Sunday, December 31, 2006

Delight & Surprise

I came across this great star necklace the day after Thanksgiving. It was a perfect day....brisk air and the brightest blue sky. I grabbed my camera opting to head downtown into Nicholasville instead of my usual journey into the countryside. I happily snapped pictures of old buildings, revitalized buildings, Victorian homes and more. I made my way to a beautiful old Catholic Church built with stone. And it's small and quaint, which I love.
I was taking pictures of a small garden and some pretty statues when something caught my eye. There was the faintest of a flicker, something hanging in one of the bushes. That's when I discovered this gold necklace of stars hanging there. It just tickled me pink to find this in such an unexpected place. And of course, I stood there thinking of all these fabulous stories about how it got there, how long it had been there, and whom the necklace belonged to at one time. It occurred to me that at any given time, on any given day, we can all find something within our day to surprise and delight. We just have to keep our eyes and our hearts open to it. I'm setting my intention to discover delight and surprise throughout the days and months of 2007. What's your intention?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Om Sweet Om

Today was my first day of being home after spending nearly a week in Vermont. Spending Christmas in Stowe was absolutely amazing. We arrived in Burlington and met Andy's sister, Beth and her husband Clint. Andy's parents rented a Dodge Dakota for the week so we could all travel around together. It was quite amusing stuffing seven people (all grown-ups) and our luggage into that SUV, as anyone that has been skiing knows that packing for a ski trip is no small feat. Scarves, hats, goggles, mittens and gloves, ski pants and coat, wool socks, not to mention all the layers underneath the pants and coat. Skiing requires a lot of "stuff", there is no way around that. Luckily we squeezed ourselves and our gear in and made our way towards Stowe.

The area was gorgeous. Mountains covered with pine trees, charming New England homes along the hillside, rushing creeks, "moose crossing" signs along the highway, no billboards, no fast food or big box stores anywhere in sight. It was a nature lovers paradise. However, there was no snow. In fact, much of New England was without snow. I read that this was only the second time in nearly 100 years. But we had heard that Stowe made the best "fake" snow, so we didn't let that get our spirits down. We checked into our condo that was nestled in the hillside, unpacked our luggage then made our way back to town for dinner.
We had the best food throughout the week. Our first night we ate at PieCasso, the most yummy pizza I've had in a long time. Fittingly enough, I had the "treehugger" pizza which was topped with veggies and spices and Andy had the "carcass" pizza which was loaded with meat. We also ate Dutch pancakes, had dinner at a local pub (where the photo above was taken), enjoyed ice cream at the Malt Shop, had a beer sampling of Vermont beers, enjoyed more ice cream at Ben and Jerrys, had dinner at the Trapp Family Lodge. The Lodge continues to be owned and operated by the Trapp family, the inspiration for the classic musical and movie "The Sound of Music." As you can see, lots of good eatin'!
We had much time to burn our calories on the ski slopes, skiing three and four days while we were in Stowe. I was excited to work on my skiing skills. I'm no expert by any means and spent most of my time on the green slopes. I made my way over to the blue slopes the second day we went out, although Andy warned me that he didn't think I was ready, informing me that he thought these were as challenging as the black slopes in Breckenridge, Colorado that we skiied several years ago. I however, did not listen. I got a tab bit nervous as we boarded the lift and read the sign, "advanced and expert skiers only". So up, up, and up even farther we went on the ski lift to the top of the mountain. The view from up there was amazing. Well worth the 45 minutes it took me to get down the mountain...skiing, sliding, skooting, doing whatever it took to make it down. From there, I happily made my way back over to the "baby greens". Guess we can't excel at everything ;-)
We also shopped at quaint and whimsical stores in historic Stowe. My favorite was Stowe Gallery. They had the most fabulous stuff. All unique and handmade by artisans from around the world. I was so excited to see that they had a big selection of Storypeople artwork and I was even more excited on Christmas day when Santa left me a box of Storypeople cards!
The morning we left Stowe, we awoke to a blanket of snow. Everything was covered in white and was truly breathtaking. We made it to the airport and the trip home was a story in itself. Our flight to JFK was cancelled due to fog. Our only hope of making it home on that day was to rent a car, drive three hours to Manchester, NH, hop a flight to Atlanta with 30 minutes to connect (we barely made it) to Cincinnati, then drive home to Nicholasville where we were greeted by two very excited dogs. Wow, what an exhausting day! But here I am now, happy to be home trying to return to my normal schedule.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all peace, joy and happiness this Christmas Day!

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Stowe White Christmas

After class tomorrow night Andy and I are driving to spend the night in Cincinnati then getting up early Wednesday morning to fly to Stowe, Vermont. Instead of giving gifts this year on Andy's side of the family, we decided to take a family ski trip instead. I just love, love, love to travel, so this of course, made me very happy. We'll have six days to ski, sip hot cocoa, sample local restaurants, and watch holiday movies. Andy and I are so excited to go to Ben & Jerry's! I've also found a small yoga studio that offers classes a couple days during the week. I'm hoping to make it to a class. I'm planning to take lots of pictures of this beautiful old village and do lots of reading. I bought the book "Living Artfully" and I can't wait to flip through the pages and get some ideas about jump starting my imagination in time for the new year. This time of year is so much fun!

Friday, December 15, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

Al Gore was on the Oprah Winfrey show about a week ago speaking about global warming. As we all know "anything Oprah touches turns to gold." I didn't get to see the show but I'm sure that billions of people from around the world tuned in and learned about small changes they can do to make a big difference. Click here to see and read about Al Gore being on Oprah.

Barefoot Works and GreenLex have teamed up to show this fascinating documentary! An Inconvenient Truth is a compelling documentary about global warming. Larry King called it "One of the most important films ever" and Roger Friedman of wrote, "It doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative...your mind will be changed in a nanosecond." Following the documentary we will join Al Gore for a nationwide conference call. Oh, I'm so excited about this night!

We'll be sitting on the floor, it is a yoga studio after all! If you wish, feel free to bring a fold up chair to sit in. We hope to see you there!

Barefoot Works Yoga Studio
153 Patchen Drive, Suite 35
Lexington, KY 40517
Saturday, Dec. 16 7:00 pm

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Team Aniston

As in Jennifer, of course. This months Self magazine has a lovely article about Jennifer Aniston in which she speaks about "her source of strength" It's really a great article and the photos are so pretty and peaceful looking. This cute little gal Mandy Ingber is her yoga teacher. Click here to take a look at the yoga moves Mandy and Jen do together. It even a has a list of Jen's favorite yoga tunes. I love this stuff....yes it's a guilty pleasure ;-)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Lovin' This!

Love, love, love this! This is on the back cover of the January edition of Yoga Journal. It's actually an ad for lululemon athletics:

Yoga is a fad. We give it another, say, 6000 years, tops. The pundits are right. It's something that has recently picked up steam. Why, it was only in 1500 BC that is became codified in an ancient text called the Rig Veda. Hardly a real track record. Sure, it's been around for some 7000 years. But will it last? Aside from the fact that it's a form of activity that increases flexibility, strength, concentration, reflexes, balance, mental clarity, stress control, and self awareness. But does it really have anything substantial to offer? So, it you're like one of the tens of millions of people who've hopped on the yoga bandwagon over the past 70 centuries, don't be surprised when you may find yourself in the year 8007 putting your yoga mat in a garage sale. In the meantime, if you want to ride out this seven millennium-long dad, come and visit us.

The above picture is of artwork by the oh-so-talented Teresa Thompson.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


We hosted our very first holiday open house at the studio this past Friday! Highlights of the evening included acupuncture consultations with Robert Fueston, the most beautiful yoga sculptures by the very talented Teresa Thompson, yummy vegetarian treats including this beautiful cake (check the little barefeet out), "the best cookies ever", and perfect pumpkin muffins all made by the most gracious of yoga students. We sipped McManis wine, mingled with guests which included newcomers and seasoned yogis, listened to joyous holiday tunes, and browsed the Bare Wear Boutique. Julie of Chakra T's joined in our celebration and brought all of her wonderful chakra yoga apparel. Twenty guests were sent home with "Stress Less Holiday Kits" which included a bath fizzy, mug and organic tea, tea light candles tied with tulle and ribbon and a postcard which included a "Recipe for a Relaxing Evening" on one side and a "Stress Less Yoga Sequence" on the opposite side.
The party was a perfect chance for students to get to know each other better off the yoga mat and welcome those new to yoga or the studio. A fun night with fabulous people. I'm already looking forward to our next gathering!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Open House Tonight!

Come eat, drink and make merry at the studio tonight! Holiday Open House from 6:30 till 8:30 pm. Everyone is invited.... newcomers, past and current yoga students. And of course feel free to bring family and friends to celebrate the season. Visit us online at or call 859.433.7787 for studio directions. Hope to see you there!

Monday, December 04, 2006

A bit of bliss

Sunday was such a perfect day for me. It involved all things that I truly enjoy...good food, good friends, good coffee and of course yoga. I led a restorative workshop at Eternal Health Yoga in Lousiville for 11 perfect students. It's so wonderful seeing people from all walks of life take the time to attend a workshop. Those in attendance included yoga teacher trainees, a yoga teacher from way back, and a darling guy taking his very first yoga class/workshop...with his fiancee sitting alongside him. I just love the fact that you never really know who could walk through the door for a yoga class. It creates a feeling of community, everyone is welcome. Speaking of community...
After the workshop people sat around and sipped tea, speaking of their experiences with yoga and life in general. Very nice,very quaint, it all just felt really good. Then a group of us went to Cafe Lou Lous for a yummy dinner, followed by coffee at the Java Brewing Company. I've been to this coffee shop with Shelli a couple of times and I just love it. This is what I call a real coffee shop. A welcoming bar, floor to ceiling bookshelves, a stone fireplace, great coffee, and lots of people hanging around doing their thing. It was the perfect ending to a a really great day. Just perfect... just a bit of bliss ;-)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Yogi of the Month - Eric Simon

I think it was an event in seventh grade that eventually let me to yoga. During a music class at school my music instructor decided that my class was not relaxing enough and had us all lie on the ground. She began by instructing us, “Breathe in and tighten your legs. As you exhale relax any tension in your legs and feel the stress in your body leaving.” As I continued to scan though my body I was amazed at how relaxed and peaceful I felt. Repeating this relaxation became a common occurrence for me over the next few years, especially after tough days. Some of my happiest moments in life occurred during these periods of relaxation and I soon began to wonder if there was more to this than my music teacher had taught

My senior year of high school one of my classmates gave a presentation on yoga and I found myself thinking that this is something I need to try. I asked my classmate how she had started practicing yoga and she gave me several videos and books to start with. I instantly loved yoga. Yoga was a challenge physically and most importantly expanded upon the relaxation exercise I had learned from my music instructor years before. I continued a home practice of yoga for about a year and then found an Iyengar studio near me where I practiced for a short time. However, my practice gradually diminished as an undergrad at college mostly due to a lack of personal space and not having the money to attend a studio.

Upon moving to Lexington for graduate school at UK I decided I wanted to revive my practice and started looked around for a studio. After looking around for a bit I eventually arrived at Barefoot Works and I have loved it here. Barefoot Works has quickly became like a home away from home to me and I would like to give thanks to everyone involved in it: Sharon, your courage in finding what you want to do in life and doing it is an inspiration. Leigh Ann, you are wonderful at explaining poses and their niceties (although I am not always flexible enough to do them!). I appreciate all of the guidance you both (and Teresa!) give me. To all my fellow students: you make Barefoot Works a warm and inviting place that I look forward to visiting as often as I can.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tis The Season

Did you know that Americans spend more the 400 billion, yes billion, each holiday season. We have gifts to buy, trees to trim, parties to attend and cards to send. All the gift giving can take a toll on your wallet and the environment, and not to mention your sanity. Here are some ways that you can stress less this holiday season.

This year get creative with your gift giving. Does the thought of buying another tie send a shiver down your spine? If so, think about giving the gift of experience. This year my in-laws bought the family a ski trip to Vermont for Christmas. It's still an expensive gift, but we're saving lots of gift wrap :-) And the memories we'll make will last a lifetime.

Get creative...think of season tickets to a sporting event, a charitable donation in someones honor, theater tickets, a massage, yoga gift card, create a family recipe book, plant a tree or a garden. You get the picture. Many times these gifts are much more creative, personalized, and fun. Plus you'll save time, energy, and priceless resources.

If you simply can't imagine not buying gifts for your loved ones, then give the gift of green. No, not "green" as in money. Green as in supporting the environment. Support your local artists by purchasing original art from local galleries and shops. Shop ten thousand villages for fair trade handicrafts from around the world. Candles also make the perfect gift. This year purchase a soy candle and it wont be harmful to your health or the planet. Soy candeles don't produce toxins and they're nearly soot free. Soap Werks candles are made locally in Midway and all the ingredients come from nature: vegetable oils, dried herbs, honey, beeswax and essential oils. They have a darling shop and carry other items that are locally handcrafted. Check out way out wax, the wax is even edible (just in case you wanted to taste). The glass containers are made from recycled glass, the wicks are 100% cotton, they use 100% medicinal essential oils, and they smell heavenly.

If you want to give a gift that's unique and Eco-friendly shop online at vintage trends. You'll give a gift that's very hip, plus you'll help the environment by purchasing used clothing that would otherwise be sent to a landfill. You can also give the gift of wellness by purchasing a loved one a yoga gift certificate or make a purchase from the Bare Wear Boutique. All the clothes are manufactured in America in a sweatshop free environment.

Remind yourself to take a break from the chaos to nurture yourself with activities that soothe your soul. Take time to drink some hot chocolate, listen to your favorite holiday tunes, take a bubble bath, walk around your neighborhood to view the decorations and lights, do yoga, write in a journal, and give back to those less fortunate.

Wishing you all much joy, peace and happiness throughout the holiday season.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Relax & Renew

"Most of us need to be given permission to switch from the doing to the being mode, mostly because we have been conditioned since we were little to value doing over being."

Jon Kabat-Zinn

How true is that statement? I think it's especially true in our society today. We're taught from an early age that to succeed you must work yourself to the brink of exhaustion. Which is what many of us do. Only taking a break when our body and mind literally break down and we're forced to rest. I encounter so many people that are stressed, marriages, family, traffic, issues, just life in general. Aren't we all stressed at times? These daily stresses, big or small, create tension, anger, and tightness in our bodies. All of this "stuff" manifests in our body and eventually results in sickness. This is where yoga can really help. The poses combined with breathing help to release tension, tightness, and toxins from the body.

Restorative yoga can be very beneficial, assisting in easing stress and achieving deep relaxation with the use of supportive props. You can join me this Sunday at Eternal Health Yoga for a restorative workshop or Saturday the 9th at Barefoot Works for the same workshop. It's the perfect time to nurture your mind, body and spirit - just what you need during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Delights

The past few days have been spent: catching up, cooking, baking, laughing, playing, watching basketball and football, jumping, meditating, balancing, singing, pitching, drinking, decorating, climbing, breathing, stretching, shopping, photographing, anticipating, walking, eating, planning, and dreaming.

Ah, I love Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday of all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving Thanks

Here are a few things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving season:
*That Andy is finally feeling better after his gallbladder surgery. Now I just need to fatten him up with pumpkin pie.
*Getting wonderful emails from yoga students telling me how much they enjoy coming to the studio.
*Family coming together for Thanksgiving.
*Dogs that excitedly greet me every single day at the door with a waggin' tail. They always act like they haven't seen me in weeks, even if it's only been a few hours.
*Having the desire and discipline to practice yoga.
*Having the desire and determination to open a yoga studio
*Not having to fight a crowd in the baking aisle at Kroger's tonight.
*Getting Thanksgiving cards in the mail.
*Giving cards, for any reason. These are my new faves.
*Pictures - they have a way of taking me back to a particular place and time.
*Laughing so hard on the phone with family and friends that I can't even speak.
*Spending my day in my barefeet, with candles, listening to relaxing tunes and sharing yoga.
*Browsing the bookstore.
*Having my Friday morning "me" date here. Sipping yummy coffee and writing in my journal, it's great.
*Friends and family that inspire me, bring me joy, and make me a better person.
*Warm flannel sheets

Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving for Veg-Heads

Feel a little left out at Thanksgiving? Check out a tasty turkey alternative.

These potatoes looked delicious. I'm thinking of making them for thanksgiving.

If you're tired of the same old green bean casserole, check this one recipe for green beans and apple cider.

One of my favorite ways to spend Sunday morning is watching The Food Network. Rachael Ray and Paula Dean are my faves. Check out the recipe for the apple butter pumpkin pie that Paula made for her Southern Thanksgiving.

I've made this pumpkin dip for a few years now. It only takes about five minutes to make it and it's very tasty. I always serve it with ginger snap cookies.

Whatever you choose to make, have fun doing it!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

How Time Flies

“How did it get so late so soon? Its night before its afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” Dr. Seuss

My brother Joel (the kickin' one in the white tee) and I were having this conversation a couple days ago. As we get older it seems like time just flies by. I remember being younger and time would literally drag by, or so it seemed at the time. I thought I'd never be an adult, never reach the grown-up stage. Now that I'm an adult (most days) and almost 30, I make a true effort to appreciate every day because time does go by so quickly. Filling my days with a bit of joy, peace, excitement, contentment and gratitude.

Wanna hear the voice of an angel, then listen to "New Place" by my friend Harmony. It's sooo great!

This picture was taken by Shawn Poynter. Check his site for fabulous photos and amusing blog entries.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Sweetest Words

I got this email from a yoga student this week. I finished reading it and was just blown away. It brought happy tears to my eyes. I'm saving the email for those days, you know the ones when you question everything in your life. I'll open this email and be reminded of the reasons I do what I do, teach and share yoga. I think it could quite possibly be the best "job" ever.

Here's a portion on the email. I did get her permission in sharing.

"When I came to my first class I was ready for a change in my life. I am a caregiver at my job, home and distant family. I was loosing myself. I became uncomfortable with my weight and was not spending enough time on myself. I want to Thank you for re-connecting me to me. I long for the hour I can spend at Bare foot Works because of the atmosphere, the soothing, the piece and quiet plus the hot tea. I have been telling all my friends about it."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Yoga for the Busy Professional

Visit Lane Report and check out the article that I was interviewed for and the sequence I came up with!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A bit of yin

"Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our heart, and we are never, ever the same."

We had a wonderful time at the yin yoga workshop yesterday. For three hours we took our time to relax into poses that were for the most part, done on the floor. We started and finished the workshop with a short meditation. I was amazed at how easy is was to sit up straight in a very comfortable position as the end of the workshop. Yin yoga is known as the bridge between a hatha yoga and seated meditation practice. Taking a few minutes to hold various poses that really stretch the hips and back make a world of difference when you sit down to meditate.

Anna gave us all a very useful tip for sneaking a bit of yin into your day. As soon as you wake up, sit up in your bed and take a few minutes just to fold forward and stretch. You can keep the legs straight or bend them if your hamstrings are tight. You could bend the legs and bring the heels into a butterfly position. Use a pillow for extra comfort and rest your head on for support. Stay here for three to five minutes, just breathing and relaxing....nothing to it :-)

Join us at the studio on Wednesdays at 6:00 for a full yin class. Your body will feel the difference!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Ahh, to be young

When I grow up, I want to remember that I always wanted to be about a thousand different things & one lifetime didn't seem nearly enough. When I grow up, I hope it's at the very end when it doesn't matter anymore anyway. Brian Andreas of Storypeople

I'm going to Richmond tomorrow to teach yoga to a group of fifth and first separate times of course. I'll be teaching to both of my nieces classes, should be fun!

Also going to Louisville tomorrow night for an open house at Eternal Health Yoga. That's sure to lots of fun. Great music, wine, food, cool clothes and cool yogis!

Saturday we're having a yin yoga workshop at the studio with Anna Ferguson. The workshop is from 1:00 till 4:00. If you don't have plans, then plan to join us! Anna is an amazing teacher.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Phenomenal Women

A dear friend sent these words of wisdom to me:

Maya Angelou said this: "I've learned that no matter what happens,or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow." "I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights." "I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you'll miss them when they're gone from your life." "I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making a life." "I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance." "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back." "I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision." "I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one." I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone."

"People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.""I've learned that I still have a lot to learn." "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Heres to all the phenomenal women out there!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Flexible

Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. ~Author Unknown

It is often said in the yoga world that the areas in which you struggle with on the mat are the areas in which you struggle in your everyday life. For me personally, this is very true. As you can see from the photo, that would be flexibility. Poses that require strength and balance come much easier to me than poses that require flexibility. And I'll admit that at times I'm not the most "flexible" person to deal with. I'm a true Taurus and I can be as stubborn as a bull. I like to do things my way and on my own terms (I knew this small business thing would be perfect for me). However, there are times when this lack of flexibility, both on and off the yoga mat, is inconvenient and annoying. There are times when compromise is necessary. So slowly, one day at a time, I'm stretching my body and my mind. Who knows, maybe someday I'll be able to rest my head on my legs in a seated forward fold. I may not be the most flexible, but I am quiet patient.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sacred Sunday

I, like every other working person, love Sundays. It's the last day of the weekend and our last effort to get quality "me" time in before the week sets in. Here are a few of my favorite ways to indulge on Sunday:
  1. Drive to a nearby town such as Berea or Midway and explore. Both are wonderful towns full of eclectic shops and yummy restaurants.
  2. While I'm in Midway, dine at Holly Hill Inn, my fave place to eat! Fine dining in a historic home out in the country.
  3. getting off the beaten path with my camera taking shots of trees, cows, clouds, flowers, barns and anything else that interests me at the time. Gotta love digital cameras!
  4. Read a book or magazine in the bear claw tub. Bubbles, candles and a glass of wine make it extra special. It is Sunday afterall ;-)
  5. Take the dogs to the nearby field. Lay and watch the clouds.
  6. Cook a good dinner. Sunday is one of the few days that I have enough time to make a full meal.
  7. Meditate and do a restorative yoga practice. Again, it's Sunday. They'll be plenty enough time to "sweat my asana off" during the week.
  8. Go to the bookstore and roam around.
  9. Take a nap on the couch.
  10. Go for a run then stretch underneath a great big tree in the cemetery.
  11. Go to the coffee shop, get a yummy drink and read the Sunday paper with Andy.
  12. Go to bed with warm sheets and quilt fresh from the dryer.
  13. Write in my journal.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Greening of Yoga

Everyone says that want to do their part to make the world a better place. At Barefoot Works we're working to to just that. You see, we're optimists and we really, really believe that the small changes we make today will indeed one day equal grand results. Working with the Green Yoga Association we are working to raise ecological awareness within the yoga community. In fact Barefoot Works is one of about 50 yoga studios across the nation to be considered a green yoga studio. Click here to see the other yoga studios across the nation that are committed to earth friendly business practices.

Speaking of earth friendly here to greatly reduce the amount of junk mail that you get daily. Admit it, you hate flipping through all that unwanted mail. Do yourself and the environment a favor and cut the clutter.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Adventurous little gal

"How much of the world had I missed while living in my head?
If each cell in our bodies is an outpost of our brains, what might I have learned?
I'll never know who that adventurous little girl might have become.
But at least I know that she's still there-
Waiting to enter the present." Gloria Steinem

I am still very childlike in many ways and I love that I embody the spirit of "that adventurous little girl" at times. Whether it's pulling off the side of the road or trespassing on someone's property (very harmless ;-) to get the perfect photo, attempting to hurl myself forward from downward facing dog to headstand, jammin' down the street with my windows down singing to Fergie's latest tunes, or dancing up a storm with my nieces (in the photo) in the entryway of my house, also known as the "dancefloor". I definitely have the ability to put adult responsibilities aside and live freely.

*I just looove this picture. I took it this past Saturday at my house. I asked the girls to pucker up and show some love for the camera. Their expressions crack me up everytime I look at it. And I love the pretty tree in the background.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Shine on baby...continued

An interesting thing happened to me Friday evening, the very same day of this original post (see below). Andy and I had a nice dinner followed by a trip to the bookstore. Isn't this everyone's favorite way of spending a Friday night? My first request was for this book. No luck, so instead of making a dash to my favorite section, yoga of course, I veered off in the opposite direction. First checking out the art section then going downstairs to the business section. As we all know, I'm officially a "small business owner", but to be completely honest, I know little to nothing about running a business. I'm learning as I go and believing wholeheartedly that following my passion will pay off. That and a whole lot of persistence, work and discipline. Anyway, to say that the business section was a bit boring is putting it mildly. I picked a few books up, flipped through some pages, not a hint of interest, so I placed them back on the shelf. I asked myself, and Andy, "why do all of these books look exactly the same." I understand that they are written for the business world, but the bland covers, generic fonts, and the manner in which they are written did absolutely nothing for me. I was in search of a colorful title, a creative, enticing cover, and marketing material written in a more exciting and innovative manner? Is that too much too ask? Apparently so.

So back upstairs I went to my second most favorite section, self-help. And yes, I'm completely ok with that :-) At least in this section I can find books that are colorful, creative and interesting. To me they are anyway. Sark is the perfect example. I ended up finding this great hardback book, so I plopped down on the floor and flipped through the pages. It was along the lines of living creatively. I had convinced myself that I really wanted the book, but after careful consideration, I decided not to get it. And being that I can't even remember the title now, it was probably a good decision. I told myself that being a "small business owner" and not having that steady check coming in means giving up a few things. And Friday night it meant not having that book. I decided to go home and go to my own personal library and pull a book out I hadn't looked at in a while. I opened the book and this is the page that it landed on, the very first place I fixed my eyes was on this passage:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?"
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not in just some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

And anyone who knows me, knows that I do not believe in coincidences. I thought hmm, the universe is telling me something here. I had written that very passage only hours earlier. It was very bizarre and wonderful. I also learned that the passage was not written by Nelson Mandela. It was actually Marianne Williamson. Nelson Mandela has quoted the passage in a speech. Sorry Marianne, the credit is all yours.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Shine on baby, shine on

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?"
Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God; your playing small doesn't serve the world." Marianne Williamson

Heck yeah - Now those are powerful, moving and motivating words. Here's to the light, talent, brilliance and fabulous-ness that dwells within each of us!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Are you on autopilot?

I had this wonderful conversation with a friend yesterday about how yoga teaches us to be mindful. Yes, in addition to increased strength, flexibility and balance, yoga can help to create better awareness of your body and your everyday life. How is that possible some may question. It's simple and quite complex as the same time. When you first begin yoga, you may focus only on the physicalities....what you can do with ease, which poses challenge you, which poses scare you. You may find yourself questioning, "Are backs really meant to bend that way?" ;-)

As a yoga teacher I want my students to learn how their body moves, to test their limits without overstepping their boundaries. In class we're talking about moving the breath, straightening your legs and arms, extending your spine then twisting, exhaling to release stress and tension from your body. There's a lot going on. All this strengthening, stretching and flexing eventually teaches you how to be awake and alive in your body, then eventually your life. You become more mindful of how your living your life. This doesn't mean that you're perfect and never make mistakes. However, you aren't stuck on cruise control or autopilot....going through the same (e)motions day in and day out. You're traveling down the road and you can feel the sun on your face, taking notice of the changing colors of the trees, feeling like this is the best drive ever.....even if you take the same route everyday. That's gotta count for something :-)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Exciting things are happening at Barefoot Works

Last Wednesday I had my first conference call with Green Yoga. Barefoot Works is one of twenty nine yoga studios across the nation participating in the Green Studios Pilot Program. Over the course of ten months we will learn to implement green business practices and increase environmental awareness in both students and the community. As many of you know, I specifically designed the studio in an eco-friendly manner, so I am so excited to be a part of this dynamic and forward thinking group. I'll keep you posted as we progress through the program.

Also, we had our first photo shoot at the studio today! How exciting?! I developed a yoga sequence for the busy professional that will be featured in Lane Report next month. Andy, an editor at Lane Report came out and took pictures of Leigh Ann doing the poses. It's a great sequence that anyone can do at their desk within five short minutes. I plan to have the sequence posted on the website after it's been released by Lane Report.

I'm also in the process of ordering some clothing and merchandise for Bare Wear - The Bare Essentials for Yoga. We'll have a small retail area in the studio where you can purchase fun & fabulous yoga clothes, props, books and so on. We are also designing and constructing our very own yoga mat bags. Finding a stylish yet practical yoga bag to get you to and from class can be a real struggle. We think we have the perfect one! I've also ordered some great shirts from the very talented Julie Bryan. So watch for your invite to the the Bare Wear Bash.... a holiday party/open house/unveiling of Bare Wear. Watch for the date!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Hiking in Kentucky

I love, love, love the fall season in Kentucky. Sure it can be rainy, but the beautiful days like today more that make-up for the rain. Today was quite literally, I picture perfect day. The sky was the most magnificent shade of blue and the trees are just bursting with color. While I lived in Texas, the fall season was the season I missed most. So each year that I've been back, I really try to take the time to truly enjoy the season. Kentucky is unbelievably beautiful this time of year. I just can't say it enough.

Andy picked the Sally Brown Nature Conservancy for us to go hiking. It's very close to our house and it highlights the Palisades, the limestone cliffs that run along the Kentucky River. This was out first time hiking here and it was great. There were a few waterfalls that were stunning (thanks to the rain we've had), amazing vistas of the Palisades, the prettiest pink and lavender color wildflowers, and moss covered rocks and boulders that were begging to be photographed. Needless to say, I took many pictures.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Apache Blessing

May the sun bring you new energy.
May the moon softly restore you by night.
May the rain wash away your worries.
May the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world you know,
It's beauty all the days of your life.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Women's Conference

Here are some of the high points that I took away from "In the Interest of Women", a full day conference devoted to Kentucky Women. The conference was fun, interesting, inspiring and very motivating. I left feeling totally excited about the studio and quite pleased with the fact that I am following my bliss.
*If you don't follow your dreams your doing yourself and those around you a great injustice.
*If you don't take risks, you risk losing everything and gaining nothing.
*Out of everything bad, comes something good. Adversity has the potential to create great opportunity.
*A moment of kindness can change someone else's life.
*When you are blessed in your life, it's your responsibility to give back.
*Never underestimate the power of humor - if you can laugh at it, you can walk through it.
*Follow your passion, happiness and money will follow.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Just the Bare Facts

1. What is Barefoot Works? A relaxing and nurturing yoga studio located in Lexington, KY. At our studio you'll find empowering workshops, creative vinyasa classes, and beginner friendly yoga programs. You'll also find our yoga instructors knowledgeable, approachable, and quite likeable. At least that's what we've been told.
2. What is the mission of Barefoot Works? To provide a nurturing and non-intimidating environment that promotes physical health, creativity, and fosters community through the practice of yoga.
3. How does Barefoot Works plan to accomplish it's goal? It's very simple. We're a super friendly group and we want to make yoga accessible for everyone. We are 100% committed to teaching, inspiring, and providing you with the absolute best yoga experience. We'll also treat you to hot tea and cookies after class.
4. What is Barefoot Works unique approach? Yoga has officially gone mainstream. Today's yogi's are wearing more than tie-dye shirts and Birkenstocks. In fact, they're sportin' chic yoga tops, the perfect pair of black pants, and underneath their sassy shoes are perfectly painted and pedicured toes. At Barefoot Works you'll find yourself amongst professors, artists, executives, stay-at-home moms, massage therapists, entrepreneurs and other fabulous folks. We want to teach the ancient traditions of yoga and apply them to the world we live in today, in a joyful and playful way.
5. How was Barefoot Works born? Barefoot Works was founded by a fun, feisty, and fiercely determined gal named Sharon Tessandori. Barefoot Works has allowed Sharon to blend her passion of yoga, meeting new people, creativity, and attention to detail. Barefoot Works was born on the premise that yoga can serve as a catalyst for positive change, within ourselves, our community and the world in general. Sharon, being a true Taurus and representing all things down to earth, wanted to utilize Barefoot Works as a way to increase environmental awareness. Understanding that yoga and the natural world go hand in hand and truly believing that small changes will one day equal grand results.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Instructions For Life

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, Respect for others and Responsibility for all your actions.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you've never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.
20. Treat strangers and acquaintances as if they are old friends.
- Dalai Lama

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Barefoot Works in the Press

Barefoot Works had the good fortune of getting some press in a couple of monthly Lexington publications, Business Lexington and Hamburg Journal. Here's the info.:

Business Lexington: New Yoga Studio Opens in Lexington
Kentucky native Sharon Tessandori has returned home to open Barefoot Works Yoga, Lexington's first "eco-friendly" yoga studio that features vinyasa, or "flow" yoga, as it's major offering.

Tessandori, A Hazard native with a Master's Degree from Eastern Kentucky University, Sharon has spent the last four years practicing and studying yoga in North Carolina, Ohio and Texas.

Vinyasa is an increasingly popular style of yoga that links breath and poses in a coordinated flow to improve strength, range of motion, balance and cardiovascular health for the participant. The style is appropriate for beginners to experts.

To maintain consistency with the philosophy of awareness that yoga embodies, Barefoot Works will promote awareness of the environment by maintaining an “eco-friendly” studio that includes cork floors, bamboo rugs, low-toxicity paint, recycled paper, natural cleaning products, and organic tea for after class.

Barefoot Works will offer student discounts, multi-class passes and monthly unlimited memberships. More information can be found by visiting the studio's website at or calling (859) 433-7787.

Hamburg Journal: Barefoot Works Yoga, Lexington's first "eco-friendly" yoga studio, which features vinyasa, or "flow" yoga as its major offering, was opened recently by Kentucky native Sharon Tessandori. Grand opening at the studio at 153 Patchen Drive, Suite 35 was Sept. 9. Barefoot Works provides a nurturing environment that promotes physical health and creativity.

Vinyasa is an increasingly popular style of yoga that links breath and poses in a coordinated flow to improve range of motion and cardiovascular health for the participant. The style is appropriate for beginners to experts.

Barefoot Works also features: Express Yoga, a one-hour class at noon for busy professionals and students who want a healthy lunchtime alternative; Yoga for the Flexibly Challenged, a class that uses modified poses and props to help those who fear they lack flexibility due to athletics, work, age, or genetics; Yin Yoga, a class that focuses on your hips, pelvis, knees, and lower back; Family Yoga, which encourages parents and children to practice together. Phone: 433-7787.

**The photo above was taken last spring when my friend and I were visiting London. Prince Charles was getting married and the picture was of some random man reading the paper on the was a nice photo op :-)

Monday, October 09, 2006

A Yummy Class

Tonight I had the pleasure of attending Leigh Ann's Yoga for the Flexibly Challenged (YFC) class and it was so very wonderful. Leigh Ann has a way of teaching in a clear, concise way that enables her students to flow into and out of poses in an effortless way. Combine that with her encouraging and supportive teaching style and you get one amazing class. I also had the most awesome adjustment in bound angle pose was soooo very nice. As one student put it last week, vinyasa classes leave you with that "yummy" feeling.

I have a strong personal yoga practice, but I have to say that I just love taking classes and being a student. Theres something great about being a part of the group dynamic, where everyone is immersed in their own practice, but at the same time everyone is part of a greater force. There is something beautiful about people taking a break from work, home, meetings, family, and responsibilities in general, to do something nurturing for their mind, body, and spirit.

The picture above is a shot that I caught Friday evening of the moon. It was the prettiest site I've seen in a while. Check this site out at for instructions and pictures of the moon salutation.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Family Yoga Night

This past Friday we had our very first Family Yoga Night at the studio and it was so much fun! We had a great group of gals that brought some wonderful energy to the studio. We put on some jammin' tunes and got our yoga groove on. There was lots of laughter during the downward facing dog tunnel, a game of Simon Says Sun Salutations, warrior relay race, and blossoming lotus. The evening also included some partner work, deep belly breathing, and a bit of relaxation. Spending the evening with these girls reminded me to approach my own yoga practice with a bit of fun and curiosity.

As of today, Barefoot Works has officially been open for one month! It's been such a delight for me to teach and learn from all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

In the Interest of Women

My sister and I have registered for this women's forum that is taking place in both Lexington and Louisville. I'm so excited to spend the day with my sister, attend interesting workshops, and meet other savvy and successful Kentucky gals that share some common interests. I think that most of all I'm excited that my sister is taking some time to nurture herself, for she is a true "superwoman" in so many ways (including a mom to these sweet little gals).

Check the website out at for additional details, to register, and view the available workshops.
The keynote speaker is Wynonna Judd. I'm quite excited about that!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Learning to Listen

1 : quick and ready insight 2 a : immediate apprehension or cognition b : knowledge or conviction gained by intuition

Following your intuition can be a tricky thing. You know, that "gut" feeling that you get about certain things. Sometimes it's hard to explain and many times it may not make any sense at the present time, but none the less, it's there.... a feeling of knowing from within.

I specifically remember how I felt after my very first yoga class. I experienced a feeling of peace and calm at a time when I really needed it. So I went back to yoga class, time and time again, eager to learn more about this practice that seemed so basic, yet so complex at the same time. Days turned to weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years.

Theres no doubt in my mind that yoga definitely helped me to listen to my intuition, to follow my gut instinct. I can specifically remember moving back to Lexington and going to pick up an application at City Hall for a recreation supervisor position for Parks and Recreation. Afterall, it made perfect sense. My education and my background are in the field of recreation. But my intuition told me it wasn't the right thing to do (meanwhile, my head was yelling "Are you crazy, what else will you do.") My gut was telling me to open a yoga studio. I envisioned a creative, warm and inviting space that would inspire people to practice yoga. Needless to say, I threw the application away and starting that day, I took the steps necessary to open Barefoot Works. I've followed my intuition throughout the whole process of opening my studio and I can honestly say that I don't have a single regret. Whenever I have my doubts, I refer to this moving poem by Mary Oliver.

The Journey
One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began, though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice--though the whole house began to tremble and you felt the old tug at your ankles."Mend my life!"each voice cried. But you didn't stop. You knew what you had to do, though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations, though their melancholy was terrible. It was already late enough, and a wild night,and the road full of fallen branches and stones. But little by little, as you left their voices behind, the stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds, and there was a new voice which you slowly recognized as your own,that kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world, determined to do the only thing you could do--determined to save the only life you could save.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Eternal Health Yoga

I had the pleasure of spending the day with my great friend Shelli in Louisville. I knew that it was going to be a great day as I drove into Louisville and saw about 100 hot air balloons floating high in the sky. I called Shelli and excitedly asked, "Do you see all those balloon?" She could also see them...they were directly above her as she stood in her backyard. For a moment we were both in awe over the spectacular sight. What a perfect way to start the day!

Shelli is the owner of a fabulous yoga studio called Eternal Health Yoga. As a yoga teacher, she is wise, witty, inspiring, motivating and just plain fun. This is a gal that knows her stuff and her love of yoga shines through in her classes.

Her studio has such a warm and cozy feel to it and as you can see just a bit from the photos, there is amazing light that comes pouring through the windows. The beautiful hardwood floors were restored and brought back to life (thanks to her husband and son, and Shelli of course). This studio is truly a great place to unroll your yoga mat and spend an hour or so bending, balancing, stretching, and flexing. Shelli has some great workshops and events lined up at her studio. Eternal Health Yoga is only one of three studios (as far as I am aware) offering a 200 teacher training that upon completion allows students to register as a yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance. She also has a weekend workshop with Doug Swenson (see "Down with Doug post) planned for January. You can pick up a registration form at Barefoot Works and/or visit her studio online at for additional information.

I also had the great pleasure of meeting Julie Bryan, a resident of Louisville who created those wonderful tee shirts that Shelli and I are wearing. I plan to have those cute chakra t's to sell in the studio soon. Chakra T’s are printed on 100% very soft combed cotton fabric manufactured in the United States in a non-sweatshop environment. You can check them out online at

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Yogi of the Month - Teresa Thompson

I’d like to thank Barefoot Works Yoga Studio for naming me “Yogi of the Month” and for asking me to write a little about my world and my experience with yoga. I feel very fortunate at this stage in my life and am grateful to be exploring new friendships with Sharon, Leigh Ann, and the other students I see at practice. Barefoot Works has become my second home in recent weeks; I take advantage of every class I can manage and have learned something new and valuable with every visit. The spirit of yoga is alive and well in Patchen Village.

My personal adventure with yoga began more than 30 years ago. Comparing histories with friends, mine seemed in reverse with what may be typical for contemporary Western students; the asanas, or postures, were not my first area of interest. Through a complex series of synchronicities, I found a spiritual teacher who introduced me to part of what is known as "The Eight Limbs of Yoga": self-observation, the ethical disciplines, concentration, meditation, etc. He instructed that we should cultivate conscious awareness in all of our activities, whether it be during meditation or cleaning the toilet. I read, studied, and worked to refine my practice and understanding, trying as I could to apply the teachings to my own evolution, and to daily life. At this time, I did not have a physical practice, though it did eventually come about. I tend to believe that it happened when the time was right.

Just after my 50th birthday, I signed up for a yoga class in downtown Lexington -- without a doubt the best gift I ever bought for myself. At that time I was injured, arthritic, and smack in the middle of some serious post-menopausal feelings of stagnation, isolation, low energy, a job change -- doubting of my self worth. It got worse before it got better, but the improvements in my physical, mental, and emotional states, after only 3 months of yoga practice, were astonishing to me (and I’m not easily sold on quick remedies). In the 5 years which have passed since my first official asana class, I can say with a high degree of certainty that there's no going back. Recognizing a good thing when you find it -- or when it finds you -- is the only logical, practical choice. Observing, trusting, and responding to one's own inner voice may be a new experience, but it may be a turning point in life, so we must listen closely.

In current classes at Barefoot Works I’m happily learning about Vinyasa and Yin and working toward improved strength and balance, personal goals. Sharon has a gift for guiding students through centering and relaxation, pranayama, and the asanas. I trust her as an informed instructor, and more importantly, as a good human. I’m also very pleased to find a yoga studio that doesn’t just cater to leisure class folks. I have to work (a fact of life) and the evening classes are a great way to resolve and re-translate the day, and maintain the discipline of a daily practice with others -- just plain fun.

I really hope to be part of a growing community of yogis at Barefoot Works. People of like (or even similar) mind can effect such positive change in the state of our world, which is too often dominated by issues of personality, ego, fear, and distraction. Being equipped to be present in the moment, regardless of the quality of that moment, is an aspiration. I believe that as subtle doors begin to open within us, we are better able to express love and respect for ourselves and for others, and this is but a part of the legacy of the ancient yogis. May we all live to preserve these gifts and blessings, and to learn and share in "The Eight Limbs of Yoga" with friends, family, teachers, and peers.

Om Shanti,


Monday, September 25, 2006

"It's Just Yoga"

"If you want to rule the world, you must keep it amused." Ralph Waldo Emerson

I like to teach my yoga classes in a very lighthearted style. There are times when it's okay just to stop and laugh during your class. It actually happened this afternoon while I was teaching. Many times yoga can be serious business. People can bring a lot of issues to their yoga mat and certain emotions seem to come from out of the blue. It's one of the great aspects of yoga, bringing certain feelings and emotions out in the open for us to address appropriately. It's just one of the many aspects that separates yoga from other "fitness" categories.

I use the phrase "it's just yoga" many times in my yoga classes. If I feel like someone is getting upset about not being able to do a certain pose or if I sense someone losing their patience with their yoga practice, I remind them "Relax, it's just yoga." Reminding them that ultimately, it's not the end of the world if we can't touch our toes. You can at least smile at yourself for attempting.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Why Dream?

"Life is a difficult assignment. We are fragile creatures, expected to function at high rates of speed, and asked to accomplish great and small things each day. These daily activities take enormous amounts of energy. Most things are out of our control. We are surrounded by danger, frustration, grief and insanity as well as love, hope, ecstasy, and wonder. Being fully human in an exercise in humility, suffering, grace, and great humor. Things and people all around us die, get broken, or are lost. There is no safety or guarantees.

The way to accomplish the assignment of truly living is to engage fully, richly, and deeply in the living of your dreams. We are made to dream and to love those dreams!

We are succulent, flexible, ingenious creatures, gifted with great intelligence, enormous resources, and endless creativity. We are mentored in our dreams by our ancestors. Our dreams sustain and support us, even when we're not actively living them. They infuse us with a hope and certainty. Every person living his or her dream is better able to help the world and other people not yet living their dreams."

Taken from one of my favorite books: Make Your Creative Dreams Real by SARK

I think that we all have dreams. However, it seems that as we get older, more mature we stop talking about our dreams and sadly, we stop exploring and pursuing our dreams. I think that it's so important that we remember what energizes and excites us. What are the things you love doing so much that you lose all track of time? What would you be doing right now if money weren't as issue? It's fun...go ahead and think about it!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Soothing Saturday

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. John Muir

As everyone is aware, we got a massive amount of rain last night. Areas all throughout Central Kentucky flooded and as I sit here looking out my window, the rain has started again. More flooding is expected throughout the day.

I wasn't sure how many brave souls would make it to class at 9:15 this morning. When I thanked those students for attending class, one student responded "I had to come to yoga, I had a really long week." Good to know that chaotic weather can't keep people from a good yoga class.

On my drive back to my house from yoga everything appeared so vibrant and alive. I avoid Nicholasville Road at all costs, choosing instead to take a very scenic route home to Nicholasville. Fields and pastures were green and fresh, creeks, rivers and streams were overflowing with water, and the beginnings of fall are showing in the leaves of trees. I knew that it was a perfect photo opportunity. So I hurried home, loaded my camera gear up and set out to take some pictures before the rain set back in. I took this shot about 5 minutes from my house. I drove up and down country roads taking photos of horses, cows, barns, streams, fields and wildflowers. I can't think of a better way to spend my Saturday afternoon. Taking pictures is my favorite creative outlet and being out in nature has a way soothing my spirit and mind.

Wishing you all a soothing Saturday.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Undivided Attention

I live my life in widening circles that reach out across the world. I may not complete the last one, but I give myself to it. - Ranier Maria Rilke

I really feel that yoga helps us to feel more connected to one another and this in turn helps us to feel more connected to the world around us. Just take a look around the room after a yoga class. For the most part, everyone is calm, peaceful, centered and relaxed ....or maybe really good pretenders ;-)

I think that in general the first thing you can do to connect to someone is give them your undivided attention. I remind myself of this daily as I prepare to teach a yoga class. There are days when I teach several classes throughout the day. I feel that as a yoga teacher it's important that I teach each class as if it's the first and only class for the day. As I'm teaching, I make every effort to teach wholeheartedly and give individual attention to everyone. It doesn't take a whole lot to let someone know that you care. Many times, something as simple as giving your undivided attention will be plenty enough. Give it a try :-)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Yoga for Runners

Here is a great way to stretch those quads and hamstrings after a run:

1. Standing nice and tall with pretty posture - Inhale to reach your arms up taking your palms together. Tilt your head back and gaze up at your hands.
2. Exhale reaching your arms apart and fold towards the ground. Let your fingertips reach towards the earth. If they don't reach - no worries- just rest them on your legs.
3. Inhale to bring your head up in line with your spine, creating a flat back. Press your bottom back and extend your spine forward reaching through the crown of your head. You can rest your hands on your shins or fingertips on the ground.
4. Exhale bending your legs enough to place your hands on the ground and step back to downward facing dog (looks like an inverted V). Reach your bottom up towards the sky and relax your heels towards the earth.
Hold for 5-8 deep breaths.
5. Inhale to take a big step forward with the right leg. Now you're in a low runners lunge. Your right knee should be in line with the right ankle. Your back knee reaches up off the ground. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
6. Exhale and lower the left knee to the ground.
7. Inhale to bring your torso up and rest the hands on your right knee, lunging forward to feel a stretch in the left quad. Hold for 5 deep breaths. 8. Exhale your hands to the inside of the right big toe as you walk your hands forward relaxing your torso towards the ground to stretch the hip. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Don't force yourself down - use your breath to help you relax into the pose.
9. Inhale as you walk your hands back.
10. Exhale as you press your hips back and stretch your right leg forward. Flex the right foot and lengthen your body over the right leg to feel a yummy hamstring stretch. Hold for 5 deep breaths.
11. Inhale the right foot down to the ground as you tuck the back toes under (this may take a little adjusting). Come back to that low lunge.
12. Exhale as you press the right leg back for downward facing dog. Hold for 5-8 deep breaths then repeat sequence with the left leg.

Happy Running :-)

If this sequence made absolutely no sense, then come visit me and take a yoga class!

PS - That's Maisy and Remy in the photo, two dogs that are as fast as the wind!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Flow Into Fall at Barefoot Works

Hip Flow: A Hip Opening Journey -
Saturday October 7, 1:00 - 3:00

Enjoy an afternoon of hip openers in this 2-hour workshop with Leigh Ann. This practice will begin with focused meditation to identify areas in the hips, pelvis, and lower back that hold tightness and tension. We then will transition into a standing flow to warm the body and gradually release the hips. The afternoon will close with a slow-flowing sequence of seated and supine poses that target the hip area and loosen the surrounding musculature while increasing range of motion. You will leave the workshop feeling relaxed and renewed with a better understanding of working with your hips. Suitable for all levels. $25 is you pre-register, $30 at the door. Minimum of six registrants required within one week of workshop.