The Mat


Heather Hopper

"It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is, not according to what he has." ~Henry Ward Beecher

When you think of the idea of abundance, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? For me, as an elementary school teacher for so many years, the first image that often comes is that of a cornucopia. I have fond memories of leading my third graders in activities based on abundance, thankfulness and gratitude surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. The giant cornucopia on the bulletin board outside of my classroom filled with hand-made fruits and vegetables out of construction paper listing those things for which each child was grateful for. Most of those statements of gratitude were for an abundance of things... food, nice homes, toys, clothing, etc.

Now that I am a mom, the abundance in my life of smiles, giggles, open-mouthed baby kisses, cuddles, "firsts", and sheer joy and love are the first things that come to my mind. For me, abundance is not about things, but about moments. Seeing the first smile of the morning from my sweet little guy. Listening to Papa singing a silly song to his boy in the bathtub. But abundance has been about more than things for me for a long time.

Heather Hopper

I love this quote from Oprah Winfrey, "If you look at what you have in life, you’ll always have more. If you look at what you don't have in life, you'll never have enough." My life is full of abundance everywhere I look. I have more friends that I consider family than I have actual family members. Each and every one of my days is filled with "I love you's", from the time I pick up Bexley in the morning to the time I leave my last class of the day until I fall exhausted into bed each night. Certainly, I have enough to eat, a nice roof over my head, Kyle and I are both gainfully employed, most of my family is healthy. I am grateful for all of those things. However, I, like most of you, am most grateful for the abundances that you cannot see with your eyes, but rather with your heart.

If you haven't heard me say it lately... I love you! Thank you for being one of the many joyful abundances in my life and the lives of your family at The Mat. We are all grateful to count you as one of our many blessings.

"No matter where you go, there you are"- Buckaroo Bonsai

Have a question for Heather?  Email her at You can find Heather teaching classes at The Mat on Mondays and Wednesdays. Join her for class!

Holiday 40/40 Yoga Challenge!

40/40 Challenge

The holidays are a wonderful time to celebrate! Surrounded by the people we love, we eat, drink, and make merry. As we all know, sometimes the holidays also turn into a time of too much eating and drinking. Add to that the stresses of shopping, hosting visitors, and other obligations and we can end the holidays not as healthy and balanced as we began.

The Mat Yoga Studio is here to help you keep the balance and peace of mind that is necessary during this time of year. Make the commitment to yoga and your sanity and allow all the holiday stress to pass you by this year. Challenge your practice by attending 40 yoga classes in 40 days. 40/40 Yoga Challenge runs 11/14/11 - 12/24/11. Eat, drink, be merry AND eat, sleep, yoga.

Take on the 40/40 Challenge with a Friend!
As a special treat during the 40-Day Yoga Challenge we are offering a twist on our $30 days for $39 introductory offer. Bring in any friend or family member who has never been to The Mat to sign up for the 40/40 challenge, and they will receive the 40 consecutive days of classes for just $40! This amazing deal is only good during the challenge dates, and only for clients who have never been to The Mat.

Upcoming Workshops and Events!

November is packed with opportunities to challenge and grow your practice and to be of service. Soon we'll also be welcoming Aaron Price and David Romanelli back to the Mat, as well as hosting Shari Friedrichsen from the Himalayan Institute for the first time. We cannot wait to share the next few months with you, so watch our website and Facebook closely for details on our upcoming events!

Client Appreciation Day

Client Appreciation Day celebrating our Two Year Anniversary!
Tuesday, November 1st, all day, all classes

Come celebrate with us on The Mat's Two Year Anniversary! All day long we will have home baked goodies, hot apple cider, raffle drawings after every class, and big sales on retail products. Don't miss our extra special live music during the 6:30pm Open Flow class with Trina by The Sound and The Meaning, North Texas' vibrant kirtan and world music ensemble.

Pre-registration is greatly appreciated, and the 6:30pm class is first come, first served, so please arrive early! Sign up online by clicking here or in the studio.

Satsang with Blair

Satsang with Blair Lewis
Sunday, November 6th, 6:30pm-8:30pm

Don't miss our next Satsang with Blair! This is a chance to get your questions answered about yoga, yoga philosophy, meditation, ayurveda, and a host of other yoga related topics. This two hour interactive discussion is always informative, enlightening and entertaining. Cost is by donation. Please pre-register if possible, so we know how many people to expect, either online or in the studio.


Year-Long Group Meditation
at the Himalayan Institute
begins November 11, 2011

The Mat is excited to participate in the Himalayan Institute's Year-Long Group Meditation project, creating a worldwide healing movement. This is just the support you are looking for to commit to and deepen your meditation practice. Watch our website and Facebook in the next week for more details on how The Mat will provide support during your journey.

You can learn more about the Year-Long Group Meditation on the Himalayan Institute's website here and here.

Ginger Newberg

FUN-damentals of Flying with Ginger Newberg
Three Workshop Series
Saturdays, November 12th, 19th, and December 10th

Join us for three special workshops with Ginger Newberg to learn the mechanics of arm balances while you explore your own process of taking flight. Workshops may be attended individually, or sign up for all three at once and save: $35 per workshop or $85 for all three!

Click here for more details on each workshop or pickup a flyer in the studio.


Thanksgiving Donation Class
benefiting Richardson's Clothes Closet
Thursday, November 24th 9:30am-10:45am

Start your Thanksgiving morning with gratitude, inspiration and service! Once again we will be collecting donations of gently used clothing for the Richardson ISD Clothes Closet. Monetary donations are also accepted and appreciated. Please join us for an inspired class with Stevan Koye and express your gratitude by making a difference in our local community. Cost is by donation, either clothing or monetary. All other classes are canceled for this day. Pre-registration is greatly appreciated. Class will be inside and space is limited. Sign up online by clicking here or in the studio.

Holiday Schedule Changes

Thursday, November 24th - Thanksgiving Day - 9:30am Thanksgiving Donation Class only. All other classes canceled.
Saturday, December 24th - Christmas Eve - No 4:00pm class.
Sunday, December 25th - Christmas Day - Closed. All classes canceled.
Saturday, December 31st - New Year's Eve - No 4:00pm class.
Sunday, January 1st - New Year's Day - 11:00am New Year's Class only. All other classes canceled.

My Yoga Story - Cinde Rawn

Cinde Rawn

Cinde has been practicing with us at The Mat since July, 2010. We are so grateful that she is sharing her Yoga story with us this month!

Why do you practice Yoga?
I practice yoga for the joy of it. My practice inspires me to learn, to test, to try, to let go, to fall, and to get up after a fall, to laugh, and to feel peace and pleasure... It seems a bit silly to write but this is a very specific joy... I love arm balance poses, crane and side crane are at the top of the list. There is something so joyful about having become strong enough, inside and out, to balance in crane! I also practice because of the guidance of wise and wonderful teachers, the peace and beauty of a practice, the intensity that I can choose, the music, the routine, the balance... altogether: bliss.

How were you first introduced to Yoga? And, when did you begin your practice?
I was looking for something new that better suited how I want to live my life rather than the gym. A little over a year ago my daughter took me to my first yoga class in Little Rock, AR and I loved it. I came back to TX and within a week had researched and made a list of four privately owned studios to visit. The Mat was at the top of the list so I went there first and, as so many have said, once there, you never need go anywhere else.

How often do you practice?
About five times a week.

What are a few of the benefits that you have experienced? How does your practice help you in your daily life?
Once I started, I embraced Yoga like nothing I have ever done before. I have found a beautiful strong practice I look forward to each day. I grow stronger, experience peace, joy and deep concentration, I feel challenged and compelled to reach for more, I fall and learn to smile as I get back up having learned more about balance, I’ve learned to believe in possibilities, and, quite simply, it just makes me happy. I have come up with a meaningful breath prayer that suits my Christian faith: “Breathe in God, breathe out self,” and that has become a lovely way to set a daily intention for my life. After a year of practice, I realize I have just begun to experience all the benefits. I am in the kindergarten of my yoga life and plan on being a “perpetual student” in the very best sense.

What is one tip you would give to a new practitioner of Yoga?
Don’t give up, just try and believe. Somedays I’d go to class and to my kindergarten eyes see a remarkable yogi who seems to be able to balance on one pinky, (while smiling!) and I’d think: I will *never* be able to do that. But something in me simply will not settle for “never.” Every time I practice, I try, and believe that something new and remarkable might happen today, or, maybe tomorrow. I love the life saying: “Don’t quit before the miracle happens.”

Why do you practice with us, at The Mat?
A life value I have is to support small and local producers and businesses. That personal value is what first put The Mat on my list, but then I experienced the exquisite line up of teachers, the kind and helpful staff, the cleanliness and efficiency of the studio, and the kind people I practice with... those things brought me back. The Mat’s commitment to give back to the community and that world make this studio my kind of place.

What others are saying about Heather's classes...

Heather Hopper

"I love Heather and her classes – she is one of the first teachers I ever practiced with years ago. Her classes are fun and she genuinely teaches with love. She makes anyone feel comfortable and safe no matter if they are a beginner or a more experienced yogi. She is truly a breath of fresh air. Heather rocks!"   -Tracy

"Heather is awesome and so is her class. She is such a great person to share that time with and has an energy about her that makes you feel welcome right away. She is fun, funky, always has a different flow for each class, allows you to laugh and not take it so seriously, but at the same time you leave feeling great, and like you worked much harder than you thought at the time. The quotes she uses at the end of class always seem to be exactly what I need to hear that day and like she chose them just for me. I wish she was there at least 2 more times a week."   -Shannon

"Heather's classes are upbeat and she is authentic. I enjoy how she is able to weave old yogic philosophies in with funky music and a sense of humor. I leave her class with a lighter state of mind and feel renewed (and sometimes sweaty also)."   -Skila

"I always smile (if not outright laugh) in Heather's class. She has an amazing sense of humor, as she has an amazing sense of the body and breath. I learn so much beyond asana in her class."   -Jackie

Do you have feedback about Heather or any other teacher at The Mat? Email Becky at

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The Mat Yoga Studio
670 N. Coit Road, Suite 2381
Richardson, Texas 75080