Here you will find the ramblings of a yogi and redbloomer. Read along with me and see where this journey takes us...
Here you will find the ramblings of a yogi and redbloomer. Read along with me and see where this journey takes us...
Our 4th Petal of RedBloom is one of the many unique classes we offer~ Nia Dance!
If you have not danced with Crina yet, please do! Crina is a person full of joy who clearly LOVES to dance. Her Nia classes are full of beauty and movement with themes like "Self Love", "Strength", and much more inspiration.
Our Nia Dance class is donation based, with all donations being given directly to Women's Aid~ Dance to support a great cause!
We dance together Monday mornings at 8:30-9:30. Give it a try and find new ways to move with RedBloom 🌺
For our 3rd Petal of RedBloom, I want to talk about our teachers. These lovely humans take time each week to guide us deeper into our selves through practice and connection. They share a piece of their soul with us and are continually present and genuine with us.
They are all so unique and I love each and every one of them. I love the amazing skills and knowledge that each one of them brings to RedBloom. I love seeing them support each other as well as YOU. They truly are family and it's a beautiful thing. And most of all, I am honored that they have chosen to be such a vital part of this community. That they support and believe in our philosophy and mission of yoga for everyBODY.
From Nia dance, to gentle yoga, to alignment based hatha, to yoga steeped in astrology and/or philosophy, to specialized yoga like prenatal and kids, to vigorous vinyasa, and much more, one of these teachers covers it!
If you haven't practiced with every single one of these folks, what are you waiting for? Now's the time! (And while you're there, tell them thanks for me! 😉)
In the Month of December we will be sharing "12 Petals of RedBloom" or the different parts of this fabulous community. This is our second installment...
Our 2nd Petal of RedBloom is Kula Yoga Outreach. This organization was started by Kris about 7 years ago in the hopes of providing yoga to the greater Mt. Pleasant community. Her intention was to create a welcoming environment where anyone could enjoy a yoga practice at their own level.
She was lucky enough to connect with generous local businesses, White Pine Montessori, St. John's Episcopal Church, even the Mt. Pleasant Public Library, who donated their space so we could practice together with only donations being given (including pineapples!)
Quickly this beautiful Kula (sanskrit for "community") grew with like- minded yogis until we were practicing 6 days a week in 4 locations in 2 towns (Mt. Pleasant and Alma). Kula was fortunate enough to gather wonderful teachers who generously shared themselves with the community and quickly became part of our lives.
Eventually, Kris and her friend Denise decided that Kula Yoga Outreach needed a more permanent home. Hence, Redbloom was born. It was one of those moments in life in which everything fell together fairly easily and the universe agreed that RedBloom would blossom.
Kris and her team of wonderful teachers have continued nurturing RedBloom and let the principles that began with Kula Yoga Outreach continue to guide all that we do. At RedBloom we welcome every BODY and create a safe, welcoming, environment in which yogis new and experienced can practice together. When you walk through our door, you are family.
*We offer 8 KULA classes a week at RedBloom, which are all still donation based and do not require a RedBloom class pass. We just ask that you give what you feel you can to support our teachers and show them appreciation for sharing their time and talent.
In the Month of December we will be sharing "12 Petals of RedBloom" or the different parts of this fabulous community. This is our first installment...
Our first petal of RedBloom is community outreach. RedBloom began in Kula Yoga Outreach (another day of the 12 petals of RedBloom- more on that later 😉), a community organization that focuses on bringing yoga to every BODY. We have continued this mission of bringing yoga to the greater Mt. Pleasant area through a variety of outreach activities and events. 🌺
Did you know that YOU yogis support many fabulous organizations in our greater Mt. Pleasant community and that our RedBloom teachers offer yoga to community members in a variety of settings? Let me tell you some of the great things we do throughout the year...
We have offered free or low cost yoga to...
~Mt. Pleasant Public Library
~Alma Public Library
~Mt. Pleasant Parks & Rec
~Renaissance Public School Academy
~White Pine Montessori
~Central Michigan University School of Music
~Michigan Nurses Association
~Various CMU Student Organizations
~Downtown Mt. Pleasant
~Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market
~And many more!
Organizations we have supported through the year...
~Various CMU Student Organizations
~Mt. Pleasant Public Schools
~Renaissance Public School Academy
~Sacred Heart Academy
~Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum
~Isabella County Restoration House
~Kula Yoga Outreach
~Butterfly House of Nepal
~Isabella County Soup Kitchen
~And many more!
Thank you for helping expand the RedBloom community!!!
Last week I stepped out of my comfort zone. Big time. I took on a couple of things that were not something I normally do and that made me super anxious. And that got me thinking...
First, I led our Full Moon practice at RedBloom. Our regular teacher was under the weather so I stepped in and led. She was awesome and gave me a ton of support with theme, topic, and sequences (All while at the walk in clinic!!) but this was definitely outside my wheelhouse. I've done moon yoga before, but having Jalene take those classes over has truly shown me how little I know in that area. I had fun with them and provided nice practices, but there was so much I was missing- I was merely a placeholder. Jalene is a wealth of knowledge and provides such spot on practices for each moon cycle with passion and integrity! Those are BIG shoes to fill!
The second thing I did was yoga with 50+ fifth and sixth graders... Whew! (This week was 3rd & 4th...) Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE yoga with kids. They are honest, pure, and joyful. Things I wish I could always be. But fifth and sixth grade is a tough age. And 50 is a LOT of them. Plus yoga is not something that a lot of them have ever done before so I didn't know how they would respond. I had no idea what to expect or how it was going to go. I have never sweat so much in my life...
I did both of these things, one after the other. I was thankful for my breath and my ability to have no expectations. I was able to take these experiences and absorb the lessons from them, honor the successes, and notice my reactions and how my "stories" impact my anxiety levels and my perception of success...
Let's start there. With success... What is that? What does that mean? How do we measure success? For me I have always been a person that runs away from the measurement of success through numbers. Success is not a popularity contest. For me, success is measured by impact. If ONE person takes something positive away from practice or an interaction then that is success for me. Life is a journey and if I can help ONE person navigate that journey a little more clearly, then (whatever) is a success. It seems so often, especially in the yoga world, success is measured in numbers. I get that there has to be a bottom line to keep the lights on, but what purpose does it serve to pack a room and then have little to no personal interaction? I think about those kiddos I practiced with last week and yesterday. I worked to connect with each and every one of them. I at least made eye contact with each and every one of them. I listened to them when they talked, and I watched to make sure what we were doing made sense in their bodies. I could see the changes they felt (or didn't feel), I worked to help them feel included and accepted even if they were sitting down and not doing yoga (that was sometimes more yoga than the movement and postures...), and I watched as many of them walked out of the room still using some of the techniques we had just practiced together. Success through connection!
Let's look at the other side of the coin. I was reading something the other day and it asked the question, "what if what we thought we wanted was really what was holding us back?" We get so stuck in our ideas of what we can and can't do, of what we think we should do and how things should go. We get attached to the concept of success looking a specific way. What happens when we let go of our expectations and open to the possibility of success being something we haven't even seen? Think of how silly it would be for me to walk into this yoga session with 50 students and measure my success by their ability to hold Tree Pose for 10 breaths. To what end? Instead, I entered into that situation with an openness to what ever happens happens. To the idea that I have a "plan" but it is merely a guideline and that we will veer from that plan. So many beautiful things happened in that practice that I couldn't have even imagined. And I was able to respond more genuinely and in the moment to students because I was merely present. It was beautiful- we flew so much higher than I could have ever imagined.
This was the same for the Moon Yoga class I led last week. I realized as I was preparing for class that I was creating a majority of my anxiety myself! I realized that I was getting stuck in my stories of inadequacy and lack of knowledge. My expectations of what that class should be was making it bigger and bigger in my mind, and when I let those assumption go I was able to take a breath and release a lot of my un-realistic expectations. I was able to really tune in to the intent that Jalene had created for class and let that guide the experience. Again, I had a plan, but it was just that and I had the knowledge that we would vary from that plan.
And most importantly, I did these things that created so much anxiety in my mind and body. I learned so much about myself and my view of myself. And I wondered... how many things in my life do I limit because of anxiety or expectations that I unconsciously (or consciously) have? How many times do I feel that I have failed because of my preconceived notion of "success". And what kind of cycle do I create by allowing those patterns to continue?
So today, with mindfulness, I continue. There will always be situations that we are thrown into that make us uncomfortable or bring up old baggage or stories. There will always be opportunities to grow through those difficult experiences. My hope for myself is that I have awareness and grace to move through these situations and grow, to not stop and turn away from difficulty or stressful situations. Because that is what helps me learn and evolve. Those times are really where I learn who I truly am.
The hard stuff, the dirty work, that is the Yoga.
What brings you joy? Real joy?
Look at that face... The face of my 6 year old spinning in her fluffy tutu. Isn't it amazing?! Granted, I'm biased because I'm her mom but just look at the joy! I absolutely love working with and being around children. They are pure, innocent, and tell it like it is. There is no second guessing with them. They feel all the feels and will tell you all about it. It's refreshing and you ALWAYS know where you stand with them.
Clearly my 6 year old loves to dance, but even more I think she loves this outfit. Remember when you were a kid? Did you have a favorite outfit? Did you have a favorite toy? Do you remember the comfort and joy that person, place or thing brought you?
What is there in your life today that brings you that same joy? Maybe it's a person or a place more than an actual item. When I was 4 I had this awesome (seriously, it was the 70's) dress that had ruffly sleeves, was stretchy and comfortable, and striped. And it had a BELT! I can remember the feel of the fabric and the way it swished when I spun (That must run in the family...) It's funny but I always felt like I was bigger and braver in that dress...
Recently I had a friend of mine do a Tarot reading for me. The reading was spot on and one part of it was about finding something that brings me real joy. So... looking at my daughter's joyful face and watching her spin with glee in that tutu made me ask myself, what brings me joy like that? That can be a tough question for adults... We often forget to find joy in life. We often forget to pause and ENjoy. We often don't allow ourselves to feel what is joy or be joyful.
People have asked me, "If money wasn't an issue and you could do anything, what would you do?" That I have an answer for- Exactly what I'm doing. RedBloom. I love what I do. I love this community and everything about it. But that is a different question than "What brings you joy?" Don't get me wrong, RedBloom brings me much joy. But there is baggage with that joy. There has been pain, struggle, and loss tied into that joy. Maybe the joy I feel with RedBloom is "adult joy" that comes with lessons and responsibility. So when I think about PURE joy, like a child, what is it that brings that feeling to me? What is it that brings joy like that to you?
As you go about life today pause for a moment. Look around. Look for that which brings you child-like joy. Maybe it's warm fuzzy socks. Maybe it's an extra cup of coffee. Maybe it's crunching those leaves blowing in the wind. Maybe it's space and time to sit and listen. Maybe it's watching your 6 year old spin in her favorite tutu. :) Whatever it is, find it, dive into it, and enjoy it to the fullest!
Peace, love, and JOY to every one of you.
Fall is upon us. The air is crisp, it's finally raining again, and my heat kicked on the other day... That means that the calm and open ended schedule of summer is over. Back to school, back to schedules, back to work, work, work. I find it interesting that fall is when we energetically want to turn inwards. to slow down. The world begins the process of hibernation. BUT not us! Fall seems to be the time that we ramp everything up! We end up scheduling our selves to the milisecond and then doing three MORE things. And don't forget the holidays are looming at the top of this hill! We are just starting... when maybe we should be slowing...
So how do we manage? How do we care for ourselves? That is the question of the day... I know I am feeling it. I started this slippery slope with a lovely escape to my old stomping grounds, Kansas City, a couple of weeks ago. It was a much needed vacay with just my husband. We haven't done that in 7 years! But that put me behind. And I returned, with my plate already full, to lots of responsibilities and "things to do". And it hasn't stopped. Running a business, yoga or otherwise, is a 24 hour job. It's a lot. And it's something that can never be put away. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE IT! But some days I need to put it away... Because I am feeling the lack of self care right now. In big ways. My smile is off a bit and people may see the glimmer of panic (if you know me really well) in my eyes. I can feel the sensation of "Fight or Flight" rising and my monkey brain is shouting at the top of it's lungs...
Because I have a personal yoga and meditation practice I have that awareness of my actions and reactions as just that- I realize that I am not annoyed at my 6 year old because of anything she is doing or has done, but because I am asking too much of myself. I realize that when I just want to lock my doors and ignore even my yoga practice that it is time to stop and take care. I know that this too shall pass, but I need to help this moment move along.
I see that many of you are there as well. I watch people tear up silently in practice, I see the furrowed brow and hear the silence. And it reassures me that those things dissipate and disappear as we practice together. Or even when people just arrive at RedBloom. I think we should call it the "RedBloom Sigh" ;) People walk in the door and you can visibly watch them let the world go. Hooray! I do that too!
But what do we do otherwise? We practice yoga. We breathe. We cry, scream, sleep, exercise, and much much more. But the thing I forget is that connecting with others helps so much. When we feel upset or overwhelmed we often think that we are alone in this feeling. That no one else feels this way. We are not alone in the way we feel. I know I am not the only one feeling this way. So as we are out and about today and this week, look around. See the person that needs a "hi" or a smile. Take the time to connect. Call a friend you haven't talked to in a while. Accept help when it's offered. Hug someone. Listen. Love.
Today I am hiding... But I am resting (and apparently blogging...) and taking care. And it feels really good. Tomorrow is a new day and I will be ready to face the world! Because I love the world. And I love this beautiful community of people called RedBloom. You are amazing! And in these down moments know that you are what keeps me going. Thank you.
Hello friends... It's been a while. Pull up a comfy chair and get a cup of tea. Let's chat. Let's talk about words... Words are powerful in many ways. In our yoga and meditation practices we often Om or even use mantras to deepen our awareness and focus. In our teacher training we practice, practice, and practice (just ask them how much we practice...) honing our words as we guide yogis in class. In our daily lives we use words to communicate all sorts of things. Have you ever been in a conversation and thought, "What are they really trying to tell me?" I was just in one of those this morning…
I've been thinking a lot lately about the power of words and how they help and hurt. And how even when we may have the best of intentions our words sometimes can still hurt. Or maybe we just aren't paying attention to what we are saying or who is around us. Do we realize the impact of our words? Do we miss the influence our conversations have on others? Are we unintentionally hurting others with just our words? And, if and when we realize our words have been hurtful to others, how do we reconnect or repair? Super important questions...
In the Yoga Sutras, we learn about Ahimsa. When we talk about Ahimsa, or the concept of non-harming, we can look at our words as well. Traditionally, ahimsa is viewed as non-killing or even non-physical harming actions, but let's take it a step further. Patanjali refers not only to action but intention. Ahimsa is an attitude of harmlessness. It is the understanding that our attitude will either limit or expand our connection to every part of the universe around us, and that when we harm others we are harming ourselves. Maybe our intent is to be proud of what we are accomplishing. Maybe we are trying to feel better about ourselves by saying what an awesome job we are doing. Maybe we are intending to be positive and supportive but it is not received that way...
More than a couple of times in the past weeks I have heard people say, "I'm trying to move past how those words made me feel". Wow. What a statement. First, there is the realization that they have an emotional reaction that may not be the intent of the statement made. This is human nature- we react and respond based on our experiences and stories we create. And to understand that this is a built in bias that is different than others is a great way to find understanding. Being able to separate our emotional reactions from our experiences gives us a stronger platform to connect and communicate. When we communicate from a place that we have released our emotional reaction and understand where it is coming from we can really hear what is being said.
The second part of that statement is that the words used hurt. And the person using those words has no realization. Or does but either does not know how to recover, help, or heal or just doesn't want to. This is probably the hardest part of this dialog. When practicing Ahimsa, we intend to cause no harm, but sometimes, even with the best of intentions and practice, harm still occurs. So then what? It is our responsibility to follow up and recover. To heal what we can. Sometimes it's as simple (it's not simple at all, I get it) as "I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way." Talk about powerful words- I'm sorry. But whoa, can those be difficult words.... and it is so difficult to be truly sorry when we are coming from a place of defensiveness (those emotions again!)
So where am I going with this? Well, I think the purpose of this ramble is that I'm seeing everyone over stressed. I see so many people walk in our door at RedBloom and say they are too busy or have too much going on. The stress of this world is high right now and only getting higher. We rush into things, including conversations and we aren't taking the time to really pay attention and listen to what is happening. So I ask each one of us to pause before we speak. To really share love and support with each other through words and deeds. To find what is important to say and say it kindly.
I'll start. I'll be honest that this blog is difficult. I have not put myself out there for a very long time because, well, words hurt and I don't want to be hurt. But here we go. Let's grow together. Let's make RedBloom the seed of kindness and community that spreads out to the entire world. This community is beautiful, and strong, and supportive of everyone. And I love that. I love you.
Meet Carlin Caszatt...
Carlin’s yogic path began long before she ever stepped foot into a studio. Having been a former gymnast, as well as a coach, she went on to pursue a bachelors of science in health fitness from CMU. Carlin was soon drawn toward a more natural approach to health, and so decided to pursue a degree from the Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education. This holistic approach to health inevitably led her to yoga.
After Carlin experienced her first group yoga session she was hooked. She eventually went on to earn her 200 hour yoga teacher certification, and then decided to focus on the vinyasa style of yoga. Carlin has an aptitude for inversions and believes that the combination of breath and movement in a yoga practice are priceless attributes to a healthy body, mind, and spirit.
“Yoga soothes my nerves and nourishes my soul.”
Three Questions for Carlin:
1.What is your favorite yoga pose? Handstands or inversions because they give me a new perspective and are very energizing.
2. What is the most surprising thing you have learned from your yoga practice? The most surprising thing I’ve learned from my yoga practice would probably be facing challenges on my mat and how it relates to challenges in my daily life. Honoring my breath and body on my mat helps me to respond with patience and tolerance in my daily life.
3. What advice do you have for new yogis? Advice I would give to new yogis would be to try all different styles of yoga and as many different teachers as possible. Enter your practice with an open mind and try not to push beyond what feels nuturing in the body.
Meet Alison Miller!
My journey into yoga began over 20 years ago when my children were young. The craziness of being a young mom with three small children limited my ability to be away from my home other than during work hours. I began doing yoga in my living room and it just became a way of life. Over the past 20 years, as I was able to free-up time for myself I began running, cycling and swimming – and for all of those sports, I fell in love with distance. To both strengthen my body and to become more flexible and nimble, especially during intense times of training, yoga has become non-negotiable.
I completed my 200 hour RYT in early 2017 and started teaching in February. I am now taking courses in Plant Based Nutrition and have recently joined an 18 month Yoga Health Coaching program focusing on the benefits of an Ayurvedic lifestyle. I encourage my students to explore their boundaries, listen to their bodies, and tap into the wisdom of nature.
Three Questions for Alison:
1.What is your favorite yoga pose? My favorite pose is pigeon pose, hands down! I just think trying to move through life with tight, sore, or inhibited hips is like torture. There are many modifications for any body size or type in pigeon pose. Do pigeon pose and love your hips!
2. What is the most surprising thing you have learned from your yoga practice? Because I am a hyper-active, type A distance running junkie, I came into yoga thinking that it was all about the stretch. But what I have learned in my practice is that the asanas, or poses, are there to help me find space in my life to meditate and find peace. Yoga truly is the integration of mind body and spirit, but it can take time to cultivate all three of those things to work together.
3. What advice do you have for new yogis? Just practice. Find a teacher and teachings that resonate with you and go for it. Try every class and every teacher in the beginning and eventually you will find where you want to be. Be true to yourself! Do yoga!