Friday, April 29, 2011

ayurveda intensive - day 1

My first day of the Ayurveda intensive was phenomenal! I.Loved.It.

Here are some notes that I took today on philosophy:

Ayurveda is about being one with the environment. You are after all made up of the same elements (earth, water, fire, air, ether). Dis-ease occurs when you move away from the environment. Ayurveda gives us the knowledge in following daily, nightly, and seasonal routines that promote living in harmony with the environment promote health and balance. If you don't do so and find yourself ill Ayurveda provides other ways of dealing and healing.

We awaken purusha (our divine Self) by looking inward, gaining knowledge, and waking up our awareness. Doing so helps us to move a step ahead on the fab path to blissfulness. **Love this**

Three components to know in treating a dis-ease:
1. Cause
2. Symptoms
3. Treatment

Ram our teacher gave a super quick and practical example of this. For example say someone has a cold. The cause is he/she has been eating lotsa ice cream in the middle of the night (cause). They have nasal congestion (symptom). The treatment is stop eating ice cream in the middle of the night (Ram was super funny might I add). If they refuse then at least wash the ice cream down with some hot ginger tea (treatment). Of course this was the light version of it but you can get the gist, right?

"Everything is right. Everything is wrong. Be open to all of it." Ram shared this bit o' wisdom and I loved it. A great reminder to not bo too attached to any certain way.

Ayurveda says the biggie reason for dis-ease is forgetting your true Self. He presented this little method in how that actually happens:
1. We get caught up in life's daily dramas.
2. We then perform all the actions that give us pleasure (which is usually not the best for us).
3. Those actions build more desires so one is never fully satisfied.
4. Frustration/anger/fear/anxiety/stress builds up.
5. Dis-ease is a result. And there is scientific proof of this.

Take a good look at the desires you have. Many make you physically satisfied but lead to mental/emotional suffering.

Yoga is union of body, mind, and soul. There are four ways/practices to achieve this through:
1. Bhakti Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through devotion.
2. Karma Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through selfless service.
3. Raja Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through practice. (This is where asana, the poses come in. But only a lil sliver of the whole yoga pie)
4. Jnana Yoga is the union of body, mind, and soul through knowledge.

We chatted about different philosophies including Sankhya, Nyaya, Mimasa, and Vedanta. They all share the same goal, which is enlightenment. Ram used the popular phrase that (again) I love...many paths, one truth. He used the analogy of us all traveling to Nevada City. Some of us took planes, some cars, some bikes, etc. But it all led to the same place. We all arrived in the way we needed to, the way most comfortable for us. Same thing with philosophy and spirituality.

This made me also think about the different styles of yoga and how sometimes we as teachers and students get so attached to "our" way. Thinking it's the best and blah, blah, blah. Many paths. One truth. A great reminder.

Every action you take has karmic implications (so yes there is more to it than just "bad karma"). Selfish actions are the actions you take that serve the ego. Selfless actions are the actions you take that serve your highest Self and the greater good. In taking actions ask "Is it coming form selfishness or selflessness?"

Let yourself feel bliss*full, but don't get too attached to it.

The four goals of life (this is soooo good!):
1. Kama- pleasure, things that serve the senses and bring pleasure.
2. Artha - prosperity. Once you've taken care of yourself help take care of others. This is the highest form of artha.
3. Dharma - your duty/purpose. We have different duties/dharmas (worker, mom, wife, community, etc.) Always doing more for your job, giving too much time thus taking from the other areas of your life is not healthy dharma. This is a workaholic. (Hmmm. Note to Self.)
4. Moksha - spiritual freedom

The 3 pursuits of life:
1. To live.
2. to earn money.
3. To do virtuous acts.

Ayurveda considers proper management of food, sleep/rest, and sexual energy the three pillars of health.

The part of me that loves numbers and systems loves this about Ayurveda and Yoga. We got lotsa numbers involved!

I was going to includes notes on psychology (what we reviewed during the later part of the day), but that might too much ayurveda blogging for the day!

Enjoy your day dear yoga hearts. I'm so relishing this time in Cali. Woke up at 4:00 PST this morning. Read and reviewed notes for 90 minutes (and drank hot lemon water, yip for new habits!), did yoga/pranayama for about 30 minutes, and showered. Now I've transitioned into my cute lil kitchen, burning a peppermint candle I picked up yesterday, made a cuppa coffee, will do some work and leisurely get ready for my day beginning at 9:00.

PS - I snapped the pic above yesterday morning. I walked to a nearby place to get a green juice for breakfast. I was drooling (I mean looking) at all the yumminess and had to smile when I saw the Ayurveda staple of kichari. Gotta love CA for this reason.

namaste from nevada city!

Good mornin' yoga friends! I arrived safe and sound to California yesterday. Both flights went off with no problem. I had an hour layover in Houston which allowed me just enough time to grab a coffee then board my next flight to Sacramento.

This was actually my first time flying to CA from the east coast side. Last time I was here I flew in from TX. Needless to say after five hours to flying time I was ready to be on the ground. Not sure how many times I reminded myself that my beloved Mexico is only a direct 3 hour flight from Cincy. Well, into Cancun anyway. ;)

I waited for a fellow student at the airport (he and his wife own a yoga studio in Martha's Vineyard, how cool?!), we got his rental car then had an easy 60-75 minute drive to Nevada City.

I checked into my sweet home for the next 5 days at Piety Hill Cottages. It's less than a five minute walk to the CA College of Ayurveda and about 7-10 minutes to downtown (which is just great). I'm charmed by my place here. It's painted the same color as my bedroom at home, has a great sitting area, a lil kitchenette AND includes local organic coffee. As I write now I'm drinking hot water. But I'll be diggin' into the coffee grounds here momentarily.

I got up at 5:00 PST so I'd had plenty of time to get ready for the day. Started with some yoga (a must after the travel yesterday), a shower, some unpacking, and now here I am.

We start at 9:00. I'm feeling so excited! And a little nervous, feelin' like a kid going to school on the first day. ;) All in all, giddy to be here learning, exploring a new quaint Cali town, meeting new people, and celebrating the closing (or soon to be) of a yearlong process!

Wishing you a charming day, no matter where this message finds you.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the voice of praise & encouragement - on and off the yoga mat

Gremlins, also known as the inner critical voice like to make themselves known on occasion. Sometimes they show up at the most random times. On the yoga mat, when I'm preparing for something new, while I'm getting dressed, shopping at the grocery store. When I'm pushing myself in a new direction. They know no shame.

There are times when we are living life and the nasty lil gremlins sneak in and tell you that what you’re doing isn’t good enough. She may ask “what’s the point?”, tell you you’ll never get it right, you aren't brave enough, witty enough, _______enough to pull this off. She thinks you could be doing other, more productive stuff. Not wasting your time on this. Really what would your mama, your friends, your neighbors think of you? "Geez, have I taught you nothing?" she asks.

She may frustrate you till no end. And that's only if you're awake and aware to her lil gremlin games. You may realize what's happening and remind yourself that just because you're thinking it doesn't make it true. Thank you Buddha for that one.

Otherwise you fall into the trap and believe the gremlin thoughts. Hone your awareness skills. Pay attention to the thoughts that are on replay. He or she may say that you’re wasting your time, that you could be using your time more effectively. Simply acknowledge her presence, smile kindly, and know that this is her weird way of trying to protect you, keep calm, and most importantly carry on.

This is the last week of our theme of "cultivate" at the studio. This week for the classes I'm teaching we're working with the intention of cultivating a stronger, more light and free inner voice. Focusing on replacing the critical and discouraging voices with praise and encouragement.

How's that for an idea? Having something as intimately connected to us as our thinking mind support us, help to sustain a good, happy and healthy life. I'll drink to that.

When you on your yoga mat this week and the gremlin comes at you and tells you you're not bending far enough, balancing long enough, or strong enough to hold yourself up...just give her a wink (and the teacher might even like this too) and say something friendly and encouraging. Praise yourself. You deserve it babe. You rock.

PS - I'm leaving this evening to go to Louisville for an early flight to CA. I'll be gone till the 8th but plan to take pinktop and share during Ayurveda and coastal Cali roadtrip. Yip! Anything you wanna hear about while I'm gone?

PPS - The pic is one of my faves of my nieces from years ago. So cute they are.

Monday, April 25, 2011

butterfly gap retreat

Andy and I returned yesterday from two days of amazingness at Butterfly Gap Retreat. This place was sooo much more, sooo much better than what I was expecting. Sure I was expecting it to be nice, to have awesome views, and conducive to rest and relaxation.

BUT from the time that we pulled onto the gravel road and the gate opened my expectations were far surpassed. It truly was perfect. In fact, I can't think of one single thing that was amiss, that was a let down. We only left the property one time and that was on Saturday for a quick trip (6 miles) into town for lunch.

Here are some highlights:
*Our private guesthouse that was tucked back in a hollow with a creek that flowed alongside and a view of the lake. Andy's most fave thing in the world (ok one of them) is a good creek. He loooves them. He had asked if there was a creek and I didn't think our house was near it. We were so happy to learn that our house was right by the creek. Yip! The setting and the house blew our minds.
*Hiking to the top of the mountain and enjoying the 50+ mile views.
*Eating on the screened in porch with the sweetest string of lights and the sound of the creek.
*Walking around the lake and seeing tons o fish. Even an albino catfish we saw over and over that we named Charlie.
*The delish breakfasts made and delivered to our door by mom and daughter.
*Donning my wedding dress, privately renewing our vows (yes we did), exchanging gifts, then having a local photographer take our pictures. This was simply amazing. Heartfelt and fun.
*Recording our weekend in my journal. Me rocking on the screened in porch and Andy swinging close by on the front porch.
*Enjoying the biggest bath tub evah.
*Sleeping with the windows open and hearing the creek. Waking to amazing views and feeling nestled back in the woods, marveling at how green everything is.
*Taking wine, bourbon, and a picnic up to the lookout for dinner and watching the sunset. Already plotting a trip back.
*Chatting with one of the owners and learning more about this special place. I love that it's a Mom, Dad, and the two daughters. This was their dream and their reality. They do everything themselves from mowing the grass to cooking the breakfasts, to building and decorating the guesthouses. Truly inspiring.
*Reading, reading, more reading.
*Drinking coffee and eating a cookie before breakfast. Only on vacation, right? ;)
*Cheers, toasting, and reminiscing the ten years we've shared as hubs and wife.

This is truly a remarkable place and so close to us. From Lexington it's only about 2.5 hours away. This is the second place I can recall that I love so much that I'm plotting my next visit even before I leave(Maya Tulum being the first). Makes it even more special that Andy felt exactly the same way. We've discovered a spot that we both fell madly in love with. Happiness....

PS - Book early if you want to visit. They only have six guesthouses and fill up fast.

PPS - Check out my yogi man below. Too cute.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

classes are ON this weekend

I'm off this weekend to celebrate ten years of being married. Crazy, I can hardly believe it. Good stuff, for sure.

Just a lil note to remind you that all classes are on this Easter weekend. So after you eats tons o candy come on out and do some yoga.

Saturday, 9:15
Sunday, 10:30 & 4:00

Wishing all of you a fun and peace filled weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

a peek inside my ayurveda life & studies

I am so very happy in this moment! After spending nearly a year totally immersing myself in the study of Ayurveda (the sweet healing sister to yoga)I am almost done. Almost! I just sent the last of my homework and quiz to my teacher. Happiness.

I spent about eight hours working on homework and case studies today, starting at 7:00 this morning (see above photo with a messy messy bed) and just finishing off a few minutes ago. Most recent case studies included a 44 year old gal complaining of mucousy stools for three months (fyi, we talk poo/BIG bathroom a lot in ayurveda)and a poor lil lad of 9 years presenting with a burning sore throat and a fever of 103 degrees.

*There was the prakruti (constitution) and the vrikruti (imbalance)to figure up. *Then the unfolding of the pathology to be charted.
*Then the prognosis and investigation of factors making the case easier to treat and more difficult to treat (these include constitution, climate they live in, age of patient, current season, pathway of imbalance, if multiple doshas are involved, and duration of the complaint).
*Then the state of agni and ama.
* Then the state of prana, tejas, and ojas.
*Then determining the patient's consciousness (talk about a big job ;) and whether it's sattvic, rajasic, or tamasic.
*Which chakras are experiencing excess or deficient flow?
*And ditto for the nadis.
*And what about bija mantras, which do I recommend and why?
*Which pranayama which help?
*Which is a higher priority...tonification or purification?
*Which tastes would be best and which would be worst?
*What's an example of a balancing lunch for the patient?
*Now design an herbal formula (which is so totally foreign to me still, my most challenging part)
*And a massage oil and aromatherapy mist.
*Lastly colors to help heal and meditate on.
*AND types of poses and yoga practice! Insert cheer!!

It is so freakin' crazy, cool, and amazing this world of Ayurveda.

Now the fun part...traveling to Cali in just over a week and doing an intensive, meeting other distance learning students, and real, live, in person teachers. Yay! Then a road trip down the coast with my fancy pants brother. He's flying to meet me in Sacramento. Yay, more happiness.

And even more fun part....taking all this awesome info (that can be uber confusing), choosing the juiciest parts to me, then figuring out the best way to share (in a way that makes sense and is inspiring and accessible) to my peeps (yea that's you). More yips!

Ok, I'll stop now.


**Totally not focusing on the final test I'll take after Cali. But that will come soon.**

Saturday, April 16, 2011

the path that leads to peace

By thinking of objects, a person starts to want them.
And a person who always wants things
cannot have them all.
Then she gets disappointed.
Her disappointment makes her angry.
Her anger confuses her.
She loses her mind and is ruined.
She has no peace.

But a person who stops wanting things
is free from attachment.
She is free from loving things and free from hate.
Such a person is on the path that leads to peace.

-Bhagavad Gita

Friday, April 15, 2011

more on cultivating the four attitudes

I've continued teaching on the four attitudes this week in class. Over the past couple of days I've been pondering my "part 2" to this post. What I've decided is to spend today writing on cultivating these attitudes on the mat. Then another on cultivating them off the mat. Thus a part 3 was born. Or is to be born. :)

It should be noted that I'm not a yoga sutra traditionalists in some ways. I love, love, love the yoga sutras. I love looking and reading different commentary on these lil threads of wisdom. Some I am challenged by. Some I are perplexed by. Some I am inspired by. Some I stand in awe of.

But I'm at a place in my own yoga journey when I can read the words and cipher them into some form that makes not only the most sense to me but in a way that resonates most to me. Some yogis would frown upon this. But hey, that's how I roll. Or flip, or twist. Or fold. It's yoga and all.

As my BF Bon Jovi says in the song I've recently been obsessed with...
"I don't give a damn
how it's supposed to be.
That might work for you,
It don't work for me.
You write your truth
And I'll write mine...

Sorry, had to throw that in there.

In most things I've read pertaining to Sutra 1.33 we are cultivating these four attitudes to deal with four different types of people. And I LOVE that! But I am a yoga teacher and I want to bring these attitudes not only into my practice but also my students practice.

There is so much wisdom in the yoga sutras. One of the most profound concepts I've learned over the years is to live the very best I can in the moment by investigating how I'm using my thoughts, words, and actions.

So my question is how can we cultivate and embody those four qualities (friendliness, compassion, joy, neutrality/I also like acceptance although they are different) in how we speak, think, and act?

We certainly think and act on the yoga mat during practice.

When you experience physical resistance and tension in your body can you meet it with friendliness?

When you find yourself getting frustrated by what your body can't do that day in class or in a pose can you cultivate compassion for yourself?

If you look around and witness yogis whom you believe to be more "advanced" than you rather than feeling inadequate can you celebrate them from your mat, tapping into the joy of the practice?

Can you explore the poses and when confronted by the limits in your body (the tight hammies, the weak shoulders, the lack of balance) can you be accepting of what all of it is, which is only a practice? Can you be accepting of you pose, your body, your life?

Things to ponder on a Friday morning. What do you think about cultivating the four attitudes? And particular attitudes you are sowing this spring?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

cultivating friendliness, compassion, joy & indifference - part 1

On Sunday I met the the yoga tree house teachers. We get together once a month to chat teaching and studio happenings. It's pretty awesome to be with these super yogini souls.

I was checking in to see how everyone was feeling with the monthly theme of "cultivate". We shared some of the things we had been working on and pondering in class. When it was Sarah's turn she says, "Sharon I've been working with your fave yoga sutra."

As soon as she said it I knew which one she was referring to....sutra 1.33, you are a friend of mine. I immediately felt like I'd been gifted. I couldn't wait to share in class. Love when that happens.

My fave translation of this sutra is offered to us by Desikachar. He says, "In daily life we see people around who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate toward those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing those praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil."

Nischala Devi puts it this way: "To preserve openness of heart and calmness of mind, nurture these attitudes:
Kindness to those who are happy.
Compassion for those who are less fortunate.
Honor for those who embody noble qualities.
Equanimity to those whose actions oppose your values."

Swami Satchidananda in his popular translation says we should cultivate friendliness, compassion, delight, and disregard (for the wicked ;)....

In perusing the Internet I found great info on In Sanskrit this sutra is maitri karuna mudita upekshanam sukha duhka punya apunya vishayanam bhavanatah chitta prasadanam. Yea, a mouth full right?

He goes on to break each of Sanskrit words down and this is what we get:
*maitri = friendliness, pleasantness, lovingness
*karuna = compassion, mercy
*mudita = gladness, goodwill
*upekshanam = acceptance, equanimity, indifference, disregard, neutrality
*sukha = happy, comfortable, joyous
*duhka = pain, misery, suffering, sorrow
*punya = virtuous, meritorious, benevolent
*apunya = non-virtuous, vice, bad, wicked, evil, bad, demerit, non-meritorious,
*vishayanam = regarding those subjects, in relation to those objects
*bhavanatah = by cultivating habits, by constant reflection, developing attitude, cultivating, impressing on oneself
*chitta = mind field, consciousness
*prasadanam = purified, clear, serene, pleasant, pacified, undisturbed, peaceful, calm

Swamij's translation is "In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil."

I'm feeling like this could be a super long blog post. Rather than go on and on I'll stop here for today and give you time to ponder the translations. Tomorrow when I come back I'll offer uo my own ways in working with this sutra.

Happy pondering! Would love to hear what your thoughts are about this sutra. Love, dislike, perplexed, or challenged by it?

And don't forget that Teresa is leading this month's workshop on Cultivate this Sunday the 17th from 1:00 - 4:00. Trust me, you wont want to miss out! Be there....

**how could I not post a pic of sweet Sarah as she is such a representation for friendliness and joy. thanks for the reminder Sarah!

strange + sweet

On Sunday I went away on a lil trip to Cedars of Peace for two days of quiet + work (as in work with a deadline, as in taxes). I met with the tree house teachers Sunday morning then with laptop, paperwork, food, a change of clothes, and incense in hand the boxster and I set off down the Bluegrass Parkway.

I made a couple calls then silenced my phone, turned my BF Bon Jovi off, rolled my window down and enjoyed the beautiful day, the beautiful drive.

I arrived at my cabin "Wonder" about 75 minutes later. The door was unlocked and a sweet note awaited me, "Sharon, welcome back to Cedars. May you experience the energy of spring in the woods."

I immediately felt at home, at peace.

I unpacked the food I'd brought and placed my laptop and paperwork on the desk. I settled into the chair, not just any chair, but a recliner. While I refuse to have one at home, this was pretty sweet if I had to say so myself. Especially so when the recliner is in front of the window, which looks out into those woods above.

I gave myself a good ten to fifteen minutes of rest then it was time to dive into work mode. Even if the government was shutting down I was sure I'd still be responsible for filing taxes on time. Pffttt, pfffttt, pfffttt.

I quickly discovered that a very important piece of the puzzle was missing. A piece that would make it impossible for me to complete the tax task at hand. Hmmmm, sitting in the cabin called "Wonder", I wondered...what shall I do.

Work away was the answer, then take a break and come back to dilemma at hand. So I sat in the lovely cabin with the live symphony of the woods, set a first goal, and a reward. Reward would be a walk up the road to the lake (or it is a pond?) on this truly amazing spring day. Amazing how quickly you can get things done this way. Note to self....

I'm not sure if you recall how utterly perfect Sunday was. It was sunny, and warm, and spring. Really, really spring. I couldn't imagine any better place I'd rather be. Or could I, I wondered (again)? This was feeling a little odd, strange, and new.

Turns out I could think of an even better place. It was about 75 minutes away, at an obnoxiously loud four way stop. In Nicholasville, KY of all places. A Big Blue House with paint chipping, a gorgeous wrap around porch, a new roof, with weeds and tulips growing in the front yard. Inside was the most gentle and neurotic dog named Bella, a strikingly wild and crazy lickaholic dog named Remy, and a super hubs of nearly ten years (wow!) named Andy.

That's it. I would get all the work done I possibly could without the important piece of the puzzle. I would enjoy all the sweetness of this place, then when I was done, I would pack up, drive back down the BG Parkway, creep into the house, and surprise the gang.

Cedars of Peace provided me with the most ideal of working conditions when doing something so not fun. I spent nine hours all the work done I could, walked to the lake, prepared a delicious lunch, did a walking meditation at the labyrinth, and prayed in the tiny chapel in the woods. I sat outside and enjoyed watching squirrels play and birds swooping through the forest.

Then with a smile on my face I packed back up at the edge of dark, rolled the windows down, and jammed all the way back to the Big Blue House.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

womens circle retreat + silent retreat

Hola amigas,

I spent THE whole day at the yoga tree house in the company of greatness. Goodness. Arrived at the studio at 8:30 to see Anne Deans pretty face. I got to enjoy a led practice this morning surrounded by the awesome students that I many times teach. Felt so good to breathe and move alongside them. It's a joy to teach and witness others practice. It had been a while since I have taken a class at the studio. Was reminded of the joy of being part of the group as a student.

As soon as the class was over we started the women's circle retreat. Thirteen strong and beautiful women in a circle sharing, reflecting, laughing, encouraging, aha-ing, and learning alongside one another. Every time I experience "things" like this I'm astonished by the power of being part of a group. Especially so when there is a feeling of trust and camaraderie such as today.

Our leaders Lisa and Diane are such gifted, wise, and funny souls. I so appreciate when facilitators stand with you as a person and share their own stories, struggles, triumphs, and tribulations. Lisa and Diane did just that. It was really special.

We also got to enjoy a fabulous storm complete with thunder and lighting while retreating. By the end of the day the sky had cleared, the birds were chirping, and the sun was shining.

I hurried home to take a walk with Andy and the dogs. Got to soak up just enough sunshine. I'm sitting outside now on our porch enjoying the final bits of sunshine. The warm air is simply heavenly.

In just a few moments I'll go and pack a few things for two days of quiet time at Cedars of Peace. This is the same place I took a silent retreat in the winter for four days. I'll also be doing some good ol' fashion focused work (hello taxes) while retreating in the woods.

The cabin I'm staying in this time is Wonder. I can't wait to be in the quiet woods with no distractions. To walk up to the pond, prepare simple meals, walk the labyrinth, spend time journaling, observe the goodies coming back to life after a long Winter hiatus. Oh and work.....

Hope that you too can find some quiet time and revel in the beauty Spring is bestowing upon us.

I'll see you on Tuesday.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

thinkin' about this....

We hurry through the so-called boring things
in order to attend to that which we deem
more important, interesting.
Perhaps the final freedom will be a recognition that
everything in every moment is "essential"
and that nothing at all is "important."
~Helen M. Luke

**photo of my fave mug sent as a gift from nyc**

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

deets about leeann carey workshops

Mornin' friends! I've been getting a lot of questions about the weekend Leeann will be here in May. I am so very excited that Leeann is making the trek here from CA and that she has so graciously priced her workshops. $20 for a two hour workshop, really?! We wont complain but I do hope that we can fill the yoga yoga treehouse with enthused yogis. Let's do it! So here ya are with more of the scoop.

Leeann will be here teaching May 13 & 14. This workshop for Friday evening is from 6:30 - 8:30 and is "Meet Your Feet". Here is the flyer with lots more information.

Saturday from 11:00 - 12:45 Leeann is teaching a FR*EE workshop. Yes, I know. Too good to be true. BUT you need to email Stacy at to reserve your spot. First come, first served so get to emailin'. :)

Saturday from 2:30 - 6:30 Leeann will be teaching "her thing", the bend to mend restorative. From what I hear from other teachers (including Jules who was her in Jan. teaching anatomy) experiencing this workshop with Leeann is transform the way you practice and/or teach. She's that good. Details here. Again, a super duper affordable workshop.

Usually for a weekend of workshops with a teacher of this caliber you are looking at spending about $200. You get to experience a whole weekend for only $75. AND you don't have to travel. It's right here in our backyard!

So friends, teachers, and yoga lovers please share this on FB, via email, and from your roof-tops. Thanks and have a super day.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

lessons from a Cats loss

My husband had a dream of seeing the Cats wins this year's NCAA championship. He was there in San Antonio the last time the CATS brought home the trophy. Andy, his dad, and his sister made that trek from KY to TX thirteen years ago. He still talks of that day with deep love. And during March and April I hear more stories about that trip, that win, that moment in time.

I (half) jokingly tell others that witnessing that win was more exciting to him than our wedding day. Honestly I know that it was one of the single most special experiences of his entire life.

Kentuckians take their basketball very seriously. No doubt about that. I grew up watching both college and NBA ball games (the good ol' days when Bird, Barkley, and Magic were there). Andy's enthusiasm over the course of our 13 plus year relationship has made me even more of a fan. His love and passion for the Cats is pretty remarkable. And while I can't totally get it. I so admire it. And am inspired by it.

Today we wake up to a Cats loss in the final four. It was a tough game to watch. My heart kept going out to Andy, watching this unfold on the other side of the US, three time zones away. The clock ticking away. Each second shattering his dream of seeing the Cats win at the big dance.

To some this might seem silly. Dreams are made for going to the moon, winning the lottery, traveling the world, ending world hunger, and becoming a movie star (or marrying one). But winning the NCAA Championship?

Andy felt so strongly about his dream that he took a gamble. Last Sunday as soon as the Cats beat UNC he was online buying tickets. At 9:30 he was driving to Kinkos to send a fax. Any purchase over $500 required an authorization and when he couldn't do it by computer, away he went driving to get the job done. He had to meet a co-worker at 3:30 in the morning to get to Louisville for an early flight to San Diego. He was so excited he didn't sleep all night.

Let me say that my husband is a frugal, frugal man. Even I was shocked that he was taking this risk. He's not a fan of risks nor spending a big chunk o' money. I usually fit that bill.

For nearly an entire week all he thought about was a Cats win. Nearly every conversation we had and every text we shared was about how it would all go down. He had it all planned out. Neither one of us assumed that the Cats would win. We weren't overly confident. Andy's not that sort of fan. No, he was running on hope. A dream.

Not all dreams come to fruition. Not all risks pay off. This was one of them. Prior to today I thought I would be upset, thinking we spent all that money, all for nothing. Surprisingly I'm not feeling that way at all.

Instead I'm feeling grateful that Andy and I got to share in this excitement together. I'm usually the one in the relationship coming up the crazy plans and Andy usually supports them (like driving 10 hours on a"school night" to see Bon Jovi, sleeping one hour and going to work). I got to be on the receiving end of this one and it was refreshing, and fun.

Today even with a Cats loss I'm reminded of the power of our dreams. And how it's not for us to choose others dreams, but to support those. I'm reminded of the thrill of taking a risk. And that there is great joy and inspiration to be found in the space between making a wish and seeing it come true.. Surely that's worth a few hundred dollars. ;)

**photo is of Andy on his fave day of the year...selection sunday**

Friday, April 01, 2011

beaches + banners + homecomings

Hola Amigas! I'm writing from the coziness of my bed at the big blue house. I've missed writing this week on the blog, having nothing profound to say, I'm resulting to giving you the scoop on my week. Exciting, yes? ;)

BFF and I flew out of Lexington on Sunday to Florida. I was a little sad cause I wouldn't get to watch all of the UK & UNC basketball game. But come on, it's a trip to the beach after a loooonnnnngggg cold KY winter. So happy as a clam I was.

I must've forgotten where we were flying from. Hello Lexington. The game was on everywhere we turned. Walking past the restaurant, all eyes on a TV, quiet as a whisper then I hear cheers. Oh good, I think....that has to be a good sign. We make it to our gate and again, all eyes on the television. Good news is Cats win. Bad news is our flight is delayed.

We do make it to FL and arrive at the condo before midnight. Settle in for bed and wake up early. The first day of three beach days begin. We have a great time walking the beach, eating fave eats, watching movies, hanging on the balcony, shopping at Tarjay and Borders (yay bought 4 books!), and loungin on the beach and reading. Liz took that pic on our last day. A big storm was comin' in and the wind was wild. We however refused to leave the beach. Even choosing to turn our chairs away from the wind and letting the sand pelt our legs. Still we persevered. ;)

I arrived back in Lex on Thursday around noon and went straight to the studio. It was time for focused work. Except I was exhausted from the early 6:00 shuttle ride, the three hour delay, and the flight. I settled for catch up on email and calls, doing a yoga practice, and teaching. Always so happy to be back at the studio. Tired and all. This place and these people make me happy.

In other exciting news Andy bought 3 tickets to the big championship game on Monday. We're keepin' our fingers crossed that the Cats win tomorrow. If so I'll pick Andy up at the Louisville airport Sunday evening at 6:00 and we'll begin the journey to Houston. First making a stop in College Station to pick us the sis-in-law.

Back in September we had a wish party to celebrate BW's anniversary. We had rocks for students to write on. Andy was there and he wrote this on a rock: Yep it says banner. I snapped this pic before the game on Sunday. This rock has been sitting on top of our television since the beginning of the season. Even back in September he had the Cats and banners on his mind. So hoping his wish comes true.

Now I'm cozied up in my bed after a long hot bath complete with handmade lavender salt scrub (thanks Mia!). I've got delish pineapple, a candle lit, robe on, a pile of books around me, the laptop, and materials I've been working on for our theme of "cultivate". Work feels so much more fun this way. Wishing you an awesome weekend.

revitalize body,mind, heart - day 5

Body - Today resign to eat foods that will help nourish you physically, mentally, and emotionally. Before eating, take three deep breaths. Try to eat without distractions such as computer, television, cell phone, work, etc.

Breath - Observe how your breath feels during challenging moments today.

Mind - Take inventory of the major thoughts and theme of your thoughts today. Are they serving you and the greater good?

Heart - Recall a recent experience that touched you in some way. Write five minutes about this sweet experience.