11.16.2014

Do you want to start a daily yoga routine, but need a little help sticking with it? Here it is! I will create a daily yoga plan for you for a certain length of time that you decide: 15 min, 30 min, or 1 hour. I will mail out your plan along with the chart above to help you keep on track. Simply place the chart and stickers somewhere that you will see them every day, as a reminder to get your daily dose of stretch, strength and breath. Watch your progress as you place a sticker every day that you follow through with your practice. Chart is for 3 months, if you want multiple routines that's a possibility as well. Message me for more info! Thanks, Kat

11.12.2014

Yoga for You for the Long Run.

I've been thinking this year off and on about yoga and injuries and how they happen and how to prevent them. I read a book, "The Science of Yoga" which is pretty preoccupied with potential problems, maybe too much, but it does make a few good points. From day one of my teacher trainings I have been concerned with the topic of doing no harm (to myself or others of course). In some ways, you are opening yourself up when you take or teach a yoga class. Opening up to a wonderful potential benefit, but also like most things worth doing, there is some risk. You have to be willing to ignore your ego, which even with a lot of practice is hard. So where does that lead? When a class gets overwhelming, consider going to child's pose balansana where the only plan is to let go. Are you a quitter? Nope. Are you weak? Nope. Are you sullen, angry, or unwilling to participate? Nope nope nope. You are simply protecting yourself, listening to your body, and letting go of expectations, of yourself of others, and of others of yourself. It's a good idea to keep this in mind especially when taking a new class, or taking an advanced class. Ideally, you are safe in a yoga class but things can go awry on occasion. Your ego takes over (or maybe the teacher's ego), you want the teacher to be proud, you want to show 'em what you've got. The teacher may also not be aware of your specific situation, specific areas of concern, or overall fitness and flexibility level. Sadly these factors will get you nowhere, but perhaps to an injury. As your practice develops and you test poses out in classes and on your own, you will better understand your own body mechanics, strengths, and also weaknesses. In yoga as in life, it takes a setting aside of fear to get out there and get moving, to grow and learn and improve. There will always be setbacks, but in fact these are powerful learning tools which shift your course, and lead an outstanding, satisfying and wonderful experience. I plan on doing yoga for the Long Run, and so I have to remind myself as well how to pace out this marathon we call life. Namaste,

Kat

11.05.2014

Updated Yoga Options

Just a reminder of your updated yoga class and other options. The written plan option at the bottom is great for those that prefer to do a practice daily on your own. It includes a chart mailed to you to help keep you accountable to yourself! There are a variety of other options for group and personalized yoga. These all make great birthday or holiday gifts for a loved one! Contact me with any questions. Thanks,

Kat Marchin-Tomlin
RYT-200

Yoga Teaching Schedule and other training options: 

THURSDAYS - 6:45 - 7:45pm @ Anytime Fitness in Kearney, MO (1st class each month is basic stretch)

SATURDAYS - Stay tuned for a morning class that rotates several instructors including yours truly!

ANY TIME - By Appointment (see below for details)

Personal Yoga Training:

Intro Personal Yoga Training Package: $90
  • Free 30 minute Background session – review your specific goals/intentions so we can tailor the classes to you.
  • Three 1 hour yoga sessions at Anytime Fitness
  • Split with a friend or family member for 10 dollars more
Regular Personal Yoga Training Sessions: $40
  • 1 hour yoga class at Anytime Fitness
  • Split with 1+ friends for 10 dollars more
In-home Yoga Training Sessions: $50
  • 1 hour yoga class in your home
  • Split with 1+ friends for 10 dollars more
Personalized Yoga Class - Written Plan

  • I will create a personalized written yoga sequence for you based on your expressed areas of focus. A 3-month chart with stickers is included to keep you on track daily. Prior knowledge of yoga required. I will mail this out to you once I receive payment. Cost relates to length of class written, 15 min - $15, 30 min - $25, 1 hr. - $50. 

8.05.2014

A Mini-Yoga Challenge!

Are you feeling down? In need some self-care? Consider "mini-yoga". Yep I just made up that term!!

What a great way to nurture your body, and of course, your mind. It doesn't have to be a giant time commitment, but it does need to be consistent. Aim for JUST 5 minutes a day for ONE week, starting now! Do 1 minute cow cat, 2 minutes of sun salutations, and 2 minutes of savasana (relaxation). Let me know right here on this post how it is going. If you're a parent of a wee one, worst case scenario, lock yourself in the bathroom and do this in the tub The few minutes of solace is worth it. Who's in??? OF course, We'd love to see you in class too!!

Namaste,
Kat

7.28.2014

The Casualty of Convenience

Have you ever noticed how much the food and other products in America are focused on convenience? Aisle after aisle of pre-packaged, pre-cooked, pre-processed. Ugh. Just stick to the sides and back and you can sort of avoid some of it. The French (often) don't think we offer much real food. They are right. Coca Cola is great....as a drain cleaner. Do you really want to chug that on a regular basis? Spray sunscreen is awesome, until you inhale the poisonous gases you are spraying on your tots. :( Consumer Reports says don't do it, but I still see many parents out there spraying away on the most innocent among us and I admit, I have a can too, it's so fun to just spray away, right??? Ack. I'm really getting saddened lately by what we have given up in exchange for these pretty boxes and bags and cans and spritzes. We are giving up authentic flavor, taste, simplicity, the joy of creating something from scratch, and ultimately, our health. I'm reading an excellent book on the subject of dangerous chemicals in our environment and lives: "Toxin Toxout" written by two of the leading environmentalists in Canada (http://toxintoxout.com/)

Maybe my search for such topics was propelled a few weeks ago when three wonderful people I know shared with me in various ways that they have a family member with a scary and severe form of cancer. The one victim of the three that I know personally is a healthy young physician. It's devastatingly sad, although we are not without hope and optimism for the very best outcome of course! It's not completely clear why cancer rates are climbing, but I have a good list of probable suspects and I have found them in this book about toxins, and others. Did you know most processed meats contain nitrates which essentially convert into a carcinogen in your digestive system? I learned that while pursuing my chemistry degree. The teacher of organic chemistry essentially turned me off of hot dogs forever, not that any of us every really thought that was healthy, right? I lost a good college friend to a re-occurrence of cancer, and watched a young coworker succumb as well, far before they should have ever left this planet. I know not all cancers can be blamed on toxic chemicals, but surely they are not helping any of us. Recently I lost a cousin that fought a horrific cancer battle over several years. Is there anyone among us that has not been touched by cancer? I also just starting to read "Poison Spring", the story of how the EPA is not really protecting us as well as we may think. When will we wake up as a society and demand that our health not be boxed and foiled and advertised just like all those shiny packages sitting on the shelves and promising us big fat lies?

This post is a bit all over the place and I hope some of it is sinking in or resonating with you. My bottom line here is to try, if you can, to avoid convenience as it relates to what you consume. It's a shameful trap and it's not entirely our fault, we feel we don't have time to cook or clean from scratch and our lives are indeed hectic. We all fall into these patterns sometimes, but the more we know, the more we can fight it. Personally, I'm phasing out Teflon in my life, and trying to avoid sitting in new cars and purchasing other new products likes rugs, pillows, and other plastics/chemicals that can off-gas toxic fumes at alarming rates. In addition, I'm working on making a lot more foods from basic wholesome ingredients which are organic and/or local when I can, even local to my own backyard when I can! The same goes for cleaning products, it's pretty darn easy to make your own and with the addition of a few essential oils, it's a relaxing aroma worked into cleaning, rather than noxious fumes stinging your eyes: win win win!! In addition, I'm carefully scanning anything that touches my skin (sunscreen, makeup, hair products) in order to assess what exactly is making its way into my own personal biosphere. I love Environmental Working Group and the work they are doing but there should be more going on in the government to protect us. In this way, I am avoiding as many additives, preservatives, carcinogens, and fillers as I can. Items that are essentially not tested on humans or not something we realize may be harming us or the planet.

I hope you will join me in saying no to the convenience of foods and products that are hurting us. Unless we stand up and make our position known, companies will continue to churn out unhealthy foods and products and we will continue to fall prey to the casualty of convenience.

If you haven't seen it, this little 20 minute video is a nice eye opener about how we are primed and manipulated to believe we must consume like crazy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GorqroigqM

Oh. Ahem. Um, how does this relate to yoga you say? Well, yoga makes me sweat, how 'bout you? And yep, I am ANTI antiperspirant too. Did you know that most breast cancers are found in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, closest to where deodorant/anti-perspirant sits (read parabens)? Sweat is actually just one of many ways our body pushes out what it doesn't want or need. Why would we stop that process??? Personally I like Tom's of Maine deodorant in lavendar or apricot. MMMM. If I smell a little bit stinky, I apologize, I know it's probably not 100% as good, but I hope you'll still love me. ;) Please ax the Axe and find your way to a healthy and natural approach to life. You body and mind will thank you. Let me know what revelations you make and how you are getting rid of "convenience" in your life. I applaud you.

Namaste,
Kat

6.22.2014

The Science of Yoga

I recently read The Science of Yoga by William J. Broad after the recommendation by a new friend. This topic is right up my alley, because I am a "sciency" yoga teach. I emailed her about it and realized it could be the beginning of my own book on yoga (ha!), so I figured I would adapt it a little for you my yogi and yogini friends. 

I got Broad's yoga book and read it yesterday, I skimmed here and there but read most of it. I thought it was interesting. I think I have read some of the studies on yoga that were not maybe the most scientifically stringent so I liked that he tried to sift through some of the people that are telling falsehoods or with sketchy degrees. I feel like he could have mentioned more of the good studies in depth though, even if they were smaller groups, good science is good science. I have read some interesting things about yoga and blood pressure, but his main point on hypertension seemed to dance around that and talk about inversions rather than an overall positive effect. I have borderline blood pressure but am safely low enough to just treat with lifestyle, and it runs in my family so it is of particular interest to me since I try to watch all the possible ways to keep it low enough to avoid medication. Once you eat healthy, keep a good weight, avoid salt and excess alcohol, I feel like it's nice to turn to yoga and exercise as well since I kind of hate taking medicine if I don't have to take it. It is somewhat in keeping with his summary of research that yoga can slow the body down, but I know my style of yoga is slightly cardio at times too, although I do tell my students that I recommend other cardio besides yoga, even if it's just brisk walking or the elliptical. Running is great, but it gives me headaches, to me exercise has to be something that makes you feel good, so follow your bliss! 

Also as a Registered Yoga Teacher through YogaFit, I feel that I had a good, comprehensive, and safe 200 hours of training from a variety of teachers and backed by a board made up of various health experts. He sort of poo poos YogaFit as yoga with sit ups but we do a lot of things that make yoga safer for EVERY body type. I personally do not recommend headstands, although I like shoulder stand okay, and I show  my class wheel but we don't do it all the time. I believe that the intense poses are not something to do frequently or for prolonged periods, or if you don't have the strength in supporting muscles. It does concern me that someone could get hurt in class so I always mention modifications, but sometimes people try things that their body is not ready for and I cannot necessarily stop them. I do have yoga insurance and have an info sheet for everyone so if they have a major injury or health condition I can tell them ideas for modification. I would be horrified if someone in my class was injured, so I think that is why I often mention modifications and don't adjust people physically unless they ask, for the most part.

I agree with his summary that yoga has anti-depressive qualities and it can't hurt creativity to literally get the blood flowing, he also has an entire chapter on sex as well as a thread about it running throughout the book which is a discussion for another day. I personally think yoga is good for the immune system, endocrine system, and organs because many of the twists and other poses wring out or put gentle pressure on these systems, which could force the blood away for a moment, but when it rushes back in I think that is a good thing, blood has a lot of beneficial molecules! (totally my own opinion there everyone after practicing regularly for 9 years). I also think that his final statements of uncertainty were important. It is interesting that he has practiced yoga himself for 34 years, he obviously thinks it's good for him with more reward than risk. Even with my science background, it annoys me that we sometimes only want to trust science "studies" rather than realize that something like yoga which can be social and spiritual as well as physically focused may be hard to quantify at times. 

In a way, yoga is my connection to spirituality. I grew up Catholic but eventually felt a lot of the beliefs were too strict and rigid for me personally, and downright against some of my world views. I know a lot of people ignore or maybe just don't think about the parts they don't like of a religion (eg. take birth control although the church says no, the condemnation of gays) but my mind is sort of purist in that sense, if I'm going to go spend time somewhere, I want to truly believe and feel comfortable with everything my group professes. I like the Unitarians a lot, wish there was a church like that closer to us here. I feel pretty comfortable and resonate with the philosophies of yoga, like the yamas and niyamas which Broad doesn't even mention, sadly. I do think yoga can be a support of any religion and does not need to be a threat to anyone of a certain belief system, if anything, it can enhance the mind spiritually.

I do hope there are bigger studies of larger groups on the benefits of yoga, I would participate! I've done yoga regularly since 2003 and I am sure I would not be as healthy, mentally, spiritually, or physically if I had not found yoga. Like everyone of course, I am a work in progress. Yoga got me through a lot of hard days of teaching teenagers, some with incredibly chaotic and negative energy. To me, yoga is a great way to keep my energy healthy, hard to quantify that. I think a key is also to keep your ego in check. That's hard as both a teacher and student, but 100% in line with what yoga teaches us as we let go of competition and judgement. If your ego rules you, you're more likely to suffer an injury, I'm sure of that. I'm in life for the long haul (my grandma is 99 and I hope I got a few of those genes) so my yoga motto could be summarized as, "de todo un poco, everything in moderation, variety is the spice of life".

If you read the book, I would love to hear your opinions as well. 

Namaste,
Kat


3.02.2014

Skitter Fritter Twitter: Ground.

Lately it seems that the world has been focused on "me/I/self". Tweets, selfies, fb posts, blogs, many ways to express yourself to others. This is good sometimes, at other points, I feel like the world (and even me too, I am chagrined to admit) is skittering and frittering away important time where we are documenting rather than existing in the moment. For me, part of it is the desire to feel less isolated. Also, it's the natural exchange of information. You share with me, I share with you. I don't see a lot of people that I know each day, so electronic contact is better than nothing, right? I think as a global culture, we are trying to define ourselves, and nested within that, a new generation is projecting their experience. How can we carry out a positive action of expression and learning without wasting life?

Moderation. Balance. Growth. Keys to yoga and life as well. Easy to say, not always simple to discover. Family should have a place, friends should have a place, but there must also be room for development of self outside the realm of your "electronic" image. There must be experiences and paths chosen in order to foster happiness and growth within, or else the self does not have the ability to develop and mature fully. Where can this be found? I think in a simple place: a hobby or two. Lately I have taken up with a local gardening organization. It feels really, really good to volunteer with other like-minded plant lovers. I may not be the typical member, but I still feel accepted and am enjoying increasing my knowledge almost daily. It is a good place to be when you realize how much you have yet to learn. It feels like childhood, when the world is fresh and lovely and moving slow. Food is another interesting area where there is so much room for improvement and understanding for me. I'm reading a book in which a French woman discusses her love of food and eating certain foods in season, even selecting a fruit based on when you will be eating it, and how it will be served. It's eye-opening how often modern American society tosses aside the fact that locally grown, fresh food is not only better for you (and the planet), it tastes so much better too. We're so used to convenience, we are tossing aside a great deal of quality at the expense of our health. By happy coincidence these two interests of mine are intertwined, as we experience unseasonably cold weather outside, I'm dreaming of an edible landscape with veggies, fruits and nuts in season and chemical (mostly) free. I hope my expressions of self help others to develop their own beneficial exploration of life on this little blue planet. After all life is finite, and precious and it chills my soul to think that any of us would waste this valuable time we have. With spring hiding just around the corner, I hope to find balance. Sharing experiences, but also getting out in the sun, digging down in the fresh warm earth, and connecting with roots just as much as I attempt to do every time I hop on the mat.

Namaste,
Kat

1.27.2014

Financially Fit and Flexible. Are you?

Imagine yourself in a yoga class, flowing along. Things are going well, your mind is clear most of the time, your breath moving smoothly and deeply.  Perhaps the teacher suddenly shows a new pose and it is confusing or difficult to figure out how to master it. That's part of the point of course: adversity. How to deal with difficulty, how to keep breathing, how to maintain a clear mind. Just as in yoga practice, life challenges can catch us by surprise. Lately my own thoughts have been turning to financial fitness. Part of it has been fueled by the responsibility of being a parent. I want my son to go to college with support from us, although I also want him to be smart about money as well. Sometimes I think I got things too easy, although I did have a job most of the time from about 14 on. I want to be able to retire in financial ease, knowing I will not be a burden to my family and that I will have the tools to travel, relax, and enjoy life until the end. Financial know-how can create room in life to relax and be at ease.

I recently read and then re-read a book: Cold Hard Truth on Men Women & Money by Kevin O'Leary. You may know him as the lead investor on the popular tv show Shark Tank. On the show he can seem cold at times, but after reading his book, I see that through his own experiences he has learned to separate emotion and business very skillfully. He mentions the physical stress that financial woes can have on an individual. He cites a poll which connected money problems to higher incidence of ulcers, migraines, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Who needs those? NOT I! I think this is true that health is impacted, but beyond just the physical stress, it can also cloud and tangle the mind. Worry about a job loss or economic downturn causes some to lose sleep. I like to think I do pretty well overall with my financial approaches. I paid off my student loans long ago (my parents paid some expenses, some was scholarship, and one extra year was entirely on me), and don't have credit card debt, those are often recommended as the first steps to financial well being. I have an emergency savings and could get by for a bit, but not quite as long as I'd like, so I'm working on that. I contribute to retirement and try to life frugally but could do better on that front. Sometime after Clay is in school, I plan to return to the workforce, so my thoughts are on how to do that successfully. We contribute to college savings plans for our son. But is there more each of us could be doing? Maybe. Lately I have created a detailed budget in a google drive spreadsheet and I'm keeping track of all money in and out. It has been enlightening and fascinating. I quit using credit cards as well, it just doesn't feel the same as a debit card or check, it causes people to spend more I believe. I've noticed small areas where I see what O'Leary refers to as "ghost money" trickling away. Money spent on things not really needed, but money that adds up. So just as I would make small corrections in a yoga class, minute or even large adjustments in stance or muscles or breath, I'm trying to do the same with money. Not for the sake of more money, although lets face it most of us would not say no to that. But rather for the peace of mind that a clear knowledge of finances can have on an individual, both mind and body. One big point he makes has stuck with me: "spend little, mostly save, invest ALWAYS."

In addition, a side factor on finance in our society is that men tend to talk finances more, women tend to less. Why is this? Perhaps women feel less confident with the financial world or feel like it's not an appropriate topic among friends, we are the "fairer" sex after all. Women are actually excellent investors. O'Leary thinks we're great because we keep looking at the big picture, and we're careful. I believe that it is extremely important for women especially to be knowledgeable about finance. Women tend to live a long time, and most likely will be at the helm of their financial ship someday, if not already. Why not invest time and energy now, so that you are in tip top shape for any storms that come your way? Prioritize what is truly important and clarity will be yours, men or women or both together. On and off the mat shooting for balance, as usual.

Thoughts? Struggles? Successes? I'd love to hear them!

Namaste,
Kat

Summer Sparkler!

Wow! It's been a while since I've visited Blog-Landia. Are you still out there my friends?? Now I'm a mom times two!! Can you be...