Where in world...?

An old friend phoned the other day. He never phones. But this time he just had to know: "What are you doing living in Florence?"
He thought I was in Florence, Italy. I told him it was Florence, Massachusetts.
Here are some answers -- my occasional wanderings through Florence, MA and the surrounding Pioneer Valley.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yoga Sanctuary at Mid-Winter

We're supposed to be in the depths of winter, though we are lucky enough not to have the piles of snow that we had last year. The days aren't always sunny, and the warm air has yet to really settle down with us again. These are the days that create Vitamin D deficiencies in New Englanders. Luckily Florentina has a safe haven that has a kind of sunniness that warms up everything for the rest of the day. For the last six months or so, Yoga Sanctuary on the top floor of Thorne's Marketplace on Main Street, Northampton, has been this place for Florentina. 

Before moving to Florence, Florentina's yoga practice had fallen off. That's about five years of no yoga, after a number of years where yoga and long-distance biking had been really central to what made the world work. Now we're getting back to where mind and body are working together again in a great space with great teachers (such as Anna and Brandt) and classmates. This is where Florentina met her yoga buddy, Jeff, and through him, her sushi buddy, Lori.

Thorne's Marketplace.
First hour of parking is free.
A class in the big studio, painted with the colors of a mango.
(from Yoga Sanctuary's Facebook Page)
There is no photo available to show you how the individuals doing downward dog in the photo above would be facing a gigantic window looking across the street to old brick buildings and blue sky. In fact, this window is sometimes too bright during practice, threatening to blind Florentina while doing tree pose. 

Anusara yoga is the style practiced and promoted at Yoga Sanctuary. Its continual interest in alignment comes out in many ways. During the poses, physical alignment of body parts, muscles, and other anatomical details, receives detailed descriptions such that it's often incredible how much the teachers know about the body and its ability to make small adjustments with ease. There is also a kind of emotional alignment that happens, too, as practice causes the body work with the heart, and whatever is going on inside, so that those things can start to get sorted out. Bad habits of physical and emotional posture are involved every time.

The winter will be made shorter now that we are in possession of the Shri Card from Yoga Sanctuary. It's a swipe card that allows Florentina unlimited yoga for $99 per month. This could pay off; this summer it was possible to hit eight classes in a month's time, and that wasn't even a serious effort. 

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