Today is a special new day that always feels like a fresh start to me. And while it is only one day past that dreadful last year I'm already feeling so much brighter and more hopeful for a new beginning.
This time of year, after the first hectic dose of the holiday season my thoughts begin to wander...
New Mexico is a dream come true on
May 20 -27, 2017.
Imagine spending seven glorious days and nights deep in the heart of the high desert of northern New Mexico. Every day we will be exploring Santa Fe, Abiquiu and Taos absorbing the magical atmosphere, the light, culture and fine cuisine that can only be found in the Land of Enchantment.
There is only one thing that could make this trip even better. (Make that two things.)
That's right, we'll have Norah Gaughan all to ourselves for the entire week exploring the unique ancient fibers of the Southwest. And while registration for all the other 2017 retreats opens as usual on January 1st, May comes quickly so New Mexico Registration is open today!
We have an impressive lineup of Guest Instructors this year:
Over the years I have conducted my own informal survey of what gifts elicit excited 'oohs and ahhs' and which ones are received with just a 'meh.' Its been interesting...
Chocolate is always a hit.
Bottled water has always been surprisingly appreciated (accompanied by a trail map).
And who knew how excited everyone would be when they received a little plastic Dollar Store flashlight one year on Monhegan Island?
The gift that fell the flattest? Knitting gadgets. I should have known I could never impress a group of knitter's who clearly have every knitting doodad known to mankind.
By far the most exciting gifts I have ever given have been handmade items from either my own studio or from that of an artist friend. Which gave me an idea.
As a studio artist I have a special place in my heart for supporting the work of artists and craftspeople particularly in Maine and New England. It has become my mission to provide not just 'swag' but thoughtful, well-made and often one-of-a-kind gifts that may not necessarily be knitting related but are beautiful. So why not support these artists by making their work available through Knitting & Yoga Adventures all the time?
Here you'll find work not just from my studio but by other K&YA staffers you have grown to know and love.
Like our own Holly Hofman, who leads our yoga classes in Quechee, Vermont. Holly creates stunning jewelry of silver and resin inlay.
Or handmade leather books by DSKI Designs in Brandon, Vermont who made the lovely small leather bound books that were a mainstay for our 2016 gift bags.
Perhaps you'd like to add a second mug to your collection or find the perfect pin to go with Bristol Ivy's shawl project? Visit the page online through the Knitting and Yoga Adventures website and make your purchase through a Paypal link. Its that simple and the artists and craftspeople will be thrilled and most of all supported by you.
'Twenty three years ago I found yoga...' This month we hear from Melora Gregory, our esteemed Monhegan Island yoga instructor. Melora has delighted us with her lovely spirit and easy smile for years and for a moment we can peak into her life and hear a little of what she brings to us every September on Monhegan Island. '...and within a year began teaching it. Back then there were only 5 other yoga teachers in Portland Maine, and only 3 yoga studios. Now there are over a hundred teachers, many studios, and even teacher trainings. We’ve come a long way yogis!
I am grateful to have studied with many wonderful master yoga teachers, of different styles, and have developed a teaching style that offers what I like best from my experience. I generally pick a theme to weave through the postures, warmup with a gentle flow, sequence thoughtfully so that we effortlessly find ourselves in a target posture, then restore balance and ease through a supported relaxation and inversion practice. Often ending with selected inspiring readings. I love the ‘why’ of what we are doing and share the benefits, or the anatomy reasons for certain things as we go along.
Grandfathered into becoming a registered instructor with the Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500 in 2002, I continue my studies and keep my E-RYT in good standing. This Summer I will be taking a 3 day retreat with a foremost teacher of the Sacred Feminine, Sally Kempton, focusing our practice around some of the Goddesses of Hindu Mythology.
In 2003 I found another passion,Yamuna Body Rolling®. This self administered bodywork achieves the therapeutic benefits of deep tissue massage, myofascial release, bone stimulation and creation of space in the joints! I travelled to New York city in 2009 to certify in Yamuna Body Rolling® Level ll and then began teaching this modality to a rapidly expanding student base in Maine. This inspired me to continue my training in the YBR Foot Fitness series in 2011, and the YBR In Bed series in 2012, which I took with the founder of the practice, Yamuna Zake.
Yamuna Body Rolling® uses patented balls of various sizes and densities to knead out body tension. The balls provide direct bone density stimulation, elongation and alignment of muscles, immediate feedback of where we are stuck, and a feeling of spaciousness in our joints. The many, simple, yet powerful routines release tension, break up adhesions, and energize all areas of the body. An ideal practice for everyone, at all fitness levels, for dramatic and immediate results.
It has been my pleasure to follow my passion for teaching yoga and now also,Yamuna Body Rolling, full-time. I have been asked to be the yoga teacher for many week-long retreats to beautiful places. I have taught yoga at castles in Italy, on beaches in Costa Rica, in the jungle of Belize, and on Maine's own Monhegan Island.
Our next Monhegan Island trip is on the horizon, September 18-24, and I will teach a morning flow yoga and an afternoon restorative practice, and will be available for private sessions and will bring some of the Yamuna Body Rolling® balls for use and purchase. Now my 7th or 8th time on this retreat, I look forward to the isolation and ruggedness of remote Maine Island life, the extreme beauty of the rocky cliffs and massive sea filled with seals and sea birds and the wonderful friends I meet and the laughter that we share!
I am currently teaching weekly classes at Bridge Studio at Art of Awareness in South Portland, UNE, and IDEXX. I also give workshops at various yoga studios around the Greater Portland Area and teach private lessons which are geared towards addressing each individuals' specific concerns. To find more about my classes go to melorayoga.com.
Monhegan Island is such a magical place. Before Lisa invited me to teach I had been there twice with my husband, so I knew I'd like it. As it turns out, my inaugural Monhegan Knitting and Yoga Adventure was one of the highlights of a rather busy 2015. The second I boarded the ferry I felt so at home with everyone – a wonderful mix of newbies and very welcoming return attendees. The joyful atmosphere persisted throughout the week as we ate delicious food, basked in the sun while we knit and occasionally trekked about the island. So, I am thrilled to be returning to be a part of this year's retreat. Mr. Norah is quite jealous as the Island is one of our his favorite vacation spots. I've included a lovely sunset photo he took when we were visiting a few years ago.
Last year I spend many of my free hours on Monhegan working diligently on a new book, writing text and on the phone with my editor hammering out cable descriptions. This year, not only will I have more time to knit and hike with everyone, I will also have the book to show off! Norah Gaughan's Knitted Cable Sourcebook is all about cables, so naturally, we'll be playing some with cables during class, but I want to mix it up. I'll be incorporating several other great-to-know techniques over the week. We'll touch on the world's easiest color technique – mosaic knitting and explore some pretty things with the popular technique of brioche rib (in one color). There'll be a project, but I'm still putting together the last details. I don't want to reveal it just yet – unless Lisa just has :)
Look for the woman with the huge bags – I'm toting all of the sweaters from my book to the island so everyone can try them on. I'll have both large and small sizes in sweaters along with the ponchos and other uni-sized items, so there will be something for everyone. I love being in the middle of a try-on show. There are always happy surprises. Knitters find that they look great in styles they didn't guess they'd look good in and it's fun to see everyone pass things to their friends to try too.
In between teaching gigs and designing sweaters, I learned how to spin a few months ago. Should I bring my spinning wheel along for the ride? It actually folds up and isn't bad to carry. Does anyone else want to spin too? I am not expert enough to make it part of the classes, but it would be fun in the evening or on the porch.