Bringing yoga to recovering addicts residing in and out of rehab and detox facilities.
Join us as we launch our First Fridays Community Class Series on November 7th at 7 p.m. at our newest studio home in Prospect Park-Lefferts. We are delighted to begin this donation-based class series by giving all proceeds from this class to One Posture at a Time (OPAAT). We first learned about this organization from fellow BYPS teacher, Frank King. We hope you will feel as inspired as we do to support this group’s work and get on your mat for the cause! Read below for more information about what OPAAT is, who they serve, and how they came to be in the first place.
COMMUNITY CLASS LOGISTICS
- What: Donation-based class (Suggested donation: $20)
- Free: mats & towels + Pure Action T-Shirts for first 30 donations of $20 or more
- Time: 7 p.m. (Please get there by 6:45 to set up your mat and towel)
- Place: 507 Flatbush Avenue
- Questions: Call 718.399.3369 or email email@example.com
WHAT OPAAT IS
One Posture at a Time is a Hatha Yoga practice specifically designed to restore the addicted person to an improved state of health, wholeness and well-being.
OPAAT’s vision is to bring Yoga to all recovering addicts residing in and out of long term state regulated drug and alcohol detoxes and to research and document the medical benefits received so that we can change policy at the state and government level for EVERY addict in treatment to have access to yoga.
HOW OPAAT WORKS
Our 60 minute guided moving meditation uses Bikram’s proven series of ancient healing yoga postures (asanas) to not only ease the pain of chemical detox but to reduce the emotional, mental, and spiritual harm caused by the toxic lifestyle of addiction. By expressing each posture, one at a time, the negative blocks of shame and ‘dis-ease’ – the issues in the tissues – that have lodged deep in the body from years of harmful living are removed, so that the innate sense of self-respect, self-love, and self-control which exists deep down inside every human being, can be restored and fully realized.
HOW OPAAT STARTED
OPAAT directly arose from Founder, Jeanne Heaton’s real-life experience of addiction and her path to healing. Her journey to Bikram Yoga began with a deep realization that if she were to save her life she would need to change it, entirely. An actress and musician, she arrived in NYC in search of fame and fortune but instead found drugs and alcohol. Penniless and homeless, she checked herself into a long-term residential rehab facility to finally detox all drugs, but when she re-entered the world the physical damage her body absorbed was taking its toll and that’s when her friend bought her a 30-day Bikram Yoga introductory package.
The moment Jeanne entered the hot room, she knew Bikram Yoga was the missing ingredient to her recovery. Jeanne is the proud recipient of Bikram’s 2010 Teacher Training Scholarship. and is dedicated to teaching all people that ,”no matter how bad you think it might be, it is never too late to start from the scratch once again”… One Posture at a Time.
You can read more about Jeanne’s story on the NY Times here.
Emily Hannon shares her own story in her own words about her yoga practice–both on the mat and at Brooklyn Porridge.
WHY BIKRAM YOGA?
I moved to Brooklyn and started practicing Bikram regularly about seven years ago. I’ll admit it: I’m addicted. Before making the move to Brooklyn, I lived in the Caribbean for a decade, running my own restaurant. Moving back to the States was difficult; I literally felt like a fish out of water. Going to Bikram every day became my anchor. For 90 minutes I forgot about everything else and focused on my body. Yoga connected me to myself, I suppose.
One of the most powerful tools that I’ve gained from my practice is finding comfort in discomfort. 90 minutes of struggle and strength in the hot room builds an inner fortitude to handle challenges with calmness outside of the studio. I’ve also gained a deep understanding that sometimes you have to fall to move forward and grow. Yoga has deepened my capacity to handle challenges with an inner knowing that every obstacle is leading me in the direction toward my highest good, and that nothing is thrown at me that I don’t have the strength to handle. I keep practicing because it feels good and keeps me strong — both inside and out. I never get bored. The room is a microcosm of life outside of the studio. We are all warriors; we all have good days and bad, and we’re all connected. Bikram does more for me than I’m even aware of. Thank you, yoga family!
Porridge is the ultimate comfort food. With roots that span the globe, people of every culture and ethnicity have some connection to it. From Congee in Asia and Grits in the deep South, to Kasha in Eastern Europe and Oats in Scotland, porridge is universal, versatile, nourishing and sustaining. Porridge feels like home.
Having been immersed in the food world for over a decade with a dedicated Bikram practice for the past seven years, I’ve always had a passion for both cooking and nutrition, and wanted to dedicate my career to helping people get healthy. After graduating from the Natural Gourmet Institute to train in health-supportive cooking techniques, I teamed up with my business partner and friend, Karyn Seltzer, to bring porridge to Brooklyn (and eventually the WORLD!). We offer delicious and innovative comfort food that everyone can eat — regardless of dietary restrictions. Our menu is 100% gluten-free, and all of our porridge bases are dairy-free, so customers are welcome to add anything they want to their porridge bowl, including: fresh fruits and vegetables, cheeses and high-quality meats, gourmet sweet and savory sauces and compotes, nuts and seeds, and a variety of artisanal granolas. We offer some really tempting signature sweet and savory combinations, or customers can design their own unique bowl. It’s a culinary adventure!
BIKRAM + PORRIDGE?
Porridge is an ideal pre- or post- work out meal, because it contains complex carbohydrates that digest slowly, giving the body energy to sustain rigorous physical activity for long periods of time. Perfect for a Bikram 90-minute session! Porridge is also low in fat and calories and high in fiber, boosting the metabolism and supporting weight loss. At Brooklyn Porridge, you can add healthful toppings to your bowl that support your individual nutritional needs.
The expert recommends:
“The Kimcheelicious” with Napa Cabbage Kimchee, Sunflower Satay, Edamame, Toasted Sesame Seeds & a Kiss of Honey Sriracha over our comforting and protein-packed Amaranth-Millet blend.
Brooklyn Porridge Co. is located at 741 Union Street in Park Slope between 5th and 6th Avenue. Stop by with your Bikram Yoga keychain (the same one you use to check into class) and get a free topping of your choice on your favorite porridge anytime.
BYPS instructor Frank King shares how Bikram Yoga supports and enhances his training for this year’s New York Marathon.
BYPS: How many marathons have your run?
FK: I have run two marathons to date: Philadelphia 2011 and Harrisburg PA 2012. I am currently training for NYC 2014.
BYPS: How have you integrated your yoga practice in the past with your cross training and how is that different today?
FK: In the past I dialed back my practice to only a few times a week. Working a full time job and managing a training schedule that included running five days a week made it tough to balance a yoga practice, as well. Now as a teacher I am able to create a better balance between practicing and running, which has made the training so much less grueling. I now have an easier time with the endurance of the long runs, and the stretching postures in our 90 minute practice decreases the amount of time I need for recovery between runs. In general, the thermal therapy and the deep stretching of Bikram Yoga alleviates a lot of the aches and pains from marathon training, making the process more manageable and less damaging.
BYPS: What are some of the greatest challenges in your Bikram Yoga practice as you train for the marathon?
FK: The other day I took a class and my flexibility had taken a step backwards. This continues to be my greatest challenge in class, although I feel the benefits of the practice and feel significantly better after the class. Like we say in Bikram, the more you need it, the more benefits you receive from the practice.
BYPS: What is the greatest challenge in your marathon training that Bikram Yoga supports?
FK: The greatest challenge that Bikram Yoga supports—aside from learning how to breathe more efficiently while running and the decompression I get on my ankles, knees, and spine from yoga—is the head noise or negative thinking that can make or break a run. Bikram Yoga teaches me how to quiet that noise and helps me to recognize my strength and ability to run long distances.
Before I started practicing Bikram I had not run more than 2 miles straight. After a while of practicing consistently and running a few 5k and 10k races, I thought if I do this yoga for 90 minutes in this heat, surely I can run for several hours. That was the turning point and the beginning of my growth with running.
BYPS: How do you want to grow in your training and can you recommend Bikram Yoga to other athletes?
FK: I have trained for two sprint triathlons. Next year I hope to extend the distances to Olympic, and half iron man lengths. I know that Bikram Yoga with be vital to the training process.
I can recommend Bikram Yoga as a cross training method for other runners and endurance athletes at any level because it
- relieves joint pain pressure that training puts on the body
- teaches you to breathe more efficiently
- helps improve dexterity in movement
- builds the mental fortitude to endure when your body is pushed for hours at a time
Frank teaches at all three Bikram Yoga Park Slope studios. Join one of his classes and be sure to ask him about his training (and perhaps his favorite ice cream) as we get closer to November’s marathon.
Our first posture-break down class this month was a great success! “T as in Terrrifc” instructors, Rasheda Charles and Kito Lopes, led the class through demonstrations and in-depth discussions of pranayama breathing, along with the first six asanas of the Bikram method. While Kito moved through the postures, Rasheda pointed out the key features of each pose to really understand what it means to “receive 100% of the benefits” in Bikram Yoga. After every asana demonstration, both teachers circulated the room to give one-on-one attention to each student, providing small adjustments where necessary.
We are looking forward to the next session, this Wednesday, August 13th, where another of our wonderful teachers (it’s secret, so you’ll have to come to see who it is!) will guide the class from “standing separate leg stretching” to “wind-removing” pose. You won’t want to miss it…or the chance to get a sneak peak of our new studio as it begins to hum with the energy of Bikram Yoga Park Slope yogis. Om!
For more information, call 718.399.3369. See you on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Namaste!