Archive for knotts island
A New Year is coming up, and you’ve decided this is the year you will a) lose weight, b) get fit, c) find peace, or d) all of the above. So you are ready to sign up for your first yoga class- Yay! Except…what are you getting yourself into? What if everyone there is a) skinny, b) flexible beyond belief, c) they meditate!, d) all of the above? It’s all a bit much, right?
Here’s what you can expect: there will be all kinds of bodies there (see the picture above), at all levels of flexibility, fitness, and reasons for being there. Some will be first-timers like you, some will have some yoga experience. Some will have fashionable yoga clothes, the newest yoga mats, the latest accessories. Some will be wearing shorts and t-shirts, will have ratty mats, and no designer water bottles. No one will stare at you or judge you on your yoga chops, or your lack of yoga chops, and if they do, just smile at them and say “Namaste” (nah-mah-stay), the all-purpose yoga greeting which basically means, “We’re all the same, you and me.”
Many classes, like mine, begin with a period of meditation, and some people have a little trouble with this, for various reasons. Some folks are just not used to sitting quietly, in stillness, for any length of time. Some have been told or heard that it is against Christian beliefs, but many others, Christians and other religious believers, that while prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening for the reply. It can also be defined as a period of focus, of “thinking with love” (Apostle Paul) on peace, or God, or Jesus, or being kind, or giving thanks. To quote Psalms 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God”.
After the beginning meditation, prepare to sweat! A warm-up period usually follows, which serves to not only prepare the body for the poses that follow, but also focuses the mind, and begins to lengthen and strengthen your breathing to give you a strong foundation and continuing energy boosting. After the warm-up, the class transitions into the traditional yoga poses, like downward dog, or Triangle pose, to strengthen the body, work your muscles, and trim off those extra pounds. Yes, you will get frustrated, as some poses are more challenging than others, but so will others in the class, and yes, you may be sore the next day, but keep with your commitment and be proud of the soreness! You are on your way to looking and feeling stronger, to determination of mind and peace of spirit.
At the end of many classes, there will be a period of rest, usually a time of lying peacefully and quietly on your mat, either in silence or to soothing music or the sound of bells ringing. Congratulate yourself on this first step you’ve taken on your new path to wellness, mindfulness and peace. Smile gently to yourself and look forward to continued progress on your journey.
And now, let’s look at choosing your first class. First, why choose a class to go to at all? Can’t you just go to YouTube, find a video to follow, and do it at home? Yes, you can, but here’s why this is not the best option: Commitment. In order to make a real change in your life, you need to commit your time, your money, your self to the practice. Will you do this at home, where every thing and everyone there wants your attention and it’s too easy to say, I’ll practice later, just as soon as I do this, feed that, go here, be there? Probably not, and certainly not at the level of commitment that you need to make a real change.
So, use all this technology we have at our disposal to find yoga studios near you. Look at their class offerings, and find one that is a beginner level class. Look at their pricing system, and see if they offer a free starter class, so that you can go once to see if you like the class, the instructor, the feel of the place, and if it’s going to be for you or not. If you dislike or feel uncomfortable with any of these things, find the next place, ask for a free taste of the class, and see how you like that one.
At IslandLotus Yoga, where I teach Raja Yoga, I offer you your first class free, and am currently offering a gift certificate for a free class, which can be used anytime. If Knotts Island is too far for you, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake are loaded with yoga studios, spas that offer yoga, yoga teachers that offer private lessons. Very easy to find a place to begin.
Now, after checking out places and teachers and finding a place where you are comfortable, make that commitment to yourself by signing up for one of the multiple class plans. Then, put your body where your money is, and attend those classes!
Visit me at Willowgait Farm’s Artisan Festival on Sunday, Oct. 26th, 2014, from 10am t0 4pm on beautiful Knotts Island, North Carolina. I’ll be signing copies of my new book, Stories from the Other World and holding drawings for free yoga classes and book copies.
I’ll also be selling paintings by Ethel Barritt, baby spider plants and aloe veras, and homemade hot pepper vinegar. The Knotts Island Ruritans will be there selling barbecue, too. Come on down and enjoy the day!
Raja Yoga classes led by
Raja (Royal or King) Yoga comes from the Vietnamese tradition of Yoga. It combines familiar yoga poses with strenuous exercise and is suitable for people at all levels of practice- from beginners to more advanced levels. Because my classes are small, I tailor them to fit individuals at their pace and skills, also what they hope to get out of yoga.
Classes are held Tuesday mornings at 9am, Friday mornings at 8:30am, and Wednesday evenings at 6pm. All students are asked to follow these guidelines:
- Please arrive about 5-10 minutes before the class. We’ll need a little time to meet each other and get settled before class.
- Bring a mat, if you have one (there are a few extras available) or a large towel.
- Wear clothes that allow you to move freely and that give you support.
- Eat lightly, and give yourself a couple of hours to digest, before class.
- Remove your shoes at the door. Socks are okay, but ideally we will practice barefoot.
- Turn off cell phones or leave them in your car.
- No perfumes or heavy fragrances of any kind. We’ll be breathing deeply and need clean air.
- Bring water, if you like.
- Keep conversation to a minimum during class.
- Most of all, bring an open mind and a positive and willing attitude.
- The first class is free. If you decide to continue, each class will be $10 per person for the 1 hour class. Pay ahead for 4 classes for $30, or 8 classes for $60. Bring a friend and get a free class.
All classes are held at 204 Parker Lane. Parker Lane is off of South End Road, and is at first a paved road, then becomes a dirt lane that makes a sharp left as you approach the bay. 204 is the 2nd house on the right after you make the sharp left turn.
Please call or text me at 252.722.1690 if you have questions, need help to get to class, or just to say hello. I hope to meet you soon.
And before that, it was a Music Festival:
Pretty cool, huh? There will be music at the Peach Festival this year, too…here’s a lineup:
2014 Peach Festival Music Schedule
June 28th, 2014
11am-1pm The Dallas Band with Stephanie Poole
2pm The Tee Meroney Show
June 29th, 2014
11am Stephanie Poole sings Gospel
2pm The Country Ravens with Otto Shelor, Garland Abbott, Jerry Hayes and Lonnie Godfrey
June 28th and 29th, 2014
Saturday and Sunday
10:00am to 5:00pm
Admission: Adults: $5
Children 12 and under free with a paying adult
Free Parking (entrance at 161 South End Road)
Antique and Classic Cars!
See you there!
Awhile back I posted about Master Adam Nguyen beginning yoga classes here on Knotts Island (read that post here). A couple of months after I began training with him, after he learned that I was a writer with one published novel (read about that here), he began talking about me working with him to write a book about his life, his training, his philosophy…and some fight scenes thrown in for contrast. Later we began shooting video with an eye towards making a movie loosely based on the book. The book is about 80-90% finished, and Master Adam has now signed a contract with Light Age Films to shoot the movie, partly on Knotts Island.
As story consultant for the movie, I get to work with Ethan Martin and a host of movie folks that I have yet to meet. The New Year just began, the Year of the Horse, and already my life is galloping into new pastures.
When I was still working at the Post Office on Knotts Island, in early 2011, a man came in and walked up to the counter and requested information on getting his mailing address changed. I nearly fell off my postal perch for two reasons; but before I tell them to you, let me tell you a little about Knotts Island, North Carolina., population at last census approximately 1800-2000. It’s a small island, and despite the past years’ influx of folks who work in Virginia Beach and Norfolk and Chesapeake, but sleep on the island and therefore need to build houses here to sleep in, the island retains its rural character and its complement of rural “characters”. Folks here are overwhelmingly white and Christian, many still fish or crab in the spring and summer and hunt deer and ducks in the fall and winter. Non-whites who show up in the Post Office are usually tourists on their way to the Outer Banks, which is sad because 1) they are lost, and 2) we could use some diversity here.
Which brings me back to my two reasons: First, this man who turns up in the Post Office is dressed like the Ninjas you see in karate movies, or like Mr. Miyagi in the movie The Karate Kid. All in black, with the wide-legged pants, barefoot with sandals and short kimono-style wrap top tied with what looks like the belt you get when you have completed a level of your karate training. And second, he is Asian, and like I said before, on this island, that’s pretty unusual. So of course, he must be lost, but no, he has bought a house here, and seventy acres on the bay, and oh, by the way, he’s going to be starting yoga classes HERE on the island, and do I want to come? Wait, give me a minute to…YES.
So in May of 2012, I began taking classes in Raja Yoga with Master Adam, every Thursday afternoon at 4pm, here on Knotts Island. Over time, I learned things about Master Adam: he is Vietnamese, he’s been doing Raja yoga for 56 years, he also teaches classes at Wareing’s Gym in Virginia Beach (he actually began their yoga program there), he has taught yoga to Navy SEALS and to Hollywood film makers…I could go on, but if you want to know more, click here.
Raja (or Royal, or King) yoga is not as well known as some forms of yoga, and it is very different,
“Raja Yoga is very intense; it is rigorous and strenuous, yet it is also very balanced, with invigoration done the right way and a lot of rejuvenation. Done correctly, as taught by a Master, there would be no stress or strain involved or pressure. The Master encourages the student to pace themselves, to do the poses with ease and to slow down or take a break when needed. To stop if you have any doubts or perceive that what you are doing is posing a danger to your body.”
“Do all good. Do not do bad. Cleanse your mind, purify your heart. Practice wisdom and compassion. This is the Way. “
The words seem easy, but the practice is hard, as is the practice of this intense form of yoga. But for me, at least, it has been worth the effort. I’m more peaceful, more accepting and less judgmental, more able to deal with the vicissitudes of life…and I’m stronger, thinner, and more disciplined. And Knotts Island has a little more diversity.
Knotts Island Peach Festival
June 22nd & 23rd, 2013
176 Brumley Road
Knotts Island, NC
10am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday
Children under age twelve get free admission
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
11am-1pm The Dallas Band featuring Stephanie Poole
1:30pm-3:30pm Tee Meroney plays country music
Sunday, June 23rd, 2013
11am-1pm Jack Bateman sings an hour of gospel then an hour of country and rock
1:30pm-3:30pm Bob Radford and the Classic Country band with Garland Abbott, Jerry Hayes and Bill Wasarhaley
Antique and Classic Cars, Crafts, Food, Live Music, and Family Fun. And Peaches.