Sneak Peek…


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Yoke and Abundance is on the move.  We’re taking this blog from WordPress to square space.  Working with the very talented Courtney of Broad and Main Design is a dream come true (did I mention she has a special going on right now if you want to hire her too?).  I’m in love with what she is creating for us on this blog.  Take a look at the logo she’s built so far.  We are still playing with taglines, but this is a sneak peek into what’s coming.  Courtney took her work and yoked it with the beautiful photos that Lindley Battle took of me playing and doing my yoga thing.  What do you think?

Friday Night Savasana


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Some people like to go out Friday evenings.  They enjoy an after work cocktail with friends to close out their week.  Others enjoy hitting up a yoga class pre-friday activities.

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Then there are those of us who teach the Friday evening classes and maybe even are teaching the YTT (yoga teacher training).  Last night not only did I have the pleasure of teaching the 7:00-8:00pm fun Friday flow class, but I also taught the 6th Friday evening of our 9 weekend yoga teacher training weekends.  The topic last night in our YTT was partner yoga, because well,  it’s really fun.

Happy weekend everyone.

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Through my lens


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Ever since I was a wee little girl, I’ve been fascinated with photography.  The time would fly by when i was looking at my dad’s camera or his old photo’s he took in his college days in the 70’s.   I’d look at the pictures of flowers, bovine and fields and wonder if I’d be able to take photo’s that were that pleasing to the eye.

In high school one of my best friends had a good camera and an even better eye.  I got to be the model for some of her assignments. She was in college slightly older than me at the time.  One  random day long ago I remember flipping through her negatives with intrigue.  She even took me with her one rainy day to the darkroom and I got to watch her develop photo’s from one of our shoots.

If memory serves me right In college my freshman year I was lucky enough to be gifted my cousin’s Nikon camera so I could take a photography class (Erin I’m nodding at you).  For Christmas my dad converted his lenses from a bayonet mount to screw mounts so that I could use them on the camera I was borrowing.

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That was one of my all time favorite classes in college.  I can still remember full lectures that Maia gave with slides (yes she was – and still is – that good).  Looking back, I can see that I should have majored in art and gotten certified to teach yoga as a minor (they didn’t have that then, but I’m looking back with hindsight, so humor me).  You know I was practical then (yes laugh all you want, but I was the student who graduated in 3 years in order to cut costs not to mention I was also working at the fresh market and on campus at a work-study job in order to keep expenses down at a private school that I was paying for).  I knew art classes were a lot of extra money, books yes, but art supplies added to tuition fees in a way that I didn’t think I could afford, think buying film, the actual paper that you develop photos on ect. ect. ect.  It wasn’t practical.

I was minimizing expenses at the expense of my actual passions.  Probably not a good strategy!  I’m still paying off student loans 14 years later and now I wonder, would it really have mattered?  I should have just majored in art and while I’m wishing I should have studied abroad too.

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As a result of holding back on my passions when I was fresh out of high school, now I’m indulging in the things I had wanted then.  The new camera has been fun and soul soothing thus far.  At lunch today Max and I went on a short walk to snap some photo’s before I rushed back to work.  The photo’s in today’s post are what we saw.  I’ve got a lot of learning to do, and I’m excited about that process!

What about you, if you could go back to college what would you have studied or changed for that matter? I’m dying to know!

Stumbling blocks on the path


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You don’t decide you want to be great at something like blogging and then wake up into greatness.  Unfortunately for me it doesn’t work like that.  It takes lots and lots of small steps.

Many of those small steps include stumbling, falling down and scrapping your knees.  In my head I’ve got these grand ideas of what I’d like to do with this blog and only about half the skills I need to make it happen right now.  This weekend I bought photo shop excited about a photo template Courtney Monaco shared on Broad and Main Designs a few months back.  I finally had pictures from Saturday’s shoot that were pretty enough for such a neat template.  Turns out photoshop and templates (at least for this non-designer) are tricky.  I spent about 4 hours over the weekend playing with photo shop, watching you tube videos, and starting a beginner photoshop class on Skillshare simply trying to figure out how in the world to make one little template work.  I never got it, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get it.  I’m still taking my skillshare class and I plan on inviting a friend over for dinner who has some experience here.

The second thing I attempted with out luck was video taping a short yoga sequence to post.  That was going to be this mornings post for you, my first yoga video!  Don’t get to excited…

I read the manual on taking video with my new camera, set it up on the tripod.  filmed a sun salutation to make sure it worked then filmed a 10 minutes post run sequence.  Unfortunately when I tried to play it back it wouldn’t play back.  None of the little video’s I shot would upload to my computer.  Hmmmnnn maybe it’s safe to admit I’m slightly challenged when it comes to this technology stuff.

Never the less, these are great places for me to start.  I’m sure I can learn all of these skills and it will be a fabulous way for me to measure my progress.  Hopefully in this next week or so I’ll be able to get you a yoga video instead of a picture of an empty mat.

Tootles,
-A technology challenged Yogi

Aspiring Blogger


 

IMG_0183I’m at the door way into the next phase of a big life plan.  The yoga studio is a huge part of the ultimate life goals and the next phase is big time blogger.  Not a post here or there, but someone that is actually bringing you content that you can use and rely on.

For years I’ve aspired to be a “real blogger”  in the way that the velveteen rabbit or Pinocchio want to be real.  I have my blogging idols of course, Dannielle LaPorte, Bonnie Christine, and Kimberly Wilson to name a few.  These ladies rock the blogging world.  They’ve inspired me for years, and I hope that one day I can join their ranks.

All of them have their own personal vibe, and flavor.  I’m building my brand right now too with the help of the wonderful Courtney Malone at Broad and Main Design.

You’ve seen the beautiful inspiration board she brought together from images I think accurately represent what I’m trying to create for you at Yoke and Abundance.  That was just the first step.

Next step is the logo.

This morning I got the sneak peak, and WOWZA!!!  I’m impressed.
Courtney found a way to bring out and connect all of the ideas I have for the blog.  Everything that I want to share with you in the way of yoga, creativity, art, and mindfulness, it’s all there.

In the mean time, I’m honing new skills, photography, writing, yoga, learning photo shop (yikes!!) and trying to do it all mindfully.  There are big things in store for all of you and I can’t wait to share it.

Missed yoga class: 3 Lessons I Learned


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Have you ever had your heart set on a yoga class?  You did everything right, stomach empty, mat in hand, drove yourself 35 minutes to the next town over for this specific class only to end up thwarted by st. closures for a road race?

That was my morning.  Luckily for me I’ve been practicing yoga for a while, and though I was disappointed I was able to let the desire for that class go and quickly shifted gears.  I used my yoga and simply let go.  My new Canon Rebel was in the car and I wanted to take myself on an artist’s date after yoga class anyway.  Now I’d get to set out a little earlier to use my new toy.

Lesson #1 Let go of your attachments to follow life’s flow:
If I got frustrated and mad that I couldn’t make it to class and had focused on the wasted time and wasted gas I wouldn’t have been able to shift gears as quickly as I did.  The ability to let it go and find life’s flow can be the difference between a good day and a bad day.  Sometimes interrupted plans are better than plans anyway because they help get your creative juices flowing.

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Lesson #2  Spontaneity is crucial to Creativity
There is a lot to be said for routine.  Personally I’m a huge believer in route.  Dedication to goals, putting in hard work to achieve those goals – all of that is important, YES.  And you need to allow enough free time and flexibility in your life in order for creativity to blossom.  I almost had scheduled myself up for the morning.  I almost made a plan for Saturday morning which would have meant no room, no space, no extra time to just be.  That’s normally my life. This was a great reminder to leave room for myself so creativity can blossom.  The free time allowed spontaneity to creep in and fuel my creative side.

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I love my state, but I especially love my City…

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All said and done I got lucky to miss class.

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Lesson #3 Feed your creativity
Make time for creativity in your life.  It doesn’t just happen.  You have to flex that muscle just like any other muscle.  If you don’t work it you won’t have it.

Speaking of muscles, I may have missed my yoga class this morning, but I think I’m gonna roll out my mat at home now.

xoxox
-Alisha

Reverse Progress


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A quick glance at my Garmin Connect activities report and I can tell you my running is not where I’d like it to be.  Truth be told I didn’t need to look at a report to be able to tell you that.

There are long runs and short runs that feel good.  I’m sure you’ve had the experience, you feel strong and fast like you could go on forever.  Then there are the runs like today…
Run’s that feel horrible the whole way through.

Today the only thing that carried me through was shear determination to put one foot in front of the other for 6 long miles.

It’s been about a month or so of this.  I’m running, I’m sticking to it, but it doesn’t feel like I have the capacity to get stronger or faster.  The normal route feels like a chore. Every single run I’ve felt heavy, tired and unable to get faster or stronger.  I keep wondering if this is just a story I’m telling myself or if there is something really wrong with me.  Is it simply the ebb and flow of running?  The result of hot humid summer running?

It’s all part of running, of dedication, the ebb and the flow I suppose.  There will be months of running that feel amazing and long dry spells where you feel lucky that you have friends to meet or you would probably skip out all together.  I’m especially grateful right now for my friends who run.  The ones that meet me at 4:45am for 6 miles during the week and the ones that will meet at 6am on a Saturday in order to beat the heat.  Thank god for those friends because they make it worth it even when it sucked the whole time.

Lucky for me my running friends, are encouraging and wise.  I also have a friend who is an amazing coach and she always says “just keep running”, and especially when it’s hard I know she’s right.

Today I kept running even though I didn’t even want to start.  Tomorrow I’ll lace up again.  I know I’ll break through this.  Have you been through the running the slump?  how did you break through?

Inspiration, Change and New Beginnings


I’ve been holding out on all of you.

I’ve got a secret…

It’s time I listen to my intuition, take A leap of faith and commit.

I’m breaking up with WordPress after 5 1/2 years blogging here.  It’s time for a change, it’s time for something new.

I’m seriously committing to this blog Yoke and Abundance and I’m moving her to square space.  It’s for the best.

There are BIG plans for all of you on this blog, and I’m building out content that I hope you’ll really enjoy, like a yoga pose of the week,short video yoga sequences and writing prompts for your art journals and morning pages.

In fact I’ve gotten so serious I’ve hired a talented designer.  I knew her as Courtney Monaco, she’s now Mrs. Malone and the creator of Broad and Main.  Courtney is an up and coming designer and master blogger herself.  She started a successful blog when she was in college, not only blogging regularly about food, yoga and travel, but she also made a profit at it too.  This women is unstoppable and I’m flattered that she is working with me to create a place for you to find yoga, inspiration and grounding to launch your own dreams.

I’ll share sneak peaks into our process as we work up to the launch.  Here is our Inspiration board to start…

Color Brand and InspirationWhat do you think?

I think I’m in love….

Juice Cleanse Reflections


Day three last juice!  Blender Bender was YUMMY

Day three last juice! Blender Bender was YUMMY

Three full days of nothing but juice and I stuck to it.  Day one I was exhausted, but that’s a normal feeling for me.  Day two I felt pretty darn great until I unexpectedly had a date with my boyfriend and got to watch him eat sushi and drink wine while I sat across from him sipping caffeine free tea.  Day three was similar to day two.

Was it hard?  yes, and no.
Not when I was at work with lots to do, or when I was home alone.  There were times when out of habit I’d think “I’d like to go eat real food” but I wasn’t really ever hungry.  I stayed very hydrated and it was fine. What was hard is that I love food, I’m a foodie.  I like the experience of eating, dining, of drinking wine.  It’s a social thing too, breaking bread with your friends and family.  At the end of a long day sitting down to dinner and a glass of wine with my boyfriend is a common shared experience and removing myself from that ceremony was hard.  By the end of day 3 I wanted to have a meal, to eat food that I chewed very badly, it did take a lot strength and willpower not to ask my boyfriend for a glass of his wine or a spoonful of his dinner.

Was it worth it? yes and no.
I learned a lot about my eating patterns, and how much I actually do or don’t need to consume.  I feel fresh and cleaned out.  I’m feeling a little refreshed.  My skin is clearer for sure.  What I hoped to feel was amazing! I had high hopes that this would completely change how I was feeling physically.  Re-charge my body.   People talk about how AMAZING you feel after a juice cleanse.  I feel mostly the same with more awareness, heightened sense of smell, and a better understanding of myself.

I’m feeling good, but nothing extraordinary.  I do eat pretty darn well normally so maybe that speaks to the fact that I’m mostly on the right track already?  That’s what I’m going to tell myself anyway.

It’s not a quick fix.  Would I do it again, yes.  It’s an interesting exercise that can teach you a lot about yourself so yes I’d do it again.  Should I have had lower expectations?  Probably yes.

Have you done a juice cleanse?  What was your experience?  Would you do one again?  Would love to hear from you.

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First real meal day 4

Juice Cleanse Day 1


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Looking at my kermit green juice at 4:40am this morning, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t full of apprehension.

Would it taste ok?  would it be hard to drink?

Here goes nothin…

I was pleasantly surprised that it tasted good.  I wasn’t hungry through the yoga class I taught this morning, but by the time I got done teaching I was ready for another one While getting ready for work I gulped another, it had been about two hours from the first one so I figured that was about.  Did I mention there are 6 a day for me to consume?

Running to work I pulled two bottles out of the fridge to take with me and soldiered on.  So far not as hard as I thought it would be.  The juice is tasty as far as juice goes.  I was fighting fatigue hard in the early afternoon.  Thought about having a coffee around 1:00pm, and distracted myself with work and water after a few yawns.  Alisha 1 Coffee 0.  (for the record I love coffee, this is just a temporary parting)

When I got home from work I poured the red beet juice into a very large wine glass to make it feel more festive and sat on my porch enjoying the hum of early evening.

After a shower and a super short personal yoga practice I had desert! “blender bender” Almonds, filtered water, dates, cinnamon, vanilla, himalayan salt.  Better than tasty, it was GOOD.

The big question, how do I feel?
A big part of doing this cleanse was to feel energized.  Today I wanted to crawl to bed and go to sleep.  In short that means no change from how I normally feel, but hell it’s only day 1.  I’ll let you know how I feel tomorrow.

xoxox y’all