Earth Touch Yoga

Ayurvedic Holistic Healing

Earth Touch Yoga and ‚ÄčHealing Center
moves to Shaw's Ridge!

*first class is always free*

Please welcome Earth Touch Yoga and Ayurveda to Sanford. The studio has moved to the lovely homestead at 41 Shaws Ridge Rd. Come check out our popular Yoga classes as well as all of our other health services.

Owner Beverly Walsh Gobbi offers:

 gentle yoga classes

personal health consultations

counseling

workshops

seasonal healing circles

plus more!

Our vision is to create a peaceful, nurturing oasis in the heart of York County to explore the many ways to find optimal health and wellness in body, mind and spirit. Affordable rates are a priority.

So, come and bring your own unique experience and gifts to class and let us nurture our space to study the many healing traditions passed to us from ancient India. Now is the perfect time to set your intention for a warming and calming practice, as the lovely Spring season is upon us.

~ Studio News ~


~ ITS BACK!~


The Thursday 5:30 pm class has returned, so we are back to our full yoga class schedule.

Class sizes are small at this time, students are at a safe distance. Face coverings are optional.


Please text Beverly at 603.817.3025 with any questions.

Welcome back!!





*THE FOLLOWING GUIDELINES WILL APPLY IF RESTRICTIONS ARE APPLIED AGAIN*



Class sessions will be with some adjustments of course, to protect our safety and good health. I need to limit the number of students in each session and therefore am asking folks for a monthly commitment to hold their spot. I have begun the painful process of offering classes by 'seniority'; there will likely not be space for all who wish to come. Here are some guidelines as we come back together:


-class size will be limited to 8, including the teacher

-cost: $40/month to hold your space, same day each week (you may use up your class card)

-let us know if you would like to be on a wait list

-if you cannot attend on your regular day, please let us know so it can be offered to another

-at this time 1 class per person per week

-please bring your own mat (and other equipment if desired)

-no need to sign in, we will take attendance

-the studio will be painted, so it will be fresh and clean

- no more hugs or shaking hands!  

- if you are sick or have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus please do not attend class

-if you have chronic health issues you may want to reconsider coming to class at this time

-supplies will be on hand to maintain hygiene


Please check back for updates and let us know how we can support you in this time of change!




{ Check out this diary of our time this Spring in quarantine... }



~Week of April 26~


~* MAY  DAY *~


Ah May!! 


OK, we've been veeeerrrry patient this year but we have had snow and freezing temperatures every week for a long, long time! Let us all graciously ask Old Man Winter to begin to think about heading North for the summer. He deserves a vacation just as we do! I am beginning to see the trees in bloom on my weekly drive into the city; magnolias, plums, azalea, forsithia; and the spring bulbs are up. Oh joy!! The waxing moon is working its way toward the full Flower Moon next week. I've been watching the Great Blue Herons weave their large twiggy nests during my morning walks. The woodchuck has his eye on the vegetable plot. The gardens are cleaned up (mostly), all the green shoots curling toward the Sun. We are coming in to the sweetest, most luscious, and passionate time of the year. 

Historically, May Day, also called Beltane, was a raucous celebration of fertility with dancing around the maypole, jumping naked over bonfires and lots of 'affection', as well as a great feast. Babies conceived at this time were much more likely to survive as they would be born at the end of winter. Beltane is a grand honoring of the richness and generosity of Mother Earth. 

We are at Spring's midpoint. Spring has brought the blossoming to Maine but also the virus. We pray that our next beautiful season will bring us good health and peace.

So pour a glass of May wine, add some strawberries and a sprig of fresh mint. Count your blessings and give your honey a big hug if you can. Cheers!



Song of the Beltane Goddess


Lush is her body in the morning light

And drenched with dew, her blossoms.

Stretched open to sun on green, green grass,

She beckons us, calls us by name.

If you open to me I will feed you,

 And all I ask is your love,

Your love for this earth ripe with beauty,

 Your love for the hunger I feed. 


 The Goddess pose is wonderful expression of Spring energy, bringing strength and focus. Find a spot outside and face the Sun. Come into a wide squat, feet turned outward and rooted to the Earth. Pause here, then open your hands fully and draw them back even with shoulders: the Abhaya Mudra- expression of fearlessness. Reach your crown to the sky and inhale the Breath of Life into the center of your heart. Relax your eyes toward the horizon. Feel, smell, taste, listen to the gifts of Spring. 

As you release- find your faith and follow your dreams.


Note: as I complete this writing on May Day, I notice the deer have returned to the field...


Thanks to: Cait Johnson and Llewellyn Publications





~Week of April 19~


SOUP!!


There is a saying in Southern Italy that says "Sette cose fa la zuppa." meaning "Soup does seven things."  It:

 

-relieves your hunger

-quenches your thirst

-fills your stomach

-cleans your teeth

-makes your sleep

-helps you digest 

-colors your cheeks!


Soup is the perfect food for your Spring supper. We tend to eat our largest meal toward the end of our day. However, digestion slows in the evening (and also in the Spring) and a heavy dinner will likely not be completely digested before sleep. Undigested food will not be absorbed and assimilated properly. This leads to build-up of something Ayurveda calls Ama- a sticky, toxic material that tends to clog the circulation and subtle energy channels, eventually causing illness. One of my teachers says, " When prana (cellular intelligence) gets blocked, some cells become isolated. An isolated cell is a lonely cell, and a lonely cell is a confused cell. Pathologic changes begin." Our cells do not need social distancing! Research shows when we start a meal with soup we tend to eat less and gain less weight. Better to eat your largest meal at midday when digestion is at its peak- just like the path of the Sun! Clear soups are best in the Spring and be sure to add some spice like garlic, and black or red pepper to kick up that metabolism, and enjoy your Zuppa!



=  MYSTERIOUS VISITOR  =


A few weeks ago we discovered a new neighbor up here on the Ridge- a gorgeous red fox. At first he came out during snowfall, crossing the street at the front of the house, following the edge of the side yard and the across the back field. The snow provided cover for him but also ironically allowed him to catch my eye, that stunning rusty red fur with white cheeks, bib and tail tip. Lately he's been a little more bold, traveling his familiar path at dusk now that the traffic is lighter and quieter- a gift of the times. One morning I watching him on the hunt, pouncing with absolute precision onto his furry breakfast. I am intensely drawn to the fox, I consider it my Spirit animal. In the Native American tradition Fox is connected with camouflage. As an introvert, I appreciate the ability to meld into my surroundings, be unnoticed and observe my world in my own time. Fox medicine involves adaptability, integration, swiftness and cunning. (My grandma used to call me cunning but she meant cute!) Fox is also the protector of the family unit, keeping all together and safe, important in this scary time. 



* HOME *


Home is not simply a mark upon a map

Any more than a river is just water

It is the place at the center of the compass

From which every arrow radiates

And where the heart is fixed

It is a force that forever draws us back or yearns us on

For where the home is there is hope

And the future waits

And everything is possible.


May you find warmth and comfort in your home. If it is not so, please reach out for support...


Grazie to Dr. Vasant Lad, Jamie Sams, David Carson, Jennifer Worth




~Week of April 12~


EASTER  and  PASSOVER  BLESSINGS !


I love the energy of Spring holidays- the Earth is awakening, the rivers are rushing, the breezes are light and invigorating. The sun is strong and the moon is bright. The daffodils are smiling! Gratitude for the ancient elements that support Life- earth, water, fire, air and space. 

Easter is named after the Saxon Spring goddess Eostre, similar to Persephone who arose from the underworld to bring warmth and love for her mother Demeter, goddess of the harvest. She is in her maiden phase- a time of youthfulness and beauty. I have decorated my favorite 'altar' space- my fireplace mantel. It has rabbits, eggs, lilies, pussywillows and a lady dressed in her Spring finery- hat, gloves, and parasol, just in case. Ancient traditions define our holidays today. Yellow and purple are the colors of the day, energizing the richness of Spring energy. We have planted our lettuce and have tiny sprouts. It's a glorious time. 

Of course the most important component in any celebration is family. Many of us cannot be with extended family this year. It is a very sad time in so many ways. I especially miss my young grandsons. And, I am grateful that they are home and safe with their family.

This a time of renewal and rebirth. Take time on this beautiful day to allow the sun to shine on your face, breathe in the Prana of life and find gratitude for this moment.


I will rise again

Through rain and flood and wind

Knock me down

 And I'll stand up 

And I will rise again.


I will see again

Through the darkness where I've been

 The clouds will pass

 The sun will rise

And I will see again.


I will love again

Broken as I am

Life's too short

To close my heart

And I will love again.


Om Namah Shivaya

(I bow to the Divine within)


-Sean Johnson and the Wild Lotus Band-




~Week of April 5~


>> HEARTBROKEN <<


The devastating losses created by the coronavirus are overwhelming. Sometimes I feel an emptiness and hopelessness deep in the center of my heart. It's difficult to accept that I have little control over this pandemic. I worry that anxiety, even depression will take over. So many changes...

This is the time to trust in something greater than ourselves- our Divine source, and find our courage. The Stanzas on Vibrations (a tantric text) say that 'the heart of the  universe, the pulsation of divine power, is fully present in moments of terror, intense anger, or absolute impasse'. The final principle of yogic philosophy is Ishvara Pranadhana (say that quickly 3 times!)- devotion or surrender to a 'Higher Power'. Whatever your beliefs, can you let Spirit support you to let go of fears, frustrations, doubts?

'Like the heart itself, courage is a lotus with many petals, all of them associated with qualities that even the most cynical of us celebrate: bravery, strength, steadiness, trust, self-reliance, integrity, love.' Courage comes from the center of our beings. It allows us to access our wisdom, presence, discipline to carry on with our lives. Find time in each day to practice some kind of spiritual practice, in yoga called Sadhana- defined as 'spiritual exertion toward an intended goal'. Eventually all parts of our day become a holy flow.


Here are some supportive practices:


Healing Heart Meditation

Close your eyes, take some slow deep breaths and find your center, your Place of Peace. Bring to mind someone you love deeply; their face, their voice, their smile, their fragrance, their soft cheek. Imagine telling them how much you love them. What words will you use? What will be your tone? Bring this love deep into your consciousness, into every cell of your body. Notice a sense of warmth and ease in your chest. Allow your heart to mend.


Heart Opening Postures

A simple way to open your heart to yourself is to practice gentle yoga backbends. Cobra, Locust, Bridge, Camel, Bow and Fish poses will help the stress and anxiety of grief and powerlessness. Come into your pose and take 5 long, smooth, deep breaths. Find length through your side body, allow the shoulders to release toward your back and curl the shoulder blades inward toward your heart. Allow a sense of LovingKindness (Metta) to enter in. Your body will manifest the qualities you desire.


Heart Space

Find a small area in your home to devote to your healing heart. Place an object in the center connected with the energy of Fire- something red, a candle, an image of the sun, a crystal, a heart-shaped object. Perhaps add a photo of someone you love or who inspires you. Or an animal who's qualities you admire- Deer for gentleness, Moose for self-esteem, Butterfly for transformation. Maybe add a red flower or sunflower. Write down an Intention to support you for the next few weeks. Take a moment here each day to find stillness. Shine a light on your loving self. Journal about any inspiration that arrives.



HOPE

Hope is the thing with feathers 

That perches in the Soul

And sings the tune without the words 

And never stops at all.



Many thanks to this week's teachers: Sally Kempton, Alejandro Junger, Katherine Olaksen., Emily Dickinson




~Week of March 29~


SLEEP!!

It's 3am- Do you know where your peace of mind is?

When we are stressed, fearful, tense- sleep often suffers. Restorative sleep is essential for good health. If allowed to become chronic it can lead to a multitude of health problems. 

Ayurveda describes insomnia as a Vata imbalance- too much air and space energy in the mind and nervous system creating worry, restlessness, literally spaceiness. We can offer many comfort measures to support good sleep.


Of course, a few minutes of yoga poses and stretches can help. Try a simple flow called 'Hypnotic Sphinx'. Come into the sphinx pose- on your belly resting on your forearms, lengthening the spine forward and lifting the chest, shoulders relaxed and hands pressed into the earth. As you inhale, slowly turn your head toward the right shoulder gently tipping the left ear downward, and RELAX. As you exhale turn back to center, and RELEASE. Repeat on the left side. Be slow and soft, exploring the tender spaces of the head, neck and shoulders. Continue flow as comfortable. When ready, rest all the way down, coming into Reverse Savasana and practice 1:2 breathing- make the exhale twice as long as the inhale. 

Some other good poses are: Cat/Cow flow, Downward Facing Dog, Seated Forward Bend and Legs-Up-The Wall.  


Here are some other Ayurvedic remedies:

-drink a glass of warm milk with a sprinkle of nutmeg- both are natural sedatives

-massage your feet with warm sesame oil- organic cold-pressed is best but any will do-

extend the massage to hips, shoulders, forehead if desired

-take a hot bath or shower

-practice the So-Hum meditation- sit comfortably and focus your awareness between your eyebrows-

say to yourself 'so' on the inhalation and 'hum' on the exhalation

-chamomile tea is classic

-be sure to get to bed by 10:00- your most important sleep happens between 10 and 2am.


Know that times of night wakefulness are a natural part of your awake/asleep continuum. Let go of the Ego that tracks and judges your sleep pattern. Allow your mind the be the calm witness that allows thoughts to just come and go peacefully.


{SWEET  DREAMS LULLABY}


the shadows are waltzing

the moonbeams are calling

like a dream i am falling into

silver threads lined with two twinkling stars

seem to shine just for you


behind your eyes

are endless blue skies

you travel places i want to come to

each breath that you breathe is a brush stroke

that leads me to you


so, sleep

fall into night's indigo hue

believe me it's true

there's nothing that i would not do

for my dream is sweet dreams for you


So grateful for these teachers: Hilari Dowdle, Rubin Naiman, Vasant Lad, Jewel Kilcher




~Week of March 22~


This is a difficult time of  fear, anxiety, maybe anger. As we isolate physically, it is imperative that we do not isolate socially and emotionally. Find creative ways to keep in touch with those you love. Try expanding beyond social media!


YOGA AT HOME

I encourage you all to practice a little at home. Years ago I led a class on just this topic- we agreed 15 minutes daily was manageable. Find a quiet space and make it your own. I've been working on a corner of my guest room for my practice (can't have guests right now!). It's in the Knowledge/Wisdom area (first corner on the left as you walk in, according to Feng Shui). My mat is facing the morning sun. I set up a stool with a scarf of calming turquoise, a green candle for Spring, a quilted angel ornament made by an old friend, and a small book rack for readings.

Put on some relaxing music and set your intention as you light your candle. Start with a few simple Sun Salutations to warm up. Then practice one pose of each type- forward bend, twist, backbend, inversion (downward facing dog), standing.Try the Peaceful Warrior pose: Come into your side Warrior (W II), arch back and rest your back hand on your back leg. Bring your front arm overhead and gaze up. This pose embodies the process of give and take-seeking balance between the aggressive and receptive parts of ourselves. Be the Warrior of Peace! Let go of perfection- stretch tall, breathe deeply and open your heart. Don't forget a few minutes in Savasana! End with hands together- find gratitude for one blessing in your life.


Ayurveda tells us that Fear is an imbalance in Vata dosha (wind energy). Vata is like Winter energy- there is too much cold, dryness, roughness, mobility, emptiness in the body. It lodges in the colon and hips as well as in the mind.Yoga is perfect for reducing Vata- especially practised in a quiet, grounded, systematic way.  Other strategies are taking in warm, nourishing foods and spicy teas. Sesame oil massage to feet and hips is warming and soothing. Keep a regular routine in your daily round. Get lots of sleep. Take naps!


Good self care is so important when stress increases. Bundle up, get outdoors and take some hearty deep breaths. My daffodil buds are ready to open, but just like us they are afraid to come out. Be patient and safe. All will be well. 



BREATH OF LIFE:


Wind is my teacher

Water my Father

Earth my Mother

We all are One.


Gratitude for these inspiring teachers today: Ajeet Kaur, Susanna Harwood Rubin, David Frawley.


I would love to hear from students. Text me at 603-817-3035.

Big hugs from the Ridge!







WELCOME  SPRING!!

Spring blew in at midnight on March 19... 

Spring is Kapha season in Yoga and Ayurveda, a time when the water element is in full expression. The cool, moist, fertile earth is our gift this time of year. Keeping active, getting out into the sunshine and lightening our diet will keep us warm, energized and radiant. Consider a light fast, such as skipping breakfast one day, and notice how it affects your well-being. A hot cup of ginger tea will enhance your metabolism and clear the heaviness of winter. Living with the seasons keeps us healthy and happy!

Yoga class focuses on Sun Salutations in Spring- warming poses linked with breath. A beautiful way to create balance and gratitude for the rising sun! We are opening our hearts to our inner Healer this season, awakening Lovingkindness.

Come and join our community. 

~GIFT CARDS~

Don't forget we offer 5 yoga classes for only $35.

Just about the perfect gift...

HAVEN'T BEEN TO YOGA CLASS RECENTLY?

What are you waiting for?

Here's a message I received from my favorite teacher-

John Calabria of Concord, MA:

"We've got some forgotten class cards here. If you've not joined us for a while, know that your card is still good and never expires.

BLISS WAITING TO HAPPEN."

I hear many students apologize for not getting to class. 'Life gets so busy!' they say. Believe me- I get it. I live in the same house and I often have trouble getting on the mat! I have some students that come 3x per week and others that come a few times per year. I will say that a regular practice will reap infinite benefits. I encourage everyone to make a weekly commitment. We need one another to make it happen. Come when you can. You are always welcome.

WELCOME BACK!

* THEY'RE BACK! *

After almost a year we are able to bring back our seasonal Healing Circles. These are special events designed to help us transition from one season to another, a time when our bodies experience dramatic changes as we adjust to changing weather, light, and energy. The Circles are a nice mix of yoga and other healing practices. They are also fun...

See the Events page for more info. Also note the quote on Ritual below.

p.s. We are now in our 10th year of Healing!

** BIG NEWS!! **

May 2018

We have purchased the home at 41 Shaws Ridge Rd in Sanford!

It includes a beautiful, spacious studio space (formerly Kathie's Quilt Shoppe).

This effort has been a year in process and has overcome many obstacles! We are so grateful, blessings greet us daily.

Many, many thanks to all my wonderful students who helped with the move. It was complete within an hour, including packing!

Class schedules will remain the same for now.

So, come celebrate with us and help make this space our own.

Jai bhagwan!! Beverly and family

'Practice and all will come.'

Patahbi Jois ~ founder of Ashtanga Yoga

Yoga is healing and energizing to Body-Mind-Spirit. Come into our Circle.

~ Gift Certificates ~

You love your yoga practice. Now share it with others!

$35 for 5 classes. Such a deal!!

See ABOUT US page for contact info.

~ Ritual ~

After ritual, that part of us that we have awakened cannot be stuffed into a box to await the next ritual. The energy that we raise changes us slightly each time so that when we go back into the world at large and pick up our mundane lives, we take some of the energy, some of the magic with us. In turn, it has an effect on the world around us like a ripple that spreads reverence and joy. After experiencing our primal presence in ritual we begin to flow with a vitality that keeps the flame of Spirit kindled within our hearts.

Sandra Kynes

- namaste'-

I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.

I honor the place in you which is of love, of truth, of light and of peace.

When you are in that place in you, I am in that place in me.

We are one.

~OPEN TO LOVE~

This what one husband wrote on our gift certificate to his wife:

'Start the New Year off by relaxing with Yoga.

I love you very much and want you to be healthy and at peace.'

~ GRATITUDE ~

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,

chaos to order,

confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today,

and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Melody Beattie

I am eternally grateful for all my students and teachers!

Namaste' my friends. 

WHAT'S SO SPECIAL ABOUT OUR WORKSHOPS?

Earth Touch workshops have a unique style that may be different from other classes you have attended. We sit in a circle- that universal arrangement of unity and wholeness- promoting connection and strength. No one is the 'expert'- all of us have important experiences and information to share. Our gatherings create a safe and sacred space to explore, learn, and share our challenges and successes with like-minded people. We offer activities to balance body, mind, heart and spirit.You will leave feeling energized and confident to move forward. Come and check us out!

~New for 2014~

We will be adding journaling to our workshops this year! Keeping a journal is a healing practice at so many levels.

So- splurge on a perfectly beautiful book, plain or lined, for writing, drawing, dreaming;

OR free yourself and just clear out an old notebook!

Yoga is something you must do to understand.

It comes from inside, slowly, taking you into its own embrace.

No teaching, idea, word, or philosophy,

will ever be as wholly profound as your own experience of it.

(from The Joy of Partner Yoga by Mishabae)

LIVING AHIMSA

The first guiding principle in Yoga, on and off the mat, is Ahimsa (non-violence or non-harming). It means practicing compassion toward oneself in body and thought during yoga practice, and also toward others as you go about your daily round. It means treating all forms of life with love and respect: people, animals, Mother Earth. We have studied this important concept in yoga class.

I was truly blessed to be able to attend a conference in April actually called Living Ahimsa at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, my spiritual home. This was the first time I was in the healing presence of Mother Maya Tiwari, world spiritual leader and author of my most prized books on Ayurveda. It was a time for me to deeply challenge my thoughts and life patterns.

Also known as Swamini Mayatitananda, Mother Maya is founder of the Wise Earth School of Ayurveda, Mother OM Mission and the Living Ahimsa Foundation. She is truly an inpriration to me. See her work at mypeacevow.com and kripalu.org.

Our weekend with Mother at Kripalu was filled with joyful and nurturing practices: meditation, chanting, singing, breathwork, yoga. We made a beautiful mandala (circle design) out of colorful grains, seeds, and beans as we recited our Vow of Ahimsa:

'I take the Vow of Ahimsa

I make inner harmony my first priority

I take the Vow of Ahimsa

In my thoughts, speech and action'

Later we returned the grains to Mother Earth as a gift of love and gratitude. We laughed, cried and were humbled by Mother's deep love for all things. She is a delight and an inspiration.

At times in my teaching I have felt that I am 'channeling' knowledge from an outside source. Mother Maya reminded me that the wisdom is in me (and also you) and that I need only to be aware/conscious to access it. Powerful outside forces and overwhelming thoughts can get in the way of listening to our Inner Wisdom. Mother taught us when distressing thoughts come to mind, repeat to yourself: "I hold this thought in a kind space.", a comfort in times of challenge.

Mother was inspired to create the Living Ahimsa program after being the victim of a hate crime. Eventually she was able to send her perpetrators a thank-you note and reports that they are doing better! How about that for a lesson in forgiveness? Are you able to experience loss without the suffering and hurt? Come embrace these lessons of Yoga and allow them to support you on your journey to wholeness and deep inner peace.

NEW RESEARCH SUPPORTS AYURVEDIC PRINCIPLES!

I was waiting for my car to be repaired and picked up the Nov. 2010 issue of MORE magazine (for women over 40) and found an article titled 'The Right Diet for Your Body'. Researchers at Stanford University have found that women whose diets matched well with their genetic profiles lost more than twice as much weight than those whose diets didn't suit their biology. The medical director at Canyon Ranch, Mark Liponis, MD, has been conducting his own research and says, "I think people are going to stratify into one of three groups based on how they look when they become heavier (tendency to gain weight in the belly, the hips or all over). If the diet matches a woman's body type, she not only loses more weight but feels full most of the day and does not have trouble staying on that eating plan." Ayurveda has known this for thousands of years! It is important to support your unique body type with the correct foods to encourage weight loss and prevent further weight gain as well as chronic illness. Check out the AYURVEDA page for more info.

Come to a workshop or schedule a personal consultation and learn more....

EARTH TOUCH YOGA has celebrated its seventh Birthday! It has been a joyful experience watching students strengthen, stretch and grow in just a few months. We are thankful for all the new students who are supporting the studio and providing a safe, enjoyable environment for practice!

Check the YOGA page for class info.

~Earth Touch~

In the TriYoga tradition of Kali Ray, 'Earth Touch' is the name given to the yoga pose often called Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana). As you stand firmly on the ground and allow the crown of your head to slowly come forward, then down, your hands can then connect with the Earth. (This position is explored in class and can be adjusted for all abilities). Earth Touch posture is grounding, strengthening and relaxing to body and mind. It ignites the metabolic fire and allows us to surrender and release the struggles of everyday life.

AND YOU ?

When will you begin your long journey into yourself?

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