Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Winter Solstice Celebration

I am so excited about Winter 2012. 2011 was a great year. I had crazy change in my life. And I'm really looking forward to the opportunity a new year offers to build on the past. Everything starts in the dark...I'm learning to appreciate and understand this more and more as I grow older. It's helped me to make peace with winter and understand it's purpose. It can seem really harsh and unnecessary but I'm learning to make peace by the beauty that comes of it. Of understanding the need to go into the dark to do your work...the deep stuff that's sometimes hard, embarrassing, fearful, etc...

So, This Thursday, the 22nd is the darkest day of the year. WE need to celebrate that to move toward what we truly want as the days become longer. I will be teaching a special class from 6:30-8:00 @ YOGA GARDEN. We will have a toast afterwards...stay if you'd like.

Love, L

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Everyone has a story...

Everyone has a story.
Everyone wants to tell their story.
And Everyones story is worth being told.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

YOGA GARDEN new pics

It's been just over 2 months since we moved to the new studio and it has changed so much already. I feel so lucky to have this space to practice in and share my teachings in and to build a community in. We have some great workshops coming up in the next 2 weeks. Rachel Hiltsley of Jivamukti fame will be teaching the weekend of the 17th...details TBA so stay tuned for that. She has been in NYC for the last 3 months working on her advanced certification so I can't wait to see what she has learned. I hope to attend.

Jennifer Halstead of Magna Health and Fitness (see link in upper right) will be teaching a Learn to Run clinic starting in January and running for 10 weeks. Jennifer is an enthusiastic fire-ball of energy and if you are considering a fitness coach she is your gal.

Also, Gabrielle Hopp (see blog upper right) teaches an on-going yoga workshop class on Wednesdays @ 1:00 I highly recommend. To see the full YG schedule there is a link to the Yoga Garden website (again, upper right corner of this blog).

And myself, I will keep my sched as is for now. AND I am planning a special class in honor of the Winter Solstice on Thursday, Dec. 22nd. We will talk about how to embody what it is we are working toward as we step into a new cycle with a new year and then drink wine afterward if you'd like to stay and hangout for a bit. Stay tuned for details.

Hope you enjoy the pics and to see you sometime soon. Love, L

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

CHRISTINA SELL in our very own Minneapolis!!

Save the date! Christina Sell will be teaching a weekend workshop in Minneapolis January 27-29th, 2012. This is going to be an incredible experience and one not to miss! For the details and to register please go here

For questions please email me at laurel@yogagardenmpls.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Open House Party

We're off and running and it's time to celebrate!

YOGA GARDEN is having an Open House party.

Saturday, November 12th, 7 - 9 PM.

Beer and wine will be served.

I hope you can stop by.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Friends from Friends

I am loving the vibe in the new studio. It's so comfortable. The light is amazing and it's so quiet and peaceful it really feels like a temple to me. And a train goes by every time we are in savasana. A quiet train just far enough away that it sounds rhythmic and grounding - perfect for savasana. Phil commented that he wants to get to class earlier so he can hang out in the space for a little while longer before we get down to business which is why I have one hammock on the way and will be ordering another shortly. So come hang out anytime. I'm going to post this blog and then head over there for a practice before I go meet Ave to finish up some email and website stuff we are working on.

And I have to say I'm so thankful to have the space but even more for the community that is building around it. If someone would have told me 10 years ago I would be doing this I would have laughed. I was so into trying to do everything myself. I was (and still am) goal oriented and all about the challenge which was great for a while but will only get you so far. And one of the most important things I've learned from my teaching over the last 8 years is that you can't. You absolutely cannot get there, where ever there is, alone. So here are some pics of the gifts I've been given for the studio. I think it's a sign of appreciation for all of us and the work we do that people are bringing in gifts to make the space more beautiful. Thanks for the Ganesh, Laxshmi, mini forest, the jade in it's sweet little green pot, Krishna, Bhudda and flowers in the pretty green vases. They were given to me but they are really for all of us.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sandwich Board Art

I just finished a new sandwich board painting for YOGA GARDEN. I got really into making these 7 years ago when I started teaching at Creative Electric. I like the way the wood cracks and the paint chips and starts to roll as they age. I hope you like them. "Restrooms", "Dressing Room" and "Private" coming soon...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thursday Nights Are Back...

Starting tonight 6:30 - 8:00...

I miss the Thursday night class. We had a lot of fun in this class when it was at Foat Design. It's the end of the week and everyone is usually a little loopy and ready to bust a move. Which makes for a lot of fun.

Hope to see you there.


Monday, October 3, 2011

And we're in...

We are officially in!

 I taught for the first time in the new studio last night and am so happy to say it was just lovely. All the natural light and the view of the sky is wonderful and get this, it's quiet. Really, Really quiet. The space feels like home to me already. I hope you will come check it out sometime soon.

Much Love, L

Wednesday, September 28, 2011



Hanging wall garden arrived Monday, mats arrived Tuesday, Hugger Mugger order and postcards to be here any day now. We are good to go.

Dressing room should be up in time for class on Sunday and there is a bathroom right around the corner of our suite. Signage should be up by Sunday but just in case...We will be in Suite #140

Move in date is this Saturday. All classes move to the new location on Sunday. My website www.laurelvanmatre.com and YOGA GARDEN's website www.yogagardenmpls.com will be up starting tomorrow (you can find both in the upper right hand corner of this blog). I've left a map here but you will find all the info. on the websites as well.

My schedule will stay the same with the addition of a Thursday night class 6:30 - 8:00 starting next week.

Below is a map to YOGA GARDEN. 1229 Tyler Street Northeast, Minneapolis, MN 55413. Park anywhere you like...I hope to see you soon.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My first Murti

My first murti from my friend Kristin who lives in NYC.  Kristin has been a major part of my yoga studies in NYC - taking classes together, letting me stay with her in her sweet little apartment in Greenpoint and has just been a very encouraging and supportive voice for me along this adventure.  And it's perfect that it would be Ganesh as I am having to step up and cross a new threshold to create a space for myself to expand as a teacher and student in an effort to do the same for all of my students.  Jai Ganesha!!

Monday, September 26, 2011


I got back late last night from a fantastic 5 days studying with John Friend and the Iowa kula and many of our very own from the Minneapolis crew.  I'm looking forward to unpacking what I learned from the Bhagavad Gita in class as we move into a new space.  It's perfect timing as the Gita in some ways is about the choices we get to make with the space we've been given to be in our lives as who we are here and now.  The pics are of a book I'm making based on the key words that summarize the teachings in each chapter.  I like creating a project out of my studies to give it meaning in my own life and teaching.  And I'm obsessed with making pictures out of type.

AND last class at the co-op tonight!  So I hope to see you - if not we will be in our new space starting this Sunday 10/2....details to follow!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

I've been having fun framing drawings I've gotten as gifts from friends for the studio.  I love the drawing of the poodle.  It was a bday gift from my friend Janet who just moved to NYC and helped me out with some of the initial artwork I used when I was just starting out as a yoga teacher.  We also spent about 5 years gardening together when we had both recently moved to Minneapolis.  The clothes line and green man where drawn by her daughter Stella.  They are just really sweet and make me laugh.  The hands are a drawing I made in school.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

YogaGardens Gardens

Here are some photos of the beginning of YogaGardens gardens.  It's going to potentially get really cold tonight so I am pulling containers from my back garden to put inside and keep protected for the studio.  I love succulents and we will have lots of beautiful, bright natural light to keep them happy (as well as us!) through the winter.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I Got A Couch!!

I ended a long, epic journey in search of a couch yesterday.

At the beginning of every semester when I was in school for art we would set up our studios for the year.  The rooms were just big open studio spaces with partitions that held canvases for our paintings on both ends that divided the studio up into 3 spaces.  2 spaces for drawing classes and just one big open area in the middle for painting.  So, on the first day of the semester we chose from a pile of chairs, easels, tables and only about 4 couches to set up our individual spaces.

If you got a couch, you scored.   As I said there were only 4 couches and they were in high demand.  There were at least 50 - 75 students taking painting and milling around the painting/drawing studios every semester.  Having a couch meant that everyone congregated to your area.  It meant having 1 or 2 studio mates to share your space with.  It meant community and everyone wanted to be a part of it and loved it when they were.  It meant influencing and encouraging and conversing about each others desires in their work.

My intention for YogaGarden is the same.  To create and share a space/studio where people feel comfortable to be together as a creative community.  So, you see finding a couch can be an epic journey for the right reasons.

Here are some pics including said couch.  The couch and rug are for the dressing room, the chairs are for the waiting area and the table is for my office which will be in the way back of the studio.

More pics soon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Come Together

It's all coming together.  I'm so excited.  My good friend Ave Shalom, who was also one of my very first students, has been working away designing my logo.  She is also responsible for my current website.  She is an incredibly talented designer and I love working with Ave because we sync up so easily.  We met to discuss about two weeks ago and talked about combining an idea I had drawn out for a mural for the space and incorporating that into a logo and designs for the YogaGarden website, the LaurelVanMatre website as well as my blog and for flyers.  So, the pics are of a rough draft I drew out for the mural and some prototypes Ave came up with.  I'm really into the lighting bolts and stars that are meant to look like flowers.