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Yoga in the New Year

The following article was submitted by Kate Casey, owner of Cats on Mats Yoga.

Happy Belated New Year!

For many of us, the annual flipping of the calendar from December to January means a period of evaluation and self-reflection. What has worked for me over the last year and what hasn’t? What do I want to accomplish in the next twelve months? Who do I want to be and what do I want my life to look like? For many of us, these considerations lead to a recommitment to caring for our physical bodies, learning a new skill, or establishing healthier boundaries with work, relationships, et cetera.

Each year, instead of resolutions, I set intentions. There is a subtle, but important difference between the two.

Resolutions are outcome based, meaning it’s much easier to fall into the ‘trap’ of feeling like you have failed or underperformed (i.e. I want to lose 15 pounds). This can easily lead to frustrations and a self-defeating attitude, keeping us from meeting what we set out to accomplish.

Intentions are process oriented; even if you take a few steps towards a goal, you are making progress and can celebrate the small improvements along the way (i.e. I want to feel better in my body)! Intentions leave room for adjustments and the freedom to reset goals or change them to something more appropriate if we find ones that serve us better.

This year, my New Year’s intentions include donating more to local charities and doing more things that are fun and get me out of the house. If this sounds like something you might want to add to your intentions for 2023, I invite you to join me in some activities that meet both ideals at once.

Of course, we are bringing back my absolute favorite class to Manitowoc Public Library: Cats on Mats! This year, we will be offering it quarterly, which is an incredibly good thing because our first session being held on Wednesday, January 18, filled-up completely within hours of registration opening. So, here’s a quick Heads Up for future reference: registration for the April 19 session opens on Friday, April 7, at 9 AM. You can secure your spot for that class by heading to Circle the date on your calendars!

These hour-long yoga classes will be held in the Balkansky Community Room at MPL. As we roll out our mats and move through gentle stretches, Lakeshore Humane Society will bring their most adorable, adoptable cats (and maybe even some kittens) for some kitty companionship. Not only will this brighten your day, but it will help the cats socialize and be more ready for adoption. We will also be accepting donations for their care on behalf of Lakeshore Humane Society if you should feel so moved.

Next up, in February, we’ll be hosting Teen Yoga! This Teen Lock-In (ages 11-17) event is designed specifically with teenagers and their unique mobility in mind. This class will be held on Friday, February 3, at 6:30 PM. Being a teenager is tough enough between the pressures of school, family, extracurriculars, and now the ever-looming presence of social media. Take an hour just for you to stretch and learn some calming breathing techniques that you can use whenever you need it. Even though the Lock-In doesn’t occur until February, registration opens on Friday, January 20, at 5 PM. A signed permission form will be required for entry to afterhours programs. Space is limited! Head to for all the details.

These classes are free to attend and require no yoga experience—come as you are! Please simply register in advance and bring your own yoga mat, beach towel, or blanket. I’m looking forward to working on our new intentions together and making our lives a little brighter in 2023!

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