family, kids, Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting, Yoga

The Lone Yogi

3899f89f-e4c6-4216-8c43-0c327f833136

My son is not one that enjoys a yoga class.  Frustrating as a teacher, but being in a class setting is not for everyone.  When he gets into a class with other children, it is hard for him to stay focused on the asana and meditations.   He wants to play and be silly which is normal, he is 10.   He does however, still love yoga and I will catch him being still with his eyes closed.  As he was here on a hike this last summer.  I asked him what he was doing or thinking about and he just shrugged and said, “Taking a breath and enjoying this tree.  It’s like meditating!” Leave to a child to remind me that yoga can happen anywhere, and is more that just being flexible and beautiful postures.

My current Yoga Garden schedule:

Tuesday- YG Play date ( for moms and babies) 9-9:45 am

Thursday- YG Kids Club (ages 6-9) 4:30-5:15pm

Saturday- Mixed Level Vinyasa 8-9am

Slow Flow  9:15-10:30am

kids, Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting, Yoga

Your Year in a Word-Kids Club

fullsizerender

Every year at the end of October, the Yoga Garden community begins to meditate on their Year in a Word.  Word that will we will carry forward into the next year, not so much a resolution but a beacon towards which we are always moving.  Once our words are chosen Laurel creates these beautiful flags to add to Yoga Garden’s puja.

 http://laurelvanmatre.blogspot.com/2016/10/your-year-in-word.html

This year, the youngest of our community were invited to join us in this amazing tradition!  I had a great time, helping the students in Yoga Garden Kids Club think about and create their own word flags to add to the wall.  I thought it would be super obvious which were the kids’ words but it turns out, it isn’t.  These kids were so thoughtful and earnest when it came to their final choices!

The next Kids Club session starts January 26, 2017, each session in 5 weeks long!  It is $45 for the full session.  Classes are Thursday 4:30-5:15pm at Yoga Garden.

a1ff3bc9-ce12-44df-8716-a6b100b5d361

 

 

Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting, Yoga

Grounded but not Buried

My favorite themes in yoga classes this time of year are: turning inward, getting settled and being thoughtful.  When I get to a class and the teacher starts talking about these things and adds that we will be doing forward folds and grounding poses, my heart rejoices!!!

This is my more natural state, even tempered and grounded.  I definitely view this as one of my strengths.  I am usually a very calming person to be around.  I am a slow and steady kind of girl.  I keep moving and I get shit done!

The flip side to this is that I have a tendency to get anxious if there is too much going on.  A life full of non stop activity is overwhelming for me and sometimes can stop me completely, and once I stop, it can take a lot of effort to get rolling again.

September and October are always crazy in my household.  The beginning of a new school year, birthdays, anniversary and a very busy travel season at my husband’s work.  So when November comes, it is SO tempting to delve full on into that comfortable meditative space and never come out.

My personal challenge at this amazing time of year when we are all encouraged to turn in and reflect, to go slow with awareness,  is to keep my life and practice balanced so that I don’t get stuck.  What that may look like… maybe do faster paced vinyasas, eat lighter and stay active.  Instead of practicing a still meditation or a nidra, do a walking meditation.   Things that may not feel like the natural things to do are what keep me balanced, and staying balanced is important to me and my family.

Now…. this definitely does NOT mean that you won’t still catch me at a Gentle/Yin class or that I won’t be relishing the calm that comes over me when I teach my Slow Flow class.  It is my way, and it IS, after all, the best time of the year for it!

If you are interested in joining me for my Slow Flow class, I teach it at Yoga Garden in NE Minneapolis on Saturdays at 9:15!   Open to all levels of practice and abilities, this soothing gentle 75 min. class focuses on an exploration of basic yoga poses and how to connect them through attention to breathing, alignment and mindfulness.  Therapeutic in nature, you will learn techniques to help you gain flexibility, while immersing yourself in a relaxing class that moves at a perfectly slower pace – allowing ample time to enjoy each pose.  Expect lots of stretching & lingering in supported seated poses.  Meditation and relaxation techniques will also be introduced, perfect for stress relief and overall well being.

12122415_10153586956888567_3603786902482712708_n

 

 

 

kids, Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting, Yoga

YGKC- I can!

We just finished up another Yoga Garden Kids Club session!  Our theme started out being Balance, and turned quickly into, How to balance trying to do our best and being comfortable asking for help”.  Instead of relying on the words, I can’t do it. Even adults do this, they see a pose that is more bendy or requires more strength and the words that pop into our head first is usually, I can’t do that.  For the kids, I noticed that they would say the words aloud… but then do their version of the pose brilliantly!  (There are probably already million and one blog posts out there about the psychology behind that)

14681586_10154488182483567_426207700770517723_n

So, we made a new rule for Kids Club.  They are no longer allowed to say “I can’t do it” until they have tried, then if they need help.  They may say “I can’t do it YET”  and we will work together as a team to find their version!

In our discussion/meditation time, we had really great conversations about things we found hard to do, how we could help ourselves and how to ask for help.  We talked a lot about what a Guru is and they enjoyed hearing that we are all a Guru.  One of the easiest ways to begin learning from each other is Active Listening.  We practiced turning towards and looking at whomever was speaking.  As we spoke of every day topics, we practiced making space for each other to share.  After a few classes of practicing this, I noticed that the children were bringing both topics together while doing our physical practice!  If someone was struggling with a pose, we would stop, see and hear that person and then work together to find a modification.

It was really a joy to see and I am always so grateful that I started teaching kids.  I learn so much.

14708209_10154488182973567_2084740980092460791_n

Yoga Garden Kids Club is a yoga class for kids ages 6-9.  It is 45 minutes long and in it we practice meditation, yoga postures, play games, tell stories and have a ton of fun!  YGKC is offered in 5 week sessions.  It is $45/ 5 week session.  There are two time/day options for Kids Club.  Thursday 4:30-5:15pm or Saturday 10:30-11:15am

The next session starts on November 10 for the Thursday option, and November 12 for the Saturday option.  Our themes for the next session will Gratitude and we will also be thinking about and discussing what we want to take with us into the new year.

If you are interested in having your child join us for the next session, email me at stephanie.loes@gmail.com.

 

14690887_10154488182078567_2938081651039932271_n

 

001Saturday Kids Club during a “Pillow Class”.

 

kids, Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting, Yoga

Just a Moment

Envisioned in my head

My kids and I share a beautiful meditation about gratitude and love.  We hold hands, talk to each other about how each of us have gifts that are uniquely ours.  How we can use these gifts to energize the universe and help others.  At the end of the meditation, we breath, OM and state what we are grateful for in that moment.  Deep things, like beauty in nature, past souls within us… that kind of stuff.  We hug and then go on with our day feeling closer and good.

Reality

I bribe the kids with a snack to sit down with me.  We DO hold hands, but I am instantly aware of the stickiness.  We talk about our Super Powers (compromises were made on the verbage) and after a terrifyingly loud and long OM, their responses to what they are thankful for is Elliot’s “new remote control truck” and  “that the dogs are still alive even though they are SO old and eat their poop”.   They run off to play after a hug, and I feel like I need to meditate with a glass of wine.

Mindfulness in a family is hard to maintain when in the thick of increasingly busy schedules and their seeming unwillingness.  Is it still meaningful?   Yes.  If everyday, we take a moment to notice the changing of the leaves, to think about what we are grateful for, to stop and breath… it becomes habit.  One minute, a moment, Yes!

My expectations need to bend sometimes and that is okay.   The result that I am hoping for looks different everyday.  Some days we will snuggle and have deep conversation and others with will just meet eyes and smile.

A half hour after the above meditation attempt, June came up to me, gave me a hug and said that she was “thankful to have you as my mom too” and she was off again!

That moment was like the sweetest Savasana!

img_3750
One of June’s more peaceful moments!

My current schedule at Yoga Garden is:

Yoga Garden Playdate– Tuesday 9-9:45am

for moms and their little ones ages 0-3

Yoga Garden Kids Club– Thursday 4:30-5:15 and Saturday 10:30-11:15am

for kids ages 6-9, taught in 5 week sessions-registration required

Mixed Level Vinyasa– Saturday 8-9am

all levels welcome

Slow Flow– Saturday 9:15-10:30am

all levels welcome

 

logo

 

Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Music, Yoga, Yoga Playlists

Playlist from 5/25/13- Core Class

Awesome class last week!  Thanks as always for making it great…  remember that on the 8th of June, my 9:30 class will be a slow flowing, restorative,  back to basics class.  Maybe make it a twofer and come for both vinyasa and the basics!

See you next Saturday!

  1. Hope on Board                               Tom Petty
  2. Lilac Wine                                        Jeff Buckley
  3. Stir it Up                                           Bob Marley & the Wailers
  4. Speak in Rounds                            Grizzly Bear
  5. Jane Says(Kettlewhistle)            Jane’s Addiction
  6. Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa            Vampire Weekend
  7. Dog Days are Over(unplugged) Florence and the Machine
  8. Thrift Shop(radio version)         Macklemore & Ryan
  9. Sail                                                        Awolnation
  10. Five String Serenade                     Mazzy Star
  11. Ghosts That We Know                  Mumford & Sons
  12. Valtari                                                Sigur Ros

Enjoy!

Hair, Life, Minneapolis, minnesota

The Final Closing of a Chapter

16645_101520456542300_1312575_n

This is where I worked for a little over 8 years.  They are closing their doors this coming week because the property managers would prefer to put in ANOTHER chain restaurant.  Dinkytown used to be about small business and now it is beginning to look like someone picked up a dinky suburb and plopped it next to campus!  I am sad about this turn of events for many reasons but on a more personal note… it feels like the final end of my hair industry days.  An industry that I loved very much and always wondered if I would someday go back to.

25658_1190151088954_1989056_n

When you are a hair stylist, you get to know people in a very personal and unique way.  After doing hair for almost 15 years, I had a very full and amazing clientele.  I got to know them through their college years, I was honored to be a small part of their weddings, and towards the end I started seeing my clients with beautiful pregnant bellies, even giving their little ones their first haircuts.  People put so much trust in you when you are a stylist… secrets to keep, knowledge of their true selves and helping them show to the world who they are.  I used to tell people that when you see someone for a long time, it is like a never ending conversation.  It gets picked up where we left off at the end of the last haircut.  I loved having the opportunity to meet and know so many awesome people.

38292_410658975043_5872199_n

 

When you are a hair stylist, if you are lucky, you get to join a “hair family”.  This family changes through the years like any other, but you know that you can cross any of those bridges that you have built and be greeted with a welcoming smile and maybe a hug.  It is a very fun and creative profession that typically draws open, imaginative and loving caretakers to it.  I was blessed to have had two wonderful hair families in my career.

l (5)

172990_497873550043_7656758_o

Often a salon is filled with very strong personalities…. if you are lucky,  as I was,  you will find yourself in a salon home where those strong personalities are cohesive and celebrated.  I loved my time at HCX, I loved the people that I had the opportunity to work with.  We celebrated weddings, babies, new beginnings and mourned together loss and frustration.  I met some of my best friends in this industry.  I have known many people that I look forward to greeting again with a smile and a hug.  Goodbye HCX… thanks for the memories!

35341_117375521642840_110127_nl (3)l (4)557222_501362056557541_1254014269_n13437_10100247326532580_2465239_n60319_133455063368219_3370181_nl (6)

 

 

 

 

 

Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Music, Yoga, Yoga Playlists

Yoga Playlist-5/4/13

We spent last Saturday trying to find our Tranverse Abdominis. It was fun to spend a class working on one pair of muscles, and interesting to me to discover what else needed to be worked to get to the target region!

Transverse-Abdominis-732984 So important and so hidden.

Here is the music that was playing, thanks for a great class!

  1. The Greatest                              Cat Power
  2. Coldest Days                              The Rural Alberta Advantage
  3. Clara                                              Punch Brothers
  4. Time to Move On                      Tom Petty
  5. Grace                                             Jeff Buckley
  6. Fire it Up                                       Modest Mouse
  7. Cursed Diamond                         The Black Crowes
  8. Bouncing Around the Room  Phish (studio version from Lawn Boy)
  9. 747                                                  Kent
  10. Try to Sleep                                  Low
  11. The Fireside                                 Yo La Tengo

Join us this Saturday for our celebration of Mother’s Day!  Last year, we celebrated with Kali…. this year, I think we will explore Saraswati.

Food, Life, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting

Whew, it has been awhile! Future Foodies Friday-Corn Chowder

I have to be honest, with the dreariness of MN these days… I have been feeling uninspired.  So instead of forcing myself to do a post, I decided to wait until I was ready to post something worthwhile.

It is May 3rd, and yes, it is snowing… again.  So we are making soup this afternoon.  Turning to my favorite soup book for a recipe we decided that Corn Chowder would be tasty on this cold day.

We just finished prepping the corn and in a bit I will start rendering the salt pork.  I will try to get a decent picture of it after it is done!

For this recipe, we like to add crab meat.  Get the good stuff, it is worth it.  Stir it in with the reserved kernels.  We also used frozen organic corn unless it is corn season in MN.  I do NOT want to be feeding the kidlets pesticide soup.  Tonight we will be eating it with a crusty rosemary olive oil boule.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

10 ears corn (medium), husks and silks removed
3 ounces salt pork , trimmed of rind and cut into two 1-inch cubes (note: I used regular bacon, which worked out fine)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion , preferably Spanish, chopped fine
2 medium cloves garlic , minced (about 2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
2 medium red potatoes (about 12 ounces), scrubbed and cut into ¼-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 small red bell pepper (optional, my adaption)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves (or ¼ teaspoon dried)
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
teaspoons table salt
Ground black pepper

Directions

1. Stand corn on end. Using chef’s knife, cut kernels from 4 ears corn (you should have about 3 cups); transfer to medium bowl and set aside. Following illustrations below, grate kernels from remaining 6 ears on large holes of box grater, then firmly scrape any pulp remaining on cobs with back of knife (you should have 2 generous cups kernels and pulp). Transfer to separate bowl and set aside.

2. Sauté salt pork (or quality thick-cut bacon) in Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, turning with tongs and pressing down on pieces to render fat, until cubes are crisp and golden brown, about 10 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, stir in butter and onions, cover pot, and cook until softened, about 12 minutes. If using, add the chopped red bell pepper in the last five minutes of cooking the onion.

Remove salt pork and reserve.

Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.

Whisking constantly, gradually add stock. Add potatoes, bay leaf, thyme, milk, grated corn and pulp, and reserved salt pork; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add reserved corn kernels and heavy cream and return to simmer; simmer until corn kernels are tender yet still slightly crunchy, about 5 minutes longer. Discard bay leaf and salt pork. Stir in parsley, salt, and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Wonder-37-Corn-Static-Image