Thursday, May 24, 2018

FREE Yoga Saturday May 26,

Reusing the original yoga announcement from last week is part of the 3 Rs right?? If you weren't able to come last week, you get another chance! A friendly tip for finding it, look for and head up Old Haul Road, it's around 2100 North off of Main Street.

Join me for YOGA
Be There or be... UNSTRETCHED!

Saturday, June 2, 8-9am
Saturday, May 26, 9-10am

Freedom Hills Park
2150 North 150 East Centerville, UT

Beginners are welcome! Bring your mat, appropriate clothing, and a good attitude! If you don't have a mat I'll have extras. Yoga will help with your attitude....☺️

Monday, May 14, 2018

Get in the Arena

Almost a year ago I took a huge leap of faith, a change of life direction, and took 200hours yoga teacher training at Salt Lake Power Yoga. I trained in the Baptiste Power Yoga style with Jessa Munion of Rocksteady Bodyworks as one of my main guides.  Why is this important? First, I've never considered doing anything but music (I'm a professional violinist) and teaching yoga is very different. Second, the Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga method which has three main elements; asana (or physical poses), meditation, and inquiry, the practice of self-transformation. These 3 elements encourage students to step into their full potential by discovering their passions, creativity, and developing the confidence to step into new and big possibilities in their lives.

Inquiry and self-transformation have been a persistent focus in my time spent practicing with SLPY teachers and the Baptiste style. Phrases like...

Be comfortable being uncomfortable...
If not now, when? If not you, who?
What others think of you is none of your business.
Don't give up what you want most for what you want now!
The only way out is through...
Speak and BE HEARD!

I found yoga in 2013 incredibly broken, trying to turn my life around, searching for answers, for meaning, for something to hold on to. I had no idea who I was, what was important to me, or what I wanted. I am incredibly lucky to have found inspiring and encouraging teachers who believed in me. Each time I went to yoga I could dig deep, find strength within myself, try new things, and grow. And after spending the last 5 years on this journey I feel inspired to guide others. To pass it on. Not because I am so incredible or have all the answers, but because I believe in yoga. I believe in the power that comes from linking mind and body and the way it heals the soul. I am so grateful for all I’ve been given and want everyone to have the tools they need to find their inner strength and worth. I have firsthand experience of how yoga heals trauma. I have felt it ground me from dissociation, calm an anxiety attack, and bring me back to the present moment when nothing else can. I have obtained the gift of pause and the ability to become a little less reactive. And when I use these tools on my yoga mat it is easier to bring them off my mat.

What are you passionate about?

How can you use your yoga practice to find clarity, find answers, find YOURSELF.
You are beautiful and strong and perfect just as you are.

In my yoga classes we laugh a lot. It's important not to take life too seriously. Don't let your fear of failure or doing the wrong thing prevent you from getting in the arena.

What are you waiting for?

The Man in the Arena

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Two Wolves

The Parable: The Tale of Two Wolves

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. 
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed

I've had a travel bug lately, especially for the beautiful red rock of southern Utah. I usually go down every year to St. George and didn't get a chance last fall. So I made time and went down with Jada last weekend. I was so excited! This was going to be solitude, quiet, peace, beauty, a wonderful time to meditate and reflect and recharge.

Well... things did not go as planned. I drove down Friday night and arrived at "the Wedge" past dark. The good news was I had cell phone service and used it to navigate my way. The bad news, tons of people and it was so dark down there it was hard to find a place to settle down for the night. My biggest fear on planning the trip was I'd be in the middle of nowhere but reality was actually quite opposite. When I found somewhere to camp and set up my tent I was "serenaded" by guitar and singing and lots of other human noises....

When I woke up I found this....
And walked around the Wedge rim. It was gorgeous! Every spot could've been a photo.

In hindsight I wish I would've stayed longer but I had places to go and things to see.
Next on the list... Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel

Looking back, I wish I would've stayed longer. But it was getting hot and I needed to find the Calf, Cow and Pine Canyons trailhead.  Looking for them, I drove all way to the San Rafael bridge and realized I was too far south so I turned around and drove north... back to Buckhorn Wash, realized I missed it again and gave up. First time but not the last on this trip I realized I really need better navigational skills. I rely on my cell phone too much and I had no service. So I decided to leave the north end of San Rafael and drive to the south.

I reached the south end of San Rafael in the midst of the afternoon, astonishingly tired (my usual mid-day total exhaustion slump), worried about gas (oh yes, as I was driving on I70 I passed a beautiful sign that said no services aka gas stations next 100 miles. What?!), and just wanting to find somewhere to set up camp so I could rest in the tent until evening. This was going to be my rest/solitude/reflection... HAHAHA!

The campground at Goblin Valley S.P. was full but that was ok because I was going to set up tent in a much more secluded, quiet spot by Temple Mountain. Actually, what happened was (yet again without any cell service to help me navigate and being super tired):  I found an area that looked like a picture I saw of Temple Mountain and it was just a bunch of dirt was fire pits everywhere. I had no idea where to set up my tent and also was trying to magically go to the future and find out where I would be farthest from people especially the noisy ones. Finally I gave up trying to do the impossible and settled in a spot that looked level and set up camp. One issue was the wind. It was so windy the tent literally was blowing off the ground. I had to run and catch it and bring it back. I tried to pound in the stakes but the ground was so hard my stake turned into looking like the upside down letter "L". So I took my 5gallon water jug (I was NOT going to end up on Netflix's "I Shouldn't Be Alive") and used that to hold my tent in place. Once I had my sleeping bag down I laid down for a quick power nap but the only place hotter than 85 and in the sun was in the tent and I instantly started sweating. Jada did NOT like it at all! So I gave up, set up my camp chair and tried to read... and was serenaded by music coming from my neighbor's motorhome, first Glen Campbell which I could at least laugh about because I played with him while I was in the South Dakota Symphony, but then morphing in to some kind of electronic alien genre. And kept debating whether I should just pack up and go home or stay...

That evening after dinner I wanted to drive to the Crack Canyon Trailhead to see if I could find it. That was a disaster! Even with a map I kept confusing roads and "camp spot turnouts" and kept turning around and got carsick. I finally did find it but after getting lost again on the way back to camp and getting even more carsick from the bumpy ride I decided to forget that and go to Goblin Valley in the morning. I was hoping my neighbors would be done with their music considering the sun had gone down when I got back to camp. And yes, their music was off, so instead I got to listen to the kids screaming and laughing in the other campsites (hey, at least they were having a good time, right?) as I fell asleep and woke up in the morning to the sound of more laughter and dogs barking which turned in to dogs 7:20am Sunday morning. Oh well. I was packing up and headed to Goblin Valley. Couldn't do anything about it anyway.

Goblin Valley. I had read online before losing service there was a town with gas stations 12 miles from the state park... but the ranger said the closest station was an hour away. Oh well. If I was really pushing it (and I had no idea what gas mileage I would get on dirt roads) I had 100 miles left in the tank. I drove to the overlook, the state brochure says there's 3 trails but the ranger said there weren't really any trails and to just walk around. 'It was worth the look'.

And yes, THIS was really worth it! I arrived 8am Sunday morning and Jada and I were the only ones there. I decided to have a good attitude, let go of the past and enjoy the present - beautiful scenery, gorgeous weather, lots of fun climbing over rocks and running and exploring. THIS WAS IT!

Tons of fun for almost 2 hours until Jada was too hot and only wanted to lay in the shade. So we walked back to the car and drove on. Intending to drive through Capitol Reef on the way home which was beautiful (except for the car in front of us who kept literally stopping on the 50mph interstate to look at a deer, and then a turkey, and then for cars at the parking lot. Learning lots of patience!) 

And then freedom after they turned off the interstate to go to the visitor center. And an unexpected surprise....

I love the Great Western Trail so much and enjoy hiking it at the top of Millcreek Canyon (from Big Water) and also in Park City (from the Canyons). And it was an excellent end to the trip.

What does this have to do with two wolves...? You tell me.

The Parable: The Tale of Two Wolves

A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other. 
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery, and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred, and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feed
There will always be opportunities to feed the wolves. Which one do you want to feed?

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Gym

Time to hit the gym... I don't remember the last time I had a gym membership. Wait, yes.... it was in 2002! I really don't like working out inside and since Jada became my partner in crime/constant side-kick 8 years ago I didn't have any reason to. FYI, I also practice yoga outside as much as possible when the weather is nice.

This morning I woke up at 7am and drove 5 minutes to MY gym. It's free.

 It's impossible to be in a bad mood or worry when surrounded by this much beauty.

The view from pretty valley (up Davis Creek) isn't bad either.

Don't have a picture but my gym mates are the birds, squirrels, and deer.
And life is good.

Kids and Yoga...


GreenTree Yoga

The past few months I have been enjoying teaching yoga to kids at Rose Park Elementary. This is a volunteer program through GreenTreeYoga where the school teachers are given several 5 minute "yoga breaks" to play for the kids. My job as the yoga volunteer is to come to their classroom once a week to strengthen the program, help the teachers if they have questions, and lead yoga for the day! RosePark is an inner-city, very diverse school in northwest Salt Lake. I was amazed at how happy the kids were and how eager they were to do yoga.

The most fascinating thing for me was to watch the kids settle and become calm in only 5 minutes of yoga. See the pictures below to see what the kids think of yoga. Quite often I hear people say "I don't have time to do yoga (or meditate)". I wonder what would happen if they BELIEVED only 5 minutes can make a difference...

In fact, one of my favorite online instructors right now is Brea at Heart and Bones Yoga She has really made yoga more accessible and frequent for me. I subscribe to her videos (only $17/month) and just wander across the hall into my home office and can do yoga EVERY morning! It is so easy and fun. Brea has some videos for "5 minute movement breaks" that I love. My very favorite are her shoulder series. (As a professional violinist my shoulders/neck get REALLY tight). And I also love to do her 25-minute morning wake-up videos and have incorporated a lot of these moves into my classes.

Credits: GreenTree Yoga and Yael Calhoun
              HeartandBones Yoga and Brea Johnson