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Love Invoke
Love Invoke

Invoke: College Edition


Blog by Delaney Francis (Student, Fur Mama, Invoke Enthusiast, Future Pilates Instructor, and Blogger/Owner of Del's Diary)

My name is Delaney, and I love blogging and love talking about Invoke; now I have the pleasure of blogging about Invoke.

I started my yoga and pilates journey ten months ago. If you knew me, then you would know that the past ten months have been the best ten months of my entire life. Invoke is more than a yoga studio to me; it is a second home.

Every single time I walk into Invoke Studio or Invoke Wellness Center I feel my Zen meter go up. I feel calm, cool, and collected. I don't even need to be on my mat or on a reformer to feel this way. Just stepping into Invoke is as cathartic as walking into my grandma's house during the holidays.

As a student and a self-certified "over thinker," I try my best to keep a certain level of Zen on a daily basis. Coming to the studio helps me balance my mind, body, and spirit connection. It is easy to get caught up in the chaos and clutter of college, which is why coming to Invoke is so crucial.

After a class at Invoke I either feel a) full of gratitude b) as cool as a cucumber c) like Beyonce or d) all of the above. I have gained so much from coming to Invoke over the past year and want to share with you the most meaningful moments so far.

1. A loving relationship with my mind AND body

2. Getting to wear yoga pants and flip flops 24/7

3. A community of awesome yogis all dedicated to bettering themselves

4. Countless beauty products, headbands, and graphic tee's

5. A bigger smile, louder laugh, and a contagious amount of confidence

When I am not taking a class or working the front desk at Invoke, you can find me blogging for Del's Diary, eating Chipotle, or hanging out with my dog, Chai.

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Frankly Oils at Invoke


Blog by Stevie Frank (Invoke Yoga teacher, Essential Oil lover, Creator/Owner of Frankly Oils)

I have thoroughly enjoyed infusing essential oils into my everyday as a means to my own holistic wellbeing. I started my oil journey nearly 2 years ago when I attended an essential oil party. I left the party feeling overwhelmed, confused, and thought they were too expensive for my teaching budget. And what’s with all the benefits? Can this be real or is this a hoaxy infomercial?! Can rubbing oil on my skin truly help me de-stress, put me in a better mood, or help me sleep better? Surprisingly to me-the answer was YES. 

After burying myself in literature, videos, phone calls, and multiple recipes of oils I felt like I had a good grasp on what these essential oils were, how they worked, and more importantly how I could blend them together to create amazing blends that worked for me.

That’s when I realized-I wanted to make these oils easily and readily accessible for people who don’t want to put the time or money into adding these oils into their everyday. I came up with easy names for the oil blends so if someone was stressing, they knew to grab “Zen Out” or if they were having trouble with sleeping they’d grab “Sleeping Beauty.” Labeling my oil blends was one of the hardest feats to conquer because I wanted my friends to be able to know what the blend did in just a few short words. 
 
So what are some oil blends that’s available at franklyoils?

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Happy & Awake: For those mornings when you need an extra boost of good mood vibes to get through the day, this blend will help awaken the spirit and help you keep in good vibes throughout the day. The boost of peppermint will help keep you alert.

Ingredients: All 100% natural essential oils of Lavandin, Lavender, Tangerine, Elemi, Lemon, Myrtle, Melissa, Ylang Ylang, Osmanthus, Peppermint, and Sandalwood. Wild Orange, Grapefruit, Mandarin, Bergamot, and Clementine with a drop of Vanilla.
 
Sleeping Beauty: It’s time for that beautiful time to lay in your amazing sheets and you can’t stop tossing and turning. Mind racing. Planning out the next day or wrapping up the current day. Reach for your Sleeping Beauty at any time of night, even if you wake back up, to help send you back to catching some Zzz’s.

Ingredients: 100% essential oils of Lavender, Marjoram, Roman Chamomile, and Ylang Ylang, Ho wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy Flower and Blue Chamomile Flower, and Vetiver.

Find franklyoils at any Invoke location. Catch up on new blends @ www.franklyoils.com OR follow me on Instagram: @franklyoils

Stay tuned for upcoming workshops at Invoke!

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My Love Letter to Invoke

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Blog by Annie Marshall (Author/Cook/Baker/Photographer behind Annie's Eats, Indianapolis Physician, Mom, and Yogi)

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I first came to Invoke and to my practice of yoga over five years ago when I joined the prenatal class while pregnant with my daughter. My wonderful teacher Sage helped me fall in love with yoga. Her calm words, gentle adjustments and always encouraging manner helped me feel welcome in this new-to-me space and were the perfect introduction for an uncertain beginner.

Six months after my daughter was born, my father passed away suddenly of a heart attack on Thanksgiving day. He had been my only living parent since my mom passed away when I was 10 years old. He was my rock, my sense of stability in the world, the best dad I could have ever asked for. In the months and years that have followed since that loss, my time spent on my yoga mat has been some of the best therapy in the world. It has helped and continues to help me navigate the ongoing grieving process. Bar classes with Glenna, Tess, Lindsey and Amy have also been a perfect place to enjoy a fun and challenging workout with friends and focus on something else for a little while.

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In many, many yoga classes over the years I have heard numerous teachers repeatedly remind us that our practice is just that - a practice. It is part of a larger yoga journey, and each class is just one step along the way. Over the past year, these words of wisdom have rung especially true for me as I have deepened and intensified my own personal practice. This was primarily the result of me finding the equivalent of my yoga teacher soulmate in Kara. From the very first class I took with her, I was hooked! Her style is athletic and very challenging, but in the best way. She knows exactly how to push you and encourage you and help you grow stronger. "Find your edge but don't go over it," she says often. The first class I remember laughing out loud a few times at things I thought I would never be able to do (her intense ab series, some arm balances and handstands to be specific) but now with lots more practice and hard work, those formerly laughable things have become a routine part of my practice.

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There are a couple of mantras from Kara's classes that really resonate with me. Her reminders that no feeling is final or permanent, and that we must learn to embrace discomfort because it is in that space of discomfort where growth and change can take place, have helped me immensely in my yoga practice as well as my day to day life. Additionally, they have helped me make great progress in my non-yoga workouts, running in particular. In the past, the ability to run more than a mile generally eluded me but this year, thanks to continually remembering Kara's words, I have been able to push past the discomfort and grow stronger, running farther and faster than I ever thought possible. (And, when all else fails, this little boost from Jim Carrey works wonders.) My physical and mental strength both on and off of my yoga mat have improved by leaps and bounds this year, primarily as a result of Kara's teachings. It may sound dramatic but it is true - her class has literally changed my life! If you have never taken a class with her, I urge you to try one as soon as possible! You will not be disappointed.

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Invoke as a whole has helped me navigate through big life changes, deal with devastating loss, and discover physical and mental strength I didn't know I possessed, all while providing me a community of wonderful people to practice beside. I can hardly find words to articulate the gratitude I feel at being a part of this community but maybe it is best expressed in yoga terms. At the conclusion of each practice when we are often prompted to call to mind three things we are grateful for, Invoke and its incredible teachers are nearly always part of my list. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to Kara, Glenna, Cheryl, Erin, Stevie, Annie, Lindsey, Tess, Ahna, Chuck, Laura, Amy, Jillian and anyone else I have had the privilege of learning from. You have enriched my life more than you could ever know!


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'Yoga doesn't care if you fall'

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Kye Hawkins explains how yoga provides her with a rare opportunity to play like a 7-year-old.

Blog by Kye [Yoga junkie, former gymnast, education nonprofit rockstar]

During a recent Vinyasa Flow class, our instructor suggested that we attempt hand stands in the middle of the room. "I love practicing hand stands,” she said. “You know that every time you're going to fall. Every. Single. Time. But you just keep kicking up and trying again."

This represents an important aspect of yoga that keeps me coming back to my mat several times a week: the opportunity to playfully challenge myself without judgment or consequence.

I was a gymnast for most of my adolescence, and while the sport taught me many things, one of the most important skills gymnastics taught me is the ability to challenge myself while considering it "play." To try something I've never tried before. To attempt a new skill that might be a little scary. To fall. To disregard that fall. And to get up and give it another go.

Yoga has reunited me with the opportunity to play -- and fall -- often.

In yoga, you don't give up on something just because you can't get it exactly right. As my instructor often says: "Yoga doesn't care if you fall." For the record, yoga also doesn't care if you're flexible. It doesn't care if you want to sit in child's pose the entire class, and it certainly doesn't care if you can do a headstand.

This practice provides the very rare opportunity for adults to play - something we probably don't get to do often enough in our grown-up lives. When else are you given space - both mentally and physically - to take your body, turn it upside-down, test your balance on your hands, head, or forearms, and to fall down, without anyone judging you or even thinking twice?

For this reason, when I walk into a yoga studio, I'm giddy with anticipation for the new balances I might attempt, the chances I'll have to go upside-down, the inversions I might hold for a few more seconds than last time, and the opportunities to twist my body in ways I previously thought impossible.  There's something extremely special about a tiny room that gives you the courage to play like a seven-year-old amongst a group of adult strangers.

So to anyone who is hesitant to try the "scary" things in yoga (or to try yoga in the first place), stop worrying and play! And completely lose your balance, come right back to your mat and try again. Because that, to me, is what yoga is all about.

Hawkins manages programs, communications and member engagement for the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust, a network of city-based organizations promoting innovation and reform in K-12 education.


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Finding a new yoga home

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Kye Hawkins, a newcomer to Indianapolis, writes about her journey to find a new yoga studio and her first time at Invoke.

Blog by Kye [Yoga junkie, Indy newcomer, education reform rockstar]

I’m fairly new to yoga, and I’m even newer to Indianapolis.  I began practicing yoga almost exactly a year ago while in graduate school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The studio, Amara Yoga & Arts, was a welcoming place that I grew to love during my time in Urbana-Champaign. With their welcoming attitude and challenging classes, the instructors and yoga community at Amara fueled my obsession with yoga.

So I was a bit nervous about how my yoga practice would fare in my transition to Indianapolis.  When I moved here in October, I quickly began researching yoga studios in hopes of finding a place similar to Amara.  It didn’t take long for me to learn that things are a bit different in Indianapolis -- in particular, there is an abundance of hot yoga classes.  Despite my initial discomfort with heated classes, I decided to give them a chance.

When a friend invited me to join her in taking Cheryl Milton’s Saturday Vinyasa 1.5-hour Intensive class at Invoke, I was excited (read: giddy) to try out a new studio.  It was a rainy, dreary Saturday and as I sloshed in the door, rain boots squeaking, Cheryl greeted me with a smile and a cheerful hello.  She welcomed me to Invoke, asked if it was my first time there, and handed over some forms for me to fill out.  She gave me a quick tour of the spacious studio, equipped with two yoga rooms, cubbies for coats and shoes, and (very clean!) bathrooms. I felt immediately comfortable in Invoke’s light-filled space.

The class was aptly named – quite intense indeed.  But not too intense. Honestly, it was just perfect. There were people of all ages and various levels in the room, but I’m convinced that everyone was able to find the right level of challenge throughout the flow.  It had been a long time since I had taken a 1.5-hour class, and it felt good to have plenty of time to experiment with new positions and push myself.

We began with various sun salutations, and then moved through lots of positions with long holds.  We often started with the basics, but Cheryl always offered instruction on ways to further challenge ourselves. She gave hands-on adjustments at appropriate times  (For example, I needed to get deeper in a runner's lunge at one point and was rightfully corrected).  And we even got to do some partner handstand work, which was a fun way to engage with a yogi-neighbor. I surprisingly enjoyed the heat; it was warm, but not overwhelmingly hot.

Overall, Invoke delivered everything I hoped for and more on my first-time visit.  I left feeling even more excited to settle into my new home in Indianapolis, having found such an inspiring place to be my yoga-loving self.

Hawkins manages programs, communications and member engagement for the Cities for Education Entrepreneurship Trust, a network of city-based organizations promoting innovation and reform in K-12 education.


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