Colleen K: Workshop Takeaways! (A Student's Eye, A Teacher's Share)

Reiki:  Clean Language

In June I had the opportunity to work with two of my mentors from Yoga on High on the art of CLEAN LANGUAGE.  In this application, we were working with Clean Language as it relates to REIKI; but I believe it has applications beyond Reiki Therapy.  What is important to note is that it is NOT intuitive necessarily.  We are not taught to communicate in this fashion so it can feel clunky and unnatural at first.  In a nutshell:  clean language is a skill of using simple questions, cleaned of as much inference and presupposition as possible.  This enables the client (student), to build mental models of their own experience:  to build symbols or metaphors without any manipulation by us as teachers or service providers.

We were given basic guidelines (for example:  “Is it like anything?”, “When it’s like that, how is it?”  “Is there anything more about ‘x’?”, “What does ‘x’ want to say?”.), witnessed some examples provided by the mentors and then set about practicing with one another.    

 Whew!  The hard part is realizing how often we might want to lead or insert or guide…I would catch myself repeatedly wanting to HELP.  As yoga teachers, I believe we have that natural desire to want to help heal.  My take-away from this is to remind myself that each person has the answers within and it is more important that I bear witness and assist in a non-interfering manner.  It is a practice.

 Doug Keller (The Therapeutic Wisdom of Yoga, October 2019.)   Doug Keller is a favorite of our own Deirdre Wenzel;  so that gives you a sneak peek into his teaching style.

Firstly, I am used to advanced teachers who are very strong in a particular area:  great understanding of the human anatomy and appropriate cueing, profound philosophical understanding, breath-work, etc.  It is not everyday that one encounters a teacher who not only possesses solid knowledge on ALL fronts; but is also able to convey that knowledge to other teachers.  Doug Keller is such a teacher:  humble, approachable and humorous.

My take-aways (aside from the desire to seek him out and study more with him):

1.)    Fascia as the “medium” of PRANA and the importance of movement as a detoxifier.  He demonstrated how the nadis run along the fascial lines.  (“Real detoxification happens through movement, not a hot room.”)

2.)   Great visuals (online hand-outs/projections) that showed the energetic criss-crosses on the body and the interconnectedness of one point to another.  Countless examples of how a disturbance in one part of the body translates into consequences throughout the body.

3.)   Simple but effective exercises that had the whole room having “a-ha” moments.  I have been sharing them in my classes and am receiving great feedback from the students. 

4.)   Doug uses great metaphors (“like a flamenco dancer”, “taking off the ugly Xmas Sweater”, etc.) that allows the student to feel into that action in their body.

As someone who relates more to the subtle body, Doug Keller reinforced the importance of the physical body connections in a way that was dynamic, enjoyable and memorable.  I am grateful to be able to share small snippets of his wisdom in my classes; and am very grateful to 3Sisters for their donation toward my ongoing training.  


Colleen K.


I liked Banff + I love him

I am returning from a big trip that I had been planning for several months. My husband and I wed in January at a beach resort we fell in love with. Our delayed honeymoon, then, we decided, would be a trip that he has dreamed of taking for a long time; to see the Canadian Rockies and wildlife.

His passion for nature has always lured me. He knows the names of birds I’ve never noticed. He can spot a marking in the woods and tell of its reasoning. And in nature, everything has a reason, I’ve learned from him.

So off we went to a beautiful and breathtaking place in Canada. When I think of a Honeymoon things that come to mind include romantic dinners, hand holding and strolling streets, perhaps meeting another couple and getting along.

So when my husband jumped out of bed before the sun rose to spot wildlife at peak hours, well, I didn’t say a word ( although I still dressed to hike in my new gear for all of our possible photo ops)

We spent about a day and a half on the prowl for anything that moved. (although he may report differently). From beavers to caribou; elk + goats. This was not the honeymoon I had scripted.

I was exhausted. I was mad. Why didn’t he understand this was our honeymoon!?

And then, too, shame. Shouldn’t I just be enjoying it? Why can’t I get over this? Let him have his thing.

Eventually, I dug my heels in the actual dirt. “I want to take a hike. “ I said. “ I am exhausted from searching for animals and I really thought you’d want to spend time with me. My feelings are hurt,” I said.

He had no idea. How could he?

I found a yoga studio in Banff and took a class. I walked the street by myself for a few minutes both before and after class. And I gave myself a minute to check in with what I actually needed. I needed him to know that I wasn’t in this beautiful place to see beautiful things. I was there to be with him. I liked the Rockies; but I loved him.

He got it. He was minorily bummed at the initial strike of my words. The few hours apart gave us a chance to hear our own thoughts. And we reconnected.

I spent some time getting my needs met ( massage, early am jog, book reading) and he did too.

The outcome of this trip leaves me with a dozen or so (ok, more than a dozen) shots of my husband looking at the majestic views of nature. And another dozen from his perspective ; wildlife and mountain ranges.

As I look through the pictures, I’m reminded of how special it is to love something. Be it a person or a place + the aliveness that pulses through our fingertips in its presence.


a truer version of myself

“If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.” Anne Lamott

I sometimes wonder if I’m supposed to own a yoga studio.

Those surrounding me are so invested in the asana practice; they live it. It’s admirable. But I don’t.

I mean I do and I don’t. I don’t practice asana everyday. I practice asana closer to one time weekly. I also cycle and enjoy sprint workouts. I’m a junkie for a physical challenge. Asana is something that I utilize, and it is not part of my daily life.

Other pillars of yoga are a part of my everyday; Yamas ( ethics + integrity), self reflection and spirituality (niyama) I read lots of literature (Jnana ). I practice concentration and meditation (dharana), and I teach my clients ways to, too. I teach breathing techniques; I practice yoga nidra several times a week independently.

Yet, 3 SISTERS asana offerings don’t necessarily reflect how I live my life; and sometimes that feels ingenuine. Questions surface for me: What do I want 3 SISTERS to be? How much do I want it to feel more in alignment for me? And how willing am I to risk placing real emotion at the center of my work? So here I am.

In the fall and beyond, my goals include offering a platform for self-growth and evolution. I am eager to share, (and mildly nervous and feel minorly responsible) for bringing group dialogue into our special community. We are MOVING the energy, but how do we integrate it? Additionally, what more can we offer that invites the physical challenge junkies like myself to find more of themselves in our space?

Selfishly, I shared with Courtney, I’m in a time in my life where very little feels like mine. I work in office space that it utilized by others, I share a home, and cars. So when Courtney approached me about bringing in movement that lights me up, (like lunges, yep, they’re pretty great); My initial response was “ I want something that is just mine for now.”

But, what we resist persists. And it has. So, starting in mid September I will be teaching a class that includes some yoga but also some of the wonderful parts of my physical activity that makes me feel more like myself when I finish. Motivating music, feeling my muscles work really hard, and going with what calls me. I also plan to continue offering workshops that promote connectivity through dialogue and self-study. I have committed to a 240 hour program on Compassion Inquiry, a technique that I hope to utilize in my professional and personal life; I am saying yes to being a truer version of myself.


Fall Survey Feedback

 Thank you so much to the 163 students that participated in the fall schedule survey!  Your feedback & responses were thoughtful and brought a new energy to the ownership team. We appreciate the time you took for provide comments & feedback.

We are in the process of brainstorming ideas with teachers, trying to marry your comments with interest, availability & balance throughout the schedule. The results of the survey were pretty well spread out. There were great ideas shared about times, days, styles & even new offerings. What was interesting, also, is the variety of suggestions & ideas. You can see from the class style graph that suggestions are pretty well distributed, not looking for one style extensively more than the other. This was also consistent in the open-ended feedback questions, there wasn’t anything repeated over & over throughout the 80+ comments we received per question. We are working hard to make a little bit of change to the fall schedule (67.5% requested a little bit of change!). Stay tuned for details in the upcoming weeks.

 As things roll out, please know we are always here to learn from your experience as students.  Your hearts fill the space & we feel lucky to be in community with YOU! 




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The Wisdom of No Escape

About 10 years ago, I was in a massage and as soon as pressure was placed on my back's left side, I winced. My muscles held tightly and did not release. It was such an odd experience for me because I had never before had my body tell me so directly, STOP. In the last decade, I have had several Reiki masters, energy workers, body workers and masseuse work on this particular spot. Most of the time, without success, I would leave the session feeling less interested in releasing it. Defeated. Uninspired. Except twice. And one of those was today. 

The first time of victory was when my Mom brought in a California Reiki master and personal friend, Wendy, to stay at My Mom's home and provide sessions. Wendy's table was set up in my childhood bedroom, now a bit of a sanctuary space. Tears rolled down my face for much of the time. I felt taken care of and emptier. Childhood experiences surfaced and I cried. I didn't try to make sense of it; I just let myself be a mess. 

The other; today. I was laying on my belly anticipating the sheet's pull off my back; exposing. The air was cold. My back, broad. 

"My back is really sensitive; just a heads up," I said. 

" Yes, I remember," was her reply. 

And so when the lock came; she gently backed off. 

"It's making me weepy."

 { side note; I know this doesn't make sense to all readers but having a mother who brought energy workers to our home for much of my life; each side of our body in certain theory is masculine or feminine. Masculine is  associated with the right side; Feminine with the left.} 

* I shared this tidbit with the masseuse.

"Are you a Mom?" she questioned. 

"My husband has kids; but I'm not a "bio" Mom" was my reply. 

gut= sadness

"Do you want to have kids?" 

"I don't know the answer to that yet." 

"That's fair." she replied. 

I wanted to cry for not knowing. I wanted to cry for thinking I was supposed to know and not knowing. I felt sad using the word "Bio-Mom." Grief emerged for the child that may never be. I grieve as a woman in my 30's and recently married, who confronts common questions and comments like "Do you want kids?" "Does Sean want more kids?" "Are you trying?" "Oh! You're not feeling well... is it because...?" 

And you know,  it never really bothered me, honestly. But today, it did. 

So today, I cried. 

Years ago I sought a book titled The Wisdom of No Escape. These two experiences remind me of the diligence I owe to myself to not run from the mess of it; the questions I have. the pressure I feel. To not try to hide from it or give up on it. That even uncertainty is a place I can hang my hat up on. And maybe, even the wisdom is there. 

With love, Halle


The Head & The Heart: A Unified Life

Well it is official-official, I received my diploma reading that I am a “Master of Public Health.” Public Health was once described to me this way, physicians look at symptoms at the individual level, public health practitioners look at whole groups. Much like after my first yoga training, in the MPH program, I learned there is so much more to learn. I feel as if I am a master of nothing but hungry for more and inspired in wildly different and new ways. Previous to the MPH program, I spent ten years in employee benefits, a segment of corporate insurance. When the yoga studio opened, I felt I was living a double life: corporate insurance & a healing space. They felt so far apart, my head & my heart.  When I learned about public health, I followed my gut without thinking and I landed myself in graduate school.

My world expanded. I learned about health disparities, injustice, social programs, prevention. I learned about the challenge of advancing complementary and alternative medicine because it doesn’t fit in the bucket of bio-pharmaceutical research. I learned about the United States medical system, about global medical systems, history and incredible advancements. For example, the importance of hand-washing became known when an OB-GYN was transferring infections during childbirth. Things we take for granted that impact our health.

 My definition of health changed. I began to consider all the potential factors like environment, diet, water source, job, house location, personal relationships. I also felt like a fish out of water. I felt old and out of touch with technology. I felt guilt. One of my projects took me to a part of Cleveland that is struggling economically, a place with similar infant mortality statistics to impoverished countries. It is 20 minutes from my house. I found myself fired up about politics in a new way, a spark that had been inside of me always but muted in the right-wing world of insurance.  I learned about addiction. Prior to the program, I’d read Dreamland, a book outlining the story of the opiate epidemic, largely based in Ohio. I felt drawn to the subject of addiction because I believe yoga and meditation can be an option for healing. I focused nearly all my coursework, electives, and research on yoga and meditation and particularly its impact or potential in the areas of recovery. I learned about how co-occurring disorders like anxiety or depression and addiction are treated separately. How can a person heal from addiction without healing anxiety? How can someone with childhood trauma, an extreme empath, or grief also in the throes of addiction heal wholly if things are addressed separately? Add socioeconomic disparities or where/how a person is born/raised, and it is an entirely different level of challenge. It can feel heavy.  

Enter the light-makers, I got to meet people (students and others) that have self-directed their lives to be honest and be of service in a way that their heads & hearts have a shorter bridge. They didn’t choose to be quiet in fear of ruffling feathers or displeasing clients. They were often the voice for others. For example, I met Katie Kurtz through my sister, Lauren. Katie was kind enough to be a consistent mentor and guide through the MPH program, even taking me under her wing for my thesis. She was also an example of living a unified life: you meet the same Katie at work that you do at coffee. In all areas of her life, she is kind but opinionated, educated in her decisions, and someone that makes a difference in people’s lives. I thought back to “corporate courtney,” when I’d removed my nose ring and filled my closet with clothes that always felt like costumes. I lived a disconnected life, unknowingly.

I don’t know where my degree will take me. My resume reads a bit bifurcated and it is hard to represent how inspired I feel by what I learned. I know that my education was an important part of my path to understanding. I am proud of the risk I took in leaving financial security for a life that doesn’t feel separate. My heart and my head feel more connected and isn’t that what it is all about? 

Kindness + Trust

The studio’s April challenge focus this week is to be kind to yourself. I decided to embrace the theme and commit to being less self-critical. I chose to notice when I am self-critical, putting forth efforts to pause, and then either re-do or simply be aware of the behavior (whichever felt more accessible at the moment).  

Taking a step back from self-criticism felt clumsy. I wanted to share my observations with you in the event you can relate and maybe we can support each other to shift. Here were a few observations in my experiment:

I watched myself attempt to completely let go then react with over-control. For example, I am applying for jobs. I never feel like I am doing enough. I hungrily apply every day.  I check the same website(s) obsessively, sometimes at 3 a.m.. I feel completely consumed by the fear that something won’t land and I waste 30 mins, 1 hour, 2 hours skimming websites. In this exercise, I paused and focused on trusting it will work out. Quickly after I returned to hunting. But the pause allowed me to notice my energy would likely be better spent focused on finishing my coursework, with an allotted amount of time dedicated to applying for jobs. Also, I’ve applied to jobs recently of which I am qualified and excited about, yet I don’t allow time for it to percolate.

My indecision often leads to over-giving or unclear boundaries. I met friends for coffee Thursday morning. I walked past a man that asked for money and/or coffee. I told him I was going to be an hour inside, he decided that was too long. When I got inside I got self-critical for not simply saying yes on the spot, so I bought him a coffee. When I took it outside, he was gone. Then I felt silly for buying the coffee.

I noticed a lack of trust in others: my partner, friends in my volunteer group, co-workers. I watched myself take on more tasks rather than discard unnecessary ones, ask for help or lose control. Then grow resentful at what I “sacrifice” to keep up. It was an opportunity to remind myself to ease up, the extra mile is sometimes just extra. Often, letting others do for themselves (vs. interjecting) is usually the wiser decision for all. Being kind to myself means allowing people to help and being kind to others means trusting they will do a good job. 

In my effort to re-do the above, I decided to start listening to positive affirmations on spotify. It’s been helpful so far!

 For balance, here are other (positive) observations:

 I am inherently kind and sometimes child-like. 

I noticed that I am loved.

I have a resume and personality I am proud to market as I apply for jobs.

I allow myself to be silly in front of others.

I can leave the house without changing my yoga clothes 10 times.

Running has gotten easier and I accept my pace. 

I won’t apply for a job that feels like a sacrifice, because I have done that and was miserable. I have grown. 

My partner and I are committed to each other. He is patient and loving.

My family is generous.

I am learning to accept gifts in new ways.

 This lesson was eye opening that ways to be kinder to myself are available in every-day small decisions. While massages & pedicures & nights out are a treat, I want to be kinder to myself on the inside, too. Can you relate?




Why I Let Anxiety Stick Around

Growing up, I was a competitor. I liked to win { let’s be honest, I still do}. I have several memories of the nerves I held prior to competitive events. While my memory bank is full of moments of tremendous nervousness, a few stand out.

Prior to a track meet at Lakewood High School, I played it really cool. I was dropping f-bombs and talking to teammates. But actually, every 5-10 minutes I was running the bleachers to get to the top of the stadium where the bathroom was several times prior to the race because my nerves made my stomach tie itself into several ball-sized knots and nothing but sitting on the toilet helped. Things I remember saying to myself, “You better win this thing. You have to. You can’t let her beat you. If you do, you’ll let your team down. You’ll show everyone that you actually aren’t that good.” After the race, I treated myself to endless stadium hot dogs and prolonged the cycle of shitting.

It didn’t need to be a formal competition though. I can remember a summer evening when my Uncles and cousins and I went to our summer cottage baseball diamond. I was so sick to my stomach. I remember thinking that my Uncle needed to know what an athlete I was. And I’d do anything to show him. Even if it meant taking a line drive to the knee and limping for days to follow.

Well fast forward to 32 years of life, and it’s still there. The never- ending push to excel at anything I do is readily vocal and quite demanding. It is relentless in the pursuit of being the best, the first, and it is rarely appeased. The difference in those span of years is that I know it’s there.

So I was talking with my therapist, and she asked a riveting question. “What about anxiety works in your favor?”

The nerdy nerve-centric party in my head was like, “Finally we’re getting some credit!”

So here’s what I came up with.

Anxiety has been a hate, love, hate relationship. I start with hate because I don’t like being asked if I’m taking laxatives before a major event. It has generated a dis-ease in my belly, a clump in my throat, and a very chatty brain that is unafraid to tell me how much more I need to work on it and all of the things I haven’t thought of, and all of the ways I’m just not there yet.

But there’s a love there, too. Anxiety has fueled me to do more. It has been a fear driving semi truck that demanded attention. Sure, it could have been a little more subtle and perhaps, kinder, but guess what? In my head, it worked. And I have achieved some pretty cool things amidst the self-pressure and regular negative self-talk.

Fear drove me to never see anything as good enough which, in my anxiety filled brain, in a twisting addictive way, worked and I wasn’t ready to part with it.

I’ll say I’m not forever changed, yet. Frankly,I still see its value. But, I also see its detriment. It has taken a toll on my insides. It has taken a toll on my self-concept. It has devalued me.

I have hunch (and by hunch I mean a Ph.D. sports psychology specialist told me) that believing I can do it and using that as a fuel instead of fear, is more effective. The difference isn’t the result, she says, it’s the path to get there is less grueling, less mean, and more loving.

In my professional life, as a business owner and a mental health therapist, I do strive to do more. and better. and gather additional information. and read all of the things. and prepare to the -nth degree. And often, it has worked. But it has been more for the fear of failing and the ways I would see myself if I didn’t do those things.

So, the practice for me is to continue to hunt for answers and resources, but without the added layer of being value-less if I don’t and without the pressure to get to the “next thing.”. Instead, I’ll give a nod to that loud semi passing through, thank it for trying so hard to protect me and help me grow, and remind it { and remind me} that I know I can. That the young Halle who wants so badly to be good enough, already is. I’ll straighten my posture, lift my hearts center, and take a deep breath.

I’m good as I am. I can. I am. I have.

Yoga Retreats!

"We retreat in order to advance." - Steve Gold, musician

I.LOVE.RETREATS!  I've been on 10 yoga retreats in the past 10 years.  They have had different lengths, locations, price points, and schedules.  Overall, one thing has been the same.  I have never regretted going.  When I make time for myself to disconnect, whether it's in Ohio for a few hours or Asia for 3 weeks, I come back re-charged or re-filled in some way.  I am a better human for myself & others when I make that time.  

Why should you consider going on a retreat?  If you feel burned out, stressed, tired, over-scheduled, then it is the PERFECT time to sign up for a retreat!  If you feel unmotivated, like your creativity is blocked or are considering a job change, then it is the PERFECT time to sign up for a retreat!  If you feel isolated or lonely as a new mom or are newly retired, then it's the PERFECT time to sign up for a retreat!

If you are looking to RETREAT, here are a few to consider in no particular order that I recommend and all spots that I have been:

THAILAND:  Thailand knocked my socks off!  It was a beautiful country with amazing food, people, culture, & sights!  This one is being led by my cousin, Annie Fox Langdale and she is a VERY special yoga teacher, check it out!

OHIO:  My mom & I are hosting a one day retreat in Vermilion, Ohio in May!  If you want to dip your toe into the pool of retreats, this would be a great one to try! Take a day for yourself!  Sign up here:

KRIPALU: I went to Kripalu last December.   I tend to like a lot of alone time so becoming a mom has been a big adjustment for me!  My husband encouraged me to take some time alone, so I went to Kripalu for their R & R retreat.  The grounds are beautiful, the yoga is top notch & the food was great!  Check our their website here:  

ANAMAYA Resort: For my 30th birthday, I zip lined, yoga'd, napped, swam, and ate yummy vegetarian food at this awesome spot.  The teacher I went to was  a guest teacher but I imagine any week you picked would be great!

Next week, I am going on a trip with Melissa Major, I’ll be able to share more on that once I return but for now, I’m gearing up to disconnect! Side note, looks like she has an awesome trip to Belgium planned, get the info on that by signing up here:

What other retreats are going on that I should know about? Check my instagram @laurenyong next week for pictures of my trip to Cartegena, Columbia with Melissa and her group!

If you want more info on any of the places I mentioned above, message me on IG or FB!

Love, Lauren



When I was in 8th grade, now 20 years ago, I was the worst version of myself. My parents were getting divorced and the hurt I was feeling I scattered out into my little sphere of influence of teenage girls. The details aren’t necessary but I know that I made people feel not good enough, insecure, and left out. I did it to build myself up because I felt like my little home world was falling apart. Of course, I was feeling insecure and left out. I was trying to control one part of my life because my identity of my “perfect” family unit and my “perfect” being-ness (oh to be 14) was shaken. I feel shame every time I think back on this time of my life. I can assure you the fall from grace was a teacher.

Today, of course, I can recognize my family wasn’t perfect and that no one is perfect. We’ve been lucky to have two therapists and five opinionated people in our family unit that are unafraid to say what the mean. Our family has a new shape and solid foundation of love, trust, and communication. But it wasn’t always the case. After my parents divorce there were years I didn’t really talk to my parents about anything. My sisters and I are not far apart in age, but 11, 14, and 16 can seem like decades apart and this time period impacted us each differently. I felt so catapulted from my version of normality that I didn’t know how to operate in this new world. I went through some very interesting phases (like tangerine hair and really bad outfits). In hindsight, I was eagerly trying to construct some environment where I belonged again. This went on subconsciously for a long time. Some people are able to move on from things quickly or turn a corner and let go of hurt. My pattern has been to carry it around like football gear for an extended and unnecessary amount of time. It’s something I am working to shift. Yoga helps.

Last weekend I was talking to a friend about 8th grade and how challenging it must be now. Social media has taken “belonging” to a whole new level. I know even my 8th grade self peeks her head up every now and again as I scroll through Instagram or facebook. Whether its events I’m not invited to or humans or businesses that seem like they have it all together, a part of me has doubt that I’m not enough or that I need to have approval or control to feel safe in a group. Ironically, one current trend is to celebrate imperfection and individuality. But as someone that has felt like an outsider, even my “celebrated” awkwardness, anxiety, and quirkiness can feel like they’re simply not the right type of imperfect to belong.

I have gotten to a point where most of the time I can watch my reaction and sit with it. (It’s uncomfortable.) In the quiet moments that follow, I remind myself to be humble, to learn from people wiser than me, to stay on my own path. I ask for help or an ear from a friend. I am grateful for the people that walk the walk, reminders of strength and community beyond the smoke screen of social media. I let myself be loved, by family, Andrew, friends, cats, and community. Love, however it shows up, reminds me I belong.


A Yoga Love Story: my long term relationship with pigeon pose by Deirdre

A yoga love story: my long term relationship with pigeon

Like many complicated and passionate couples, pigeon and I didn't care for each other when we first met. In fact, I hated pigeon.  It was my least favorite pose and I couldn't understand why anyone would ever request pigeon!  I was in agony doing pigeon pose: sweating, gripping, and irritated by all the people who looked like they were enjoying themselves.

I'll admit it took awhile but eventually I warmed up to pigeon. Things evolved and it became less agonizing. And after awhile I got kind of "good" at it.  Then, one thing led to another and I fell in love.  We were inseparable.   I practiced pigeon often, holding a deep pose indefinitely. I loved how grounded it made me feel and how open my hips felt. Isn't young love so sweet?  We were blissfully together for a few years before things started to unravel.   

On a summer night about 6 years ago,  I felt pain in the back of my left hip.  It wouldn't go away and something just didn't feel right.  It ached at night and the pain would wake me up, especially when I slept on my side.  Getting in and out of the car was painful.  Around the same time, there was also something strange going on in my triangle and half moon poses.  When I went into these poses there was significant movement in the back of my pelvis and an audible "click, click, click".  I saw a chiropractor who told me I had sacroiliac (SI) joint instability.  He could put my SI joint back in place during treatments but as soon as I left the office and slid into my car it would shift back out of position.  And that movement and clicking I heard and felt in triangle and half moon - well, that was my sacrum and left ilium banging around about as they shifted out of place.  

Pigeon had not only stretched the the tight muscles in my hips, it also stretched the ligaments that stabilized my pelvis.  Muscles will return to their resting length after stretching, but ligaments don't snap back.  I didn't want to believe it.  I didn't want to admit that pigeon could be contributing to my pain.  I felt betrayed.  How could something that felt so good have a negative consequence?! Our tearful breakup was the sad realization that I could no longer fall into poses that I loved, freely and with abandon.

In the lonely days that followed, I wondered more about what had changed in my pelvis and low back.  Curiosity overshadowed my negative feelings and triggered an interest in learning more about low back pain, SI joint instability, and what I could do to fix it. I've been studying this area for the past 5 years and I have a much more honest and compassionate relationship with my body and my yoga practice as a result.  The upside of all of this is that sometimes an injury can help you advance your practice in ways you had not imagined.

Hypermobility occurs when the ligaments in joints are too loose.  Affected joints include elbows, knees, shoulders, cervical spine, hips, and SI joints.  In some us, coming into our fullest expressions of certain yoga poses requires our joints to move beyond healthy, functional ranges of motion.  Exploiting this range of motion over and over again can lead to some serious problems. Hypermobile people often feel the NEED to stretch, but shouldn't do it mindlessly.  The body responds to the laxity in the ligaments around certain joints by tightening large muscle groups around the joint.  Thus, the muscles feel tight and we want to stretch them.  But more deep stretching can just irritate the problem.

Thankfully, most people can safely practice pigeon and other deep poses without over-stretching ligaments, but in the yoga community we do have a significant number of hyper-mobile people.  So my message is this, listen to your what your body is telling you.  When something changes, don't pretend you don't hear it.  Yoga is not all stretching.  We need to balance flexibility with strength and for each us that scale is different.  Pigeon and I have made up although we realize we're not a perfect fit.  Like old flames, we have fond memories and a soft spot for one another.  In order to remain friends we compromise and make accommodations for our relationship.  I practice pigeon occasionally, using props, muscular engagement, and a slow pace of coming in and out of the pose to listen for signals from my body.  Usually, I can resist the urge to push in ways that create conflict.  And when I don't, pigeon sends me flowers and a get well card.  

Deirdre is a 500 RYT with an interest in therapeutic yoga.  She's leading the workshop  "Therapeutic Benefits of Yoga for Low Back Pain" on March 23rd at 3Sisters. If you are interested, check our workshops page here:

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Feels like Home Series

We receive the comment often, “This studio feels like home.” or “This studio is my second home.”

Well, we hope so.

We designed our studio with that intention. Our goal was to create a safe and welcoming place where everyone could be themselves. And here’s how.

Our place is a masterpiece of love. From the artwork that hangs on the wall, to the benches that invite you to relax and unwind, many of our studio’s “feels like home” features are reflections of people in our “family” that have contributed to making this special place.

So, kick back and take a look at all of the ways in which our studio reflects our goal, to feel like home.

And thanks for being part of our family. We are so glad you’re here.

A gradual ripening: the theory of negative capability.

Uncertainty, for me, is nestled sweet & cozy right in my discomfort zone. I can juggle a full schedule and tackling a next step, but the not knowing what’s next piece is right up there with getting my wisdom teeth out. I avoided wisdom teeth surgery for 10 years and had to call the EMS night 1 post-surgery, so this might give you some insight into my appreciation for uncertainty. Lately I’ve found myself in a hurriedness to figure out what’s next. My last semester of grad school just started. Here I am anxiously googling jobs to land post-grad and trying to plan, plan, plan for four months away. In a few areas of my life, I’m being hit over the head with uncertainty and a lack of control around what’s next and it is wildly uncomfortable. I find myself irritable, over-cleaning my house to assemble some sense of control, and being short with people I love when they’re not operating at the same extreme level of order that I am. I know myself well enough to watch that I am trying to control but not yet equipped to stop it before it builds or implement an alternative action.

Last week I “stumbled” (wink at life) upon the perfect message. The book, The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope, was recommended by a friend, Dave. It just so happens my place in this book this week is a chapter dedicated to John Keats, an English poet. (You may remember his quote “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” I remember this from Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews version), not because I am well-versed in English poetry.) Keats is also known for his theory of negative capability. The theory describes being capable of being inuncertainty, sitting in doubt, without any irritable reaching for reason or fact. It is total surrender to letting life unfold and finding inspiration in both light and dark of what transpires. The author goes on to say Keats “knew the importance of leisure…as he began to learn to wait patiently for a gradual ripening.”

Since reading this, I’ve repeated it to myself and about 4 others. It is such a great reminder and simple message that the lack of a formal solid plan isn’t necessarily a negative step back. Within this environment of in-between often exists joyful spontaneity, a good book, a new recipe, catching up with a good friend, time for strength and sleep. Even in reading in my downtime sitting at the studio on a Saturday morning the perfect message was just a page away, reminding me uncertainty isn’t a weakness. It’s not a time to scramble and put together pieces that don’t fit. It is a time to trust. I am choosing to move uncertainty out of its discomfort zip code. After all, it’s possible uncertainty is life working in its wonderful way, waiting until I am perfectly ripe for what’s next. 

xo- courtney



essential oils 101: guest post by Amy Basha Conetsco

essential oils 101: guest post by Amy Basha Conetsco

I have experienced many other life-changing impacts of using essential oils including: managing my PCOS + endometriosis symptoms with some of our hormone regulating oils {clary calm, clary sage, + geranium to name a few}, removing toxins + chemicals from our household to reduce the toxic load on both my + my husband’s bodies by replacing the brand name/store bought products we previously used with simple, homemade solutions {which is important for fertility + our reproductive organs}, and boosting my overall well-being and health in general with some proactive, and plant-based, approaches {one simple example being lemon oil in my water every morning to cleanse + detox my body}.


Life is so strong.  said the fighting 92 year old who had “ days to live.” years have gone by. hes still driving.

Life is so fragile. said the disappointment of my own when he still hasn’t found an outfit for our wedding.

Life is simple. said the cup of coffee and christmas lights that change my mood.

Life is so complex. said  the stories that surface after years of holding it all in.

Life is so hard. said the death of an 8 year old days before christmas. The family mourns.

Life is so easy. said the pina colada with its tiny umbrella perched on an angle.

Life is abundant. said the dozens of socks of which I choose to place on my feet to keep warm.

Life is meek. said the dent in the cars hood and the gas light.

Life is redundant. said the cycle of laundry upstairs.

Life is full of surprises. said the package on the stoop from a giving aunt.

Life is death. said my wedding ceremony writing acquaintance. Shifting my perspective of partnership.

Life is birth. said my facebook’s newsfeed.

I don’t have any answers. I have all the answers. I am at a loss and yet, I am almost certain. I can’t seem to find peace in it, and a deep breath or two settles it again.

I remain.

With all the love.

Beginner's Yoga: What is it like to be brand new?

Beginners & people who practice yoga regularly often say that our studio is the friendliest one in town. We are grateful that our staff & students help create an environment that allows you to feel as comfortable as possible being brand new!

Trying something new is often not easy. You get curious, you talk yourself into finally going, and then you feel a little anxious, that is all completely normal. Remember that every single person on our staff and who visits, at one time was a beginner. We all start somewhere!

So you decided you are going to attend, now what?! First off, we are SO EXCITED for you to begin!

Here are a few things to help you be best prepared!

  1. We have yoga mats available to loan at no extra cost

  2. Many people like to bring a water bottle with them to stay hydrated.

  3. Dress comfortably in clothes that you can move in, most women wear some type of yoga pant or athletic pant or short and a tank top or t shirt. Men usually wear shorts & a t shirt.

  4. Let the front desk know when you arrive so that they can check you in.

  5. Feel free to introduce yourself to the teacher, they love meeting students!

Lastly, relax & move! Enjoy being brand new! How often in life do we get to be complete beginners at something with no judgement? Notice how it feels to move your body in a new way. Notice your breath! Be present through out your experience.

Afterwards, please feel free to share with us anything that you experienced. We are here to support you on your journey to holistic living!

Namaste, 3 SISTERS

Student, Kelli, demonstrates Tree Pose

Difficult Roads often Lead to Beautiful Destinations.

I’m pretty nervous to share this in writing in a place where strangers can read it. I love that the studio has given us a platform to share experiences, parts or our lives, & on topics we find important. Thanks for reading.

I struggle with anxiety still. I had (past tense) postpartum anxiety & depression. These events are not my whole story, but they are a part of my story & helped shape me.

Here is a journal entry of mine from less than a year ago:

These feelings are heavy, dark, & persistent. They abuse me when I notice them. They strain me. They stop me in my tracks & make me wish I had no tracks. I feel ashamed & small to feel this way.

Things have shifted for me since last year & I am grateful. I have compassion for anyone who feels this way.

Here are some resources or tools that I have used during anxious times:

  1. Text 741741 and a Crisis Counselor will text you back! It’s free & helpful!

  2. The acronym RIDE that my sister, Halle told me about has been helping me with anxiety, here’s what it means:

R - is for re-name it! Recognize that’s anxiety & that’s not me!

I - I’m in charge! I’m in charge of my life not anxiety!

D- Do the opposite. So, for me, anxiety makes me overly active. Being still & doing nothing, although difficult to convince my ego to do, is the perfect antidote! If I can fall asleep, naps help a lot.

E- Ease, get back to that place of ease and notice when you’re there!

3. Ask someone in your life for support. I’m happy to be your person, text me 440.668.3185.

4. Go to Yoga

5. Write it out, all the feelings even the crazy ones.

6. Eat well.

7. Sleep!

8. Get out in Nature, take a deep breath, connect to Mother Earth.

The purpose of this blog is to share that if you are struggling, you are not alone. You matter. The world needs your magic.

“Today you are You, that is truer than True. There is no one alive who is Youer than You” -Dr Seuss

Blog by Lauren

What makes 3 SISTERS different? A note from the Colleen Alber, the teacher who has been on our schedule the longest!

I agree that the 3Sisters community, teachers, students and the experience we provide are our biggest differentiators. Our people and our culture.

·         Lauren, Courtney, Halle, John & Beth – no better ownership in the business.

·         BEST (and variety of) teachers…Deirdre, ColleenK & Lisa all with 500 hour RYT – with several full-time yoga teachers, a teacher of yoga teachers and more.

·         Desk yogi staff can’t be beat… their smiles, love of yoga, all around patience, kindness and love of our students and community. The role play is so much more than just ‘checking people in’. Anita leading the charge!!!

·         We take time to learn the names of our students and something about them. (and we have AMAZING students!)

·         Teachers and students that CARE for and CHEER (I love this word) for each other with little to no competition where everyone feels comfortable. And we don’t just support for each other in yoga, we support each other in life.

·         We love smiling and and moving and music and laughter.

·         We are happy and kind and loving and supportive people…who are just working on being our best selves and hopefully inspiring others to do the same.