Yin Yoga Classes

Have you heard? Yin is in!! Yin yoga is the perfect counterbalance to your yang lifestyle. If you have never heard of yin yoga, it is probably because it is a very different concept that the traditional vinyasa types of yoga that most people are familiar with. Yin Yoga targets the Yin tissues or fascia, joints and bones. In this type of yoga participants work with a set of positions that mostly take place on the ground. This yoga is something that everyone can do because there are a lot of accommodations for each of the poses so that you are in charge of your practice.

Yin Yoga is also very meditative. While holding the poses for 2-5 minutes, you are able to focus on the sensations of the body and the breathe. So, grab some pillows, a blanket, some warm clothes and join me for a beginners class.

If you are interested in giving this a try, feel free to sign up for a FREE class starting Monday, January 18th at 7pm through zoom! Visit the Yoga Class page on this website for registration.

2021 – The Year of Nourishment

Happy New Year! While I know that most are happy to have 2020 behind them, I have to say that I am not completely upset with how the year turned out. Please do not get me wrong…there were plenty of ups and downs, bumps and bruises, disappointments and just all around bad days in 2020. However, for me, I found it to be a time of self investment and learning. I was able to take some time to learn a lot about myself and about new passions. It was definitely an uphill battle, but one that I am finding some joy in. I will count them as blessings.

As the new year is still ringing in the first new days, there is a lot of talk of resolutions, planet alignment, and all things that we are hoping and praying will improve in the new year. For many years, I would make a list of resolutions that I, like so many others, would give up on by week 2. This year, after a lot of thought and reflection, have decided that I am going to go with a word. Yes..just a word that will be my mantra for the new year. That word is …NOURISH.

This past year, I enrolled in a 200 hr YTT. Had you told me in January of 2020 that would be something that I would do, I would have thought that you were crazy. However, it turned into the greatest thing that I have ever decided to do for myself. I fell in love with everything about yoga and all of the philosophies that the training taught me. I read tons of books, watched a million videos, participated in live classes and taught hours of yoga. The feeling that I got when I earned that certificate…well there are not words for it. That led me to sign up for a 300 hr YTT through the same amazing school and it has been just as fulfilling and life changing and the last training, if not more. I have learned so much about myself and have learned that the only way to truly be grounded and at peace is to nourish myself mind, body, and soul.

So often we think of nourishment in terms of what we eat and drink. However, nourishment is part of everything that we do. When we read a great book we are nourishing our mind. When we listen to great music and lose ourselves in the words or melody we are nourishing our mind and spirit. When we have great conversation with someone, we are also nourishing our mind and spirit in ways that we sometimes forget about. Taking a walk in nature on a beautiful day is nourishment for mind, body and soul. So what if that was our goal each day? What if we were intentional in our choices to ensure that what we are choosing to spend our precious time on…our one precious day….was on the things that nourish us mind, body and spirit. When something does not feel good in one of those areas, maybe we decide to say no and take a nap instead. Maybe when we want to each a whole bag of M&M’s, we reach for something more nourishing (although sometimes you just need some M&M’s!)

I look forward to sharing so much with you this year. Please stop back often to read my blog, take an online yoga class, or just be nourished. I hope that I can find ways to help you to nourish yourself mind, body and soul! Namaste!

Yoga to Benefit Stony Brook Shines and WNY Heroes

Are you looking for a way to relax this holiday season while also doing something to benefit a great cause? Join me on Sunday, December 6th for a Slow Vinyasa Yoga and Mindfulness Class. This class is perfect for all levels and will be sure to help you relax and recharge after a long week.

 Stony Brook shines is an amazing local holiday tradition with so much love and charity behind it. Located in The Stony Brook Subdivision between Pleasantview and Walden Avenue in Lancaster, there are more than 300 decorated houses and hundreds of trees that line the 9 streets.  The numbers are growing each year for the 2 month long fundraising campaign.

Each year more and more people take a ride through our neighborhhod to enjoy the decorations and lights during the holiday season.  Some drive, park and walk or get a van of friends, even horse drawn carriages and buses have visited.

 The kick off to the Winter Illumination Spectacular with a cause is Thanksgiving night through January 1st.  You can drive through the neighborhood with your family from dusk until 10 pm each night. You can visit their website at www.stonybrookshines.com for more information about this truly wonderful holiday event.

To register for this yoga event to benefit Story Brook Shines and WNY Heroes:

Click HERE for Sunday 12/6/20 at 10 am class

Click HERE for Thursday 12/10/20 at 7 pm class

New Class Schedule Starting in November

Starting in November..

716 Yoga Events for the Week of 8/3 – 8/9

Oh how is it possible that it is August already? This has been quite a summer and if you are anything like me, you need all of the relaxation and recharging that you can get for this month!

I am going to continue to offer online yoga classes through my 716 yoga page on facebook for the month of August. These classes are FREE, live and the recordings are posted for you to go back to at your own time. In order to keep these classes available to everyone this month, I am asking for donations. If you would like to donate, please visit the Yoga Classes page on my website to donate. Donations are a one time donation and will help me to build more classes and services for the 716 yoga community.

Here are the classes for this week:

Tuesday 8/4 – Slow Flow Yoga (8 am) Facebook Live – Join me for a slow wake up to your morning. This class focuses on movement, breath, and stretching. Beginners to experienced yogis are welcome.

Thursday 8/6 – Vinyasa Flow Yoga (8 am) Facebook Live – This class is a bit more fast paced than the slow flow class. The focus is on building strength while focusing on breath and movement. Beginners to experienced yogis are welcome. If you have yoga blocks, a stack of book (or even full toilet paper rolls), they will be helpful for stability.

Sunday 8/9 – Mindfulness and Yoga (8am) Facebook Live – this class is meant to be restorative and relaxing. A great way to start your day. All ages and abilities are welcome! Make a cup of tea or coffee, grab a pillow and blanket and join me online!

Please feel free to email me with any questions about classes at kelly@716yoga.com. I am looking to start some socially distant, outdoor classes soon! If you have a great spot for a class, please let me know. I am happy to travel!! Also, check out my latest post on scheduling your Yoga Happy Hour! Using Zoom as the platform, you can gather your friends together for a 45 minute yoga, mindfulness or a combination of both session. Then, grab a drink and hang out online and catch up. $5 per person ($25 minimum). Email me today to book your session!

Introducing – 716 Yoga

I am so excited to announce my newest adventure…716 Yoga! As you may know, I have been working for a while to become a certified yoga and mindfulness teacher. The dream has come true and I am certified and teaching!

I believe strongly that everyone could use yoga and mindfulness in their lives. With the crazy state of our world right now, we all need to take time for self care. While we are all in somewhat of a “pause” I am not sure we really know what it means to take a pause. Taking time to notice and be in the moment is so important..now more than ever.

As a person who has suffered from anxiety most of my life, it is my mission to work with and help those who are in need of relaxation. My focus is working with busy individuals who suffer from anxiety and who need to learn how to get back to themselves so that you can learn to live a better, well rounded, healthy, and joyful life.

Currently, all of my classes are FREE for the month of July (2020). My goal is to give back to the community that has been so supportive during my journey. I also want to put out a special call to teachers who are facing great burnout and anxiety with all of the uncertainty of the fall. Right now we all need to take care of ourselves so that we can our best come September!

If you are interested in learning more about yoga classes, please click on the “yoga classes” tab here on my website.

Namaste:)

Being Mindful Of What Is To Come

As a teacher, it feels like one school year ended and another is beginning with no real break in between. I don’t know about you, but it seems like at every turn someone is asking what school will look like in the fall? What do you think should happen…in person school or virtual or both? As a parent everyone wants to know if you will send your child back or keep them home. My own children want to know what is going to happen. It all feels like a lot of uncertainty after months of uncertainty.

However, I am a big believer in living in the now. This has been the one thing that has helped me get through the time as a mother, a wife, a teacher, a daughter. I have had to stop my busy and worrying mind and remind myself that I cannot do anything about the future or the past. The only thing that I have control over is right now.

This mindset has helped on those days when I just don’t think that I have any more patience. It has helped when I catch a glimpse of the news or a Facebook post (all of which I try to avoid these days). I have come to realize that what does happen with schools in the fall is going to be a GIANT undertaking no matter what is decided so it is important for all of us to really just enjoy our time now. We all need to recharge and relax so that we can be at our best when we do go back.

The funny thing is, I typically am writing a blog post each year about this exact topic for teachers. I have seen the burnout year after year in my colleagues and friends and have always advocated for teachers to use the summer to really recharge so that we can all go back in the fall and be the best that we can for our students. Never would I have thought that I would be writing after a year like we just had.

All of this being said, I do have a plea to anyone who may be listening. I hope that as decisions are being made and committees are meeting that we do listen to our teachers about how the fall should look. It has been amazing to me that teachers seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle of all that has happened. We did our jobs the very best that we could in a time of complete uncertainty and upheaval. Yet, it seems like at every turn we are either left out of the equation or criticized. I know that everyone had a different situation with online education. Some may have been great and there may have been others who would have liked more. However, what was asked of us as teachers was unprecedented and something that no one was prepared for. I know that was the case with many other professions as well, but I think it is because so many are affected by schools that there are so many opinions being thrown around.

Teachers do have a very good perspective on things that even administrators sometimes do not have. We know the ins and outs of our classroom routines and what will be affected. There are so often very small details that are mentioned about a school day that people will respond with “oh I never would have thought of that”. These are things that only teachers really know. I have always said that so many people have opinions on schools because everyone thinks that they are an expert because they WENT to school. However, like with any profession, when you do something day in and day out, you do become an expert on what happens every day. Please…listen to teachers! If you are someone who has never taught a day in your life, please do not make decisions for schools!!!

Let’s be sure that when deciding on this next school year that we are all being proactive starting right now. Let’s be sure that we are teaching our children to be compassionate and empathetic to everyone. No matter what happens, we are all going to need to approach this school year with more patience, kindness, and understanding than ever before. Why not start now? Teach your children to think about others when making choices. Let’s be role models on how to handle this crisis in a way that we can all be safe and live peacefully. We all have our opinions about one thing or another, but when it comes to our opinions about what should happen with schools, let’s all make a pact to only talk about things in an encouraging and positive way. Our children have been through so much. So much has been taken away from them and many have lived with stress and anxiety. Let’s not make the fall something to fear. Instead, let’s all work together to make decisions that will be safe and nurturing for our students and let’s always talk about them in that light.

For now teacher friends, take time for yourselves. Don’t waste your time worrying about what might happen in the fall. Take time to fill your tank now so that you can tackle whatever will come your way. You deserve the time to rest now. You have worked hard. Live in the moment. That is all that you have control of today!

Spreading Loving Kindness

Here we are in the last week of Virtual Learning. It does not feel at all like the end of the school year typically feels like. It all seems so strange.

I remember writing a blog post so close the beginning of this experience where I was so hopeful that we would not go back to the way we had always done things prior to the pause, but instead come out of the pause a much different and better society. Never in my wildest dreams could I have predicted then what is happening in our world now.

Lately my heart has been so heavy with all that is happening in our world. So many people angry and brokenhearted. So much violence and negativity. It is hard to watch and it is hard to sit with.

Today, I taught my first every yoga class. I am training to become a certified yoga teacher and need to do a lot of practice before I do it for “real”. When I was getting ready for the class to start I was sitting with why I was doing this. I don’t want to teach yoga and mindfulness to get rich and make a lot of money. I want to do this to be able to give peace and relaxation to a hurting world. I want to be able to calm others so that they may be able to go out into the world and be kind and gentle. I want to spread loving kindness with this gift that I have learned.

This made me think of an earlier guided meditation that I posted here. It is titled “loving kindness”. I hope that you will take some time to try it out and send some loving kindness out into the world. Not just to the people that you love and hold dear, but those who may also be hard to love right now. We all need more love and more kindness!

Click HERE for the meditation…..enjoy!

Virtual Mindfulness Room

Well, here we are at week 1000 of virtual teaching and learning. While that is a complete exaggeration, that is how I feel some days. Some days I really love it and others I loathe it. As a teachers, I miss my students. I do, however, love some of the aspects of what we have gotten to do together. Some of my students seem to have opened up more since going to this platform. Some are really enjoying it and flourishing. However, for many, I miss seeing them on a regular basis and feel as though I may not be reaching them as well as I could if we were face to face.

As for my own children, it has become an uphill battle. As I have mentioned before, my youngest misses her teachers and friends more than anything. She has the BEST third grade teacher on the planet and this was going to be an amazing year. She is sad and does not think that I am anywhere as good as her teacher was when it comes to fractions. She hates online work and I hear about it all of the time. The same goes for my older children. They are in high school and can see through the system at this point. They know that they can work day and night to do their best on assignments and they will get the same grade as the kids who don’t bother to do anything. They have figured it out and they are ready to be done for the year.

For all of us, teachers and students, this has been a challenge. Although, I would have to say that as a collective whole we have done an amazing job! You won’t hear about it on the news or from anyone in the media, but teachers and kids have done amazing things with this pandemic! However, it has not come without a lot of stress and worry!

A few weeks ago, I decided to jump on the bitmoji bandwagon and start creating fun backgrounds for my students. They are 6th graders and were not nearly as impressed as I thought that they would be. However, it got me thinking about how I could use this for mindfulness as well. So, with some inspiration from others, I created a virtual mindfulness room. It is everything that I wish that I could create in my actual school and more!

So if you are looking for some mindfulness and want to have a little fun, check it out!! I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do! Namaste! Here is the link