Sunday, November 23, 2014

Being grateful

Thanksgiving is next week and as I reflect on the things I am grateful for my yoga students come into my mind every time.  I am grateful for their desire and commitment to bring their intentions to class and be present with me as the days get shorter and the cold sets in.
I have given my students the opportunity to post about what has stood out the most for them this quarter and what they have received from the classes.


  1. After taking this yoga class I will continue a practice moving forward. Between my yoga and strength training classes I've noticed an improvement in posture, strength, and flexibility. The corpse pose specifically allows me to be completely still and be able to destress from my current worries and stresses. What stood out the most to me was the fact that I always looked for to coming to class.

    Dwayne Goins
    11 A.M. Class

  2. I have always loved to practice yoga - I had taken many classes before and would even do yoga at home. When I first began in this class my intention was to use yoga as a tool to help me relax - to use the given hour to clear my mind and devote it to myself. This yoga class has helped me relieve a lot of tension and it was a great stress reliever - I always left class feeling refreshed! However, through out the quarter I took away a lot more than just relaxation, during the yoga sessions (especially while in corpse pose) it gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life and the decisions I make everyday. I really enjoyed this class and I always looked forward to it every week! I hope to continue in yoga and I am eager to learn more!

    Sarianne Crutcher
    11am. Class

  3. My intention in taking this class was to have a positive way to start my day and to improve my overall well-being. Although many times it has been a struggle to get up and walk to the 8:00am class; I am always glad once I make it to class. I've noticed that my day goes a lot better when I have taken yoga and it has really helped me not to stress for tests. In the beginning of the class, I always had to watch to see how to do the poses. Now when I hear what pose we're doing I know right away how to do it. I am also taking a weight training course this quarter and I think having yoga at the same time has really made a difference. Yoga helps me to stretch all the muscles that have been worked and really seems to help with the recovery process. I took a yoga class in high school and am glad I took this class during college. I hope to continue taking yoga classes throughout my life. I would love to learn more poses and get better at the poses I already know. Thank you for being such a great teacher and always making class interesting.

    Hannah Patten
    8am class

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  5. My intentions in yoga this quarter were to learn how to rid myself of negative energy and create a lot of positive energy within myself. After participating in this class I believe that I definitely learned how to do this through many of the postures, including corpse pose which I think stood out and helped me the most. With this pose I was able to take a few minutes out of my day to focus on attracting positive things into my life and letting go of all the stress and tension in my body. I really enjoyed this class and I always looked forward to going.

    Emma Alter
    11am class

  6. I have never done yoga before and I was a little hesitant. But after each session I feel so energized and relaxed; I am able to finished my homework and go to bed stress free. I enjoyed many aspects of your class; I loved the warrior postures. Another thing I enjoyed was when you sang to us, I love your voice! It was so calming to hear during the corpse pose at the end. I will defiantly take another yoga class in the future and use what I have learned at home in times of stress and much needed breathing.

    Bonnie Strange
    8pm class

    P.S. sorry I've missed some days at the end of the quarter, I've had to do some exams online and studying.

  7. I have never taken a yoga class before so at the beginning of the quarter I was a little nervous because I've always heard it was hard. After the first class I felt welcome and ready to see what yoga would do for my body. I definitely plan on taking more classes in the future.
    After having surgery on a ruptured achilles I lost a lot of mobility in that ankle. This class has given me a lot more strength and balance doing all of the different poses. It was almost like a physical therapy for me, which is awesome! Yoga has also helped me bring forth all of the positive energy in myself and live a more stress free life. I also really enjoyed learning the different types of breathing.
    I now start my days off my doing a couple poses right when I get out of bed in the morning so I feel a little more refreshed and awake!

    Megan Finger
    Tues/Thurs 8:00 pm class

  8. Coming into this class I knew that I wanted to focus on my anxiety. Rather than mellow it out with pills and who knows what I hoped to take a more holistic approach. Yoga has done wonders for me and for those around me. I am no longer spending extra time in bed because I am worried about leaving the house. My grades are the highest they have been in my 2 years at central. I attribute this to Kristen and Yoga. The postures and breathing have helped me focus my energy on more positive things and have been eye opening for me. I am excited about each day when I start off with a few simple postures. I know that yoga will continue to be a part of my life and will help keep me away from the harmful chemicals in anxiety medications.

    Kara Composano
    M.W. 11am class

  9. The thing that has stood out the most to me about taking this yoga class is how much easier it makes my days. Usually Monday mornings are very difficult because it is hard to wake up and find motivation for the day. Since I have started doing yoga I have found that waking up and going through my day feels much easier and I feel much more awake but also relaxed all day. What I have received from this class is some great methods for energizing myself to get ready for the day, how to relieve stress, and how to fit an hour of rest into 15 minutes of laying on the floor. I would love to continue taking yoga because I think it is great for the mind and body.

    Shelby Williams
    Monday/Wednesday 8:00am class

  10. Coming into this quarter I had the mindset of any other senior that wants to graduate on time. I needed 12 credits to be a full time student athlete. I talked to some of my friends and they said yoga was really good for stretching, relaxation and breathing so i decided to sign up. I also tried recruiting some of my teammates to take the class with me. Coming into the first day of class i was not really expecting much but once class started my whole mindset changed. Your class was amazing it made me so much more flexible, and put me in a much deeper sleep at night. Your passion for yoga is what really shined because it just went to show me that doing what you're passionate about is the key to our life's. However, i did think the best part about your class was the singing i really enjoyed it and wish you would have more! I hope to take more yoga classes in the future, especially ones where you will be the teacher.

    Joshua Bower
    8:00AM yoga

  11. It was not my intention to take yoga this quarter, although the concept has always interested me. Luckily my roommate convinced me to take it with her and I came to find out that I really enjoy it. Upon signing up I got really excited for the first day of class, for a great reason. I was hoping to have it help with taking some time to forget about all the stresses school carries. Nevertheless, this is exactly how yoga helped me and I am so glad that I took this class. Especially with having no idea what to expect. I am beyond eager to take more classes in the future and to continue the use of the poses I have learned through your class at home.Also, as others have pointed out, my favorite part of your class was when you sang to us during the corpse pose. You have a beautiful voice!

    Thank you so much,
    Sierra Hobley
    Tuesday and Thursday Class at 8:00 pm

  12. Coming in as a student athlete my goal was to become more flexible to increase my athletic performance. This class not only helped me get more flexible but changed my life. This class gave me something to look forward to every monday and wednesday! I learned breathing and relaxation techniques that will help me for life. The kind spirit of my instructor made this class memorable for me. I got a great start to my day and it helped cleanse my soul. In that hour of class all my worries faded away and nothing else mattered. This class was a blessing and i would recommend it to anyone. Thank you for opening my eyes to yoga. The highlight of the class for me is when you sang for us. You are an amazing teacher and i will definitely be taking another yoga class as soon as i can.

  13. I decided to take yoga in college because I'd done a few classes throughout high school and loved it! I know that yoga is great for taking a few moments out of our busy lives to just breathe and be at peace; it's been such a great thing for me and my roommate this quarter. I really enjoyed this yoga class in particular because while it was a work out, it was nothing too difficult to learn. Eventually, it felt like the class began to memorize the sequences, and for me, I could relax more knowing I was doing the correct movements. I also loved that we got to hear really chill music throughout each class, and I loved when our teacher sang for us.

    Thank you so much for giving my roommate and I such a GREAT beginning yoga experience! It is most definitely something I plan to continue using in my life to help me become a well-rounded person.

  14. I have been told by almost every music teacher I have had that I am too tense and I should take yoga. It took a few years but I finally did it. My favorite parts of class were the mediation and the beginning shoulder stretches. My mind is usually going a million miles an hour and it was nice learning how to relax and not necessarily clear my mind but just let thoughts pass through instead of freaking out about everything. The full class meditation was a strange experience. At some times I wasn't sure if I could move my arm if I tired which was a bit frightening but became a relaxing experience in the end. Meditation is definitely a practice that I will try doing before auditions and performances to become more focused on the present which is something I am struggling with while performing. The shoulder stretches are something I do quite often while practicing since that is where most of my tension is after a previous sport injury. I also enjoyed the way you describe mountain posture with tightening your inner thigh. That kind of strong stance is helpful to think about when playing. Overall I was very pleased with the class and will continue to do some of the yoga postures to help with my music.

    Sabrina McGlothlin
    M/W 8am

  15. My intention to try out this class was to become more flexible. Last summer I spent a lot of time getting fit. I began reading some quotes from one of my personal heroes, Bruce Lee, and he spoke about flexibility being a type of strength that can bring your muscles to the next level. Learning yoga has definitely helped me towards my goal of becoming more fit. It is amazing how less my muscles feel fatigued after an arduous workout.
    I don’t practice yoga everyday, but I do for most of the days of the week. From wanting to become physically stronger, unexpectedly I found that yoga also helps me in an indescribable profound way deep within myself. I find myself thinking about my body a lot more and am aware of my daily postures and how they affect my mood. One time I remember you saying in class, “Your body has been with you your entire life, so thank it.” This blew my mind. For some reason I never thought about that, and then it led to me thinking, “How was I so disconnected from myself this long?”
    Yoga has taught me a lot about myself in a way that I never thought possible before. I feel like the western part of the world we live in is becoming less and less attached to the spiritual and philosophical aspects of the human soul. It’s nice to have an eastern world influence there to open my mind and body. I’ve come to learn that life is about balance, and I feel like yoga is an extension of finding balance within ourselves.

    David Ashton
    M/W 8am

  16. My reason for taking yoga was to be able to take some kind of PE class without having to worry about anything too demanding. In the seventh grade I was pulled out of all sports and PE classes due to poor health. I haven’t been able to work out in seven years and I really wanted to stop neglecting my body’s needs. With this class, I hoped to build my self-confidence, flexibility and help cope with stress.
    Surprisingly, I actually got more from this class than I had expected. I am a lazy, lazy person and normally, I wasn’t one to pay much attention to my diet or lack thereof. However, after I started taking care of my body with yoga, I began to eat healthier. As well as a better diet, my stomach started behaving better.
    Yoga also helped reduce my anxiety, depression and overall mood. On days I did yoga, I was always more cheerful and light hearted. I would go to class after a bad Sunday or Tuesday, still upset and uncomfortable, and by the end of the 50min. it would all just melt away. All of the sudden, I had a way to find peace. I began doing more yoga on my own before bed and my insomnia began to lessen. I could sleep more nights than not for the first time in years!
    I could not be more grateful that I took this class. For once, things were getting better and I didn’t have to spend my entire existence worrying and being sick.

    Grace Baird
    M/W 11aam

  17. The reason why I chose to take yoga this year was because I was told at some point I needed at least one credit of some type of physical education. When I looked at my options yoga was a definite choice. I had always wanted to take a class some point in my life, so when I got the opportunity I jumped on it.
    To my surprise I actually enjoyed it. I started feeling better about myself, and after the first couple classes I was noticeably happier. I was a very negative person. I would always look at the downsides to every situation and its always been something I had wanted to change. Soon there was so much positivity in my life that I started to notice I was no longer looking at life in such a negative way. Yoga taught me to relax in times of stress and to just take a deep breath. I noticed that at the end of each class the problems I had at the start were no longer problems by the end of that class.
    Yoga was nothing but a positive experience for me and I am so grateful that I took the opportunity I was given to do this. I have definitely shared some of the poses with my family and I can see myself continuing with yoga.

    Halie Romo
    M/W 8:00 am

  18. My sister has wanted me to take yoga for two years now. I finally signed up for this class and was so excited to start practicing yoga. I am beyond satisfied. My first intention was to be a happier person. I can now say, especially in the last couple of weeks that I am very happy. Practicing yoga is so relaxing and I have a really hard time finding time to do that for myself. I have high anxiety, especially in social settings and about money. This class has been a safe place for me throughout the quarter and I have never not wanted to come to class.

    My second intention was to become a stronger person, both mentally and physically. I have done that. Mentally I feel like I can tackle each day with a more positive attitude. I feel like I have had the most change in my physical strength. I remember the first couple weeks of class I had a hard time finding my balance and I would sweat through class with heavy breaths in between poses. Now I can really focus on my breath without needing to catch it and my balance just kind of follows. Ive never been able to focus on myself like this before.

    I can't wait to continue practicing yoga at home, over break and when I am done with school with my sister. I have made it a necessity to practice now. I am a better person with yoga and I can't imagine giving it up now.

    Kristen Smith
    T/TH 8:00pm

  19. I never really had any intention of wanting to do yoga before the school year began. There were so many people telling me to take it to help me become less stressed, I tend to work myself up and stress myself out throughout the day so I decided to give yoga a shot. Now that I am finishing the quarter of yoga, I am very satisfied and beyond exited to carry on this new hobby of mine.I can not explain how much yoga helped me after each day I took the class. For an 8 am class it was very early for me, but it always made me wide awake after and felt so calm and relaxed for the rest of the day. I have found that I have become a more positive person and whenever things get rough, I try to do some of the things I have learned in the classroom when I have time and relax myself. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to take this class to help me relax myself emotionally and physically. It was such a positive expierence and an activity I plan to carry on!

    Janea Taylor
    M/W 8:00am

  20. I really enjoyed taking yoga this quarter. I think that having the class be the last thing I do for two days per week has helped me get to sleep better. I always feel really relaxed afterwards, which is a great feeling.
    Katie Beaird
    T/Th 8pm

  21. I have recently developed some pretty serious back problems. Being able to take this yoga class gives me temporary relief two times a week for an hour. Not only that, I have learned so many yoga poses that I do when I'm just relaxing at home. I do child's pose almost every night before bed and it helps me feel so much better. I look forward to taking more yoga classes and adopting such a peaceful lifestyle.
    It was a pleasure to take a class from you.
    Kelsey Westermann
    Fall 2014 T/Th @ 8pm

  22. I loved taking this yoga class! Every time I missed a session, I could tell my body was more stiff. I am planning on taking this class next quarter in the morning. I want to do this because I found that after yoga I definitely always feel relaxed, but I also feel like I am energized! I am looking forward to having energetic Monday and Wednesdays. This class has also help improve my posture, which is something I've always wanted to work on.

  23. Kristen!
    I waneed to thank you so much for holding this class, and taking us on an amazing journey. I was wicked timid going into this class, but you being so easy to feel comfortable around really made it easy to love. I gained a lot of confidence in myself and some more back strength which was ultimatley what I hoped to get out of this class. So thank you so much!!
    Cassie Bowen
    Tues/Thurs 8pm

  24. My intention in taking this class was to once again be in tune with my body, and take the first steps in regaining the fitness I once had as a dancer, before Crohn's took over my life. In the past I had not practiced yoga on a daily basis, just a few basic poses while warming up for dance classes. For the past two years, I had been unable to do much more than climb my stairs as my body withered away to literally skin and bones. After a bowel resection in March, I was given a second chance and a new outlook on life.

    The first decision I made after being admitted to CWU was to take Yoga. I knew that I would enjoy it, and I wanted to see where it could take me. I can say with certainty that I have improved from that first day, both in body and mind; my flexibility is coming back slowly but surely, with the most noticeable difference being in my abdominal muscles and hips. I am also finding that my stress level has been more manageable. The class has given me a solid foundation for my own daily practice at home, and further yoga classes.

    Thank you Kristin for such a wonderful experience. You create an environment full of peace and relaxation (despite the background noise in the gym!). I look forward to taking classes from you in the future!
    Alex Susser
    M/W 8am

  25. I'm so glad I took this class. college can be stressful, shoot life can be stressful and his class helped me thru so much of the stress, he aches and the transitions I've endored so far this year. In class Kristin taught a self affirmation thing, and now I do it daily. I tell myself everyday I'm smart, I'm beautiful, I'm confident. And I feel that way too! Along with breathing excerisis and stretches, I've taken so much of this class home with me.

    Thank you so much for an unforgettable quarter

  26. This is the second post attempt. I use gmail rarely and I can't find out how to share via a Yahoo! account. Yoga at night was the perfect wind down routing for me. I drove to Wenatchee right after class and I attribute yoga as having increased my alertness for the lengthy drives. Yoga also capped my 3 hour long stints in the CWU dance studio (Dance Fusion and Kickboxing Aerobics prior to). Aside from the immediate I also notice an increase in awareness associated to my breathing, and flexibility of my limbs. I may need more class involvement to establish a personal practice. I see this quarter's class as a crash course in yoga that will direct me toward future opportunities.

    Chad Horton
    8pm Class
    Fall 2014

  27. I had never taken a yoga class before but had done some yoga here and there. At first I thought that this class was difficult but then I started to relax more as the quarter went on and started to become more flexible. My intentions at the beginning of the quarter were to lose weight but by the end of the quarter I didn't care about losing the weight as much because I learned to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I usually have a really hard time relaxing and this class helped me relax to where I find that I am more relaxed outside of this class too. This class has also helped me with my breathing. Thank you for creating such a wonderful atmosphere and a fantastic class.
    Best wishes,
    Shona Walker
    Tu/Th 8pm
    Fall 2014

  28. I really enjoyed this class as it was the first Yoga class I have taken. I really enjoyed the new breathing exercises you taught us. I found that when I was doing homework and needed a break to refresh my focus I would use them and would feel way better. Yoga helped me relax and notice the things that were making me tense and feel uncomfortable during the day. When I first started I was not sure what to expect and was nervous going into it but I soon relaxed and was able to enjoy myself and relax more. Outside of yoga I feel more relaxed and I now know ways to take a step back and just be still and breathe. To stop the worrying and be calm and at peace. Thank you for everything you did for our class this quarter. I truly enjoyed myself!
    Tu/Th 8pm
    Danielle Rogers
    Fall 2014

  29. I thoroughly enjoyed this class. While I was unsure about what to expect I was pleasantly surprised. The stretches and breathing exercises that you taught us throughout the quarter were very beneficial. I use the breathing exercises daily while working on my online classes and at work as I am graduating this quarter and have been more stressed about my job and working than I have been in the past, Thank you for everything you taught us this quarter. I found that I really enjoyed yoga and I hope to take another class sometime in the future.
    Kaylee Keddy
    Fall 2014