Yoga & Meditation

Meditation is the intentional practice of managing a state of intense focus for the goal of self-improvement. Traditional seated meditation is not just emptying the mind and thinking of nothing.  Simply choose one thing to think about and focus your attention there for a time, two or three minutes to start.  In the example below the focus is on the breath.

  • Find a comfortable seat, on pillow, in a chair, or your favorite spot
  • Arrange your legs in whatever way you feel comfortable.
  • Close your eyes, rest your arms on your legs
  • Breathe naturally without making any changes
  • Observe the movement of your body as you breathe
  • Focus your awareness on the breath and the rise and fall of your chest as you inhale and exhale
  • Feel your collarbone lift as you soften your shoulders
  • Continue to focus on the breath until the end of your meditation practice.

It is helpful to think of the element that you are focusing on as your anchor.  Other meditations could focus on an image or activity, like hiking a trail or kayaking down the river. The key is to relax the body and be comfortable, continue to breathe naturally and keep your focus on your anchor- the image, the activity or the breath itself.

It’s ok if your mind wanders, just take note of it, without judgement that it is good or bad, then return your focus back to your breath.  Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods. Remember, it is called a practice.  You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to keep trying.

Three Minute Guided Meditation

“Danielle’s energy is contagious- you can’t help but leave a class feeling refreshed and somehow changed.” – Elizabeth Limestahl

“Danielle Rush is an awesome yoga teacher.  She makes it easy and fun for someone new to yoga like me.  She makes each class educational- she knows her stuff!  I would definitely recommend her if you are looking to take a class or sign up for private instruction.” – Grace Carley, L.M.T.

Understanding Your Yoga Class

Danielle Rush is a Certified Yoga Teacher, registered with Yoga Alliance’s 200-hour program, and a Certified Personal Trainer and Barre Instructor.  In 2017 she graduated with an MA in Artistic Meditation and hosted a variety of workshops including Art & Yoga workshop.  Her life has been a testimony of art and fitness as a form of stress reduction. Danielle is currently enrolled in an advanced 500-hour yoga education program, Yoga Medicine.  Contact her for information on private yoga sessions focusing on breathing, meditation and movement or visit one of her locally scheduled classes.

Yoga is vast and there are many forms and styles.  Danielle wants to share yoga as a method of change.  She teaches Hatha, Vinyasa, Restorative and Yin, Active Aging/chair and strength/core based yoga.  She is accustomed to working with classes that consist of mixed-level participants and offers a variety of options and modifications during each session.  She wants to educate her clients on how their body works and help them find a practice of movement that provides comfort in daily life.

Restorative and Yin

A restorative yoga sequence typically involves only five or six poses, supported by props that allow you to completely relax and rest. Held for 5 minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends.  This class is about comfort and absolute stress reduction.

Yin yoga targets the deep connective tissues of the body and the fascia.  Fascia is a very densely woven covering that is weaved throughout the body (imagine a body suit directly under your skin like wearing footie pajamas AND Saran Wrap around all of your muscles and organs).  Yin poses are held for three to seven minutes and facilitate a deeper stretch.  The yogi is looking to access these deeper tissues and many of the postures focus on areas that encompass a joint (hips, sacrum, spine). Yin yoga is a wonderful way to maintain flexibility as we age.

Hatha and Vinyasa

Both Hatha and Vinyasa yoga work to increase flexibility and strength, improve breathing and quiet the mind. Hatha could also be referred to as a slow flow but individual postures can be held for a few breaths.  Vinyasa yoga, similar to Ashtanga yoga, is a fast-paced series of postures that focuses on the flow between movements, rather than individual poses.  Typically, a class listed as “All Levels” will be somewhere in the middle and the teacher will be accustomed to cueing for a

Plank Pose

mixed group of students.  Props such as blocks and straps are encouraged and can be used as a tool for accessibility or to increase the challenge in a pose.

Active Aging/Chair

Active Aging, Senior Yoga, Gentle Yoga are often suitable for seniors and beginners with different abilities.  Range of motion, balance and core strength are primary focuses of the classes.  Props such as blocks and chairs are used to promote accessibility and encourage balance.  Yoga is so important for the aging population, especially those with Osteoporosis or Osteopenia.  If your doctor has cleared you for exercise a private session is an excellent opportunity to mindfully understand and strengthen your body.  Finding the correct group class is important.

Barre is a fusion of ballet, yoga, Pilates and strength training.  The class uses a variety of equipment including a ball, sliders and light weights or resistance bands. Participants can use a ballet barre, chair or the wall for balance and stability.  Barre features a long warm-up, low to non-impact style workout and stretching with relaxation to close.  While this is a structured resistance training program, it is tailored to the individual’s fitness needs and can be set at their own pace.  The music is upbeat and the atmosphere is fun!  You will need a yoga mat and a bottle of water.  Please be ready to work hard at YOUR OWN PACE.  While this class is considered a “workout” it is low to non-impact and can be tailored to your level and comfort.  Breaks are built in to the hour and encouraged as needed.