Category Archives: Step Up for Down Syndrome

Faces of Hiking Yoga – Meet Laurie Sleep

Keep close to Nature's heart... and

I am walking in the clouds these days feeling grateful for all of life’s blessings.  We just got back from Colorado where I met up with 9 other girl-friends, 8 of which flew in from the Bay Area specifically for this weekend together with girl-friends! We hiked and visited Red Rock (first time for me) and I was marveled by the beauty of the place.  I want to come back and see a concert there!

Then we were off to visit another good friend of mine in Boulder and catch up.  We stayed up late one night to share stories, laugh, make future plans, share and dream and enjoy some excellent wine.

10402377_10203726517256814_7151587778056659156_nAfter that, it was off to the Yoga Journal LIVE event at Estes Park where we offered, for the first time in that awe inspiring location, an all day intensive and several 2 hour Hiking Yoga classes.  We were thrilled to have Karen, my sister in law join us for the conference and we could not have done it all without her. The kids had a blast!  Well, Joaquin I think felt the effects of the altitude but Quincy had an especially good time, participating in crafts, swimming at the pool and going on her first pony ride atop “Strawberry.”  Now that we are back home, imagine my joy in knowing that I have so much to look forward to in the coming weeks…

  • my dear and accomplished friend Laura Esculcas, will be visiting us in Kansas City from Lisbon, Portugal the first week in October and partnering with us to deliver an amazing workshop that combines Hiking Yoga and the Labyrinth–easily accessible tools to help manage everyday stresses.
  • my brother Ariel and his wife Ale will be coming all the way from Montevideo, Uruguay in South America to join our “Walkin’ with Joaquin” team in the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk in Kansas City on October 19th!  (Ok… so they will also swing by Chicago on the way in and make time to visit New Orleans on the way out but hey!  I am thrilled that the timing works to have my family present for this event!)
  • and, our very own Laurie Sleep has agreed to lead the fundraising parallel event in San Francisco on the same day we will be Walkin’ with Joaquin in Kansas City!

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Talk about support, fun and love from all corners of the world!

Specifically today, I wanted to highlight Laurie Sleep and her awesomeness!  She is a generous soul who consistently “shows up” when it counts!   Not only will she be supporting the fundraiser on Oct 19th, she will also be leading a Hiking Yoga workshop in partnership with Ahnu on Sep 28th for Ahnu Ambassadors–please make sure you let yoga teachers in your network know about this so that they may benefit from their awesome program.

Meet Laurie and get to know this wonderful yoga teacher and overall fabulous and fun person!

Smiling, Carina

What styles of yoga influence your teaching?

Hiking Yoga, Iyengar, Vinyasa

Share with us when Hiking Yoga made its way into your heart?
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I became part of the Hiking Yoga family in the spring of 2012, when Hiking Yoga launched in New York. I was living and teaching yoga in NYC and couldn’t believe it when I saw a Craigslist posting looking for yoga teachers who also loved hiking and the outdoors. As an avid hiker and backpacker, it was the perfect fit! I was thrilled to have the opportunity to bring yoga out on the trail, combining my two loves. In Fall 2012, I moved back to San Francisco and now have the privilege of sharing this beautiful city with hikers every Sunday morning.
How has becoming a part of the Hiking Yoga teaching family impacted your yoga career?
I love being outdoors, and Hiking Yoga has allowed me to take my yoga teaching out of the studio and onto the trail, giving me the opportunity to share my passion for nature and hiking, as well as yoga. Through leading yoga hikes I have met so many interesting people, both from the Bay Area and from out of town. I have also found Hiking Yoga to be a great way to introduce people to yoga, because it is such a fun and friendly setting.
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Laurie and the Hiking Yoga team at Yoga Journal LIVE! 2014 Carina Miguez, Natalie Cummings, Eric Kipp & Laurie Sleep
I am also thrilled to be leading yoga hikes at Yoga Journal LIVE!  San Francisco for the second year in a row! I am extremely grateful to Hiking Yoga for this amazing professional opportunity.
Share your vision for your yoga career.
 My goal is to make yoga accessible to everyone. Through a down-to-earth approach, clear instruction, and intelligent sequencing, I strive to create a warm and encouraging, but appropriately challenging, environment for all of my students.
Do you have any particular service organizations or non-profit affiliations you care to share with us?
I support a variety of causes–not one in particular.   On October 19th, for example, I am leading a Hiking Yoga class benefiting the Kansas City.  The idea is to bring support across the nation to this cause speimagescifically rallying around Joaquin, Eric and Carina’s youngest son.  They will be Down Syndrome Guild of greater Walkin’ with Joaquin” at the same time in their home city of Kansas City.
 Where do you turn for inspiration?
 Quote Pic
Nature, especially backpacking in the mountains, watching the ocean, or simply sitting in the sun. My amazing husband, and my smart, creative (and adorable) nephews.
Share something fun or silly about yourself that your community might not be aware of?
 I love reading young adult fiction, especially anything set in a dystopian future.
What quote inspires you?
“There is no spoon.” – Neo (quoting Spoon Boy), from The Matrix
Our readers may want to find out more or stay in touch. Please share your website with us.
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Down Syndrome Fundraiser Coming Up

Kiki BannerI can’t believe we are coming into October yet again!

Last year, it seemed to creep up on us so fast!  Welcoming Joaquin into our family in late April, learning of his Down Syndrome condition at birth and coming to terms with what that all meant took its toll on us and by the time the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk date happened in October, we were barely able to put together a team to participate and rally behind Joaquin! Thanks to our friends, the Roses, we were able to have our newly formed “Walkin’ with Joaquin” team “piggy-back” on their stronger and more experienced “Ellie’s Elite”.  It was a fun time and we thought to ourselves, “Next year we’ll have a stronger showing…  ”

Well, “next year” is here, and all our hopes and dreams and lofty goals of being better prepared for the KC Step Up for Down Syndrome on October 19th seem, quite frankly, a little daunting.  Will we piggy-back again with the Roses?  Hmm!  Distinct possibility there… We’ll see.  But although the logistics of the actual event might still need a bit of work, we hope to raise more money and have a larger presence this year than last.

Invitation from JoaquinIn Kansas City:  To contribute directly to the Down Syndrome Guild and support Joaquin, join our team Walkin’ With Joaquin that will be participating in the Step Up for Down Syndrome walk at Arrowhead Stadium here in Kansas City on Sunday October 19th.  Note that if you sign up prior to September 19, you will receive your very own Walkin’ With Joaquin team T-shirt to sport that day for your generous donation!

2014-07-29_1514In the Bay Area:  For our Bay Area family and friends, on Sunday October 19th, we will be running our San Francisco Hiking Yoga class as a Down Syndrome Fundraiser and all proceeds will go towards the Down Syndrome Guild.  You will be “Walkin’ With Joaquin” remotely as we will be starting the walk here in KC at the same time as you will in San Francisco.   Simply go to the Online tab in the Mindbody Scheduler and select “Down Syndrome Fundraiser” from the Series drop-down menu.  You may designate how much you want to contribute to this cause (starting as low as $20 and going up to $100).  After making your donation, don’t forget to sign up for the actual Hiking Yoga class on Sunday, October 19th!

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If you can’t join either event, please donate to the cause.  They are a truly amazing organization.

I hope we have a great showing of support and look forward to sharing pictures and stories with you all!  Thanks for your time!

Eric, Carina, Quincy and Joaquin

E + C = Q + J