Thinking Yogi

The intersection of two loves: yoga and writing.

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November marks seven years since my husband Zach and I opened Bloom Yoga Studio, and I've been thinking about all that's changed (and all that hasn't) since then.


In those early days, Zach and I logged long hours 7 days a week behind the front desk getting to know all the wonderful people who came through our doors. Though we're not behind the front desk as much these days, we're still scurrying around behind the scenes and love every opportunity we get to connect with students and massage clients. With our fabulous front desk managers now holding down the fort, we've been able to continually revisit our mission statement in order to keep Bloom growing.

Our mission when we opened was to make yoga more accessible and less intimidating, and to provide a space where people could pursue health and happiness in their daily life. That mission is as strong as ever and still informs the decisions we make on a daily basis.

Over the past couple of years we've reached out to the community to bring yoga outside the studio via our Bloom Workplace Wellness programs, and it has been so rewarding to see students who may have otherwise never tried yoga benefit from the practice.


This fall we started our first yoga teacher training program to help dedicated practitioners share their love of the yoga tradition with clarity. Though we're only a month into the program, I've found the process to be energizing and exciting, and I'm so proud of the work our pioneer trainees have done so far.

Our original crew of instructors and massage therapists was small but mighty. Over the years our staff has grown and we've been proud to get to know so many stellar instructors, massage therapists, and managers. We're grateful for all who have been part of our team. They truly are what makes Bloom special.


Many of our current students and massage clients have been with us from the very beginning, and others have so seamlessly become part of the Bloom community that I can't remember them ever not being here. We've been lucky enough to see many families grow, and as Zach and I welcomed our own two children into the world, our fabulous Bloom friends have been incredibly loving with them (even when they are loud during savasana....sorry).

The circumstances of all of our lives have changed over the past seven years, and together our community has shared good times and come together during difficult ones. But at the core Bloom has remained a friendly place where a wonderful group of people gather together to pursue a happier and healthier existence. I couldn't be more proud to be part of that mission.

Big, big thanks to all of our Bloom friends. And here's to many more years of yoga, massage, health, and happiness!

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As a kid I was known to lie upside down on our stairs for hours. I spent plenty of time standing on my hands and doing all kinds of weird stretchy tricks, all within the context of gymnastics or ballet or whatever sport I was pursuing at the moment. I look back fondly on my active childhood, but as we've recently started a new Tween Yoga workshop at Bloom, I've been considering how my tweenaged life would have been different had I had yoga during those delicate years.



Maybe I would have learned how to avoid getting stressed out over homework and tests. Perhaps I would have used deep breathing and relaxation techniques after a fight with a friend rather than wallowing in hurt feelings or turning to junk food. I imagine my time on the mat would have helped me develop the self-confidence to stop worrying how I measured up to other girls. While I'm pretty sure yoga would have been no match for the powers of teen acne, pretty much every other aspect of my day-to-day existence would have been better with yoga.

I'm starting early with my own two kids. They're many years away from tweendom but I regularly welcome them to join me on the mat when I practice at home. Having a yoga teacher for a mom means that you learn down dog before you can even talk, but I take care not to force it on them. Instead, when I'm feeling stressed and just need some time to reconnect I tell them that I need to practice yoga because it helps me to feel better. When they get frustrated to the point of losing control, I hug them close and suggest they take a couple of deep breaths to calm down. I'm planting the seeds for them to come to the practice when they decide it will be helpful. If you love yoga, and you love a tween, I invite you to find the places where those two loves meet. Yoga + Tweens = Awesome.

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There’s nothing quite like an injury to put things in perspective. I spent the past week hobbling around, unable to practice much yoga or do even the most basic movements without pain. The hurt came on slowly and without any traumatic cause. At first I was just a little stiff so I struggled to work through it, striving to move at normal capacity. But soon the stiffness turned into a radiating pain that could not be ignored, and for about a week I couldn't find any comfortable position. It's no fun to be injured, but it certainly puts things in perspective.


Normally I go about the busyness of the week forgetting to be grateful for what I have. Small irritations preoccupy me - I sigh when the kids want me to drive yet another race car around the track they built, or grumble when the alarm goes off the morning after a late night work session. It’s only when my health is compromised even the slightest bit that I realize how good I have it. I daydream about what it was like before: Squat down to pick up a stray toy on the floor? No problem! Deadline that requires extensive computer time? Roll up the old ball chair and get to typing. But last week I could take nothing for granted. Sitting was painful, standing was barely tolerable, and lying down felt lousy. What do you do when you’ve grown accustomed to using your body however you want to, whenever you want to, then suddenly your body betrays your expectations?

I taught my regular weekly classes in this state, which was a challenge considering the fact that I couldn’t even sit in a simple cross-legged position. With my own yoga practice severely limited, I decided to focus my classes around the concept of santosha, or contentment. Rather than dwelling on what we don’t have in our lives, or striving to feel something different in our bodies, yoga practice can help us appreciate what we do have, right now. There’s always more we can want – the latest gadget our friends have, or the ability to do some crazy arm balance in yoga class – but the wanting is the only constant. Until we make friends with contentment, there will always be one more thing to want.

I write now from the other side of my injury, still savoring the beauty of being able to again move and practice yoga without a hitch. But soon complacency will creep back in as my memory of the pain fades and I forget what restricted movement felt like. So, my self-assigned homework is to keep sight of the injured perspective on a daily basis for as long as I possibly can: when I sit down comfortably on the floor to play with the kids, I smile; when I press back into child’s pose and feel the ease of that soft forward fold that eluded me last week, I breathe a little more deeply. It’s working so far, but that’s the trick with contentment……if you’re not vigilant, it just fades. Practice, practice, as always.

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