montgomery

Living Big In A Tiny House

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At Soma Ranch, for the past 10 years, we love to look at how we can recycle, reuse and be as creative as possible with space.

Being able to create great spaces, buildings, rooms and do renovations is super helped by Joe Terry (husband, Soma Ranch CEO and “Soma Construction Department”).

Joe is an artist, with master carpentry skills, an eagle eye and a extremely creative mind. Under his expertise and guidance, we have renovated, restored and redesigned several spaces at Soma Ranch, including our beautiful dance studio, vibrant social area, peaceful rustic dormitory and massage house.

We are presently researching how to possibly add more rooms, ideally building spaces as independent cute tiny homes.

Solar power, water collecting and the possibility of being offer the grid are attractive options and constructing with shipping containers are very appealing to us.

During our recent research, we found this home made from 3 x 20ft shipping containers. The concept and design is very in line with several of our values, being energy conservative, environment conscious and enthusiastically creative! hope you enjoy taking a look around as much as we did. Feel free to add comments. Would you like to stay in an independent little bedroom until, possibly with your own toilet, sharing a shower/bathroom with another guest? option of an outdoor shower/bathroom? :-)



Aqua Yoga coming To Soma Ranch

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We are super excited to be bringing Aqua Yoga to Soma Ranch! Our pool is perfectly designed for this kind of class, retreat and training.

This is an excellent weekend for

  • FIT PROS who’d like to add aqua fitness/aqua yoga to their skill set

  • YOGA TEACHERS who’d like to add aqua

  • ANYBODY who’d like to enjoy yoga in the water, a fabulous retreat and opportunity to learn

For more information and to register click http://www.somaranch.com/trainings/aqua-yoga

We have choice

Yesterday we enjoyed a fabulous “open house” playing with the latest Nia Routine “GO”. Thank you all who choose to come join us. With participants, who feel more like friends, some coming for 10+, 15+ and 20+ years to attend classes with Helen, it was a great day to be alive!

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Attitude is the most important choice we can make. We made an attitude choice yesterday, and we make another choice today.

Let’s make a choice:

...to participate.

...to be a contributor.

...to be optimistic.

...to be curious.

...to be a learner.

...to be an encourager.

...to bring out the best in others.

...to give people the benefit of the doubt.

...to forgive.

...to be hopeful instead of fearful.

For the most part, you are not able to choose what happens today. All you can choose is what your attitude will be. And the choice you make will determine what kind of day it will be.

Thank you Jim’s Daily Awakenings for this inspiration http://www.jimsdailyawakenings.com/

Choice is powerful

Here's a great article about choice, by Liz Dawn, about Caroline Myss. (one of our favorite teachers/authors) celebrateyourlife.org/caroline-myss-teach

As we look out on our 15.2 acres of beautiful land at Soma Ranch, (celebrating the wonderful facilities and sparkling pool, loving the healing, vibrant, world class studio, recapitulating the amazing people who have come through our doors, time and time again, appreciating the remarkable friendships that have been kindled through this magical place) the effort, tears, stress and challenges, experienced, seem to dissolve into the background and the multitude of decisions required seem non existent. And yet, on those special moments, when Joe and I have time to sip tea, rocking on the front porch, enjoying the silence, once all the guests have left, after another fabulous retreat, Joe and I smile at the acknowledgement, "looks like we made enough "right" decisions to result in this sacred, satisfying and seemingly successful life". 

Wishing y'all a day full of peace and joy, in amongst the multitude of decisions to be made. Keep your eye on the "prize" and celebrate moments along the way.

Nia is like a Water Park Ride!

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Welcome Annie, who attended a Nia class at Soma Ranch for the first time this week. And thank you regular attendee/Nia Green Belt, Barbara Durrant, for bringing your friend to Soma Ranch.

We are amazed and thankful at how you drive an hour each way from College Station to attend Nia classes at Soma Ranch so often.

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At the end of class Annie, with a beautiful "after Nia class" glow on her face, shared how her first Nia class experience felt very much like a ride on a water slide at Schlitterbahn! "at the beginning I felt both nervous and excited as I really didn't know what I was jumping into. Then as we warmed up I felt like I was being moved gently through several curves, shoots and tunnels. As we really got moving I felt some moments of surprise and brief moments of concern (like a tight corner when a little water splashes up your nose!), then I really got into enjoying the ups and downs both physically and emotionally. Before I knew it POOF! the class was over. Now I want to do that ride again ;-)"

Thank you for sharing your Nia experience in such a fun way, we love your creativity, the joy you brought to class and look forward to your return.

Fabulous Soma BES 2018 retreat.

This year we celebrated 25 years of marriage and 25 years of teaching Nia. Yes Helen and Joe married so Helen could take the Nia white belt training, the beginning of a wonderful journey!  A super week to enjoy friends in a most relaxed atmosphere at and around Soma Ranch...

Enjoying baby donkey Conrad during our retreat was like icing on the cake

We were blessed with water as smooth as glass on Lake Conroe. Boating, tubing and Paddleboarding were so much fun. Especially with folks jumping on for the first time!

Swimming, dancing, meditating, walking the labyrinth, laughing, eating and enjoying each other's company was most delightful during our retreat...

Our final class, our delicious nap/meditation and seeing relaxed faces as guests departed, all added up to a retreat I'll cherish for a long time. Soma Ranch has blossomed into a wonderful Haven for relaxation, fun and friendships....

A New Baby Donkey at Soma Ranch!

We have a baby donkey at Soma Ranch!  

Of all the donkeys born at Soma, this fella is by far the most spirited one we've met. 

He was born on the day my dear friend Constance died. I immediately I thought "Ha! we'll call the donkey Constance"!  I then discovered the donkey was a boy and could hear Constance exclaiming  "you can't call a boy donkey Constance!".

After consulting Constance's daughters they have named the donkey, and I think it's a fabulous, creative solution.

Please welcome Mr. Conrad Henry, the most spritely donkey ever to be born at Soma Ranch!

All our donkeys have been rescued at Soma Ranch. i.e. we've not gone looking for them, and none of them have been bought. Most often we've received the request to take in a donkey when the previous owner falls on difficult financial times and/or they no longer have grass due to lack of water.

We keep our male donkey in a separate pasture, with a neutered male donkey to keep him company. (donkeys get depressed when left alone). 2 summers ago Nibbler (our boy donkey) did an impressive "limbo" under his fence AND under the fence into the main field, where all the girls hang.  We herded him back pretty fast, however he was able to get Sarah pregnant in record time!

BTW all visitors are welcome to go home with a free donkey. We prefer you take 2 at a time ;-) We love our donkeys, we have plenty and are most happy to share.

Another wonderful AirBNB guest leaves a raving review.

Thank you to our wonderful weekend AirBNB guests. They took care of the property, appeared to have a marvelous time and left a RAVE review. When Helen's not providing a training, and Soma Ranch isn't hosting a retreat, we rent out the ranch to special groups and families. One of the ways people find us is through AirBNB who we are super thankful for over the past few years.

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Soma Wild Playshop

Today, at our "Play Shop" for the lastest Nia routine "Wild", I received so much joy, value and fun, I feel like I could run all the way to the bank of cosmic salary! What do I mean by this? It's a concept we introduce in the Nia White Belt, coined by fellow Nia Trainer Ann Christiansen.  In life we may choose to do things for money and then there are things we may do for free that are still extremely rewarding, the latter is what we call cosmic salary!

Today 11 participants showed up to dance and play. There were 3 brand new people (a lady who's been on my email list for 14 years!) and a couple who were friends of fellow teacher Peggy Renfroe, looking for something new. Congrats and thanks to all the teachers who lead songs (JoAnn, Peggy, Kristi, Lola, Helen)

 

In a circle I lead a gentle warm up to the first song, then we played with introductions (Where are you from, where do you live, something quirky and why are you here). It was lovely to hear the stories and giggles, like learning someone, as a child, had a pet squirrel! Then we got into a lovely flow:

  1. take the class - EveryBody dance to a song with Debbie on the big screen
  2. review moves - Helen highlight some of Nia 52 moves
  3. play leading - teacher volunteer to lead the group 
  4. brag - teacher share 3 things they did well
  5. boost - group share what they loved about the experience

The teaching was off the charts! Every very single teacher lead with joy, relaxation, fun, smiles, sticking with moves they'd picked up from the DVD, tweaking and creating moves on the fly as needed. This group of teachers were most "Loose but Tight". It's a concept we recommend in Nia teaching, meaning stay relaxed have a good time, don't get uptight about remembering the moves AND do your best to deliver the promise of Nia (technique, choreography, workout).

It was Kristi's birthday today and she choose to step in and teach Nia for the very first time! If this is what she's like having completed 75% of the white belt, look out world for when she's done a little practice LOL...

The group was super supportive and lots of fun. After going through the above 5 steps for the first 5 songs we took a break. I relished in the thought.. "where else on the planet can we break to sauna, hot tub, enjoy nature, chat, laugh, pet and feed donkeys!"

We learned a few more songs then finished with cool down, floor play and stepping out.  It was a great day, moving forwards we'd like to offer this free community PLAYSHOP event one Sunday afternoon a month! the next one will be to learn the newest Nia routine RIDE!

Debbie Rosas, founder of Nia, will be at Soma Ranch January 27 & 28, sharing more about Wild and also providing a full day "Festival of Nia" event.

2016 miles in 2016

I'm ready with hat, shirt and medal!

At the beginning of 2016 I played with "what if I set the goal to run 2016 miles in 2016"...  I calculated this required an average of 5.51 miles a day. Jan 1 I decided to see if I could do 5.5 miles. I loved reaching the goal of "today I've run what I'd need as a daily quota to achieve 2016 miles this year". I was inspired to set the goal to run 5.5 miles every day for a week. My 7 day achievement spurred me to go for a month. New challenges (like travel, Nia training days, and the need to take a day off!) required more organizing, calculating and scheduling. I'd play with investing in a couple of longer runs to allow me to have a day off!

I soon realized when I missed ONE DAY, if I wanted to keep up I had to do 11+ miles the next day! I found a route at home that was 6 miles and another that was 8.5. miles. 6 mile daily run became my "usual" routine, I began to learn how "saving" a little each day helped build up my total (for example when I did 6.5 miles for 6 days, I had banked 5 extra miles and could then peacefully take a day off without the dread of "oh my! now I have to do 11 to keep up").

During the summer I travelled, taught and trained in Sweden, Hungary and Finland, I missed a day with travel, caught up great with some long early morning runs in Budapest (before long white belt days), only to experience "the great fall of 2016" at the end of a run. I missed running for 3 days in a row (deficit of 16.5 miles). Arriving late in Finland the next day I had a bus to catch at 1pm to take me to Kuoppio to begin another Nia white belt at 7:30pm that evening. The only time I had to run was in the morning, I chose to not set my alarm, to wake up naturally and if it was meant to be I would do a 9 mile run, (realizing I'd have to run 9 miles everyday for weeks to catch up on my deficit!) I woke up the next morning and EVERYTHING was working, I felt refreshed, with crisp, sunny yet cool weather, the air was clean and fresh, barely anyone out. I ran around a lake, all the way into the local town, loving the scenery. Everything was working well, before I knew it I was at 9 miles, hmmm... how about I go a little further, then at 10, I realized a half marathon was "only" 13.1 miles.... inspired I pushed through and completed 14+ miles.  

And so it was, for the rest of the year I'd get up each day, plan as best I could, have things happen, like guests changing/postponing/delaying at the ranch, unexpected weather, feeling unwell even injuring my toe by dropping mug on it! There were a couple of times when I thought I'd lost, the deficit of miles seemed so vast I couldn't see how I'd catch up.

I found tracking my runs on MapMyRun, posting them publicly, made me more accountable. Along the way some friends began giving me shout outs, encouraging notes, posts on Facebook. I was amazed at how this encouraged me to keep on keeping on. A lot of days I'd laugh when folks would share "you've got this Helen", as I'd think, they seem to have a lot more faith/belief in me than myself! In November, while sharing a Nia Week in Budapest with my parents, my "Amazing Math Wiz" Mum helped me create a spreadsheet with functions and "auto calculating" columns to summarize each of the remaining days: the total miles accrued, how many days left, and the required daily average to finish successfully by December 31.

Around this time a very dear friend (Bill Baun) died and I felt him spurring me on. Through my grief, I discovered how the long runs gave me relief. I also encountered strange moments where I could hear Bill's scratchy voice saying "look up Helen, you got this" - I'd look up and see an eagle, sunshine through the trees or some other "all inspiring nature" image. In December 2 friends from the Dallas/FortWorth area (Dee and Kathy) shared they drive down to see the finish line! I was (and still am) amazed they'd travel so far, taking time out of their precious lives, simply to see me cross the finish line.

So here I am, tapping away to share my story, while watching the clock, fully aware I need to get a run in before the sun goes down and a 5pm phone appointment "running on the edge" as usual. Today I need to do 6, to then bring my annual total to 2010 miles. Tomorrow I'm hoping for sunshine and perfect weather, and no matter what, I'm planning a 6 mile run, crossing the finish line at Soma Ranch. I'll share more later about what I've learned from setting such a far reaching goal that took me on a crazy journey of self discovery.

Summary: set goals, plan, be flexible and firm, be accountable, ask for help, share the need for and receive encouragement, small steps contribute to big things, believe in yourself and reach for your dreams, don't give up. I'm taking Dec 31 off and then yes.... I'm setting the goal to run 2017 in 2017. Would you like to be included in a motivational group? You could run/walk/ride 2017 solo, or "run the edge 2017" has a program that invites up to 4 folks run/walk 2017 miles as a team. I'd love you to be part of this. You won't be alone, we'll have fun, support each other, learn much and achieve greatness - how about it! Leave a comment below and I'll get back with you about details.

Monday is Early Bird deadline for Shaman Retreat.

Bridget Boland

Early bird deadline for the Transformation and Radiant Empowerment Retreat with Bridget Boland is approaching. Save $50.00 off the total cost when you register before Monday Sept. 14, and join us for this wonderful seasonal opportunity to energetically release, cleanse and refresh. All details below. Please contact Bridget for details and to register.

Transformation and Radiant Empowerment:
An Autumn Retreat with Shaman Bridget Boland

Autumn is a wonder-filled time to “’plant the seeds of our becoming,” by seeking out our highest, most exquisite visions for ourselves and our lives. Join shaman, writer and Forrest Yoga instructor Bridget Boland for soulful ritual, fire ceremony, yoga, vision journeys, journaling and more. This weekend will help you discern and open the pathways to profound personal transformation and empowerment.

When: October 17-19, 2014
Where: Soma Ranch, Montgomery, TX
$550/person includes dormitory lodging, meals, yoga and all group sessions.
(Add $100 for a semi-private room)
For more information, www.bridgetboland.com;


EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT! REGISTER BY 9/14/14 TO SAVE $50 OFF THE REGISTRATION FEE.
SPACE IS LIMITED SO REGISTER EARLY!
To Register: 214-682-1207 bridgeteboland@gmail.com

EVENT SCHEDULE:
FRIDAY NIGHT: Welcome Dinner, Opening Circle & Fire Ceremony.

SATURDAY: Yoga, Soul and Destiny Retrieval
Journeys, Journaling and Free Time

SUNDAY: Yoga, Closing Circle

Bridget is also available for a very limited number of private healing sessions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please contact her to schedule your session.