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“There’s a great deal of scientific evidence that social connectedness is a very strong protector of emotional well-being,.” — Andrew Weil

Live-Streaming Yoga from The Opener:
Connect to Practice from the Comfort of Home

After a week of live-streaming classes, I have to say it has been such a treat to connect with you while we are sheltered in place.  I’ve been pleasantly surprised to reconnect with some students I haven’t seen in class in a while, as well as friends who live outside the Bay Area.  On Wednesday, a friend who I haven’t seen since high school came to class, and this morning a friend from Germany tuned in to join us.  Though it is not the same as sharing physical space, it does provide a moment of social connection, which I am finding very comforting.  Thank you for showing up for yourself and for your community.  May your practice continue to be a solace to you in these uncertain times.

These mindful yoga classes are open to all-comers looking for a way to reduce their stress during the Corona Virus pandemic.  We will focus on practice that help you feel more grounded and calm amidst this uncertainty.

Wednesdays – Mindful Yoga at 9:00 – 10:00 am (PST).
Fridays – Gentle Yoga. 9:00 – 10:00 am (PST). 

Additional classes available with me via Namaste Yoga
Mondays,  4:00-5:00pm Yoga + Mindfulness
Tuesdays, 10:00-11:00am Yoga + Mindfulness
Saturdays, 9:30-10:30pm Yoga + Mindfulness

1. Download the Zoom app for desktop computer or mobile devices (smart phones/iPads). For the best experience, you’ll want to join from a device with a video camera and microphone. This way, I can both see and hear you. You have the option to join class without video from your end if you prefer.
2. Email me to register your attendance. You do not need my reply to enter the zoom room.
3. Click this Zoom Link to enter my Zoom Room.
4. Use the Password:  716728
5. Practice in the comfort and safety of your own home.

Note that the registration from Namaste classes is slightly different.  See their FAQ webpage for details.

The Wednesday and Friday classes from The Opener are by donation.  For reference, the regular fee is $20/class. If you are experiencing financial hardship related to the Coronavirus epidemic, you are welcome to attend for free or pay what you can. Please use one of the following payment portals for your donation.
Venmo: @Domonick-Wegesin

If you prefer, you can send a check to:
Domonick Wegesin
12 Shetland Ct.
Oakland, CA  94605

The Monday, Tuesday and Saturday classes via Namaste are paid when you register on their website.  Their drop-in rate is $30/class, or you can get a discount with a membership. 

First, I appreciate your patience as I navigate this new medium of teaching. This transition gives us all ample opportunities to use our mindful tools to be more accepting of ourselves as we figure things out. Recognize, it may not go perfectly the first time (as I have already noticed).

Q:  When should I log in to class?
A:  My Zoom Room should be available 15 minutes prior to the start of class.  You can join anytime thereafter.  

Q: Will I be seen in my house as I am practicing?
A: Once you click to join the classroom, you can choose to join with our without video. If you choose with, the teacher and other attendees will see you. These classes will not be recorded, so you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing you other than your virtual classmates and your teacher.

Q: Can I change the view so I am only seeing the teacher?
A: “Speaker” view allows you to follow the teacher, while “Gallery” view will show other students in the class. Since a lot of us know each other, it can be nice to connect this way.

Q: Can I ask questions during the practice?
A: When you enter the virtual classroom, your microphone will be muted. This reduces audio feedback for all attendees. If you have a question/concern during class, you can unmute your microphone temporarily and I will be able to hear you.

Q: What should I do if my internet connection isn’t working well?
A: If your internet connection slows down during class, try turning off your video camera so you can still see the class, but the teacher and other people in class can’t see you. This helps decrease the load on your wifi connection.

Q:  What do I do if I get disconnected from the room during the practice?
A:  Return to the Zoom Room by clicking the same link you used to enter initially.

Q: What is the best browser to use for virtual classes?
A: Zoom works best when using the Chrome web browser if you are using your laptop and not the desktop app.

Q: Can I talk to the teacher after the class?
A: After we finish, I will unmute your speaker so that you can say hello or ask a question.  

Q: Can you help me with technical issues?
A: Unfortunately, I am not able to provide technical assistance with Zoom. I suggest you use Zoom’s help support to trouble-shoot your problem. Tech is not my forté, and is hard to manage distally.

Q: Will you be teaching any evening classes?
A:  If you are interested in a class outside of the 9-5 schedule, please let me know.  If I have adequate interest, I will add a class to accommodate those still working 9-5.

Today’s Poem

Such Singing in the Wild Branches
Mary Oliver

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves –
then I saw him clutching the limb
in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still
and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness –
and that’s when it happened,
when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree –
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,
and the sands in the glass
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward
like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing –
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed
not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky – all, all of them
were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last
for more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,
is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?
Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then – open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

Two Upcoming Courses:
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness involves paying attention to your present experience, including your thoughts, emotions and sensory experiences. Mindfulness helps you to be more accepting of what’s happening so you struggle less with your experience.

A growing body of scientific research on mindfulness has demonstrated a wide range of benefits, including:

Psychological: reduces stress, anxiety and depression.

Mental: increases your ability to focus and improves your memory.

Physical: helps you eat and sleep better, boosts your body’s immune system and helps you deal with physical pain.

Social: enhances relationships, helping you communicate better and feel more accepting of yourself and others, and feel more optimistic about your relationships.

In this 8-week series, Domonick will share the neuroscience behind how mindfulness can change your brain to be more peaceful and less reactive. (Research has found that this training increases the density of gray matter in brain regions linked to learning, memory, emotion regulation, and empathy). Further, you will receive support in developing a home meditation practice to continue to develop mindfulness after the course is finished.

You will leave the course with new tools to help deal with your stress more peacefully and to meet yourself and others with greater kindness and acceptance.


Eight Tuesdays: May 26 – July 14.  7:15 – 9:15pm

Cost:  $385 before May 1st/ $410 after

Location: Yoga Kula, Berkeley

Register:  Yoga Kula.



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