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Share your thoughts, observations, insights, moments, fears, accomplishments, stories, poems, just about anything you like, with other yoga practitioners here in our community. Blogging can be therapeutic in its own right. It can also inspire others in many subtle and not-so-subtle ways. It can connect people, it can make internal connections for people. Whether you are a regular blogger, an in intermittent one, or haven't done it before at all you are encouraged to dive in here. You are in good company.

 

BE A PART OF HISTORY! JOIN omTown's 1ST EVER LOCAL RETREAT!

Learn more HERE and sign up EARLY
1st one is MARCH 20-22

ONLY 2 SPOTS LEFT! THESE ARE GOING QUICKLY

YOGA @ THE MUSEUM

The Milwaukee Art Museum and omTownYogis Present Yoga @ the Museum

Next class is on Sat., March 14, 8:15 - 9:30 am (doors open @ 7:45) led by Julianne Hutchcraft of YogaOne and The Soul Source.

General admission is free while donations are encouraged at the $15 level. Proceeds benefit the Museum and our Annual Grant Fund. With your donation of $15 or more you will get all day access to the Museum. Credit cards will be accepted at the event. Please bring your own mat (though a limited number of mats are available to borrow). Arriving early and pre-registering are highly recommended. Reserve your spot today by pre-registering online here. Pre-Registrations are now taken only online (requiring donation) until 5 pm the Friday evening just before the event. Walk-ins are always welcome!

1. What brought you to the practice of yoga? My own health crisis in 2007 opened my eyes and sparked my curiosity of the ancient healing practices from around the world. As a critical care nurse at the time, I was very familiar with the limitations of Western medicine when it came to my diagnosis. My inquiry lead me to explore the ancient wisdom and practices, one of which was yoga.

2. Who are some of your yoga teachers? I have had several teachers on and off the mat in my life. My grandfather's intelligent inquiry and wisdom illuminated my spiritual connection to this life at a young age. My mother continues to nurture and mentor my spiritual journey. On the mat, my most influential teacher was Theresa Murphy, when I was living in Omaha, Nebraska. She is now on the east coast and travels, offering workshops, weekend intensives and teacher trainings. I try to catch her when she hits Madison. Theresa partnered with her teacher, Tias Little of Prajna Yoga School, for her teacher training program at her (then) studio, One Tree Yoga in Omaha. Tias' skillful asana instruction, wisdom teachings, and in-­depth anatomy study took me deeper and fed me intellectually and experientially. After a 10­day intensive during TT with Tias Little, I felt radically transformed and somewhat vulnerable to my heart's truth and desires. It was freeing and a bit scary at the same time because I knew my life had changed in a much needed way. I continued my journey on the mat with several teachers that embraced teaching as not only the asana, but with the art of living your yoga, with Lora (Haase) McCarville, Lisa Kanne, Lynn Cordell, Liz Hagestad and Libba Harmon.

3. How would you describe the form of yoga you teach currently? How I teach yoga is similar to how I practice, in that, I seek a balance of styles. It's evolving but what I teach most often is a slow Vinyasa with sprinklings of Yin and a touch of Somatic Awareness Movement. I do teach a Yin class regularly, as well. I'd love to teach the Bikram sequence again someday, especially now that I'm a resident of the cold (yet Beauty­FULL) North. {TAP HERE for more JULIANNE}

TEACHER Q&A: BIZ CASMER

 Yoga @ the Museum

FEBRUARY TEACHER

BIZ CASMER 

photo by Mike Krukowski

1. What brought you to the practice of yoga? Initially, I needed to force myself to stretch and relax. I was an avid runner and one of those people that just never sat still. I had some sleep issues and injuries because I always overextended myself and someone recommended yoga. I was hooked my first class and surprisingly not to the physical challenge of it, but to savasana. I loved permission to be still and I felt more rested after 10 minutes of relaxation in yoga than a full nights sleep. I think I began my teacher training about 1 year later.

2. Who are some of your yoga teachers? My first and favorite yoga teacher, Jan Johnson, lives in St. Paul, MN -- which is where I am from. She inspired and continues to inspire me in so many ways with her energy and passion for life, Yoga, fitness and overall health/wellness. She was my first teacher and also guided me through my first yoga certification. Since then I have had the pleasure of training with Joseph & Lilian LePage. They run the Integrative Yoga Therapy program and their teaching inspired me in a completely different way. They opened my eyes to the deeper sides of yoga and I feel incredibly blessed to have spent time training and learning from them. Beyond that, my fellow yoga instructors and my students teach me something new everyday and I am grateful for being able to share the gift of yoga with so many different individuals.

3. How would you describe the form of yoga you teach currently? I am a yoga mutt. I teach from my heart and draw from all my teachers, training’s and experiences. My classes span from Vinyasa Flow to Therapeutic yoga offered in a chair. I like to be able to share Yoga with everyone, regardless of their age, shape or medical condition. When teaching larger events such as Yoga at the Museum, my personal style of yoga could be described as a mindfully paced Vinyasa Flow -- typically themed around opening or balancing a specific energy center (Chakra) within the body. I teach to All Levels, so my yoga classes will always include many options for all to enjoy.

4. Where do you teach? I currently teach at INVIVO Wellness, Haleybird Studios, fertility based yoga at Practice Longevity in Brookfield, and in peoples homes.

5. Why do you teach? I teach because I have personally felt the life changing effects of yoga. I want others to have the same transformation -- so I share the physical, energetic and emotional side of yoga with anyone who is open to the experience. {tap for more Biz}

teacher Q&A with PJ Heffernan

1. What brought you to the practice of yoga?
A desire to train my mind and body in the most effective way. Vanity and the allure of power, all the wrong reasons.

2. Who are some of your yoga teachers?
Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, his daughter Saraswati and grandson Sharath. Sharath Jois is my main teacher. He has been working patiently with me for 10 years and he still hasn't given up. I pray and give thanks for him everyday. He has been my greatest light and guide for me so far in this life. I still visit Richard Freeman's studio and my bro Noah Williams to practice with him at least once a year for a few weeks. I also studied Iyengar yoga with Janet Lilly and Gabriel Halpern 15-20 years back. I still use Iyengar basics in my practice and my adjustments. My wife is also an Authorized Level 2 Ashtanga teacher and a bad ass wonder woman so she is my everyday teacher. She adjusts me every day. She inspires me and corrects me when I am lazy. Lately every thing and every person has been teaching me. I still don't feel qualified to teach. 

3. How would you describe the form of yoga you teach currently?  
Pure for sure Ashtanga Yoga as taught by Shri K. Pattabhi Jois.

TEACHER Q&A: PAULA BIASI

1. What brought you to the practice of yoga?

I have always had a curiosity about and an inclination for physical movement practices and an interest in health. I took my first formal yoga class as an undergraduate dance major in Chicago. The only thing I remember learning are the Sun Salutations, but what stuck was the happiness and peacefulness I felt after leaving the class.

 

2. Who are some of your yoga teachers?  

The teacher that had the first and biggest influence on me was Christina Sell. I used to take classes from her in a small studio in Arizona before she was internationally recognized. Other local teachers who have influenced me are Sarah Filzen, Peggy Hong and my fellow teachers. And I am hugely inspired by the Iyengar lineage.

 

3. How would you describe the form of yoga you teach currently? 

Alignment based hatha yoga with an emphasis on injury prevention and recovery.

 

4. Where do you teach?

I currently teach yoga at Invivo Wellness and independently. I am also a certified Pilates teacher and offer yoga and pilates class at the Teva Pilates studio at the JCC. Other than teaching I am a full time Physical Therapist Assistant and offer classes in the PT clinic. {CLICK FOR MORE PAULA...}

TEACHER Q&A: LYNN REIF

omToan Yogis is happy to announce September's Yoga @ the Museum teacher is Lynn Reif, owner of Ashtanga Circle. Learn more about Lynn at the Ashtanga Circle web site and here with omTown Yogis' 10 Q's...

1. What brought you to the practice of yoga?   

Fate, and a fascination with balance...

2. Who are some of your yoga teachers?  

There have been many generous teachers in my experience. Those on the top of that list that have embedded their voice, expanded my horizon, passed no judgment, and stabilized the ground underneath me are: Sri K Pattabhi Jois, Sri OP Tiwari, Abdi Assadi, Eddie Stern, Tim Miller, Paul Dallaghan, and Peter Sanson. It’s very important to stay connected with a teacher. When that teacher appears, I have found I am utterly teachable. I show up and instinctively, there is trust. There is an attitude of surrender. There is respect. There is humility. I resign all conceptions of what I want, and just focus on honoring the suggestions. I’ve learn what the right amount feels like, not only for today, but what will sustain a lifetime of practice. Which I can say has been a very constructive attitude to bring to the mat! Currently,  I take annual study retreats with Peter Sanson, as often as possible, wherever he may be on the globe. I have found the teacher-student relationship is imperative for long term success. It definitely keeps me rooted when I work with others, and provides the salve and humility required to keep my intentions clear, heart wide open.

 

3. How would you describe the form of yoga you teach currently?  

I teach a traditional Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, as taught within the lineage of Sri Krishnamacharya, specifically through Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, that promotes comprehensive, undiluted, ongoing yoga practice.

{More Q's with Lynn...}

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    SUPPORT LOCAL CREATORS

    Q&A with MARY FREEMAN about her newest creation, BRANCH 8, bringing Yoga to Milwaukee Children 1 Yoga Suit at a Time

    Tell us what inspired creating Branch 8 and the Yoga Suit...
    In 2009, I founded the Milwaukee Yoga Movement. Our mission is to bring Yoga to public school students, beginning in urban areas. We taught Yoga to over 850 public school students in 23 locations in less than 2 years. However, in 2011 the funds I brought to the organization were spent, and a fundraiser we had was less than successful. I decided it was time to rest, reorganize, and realize how MYM could become self sustaining without donations.

    In Spring of 2013, I was introduced to an Amazing brother/sister design team from New York. I was in awe of their synergy and level understanding of architectural design and its relationship to clothing and handbags, which is remarkably displayed in their own collection.
     
    They agreed to become part of my design team that would create a one piece Yoga Suit that would be beautiful and functional both on and off the mat. 
     
    The idea evolved into our 11 piece Collection we call Branch 8, and for every suit sold, a child would receive a Yoga class.
     
    Branch 8 was named in honor of Samadhi, the 8th limb in Ashtanga Yoga. Samadhi is a state of mind in which a person is fully conscious and alert to the understanding that we are all connected. With that profound understanding comes a feeling of Pure Joy. Branch 8's abstract design of the Red Dragon symbolizes Power, Strength and Good Fortune to all who are worthy of it.

    {MORE MARY & BRANCH 8}

    SUPPORT LOCAL CREATORS

    Blog Posts

    Yoga Mats to heal trauma- Be the Change Global Wellness

    Posted by Joelle Ottoson on August 29, 2014 at 11:44pm 2 Comments

    Please Help! Be the Change Global wellness has a project coming up in Peurto Rico with CASA, helping boys who have been removed from the home due to abuse. As part of the healing from Trauma project we will be doing yoga but we need Yoga Mats! Please consider donating a yoga Mat:
    Donate yogaMats to: BTC c/o CASA Po Box 127
    Aguas Buenas PR 00703 OR Be the Change Global Wellness 524 Milwaukee Street #207 Delafield, WI 53018

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