What can I expect in a Third Root yoga class?
Third Root offers many generalized yoga classes (open, beginners, morning flow, restorative etc) where everyone is always welcome. A typical yoga class at Third Root will include an opening and closing meditation, specialized work in the asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathwork) practice. Asanas are specific postures that stretch, strengthen and balance the body. The majority of class time is usually spent on the asanas, which are the most physically demanding element of practice. Pranayama consists of breathing exercises that strengthen the respiratory system and help ease stress, fatigue and anxiety. Together, pranayama and asana practice help the student in their meditation. Meditation brings harmony to the student by joining the mind and body. During yoga practice one moves through asanas with deep steady breathing. By calming the mind and moving the body in rhythm with the breath, we can harmonize our thoughts and feelings with our body.
At Third Root, our yoga program is healing justice:
- Our classes incorporate teachings and techniques beyond the physical practice which honors the Indic & indigenous lineages of the practice itself.
- At Third Root, we value a therapeutic as opposed to primarily athletic focus; our classes are non competitive, body-positive and community oriented.
- We recognize the diversity of bodies and beings that come to the mat, all students are respected and valued equally.
- The role of the teacher is as a facilitator as opposed to an authorities in the space. The student is always the best teacher when it comes to their own body.
- Special training and care is taken to recognize how trauma and oppression may be held in the body.
- As an action of empowerment, we offer a number of specialized classes that specifically serve under-represented folks; these classes are always led by people directly identified with that community.
Why practice yoga?
Students are known to leave yoga class with a rejuvenated glow – why is that, you ask?
Yoga has been shown to have tremendous benefit on the many interconnected systems of the body – it stimulates circulation of blood, oxygen, lymph, along with the endocrine system, it strengthens immunity, balances the nervous systems and keeps muscles and joints strong and flexible. Practicing yoga can be excellent for calming stress and anxiety; if you are feeling frazzled, anxious, “out of touch,” or are experiencing physical weakness or disequilibrium, yoga class is a place to reconnect, recharge and revive all aspects of one’s being.
Yoga at Third Root offers an opportunity to practice physical, mental & emotional/spiritual well-being in community. We use the breath, poses, concentration & relaxation on the yoga mat as a way to more skillfully approach life’s many challenges off the mat. In this way it is truly a practice, as Mahatma Gandhi says, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”
How do I know which level class to go to?
If you are brand to new to yoga, or have taken under 6 six classes – welcome! For your safety and clarity of mind, we recommend starting in our beginner’s yoga classes, which are on-going and offered twice weekly on a drop-in basis. Gentle & Restorative are also wonderful options if you are checking out the practice for the first time. Be sure to let your teacher know you are new.
If you have some experience with a yoga practice, try an open level yoga class (see description below). We encourage students to experiment with different levels and teachers, and listen in to what best suits your needs on any given day. In an intermediate intermediate / advanced level class, you will likely build heat in your body, sharpen your alignment and may be gracefully challenged to move toward the edges your comfort zone. In a basics class, you may affirm your knowledge of foundational postures as you strengthen and stretch.
What is open level yoga?
Students of every level are welcome to attend open level yoga classes. We encourage students to maintain an open-minded attitude, as some poses may be more or less familiar to students, but modifications will always be offered. We suggest students have general understanding on how to use props so poses can be modified safely. If you are a brand new beginner, we recommend attending a few classes at the beginner’s level and experimenting with basics, gentle, restorative & open level classes from there.
Third Root has several classes with the word “restore” in them – what does this mean? how do these classes differ?
Restorative yoga is designed to bring students deep muscular release & mental relaxation. Expect to use props (blankets, bolsters, blocks, belts), and practice fewer poses with longer holds. Restorative poses create passive muscular release, which has tremendous benefit to the nervous & immune systems, digestion, blood pressure, and encourages optimal function of the organs. Restorative yoga allows the body & mind space to heal from repetitive stresses and habits of daily living. It is a calming practice that regenerates one’s being from the inside out.
Gentle yoga is a restorative practice that incorporates fluid, easeful movement along with passive release poses. Many folks who are recovering from injury or are working with limitations may appreciate this classes because it minimizes weight-bearing on wrists and major joints in the body. This class avoids percussive movements, quick transitions and rarely offers poses which build heat in the body.
We also offer composite classes such as Core & Restore and Flow & Restore which give you the benefit of active and passive poses in one class. They may combine restorative elements along with postures specifically designed to strengthen and develop muscle tone, build heat, coordination, balance and fluidity
Do I have to bring my own mat?
No, you do not have to bring your own mat. We provide them at no additional cost to all students. We ask students to wipe down borrowed mats with herbal sanitizing spray after each use.
Why do you have specialized classes for particular communities?
While Third Root welcomes all students in all classes (provided level is appropriately self-assessed by each student), we are proud to provide several highly specialized classes as a way to recognize and honor particular communities who share aspects of identity (such as Yoga for Abundant Bodies, Queer & Trans Yoga, Yoga en Español, Yoga for Survivors). These offerings create a supportive space for folks whose interests and needs may be overlooked in generalized classes. One reason for this is to make specific communities more comfortable and to give specialized attention in a space that is designed around the some of the interests and needs of that particular group. only for them. Third Root’s specialized classes are always taught by individuals from the very community the space is designed to serve in order to create the most empathetic and empowering atmosphere as possible.
Who should come to OUr Specialized Yoga classes?
While everyone is always welcome in our generalized classes, people who self-identify as part of particular communities (for example, LGBTQAI, are larger bodied, people of color, native Spanish speaker, etc) are encouraged come to our specialized programming. If you are not directly a part of these communities, but still wish to seek the benefits of yoga, please come to any of our other classes or ask us about Private Yoga sessions. We currently offer Queer & Trans Yoga, Yoga for Abundant Bodies, Brown Sugar: Yoga for Folks of Color & Yoga en Español in our Specialized Yoga Program.
What is an Eastern Medical Practitioner?
An “acupuncturist” is more than just a person who sticks needles. In some states your “acupuncturist” is rightfully called a M.D. however they are not a Western medical doctor, though some Western medical doctors are also trained in Eastern medical practices. Eastern medical practitioners however do have education in aspects of Western Medicine to be able to work with the Western M.D.’s as well as clients, thus integrative medicine manifests.
Your “acupuncturist” at Third Root is an Eastern (holistic) medical practitioner, trained and skilled in various healing modalities which in addition to “acupuncture” can include massage therapy, herbal therapy, energy healing, meditation (moving and still), dietary therapy (western and non-western), physical therapy (Qi-Gong), therapeutic counseling/dialogue, spiritual advisement, essential oil therapy, stone/gem therapy as well as other non-western and western medical models ranging from training and skills as a registered nurse to emergency medical technicians.
The intention of eastern medicine is to keep the client/community healthy. The approach is preventive, however the practitioner can help resolve chronic and acute conditions that may range from mild to severe in nature. These conditions can affect the mind, the physical body or the emotional self. The intention is to help the client regain harmony of the mind, body and emotional self in alignment with spirit.
What does acupuncture treat?
Acupuncture is used to treat any imbalance of the mind, body, and spirit, including all forms of physical pain, digestive, respiratory, immune, and endocrine imbalances (among others.) It’s used to intervene in both acute and chronic conditions, and can be implemented safely alongside standard Western interventions as well as other holistic modalities. It’s an ancient and extremely broad medicine with diverse applications. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes acupuncture’s efficacy in treating many different illnesses. See a full list of conditions in the link above.
What does it feel like?
Acupuncture is an embodied experience, because of that it’s normal to feel the needles as they enter the points – because the needles we use are much finer than the ones in standard medical clinics and hospitals, the sensation is milder. You may experience a brief moment of discomfort, or sensation sometimes followed by mild tingling. Many times, patients don’t feel anything at all and find the treatment quite relaxing, even falling asleep during it. If anything does feel uncomfortable your practitioner can make adjustments to ease your treatment. Ideally you should not experience distraction or pain from the needles after all are inserted. However you may feel sensations moving through your body, that is the circulation of energy within your body
Is acupuncture safe?
Yes. Practitioners are licensed and are certified in Clean Needle Technique. We use only sterilized, individually package needles that are disposed of after use.
What happens during the first session?
After you complete health history and consent forms you’ll give a verbal health history to your practitioner. (Questions focus on daily habits and acute issues as well as older history.) The practitioner will then look at your tongue and feels your pulse. These are all traditional diagnostic methods. Once your practitioner diagnoses you the treatment can begin.
What’s the actual treatment like?
Once you’ve checked in with your practitioner about how you’re doing you can lie down on a treatment table or recline in a zero-gravity chair. The practitioner then cleans the points with alcohol and begins inserting needles in the pre-designated points. At any time if you have discomfort or emerging needs during treatment we encourage you to check in with your practitioner. Our goal is to make the experience comfortable as well as healing, and we’re happy to work according to your individual needs.
Once the needles have been in for a while and you’ve rested, the practitioner removes them. (Needles commonly stay in 20 – 40 minutes, more or less.) The practitioner may stimulate the needles via hand or using heat therapy. Afterward your practitioner may suggest dietary modifications, specific exercises, relaxation techniques, self-massage, and/or herbal medicine, with a focus on suggestions that are sustainable to you and support your healing. For more thorough herbal consultations, please make an appointment for that purpose.
Treatments may include (depending on practitioner’s assessment):
- Moxibustion or Moxa; a technique using dried mugwort compressed, ignited, and used to warm acupoints and channels. This helps increase the action of specific points as well as treat stagnation, cold, and weakness in different areas.
- Tui Na; a system of massage originating in China mostly performed over clothes, involving the manipulation of Qi along pathways to relieve stagnation, relieve pain, and provide full-body support.
- Cupping; the use of suction created in hollow cups over areas of stagnation to ease movement, function, and pain.
- Guided meditation, sound therapy, energy therapy techniques like reiki.
How many treatments will I need?
That depends on the duration, severity, and nature of your illness, as well as your own availability. Your practitioner will be able to give you a general idea on your first visit.
If I have a question or need to speak to my acupuncturist after the treatment, how can I reach them?
Each practitioner at Third Root has a Third Root email address that begins with their first name followed by @thirdroot.org. You may also call us at 718-940-9343.
What should I wear to my acupuncture session?
Wear clothes that are comfortable and allow the practitioner to access your arms and legs, or come with a change of clothes.
What’s the difference between community acupuncture and private acupuncture?
In community acupuncture we treat patients together in our community space while they rest in zero gravity reclining chairs. We treat using acu-points on the arms, legs, and head. In private sessions we treat individual patients on treatment tables and are able to access more body areas. We may also utilize other modalities including cupping, gua sha, and moxa. Both treatment styles are beneficial and recommended on a regular basis for maximum effect.
What does Tuina and Gua Sha feel like?
Tuina is a form of Chinese massage incorporating acupoints and meridians. Depending on the diagnosis pressure can be light or deep, with slow or fast strokes. Gua Sha is an East Asian medical practice that utilizes a blunt-edged instrument rubbed against specific acupoints and channels to release stagnation and pain. The short, rubbing strokes create warmth and bring the stagnation to the skin surface in the form of non-painful bruising which fades in 2-3 days. Practitioners performing either of these techniques will regularly check in with their patient and get consent during the course of the treatment. For more information speak to your practitioner.
What is the combo acupuncture massage?
Part acupuncture, part Asian bodywork massage. The treatment may also include other modalities.
What kinds of massage are offered at Third Root?
Swedish Massage uses five styles of long, flowing strokes to massage. Clients are draped with a sheet and/or towel and oils and creams are used for apply different strokes and techniques.The five basic strokes are effleurage, (sliding or gliding), petrissage (kneading), tapotement (rhythmic tapping), friction (cross fiber) and vibration/shaking. Swedish massage at Third Root consists of one-hour sessions personalized by your practitioner to address your health concerns.
Deep Tissue and Medical Massage can be more intense and specific to areas of the body, using techniques such as trigger point therapy and myofascial release to address specific health concerns. The treatment for these modalities will overall be more therapeutic and less relaxing, but all treatments combine some element of both.
Hot Stone Massage combines thermotherapy with massage techniques to provide an effective healing therapy. The use of natural stones in conjunction with massage uses powerful earth energies to help the patient heal. Heat from stones also has the benefit of geomagnetism from an Earth source; which has a balancing and healing effect on our systems. Warm stones encourage the exchange of blood and lymph and provide soothing heat for deep-tissue work.They are also placed on specific points of the body, such as the back, abdomen or legs during the massage. The localized placement of heat on a particular area increases circulation of fluids, and can assist in alleviating organ congestion. Other benefits of Hot Stone Massage can be a great healing for the brain and body by helping quiet anxiety and alleviate stress, because the heat of stones helps to promote a deeper and focused state of relaxation. The hot stones have a sedative effect that can relieve chronic pain. Along with the physical benefits of stone massage there is also a kind of energy work that is involved which calms and energizes the mind, body & spirit and incorporating something from nature such as stones, adds a dimension to massage therapy creating a connection to the elements that can be very grounding.
Shiatsu Massage is a technique that uses the Chinese meridian system and Five-Element theory to address full-body imbalances, and along with acupuncture, diet, herbs and exercise, is considered one of the 5 Pillars to Health in Chinese Medicine. Shiatsu is performed on a mat or table, with the client wearing loose fitting clothing. The practitioner will stretch and massage specific areas of your body that are bothering you, as well as treating underlying chronic imbalances and health complaints. Shiatsu massage may also involve moxa and gua-sha, and is like acupuncture without the needles.
Tui Na is a system of massage originating in China, involving the manipulation of Qi along pathways to relieve stagnation, relieve pain, and provide full-body support. Tui Na can be done in conjunction with an acupuncture treatment or on its own. As we are an integrative health center, your practitioner may also recommend herbs, acupuncture, exercise and other modalities for your continued amazing health.
I’m pregnant – is it safe to receive massage therapy?
Several of our practitioners are trained in prenatal massage. It is not recommended to receive massage during the first trimester. Pre-Natal Massage for expectant people is appropriate during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.
Do I have to get undressed?
Your practitioner will go over your health history and talk to you about what you want out of the massage. For Swedish, Medical, and Relaxation massage, your practitioner will ask you to undress after they leave the room and to lay underneath a sheet. Shiatsu massage is done on a table or mat on the floor in loose-fitting clothing. For modalities other than shiatsu, it is suggested but not necessary that you remove undergarments as you will remain completely covered by the sheet at all times and this allows easier draping. However, many people leave their underwear on, so it’s totally ok for you to do so if this makes you feel more comfortable. The quality of your massage will not be affected.
What should I do if something doesn’t feel right?
Let your practitioner know. Your practitioner should check in with you throughout the massage regarding depth of pressure and your comfort. If something feels uncomfortable don’t be silent! Your practitioner wants feedback on their technique and if it’s not comfortable for you, then it’s not right.
I’m nervous about draping what will that be like?
NY State Law requires massage clients to be properly draped at all times. Your genitals will never be exposed or touched. full-body massage consists of undraping one area of the body, like your leg, and leaving all other areas covered with a sheet. The massage therapist will be gentle and keep you informed about what areas of their body they’ll touch next.
I don’t like my face massaged, how do I tell my practitioner this?
In filling out the intake form you can note areas of your body you don’t like to be touched. Your practitioner will ask you this during the intake as well. We understand that everyone’s body is different on different days, so checking in with our clients often is essential to giving a successful massage.
How can I give my practitioner feedback on the massage?
Third Root has practitioner feedback forms available for you to fill out (anonymously) and there is a suggestion box in the lobby. Our practitioners are trained to be able to receive feedback so don’t be afraid to give it!
What does herbal medicine treat?
Herbal medicine has long been used by humanity to treat severe health conditions, chronic health conditions, and imbalances that arrive from time to time. Please see the Herbal and Nutritional Consultation page for more information.
Will herbs interact with my medications?
Our herbalists are trained to know what medication-herb combinations to avoid, so we have you covered. In general, we don’t provide herbs that do the same thing in your body as your medication. If you have concerns, please ask us.
What do I tell my doctor about using herbal medicine?
This is up to you. Some doctors are have become really informed on alternative medicine. However, there is very little (less than one day of medical school) time devoted to alternative healing modalities in their 4 years of training. If you ask your doctor about using herbs, they will probably know very little. Herbalists know about herbs; doctors and nurses know about medications and surgeries. If your doctor is interested in working with us to provide you with the best of complementary healthcare, we are happy to work with them.
Isn’t herbal medicine outdated?
No! Herbal medicine is a modern and valid form of healthcare, used by more than 80% of the world for most of their health needs. Every culture has a herbal healing tradition, and these traditions are the oldest (and most time-tested) forms of healthcare in the world.
Where do you get your herbs from?
Our Western herbs are generally harvested from local parks and community gardens (including our own gardens outside of Third Root) , and any time we leave the city, we harvest local plants. We make all of our tinctures, oils, salves, glycerites, and syrups at Third Root, and we obtain about half of our herbs from quality herb vendors.
How do I get a refill on my herbs?
Your practitioner must refill your herbs for you. You may contact them directly with this request, and/or schedule a follow up consultation as needed.
What kind of meditation do you do?
Each teacher offers various mindfulness-based techniques typically rooted in Buddhist practices such as Vipassana (insight), Metta (lovingkindness), and Tong Len (sending & receiving) for example. These techniques make use of a focal point, such as the breath, a mantra or phrase, visualization, sense organs, to hone concentration and find clarity.
What does meditation feel like?
Meditation can be experienced in as many ways are there are individuals who practice! Some practitioners may feel peaceful or contented, others may feel agitated distracted or bored – anything can arise in the mind when the body becomes still. When the body becomes still, practitioners may feel a range of sensations from warmth to discomfort to neutral. The point is to practice being aware of what is happening in the present moment. You are invited to observe your feelings with kindness, and without judgement no matter what arises.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Meditation promotes healthy balance of the mind, body & spirit; through meditation one inclines themselves toward acceptance and compassion. It addresses stress related to trauma, addiction, anxiety and grief. It benefits the nervous system & harmonizes the triune brain. It improves concentration, intuition, and emotional regulation. It’s benefits can be felt directly following practice, however sustained physical, psycho-spiritual benefits are found with consistent practice over time.
Do I really have to sit still for that long?
Our by donation sessions are 30 minutes in duration, and typically consist of both discussion and seated meditation, so students tend to sit still for about 15 – 20 minutes. Seated Meditation can be done in a chair or a cushion on the floor. Walking meditation may at times be offered as well. While the suggestion is to remain still for the duration of the meditation period, mindful movements may always be made to support students’ individual needs.
WHAT IS An INCOME-BASED SLiding scale?
An income-based sliding scale is an equitable method of making payment where each community member pays for services rendered at a rate that is proportional to their net annual household income, with people of higher incomes paying more and, conversely, those at or below the poverty line paying the base rate. A sliding scale is a tool for ensuring equal accessibility to our services, regardless of financial resources, and it requires your active participation. If a sliding scale is implemented effectively, everyone pays a similar percentage of their income for the same services. This way, the cost of our services is not fleeting pocket change for some people and a big commitment to other people. At Third Root, we also take into account specific costs that different groups of people face that the larger population does not, connecting those costs to the larger picture of privilege and oppression (see our Sliding Scale Worksheet below).
How do I determine my rate on the sliding scale?
To figure out what fee you should pay on our sliding scale, you are welcome to download the form above and retain for your own reflection and purposes. When you have finished completing the form, check our annual income chart on our fees page to determine the appropriate fee for our services. In a society that never talks about class, yet retains enormous class differences, we acknowledge how difficult this process can be; thinking about class issues provokes a lot of fear, regret, anger, and other feelings. It is, however, an important part of working towards providing equal access to our services for everyone, and taking a step towards economic justice.
why do we use an income-based sliding scale?
At Third Root Community Health Center, we think that everyone should have access to our services. We also know that all of us do not have equal financial resources. The richest top 10% of adults in the world own about 85% of the world’s wealth. Although we did not create this economic situation, we participate in it every day, and for many, it has become invisible. We have been taught that this is just the way things have always been, so this disparity becomes normalized to each of us in our early years. We are taught to not even think about class differences. The truth, in part, is that the class structure benefits no one. All participants in this system suffer from alienation, exploitation, and oppression, whether as a target or non-target. Everyone is hurt by oppression.
At Third Root Community Health Center, we recognize the havoc that our current economic system (capitalism) has created, and envision another model. However, even as we work toward a new model in building community, fighting for justice, and creating accountable institutions we realize that we are not there yet. We live in a divided city laden with disparities. The sliding scale is one way of acknowledging differences in wealth, income, costs, and privilege and actively address the economic disparities in our communities and society. The sliding scale is a way to say no to the ways things are and yes to the ways they can be while providing healthcare for all.
Our hope is that our community supports one another in accessing services by using the sliding scale: those who face greater economic hardship pay less, while those with more economic opportunities pay more.
YOGA CLASSES & WORKSHOPS booked online must be cancelled prior to the start time, or the full fee / deduction from your class card will be incurred. Please note: students must still sign in at the desk; students may be admitted to class no later than 15 minutes.
YOGA CLASS CARD purchases are subject to expiration; they are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- New Student Special expires 30 days from first use
- 10 Class Card expires 90 days from purchase
- 20 Class Card expires 180 days from purchase
- 6-Month Unlimited Auto-Pay cannot be frozen or cancelled
Due to the discounted nature of all class cards, we cannot offer extensions for any reason. Please plan accordingly when you purchase class cards, and take into account your work schedule and vacation plans. We ask that you please respect this policy and do not ask any for extensions. If you have a serious illness or injury, please get in touch and we will be happy to come up with a solution.
COMMUNITY ACUPUNCTURE appointments may be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance, after which a $20 fee is incurred. Please arrive on time for all appointments. We cannot guarantee that you’ll be seen if you are more than 15 minutes late, and may be subject to our cancellation policy.
PRIVATE TREATMENTS require at least 24 hours advance notice for cancellations. For any cancellation of services made thereafter, we charge the low end of the sliding scale for the service (for example, $60 for private acupuncture). The same fee will be incurred for no show appointments.
GIFT CERTIFICATES are subject to expiration, and are valid 180 days from date of purchase.
To make a cancellation, please call us directly 718-940-9343.
Do I have to be a member to use your services?
No, Third Root does not currently offer memberships to patients and students, everyone is welcome to our services. Third Root is, however, a cooperative currently operated by six worker-owners and a number of staff members.
Please explain Third Root’s in-take fee.
We charge a one-time fee of $10 for your first appointment at Third Root (Community Acupuncture, Private Acupuncture, Massage, Herbal Consultation & Private Yoga). This is an administrative fee that covers the paperwork, materials, and time needed to make sure every patient and student’s information is kept on record.
Do your practitioners offer house calls?
What about tipping?
Gratuity for treatment is greatly appreciated. Practitioners may accept tips for massage treatments, private yoga, herbal consultations, private acupuncture sessions as well as community acupuncture sessions. Clients & patients are welcome to tip at their discretion in cash or by credit card.
Do you provide childcare?
No. It is a long-term goal of ours to support families by offering the benefit of child care during treatment or classes. At this time, all children must be accompanied by a caregiver at all times; we don’t allow children to be unattended in the lobby or other areas of our space.