All new In Harmony yoga studio and Yoga at the Falls

A lot has changed since my last blog entry.  I am now a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher.  I had a wonderful, though exhausting time earning my certification.  The teachers I had at Sana Vida are crazy smart.  Thank goodness they were willing to share their knowledge with us.   It was all I could do to take enough notes and absorb it all.  (I know who is laughing right now.  Actually, it might be anyone who has ever taken a class with me…)  And I definitely consider myself very lucky to have had such wonderful classmates.

After just a few weeks into teacher training, and my students and I freezing in the gym, I decided to open my own studio at my house (403 E. Bluebonnet Ln., JCTX 78636).  As always happens, the remodel of my large, detached garage kept getting bigger and bigger.  With only a few hiccups, it is finally about to be finished.  We are getting the flooring and floor lamps tomorrow.  In Harmony will be completed enough by Wednesday, June 12th, that we will go ahead and hold classes there that day.  Yes, I did say classes with an “s.”

Starting Wednesday, Keith Payne of OM Fire Yoga, will teach Power Yoga, at 5:30 pm. every Wednesday.  (Power Yoga has more aerobic exercises and strenuous movement than one typically associates with yoga.  You will sweat!)  Keith is a fellow Sana Vida teacher training graduate, 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher and has been kind enough to sub for me in the past.  My students really like him, and we will be the 5th yoga studio to have him as a teacher.  Please see Keith’s bio on his webpage. 

For myself, I will continue teaching Gentle Yoga at 8:30 am on Mondays and Wednesdays, and due to high demand I am now adding Fridays @ 8:30 am.  I will also teach a yoga class @ 5:30 pm on Tuesdays, beginning June 18th.  Eventually, if there is enough demand, I will add Thursday nights too.  The style of yoga taught in the evenings will be determined by my students and their needs.  So, I’ll let you know what that turns out to be…

Please Note: Johnson City Does Yoga will now be donation-based.

Johnson City Does Yoga at Pedernales Falls

I was reading an article about hiking and yoga, when it struck me.  We have one of the best parks, in the state, down the street from us.  So, anyone and everyone are invited to do “Yoga on the Falls,” at Pedernales Falls State Park, Monday, June 10th, at 9:00 am.  The focus of this class is to allow you to enjoy doing yoga in a beautiful environment.  The class is free in case you have to pay to get into the park.  If you have a park pass, might I suggest a donation to this wonderful park…

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We are going back to 8:30 am classes on Mon. & Wed.

We need to go back to the original schedule for a few reasons:

  • I lost a handful of students due to the fact that their lives are already going by the time 10:00 rolls around.
  • The gym is much quieter at 8:30.  Men banging around on free-weights aren’t particularly quiet.
  • I need time to eat and have the food digest before I go to my yoga teacher training classes at 12:00 in Marble Falls.

Speaking of yoga teacher training…  I am quite excited to begin my training, at Sana Vida, on Wednesday.  Back when I was a hydrogeologist, I did this at Yoga Yoga in Austin the first year they offered training 12 years ago.  At the time, I was just taking yoga classes and I had to know more.  It was fun and I learned so much that I’m really eager to see what another yoga studio has to offer.  I took over 150 hours, but didn’t finish because I didn’t think I’d ever teach.  Silly me.  So now, after the first week in March, I’ll have over 350 hours of training and be certified with the Yoga Alliance for my 200-hr certification.

Winter Yoga Schedule

Starting this November, class times are changing.  They now begin at 10:00 am.  Some of my students expressed concerns about their ability to want to get out of bed when it starts to get colder.  🙂  I had concerns about them driving in the dark, during deer season.  Plus, I may need time to get the gym warm.

The 5:30 night classes are on hold for now.  The easiest way to do it is when the gym owner builds a playroom at the gym (which is his plan), and I have completed my 200-hour yoga teacher certification at the end of February.  However, I am looking at the possibility of doing a 4:15/4:30 class to accommodate teachers.  I think I’ll put out a flyer/survey to see exactly what they need…

A personal case for building strength

Last weekend, I trained to become a volunteer for Children’s Disaster Services, so that if there was ever a local disaster I might be of some use.  The training lasted 27 hours and involved sleeping on cots in our church.  Before I arrived, I was a little worried about re-stuffing my sleeping bag into its stuff sack.  I remember my futile struggle with it the last time Jim and I went camping, and Jim had to finish the stuffing for me.  But, before the sleeping bag could be a problem, we had to set up the cots.  The gentleman I was helping and I were surprised that I was able to put the cots together so quickly.  Then, the next morning when I did finally attempt to put my sleeping bag away; I did it. 

I have become so much stronger than I was a year ago.  I lost my wonderful husband a year ago, on the 25th of this month.  My mental strength may still be “iffy” at times, but my physical strength has definitely increased.  The only reason for this is that I don’t have a hubby to pick up this or that heavy thing, or to hand a jar with a stuck lid, or to open a too tight valve, or to cut a really thick limb or to constantly pick up a toddler/little girl.  And, no, I’m not going to ask every other guy I know to do things for me.  Frankly, I’m too impatient.  Plus, if you don’t want to play the role of victim, you would react the same way in my situation.

So, here is my advice and admittedly it is for women.  Work on your strength before you need it, and especially after you know you will need it.  To do this, take more opportunities to do the hard things yourself.  You will need to increase your hand strength.  Remember your hands and think of how you may strengthen them in every yoga asana you practice.  Also, find some thera-putty used in hand/wrist/forearm physical therapy.  (Click HERE for a great article on thera-putty hand exercises.)  Next, you will want to protect your back.  Asanas that strengthen your core are actually more important than ones that will strengthen your back because a strong core protects your back.  Once you do over-use your back, and you will, be sure to stretch your back afterwards or the quite annoying twitching and cramping will occur.  Twists and chest-openers (ie. gentle back-bends) would be good for both strengthening and stretching.  Then, because you will be doing more lifting than you can anticipate, work on strengthening your arms.  Your legs will naturally become stronger, but you must be sure your balance increases first because you will be climbing and carrying more than before.  A very focused practice of both mountain and tree pose would be good to remember.

I wrote this for women of all ages, from newly-weds to those lucky enough to surpass 50th anniversaries.  I don’t want you to ever need this advice, but statistically you may.

Note: Some of you may not know I write two blogs: Living with Cancer and a Toddler and Johnson City Does Yoga.  Please visit LWCAAT should you wish more information on young families during and after cancer, and JCDY for information on my yoga class or just general yoga info.  I have never posted the same blog for both sites, but this one had too much information for women reading either blog to miss.

Sarah:  Now get ready to laugh out loud.

While my original intent was to have Sarah spend the night with me at the Children’s Disaster Services training, I quickly figured out that wasn’t going to be a good idea because there would be a few hours of training that night.  So, I called my friend Kris Axtell to tell her what time I could drop off Sarah the next morning, and told her I needed to quick find one of my neighbors to babysit that night.  Her response, “Really Beckie, I think she should just spend the night here.”  To which I think I probably laughingly snorted into the phone.  So, Sarah had her first sleep-over with Kris, Paul and their four boys.  The only reason why Kris had to finally move Sarah onto a mattress in their room was because Sarah was still talking to the boys at 11:00 pm, meanwhile, the boys had fallen asleep.  The next day, one of the boys even asked if Sarah could spend the night again, and of course Sarah wanted to go back once she got home.

Also, it appears Kris solved the last of my potty training problems.  Apparently, that night Sarah did something in her pull-ups.  Well, as Kris put it, “Welcome to Boot Camp!”  Sarah had to do the clean-up work, and when she got herself dirty the screams were heard by all.  The boys thought it was pretty funny as Kris was retelling the story when I picked up Sarah.  I think it’s pretty funny that now Sarah runs past me saying, “Gotta go potty,” and doesn’t even wait for me to go with her.

No classes on August 20th & 22nd, and new fall classes to be added

Just a gentle reminder that there will be no classes next week.

I am adding more classes starting in September!  First, I am adding a Friday 8:30 am class at the 24/7 gym.  It will be a good get-ready-for-the-weekend class.  Second, this is not final, but I am working with the First United Methodist Church to use their facilities at 5:30 on Tuesday and Thursday nights.  (My second choice is Mon. & Wed.)  I would like to have this venue so that I may provide you with a nursery for FREE.  Cross your fingers for me…

The benefits of guided meditation

At the end of every yoga class, I guide students through a relaxation exercise.  Guided meditation is the easiest way to meditate.  It is an incredibly fun, healthy and inspiring way to achieve inner peace.  While in a state of deep relaxation, you are guided to imagine positive experiences.  Because you are so relaxed, the imaginary experiences are vivid and very close to real, as far as your body is concerned.  This creates an environment for innumerable health benefits: serotonin levels rise, moods stabilize, creativity increases, easier problem solving, sleep patterns improve, develop empathy, increases DHEA, helps lower blood pressure, respiration slows, circulation increases, strengthens immune system, muscle tension eases, cholesterol levels decrease, quicker recovery from medical procedures, reduces anxiety, aides in balancing hormones, reduces headaches and chronic pain, aides in forgiveness and compassion, create a stronger bond with your religion and so much more.  There are hundreds (if not thousands) of guided meditations, but right now these are my favorites: Full-Body Relaxation and a Peaceful Place.

In a Full-Body Relaxation, stress dissipates as you are slowly guided through your body and told how to release tension and relax.  The simplicity and thoroughness of this meditation is what makes it work so well.

In a Peaceful Place, you are guided to create an imaginary world filled with only things and people you want with you – only what makes you feel good.  As you revisit your Peaceful Place, you make it more specific and you are able to “see” it better each time.  This world is a wonderful place for a quick mental “vacation.”

My next goal is to find a good healing meditation.

If you can’t make it to one of my classes, then try to find some free guided meditations on the internet.  I’ll admit you have to like the person’s voice and background music for it to be effective.  So, try a few to find one that really works for you.  Good luck and happy relaxing.

I had forgotten how much fun it was teaching yoga

I had six wonderful students my first day.  They energized me so much.  I just want to create even more classes and find more relaxation exercises.  One truly great aspect of teaching yoga in a small town versus a big city is that I can see what my students needs are and create practices for them, rather than them having to adjust their practice to me as they would have to do in a big yoga studio.

Unfortunately, no matter what, I’m going to have to do my evening classes at the same time as Zumba on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  There is a Zumba class every day, but Friday, at 5:30. But, honestly, Zumba and Hatha Yoga are two completely separate niches of the fitness community.  I doubt I’ll “steal” many/any of their students.

This weekend, I’ll go buy a few mats to have on hand for any students who may want to buy a mat. 

Sunday night, I laid out my two mats so that the ends wouldn’t be curly in the morning.  Sarah thought that was great.  She started out doing downward dog on the mats, then she moved to doing it on all the rugs and the mats.  It is quite cute to watch a toddler smiling at you from between her knees, again and again and again…

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