About Two Trees Yoga

About The Founder  FAQ  New To Yoga? 

 
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I first started practicing yoga in my studio apartment in Rochester, NY in 2002. I had a Rodney Yee VHS tape and wedged my mat between my desk and the futon I slept on every night. After years of running and jumping as a student athlete, I connected to yoga immediately. I noticed that yoga gave me something more than other physical activities, and left me with a wonderful sense of release and calm. Yoga quickly became a regular part of my exercise routine, and I practiced regularly for the next 10 years, though I never considered myself a "yogi."

Since turning thirty I’ve struggled with my health, and am learning to live with chronic illness, chronic pain, and fatigue. After a major surgery in 2013, I turned to yoga to help me heal. Intuitively, I knew that yoga was the only way to heal my mind and body simultaneously. At the time I felt physically and emotionally broken; I was vulnerable and scared of my "new body," which felt foreign to me. Working with asana (postures), the yamas and niyamas (ethical guidelines), pranayama (breath), and svadyaya (self-awareness), I felt myself healing, changing, evolving in a way that helped me feel whole again. Yoga helped me find safety, strength, confidence, and light. (Read more about my struggles with endometriosis and infertility on my blog.)

I generally find that people come to yoga from one of two perspectives. Those who have a natural ability for the physical asana are drawn to the practice from that perspective. Many yogis delight in the physicality, movement, grace of a yoga practice. Those who come to yoga from a place of inability and are often looking to yoga to help them heal their bodies, minds, and hearts. Two Trees Yoga serves everyone who comes to yoga with compassion, openness and support.

My journey to yoga reaches back to my undergraduate education in Religious Studies at the University of Rochester, where I also minored in the Philosophy of Nonviolence. At UR, I studied with Douglas Brooks, a renowned Tantra scholar. In 2016, I completed my 200 hour yoga teacher training at the Kripalu Yoga Center, where I was immersed in a style of yoga that guides us to develop a yoga practice on and off the mat, and brings a gentle and open approach to yoga in a modern world.

I AM SO EXCITED to create a simple, honest space for simple, honest yoga. I feel deep gratitude for the changes that this practice has brought to my life, and I hope to pass this on to our community here in the Hudson Valley.

I look forward to practicing with you soon. Peace. 

 

What is gentle yoga?

Gentle yoga accommodates physical limitations by creating a physical experience that challenges you in safe ways, and avoids putting stress on the joints. Gentle yoga emphasizes the pauses between postures, allowing space for integration, awareness, and connection. Props (foam blocks, cloth straps, and blankets) will be used to support you in certain poses, and modifications will always be offered so each student can practice at their own level. You may work hard in a gentle yoga class, with extra attention given to self-awareness, body-awareness, and alignment.

Why gentle yoga?

Yoga can be an incredibly soothing and healing practice for many, and we are proud and excited to bring a gentle yoga practice to the community. Gentle Yoga allows us to meet our bodies where they are today. Acknowledging that not all bodies can or should practice yoga at a vigorous pace, in a hot room, or with constant stress on the joints, Two Trees Yoga offers gentle yoga every day that we are open so that you can maintain a regular yoga practice that suits your needs. We believe that gentle yoga offers an environment in which we can safely challenge, strengthen, and stretch our bodiespractices that will help us care for our bodies as they age. 

Our priority is that you feel safephysically and emotionallyin yoga class. Our philosophy of showing gentleness to ourselves and all others grounds all of our classes. 

 

What is Kripalu yoga?

Kripalu Yoga guides you in awakening a non-judgmental self-awareness, developing a safe and disciplined yoga practice, and combines Western science with Eastern philosophy to promote vitality. Kripalu Yoga is based on the teachings of Swami Kripalu, whose American students created the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. Kripalu Yoga comes from the ancient traditions of Hatha Yoga, and incorporates a modern application and understanding of yoga practice. In Kripalu Yoga we are encouraged to bring our practice off the mat and into our daily lives. 

Kripalu classes begin with warm-up movements and breath awareness to prepare you for yoga postures. The heart of each class is a sequence of postures that stretch, strengthen, and balance your body. Each class ends with deep relaxation and meditation. Classes may focus on a theme centered around a physical or philosophical aspect of yoga.

 

What can I expect at Two Trees Yoga?  

Two Trees' approach to yoga puts the following practices front and center

  • Pranayama: breath and energy awareness
  • Yamas and Niyamas: living intentional, conscious lives
  • Asana: yoga postures
  • Dhyana: cultivating stillness
  • Sangha: building community
  • Svadyaya: developing self-awareness
  • Meditation

 

What if I have a chronic illness, am recovering from an injury or surgery, or have a physical limitation?

We are here to support you in any way we can. Please arrive early so you have time to connect with the teacher about your practice and any limitations you have or modifications you might need.

Students are welcome to modify the practice to meet your own personal needs.

Please check with your doctor before attending class to be sure that yoga is appropriate for you at this time.

 

What if I am not as flexible or strong as I think I should be?

Yoga is not about putting your foot behind your head or doing handstands. In fact, we encourage you to set your competitive nature aside, and learn to listen to your body. Yoga welcomes you exactly the way you are, and we are committed to helping everyone find an appropriate physical practice. If you can breathe, you can do yoga.  

 

What if I am pregnant? 

First, our teachers are not certified for prenatal yoga, nor do we hold classes specifically for pregnant people. For many pregnant people, gentle yoga can be a welcome practice during pregnancy. Please check with your doctor or midwife to be sure that a yoga practice is appropriate for you. 

 

Do I need to sign up for class ahead of time? 

Nope. Our classes are all on a first-come, first-served basis, so please arrive a 10-15 minutes early to ensure you have a spot. Our class capacity is 10 students. 

 

Where can I park?

Please do not park on the side of the building, you will be ticketed or towed. Street parking is available throughout Beacon, and there is a municipal parking lot behind Brother's Trattoria, accessible from Main Street or Van Nydeck Ave. 

 

Can I arrive late or leave early?

We understand that some days, life happens. However, to respect the practice of everyone in the room, we will close the doors at the start of class. Please plan to be present for the entire class to get the most benefit from your practice.

 

Are your yoga teachers certified and insured?

Yes. All of our teachers are certified yoga instructors and have liability insurance.

 

I have allergies. Do you burn incense? 

Nope, we do not burn incense before or during yoga classes. Sometimes, we will offer essential oils during a class, but we will always ask first and it is never an issue to decline or state a sensitivity.

 

Where did the name Two Trees Yoga come from?

The two trees--great pines--symbolize many things to many people, including strength, rootedness, growth, safety, perseverance, and protection. Jen grew up in an area where mature pine trees grew near old farm houses, providing shade in the summer and shelter from the wind in the winter, and their majesty resonates deeply with her. During a healing session with Donna at Sacred Space, Jen was guided through a meditation visualizing herself seated between two towering pine trees, allowing them to shelter and protect her. This imagery became a touch-stone for her as she worked to heal her mind, heart, and body through yoga. 

 

 

I’ve never taken a yoga class before. What should I know? 

Welcome! We understand that trying something new can be a little intimidating, and that starting a physical activity after illness or trauma can be difficult. At Two Trees Yoga we are committed to making yoga accessible to everyone and providing a supportive environment for our students. 

Two Trees Yoga classes begin with warm-up movements and breath awareness to prepare you for yoga postures. The heart of each class is a sequence of postures that stretch, strengthen, and balance your body. Each class ends with deep relaxation and meditation. Classes may focus on a theme centered around a physical or philosophical aspect of yoga.

 

What should I wear?

You should wear comfortable clothing that will allow you to move freely - whatever that means to you works for us! Layers are helpful, so you can stay comfortable in a heating or cooling practice. 

 

What should I bring with me?

Please bring some water to stay hydrated, and if you have a yoga mat, bring that. If not, we have yoga mats and props available for no fee.

 

What if I have to use the restroom in the middle of class?

Just go. It's no big deal. 

 

Can I arrive late or leave early?

We understand that some days, life happens. However, to respect the practice of everyone in the room, we will close the doors at the start of class. Please plan to be present for the entire class to get the most benefit from your practice.

 

Are your yoga teachers certified and insured?

Yes. All of our teachers are certified yoga instructors and have liability insurance.