Recent topics at

Mind Patrol: Past, Present, or Future?
When Asana Isn't Enough
Book: The 52 Lists Project
Yoga Is for Every Body


In greeting or as departing, namaste is a term that bestows a kindness between people.

In Sanskrit, Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste translates to "bow me you" or "I bow to you." You place your palms together at heart center in recognition of the divine, however you choose to define it. As a deeper form of respect, you may also extend your palms to your forehead, then to the heart.

There are many interpretations of namaste, such as "the light in me recognizes the light in you", but the context is the same: we share joy, gratitude, respect, and love with one another.
Movement Happenings!
Yoga Under the Stars continues at the Science Center of Iowa's Star Theater Planetarium. Various instructors lead an evening class each Monday in the series. I'll teach again on Monday, April 16th! Come say hi and experience the cool starry environment in the planetarium. Class is 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and pre-registration is required. Here are details.

Ben "Good Vibes" Spellman leads a community yoga class most Wednesday evenings at Windsor Heights Community and Events Center. Check out his Facebook page for more information.

The popular Yoga in the Garden monthly series at the Des Moines Botanical Center continues! Every last Wednesday in the month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., enjoy a warming tour of the Center before the hour-long class. Led by Drew Maifeld and assorted instructors. The next class is Wednesday, April 25th! Session cost: free for Center members; $20 for non-members. Register online.

There's still time to register for an entire yogic weekend at the Midwest Yoga and Oneness Festival in Dubuque May 4-6! A variety of presenters offer a diverse selection of styles and philosophies. Learn more.

I'm back at Fitness by Design in May subbing for Mary St. Onge once again. If you'd like to come play in the Mixed Level or Gentle Yoga classes on Sunday May 13th or May  20th, register and pay ahead on the studio's website. Both are 75-minute classes and always fun! And if you want to have lunch afterward, just let me know!

Yogi Chat and Walk will resume in May.

Meditation Happenings!
Meditation Around Town is a terrific program Dennis Kelly created to help attendees explore a variety of approaches to meditation. Each monthly session is set in a different location in the metro and features a new leader. Always fun and interesting! On Thursday, April 19th at 6:00 p.m., the preeminent Brette Scott will lead meditation at Jasper Winery, 2400 George Flagg Pkwy. in Des Moines. Always free! Learn more here.

Each Tuesday evening, the Des Moines Meditation Group hosts a mindfulness meditation sitting at the Friends Meeting House at 42nd and Grand. Newcomers can enjoy the first sitting from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. with iconic Des Moines meditation leaders. The site needs updating, but you can reach out to some of the meditation leaders for more information by email. 

If you're looking for a more regular group meditation practice throughout the week, try the Des Moines Zen Center. Meditation sessions are typically 40 minutes long, and other events include potlucks and dharma talks. -->Word from those in the know is there's a special beginner's session that you can attend if necessary. Review the schedule and reach out to the leaders for more information.

And consider experiencing a gong bath as meditation! Deb Jennings and Sounds for the Soul offers a number of sound therapy happenings each month. For information about location, cost, days, full moon/new moon events in April, and chances to learn how to play gong, check out Deb's site.

If you'd like to have a more private meditation session, there are a number of resources you can use. Here are some recommendations from various students: Headspace, Insight Timer, and The Mindfulness App.

Private Sessions
Sometimes group classes aren't for everyone. Whether it's due to scheduling conflicts, personal circumstances, injury or illness recovery, or just to relish quiet time focused on  yourself, private sessions are an intimate, transformative way to explore yoga in a meaningful manner, 1:1, accessing a more effective practice.

This is a unique experience: private yoga sessions are intimate, created especially for your needs and goals for yoga, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. I meet with clients in their homes or at the Des Moines Public Library Central Campus.

If you or someone you know desires this type of personal attention, reach out for more information and/or referral cards.

Missed a newsletter or just want to learn more? Here's a link!
Some people have asked to look for tips provided in previous TKY newsletters. Thank you for your interest! You can find a helpful list of them by following this link.

Chair Yoga Students: Clips for You
By popular demand, here are links to home-based chair yoga practices. Some students asked for these specifically, but they're also good supplemental options when you're at work, feeling under the weather but still wanting to move a bit, or just need gentle movement options. I even hear stories of people doing these sequences with friends and family at home, which is terrific! Please give me feedback as to how you like them!

Notice how these videos are from qualified health facilities. This is why I say  everyone can safely practice chair yoga, even if they're dealing with specific issues. The medical community at large supports it! There's no reason to set aside your practice--simply talk with me about variations or modifications so you can receive all the other benefits.

*UK Health Care: three short videos - this one, or this one, or maybe this one! Or do all three!

*Moffitt Cancer Center developed a lovely, peaceful session.

*Gentle Chair Yoga from the Toronto Rehab Center

Okay, this young dude is incredible! Meet Tabay Atkins, 12, considered to be the youngest certified yoga teacher in the U.S.!
In Western  yoga, female practitioners outnumber male practitioners by an average of 10 to 2. Which is interesting, considering within the ancient practice, many masters in the lineage were male (with the exception of Indra Devi, but that's a story for another time).

Tabay learned to do yoga and eventually teach after his mother had cancer, and used yoga to help her health. He teaches a variety of styles, specializing in classes for kids and tweens, but other types, too. All his classes are donation-based, and he gifts the proceeds to organizations that help loved ones with cancer. A young man to watch!

The Joyful "Yoking" of Practice

I can't really say yoga is a job for me. Sure, I have to schedule, make appointments, try to get to class in a timely manner, receive reimbursement, and other work-like duties, but I have so much fun, it's almost criminal. And it's all because of you!

It's always a delight to see people come together in class, many who may not know one another at first, and slowly develop a connection. As this bond continues to form, it's sometimes hard to start class because of the conversations and laughs! And if you've been in class when I had to use "The Bells of Power", you know exactly what I'm talking about!

In group classes, this connection is a valuable part of the entire yogic experience. Among the many definitions of yoga, to yoke/unite/join is the primary one. Many modern yoga teachers refer to this explanation more frequently. However, some yoga scholars say this isn't correct according to the guru Patanjali's Yoga Sutras. His intent was to confirm that in the act of the practice, thus uniting the mind, body, and spirit, it allows you to yoke to extensions of the universe.

Between each other,  you're joined to the concept of helping one another explore potential and become the best versions of each other. I suppose we could explore the extensional and say in this initial intersect, that's where the first touch of universal connection forms. So maybe both theories are right.

If I could, I would let the joyful noise simply become the session ("talk yoga" is always beneficial!) without any direction from me, because this yoking, this bonding, isn't something manufactured or forced. In each session, the pleasure exists because of the open spirits who allow bonds to form, and nurture the connections with whole hearts. When you're compassionate with yourself and others, it's a magical space.

That's a pretty great job, if you ask me.



How can you have more fun in your yoga practice? Share your thoughts privately with Tracey, or start a discussion on the TKY Facebook page. Thank you for bringing joy to each class!





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