Retreat with Us in Ojai!

If you’re like most people, you probably spend much of your time making sure everything in your external world is taken care of — from work projects to family responsibilities, housework and essential errands. But how much time do you dedicate to your inner life?

If your answer is “not enough,” we invite you to retreat with us this Saturday, June 4 in beautiful Ojai, CA. In this fun and relaxing day retreat at Krishnamurti Foundation of America, we’ll go “beyond the poses” to explore and experience the foundations of Yoga.

Beyond the Poses retreat

There are just a few days left to sign up! Register in person at either Yoga Nook studio, email, or call (805) 390-8175.

What will you discover beyond the poses? 


Heal Thyself

As I sipped a well-earned cup of tea in the Yoga Nook garden, I knew instantly I was coming down with something. I could feel it in my throat as I swallowed. That’s always the first place I’m aware of an infection. There’s some weakness in my constitution that leaves my throat vulnerable. I’ve suffered with it since I was a child.

I had spent a good part of Sunday cutting back the spring growth at the front of the Cochran studio, so for awhile I tried to imagine that it was just the dust and pollen. It would pass, I’d feel fine in an hour or so.

But by that evening, I knew that dust and pollen were the least of my worries. For two days now, I have laid around like a zombie — sleeping the day away in front of the TV, binge-watching between the dozing, completely unproductive.

This morning I woke late but brighter, and finally my throat feels better. But wait — now I have shoulder pain. Stiff and sore from no movement, my body’s complaining from the lack of mobility. As I dozed on the sofa, my left shoulder must have been tucked awkwardly under my torso. I can feel the pattern in the muscles under the shoulder blade and the unaccustomed stretch in my mid-back.

Somatic Educator, heal thyself!

The area around the scapulae is a common cause of complaint for many of the clients I see one-on-one. A large proportion of people suffer from scapular dysfunction as a result of improper use, poor posture or injury.

Because the position of the scapulae is vital to healthy arm movement, it’s important to organize this flat, highly mobile bone optimally on the back ribs. Scapular dysfunction can cause neck and shoulder pain, as well as upper back and arm discomfort.

Students frequently ask me for “stretches” for pain and discomfort in the shoulder girdle area. Aware of my own soreness, I can understand why they want to stretch. The problem is that stretching is not the answer. Indeed, stretching alone could create more damage and increase pain.

The answer is somewhat counterintuitive until you become familiar with the way AIM (Awareness, Integration and Movement) works. Contrary to the instinct to stretch, what is needed are contraction and slow release of the muscles that are causing the displacement, then reeducation of the muscles that are creating the irritation.

We are always attracted by the pain, thinking it’s where the problem must lie, but the area of pain is frequently the symptom, not the cause.

Even as I type this, I’m bringing awareness to my posture and to the displacement of my left scapula. I’m slowly contracting then releasing, and for just a few moments the irritation disappears, so I know I’m on the right track. It will take awhile to release and reeducate, but eventually I’ll be back to work with a better understanding of my clients and myself.


Related articles: 
The World on Your Shoulders
Correcting Poor Posture with AIM Somatic Movement
3 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Your Back Pain

Image credit: Dax Tran-Caffee via Flickr (CC)


Beyond the Poses: A Day-Long Retreat in Ojai

What comes to mind when you think of a retreat? Most likely you imagine some sort of getaway, perhaps on a pristine beach far from home or in a cozy cabin tucked away in the mountains. Indeed, one definition of retreat is “an act of moving back or withdrawing” — stepping away from your regular routine and withdrawing to a quiet place.

On the other hand, a retreat can also be a catalyst that helps us move forward and step into the qualities or ways of being we want to cultivate, but that we sometimes lose touch with in the midst of our habitual cycles. In doing something different and learning something new, we’re able to see things with a fresh perspective. A seed of growth is planted.

In the words of the philosopher, speaker and writer Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895-1986):

It is essential sometimes to go into retreat, to stop everything that you have been doing, to stop your experiences completely and look at them anew, not keep on repeating them like machines. You would then let fresh air into your mind. Wouldn’t you? This place must be of great beauty with trees, birds, and quietness, for beauty is truth and truth is goodness and love.

In every sense of the word, the Krishnamurti Center in Ojai is an ideal place to retreat. Every year the emerging teachers in the Yoga Nook 200-hour teacher training visit the Krishnamurti Center to explore the library, gardens and educational center — which features talks and interviews with J. Krishnamurti on universal themes like conflict, fear, education, truth and meditation.

Krishnamurti Library
Krishnamurti Library

On Saturday, June 4, Yoga Nook will host Beyond the Poses, a day-long retreat in the Krishnamurti Center’s Pepper Tree Pavilion, overlooking the Ojai Valley and on-site gardens. The teachers in Yoga Nook’s current 300-hour teacher training (Jo, Kim G., Annika, Kim S., Tami and Pati) will lead fun and relaxing workshops with themes surrounding the 8 Limbs of Yoga, or the eight-fold path.

pepper tree pavilion
Pepper Tree Pavilion at the Krishnamurti Center

Net proceeds from the event will benefit The Gentle Barn, a Santa Clarita nonprofit that rescues and rehabilitates severely abused animals, and facilitates interaction with the animals to teach kids about kindness and compassion.

Beyond the Poses: An Exploration of the 8 Limbs of Yoga
Cost: $95*
Saturday, June 4, 2016
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (registration at 9:30 a.m.)
Krishnamurti Center
1098 McAndrew Rd.
Ojai, CA 93023

*Includes lunch, snacks, beverages and gift bags

Space is limited. Register today in-person at Yoga Nook, email or call (805) 390-8175 to reserve your spot. You can also RSVP on our Facebook page.