Friday, August 31, 2007

Barefoot Works

Create Community
Go With the Flow
Support the Environment
Ignite Change
Be Happy
Just Be
Move More
Nourish Yourself
Become a Powerhouse
Savor the Stillness
Go Outside
Be Joyful
Meditation in Motion
Be Your Best
Save Resources
Live Well
Celebrate Your Strengths
Pamper Yourself
Plant a Tree
Eat Wholesome Foods
Feed Your Soul
Giggle at Traffic
Cultivate Joy
Dare to Dream
Don't Wait
Move with Confidence
Play More
Think Less
Breathe With Intention
Move With Intention
Live With Intention

What do you think.... Anything else you would add to the list?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

lovin' this gutsy gal....

So I'm officially adding another blog to my ever expanding list of must reads for the day. It's Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Cancer blog. I love the way that she embraces and stares adversity smack in the middle of it's scary little face. I am inspired by women like her, and today maybe a bit more than others.

You see I'm currently dealing with some annoying little summer cold. It came on yesterday and when I got home last night just after 8:00, I felt like crap. I laid on the couch, at least excited to watch Kris Carr's documentary on TLC. I even took a shot of Ny Quil, which I rarely do. I'm never sure which is worse...the feeling of being sick, or the feeling of being on the meds. Last night, the meds won. It didn't take long for the ny quil to kick in. I was dozing in and out while the documentary was on. One thing was for sure though...I loved this gal's will power, her strong spirit, and her drive. She simply refused to let canSer (and she tells people to spell it wrong, just to piss the cancer off) win....not even an option.

So here I am dealing with this pesky little cold, thinking I'm the first and last one. Thinking, "Dang it cold, I've gotta be on top of my game. Don't you know that I have things to do and yoga classes to teach?" Whatever Sharon...just get over yourself. The simple truth is that my body is ready for a rest. I just flipped through my planner and I've had two full days off during the seven weeks. So either I choose to take a break, or my body will force me to take a break. So I'm making some changes. I'm not even going to open my laptop on those days that I get home at 8:00 or 9:00 at night, I'm going to make a big effort not to work on Sundays, and I've rearranged my schedule some to try and get some more down time.

I'm finding that when you own your own business, and my business is pretty much a one woman's hard to draw the line and distinguish where work ends and where it begins. And it's extremely challenging to "leave work at work", something that was very easy for me in previous jobs, but I'm at least working in the direction.

Now that I'm embarking on the one year anniversary of the studio, I find myself questioning things like this. Trust me (please universe hear me when I say this ;-) I am not in any way complaining. I am soooo very, very thankful for every single little thing that I have. I think I'm just trying to find more balance.

So a little baby cold. I'm already over it and feelin' better. When I felt my mind shift from, "Geez I feel like crap, I just want to sleep" to. " "Sharon it's a glorious day, just take a look around and be happy." I know it may seem corny, but these things really help me. So peace, happiness, butterflies, and all other corny things...from me straight to you. :-)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

life stuff

I was clicking through photos to find one that would capture how I've been feeling lately and this one seemed appropriate enough. I feel exhilarated, excited, a bit anxious, a bit scared, scattered, but put together. In the photo, I'm holding on to dear life, but knowing that if I let go everything would be alright...similar to what's going on inside my mind and my heart.
These days I find myself so appreciative of my life and everything that I've got going on. I feel blessed in numerous ways. I'm glad that I'm figuring out this "life" stuff at a relatively young age...or at least what works for me and what doesn't. I feel blessed that people choose to come to Barefoot Works and explore the world of yoga. I feel blessed to have a husband that supports me in my journey, and thankful for a wild, crazy, wonderful family, and friends that understand me during times that I don't. I'm glad that I don't feel that I have to follow the rules that society imposes on many of us. I'm glad that I'm a strategic risk taker, and I'm thrilled that I've haven't lost the ability to daydream and actually choose to thrust my "head in the clouds".
Having one of those days when you can sigh and say..."Ahhh, the world is good, very good."
I want to write about some of the things I've had going on in the past weeks and about upcoming projects, but I haven't had a chance to sit down and compile it just yet. Hopefully in the upcoming days I can share more. Things are busy, but wonderfully busy.

Monday, August 27, 2007

crazy sexy cancer tips....

is the title for a new book. The author was on The Today Show about half an hour ago and she was a beautiful gal with a clear, strong, inspiring voice. She lists breathing as the single most important thing she did/does during her cancer adventure. She says that instead of thinking of cancer in terms of "battling" it, she chose to view it as a cancer adventure of sorts. Taking what many view as a tragic situation and turning it into a creative expression. And I love that she formed a cancer posse....a group of family and friends that supports her in her journey. Click here to learn more about the gutsy book.

The Learning Channel is broadcasting the premiere of Kris Carr’s unforgettable documentary, Crazy Sexy Cancer on August 29, 2007 @ 9:00-11:00pm.
Have a lovely Monday. It is a beautiful day here in central Kentucky!

Friday, August 24, 2007

pondering this....

"The average human being thinks that happiness lies in stability, in tying up all the loose ends and having things under control. … But actually, happiness lies in being able to relax with our true condition, which is basically fleeting, dynamic, fluid, not in any way solid, not in any way permanent. It's transient by nature." Pema Chodron

Thursday, August 23, 2007

schedule changes

Fall is almost here and we're making some changes to the schedule at Barefoot Works. Next Monday (August 27) will be the last noon Express Yoga class. Next Tuesday (August 28) will be the last 9:15 Basics class.

We will be closed Monday, September 3 for Labor Day. The following Monday (Sept. 10), we will begin a Level 1 class. This class will begin at 4:30 and end at 5:45. Plan to join Teresa for what's sure to be a delightful early evening class! You'll actually be able to get your yoga practice in AND still get to eat dinner with your family! Nice, huh?

I'm also playing with the idea of adding another yin yoga class. I know that many of you really loooove this class. It would have to be an hour long class (4:30 - 5:30) on either Tuesday or Thursday. Anyway, if this strikes any of you as a great thing, please leave a comment or send an email to and let me know. Also, if you have any other suggestions for additional classes/times, please let me know! I'm here for you...really. :-)
All of this information will be in your email newsletter. Which if for some reason you're not getting it, please let me know. Peace to all of you!


"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another." Anatole France

I received an email from my Maya Tulum contact Dena. This is the update, "Maya Tulum was hit pretty hard but we are going to rebuild. We lost eight beachfront cabanas and 4 are a partial loss. The other 10 or so will have some small structural repairs. We have a lot of cleaning up to do but hope to be up and running within a month or two. The eye of the storm came in at Chetemal which is just a few minutes south of Tulum and we experienced a devastating blow of surge and high winds. We prepared as much as we could but with 180 mph winds and 15-20 feet of surge waters there is only so much a staff can do. All of our friends, staff and guests are safe though. Thanks so much for your prayers."

After reading the email, my heart was feeling a bit heavy. Of course my rational side was saying, "Well it could have been worse". Then I found myself pondering a concept I mention often in class, which is attachment. Teaching students not to attach to how perfect they feel their pose is or isn't, not attaching to your thoughts, etc. I clearly feel somewhat "attached" to Maya Tulum, and to a certain degree this attachment left me with a heavy heart.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali says that "Attachment is that which rests on pleasant experiences. Aversion is that which rests on sorrowful experiences." I think that in our daily life we are constantly being pulled in one direction or another. Experiencing these highs and lows and attaching to them, can leave us feeling like we live our life on a roller coaster. For example, you open the mail and get a big hefty check from the IRS. Awesome, right? You can go shopping, maybe buy some new yoga clothes and so on. Then two hours later you go to start your car and it won't start (you are on your way to buy new yoga clothes after all). Oh great, there goes the money you just got from the IRS. You just went from one extreme to the other. Sent your little body and your mind on that big ole wooden roller coaster.

I'm not suggesting that we don't celebrate, get really happy, or simply have preferences. I think it's human nature. I think it's when we cling to these things that we create unnecessary suffering. Maybe the first step is just recognizing it, being aware of our attachment.... experiencing it fully, living in the moment, and then just letting it go.
Beautiful picture above taken by Tim Carpenter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

do good for the day

This morning I was driving to the studio on a beautiful country road. I was behind this big truck, a work truck for a local gutter company. Out of no where the driver pitches what appeared to be a Mountain Dew can out of the window. I was half shocked and fully pissed. I was torn between pulling over and picking up the can and speeding up next to me and expressing one form or another. And typically, I'm a really understanding person when I'm driving, choosing to think that the person that just cut me off on the road is racing to the hospital to see his child being born, etc. This just helps me more than anything else. But this type of behavior, littering for no good reason, infuriates me.

So I chose a happy place in between pulling over and picking up the can or cursing this man. I drove really close behind him. Close enough that I got his phone number, picked up my cell phone and called the company he worked for. Inside I was hoping that he wasn't the owner, me watching him answer his cell phone while I was driving behind him. Luckily I got the manager of the company. I expressed to her my frustration and gave her the details. She seemed very concerned and said she would deal with the situation. Whether or not she will, I'll never know. But I do know that the phone call left me feeling empowered and satisfied. I felt like I did a little deed to help watch out for our Mother Earth.
So all the litterbugs should watch out for the little yogi driving a little box....I'm watching. ;-)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

be well

Last night after I posted about the "big storm" I went downstairs and turned on the tv. I flipped to The Weather Channel where they were taping from Mexico. At that moment I felt so helpless. I wondered what it must feel like for those people there...specifically in Tulum, just because I feel such a connection to that place. So I did the only thing I knew to do. I went to my yoga room, lit some incense that I purchased in Tulum, sat down in the dark, said some prayers did a meditation.

I didn't even try to quiet my mind in the beginning. I thought about all the people and the things about Tulum that I was so deeply touched by. I thought about the people that work at Maya Tulum. I envisioned Liz with her daughter sitting on her lap as she patiently helped me in checking out. I thought about Victor and our lovely conversations and how willing and able he was in making things right for our group. I thought about Megan and her warmth and kindness. I thought about Fabian and how much he resonated with me. And literally everyone I spoke to about him felt the same way. He had a way of really connecting to everyone that he worked with. I thought about all the other yogi's that know and love this place. I thought about the yogi's that are there right now for teacher training with Bryan Kest. I thought about all the people who haven't been to this special place, but it needs to be there in order for them to know and love it.

So then I let the thoughts go and my meditation went something like this:

Inhale, Be well
Exhale, Tulum

Inhale, Be well
Exhale, Megan (then I proceeded to go through all the names of people I met)

Inhale, Be well
Exhale, Nineteen (it was my cabana)

Inhale, Be well
Exhale, Beach

Inhale, Be Well
Exhale, Yoga Room

Inhale, Please
Exhale...Be well, be well, be well. I thought and dedicated goodness to everything I could recall (even the mangoes, yes I know...kinda silly).

Then I imagined something connecting myself from my yoga room to the beach that I meditated on at Maya Tulum. I didn't want to visualize just a straight line, so I envisioned a rainbow connecting us. Yes, corny as it may sound...that's just what I did. And I figured it was appropriate enough. A rainbow after the storm that would spread all over Mexcio, Tulum and the Mayan people.

Please send well wishes their way. Namaste.

Monday, August 20, 2007

go away

This great big storm is headed directly for the Mayan Riviera. My little heart will be shattered if this monster of a storm hits Maya Tulum. I'm crossing my fingers and sending big love across the sea to the people of Tulum.

a yoga break

A got an email from a student requesting some suggestions for a short sequence to do during her workday. It seems that she has been terrible busy at work. I think that we can all use a yoga break throughout our day. A little yoga break will leave you feeling refreshed and will help carry you through the rest of your day. Here is what I shared with her:
Start by practicing kapalabhati, a great energizing breathing technique. If you decide to give it a go, be sure to practice on an empty stomach.
I recommended that she practice standing and back bending poses since she spends most of her time seated (and probably slumping at times) at a desk. This is the sequence. Start by leading with the right leg.
Repeat with left leg
Cobra Pose (2x, 5-8 breaths each)
Saddle or Half Saddle Pose
For those of us that may not have the space (or privacy) for such poses, click here to view the office yoga sequence I came up with. It's a great sequence you can do right at your desk.
I also pointed out that it's really important to take a moment and really tune into your body. Our bodies are always speaking to us. It's just a matter of listening. Sometimes we may just need to do some head and shoulder rolls to combat the stress that we store in the shoulders. Other times we may need to close the eyes and take some slow deep breaths, silently counting to 4 with the inhales and exhales. This deep breathing can leave you feeling calm and relaxed.
I hope this yoga break finds you well this Monday.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

today's practice

Looked something like this....
I've come to realize that recovering from a night out when you're 30 isn't as easy as recovering when you're 20....I mean 21. ;-)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

happy 30th

Sending BIG happy 30th birthday wishes out into the world for my silly, supportive, adorable, and mischievous man! Our 20's had us meeting, falling in love, graduating from college, moving halfway across the country, starting our careers, getting married, buying and selling houses, crossing half the country back to Kentucky, being jobless, buying a big beautiful blue house, and embarking on new jobs/careers. All of that in nine years! Yes, the 30's should be an exciting time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

fave and not so fave

Please play along...what is your current favorite loved yoga pose, and your least favorite yoga pose. You know the ones we practice in class and your heart either smiles or it feels like a knife soon to be stabbed through your heart (so this is a bit of an exaggeration, or I hope so ;-) And I say "current" because it probably changes from time to time. I know that mine do.

My favorite pose these days is headstand. I love the way inversions make me feel. Even if I've had a crappy day, you know one of those days where things just continue to go wrong? Headstand can almost make it all better. That and some chocolate. I just find it a great thrill to be 30 years old and flip myself upside down and stand on my head or hands. Really, who else other than yogi's and gymnasts do this? I think it's fabulous!
My least favorite is purvottanasana, or reverse plank. I'm not sure why. Maybe because I feel terribly tight in my shoulders or maybe it's because I can't get my feet to press all the way in the floor. In fact, you can probably tell that I don't like it, I never teach it. I take that back, I did teach it Thursday. After asking students what their favorite and least favorite poses were. Sam said this was his. So I had to teach it (if you're reading this, thanks Sam). All joking aside, the poses that we dread the most are the poses that we should be doing most often. So I'm making a commitment, I'm going to practice reverse plank every day next week. Yes, that's right. And I'll be teaching it in class next week so all of you can experience the joys of it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

do what you love

That's the title of the new September issue of Oprah. Many of you can probably tell that I really love to post on this topic, as I speak of this pretty regularly. I just truly feel that when we are doing what we love, we're a little (or a lot) happier and nicer, which in turn makes our kids and family happier and nicer, which in turn makes our community happier and nicer, which in turn makes the world happier and nicer, which in turn makes our Earth happier and nicer. Yes I know that it's not that simple, but I view it as throwing the stone in the water and watching the rippling effect. I think that many times we underestimate the power of individuals.

Back to the issue of Oprah (I sometimes have a tendency to ramble). I love reading about women who take a leap of faith and choose to follow their dreams. As one of the gals stated, "In the end, I had one thought that put all the others to rest: My life will be more interesting if I do this than if I don't." Isn't that great?! And what a refreshing was to view something.

The article features a 49 year old gal that went from a marketing executive to stationary store owner, an attorney to bakery co-owner, stay at home mom to adventure travel company owner, and my favorite...a publishing executive to sailor and author! If you haven't gotten the latest edition of Oprah, run out and pick it up today for some inspirational reading.

Have a beautiful day.

Monday, August 13, 2007


"And what do we teach our children in school? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the world there is no other child like you. In the millions of years that have passed there has never been another child like you...You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel." Pablo Casals
Shouldn't we all relish in our uniqueness a bit more often? Children and adults alike?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

doing the work

"The body itself is to reveal the light that's blazing inside your Presence." Rumi

I have a confession....not every yoga practice of mine is full of bliss breaths and sweet surrender. The truth is that there are days when I have to force myself to my yoga mat. I'm like a little child stomping up the steps to my little yoga room. I'm experiencing resistance, but it's more mental than physical.
Luckily for me, I understand this whole concept and I move forward with my practice. I realize that I can show up on my mat and be happy, sad, angry, bored, or confused. But most importantly I allow myself just to "be". I'm there and I'll "do the work". I accept my body and my mind for what it is in that moment. And it never fails, I always finish my practice feeling like the light in me burns a little brighter.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

8 random things

I've been tagged by the lovely Mindy. Here are 8 random (and sometimes strange) things about myself:

  1. The season finale of The Real World always makes me cry. Never fails. Even if I've only watched a few episodes. Doesn't matter.

  2. I'm a lefty living in a right handed world. I eat and write with my left hand, everything else I use my right hand.

  3. I had big hair and wore dresses with beads and sequins for the three high school proms I attended. And my bouquet for senior prom was larger than the bouquet I carried for my wedding. My boyfriend at the time, he had an aunt that owned a floral shop. I took advantage of that.

  4. I blowdry my hair while standing in uttanasana (standing forward bend). This is the extent of my multi-tasking abilities.

  5. I get really, really crabby when I get really, really hungry. Feed me, and feed me fast. Then I'm happy and the world is good again.

  6. I'm not scared of many things. Snakes, bears, bugs, bats....couldn't care less. But in the past I've been a bit terrified of worms. That big scar on my shoulder (it kinda looks like a worm now that I think about it), it was a result of me running from a worm....and a brother that was chasing me.

  7. I've had a mild obsession with Bon Jovi for a while. Since the fourth grade to be exact. This "relationship" began in the 80's, withheld through the 90's, and is still going strong through the 2000's. I still rock out to Livin' On a Prayer. Doesn't everybody?

  8. And last but not least, I love taking foot shots. I think I can get away with this with a yoga studio called Barefoot Works. Wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

the power of presence

"There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." Maya Angelou

I got back home late last night from my yoga therapy training. I spent five great days in Asheville and was really able to immerse myself as a yoga student once again. That alone was enough to make me one happy little gal. But this training and the people was so much more than I could have hoped for.

My initial reason for signing up for this training was to learn more about working with private clients. Within a week, I had several people that were dealing with chronic illnesses contact me about private yoga sessions. I thought I was at this training more so for the sake of others (students and present and future clients), but was I ever wrong! I was quite the little Phoenix Rising Rookie, having no idea. I learned much more than I had imagined. More about yoga, techniques, the power of being really present with others, and so much more about myself, and this was like a great gift wrapped in a pretty little package.

I truly believe in the power of yoga and the amazing "things" that yoga can bring to a person's life. After this training, I am completely convinced of the transformative power of yoga, and especially the method used in Phoenix Rising. During these sessions, the client is in poses that are supported by props and/or the practitioner. Traditional hatha yoga poses are the foundation of Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. Imagine a thai yoga session in which you are in the poses for a looong time. You take your time in working to your "edge" (and we speak about this all the time in class). A place where it's just right, and it's interesting to you. As our teacher Ruth said, and I love this..."It's a level of intensity that calls us to aliveness." We may encounter physical, mental, and emotional edges. And during a session, the client is free just to witness was arises, or to speak about what arises. The Phoenix Rising sessions combine ancient and modern theories and wisdom. This type of yoga therapy is also less about technique and more about people going deeper into their truest selves and gaining insight.

To be completely honest, I wasn't exactly sure how I would feel about this whole technique. The thought of someone working so closely with me (physically and mentally) during a yoga practice....kinda freaked me out a bit. I don't consider myself someone that just naturally opens up to people. But having someone else present to support you in these poses frees you and allows the opportunity to go so much deeper in the poses. You get the chance to listen, to really listen with all of your senses. And with someone holding your leg in reclined hand to big toe pose for 15 minutes, you can't easily escape. For a flow yoga lover like myself, this was a challenge. And yes, I did see the correlation here to my everyday life! It really was a phenomenal experience.

I enjoyed the training so much that I definitely plan to attend the level 2 training. In the meantime, I'm practicing some of the techniques that I learned during the training. So the first three people to leave a comment can schedule a free hour long session. So go ahead...don't be shy!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

on the road again

I'm leaving tomorrow after my morning class to make my way to Asheville, of my favorite spots to get away. I'll be going to the Asheville Yoga Center and participating in a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Teacher Training. I've been seeing some private clients here recently and I'm super excited about learning new ways of using yoga as a form of therapy, and more about working with clients one-on-one.

I always get so excited about trainings of any sort. And when it comes to yoga, I just want to immerse myself and learn as much as I possibly can. I'll consider myself a student of yoga for as long as I live. Really is there any way that we can ever know everything about this ancient old practice? When you take what you learn on the yoga mat and apply it to your everyday home, at work, in relationships, at the grocery store, shopping, etc. it just keeps evolving. So I am ready to be a yoga student for a few days, take notes, give my full attention, open my mind and heart for new information and knowledge.

And of course, I had to stop by Joseph Beth today to pick up a couple new yoga books for the trip...Yoga as Medicine (appropriately enough) and The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman's Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras.

Today I saw a lady at Sew A Lot and she had the most beautiful jewelry on, which I complimented her on. She said that jewelry and sewing machines are the things she spends money on. I thought for a moment and said, "Well, mine must be books." And that my friend, probably makes Andy a very happy man. :-)