[Val is wearing the "HAVEN Found Tee" $5 of every tee sold, will be donated to a cause that is near to our hearts, the Weldon FOP Research Fund. Whitney Weldon is our intern here at HAVEN HQ and we are supporting her fund in researching and curing her genetic disease, FOP.]

We've asked HAVEN's favorite experts and influencers to give us their tips in finding their HAVEN as we Ring in the New Year!

Find out how studio owner, yoga instructor, and Seattle Times Columnist, Val Easton, finds her HAVEN...


Val Easton

Seattle Times Columnist


Langley, Whidbey Island


"Here are sanity-saving strategies I rely on to carve out some peace, quiet and equanimity during the hectic holiday season.

Spending just 10-15 minutes in the most simple of sitting meditations first thing in the morning changes the whole tenor and quality of my day. The trick is to sit in a quiet, warm, comfortable spot during that liminal time when you’ve just awakened and haven’t checked your email or really tuned in yet. Simply follow your inhale and exhale in open-hearted meditation. I’ve found the meditation to be most effective if I hold my hands in an open bowl mudra of receptivity. Our Tibetan Rinpoche here on Whidbey island suggests lightly resting the left palm in the right palm with the thumbs lightly touching;  the left palm represents wisdom, the right represents compassion.

I try to arrange my day so I can take a brisk 30 minute walk when the sun is highest in the sky - we need all the light and fresh air we can get during these darkest weeks of the year. So I push myself away from my desk and go outside to walk around the neighborhood, breathing, enjoying the wind, rain, sun and the company of Bridget, my Wheaten terrier walking companion. 

When I’m feeling stressed and weary of socializing, which happens more often this time of year than any other, I rely on restorative yoga poses to boost my sense of well-being and my immune system. If you only have time for one restorative, make it legs-up-the-wall (Viparita Karani). Tuck a bolster under your sacrum if you’d like, and relax into this most universal of restoratives. This simple inversion relieves insomnia and hurry-sickness while it gives your organs a break from gravity and reverses the circulation of blood and lymph through your body. "

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