Students of STUDIO B - Karen Beall, krb ceramics

At STUDIO B, our students are some of the coolest people around. Their professions, stories and backgrounds have inspired us to start a new series, Students of STUDIO B. Each month we will highlight a member of our community who is up to really cool things.

We are kicking off the series with Karen Beall owner of krb ceramics.

Karen and student in class "Wine Coolers"

Karen and student in class "Wine Coolers"

SB: Tell us a little about yourself and your business:

KB: I am an artist and my artwork incorporates sculptural forms derived from small, often overlooked species from the natural world. Much like a scientist, I collect and study fungi and plants to serve as sources of inspiration. At times my artwork also comments on environmental themes. I recently set up a ceramics studio in my home and after years of teaching at Lebanon Valley College I've started to teach children and adults in my own studio. I offer weekly Saturday classes for children and project-based classes for children, teens, and adults. My website--krbceramics.com--features my ceramic artwork and provides information about the classes. I also have a website--karenrichbeall.com--that features all of my artwork.

Children in Saturday morning class

Children in Saturday morning class

SB: When did you start practicing yoga at STUDIO B and what was your goal when you started? 

KB: I started practicing yoga at STUDIO B in Fall 2016 because I wanted to work towards becoming more peaceful, focused, relaxed and flexible.

SB: What is your favorite part about yoga at STUDIO B?

KB: My favorite part of Studio B is the getting to know yoga community and the teachers...and the location!

Karen’s artwork “Nature’s Recyclers”

Karen’s artwork “Nature’s Recyclers”

Karen, Thank you for participating and for being a part of the community at STUDIO B!!

P.S. You can find some of Karen's work at our Annville studio!

Weekend Recap - Teacher Training

Happy Monday : ) I am here today with a weekend recap...Teacher Training style.

Yoga Teacher Training is much different than other forms of fitness certifications. While many personal training and group fitness certs can be completed in a day, a weekend or even a one-time test, becoming a Registered Yoga Teacher with the Yoga Alliance requires completing a 200 hour program with a Registered Yoga School.

I am currently co-leading one of these programs with Pat O'Connell over at Yoga on Chocolate. Our program consists of eight, 23-hour weekends over a six month period. So what could we possibly do for 23 hours in a weekend? That's what I'm sharing today!

Every weekend has the same structure, but the details vary. Here is a look at Weekend 7 of the 2016-2017 Training!

Friday Evening - Practice, Assisting Workshop and Discussion

Last weekend's training started on Friday at 5pm. We briefly discussed what's been happening since the last time we were together and covered housekeeping stuff for the weekend ahead. At 5:30pm we took a Vinyasa Flow class together followed by a quick break. 

After break we led the group through a hands-on assisting workshop. Assisting is intimidating, so many new teachers shy away from it, but it is also powerful and something that sets a great teacher apart from a good teacher.

We ended the evening with a discussion of the book we read between weekends, The Heart of the Soul by Gary Zukav and wrapped up at 9pm.

Saturday - Meditation, Practice & Anatomy

Saturday morning started bright and early at 8am with student-led group meditation. Participants were asked to share how their meditation practice is going overall - what's working, what's not, how they feel during and after, etc. We also discussed various tools for meditating and teaching meditation. 

The Teacher Trainees practiced with the 9:30 class while I assisted them. It had been a long time since I assisted an entire class so it was a great refresher for me! After class we had a quick break followed by a session on Bandhas and Pranayama before we broke for lunch.

After lunch we spent the rest of the afternoon practice teaching. We are getting close to the end (just one more weekend left!) so the TT's are getting anxious to get more practical experience.

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Saturday ended at 5pm. No matter how we do it, Saturday is a LONNNG day! By this point our bodies are beat and our brains are fried.

Sunday - Meditation, Practice,  Anatomy & Practice Teaching

On Sunday we met again at 8am, but this time at STUDIO B, Harrisburg. We began with a student-led meditation and discussion. Lucky for me, the student chose a guided meditation that included a trip to the beach! After meditation I taught and the TT's joined the 9:30 class. Despite being exhausted, the group brought a ton of energy to class that I was so grateful for!

After class we discussed the ethics and business of yoga then broke for lunch.

The afternoon was spent on Anatomy and more Practice Teaching. We took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and took things outside, something we haven't been able to do all training.

One topic we didn't cover this weekend that we normally spend a good bit of time on is Personal Development/Goal Setting. This is a powerful component of the training where we focus on ironing out who we are, what are purpose is, aligning our lives around our purpose and creating visions and goals. 

The next time we meet will be graduation weekend. I am so excited for this group of Trainees to start sharing their light and love with the world in the form of yoga. They are all going to be such excellent teachers and I can't wait to see how they manifest their unique talents and gifts.

What Will You B?

Setting goals and creating intentions play a big role in my life. I say all the time that the biggest impact yoga has had on me is that it's taught me to wake up and live life on purpose. Part of that involves spending time every day reflecting on my actions and decisions, thinking about my goals, evaluating where I'm at, where I want to go and how I'm going to get there.  And while I do this pretty much daily, the end of the year marks a special time to evaluate and plan in a bigger-picture kind of way.

Last year on New Years Day I wrote a blog post, Setting Intentions....for 2016 and Beyond, where I declared 2016 was going to be ridiculously amazing. Exactly one year later I can proudly say, it was. And not just because I said it was going to be, but because I took the time to think about what it would mean for the year ahead to be "ridiculously amazing," what that required from me and how I'd go about making those things happen.

2016 was a really great year for me. I accomplished my long term goal of becoming a full time business owner when I resigned from my comfy, full time job in May. I spent the summer enjoying the summer. That meant lots of time outside and near water, the best tan I've ever had, and quality time with my niece and nephew. I opened a second studio, another long term goal off the list, led a yoga & fitness retreat, and stepped deeper into my role as "teacher" by co-leading a 200hr teacher training. I strengthened existing friendships and partnerships and got to know some new and really interesting people. I unapologetically said goodbye to what and who was holding me back and sucking my energy. I also strengthened my relationship with myself. And while I continue to be flawed and make mistakes, I understand my flaws much better and feel better equipped to navigate the year ahead. As I look back on the list I created at the end of last year, I can honestly say I achieved everything I wanted to and more, which includes getting closer to some of my loftier, long term goals.

I don't typically share my specific goals on a platform like this, but I will share that I don't have any huge goals for 2017. I don't want to do anything new or additional. I want to do what I'm doing now, but better. My goals for the year ahead revolve around being a better, stronger and more confident person, teacher, student, mentor, mentee, business owner, friend, wife, etc. I've spent the past few weeks getting clear and specific about what that means and how I will accomplish those things.

If you haven't yet, I invite you to spend some time reflecting on 2016. What worked? What didn't? What would have made it better? What small, attainable changes can you make right away? What big, lofty goals can you start working towards? How can you show up more? For yourself and for others? I suggest you write these things down on paper. If you just think about them, you'll probably continue to just think about them. Put pen to paper, make a plan, create actions steps, then take action. 

At STUDIO B, our catch phrase is, "What will you B?". So I'll end this post by asking, in 2017, what will you B?

settinggoals2017

Yoga & Fitness Retreat Recap

I can't believe the Yoga & Fitness Retreat is here and gone. I started planning this trip over a year ago and experienced a number of highs and lows along the way.

The idea for a Yoga & Fitness Retreat came about after my husband and I returned from an exceptionally indulgent vacation.  For two people who enjoy living a healthy lifestyle so much, we couldn’t understand how we let ourselves get so offtrack on vacation. We thought wouldn’t it be nice to leave a vacation feeling better than when we arrived? 

It was from that experience the Yoga & Fitness Retreat was born. We rounded up a group of like-minded people, seven of whom I had never met before, and traveled to Riviera Maya, Mexico for a health-and-fitness-focused vacation.

It was truly a magical experience. Pictures and words can't really do it justice, but I'll give it a try:

The Resort

The retreat took place at El Dorado Royale, an all-inclusive resort located right along the beach. The resort was beautifully landscaped and very clean. It is a large property, so we never felt on top of one another. They offered plenty of activities throughout the day - everything from ocean kayaking and bike riding to tequila tasting and rifle shooting. There is a lot I want to say about the resort, so I will provide a full review in a separate post.

The Yoga

Every day started with Yoga at either the Gazebo Capella or JoJo's Deck. Both locations, reserved for our group, overlooked the ocean. We practiced yoga at least once a day and sometimes twice, depending on the schedule. 

The Free Time

It was important to me to keep the itinerary flexible with a good chunk of free time built in each day. Most people used this time to lay on the beach, hangout by the pool, or explore the resort. Most of our late mornings/early afternoons were spent this way. One day a bunch of us ended up at the same spot on the beach. So we spent that time together practicing yoga poses in the sand and posing for pictures. At one point we had a pretty large audience, and thought about charging the resort an entertainment fee ; )

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Needless to say, none of us will be Instagram models anytime soon, but we had fun trying. This particular afternoon brought me back to my childhood when my friends and I would do gymnastics on the beach. I didn't attempt any backhandsprings this trip, but maybe next time. 

The Activities

Every Friday the resort offers a 5k Run in Paradise to benefit a local animal shelter. I signed our group up for this event and am so glad I did. It was a blast! The course took us onto the property next door and through a swamp area with tons of wildlife. Some of our participants even spotted an alligator.

I am so not a runner, but it felt great to start the day by pushing myself physically. Plus, it was fun to do this as a group. The resort staff was helpful and very encouraging. 

Another group activity we signed up for was snorkeling. I have to admit, I was really nervous about this one. I was worried about getting motion sickness on the boat and also about feeling claustrophobic in the snorkeling gear. It ended up being my favorite activity of the trip. The activity took place off property, so around 1230pm we all loaded up on a bus and took a short ride to Maroma Beach.

Most of us agreed that Maroma Beach was the most beautiful beach we'd ever seen. Once there and checked in, they walked us to our boat where we were joined by a few other groups of people.

The boat ride was fine and no one got motion sick. We also took a bunch of dremamine, so maybe that helped? . 

I adjusted to the snorkeling gear instantly. To my surprise, I actually found the breathing technique very meditative. We saw beautiful fish, a sea turtle, eels, lobsters, and some other sea creatures. We also saw the worlds second largest coral reef. I wish I would've brought my camera down!

Needless to say, I'll definitely go snorkeling again! It was a lot of fun and a great way for our group to bond. 

The People

Speaking of bonding. My absolute favorite part of the trip was the people!!!! Planning this trip, I was most nervous about managing a group of people, some of whom I had never met, and making sure everyone got along. In retrospect, I had NOTHING to worry about. I absolutely loved getting to know every single person on the trip and watching them get to know each other. Lifelong friendships were definitely formed. It's really cool to think that this somewhat random group of people, who may have never met otherwise, took a vacation together in another country and now share very special memories together. Some came as individuals, couples, siblings, etc. but we all left as one group bonded by this special experience!! 

Leading up to the trip, I wasn't sure if I would offer another or not. Now that it is all said and done, I feel like I HAVE to! I learned so much from this trip and it was such a special experience that I feel like I need to do it again. Right now, however, my blinders are on and I am fully focused on getting the second studio up and running. But stay tuned, I have a feeling this isn't the last of our Yoga & Fitness Retreat adventures.

STUDIO B is coming to......

When I first opened STUDIO B POWER YOGA, it was very much a guinea pig project. While I had always dreamed of owning my own business, STUDIO B sort of came out of nowhere. I had just finished my Yoga Teacher Training and was considering going back to school for physical therapy. Exploring the DPT program at LVC is what brought me back to the Annville area. A friend mentioned she knew someone with space to lease near the college that would make for a perfect yoga studio. One day while I was in town meeting with an admissions counselor, I decided to stop by and check it out. 

Something just felt right when I first walked through the doors of what is now STUDIO B POWER YOGA Annville. Soon after that initial walk-through I ditched my physical therapy plans, signed a lease and got started on a business plan. With no prior experience owning a business, very little experience teaching yoga, and a full time job in Harrisburg, I decided to give this yoga studio owner thing a shot. What was I thinking? Better yet, Meghan, what were you thinking leasing to me?!?

Nothing could have prepared me for what came next. Not only did operating a business provide a creative outlet that didn't even know I craved, but sharing the practice of yoga fulfilled me on a very deep and personal level I didn't know was possible. Yoga transforms lives and as a yoga teacher and studio owner I get to witness that transformation on a regular basis. Whether it's finally finding relief from aches and pains, losing excess weight, being able to balance on one foot for the first time, or becoming more present, nothing lights me up more than watching the effects of yoga come to life for my students. And that's not even the best part. The best part about STUDIO B is hands down the community. You guys show up big every single day, eager to learn and try something new. You not only support me and the studio, but each other. Watching STUDIO B grow as a business is cool, but nothing beats watching it grow as a community. I cannot thank you all enough for supporting the studio and inspiring me the way that you all do.

As you can see, it wasn't long before STUDIO B went from guinea pig project to passion project. I knew soon after doors opened that I wanted to share what was happening in our community with more people. I have spent the last year-and-a-half searching for a second location for the studio and am excited to share that the search is finally over! Without further ado, I am excited to announce that STUDIO B is coming soon to..........

Are you as excited as I am? Please help spread the word by sharing this news with your friends and family. And don't forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instargram and sign up for our Newsletter. As more details become available, I'll share them on all of these platforms.

Thank you again for your continued support and for the opportunity to share my love for yoga with all of you. 

Namaste,

Brittany