Monday, April 30, 2007

penny for your thoughts

I email a newsletter out once a month for the yoga studio. I've decided that in this newsletter, I need to include more information about the practice of yoga and how to scatter bits of yoga into our everyday life. I want this newsletter to contain information that will be valuable to you. This is where I need your help. Please leave a comment and give me some feedback about what type of information you would like to read and learn more about. Here are a few ideas to get you going: pose of the month, creating a home practice, healthy recipes, yoga off the mat, history of yoga, meditation tips, etc. I'm looking forward to reading your comments!
If you do not get our monthly newsletter but would love to receive it, leave your email address along with a comment and I'll gladly add you.
P.S. That's Jaime, our yogi of the month sitting pretty in lotus (or padmasana). Isn't she cute?!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

celebrate good times

Andy and I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary yesterday (April 28)! We went to Bardstown and spent the night at the Rosemark Haven Bed and Breakfast. It was completely beautiful and we had a fabulous time. Check out the awesome staircase!

It was a day full of delectable passion plum tea, a juicy bourbon concoction, and altbier from BBC. This is the wine bar that was on the b&b grounds. It was soooo cool. There were 4 levels and upstairs there were doors to give an open air feel. There's Andy enjoying the fresh air. And a couple pics of the inside and outside of the barn that's been converted to a wine bar.

We also managed to find a bookstore to browse, explored some unique boutiques and antique shops,and enjoyed ice cream at an old time soda fountain. A fun getaway for a day to celebrate six years of togetherness!

Sorry for the chaotic placement of the pics! Blogger is not being very cooperative today!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


I knew it was time to update my blog when I heard Andy, my husband, saying from upstairs, "Ahh, you still haven't updated your blog?" I was curled up on the couch after coming back from the studio. I haven't gotten home before 9:00 any night this week. And I've been going to the studio early. I can relate to you yogi's that have been at the studio this week a bit stressed and overwhelmed by papers, tests, performances and such. I've had a busy week and haven't even had the time (or inspiration) to blog. Crazy! Since I really enjoy blogging, both writing in mine and reading others.
So in the meantime while I'm running around, I'll share this article that I found via the wish studio. It's titled "I am a Yoga Mama: we kick soccer moms tushies." I guess the soccer mom label is being replaced by the yoga mama label. Enjoy and have a happy day :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

happy earth day

Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back. -The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

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

I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defense of our resources is just as important as defense abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend? -Robert Redford

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

Saturday, April 21, 2007

a weekend of workshops

I've had such a fun weekend so far full of yoga and bellydancing! Yesterday (Friday) I went to Cincinnati and took a Jivamukti workshop at Gratitude In Motion. The workshop was taught by a wonderful teacher by the name of Elizabeth Silas. As far as I know, Elizabeth is the only person in Ohio that is certified in the Jivamukti style of yoga. We spent the first half of the workshop doing a very balanced flow class and the second half was devoted to discussing how to sequence a yoga class, which I really, really enjoyed. I consider myself a creative person and love that the vinyasa practice allows me the opportunity to come up with fun and balanced flow classes. Many times it's also a challenge and I enjoy this as well. I also got to visit with some great friends and enjoy tasty Thai cuisine.

I taught my mixed level yoga class this morning, cleaned the studio then went to the coffee shop to do some yoga work (I do love that my job allows me to roam around the city doing work where ever I please). I got to sit by this pretty window and catch up on some things that I've been meaning to do all week. I stayed here for a couple hours then decided to make my way back to the studio, but decided that it was much too beautiful outside to be indoors. So I passed the studio and went to the park. I found a perfect grassy spot, rolled out my yoga mat and started re-reading one of my favorite books, "Bringing Yoga to Life". After an hour, it was time to get to the studio to get things ready for the Bellydancing workshop with Liz Davenport.

Wow, this was a fun workshop! I fully expected Liz to be an awesome, energetic, fun and knowledgeable teacher and she absolutely was. We shimmied, shook, popped, and bopped (if there is such a word) for an hour and a half. And for me it was so great to be doing something at my studio that was out of my comfort zone. I am so accustomed to practicing and teaching yoga at Barefoot Works and this completely threw me off. Which was a good thing. I think that we all need to do things that are different and daring. Shake (or shimmy) things up a bit...that's always a good thing ;-)

I'm quite excited that we've added a bellydancing class to the schedule. Join in on the fun this Wednesday from 7:30 till 8:30.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

why didn't i think of that?

Last night before the yin yoga class Rachel showed me her handy dandy "hand drying cloth" that was made by her grandmother in-law who lives in Japan. I'm not sure of the official name, or even if there is one. She tells me that it's common and even cool for people to carry their own cloths in their purse or bags to dry their hands with. She said that most places don't have hand dryers in the restroom, so people just carry something to dry their hands with. She thought that I would appreciate this since we use hand towels at the studio to dry our hands with. But I love this idea of having your very own that you carry with you. How smart, and earth friendly is that? This allows us to save energy and eliminate waste from throwing paper towels away. I think it's quite brilliant. I'm actually participating on a tele conference calls with another group of green yoga studio owners today. I definitely plan to share this great tip. I think I will go out and buy several little washcloths and embroider something pretty on them to carry around.

These are before and after pictures that I took a couple weeks ago. I was driving home on the Mountain Parkway to Eastern Ky and I had completely forgotten how beautiful of a drive it was with all the dogwoods and redbuds blooming. The sun was shining and it was a picture perfect day. I was so enamored with the beauty that as I'm driving I was taking pictures (I don't recommend doing this). However, when I left at 8:30 that night it was a near blizzard and all the pretty blooms were covered with snow. Mother Nature, she always has the upper hand.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the art of sitting still

Irene, a gal at the studio, told me last night about a connection she made about her mother's old and wise saying and yoga. She said that when she was very young and rambunctious her mother as times would tell her "You just need to sit still." Irene said that during those early days her mother was probably just losing her patience with her little ones. However, Irene also noted that as she got older and when she had big and small decisions to make, her mother would give her the same advice "You just need to sit still." Irene's mother was probably well aware of the the need to quiet our mind in order to tap into our true selves.
Whether or not Irene's mother was aware of it, she was giving some very yogic advice. We begin and end all of our classes at the studio with "sitting still" and simply quieting our mind. It's usually during those moments of stillness and quietness that we can tune into the true nature of our truest, most authentic selves. So whether your on your yoga mat, sitting at a park, or at your desk, allow yourself a few moments to sit still and just enjoy your breath. See how it makes you feel afterwards.
Irene, please feel free to leave a comment and elaborate on your mother's wise teaching. Thanks for sharing!

Sunday, April 15, 2007


At one time I couldn't stand feet. I didn't like mine and I didn't necessarily like others. The thought of rubbing on some one's feet grossed me out and I would have never, ever paid someone for a pedicure. It is quite ironic that I spend a good portion of my days roaming around without shoes as a yoga teacher.
I'm not sure where this paranoia came from. I mean, I grew up in Eastern KY and we don't even wear shoes there ;-) But somewhere along the way, I felt the need to cover my little toesies up. And I can't really think of a single reason why. I guess my little baby toes are kinda odd. If I'm standing up they bend in towards my fourth toe really, really badly. Almost to the point that they are lying on their sides. Aside from that I don't know. Maybe it has something to do with being a girl and growing up in a society that screams PERFECTION everywhere you turn. Actually I'm sure it has something to do with it. And as you can see, my feet aren't perfect.
But I've gotten over that. Yoga has been my biggest stepping stone in accepting me. Feet and all. I love that my feet supported me in running 26 miles in the Houston Marathon. I love that I can balance in tree pose, dancer pose, eagle pose and so on. I love that I can climb a mountain and dance up a storm anytime I want. These days I feel more and more comfortable in my own skin and it's just the greatest thing. I can't imagine anything better than roaming around in my barefeet. These days this simple act represents strength, freedom, acceptance, and love. Yes, Barefoot Works. Indeed ;-)
Click here to see the Self Portrait Challenge, the blog that inspired this post.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

bits & pieces of a fun friday

Started with this at my pottery class.
Got to here and I started to see a pitcher take shape. You have to use your imagination.
And I finished with this pretty pitcher! Can I just say that I looove this piece?! It's my most favorite piece yet! Now I'm not one to openly confess about loving something so much that I've created. But this pitcher.... it's cool, and pretty, and flowy, and graceful, and balanced. You too can create a pretty pitcher by taking a class with the very talented Wyman here.
I also finished these curtains and put them up at the studio (check the box out in the the background). I started them on Tuesday thinking I'd whip them together in an hour or so and have them up in time for Tuesday evening's class. I would have finished in time if I hadn't serged up the wrong sides of the fabric together. Ooops. Martha Stewart, I'm not. Instead of ripping the thread out, I opted to cut the edges off. I love the Amy Butler fabric. I finished them up yesterday with the help of the sewing gurus out at Hamburg.

And to top the day off, my amazing friend Shelli came from Louisville and led a yoga nidra workshop that was relaxing and rejuvenating. I got to be a student for the evening and that made me very happy. The studio was packed out with yogi's lying on their mats with blankets covering and cradling their bodies while Shelli used guided imagery and body scanning to help us release physically and psychologically. Very nice.

Have a happy weekend. Stay dry...and warm. The rain is supposed to turn to snow tomorrow. Gotta love KY weather ;-)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

love the newbies

It's been a long day. After five hours of teaching yoga, my body, voice and mind are ready for a little break. But it was such a good day. I had the great pleasure of teaching a group of great ladies at a workplace today and they were truly delightful. Teaching people that are brand new to yoga can be a very fun and rewarding experience. It's fun to see people do things they couldn't imagine doing and bending their bodies in ways they haven't bended in years. It's really great to see that look of "aha" in a pose...when you say something that just clicks with them. I witnessed this several times this evening.
I also taught my yoga basics class this evening and was so delighted when one of the gals said "I'm getting more comfortable in the poses and I can feel that I'm improving." It's a wonderful thing to teach people to become comfortable with the poses and their body and to teach people to move in a mindful way connecting their breath to movements, and ultimately their mind and their body. Good stuff....for sure.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Yoga Nidra

Come out this Friday evening from 6:00 till 8:00 p.m. for a workshop with the fabulous Shelli Carpenter of Eternal Health Yoga. Read below for the full details.
The goal of Yoga Nidra is to attain complete relaxation while maintaining consciousness. The ability to do this allows for our deepest levels of creativity and healing energies to come to the surface. One session of Yoga Nidra is equal to approximately 3 hours of sleep in its ability to rejuvenate. Most of us when we sleep never truly relax and let go into the deepest recesses of our unconscious and our connection to creation. This is what Yoga Nidra provides, the deep connection to our unconscious that leads to wholeness.
Following a relaxing session of preparatory yoga postures you will simply lie down and follow the instructions for Yoga Nidra. What comes easily, you do, what doesn't, you let it pass. You will be asked to choose a resolution, something that you would like to develop in your life that will have a positive effect on your path to healing; the seed of this intention when spoken (mentally) at the beginning and the end of Yoga Nidra gets planted deep into the unconscious where it motivates changes in behavior and lifestyle situations that support your deepest heart's desire for healing to unfold. This workshop is suitable for all levels.
Cost: $20 or $15 if you have a current class package at Barefoot Works. Don't miss out on such a wonderful evening!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

hippity hoppity easter

I just woke from a two and a half hour nap. Does that still qualify as a nap? I was quite exhausted after this weekend.

Our Easter festivities today were loads of fun. The food I prepared was yummy and the kids enjoyed their Easter baskets and had an exciting egg hunt (just take a look at their little legs working so hard). Zach on the other hand was a bit less interested in the egg hunting. When he comes across an egg, he carefully examines the color before putting it in his basket. If he doesn't like the color. He throws it back down. He did like the yellow egg nestled in the tulips.
We also had our routine dance party in the entryway of our house. The girls love to listen to Mickie....always their first request. Here my sister is leading the girls on a dance throughout the house. As you can see, the men were a little less interested in the dance party.

And as many of you have been asking about the progression of the painting going on at my house. We (or mostly Andy) finished. After six gallons on paint, five rollers, two rolls of painters tape, and one rather large paint spill, the house is fresh and beautiful. See how bright and sparkly the dining room is? The other rooms are equally sparkly. We hadn't painted any of the downstairs since we moved in. The kitchen was dark red. So not me. I'm really lovin' the new walls!

So many times over, happy, happy Easter! Hope you all have a marvelous day!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

lucky duckie

It's a troublesome world.
All the people who're in it
and troubled with troubles
almost every minute.

Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you're really quite lucky!
Some people are much more...
oh, ever so much more...
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!
Dr.Seuss - Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?

We're celebrating Easter here at the big blue house tomorrow. I'm quite excited about that! I'm in the middle of making Easter baskets for everybody that's coming, even the adults are getting some surprises and sweet treats. I'm scattering some words, quotes and passages in the baskets. I've included the above in the girls baskets. I thought it was quite appropriate. Now I must get back to stuffing eggs and making labels for the baskets! Have a hippity happy night :-)

Thursday, April 05, 2007

playful balancing poses

I taught a very fun class this week with the theme of transition and finding balance. Start with a few rounds of sun salutations then give the following poses a go. Don't' worry if you fall over, as we all do at some point. Try to find a bit of humor then slowly work your way back into the pose. Here are some of the sequences we tried. Of course you can also get creative and come up with your own. Try holding each pose for 5-8 deep breaths. We took a vinyasa between each side and each pose.
*Warrior 1 with eagle arms then step forward into eagle pose
*Parsvottanasasa (sometimes it's actually easier to call out the sanskrit name of poses) with hands in reverse prayer or holding opposite elbows. Then step forward to Warrior 3, with hands remaining in reverse prayer.
*Warrior 2 then step forward to half moon
*Crescent pose (imagine Warrior 1 with back heel up, or a high lunge position with arms overhead) to dancer pose. The pose that Tracy is so beautifully demonstrating in the above photo.
Have fun!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Brought out the boots in Nashville

Andy and I journeyed over (and down) to Nashville over the weekend to indulge in music, drinks, shopping, and of Friday night the boots came out for the Lucinda Williams concert (check out the Capital behind our boots). We did dash into Legends Music Bar before the concert to enjoy some live music and a couple of drinks. We also enjoyed a most delicious pizza at the bar. At the time, it was the best pizza ever. We wondered if it was because we were starving or feeling good from the drinks. Maybe a combination of both. And as always, Lucinda was great. Seeing her at the Ryman Auditorium was a real treat. It was very intimate and Lucinda was only about 50 feet away from us. I love the cozy feeling of these smaller shows.

Saturday morning rolled around quite quickly and I had a 9:00 class I wanted to attend at Yoga Source. I was so excited to get my vinyasa groove on. I had my mapquest directions and yoga mat in hand and was pleased that the studio was in walking distance at just over a half mile away. Andy decided to accompany me in the walk over. So if you, like me, have had problems with mapquest directions then you'll know what I mean when I say they were totally off. Completely. I left in plenty enough time to get to the studio, fill out any paperwork, and pay my drop-in fee. I even added extra time so that I would arrive with enough time to get settled onto my mat. The directions were so off. Time was running out. We picked up the pace as time was drawing closer to class time. And I'm not sure if it was the pizza or the drinks (again, probably a combination of both) but the near sprint we were in was not jiving with my belly. We finally found the building as class was beginning. Oh well I thought, I'll just come back later in the day for the restorative yoga class. Not so much. When I arrived later in the day, a sign was placed on the door "No Restorative Yoga Class Today". It just wasn't meant to be. The studio did look lovely through the glass door.

We did do some shopping and walking in the Hillsboro Village. We also enjoyed lunch outside at a great cafe. This area has some really eclectic shops that were great fun. Check out these cute storefronts. I fell in love with these precious ruffle aprons at a store called Social Graces. I think you can see them hanging in the window. Who wouldn't want to cook more in one of these cutey aprons? I also visited the Frist Center for the Visual Arts where they are showcasing the work of Picasso and Matisse. This was pretty amazing. It really is something to stand and look at this amazing artwork from the early twentieth century that signifies so much. It was also a great art deco building with a great flow from room to room.
Ahh, the joys of getting away for the weekend and exploring another city. Nothing like it to revive your senses!