In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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Nothing But Love

This past weekend was an amazing one.  Every October, I bring one of my favorite yoga teachers to town.  This year, he was able to stop by and offer a one day practice on Sunday.  He always stays with Joan, as they sport a pretty cool pad.  A few of us gathered at her place for a small dinner and conversation on Saturday evening.  We had a great turn out for the class and drew several people in who’d never taken yoga with him before.  Here’s some highlights.

Thomas adjusting Alex in down dog

Robyn, Matthew, Judi, Terra and Barbara in the back forty

Michelle, Joan, Marilyn, Kim and Chris havin’ some hot tea on the break

Kirsten and Sunshine.  The last time we had a photo together, she was 4 and I was 18.  It’s a long story that I won’t go into.  That was in 1984 so now you know how old I am!

After the class we had some snacks at hot tea.  The weather was amazing that day and I know every one was anxious to get outdoors.  I know that I was.  So I did.  I returned home and spent a few hours in the dry dust weeding my garden.  My asparagus looks great, I think we’ll be able to harvest more than a couple of stalks this year.  Some of my herbs are coming back and so are some of the onions I missed picking last year.  The strawberries look good too!

Enjoy the day, but avoid the pollen if you can help it.  It’s bad out there!


In The Tradition Of Gratitude

Every Tuesday morning at 9:30 a.m. I lead a free yoga class at the studio.  I started the free class because the YMCA folks wanted another morning class, but the YMCA didn’t have funds to open one up at the time. I’m glad they didn’t.  So many new people have walked through the studio doors to practice yoga in a beautiful atmosphere with lots of props, low lighting and more.  I started the class in the beginning of the springtime and come summer I was so thankful to find so many students attend.  Not just college students, but several high school aged kids as well.  Very rewarding.  For many this free class has been their first yoga experience.  Sometimes that free class is my largest class of the week!  It’s exciting as I never know who’s going to show up.

Several attendees began asking if they could leave a donation.  I said certainly, but that it wasn’t necessary.  I figured if anything the donations received could go for the studio cleaning supplies that I purchase as well as any upkeep.  I’ve done lots of work down there in they way of purchasing paint and using it.  There’s always small things to keep up with as well.  Things as small as incense, card stock, trash bags, tape and staples to name a few.

Yesterday I received an amazing surprise.  It turns out that one of our yogis and MSU professor is also an awesome bread maker.  Before class, he handed me this beautiful ring of braided bread with some cheese in it.  Check this out.

Whoa, it’s really, really good too!  We popped it in the oven last night to warm it.  The crust was  just perfect, not too hard.  Panera Bread eat your heart out.  Our 11 year old daughter even said, “Mom, this bread would go really good with wine.”  What?  I’m totally not raising my kid on bread and wine in case you were wondering, but she did have a good point.  Besides receiving some cash for the free classes, I’ve been taken to the Mudhouse for a cup of chai tea, been given a large piece of artwork, I’ve been given a box of chocolate covered macademia nuts from Hawaii and some homemade organic, pumpkin muffins.  Those, were amazingly good by the way as well.  Unfortunately I ate those before I took their picture!  I never expected to receive anything from this class so I do suppose that in the tradition of giving is when we receive.

In gratitude to all – Happy Thanksgiving.


An Afternoon With Misha

This past Sunday was a beautiful one weather-wise.  I’d been going non-stop since my return from Florida, as our daughter wanted to reconnect with every, single friend that she missed during the 45 days that she was gone.  I finally got to sleep in Sunday morning, which meant I missed yoga.  Last minute, in the middle of the day, I decided to take a class from someone I’d never heard of. 

I headed out to meet Misha and take her Dharma Mittracol1_photos7 class.  Misha had taken Dharma Mittra’s training and has been teaching his yoga in Japan.    Dharma Mittra is 70, and he’s known for his yoga poster of 908 or so postures.  Most centers sport one on their wall for decor.  I’ve clipped every article I’ve ever read about the man.  I think he’s amazing.  My favorite photo of him ever is one like this.  That’s actually him pictured left.  Keep in mind, there’s another photo that I cannot locate, in the same pose except he has his arms extended along the sides of his body.  Handless headstanding, on a sewer cap, in NYC. 

Back to Misha.  This was Misha’s first class to teach in English and you would have never known.  She led us through some meditation and chanting then we broke into Dharma Mittra’s Level II Vinyasa series.  I love a flow class, I do.  But this was a bit slower, tougher and man was it long!  I think one vinyasa lasted 15 minutes or more.  We did it twice and I loved it!  I liked the sequence and I believe my body did too.  I did come home afterwards  and work in the garden for two hours, so I’m not sure where the soreness is coming from.  Probably from both activities.  We ended our class with a nice supported corpse pose, Judith Lasater style with a guided relaxation by Dharma through Misha.

This was a great class, something new to me and a good practice.  I’ve also been enjoying the yoga ropes at Dynamic Body this summer as well.  Think I’ll stick with that for awhile too.  It feels good, it’s not at a place where I teach and it’s all for me.  Sounds selfish doesn’t it?

Enjoy the day.

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Sewing Surprises

On Tuesday, I felt like it was Friday, but today, I am back to realizing that it really is Thursday!

Our son has been super busy.  New job, new girlfriend, a trip to the lake, a trip to Six Flags.  You name it.  I can’t keep up.  His truck did pass inspection, so registration, insurance and a driver’s license will be next!  Our daughter is still away, so I’m only dealing with one schedule.  I have nothing to complain about.

I took my niece and her two friends to my FREE yoga class on Tuesday morning.  It’s a big class and it’s so much fun.  The girls had a great time and I hope we can do it again before school starts up.  After all, it’s only July.  100_3945







My parents breezed through town on Tuesday as well.  So I drove to a Wal-Mart where they were getting gas and eating at Subway for a short visit.  Lauren learned to sew!  She’d made a pillow case, a purse from a pattern and a beautiful blanket!  Aunt Kathy taught her in Wyoming.  I’m glad, she was so excited and said, “Look mom, I know how to use the surger!”  I on the other hand, have no idea what a surger is.  I’m bummed, she’s learned something I cannot help her with when she gets home.  But perhaps she can teach me!  They should reach home, in Florida today!

Speaking of today, after I jam on this e-news letter update about an awesome workshop for a friend, I’m heading to a different studio to take a ropes class.  Been wanting to do this for quite awhile now, so today I start.  For the next five Thursdays, I’ll be a swinging, monkey, yogini!  I’d better get going.  Enjoy the day!

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Shrug Your Shoulders

tti-shoulders-4I had a total blast leading this Shoulder Workshop last Saturday at Teach to Inspire.  There were 6 or so from the training program, then another 6 or so from other places like the studio or the YMCA.  Beth’s new place is warm and inviting and I love being there.  The floor is soft bamboo and the walls are bran muffin with wine colored accent walls at either end.  It’s just the right size and glows with warm energy!  I must make it there this Sunday, to take a class, just for me!

I was worried I wouldn’t have enough stuff to fill three hours.  Think again.  I could’ve went on and on.  I left one whole idea out (it was using therabands for strengthening the shoulders) and I do not regret that one bit.  I did think of several other things we could’ve put to good use afterwards of course.  So we put them to good use today in my noon class.  I had someone show up with a tight neck and shoulders, so the class turned out to be “pretty workshoppy” and it was fun!

The next class I’ll be doing over there is the Psoas Muscle Workshop.  I really like that muscle, it’s cool and has a lot going on.  I did this class once before and was extremely well attended, so I’m excited to put it together once again.  I can’t believe this is work, it’s so much fun!!!

tti-shoulders-3Thanks to everyone that showed up and made this class so much fun.  I really had a blast!

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Teach to Inspire

It was a relief to see the kids return to school.  I was scheduled to lead a class of three hours yesterday and I needed some time without kids to plan.  The class was at the new Yoga and Education Training Centerlingams in our town.  My good friend and teacher, has a very dedicated group working on their RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certification.  I of course, was flattered that she asked me to be a part of the training.  I’m scheduled for one Saturday a month, for three months for three hour workshops.  Cool.

Her theme for this month was Leela, which basically translates to playfulness and fun!  The workshop I headed up yesterday at her place, was fun.  It was on teaching yoga to children, of all ages.  I don’t have any experience with teaching a yoga class to children with physical disabilities, but I have taught a few to kids with mental, or behavior oriented disorders.  What a challenge with a big reward.

When I have to teach a workshop, I like to plan, plan and plan some more.  I like to spend lots of time planning and organizing and preparing.  This week, it just didn’t work out that way.  Though the kids were in school there were other demands.  A yearbook planning meeting at WOLF School, kids coming over to play and a breakfast meeting at the YMCA yesterday morning.  I had in my head what I wanted to do, I just needed it on paper.  I got my handouts on the computer and printed them out.  Some day, I will put all the Sanskrit words in my spell check!  How annoying to have every other word you type show up as a typo. 

I always worry if I will run short, that I won’t have enough information for the duration.  Low and behold that never happens.  I can usually go on for hours, and for that, I am thankful, except I almost forgot to take a break yesterday!  I was able to teach this class without too much stressful planning.  I offered what I knew very well with confidence.  I feel thankful, to be at a place where it feels so natural to share what I know.

I chose not to bring kids to the training class.  #1 they would’ve been a distraction #2 that would’ve been a good idea, as they would have total true experience of a kids yoga class #3 focusing on teaching to kids while being distracted…..not such a good idea.  We played with asana for about an hour, bringing in animal sounds and creative names for poses.  We sang a few Native American Indian songs, we counted to 10 in Sanskrit and named some different body parts in Sanskrit as well.  We looked through the books that I brought in.  I passed around my Lingams (pictured above) as a touch and feel philosophical part of the training.

The new center is beautiful.  I haven’t even been able to squeeze a class in over there for myself yet!   Though yesterday went very well and was well received, I was exhausted.  I slept in this morning, taking care of myself in a restful way.  I know that the exhaustion I was experiencing was in a positive light and that it too soon, will pass.


Fruit of the Womb

Yoga has been kind of exciting lately with all of that fruit I’ve been giving away!  What a hit!   At the end of most of my classes (the larger ones) I’ve been having a drawing for ginormous grapefruits, lemons and normal sized oranges.  All compliments from my mom and dad, organically grown, in their backyard in Florida.  

I’ve had a few girls in my Y class that are pregnant.  Three exactly.  One left to deliver.  Today, one of the girls (who won fruit last week) brought her new baby to class for the second time today.  He’s four weeks old, adorable and slept in his little car seat.  She’s a beautiful girl and to be back in class so quickly is really cool.  If there’s any regrets I have about yoga, it’s not knowing about it sooner.  My daughter was two when I figured it out! 

Anyhow, when her baby awoke towards the end of class, we took a quick waterfall pose (on our backs, legs up the wall) to quiet down from all the strong standing work we’d just taken in.  She placed him on her belly and he just hung out.  When he started making noises, she bent her knees, pressed her feet into the wall and let him rest on her shin bones.  What a lucky baby, to have such a great experience at only four weeks of age.

After that soft inversion, we headed into relaxation.  She ended up resting on her side and letting him nurse away.  What a beautiful sound, I don’t think it bothered anyone in the room.  It was all women, most who had already been through that experience, myself included.  I only have one biological child and and the pregnancy wasn’t easy.  When the birth came, it was even worse.  I chose to stop there.  I do sometimes, envy those who really take on motherhood in such an easy, natural way.

On the drive home after that class, I got to thinking.  The youngest person in my class was four weeks of age and the oldest was 79.  What a beautiful class.  What beautiful people I get to share my day with.  Thank you.

My daughter at 4 weeks old

My daughter at 4 weeks old