Community Classes: 5 Facts to Inspire YOU

Namaste offers community sliding-scale donation classes at all three studios on a weekly basis. I was inspired when asked to teach the Thursday night donation class because of the power of community. Comunity is a great refuge in these uncertain times.

At Namaste, let’s inspire and uplift each other and the broader community. Let your friends and family know about the healthy chance to practice yoga and meditation together! Our Thursday night Yoga + Meditation class at Namaste Rockridge is donation-based and no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. It’s the perfect opportunity to bring your friend or loved one with you.

When I feel the need to be reminded of how important community is I seek out inspiration like the piece below transcribed from a speech given by Angeles Arrien at the 1991 Organizational Development Network, based on the work of Milton Olson:

Fact 1: As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the birds that follow. By flying in V formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Fact 2: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front of it.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help, and we give our help to others.

Fact 3: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities, and unique arrangement of gifts, talents, or resources.

Fact 4: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those in front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is greater. The power of encouragement (to stand by one’s heart or core values and encourage the heart and core of others) is the quality of honking we seek.

Fact 5: When a goose gets sick, wounded, or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help or protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.Bay Area's Best Yoga Teacher

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Meet Your Staff: Rose Barkley

Rose is modeling some of our newest apparel from the Namaste Boutiques.

Featured here: Joah Brown black tank and Beyond Yoga high waisted leggings. Perfect to go from the studio to the street.

Each week for the next few weeks we will be highlighting one of our incredible Namaste tribe members! With so many inspiring, passionate folks working at Namaste we felt it was a crime to keep their shining personalities from the rest of the world.

Meet Your Staff: Rose Barkley

How long have you been at Namaste and what do you do here?
I started in August 2017 and I am the Assistant Manager at GL

Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in the Bay Area?
Originally from Kansas City, I gravitated to the Bay Area in 2013.

Favorite part of Namaste?
The community, daily practice of kindness, and seeing people’s bliss radiate after a yoga class or massage session.

Best Bay Area Yoga Jobs

Best advice you have ever gotten?
Be true to who you are, everything else will fall in place.

How often do you practice?
Daily practice!

What is your favorite thing about yoga?
The experience of reconnecting with my own body and mind, finding connection through community and experiencing a happier more fulfilled self.

Best Bay Area Yoga Jobs

What are your favorite self care practices?
Aromatherapy and a long steamy shower

What are you involved with outside the studio?
I teach yoga, run my on small business where I make soft goods and hang out with my fur children

We know you love our teachers equally – BUT whose classes do you take the most?
this is so tough…I honestly have been trying out anyone and everyone but totally dig Jaimi Patterson

Best Bay Area Yoga Jobs

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Winter Recipes: Rhea’s Elderberry Syrup

Looking for delicious, nourishing, and supportive recipes for Winter? We have it covered. We went straight to the experts, our Namaste Healers and Teachers, and have curated some of their favorite tonics, treats, and tinctures to take while we wait for the season to warm back up!

Rhea’s Elderberry Syrup

A simple Elderberry syrup is perfect for the fall and winter seasons with changes in temperatures and shifting energy patterns can make us vulnerable to colds and the flu. Elderberries are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, potassium, Iron, and flavonoids.

To make the syrup, combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Allow to cool then strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Bottle in sterilized glass.

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Steph Wood’s Adaptogenic Morning Tea

Earlier this month we interviewed Namaste Teacher Steph Woods and asked her about her favorite morning routine. When we found out her rise and shine ritual includes a delicious cup of adaptogenic tea we knew we had to share the recipe. What are adaptogens all about? According to the wellness site Well+Good, Adaptogens’ biggest superpowers are that:

They protect the body from the toxic effects of stress, which is arguably the gnarliest health issue of our time.

They might seem totally of-the-moment, but the term was actually coined by the Soviet Union’s Ministry of Health way back in 1947—referring to a class of herbs and mushrooms that offer heavy-duty support for the body’s natural resistance to “adverse influences,” explains Ric Scalzo, the CEO and founder of Gaia Herbs (you might just call him adaptogens’ head cheerleader).

Those influences include anything that taxes the body, from illness to working out (like when you don’t take your rest days) to straight-up stress.

Pretty awesome right? So let’s get into it. Below is the recipe for Steph’s morning tea. If you are worried about using the exact brand, don’t stress. You can find a variety of options out in the world or at your nearest health food store. Mix it up by adding fresh turmeric, ginger, or cinnamon too!

Steph Wood’s Adaptogenic Morning Tea:

  • Coconut creme or coconut milk
  • Boiling Water
  • Nutmeg
  • And a little (about a half or full teaspoon each)
    of the teas below. The teas are from a company in Australia called Superfeast and I absolutely love them.

So simple and quick. Imagine sitting down in the morning with a fresh cup of tea to start off your day with gratitude, mindfulness, and nourishment!

Steph Wood's Adaptogenic Tea with SuperFeastSteph Wood's Adaptogenic Tea with SuperFeast

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Meet Your Teacher: Danielle Woermann

Namaste Yoga + Wellness is a container for the Bay Area’s best yoga teachers to offer their incredible talent and wisdom to students of all backgrounds. These highly experienced teachers have dedicated their lives to sharing the gift of yoga with others and we couldn’t be more grateful. It is an honor to support them and to connect them with yoga practitioners like you.

We are excited to share this special new blog series focused on celebrating your yoga teachers and hopefully giving you a glimpse into the brilliant team that is the Namaste Yoga + Wellness family. We have over 55 teachers in our community and every single person offers something unique!

Meet Danielle Woermann:

When and where do you teach?
I teach Nia Dance at Namaste Berkeley!

How long have you been at Namaste?
5 years

What inspired you to become an instructor?
I was inspired to become a Nia teacher when I began taking classes 17 years ago in Oakland from Shelly Ross.

Do you have any go-to yoga and wellness books or podcasts?
I enjoy Gabrielle Roth’s Maps to Ecstasy.

Which teachers influence your practice?
My teachers are Debbie Rosas and Carlos Rosas who inspire me every day through their routines and teachings.

What does your Nia practice look like and how has it changed your life?
When I began my Nia practice, I wasn’t fully aware of my body’s sensations. Nia has taught me to be in sensation and to be able to heal myself emotionally, physically and spiritually.

What is something you wish your students knew?
I wish they knew that access to their self-healing potential is completely available.

What is your morning or evening routine? (whichever is your favorite..or both!)
I practice the Nia 5 Stages in the morning which is a short physical routine which increases mobility, strength and stability.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher?
Being able to share music, magic, and joy.

What are you involved with outside the studio?
Home life, beekeeping, volunteer work.

What is your go-to movement (asana, dance, hiking, etc.) that allows you to feel the most connected to yourself? *
I dance, hike and practice hula hooping. I attend weekly yoga classes and also enjoy the subtle healing of Breema technique.

I can never get over the diversity of the Bay Area and Oakland in particular. Best weather anywhere!

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Your Year in Review: 2017 Personal Inventory Worksheet


Memory is a funny thing. The more time passes, the more our recollection of the past shifts and evolves, taking on the hue of the present moment’s wisdom. Take some time this month before we welcome 2018 to document the highs and lows of 2017. What path did you take? There is no sweeter gift for yourself than creating space to touch in with your mind, body, and spirit. Try this ritual below to honor the closing of one year and the birth of another:

  1. Find a quiet space (or somewhat quiet space if you have roommates, children, excited pets).
  2. Light a candle or burn some palo santo.
  3. Pull out a special journal or some fresh white pieces of paper.
  4. Close your eyes, take 10 deep breaths in and out, watching your out breath. You can place your hand over your heart or rest gently on your thighs.
  5. Set an intention for this practice. A suggestion would be “I am grateful for all this year brought and open to honest reflection”
  6. Get writing! Save this worksheet nearby and check-in on it throughout next year to see how far you have come!

Download your very own Year of Empowerment Personal Inventory worksheet!

Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips from your favorite Namaste teachers.

Join us for a New Year’s Day Benefit Class to support Habits for Humanity! The best way to kickstart your new year.

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Meet Your Staff: Rockridge Manager Holly Saitta

Holly is modeling some of our newest apparel from the Namaste Boutiques.

Featured here: Onzie velvet crop top and metallic leggings. Perfect for NYE dancing!

Each week for the next few weeks we will be highlighting one of our incredible Namaste tribe members! With so many inspiring, passionate folks working at Namaste we felt it was a crime to keep their shining personalities from the rest of the world.

Meet Studio Manager: Holly Saitta

Who are you?
My name is Holly and I am the Rockridge Studio Manager.

How long have you been at Namaste and what do you do here?
I have worked here for going on 5 months and began as a front desk associate then fell in love with this amazing place and community then took over as studio manager at Rockridge. I make sure all is well with the studio staff and clients helping create a sacred space for us all to be a part of.

Where did you grow up and how long have you lived in the Bay Area?
I grew up in a very tiny rest stop of a town in central Florida before moving to Gainesville Florida for college then graduated and have been living my California dream here in the Bay for about half a year now.

Favorite part of Namaste?
Namaste’s diversity of offerings; experiences, retail, and community wise.

What is your favorite thing about yoga?
Community! I specialize in bringing people together through the practice of Acro Yoga.

What are your favorite self-care practices?
The people, the forests, and the fog

What are you involved with outside the studio?
Outside of work I am a skater yogi and love to go to acro yoga jams. I also enjoy cooking healthy meals with my loving other half.

We know you love our teachers equally – BUT whose classes do you take the most?
I love Melina Meza’s class!

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The Season of Gratitude

[Photo of Namaste Teacher Danielle Woermann]

November feels like the beginning of the end. Blink twice and the holiday season will be here before we know it. The ceremonial death of one year while the birth of a brand new chapter rests on the horizon. This is the optimal time for inward reflection before the tizzy of celebrations pulls our energy into external events. This is why we’ve chosen, as routine as it may be, to focus on gratitude. Gratitude for the big things in life: family, friends, health in body, mind, and spirit. Gratitude for the small moments too: a warm cup of tea, the silent dark mornings of fall, or a smile from a stranger. We ask you to sit with gratitude in your practice and use it to fuel a more intimate connection to everyday life.

What does it mean to Make Every Day Sacred ?

Every Day Sacred was the name of our first yoga teacher training and the phrase has stuck around because we believe it encapsulates our vision and purpose. Every single day is a gift. We are awake, breathing, and engaged in a world that exists in a temporary and ever-changing realm. How lucky we are to be conscious and to have the power of choice! Each day gives us the opportunity to flex our resilience and perspective in order to shape our reality. Dedication to our yoga practice can be the constant that brings us back to this understanding of our inner strength and power.

To Make Every Day Sacred is to live with mindfulness and non-attachment. We notice, like a soft breeze, when something enters our threshold of awareness and triggers within us joy, pain, or an indescribable emotion. We watch our reaction and give thanks for the experience of connection to this very moment. Then, like an exhale, we release our grasp on whatever it was that came our way. We acknowledge the heartwarming of a kind act and just as simply we let it go – opening to the next experience. We actively choose to see the hidden beauty unfolding in every moment regardless of its tenor.

Community Practice:

Gratitude Meditations

How you can participate:

This month we will be offering journal prompts, inspirational videos, and opportunities to give back to the community. Take your first step by finding a sweet journal where you can begin making your daily notes of gratitude and growth!

Keep up with us on the blog, Instagram, and Facebook where we’ll be sharing tips from your favorite Namaste teachers.

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Summer Reading List: Volume 2

Stay Curious! Summer is a great time to catch up on your active desire to read more and be inspired. Here, we’ve collected some top yoga-relative reading from your fave teachers. So, before it’s too late, pick a book up from our boutiques or load up your kindle with some of these brilliant recs.

[bottom left] Carpenter: Richard Rosen’s newest book, Yoga FAQs. Local Yoga Legend, Richard asked his students what they wanted to know, and he answered! Its a fun, accessible and yet remarkably thorough — and profound — collection and everything we always wanted to know about Yoga, its past, present and future.

[bottom right] Domonick Wegesin: One recommendation:  Stumbling on Happiness, by Daniel Gilbert.  It’s more of a mindfulness book, but shares psychological insights into what makes us happy.  Insightful read.

[top left] Baxter Bell: I love the books by Stephen Cope, The Wisdom of Yoga, and Yoga and the Quest for the True Self, as well as Richard Rosen’s Original Yoga and his newest book, Yoga FAQ.

[top right] Julia Alexander: I would recommend poetry – invoking our imagination, reviving the inspiration, speaking the language of the heart…Hafiz, Rumi (of course), Rilke…Mary Oliver, David Whyte…

[bottom left] Nubia Teixeira: Gita Wisdom by Joshua Greene, Yogini by Janice Gates

[bottom right] Siri Peterson:  Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton, Disease Delusion by Jeffrey Bland

[top left] Vickie Russell Bell: The Mirror of Yoga by Richard Freeman, Yogabody by Mark Singleton (a controversial read!), Yoga FAQs by Richard Rosen

[top right] Claudia Florian McCaffrey: Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful, by Gurmukh, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and Baby Massage, The Calming Power of Touch

Heads down people!

Learn more about our amazing teachers here.

(Including Jaimi Patterson, featured in pics in this post.)

Shop local and visit our boutiques where many of these books are available for sale!



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