This is Yoga. Meet Jim Fisch.



This handsome man needs no introduction, but he does deserve a standing ovation. Practicing at Reach regularly for the past 4 years, this always “happy to be here”, 85 years young man really is something pretty spectacular. When he’s on the mat beside you, he reminds you why we are all there, and what yoga in this community is all about. Let me allow him to share for himself. 

 

When I walked into Healing Power Yoga in Highland Park accompanied by a former student I had supervised for the past year doing psychotherapy, she introduced me to Lourdes Paredes, a master teacher and prominent figure in yoga circles. Lourdes greeted me warmly and asked about my prior yoga experience. When I said this was my first practice ever, she gave me a strange look, which I soon came to understand. My student was an experienced yoga practitioner who came to our sessions straight from her yoga practice with Lourdes. She had often suggested I try yoga, which I politely declined…it was too slow, too spiritual, too weird. When our supervision ended she gave me a gift of a yoga mat, so how could I refuse? So, at age 71, I unrolled my mat and prepared to follow instructions. Turns out, this was a master class, and everyone there was a yoga instructor or in training to become one. My student had thought I might be bored by a beginner class, which is probably true, but had neglected to advise me regarding wardrobe and not eating before class, so I arrived in heavy sweats after a full breakfast. I watched, tried to imitate what others were doing, and after a few downward facing dogs I could feel my breakfast starting to return. With the heat building up and the nausea, I came close to throwing up and passing out. Somehow I survived, and when I returned the next week wearing proper yoga clothes and an empty stomach, I really enjoyed it. There was something both peaceful and challenging, the group connection was wonderful, and I’ve kept coming back twice weekly for 14 years.

Having discovered the joys and benefits of yoga it was natural to share it with my family. Now all five kids, their spouses and ten of the grandchildren are practicing yogis, with Noa, the oldest grandchild , now a certified instructor. One of life’s great joys is bringing kids and grandkids to Reach to share the practice with those terrific teachers, and there have been times when seven Fisches are on their mats side by side. I’m glad I took it up when I did, and now the strength, flexibility and balance yoga provides is therapeutic for this aging body.

Just This. Just Now. Cheri Weber.



I met Cheri Weber years ago just as we were both finding our niche in the suburban yoga teaching industry. We shared emails and texts and moments after classes discussing what it’s like to be part of this teaching community and how to put ourselves “out there”.  Cheri began teaching at Reach Monday evenings a few years back, which is not my ideal time to practice, so I hadn’t been to her class in some time. She recently subbed for a 6am (now, THIS is my hour!) , and I was so blown away by her knowledge, pace, guidance and sequence that she inspired me to challenge my habitual practice of same classes, same teachers, same postures (which is not a bad thing, just routine) and seek out some “new”.  After reading below about Cheri, I challenge YOU to check out her Monday evening class at the studio…I have no doubt she will inspire you too! 

How did you get into practicing yoga?

Very begrudgingly. 2 close friends who regularly practiced yoga kept telling me I should go, I would like it. I avoided going, thinking it was a waste of time and a wimpy workout. I loved running marathons, triathalons, doing interval classes, and intense work outs; the harder the better. In the meantime, we went on a girls trip to climb Mt Whitney, 14,500 ft high, and we’re planning to do this in an up and down 8-16 hour period. I trained hard until the day we left: spin classes, sprinting hills and running the beach. I thought for sure I would be on the 8-10 hour end of that time. I never summited. My altitude sickness was so bad that descending was my only option. Out of the 14 of us that went, only 4 people summited with out issue. They were my 2 yogi friends, another friend who was a big yoga advocate, and a yoga teacher. This was humbling, and made me think yoga had something going on and I should check it out. I went to a few classes with them and signed up for a retreat with them that Jessica Sandstrom and Jenny Kaufman were leading and became hooked. I found the zone which I normally got in running, yet so much more. Things started to piece together from so many areas of my life.

What made you want to teach?

I was a personal trainer and in the midst of a year long health coaching program when I found out Jenny Kaufman and Sharyn Galindo were leading a teacher training. I thought it would be a perfect holistic approach to my wellness interest. I just wanted to share my passion and hopefully help others to find the ah-ha moments I have found in yoga.

What would you consider your yoga style and who were a few teachers that influenced you the most?

I don’t think there is a teacher I’ve taken a class or workshop from that didn’t influence me. A yoga class is like a kids birthday party with a goodie bag. You always get something to take with you. That being said Jenny and Sharyn’s incredible depth of knowledge and experience in the teacher training greatly influenced me as well as the classes of Jessica Sandstrom, Missy Hebson, Laura Merlo, Deb Wineman, Sara Strother and Claire Mark. It’s great to hear different cues and styles that resonate with me at different points. I love to learn from webinars of some well-known teachers nationally as well.

Overall my style is strength and alignment based, but I love spending time building the pose slowly to activate ancillary muscles to create imprints in the mind of what the pose feels like for when we connect the poses in a flow. Creating space and length with the breath is really important to me.

Why do you love teaching at Reach?
It’s just such happy energy to walk into whether I am teaching or taking. Sometimes teaching on Monday night seems like added chaos before I arrive, but after the class I’m always happy and zen myself. The Reach community is supportive, friendly and really connected to each other. I love that Reach is always looking to grow with new ideas and offers many options for everyone.

What was one of the funniest or most humbling moments you’ve had while teaching a class?
I cued a class to meet up in Down Dog ( or so I thought) I really said Child’s Pose. After letting them linger in Child’s pose for a minute, assuming that was what they needed, I repeated myself again, only once again unknowingly saying Child’s pose. I started to question my sequence and wondered it was too hard or the room too hot and after the 3rd time of saying it wrong and no one moving, I realized what I had been saying and literally laughed out loud. Nice to know everyone really does listen to you.

What is your favorite non-yoga activity?
Family and friends doing anything outdoors is my trifecta. I love anything in the mountains.

Favorite mantra? Just this. Just now

Guilty Pleasure? A great margarita with lots of fresh lime

Proudest Moment? I organized a series of yoga sessions for Chicago Public Schools with Urban Initiatives, (a non-profit that provides coaching and mentoring youth soccer programs for under privileged areas within CPS). The first time I showed up they had me in the gym with 75+ kids ages 1st -4th grade. I wondered how the heck they thought I would get any group this size and this age to listen and follow for 20 minutes, but I figured something was better than nothing for them. Their non stop chatter and wiggles turned into fun with the poses, and they actually sat silently to breathe and meditate for 2 minutes followed by a 3 minute savasana where they didn’t move a muscle. On the way to the car, several of the kids saw me and thanked me for the yoga. I don’t know if proud is the word, but sheer excitement to be a part of something that can make a difference.

Coffee or Tea? I always wanted to like coffee but just never could so Tea for sure.

Find Cheri at Reach Monday Evenings 6:30-7:45 All Level Vinyasa Flow. 

Meet Student & Reach Kids Instructor Dayna Robbins!



Usually we feature an avid student OR a Reach yoga instructor here in this space, but as luck might have it, Dayna Robbins is not only a regular on her mat, but she’s also our coveted kids yoga instructor! She sure does have her hands full with all of that, her adorable family, as well as being a certified Reiki master! Read on for why we adore this beautiful gem and all she does here at the studio.

Birthplace: New Jersey

Current Hometown: Glencoe

Family/Pets: Husband Andy, 3 Kids, Liv 11, Ellery 8, Bode 6, and our mini bernedoodle Ray Lewis

Favorite Place to Travel: Mexico

Name 1 moment that completely changed your life: Becoming a mom, I realized for the first time how much love my parents had for me and how many sacrifices they made to make me happy

When did you start practicing yoga & why: I first started practicing yoga in my 20s. It was a Sunday morning tradition with my friends and we would grab brunch afterwards. However life and kids began to get in the way so I started practicing yoga on a regular basis 2 years ago. I look forward to my time on the mat because it gave me a place to unwind and calm my mind.

When did you start teaching (kids) yoga & why: I started teaching kids yoga when I was pregnant with my first child. I was getting my masters to be a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor to be a therapist for children. I was told it would be helpful with children with ADD, anxiety, and depression. I got certified through Karma Kids Yoga and Itsy BItsy Yoga. The minute I started teaching I realized this was what I was suppose to do.

What feeds your soul? I started receiving energy work a couple of years ago and I fell in love with it. I was drawn to the calmness it provided and was in awe of the changes that it brought about. I became a reiki master, and received certifications in working with crystals as well as essential oils. I love working with others to help unblock energy, feel peaceful, and make positive changes.

Favorite Mantra: Be present

Best Advice Ever Given: Take Action and let go

Best Advice to Give: Be yourself

Coffee or Tea: Celery juice – then coffee! i don’t recommend talking to me until I’ve had both!

 

Dayna teaches our Family Yoga Classes – Next one Sunday Feb 10th 1:30-2:30PM-SIGN UP TODAY TO SECURE YOUR SPOT!

and Bedtime Story Yoga – Next one Sunday March 3rd 5:45-6:30PM

Meet Sally Lou



Name:

Sally Lou Loveman

Birthplace:

Philadelphia, PA

Current Hometown:

Northfield, IL

Nicknames:

With a name like Sally Lou I get a lot of nicknames!  Lou and Lou Lou are what my family and friends call me, but I answer to pretty much anything except Sally! When I meet someone new and they call me Sally Lou, I always say “Thanks for the Lou!”

Family/Pets: 

I have 2 daughters and 1 son. Marin is 26 and graduated from Vanderbilt University. She lives in New York City and works as a Marketing Specialist at NBC for the network’s integrative marketing team. She started as an NBC Page, and worked in production for the TODAY Show. She loves the business end of television.

Carly is 24 and graduated from Lafayette College, She chose the TV production route and works in Nashville as an Associate Producer for the talk show Pickler & Ben – hosted by Kellie Pickler and Ben Aaron.

Billy is 19 and a sophomore at Northwestern University where he studies film and theater. When he was 4-years-old he told me he wanted to be the guy who punches the buttons to make TV shows when he grows up. That’s called a Technical Director! Who speaks like that at 4? Billy Loveman! 

Billy wants to be a director now and loves being on a stage – whether he’s acting, singing or blocking a scene.  My kids all have a little piece of show business in their blood, which I assume comes from me since my husband Mitchell works in Commercial Real Estate!

After we lost our beloved 16-year-old Shih Tzu Tinker, we rescued a Yorkshire Terrier and named her Gracie Lou because grace is always welcome and we needed another Lou in the family! The kids weren’t ready to welcome a new dog yet, but I won the battle and Gracie Lou now rules our house.  She has a big personality and keeps us laughing and loving her.

Job or Life Passion:

I knew I wanted to work in television since I was 14-years-old. My mother invited me to the filming of The Mike Douglas Show, one of the first TV talk shows, which happened to be produced in my hometown of Philadelphia. As I sat in the studio audience, I spotted a girl on the set with a clipboard. I didn’t know what she did, but she was a woman (it was 1976), she was wearing a headset which made her automatically cool, she was holding a clipboard which made her official, and she looked really busy. I knew in that moment that whatever it was she was doing, I would do it one day too.

I loved being in a TV studio. I loved the smell of the studio, the sounds of the lights, the feel of the camaraderie of the crew, the taste of the excitement and seeing all the action. I quickly learned that when an environment sucks you in and pleases all 5 of your senses, to make a career out of it.  When I graduated from college. I applied for a TV job in Chicago and got it! I hadn’t traveled beyond the east coast, so Chicago was very much new territory for me. I moved here without knowing one person.

The same year I moved to Chicago, Oprah moved to Chicago to host AM Chicago. I met Oprah when she was a guest on a show at the PBS station where I worked. She complimented my blouse. I interviewed with her 2 years later when she took her show national and she complimented my suit. And when she hired me a year later, she complimented my work.

Working for Oprah was like getting a masters in living your best life, wellness, gratitude and spirituality. Every lesson I have ever learned from Oprah,  I incorporate into my daily life and work. My 20-plus years with Oprah allowed me to start my own business as a speaker, emcee and speaker coach. As the Audience Producer for The Oprah Winfrey Show, I entertained the audience before the show. With my business lovespeaks, I connect audiences to brands, just like I did for Oprah. And when I’m not working on my business, I consult for start-up talk shows with a studio audience, because I am happiest in that environment.

Favorite Place to Travel:

The Jersey Shore! There I said it. I love New Jersey and I especially love the Jersey Shore. Growing up in Philadelphia, we went to the Jersey Shore every summer so it’s home for me. At 10-years-old my dad gave me and my sisters Bruce Springsteen’s The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle album,  which made me love New Jersey even more. 

We take our kids every summer so they love it too. My sister has a home in Bay Head, NJ so we are lucky to be able to gather there for family vacations. I also love Maine and of course Europe! 

Hobbies:

I don’t really have many hobbies because I spend most of my time working. I guess working out is my main hobby.  I love yoga, of course, Shred 415, Pilates and running. I also meditate daily, which is my FAVORITE thing to do and what I look forward to most in my day. 

My husband and I spend Sunday mornings at church and some Friday nights at Shabbat Service. We travel constantly because our families all live on the east coast so you can most likely find us in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut or Philadelphia when we are not in Chicago. I also love Broadway musicals and spend as much time as I can in a theater seeing shows.

Just before Billy left for college, I had an opportunity to work in New York for The TODAY Show as a consultant.  I completely avoided my empty nest by leaving it first, which I highly recommend! 

I lived in Times Square and saw 12 Broadway shows in the 6 months I was there. I felt like a kid in a candy store! After a long day at work, if I had the energy, I would pick a show and go to the box office and get the cheapest ticket. 

Since the TODAY Show opportunity,  I have had more work in New York which gives me the high of being back in television and the opportunity to spend time with my family there. We call it “casual family plans” which never happens in Chicago since we are the only family members, on both sides, who live here.  My husband and I treat my work like an adventure and make it fun. So far, empty nesting has been a very busy time for me.

Name 1 moment that completely changed your life:

I really wanted to study in London my Junior year in college, but my dad thought it was too far away, so I went to Washington, DC instead, which is where I learned about the TV opportunity in Chicago.  If I had gone to London I would have never moved to  Chicago, which ultimately led me to work for Oprah. I would have also met my husband Mitchell in London because he was on the program I would have been on. My best friend from college, Andrea, was on Mitchell’s program and is the one who eventually introduced us when I moved to Chicago. 

Whenever my kids want to do things I’m not comfortable with, I remember London and realize that we can’t stop whatever journey our kids are on. It helps me manage my anxiety when I worry about them being out of my control!

One thing that would surprise most people about you:

My nursery school teacher Mrs. Thompson told my mother that I would never make a friend because I was so shy. Lesson learned – don’t let labels define you, let them inspire you!

When did you start practicing yoga & why:

When the Oprah Show ended I discovered the West Loop. We moved to Harpo Studios in 1989 and I think we were the only people in the West Loop, besides the meat packers. When the show ended in 2011, and I was able to actually walk outside the building, I discovered a thriving fabulous neighborhood. 

And in this neighborhood there was a yoga studio! I kept seeing a well-known yoga teacher, Margo Kellison, in the local grocery store at lunch time and I told her I wanted to practice with her. She became my teacher and I would sneak away from work to take privates with her. I never thought I would ever be good enough to actually take a class, but my dear friend and yoga teacher, Pam Miller told me “Yoga is about community.” I listened to Pam’s words, and because my business and life is all about community, I joined a class and understood immediately what Pam meant.

Around the same time I started practicing yoga, I was trained in Transcendental Meditation. Oprah gave her employees the gift of TM. Both practices have transformed my life in so many positive ways. I kind of think about my life as “pre-yoga and meditation” and “post yoga and meditation.” 

Favorite Pose:

Triangle. I feel my whole body adjust in this pose and it feel so good every time! It feels like I am new again when I am in triangle.

Favorite Mantra:

“To love another person is to see the face of God” – from Les Misérables. The beauty of God, Source, a higher power, or whatever you want to call it – is reflected in the people around us. All you have to do is look and there it is. 

Best Advice Ever Given:

To forgive. My parents always taught me to forgive and Oprah did too. Forgiveness is not about saying what someone did is ok, it’s about allowing yourself the freedom to move on. 

Best Advice to Give:

Do what you love. It’s the foundation of my life and business. When we use our talents in an environment we love, it never feels like work. My advice is don’t fight it! Own your talent, share your talent with the world and you will always be happy.

Favorite Song

September by Earth, Wind & Fire – since the 10th grade we sang it “Sally Lou remember” instead of “Say do you remember.” That’s my song!

The Differences Between Basics & Beyond and Level 1~ By Mia Cutler



You found Reach Yoga!  You walked through the front door and felt welcome and excited and now what? Where to begin? I remember when I first started practicing yoga I didn’t know where to start.  What class was the right class for me? It can be confusing as there are so many options ….Beginner Series, Basics and Beyond, Level 1 Vinyasa Flow, All level etc!

You’re probably wondering what do these class names even mean?  First, it depends on you. What are you looking for? Strength, balance, sweat, meditation, a slower practice, or a more vigorous practice? Are you injured? Are you fit? Are you comfortable in a larger group setting, or would you prefer a smaller class size, or even some private sessions (which can be very comforting to some). Have you ever even been on a yoga mat, or have you done some yoga here and there over the past ten years but it never really grabbed you??

 

Let me explain the differences between some of the classes offered at Reach Yoga Glencoe.  Reach offers all levels of  Vinyasa Flow classes, Hatha, Restorative, & Gentle offerings. The studio always recommends starting with a four week Beginner Yoga Series which are plentiful and taught on various different days and times throughout the year.  

 

What you will learn in the Beginner Series:

What is Yoga?

Basic standing poses.

Components of Sun Salutation A.

Basics of breathing.

The importance of balance.

Learning to become comfortable within your body.

How to transition into various shapes, how to step back and forward, how to get down to and up from the ground safely.

 

After completing this series, a great transition is to Basics and Beyond. Depending on your general fitness and adaptability to new body movements, this could also be a starting point. Basics and Beyond is just that Basics…and Beyond!! HA!  

What will you learn in  Basics and Beyond:

Revisit everything from the Beginner Series.

When you’re learning to practice yoga initially the concept is ‘bigger shapes’.  What does Warrior 2 look like, what does Low Lunge look like. The practice is largely visual.

You will learn where basic muscle groups are on your body, how to strengthen them and how they are used in specific poses.

Poses are held a bit longer with time to explore.

Basics of simple backbends.

Basics of seated forward folds.

Introduction of simple breathing techniques. 

                                                                                                                                                                         

Time will be spent thoroughly explaining shapes and strengthening the body, over time, to move into and out of these shapes with ease and without injury. Sun Salutation A and components of Sun Salutation B. The ‘beyond’ part is always added options.  If you feel comfortable and strong and steady in a pose, then options will be offered. Though, sometimes the more challenging option might just be to stay put and focus on the breath! An important component of this class is that it moves slowly with lots of time to find modifications that fit your body and in an environment where you can ask questions at any time. This class does not offer more challenging poses like Half Moon, Humble Warrior and no arm balances or even the thought of them!  Think of words like strength, stability, ease, basic, beginner, adaptable, approachable. This class is not ‘gentle’ or ‘restorative’….those are two completely different offerings. Sometimes if you’ve been practicing yoga for three, five or ten years it feels really really great to take a ‘Basics and Beyond’ class, because sometimes ‘less’ is so much more!

 

From Basics and Beyond we move into L1 (Level 1).  Level 1 is not a beginner class and it is not Basics and Beyond.  It builds upon general knowledge of the practice and adds on. Level 1 can be very challenging and you can stay in L1 classes your whole life and be completely sated.  

You will delve into deeper concepts of all the basic poses and add on.  

There will likely be Sun Salutation A  with variations and perhaps longer holds.  Cues will be more finite.

This is still a ‘big picture’ class. What does Warrior One ‘look like’, but it moves into, what does Warrior One ‘feel like’ in my body.  What happens when I press down on the outside of my back foot etc.. This all occurs in a comfortable environment where questions are welcomed and students may be asked to sit while the teacher demonstrates and breaks down specific poses, concepts and such. The addition of slightly more challenging poses may be offered, but remember that these are just offerings.  There is never any need to attempt more than what you’re comfortable with. At the same time, sometimes getting out of your comfort zone might be just what you need!! Only you know…

 

Whatever class you decide to begin your yoga journey, or delve more deeply into your current practice know that you are holding the reins and taking a big step forward to getting to know yourself better. And that’s awesome!  

 

We are so excited to have you join this community!  Please let us know how we can help you navigate our offerings…and WELCOME

Article written by Mia Cutler.

Mia teaches a new class Saturdays 11-12:00 Yoga, Movement & Play.

She also teaches Mondays 5:15-6:15 Level 1-2

Fridays 8:15-9:15 Level 1-2

Saturdays 9:30-10:45 Level 1-2

 

 

A Super Fun Q&A With the Family of Steph Metz



Do you think your family REALLY knows you? What you like to eat, drink and how you spend your free time? We asked our devoted 6am teacher Stephanie Metz’s husband David and daughters Katie & Ryan to share their insights with us!  Not only do they seem to know her extremely well, they seem to truly “get” her too. Check out this fun Q&A with Steph’s loved ones.

Steph’s/Moms Favorite Book: 

David: Bhagavad Gita … and anything about death

Katie: anything body related / anatomy or death related. 

Steph’s/Moms Favorite food: 

David: Stone crab

Katie: grape nuts.

Ryan: Stone Crab

Steph’s/Moms Favorite drink: 

David: Angel’s Envy on the rocks or Bombay Sapphire martini with lots of blue cheese olives.

Katie: sparkling water- hates plain water–loves hot water though-weirdo. 

Steph’s/Moms Favorite TV show: 

David:  How I Met Your Mother

Katie: How I met your mother or some documentary that she finds and suddenly is drawn into for that time—cannot sit for extended period of time with the same thing on.

Ryan: How I Met Your Mother

Steph’s/Moms Favorite animal: 

Katie: Our dog (Lucy) or maybe dolphin.

Ryan: Her Dog Lucy

Steph’s/Moms Favorite activity: 

David: Yoga and SUP

Katie: anything by the water (paddle-boarding, yoga on a board, swimming) also likes taking our dog to fun parks or beaches.

Ryan: Yoga

Steph’s/Moms Best advice: 

David:  Don’t take things other people do so personally, it’s not always about you.

Katie: That it does not matter what other people are doing because they are not half the person you are—-the more you focus on other people- the less you can improve yourself and understand your passion and character.

Ryan:  Don’t worry about everyone else .

Things Steph/Mom is great at:

David: Being a mother to Ryan, Katie and Lucy, teaching, sales/marketing, being a good friend. 

Katie: being a friend and having a big heart and always full of energy.

Things Steph/Mom is working on: 

David: Drinking more water, eating more protein, being more organized

Katie: not reacting to things immediately- waiting. 

 

Steph teaches 6-7am classes both Tuesday & Thursday mornings. Come salute the sun with her! 

Replacing the Reach Yoga App



Read this only if you use the Reach Yoga app, with an icon that looks like the one here:


After a few years of supporting the Reach Yoga app, we’ve concluded that the studio and our students will be better served without the app. Our technology provider raised the monthly cost by 700% (that is not a typo). And, you can get the same functionality, plus more, by using the MindBody app. 

So … the Reach Yoga app will disappear as of December 15, 2018.

If you haven’t already, please consider downloading the MindBody app. It looks like this.

From there, set Reach Yoga as a favorite studio.

You can use this app to reserve a spot in class, purchase classes, reserve events, etc. (just as you did in the Reach Yoga app). You can also access other wellness and fitness businesses.

Let us know how we can help!

The One, The Only, Bart Fox!



Have you seen that guy walking from Highland Park to Glencoe with a huge smile and a yoga mat strapped to his back? That’s Reach’s very own Bart Fox! There’s so much more than meets the eye with this guy….the best part?  His many nicknames & daily mantra. Read on for the goods!

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1. Nickname/s?

I’ve had 3 nicknames over the years. In high school some called me “Scoop” because I wrote for the school newspaper. My college friends added a French accent on the end of my name and called me Barte (bartay). Now the guys I work with call me Foxy.

2. Favorite book?

My favorite book is Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.  Some people raise an eyebrow when I mention that but I believe, while compromise is vital in many ways, the most pure vision comes from the individual.

3. Favorite Food?

I have too many favorite foods to list just one…  but if I have to list one I’d say sushi.  I think I could eat it every day.

4. Favorite place to visit?

My favorite place to visit is Wrigley Field… and Italy!

5. What was your first job?

One of my first jobs was as a cable puller and runner on ESPN golf tournaments.  I was newly out of college with a degree in journalism and due to the recession I couldn’t get hired by any networks / tv stations / production companies.  The only thing I could get hooked up with was ESPN when they came to Indianapolis for a golf tournament.  I arrived at 8am on Tuesday morning and a technician put a 500-foot coil of thick cable on my shoulder and told me to walk up the fairway and let the cable out as I walked.  At the end of 500 feet there was a guy with another 500-foot coil.  He connected the 2nd to the 1st, put the 2nd on my shoulder, and told me to keep walking.  Several of us set up the whole course with camera and audio cables, and did other manual labor.  I had no idea what this would lead to but apparently I was pretty good at laying cables so I was invited to the tournament the next week in Moline, Illinois.  I wound up driving around the country with a few other guys from tournament to tournament.  It was total manual labor, a lot of fun and made great connections.  I learned the technical side of sports TV by doing this.  I gradually got many breaks along the way and over many years weaved my way into producing the live broadcast of sports events on TV for ESPN, the Big Ten Network and other networks.  I always look back on those days as a cable puller and runner as an invaluable introduction.  And almost 30 years later I still see some of the same guys around the country that I met at that first tournament.  Over the years I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with some of the biggest announcers in sports television and hugely talented production folks.  A great ride…

A couple weeks ago a newspaper writer was embedded with our college football crew for a couple days as we prepared for the Michigan – Rutgers game.  If you’re interested here’s the link to his report.
https://www.nj.com/expo/sports/erry-2018/11/37c8995dbf36/behind-the-scenes-as-the-big-t.html

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6. Best advice ever given?

The best advice I was ever given was to just say thank you when given a compliment.  I tended to be self-deprecating and had a hard time taking a compliment.  A guy I worked for took me aside one day and said I’d be better served just saying thank you.  Great advice that I’ve tried to implement.

7. Best advice to give?

The best advice I give is to students that I speak with.  I tell them that it’s certainly ok to finish school without knowing how they’re going to conquer the world.  I find that kids are pressured to figure out their life’s journey by the end of college.  But the reality is that most people work in a field different from what they studied.  So why get narrowly focused and stressed out about it?

8. How do you bring the practice of yoga into your everyday life?

As a TV producer on live sports events (mainly college football and college basketball) it’s easy to see the benefits of yoga.  When we are live on the air the atmosphere floats from controlled mayhem to absolute mayhem.  I really love the highly intense environment and I’ve learned through yoga how to breathe through chaos. It provides a calming influence. Pam Gross uses an expression in her class that has helped put a name to a concept I’ve always used but never had a name for.  Pam says to “embrace the wobble – and make a pattern with it”.  The first time I heard her say that I instantly knew that’s what I do in my professional life.  The challenges of traveling the country to produce games on live TV are intense and “embracing the wobble” is essential.

One other way yoga helps…  many times when I fly home from a game I take the first flight of the day so I can get home in time for the 9:30am class at Reach.  When I have that really tired look it’s usually because I flew home in time to grab my mat and head to Reach.  Whereas the night before I was involved in a really intense work environment, when I get home and make it to Reach the calm is restored.  How’s that for the yin and yang?

 

9. Favorite Pose?

My favorite pose is triangle on my right side.  For some reason I feel like I’m able to rotate my right side through to the max without getting to the point where I’d fall.  Left side…  not so much…

10. Favorite mantra?

“Embrace the wobble” is my favorite mantra as I wrote above.  I use it in everything I do.

Meet Sweet Shawna Doran!



When I asked Shawna to be featured in our next blog post about our fabulous instructors, she was  understandably hesitant (not many people, I’m learning, like the spotlight). But I persisted because she is not only one of Reach Yoga’s teacher training graduates, but she’s someone that our yoga community should know about, she deserves to shine bright! As a data privacy attorney by day, yoga teacher and incredible wife & mom by night, Shawna makes everyone feel good by just warming us with her inner light…shine on Shawna, shine on!

Q. What’s your favorite pose?

Urdhva Dhanurasana (aka “Full Wheel”) – This pose is not a favorite because it is easy for me, but because it is now possible for me. Before I entered teacher training, I had a frozen shoulder for over a year. I also had limited mobility in my right wrist due to a prior injury. My shoulder couldn’t rotate sufficiently and my wrist lacked both the range of motion and strength to bring me into the pose. After years of practice,  I now have enough mobility to get into the pose without the need for additional props, which is fantastic because I find full wheel to be an amazing front-body opener that helps to counteract the posture of my day job (hunched over a computer).

Q. What are you reading?

Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. Truth be told, I actually bought it first as an audio book and fell asleep while listening so I had to buy the actual book.  It’s a fascinating (and accessible) discussion of the importance of sleep and dreaming. I am currently on a mission to change the sleeping habits of my entire family of night owls (myself included).

Q. What are you eating/drinking?

Every fall, I begin drinking something called “fire water”. It’s a mixture of hot water, lemon juice (1/2 lemon squeezed), 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, turmeric and cinnamon, pinch of cayenne pepper, black pepper and Pink Himalayan salt and 1 tsp of coconut oil. I also like to add yogi berries and coconut flakes. It’s warming and nourishing.

Q. What are you watching?

I’m obsessed with HGTV and YouTube. Together, they have taught me how to skim coat plaster walls, install baseboards, and shoe molding–oh, and drywall- and how to paint like a pro. Who needs tape when you have a good brush and a steady hand for cutting in?

Q. Best advice ever given?

Teach what you know. I teach level 1 classes and have a passion for doing so because that’s where I started in my own practice and that’s where I return whenever things get too chaotic in mylife. I find comfort in the basics and I hope that my love for these postures is translated in my teaching.

Q. Best advice to give?

Stay on your own mat. This is so often easier said than done in life and in class. However, I have injured myself in class doing something that I knew was beyond my capability at that moment or have not backed off in basic postures when my body has given me fair warning. It takes self-discipline to be the person resting in child’s pose oblivious to the fact that the rest of the class is in a bound headstand or to actually move with your own breath (and at your own pace) rather than trying to meet the pace of the class, but I believe that more personal growth occurs in those moments of appropriate self-restraint than in moving through every posture in a class.

Second piece of advice recently given to my kid brother who asked if he should get a yoga block: get two yoga blocks.  You’ll be glad you did.

Q. How do you bring the practice of yoga into your everyday life?

I get anxious sitting at my desk, particularly when I am in the middle of drafting a legal document or preparing to negotiate a contract, and so I use breath work every single day to keep me calm.  It’s something that I’ve been able to share with my kids too which has been a joy because I feel like I’m giving them tools for their toolbox to help them deal with the increasingly complex challenges they face as they grow older.

Q. All-time favorite quote?

Excerpted from Boundin’ by Bud Luckey:  Now sometimes you’re up and sometimes you’re down,

When you find that you’re down, well just look around;

You still got a body, good legs and fine feet.

Get your head in the right place and hey, you’re complete!

Shawna Teaches Vinyasa Flow Level 1 Sundays 3-4pm

 

Inhale. Exhale. That’s All.



“It’s ok to be scared. Being scared means you’re about to do something really, really brave.”

This is a mantra someone shared with me a short time ago and it arrived in my in-box at just the perfect time.  Owning a yoga studio was not on my life’s agenda. When I worked at Lululemon for a hot minute about 9 years ago, they asked me to write down my goals for the year, 5 years, 10 years, and hang them on a wall for all to see (for me to hold myself “accountable” they said).  I literally laughed out loud and told them I wasn’t ready to share that. Really though, I think it was because I hadn’t actually PLANNED for anything. I had been married for awhile, was toting around a baby on each hip and had just moved from city to suburbia after closing a couple businesses my husband and I each owned individually.  I had no idea what the future would hold.

I have now been practicing yoga for 10 years, teaching for 7 and have loved every single moment of my journey. I completed a few teacher training programs and have spent many hours since then on my mat as a student, learning something new each and every time. I have met a community of like-minded people, made friends with teachers near and far and have curated relationships that have enriched my life beyond words. And even though I’m wearing many hats these days as wife, mother, teacher and studio owner, I truly try to live my life one day at a time.

I feel so blessed to have been introduced to yoga when I was, and that it has really allowed me to shine.  I want you all to stay on this beautifully enlightened path with me,  let’s see where it takes us together!

My goal is to create a space at Reach where everyone feels as happy as I am to be there. I plan to share my love of all things yoga with whomever steps through our doors.  Let your love for whatever it is you do, be so pure and so big that its shifts the energy in the room.

Welcome. Join me.

Namaste, Laura

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