Zoom Yoga 5/6-5/11 & the Greenbelt of Staten Island

I’ve been trying to use my free time wisely – exploring nature right here in NYC and I’m in awe of what surrounds us.

Did you know there are 2800 acres of natural woodlands and creeks right in Staten Island (with the exception of Moses Mountain – which is man made, but still very cool!)? I have lived in NY my whole life and had no clue this was here! It’s called the Greenbelt, and it’s amazing! I felt like I was upstate yet was only 15 minutes from my apartment in Brooklyn! So crazy, and my new favorite spot! Before now SI was mostly just a way for me to get to the mainland US, and to occasionally attend a Passover Seder or SI Yankee game. Who knew!!

I imagine that this, along with the marshlands I’ve been exploring, is what most of NYC looked like before it was built up. It’s filled with wildlife – just yesterday I met a raccoon, chipmunks, squirrels (of course), turtles, a red bellied woodpecker, bluejays, gray catbirds, great egrets, and canadian geese. Oh, and chickens (!), but I think they belonged to someone. There are deer also, but I did not have the pleasure of seeing one. I can’t wait to get back!

Zoom teaching schedule and some photos from my outdoor (socially distanced and face masked responsibly) adventures.

See you on the Zoom mat!

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Zoom Yoga 4/29-5/4 & Blackout Poetry

To close out National Poetry Month, below you’ll find some “blackout” poetry by my friend Lauren Krauze. Yes, the same Lauren that brought you “Short Sweet Poems.” Check out her Instagram page for more – she’s been posting a new one everyday!

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Zoom Yoga 4/22-4/27 & Short Sweet Poems

My dear friend Lauren Krauze is a poet and author and for a while was writing haiku that she called Short Sweet Poems. These poems brought such imagery to my mind with such a small amount of words that I found myself drawing them.

In addition to this week’s Zoom schedule, below you will find some drawings I did a few years ago based on Lauren’s poetry.

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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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Live-Stream Classes 4/1-4/6

As much as I love personal connection with friends/families/students and miss it A LOT, I am extremely grateful for the technology we have today that allows us to still stay close, even though we are apart. Zoom yoga has been a surprising blessing.

Some changes for this week – I will not be holding class on Thursday this week. It is my 40th birthday, and I am taking the day off! By request, I am also adding a 7 am class back on to my teaching schedule. For those of you who need to get practice in before you work from home. 

Schedule for the week is below. From now on Zoom log-in information will be sent via email only. If you would like to take class and are not currently on my email list, please contact me with your email address!

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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 3/25-3/30

When I was growing up, and music stores were still in existence (Sam Goody – my go-to, Toward Records, etc.) Tuesday was the day new music came out. It wasn’t always easy to convince my mom to take me, but once I had my license, that is often where you would find me – perusing the newest music releases – examining cover artwork, reading track listings, and making carefully selected purchases. I could spend hours in a music store. This was even more exciting in college where in Albany they had actual small scale record stores rather than the chain stores found in Long Island.

So in keeping with tradition, Tuesday is the day my weekly Zoom schedule will be released. I will also start creating playlists again (it’s been a few weeks since my last compilation) that you can play from Spotify (if you want) during my classes. Below you will find the full schedule, including one-click links as well as meeting ID/passwords.

Three new class times have been added to the schedule – all 60 minute classes, including Spiritual Warrior. If you are unfamiliar with the Spiritual Warrior sequence, it is a 60-min set-sequence Jivamukti class created by Sharon Gannon & David Life.

Suggested donation is $10-20 sliding scale or free if you are currently without income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please be honest about this as teaching Zoom classes is currently my only form of income.Payments accepted via Venmo @April-Dechagas or PayPal aprildechagas@gmail.com, or Zelle.

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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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