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.