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Showing posts from 2010

Dry, Cold, Winter...Hydrate!

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Water is one of the very most important substances that living creatures require. Sometimes it can be taken for granted. Chronic dehydration is linked to multiple health issues, and it's unlikely someone that is not health conscious would even notice, especially in the cold months!

In the heat of summer, it is easier to realize the need for water. Many people are watering the grass, going swimming at the pool or ocean, or sweating it out during exercise under the sun. Winter on the other hand might catch us off guard. It may not be appealing to chug a large glass of ice water while out to eat in January. Don't be afraid to ask them to hold the ice. Would you water a house plant with ice-cold liquid? No! Why do it to yourself?

Even in cold weather, the body will sweat if exertion requires it to cool down. This could be dangerous if an individual is spending extended time in the elements and over-cools. In addition, the cool, dry air of winter, and the hot dry air of the heater c…

Be pecky!

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You might be wondering "What in the world is pecky"? I too would have asked that until yesterday when I was watching my husband's new favorite show, Swamp Loggers. I learned about pecky cypress, and it's pretty awesome! Cypress trees often grow in swamps and for unknown reasons, certain trees are attacked by a type of fungus that creates lens shaped pockets throughout the wood (as you can see in the photos above). In addition this wood is extremely dense, much stronger than a cypress without the pockets. Some of the trees may be up to 1000 years old, and in fact one about that age weighs around 28000 pounds! This highly desirable wood is incredibly durable and stable, lasting hundreds of years more when it is used in homes or other places for human appreciation. It is given a value of around twice that of any other wood harvested in the swamp.

What can we learn in this lesson from nature? Sometimes the challenges of life permeate and affect us profoundly, even attacki…

Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving Yogis. I found the poem below, and felt it was a nice reflection on America and our past, present, and future. Times are tough, but we have a strong history, and for that, I am grateful. Please do get some rest during this holiday break! Namaste.


Giving Thanks
For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
For our country extending from sea unto sea;
The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" --
Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving…

Thinkin' bout makin' my move...

What leads to those seismic shifts in life?

Some people seem to experience them regularly, others never or maybe once. A kick off to start your own business, or move to a whole new place and start fresh. To some this is stress, to others a relief. A new approach to life takes a distinct recipe that requires very special conditions. First, an individual has to be open to their true needs. Comfort can be a need, but too much comfort and we forget who we are, we are never tested and can never flash our vibrant and highly able selves. Not enough security and we feel as though strong ocean waves with an undertow are washing over us again and again, relentless and without mercy. We must find those moments where we have a combination of peace and push. The base to let us leap off a steady platform, but also the courage to reach out and embrace change.

Lately I have noticed myself becoming set in my ways about a few tiny things. Driving routes are less varied than before. New routes feel mild…

spring Forward, fall Back

Fall is upon us again. The shriek of the crow echos, hustling squirrels create mental maps, and warm hues of retiring leaves make me feel that this is a time of goodbyes (to the year). Maybe these vivid solar colors remind us to cherish the warmth that is due to leave our hemisphere for a while.

Another orbit around the sun is finishing up and as time moves forward, its normal that we return to memories of the season. I can remember picking apples, hiking with the Marchin clan, Halloween fun, and a brightly lit kitchen with chili cooking on the stove, a warm safe place as darkness fell outside.

Don't forget to set your clock back on November 7th. And do remember to set aside some time to remember autumns past. Happy Halloween!

Namaste,
Kat

sur-prise!

What is surprise? Hard to pinpoint. It can be lovely I suppose. Many times I find it can be difficult, maybe I'm just a control freak. Today we went for a little walk at a park, and I had a happy thought that my family had been here walking one time. Then I got a great big shooting surprise as my mind realized that was just after my dad had passed away, and he would not be showing up in that particular memory. Ouch. Hard to win there at times, memories with him hurt, those without him do too.

A young baby typically loves surprise, peek-a-boo drawing out peals of laughter. What happens to us? Do we get conditioned by surprises at work, or otherwise that turn the joy over? I do love some little surprises...a dear letter out of the blue or when a rare but favorite song pops up on the radio. Seeing a friend somewhere when I didn't expect it.

I suppose surprises are shaped by the very expectations that we do have. If we can detach a little from our planned view, we we be affected a l…

If you want to sing out...

Recently I organized a Karaoke night out with the girls. I like it so much more than just going "out". Why? I don't know, it's cute. People put themselves out there. Some have awesome skills, some not so much (yours truly for example) but it doesn't really matter because a lot of well-loved songs are rolling around in the ether and the vibe is soothing.

Also, it addresses a chakra that I chose to work on. The throat chakra (energy center) is how we express ourselves, singing fortifies this chakra and grows it. Any time I sing, it feels great. Any time I go to a choir or vocal concert or even a symphony, I find myself happy and contented. I have delightful memories of singing in church with my family, a few notes of a certain song and I'm right there with them all. In addition, singing releases energy that we may not even realize we had stored up.

So, here's to expression! Wherever we find it!
Namaste,
Kat

More Labor?

"Waste not want not." Maybe this phrase applies to our lives, more specifically than using two kleenex when we only need one. Do we waste our lives sometimes? Work work work, what about relaxing? Do not waste your life away in only work or only play, but balance the two. Some people avoid work at all costs, they don't seem particularly joyful either.

On this Labor day weekend, take stock of what you're working for, or towards. Posessions? Children? The future? Try to incorporate that goal for the future into the present, and the labor may feel less burdensome. Post a picture of your dream car. Make some calls or a list related to your dreams. Many people do achieve their dreams, often a few steps at a time, rather than in one dramatic moment.

Namaste,
Kat

Perceptions of...

Happiness can be a perception often. We can understand our life to be difficult, overwhelming and painful. Or we can chose to see life as what we make of it. Often, we must move our focus from the difficulties to the beauty, or we can become lost, fixated or disenchanted. Sure you say, easier said then done. So what sort of toolbox helps us "stay on the sunny side"? Here's a few ideas that help me at times.
- Focus on gratitude. Think, well "x" is tough, but I am glad it's not... "y".
- Treasure time. Give yourself the chance to rest completely. We all need this, no matter what.
- Talk it out, try not to gossip. Seek friends that also have a positive outlook.
- Eat good food, find a little hobby you love, write a letter, help someone.
- Be kind. If you feel anger, get some exercise, a journal, or try yoga.

Namaste,
Kat

Yoga Cloth

Maybe sometimes our souls are trapped down a little bit in our bodies, and in the hurry busy of everyday American life, they get buried and even crumbled just a bit. Yoga cajoles, caresses, and appeals to our souls, drawing them back out, shaking them off, and straightening them out. Any injuries are mended and cured, wrinkles are loosened as the fabric is replenished. This silken soul can then easily connect the mind to the body once more, a gentle link that must be cared for if we are to be there for others in our life.

Namaste,
Kat

Sold Out to the Ballgame?

I was thinking today and over the last few days about cultural point of view. In the world there are many points of view. The American point of view is pretty young, adolescent you might say. Many teens don't tend to make the best choices, they are impulse driven. I know, I work with them. Not the best choices on diet, risk, time management. As a teenager grows up, they start to gain experience, they learn from mistakes. I hope our culture can perhaps do the same as it matures and ripens.

Lately, I have a rekindled desire for fresh food. I looked at some cookies in the store the other day, they expire in december. Ick! I do not want packaged and preserved - honestly if it can sit on the Hyvee shelf for 5 months that is pretty gross to eat, what is in there that is so toxic to mold and bacteria that they won't touch it? I guess there's no air in there but still, that's just great, anerobic cookies...mmmmm. Also I have a yearning for quality hand-made products - such as …

Screen out, walk on!

Recently we went on vacation to the mountains. It was really nice to get outside each morning, and simply put one foot in front of the other, enjoying sunlight, breeze, weather, and nature. I decided to stay computer free for the most part, and honestly it was pretty easy, even thought we had the laptop and internet access.

I question, why have computers and gadgets so absorbed our modern minds and time? How many minutes are spent, that in days gone by were used in other ways? A conversation face to face vs. email, a call vs a nebulous text. A hike vs. a facebook flop? I'm not even really speaking to those my age, we are not as supersorbed although we are on the cusp, aol chat was super popular my freshman year at KU, I got email in high school. Many teens and younger are texting hundreds of times a day. Seems like hands and wrists are going to wear out if decades are spent that way. Really we're the first generation that will approach retirement after a lifetime of computers…

Scarcity

Have you ever felt a dreadful sense of scarcity creeping up on you? I'd say a lot of advertising plays into this very human feeling of the fear of running out. Any major disaster sends people rushing out to buy batteries, water, you name it. That's an extreme example, how about simply "2 for 1, supplies are limited, get yours now!" Why is it so effective on us? Do we truly fear that if we don't get the item, we'll never have a chance again? Do we really need 2 of something, vs, the 1? Maybe. Probably not.

I thought of this lately when our power went out for about two days, in the heat of July. Suddenly power felt like everything that was unsatisfactory or not quite right in life, in a strange way. It was sorta like life stopped a little, even though time was marching stoically on of course. Time honestly did seem to slow down, we got to chat with the tree trimmer than was very jovial and a true character, and caught up with a family member that helped fix the …

Thank You

Thanks to friends and family for sharing in a fun evening of laughter, conversation, and exploring YogaMar Studio. Remember, a class of two or more can be set up at any time by appointment. If you didn't get a chance to see the studio, give me a ring or email and we can figure something out.

Remember, a studio experience is by no means necessary for your yoga practice. One nice things about yoga is that you can develop your personal practice anywhere and anytime. To me, a group class is nice to develop new poses and fresh ideas, possibly to encourage yourself to a regular practice in order to maintain flexibility and strength, and maybe as a social approach to exercise. Often we choose social support whether it is a means to foster learning (social theory of learning, supported by Bandura), vacation tour group, or yoga! It may keeps us taking care of ourselves if we value not just the experience, but also derive joy when we share the experience with others.

Namaste,
Kat

Present Yourself!

I posted a poll on the blog recently and it turns out staying in the present moment is one of the more difficult parts of yoga for a few of us! I looked around online a bit for ideas to staying in the present, one idea stood out. Do each action for the joy of the action, rather than a further result. For example, take joy in each dish you clean, rather than seeking a clean kitchen to feel good. If you work in the garden, select several tasks. Recently a yoga teacher shared a pearl of wisdom from her teacher, "anything worth doing at all is worth doing well". And worth enjoying I would add!!


The other day I was teaching yoga class and of course thinking ahead a bit (you sorta have to as a teach) and it was funny because it occurred to me that teaching yoga may actually be contrary to the goal (of yoga) to stay in the present. I do think teachers should take classes too, it's a 180 degree different experience! One blog I follow is a yogini that lives in Germany, most of her…

Loss

Is it better to have loved and lost? I say absolutely, yes. I refer to having a wonderful parent for many years, then losing them. I am sad to think of darling children that do not get such a parent to love. Precious memories are not perfect comfort when a loved one is gone, but they are droplets of bittersweet kindness that give us humans a special ability to reflect. Life is ongoing, cyclical, patterned. I was listening to my Garden State soundtrack today, and Frou Frou shares in the song Let Go: "there is beauty in the breakdown".

That song speaks to me, listen to it if you can. I think of a forest fire cleaning out the brush, new and fresh seedlings coming. Granted there is much pain and destruction in the breakdown as well. That reminds me of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her ma and pa when tragedies befall them, "there is no great loss, without some small gain". Wise words that ring true when it comes to grief. The pain does not necessarily weaken, but it becomes …

YogaMar Open House!

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YogaMar is having an Open House!

Friday, July 9th 6pm-midnight (Mission, KS)

Spiral down the stairs to see the space and strike your favorite pose, twirl around upstairs and show off your salsa skills! Feel free to bring a wine and cheese of your choice. Any questions? Send me an email at yogamar.connect@gmail.com

Namaste,
Kat

YogaMar Space Opening!

Hello YogaMar enthusiasts!

Thank you for your support of this yoga teacher journey.

I have been creating a home yoga space, and it is ready! We will hold classes on Monday evenings at 6:30pm-7:30pm this summer (except one week in July), starting Monday June 28th! To sign up, click the link above the calendar on this page.

Other times are available by appointment as well, feel free to email. Let me know if you are interested and/or have any questions! I hope to see you at yoga soon and thank you for doing something wonderful for your health!

Namaste,
Kat

Makin' Space

I have been thinking lately about how to create space using mindfulness and intention. Maybe The Office episode I saw recently prompted it all melding together. Michael and Jan are hosting a torturous dinner party, it turns out she takes most of the space and Michael is stuck squeezing into the remaining spots. Fun-nee, and sad too. But sometimes I feel like we DO get squeezed out by our possesions, maybe by other people, two words, close talkers. Hoarders being the extreme of their own physical constriction, but many of us are on the way there if we keep it all and keep buying more, something has gotta give people!

Personally my goal is peaceful space, both in terms of time, and also actually physical space as well. Ed and I have been working on a yoga spot in our basement, I already feel so happy that there is a nice portion of the basement now dedicated to useful and fun yoga! It's a great exercise place, and a very nice retreat to take a breather. I'll post some pictures in…

Vedanta & the Wisdom of Yoga for Today

Hello Yogis!

If you are looking to learn more about the spiritual roots of yoga, look here! Dr.Arvind Sharma will be speaking this Friday evening at 7pm at the KU Edwards Campus in Regnier hall. 12600 Quivera, Overland Park, KS There will be local music as well as refreshments, and the option of a free will offering.

He is hosted by the Vedanta Society of Kansas City, and is the Arun Kumar Sharma Memorial Lecture for this year. To learn more, here are a few links for you!

What is Vedanta KC?
http://vedantakc.org/

Bio, etc for speaker:
http://ara.mcgill.ca/sharma/index.htm

Let me know if you plan to attend!
Kat

Local Yoga Studio Grand Opening

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Above is a new yoga studio in Leavenworth, KS with their GRAND OPENING this Saturday! Let me know if you want to attend!

Namaste,
Kat

Bittersweet Symphony of Friends

As my thoughts have turned to music lately, let's keep the theme going! Albert Einstein was known to say that the music of Mozart, "was so pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master." Kinda like E=mc2 actually. An interesting parallel grows between these two men, geniuses in unique ways. The thought percolates in my mind, if they had ever been able to meet (not possible due to the times they lived), they would have been great friends. To read more on this pair of masters, see the link to a NY Times Article here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/31/science/31essa.html

This brings us to the issue of friendship. They say good, and maybe difficult things happen in groups of 3. It feels like that right now. Recently in my life, three wonderful people and friends are shifting away in terms of location. The first is Jenny, a good friend since I moved to Kansas City and our little fab 4 was the midwest version of SATC. We we…

Follow your Melody

A quote I heard somewhere always sticks with me, "obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goal". Maybe it's easier said than done not to look around a little, however if we practice, we can strengthen our focus both physical and mentally. Patanjali refers to these life hindrances as vikshepas and enumerates nine of them: illness, listlessness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, cravings, delusion, inability to progress, and instability in maintaining progress.

What might help us stay on track towards more satisfaction in life, whatever the goal? Sufficient sleep, a whole-food emphasized diet, and minimal stimulants/depressants is a good start in my view. Even several drinks a week or too much coffee can sway the delicate and complex biochemical balance and leave us sluggish or strung out. Once we address the physical, how could we help out our mind in our journey towards joy? Music is not a bad start to consider. Einstein was considered "stupid"…

We don't need no Education?

Today at school, it has come to my mind: what makes a good teacher? Someone kind, talented, and knowledgeable for sure. What sets the truly great teachers apart? I think of some major teachers in my life. I would say a sense of humility, humor, and the ability to share information in a thorough and engaging way. This could be a teacher of many things, whether high school or yoga.

In addition, a good teacher sets high expectations, while scaffolding constantly for those that need the extra help. They set some ground rules, but also show flexibility for those in need of a break. They have a high vision of and for each student, and share this vision so that the student can grow to meet it. They take time to make moments special, and allow for personal exploration of the subject at hand. In the end, the best teachers also seek to learn constantly, and to review and revise, making the good better, and the better best. We all do need our education, and it never stops.

Namaste,
Kat

Where is your energy?

Percolating in my thoughts today is how our energy shapes us. Maybe because I see such interesting energy shifts in the team I coach. "Young at heart", vs. "old before his time" are not just a physical expressions, but rather a mental reflection of our energy. Our outlook definitely could shape our physical body, but it also shapes our path in life. If we believe, "I am nothing" perhaps it will come true. It is especially sad when kids take the negative messages of others and internalize them. I like to think the "Shakti" is helping us along, finding the right vibrations of this universe.

So, what is your energy in life? Do you think to yourself, "I'm old", just because you are 30? Or do you think about someone 97, and admire their grit, realizing you're a bit of a pup if you haven't passed half a century. Perspective is powerful.

Where is the energy of your professional life? Do you complain daily about your employment situa…

Resilient

In education research you come across the term "resilient" a lot when it comes to urban children. I don't think most people realize that if some of these amazing kids actually make it to school for a day, they have shown great resiliency. I think about difficulties in my own life that happen at times. A loved one ill, a death in the family, lack of sleep, peace, food. It causes me to realize that my students have so many lessons to teach me. For many of my students this stress is daily, or weekly. I guess I am learning to be resilient. Maybe yoga helps us access our own inner power to focus, and lets the outer world around us flow past without putting a scratch on our souls.

As a soccer coach, I can go without food, warmth, comfort for a while, and I cope and push onward. It's not much to handle, compared to when a kid calls her mom and she says, "start walking" to her young daughter who would have to walk 10 blocks through a not so nice area in the dark. It…

Yoga/Vintage Jewelry @ BeTru2U

Hello Yoga fans,

Looking for a fun and unique gift for someone in your life? Look no further. I've been fortunate to attend several yoga teacher trainings with a local yoga teacher and artist, Lora McKelvey. Read on below for her bio, and definitely check out her web page for some wonderful vintage and yoga inspired jewelry. Support Local Yoga and Art!

Namaste,
Kat

http://BeTru2U.etsy.com

BIO: My name is Lora Cornell McKelvey. I am a yoga teacher, jewelry crafter, and single mom to two sweet, energetic boys. BeTru2U is the name of my jewelry company. I design, craft, create, and re-create pieces along two themes: vintage and yoga inspired. My yoga inspired pieces are simple and come from my passion for yoga, these pieces usually carry a written message. I love to create something that speaks to others. These pieces are featured on my website as Breathe Creations and can also be found at the Zen Zone in Lees Summit. My vintage creations are a lot of fun to make and are often mo…

grateful for...

Soccer, teams, growth, help, knowledge, sleep, summer, immune system, digestion, water, team effort, calm, lavender, rosemary, seniors, potential, progress, process, spirit, passion, focus, positivity!

Visit the Prairie Labyrinth - May 1st 1pm-5pm

At my recent yoga training, I was fortunate to meet Toby Evans, the owner and creator of a really neat place! This labyrinth is carved into native prairie, and invites you to explore your chakras in a beautiful natural setting. Read on for a letter from Toby! Hope to see you there!
Namaste,
Kat


You are invited to participate in an Upcoming Global Event with the intention of spreading the healing benefits of the Labyrinth. We hope you'll join us for this second annual celebration of World Labyrinth Day(TM) on May 1st, 2010.

Last year, a variety of events were held at over 100 locations worldwide, including the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., churches, and even a women's maximum security prison. Countries joining the celebration included: the United States, Canada, England, New Zealand, China, South Africa, and Australia.

World Labyrinth Day(TM) is a wonderful opportunity for global community building and celebration, as we join with others around the world, walking the path of the lab…

Meet your Feet.

At my Yoga training today and tomorrow we are discussing the complex and detailed world of human anatomy. It's pretty interesting and all familiar, it makes me wish I could look at the notes from my high school class. What interests me most right now is feet. Seems like a lot of body issues stem from feet. Personally, I think everyone has their own foot story. For example, when I was very little, I was given special shoes for my feet, they thought something was wrong with them, I still don't really know what or why. In sixth grade or so, I came down with pretty severe foot pain, plantar fasciatis probably. I was into wearing very flat Keds. Since I have placed a little arch support in my feet, tried to wear better shoes, and of course, I activate my feet in yoga, and I think it all helps, because I often stand for 10+ hours a day without too much pain, and I'm active in soccer and other athletic endeavors. I do think it's imperative to listen to your own feet and get i…

grateful for...

My soccer team, Wild Cat, Angus Burgers, No Kill shelters, perspective, wins, losses, growth, tears.

grateful for...

Yoga Patch, yard work, crimson tulips, Mick, potting plants, basil, catnip, moonvine, compost, Shawnee Mission Park, lakes, picnics, BBQ, Ed, the red shift, poets, projects, my soccer team, my high school, awareness, sandwich making, fresh laundry, bikes, returning plants like old friends, mom, my health, basement yoga project, warm sun, melanin, sunscreen, hats, water, dogs, model planes, veterans, Coke, camaraderie, Bewitched, Netflix, another day.

Namaste,
Kat

Universal

On the Beach at Night, Alone. by Walt Whitman

ON the beach at night alone,
As the old mother sways her to and fro, singing her husky song,
As I watch the bright stars shining—I think a thought of the clef of the universes, and of
the future.

A VAST SIMILITUDE interlocks all,
All spheres, grown, ungrown, small, large, suns, moons, planets, comets, asteroids,
All the substances of the same, and all that is spiritual upon the same,
All distances of place, however wide,
All distances of time—all inanimate forms,
All Souls—all living bodies, though they be ever so different, or in different worlds,
All gaseous, watery, vegetable, mineral processes—the fishes, the brutes,
All men and women—me also;
All nations, colors, barbarisms, civilizations, languages;
All identities that have existed, or may exist, on this globe, or any globe;
All lives and deaths—all of the past, present, future;
This vast similitude spans them, and always has spann’d, and shall forever span them, and
compactly hold them, and enclose …

Let it go!?!

I would say a lot of unhappiness is self created. Do you agree?

I encounter unhappy people somewhat frequently. Kids, adults, you can spot them in a heartbeat. Complaining, worried, dour, negative, critical, angry, self-hating. I think Americans have spent quite a bit of energy identifying ourselves with our *day* job. Our very language supports this. "I am...a doctor." "What do you do?" "My job is my life." The list goes on. None of these statements can even begin to explain a human being. And maybe we resent this association a little, as well we should. What's up with all the road rage? That's an easy one. Could it have something to do with not wanting to be on the road to where we are going, rushing along? I think it might. Each person is so much more than what we do from 8-5, or whatever the work hours might be. Are you rushing to the job to pay for the car, the house, new new new, too much too much too much? Something is wrong with that! It&#…

grateful for...

Blog readers and writers, soccer, soft shirts, Fridays, kids, my principal, Mia Hamm, team captains, energy, force, work, power, waves, EARTH, Jupiter for not falling inward and smooshing us like (apparently) what happens in many/most solar systems, laughter, those kids that try me, fools, hyacinths, lilies, hostas, lilacs, quince, friends, change, progress, security, golf, deli, astronomy, Spain, cheese from Spain, arabic, Morocco, Iraq.

Springy

Spring has come slowly this year, creeping up, shrouded in wind, wet washes, and even snow. Suddenly this week, it leapt from behind a corner and whirled up in our faces. Daffodils nodding and much more. Here's a poem to celebrate it!

Spring Quiet
Christina Rossetti (1847)

Gone were but the Winter,
Come were but the Spring,
I would go to a covert
Where the birds sing.

Where in the whitethom
Singeth a thrush,
And a robin sings
In the holly-bush.

Full of fresh scents
Are the budding boughs
Arching high over
A cool green house:

Full of sweet scents,
And whispering air
Which sayeth softly:
“We spread no snare;

“Here dwell in safety,
Here dwell alone,
With a clear stream
And a mossy stone.

“Here the sun shineth
Most shadily;
Here is heard an echo
Of the far sea,
Though far off it be.

Namaste,
Kat

Weight a minute!

Spring is exploding around us. That means summer is around the corner, time for tank tops, sun dresses, shorts, bikinis, in general, nice sunny days and lighter clothing. With the warm season comes a chance to evaluate our weight. In the depths of winter, for me it is easier to have an extra helping of something warm and comforting as we snuggle in our fuzzy and total coverage pjs and the wind and snow whip around outside. Body awareness may actually decrease! Maybe not for all, but I think mine does. Some people seem like they easily manage their weight throughout life, while others feel like they are on a roller-coaster that they are not driving. What is the key? Honestly I believe it boils down to one simple (but challenging to follow) sentence: You will lose weight if you eat less than you burn.

A few years ago my sister shared a pretty cool web page with me. Kinda a geeky approach to weight loss. It's very well done though, and addresses the fact that losing weight is hard, yo…

grateful for...

Tea, yoga chats, the Wizards, my team, hyacinth, lilac, daffodil, tulip, johnny cash, family dinner, progress, Zeke, Inka, Mission.

Black and White

What makes us happy? Feel refreshed? New, contented, renewed? It depends. Often it is the lack in life that creates fulfillment. Meeting a need or craving and it's oh so sweet. Don't we tend to want what we don't have in the here and now? Sitting around a lot, suddenly a long walk is heaven. On the run all day, a cozy spot on the couch is divine. Lots of tension? A massage is just the ticket. Quiet days? Noise delights. Crazy loud environment and silence becomes golden. The fact is, we may be creatures of habit but we NEED contrast. Why is yoga so much to so many? Because most days for most of us we simply don't get to explore the body's range of motion. In yoga, we enjoy the chance to stretch to our limits, literally! Not to mention slowing down the mind, shutting off the rapid fire thoughts of the day.

Lately the cool of winter has relented and hinted at heat to come. I love the seasons, this enduring contrast of nature. What is the contrast of the universe? Expan…

Solidify?

As we grow older, we tend to lose some flexibility in our bodies, although our practice can greatly slow and in some cases reverse this progression. Imagine butter vs. olive oil, one holding its shape, the other as fluid as an ocean. I got to thinking today that we might also tend to become more inflexible in our spirits/souls/personalities. Things that appealed to us at a younger age now seem overwhelming and even undesirable. Perhaps a last minute road trip, staying up all night, approaching Westport on St.Patty's...you get the picture. We might even have a certain restaurant, perhaps our favorite table, drink, meal, the list goes on and on. Why is something best, simply because it is familiar? Or is it just easier?

How do we maintain both our mental and physical ability to accept change, bend in the wind, and enjoy surprises? Hard to say but I think this is a worthwhile question to ask and one I may ponder for some time. One thing that could definitely help is being around young…

grateful for...

Zen zone in Lees Summit, massage, group healing, the basement, KC yogi/yoginis, groceries, fresh clean water from a tap, mini-pizzas, spring break time to relax, lavender, tulip tips, daffodils, freshly painted walls, soccer practice, kitty cats, hot shower, glasses, contacts, eyes, health, friends, family, sunshine, fresh air, 50+ weather, birthdays, doctors, yoga, potential.

Yogatini

There is a very heady yoga cocktail circulating around in my brain right now, I have been to 7 trainings and things are synthesizing. The Level 5 training had a lot of deep themes, some very much "in your head", thank you Delores O'Riordan. I agree with the idea behind some of it, other stuff was kinda annoying to me. I loved the group healing, maybe not quite as much as a full on massage, but the kindness overwhelmed me with gratitude. Gratitute is a wonderful sensation and I think it does help us heal much.

Today we watched a movie, The Secret. I almost felt like it was 5am and all the other channels were black and white fuzz, you know? People basically saying, "your thoughts determine your fate and financial future". Huh? I'm sorry but sh** happens sometimes and it is totally random and atrocious. People get in an accident, or get cancer, and its horrible and they are wonderful humans that didn't deserve a lick of it. This world/universe is not totall…

Ginger and Peace

Serenity Prayer (credited to theologian Reinhold Niebuhr)

God/Universe, grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
The courage to change the things that I can;
And the wisdom to know the difference.

I was recently talking to a delightful nurse named Ginger. She is 67. She was a sweet little lady and as we chatted about school and work she mentioned a prayer she keeps in her house and looks at every day. She has some loved ones with alcoholism and it helps her. It made me think about the really hard part, how do we know what we can't change? Are we giving up or are we getting to ahimsa (non-harming of ourselves) when we let that one thing go that just about kills us? I know that sometimes I just can't quit worrying about my students and what some of them go through, or other things in my own life too. When to act, when to rest?

The poem says it takes Wisdom, which takes time, and experience. Maybe as we grow older, we gain this peace. Makes me look forward to 40, 5…

Yoga No Flow?

I recently felt compelled to pause the yoga class I teach. A deep spiritual part of my soul is asking why? Am I avoiding yoga? No I can say without hesitation. Honestly, I think super-duper overfilling my schedule would be detrimental to my health, definitely contrary to the goal of yoga to stay in the present moment. I do crave yoga but not the stress of the rush it would require weekly. In addition, teaching is a different experience from taking a class, of course! When teaching, I am there for others, not myself.

With soccer coaching looming I am feeling strain considering the long days ahead over the next couple of months. I do also feel joy but it is blanketed by worry for the incredible business that will accompany. I think if each of us squeezes a huge amount into each day, week, etc, we are constantly more likely to hop out of the present moment and into the next. We're shoving ourselves along, rather than consciously moving with purpose and grace.

I have a yoga training co…

Grateful for...

Tulips, neighbors, cats, dogs, my immune system, family, kicks, kleenex, nutella, mangos, compassion, optimism, resourcefulness, organization, rest.

grateful for...

March, Zeke by me, all my new little seeds setting on warm damp soil waiting for the sun (catnip,lemon basil,peppermint,moonflowers,mammoth dill,bouquet dill), orchids, money in the bank, cran-grape juice, Ayla, ancestors, bison, spring sports especially soccer kicking off TOMORROW!, doves, self-expression, yellow, spring break, Ping, heels, daylight savings, Rambo, inner energy, vitamins, fruits and vegetables, water, sun, the earth mother.

Sea change

I've shared many poems and words of others. Here is a poem I just conjured up for ya, totally edit free (well pretty much)! Hope you like it, my thoughts on Spring and beyond, so close and yet, so far.

Sea Change.

Lately it seems to be,
spring is here but cannot see,
warming soil, trilling birds strive,
ever-lightening morning drive.

Wicked damp that cools your bones,
peeping sprouts curl past stones,
Painful change, and cutting wind blows,
Earth is heaving, winter's death throes.

During this time we try to find,
A sunny still place to rest our mind,
Calling summer back to this land,
I dream of heat, growth, and sand.



Welcome March. February, ciao.
Namaste,
Kat

grateful for...

energy, sunlight, seedlings, quiet moments, Spain, soccer, African violets, my classroom, spring break, soul food, spider plants.

grateful for..

skin care, friends, shelter, dessert, walks, Mission, skiing, snowboarding, curling, athletes, inner beauty, dogs, cats, rest, blueberry pancakes, vitamins, weekends.

Good Morning

In honor of Black History Month, here I share a poem by Maya Angelou. I'm listening to her "Letters to my Daughter" on CD, I highly recommend it for your commute or leisure time this February of 2010. May we all continue to listen to this little blue planet, and, of course, each other.

The Rock Cries Out to Us Today

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not…

grateful for..

All my teachers that I ever had. Especially Mr.Coleman, Mr.Lamb, Mr.Beecraft, Ms. Jenkins, Mr.Dick, Mrs.Broyles, Mrs.Reeke, Mrs.Rhinhardt, Mr.Wickman, Dr.Sodamann Mrs.Anderson (kindergarten), Mr.Shane, Senor Steere, Senora Kramer, Senora Khan, Mrs.Abernathy, Mrs.Messer, Mr.Woodford, wow, it's kind of amazing how well I can remember them.

Hilary and her good ideas!

Wyandotte Swimming Pool!

Pandora

Wearing Jeans to work on Friday. Why is that soooo awesome?

Yoga.

grateful for...

Clean water,a nice husband, kindness, Maya Angelou (listening to letters to my daughter on CD, wow), human resiliency, peppermint, candles, pine trees, waves, salads, friends, March, April, even February with its whirling wind and ice, and little babies, so new.

2.7.10 Grateful for...

ed's birthday!

my washer and (new) dryer

snow

amaryllis

electricity/hvac

DIY

Terrible's Casino, ha ha, seriously. Free pretzels people. nuf said.

CAKE.

Grateful for...

My E.

Spring - I know you are hiding under a rock, behind a cloud, in a drop of water. I shall wait, of course, you knew that.

My health.

The office oasis.

Getting to work at 8am tomorrow, instead of 7. Dracula emerges from the dark. Ah!

Birthdays.

Babies.

Elizabeth Anne.

Freedom.

Tenure.

Exploration of new avenues.

Coffee.

Sleep.

My advisory students, they are awesome.

L.O.S.T.

Weekends.

Sushi.

Haircut and colors.

My soccer girls, they are awesome. Even when they test me.

Friends.

Foe types, they strengthen my character to be a better person and not "stoop".

My grandparents with whom I spoke this week. Key quotes, "farming is good when you're old, it's a gamble". and "I'm not doing anything very interesting". One is 89, one is 95, they are miracles on earth. I love them very very much.

Namaste,
Kat

Change Change Change

“Change is the only constant.” Ain't that the truth. What is changing in your life right now? Take some minutes to reflect, consider writing it down and looking at it. True, some things can be constant for many years, but even within that realm, micro-adjusts are twisting around so subtly it's hard to inter. Our views change, our bodies change, maybe somewhere, somehow our soul retains some constant vibe throughout the eons? I think so. It's a cozy and comforting thought for me.

How can we adapt so often and so much without being thrown off our base? Honestly sometimes I think we could call Yoga "How to deal with Change". Breath, stand strong, be flexible, listen to your body and mind, and let it all go. The more we go through life, the more change we may be subjected to, at least, I feel that way in light of my dad passing away. Often I think of childhood as a safe and secure time, timeless, but nothing is timeless really. Some children aren't as lucky, their…

ON Friday, January 29, I'm grateful for...

A cozy warm house.

The chance to help children.

My new snowboard, bindings and boots, all ordered on ebay separate days, arrived all at once!! If that is not a sign, what is? Look out slopes, I'm coming.

A comfortable bed.

The chance to work out.

Mexican food.

Ed's house skills, we are almost done with our spare room, office design imminent!

My new little philodendron micans plant and the chance to pot it. Nothing like a little fresh dirt under your nails in the winter.

Midwestern kindness.

New York style.

San Diego sand.

Bromley decaff green tea, the best in the world.

All pending babies, Melissa, Emily, Dulcinea!

My dad and his wonderful impact on this world and me, and his sense of humor.

My mom and her kindness to us.

Marble and marbles.

Friday nights.

Seasons.

Renewal. Change. Shifts in consciousness. Vision.

My robe and slippers.

A pristine and peaceful kitchen table.

Namaste,
Kat

Wonder Workout, No sweat!

So, in a book I read recently (Happiness Project, aha!), the author alluded to a highly efficient way to work out and get good results, related to weight lifting. The idea I took from this is to do ONE set of reps (I tried 8-12 reps) using higher weight than you would normally use with more sets. So...I tried it and I really like it. I felt like I did more than 3 sets, and in less time. Time will tell how sore I get, consider Epsom salts and massage for muscle soreness if that gets to you.

I definitely think it's important to warm up first, because this is more muscle demand and more of a potential shock to the body if not warm, due to greater muscle challenge over a shorter period. 5 minute speed walk, then 3-5 minute jog, and some very light stretching is my advice for a pre-lifting prep. Do your circuit of 10 exercises, about 1 minute each. Cool down with a gentle yoga workout for 5-10 minutes. Total time? 30 minutes!

If you work out 2+ times a week, be sure to alternate muscle …

On Sunday, January 24th, I'm grateful for...

SUNSHINE! WIND!

Wildcat

eBay

HGTV

Homemade jewelry

Scrapbooking

Cards for people

Blackberry and blueberry Pancakes (Black n Blue)

A stable home

A stable earth

2pac...we have to be real to our women

Bob Marley and all family, aka Damian

Jimi Hendrix

Vans Snowboard boots

Birdies

squirrelies

my husband

my family

organic milk

watch batttery replacement = instant gratification!!

Namaste!
Kat

Grateful for...

I'm going to try and post what I am grateful for once or twice a week. Feel free to comment and share what you are grateful for as well. I think I have a bunch stored up so this list may be long!!

1. Snowboarding and Snow Creek
2. Raspberry Jam from Switzerland - Favorit Swiss Reserve (World Market)
3. Seeing my family all together
4. Melting ice on the roof, and snow in the driveway.
5. All kitties
6. Antiques Roadshow
7. The Happiness Project - Read it, doing it.
8. A clean kitchen.
9. Office progress - closet wallpaper freeish
10. My education - I hung all my framed degrees up today to remind me.
11. Martin Luther King Jr.
12. My ginkgo treelet
13. Red Cross
14. HGTV
15. Ed's housework saavyness and kind style.
16. foggy walk with my mom and Mick
17. Triscuits (hint of salt thanks to Mad) and Cady Creek Cheddar, mmmm...
18. A fresh semester and my new organization plan. Let's go students.
19. Soccer Conditioning starting.
20. 2010.
21. Bacchus.
22. Get togethers with friends.
23. Dark Chocol…

To board or not to board.

I would like to start with a brief timeline of my history with snowboarding/skiing. I've loved it all in retrospect, but at times is is an amazing life challenge and yoga has helped.

Winter 1993. First skiing ever, Snow Creek, tough and scary but okay.

1994-2002. Various family trips skiing, great memories of my dear Marchin clan, downhill and cross-country skiing, even hot springs once, never boarded, didn't want to waste "ski" time.

Jan 1999. College road trip to Vail. Decided to check out boarding for the FIRST time. My friend's strap broke, hated icy griddle iron of a hill, switched to another friend's skis for remainder of stay and gave my board to the other guy.

Feb 2006. Board lessons at Snow Creek with Ed, taught by very young person, went okay but rocky.

March 2006. Winter Park, CO, Started out on board, after one crazy morning of falls and eventually physical and mental exhaustion, succumbed to skis once more.

January 2010. Snow Creek once more, skied in…

If you're happy and you know it...

My sister recently mentioned making a trip to Salvation Army to donate some items she no longer needs and mentioned she's reading a book on happiness. I saw on the news that they are in great need of coats, hats, and any warm weather gear at the KC, MO Salvation Army, there is more need this year than many others. Recently I adopted a family of 8 in Kansas City, KS and with the help of many friends and family we were able to provide this family with some nice gifts for the children for Christmas. They told me this was a record year and they had more families than ever. In these times of lost jobs and great need, how can we maintain our happiness?

This book shares some excellent options. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Craft Rubin highlights ways we can start our own Happiness Project. Find out more at her web page, click the title of the blog above to go there or you can copy and paste the link below!

http://www.happiness-project.com/

Clap your hands! Stomp your Feet! Read the Boo…

Ring it out!

To celebrate the new year, let us turn to a famous poet. Alfred, Lord Tennyson wrote "In Memorium" to a dear friend. This section, 126 (CVI) seems to relate well to my thoughts as we close Chapter 2009 and open to 2010.

In Memoriam A.H.H.

CVI.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,