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.

  

June Spotlight

We're very excited to announce Jaime Wiant as this month's student feature. 

 

Coming up on her one year HARVEST anniversary in just a few short weeks, this bright light has the purest of hearts and kindest of spirits. Jamie's totally dedicated to her practice both on and off the mat, practicing sometimes 5 days a week. Investing in herself, she even took part in our first 10 week yoga philosophy series "Beyond the Mat". It's been a joy watching her grow as a yogi and as a human. 

 

What does HARVEST mean to you?

 

HARVEST means more than just yoga. HARVEST has helped to provide me an escape and release from the stress of life, a place to come practice yoga, expand my mind, soul and spirit... oh and become part of this amazing community. 

 

How did you start your yoga journey?

 

I used to drive past Harvest and think I wonder what that's all about. COVID (ugh I know) hit and I needed to get out of the house. Harvest popped in my head, I found the Instagram page, followed and found Yoga on the Patio. The rest, my friends, is history.

 

does yoga mean to you?

 

I could write a book, but I won't. haha. Yoga has taught me (and continues to) how to tune back in with my mind, body and spirit. I lost it along the way and yoga forces me to get out of my head, per say, and back to who I was. It challenges me each day with new poses, improving on old ones, and showing me that I don't have to be super flexible or do handstands to be a yogi!

 

How do you fit yoga into your everyday life?

 

I come to class almost every  single day. I feel off if I don't. Also, after taking Robyn's Beyond the Mat class this early spring, I try to be more mindful of my actions, thoughts, and how I interact with the world. I do my best to remember the asanas, what they stand for, and how I can work to be a better me.

 

What advice would you share with yogis just starting out?

 

JUST DO IT!!!! Like Nike, and I promise you, you will not be disappointed. Do that crow pose, even if you "eat pavement", hold that warrior 2 a little longer... the accomplishment you will get from doing it will far surpass how tired you may feel.

 

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

 

I actually thought a long time about this!! Honestly, it depends on the day. In my power, I am crow, trying to balance and hold in place. In my peace, I am sphinx, holding strong, faced forward and at ease. In my in between times, I am mountain pose, standing tall, strong and ready for what's next.

 

One interesting fact about you, you would like to share with your community?

 

I have a fascination with Europe, especially Paris. I had a connection with the city, the people, the food and everything that is Paris, France. I hope to return one day to Paris. I even find myself reading pieces centered around France's history.

 

April Spotlight

We're very excited to announce Kaitlyn Morr as this month's student feature.

 

Kaitlyn took her first class at HARVEST in October of 2019. Ever since she's been gracing us with her friendly smile and big heart. Kaitlyn is passionate about her yoga practice both on and off the mat. She's been a dedicated sudent, watching her grow and flourish as a yogi has been a joy. Get to know Kaitlyn, read her full feature below.

Kaitlyn took her first class at HARVEST in October of 2019. Ever since she's been gracing us with her friendly smile and big heart. Kaitlyn is passionate about her yoga practice both on and off the mat. She's been a dedicated sudent, watching her grow and flourish as a yogi has been a joy. Get to know Kaitlyn, read her full feature below.
 
WHAT DOES HARVEST MEAN TO ME?

 

HARVEST to me means introspection. I became part of the HARVEST community 18 months ago. I think I was a bit broken, or maybe you could say lost to some degree, before I started practicing yoga at HARVEST. To many outsiders, it probably looked like I had it ALL. I’m a wife, mom of 3, I have amazing friends + family, and I have a great job in Corporate America.  But on the inside, my soul was dying a slow-death. I felt unfulfilled, restless, and miserable. When I would take the time to slow down and sit with myself, my inner dialogue would chime in and whisper: You are meant for more! I would “shush it”, stuff it back down, and fall back on excuses like ‘I am too tired’, ‘I am too busy’, or ‘life is too chaotic’ to even attempt the self-reflection and work I so desperately needed to do. Then, I discovered HARVEST and yoga changed everything! Slowly-by-slowly with each new class, I was discovering my true self again. Through yoga I was peeling the deadness off my heart and soul layer by layer. It was almost like yoga helped me to tap into myself….tune into my soul and reconnect with my true identity. I became more confident, lighter feeling, happier and more alive. This lead me to go after my dreams of being an interior decorator, and I truly believe my soul has taken flight! HARVEST has led me to monumental personal growth. Yes, there has been growing pains, because with change + with doing the hard work things can be a bit messy and not easy, but IT HAS ALL BEEN WORTH IT! I feel like Harvest lit a spark in me and set my soul on fire. It has allowed me to be exactly who I was made to be and be comfortable in my own skin.

HOW DID YOUR YOGA JOURNEY BEGIN?

My yoga journey didn’t have the best start. I was introduced to it + first tried yoga when I was doing the P90x workout program. It was not a great experience! I remember thinking “this yoga stuff is not for me” and that yoga wasn’t a “true” workout, because it was too slow and gentle. I literally would skip the workout each week when it was “yoga day” and go for a run instead. For 4 years I was a 5am Bootcamp class-type-of-girl (with the thought process that the harder the workout was on your body, the better it was for me to get into shape after having my 3 children.) Quickly, I began to notice that the hard-impact workouts were causing aches and pains in my body that hadn’t been there before. Countless times my good friend Ashley would tell me that I should give yoga a try. She would always describe to me that not only would her body feel great after yoga, but it also helped her mental state and help her relieve stress. I would politely dismiss the idea and tell her that yoga just wasn’t for me. Then, a year and a half ago, another girlfriend of mine’s husband told me he saw that a yoga studio opened up in DTCF and he encouraged his wife and I to go try it out & have some much need time away to ourselves. I had just ended a grueling 6 month half marathon training program and race, and my body was literally screaming at me to go softer on it for a bit. I decided I would give it a shot and see what all the fuss was about. I NEVER expected to fall in love with the practice of yoga and for it to change my life, but it did! Yoga is exactly what I’ve always needed in my life. And not to sound corny, but I really think yoga completes me and my soul :)

WHAT DOES YOGA MEAN TO YOU?
Yoga to me means synching your body and your mind together in breath. When you take the time to do just that…when you synch them….your able to honor your soul, heal it, and find good energy. I think yoga makes you a better human and can almost feel like a spiritual breakthrough at times. I love many teachers and classes at HARVEST, but my favorite is Robyn’s 10:30 class on Sundays. I tell people that I go to yoga on Sunday and it’s my “church”. You know how sometimes a sermon can touch your heart on a level so much that you feel like the pastor has peeked into your soul and is personally directing his teaching at you?!? And then you leave church and you feel lighter and ready to tackle anything that life throws at you?!? That is how I feel on Sundays after my class with Robyn. I love how at the beginning of each of her classes she talks to you about “life things”….good things, bad things….and somehow in her magical way of story-telling she weaves it into an intention for us…something to ponder…something to work on….something to work out…..and then we flow through it, hold space for it, inhale and then exhale, and then let it all go. Yoga is magical and a necessity in my life.

HOW DO YOU FIT YOUR INTO YOUR EVERYDAY LIFE?

If I had it my way, I would take a yoga class every day of the week. However, it is often hard for me to fit a yoga class into my daily life due to my kids’ schedules, my work, and everything else we humans juggle on a daily bases. My goal is to make it to Harvest at least 3 times a week, but lately that hasn’t been able to happen. And that’s ok, because often when I feel the stress, anxiety, or any overwhelming feelings creep up inside, I know that means I need to take a few moments to find my breath. This helps me find my balance and that in itself is yoga. Another way I find yoga in daily life is by honoring my most authentic self. I try to listen to what my heart is saying each morning, practice gratefulness through journaling, and act with courage throughout my day. This can show up in many forms. For example, it could be me quieting any doubt that arises in my mind. I do that by first honoring the doubt, excuse it and then refocus my mind on positive things. Another way it shows up is by simply saying NO to someone or something, instead of being the natural people-pleaser I am. And finally, it is done by staying in touch with what I need and taking time for myself. Mom guilt is a real thing…but, I’ve found that if you are only taking care of others and not yourself, you are slowly crushing your soul.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU SHARE WITH A NEW STUDENT?

First off, I would tell them how excited I am for their journey and that I am SO proud of them for trying something new. I would also share how amazing HARVEST’S community is and how Nici and the staff are always so friendly and welcoming. The studio will become their home away from home! I’d also say that at HARVEST our motto is Yoga is for Everybody and Every Body. There’s no room here for comparison and the practice of yoga allows you to check your ego at the door and have some quality time with yourself on your mat. Just like how every person is unique, so is everyone’s yoga journey! I would tell them to have fun with it, challenge themselves to be brave to do things they’ve never done before, and to do the work, because yoga is about to change their life in the most beautiful way!

IF YOU WERE A YOGA POSE, WHICH ONE WOULD YOU BE?

Ooooo this is hard for me to pick just one. I thrive on structure and balance, so immediately I thought of saying warrior 3 or mountain pose. But if I am to honor my most authentic self, the pose I would be is wild thing. I am a middle-child and to me the “syndrome” is real. I have some deep-rooted scars from my childhood. I often felt unheard, that I didn’t matter and just lost in the shuffle. I learned that by being the “outgoing child” and through my personality that I could get noticed and be seen/heard by others. This is probably why I earned the “wild child” badge in my family.  The silver lining though is that I instinctively wanted any person that I came into contact with to know that I saw them, that I was listening to them, and that they mattered. I guess you could say I became a professor in watching people’s body language and seeing their souls through their eyes and connect with them  heart to heart. So to relate it further, I would be wild thing because in the pose you stretch your entire front body and open up your heart space. In the pose you are wild and free, and because I have a  big heart…in this pose I can open up my heart, let it shine, and connect with others.

WHAT IS AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE?

An interesting fact about me is that I recently became an entrepreneur. I just started designing and decorating as a side hustle through my business Decor by Morr. When I started college I wanted to explore interior design as my degree, but I didn’t have the confidence in myself to take that step, nor did I have the support system in place to help me believe in my dreams. Yoga + HARVEST gave me the confidence and helped me to go after my dream. I all of a sudden knew I had to take this giant leap of faith and put myself out there. The response has been amazing and on weekends you can find me happily decorating people’s homes for them. Other than being a mom to my amazing 3 kiddos….being an interior designer makes my soul sing!

 

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.