Tag Archives: Yoga Sol

The #Yoga of Celebrating Birthday Week (hint: it doesn’t have to be your birthday!)


No, this is not one of my doggies, but ohmygoodnes, look how awesome!

It’s my Birthday Week, my favorite week of the year! To be truthful, it’s Day 5 of my Birthday Week and I am having just as much fun as the party animal to the left.  Again, let’s take a minute to look at that awesome doggie and smile.


Okay, back to business.  It’s Day 5 of birthday week and it has been remarkable!

  • Day one was spent teaching yoga.  While I was teaching, Polly was planting me a cherry tree right by the yoga deck.  SWEET!

Day two found me gorging myself silly on yummy sushi with my favorite birthday buddy.  This is a tradition we have had for … gosh, 10 years now!





Day three brought to me a 90-minute massage (bliss,) followed by the unexpected joy of getting to drive and handle an absolutely massive $2M crane and help tear down the historic Regency Hotel.  It was incredible and I admit that I giggled all the way through.  Go ahead, try to tell me that this wouldn’t just rock your socks off.  Yeah, didn’t think you could.

Day 4 was full of awesomeness.  I spent my lunch dining with some of my favorite people, celebrating another friend’s birthday.  A piece of pizza bigger than my head, folks!  The only thing that can beat that is maybe spending the evening hanging out with my family and other friends and playing vintage pinball.  Happy kids = happy mama!

And today brings us to Day 5.  I teach one of my most favorite classes on Fridays, so I started my day off with the Friday Flyers.  Loads of fun arm balances and inversions, giggles and grunts, face plants and fabulousness.  It was lovely! My afternoon plans got unexpectedly changed last minute, so I asked myself what I really felt like doing instead.  I ended up soaking in a hot bath after lunch and have been in my pajamas since 1pm.  Nothing wrong with that.

My birthday week will continue with dinner and movie with my husband and will culminate with a yogi brunch on Sunday.  I absolutely cannot wait.  I LOVE BIRTHDAYS, I celebrate mine with flair and style, and I don’t mind allowing myself to be spoiled.  So what does all of this have to do with yoga, you ask?  I’ll tell you.  It’s all about the attitude of gratitude.  An attitude of gratitude can make *every week* seem like birthday week!

My week has been incredible, but aside from the brunch on Sunday (and not even that – I’ll explain in a bit,) nothing about what has made this week so amazing happened because of my birthday!  The cherry tree, most likely, was going to find it’s home at Yoga Sol eventually.  That it happened on the first day of birthday week happened to be a coincidence (I think,) but I was so excited and it seemed to fit the theme, so it became my birthday tree for the first day of birthday week!  Sushi with my birthday buddy is a tradition, but it’s not like it’s the only time we have sushi.  We could have sushi any given day (well, those days when we aren’t scheduled down to the minute.) It was because it was birthday week that I chose to see it as a birthday celebration and a party for me!  The massage was incredible and it was exactly what my body needed, but it happened to fall into birthday week simply because that’s what fit the schedule.  I was incredibly grateful and chose to see it as yet another part of the big celebration and I was grateful!  Now the whole crane thing had absolutely positively nothing to do with my birthday – I promise, the foreman had no idea it was my birthday week – but tell me that isn’t something to celebrate!! Yep, can’t do it, can you.  And, of course, lunch was for someone else, but who doesn’t love awesome organic pizza and awesome organic friends and awesome organic laughter?  The pinball thing —

well, that was just pure joy to watch.  Had nothing to do with me at all, but still felt like a continuation of the same party that was rolling and on and on from day to day.  Obviously teaching yoga is like a party for me and pajamas at 1pm on a Friday?  Just plain ohmygoodness awesome!  Even looking ahead: dinner and a movie could happen just about any week and, while it most certainly wouldn’t be the same (and I’m certain that my birthday brunch Sunday is going to be a big ol’ party – wheeeee!,) it’s possible to have brunch with these amazing people on other days, too. (but seriously, for real, I’m squeaking with excitement over this brunch!!!  It’s certainly a birthday thing.)

All of that rambling to make the point: You can look at everything good that happens in your life, no matter how big or how small, as a gift just for you! You can celebrate yourself and your life any dang ol’ time you want to! See a pretty flower?  It’s your birthday week (graduation week, stubbed-toe week, new nail polish week, root-canal week, bought new pants week, etc.) present!  Have a particularly wonderful conversation that makes you laugh so hard you pee a little?  Happy I-Have-Good-Friends week!  Find a perfect nail polish?  It was put in your path as present just for you! Finally hover away from the wall in handstand? CELEBRATE – it’s your day!

Pretty awesome, eh?

I had a friend who used to pray to be “open to the moments of the day,” meaning those moments that bring joy, laughter, light into the day.  (Incidentally, as she was telling me this, we saw an elderly man and a late 30-ish woman walking to some public bathrooms. They didn’t know each other and weren’t walking together, but somehow both of them ended up going into the wrong bathroom!  My friend and I howled with laughter and she said, “See, there you go!  That is a moment of the day!”)  If you live your life being grateful for the moments of the day, every week IS birthday week because, through gratitude, we are reborn.  We see the goodness in things and slowly, but surely, we stop focusing on the not so good stuff, and everything starts to look like a little present just for us.

OHMYGOODNESS how awesome is that?  Awesome enough to celebrate!





#365Yoga day 125: Love and Happiness (Viva Yoga Sol!)


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Oh friends, what can I say? I am blessed beyond measure and the love is flowing like waves.

Yoga Sol has been open for nearly a week now and it is, by far, the most beautiful studio I have ever seen. It’s true, I might be a little biased, but whatever. Can you blame me? Classes started Saturday and the weather was gorgeous – the first classes at the studio took place with the walls rolled up to the ceiling and the warm breeze blowing in over the yogis and yoginis like a baptism, a blessing.  It felt almost holy. It also felt like a party.  Makes sense; that’s pretty much what Yoga Sol is all about.

Teaching in the new space is unlike anything I’ve ever done before because it feels like home. There are parts of me in places that seem to wink and smile at me as I move around the room: Om Namah Shivaya Om in Sanskrit (a replica of one of my tattoos) is painted in shimmering gold along the baseboard of one wall, a picture I took during the trip to Santa Barbara hangs next to the picture of Polly and me hanging out with Michael Franti, Jolene Rust, and J Bowman, and one of the doors is painted just like doors of the shower house at White Lotus, the place where my life changed for ever. It is as though Shiva, Shakti, Ganesha, Kali, Hanuman, Ram, and the rest swirl around me, whispering constant reminders that this is where I am meant to be.

Each student who walks into the studio somehow manages to simultaneously light up with excitement and settle down in serenity before my eyes. It is clear that they are loving the place as much as I do and my goodness, does that make me happy! A studio should feel like home, like a sanctuary, to each person who enters. I think Yoga Sol is that place.

The seemingly endless hours of work and rework, decision and dedication, change and commitment have all paid off. I am the manager and spend as many hours a week doing that work as I do teaching. It is a new skill for me, but one for which I feel I am well suited. It feels good to put all the ideas that we’ve bounced back and forth into action and it also deepens my love for the studio to a different level. Each act is a labor of love and I realize that I am smiling as I work.

Somehow the feeling of being overwhelmed has left the building.  Somehow it has all smoothed out and it flows and ripples and bubbles in perfect rhythm.  There are bumps here and there, for sure, but what in life is without bumps in the road?  Perfectly imperfect, right? It feels amazing to be on both sides of the mat. It takes time and effort, but mostly, it takes awareness and mindfulness.  It takes yoga. Handy, eh?

I teach 5 days of the week. Each class has a different time and a different feel. I absolutely adore that. I feel I get the chance to explore and present many different aspects of yoga, many different aspects of myself. It is liberating and exciting and enlightening, just as it should be.  Today I am teaching a class filled with long, extended holds. I play ambient music, limit my words, and suggest that folks close their eyes to look within. Tomorrow I will teach a class of vigorous flows, inversions, and arm balances (handstands, anyone?) and the day after that I will teach a class for all levels, and then it is on to the next week of awesomeness.

So much love.  So much happiness.  So much gratitude.

I’m lucky girl, I’m telling you.

What is going right in your world today?  What do you love?  What makes you feel happy? Have you said Thank You? Maybe it’s time.


Whatchu talking about, Willis? : YOGA SOL’s Classes Defined


So much goodness!  So many options!  So much awesomeness!  It can get a little confusing.  Never fear, class descriptions are here!  Pick and choose, mix and match, get it all at Yoga Sol!

Class Description

Wave Flow classes
Wave Flow is a unique and inspiring blend of Hatha yoga and Vinyasa Flow incorporating pranayama, asana, mudra, bandha, and meditation.

Level 1 – Gentle stretching and balancing asanas combined with simple sequencing, this class is perfect for all students: beginners, those with physical limitations, as well as advanced students who desire a slower, lighter practice.

Level 2 – Designed for intermediate students, this class involves moderate flows and inversions designed to build stamina, strength and endurance.

Level 3 – A more intense practice, this class involves advanced flows, inversions, and arm balances for experienced yogis.

Long Hold – Still your mind while building strength in your body in this quiet class where asanas are held for extended periods.

Therapeutic – A slow , gentle yet stimulating class for seniors, beginners, or anyone recovering from an injury. Perfect for men too!

Power Flow Yoga
Power Flow Yoga is a dynamic, energetic, and soulful style of yoga that mixes vinyasa flow and power yoga. Many modifications will be provided, so all participants feel welcomed, yet challenged.

Dancer’s Body
Combining George Balanchine’s balletic principles of alignment and carriage with the philosophy, breath and pace of a yoga class, this hour-long class is designed to lift, lengthen and reshape muscles into those of a dancer

Flowing Kundalini is a vinyasa-style flowing class in which the classic yogic asanas are deepened and released rhythmically with the breath, providing a gentle, gradual warming of the muscles and joints.

Big Heart
This deeply satisfying yoga is available to practitioners of every size and shape. Rediscover the wisdom of your body, tune into it’s subtle voice, and let this gentle and supported yoga practice remind you of your body’s inherent beauty.

Tuesday 9:30-11:00
This 90 minute all-level class emphasizes women’s health. Each class begins with two resting/ recuperative poses. Stretching poses follow to lengthen the hamstrings and open the pelvis for optimizing circulation to the reproductive organs. Rigorous, but supported standing poses ensue, and then seated forward extensions, twists, backbends, or recuperatives/pranayama according to the 4-week cycle of progressive curriculum designed by Dr. Lois Steinberg.

Wednesday 5:15-6:15
A glimpse into Iyengar Yoga This 60 minute all-level class covers the basic principles and foundation postures of Iyengar Yoga. Classes will differ according to the capacity of the participants. Expect an emphasis on standing poses the first week, forward bends the second, backbends the third, and every fourth week of the course, a restorative class with pranayama (breathing exercises) instruction. This four-week cycle repeats itself.

Thursday 9:30-11:00
Iyengar Yoga for 50+ Postures in this slower paced class are taught with more modifications to accommodate older students and/or those with mild chronic health conditions. Emphasis is given to supported poses that increase mobility and strength of the neck, shoulders, spine, legs, and opening the chest for optimal circulation and breathing. The class is designed and conducted to be comfortable for women and men 50 years and older. However, this is not a firm limit; other ages are invited to inquire about the course format and accommodations.

Whole Birth Yoga teaches us to listen deeply to and trust in our bodies and in birth.
Yoga poses are taught with an emphasis on mindfulness for increasing breath and body awareness, learning pain management, prenatal bonding, deep relaxation and working with one’s edges.
Many of the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy are relieved through the practice of Whole Birth® Yoga. Low back and sciatic pain, insomnia, and swelling have responded well to regular practice. In the Whole Birth® Yoga class, ample time is given for support and the sharing of what’s joyful and what’s difficult about being pregnant. Discussion’s are rich, genuine and informative.
Whole Birth® Yoga was developed by Robin Sale, Director of Whole Birth® Resources

Developed in 1991, by D. H. Parsons, Atma-Jayam (self-victory) Yoga utilizes very basic and beneficial poses and breathing to achieve maximum cleansing and health benefit. Although Atma-Jayam is not exclusively a “seniors” Yoga, and not technically a “chair” Yoga, the postures are taught at most basic level, in a slow and gentle fashion, and many poses can be adapted further to be done while seated. Excellent for beginners, and those who want to get back in touch with their “beginner mind.”

Zumba® Fitness is the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program that blends red-hot international music, created by Grammy Award-winning producers, and contagious steps to form a “fitness-party.”

#365yoga Day 90: The Wheel


At 11:27 am CST, I locked the door to 300 Saint James Street for the last time.  I had just finished teaching my last yoga class at our temporary studio and it was a lovely class filled with committed yoga students and beautiful energy.  I got into my car and had to sit there for a little while and reflect.  

It was about 2 years ago that I decided to become a yoga teacher.  2 short years.  It’s something I always thought about, of course.  I wanted to do it for a long time, but certain things (read: feeling like I didn’t deserve to do it, wasn’t worth it, etc.) kept me from pushing through and doing it.  I’ll never forget the moments that got me to the other side of that: several yoga teachers at the gym I attended kept asking me to “finally get” my “yoga training in so” I “could sub already, dammit!”

What can I say, they were persuasive.

20 months ago, I did what I could with what I had (very tiny budget and very little time,) and took a very little basic yoga teacher training.  Within 3 days I was able to teach at my gym.  And teach I did!  It was only a few weeks later that I had my own regular class and was subbing frequently in multiple locations all over town.  My goodness, when I think back on some of those classes, well, let’s just say that most yoga students are benevolent, patient, good humored folk!  I kept teaching, though, and I kept learning and growing and asking questions.  I kept searching and trying and trusting in the process.  Yoga Sol was born and I moved my mat from the gym to a studio.

Yoga Sol lived at that studio for 14 months.  My classes grew from one student (or, at times, none) to wall to wall mats.  I met amazing people and felt amazing energy and got to witness the transformation that comes when you commit to a regular yoga practice both in my students and in myself.  I met mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters, artists and actors, poets and photographers, teachers and students, and Michael Franti and his gang.

The wheel keeps on rolling down the road, for sure!

Somewhere along that road, I realized that I DO deserve to follow my bliss, I DO deserve to have a bright future, I DO deserve a real and proper training, so in October I packed up my bags and headed out west to The White Lotus Foundation.  For many of you, this might not seem like a big deal. For me and my family, however, it was revolutionary.  I left my homeschooled children and husband (who works in an industry that is fueled by college sports,) alone for 16 days during the 3 busiest weekends of the year: homecoming and games against the 2 top rivals.  Used to be that I wouldn’t even think about scheduling lunch during those weekends, much less a trip across the country!  Yoga transforms, eh?

I sent in my final paperwork for my 200RYT last Saturday.  I DID IT!

Today I locked the door at the temporary location of Yoga Sol.  I taught the last class there and I will be teaching the first class at the new location, 210 Saint James Street, which just happens to fall on my 35th birthday.  I think it’s highly significant.  I feel it’s a rebirth, of sorts.  I will be opening the studio not just as a teacher, but as the manager, working very closely with one of the greatest gifts I have ever received, my mentor, friend, and Yoga Sol owner, Polly.  What started out as just the two of  us in a dance studio has now grown into the first indoor / outdoor yoga studio in Mid-MO, if not the entire state of Missouri.  We have a teaching staff of  8 other teachers on board now as well as our own classes filled with students who have followed us both through the trenches and into the light.

And the wheel is still rolling!

Yoga is very much like a wheel.  The more momentum it has, the further it goes, and will usually take you further than you could ever imagine if you just let it go.  I cannot wait to see where this leads, but I’ll tell you this – I hope I never stop the wheel from turning.  I will watch it with amazement and awe and joy because it is bound to be an awesome ride.

A’well We’re Movin’ on Up! Yoga Sol gets a snazzy new home



It’s here!  It’s here!  It’s (almost) here!  Yoga Sol is finally moving into our own, permanent digs!  We have been blessed to have had a successful 14 month run in a temporary location.  You have joined us and moved with us and breathed with us and shared with us and supported us and we are so grateful.  Thank you.

There are 3 more classes at the current location: TODAY at 9:30 with Polly & 4:30 with me, and our last class is tomorrow at 10am with me.  After that,we close for 2 weeks to trick out the amazing, beautiful, incredible, breathtaking new studio.  We reopen the NEW Yoga Sol on FRIDAY APRIL 15 at 9:30 am!  Super big squee!

The new studio has gorgeous wood floors, a very clean “spa-like” feel, a high ceiling, a dressing room with cubbies for your belongings, a colorful and vibrant bathroom, and 3 enormous glass doors that roll up into the ceiling and lead out onto a beautiful wooden deck with stone and earth accents.  Indoor / Outdoor yoga anyone?  That’s what I’m talking about!

Drive on by the new location and see the progress (you can’t go in, of course, but there’s lots to see from the outside!)

210 Saint James Street

Columbia, MO



New schedule to be published soon – maybe even later today!


#365Yoga Days 26 & 27: Intention, Commitment, and Controversy.


It’s currently 4:08 CST on Thursday afternoon.  I sort of feel like this is the first moment I have stopped running since yesterday morning.  I didn’t post yesterday because, frankly, I didn’t have time. Know what I was doing?  Honoring my commitment to yoga.

It is an exciting time for Yoga Sol.  This week we offered an amazing discount on unlimited yoga classes for one month on the inaugural week of Groupon in Columbia, MO.  I hope you got yourselves a deal!  We are adding teachers and classes left and right (most will be starting when we move,) and that requires planning and consideration.  As manager, I get to be involved in a lot of that.  The new studio is coming right along and it looks BEAUTIFUL!  The light in there is incredible and the plans for the flooring, window treatments, and lighting make my toes curl with excitement.  We want to do it right, so it’s taking time, but will be worth it.

Yesterday had me running to lunch meetings with an amazing children’s yoga teacher (fingers crossed she joins the YS family,) to the new studio to oooooh and ahhhhhh and awe over the incredible work going on in there (and to support my Polita – love you the mostest, Polly,) and then heading off to teach my Wednesday afternoon class.  Lunch was lovely, the studio is awesome, and class was … perfect.  Not perfect because I said all the right words or got everything in there that I had planned or established world peace and an end to hunger, though.  Nope, it was perfect because it felt just right.  There was the perfect blend of planning and going with the flow, intelligence and inspiration, and wisdom with reality.  I really feel like I am not just leading a yoga class these days; I feel like I am really teaching yoga.  It isn’t forced or planned – there are just times when I look at my students and pull everyone out of their asana and tell them what is going on and why and what they might expect from their bodies and what that means and and how it can be different if they want or whatever.  Walking through my students and laying hands on them for correction, assistance, or reassurance is almost instinctual and intuitive for me now.  We did some crazy balance flow that I made up and folks were falling out left and right and it was exactly as it should be.  Yoga represents life.  In life we fall out all the damn time.  We stumble. We fall. We get off the path. We sway. We falter. But yoga teaches us that a) it’s okay to fall, and b) to get back up and go again without shame, blame or guilt.  We tried old things and new things.  One student even attempted Sirsasana for the very first time and, with a lot of support and assistance, managed to feel what it was like to turn her world upside down for a few moments.  AWESOME!

As folks were filing out after class, I had someone sign my form from White Lotus that will go towards my final registration with Yoga Alliance.  It completed a certain section and I realized that I will be ready to submit within 2 weeks.  I have really mixed feelings about that.  I am not at all sure how I feel about Yoga Alliance.  Yes, it gives the alphabet soup behind my name, but honestly, I have EARNED those letters already.  The only thing registering with Yoga Alliance means is that I pay them some money and they put me on a list of folks who are registered in this country.  Honestly, it doesn’t mean much – certainly not as much as it once did.  The Alliance isn’t doing much for anyone these days except charging annual fees.  As I have written about before, there is no mathematical equation that makes a yoga teacher.  There’s been a huge uproar in the yoga community this week spawned a NYT article about former-model-now-celebrity-yogini Tara Stiles in which she states (and I’m paraphrasing) that her yoga teacher training was “crap.” She is now training yoga teachers, but based on what I’m not sure.  The point of my bringing this up is not to rake Stiles over the coals, but to bring up the issue of the importance of QUALITY yoga teacher training and to question the importance of Yoga Alliance.  I won’t get too deep into the discussion here (google it, read YogaDork.com, or search ElephantJournal.com – if you read the comments, you’ll get more of the scoop than you wanted, trust me on this,) but I’m full of opinions (surprise, eh? heh.)   I have met folks who have completed some 200hr RYT  and they seem to come out thinking they know it all!  This amazes me because I went through one of the premier yoga teacher trainings in the country ( White Lotus was one of the very first – Ganga White himself has been referred to by others as the man who brought Yoga to the US in the 60s and has the title Yoga Acharya x 3, and Tracey Rich is … well, there is no comparison to  Tracey Rich) and I left that training knowing SO much my head was exploding but the number one thing I learned was – THERE IS ALWAYS MORE TO LEARN.  Drives me freaking crazy when folks have been practicing or teaching for a year or two and calling themselves Master Yogis or some other bullshit… ugh.

I digress…

This all reminds me of the years I spent as a doula.  I went through a fairly intense training and through a massive reading list and attending lots of births and had evaluations done by nurses, obstetricians, midwives, and most importantly mothers and fathers.  I went through the whole rigormorole and still I had questions about whether I should certify or not.  It was very much the same deal as is Yoga Alliance.  Eventually I DID end up certifying.  I paid, I filled out forms and I got my alphabet soup and my name on a massive important website and…. it did nothing at all to change the level of care I was giving already, nor did it bring me more clients nor credibility.  What it did do, however, is give me a sense of accomplishment.  I didn’t think those letters after my name made me any better or any worse, but it did say to me that I earned them, that I made it (somewhere – although I was already there anyway, just hadn’t checked in on Four Square, so to speak.)  I didn’t particularly love my doula certifying organization or believe in everything that they stood for nor did I pledge allegiance to said organization, BUT I DID certify through them and felt … credible in the eyes of people who care about such (possibly) inane things.

There has been a call to overhaul Yoga Alliance and make it something that means something again.  I sincerely hope that it happens because I will be sending in my information and my check.  Not because it matters.  Not because it changes anything. Not because it makes me better or more important, but because it honors my intention that I declared when I set out on this journey and it is part of the commitment I made to my family, my students, my studio, and myself.  I don’t think there’s anything crappy about that.


Yoga Sol has 2 new classes check it out! Oh and vote for us, while you’re at it!



It’s great to be back!  After a lovely holiday break, classes have resumed at Yoga Sol.  Progress continues on the new studio and we are hoping to open in March.  Thank you for your patience and continued support.  We will be offering many classes per day in the new studio, but have already added several classes to offer you more opportunities to meet us on the mat!


MONDAY  7:30 – 8:30pm Gentle

TUESDAY  9:30 – 10:30am Level 1
4:30 – 5:30pm Level 2

WEDNESDAY   9:30 – 10:30am Level 2
4:30 – 5:30pm Level 1-2

THURSDAY  10:00 – 11:00am Gentle

SATURDAY  9:00 – 10:00am All Levels


Have you heard?  Yoga Sol has been nominated for Best Yoga Sol Studio of Columbia, MO.  We are thrilled, honored, excited, and oh so grateful!  VOTING ENDS TOMORROW, JANUARY 10th.  If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to visit Inside Columbia Magazine’s website and vote for Yoga Sol.  There are several items to vote for, but you do not need to vote for everything for your ballot to count.  Best Yoga Studio is number 82.  Each person can only vote once and every vote is important.

Click here to get started!

Thank you for making Yoga Sol what it is – a community of love, light, peace, and Prana.
We’ll see you on the mat!