Team photographer Greg and I were at it again! My idea to take pictures of yoga poses in a reflection took shape as Greg and I wandered around the beautiful grounds of the Gaylord Resort Hotel at National Harbor. We were looking for different and interesting ways to capture my reflection.
Greg and I make a good team. Most of our photo shoots start out with a crazy idea of mine, we then set out to find a location and Greg adds his talented eye to catch the right shot. The following pictures are an example of the creative process in its most pure and inspired state – happening in the moment and with an undertone of playfulness and fun! What’s really amazing – these pictures are not retouched or photoshopped in any way!
The first set of pictures are out…courtesy of Greg-The Forever Yogi! He did an amazing job capturing the many amazing moments of this retreat! Check out this set of pics below…more photos can be found on my Facebook Page!
One of our own, Laura, is currently experiencing a health crisis. Her Yoga Kula (Yoga family) – twelve of her fellow classmates – rallied around Laura to cheer her up during this challenging time.
With very little planning and organizing, the group came together to meet Laura at a local restaurant! She was so surprised and touched that so many of her classmates cared to share their time and be of support. Repeatedly she commented how nice the evening was and how much she felt the love.
Unfortunatly, the meds Laura is taking have drained her of her energy. Even though the weakness in her body has not allowed her to attend class, her spirit remains strong. She is determined to keep working to get out of the house and to be among people. That sounds so like Laura!
The outing with Laura was so nice. The laughter and camaraderie was not only the best medicine for her but also for us! It’s our inner purpose in our lifetime to be of service to others in time of need, to remember the value of this life we are given to live, and to enjoy every moment!
Ever ready with his camera, team photographer Greg, was only too willing to capture the moments of that evening.
If you know Laura, leave a comment…she could use a few words of encouragement.
Greg and I were at it again! Team photographer Greg had another idea, the idea to take pictures around the huge Christmas tree at National Harbor.
As we walked around scouting out good backdrops for pictures, ideas started coming to both of us – a row of columns, a string of garland, the tree, and reason for going! We could visualize the pictures before taking them!
Whether the magic of Christmas or the magic of Yoga, photography (like Yoga and Christmas), is a powerful tool to create magic moments out of ordinary surrounding! I realized once again the powerful effect of yoga, a free flow of creativity! It is not the actual practice of the physical postures that brings about this creativity, but the more subtle effects of yoga like practicing present moment awareness and releasing limited thought patterns. Amazing! The possibilities for all of us are unlimited!
I hope you will agree when I say that Greg’s incredible talent and seasoned eye for photography created magic! Enjoy, and Happy Holidays…
What an amazing day it was! It was a pleasure to explore the Fire Element and experience Acro Yoga with old and new friends who attended. This year’s Fall Retreat was hailed by many of the participants as the “best one yet”!
The FREE Saturday Morning Waterfront Yoga at National Harbor has ended. What an amazing six months it has been! I have had the pleasure of teaching to more Yogis than I could have ever imagined – anywhere from introducing yoga to many first-timers to meeting incredibly experienced yogis. Above and beyond all, I met some awesome people.
Coming to mind are Evan and Kevan, the twin brothers. Evan was a dedicated Yogi who missed very few Saturdays. In his own quiet way, he showed his support by offering advice along with attending my workshop and the Fall Retreat. His brother Kevan, on the other hand, wowed me with his generous offer to play drums on a few Saturday sessions and at the Retreat! What better accompaniment to outside summer Yoga than live music! A heartfelt thank you to the Twins!
I also want to thank all the volunteers who participated in the Blog Feature. Thank you to Nuchapan, Marva, Bob, Edith, Katie, Suzanne, Terry, Ramona, Evan, and Angela. It was touching to hear their inspired yoga stories. Even more surprising is how for many of them Yoga was way more than just a physical practice…it was a way to relieve stress, to create a special time for an inward reflection and most of all to enjoy it all in the beautiful surrounding of National Harbor. And a special thanks to Greg, the photographer who came up with the idea for the Blog Feature and offered his time and talent to take a string of riveting pictures.
A thank you also goes to the Harbor Yogis who supported me by attending my Fall Retreat. I had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa, Tish, Ester, Grace, Theresa, Denise, Tyisanna, Kathleen, and Kelly as we spent the day together exploring the Fire Element. Surrounded by old and new friends, it was a treat to overlap the two groups with yoga being the force drawing us all together.
My hope is to see all of you throughout the winter months in class and again at National Harbor next Spring!
Take a stroll with me down memory lane of our times together at National Harbor, captured in the following photos:
How long have you practiced yoga? How often per week? Approximately 10 years.
What made you decide to practice yoga? Watching yoga on television and I love to exercise.
What do you like most about practicing yoga at National Harbor? Cathy’s teaching skills and I love National Harbor. I am so happy that PG County has National Harbor and Cathy Valentine.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why is it your favorite? I have at least three favorites, plow pose because, I feel, it helps conquer belly fat, downward facing dog, and triangle pose – but I love plow.
Describe how yoga has enhanced or changed your life? I personally feel that Yoga is helping me to stay flexible and healthy. Practicing yoga has so many benefits.
Here’s a sneak peak at the first set of photos to come out from the 2013 Fall Yoga Retreat! It was amazing! Our special guest HawaH was a hit! His segment on Acro -Yoga had all the participants flying high! Take a look…
How long have you practiced yoga? How often per week? I have had a physical yoga practice for ten years. I practice mindfulness daily, and try to remember my breath! I usually get to the mat once every week or two.
What made you decide to practice yoga? I was in high school and knew that I needed to find a way to channel all of my energy and cultivate consistency and discipline before I got to college. Eventually, I became a children’s yoga teacher and a yoga therapist because promoting self-awareness and instilling flow in everyday experiences is one of the greatest gifts I can share.
What do you like most about practicing yoga at National Harbor? I found the classes to be unique. When yoga is offered without charge it creates a very special sense of appreciation. Free asanas practiced with the water at your feet is just an enchanting opportunity!
What is your favorite yoga pose and why is it your favorite? My favorite asana is pigeon pose. It offers a deep stretch of the hip flexors as well as the hip joints. Women and people with low back tension especially benefit from this deep release. Emotional tension can be held in the hip muscles, and the subtleties of this stretch can really transcend into your state of being.
Describe how yoga has enhanced or changed your life? Yoga carved out a space in my head and heart where I can always touch peacefulness, kindness and grace. I found confidence and contentment in myself as I committed to my practice and the tenets yoga.
How long have you practiced yoga? How often per week? I have been practicing yoga for about 14 years now. Unfortunately I’ve let my practice slide and only get to a class once a month. I prefer at least once a week in combination with other exercise.
What made you decide to practice yoga? Originally I did it to stretch and tone. I had stumbled on a studio that did restorative yoga and I did not enjoy it. It was my first experience with yoga and was too slow a pace. I didn’t realize there were other types. Since then I’ve tried many variations and prefer a vinyasa flow class. It gives me a workout and provides the mental relaxation and spiritual connection.
What do you like most about practicing yoga at National Harbor? I love outdoor yoga! Nothing better than riding my bike from Old Town over to Cathy’s outdoor class on Saturday mornings. It is so tranquil staring out across the water.
What is your favorite yoga pose and why is it your favorite? Honestly, it varies class to class depending on what my body needs. I always love half-moon as its challenging for me and requires both strength and balance. Sometimes tree is hard enough to calm my mind and find inner balance and reminds me to be grounded like a tree, yet also bend and sway and not let life break you.
Describe how yoga has enhanced or changed your life? I’m so glad I found yoga. Its always there to return to when I need it. I knew I had to get to a yoga class this weekend as work has me stressed out. I can’t relax or sleep. Yoga gives me that escape and reminds me to simply focus on my breath. Only then do I feel calm and relaxed. Yoga reminds you of your inner strength. As I mentioned above, I didn’t enjoy my first introduction to yoga as it was too slow. Now I even crave the restorative/meditative classes too! Yoga offers something for everyone.
Photos By Greg – The Forever Yogi
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