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July Workshops!

July is all about self love. Whether you are interested in deepening your meditation practice and general mindfulness, boosting your happiness, or getting back into a yoga practice postpartum, there’s something for you.

Love is Presence: Summer Series: Sundays June 28 – July 19 from 7 – 9 pm, $48/four weeks or $25/drop-in class

Yoga and Positive Psychology: Three days: Friday July 10 from 6 – 9 pm + Saturday July 11 and Sunday July 12 from 10 am – 1 pm and 2 – 5 pm, $300

Free Yoga Week!!! Sommer and Paul Sobin offer a week of free classes to preview their summer series! These are first come, first situated, so please arrive a few minutes early for each class:

  • Yoga Basics for Beginners, Tuesday, July 14, 5:45–7:00 p.m.
  • Advanced Practice, Wednesday, July 15, 5:45–7:15 p.m.
  • Intermediate Expansion, Wednesday, July 15, 7:30–9:00 p.m.
  • Continuing Basics, Thursday, July 16, 6:00–7:15 p.m.
  • Intermediate Expansion, Saturday, July 18, 9:00–10:30 a.m.

Postpartum Core Workshop: Friday, July 17 from 6 – 7 pm, $20/workshop or $15 before July 10


June Workshops!

In addition to so many wonderful workshops this month, we are also holding a free Ashtanga Method Intensive info session with Tracey Oliveto on June 14 from 12 – 1 pm. In you’re interested in the intensive worksop, which begins in July, check out the info. session to ask all your burning questions!

Partner Yoga: Saturday, June 6 from 12:45 – 2:45 pm

Kids Yoga, Ages 3 – 8: Sunday, June 7 from 9:30 – 10:15 am. $12

Summer Love Meditation and Mindfulness:  $80 for four weeks or $25 drop – in

– Free preview session – Sunday, June 14 from 7 – 8:30 pm

– 4 week series: Awakening from the trance of habit, compulsion, and addiction – Sundays, June 28 – July 19 from 7 – 9 pm

Summer Bhakti Mala: Friday, June 19 from 6:15 – 8:15 pm. $30 or $25 before June 12

Yoga 102 Mini-Session:  Both classes, $22; One class, $15

– Breath and Balance, Wednesday, June 24 from 7:15 – 8:30 pm

– Blissful Backbends, Wednesday, July 1 from 7:15 – 8:30 pm



May Workshops!

April showers bring May flowers, but May brings lots of amazing yoga workshops. Workshops are a great way to deepen your yoga practice, kickstart a routine, learn a new skill, or to just re-commit to a practice of self care. Check out the schedule below, and feel free to email us at with any questions!

Yoga for Young Athletes: Sundays May 3 – May 17 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Partner Thai Yoga Massage: Friday May 15 from 7 – 10 pm

Decoding Sanskrit: Saturday and Sunday, May 16 – 17, from 10 am – 5 pm

Donation Flow Yoga for Clean Water in Liberia: Sunday May 17 from 6:15 – 7:30 pm

Sun Salutations 101: Saturday May 23 from 10:30 am – 1 pm

Living More Sensually: Saturday May 30 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm

Meditation 101: Sunday May 31 from 11 am – 1 pm


Donation Classes for Nepal and Liberia

Yoga is about connection: connection of body, mind, and breath; connection of self and Self; connection of one with everyone. We are so fortunate to have the time and space to practice together, and to use our practice to feel the connection with every being everywhere. Our kind staff are eager to offer their teachings to help you feel connected in these upcoming donation classes:

Donation Class for Nepal Earthquake Relief

with Lindsey Alexander, Friday, May 1, 7:15–8:30 p.m.

direct-reliefHelp provide crucial medical aid to the thousands affected by Nepal’s recent earthquake. Nonprofit Direct Relief ( is working with the country’s hospitals, health-care providers, and other local responders to connect emergency medical response personnel and essential health commodities with those in urgent need of care.
Our donation classes are filled first come, first situated, with no online signup; simply walk in and bring your cash or check donation in any amount, all of which will go straight to Direct Relief; 100 percent of contributions designated for Nepal by Direct Relief donors will be used exclusively for earthquake response.

Donation Flow Yoga for Clean Water in Liberia

with Nicole Mark, Sunday, May 17, 6:15–7:30 p.m.

waterWaves for Water, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has a simple mission: to provide clean drinking water, in the form of portable water filters, to people all over the world. Their Liberia 2015 campaign is specifically focused on the prevention of Ebola virus spread by poor hand hygiene. According to the World Health Organization, hand-washing is the first line of defense against this ravaging disease. Inspired by her friend and former UNC Health Care colleague John Strader, PA-C, and the other health care workers on his team who have been in Liberia fighting the disease for months, Nicole feels passionate about supporting this work by offering a by-donation Flow Yoga class to benefit Waves for Water’s Liberia 2015 initiative. One hundred percent of your cash or check donation will go to this important global health project.
Our donation classes are filled first come, first situated, with no online signup. Simply walk in to connect!

Just Scheduled: Partner Thai Yoga Massage

Thai Yoga Massage is a beautiful way to give and receive assisted stretches and other simple massage techniques. We’re delighted to welcome TYM master Deon de Wet for this workshop Friday, May 15, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

Thai Shoot 151 - Version 2
This 3-hour guided partner class is intended for individuals and couples interested in cultivating compassion, embodied wisdom and a deeper sense of connection in their relationships. Journey into a delightful exploration of touch, using assisted stretches and therapeutic Thai bodywork techniques that can be done by and for most people, without requiring any prior experience of Yoga or massage. Experience both giving and receiving this deeply relaxing, yet enlivening style of Yoga as you explore the joys of mindful movement and conscious healing touch.

Practice comfortably clothed, on a special arrangement of mats on the floor, while the instructor demonstrates each move on a model, verbally and visually directing the group through a satisfying sequence of moves, deeply integrating body, mind and soul.

“Deon led an outstanding Partner Thai Yoga workshop for my friends. He helped create a safe and nurturing atmosphere for us to explore Thai Yoga Massage. Not only was it fun, but it also felt wonderful. I left the workshop practically floating and empowered with some of the basics of this wonderful practice, instructed by a highly capable practitioner/teacher.” —Robert Jacobsen, Los Angeles

DSC07097 - Version 3Deon de Wet has been practicing and teaching Thai Yoga Massage internationally, for many years. An Approved Provider of Continuing Education through the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork (NCBTMB), he is committed to showing people how to help themselves and others feel better, by naturally finding and exploring the Bliss in their Body.

$90/pair (sign up under one participant’s name); $80 before May 8
$50/single (we will match you with a partner); $45 before May 8

Sign up today!

Summer Preview: Yoga Teacher Trainings

Summer in a college town like Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC, is glorious. Parking is abundant, and beer trucks don’t block the downtown streets. The sun is up early; evenings are sultry and lovely; and summer sublets are easy to find with two-thirds of the population out of town. Join us for one or more of these wonderful offerings in our Gold Circle Room.

To deepen your yoga practice and learn to teach:

Our 2013–14 graduating class

Our 2013–14 graduating class

Join our 200-hour yoga teacher training intensive. Immerse yourself in yoga’s history, structure, and philosophy as we study the major styles practiced in America today. Our three-week intensive runs July 18–August 9. Whether you plan to teach or not, you’ll gain a rich understanding of yoga and its role in your life. Last year’s program included a rising college freshman, an ex-lawyer, and everyone in between! Read more here and send us your questions (and applications). If the intensive doesn’t work, we also offer an eight-month program during the school year.

To hone your teaching skills in advanced study:

Our 500-hour advanced studies yoga teacher training helps teachers of all backgrounds refine their teaching skills. Deepen your understanding of pedagogy, philosophy, and professionalism to better serve your students and your community. This year, we are offering several of the modules in a summer intensive format, which means you can be virtually done with your coursework by summer’s end! These modules are also open to the public—and we give retroactive credit for them, so if you later apply to the advanced studies training, you’ll get credit for them:

  • The Energetic Body with Mira Shani, June 20–21
  • Sequencing Yoga Classes from Welcome to Namaste with Sage Rountree, June 22–27. This is also available online anytime at Sage Yoga Teacher Training.
  • Our core curriculum with Mira Shani, June 27–July 10, with each unit also available à la carte:
    • Alignment, Part 1, June 27–28
    • Alignment, Part 2, June 29–30
    • Assists, Part 1, July 1–2
    • Assists, Part 2, July 5–6
    • Theme Integration, July 7–8
    • Language Refinement, July 9–10
  • Yoga and Positive Psychology with the wonderful Michael Johnson, July 10–12.
  • Yoga for Athletes Five-Day Teacher’s Intensive with Sage Rountree, July 13–17.

All of these are listed on the Continuing Education page at Carrboro Yoga.

Sage, Mira, and Lies

Sage, Mira, and Lies

To specialize in teaching yoga to athletes:

CleopatraEvery summer, a fantastic group of colleagues from around the world come enjoy a week of work together with Sage. Several then sign up for our advanced studies training, and many go on to certification in Sage Yoga for Athletes. The five-day intensive (also available online anytime at Sage Yoga Teacher Training) covers the philosophy, physiology, psychology, pedagogy, and profession of teaching yoga to athletes of all sports and levels. Read more and sign up here!

If you aren’t a yoga teacher, know that coaches and personal trainers also regularly enjoy the five-day intensive. If you aren’t a yoga teacher but would like to be, combine this five-day with the three-week 200-hour yoga teacher training, which starts the day after the five-day intensive ends—in a month, you’ll be on your way toward helping athletes feel and perform better!

Why I Teach Yoga to Young People


by Nicole Mark

Every Thursday afternoon I teach Tweens Yoga, where I guide young people ages 9-14 through a variety of yoga postures, breathing exercises, and games. Always a highlight of my day, sometimes this class is the highlight of my whole week. The kids almost always arrive excited to be there, ready to share anecdotes from their weeks before we start practicing. Our sharing circle sometimes lasts a little longer than I had planned, but part of the beauty of our class resides in its fluid, exploratory nature. We create an experience together rather than me imposing a predetermined experience on them, and I have just as much fun–at least–as they do! After establishing a broad class template that’s always subject to change (literally from moment to moment if needed), we usually dive in to our sharing circle. We talk about victories like a successful theater performance, annoyances like the reduction of summer break days due to recent weather closures at school, and exciting upcoming events like a trip to Asia. Not too long ago, a student’s beloved pet passed away, and the compassion expressed by the other students was so sweet to witness.

Depending on the energy level of the group, we might do some breathing exercises like calming snake breath, energizing bunny breath, or fun and playful breath of joy. One of my biggest hopes for my young students is that they remember to breathe consciously through as many moments as they can–the stressful ones, the exciting ones, the seemingly impossible ones.

Our asana practice varies from week to week, but we generally keep with some sort of theme. Two weeks ago we practiced communication and connection through partner poses. We had a blast. Last week, inspired by the snow and ice, I kicked off a “Snow Salutation” sequence then let the students use their creativity to help me round it out with poses they made up–”Hot Tea Pose”, “Icicle Tree”, and “Big Snowflake” were some of my personal favorites. Because the young yogis don’t come to class with too many ideas of how the poses “should” be practiced, they’re not attached to following the “rules”. We learn many of the classic asanas–the Warrior poses, Triangle, Number Four (Janu Sirsasana)–and they have favorites from among the established poses. This group loves Dancer, Crow, and Half Moon best. However, they bring a fresh and unique perspective to asana practice. Sometimes, when I am confident a student knows a pose well and I’d like to teach it to the others, I’ll ask them to talk us through it from Mountain Pose. It’s thrilling to hear a confident young yogi teaching his peers in his own words. If you’re tired of hearing “yoga teacher speak” like “root down” or “soften your low ribs in”, come to our class! My young students’ use of language inspires me to simplify the way I teach adults, to avoid platitudes, and to think of several ways to describe the same movements. They challenge me to be a better teacher.


My younger students inspire me to be a more compassionate and engaged person, too. A few sessions ago, the concept of karma came up in class. This is the way I present concepts of yoga philosophy to them now. I wait for the moment when something I can use as a jumping-off point for a discussion presents itself. So, karma came up in the way it’s understood by many people: if you do something “good”, you get “good” karma; if you do something “bad”, you get “bad” karma. I decided to set aside the desire to talk about “good” and “bad” and focus on the meaning of the word karma: action. I explained that, from the yoga perspective, all actions create a ripple effect of events. We don’t know what they’re going to be, or when, but we don’t need to be afraid of “bad karma”. After explaining that karma yoga is a path in itself, separate from the poses of hatha yoga, one student suggested we do something good for the animals in our community. So they gathered pet toys, food, and other donations for the Orange County Animal Shelter. This was not my idea–it was a student’s. That taught me not to underestimate a 10-year-old’s understanding of karma yoga. Shortly after that, we started practicing metta–or lovingkindness–meditation, sending sweet and loving thoughts to those who need them. When asked if they thought that practice would work, the answer was a resounding “yes!”

Every session I have a slightly different group, a little shift in the dynamic. But the creativity, compassion, and enthusiasm of the kids is a constant. Weekly, they renew my faith that the future is bright indeed.

Nicole Mark, E-RYT 200, would love to meet your 9-14-year-olds on Thursdays at 4:15 p.m. for Tweens Yoga. Drop-ins are always only $10, our student rate. Nicole also leads Yoga 101, for adult beginners or those desiring a refresher on the basics, on Wednesday nights at 7:15 p.m.. The next session begins on March 4. Also, look out for Sun Salutations 101 later this Spring! Connect with Nicole by email at, or visit her website:

New YogaVibes Classes

Several of our teachers, including Sage, Alexandra, Michelle, and Hollie Sue, have classes available for streaming at This is a lovely option if you’d like to take the studio offerings along on the road—you can be in the Paper Lantern Room or Gold Circle Room even if you’re in New York or New Zealand. Use the code sagefreemonth and you’ll get a 30-day free trial!

Some new classes are available now:

Quick Core Add-On with Alexandra


In this Pilates-inspired class, we’ll build heat fast with a series of spicy core moves that build strength and tone the abdominal muscles. If you’re looking to add a core practice to your daily routine, you can start here! This online class is also great to add into a day that may already include yoga, running, or other movement practices. We’ll play with variations on roll-up, elbow plank, and side plank along with a few other fun, challenging moves and poses. You may want to have a block and blanket available. (20 mins.)

Watch the preview here. 

Yoga for Trail Runners with Sage (FREE!)


Coach Sage Rountree, author of books including The Runner’s Guide to Yoga, leads this short online yoga practice designed to develop strength and flexibility for trail running. You’ll improve your alignment; challenge your balance; strengthen your hips and lower legs; and stretch your entire body in this short practice. Include these exercises after your run a few times each week for better connection and control on the trails. Check out Sage’s article in the October 2014 issue of Yoga Journal magazine for a breakdown of the 4 yoga poses featured in this class! (21 mins.)

Watch the full practice here for free.

Why Ashtanga?

by our Ashtanga teacher, Tracey Oliveto

Trace Assist Face In Focus

I’ve always said, all yoga is good yoga. Yet, after four years of other practices, the system of Ashtanga yoga especially attracted me for many reasons. It seems to epitomize the idea of balance and flow, a notion that runs parallel to the forces that define all earthly and non-earthly realms (yin and yang). As a synergistic physical system, the sequencing and vinyasa clearly balance movement and stillness, contraction and extension, strength and flexibility, ease and effort, or, as Beryl Bender Birch calls it, “hard and soft.” Ashtanga yoga can be seen as the “big picture” of yoga. I’ve heard David Swenson describe an individual posture as a “snapshot” while Ashtanga is the entire “movie.”

Although Ashtanga yoga has the reputation of being especially vigorous, it must be noted that any yoga is an individual process and can be measured in intensity by respecting ability and edges. As in any new endeavor, physical or otherwise, we start slowly and use discipline and focus to proceed within our own limitations. At any level, the use of breath, static muscular contraction and internal energetic locks create heat which is energizing and cleansing and allows muscles to lengthen more willingly and safely. The uninterrupted flow and directed gaze create a foundation for focus and concentration.

Ashtanga yoga often attracts athletes, and the inherent qualities of this practice do give fitness-minded people something familiar to work with. I call it the “Just Do It” of yoga! Happily, this hidden form of sophisticated physical “therapy” helps correct the imbalances created by most sports, such as tight muscles, injury and overuse. However, I’ve seen athletic students (myself included) use Ashtanga simply to become more athletic, and miss out on its true essence. I’ve also seen athletes (myself included!) go on to use it for healing injuries and mental and physical imbalances, enhance performance and find another level of fitness far beyond the idea of “cross-training”. Of course, once we establish a consistent practice of asana, our real yoga begins.

The Sanskrit word Ashtanga means “Eight Limbs of Yoga,” referring to the yogic path in the Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutras, written sometime between 400 and 200 B.C. This Indian philosopher did not create yoga, but systematized existing knowledge and techniques. It was 3-4 decades ago that Ashtanga first came to the West, through the Indian Scholar and yogi, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. This system of yoga, with its emphasis on strength, constancy, concentration and flow, has since become popular throughout the rest of the world. Although many of us have just begun our journey into asana, the third Limb of the yoga tree, Jois says it is through this physical work that the other Limbs are realized. “Practice and all is coming!”

Tracey teaches Ashtanga Yoga Led Practice on Fridays at 9:00 a.m., and Intro to Ashtanga Yoga on Fridays at noon. Sign up here.

Shocking Silence

In early July, Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma, the “Hugging Saint”) visited Arlington, VA, just outside Washington, DC. For several years, meeting her had been on my yoga to-do list. Several of my yoga teachers and friends consider their experiences in her presence to have been life-changing and she is lauded around the world for her charitable efforts to provide education, clean water, food, and health care to those in need. Every year she visits the U.S. and offers free public programs in a number of cities to literally thousands of people for hours on end which include darshan–a blessing and embrace–and Devi Bhava, a ceremony for world peace called Atma Puja followed by a talk, more darshan, and mantra initiations. (She also offers longer retreats for a fee.) I went to darshan twice over the weekend program and Devi Bhava on the final evening. Like others who have met Amma say, the experience is not well described in words. But my intention here is not to describe the whole experience (although please ask me about it if you’re curious!). During Devi Bhava, Amma spoke on several topics. All of the teachings she offered were timely and helpful, but I’d like to highlight one here. Amma expressed concern at our society’s dependence on technology like smart phones, laptops, and other devices that we pick up and look at very often. Immediately, I thought of the many, many times daily when I pull my iPhone out of my handbag or pocket to check email, Facebook, Twitter, look up some information, text or (less likely) call someone, or check in using location sharing apps like Foursquare (now Swarm). Being an early adopter and a social, communicative Gemini, it’s in my nature to love this techy stuff. But one of Amma’s points was that these technologies that seemingly connect us, while convenient and not inherently good or bad, many times actually isolate us from true connection with one another, with nature, and with what’s happening in the present moment. Since hearing her speak I cannot say I’ve untethered myself from my iPhone, but I have become much more aware and concerned about my dependence on it for distraction, entertainment, information, and “connection”.

Yesterday, I shared brunch with one of my best friends and her son. Having been away from one another for weeks, we caught up on the usual things: work, family and friends, summertime adventures, and future plans. She mentioned her desire for more silence in her life and her mild frustration with her husband–another Gemini!–and his seemingly constant want or need for technological stimulation, even when he’s in the company of family and his full presence is desired. She’s talked this out with him, and they’ve come to a mutually agreeable amount of technology use, but she said that at one point he had earbuds in at least one ear nearly constantly around the house, listening to podcasts and other media as he did things like care for their son and spend time with her, as well as at times where he was doing chores or more solitary work. They took a trip this summer that required a long drive, and she found herself wanting to turn off the music in favor of silence or conversation. I’m sharing her story not to call her husband out for his behavior, but to highlight how rare her desire is. She’s the exception in the times we live in, it seems, and he’s the rule (and so am I, much of the time).

Last week, as I was scrolling through my Twitter feed on my iPhone, I encountered a news item from The Guardian titled, “Shocking but true: students prefer jolt of pain to being made to sit and think”, about a study conducted by Virginia and Harvard Universities. I read and retweeted it (obviously), laughing, then realized the truth in lead researcher Timothy Wilson’s statement: “the findings were not necessarily a reflection of the pace of modern life or the spread of mobile devices and social media. Instead, those things might be popular because of our constant urge to do something rather than nothing.” The mind’s natural inclination to jump from one thing to the next. “Monkey mind”, as it’s sometimes called by Buddhists and others.

Then, Yoga Sutra 1.2 popped into my head: Yogas-citta-vrtti-nirodhah.

Yoga is the restriction of the fluctuations of consciousness. (Georg Feuerstein’s translation).

Yoga is the stilling of the changing states of the mind. (Edwin Bryant’s translation).

Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions. (T.K.V. Desikachar)

The world needs Yoga! (And this Yoga teacher needs reminders of that.)

A shorter, related piece from The Guardian summarizes the study’s findings this way:

“In a study to see how people coped with boredom, participants were asked to sit in a chair for 15 minutes and just be alone with their thoughts. Some of the volunteers found the boredom so difficult to deal with that they opted to give themselves harmless electric shocks instead of enduring the monotony of doing nothing. Two thirds of men pressed the button that delivered electric shocks, while a quarter of the women did. One man was so bored that he gave himself 190 electric shocks in 15 minutes. Could you sit quietly with nothing but your thoughts for quarter of an hour? Or would you take the shock treatment?”

I offered this summary to my Yin Yoga class today as food for thought for when our minds wander during practice on the mat and in our everyday activities. How could we be more present in this moment, just as it is? Could we refrain from letting our thoughts lead us back to the past or into the future for just 75 minutes? Could we stop doing and just be?

Pema Chödrön offers the following practice, called “renouncing one thing”, as an exercise:

“For one day (or one day a week), refrain from something you habitually do to run away, to escape. Pick something concrete, such as overeating or excessive sleeping or over-working or spending too much time texting or checking emails. Make a commitment to yourself to gently and compassionately work with refraining from this habit for this one day. Really commit to it. Do this with the intention that it will put you in touch with the underlying anxiety or uncertainty that you’ve been avoiding. Do it and see what you discover.”

Will you try it? Or would you prefer the shock treatment?

Nicole Mark teaches Flow Yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon through the end of the summer and is subbing a lot of classes in Carrboro and Durham over the next few weeks. Next week, she offers Lil’ Asana Yoga Mini Camp for ages 7-14 on Monday and Tuesday, 8/18 and 8/19. Weekly Lil’ Asana classes for ages 6-12 resume the Monday following Labor Day.