Showing posts from 2008

Counteracting Consumerism: We don't need no Stimulation

Ah, the economy. What is "the economy" anyway? It is certainly not economical in nature. Our country has spent a chunk of money that we did not have and now we are going to quantitatively ease billions more into print, theoretically fighting deflation and probably lighting the match under inflation, although when it will ignite is unknown. Personally, I'm up to here with economic stimulation. I think most of us need a rest and they're going to force us to charge back out and spend more! Let's consider a new idea, producerism. Create more than we take!

What led to our current problems? Pretty much a lot of people buying things that they couldn't afford. Some shady CEOs el al took it from there. Things we didn't need. Cavernous houses, shiny new cars, stuff, matter, atoms and now some people are losing jobs so the things that aren't paid for become an even steeper and more costly burden. It's stressful to have too much, whether it's someone handi…

Finding Home Wherever you Are!

Many people head home around the holidays. It turns out that his word has many meanings, and that is an understatement! On (click to read them all), there are 31 different definitions or relationships. And just as complex is the experience of returning home. For some of us this trek is a common thing, for others it might be yearly or less. And others may even go to a new place, to be with those important to them and creating home there. No matter how often or where we go, going home can bring us into connection with our past, those things that have shaped us, old roles and expectations that might or might not fit with who we are right now. This can be a very positive thing and may also be a difficult experience at times.

Yoga teaches us to seek and find the present moment and so as we go home, we might be faced with how the present and past get along. If we can allow ourselves to be who we are today, we are able to stay true to our yoga frame of mind. In fact, actually d…

Yin Yoga

We have all seen that funky little black and white symbol. I sometimes imagine two whales circling, a balanced swirl, a hippie anthem on par with tie-die. However, we can also ask, what is the meaning behind this ancient Chinese concept, and how can we incorporate these ideas into yoga and our lives? Today we will consider the yin side, and leave the yang half for a toastier moment.

According to Wikipedia, (see link here yin yang):

"Yin is usually characterized as slow, soft, insubstantial, diffuse, cold, wet, and tranquil. It is generally associated with the feminine, birth and generation, and with the night."

In terms of the seasons, this appears to relate to the winter facet of life. Ice, rain, sleet, snow, shortened dark days, quiet long nights. Maybe a strong full moon allowing white glittering glows to shine in through the frosty window.

How then can yin relate to our yoga practice? I believe we can consciously welcome yin, related to our path in yoga. One might easily won…

Hatha for the Holidays

As the days begin to shorten, and the cold is deepening, we enter the resting phase of the ecological year. Most plants have shed their leaves and scattered seeds for next year, and many colors have faded in the landscape. However, bright evergreens begin to make their presence known as they stand out quietly, and crisp air clarifies each breath we draw. We may find ourselves staying inside more often, and the holidays begin to enter the scene. This is a time to reconnect with family and friends and enjoy a few precious days "off". In our society that considers work such a central identity-defining thing, we may feel a bit adrift during this time. The fact is, many people experience difficulty during this season, but truly it is a chance for us to rest and find stillness, just as nature does.

The Mayo Clinic web page offers 12 helpful suggestions for coping below. And don't forget to consider yoga as suggestion 13, courtesy of yours truly!

12 tips to prevent holiday stress…

Moon Flowers

The photo at the top of this blog is a true Moon Flower (ipomoea alba) that I grew! I began this vine from seed starting late last winter in a sunny window in the front of my house. I transplanted it outside and watched over the months as healthy heart-shaped leaves grew and it twirled up a trellis. Each vine tendril would reach out bravely, searching to rise ever taller. I am amazing by these lovely and fragrant flowers that briskly whirl open just as dusk arrives. They are strong yet fragile, and allow their delicate sweet scent to waft through the evening air. I will definitely grow them again, maybe planting several to wind in various areas of the garden. If you would like to see a movie of one opening, click here.

In yoga, we often incorporate moon flowers into our practice, sometimes as we transition. This standing pose is quite active, involving muscles of the legs and arms, while gently opening the hips and shoulders. Just as much as this flower holds potential as it waits for …

Tango and Yoga

When I first moved to Kansas City, I missed Spain. My heart yearned for the beauty of even a simple Spanish street, and the glow of energy I experienced while living in Valencia for a year. I became connected to tango in Kansas City through a woman I worked with, her story is for another day, it is a rich one, I thank her for the gift of tango. I was joined to their email list, and when I began to attend tango sessions, the essense of Spain came to life for me here in the midwest. Enjoying each tango practice, I met new people, and came to know or at least recognize a few. A dear visiting baker from Switzerland was so nice and funny. I loved the beautiful shoes, luscious dancing, and sparkling auras. Small snacks and wine, a little dancing room, and music from all over the world brought a few strangers together as darkness fell over Westport. The city disappeared completely and I felt myself transported. Everyone was beautiful in a unique way, inside and out. Each person's style a…

Yoga in the Ninth Month

September is here and with it comes just a hint of autumn. Trees are starting to drop a leaf or two, and although it's been a sauna in K.C. lately, the temperature will soon take a refreshing dip. Students are back to school, adjusting to early mornings and new topics of learning. August has held a slightly less yoga -connected series of weeks for me, but now we are revving back up as the crisp days lay out before us. Starting this week, I will be teaching two yoga classes a week. Wednesday nights we will have class 6:30 to 7:30 at Barefoot Fitness Studio. This will be a smaller class where I hope to tailor the class to the students.

Wednesday afternoons, I will be teaching a class at the school where I teach. I have contacted the district and will be working with them to offer a class right after school, for one hour. I am very excited for this chance to bring yoga to teachers and other staff each week. Over 20 people have expressed interest, and it will be so nice to see the …

Green Yoga

It seems like greenhas reached a tipping point. I hear this word so often lately. What is "green"? Well, grass is green, and so are trees. So it has something to do with nature, hmmm. I like nature, really I love it. Since I was a little kid living by a lake outside of town, it has been delightful. Tadpoles, crawdads, skeletons and petri dishes peppered my childhood. Most people do love it, don't they? Unfortunately some children today are losing touch with backyards rapidly, some even fear the great outdoors. Richard Louv writes about this distressing trend in his book, Last Child in the Woods.
As I contemplate my garden outside, I think of those pesky mosquitos and how I wish they weren't biting me. But that is the point, isn't it, that every part of nature has a niche, and therefore has value. We can't decide what stays and goes. These elfin arthropods feed a lot of birds and spiders, which help control other insect populations. So, what can we really do …

gone til September

Hello everyone, I hope this message finds you well. September is just around the corner and with it comes the beginning of the academic year. You may not know that September is National Honey Month. You can check our information about honey here. In addition, it would be a lovely time to make a visit to your favorite local farmer's market, or perhaps an herb shop. Missouri has a wonderful place to try if you're considering a weekend trip - Jim Long's Herb Shop. I will be teaching yoga in September, probably in a couple of places and locations. If you're interested in joining, just send me an email at We will be meeting either Mondays or Wednesdays at Barefoot Fitness Studio, and Tuesdays at Jiva Studio.

September Yoga Class

I am writing to see if you are interested in participating in a weekly yoga class, starting the second week in September. I am Level 1 Certified through YogaFit as an instructor ( I will be taking Level 2 and Prenatal classes coming up in September so I will have some new and exciting poses for you!

The class would meet eitherMonday or Wednesday evenings, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm and the location is the Barefoot Fitness Studio, located in Prairie Village, KS. It is near 75th and Mission. Emily Morris is the owner of this house/studio, where she has created a wonderful yoga space. You can check out her blog at: and see pictures of the studio there. The cost would be 40 dollars. Please let me know if you are interested, and if so, which night would be best, Monday or Wednesday. Please share if you have any suggestions, questions or comments. No previous yoga experience necessary! This class would continue on a monthly basis, depending on inte…

What is Yoga?

Most people have heard of yoga, and have formed an idea of what they think it is. One yoga expert (Judith Hanson Lasater) shares her views about yoga and potential benefits here:

For Beginners:
The Benefits of Yoga PracticeThere is an old story in the ancient literature of India about a student attempting in vain to describe the taste of a mango. Listening to the futile words, the teacher shakes his head, smiles, and picking up a ripe luscious mango, bites into it. Writing about the benefits of hatha yoga is a little like this. If you practice poses, breathing and relaxation, no words are necessary because you "have tasted the mango." If you haven't tried a yoga class, words are probably not powerful enough by themselves to convince you. Experience, as the wise tell us, is the only true teacher.
While there has been some scientific documentation of the benefits of yoga, what is more important to consider about yoga are the responses of those who have practiced. Virtu…

My August Teaching Schedule:

Location: Jiva Studio (80th & Metcalf)

Note: August 3rd and 6th classes are cancelled.