Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Night For The Band Mom

Most of the posts on this blog are about yoga. I am a yoga teacher, optometrist, and a band mom. My son Jackson plays snare in our Edwardsville award-winning high school marching band and indoor drumline. He is a senior and is also section leader. My son Jonah is in our middle school concert band also on percussion. He is also a guitar prodigy, and an accomplished pianist.

They have a band called "The Hallquist Brothers". Jackson plays drums and Jonah, guitar. They have been in the studio once already and that effort can be heard on soundcloud. (Click here). Two or three years ago, they played open mic at Stagger Inn and wowed the crowd as two separate solo acts. I've asked them every year since to play it again, and Jonah vowed to never play another open mic without a full band. Well, that happened last night.

I warned them, "Boys, please only play two songs as there will be other acts that want to play as well. Don't bogart the mic." (School of Rock reference) Well, that was a moot point as the crowd LOVED them! I think they had two encores and played a total of 5 songs. Halfway through the set, a man from the crowd with a bass in hand asked if he could sit in. They had never met this man. They had been dealt a wild card. As he sat down, he smiled and said "You just play and I'll watch." Well, a few measures into the next song, he chimed right in and it was as if they had been playing together for a year. It was so beautiful to see the pitching and catching they were doing on stage. Especially during the final blues number in which players "trade", meaning the band plays the main blues chord progression, then each player takes turns soloing for 8 bars. They were incredible!!! Members of the crowd were filming them on their phones. Mom was proud.

After we broke down the drum set, I poked my head in the back office to check on them, and Jackson looked at me with a smile and said, "Mom, they booked us to play happy hour Feb 11." (WHAT??!?!?) I said, "Will you be paid?" Their Dad said "Yes, they will." Jackson's next statement, "Now we have to play for 3 hours!"

This moment could not have happened without every single day of their lives leading up to it. All those loud basement rehearsals, hours & hours of drumming, hot humid nights at Miner Park listening to them play with all the other teen bands, taking them to drum/guitar lessons, taking them to school band practices/concerts. Dreams do happen, but not without tenacity and hard work. My boys will do great things in this world. They were born for this. And as Butch said last night, "We are here to change the world for the better, one note at a time."

Thursday, November 17, 2016

3 Asanas for the Root Chakra

Happy Fall!  In my corner of the planet, its Fall. The leaves are beautiful now. The Earth is changing right before our eyes as it tilts on it's axis. The Root Chakra celebrates our connection to the Earth. In my Monday Morning Flow Yoga class at Studio Gaia Edwardsville we are focusing on the Root Chakra during November. Three poses/asanas that activate this chakra are:

1) Knee to Chest (Apasana)

2) Earth Salutation

3) Pigeon

This should only take about 15 minutes. Do these in the morning while your coffee is brewing. Your spine and body will thank you. If you don't have time for all three, do one or two and then the other at lunch or in the evening at home. And remember to breathe.


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

15 minute Heart Openers

During the month of July in Morning Flow Yoga at Studio Gaia our sequence focused on the 4th chakra.  It is located at the breastbone. The Heart chakra is the center of love, warmth, compassion and joy.

When the Anahata chakra is activated you are able to love others and yourself, knowing when to say no and when to care for yourself.

Here are three poses that will activate the 4th chakra. The mantra to use is "I am" (inhale), "loved" (exhale)

1) Cat/Cow Vinyasa flow
         A great warm up, always. Start on all fours. Inhale drop the belly, look up for cow, exhale                    reverse the curve for cat. 5 breath cycles

2) Cobra or Upward Facing Dog
         Start lying on your belly, hands on mat under shoulders. Inhale as you rise, hold for 5 breaths.

3) Camel, be sure to follow this pose with Child's Pose
         Start by kneeling on your shins, toes curled under, if reaching for the heels is too much, just                reach down to your waist and look up. Hold the pose for 5 breaths. Follow this by Child's                    Pose.(5 breaths)

May you be filled with peace, love and joy. Til we meet again, Namaste

Thursday, July 7, 2016

15 Minutes for Core Strength

The month of June at Studio Gaia we've been doing a yoga practice benefiting the 3rd chakra. Chakras are energy centers in our bodies which run along the spinal column. The location of the third chakra is above the navel and below the breast bone. It is your "core". It is related to self-discipline, empowerment, and self-esteem. Here are three yoga poses which will activate the 3rd chakra:

1) Easy Seat, Breath of Fire (Bastrika)

2) Boat

3) Bridge

End your practice with a 3 minutes savasana. Savasana or corpse pose consists of you lying back on your mat completely relaxed, eyes closed, drop your jaw, create space between your teeth. Envision a pale orange light of relaxation starting at the crown of your head and moving down your body until it emanates from the tips of your fingers and the tips of your toes.
After several minutes, bring small movements into your finger, toes, rotate at the wrists and ankles. Roll onto your right or left side, then push yourself up into a seated position. Thank the Divine for your practice.
I honor the place in you of love, of truth, of peace. Namaste


Saturday, June 4, 2016

15 Minutes For The Second Chakra

During the month of May we concentrated on the Second Chakra in my Morning Flow Yoga class at Studio Gaia. Second Chakra is located just below the navel in the lower abdomen, lower back and hips. Here are three poses you can do to awaken the Sacral or Second Chakra--your Creative Center:

1) Bridge

2) Moon Salutation

3) Pigeon -- this lady is so cute!

The color for the Sacral Chakra is orange. I invite you to notice orange things in your environment this next week. Perhaps eat some orange foods.

Your creative center has been awakened. Do something creative, and
reward yourself with a green juice or fruit smoothie!

Banana strawberry chia goodness

Saturday, April 30, 2016

3 poses for the Root Chakra

In the month of April we've been exploring yoga poses which strengthen and celebrate the Root Chakra. Chakras are energy centers which start at the base of the spine and proceed upward to the crown of the head.
Spring is upon us. Flowers are blooming. Hyancinth give way to tulips, then dogwood, then azaelea and lilac. Root chakra celebrates our connection to the Earth's rhythms. Days are lenthening. We see more of the sun. This reminds me of my absolute favorite vinyasa: Sun Salutation. Here are three yoga elements you can practice at home:

1) Easy Seat

2) Sun Salutation

3) Goddess Pose

This should only take you 15 minutes. The color associated with Root Chakra is red. During this next week, notice red things in your environment, eat some red foods. Strawberry banana smoothies are wonderful after a yoga practice. Enjoy!

My neighbor's tulips

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

15 minute Yoga for Core Strength

This month in my Morning Flow Yoga class we've been working on yoga for core strength ending with a 15-20 minute yoga nidra at the end. Here are 3 poses/vinyasas you can try at home:

1) 3 legged Down Dog, swing upper leg thru to hands, rise to Warrior 1(repeat this flow 4 times on each side.

2) Dolphin/Dolphin Plank

3) Boat

These 3 should only take you 15 minutes in the morning. Or, if you don't have 15 in a row, do one in the morning, one at your lunch break and then one in the evening.
For relaxation try this 15 minute Yoga Nidra. Assume Corpse pose, cover up, get comfortable, close your eyes, hit play and enjoy!