Happehatchee

Staying Healthy in September

Why is September so hard on many of us?

Letting Go Of Summer

 

soup small

Homemade Bone Broth

As we move from summer to fall, you may notice that your energy levels begin to change.  In both Traditional Chinese Medicine and in Indian Medicine known as Ayurveda, there is a good reason for this. Seasonal changes signal changes in our physical and emotional constitutions. “Traditional Chinese Medicine views the environment as an extension of the body. Therefore, living in harmony with the season helps to keep your body healthy,” according to www.eggsfromtheeast.com.  If we do not follow the rhythm of the seasons, it often shows up as dis-ease in the body. There are several ways to ease the transition into fall and possibly prevent your body from shutting down.

1) Go to bed earlier and rise earlier.  The sun is setting earlier and our circadian rhythms shift as well.

2) Eat fewer salads and smoothies and switch to cooked foods and soups. This is especially important if your primarily a Vata dosha (see my blog post  for further explanation).

3) While summer was about going and doing, fall is about reflecting, organizing, clearing out and preparing for winter. Even though we do not really have cold winters, there is still a seasonal clock at work here.

4) Add Yin yoga to your routine.  My yin yang yoga class is now Fridays at 9 am at Happehatchee.

 

While the yoga may poses look familiar, they have different names and  different purposes in Yin

Andrea doing mountain brook on the mat

For instance, Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana) in the Yang style of yoga is called Butterfly in Yin.  Butterfly is a slightly wider -legged pose, looking more like a diamond and it is often held for three to five minutes.   In this pose you relax all muscles and let your upper body hang without focusing much on alignment.

IMG_3252

Butterfly Pose

 

Yin yoga emerged out of the Taoist traditions of China.  Just as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Indian medicine (Aruyveda) come from a common tree, so do Yin and Hatha yoga.  Here in the west, Yin has been catching on, particularly among athletes, martial artists and people who want a more grounding, quieter type of yoga practice.   While Yang yoga often involves flowing sequences with 40 or more Asanas (poses) being held for 3 to 5 breath rounds, a Yin Yoga sequence might include just 10-15 poses each held for three to 10 minutes.

Bernie Clark, who studied under some Yin Masters and authored YinSights, says “Yin targets connective tissues… (ligaments, joints and bones, and is complimentary to the dynamic styles of yoga, which are focused on muscles.”  For many tennis players, runners and other athletes whose sports are so dynamic, having a less dynamic yoga practice can be very balancing.  For anyone suffering from injuries or recovering from illnesses, Yin may be just the right prescription for health.

The three basic rules of Yin according to Mr. Clark, are

1) Come into the pose at an appropriate depth.  One of my teachers described that as just short of your edge.  So come to your edge and ease off just enough so that you can maintain this position for the duration. You should feel sensation, but not pain.

2) Resolve to remain still except for your breathing.  You may not always succeed, especially if you are naturally a fidgety person, but maybe say to yourself when you want to flee, I will stick with it ten more seconds.

IMG_3370 (1)

Cat Pulling Its Tail

3) Hold the pose for a length of time upward of a minute, preferably 3-5 minutes.  This is important for several reasons.  For one thing, it takes at least 45 seconds before your muscles stop contracting.  It is necessary for your muscles to relax in order to go deeper into the connective tissue matrix of your body.

Mr. Clark describes what is often an initial reaction to practicing Yin. “Your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he says.  You want to fidget or escape.  But by breathing into the pose and paying attention to the sensations without judgment, you learn to stay calm and still in the midst of sensation, which our minds translate into suffering.  This skill, with practice, can translate off the mat in everyday life

I was first introduced to Yin Yoga 10 years ago when one of my favorite Yoga teachers in Charlottesville, Virginia came back from a workshop and spent the next five Sundays exploring Yin with us.   She would talk to us throughout the long held poses to keep us from releasing the pose too soon.  Her commentary and her eclectic style of teaching kept me coming back for more. Little did I know then, that I would follow in her footsteps.  She was also a school teacher, as I am.   In the fall of 2014 during the Yoga teacher training at Joyful Yoga, I was again, introduced to Yin Yoga through two of my teachers.  I was immediately drawn to the grounding nature of this style of yoga and the way my body felt after the practice was finished.

If you are interested in exploring the Yin Yoga Practice, come to  my Friday 9 am Yin/Yang Yoga class at Happehatchee.  The cost is just $10 and you get the added benefits of practicing Yoga in Nature and supporting a beautiful not-for-profit eco spiritual center that is working actively to protect land in Estero . I am also available to do private yoga classes.  Schedule your class today.

Yin at happe for yoga newsletter

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Creations – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs. Designing individualized doTERRA oil routines for your health.  Designing custom made jewelry to fit your style.

The Joys of Teaching Magnified in Nature

camp Andrea on the floor teaching

The greatest challenges offer the greatest rewards

Case in point, the week-long watershed education camp I directed at Happehatchee in June involving middle school age children.  Preparing for this camp kept me up for weeks.   You might be thinking “that’s not very yogic of you!”  You are right, I know I am not supposed to worry about things like this – I preach skills for coping daily to my yoga students like being in the present moment and breathing through stress.  But it had been 15 years since I last spent this much time with students in an outdoor setting.  And I had never done so in the hot, stormy Southwest Florida summer. In fact, the week before camp began, we had an unusually early tropical storm.  Zika virus threats, kids running a muck, my counselors forgetting to come and help me were some of my nightmares leading up to camp.  But like so many things we worry about in life, this was not the disaster I imagined, but an amazing experience all around.

Camp all of us in the canoes and kayaks day 4          Camp Evan falling as Savannah looks on

Here is a sampling of the Eco-camp’s greatest moments:

A young girl comes to camp.  The first day she doesn’t say a word, the second day she begins to smile. Day three she is participating fully and on day 4, she is basically doing all the work in a canoe that I share with her. Quietly she whispers “Can I go in the river tomorrow?”

camp Arcelly confident in the canoe

The high schoolers not only show up on time every day,  they bring friends to help.  When one of them is leading an activity, the other young people are cleaning up and getting ready for our next adventure without me even asking them.

The campers eagerly participate in a water cycle game, a fashion-a-fish art activity, and a skit simulating the effect of tides on critters. They build a watershed,  play water games and conduct biological, chemical and physical tests on the river.   The campers decide they will learn science vocabulary bingo words better by teaching the older counselors and myself the words. And if this weren’t enough, they collect trash, discuss world events and twice a day, do yoga and learn how yoga has many of its roots in the natural world. Every day, I go home exhausted but exhilarated by their enthusiasm for our river and their passion for learning.

camp Annie playing water drop game    camp kids doing a skitCamp throwing water balloonscamp Jenna and Savannah 225 by 223  camp owen and savanna sleeping 225  camp Aracely getting in canoe for first time 225camp legs up the air

 

To learn more about Happehatchee Sanctuary and their programs,  contact them through their web site. To stay in touch with me and find out more about how I work with students of all ages, on the Yoga Mat, in my Essential Oils classes, in environmental programs or through my jewelry making, think about subscribing to my blog please.

I wish you health and joy in your days!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

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Let nature and positive young people sooth your soul

I am encouraged by the beauty of nature and openness and caring of many of our youth!

camp Savannah et all looking at turtle

How do you describe the curiosity of young people who are given the tools and guidance to figure out for themselves real world science or are allowed to work together in a way that allows them all to shine? How do you describe the wonder in the face of a teenager experiencing nature up close and personal for maybe the first time? How do you describe the confidence that a teenager develops when he or she is put in charge of a group of younger campers? How do you describe the camaraderie developed in a beautiful setting such as Happehatchee Eco Center in Estero Florida when  young people come together from different schools with the purpose of finding out if their beloved Estero River is healthy and what to do to protect it. Rather than try to describe it, I will take you on a journey of pictures through the Happehatchee River Watchers Program and Summer Eco Camp.

Camp Evan checking out the turtle Camp Owen taking a selfie with turtle  camp Aracely looking at frogIMG_3891  IMG_3620  camp Savanna looking happyIMG_3773camp Annie playing water drop game  camp Annie and Arcely looking at watershed activity  camp shells in the handscamp Andrea doing yoga with students

This environmental education program was made possible thanks to Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP), Wells Fargo Bank and the amazing staff and volunteers of the Happehatchee Eco Center. To read more about the program and what we learned about the Estero River, read on. Please feel free to comment and share because in troubled times, we all need positive people and beautiful nature to uplift our spirits.

Happe-Logo-100-300x87

 

To learn more about Happehatchee program,  contact them through their web site. To stay in touch with me and find out more about how I work with students of all ages, on the Yoga Mat, in my Essential Oils classes or through my jewelry making, think about subscribing to my blog please.

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

Connect with me!

facebook twitter etsy youtube instagram pinterest

 

 

The River Came Alive

May 1 Heading out to the river

Third time is the charm, at least that is what I have heard

On Sunday, May 1, four local high school students, one FGCU graduate student, one Happehatchee volunteer, my husband and I hit the jackpot– environmentally speaking. We headed out in canoes for our third  Estero River Monitoring Day, thanks to Happehatchee and the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program.   With their funding, this small group of committed high schoolers has been monitoring the river once a month since late February.

May 1 fun on the river     May 1 Savanna taking notes

May 1 Annie and Savannah collecting macro     May 1 girls looking surprised

May 1 Jason doing temperature     May 1 turtle

Our first two trips yielded very little in the way of biological diversity, but this time something was different.  Maybe it was the river blessing that Happehatchee had participated in, but as scientist, I was looking for some data that could reveal why the river was teeming with life this day. My theory, which I need to explore further, is that with our area having received so much rain during the months of January and February, produced conditions that were not natural for this part of Southwest Florida.  In other words, the ecological conditions were altered just enough to affect the population of the bottom dwellers known as macro invertebrate.  On the other hand in recent weeks, we have had almost no rain, which mimic the normal conditions for a Florida winter.

Our chemical tests revealed some interesting effects from lack of rain and the disappearance of our winter human guests. At one of the stations we have been monitoring, the Estero River salinity was way up– four times higher than it had been in our previous visits.  However, we had nitrogen numbers of 0, water temperature in the low 70s,  a Ph level of 7, excellent oxygen levels, and the turbidity, which is how clear the water is, allowed us to see almost 2 meters deep.

May 1 kids looking at data     May 1 hands in muck

Macro Invertebrate Counts Using Save Our Streams Protocal

Month Counts (diversity-not numbers) Water Quality
February 1 (clam in tolerant range) Poor
March 4 (clam and snail in tolerant range) Poor
May 1st 18 (3 from excellent, 4 from moderate, 1 from tolerant) Good

The students also noticed  thousands of minnows, thousands of baby shrimp, several species of fish and they heard many birds. The students were excited by these findings, but were perplexed as well.   How could higher salinity lead to more bottom dwelling critters?  How do our readings compare with readings further upstream and what conclusions can we draw about the river? The students will meet one more time under this grant and then help me with a Happehatchee middle school camp as counselors for younger students during the early summer.  One disturbing part of our adventure was witnessing some of the poor behavior of the paddlers on this river.  We witnessed people pulling each other on boats, which ended up in a crash, throwing trash in the river and drinking while paddling. The students believe there might be an educational campaign about canoe  and kayak safety in their future. For this small group of young people, this is just the beginning of participating in a real hands-on science that could lead to real improvements in the watershed in which they live.

Happe-Logo-100-300x87

 

To learn more about Happehatchee program,  contact them through their web site. To stay in touch with me and find out more about how I work with students of all ages, on the Yoga Mat, in my Essential Oils classes or through my jewelry making, think about subscribing to my blog please.

I wish you health and joy in your day!

Namaste, Andrea

Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesOn Location Yoga Classes EsteroPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Ask me about Doterra Oils.  I can save you 25% and provide you with great, useful information.

Connect with me!

facebook twitter etsy youtube instagram pinterest

 

Saving the Environment — one student at a time

 Happe Teen River Estero River

Students taking a hard look at the Estero River health.

The-Charlotte-Harbor-National-Estuary-ProgramSouthwest Florida is facing its share of Water Woes this year,  and some students and I are doing some thing about it thanks to the Happehatchee Eco Spiritual Center and The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP), which funded a program I am heading up to educate our youth on watershed protection.

Once or twice a month on a Saturday at Happehatchee, the students and I gather to learn about watersheds and to collect data on the health of the Estero River.  We are planning an educational program that will be delivered to local middle schoolers this summer during a week-long camp. We are also considering working on a long term restoration project if we can raise the funds.

Happe Teen River Lab 2In session one, we heard from a long-time  Lee County volunteer who has been collecting data on the Estero River for more than 15 years.  He explained to us that the biggest issue facing the Estero River is from fecal coliform bacteria (which is basically poop).  He showed a monthly water atlas that tracked how polluted the river gets during our peak months of February, March and April when the area’s population grows with our Snowbirds.  He said most of the pollution is from homeowners and golf courses. That, he says, contrasts with fifteen years ago, when most of it came from agriculture.

During the next meeting, we headed out to collect data on the Estero River.  With the help of FGCU volunteers, we collected  physical, chemical and biological data. While the chemistry of the river came out within normal ranges, there was something very conspicuously absent— macro-invertebrates.  These are the critters that form the base of the food chain.   I am a trained Izaak Walton League Watershed monitor and I knew we had a problem. “The chemistry of the river is just a snapshot.  It can change daily,” I told the students and added, “if you don’t have a Happe Teen River Lab 12diversity of bottom dwelling creatures, that shows the over the long term, the river is suffering.”

Conditions were very different during our third session the third Saturday of March.  We were joined by a former student of mine who is now studying marine science in FGCU’s graduate school.  The river was full of life — fish, birds, snakes and turtles — but still only two macro invertebrate.  What is going on?

During the five months of the Happe River Watchers program we will continue to monitor these river numbers to see if there are patterns and propose a program to help restore the river.  To assist, contribute funds or time or for more information, contact me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com.

A special shout out to volunteers Taylor Harris, Conor MacDonnell, Ashley, Kelsey, FGCU Professor Nora Demers and of course, the staff and volunteers of Happehatchee and CHNEP.

Estero river Happehatchee river watch 325 by 401Happe Teen River Lab SWFL

 

Happe Teen River Lab 3

Happe Teen River Lab 10Happe Teen River Lab 11

Happe Teen River Lab 4

Happe Teen River Lab 5

Happe Teen River Lab 6

Happe Teen River Lab

Conor and I 650 dpi

If you want more information about the Happehatchee Center, contact them:

Happe Logo 100

8791 Corkscrew Rd., Estero, Florida 33928
(239) 992-5455
happehatchee@gmail.com
www.happehatchee.org

If you want to speak with me, there are multiple ways to reach me including email at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com or any of the social media outlets listed below.

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Heaven Lane Creations Fort Myers, FL

Andrea Trank
Heaven Lane Creations
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Add a little Yin to your Yang Life

Why Yin Yoga has a place in your health routine!

2015-10-08 19.56.36

 

Some of the Yoga poses look very familiar but when practiced in the Yin style of Yoga they have different names and often, different purposes.  For instance, Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana) in the Yang style of yoga is called Butterfly in Yin.  Butterfly is a slightly wider -legged pose, looking more like a diamond and it is often held for three to five minutes.   In this pose you relax all muscles and let your upper body hang with focusing much on alignment.

IMG_3252

Yin yoga emerged out of the Taoist traditions of China.  Just as Traditional Chinese  Medicine (TCM) and Indian medicine (Aruyveda) come from a common tree, so do Yin  and Hatha yoga.  Here in the west, Yin has been catching on, particularly among athletes,  martial artists and people who want a more grounding, quieter type of yoga practice.    While Yang yoga often involves flowing sequences with 40 or more Asanas (poses) being  held for 3 to 5 breath rounds, a Yin Yoga sequence might include just 10-15 poses each  held for three to 10 minutes.

 

Bernie Clark, who studied under some Yin Masters and authored YinSights, says “Yin targets connective tissues… (ligaments, joints and bones, and is complimentary to the dynamic styles of yoga, which are focused on muscles.”  For many tennis players, runners and other athletes whose sports are so dynamic, having a less dynamic yoga practice can be very balancing.  For anyone suffering from injuries or recovering from illnesses, Yin may be just the right prescription for health.

The three basic rules of Yin according to Mr. Clark, are

1) Come into the pose at an appropriate depth.  One of my teachers described that as just short of your edge.  So come to your edge and ease off just enough so that you can maintain this position for the duration. You should feel sensation, but not pain.

2) Resolve to remain still except for your breathing.  You may not always succeed, especially if you are naturally a fidgety person, but maybe say to yourself when you want to flee, I will stick with it ten more seconds.

3) Hold the pose for a length of time upward of a minute, preferably 3-5 minutes.  This is important for several reasons.  For one thing, it takes at least 45 seconds before your muscles stop contracting.  It is necessary for your muscles to relax in order to go deeper into the connective tissue matrix of your body.

IMG_3370 (1)

Mr. Clark describes what is often an initial reaction to practicing Yin. “Your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he says.  You want to fidget or escape.  But by breathing into the pose and paying attention to the sensations without judgment, you learn to stay calm and still in the midst of sensation, which our minds translate into suffering.  This skill, with practice, can translate off the mat in everyday life

I was first introduced to Yin Yoga 10 years ago when one of my favorite Yoga teachers in Charottesville, Virginia came back from a workshop and spent the next five Sundays exploring Yin with us.   She would talk to us throughout the long held poses to keep us from releasing the pose too soon.  Her commentary and her eclectic style of teaching kept me coming back for more. Little did I know then, that I would follow in her footsteps.  She was also a school teacher, as I am.   In the fall of 2014 during the Yoga teacher training at Joyful Yoga, I was again, introduced to Yin Yoga through two of my teachers.  I was immediately drawn to the grounding nature of this style of yoga and the way my body felt after the practice was finished.

If you are interested in exploring the Yin Yoga Practice, come to  my Saturday 9:30 am Yin yoga class at Happehatchee.  The cost is just $10 and you get the added benefits of practicing Yoga in Nature and supporting a beautiful not-for-profit eco spiritual center that is working actively to protect land in Estero .

Yin at happe for yoga newsletter

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

Happehatchee Happenings

Open House Happehatchee 2015

Aaron-painting-rain-barrelAwesome Open House at Happehatchee!

We had phenomenal attendance Saturday September 26 at Happehatchee’s Open House and Celebration of National Estuaries Day.  The response from the community far exceeded our “hopes and dreams,” according to board member Holley Rauen.

The weather forecast was foreboding, (it was the last week of September in Southwest Florida, what do you expect) and it had been raining cats and dogs for weeks now.

But the matriarch of Happehatchee, Ellen Peterson, must have been looking down from above giving her blessing to this event…. because young and old, new and familiar, local and foreign people flocked into Happehatchee for a celebration of National Estuaries Day. It was also an Open House to introduce or re-introduce the Center to the Southwest Florida community.

This event was billed as a chance to experience Happehatchee in all of its glory, and it lived up to its billing. Every half hour, the Peace Pavilion filled up with students eager to try out our yoga in nature classes, participate in a drum circle or Kirtan, sing for world peace or learn about cutting edge healing methods like EFT.

FGCU students were stationed everywhere as well as local artist Ehren Gerhard, Happehatchee board member Holley Rauen and regular volunteers such as Terry and Peg. Special thanks to Terry Ganley, Peggy Lindsey, Sheila Hultgren, Stephanie Bravo, Zuliana Salerno, Lexi Siegle, Kathryn Marinace, Nat Kelleher and Lindsey Smith. Two staff members, newly appointed Executive Director Julie Gerhard and me, the Yoga Coordinator tag teamed to make sure all were “happe” with Happehatchee.

The reviews were extremely positive.  “ I can feel the energy here,” said one person who had never been at Happehatchee before.  “I am staying all day,” said another Happe client after the second yoga class.  “I’m in. Sign me up!” said another.

Happe Open House TentNot a drop of rain spilled on the outdoor vendors, the food station where yummy Guatemalan food was served or the environmental education station, where children and adults alike learned what an estuary was and how to protect it.  Zuliana, who volunteered at this station commented, “the kids were like sponges, but what really surprised me was how much the adults learned as well.”

So as Happehatchee enters its 10th year in existence as a not-for-profit eco spiritual center, it looks like an auspicious beginning to health and healing for those who venture onto these sacred grounds.

Happehatchee Center is a sanctuary for peace and healing.

Below check out a gallery of Happehatchee’s Celebration of National Estuaries Day and Open House.

 

I wish you health and joy in  your day.  Namaste,  Andrea

Happehatchee Yoga Classes Estero Tennis Golf Yoga ClassesPrivate Yoga Classes Lee County

Heaven Lane Yoga

Heaven Lane Yoga – Designing custom yoga classes to meet your physical, emotional and health needs.

You can reach me through the website contact form or by emailing me at andrea@heavenlanecreations.com .  By the way I live on Heaven Lane, so my company is aptly called Heaven Lane Creations.

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