Fall Foliage Yoga

Fall foliage

Come Celbrate Autumn’s Beauty
Led by Elizabeth Terry

Saturday, November 3, 2018
Loaves and Fishes Farm
1810 York Road, Dover PA 17315

Yoga from 10:00-11:30am. Light lunch and fun to follow!

Give yourself a day to be refreshed, nourished, and shared with a supportive, uplifting community. Bring your yoga mat, walking shoes and farm friendly clothes for yoga and checking out the goats and newest calves, petting donkeys, visiting the sheep, hugging chickens and enjoying the fall foliage at the farm.

Yoga practice will be outside, if weather permits, inside if there is rain or cold. A free will offering will be accepted to support the work of Loaves and Fishes Farms.

Please reserve your spot by October 30th:
Elizabeth Terry eterryyoga@gmail.com or (717) 645-0067

For more info on the farm, check out their Facebook page – Facebook.com/LoavesAndFishesFarm or contact:
Farmer Jen Briggs jenbriggs@comcast.net or (717) 774-0794
Farmer Bonnie McCann bonniejmccann@comcast.net or (717) 319-7721

When you become part of the Loaves and Fishes Farms’ family, you join us in our commitment to grow and eat healthy food that replenishes the soil and protects air and water.”

Directions (from Harrisburg area)

Interstate 83 south to the Yocumtown Exit. At Light make a left and then an immediate Right on to Taylor Road. Follow that road for about 3.5 miles. You will cross over Rt. 382 (Lewisberry Road) which then becomes York Road, this is curvy and you will pass the Susquehanna Speedway and the farmer market on your left and you will pass a church and school on your right. The Loaves and Fishes Farm is on the corner of Red Bank and York Road. It is a white house with green shutters – the kitchen is in the garage (doesn’t everyone have a kitchen in the garage?)

1810 York Road
Dover, Pa 17315

Event Flyer

A Season of Change

In seasons of deep transformation, silence will be your greatest guide.”
      …Shauna Niequist in Present Over Perfect

Change of Season imageWe clearly see the physical transformation of living things around us in the fall. Deciduous trees are among the most visible of autumn’s shapeshifters. Their cloaks of green transform to yellow or orange or red or burgundys and russets. And when the trees are ready, sensing the shortening hours of light and feeling the cooler temperatures, the transfer of water to each leaf and food from the leaves ceases. The trees surrender their leaves to the earth.

We notice too a change in the air. Coolness descends in the late afternoon and lingers into the next morning. Squirrels work diligently to fill their larders for winter. The insect voices so characteristic of hot August evenings diminish. The evening is quieter here along the Conodoguinet now.

I, too, find myself thinking I am in a time of transition. Over the years I have seen how my yoga practices have helped me to open to risk and change. I tried new things: teaching a new class and workshops as well as letting go of classes; taking on the study of Vedic Chant; attending church; trying a different strategy to deal with anxiety and depression; deciding I needed to live more completely in sync with my values. For all of this, yoga and the support of my teacher have given me guidance and courage.

Now, I feel again in a place of change, hoping to be more fully present in my relationships, to deepen my learning and teaching of yoga, to work on what I can do to live in harmony with Mother Earth, and to find joy in living each day. Focusing on these priorities requires paring back some activities and maintaining more white space on my calendar. Simply, but not simple, is the need to give myself more space. Like the trees in this fall season, I have to let go of some things to nourish other things, including myself and those closest to me.

What will sustain me in this time of transformation will be my yoga practice, my communities of support, and the quiet in which I can hear the leanings of the spirit.

I wonder how many others of you are feeling the same draw to transition in your lives. If you would like to share your thoughts, please feel free to email or call me. You may find, as I did, that this is a journey that needs a community of support.

Autumn Notes


Each year as we make the transition from the warmth and bright sun of summer to the waning light of autumn, I feel changes in my system that require changes in my yoga practice, diet, and lifestyle.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, gives us a non-Western lens through which we might understand the effects of the seasons. We are told in the teachings of ayurveda that each person has a “birth constitution,” which consists of a unique arrangement of three different doshas or energies. The vata dosha controls body movement and is concerned with the nervous system. The kapha dosha controls body stability and lubrication and is concerned with the tissues and wastes of the body. Pitta dosha involves digestion and concerns the body’s endocrine and enzymatic systems. Our particular arrangement of these energies, along with our diet and lifestyle, affects how we respond to life and seasonal changes.

Each season also has a dominant dosha, with its own characteristics. Autumn’s dosha is vata. As vata is about the energy of movement, fall is characterized by the movement of air and wind, which has the effect of drying things. Wind, too, stirs things up. Think about the reds, yellows, oranges of autumn leaves, that eventually dry and brown and roil and rustle in an October wind.

We are affected by autumn’s energies and may be vulnerable to imbalances in our own systems. When vata is out of balance within us, we may experience creaky joints, constipation, dry eyes, hair, and nails, difficulty sleeping, nervousness, forgetfulness, and mental distractedness. If we are in a vata stage of life, mid-50s and up, we are even more vulnerable to such an imbalance, particularly in autumn.

If you find yourself feeling out of sorts with some of the symptoms of autumn’s vata dosha, you can explore some of suggestions that follow:

  • Allow your approach to yoga practice to be attentive and meditative. Keep your focus on cultivating a feeling of groundedness, staying one or two breaths in your postures.
  • Choose activities that support a calm mind and heart.
  • Include soups and stews in your diet, using vegetables and fruits from our local bountiful harvests.
  • Hydrate your body by drinking water throughout the day.
  • Add good oils to your diet, olive and sunflower, as the weather cools, and in winter some sesame or fish oil.
  • Oil your skin before you take a warm shower, using sunflower oil or sunflower mixed with sesame.

Much information exists on the subject of the ayurvedic constitution, and you also can work with an ayurvedic practitioner to learn about your birth constitution. But we all can begin by paying attention to how we are affected by the seasons, our diets, and our lifestyle choices. Then, we can adopt strategies to maintain a sense of comfort, stability, and balance.

If you would like to have me teach you a personal yoga practice you can do at home, as well as receive diet, and lifestyle recommendations to address your needs this autumn, you can reach me at 717-645-0067 or eterryyoga@gmail.com to schedule an appointment.

Meditation On Quiet

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

Early this month I drove through northeastern Pennsylvania on my way to a yoga workshop. Burnt orange and gold foliage still clung to mountain ridges. Many trees that had already surrendered their leaves stood spare. “Time to let go of what is not needed,” they might have said. I couldn’t help but think of them as harbingers of the quiet time in nature: that time when trees husband their life blood, plants die down, animals shelter in and all moves deeper toward stillness. This thought was a balm for the irritation and fatigue of this season in which the noise of the media, political campaigns, conversations, billboards and signs has felt aggressive, loud, and ubiquitous.

Perhaps not everyone finds comfort in nature. But, for me it has been the best balm during this time of noise, distress, and uncertainty in our culture. Simply lying on the ground of our front yard in the sunlight by the creek steadied and comforted me. Looking up through the yellow leaves on the maple branches to a clear blue sky connected me to something beyond the immediate chatter of the world. I felt quiet.

With the support of nature as a focal point, my mind was able to move away from distraction and agitation to a feeling of inner peace and calm, which is the true goal of yoga. Moving the mind to a place of clarity and calm, according to the Yoga Sutra, is facilitated by engaging in simple movement with the breath, breathing practices, chanting and focusing on anything that has positive qualities for us. This is the heart of yoga: meditation.

My experience of having lain on the ground under the maple tree became the object of focus for my meditation. The earth and tree represent for me the positive qualities of steadiness, groundedness, nourishment, and quiet. We all have the possibility of experiencing these things in our lives.

Notice what are you doing when you are most at peace? What is your mind connected to at that moment? Where are you when the sense of peace, joy and quiet washes over you? The answers to these questions may help you find a focal point. For me it was earth and tree; for you it might be the sun, moon, your God, children or the flowers in your garden. Whatever it is, bring the image of that to your mind. Finding a picture of a tangible object representing your focal point can greatly help. As you look at that image, notice how your mind becomes absorbed in the object and its qualities. Observe how your mind changes and how these changes show up in your life.

The awareness that the mind through our effort is capable of connecting to something other than its usual chatter is the beginning of a meditation practice. As you set forth to move your mind to a place of greater clarity, you may find the peace you have been seeking. The process may be as simple as connecting to your object of focus when you think of it, or as formal as a traditional meditation practice. If we set an intention to connect with the qualities of our object of focus on a regular basis and maintain a patient, positive attitude while doing so, we will see that the benefits of meditation are always available for us.

Celebrating Autumn’s Abundance

Deer in a field

It was September 23rd, and we were driving home from Cooperstown. A disc played Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as we followed the two-lane road weaving over hills where trees had just been kissed by touches of red.

Just a day earlier we had ridden our bikes on the trails and roads of Glimmerglass State Park. We had stopped to look out over Otsego Lake, at stretches of water really glimmering in the sunlight. The sun felt warm on our arms and faces, yet the air moved with a touch of coolness. Hardly any other people occupied the park, just a few walkers, a few in cars, and a group of men replacing the roof on the beach facility. Swimmers had disappeared.

Two deer, still sporting white spots, grazed casually, not far from the road where we rode our bikes. I stopped to take pictures, and the one closest to the road lifted her head and turned to look directly at me, ears alert. After holding her statue-like pose for what seemed like minutes, she lowered her head and went back to leisurely nibble the greens.

Over the days of our travels I reflected on abundance: the abundance of beauty around me; the abundance of the fall harvests coming in; the abundance of tomatoes I knew awaited us in our garden when we arrived home.

Fall, 2016 has had its challenges, we might all agree, but to me it still feels full of gifts: the bounty of the land, the visual beauty of the forests even as the trees prepare to husband their resources by surrendering their leaves, and the rich gifts of community and friendship.

Fall Foliage Yoga is a celebration of this abundance in our lives. We come together to practice yoga under the great maple at Loaves and Fishes Farms, serenaded by the rustling of trees and vines and plants and often by chickens, goats and other animals on the farm. Our lunch together following yoga is a celebration of fall harvest time as we come together and enjoy delicious healthful foods.

I hope you will join us on Saturday, October 22nd at Loaves and Fishes Farms, 1810 York Road, Dover, PA 17315. Yoga is 10:00 – 11:30 am, and will be held inside in the event of rain. A light lunch and great conversation follow, with the opportunity to visit and tour the farm. A free will offering will be accepted to support the work of the farm.

For more information about the farm, visit the Loaves and Fishes Farms Facebook page.

For more information about Fall Foliage Yoga or to reserve a spot, contact me, Elizabeth Terry, at eterryyoga@gmail.com or call me at 717-645-0067.

Meditation For You

Meditation for You event image

Everyone can meditate with the correct preparation. Whether it is to quiet our busy minds, enhance our physical health or transform physically, yoga meditation can move our minds so change is possible. In this workshop we will learn and

  • what, why, and how meditation works
  • simple practices to prepare the body and mind
  • how to apply meditation in your everyday life
Saturday, November 7, 2015
TMC Wellness through Movement
2134 North Second St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110

Cost: $40, TMC members; $45, non-members.
Pre-registration required.

Contact TMC at
info@themovementcenter.net, call 717-238-0357, or visit www.themovementcenter.net.

Avoiding Autumn’s Adversities

2015-0921 Blog image

2015-0921 Blog image

The Yoga Sutra (YS II.16) teaches that we should “avoid future suffering.” This means not only letting go of behaviors, attitudes or habits that cause us pain, but also looking ahead and preparing for difficulties that may arise so they can be avoided. This Sutra applies to our environment and its seasonal changes as well. They require our attention, so we can prepare and mitigate any adverse effects to come. After all, if we heard that a blizzard was coming, we would go to the store to buy our milk, eggs, and bread, and possibly batteries. We would make sure there was gas in the snowblower, we had trusty shovel, and maybe a little extra food for the birds.

I love autumn. The days may be warm, but the nights feel cool and clear. Mums, and pumpkins, and apples appear everywhere. And, we know that soon leaves will explode in dazzling reds, oranges, and yellow.

But some of the qualities of fall that we tend to overlook can cause problems. Think of the leaves we see fading. Their tips curl as they become drier and drier, even as many color magnificently. The leaves of most deciduous trees will fall to the ground, dry and crunchy as we walk in them. The air moves, as winds sweep the dried leaves, and the days begin to cool.

Ayurveda – the ancient Indian holistic medical system – tells us fall is the season when vata dosha is dominant. The word dosha means “a fault or mistake,” and vata means “to blow or move like the wind.” Vata is one of three doshas, the others being pitta and kapha, that are components of all life.

Throughout the year, each of the three doshas becomes dominant in different seasons. When vata dosha is dominant in fall, it can lead to an imbalance of that dosha within us. And, if we are in our wisdom years, we become more vulnerable to an imbalance of our vata dosha.

Some of the symptoms we might experience when vata is out of balance include: difficulty sitting still, racing thoughts. unfocused mind, difficulty sleeping, dryness of the skin, hair, or nails, constipation, forgetfulness, or anxiety. Our joints might feel creaky, as if they needed lubrication.

We may experience a vata dosha imbalance in seasons other than fall, depending upon our own constitution (the mix of the three doshas we are born with) and our diet, lifestyle, and life situation. But just to emphasize – the qualities of fall make us more vulnerable to a vata imbalance.

An ayurvedic practitioner can help us understand our own unique constitution and recommend dietary and lifestyle changes to help us achieve or maintain balance. Our yoga practice can help us mitigate the suffering that a vata inbalance can cause for our bodies, energy, mind, and emotions as we work to create a sense of groundness. We can use breathwork to calm our breath and mind; we can include a meditative practice to focus the mind. While we regularly use these tools in yoga, it is the intention of our practice that is most important. Bringing a calm, quiet, meditative intention to our yoga practice can help us maintain balance so we can welcome rather than suffer from the autumn days.

Let fall be a time to nourish yourself with your yoga and enjoy the season, and please let me know if you would like to work with me to develop your personal yoga practice for the fall.