Work Study Opportunities Now Open!

freeyogaoakparkYoga Farm is growing! We are delighted to be offering work-study opportunities for those students who would rather offer time than $.

Our work-study program is perfect for you if you would like to attend unlimited drop-in yoga classes, or join one of our new ‘Ways of the Sacred Warrior’ courses launching in September.

Either way is perfect! We would love your help with construction, cleaning, gardening, marketing, video editing, graphic design, building maintenance, and more. What are you good at? What do you love doing?

Are you ready to be part of Yoga Farm? Are you ready to dive deeply into your own potential and learn and grow with us? We are building a great service team and welcome your application.

Take a closer look at details here.

Domo Arigato – Thank you very much!

thank you 5I cannot contain my joy and thanksgiving as I see our classes and workshops offering space for rest and healing in the new Wellness Center.

Over 100 individuals contributed time, financial resources, and skilled labor to bring this vision to life.

Each week, over 50 people come through these doors now, finding peace, finding hope, finding the joy within.

interior2Our schedule is growing, the parking lot is full, and together we are bringing to life a humble, relevant, accessible approach to the ancient science of yoga.

Please take a peek at this list of individuals from near and far, without whom this vision of a space for people to find ease in their body, peace in their mind, and joy in their spirit would not have come to be.

Opportunity for YOU to co-create community, health and light – a Center for the highest good

yogafarmlogowithvisionFor as long as I can remember, I’ve longed to be part of a community of people living and learning together.

When I moved onto this farm in 2002, I believed that this land was given to us to steward for the good of all.  However the time wasn’t right and I wasn’t ready to live into the vision I was given by my Creator.

3D model of the under-construction yoga barn
3D model of the under-construction yoga barn

Now, I am living my vision: helping people of all Faiths on their path to peace of mind, ease of body and joy of Spirit, by offering group classes and private yoga therapy sessions.  My training and passion is in the scientific path of yoga.  Yoga is a broad word, inclusive of many practices and techniques that assist people in recovering their nature: joy, peace, freedom, kindness, passion and vibrant health.

This past weekend, a group of friends showed up to help me with final preparations for the new space for yoga, in a barn that was born before your Grandfather took his first breath.  Today, four eager contractors started laying floor and setting walls, so the big bold space can be insulated, have a bathroom, kitchen, loft for rest and conversation, and amazing windows overlooking a gorge and waterfall.

Yoga jam space under construction
Yoga practice space under construction

I feel deeply honored to be the steward carrying this dream into reality.  One step at a time: I ready my heart, my body, my spirit and support your heart, your body, and your spirit. I am Gleefully tracking the unfolding merging of all of us into wholeness, family and love: One community, one Spirit, breathing together, growing together, learning together, and healing together.

I’m giving this dream of a yoga and meditation center in a stunning natural setting my all: all my heart, all my mind, all my body, and all my savings are being utilized.

Today, I offer YOU an opportunity to contribute financially to this project, $ that will be put to the highest good.  As this space is for community, it will also come to life by community.   The space is too big for just my yoga practice, and the budget, while being kept reasonable, is also too big for what I’ve saved up.

Won’t you give from your heart today?  This is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for, along with me.  Give me a call, text, or email to let me know you are in, so I can confidently push ahead with the electric, insulation, bathroom, and windows. Love and Blessings to you on this auspicious spring day.

607-280-2010  info@YogaFarm.us

Or, jump in now with a donation

p.s. If you strongly resonate with this vision, I am carefully recruiting a Board of Directors and Yoga Teachers of many branches of yoga to fill out the Yoga Farm schedule for summer and fall.  Volunteer opportunities also exist in many areas of farm and center operations if that is the way you’d like to give back to your brothers and sisters.

Thinking of trying yoga? Here are some of the benefits of regular yoga practice

If you are new to yoga and are thinking of giving it a try, then allow me to give you a brief introduction to the benefits of yoga.  According to a recent study by Yoga Journal – more than 20 million Americans practice yoga.  Wow!  You are in good company.

Almost half of that number identified themselves as beginners, and the top reasons cited for practicing yoga were: flexibility, general conditioning, stress relief, improve health, and physical fitness.

If you talk to seasoned practitioners, the list of attributed benefits  gets much longer.  Here are some evidence-based claims to what yoga can do for you:

Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice
Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice
  • Yoga teaches the frantic mind to settle and find peace
  • Yoga helps the body to heal itself by building physical confidence and emotional well-being
  • Yoga removes scattered energy and replaces depleted energy
  • Yoga keeps the body including its internal systems toned and in good working order
  • Yoga helps to slow down, center, and get the most out of each day
  • Yoga stretches and strengthens muscles, opens joints, and loosens connective tissue
  • Yoga helps us learn to tune out the distractions of life
  • Yoga teaches us to listen to how we feel – physically, emotionally and mentally
  • Yoga develops concentration
  • Yoga helps us experience self-fulfillment and joy
  • Yoga is a great stress-buster
  • Yoga increases disease resistance
  • Yoga meditation calms the racing thoughts and helps us master our own mind
  • Yoga teaches us how to react to our circumstances with precision and thoughtfulness
  • Yoga promotes whole body fitness
  • Yoga works all muscles in the body – not just a few isolated groups
  • Yoga generates internal healing power
  • Yoga aids circulation, digestion, respiration and reproduction
  • Yoga tones our organs, improves posture, frees breathing and detoxifies the body

OK whew I’ll stop before I starting making outrageous claims.  This is a subjective list, from personal experience, research, and publications.  Your results may vary.

At The Yoga Farm – we specialize in introducing people to yoga.  We LOVE introducing people to yoga.  We take a gentle, easy, measured approach and help people grasp the basics of yoga in styles and pace that match their body types, age and fitness before moving on to more challenging physical yoga or more disciplined meditation yoga.

If you are getting on in years, have back, neck or hip pain, are carrying a few extra pounds, haven’t exercised in quite some time, or just like to take the easy road to wellness, take a peek at our Easy, Light and Fun Yoga.

If you are fit, full of energy, and looking for a workout, try our Energizing Flow Yoga.

For those people with special needs, chronic physical issues, or who don’t wish to be in a (small) group class, you can sign up for our Private Yoga Therapy Sessions for one-on-one time.

Why not give it a try?  You might just like it here.

And though I walk through the valley of the shadow of life…

Lately I have been unwinding some long-held pain, darkness, suffering, and feeling them vividly as I let them go.  I realize it may be popular in some circles, including among practitioners of yoga, to be and to project that ‘it’s all good’.  I’ve spent many years hoping to, pretending to, looking like, ‘It’s all good’.  And, I truly am ‘all good’, but not in the way I thought.

Living a life in a good way, in a good light, necessitates that we also are willing to embrace the part of life that is hidden away in shadows, for with light comes shadows, and the brighter the light the darker are the shadows.   Some of us have shadows from sexual or physical abuse in our personal history; some of us have gone many rounds with addictions: to food, sex, alcohol, pot, hard drugs, painkillers, love, etc.  Most of us have had and have lost romantic relationships, and are rebuilding our self-esteem and self-love.   We sometimes create shame and fear and confusion from our experiences.  All of these experiences and many more can create darkness, shadows, fear in our lives that in turn can create problems for us.

shadowsFor each of us, as we proceed down the path of life, there comes a time when these shadows act like a tether, holding us back from our true joyous nature, holding us back from serving others, holding us back from being our best. As long as we ignore or repress our personal struggles, challenges and setbacks, they will lie there, festering, patiently waiting for a chance to reveal the lesson that they have for us, again and again, until we ‘get it’.

Recently, I’ve seen some of those items in the list above come to the surface for me, and while it felt pretty terrible, or terrifying, at the time, I’m here to share that it is WORTH IT, and to reveal the trigger that opened those caskets of old, putrefying dark areas of my life for permanent resolution.

For me, my recent healing process actually began years ago with a willingness, eagerness perhaps, to clear myself, to prepare and offer myself to a life of service.  This sounded kind of grand, romantic even.  I pictured the service work of Saints like Mother Theresa: happy helped people, no smell, no death, no suffering.  So I smiled broadly and signed up: ‘Use me – let me be the light’ I whispered in numerous prayers to my maker.

I’ve spent years in partial-healing cycles now: emerging like a butterfly from a chrysalis, seeing the sunlight and pretty flowers, saying ‘hi’ to people in my vicinity, only to have my unresolved shadows creep in and sabotage my initiatives.  I would then back away, perhaps indulge in a vice or distraction for a day or a week or longer; retreat back to the cocoon, hide, sleep.  Time would pass, and again I’d feel the urge to emerge, to reach out for my potential, offer to serve, and the miracle would happen again, on cue: I am transformed!  Each time, however, unaddressed shadows would eventually overshadow or undermine my good efforts and positive thinking.

2014-02-26-ThePowerOfIntentionIn fall 2014, I engaged a life coach, who helped me to find and firm my intention.  This made all the different for me and my repetitive cycles of pleasure and pain.  An intention is like the tip of an arrow, fired truly towards a target, opening the way for what follows.  Knowing my intention for my inner life and outer work gave me a focus, helped spur me into massive action, and, unbeknownst to me at the time, triggered my walk through the valley of the shadow of life.

See, we can’t fly when tethered, and if we don’t free ourselves from what is holding us back, we will just cruise around in circles, thinking we are getting somewhere because we are in motion, in flight.

With the help of my coach (ask me if you want to know who can help you in this way), my intention evolved, shifted, as I learned the art of listening to my heart.  Part of my intention is ‘lightheartedness’.  You know, that joy that children have?  That you have experienced?  A warm spring day, a kiss from a loved one, spontaneous laughter for no reason at all?  I decided that I’d like to be clear of seriousness, of frowning for no good reason, of being weighed down by all my ‘shoulds’ and by criticisms of others that jump unbidden to mind, by my stories, by my beliefs as life trudges along.  Why am I trudging when I know I can fly?

As it turns out, the Universe, God, Divine, Goddess, the un-namable and un-knowable Force of life, actively supports our heart’s true intentions.  It’s uncanny, how we can track the influence of people, nature, animals, and dreams when we know what we really want.  (hint – learn about symbolic tracking).  And, in order for me to feel this natural, easy, lightheartedness, which I determined I WANTED, I had to take a walk through the valley of the shadow of life, embrace my past, look into my hidden beliefs, and accept all of myself.

handsbutterflyThe darkest part of night is just before dawn, and with a quality called Faith (noun – complete trust or confidence in someone or something) ready to carry me through till the dawn of my intentional way of being in life, I finally faced my fears.  I walked through my own shadows; I embraced my addictions as my finest teachers; I danced with the darkness, I humbly requested understanding.

I accepted that I created these situations; that I called in these lessons so that I could have the opportunity to learn this lesson, right now.  I firmed my resolve to stay in it until the light returned. I prayed, I practiced my mindfulness techniques, meditation and yoga.  There were times that tested me, and I cried tears of frustration and futility.  I felt like the weakest most useless part of Creation.  I reached out to friends, to family.  I was heard, and seen.  I surrendered completely.   I accepted myself just as I am, including all my darkness, shadows, questionable deeds and addictive tendencies.  I didn’t die, my friends didn’t desert me, I didn’t fall into a spiral of depression, and I didn’t hide in alcohol or drugs.

Then, the butterfly that is my true nature emerged, untethered, flew upward toward the sun, faithfully casting a shadow over the land I travelled, and now I fly FREE.  Won’t you embrace all of you and join me in the sky, flying free as is meant to be?  The air is great and the view can’t be beat.

— ChrisAnanda 1/1/15

Yoga Farm Feedback

We are constantly striving to improve our yoga classes and private yoga sessions  If you have been here for a session, please offer your feedback so we can be the best we can be. If you’d like to suggest other types of classes or class times that you would participate in, please let us know below.  Thank you 🙂

NEWS: Lansing Yoga Farm Offers Gentler Practice

ithaca.comlogo

By Chris Hooker  Originally Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014

His new studio, Yoga Farm, which has been up and running full-time for the last two weeks, is quite literally a yoga studio on a farm. Located at 404 Conlon Road in Lansing, the rebooted Indian chimney and alpaca farm is home to the small barn-turned-studio where Grant teaches 11 classes a week. Many of those classes are built around the idea of “yoga for everyone.”

Lansing_Yoga_Farm_Offers_Gentler_Practice_-_Ithaca_Times___NewsGrant said that when he first got started in studying yoga, he saw that there wasn’t a lot of it offered for the first timers.

“I was doing business and doing jobs, and I noticed that people are increasingly stressed out, fatigued and weary,” said Grant. “I started tying that together and realized that with all the studying that I’ve done, I could put together an offering for the average person. So what came through for me about four years ago, when I first started teaching, was the idea of yoga for everyone else.”

Grant says that what sets his studio a part is the intimacy of it. Class sizes are capped at 10 people, meaning that each student gets individual attention and personalized motions.

“It’s designed for people who are not very flexible, not very fit,” said Grant. “People who don’t have a lot of experience. But fundamentally, it’s all the same. The emphasis is on people who really need this, who aren’t practicing. A lot of yoga studios are aiming for the flexible 20-somethings who love yoga. But this, my passion, is to bring it to people who just don’t have access to that.”

Grant said he has been studying yoga for about 20 years and first got into it because he was looking for something that would help him “control the mind.” “I felt a little bit crazy, a little bit cuckoo in the head,” he said. “So I started down this path.”

He turned the little barn on his farm into a studio in July, offering one class. But then, two weeks ago, he decided to go for it. Now, he’s a one third yoga teacher, one third yoga promoter, and one third farmer.

His studio offers evening classes Tuesdays and Thursdays, and morning classes Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Six of those are the beginner classes, and the rest range from intense power yoga to relaxed yoga for recovery, a style that is designed towards those going through treatment for addiction.

“My unique proposition here is that I’ve brought a form of yoga that is more accessible and easier for people,” said Grant. “I’ve created a class structure that targets middle aged or older, people who are overweight. A lot of people come to me with injuries. … There are a lot of people who could receive the benefits of yoga who aren’t able to do a high intensity fitness style yoga. I call one of the classes Easy, Light and Fun yoga. It’s very simple and an introduction to basic yoga. We stretch, we open up the body, we loosen up the neck and shoulders, we shake the stress out. A little meditation to calm the mind and people walk away with a gentle smile on their face.”

With offering a variety of classes, Grant says the goal is to have people move up into higher ranges of difficulty if possible. But he also knows that some people aren’t physically capable of doing that, which is another part of the plan at Yoga Farm.

If someone can run, dance, and shimmy around, they can move forward,” said Grant. “But then there is a woman who comes to class regularly, who is 75 years old. She’s had two hip replacements. She’s not going to move into power yoga. She’s just not. But this is a place where she can come and I can adjust and modify everything for her ability. It’s about acceptance, and letting people accept their body the way it is. If you are 70 years old, injured, and sick, you aren’t going return to the vibrancy of your youth. It’s more about acceptance, having patience with yourself, and moving into a place where you can be okay with what’s coming up against you.”

For more information on Yoga Farm, included a class schedule and pricing options, visit www.yogafarm.us.