January 2020 Yoga Updates & News

Hello, Yoga Friends!

I hope this note finds you well and enjoying the turn of the calendar, the year, and the season. I also hope that you are being gentle with yourself as you live each day with your new or reestablished intentions, resolutions, or acknowledgments. Remember that you can always, shift, change, or revise your plans as you learn what works and what doesn’t. Allow January to be a “feeling it out” kinda month and practice flexibility with yourself and your expectations. Just like easing into a yoga pose at the beginning of your practice when your hamstrings are still cold — bend your knees a little! Trying out new routines and establishing new habits requires the same kind of care. So, bend your knees a little, bow your head a bit, and lift the corners of your mouth!


2019 was filled with some unexpected challenges and surprising opportunities for me. Was yours the same? I’ve grown some, learned a lot, and stepped into new responsibilities. {The next bit is lengthy, so feel free to skip to The Wrap Up!}

Yoga Class Offerings

As many of you know, last summer the old standby, Monday night Power Yoga Practice, took a back seat to my eldest son. It had become glaringly apparent that he will graduate and move out in less than three years, and I decided to offer my Monday nights to assist the Mansfield Symphony Youth Orchestra so I could spend more time with him. He’s been playing in the organization for many years, and it has been a blessing to be closer to him in this endeavor and share the experience in a new way. The decision feels right and good.

While I’m happy with this wise choice, I’ve felt myself longing for the rhythms of the vinyasa flow and the energy of the power yoga spirit. I’ve been scrounging around my family’s schedule for a new night to hold the class but have come up empty-handed. We’ll soon have a third driver in the family, though, so let’s keep our hopes high that the right night will open up in its own time.

Currently, I’m guiding Gentle Yoga for Strength & Vitality each Monday and Wednesday from 9:30 – 10:30am. I’ve created themes for each month so you’ll know in advance where some of our focus will be. You can view the themes at the Weekly Yoga Class page if you’re curious.

New Work

In addition to changing up my regular yoga teaching schedule this year, I’ve also changed up my stay-at-home time by joining the staff at Mind Body Align last August. This has been exciting, challenging, liberating, and supportive. My official title is Mindfulness & Yoga Educator, which means I teach both mindfulness and yoga classes and workshops at the Butterfly House, as well as off site for special events and programs. I also work with the Wellness Education Director to bring mind body awareness practices to the students of our local Mansfield City Schools. MBawareness Educational Program is moving into the end of its pilot year, and it’s been fun and rewarding to share my passion with younger students!

In addition to these endeavors I provide outreach and special programming for local community centers, area first-responders, and those in caring professions throughout mid-Ohio.

Writing and Learning

Continuing eduation and writing are a big part of my world right now. I’ve completed a second six-week course through Mindful Schools called Mindful Educator Essentials and have been accepted into their year-long Mindful Teacher Certification Program, which will begin this July. In November I began Yoga on High‘s 300-hour teacher training which will bring my credentialed hours beyond 500. I’m thrilled to be able to share new theories, perspectives, and practices with my students!

In addition to these trainings, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to share my writing at Christians Practicing Yoga, a website dedicated to healing divides. I’m humbled to be a part of this amazing team of writers, yogis, and Christians. Follow the link to read more about the vision and mission of this extraordinary group of yogis proclaiming Christ.

The Catholic YogiA Trinitarian Focus in Yoga Practice

I still offer some independent sessions and classes and have been blessed with opportunities to share Yoga for Resilience with students at the 179th airlift wing. The chaplains there have been instrumental in bringing trauma-informed, mindfulness-based yoga practice to the base, and it’s been totally cool to share not only the physical and mental aspects of yoga, but the spiritual as well. Over the past few months I’ve also been able to share yoga practices with Christian Families who are curious about holistic health and pursuing ways they can integrate physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. (Super-Cool.)

The Wrap Up

Be on the lookout for a couple of fun new things:

By the end of the month, my first ever guided meditation will be available at Christians Practicing Yoga and right here at The Catholic Yogi. It’s called Setting Intentions for a New Year: Discovering Your Sankalpa, and I really hope you’ll check it out. I’m planning to record a few more meditations over the next couple of months, so for those of you who used to ask me to make relaxation cd’s ten, fifteen year ago (and I said,” No way!”), you’re about to get something even better, mp3 audio files in the palm of your hand. Hopefully it will be worth the wait!

The new Ask a Yogi section of the Mind Body Align newsletter will feature real questions from real people just like you — because I’m asking you to submit some! Yours truly will offer her best response, and while I don’t know everything, I promise to do my research, query my own teachers and colleagues when I need to, and bring you the most helpful and supportive information I can. (If you’re not already in the loop, follow this link to the MBA website and sign up for the newsletter, Align.)

Don’t Forget

  • Be gentle with yourself (bend your knees a little)
  • Keep practicing
  • Visit Christians Practicing Yoga & Mind Body Align to sign up for their blogs & newsletters
  • Spread the word about Mind Body Align’s MBAwareness Educational Program & summer teacher workshops
  • Check out my meditation once it goes live
  • Ask a Yogi Q & A: Submit your questions about yoga and mindfulness here
  • Forward this to anyone you think might benefit

That’s it for now, friends. I look forward to seeing you at the studio and teaching your kids in the classroom. Until then, Happy Practicing!

The Catholic Yogi

(Photos by Pexels)

Yoga Check-in and Summer Schedule Addition

Hello, Yoga Friends,

Our Spring Session will officially come to a close following this Thursday morning’s Gentle Yoga and Chair Yoga classes.  Thank you all so much for your dedication to your practice.

We have a happy addition to our summer schedule:  July Weekend Workshops, “Yoga Fundamentals,” a great opportunity for those who have never experienced a yoga class, or those relatively new to yoga practice.  Click or tap here for full details and descriptions.  Consider passing this information along to anyone you think might be interested.  And please know that if your friend or family member wants to attend but is hesitant and doesn’t want to go alone, you may join in at no cost.  This way you can reap the benefits of “starting over” while being a great support partner!

If you’ve never attended an outdoor yoga class, consider trying Yoga on the Lawn this year.  It’s not your typical studio experience.  Practicing outside

“Voyager,” sculpted by Linda Brunker. Photo by M.D. Swank.

helps us let go of the need to orchestrate everything “just so.”  Instead, we step into nature, and she is in control:  the wind blows when it wants, the sun shines, the clouds cast shadows, the temperature changes, the deer peek out from behind the trees, and an ant or two find their way beneath our downward dogs.  I’m reminded each year, “Ah, yes, this is Yoga Practice!”  With no walls or ceiling to set our boundaries, the sky inspires us to expand and open ourselves up to possibility; and the uneven ground beneath our feet challenges us to embrace “imperfection,” to laugh and to stop taking ourselves so darn seriously.  Yoga outside is one of life’s simple joys.   (If you would like to receive text notifications regarding Yoga on the Lawn cancellations, please click or tap here for sign up instructions.)

Finally, we might have a Yoga for Life Benefit Class opportunity open up sometime this summer, so keep your eye out for another addition.  Hospice of North Central Ohio and the Landree Rennpage ’03 Memorial Scholarship Fund are both very thankful for your generous gifts earlier this Spring.

I’ll leave you with my current favorite prayer, and offer faith and hope that all will be well with your soul.

Happy Practicing,

The Catholic Yogi

“My Lord God,
I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always,
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death,
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me to face my perils alone. ”
~ Thomas Merton



Yoga Updates Spring 2018

Happy Spring, Yoga friends,  even if it doesn’t feel like it!

The updated Spring Schedule for 2018 is available to view under the current yoga class heading.  Please note that Early Morning Power Yoga will begin one week earlier than previously posted (April 14th instead of the 21st).

New this session:

Body Prayer, A Moving Meditation 
Donation only.  March 30th from 12:00pm – 1:30pm.   Space is limited.  Please visit Mind Body Align to register.

Chair Yoga
6 week session beginning April 19th.

Our old favorites will continue to meet with a slight time change for our Gentle Yoga class:  during spring session Gentle Yoga will meet from 9:15am – 10:15am on Thursdays.

Yoga for Life classes will benefit Hospice of North Central Ohio, as well as the Landree Rennpage ’03 Memorial Scholarship Fund.  Two great opportuities to give back to our local community.

Select any of the above highlighted links for descriptions and full details.  And feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might benefit.

Thank you, as always, for your continued interest in yoga.

With gratitude and good wishes for a happy practice,

The Catholic Yogi