Yoga Playlist Vol. 2

I put together together another yoga playlist that became insanely popular with many of my students. Since the response to this one was as good as the first, I thought I would share it as well!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Creativity and Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Creativity

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Am I creative?

"Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and love of play." - Henri Matisse

For as long as I can remember, I have been told that I am creative person.

The truth is, I do have a natural gift in art and design. So by traditional standards, I am creative. As I grew up, I ventured further down the artistic path. I obtained a degree in Advertising and have been doing graphic design work for the last 6 years.

Today, my creativity comes through in my style, my home, DIY projects, and more. But the older I got, the more self-conscious I became of my creativity. I’d get called out by my friends and family for "going the extra mile", or "making something special". They were being sarcastic, of course, but I never knew how to respond other then an awkward laugh and a smile. The follow-up was usually, "I don't know how you do that; I'm not creative."

I began to question, "why I am considered the creative one?". My instincts are to do things differently and my execution comes from research for inspiration. (Thank you Pinterest!) It was then that I began to consider what is creativity and why do people say I have it? Upon further thought, and some light googling, I came to the realization that creativity can be show in different forms; not just in the traditional sense. 

Creativity of the Mind.

"Creativity is an act of defiance. You're challenging the status quo. You're questioning accepted truths and principles. You're asking three universal questions that mock conventional wisdom : "Why do I have to obey the rules?", "Why can't I be different?", "Why can't I do it my way?" - Twyla Tharp

My creativity comes from a need to surround myself with beauty. I firmly believe this desire is embedded into everyone. The true difference is not whether a person is creative, but rather how they define beauty. To be creative, you must be searching for a unique solution, for something different, for an unbelievable sight. However, this idea doesn't solely identify itself to art and design. This applies to all parts of life.

My husband claims he's not creative, but he can solve any computer problem. He has the ability find creative solutions to issues I can't fix. My mother-in-law claims she's not creative, but she is creating beauty in the world with her amazing garden and appreciation for nature. I have what I refer to as a "black thumb"; I can't grow a damn thing. I have several family members who are teachers and claim to not be creative, but everyday they come up with creative and unique ways to teach and inspire children. I don't have that level of patience.

My point is simple. Everyone has the ability to be creative in their own way.

Creativity of the Body

"Creativity is experimenting,  growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun." - Mary Lou Cook

Yoga is creativity of the body. By coming to yoga class and moving through the flows you are being creative. But let's hold onto this thought for a moment.

Moving your body can effect mood and perspective on your life. Your mood and perspective are critical to your creativity. There have been several studies proving movement improves thought process, problem-solving, and creative work and development.

But, aside from the obvious physical and mental benefits of movement, yoga itself is a creative activity. Think about the poses you take on in each class. Whether it is something as simple as Mountain Pose (Tadasana) more challenging like Crow Pose (Bakasana), you are moving your body in new creative ways. You are taking yourself outside of the norm of walking, standing, and sitting. You are a creative person simply by attending a yoga class. By realizing this, youare rejecting the notion that you are not "creative". Don't feel held back because you claim you "can't". So, in your next yoga class:

Experiment with yoga.

Grow in new ways.

Take a risk and try a new pose.

Break the rules you think you should follow.

Make a mistake, even fail!

But above all have fun.

Creativity of the Soul

"Creativity is the way I share my soul with the world." - Brene Brown

I believe this: If your creation is authentic and true to yourself, it will be a window into your soul. Other people are able to see through your eyes. They can see your love, your hate, your perspective on all parts of life. It's rather remarkable.

Catching a glimpse of someone's soul can be incredibly powerful, but also incredibly scary. It's a vulnerable situation to be in, which can easily be overwhelmed with doubt and criticism. Creativity requires a tough exterior because, unfortunately, it's subjective. Take this entire post for an example. One may read it and think it's a creative piece, while another may think otherwise. It can be scary putting myself out there like this, but it's one of the ways I exercise my creativity.

So I encourage you, rather I challenge you, in whatever way you express your creativity, do it! Do it now! Take this opportunity to embrace your skills, your gifts, and your creativity. 

Please feel free to join me as we further explore creativity throughout July at Corepower Yoga.

Inhale Possibility. Exhale Creativity. 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind and  Set Your Intention: Accept Support

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Find Stillness in Your Mind

This week, I offer the intention to "Find Stillness in Your Mind".

With the spring ending and summer quickly approaching, our schedules tend to get busier. Weekends fill out with weddings, parties and day trips. Typical Monday through Friday norms are shifted with kids home form school and vacations to new places. It is very easy to get lost in the constant movements both physical and mental.

So as we entire the busy summer, I encourage you to find time for yourself. Let your mind be still, let your mind wander, get lost in your own thoughts. Take whatever actions you need to make this a reality. This can be during your yoga practice or on your time. Either way, find it!

" The body benefits from movement, and the mind benefits from stillness."

- Sakyong Mipham

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Accept Support and Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Accept Support

This week, I offer the intention to "Accept Support".

In yoga , we have the option to use blocks and straps to help deepen and elevate our practice and postures. They are available for every class, but do we use them to their maximum potential? Probably not. These tools are there to help and support us, yet many of us just ignore them. Our ignorance of these tool could have originated from different places, including embarrassment. I used to be sheepish over grabbing a block before class. I was fearful that my practice would appear weak or unstable.

Similarly to every day life, sometimes it can be difficult to accept help or support from people for fear of looking weak. This could not be further from the truth. It takes a strong person to know when they need to accept support.

Blocks and straps turn our practice from "I can't" to "I can" to "I did". A strap can take you from Extended Side Angle to a Bind to Birds of Paradise. A block can encourage you to engage your inner thighs, deepen your twist, and lengthen your spine. * We use them until they don't serve us anymore; and we return to them when a new challenge faces us.

Accepting support can takes us to poses and places we otherwise thought unimaginable. It's rather amazing what we can accomplish So this week, both in your yoga practice and in everyday life, I encourage you to accept support.

"Sometimes asking for help is the bravest move you can make. You don't have to go at it alone."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Yoga Playlist Vol. 1 and Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

*Ed. Note: All these examples are based off my own personal practice!

Yoga Playlist Vol. 1

I put together this yoga playlist about a month ago and got such a  positive response from it! After almost every class where I played it, at least one person came up to me to compliment the playlist or ask about a particular song. In fact, so many people have asked about it, I thought it be best to post it here so it's available for all to see!

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner and Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Be a Beginner

This week, I offer the intention to be a beginner. We tend to look upon beginners as fragile, youthful, and unaware. But the truth is, they are excited and they have fresh eyes. Beginners can look on a situation in a new light and can offer fresh perspective to stale situations and problems.

Beginners are people who try something new. To learn a new skill, one must become a beginner. To master a new yoga pose, one must become a beginner. To start over, one must become a beginner. Sometimes we must be a beginner again.

Let yourself start over. Let yourself try something new.

"Don't be afraid of being a beginner."

 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness and Set Your Intention: Ask Why

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Small Acts of Kindness

Last week while waiting for one of my yoga classes to start, I overheard an acquaintance speaking to a friend. The acquaintance revealed that she had just lost her job out of the blue and wasn't sure what to do next. Despite disliking the job, the shock was still intense and hurtful. Everything she said reminded me of when I lost my job last year. I thought about chiming in with my own story, but I didn't want to disrupt the conversation.

After my class, while getting ready to leave, I saw the acquaintance sitting alone. I was packing up my bag, when I began to debate whether or not to say something as I passed by her. Part of me thought she would like to hear that someone else has gone through this before. Another part of me thought she wouldn't want to talk about it with someone she barely knew. I decided to follow my instinct and say something.

I told her I went through a very similar experience last year, and that I am actually stronger and happier as a result. I told her good things will come from this in time and that it's okay to be sad and upset right now.

This encounter was just a few minutes, then I left.

The next day, I received a text from the acquaintance. She thanked me for reaching out and talking to her. She said it brought her comfort to know that people have experienced exactly what she is going through and to know that in time, things will get better. I was so touched by her response to our short conversation. It amazed me that I even questioned whether or not to take the few minutes of my time to sit and chat with her. It reminded me that small act of kindness can have drastic effects on those around us. By no means did I change this woman's life, but I was able to help bring some light into her darkness. This small act reminded me to take the extra step with the people I encounter.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around" - Leo Buscaglia

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Ask Why and Set Your Intention: Anger

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Set Your Intention: Ask Why

Children by nature are curious.  They want to know and understand everything around them and aren't afraid to ask. Anyone who has spent a decent amount of time with a child can attest that their ability to ask questions is endless. In fact, it can get rather annoying. As we grow into adults, we lose that curiosity. At the risk of sounding annoying and dumb, we refrain from asking multiple questions. We except the first answer to the questions we ask, without additional follow up. However, knowing the first "answer" doesn't always solve any problems.

This week's intention, Ask Why, was inspired by an article I read last week. The article talks about how asking just a few more questions a day can help solve more problems. It’s about getting to the root of the problem.

So this week, I encourage you to ask "Why?" In fact, I encourage you to ask it multiple times. Learn about your friends, your coworkers, your clients, yourself! Dig deeper into the problems you encounter and challenges you face. The resolution could be simple by just asking a few more follow-up questions. Remember, not to let fear of sounding mundane, unaware, and most importantly curious, stop you. 

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Anger and Set Your Intention: Embrace Your Inner Child

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Set Your Intention: Embrace Your Inner Child

The intention for this week sprouted from something rather embarrassing: I discovered Girl Meets World on Netflix and have been binging it.

If you were a child on the 90s like myself, odds are you loved Boy Meets World. I loved watching Cory, Shawn, and Topanga and all of their friends grow up. As a kid, I did my best not to miss a single episode when it aired on TGIF on ABC.  It brought me a lot of comfort when networks started to air old episodes in syndication. And in 2014, when they announced Girl Meets World coming to Disney Channel, I was very excited. So a few days ago, when I saw the series was on Netflix, I immediately hit play.

Yes, the show is corny, fairly unrealistic, and quirky, but I can't help it! I'm hooked. I love seeing some of my old favorite childhood characters back on television. Plus, they do a fantastic job of poking fun at the original show, like obscure it was for Cory, Shawn, and Topanga to have Mr. Feeny as their teacher every year.

But what this show has done for me this week was inspirational. I enjoyed time traveling back to my childhood and watching my some favorite characters again. This show is simple, easy, and light ,just like childhood. There are many times in life where I crave those qualities, praying they would find their way back into my life. Unfortunately, as an adult, like can't always be simple, easy, and light; but there are time when it can be. So my intention of "embracing my inner child", means finding those moments, capturing them, and enjoying what they have to offer, because they will leave all too quickly.

"Your inner child gets it all, believes it all, hopes for it all, and is the only guardian worthy of your heart. That child knows that life - which runs on love and feasts on creativity - is on your side and that the Universe conspires with you, not against you, to help you spread that wild, crazy, messy love thought your own story."

To accompany this intention, I have a playlist inspired by my childhood; all Disney songs! Enjoy! Playlist below.

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Slow Down and Set Your Intention: Perspective 

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Moving Forward

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For this week, my intention was moving forward. There wasn't anything personal that has happened to me to inspire this intention. Rather I let my intention come from my C2 sequence for the week. In this C2, I have my students entire several more advance poses, including Warrior III, handstand, and Revolved Triangle.

It is very easy to get caught up in one particular pose, espeically when it is not successful. SO I wanted to encourage my students to let what has happened go. In their 60 minute class, but also off the mat.

"Today, remember to keep walking forward. Your will be met with many obstacles in life but always know you are capable of great things. Keep going on your own path. It's up to you to keep on walking..."

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Celebrate! and Set Your Intention: Slow Down

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

 

Set Your Intention: Celebrate!

This week's intention was initially chosen for CorePower Yoga at Hawthorne Plaza's One Year anniversary party. (Which, by the way, was absolutely amazing! Thank you to all those who came!) I was teaching the C1 class for that evening and wanted the intention to reflect the theme of the night; so I chose "To Celebrate".

This theme obviously fit well for the evening, but I liked it so much and got such a positive response, I decided to carry it through the rest of the week. I began by encouraging my students to celebrate big accomplishments, small accomplishments, really anything they want. I encouraged them to celebrate this moment, this class; to be proud of themselves for even making it to class that day. 

I included the playlist I used for all of my classes this week below. I know I typically don't do that, but I got so many compliments on this playlist! Plus it is very in theme. I truly had a great time putting together this playlist and researching great celebration and victory songs.

"Happiness is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like and celebrating it for everything that it is. Celebrate every tiny victory. "

As always, thank you for reading, XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Slow Down and Set Your Intention: Perspective 

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Set Your Intention: Slow Down

My intention for this week, to slow down, sprouted from a moment on Sunday afternoon. My husband and I were hanging photos and art in our living room. Despite having nothing else to do that day, I felt the need to rush through this task. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to get this done quickly to move onto… nothing. We had nothing else to do that day.

Once I realized, what I was doing, I had this moment of shock. I didn't gain anything from rushing this process.  In fact, this was a task that required time and patience. As Steve put it, "once their up, that's where they're staying", so I should have been taking my time!

But my shock didn't just revolve around hanging photos. I made me realize how many things in life I try to rush through for no reason. It seemed so unnecessary! Rushing through cooking, cleaning, phone calls, driving, for no reason other than to move onto the next task that I would inevitably rush through as well!

I felt inspired and determined to slow down, to be in the moment, and to most importantly, not rush what doesn't need to be rushed. So in my yoga classes this past week, we slowed it down. We took our time to hold each post before our slow transition to the next. But beyond this week, I truly want to extend this intention through the rest of my life.

Editors Note: Tonight at CorePower Yoga on Hawthorne Plaza's one year anniversary celebration! For those of you who live in the Kansas City area stop by this evening for a free class of yoga in celebration!
4:30 - Hot Power Fusion
5:30 - C1 - I'm Teaching!
6:00 - C2 - Glow Flow
7:00 - Yoga Sculpt

As always, thank you for reading! XO-

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Set Your Intention: Perspective and Set Your Intention: Second Chances

Don’t forget to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Photo Credit

Saturdaze: July Update

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July was insanely busy! We were in Alaska and San Francisco, and the weeks in between, Steve was traveling for work. My mom was in town for a few days, which was amazing! I realized she and I hadn't spent multiple days together, just the two of us, in years! So we really enjoyed our time together :D In July, I…

Watched: UnREAL. My friend told me about this show while we were watching the Bachelorette. It's so addicting! I highly recommend it, especially if you like reality television. I've also started Breaking Bad for the very first time!

Wore: Pants and jackets. Shorts and tanks. I spent half this month in colder cities and the other half in 90+ degree weather in KC.

Heard: New podcast fav: How Did This Get Made?

Read: I've added What Alice Forgot to my never ending pile of half-read books.

Traveled: Traveled to Alaska and San Francisco! You can read about it and see pictures here, here, and here!

Saw: The Secret Life of Pets and Ghostbusters. We saw them at the Boulevard Drive-in Movie Theater, which was so much fun!  We also saw the new Star Trek movie.

News: We've officially started the house hunt! I've also added a bunch of new prints to the Kaleidoscope Spinning's Etsy Page, including 4 USA prints!

Something I am most looking forward to in August is the completion of my CorePower Yoga Teacher Training! It's been such a wonderful experience and I can't believe it's almost over. Also keep your eye out for new prints on the Etsy Page!

As always, thank you for reading,

Helen

 

P.S. If you liked this, you will also like Saturdaze: June Update and Saturdaze: May Update.

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Saturdaze: June Update

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June felt slow mostly because of the anticipation for our Alaskan trip. I tried to keep myself busy to help the days go by faster. This resulted in a lot reading, yoga, and, of course, podcasts!

Watching: The Hills. Mostly because of this new podcast I found. Also watched all of Orange is the New Black with in 36 hours!

Drinking: Water. I have found myself dehydrated lately, so I'm trying to make an effort to drink more water.

Wearing: Yoga Pants. I officially started teacher training with CorePower Yoga in June! I'm only a few classes in, and the experience has been amazing so far!

Listening: Still completely obsessed with podcasts. But the new OneRepublic song has been on repeat for me as well.

Reading: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is still on my night stand, but I've also began The Beautiful and the Damned and One More Thing. I think I have book commitment issues.

Feeling: Empowered and calm, mostly because of all of the yoga.

Traveled: Left for Alaska!

Saw: The Lumineers at the Power and Light District, a Kansas City Royals Game, and houses! We’ve started going to open houses on the weekends to get a better idea of what we're looking for in a home. Expecting to find a relator this month so we can really dive into house hunting.

News: Mentioned above, but I've started Teaching Training with CorePower Yoga! This has been something I have had in the back of my head for YEARS, and I've finally begun! I am excited to take you guys on this journey with me.

I'm expecting to just be hot in July. After spending some time in cold weather, coming home to 90+ degrees was quite a shock! Thank goodness for air conditioning!

As always, thank you for reading, Helen