About Yoga and Functional Movement with Margaret
I call my classes "yoga and functional movement" because they are different than traditional yoga classes as they incorporate information and movement from my work as a Physical Therapist. Each of my classes is informed by my ongoing study and practice of yoga, anatomy, self reflection, physiology, kinesiology, philosophy, tree-hugging and the natural sciences. My teaching method is the product of my own experiences and is dedicated to an exploration of how yoga and movement can most effectively be used to benefit our every day lives. Diverse, functional movement is unparalleled in its ability to reduce stress, relieve pain, build strength and flexibility, improve balance, promote overall health, and deepen our relationship to ourselves.
Private sessions and consulting available. Please contact me for rates.
Public classes are suitable for most people, however some injuries and conditions may make attending a public class difficult, if this is the case a private yoga session is often a great alternative. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about which class would be best suited to your needs.
What should I bring to class?
- yoga mat (if you have your own, bring it, if not I have some to borrow)
- block and strap (again, I have some you can borrow)
- loose fitting or stretchy, breathable, athletic-type clothing (if you want to wear shorts make sure they are long and/or fit snugly around the legs)... pajama pants are preferable to blue jeans, your clothes have to be at least a little more flexible than you are : )
- a couple of layers of clothing (often the room is cool when class starts but you will warm up when we get moving)
What is a good yoga mat to buy?
HERE ARE MY RECOMMENDATIONS: Best but Pricey ($95-$105) - Manduka Black Mat PRO - It's grippy, gives good support (nice for wood floors) without being mushy, it is virtually indestructible and will last a long long time. Downsides: not made out of sustainable materials, heavy
Great Mats for Less ($42-$68) - Prana Natural Yoga Mat , Jade Natural Rubber Mat, Manduka Eko Lite Mat - lighter, some sustainable materials, cheaper. Downsides: not as long lasting, not as cushy for supine poses on hard floors.
Do NOT Buy: Lululemon or Hugger Mugger biodegradable mats. Why? They biodegrade all over you as you use them
What is Om?
Om (pronounced “Aum”) is not a word in the proper sense of the term as it does not mean any one thing in particular, it is what is called a “seed sound”, a bija mantra (in sanskrit), a purely sensory (rather than intellectual or meaning-based) sound experience. Mythically, Om is often described as signifying the vibrational nature of the universe we live in, the primordial, trembling sound made by the continuous creative, sustaining and dissolving activities of the natural world. It is alternately described as the sound the universe makes, if you could actually hear everything all at once. I like to sing this sound at the beginning and end of class as a simple means of connecting as a group, helping us focus our attention, and as a classic exercise in Pavlovian conditioning (i.e. if a particular sound, like Om, becomes associated in your brain with all of the good stuff you feel in your body/mind when you are in yoga class, your body/mind will enter said happy state more easily and quickly upon hearing it - basic psychology).
Can You suggests any books on yoga?
Home Practice: The Practice Guide 2 by Bruce Bowditch (Lots of great sequences with pictures showing every pose.)
Yoga for Osteoporosis by Loren Fishman and Ellen Saltonstall (Excellent resource for all students, especially those over 50)
Yoga for Arthritis by Loren Fishman and Ellen Saltonstall
Anatomy:The Anatomy Coloring Book (Excellent for learning locations/names of muscles bones and other anatomical structures)
Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff and AMy Mathews (excellent yoga resource)
Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank Netter (a classic for the true anatomy nerd)
Myths and Stories: Hindu Myths by Wendy Doniger
Ka by Roberto Calssso( Not an easy read but contains tons of beautifully told Hindu myths and stories)
Philosophy: Yoga Sutras of Patanjali ( A seminal text on yoga)
When Things Fall Apart also The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron (excellent resources for tough times)
The Splendor of Recognition by Swami Shantananda (excellent insights into the fundamental philosophical concepts of Kashmir Shaivism)
The Bhagavad Gita (one of the most historically important pieces of eastern philosophical writing of all time)
Exquisite Love: Heart-Centered Reflections on the Narada Bhakti Sutra by William Mahoney (text of the Bhakti tradition)
Tao Te Ching (various translations)
Tantra: The Path of Ecstacy by Georg Feuernstein (excellent resource on Hindu Tantra, though by no means exhaustive)