Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Images & Text

That's it, that's my theme for the month of March! It feels perfect for me. I am such a lover of any sort of text (words are so powerful) and obviously I am a lover of images. And of course, I'll be throwing in yoga sequences and such and other random bits of information (which is what I essentially do now). I plan to use all new images that I'll be taking the month of March. Thought this may keep me on my toes and make it more interesting and challenging for myself.
I got this idea from Keri Smith. She has a great blog and for the whole month of February, she's been creating something different each day. She's quite fun and creative. Check her out. On day 17 she did drawings of other people with the same name as her.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

It's almost March!

"Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit." Anton Chekhov

So I have to admit that I can't recall another year is which I've been so excited to greet spring. In fact I may throw a mini celebration this Thursday on the first day of March...and have a big celebration March 21, the first official day of Spring. I know, I's not very yogic.
I'm planning on having some sort of March theme for my blog. I'll post every single day in March. Still haven't figured out exactly what it's gonna be, but I still have a day and a half left. I'll let you know in a couple more days.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

An authentic life..

There's a great interview with Grace Paley in this month's Oprah magazine. Grace was asked about her beliefs on living an authentic life and what is means. This is her response, "I guess a life that's truthful, where you don't bullshit. You're alive. You don't do work that you hate. You do things you believe in. That's authentic. It's just being yourself, that's all." Perfectly said...

Here are a couple of my favorite things I've been checking out on the web:

*Take a look at this site and check out the photos in portfolio 1 for the brightest, most magnificent colors that you can imagine.

*And 3191 - this is a fantastic photoblog. On the homepage it says, "we are stephanie and mav. we live 3191 miles apart. we like to get up early". I love the simplicity of the whole thing...the site, the photos that are so simple and basic, yet so moving. This site has inspired me to take more still life photos, like my chocolate chip pancakes that I made for breakfast Friday morning.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Yoga in bed

I had the best intentions of sleeping in late this morning, but it just didn't happen. So instead of getting up and greeting the day, I stayed in bed for a bit of yoga (asana), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. I started with reclined bound angle pose (supta baddha konasana) followed by a gentle twist to the right then to the left. For my twist, I pulled my knees into my chest then simply released the feet and knees to the side. I held each pose for about 4 minutes.
I followed this by stretching my legs forward for corpse pose (savasana) and following a 3 part breath. I started with my hands on my tummy inhaling to feel the breath fill my tummy. I stayed her for 10 deep breaths. Then I moved my hands to my ribcage, feeling the ribcage rise and fall with the inhalation and exhalation. Then on up to the area by my collarbones, repeating the same process. The breath moves from the stomach all the way up to the collarbones, then from the collarbones back down to the tummy, moving in a wavelike pattern.
And last, I simply laid in bed and did a 10 minute meditation. I didn't plan my breakfast, what I would do today, or even what I plan to make in my pottery class. I just laid here, letting my body and mind rest and be very quiet. I love doing breath work and meditation first thing in the morning, before we feel the effects of our day.
If you don't have plans for tonight, come by the studio for potluck dinner and viewing of The Secret. Everybody has been talking about this film. Come see what it's all about!
The quilt in the above photo and made by my great, great friend Liz. It was my first quilt ever, I guess I've had it for about 11 years. This is the quilt I used for most of my college days. Ahh, fun days!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Anybody else ready for the beach?

It's like a heat wave outside compared to the last month! Temps are what, 45 feels like spring compared to 2 degrees that we've been having. I'm so ready for spring. Ready to pull the tank tops and flip flops out of the closet. If your achin' for the beach like I am, you should consider signing up for our most wonderful yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico. We'll spend the week at Maya Tulum, which is a seaside wellness resort on the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula. Lots of sand, sun, and serenity. This will truly be a week of inspiration, exploration, connection, and recreation. Very good for your soul :-)
The above photo was taken in the Dominican Republic. I like to make it to the beach (or some big body of water) at least twice a year. If I don't, I get cranky and go into some sort of water withdrawal. It's not pretty.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Family fun and yoga at Carnegie Center

I'll be at the Carnegie Center this Thursday at 5:30 leading a little family yoga session. The yoga session is part of their heart healthy celebration, which also includes pilates and creative (healthy) snacks. It's an evening of fun, free dinner and activities for the whole family! Registration is required. Call 859.254.4175 if you would like to attend.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Simple pleasures

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra
We went to Holly Hill Inn today for brunch to celebrate a friend's birthday. This was the table that we sat at. Isn't it just beautiful? I was so excited that Andy and I were the first to arrive and there really wasn't anyone else at the Inn at this time. So I had a couple moments to roam around and take a few photos. It seems that the thing for me to photograph lately has been windows and sunlight (I just realized that I mention the sunlight at the coffee shop from Fridays post). These are the things that I the sunlight streaming through a window can create such a dreamy mood. And my fave is old windows in old houses. I roam around my house at different times of the day taking photos of windows and the rooms. This giant window at Holly Hill Inn was just gorgeous. I also love the sheer curtains and how they allow just enough sunlight to filter in and if you look closely, you can see the shadow of a tree on the wall hangings.
This has been one of my simple pleasures lately. What's yours?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Things that made me happy today

I downloaded Lucinda Williams new cd "West" from iTunes. Lucinda has been a fave of mine since she released "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" in 1998. Her voice is like no other....she's soulful, sultry and subtle all at the same time. Her lyrics and music are "hauntingly beautiful". She's totally amazing.

I came home from the studio last night and Andy and I had received the most awesome postcard ever from my friend Jen. You flip the card over and it read "You Rock Our World". She goes to wish a year full of "passion and purpose". It was the greatest surprise ever and it was the most perfect timing. So much better than a bill or credit card application.

Liz and I had a lunch/coffee date at Coffee Times. We sat by a window and enjoyed the sunshine, yummy drinks and tasty sandwiches. I love spending time here on Fridays.

Spending my morning with Wyman creating this vase. I decided to leave the piece more textured and rough, choosing to reveal the imperfections. I can't wait till we glaze and fire the pieces!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I hope...

I hope,
for more love, more joy and laughter.
I hope,
we'll have more than we'll ever need.
I hope,
we'll have more happy ever after.
I hope,
we can all live more fearlessly.
And we can lose all the pain and misery
I hope, I hope...
-Dixie Chicks

As many of you know, my aunt has been in the hospital. I've been traveling to and from Louisville the last three weeks spending time with her. She passed away early this morning. She was in need of a heart transplant.
I want to thank those of you that have asked about her and about me. Your hugs and kind words have been the best thing I could ever wish and hope for. I was so touched when Teresa told me that at the end of class this past Tuesday, you all sent well wishes and positive thoughts to me and my aunt. That meant so very much to me. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mommies do yoga everyday!

This is a sequence/flyer I came up with for my moms day out gals. They came to the studio Friday night for a lovely two hour yoga workshop that ended with lively conversation and homemade chocolate chip cookies. Yummy. I did weave a little story into the sequence as I felt it was most appropriate. Enjoy....

1. Begin in mountain pose, standing tall and strong. Not even an explosive temper tantrum could knock you off course. Take 5 deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling through your nose.

2. Inhale and lift your arms overhead, take the palms together and tilt your head back. That temper tantrum continues and you lift your hands asking for strength and patience from above. Maybe an oreo cookie will do the trick.3. Exhale and fold forward, release your hands towards the ground. Imagine picking up crumbs from that cookie with your legs straight and spine lengthened.

4. Inhale and take a big step back with your right leg, you're in prime position for a sprint. A sprint to get those cookie crumbs to the garbage can. From there, onto the laundry room. Piles of clothes await you.

5. Release the right knee straight down to rest on the ground. Inhale and lift your arms overhead. You're lifting clean clothes from the dryer, your husband stands there graciously taking the clothes where he continues to fold. Of course you're smiling.

6. Bring the fingertips to the floor, step forward and balance on your left leg. This is where it gets tricky. You've just closed the dryer door with your back leg and you're balancing little Emma on your back, she wants to play after all.

7. Drop the right leg down to meet the left, standing forward fold. Little Emma lies on the floor and you tickle her tummy. That temper tantrum feels like it happened months ago. You realize you've been doing yoga for years. Return to mountain pose and repeat sequence with the left leg.

Sequence created by Sharon Tessandori. She doesn't have any children, but imagines this is what her yoga practice might be like if she did.

Friday, February 09, 2007

I'm a little teapot...

This is my creation from week 2 of my pottery class! I get so excited to think that I made this from clay, with my very own two hands! This piece took a bit longer than the pot I made last time (three hours), as it had a few more elements. Lots more coils, a technique in which you roll the clay with your hands (I think of coils as snakes and worms). I think I can really get into this pottery stuff. I may have to convert my craft room into my very own little pottery studio.
I'm busy taking care of some last minute details for my yoga workshop with the "moms day out" gals. I've baked some yummy chocolate chip cookies for an after workshop treat, made copies of the special sequence I came up with, "Mommies Do Yoga Everyday", and the yoga blankets are all freshly laundered. I need to get to the studio soon to get it tidied up, light some candles and get things ready. I want to make the studio extra cozy for this special group of moms and offer them a wonderfully relaxing evening of yoga and girl time.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Isn't she lovely?!

This is Liz, some of you know her from Tuesday and Saturday classes. She always has a smile on her face and she does this great pigeon pose. And she's just one of the funniest people. After cancelling class on Tuesday, I got an email from her and she said she would have put chains on the super mom minivan and trudged through the snow to get to class.
Liz came to the studio this afternoon to be my "mommy yoga model" (thanks Liz, you were perfect). I'm leading a yoga workshop tomorrow night for a mom's day out group so I wanted to come up with a sequence to send them home with. Liz was my model for the poses I included in the sequence. I put it all together in one cute little flyer. I'll post the sequence here on the blog soon. Have a fabulousThursday!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Here I Sit...

It's 7:40 and normally I would be teaching my level 1 class. We, or should I say you, would be all warm from flowing through some sun salutations...we've covered the basics, moved from warrior 1 to warrior 2 and maybe even warrior 3, done our fair share of downward facing dog, and you're breathing your way toward bliss like all good yogi's do ;-) However, the snow came in earlier in the afternoon and we were expecting anywhere from 3 to 8 inches. I decided to play it safe and cancel the evening yoga classes. I hope that you all are warm and cozy and sipping some hot cocoa (with marshmallows), getting in some down time.
I'm sitting here in a snow covered "big blue" house continuing to do work, even if I'm not teaching. But I'm not complaining, really I'm not. I have lots of exciting things that I'm planning. One of them involving yoga and a tropical beach. I'll keep you posted! I think I'll make myself a toasty drink of some sort. Be safe and keep warm!

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Perfect Valentines Gift

We're having a couple massage workshop at Barefoot Works on Saturday, March 3 from 2:00 till 6:00 pm. Join us to soothe away the stresses and pressures of everyday life by learning simple massage techniques. We'll begin by discussing the benefits of massage and basic massage terminology and techniques. The remainder of the workshop will be spent learning how to give a massage using effective techniques and strokes. You'll also learn ways to do massage in a chair, table and on a bed.
We'll even give you the cutest gift certificate ever to give to your loved one on Valentines Day. Sign up and treat yourself and your partner to this wonderful gift that will keep on giving!
Sign up soon as space is limited!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Winter Walk

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." John Ruskin

I braved the cold this morning (think cold like 15 degrees) to go out and take some shots of the snow. I'm not a fan of cold, 15 is just not an appropriate number for the temperature. My original plan was to hop into my little box car and drive over to the park and take some pictures. I had keys in hand and everything, but then I started to feel a bit (or a lot) lazy. I mean, the park is probably one a third of a mile away from my house. I convinced myself that the cold would be "exhilarating", just as the above quote states. So off I went, trudging down the sidewalk with my furry boots on. Quite quickly I came across this beautiful bird perched in a tree. Luckily I had my super lens on and what able to get a good close shot of him. I was immediately happy that I'd decided to walk instead of drive, as I would have missed this darling little gal. Makes me wonder how many more things I've missed out on, just because I've taken the easy or most convenient route....hmmm, something to ponder.

On another note, I'm going to make these chili cheese fries and macho nachos for a super bowl gathering today. Wishing you all a super, super bowl Sunday :-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Yoga for Football Players

Click here to read an article about the West Jessamine Colts, the team that I'm visiting once a week to do yoga with. It's a great group of 50 football players and about 10 teachers. All of them are doing such an awesome job...nothing like looking out and seeing 50 strong boys standing in Warrior. I plan to take some pictures of the class at some point and I'll share some of those. For now, this cute little shot of Zack (future football player) and Jonah will have to do.