From Here to Savasana…
Summer Unplugged: Asanas, Acoustic – and a dash of cinnamon!
By: Leanna Litrenta
I’ve always been partial to the month of August.
The summer crop has reached its peak, the sun is typically at its hottest, family vacations abound, and festivals ramp up as we relish in what’s left of summer. We begin to experience the overall feeling we tend to feel when we know that one journey is ending and a fresh adventure awaits.
And there’s a romantic vibe attached to the last of the fireflies and the lingering scent of what’s become cool night air.
Oh August, my August. A culmination of memories… the Sunday of summer.
For these reasons, I’m embarking on a new ritual this time of year – which is to celebrate the end of the season with some gentle yoga and meditation. There’s just something special about treating yourself kindly during a transition.
To steer us through this seasonal changeover, Shannon Prestopine will offer a “Soulful Stretch & Meditation” class at 10:15 a.m. on Sunday, August 26 at Infinity Flow.
The class will bring down our energy and ground us through gentle movement and guided breathwork.
Kelly Abraham-Lagnese, reading facilitator by day and yoga instructor and student by eve, stays grounded in this same way through her own daily meditation practice, which she often pairs with deep stretching – a routine that offers clarity, control and better perspective.
Abraham-Lagnese explained that meditation can serve as a support during times of stress or transition in our lives, and that a daily routine can ease the impact of stressful or even traumatic situations overall and help us remain grounded throughout the day. That’s why she believes this class is phenomenal.
“Season change affects us greatly – weather and nature transitions, schedule changes and upcoming holidays can all impact the soul,” said Abraham-Lagnese. “Acknowledging these changes and learning how to embrace them diffuses stress and allows us to move forward with a sense of calmness.”
And so Shannon will lead the class through a moderate flow that will accommodate every body type and any level of practice. She will incorporate breathing techniques, mantra, mudras, as well as the use of props and essential oils.
Abraham-Lagnese noted that yoga-style stretching soothes and cares for our bodies gently from the inside out. She finds comfort in the sound of her own breathwork and praises essential oils for their therapeutic qualities.
“The use of essential oils adds that ‘extra something’ because it affects your senses in a calming way,” said Abraham-Lagnese.
Jerry Volpe will provide a mellow accompaniment to the class with his live acoustic guitar blend to enhance the practice in the extraordinary way that music can feed our souls.
Shannon will end the class with a guided meditation to balance the chakras and help us find our inner place of peace.
“Shannon has a very good voice to guide you through a calming practice,” Abraham-Lagnese promises. “She will provide a calming space, beautiful music and gentle guidance.”
Once you’ve joined us on August 26 for this soothing class, you’ll want to continue your day in that end-of-summer spirit. If you can’t build a bonfire, then try my oven-baked granola recipe below. My hope is that it’ll warm your heart through these upcoming cooler months – just like the team at Infinity Flow.
Cheers and Namaste!
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Leanna’s Easy Homemade Granola
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 heaping teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 level teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
Cooking spray (for baking sheet)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees (Fahrenheit).
Place oats in large bowl. Add sea salt and cinnamon and stir to combine.
Add oil, honey and brown sugar to a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Pour honey mixture over the oats and coat well (spatula recommended).
Pour onto baking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray).
Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes. It’s best to watch this mixture very carefully during baking process.
Remove from oven and transfer immediately onto parchment paper. Spread evenly across parchment and allow to cool completely.
At this point, you may add nuts, dried fruits, coconut, or nothing at all – your choice!
Serve over yogurt, ice cream, with milk… or by itself. Store in zip-lock bag. Enjoy!
Leanna Litrenta is a local freelance writer with roots in community journalism. For nearly 20 years, Leanna has provided team leadership and legal support to top-ranked, global firms. In her spare time, Leanna practices yoga and meditation, and enjoys fundraising for local charities. Leanna holds a degree in journalism from The Pennsylvania State University, as well as graduate-level certificates from Duquesne and Cornell. She values local, small businesses like Infinity Flow, and knows that extraordinary things can happen when a community unites in positivity and purpose.