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Birmingham, find your spiritual community!

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So it’s been a while since this page was updated with a list of things going on around the Birmingham area for those who are interested in veering out of the mainstream and more into spirituality which requires no specific beliefs. It doesn’t mean things haven’t been going on at all. It just means the writer has gotten lax on certain areas.

I will not tell you of the things you have missed, instead, I will give you a brief run-down of the things on the horizon. This is by no means comprehensive, so please do your homework if you are looking for something specific.

This weekend, March 5, there are a couple of things to speak of: Sunday at 1:00 PM at Villager Yoga will be the open house and registration for a series of seven Sunday afternoon meetings called Yoga in Action. (Check out the wonderful family style studio at www.VillagerYoga.info.) This is an amazing program led by three of the dynamic and spirited yogis in the area (Shannon Andrews Skipper, Jasper Elliot Wolfe, and Melissa Scott). This program is the brainchild of some famous yoga names in the Western world who wanted to see the application of the philosophy of yoga applied in the real world. It will include asanas, journaling, breathwork, meditation, community, and seva (community service). If you want to know everything about it, come to the open house at Villager Yoga in Cahaba Heights on Sunday at 1:00. Bring your checkbook because you are going to love this program! Early registration is $250, and there are scholarship opportunities available through the website. For more information, see www.OfftheMatintotheWorld.org and follow the links. You can also email the ladies at YogainActionbham@gmail.com.

The next event you won’t want to miss for the weekend is the Raw Foods Lecture at Golden Temple in Five Points. It seems this will be a free event and you will have a chance to taste some of the foods they will be telling us about. If you are like many of us and have become privy to the knowledge of the atrocities of our food industry, you are always looking for healthy ways to feed yourself and your family. Come down from 4:00-7:00 PM on Sunday and see what Raw Foods Eating is all about! Our spirits cannot soar if we aren’t feeding the body real food. Think about it.

Of course, as always, Lululemon at the Summit has the rotating local yogis teaching their preferred styles of yoga for free on Sundays at 6. Bring your mat and join the seasoned as well as the novice practitioners!

If you feel like a bit of a drive and love to get your chant on, plan on taking the drive to Atlanta for Chantlanta 2012. This is a gathering of devotees for the amazing benefit of mantra yoga. Many people are waking up to the power of mantra, and are celebrating it in great numbers. Ian Boccio was in town a couple of weeks ago leading a workshop at Books, Beans, and Candles, and what he brought to the participants in addition to practice was a rich education of the reasons behind the beautiful sacred syllables we find ourselves uttering in Kirtan or in some super-awesome yoga classes around town. (Shannon Andrews Skipper organized this one too, as she is one of our resident Kirtan Satsang leaders—Jasper Elliot Wolfe is the other— for every first Wednesday night, and every last Friday night.) You can check out the website at www.ChantLanta.org for details. Looks like it’s free Friday night and Saturday until 6, then there’s a charge for tickets from 7:00-midnight. It must be amazing to be in the presence of that many joined hearts in prayer and blessing!

If you have a pull toward the Shamanic practices of Native peoples, you should check with Valerie Nunnelly at www.ValerieNunnelly.com. She’s doing a journeying workshop at the end of the month (March 31-April 1). It looks like just one of the many types of workshops she’s offering this year, and one that is sure to help propel you onward toward your goal of spiritual growth. Check out her site for the location and the cost.

The opportunity to go through teacher training to be a yoga instructor or simply to deepen your practice will be held at The Yoga Circle for those of you interested. The information can be found on the studio’s website at www.TheYogaCircle.net. It begins in May and the teachers will be coming from Asheville. For more info about them, see www.YourYoga.com. If you’d rather go to exotic Guatemala with Akasha’s next immersion group, find out more details at www.BirminghamYoga.com. This training is also in May.

Plenty more opportunities to grow in spirit around the Birmingham, Alabama area; just know where to look! My favorite studios have been listed here, but I’d like to add www.HeartwoodYoga.com and www.BlissfulHeights.com to the list.

(I still haven’t made it out to www.StudioZenFitness.com, but I know there’s an amazing power yoga teacher who’s motivating lots of folks!)

(Oh yeah, all the businesses and every person mentioned in this article have Facebook pages. Look them up there too!)

Laurie M. Knight, author of Journal to the Center of the Soul, is also a reverend, a Reiki Master, a death and dying specialist, and much more. Check out her new business at www.HealingCenterEd.com where she will be reaching out to educate folks in ways to better integrate their spirituality into their daily lives. Stay tuned for what’s coming up!

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