Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Gentle Yoga Practice for You

Our daily pace may have us multi-tasking and testing our stress limits. However productive this may seem it does not support our immune system, nerves, and general well-being. We may not be able to slow down every activity, but we can create balance in our day with yoga. Gentle Yoga invites us to slow down and journey within to connect with our inner well of peace and tranquility.

I created a Gentle Yoga video so that we may explore yoga's rich benefits at home as public or private class may not always be within reach. This slower-paced, relaxing yoga class combines light movement, breath, and mindfulness. Although Gentle Yoga welcomes those with stress, physical limitations, injuries, and seniors, it is not limited to those individuals. People of all ages and physical abilities have found value in incorporating Gentle Yoga into their wellness activities.

As you explore this and any other yoga practice, keep in mind these guidelines:
  • Work gently and slowly, respecting your body’s abilities and limits.
  • Breathe smoothly and continuously as you move and hold postures.
  • Practice with an open mind and a sense of humor. Give yourself space to learn.
  • Breathe smoothly and continuously as you move and hold postures (unless otherwise noted).
  • Work gently and slowly, respecting your body’s abilities and limits.
  • Do not move beyond muscle tension to pain.
  • Do not perform postures or movements that are painful.
  • Ask if you are unsure how to perform a certain movement or need a modification.
  • A full stomach may limit your experience; please allow 60 minutes after a meal to begin a physical practice.

May you tap into your well of peace and tranquility this day and every day.

Always a Yogi,
Lynn Marie

Monday, June 27, 2016

Shade at Shattering Silence - June 28

View from the Illuminate Yoga Mat
Immerse in the beauty around and within during our yoga practice at 5:30pm Tuesday, June 28. With the canopy overhead, our shaded practice will include a symphony of sounds from the birds and wind on the leaves. The hill by the Shattering Silence art sculpture is one of my favorites for summer yoga and meditation. I find tranquility here when I look up and see the blue sky behind the tree branches and with a turn I see the setting sun and golden capitol dome.

I'm happy to invite you to this hour long Mixed Level Yoga class. All the details are below.In addition to public classes, I provide Private Yoga (for 1 or more), Corporate/Organization YogaWorkshops, and Reiki. Let me know if I can be of service to you or our community. As always, I am happy to hear from you by email, call or text if you have any questions or need assistance.

Views from Our Shaded Mat

Friday, June 24, 2016

Let's Play Yoga: 3 Ideas for Kids Yoga

My sister informed me that my niece graduated kindergarten with a list of activities to enjoy this summer one of which is "A Day at Lynny's." Whether you have children yourself or entertain your friends and family's kiddies or need a gift for a kid, these three ideas have been kid tested and made my home a coveted summer destination for the 9, 6 and 4 year olds in my life.
  1. Yoga Pretzels Yoga Cards $13.49 - This deck of 50 cards includes a variety of poses, games, breathing, and my nieces' favorites partner pose ideas. The colorful cards include simple instructions that will help any adult play along whether they know yoga or not. With kid friendly names, this card deck inspires the imagination as well as physical activity. 
  2. My Daddy is a Pretzel $8.99 - This book is nice to read with colorful illustrations and fun to mimic the pose on every page. 
  3. Dance for the Sun: Yoga Songs for Kids by Kira Willey - This CD inspires dance and yoga play. 
The children in your life benefit from your yoga practice and not just because you're more patient. ;) As they hear and see you taking care of yourself, they learn about healthy living. In fact, this week a student asked me about sharing yoga with her child, because her 4-year-old knew she was going to yoga class and wanted to do yoga too.

Having taught kids ages 3 to 93, I have yet to see yoga's limits and have come to believe age is only a number. Play is much the same... May we be inspired to play no matter our age.

Always a Yogi,
Lynn Marie

Friday, June 17, 2016

Japanese Bell of Peace & Friendship - June 21

Views from Our Shaded Mat
Perched on a hilltop near our Capitol, the Japanese Bell of Peace and Friendship* is surrounded by trees and beautiful city views. Just a stone's throw from downtown excitement, this location is peacefully quiet and welcomes our yoga practice. I'm happy to invite you to this hour long Mixed Level Yoga class on Tuesday, June 21 beginning at 5:30pm. A soft breeze will sweetly cool our shaded yoga practice that may be on sidewalk or grass (yogi's choice).

To create a space for exploration and customization classes are no bigger than 8. All participants will receive a unique to class home practice guide too. Register for class to claim your spot; you may also purchase 3 or 6 class package to receive class discount.

Free parking is available in the visitor lot of the Iowa Judicial Building (1111 East Court Avenue Des Moines 50319).  In this map, the parking lot is labeled number 26.  Once parked, you'll walk West past the Judicial building and the bell will be on your left.

We'll take the practice inside if temperatures or a summer shower inspire a move. I'll reach out to registered participants a couple hours before class if we move.

Feel free to email, call or text if you have any questions.

*In previous classes we've passed the bell to go to the Shattering Silence art sculpture.

What He & She Wishes You Knew

I believe in the good in people. I think family, friends, co-workers, significant others, and strangers think and feel much more than they express. Time, fear, or other reasons may keep things unsaid. Yet our human need to connect and understand remains. I wrote this letter a few months back at a time I felt misunderstood. I needed to find a way to express my thoughts when I felt I had no voice.

As I later turned to this letter, I found it helpful to assume it from individuals I was struggling to understand. Reading it in their voice, invited me to find compassion for the person hurting, offending or disappointing me. By shifting my internal story, I alleviated my desire to react and hold anger or resentment. I found myself in a more open place.

The letter...
I am doing my best. I want to be a good (insert the person's role in your life). I realize sometimes my words, and behaviors don't match your expectations or my intention, but I assure you I'm trying. Even with all my effort and attention the wrong words come out and my actions lack luster. 
Being your (insert role) is important to me; even though it may not seem like it. I hope you join me in recognizing tomorrow is a new day with many opportunities to try again. 
Please know in your heart that those moments I do not live up to my intention or your expectations that there is no need to worry; it's not your fault nor is it about you. It's that I am human. I will make mistakes and I will fail. But also know this… I will try again. Thank you for holding space for me to learn and be better. Your patience and forgiveness are greatly appreciated.
My intention for us…
May we be willing to forgive. May we be open to new opportunities.
May we find strength to communicate from our heart's center.
Always a Yogi,
Lynn Marie

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Yoga Class Bloopers

Inspired by a student twerking her dog pose in class today, I thought I'd share some yoga funnies with you.

Teaching a class of 10 or so individuals 40+ in age, I quickly realized that I better turn the music up as our forward bends and twists were assisting the digestive system in releasing excess gas. As the symphony of sounds, not coming from the speakers, accompanied our entire class I had to catch myself from saying take a deep breath in and let it all go. Holding back my giggles, because apparently I have sense of humor of a 4-year-old, the final blow came when Bob let it all go and his wife whacked him and said, "Bob, knock it off."

This needs no introduction as the cue for distribution of our weight in our feet says it all, "Roll on your balls." A couple students caught my eye but somehow we managed to hold our laughter back. Yep I've got the humor of a teenager too.

Teaching a community outdoor class of 300+ participants, I led the class into Intense Side Stretch Pose. Seeing a gal in her 20s struggling with what to do with her body, I offered a suggestion of lifting her chest to elongate her spine. Simple enough however her response, "I'm too tall." Side note: you aren't too tall, too short, too tight or whatever the excuse may be for yoga. There are options appropriate for your body and abilities.

And some of my favorite yoga funnies are Child's Pose jokes. You know the teacher's set up, if you find yourself needing a break or unable to participate in a particular pose take Child's pose. Here's that idea taken off the mat and into real life…

Check out my Giggle Pinterest board for more funnies.

Lynn Marie

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Principal Park Baseball Sculpture - June 14 & 17

I'll be sharing a refreshing practice by the Baseball Sculpture on the South side of Principal Park parking lot 5:30pm Tuesday, June 14 & Friday, June 17. We'll unroll our mats and take in views of the Raccoon River and majestic bridges.

Free parking is available in the main lot of Principal Park (1 Line Drive Des Moines 50309) nearest the river and 2nd Street marked in the map in yellow. Meet at the baseball sculpture pictured to the right and noted in red on the map below.

In addition to the relaxation from class, all participants will receive a unique to class guide similar to this evening unwind home practice guide to empower your personal exploration of yoga.

Remember classes are no bigger than 8 so that you get the attention and space you deserve. Register for class to claim your spot. 3 or 6 class packages are available. I'll notify all registered participants of the alternate location (within blocks of this area) should the weather require us to move inside. As always feel free to call or text my cell (515-979-6474) if you have any questions.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Loving Kindness... A Practice in Cultivating Compassion

Sometimes my emotions get the best of me. It is through my breath
and meditation I bring myself to a place of balance where I am responsive as opposed to reactive. By stepping back from our internal narrative, we step into the role of an observer who is aware of thoughts and sensations as they are. This is our meditation practice which welcomes us to free ourselves from attachment and honor where and who we are in present time. With anger, disappointment or frustration leading the emotional upset, I find the meditation technique of Loving Kindness to be deeply rewarding.

Loving Kindness begins by cultivating feelings of compassion, love, and goodwill towards self. The meditation progresses by extending thoughts of compassion to others. This progression is intentional in that it enables a growth of Loving Kindness feelings where it's easier (self, loved one, etc.) and builds to holding them towards people that it may not be as easy (acquaintance, enemy, etc.).

I've recorded two guided Loving Kindness meditations. One a bit shorter than the other includes two iterations of the Loving Kindness intentions; one for self and one for others. The Loving Kindness extended version includes 5 iterations: for self, a loved one, an acquaintance, an individual that frustrates or angers you, and all living beings. The image contains the intentions that form our Loving Kindness meditation.

These intentions may be used any time. Feel free to print them and put it in your wallet or save a picture on your phone. In time they'll be committed to your memory and as challenging situations arise you are able to avoid the full emotional upheaval by cultivating compassion within and sharing it with others.

Here are some links to help you understand the benefits of cultivating compassion with this meditation:
May you be enriched by your practice in cultivating compassion.

Lynn Marie

May we be free from all harm. May we be safe and protected.
May we be free from all suffering. May we be happy.
May we be free from all disease and physical pain. May we be healthy and strong.
May we be able to live in this world happily, peacefully, joyfully and with ease.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Celebrate Success - 3 Ways to Boost Yourself & Others

Our culture tends to celebrate busy-ness and stress. Can we shift the reward to the good we do in a day? I've noticed as the end of day draws near I'm frustrated about the never ending to do list and overwhelmed by the demands on my time and energy. It's a rare evening for me to sit back and think… I nailed it today. I got EVERYTHING done. Here are a few ideas I've been playing with in aiming to shift my end of day perspective and do good with my time.
  • 3 Must Dos - At the beginning of the day, I identify 3 must do tasks. These non-negotiable tasks have to be small enough to be accomplished in a day. I set the expectation with myself that these are my top priorities and I must manage my time appropriately to accomplish them. It's easy to overlook the good for you tasks and label them as not necessary. If we continue to do that… yoga, walk with family, lunch with a friend, or meditation will continue to be pushed to tomorrow ultimately not getting done. 
  • Quick Win - When working a big project I find that when I take a break from the project and tackle a couple small tasks my motivation and sense of self-accomplishment gets a boost. My to dos will have a star or label (QW) so that when I need a productive pick me up, I can knock out one or a few of those quick wins items. I may include an email or message to a friend, acquaintance or business. Those notes of gratitude make me feel good in sharing and I hope bring smiles to those that receive. 
  • The Done List - There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from marking it off the list. Whether I'm using a digital tool like Trello or a good ole yellow post it note, I've started to keep a Done List. In aiming to keep a work life balance, action items cannot be addressed into the evening and wee hours. To avoid the "if I get this one more thing done" personal guilt trip, I review my Done List. By the end of the day, I can see exactly what I've accomplished and feel better about setting the rest down for tomorrow. 
Now that we're knocking it out of the park, let's celebrate the good we do. There's no sense in dragging a conversation down talking about what's left to do. Let's celebrate each other and our own accomplishments; here's a couple ideas to get our celebrations going.
  1. In a Meeting - Start your team meeting, church committee, book club or other meeting with participants sharing a recent success they've had. This helps the group to learn more about each other and find new ways to support creating a more cohesive team. 
  2. With Your Family or Friends - Instead of picking up conversation with the chores left to do or stress of upcoming activities, take a moment to enjoy what each of you have done. Share what your proud of in each other and yourself. This can be done in the car, at mealtime, or over the phone. It takes no time but helps enrich the conversation and create a deeper connection. 
  3. With Yourself - Review your Done List. Reward yourself with a life giving activity or moment. Celebrate your wins (even if they are small) with a good cup of tea and 5 minutes with your book, pet, or favorite blog. Your reward may be a bath, yoga or deep breathing. Whatever celebration you find, be sure it enriches your life rather than numbing you of sensation as that reward tends to expire more quickly leaving more negative effects than good. 
Together, we can celebrate the good we do and ultimately the good in others.

May you be mindful in action and generous in review.

Lynn Marie

Sunday, June 5, 2016

River Side of Des Moines City Hall June 7 & Gray's Lake June 10

Two great water view locations for yoga this week. Join me Tuesday and or Friday for an hour mixed level yoga class beginning at 5:30pm. To inspire your home practice, all participants will receive a unique to class guide similar to this evening unwind home practice guide.

Remember classes are no bigger than 8 so that you get the attention and space you deserve. Register for class to claim your spot. As always feel free to call or text my cell (515-979-6474) if you have any questions.

Tuesday, June 7
West side of Des Moines City Hall (400 Robert D. Ray Dr Des Moines, IA 50309)

The Des Moines River is high and the current strong creating a view and soundtrack not found in the yoga studio.  A twist won't steal the view but rather turn your attention to the beautiful architecture of City Hall. On street metered parking (which needs payment only until 6pm) found on the Grand Avenue and East Locust Street bridges highlighted in yellow below.  Look for the metal art sculpture pictured below on the right.

Friday, June 10
Southeast Lawn of Gray's Lake (2101 Fleur Drive Des Moines, Iowa)

Enter into Gray's Lake park using the North entrance (John R Grubb Lane) and follow the road until it ends at a parking lot. You'll see my volcanic orange Mini. We'll practice in the grass with views of the large trees and Gray's Lake.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

5 Tricks for Evening Relaxation

From a stronger immune system to less pain, WebMD shares 9 Surprising Reasons to Get More Sleep. Here are some of my tricks for calming your mind and softening your body so that you get a few more or better quality Zzzzz's tonight.
  1. Yoga - Practicing yoga at the end of the day to help you unwind and prepare for sleep. I've created this Relax for Sleep Sequence to give you some guidance for your evening home practice. 
  2. Lavender Essential Oil - Place a drop of this oil on your wrist then rub into your temples and base of your head. You may blend the oil with coconut oil and give yourself a neck and upper back massage. I like to diffuse it in my bedroom too. I'm a fan of Aura Cacia (owned by an Iowa company) and Young Living. (I sell Young Living essential oils.) 
  3. A Walk at Dusk - Fresh air and the changing colors of the sky will help you lure you into a state of peace.
  4. Drink Chamomile, Lemon Balm, or Peppermint Tea - These teas all sooth the digestive and nervous system allowing your body to find peace within. When our insides are calm our outsides tend to follow.  Due to quality, their commitment to organic, and the community, my favs are Choice Organic Teas and Traditional Medicinal Teas.
  5. Downtown Des Moines
  6. Yoga Nidra - Have you tried my guided Yoga Nidra on YouTube? It's a guided meditation for anyone looking for a deep relaxation. Check out all the details on my blog Good Savasana... Yoga Nidra.
May you connect with stillness this evening.  
May your dreams be sweet.