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

What is Yoga Garden Kids Club?

I started teaching a class called Yoga Garden Kids Club a little over a year ago.  There was one big motivator amongst a bunch of other smaller ones that inspired me to start teaching children.

I am a mom and a yogi. I would often feel frustrated because I felt my mom life was interfering with my yoga practice and I could sense that my kids felt the same about my practice.  I have done lots of yoga classes with my kids but they were super watered down and didn’t show them the reason yoga feeds my soul as well as making my body strong.  Why aren’t there Kids Yoga classes that are teaching kids more than just animal poses?  So, I decided to create one, using what I wanted to teach my own kids in mind.  In YGKC, we talk about breathing, they learn the mythology behind poses, mudras, and the asanas with their Sanskrit names!  (Half of them pronounce them better than me)   I work to give them a yoga practice that feeds their soul and body in a fun way with others their age.   I believe that if they are given that, our own practices will be more supported by them!  It is also pretty amazing to have a home practice WITH them instead of trying to keep it to myself.

The next Kids Club session starts this Thursday, January 26.  It is 4:30-5:15pm at Yoga Garden in NE. Each session is 5 weeks long and is $45/session! Email if you have interested little yogis in your home!


“Yoga is a life skill. Like learning to swim. 
Our girls have taken many of the Yoga Garden Kids Club sessions with Stephanie. We tapped into teaching our girls yogic breathing techniques very early on (both my husband and I have practiced yoga for many years.) And have long appreciated the combined beauty and benefits of breathing, meditation, stretching, strength and challenge of body and mind for every kind of person and every kind of body for all ages. Life skills. The most remarkable thing to me has been how our girls have learned to respect and support my yoga practice in a way that they didn’t understand before they had their own practice. They encourage me to get out the door to class, or get on my mat at home, they share the stories of the postures and mudras. And this motivates me and reminds me that I do this for myself, but also for the good of all the people that I love. Care for myself to be able to care for others. Easy, right? Much easier if you see the twinkle of understanding in the eyes of your kids…as you skid out the door to class!”
-Kari (Yoga Garden parent)
kids, Life, Meditation, Minneapolis, minnesota, Parenting, Yoga

Your Year in a Word-Kids Club


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.

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.




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.





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)


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.


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




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.


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!

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




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


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.

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

Yoga Playlist- 4/6/13

I woke up on Saturday feeling super energetic and having planned a slow flow hip opener class… I had some work to do.  I made a new playlist and we still worked on hip openers but it was much more energetic than originally planned and I had all female students that day so we were able to talk about Lady Power, holding so much emotion in our Sacral Chakra region and getting watery and fluid for spring!  It was a super fun class…. here is the playlist. (side note: I regret using the LOTR song for savasana, I was thinking of Galadriel when I chose it, but as it played, it seemed a little too… Epic.  Ah well, we can’t win em all!)


Life, Minneapolis, minnesota, Yoga

Creating MY yoga- Getting to This Moment

Recap- Here:


Yea right.

I started my Anusara Teacher Training in January of 2012, I studied with Martin and Jordan Kirk in Scottsdale.  It was two weeks, one in January and one in February.  It was a great option for me because I was able to stay with family while I was there.  I walked into the first of the two weeks excited, confident and a little terrified.  It was also the longest I had been away from my family since June had been born.  I knew this was going to be a great training.

Day 2, I missed most of because I had been up vomiting the whole night.  I was able to soldier through and learn, if not participate physically the next couple of days.  On Day 4, I heard something I had never heard before while I was Demo-ing a sequence.  Whispered by I don’t know who, ” She has such a beautiful practice.”  Who me?  I almost started crying in the middle of the demo… maybe I wasn’t a beginner anymore.  On Day 5, my husband’s grandfather passed away, and I had to choose not to come home, as the funeral was scheduled for when I would already be back.  During this week, even with the distractions, I learned so much.  I learned to be a passionate teacher from Jordan, I learned to be strong, fierce and technical with Martin.  I learned to sequence, to get over the fear of speaking in front of others as I led my first “class” through some warm ups, and I started to learn the benefit of a beautiful theme.

I went home to a funeral, and to soak all this in before the next week of training, which was three weeks away.  The week before we were to go back, Anusara Yoga EXPLODED.   Here is the story if you are curious, I will not go into details… It has been done over and over and over again. I was floored, but really didn’t really know yet how it would affect me, I was a “third generation” Anusarian… I studied with John Friend once, in a room full of 200 other yogi’s.  What brought me to Anusara and to finding my love of yoga were my teachers… Laurel, Sarah, Ali and the Kirks.  My teachers on the other hand were deeply and personally affected, that, is what trickled down to me.

The first day back, we were all full of nervous energy, we had hopes that Martin and Jordan would have answers for our pent up questions, I was at this point wondering if some good could come of it.  Martin started the class saying that he was teaching this week with a broken heart and Jordan told us that she was teaching from a place of rage.  They were as honest with us as they could legally be (Martin was on the Ethics committee) they taught us that week with love, from deep knowledge of their own yoga, and with their whole beings.  That week. Was my teacher training.  I themed and taught my ass off and it felt good.  I feel like I really connected with my fellow students.  I think I knew flying home after graduation, that I would no longer be following the Anusara path.  The next day,  Jordan resigned her certification with a beautiful letter. Frankly, I was a little angry at myself at this point for being such a follower, which is not my usual MO.   I felt like it led me to be lost, with no other certification to lean on I was in a really awkward middle ground.  Within months, NONE of my Anusara teachers were aligned with Anusara anymore.  I was both proud of the lineage of my education and embarrassed to tell people how I was trained.  In fact, though  trained through Anusara, I could not call myself an Anusara instructor as it exploded in my face before I could get my two years of teaching in.  What the heck did I call myself?!

I just started teaching.  I taught in the way that all of my teachers had shown me.  I told my students in those first months that I was learning as much from them as they were from me.  It went well, they didn’t ask me what brand of yoga I taught.  It was just yoga… and from that, I learned that going forward, I don’t need to rely on ONE school of yoga to make me a great teacher and yogi.  I can pick and choose and take the best from them all.  In January, I finished my Level 1 Prenatal instruction from Blooma, which brought my love of birthing and yoga together even more solidly, I hope to do Level 2 in the next year.

I love what Anusara taught me, I still teach the Universal Principles of Alignment and with heart themes.  I also look forward to exploring all schools of yoga and am working on creating a list of people I would love to study with.  So, if you have any recommendations… please comment below!  My plan is to continue MY yoga story with you on this blog, and see where the conversations take me.

Next on my list is Christina Sell at Yoga Garden the beginning of June.

I didn’t realize in the beginning that you had to wade through so much mud to get to the Lotus!



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

Welcoming Spring- Yoga Class 3/23/13

A big thank you to my teacher Laurel who introduced me to this poem years ago!  It has stuck with me and was a joy to share with my students on Saturday.  At this transition from winter to spring I am always seeking bright colors and reminders that soon the snow will be melted and we will see color.

When watching a child play, you know that they are still filled with and exuding their highest self.  Even if you are not a yogi, you are aware of their wonder and joy.  It is something that we are all born with and sadly, forget.  We then spend the rest of our lives trying to remember it.

Remembering spring, remembering our highest selves and remembering Sri.

IMG_1644 (3)

In the time of daffodils

Who know the goal of living is to grow

Forgetting why; Remember how

In the time of lilacs

Who proclaim the aim of waking is to dream

Forgetting seem; Remember So

In the time of roses

Who amaze our now and here with paradise

Forgetting if; Remember yes

In the time of all sweet things

Beyond whatever mind may comprehend

Forgetting find; Remember seek

And in mystery to be

When time from time shall set us free

Forgetting me; Remember me

~e.e. cummings

In our class we starting with a short and sweet Yin-like practice and continued with a slow flow Vinyasa.  Tree was our apex!

This was the soundtrack: