Connecting with Nature: The Benefits of Practicing Yoga Outdoors

It is the middle of summer in the Midwest. The days are long and the temperatures are warm. Exercising outdoors is one of the best things you can do for yourself. A favorite among many yogis is outdoor yoga. While yoga studios are often a relaxing, quiet, climate-controlled Zen environment, nothing can beat warm sunshine […]

Restorative Yoga vs. Yin Yoga

Middle aged woman in dragonfly pose lying forward on bolster

Did you know yin yoga and restorative yoga are not the same thing? From the outside, the practices look similar – they both include long holds, utilize props, are slow and introverted practice, and focus on opening the body over time instead of through dynamic movement. If you are wanting a restful yoga practice to […]

Kula Member Spotlight: Kathi Kruidenier

Hello. My name is Kathi Kruidenier and I have been a student of Mary’s since day one – almost 23 years.  I have two great kids, a son and a daughter, and a wonderful daughter-in-law plus a married granddaughter and two grandsons.  I also have four fabulous sisters, a brother, and their families.  I have […]

My Journey with Anxiety

I have anxiety. In fact, sitting down to write this blog about having anxiety heightens my anxiety. However, I want to be real and share ​this part of my story, ​including how yoga has helped me learn to manage my symptoms and find peace instead of feeling shame. I have experienced many of the common symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder for […]

Kula Member Spotlight: Robert Brammer

Greetings to you who are part of Mary’s community and to anyone thinking about joining Mary’s extraordinary work to foster their physical and mental well-being.  My name is Robert Brammer (nickname Bram). I tune in and attend Mary’s livestreamed Strength & Balance class almost every Wednesday at noon and other times via recording.   I live in Beaverdale with […]

Exercises for Fall Prevention

Falls can have very serious consequences as we age. According to the CDC, each year, more than one in four adults age 65 or older have a fall and 3 million are treated in emergency departments for fall injury. Fall Risks The risk of falling in older adults is usually related to a combination of […]

Kula Member Spotlight: Judy McClure

Hello! My name is Judy McClure, and I’m a Midwesterner—born in St. Louis, lived in the four central states until we moved to Cedar Rapids when I was in 4th grade. I attended Iowa State and have been in Des Moines since the mid-1970s. I live in an 1895 late Victorian house in the Sherman […]

Kula Member Spotlight: Deb Hill-Davis

Hello friends! My name is Deb Hill-Davis and I live in Des Moines, Iowa with my husband, Todd. Our two adult children live out of state: Sarah in New Orleans and Bridget in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am a minister, currently serving Unity Church of Ames. It is a part-time ministry, if there is such a thing. […]

Practicing Grace


Last month I introduced you to my thoughts about Why Resilience Matters. Resilience is your ability to withstand or recover quickly from setbacks or difficult conditions. We observe resilience as masculine (yang) energy. Cultivating resilience offers many benefits, and I have discovered it is a better path for my journey than the pursuit of happiness. […]

Why Resilience Matters

resilient tree

“Put One Foot in Front of the Other” and “One Day at a Time” are the mantras I have said to myself many times over the past year. Like many others, I have felt stuck, ready to give up, and wanting to scream at the world because of the fear and pain in my heart. […]