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Divine Feminine Yoga Summit 2013: Women, Money and Yoga


Consider joining in on the
Divine Feminine Yoga Summit 2013: Women, Money &Yoga

Register now for this virtual Summit. It begins Sept 5. Click the title above to register - it is free!

Joan Dwyer, owner and creator of All That Matters, is one of the speakers.


Joan will also be offering a workshop at Kripalu in Lenox, Ma this December- The Business of Yoga for Teachers and Studios: Tap Into Your Vision, Create a Plan, Get Results!

New Yoga Classes beginning September 2013


We have some new classes and teachers beginning in September.

A big welcome to Barbara Gee, Usha Bilotta, and Ming Lee Prospero. Are you ready to join Sheri on Tuesday nights for Shakti Dance?

Here is a brief rundown (be sure to check the website schedule for full details). 

  • Yin Restorative Tuesday evening and Thursday morning with Barbara Gee
  • Sunday 5:30 Prana Flow is now at 5:15pm with Nancy
  • Monday 4:00 Stretch & Breathe with Lori
  • Monday 4:45 Power Flow with David Harrigan
  • Tuesday 5:30-6:30 Heated Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Sheri
  • Tuesday 6:45-7:45 Shakti Dance with Sheri
  • Wednesday 930-11am Kundalini with Ming Lee
  • Wednesday  9:15-10:15 Stretch & Breathe with Mel W
  • Friday 4:15- 5:15 Vinyasa Flow with Usha
  • Firday 5:30- 6:30 Heated Vinyasa Flow with Usha
  • Friday 5:30-6:45 All Level

To see the whole schedule click here and scroll to September.

We are sad to annouce that there will be no Svaroopa in our schedule this season. See post below.

Svaroopa Transitions


Greetings Svaroopa Yogis, 


I'm writing with an update on our yoga schedule. You may have noticed in the new brochure that Svaroopa Yoga is no longer on our schedule of weekly classes. It was a sad decision to move forward with this new schedule sans Svaroopa. We have been offering it for 10+ years! We would like to acknowledge and say a special thanks to Natalie Schiffer for all of her grand efforts on the program here. Please note that Natalie will continue to offer private sessions here at All That Matters.


We understand that some of you come to All That Matters solely for Svaroopa and to honor your practice will need to visit other studios. We wish you all the best as you continue your journey and practice. You may find the resources on this website helpful:


If you would like to branch out and try some other classes here, we encourage you to consider Yin Restorative, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga, or Stretch & Breathe. In particular, Yin Restorative is a new class we are offering that we have put on the schedule, in part, to help transition Svaroopa students into other classes. It happens on Tuesdays 7:30-8:45pm and Thursdays 9:30-10:45am. A class description and instructor bio is available here.


For a full schedule of all class times, click the 'new brochure' link at the top of this email or visit our schedule online here.


Please contact us with any questions you may have. The Front Desk is available by phone at 401-782-2126 or by email at


Be well,

The Staff at All That Matters


This Week


Monday/Wednesday/Friday,August 19, 21, 23

Reiki First Degree Certification

with Myra Partyka


Tuesday, August 20

Full Moon Yoga on the Beach

with Coral Beach


Wednesday, August 21

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Class

with Lauren O’Connell


Saturday, August 24

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Class

with Lauren O’Connell


Sunday, August 25

Guided Zen Meditation

with Nancy Hedgepath




Kripalu 200-hr & 500-hr YTT:

Free Informational Talk

with Joan Dwyer

on Wednesday, September 4


Meditation for Health

with Dr. David Dwyer

on Wednesday, September 4

Bridge Pose


Nikki Juen of All That Matters and explains a variation of Bridge Pose.


What it is:

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana means ‘formation of a bridge.’ In this variation the arms form a truss that supports the spine and hips in a glorious long arc from shoulders to toes. 


What it does:

This advanced backbend strengthens and invigorates the whole body. The deep extension develops a flexible spine creating a healthy nervous system and harmony between mind and body.


How to do it:

To begin, lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart on the floor with the heels approximately one-foot away from the hips. Open palms to sky feeling the upper chest and collarbone open and widen with each inhale. On an exhale, become aware of the places that your body is touching the floor, allowing each successive exhale to settle you deeper into your connection with the ground. 


Inhale and bend the elbows to ninety degrees keeping them close to the waist; finger tips face the ceiling and the palms mirror each other over the belly. Exhale and press the feet, hips, elbows and shoulders into the ground. Making the muscles of the legs strong, breathe the heart towards the chin and lift the hips off the ground.


Drag the heels isometrically towards the shoulders and as you exhale, toning the low belly to lengthen the tailbone away from the waist. Keep knees stacked over the ankles. Inhale and breathe the entire body long from heart to knees; energetically extend the knees away from the shoulders as you soften the buttocks. This expression and depth of the pose may be your degree of practice today, breathe deeply and revel in the possibilities already present in your body. Encourage a healthy presence in your thoughts with what already is, while gently deepening the flexibility of your body over time.


To move deeper, Press the back of the head into the ground keeping the neck in a safe and healthy arch. Place the heels of the hands underneath the sacrum with fingers wrapping around the waist. Take three deep breaths and extend the spine long as you move the top of the shoulders into contact with the floor. Walk the feet away from the hips concentrating on lengthening the entire body with each breath. As your legs arrive at their maximum extension, press down through the big toe mounds and the inner heels activating the muscles of the inner thighs. 


Relish in the deep opening and extension as you breathe the body long for five to ten breaths. To come out of the pose, walk the feet back under the knees and keep the legs strong as you release the hands to the ground. As you exhale, bring the sacrum and hips to the earth first allowing the lengthy curve of the spin to arrive last. 



Nikki Juen,

Tears on the Yoga Mat

Tears on the Yoga Mat

By Amy Weintraub, author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists
(Amy will be teaching at All That Matters Oct 11-13)

When I begin a workshop, I often ask how many people have cried on their yoga mat.  Just about everyone raises their hand!  Crying is a natural release, and often makes us feel better.  This happens, according to Michael Trimble, author of Why Humans Like to Cry, because we stimulate the cranial nerves when we cry, which soothes the emotional limbic brain, in particular, that poor hyper-aroused amygdale.  The amygdale actually grows, from the over-exercising it receives from stress and trauma.  The limbic brain changes that occur from this over-activation include the shrinking of the hippocampus, which is responsible for memory.  The good news is that these brain changes are reversible, and yoga can contribute to a healthier limbic brain.  Believe it or not, crying can too.

When some people who have been shallow breathers for most of their lives begin to breathe deeply, emotion can arise unexpectedly.  If tears come “for no reason” and unexpectedly, there is no reason to be afraid or feel shame, even if you’re in the middle of a yoga class.  “Crying is one of the highest spiritual practices,” said Swami Kripalu.  “One who knows crying, knows yoga.”  When we cry on the yoga mat, there is rarely a story attached.  Think of it as a release.  That’s how the biochemistry of your brain sees it.

 I worked with a client who had once maintained a twice weekly Power Yoga practice at a gym but, because of her husband’s job, she had recently moved from London to Tucson and had not practiced regularly in two years.  Sally felt alone, since her six-year-old was in school for the first time all day and her husband often traveled on business.  They had moved to a neighborhood where she felt she didn’t belong, and she had not yet made friends.  Though she did not have a clinical diagnosis, she said she had gained weight, felt lethargic and except for bouts of irritability, she felt numb. Since her previous yoga experience did not focus on the breath, after setting the safe container during our first session, I suggested that she begin in a supine position, lying on her back.  I supported her with a bolster under her back so that her chest was open and breathing was easier. I also placed a thin folded blanket beneath her head to tuck the chin forward slightly, which supports the mind to relax.  Within a couple of minutes of deep, diaphragmatic breathing, she was sobbing. There was an immediate connection to the loneliness and anger she had felt as a young child, when her father died and her mother, overcome with grief, had not been emotionally available.

I brought her into a sitting position, so that she could breathe and then eventually to her feet, where we could more easily begin to move the emotion that had been triggered through her body.  As she left, her eyes were shining and her face was serene, and she had a referral to two psychotherapists in our community.

There are three important lessons for yoga and mental health professionals here.  First, the importance of establishing the safe container, which not only gives the client or student permission to “put on the brakes,” as clinical social worker Babette Rothchild says in The Body Remembers (Rothchild, 2003), but also includes a normalization of the tears that can arise.  

The second lesson is about staying present with your client throughout the practices you lead, and that means your own eyes are opened and you are monitoring her experience at all times.

The third lesson is how complementary yoga and psychotherapy actually are.  When Sally began working with her body and her breath, she opened to a deeper sadness.  She was finally ready to seek out talk therapy along with her return to the yoga mat, something that before our yoga session together, as miserable as she felt, she had not been motivated to do.

To read about clinical applications of yoga practice, see Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management. Amy Weintraub will be leading LifeForce Yoga to Manage Your Mood Oct 11-13 at All That Matters., a program that offers practices for anxiety and depression that are not often taught in regular yoga classes.  This program is accessible to those new to yoga as well as yoga and mental health professionals.   

Excerpted and adapted from Yoga Skills for Therapists: Effective Practices for Mood Management (W.W. Norton, 2012)

Amy Weintraub E-RYT, MFA directs the LifeForce Yoga Healing Institute, which trains yoga and health professionals internationally, and is the author of Yoga for Depression and Yoga Skills for Therapists. The LifeForce Yoga protocol is used by health care providers worldwide. She is involved in ongoing research on the effects of yoga on mood.

Meet Usha Billotta Our Newest Yoga Teacher


Usha Billotta

Meet Usha Bilotta the newest member of the ATM family! She will be teaching the Friday afternoon 4:00 Heated Vinyasa Flow. Her classes focus on linking breath to body, proper alignment, strengthening, and deepening awareness of the Self. Help us welcome Usha!

Usha Bilotta is impassioned by yoga and the ways it connects to life off of the mat. She began practicing in 1999 in the Ashtanga tradition. She was immediately in love with the practice of yoga as it began to transform life on physical and emotional levels. She has studied many styles over the years, learning from various traditions such as Kripalu, Bikram, and the Mysore method, but found her home in the authenticity of the living, breathing, ever-changing flow of Vinyasa. She completed her 200-hour teacher training through Tom Gilette at Eyes of the World in 2008.

Usha's classes focus on linking breath to body, proper alignment, strengthening, and deepening awareness of the Self. Her classes are heartfelt and the pace flows with intention, slow motion, and intensity. She is committed to helping her students cultivate a practice that is authentic and powerful while challenging them to find the lessons that asana presents. She embraces ancient yogic scriptures and teachings and uses these principles to guide through class, allowing for evolution both on and off of the mat. Usha has been working with holistic nutrition and healthy living since 2000. She is a sprout farmer and a thriving breast cancer survivor, committed to wellness for her family.

This Week


Tuesday, August 6

Making Peace with Food and Your Body

with Barbara Holtzman


Wednesday, August 7

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Class

with Lauren O’Connell


Meditation for Health

with Dr. David Dwyer


Friday, August 9

Monthly Reiki Support Circle

with Myra Partyka


Saturday, August 10

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga Class

with Lauren O’Connell



Satsang: Monthly Community Gatherings

On Monday, August 12


Kripalu 200hr & 500hr Yoga Teacher Training: Free Informational Talk

with Joan Dwyer

on Wednesday, August 14


Monthly Gong Bath

with Stephanie Marisca & Cathy Cesario

on Friday, August 16