Yoga: What’s The Point?

Most of us know “exercise” isn’t exactly the point of stepping onto a yoga mat (although it’s an excellent side effect). But, what IS the reason we show up over and over again, then? Yoga definitely registers high on the self care matrix for most people…but why? Most yoga practices involve mindful movement – some […]

Pro-tips for Beginning a Home Practice

One of the reasons coming in to Renkon Yoga Studio FEELS SO GOOD is this: we put a lot of thought and energy into creating a space that feels sacred for you. Consider some of these ideas to help your home yoga practice feel extra-special. CHOOSE A YOGA NOOK: This can be in a tucked-away […]

How does yoga help with stay home orders?

The idea of another month of staying home, the continuation of financial extremis and uncertainties about health and safety is a lot to bear. Without simplifying the anxiety and fear this extension is sure to carry, we want to encourage you to continue (or begin) a regular yoga practice as a form of self-care and […]

Notes from Mother Nature

We’re all basically house plants with more complicated emotions. The day before, this sweetie pie pictured above was limp with dust on its leaves way up on a high shelf that left it neglected from watering and too far from the sun. It looked “sad” and hopeless. I actually wondered if it was too far […]

The times, they ain’t easy

The times, they ain’t easy (what an understatement), but there sure are spots of sweetness blessing us in between the worries. The future is full of uncertainty. Even so, I hope none of us wait for this to be over to start living into the moments. Between the hustle and hunkering down, the mask-making and e-learning, […]

Perspectives On Social Distancing

As the temps begin warming and the sun comes out fulltime to welcome spring to our central Illinois region, we’re going to see a huge influx of people getting out in the world for some much-needed respite from sheltering in place at home. While fresh air, sunshine, and exercise/mindful movement is critical for our health, […]

It’s Not a Contest

There’s legit no contest. No one’s pain is more important. No one’s grief is more valuable. It really doesn’t matter if their struggle is harder or easier than yours. It matters not if the cards are stacked against you and someone else has better odds. (I mean, it does from a social justice perspective and […]

During Times of Duress, Try Expanding Your Awareness

It’s really easy to be bombarded with thoughts of doom and dread. The news, your newsfeed, and probably most of your thoughts are being flooded with information about the pandemic, the death tolls, the lack of PPE and the extension of shelter in place order timelines. As a result, our survival fears are being constantly […]

TLC for your Yoga Mat

Think about your yoga mat for a moment. Is it becoming like a trusted friend? Your go-to place when you feel the need for some tender loving care? When you are in need of invigoration? Relaxation? Contemplation? Even a good cry? Your yoga mat is with you through it all. Your trusty yoga mat may […]

It’s OK

It’s ok if you’re afraid. It’s normal if you’re worried. These are heavy times. Feel what you feel. Tell a kind human what you’re feeling. Tell your journal what you’re feeling. Tell your cat what you’re feeling. Tell the wind what you’re feeling. Don’t keep it to yourself. Say it out loud. Move it to […]

A Review of “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self,” a book by Stephen Cope

Yoga And The Quest For The True Self begins where many personal quests begin, at a point of deeply felt loss—in this (the author’s) case, a relationship involving infidelity and abandonment. And, as people often do when faced with a traumatic life event, he decides on a yearlong sabbatical from his practice as a Boston psychotherapist. […]

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to find energy, focus, or rhythm

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and struggling to find energy, focus, or rhythm to find your way through the days during this challenging time, here’s a message from our hearts to yours: We see you. This is hard. Life got really, really extra recently. On top of what was already pretty big for some of us. Tiny […]

And here we are…

“Learn to watch your drama unfold while at the same time knowing you are more than your drama.” – Ram Dass Last Sunday, I stepped into an unknown world, full of fears and concerns, media cycles constantly crashing into another, and people hurting and scared. I’d been sequestered on a yoga/meditation retreat, without knowing all that […]

Biohacking Grief from the Grief Unveiled podcast with Sarah Nannen and special guest Leah Carver

If you’re feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, run down and/or feeling the heartache, heartbreak and grief as life as we know it shuts down to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 (not to mention all the real life, every day experiences of grief that will continue to happen in addition to sheltering in place and closing […]

Why Is It Scary To Rest? (and Why We Must, Anyway)

When we’re afraid, it can feel scary to rest. When we’re anxious, it can seem impossible to relax. But why? The science behind it is this: we’re wired to survive. This means whenever we’re facing a challenge, our physiological systems automatically rev up to help us do what it takes to get ourselves to safety. […]

Finding Gratitude In Difficult Times (How to + Why Bother)

We’re in the midst of a worldwide pandemic. Talking about gratitude right now can seem a little…out of touch… But here’s the thing: Gratitude doesn’t bypass or negate all that is full of fear and unknowns. All that big stuff is still out there in the world and here in our hearts and heavy on our shoulders. […]

Inner Peace is There For You (And How to Seek It Safely When the World Gets Freaky)

As a trauma-informed yoga teacher, I’m never going to tell you NOT to feel something you’re feeling. If you’re afraid, feel it. If you’re worried, feel it. If you’re anxious, feel it. If you’re overwhelmed, feel it. It’s real and it’s our collective reality right now. The least healthy thing any of us can do […]

This is Why We Practice

Times like these, they feel so heavy. This is why we practice. The anxiety is palpable, the fear is so real. This is why we practice. There are no answers in plain sight, only questions, half-truths, and unknowns. This is why we practice. While a daily mindfulness and yoga practice won’t make this COVID-19 nightmare […]

What is wellness?

What is Wellness?

Wellness isn’t supposed to feel like suffering, depletion, and longing. Wellness isn’t supposed to feel like self-loathing, criticism, and shame. Wellness isn’t captured in the right sequence of numbers. Wellness isn’t an impossible quest for an unattainable, photoshopped image of false perfection. Wellness is supposed to be FOR you. And it’s being used against you. […]

One good thing at a time.

🙏One good thing at a time. . This is what sustainable change and growth looks like. . ✨one good thing at a time. . ✨one itty bitty, insignificant feeling step forward. . ✨one day… . ✨one moment… . ✨one breath at a time. . We see you. ✊️ . 👉It’s November 1. There’s snow on the […]

Take a moment…

“Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: the Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time — past and future — the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing […]

Grounding – The Science Behind Going Barefoot

“Because sometimes lying under trees and walking barefoot on the earth is the most spiritual thing you could ever do in your life “ –Unknown There’s nothing better than kicking off my shoes and socks, and walking around barefoot.  Be it a yoga studio, my home, my courtyard or patio, I just love the feeling all […]

Can I get an OM?!?!

What is OM?  Why do yogis chant it?  How do you practice it and what is the secret sauce of it? · Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of yoga sessions · Coming from Hinduism and Yoga, the mantra is considered to have high spiritual and creative power […]


“Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory.”  Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois I practice yoga EVERY DAMN DAY – just like the hashtag on social media says.  I also teach yoga classes, public and private.  My teaching is not my personal practice, nor is my daily practice my teaching – for the most part.  Each influences the […]

Walking in Circles ….a Labyrinth Meditation

“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.  With each step, the wind blows.  With each step, a flower blooms.” – Thich Nhat Hanh When I was at Duke Integrative Medicine in June, I was pleasantly surprised to see a labyrinth on campus. The setting was […]

Yoga Bliss, Yoga Euphoria…

“If you consciously let your body take care of you, it will become your greatest ally and trusted partner” – Deepak Chopra Yoga bliss, yoga stoned, yoga euphoria, that drool worthy feeling after transitioning from a pose or from a yoga class.  If you’ve ever experienced it, you know how mind-blowing it feels both physically […]

Deep Breaths… and Obnoxious Sighs

“Take a big inhale, filling up the belly, expanding the side ribs… and release it with a long obnoxious sigh.” Familiar words to you?  If you said yes, then you’ve likely taken one of my yoga classes.  If you’ve heard it in my yoga class, there is a chance you’ve also heard the logic behind […]

Riding the Wave at Duke Integrative Medicine

“What a long strange trip its been” Jerry Garcia I was fortunate to embark on a learning adventure at Duke University Integrative Medicine in June, completing the Mindful Yoga for Cancer Professional Training course. Lead by Kimberly and Jim Carson, myself and 7 wonderful ladies had the journey of a lifetime.  Seriously – a drool worthy professional […]

Restorative Yoga – The Science Behind the Stillness

“You lie there not doing anything, just being—something most of us feel too guilty or strung out to do on our own. “- Unknown We live in a ‘do’ and ‘go’ world, where we’re always connected, moving, and competing.  Many of us judge ourselves by a list of accomplishments and/or returns.  It’s hard to disconnect or […]

Why Yoga for Cancer?

“Life happens while you’re busy dreaming” A dear friend of mine, Kelly, came face to face with reality, and life, in the fall of 2017.  I remember the day her husband, one of my closest friends, told me they found cancer in her colon, and she was going for more tests.  I will never forget […]

Daily Mindfulness – Why/What/Where/How?

Cambridge Dictionary – “The practice of being aware of your body, mind, and feelings in the present moment, thought to create a feeling of calm.” Lifehacker – “Mindfulness has many synonyms. You could call it awareness, attention, focus, presence, or vigilance. The opposite, then, is not just mindlessness, but also distractedness, inattention, and lack of […]

How Yoga Has Changed My Life

I found yoga later in life at age 45 in 2012 when I was invited by a friend to attend class and I immediately felt at hOMe. As a previously self-diagnosed type-A nervous nelly, I attribute yoga to the transformation of myself into a place of authenticity, acceptance, self-love, peace, and calm which I always […]

The WHYs of Yoga: The Breath of Life

Some times we need a ‘kick’. Think of WHYs of Yoga to motivate you to yoga class or to practice yoga and meditation at home. This is a series of blog posts with one of the many WHYs that yoga is so beneficial for your mind and body. Allow this WHY, The Breath of Life, to be […]

Restorative Yoga – What and Why

The antidote to stress is relaxation – Judith Lasater You lie there not doing anything, just being—something most of us feel too guilty or strung out to do on our own. – Unknown We live in a ‘do’ and ‘go’ world, where we are always connected, moving, and many times, competing.  Many of us judge ourselves […]

The WHYs of Yoga : Blood is Flowing

Some times we need a ‘kick’. The WHYs of yoga are how I motivate myself to get to yoga class and practice yoga and meditation at home. This is the third in a series of blog posts with one of the many WHYs that yoga is so beneficial for our mind and body. It is my hope that this […]

The WHYs of Yoga: Squeezing and Soaking

Some times we need a ‘kick’. The WHYs of yoga are how I motivate myself to get to yoga class and practice yoga and meditation at home. This is the second in a series of blog posts with one of the many WHYs that yoga is so beneficial for our mind and body. It is my hope that this […]

Yoga and Depression – My Story

For most of my life, I’ve suffered from dysthymic depression, addictive behaviors, and trauma.  One of the reasons I came to yoga was to find relief from my pain and to learn more about my mental landscape. At the time, I probably wouldn’t have used those words. I remember that I was searching for meaning […]

Meditation – why/what/where/how?

Have you ever been frustrated with a piece of technology, like your phone, computer, home wi-fi or cable? And after numerous attempts at trying to ‘fix’ it, you end up shutting it off for a few minutes, walking away… then come back to turn it on and magically, it works? Meditation is similar, but the technology impacted […]

WHY Does Yoga Help You Feel Good? Flexibility and Bone Health

WHY does yoga help you feel good? If you are like me, you wish to understand the science behind how yoga works to improve physical and mental health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay. An understanding of WHY yoga helps you feel so good can be that motivational kick to step onto […]

“No, for now”

There’s a statement a very wise woman once shared with me that goes something like…”no, for now” If you’re a mama who follows me on Facebook as well as one who has attended one or both of my Sunday yoga offerings you might notice that my classes are no longer available on the Studio site […]

Calming image of stacked rocks in a forest setting

What if….

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions, or know folks who do, for the purpose of improving themselves or learning a new skill.  And as we know, read, or learn via others, most of those resolutions are discarded well before the end of January. Many times the effort is too great, life gets in the […]

1000 Hours of Teaching Yoga

As many of our tribe knows, via social media and/or attending my restorative yoga class on November 30, I recently reached the HUGE milestone of teaching 1000 hours of yoga, advancing my certification to an experienced yoga teacher at the 200 hour level of certification (E-RYT200).   This is yet another certification for me, with many […]

The Relaxation Response and Vibrational Sound Therapy

I truly love giving Vibrational Sound Therapy. It offers instant gratification in the best way. It brings me the immediate satisfaction of having sincerely helped another being. It brings my clients the immediate benefits of deep relaxation of their body and mind. When the 1 hour session is completed, my clients tell me and I […]

Buti Yoga – Get Curious

Stepping out of the comfort zone is scary. Most of us have dreamt about it though. Daydreaming about the what if’s is not enough. We should all step out and experience the unknown. Buti Yoga was that for me a few years back. I came across Buti Yoga through Pinterest. It was a short 11 […]

Desiring Wanted Connection in an Obligatory Season

As the first snow began to fall outside our small-town home outside Bloomington, I thought to myself “how lovely it was to see everything so delicately blanketed in white” and simultaneously though, “here it comes”. The 6-month season Midwesterners know as winter was once again tapping at the door. It would seem that connecting with others […]

The Most Effective and Accessible Yoga Pose for ALL YOGIS

One of the most common things I’m asked as both a yogi and yoga teacher is my favorite pose or ‘what pose will fix xyz’.  Much like when I’m asked which of my 4 cats is my favorite, I just can’t do it (or for yoga poses, just 4!). My go to pose, my duct […]

The Power of a Subtle Smile

If you ever come to one of my yoga classes, be warned, I am probably going to ask you to smile. It’s a simple gesture, and most likely it’s probably something you’ve done before, but it’s also a gesture most of us don’t exercise often enough. Why smile? Researchers tell us that smiling, even when […]