In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


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Gratitude

SAMSUNG PHONE PHOTOS 176I have always guarded and very much enjoyed my time alone.  But not here lately.  Perhaps I’m getting old.  Perhaps I need a hobby.  Wait.  I have plenty of those, but none of which seem that engaging at this very moment.  I don’t even want to read.  Or maybe.  Just maybe that one person that I’d really love to be with right now isn’t here.  That’s it.

I took a vacation day from work today.  It rained.  It didn’t just rain.  It rained a nasty ass drizzle the ENTIRE day.  And it was only around 50 degrees.  I didn’t really take a vacation day because I had something to do.  I took it because I simply feel as though I need one whole weekday off – per month – from my job.  I know.  Do I want some cheese to go with that whine?  You bet.  Excuse me while I get a glass – of wine.

I only had one plan for today.  It didn’t happen.  I got the little weekday only kind of things taken care.  The car serviced and all that jazz.  Of course the place I take my car to is open on Sunday.  But do I want to spend my Sunday over there?  No.  No I do not.

The rest of the day was spent fighting with this rain, running about tending to things that came up unexpectedly with my daughter.  Things that I wished I wouldn’t have had to deal with.  I am though, thankful that I had the day to take care of these things but at the same time I am choosing to complain.  Why is that?  I guess I wanted to do something else today but I don’t really know what that would have been.

Funny isn’t it.  We have everything we want yet we complain.  I’ve started a gratitude journal once again.  I need to hit my yoga mat as well.  I know why I practice and I know why I choose not to.  And guess what?  It’s none of your business.  Today anyway.

So tonight I am thankful that I am here and that I am healthy.  That my kid is healthy.  That my family is healthy.  My pets are all awesome and healthy.  Apollo, the new dog is going to daycare once a week. He’s making improvements.  Oh and we got him a shock collar with a zone and he hasn’t touched the furniture since.  Who knew?  I am thankful for the job that got me this house and in turn, I wish I never had to leave it on a daily basis.  I am thankful that my washer and dryer are cranking away at this very moment.  I could after all, be in a Laundromat.  No thanks.  I am grateful that I actually have two more days off.  And that they’re supposed to be warm, bright and sunny and maybe, just maybe filled with yoga.

Think I’ll go and grab that gouda now.  My work here is done.

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Earth Day, Yoga Day

For the last several years, I have been responsible for bringing one of my favorite yoga instructors to town.  I do the promoting, and all the arrangements.  This year we closed our studio and one of the guys that taught with us opened his own place.  He has a beautiful studio but it’s just not the same of course.  Meaning it’s not downtown in the heartbeat of the city.  But none the less it’s awesome. 

Since this was his studio, I let him take care of all of the event stuff.  That also meant that he would receive the split of cash and I was very much OK with that.  All I had to do was write a check and show up this year.  I didn’t have to check people in, I didn’t have to meet the caterer when she brought lunch.  I didn’t have to make sure folks were feeling OK – too hot or too cold?  Who cares?  I was taking the class.  And a great class it was.  What a way to celebrate Earth Day with Thomas.  Nothing like 6 hours of yoga to make you feel vibrant and ready for spring.  Thanks  Thomas – see you again in November.

yoga kirsten 3 yoga kirsten 1 yoga kirsten 2

 


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Yoga Rocks

A few weeks ago I had some energy I needed to release.  I love yoga and it’s a good way to gain and let go of energy.  It can work either way for me depending on what I choose to practice.  So.  I wasn’t really feeling angry or anything, I just felt…..I don’t know.  Like rockin’ out.

So.  I threw down my yoga mat and put on some classic rock and roll.  I know what you’re thinking.  What kind of yoga practitioner/teacher is this?  The non-traditional kind I would guess.  But.  I wasn’t teaching a class was I?  I was simply throwing down my mat and throw down I did.  To AC/DC. 

I didn’t meditate obviously.  That would’ve been mighty hard to do with Back In Black blaring in the background as, yes indeed it was.  I decided on sun salutations, the perfect way to release pent up energy and sweat at the same time.  All the while – while staying incredibly calm.  It worked.  Totally.

As I cruised through the greatest hits and others from AC/DC , I couldn’t help but think this.  What if right now, this was a real yoga class with this kind of music?  Hilarious!  I like music in a yoga class.  In fact I use it in almost all of my classes.  I won’t ever forget the first time I had my class totally choreographed to a CD and then low and behold the CD player didn’t work.   Hence was the first time I had to teach without music.  From then on I told myself I’d never choreograph another class and I really haven’t.  Though I still like to teach with music and take a class with music, I’ve learned to take it or leave it.  I’ve learned to teach without it and at times the silence is very welcoming.

Back to my experience of yoga and AC/DC.  As I cruised through, I don’t know how many sun salutes and strong standing postures I started to think.  What if we actually opened a heavy metal yoga studio?  We could call it Metallic Yoga or something like that.  My imagination started running wild with crazy ideas.  What if all the students had to wear spandex or some form?  What if all the teachers had to have big, rock and roll hair?  Everyone would have to have a bandana tucked into their pants or on their heads.  In our boutique we could sell ripped up tank tops with big arm holes.  Only for the women of course, because the dudes could wear a vest or go topless.  We could offer yoga mats with lightning bolts, skulls or roses painted on them.  I’m sure we could find a student who would do the art work for free.  We could sell black and black light nail polish.  Big skull/crossbones and snake finger rings.  We could place a big chain around everyone’s neck upon entry.  Chains that we would charge a rental fee for of course, but a mandatory rental fee.  We could gauge the integrity of their Chatarunga (yoga push up) by the clanking of the chain on the floor.  Too loud means you went too low and too fast and so on.  We could offer an Alice Cooper and Kiss class.  This of course would include yoga in full facial make up, eye liner, white paste, the whole deal.  Maybe we could offer wigs and goatees and mustaches as well because, they’re in you know. 

Of course this would have to be a fairly intense class because of the nature of the music.  I’m thinking for our softer postures, and I’m talking the stuff we do on the floor like forward bends and twists and such, we could play a long, drawn out instrumental.  I was thinking Eruption by Eddie Van Halen, but then I changed my mind.  We could go with Jeff Beck’s Bolero instead, a little less intense.  Yeah, that would work.  And maybe for final relaxation we could break out Led Zeppelin’s Going To California and Tangerine or something. 

We could play the Allman Brothers instrumental Jessica on constant replay as our signature welcome to our studio song.   What would we have to pay out in royalties?  It wouldn’t matter.  We would be rockin’ our yoga in a space of at least 8,000 square feet with rent of $5,ooo per month and we would still have a ton of dough left over.  We could spend a fortune in dry ice and fog the place out in a theatrical haze.  Instead of cute little lamps we could use Lava Lamps in a variety of colors.  The studio would be painted black of course and be located preferably underground.  Like a basement for sure.

Then the CD quit.  I rested in my sweaty shavasana/relaxation for 15 minutes.  I left the cloud of rock and roll and re-entered the real world when my dog decided to lick my fingers and one of my cats decided to dig her claws into my foot.  Ouch.  Wake up call.  What in the hell just happened?   I suppose I just had a dream but I was awake.  And Wide Awake I was. 

Hey.  Isn’t that a song by Katy Perry?  Oh wow.  Now we’re opening studios depending on the genre of the music!  I may be onto something here.  Ahead of my time and exhausted just thinking about it.

What did I do next?  I put on Alanis Morrisette and cleaned my house.  Acoustic version if I may add.

For those about to rock……………we salute you!


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Seriously Sushi

I am still cleaning.  And I am cleaning more than I ever thought that I would. 

When I started cleaning the IMAX theater, it was just Saturdays and Sundays.  That’s now turned into Fridays too.  I also clean there on Thursdays whenever needed.  I’ve decided that I have a tendency towards craving and aversion with the theater.  Total love hate relationship for sure.  When I wake up at 4 in the morning and drag myself out of bed, I often ask myself, “What was I thinking?”  But that goes away pretty quickly.

I don’t have to look good and I can wear whatever I want.  I have also lost 11 pounds since I started this job.  Woo Hoo!  I am getting an amazing workout and I am getting paid to do it!  Very cool.  I can pretty much run up and down the IMAX stairs now, without the fear of tripping over a cord and breaking my neck.  I’ve learned what I can and cannot sweep up.  For instance, napkins, straws, soda pop bottle lids, licorice and the plastic that 3-D glasses come packaged in, can pretty much wreck your day.  What I can sweep up pretty much and a lot of, is this.

I mean really.  This is actually a minor popcorn spill compared to some that I’ve seen.  I do realize accidents can and will happen.  I think otherwise.  So bascially, I hate to admit it, but yes.  I’ve developed a bad attitude towards 80% of the movie going public in general.  Some people leave everything they bought or brought inside the theater.  The stuff that people bring in there is mind blowing.  Curious?   I thought so.

Bottles of liquor – all sizes.  I even found an empty fifth of 7 & 7.  If it wouldn’t have been empty, I would’ve been tempted to finish it off.  Granted it would’ve been like 5:30 a.m……just kidding.  Cans of beer in lots of cool and interesting varieties.  Lots and lots of Skoal, in cans and unfortunately in spit cups.  Gross!  Packs of cigarettes, brand new and opened.  Some folks don’t/can’t eat the popcorn shell, or kernels.  So they chew up the popcorn and then just spit out the kernels on the floor!  I know, gross.  The kind people put it in a napkin and leave it there for us.  The really kind people, take it to the trash can on the way out.  Lots of candy, some of it brand new in the box.  All I know is this.  If I paid $5 for a box of candy, I’m taking it with me when I leave that place!  Jackets.  Cell Phones.  iPods.  Hats.  Debit and Credit Cards.  Spare change.  Thank you all for the tip.  Please leave more, we totally deserve it! 

The list goes on.  Wallets.  Hair bows, bobby pins and headbands.  Dirty kleenexes.  Fingernails.  I know.  I guess 50% of the public actually bite their nails at the movies.  I suppose they think that those things just disappear when the lights come on.  Food wrappers from Subway, Steak-N-Shake, McDonald’s (fries still intact).  The biggest and funniest thing I’ve found so far was this.  A round sushi tray, complete with chop stix and two artifical flowers.  Awe.  What a sweet date night!  But really, that thing was the size of a pizza pan.  Speaking of pizza.  One time we tossed out 14 pizza boxes from the IMAX and found pizza slices on the floor.  I often wonder what was the average age of the people who saw the movie the night before.  Is it only kids who trash the theater in this way?  I don’t think so.

Let me tell another little story.  I am in line at the grocery store.  Some ladies are talking about going to the movies.  They said they took their grandkids and just told them to leave all their crap in the theater because it was so incredibly expensive.  Nice.  I was very tempted to say, “Hey.  The theater has to pay a cleaning company to pick that crap up and maybe that’s why the treats are so high!  The longer it takes us, the more it costs them.  But I get paid by the hour, so go ahead, leave it all.  Please drop a $5 with that mess if you don’t mind.”  But I kept my mouth shut.

I like the job.  I do.  I also started cleaning another place, a commercial building.  It is sheer heaven compared to the theater.  I think cleaning anything would be heaven compared to the theater.  But I had no idea because this is all new to me.  Well.  I have seen that film Sunshine Cleaning, so that would be worse I guess!

Yoga is still rockin’.  I drove to Mt. Vernon yesterday and did a restorative class for 2 1/2 hours so that was pretty decent dough.  I am thankful I have yoga and I am thankful I can clean when I’m not doing yoga.  I love the idea of being flexible and getting into something I really never considered doing.  I have met so many cool people through this job. 

For instance.  I clean with one person that’s just about totally deaf.  I’ve cleaned with one person who’s also a probation officer and worked as a corrections officer.  I’ve cleaned with single mom’s, college students, high school students and people with a couple of degrees.   I totally think differently about people who clean for a living now, that’s for sure.

Off to enjoy the rest of my Sunday.  The theater’s clean, but I teach yoga at 4:00.  Did I mention that I don’t have a complete day off anymore?  Big deal.  I am heading to Florida on June 11th and will be gone with my kid until the 27th.  And I am really appreciating the fact that I’m going on vacation this year, much more than the year’s gone past.  My brother is flying to Florida as well and it’s been a couple of years since I’ve seen him so this is going to be a super cool and very fun time.


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Happy Harvest

I made it to Arkansas for the Harvest Music Festival, but not without stalling of course.  On Tuesday I pretty much had everything ready to go.  It started storming Tuesday night and well into Wednesday morning.  I was getting bummed.  Finally the weather cleared up a bit and I headed out alone.  My sister was supposed to fly up and go with me, but that didn’t happen.  Off I went.

I’d never been to Mulberry Mountain in Arkansas before.  The drive is stunning.  I took this route – 65 South, 412/62 West, 23 South.  That’s it.  Easy drive.  23 South of course is the most beautiful roadway as that is the road that heads up the mountain.  Of course since I was driving on a curvy, two-lane road, I didn’t get to turn my head as much as I wanted to.  My car handles great on curves, so it was fun to drive.  I arrived and found my contact person.  I followed him (he was in a golf cart) to my campsite.  I pitched my tent in no time and then he gave me a tour ride in his golf cart of the grounds.  Beautiful location for sure.  But I think I already said that.

The first night was a bit creepy.  The wind started blowing and I mean fiercely around midnight.  I grabbed my phone and logged onto Facebook.  Why?  Who knows.  Someone I knew said to look for someone named Nina.  They said she would be selling her tie dyed tees there.  Cool.  I only knew one person so far so that would be nice if I found her.  Around 1 a.m. I heard someone pitching a tent next to mine.  The wind was crazy so I got up and offered to help.  I introduced myself and she said her name was Nina.  No shit. 

She’d already set up her canopy for her dyes and it was whipping in the wind.  Her tent was getting tattered.  By 3 a.m. we took all of her stuff down, stowed the merchandise in her car, threw her tent in the trash and off she went to stay with friends.  My shelter was still standing but I pretty much got no sleep.  I told her something good would come from the destruction and it did.  On Friday she set up a nice tie dye workshop.  She was so busy she couldn’t keep up with it.  She made more than enough dough to purchase a new canopy for the next fair.

I awoke to wind again on Thurday morning so I opted for not using the campstove.  I paid $2 for some shitty coffee and had peanut butter and crackers, an apple and an orange.  I was exhausted.  I am not an all night person and I never have been.  Those of you who know me, already know this.  I was scheduled to teach yoga everyday at 10 a.m.  and I was pretty excited about that as well as meeting other yogis.  I grabbed my mat and headed over the fence which was close to my campsite.  Another girl showed up and asked where she could plug in her music.  What?  There’s like music all around us was my thought.  Then she said she was there to teach the yoga class.  Really?  Anyways, she firmly believed she was supposed to be there.  So did I, but not as firmly as she did.  She said how about if she taught the first two mornings and I taught the last two.  OK.  Problem solved.  I participated in her class, it was hot out.  The sun felt great.  Our teepee that we were supposed to practice under had been destroyed by the wind the night before.  Yoga outdoors was great even though I was totally exhausted.

After the class my thought was wow, what shall I do with the rest of my day?  I didn’t have to do anything or be anyplace.  I took several walks around the property.  Music started around noon so I enjoyed the small stages that were around us.  My camp as I would find out later, was parked too close to an entertainment tent.  I decided if I was going to make it through the next 3-nights, I would need to sleep in shifts.  So Thursday evening around 8, I crashed.  I woke up to beautiful music around midnight.  I got up, sat in my chair, poured a glass of wine (from a box) and listened.  It was Railroad Earth and they were playing “Lovin’ You” – what a great song.  The air was crisp and cool and the sky was totally clear and the blackest black.  No wind.  The stars were unbelievable and so was the moon.  Every now and then I would see these orange paper lanterns go floating by.  They looked like small hot air balloons.  I dug it and decided that I was very happy to be there experiencing all of this right now.

Friday morning some yoga friends from Springfield appeared and man was I happy to see them.  There was about 5,000 to 7,000 folks at this thing and I really didn’t see anyone that I knew.  We took the yoga class together and then I walked with them to their camp.  What was once a beautiful field was now a sea of tent tops, cars and flags.  I realized people flew flags so they could actually find their campsite.  I did feel a bit claustrophobic at times.  The wide open space was completely gone by Saturday morning.  I downed several glasses of their ice water, engaged in conversation and probably talked too much.  After all, I’d been completely alone for like 72 hours so it was nice to chat.

There were several stages.  One was in a tent right outside my tent.  It was smaller and hosted more local acts, a burlesque show and some Q & A sessions.  One small stage, was down a cool tree lined road full of vendors.  Another stage was under a huge, white tent not too far from me.  The main stage is totally gorgeous.  It is big and the trees are the backdrop.  Every night a band called Yonder Mountain String Band played.  When they went on, most other stages went dark.  The nightly entertainment was awesome.  Girls were dancing with hula hoops that lit up.  Some of them were actually on FIRE.  I like fire and a group of Piyo people (dancing with balls of fire on chains) were showing their skills as well.  There were also these huge puppet people that would walk around the grass and just stalk you.  They were pretty neat to look at.  On the down side, there were a lot of drunk people and the things that go with that.  No need to elaborate.  I never felt unsafe even though I was alone.  Everyone was so very nice and friendly. 

After the yoga class on Friday, the teacher asked me if she could just please teach one more day because she was supposed to do it all.  I said you know what, you can just teach Sunday as well.  I didn’t teach a class the entire time I was there and I got over it pretty quickly, because that’s how I roll.  I got my campstove out Friday night and made pasta and toasted garlic bread in a skillet.  More people arrived and 3 tents were all of a sudden being pitched on top of mine.  This was a band and their people and they played great music in the tent outside of my campsite on Friday night.  I spent that night wandering about watching lanterns, listening to music, watching people and drinking wine.  As I said before, the entertainment in the evening was very cool.

Friday evening I did not get a nap in so by ten I was dead.  I crashed out pretty hard until the people in the next to mine decided to party in more ways than one.  They’d invited me over but I wasn’t interested.  Probably a good call on my part.  At 1:00 a.m. Speakeasy started playing in the tent outside of my campsite.  Whoa.  They are rambunctious, loud and have a massive light show.  No sleeping through that for sure.  There was also a lot of smoke from campfires and lots of other things and I knew I would die from carbon monoxide if I didn’t emerge from my tent soon.  I caught a glimpse of a tasteful burlesque show, watched more people, listened to music and felt totally delirious.  I had no idea what time it was.  My phone was dead and so was the battery in my car from charging it so many times.  I think it was almost daylight on Saturday when I fell asleep.  I woke up to the sun earlier than most people.  I started my campstove, chatted with the security dudes and made hot tea.  I sat in my chair and let the sun hit my face and started to peel off the layers of clothes that I’d slept in.  The nights were cool and the days were hot.  It was like being in Colorado.  I opted out for yoga on Saturday morning. I wanted to get my car started.  Finally it turned over and I let it run for a little bit.  I’m sure I asphyxiated all the people who were still asleep.  Paybacks are hell I know.

I decided since I wasn’t going to be teaching on Sunday, that maybe I would just head on home.  I grabbed my hot tea and headed to the encampment of my friends.  They were making whole wheat pancakes with yogurt and had cantaloupe.  I ate a great breakfast with them and told them I’d catch them later.  I headed back and packed up my campsite in all of 15 minutes.  I took another walk and noticed the line at the shower trailer was 50 people long.  I was glad I got mine in on Friday.  They had one shower trailer with 6 stalls for women and 6 for men.  It cost $5 and I would’ve paid $10.  Money well spent if you ask me.  I did a little shopping before I left too.  Had to have a Harvest T-shirt and I found Lauren a beautiful woven bracelet.  She wears about 20 on one arm.

I headed back to my car and decided that yes, it was probably time to go.  A day early at that.  I was tired and I would have time to totally recuperate and be rested for Monday if I left now.  The drive is about three and half hours. 

Would I do this again?  Maybe.  I’m not sure I’d pay to go though.  Hopefully the yoga thing will work out if I attend again.  I know what to do and what not to do next for next time.  I would definitely camp further away from all the action.  If you do not like outdoor toilets, don’t go.  There are plenty of them, but with people who party they can get nasty pretty fast.  They did do a good job keeping the toilet paper up and getting them hosed out.  There were also handwashing stations and that was a good thing.  You can bring your own liquor but no glass.  You can also buy it there, but it’s costly.  There’s also a lot of smoke, campfires and otherwise.  So let’s just say it’s definitely a harvest of many different kinds.  If you don’t want to pay to shower, then you’ll have to do without.  There are reserved campsites in the wooded areas, they are costly and fill up fast.  They have showers and toilets for those folks only.  The fields where the majority camp have no shade so bring a canopy of some sort.  Even though it wasn’t super hot, some shade is nice now and then.

This was an event filled with all kinds of people.  People of all ages.  There were to my surprise a lot of children there.  I don’t think I’d take my own daughter though. I did find that when I got home the biggest adjustment was simply going indoors.  I thoroughly enjoyed being outside, almost all the time, totally for 4 days. 

Happy Harvest for it’s that time of year.


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Nature of Yoga

I’m stalling. 

It’s raining here and it’s raining where I’m supposed to be traveling to here in a bit. 

I am scheduled to teach yoga for the next four days in Arkansas, on a mountaintop, at a music festival.  I wanted my sister to come up and go with me.  That was the original plan.  But someone asked her to have 8 chairs reupholstered by the end of the month.  So her travel plans were pretty much nixed.  I am going alone.  In a tent.  For 4 nights.  The good news is this weather will be over by tonight and the next 4 days ahead look absolutely fabulous.

I started a new yoga job last week at the Rehab Hospital in Mt.Vernon, MO.  What a great place and what awesome people!  They turned the chapel there into a wellness center and it is really lovely.  I like the way they left the stained glass windows as they do not have any religious connotation to them.  The healing garden outside the entry is really pretty as well.

I think I may get to add a couple more classes there.  The one I started is pretty full so there’s talk of possibly adding another class right after the one I’m teaching now.  And the maintenance guys need to stretch too, so I’m told.  But they don’t want to go to a class called yoga.  I suggested we call it Maintenance for Men.  We’ll see what happens.  I love how my job opens up new possibilites all of the time. 

Just look where I’m headed here shortly!  All because I teach a free class on Tuesday mornings and an event planner attended the class.  Looking forward to just teaching yoga one hour a day for the next four days.  The rest of the time?  I’ll be reading, napping, visiting, hiking and listening to music and enjoying the great outdoors.

I’m sure I’ll have some great things to blog about when I return.


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Get Your Groupon!

Whoa.

We just put out our second Groupon at the yoga studio where I teach. 

If you have a small business I think Groupon is a cool way to spread the word.  Groupon is something you sign up for and it comes in your e-mail box almost every day when there’s a deal in your area.  You have about 24 hours I think to purchase the deal, then it closes.  We received a decent response from the first Groupon so we thought we’d try again.   This one was a different offering.  An offering of 24 classes for $24 with a six month expiration date.  Our response has been crazy.  So much that I actually had someone teach for me last night. 

I know.  That’s pretty lame.  I taught 3 classes on Monday and in between each class all I did was this.  Answer my cell phone and return e-mails and texts from Groupon folks.  Tuesday was pretty much a rerun.  I only had one morning class on Tuesday.  After that I spent the rest of the day returning calls and e-mails.  I picked the kids up from school, I made dinner and did a little grocery shopping too.  Twice on the last one because I forgot something on the list like I always do.  Classic Kirsten style.  By the time my evening class came around I was exhausted.  I was supposed to teach at 6, but I let someone else do it for me.  I was spent and needed to wind down.

The phone has not quit ringing yet.  I decided to put up a  Groupon holder information page on our website to help with all of this talking.  It’s working.  People are e-mailing and sending a text message to reserve their spot in class.  Cool.  I like it when I have decent ideas and they actually work!

I am off from teaching all day tomorrow.  Good deal.  I will be able to use my cell here at the house instead of while I’m walking in to teach a class or driving down the road.  It’s amazing to see so many people interested in yoga.  I’ve been teaching a FREE class at the studio for two years now and though that class is large, it’s nothing like the fall out from the Groupon.  We sold a total of 448 and that’s quite a few.  I had no idea there were that many people in our area even interested in the practice. 

One of us even received a phone call about whether nude yoga classes were available.  Not the first time that’s happened.  I think if anyone out there is interested in starting a nude yoga class, there’s a niche for it.  It might just be the million dollar income you’ve been looking for.  Don’t look for me to be teaching that one, but you just never know.  I might show up in your class.