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Free yoga, last outdoor class series, beginner’s mind and salad tips are in this newsletter.

FREE hour long all level yoga in SLP ampitheater. Please bring a mat and water. No class if heavy rain or lightning call 952-924-2567 or contact me if weather looks questionable. Hope to see you Wed 8 AM from 6/19 to 7/24 or Sat 10 AM from 6/22 to 7/27.

St. Louis Park Rec Center Classes all in Wolfe Park  3700 Monterey Dr, SLP, MN 55416

The days are getting shorter.  We are coming up to the LAST OUTDOOR series of fitness classes 

Shape Up Challenge Mon 6 to 7 PM from 7/15 to 8/19 Get outside and enjoy a great workout as you shape up for the summer! This all levels class includes cardio, strength training, agility games and balance work. Fun team challenges will help with increased fitness.

Outdoor Express Workout Tue 6 to 6:45 PM from 7/16 to 8/20 Format will be 20 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of strength training with weights and bands, ending with a five minute cool down. Low impact options will be offered in this all levels class. ___________________________________________________________________________ MORE FREE YOGA every morning Memorial Day to Labor Day. Class is an hour long at 6:30 AM.  We meet between the Lake Harriet Bandshell and the lake.  No class if temp are 55 or lower or if rain with chance of lightning.  A number of teachers with many different styles will guide your practice.  My scheduled July date is Friday 7/12.  I have taught five times and once a news crew filmed the story of this practice.  I was glad I didn’t know ahead of time I would be on the news.  For the story     Click here

Letting Go of Judgement Beginner’s Mind

This is a topic I’m currently working on. Not judging people, places or things. It is not easy as we had to quickly judge things to survive. Let’s pretend one of our ancestors was almost killed by a lion. He again sees the lion out and about. I don’t think he thought oh the big kitty was just having a bad day, I’m going to see if it wants to be friends now. Quick judgements helped us survive.  In many situations our judgements no longer serve us and they take energy away from the task at hand. When I first started teaching outdoor yoga I put a lot of negative energy toward the planes overhead. They just totally interrupted my class plan. Now I say if we hear a plane and you can’t hear me we just hold a pose a little longer. We also might practice warrior 3 known as airplane pose.

One of the hardest things for me is to practice what is called beginner’s mind. It can help with judgements. You might have heard the saying you can’t judge a book by it’s cover.  As our society and the pace of life gets faster and faster we are almost encouraged to make snap just judgments so they are often based on past experiences.  Beginner’s mind is looking at an event, person, place or thing without preconceived notions. Shoshin s a word for this from Zen Buddhism meaning to keep an open mind when we study any subject.  I’m practicing this in learning social dance. 

When I was a hiring manager, new employees would often ask me what is Bob from Accounting like? I would always say, “I will let you form your own opinion”. In yoga we are often encouraged to come to our mats with a beginner’s mind. We attempt to stay in the present with an awareness of how our practice feels in each moment. It does not serve us to spend the hour being worried about toppling over in tree and knocking the whole row down with us before we even attempt the pose.

I just took my first long cross country train trip. This new way of travel opened my eyes again to how incredibly beautiful the world is! I had been to some of the states before, but the train helped me see them with a fresh new view. We often admire how little kids still get so excited and are interested in so much. The constant questions asked by young children is beginner’s mind. Every day we have a new opportunity to look at things in a new and different way.

We do need to recognize patterns. If someone in our life is constantly disrespectful to us, I don’t advise just seeing them with beginner’s mind. It might be time for a conversation. Beginner’s mind can help solve problems too. There is a saying look at something with a fresh set of eyes. If we are stuck, beginner’s mind can help as we patiently wait for the answers.

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer. Resolve to be always beginning – to be a beginner.” –Rainer Maria Rilke

Salad Tips

This is a base salad with lettuce, carrots and Trader Joe’s fresh dressing boring to me.  Being vegetarian for protein I would add either tofu, beans, hard boiled eggs or nuts and seeds for some crunchiness.  I also like just a little fruit for variety.  Apples, figs, pears in winter, cantaloupe, honey dew, watermelon, nectarines, some lime juice in summer.  I often get ideas from what I see on restaurant menus.  Try different mixed greens.  I also add herbs like rosemary or basil.  Get creative with salads and they won’t get boring.

Happy Fourth of July and enjoy the month!