outdoor studio

There have been three things that have preoccupied my mind the last two months. First is the history of food. Second, making my own pasta (and of course thinking about the history of Italian food while making it). The third is yoga. It all came together in one place for me when I went to the ONLY grocers in all Utah Valley where you can buy semolina durum flour - Sprouts, and I bought a yoga magazine in line.
Some days my children finish their breakfast/lunch/dinner before I even sit down to eat mine, so I keep a small stack of magazines near the kitchen table to read in the 5-10 quiet minutes when the children are satisfied and before I have to clean up. It took me a while to read the whole yoga magazine, but when I did I reflected on it, and made a validating realization.

The magazine interviewed a dozen or so of the nation's leading yoga instructors, the teachers who are in some way trailblazing or experimenting. They asked the same set of questions to each instructor, and every single one I read had a common theme: Yoga as an intentional choice to find healing. All of them turned to yoga after a traumatic experience that rocked their world. They said things like: "It was the bottle or the mat, and I chose the mat, thank God." Not one of the stories was, "I needed to fill an extracurricular credit in college, so I signed up for yoga and loved it." None of them stumbled upon it or took it up casually. Each of them had something horrible happen, and then deliberately chose yoga.

I occurred to me how easily my story would have fit in the pages of the magazine. "After a horrific pregnancy and childbirth, my baby was born without an esophagus and spent the next 8 months in the hospital..." It felt validating, because sometimes I'm embarrassed in front of others for my newfound passion for yoga, and how much it has done to help me heal. But I feel like I'm in good company.

We are building an outdoor yoga 'studio' in the backyard for me. I am sooooo excited. I have a teeny tiny budget to work with, but it will work because my sweet dad bought all the lumber for me. Work starts tomorrow! I'll try to take pictures, but I can't promise anything!


  1. Yet another reason that you and that backyard of yours were made for each other :)

    And I had an interesting discussion with my class at the jail today about yoga. I show them the short youtube video "Arthur's Inspirational Transformation" as an illustration for Carol Dweck's Mindset theory (fixed mindset vs. growth mindset). One of the guys in the class said that he'd ordered in a yoga book and always tried to get one of the corner cells so he'd have enough room to practice. Every time I show that video to my classes, I wish there was some way to get a yoga class going at the jail. Honestly, I think for some it could make a major change.

  2. I love your outdoor yoga studio. :D And your little yogis, too! I have been struggling with a trauma lately, and I find the perspective of the yoga instructors very interesting....I'm not drawn to it frankly; although I know there are benefits. I think I would probably just sit there and cry in class....and that wouldn't be very peaceful for anyone! Maybe it's still too raw. I am keeping busy in other ways, and that is helping. I'm so glad you have found a few things that you truly love to help you stay YOU, and continue to grow as YOU, during these overwhelming and trying times!

  3. I love this post. Happy for you...