About Me

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Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Yoga and reading are my passions - followed closely by jewelry-making and cooking plant-based meals. My husband is my guinea pig for my recipes and thankfully he's a willing subject! Be sure to visit my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBookishYogini?ref=search_shop_redirect

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Themed Yoga Class at the Jones Center This Week

Hello, all you yogis and yoginis!  I am so excited for this weeks' classes at the Jones Center in Springdale!  We will practice a Christmas-themed class both Tuesday 12/15 and Thursday 12/17, along with our  "12-days of Christmas" flow.

As a teaser for these classes, some of the poses we will flow through are:

Gingerbread Man (Savasana)
Stir the Cookie Dough (Seated Circle the Chi)
Manger Pose (Downward Facing Dog)
Snowflake (Triangle)
Roast Turkey (Crow)
We Three Kings Twists (Marichyasana, ZigZag Legs Twist, and Matseyandrasana)

plus many more!

Come join in the fun and breath, stretch and flow!

Namaste', Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men!


Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Yogi's 12 Days of Christmas

Just for fun during the Holiday Season of Christmas at the Jones Center in Springdale, AR, we will be doing yoga poses set to the tune of "The 12 Days of Christmas". There is an adorable video on YouTube showing a children's yoga class doing a cute version of this: 12 Days of Christmas Yoga. For our classes at the Jones Center, I changed some of the poses to flow a little better for an adult class. Join me on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 5:30pm to learn this flow. During our December 15th and 17th classes we will flow through the entire vinyasa as a fun way to conclude our classes for 2015.


1st Day - A Partridge in a Pear Tree (Extended Tree)
2nd Day - Two Turtle Doves (Pigeon Squat)
3rd Day - Three French Hens (1 knee lifted, open palms to sides like wings)
4th Day - Four Calling Birds (Warrior 3 flapping arms)
5th Day - Five Golden Rings (Easy Camel Pose)
6th Day - Six Geese A-Laying (Child’s Pose)
7th Day - Seven Swans A-Swimming (Superman wiggling arms/legs Locust Var.)
8th Day - Eight Maids A-Milking (Cow Pose)
9th Day - Nine Ladies Dancing (Dancer)
10th Day - Ten Lords A-Leaping (Yogi Squat w/Jump up)
11th Day - Eleven Pipers Piping (High lunge w/ pretend piping)
12th Day - Twelve Drummers Drumming (Chair with Drumming Hands & tongue sounds)

Peace and Namaste',

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Teaching Schedule at The Jones Center for December 2015

Hello yogis and yoginis!  Here is an updated teaching schedule and the "planned" classes for the next few weeks.  I will try to stick to what I've planned, but hey, sometimes you just need to go with what feels good that particular night!  

5:30 pm - Tuesday and Thursday

"Yoga for Every Body" at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale, 5:30 - 6:20 pm Tuesday and Thursday.  

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.  

Classes planned for the next few weeks:

During part of each class, we will also be learning a few poses for our "12 Days of Christmas Yoga" flow to enjoy in it's entirety the week of the 15th and 17th.

Tues, 12/1/15:  Work off the turkey & pie:  Part 1 
Thurs, 12/3/15:  Work off the turkey & pie:  Part 2
Tues, 12/8/15:    Yoga using a strap:  Part 1 
Thurs, 12/10/15:  Yoga using a strap:  Part 2
Tues, 12/15/15:  The 12 days of Christmas Yoga
Thurs, 12/17/15:  The 12 days of Christmas Yoga

December 22, 24, 29 & 31:  Jones Center open - NO GROUP FITNESS CLASSES.

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

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Opening Our Hearts to Gratitude

For the month of November 2015, during our yoga classes at The Jones Center, we will celebrate the Thanksgiving Season by Opening Our Hearts to Gratitude.  What is Gratitude?  According to the Dictionary, gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.  Let’s dedicate our November yoga classes to the mindful cultivation of gratitude.  The historical origin of the word ‘gratitude’ is the Latin word gratus which means thankfulness. In India the word for gratitude is Pranam which literally means ‘to offer up all of one’s parts.’ 

Research has shown many benefits for practicing gratitude:

  • Gratitude brings us happiness: Through research by Emmons, happiness expert Sonja Lyubomirsky, and many other scientists, practicing gratitude has proven to be one of the most reliable methods for increasing happiness and life satisfaction; it also boosts feelings of optimism, joy, pleasure, enthusiasm, and other positive emotions.
  • On the flip side, gratitude also reduces anxiety and depression.
  • Gratitude is good for our bodies: Studies by Emmons and his colleague Michael McCullough suggest gratitude strengthens the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces symptoms of illness, and makes us less bothered by aches and pains. It also encourages us to exercise more and take better care of our health.
  • Grateful people sleep better: They get more hours of sleep each night, spend less time awake before falling asleep, and feel more refreshed upon awakening.
  • Gratitude makes us more resilient: It has been found to help people recover from traumatic events, including Vietnam War veterans with PTSD.
  • Gratitude strengthens relationships: It makes us feel closer and more committed to friends and romantic partners. When partners feel and express gratitude for each other, they each become more satisfied with their relationship. Gratitude may also encourage a more equitable division of labor between partners.
  • Gratitude promotes forgiveness—even between ex-spouses after a divorce.
  • Gratitude makes us “pay it forward: Grateful people are more helpful, altruistic, and compassionate.
  • Gratitude is good for kids: When 10-19 year olds practice gratitude, they report greater life satisfaction and more positive emotion, and they feel more connected to their community.
Gratitude is good for schools: Studies suggest it makes students feel better about their school; it also makes teachers feel more satisfied and accomplished, and less emotionally exhausted, possibly reducing teacher burnout.

So, let's focus on the things in our lives that we can be grateful for this month, and feel our explode with Thankfulness!

Om Shanti, Peace


Monday, November 2, 2015

Yoga Class Schedule for November 2015

Hello yogis and yoginis! 

Here is an updated teaching schedule and the "planned" classes for the next few weeks.  I will try to stick to what I've planned, but hey, sometimes you just need to go with what feels good that particular night!  

5:30 pm - Tuesday and Thursday

"Yoga for Every Body" at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale, 5:30 - 6:20 pm Tuesday and Thursday.  

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.  

I'm back from Long Island on Thursday, 11/5/15.  On the 12th I'll be taking my LAST yoga training class completing my 200-hrs of training with YogaFit International.  YEAH!  

Classes planned for the next few weeks:

Tues, 11/3/15:     Sub
Thurs, 11/5/15:   Thankful Yoga:  Appreciating Our 

Tues, 11/10/15:   Thankful Yoga:  Appreciating The Difficulties in our Lives
Thurs, 11/12/15:  Sub

Tues, 11/17/15:    Thankful Yoga:  Mindfulness
Thurs, 11/19/15:  Thankful Yoga:  Joyful Happiness

Tues, 11/24/15:    Jones Center open - No Classes. 
Thurs, 11/26/15:  THANKSGIVING!  The Jones Center is closed.  Enjoy the Day!  

Hope to see you in class!  

Peace and Namaste'!


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Hello yogis and yoginis! 

Here is my updated teaching schedule and the "planned" classes for the next few weeks.  I will try to stick to what I've planned, but hey, sometimes you just need to go with what feels good that particular night!  

5:30 pm - Tuesday and Thursday

"Yoga for Every Body" at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale, 5:30 - 6:20 pm Tuesday and Thursday.  

If you don't have a yoga mat, don't worry, The Jones Center provides several mats, blocks, and straps for you to borrow.  

Classes planned for the next few weeks:

Thurs, 10/1/15:  Power Yoga  

Tues, 10/6/15:    Full Body Yoga
Thurs, 10/8/15:  Sub

Tues, 10/13/15:   Sweat Yoga  

Thurs, 10/15/15:  Sub
Tues, 10/20/15:    Sub
Thurs, 10/22/15:  Sub
Tues, 10/27/15:    Sub
Thurs, 10/29/15:  Sub
Tues, 11/3/15:      Sub

Hope to see you in class!  



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Yoga for the Autumn Season

 Autumn is the season for transformation.  Leaves are changing colors, then drying and falling from the trees, the weather is changing, and totally different vegetables and fruits are ripening for the harvest.  During this season of change, just like nature, we must also change by adapting our daily habits, yoga practice and food choices for the season.  Through change, we can stay grounded during this shifting season of Autumn.

Autumn is the Season of Vata Dosha
According to Ayurveda, yoga's sister science of medicine, there are three primary doshas:  Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.  During Autumn, vata, composed of air and space, is the most prevalent dosha.  Vata governs movement in the body, as well as activating the nervous system and the processes of elimination.  The qualities of vata energy are cold, dry, rough, light, changeable, irregular and moving.  Vata energy also affects our nervous system which can be reflected in our mental health.

Our bodies and minds can become out of balance and overwhelmed  in the Fall with the abundance of circulating vata energy.  We may feel anxious, changeable, ungrounded, and unsettled.  Other signs of vata agravation include constipation and bloating.  If you have vata predominant consitution like me, it's even more important to take action to find balance in Fall.  To bring our energies back into balance, we can incorporate yoga poses, food and lifestyle choices that are opposite in quality to the vata dosha qualities to bring them into balance.

Yoga Asana (Poses) and Pranayama (Breath Practice) for Fall
Poses that support the lungs/breath and intestines/digestion help to calm excessive vata energy.  Examples would be:  forward folds (both standing and seated); Child's pose, gate, tree pose, Warrior 1, goddess pose, a slow steady Sun Salutations; Cobra, Locust, Bow, and seated poses like Hero.  Compressing the internal organs helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system.  Indulge in a long Savasana (final relaxation) using an eye pillow or a cloth sprayed with lavender to help ground you and encourage a restful sleep.  Try to do your yoga practice at the same time each day and for the same length of time.  Practice right nostril breathing.

Foods and herbs for Autumn
Eat lots of cooked foods that are warm and moist, including soups.  Avoid raw vegetables and salads that increase vata.  Eat two apples a day to encourage elimination.  Drink warm teas made with warming ginger, cinnamon and cardamom.  Choose cooked root vegetables to increase the grounding connection to the earth.  In general, sweet, salty, and sour tastes are calming to vata energy.

Everyday Living for Fall
Try to get a good eight hours of sleep nightly, awakening with the sun.  Engage in moderate exercise - maybe a walk outside to take in the Fall colors.  Enjoy periods of calming silence.  Consider using a neti pot to help keep the lungs clear of phlegm.  Treat your skin to  luxurious oil moisturizers.  Commit to a regular meditation practice.  

So, enjoy the changing season - have a Pumpkin Latte or piece of pumpkin bread and slow down.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Lavender Spray & Yoga Mat Cleaner Recipes

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

My 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.


Om Shanti, 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Ayurvedic Doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha

As background information for the first three classes I'll be teaching in September at The Jones Center, the following is a fairly brief summary of the doshas and recommended yoga practices for their balancing and support.

Ayurvedic medicine, also known as Ayurveda -- is one of the world's oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. It was developed thousands of years ago in India. According to Ayerveda, each person is made of a combination of five basic elements found in the universe:

- Space (Ether: the subtle energy that connects all things)
- Air
- Fire
- Water
- Earth

These elements combine in the human body to form three life forces or energies, called doshas. They control how your body works. The three doshas are:

- Vata dosha (space and air)
- Pitta dosha (fire and water)
- Kapha dosha (water and earth)

Each person will generally have a dominant dosha. We can also be bi-doshic or tri-doshic. The three doshas fluctuate constantly within us according to our environment, which includes our diet, the seasons, the climate, our age, and many more factors. As they move out of balance, they affect particular areas of our bodies in characteristic ways. The current state of these three doshas most commonly defines our imbalance, or vikruti.

When working with the doshas, remember that: Like increases like, and opposites balance each other. In other words, foods, weather, and situations that have similar characteristics as the doshas will increase them; those that have opposite characteristics will decrease them. Knowing this, you can adjust your yoga style, postures, and pranayama (breathwork) techniques as well as diet, and other environmental factors to affect these forces in ways that create greater balance and harmony.

Signs of Imbalance in the Doshas
There are many signs and symptoms associated with doshas being out of balance:

- Vata dryness, coldness, constipation, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, fear
- Pitta inflammation, acid indigestioin, heartburn, skin problems, loose stools; anger, agitation, short temper
- Kapha weight gain, mucus build-up, lethargy, depression, lack of motivation.

Balancing Doshas

Once you have successfully recognized the culprit, you can begin the appropriate "pacifying" routine:

- Vata warmth, moisture, daily oil massage, vata-balancing diet, establishing supportive routines, calming/quiet environment
- Pitta cool down, pitta-balancing diet, calming routines, daily introspection, cooling herbs and spices
- Kapha stimulation, exercise, vary routine, avoid napping, kapha-balancing diet, wake at sunrise

Dosha Questionionnaire's
There are numerous on-line questionnaires to help determine what your dosha is. Here are a few links to on-line sources:

Once you've determined your dosha, then you can tailer your practice to support and balance your dosha.

Yoga Practice for Your Dosha

Vata's:  The asanas which are most suitable for balancing vata are those that are calming and grounding by nature, quite, slow and steady. They will counter the tendency for those with a vata imbalance to be “spacey,” agitated, or nervous. In general, most yoga asanas are good for balancing vata, since most asanas are calming to the mind. There are, however, some that are particularly good and some that should probably be avoided such as overly stimulating practices like repetitive Sun Salutations, and those that place excessive pressure on sensitive joints in the body.  Backbends such as shoulder stand, plow and wheel should be avoided or if done not held for long. Vata's benefit from a longer than normal savasana. Alternate nostril breathing is good for vata's.

Pitta's: The best asanas for pitta are those that are slow, calming, promote coolness and ease, non-competitive and not overly heating. People of pitta nature or imbalance tend to be more assertive and intense. Calming poses help sedate their intensity and ease the emotions of anger and resentment. Asanas that help balance pitta are those that place pressure on the naval and solar plexus region, in the small intestine where pitta resides. All forms of standing forward bends and inversions reduce pitta. Sitting poses such as cobbler, hero pose, sitting forward bends such as head-to-toe, half- and full-lotus forward bend, and tortoise are also recommended. Work the abdominal area with twists such as maricyasana. Other pitta-reducers include cobra, half-bow, and boat. Experiment with moon salutation; while sun salutation heats, this vinyasa has a cooling effect. Warrior, chair pose, headstands, armstands, and lion increase pitta; if you enjoy these poses, hold them briefly.  Avoid revolved poses that just build more heat. Alternate nostril breathing and sitali breath are good for pitta's.

Kapha's: To balance the heavy, slow, cold, and sedated nature of kapha, practice asanas that are more stimulating and heating, and chest-opening. The stomach and chest are the areas where kapha accumulates. In the chest, kapha takes on the form of mucous.
For those of kapha nature and imbalance, the calming and sedating effect of most asanas needs to be balanced by other asanas that are more stimulating and heating. People of kapha nature are the best suited to handle strengthening poses, as their joints and muscles tend to be strong and stable. Increasing flexibility is extremely important for those of kapha nature, as kaphas tend to become overly stiff or rigid. Few asanas are harmful to kapha, as kaphas benefit from all forms of stretching and movement. Two weak areas of the body for kapha individuals, however, are the lungs and the kidneys. Asanas that place excessive pressure on the lower abdomen, such as Dhanurasana (Bow Pose), can aggravate the kidneys if held for too long.

There is much more information on the internet and in books if anyone is so inclined to more research. See you in class!


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yoga Teaching Schedule

Hello yogis and yoginis! 

Here is my updated teaching schedule and the "planned" classes for the next few weeks.  I will try to stick to what I've planned, but hey, sometimes you just need to go with what feels good that particular night!  

5:30 pm - Tuesday and Thursday

"Yoga for Every Body" at The Jones Center for Families in Springdale, 5:30 - 6:20 pm Tuesday and Thursday.  

If you don't have a yoga mat, don't worry, The Jones Center provides several mats, blocks, and straps for you to borrow.  

Classes planned for the next few weeks:

Tues, 9/1/15:    What's Your Dosha? Vatta?
Thurs, 9/3/15:  What's Your Dosha? Pitta?
Tues, 9/8/15:    What's Your Dosha? Kapha?

Thurs, 9/10/15:  Yoga For Ice Skaters & Hockey Players

Tues, 9/15/15:    Yoga For Strength-Shoulders
Thurs, 9/17/15:  Yoga For Fall
Tues, 9/22/15:    Yoga For Fall
Thurs, 9/24/15:  Full Moon Flow/Moon Salutations
Tues, 9/29/15:    Yoga For Fall

Hope to see you in class!  



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Another Sunny Day for Hiking

Today was another gorgeous day!  After lunch, we headed out to Dam Pond Maritime Preserve, in East Marion, NY.  Known as a popular birding location, it has a couple of fairly short hiking/walking trails where one can see a variety of vegetation.

Upon entering the trail, we saw a lot of beautiful blooming Forsythia bushes.  At one point, I could hear one of my most favorite sounds - the haunting sound of wind blowing through pine tree needles.  Whenever I hear this distinct sound, I always feel Mom is saying hello to me.
Other sights in this preserve included a view of the salt pond, the Orient Causeway and an Osprey nest.  After this, we went on to Orient Point State Park at the very end of the North Fork of Long Island.  It was a great day!

Dam Pond Maritime Preserve

Osprey Nest - Dam Pond Maritime Preserve

Dam Pond Maritime Preserve 
Dam Pond Maritime Preserve

Dam Pond Maritime Preserve

Dam Pond Maritime Preserve

Orient Point State Park

Orient Point State Park - "Comfort Station" - LOL!

Orient Point State Park

Orient Point State Park

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Laurel Lake Preserve Hike

This year marks our third annual Spring trip to Long Island.  Since gaining a delightful, fun-loving daughter-in-law who is a native Long Islander, we have tried to visit the area several times a year.   Our April visit usually coincides with our grandson's Spring Break.  We dearly love the vineyards and countryside of Long Island's North Fork, specifically the Greenport, Southold, and Cutchogue area!

The weather seems to be warmer for mid- to late- April from what we remember in past years.  Today was supposed to be sunny and close to 64 degrees.  That means that I wanted to get out and do some hiking!!

After "Googling" for some ideas, we decided to visit Laurel Lake Preserve today.  This preserve is located in Mattituck, NY.
  • Laurel Lake is a 30-acre freshwater kettle hole that was formed more than 10,000 years ago.  The lake is over 45 feet deep, maybe as deep as 70 feet in some places. It is home to a diverse fish population including bass, pickerel, and perch.  
  • Preserved land in the Laurel Lake area encompasses 480+ acres.  The trailhead is on a 31-acre site.

It was a perfect day for a walk!  Even though it seemed we were far away from civilization in the woods, we could still here the highway noise in some places.  At one place we even heard the LIR (train) go by.  

Here are some pictures from our walk: