Monday, October 29, 2018

Yoga fun in Kenner, LA!

News from Walter Schneckenberger Elementary School:

The Impossible Dream: A Yoga Storytelling Adventure by Kathe Hudson and Melanie Moyer (from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana)
October 23, 2018

Our 2nd grade students were able to participate in this lively storytelling combining a Cajun retelling with yoga to help students become mindful and focused on Monday, October 22nd. Through literature and yoga to help students, the authors of The Impossible Dream encouraged kids to express themselves and inspire them to follow their dreams through self-discovery. In addition, students were able to develop their physical literacy skills while learning about Louisiana and Acadian history. 

Thanks to librarian, Julie Broussard for the outstanding post. We had an amazing time with the Scheneckenberger 2nd graders!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Remember Who You Are

You are a spiritual being having an earthly experience! Remind yourself often that you are brave, you are bright, and you are beautiful!
You are brave every single day just by living here on the earth plane where things can get quite challenging. Surely there are not a lot of days when some trial doesn't present itself to you in some way, yet you continue on, overcoming every obstacle. You continue to take action despite your fears and doubts. Yes, dear one, you are so very brave. Please don't ever forget that. 
You are bright like a shining star! You have no idea how many people you've touched in your lifetime; how you've managed to brighten the day for someone just by your smile or by listening to someone who was having one of those challenging moments. 
You are beautiful. You might look in the mirror and see flaws, but this is only an illusion. You are perfect just as you are. Remember you are a beautiful, infinite spirit having a temporary earthy experience. 
Our story this month; Remember Who You Are.
This month we practiced a fun set of poses that move smoothly from one into the next such as moving into Warrior III from Warrior I by shifting the body forward, lifting the back leg and reaching forward. One particular pose we practiced that some of us find fun, while others find challenging is Triangle Pose. The great thing about Triangle Pose is that it becomes much more accessible with a block set next to the foot. Here are the steps if you would like to try out this pose. Have fun! You can do this, Remember Who You Are!

Begin standing in Mountain Pose and place a block on the outside of your right foot. Take a big step back with the left foot and turn the foot to face the long side of your mat. Bring the arms up to shoulder height, along side your body, parallel to the floor. Reach out actively through the fingertips of both hands, palms facing down, and soften the tops of the shoulders. Begin to extend your right hand forward and hinge at your right hip to bring your hand down to the block, keeping your front body and pelvis facing toward the long side of your mat. Reach up toward the sky with your left hand. Breathe slowly and evenly. To come out of the pose use your abs to hinge back up, lower your arms and step forward into Mountain Pose. Move the block to your left side and step back with the right foot. Repeat the steps.

Love, light and laughter, 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

What? ...a pain in the neck

Is life giving you a pain in the neck? Are you carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders? Is so, you're not alone. 

Neck and shoulder pain usually go together. The most common cause of neck and shoulder pain is stress, either emotional or physical. Much of the physical tension we experience comes from our lifestyle choices. Many of us spend most of our days sitting, rounding our bodies forward while driving, working on a computer, or scrolling through our smartphones. Yes, even the way we sleep can give us a pain in the neck, and in our high-stress, hurried world many of us often feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. The body is clever though, when we are out of alignment it gives us a nudge. If we take notice and make adjustments, life can return to normal pretty quickly. But if we ignore the signals, what starts out as a little pain frequently turns into a big pain. 

Tight shoulders and a stiff neck may be telling you something on an emotional level. The mind/body connection is real. We know our minds carry our emotional stress, but our bodies do too. Our necks relate to how we express ourselves. Are we able to speak our personal truths? Neck problems can also relate to flexibility. Our necks allow us to turn and see things from a different perspective. Are we being stiff necked about something? Do we need to look at it from a different angle? Everything that is dear to us is held by our hands and carried to our hearts through our shoulders; however, our shoulders are also where we carry our burdens. Are we carrying too much responsibility? Can we set something down? 

Yoga helps us ease neck and shoulder pain on many levels. Physically, we stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak ones as we cultivate flexibility, stability and ease of movement. Emotionally, yoga is a potent stress reliever. It teaches us how to relax and connect to an inner sense of peace. Using yoga as a tool to relieve physical and emotional stress is one of the many ways we can heal ourselves. Taking the time to relieve the stress of neck and shoulder pain can help you feel revitalized in the whole body. Revitalized, I love this word, to be imbued with new life and vitality.  

Our story this month; Relieving stress revitalizes me!

The following are a couple of stretches to relieve neck and shoulder tension. 

Come to sitting mountain, easy pose, a stable, steady cross legged position, let your seat settle into the ground, let the spine be straight and strong and the head lift high to the sky. You can come into sitting mountain in a chair also, both feet resting on the ground, knees hip distance apart and over the ankles. 

Neck stretch 1; Inhale and extend the spine as you bring the hands behind the head and interlace the fingers, the elbows are out wide, exhale and lower the chin to the chest bringing the elbows toward one another, pause, let the gently weight of the hands and gravity release the neck, relax the shoulders. Inhale slowly and deeply as you lift the head and open the elbows wide, repeat the movement several times. (see image above)

Neck stretch 2; Interlace the hands behind the back and bring both hands to the left waist. Inhale and sit tall, exhale and lower the left ear to the left shoulder, relax the shoulders. Hold the pose for 3 deep breaths. Return the head to the center and turn to look left. Hold 3 deep breaths. Repeat on the opposite side. 

Happiness and health, 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018


Aparigraha is the last of the five yamas of Patanjali's Eight Limbs of Yoga. It often translates as non-greed, non-possessiveness, and non-attachment. It involves letting go of our attachments to possessions and people as well as letting go of our opinions. Our egos love to cling to our ideas and inflexible opinions, however, being inflexible keeps us stuck in a rut. It is better to change our minds - so to speak - and be open to another way of looking at things, to be open to another perspective. Everything in the world is always changing. Change is the only constant thing we can expect in life. Trees don't cling to their leaves but instead drop them in autumn so they can grow new buds in the springtime. Day turns into night in order for us to rest and rejuvenate for the next day, and if we cling to the day we would not get enough rest and would become exhausted. 

We go through changes every moment of every day. Our emotions change. Happiness, joy, and peace are important emotions to feel but so too are anger, sadness, and loss. To experience only the good stuff is to experience only half of what life has to offer. The school of life exists to allow us to experience and learn from every aspect, both the light and the dark, and to truly live we must not push away the things we don't want to feel, but allow them to happen, and know that this too shall pass. We can allow ourselves the freedom to rely less on material possessions or relationships to bring us happiness. We can allow ourselves the freedom to experience everything life has to offer, whatever that may be because letting go is not a loss, but an emancipation.    

Our story this month is, "Non-attachment offers me freedom." 

Our peak pose this month is Shoulder Stand, an inversion dubbed, "The Queen of Asanas" or "The Mother of Asanas." Because inversions can be tough - not to mention humbling, practicing them provides an outlet to learning non-attachment. With practice you learn not to focus on what the pose looks like, but on being in the moment. 

If you would like to give Shoulder Stand a try there are a few precautions you need to be aware of. If you are suffering from a neck or shoulder injury Shoulder Stand should be avoided. Those with glaucoma, high blood pressure or pregnant may want to substitute a restorative pose such as Leg's Up the Wall Pose. If you have not attempted Shoulder Stand before and are new to yoga it would be best to have a yoga instructor assist you. With that said, Shoulder Stand has tremendous benefits. It increases circulation in the lymphatic system, improves digestion, nourishes the thyroid, parathyroid and thymus glands, and last but not least helps to relieve emotional stress. 

Lie on your back and bend your knees placing the soles of your feet on the ground. Place your hands on your waist, palms and fingers supporting underneath your back. Bring your knees up toward your forehead; let the knees rest on your forehead. Straighten your legs up toward the ceiling and work your hands up your back toward the shoulder blades. To come out of the pose slowly soften your knees toward your forehead, and then slowly lower your feet back to the mat using your hands to support your back. Congratulations on completing the Mother of Asanas!

Love, Light, and Laughter, 

Friday, July 6, 2018

What we resist persists

Resistance and resolution are opposites. Resistance is basically not being willing or able to deal with the difficult experiences in life. Resistance will never improve our circumstances, as Carl Jung said, "What we resist persists."

We are taught early on in life to separate things into good and bad, complaining about the bad and rejoicing in the good. Life is constantly in motion however, everything comes and goes. What we deem good and bad comes and goes.  Our emotions come an go, but when we hold on to feelings of hurt, sorrow, anxiety, or anger they persist. They stay with us, these emotions get stuck in the body causing tension and dis-ease. 

Yet when we feel these negative feelings in a positive way, we then can let them go and a feeling fully felt will finally fade. Feeling these feelings does not mean we obsess about them or react to them. It means we become aware of them and breathe through them. Our emotions are essential to having a deeper understanding of our inner spiritual nature and creating authentic power. Becoming emotionally aware helps us move into our full potential and not be bound by experiences of fear and resentment. Resolution to life's problems means we must deal with these feelings and experiences, not deny them or fight against them. By fighting against them we only create tension in all areas of our life. 

Feelings and thoughts go hand in hand. All feelings are caused by thoughts. All thoughts produces feelings, and feelings create actions. Quantum Theory says our thoughts and feelings shape our life. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond to what is happening. The Yoga Sutra also tells us, when the mind is disturbed by disturbing thoughts cultivate the opposite; pratipaksha-bhavana. In other words, change your thoughts...change your life. 

Therefore, we are best served by accepting our present circumstances - this is what is happening - and in doing so make a choice and act in support of that choice. By making responsible choices we can change our thoughts and feelings, and in changing ourselves we change our circumstances. 

We have been moving full speed ahead since spring and with summer in full swing a nice cooling Yin yoga practice seemed appropriate. Yin allows us to cool down, relax and let go. It helps us to let go of resistance which manifests as tension and dis-ease in the body and mind. Yin increases flexibility focusing on inter-connective tissue, ligaments and joints. When we practice yoga, we breathe through what is happening as well as what we are feeling. Our story this month; I relax and let go.  

Yin poses are typically held for 5 minutes. We cooled down, relaxed and let go with Supported Reclined Butterfly pose. Give it a try, we think you'll like it!

Supported Reclined Butterfly

The shoulder blades and head are supported with a yoga block, bolster, or rolled blanket. Be creative with whatever you have. This pose loosens the hips, groins, knees, and inner thighs as well as the shoulders, opens the chest and improves blood flow. It lowers blood pressure, decreases muscle tension, reduces occurrences of headaches, relieves fatigue and insomnia, reduces nervous tension and stress, and relieves anxiety and panic attacks. Supported Reclined Butterfly is a doozey! 

Set up your support. Sit tall bringing the soles of the feet together, relax the knees open, lean back on the elbows and ease into the pose finding support for your shoulder blades and head, making adjustments as needed. Lie back and bring the arms alongside the body palms facing up. Close you eyes. Breathe. Relax and let go.

To come out of the pose, draw your knees together. Roll to your side and use your hands to press up to a seated position. 

Relax and let go, 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Libraries Rock!

We spent several adventurous days with the Richland Public Library's amazing kids for the Summer Reading Program!

The sun beamed bright, the day a delight as our yoga storytelling adventure began. Our plans included a stop off in Ruston for peaches. Ruston is north Louisiana's peach paradise and the season had just opened. Mitcham Farms is just peachy, it has a delightful gift shop with all sort of peach goodies and fresh peaches galore. Millions of peaches...peaches for me! After a few sweet purchases we lapped up some peach ice cream before shoving off for Richland Parish.

Richland parish is the home of Louisiana's first public library. Who would have known? It was built in 1927, the year of the great flood. Stories are told of people who paddled their pirogues into town to borrow books until the water receded. A sturdy, red brick building it is still is use as a memorial library.  

Good girl scouts always scout out their territory so we google mapped the addresses for the branches we were to visit and set out to locate them ahead of time. Gotta be prepared ya know, don't want to get lost or be late. Well...the printed map and the mobile map got us lost, and if we would have waited til morning we would've definitely been late! The first library was just up the road from where we were staying but the map took us this way and that way to no avail. Putting the maps aside we allowed intuition to guide us and found it easy peasy just around the bend.

We can't say enough about the librarians we worked with. They were incredibly welcoming, thank you Debbie, Amanda and Sara! Richland parish is rural, it has two branch libraries each one about a 20-minute drive from the main library in Rayville. The libraries have recently been handsomely renovated and it was wonderful to see the communities utilizing them. Libraries Rock!

Four presentations were scheduled, two each day. Each session the kids sat enchanted as we told The Impossible Dream. Introducing kids to yoga is exciting as well as rewarding, you never know what you're gonna get. One of our participants had a leg in a cast and was on crutches. Did it stop him? No way! Which only reminded us...Nothing is Impossible!

In gratitude. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Finding Joy

Joy comes naturally during the easy times of life, but it takes effort to find moments of happiness during the hard ones. Life has many trials and tribulations, but we can experience joy throughout if we keep in mind that hardships do ultimately dissipate. Growing up any time I was sad or frustrated my Mom would tell me, "this too shall pass", and this did seem to help somewhat because it gave me hope that things would eventually get better. I still think of those words today whenever I am feeling down. 

One way to find happiness during difficult times is to be grateful for all the good that you have. Recognize the abundance and blessings in your life, even in the midst of the difficulties by appreciating the things that you have and not taking things for granted. It may be simple as appreciating having a roof over your head and food in the cabinet. Writing down what you are grateful for expands the process. Keep a gratitude journal and write in it every night before bed or maybe once a week. You might even want to write down your troubles. Let enough time pass before rereading what you wrote in your journal and you could discover there was a reason for the difficulty and it may even have been a blessing in disguise. 

Another way to find happiness during difficult times is to live in the moment. There are moments of joy in even the most painful times of life. You could be having a troubling day but look up to see a magnificent sunset or a glorious flock of birds flying overhead. Let the beauty of the scene transport you to another plane of existence where troubles do not lie. Which brings me to a third way of finding happiness, embracing nature. Two of the most profound places of peace are the forest and the ocean. If you can go to a forest and breathe deeply, letting the oxygen fill your lungs it can instantly bring a peaceful feeling. Just being among the trees can uplift and energize you. Take a walk on the beach and open up your senses to feel the sand between your toes, listen to the waves and smell the salty air. Merely doing this has a way of renewing us and bringing comfort. 

Last but not least, moving your body can transform your experience. Take a walk preferably in nature, through the woods or on the beach, in a park or even around your block. Turn on some music and dance. And you probably know what I'm going to say next...try doing some yoga. Doing yoga moves energy through meridians in our body that can remove negativity. Sometime we may cry while the negative energy moves through us, but then we can release it rather than holding onto it, allowing room for joy. Try it next time you are feeling low. 

Our story this month; May I be filled with joy. 

We found joy in our practice this month as we practiced Wild Thing. If you would like to give Wild Thing a try the instructions are as follows:

From Down Dog come into Side Plank on your right side. Step your left foot behind you, keep your right leg straight and push your hips up away from the floor. Scoop your tailbone and use your legs to keep lifting your hips. Curl your head back, lift your left side body, and keep your left upper arm moving toward your shoulder socket. Extend your left arm overhead and curve into a rapturous backbend. Have fun. Be wild. Taste your freedom. Then release, step back to Down Dog and switch sides. 

Love, Peace and Joy!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Mind is like the Moon

It's been said that the mind is like the moon. Why? Because, the moon has no light of its own. It is just reflected light. Just as the moon's light comes from the sun, the mind's light comes from our inner sun. 
Like the moon, the mind tends to wax and wane. It may be filled with interest in something, then in the next moment that interest will fade. The mind, like the moon, does this because it is reflected light. It is not self-luminous; it is susceptible to fluctuation and change. We often seek the light from outside ourselves, looking for bright things, hoping they will fill us with light. We seek light from the outside because we haven't yet realized our own self illuminating nature. 
The moon and the mind also have a dark, shadow side. When we allow the inner light to illuminate the dark places however, things don't look so scary. We can do this by simply observing our thoughts and feelings. Without judgement just witness thoughts that are negative and become aware of the feelings that arise. Once you become aware that these thoughts and feelings do not serve you, the inner light can guide them in the opposite direction. 
The inner light is all wise, all powerful and all loving. When you are unsure of your way and all around you seems dark allow the inner sun to guide you. When the inner light guides you, you'll find peace in all of life's situations. Turn inward, find your inner sun, realize your self luminous nature and shine your light on everything and everyone!
Our story this month; I honor my inner light.

Half Moon Pose
We will begin in Mountain Pose, move through a variation of Pyramid Pose and then let our inner light shine as we find Half Moon Pose using a block. 

From Mountain Pose place the block alongside the right foot. Step the left foot back about 3 feet, turn the foot to a 45 degree angle. Place the left hand on the hip. Inhale and lengthen the spine, exhale and fold forward hinging at the hips, bringing the right hand to the block. Pause and feel the stretch. Inhale and bend the right knee, lifting the heel of the left foot, into sort of a lunge. Exhale and rock back lowering the left heel as you straighten the right leg. Repeat several times, inhale as you lunge forward and exhale as you rock back.

On the next inhale pick up the block and place it about 18 inches in front of you, the back leg will automatically begin to lift. Exhale as work toward bringing the back leg parallel to the ground. Engage your core as you straighten the front leg. Actively reach through the back heel, flex the foot. Stack your top hip over your bottom hip, stack your left shoulder over your right and open your torso. Then extend your top arm and lift towards the sky. Balance and let your light shine! Repeat on the opposite side. 
Here is a short meditation to connect with your inner light. 
Sit in a quiet place, comfortable with your hands resting on your knees palms facing up and eyes closed. Begin by taking several slow, deep breaths. Now visualize a light within your heart. Focus your attention on that inner light. When the mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the inner light without judgment. 
Once the image of the light is clear, add a simple gesture to the visualization. Inhale and softly open your arms. Exhale and place your palms over your heart. Repeat twice more. With your hands over your heart sit quietly for a few moments breathing gently. When you are ready open your eyes and remember this light of wisdom, power, and love is always within you. 
Mahalo, we serve. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Sutra 2.36 Satya

Dedicated to truth and integrity, our thoughts, words, and actions gain the power to manifest. (Translated by Nischala Joy Devi)

The Yamas are a code of conduct for the Yogi. Sri Swami Satchidananada explains that Samadhi, which is the ultimate goal of yoga, should not be practiced without the proper moral background.  In Christian terms the yamas would equate to Matthew 7:12, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." 

Sutra 2.36, Satya, is the second of the five Yamas. This yama specifically relates to truthfulness and integrity. It refers to the idea of lying as intentionally misleading others. It means never giving someone else even a slightly different impression from what you know to be true. It is an injunction against deception. Keep in mind that an omission is also a deceit. By deceiving another you are essentially harming them. When others know we are honest, we'll build a trusting relationship. It should also be pointed out that satya should always be in service of ahimsa, the first yama. This means that one should speak carefully and avoid brutal honesty and gossip. It is important to be mindful of the boundary between constructive criticism and destructive criticism. Always communicate with kindness. 

"When you have become willing to hide nothing, you will not only be willing to enter into communion but will also understand peace and joy." - A Course in Miracles

A truthful statement conforms to the way that things are, but a lie requires an ongoing process of bending the facts to support its existence. Lying to others chips away at one's inner integrity and may plant itself like a seed in one's consciousness, giving rise to an inability to see oneself honesty. Nischala says it beautifully, "The power of truth is created through the alchemy of personal integrity."  She equates the power to "feeling" truth as a physical reaction. For example, tears may fall spontaneously as your heart unfolds with words of truth. On the other hand with words that dim truth, you may experience a tightening in the body that releases a wash of fear and anxiety. The heart rests when it is in Satya. Truth carries it's own reward.  "The truth shall set you free." John 8:32

Our physical practice this month is all about core strength because a strong core supports our body. Core strength also refers to the spiritual, ethical, and emotional essence of who you truly are. This means core strength also supports your mind and spirit. 
Our story this month is: I am strong in body, mind, and spirit. 

One of the core poses we practiced this month is called Dolphin Plank. Dolphin Plank builds strength through resistance of your body's weight, which helps to increase bone density. This pose strengthens the arms, legs, and core muscles, including the abdomen, chest and low back. It also strengthens the muscles around the spine which helps to improve posture. 

Begin on your hands and knees. Align your wrists directly under your shoulders, and your knees under your hips. Lower your elbows to the floor directly beneath your shoulders. Keep your forearms parallel to each other. Distribute your weight evenly across both forearms. Tuck your toes and step back with your feet, bringing your body and head into one straight line. Align your heels over your toes. Keep your thighs lifted and take care not to let your hips sink too low. Keep your head in line with your spine. Engage your abdominals. Gaze between your hands. Hold the pose while breathing smoothly for five breaths. Those using the pose to build stamina can hold for up to five minutes. To release the pose slowly lower onto your knees, then press back into child's pose. 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Turning Tables @ LLA

We had a wonderful time as exhibitors at the Louisiana Library Association Conference held at the Riverfront Conference Center in Alexandria. As former librarians we've been attendees at the LLA conferences in the past, sitting in on seminars and browsing the exhibits. This year we turned the tables and became exhibitors; offering a fun, fresh "novel" idea, filled with creative energy ...Moving-Tale!

The theme of the conference this year was "Wisdom and Wonder @ Louisiana Libraries." Sounds like yoga and story to us! One of the first books we found and utilized in our yoga storytelling was a compliation of folktales by Hugh Lipton titled "Tales of Wisdom and Wonder." A coincidence one might say but we thought it uniqely fitting for our first experience as exhibitors. 

We spend two days seeking and practicing wisdom and wonder while enjoying meeting colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere. Our bookmarks, flyers, and postcards were handed out with information on our yoga storytelling presentations. We held a fun drawing for a free copy of The Impossible Dream; A Yoga Storytelling Adventure, as we let attendees know that the book is available from Ingram/Baker and Taylor for school and library orders. Sweet sounds of the gong rang thoughout the convention center reminding us, NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! 

JoDee was the winner!
Our intention for exhibiting at the conference was to connect to the community and connect we did. We had a great time talking to the librarians and other exhibitors, answering questions and sharing ideas. Moving-Tale offers new possibilities for public and school libraries and we look forward to sharing story and yoga with everyone we met. For more info on our yoga storytelling presentations visit us at or email us at

Mahalo, we serve. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sthira sukham asanam.

Yoga Sutra 2.46 

This aphorism is often translated as, stable (sthira) comfortable (sukham) posture (asanam). It tells us that a yoga posture is intended to express the balance between effort and ease.

Sthira means stable. Stability takes effort.

Sukham means comfortable. A feeling of ease.

Asanam means seat. Posture or presence.

Whenever you practice yoga you're trying to find a balance between these aspects. We like to say, “feel the stretch, without the strain.” Let’s consider what it feels like to cultivate these two qualities of sthira and sukha in our asana practice. Sthira is the ability to be steady in body, mind, and breath. The muscles are engaged, the mind notices what is arising, and the breath is rhythmic. Sukha is the comfort that comes when the joints and bones are aligned and the muscles are free from tension or strain, the mind is spacious and aware, and the breath flows with ease.

We can balance effort and ease in our daily lives through routine. Sthira and sukha flow from establishing a routine. Waking up, eating, and going to bed at approximately the same time each day all contribute to steadiness and comfort. Life is relationships. We are in a constant relationship with our environment and the people around us. How might your relationships change if you consciously cultivated being present, steady, and comfortable? 

I love this quote by Judith Hanson, "Yoga is not about touching your toes, its about what you learn on the way down." Therefore, the point of the practice of yoga is not to achieve certain postures, but to learn to move through our lives with steadiness and comfort. Cultivating sthira suham asanam helps us find a balance between effort and ease. It is a process that extends beyond the edge of our yoga mat, it takes us into every aspect of our daily lives and this is what yoga is all about!

Our story this month; I find balance between effort and ease. We practiced balancing poses, of course! Here are couple you might like to try.

Reclining Vishnu Pose

Begin by lying on your back, roll over onto your right side and bend the right arm bringing the hand to support your head, fingers reaching towards the spine. Your entire right side from elbow to heel is in a straight line. Bend the left knee and place the foot in front of the body, take hold of the big toe with your left hand. Straighten and lift the leg towards the sky for your comfort level.  Keep the feet flexed. Balance without rolling. Balance comes from your center.  Release the toe hold and gently come onto your back. Repeat on the opposite side then rest on your back for a few breaths.

You can modify this pose by looping a strap around the foot before lifting the leg. For wrist or shoulder issues you can place your forearm on the floor and align your elbow under the shoulder. Spread your fingers wide. 

Dancer Pose

Begin in mountain, feet hip distance apart, bend the right leg bringing the foot towards the backside, the knee should be pointing toward the floor, hold the foot, ankle or the big toe with the right hand and balance, now lift and stretch the leg behind you as you gently lean forward, lift the left hand reaching out in front. Gaze just past your hand. Release and repeat on the other side.

Happiness and health,

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Our book is now available at Ingram/Baker and Taylor for school and library orders! Yay!

We had a blast at Milton Elementary School's literacy night. We sold and signed copies of The Impossible Dream; A Yoga Storytelling Adventure! Several teachers who made a purchase were excited to use the yoga storytelling adventure method in their classrooms. Woohoo! 

Our table was set up in a sweet spot near the entrance/exit.  Kids stopped by and practiced yoga with us throughout the event. The school chose "camping" as a theme. We decided to introduce the children to Warrior II pose and everyone experienced feeling "strong and courageous." Each yogi got one of our fun bookmarks and enjoyed ringing the gong before moving along to their next adventure.

We thought we'd share a few of our thoughts on how storytelling and yoga enhance literacy skills. Storytelling enhances language, listening and critical thinking skills and yoga enhances mind and body awareness. These twin arts increase balance, strength, and flexibility in both body and mind. Children develop not only language but also emotional and physical literacy as well.  

Storytelling is extremely valuable in developing young listener's imagination and yoga brings the story alive; it is both interactive and theatrical. Storytelling and yoga unite the logical and creative sides of the brain. Integrating left brain and right brain activity strengthens neural pathways responsible for memory, imagination, and learning. We know children absorb and process information through listening, seeing, and moving and storytelling and yoga engage the whole child honoring all the ways in which they learn. This increased engagement promotes deep learning. Including yoga along with storytelling stimulates the imagination as well as visualization abilities. By visually acting out the story with yoga postures children learn to transfer images into words and the visual images of the yoga postures enhance children's recall. They are now a part of the story and able to recall/retell in detail. Comprehension success!

Two of the many yogi's who practiced with us.

If you'd like to introduce a child to yoga through storytelling please see the sidebar and click on the Amazon link to order a copy of The Impossible Dream; A Yoga Storytelling Adventure. For author visits and presentations contact us at or

Through the magic of story and the wisdom of yoga let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Giving and Receiving

The universe operates through the energetic exchange of giving and receiving. Giving and receiving go together. They are the same thing, just different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe.  Naturally, the intention behind your giving and receiving is important. Our intention should be to offer happiness and health!

As you give, you open the gate to receive. Whatever you offer to someone else, the energy of the universe works to bring the same to you. Many of us find it easier to give than to receive but it is just as important to be open to receiving, receiving requires grace.

Our bodies and minds are continuously interacting with the universe. When the life force is flowing freely through your body and mind, you are open to the generosity and grace of the universe. Certainly, balance is key to a generous and gracious life. In order to be healthy, we must develop a balance between giving and receiving. When we give too much we can become depleted.  However, when we receive without giving back we often become self-absorbed.

Giving and receiving is alive in every breath we take. With each inhale and exhale there is an energetic exchange. Take a deep breath and hold it. After a moment or two you will notice how uncomfortable you begin to feel because you are holding onto something that is meant to be released. Exhale completely and hold the breath with empty lungs. Once again, you will feel uncomfortable since you are resisting receiving something you need.

During your yoga practice it is important to maintain breath awareness, allowing the inflow and outflow of your breath to be an effortless exchange of energy. Tune in to the life force that flows through your body as move into and out of postures. Enjoy the sensations as your body expands and contracts, giving and receiving. Be aware of the needs of the body, giving it time to receive what you are offering. You just may find that challenging postures are more easily achieved!

We invite you find the balance between giving and receiving, and as you do so consider what you might like to receive and begin to give it, be it affection, appreciation, abundance….

Our story this month; I open the gate to giving and receiving.  

Gate Pose

Gate Pose is a side bend that stretches the entire side body and is suitable for students of all levels.

Caution; knee injury

Kneel tall, bring the left foot out in front with the knee bent at 90 degrees, pause. Then bring the foot out to the side opening the hip, the knee remains bent at 90 degrees, pause. Now extend the left leg out straight to the side, place the sole of the foot on the ground toes pointing away, keep shoulders and hips square to the front. Inhale lifting arms to shoulder height and rotate the right palm upward, exhale as you reach overhead and towards the left, place the left hand gently on the left leg. Gaze upward toward your right hand. Hold the pose for several breaths. To release inhale and bring both arms to shoulder height, exhale and lower them as you come back to kneeling tall. Repeat on the other side. 

Mahalo, we serve.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Sutra 1.14

Sutra 1.14
Perfection in practice comes when one continues to practice with sincerity and respect for a long period of time without any interruption.

Welcome to 2018!  Have you come up with a New Year's Resolution?  You may want to base your resolution this year on Sutra 1.14, to develop a consistent yoga practice.  Some days you will find a million excuses not to show up to your mat.  Show up anyway. Some days you may feel you are too busy to practice, practice for five minutes; do a few sun salutations or sit for a five-minute meditation.  Some days you will have more time, and your practice will last longer.  More than anything, your commitment to come back to your mat regularly is what will make the most difference.  Our story this month is "A consistent yoga practice will bring strength to both the body and the mind".

You may even want to set an intention for 2018 rather than making a resolution.  Like a new year's resolution, an intention names something you're seeking to attain for yourself, but unlike resolutions, intention-setting focuses less on goals and more on the journey which leads to certain outcomes.  Intentions focus more on internal power and long-term change, whereas resolutions focus more on external and sometimes, short-lived rewards.  Make your intention for 2018 to improve your practice through consistency and remember to enjoy the journey:)

This  month's physical focus is a strength building practice.  One such pose, Crescent Lunge is a dynamic standing pose that utilizes and integrates the muscles in your entire body.  It stretches and strengthens the lower and upper body, while creating stability and balance.  Considered a balance pose and a backbend, Crescent Lunge helps the front of the body to expand, which increases energy and reduces fatigue.  Do not practice Crescent Lunge if you are currently experiencing high blood pressure or heart problems.  Also, avoid this pose if you have a knee or spinal injury.  Always work within your own range of limits and abilities.

Instructions:  Fold forward, bend your knees and bring your hands to the mat.  Step the right foot back.  Bend your front knee to 90 degrees, aligning your knee directly over the heel of your front foot.  Come on to the ball of your back foot, lifting your heel.  Straighten your back leg completely.  Inhale, ground your front foot and engage your abs as you lift up to standing.  With your back leg strong and active, gently draw your right hip forward as you press your left hip back, squaring your hips to the front of your mat.  Sweep your arms overhead with palms facing.  Draw your tailbone toward the floor.  Gaze is up between the hands.  Engage the abs to help stabilize your core.  Draw your shoulder blades back.  If you have a shoulder issue rest your hands on your hips.  Hold for up to one minute.  Release your hands back to the mat, step your right foot up between your hands and slowly rise to standing.  Repeat on opposite side.

Kathe in Crescent Lunge
Crescent Lunge can be a powerful way to build strength, balance, and concentration.  As you practice this pose on a regular basis, you'll breathe equanimity in all areas of your life.  Finding ease in Crescent Lunge will allow you to establish the qualities of balance, grace, and power, even off the mat!  Bring it on 2018!!!