Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Best of NM 2012 · Best Yoga Instructor
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Best Yoga Instructor

Mantra of the Mat

- March 26th, 2012  

Best Yoga Instructor

Libby Robold & Tiffany Lenau

Two Northern Michigan yogis share their take on this ancient practice

If ever you wanted to increase flexibility, strengthen your core, find inner balance or just find an activity that doesn’t murder your joints, then yoga is probably the best go-to activity. While there are numerous teachers, clinics and businesses all over the region to help you with all of the above, two instructors stand out as among the best.

Express readers voted Libby Robold of Yoga for Health and Tiffany Lenau of Yoga Roots in Petoskey as Best Yoga Instructor of their counties, respectively, in this year’s Best of Northern Michigan survey.

Lenau has been practicing yoga for over two decades, attending the Leelanau School in Glen Arbor. Robold has been teaching yoga at Northwestern Michigan College since 1985, opening a studio with her husband, Michael, at the Grand Traverse Commons in 2002.

The Express asked these yogis to share a little more about themselves – beyond what their students see on the mat.

Northern Express: How did you get into the practice of yoga?

Tiffany Lenau: I was very much into dance and gymnastics as a child so I fell in love with the grace and flow of vinyasa yoga. It became a moving meditation where I could let go of the outside world completely and just connect to my breath and my body. It gave me inner and outer strength. I felt energized yet calm and it left me with a mental clarity and lasting feelings of euphoria. Every time I practiced I left all my “stuff” on the mat, walked away lighter.

Libby Robold: I got into yoga initially because I had chronic back problems at the age of 19. I had read a book about yoga and was doing a bit on my own at home. When I went to my first class I thought, ‘Oh, that’s how you do it.’ I had fallen in love with it.

NE: What are some memorable moments you’ve had as far as teaching?

Robold: One thing that was exciting for me a few weeks ago, a woman in a class was very excited because she’s been able to put down her cane and walk. She doesn’t need it anymore. There are also a lot of people who are going through a mid-life crisis and then yoga helps them discover they do have power and control in their lives. I hate to say that I helped them. Rather, we facilitate a process and they help themselves. I’ve seen miracles sometimes. In cases of yoga therapy, when someone changes their lifestyle, yoga is part of the equation.

Lenau: I get the hiccups when I teach yoga.

I guess it’s just part of the charm and I tell my students it’s a reminder for them to breathe even deeper… Last May I finally met another instructor who gets them as well. We spent most of the training asking questions like, what do you eat? what time of the day do you teach? on and on for nine days. On the last day she and I were graduating with our 500 hour certification in yoga. We were asked to give short speeches about ourselves and our yogic path. I began by sharing that ever since I could remember I had dreams of swimming and breathing in water and planned on being a mermaid when I grew up. “So when I realized that career wasn’t available, yoga instructor was the next best option.” It got a great laugh. Afterward the woman said, you are not going to believe this, when I was a little girl, I thought I was going to be a mermaid when I grew up too. Our stories matched. We just decided the best explanation for the hiccups seems to be we are land locked mermaids gasping for air.

NE: When you’re not teaching, what else do you enjoy?

Lenau: Time spent with trees, yummy organic health nerd meals, tending my plot at the community garden, breathing in the Little Traverse Bay and the Bear River, lunch at the Grain Train, riding bikes, good people, mind expanding spiritual conversations, hugs, returned smiles, painting silk scarves, making jewelery, collecting beach glass, being on or in the water, Blissfest, supporting local artists, holding space for healing, playing and dancing with children, having bare feet, Beaver Island, the gratitude attitude and star gazing.

Robold: When we’re not doing yoga (with her husband of 40 years, Michael), we enjoy gardening, bicycling, hiking, skiing and enjoying family and friends. We’re very big on eating well and supporting good, local organic food. The environment is also a big passion. The greater harmony you feel within yourself then you feel the need to bring balance to the environment around you.

NE: What would you share with those who aren’t familiar with yoga?

Robold: The neat thing about yoga is there’s something for everyone. Some people come for exercise, some come because of stress, some come for health issues…others are looking to just calm their minds. For someone who is considering yoga, it’s always good to start with a good foundational class. Beginners need to make sure they’re with well trained teachers. I’d say explore until you find a class and a teacher that feels like home.

Lenau: Some folks think they are not flexible enough – they need it the most. Some people think yoga is too easy – they should try a vinyasa class. Others think it is too hard – they need to try gentle or restorative yoga. The truth is there is yoga class out there for EVERY BODY.

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