Thursday, May 31, 2007

yoga for gardeners

If you come into class early at Barefoot Works, many times you'll hear us talking about gardening. I have fond memories of growing up surrounded by beautiful flowers, plants, and vegetables. My mother was always tending to her flower beds and containers. I can recall pulling weeds and feeling completely happy. My uncle always grew a most magnificent garden on the sunny side of the hill just down the road. It was so much fun to watch these vegetables grow and to this day there's nothing like picking a juicy strawberry on a hot summer day.

I think it's only natural that many yogi's feel a deep connection to the earth and have a love of gardening. After all there are many similarities between yoga and gardening. Both yoga and gardening teach us to be patient and nurturing, and each encourage relaxation and creativity.

Below is a sequence that will leave you feeling very refreshed after a long day of gardening. You can do the sequence before or after gardening, or pick a couple poses to do while digging in the dirt.

*Start in downward facing dog, creating a an upside down V shape with your body.

*Inhale and bring the right foot forward in between your palms. Drop your left knee to the ground. Breathe deeply, releasing your hips towards the earth while you lengthen your spine. Hold for 5-8 deep breaths.

*Bring both hands to the inside of the right foot. Press your hands down and bring your right leg back to a tabletop position (shoulders above palms, hips above knees). Take your right arm and thread it underneath the left for a twist. You'll be resting on your right shoulder. Careful not to strain the neck here. Hold for 5-8 deep breaths. Come back into Downward Facing Dog and repeat the previous two poses with the left leg.
*Come to a seated position on your bottom to prepare for bound angle pose. Bend your legs and bring the soles of your feet together allowing your knees to open to the sides. Come into a gentle forward fold here. Hold for 5-8 deep breaths.
*Move back upright, take your hands and press your knees together. Lie down on your back and prepare for bridge pose. Walk your feet in close to the sitz bones. Keep your feet hip distance apart. With an inhale lift your bottom away from the ground. Continue to lift, moving your weight back towards
your shoulders. Hold f
or 5-8 deep breaths.
*Finish by pulling your knees into your chest. Now you can go back to pulling weeds with a fresh and happy back!
Happy gardening to each of you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

your creative dreams

"Make Your Creative Dreams Real" is a favorite book of mine. Click here to see and read a "support sheet for making your creative dreams real." It's quite fun and makes for some inspirational reading.
Have a happy Wednesday. Come out and join me for a yummy yin class tonight. You'll leave feeling very stretched out and chilled out.

Monday, May 28, 2007

i'm back!

It seems like I've been away from the blog for a while! Andy and I left town early Friday morning to go to his hometown of Owensboro. His sister Beth had flown home for the weekend to visit. This was our first and last time to see Beth during her pregnancy. Isn't she cute in tree pose?! Beth is also a certified yoga teacher and teaches yoga (among other things) at Texas A&M.
We had a lovely time exploring small towns in southern Indiana. We discovered some great shops that had some fabulous finds. I was so excited when we walked into a shop called The Peach Plum and the first thing I saw was Storypeople. They had the cards, books, matted pictures and the wall art. I stood there browsing with the biggest smile on my face. I decided that I should move on along and see what else the store had to offer and then I discovered another favorite, Curly Girl Designs. I recently got a print for my birthday that read "I am fairly certain that given a cape and a nice tiara, I could save the world." I love, love, love this stuff. I exclaimed to the gal working.."Two of my favorites, Storypeople and curly girl!" We got to chatting and I learned that she went to school at UK.
We also had time for the girls to go out shopping and pick out things for soon to be little Luke. We found the cutest monkey outfit and these matching shoes for him to wear home from the hospital.
It's always so much fun to hang out with the Tessandori gang. I think it's safe to say that not a whole lof of people really like to spend time with their in-laws, but I actually do. There's always stories to tell, shakes (as in milk) to drink, shopping to do, and sharing of lotsa laughs.
I hope that each of you had a wonderful long weekend. :-) Anything exciting to share?

Monday, May 21, 2007

andy takes on the neti pot

Andy has been suffering for weeks from allergies. He's taken Claratin D and tried a few other things with little or no success. Today we were watching Oprah and she had Dr. Oz on her show. One of the gals stated that Dr. Oz advice of using a neti pot completely changed her life and allowed her to take control of the allergies. A neti pot is...well a pot that's used for nasal cleansing. And it's an ancient yogic technique.
Hearing it on Oprah, and a little persuasion from me convinced Andy to give it a go. So we walked down the street to the local CVS (Andy was surprised when I told him they would have one). We were at the checkout counter as the man working says, "They talked of these on Oprah today." Obviously others had been in to purchase their very on neti pot. I bet they're sold out before the week is over.
So Andy has tried. I told him it would take a few days to get the hang of it. That's what I hear anyway. I've never actually tried. We're hoping that it helps. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

bring on the 30's

I had the most aaamazing birthday weekend. Fun, fun, fun all weekend long. I'm still digesting all of it....the people, the celebrations, the food, the games, the gifts, the dance party. My friend Liz (that's the cute gal with the curly hair) and Andy pulled off the best surprise ever. Andy took me to Berea for the International Festival. Berea is just the greatest little town. We also dined at Boone Tavern and went to the Artisan Center. I thought it was so sweet when Andy suggested that we drive back home through the countryside so I could take some pictures of the horse farms. This alone made me the happiest little gal around. Little did I know what was in store. He was buying time so everyone could make their way to our house to surprise me.
Liz and Tony did the best job of decorating the house with streamers and signs, lighting candles, and just making it festive. The inside, the outside, it was all so pretty. I opened our gate into the backyard and SURPRISE, there they family and friends. It was nothing short of awesome. The best birthday ever! And the weather?! How completely perfect was it?
Yes this will definitely be a birthday to remember. I couldn't have imagined a better way to start such an exciting chapter in my life.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Mexico Yoga Retreat

Imagine this…you wake up in the morning filled with energy and completely relaxed from a good night’s sleep. You stroll out of your cabana and through the sand to your morning yoga session. For an hour and a half, you breathe, you move, you live. You enliven your body, you relax your mind, and you renew your spirit.

After your morning session you enjoy a delicious, fresh, wholesome Mexican style breakfast. You have a tough choice ahead of you: should you spend the afternoon walking on the white sand beach, getting a massage, napping in a hammock, exploring the Mayan Ruins, or swimming with the dolphins?

Do you get the picture (and a glorious picture it is)? A number of adventures await you in Tulum, should you choose.

You’ll spend seven nights at Maya Tulum, located on the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Maya Tulum is a seaside wellness retreat that offers amazing serenity, awe-inspiring scenery, and a true connection with the Mayan past. The climate is ideal and the sun shines all year with cooling sea breezes and glorious clear skies.

A typical day in paradise:
7:30 – 9:00 am Morning Yoga Session
9:30 am Breakfast
1:30 pm Lunch
5:00 – 6:30 pm Evening Yoga Session
7:30 pm Dinner

A couple nights we also have additional yoga opportunities, should you wish to participate. And of course, this isn’t elementary school. We will not be doing a roll call each morning. If you’re there in class, perfect. If we pass you on the beach after class, no judgments, no worries. This is your trip after all.

Your yoga vacation includes:
• Tuition for all yoga and meditation classes

• 7 night’s accommodation in elegantly simple thatched-roof cottages with limestone floors and warm ocean breezes.

• 3 delicious meals daily, freshly prepared and served buffet style

• Taxes, tips, and transfers to and from Cancun International Airport

You return back from your vacation feeling stretched out, worked out, and chilled out. In fact, your family, friends and people at work will be amazed at your transformation. They’ll wonder where you’ve been and what you’ve done. You’ll know the secret. It’s an ancient secret that has relieved stress and promoted a healthy mind, body, and spirit for thousands of years.

It’s yoga.

And a combination of paradise of course. Join us and savor the perfect balance of developing or enhancing a yoga practice while indulging in an unforgettable Caribbean vacation.

Your retreat leaders are Sharon Tessandori and Shelli Carpenter. Both are certified yoga teachers and happy owners of yoga studios.

July 14-21, 2007
50% of payment due at booking, pay the remaining 50% upon arrival.

Retreat Rates*

Double Occupancy Single Occupancy

$1,290 $1,585
Ocean View
$1,325 $1,655
Beach Front
$1,430 $1,865

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

phenomenal woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,

A hive of honey bees.
I say,It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,the palm of my hand,
The need of my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I think all gals should have to memorize this poem my Maya Angelou. Or at least a verse :-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

calling all mama's

Don't forget to come out today and get your yoga groove on...for FREE! You can choose from our 12:00 class or our evening class at 6:00. It's our way of saying thank you for doing the most important job in the whole world, raising our little ones. And we'll even offer you a sweet treat after class :-)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

To Erika, who is so close to giving birth that it's a bit scary for me! This will be Erika's very first bundle of joy. Gabriel Mateo will make his debut next month. I can't wait to meet this little guy.

To Lesley, who is prego with her second baby. Such a young, hip mama that has everything together, much more so than my almost 30 year old self!

To my sister Rhonda. She truly is a supermom. I can only hope to be the mother she is someday.

To my mama, the gal who taught me to be strong, compassionate, independent and the importance of taking risks. Thank you for helping me to be the person I am today.

To Joann, my mom-in-law. Thank you for treating me like one of your own. You're the best. I definitely got lucky with the whole mother-in-law thing :-) No horror stories here!

To my great sis-in-law Beth! Beth is also expecting her first bundle of baby boy joy this September. Yes, Joseph Luke is going to be quite the spoiled little boy. Andy is quite excited about the fact that it's going to be a little boy. We hope to make a trip back to Texas this fall to meet this little fella.

And to my wonderful friend Jennifer who has literally been trying to get pregnant for years and years. I am just over the moon happy for her. If anybody is meant to be a mama, it is her.

So Happy Mother's Day to all of you. The mama's, soon to be mama's, and the mama's that are desperately trying...and to the aunties, grandmothers, godmothers, and such. It really does take a village to raise a child. All of you, you rock. Enjoy your day.

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Typically at this time, I'd be in bed curled up with a book or falling asleep on the couch, but I am wide awake. So here I am, surfing the net, reading more blogs ( I could very well be addicted), and downloading pictures taken from the weekend. I had a great yoga practice tonight in my "hot yoga room". The room wasn't heated, but we don't have air conditioning upstairs, so need less to say, it was definitely a heated room. But I like that. I like to get all sweaty during I sweated it out for about an hour and a half. I found myself doing lots of backbends, which are energizing. Maybe that's why I'm not tired. Anyway, here are some pics from the weekend.

I did find my way to this, Donna Karan has developed a initiative called Urban Zen. Here is the intention: "Imagine if Eastern philosophy harmonized with Western medical practice, if the cure for disease was born out of human touch...
Whenever you bring opposites together, something beautiful happens, you find each inspires and transforms elements of the other.
When my husband Stephan was sick, so much was missing from his care. He needed the powerful science of Western traditional medicine, but he also needed the healing that can only be accessed from the heart and spirit. Out of my frustration by the treatment at even the best medical facilities, a commitment was born. I am determined to do what I can to help create a new model for approaching wellness and patient care.
My mission is to create a working environment where the worlds of conventional and alternative medical practices unite to invent new ways of healing, health and well-being for all of us. We must treat the patient with the same passion with which we fight the disease."
Pretty cool, right?

Friday, May 11, 2007

thank you

Thank you to each of you that come to class and give it your all. I can see your effort and I can feel your positive energy. Thank you to those that come to class even when you don't want to be there. Even if you've had a terrible day, a busy day, or a lovely day. You still show up, unroll your mat and do the work. Thank you for being such a friendly bunch of yogi's. When newbies show up for the first time, you always greet them with kind words and a friendly smile. Thank you for having the courage, discipline, willpower, and patience that it takes to practice yoga. Thank you for smiling, crying, and laughing during class. I'm so thrilled that you feel like Barefoot Works is a space where you can let your guard down and just be you. Thank you for allowing me to teach you. Thank you all for being the greatest teacher I've ever had. I learn from all of you everyday. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

where peace lives

Here's an email from David Romanelli that I'm passing along. It pertains to a book titled "Where Peace Lives.

"Children are a blank slate. It's so important what goes on the slate. I usually wouldn't sling a product at you unless there was great SIGNIFICANCE behind it. WHERE PEACE LIVES by Debbie Robins is a book about an angel named Peace who's been locked in a glass box and can't get out. It's the storyteller's journey to find the Three Keys that will set Peace free. The characters are inspired by the peace teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Buddha, Gandhi, Christ, Moses and the Prophet Muhammad. WHERE PEACE LIVES is a great book! But there's another reason I'm sending you this email. The mission is to sell enough copies of Where Peace Lives TODAY so that it moves into #1 on Amazon and trump Harry Potter. This will be newsworthy. This will create buzz and most important, this will open the door to enormous conversation/coverage about peace, children and education. Take a few seconds to check it out here."

And on the same topic, more words by a fave of mine, Dixie Chicks:

Sunday morning, I heard the preacher say
Thou shall not kill
I don't wanna hear nothing else about killing
And that it's God's will'
Cause our children are watching us
They put their trust in us
They're gonna be like us
So let's learn from our history
And do it differently.

Just take a look at that sweet little gal Lexie (isn't she cute). I've never really thought about children being our most precious natural resource (as I recently read), but it's so true. They are our future. What we teach them right now, at this present moment will stay with them for a lifetime. And that's big...that's huge.

Monday, May 07, 2007

putting it out there

My friend called me yesterday from Park City, Utah and the first thing she says to me is "If you don't start matting and selling your pictures, then I'm gonna do it for you." My response, "Well hi to you too." She went on to inform me that she had been to several galleries and saw some really beautiful photographs, but that mine were equally as good (and that's a bit of a challenge for me to write). She's been trying to get me enter contests and do this sort of thing for a while. I think that she believes in me and my talent (again, hard to write) more than I do. She even has a whole room that's filled with landscape photos that I've taken. And I even admit that "Hey, those look pretty darn good all grouped together."

I told her that I was still "honing" my skills. She said that I've been "honing" my skills for a while. And she's right. I've loved taking pictures since college and have become a little obsessed over the past five years. I guess my way of thinking is "Why would anyone want to pay for my photo, or pay me to take their photo." I think that to a certain degree, we are all insecure about ourselves. And I guess that at this point, I'm not totally sure of my abilities.

Over the past couple weeks several people have specifically commented on my photos. I'm taking it as a "sign" of some sort. Maybe the universe is telling me something that I refuse to tell myself. I'm going to make a strong effort to get more of my photos out the universe, guess I'll start with KY ;-) Maybe work on a portfolio or getting a website together.

So here it goes (in my most confident, self assured voice)...if you know anybody that wants or needs their photo taken, send them my way.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

happy derby day

I found myself wondering how the horses feel before the big race. Do they get the feeling of butterflies in their belly, does their heart race, maybe they repeat a mantra (so maybe that's a bit of a stretch). Then I also thought about the pep talk that the owner, trainer, and jockey must give to their horse. I wonder what they say, or if they have rituals or special prayers. I imagine they do.

Many congrats to Street Sense. That horse probably made a lot of people happy tonight.

*I tried to post this Sat. night, but blogger was down.

Friday, May 04, 2007

more joy

As you express joy, you draw it out of those you meet, creating joyful people and joyful events. The greater the joy you express, the more joy you experience. -Arnold Patent

Joy is your birthright. -Sarah Ban Breathnach
And a happy little blog I discovered today.


"When we align our thoughts, emotions, and actions with the highest part of ourselves, we are filled with enthusiasm, purpose, and meaning....We are joyously and intimately engaged with our world. This is the experience of authentic power." Gary Zukav

Joy must be the word of the day for me. I turned on the television as I was enjoying my breakfast this morning to see "Where in the World Matt Lauer" was for the day. He was in Bhutan and they were speaking of the most amazing thing. In most countries we measure success and quality of life by the GNP (gross national product) but in Bhutan they measure well being by GHP (gross happiness product). I thought that this was the most brilliant idea ever! "The country believes that for a holistic development of the individual and society, it is essential that development achieve a sustainable balance between the economic, social, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs of the people. This has lead to the declared continuous process towards achieving a balance between the material and the intangible needs of the individuals or society. The concept reminds the country that the means must always be considered in terms of the end and, therefore, therefore, every step in material development and change must be measured and evaluated to ensure that it will lead to happiness, not just more development." Click here to read more.

After breakfast I opened my email and had a newsletter from Om Yoga. This is what Cyndi Lee had to say (I loved it so much I had to share): She also continued on the theme of joy.

"True confessions -- sometimes I find yoga practice to be a drag. Everything hurts or feels stiff or I'm distracted and the relationship of my pubic bone to my tail bone is just not all that compelling. But nary the less I really make a major effort to practice asana pretty much every day, week in and week out. Of course, there have been times when it was super fun and I am deeply engaged in the experience and naturally, there are many days when it's a nicely balanced middle path experience.
But on those days when I do find myself thinking of yoga as a chore, as just something to get through, the words of my teacher come to mind. Gelek Rimpoche tells his students to practice with joy! He said it's important to bring joy and delight to your practice and it makes your teachers happy!
When I remember this not only do I sit up a little bit taller and feel a little bit lighter, but I relax and feel full of gratitude and good fortune. Wow -- how lucky to be able to practice yoga, to learn about meditation, to be introduced to the teachings of the dharma.
If we can practice with a sense of openness to whatever comes up -- grumpiness or ease -- we are taking interest in our own process and this ability to pay attention is step one toward being able to lighten up and even laugh at the appearance of that old mental kvetching. It is said that the fruit of committed practice with an open mind/heart is a sense of playfulness."

Ah, such good stuff. So the next time your're practing yoga, gardening, crafting, or doing the dishes, try to do so with a sense of joy and gratitude. Washing the dishes can somehow be fun, right?
I wish you all a happy, joyful day.