Confessions of a Small Life


Lisa Evans

As children we are told we can be anything we set our minds to. As American children we are explained that this is CEO, doctor, lawyer or just plain wealthy. We grew up in the twentieth century or the twenty-first thinking this is owed to us. TV gives us images of the “rich and famous” living outrageous lives; making our lives seem small. Slowly we develop a longing. A longing for a life we imagine should be ours, a bigger life. It’s a life we really know nothing about. The images on TV only give us the highlight reel, not the whole picture. Still we long for something we don’t have and we start to ignore all that we do.

My confession is that I have never known what I wanted to be when I grew up. Not a doctor, not a lawyer, not a CEO…nothing. I couldn’t see any future plans for myself. I didn’t even want to be wealthy. I could create fake plans to pacify family and friends, and I say pacify only because people are truly disturbed if you don’t have a future mapped out. It’s like you are broken. I have always been someone who let life carry her along. Don’t misunderstand, I have interests. I have been a goldsmith, massage therapist, yoga teacher, cake decorator, hairstylist, mother, wife and daughter. None of these have given me a TV lifestyle, none have made me wealthy.

My other confession is that sometimes I long for a bigger life. I long to be that famous yoga teacher, whom others look to as a guru or a wealthy entrepreneur making millions on a good idea. These thoughts give me feelings of self-doubt and failure. These thoughts make me feel like I have wasted a good life. Maybe you have these thoughts too?

My third confession is that I live in my hometown, not five miles from my parents, grandmother and sister. My children attend the same schools I did and my folks did. I am a stay-at-home mom and a part-time yoga teacher. I have only a handful of close friends and I love my husband. All these things would seem small and trite to those people on TV.

And now my last confession, yoga has changed my life. Yoga has taught me that life isn’t about big or small but rather rich or barren. My life is rich. When my grandma needs help with something, I drive across town. I listen to her stories of when she was a child (she is 96 so there are a lot of stories). When my mom and sister want to go shopping and have lunch, I go. We drink wine and laugh. They are two of my best friends, we have a great time. My nieces come over when they need their hair and makeup done for a school dance. When they were little they would come over to dye Easter eggs or carve pumpkins. I bake and decorate cakes for the special occasions of my special friends. My dad brings donuts for my youngest son some mornings (donuts are forbidden but you know grandfathers). My yoga classes are small by some standards but I know everyone’s name, I know their heartaches and their triumphs and they know mine. I love to have them walk out of class feeling ready for their day. I love that they share a moment of their life with me.

My life is small but rich, my life is a treasure. I hope your life is a treasure, no matter if it is big or small. I hope you find something that changes your life, I humbly suggest yoga.

written by Lisa Evans goldsmith, massage therapist, yoga teacher, cake decorator, hairstylist, mother, wife and daughter

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RYT 200 Students Complete Training

Posted on by Sandy

Congratulations to twenty students completing studies at the lounge to become yoga teachers this spring! After months of weekend lectures, experiential study, and exploration of asana and pranayama—they are ready to transition from student to teacher! Many are planning to teach group classes and private yoga lessons while others immersed themselves in the study of yoga to deepen their personal practice.

The journey of becoming a yoga teacher balances self-inquiry with refining the external skills of leading the practice.

body mapping

Body Mapping

Register for fall 2015 - spring 2016 teacher training classes NOW!

trx Lis


Hatha Yoga 200hr Teacher Training Congratulations to Linda Aron- Elisabeth McQuistan- Beth Colwell- Mary Frein- Beth Stowman- Jennifer Gentile- Ashly Baugh- Tiffany Bloyer- Colleen Sengpiel- Kate Jensen- Jessica Larsen

Yoga is taught and learned through relationships— the smaller class size in the Hatha yoga teacher training program forges an unbreakable bond between students while exploring the ancient texts and eight limbs. 

supported triangle

Supported Triangle

Integrative Yoga Therapy 200hr Teacher Training Congratulations to Kerry Walter Ashby- Janis Mitchell- Kristine Orcutt- Jamey Cox- Rachel Regenold- Laura Housel- Kay Wenzel- Whitney Lonning- Katherine Anderson- Heather Fox

The IYT training program teaches in depth skills to utilize yoga as a path to total wellness. Students gain confidence creating and leading yoga classes with a focus on health and healing… empowering students to create healing from within. The therapeutic program is offered in affiliation with Integrative Yoga Therapy.

băl•anced breath school of yoga                 is a Yoga Alliance certified institute of study. Our intentionally small classes are designed to share information at a pace that gives you plenty of time to absorb, put into action, and experience personal growth by releasing old habits and ways of thinking.

blooming lotus

Lotus Mudra

A maximum of TEN students are accepted to each program to ensure each student receives individual attention along the journey.

…the community at balance has showed me from a place of compassion that yoga is taught and learned in relationships.
The curriculum is extensive and thoughtful. Anyone who puts their whole self into this training will come out changed and prepared to inspire change in others.                                         
IYT student Heather F.

Phone (515-210-8138) or email sandy@balanceyogalounge.com to initiate the application process (please indicate yoga program of interest: Hatha OR Therapeutic).

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Warm Your Winter with Squash, Carrot & Ginger Soup


Too good to not share… the perfect soup for a cold winter’s night.

1 medium-large butternut squash

2 medium sweet potatoes

8 cups water, plus extra for baking squash

8 medium carrots

3 slices fresh ginger (1/4 inch thick)

1 (14oz) can of coconut milk

1/2 T. nutmeg, 1/2 T. coriander, 1/2 T. all spice, 2 teaspoons sea saltsquash soup

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Add 1/4 inch of water. Clean and scrub the sweet potatoes, pierce deeply with a fork and place on a separate baking sheet, cut side down. Bake the squash and the sweet potatoes until soft, about 45 minutes to one hour. While the squash and sweet potatoes are cooking, place 8 cups of water in a large soup pot and begin heating on high. Scrub the carrots, chop off and discard both ends, and cut into 2 inch sections. Add the carrots and ginger to the water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let the carrots and ginger rest in the vegetable broth that’s been created. When the squash and sweet potatoes are baked, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Scoop out the flesh of the squash and add it to the pot. Peel the sweet potatoes, cut them in pieces, and add to the soup. Add the coconut milk, spices and salt. Blend in batches in a blender or in the pot with a wand mixer until smooth. Serve with crusty bread.

Happy New Year, enjoy!

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Shake It Off! Neurogenic Yoga Workshop



Jennica Mills

Neurogenic Yoga™ is a revolutionary technique in trauma healing and stress reduction.

This practice combines yoga asana and pranayama with the body’s natural, therapeutic shaking response. This shaking response in humans, much the same as the instinctual shaking in animals, is the nervous system’s way of discharging long-held tension and trauma, or unconscious muscle contraction in order to restore the body to wholeness. Neurogenic Yoga™ reawakens our body’s intrinsic release mechanism for optimal health.

Neurogenic Yoga™ is a simple, gentle and profound practice that facilities the lengthening and relaxation of the psoas muscle and the release of physical and emotional stress and tension. During a Neurogenic Yoga™ practice, we safely self induce therapeutic vibration using yoga postures and breath. Often vibration begins in the legs and may spread throughout the entire body. This method is based on Dr. David Berceli’s technique of Trauma Releasing Exercises™ (TRE™).

“Neurogenic Yoga is an off-shoot of TRE(Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises), a body-centered therapy, I’ve been studying, practicing and teaching for the past few years.  It has changed the way I move in my body and given me a clarity and equanimity I had not previously experienced. It is a perfect complement to my long-time yoga practice and Neurogenic Yoga brings the two together in a perfect way. This workshop is appropriate for beginners, serious practitioners, therapists and anyone open to moving more deeply into their body.”

balance yoga lounge will host a one-day Neurogenic Yoga workshop, January 24, 2015 (9AM-4:30PM)


This 6-hour experiential workshop will include an introduction and deeper understanding of self induced therapeutic tremoring and its history and origin in Dr. David Berceli’s technique of TRE. Participants will experience 2 Neurogenic Yoga classes including yoga asana, pranayama and therapeutic tremoring.

Most people describe this experience as pleasant and relaxing and report many improvements in their physical and emotional state.

This workshop is open to the public, and is appropriate for people of all level of fitness.

*NOTE: Pregnant women are welcome to attend and perform the Yoga exercises but are generally not advised to perform the tremoring component. Shaking and tremoring, however often occur naturally during or after birth and can assist with the birth process and a more complete bodily recovery.


Participants will be introduced to:

– The therapeutic shaking mechanism as it applies to the nervous system.
– The history of Neurogenic Yoga and Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises (TRE).
– Experiencing self induced therapeutic tremoring in their own bodies twice, using different yoga postures.
– The certification process for Neurogenic Yoga and TRE.
– Questions and comment session about their experience.


This workshop is open to the public. Since this shaking mechanism in the muscles is part of our natural behavior as humans, everyone can benefit. These self-induced therapeutic tremors increase the resiliency of the body because they cause deep relaxation that naturally reduces stress levels and muscle contraction. These vibrations can release emotions ranging from mild upset to severe anxiety whether it is caused by work stress, excessive worry, conflict in relationships, physical stresses, or traumas from accidents. Additionally, tremoring has been reported to reduce and eliminate pain, increases mobility, and aid healing of recent and past injuries.

Whether you are a parent/spouse who would like more patience with your family, a survivor of violence or an accident, a soldier suffering with PTSD, or simply someone who wants to become more resilient and healthier, you can benefit from Neurogenic Yoga™.


-Release of chronic tension and increase of energy and stamina

-Discharge of buried emotional and physical trauma

-Freedom from symptoms of sciatica and fibromyalgia

-Decrease of aches and pains

-Improved sleep

-Improved circulation

-Improved mood

-Improved sense of feeling grounded and focused

-Improved flexibility


Jennica’s eclectic background in the healing field gives way to a unique perspective of how we can rediscover our balance by integrating the mind, body, and spirit. Jennica has been teaching yoga since 2005 and also facilitates workshops exploring the nervous system, psoas muscle, and trauma in San Diego based 200 and 300-hour yoga teacher trainings. She is a Level II certified Tension and Trauma Releasing ExercisesTM (TRETM) Facilitator and is a Lead Trainer of the Neurogenic YogaTM Teacher Training. For more information about Jennica please visit this link.

raw brownie chef
I practiced Neurogenic Yoga while studying in Tucson last year, and it was such a deep healing experience I knew I had to bring it to Iowa for YOU to experience first-hand! We have all experienced trauma at some level, don’t miss this opportunity to dig deep and let go.

Sandy Eimers, RPh, RYT500, CYT

Pre-register for the Neurogenic Yoga Workshop at balance yoga lounge! Participation limited to 20 students.

January 24, (9AM-4:30PM) Early registration discount valid through January 5, 2015 ($110)  

1/6/2015= $125

Register online at www.balanceyogalounge.com  (click on the sessions/workshop tab)

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Video Blog

Posted on by Sandy

The clock is ticking…and by this time next week I will be at work in Brazil! 

Packing is a challenge; I’ve packed and unpacked a couple times trying to get serious about how much “stuff” I really need for 90 days. But, its (rainforest) winter there, and kind of hard to decide what I will even need beyond a sweatshirt and swimsuit.

Just in case you get curious about what I’m up to, I’ve started a video blog on our YouTube channel and am hoping to record brief videos summarizing what I’m keeping busy with. Here’s the first installment to get you headed to the right page!

Namaste,  Sandy

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Reflections of a yoga therapist in training…by Patty Van Meter


Hi Yogi Friends, 

As some of you know I have just returned from California where I expanded my knowledge of Yoga and learned valuable tools to help you heal.  During my training I thought of each and every one of you who have supported me in my transition and I am so grateful for all of you and the journey we share.  Because you mean so much to me I wanted to share with you a little about my journey in the past year that you helped me to achieve.

Therapeutic yoga has provided a great support system for my health and has many more facets than some other styles of western-based yoga.  I believe Yoga therapy can help us all reach a deeper meaning to life and find balance through a healing, holistic practice including not only asana but meditation, pranayama, mantra and the very powerful yoga nidra.  This is why I chose to expand my knowledge and skills in this area of study.

Mount Madonna Center Watsonville CA

I started my 500 hour yoga teacher training in October and completed in March at the beautiful Mount Madonna Institute in Watsonville, California.  The private educational center is located in the Santa Cruz mountains overlooking all of Monterey Bay.  I drank in the views every chance I had and met some amazing people while having the opportunity to study with and learn from many great yogis.  I expanded my knowledge in adapting and using yoga for healing in areas of chronic pain, heart disease, cancer, addiction and depression.

Patty the swinger

Perhaps more valuable that tools I was given was the experience of being immersed in this training and having the opportunity to move into the healing process that came from opening my awareness to the parts of me I had forgotten (or wanted to forget).  The deep dark spaces, the abyss, the vulnerable parts of me became free, and although I expected and resisted the side effects of expanding myself and moving into those caves, I found solace in the quiet aftermath.  A renewed wave of spirit and energy washed over me like crashing waves leaving me fresh and polished like an Amethyst crystal I have long identified with for protection and healing.

In this training I was able to experience a healing practice and observe the work within myself and will incorporate many of the tools of practice into my teaching style.  I can’t wait to share some of these great tools with you and welcome your feedback as we continue to grow together on this wonderful journey.  Thank you so much for your bountiful support and loving energy.

Namaste,  Patty 

Inner Peace Yoga Therapy

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Alternatives to Traditional Pain Relievers


Working in a pharmacy, I have an up-close view of just how many people suffer physical and emotional pain daily. Narcotic pain relievers roll across the counter more often than most other categories of medication in America, and prescription drug abuse is epidemic.

But, there are alternatives to taking narcotics. Here’s just one option to try if you suffer from chronic or acute pain. The products are available from Young Living Oils and other fine therapeutic grade essential oil suppliers.

ylo morphine bomb

Consider therapeutic yoga as another option for relief from chronic pain. Contact info@balanceyogalounge.com for information on scheduling a free consultation to assess whether therapeutic yoga may contribute to reducing chronic pain of any origin.

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Food vs Medicine…or…Food IS Medicine


Which is it? Our enthusiasm for convenience has resulted in a standard diet that is nearly void of real food. Allopathic physicians are starting  to realize the deep connection between a healthy body and a healthy diet…or was this truth available for centuries?

let food be medicine


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What’s your mantra for 2014?


Last year my mantra was, “I choose happiness.” It was the first time I had consciously chosen words to live by for any length of time; and I have to admit, I used it often.  My year was event-filled and encompassed all the highs and lows of an amusement park roller coaster ride…and I’ll bet yours felt the same way.

This year I’ve chosen a new mantra that feels really good for me, “I inhale trust and exhale fear.” Like most of us, I tend to get in my own way most of the time, immobilized by fear and the dreaded, “but what if?”

If you are still searching for a few good words to guide you through the labyrinth of your life, here are 5 Power Mantras to Get You Through Any Tough Time.

frosted window fb cover

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Learning to love…ourselves



“Once upon a time, a fellow teacher guided me through a “What’s Great About Me” process. It’s one of my favorite interventions. Most of us understand what’s wrong with us. When I ask people what’s not working, they hardly ever say, “I don’t know.” When I ask people what needs to change, they have a laundry list of ideas.

However, when I say, “OK, you’ve told me a lot about how you’re overweight and stressed out and anxious and everything, now what I want to know is: what’s great about you?” people fall off their mats. They literally roll off the mat and cover their eyes in an attempt to blind themselves from their own light.”

How to Break Free From Insecurity and Discover Your Gifts. Most of us can recite a list of things we need to work on inside ourselves. And as this article points out, letting go of what needs “fixing,” can be the key to unwrapping your deepest gifts! Forget about making New Year Resolutions…celebrate the best in you and let it shine brightly in 2014 :)

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