With the health situation as it is, I wanted to acknowledge we are in some rough waters. It is hard not to feel overwhelmed, somewhat fearful, and confused as to what to do and not do.
The “Corona Virus in Maine” was the topic on Maine Calling last week on Maine Public Radio. Very good program. It’s worth listening to. This we know: grounding, shoring up, calming, and immune building measures are called for now. There are many disciplines that help.
As a yoga studio owner, I have sought council, am following the guidelines, and have taken measures to help keep us all safe. Here’s the scoop:
Classes will continue here in Liberty unless or until it makes sense not to. I will certainly keep you posted.
I have hand sanitizer waiting once you enter.
We are encouraged to practice social distancing: no hugging, no shaking hands.
I am asking that folks bring their own yoga mats and blankets.
I also have sanitizing wipes for chairs and other surfaces that will be cleaned regularly.
And please do not come if you have a cough, cold, sneezing, or are feeling ill in any way.
The practices I am focusing on now help to strengthen and balance our systems so that we can withstand whatever comes our way. Also, reducing stress and anxiety, supporting immune health, and more is what is covered these days. All through the lens of Yoga and Ayurveda.
This past winter I have been working on getting set up for more online offerings. There will be more posted on my website very soon. Now may be a good time to consider a personalized yoga practice online or by phone. The practice can be designed for you- uniquely you and what you need and want. For example, if anxiety is on the rise there are certain breathing practices, yogic exercises, and chants that can be very helpful. A daily sadhanda, or spiritual practice, is essential. It is what helps anchor and fortify us. I can help you design one especially for you. E-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207 589-4254 to find out more and to schedule a session.
Other Online or phone offerings:
Online/ phone coaching programto help you make deep lasting changes that can be very transformative.
AnAyurvedic Consultationis also very potent to help you identify your unique constitutional make-up and needs. This includes a customized diet and lifestyle plan which follows the ancient way: no one size fits all.
No matter what, we need each other. It is a known fact that being connected is essential to our health and wellbeing. There are many ways we can remain connected.If I don’t see you, I will remain in touch through e-mails and, finally!, I will be sending out a regular monthly newsletter.
Some tips for us all:
Stay hydrated!! When the winds in our minds are blowing, we dry out–which contributes to anxiety and fear.
Warm, moist cooked foods are grounding and nourishing.
Soups and stews.
Teas such as chamomile, holy basil, and licorice are comforting.
Even plain water with a little lemon can soothe.
A paste made from equal parts raw, unfiltered honey and turmeric are helpful to strengthen immunity.
Take 1 tsp. of the paste every couple of hours.
Lemon, ginger, turmeric, and honey tea as well.
Oil your body with warm sesame or almond oil – daily. It’s amazing how quickly that can help ground us. In fact, Ayurveda says it is one of the quickest ways to calm down the nervous system.
A simple breathing practice to reduce stress:
Breathe in for 5 counts, hold the breath in for 6 counts, and exhale for 7 counts. Repeat and practice for 1 – 3 minutes. It’s worth trying. It works!
Tuesday, Vibrant Living – a Gentle/chair yoga class 9-10:15am
Yet, holidays are coming around the corner. So how can we remain calm with enough energy to help see us through the next few weeks?
We are told that true strength and stability lies within.
Creating the conditions inside ourselves to provide the strength and resilience we need is always an inside job. My teachers have taught me that if I remain committed to my daily practice, the rest of my day will unfold in its own way and will take care of itself. I have found this to be true.
A simple daily practice that includes moving energy and our spines, attention to our breathing, and connecting to the truth of who we are can help us remain steady and strong through the daily ups and downs.
Helping support people on their own journey through life is one of the areas I focus on in all of my offerings. This includes suggestions for creating simple practices that are easy to incorporate into your daily lives.
Just five minutes a day can go a long way to shoring us up.
Monthly Reset: Slowing Down, Tuning In ~Coming back into balance
this Friday, November 1, 6:30-8:30am
Tea is served. $25.Please e-mail to register email@example.com (Minimum of 6 people needed to hold this offering)
Women’s Full Moon Gathering
Tuesday, – November 12th 6-8:00pm
The full moon is a powerful time – our practices and discussions will be dedicated to our radiance.
“Like a woman who has found her authenticity, November’s beauty radiates from within.” –Sarah Ban Breathnach
Tea is served. $25. Please e-mail to register firstname.lastname@example.org (Minimum of 6 women needed to hold this offering)
Also, Weekly classes:
Tuesday, Vibrant Living9-10:15am
Wednesday, All Levels Yoga8:30-10am
Thursday, Kundalini Yoga for Anyone6-7:15pm
Individual Ayurvedic Wellness Consultations – by appt.
One of the gifts of being a woman is our deep sense of inner knowing: our Divine Guidance. When we are tuned into our intuition we simply “know” what is right for us and what isn’t. We “know” the answers to our questions more easily and are able to sift through the muck and confusion in our minds when faced with making decisions. There is much less second guessing.
We recognize when situations and opportunities present themselves that are important for us to pay attention to. We learn to trust ourselves more. Our self-confidence improves. Our self-esteem grows. Life becomes more simple. What a relief!
Intuition: “The ability to understand something immediately without the need for conscious reasoning.” “A thing that one knows or considers, likely from instinctive feelings rather than from conscious reasoning.”
In the past I made some of my decisions based on fear and/or confusion. Many times the choices I made were not in my best interest. I used to try and make myself be alright with certain situations and people. The truth is, there were times I was not ok, yet I let my mind override my deep intelligence. I struggled with not knowing which way to go and what to do. My attention was more focused on external things which took me away from the source of my deep strength and inner knowing. This opened me up for insecurities, unsettled feelings, and confusion. It’s not that way for me anymore. At least not very often.
To develop and access our intuition we need to tune into ourselves daily. We need to move energy and clear energetic blocks so our life-force energy, our prana, can rise up and feed the higher glands in our bodies. (The pituitary gland is the “seat” of our intuition.) We need to “clean” the mind with yogic exercises and other techniques to help us develop a more neutral, meditative mind.
We need to sit in silence.
The chatter in the mind must be quieted so we can hear the Divine’s guiding voice. Women, if you can relate to some of the struggles I have had, I invite you to come to the next Women’s Morning Retreat, dedicated to strengthening our sensitivity, our awareness, and our connection to our own highest authority: Our Intuition – “The Voice of the Soul”
Women’s Morning Retreat: Intuition of Woman, Silence and Deep Listening Saturday, December 7, 9-Noon $60.
I will share the teachings and practices that have proven to be so helpful for me in navigating life and living in alignment with my own truth. Our morning together will be soulful, empowering, and relaxing. Not to mention we will most likely laugh a bit and that these practices really do work!! I can attest to that!
I hope you will consider joining me. I love sharing with and learning from other women in a calm, supportive, healing environment. That is what this morning will be about. You will leave with practices you can easily incorporate into your daily life that will set you on your way of knowing more deeply your own truth.
The retreat consists of yogic exercises, including from the Kundalini Yoga tradition, meditation, chanting, and silence. Also included: handouts, tea, snacks, and supportive e-mails.
At the Ayurveda Yoga Center, 91 Stevens Pond Road, Liberty. For more information and to register please contact: Deborah Keene at 207-589-4254 or email@example.com.
I have a weeklong Women’s Camp starting this coming Monday, August 26 and one spot just opened up.
This program is based upon the Women’s teachings of Kundalini Yoga, meditation,and Ayurveda.
I have been guided to develop this program because of the profound impact these teachings and practices have had on me, my life, and my service in the world.
“Woman has the power to beam out energy in any way and send a message in any form. She can totally fix things the way she wants.” Yogi Bhajan
A woman’s basic problem arises from not knowing her essence as a woman and from not having a strong connection to her Soul.
Women haven’t been taught about what it means to be a woman.We are often not connected to the“power of a woman’s radiance”.
We fill ourselves up with outside forces that pull us away from our own center and our deep feminine strength: our Shakti.
We compete with and compare ourselves to other women, forgetting that we each have our own special gifts and unique creative powers. We become disempowered and weakened by our insecurities and fears. We become needy and develop self-defeating habits and behaviors.
“Women are either fueling their duality or feeding their divinity.”
A woman needs to be awakened to the truth of who she is. We need to understand at a very deep level that the divine feminine nature of a woman and the inherent powers we hold have the capacity to change ourown lives and the lives of others. We need to understand that we are highly intuitive beings by nature and train ourselves in developing this deep inner knowing so that we can be guided by our own highest authority on a daily basis.
A woman must have her security come from within herself. We cannot do this by thinking our way through thingsand self-analyzing.
We need to create the conditions inside ourselves so that we develop the pranic power necessary to clear the energetic blocks and outdated thought patterns and raise our vibrations to uplift ourselves and all those around us. Our vibration and consciousness determines the quality of our lives and what we attract into it.
“Women need to address external problems by addressing internal issues. Every woman has the power to change her own psyche. She is the only one that can do it.”
This is the only way to inner peace, true lasting happiness, and the ability to love deeply.
My teachers have taught me that women are needed more than ever. There is a call for us to claim our rightful place within ourselves and in the world. We need to claim our divine feminine creative power – our Shakti – so that we can sit deeply within ourselves and our inner knowing and live from that place.
“When women come into their power, the men will line up and the violence will stop.” Yogi Bhajan
It is in this spirit that I offer Women’s Camp.
We will gather daily to study and practice together. A momentum builds with daily practice; there is nothing that can replace that.
For any deep, lasting, transformative change, a daily sadhana is required.
We will recalibrate and build a strong container through powerful yogic practices, meditations, and chanting.
Awaken and connect to our deep inner strength – our Shakti – our divine feminine creative power
Connect more deeply to our soul so that we are guided from within.
Re-pattern behaviors and habits that are self-defeating
Increase our inner and outer radiance
Begin to develop a solid daily practice
This program has taken me a good long while to develop. It is born from my own life experiences, the teachings and practices that have been at the heart of my studies for many years now, and my deep love and commitment to helping other women connect to their own internal strength and intuitive powers. I am deeply passionate about sharing these Women’s teachings, this science and technology.
If you feel called to this offering, please e-mail to hold your firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond to let you know whether it’s been filled or not.
Women’s Camp August 26th– 30th 6:30-8:30am Monday thru Friday
$140. Please make check payable to: Deborah Keene
Noprior experience necessary: for any level and any age.
“Have you ever seen that there is nothing more Divine than you? You have become what a mirror tells you and you do not know where your soul is! You do not know where your grace is! You do not know where you are. You have to find it.” Yogi Bhajan
Practices, guidance and support to help us maintain strength, flexibility, and mobility for years to come.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.” – Buddha
The roots of this new Vibrant Living offering began 20 years ago when a group of senior citizens, all residents of Liberty- came to the new Yoga Studio’s Open House.
They had never taken a yoga class before and were interested to know how Yoga could help ease their achy joints, improve their energy, decrease their worries, and help them age well.
I listened to their needs and challenges. I spent some time developing a program and Gentle/Chair Yoga was born.
Back in the day they were the most committed group of folks. They didn’t miss a class. We had lunch after class every Tuesday at local restaurants – our favorite was the Corner Restaurant.
They told stories of their lives. We gathered at my home for holiday celebrations.
Those years were some of the most precious years of my teaching career. I will always miss that group of folks and appreciate what they taught me and what they brought to my life.
All but two of the participants have passed on now, including my mom. And the two remaining continue to take class on a regular basis.
One of my greatest passions is studying and learning about ways to enrich my programs.
Now that I am closing in on my mid 60’s, my interest is as strong as ever in understanding how we can remain healthy, strong, and vibrant well into the older years.
An area of focus this past year has been on this very topic which brought me to the decision to change the name from Gentle/Chair Yoga to Vibrant Living.
This new title better reflects my studies, practices, latest research, and understanding of what contributes to the aging process and how we can slow or reverse the effects.
I have been and will continue to slowly make changes to the class format so the transition remains a smooth one.
And there are still some of standard familiar elements; always will be.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patients in care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”
Vibrant Living consists of gentle stretching, whole body movements, yoga poses, breathing practices, healthy living info all designed to help us not only remain strong, limber, and mobile but also ease stress and feel lighter and brighter. The content is practical and applicable to our daily lives. And fun!
There is a continued focus on:
-Spinal health -Nervous and glandular systems strength and balance – a key for overall well being -Food for the soul -Food for the brain -Relaxation techniques to calm the mind and so much more.
Chairs are still available and used during part of the practice just like before for those that want and need them.
“If you know the art of deep breathing, you have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers.” – Chinese adage
This “one of a kind” program as it’s been called by some of the participants is powerful enough for anyone/any age and gentle enough for everyone – including seniors.
The age range has been from mid-twenties to 98.
Comments such as “There is nothing quite like this” is not uncommon.
It is unique: I consider this offering one of my signature programs found only here in Liberty, Maine.
On that note… To honor all who joined me twenty years ago, all who have come over these past many years, and to honor those who are with me now:
I am offering a free Vibrant Living Class next week, on Tuesday, July 2nd from 9-10:15am. Please come and bring a friend. We’ll make room.
Live with more lightness of being and a more joyful, loving heart.
I invite you all to join this wonderful community right here in Liberty where we are fed on all levels. There is a lot of heart and soul here with offerings that are uplifting, grounding, and deeply healing: all to help us live happy, healthy, purposeful lives.
Everyone is welcome.
I am happy to share a picture of the Studio’s new Gong.
The Gong produces sound vibrations that help to heal the nervous system, remove negativity, ease stress, and so much more. The Gong works on all levels to heal and transform. Please come and experience the Gong’s sound vibrations for yourself.
Also, another surprise has arrived! Come see what’s new in the Studio
~Summer Solstice and International Day of Yoga Celebration 3 spaces left! This Friday, June 21th – 6:30-8:30am
We go deep with our practices: this one has the Yoga and Ayurveda Camp vibe. Includes healing session with the Gong. Tea is served. $20-$30. Sliding scale Please e-mail me if you wish to register. (Pay when you come on Friday.)
See the Schedule and offerings page of the website for more info: Ayurveda Yoga Center.comCurrently in Liberty at the Ayurveda Yoga Center -Vibrant Living Yoga Tuesdays, 9-10:15am
-All Levels Yoga –Wednesdays, 8:00-9:30am Time change! We have return to the summer hours for class.
-Kundalini Yoga for Anyone Thursdays – 6:00-7:15pm
Yoga and Ayurveda Camp for summer – Pitta Season July 8 ~ 12 Monday thru Friday 6:30-8:30am
1 space left! $120. Early registration Checks payable to:
61 Stevens Pond Rd.
Liberty, Maine 04949
Prepare for the upcoming precious season of Summer. Friday, June 21, 6:30-8:30am Ayurveda Yoga Center, 91 Stevens Pond Rd., Liberty
We will Align our internal rhythms and energy with that of the cosmos so that we can feel the inherent ease when we are in balance with all that there is.
Our breathing and posture practices will help us charge our own solar power, remove blocks that fetch us up, and smooth away stress, irritation and excess stickiness.
We will chant a mantra to open our hearts and calm our minds with the Solstice in mind.
The Sound vibrations of the Gong will help to dispel negativity and clear away whatever might be holding us back from living the life we want.
We will drink a nourishing beverage that will help with seasonal allergies –with a short discussion on that topic.
I develop these monthly and seasonal practices so that they are powerful enough to carry us for a few days: even weeks. I give my all to these offerings. I design them so that we are fed on every level of our being. They are for all levels – which means all levels.
Gentle enough for anyone – powerful enough for everyone!!
I hope you will come and continue to support these offerings in the “off the beaten path community” right here in the small country town of Liberty, Maine.
As a friend once said, “It may be a little out of the way, but it’s well worth the trip.”
This day on Friday, June 21, 6:30-8:30am will certainly be a celebratory morning to greet the longest day of the year. If you haven’t been here in a while or you haven’t been here before, or you come all the time, please come!
(And, my second surprise may be here by that time!!! The Gong being the first Surprise!)
Please e-mail me to hold a space. Minimum of 6 people are needed. $20-$30. Sliding scale payable at the door.
Here’s some of my reflections. The truth is:
I spent a lot of my life not feeling good about who I was.
I held myself back time and again from doing what I really wanted to do because of it.
I lived with shame which is different from guilt.
And guilt, too.
Guilt is where we feel badly about something we did.
Shame is where we feel badly about who we are. Period.
I’ve had a ton of sleepless nights.
I’ve known anxiety really well.
I’m 62 now. I hardly struggle with those things I just wrote about.
I’m not saying I don’t get tripped up from time to time.
It’s just that when troubles do come they don’t hang around for very long.
I feel happy and healthy a good part of the time.
I sleep pretty good, too.
When I don’t sleep, at least I know why and what to do about it.
I know what was causing my anxiety and what part I was playing in making it worse. (See Tips For Anxiety handout on my resource page)
I’ve learned that we are all made from the same elemental forces, that we are all one, and that the natural world provides law and order. I’ve learned that we need to know about our unique selves and that what we eat and how we live matters greatly.
I understand how energy moves in the body and the necessity to tend to the pranic flows.
I understand the importance of clearing and balancing the subtle body, the chakra system.
I know that stress and trauma needs to be released from the nervous system.
And…. this is the most important piece of all….
Divinity exists in all living things including each one of us.
I get that the Divine lives in me as me.
I know my worth because of it.
I live in a way that honors my divinity.
I take a stand on my behalf when it’s called for.
I got here by spending the last 47 years of my life studying, teaching, and practicing all things Yoga and Ayurveda. I got down and dirty. I self- reflected. Still do. Always will. I faced up to the truth of who I was in all of my goodness and my short comings. Just so you know, I still have plenty of shortcomings! The difference now is that I just don’t beat myself up about them.
I’ve cleared out a lot of gunk and now feel free.
I’ll never go back to the way I was.
I weave what I’ve learned and continue to learn into everything I teach. I share the teachings and my experiences in down-home practical ways. I’m me; a cowgirl at heart. My delivery is simple and earthy.
I know you have been on your own journey and had your fair share of ups and downs. You have your own story to tell.
If you are drawn to anything I’ve written and you have the slightest urge to reach out, please do. If you need help, you’ll have my support. And if you come to the studio here in Liberty you’ll have the support of others too. Not to mention what you will bring to this community. We all learn from and support each other here.
My phone number – 207-589-4254
If you are simply curious about my work or this place
you can poke around my website.
The info is all there.
I’ve got some fun programs coming up.
And weekly classes too.
In closing, I want to thank you for reading this. It feels important to me to write it. Namaste everybody
The seasons give way to one another. Each one beckons us to turn with them and make the gentle shift in our focus and intentions. September marks the turning towards “going in.”
September has been viewed by the elders from long ago as the beginning of a new year; differing in sentiment than January’s new year’s resolutions. I recently read a quote written by Katharine Elizabeth Fite that appeared in the 1949 Good Housekeeping,
“What we need in autumn is an emotional or spiritual shot in the arm.”
September offers us the opportunity to harvest all that we have sown during the rich growing season and now redirect our energies. Summer’s expansive, outward yang focus slowly yields to autumn’s more inward, quieter yin. Slow and gentle are key, especially this year as summer’s hold remains strong.
If we heed nature’s callings we can reflect quietly upon what needs our attentions, what it is we long for and what is our spirit’s call.
“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” -Buddha
Get to know yourself deeply…..
If we know what our life’s purpose, our Dharma, is and we are not honoring our spirit’s call then ask why not. What is getting in our way? Is it fear of failing or fear of change or limiting beliefs?
If we do not know what our higher purpose is then now is a great time to sit with that question.
We can ride on Mother Nature’s back to help draw our attention back into ourselves.
When we are truly connected to the center of ourselves we are able to tap into and trust our own deep wisdom and experience the ease and joy that is our birthright.
From that place we will be guided by our bright light and live our lives to the fullest.
So, Know thyself: the teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda show us the way…..
The month of September begins that call for us to “come back home”.
Let’s celebrate the journey!!!
Autumn Equinox ~September 23
Honor this day of equal light and dark
Balance your energies with stillness and movement; silence and sound
Rise before the sun comes up
Sit in the dim with a lighted candle
Burn a sage leaf or incense
Drop into your own sweet soul
Feel the physical body and what it is making contact with; your cushion, chair seat, couch, floor….
Feel a broad, heavy base and lengthen upward thru the spine from that grounding place
Breathe in and breathe out, quietly and gently; breathe into the low belly; that deep place of knowing
Rise up and move the body; sway gently, let the movement build
Say a prayer of gratitude while you watch the day come
“Always be aware that you have the power to create the naturally stress-free and tranquil life you deserve.” -Wayne Dyer
Deborah Keene is a Waterville, Maine native whose life-long passion for holistic health led her to the studies of the connections between the emotions, thoughts, physical well-being and spiritual health.