Sacandaga Digest


Feature Stories

Enlighten Yoga & Community Center

By Shelley Brienza


I’ve had the pleasure recently of meeting a young lady whose vibrational levels matched my own. I know that might sound strange but, have you ever met someone before and had this “feeling” around them that you are on the “same page”? This is how it is with Laura Harrison of Enlighten Yoga and Community Center in Amsterdam, NY.


In speaking with Laura who happens to be one of the many teachers at Enlighten Yoga, she was telling me that this business is much like a community, a growing little hub where everyone is welcome and supportive of each other and new people.

Yoga ~ Meditation ~ TranceDance ~ Kirtans ~ Philanthropy (Seva) ~ Teacher Training ~ Kids ~ Community ~

Enlighten is an eco-friendly yoga and community center in the heart of Amsterdam, NY. They offer group and private yoga and meditation classes, in addition to hosting live music and poetry performances, open art studio sessions, kirtans, retreats, workshops of all kinds, and more. They help everyone to live the happiest, healthiest, most inspired lives possible. Their fees are donation-based, which means you pay whatever you can afford. They feel yoga should be accessible to ALL regardless of income!

Laura shared, “That the practice isn't just about flexibility, but that it strengthens, balances, heals, and enlivens the body; calms, focuses and balances the mind; and that it balances, cleanses and realigns the energy. Yoga means union, and its the RE-union of the body, mind, and energy in the present moment that we achieve in practice. It includes breathing, meditation, and relaxation in every practice. Men, women, and children all practice yoga.

We offer ecstatic flow (dance-like movement meditation, which for me evolved from a combination of belly dancing and yoga), yoga classes of all levels, mindfulness meditation (our meditation teacher Jamie Bradt is actually a counselor as well), and family/kid classes.

I teach healthy cooking and chemical-free cleaning lessons in people's homes, and workshops, retreats and even a yoga teacher training program.”

Seva/Karma Yoga: LOVE IN ACTION!~ fundraiser gentle yoga video to rebuild Staten Island

Main instructor, Laura, shot a full gentle yoga practice, and it remains unlisted on You Tube. You can make it your own- for the days when you can't make it to Enlighten to practice. Perfect for mornings or evenings. Transform your life; turn your Om into new homes for Staten Island!!

If you are interested, they are asking for a $25 Home Depot gift card to get the link to the video, and it shall be yours! Please don't share it with anyone, because this is a fundraiser, but do tell your friends!
”You can watch it over and over again, for this $25 Home Depot card donation. I want to raise $5000 by the spring for families rebuilding. It is excruciating to know that there are still people living in gutted, moldy, shells of their former homes, with no heat. I have seen what these structures look and feel like, and want to help people to rebuild as soon as possible. For a $100 Home Depot gift card you get a DVD burned and mailed to you if you don't live around here), and the link to video, “ Laura said.

Looking to share the Natural Yoga Method magic with your friends around the country? This is a great way, and a great cause! Email Laura at for more info! Much love, and thank you for putting your LOVE INTO ACTION! 

They are joyfully located in Amsterdam's incredible Sanford Clock Tower Complex (the old Coleco building, as the locals say). We are on the first floor, nearest the rear (Brookside Avenue) entrance, between Sawicki Studios and Designer Coats.

Please stay connected via our fb and you tube pages as well:


Call or Text: 518.866.3621

37 Prospect Street
Amsterdam NY 12010





Intuitive Medium Deborah

My topic this month is on REST. REJUVENATION and the body's Absolute REQUIREMENT for it.

In this modern world, we are all on 'go mode' almost 24/7. There is literally no part of our day that we can't have access to SOMETHING to read, write, do, think about, look up, consider, watch, or have the guilt of having the ABILITY to DO all the time. We now have stores, malls, gyms, car washes, gas stations, coffee shops, nail salons, access to lawyers, hotlines, television programs, internet web surfing, YOU NAME IT. It's OPEN 24/ 7! And while the 'convenience' of that sounds great ...(OH yay! Now since I’ve PACKED every minute of my DAY with busy-ness- running kids to after school programs/sports/ play dates, working extra hours, volunteering, etc, I can STILL get to the gym at MIDNIGHT. Oh JOY. Now I NEVER have to sleep. Then MAYBEEE I can fit it all in!).


Now this may be a little extreme, but think about it. This is what we DO. This is what we ALL have been DOING. How many of you, in all your BUSY-ness have made REST a priority? How many of you have 'kept the Sabbath' day Holy? How many of you MAKE SURE you meditate every single day? I have to be honest. I TEACH people about finding their ‘center’, and getting in touch with 'who' we really 'are', and I talk non stop about going ‘inward’. But guess who is MOST guilty of NOT RESTING?? MEE!!!


I go NON STOP. From the moment I wake up, I am in 'go mode’. And I don't stop until I collapse into bed. And usually, I'm pretttttty cranky at that time! I have not given myself time and space to just be... When we DO rest. We are literally opening up the channels in our bodies to be more receptive to our intuition. We are creating SPACE in our bodies, minds and spirits so we can open ourselves up to the abundance that life has for us in EACH MOMENT. When we push the limits, we constrict those channels, making everything HARDER. Which makes us GET UP AGAIN the next day and push HARDER to 'get it all done'. And then the next... And the next... Over time, our joy levels decrease. We think 'jeesh... I’m doing all this stuff. Doing doing doinggg...But nothing is getting DONE. Nothing feels fun." Resentment or feelings of inadequacies build UP. "Why am I doing all this work when so and so doesn't have to? Or Man. I must never be happy. Because even though I get to DO so much, I never feel fulfilled." WE start blaming ourselves or others for all our lack of joy. Anger starts. All of these negative emotions build up in our auras, and we literally SPREAD these 'germ emotions' to others, who are also feeling the same way. (We have all heard the expression, 'like attracts like', yes...?). So now, our inside and our outside lives are filling with negative emotions. And everything is building and building and building. Collectively, think of your own stresses magnified over the entire global experience! YIKES!!


So what can we DO?? "We must BE the change we wish to see and experience in the world. "(Ghandi) And we MUST REST. WE must separate time to just BE. Time to reflect on our day or week. Time to put ourselves in other people's shoes. Time to anticipate and gain clarity for our actions. Rather than react through out our day, we can SHOW up for our day. By resting, we open up the channels of receiving. We intuitively 'know' what feels 'right' for us and we act according to what is true to ourselves. Rest provides the space to think and see clearly. Rest allows us to not get so drained that we snap at everyone, and then feel guilty for it afterwards. Rest is a physical 'action' that says you CARE ABOUT YOURSELF and WELL BEING. It is NOT a luxury. It is a human necessity. And it's one I believe; we have all let fall to the wayside.

This month, I have been completely shut down with pneumonia. It literally FORCED me to STOP. I couldn't walk, talk or lift my head even if I wanted to. I believe this illness has been my greatest teacher. It forced me to REST. Forced me to see what I have been missing in my own life. Pause. Silence. Sleep. "Downtime". It has forced me to Trust that 'all things will be taken care of'. And that 'life goes on' even if you aren't trying to make it all happen'. I've spent the month BEING. I have never been 'more in the moment' as I have been these past few weeks. And guess what? I've never gotten more 'done' in my life!

Please be kind and show love to your Being. Allow your human self to reconnect to your 'spirit self’. And let the magic begin.

Love to all of you,

Deborah Be. Know. Do.



Contributor's Guidelines

The type of content we're looking for (current health reviews, articles about alternative medical methods,words of inspiration, motivational articles, transformational articles, photos, and so on.)

A suggested length for articles is 350 words.

The format in which we'd like to have articles in text files or pictures (.JPG, .GIF or either.)

Our policy on rights of content submitted is soley owned by the submitter and can be placed elsewhere on permission of author. All articles will be reviewed for proper content before we post them. No payment at this time for any content submitted to  Thank you.

What we love about the web is the opportunity to share our thoughts with others. But we also like to hear what others think and to exchange ideas.

On this page, We'll share some of the comments we've received in our guestbook and via e-mail. Where appropriate, we'll include a link to the original article, review, or interview that provoked the comment. In some cases, we also may respond to the comments.

Sacandaga Digest Publishing
Shelley D. Brienza
61 Elmwood Ave PMB 181
Gloversville, NY  12078
Web Design/Print Media Products/Feature Writing 
© 2005-2013