Thursday, April 21, 2016

And suddenly, it's the middle of April...

Hi everyone!

It has been a minute since I have written to you all on the blog. Libby does a great job posting and we hope you all continue to enjoy.

Since some of you do not have FB, I am going to update our blog with our schedule.

You can always look for our schedule online, but know that this blog is also a Maitri resource. 

We are currently looking at changing our schedule for the rest of the spring/summer months. We are looking at classes to let go of and maybe some new class times. If you have any requests, please let us know! You can email me directly at

For your reference, our Friday class this week is cancelled as is our Saturday vinyasa class.

Libby's last time to teach gentle yoga on Sundays is also this weekend, so if you haven't tried out gentle, go check it out. 

After this week, we are looking to close Maitri Saturday-Sunday, which means that there will be no weekend classes. We haven't made a definite decision yet, but Fayetteville is full of really incredible studios and teachers. We know that many of you just enjoy weekend classes so if you know of any teachers who might want to join Maitri and teach the Saturday class, please send them our way. Otherwise, check out Danielle at Trailside's am vinyasa class on Saturday or Krista's Sunday class. You can also find a numerous listing of classes and class times at Yoga Deza. If you live in Springdale, Yoga Gypsy is awesome and will definitely serve up a healthy dose of wonderful yoga. Other great studios around town are Arkansas Yoga Center, Be One Yoga Studio and the 8-Limbed Path. Not to mention, an all-time favorite teacher, person and yogi, Kristen Albertson at Ashtanga Yoga Fayetteville

Change is hard, but necessary. I've kinda poured myself into Maitri and as I'm about to head back to school, I feel a little scared about the future. I think I would probably give an organ to keep Maitri running smoothly for you all and maybe in a way I have because it takes up so much of my heart. But, I also have to be realistic. My love for Maitri could not be greater, but we want to make sure that Maitri is serving the community in the best way possible. As we make this transition in our schedule, please let us know what classes you would like to attend to maximize the schedule. 

On another note, we are adding a room for integrative health coaching and wellness sessions. As a certified health coach, we specifically look at the way nutrition impacts your vitality and how to help others make the most out of nourishment in all forms (food, relationships, jobs, etc.). 

If you would like a session or know of anyone who would, the first session is absolutely free and from there we will develop a plan to best suit the needs of the individual. 

I am willing to work with people's budget.

We send you all lots of love and hope to continue seeing you on the mat.

All of our love and lots of blessings,
Sarah and the Maitri Family 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Turn and Face the Change


                                                               By: Libby Young

Well Maitrians, it’s springtime once again!  I know this because the grass is turning 

green, the dogwoods are blooming, and I’m being accosted by spring advertisements 

everywhere. Spring is the symbol for rebirth, for things growing anew. But with 

rebirth and growth comes change. And that’s what I want to talk about in this post. 

Oh sweet change, how wonderful and horrific you can be. I’m very lucky that I have 

the personality type that not only does well with change, but actually craves it. But 

even with this trait, change can still be really difficult. We as people love the idea of 

turning over a new leaf, starting a new path, but with the excitement of change it’s 

easy to lose focus of what we might have to sacrifice. 

My parents have lived here for the past 29 years. But change finds us all. They are 

currently in the process of packing up and selling my childhood home and moving to 

the Big Easy. My sister from the conception of this idea was dead set against it. I, on 

the other hand, was genuinely excited. I still am. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t 

run into conflicting and emotional feelings of loss as the date draws closer. Change is 

healthy and it’s good, but that never means it’s easy.

So here’s my advice to you this springtime. Make changes. Start something new in 

your life. But do so with both eagerness and mindfulness. Remembering what came 

before and letting that acceptance of the change be both gracious and loving. No 

matter what you are working towards, no matter what you are giving up, honor the 

path behind you as you embrace the new one set before you.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Peanut Butter Goals

By: Libby Young

It is now well into February of 2016. The one-month test of kept or un-kept New 

Years resolutions is over. And to that I say, who the hell cares? Temporal markers 

can be such a great way to gather new energy and resolve for a positive change. But 

we don’t need them to try and be better. It’s only eight days into this new month and 

it’s showing me more than January ever did. 

We’ve all made promises to ourselves to do this, change that, to be different. But 

what happens to ourselves when we break those promises? We beat ourselves up, 

thinking destructive thoughts about who we are as a person. We regard ourselves as 

failures. Unable to be or do better because we just simply suck as a human being. 

Every day is an opportunity to be the best we can be. Every day is also an 

opportunity to “fall short”. The problem with resolutions is we like to think of them 

as these unrealistic yet completely attainable goals. Much like if I said I needed 

peanut butter at the store. So I get in my car, I drive to the store, I walk in, pick up 

the jar of peanut butter, purchase it, drive back to my home and put the peanut 

butter on my shelf. Presto change-o, I achieved my goal. But this doesn’t work for 

Our focus shouldn’t be in the achievement but in the trying. 

If I want to lose weight, be more patient, or be more self-confident, these aren’t 

things that I can ever achieve. EVER. Weight will always change, patience will 

always fluctuate, and loving yourself will always be tested.  Even that jar of peanut 

butter will run out and you will need more from the store. So instead of focusing on 

any goal as something we can check off of our lists, focus on the day-to-day pursuit. 

As long as you are trying, you are succeeding! And when we falter, not if but when, it 

won’t be a failure, because we pick ourselves up and keep going. We ate a half a tray 

of brownies one night; eat something healthy for lunch the next day. We got upset 

and yelled at a friend; apologize when you’ve cooled off and try to respectfully 

convey your feelings. We feel low about ourselves, our looks or lack or 

achievements; remind yourself about all the things you do love or are proud of 

about yourself. To keep trying should always be the goal! 

We don’t need January to be better. Just reassurance that when we make mistakes 

as a human that it doesn’t make us imperfect. Our perfection comes from our 

beautiful introspectiveness and constant efforts to be the best versions of us. This is 

our success. This should be our only resolution.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Savasana Dilemma: Part Two

The Savasana Dilemma: Part Two

by: Libby Young

Let’s begin with starting steps. The first and most important step you can make 

when tackling the ever so difficult Savasana is to identify what type of relaxation 

helps you the most. We all have a dominant sense. It’s not necessarily the sense we 

rely on most on a day-to-day basis, but the sense that we connect with emotionally 

the most. Usually it’s one, though it can be multiple senses. Find which one helps you 

unwind and let go of that constant barrage of mind chatter for a longer period of 

time. There’s sight, smell, sound and touch.


I start with sight because this is the sense that people connect with the most. We are 

visual creatures. So it is natural for us to need that visualization when relaxing. For 

most of us, when we close our eyes, we still see images. It’s easy to get overloaded 

When practicing visual meditation, try to imagine a place. Really see the detail. It 

doesn’t have to be a waterfall or a valley; it could be the red dusty landscape of Mars 

or a busy office. Just as long as it is somewhere. This is where a lot of people 

practicing visual relaxation stop. My advice to you is keep going. Start on a path in 

this mental setting. If you are picturing a waterfall, maybe you walk along the edge 

of the moss-covered rocks, behind the falls only to find a secret cave entrance. You 

step in the cave and feel the cool air on your face and explore deeper. Maybe in the 

busy office you walk around the cubicles and like a fly on the wall you are able to 

listen to people’s telephone conversations or watch them sneaking office supplies 

into their bag without them seeing or hearing you. When visualizing, make it a 

journey. Make it something that is not just calming to you but interesting. This will 

keep your mind from engaging in those pesky interrupting thoughts. If you are 

focusing on wandering around your mental destination, you won’t be thinking about 

with these pictures or video style clips. 

the toothpaste you forgot to pick up at the store. 


Feel free to light candles and slather on those oh so delicious essential oils. Finding a 

scent like this, one that calms you, releases that tension, is important. But smell isn’t 

just for these products. Next time you are in a coffee shop, close your eyes (I 

promise no one will look up from their laptops and phones to see you doing this). 

What do you smell? You can do this exercise anywhere. The woods, a pond, Maitri. 

Put your sniffer into bloodhound mode. Good or bad, try to figure out what you 

smell and what affect that smell has on you. Using your nose to free up the mind is 

easier than it sounds; you’ve just got to think outside of that oiled box. I still feel 

comforted every time I smell clean laundry or the way my dad’s house smells. Scents 

like these can trigger emotional releases otherwise unable to by the eyes or ears. 

The nose really does know.


Ah music for the soul. We all have that one song that we’ve played on repeat about 

22 times. Or that one specific playlist for each and every mood. A playlist for 

cooking, for breaking up, just for dancing, or for that night when you just want to 

punch someone. Maybe you even have an inspirational playlist for making new 

playlists. It’s not hard to feel connected to music. Find those songs that help you 

unwind. But just like the nose, the ears can play a bigger part too. Listen to sounds of 

life. Try to isolate sounds and identify them and, of course, recognize how they make 

you feel. Birds chirping, the crackle of a fire, even white noise like rain or radio 

static. Even listening to the person breathing next to you in Savasana during a lead 

class. As creepy as that sounds, that noise alone can help you tie your own breath to 

it, helping you focus and relax. Once again freeing your mind from those loud 



In my opinion touch is one of the most underrated senses when it comes to 

meditation. Of course, when we think of touch and relaxing, the first two things that 

come to our minds are either sexual or massage therapy oriented. While both of 

these are indeed relaxing and wonderful for tension release, they are not exactly 

accessible or appropriate during Savasana (especially in a group class). 

When I did my teacher training, I was led through a touch meditation class. The first 

thing that I emphasize is no one, including myself, actually touched me. Instead, the 

teacher simply talked me through contact points to bring my focus to. I was to feel 

the different points on my body where I could feel my clothes touching. They talked 

me through focusing on the way the air felt around my nostrils as I inhaled and 

exhaled. It was incredible and it’s now one of my favorite ways to meditate. 

Everything that had a contact point held a sensation: the ground, the air, vibrations 

from a voice. After about twenty minutes of intense touch meditation I felt like a 

superhuman. Every little sensation was heightened. And more importantly, I was 

relaxed. My mind was empty. Which is always the goal of Savasana, to clear that 

Next time you are in Corpse Pose, focus on that touch. The way your mat feels 

against your back, the way your clothes feel as they shift around as you breath, try 

to pinpoint everything on your body that has a physical feeling. You might be 

busy, busy mind. 

surprised at how quickly your mind lets go.

Savasana is the hardest pose to master. But identifying the easiest way your body 

and mind relaxes can be an immense help. Experiment with different ways to relax; 

experiment with combinations of the senses. So get comfortable! Grab a bolster, a 

pillow, a blanket and allow yourself the elusive rest you deserve.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Savasana Dilemma

The Savasana Dilemma

Part One

By Libby Young

As a teacher, hands down the absolute hardest pose I teach is Savasana. No matter 

how soothing I try to speak or relaxing I create the environment to be, I always see 

my students struggling to be still. They fidget, they look at other students, they even 

sit up. As I was teaching the other day, I noticed one student had their eyes open the 

entire Savasana period. I felt like I had failed somehow to help this person let go, to 

relax. But then I remembered, all those years ago when I first started yoga, how hard 

it was for me to lay still for even two minutes, much less ten. This got me 

wondering…why is Savasana so difficult? 

The human mind is a beautiful machine. It’s also a complete asshole. We are capable 

of imagining and creating things in this world that no other species can 

comprehend, much less do. But yet our minds can be terribly destructive. They 

impede progress, harm intention, distract from focus, and deceive the truth. The key 

to a successful Savasana is the mind; the problem with achieving a successful 

Savasana is the mind. See the paradox?

The very first step we can take as practitioners is to recognize Savasana as an actual 

pose. Because it is! Let’s first look at the etymology of the word. Savasana comes 

from the Sanskrit words Shava meaning “corpse” and Asana meaning “posture”. It’s 

is often referred to as the most important part of a yoga practice. Without Savasana, 

a yoga practice would be incomplete. Like playing soccer without a ball, or 

swimming without water. You can go through the motions, but the true benefits are 


So why is “just laying there” that important to yoga? Relaxation to start with. After 

completing muscularly and skeletally challenging poses, Corpse Pose let’s the body 

rest. Allowing it time to recover from the physical demands just placed upon it. And 

the same goes for the mind. When we practice, we are focused on a thousand 

different things. ‘My arm goes here, right hand under, leg goes there, wait my toes 

need to point, shit I forgot to breathe!’ During Savasana, it’s a time to let go of the 

mind as well. Allowing the brain much needed rest. When we begin using that time 

to think about the groceries we need to pick up after class or the fight we just had 

with our significant other, we are removing the soccer ball from the game. Our 

minds tell our bodies to relax.  Here’s an example: scary movies. If you’ve ever seen 

a scary movie, you know that during that creepy-music-playing, someone-is-about-

to-jump-out-at-me scene, your entire body actually physically tenses up. We aren’t 

actively thinking about shrinking down in our seat or shrugging our shoulders up to 

our ears, but we do. That’s because the mind is engaged in fear and therefore 

subconsciously telling the body to react appropriately. The same exact thing 

happens when we engage the mind with stress. Whether it’s a huge life problem or a 

mild afterthought. It takes a physical toll on our bodies. This is why Savasana is so 

incredibly important.  For those few moments, we are releasing everything. And 

when we do, the benefits can be numerous. Decreases in heart rate, rate or 

respiration, blood pressure, muscle tension, metabolic rate, oxygen consumption, 

anxiety, stress and fatigue. Increases in energy levels, productivity, concentration, 

memory, focus, self-confidence, improved neural responses and achieving deeper, 

sounder sleep. 

Finally, Savasana is a mark of completion. If we look at the practice of yoga, it has a 

beginning, a middle, and an end. The end is Corpse Pose. It is the phase in which the 

effects of the practice are allowed to sink in and rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. 

Without taking the necessary time, again, those effects are greatly diminished if not 

lost. And we aren’t fully participation in a complete yoga practice.

This is why Savasana is important to us yogis. Once we understand why, we can 

begin the process of learning how to implement it. Look for next week’s post, Part 

Two, where I will talk about how to start practicing Savasana.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hi there, yogis!

I missed you all last night! I couldn't be more thankful to Sunshine for subbing for me yesterday. I needed a chance to rest a little and catch up on the sleep I missed last week while I was fretting over the GRE. There's nothing like a little Sunshine on these rainy days. :) Speaking of the GRE, I will say that it went really well; but unfortunately, I was one point away from the score I needed. One point! Ah!! This is frustrating, but at the same time, I was pretty shocked over my scores to begin with. After I finished the test, I actually sat there and debated whether or not to look at my scores, because I am optimistic in that way. Alas, my curiosity got the best of me and as I sat there tallying it up, I was pleasantly surprised with the results. At the time of taking it, I only had a vague idea of what I was aiming for. It wasn't until yesterday when I spoke with my advisor that I had the somewhat disheartening realization of missing the mark by one point. I had dreaded this very moment, but in an odd way it just confirmed my dedication to the program, the school and the knowing deep inside that I am meant to be a counselor. It's funny, I never thought I would be applying to go back to school. I also didn't expect to care so much about this specific program. I had intended on applying to a safety school, I thought to myself that maybe I need a backup school; but, at the end of the day, even with my one-point away test score, I want to stay the course. Somehow the score just affirmed that I would rather keep trying for the program that I really want, rather than apply somewhere else. I am, in this moment, really thankful for everything this application process is teaching me. I feel beyond blessed to even have the opportunity to be considered for graduate school. I am taking the GRE again on Wednesday, December 9th. I have taken a little break from studying the past few days, but I am planning on jumping right back in. I just wanted to let you all know how much your support has meant to me throughout this process. I received so many messages of love and support the day of the test and I can not thank you guys enough. I am beyond grateful to know you guys, to be a part of Maitri and for the opportunity to share life with you all; to me that is what yoga is about.  In Libby's last post, she mentioned this idea that there are different types of yoga. Although, yes, it is true there are different types of yoga, there is this one underlying thread: yoga is a connection. I used to live in a lot of separation. For a long time, I think I had to. It was something I learned to do to protect myself at a very young age. When I started practicing, there was a moment on my mat when the teacher said, "don't judge yourself." I could feel the weight of the entire world being lifted off of what felt like, my very heavy shoulders and something in my heart softened. As a recovering perfectionist, I have spent a good portion of my life thinking I needed to be perfect in order to be loved. Yoga teaches us that this isn't true. Perfection is something that separates us, limits us and keeps us from living from our hearts. There have been so many things happening in the world recently because of separation. It's heartbreaking and the day I went in to take my test, I felt that in the grand scheme of things, it's pretty trivial to be so worried about one score. I guess, through this process I have had the overwhelming feeling that in order to do anything, we have to be for ourselves rather than against ourselves and that means, having the courage to remain connected to ourselves no matter what. It's easy to separate. It's easy to step into our fear, but through remaining connected we remain standing in truth and in love, anything else is just no good.

So today yogis, on this rainy Tuesday, I am sharing with you the commitment to staying connected. I am going to keep going. I am determined to keep trying and if Maitri is any indication of what lies in putting your whole heart into something, I know this: there is no failure.

My teacher says, our success is guaranteed. As long as we stay connected and live from our hearts, it doesn't matter whether you practice vinyasa or bikram, what matters is how fully we can say yes to our own humanness.

Sending you all so much love!

P.S. There is no advanced vinyasa with Nicole this evening; she is Spain!
P.P.S. I will be teaching on Wednesday, we will have both classes on Thursday. I will also be teaching Friday and maybe we should celebrate Maitri's bday at some point this month?

We will have light holiday classes next week and don't forget we have Nicole's Beginners Workshop. Tell yo' friends!

Love you guys!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Yoga: Only you can define it


It’s All Yoga

by: Libby Young

When I first started yoga that’s what I thought it was: yoga. But whenever I talked 

about it with other people I began getting the question, “What kind of yoga do you 

practice?” I would blankly stare back and they would begin to ramble off names of 

countries? Desserts? Pig Latin? I had no idea what they were saying. 

Now that I’ve dove into the yoga pool, I know my way around from Ashtanga to Yin. 

But I still get that same question, “What kind of yoga do you practice?” Heck, I’m 

guilty of it too. I’m now of the philosophy that all those years ago, in my ignorant 

state, I had it right. I practice yoga. Not Kundalini, not Iyengar, not even Vinyasa, but 

Here at Maitri, we are a Vinyasa studio. But honestly, it’s just a name. If you attend 

classes with any of our instructors, you will experience snippets of many styles; you 

may not even be aware of it. It’s one of the reasons I love it here. So many 

practitioners get stuck in the philosophy of “my style is better than your style”. I’m 

here to say, that’s simply not true. Whether you regularly practice Hatha or Bikram 

or Restorative, it’s all yoga. And more importantly, it’s all worth experiencing. All of 

our instructors take what we love of every style, of our own experiences, and pour it 

into our classes, into our students. Because we all love yoga. Not just Vinyasa, not 

just Kripalu, or Jivamukti, or Power, or Yin, but yoga.

I always challenge my students to learn about the different styles and experience 

them. But more importantly, to realize that one way isn’t the end-all-be-all of yoga. 

It’s all yoga, folks. And practicing under that umbrella of knowledge will lead you to 

places in your practice you didn’t even know were there.