Trish Washburn of Oconomowoc found herself suddenly immersed in the deaf community after taking a job at her church. “I run the deaf ministry at Crosspoint Community Church. I knew nothing about the deaf and hard of hearing culture. It was a huge learning curve,” she says.
She took the American Sign Language class so she could communicate better. She says her group and the deaf community are “amazing” people.
An avid athlete and owner of Soleil Lune Yoga Center in Oconomowoc, Washburn began to ponder the question, “How do the deaf exercise?”
After extensive research and working with an interpreter, Washburn held her fist deaf yoga class in June. “I wanted to offer a class for just deaf and hard of hearing. I wanted to give them the skill set so they could go into any class and succeed,” Washburn says.
Her church group was excited about the idea, too. Four to five students attend regularly and are helping her to figure out the best method for teaching a class. “They are such a loving community and they are so patient with me,” Washburn says.
But Washburn wanted to do more, so she contacted Lila Lolling in Cincinnati, who began the DeafYoga Foundation in 2007. Lolling came to Wisconsin to certify Washburn and her staff in teaching deaf yoga — resulting in the Soleil Lune Yoga Center designated as the first deaf accessible yoga studio in the country with an entire staff certified in deaf yoga instruction. Washburn also works with a sign interpreter at every class.
Lolling began teaching deaf yoga in 2004, combining two of her passions — yoga and sign interpretation — in order to better service the deaf community.
“There was a lot of trial and error at the beginning,” laughs Lolling. “I thought I’m going to try my best and see what happens.” One major obstacle was the absence of certain Sanskrit words in American Sign Language. Sanskrit is an ancient language commonly used in yoga.
Undeterred, Lolling learned Bharatanatyam dance, a style of south Indian dance that uses hand movements, and thought she could incorporate some of the hand gestures into the new yoga sign language she was creating with the help of the deaf community and interpreters.
“I am actively working with deaf yogis around the United States to standardize an ASL yoga vocabulary,” she says.
One barrier deaf people encounter in a regular yoga class is not being able to close their eyes, which lessons the impact of the experience. During a deaf yoga class, participants watch the instructor for hand signals, but also close their eyes, knowing the instructor will lightly tap their shoulder, stamp their foot or wave a fan on them to alert them to open their eyes for further instruction. “There is a deeper sense of trust and relaxation for them,” says Lolling. “They also understand the benefits of each yoga pose and deeper appreciation of sense of breath.”
Lolling and Washburn also encourage hearing students to participate in a deaf yoga class.
There are more than 28 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the country, but less than 30 deaf yoga instructors, according to Lolling. “We expect deaf people to fit into our society and culture, why don’t we try to fit into theirs,” Lolling says.
It has been a moving experience for Washburn. “It’s really deepened my teaching skill set, relying on intuition and anticipating my students’ needs better,” Washburn says. “It’s easy to talk during yoga, but now I have to show them how I love it.”
For more information on deaf yoga, visit Soleil Lune Yoga Center’s websites at www.soleilluneyoga.com or www.yogatrish.com or call (262) 206-1285. Lolling’s website is www.yogawithlila.com.
The online voting has begun in M Magazine’s 2012 Designers’ Challenge, in which we selected three firms — Haven Interiors Ltd., McNabb & Risley Fine Furniture and Interior Design and Steinhafels Inc. — to conceptualize an interior design plan for the great room of a Cedarburg home under construction by Thierfelder Builders.
Their design plans are featured in the August edition of M, and the sketches and narratives are featured on our website. You can vote for your favorite designs in these categories:
• Best Contemporary Design
• Best Timeless Design
• Best Functional Design (room layout)
Once you cast your vote here — and you can only vote once per day — you will be automatically entered to win a $50 gift card to WellSpa at The Pfister Hotel. Voting closes Aug. 10; results will be published in our October Fall Home Design Issue.
Art lovers and history buffs are fortunate that Milwaukee boasts several museums that not only feature permanent collections of art and objects but also showcase the work of contemporary Wisconsin artists. One such jewel is the Charles Allis Art Museum. Elegantly located on the East Side and overlooking Lake Michigan, this remarkable 1911 Tudor style mansion was designed by the prominent Milwaukee architect Alexander Eschweiler for industrialist Charles Allis and his wife, Sarah. The generous couple built an outstanding mansion to display their objets d’art and bequeathed the intact collection to the public to “delight, inspire and educate.”
And what a delight it is to visit this architectural treasure. Permanent collections of 19th century French and American paintings, Chinese and Japanese porcelains, Renaissance bronzes, Japanese netsuke are arranged among the original antique furnishings in the Allis’ parlors, bedrooms and elegant marble hallways. The beautiful chandeliers, leaded glass windows, rare wallpaper and carved woodwork provide a stunning atmosphere.
Those with a taste for more recent styles will appreciate the current art exhibition “Our Gardens Inside and Out.” Featuring the work of more than 70 contemporary Wisconsin artists, the show includes a wide array of styles and media. Intriguing bronzes, subtle watercolors, delicate porcelains, bold oil paintings and carved stone sculptures by Wisconsin artists of all ages fill several rooms on two floors. Literal depictions of flowers, insects and garden vistas, as well as abstract interpretations, are on view. Outdoor sculptures grace the English Garden — and wandering through the museum and grounds to view the diverse selection is an adventure.
“Our Gardens Inside and Out” is on now through Oct. 7. Check www.charlesallis.org for other special events, including the popular “Movie Time” classic film series presented by historian Dale Kuntz and shown on 16 millimeter reel-to-reel film every other Wednesday evening through mid-September. The Charles Allis Museum is located at 1801 N. Prospect Ave. and open from 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
The frozen yogurt boom continues in the Milwaukee area as national frozen yogurt and smoothie franchise Red Mango announced it will open a store in Fox Point this summer.
It joins a growing list of national and locally owned “fro-yo” shops like Yo Mama! (Wauwatosa, Brookfield and Shorewood); My Yo My (Third Ward); Fro-Yo Bella (Bayshore Town Center); and Berry Me Frozen Yogurt and Yo Factory (both on the East Side) — not to mention shops with slightly less catchy monikers like CherryBerry (Waukesha and coming soon to Mequon and Whitefish Bay) and Orange Leaf (West Allis).
The West-Coast trend started catching on here a year or so ago and won’t slow down anytime soon as more stores enter the market.
Red Mango is scheduled to open next month at 8663 N. Port Washington Road in RiverPoint Village Shopping Center in Fox Point. CherryBerry will soon open in Mequon at 1424 W. Mequon Road and in Whitefish Bay at 106 W. Silver Spring Drive.
Don’t want to plunge head first into the seasons boldest trends? Don’t fret. There are myriad ways to subtly add edge to your wardrobe. Incorporate this season’s tribal-bold prints in a cuff bracelet, scarf, sandals or a clutch, like this beaded Santi handbag (similar styles available at Aversa, Bayshore Town Center, Glendale). Thegeometric design is fashion-forward yet understated with neutral colors, making it the perfect day-to-night transition piece. Pair it with jeans, a simple white tank and gladiator sandals for day, or with a boho chic maxi dress and neutral wedges for hot summer nights. It’s all the style with none of the risk.
Santi beaded tribal clutch