NEWS: Yoga Farm: Connection Is Healing
Article by: Nick Newcomb, Sports Editor and Staff Reporter
Originally published on Ithaca.com and printed in the Lansing Ledger, a local paper.
Navigating life’s challenges whether it be cancer treatment, chronic illness, depression and anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, grief – and the list goes on – is a journey best not spent by yourself and your potentially negative thoughts and emotions.
“When we’re in life challenges is when we can feel profoundly alone and profoundly disconnected and its harder to heal when we’re just alone with painful thinking, when we’re alone with just our mind and all our suffering is up here (points to head). People who are connected heal differently than people who are alone with their mind. That’s the worst hell is to be alone with yourself in a life challenge with your thoughts,” Daniela Hess, co-owner of Yoga Farm in Lansing, said.
So Hess and her business partner, Christopher Grant, as a continuation of their efforts to extend the opportunities for physical and emotion healing that yoga, meditation, and connection can provide to individuals in the community who are most in need have developed a program called “Connection Is Healing.” The special initiative gives the opportunity to join the center as a three-month member at any tuition that is manageable for them.
“It’s not donation-based, it’s not pay what you want. It’s just get still for a moment, check in, what’s ever honest and in integrity for you is welcome. We don’t negotiate. For some people that’s a half-price tuition for some people maybe they pay a dollar when they come, it doesn’t matter. It allows for people to really come and feel good about what they’re offering knowing they’re not being judged by something is too little and we trust them. When people are asked what next step would have you feel in integrity with you no matter what it is … when we connect and listen to what is our integrity is when we’re connected to our true nature and our true nature is goodness, is peaceful, it wants to offer and wants to give,” Hess said.
Grant began his journey into the wellness industry with the help of Hess as the two renovated a barn that sit on a farm into their studio. Now, located at 404 Conlon Road in Lansing, the rebooted Indian chimney and alpaca farm is where many go to find community and wellness.
“It’s an amazing community of individuals – even by Ithaca standards. Christopher and Daniela’s hearts are so into making this a safe community where people can heal in a way with laughter and fun and with no judgement,” Kat Patton of Dryden said.
The feeling of community and connection is something Grant and Hess pride themselves on creating and it’s something that has had a positive impact on the participants of their classes.
“In the culmination of my work and observations … I kept finding the common denominator we’re all seeking is connection. That’s it. We thrive in connection. We have a hard time healing and our zest for life is diminished when we’re disconnected … we know this through science and studies as well,” Hess said. “We just kept seeing people light up when you connect. There’s nothing on that list (of life challenges) we haven’t personally sampled in some way, we have a personal understanding of to a certain degree. Those are often the times when we feel the most disconnected when we’re navigating real challenges in life.”
Hess, who also teaches classes off-site as a wellness and life coach, said that we’re either in a life challenge or not and it’s those times we feel the most disconnected and in those times where we need and could benefit more from self-care. Often when going through those life challenges there’s often a financial burden or struggle as well which was the reasoning behind the Connection In Healing program.
The programs Hess and Grant teach vary and no prior experience is needed. Those who take their classes are of all ages, sizes and shapes but the benefits remain constant. For more information on the programs and to see the class schedule visit yogafarm.us.
By Nick Newcomb