Founder’s Muse

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The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life. — William Morris

Welcome to August at Tranquil Space. We’re launching a new $99/month basic membership, offering our weekly lineup of 100 creative classes plus workshops including newbie yogi, detox, teacher training summer camp, inversions, book group, writing lab, creativity, mindfulness, and more. Peruse our offerings and you’ll find something to grow your practice on and off the yoga mat.

As we move closer to the celebration of our 15th year, I’m storytelling. From our humble beginningscore values and how we live themmy first yoga experiencethe origin of Tranquil Space, and an exploration of the term tranquility. This month we’re examining the Tranquil Space experience.

In the early days of yoga in my living room, I was detail-obsessed and placed careful attention on the yogis’ five senses. The time spent tying bows around inspirational quotes, creating ambience, and making chai was equal to the time spent preparing the asana sequencing plan. All were equally important to the experience.

Here’s how the senses were nurtured in the early days. Taste: brewing a pot of chai tea before class and serving the libation out of petite porcelain cups was the norm. Smell: scented candles and incense permeated the small space. Sound: relaxing tunes flowed from the double cassette stereo. Touch: simple adjustments and warm hugs helped make the community comfortable. Sight: colorful mats, blankets, and eye pillows were strategically scattered about, along with zen rocks and handmade brochures.

Today attention to creating this special experience continues despite having 52 teachers, two studio locations, and a team of 100+ men and women. These small details infiltrate what we do and how we do it, although it’s evolved to accommodate our growing community.

Here’s how the senses are nurtured now. Taste: large pots of our signature blend (organic chamomile, lavender, rose hip, spearmint, peppermint), tasty cookies, and refreshing mints. Smell: relaxing lavender permeates the studios, candles and incense offer soft scents, and the bathrooms have spritzes to refresh. Sound: music, inspiring readings, and concise languaging infuse our classes. Touch: offering assists in a therapeutic way is a signature we’ve cultivated over the years. Sight: damask print, soothing colors, eco elements, and artistic flair have been are design aesthetic for the studios.

When the studio was launched in 1999, these small details helped create a respite for overwhelmed Washingtonians seeking tranquility. And the intention remains the same. From the treats set out during our Yogi Appreciation Weeks to the abundance of tea and cookies to our dedication to giving back, the Tranquil Space experience permeates everything we do. And ideally touches each of your senses when you walk through the doors.

Tranquil Space is not only a place to practice yoga, but also a place to safe space to come back to yourself. To exhale. And to relish in simple sensory delights. As we count down to our Friday, October 24 15-Year Celebration I want to express extreme gratitude for joining us on this journey. Walking down this path has changed my life and the lives of many over the years. Thank you for making Tranquil Space your home. Namaste.

Asana of the Month – August 2014: Tittibasana

This month, it’s Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose). During the sultry nights of August, fireflies light up the sky like a thousand little stars, their dance reminding us of the sheer joy of being alive. Read more!

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons.

Yoga and Meditation teacher Cyndi Lee writes beautifully about Tittibhasana in yogajournal.com:

Tittibhasana, also called Firefly Pose, … requires you to balance oppositional forces: It invites you to support yourself on your hands while you lift your legs like wings, and to soften into the quietness of a forward bend while hovering above the earth and holding on tight.

*  *  *

When you begin to investigate Tittibhasana, it might appear that the secret to doing it is core strength. When you look again, it might seem to be all about long hamstrings; perhaps you need robust arms, or maybe just a sense of adventure. Of course, the pose requires you to integrate all of the above. Combining a forward bend, an arm balance, and a hip-opening pose, Tittibhasana is a tall order. But when you get it, you will have the experience of both flying and landing.

*  *  *

Finally, the flickering firefly is a reminder that both light and dark, activity and receptivity, are needed to find a workable balance in any given situation. Real integration occurs when two or more energies become interdependent, each one supporting and interacting with the other, leading to a new and alive experience. Integration means never rejecting anything and instead viewing all of your feelings, emotional and physical, as the sacred ingredients for a rich and positive life. A life that flies, flickers, lands, and arrives fresh in every moment.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the arms and wrists
  • Stretches the inner groins and back torso
  • Tones the belly
  • Improves balance
  • May be therapeutic for certain lower back pain, indigestion, fatigue, and constipation

Cautions/Contraindications:

Shoulder, elbow, wrist, and low-back injuries

Preparatory Poses:

  • Hamstring openers such as: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose), and Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  • Malasana (Garland Pose, aka yogic squat)
  • Bakasana (Crane Pose)
  • Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
  • Baddha Konasana (Bound-Angle Pose)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

The Rolling Stones’ “Shattered.”

And Dibora joins us for the first time to demo the pose this month!

Step into Your Confidence

Confidence! We all want it — and we all struggle with it from time to time. Come flex your confidence muscles with life coaches Katie DePaola of Whole Glow and Rebecca Rubin of the Pursuit of Fabulous. In 90 minutes, we’ll stretch you past your comfort zone + support you in becoming more confident in everything you do!

katie and rebeccaThis is a charity event to benefit the Tranquil Space Foundation (suggested donation of $10).

Join us for “Step into your Confidence: How to be Your Best + Most Beautiful Self this Summer” on Thursday August 7 from 6:45 pm to 8:15 pm at Tranquil Space Dupont Circle.

To sign up see the Tranquil Space scheduler online here.

There’s Still Time to Sign-up For Next Week’s Level 1 “Summer Camp” Teacher Training at Tranquil Space Arlington

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  • Do you wonder if teaching yoga is your calling?
  • Do want to learn more about the alignment of poses?
  • Do you wonder how to structure a class/practice?

Then join us for our Level 1 Teacher Training! It is a great way to dip your toe in the water and see what teaching yoga is like without committing to a full certification. We ask that you have a minimum of one (1) year of practice at level 2. Questions? Email Angelynshapiro@tranquilspace.com.

Our next training will be at the Arlington studio August 4-7th. You can read more about our teacher training on our website and how do you start?

1) Complete the application
2) Make your $150 deposit
3) Confirmations will be sent out

If the summer camp schedule does not work for you we do have our next Level 1 in September at Dupont. Same application as above just make your deposit by following this link.

Once you complete our level 1 training if you do want to teach or complete certification then our Level 2 training is the next step. We offer this in the fall and spring. Questions? Email Angelyn or Siobhan@tranquilspace.com.