For the Love of Yoga!

Christmas Child, I Love You!

Christmas child, I love you. The smile on your face, the twinkle in your eye. Watching you roll out sugar cookies to be baked as gifts for others to enjoy. As you kneel beside the Christmas tree, sorting out the gifts, making sure no one is missed. Christmas child, your heart full of hope, your mind full of dreams. The room bursting with joy and laughter as you enter with your fluffy Santa hat hiding your little ears. Building snow forts, snow angels, and snowmen together. Snowball fights and bright twinkling lights. Stockings waiting to be filled on Christmas Eve, holding treasures just for you. I can’t wait to see your face as you wake up early Christmas Day! Oh, the surprises awaiting you!!

My Christmas wish for you, to hold Jesus, the Reason for the Season close to your heart. To honor others as you honor yourself. To love the unloved, and care for those who are hurting inside. My wish for you is a heart of compassion, a heart filled with purpose to serve the unserved. My wish for you is a life that reflects that of the Christmas Child we see lying in the manger. My wish for you this holiday season is to be grateful for each breath you have been given. To never take for granted those God has placed in your life as family. My wish for you is that you hold dear all that truly matters. My wish for you is to grace others with your presence and glitter the earth beneath you with passion and meaning in each step that you take.

How did I get so lucky to have five children and a wonderful husband to hold, to nurture, to love, to inspire and to encourage on this journey of life. All who in turn bring joy and healing to my soul! May you always live life to the fullest. May you make others smile when you walk by. Hold your head high, proud of who you are but always humble enough to be sure no one is left out in the cold.

Merry Christmas, Christmas Child!

Left out in the cold

A short story of hope to bless your heart this day of Thanksgiving!

     Standing out in the bitter cold looking in, the little orphan boy longed for a place to call home, for a family to love him, for a mommy to cuddle him, and a daddy to tuck him into bed at night.  But, there he stood, in the sleeting rain, shivering and all alone, peering in through the low set window, hiding from view, not wanting to be seen.  His Thanksgiving dream from that old broken wishbone he had found near the enormous garbage bins last year, was to know what it would feel like to belong.  His wish came true as he peeked over the window ledge, into a merry home bustling with energy.  

     It appeared to the boy that everyone was having a marvelous time, soft music playing, voices carrying on conversation, the laughter of children could be heard, a fluffy cat curled up near the hearth, a golden retriever lingering at the feet of the older man lounged in the recliner, waiting to be noticed, to be scratched around her soft ears. His eyes met those of the beautiful dog just for a moment and then wander over to a massive table spread with the finest foods.  His mouth beginning to water at the site of the exorbitant dishes, imagining the taste of just one small bite of that juicy, delicious drumstick.  

     The evening began with a toast, as the older man stood up from his comfortable position, held up a glass of sparkling champagne, and shared a message of hope, of thanksgiving, of love to all in the room.  A toast to times past, a toast to the present moment of the gathering of family and friends, and a toast to all that yet lies ahead.  The elderly man continued his speech, reminding all that there is so much to be thankful for every single day.  As we celebrate the life we have been given with those we love, great fellowship, and wonderful home cooked food.  In unison, with raised glasses, each  shouted out a hearty “Amen!” drawing the fluted glass to their lips, allowing the coolness of the fizzy champagne to trickle down their throat.  

     Each year we all stop to take time out of our busy lives and celebrate our families. Gathering together in a cozy home, the fire place all aglow, amazing aromas filling the air as we unite around a table spread with oven roasted plump turkey,  seasoned stuffing, creamy mashed potatoes, the perfect giblet gravy, golden yams smothered in melted butter, dark brown sugar, with toasted marshmallows.  A bowl full of bright holiday cranberry sauce garnished with orange zest.  The freshest, crisp green salad with a raspberry vinaigrette.  Golden bread rolls steaming as they are sliced open and filled with whipped honey-butter.  And the favorite among the children – deviled eggs with a dash of paprika.   Another table boasting the finest wines, rich creamy egg nog with a sprinkle of nutmeg and a shot of rum, a punch bowl filled with a mixture of cran-apple and orange juices mixed with sprite and adorned with sliced oranges, cinnamon sticks, and chilled in ice.  

      When we have had our fill and couldn’t possibly take one more delicious bite, grandmother replaces the dishes set out for our incredible feast with delectable pies.  There is Father’s famous chocolate bourbon pecan pie, grandmother’s old fashioned pumpkin pie, Auntie’s hot cinnamon apple pie, a cream cheese filled pumpkin roll sprinkled with powdered sugar,  a bowl piled high with vanilla whipping cream to garnish every serving.  And if that were not enough, more wine and eggnog are passed around, the music and merriment continue as games are played, conversations continued, laughter filling the air.  Every belly full and content, every heart hugged in love, joy in the brightness of every eye.  

     The ragged little orphan boy, his wish granted, a memory to take back to the streets.  A memory to carry him through as he endures yet another year alone under the stars.  Scavenging for food from the streets, taking hand outs, reaching into bins for any crumb thrown out by a passerby.  But, content he is, knowing no other life.  As he turns around hearing the soft padding of feet following him, he recognizes the beautiful golden retriever from his view through the frosted window that Thanksgiving night.  The little orphan boy smiles like he has never smiled before, his heart skipping a beat, tears fiercely pouring down his weathered cheeks, he wraps his arms tightly around the neck of the warm creature.  He leans in as the animal sits down, the boy kneeling, their eyes meet.  

     Is this what it feels like to belong, to be loved, to feel love for another, to matter?  The dog nudged the little boy back up to his feet.  Turning around, the dog began to walk away, the boy frozen to his spot on the snowy sidewalk.  Tears sliding off his chin, wiped away by a mitted hand.  The dog peered back at the child, encouraging him to follow with one look from her eyes.  The boy began to slowly move forward, unsure of venturing further, but longing for the warmth and love of this creature.  The dog walked on, the boy trailing behind, timid, afraid of the unknown.  

     At last, they reached the front steps of that beautiful home, a Christmas wreath decorating the bright red door, carols filling the air, Christmas lights softly twinkling in the darkness of night.  A gentle bark from the golden retriever and the front door was promptly opened, the warmth and smells of fresh baked sugar cookies wafting out the door.  The generous smile across the face of a beautiful little girl greeted him.   Her hair tied up in a big red bow,  a smudge of frosting on her cheek.  She reached out with the tenderness of soft fingers to grasp the ragged, mitted hand of the little orphan boy and pull him in. 


Levitating Between Heaven and Earth

Experiencing Heated Flow Yoga in a community

setting becomes a healing balm for all. 

It is a chilly, blustery, Friday evening in November, rain drizzling down the windows of Hummingbird Yoga Studio, the time registering 5:26 pm.  A few last vehicles pulling up outside as friends hop out together, enthusiastically chattering, bundled up to keep out the cold.  One look within the window to see a cozy room made ready, the ambiance…..fairy lights glowing, illumination dimmed, candles flickering, the atmosphere a hum of excitement.  A room filled to capacity as community gather together from those experiencing something brand new, to the well seasoned practitioners.  As more enter the room, each making space for mats, blocks, and water bottles.  The heat and humidity levels climbing.  Colorful towels spread out upon mats ready to absorb the moisture soon to be created.  The calmness of some evident and the nervousness of others adding to the atmosphere.

The time now 5:30 pm, the lights made to flicker, bringing a hush over the room as each settles onto a block in a supported hero pose.  Hands resting on the quads, palms turned up, finger tips light and floating, arms relaxed, shoulders rolled back lifting the heart, the tension of the day released through the softening of the jaw.  The cheekbones relaxed, the eyes encouraged gently closed, and then, filled with grace and compassion for self.  The scattered thoughts of the day’s journey allowed to enter on the inhale and then to slowly drift away on the exhale, cares and worries flowing freely out the window.

The attention then directed to the breath, to the beating of the heart, to the intention set, giving meaning and purpose to the practice.  On the inhale, the arms reaching for the heavens as the eyes gaze upward, on the exhale the arms release and draw gently back to the sides, the motion continued in unison as the room breathes as one.  The atmosphere now calm, the breath of life, like a meaningful embrace.  Coming to hands and knees, opening the body, making space for deeper movement.  Extending legs and arms in opposing directions, and again releasing…….repeating.  The rejuvenation of the body, mind, and soul prevalent to all.

Gaining in momentum, rising from the earth simultaneously, reaching again for the heavens and then cascading back down to the earth, folding the torso forward, legs long and powerful, arms soft and beautiful.  Each movement lead with the breath, deliberate, and full of purpose.  The rhythm of the room building as direction is quietly spoken to reach up and out, forward and backward, side to side, extending upward and downward.  It becomes a dance, a journey of healing, a vibrant hope for some, a spiritual awakening for others.

Sweat begins to trickle down the legs, down the arms, beading across the brow, the lungs expanding, muscles softening, the veins pulsing with life.  The atmosphere focused, unified, existing only in the present moment.  The gentle voice again giving instruction, alignment, direction…..I am safe, all is well.  I open my heart to love.  I make space for all that inspires me.  Nourishing the entire being with the sweetness of the breath.  The sequencing progressively dynamic, with options for all abilities.  Challenging the body into greater depths, and allowing the breath to direct the softening, releasing, and then the surrender to the flow of life in this very moment.

Gracefully drawing the body back down to the earth, sitting tall, twisting, rotating, expanding, softening.  The body squeezing out any last toxins and tensions.  The mind is redirected to intention, the purpose brought to the individual’s practice this evening.  The breath of peace encouraged as the body reclines onto the mat, supported by the earth beneath.  The knees then hugged into the chest, positions taken to lengthen, to gently stretch the muscles to the last of their full capacity.

The breath now washing over you like the ocean tide, leaving jewels, pearls, the glitter of the seas……taking back with it all that you surrendered.  At last, the feet are free to soften to grow heavy, and sink into the sand.  The legs are soft and heavy, sinking into the sand beneath you.  Each part of the body now given the opportunity to soften, grow heavy, and sink into the support of the earth.  You notice only your heart beat, thoughts no longer present, you have drifted into your sea, floating, hovering.  The angelic sound of a voice, singing over you, filling every cell of your body as you are lifted from your mat and levitating somewhere between heaven and earth.

Longing to remain suspended in the stillness of this perfect place in time.  But, gradually the body settles back down, touching the earth once again.  The finger tips wiggle, the toes awaken, the breath deepens, wanting to hold onto the emptiness, the nothingness, the present state of just being, existing in this wrinkle in time.  The breath drawing the knees upward toward the chest with ease, as you rotate over into a fetal position, cradling the head with your arm, the abdomen is soft and sinking once again toward the earth.  Pulling in the breath of gratitude, sighing out gratitude for the sharing of a Heated Flow practice with all in the room.

You are encouraged to inhale peace for self, and exhale peace for the world around you, next compassion, then love.  Each word resonating with your soul like never before.  As you guide the body back up into a comfortable seated position, the hands are brought to the heart center.  A unified inhale…….exhale……..inhale, then the vibration of “OM” filling the room, the sound of the universe and the sound within the womb.  Representing the state of bliss experienced by all tonight.

You hear the soothing voice of the instructor once again, speaking a prayer over you, “May you be protected on your journey.  May you be nourished from your practice within community.  May your life be an inspiration and blessing to all.  May you work with positive energy with those you meet.  May you love the world you live in.  Peace, peace, peace. OM…….  Inhale fully together, and a long sigh out as one.  The light in me, sees, loves, and recognizes the light in each of you.  Namaste.  Just Breathe.

With all my love to each of you who attend Hummingbird Yoga Studio.

Ruth Graupner

Please click on the link below to see our current offerings at Hummingbird Yoga Studio.  We look forward to serving you!

November 2018-2


Hummingbird Studio/Wellness Happenings

Fall in Teton Valley, Idaho

     We are excited to get the Hot Yoga classes back in full swing now that the coolness of fall is settling back into the beautiful Teton Valley.  Come in out of the cold, enjoy a hot tea, hot yoga, and energized movement.  Be prepared to strengthen the body from the inside out!  We have had an amazing week at the studio!  Please click on the link Hummingbird Studio Wellness Happenings to discover what has been in the works at Hummingbird Studio!  We look forward to seeing you in class soon!

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