Saturday, May 21, 2011


Hatha Yoga is a continuing invitation to experience the joy of conscious movement that informs body and soul. It is also immensely practical and the need to respect anatomical rules of alignment becomes increasingly obvious as your practice deepens. Incorporating the body’s “rules” into your yoga practice can be challenging. Too much focus on form can seem rigid, too little sacrifices clarity. Either can lead to injury. The answer lies in the middle, in finding the rhythm between form and flow.
In this weekend with master teacher Barbara Benagh you will be guided to better understanding of practical principles of physical alignment, invited to explore the energetic flow within asana, improve your understanding of the effect of the poses you practice and learn how to use that knowledge to enhance a continuum of flowing movement, breath, and inspiration.
This workshop is not a clinic for therapeutic issues though it will include strategies for avoiding shoulder, lower back, and other injuries. Whether an experienced student or teacher you will learn skills to manage the inevitable ebb and flow of practice to always find inspiration to engage with your Self and the world.
This workshop is for students with at least one year's experience in yoga.

July 30 - 31, 2011 
Saturday and Sunday —
11 am – 3 pm each day
Cambridge Masonic Hall
1950 Massachusetts Ave
Porter Sq., Cambridge, MA
TUITION: $175 for the weekend. $100 per day
register online:
Workshop Info:
(617) 566- 1489

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DanceNut a great website for Boston area dance professionals!

Greetings, Boston area dance professionals and business owners!

I am pleased to announce the launch of the all-new Dance Nut web site.  Our goal is to help build a stronger Boston area dance community by helping dancers more easily find the local teachers, studios, classes and events that are right for them.

In other words, we want to help dance students find YOU.

Please come take a look.  Register now and post your profile, classes and events for FREE! 

Please contact me with any questions or suggestions about how the site can better serve you as we grow.

Kind regards,

Andrew Percey
Founder, Dance Nut LLC

Friday, May 13, 2011

Seeking Balance Though Yoga: The Breath

Everyone feels tension and stress. We see it in adults and we see it in children. As a matter of fact, more and more studies have shown the increase in stress-breathing in elementary aged children. The way that you breathe can exasperate a stressful situation and you need to become more aware of your breathing patterns for better management. Stress-breathers fill their chests with air and use their mouths to breath and they have a large amount of tightness especially in their upper backs. People who exhibit stress breathing are not using their diaphragms properly and through awareness they can shift out of over-breathing. However, deep breathing is not the answer to stress relief; Quiet, diaphragmatic breathing is the key to both relaxation and good respiration. The goal is to have an even ratio of inhale to exhale. 

Yoga can help! Through awareness, meditation, movement and creativity, yoga can have a profound effect on your body and mind:
*reduced stress
*sound sleep
*reduced cortisol levels
*improvement of many medical conditions
*allergy and asthma symptom relief
*lower blood pressure
*smoking cessation helplower heart rate
*spiritual growth
*sense of well being
*reduced anxiety and muscle tension
*increased strength and flexibility
*slowed aging process

Rescue breath:
A very important tool that I have been taught is called “Rescue Breathing”. If you need immediate rescue from your constricted breath try breathing in a 2:2:1 ratio….inhale: inhale: exhale (each inhale is equal in length and the exhale is only ½ of one inhale). In stress breath, you are mostly deprived of a good inhale, so doing this rescue breathing will help to even out your two cycles. Getting your breath out of your chest and into your diaphragm will help immensely. For good yoga breathing, it is not that the belly pushes, instead the diaphragm lifts and allows the belly to fill (think of a beach ball and if you press down in the center of it, the two sides would lift around your hand). The exercise is from the book Conscious Breathing: Breathwork for Health, Stress Release, and Personal Mastery by Gay Hendricks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Balanced Body: Tap Into Sensation

For the past two months, I have been teaching yoga at a the Longfellow Sports Club in Natick, MA. My class is at 9AM Monday mornings and is listed as a Hot Room Vinyasa style class. I am working hard to create the right blend in this class, to make it the perfect gym-style yoga. Teaching in a gym, especially one with a room right next to the weight room, is different than teaching in a yoga studio, where yoga is the main focus. Now don't get me wrong! The gym clientele is definitely savvy to yoga, but they are often running in sweating from the treadmill or running out to go to zumba next. I want my class to be perceived as a part of a lifestyle routine, not just as part of a workout. I want people to know how to align their bodies for safety and support, to build themselves from the ground up. As my teacher pointed out the other day that "You cannot learn how to do a handstand if you cannot even stand on your own two feet."

How to keep the essence of what I believe is yoga in this class? How to create the perfect balance of yoga and "workout", so the clientele sees it as fitting into their workout regime but at the same time being able to deliver yoga-effort and release-not just effort, effort, effort, ooomph! The word Vinyasa means "breath-synchronized movement". In a Vinyasa yoga class each pose is connected to the next through breath creating a smooth way for the poses  to run together, becoming like a dance. But the dance is not solely the external asanas (poses), it is also the internal effort of the practitioner to allow for effort and surrender. Moving from one pose into  the next and feeling like you have attained your goal as you "arrive" in your pose, is not a dance. That is a statue. Poses must have life in them, breath, and growth. No pose ends at the external shape of the pose just because you have arrived there, the real has just begun.

I decided to call my class "Tap Into Sensation", because I hear this phrase loud and clear in my own practice. We use yoga to tap into the sensations in our own bodies, our lives, making us aware of how we feel, why we do what we do, how to release our creative imagination to allow for change and growth....shave and a hair cut, two bits! By becoming more aware on our mat, we will become more aware off it; allowing us to balance our lives. By using an even breath effort, our asnasa practice will be more even, therefore allowing us to have a more even mind.

I study earnestly with my mentor, Barbara Benagh and will be joining her Deeper into the Art of Teaching program this coming October. It is an intense 15-month teacher training program and I am so excited and eager to participate. For the past 10 months, I have been taking her class at Down Under Yoga in Newton, Highlands, and I take notes and write comments to myself throughout the class. This does detract from the initial experience of the session, but as I dissect it throughout the week, I find I can attain a much deeper understating of the practice in my own body, allowing me to adapt sections to my own needs and for the classes that I teach. I follow Barbara's model, where I create one class (with a specific anatomical focus or root idea) at the beginning of the week and then I keep teaching that class throughout the week, adapting and refining it. I read something that Shiva Rhea had written about Vinyasa yoga and it sat very well with me. She wrote that it is not only a flow of the poses but there has to be a flow between the beginning, middle and end of the class.

So I am building my yoga program to flow from beginning to end, to allow my students time to focus on themselves, to allow them to stretch their bodies and to allow them to discover their own personal dance between effort and surrender.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Newton Family Singers 4pm on Sunday, May 15th

 A concert of folk music for the whole family to enjoy….
the Newton Family Singers will perform
Sun, Moon and Stars - A program of folk songs inspired by
day, night and the skies above,
at 4pm on Sunday, May 15th
54 Lincoln Street, Newton Highlands.   
The Newton Family Singers is Newton's only intergenerational music ensemble,
celebrating family, community and American folk music. 
For more information, visit or call Monique Byrne at 617-821-5961
Reserve tickets ($5 each) at