Wednesday, October 31, 2007

happy halloween

Happy Halloween, my friends! I hope you have a day full of lots of treats and maybe just a few tricks. Here are a couple ways to treat yourself today:
Treat #1
Go to your fave coffee shop and order a tasty pumpkin-y latte
Treat #2
Take a walk around your neighborhood and check out the fall decorations. It should be a beautiful day for it.
Treat #3
Buy some Pumpkin Pie Paradise. It's body wash, bubble bath, and shampoo! If that scares you a little bit, remind yourself that it's Halloween after all. ;-0
Treat #4
Put some good tunes on and cook a delicious hearty meal. The veggie shepherds pie in yesterdays email newsletter might do the trick. Or order out your fave hearty meal.
Treat #5
Join me today for a class at 12:00 or 6:00. You might just discover a sweet treat at the end of class. Hope you'll join me!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

the best of yoga

Yesterday after I finished teaching a class with some elementary school teacher, one of the gals commented that "she always feels younger after finishing yoga class." Last night after Teresa's 6:00 class a gal that's relatively new to the studio stated that her body feels better all over after class. And last week after attending a yoga class for the very first time I received an email from a student who reported feeling energized post class. She also said the her shoulders had let go of the tension that they normally carry. Pretty big (important) stuff, right?
Day after day...I hear, read, see and experience how yoga can add to our lives in so many different ways.
The Best of Yoga:
* Leaves me feeling happy, healthy and hopeful
* Reminds me that everything and everyone is connected
* Motivates me to continue on a path that I choose
* Inspires me to dig deeper
* Helps me to cultivate kindness, sincerity and generosity
* Teaches me that it's not what which pose I can or can't do.
The Best of Yoga teaches me to carry the very best of my practice out into the world. It's about being in tune and connecting with myself, my family, my friends, my students, my neighbors and my universe.
When we connect, that's when we make a difference.
What will you do to make a difference today?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

up words

Planning and organizing for a health fair tomorrow has left me little time to blog. So I'll leave you with these beautiful words that will carry you into your weekend.
"Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has been but you. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You cannot get there by bus, only by hard work, risking and by not quite knowing what you are doing. What you will discover will be wonderful: yourself." Alan Alda
I love the part about "not quite knowing what you are doing"....sometimes you just gotta fake it to make it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

belly dancing

Want to learn the sweet secret to boosting your self esteem and loving your belly? It's belly dancing of course! We've made some changes at Barefoot Works with the way we're offering our weekly belly dancing class. We will not be having the weekly drop in class. In it's place we're having a six week class will begin on Wed. November 14. Here's the scoop:
Each class will begin with centering and gentle stretches based in yoga technique, then a brief teaching of new and exciting basic movements, and then we dance! Each week we'll incorporate new moves into a sweat- producing fun expression of feminine prowess! By the end of the six week session, you’ll have a choreographed 2 minute dance. You’ll also be ready to advance to an intermediate class for further building on skill and movements.

Cost: $60 ($50 when you and a friend join together)
Cost includes weekly handouts, end of session practice CD, certificate of completion, and usage of hip scarf during class time!
We all love her, the lovely and lively Liz Davenport
Click here to check out a couple high school gals belly dancing for their high school. It's definitely not the electric slide!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

moon salutations

Last night in her classes Teresa taught the Kripalu style moon salutations, which were very, very lovely. The Kripalu moon salutations were created by women with the goal of balancing out the sun salutations that we are all so familiar with. I'm always intrigued by the various styles and ways of doing yoga. There truly is a style, and an approach to yoga suitable for all people. But it may take some searching to find it.
As promised, here is a link to the moon salutes that Teresa taught last night. The different flow of the moon salutes has inspired me to do some teaching of some Taoist Yoga sequences. Yin yoga, (you know the one that so many of you love) includes the deep passive holds of poses. There are actually some energetic, flowing yang sequences that are really beautiful. One of the reasons that I love vinyasa so much is because I love the connection of the poses with the breath and how "dance-like" the practice can be. The yang sequences that are part of Taoist yoga are just as beautiful....and they are fun and challenging. Have I captured your attention yet?! Join me this evening to breathe, move and explore.

Monday, October 22, 2007

sun and moon

If you can make it out for one of Teresa's classes today, you should definitely do so. I hear she's gonna be doing both sun and moon salutations. It could be just the thing to get your Monday off to a wonderful start. You have the option of a 4:30 or 6:00 class. Today will also be the very first day we start using our software. BIG Happy Day! Take a look at it and please let me know if you have any questions. I'm hoping the transition will go nice and smooth.
I hope to see you this evening. :-)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

this weekend

The clouds on Friday were ahhhmazing. Did you see them?! They inspired my drive out to the country roads with camera in tow.
This farm is one of my favorites to take pictures of. I think I've probably captured it during all 4 seasons at this point. Makes me kinda feel like I should frame them and take em' to the owner.

Chrisman Mill Winery is located out in the very beautiful countryside of Jessamine County. I thought it would be fun to drive out to see it, take some photos and since I was a little wine tasting. The winery and the property were gorgeous. I even talked to the gal working about doing a yoga + wine retreat in the spring. Wouldn't that be fun?

Saturday was spent at Midway and Keeneland with Andy's parents. I don't make it to Keeneland a whole lot, but every time I do I question what I don't visit more often. I find the horses mesmerizing.

I finished my fall decorating for the season. Thanksgiving is my favorite season for all. I was in Hobby Lobby the other day buying these pumpkin ornaments when I overheard a lady telling her friend "I don't do much decorating now that the kids are gone." Uh-oh I thought, I don't even have kids....could get bad if I did.
On Sunday I spent some time at Panera with a bagel, coffee and my journal. I was long overdue for some visualizing/dreaming/journaling. I did lots of writing about what I plan to conquer in the upcoming year. Whenever I caught myself writing "I plan..." I immediately crossed it out and wrote, "I will...." Now that's more like it.
Enjoy your Sunday. For all you local yogi's, I hope to see your smiling faces this week. For all of my distant blogging buds, I hope to see your smiling faces on your blog. :-)
And speaking of smiling...
"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

Friday, October 19, 2007

dc at x-mas

I'm so excited! A couple days ago when I was having my funk of a day, I knew exactly what I needed. Andy and I have been planning for a couple months to get away together, just the two of us at Christmas. Oddly enough, we chose DC. It's been one of the places that we've wanted to visit together. Some people think it's odd that of all weeks to travel we chose the week of Christmas. But with both of our schedules, this will be the best week for us.
We decided that while everyone else is running around buying last minute gifts and preparing casseroles, that we would be running to museums, eclectic shops, enjoying coffee around the Topaz Christmas tree, and enjoying a nice romantic dinner somewhere for Christmas....prepared by someone else of course.
I think the thing I'm most excited about is staying at the Topaz Hotel. This is what makes me really giddy! With a description like this... "More than just a place to stay, the Topaz Hotel is a world filled with positive energy and good karma. Mystic beats to dance trance. Attendants dressed in sunburst tunics. Vibrant patterns and exotic textures. Transcend the everyday at Washington, D.C.'s most enlightened boutique hotel." and "
"Seeking someplace different? A retreat from the ordinary perhaps? Consider the Topaz Hotel, a tranquil oasis of positive energy amidst the heart of the Nation’s Capital. Good karma radiates from our hotel in Dupont Circle, where perfect balance infuses every detail. Inspiring accommodations somehow pacify and energize in the same breath. Our exotic ambience soothes while stimulates. Seamlessly weaving Eastern culture with sleek, modern design, we are a gentle yin to D.C.’s vibrant yang. Transcend the everyday at this Dupont Circle hotel and discover an invigorating hideaway within a convenient downtown setting."
Every morning you get a "morning power hour" which is an energy drink, there is a complimentary in-room yoga program complete with yoga reading material, new age cd's to listen to (while digging into the yoga reads), and the room has a teapot (and tea of course) and an alarm clock with soothing sounds options!
Can you tell I'm excited?! Leigh Ann lived in DC for years so she's gonna give me the inside scoop for all the best places to eat, drink, shop, be merry and festive. And get my yoga groove on of course. It will be a great chance to tour some studios, as there are so very many in DC. I want to go to Tranquil Space and check out the clothing and make it over to Flow and check out their eco friendly studio featuring both bamboo and cork floors.
Thank goodness I have a husband who indulges me in all things yoga. Thanks Andy. :-)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

up words

and give yourself permission
to envision a You
that you choose to be."
Joy Page

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

you know the day

When you just feel a wee bit funky....but not in a great way. I had one of those days, just up until I saw your smiling faces this evening before class. I found myself pondering....have I been eating "crap" food. Nope and that celery and cucumber juice I had this weekend even gave me bonus points. Have I been getting enough exercise? I think so. I took Teresa's yoga class last night, did jazzercise this morning (yes you read that right) and did two mini yoga sessions today. Have I been getting enough sleep. Yes, I even slept till 7:30 this morning then I laid in bed and read some of this book. What about enough "Sharon" time. See previous note about reading in bed. Got that covered. Guess it was just "one of those days".

Know what did make me feel a little brighter? This. Practicing three times, just before class today at 5:45. Always does the trick.

Sorry, no photo today. I'm on the laptop I bought for the studio and there are zero photos on here. Yes I know. Unbelievable. I'll post a really pretty one tomorrow. :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007


I care about providing a place where people feel welcomed and accepted.
I care about being happy and healthy.
I care about being a good wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.
I care about doing my part to take care of the planet.
I care about being the best yoga teacher I can be.
I care about knowing myself, fully and deeply.
I care about the community that's being created at Barefoot Works.
I care about being a better person.
I care about living a life full of passion and purpose.
I care about the way(s) I choose to spend my days, my time.
I care about connecting to people.
I care about living a joyful life and leaving a legacy.
Thought for the day....what do you really care about?

Sunday, October 14, 2007


"My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can." Cary Grant

Weekends like the one I just experienced leave me feeling so full, so content and really quite satisfied. I spent a good portion of this weekend at home, planting over a dozen plants given to me by Wyman, cleaning and decorating the house for fall, playing outside with the dogs, reading, cooking and spending some time on the laptop doing work. When I wasn't at home I was teaching the Saturday morning flow class (which I looove), having coffee with a friend at Panera, and enjoying brunch at Alfalfas's with a this great guy and gal.

Yes, it's the simple weekends like this that leave me with a sense of peace and relaxation. I often dream about living out in the country with loads of land to call my own. I grew up in an area with no one else in sight. It was us and the hills, surrounding and sheltering us in all directions. It seemed like the land was ours for the taking, to do and play as we pleased. I find myself returning their often in my mind.
I wonder how I would fill my days as an adult. I imagine that I would escape for hours with my camera and a pb&j sandwich in hand. I would take pictures of random things and find beauty in the ordinary. Along the way I would probably find some rocks and twigs that I would tote back to my cottage in the woods and use to decorate the mantle. I'd go to my organic garden and pick some tomatoes and basil to use for dinner that night (never mind that none of my veggies survived this year because I planted them waaay too early ;-) Later that night after dinner, Andy and I would sit out on our wrap around porch with reading material in hand, enjoy a glass of wine and watch the fireflies dance around into the night.
Hey, a girl can dream right? Here's to the start of what's bound to be a great week here in KY. Cheers :-)

Friday, October 12, 2007

stretching beyond the pain of grief

Enjoy this inspirational article written by a lovely yogini friend. I'm continually amazed at the awesome power of people....and yoga. The article was in last month's Yoga Alliance newsletter. Theresa lives and teaches yoga in Philadelphia.

Stretching Beyond the Pain of Grief
By Theresa Conroy
Donna Giddings arrived late to yoga class—wearing jeans, a flowing camisole, impeccable makeup and a jangle of colorful jewelry.
As I watched this large, buoyant, fabulous woman roll out at a mat and maneuver her tight jeans into a cross-legged position, I nearly giggled. Except I was too choked up to giggle.
I had been waiting months to teach this yoga class.
Donna had gathered with seven other members of the anti-violence group Mothers in Charge, for a special yoga class, “Stretching Beyond the Pain of Grief," held in their honor at Yoga Schelter, in Philadelphia.
The class was a gift to them from Yoga Unites, a nonprofit organization I co-founded that uses yoga for healing.
For nearly six years I had been sitting in front of these women—not cross-legged on a mat, leading them through "Ujjayi" breath—but stiffly perched above a notebook, reporting on the agonizing details of the murder trials of those who had killed their children.
As the criminal court reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, I had covered countless murder trials, including the one for the man who killed Donna's mother, her son and her son’s best friend.
During that case I had a long talk with Donna. I confessed that I wanted to quit my 27-year newspaper career to make a full-time job out of healing grief like hers through yoga.
She told me that if I ever taught a class like that, she’d come.
She did.
I taught that class right before Mother’s Day, just four months after I left the paper.
I loved my regular studio classes, but I wanted to expand the healing power I had experienced in my own practice. I wanted to share the practice that had soothed my anxiety and eased me through body image issues, infertility and even a smoking addiction.
Jennifer Schelter, founder and creative director of Yoga Schelter, actually began this work in 2001, when she organized a Yoga Unites class to benefit the Anti-Violence Partnership. She then brought the idea of activist yoga to Living Beyond Breast Cancer, a national education and support organization, to create and teach the annual large-group class on the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.
This year's Yoga Unites for Living Beyond Breast Cancer, which was held on May 20, drew about 500 participants.
Just before I left the Daily News, I formalized Jennifer's idea by turning Yoga Unites into an official nonprofit corporation designed to teach yoga for healing and to raise awareness of health, social and environmental causes.
A few of the mothers seemed a bit skeptical during the class—either of yoga or of the hope that anything could ease their pain. But by the end of class, their faces—the same faces I used to see in court, contorted with pain and tormented by nightmares—stared back at me with easy, soft smiles.
Their shoulders had relaxed. The furrows between their brows had softened. A darkness had lifted.
"I even felt so at peace," Donna said.
Enjoy your Friday friends. :-)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Fall is officially here friends! Pull the chunky sweaters out of the closet, sip some hot apple cider, make a yummy hearty hot soup, and go pick a pumpkin. And treat yourself by joining me tonight for the yin yoga class. Don't forget to dress in layers (so much fun anyway). Cooler weather means you may want some long sleeves or socks to put on during savasana.
Hope to see you tonight!
"Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life. Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall. Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone. Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring." William Alexander

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I got to meet John Lucas Easter. This sweet baby boy who is only 10 days old. Isn't he beautiful? And such a little angel.
I love taking pictures of baby hands and toes. My absolute fave. So tiny and so perfect.

And on the way back from Richmond while waiting at the ferry, I got some pretty shots of this awesome, imperfect flower.

And my favorite thing to do on the ferry....take self portrait shots. And the drive up from the river is always beautiful....maybe even more so this time of year. I love the colorful blurriness of this shot with Andy driving up the curvy road. Andy's on fall break and I think I'm enjoying it just as much as him.

Monday, October 08, 2007

the invitation

The Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart's longing.
It doesn't interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life's betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide itor fade itor fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day.
And if you can source your own lifefrom its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,"Yes."
It doesn't interest me to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn't interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand in the
center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself and if you truly like the company
you keep in the empty moments.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

living your yoga

Today's half day retreat titled Living Your Yoga was so very fun! We started the morning with a nice meditation then I shared a reading - The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. We had a lovely vinyasa practice for about an hour and 45 minutes. We saluted the sun, heart opened, twisted, inverted, back bended, folded, then surrendered into a nice long savasana (which ended up being legs up the wall). We walked over to Quirk Cafe and enjoyed lunch on the patio. The food was quite delicious. I had my fave, the spring strawberry salad and a cup of tomato basil salad. Topped it all off with a itty bowl of bread pudding. Yum.

Then back off to do some creative exploration and discuss what it means to Live Your Yoga. Each gal got a goody bag stuffed with a journal, color pencils, stickers, colorful pens and a glitter glue stick. Creative exercises included drawing a pic of themselves Living Their Yoga either abstract or representatively. "Let go of your inner critic and have fun" was listed as part of the directions. We also discussed and made a list of ways to Live Yoga. The list included both BIG and small things (as we all know that small things lead to great grand results). Then we got more specific about ways to take yoga away from the mat and into the world. Taking the following categories: strength, flexibility, balance, focus and contentment we talked about real life situations/challenges for each category. For example we talked about cultivating strength off the mat by standing up for what you believe in, saying "no", listening and trusting your inner voice, and so on. Following this each gal had some time alone to explore and reflect on their personal list, set some intentions, and plan some action steps. While they worked on this I made some tasty chai, served the gals and snapped a few pics. We finished with a guided meditation and the day was over! It went by so very quickly. I loved every minute of the day because it allowed each of us to connect to yoga just a bit differently then we normally do and we got to do so in a fun way. I heart my job. :-)

Thursday, October 04, 2007


A lovely yoga student interviewed me today for an English project. Here's a bite of our fun little interview:

What inspired you to start yoga?
I remember the moment very vividly. It was around mile 21 of the Houston Marathon. My body literally felt like it might break down, simply give out. But at that same moment, I tapped into something that was bigger than me or my body. There was no doubt in my mind that I'd complete this marathon. At the time I also felt this really amazing connection to my breath. There are unbelievable things that we can accomplish through the power of our mind and our breath. I had never been more aware of that thought. After finishing the marathon I wanted to recapture that same awesome feeling. I'd heard and read a lot about yoga so I decided to give it a try and see what all the hype was about. I was hooked after the first class.

What's the best thing about teaching yoga?
There are many wonderful things about teaching yoga: witnessing a beginning student reach that "aha" moment in a pose, the thrill of an adult face after flipping themselves upside down in a headstand, and feeling that a student is really present is pretty incredible. But the very best is witnessing this transformation that occurs from the moment before class and after class. People come into the studio many times rushed, stressed, tired and/or overwhelmed. Seeing these same people in the quiet, still moments during and following corpse pose is truly an amazing thing. To get to be a part of assisting people to feel more at ease with their body, and helping people find a sense of peace and calm is the absolute best.

Why do you think yoga is important?
We live in such a busy world, constantly going and doing. When we're not actually on the run, we're planning and organizing. And when we're not planning, we're thinking about what we should or shouldn't be doing. Our work, social and family lives are busier than ever. For people practicing yoga, their mat becomes this safe place to retreat to. Even among the crazy, wonderful and wild things going on in our daily lives, the yoga mat provides a place to surrender. A place to relax, renew and/or reinvigorate.

Do you do yoga everyday for yourself, besides teaching your classes?
I fit some part of yoga into my everyday life. I don't consider teaching yoga to be any part of my own personal practice. When I'm teaching, it's all about the students...never about myself. I may not do a 90 minute practice everyday. Some days it might be more, others it might be less. Some days I may only do breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation, but those are equally important as the poses (asanas). I find that my personal practice is what mostly influences my teaching. It's here that I come up with new sequences, discover something new about the poses, and gain overall insight. Yoga is something that you can't simply learn from a book. You have to do the practice...spend time on the mat.

What is the purpose of meditation?
If you were to ask 5 different people what the purpose of meditation is, you'll probably get 5 different answers. For me, the purpose of meditation is resting and quieting my mind. When I'm able to do this I can tap into this place where everything seems clearer. I find that I can live more fully and make decisions that really resonate with me.

Any other questions you blog readers might have? Go ahead, don't be shy. Leave a comment or shoot me an email. :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


"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."

Monday, October 01, 2007

just horsin' around

Or I was most of last week. All of the staying up late, celebrating into the wee hours and hanging our with gal pals has left me feeling a little under the weather. I've been drinking lotsa tea and enjoying the tastiest orange juice ever with little bit of help from my friend. This juicer is quite the machine. I've drank the juice of 11 oranges over the past 24 hours. This juice would be the highlight of a nasty, nasty cold.

And it's a busy week for the studio. Two new corporate yoga classes starting this week, a presentation at the VA Medical Center, figuring out the in's and out's of this yoga software and planning/coordinating for the darling day long retreat in Midway is leaving little time to blog.

So I leave you with some yogic thoughts to explore, courtesy of Swami Satchidananda. Enjoy!

"Without meditation, there's no Yoga. Whatever you do, meditate on that. When you eat, meditate on your eating, don't talk business. When you do one thing, do it with concentration. Think of what you are eating. What are the qualities of the food, where did it come from; thank the trees that gave you the fruits instead of thinking of something else. One thing at a time, that's what you call Yoga. You can sleep like a Yogi, eat like a Yogi, walk like a Yogi, talk like a Yogi. Whatever you do, let the magic wand of Yoga touch it. Then your entire life becomes a Yogic life, not only when you do asana, pranayama. You practice Yoga all the time."