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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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Ramayana Part 6: The Two Boons of Queen Kaikeyi

This week #mythmonday became #epictalestuesday when it was posted by Jivamukti, but I just received the video, so now it’s a #flashbackfriday lol

The word “utsav” in Sanskrit means ‘spontaneous celebration” which is what happened throughout Ayodhya when Rama and Sita were declared king and queen. This declaration lasted just a few hours before Kaikeyi cashed in on her boons, and then an instantaneous depression fell upon the kingdom, just as quickly as the celebration was started.

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To New Beginnings in 2020

As we close 2019 and the decade of 10’s, I want to wish you a very happy new year. For many students and teachers of Jivamukti NYC, we may be thinking of the last 4 weeks rather than the last year, and are ready for something fresh. But I have to say, overall 2019 wasn’t so bad…

In the wake of Jivamukti NYC closing, I wanted to get my harmonium worked on so I could bring it to the “pop-up” Jivamukti classes I will be offering in the city. Classes wouldn’t me the same without a mantra jam session to start it off! This harmonium was a hand-me-down from another teacher, who I bought it from for only $100, about 4 years ago. It unfortunately was in no shape to bring to class – it was out of tune, some of the keys were sticking, and it was wheezing a bit. (I also realized it was SUPER HEAVY.) 


I brought it to Mindra Harmoniums in Ozone Park (please go there if you are looking for a harmonium! It is a family run business, deeply connected to Jivamukti, AND they offer you home made dahl while you are there!) where Mindra told me there was a big crack in the “heart” of my instrument. He also said usually no one fixes this, but that he would look into the cost of parts. But after some investigating, it was realized that it would be too much time and effort to fix, and it was more worth it to buy a new one. So I am now the owner of a brand new Baby Bhakti, and it is much lighter and sweeter sounding than the old one.


This whole situation was a mirror image of the Jivamukti situation. My (our) heart was broken, the problem was too expensive to fix, and now we have to start new. And so off we go into 2020 with new adventures and a sweet sounding Baby Bhakti 🙂

Also in the wake of Jivamukti NYC closing, I find myself with A LOT of free time. Too much really. I have gone from 9 public classes a week, to only 3 at the moment, and although this is temporary, I am going stir crazy. But this forced “vacation” is a good thing, and I am getting back to long overdue projects, including drawing again. In the past 3 days I have created 8 drawings that are part of a larger project coming to you soon! One of which I will share with you today:

This is Nandini – a magical cow who offers to you everything you need. May 2020 offer you everything you desire.

With Love and appreciation, April

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#MythMonday : Ramayana Series Part 5 – Marriage of Rama & Sita and a Grave Mistake

Boons and curses are narrative tools to explain karma: all actions have consequences!

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#MythMonday : Rāmāyaṇa Series Part 4: The Courtship of Rāma & Sita

The attempt to string Shiva’s Bow is also the beginning of Ravana’s wrath and desire to have Sita to himself. He bent down to pick up the bow, and almost succeeded! He got closer than any other before him, but then he lost balance and the bow pinned him to the ground.

Janaka and his warriors tried to help, but even together they were not strong enough to lift the bow off of Ravana. Sita was called for, and easily picked up the bow with one hand. Ravana sneered, ” If I could not pick up this bow, then no man can. Your daughter will die a lonely spinster, Janaka.” Unflustered by these words, Janaka said, “Alone maybe, but never lonely. She is not you.” (Adapted from Devdutt Pattanaik’s Ramayana)

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