Workshops and Classes

Body Awareness: Listening to Your Body
with Mara Alper

A four-week workshop on Tuesday evenings, 6-7 pm: May 23, 30, June 6, 13

Most of us take our bodies for granted. What would our lives be like if we listened to our bodies more? When we pay as much attention to the inside of our bodies as we do to the outside, we feel more ease and comfort living in our own being. This amazing vehicle that carries us through life is remarkably low maintenance. All we have to do is feed it, water it, let it sleep and it does all the rest. Appreciating our bodies is the best preventative medicine, a gift to ourselves to enhance our well-being.

This four-week workshop is for anyone, of any age. Each session includes easy, interesting ways to connect with your body in a new way through movement, reflection, conversation, and relaxation.

It focuses on:
-Developing a better relationship with your body
-Becoming more aware of your body’s wishes and needs
-Learning to listen to your body respectfully
-Feeling more comfortable with your whole body.

You will learn simple techniques to:
-Recognize body discomfort and simple ways to create comfort instead
-Become aware of our body systems and how they interact
-Ease the interconnection between your mind and muscles
-Understand how your nervous system effects your body
-Feel more at ease with your body.

Please wear comfortable clothing you can move easily in. There are yoga mats, pillows, supports, and blankets in Rasa Spa’s community space that we’ll be able to use, but please feel free to bring your own if you would prefer. Same goes for a notebook if you have a favorite that you’d like to bring.

Advance registration and payment of $80 is required for the full four-week workshop. Please call Rasa to register and pay, or sign up online here.

Mara Alper is a dancer, traveler, and artist with a deep connection with and appreciation for her body. Since childhood, her innate sense of her body’s needs have shaped her relationship with her being. Her work and practice are a blend of decades of dance in all forms, Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement work, and most of all — the dance of life. Professionally, her devotion to motion led her to become a filmmaker and media artist who taught these arts for 30 years at Ithaca College, NYU and SUNY New Paltz after being a puppeteer and writer for decades before in NYC. Ithaca has been her home for 24 years.

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Relax & Renew Restorative Yoga Class
With Taryn Thompson

Select Saturdays, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm. Remaining Spring classes are as follows:

April 8
April 22
May 6
May 20
June 3

Through the intentional placement of props such as blankets, bolsters, and blocks, we establish a supportive, nurturing foundation on which to rest. We reorient our props only a handful of times throughout class to create mutually complementary poses, each one lasting 15-20 minutes, bringing us deeper into relaxation. Ultimately, you’ll find profound rejuvenation and restoration once your body is calm and your mind quiet. Then, the cardiovascular and nervous systems can engage in their natural healing cycles.

There are many therapeutic applications of restorative yoga. Practicing restorative yoga poses for at least 10 minutes achieves:

– Support of the body in a position of good alignment, in which tired, overworked muscles can completely relax
– Gentle, passive stretch for tight or overworked muscles
– Correction of some asymmetries in muscle length and tension
– Elimination of accumulated mental or emotional stresses and tensions
– A repertoire of “positions of comfort” that you can use whenever you need them.

Herbert Benson, author of The Relaxation Response, reminds us that the sympathetic nervous system reacts to stress by secreting hormones that mobilize the body’s muscles and organs to face a threat. In contrast, the relaxation response releases muscle tension, lowers blood pressure and slows the heart and breath rates. Along with these changes come shifts in hormone levels that help strengthen the immune system. Deep relaxation, if practiced regularly, may help ward off disease by making people less susceptible to viruses.

$35 class fee

Advance registration and payment is required, as space is limited.