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2o years of Sharing the Teachings of Yoga

2o years of Sharing the Teachings of Yoga

“When you receive whoever comes into the space of NOW as a noble guest, when you allow each person to be who they are, they begin to change. To know another human being in their essence, you don’t need to know anything abut them—their past, their history, their story. We confuse knowing about with the deeper knowing that is non-conceptional. One is concerned with form, the other formless.”
—Elkhart Tolle

This is the path of sharing the teachings of yoga:

  • to meet and greet the pure essence of one’s inner being;  
  • to hold a safe place where the little mind can let go of the form and experience something perhaps unfamiliar and awkward;
  • to allow an awakening of something greater that has no form but moves us forward into the pure gift of life.

This has been and will continue to be the way we can teach self love. This is our community at Yoga Among Friends.

I am today and everyday grateful that I followed an inner voice that tapped me on the shoulder and brought my ego to the knees. The depth of going into the dark night of our soul is not to harm but to offer the gateway to our inner light. I pray for the courage to live beyond my story, my fears and bias opinions—to live without the striving for the outcome.

I had no idea that inner knowing would lead me to establish a yoga center in a town call Downers Grove—to hold a space that would become a community safe haven for so many.

On Saturday, September 22, we will celebrate our 20th anniversary as a yoga center with a party. An event that could not happen without all of the many beautiful individual lights that have participated in the journey of yoga.

Without community, nothing can thrive and grow, and so we hope you will join us in celebration. Come honor your teacher who has helped to see you not in form, but in the place of acceptance that everyone matters as radiant life. Come fete your fellow yogis who have journeyed along with you. It might take one vision to plant a seed, but to help nourish and care for the plant takes a combined effort of loving commitment. We are community and belonging is where we can meet with our differences and be seen for our true self.  

We are all teachers for one another, and we at YAF have learned much from you, our students, and we are truly grateful. May each day offer another opportunity to continue our learning together. 

Learn more about our anniversary party and RSVP here.

All of us at YAF

Spacious Relationships: True Belonging with Laura Jane Mellencamp

Spacious Relationships: True Belonging with Laura Jane Mellencamp


Listen in as Laura Jane joins as the featured guest of Christine Kathryn on her podcast, "Creating Space with Christine Kathryn."  

Episode 64, Spacious Relationships: True Belonging, has Laura Jane discussing her belief that we are living in a ‘hot-headed, cold-hearted world,” and her work here is to help cool the mind and warm the heart. Laura Jane and Christine Kathryn spend a good deal of time talking about belonging and how Laura says arriving there is an ‘inside job’. She talks about the greater depth of belonging to everything, and that true belonging is through being in relationship to ‘something greater’. They touch on self-love, and Laura Jane shares her unique perspectives on its relationship to forgiveness and recovery, and how we are all offered this path.

They cover so much more about learning to live in healthy relationship with the world around us, that you might want to have something handy to take notes and possibly listen to it more than once. There’s a lot of concepts you may need to sit with in order to let them soak in. One thing’s for sure, Laura Jane is a spitfire who’s proud to ‘take up a lot of space in this world’ and Christine Kathryn is so glad she does!  

Listen to the podcast on Christine Kathryn's website or on iTunes

Christine Kathryn guides women toward self-healing and empowerment by leading them on a journey to find the answers within. She has designed a variety of services to help with the journey toward inner discovery including: one-on-one mentoring, small group mentoring, workshops, and classes. Every Monday, she shares a podcast on topics that provide inspiration and techniques to gain more peace, calmness, and ease in your life.  

Learn more about Christine Kathryn and her work:


Nourish Your Love to Thrive and Be Fully Alive

Nourish Your Love to Thrive and Be Fully Alive

The great meditation teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, often speaks of nourishing your love. If we know how to feed our love every day, it will stay for a long time.

One way we nourish our love is by being conscious of what we consume. Many of us assume our daily nourishment only in terms of what we consume as food. But there are many kinds of food that we need in order to thrive. Yes, edible food nourishes our physical bodies and nervous systems, but we need sensory food as well: what we smell, what we hear, what we feel, and what we touch.

In addition, the intention of thought is food for moving us in love and the ability to experience consciousness. This includes our individual food of conscious awareness for both those around us and for our environment. To be fully alive, we must be fully nourished to thrive and maintain our full capacity to love. 

When we are malnourished in unhealthy thought, our habits of wrong thinking bring on actions of bad behavior. Our lifestyle becomes one of limited love, resorting to small thinking and selfish actions. The teachings of yoga says that energy goes where attention goes. Unplugging from all the media, and letting go of all the daily roles we have at home, is one of the most important things we can do to maintain the nourishment of this inner landscape of loving kindness. 

Our retreat this past month in Greece was just that, a time to unplug and seek out sensory nourishment. The light of Greece was healing. The brilliant blue tones of the sky meeting the water and the vibrant painted doors against the white of the buildings were breathtaking. The sensory pulse of the wind against the ocean crashing waves. The robust favors of the delicious culinary dishes combined with the radiant passion of the Greek people, who joyously shared their loving smiles and full hearts!

The trip fully embraced the meaning of the Greek word for love, agape. This is unconditional love for humanity in the presence of shared respect for mankind. We fed our souls by offering service projects and shared in a coming together as one community. Each day welcomed us with the friendly hello of good day, kalimera! Reminding us we were blessed! Greece was truly a bounty of life’s true abundance in all that nourishes!

Creating a sacred space to feed the deeper aspects of love is the joy of my teachings. I am passionate about feeding the soul. The soul needs to live, to dance, to laugh, to cry and to be actively engaged in feeling. We need to share hugs, be outrageous and also feel safe enough to be seen by others with loving eyes. This is agape, the love for all beings, the love that perhaps the great mystics and teachers inspired us to live. We need to trust that humanity is good and that life is full of love.

In this spirit, I invite you to come celebrate our 20th anniversary with the sharing of nourishing food and the abundance of stories on Saturday, September 22 (a new date). We're hosting a big bash, and everyone who has participated in the journey of yoga is invited to celebrate! And hopefully, this will also inspire you to nourish yourself at our winter retreat in Cabo when we return the week of February 16-23, 2019. It's never too early to reserve your place at the table of LIFE.

Love and blessings,
Laura Jane