Bianca’s Yoga Story

Hi, my name is Bianca and I would like to share my story.  I have been dealing with chronic pain for several years from a car accident I had 20 years ago. I have a desk job that doesn’t give me many opportunities to get up and move around, so over the years the pain got worse and triggered anxiety with some really bad panic attacks. The entire situation was severely taking over my private life.  Every time I would see a doctor, they would give me pain meds and muscle relaxer. Stating that this was a ‘mental issue and there was nothing wrong with me’. They sent me to see a physiatrist and put me on anti-depressants. Then they realized it was truly my spine causing issues. The doctor sent me to physical therapy.

I did a few sessions but as always it did nothing for me. One day I had enough and did some research on google what options to improve my back and found Firefly. I started with the beginner class and a fire class and loved it. I love that the Fire classes are semi private and that the instructors have time to work with you and help you work on your goals. They teach you poses or modified poses based on limitations, that you can do at home to help your situation. 

I love how Noelle challenges me in her fundamental II classes and knows I am saying every curse word in the books in my mind at times. LOL. But I see it through and feel great after. I also love love LOVE that she constantly pulls new poses out of her sleeve. You totally feel heard and understood here.  I can have a long day at work with either starring at the screen or taking calls all day, leaving me feeling totally drained- but after my Fire class I feel alive again, recharged and stronger. 

Yoga is not just about, if you can do a headstand or some crazy poses. For me it is the best way to work body and soul. I feel stronger after every class and can only encourage others that have similar stories to try it out. I did just have my second fusion this year and I am back on the mat with new goals.

I am no longer on any medication; I no longer have anxiety or panic attacks. I no longer see a physiatrist. 

3 Tips for Sticking to Your Yoga Practice with Kids at Home for the Summer

Summer is a time for relaxation, fun, and adventure. However, it can also be a challenging time to maintain our wellness goals, especially if you are a parent. With kids out of school, it can be difficult to find time for self-care practices like yoga. However, with a little planning and creativity, it is possible to maintain your yoga practice during the summer months.

Make a Schedule

One of the best ways to stick to your yoga goals during the summer months is to make a schedule. Book yourself at your local yoga studio each week and stick to the schedule you create. Protect this time the same way you would for work or baseball practice. This will help you prioritize your self-care routine and ensure that you do not get sidetracked by other summertime activities.

Get Creative with Your Practice

During the summer months, it can be challenging to find uninterrupted time for a full- length yoga practice. However, this does not mean that you cannot practice yoga. Get creative with your practice and try shorter sessions throughout the day. Incorporate a few sun salutations in the morning or a few restorative poses before bed. Even a few minutes of yoga each day can help you maintain your practice and stay committed to your wellness goals.

Involve Your Kids

If you are a parent, getting your kids involved in your yoga practice can be a great way to stay committed to your goals while spending time with your family. Try practicing yoga together in the mornings or afternoons. There are many kid-friendly yoga videos and books available that can help you make yoga a fun and engaging activity for the whole family.

You’ve got this!

Sticking to your wellness goals during the summer months can be challenging, but it is possible. With a little planning and creativity, you can maintain your yoga practice and stay committed to your health goals. Remember to make a schedule, get creative with your practice, and involve your kids in your yoga routine. By doing so, you can enjoy the summer months while still prioritizing your health and wellness.

Shine bright!!

Angie’s Yoga Story

Hi my name is Angelia.  I started doing yoga over a year ago. It’s a long story but a it’s been a wonderful journey. 

My daughter introduced me to yoga and I started with just once a week. Unfortunately after I first started I had a stroke and had to take a step back. But once I recovered I started going back to FIREFLY YOGA AND MOVEMENT Studio slowly doing yoga again. (All during this I was going through a very bad end of my marriage/ seperation from husband then him dying. ) but being apart of FIREFLY community has been a great help with that experience as well.

As I really began my journey the opportunity to go on a yoga weekend retreat to Soma ranch with other yogis. What a wonderful experience. A weekend which happened to be on my birthday, filled with great food, evenings under the stars making new friends and new yoga experiences.

I am continuing with yoga 🧘‍♀️  allowing myself to be open to all new experiences and it’s been amazing. I’ve had opportunities to be part of various workshops where ive learned so much.  I am now attending classes atleast 3 times weekly. Taking different class types .

I truly feel like part of this awesome community. Everyone has always made me feel welcomed. Someone once told me it’s because I am being known as Angie and not just “Shannon’s mother” I thought that was so sweet to hear. I feel so blessed to be a part of FIREFLY YOGA community.

Doing yoga has been helpful not just physically but mentally. I now am living my life with only a positive attitude and views. I feel good about my mind & body. Shannon has helped me with ways to do poses I never would have once thought I could ever do. I would have laughed and said there’s no way.

Sorry so long thank you for reading my story. I am looking forward to learning new things along the way. Wherever this path leads I know one thing for certain… I am so very happy I joined FIREFLY Yoga and MOVEMENT Studio.  Thank you !!!

Should I attend yoga teacher training?

woman teaching a yoga class doing tree pose with arms lifted

Here are some reasons why you should…

Yoga is an ancient practice that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It offers a variety of benefits, such as improved flexibility, strength, and mental clarity. Because of these benefits, many people are interested in attending a yoga teacher training. Here are a few reasons why:

Deepen Your Practice

If you love yoga and want to deepen your practice, getting certified to teach can be a great way to do so. Through a teacher training program, you’ll delve deeper into the philosophy and practice of yoga, allowing you to gain a greater understanding of the practice and yourself.

Help Others

If you’re passionate about helping others, teaching yoga can be a great way to do so. As a yoga teacher, you have the opportunity to share the benefits of yoga with others and help them improve their physical and mental well-being.

Build a Community

Yoga has a strong sense of community, and becoming a yoga teacher allows you to be a part of that community. You’ll have the opportunity to meet other yoga teachers and practitioners, and build relationships with your students. And the relationships you make in teacher training will last a lifetime.

Career Opportunities

Finally, becoming a certified yoga teacher can open up a variety of career opportunities. You can teach at yoga studios, gyms, and community centers, or even start your own yoga business. You can travel and teach yoga, run retreats or offer it at events around your community.

Overall, getting certified to teach yoga can be a transformative experience that deepens your practice, helps others, builds community, and offers career opportunities. If you’re passionate about yoga, consider taking the next step and becoming a certified yoga teacher.

At Firefly we currently offer Holy Yoga Instructor Training, a yoga teacher training with a leaning towards Christ. You can find more information about our next session here.

Yoga Practice at Home

Firefly recently contributed to an article for Redfin. It’s got some great tips from a variety of yoga experts. You can see the original article here: https://www.redfin.com/blog/yoga-practice-at-home/

Or just read it below! Enjoy!!

Yoga Practice at Home: Cultivate Your Calm and Ease the Winter Blues

December 15, 2021 by Julia Weaver

During the cold and dark winter months, the lack of sunshine often leaves us feeling mentally and physically drained. Even if you live somewhere like Minneapolis, MN or Toronto, ON, and have experienced dreary weather for countless years, it never gets easier. Sometimes even getting out of bed can be a struggle and might make you want to roll back over and retreat under a warm blanket. 

Luckily, physical activity helps release mood-boosting endorphins while taking your mind off of your day-to-day stresses. So if you struggle to maintain energy and keep your mood positive in the winter, incorporating yoga practice at home may be just what you need.

We’ve asked experts to share their best tips for incorporating yoga practice at home. Try integrating these suggestions into your routine and bring the sunshine back into your life.

Create a comfortable, relaxing space to carry out your practice

This may include candles and blankets that help establish a sense of calm. Practicing yoga at home gives you the opportunity to build a setting that matches your preferences and energy, undisturbed by the rustling of another practitioner. – Yoga Alliance Professionals

Begin with cat/cow, child’s pose, and spinal balance

Starting a yoga routine can feel overwhelming. Make sure to start small! Begin with just five minutes a day of long deep breathing and gentle postures that wake up the body. A few of our favorites are cat/cow, child’s pose, and spinal balance. Right away you will feel more grounded and connected. – Lora Brandt, The Yoga Casa

Don’t get stuck on the idea of perfection

If you’re an “A” kind of student, I want to ask you to try something radical and shoot for a solid, “C.” When starting yoga practice at home, it’s easy to get stuck on the idea of perfection. If we don’t have enough time (or the right music, mat, clothes, etc.) it’s easy to toss our practice out of the window by thinking, “Well, if I can’t do the full hour, I might as well not start.” Au contraire my friends. Think small. Start with a five-minute daily practice. You’d be amazed at the transformation that can emerge from small, daily acts of self-care.  – Rachel Yoga

Sleep in your yoga clothes

My best tip for developing a consistent, at-home yoga practice would be to sleep in your yoga clothes and practice first thing in the morning. It’s so easy to say “I’ll fit it in this evening”…but then life happens, and well…next thing you know, it’s been two weeks since you unrolled your yoga mat, and you can’t understand why you’re in a funk. – Heights Yoga Project

Make it fun and include the kids

Kids have cabin fever? Yoga-fy your family’s favorite games for some active, mindful fun! Simon Says becomes Yogi Says as you try different poses. Do a Yoga Freeze Dance by dancing to upbeat music and when you pause it, the family freezes in a yoga pose. Write yoga poses on Jenga blocks and when you pull out a block, the family does the pose. Beat the winter blues with yoga moves! – Kidding Around Yoga

Add a few yoga-themed decorations

Designate your sacred yoga space with a few calming yoga-themed decorations, as a friendly reminder to take care of yourself and hit the mat. If you’re doing a zoom yoga class, square your background symmetrically with a window or glass door. It will be nice to stare at something visually pleasing for both you and your other yoga zoomer classmates. – Dan, from Yoga Joes

Find a teacher you can connect with for yoga practice at home

The most important thing you can do to support creating a home yoga practice is to find a teacher online who can actually watch and observe you as you practice! At Stillness + Movement (a boutique virtual yoga studio), you can find sustainable, mindful vinyasa flow classes to help students find steadiness and ease in their bodies and relax their minds. Most virtual yoga is taught by a teacher who is on their mat, unable to hear or see their students. At Stillness + Movement, we teach with primarily verbal cues and do limited physical demonstration. This helps students drop deeper into presence, and the focus moves away from the aesthetics of a shape and towards the experience of the practice.- Francesca Cervero Yoga And Wellness

Engage in the breathing practice called pranayama

Yoga is an enjoyable practice, benefiting both mind and body. Establishing a conscious mind-body connection is the means as well as the goal of a yoga practice. The most accessible way to achieve this connection is by engaging in a breathing practice known as pranayama. It’s as simple as focusing on the experience of your breath: the pace, the sound, the feeling of your breath as it enters and exits your body. Pranayama can be practiced any time, anywhere. So begin with your breath, your lifeforce energy, and the rest will come. – Full Circle Yoga + Pilates

Grow your practice organically

Yoga is for everyone, not just the flexible as there is so much more to yoga than just reaching for your toes. Yoga benefits both body and mind whether you are in bed, on the couch, or in your zen den, you can do yoga from anywhere. Start small with a couple deep breaths to calm the mind followed by one or two poses (such as folding forward, hinging at the hips, or cat/cow movement in the spine – tucking your tailbone and rounding your spine). Let your practice grow organically and listen to what your body needs whether that’s movement, meditation, or breathwork.  – Yoga London

Move slowly, pose by pose

If you’re unsure how to start a home practice, start small. Day one might just be resting in child’s pose for five minutes. Then eventually move your way to a full practice, little by little, pose by pose. – Firefly Yoga Studio

Take advantage of online classes

Your home can be a safe, welcoming place to practice yoga. Set yourself up for success by finding an established studio with experienced teachers who offer a variety of online classes. You don’t have to have any experience – just be open to taking deep breaths, learning something new, and doing something healthy that’s just for you. – Uptown Yoga

6 yoga postures to incorporate at home this winter

If you’re a person who skis once or twice a year, there are 3 things to consider regarding the preparation of your body: strength, endurance, and flexibility. Here’s a sequence of 6 Yoga postures you can practice at home. Whether you ski or not, this sequence will heat your body, increase your strength, flexibility, and overall joy of living. – Alcove Yoga

Practice hot yoga in your home

Winter is coming, and along with it, snow boots, ice storms, horrible driving conditions, and heating the car up for 20 minutes before you can leave the house. With a yoga dome, you can stay warm and cozy right at home. Just imagine… No traffic, no masks, no worries about parking, lines for lukewarm showers, or even worse, driving home in your cold, sweaty clothes. Just blow up your Dome and within 15 minutes, enjoy your delicious hot yoga practice at home. – Hot Yoga Dome

Move your body with intention

One of the best aspects of yoga at home is that it is accessible anytime, anywhere. You don’t need a routine or fancy equipment. And yoga doesn’t have to be about stretching, just the intention to move your body with purpose. This intent can deepen your physical connection to your body, helping you enjoy the wide-ranging benefits of yoga. – Yoga Strong

Carve out time to practice

Too many people are stressed out or in pain, which makes them feel stiff and stuck! Yoga not only improves physical health, but also relieves depression, decreases stress, and increases confidence so you can actually enjoy your life instead of just muddling through. Start by scheduling an amount of time (15-90 minutes) that feels doable, 2 to 3 times a week (yes actually write it on your calendar!) to practice yoga in a designated private space. Turn off your phone, and remember: if all you do is concentrate on your breathing, you are already getting benefits! – Home Hot Yoga

Movement is the medicine to feel less stuck

Covid has caused many of us to feel stagnant. A regular yoga practice will help you feel less stuck, both physically and mentally. Movement is medicine even if your practice is only 5 minutes a day. – Kerry Walker, Balance Yoga

Sweat once a day – every day

Create a nook in your home that is always accessible, layout a yoga mat, dim the lights and play some of your favorite tunes. Bonus points if you have a space heater nearby. Start simple, set the scene, and carve out just 10 minutes for yourself to breathe and move your body – your friends and family will thank you. – Sweat Yoga

Prep your space beforehand

How does one start a practice as a beginner? Set up your mat before you go to sleep, or before you leave to go to work. Prepare the space, so you can step into it, as you would with a shower in the morning or a bath before bed. This practice allows you to focus on the present while winding down to relax and connect to your body’s needs. Join the On-Demand Classes of Buddha Body Yoga to start your daily practice. – Buddha Body YogaOriginally published 

Firefly of the Month January 2021

Meet Stephanie! Our Firefly of the month for January ’21. And what a great way to start the New Year. Stephanie is always a joy to have in class. We love having her as a part of our Firefly community.

1. What was life like before you joined Firefly, what made you reach out?

I participated in yoga at other local yoga studios since moving to Texas 5 years ago, but both yoga studios had closed. I attended the other yoga studios intermittently as their classes were typically only during the day, which I could not attend because of work, and the instructors frequently changed. After the other studios closed, I was on the lookout for a new studio, as I prefer yoga in a yoga studio with an instructor. After several months, I saw Firefly’s ad in the local newspaper and decided to try Firefly because of the variety of classes and the times of the classes. I started with introductory package and was hooked. The instructors are welcoming and personable. The schedule allows me to practice a variety of yoga styles, which allows me to individualize my yoga schedule to work on anything I need to: increase flexibility, reduce stress, increase strength, rehabilitate limitations from old injuries, and quiet a busy mind are the main benefits I experience through yoga practice.

2. Did you have any hesitations?

I was hesitant to join another yoga studio after prior yoga studio experiences, where some of the instructors were aloof and judgmental of anyone who is not doing yoga multiple times a day every day and following strict diets. Firefly, thankfully, had none of that. Firefly is genuinely community-minded and a supportive studio with wonderful instructors who accept and meet students as they are and adjust their instruction to support the students. 

3. What has been your biggest breakthrough?

By participating in various yoga programs, and particularly since joining the F.I.R.E. program, I have significantly improved my strength, my flexibility, and my endurance. I have more upper body strength now than I have ever had in my 48 years. I joined the F.I.R.E. program after I was diagnosed with a medical condition, in which fatigue is one of the most problematic symptoms. Through F.I.R.E. my endurance has grown, and I am able to effectively manage the fatigue, allowing me to be more active with my family.

4. What have been some specific results you’ve had since joining?

Since joining Firefly, my F.I.R.E. program allowed me to regain range of motion in a shoulder I previously injured. I more than doubled the amount of time I can hold a forearm plank and can now do a proper chaturanga because of increased upper body and core strength. My endurance has also increased as I can now do 3 hours of yoga in 1 day and still have energy to do anything else I want during the day.

5. Who would you recommend Firefly to?

I strongly recommend Firefly to anyone wanting to try yoga for the first time or experienced yogis looking for a nonjudgmental, supportive studio; anyone wanting to work on any aspect of themselves, with supportive instructors and fellow students; or, anyone looking for an alternative way to manage a physical challenges such a old injuries or medical conditions. Firefly really is a community of diverse people sharing light and life through yoga. Firefly is a haven of positivity in a challenging world.

Holiday Survival Guide

As we roll into the holidays it’s easy to give our wellness goals the back seat. And while connecting with family and friends is as much a part of our collective wellness as anything, we don’t necessarily have to compromise our individual wellness to make those things happen.

This time of year has a tendency to get really busy, even with less events happening this year, we’ll still start to feel an overwhelm. And our typical response is to cancel the things that only affect us individually. Our self care routines, our physical wellness activities and anything else that we might label as “indulgent”.

But did you know that post holiday depression is a real thing? Due partly to the high emotions of Christmas and the inevitable fall back to normalcy, as well as the financial burden most Americans take on to make the Holidays “memorable”…neglecting your self and your own wellness can also contribute to this phenomenon.

But what can you do? It’s crazy, overwhelming, and stressful. Is there an answer? Here’s a few tips that will help you find yourself a little more balanced come January.

  1. Schedule your self maintenance on a recurring basis and treat it like you’re meeting the most important person you know for lunch. Seriously. Sit down right now and plan out which days you’ll be going to yoga, getting your nails done, having a massage, reading a book at a coffee shop by yourself…. set it to recurring in your phone and if where you are going takes appointments, schedule them out with them for as long as you can through the end of the year.
  2. If a friend or a loved one wants to meet, or cookies need to be baked for a party or your 7 year old needs to disguise his turkey… it doesn’t HAVE to take the place of your appointment for yourself. Before saying yes (and you should say yes if you want to) take a minute to look at your calendar and make sure it doesn’t interfere with your appointment for yourself. That hour for your wellness maintenance isn’t your whole day. You can squeeze in the other activity somewhere else. I promise you will find the space.
  3. If an appointment comes up that can’t be moved, a work Christmas party, family dinner or school recital, make sure you reschedule your self maintenance. Don’t just cancel – reschedule. It takes a minute or two, and there’s most likely another spot you can squeeze it into. Again, this is the most important person you know that you’re making an appointment with.
  4. Find a friend to commit with, at least through the holidays. Who knows, maybe you’ll be able to keep the routine going into the New Year together and hit the ground running.
  5. As always, if you mess up, if you miss an appointment with yourself, if you make it through the end of December without attending one thing for you… it is OK. You did not fail and you do not need to heap guilt on yourself. You enjoyed your holidays and made memories and that is the most important thing of all.

If there’s anything else that you’ve found that helps with keeping your sanity during the holidays, feel free to comment below or on our social media posts. We’re always happy to hear other perspectives.

But whatever you choose to do, remember to be kind to yourself, to be kind to others and to shine bright this holiday season. Because Lord knows we need a little extra light this year.

Shine Bright Fireflies!


How To Have The Best At Home Yoga Practice

So, for one reason or another, you’ve decided not to go to your local studio to practice yoga. Maybe because you’re right in the middle of a global pandemic and well, your yoga studio has been closed indefinitely. Or maybe you’ve found this article after Coronapocolypse, but you still want an at home practice. Here are a few thoughts I have on the subject.

First of all, I will always and forever be a believer that in person interaction is superior. This is not to say that virtual interaction is a negative, it’s just not AS good as in person. Getting yourself in the car to get to the super zen studio, to work with your teacher who knows you and acknowledges you creates relational strength in your practice. As well as connecting with the same group of people, like a group of yoga hostages that have a shared experience of growth, creates accountability, encouragement and comfort. Spaces, people and experiences help build a beautiful and healthy yoga practice. Taking any or all of those out, creates something a little bit different. But that’s ok, you can take a few steps to come close to gaining the same studio benefits.

Here are a few ways you can get your home practice to feel like a studio practice.

  • Create a sacred space – It’s easy when you’re at home to just throw your yoga mat on the ground in front of your computer anywhere. But take a moment to be intentional with your space. Even if it’s just a corner of a room, a closet area or maybe you do have a dedicated work out space, use decorations and props to make it special to you. I have a plant, my yoga mat and my favorite picture in my space. I also like to diffuse some lavender as I practice. Keep it simple, but intentional. Clutter creates stress, but a complete lack of anything leads to a dismal feeling in your space.
  • Create a sacred time – Listen. I’m a mom of three boys, that runs a business with a home office and a full schedule of extracurriculars. I fully understand the challenges of finding time. But just like you would drive to the studio and create a physical time barrier to other happenings, set the same boundaries with yourself and your family.
    • Put a “do not enter” sign on your door, turn your phone to do not disturb and act as if you were going to the studio.
    • If you have kids, remind them how important your practice is, maybe ask how they like being disturbed during their Fortnite game and let them know this is your Fortnite time. (I learned this tip from my grandma – who used to tell me her soaps were her cartoon time – anyone else?) Ask your spouse to help keep kids away so you can be a better person when you’re done.
    • No kids, no spouse? Sometimes that’s just as hard, because it’s easiest to cancel plans with yourself. You’re not going to get mad at you, so why not watch the 5th season of Friends one more time instead? Treat your at home practice with as much importance as any other appointment.
  • Find an online studio that works for you – There’s really three major categories here with the level of commitment and engagement for you.
    • YouTube, Vimeo or other streaming services. There are some AMAZING teachers on these services. BeachBody on Demand (no I’m not a coach) is where I really dug in to yoga first. It was safe, I could mess up, I learned the lingo and the instructors were amazing. These are all great options, but your streaming teacher doesn’t know your name, they don’t know your injuries and they can’t cheer you on as you finally nail that crow pose. They also don’t miss you when you don’t show up. Nor do your other class mates. There can be a bit of “community” around the streaming option. But it is typically relatively one sided and easy to not participate in.
    • Facebook Live groups with streaming. This platform is a little better if you catch the classes live. You can interact with the teacher somewhat in real time and still feel like everyone in your group is there. You can set up times to take classes together or watch later. This is a fun alternative to just watching a playback of any teacher somewhere, because you probably know the teacher or can see more of their personality in this setting.
    • Virtual classroom setting. This is by far my favorite option to a real life studio. Which is why we chose this as our platform during the stay home period. You can check in with your teacher before class by having an actual conversation with them. The teacher can still “teach to the class” and have some follow up time afterwards. You can usually still get the benefits of watching class afterwards if you don’t make it to class. I hope that we see this platform expand over the next few years. I really think it has some promise.
  • Just Do It – Sort of like the Nike slogan, the best way to make a yoga practice happen at home is to get started. Just take your next step forward. Starting the process is going to create a momentum that will eventually be harder to not do, so just start. Start without a sacred space, without the perfect time and on whatever platform is easiest. Doing something, in this case, is better than doing nothing. Integrate the other pieces as you keep moving forward, one thing at a time.

You’ve got this. You know it’s important. You know it feels better when you practice. And you know you won’t regret it. So, with those four key points in mind, are you ready to have a killer at home practice? Let us know in the comments if there is anything else that you recommend for your at home practice.

And as always, Shine Bright my friends.


Firefly of the Month February

Meet Sally! She is so much fun to have in the studio and is a bright light in our community. If you’ve been in classes with her you know that she is constantly encouraging and kind! Here’s a little about Sally in her own words:

“I’m Sally Phillips.  I have been married to Damon for more than 27 years.  We live in Temple, but have lived in Central Texas all our lives.   We are newly retired.   We love to travel and enjoy all sorts of fitness.   We also have two grown adult children.  

The first time I attended a yoga class was the first time I had ever experienced a quietness in my mind.   I have been hooked to practicing stillness ever since then.  I am a regular attendee of Holy Yoga and trapeze yoga.   I love learning new things and enjoy the challenges of balance and acquiring new skills.   I leave Firefly refreshed and stretched, both physically and mentally.

I love the friendliness of my classmates and the care and knowledge of Kelly/instructors.   I love being a part of those who shine bright at Firefly.”

If you see Sally around, give her a hug or a high five for being an awesome part of this community. 

Veteren Uses Yoga to Heal

We are so proud of our teacher Amanda who was recently interviewed by local Channel 6 News Anchor, Leslie Draffin. She shares her stories of being deployed and beyond, and how yoga has helped her through some stressful times.