YOGA COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

We want to celebrate all the amazing humans in our wonderful yoga community and their unique stories. So, we created the 'Yoga Community Spotlight' - A monthly feature highlighting your fellow students and their journey with yoga. Hopefully you'll get to know them better.

 

March Spotlight 

We're very excited to announce Terri Reinhold as this month's student feature.

Terri's been a student with us since the beginning - soon to be two years! She's a dedicated student, devoted to yoga and wellness both on and off her mat. Terri brings a fun energy to her practice, always interested in exploring more. Her kind and friendly personality is a joy to have around the studio. It's been a pleasure watching her grow thrive.

 

What does HARVEST mean to me?

I came to HARVEST on the opening day and enjoyed a class that Casi W was teaching. Casi is a friend of my son. I thought - Wow! This is amazing. I received a gift card for my birthday in January 2020. I took several classes at HARVEST and one of the things that impressed me from the beginning is Nici, she is so caring and welcoming and remembers your name. I felt like I belonged there immediately. In the class studio, I found a welcoming space, with people of all ages and different places in their yoga journey. March 2020, everything shut down and I was really missing my yoga practice. HARVEST offered free online yoga practices and I zoomed in almost every Saturday. This was exactly what I needed at that moment. Summer came and HARVEST offered the yoga in the park series. I purchased the unlimited summer pass and practiced every chance I could get, practicing outside was amazing and really helped put so much into perspective. As we practiced in that space, we had the amazing views of the trees, the beautiful blue sky, the sounds of nature, the foundation of the ground and grass and the chance to just BE right there at that moment. An hour to let go of what was going on around us. Thank you Nici and everyone at HARVEST for always believing and stepping outside the box to help us all continue with our practices. 

How did you start your yoga journey?


I tried yoga for the first time about 20 years ago and enjoyed the strength and flexibility but it really wasn’t what I wanted at the time. I wanted fast moving, aerobic movements and weights that I didn’t need to think about what I was doing, I found yoga again at my church on Saturday mornings about 5 years ago, and was amazed how different yoga felt this time - I still wanted to master all of the poses and look like a perfect student, I still had it in my mind that was yoga. But that all began to change slowly when I started to realize yoga is so much more. In addition to really finding my yoga practice, I also found friendships, encouragement from others, yoga festivals and summer solstice in the park and learning to be true to myself and my practice. My practice continues to evolve with every class I take at Harvest. 

What does yoga mean to you?


Yoga has made me more aware of me, what my body can do and what my mind is capable of. I find during the hour of my practice I have learned how to focus my mind and energy to my movement, balance and my breath. It has also helped my self confidence and helped me stay in the moment, because that is exactly where I need to be. 

How do you fit yoga into your everyday life?

I work in a High School office, and this year has been more challenging, as it has been for all of us during the Pandemic. I think about my breath a lot as it really does calm and recenter me. We often remind each other in the office, to stop and breathe. I like this quote by Marianne Williamson. “If we miss the moment, we miss the clues, In the present, when we allow ourselves to fully live there, we are restored, made wiser, and deeper and happier.” 

What advice would you share with yogis starting out? 

Be - Be true to yourself; Be Kind to yourself. Take your time with your poses, do what your body is asking for. Same days it may want more and other times it may want less. It is your practice, not the person in front of you or the person beside you. We are all on our own yoga journey. Do not give up, stay with your breath, clear your mind even if you can only do it for short periods of time, it is okay. Be patient, no one is judging you, it is you, your mat and your practice. Keep coming back. You will love the transformation you experience. 

If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be? 

Half moon, it reminds me of how life is sometimes. When I work through the pose without props or the support of the wall, I find the pose more difficult and challenging and at times a little unbalanced. When I use the wall as a support, I feel more grounded, strong, free, amazing and totally in the moment. The wall is much like the support I receive from everyone at HARVEST my family and friends, without it life can feel a little unbalanced. 

What is one interesting fact about you, you would like to share with your community

I love music of all kinds (with the exception of country - “sorry to the country music fans”) I have played handbells for over 30 years, with two different community groups and my church. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Germany and Switzerland to perform in some amazing locations. Handbell ringing brings me a lot of joy and happiness.

February Spotlight

We're very excited to announce this month's feature student: Karisa Casto

Karisa's been a student with us since January 2020. She's been dedicated student committed to her practice of yoga both on and off the mat. Karisa brings a kindness with her that fills the studio with warmth. On her mat she brings a strong and gentle presence to her practice. It's a been a joy to watch her grow + thrive.

What does HARVEST mean to you?

I found HARVEST at the time where I most needed it. I was in search of a yoga studio that I felt like I could fit in with. HARVEST has such a welcoming vibe. I felt accepted immediately and now have a sense of comfort whenever coming to practice. I have grown so much as a person on and off the mat and I’m forever grateful for HARVEST providing the space for me to do that.

 

How did you start your yoga journey?

Yoga was something I have always been drawn to. I would only ever do it casually at home though and was looking for a studio to further my practice for about a year. That’s when I happened to come across HARVEST and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve now been practicing both in studio and at home for a little over a year.

 

What does yoga mean to you?

From a mental aspect yoga has taught me a lot about acceptance and self-love. In so many other areas of wellness it’s so easy to look down on yourself and to push yourself too hard. However, with yoga there’s always such a positive energy when practicing and I always end up feeling strong and powerful. Yoga has taught me how to push myself in a positive way and also to accept and love where I’m at in the moment. From a physical aspect I have gotten so much stronger this past year. There have been things that I never knew my body was capable of doing and I’m able to do those things without hesitation.

 

How do you fit yoga into your everyday life?

Besides practicing regularly in the studio I find myself constantly doing things I’ve learned from yoga. Whether it’s taking meditative breaths during high stress moments, stretching in the morning before going to work, or even doing certain poses to help me fall asleep. That’s the thing with yoga it’s more than just a workout routine. There are so many aspects of it that become a lifestyle and I utilize so many methods that I’ve learned from daily yoga.

 

What advice would you share with a new student?

Take your time. Just like anything in life, yoga is a journey and not one that needs to be rushed. The more you do it the more the practice will come easy to you. So take your time, don’t beat yourself up when it gets hard and enjoy the journey for what it is.

 

If you were a yoga pose which one would you be?

I would say child pose. As most things in yoga relate to life off the mat I find this to be the most true with child pose. Just like on the mat it’s so important to learn to take a break. Knowing yourself, your mental health and your body enough to be able to take a rest is so important. This past year that is one thing that I’ve been trying to focus on the most is knowing when to take rest and allowing myself to do so.

 

What is one interesting about you?

I’m huge music junkie. In a pre-COVID world I would spend most of my time at any concert I would be able to go too. It’s the one thing I’ve been missing the most in my life and the one thing I’m looking forward to when it’s allowed back again.

 

January Spotlight

We're very excited to announce this month's feature student: Ashley Newlon

 

Ashley's been a student with us since September of 2019. She's a dedicated student committed to using her yoga both on + off the mat. Ashley always brings a friendly presence to the studio + strength to her practice. It's a been a joy to watch her grow + thrive.


What does HARVEST mean to you?  

I discovered Harvest after a couple of my friends had started going to classes and told me what a great experience they had.  I had been waiting for a local studio to open and offer early morning classes that I could actually attend before work, and Harvest fit the ticket.  Once I started there I was totally hooked, each instructor offers a different experience, but every experience has been a positive one.  Harvest got me back into yoga and helped me to challenge myself, my body and my mind.  It had been too long since I gave myself the opportunity to do these things for myself, and Harvest is a place where everyone - Nici, the instructors, and the students - make it comfortable and inviting.  Harvest is a place that makes me feel welcome and pushes me to do more for myself, my family and my community.  

 

How did you start your yoga journey?

I probably started my yoga journey before I even realized it.  When I was little I was very involved in ballet for years and learned how to move my body, balance and breathe.  After I was long done with ballet, I knew what my body used to be able to do which made me always question what my body could still do.  I think because of that, I've always been drawn to yoga, but didn't actually start practicing until my early 20's when I started exploring different practices and realized how much I enjoyed it.  It took another 20 years before I really rediscovered how much I do need yoga in my life.

 

What does yoga mean to you?

Rediscovering yoga in my 40's, has offered me such a fulfilling mind and body experience.  I tried to get back into yoga after having my kids, and then I discovered I had an autoimmune disease that severely weakened my body preventing me from doing physical things I had always done so easily.  After all of that, yoga was what helped me start to feel better about my body and myself and most importantly reminds me to be grateful  for what my body can do today. Yoga gives me the opportunity to recenter myself and really just focus on me for an hour.  It's so easy to get lost in everything happening when you have little kids, a full time job and just the everyday rigamarole.  So often I just felt like I didn't have time with everything else to focus on me.  Giving myself this opportunity to let go and really focus my energy makes me a better person all around, a little lighter and easy going...just ask my kids and husband, they always notice when I haven't practiced in awhile!   

 

How do you fit yoga into your everyday life?

So this is a tough one for me, I would love to just go to a class everyday, but I find that even if I can't do a class in the studio or at home, just taking five minutes to do a couple sun salutations can get me back on track.  Even just doing a forward fold and hanging out makes me feel better.  And for sure, what I utilize from yoga everyday is recognizing my breath, when I'm stressed out or feel anxious, I just breathe.  

 

What advice would you share with yogis just starting out?

Just keep coming back!  No matter how you feel at that first class when you look around and it seems like everyone knows how to do everything better than you...just keep coming back. It's amazing how quickly your body picks up the moves, and it's such a great feeling when you "get" a pose that always seemed impossible, or when you can take a pose to the next level.  It's worth the challenge and without challenge there can't be change.  Just keep coming back!

 

If you were a yoga pose, which one would you be?

I would say pigeon pose...challenging at first, but the more you get comfortable with it the better you understand it.  And of course Savasana, because it's just so laid back, and aren't we all striving for that.

 

What's one interesting fact you want to share with our community?

I love to travel and growing up here I always thought I would end up anywhere but back here in the Falls, I even moved away to Colorado for awhile.  After being away and then coming back home, it's been wonderful rediscovering all the beautiful hiking trails, the transformed downtown, and most importantly the supportive community that me and my family call home.