Finding the Mind-Body Balance to Go Deeper
Yoga chitta vritti nirodhah. Yoga is the calming of the fluctuations of the mind.
Patanjali's Yoga Sutra 1.2 as translated by Nischala Joy Devi's Yoga Sutras The Secret Power of Yoga.

Hello, loves!

This is the most intimate thing I can share that might be conveyed in an email. It's about my journey developing a meditation practice and how challenging it was for me. I'm sharing it for a few reasons -- to express gratitude to those teachers who have shown up for me and to those who are leading others, and to encourage you to look for opportunities to deepen your own practice.

The practice of yoga deals with our relationship between our senses, our body-awareness, breath regulation and control, and the stilling of the thought patterns of our minds.

When I started my yoga practice in my youth, I was not concerned with this deeper understanding. Yoga seemed an excellent way to round out my dancing/running/weight training. The diving into my yoga practice in new ways came quite by accident after a really nasty car crash in 2006.

Prior to that, right after the birth of my oldest son in 1996, I found a mentor who would walk me through seated, guided meditation. This man had a calling to lead an introductory group and we gathered once a week. I didn't know at the time that I had been experiencing some postpartum depression; plus I had been running from quite a few things in my own inner world. The problem of starting a meditation practice at that time without any  understanding  of the feedback I'd be getting from my own body and mind was that I wasn't prepared for the intensity of my emotions; it turns out I had checked in earnestly with "self" for years. I ran from early meditation experience like it was the plague. It wasn't until the car crash 10 years later -- until I was nearly forced to because I didn't recognize my own body anymore and had a great deal of sub-acute pain after some pretty serious whiplash. (The woman who hit me was 92 and this was her first-ever accident! Thankfully, she was fine.)

Oh yeah, I also ran from those first few gentle, therapeutic yoga classes at first. The emotional release was, again, too intense. I remember like it was yesterday sobbing and snotting into my yoga pants in some extra intense seated forward fold.

But I kept returning because I was curious about why I was experiencing things so deeply. I slowly became  more comfortable sitting still and exploring what was there in my body and in my mind. My  perspective  started shifting from a place of avoidance to a place of exploration. I began practicing Svadhyaya (self-study). 

When people tell me that I or another teacher are supporting them in some really intimate work ... THIS is what encourages me to get out of bed in the morning on many days. Especially because I know how grateful *I* am to my own teachers. Even to
those I took one class from and never saw again.

If you've had an experience here at Breathe Yoga & Wellness, would you mind sharing it? There are so many ways to share, including rating us or leaving a review on our Facebook page, our Google+ page, or writing in and allowing me to share with our community.

Have you created a sacred space in your home or elsewhere for your own practice? Would you like to be a guest on my Sacred Spaces Radio podcast? Please let me know so we can connect! (By the way, our third SSR podcast episode featuring Sarah Dergins is live!)

No two people find meditation the same way, but one thing is for sure: It takes time, courage, commitment and practice to embody yoga in a way that creates safety and serenity around sustaining a deeper, conscious connection with mind and breath. Most of us have deep hurts that we've shut away, and that we know through experience (and even stress and trauma research), leads us to close off awareness to parts of our bodies. This is when imbalance and disease goes undetected until we have a problem that we can't ignore. The practice of yoga helps to prepare our minds to be present in our bodies, to bravely investigate, and to settle the mind's fluctuations so that we can sit in breath, presence, and meditation ... and figure out what's really going on.

The physical practice of yoga IS a WONDERFUL way to stay nimble and fit as a fiddle, keep the weight off, bring health to joints and muscles, and just look all-over great. And for anyone who practices yoga for those benefits, Hurrah! There's no shame in being the fittest and physically healthiest we can be! I've seen people at many ages become physically stronger than they ever have before through yoga.

If you're attracted to the idea of digging deeper, then please consider the variety of offerings at Breathe Yoga & Wellness. There might be a class, workshop, online study opportunity or one-on-one mentoring that's right for you. Please let me know how YOU would like to explore your practice, possibly setting up a private consultation or learning more about a special class. 

If you've come to Breathe once or twice, or it's been a while, I want to know what we can do for you to help you dive into yoga or meditation yourself, if that's your interest. Please reach out at any time to voice what it is you'd like to see.

Through August, a few of Breathe's instructors, including myself, are offering discounted private sessions ($45 for one hour) designed around YOUR own personal goals in hopes that we can guide you into deeper exploration. Summer pricing also includes a 5-class package for $45, which is perfect for students who are home from school or for those visiting the area for the season. Scroll down to read up on these special offerings.

There are really great workshops on the schedule in July! I encourage you to consider visiting guest teacher Katy Hawkins, PhD, as she brings us "Heart Above Head: Building Trust for Inversions" on Sunday, July 9th. Katy is the director of ShinĂ© Yoga: Mind/Body/Spirit in Philadelphia, and the sister of our own beloved yoga teacher Kelly Hawkins and her husband Seth.

Also, Annaliese Koltermann will offer her beautiful "Restorative Yoga" practice on Saturday, July 15, where she weaves her brilliant restful sequencing with the relaxing sounds of crystal bowls. 

Soooooo many thanks go out to ALL of our teachers here at Breathe Yoga & Wellness. I hope you'll support them by visiting their various classes and offering your feedback. They put themselves out there every day creating a safe space for you to find strength, and to explore your own body, breath and mind.

We look  forward  to walking with you on your journey, wherever that is leading. I cannot thank you enough for being a part of this thriving, growing family! Biggest love! Rhonda

Rhonda Cook, c-IAYT, RYT500
Certified Yoga Therapist for Somatic
Health, Post-Trauma Care, Pain Reduction,
Addiction Recovery Support
Breathe Yoga & Wellness
131 West Union Street, Morganton

Heart Above Head: Building Trust for Inversions

Brighten your practice by accepting this invitation to explore the risks of openness and of placing the heart above the head. This 2-hour workshop will consist of physical asana and simple hands-on touch as a meditation practice. We'll wake up the "trust muscles" by using the support of props to help assist with the physical and emotional demands of inversions. Learn more about this workshop here .

Cost is $30 for Breathe members, $35 for non members.  Register here for this powerful, transformational workshop that will help you turn your perspective up on its head!

Restorative Yoga Night

Imagine an evening of conscious rest, beautifully guided relaxation, meditation and sound healing. If you are ready to take sweet, sweet care of yourSELF This one is for YOU!

Cost is $12 for Breathe members, $15 for non members. Learn more about this workshop here.

Reserve your spot or spots  here.

Fire Element: Camp Fire Yoga
Christi Bristol will lead Camp Fire Yoga, which is 2 three-week series designed to restore balance. The practice is beginner-friendly and will be repetitive in nature with one class building on the next. Come to one or all! 

Balancing earth, fire, water, air and space within your body will offer the opportunity to experience an increase in energy, improved digestion and enhanced balance and become more grounded.
Anchor2 Summer Yoga Price Specials

It's Summertime! What does your yoga look like?!

Summer Vacay Class Special
We have a couple of Summer specials, including a  5-Class Vacation Package from June through August for $45. If you're off work, home from school, or just visiting, this is for you!! 
Remember: Unlimited Monthly Members can always bring a friend for $8 per class!

Private Sessions Special
There will be a few 60-min Private Sessions per week available at $45 per session. Wanting to work on a specific pose? See a therapist to investigate and support healing of a specific condition? We are a part of your  Whole Person Health team!

Selling Ceremonial Burnables

Breathe is now carrying Torches Herbals in several forms, hand crafted in Black Mountain, NC.

The burnables have so many uses! Some people use ceremonially for smudging -- for the removal of negative intentions or energy. Some use for the therapuetic aromatics.

In our retail corner, you'll find large smudge sticks ($11), small smudge sticks wrapped with a small crystal trinket ($7), beeswax candles in a sweet sea shell ($5), and the loose herbal blend ($5). 

Light up the energy in our own sacred space at home, work or out in nature. Grab one of these goodies for yourself and one for a friend!

Closed for Independence Day Celebration! 

Please enjoy a safe and happy July 4th with family, friends, in sacred solitude, or whatever reminds you of the principal of freedom! 

Remember that true freedom means the choice to grow and transform, so we're extra grateful to be a part of YOURS!

Warmly, teachers at Breathe Yoga & Wellness

Summer Kids Yoga

Watch the website and our social media about a Kids Yoga class planned for Wednesday, July 19 at 1pm.

Kids Yoga teacher Shelli Welch will lead this 45 minute session and will be gathering interest for an ongoing Kids Yoga program here at Breathe. Shelli also leads kids' yoga classes at In Light Yoga in Lenoir and through Burke County Public Schools.

Cost will be $7 per child. Pre-register by email to

Anchor3Sacred Spaces Radio Podcast

Breathe Yoga & Wellness has begun co-producing a new streaming podcast in partnership with  Citizen Earth Media and our first two episodes are LIVE!!

Sacred Spaces Radio will deliver stories of hope, discipline, and devotion shared by people who have carved out a sacred space of their own. Three members of our yoga family, Zack Paben, Barbara Weinstock, and now Sarah Dergins, have graced us with a visit to their sacred space and you can hear all them both live!

Now Live, Episode #3!

Sarah Dergins is a real gem in our community, courageously and tirelessly working with task forces and volunteers who are passionate about mental health and youth. Rhonda had the pleasure of interviewing Sarah recently about how her sacred space and personal practice has been honed over time to suit her needs.

In this episode, Sarah gets so sweetly honest about her process. She also shares about her childhood, and the dance she does between self discipline and letting go. We invite you to give this Sacred Spaces Radio podcast a listen!

Please use our community board! 

Yoga = to yoke or unite. How will Breathe Yoga & Wellness be a part of your commUNITY in 2017? Please add your event fliers to the community board and send us important links to share for getting involved with your little corner of the world!

Schedule Classes Online for Your Convenience

Smart phone, tablet, or app user?
Use MindBody Connect to quickly and easily sign in when you're ready to attend yoga classes at Breathe Yoga & Wellness! Download MindBody Connect through your app store.

NOTE: TO CREATE AN ACCOUNT USING YOUR MINDBODY CONNECT APP, be sure to use the same login and password as you do for your Breathe Yoga & Wellness student profile. If you're unsure about that login info, email and we will get you connected!

for our complete schedule, class descriptions and more!

Breathe Yoga & Wellness
131 West Union Street
Morganton, NC 28655

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