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Monica DiGiovanni | My Wild Beat
Dear first name,

I've taken a little time to look back at newsletters I've sent through the last year and realize there are repeating themes: "beginner's mind", building connection, changing perspective, and other practices integrated into the physical aspects of yoga that have created the heart of my personal practice. Compared to this newsletter, things haven't changed much! I've always been a changeable individual, enlivened by all the diversity life offers. That hasn't changed much either but over the last few years I've struck a balance with a variety of meditation practices between my desire for the wild and my need for quiet by taking lots of time to heal while anchored in the repeating themes above.

If you've ever questioned whether or not meditation is necessary for you or if it's just something other people do I can tell you without a doubt that your life would be better with it. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of ways to meditate. If you are living in Central Vermont, you are lucky to have many, many groups and organizations ready and willing to teach you. Explore, experiment, open your mind.
"At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, a complex of wave-forms and resonances, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything in the universe. The act of getting in touch with this pulse can transform our personal experience and in some way alter the world around us.”
~ George Leonard 

I've had the gift of connection with a few groups who have spent extensive time studying the Mahayana Buddhist Heart Sutra, or Prajñã Paramita.The deep study and many hours of meditation practice have changed my life by expanding my understanding of self and the world. With mental, emotional and physical clarity comes liberation. With liberation, life is full with boundless potential allowing for a joyous way of being in the world.

Along with my life-long relationship with Hatha Yoga and commitment to creative expression, this new way of being is what currently infuses my new offerings. Check out below for weekly classes and the Core and the Upper Body Strengthening Basics series designed to add vitality and vigor to your life. There are also two Sacred Sunday workshops offered through Embodied to give you the tools and practice time you need to tap into your own source of joy.

Finally, if you are feeling stuck or like life is tossing you about like a small ship in a big sea, below find a meditation on zooming in for a new view to anchor you with a fresh perspective.

                  With love, Monica
Fall 2018 Weekly Classes!
There are a few changes to my weekly teaching schedule...

The invigorating and strengthening Core and Upper Body Yoga Fusion class offered at Embodied has a new time, 3:20-4:20. If you've never tried this class before, Embodied is running a special for September, all new-to-you classes are $10 for drop-in!

Folks at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center asked for an additional weekly offering of Yoga for Focus and Fitness - you got it! In addition to Thursday, this class is also happening Friday 1:30-2:30.

To make room for the additional Yoga for Focus and Fitness class, Gentle-Moderate Yoga has a minor time change on Friday, 2:45-4:00. (NOTE: There was a misprint in the original release of the fall catalog for this class.)
Yoga for 50+

Hosted by
Montpelier Senior Activity Center
See their website for cost and registration details New session starts 9/24


Yoga for Balance
Wednesdays, 10:30-11:15 pm

Cultivate stability and confidence through greater awareness of posture, including the relationship between the left and right sides of the body. Also an exploration of one’s inner center of gravity, this class will include many different ways to find balance through core engagement and by strengthening the proper muscles groups needed to maintain equilibrium in the spine.

Yoga for Focus and Fitness
Wednesdays, 1:30-2:45 pm

Fridays, 1:30-2:30 pm (Additional class!)
Do you enjoy physical activities such as running, crosscountry skiing, dancing, biking, hiking and rollerblading? This intermediate class is suitable for anyone with an active life. 

Gentle/Moderate Yoga
Fridays, 2:45-4:00 pm (New time!)

Stretch, decompress and clear mental space with this Friday afternoon class designed to ease you into the weekend. Students are guided to find harmony between breath and movement and to be present moment to moment. 
Weekly Drop-in Classes

Hosted by

Drop-in cost: $16 / $12


Core and Upper Body Yoga Fusion
Thursdays, 3:20-4:20 pm
(New time for teachers' schedules!)

Bodies are a complex series of relationships that can sometimes loose the connections necessary to function as an integrated system. Rebalancing the relationship between the pelvic and shoulder girdles will stabilize the spinal column and protect the spinal cord. This whole body stabilization will harmonize the diaphragm and pelvic floor to support healthy breathing patterns including pranayama. Experience fun, safe, nourishing movement with just the right amount of challenge while creating the strength you need to support a deeply satisfying asana practice. 
Vitality Yoga
Fridays, 12:00-1:00 pm

We are in the body we are born with for the long haul, including all the accumulated experiences along the way. The beginning of class will peacefully ease in to the place where you are right now, establishing a whole-body union. Followed by gently intensifying, gliding moments, practice will deepen, building strength and flexibility with a clear mind. Pose variations will be given for those recovering from injury or on the newer edge of intermediate asana exploration. Open the channels of free-flowing energy for a renewed sense of your vital Self on the path of life. 
Workshops And Series This Fall
Extended workshops and series are a great way to gain
clarity and experience a deeper practice

Choose from two options offered through Embodied's Sacred Sunday series or a stand-alone series offered at the Bethany Church.

The Core and Upper Body Basics for Yoga is back in a new six-week format. The first three weeks go slow and are packed with information about anatomy and physiology illustrated with visual aids. Movement is designed to allow students to connect and inhabit their bodies in a new way. The last three classes are asana-based movement designed to give you a safe, intentional opportunity to apply new body / breath awareness.

Release and Open with Psoas-Focused Asana, Metta Meditation & Haptic Drawing and Let It Flow With Zen-Inspired Practices To Build Connection are both inspired to nourish your creativity, vision and personal insight. 
Six-week Core and Upper Body Series

Core and Upper Body Strength Basics for Yoga

Wednesdays, October 10 - December 5
5:30-6:45 pm
Bethany Church, Montpelier, VT
6 classes for $72 (Payable by cash, check, credit card or ApplePay)
Email Monica with questions or to register

This series offers a chance to experience better body awareness while building strength and integrity in a supportive environment. Topics will cover:
  • Pelvic and shoulder girdle anatomy
  • Proper adjustments necessary for individual bodies within specific poses (asana)
  • An in depth exploration of movement focused on hips and shoulders to begin retraining somatic memory and movement
  • The relationship between core integrity and proper breathing practices (pranayama)
The first three classes offer an in depth, anatomical understanding of core muscles including the transverse abdominous and psoas muscles as well as their relationship to the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms. Also included in the first three weeks, students will learn about shoulder girdle anatomy and feel in their own bodies' opportunities to release old holding patters that create strain, tension and pain. The final three classes will offer participants gentle-moderate, posture-based classes to build confidence and clarity in yoga practice. Great for beginners or intermediate practitioners wanting to go deeper.

Previous participants of the Core and Upper Body Series are welcome to participate in the last three classes or retake the entire series at a discount.
Email Monica with questions.

Sacred Sunday Workshops
Offered at Embodied Yoga Studio

7 Main Street, Montpelier
Release and Open with
Psoas-Focused Asana,
Metta Meditation, & Haptic Drawing

Sunday, October 21, 1:00-3:00
Register: Embodied
Cost: $26

Do you long for ease of being? How can you loosen the constrictions and burdens placed on you by life, relations, society and even yourself that manifest as creative blocks, feeling “voiceless” or as a sense of alienation? Explore hidden tightness in the body with yoga movement (asana) to tone and nourish the psoas muscle. Discover how this important muscle relates to the respiratory and pelvic diaphragms and yogic breathing (pranayama). Lovingkindness or Metta meditation will build a compassionate practice of non-judgmental self-acceptance. Automatic or "haptic" drawing exercises will free your mind and creative spirit. Surrender the burdens that no longer serve you while learning to adapt to the free flowing nature of a changing world.
No previous drawing experience required.
 Build Connection with
Zen-inspired Practices

Sunday, December 2, 1:00-3:00
Register: Embodied
Cost: $26

Explore the differences between “brain” and “mind” as you dive into prajna, or inner wisdom, to discover the answers within. In the first half of class, the Japanese Zen disciplines of zazen or seated meditation (on the floor or in a chair) and kōan practice offer you an opportunity to contemplate a paradoxical parable as you gain a deeper understand of yourself and the world. What appears might surprise you. In the second half of class, experience the creative freedom and liberation of flow in the whole of your being through movement meditation. Choose between being fully blindfolded, or simply having eyes closed, for movement meditation that will untangle discursive thoughts and ingrained physical behaviors manifest in your physical form as tension. Release into a state of seamless connection with the universe.
Community Yoga

Join Monica for an hour-long Moderate Flow at Embodied in September
Friday, September 21

Classes are moderate level and donation based, and 100% of the proceeds go directly to the teacher. All are welcome. End your work week with a joyful yoga practice before you head out for dinner or a movie!
Catch Me at Additional Times and Locations

I occasionally teach random classes at
additional locations and times when
subbing for other teachers.

Check out my online calendar for all class changes.
Private Classes with Monica
Monica offers one-on-one classes in your home or a quiet, private, sunny studio in a convenient downtown Montpelier location.
She has a first-hand experience combining yoga, meditation, an anti-inflammatory diet and other wholistic healing modalities perfect for managing and healing autoimmune conditions. She holds a deeply compassionate, empathic approach to the well-being of her clients.
Email with questions or to set up a time.
Cost: sliding scale $50-70 / hr.
Meditation Practice...Zoom In
Meditation offers many ways to work with thoughts feelings and emotions including offering up the opportunity to find a change in perspective, an opportunity to shift your focus, shift gears, just a way that you may or may not realize would be helpful. Often life hitting us hard is what it takes to have those shifts come about. Whether it comes from “Mercury in Retrograde” or unexpected life-changing events, change will happen, it is inevitable. 

When practicing a shift in perspective through meditation, the meditator gains the skills necessary  to flow with life, to experience fluidity, insight and balance in order to drop the veils of separation between the idea of an individual self versus the rest of existence. Meditation opens the possibility for prajñā, or the deeper understanding that there is no separation and that everything is indeed connected.

Getting beneath the surface of a broader view is one meditative pathway. If we look down at a forest from the top of a mountain we get an amazing view that gives us a sense of expansiveness. What we don’t see are the smaller, more intricate facets of what makes up an incredibly complex eco system. Tiny details such as the stem of a single leaf or the whiskers on a chipmunk’s face are completely lost within a bird’s-eye perspective. The broader view is important for getting a sense of the big picture, but what happens when the finer points are obscured?

How does one make that leap? From the broad, overarching view to the detailed finer points? One way is to open our minds to the possibility that we don’t have all the answers, we are not experts in everything. Sitting in silent meditation gives the opportunity to “learn how to stay”, even when there is restlessness in the body, the mind is jumping from thought to thought or there are outside distractions. No matter what, we stay. With this we learn patience, focus and concentration. After a while, after many sits, maybe after many days-worth of sitting, and even longer, extended retreats - it is possible to go beyond the immediate layer of noise to see what is motivating us, to see the source of the mental clutter and find clarity around how we are really feeling.

Curiosity is key. Ask questions, “What is there?”, “What is hidden?”, “What is the alternative?”, “What can or has to shift in order to see something differently than I have before?” This is the root of “Beginner’s Mind”, experiencing each moment as if for the first time. The first warrior pose, the first hug from a beloved, the first time looking at the sun, the first taste of something delicious.

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few."
~ Shunryu Suzuki

In meditation, perception changes and things that were once hidden become clear.
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Copyright © 2018 Monica DiGiovanni | My Wild Beat, All rights reserved.

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