Gentle Yoga – New Spring Session added on Thursdays

Did you miss registering for the WSCC class that meets on Tuesdays because it filled up too fast? Or are you signed up for Tuesdays and you want to practice Gentle Yoga with me twice a week? Or maybe you’re new to my classes and you’d like to try something different. Good news! I’m adding a second opportunity to practice Gentle Yoga during the spring session.

Gentle Yoga will meet for 8 weeks on Thursdays from 9:00am-10:00am in Fellowship Hall at Wallingford Presbyterian Church starting on March 7th. There are several ways you can sign up – get all 8 sessions for $80, get 4 sessions for $45, or drop in for one session for $15. You decide which Thursdays work for you. If you were in the Winter Gentle Session, and you would have attended our last date, the price is $70 (includes make up day.)

This venue is exceptional for its beautiful Fellowship Hall with hardwood floors and stained glass windows, and its feeling of sanctuary for all kinds. You’ll find an age range from twenties and thirties all the way into the eighties! “Gentle” refers to an attitude of taking exquisite care of ourselves in each moment throughout the class. 

We connect the breath with movement during accessible yoga sequences designed to create balance between mind, body, and spirit. We’ll explore a variety of reclining, seated and standing postures (asana) and the transitions between those poses, adapted to your level. In addition, we’ll learn more about the limbs of yoga beyond asana or the physical postures, such as meditation (dhyana) and breath-work (pranayama.) Props like blocks and straps are sometimes used to help safely attain or deepen a pose. Blocks and straps are provided. Class size limited to 35.

Thursdays: March 7th – April 25th 9:00 – 10:00am

Wallingford Presbyterian Church – Fellowship Hall
110 E Brookhaven Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086 

  • 1 Drop in Session = $15
  • 4 sessions = $45
  • 8 sessions = $70 for those in Winter Session
  • 8 sessions = $80

Payment Options:

  • Pay through PayPal or credit card (buttons below):
  • Send a check: Ann MacMullan / 1809 S. Bancroft St. Philadelphia, PA 19145
  • I also accept Venmo (User: @Ann-MacMullan)

8 Gentle Yoga Spring Thursdays

8 Tuesdays from 9-10am 3/5/19-4/25/19 Wallingford Presbyterian Church

$80.00

8 Gentle Yoga Spring Thursdays (includes Winter Session Make up Day)

8 Tuesdays for the price of 7 - I was in Winter Session and looking for make up date

$70.00

4 Gentle Yoga Spring Thursdays

4 Tuesdays from 9-10am 3/5/19-4/25/19 Wallingford Presbyterian Church

$45.00

1 Gentle Yoga Spring Thursday

1 Tuesday from 9-10am 3/5/19-4/25/19 Wallingford Presbyterian Church

$15.00

About the Instructor: Ann MacMullan Jeans, a native of Swarthmore, is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and teaches in the Philadelphia area with her company Team Sun Wellness. Ann believes in the healing power of yoga and meditation for everyone, no matter what age, level of fitness, or life circumstance. For more information, email Ann at info@teamsunwellness.com.

“I have been a grateful student in Ann’s yoga classes for a couple of years. As an older yoga practitioner who has worked with other teachers in the past, I have especially appreciated her non-judgmental and very encouraging approach. Her classes offer increasing challenges for students to stretch their bodies and their repertoire of yoga poses, but always in a compassionate, supportive, and peaceful atmosphere. In addition, her subtle humor and intention to connect personally with her students makes practicing yoga just plain fun. As Ann expands her teaching opportunities, I hope to follow her for as long as I can move my body!” -Judy S.

Learning to Breathe

One of the most effective tools for managing stress is right under your nose! The breath is one of the few automatic functions we have control over; and the benefits of taming the breath are endless. A daily practice of focused deep breathing is one of the best tools for improving health and well-being and is available to us at all times. Harvard Medical School reports that focused, deep respiration can have many benefits, as listed below.

BENEFITS OF A Regular BREATHING PRACTICE:

  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Relief from stress, anxiety and depression
  • Increased detoxification
  • Improved memory and focus
  • Heightened metabolism

Ready to get started learning a few simple breathing techniques? One of the best places to start is with our Balancing Breath Exercise. This breathing technique is for anyone who wants to reduce stress and cultivate calm focus even in the middle of the most chaotic moment.  By bringing equilibrium to your in and out-breaths, you can regulate your own nervous system. Try practicing this with Ann, and then explore further on your own. We recommend doing at least one minute of Balancing Breath, but if you only have time for three breaths, it can really make a difference.

MUCH MORE TO COME ON THIS PAGE – CHECK BACK SOON!

Explore more on the blogpost: Thoughts on Finding Balance.

Feel free to browse Breath for more info.

Thoughts on Finding Balance

In this morning’s meditation, I weighed the concept of balance. At first it was a lot of thoughts, then it was more about the feeling of it, and then it was both. In those thirty minutes or so, I must have had a hundred thoughts come and go before I really started to pay close attention to one thing: my breath. Maybe after about ten minutes, some equilibrium was achieved between my in and out breaths. Just breathing in, breathing out, for equal lengths of time. Feeling the inside of the body, feeling the outside of the body. Noticing how after a while, there did not seem to be much difference between the two, and a certain state of wholeness was felt. I was in my mind and my body at the same time, without noticing one or the other too much.

This state of balance between mind and body, of just being, can transform everyday well-being.

As human beings with overly active minds, we love to categorize and assign value to things. We make instant internal pronouncements about everything! Personally, I notice myself closing up or getting ready for a fight when something is not to my liking, or someone is doing something that offends me. I always want a smooth ride, for my life to be happy all the time – without acknowledging pain, by resisting suffering – even though sorrow is a regular part of being alive. Just like everyone else, I place a greater value on joyful happy experiences. When I feel pain, I don’t want it! And that’s all perfectly natural.

“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both… One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”

-Pema Chodron

How we react during uncomfortable moments is key: maybe we get angry and lash out at anyone who enters into our crosshairs, try to numb our pain or loneliness with excessive exercise or alcohol, or just run away and leave our jobs or marriages. Maybe we keep telling ourselves the same story about how unfair it is that we have to experience this type of suffering, and that the world really owes us something for having to go through this. And we continue to marinate in more suffering, except now we have created it for ourselves. By reacting, resisting, and complaining, we deny ourselves the full experience of being human and quite possibly the transformation that our pain might bring.

Being “mindful” or “in the present moment” helps us find balance throughout our day, experience more joy in little things, and facilitate a wiser navigation and acceptance of our suffering as part of our human existence.

I’m trying a new approach for myself. When I feel myself wanting to pull away or get angry, or something just really hurts, I try to give it some space by breathing. Maybe little by little, I can begin to open to the idea of accepting it so that I can move through whatever it is more gracefully. And in turn, when things go right, and I feel on top of the world, I’m trying not to get swept away by my own ego. We’ll see how it goes. For me, it all comes back to the breath. By practicing balance between the in and out breaths, practicing this non-dualistic non-judgmental approach, I start to experience a larger sense of balance. I know there’s suffering, I know there’s joy, and I also know that in a way they are the same. They are things we experience as part of being alive. So I’m brought back to balance and being alive and just being.

By just sitting and breathing, we become more aware of our own everyday well-being, which is shifting and changing with each breath.

Would you like to practice this with me? Try the Balancing Breath Exercise as a step towards transforming your own everyday well-being!

Mindfulness

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is a type of meditation that, if practiced regularly, spills over into every corner of one’s life. At the core of mindfulness is the concept of being present.

In our mindfulness sessions, we utilize techniques learned through Penn Medicine’s Penn Program for Mindulness, as well as teachings from Buddhist nun, Pema Chödrön. Over the course of our sessions, we’ll become more aware of breath, body, and patterns of thought through a variety of meditation exercises. Our goal is to fully experience each moment as it happens, and find peace and relaxation right in the middle of the most chaotic moment – so that we may better navigate the joys and challenges of being human on a daily basis.

“Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we are already.”

Pema Chödrön

The practice of mindfulness can reduce stress and improve overall quality of life. Contact us to set up a session for your community!

Yoga for Every Body

find_your_own_yoga

No matter your age, level of mobility or fitness, there is a yoga practice for you. Yoga is generally low-impact and safe when practiced appropriately under the guidance of a well-trained instructor. If you can breathe, you can practice yoga!

“Whether you’re a couch potato or a professional athlete, size and fitness levels do not matter because there are modifications for every yoga pose and beginner classes in every style,” Dr. Natalie Nevins, D.O., on behalf of the American Osteopathic Association.

We truly believe yoga is for everyone, that’s why we offer mat and chair sessions for all levels. We are passionate about bringing the principles of yoga – physical postures, meditation, and breathing – to atypical populations, outside of the classic yoga studio space, and offer our classes in community, corporate, and private settings where participants can feel supported while safely finding their own practice. Feel free to explore our Class Schedule for more details on when and where.

Gentle Yoga at Wallingford Presbyterian Church

Some classes we teach often include:

Gentle Yoga: Our largest class, you’ll find an age range from twenties and thirties all the way into the eighties! The sessions are accessible for all levels, and blocks and straps are provided to help deepen and achieve poses. “Gentle” refers to an attitude of taking exquisite care of ourselves in each moment throughout the class. We explore a variety of reclining, seated and standing postures (asana) and the transitions between those poses, adapted to your level. In addition, we’ll learn more about the limbs of yoga beyond asana or the physical postures, such as meditation (dhyana) and breath-work (pranayama.) See Classes for more info.

Yoga for Men with Brian: This class is specifically designed for men of all shapes, sizes and ability levels to build strength and flexibility in a comfortable informal setting. Men tend to have greater muscle mass and less range of movement and may be intimidated by a traditional yoga studio environment. We’ll work on how to build our core muscles to manage old injuries and prevent new ones, expand the range of movement in our shoulders, backs and hips, use the breath to improve posture and balance, and learn simple techniques for managing stress and developing work/life balance. See Classes for more info.

Students after Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga: Unwind with this gentle but challenging ancient form of exercise. Learn basic yoga asanas or postures to improve strength, balance, and flexibility while focusing on the thread of the breath that “yokes” the mind and body together. Whatever your age or level of fitness, you’re welcome to join this accessible yoga class with a real group spirit. Come practice with strangers and leave as friends! See Classes for more info.

Chair Yoga Student in her Warrior Two Pose

Chair Yoga: Pull up a chair! All ages and mobility levels are welcome.  Learn breathing techniques, easy stretches, and specific yoga poses adapted for the chair. Props like blocks and straps are used to help support, achieve, or deepen a pose. Improve your balance with standing poses that use the chair for support, if it’s in your practice. We underline the importance of focusing on the breath, as breath-connected movement is essential for health and well-being, fusing mind and body. Come refine your posture, improve balance, strength and flexibility – in a supportive and relaxing community environment. It’s called a “practice” because there is no “perfect” in yoga. See Classes for more info.

Chair Yoga at Assisted Living Facilities: We have been doing this since 2015, at first as a way to bring activity into Ann’s grandmother Ellie’s life. Teaching chair yoga to those who are between seventy and a hundred years old quickly became something we are very passionate about, and currently offer different yoga programs for all levels throughout the Philadelphia area. Contact us for more info on bringing chair yoga to your community! We have seen the benefits firsthand – our students report that yoga has helped them remain independent longer.

Private Sessions: We adapt each session to your individual needs so you can participate safely in a comfortable environment, scheduled at a time that is most convenient for you. We can work in your home, or feel free to visit us in our studio in South Philly.  We are often in the Wallingford-Swarthmore area and work with individuals, couples, and small groups. Celebrate the moment with a special group session! Mats, blocks and straps provided. Contact us or more info.

Corporate Yoga: We love bringing the tools of self-care into the workplace! Contact us to set up a special event or weekly session.

Check out the Feedback Page to hear what some of our students of all shapes, sizes, ages and mobility levels say about practicing yoga with Team Sun Wellness.