You Are Cordially Invited to Change Your Life

Notes and News: One Yoga Center, Foster RI

Standing in Truth…

The image to the right was taken at the “hands across the sand” event in Narragansett Pier on Saturday June 26, 2010. Although attendance at the event was smaller then I anticipated, I was very happy to be there.

It is easy to take a stand in the face of  human suffering as we did when the forces of nature hit Haiti. But it is harder when the suffering and the masses of those who are suffering have no voice. The oil spill in the gulf is so much more then a set back to tourism, restricted access to beaches, a punch to the fishing industry.  This crisis is an ecological disaster that has the potential to wipe out species of creatures, coral reefs, and significantly impact the infrastructure of the planet and the way we live

There are 5 species of sea turtles that live in the gulf, one of which only nests there and no where else in the world. Two others are on the endangered or threatened species lists.  The whales found in the area are believed to be at risk due to the way they eat. They are at risk of ingesting large amounts of oil.  Concerns for the 9 species of dolphins living in the area include the risk of eating contaminated fish or starvation due to lack of fish. And, we have all seen the sad images of oil laden birds.  Can you imagine being them and experiencing the hopelessness that they feel as they are held captive in a slick coat of death? It is their homes, the marshlands, barrier reefs and beaches that we see, in the media, being impacted by the spill.

What we don’t see is what is happening beneath the surface of the ocean, to the coral reefs and deep sea inhabitants. Coral reefs are living organisms and they are home to many species of fish and sea animals. These reefs will be suffocated as microbes deep in the sea continue to eat the plumes of oil and deplete the oxygen needed by the coral. As the coral die off so will the beautiful spectrum of creatures dependent on it. The reverberation to the entire food chain is unthinkable but we must think about it, we must talk about it and we must take action.

It is one thing to cry over spilled milk and another to to take steps to assure that it never happens again. This is where we can really make a difference.  A bit of simple activism can make a big impact especially if you encourage others to join you. Let your local representatives know that this event has proven that off shore drilling is not safe and should not be supported. Learn about alternative energy options and support policy that encourages research into and the use of safe, clean energy sources. Participate in or hold organized gatherings to share and learn how you can help at the local, national and global level.  Be mindful of what you buy, avoid petroleum based products, drive only when necessary, consider a hybrid the next time you purchase a car.  The greatest activism is to live as an example of what you believe is right. In the words of Mohandas Gandhi – “be the change you wish to see in the world!”

Ramblings, November 9, 2010

The leaves have fallen, the geese are gathering and there is a cold chill in the air. Winter is arriving in New England and once again the season calls on me to slow down and spend sometime inside.

I have always experienced winter as a time of incubation. Not only do I find myself reigniting my interest in indoor activities, like  cooking, sprouting and beading, I also find myself drawn more deeply into my Yoga and meditation practice.  Essentially I am increasingly drawn inside my “self’ during these long winter days.

With the support of my teacher, students, friends and sangha (community) I continue to discover that introspection is not about hunkering in and trying to figure ‘things” out, but a process of letting go and allowing everything to simply be as it is. It is a surrendering of my fight with reality.  My desire to have things be something other then the way they are. It is an acceptance of life on life terms. A releasing of resistance to what is.

It is quite freeing, this process of acceptance. After all things are “as they are” aren’t they? When I relax into this truth, this process, I begin to really feel the perfection of it all. Nothing and no one needs to be other then the way they are. It is sense of grace, a beautiful thing!!!

Celebrating the Change of Seasons

Autumn 2014

Celebrating the Change of Seasons

As the evenings cool and the smell of wild grapes delight my senses, I experience a low hum of resistence and a feeling of exhilaration emerging at once.

I love the long full days of summer. Sunny walks on the beach, paddles on the water, veggies on the grill. But a part of me is hungry for the slowing down and the nurturing warmth of the hearth.

I welcome the balance that the change of seasons binds me too. It is a reminder of the inevitability of change. An opportunity to demonstrate flexibility and resilience as I embrace each day exactly as it is.

Each day I practice welcoming challenges as opportunities for growth and see life’s gifts as opportunities to deepen into my gratitude for this life. Good and bad, happy and sad, birth and death, summer and winter, resistance and exhilaration…dualities that can draw me into suffering or guide me on a path to greater awareness, wholeness and freedom.

Blessings, ellen

4/7 Free Community Yoga Class

Space is limited so please preregister. Send ellen an email at

Please Welcome Sara-Licenced Massage Therapist

Please extend a warm welcome to Sara Smith, LMT (licensed massage therapist).  

Sara Smith has been a Licensed Massage Therapist in Rhode Island since 2003 and is professionally insured by the ABMP. Sara brings years of experience and great compassion to the healing art of massage therapy to every client. Her services include, traditional Swedish Massage, Hot Stone Massage, Deep Tissue and Sports Massage. For the Mother to Be, Sara is also a certified in Prenatal massage.
Whether you are seeking a tranquil escape to restore a tired body and mind, or recovering from an injury that has kept you from being as productive as you once were, Sara takes great care in delivering skillful techniques with great care and professionalism.

To book an appointment or for more information, please contact Sara at (401) 480-3158.

Sara Smith will be sharing the treatment room at OYC with Lisa Ivens (see: the current massage therapist at OYC and with Anita Bevans (see: http://www.healingheartyoga.netwho is offering Integrated Positional Therapy in this office.




Video: Stroke of Insight

This is a moving and provocative look at left and right brain functioning and how it impacts the way we perceive and interact with the world. It demonstrates our capacity to directly experience our interconnectedness with all of life. This is available to all of us, in the moment. It is not reserved for mystics and ascetics, it is our birth right.

Embracing Possibility – By Ellen Schaeffer

Where do you see yourself in five years, one year, one week, or one day? This can be a difficult question to answer, but it is imperative that you hold vision for your life. Without vision, your life shifts into idle.

When you have an idea or vision for what you want to manifest in life, the wheels are set in motion. It is as if you’ve shifted out of “park” and into fast forward. All your thinking, creativity, active and passive energy begins to consciously and unconsciously direct itself toward that which you want to create.

It is really quite simple. Without a vision nothing happens. There is nowhere to direct your thoughts or energy. Without a vision, growth and movement comes to a halt.

With vision, life becomes a course of ongoing expansion, opening doors to INFINITE POSSIBILITY.

Integrative Yoga Therapy Teacher Training Outline and Schedule

Saturday Teacher Training Session

  • 8:30-10:00 Yoga Practice
  • 10-10:15 Break
  • 10:15-12:30 Yoga History/Philosophy
  • 12:30-1:30 Lunch
  • 1:30-2:00 Yoga Nidra Practice (guided relaxation)
  • 2:00-3:30 Asana Focus (detailed study of poses)
  • 3:30-3:45 Break
  • 3:45-5:30 Methodology (didatic and experiential)
  • 5:30-6:30 Wrap up and closing

Sunday Teacher Training Session

  • 9:30-11:00 Yoga Practice
  • 11:00- 1:00 Methodology
  • 1:00-2:00 Lunch
  • 2:00-2:30 Yoga Nidra
  • 2:30-4:00 Asana Focus
  • 4:00-4:15 Break
  • 4:15-5:30 Yoga History/Philosophy
  • 5:30-6:00 Homework assignments and closing

Please note the start and end times on Saturday and Sunday. These never vary. The time given to each topic does vary, depending on what is being studied each weekend. This schedule is for the non-residential program offered through One Yoga Center and not for residential programs or other Integrative Yoga Therapy programs. Please note that students in non-residential Yoga Teacher Training will also need to participate in weekly Yoga classes outside of this schedule. there will also be reading, written home work and an internship to complete before certification.

Included in the History and Philosophy section are the following:

  • The History and evolution of Yoga as it moved from India to the West
  • The 5 koshas (levels of our being)
  • The 8 fold path including the Yamas and Niyamas (the 10 disciplines of Yoga)
  • Dual and non-dualistic philosophies of Yoga
  • Visit with a traditional Swami
  • The 5 Kleshas (the obstacles to personal growth)
  • The Chakras (energy centers)
  • Business practices and ethics

In Asana Focus we will study:

  • The details of alignment for yoga postures
  • The difference between the form and the function of the poses
  • How to adapt/modify postures for particular needs
  • Sequencing
  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • The benefits of the poses
  • Contraindications
  • English and Sanskrit names
  • Somatics
  • Chair Yoga

Some of the topics covered in Methodology are:

  • Pranayama (Breathing Practices)
  • Meditation
  • Relaxation Techniques
  • Mudra (hand gestures for directing energy)
  • Class Construction -content and organization (complete exploration of each element of a class including; opening, warm-ups, posture sequence, guided relaxation and closing)
  • Teaching Techniques-finding your authentic style
  • Use of Themes and Education to create meaningful classes
  • Yoga Nidra
  • Practice Teaching (we will practice with each other)

One Yoga Center’s New Web Site!

Hi Everyone,

In January I wrote to share that I was developing a new web site and a new business name. This past week I finally launched the site at It’s a beautiful site, and I hope you find it attractive and easy to use. I would love any feedback that you are willing to offer regarding the usability of the site. I really want it to work for you and if there are changes needed I am open to suggestions.

This change does not affect the Yoga studio. One Yoga Center will remain One Yoga Center. The only change is our new location on the web and – as time unfolds – a host of new services.

I hope this message finds you well and happy.

Blessings and Namaste, Ellen

Gentle Chair Yoga for Everybody

Rejuvenation Yoga for optimal well-being – a gentle chair Yoga class

Forget about having to get up and down form the floor and enjoy all the benefits of Yoga in this gentle and effective class.

Much of the Yoga seen in contemporary media seems out of reach for the “average” body never mind for those of us with health or physical challenges. The truth of the matter however is that Yoga can be adapted in many ways so that it can be practiced by EVERYONE.  It is such a healthy, relaxing and healing practice that it is truly worth experiencing it for yourself.  In this class we will focus on healthy posture, joint mobility & stability, emotional & physical stress release, strength & flexibility – all geared toward optimal well-being.

  • Explore healthy movement from sitting and standing positions (modifications will be offered to meet individual needs)
  • Practice breathing exercises to improve respiration and support health and homeostasis in all bodily systems
  • Discover relaxation techniques to help with pain management and alleviate stress

Students will be asked to complete a healthy history form at the start of the first class.

Please note: Class is currently being held in our second floor studio.

Class are held on Tuesday mornings from 11:00-12:00