If you're in Central Minnesota, like I am, you may be having a case of the winter blues. Yoga is fantastic and easy way to chase the blues away. A regular practice has so many benefits.
30 reasons to get you back on your mat every day. 1. Yoga makes you feel better - simple as that!
Pick a suitable class for your level and approach it with an open mind - you’ll feel different, more open, present and happier. If you don’t believe us, try it!
2. Yoga increases your flexibility
If you haven’t heard about yoga’s ability to increase flexibility, you might have been living under a rock for the past twenty years ;) To gain more flexibility, it is worth practicing yoga regularly and consistently in order to build muscle memory; take your time though, and be patient!
3. Yoga improves your strength
Yoga isn’t just about stretching and bending, it also requires a surprising amount of strength. Physical strength is important in order to prevent injury, boost the immune system and metabolism and help make everyday tasks easier.
4. Yoga boosts your immune system
Any form of movement is great for keeping the immune system healthy. With yoga’s twisting, inverting, back bending, and calming, the body is able to spend more time within the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and less with the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight system, which causes stress and inflammation and dramatically lowers the immune system).
5. Yoga helps you to focus
Because your mind will be quieter and clutter-free it's easier to direct the energy to where you want it to go. In yoga they say you develop one-pointedness concentration through practice. You train the mind to become aware and present. Research has shown that after a yoga class you are generally better able to focus your mental resources, process information more accurately and also learn, hold and update pieces of information more effectively.
6. Yoga changes your energy
If your morning routine starts with dragging yourself out of bed and gulping down a coffee, try ten rounds of Surya Namaskar or some Kapalabhati pranayama, and notice the energising effects it has on the nervous system. Conversely, if you need a change later on in the day, just a few minutes of asana practice can re-balance the nervous system, calm the mind and give you a different perspective.
7. Yoga boosts your metabolism
A morning yoga practice will help to get the blood, breath and muscles moving before breakfast, therefore allowing the nutrients from your food to be better absorbed. A strong practice can help build muscle, dramatically boost metabolism, and breathing fully and deeply increases circulation, also helping the metabolism to stay ticking along nicely.
8. Yoga reduces anxiety
Shallow breathing, poor posture and tense muscles are both results and causes of anxiety. If you’ve been stuck in an anxiety cycle for a long period of time, it’s likely that your body has almost learned to protect itself by remaining tense, physically closed off and with very short, sharp breaths. The mind and body are so closely interlinked, that physically deepening the breath, improving posture and relaxing the muscles in a safe space can all help reduce anxiety.
9. Yoga helps you to be more mindful
Mindfulness is a buzz word at the moment and - with all the apps, downloads, classes and CDs - has become a billion dollar business.  Mindfulness, however, doesn’t have to mean meditating for long periods of time, and it doesn’t have to be something profound that's difficult to keep up. Being mindful just means paying a little more attention to each action you do, allowing you to be more present, aware and alive in each moment. Better to be mindful than mind-full…
10. Yoga soothes your skin
The skin is one of the first places in the body to display signs of stress and nutrient deficiency. By practicing a combination of some of the more calming aspects of yoga, such as Pranayama and meditation, as well as an active yoga practice, the body and all its systems receive better circulation, and the reduced stress levels can even help reduce conditions like acne and eczema. 
11. Yoga gives you some ‘Me-Time’
Having a little time for yourself is extremely important - particularly for those who spend their lives caring for others. Giving to others is a vital aspect of life, and helps us feel more connected to the world around us. However, in order to give, we have to be full first. As Gandhi (and Jimi Hendrix) said “If you want to change the world, change yourself first”.
12. Hydrate Your Spine
Moving the spine in a safe, healthy way encourages synovial fluid to be released into the column of the spine. In the morning, the spine contains a little more of this fluid, but in the evening the spine is more compressed and ‘dehydrated’ (hence why we’re somewhat ‘shorter’ in the evenings!). Practicing spine-lengthening postures like Downward Facing Dog, as well as inversions, can help to bring some moisture and life back to our all-important spine.
13. Yoga boosts brain power
Moving in a way that is different to our daily patterns helps the brain work harder and can help keep the brain healthy. Twisting asanas, and anything which involves crossing limbs over the body (a little like the cross-crawl practice where you alternatively extend opposite arm and leg from a table top position) are fantastic for balancing the brain hemispheres. To bring things into balance daily, practice Nadi Shodhana, the ‘channel cleansing’ breath, which helps to balance the brain and calm the mind.
14. No space? No worries!
Unlike many other physical activities, a yoga asana practice only needs space for your body. Aeroplanes, dorm rooms, offices and even jail cells, yoga can be practiced pretty much everywhere.
15. Yoga helps you to breathe better
The emphasis on breathing in yoga is something beginners often struggle with, but over time moving with the breath becomes second nature. Just the ability to breathe more fully and deeply can have a very profound impact on overall health, and is worth practicing every day. You might not have the postures with you for your whole life, but you have your breath in every moment.
16. Yoga helps you to stand up taller
Like much of the population, it’s likely you spend some part of the day hunched over a desk, screen phone or steering wheel. This slouched posture emphasizes the kyphotic curve of the thoracic spine, and in turn collapses the chest, puts pressure on the lungs, heart and lower back, and is a sure way to bring on a bad mood. Simply standing up a little taller and opening the chest can have instant positive effects on mood and overall wellbeing.
17. Yoga helps you beat the blues
Movement is one of the best ways to bring about a good mood, and yoga is an especially effective medicine when it comes to battling the blues. Yoga taps into the nervous system, helping to release hormones that improve the mood. Focusing on something positive each time we practice yoga is also an effective way to imprint that positivity into the mind, so the more you practice, the more you’re likely to notice yourself smiling…
18. Yoga improves your balance (in body and mind)
Balancing yoga postures help the brain to fire neurons that help with muscle memory and spatial awareness, and using the feet regularly in a daily yoga practice can strengthen the muscles of the foot, of which there are over 100!
19. Yoga helps to clear the toxins
While it’s controversial as to whether twisting yoga asanas actually ‘detox’ the body, it’s fair to say that a yoga practice definitely helps to clear toxins from the body. Getting things moving inside and outside helps shift any lurking toxins and rids the body of them quicker. Being aware and mindful of your thoughts too, can help to ‘detox’ the mind of any ‘toxic’ thoughts….
20. Yoga frees your feet!
Being barefoot is more important than we might expect. Many shoes are designed more for the way they look than the way they feel, and you may be surprised to know that your favourite shoes could actually be the cause of your aches and pains. Our feet are the foundation of the body, so giving them time to breathe, to move freely and to articulate in a way that allows the arches, joints and bones of the feet to move naturally can help the alignment of the body improve. It’ll also save you washing your socks so often ;)
21. Yoga has anti-inflammatory 'properties'
Decreased stress levels, better blood and oxygen circulation, and an increase in ‘happy hormone’ neurotransmitters all help to decrease inflammation. Calming Pranayama practices, in which the length of the out-breath is increased, can also be a way to powerfully reduce inflammation.
22. Yoga helps give meaning to your day
We’ve all heard the song It Ain’t What You Do, It’s The Way That You Do It, and while the song might be catchy, the deeper meaning is very profound. Spending a little time in the morning setting an intention, focus or Sankalpa for the day, helps us come back to that intention each time we need to make a decision. Setting an intention can also help us to be more aware of our actions, and can give the day much more meaning.
23. Yoga helps you to express gratitude
Traditionally, yogis would rise with the sun and perform Surya Namaskar, (Sun Salutations) as a way to greet the new day and pay homage to the sun, the giver of warmth, light and life.
24. Yoga teaches you to know yourself
Unlike group sports activities, yoga is a very internal and personal practice. Even though you might have practiced in a class with lots of other people, the focus is still on what is happening inside you. ‘Pratyahara’ is one of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, and it refers to turning one’s senses and awareness inward in order to discover more about the person’s own body and mind. We have to live with this body and this mind for a whole lifetime, so it’s worth taking time to get to know it, and even make friends with it.
25. Yoga regulates your body clock
Naturally, humans would rise with the sun and sleep when it’s dark. Since the invention of electricity and the light bulb however, we’ve been able to hack night time, which means getting up when the sun rises doesn’t always sound like the most welcome way to start the day. Practice getting up a little earlier however, and you’re likely to start noticing your body clock comes back into balance, and an improvement in your sleep.  Ayurveda – the ancient ‘sister science’ of yoga - tells us that the hours between 10pm and 2am are the body’s natural time of rejuvenation, that the best way to start the day is to get up as close to sunrise as possible, and head outside ASAP for some natural sunlight. The hours between 6am and 8am are best for ‘spiritual practice and exercise, like asana and walking’.
26. Increase compassion
The Metta Bhavana (Loving Kindness) meditation is intended to increase compassion and kindness towards others and ourselves. Humans are born to be compassionate and to feel emotions, yet the modern world often leaves us feeling more disconnected than ever. All our actions and even thoughts have impact on the world around us, and if the saying Love Makes The World Go Round is true, then practicing feeling love and kindness for others will make more difference than you might expect.
27. Yoga helps you to become more body aware
"Listen to your body" is something you’re likely to have heard most yoga teachers say, but what does it mean? Any ‘good’ yoga practice encourages feeling instead of forcing, gradual progress instead of instant gain, and a way of moving that is helpful instead of harmful. A study from the department of Psychology at Berkley, California, showed that yoga practitioners have more body awareness, responsiveness to bodily sensations, and even body satisfaction than those who do not practice yoga.
28. Yoga helps you to accept whatever life brings to your table
Yoga teaches us that everything changes. Both the positive but also the painful things in life come and go. Knowing this and understanding this on a deeper level makes it easier to accept and stay present and positive, also through the hard times.
29. Yoga gives you a natural wind-down
Instead of watching a movie or checking Facebook for the 100th time, try practicing some restorative yoga. This type of practice is a very powerful way to calm the nervous system, thus improving sleep quality, helping the digestive system to do its job overnight, therefore giving you the energy you need to get up early the next morning to salute the sun :)
30. Yoga is a life-long lesson
The beautiful thing about yoga is that it can be adapted to suit anyone. Whether you’re a baby or a baby-boomer, a grumpy teenager or a great-grandma, you can practice yoga. The task is often in finding the type of practice that suits you and listening to your body.
We are well on our way to a bright new year. We are offering our first monthly Self-Care Saturday Workshop. Each month a mini retreat or workshop will be offered. Keep your eye on our website or on Face Book for event information.
If you attended classes in November and December, the focus was clearing out and letting go of what no longer serves us. Releasing what no longer fits in our life. With all that releasing, we now have room to invite in what we do want.
Not sure how to go about inviting in what you want? Join us on Saturday, January 26th for a Vision Board workshop. Vision Boards are a proven way to manifest more of what you want in your life. The workshop will start at 9 am with a explaining what a Vision Board is and how it impacts you. We'll do a group meditation and clearing as we set our intention for the year. We'll then move into creating our Vision Boards. No experience necessary. It's fun and creative. Supplies will be provided. At the end of the workshop we'll come together and reflect on the morning. Workshop ends at Noon. Snacks provided. Who doesn't like snacks?
Check out the details on our Event page
Preregistration is needed. $30 cash or check to Red Door Yoga+. Call Tamsie to reserve your spot and answer any questions: 320.333.6902
y2018 is nearing its close. We have so much to be thankful for and much of our love goes to YOU. Thank you for supporting us as be moved through our second year, changed locations, added a retail shop and offered a variety of special events. YOU keep us going.
We will be closed December 24th and 25th and January 1. Use this time to set your intentions for the coming year. What is your heart's desire? What is your inner voice telling you? Take some time to close your eyes, sit in silence and listen. You'll hear it.
We are selling Punch Cards for $70 through the end of the year. Cards purchased in December will be valid for 4 months! In January the price will be $80. Each card is valid for 10 visits. In December only, you can purchase a 5 punch card for $35, valid for 3 months. A perfect stocking stuffer. We also have candles, bath salts and ladies retail to help with your holiday shopping.
In January we are letting go of the 6 week model for classes. All classes offered will be available to you on an ongoing basis. Punch Card or Drop In is how we'll handle payment. This allows you to attend different classes and work with your schedule if you have to miss a class.
We have decided to not offer Yin classes on Sunday. We will host special events, but no formal classes. We may revisit this as we grow. If you are a Restorative Yin Yoga fan, Tuesday's at 7PM is available. Jami leads a relaxing class that allows your energy and body flow in harmony. This class is a good fit for anyone. No experience needed.
We are evolving. Keep your eyes open for more changes in the coming year.
Love and Light,
Tamsie & Julie
Inhale Love & Exhale Gratitude
December has arrived with all the trimmings. Taking time each day to sit in silence becomes vital to our mental health. It's easy to get caught up in work, kids, spouses, friends and social obligations. So much to do and so little time. Avoid burnout by getting at least 8 hours of sleep. Yes, 8! Watch your diet. Treats abound and sugar is an energy zapper. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Water is a great way to flush out toxins. Maybe a little ginger tea in the afternoon.
From the yogic perspective, this time of year is for letting go. Whatever no longer serves you, bless it and let it go. Checkout our newsletter for a short meditation on letting go that you can do each day.
The 5 Minute Journal is back in stock. This is a fantastic gift for yourself or a friend. Each day is structured into short, manageable writing steps. You start the day with a few minutes of writing and end it the same way. Prompts are given to make it super easy. The 5 Minute Journal is on sale at the boutique before or after class, or call and we can arrange to open the boutique for you.
50% Off on most retail items will continue through the end of the year.
When you enter our space, you’ll be in a small boutique area. We adore supporting local artists, entrepreneurs and others who desire to make a difference in this world. The apparel is on sale 50% off! We have Red Door Yoga + logo wear (not on sale)! Alpaca hats and mittens and RDY+ winter hats & sweat shirts to keep you warm. We are pleased to offer locally made mala necklaces made out of semi-precious stones. Great way to practice mantra meditation.
Maybe you’re in the mood for a hot tea or coffee. We offer these before and after classes. Perhaps you’d like to linger on the couch and flip through one of our lending library books or magazines.
We know the real reason you come: The Classes. We offer yoga, yoga studies, meditation, and cardio on a regular basis. You can register for a series of classes or drop in or purchase a 10 Visit Punch-card. So many ways to take advantage of all we have to offer.
Did you know you can book a private yoga class? We host events for businesses and individuals. Start your birthday celebration with an hour of yoga and your friends. Or, how about that Girls Night Out? We can put a yoga package together complete with snacks and beverages. Couples night? Get 4 couples for a partner yoga class. The possibilities are endless! Reasonable rates.
We’re putting the 2019 schedule in place. Keep your eyes open for workshops, retreats, new classes and the foundational classes we’ve always offered.
Remember: The only thing yoga requires is that you breathe and show up.
Fall has arrived and we are pleased to offer new classes for you to enjoy.
We are offering a Saturday morning class. Starting the day with a refreshing yoga practice puts your mind, body and spirit in in harmony.
Check out all our classes by clicking on the Class Registration tab.
We want to thank you for supporting Red Door Yoga+, without you we would not be able to offer these classes. We are still finding our way and if you have feedback, let us know.
November 16th is Movie Night at RDY+. We will be showing a yoga documentary that is interesting and thought provoking. Bring something to sit or recline in. We'll provide popcorn and tea. If you would like to bring a beverage, that's perfect! Doors open at 6:15 and movie starts at 7. Free Will Donation
Keep your eyes on our Facebook page and this blog for more exciting events and news.
Recently in my life, challenges have appeared. My friend’s dad suddenly passed away at the early age of 52. A colleague's husband lost his job, forcing them to put their house on the market and down size. An acquaintance lost her 13 week old baby. Personally, I didn’t get accepted into graduate school, for the second time. Disappointments, obstacles, hardships, whatever you call them, life is full of suffering. I’m usually a pretty positive person, but when so many difficult situations present themselves, I have to take a step back and try to listen what the Universe, God, Allah, the Divine, the higher power, is telling me.
Thich Nhat Hahn, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace advocate, authored a text entitled No Mud, No Lotus. A lotus grows in muddy ponds. Despite the struggles the flower goes through in the deep, dark, murky waters, it blooms into a beautiful lotus. Floating effortlessly on the water, none of the mud appears on its petals, just pure beauty. Like the lotus, we weather dark, difficult times that challenge us to grow. If we move through the struggle, work through the setback, we, like the lotus, will transform into something special, something truly beautiful on the inside and out. In his book, Thich Nhat Hahn recognizes the key to happiness is not to run away from suffering, but rather to practice techniques that help us transform our suffering into happiness. The practice of yoga, meditation, contemplative prayer and silence (just to name a few) train the mind, body and soul to find true happiness. How, you might ask? The awareness of the breath is the first step. It causes us to reduce the multitasking mind (a skill the world values and demands) and directs our focus into the present moment. The ritual of practice creates muscle memory in us, it makes us strong. So when we are living our daily life, we are able to quickly retrieve our mindful techniques and put them into practice. The application piece is key. When we choose to tap into our training, in the moment of conflict or arousal, we transform our suffering into happiness. It could be in that moment of haste or panic when taking a simple breath is all we can control. For, it is within this breath-taking moment, we choose to respond rather than react. Creating space between our thoughts allows us to choose our intention behind our words, behind our thoughts and behind our anticipations.
Whoa. Big stuff, philosophy. Just come to a yoga practice, it will all make sense, haha. :) To wrap it up, life is wonderful; it is because of these suffering moments that build us, prepare us and allow us to enjoy the “sweetness” of life.
We dreamed about it. Then we whispered about it. Then we talked about it. And you talked about it. And we hinted at it. And it's now becoming a reality. Talk about manifesting desires (workshop to come on THAT topic later!).
We are taking all the good we've created at the current location in the gorgeous old church, and moving to a bigger, brighter, (: WARMER :) space in beautiful downtown Little Falls.
Jesse and Kolbi Grant own the beautiful, old bank building--formerly home to Treasures on Broadway...formerly home to the Fitness Connection...formerly home to countless other dreams and adventures. And now it's home to ours.
The Grants have been working tirelessly to bring this dream into reality: new walls, new floors, new lighting, new paint, new bathrooms (your knees won't even touch the wall!)--and it's going to be perfect.
The Red Door Yoga+Boutique will be expanding to this new location at 62 E Broadway in downtown Little Falls. The studio classes will all be ready to roll at the new space as of November 1, so Julie's Noon Yoga, Alyssa's Hatha Flow Yoga and Tammy's Cardio Mix will all be in the new space.
The boutique side, while coming along nicely, won't be quite ready for a grand opening celebration just yet. We will have it ready in the next couple weeks in time for Christmas gift giving, and will have some clothing items, candles from Wisconsin Candle Co. (my fav!), some jewelry, some alpaca products (socks, mittens), and other random feel-good things:) We will also have a seating area with books, coffee and tea, so feel free to donate to our little library.
We are so grateful to you all, the community you are building with us, bringing yoga, workshops, and more beauty and love to our little corner of the Universe.
Being the change we want to see in the world...the ripple effect of compassion, empathy, and self-love--THAT'S taking yoga off your mat and into the world.
Love and light to you all!
Heidi and Julie and the entire staff at Red Door Yoga+
First - let me express my deepest gratitude to those have come through the Red Door. The anticipation, particpation, dedication (and perspiration) have been humbling. We are so honored to be able to provide this practice and this space with you.
And theres's more. This practice is so much more. Yoga is more than just movements on a mat once or twice a week. It's the union of the mind, body, and emotions on and off the mat. If we can find ease in a pose that has been difficult for us in the past, so we can with our emotions: finding ease in a situation that perhaps had been an area of unrest for us. If we can be acutely aware of our body and our breath, so it is with life: we can consciously move through life, aware of our emtotions, our triggers, and start to react less, attach less. What happens on the mat, happens in our life.
There's something else too, about honor. It's how we treat ourselves. Honoring our body for what it provides us. Honoring our body on the mat, where our body is at during that particular practice - it will be different each time. Perhaps we find ourselves less flexible than last time. Perhaps our mind is more distracted than we'd like. Honor these nuances. We are not our bodies. We are souls having a human experience.
Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your journey.
We are humbled and honored.
The day is ever-nearing: the day when we open our doors to our tribe, to those that seek an inner awareness, a calm in the storm of life. And in opening the door, we are opening our hearts, offering a space of acceptance, love, peace, and community. The Red Door studio is more than just breathing and stretching. It's a place to work in. To leave your day at the door. To enter and (perhaps for the first time that day), to take a deep breath and know that for the next hour+, it is just you and your mat. To be aware of your body, your thoughts, your breath--and then to let it all go. To be present.
We, especially as women, pour our souls out for our families, friends, and colleagues. Where do we fill our vessel? Where and when do we pause to reconnect our mind, body, and soul. Our hope is that this is a space where you can fill up, recharge, and refuel.
And maybe even stay for some tea and a snack afterward.
Love and light,