The Gift of Understanding

By Jenna Washnieski

Before an international trip, I get overly ambitious about learning the local language. At a minimum, I memorize the basics – numbers, pleasantries and greetings. I’ve also been known to learn everyday words by covering my home with vocabulary sticky notes. My most committed (and intimidating) move was taking private online Italian lessons from a native speaker. 

I recently returned from an overseas trip where I had the pleasure of immersing myself in new languages. There were some tricky moments, but I was reminded how much I enjoy the challenge of being in situations where I need to pass my translation app back and forth to have a conversation with someone. 

The reason I love it is because of one simple truth: no matter which language you speak, we all share the deep desire to be understood. 

We go to extra lengths to understand each other when we’re exploring new countries, but what about on a daily basis? What are we putting into place each day to ensure we’re seeking to understand the people in our lives?

Let’s admit it…we spend a lot of time on autopilot. We’re set in our routines and schedules. We make assumptions about people and then get frustrated when they do the same to us. 

Seeking to understand people requires time, patience and attention. It requires us to slow down and focus. It can be hard! But the greatest gift you can give someone is to listen, understand and empathize.

Curiosity and empathy don’t magically happen overnight. They are skills that need to be cultivated. They require internal reflection. This is one of the beautiful things about yoga. 

Yoga isn’t simply a practice of poses and breath, but of attention to our internal landscape. It’s a practice of noticing and staying present. It’s about learning to give yourself the gift of deep understanding. 

On the mat, this might look like listening to your body, giving yourself grace and challenging the unhelpful voices in your head. It’s about being honest with what you need and what serves you.

When we practice this on our mat, our ability to extend curiosity and empathy off the mat becomes easier. The better we understand ourselves and the things that make us tick, the more patience we have for understanding and appreciating the people around us. No sticky notes or translation apps required!

Here are a few ways to listen and deepen understanding with people in your life:

  1. Listen without distraction – this means both physical and mental distractions.
  2. When someone shares something powerful or difficult, in your own words, repeat back what you just heard them say.
  3. Acknowledge and validate the feelings someone is experiencing. We’re all entitled to our emotions.
  4. Demonstrate your curiosity by asking open-ended questions and encouraging people to share more deeply.

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Built with 🤍 by Blink Consulting

2024 Power Life, All Rights Reserved.
Built with 🤍 by Blink Wellness

Village Pointe Studio Parking

Parking available in the Scheels Parking Lot.

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About Kirk: 

Kirk was working 80-hour weeks and wearing his shoulders as earrings when he found yoga in 2005. Forever the competitive athlete, he loved the physicality of yoga. When the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga were exposed to him, Kirk was hooked. Yoga provided him with what other activities couldn’t -- the ability to foster the benefits of practice both on and off of the mat. Yoga was something that Kirk could bring into all aspects of his life. 

Kirk knows that yoga can be intimidating, so he crafts a class that is playful and inviting, while still being challenging and safe. His creatively planned classes build strength and flexibility in your body and mind while establishing clarity, giving you more confidence to overcome obstacles in your life, and keeping you injury-free. His classes are themed with a message that is relatable and will inspire you to take it with you off your mat. Kirk has been teaching yoga since 2008 and lead his first teacher training in 2012. Where Kirk truly shines is in coaching, developing and bringing out the best in others.  

Kirk enjoys traveling (40+ countries to date!), snowboarding, and cherishes time with his wife and two daughters. 

About Christen: 

Christen Bakken’s yoga journey began in 1998 in a Bikram studio that provided a safe and secure place to practice. She saw the yoga mat as a place to remember her purpose and a place to play. As she continued her studies and began her journey to teaching in 2006, Christen infused yoga classes with devotion and the yoga mat became a place of personal transformation and healing. Her classes are filled with laughter, song, sweat, and usually heart openers. In 2013, Christen began training yoga teachers. This is the place where she finds the most joy - in community with folks looking to grow and be of greater service in their homes, on their mats, and in the world. Over the years, she has led trainings in Denver, the Midwest, Florida, and now abroad. She has trained in continuing education modules, 200-hour, 300-hour, and 500-hour programs. Beyond the mat, Christen is a passionate adventure seeker - she loves to bike, snowboard, and spend time with her husband and pups. She sees each day as a blessing and hopes to remind all who interact with her of this truth.  

Two Light Studio Parking Information

We validate parking for THREE garages in the area!

  • Two Light garage located directly north of the studio. Please bring your ticket inside for validation.

  • Three Light garage at Main and Truman. Garage entrance on Truman. Please bring your ticket inside for a validation sticker.

  • Power & Light garage at 13th and Grand. Please ask for a parking pass at the studio front desk. (Hot tip: the Power & Light garage has a ton of space! But be sure to give yourself a little extra time to walk to the studio.)

If you find that you are running a couple minutes late due to parking, please call the studio to let the instructor know to wait for you before locking the doors.

Blackstone Studio Parking

  • We have partnered with our friends at Greenslate to provide 1 hour and 15 minute validated parking for Power Life students in the lot at 36th and Harney (just south of the Cottonwood Hotel). Read below to learn how to take advantage of this perk:

    • Step 1: Scan the QR code located in the lot.

    • Step 2: Select your destination (i.e. “yoga studio”).

    • Step 3: Ask for the validation code at the Blackstone studio front desk and enter it on your phone.

    • Step 4: You are all set! Have fun at class!

    Please note:

    • The validation provided by Power Life and Greenslate is for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Need to add additional time to your parking space? You can do that conveniently from your phone!

    • This option is valid once per day per license plate.

East Village Studio Amenities

  • There is a paved lot and gravel lot on the West side of the building.

  • Meters on Court and 4th (by Peace Tree) for $0.25/hour, 9am-9pm Mon. – Sat. 12-hour max

  • Meters on 4th (to the North) for $1.25/hour. Mon – Sat. 4-hour max.

  • All meters are free on Sundays and major holidays.

The Gift of Understanding Info