About Me

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Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Yoga and reading are my passions - followed closely by cooking plant-based meals. My husband is my guinea pig for my recipes and thankfully he's a willing subject!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Circle Yoga Shala


This beautiful, wonderful place is where I obtained my most recent 200-hour yoga teacher training.  If you are interested in furthering your yoga practice or becoming a teacher, this is the place to study.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Tai Chi for Arthritis Warm-up and Form #1 Videos


Here are a couple of videos that might help students participating in Tai Chi classes at the Jones Center.  The first video consists of warm-up QiGong movements.  The second video is the Paul Lam Tai Chi for Arthritis Form #1.  Practice every day.




Thanks to BeachSide QiGong for posting these on YouTube.

See you in class!

Carrie

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Ubiquitous Advertising

As I was reading my free Vimeo copy of the latest "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine this morning (received free as part of my membership to the Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks),  I was struck anew by the ubiquitous nature of advertising in our society.  Nearly 3/4 of this magazine consists of either direct advertising of something we "need", or a feature article giving prices and links to the items styled in the article so we could rush right out there and buy these "needed", "must have" items.  Very few articles about actual gardening.

Since 2013, Fred and I have been on a downsizing, minimalism quest.  Even now, four years later, there is still much to be sorted and eliminated.  The dreaded photo boxes, and albums, and "important papers" have still not been downsized to my satisfaction.  We have, however, been fairly successful in not bringing in new "stuff" that is not really needed.  At the most, if we acquire something, something else has to go.

I have found that I now crave simplicity in my surroundings.  I don't want to be a slave to my "things".  If something requires "maintenance" (which could simply mean dusting - LOL),  I'm trying to let it go.  Letting go of cable TV and watching very little of the antennae-received channels,  unsubscribing to emails from retail establishments, and not buying magazines helps to lessen the bombardment of advertising.  It's a continual battle though.



Billboard in Okinawa, Japan

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Re-Post: Lavender Spray and Yoga Mat Cleaner

Here are recipes for two items I use a lot:  Lavender Spray and Yoga Mat Cleaner.

Yoga students seem to love the lavender spray that I put on small washcloths and place over their eyes during Savasana.  In fact, once, I had run out of spray and my, oh my, the groans of disappointment!  Some people don't care for lavender, so if I have a new student, I'll usually say, "If you don't like lavender, just place your hand on your chest".  Here is the recipe I use, which I found on Pinterest:  

Lavender Spray: 2 cups distilled water, 1 oz (2 tablespoons) vodka, 1/2 teaspoon lavender essential oil.  (Can use up to 3/4 teaspoon lavender oil depending on how strong you like it.)  Pour into a spray bottle and shake each time you use it to mix thoroughly. If you don't have vodka, you can use rubbing alcohol, but I have found that it smells too alcoholly. The vodka is odorless, and acts as a preservative as well as help to emulsify (mix) the essential oil with the water.


Another recipe I use is for a more natural yoga mat cleaner. It's a good idea to clean your mat frequently, allowing it to dry completely before rolling it up for transportation to class. This is where I got my recipe: Homemade Yoga Mat Cleaner

Yoga Mat Cleaner:  16 drops tea tree oil, 16 drops essential oil (I chose Lemon, but Lavender works well also), 8 drops eucalyptus oil, 3 oz witch hazel or vinegar (I prefer witch hazel - the alcohol free version which you can buy here: Amazon), and 10 oz water, combined in a spray bottle.

Enjoy!

Om Shanti, 
Carrie

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Jewelry Making

Earlier this Summer, I decided to start yet another new hobby!  My sister has tried to help me learn to love knitting as she does, however I've realized that I crave a project with quicker time from start to finish.  (I've been knitting one scarf for over a year now!)   So the newest thing is jewelry-making.  I've always loved jewelry and especially natural crystal gemstone items.  So, I decided to take the plunge and learn to make a few things.

While we were in New York in July, I found a lovely bead shop, Island Bead and Jewelry, LTD in Eastport, NY.  They offer classes in various aspects of beading and wire-wrapping and they were gracious enough to allow me to take a one-on-one class.  In only about an hour and a half, I came away with three pairs of completed earrings!  Instant (or almost) gratification!  I was hooked, or beaded, or whatever, haha!

These were my very first earrings:


In August, I took the plunge and went to the courthouse and paid to establish a DBA called, what else but "The Bookish Yogini"!  Then I opened an Etsy Store by the same name, "thebookishyogini".  I will be posting items I've made on there for sale.  Drop by if you wish to.

I'm having a great time playing with beads and color combinations and creating items that make me happy.  These projects take up a lot less room than oil painting canvases!


Monday, August 22, 2016

She Let Go ... A Poem by Rev. Safire Rose

This deeply meaningful poem first came across my path at a Level 5 YogaFit Training and it keeps cropping up in my life.   The meditation app I use, called "Insight Timer" has a guided meditation reading of this poem.  I hope you enjoy reading it.

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

Peace and Love to All,
Carrie

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Recycling Glass

We have recycled our trash and old items for many years now. It makes me feel good that these items are not going to fill up a landfill, but will be re-born and re-used in a new fashion.

When we lived in Bella Vista, even though the city would pick up recyclables, we chose to take them once a month to the Bella Vista Recycling Center. The Bella Vista Recycling Center is a non-profit organization operated by volunteers. They gather, process and sell donated recyclable waste materials. With the proceeds of selling this waste, they have made thousands of dollars in donations as matching grants to area nonprofits.  They operate as a community service of AARP Chapter 109.

I love that in Springdale, we can put all our recyclables items in one large rolling bin and not have to sort the items or take them somewhere. The only exception is glass. For some reason, Waste Management does not accept glass. So, I take all our empty glass jars to Ozark Natural Foods who does collect glass for recycling.  That gives me an excuse to eat at Tacos 4 Life (love their fish tacos!!!!)  AND shop at Ozark Natural Foods!



Why is it important to recycle glass? When you throw glass into a landfill, it NEVER breaks down! Unlike food, paper, or plastic waste that will break down quicker, glass will not. Glass is 100% recyclable and it can be recycled ENDLESSLY! So what can recycled glass be used to make? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 90 percent of recycled glass is used to make new containers, such as bottles and jars. The Glass Packaging Institute reports that fiberglass is another common use for recycled glass.  Imagine that - used bottles and jars may end up insulating your home!  Recycled glass can be used in many types of materials, including match tips, tile and counter tops, and construction aggregate.

Thanks for reading my rant!!  

Peace and Namaste', 
Carrie

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Yoga for Spring

Painting by Carrie Ridgeway
I've been reading from a book recommended by my favorite internet Yoga teacher, Melissa West,  titled, "The Way of the Happy Woman" by Sara Avant Stover.  The summary on Amazon says:   "In this book, Sara Avant Stover shows how simple, natural, and refreshingly accessible practices can minimize stress and put us back in sync with our own cycles and those of nature".  The book is divided into seasons, and within each seasonal section there is a chapter with an overview of the season, a chapter regarding ayurvedic prinicipals for eating in that season (with recipes), a chapter with at least two yoga practices designed specifically for that season, and a chapter for reflections for that season.

At the Jones Center I will be teaching several classes designed for Spring.  Thursday, March 17, will be a Yin Yoga class targeting the liver & gallbladder meridians. Yin Yoga is designed to help one sit longer, and more comfortably in meditation by stretching connective tissue around the joints (mainly the knees, pelvis, sacrum, and spine). A passive practice, Yin Yoga involves variations of seated and on-the-back poses typically held for 3 to 5 minutes, accessing deeper layers of fascia (connective tissue).

Join me at 5:30 pm at the Jones Center! Classes are free to members and only $3 for non-members.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Teaching Schedule for the Rest of March 2016

Updated 3/15/16



Our 10 am Saturday morning yoga class is going strong!  Kristen and I alternate weeks teaching.  Be sure to check out this class if you haven't already.  Also, Kristen is teaching a 10 am Tuesday morning class called "Mommy and Me" for moms and their toddlers.

10:00 am - "Mommy and Me" Yoga with Kristen 
5:30 pm - Tuesday and Thursday "Yoga for Every Body"
10:00 am - Saturday mornings "Yoga for Every Body"

"Yoga for Every Body" at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale, 5:30 - 6:20 pm Tuesday & Thursday and 10:00 - 10:50 am each Saturday.

Bring your yoga mat, a strap, a block, and even a yoga blanket if you want.  If you don't have a yoga mat, don't worry, The Jones Center provides several mats, blocks, and straps for you to borrow.  

Here is an updated teaching schedule and the "planned" classes for the next few weeks:


Tues, 3/15/16:  Yoga for Cyclists (and everyone else too!)


Thurs, 3/17/16:  Welcoming Spring Series - Yin Yoga
Sat, 3/19/16:  Carrie teaching Welcoming Spring - Vernal Equinox yoga class today!

Tues, 3/22/16:  Full Moon Flow
Thurs, 3/24/16:  Welcoming Spring Yoga Class 
Sat, 3/26/16:  Kristen teaching

Tues, 3/29/16:  Welcoming Spring Yoga Class - Kapha Dosha
Thurs, 3/31/16:  Welcoming Spring Yoga Class

Sat, 4/2/16:  Carrie teaching Yoga for Strength - Core


Hope to see you in class!  Peace and Namaste'!
Carrie 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Winter Yoga



At this time of year it’s easy to fall into the “doldrums”, or have the winter blues.  Although in winter it’s good to allow our energy levels to be lower, we still need to get moving every day.  Movement is the best way to shake off those winter blues, regardless of the season.  Winter is a great time to practice Yin yoga, which is a slow-paced yoga with poses that are held for longer periods of time—five minutes or more per pose is typical.

The kidney/bladder meridians house the reserves of our vitality in Winter.  A yin practice helps strengthen kidney energy and replenish our life force.  One of the good things about yin yoga is that it doesn’t require much energy to do.  The kidney meridian starts in the baby toe of each foot, travels through the arches and up the inner legs, and enters the torso through the tailbone, where it runs up along either side of the spine.  From there, different branches then flow through the kidneys and bladder as well as the belly, chest, liver, diaphragm and lungs, ending at the back of the tongue.

The bladder meridians start at the outer corners of the eyes, arcs over the head, goes through the brain, and then runs down either side of the spine.  One branch moves internally to the kidneys and bladder, and another flows down the backs of the legs to end at the outside of the baby toes.

Winter is also the season of kapha, the dosha that ayurveda (yoga’s sister science) describes as cold, wet, and heavy—like a blanket of new snow.  Kapha is made up of water and earth elements.  It provides us with physical structure—the body’s tissues and fluids; strong bones; beautiful teeth;   lustrous hair, skin, and eyes; and physical and emotional stamina—these are the gifts of kapha dosha.  The outside influences of winter can aggravate kapha. Symptoms of excessive kapha include a sense of heaviness or “stuckness” (or actual weight gain), chest colds, low energy, even depression.  When kapha dosha is out of balance, you may feel a resistance to physical activity. Though this is a season of darkness, when the earth appears to sleep, underneath the surface nature is gathering energy for the regeneration of spring. Take a cue from nature and use the surrounding darkness as inspiration to go within, exploring your inner realms.  Dive deeply into your practice and find the light there.

Join me at the Jones Center for Families in Springdale for a some winter yoga classes, Jan 26, 28 and Feb 2.  Class is from 5:30pm to 6:20pm.  Beginners as well as experienced yogis welcome!