Yoga Farm, Lansing NY – Studio Review

A guest post by Kara Bemis (

A few weeks ago my husband new husband and I took a week long trip across New York State for a mini-honeymoon. We drove to Ithaca and the Adirondacks in the height of the beautiful fall leaves to hike, bike, kayak, and do yoga, of course. In fact, our first stop on the trip was to the Yoga Farm in Ithaca and boy am I glad that this studio was on our itinerary. Yoga Farm is welcoming, in the middle of nature, and is sure to provide an experience for students in which they do more than the physical postures, they evolve to know themselves better as a person.

The Saturday that we drove to Ithaca the Yoga Farm was hosting a workshop called ‘Your Personal Key to Fulfillment & Connection‘ which is a snippet from their larger Radiance Course which is a five month program.  The Saturday workshop that I attended was two hours long, included no physical asana practice, save some minor tension relieving neck and shoulder work, but rather included a lot of self reflection and guidance by teachers and studio owners, Christopher & Daniela.


Christopher & Daniela are founders and owners of Yoga Farm and emanate a depth of warmness and sincerity to their students. They both instantly give acute attention to each and every student that walks through their Yoga Farm door. And once in the door, you are welcomed by not only the teachers but also a hominess of the studio. At Yoga Farm there is a student library, a water dispenser that gives cold or hot water and tea and mugs for students to make tea, and for our workshop, all of the props were set up before the students arrived so that we could find our seats and begin right away.

Their studio has an abundance of props, and you know I am a prop fanatic. They even have little floor chairs for students to lean back in which is a benefit to most of us who cannot sit for two hours in a crossed legged position without our lower limbs going numb and feeling as if they might fall off after 10 minutes.

After encouraging us to get as comfortable as we possibly could with bolsters, meditation cushions, and blankets, the workshop got started which included some meditation and group discussion with the intent of finding a guiding force to lead us to clarity of our true self and to guide us away from negative reactivity to daily stressors. I found the workshop to be personally insightful and I took away from it a personal resource that I have the opportunity to utilize daily. As mentioned the workshop was a teaser from their longer Radiance course that is a multiple months endeavor.

The studio offers a variety of workshops and courses that, for the Radiance Courses specifically, fall under their  ‘Pay what is honest and in integrity for you’ philosophy. When I saw this information on their website I read further, which you can do here. Before attending my two hour Radiance workshop at the Yoga Farm, I had decided to pay a typical fee for a weekend yoga workshop, regardless of what I took away from the workshop because I am a yoga teacher who earns a supplementary portion of my income from teaching yoga, so I wanted to pay a respectful sum for their work and effort. I assume that most students follow a similar payment choice when deciding how much to leave for the workshops. What I love about this unique payment option is that it opens the doors of the studio to people who might otherwise be limited to not being able to attend classes due to financial difficulty such as unemployment or disability, and finding Radiance within ourselves shouldn’t be restricted to only those who can afford it.

I was curious and intrigued by the Radiance open tuition, so I emailed Daniela and we set up a time to have a phone call and talk about it, from that conversation I will write a separate post to come soon.

If you would like to attend a Radiane workshop you can find the schedule on their website. On top of two hour workshops they also offer two upcoming weekend workshops that are day long courses but are not residential, so are more readily available to locals of Lansing.  One weekend workshop is right around the food-coma-corner, happening the Saturday immediately after Thanksgiving, Saturday, November 25th, 3-5pm, titled ‘Discover Your Inner Voice’ and the other over the weekend of New Years – Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, December 30 through January 1st.

If you are looking for an asana practice as well as or instead of a self reflection course, then look no further because they also offer yoga classes throughout the week. I attended a class the week I was visiting which was a Slow Flow class that left me with the ubiquitous yoga bliss afterwards. They have an array of classes on their clanedar which you can find updated on their website. Unlike the Radiance Courses and Workshops, there is a set fee for yoga classes at the studio. The cost: Drop-In Class prices: One for $18, Three for $45, Eight for $96, Unlimited for $95/month.

If you find yourself in Lansing, NY which is itself beautiful and a short drive from the college town of Ithaca, NY I would highly suggest checking out a class or workshop at the Yoga Farm. As implied in the name, the studio is located in a beautiful landscape not far from Cayuga Lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes. The studio is inside a refurbished barn and sits on many acres of land. Practicing at Yoga Farm is a step beyond a city studio, they have created their own little yoga paradise in a beautiful landscape; you won’t regret a visit.

Work-trade for yoga classes

garden workYoga Farm is an active small farm as well as a Center for yoga and meditation. If you would like to take classes here, and would rather contribute work towards the farm and retreat center rather than $ for classes, then you have come to the right page!

We have limited work-trade opportunities for the right person(s). The structure is that we ask for one hour of help on the farm in exchange for a one hour class. You can put in that hour before or after your class, each time.

Opportunities include work in the garden, landscaping, cleaning the studio, fencing or cleaning animal areas, farm and Center development projects, or marketing and promotion work for the enterprise.

sunflowersmileIf you’d like to apply for a work-trade, start with an email to: Please let us know what classes you’d like to attend and what kind of work interests you.

Thank you!


Happy Birthday to Us & You!

Christopher & I launched one of Yoga Farm’s most well attended Courses, the ‘Come Home to Your Body’ series One Year ago!!!! Our Heart, Passion, and Purpose are thoroughly poured into each classroom, for and with, our students. It’s a 7-week Course that runs all through the year in 4 segments, which is delightful in that anyone can join at any point in the year… which means, that in January, a new series begins called ‘Come Home to Your Body; Ground’.

Who is the Come Home to Your Body series for…?

  • Anyone with the intention and desire to reconnect with their personal experience in their body, and to return to self care of the body.
  • Anyone who wishes to learn HOW to access and sustain a peaceful state of Being via gentle movements, and our skillful direction.
  • Anyone who seeks a kind Community in which you can step into, weekly, exactly as you are, and be thoroughly welcomed as you participate personally and collectively on a Journey of Self care & Self kindness.

Here is a 30-second sample of the yoga, designed so that anyone can do it:

Why did Christopher & I develop this particular program?

  • We married our individual Passions; mine as a razor sharp Spiritual Life Coach along with Christopher’s passion as a highly regarded Teacher of the Art & Science of Yoga.
  • We found that these two modalities, intertwined, created a highly effective experience for students such that they could heal & thrive, rather rapidly, with the consecutive weeks of yoga coupled with the personalized Life Lessons that students would take home and practice in all their Relations. Yoga ‘off the mat’, in essence.
  • See, the WHOLE purpose of Yoga is “Not to use the body to get into the yoga postures, BUT, to use the yoga postures to get into the body.”

In our private work with clients, again and again, we see how this ONE critical skill of learning HOW to be in your body, is a ‘game changer’ that steeps into all aspects of Your life.

We realize how simple this sounds, yet it isn’t easy. See, the body is ONE aspect of yourself that is ALWAYS present. You have probably heard the Wisdom in many forms of ‘Be present’ or ‘Be Here Now’, yet it’s not so easy, because the MIND wanders all over the place. Like, constantly. And, whether conscious of the mind’s wanderings or not, ‘wherever Your mind goes, You go.’

Yoga is the simple, potent practice of linking the ‘WanderMind’ with the Breath and the Body. Our stress and anxieties in life ‘happen’ in the mind, and they get lodged in the body, so this, coupled with sedentary lifestyles, are grounds for diminished Joy & Vitality in the body.

‘Come Home to Your Body; Ground’ gifts you highly practical skills and tools that you can immediately employ outside of class, daily, such that you can truly experience radical shifts in your experiences in BOTH your Mind AND your Body.

The Course structure is an intentional Journey that we developed together to offer you such that the gems of both Coaching & Yoga are within your daily capacity to utilize in your life.

‘Come Home to Your Body; Ground’ is a direct route, an efficient path for You to tend to YOU. When you afford yourself 90 minutes each week of thorough self care, we teach you to learn and lean into the value of how to, ‘take the oxygen first, THEN help those around you’ (spoken by wise flight attendants, every single day). Often we are skilled at helping others in life, our children, family members, and partners, however, we can feel deeply depleted when our own self care is not an equal priority.

In the longer stretch of life, it is true that we can truly only help others to the degree that we help ourselves. A content, joyous life is one in which we serve others from the Lightness of our own spirit, present, in Joy, and contentment… however, the depleted version of us tends to be tense and resentful inside, and we do our ‘best’ to not let those feelings out.

This is WHY we teach this Course. We are deeply invested in helping students and clients to “Discover You & Awaken YOUR Kindest Humanity”.

The Kindest version of our World is a world in which we we LIVE our Kindest Self…

It is the Present, deeply connected version of ourselves (and yes, you already know this aspect of yourself, to one degree or another) that lives an inspired, Joyful life.

The version of You that becomes flexible in your body become flexible, less rigid, in your mind, your thinking.

The version of You with a flexible, open Mind has the greatest access to the Wisdom and the warmth of your Open Heart.

We have some remaining seats available to offer You to participate in this groundbreaking 7 week Course.

You can write or call us with questions, and we offer an Early Bird Discount for this Course until the end of the upcoming Open House on Monday, 1/16/17, 5:30-7:30pm.

We also offer You a ‘Join-with-a-Friend’ rate, as most everything is even more Fun with a Friend you cherish…!

You are welcome to register online at: website link;

With Welcome You to this beautiful Journey this January.

Consider Gifting yourself 14 hours of tender Community, learning highly practical tools, serenity, and laughter in ‘Come Home to Your Body; Ground’.

We look forward to Welcome You!



What makes the holistic yoga taught at Yoga Farm different?

Yoga is a simple word with lots of different meanings to different people.  In the USA, yoga has become a hot fitness trend, with strong, flexible, beautiful people in pretzel poses and glamorous outfits gracing covers of magazines and social media from coast-to-coast.

body-image-1Here at Yoga Farm, we have taken a more holistic approach, de-emphasizing the physical fitness side of yoga in favor of a holistic approach.  To us, holistic means that ALL aspects of a person are valued and honored.  One meaning of the word yoga is ‘to yoke’ or to bring together.  In our classes here we bring together accessible practices for the body, the mind, and the breath.

We practice yoga poses to stretch and strengthen the body, since everyone who comes for class has a body.  However we select poses that everyone can do, regardless of age or fitness, and teach them carefully so they can be practiced safely with confidence and ease.  Each class is tuned to match the people in the room, which is possible because our class sizes are kept small.  We see the beauty and perfection in everyone, and don’t throw poses or sequences at students that will make them feel less about themselves.

We also teach meditation — what yoga used to be, before it became a hot fitness trend.  Stillness and mindfulness meditations are key tools for supporting a healthy mind.  The body needs to stretch, exercise, and be acknowledged for it’s inherent goodness.  The mind needs to rest, focus and be acknowledged for it’s inherent goodness.

benefitsofyogaThe magic key that yokes the body and mind together is the breath.  So our third major category of practices are breathing exercises. The breath can energize the body, soothe the mind, and bring balance to our daily life.  The breath is the surfboard to ride the waves of life, and we cultivate resiliency so we don’t get swept under by the turbulence that we all face, most days.

When we practice mindfulness practices, using the breath to yoke the body and mind together, the mind settles into the body, which is always in the present.  When the mind is in the now, accepting what-is, we feel refreshed, focused, and can think clearly, handling decisions and stresses without overwhelm.

This our how our body-mind is designed to work optimally!  We were built this way, to live happy and free, despite our human imperfections and challenges, or perhaps because of our human imperfections and challenges!

Our yoga classes are inspired by yoga styles including: Slow flow, Gentle yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kripalu, Kundalini, Yin, breathing, restorative and meditation techniques.

Here at Yoga Farm, we offer classes in a beautiful wellness center overlooking a gorge, surrounded by nature, where you can learn how to tap your built-in joy, mental freedom, and physical wellness that you know is there.  Our framework is yoga: an ancient holistic body-mind educational and training science offered here with flair.

We hope you’ll give our yoga classes a try! If you are new to yoga, consider our Come Home to Your Body yoga course.

Yoga Farm turns 2! Here’s our new intro video

Yoga Farm has been in service now in Lansing for two years. We’ve refined our mission statement as we have become clear about what we are working towards and why here at Yoga Farm.


During this second year, Daniela Hess has joined the team as Yoga Farm Co-Director, and she teaches and coaches here every week.

Christopher and Daniela shot a new ‘intro’ to Yoga Farm video to mark the occassion, and reflect on the transformations they have witnessed over the past year at Yoga Farm.

Give this 8 minutes of your time if you’d like to get a feel for what Yoga Farm is all about:

Yoga Farm to launch new educational program during ‘Pay it Forward’ Benefit Open House in Lansing

The following is a republished press release and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice …click here to submit community announcements directly to The Voice, or contact us at

LANSING, N.Y. — Yoga Farm, a wellness center that has attracted students from across Central New York, is launching an adult educational program called The Ways of the Sacred Warrior that combines courses in yoga, meditation, inquiry, and healing in a comprehensive curriculum at its restored century-old barn in Lansing.

An open house and celebration to launch the center’s new educational mission will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 29, at 404 Conlon Road. The three instructors who will teach the series of six continuing courses will present the curriculum at the event, which will feature food, music and door prizes.

“This is a living curriculum that helps people live healthy, happy lives by teaching them more than just yoga postures and meditation techniques,” said Christopher Grant, founder and co-director of Yoga Farm. “Our curriculum teaches students how to care for their body and mind, cultivate healthy relationships and access lasting contentment and joy.”

Grant, a certified yoga teacher, founded Yoga Farm in 2014 after serving as CEO of Gorges, a software development firm in Ithaca. Since its opening, the wellness center, nestled on a 65-acre farm, has grown steadily, attracting more than 150 students a week for drop-in yoga classes, community events and courses.

The new curriculum, will also be taught by Daniela Hess and Ravindra Walsh, who are both life coaches and spiritual directors with the HeartPath Institute, which offers individual coaching, spiritual direction, relationship healing and group classes.

                Consider the quality of your life and your relationships if you gift yourself two hours a week of quality self-care,” says Hess. “Our coursework will guide you to reconnect with your self and what is important to you. In other words, now is time is to become the version of yourself that you want to spend the rest of your life with. Our courses teach you how.”

The seven-week courses begin the second week of September. Curriculum details are at Course registration is available at For more information, contact Grant at (607)280-2010 or at           

RSVP and see full event details and schedule for the evening on our Facebook event.


Have the best summer internship EVER with us in 2016!

playshopAre you looking for the perfect opportunity to learn, work, make new friends, practice yoga and meditation, and build a meaningful contribution to our society?

We are a substance-free intentional community of varying ages nestled just north of Ithaca on 65 acres who have come together to support our personal wellness and collective awakening  through meditation, yoga, self-inquiry, and community service.

We run a wellness center called the Yoga Farm out of one of our converted barns where we offer daily meditation, yoga, dance, reiki, and other workshops that connect us to our own inner peace.

garden workWe are looking for people to join our team from late Spring to early Fall (2-4 month commitment) Specifically we are offering 2-3 full immersion positions where you camp on our land and immerse yourself in our community, working 5 days a week, about 6 hours per day.

We also have a few spots for weekend warriors who will come most weekends (3-4 month commitment), either Fri & Sat, or Sat & Sun, to work two 8 hour days (lunch breaks and yoga class included). You are welcome to pitch a tent for your weekend or commute if you live nearby.

Read more and apply today….


What is ‘Come Home to Your Body’?

Today we finished our fourth week of our course named ‘Come Home to Your Body’.

This is the midway point, halfway through, for the first 60 students of our life education curriculum. I am honored, humbled, and delighted to see the impact our course is having on so many.

This course is a blend from the many traditions and backgrounds represented by the diverse experiences of Yoga Farm staff who have contributed to it. Daniela Hess of the HeartPath Institute and Yoga Farm Director Christopher are the lead instructors and curriculum designers, and other Yoga Farm instructors Neko, Emily and Taryn all have provided assistant teaching in the course.

Ananda-ComeHomeToYourBodyRainbowThis course has transformed Yoga Farm from a drop-in yoga center seeing 75 people a week, to an educational institution seeing over 150 people each week.

But why do they come? And what do they learn? Here is a quote from a student:

Taking this class is the best! I experience so many things during a class such as mind and body relaxation, empowerment, education, community and love. Such a great space to be in with amazing people. — Kathleen M.

Read more student testimonials

‘Come Home to Your Body’ is a unique course that combines effective practices for mind, body and breath from classical yoga and the HeartPath tools of inquiry, meditation and tracking. The yoga is gentle, in the holistic and accessible way we like to present. The rest of the course makes it relevant and transformative for students’ lives.

We have created the ‘Come Home to Your Body‘ courses to guide people to peace and contentment in their lives – on, and off the yoga mat.

IMG_1611The sub-title for this course is ‘The Path of the Sacred Warrior’. The essence and qualities of warriorship include: grounding, seeing, humility, strength, balance, energy, radiance and grace. Everyone has these qualities inside of them, and our course teaches how to access these using yoga poses and specific lessons that everyone can practice and understand.

In the course, students learn to connect their intention for themselves with what is happening in their life, and see that they have the capability to live the life they have always dreamed of.

Some benefits participants are reporting include:

  • reduction of chronic pain
  • better balance and flexibility
  • improved sleep
  • gentler with co-workers
  • greater insight into life’s happenings
  • new friendships and community

Here is are videos from a recent course – this is the actual yoga we teach in it.

Our next courses begin soon — don’t miss your chance to transform your experience of your body while preparing yourself to be your very best self, on the mat and in all your relationships.


The Yoga of Being Your Self

it-takes-courage-to-grow-up-become-who-you-really-are-cy12346In our Easy, Light and Fun yoga class today, we discussed The Yoga of Being Your Self. The teachers at Yoga Farm are devoted to bringing a practical and accessible approach to yoga and meditation to anyone who wishes to study here, so that you can find the courage to be who you really are.

Here, we welcome people just as they are. Every single one of us has been through traumas. We have been in bike and car accidents, marriages and divorces, physical, emotional, and mental abuses, given birth, been cut or bruised or broken bones so many times we’ve lost count. Many of thethreetraumase heal well, some do not.

As a child, teenager, young adult, or older adult, we’ve all used coping mechanisms to get through the traumas major and minor and continue on with life. For most of us, remnants of those pains remain, in the body.

So we disassociate, disconnect, create a world-view or belief that attempts to shield us from future versions of that pain. Our world shrinks as we move into our head, out of our real, actual day to day bodily experience.

yoga class gratitude retreat5
Yoga Farm class, photo by Farr Carey

When these traumas or old pains or memories surface, they can feel scary, or vulnerable, and we may feel the urge to push them back down, hide them away and go back to the stories in our head, like we have so many times before.

Here at Yoga Farm, we offer gentle, kind, compassionate yoga, meditation and mindfulness that open us to the experiences we are really having. We see and feel our Truth. We unwind layers of emotional armor, and sometimes find underneath of it un-healed parts of us, as well as something very, very precious and beautiful, the diamond in the rough.

In the safe and sacred space the Yoga Farm teachers hold, we gently encourage people to let all of this rise up, to feel the feelings that we really are feeling.

john-8-vs-32Tears and fears sometimes flow like one of our gorges after a heavy rain, and behind the torrent is sweet, precious relief. We are held and we hold each other in a container of compassion, here. When we allow what really is in our bodies to come up, and feel the Truth of those feelings, and learn to be in our body, as it is right in that moment, we begin the process of freeing ourselves from the thoughts and reactions that have been with us for such a long time.

The Truth will set you free! Yoga is a process, a transformation that moves from the outside to the inside as we practice over the years. Our body is the outermost layer of our being, so that’s where we start. ‘The Truth will set you free’ isn’t just a cute saying, it is the literal process that is the regular practice of yoga, and it gradually unties the knots and breaks the chains that we ourselves have pulled around us, unknowingly.


We get on our mat, or our meditation cushion, again and again, in a safe space like we have cultivated at Yoga Farm, and our fear and loneliness melts away, one layer at a time. Stressful thoughts quiet down, anxiety dissolves, old beliefs fade out.

What’s left after all that we are not has unwound? Your real Self – the laughter and tears, courage and compassion, openness and shy smiles. Healthy relationships and a healthy body are by-products of the process of yoga.

Yoga Farm and HeartPath Institute have teamed up to create an adult educational curriculum called ‘Teaching The Yogas For Life‘. We have ongoing classes and courses that support an open heart, healthy body, free mind, and joyful spirit.

It is our honor to present the specific paths that we have walked, step by step, out of darkness, and into a life of light and freedom. The Yoga of Being Your Self is here for you, now.

Won’t you join us? Take our hand, and we will walk that first, tender step, together. Call (Christopher – 607.280.2010) or email us if you like what you read and want to talk. Like Yoga Farm on Facebook, Like HeartPath Institute on Facebook and join the conversation.

Links to some of our spiritual education courses:




News: Yoga Center Adds Spiritual Education Courses


Yoga Farm, a state-of-the-art spiritual education center in Lansing, NY, has unveiled their winter 2016 educational courses, the first expansion since the Grand Opening in June 2015, and announced an open house January 25th, 5:30-8pm for the general public.

The winter semester consists of three different courses for the body, mind and heart, which start in the first week of February, and meet once a week during February and March.

Each of these courses is specifically designed to aid adult students in aligning body, mind and heart, and teach a recipe for reducing suffering.

With these courses as an addition to the regular daily yoga classes, students will have even more opportunities to take steps towards enhancing their health and happiness. These new courses are unique offerings created by Yoga Farm and HeartPath Institute. Founded by Daniela Hess and Ravindra Walsh in March 2015, the HeartPath Institute offers their Spiritual Direction courses for couples and individuals at  the Yoga Farm Center.

“Students are coming to the Yoga Farm because they want to make a lifestyle change, and to be able to sustain that is very difficult to do alone,” Hess said. “Here you have loving support, skillful guidance, accountability and compassion.”

The first course: ’Come Home to Your Body’, is ideal for students of all ages, abilities, shapes, and sizes who are ready to learn yoga, meditation and mindfulness techniques that they can practice from the comfort of their own home.

“This course contains unique content, lessons and yoga sequences that build on each other week to week,” Grant said, “so that at the end you will have learned a valuable practice that can support your health and well being for years to come.”

The second course: ‘Dare to Fall Blissfully in Love with Your Self’ is for individuals who are seeking the opportunity to delve much deeper into the experience of their Heart’s Intent and consciously live that in their life.

The third course: ‘The HeartPath of Partnership’ is for couples, individuals in a partnership and students preparing themselves for a loving relationship. Students can be in a relationship with a sibling, parent or even child, or a romantic partner. Students who are ready to deepen into the experience of both like and love with yourself and another will learn a great deal in this course.

To learn more about these three courses and meet the Yoga Farm and HeartPath Institute Teachers, Yoga Farm is hosting an Open House on Monday January 25th from 5:30-8:00pm at 404 Conlon Rd. Lansing, NY.

For more information on the Yoga Farm, contact Christopher Grant at (607) 280-2010 or at  Yoga Farm is online at For more information about the HeartPath Institute visit or call (607) 220-6088.

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