November Focus of the Month


Parighasana, the Gate Pose + Four Gates of the Mandala

Parighasana is a deep side bend. It is useful for toning the abdominals, improving circulation, for working on right-left imbalances, expanding breathing capacity and increasing spinal flexibility.

The name is derived from the Sanskrit parigha, referring to the iron bar that closes a gate. It is said to be a good entry point into pranayama and meditation. Parighasana opens the muladhara, (root), manipura, (solar plexus), and anahata (heart) chakras.

We’ll practice this pose this month and let it take us into related poses; it’s a great way to prepare for several standing poses, like Parsvakonasana (side angle pose) and Visvamitrasana (Visvamitra’s pose), as well as seated poses, like Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (revolved head to knee pose).

Gates are associated with mandalas, which are geometric designs meant to symbolize the universe. The word mandala itself is derived from the root manda, which means essence, to which the suffix la, meaning container, has been added. Thus, one obvious connotation of mandala is that it is a container of essence. In its creation, a line materializes out of a dot. Other lines are drawn until they intersect, creating triangular geometric patterns. The outlying square symbolizes the physical world bound in four directions, represented by the four gates; and the midmost or central area is visualized as the essence and the circumference as grasping, thus in its complete picture a mandala means grasping the essence.

One mandala practice is realized in the form of a circular surya namaskar – it’s a really fun way to move around your mat. Another practice is to download a mandala and color it – a deeply meditative practice in itself and a wonderful winter activity to do alone or with friends or kids.

Each time we begin a class, we open a gateway into ourselves and then we close the gate at the end of class. Let us turn in the four directions of our universe for inspiration, support and guidance on our journey to grasp the essence.

Meditations for Healing

Many of us suffer from chronic pain, whether it’s from arthritis, joint pain, injury or illness. Narcotics are often prescribed, and while they can help considerably, many patients either don’t want to take opiates, or if they do, they feel that they can’t function as well.

Meditation is gaining recognition every day as a way to work with pain – researchers have examined meditation’s effects on people, such as attention regulation, body awareness, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction.

Scientists have asked two questions: “Does meditation help?” and “How does meditation help?” One study showed an approximately 40 percent reduction in pain intensity ratings during meditation when compared with non-meditation. And that it worked for beginners.

Meditation teaches people how to react to pain. People are less inclined to have the ‘ouch’ reaction, and are able to control their emotional reaction to pain.

We are offering these meditations to you to use when you need guidance to reduce stress and pain. There are many forms of stress that can be soothed, including such things as a busy schedule, exhaustion, or agitation.

These meditations were written by Stephen Levine, and read by Sondra Loring. Our dear musician friend, Steve Gorn, plays the music. For more from Steve, visit his website:

In loving memory of Metta Callahan

Give the Gift of Yoga!

Satya Gift CertificateGift certificates for yoga classes are now available to purchase online and at the studio!

Choose from the following options: Single Class ($18), 5-Class Card ($80), 10-Class Card ($145), Monthly Unlimited ($150), Yearly Unlimited ($1,200) and Private ($85/$100).

If you buy online, you’ll have the opportunity during checkout to indicate the name of the gift recipient. The certificate will be mailed to you at the address you provide.

Did you know?

You can get the BEST deal on classes by signing up for our Yearly Membership. Just $110 per month (billed monthly via credit card) for unlimited classes at Satya! Or pay “UpFront” for an even bigger discount! And now, just $120 per month gets you Unlimited Classes at both Satya and Sadhana Center for Yoga in Hudson! Sign up here…