10 October 2013

Yoga Playlist

This week was my first class teaching yoga at the local YMCA.  I am so thankful that I am able to teach yoga specifically.  I've danced all my life, and I've taught a lot of dance classes.  However, there is something very special about teaching yoga.  When you announce a beginning adult ballet class, people get a little freaked out.  Mention a yoga class, and people are a lot more comfortable stepping into the room.  It is much more "pedestrian" friendly, and it allows me to teach freedom in movement to more people.  

Setting up a yoga class is pretty simple, but finding the right music can be tough.  There are so many choices out there.  It is easy to get lost on Spotify while searching through what is available. Sometimes it's better to step away for a while instead of trying to make your playlist all at once. I've been given tid-bits of advice here and there through my yoga journey on compiling these lists. Hopefully this might help you, too. 

First of all, especially if you are giving a Vinyasa class, play with making a wave with your music.  Start a little more mellow and crescendo into something a bit more vibrant, then slow it down for the end of class into shavasana.

Second,  mix up the music.  Try some stuff that you aren't used to.  I love the idea of using music with lyrics in class to challenge students in different ways.  Words can bring emotions up, or it can help train the mind to find stillness in the middle of noise.

Third, pay attention to tempo.  Make an intentional choice for the music to be upbeat when chair pose comes around-- or not.  There is something to be appreciated doing your hardest flow to some slow music too. I urge you to make that intentional choice.

Fourth, keep your ears open.  Bring your intentionality on the road with you and keep your ears open.  When you are out to dinner, shopping, dancing there are millions of possibilities.  Something I sometimes do is write a facebook status to see if anyone has any favorite new music.  Spotify is another great way to find music, especially on your desktop when you can specifically listen to whatever song you want.

Fifth, find local musicians.  It is so fun to find musicians that might want to experiment with playing for a class.  Get to know them as a friend and as an artist.  It's a great way to invest in your community and cultivate culture.  Maybe even try an outdoor open event to get people moving.  The possibilities are endless!

And for the extra treat, here is my latest playlist for my yoga class.  

1. Dream-----Priscilla Ahn
2. Heartbeats-----José González
3. Somebody That I Used to Know-----Gotye
4. They-----Jem
5. Skanky Panky------Kid Koala
6. You've Got the Love-----Florence + The Machine
7. Default-----Django Django
8. Royals-----Lorde
9. Give Love-----MC Yogi
10. California Sunrise-----Dirty Gold
11. Orange Sky-----Alexi Murdoch
12.  Hoppipolla-----Sigur Rós
13. Falling Slowly-----Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
14. I Have Made Mistakes-----The Oh Hello's
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09 October 2013

Car Camping

With all of this camping on the brain ( in my post yesterday) I thought it might be a good idea to jot down a solid checklist on packing for a camping trip. Check-lists work so well for me-- I always forget the smallest thing. I literally had no experience to go off of, and stepping into REI's backpacking section was more than a little overwhelming. So here you are, the basic one night car-camping check list for two.

08 October 2013

Go and Be

This weekend Loren and I were fortunate to go camping, and Loren went rock climbing again! It was my first (believe it or not) camping experience. I am hooked, and really happy to scratch one more goal off my list.  I tried the climbing thing, but it was really freaky. I think I want to practice a few times indoors before I try it in an extreme atmosphere again.  All in all, it was great to get out of town for the weekend and spend time outdoors with friends. 

Some really great advice that I have read in The Circle Maker and have often heard from a friend is a change in pace and a change in place can lead to a change of perspective. I love useful tips like this, and I have tried this theory out. Time and time again the idea proves itself true. Here are a few takeaways from my experiences with this idea and my weekend away. 

1. Spending quality time with people makes a huge difference. I have questioned constantly being "plugged in" for a while now. With social media and feeling guilty if I don't answer an e-mail immediately, I am constantly be dragged down by what I might be missing out on. Basically, comparing my life to what other people are doing in completely different parts of the world. Which leads to number...

2.  My life matters. Spending face to face time with people that care about me is an important reminder of this. I have encouragement, among other things, to offer them. It takes quality time  and work to be able to offer my gratitude, encouragement, empathy, etc. 

3. There are millions of ways that people "do" life. Taking the time to listen carefully is vital. I don't have to advise them on how to live their life better, I can learn how to live better by hearing their experiences. 

4. By being unplugged, experiencing Love, and embracing relationships, I can breathe again. I don't have to have it all together, and I probably never will have it all together by the world's standards. And that is okay. 

13 September 2013

My Benjamin Bunny

Meet Benjamin! We recently bought him at the Colorado State Fair.  I've wanted another bunny for forever! When I was little I had an Angora named Fluffy (what else), and now this adorable mini-lop. I have litter training him on my to-do list-- yes, it's totally possible! 

I was excited to find that Ms. Potter had a bunny named Benjamin, and Mr. McGregor had a real point when he didn't want bunnies in his garden.  Benjamin absolutely ate an entire row of kale.  However, after reading about Spring Warren's rabbits in The Quarter-Acre Farm I know that Benjamin has a part in our own Little Farm.  

While a huge steer produces two tons of manure a year, my teeny tiny Benjamin produces one ton.  Score! What's more, Benjamin's "bunny berries" (Loren hates that phrase) won't burn plants like the steer manure will.  So, I can add it directly to the garden with no harm done to the plants.  Very cool. 

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11 September 2013

Creative Living

 My #creativewayoflife tag that I put on instagram has been haunting me and encouraging me since my birthday last year.  It's a good thing that I am not working at that retail job that was sucking the life out of me any more.  However, it has been really tough for me to hold out for the right job.  More than tough, it has been an emotional roller coaster! 

Being intentional each day has been interesting when I have no imposed schedule.  Blogging here has actually been very helpful.  

One of my goals (here) is to be creative everyday.  What does that look like? For me it looks like writing here, finding new recipes, working on teaching yoga, taking a lot of photos, reading, gardening, and participating in this community in Colorado.  I want to pursue creativity even more and document that pursuit better.  Maybe a large project is calling my name, but I want small doses of creating in each day as well.


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10 September 2013

Harvesting Seeds: Zucchini Style

Almost as soon as we moved into our new place in Colorado, we planted a garden, aka the Little Farm.  We have wanted to have this garden for SO LONG! It felt a little silly starting in July, but it's time to act on that dream.  Our first plants were Zucchini, but since then we have planted Yellow Squash, Collard Greens, Kale, Turnip Greens, Beets, Radishes, and Turnips.  I'm hoping that the others will thrive in the cool, fall weather of Colorado.

Meanwhile, I let one of our Zucchini get to that legendary baseball bat size in order to harvest some seeds--- what will be heirloom seeds if all goes well! Here is how I harvested my lovelies.

I sliced that sucker in half.

I dug in with my fingers and separated a lot of seeds.  I left the ones that got cut by the knife alone, but any whole, larger seeds I grabbed up.

Hurray! A lot of seeds for next year! Now I am going to let them dry for a week or so, then store them in a paper envelope to fight against any mold.  Thankfully (in this case) we live in a really dry "high desert" atmosphere.  Cheers to heirloom Zucchini!

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09 September 2013

Sunday Breaking Bread

Over the past year I've been experimenting with breaking bread. It is a super detailed process, but I'm really enjoying it. However, I thought I would start by posting a super easy and fruitful recipe I found online. I got this recipe from here, the master recipe of artisan bread in five minutes a day.

3 c. Luke Warm Water
1 T. Instant Dry Yeast
1 T. Salt
6 1/2 c. Flour

Basically, you mix the ingredients together in order. Let it rise for two hours. Refrigerate overnight, then cut 1/4 of the dough off. Let it rise for one hour, then bake at 450 for 35-40 minutes. 

Love love love.

**Unfortunately, this post is a day late! My rabbit literally chewed up my camera cord.  For real. His name is Benjamin. 

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