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Zoom Yoga 4/15-4/20

Song lyrics are also poetry! In keeping with National Poetry Month, these are the lyrics to Bill Withers’ Lovely Day 🙂 And teaching schedule below.

Lovely Day – Bill Withers

When I wake up in the morning, love
And the sunlight hurts my eyes
And something without warning, love
Bears heavy on my mind

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day

When the day that lies ahead of me
Seems impossible to face
When someone else instead of me
Always seems to know the way

Then I look at you
And the world’s alright with me
Just one look at you
And I know it’s gonna be
A lovely day
A lovely day

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Zoom Classes 4/8-4/13 & National Poetry Month

It’s National Poetry Month! Each week a different poem will be featured as the dharma talk in my 90-minute classes! Along with this week’s schedule below, you’ll also find a poem by Rumi called The Guest House.

Log-in for Zoom classes is available by email only. If you are not currently on my mailing list, but would like to attend class, please send me a message!

The guest house ~~ Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
Some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture,
Still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
For some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
Meet them at the door laughing,
And invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent,
As a guide from beyond

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5 Minute Meditation

I recently made a short video for Aavrani, an Indian beauty ritual company. It’s an easy 3-step method for you to find a few moments of calm and quiet.

The video can be found below! If you’d like to explore any of Aavrani’s products, check out their website here:

About Aavrani:

Drawing upon Indian identity, heritage, and a deeper meaning of beauty, we reimagine clean skincare. This is beauty infused with bold sophistication, confidence, and wisdom. This is aavrani. At our core, we celebrate female empowerment. In Hindi, “rani” means “queen.” Our mission is to champion and uplift by encouraging all women to embrace their natural beauty.

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Upcoming Live-Stream Classes 3/19-3/23

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Live-Stream Yoga

NYC and most parts of the world are currently in social distancing mode to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately this means no in-person yoga classes (and honestly, also no income for self-employed yoga teachers.)

I will be offering live-stream yoga classes and guided meditations (schedule below) via Zoom.US until we are no longer in lock-down. Sign-in details will be posted on social media outlets, so if you don’t follow me already, you can on Instagram @aprildechagas and my FaceBook yoga page April Dechagas Yoga.

Recommended donation for yoga asana classes is $10 via Venmo @April-Dechagas or PayPal aprildechagas@gmail.com. Meditation sliding scale $5-10. Class is free for those of you who do not currently have income due to COVID-19 closures – but please be honest about this, as I mentioned above, I also do not have any incoming $.

Schedule (log-in details change for each class – so be sure to check Insta or FB):

Monday 6:00 p.m. EST; 90 Min

Wednesday 12:00 p.m. EST; 90 Min

Thursday 9:00 a.m. EST ; 30 Min Guided Visualization Meditation

Saturday 5:00 p.m. EST; 90 Min

Coming soon – 60 Min asana classes

This poem by Fr. Richard Hendrick was shared with me by a student today:

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.
But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other 
across the empty squares, 
keeping their windows open 
so that those who are alone 
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know 
is busy spreading fliers with her number 
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples 
are preparing to welcome 
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
Spring is coming,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able 
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.

March 13th 2020

Stay safe out there kids!

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Ramayana Series Part 11: Crossing the Ocean

If after watching part 11 you are wondering why Garuda has it in for those Nagas, check out episode 12 of the Yoga Mythology series on Garuda below.

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Here’s @AprilDechagas picking up from our last episode with one of the great Epics of India, The Rāmāyaṇa! Today we continue our #EpicTalesTuesday with Part 11 – Crossing the Ocean!⠀ The Myths behind the asanas are one of the most profound tools for giving you intention, energy, focus, insight, and an expansive view of your Asana Practice – stepping far outside the simple lines and shapes normally understood in these moments. Context from these stories gives you so much more background and understanding in a conversation that’s not just physical. That’s why we know them as the epic tales of yoga: epic origins and epic realisations. This is the thirty-seventh installment April has been putting together for you! #yogaeverydamnday #yogaforlife #yogainspiration #yoga #yogalove #yogaeverywhere #yogalife #igyoga #yogapractice #instayoga #practiceandalliscoming #yogajourney #yogaaddict #yogisofinstagram #yogateacher #sanskrit #meditation #practicejivamukti #jivamuktiyoga #jivamuktinyc #vegan #plantpower #crueltyfree #govegan #hinduism #mythology #inspiration #hindu #sitaram

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Ramayana Series Part 10: The Search for Sita

For more background on Hanuman, check out episode 5 of the Myth Series (full series on Yoga Mythology tab – episode 5 below…)

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Annual Jivamukti Memorial Day Weekend Retreat May 22-25, 2020

THIS RETREAT HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. STAY WELL!!!

I had the honor of leading last year’s annual Jivamukti Memorial Day Weekend Retreat at Ananda Ashram and I am excited to continue the tradition!

Ananda Ashram in Monroe, New York, is a Yoga retreat and spiritual-educational center just over one hour from New York City, founded in 1964 by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati. Located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, the Ashram provides a serene, natural environment with woods and meadows surrounding a lake.

To register: aprildechagas@gmail.com

Payment accepted via Venmo, PayPal, Zelle

Classes in the Lake House

Early Bird Pricing (sign up by May 1):

  • Semi-Private Room $595
  • Dorm $535
  • Apt w/Roomate & private bathroom $695 (sold out)

Sign-up After May 1:

  • Semi-Private Room $625
  • Dorm $565
  • Apt w/Roomate & private bathroom $725 (sold out)

Drop-in Day Rate: $135 (includes all meals & activities for the day)

Pricing includes:

  • All meals and accommodation
  • 2 Jivamukti classes/day with April including 1 live music class
  • Meditation with Bharati/Ananda Ashram staff
  • Evening programs (concerts/Kirtan-to be announced soon)
  • Access to all grounds including swimming pool, row boat and Appalachian Trail

Some photos from last year’s retreat:

Last year’s schedule (to be updated for this year):

FRI
4 pm onwards Check-in: Main house office
5:30 – 6:30pm Dinner
7:30-10 pm Ananda Ashram Evening Program

SAT
8am – 9am Light Breakfast (coffee, tea, toast)
9am Morning Meditation and Fire Ceremony
9:45-10:45 Scripture Studies with Bharati
11:00-12:30 Jivamukti Yoga Asana Class w/ April
12:30-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-3:15 pm Break

2:30-3:00 pm optional walking meditation in woods w/April
3:30pm – 5pm Jivamukti Yoga w/ April
5:30-630 Dinner
7:30pm-8:30 pm Ashram Meditation Program
8:30 pm North Indian Vocal Concert with Deepak Kumar & Naren Budhakar

SUN
8am – 9am Light Breakfast
9am Meditation and Fire Ceremony
9:45-10:45 Scripture Studies with Bharati
11:00-12:30 Jivamukti Yoga Asana Class w/ April
12:30-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-3:15pm Break
3:15 5:15pm Jivamukti Yoga Asana Class w/ April PLUS live music with Lisa Apatini (Nandini)
5:30-6:30pm Dinner
7:30pm-8:30 pm Ashram Meditation Program
8:00 pm Kirtan/Concert with Krishna Devi

MON
8-9am Light Breakfast
9am Morning Meditation and Fire Ceremony
9:45-10:45 Scripture Studies with Bharati
11 – 12:30 Jivamukti Yoga Asana Class w/ April
12:30-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-3:00 pm Checkout

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Ramayana Parts 8 & 9

Parts 8 & 9 of the Ramayana Series below! Check out the Yoga Mythology tab for all 35 videos released so far!

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Ramayana Part 7: Exile

And for a more in depth look at how Rama, Sita and Lakshman crosses the Ganges River, refer back to episode 16 of the myth series

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