Wednesday, December 31, 2008

goodbye to 2008

Another year is coming to a close.
They seem to come more quickly with each passing year.

A big reminder
to live life with loads
of joy, compassion, and love.

Today I'm celebrating my victories
both large and small.

Today I'm reflecting on what I want to release and let go off
and what I hope to manifest in the upcoming year.

Today I'm hoping that I can
move past any fear and regret experienced this year.
Step fully into 2009 with a renewed sense
of magic and wonder.

That's what I'm hoping for myself and hoping for each of you.
May 2009 be the best year yet.

Happy, Happy New Year.

**I'll be away in Mexico Jan. 1-8, spending lots of time on my mat and barefoot. All classes are covered by the yoga lovelies better known as Teresa, Sarah, and Emily. You will be in very good hands.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

the questions

The questions and the last couple of weeks. Here goes:

What scared me?
~Yoga schedule confusion. Thank goodness for Emily and ability to be flexible. I was all set to go to Owensboro, when I casually mention to her, "Since you're teaching the Tuesday class before Christmas blah, blah, blah." Turns out dear Emily didn't know she was teaching cause I failed to mention it. But she was more than happy to bail me out so I could go spend time with the Tessandoris for Christmas.

~Yoga studio chaos. My mind is in about a million different places these days and that doesn't seem quite conducive to running a business. I came back from my time away during Christmas and we were out of water, out of change, and nearly out of tp (but not all the way thankfully). The desk is a mess of papers piled, blankets that needed to be neatly folded, and that pesky leak in the corner is back. I'll be happy when I have only one studio to focus on. Please be patient with me. I promise it will be over soon. :-)

~2009 yoga teacher training. My mind...."I need to do this, this, and that. Oh and I've gotta do that too. This will make it special and I can't leave this out." Much material to cover. How does one fit all the goodness in in only six short months?!

~Taking it to a new level. My teaching, the new studio, all of it. It's time. I'm ready, but it's all still a tiny bit scary. I feel like since I've had the studio, I'm always doing things that push me out of my comfort zone. I've realized that once again, I'm stepping away from what feels steady and comfortable and easy. I'm not one to get complacent so I'm looking forward to new challenges. Even if they are scary.

What excited me?
~Appalachia Yoga. This is what I'm SO VERY excited about. I recently got the news that I'll get to lead a yoga teacher training in Hazard, close to my home! It couldn't be more perfect and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've been working closely with a gal in Hazard for months now, doing the research and prep work required for this. Just found out she received a grant. So I'll get to do something that been on my mind and in my heart (and on my vision board) for a while now. Several people in the area will have their training paid for and I'm lucky enough to get paid doing it. So if you know anyone in that area interested, send them my way. This training is the first step towards a BIGger project I've had in mind. I'm keeping mum about it now, but will share at some point. I'll know when it's time.

~We have a date! A date to open the new studio. Saturday, Jan. 17. The first class at the new studio will be at 9:15 a.m.

~You mean I have to leave the house. I've been in my car, running between studios, running to Lowes for supplies, and doing other random things that this week of rest couldn't have come any sooner. Being that it was a holiday, I was forced to rest and take it easy. I only left the Tessandori house three times in nearly six days.

~The fun of Christmas morning. Andy's fam goes all out at Christmas and I must admit that it's quite fun. We have the Christmas Eve pj ritual (where we all get new jammies to wear), lovely eats and drinks, Christmas day movie, and get this.....Santa still comes! We wake early in the morning all get to see what Santa has brought us. It's hard not to believe in the magic of the season at the Tessandori household.

~Candles (thanks Maria & Susan), sweet teacher Christmas cards (thanks Sarah), gifts of books (thanks Jeanne), eats at Panera (thanks Tracy), yoga cd's, (thanks Emily), yummy scents (thanks Diane), good eats (thanks Teresa), homemade cupcakes (thanks Vicki)and so much more! A big thanks to all of you for thinking of me this holiday season. :-)

~Bathing suits at Target. Not because I bought one, or that I necessarily love them. But it reminded me that I'm going to Mexico and that my friends is enough to make me do the happy dance.

What renewed me?
~Little Luke. Mine and Andy's nephew from TX that we don't get to see nearly enough. At 15 months he's full of life, energy and surprises. He's cute and cuddly. A bit mischievous. And oh so loveable.

~Understanding that I can't do it all. And that's ok. Taking note of what I'm good at and what I'm not. Understanding that I can't and shouldn't do it all feels very good. I'm getting better at this.

~Spending time with good friends and family. Even among the busy times I've been fortunate to surround myself with people that make me happy and smiley. That is one big joy of the season. People gathering to celebrate. To exchange gifts and gratitude. To eat too much. Too drink too much. It's a good thing we don't live this way every day (the eating and drinking part). The happy and smiley part, the people gathering part.....we totally need to do every day.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

be kind to yourself

Be kind to yourself, dear – to our innocent follies. Forget any sounds or touch you knew that did not help you dance. You will come to see that all evolves us.
~ Rumi ~
**A big thanks to Retta for the beautiful new blog header! She's helping me to bring the whole "Fun, Freedom, Flow" idea to life!

Friday, December 26, 2008

looking forward

Looking forward to teaching my class tomorrow.
Looking forward to 2009.
Looking forward to a new years departure to mexico.
Looking forward to yoga teacher training.
Looking forward to the opening of the new studio.

Looking forward to lots.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

wishing you


Monday, December 22, 2008

give the gift of health

Give the gift of health and happiness this holiday season! We've been selling lots of starter packages and new student specials for loved ones.

Click here to purchase yours right away!

Too busy to fit in an hour long yoga session at home? Try practicing for a few short minutes to feel refreshed and renewed. You can do the following a car, in between wrapping presents, standing over the stove, or standing in line at the bookstore. Enjoy!

Take a deep inhale and with the exhale, lower your chin towards your chest. Inhale and roll your head to the right, aligning the right ear over the right shoulder. Exhale and drop your chin back towards your chest. Inhale and roll your head over to the left, aligning the left ear over the left shoulder. Exhale and drop the chin back to your chest. Repeat three to five more times, linking the breath with the movement. While your doing these half circles, try to keep your face and shoulders relaxed. Now close your eyes and take five slow deep breaths.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I used to wait for a sign, she said, before I did anything. Then one night I had a dream & an angel in black tights came to me & said, you can start any time now, & then I asked is this a sign? & the angel started laughing & I woke up. Now, I think the whole world is filled with signs, but if there's no laughter, I know they're not for me. ~ Brian Andreas

A lot of people have been asking what inspired the move to the new studio. There were several events that happened and lots of number crunching going on. It all seemed to make sense but I was still hesitant to sign on the dotted line.

Driving to the studio one Saturday morning to teach class, I had expressed to the universe that I was open to guidance and would keep my eyes open for any signs.

I'm sitting at my desk ready to sign the yogis in when in walks a man who had to be no shorter that 6'5.

He was a TALL man.
Very TALL.

And I said to him, "Um I have to apologize now cause I don't think you're gonna be able to reach your arms overhead without hitting the ceiling!"

It immediately dawned on (now) new space has a ceiling that nearly reaches the sky! Then and there I decided to take a risk and sign on the dotted line.

So my angel was not wearing black tights.

He was wearing black yoga shorts and visiting Lexington from Hong Kong. That's been his one and only visit to the studio.

A reminder to keep our eyes open for when the universe decides to wink at us.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

today i'm pondering ART

Pretty words that you'll find in this video that I ran across....

~Great ideas come from bike rides
~Plant seeds
~A broken heart can make great art
~Don't care too much

I LOVE this video and can't stop watching! It's leaves me wishing I had more time to romp around taking pictures, make vision boards, collect my stories and those of my family.....glad the new year is just around the corner. Along with a trip to Mexico to take pictures of the sunrise, write big words in the sand, work on some spanish, spend my days with books, and journals, and candles, and chill with the siblings.

Looking forward to pondering art.
What it means.
How to live more "artfully".
How to create it and carve space for it.
What it means to see it, live it and be it.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

holiday yoga schedule

We're happy to be running on a modified yoga schedule this holiday season. The two years prior, we have been closed the entire week of Christmas. So with a little help from the yoga elves (also known as the BW yoga teachers) you'll get to experience the joys of yoga during the holiday season. Here is the schedule for next week and the new year:

Sunday, December 21 @ 10:30 Yoga for Stress Relief
Monday, December 22 @ 6:00 Yoga for the Flexibly Challenged
Tuesday, December 23 @ 5:45 Mixed Level 1 & 2 (just for today, normally level 2)
Closed Wed. and Thu.
Saturday, December 27 @ 9:15 am Mixed Level 1 & 2

New Years Eve, Jan. 31 @ noon Express Yoga
Closed New Years Day

Make some time for your yoga during the busy and fun filled holiday season. Take a class, bust out a down dog with the kids, balance in tree pose next to the Christmas tree, and if nothing else, take big deep delicious breaths and remind yourself of all you have to be happy about.

Emily has some great tips on her blog. Check them out here!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

the questions

I've had a hard time finding good time to blog over the last couple of weeks so I'm starting a weekly ritual of sorts. Asking myself some questions that will require some thought on my part.

The questions are: What sacred me? What excited me? And what renewed me? All applying to this past week. So here goes......

What scared me?

~Job scares. First a family member that works at Toyota, then Andy got wind of budget cuts statewide for education. Both are good for now. It's just scary and sad when you start feeling the effects of what's going on with the economy. BIG deep breaths for all of us.

~This week was the first time that I got really nervous about the unfolding of the new yoga studio. I kept looking at my planner and counting down the days till the new year which was about the time I had originally planned to open. But when you throw Christmas in there, the new year, and a trip to Mexico....well the days dwindle down really quickly.

A few of you probably noticed it when you asked me about the opening of the new place and there was this hesitation of my part.

It took a good glass of wine and my dear yoga friend Shelli to help me to see the light. So I'm not rushing the process and I'm not going to stress myself out over the holidays and during my trip to Mexico (which is meant to be a reward and a time to chill).

So opening of the new studio.....terribly scary, but more exciting. Which leads us to the next question.

What excited me?
~We started putting the floor down at the studio! Yeah! The same thing that scared me most also excited me the most. Isn't that crazy! Life. We all signed the bare floor for when it's one day famous. Or at least my yoga crush Seane comes and leads a workshop. :-) Now it's starting to "feel" like a yoga studio to me. Thanks to my brother-in-law Harold we got almost half of it finished over Friday and Saturday. He assures me that it will be down by this time next weekend. I've recruited more handy siblings and family members to help. Thank god for good family. Zach really enjoyed sliding on the new floor and playing with his monster truck.

~After coming back from our trip to Nashville I also decided to add an accent wall at the new studio. We already had the walls painted "belgian waffle" so we went back over one wall and now have some "chocolate waffle" on the walls too. Sure it added a bit more work on my (and poor Andy's part) but I'm really lovin' it! You can see it in the pic above.

~I got a couple gifts at the studio this week that was exciting.....thanks Irene for the yummy peppermint bark and thanks to Lucy (one of me sweet private gals) for the beautiful flower on the front desk. Tis the season!

~We also got our first order of long sleeve tees in at the studio. They're super cute with words on the front and logo on the back. Phrases on the front include:
~Spiritual Cowgirl (my fave)
~My Yoga Tribe
~Follow Your Heart (with an outline of a heart instead of the word)
~Fun Freedom Flow (which is what we aim to do at Barefoot Works)

I love teaching a class and looking out and seeing someone sportin' a barefoot works tee. Very exciting for me.

Sizes small through xl are available. The shirts are affordable at $26 (plus tax). If we don't have your size in a particular shirt, let your teacher know and we'll be happy to order it next time.

What renewed me?

~Andy and I took a few hours this week to put a tree and a few decorations up. We didn't go all out like we have in past years, but it was enough to put a smile on my face and get me in the spirit of the holiday.

~This short and sweet blog post from my friend Leigh Ann.

~This video on youtube.

~Sarah taught the most wonderful restorative yoga workshop last week. She is such a great teacher and I'm hearing that more and more often these days. I got to be the helper bee while Sarah taught. It was very rewarding to step back, assist in helping people get cozy in their postures, and to witness Sarah share her gift of yoga and teaching. In between postures I sat in the back, halfway meditating, halfway listening, but mostly just feeling the goodness of the people and the little place known as Barefoot Works.

That's my week! Feel free to play along with the questions on your own blog (or facebook page) and share with me if you do so!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
~Mary Oliver

This poem is posted on this blog somewhere. I shared it today at the end of class and someone commented on how much they loved it. Thought we all could benefit from reading and sitting with these words.

~I love this pic of Tracy from our yoga retreat to Maya Tulum. Love the setting, love the sun rising, love saluting the sun as it rises. Love how beautiful the practice of yoga is and the sacred-ness of it all. Felt it was very appropriate for the poem.

Monday, December 08, 2008

yoga weekend in nashville

I took the yoga teachers away to Nashville this past weekend to celebrate the holidays and show my appreciation for the great job they do teaching yoga. We left bright and early Friday morning to make it to Nashville in time for a "power hour" yoga class at Sanctuary for Yoga. Tom is one of the owners and he was great. His humor and lighthearted nature made the focus of the class, which was crow and headstand much more doable. And of course we practiced linking the two and moving into and out them. Fun stuff! The wrists certainly got a workout!

After class we browsed Ten Thousand Villages and picked out a handmade tapestry from India that will go in the new studio. I also purchased some soup from the Women's Bean Project that I made last night and it was amazing! We had lunch at a big, beautiful, yummy Whole Foods with Emily's mom and dad (her dad is quite the funny guy) then it was time to make our way to our next yoga class at Kali Yuga Yoga.

Had we not practiced a power hour yoga class just over three hours prior, the gals and myself might have hung in a bit better (at least we told ourselves that ;-). I knew that when we started the class hanging out in down dog for, oh I don't know seven minutes, we were in for it. And not just regular down dog, but all sorts of goodness to go along. This class was about ten times as intense then the power hour class. At times I couldn't help but silently chuckle to myself. OK, maybe a couple times it was a little more than a chuckle, but I'm sure no one heard. Maybe Emily, but that's it! Let's just say that after this class I told the girls that I suddenly felt like my classes are a "cake-walk". Here is Teresa and Sarah moments after the class. Clearly they survived the class. ;-)

We had a great dinner with good eats and drinks, energizing conversation, and many good laughs. Boy did our arms tremble from the class when we raised our wine glasses for a toast. Saturday we went back to Sanctuary for another vinyasa yoga class. Daphne was the teacher and I LOVED her class. It was a level 1 and 2. When she told us we should have come to the level 3 and 4, we laughed and told her we welcomed the less challenging class. I'm not sure our sore, tired bodies could have kept up with another power hour.

We're all back to the studio and teaching now. Sarah taught a sold out restorative yoga workshop on Sunday and Teresa has taught three classes by now. Each of us agree how important it is that we get away to refresh, invigorate, energize and connect to the practice of yoga and each other. It was a very special weekend and we plan to do this a couple times a year.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

head & heart

"Your head must bow to your heart"

That's what the label of my ginger yogi tea says, and I agree. I'm learning more about myself the more I ponder, feel, and listen to this heart stuff. I'm even having some cute long sleeve tees made for the studio and one says "Follow Your Heart, but instead of the word heart, it's the outline of a heart. Excited to get those in.

I'm treating the yoga teachers at the studio to a little yoga getaway to Nashville. We're leaving early tomorrow and squeezing in three yoga classes, good eats & treats, and shopping time. We'll swap yoga stories, teaching strategies, speak of a few wishes, and hopes for the new studio and new year. I do love this kinda stuff! We will be having all of our regular scheduled classes so come out sometime this weekend.

Have a lovely weekend. I fully intend to do the same. :-)

PS - Don't forget that the restorative yoga workshop is this Sunday at 1:00! Come out and treat yourself.....

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

a day like today

I can't help but chuckle a bit when I think of my day so far. As a small business owner,I usually try to group together certain tasks and different things I have to do. Today I've done such random things. Here's a recap of my day so far:

~Work from home this morning from 8:30 - 12:30. Spent time answering and sending emails and mailing yoga gift certificates. The majority of time was spent reviewing and updating the "yoga techniques" portion of teacher training. Sixty poses in which I have benefits, verbal cues, adjustments, and modifications listed for the teacher trainees. Needless to say at the end my eyes were glazed and I was looking forward to painting at the new studio.
~Went to Lowes to buy more painting tape (I'm thinking I should have stock in this)and spent two hours taping and painting trim. I spend most of my time crouching in a yogic squat (malasana) of sorts. Thankfully, it's a pretty comfortable position. I'm looking forward to a yoga practice to stretch my back though.
~Spend another hour reviewing and paying bills....advertising, insurance, water, website gurus, water peeps, division of revenue, teachers, etc.
~Which brings me to now....Andy is sending me silly text messages. I play along for a minute, then kindly tell him "Um sweetie, some people are still working." His response, "Some people were working before you got out of bed." Fair enough. It's true.
~Now I'm going to tidy up the studio, treat myself to a yoga practice (gotta make time for this), the prepare to teach this evening. I hope to see you here!

Have a delightful evening!

Friday, November 28, 2008

happy day

I have to say that Thanksgiving continues to be my favorite holiday of all. While Andy drove us home to Vicco yesterday morning I was a happy gal to sit next to him reading my new book Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper by Sark. And as I expected, I love this book as I love all of her books. There is even a section with Brian Andreas, creator of Storypeople, which I also love. Here's the pic of it....

We got to my house around 11:30 and the cooking was in full swing. I did my part by making the mashed potatoes, macaroni casserole, and peanut butter fudge (oh my gosh my mom makes the BEST pb fudge). My mom was happy as a hen having all five of her kids bustling about. You get the whole group together and it is luscious chaos....but still chaos. A conversation here, laughing there, wrestling and running everywhere. It's all very casual which I love. There really aren't any rules and let's just say that many completely inappropriate conversations take place around the table. Again, I wouldn't have it any other way. Years ago yes, but today, absolutely not.

We ate too much, then stepped out the door to take "our" hike that we always took as kids. I forget how wonderful it is having nature right out your back door. Hills to walk, many trees to climb. And so many leaves around. I loved the rustle beneath my feet. We studied the sumac tree, tasted the persimmon, jumped mud puddles, slid down the mountain (not on purpose), and investigated the old family cemetery high in the mountains. My brother put it perfectly when he said it was a "magical" hike. It was quite perfect.

The evening was topped off with hot cranberry cider (with a hint of gin), old jazz records, and recaps of the day. Good food, good family, good times.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

happy thanksgiving!

"When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears." ~ Tony Robbins

Greetings Yogis! I am so very grateful for all of you. Each of you nourish me in ways that make my heart very full and happy. Thank you for allowing me to share yoga and my vision with you. Thank you in supporting me in doing work that is truly meaningful. Thank you for being a part of the barefoot works yoga tribe. I treasure your smiling faces, kind words, and dedication. So very glad to be a part of your world.

May you and yours have the happiest Thanksgiving of all.

new floor

the process

Begin at the beginning and go till you come to the end then stop. ~Lewis Carroll

The old flooring is all gone at the new studio, the walls are nearly covered with new paint (thanks Sarah and Andy), and the new floor is being delivered today. Together with a friend I think we've devised a plan to seperate the space into two areas...
1. Sign in area, waiting area, tea and yumminess station, and restrooms
2. Beautiful yoga practice space

I've been spending way too much time on Ikea's website and ripping pages from their catlogue. I've gone through many old Yoga Journals, ripping and clipping images to create a new vision board for the new studio that is now places front and center in my bedroom so I can see it all the time.

I'm hoping to get my hopes and vision for the new studio on paper some today. I haven't had much time to write/journal but somewhere today I'm hoping to find the time as it's a really important step for me in this whole big, fun, exciting and scary process.

I hope to see you today for a class. The yin yoga class tonight will be a pretty perfect way to kick off the Thanksgiving celebration. And you know me, I'll probably have some delightful sweet treat to send you away with. Have a joyous day dear ones. :-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

working miracles

"As you look around at the faces in your life this year take a moment to see that these are the people you will change the world with. You have already done it and you are about to work miracles." ~Rolf Gates

I'm feeling really refreshed after a weekend of painting at the new studio, spending a long leisure day with friends on Sunday, and spending good quality time with my brother Joel last night and today. I'm feeling optimistic about the future and the upcoming changes. Just thinking about it right now literally leaves me feeling like butterflies are fluttering around in my belly. The quote was just sent to me in a newsletter by Rolf Gates, a vinyasa yoga teacher that I really appreciate from afar. I read those two sentences over and over. Thinking about all the people that I have in my life and how each of them truly are contributing to make the world a better place.

I think that in many ways in easy for us to downplay the role that we serve in the world. What little ol' me making a difference in this great big world? But we are. Each and every one of us. In our very unique and very real ways we are. As Rolf Gates says, "Old ways of being are fading away while new ways of being are coming alive with brilliance and fire." Don't you just love the idea of that? Coming alive with brilliance and fire? That's huge!

I'm challenging myself to feel more alive, to live more deliberately.
To work hard and play hard.
I want to teach as if my yoga pants are on fire (title of a book Andy and I browsed this weekend titled "Teaching Like Your Hair Is on Fire inspired that :-).
I want to nurture my relationships with family, friends, yoga teachers and students.
I want to live with passion and purpose.
I want to live in a more authentic and honest way.
I want to make a difference.
I want to work miracles.

What about you?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

rule our world

These beautiful kids will one day rule our world.

Our very own Sarah has a blog now! Hop on over and say hello! Welcome to blog-land Sarah. Careful, it is quite addictive.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

merry mala making

If you coudln't make it to the workshop and wanted to make a strand of mala beads, now you can courtesy of Fran! Enjoy

Set of wood beads or semi-precious beads, 27, 54 or 108
1 distinct bead (usually larger than the other beads) to use as ‘guru’ bead
Bead stringing cord, nylon or silk (we used C-Lon in class)
1 skein of embroidery floss in matching color to stringing cord
Clear nail polish or clear glue

Step 1: String all wood or semi-precious beads on stringing cord
Step 2: String ‘guru’ bead onto both strands of stringing cord, so that the two strands come out of the ‘guru’ bead
Step 3: Take paper off skein of embroidery floss and cut off approx. 2 feet of floss, then set aside
Step 4: Wind floss around hand at index and pinky fingers, creating a large loop
Step 5: Cut floss anywhere on the loop so you end up with multiple strands of floss, lay them flat
Step 6: Place strands of floss between the two cord ends coming out of the ‘guru’ bead
Step 7: Tie an overhand knot with the cord ends over the floss, dab knot with nail polish or glue
Step 8: Smooth out all strands, floss and cord ends together
Step 9: Take 2 feet of floss (previously set aside) and fold it so one leg is 6 inches long and one leg is 1 ½ feet long, and there is a loop at the top
Step 10: Place loop near the ‘guru’ bead, pinch top of fibers with thumb and index finger, and wrap longer leg around all the fibers approx. 8-10 times
Step 11: Place end of long leg through the loop and pull short leg so that the loop disappears into the winding
Step 12: Trim leg near the winding
Step 13: Paint the winding with nail polish or glue and let dry
Step 14: Trim cord ends along with floss ends to desired tassel length

Also if you're looking to do some karma yoga you can join Fran and other women to make beaded 'winged women' which sell for $10 ea. The money is for women and children in Lexington. It's called Women with Wings and you can read more about it here

Monday, November 17, 2008


My goodness, the things that can be done with a hammer, box cutter, and friends. Thanks god for good friends like these. Thanks Liz, Tony and Andy! I can always count on Liz and Andy to take care of yanking the old floor out. Poor souls did the same in the current studio! The pinkish carpet (much as I am a pink gal) had to do and today we did just that. I'm feeling pretty darn excited about the clean slate and the new studio for Barefoot Works is well under way. The landlord (half jokingly) said that if we continue at this rate the new floor will be down tomorrow. Tomorrow's task is getting the floor ordered and paint picked out.
Sunday's mala bead class was such fun! Fran is a talented teacher and beading extraordinaire. And it's always fun hanging out with the gals. Here they are working diligently and our finished pieces. They even have tassels. Mine have already been invoked with special superhero powers. Watch out world!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

investing in my sanity

That was the thought behind the purchase of my plane ticket to Mexico. This weeklong trip to Mexico in January will be worth....well let's just say a lot. I was at Maya Tulum in July for our annual yoga retreat and I'm set to be back next July. While I am in paradise at those times, I'm also "working" in paradise. Of course I could never complain and I wouldn't dare. But those times to a large degree are spent teaching and preparing to teach. I like to make this retreat extra special, so I put a lot of time and effort in both before and during the retreat (so if you're reading this and thinking of going next year, you totally should). It. Is. Amazing. So while it is a yoga retreat, it's not a complete retreat for me.

When people ask me why I'm going (back) to Mexico (as if I even need a reason....come on it's Mexico) I tell them that I'm making an investment in my sanity. I had looked at my planner and saw that I had something penciled in most every weekend from mid Jan. till mid April. Between yoga teacher training and another project that I'm keeping my fingers crossed about, I will be a busy yoga worker bee. Now that I've signed a lease for a new space,d my list of to do's continue to grow longer and longer. I told someone yesterday that it was a good thing that I had bought my ticket before signing the lease, otherwise I may not have done it. I was set on going to Mexico even if it meant going alone (although I do enjoy traveling and being by myself). I'm so excited to get to spend the week with both my brother and sister. I can't wait to share this place called Tulum that I grow to love more and more with each visit.

I promise my point is not to complain about the busyness (cause that would just be annoying) but to stress the importance of making the choices we need to make to take care of ourselves. As Oprah herself would say "putting ourselves on the list." That plane ticket to Mexico will pay itself off over and over. I know that. My peace of mind is pretty big and important to me. It's probably the most valuable asset as far as my work as a yoga teacher and taking care of Barefoot Works.

And can I just say that your enthusiasm and general rooting and rallying about the new space for Barefoot Works is kinda blowing my mind. Really. All of you are just phenomenal. All your words of kindness and encouragement truly mean more than you can ever know. I'm looking forward to this next step in the journey of Barefoot Works. And all of you are making this possible.

Thank you.
From the bottom of my big ol' heart.
Here's to the dreams, hopes, and wishes we all hold in our hearts.
May we all be lucky, blessed, and brave enough to see them through.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

a new home for barefoot works!!

Yes that's right, we'll be moving across the street to this very beautiful space! How perfect for yoga could this be?! It's like it was built just for yoga and Barefoot Works! Of course there is carpet to be torn out and mirrors to be covered, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Details to come soon as I must get ready for class.....

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


"Let us rise up and be thankful.
For if we didn't learn a lot today,
At least we learned a little,
And if we didn't learn a little,
At least we didn't get sick,
And if we got sick,
At least we didn't die;
So let us all be thankful."

Today I'm thankful for:
~A great teacher, good lunch, and even better conversation. Thanks Teresa.
~Being able to work from home all snuggled up in a robe. Thanks to Andy's mom for buying the robe for him, which is now mine of course.
~Connecting with old friends and feeling like time has not passed at all. Thanks Jennifer.
~A delicious soy peppermint mocha. Thanks Starbucks barista.
~A husband that does his share, plus my share at home. Thanks Andy. And yes he's been known to run the vacuum on the porch.
~A fabulous massage. Thanks Dawn.
~Dogs that greet meet at the door like they haven't seen me in months and one rather large dog sitting in my lap. Thanks Bella and Remy.
~The excited yogis continuing to sign up for yoga teacher training. Thanks Beth, Leah, and Jean.
~The changes on the horizon. Thank Goddess.
~Skirt magazine (where I located this "knock me on my butt" quote). Thank you Skirt gals.
~The best yoga students that listen to me excitedly explain hero pose in way too much detail. And make (I mean allow) them sit there for several minutes while I go on. And on. And on some more. Thanks Joel, Sarah, Shannon, Beth, Retta, and Gip.

yoga workshop with Nicki & Eddie

I gave myself the gift of yoga this past Saturday in Indianapolis. Nicki and Eddie traveled from Hawaii to share yoga for the weekend and both turned out to be laid back, educated, dedicated, and inspiring yoga teachers. Their way of teaching is quiet interesting too cause they come in with both Iyengar and Ashtanga backgrounds. Together they have come up with their own style of teaching which is Maya Yoga.

Before beginning our first session they expressed that they honor and respect any and all yoga teachers that we've had. But they were asking us for the day to empty our minds and to be open to their teachings. I personally found this quiet refreshing. I think that many times both teachers and students come to class or to workshops with a mind that may be a little less than open. I don't even think this is deliberate. We've just had certain teachers and been taught a certain way. I love the idea of "the beginners mind". Leaving plenty of space in both the head and heart to receive new info and guidance.

We broke downward facing dog down, and then more, and then even more. Did the same for the sun saluations, most specifically plank to up dog. You can't even imagine how tired my arms and shoulders were! We did a lot of lunges and different variations of lunges, broke down hand to big toe pose, and bridge. This is pretty much what the first sessions consisted of. A little flow, few postures, but loads of insight.

We spent the afternoon session focusing on hero pose (and a bunch of variations), "screaming pigeon", bound angle, upavishta konasana, and pigeon. Yep another three hours in which we broke these psotures (and hips) down.

Eddie told us halfway through the second class, probably three minutes into a pose that they "could really work us out." He went on to say that they could leave us in a pool of sweat on our mats, but that wasn't their hopes for the weekend. They were there to give us tools to take back to our practice and life. Tools that will help keep us healthy and vibrant in body, mind, and spirit. And that's exactly what I took away. I'm sure that I'll be looking to study with them again. Looking forward to sharing with each of you.

Have a happy Tuesday!

Friday, November 07, 2008

the laughing one

I am the laughing one
I am the dancing one
I whisper secrets
As I flow.

Wow it's been a magical week! Beautiful weather, beautiful election day, and loads of fun teaching my classes this week. To top it all off, my brother and I bought tickets to Mexico for January. We'll travel to the Yucantan, spend three nights at Isla Mujeres and four night in Tulum (of course)! I am completely thrilled about our upcoming trip!

Andy and I wake early in the morning and drive to Indianapolis for the day. I'll be taking two workshops at City Yoga with Nicki and Eddie from Hawaii. The morning workshop is "Wake up and Flow" and the afternoon is "Hip Openers", one of my fave to focus on. So I'm delighted to get away for the day and be a student and spend a nice evening out with Andy.

Yes, many reasons to be the laughing and dancing one this week!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

yoga music for november

Michael Franti explains it perfectly....I'm pretty much feeling this way today, lovin' all of it.

You'll hear this song this month as it's on our November playlist. Click here to view the entire cd!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

today's the day

Oooh I'm so excited today....butterflies in the belly and hope in the heart! Vote today and wear your "I Voted' sticker in for a FREE yoga class. Choose from Level 2 at 5:45 and Level 1 at 7:15.

Happy Voting!!

Monday, November 03, 2008

play day

I got up early this morning to do the "musts" of the day as far as Barefoot Works. After spending much time at Barefoot Works this weekend, I am officially taking a play day. In about 15 minutes you'll find me at Main & Maple enjoying coffee and writing in my journal. Then I'll enjoy an outdoors lunch with a dear friend and her little one, then off to browse books at Joseph Beth. Andy and I might even top it all off with an movie this evening. Some of my most favorite things all wrapped up into one sunny and beautiful day here in KY. Yeah for working and playing!

Happy Monday to each of you. May you find some time to play today also!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

flyin' by

Hi All! It's November! And it's almost 70 degrees here! What a beautiful day here in KY? Andy has been outside doing some touch up painting and I've been watching him via sitting on a tree stump and/or lying down in the grass, basking in the sun. Myself and the dogs have been enjoying the day.

The past few days have been quite busy. Yesterday I was up at 6:00 to get ready for a health fair. The lovely Sarah came along and was kind enough to talk about all the wonderful benefits of yoga to the nice peeps that came to our booth. I had the good fortune of teaching three yoga classes to mostly yoga newbies. I do love this. One sweet gal just couldn't get over how her back had been hurting before the class and "magically" it felt better after our yoga bit. Ahhh, that yoga is good stuff. I also taught a private yoga session AND was treated to two pumpkin cookies from Magees. Yum....and yes I did share with Andy. He does sweet things like paint our house. ;-)

Today was more teaching at the studio and leading a semi-private with a lovely mom and daughter duo. What fun?! It has been a delight getting to know these two and being just a tiny part of helping them to use yoga as a way to have fun and connect. Ahhh, yoga...more good stuff.

Tomorrow I'll get to take Teresa's class AND take the yoga workshop with my friend Anna. I'm so looking forward to this. And it should be another delightfully beautiful day! I can feel the days slipping on by so I'm trying my best to enjoy them by day. Wishing you much of the same!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

the goddess

"The Goddess. The Divine Feminine. The Big G with Breasts. The one who has, religiously speaking, really gotten the shaft. And this planet's only now beginning that nobody puts Mama in the corner. If the Goddess comes knocking on your spirit's door, by all means, invite her in for pie and wine." -Sera Beak, from The Red Book. Love, love, love this book.

And it's quite appropriate for our upcoming workshop this Sunday with Anna Ferguson. Come to do yoga, learn the various messages Goddesses have brought to us, and revel in your own Goddess-ness and those around you.

Click here to register! Space is limited so don't delay!

Monday, October 27, 2008

the divine

Your relationship with the divine should dance and sway, should at all times be dynamic and energized and fluid, constantly redefining itself as you progress."

Sera Beak

Friday, October 24, 2008

do any good for the world today?

That was the question I got from Andy a couple days ago. After my immediate shock of the question (those that know Andy know he's not the philosophical one, I happily take that role) I couldn't really come up with an answer.

Sure I had taught some yoga, practiced some yoga, let the person driving into my lane....all of which in one form or another are "do good" deeds. But I was hoping for a little more.

Yesterday I checked in with Jen Lemen's blog as I have for a while. And I found this heart warming post. I knew at the end of the post when I saw the little "donate" button that I had to. Not because I felt guilty when I couldn't give Andy an honest answer, and not because I felt like "I should" or that it would be "the right" thing to do.

I did it because Jen's words really resonated with me. When I looked into the eyes of the beautiful little girl and her family, I saw myself and my own family.
I saw you and you and you.
I saw all of us.
I was once again reminded that we are all one.
We are all connected.
And that's a beautiful thing called Yoga.

**Then I got this email from Jen....
"this is hugely helpful, i can't tell you.
with thirty bucks in kigali, odette's brother can fill the house with really necessary things like rice and oil and raw milk and really good greens."

Have a joy FULL weekend. :-)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

YinYasa workshop tomorrow!

Friday night from 6:00 till 8:00
Only $12!!!

Be there....or be square.
Yes I did go there.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i need a home....

Hi, we're three little, lovely kittens. We were abandoned over the weekend at a sweet gal's farm. Our present caregiver believes us to be about six weeks old assumes we are in good health. Of course we are! Hey, you never tell your age, so why should we? She also believes they we are all female. We were a bit offended by that, but oh well. She is feeding us afterall. We're currently living in a spacious barn and have already caught a mouse! That was yesterdays highlight! The barn is pretty cool, but we'd love a nice cozy home....and we hear that yogi's make the best owners. We hear you even have a pose named after us!

Ellen (current caregiver) says they have already adjusted to people and are affectionate. She's even "happy to get their first set of shots and a worming if someone takes one and gives her a good home."

If you'd love one, leave a comment and I'll connect you with Ellen.....

*Yes it's true that you never know what you'll find on the barefoot works blog. ;-)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

life...don't miss it

”Life is a great and wondrous mystery, and the only thing we know that we have for sure is what is right here right now. Don’t miss it.”
Leo Buscaglia

*Only in Whitesburg can you catch a ride on a horse. His name is Silver. :-)

Friday, October 17, 2008

what steps are you inspired to take after this week of reflection?

That's it! The fifth and final day of our self discovery series. One question to tie it all together. What steps are you now inspired to take after discovering what you have? If you are feeling inspired by this week, think of what you need and want to do to live your biggest, fullest, most authentic and joyful life.

Pose: Whatever pose helps you to get quiet and centered. Perhaps corpse pose, seated meditation position, or butterfly?

Challenge: Make note of one area of your life where you want to make change. Write down several action steps that you can take over the course of the next six weeks. Assign a date for completion for each action step. Don't feel like these have to BIG steps. Maybe the are, maybe they aren't. Maybe you need to take what Sark refers to as micromovements. Click that link and read. It's a great tool!

Big happy living to each of you! I hope you found this weeklong series helpful. I had great fun doing it!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

what can i do today to live more joyfully?

Yeah it's day four of the yoga as a means for self discovery series. If you've been following along all week (and many of you have told me you have, thanks!) you've probably found that this work can be pretty tough and intense. I thought it would be nice today to sort of take a step back, and bask in some joy. The key word in this post is "today". I think that too many times we "save" our joy for later occasions. When we lose five more pounds, or get that raise, or take that trip. Hey I'm guilty here. Earlier this week I exclaimed to Andy, "You know where I'll be this time in nine more months? Maya Tulum for our yoga retreat!!" Um, hello saving my joy and completely not being present!

So what can you do today to live more joyfully? For me, I'm sitting here at Coffee Times. I just enjoyed the most delicious cup of coffee and white chocolate and raspberry scone. Yes it was delicious and completely worth the calories. It's a small thing, but after teaching class I was so excited to retreat here. Maybe it's taking some time for yourself. Or watching a movie that makes you happy or listening to a song that makes you feel like a superhero. Going for a walk, baking, reading, writing, crafting, playing, and yoga might help you to feel joyful.

Pose: Happy Baby Pose - Need I say more? When we have a choice (and we always do) why would we choose not to be joyful?

Challenge: You could just close your eyes, let the edges of your mouth curl up and bust out a big ol' grin. I know it sounds a little silly, but it's hard to be grumpy with a big grin plastered on your face! And commit to doing at least one thing that allows you to be joyful in this moment, today.

Do share....what are you going to do?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

what would I do if I knew I wouldn’t fail?

Welcome to day three of the self discovery series. What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail? This is a pretty popular question. When I typed it into Google I got 722,000 results! This is an interesting question and I try to ask myself this very question on a pretty consistent basis.

I’m a pretty big proponent is choosing to be appreciative of the life we live and trying to find a sense of contentment within our days. All you have to do is go back to yesterdays post about embracing what you have. At the same time, I’m a big proponent in choosing, creating, and living a life that we love.

I think that we can all relate to feeling stuck in some area(s) of our life. Maybe it’s a relationship, a job, where we live, how we spend our time, etc. If you can’t seem to get a handle on it and it’s a consistent theme in your life then maybe it’s time to shake things up a little. If you have a deep yearning to do something else, something different then allow yourself some space to explore that. Mary Oliver might say “you felt the old tug at your ankles” as she does in The Journey. I think that most of us don’t even allow ourselves to dream about what could be, because we’re too caught up in the “what if’s” and “I can’t”.

Pose: Handstand – Just play with it. This is a pose in which most of us are scared. We’re scared of kicking all the way up. We’re scared of not kicking all the way up. Don’t even worry if you don’t kick all the way up. Embrace it for what it is. But don’t let the fear of falling or failing immobilize you. And most importantly can you have fun in the process? And take care of yourself?

Challenge: Ask yourself once more what you would do if you knew you wouldn’t fail. Then spend just five minutes writing about what comes to mind.