Wednesday, February 24, 2010

ayurvedic immersion

I'm back from five days of immersing myself in yoga, meditation, and ayurvedic goodness! Wow. So awesome to be in the company of two lovely and inspiring yogini's and in the presence of such inspirational teachers such as David Simon, Deepak Chopra, David Frawley, and Valencia Porter. Doctors, scholars, yogi's. The real deal.

During the workshop I received my very own special mantra for primordial meditation. Sorry, it's a secret. Can't share. The yoga gods might frown on that. ;) We did two 30 minute meditations each day. And happy to report that I've kept it up each day that I've been home. One in the a.m. One in the p.m.

We did two yoga classes per day. Very super sweet to be practicing in a large group. Moving, breathing, chanting, relazing, know the bits. The pieces that make yoga such a good good practice.

During the days and nights we had seminars over things like this:
Accessing Inner Silence
Food as Medicine
Ayurvedic Psychology
Wisdom of Herbs
Soul of Healing
Purification and Rejuvenation
Biology of Relationships
Spirit of Sexuality
Inner Pharmacy
Love as Medicine
and more.....

And I got a great BIG binder filled with juicy informaation. I do love a good binder.

Evenings were spent in the hot tub with intermittent dips into the pool. The Biltmore Resort is quite possibly (ok most deginitely) the nicest hotel I've stayed at. There was a Starbucks on property and I had a lil chat with Deepak Chopra one day when I wandered in. That was pretty fun!

It was so good for my body, mind, and soul to get away for a few days. Was happy to go. Happy to be home.

Feeling inspired by all the great stuff that I learned. Have already begun to put some practices into place for myself.

AND my BF got engaged while I was away! A HUGE congrats to Liz and Tony!! Two people very dear to mine and Andy's heart. Much celebrating is in order...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

new class & weekend happenings

We are super excited to add a brand new yoga class to our schedule. Beginning next Tuesday, on the 23rd your teen can enjoy the same yoga goodness that you do!

We are absolutely sure that your teen will enjoy their time here at Barefoot Works. Partly because of the great practice of yoga, partly because we have an amazing space for yoga, but mostly because we feel that we have the perfect teacher for the class. Meredith (that's her on the right) graduated from our training program last summer and she's a real treat. She's a teenager herself, a college student, and can certainly relate to the stresses of being a teen in todays world. Class fee is a real bargain at only $10.

Click here to view, print, and share our flyer for the teen yoga class!

This Weekend at Barefoot Works we have lots of opportunities for you. If you're suffering from a little cabin fever and lack of movement we have class on Saturday at 9:15 and Sunday at 10:30. Weekend yoga classes feel like a real treat. If you haven't tried one, we certainly recommend it.

On Sunday we have two karma yoga (selfless service) opps. Join at the studio on Sunday at noon for Snack & Stitch, our knitting group. Bring a vegetarian snack, join fellow yogis off the mat and nurture your creative side. Newbies and experienced knitters are welcome.

Community Yoga will be held this Sunday also from 4:00 to 5:00. This is a great time to bring a spouse, friend or family member to try yoga. Donations for Florence Crittenton Home are welcomed, but not required.

If you know anyone that might benefit from the teen yoga info, community yoga, or our knitting group, please pass this information along.

Lastly, when you read this myself and two other teachers at Barefoot Works will be on our way to Phoenix to spend five days immersed in a seminar that integrates the Eastern healing arts with the latest advances in medical science.

We'll be in the company of Deepak Chopra and several other world renowned mind-body experts. While I probably will not be blogging while I'm away, I will be updating on Twitter and Facebook. If you'd like to stay updated on what I'm learning follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Have a great week! I'll be excited to share what I've learned with you when I return!


Monday, February 15, 2010

classes cancelled today + winter self care tips

Winter has decided to do it's thing again and provide the beauty of snow, yet making it hard for me to justify having yoga classes this evening. In thinkinig of the best interest of all, I have decided to cancel classes for the evening.

Winter Tips for Self Care

I will be the first to admit that I'm growing a little tired of winter. I'm ready for the days to grow lighter and the sun to shine more brightly.

Nonetheless, winter continues to hang tightly with us. For some of us that means dealing with the winter blues.

Luckily the yoga practice with it's emphasis on internal observation, mindful movement, relaxed breathing and accepting attitude can be a great prescription for dealing with the long days of winter.

Nature is asking that we rest and take refuge. To grow still and look within. Although we aren't having classes this evening, I am asking that you dedicate some time to yoga to restore yourself and rekindle your sparkle. Below are a few tips:

*Practice gentle backbends like cobra, locust, and upward facing dog earlier in the day to uplift your mood and elevate your energy.

*Do less today. Is there a way to reschedule your day that will allow for more quiet and opportunity for stillness? Remember, some is better than none. So perhaps some of us need to lower our expectations a little.

*Get the body going with a gentle and slow flow.

*Eat warm foods and drink hot liquids. Make a pot of your fave soup. Drink warm water, hot tea, hot cocoa, hot chai, etc.

*Take a hot bath with aromatherapy oils, bath salts, bubbles, or anything else that soothes and comforts you.

*Practice a warming, healing breath such as victorious (ujjayi) breath.

*Curl up with your fave book, heart warming movie, and warmest blanket.

*Practice a few longer, passive holds of yoga poses later in the day. Yin Yoga is a great practice for this. Here are some poses to explore. Have a notebook nearby and after each pose write about what you experienced. You can write about what you felt in your body, thoughts you had, discomforts that you experienced, etc. If you've never tried this before, you might be surprised by what you can learn about yourself.

*Give yourself permission to slow down and hibernate for the day.

Thanks so much for your patience and understanding. We are hoping to get back into the normal yoga groove soon!


PS - Rebel against winter. Go ahead and buy a place ticket to Mexico for our retreat to Tulum. ;)

Friday, February 12, 2010

how i want to lead my life

I read a really great post by Pam Slim yesterday about leadership, and how each of us can define what leadership means to us. Like yoga poses, leadership is not one size fits all. Love it. Here is what I came up with.......

I demonstrate leadership by my own life by:
  • doing work that energizes and excites me
  • creating a schedule that gives me freedom and flexibility
  • teaching/expressing a vision of yoga that is compelling and true to me
  • having adequate time with my husband, family, friends and myself
  • creating my own definition of success and happiness
  • working on projects that align with my values
  • believing in the power of dreams and pursuing those I believe to be most important
  • seeking help in the areas I experience fear and uncertainty
  • giving of my heart, time, and money to those people and causes important to me
  • being open to learn from other teachers, students, and leaders
  • holding myself accountable for things I want to create in my life
  • not having the expectation of being a perfect yogini
  • taking care of myself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually
  • taking risks then being gentle with myself if they don't pay off
  • being brave enough to mentor others and receptive to being mentored

That's what I'm pondering. How about you? What does leadership mean to you when you define for yourself?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

on balance & happiness....purusharthas

How the last week looked in the areas of duty, prosperity, pleasure and liberation:

Dharma (duty):
*date/gathering with BW's teachers
*taught the girls at Florrence Crittenton Home
*reviewed quizzes and writing assignments from yoga teacher training
*made the agonizing decision to cancel yoga teacher training Saturday session
*begin to coordinate make-up time with trainees
*plan week
*schedule and have lunch with college professor/mentor
*work on, complete, email monthly newsletter
*inquire about yoga shirts for special Haiti class
*meet with Meredith, discuss and plan yoga for teens class
*make-up four hours of yoga teacher training
*secure a knitting date and host

Artha (prosperity)
*more quality time with quickbooks
*many emails to try and secure a date for fall retreat
*cancellation policies for retreats, workshops, yoga teacher training on the website
*purchase and set up studio printer
*update and have new class schedules printed
*purchase supplies for the studio
*do teacher payroll
*secure subs for time I'm away
*create contract for studio rental
*put details for more workshops in mindbody software
*work on updating ad for natural awakenings
*begin working with Retta to create stuff to advertise for tulum retreat
*work with my life coach to come and present for yoga teacher training and yoga teachers (she's a yoga teacher too!)
*talk with Barb at Snug Hollow about a one day spring yoga retreat

Kama (pleasure)
*cook delicious new soup from Snug Hollow cookbook
*dinner with brother and sister-n-law
*get 3 new books in the mail
*meet mentor for lunch
*purchase a new purse that makes me very happy
*go to a hockey game with the Tessandori's
*reading on the ebook
*andy and I have breakfast with friends
*monday....everything is great fun
*solo coffee date with new purse and books

Moksha (liberation)
*yoga class with Jeanne
*self inquiry with new/fresh dreams
*sit with discomfort....but only a couple of times. so tough for me.
*coffee date with brother to talk about things we want to do this year

In looking back over the past week, the **thing** that stands out the most is a conversation I had with my professor/mentor about taking risks. I explained to him that I felt like it's been a while since I've done just that and I was feeling a pull towards that.

Later on I sat down and wrote in my journal a little outline of the biggest risks I've taken over the last few years:

2004 - put house up for sell in TX, quit job and move back to KY, do first teacher training, form Barefoot Works as a LLC and start teaching yoga
2005 - Complete 2nd yoga teacher training. Teaching yoga in central and Eastern KY.
2006 - Start looking at spaces for studio, decide on Patchen Village. Do all the renovations. Barefoot Works has a home. Teach all classes except one.
2007 - Lead 1st international yoga retreat. Still teach all classes but one. Upgrade from all things "paper" to mindbody software.
2008 - Lead first 200 hour yoga teacher training. Have more teachers to teach. Slowly begin to pass classes to other teachers.
2009 - Move studio across street. Quadruple the size. Do more renovations. Fall madly in love with new space.
2010 - ??????

That's where I am. Dreaming about the next risk to take! It's exciting. Fun. And scary. I'm certain it's not opening a second studio location. Doesnt' feel right, right now. I love to be a teacher of yoga, not be an administrator of yoga. The wheels are turning and I have a few ideas.

Inviting you to grab a pen, and make note of the risks you've taken over the years. Big and small. You might surprise yourself by what you discover!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

classes for Wednesday and a lil enticing....

Ok, yogis....good news is the power is back on. It's fully cranking right now in an effort to get the studio as warm as possible for the noon class. We'll also have the 4:30 class. It will be an all level class. The 6:00 Yin Yoga class has been cancelled.

I know, I's a little mischievous of me to put such an enticing video about Maya Tulum on a day like today. Couldn't resist though...heheh. In all seriousness we should all book a flight to Mexico asap! Sun, Sand, and Sea....we all need it....

Stay safe and warm!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

classes cancelled this evening :(

Evening classes for Feb. 9 are cancelled due to building maintenance. We are without power in the entire building. The power will be back on tomorrow. If you typically attend the Wednesday noon class, please call 859.433.7787 tomorrow to check on the status of the power.

Many apologies for the short notice. We're looking forward to getting back into the normal groove of things!


people, places & things

Shelli and mimosas. Yum...
Watercolor & stickers to brighten up my planner.
Andy and his cute-ness.
Remy and his fave winter time spot. He's so close he nearly catches his tail on fire!
Bella and a cute pink & gray sweater.
BW's teachers & cupcakes.
Healthy eating collage and banana orange smoothies.
New books by the bedside.
And my clutter free dresser with pottery pieces made by me, gifts from friends, a pink pig that says "Tess" that I bought while dating Andy in college, and another collage. Love the feminine touches.

Monday, February 08, 2010

i heart you monday

*Slept in late

*Danced 45 minutes to a fabulous workout dvd featuring dances from Dirty Dancing.
Yep I moved, grooved and, laughed at myself quite a bit.

*Juiced two oranges then made banana orange smoothie in blender. Yum...

*Three more hours on the computer and finished all quickbooks stuff for Barefoot Works (!!!!!!...really excited about that one). Drink a cuppa hot cinnamon tea as BIG as my head. Love this stuff.

*Checked in on fave blogs.

*Add an extra day for Final Four weekend in Indianapolis for Seane Corn workshop.

*Look at places to stay in Atlanta for Bon Jovi concert in April!

*Lunch was leftover spinach and feta pizza from mine and Andy's superbowl supper.

*Couple more hours of work.

*Hour of yoga with Nicki Doane. Love her. It was all about the standing poses. Am such a yogini (and teacher) that is all about the standing poses. A love affair that still goes strong.

*Quick trip the library. And when I mean quick, I mean quick. Andy sent a text saying the dvd we rented (Milk) was due. I was still in my pj's and a robe. So I shed the robe, added a coat and some boots and off Remy and I go in the pink camouflage pj's.

*Dinner was toasted sandwich with hummus, avocado,spinach and a dash of tamari. And french vanilla pound cake for a little sweets. And more hot tea...chai spice from Stash.

*Watch about two minutes of the 6:00 news. Find it depressing. Turn it off. Then remember my practice of sitting with discomfort. Crap....

*Listen/Watch this video with David Frawley about ayurveda. He's gonna be at the semiar (journey into healing) I'm going to next week in Pheonix.

*Read and do some of the journaling exercises from Style Statement. I am completely surprised by just how much I am enjoying this book. One of the authors, Danielle Laporte is really freakin' awesome. And funny. And brilliant. Her tagline...Because Self Realization Rocks. Yep, love it. Adding her to my list of people I want to meet.

*Play bejewled on my ipod throughout day.

*Send some emails.

*Ask what I want to do, and essentially do it.

I love you Mondays. You are filled with sweet, simple, decadent goodness.

You are good to me. And I love you so. :)

Saturday, February 06, 2010

yoga for an ocean cure & service

"We transcend our suffering to the degree that we are able to passionately employ our gifts in the service of others." ~Bhagavad Gita

A BIG huge thanks to Jen Lile for trekking down from Cincinnati through the snow to present Yoga for an Ocean Cure. Jen donated her time, her energy, her money, and her heart to be with us at Barefoot Works and raise money for what seems to be a truly inspiring organization.

It was so refreshing to take a yoga class with fun, upbeat, beach tunes playing as Jen guided us through a playful yoga practice.

For those two hours.....
I did feel like I was on a lil vacation
even though outside the studio doors
winter was still in full swing.

I was reminded of the power of being
and joining with other like minded souls.

I am reminded of the importance of sharing....
sharing of our gifts
sharing of our time.
sharing of our heart.

And being of service.
Wondering how I can broaden my mind in ways this can be approached.
Happy about the ways I know of people giving....

*Last week my sister took her two girls and a friend to volunteer at the animal rescue shelter.
*I teach yoga with the girls at Florence Crittenton.
*Sarah, Emily (and soon Jeanne) gather with others at the studio for knitting.
*Myself, Emily, Tracy, Beth, and Jean have all taught community yoga at the studio.
*My brother (Summit City) hosted a dance party in which the proceeds went to Haiti.
*We'll dedicate our yoga class next Sat. morning to the victims of Haiti.
*Lisa has taught yoga at a local school in Lexington.

I know there are many others.
Tonight I'm feeling hope-full.

Witnessing, seeing, and hearing about those wanting to make a difference
and willing to lend a helping hand.
Leaves my heart feeling like maybe....
just maybe....
we will rise together and unite.

Friday, February 05, 2010

the practice of sitting with discomfort

1. Find a place that you can sit and be with minimal distractions. For me that means in the morning, soon after I awake. Door closed, sitting on the floor, and copal incense lit.

2. Get comfortable and take a few moments to relax your body progressively....head, face, neck, shoulders, back, torso, hips, legs, and feet.

3. Begin to observe your natural breath as you breathe in and out your nose. Try not to change it or force it. Just let it naturally come and go while you observe.

4. Imagine moving inward at the center of your torso, seeing and feeling white healing light. As the breath continues (and perhaps grows deeper) see that white light spreading all throughout your body. Continue this for a few moments.

5. Now bring to mind something that is currently uncomfortable for you. Don't choose the "thing" that is the most uncomfortable for you. Let's take it a little easy on ourselves at first, right? ;) Perhaps it's an intense conversation you had, a fear you have, finances, etc. Try to be as specific as you can.

6. Hold the image of that uncomfortable "thing" in your mind's eye. Visualize it at the center of your forehead and then allow it to move down into your body. While you are doing this, observe your breath, sensations you feel in your body, and any other emotions or distractions that arise.

7. Pay close attention and simply see what happens. After a few moments (maybe 2-5 minutes to start with, come back to the white healing light in your body, observing your natural breath, then progressively relax your body once more.

It's nice to have someone to do this with. The first time my life coach led me through something similar to this and the above is what I've been doing on my own.

A few years ago a life coaching/yoga teaching friend of mine told me about the book, "The Dark Side of the Light Chasers" and how valuable it had been for her in seeing and learning from her pains, struggles, discomforts and such and then being able to teach,share, and be a witness to those experiencing discomfort. Which I believe to a completely separate blog post, as I could ramble here.

Let me know if you have any questions, frustrations, or aha moments with the meditation above. I'd love to hear.

Have a delicious weekend. And don't forget to come out tomorrow for "Yoga for An Ocean Cure" from 11:00-1:00!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

sitting with discomfort

This was in the newsletter I emailed out. Since not everyone gets this, thought it was worth putting here also.

Awakeness is found in our pleasure and in pain, our confusion and our wisdom. It's available in each moment of our weird, unfathomable, ordinary everyday lives. ~Pema Chodron

I'm feeling both intrigued and inspired by this quote by Pema Chodron. Recently I've been working with the idea of being present with discomfort both on and off the yoga mat.

With all the recent hurt and devastation associated with Haiti I learned something very valuable. I have a tendency to turn away from pain and hurt. It's hard for me to watch. It's even harder for me to experience.

As my husband watches the news I ask, "Haven't we seen enough of this? It's depressing." As I sat and watched Hope for Haiti, the concert to raise money for Haiti, I only lasted three songs before my eyes filled with tears. Rather than sitting with the pain, I chose to go upstairs and look at something more uplifting. Researching future trainings and plane tickets to Mexico all of a sudden seemed like a better way to spend my time. This made me feel better, but only momentarily.

As a student and teacher of yoga I experience and witness how we avoid discomfort on the yoga mat. In practicing at home, we choose only the poses that we love and feel like we excel at. In holding pigeon pose, we have unsettling thoughts or we can't get physically comfortable, so we shift around. We come out of the pose. Most anything feels better than sitting with discomfort.

Please know that I am not referring to physical pain we experience in yoga poses. This is never a good thing and we want to avoid this. I've told many students before that "Discomfort in a pose is not necessarily a bad thing. Quite often this is the place where we can learn the most." I'm now ready and willing to investigate this even more away from the yoga mat. In my relationships, my business, and my life in general.

It is my hope that I can be more open to embracing the the full spectrum of life. I imagine that if I can turn towards (and not away) both the beauty and messiness of life keeping both my eyes and my heart open, then that is truly a wonderful thing.

In Gratitude.....

ps - more about actually sitting with discomfort tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

an ideal day....

Yesterday was such a great day....such a perfectly balanced, ideal day. I spent three hours working upon waking. Went to the Main and Maple here in Nicholasville and spent two hours sipping a vanilla latte and doing some reflecting, dreaming, pondering, and general inner work that I hope will one day manifest in outer workings. Going to the grocery store, cooking soup for lunch, and picking up around the house accounted for about two hours. Then about three more hours of Barefoot Works work upstairs. Finished the evening with hanging out with some people I love dearly, my brother Joel and sister in law Amelia. Andy and I finished the day by reading together in bed.

As I was happily going throughout the day I was thinking this was a pretty perfect day. In looking at it I can see that I gave to my business, myself, my home, and relationships. And it felt really really good.

I've been thinking more about how I spend my time and how I spend my days. Getting clear on what's important and trying to do what I need to do the focus on the areas that are important to me.

Working 18 hours a day to make loads of money is not that important to me. I want to work enough to feel fulfilled, to contribute to the overall good of society, and have enough money to not worry about money and do the things that I travel, participate in trainings, eat good food, buy tons o' books, hang out with my family and friends, and other relatively simple pleasures.

I have decided that I truly love the freedom and flexibility that comes along with my job. And this is worth any (ok most) dollar amounts.

It's this freedom and flexibility that allowed me to spend an ideal day, such as yesterday and feel such goodness. Such wholeness. Such balance.

So, have you given much thought to what your "ideal" day would look like?