With Instructors Marta Banks and Dr. Lorraine Noval of the Asian Arts Group
10:00 am – 10:20 am (Marta Banks)
11:55am – 12:15 pm (Marta Banks)
1:05 pm – 1:25 pm (Dr. Lorraine Noval)
2:45 pm – 3:05 pm (Dr. Lorraine Noval)
(20 mins each)
The Asian Arts Group has over 60 years of experience in teaching Tai Chi and Qigong. At our Center, you can connect with a lively local Tai Chi community. Whether your interest is fitness, martial, spiritual or all of the above AAG is a great place to explore Tai Chi.
Marta Banks is a certified Chen and Yang Style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) and Qi Gong teacher with over twenty years of experience teaching people of all ages and various levels of fitness from martial artists to those with physical or mental disabilities. She is a national and international gold medal winner in both individual and group competitions in both open hand and weapons forms.
Marta is a founding member of the Asian Arts Group Tai Chi Center for the Study and Practice in Albany, New York, which was founded to enhance the quality of life through our dedication to expanding the awareness and practice of Tai Chi in Albany and the Greater Capital district.
Lorraine Noval, a founding member of the Asian Arts Group of the Capital District, has studied and practiced Tai Chi for over 18 years. Her experience includes all the major styles of tai chi: Yang, Sun, Wu, Wu/Hao, and Chen. She has won medals, both individually and as a member of a group, in both national and international competitions.
With a doctorate in educational psychology, Dr. Noval has an understanding of teaching principles that allows her to be responsive to the unique needs of each student in her classes. Among her credentials, she has special certifications to teach tai chi programs targeted to individuals with arthritis, osteoporosis, or individuals attempting to manage diabetic or pre-diabetic conditions.
10:30 am – 11:45 am (75 mins)
Jivamukti Yoga with John Smrtic
Sthira Sukham Asanam: The Mothership Connection
In Yoga Sutra, Master Patanjali advises that as a step toward being a yogi, the asana, or seat, should be steady and joyful. Asana has become known as the posture practice that we engage in during class. But in Jivamukti Yoga, the traditional definition of asana as “seat” is used as the foundation of the method and the root of spiritual activism. The seat provides a connection to the earth, so Patanjali is advising us that our relationship to the earth and all beings should be steady, joyful and mutually beneficial. Jivamutki Yoga emphasizes the importance of ahimsa, non-harming, as one of its central tenets, as expressed through an ethical vegetarian/vegan diet. A discussion of the roots of “asana” and its meaning to us as modern practitioners will melt into an uplifting Jivamukti Yoga class accompanied by an always inspired Bhakti Groove playlist.
John Smrtic, J.D., RYT, is the Capital Region’s first 300 hour certified Jivamutki Yoga teacher. Since 2007, John has spent a rare 500+ hours studying directly with his teachers, Jivamukti founders Sharon Gannon and David Life. Soaked in this direct transmission, John is passionate to convey their teachings and method as purely as possible. Using these teachings and traditional yogic scripture as a foundation, John blends wit, humor, music and challenging, intelligently sequenced asana from a vinyasa format to make each class a unique experience. John was the assistant at the 2007-2008 Yoga Teacher Empowerment Training (YTET) at Heartspace Holistic in Albany, NY, and the Assistant Director of the YTET in 2008-2009 under Senior Para Yoga teacher Lauren Toolin. He also ran a yoga program for at-risk, homeless youths through Safe House in Schenectady, NY. John currently practices law part time around the Capital Region, in addition to teaching Jivamukti Yoga.
12:25 pm -12:55 pm (30 mins)
“How You Can Make Time to Workout Nearly Anywhere, Anytime”
Learn how to:
Handouts including lists of exercises, meal programs, and literature about building muscle on a plant-based diet will be provided.
1:35 pm – 2:35 pm (60 mins)
Lauren Strait, RYT, completed her 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Marianne Wells in Costa Rica during the summer of 2010. Her passion for yoga is continuously growing and evolving through the teachings of Radhanath Swami, Sharon Gannon and David Life. Lauren is passionate about conveying to her students what yoga has to offer…limitless and infinite possibilities and a life unbound, as we use our breath, body and mind to reconnect to the inner radiance existing within each one of us. Lauren is committed to her students’ growth and her individual growth through her students and her fun-loving, goofy and compassion-filled personality add another element to each class.
3:15 pm -4:15 pm (60 mins)
“Twisting the pradigm: body awareness as a path to the cruelty-free diet.”
This twist-oriented class focuses on the principle of ahimsa (non-harming) through recognizing the effects of diet on the body.
Josh began practicing yoga long before he learned there was a name for the postures and techniques that draw the body and mind into alignment. To him, yoga is the original state to which everyone somewhat unconsciously longs to return; the practice is the process of removing the individual’s particular set of obstacles. Having practiced in the Jivamukti school for four years and explored many tributaries of the great hatha yoga tradition, he completed his 200-hour teaching certification at Sadhana in 2011 with Sondra Loring and Raghunath. Combining pranayama and meditation with a vigorous sequence of asanas, Josh feels honored to pass on the wisdom of his many teachers in the Vinyasa class at Sadhana Center for Yoga and Meditation in Hudson, NY, Thursdays from 6:00–7:30pm.