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.