August Spotlight – Kathy Gingerich

Kathy Gingrich with GrandkidsLife is a Journey. At age 25, I started working out with Richard Simmons and “Let’s Get Physical” with Olivia Newton-John. I have done aerobics, Jazzercise, a little Zumba, spinning, and powerlifting. My journey with yoga started 3 ½ years ago at The Hammock.  I wish I would have found Sarah 10 years ago. Sarah is the best-her yoga knowledge is unending. Sarah is a very caring person and tries to take care of the needs of all her yoga students.

My career journey as an x-ray technologist is ending on 12/31/19. I have been taking x-rays since 1975. Bob and I will be married for 42 years in September. Our retirement journey will be spending more time with our 6 grandchildren – Kendylle and Leland (Arizona); Lucas, Ella, and Taylor (Wisconsin); and Landyn (Lowell).  Bob and I want to take road trips all over the U.S.

My wish is to advocate yoga to everyone I know. It is a mind, body and soul journey that everyone needs to take. I look forward to working out with my yoga buddies. Everyone one of us is on a different journey. Our journey is to keep flexible, strong core, balance, breathe, relax, and enjoy each day.

Restoring Balance Training

Restoring Balance TrainingI had the great opportunity to participate in the continued education training on Restoring Balance: Training the Parasympathetic nervous system in Monroe MI. It is Evidence-based teaching on why yoga is healing, especially in their realm of trauma, which has the potential to throw the autonomic nervous system out of balance. Great techniques for grounding and centering the body to reduce stress, energize and organize, improve clarity, allows relaxing the body to truly rest and shift into the healing state of the parasympathetic nervous system.

Restorative Therapeutics is about opening up healing pathways and opportunities for growth, physically, spiritually, and mentally using yogic tools. Props are important tools to be able to position the body for an optimal shift toward the parasympathetic system (which is rest, digest, conserves energy as it slows the heart rate, increases intestinal and gland activity, and relaxes sphincter muscles in the gastrointestinal tract.) To learn more about balancing the parasympathetic nervous system techniques, come and join us at The Hammock

– Sarah

July Spotlight: Rachel Swift

Rachel and Travis

Here is a little about myself. I was born and raised in Lowell and moved back from Cincinnati in 2013. My husband’s name is Travis, we got married in Sept of 2017 and are now expecting our 1st baby in September of this year. We live south of town here in Lowell, Michigan and have chickens and 10 or so hives of bees. Hobbies include cooking, gardening, fishing and making wine. I love being outside, so really any time the weather is decent, I’m doing something around the house outside. I also love traveling and my goal is to visit all the continents (2 more to go!). With a baby on the way, I don’t see much foreign travel in the near future, but our plan is to explore this amazing state we live in.

I work at Dematic as a business analyst supporting our SAP software. Having to handle everyone’s emergencies on a daily basis is really draining and yoga is my outlet to regroup myself and let go of any anxiety I’m holding onto. I can honestly say I notice a change in my anxiety levels if I take a week off from yoga. Probably my favorite part of yoga is the balancing poses. It really helps me focus and be present in the moment. What I love about attending yoga at the Hammock is the variety in the teaching styles. It keeps things interesting and encourages me to attend more than one class throughout the week.

Hammock Poolside Yoga

At The Hammock, we have had some fantastic yoga experiences in the past years and this summer.  We have had ongoing poolside yoga at Roxanne’s a beautiful home 1-2 times each summer. Weather has been fantastic, and there is nothing like participating in yoga poolside with true nature all around. The birds, light breeze, trees gently swaying, and the white puffy clouds drifting by. The pool is heated, the light, delightful refreshments and snacks were to die for, and the sense of community and friendship found from the yoga students is wonderful.  Thank you so much for the poolside yoga!

Wine & Yoga Event

We had a great time during our Wine and Yoga event at Revival Café and Market. Jennifer Mitchell, the owner, opened her doors to The Hammock yoga class during the evening. The experience was just “perfect” as the regular lights were dimmed and twinkle lights gently twinkled above our heads.  Light music played and we found focus and delight as we successfully completed balance poses while holding the filled wine glasses without spilling. We ended the evening with light conversations and fabulous wine. Both men and women attended the event.

By the way, the Café has delicious cinnamon rolls!

Ten Attitudes that Cultivate Healing Presence


PatienceJudgments (especially premature judgments) can stifle our compassion.  Judgments can make us feel as if we are “experts” when in reality being judgmental can limit the options and opportunities that are available.  A judgmental nature can make it hard to feel at peace.  Staying with whatever arises without judgment requires gentleness, kindness, and compassion.


To be patient requires tolerance and even-tempered perseverance.  Patience strengthens your ability to calmly endure challenging or painful situations.  Patience helps us accept each moment exactly as it unfolds and teaches us how to be complete in each moment.

Beginner’s mind

When we look at life with a beginner’s mind, we are in awe and possibilities abound.  We don’t beat ourselves up because we are not experts – we allow time to practice and learn and allow others to practice and learn.  We don’t let our expertise on a subject limit what we can learn or what others can learn.  When we are beginners we are learning, practicing, absorbing, and building from the ground up.  We live in the moment.


Trust is essential for personal growth.  When we trust we give up control and the illusion of authority.  We learn to trust our intuition – our deep inner wisdom – our instincts and our own emotions. This usually results in less self-judgment.

Letting GoNon-striving

Almost everything we do, we do for a purpose; to accomplish something or go somewhere.  The tendency to be driven in our culture and society has enabled us to enjoy unprecedented standards of living, comfort, and security.  This has also resulted in extraordinary levels of depression, dissatisfaction, and feelings of isolation.  Within this context, non-striving is the attitude of not straining for or forcing a result or an intended outcome.  Loosening expectations of how someone should be (including yourself) can be extremely liberating.


There may be no greater gift you can give than to accept someone (including yourself) exactly as they are showing up in your life at that moment.  The gift of acceptance is needed before any transformation can truly begin (and stay).  The attitude of acceptance requires kindness, self-compassion, and non-judgment.

Letting go

Another way to think about letting go is non-attachment.  The tendency to want to hold on to what is pleasant in our experience and to reject what is unpleasant is a common human experience.  Letting go allows us to experience and learn to respect each new moment without holding on to old ones.  When we let go, we remove old burdens and grudges; we let go of assumptions and expectations.  We start fresh each time.  Letting go allows for new possibilities and growth.

Gratitude GenerosityGratitude

Gratitude involves a feeling of or giving of thanks.  It can be an appreciation for something large or small.  Adopting an attitude of gratitude trains our brains to look for things to appreciate (or increase in value).  For instance, we can be grateful that our organs are working properly, or that we have the ability to take a deep breath.  Additionally, an attitude of gratitude allows you to see the value in any lesson that might be learned from an unpleasant event or occurrence.


Giving freely of yourself (e.g., your time, attention, thought) to someone other than yourself without expectation of anything in return enhances interconnectedness and personal fulfillment.


CompassionCompassion literally means “to suffer together.” Among emotion researchers, it is defined as the feeling that arises when you are confronted with another’s suffering and feel motivated to relieve that suffering.

Compassion is not the same as empathy, though the concepts are related. While empathy refers more generally to our ability to take the perspective of and feel the emotions of another person, compassion is when those feelings and thoughts include the desire to help.

Scientists have started to map the biological basis of compassion, suggesting its deep evolutionary purpose. This research has shown that when we feel compassion, our heart rate slows down, we secrete the “bonding hormone” oxytocin, and regions of the brain linked to empathy, caregiving, and feelings of pleasure light up, which often results in our wanting to approach and care for other people.

Mindfulness of Anxiety in the Body

Mindfulness for AnxietyBegin by focusing your breath for a few minutes as you’ve done before.

Once you can stay with a least a few cycles, let the breath recede into the background and choose your anxiety sensations as a primary object of attention. Feel how they manifest in the muscle tension, restlessness, and so forth. Try to approach these sensations with an attitude of interest and curiosity – not asking what they mean or where they come from, but just investigating how they feel in each instant. See if the sensations are solid or perhaps subtly changing from moment to moment. As you’ve done before, whenever your mind begins to wander away from the sensations, gently bring it back.

Notice also, any urges to withdraw from the anxiety sensations – to get up, shift position, or make them stop. The key here is to stay with what is happening in the body rather than trying to make the sensations stop or go away.

Loving Kindness Meditation

This meditation uses words, images, and feelings to evoke a lovingkindness and friendliness toward oneself and others.

With each recitation of the phrases, we are expressing an intention, planting the seeds of loving wishes over and over in our heart.

With a loving heart as the background, all that we attempt, all that we encounter will open and flow easily.

You can begin the practice of lovingkindness by meditating for fifteen or twenty minutes in a quiet place. Let yourself sit in a comfortable fashion. Let your body rest and be relaxed. Let your heart be soft. Let go of any plans and preoccupations.

Begin with yourself. Breathe gently, and recite inwardly the following traditional phrases directed to your own well-being. You begin with yourself because without loving yourself it is almost impossible to love others.


May I be filled with lovingkindness.

May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May I be well in body and mind.

May I be at ease and happy.

As you repeat these phrases, picture yourself as you are now, and hold that image in a heart of lovingkindness. Or perhaps you will find it easier to picture yourself as a young and beloved child. Adjust the words and images in any way you wish. Create the exact phrases that best opens your heart of kindness. Repeat these phrases over and over again, letting the feelings permeate your body and mind. Practice this meditation for a number of weeks, until the sense of lovingkindness for yourself grows.

Be aware that this meditation may at times feel mechanical or awkward. It can also bring up feelings contrary to lovingkindness, feelings of irritation and anger. If this happens, it is especially important to be patient and kind toward yourself, allowing whatever arises to be received in a spirit of friendliness and kind affection.

When you feel you have established some stronger sense of lovingkindness for yourself, you can then expand your meditation to include others. After focusing on yourself for five or ten minutes, choose a benefactor, someone in your life who has loved or truly cared for you. Picture this person and carefully recite the same phrases:

mandalaMay you be filled with lovingkindness.

May you be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May you be well in body and mind.

May you be at ease and happy.

Let the image and feelings you have for your benefactor support the meditation. Whether the image or feelings are clear or not doesn’t matter. In meditation, they will be subject to change. Simply continue to plant the seeds of loving wishes, repeating the phrases gently no matter what arises.

Then you can even include difficult people in your life, wishing that they too may be filled with lovingkindness and peace.

Lovingkindness can be practiced anywhere. You can use this meditation in traffic jams, buses, airports and walking. As you silently practice this meditation among people, you will immediately feel a wonderful connection with them. The power of lovingkindness will calm you and keep you connected to your herd.

Designing a Wellness Wheel – Health & Wellness Coaching

I took some time to explore various areas that would be important for a balanced wellness wheel. I came up with categories of:

  1. Spiritual: participating in spiritual activities
  2. Social: which includes relationships, intellectual conversations, and networking
  3. Emotional: openly expressing thoughts, feelings, and being able to deal with them appropriately
  4. Physical: proper nutrition, sleep, and movement
  5. Environmental: safe and comfortable surroundings and resources available
  6. Financial: getting basic needs met, and being comfortable living within their means
  7. Goals and Aspirations: having desires, hopes, short and long term attainable aspirations and goals

wellness wheelI decided to include these seven categories because it takes a look at the whole person. I could have made more categories, but I decided to lump them into a broader framework so that the wheel did not look so intimidating to the client.  This helped to look at integrating the individual’s multiple dimensions of what was meaningful, positive, and purposeful in their life.  It also looked at what other areas that were impacting them in a negative way. The categories encouraged the client to explore their health and wellness in a different light. This allowed the ability for the individual to see what was working or not working for them.  These categories can be intimately interconnected. I felt it was important to include the Goals and Aspiration category because it is important to have dreams, hopes, desires, and goals for growth. Without these, it may be more of a struggle to find a fuller and deeper meaning of health and wellness.

I was able to ask many questions after the client had finished the wellness wheel. I asked questions such as:

  • What is important to you?
  • Where would you like to see change happen? How can you see a change in this area? What might this look like when change starts to happen?
  • What are you feeling as you look at your wellness wheel? Is there a good balance in your life? What are other options you can try?
  • Ranking your priorities, where are your highest and where are your lowest priorities?
  • What would you like to work on first? Is that where you are spending most of your time? Does your health cause you to focus on that area more?
  • What strengths do you see in the wellness wheel? How can you capitalize on that?

Many other questions evolved as the client would share more information. Her answers would take my questions in another direction where the client demonstrated deeper processing.

It was interesting, that my client immediately reported that her wheel “had a flat tire”. This brought on “AHA” moments for the client. The client discovered some positive areas, areas that she had been neglecting, and others that were not a priority for her.  There were also areas that she was not ready to deal with. She reported that she struggled significantly emotionally, socially, and environmentally. All of these areas she expressed the desire to change. The client reported she was able to make some goals for herself, but could never follow through with any of them. The client reported that “Everything has gotten in the way”.

Some of the insights that I was able to elicit from the client were that she reported that she is alone, depressed, has no support, is medically fragile, stuck, trapped, and can’t move forward.  She also reported that she is financially bound to others who do not care for her. I was able to realize she was overwhelmed with her whole situation. There is a definite feeling of emptiness.  We discussed the wellness wheel, broke down what is most important to her, and established a few measurable short term goals.  With powerful questioning, the client came up with small attainable steps. This created a positive turning point for her in the process.

I continue to learn from each and every person that I work with regarding the wellness wheel.  It is important to remember that the things that I feel are important are not always what is important to the client.  Each individual has a unique journey, and I need to respect that.  It is not a cookie cutter approach. It is listening deeply, being fully present, demonstrating mindfulness and caring for the client. This is not easy, as I would love to give ideas and advice, set goals for them, and push them down the right path. I also have to make sure I am in a good place personally and professionally when I am working with an individual. It is about the client’s needs and not what I need.

I will continue to utilize the wellness wheel, as this is a powerful tool. The wellness wheel is a great place to start. It allows me to initiate conversations that lead to a more in-depth perspective of my client’s overall health and well-being. It is a great tool to use powerful questioning to help the client move forward.  The wellness wheel helps the client see what is really going on, and to be able to take charge of their behaviors and issues.

In reflection, I feel that the wellness wheel brings together both the client and coach in a way that is beneficial and meaningful. It can create a powerful partnership and set the stage to empower the client for growth and movement within their life.