval for egg freezing or fertilization toward embryo transfer or embryo freezing, this workshop can be beneficial to:

  • Individuals seeking to manage stress or balance cortisol levels to foster fertility

  • Yoga students looking for a balanced yang-to-yin asana practice during menstruation

  • Yoga teachers seeking inspiration to support their students going through IVF

  • Friends, family, and partners attending in support of their loved ones

Join us for this enriching workshop on living yoga as holistic fertility care. Register today and take the first step towards nourishing self-care and building your family with clarity and equanimity.

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Series 1: Release Your Neck, Shoulders, and Upper Back

A Yoga Asana, Anatomy, and Myofascial Release Workshop

With Rowena Mittal, MS, PhD, CYT and Gregory Harty, CMT

Saturday, October 5, 2024 1:00-3:00pm

Yoga Flow SF Noe, 4049 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

We ask a lot from our neck, shoulders and upper back in our daily lives. This workshop, developed by Rowena Mittal, MS, PhD, CYT and Gregory Harty, CMT, will give you yoga and bodywork skills to regularly maintain function and comfort of this anatomically complex region. Come alone or with a friend. All levels of experience are welcome.

In this workshop you’ll,

  • Understand basic anatomy of the region

  • Practice myofascial release (MFR) techniques to release the neck, shoulder and back through partner work

  • Receive a yoga sequence for self-maintenance of the upper body

  • Learn how to manage back pain, neck strain, or shoulder pain; increase range of motion of the upper body, improve ergonomics and posture, reduce forward neck, alleviate pain from working at a desk or computer, or relieve embodied stress

Rowena leverages her experience as an MIT-trained biomedical scientist and engineer, a decade-long yoga teacher, and a patient of physical therapy to relate the 8-limbed practice of yoga to modern daily life. Born into a family of physical therapists, Gregory brings years of experience as a therapist in myofascial release as developed by John F. Barnes to share how we work with the innate mind-body system to promote relief and support healing. 

Myofascial release is a type of manual therapy that employs long, sustained holds, releasing constrictions in the fascia–an uninterrupted network of connective tissue that winds and wraps around every structure throughout the body. In this workshop we will review basic anatomy of the region as it relates to common pains and compensation patterns. We’ll partner up to practice MFR techniques and experience release of the fascial system for ourselves.
 

Yoga asana, or physical posture practice, is one of the eight limbs of yoga that helps us achieve ease and comfort in our bodies so that our minds can stay clear and focused. In this workshop we’ll learn yoga poses that increase mobility, strengthen muscles, and release fascia in the upper body. We will practice ergonomic transitions that work with rather than against our anatomy. Walk away with a yoga sequence that you can add to your routine for self-maintenance of the upper body. 

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Series 2: Release Your Hips and Pelvis

A Yoga Asana, Anatomy, and Myofascial Release Workshop

With Rowena Mittal, MS, PhD, CYT and Gregory Harty, CMT

Saturday, October 19, 2024 1:00-3:00pm

Yoga Flow SF Noe, 4049 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

The hips and pelvis are a bellwether for imbalances and compensation patterns in the rest of the body. Exaggerated tilt and rotation in this area has ripple effects up into the cranium and down to the toes. This workshop, developed by Rowena Mittal, MS, PhD, CYT and Gregory Harty, CMT, will give you yoga and bodywork skills to regularly maintain function and comfort of this “ground zero” area of your body. Come alone or with a friend. All levels of experience are welcome.

 

In this workshop you’ll,

 

  • Understand basic anatomy of the region

  • Practice myofascial release (MFR) techniques to release the hips and pelvis through partner work

  • Receive a yoga sequence for self-maintenance of the hips and pelvis

  • Learn how to manage hip pain, low back strain, bulging or slipped disc, piriformis syndrome; foster hip mobility, improve ergonomics and posture, alleviate sciatic pain, or relieve embodied stress

Rowena leverages her experience as an MIT-trained biomedical scientist and engineer, a decade-long yoga teacher, and a patient of physical therapy to relate the 8-limbed practice of yoga to modern daily life. Born into a family of physical therapists, Gregory brings years of experience as a therapist in myofascial release as developed by John F. Barnes to share how we work with the innate mind-body system to promote relief and support healing.

Myofascial release is a type of manual therapy that employs long, sustained holds, releasing constrictions in the fascia–an uninterrupted network of connective tissue that winds and wraps around every structure throughout the body. In this workshop we will review basic anatomy of the region as it relates to common pains and compensation patterns. We’ll partner up to practice MFR techniques and experience release of the fascial system for ourselves.

Yoga asana, or physical posture practice, is one of the eight limbs of yoga that helps us achieve ease and comfort in our bodies so that our minds can stay clear and focused. In this workshop we’ll learn yoga poses that increase mobility, strengthen muscles, release fascia, and bring balance to the hips and pelvis. Walk away with a yoga sequence that you can add to your routine for self-maintenance of this region.

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