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In January 2013 I had the pleasure of entering Metamorphose Yoga Studio in Kilauea, Kauai, where I was warmly greeted by Carol and Astell.  That day I committed to a month of yoga for my health and well-being and after signing up, I heard these words: “Your body is already thanking you.”  My month-long daily practice with Carol and her dedicated, gifted team of healers/yoga instructors fulfilled that promise in so many ways.  Situated in paradise, her yoga studio offers a feeling of coming home—the sacred atmosphere and warmth starts with a friendly greeting from her dog Oscar.  I am so honored that Carol is sharing her wisdom and soul with us through her Top 10 list here.  Thank you Carol for all you do and are for us!

Carol and mommaAstell and Carol at Metamorphose Yoga, Kilauea, Kauai

1) The love and support of my community

I’ve been teaching yoga on the North Shore of Kauai for ten years. In this decade I’ve had the honor of sharing many life experiences with my students – birth, death, marriage, divorce, health and illness. Through it all, I’ve witnessed the power we gain through yoga. It helps us breathe, move, and face this journey we take part in individually and collectively. It is deeply touching and inspiring to be involved with so many amazing people on their path of growth. The connection we have created at the studio through the practice of yoga has carried me personally through challenging times. It has become my main source of inspiration. And I get to work with my mom, Astell every day!

2) Watching my students transform with yoga

Yoga is incredible. It can be so gentle and subtle, yet powerfully dynamic. I love experiencing how yoga serves people at all stages of life. We have had classes with babies, teens, adults, seniors, disabled students, dogs, chickens, and more all in one room. I never know what to expect. I’m always blown away by how beautifully we can all practice together. Most importantly, I love witnessing how yoga helps us develop self-acceptance and Santosha (contentment) for whatever is unfolding in our lives.

3) Creating a sanctuary for us all

My intention in opening the studio was to provide a space that feels safe & nurturing for our students and visitors. We offer many styles of yoga – Flow, Vinyasa, Therapeutic, Restorative, Gentle, Teen & Kids Yoga. No matter what level of practice you are at, you can enjoy a class with the company of others. It is so special having a place where we can all let down our guard, open our hearts, laugh, cry and feel whatever we are going through in life and our bodies. It’s magic.

4) The motivation to learn and grow

With teaching and running the studio all week long, it is so important for me to stay in my center. I can only teach what I practice and experience, so I am obligated to continually take refuge in my yoga, meditation & pranayama practices daily. Because my job is to be there for others, I know I must devote time each day to be present with myself and my life. It’s what makes everything flow better and easier. I also have to keep expanding in my knowledge of the body, on how yoga can be used as therapy for injury, and how this path of yoga can serve us during all stages of life. My students are my greatest teachers!

5) My freedom as a teacher

Here’s the contradiction: owning your own business means you are never really free. The phone is always on and the doors are open every day of the week. That can be hard. The benefits, though, are immense. I have the luxury to create my life schedule and to teach in alignment with what I truly believe. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone or meet unrealistic standards. I get to do what I love every day because I love doing it. That’s pretty amazing.

6) Retail therapy in the boutique

Oh how I love yoga pants! Leggings, capris, fancy patterns or plain black, cotton, lycra, bamboo or made from plastic water bottles. I adore them all, much to my tiny closet’s dismay.
Buying for the boutique has been a new learning adventure for me. I was never much of a shopper, but thanks to my very gifted and retail-savvy husband we always find fun, comfortable and beautiful things. Our inventory flows in and out – we have apparel, jewelry, books, home & body products, yoga supplies and much more. The added perk for me is I get to buy the things I like and want to share with my community.

7) Supporting companies and projects I believe in

Because we vote with how we spend our money each day, I do my best to support companies that are making an effort to respect and give back to our environment. Local, organic, recycled, natural products are my first pick. I try to support businesses that plant trees, donate to animal wildlife rescue, give clothing to women’s shelters, reuse plastic water bottles, and do their best to create a product that is good for the planet as well as good for ourselves. Each time we purchase something, we fund a bigger picture. I take this responsibility very seriously.
I also regularly fundraise for animal welfare and natural disaster relief. Some of our causes we have supported are:

8) Sharing the philosophy of yoga

Physical yoga is just one branch of the larger tree of Yoga. I think it is important to share and explore the other facets, The Eight Limbs of Yoga. This is an ancient system of knowledge on how to carry ourselves in life. Western yoga tends to only focus on the physical postures, whereas the roots of yoga teach that the body is just the gateway to the more subtle layers of self.
The other Eight Limbs are: Yamas, moral codes; Niyamas, personal conduct; Asana, physical posture; Pranayama, breath; Pratyahara, turning inward; Dharana, focus; Dhyana, meditation; Samadhi, union with consciousness.
All of these fold beautifully into the wholeness of our practice. What we experience and explore on the mat stays with us as we venture into our daily lives.

9) Meditation & Pranayama:

I was given the gift of meditation, Dhyana, from my mom when I was a child. I can honestly say it is the most valuable tool I have ever received. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sitting quietly at the beginning of my day transforms my entire world. Pranayama, breath control, is also incredibly powerful. It helps bring us back to our most vital function,  back to the present moment, as well as recharge the mind/body connection and brain function. Dhyana and Pranayama top my list of practices for health and well-being. They can be utilized during all phases of life.

10) The challenge of running my own business

Owning a yoga studio IS hard. Period. It requires a large space and often has little financial return, so from a business perspective making ends meet can be tough. There are also very colorful and diverse personalities involved in the field of yoga, so it takes strength and wisdom to make decisions that support the overall needs of our community. When you open your doors to the public, you never know what to expect!
Regardless of these challenges, at the end of the day I am always so grateful to be sharing my love of yoga with others. Owning this studio has made me stronger, more compassionate, grateful, and more fulfilled than I have ever been. I am so blessed to be surrounded and supported by such a beautiful community!
Carol Bio
 Carolyn Dumeyer

Carol comes from a background of yoga, meditation, massage and anatomy. Her lifelong exposure to the healing arts has inspired a teaching style that embraces honest acceptance for wherever we are in the present, while expanding into our unlimited potential. She has been teaching yoga & anatomy on Kauai since 2005, is a 300+ RYT and has studied Ashtanga, Anusara, Iyengar, Vinyasa and Yin Yoga with many acclaimed teachers around the globe. Prior to dedicating her life to yoga, she had a career in massage therapy with a focus on anatomy and injury rehabilitation. Her daily inspiration comes from the beauty of nature, a loving family and her animal friends.

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lorien in the studio with fire seriesIn my outdoor studio with my new Fire Series in the works, (l-r) Fire II, Fire III, Fire I ©LEAD

WHO IS YOUR MUSE?  Where do you find your inspiration?  What inspires YOU?  Where to start?  I recently was chatting with a woman at an event I was at, she told me that her challenge with creativity is where to get ideas.  Hmmmm.  She asked me about where I get my ideas and how it all starts for me.  Well… that question is one of my favorites to reflect upon as I am regularly inundated with yummy inspiration, a flood of ideas and stimulation emerging from both within and without.  The early stage of the creative process is for me often my favorite, although the entire journey of the creative process is exciting and enjoyable.  I wrote a bit about my creative process in my last post, Trust and the Creative Process

Fire 1Fire ceremony ©Photo LEAD

pele goddessPele~ Hawaiian Goddess of Fire

Inception of an idea can start anywhere, for example, a hunch, a whisper, a dream, a conversation, an image, a word, a glance, the options are endless really.  To illustrate, I will refer to my latest inspirations for my new Fire Series, as past of my Elements Collection.  From water came fire for me and it was (and tends to be) a spiral-like journey, vs. a straight line.  My initial interactions with the element of Fire was ignited strongly whilst on the Big Island last year when I spent time in meditation, retreat and ceremony with Pele, the Hawaiian Goddess of the Volcanoes while at the Kalani Retreat CenterPele grabbed me and I have been under her tutelage as my main Muse through this moment as I continue to create my new Fire paintings.  Pele urges us to follow our passion… what’s yours?  Are you following your passion?

fire 2Pele flowin’ on the big island of Hawaii ©Photo by MaKia

Fire I in processExcerpt of Fire I in process, 3’X4′, Mixed Media on Canvas ©LEAD

kilauea volcanoKilauea, Hawaii

Kilauea is the most active volcano in the world. The Hawaiian mountain has been steadily flowing since 1983! That makes it one of the most long-lived eruptions known on Earth.

I look forward to sharing more about the journey into the Fire as I roll out my paintings one by one over the next few weeks, sharing the story and artwork here and on my website.  Stay tuned and in the meantime, there is a wonderful NEW art show where I am showing the paintings below at,  MUSE: The Art of Transformation and Healing.
Cosmic XCosmic X, 9X12 inches, Mixed Media on Paper ©LEAD

EckBLagoon Nebula III, 12X16 inches, Mixed media on paper ©LEAD

MUSE flyerCurated by Art 4 All People

June 28 – September 28, 2014

Commonweal Gallery, a nonprofit health and environmental research institute
451 Mesa Rd. Bolinas, CA 94924

Opening Reception and Arts and Healing Festival
Saturday, July 12th from 1:00 pm – 6:00pm

The Opening Event Line-Up

Closing Reception
Saturday, September 27th, 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

All are welcome! 

Thank you for reading and I invite you to share your contributions via comments and connections and would love to hear from you via this blog, my face book page, or email lorien@lorieneck.com.

In love, gratitude and beauty…

Lórien Signature fuschia_small

www.lorieneck.com

“Art has the power to heal.” ~ Lórien

 

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