Issue 61 / September 2022
Hi <<First Name>>,
I hope late summer is treating you well.  I'm starting to notice small patches of yellow in the trees, fatigued cucumber vines and accelerating squash production - all signs that the plants are going to be wrapping up their photosynthetic ambitions before too long.

We have prepared an abundant roster of workshops and series at Grateful Yoga, including a number of related offering by yours truly (Nick).  After an irregular spring and summer schedule, I'm going all in for the fall and planning a series of interconnected offerings.  My Fall teaching theme is the Earth Element, a metaphorical webbing in which we can contemplate the relationships between...

our mineral bones
   the rocks and soil that nourished these bones
        the decay of leaves and bodies that feed that soil
            our survival instincts that strive to prevent us from becoming soil
                  the evolution of our instincts and bodies over deep time
                     the way this history shows up in our anatomy
                        how knowledge of anatomy can inform our yoga practice

And on and on! I'll be writing essays around this theme in my Substack newsletter Within and Without.  In fact, I just published a new piece about Mary Oliver's poem "Wild Geese" today.

In my weekly classes, beginning after the Fall Equinox, we'll study key alignment principles for all the major joints of the body, starting at the feet and ending with the neck and head.  This will be similar to my past Earth theme teachings, but without the extensive lectures.

For a deeper dive - with illustrated lectures, assigned reading and a consistent learning cohort - I'm leading an 8-week course on Tuesday nights, starting Sept 27 (click image for details).


To help cultivate more intimacy with this local bit of earth we call Evanston, I will continue my weekly outdoor mindfulness classes on Thursday mornings at Harbert Park as long as there is interest and the weather isn't too miserable.

We've been meeting there regularly since June, and it's been very rewarding.  Returning again and again to one place has allowed me to witness the progression of the seasons and build a relationship with the particular plants and animals.  I know that 8:30a Thursday is not a workable time for some of you, so I am also going to offer a Sunday morning workshop version this Sunday.  The extra time will give us a chance to do more movement exploration, mess around with some forest materials, and generally luxuriate in the peaceful aliveness of this hidden gem of a park.  I'll do another in later October.

Lastly, Lela and I are planning a day-long retreat at the Evanston Ecology Center on Sunday, November 13 from 10a-5p.  We haven't even figured out a title yet, but broadly we are going to explore how we can enliven our animal instincts and skillfully harness them for yoga and life purposes.  There will be indoor and outdoor elements, and hopefully a chance to visit the animals who live at the Center.  This is a chance for us to integrate my nature awareness work with her Somatic Experiencing training, and we're quite excited about it. Save the date now!

Phew, that's a lot!  And that doesn't even get into all the other cool stuff that our other teachers are offering - please read further to see what's on the way.

Thanks as ever for your interest and support.  We can feel a new wave of energy building at the studio, and we're hopeful for what the fall will bring.  Hope to see you soon!

New Member Offer Ends Sept 7

Lots of folks have taken advantage of our new member special, which is great!  We decided to extend the offer one more week. A great way to motivate your future self to do what you know will make you feel better.

Next week

Living with chronic pain is frustrating and exhausting. Once-enjoyable experiences become shadowed with discomfort or impossible. The stress and anxiety of dealing with chronic pain often makes it worse, in a vicious cycle.

Doctors can do little besides offer medication and surgery, which may not work or cause new problems. The world of alternative medicine is vast and confusing, often involving expensive supplements or therapies of unknown effectiveness.

Many have found yoga and mindfulness practices to be powerful tools for reducing or resolving chronic pain, stress and anxiety. Not only are they affordable and accessible, they affirm our capacity to heal ourselves.

In this 4-week workshop, Rhoda Miriam will share a set of practices she has found helpful for working with her own chronic pain.  They are also helpful for anyone (everyone?) coping with stress and anxiety in these chaotic times.
  • Rebalancing muscle tension through gentle, sustained yoga poses;
  • Deep nervous system relaxation through breathing techniques and guided relaxation (yoga nidra);
  • Pain Reprocessing Therapy, a method for reprogramming the brain’s neural pathways through mindful attention, thereby shifting the experience of painful symptoms.
All sessions take place on Zoom and will be recorded for those who cannot attend live.

Participants may wish to schedule a one-on-one yoga therapy session with Rhoda where she can customize the practices for individual circumstances. She will offer a discounted rate for up to 30 days after the series concludes.

Cost: $95 / members save 15% / sliding scale gladly offered
Reserve your spot
Learn more about Rhoda' unique program in this short interview
Tai chi and chi gong (qigong) are Chinese movement arts that cultivate health, power and spiritual development. Tai chi is a full martial art that emphasizes the skillful balance of opposite qualities, such as hard and soft, pressing and yielding. It has become popularly known for its slow, graceful style which promotes relaxation, balance and whole-body coordination. Chi gong is a system of energy cultivation for healing and spiritual growth using coordinated breath and movement, as well as static positions and meditation.

Like yoga, both traditions have been evolving for millenia and today are practiced in many styles worldwide. Grateful Yoga is pleased to offer an introduction to these rich traditions, as transmitted by Sifu Stephen Vick with whom Nick Beem has been studying for the past 3 years. Sifu Steve will present a selection of foundational techniques from both chi gong and tai chi, as well as discuss the theory behind them. Participants will leave with several simple practices to work on a home. Depending on the response, future workshops will be scheduled with additional content.

This two-hour workshop is designed for total beginners as well as current students looking to refine their knowledge of the fundamentals. Clean indoor shoes are recommended, as much of the work is done standing. Yoga mats and chairs are available to provide additional support.

Class size limited to 12.

Cost: $40, members save 15%
Reserve your spot

New date for the community potluck

Later in the month

New online training from Amala School of Yoga

(Lela's other gig)
Since 2005, Grateful Yoga has been supported by students who value a mindful practice in a peaceful, welcoming environment.  We educate our students with insights from the ancient practices of Hatha yoga, as well as the modern insights of yoga therapy, biomechanics and cognitive science.

Our highly-qualified teachers offer weekly group classes, specialized educational series, mentorship and training for new teachers and health professionals, private instruction, yoga nidra, and perinatal yoga.
We aim to become an inclusive center for deep yogic study and self-transformation. Students of all ages, religious beliefs and experience levels are welcome in our community.

We hope to be a lasting part of your journey toward health and joy.

Learn more, see our full schedule of weekly classes at

You can register for class in advance, or just show up!

1108 Davis St, Evanston, IL 60201

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