November Book of the Month

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I’m returning to Pema Chödrön this month. Recently, I’ve been coming face to face with old thought patterns and habits that just don’t serve me any longer. Plus, with a new year right around the corner, it seems like perfect timing to pick up this book once again. I hope you will join me in reading this small book filled with so much wisdom.

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Online Workshop for Women

A reminder, there is still time to sign up for my latest offering – an online workshop for women, incorporating a physical (asana) yoga practice and the tools to either build or strengthen a daily meditation, journaling, and/or writing practice. A truly fantastic group of women has signed up already, and there are still scholarships available!
One of the most important things we can do, especially in tumultuous times, is to ground ourselves and connect with our authentic voices so we have the courage and clarity to connect with others and engage in our lives with honesty, integrity, and heart. This workshop will utilize a physical (asana) yoga practice to create grounding and opening as well as daily quotes/questions/prompts to allow us to view ourselves, our relationships, our thought patterns, and habitual ways of being from new vantage points creating the awareness to allow for shifts and growth. There will be an online group to turn to throughout the 8 weeks, and a weekly check-in allowing us to come together virtually.
You choose how much or how little you engage each week. This isn’t about putting your life on pause or adding one more thing to the daily to-do-list. All of the tools provided are intended to create greater focus, clarity, and presence, allowing us to more easily manage our hectic lives and more fully engage in meaningful relationships with others and projects and pursuits we are passionate about.
I do hope you can join me and the amazing group of women who have already signed up! Don’t let finances hold you back, there are still scholarships available.

 

To register click here:

http://djunapassman.com/online-workshop.php

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Move, Reflect, Connect

8-Week Online Yoga Workshop for Women

October 13th – December 7th

Women of all ages, with some basic yoga experience are welcomed and encouraged to join.

Receive an hour-long audio vinyasa yoga class every week. Practice any time and any place that is convenient for you. Participate in an online group check-in each week where you can ask specific questions about your practice getting feedback and guidance usually only available through private yoga sessions. Receive daily writing prompts and quotes to journal about or meditate on. Gain clarity and insight into your thought patterns empowering yourself to grow from a grounded place of authenticity. Utilize the support of a strong network of women all journeying along the same path. Receive and provide encouragement, inspiration, motivation, and a sense of accountability throughout the 8 weeks.
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Each week you receive:

  • An hour long audio yoga class
  • Daily writing prompts to journal about or meditate on
  • Hour-long group check-in – your opportunity to ask any and all questions
  • Access to a private Facebookgroup providing a network of support

 

At the end of this 8 weeks you will have:

  • 8 audio yoga classes to use anytime, anyplace
  • A better understanding of basic poses and alignment
  • A network of women to reach out to for support and motivation
  • A journal filled with your personal explorations, along with writing prompts and quotes  to revisit and think about

 

To register click here:

http://djunapassman.com/online-workshop.php

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October Book of the Month

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So, here we are…it is officially fall and a new month is upon us. I am really excited to continue delving into the book for this month, and for you to join me. Brene Brown is a researcher exploring vulnerability, courage, shame, and empathy. She openly shares her own stories alongside her research, empowering all of us to look at ourselves and our relationships, own our stories and step into our power.

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Online Yoga Workshop for Women

Move, Reflect, Connect

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8-Week Online Yoga Workshop for Women

October 13th – December 7th

Women of all ages, with some basic yoga experience are welcomed and encouraged to join.

In these uncertain times it feels more important than ever to connect more deeply with ourselves and with others. This workshop will create space for everyone to deepen their yoga practices while allowing us to explore ourselves how we can connect and move from a place of love with an open heart and open mind off of our yoga mats.

Receive an hour-long audio vinyasa yoga class every week. Practice any time and any place that is convenient for you. Participate in an online group check-in each week where you can ask specific questions about your practice getting feedback and guidance usually only available through private yoga sessions. Receive daily writing prompts and quotes to journal about or meditate on. Gain clarity and insight into your thought patterns empowering yourself to grow from a grounded place of authenticity. Utilize the support of a strong network of women all journeying along the same path. Receive and provide encouragement, inspiration, motivation, and a sense of accountability throughout the 8 weeks.

Each week you receive:

  • An hour long audio yoga class
  • Daily writing prompts to journal about or meditate on
  • Hour-long group check-in – your opportunity to ask any and all questions
  • Access to a private Facebook group providing a network of support

 

At the end of this 8 weeks you will have:

  • 8 audio yoga classes to use anytime, anyplace (perfect for the holiday season)
  • A network of women to reach out to for support and motivation
  • A better understanding of basic poses and alignment
  • A journal filled with your personal explorations, along with writing prompts and quotes to revisit and think about

Early Bird Discount (full payment before September 22nd) – $650

Standard (full payment by October 11th) – $800

* 2 partial scholarships are available – please contact Djuna directly (djunapassman@gmail.com) for more information

To register click here:

http://djunapassman.com/online-workshop.php

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September Book of the Month

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So, the monthly book club took a little two month break…but it’s back! The selection this month comes courtesy of one of my students in California gifting me this book – Polishing the Mirror by Ram Dass. I read the first chapter last night and it feels like just the right book to dive into as summer begins to wind down, school starts again, and transitions are in the air.

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Career Change/Plot Twist

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Exactly seven years ago, the hospital where I worked as a dance/movement therapist closed its doors. I found myself unemployed and very, very freaked out. I had a regular yoga practice at that point. I credit my practice for getting me through the intense work I did at that hospital and the upheaval of mass layoffs and then, months later, the announcement of closure due to bankruptcy. Two weeks after that announcement, which I heard on the 10 o’clock news, I found myself saying good-bye to the final patient as he was transferred. It would be a few more years before I officially said good-bye to what I thought would be my career for, well, the rest of my life.

After the hospital closed I went back to working as a dance/movement therapist at the hospital where I had been hired right out of graduate school and done my internships. Early in the film, Mr. Gaga, Ohad Naharin’s father, Eliav, says, “Life is full of tatters. Try to reattach them, it doesn’t work out.” I tried to reattach the tatters of my career as a dance/movement therapist, but it just didn’t work out. I was miserable.

In the summer of 2011, the yoga studio that had become my yoga home when I began graduate school offered its inaugural teacher training program. Teaching yoga was never on the list of careers I wanted to have. I didn’t even like yoga until the age of 25. Sometimes I still don’t like yoga that much. (I know, I’m not supposed to openly admit that.) And yet, I decided to do the teacher training. I started to think that I might actually want to teach yoga, what that would look like I had no clue. Six years later, teaching yoga is my full-time job. It’s challenging, it’s not nearly as glamorous or zen as most people believe it to be, and yet, I can’t envision myself doing anything else. Teaching yoga is one of the most fulfilling things I have done with my life thus far. And, had a small private hospital in Harlem not closed its doors at the start of what I thought was the beginning of my career, I do not think I would have found the path I am on. Plot twist indeed.

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June Book of the Month

IMG_1610I know, I know, it is June 5th already – I dropped the ball posting this at the very start of the month. This month I chose one of my favorite books to return to, whether for my own practice, or to use with students. Given all that is going on in the world lately, this book hardly gets put back on the bookshelf I return to it so often these days. Yoga for Emotional Balance by Bo Forbes is a great resource. Whether we or someone we love or work with is clinically depressed or has an anxiety disorder, life is throwing curveballs we can’t dodge, or the news has us struggling to find calm and balance, this book offers valuable insights backed by science, as well as pranayama (breathing exercises) and restorative yoga poses to help bring us back into balance. I hope you area able to find some valuable and useful nuggets to use within your own practice in this book.

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Social Media Break

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I decided to take a week off from social media. I, like so many others, get sucked into the trap of incessantly checking my phone to see who liked and commented on my latest pictures and posts. Then there is the energy of taking in what other people have posted. More often than not the posts that come up on my feeds are about upset over recent political events, complaints about life or current events in the world, and attention seeking posts about upsetting things that have happened. I do my best to gloss over the complainer and attention seeker people, as well as the articles on current events that I am not ready to take in just yet, but even if minimally, they are energy sucking and depressing. Of course, there are the good news posts and pictures, new babies, kids, and pets doing adorable or funny things, and the uplifting and inspiring pictures and words – they all offer a pleasant distraction from real life. Plus, social media, at least as a yoga instructor, sometimes feels like a contest for most popular, prettiest, fittest, coolest/hardest pose done in the most scenic or risky location. It gets exhausting, and more often than not, leads to me feeling not cool enough, pretty enough, in shape enough, or successful enough. I eek out a pretty decent living doing what I love, working with some amazing and inspiring people, and yet, all of that can suddenly feel inadequate after too much time on social media. At the end of the day, all social media, the positive, uplifting, smile inducing, to cringe worthy, unsettling, and upsetting is a distraction.

I’m away from my home in New York City and my usual teaching schedule this week so it feels like a good time to step away from it all. From a business perspective, social media has kept me connected to my students and introduced me to people and companies I might not have otherwise known about, it can be used as a positive networking tool. I do find motivation and inspiration from social media. However, I also find it constantly pulling me away from myself – it is a distraction. Sometimes I set  my phone down feeling inspired and invigorated by what I see on social media. Sometimes I am left feeling overwhelmed, drained, and lacking. It is time for me to reconnect with myself a little more deeply while tuning out the excess. It’s time to put the phone down for a little while.

 

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30 Day Yoga Challenge – Followup

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Okay, so I realize I failed to offer updates on my 30 day yoga challenge. Here’s the rundown, I did not take one yoga class everyday for 30 days in a row. I did take 30 yoga classes in 30 days, some days I took two classes. I quickly came to realize that as a full-time yoga teacher, having one day a week that does not include yoga is important for me. The first week was really rough. I found myself exhausted and, well, hating yoga. Making time to take a yoga class everyday left me struggling to find time to prep for the classes and clients I teach, and have enough down time each day.  By the second week I was starting to feel physically stronger, a lot of my regular aches and pains had disappeared, and I began to fall into the routine of taking classes. I had truly settled into my new schedule by the third and fourth weeks, and it felt manageable.

When I started the 30 day challenge I was struggling to get myself to class regularly – I was falling back onto excuses instead of finding the discipline needed to maintain my own practice amidst a busy teaching schedule. Post 30 day challenge I have settled into a routine of taking a yoga class five days a week. I have also been reminded of how important it is to have that time on my mat to quiet and calm my mind and take care of my body. It was a challenging month, but it got me back into a healthier routine. Quite, honestly, I forgot to write about my experience earlier because I simply continued going to classes as May rolled around.

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May Book of the Month

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I’m a few days late with this because May just crept up on me. So, here it is, the book for May – Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater. I first read this book about a year and a half ago. It is filled with nuggets of wisdom along with practice suggestions to apply to everyday situations and daily mantras. I’m looking forward to returning to this book and seeing how I can apply the practices and mantras to my daily life and teaching.

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