Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Vietnam, Cambodia and Yoga

Less than 24 days to go! We depart February 27 for Vietnam and Cambodia. Plus a week-long yoga retreat at Navutu Dreams Resort and Spa near ancient archeological site, Angkor Watt. Go to for the 15-day tour information, and for the yoga retreat info. Expand your SWEET world. Namaste!

Monday, September 21, 2015


In 159 days, on February 27, Field and I and a warm, adventurous and open group of travelers will embark on a GoAhead Tour to Viet Nam and Cambodia. As Go Ahead is specifically an educational company, we will not to just see, but experience a rich immersion in Vietnamese and Cambodian culture and history. 

This will be our 4th tour with Go Ahead. We have also been educated in Peru, India and Turkey. As in past excursions, we will add-on a week of yoga at a retreat center, for those wishing to stay and relax, and to practice yoga in an exotic and sacred space. Our choice this time is Navutu Dreams Resort and Spa <>. 

Our tour departs from Traverse City (or whatever airport you choose) on February 27, 2016, and is inclusive of airfare, most meals and all lodging. We will continue to Navutu Dreams on March 11, staying until March 18, 2016. That portion of the trip includes food, lodging and yoga instruction. To find out more go to for the tour information and pricing, and to Navutu Dreams for the yoga add-on. 

We are all one.
We look forward to traveling with you.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

AYURVEDA: Science of Life WORKSHOP at Yoga4

What is Ayurveda? Ayurveda is the most ancient healing science from which the other healing modalities such as traditional Tibetan and Chinese Medicine emerged. In Sanskrit, Ayus means life and Veda means science or knowledge. Ayurveda is being in harmony with the rhythms and elements of nature, and your personal nature, in order to live a long, healthy and balanced life.

Ayurveda and Yoga are sister sciences.
Through an understanding of Ayurvedic bioenergy types, or doshas, you will enhance your yoga practice by identifying your particular imbalances. These imbalances can be corrected with gentle changes in diet, yoga and lifestyle. Ayurveda is highly regarded as a disease prevention approach, correcting minor conditions before the disease stage is reached.

Rhonda Egidio, Ph.D., RAP is owner of Radiant Life Ayurveda in Kalamazoo, MI. She is a Registered Ayurvedic Professional and a Professor of Education at Michigan State University. Rhonda’s central belief is that all healing comes from the underlying field of consciousness and our connection with The Divine. We can prepare ourselves with readiness to receive divine healing through the time-tested practices and principles of Ayurveda.

Why Ayurveda? Because Ayurveda is customized, what is helpful for one person may actually be detrimental to another. Learn about your particular doshic makeup and what you can do to become radiantly healthy. In this training you will assess your own Ayurveda constitution (Prakruti) and current imbalance (Vikruti) to develop a custom diet, yoga asana and lifestyle plan for balancing your “deranged” dosha. You will also learn how to use Ayurvedic wisdom to support others– family, friends, students and those you care for. 

This workshop is for those new to Ayurveda as well as those with some grounding in Ayurveda knowledge. Please join us. Whether you are a teacher of yoga, a student or novice, discover Ayurveda’s very personalized benefits for yourself. Visit: for more information and Dr. Egidio’s free monthly newsletter.
Ayurveda with Dr. Rhonda Egidio
9 am - 5 pm Friday SEPTEMBER 4
9 am - Noon Saturday SEPTEMBER 5
Register at
or call/text 231-633-4453

Friday, July 31, 2015


Our UNION/YOGA Teacher Certification programs begin at Yoga4 in Lake Leelanau soon – both 200 hour Classic and 500 hour Master levels. 

I want to get one thing straight. I teach real yoga. It is my intention that those coming through this program experience real yoga. Whether you plan to teach yoga isn't important. That you intend to go deep is what counts.

Real yoga is not merely exercise. Nor is it mind/body exercise, but that's closer. Yoga is transformative and transcendent. Yoga uses the body as a portal to access deeper layers of self. Like setting a course over high seas, the intention is the realignment with your “true north,” your most honest, best, harmonious and full-blown healthy expression. Yoga helps you locate where you have gone off course and shows you how to find your way back to your stillpoint center. Everything improves when you are set on your sacred course.

There is no intermediary between you and your Source – the experience of true yoga is very personal, direct, immediate and brilliant.

Taking a yoga teacher training course is more about cleaning your lens so that you may see yourself more clearly, and clearing your vibratory self, opening your own expression in the world. This is not “Simon Says” yoga or show-off yoga.

UYTT 200 begins  September 19 and runs on weekends, about twice a month. Graduation is April 3.
UYTT 500 is 300 additional hours after your 200 certification. 500 starts on August 28 and runs as 4 9-day blocks. Graduation is February 21.  

See the sidebar (left) for your application form and all the other pertinent information.  

Namaste, it is a joy to share Real Yoga with you. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

UNION/YOGA Teacher Certifications– since 1997

We're very excited about the Yoga4 studio opening at the former UNION/YOGA site in Lake Leelanau– and getting close to the start of UYTT 200 Classic on September 19, and UYTT 300 Master (formerly called "500") on August 28. See more at, and on the sidebar, left.

The published scientific studies affirming the benefits of yoga continue day by day. We are at a major threshold in worldwide recognition and acceptance of yoga therapy and teaching as a valid and professional career touching all aspects of healthcare and well-being, beneficial from childhood through final breath.

UNION/YOGA Teacher Certification has been serving serious yogis since 1997. No matter if you wish to teach yoga or simply desire to enrich your own understanding and personal practice, UYTT will take you into the depths and breadth of yoga. This is not merely a teaching of asanas, but a comprehensive course encompassing all aspects of this ancient art, from physical to psychological, emotional and spiritual. This is not "fast food" yoga. This is a multi-course enrichment feast.

I am honored to provide the esteemed yogic tools for self-empowerment and transformation through UNION/YOGA Teacher Certification. Please email me at or call 231-256-2100. Christen Landry, director at Yoga4 is also available to answer you questions at 231-633-4453.

Namaste, I look forward to serving you as you serve the world through yoga.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

What to Wear for Yoga

Yoga costume, 1931 
Back in the dark ages, when Field and I started practicing yoga, what we first referred to as "sticky" mats hadn't been invented yet. It was the early 1970s. We took turns practicing on a folded Pendleton stadium blanket, which we still have. His mom, Nancy bought us a second blanket when she heard there was conversation over who would get the treasured thing if we were ever to split up. 

No sticky yoga mats. No belts, blocks, or straps. And no special yoga clothes.

It was the West coast. We were not practicing Bikram, so we didn't wear bathing suits, as they did back then. We both wore pretty much the same typical yogi attire: white linen or cotton drawstring pants and a cotton T-shirt or tank top. The pants had to be white. I got pretty good at whipping out a pair in about an hour on my old Sears portable machine. Eventually, as yoga stylin' evolved, some yoginis would wear a dance leotard with the prescribed white drawstring yoga pants. Our teacher, Joel Kramer wore a speedo bathing suit.  No kidding.

By the time we moved back to Michigan in 1978, the yoga pants might be shucked in favor of just the leotard. Bare legs. Not that half of us cared back then, but the bare legs and generous leg openings of the leotards was a bit of a modesty problem with seated split-legged poses. This was a whole different scene than the other side of the Mississippi. In Detroit, women were wearing matching latex tights and leotards of shiny fabric, often in animal prints like leopard and tiger. And lots of jewelry, makeup, and styled hair. I felt like a real hippie. 

The men were still wearing the white drawstring yoga pants, but we began to see shorts and even bathing trunks show up. A little company saw the need in the Ann Arbor Iyengar community and started producing a yoga short for men and women. The item, cut for modesty, was called the same as the company, "Hugger Mugger," which means “a well-kept secret.” Hugger Mugger is still in business, but I don't know if they still sell the shorts. I preferred Hugger-Muggers to the long pants because the position of the knees could now be visible to the teacher without having to roll up the pants. 

Around this time the dance-wear industry started producing leotards and body suits for yoga practice. I still like the look and convenience of a one-piece, but it's a hassle when you have to go to the bathroom. And I remember these could be pretty silly- with puffy little sleeves and belts, bows, and decorative pretend buttons. Oh, my. 

In the late 80s the industry Got Smart and things started to get much more sophisticated, fun and street-worthy. The universal uniform that has taken over the ubiquitous jeans scene around the planet – black yoga pants and a top of your choice. Anything goes. All you may need is a little jacket or swingy mini over your standard black stretchy pants and you are moving from studio floor to desk to dance floor with only a change of shoes. 

What a great time we live in.

Modeled by Marguerite Agniel in The Art of the Body
Harcourt, Brace and Co., NY, 1931

Friday, May 15, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

UNION/YOGA 200 hr & 500 hr Yoga Teacher Certifications

I am so joyful to announce the reopening of the studio once known as UNION/YOGA in Lake Leelanau, now as Yoga4, under the direction of Christen Landry. Yoga4 will open June 1. See
UNION/YOGA Teacher Certification 200 hour Classic Level begins at Yoga4 the weekend of September 19-20. The program will run on 14 weekends from September until April. Graduation is April 3, 2016. Christen Landry will be assisting each weekend. For more information email If you are on the UNION/YOGA emailing list, expect to receive an email newsletter with more details soon!
Congratulations to Christen and joy to all the returning yogis to this beautiful, sacred space. We are all so grateful.
Christen Landry, CYT 200, director Yoga4

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Yoga Studio in Lake Leelanau!

I am thrilled to announce the reopening of the old UNION/YOGA studio in Lake Leelanau!
Yoga4 will open June 1. Christen Landry, CYT 200 is the director. There will be lots of yoga happening there, including SUP (stand up paddleboard) Yoga classes, and more.  My classes at Yoga4 will be on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. Thank you Janine and Doug Fierberg for long-term leasing and renewing the beautiful sacred space in Lake Leelanau soon to be known as "The Local Branch." See you on the mat in Lake Leelanau starting June 1!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

HANDS ON! Yoga Asana Assists and Adjustments Workshop

Modifications for Hatha Yoga Asana
A Workshop for Teachers and Serious Students of Yoga

Sandra Carden, ERYT 500
May 2, 2015
1:00 – 4:00 PM
Shanti School of Yoga, Traverse City

Modifications in hatha yoga asana practice are of great benefit to students who may require special support, alternatives to a posture, a deeper experience, or less intensity based on their own edges of exploration vs. discomfort. All practitioners are unique, each with their own body, energy, medical and emotional history, mindset, and needs. What works for one may be injurious to the next.
Modifications in hatha yoga asana practice may be offered as self-support, or may be offered by the instructor. They may be instructed verbally or by touch. Modifications may be categorized as either assisting or adjusting. Assisting is not the same as partnering. Adjusting is not the same as conforming.

Offering modifications marks the more attuned instructor, aware and conscious of every student in every class, in the spirit of service (seva) rather than self-aggrandizement.

Sandra Carden, ERYT 500 will grant Yoga Alliance registered teachers 3 hours CEU (Yoga Alliance continuing education units) for those completing this workshop. Yoga Alliance requires 30 CEUs every 3 years.

$55. This workshop, although of great benefit to teachers, is open to all experienced practitioners.

If CEUs are requested, please notify Sandra directly for certificate issuance. There is a $10 fee, payable to UNION/YOGA LLC for certificate of participation. 

Namaste! I look forward to serving you.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Sandra Carden in the Garden at the Leland Lodge

UNION/YOGA Silent Retreat
Sandra Carden, ERYT 500
The  Leland Lodge
April 10-12, 2015

INTENTION: To gather in silence for yoga and meditation practice over a period of 3 days, in order to create an environment without distractions and tasks of daily life, to deeply enhance the powerful experience of yoga asana, pranayama and vipassana in a self-directed and organic manner.

METHOD: The Silent Retreat will be andragogic rather than pedagogic in nature. Participants will have all information needed before we go into silence to support their own inspired practice. Sandra will be offering a format in which to frame both asana and meditation practices, and she, and her assistant(s) will support the participants through modeling and demonstration, posture adjustments, and in any other way appropriate and necessary.  

LOGISTICS: We will arrive at the Leland Lodge Friday April 10 after 3 PM. We will dine together in the Lodge dining room. After supper, we will meet Friday evening to discuss the format of the program. We will close the evening Friday with a brief ceremony and seated mediation. After our meeting Friday evening we will be silent until Sunday at the closing ceremony. We will check out of the Leland Lodge at 11 AM Sunday, April 12th.

SCHEDULE: Each day we will have yoga practice sessions and Vipassana meditation practices in the Lodge Banquet Room. Each session will be theme-driven. Yoga practices are not led, but self-initiated and inspired by the offered inspirations, and from the teacher(s) and one another.
Schedule is subject to change.

Friday, April 10, 2015
4:00 PM  Leland Lodge Check-in/Arrival
6:00 PM  Dinner Leland Lodge (dining room TBA)
7:00-9:00 PM  Opening Ceremony. 30 minute Introductions and Syllabus, 90 minute Yoga and Vipassana Meditation practice.

Saturday, April 11, 2015
Silence beings upon awakening. Leland Lodge provides a wake up call at your preference of time. Coffee, teas and light breakfast choices will be provided buffet-style starting at 6 AM.
9:00 AM-Noon  2 hour Silent Yoga and I hour Vipassana  Meditation
12:00 PM  Silent group LUNCH
1:00-3:00 PM  Open time. Enjoy the silence of Leland and the Lodge
3:30-5:30 PM  2 Hour Silent Yoga
6:00 PM  Silent group DINNER
8:00-9:00 PM  One hour Silent Meditation

Sunday, April 12, 2015
Leland Lodge provides a wake up call at your preference of time. Coffee, teas and light breakfast choices will be provided buffet-style starting at 6 AM.
9:00-10:00 AM 60 minute Silent Yoga and Vipassana Meditation practice.
11:00 AM Breaking Silence Closing Ceremony
12 Noon  Leland Lodge Check-out/Departure

$458  Inclusive of lodging, plus all meals featuring deliciously prepared local sustainable cuisine, yoga and meditation guidance. 10 hours Yoga Alliance approved CEUs for teachers is offered for $15. Certificate upon completion of this workshop. 

To find out more about this fabulous Leelanau County venue, see

Please make your reservation with events coordinator Melissa at The Leland Lodge: or call Melissa at 231-256-9848. Mention that you qualify for the SPECIAL GROUP RATE for the UNION/YOGA Silent Retreat.
Rooms are based on availability. Please note that Space is Limited.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Valentine Heart 2 Heart Partner Yoga Workshop

Partner Yoga: Soul to Soul, Heart to Heart
According to legend, Once Upon a Time there was a way for two lovers to express their feelings for one another deeply, directly and without verbal language – soul-to-soul. Unfortunately, over the eons we have lost this knowledge. In our hearts, we still have the openness, the will and ability.

Lovers are any two who care for one another in a way that is more than casual. This Valentine Day couples practice is for lovers who may be parent and child, sisters and brothers, soul-sisters and soul-brothers, girlfriends and boyfriends, best friends, buddies and mates. In a loving relationship, we learn to communicate, and therefore to trust that we are heard and understood. We come to trust ourselves to offer what the other wants and needs. And we trust ourselves enough to let go, to open and to receive.

Like the ancient YIN/YANG symbol, a perfect balance always holds tension in homeostasis, and each side has a bit of the opposite energy at its center. So, we will end our partner practice with Boka Maru. Boka Maru is love-fun for two – intimate but not intimidating, sensual but not sexual. Boka-Maru is not Yoga, but it is Yogic. 

This Valentine’s Day, do something different and really memorable. Treat someone you love to an afternoon of love-connection, communion and trust for 2 in a beautiful give-and-take play. You will be awed, delighted and inspired. 

This, of course, will seep out into your life. And there will be chocolate!

Sandra Carden, ERYT 500
February 14, 2015
1:30 PM – 4:30 PM    $50 per couple
Yen Yoga Fitness, Traverse City

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Welcome Chris Rader

Chris Rader, my onetime neighbor, longtime friend, and all-the-time yoga associate will be slipping in to my regular time slots for the next 8 weeks.  Please welcome Chris and attend her classes over the holidays and holy days. You are in capable and loving hands.

Tuesday mornings 9:00-10:30 at The Suttons Bay Friendship Center
Friday mornings 8:30-10:00 at The Leland Old Art Building

Chris' classes are walk-in only, $15. For more information Chris may be reached at
Namaste, and I will see you in January, bringing all that I learn along the way.
Love, Sandra

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Community in Yoga

It's always wonderful to get support. 
Our burgeoning yoga community here in greater Grand Traverse abounds with diversity, dedication and desire to serve. I truly appreciate the opportunity to teach here regularly, and to be under the guidance of others, many whom have been my own students. 

Matthew Darling of Ashtanga Michigan in Royal Oak was recently hosted by Yen Yoga and Fitness. See

Matthew and I first met in the early 90s at a workshop at the Neahtawanta Inn. Perhaps that was with Suddha Weixler of the Chicago Yoga Center? It's been a long time... 
Anyway, this was long before Matthew took off for India, and in 2002 became certified to teach by the late creator and master of Ashtanga Yoga, Sri Patabhi Jois. 

One of the things I remember about Matthew was is complete sincerity to the practice. Not long after we first met, we ran into one another at the Leland Wine and Food Festival. Matthew was neither wine-ing nor dining. He was practicing "noble silence," while fully and delightedly participating in the raucous revelries of celebration, song and dance.  Matthew reminds us that one does not need to withdraw from the world in order to exemplify a yogic lifestyle. He's a householder, father, husband, artist and business owner. Although it isn't necessary to fast, or to practice contemplative silence sitting in a cave, practicing withdrawal of the senses, pratayahara, will shift your perspective. Enrichment of each moment comes with witnessing each moment fully and completely. 

I am grateful for the moments I have shared and the gifts and support I have received from my teachers and my students alike. We are all only beginners. Thank you, Matthew and Yen Yoga.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Thank you Mr. Iyengar

BKS Iyengar left this mortal world on August 20, 2014 at 95 years of age. For most of us in the West, he was our first instructional yogic influence. He was fierce and exact, precise and dedicated. I only worked with him directly in 1993, in Ann Arbor at the Iyengar Convention marking his 75th birthday celebration. What an experience to be among hundreds and hundreds of people, all in headstand in the U of M indoor stadium! His first book of many, Light on Yoga became my ultimate guide. I read it until the pages fell out, and Field and I still have that tattered 1966 copy. Mr Iyengar set the tone and opened the gates for yoga's flourishing in every direction and expression over the past 5 decades. I honor him and am indebted to him for waking me up to the path that forever changed my life. I am so grateful.
Namaste, Master Teacher. Now we feel your presence even more through each one of us.