Yoga at Montgomery Bell

I’ve been jumping up and down–in excitement…and over the jump rope for training. Beginning in September, I will start teaching two power flow yoga classes a month at Montgomery Bell. And in December, when all the ultra runners come to check in for the Bell Ringer on Friday night, I have the opportunity to lead them in a yoga class, and then go out and run with them the next day.  

The first yoga class will be from 8-9 a.m., Saturday, September 8, 2018, at the lawn by the Church Hollow Shelter. Here’s the link and class description.

Yoga at Montgomery Bell: September 8

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM

This is a Power Flow and energy generating yoga session. During this class, we’ll practice sun salutation flows, warriors, and leg strengthening postures. You will sweat during this practice. Overall, you will move and build strength and flexibility. For runners, this is a great class for pre-run strengthening or for cardio workout on your “off” days. Music Playlist will be funky, bluesy, upbeat music. We will have a cool down portion for flexibility.

Pre-registration required. You will need to bring your mat, bottled water, a towel, and possibly, bug spray. We will meet and practice at the lawn in front of the Church Hollow Shelter. Beginners are welcome. Please, inform the instructor if it’s your first time to practice yoga.

I’ve been visiting Montgomery Bell since I was nine years old–to swim, to hike, to picnic, to run, to swing, to play games, to splash in the creeks. As a college student, I met my then-boyfriend in the afternoons at the park and hiked out to the lakes and talked for hours about what we would do when we grew up. When I was twenty-three, I got married to that guy in the little historic church there. In my thirties, I ran several races, even when I was pregnant once. Teaching there and planning for so much more to happen at a place that has allowed me to experience many of life’s beauties and challenges propels my imagination and determination to create more and to share those moments with other nature enthusiasts. 

Full Montgomery Bell Fall Yoga Schedule: 

More Dates/Same Class as above:

​8-9 a.m., Saturday, September 15, 2018: Yoga on the Church Hollow Shelter lawn

8-9 a.m., Saturday, October 13, 2018:Yoga on the Church Hollow Shelter lawn

8-9 a.m., Saturday, October 20, 2018:Yoga on the Church Hollow Shelter lawn

8-9 a.m., Saturday, November 10, 2018:Yoga on the Church Hollow Shelter lawn

Register at http://www.tnstateparks.com

Here’s the Bell Ringer 50k/25k Sign Up!

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Yoga Schedule

​​Many people have asked me to create a place where all of my yoga classes and activities are listed. Yoga and writing are wrapped up together in my life, so I have many activities related to both. Sometimes, I even throw running into the mix, and there will be classes listed soon that are specifically FOR runners. You can also find this list with even more information at the thorncraftpublishing.com website. I definitely update that site much more frequently than my blogsite here, but I will try to keep it updated monthly here with a schedule since I teach in places and spaces a little different than your neighborhood yoga studio.

Classes by Shana Thornton, 200RYT:

For classes at Tennessee State Parks, participants can register at tnstateparks.com under ALL EVENTS. Detailed class descriptions are located on the TN State Parks website. Choose the date you would like to attend from the list on the Tennessee State park website.

UPCOMING CLASSES:

Dunbar Cave State Natural Area, a TN State Park

$10 per person.

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 4, 2018: Candlelight Yoga at the Cave

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 18, 2018: Candlelight Yoga at the Cave

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Thursday, August 23, 2018: Candlelight Yoga at the Cave (final Thursday night of the season)

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 25, 2018: Candlelight Yoga at the Cave

6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday, September 8, 2018: Candlelight Yoga at the Cave

Montgomery Bell State Park, a TN State Park
Saturday, September 8, 2018. More Information Coming Soon with a full monthly yoga schedule…

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville
$10 per person.
4p.m. – 5:15 p.m., Sunday, August 5, 2018.
Gentle class. Candlelight. Mats available. Beginners welcome. Yoga Nidra at the end of practice.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville
$10 per person.
10a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Thursday, August 9, 2018.
Gentle class. Candlelight. Mats available. Beginners welcome. Yoga Nidra at the end of practice.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville
$10 per person.
10a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Thursday, August 16, 2018.
Gentle class. Candlelight. Mats available. Beginners welcome. Yoga Nidra at the end of practice.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville
$10 per person.
4 p.m. – 5:15 p.m., Sunday, August 19, 2018.
Gentle class. Candlelight. Mats available. Beginners welcome. Yoga Nidra at the end of practice.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville
$10 per person.
10a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Thursday, August 23, 2018.
Gentle class. Candlelight. Mats available. Beginners welcome. Yoga Nidra at the end of practice.

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Clarksville
$10 per person.
10a.m. – 11:15 a.m., Thursday, August 30, 2018.
Gentle class. Candlelight. Mats available. Beginners welcome. Yoga Nidra at the end of practice.

Upcoming Workshop:
Yoga and Writing Exploration Workshop

2p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday, August 25, 2018.
At Yoga Mat studio. 227 Dunbar Cave Rd. Clarksville, TN.
Register on the MINDBODY APP. $15 per person
Explore writing techniques and styles of yoga. Discover the creativity and self-expression of blending writing and yoga in this 3-hour workshop. From meditation to pranayama to flow styles of yoga, this workshop will give you an opportunity to explore yoga and writing as you grow in your practice and voice.
Workshop teachers: Shana Thornton, 200RYT, editor of the BreatheYourOMBalance yoga book series, and Amanda Rush, 200RYT, writer and co-owner of Yoga Mat studio.

With all three practices (writing, yoga, and running), I will always be a student first, a listener. I am also truly a Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance. You can find me on their registry here. I keep up with my hours and extra studies. My practice is always growing.

I do publish a yoga book series, BreatheYourOMBalance, which is also a registered trademark. We do accept outside work for the book series during open reading periods. Visit Thorncraft Publishing for information about the book series and open reading times.

Wishing you all easy breaths,
Shana

Giving the Writer’s Elbow: A Weekly Nudge

Writing prompts have always compelled me to simply write, especially if they push me into a creative thought that I wouldn’t have considered as a starting point for a story and/or a new surprising slant that I can use within a working story. Sometimes, a writing prompt isn’t packed full of profound information, but it’s more about the timing being in sync with your story dilemma. A writing prompt can create one of those sudden moments of knowing after being blank.

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Week 5, January 2017. Theme: NERVOUS HABIT. Create a nervous habit for one of your characters. If not the main character, choose a minor character who needs more description in order to come alive in the story. This habit could add an element of humor and/or realism to your story. The habit could be a sound they make, an action toward themselves or others, or an inability to act. The habit could create a central conflict for the character (consider habits such as cutting, binge eating, and other forms of serious, repetitive self-harming). Likewise, the habit could be more of a side-note, something endearing and entertaining without being central to the conflict. Adding a habit could show more depth to a character or to the overall story.

I give the writing nudge to those who need an extra elbow or two, and I’m sharing one of my prompt journals throughout this year on the Thorncraft website. You’ll find a new writing prompt every week, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning for all the midnight writers out there.

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Writers, Week 11 of The Nudge is here, and we’re thinking about the foundations of mobility. Write On…Theme: BASIC MOBILITY. How do your characters stand? How do they walk? Are they incapable of walking/running/jumping for some reason? What does their stride look like if they run? Do they have a particular stance and is it altered when they are nervous or lack confidence? What kind of shoes do they wear? Experiment with basic mobility in your story. Find more suggestions related to creative nonfiction and poetry about this prompt on our home page. All photos & prompts by Shana Thornton.

The current Nudge is on the Home page http://www.thorncraftpublishing.com and we’re up to Week 16 this week.

Check out some of the prompts from past weeks here (Weeks 1-9): http://www.thorncraftpublishing.com/the-nudge.html
On the website, prompts include suggestions for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Throughout this blog, I’ve given a few examples and the photos that accompany them. Some weeks, taking the photos inspires me as much as the ideas behind the prompts.

I started writing the writing prompts themselves when I wanted to encourage my students to write and so I developed prompts beyond the ordinary journal topics given in most composition courses. I wanted to stimulate style and storytelling, and simultaneously I started to manage an online weekly writing prompt with another author/editor. Suddenly, a series of writing prompts would sweep over me while I was making dinner and running in the forest, or whatever else I might be doing. The prompt process became part of my own inspiration for my novels and short stories. Each prompt became a nudge that shouted, “Go! Write about this if you can’t think of anything else. Go on, do it!”

Stashed Away–The Secret Letters

This is part three of a series on letter-writing in fiction.

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Secret letters can create many routes in a novel, and they offer the ultimate versatility to your story. These secret letters that suddenly appear in a book, they allow some of the deepest twists possible in storytelling. The story becomes the owl with its head turned all the way around, and you might even be able to stand the plot on its head at the same time.

I’ve noticed that the novels with secret letters don’t set out to be epistolary. Those secret letters are not referenced in the beginning of the book. The narrator never alludes to letters or secrets in that way. Then, the secret letters surprise everyone by showing up like a poof of dusty magic.

You can make it subtle, while retaining the lucidity of the scene and the significance of that moment in the storyline. In Multiple Exposure, Ellen Masters is legally adopted by her grandmother and grows up with a distant relationship to her mother. When her mother comes for a rare visit to see Ellen graduate from high school, Ellen’s mother finds all of the letters with money still stuffed inside that she and Ellen’s stepfather mailed to Ellen over the years. Prior to this scene, the narrator, Ellen, has never let the reader know that her mother and stepfather mailed letters and money to her. It should come as a bit of a shocking revelation on the part of the narrator to the reader for many reasons. The scene shifts again quickly, and this serves as a striking memory flash. Those letters are never mentioned again in the book, and there’s no reason to do so, as they served their purpose in the story.

You can make secret letters have a generational impact by revealing an even bigger secret decades later. In my second novel, Poke Sallet Queen & the Family Medicine Wheel, I used the idea of secret letters again, and they lead to the revelation of a secret that changes the family structure (for this blog, I won’t spoil the story and reveal that here). These letters are about the history of the Ballard family and are never seen by the narrator, Robin Ballard. She hears the story of the secret love letters from her Great Aunt Cora, whose heart is broken as a young woman by not receiving anymore letters from her secret lover. She tells her great niece about it decades later: “I don’t think my heart stopped hoping I’d open the mailbox and find my name written by his hand until I finally married someone else and moved away from there. It was like the mailbox could never be the same again.” For Cora, the letters are painful, but for her great niece, Robin, they are a revelation.

To read more about Multiple Exposure, my
first novel about narrator Ellen Masters who is trying to raise her daughter, hold down a career and home, all while facing the fears that surface due to her husband’s deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq and a shocking murder that takes place close to her home, visit thorncraftpublishing.com

You’ll also find more information about my second novel, Poke Sallet Queen and the Family Medicine Wheel, which follows the generational stories of a middle Tennessee family and the various talents of the Ballard family, from shaman, to moonshiner, to singer, and more.

Parts One and two in this series are about the confessional letter and passing notes in high school, respectively.