Thursday, July 28, 2011

Americans For the Arts ARTSBlog

Yesterday I was really thrilled to see Sixtwelve mentioned in Americans For the Arts' ARTSBlog.  The writer, Tiffany Barber, is an OKC native who is really involved in our arts community and she's getting ready to leave for New York to get her PhD in Visual and Cultural Studies at the University of Rochester. In the post she writes about all of the wonderful things going on with the arts in Oklahoma City.  I couldn't agree more.  OKC has something really special going on and we're lucky.  I consistently hear that we have the most supportive community and I see it when I attend the openings, exhibitions and shows. It makes me excited to be a part of it!

Thank you so much for including Sixtwelve in your blog post, Tiffany, and we wish you the best of luck!

Click HERE for the blog post!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Paseo Arts Festival Video

Thanks to the brilliant work of Kyle and James over at Home Base Studios we now have a video of James and I talking about the things we wanted to accomplish through volunteering with this year's Paseo Arts Festival.  I'm so impressed with their skill, artistic ability and I love their sense of humor.  I'm proud to work with them and to be on the same team with them in preparing for all the things that we're going to do at Sixtwelve!  They have been working on the artist videos for the JRB Gallery for almost a year now and I've seen them grow and grow in not only their ability (they always had that) but in their artistic eye for things.  They've also been heavily involved in creating and running the STATIC program over at IAO.

These guys really care about our community, the growth of Oklahoma's support of film and video artists and they want to help! It's fun to work with them and I'm honored to call them my friends too.  Yay Kyle and James!!!!

Now take a peak at this sweet video!

612 presents: Paseo Arts Festival 2011 from Home Base studios on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Waiting for Superman

Yesterday I watched a documentary called, "Waiting for Superman." Have you seen it?  Here's the trailer:

As I sat watching this film, I had so many things swirling around in my mind.  I thought about all of the great public school teachers I know and how hard they work in order to give their students everything they can.  I'm grateful to have known them too, because they were the reason that I grew. We learned from each other.  I wasn't the best music teacher in Norman, but there really wasn't much I wouldn't do for those kids.  Teaching was my life and because of that, I wanted to improve as a teacher. One thing that I loved that Michelle Rhee said was that it is a privilege to work with kids.  If you're a teacher and you don't believe that, you're in the wrong job and you need to get out. NOW!

It's not often that I will write something negative in this blog and I really don't believe that saying you need to find a different vocation is a negative thing.  Change has to take place.  Kids all over the world deserve the best from us and if you're not willing to give it, move on and find your passion. You'll be of more help to this world and your community if you do. You'll probably be happier as well.

I believe that it's an honor to work with kids.  In doing so, it's likely that you'll learn more than you teach.  You recognize your own strengths and weaknesses in your students and as you help them, you help yourself.  You find that you love beyond what you ever thought you could and you take the kids' struggles home with you, whether you should or not. You meditate at night before you go to sleep on ways in which you can help and make a change in their lives. You can't help yourself.  I imagine it's a lot like being a parent.

When I was working at the Museum, Oklahoma City's KIPP School came for a tour.  The whole school came! We were holding the awesome Harlem Renaissance exhibit and I can remember while the group was outside waiting for the Museum to open, every single student was in a straight line, reading a book.  It was so quiet and every kid was on task.  As they entered the building and then the theater, they were polite, respectful and attentive.  They listened as we welcomed them and told them about the exhibit.  They were gracious and kind.  Their teachers and leaders also modeled this behavior and I couldn't have been more impressed or grateful.  After they toured the exhibit, our docents said they were impressed as well.

We had seen a tour group right around the same time from a very affluent school where the teachers were rude to me.  They were talking instead of paying attention to their students in the theater and as a result, the students were riding up and down the elevator to to the admin area, running up and down the stairs, yelling the whole time.  They were also doing this in the theater.  When I had to interrupt the teachers' conversation to ask them to please watch over their students and told them what their kids were doing (high school kids, mind you!) the teachers got mad and yelled at me.  I was really surprised.  If that had happened when I was teaching, I would have been embarrassed that I hadn't been more on top of things.  But I write this story because I want to show the difference a teacher can make.  In fact, it's the teacher that makes all the difference.

The KIPP program is something I believe in, but as the film says, we need to be giving the opportunity to all students.  The chance for a great education isn't something that should be so rare that people have to play a lottery to get it.  It broke my heart to see how badly the kids in this film wanted to go to a school where they would get what they needed in order to go to college...and then didn't get in.  I fully believe that kids need an educational experience where they are givin what they need for success and the encouragement to be their best.  They need the challenge and the discipline.  Those that we see as lazy or that have tuned out, need our extra best so that they can find pride and intrinsic motivation to learn. Tears flowed and anger grew when I saw the segment in the film about tenured teachers who couldn't be fired, but had legal issues for misconduct, just sitting around in a room all day for months, still drawing a paycheck and costing the state and nation so much money that could be put towards education.  But would the government actually give it to education anyway?

I'm angered by the fact that so much has been cut from our state education budget that Oklahoma kids and teachers are suffering.  I read an article a few weeks ago when I was at the cabin about the programs that are affected by these cuts and it seems to me that Oklahoma is going backwards. Our kids are missing out on experiences that give them what they need and our teachers are too.  I can't believe that field trips, funds for Oklahoma A+ Schools and provisions to help teachers become Nationally Board Certified have been stripped. Outside experiences, the arts, good teachers and their professional development are key to giving students what they have to have!!!!

I know that there are many sides to all of the issues presented in this film.  I'm sure that there are people reading this that could argue for tenure, teachers' unions, the fact that  no school can be all things to all people, and the fact that KIPP or other programs mentioned in this film might not work for everyone. Another issue is that standardized test scores are at the heart of some of these programs so therefore they revolve around math and science. Where is the issue of keeping the arts mentioned in this film?  I think I heard Michelle Rhee speak about it once when she said that because of her changes, the DC schools were finally able to have an art teacher, a music teacher and a PE teacher at every site.  That was it.  But at least it was mentioned and I'm sure that's a different documentary.

I know that what I want to accomplish at 612 isn't going to cure our state's education problems.  I'm not the brilliant mind that will be able to balance a budget and please all people.  But what I am happy about is the fact that I am going to use my life and my resources to contribute to helping fill a tiny part of the huge gap.  Because in the end, it's the students that matter.  We have to do better for the kids in this state.  Do what you can people. And to all of you teachers out there who get up every day and give it your all, you're my hero. Thank you.

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Thumbs Up Everybody For Rock and Roll!!!"

This morning, my friend Romy posted this video on her Facebook page and it couldn't have come at a better time.

My favorite parts are:
  • the kid encouraging people to believe in themselves.
  • just how excited and proud he was of himself for accomplishing his goals. Growth and learning are keys to happiness!
  • the dad saying, "I feel happy of myself too."  What a great way to connect with his son and to reward his positive thinking.  Plus I'm happy for the dad that he's happy too. Haha!
  • the fact that the kid almost sounds German in all of his excitement.

I've been giving a lot of thought recently to methods and ways with which to best encourage people. I'm constantly evaluating the balance between being too sweet (possibly being a doormat or not encouraging enough) and being too hard (pushing people away because I'm too insistent).  I feel that what people need is different with each person.  You just have to be sensitive and hope that they give you enough time to figure it out.

The irony of the whole thing is that recently, while trying to encourage a specific friend, I realized that I was the one who actually needed the encouragement.  Lately, I have been struggling with feeling a little blue myself.  So I took a time out this weekend and tried to do some things for me. I've been giving away so much of my time over the past few months and I've been happy to do it because I've believed in everything that I've done, but sometimes you just have to stop and take care of yourself. I suspect that the best thing you can do is take care of yourself all along the way, so you have more to give.

So I spent a lot of time on the couch, catching up on movies and documentaries that I had wanted to watch and then James came over last night and we watched a show called, "What the Bleep Do We Know."  Some of the concepts presented in that video were a little out there and I don't really want to go too deeply into the science of it all or the spiritual ramifications, but I will say that if what the film presented is true, regarding peptides and cellular structure and the ways in which we can become addicted to our emotions and the chemicals our bodies produce because of that addiction, then I find hope in it.  It means that we can control the chemicals produced in our bodies just through controlling our thoughts.

Believing that you can do something...fully believing that you can, makes a huge difference. When you get stressed or feel like you are hearing the same voice in your head that you've heard for years, telling you that you can't do something......that you're not worthy of love...that there is something wrong with have to replace that voice with more positive messages.  You have to stop, break the usual cycle and tell yourself that you can accomplish your goals, you are worthy of love and that actually has to start with loving yourself.  The true test of that is going to be when you are sending those messages to yourself under stressful circumstances.

And here's the best part.  You can retrain your mind to think in certain ways. You can take control of your emotions.  You really can. It just takes a LOT OF PRACTICE. You've had years and years to establish these patterns of thought so it's going to take a while to learn how to change them. "What the Bleep Do We Know?" even says that when you do this, you change the way your neuroreceptors connect and after a while, you've conditioned your cells to receive different messages from your brain. And if that kid in the video doesn't inspire you to "believe of yourself,"...well, then just be a little more patient and loving with yourself. "Keep practicing! I know you'll get the hang of it!"  The key is to keep trying and believing that you can.

Here are some ways in which I am working on changing my own thinking...

So you didn't pass that French test? Keep taking it. You haven't had a French class in over 5 years. Practice a little more and then you can do this!

So guys that you cared so much about chose other girls?  Move on! Make room in your heart for one that treats you better and actually wants you because you deserve that. Quit trying so hard to prove that you are worthy of love.  You already are. You're awesome! Look at you! You're beautiful and you don't need anyone in your life that doesn't want to be there.

So you don't know exactly what you're doing with starting this business?  You're feeling your way through it and you have all the guidance that you need.  If you don't, you'll find it and it's all going to work out because people believe in what you are doing and they want to help.  Do as much as you can and put as much goodness into the world as you can with the time you have on this earth. When it's done, you'll have taken things as far as you can and then someone else can take over.

So you feel like there are people out there trying to take advantage of you?  Be strong and don't let them.  They'll either respect you for it or go away.  Both are ok.

So you're not the best singer in the world?  Get out there and make some music anyway. It's more about challenging yourself and growing from the experience than the final product, but the final product will improve the more you do it!

This may be more info than anyone ever needed about me, but I have a feeling that a lot of people struggle with stress and feelings of insecurity and this gave me hope.  So I thought I would share. "Thumbs Up Everybody for Rock and Roll!"

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What a Week

This past week was one of ups and downs.  I feel a bit like I've been through the ringer, but it was full of blessings.

Monday I found out that my friend and colleague, Dr. Hardy George passed away.  I knew he had been sick but it just happened so fast and anyone that knows me knows that I have a hard time letting go of people. I'm working on it.  Hardy was such a great man. He was the Chief Curator at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art and when I was working there, I experienced so much patience and encouragement from him...and a lot of laughs. Sometimes Hardy and I could just look at each other and giggle, knowing that the other was thinking the same thing.  I really respected him, not just because he was so smart and successful, but also because he was a gentle spirit who genuinely cared.  He deserved the utmost respect whether he got it or not, but never demanded it.  I wish there were more men like him in this world.

Monday night we had our rehearsal for the OKCMOA rooftop gig (which I'll write more about in a minute.)  It went really well, so it was actually therapy for the sadness I encountered earlier in the day.  There was more than Hardy's death that I was dealing with and I won't go into it here, but I'll just say that I really needed to sing and it was the perfect outlet.  When I left the rehearsal, I felt a million times better.

Tuesday, I went to visit my friend Casey Friedman of Acoustic Oklahoma.  We had a wonderful talk and he has graciously agreed to help with the music at the Paseo Arts Festival next year.  We'll be so lucky to have him on board! I really respect what he is doing with Acoustic Oklahoma and if you haven't checked out the Facebook page or what he's doing at VZD's on Tuesday and Thursday nights, you're missing out.  Casey has a studio and apartment and more above the Horn Trader Company where he is recording as many Oklahoma musicians playing or singing or both.  I fully believe in the value of this project and I'm so grateful that someone is doing it.  It's not only our musical community that is being presented, but its history as well! As a student who researched at the Oklahoma History Center this year, I was so grateful that people took the time to document our state's past and I know that what Casey is doing will have great relevance for many, many people in the years to come.  Besides that, it's just fun! While I was there, Casey had me sit for a picture where he has the other musicians play.  I wasn't quite ready for that...I would have fixed my hair if I'd known I was going to have my picture taken! Haha! So I made him take one too. :)

I chose a banjo as an instrument to hold in honor of a friend.
I don't really know how to play, but maybe someday! :)

On Wednesday, I had a great rehearsal with Sara and Jessie, the other singers in our band and then went to a new place for a cocktail with friends, Cohiba Lounge.  While we were there, some guys dressed in green and purple unitards came in.  I'd seen the green man dancing on the corner by The Mont before, but never the purple guy.  They were pretty funny.

Dancing without Music.  Love that performance art!

When did planking become so popular? It wasn't that fun at Boot Camp last summer. Haha!

Thursday was spent getting ready for the performance at Cocktails on the Skyline  (the gig on the rooftop at the Museum.)  I bought a pop-up tent because it was over 100 degrees (and has been for weeks now) and then we rehearsed before the show.  Man it was hot on that roof! And I'm not just talking about the temperature.  We really rocked it! :)  I was so happy with how everything went.  I have never worried about the instrumentalists.  They are regularly gigging musicians.  And the girls sounded so great on their harmonies, but I have normally worried about myself and the quality I was capable of.  But not this time! As I've written in the past, my confidence has grown with each experience and I'm grateful.  I wasn't perfect and I never will be, but I'm learning and I feel that when I'm confident, it shows. I could take risks vocally and I learned that you don't have to introduce every song. Haha! My brother Tom and the rest of the guys are helping me to learn so much.  Here's a pic from the night.

The Jones! Jon, Jessie, Me, Tom, Sara and part of Justin (on the right)
Missing from this picture: Steve, Daniel, the rest of Justin and the other Steve (haha!)
photo by Ross Becker

All in all it's been a great week. I'm grateful for all of the high points and even the low ones too. It's hard to let go of people that you care about, but I'm realizing that it's just a part of life.  Whether its death or people just needing to move on, you have to let people flow in and out of your life as they need to.  I'm just grateful for the ones that want to stick around for the long haul.  I think they help you to have the strength it takes to let the others go.  Rest in Peace Hardy.  You will always be loved and respected.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Okie Noodling!

Last night was one of the most fun experiences I've had in a long, long time...and that's saying something because I have fun pretty much everywhere I go.  I have heard about Okie Noodling for years and knew about it mostly because of the documentary, "Okie Noodling." (and there is also Okie Noodling 2!)  I met the director, Bradley Beesley when he came to the T-shirt tent, where I was volunteering.  I told him that I was so happy to meet him, not only because I was a fan of his work (I also love his film, Summer Camp!) but also because I had heard about the name of his high school mowing business.  My friend Jay Wendorff had told me about it a while back and it always makes me giggle. :)

I aslo got to see some people that I hadn't seen in a long, long time! My cousin Kathleen came up to the t-shirt booth and surprised the heck out of me.  I haven't seen her since high school, so that was just wonderful. How could family go so long without seeing each other??? I had the pleasure of meeting her son who wants to design video games. Awesome.  How cool would it be if we could have a game design class at 612? I don't even know the first place to start with that, but you never know what can happen. It was really great to see them there! I also saw a friend from growing up in Ardmore and I don't think I've seen him since early college at OU.  He not only worked on the Okie Noodling documentary but also helped start and continue the festival. I'm so impressed! It was great to catch up with him.

The people I met while working at the T-shirt tent were hilarious.  I felt completely at home just talking and joking around.  Everyone there was having a pretty good time and I was one of them!  I really can't wait to go again next year and when I do, I'll go early enough to take pictures of the catfish and people who entered the tournament. I could't do that this year because I was working almost the whole time I was there. I don't know if I could be brave enough to stick my hand down into a hole and wait for a fish to bite me just so I could catch it, but it might be fun to enter the Okie Noodling Queen pageant...if I qualified to enter! Wouldn't that be fun?

Here are some sound bites from the Okie Noodling 2 site:

DV NOODLING Sound bites w/TC from Bradley Beesley on Vimeo.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Excited About Next Week's Gig at the OKCMOA - "The Jones" at Cocktails on the Skyline!

Next Thursday night the group of people I put together to perform at the Paseo Arts Festival (minus the very talented Alan Orebaugh and plus the awesome Steve Schaben) will have a gig at the Oklahoma City Museum of art for their weekly/seasonal event, Cocktails on the Skyline.  I'm really looking forward to it, not only because I worked there for three and 1/2 years and love that place, but also because it's a great place to play! I always have fun on the roof and so does most everyone else!

In preparation for this gig, I haven't faced the same issues I've had in the past.  After taking piano lessons, violin lessons, voice lessons or some other form of music training (choir, etc) from the time I was in the third grade until I graduated with a music degree from OU, I've developed ways of doing things (usually burned on my brian by my teachers, instructors, professors).  I have been taught to practice for months and months on a regular basis and there is great value in that. However, I have realized over the past few years of singing here and there that professional gigging musicians don't always work like that.  They definitely practice (and I have too), but because they are playing so many shows on a regular basis, they don't have time to meet once a week for months and months to practice.  Everyone kind of just has to prepare on their own and then the week before a show, get together to work out chord charts and make sure they're all on the same page.

Then you just hit the ground running! In the past, I haven't had the confidence that I could live up to the caliber of my brother Tom Young, Justin Morris, Alan Orebaugh, Steve Baker, Steve Schaben, Jon Knudson, Sara Garner, Jesse Porterfield and all of the other wonderful musicians that I was singing with.  I knew they wouldn't have any trouble with the process, but I wanted to make sure I was carrying my end of the deal too.  I would always get really nervous before shows and I'm ashamed to say that I have even shed some tears. But through talks and giving me the chance to work with them, these guys have been really patient and have helped me to understand how things work.  And by doing it more often, my confidence has grown.

So now, instead of worrying about how the show will go, I'm just really looking forward to getting to make music with these people and to the experience as a whole. I'm now sure that I can join in, contribute in a great way and have a lot of fun in the process.  I'm so lucky to have these opportunities to express myself and grow through music.  It's a huge release for me and makes a big difference in my outlook.  I love music so much and I'm really, really grateful for the amazing and talented people I get to work with.

So come see us next Thursday night on the roof of the Museum.  It's going to be a lot of fun!!!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Starting a Movement!

Yesterday my friend Preston showed me a great TED Talk and I loved it! It was a talk given by Derek Sivers titled, "How to Start a Movement."  I think it struck a chord with me so deeply for many reasons.  First, if you watch the video, you'll see a guy dancing alone (in the beginning) and in a rather hilarious way.  It reminds me of James.  He's known as someone who is pretty shy and reserved, so it might surprise you to know that he actually loves dancing and can let loose like no other while cutting a rug.  In fact, he says it brings him a lot of happiness.  I always just giggle because I see the people around him being entertained by his wacky style.

But what the people around him that are usually pointing and laughing don't understand is that he is doing it not only to have fun, but also to create good energy for them.  He wants to fill the room with happiness and life and that energy spreads pretty quickly! People who were originally just standing there end up catching the "bug" and dancing right alongside James! It looks a lot like what you see in the video here:

The second reason I loved the video was because I have been thinking about all of these concepts and how we can apply them to what we're going to do with 612.  I want it to be a place where good energy spreads...and I mean spreads right out of the doors and into our community.  I think it will! I think that people are going to find something there that they can take back out into their own lives, to those of their families' and neighbors' and that will expand beyond.  At least that's what I'm hoping!  I also found it interesting that one of the keys to starting a movement is to treat those that want to join you in the beginning as equals.  I believe that's true.  Everyone is going to be important in what they will bring to the table at 612, whenever they jump aboard, but those that really believe in you and your dreams from the beginning are of great value!

The third reason I loved the video is because of the person who showed it to me.  I think the world of my friend Preston and I know he was showing me something that he wants to do with is own life.  It excites me to think that he understands so fully what I want to see happen in our community because he lives in a different town and we can all do it wherever we are. We can all spread love and happiness in our own community and the more people that do it, the better it is for everyone! Sometimes it takes looking like a "nut" for a little while, but if what you are doing is good for you and others, it won't be long before the energy is contagious.  People will want to join you!  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cabin Time = Ideas About the Past and the Future!

I'm currently out at the cabin with my family for the Fourth of July and I'm grateful for the time away from the normal hustle and bustle.  It gives me a chance to do things that I'm usually either too busy or too distracted to reading magazines, taking care of myself (i.e. sleeping, beauty rituals, etc.) and enjoying the little pleasures of life like taking walks and drinking out of a mason jar.

I also love the time that I get to spend with my family.  My grandfather has been full of stories during this visit that I've never heard before.  I thought I had heard them all, and even recorded my grandparents telling these iconic (they were to the Young family anyway) stories before my grandmother passed away.  Kyle and James (Homebase Studios) edited them for me and I gave the final package to my family as a Christmas present a couple of years ago.  I love and cherish that video.  It's not only full of our family history, but it's hilarious too.  

My grandparents have set the tone for the rest of the family's sense of humor...and if you know me, you know what I'm talking about.  I'd say our recipe is a dash of sarcasm, a small amount of disdain for those who think too highly of themselves and a love for the vernacular. In the place where they grew up in the 20s and 30s, Lone Grove, Oklahoma, these elements were abundant.  As long as I've lived, I've heard my parents say things like, "That sounds like it came straight out of Lone Grove."

I took a walk last night after dinner and thought about how fun it would be to bring students out here for a camping retreat when we get the school open. I know how much being here brings me peace, so I thought that it could possibly do the same for others.  Maybe we could have a camping class or a photography class field trip or some kind of combination! In addition to peace, I feel inspiration here.  I'm not the best photographer, but I enjoy it.  Here are some examples of shots I captured last night while just walking around.


Sunset #1

Walking to the Lily Pad Pond

Lily Pad Pond

Lily Pads

Lily Pad Pond minus the Hipstamatic Filters

Sunset #2

Road to the Gate

The cows joined me for part of my walk.  I think they thought I was bringing them food. :)

Sunset #3

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Visit to Middle Earth and Yoga

Yesterday was such a great day! My friend Ross is a teacher at Middle Earth Child Development Center in Norman and he set up a meeting for me with the director so that I could visit, observe and ask lots of questions.  I just recently started my quest to visit as many reputable preschools/daycares in the metro area in order to learn what I can before developing the structure for 612's child care component, The Young School.

I feel so lucky because as soon as I walked in the front door I could tell that this place was special. The children not only looked happy and active, they looked loved and engaged.  I had no doubt that kids in Ross' class would feel that way (and every assumption I had about that was confirmed as I watched his kiddos play) because he's such a great and happy soul himself, but it wasn't just in Ross' class that I observed this situation.

The teachers also looked happy...all over the center.  That's always a good sign.  When I spoke with the director, Elizabeth Heath, I knew that there was a reason for the joyful atmosphere.  Even under the pressure of running a place serving over 100 kids, she had a smile on her face.  I couldn't believe my good fortune in having someone in her position (she's been the director for 11 years) answer questions and give advice.  She told me stories of how Middle Earth started back in the early 70s with a coop structure, how it has changed over the past 30+ years and that their philosophy statement was the first statement related to child daycare to be published in the US.  Many other programs have used this philosophy as a basis for their own.  After reading it and observing yesterday, I understand why and will definitely want to reference it when we're writing ours.

She gave the best advice and she also told me about a wonderful program going on in Van Nuys, California.  OneGeneration is a daycare program that serves Seniors and children at the same time! I have some big dreams for ways we can incorporate intergenerational learning at 612 because I think it's really important for people of all ages. In fact, I've written about it in a previous post and the TED Talk video I included names it as a key to happiness.  OneGeneration seems to be a place that is fully devoted to this idea.  Elizabeth Heath actually went to visit OneGeneration and related stories of how impressed she was with the success of their activities and approach to learning.  I want this for 612!!! In fact, I would love to go and experience it for myself because I think I could learn a lot, not only about the program, but how to make it happen.

As I sat there, listening to all of Elizabeth Heath's advice, I realized that I was very lucky to start these observations in such a great place.  I think the bar was set very high. I look forward to whatever I will learn in future visits to other centers, but the schools/daycares will have to be pretty awesome to top what I saw there.

After the visit, I went to yoga.  YES, YOGA! I've finally gone back.  In fact, I went twice this week to Ashtanga Yoga Studio and it has already helped.  I find myself so much more relaxed and centered. I'll be going back next week and I honestly can't wait.  I know it's going to help change my body in positive ways, but it's also so good for my mind.  My life, even though overwhelming at times, is very full and I predict that yoga will help me to slow down and count my blessings. Namaste. :)