In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff

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Beautiful Weekend, Beautiful People

This weekend was my long overdue getaway for yoga with a friend.  So on Saturday, we headed to St. Louis and stayed on the Hill.  As soon as we arrived, I grabbed my shopping list and we headed for J. Viviano & Son’s Italian grocer to pick up some good stuff for us and for others.  We stocked up on this great garlic pepper, mozarella cheese and bread.  I also purchased the most beautiful bottle of wine for a good friend.  She collects blue bottles, and this one was shaped like a fish.  I can’t wait to give it to her as a token for the wonderful artwork that she’s done for me.

After a bit of resting, we headed back to that same area where the grocer was located (less than five minutes from our hotel) to have dinner at Lorenzo’s Trattoria.  We had made reservations and were sad to find we didn’t need them.  The place was near dead at 6 p.m. on a Saturday evening.  The traffic to St. Louis wasn’t bad either, and our hotel was fairly quiet.  Economy?  I think so.  My friend had appetizers of calamari and goat cheese ravioli.  I ordered penne pasta with eggplant, capers and kalamata olives with fresh mozarella cheese in tomato sauce.  It was awesome.  I liked the way they decorated each table with a clear glass full of these super long, skinny bread sticks.  Simple but elegant.  We had great coffee for dessert and then I ordered a tiramisu to go for later.  Mistake.  We were almost too full to enjoy it!

Sunday was breakfast at the hotel restaurant.  We made healthy choices as we were headed for a full day of yoga with Saul David Raye.  And what a day it was!  (I borrowed this photo from someone’s Flickr site.saul photoWe arrived early at Webster University as we usually do to find a comfortable spot.   The room has high, vaulted ceilings, nice windows and decent acoustics.  We started our practice with meditation, in several different but enjoyable forms; everything from white noise, chanting, dancing and turning inward.  Our practice was really good as it always is!  It’s a feel good type of yoga that’s accessible to every body.  He’s a very peaceful soul and guides us a lot of the time with his eyes closed.  Maybe he’s channeling I don’t know.  But it’s great.  He usually travels with musicians and this time he was with Tony Kahlife.  We enjoyed a little live music during the Sunday morning practice and were disappointed that we could not stay for the concert that evening.  Yoga teaching duty called both of us to be home on Monday morning!

We also had a wonderful Indian and Thai combo lunch catered by the folks that hosted the workshop.  It was a beautiful day to be outside, so that’s where the lunch was held.  They served us fresh greens from their garden, rice, Palak Paneer, Tandoori Naans, and Thai noodles with an array of spices or crushed peanuts all washed down with hot tea.  Wow.  Best lunch I’ve had a in a long time, thanks guys!

After lunch, Thai Yoga was scheduled for the afternoon.  This is always a great experience and though I’d taken this class once before, it was so wonderful to get a refresher.  I would love to participate in this entire training, but there’s that cash flow factor and a two week trip to California involved.  Perhaps someday.  I don’t really want to be a massage therapist, I just like to share it in my yoga classes and relieve my family of stress.  My son really loves this and I’m taking him with me to a class I’m taking this evening.  My travel partner will be teaching and together, we will share some of what we learned with our group.

Right now, I feel very grounded, peaceful and happy.  The rest of my day involves grocery shopping, kids, laundry and dinner.  I will try to remain totally present in whatever I’m doing at the moment and keep the multi-tasking at a minimum.  Wish me luck.

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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!


A Full Week of Yoga

kirstenboundangleI’m excited for this week!  This is the week we will not have ice and snow and classes will not be canceled.  This is the week I can start my new class for MSU downtown, since it was canceled last week due to weather.  I will have 10 classes a week now, with a wonderful schedule of 9:00 to 1:00 every day (with the exception of mornings only on Fridays) and only one evening class per week.  Perfect when you have kids in school, out in time to pick them up!

Last Tuesday night, I didn’t teach at the Y, classes were canceled.  But none the less I heard some yogis showed up, those that were close enough to walk over.  Turns out, someone that’s interested in teaching took over and led the class!  I love to see that happen.  I’d just loaned him a bunch of great books and hooked him up with some resources so I’m glad he jumped in.

We really worked our legs today in some strong standing postures.  Lots of us had been inactive last week due to the weather, so I cranked up the heat with warrior I and II.  Instead of flowing today, we took longer holds.  We used our heels, pressing against the wall, felt the power of the legs, the stretching of the upper body and the firing of the hamstrings.  Needless to say, internal dialogue became not so internal with moans and groans coming to the surface.  I will say my legs are feeling it, even from the little that I did when I wasn’t walking and talking.  I’m sure that trekking up and down 38 stairs (twice) carrying a backpack and yoga mat had nothing to do with it all after walking a mile from a parking lot.  I shall not complain as I love what I do.

Today was also the beginning of a new month and I realized I had not sent out an e-newsletter to the yoga community since the New Year’s Day Mala.  February is heart month, so I did a quick search for info, made up something pink and pretty with plugs for the workshops at Teach to Inspire and hit send.  I’m doing a Freeing of the Shoulder Girdle this Saturday from 3:00-6:00.  I need to whip out my anatomy books, brush up on what moves what in what position and make some great handouts.  I love these classes and I’m always afraid I won’t have enough material, but low and behold, I can usually go on for hours.

Today was also a day where I would find out if an article I submitted for a yoga book would be chosen or not.  There were to be 25 articles picked from out of a couple hundred or so.   My article was not chosen, but I am really excited to see the ones that were.  This was the first time I’d submitted something that I’ve written.  I’ve never really considered myself a writer, but I do enjoy it very much so I’m sure I’ll try again at another time.

Speaking of writing, I need to check on my child and make sure she has those thank you notes written for her party gifts!  It’s getting close to bed time, hers and mine.

“Wake up and realize, you are surrounded my amazing friends” – not sure who said it, but I like it!

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Yoga Retreat with Thomas Fortel

Wow.  The retreat went so well.  It really did.  It’s amazing, that how, even if you don’t feel well, you can just trek onward, and it’s OK.  The best thing for this cold, was the pranayama practice, it really was.

View more retreat photos here.

We had a nice practice of a few hours Friday night at the Firehouse.  We basically settled in, and time flew by, as it often does in the yoga room.  There was a little bit of noise toward the end when we were resting.  The democratic Halloween party was starting up downstairs, but it was all good.  They backed off, we finished, a good time was had by all.

Saturday, we headed back to the Firehouse.  All of our stuff was already there, we were able to settle in quickly and enjoy a one hour practice of pranayama (breathing, in different forms).  It was totally awesome.  Something that I’m sure none of us take a full and complete hour for very often and we really should.  I like retreats like this, as a reminder of how important the breath really is.  It’s what it’s about, it’s our life force.  Thomas doesn’t do any yoga “tricks” or sorts.  He guides a steady, strong, practice with his gentle nature.  There aren’t that many surprises, it’s structured, it’s gentle and tough at the same time.  Like yoga should be, to me anyways.  After practice that evening, we enjoyed a potluck.  Not too many stuck around.  I feel some people were spent, some had traveled from afar and some didn’t want to be around people.  Completely understandable.







On sunday, we met at the new boathouse on Lake Springfield.  It’s gorgeous, it’s quiet and the sun was amazing this morning.  Just the drive out there, was so peaceful, knowing what was to come.  We adjusted to our new space, took it in, enjoyed the view of nature and started our practice.  Thomas is a seasoned astrologer (though I’ve never had a reading) I find it all extremely interesting.  He has lots of thoughts and ideas and I’m always open to anything, as we all should be.  The weekend was all about slowing down.  Odd.  How fast time flies when we’re not moving quickly. 

Sunday morning pranayama was followed by an active practice at the boathouse.  Lots of strong, standing postures, making good use of the legs.  I love half moon pose (ardha chandrasana) and we did it everyday.  I also love shoulderstand (sarvanghasana) but my head was too stuffy to enjoy it.  I took a quick headstand and that was it for inversions and me.  I wish I would’ve taken more photos, but I hate to be a distraction.  It’s a beautiful building.  Actually, both venues were stunning and I feel lucky to have been able to enjoy both places in one weekend.

People showed up that I did not know.  I love it when that happens.  My only regret, is not having time to make small conversation with all the people that I didn’t know and some of the ones I knew well, but do not see that often.  When you’re running this thing, you’re busy.  It reminded me (sort of, but not really) of my days at the video store, when lots of customers were in line.  Only, I felt much happier about standing on the other side of the counter at a yoga event.  Thomas brought some beautiful hats from one of his yoga trips to Peru.  I think most everyone bought one.  I bought two.  He also brought some cool berets from Paris.  I wish I would’ve got a photo of all the cool wordly stuff he brought with him to peddle.

Afterwards, I had a quiet lunch with a friend, went home and picked up a few walnuts.  It felt right to spend the rest of the day outside, reflecting on the weekend, nature and the small things.  My life is so much simpler than it used to be.  My house is way smaller.  Everything we have is old, but it’s paid for.  I don’t really want for a lot of things and that feels really good as well.  Retreats are good stuff and I feel extremely grounded at the moment.  Normally, I would’ve wanted to get all the photos off of my camera, work on the web site and start a “thank you” newsletter.  Nope.  Not tonight.  All I needed, was to get a few photos off of my camera, do this little journal entry, and head to bed.  Peace out.

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The Yoga Event Planner

I feel like I’m getting a cold, and I need to get rid of it.

In yoga land, Fall break at MSU will be over this week.  I will need to start my classes there once again.  Looking forward to that.  Great group and the class keeps growing, so I guess that’s a good thing.  This coming weekend is a yoga workshop I’m ramrodding here in town.  For the second time, I’m bringing in one of my favorite yoga teachers, Thomas Fortel.  I first took from him in St. Louis and loved his classes.  Not all yoga teachers seem approachable.  Some in fact, you can’t even get close to tell them “thanks” after the weekend.  I felt Thomas made space for everyone to greet him and if you didn’t greet him, he would greet you and tell you thanks for coming.  I liked that. 

I asked him to come here last year and he said yes.  We held our workshop at OTC, which is where we planned on holding it again this year.  Didn’t happen.  Even after we’d reserved the space.  They are under construction!  So, the stress of finding someplace to house up to (maybe) 50 people, for yoga began a few months ago.

The new boathouse at Springfield Lake was available for our Sunday practice only.  It’s a neat, cabin like structure with a wrap around deck.  You can rent canoes and kayaks out there as well.   One side is completely glass and overlooks the water.  I am so looking forward to having our event at this location.  One problem.  I still needed space for Friday and Saturday!

A fellow yogini offered us her Firehouse.  We’ve held the Malas there.  Though we probably don’t need this much space, we were running out of options.  And, it’s a beautiful building in a cool area, with a garden courtyard to enjoy wine and snacks after our event, weather permitting of course.  I took it.  It’s all good and we could afford both spaces, the event is on.  Registration has been decent, considering the economy. 







Thomas leads an awesome meditation and pranayama practice, which is how we start our class with him each day.  We will then enjoy a day of active and passive yoga, reflection and sharing.  It’s awesome.  And what’s more awesome, is I don’t have to drive to St. Louis, stay in a hotel and find my way around and a place to eat while I’m enjoying the workshop. 

Of course, when you’re the workshop organizer, there is work to do.  Lots of it.  There’s the advertising and promotion of the event.  The finding of the space to have the event.  Getting everyone directions to the venues.  Then there’s the keeping track of all the registrants and their checks.  Some are paid for the full weekend, some just one day only.  I will buy flowers, grab the incense, find a table cover and decorate the check in table.  I will have help.  He will be staying with a fellow yogini as my place is not worthy of company that’s not my immediate family!  I have someone to help me meet and greet and check people in, and watch the door for late comers.  It’s all worth it – to see how thankful everyone is after the event.  For most, it’s an opportunity they wouldn’t be able to experience due to the expense that occurs with travel and family obligations.

This is all so exciting and if you’re in town and able to come, it’s so worth it.  Honestly.  You can visit BOWS for more information.  Namaste.


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Where’s My Kitchen?

My husband was on vacation again, all week this last week.  We didn’t get around to the garage sale, they kept talking rain, but we did clean a little out to prepare for when we do have one.  We also put a bunch of stuff on Craig’s List and got rid of it, so that was a good thing!  We spent another day at Swan Creek, he fished two other days and played with his stuff the rest. 

So, where’s my kitchen? 

I swore he was going back to work today.  I got home from yoga after a super long coffee break with the girl who led the class, to find him home.  Doing what?  Finishing off the doorway to the kitchen!  I’ve wanted that arch and it looks like I got it!  I would have no idea how to make this, but he does. 

He also installed the last, lone outlet.  Now, the backsplash can be tiled.  Of course, he really is back to work tomorrow, so that will be another day. 

New Arch

New Arch

In yoga land, life has been good.  I have been the sub queen for the last couple of weeks and if you count what I subbed for in July, it’s like 8 extra classes!  On top of the extra classes and finishing up the Teach To Inspire website, I was putting together a workshop on the psoas muscle that I taught on Sunday. 

So what better way to prepare for teaching that workshop?  Go to yoga on Sunday morning!   I had a great group of people and a big group at that to my surprise.  It was another lovely, sunny, and cooler August day.  I’m sure people could’ve been elsewhere!  So, if you showed up for that, thanks a million.  I had a great time and I hope you did to!

Off to clean the sheet rock dust.  He makes the messes, I clean up and put the tools away!

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Yoga, Business & Love



It’s been a full week of yoga business this week!   To keep people informed, I put out an e-newsletter every now and then.  Sometimes more now than then, depending on what’s happening in the welllness aspect of our city.  There is so much more yoga in our town (as there is everywhere now) than there used to be, that I decided to promote all the studios, not just the ones that I teach at.  After all, we are all trying to achieve the same thing!  It’s been a great tool in bringing the yoga community together in our town.  I’ve met new people and actually gained some extra yoga gigs since I include everyone in my promotions in an unbiased way.  I like to teach a couple of special workshops a year, so I’m preparing for a psoas yoga workshop.  I’ve been bringing some of the info into the classroom on and off, it’s my way of preparing for something bigger.  I almost always try to teach with a theme of something or other.  It might be one particular muscle group, a focus on a body or mind blockage, etc.  I am also bringing one of my favorite teachers to town again this Fall.  I used to have to travel to St. Louis to enjoy his workshops.  He came to us last year and will do so again this year!  How exciting that was, to see these people, come out of the woodwork for a weekend of yoga and meditation!  I never intended to share my love of yoga, I just loved going to class and practicing on my own.  Somehow, I ended up in the front of the room and it now, feels very natural.  It takes a lot of work to keep the vibe alive.  A couple of years ago, I redesigned our studio web site.  I knew nothing about making web sites, but I feel it looks great!  In turn, a couple of friends asked me to make them a web site as well.  I spend a lot of time, making web site updates, writing and sending out e-newsletters and preparing to teach classes.  Lots of people are wanting to teach yoga, and I think that’s great.  At the same time, I feel they don’t know how much can be involved for how little you are compensated.  Do I have to do this web site and e-newsletter?  No, I don’t.  I do it because it keeps everyone aware, excited and hopefully wanting more.  I do it because I love yoga and if you are a yoga instructor, we are probably on the same page!