Ashtanga at Sift

Last week we learned from special guest instructor: Kimberly Allan.

Kimberly "Kimber" first found yoga through injury. After she completed 6 months of hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2007, she was pleasantly surprised that she could not only heal her body through the practice, but that she could also find the same peace she could find while hiking mountains through asana.

Kimber did her teacher training in 2011 in Thailand studying Ashtanga Vinyasa with Larry Schultz based. Kimber has spent many years traveling between the US and Canada studying many styles of Vinyasa and teaching both in the US and Canada. Some of her favorite Vinyasa teachers include MC Yogi and Megan Currie.

It wasn’t until Kimber came to Ashtanga Yoga Victoria (where she currently teaches) that she really started feeling passionate about staying true to the Ashtanga lineage and the tradition of the practice. She loves the Mysore method and couldn’t imagine life without it. 

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What a special week this was exploring Ashtanga Yoga! 

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Ashtanga Yoga is an ancient system of Yoga that was taught by Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta. This text was imparted to Sri T. Krishnamacharya in the early 1900’s by his Guru Rama Mohan Brahmachari, and was later passed down to Pattabhi Jois during the duration of his studies with Krishnamacharya, beginning in 1927.

Ashtanga is a method, a path, for many practitioners, it becomes their primary spiritual practice. We practice not to advance in the sequence, but to live a more peaceful life. 

The Primary Series is cleansing for the body — from the lymphatic to the digestive to the cardiovascular systems. Other benefits vary by person, including but not limited to: internal/emotional strength, physical strength, discipline, calm and centered mind, improved sleep, desire to improve diet, etc. 

Keeping the consistency of an external factor (in this case asana practice) allows you to better tune into what’s happening internally. This is why asana is the "gateway" to the other 7 limbs of yoga.

Once memorized, the asana sequence is like a tool that you can carry in your pocket. You don’t need anything except your mat to practice. Like your breath — it’s always there for you. First you memorize the asana sequence, then the breath count, then you can shift your focus to drishti and bandhas. The practice becomes a moving meditation.

Here is the series we worked on this week: 

 Here is Surya Namaskara A. Repeat 5x. Take rest in balasana (childs pose) if needed. Or at the top of the mat in Samastitihi.

Here is Surya Namaskara A. Repeat 5x. Take rest in balasana (childs pose) if needed. Or at the top of the mat in Samastitihi.

 Surya Namaskara B repeat 5x. Take rest when needed. Breath with sound.

Surya Namaskara B repeat 5x. Take rest when needed. Breath with sound.

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 Closing postures. 10 breaths each.  Take rest in Savasana at least 5 minutes.

Closing postures. 10 breaths each.

Take rest in Savasana at least 5 minutes.

 

If this is something you would like to continue to learn more about - click here to see when our next Ashtanga for Beginners Series Begins

Remember you!

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Don’t forget about yourself! 

This week got me thinking... It was just a haircut, but it’s ALWAYS so much more! 

Tuesday I did a very normal thing, on a pretty normal day - I got my 💇 haircut. 
And like so many of us do, I made small talk with my stylist (a former cheerleader/student of mine that is ALL Grown Up!) We talked about my kids, my new home, and about the studio. 

She asked real questions about the business because she too is an entrepreneur, she too knows how much work happens behind the scenes, and she too knows the blood, sweat, and, tears that are associated with starting/running/continuously working to grow your brand. 

She was truly interested in hearing about Sift.... and so I started taking. I told her about our Sift Yoga family, about how our regulars know and love us (as we do them), and how I deep down know that I am fulfilling a need for so many wonderful people, offering a safe place for them to come take a deep breath, to move when and how they are ready, and provide them with a time to remember themselves. 

However, I didnt sugar coat things when I told her some months we are busier than others, or that August has been pretty slow overall. I told her, “You know, it’s like people love themselves, come try classes, commit to coming, but then life happens and ... they forget about themselves - they take care of everyone and everything else... and somewhere in there ... Yoga for THEM doesn’t make the cut” - I paused and said “that’s the hardest part, they are who I miss, they are who I write newsletters for, post to Facebook, or write handwritten notes to. They simply forget about themselves, and I hope through reaching back out I can remind them they are important”..... She smiled and nodded her head ....she knew EXACTLY what I meant! She knew EXACTLY how it felt! 

And then almost at the same time, I said “though I suppose I’m guilty of this too... I mean... I haven’t been to get my haircut since FEBRUARY!!!!” Yes you read that right!?!?! Ponytails for days! 🤣 

So I know that it’s easy for us to get busy, easy for us to forget to make ourselves a priority, easy for us to fill our days with too many commitments and not enough down time. I know that unexpected expenses come up, and things like haircuts, dining out, or yoga classes just can’t be a regular thing. 

But I guess what I’m trying to say is — just remember that you are worth remembering! That just like how I felt after FINALLY getting a haircut 🤣 you too deserve to be remembered! 

So take a moment, Open the calendar on your phone and add to a random time tomorrow or a few days next week the words “remember me”

“Remember Me” might be reading agood book for a few minutes, or a phone call to an old friend, a walk around the block with a four legged pal, a cup of tea on the deck early in the morning, or a warm bath at night before bed — of course we would love to see you at Sift, remembering you too!

Thanks friends for your love and support! 😘💇#itsneverjustahaircut #siftyoga#whatdoyouneedtosift #newburghindiana#rememberyou

It's JUNE!

It is so hard to believe it’s JUNE!!! I’m officially entering my 6th month as owner of Sift Yoga - AND THAT BLOWS MY MIND.

I’ve learned some much in the last 6 months not only about the ins and outs of being a small business owner, but also about people.

I’m so incredibly grateful for the support that I have received from friends and family near and far.

From previous clients of Renew (thank you for trusting my vision and allowing me to bring your little secret yoga out to grow - it was something special that needed to be shared).

From friends who are not into Yoga but still came to my Open Houses, sent me cards of encouragement, ask repeatedly about how things are going and continued messages of support. Love you all!!!

From my spouse who really deserves his own post about how supportive he is! 😍

And wow ....I have learned so much about myself. I am proud to be a role model for my kids showing that women can dream, chase dreams, be moms, and take risks. It isn’t one or the other! I’ve had to wipe tears, sweat, dust, and yoga mats 😉 a lot these last 5 months - but I cant wait to see what the future holds.

I am enjoying the ride, and trying to stay in this present moment. Embracing the magic that is Sift Yoga, and dreaming up new ways to share it with all of you!

I am so thankful! ❤️ Carrie

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Becca's Hummus and Veggie Pinwheels

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On a low carb wheat tortilla, spread your favorite kind of hummus. (Homemade or store bought is fine either way!)

Add four thinly sliced strips of red bell peppers on one side of the tortilla, Four thinly sliced raw zucchini sticks on the other side of the tortilla, Four pieces of raw baby spinach in the middle of the tortilla, And one roasted asparagus stalk on top of the spinach in the middle of the tortilla.

To roast asparagus: (Place one bunch of asparagus and two cloves of chopped garlic, tossed in olive oil, on a sheet pan line with paper. Roast in a preheated to 425 (F) degree oven for about twenty minutes or until tender. Salt and pepper to taste)

Now roll the tortilla with it's ingredients up carefully and slice in to one to two inch pieces (like sushi!). Serve as a fun and healthy summer snack for your kiddos.

They are also beautiful enough to bring to a backyard barbecue!

Enjoy:) - Becca

Healthy Eats from Becca: Egg Muffins

See what Yummy Recipe Becca has to share this month!

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Egg Muffins

In a medium sized skillet, sauté: 1 small package of fresh diced mushrooms, and 1/2 of a diced red bell pepper in coconut oil.

Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

As soon as the mushrooms and peppers are soft add two large handfuls of fresh spinach and wilt. Place this mixture in the bottom of a non stick twelve muffin pan.

Beat one dozen eggs. Add 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese to the beaten eggs, and give it a little stir together too. Now pour the egg and cheese mixture over the mushrooms, peppers, and spinach.

Place in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. (Checking along the way to see if the muffins have risen and are completely cooked and firm.)

After cooked and firm, pop the muffins out and enjoy!

They taste great with hot sauce or salsa on top. Also, you could add any veggies you like! I know broccoli works great in these. -ENJOY!

Red Pepper Sauce with Spiralized Veggies

Looking for a something a little Colorful for Dinner Tonight?

Try our very own, Rebecca's Red Pepper Sauce with Spiralized . Rebecca currently teaches 2 days a week with us at Sift Yoga. Food is one of Rebecca's many passions and I have invited her to share her talent with you a little each month.... and this dish looks delish!  

Ingredients: 

1 Fresh Red Pepper, chopped 

1/2 Cup Garbanzo Beans, rinsed

1/2 Cup Water

1/4 Nutritional Yeast

1 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Onion Powder

1/4 tsp Curry Powder 

1/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg

Directions: 

In a high powered blender add all ingredients and purée until smooth and bright. 

Warm in a small sauce pan and serve over blanched, spiralized vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, and sweet potatoes! Tastes delicious with red pepper flakes sprinkled on top and a side of garlicky, steamed broccoli.  

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Gluten free and heart healthy, you're going to love this recipe. Enjoy! 

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Meet Rebecca: I am a self taught, healthy cook who believes little changes to your eating style  can help you reap huge health benefits. I look at each meal and ask, "How can I tweak this recipe to obtain optimal nutrition, make it gorgeous, inviting, and fun for my family to eat?" I hope you enjoy our food journey together! Let's get  cooking!

Fizzy Bath Bombs - Love Relax

Today we have an Guest Blogger sharing a little about a fun new product on the shelf at Sift Yoga. Make sure next time you are in you check out L R Fizzy Bath Bombs made by 9 year old, Leena Rice. 

Leena writes: "I was inspired to make these bath bombs because they are a safe way to have fun in the bathtub and just to relax. The steps involved mixing all ingredients, pouring and flattening it into the molds, allowing it to dry and harden, and then bag them up for you to enjoy! 

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The Bath Bomb ingredients are: baking soda, citric acid, corn starch, epsom salt, water, olive oil, and essential oils. 

This batch was scented with Eucalyptus and Lavender. I hope you will give them a try! 

2 for $1.00 - available at Sift Yoga." 

- Leena
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Thoughts and words into actions and habits

Watch your thoughts; for they become words. Watch your words; for they become actions. Watch your actions; for they become habits. Watch your habits; for they become character. Watch your character for it will become your destiny. - FRANK OUTLAW

Are you signed up for the upcoming "Visualize Your Life" Workshop at Sift?

It is a perfect way to transform those thoughts and words into actions, habits, character, and destiny! Check out the video here to see more about this amazing day we have planned! 

 

Workshop Date: Feb 17, 2018 

Register at https://visualize-your-life.eventbrite.com

Visualize Your Life through Vision Boarding

Hello friends old and new!

Are you exactly where you would like to be in your life -- personally, professionally, health, family life & relationships? Are you ready to focus and get clear on what you really want and how to achieve your dreams?

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I’m Kristi Cirignano, and I’m so excited to be partnering with Carrie to bring you a vision board workshop we’re calling “Visualize your Life.” Join us on Saturday, February 17 from 9-12 for a fun and inspiring morning incorporating yoga, meditation, life and wellness coaching and creating your own vision board. Reserve your spot here!

Carrie asked me to do a guest blog post to introduce myself to all of you before the workshop. So let me share a bit about my health journey and what led me to wellness coaching.

I’m a wife, mom to four amazing kids (10 year old triplets and a 3 year old) and a Certified Health Coach at Nourished for Life Wellness Coaching. I do local workshops, online group coaching and private coaching with parents, families and individuals who want to change their health story. I also write a healthy eating and living blog and a weekly-ish email with healthy living inspiration.  

My goal is to empower you to change your health and future through whole food and a healthful lifestyle. I provide education, resources, inspiration and support to help you make doable and sustainable changes to reduce or relieve ongoing symptoms and feel your best, reduce risk of disease, slow the aging process and live every day to the fullest! 

My own health journey began 12 years ago when I was practicing law. I went through three miscarriages and was diagnosed with an endocrine disorder. After a lot of research and prayer, I came to realize the overriding problem was pretty simple: I wasn’t providing myself with the nourishment I needed for my own body to be healthy and function the way God intended, much less sustain a pregnancy and grow another healthy little life. 

We began reducing processed foods and moving to a real, whole food eating plan. In November 2007, we were blessed with the birth of triplets. As a mom I became even more committed to feeding my family real food and teaching my kids to nourish and care for their bodies. Seven years later, I had dramatically changed my diet, started drinking a big green smoothie every day, using Juice Plus and doing yoga several times/week. I felt better and was healthier than I have ever been. A wonderful surprise pregnancy and the birth of our youngest daughter confirmed I was on the right track and my body was finally getting back in balance.

During that same period of time I had another big wake up call--one of my dearest friends, a young mom with two beautiful little girls, was diagnosed with stage IV cancer. After she was told by some of the best oncologists in the country she probably only had a year to live, we began researching food choices and holistic cancer treatment options and I became even more convinced of the enormous impact our food and lifestyle choices make on our health. 

When my triplets went off to Kindergarten, I decided to share my passion for whole foods and healthy living by becoming a health coach. The more I learn and grow as a health coach, the more convinced I become that (1) eating whole foods and eliminating toxins is absolutely vital to our health and (2) other concerns such as stress, sleep, safe movement, unaddressed trauma and faith are just as important. So I work with clients on all of these fundamentals of good health.

Vision boarding is such a powerful tool to help us clarify our wellness goals and our dreams, goals and plans for every aspect of our life! If you’re looking for more in any area of your life but aren’t quite sure what direction to go or what your or next steps should be, the process of creating a vision board can help you find that clarity and figure out what it is that lights you up and brings you fulfillment and joy. 

If you are a person of faith trying to figure out where God is leading you in your life, Psalm 37:4 tells us, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” I don’t think this means God will give us everything we want. I think it means He will place in our hearts the same desires that He has for us. When I was trying to figure out if I should go back to practicing law, or what I was supposed to be doing with my life, my prayer was that God would place in my heart dreams and goals that were consistent with His will and plan for my life. Creating a vision board was a really impactful part of this process for me. 

If you are crystal clear on your dreams already--great! Vision boards are a wonderful daily reminder to keep us focused on our goals and to help us break down those big dreams into smaller doable steps. I find it so easy to get bogged down in the mundane, hectic daily routines and tasks and lose sight of the big picture—my goals, dreams and the things in life that bring me fulfillment and joy. Having those things all collected on one poster board I look at every single day helps keep me focused on the things that really matter. It reminds me every day of what I want my life to look like so that I can pray about it, plan for it, act on it now or work at it until it becomes reality.   

Are you ready to get clear on your dreams and set your intentions for 2018? Reserve your spot here and join us February 17 to Visualize Your Life!  

Can’t wait to see you there!!

Kristi

LIVE TV! Perfectly - Imperfect!

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This morning my friend Colleen Scholer and I drove to Henderson to be a guest on the Local Lifestyles Show with Ange Humphrey. We were set to promote a new Youth Series Colleen is facilitating called GirLife. It's going to be an awesome addition to what we offer at Sift and I am thrilled we can house it! (More info in the Workshops Section)

But, ya'll Live TV is no joke! Ha ha!

Colleen was so prepared with her note cards and perfectly crafted answers - I planned to "wing it". I thought I would be more nervous if I rehearsed some of my answers. I want to start off by saying Ange is a true professional! She quickly greeted us when we arrived and made sure that we introduced ourselves to the other guests of the program, a perfect networking opportunity, and then told us where to sit and wait for our time on air. 

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When it was our turn, we were 2nd, we were escorted behind the scenes to the main room of the station. The kid in you can't help but get excited seeing what really goes on "behind the scenes of THE NEWS"! We were mic'd up and then it was our turn to join Angee on stage. After a few jokes with Ron Rhodes off air about NO MORE SNOW DAYS for our kids -- She took the time to ask if I was nervous and told me to just relax and act like we are old friends. I mean, she just makes you feel at ease being around her! I wanted to be her friend! :)  

Showtime! 10 seconds, 3-2-1 - It's LIVE! And I instantly thought... WHERE DO I LOOK? Camera, Colleen, Ange, where??? The questions start happening and all the sudden, I had to take a deep breath and go with it! It is fast and over before you can even remember what you said!

As soon as it was over, Regret sets in for a moment.... AH I should have said this, or why did I say that! Like for instance, "Change the face of yoga" what ... I don't want to do that.... I want to ADD to the yoga in our community! We have AN AWESOME YOGA presence in our community! And did I just pronounce the name of our street wrong???

But yogis know, it is about the moment, the moment has passed and now it is time to move on! Perfectly Imperfect! My shirt I chose for the day is truly what I want Sift to represent. It is truly who I am working to be/embrace and what better way than on LIVE TV! 

So my first LIVE appearance is under my belt, I know next time I'll make my cards or prep my thoughts a little better - I know where to look and when to breathe - and I am ready for my next on screen moment! HA HA 

But, you know what - It was fun! I love shining ANY LIGHT I can on YOGA - Especially for kids! So I will count today as a success. 

If you want to watch and missed us live, here is the link! Let me know what you think :) Or don't if you want to spare my feelings :) 

Rebecca's Jewel Beet Hummus

Looking for a GORGEOUS appetizer to add to your Holiday Meal?

Try our very own, Rebecca's Jewel Beet Hummus. Rebecca currently teaches 2 days a week with us at Sift Yoga. Food is one of Rebecca's many passions and I have invited her to share her talent with you a little each month.... and this first dish looks delish!  

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1 small, fresh beet
1 15 oz can of Garbanzo beans drained (reserve 6 Tbsp of the bean juice), and rinsed
2 Heaping Tbsp Tahini Paste
1 clove Garlic
Juice from 1/2 a large lemon
Salt

Roast the beet in a 425 F preheated oven for forty five minutes (or until fork tender).
Peel the beet and chop in to large pieces after roasting.
Add the beet, beans, bean juice, tahini paste, garlic clove,lemon juice, and salt in a food processor, and blend until smooth and jewel toned.

Serve with colorful veggies, such as carrots, yellow bell peppers, and celery. Having some crackers with it could be extra good too.

Who wouldn't want to eat gorgeous, pink dip? Plus it tastes earthy, nutty, and lemony! Adding the beets to the hummus adds a wealth of extra nutrition. Beets are good for keeping your heart healthy and they help give us extra energy for our holiday season! Not using olive oil in this recipe, as is typical in most hummus recipes, reduces extra fat and calories.

Add eight to ten drops of sriracha sauce if you need to spice things up!

Enjoy!

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Meet Rebecca: I am a self taught, healthy cook who believes little changes to your eating style  can help you reap huge health benefits. I look at each meal and ask, "How can I tweak this recipe to obtain optimal nutrition, make it gorgeous, inviting, and fun for my family to eat?" I hope you enjoy our food journey together! Let's get  cooking!

Building a dream - Sift Yoga

Life sure has a way of taking you on journey and opportunities do seem to present themselves when you are open to them. The dream of having my own space, my own studio, has been something I have been thinking of for many years and over the last few weeks the work, time, and energy is starting to pay off. 

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The Doors of Sift Yoga will officially open on January 2, 2018. The schedule is modest, the teaching staff is small, and our space feels relaxed and comfortable - and that feels just about right. I am building a space not just for yoga, but for community, and positivity. I am building a space where adults can take a deep breath, maybe the first real breath in a long time. I am building a space where students can unwind and release the pressure for just a few moments. I am building a space where athletes can come and allow their muscles a little down time, without worry of records or the next big performance. I am building a space where families can bring their children and know that the work there may not always be on the outside, or something with immediate results, but something is happening - those kiddos are learning the importance of being kind not only to others but to themselves. 

I can only hope that what I have learned through Yoga - will help many more come to truly love themselves, take time for breath, and relaxation. If I can help even just a handful of parents remember to raise children to be whole, we as parents must be whole. And that is not a small task. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you will come join us at Sift for a class or event in the near future. 

-Carrie

Naming "Sift"

It’s happening.... I’m opening my own Yoga Studio (January 2018) — it will be called Sift Yoga. Where did that name come from? - You Ask....

Well, I had been compiling a list for over a week of possible names and nothing really represented the emotions I wanted. Then as life has it, I stopped looking, and just let it come! 

I started re-reading my favorite book of 2017, “Crisis comes from the word meaning to sift. Let it all fall away and you’ll be left with what matters. What matters most can not be taken away.” - Glennon Melton Doyle in “Love Warrior” - you should read that book by the way! Powerful stuff! 

I just thought 💭 ...THAT’S it! 

To Sift - That’s what Yoga helps me do. Sift through life and remember what matters most! So just like that we had a name. "Sift Yoga"

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What do you need to Sift?

If you have ever watched a child play in the sand, one of their favorite ways to discover the world around them is to pick up sand and let it slowly fall through their fingers.

They are sifting sand through the cracks and spaces between each finger. Some sand sticks to those cute little hands, and the rest falls away. 

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Yoga is like that for me. When I step on my mat - I bring it all! The good, the bad, and the in-between. I use the pace and depth of my breath to hold on to what matters - however, with each posture or pose I release something that I no longer need.

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It falls away.  

Sift Yoga has been a dream of mine, long before it had a name and long before I had a space.

This dream has come out of years of teaching, years of meeting fantastic yogis from many walks of life. I have taught in a small studio, outdoors at a local park, and a large gym. The energy that happens in a yoga class can not be duplicated. 

I look forward to this new adventure - I look forward to meeting more new people and seeing how yoga can help them Sift through the stresses of everyday life. Join us on the mat! See what Yoga can offer you. 

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Yogis of Instagram!

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I’ve joined Instagram!

So for months, maybe years - my yoga clients have been telling me I should be using Instagram. I always thought, you know - they are probably right... so this Fall, I decided to give it a fair shot.

Let me tell you, you #instayogis are AMAZING! You are doing yoga on this platform, but really it’s ART! #yogaart The backdrops make me want to #traveltheworld , the poses make me want to #practiceallday#yogaeverydamnday and I am in love with each of you trying to spread the #loveandlight that is Yoga. But - let’s be honest, we aren’t all doing yoga in beautiful spaces, we don’t all have gorgeous long hair, and perfect young bodies (whatever that means) - that doesn’t make our posts any less important or #authentic. Just as, how you doing yoga on a gorgeous beach doesn’t make your post inauthentic. To a certain degree it’s all real 😉

 We as teachers and practitioners are all doing yoga to show it to the world - to remind ourselves to breathe, stretch, move in a way that makes us feel strong, beautiful, and empowered. It’s important for all of us to remember that everyone started as a beginner at some point. We are rolling out our mats to turn down our crazy and ignite our light. Thank you Yogis of Instagram for welcoming me to your community. Allowing all of us to practice alongside you with poses that we hope will inspire others - like your beautiful works of art - inspire us! #yogagoals #yogabreath#yogalight

"If it's just me for class..."

"If it's just you and me for class today, we can cancel." (Said a student who arrived a few minutes before a couple others this morning) 

I of course, reassured her that we could do whatever she was comfortable with, and that if we were patient I was sure (hoped) others would be coming.

Here's what I should have said:

My friend, no that is not what I want!

Classes small or large, the energy I bring is the same. Do I get more from large classes?

Maybe my ego does - but my heart ❤️ not really.

You made the conscious choice - choice to get dressed, fill your water bottle, grab your mat, get in the car and drive to MY class - and I'm honored! So I will absolutely teach you, practice alongside you, or chat about how you can advance your practice.

You are here, I'm here - so let's do some yoga!

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Yoga Studio Tour: Yoga in the Park

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About a month ago,  I started thinking how many amazing yoga studios there are in our area.  Maybe I should start touring them, and checking out all the different types of yoga and classes offered around here.

I am a firm believer that yoga is not one-size-fits-all. You have to find the style that resonates with you, and that may change daily. So here I am I'm taking a tour, I'm deciding to try different styles, different instructors, not only to visit for you - my readers, but to grow myself as an instructor!

So this week, Yoga in the Park.

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Full Disclosure - I work here, I AM YOGA IN THE PARK. :)

BUT... this is my blog - so therefore I make the rules! HAHAHA 

Here is my review: 

  • First, If you have never practiced Yoga outside, you are MISSING OUT. Yoga in the Park, offers so much more than a studio can do. There is just something about the breeze on your face, while you feel the warmth of the sun on the face! 
  • The classes offered at Friedman Park are truly all levels. We have had all ages, sizes, and genders coming to do Yoga in the Park. No real yoga experience is needed to join us for classes. There are different class options - so make sure you read class descriptions on the website to find the appropriate place to start. 
  • The parking at Friedman Park is plentiful. There is a bit of a walk from the parking lot to the Pavilion where we hold must classes, but completely worth it. I suggest parking near the EAST Picnic Pavilion. Most classes will be held in the Amphitheater. See the Park Map Here. 
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  • There is not a dedicated Yoga Studio at the Park. It is a public park. There will be occasional noise, like tractors mowing or laying sod, dogs barking, children wahooo-ing as they speed down the hill on their bikes. To me, all of this makes it that much more special. You can truly take the experience, stay present, and keep your practice lighthearted. 
  • If you want equipment to assist your practice you will need to bring it.  Mats, towels, blocks, and straps, are not needed (a beach towel works great) but if you want to bring them - you are welcome to. 
  • Payment for classes is by donation. The suggested amount is $5-10 per class, however I love sharing the joy of yoga with all - that is why it is a donation. 
  • No online pre-registration is necessary (drop-ins welcome).
  • Please arrive at least 10 minutes early to sign a liability waiver and place your mat.
  • Of course, the yoga will be outside! Bring your mat (or beach towel), hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray, and outdoor accessories.
  • The atmosphere is al ways welcoming and friendly in my opinion. However, if you are worried about not knowing anyone - Bring a Friend!  Having someone to connect with makes the experience much more enjoyable and you are more likely to stick with it. 
  • Those with a family - you don't have CHILDCARE while you attend classes, but the park is huge and gorgeous!! So, have someone come with you to keep eye on the kids while you do yoga. They can bike, play ball, or enjoy the playground while you are doing a class.

So what are you waiting for? Yoga in the Park is ready for you! Those who have attended these classes at Friedman Park - what would you add to this review?

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The Evolution of Healthy Starts, LLC

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Quick backstory, in 2012 I started my own business. My twins were less than a year old, and I felt called to start TEACHING again! I had made the decision to stay home and care for my 3 children, instead of returning my full-time teaching job at a local middle school, but I had an ache for something more. At the time, I thought there was a gap in programming for active toddlers in our area so I opened Healthy Starts, LLC.

Healthy Starts was a program geared to bring fun and fitness to toddlers through music, movement, and healthy living education. 

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The classes were ran out of a local church and the Alternative School for about a year and a half. Then I decided it was time to move on. I absolutely loved planning for the classes, but I just didn't have enough money, time, or energy anymore to continue to put into the program. I am so incredibly grateful to all those 1st clients who trusted me enough to try the classes and pay me to PLAY with their children. I made some fantastic contacts and friends from that experience.

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I gained a lot of confidence from putting myself out there as a business owner, and I knew in my heart I would come back to the passion - just maybe in a different form some day. 

I kept my LLC in place, knowing that someday I would put it to use. In the fall of 2013, I began Yoga Teacher training (this time focus was on ADULTS). As most teachers will tell you, they have all the confidence in the world to teach a room full of kids - they are not intimidated by that. But, put them in front of a room full of adults, and things change. I wasn't sure I could teach adults like I taught kids, but I felt like I needed to try. 

Here is where the Healthy Starts name took a shift 

When picking out the name for my toddler exercise program Healthy Starts meant starting these kids off on the path to better health at a young age. Teaching them that fitness was fun and didn't always have to include sports. It meant that taking care of our bodies through healthy food choices, good hygiene, and positive self-talk could start as early as 18 months. The themes I used each week, were all about empowering the children to help Mom and Dad live a healthy life. 

Though, as life does --- I learned a DIFFERENT LESSON!

Helping Children have Healthy Starts are 100% important, but can children really make those choices without a Healthy Role Model?

Healthy Starts, is still a very appropriate name for my Business Entity, because Healthy Starts with us! If we as parents, are working to make Healthy Choices for our families the impact will happen right in our homes. If we as citizens of our community, make the effort to support walking trails, local parks, or farmer's markets those Healthy choices will have an impact in our community. If we as voters, support legislators who fight to keep our food sources healthy and our waters and air clean this has an impact on our nation. 

So here is where Yoga with Carrie Rice REALLY gets its FUEL!

Making time for self-care by rolling out our Yoga Mats - will help EVERYONE around you have a Healthy Start. You can start someones day by sharing your kind and positive energy alongside them in a yoga class or simply with a smile as you pass in the aisles of the grocery store. When you are in a place of peace, you will radiate that to all you encounter. Of course, we all have our moments - our days that are LESS THAN PERFECT - but we all have the choice to try to grab a moment and shift our mood, our day, in a way that it will have a Healthy Start. 

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We all have to start somewhere - so lets start together! Healthy Starts with each of us.

To learn more about the programs or upcoming events of Yoga with Carrie Rice (Healthy Starts, LLC) check out my facebook page or website

Top 5 Reasons to try a Dance Fitness Class

So Yogis, I have a question for you? When was the last time you went out with friends and hit the dance floor? For most of us, the answer would be a cousin's wedding, high school reunion (like where this photo is from), or when I was in college. That answer is EXACTLY why, you need to get to a Dance Fitness Class. 

 Look at that - Momma got a NIGHT OUT! 

Look at that - Momma got a NIGHT OUT! 

As we age it is important to keep our heart and mind healthy.... and getting outside your comfort zone - or BACK IN TO your comfort zone, is a perfect way!

Here are 5 Reasons YOU Need to get to a Dance Fitness Class: 

1. It is FUN! It really is like a party! The instructors are on a mic, the music is full of beat, and everyone is having a great time! You often hear lots of "Woohoos", and "YEAH", and "that's right"! 😄 Most teachers dim the lights and the music is loud. It takes you back! Back to a carefree time of friendship, fun, and music.

2. It is cheer camp or dance camp without the drama! Choreography is good for the BRAIN! As a former cheerleader, I have many fond memories of cheer camp. I loved learning new choreography and working on matching my body to the beat. That's what this class is like! Except there is zero peer drama! All you got to do here is show up, have fun, and remember to smile.  If you were in a cheerleader, dancer, or you feel like you have zero rhythm at all, it's still OK. Dance Fitness classes like this don't require that you hit every move full out, or any move for that matter. Just as long as keep moving, and enjoying the beat, you will get a great workout! But not only your body is working, but also your brain. In this great article posted on the Les Mills Website " Modern research shows that throughout your life the brain has the ability to adapt and regenerate – all it needs is the right environment. Dance classes can be the perfect place. For most of us dancing is both physically and mentally challenging. It combines the processing, coordination and execution of unique movements and requires a lot of genuine concentration. This type of active concentration-based activity can increase the amount of cells in the brain’s hippocampus. Cell growth in the hippocampus is important because one of the first areas of the brain to show deterioration, causing problems with memory. If you proactively look to increase the amount of cells in the hippocampus it can potentially lower the risk of suffering from terrible conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s in old age." So why not, give your brain a workout along with the body. 

 A few flashback photos to my cheer days!

A few flashback photos to my cheer days!

3. It is a great cardio workout! Options like Zumba state that it is "A total workout, combining all elements of fitness – cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility, boosted energy and a serious dose of awesome each time you leave class". Les Mills Sh'Bam says describes itself as "A fun-loving, insanely addictive dance workout. SH’BAM™ is an ego-free zone – no dance experience required. All you need is a playful attitude and a cheeky smile so forget being a wallflower – even if you walk in thinking you can’t, you’ll walk out knowing you can!" Jazzercise is described as "a pulse-pounding, beat-pumping fitness program that gets you results…fast. It’s a calorie-torching, hip swiveling dance party with a hot playlist to distract you from the burn."  Beachbody's CIZE says " Performing these pulse-pounding, thrilling workouts is serious cardiovascular conditioning, core strengthening, and overall muscle toning—all at once."   ----- For me, I don't care much about the number of calories I am burning, but I do know with each class my heart is beating hard, I'm breathing heavy, sweat is dripping down my face, and I'm enjoying it all along the way! These classes are full of laughter, and great for your heart. Trust me when I say, you forget you're doing cardio! 

4. You get to move your hips! Often times in our strength training or yoga practice we are so rigid. We forget to add the fluidity to each movement, taking time to move your hips, stomp your feet, pop the booty, and get low! Circling your hips or doing a body roll, can also tap into your sassy feminine side. Giving you a quick reminder, that even on days when you don't feel like it - You are still sexy, you are beautiful, and you STILL GOT IT! This playfulness in your dance will then transform into playfulness on your yoga mat or other areas of your life.  

5. You're finally wearing shoes! Yogis here is an excuse for a new pair of athletic kicks or dance shoes! What girl doesn't like an excuse to go shoe shopping! You can also pull out any of the workout gear you have that isn't necessarily intended for yoga. Again another excuse to hit the shops!

So there you have it - My 5 reasons you should be adding Dance Fitness to your life! There are lots of great options online through YouTube, but I HIGHLY recommend you find a LIVE CLASS and take a friend!