Sun, Snow and Sand

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Hello friends,

So sorry for my extended blog absence! I have been running around for the past four weeks – lots of travel and skiing, not enough yoga, definitely not enough work (January is slow for flowers) and now on top of it all, I’ve been in bed for days on end with a wretched dizzying cold. Lame. I am a terrible patient normally, but this illness knocked me down so hard that I’ve had little choice but to lay on the couch indulging in Netflix binges (just started Sherlock and Boardwalk Empire – sooo good!).

I have a few Ashtanga posts that have been marinating in the old noggin recently, but given my lack of energy, those will wait for a few days to manifest.

So for now, here are a few little snaps of these past few weeks of fun in the sun, in both Colorado and Antigua.

xo,
Frances

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Snapshots Of Our Mountain Holiday

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We arrived back in Denver on Friday, but Christmas already feels long gone. We had a wonderful five days of retreat in the mountains – just what we needed. The cool mountain air and perfect Colorado sunshine was restorative and invigorating.

Thaddeus and I spent the holiday together just the two of us and it was wonderfully relaxing. We skied hard, slept copious amounts, ate plenty, lay in bed for hours watching Netflix and took strolls around the charming town of Telluride.

After four nights there, we popped over to Ouray for a visit to the vapor caves, a lovely hike and a night at a beautifully restored historic hotel. Before our long drive back to the Front Range, we enjoyed a quick morning dip at the Orvis Hot Springs, which have quickly become my new absolute favorites.

Here are a few iphone snaps of our Christmas vacay! Enjoy!

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Asanas In The Gardens, Part 1

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Last week, Thaddeus and I did a little photo shoot at the lovely Denver Botanical Gardens with our friend Alison Hathaway of Red Shoes Photography. 

I want to share with you a few pictures from this wonderful experience. As you might know, I am normally very hesitant to have my picture taken doing asana. Honestly, I feel kind of silly and narcissistic practicing yoga in public.

Plus, I have enough bad body baggage and insecurities about my flawed practice that the thought of having it recorded for all to see is rather frightening. But nevertheless, we all had a lot of fun with this shoot and it’s good for me to realize that my body or practice doesn’t need to be “perfect” (whatever that means!) to be beautiful, beneficial and joyful.

My Ashtanga yoga practice is such an internal and deeply personal thing that I don’t normally feel comfortable displaying it physically for others. I prefer to write about it honestly. Even so, blogging is such a visual media and I have often written posts about practice and thought, “I wish I had a decent photo of me practicing for this post.”

And that is where Alison and her gifted skills with the camera came into play….

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A Kundalini Celebration

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Colorado yogis and yoginis!

Kundalini Yoga Denver is having a party and you are all invited. We are having our grand opening and would love to have you come celebrate with us. The evening will include a Kundalini Yoga class and gong session, tasty vegetarian treats, yogi tea, and a community bazaar.

The highlight of the event will be a kirtan concert by Matamandir Singh and his band, Avatar, sharing beautiful devotional banis and bhajans.

Mark your calendars for Saturday October 12th from 5:30 to 9:30pm.

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Seasonally Perfect Peaches

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There are some things that are best only enjoyed at a specific time of year.

The concept of eating seasonally as much as possible makes sense environmentally, but also energetically and emotionally for me. I feel that enjoying a certain type of produce just when it’s most readily (and locally) available makes it so much more special and delicious. I appreciate it more and thus eat it with more relish and joy.

For example, grapefruits are a February/March thing for me. Pumpkin is an autumnal treat. Blueberries, a summer necessity. Corn on the cob? Wouldn’t think of it in winter!

Flowers too. Even though we can ship in flowers from all around the world, it’s still much more aesthetically pleasing to make an arrangement with dinner-plate dahlias in the summer, peonies in the spring, or snowberries in the winter months and so on.

Right now it is full-blown perfect peach season. On the Western Slope of Colorado there are many orchards providing beautiful fresh fruit. The peaches from these orchards of Palisade, Paonia and beyond are some of the best peaches I have ever tasted.

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A Walk In The Woods

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The past two months have been totally packed with school work and new jobs. Because of this, we haven’t had the chance to get up to the mountains at all and that’s a crying shame because we live in Colorado for goodness sake!

Today, after Thad taught Mysore, we had the whole day free to play. We headed up to the mountains with Artemis to take her on her first real hike. We did a three mile loop in a beautiful area near Conifer. The hike started out in an open meadow and then wound its way up through stands of Aspens and Lodgepoles and Ponderosas.

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If At First You Don’t Succeed, Give Up

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And plant pretty summer flowers instead!

Ok, here’s the story. When I was living back East, I was able to grow a flourishing vegetable garden. I rarely did any research or even read the seed packages, but with a little love and attention, my garden was bountiful and delicious because of the fertile conditions and long growing season there. I remember in June of 2011 having so much extra kale in my garden that I had to bag it up and give it away to friends because we simply could not eat it all fast enough.

Case in point – Here is a photo of us being smoochyface in our garden in late May 2012.

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My Kundalini Yoga Classes

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My two yoga loves are Ashtanga and Kundalini. After these past few years of diving deeply into Ashtanga and teaching gazillions of Ashtanga-based Vinyasa classes, living in Denver has brought me back to my Kundalini roots. For this I am so grateful.

Kundalini Yoga as Taught by Yogi Bhajan is a powerful, transformative and uplifting practice. I also love the way it complements my Mysore practice. It has illuminated my understanding of the breath, bandhas, focus and meditation. My experiences with Kundalini Yoga over the past 9 years (jeez! I’m getting old!) have brought me to a much more loving, honest and authentic relationship with myself and with others.

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Glimpses of our Nest

After a very fun winter of bopping around Colorado and the jaunt to India, we are now really getting settled in Denver. It feels so nice to nest, to decorate and to make this place feel like “home.”  Thad has started acupuncture school and I’m networking up the wazoo with florists and other wedding industry folks, getting ready to start working on some pretty pretty events this summer! Our puppy Artemis is still painfully cute and her nippy teeth are even more painful, but she’s potty trained and walking well on the leash, so let’s celebrate the small victories!

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My Kundalini Yoga Class in Denver

kundalini-yogaSat Nam my friends.

Excited to share with you that I’m starting to teach Kundalini Yoga here in the lovely mile-high city!

My first class is this Friday at noon at Kundalini Yoga Denver in the Highlands. This class will be an hour-long and is open to students of all levels of experience. We will practice kriyas, breath-control techniques, learn meditations and chant mantras. I’m really looking forward to sharing this beautiful and powerful yoga practice with you, so if you live in Denver, please come check out KYD!

All the classes at KYD are on a donation-basis. As a teacher there, I’m also up for bartering goods/services if paying cash ain’t your thing 🙂

I’m even cool with you bringing your baby/kiddo.

Basically, I just love this practice and want to share it with people in an accessible and open-hearted way.

Kundalini Yoga Denver’s motto is  “Connect. Grow. Elevate.” – and that’s 100% percent what I’m about.

Love Frances

 

 

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Home

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It’s a lazy and wintery Sunday here in Denver.

I’ve had a tough transition this time with jet lag. Normally I’m not too bothered by it, but I’ve been kind of a mess since we landed on Wednesday night. Luckily, I’ve had a few days with no obligations to worry about other than some emails, phone calls and checks to write. Thanks for being patient with me on the blogging front!

Tomorrow I start flower school. I will be in school for the next 5 weeks. I am so looking forward to it. I absolutely love plants.

In fact here’s a glimpse of my project of the morning – I made an inside garden (I’m not calling it a terrarium because A. that’s too trendy and B. it’s a shallow dish and not a globe or anything like that). I had all these “design dollars” from buying rugs from West Elm so I used them to get a bunch of free succulents, rocks and airplants. I had this very blah glass bowl in which I I built my garden. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

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It’s nice to be back home. This house is still new to us, but it feels just right, cozy and quirky and very “me”. I’m enjoying this relaxed morning, hanging out on the web, watching the snow pile up and resting my still very tired body before our afternoon Mysore practice.

Earlier we went out for a little chai run (I’m afraid I picked up the habit again in India, oh dear) and to romp about in the snow. I make such goofy faces. I could never be one of those picture perfect style bloggers, I’m afraid. I layer all wrong and always close my eyes whenever the camera clicks!

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We didn’t do much shopping in India this year. But I couldn’t resist this lovely antique print of Saraswati. She’s gracing my bedside table now alongside one more small Indian treasure, a verdigris swan, and my other assorted knickknacks and pretty things.

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What have you been up to this weekend?

Are any of my readers going to be at the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence this upcoming weekend? If so, I would love to meet up and give a high-five!

Blessings

F