Category: From the Blog

Life Epiphanies and Shades of Green

I’ve had so many huge life epiphanies in the past few months, it’s been difficult to articulate them in a sensible manner. (hence the lack of emails). Without chapters of context they might not even make sense to you because we all have our own unique experiences. Epiphanies about life, love, yoga and shades of blue.

Every one of these epiphanies did seem to have two common denominators:  Jump for more Joy. And Get more Help, sooner. In everything. Yoga being no exception, so that’s where I’ll start.  (Okay, and hugging more was in there too… but not for sooooo long!)

Over the past couple years, I realized exactly how my life went from fearful and anxious to genuinely LoveStrong. The epiphany was: It was the gradual process of the yoga practice. 

I recognized the process in this practice that I’ve seen in many of you as well. You might be able to identify where you are in this process:

  1. Practicing yoga made me stronger physically which led to
  2. the mental fortitude to challenge myself emotionally which built
  3. resilience that allowed me to focus
  4. to be still and listen. In that stillness
  5. my intuition whispered to me, “Pay attention to those sensations in your heart/gut/bones”.
  6. It said, “Follow them”. That direction gave me
  7. a sense of relaxation and peace in feeling I was headed in the right direction for me.
  8. It didn’t explain everything, it didn’t smooth out the path completely, it just felt good, easy and clear

In the past 3 days, Seven different people in various places in this process, went out of their way to tell me how much our Love Yoga community means to them. The yoga, the people, the space. How good they feel here. How relaxed, empowered, clear and connected. A few of them don’t even live here! This is not unusual. We hear this all the time. It’s not just me that feels this process.

From planks to peace on a path to Joy. From relaxation techniques to personal challenge and growth, to contentment that borders on bliss! Like the lobster  From local parks to steep switchbacks to whimsical waterfalls.  Sounds perfect, right? Don’t get me wronga, it still takes practice. Every day. It’s just clearer to me now, where I am on this trail and why. And that’s an epiphany worth sharing. 

Another recent epiphany was just how many shades of blue there are… sky, twilight, navy, cornflower, midnight, dusty, light, dark, ocean… which got me wondering how many shades of green I could come with? (it’s the little things). Forest, hunter, grass, celery, mint, yellow, leafy, pine, emerald, jade, light, dark, moss.  And I’m pretty sure we’ve used every one of these in past versions of our tee shirts and website. And speaking of our website…
Our website has never looked better!  www.loveyogastudios.com/intro

And if your site needs an upgrade call Travis at Clark5Ventures.  We are very grateful for all his amazing, creative support!

Here’s to our Quest for Joy!

: )

Suzanne

Who are you – really?

It’s fascinating to see how with a little awareness we can uncover and cultivate some of our own most basic qualities and how often times we’ve completely overlooked them in our quest for getting things done.

Qualities around how we express ourselves, how we challenge ourselves and how we empower ourselves to do both. This practice helps uncover who you really are.

The eight limbs of yoga give us the foundations for everything we do in the yoga practice and illuminates simple concepts that apply even more significantly, off the mat.

Find out why we practice:
contentment
letting go
focusing in one place

And how:
This increases our compassion
Decreases tension and stress
Uncovers our own unique sense of self.

Join me tomorrow night (Feb. 7th) to learn some powerful Sanskrit vocabulary and for a lively discussion and contemplative experience.

The workshop is $30 if you sign up before hand ($40 at the door) and if you have a membership you’ll get an additional 10% off.  Sign up here: http://bit.ly/2Tc4EeG

The 5:30 PM gentle class with Amanda is also included if you choose to attend. The eight limbs workshop will begin at 6:35 PM     Also included: Our 8 limbs handout and Soul compass chart and tea.

No experience necessary/No physical practice

See you soon!

Suzanne

Register here: http://bit.ly/2Tc4EeG

Changes, New Hikes and Joyful Meditation

(Scroll down for Sunday’s Hiking details, 8 Limbs Workshop on Feb. 7th, and teacher training postponement details) And a very important p.s. at the end.

I used to say that I love change. Change keeps things new and interesting. Change provides new opportunities. Change signifies growth and expansion. Change mixes things up.  Remember Snowpocalypse 2014 when it snowed so much everything shut down and people walked to yoga? Slightly inconvenient but it sparked new conversations, new ideas and the Flo45 class which I fully intend to bring back this year!

But what I really meant was, I love fun, positive change. I do NOT like sad or scary changes. And most changes have an element of fear . . . or the unknown to them. But, embracing, navigating and surviving any kind of change does in fact lead you to growth, expansion and clarity. So while I’ve been grappling with uncertainty, confusion and despair for the past few months . . . I also found a surprising level of clarity as well.  I am definitely clearer about some things.

Things like… I am selling my house because it’s more house and yard than I’ve wanted for a long time. Where will I live? In a pinch, I’m sure you have an extra room… but I have lots of options while I figure that out.  That bit of uncertainty does not phase me at all.

Things like… I am definitely getting a dog this year but I am not quite ready yet. I want to make sure my new place is a good place for a dog. Yes, I’ll try to rescue one if it’s not a pit or chihuahua… and I’m already following all the dog rescue Instagrams so no need to send me every abandoned dog photo… in fact, please don’t.

Things like… We are launching a new Meditation project. Everything we’ve done up to now with Love Yoga has led us to this and more. What did you think Savasana really was?  Just another reason for adult napping??  Partially. But also, there’s this: Every yoga practice ever created is intended to lead you to a state of connection with your heart and soul. A state in which you have a few minutes of peace and clarity that lead you to a feeling of joy, love, appreciation and clarity.  Yes, that’s the true purpose of yoga and more specifically, savasana. Downdogs, planks, pigeons and warriors are just a few of the steps along the way.

This project is called Joyful Meditation and you can hear the intro to it on the podcast…. what? You didn’t know we had a podcast?  That’s because we haven’t told anyone yet. Because I’ve just been practicing… just recording a few things to get comfortable with having my voice recorded. It’s akin to having my photo taken. Ugh.  But going forward, I’ll be recording a new 15-20 minute Joyful Meditation each week to show you how joyful, easy, powerful, helpful, simple, funny and magical… meditation can be.  Meditation can be funny…. aaaaand magical…. aaaaand beneficial.  Trust me on this.

Each Joyful Meditation will give you some meditation tips at the beginning, a period of silence, a question for you to contemplate and another period of silence. This way all you have to do is hold still and listen.  And then write to me and tell how amazing you feel. Because that’s the kind of change I LOVE!

 

In the meantime, here’s what’s coming up at Love: 

  1. Hiking this Sunday 7:30am to Stassel Falls. Email Tana@loveyogastudios.com for trailhead meeting or carpooling info. (More info on IG & FB)
  2. 8 Limbs Philosophy foundations workshop. $40. Thursday Feb. 7th, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Feel free to attend the 5:30pm Gentle Class included in the cost. Go deeper into the 8 limbs and see how we seamlessly integrate them into our classes and how you can integrate them more fully into your own personal practice and your daily life for an additional perspective on relationships with the world and those we interact with most often.
  3. Teacher Training is postponed until Mid March this year. We are creating a new schedule for the 2019 training and it will most likely be our only training this year. If you’re interested or had previously applied – please email me directly to be included in the training correspondence. And please attend the 8 limbs workshop for training prep.

Be back soon with more opportunities for you to connect, practice and create!

: )

Much Love,

Suzanne

 

VERY IMPORTANT P.S. – I can’t yet begin to write about all the love and appreciation I have for all of your support over the past few months. The teachers relieving me of any obligations, the studio thriving over the holidays, our community (you) sending so much love and support…. it’s still too overwhelming to go into detail about, so first I’m going to dive back into the studio and get caught up… and then I’ll consider writing more. But for now, please know… we received all the love, the cards, the messages and more.  And we are beyond grateful for each and every one of you. Beyond Grateful.

Yoga during the shut down?

Have you been affected by the shut down? What do we mean by affected?  We don’t mean you’re enraged and tired of it… although that’s completely understandable. We mean you are affected financially. You are unexpectedly not receiving income in your household or are out of work.  We’d like you to be able to come to yoga and practice and connect with others.  We’d like to help you create some moments of peace and clarity.

We’re extending this offer without any restrictions and we trust that everyone who is affected financially will benefit from this … and those who are not affected financially will continue to support the studio in ways that allow us to offer things like this in times like these.

We’re also going to be promoting the @parksproject organization as they try to gather support for the parks system both during the shutdown and after.  So if you’re interested in other ways to lend a hand… watch for those on social media.

Wishing you all the best,

All of us at Love

My Soul Compass Workshop 1/3/19

Charting a course filled with Joy for 2019. Yes, 2018 was great in a lot of ways yet there were still a lot of things for me that fell through the cracks. Missed opportunities I simply forgot. Dreams I could have experienced if I’d remembered. Even with the ‘UnGrinching project’… it feels like I felt short on the holidays again.

So this year, I have a plan. Well, I will have a plan after Thursday night. A plan full of resolutions, goals, dreams, hopes, intentions, adventures, places, spaces and faces full of joy!

Plans that include more space, more heart and more joy. My kind of joy. Not the kind of joy that makes everyone else happy. The kind of heart swelling, mind blowing, soul nourishing joy that comes from standing near a waterfall. Toes in the ocean. Puppies, haikus and fuzzy blankets. Big city tours, a giant book store, the perfect juice, an incredible taco and dancing wildly at Rod Stewart concerts, to name just a few.

If you want to chart your own course for joy, or peace or adventure or courage or happiness or fun…. join us Thursday night 7-8:30pm for the 5 most helpful practices I’ve found in charting a course . . . so we don’t flail about in the waves for the whole year.  The best part is that these are SO SIMPLE, there are no deadlines and all the guidance comes from your very own heart.

What. Have. You. Got. To. Lose? 90 minutes?

Use your class pass, membership or drop in for $16

Sign up HERE

How Grinchy are You?

Happy Holidays!

 

1. You rolled your eyes at the Happy Holidays greeting.

2. You already have Christmas lights up.

3. You want a vegetarian thanksgiving dinner.

4. Holiday music soothes your soul.

5. You do not roast chestnuts.

 

That’s the Quiz… you decide. Grinchy? Not so much?  Well, either way, it’s coming. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve. There’s no shortage of opportunities to spread holiday cheer!

I used to be Grinchier but last year we launched a project called ‘UnGrinching with Love’ and it seemed to really help. I fell behind a bit this year and haven’t launched it but trust me… all the ‘UnGrinching’ from last year had a lasting impact on me.

I’m not roasting chestnuts, but I am getting on the mat, creating more space to relax, connecting with others and getting outside all year long. Come with us! (schedule below)

Here’s the gist of the UnGrinching project: 

Do more things that nourish your soul, things that have a good vibe, things your heart feels good about.

Do less things that rush you, pressure you or have a bad vibe.

More yoga, duh. More healthy, tasty foods. More time outside no matter the weather, more gifts that create an experience.

Less junk, less kitsch, less hurrying, less stress, obviously.

It’s easy to say and it’s not that hard to do… if you make a point to pay attention. Say no to a few things, say yes to some different things. Be intentional with your time, your space and your heart.

Ask yourself along the way…. ‘is there a more loving option for everyone involved, including myself’?   . . . and then wander around aimlessly singing Jingle Bell Rock.

If you could use a little UnGrinching . . . we’re here for you. Every day of the year, except Christmas Day . . . and we might add something there too… because….

Well what happened then,
in WhoVille they say
The Grinch’s heart grew
3 sizes that day!

 

Upcoming schedule for this week:

 

Thursday morning 9:30am flow – no evening classes

Friday morning 9:30am flow and then hiking Vineyard Mountain
Option to Carpool from the studio at 10:45am sharp!

Sunday morning 9:30am flow and then hiking Beazell Forest
Option to Carpool from the studio at 10:45am sharp!

 

Saturday December 8th, 9:00am flow and then Hiking Peavy / McDonald Forest
Option to Carpool from the studio at 10:15am sharp.

Email tanariley@gmail.com for any hiking questions or arrangements!

 

*Dec 24th Morning class only
*Dec 25th No classes
*Dec 31st Morning class only
*January 1st – TBD

 

Happy Holidays!

: )

Suzanne

p.s. for more Grinchiness….  www.instagram.com/loveyogastudio

 

Love, Humor and Profanity

Hey it’s me again!

I’ve written at least 3 emails in the past couple of weeks that I haven’t sent. I get these great ideas, brilliant actually. Great analogies and concepts that connect the yoga practice to our daily lives and how helpful it is and how simple it is.  I get started on them and then I realize that I’ve been typing for hours and it’s 7 paragraphs of me rambling about Love… so I delete it.  It’s still really good stuff… I just gotta whittle it down to bite size chunks.

I also realized that all my writing, rambling and great ideas focus on Love, humor and profanity. I like that combination and try to infuse all of that in every class…. so it makes sense they would show up here too.

So here’s the first one… dramatically whittled down. And guess what it’s about.  #$*& ing CHANGE!  Yep. Again. Great changes! I think the subject line of all my emails should be ‘Change is coming!’

We’re changing things up at Love because it’s time. Because people change. Because we learn new things. Because we all should be better at embracing change…. and mostly because we want to create new things and new experiences for all of us to enjoy.

 

Here’s the highlights, details will come later when I have time to write the other four paragraphs!

  1. Our newest teachers and classes start next week! Yep, I’m gonna turn em loose and head to Hawaii and hope it all goes swell! Please welcome and encourage Tana, Kayla, Amanda, Mandy, Christina, and you’ll see more from Brent also!
  2. Erin Yatsui is back in full force as our studio manager and will be adding another class.. plus her monthly Knitting and Yoga class on Saturdays.
  3. Haley took over Aunnie’s Tuesday night 7pm Core class... watch out! And Aunnie will continue teaching her 5:30pm and her Thursday morning.
  4. I will be teaching Power on Wednesday nights again after I get back from Maui because….
  5. Sabrina and I are going to change our schedules up a bit so we can focus on LOVESTRONG Adventures and get more adventures coordinated and confirmed on the calendar.  We’re adding a 2nd snowshoe trip to Trillium and more hikes!

 

That’s it for now.

Oh, and this Saturday, I’m teaching Advanced Alignment on Saturday at 10:30am. If you want to fine tune anything in your practice, now’s the time. It will be a short warm up flow and then a casual chat and workshop around various postures. Plus we’re going to throw in a few optional advanced poses, so you can experiences a few different approaches and see which ones work best for you.

 

See you soon, more details coming, thank you for reading and for being part of Love!

Not Quite Ready for this . . .

I feel like every email I send starts with … we’ve got big changes! But we do! (Scroll down for Opal Creek hike info)

(If you’ve ever wanted to have the monthly unlimited membership at a price you choose… message me now because I’m seriously missing you and I want you to be part of all the Holiday fun we have coming! (That’s right… I’m on an ‘UnGrinching’ obsession again this year!). 

And I’ll stop using exclamation points now.

I’m just so excited. Our current teachers in training are just about ready to roll and we’re excited for you to meet them. (see the new schedule below and watch for a few more in the coming weeks).

So why did I start with . . . ‘I’m not ready’?

Looking back over some of the biggest things I’ve done in life… I never felt really ready.

* Moving out at 17 (and back shortly after)
* Starting the studio
* Teaching teachers
* Buying a house
* Having my son
* Losing my dog

Sometimes we jump, sometimes we get a little nudge/shove. And sometimes… when the opportunity presents itself… it’s just too good to let pass. Eventually I got to a place where even though I wasn’t ready, I could still jump on my own.

I just got back from a 5 day yoga training in the Santa Cruz mountains (pics above – it was not warm down on the pier). We practiced connecting to our own intuition. By that I mean, really taking the time to listen to my heart, patiently waiting, feeling. Checking in with myself instead of 16 other people before making a decision.

Today I put that into practice by only checking with 2! And then I decided where to eat lunch. ; ) (Exclamation point earned).

If it weren’t for this yoga practice, I wouldn’t even know what my intuition was. A gut feeling? Sure. To follow my heart? Definitely. But it is always right? How do I know? Does it matter? And do I feel ready? YES. YES. YES. YES.

It took some practice.

I practiced every day with some great yoga teachers and figured out some fun ways to expand on the already amazing studio experience you’re having now.   More on that later.

But first! We’re ready to post our new schedule... read carefully, some classes aren’t starting until we get back from Maui in November…

I am also doing two workshops before I go, so if you are just beginning to practice…. or you want to align your chakras … just kidding… align your warrior poses and other postures… I’m here for you.  Just sign up and use your pass or pay the drop in fee. The 20th and 28th of October. (Chakra Aligning is in December).

More exciting changes coming soon and we are so glad that you love change as much as we do!!!!!!!

Much Love,

; )
Suzanne

p.s. Hiking to Opal Creek October 13th. That’s a Saturday.  We’ll plan on leaving at 7:30am.  The next email tonight… or possibly tomorrow will have all the details. Watch for that one.

p.p.s. I feel like I’m forgetting a lot… teachers, schedule, hiking, maui, workshops,  . . .  oh yea! There’s more chocolate!

I’ll probably write again in a little while. ; )

Shocking Relevations and Disturbing Discoveries

Hey there,

In grade school, I stuck my hair clip into the outlet and shocked myself and burnt my hair clip… on accident… sort of. I’m not sure if I did that because someone told me not to… or because the bendy little snap-open hair clip fit perfectly into those two little perfectly parallel lines in the outlet right next to me on the steps in the cafeteria.  We were seated there, waiting patiently to practice our part in the Christmas play. One year I was an elf. One year I wrote a Christmas poem I read to the whole school.  I’ve written hundreds since then… but as an adult I call them mantras and haikus.

 

How is this relevant?

 

  1. I’m lucky to be alive and turning 50 tomorrow!  And Love Yoga is turning 8! We’re celebrating tomorrow night with a mini camp out kinda thing at the studio. This is my subtle way of reminding you to come celebrate with us. 6:30pm. Bring a camp chair, wear a flannel, make a s’more!

 

  1. I needed to use the word Shocking in the subject line somehow… because a larger number of you than usual opened the last email titled ‘Bad News’, so I’m experimenting with different subject lines to see what it takes to get you to read these. I mean, you signed up for them, so I’m assuming you really want to read them.  I try to be entertaining aaaaand informative. But disturbingly…. 3 times as many of you opened the ‘bad news’ email. ? ? ?  you know who you are….

 

  1. LOVESTRONG ADVENTURESis launching tomorrow! What is it exactly?

I think we’ve created a better way to explore Love Yoga Studio, the yoga practice itself and NATURE! Our new LOVESTRONG Trail Guide gives you a look at all the offerings at Love and a map to the many ways you can practice and explore. Classes, Workshops, Trainings, Adventures, etc.

LOVESTRONG Adventures is also a way of connecting people with nature because we know how good this is for us – Shinrin-Yoku (aka forest bathing, nature therapy). (deleted comment about the wisdom of other cultures here so as not to offend.  The internet is a scary place).

We are shooting for 2 events every month that get us exploring. So far, we’ve kayaked the Willamette and hiked Drift Creek. Next month we hike Opal Creek and in November we go to Maui!  And we’re not just getting outside to explore… we’ll also get out of our comfort zones a bit with surprise picnics, SUP yoga and urban yoga tours.

For those of you in the studio, you’ll see all of this and the new shirts that arrived today!  For those of you not able to come in this week, I’ll be posting a video and sending you the link tomorrow that shows you the trail guide, the shirts and and update on the adventures.

 

Through yoga I’ve become significantly stronger. So much so, that I’m not afraid to live the way I want to live. (for the most part). And I’m loving it! It’s gotten me through and over a lot of fears.  I’m always applying the practice to other areas of my life…. like getting out in nature. Not my forte. In fact some might say it’s nowhere near my wheel house.  Some might even say it’s a little bit,  . . . wait for it . . .

 

SHOCKING.

 

See y’all tomorrow,

: )

Suzanne

 

Here’s a couple of posts online about it also in case you missed them . . .

www.instagram.com/loveyogastudio
www.facebook.com/loveyogastudio

Bad News? And some changes . . .

Bad News? or  . . . just news?

Well, we talk about this a lot in teacher training, in various aspects of the practice.  Ups and downs are relative. Right and wrong is subjective and there’s no good or bad. It depends on your perspective. How do you see it? It depends on your sensations. How do you feel?

And there’s no such thing as ‘bad news’.  It depends on the circumstances.

One time I got fired The one an only time. Once. (and that’s how Love Yoga was created).  Bad news, right? Very bad news. I had no savings, no insurance, one very charming and sassy teenage son and no back up plan. On the other hand…. Love Yoga was created, and our lives got exponentially better by the second and the momentum has never stopped!

The day was, August 31st, 2010, I had just returned from yoga teacher training, the night before. I was on cloud 9. Exhausted and euphoric at the same time and then suddenly unemployed. That wasn’t my plan. Nine days later we quietly opened Love Yoga. 11 days after that, September 20th, we had our grand opening.

On my birthday. I was 42.

Now I DO NOT look back and agree that everything turned out for the best. My coworkers and clients were told that I abandoned my job with no notice. Not so. That first year was an emotional and financial roller coaster to the say the least; and at the same time, a dream come true. So I did not have time to be angry or looking back. I had a studio to create and a practice to practice. So I dove in head first and never looked back. (Okay I looked back a few times…. briefly because it’s scary to start a business, it’s f@#$ing hard to run it and it’s stressful to anticipate minute by minute if it’s going to make it).

Well. it did. Thanks to all of you and my mom’s unwavering support and encouragement.  Anytime I’ve expressed concerns about the business, she says, ‘You’re so close, you’re almost there, don’t worry’.  Basically saying, ‘you got this!’ Like we say to all of you in balance poses.  Thanks Mom.

So here’s the NEWS:  bad or good, right or wrong, ups and downs: You Choose

SEPTEMBER 20TH, 2018.  Love Yoga will be 8, I will be 50 and we’ll be launching our new project: LOVESTRONG Adventures.
We’re having an outdoorsy gathering to celebrate all of you and giving away some cool outdoorsy swag.

THIS GATHERING is a step above roughing it. No fancy foods or linens. We’ll have fire pits to roast bare brats and veggie dogs, the makings for s’mores and booches & brews to sip. YOU can bring your own camp chair, roasting stick and stories to tell around the fire. (we’ll have some sticks available if you’re not the ‘roughing it kind’).

Yes it’s also my birthday and many of you last year so kindly brought me chocolate!  But as you know, this year we have new chocolate bars in the studio. They’re the healthiest, most delicious chocolate I’ve ever had, so we’re good there. And I’m going on a yoga retreat in a week that I’ll tell you more about later. That’s my gift to me.

Howevvvvvver, IF you insist on getting me a gift…. do this:

Please introduce someone new to the studio – give them a free class pass.
(Tell them they are a birthday gift from you to Love!)

Helping grow Love Yoga and sharing the love is the absolute, hands down, best gift I could ever receive.  I can’t do it alone, I have never done it alone and I don’t want to do it alone. I’m SO glad you’re all here.

If you rsvp here, we’ll know how many dogs to bring.

Our 5:30pm class will be 45 minutes, because that’s what we do here on Thursday nights. Feel free to join us!

Thanks!

: )

Suzanne

p.s. Oh yea, the changes! We’re adding classes to the schedule starting in October! 4 new classes so far and more coming! Watch for the new schedule in a week or so. We’ll also have a new ‘Trail Guide’ giving you a map of all the options to consider at the studio and beyond! #getoutsidewithlove #mothernatureiscalling #natureheals