~Shift Happens, and we like shift~

We are approaching our 1 month birthday at the new space, and I thought it was about time I sat down to put a few words on the page. Actually a more accurate start to this blog would be that it’s taken me about one month to ground myself enough to have energy to spare to share a reflection with you!

I won’t get into too many details but I will say there was a big shift and surprise at the beginning of the month that threw what one might call a wrench into the plan. That would be a mild way of putting it. That also would be the way of life. Regardless, through the trials that follow those who show up and do the scary thing, I am really proud of how we handled it. Special shout out to my partner Jay, our designer goddess, Jennifer, Sandy, Amy and Jason for the extra support as we find new footing and move forward, stronger than ever before. There are more of you to name here than I can count, and I thank you for being there for me and this community.

Only 9 spots left for Breathwork for the Heart (July 12 from 7-9pm). Grab your ticket soon!

Only 9 spots left for Breathwork for the Heart (July 12 from 7-9pm). Grab your ticket soon!

People often think when something goes wrong it is a sign you might be heading in the wrong direction. Of course in some situations that might be the case but not always. This past weekend at the Pranic Healing Level 1 training I heard the teacher say that in fact, sometimes when we work toward something important to us, the world will actually test us to see how much our heart is in it. This made a lot of sense to me. I learned so much from this experience, including that my heart is dedicated to see KALI transform into a place that will hold space for healing. It already has done so much for my own growth, I cannot wait to share that with others.

Being one month in, I can see there is a lot of work yet to be done but if I’m staying awake, there is so much joy in the process. I am grateful for the wonderful building management. I enjoy the neighbors I’ve met so far. June kickstarted with a drumming for healing group. We sold out our Breathwork for the Heart session, and last weekend we hosted a wonderful Pranic Healing Level 1 training. We are grateful for the people who partner with KALI to bring you special events and trainings to the St. Croix Valley, and we look forward to those we have yet to meet on this adventure.

This month as I had moments of reflection, I decided I want to devote more time as we grow (and when possible) to give back to the community. We set up two Free Yoga in the Park events for July 13 and August 11. If finances are a barrier then there is no need to do anything but show up—no judgment. If you have extra money to spare, we will ask you to consider making a donation. We are collecting on behalf of Stillwater’s drop-in homeless youth center. Learn more about this growing community here>> I have more to say about all the privilege I have to be doing this work and also about my journey as a person of color in a predominantly white industry, but I need more time to understand my intention behind how I will use my privilege for the better of the whole. For now, free yoga in the park is something that came to heart and is doable while we establish our own center in the community.

Join us at Pioneer Park from 9-10am on July 13 and August 11.

Join us at Pioneer Park from 9-10am on July 13 and August 11.

In other news, our new marketing material came in last week (since our big name change), and we are in process of writing letters inviting our neighbors to come take a class with us. We are planning our Soft Launch Party to happen July 18 from 4-8pm, and things are coming together nicely for that event. Please save the date, and check out the Facebook event for more details about what will be in store that evening!

We are hoping to put the finishing touches on the paint work by the end of this week and look forward to sharing photos of our mural with you.

Until then, I hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather today!

With love,

Kali

Trusting the Process + Big Weeks Ahead

That saying everything takes longer than you think is my anthem right now. It all makes sense because in the realm of ideas and thoughts we can move at lightning speed. We have a vision of the future in the blink of an eye. Some people can even download the path to get there in a matter of minutes. It is the putting it all into motion on the physical plane that takes more time. We want to go on a trip, we visualize it during our morning commute, but real change takes time, planning and effort to prepare, and sometimes time is the only ingredient that will beckon it into existence.

Gift

Taking another loop around the spiral of re-learning this message of patience and trust in the process is where I am at on the daily. And yet, in many ways, the move is still happening very quickly for me. Some of you know that in March I actually came to grips with potentially letting go of the physical space of Moon River. I came to a place where I knew I’ve been doing this work for 5 years, running the business of the yoga studio aspect for a year and a half and also knowing my lease ran up May 31 while knowing the status quo just didn’t fit me anymore. I knew a big change was on the horizon and my ego finally surrendered, being okay with potentially closing up the current physical location and going back to the drawing board to revamp my vision and plug into my heart.

Funny how when you open up to letting it all go, that the space you create in that release opens you up for really big things to set into motion! Even though it feels like everything is dragging out, I have moments of complete awe at how quickly all of it is coming together. Regardless of the measure of time, my physical body, mind and heart are playing catch up right now with the rate the dream is unfolding at the new space. As a result I postponed our CBD Soundbath in April and as much as I wanted to kickstart another Astro Club series for May, I’m called in a big way to step back and focus on getting our new space open for you and me! To making sure the business is running smoothly before I go for the sparkly, which I know can be so distracting and alluring! I’m moving into faith (my word for 2019) full throttle (if that’s even possible) and keeping the faith that I’m leaving room on the calendar and in my life for good reason. Thank you for your patience and support in all of this.

If you are wanting to get in to work with me sooner than later, I am still offering a few private sessions including flower essence consults, pranic healing as well as basic astrology readings for those wanting to learn more about your birth chart and the current transits occurring right now in your life. If the times listed on my booking page don’t work for you, please don’t hesitate to email me to find a better time.

As far as what else I’ll be up to besides my regular teaching schedule and privates this week it’s all about the floors! Even though I’ve thought this was the case the past 2 weeks, I believe this is the week we are going to make some final decisions about the floor (crossing my fingers, toes, legs, eyes…etc.)! I cannot wait to get that piece locked in, because once the floor gets put in we can start moving some of our items into the space to see how it all flows together!

Other updates since last check-in: All of our first choice for lighting was approved last week, so I’m very excited about getting that part of the space mentally set for install. I ordered everything and hope to see those packages trickling in each day. Here’s to hoping it all flows with ease and grace. Also, it looks like a lot of the pre-paint job was completed over the weekend, so that means our painter/art director can begin to put some paint to the wall which is also exciting! Especially since I’ve seen some of the mural mock-ups, and I can’t wait to see them come to life on the wall!

Last but not least to mention, there is a discussion now in the air about a complete rebrand for the space and business and I would even go as far to say for me as a person—a complete identity overhaul. Or perhaps more fitting would be a coming home to myself. A reclaiming of my identity. Even though it sounds surprising, it’s not really a big change but more just a catching up our name and vibe with how we actually present in the world. I thought I would have the words ready to put on the page today to share with you, (it’s also why my May newsletter was delayed), but it turns out it’s not quite time. When it is, you will be among the first to know! I have a mentor/friend I want to chat with about this who specializes in rebranding (and the one who planted this seed last week) as well as some other friends who have gone through a similar process that I want to connect with before I move forward with any suggestions and further change!

I think that’s enough excitement for today’s blog. Thanks for reading along and look forward to connecting again here later in the week. Hopefully there will be more photos of the space to add to show some progress by then!

Take good care,

Kali

Studio Founder, Wellness Practitioner & Teacher

Cheer's to a productive week of Meetings Galore!

What a week! Monday kicked off meeting with a marketing specialist. We are making lists ever since. Lists. Lists. And more lists! Biggest takeaway from the meeting: before we tackle a big marketing plan we need to start with the basics. We are looking at what we have going on now that is working well and what’s not working as well. Making small changes, for example like adding our address to our email signature line, makes it feel like we are making simple but effective progress.

My partner and business coach, taking in the scene the first day we stepped into the space Mar. 12.

My partner and business coach, taking in the scene the first day we stepped into the space Mar. 12.

Before we get to the big day (June 1), we want to make sure our client experience is sailing as smoothly as possible. This notion seems like common sense, but over time when you run your own business you can forget to check those blind spots. In the end, we are all human! In the recent years, when on a time crunch I’ve always been a person who is drawn to crossing off the fun projects on the list versus the more…practical ones.

Kind of in the same grain, right now requires a balance of looking at needs versus wants. It’s about getting real about what a sustainable business model looks like. It’s looking at what paint will go on the wall to the kind of floors we will install. All of those details are on the list.

It’s funny to look at the intersection of work life and personal life as we enter the beginning stages of this process. In many ways our family is growing so much while we get ready to relocate the business. For example, I finally faced that I need to organize my home life if I want to keep my work life organized as well, no pressure on myself, let’s just change EVERYTHING at once…(wink wink!)

But in all seriousness, it’s all about energy management. I like to think of it like we are getting one big energetic upgrade/tune-up while focusing on how we can make these changes on a smaller scale. Looking at the things at home that don’t work for us as well. Rather than it feeling overwhelming (which I’m there some days), most of the time it feels like we are learning how to live more in alignment with who we know we are and can be. All lovely sounding in theory but maybe a little more work in real time.

The enormity of this project is less stressful thanks to a team of professionals and friends who continually give guidance and support. One such person I want to mention today is Alicia Danzig, also known as “Lulu.” She has been an absolute rock through the many stages of my business and self. Lulu was there with me when we painted my first office space in 2014 and she is here with me now as a lifelong dream becomes reality.

As I sit here typing, it’s hard to believe it’s only been a month since we first set foot in our future work home. I can hardly remember what I was doing before my whole existence became consumed with breathing life into the space. Thank you for following us on this journey. We will share more pictures in the next week as we start getting the space ready for paint and floors!

With Love,

Kali

Studio Founder, Wellness Practitioner & Teacher

Closing here with a photo picturing half of our family enjoying a meal at the  Carribean Smokehouse , one of our neighbors in the  Brick Alley Building . We look forward to what we will create together and are enjoying each new neighbor we meet!

Closing here with a photo picturing half of our family enjoying a meal at the Carribean Smokehouse, one of our neighbors in the Brick Alley Building. We look forward to what we will create together and are enjoying each new neighbor we meet!

Moving Announcement + A little Moon River History

Hello friends, family and fellow community!

In case you didn’t hear, we found a new home for our little wellness hub and studio. Classes and healing sessions will switch over to our new place in the Brick Alley Building after June 1st. Stay tuned for a welcome party open house invite. Until then, follow along here to watch our progress! I cannot promise how often we will post, but I will do my best to start sharing pictures and snippets of what’s happening with us as we make our move.

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For those wondering, this idea to move only came into our field of awareness at the beginning of March. We couldn’t have dreamed that we would find the space to get us to uproot and “start again” so to speak. And yet it happened. Another testimony to the truth that the only constant in life is change and that anybody can change, and in some cases the changes can feel like they happen overnight.

This week the paperwork became official. As it all becomes more real, I want to share a little bit about Moon River’s journey as a business and how this new place will allow all the work we offer to come together while still holding space for possibility.

Back in 2014, on a whim I called a number that led to a leasing opportunity in a building that focused on holistic wellness. As an herbalist and holistic health practitioner, I was meeting people in my home at the kitchen table, sometimes sitting on the floor in our living room, and sometimes even removing all the furniture from our house to make it a retreat/classroom space. (Don’t ask my family how they liked that). As a result, I was simply curious about what it might cost to rent a space.

Two days before I went in to take a look at my former office in the Compass Center for Healing, I purchased 2 chairs from our neighbor’s garage sale for $10 a pop. Upon storing them in the garage since we had nowhere to put them according to my husband, I said, “These are for my someday office.” (Insert eye roll).

Well, I’ve been known to throw the cart before the horse, but in this case, my office became a reality 2 days after I bought the chairs. After meeting the building owner and vibing with his compassionate nature immediately, I knew that I would launch my wellness business there, even though it also came as a complete surprise to our family. And so from 2014-2017 I built my wellness coaching and herbalist practice in my upstairs office while coaching and teaching yoga and meditation at my day job at a hospital in Wisconsin.

In 2017, 3 months after I had my youngest daughter, I was presented with the opportunity to build the yoga program in my building in the lower level yoga space. I had no intention to do that work, and yet opportunity was knocking at my door and my partner was encouraging me to show up. I don’t always like to admit that he sometimes has really good ideas but when push comes to shove, I trust his counsel. And so it began. I put all my efforts into building this community space. Eventually closing my upstairs office because my energy was being split too much—focusing a lot on the lower level community space.

The community focused wellness has taught me so much and has created a lot of momentum. I now get weekly emails from people wanting to collaborate and offer events at our space. In fact, just this week, someone from Winnipeg, Canada reached out to me about us hosting a training at our place. While this has been an ultimate blessing and a sign that we are building something, I have also missed my personal wellness practice.

This new space we have will allow us to both have the room to offer specialty trainings, retreats and workshops, some ongoing weekly yoga and fitness classes AND also hold space for me to reconnect with and develop my work as a healing practitioner. I can’t wait to meet you there!

Thank you always for your support. I hope to see you soon!

With love,

Kali Higgins

Studio Founder, Wellness Practitioner & Teacher

Winter Retreat Blog Series: Winter Self-Care & Ayurveda with Suzanne!

Warm oil

Self-care is more than just a buzz word. It is a way of life. Pair it with the ancient wisdom of ayurveda and we start talking about how to create daily routines to balance our health and wellness. According to Dr. Vasant Lad of the Ayurvedic Institute a daily routine is “absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption, assimilation, and generate self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.”

Who doesn’t want that? Am I right?

And yet, how hard does it seem for us to carve out some time for dinacharya (daily routines) that are intentional and that hold space for us to develop discipline around our actions? How often do we feel like we are first responders and operating in crisis mode instead of setting up the day in a way that allows for your mind-body-spirit to be supported and centered. Sometimes it may seem like too much to tackle, but start where you are. For those of coming to the retreat, you are in luck because Suzanne is teaching a session about what self-care rituals can support you through the winter and many years to come!

In particular she will be teaching about ayurvedic oil massage which is called Abhyanga or self-massage. Let’s just say I have experienced both a massage with ayurvedic oils with Suzanne and have practiced on my own, and it is such an earthly and holy way to get in touch with your body and self, both physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Suzanne brings so much wisdom and knowledge to this practice as she is a National Ayurvedic Medicine Association (NAMA) Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner. She focuses on preventive healthcare as well as heath promotion with a specific focus on diet and lifestyle through traditional Ayurvedic medical science principles and practices. She has gone through a minimum of 1500 hours of training in this area and also brings all her bodywork experience to the table.

We are so delighted that she will share in this practice with us, and we are grateful she is making room in her schedule for this time of rest and rejuvenation at the Christine Center.

Suzanne and I connected only 2 years ago when I was looking for a local yoga teaching job. She had just left her weekly teaching career to go more full-time with bodywork and further her studies. She linked me up to Just For Me Spa in Stillwater where I taught for a season while I was pregnant with my youngest daughter. From there we started talking. It turns out the office that I was offering herbal consultations out of was her old space! Right away we had an instant connection.

In these two short years, which feels like a lifetime, Suzanne and I became friends and I’ve always felt like she is pioneering the path ahead of me. As she is currently deepening her work in the artistic realm, I, too, feel this pull in that direction and have no doubt when the time is right I will follow. Suzanne also has a background in writing, I have a background in writing. She went through herbal studies, I went through herbal studies. Do you get my point?

Suzanne also has a heart for the community and making yoga accessible to all people. She approached me late this summer about bringing our first donation based, community yoga class to our studio. She was just starting her second master’s program so she agreed to do it for this first quarter to shake things up a bit and try a new model. A truly selfless and generous person, as well as a person who is not trying to commodify yoga into a business, I appreciate her spirit and the integrity she brings to her work.

I hope you, too, will be able to meet her at our 3rd Annual Winter Yoga & Meditation Retreat. This is Suzanne’s first time joining us and I couldn’t be more grateful and excited for all of us.

Suzanne
Towels & Self Care

At the retreat: Suzanne will offer an evening session on Winter Self-Care through the lens of Ayurveda on Friday. She will teach abhyanga massage as well as share about marma therapy which cleanses blocked energy in the body through applying touch to different marma points on the body. This session will include the use of 3 luxurious herbal applications to help relax and calm the nervous system. Please make sure you pack 2-3 old towels you don’t mind getting oily, some loose shorts and a t-shirt that can get oily and bring a small little mason jar to take home a little oil with you…if you have any left over! Suzanne will also teach an early morning yoga class on Sunday and will be available for a select number of Relaxation Massages during the retreat. Please contact kali@moonriverwellness.com for booking availability.

Winter Retreat Blog Series: Setting an Intention & MUCH MORE with Julia!

Our retreat will kick off with an intentional gemstone bracelet making session with Julia!

Our retreat will kick off with an intentional gemstone bracelet making session with Julia!

Many people sign up for retreat during this time of year because of the natural tendency to go inward and dream. It’s perfect after the rush of the holiday season to pack your bags and bring the focus back home to the self—to settle into the quiet and restful energy of winter and be.

Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention.  The sages of India observed thousands of years ago that our destiny is ultimately shaped by our deepest intentions and desires. The classic Vedic text known as the Upanishads declares, “You are what your deepest desire is. As your desire is, so is your intention. As your intention is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.” - From Julia’s website

This time of the year calls for the work that needs to happen before we plant the seeds of intention. To set the scene for what’s to come ahead. The good news is that the “work” looks less like work and more like resting, taking good care and not doing too much. Though there will be plenty of sessions available to keep you inspired, nothing is mandatory. It’s all a matter of choice. It’s your time, and we recommend you take a slower pace.

Each retreat we like to send participants home with a little gift. According to the Vedas, Gemstones are crystals of power that have a specific ability to aid a person in aligning their energy with the Universal energy. This year the offering will be a lovely gemstone bracelet infused with your energy, empowered within a community practice guided by Julia.

Julia is a woman who I respect so much as another human on the path devoted to her practice and living her yoga. She will be joining us for her second year teaching at the retreat. I first met Julia in 2012 when I was in a prenatal yoga teacher training. A pregnant woman doing a headstand caught the corner of my eye and her fiery spirit and outgoing attitude drew me in to eventually grab lunch with her over the weekend training. With both of us having familial ties overseas to different cultures and a strong sense of desire to share with the greater community, I felt an immediate bond to this sister. Over the next 5 years we would spontaneously run into each other in various yoga teacher workshops until we made our meetings intentional.

Our professional collaboration began when Julia came to my wellness space before it was a yoga studio (in my upstairs office), and we held two different mala making sessions that were SO MUCH FUN! Her knowledge of gemstones and Vedic Astrology is so deep! I so enjoyed having her in our space and engaging in creative process. We all learned so much.

Then flash forward to her signing up for our last winter retreat (this past January). I was so honored to see she was taking time for herself and felt drawn to our offering. Knowing how extensive her background is in yoga (and beyond) I couldn’t not ask her to be a guest teacher...and now the rest is history! I am so excited for what she will bring to the retreat this time around and couldn’t feel more supported to teach alongside this woman.

Sharing about “Om” in our group chanting session, ARC Retreat Center, January 2018

Sharing about “Om” in our group chanting session, ARC Retreat Center, January 2018

Crystal bowl sound bath to close the session, ARC Retreat Center, January 2018

Crystal bowl sound bath to close the session, ARC Retreat Center, January 2018

It doesn’t get much sweeter than nestling into the deep woods of Wisconsin, setting your intentions for 2019 while nourishing your mind, body, spirit and heart. Though, we tend to be a bit biased.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog about Suzanne and her Ayurvedic Self Care Practice she will offer at the retreat. Be sure to sign up soon, we are filling up fast! Like, as in, only a couple spots left.

Have a great week!

~Kali

At the retreat in addition to leading the group creative practice Friday evening, Julia will share a morning yoga nidra practice on Saturday and a special sound healing practice co-taught with Kali on Sunday. Julia will also be available to offer a few private Vedic Astrology Birth Charts + Custom Mala orders. Please make sure you reach out to kali@moonriverwellness.com for booking information.

Walking into May one step at a time

Hey everyone, it's been awhile. Kali here. I had all the best intentions of writing to you in April, and life took over. So here we are, already 4 days into May. As many of you know, on Fridays I'm with my kids. Sometimes if I can I will take an early morning Kundalini class to give myself energy to make it through the day, but most of the time it's me wearing the mom hat. Every Friday is a different animal, but today I caught myself feeling extra reflective while taking a morning stroll and thought I would share more here.

While walking with my dog, Yuki and pushing Poppy in the stroller, I noticed the shadow of a tree on the pavement. I stopped and stared quite a time before I took a picture. It was like it was the first time I ever noticed a tree's shadow. I'm sure I've seen others take photos of such shadows, and obviously, I've walked by countless silhouettes on any given day of sunshine, but today I was in awe and had to stop in my tracks to take it in.

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My heightened awareness also spilled over to noticing the way I was approaching my walk today versus a recent "run" I took. Today I was really taking it slow and enjoying it for what it was, a stroll, a time to let my dog explore and my daughter take in the fresh air, sounds and sights.  Last week, it was a different story. 

I attempted to jog--my first "run" after a 9 year running hiatus. I took the same route as today, but on my run I immediately felt pain rushing in. Tightness surrounding my heart, shoulders tense, body creaking and wiggling off beat, the mind remembering a time before, when the body moved without the brain having to take so many notes. Back when things just worked. I didn't have to think about my cracking feet and nearly instant side pain--wondering, is that my appendix bursting or just tissue dying from lack of oxygen?

At the same time, I remembered the familiar feeling and thought pattern around times I would pass people on my run. Making sure I looked in good form (not huffing and puffing too loudly) and making sure others didn't notice when I wanted to stop to take a break. Letting the car pass by just enough and then stopping to catch my breath. During this run I had all these same thoughts, except this time I had moved for less than a minute before I wanted to stop, and of course there were two women planted on the corner that I needed to pass around. As I got by them, I glanced around thinking, how far do I have to run until I'm out of their sight? There was a part of me that still didn't want to show my tired, aching self, that part of me that wanted to give up right there. And so like times before, I ran until I saw a sign. A literal sign. It was right around the bend, a place out of direct view of the women.

Why did/do I feel the need to push? Why did/do I still try to hide my true pacing? Why do I still have trouble embracing the slow person I am? Anybody who spends a decent amount of time with me would never guess how slow I can be and how slow I like to be. I certainly couldn't hide this fact about me the summer I worked on a vegetable farm. Ask the head farmer about my pacing. He learned my love of plants and nature "experience" translated to daydreaming and frolicking with the fairies versus moving swiftly and efficiently. That was a hard summer for me to face myself. It also was a liberating summer. And I digress...

Back in the day, I used to run 3-5 miles daily. I wasn't a runner persay, but it was something that always felt good to me. I can even remember thinking to myself as I was running a half marathon that I could have kept going on and on forever and ever. Part of the reason why I felt that was was because I was running within my means. I wasn't borrowing energy to be there, I wasn't competing with anyone. I was moving in flow with myself. I was in my body. I wasn't pushing really. Yes, I certainly judged myself for not trying to go harder and wondered if I was doing it wrong--not trying to beat a time or clock. But why change anything if I was enjoying myself? So I didn't, and I kept running my way.

And so today, as I walked I noticed my pacing right now is more of a slow and distracted walk. One leashed to a toddler's attention span, stopping and going, moving back a few steps and then starting again. And when I embraced it for what it was, I had fun. I remembered the former runner in me, moving at my own speed.

When we move at our own pace, we can see better. I can see things like shadows of the trees on the pavement, and though I'm not sure why that matters so much, I know I find comfort here, being this way, just me. 

 

Moonbeams: Meeting Moon River's Maria Hermann

This blog is the second of a collection called, "Moonbeams: Illuminating what happens here" curated by local writer and community member, Kim Thompson and other guest writers. We hope to offer this "column" 1-2 times a month, sharing about what goes on at the studio to inspire you to come check us out for yourself. This week's post is about one of our teachers, Maria Hermann. We hope you enjoy!

Mindfulness Student Quote

Maria Hermann doesn’t just teach a yoga class. Instead, she welcomes people to gather at the sacred space of Moon River, to witness their growth in a communal experience and soak in the colorful drops of wisdom she is honored to share. Moon River, by the way, is a lovely little slice of paradise and Maria proudly extols its virtues.

When I first met Maria I felt safe with her immediately, and from there, things just got better. Her 75-minute class Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation, which is currently taught at 7 pm on Wednesday evenings, is not intended to control the outcomes of each person’s experience. Rather, nature will organically plant a rich and compelling seed, a new tool procured. She is satisfied with being one of many influences in their personal wellness.

Originally, a back injury and resulting chronic pain initiated her into “body trauma” and the much needed practice of healing. She is, therefore, sensitive to what the body needs and what actually, truly works. Yoga and meditation have become her way of life; she is a great role model for successful repair.

Maria’s class isn’t just about one’s physique; although, the body’s health is certainly a vessel worthy of attention. This is also a time for going within, gaining a deeper understanding of our personal self and what it is we are energetically carrying, the way stretching our limbs allows breath to enter, the way holding a pose builds empowerment.

What to expect

In class action shot

Maria likes to create a casual and open atmosphere. It is important to her that people feel relaxed and authentic, without regard for rigid formality. She shared that she “holds space for inner exploration, healing, and transformation in body and spirit. Arrive as you are and discover the gifts of yoga.”  There is intentional time to settle and connect before they “breathe together.” It is common to then practice a mix of Yin and Hatha yoga.

Yin encourages the slower movements and longer-held poses which apply moderate stress to the connective tissues of the body and increase circulation. This meditative approach cultivates awareness of inner silence – or the realization of a need to purge all that toxic noise and clutter! Hatha helps balance the strengths and weaknesses of the physical body to enable energy and awareness to flow freely.

Likewise, Maria infuses her knowledge of Vipassana meditation throughout the class, since it also promotes a way of “seeing”, developing clarity of mind. When one is able to allow their thoughts to flow freely, not judging them but gently releasing them, it effectively conditions a calm that helps us master the meditative experience. Maria understands and guides this possibility. There is no unrealistic need to force a blank mind. Thanks for that, Maria.  

Maria suggests her class is a time to detox from our electronics, to retreat from draining demands, to manifest what happens when we stop and allow restoration, meaning and a kindred peace.

While it sometimes requires true effort to venture out on a wintery darkened evening, one can benefit greatly from the group encounter awaiting them at Moon River.  Maria’s students embrace the nurturing energy of their peers. They learn that vulnerability brings insight and the blessings of communal support. We are people, after all, and people need people.

Now, doesn’t that sound nice?

Written by Kim Thompson 

Kim is a mother of three sons, a Stillwater High School English teacher, local columnist, and freelancer for community interests. Kim is a voracious reader and student of metaphysics and ancient tribal spirituality, gardener and foodie, a motorcyclist, and a poet. Her family has resided in Stillwater for six generations.  She is passionately invested in community relationships that promote the health of body, mind and soul. 

Moonbeams: Kundalini Yoga & Meditation

This blog is the first of a collection called, "Moonbeams: Illuminating what happens here" curated by local writer and community member, Kim Thompson and other guest writers. We hope you enjoy a peek into what goes on at our studio and that you will be inspired to come visit us to see for yourself!

Moon River Studio Building

On a quiet morning at the start of Spring Break, the sunrise warmed Chestnut Street as I left my parked car and stepped down into the lower level of The Compass Center, where Moon River Wellness resides.  Despite the building’s modest exterior, there is a womb of clean beauty within - a classic hidden gem. Soft lighting, exotic vibrations of gong, flute, and sanskrit chants, an earthy incense gently infused my senses.

Well, well, good morning healing energy.

The largest space used at Moon River was once a small venue for musical recitals, which creates an ideal space for yoga, meditation, and other spiritual or holistic events. It is pretty; it allows sound to flow, and it feels sacred. This is where I found the lovely Melissa Laraby seated at the front of the room on a mat.

Melissa is a wife, mother of two children, and also a psychologist at The NEST, just half a block up the street. She found Moon River via mutual friends on Facebook when she anonymously won a gift basket donated by owner Kali Higgins. When Melissa went to collect the generous salt lamp, massage stones,and an anointing oil, she realized Moon River Wellness was a natural space for her training and experience in Kundalini Yoga and mentioned it to Kali. This style of yoga is less common in the Stillwater area, so it was no surprise Kali Higgins later requested Melissa’s collaboration.

Pure serendipity.

Even though Melissa is dedicated enough to travel from the south metro to work in our community, she expresses a heartfelt investment in our town, “This is where I work, so now I am a part of this community too.”  Community is a word I hear a lot at Moon River. It seems to be a core mission for the carefully selected instructors Kali employs. It is clear to me that Melissa is among those who have a deeper purpose to build connection, relationships, a safehaven of healing and inspiration.

Kundalini Yoga goes beyond the simple benefits of physical fitness; this gets into the heart and soul of true yoga. Melissa understands that there is more to it. Ancient yogis were not so concerned with external beauty, a great bi-product of yoga. They were concerned with keeping the body flexible and clean, allowing the natural flow of energy - through breath and movement - to rise up from the root chakra to the crown, allowing a divine connection only a group of yogis can energetically establish on certain levels. Sure, yoga feels good, but it also promotes a deeper healing of mind, body and soul.  The solo yogi is a wonderful thing. However, a collaborative circle of yogis is a powerful influence upon the individual student.

The Kundalini class was interesting and memorable. We warmed up with movements I had never done - and I have done yoga for years. I learned the “Breath of Fire” and words used in ancient wisdom and ritual. Melissa’s composed essence and light humor made me feel safe and nurtured, open and full. The quiet, simple meditative time was a well-earned cooling down period. What a fantastic beginning to the day ahead and its ensuing weekend!  When she sang the closing songs, I was literally brought to a state of elation. I could have listened to her voice and considered those I hold dear far longer than the class could last. So I took that little piece with me, in my body, in my mind, in my heart.

Prenatal Yoga

Melissa is also trained in Prenatal Yoga and Mother-Baby Yoga. Her position at The NEST has an upcoming collaboration with Moon River for a Prenatal Series in April starting next Thursday (April 5). If you can’t make the whole six weeks, you can participate in a modified version.

Melissa told me she loves to learn, is always learning, and knows that when she is teaching, she is the best version of herself. She also shared, like many people called upon to be a teacher, that she will let her intuition lead her with many specifics of her class. This is why I had some comforting familiarity and some delightful changes the second time I came to Kundalini Yoga and Meditation. I usually work on Friday mornings, but next week is Good Friday, a school holiday where I work. Guess I get to attend yet another time before I come back this summer!

Written by Kim Thompson 

Kim is a mother of three sons, a Stillwater High School English teacher, local columnist, and freelancer for community interests. Kim is a voracious reader and student of metaphysics and ancient tribal spirituality, gardener and foodie, a motorcyclist, and a poet. Her family has resided in Stillwater for six generations.  She is passionately invested in community relationships that promote the health of body, mind and soul. 

Are you constantly ignoring your inner wisdom or tapping into your knowing?

Prajnaparadha translates to 'an offense against wisdom'--it's an imbalance that happens when a part of you continues to act in a way that harms the rest of you. It's when you know deep down something is not good for you and you ignore the message and do it anyway.

You know you need to get to bed earlier--you feel it in your exhausted body and tired mind, and yet you stay awake. You know getting onto your mat and taking time for your practice will make you feel better, but you sit on the couch and scroll on your phone. You know the gluten in the beer you are holding will give you a stomachache. You drink it anyway. You know that friend/lover isn't good for you, you get together anyway. You know you are too busy to take on one more thing, you say yes anyway...The examples are varied and endless and only change throughout our lives. Hopefully as we age, we get better at aligning our deep knowing with our actions.

Often times we need to be thrown into a crisis before we listen to this inner wisdom. The body eventually gets sick. If we won't face reality, reality will take hold and settle into our bones. The true nature of things will show up (what we are unwilling to face), and we are then forced to address the points of imbalance in our lives, bodies, minds, relationships, jobs...you name it.

The VOICE

Last week was a doozey for me (and I heard I wasn't the only one--hope you're okay, too). Coming off a week out of town, in deep study with one of my teachers, plus a full moon and a birthday celebration, I've been on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I travelled way up high and way down low and am moving so quickly I can't even see the difference between the points. The body reads it all as overwhelm, and I kick into stress mode. I feel it in the tightening of my chest. It tightens when I get pumped up about a new collaboration or offering, and it tightens when I feel the weight of responsibility fall onto my shoulders.

When anxiety comes into the room, my perspective shape shifts into a negative, worrying, glass half-empty persona. The "I get to clean this amazing studio, I love being in this space", turns into "I have to clean the studio." The "I get to attend this amazing workshop" turns into "I shouldn't be here, I have too much work that needs to be done."

When I catch myself in this state I notice a couple of things. First, I notice the quality of my breath--it usually is a good indicator of my internal temperature. Then I pay attention to my mind, my body and it's sensations. And by shifting my attention to one or both or all of them, I find there is usually a deeper message within that is waiting to be heard. If I can sit with myself long enough and be present, I can hear the wisdom that is trying to find a voice. I can see where prajnaparadha is occurring, and I can access if I am ready to address this inconsistency. Often times I don't even need to be still to know what needs to happen. I already know what I need to do...I just need to do it.

For me, lately the biggest crime I've committed against my wisdom is so basic, it's laughable: I avoid sleep, even when I crave it so. How many of my health ailments and bad-ittudes would be cured with just a little bit of rest? This last month of small business management has pushed me into new level of lack of sleep, and I know...I really know...I cannot go on like this, even if I can and have been.

Which is where my Catholic roots come into play--no, not in feeling guilty for all the lost sleep...but...Lent! I have been so busy that I forgot to participate in Lent this year. Lent is one aspect of the faith that I was born into, that still holds a place in my heart. I've always been a person to observe the 40 days of Lent and devote myself to deepen my spiritual practice in some way during this time. I'm exactly one month late, but I decided I would start anyway. And for me I committed to listen to my inner wisdom, and in this specific case, to get to bed early...for 40 days! This means giving up working too late and allowing time for much needed rest.

Two nights ago was my first day, (hence why you are receiving this blog today...I made sure to go to bed instead of pushing through to finish this post 2 nights in a row). Even though I still missed one appointment yesterday, (because the plate + brain still overfloweth), I have a much better attitude about life and the load all just because I am better rested. Because I chose to take care of myself in a small and simple way.

So, what about you? Do you relate to prajnaparadha? Is there something you have been ignoring that you are ready to take note of and maybe even change? What small thing can you do to take care of you that you have been putting off or ignoring? I'd love to hear about it. Let's cheer each other on. As usual, we are here at the studio, holding space for you for your self-care needs.

It's been a month since I last posted here. There is too much to tell you, and I can't possibly cover it all, but I will leave some highlights, so you can get back to whatever it was you were doing before you clicked on this post. 

New faces, New offerings

Intro to Yoga
  • April brings us a new teacher, Rita and her much needed weekly, class offering, Intro to Yoga. I have been working with this woman since November, she is wonderful and we are lucky to have her joining our collective. Click + scroll for a full description of her class and bio>> We hope this offering will draw in those people who have been waiting to come in, but not sure where to start, as well as people who want to learn more about what Yoga really is about--beyond the poses.
  • We also have a guest writer, Kim who will blog here and there for us in the coming months. We look forward to having her voice and and willingness to share about all that is going on at the studio through her writing! You can soon find what she writes in a new blog Category: "Moonbeams - illuminating what happens here." You may also see her in studio taking a yoga class or attending a workshop. Let's give her a warm welcome! 

Kiss My Asana Happenings

KMA
  • Our studio is participating in Mind Body Solutions, "Kiss My Asana" fundraiser in April. We will hold one special donation event: New Moon Sacred Sound Bath on April 14 from 10:30-11:30am on behalf of the cause. We will officially debut some new musical instruments that have made their way to Compass Center for Healing, including a gong, Tibetan singing bowl and 7 beautiful chakra crystal singing bowls! Please preregister for this event as we only have room for 16 people.
  • We are also a Passport Studio--which means if you decide to buy their passport, you can take one class with us (and at many other participating studios) for FREE during the month of April!

New collaboration with the N.E.S.T.: Prenatal Yoga!

  • Also starting in April, Melissa (our Kundalini teacher) from the NEST will start a prenatal yoga series at Moon River! The classes will run for 6 weeks, from 8:30-9:30am on Thursdays. Please tell all your pregnant friends! We would love to keep this an ongoing offering if the community finds it is needed. 

Intro to Pranic Healing + Pranic Healing® Level 1

I think that is all the big points that need to be shared for now. We still have a lot of wonderful events coming up, this weekend and in the following months, but I will save diving into them for another post. You can always join our newsletter or check our event's page! 

Much thanks for being here + reading along!

Sincerely,

Kali

Do you recognize that you are whole?

It sure is easy to go down that rabbit hole of not enoughness. I don't know how many times I see the affirmation, "You are enough" pop up at retreats and workshops among participants, as well as in my own life. It seems it is a universal remembering and a daily practice--to keep believing  that we are intrinsically enough--that we are whole and complete, just as we are.

When we return to our awareness of our wholeness, we can also recognize how others are whole, too. When we tap into this truth, we might notice that our culture's obsession with fixing ourselves or trying to become this or that is really a false way of relating to ourselves and each other. It is a way that forgets to honor the beauty of the mystery of the journey and its unfolding.  

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On the path of "healing," it is the same. We are not trying to get anywhere. We are not trying to cure anything.  If we are trying to cure ourselves, we will only find disappointment. If we want to cure ourselves of pain, isn't it inevitable that even if we "succeed" at removing the pain, that life will eventually serve us another?  There is no "there." And yet our healing process can go further when our perspective and judgment softens. Instead of spending our energy worrying about if we are doing the "right" thing or fixing ourselves to be different than we are, what if we recognized our wholeness and completeness in this very moment? If we could let go of all that time we spend focusing on our hang-ups and reservations or blemishes, we can free up more energy to channel toward more meaningful endeavors, like simply being. here. now. And being okay with or even appreciating who we are today--making peace with ourselves in this moment.

And knowing that, I still catch myself getting tied up in the needing to know the specifics around my life, to know I'm doing the "right" thing. I think as a yoga teacher, lately it has showed up in my feeling like I need to follow a certain tradition or lineage, to subscribe to a certain style in order to "advance" on the path. As I've been searching for the "right" place to deepen my studies as a teacher I have hit road block after road block.  This kind of stuckness is what happens when I am trying to control something rather than trust the process. Ego wants to plan everything. Ego wants to do it "right."

I mentioned in a previous post about a plan I had to become certified in a process that was trademarked and stamped by the experts, and my 2018 began with the notice that I didn't get in to the club. I was surprised how down I felt about it, but as time has moved forward I am finding it was a bruising of the ego more than of the heart. A sort of lightness has come over me since I received my rejection letter, and it opened up these next two years for a new kind of exploring and living into the "answers."

As a result of not getting into this program, on a last minute whim (because I had some free time), I was able to attend a yoga nidra class and chakra workshop with Dr. Indu Arora in Northfield at an inspiring wellness studio, Prema Yoga. It felt so good to be back in the "classroom" so to speak. While there, I was reminded that one Yoga has become many  stylized yogas in the West. In my need to find a style--to be unique--I lost touch with the truth of it all.

Yoga is a practice where, when in tree pose, we are meant to connect with the tree, not to a specific teacher or style of a tree. Yoga encourages us to understand ourselves by observing natural phenomena. It is inspired by natural processes, and when we practice yoga with a capital "Y," we should be able to see a glimpse of the cosmos. To simplify, yoga is inspiration from nature. And as I (re)heard this explanation of yoga from Indu, it took me back to the basics. This basic knowing inspired me to move forward in my studies in an organic way rather than an overplanned way. I noticed Dr. Indu's 5 day yoga nidra intensive opportunity at Asheville Yoga Center coming up at the end of February, and there was another clearing in the forest--schedule was pretty much open. I talked it over with my family and lined up the subs for my yoga classes.  I look forward to visiting the center, to test drive if I may do my 500 hour teacher training program there, as they have a build your own sort of program, and this 5 day intensive would count for credit if I decided to continue there. No pressure, no plan, just pure following the flow. 

In the same breath someone reached out to me from another program that I had started in 2012 (6 years ago!) At the time I drove up to Duluth where the only practitioner of this style of yoga lived. I checked myself into a hotel and met up with her at a community center where we practiced together. She gave me a booklet to practice at home and we stayed in touch over the years, meeting up to learn more when possible. At one point, I reached out asking if her teachers would ever consider doing a correspondence training with me and 6 years later, when my schedule freed up, I received a message telling me they are accepting 5 students (by invitation only) for the first run of their online program. The best things in life can't be planned. 

When we know we are enough we drop those parts of our lives that are operating in fear, and we can let go of those things that are not serving our highest self. We can move more freely from a place of trust, and as time goes on, we know in our hearts that  things will fall into place, eventually. Somehow we start to know that everything will be okay, even when we can't see the light.

That being said, things at the studio took a dip in January. As many people heard news of restaurants and businesses downtown Stillwater closing shop, one might guess in the throes of winter, that business in Minnesota can be tough. And when things get tough, sometimes doubt comes out to play--we wonder if we are at first not successful if we are meant to keep going or if we should jump ship. 

As my own intentions become clearer, I believe this work will become easier. Part of this awakening is allowing me to better understand what is in alignment with our work. After January, I realized that I really have no desire to become a yoga studio owner. I realized I want to be part of a community--a sustainable collective of people who want to hold space for healing and spiritual growth...together. Yoga happens to be one of the ways that our studio offers this kind of support. Some of the other ways we offer support is by inviting people in to share their gifts with the community. 

That being said, I hope you have noticed the events, classes and workshops we have planned for you this Winter/Spring. Know that they have been put on the calendar with great intention. We hope that some offerings that speak to your heart and create space for you to go a little deeper into your self-care and spiritual practice. 

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One such offering was born from a community member asking us to put together a retreat "sampler," for people to come freely (donation optional) to try out some of our weekly classes. And so we followed the flow. I wrote an email suggesting the idea to our teachers and  immediately 6 teachers wrote they were interested in sharing, and 4 of them were able to agree on a date. This upcoming Saturday, February 17, will be our first collective offering, we are calling the "Progressive Relaxation Retreat." Read more here to reserve your spot >> This kind of offering is an example of how I hope our studio will co-create, with our teachers leading the path with their hearts, together.

Beyond February, March is chock-full of wonderful opportunities for inspiration and self-care. The first Saturday of March (March 3), we welcome back Angie Fern for another foam roller & tennis ball workshop. There are only 4 spots left in this class. If you want to make it happen, just do it and please sign-up soon. This class sold-out in January, and I sense it will sell out again. Not only will you walk out feeling more relaxed than after a massage, but you will take home new tools for how to release tension in your body.  

 The second weekend of March (March 10), Thomasina & Bob Fisk return with their sound meditation workshop, but they are adding a sweet element--sacred cacao. They debuted this combination at the Village Hall in Marine this past weekend, and I have only heard positive feedback. After personally devouring more chocolate than anyone wants to know about over the weekend, I am possibly overly excited to find another reason to love chocolate. We really look forward to welcoming this offering into our Moon River space in less than a month. There are only 11 spots left, so again, please reserve your ticket soon! (Their sound event sold out last time, so again...go with the flow, but you may want to sign up soon--wink wink).

The third weekend in March, (March 17) , on both St. Patrick's Day and the New Moon, is a workshop not to be overlooked.  We have guest teacher, Kristina Ahern, joining us for her first offering (hopefully of many) at Moon River Wellness. After having a personal transformation after working with a mantra and doing group chanting class two summers ago, it has been on my bucket list to attend one of Kristina's classes. She is one of only a handful of teachers in the Midwest to go through training in Vedic chanting and to top it off she will bring to us her Honoring the Moon workshop on a New Moon, at Moon River Wellness!  Does it get any better? No, I don't think it does. There are 8 spots left, so again, sign-up as soon as it makes sense for you. This is one I am especially stoked for!

As you part "plan" and part flow, trust that the right class will fit in with right timing. I hope to see some of you in the studio soon, and I realize this blog is becoming more the length of an essay, so I will hold off to say more about our April & May happenings. If you need to know, click through our special events calendar to learn more.

Until then, I hope to see some of you at our weekly classes. When I can, I try to attend as much as I can. You can drop-in for $16.50 or buy a class pack to save some money. Note that class packs will be on sale for $10 off this Saturday at our Progressive Relaxation Retreat!

Have a great week ahead!

Many blessings,

Kali

Answering the Call: Thank You for Your Generosity!

Last year I attended a retreat by writer and dream-worker, Toko-pa Turner. It was my gift to myself before our second baby was to join our family, and it was exactly what I needed. Much of her retreat shared snippets of wisdom from her book, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home. (There are so many pearls of insight infused in this read! I highly recommend).

Now, as I venture out more fully into the world with this wellness studio, deepening my work in community stewardship, I continue to find solace in her words. Growing up as an adoptee in a town with little diversity by way of ethnicity, a big part of my life's work has been around answering questions like, "Where do I belong?" "How do I belong?" "Who is my community?"

Throughout my teens and early twenties I spent a lot of time in what Toko-pa calls communities of "false belonging"--places where I gave up parts of myself in exchange for membership of the group. And sometimes STILL to this day I find myself drawn to those places, people and programs, that dangle shiny promises of belonging. I find myself drawn to a program of study, not just for the learning but for the "family" that comes along with it. There is something of comfort for me there. Student life whether formally or informally is a place where I am comfortable--being guided by a teacher, immersed in study surrounded by other lifelong learners and enthusiasts. 

As I read Toko-pa's book, I am reminded of the delicate process of what it means to build community. She mentions, "It may seem obvious, but two things are absolutely necessary to creating community over the long term: someone willing to take the lead and invite others to gather, and someone willing to answer that call."

She goes on to say, "answering the call is also a kind of generosity. Beyond receiving what the other is offering, it is also a way of giving  relevance to their [the leader's] efforts. It says that no matter how busy or tired I might be, community with you is important to me..." and "with enough calls made, and enough answers to those calls, the fabric of community is eventually woven."

Thank you for answering that call. Thank you for showing up when you are busy and tired, even at those times your teacher couldn't make it to the studio ;) We are so lucky to have you.

I am so grateful for the people who have stepped forward to make this studio a possibility, generously offering your gifts and presence to help lift us up. Thank YOU. I also want to thank our building owner Dave, whose vision for this space is less wrapped into money and more heart-centered and community driven. We could not do this work without your support and trust in our process. While I'm here, I also want to thank our teachers, both regular teachers and visiting teachers, for taking the time out of your lives to answer the call to share what teachings are alive in you with others. And of course, I want to thank our students (who are also our teachers, friends and family). We are now into our third month open and it has been great to meet you and spend time with you in this way.

A glimpse at our most recent workshop with guest teacher, Angie Fern. Catch our next Foam Roller & Tennis Balls Workshop in March:  Register Here .

A glimpse at our most recent workshop with guest teacher, Angie Fern. Catch our next Foam Roller & Tennis Balls Workshop in March: Register Here.

A new student found our 30 for $39 deal online and on a whim decided to sign up. She mentioned to another student, "I feel like I belong here." This feeling of belonging she shared is not something that I could create alone. It comes directly from our community. We are all in this together and this is what will sustain our model. There is still plenty of work ahead of us to keep this good thing going, but on dreary days it seems more manageable when I know I am not going at it alone.

The people who are showing up, answering the call with their generosity and with their hearts remind me of why I do the work I do, which leaves me with another quote from Toko-pa, "Leadership is essential to community, but in the reciprocal model, this role can rotate between members depending on the needs of the group. Unlike the way we normally think of leadership, as one person telling others what to do, reciprocal leadership is about engaging everyone to find the way forward. It is spherical in nature rather than hierarchical. In this way of seeing things, a great leader is an expression of their collective, not the star...Reciprocal leadership ultimately recognizes the circle itself as the teacher."

Thank you, for being on this journey with me and our Moon River community. Thank you for being part of the circle! 

With gratitude,

Kali

A moment to breathe

Sunrise shot from my backyard after teaching  Rise & Shine Yoga  this morning.

Sunrise shot from my backyard after teaching Rise & Shine Yoga this morning.

Reading up on the "elephant"--My card draw from Rise & Shine practice. Join us at 6am on   Tuesdays   or   Thursdays  .

Reading up on the "elephant"--My card draw from Rise & Shine practice. Join us at 6am on Tuesdays or Thursdays.

This morning as I drove home from my early morning class, I could do nothing but smile. Not every day, but pretty close to every time I teach my 6am class, I get to walk outside to view the morning sun as it invites the rest of the world to wake up. There is a beauty and power in the quiet that rests in downtown Stillwater as I enter the building. There is a light I feel in my heart when I wake before the day officially begins to share my practice with others.

In class we talked about our current challenges and how we can support ourselves during this time. We are moving between first quarter moon toward full moon, which often calls our attention toward what crises (or opportunities) we have cultivated and how we will grow from these experiences. I brought in some Animal Cards to call in on nature to support us in sharing more insight. I drew the "Elephant." This animal is one that I have forged a relationship with over the years and so it was a delight to see her show up to my morning card pull. Like most cases, I felt the image and the words and the energy behind the card really meet me where I'm at. 

Elephant first reminds me to be grateful. We are short of 5 people to meet my goal for how many students I was hoping to gather by the first 6 months...we aren't even one month in yet! We know that we have been blessed beyond measure, and each day we give thanks for the opportunity to build community--to create a space for people to practice and reconnect to their lives and to what makes them come alive and be well. The elephant also reminds us to be gracious and gentle in the process. Even though we are 5 people short of our goal, we are coming to realize that our goal perhaps was set a little lower than what it should have been...aka we are LEARNING, too!!! Always learning here...

That being said, we try to have the wisdom to know that obstacles will be ahead of us, and that some of those obstacles in fact are providing us with direction and guidance to where we need to focus our attention. In that regard, we are so thankful for these "obstacles."

I could go on and on about it all, but speaking of obstacles...the first draft of this blog I accidentally deleted this afternoon, so I am going to stop here before I do it again ;) But before I go I would like to mention there are still some 30 days unlimited yoga for $39 special offers left! If you haven't grabbed yours yet, it's a steal of a deal, really. And we are hoping to add more classes in the New Year, so grab yours before they are gone!

Last, I want to put a shout out to some amazing events we have coming up at the Studio with visiting teachers as well as our own teachers. We know December is a busy month, and that's exactly why we wanted to make sure there are plenty of options for you in case you need something a little more than our weekly classes. Sign up soon.  

DECEMBER

Saturday, December 9 {4:30-6pm}: Yoga & Sound Immersion

Sunday, December 10 {9:30am-4:00pm}: Stability of Earth: Chakra Mandala Painting

Sunday, December 17 {5:30-7:00pm}: New Moon Tea Ceremony

JANUARY  

Friday-Sunday, January 5-7: Winter Yoga & Meditation Retreat (one spot now open--email kali@moonriverwellness.com asap to inquire)

Saturday, January 13 {10:30-11:15am}: ***new monthly class***Yoga Family Fun (the first in a series of 3 classes! more details coming soon!)

Saturday, January 13 {1:00-4:00pm}: Foam Roller & Tennis Ball Workshop

Sunday, January 21 {1:30-4:30pm}: Ignite Your Light Program ~WATER~ Begins! (4 month program)

Hope to see you soon + thanks again for your support!

With love, 

Kali

Studio Founder

 

One week!!!

And we are just one week away from our New Studio Open House. Wow. I'm going to say it again, "Wow." 

So much gratitude and awe for this process is bubbling here. So much learning happening. Letting go and having faith and allowing. Remembering to have fun and take care of ourselves through it all. Breathing through those moments of anxiety and noticing those painful choices we make again and again when we are under stress and pressure. Being gentle in those moments and sometimes choosing a different path instead--one with less suffering.

We have no idea what to expect from here other than to know that it's out of our hands. We can set our intentions for the best and put our wishes out into the world, but now it's the community's turn to respond.  While fliers still need to be hung (doing that today) and policies and procedures still need to be written (doing that tomorrow), I know something far greater and bigger is at work here; I know that no one person could do this "thing" alone and for that I'm thankful for all the helpers--seen and unseen. 

A lot has happened in the past two weeks. Our floor was finished 2 weekends ago, just 4 days before our Ayurvedic Self Care Rituals class with Anna Wiens. The night was lovely. We had 11 women sitting in circle reconnecting to our bodies and souls. I brought some of my leftover oils home from class and shared the oil massage practice with my daughter. It is part of our bedtime routine now. Everyone had such a great time--it was just what we needed. We look forward to welcoming Anna back for another class come Winter. After being in the space, we are even more excited for the possibilities this new place holds!

The set up for Ayurvedic Self Care Rituals before we dimmed the lights on the new floors! 

The set up for Ayurvedic Self Care Rituals before we dimmed the lights on the new floors! 

Self-care is fun and is best when shared with others!

Self-care is fun and is best when shared with others!

After a wonderful night of self-care-- I packed up my bags and flew out to Seattle for a retreat that was on my calendar for months. It was my first trip away from my youngest daughter, and while I was torn about going, I am still unpacking the insight and clarity that came through from my time away. 

I recently saw a meme that said, "Solitude is a catalyst for innovation." I truly believe from my heart that this notion is true. However, for me, this solitude happens within a community context. This retreat was my 4th Circle of Trust Retreat and my first experience being a focus person of the "Circle of Trust." I was held in circle for 2 hours as I worked through my question and sat with my soul. It was not only healing but life affirming. It is my hope to bring this Courage work to our new studio, and I am starting the application process to do so, in the mean time. If I am accepted into the program, it will require some time away from the studio for the training, so I will keep you posted on where we land there.

Retreat participants of Courage for Center & Renewal's Gateway Retreat, 2017 @ Bainbridge Island, WA.

Retreat participants of Courage for Center & Renewal's Gateway Retreat, 2017 @ Bainbridge Island, WA.

Life continues outside of retreat mode, and this past Monday I returned home to a full week of work. We are getting our new business cards, punch cards and brochures designed and we are already planning a build out for a bigger storage space for props. I firmed up plans with 3 fabulous teachers we now have on the schedule for December (Yoga & Sound Immersion, Stability of Earth: First Chakra Workshop with Chanti and New Moon Tea Ceremony). I was hesistant about so many December offerings, but it is one of those months that call for a lot of extra self-care. We hope to see you at one or two or all of them! I know I plan to go to as many as I am able.

Beyond that some things to note is the schedule for the day for our Open House as well as the schedule for our classes starting November 6. Have you picked out what class you will go to first? Let us know you're coming here.

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Well there is not much time to lose--as the first snow falls, the weather reminds us that winter is right around the corner. We hope that in your winter plans you consider making a visit or two with us! We are running a 20% off punch card special at our Open House and will offer some free mini class experiences and demonstrations. The demonstrations and all that will be held in the yoga space in the lower level and the refreshments will be up in Suite 300. To find out more about what we are giving away and who else will be there follow our Facebook Event in the mean time. We hope to see you next Saturday! 

Have a wonderful weekend!

~Kali, Studio Founder