Pottstown’s High Street Yoga; Room to Stretch, Quiet to Reflect

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The North Coventry Food Pantry Needs Your Help!

I volunteer at the North Coventry Food Pantry and received this heart breaking e-mail. Their shelves are bare and they need to feed 70 local families. If you live locally please consider donating food, money or your time. Also please consider donating for the Make a Difference Day. You can drop off any donations at the yoga studio or contact me and we can meet. If you don’t live in Pa check out your local food pantry and see if you can make a difference there.

On Oct. 23rd the OJR School district is hosting a “Make a Difference Day” event at the middle school to collect food to benefit the North Coventry Food Pantry. Please check the school district website for additional information. Each school will be hosting a collection during the month. There is also an unofficial kickoff to the event this Friday at the OJR football game. They will be accepting donations at the door.

I have just finished packing our food for distribution for the month of October. I have to tell you that in my 5 + years of volunteering for the food pantry I have never seen the shelves so bare. I have attached some pictures for everyone to see just how low we are on food. We are really relying on this food drive In Oct. to help us thru the winter months. We are currently serving approx. 70 families. We continue to have 2 or 3 new families each month. The food we receive each month from the department of agriculture (what we call our State food) has decreased in the past couple of months. It is supposed to be considered a 3 day supply of food for our clients. Last month we only received peanut butter, apple sauce, cheddar cheese soup, juice, and a frozen meat. For the month of Oct. we received apple sauce, egg noodles, dried milk and peaches, orange juice and 1 meat. We are relying more than ever on the donated food to supplement what the state is giving us.

As you can see in the pictures the shelves are empty. If we had to pack for our Nov. distribution with what I have on the shelves the boxes would be very light. I would say we have about 2 months of vegetables and soups left. We try to give 4 cans of each out. We have a 1 month supply (each client only receiving 1 can or box) of the following: fruit, pasta, canned pasta, tuna, peanut butter, mac and cheese, beans, and Ramen noodles. We are completely out of breakfast items, jelly, desserts, and sides dishes. We have not had enough "luxury" items to hand out lately like toothpaste and soap. We have been purchasing our toilet paper and paper towels products for the last few months. We were fortunate to have a monterary donation from Grainger to help us with those items.

Thank you to those individuals, businesses and organizations that continue to support us each month with donations and time volunteering. Please help if possible in making this "Make a Difference Day" event a success for our community.

Monday, September 20, 2010

My Other Yoga Blog

A few months ago I ran across something in my local news paper, the Pottstown Mercury. It was a 'call to all local bloggers.' They created a link to their on line paper linking local bloggers, called The Town square Bloggers. I submitted my High Street Yoga blog and heard back from the editor. She indicated that she enjoyed the blog and that there were no other yoga or yoga related bloggers. The only 'problem' was that my blog clearly represents my business. It lists schedules, prices, contact info etc. The purpose of the community blog program isn't advertising. This I understood. So the plan was for me to create a new blog site; one with a new name, a new look and none of the business stuff. I was excited about the opportunity and brainstormed titles with friends and came up with Yoga Wisdom for Everyday. I try to write about how yoga can carry over off the mat and that was the inspiration behind the name. Now, I double post. Anything I post to the High Street Yoga blog, I post to Yoga Wisdom. I didn't want to get rid of my High Street page because it is still a nice resource for individuals looking for yoga in the community.

Check out my other page. It has a new look. I decided to use Wordpress instead of blogger. It took some time for me to figure out the details but I like the layout and the look. You can also sign up to receive e-mails of the blogs when I post.


Friday, September 17, 2010

Yoga Kids

I teach Yoga Kids once a month for 45 minutes to a local Mom’s Club. The kids range in age from 1- 5. I am a former teacher and spent most of my time teaching in a resource classroom. That means I had kids in my class that needed small group instruction. Ideally kids are grouped by similar age, ability and subject. Since most of my teaching career was inner city or rural that didn’t always happen. Often I had to teach math to an older group and reading to a younger group at the same time. Needless to say I was good at multi tasking.

I began teaching Yoga Kids to the Mom’s Club about a year ago. The age range and interest level of the group are varied. The prospect of this did not daunt me. (I was a former resource teacher I reassured myself!) I made up my own curriculum, ABC Yoga. For each letter of the alphabet I created poses in the shape of an animal, plant or something in nature. I imagined talking about the alphabet, colors and numbers and various preschool skills while moving and stretching. I had fun finding yoga books, making flash cards with animal pictures on them, learning fun animal facts that I planned to weave into the class. I gathered an array of lively music, from kid’s reggae to Hawaiian music. I planned and had a back up plan. Preparing for class was fun and reminded me of my old teaching days.

I’ll never forget the first class I taught with the Mom’s Club. I began our first class with stories and stretches, ‘tight rope’ walking for balance, and some fun breathing techniques that included arm movement with breath and then we began the alphabet. We started with A alligator, B Butterfly etc. etc. The older kids liked it but the younger ones lost interest. I tried to move from pose to pose quickly and change things when necessary. I’m not even sure we made it through the alphabet and by the time we got to the end where the lights go out and everyone (even the moms) lay on the floor and listen to a story about an animal, I was EXHAUSTED. Those 45 minutes wiped me out! I thought I was prepared, but I didn’t feel like it! It was a humbling experience and made me realize that I still had a lot to learn about teaching yoga to kids!

I must have done ok because each month the Yoga Kids come back. Some months there are new kids but it’s usually the ‘regulars’ I enjoy watching the kids grow and change. I notice their language develop, personalities develop, get taller, have haircuts and turn into amazing little people. Today I had the pleasure of seeing them become little yogi’s. Several of the girls walked in, set up their mats and began doing downward dog, and down ward dog splits. Another little one was doing her version of Bridge Pose. When we got to U for upside down they all went to the wall for handstands and remembered exactly how to get into them. No one needed Mommy support today! I was so proud of the littlest High Street Yogi’s. The littlest yogi has been coming along with his sisters since he was 1. Even as a 1 year old he loved down dog. Today he discovered ‘upside down’ and for the rest of the class he made his way back to the wall for more handstands!

Today we enjoyed ‘om’ing for as long was we could. Everyone had a turn ringing the gong/chime and during the final relaxation period I played the Namaste’ Song 3 times! There were NO wiggles and the room was quiet! At the end of each class we sit in a circle, bend our knees and stamp one foot and then the other and chant ‘yo’ ‘ga’ I love the ritual of it.

After class I felt so proud of the little yogi’s. I felt energized and not exhausted! They’ve grown and I’ve grown along with them. I look forward to many more months and years of Yoga Kids.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Yoga For A Cure: Part Two

"Yoga for the Cure 2," the second fund-raiser to benefit a High Street Yogi’s participation in the three-day Breast Cancer Walk For The Cure, is being held on October 1, 2010 (Friday) from 7-9 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Pottstown, 750 North Evans Street, Pottstown PA.

The event will be a relaxing evening of gentle yoga followed by tea, coffee, desserts, henna tattoos, chair massage, and giveaways. The money to be raised will be part of a $2,000 goal for participants walking 20 miles daily for three consecutive days to combat breast cancer.

A similar yoga fund-raiser conducted during June raised $640.

A suggested donation for the event is $20.00, and advance reservations are requested. Organizers are also looking for people who are willing to donate products, gift certificates, or services for the giveaway raffles. For more information or to make a reservation, call Barbara at 484-525-5204

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sound Meditation Every Sunday at St. Peters Bakery

After being evacuated from our family vacation because of Hurricane Earle I returned to PA and decided to make the most of the rest of our ‘stay-cation’ Saturday morning I attended an intense (and completely out of my element) vinyasa Yoga class at a local studio.

Since we weren’t playing in the sand and surf I was determined to enjoy the time off with family and time for myself and found the perfect way to relax on Sunday morning at a sound mediation class taught by Dave Antonio.

I met Dave Antonio about a year ago when he came to High Street Yoga and did a Yoga Class with Live Music. Dave plays the didgeridoo, gong, sitar, world flutes and guitar. Recently he began a Sound Meditation Class at a St. Peters Bakery. The bakery is in a small village that sits along French Creek. The mediation class was held on the lower level deck with the back drop of the rocks and the sound of the creek. Sunday morning was cool and clear with low humidity. It was a perfect September day and a perfect morning. Participants brought lawn chairs, yoga mats or blankets to sit on or lay on. We all settled in to our spot and Dave began to play. He played continuously and flowed from one instrument to the next. He walked around with his didgeridoo so participants could feel the sound vibration. The music was healing and meditative and the setting perfect. Patrons of the bakery sat on the upper deck listening and families walked by on their way to the creek. I hope to get to many more of Dave’s sound meditation events at the bakery while the weather is warm and enjoy the healing benefits of sound and meditation.


Sunday Morning Sound Mediation 11am at St. Peter's Bakery