The Panorama Yoga Team & Embracing Life

Written by Panorama resident and Yoga Instructor, Charles Kasler. August 2016

Embracing LifeOn June 9th the Yoga Team presented to a full house for the daylong Embracing Life Conference at Panorama. Our topic of course, was how yoga and meditation embrace the moment as well as support end of life. Many people don’t realize this is the main purpose of yoga/meditation – attuning to the present with an open heart and quiet mind. It reduces stress and brings equanimity. And it connects us to a greater Presence – something universal that is beyond the personal.  

Yoga in the parkWe divided the participants up for yoga in the park, chair yoga, and restorative yoga. There was a very positive response and people were refreshed and ready for their next workshop. It also gave them a preview of our program at Panorama that continues year after year. 

On June 20 we gathered in the pea patch in a vigil for the last hour of light on the longest day of the year – an annual event for our yoga program. As an extra treat, we saw a double rainbow. 

rainbowOn Aug 27, I taught a free workshop on diet – an essential part of the yoga lifestyle. This was the next in our ongoing workshop series – Living Well With Yoga. 

Our next social gathering will be at Fall Equinox for high tea. We often bond deeply in our shared experience of yoga and meditation – a silent support group. Social gatherings give us a chance to visit, enjoy each other’s company and deepen friendships.  

On October 22 we will continue the yearlong Embracing Life theme with the fall mindfulness retreat – Embracing Life Mindfully. Except for 2 short dharma talks, we will spend the entire time practicing in silence for a direct experience of meditation, embracing the present.

the yoga team

The Panorama Yoga Team of resident instructors – Charles, Jean, and Connie.



A Report from the Blues Mothers – An Indigo Day

Story and photos by Panorama resident, Charlie Keck. August 2016


From cowpokes to sequined models on the catwalk, everyone loves the color blue. Levi Strauss certainly knew a great color when he saw it.

Fabric-dyed-with-indigoIndigo has a checkered past.  In some cultures only royalty was allowed to wear cloth dyed blue.  Later there was so much demand for the color from wealthy Europeans that indigo became a major American cash crop.  Slaves did the difficult work including stomping large vats of the plants.  Cakes of dried indigo were then shipped to Europe.  Indigo was a highly desired dye all around the world including Japan, China and Africa.

Fresh-Indigo-leavesAt Panorama five skilled fiber artists and a couple of groupies gave a try at indigo dyeing using two methods.  The indigo was grown in the pea patch and three members harvested when it was still blessed with the morning dew.  The dyers then met in an “art studio” garage and stripped the leaves from the stems.

The-Cold-Indigo-MethodThe “cold” method is a slam-dunk if you have expendable blenders (The Barn-$5). After blending packed leaves and ice cubes, the macerated leaves were strained out in cheese cloth and the resulting liquid poured into a dyeing container with the fabric to be dyed.  Silk, linen and wool worked best.  After an hour or two, the cloth was withdrawn and dried.  It tended to have a greenish or aqua color.

Cooking-the-indigo-leavesThe “hot” method is a bit trickier. A suspension of leaves and water was placed in a non-reactive double boiler and very slowly (one hour) headed to the magic 160 degrees.  Then the leaves were taken out and a mystery powder called Thiox was added and, finally, the cloth to be dyed was gently slid into the dye.  Some of the artists created designs using rubber bands or pre-stitching.

Clothesline-for-dyed-fabricIt was fun to watch the dye-soaked cloth merge from the pot and develop lovely shades of blue and blue-green when it was exposed to the air. Then, as the cloth dried in the sun, the color lightened a bit.  Re-dyeing to obtain a darker color was saved for another day.

Our leader Nancy has many indigo plants in the garden and might be willing to barter for zucchini.


Did You Hear What Happened to the Barn?

Written by Panorama resident, Dale Vincent. August 2016

Well, I’ll tell you this….it’s not the Barn anymore. No siree! If you go around asking people about “The Barn” you may just get a blank stare!

That’s because it has a new name. It is no longer, “The Barn”. Nope.

It is now “The Stiles-Beach Barn”. Or, if that is just a little too long to say easily and all the time, perhaps you could just say, “I’m going to the Stiles-Beach”. That has a nice ring to it.  Sort of like being on vacation, or something. Yes! I’m going to the Stiles-Beach. Kind of makes you think of palm trees, and surf with warm sun on the sand.

What really happened? Well, Diane Stiles and Jo Love Beach retired as manager and assistant manager of the Benevolent Fund Patio Sale, after 16 incredibly successful years. There was a very special tribute to Diane and Jo Love at the Benevolent Fund Patio Sale volunteer’s appreciation lunch on August 2nd.

Both Diane and Jo Love were given large bouquets of flowers, a $1,000 gift certificate, and most of all, in their honor, the Barn was officially renamed the “Stiles-Beach” Barn.  So to honor these amazing and hardworking ladies, you have to remember to call it by its new name….Stiles-Beach.


The honor and the official Panorama name change was one of the last official Chief Executive Officer actions of Joseph Di Santo.

Thank you Mr. Di Santo and congratulations, Diane and Jo Love. Remember, “Stiles-Beach”.

A Resident’s Perspective – Open Art Wednesdays

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. August 2016

“I have a nice box of artist chalks, but the box says pastels, what do I do with them?” I asked resident sculptor, photographer, artist Neil.

“Oh, they’re chalks, but are called pastels,” he explained. “Come to the Panorama art studio on Wednesday mornings. Anyone can come, not for a class, but to do their own work. I’ll be there. We’ll help you get started.”

My eyes bulged. “Whoa! Nice! What do I bring? What kind of paper, and…”

Neil interrupted, “Just bring your pastels for the first time. Everything else is in the studio…paper, brushes, acrylics, reference photos, several OTTlites. Even a new overhead projector and light boxes.”

Wednesday came; so did I! I tiptoed into the room, not wanting to distract others. Four accomplished artists looked up and burst out, “Mary Jo, we’re so glad you came. Welcome!”

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I stood admiring the result of a completely gutted out room, now with state-of-the-art equipment and lights for more natural lighting.

My eye caught Sigree’s and Candy’s works. “The skin tones appear more rich and tan than the photo. You are way past good,” I affirmed.

I worked a while with my pastels on black and on white with Neil’s generous help and suggestions. I realized my cup of tea did not fill with chalks.

“How ‘bout watching a 10-minute DVD on dimension?” someone suggested. Neil got it running on the new large flat screen and tilted it toward our area. Even the seasoned artists picked up new angle ideas. April Works (treasurer of the arts studio) sat down and drew a wooden shed, practicing the tutorial, and amazed us with her shadings and dimensions.

For my visit the next Wednesday, I walked over with two trays of watercolor paints I bought for 50 cents each from Panorama’s Annual Patio sale and a box of 12 watercolor pencils. April popped in a 10-minute basic watercolor techniques DVD. We all learned how to shave the colored pencil with a finger nail file over the watered paper to get a tiny splattered effect.

The large box of watercolor pencils and the smaller brush I borrowed from the art room offered a better selection. I experimented and colored one of my own eight 4”x5”coloring cards from one of the sets I drew to sell in our Gift Shop. I was proud of and comfortable with my work.

Florence looked up from her flawless sketching and reminded me, “Mary Jo, we are allowed check out DVDs from the large selection of tutorials.

April opened new cabinets to introduce me to items available including props such as styrofoam balls, cones, and cubes. In addition, art books, matte cutter, batts and roving, needle felting cabinets donned neat labels.

art_room_booksI was curious, “Why do you come over here on Wednesdays? Is anyone in charge of all of this organization?”

I jerked when in unison they raised their pencils and spoke at one time.

“Interruptions at home and setting up to work on projects take time.”

“Joyce Jaime is chair of the 2D Arts Studio and teaches many of the classes. Besides resident instructors, we have off campus teachers for other classes.”

“Here, we visit, get more art done, share ideas, clean up quicker, and return home with enthusiasm.”

I experienced my question, “Why do you come?” Carrying enthusiasm of friends and ideas in my art bag, I bounced on my feet as I smiled from ear to ear, walking back home–with my pencils and paints.

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I had a story to share about one of the updated, specially equipped studios at Panorama: 2D art, ceramics, lapidary, metal work, weaving, and woodworking. We also have many formal and informal groups who gather in rooms to pursue basket-weaving, embroidery, fibers arts, fly-tying, knitting, Kumihimo braiding, and quilt-making. How blessed we are.

Mary Jo Bio - Test

Alternative Therapies: Complementary & Integrative Medicine

Written by Panorama staff. July 2016

Embracing LifeThis collaborated event by Embracing Life and Social Services was a forum made up of six experts of different backgrounds, practices and fields. The purpose of this forum was to discuss complementary and integrative medicine, but what do those mean? Complementary medicine is when an individual uses non-mainstream medicines alongside conventional medicines. When non-mainstream medicine is used in place of conventional medicines, it is considered alternative. Integrative medicine combines both approaches in a coordinated way. The forum experts all spoke on different types of medicine or medical treatments that can be used as complementary or integrative medicine.

The members of the forum were Connie Ruhl, Michelle Bilodeau, Sonia Telesco, Kelly Golob, Tom Griffith, and Pamela Firth.

Connie is a retired Speech & Language Pathologist, as well as a certified yoga instructor. She discussed meditation and started with having the audience do a short meditation exercise. She explained that the purpose of meditation is to awaken us and provide clarity and personal renewal. Meditation is readily available to anyone and is adaptable to everyday life. Through meditation, we can learn the art of detangling our minds, learn skills of calmness and be at peace with oneself.

Michelle has a Master’s degree in Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine and is the President/Founder of Hilltop Eastern Medicine Associates. She discussed Eastern medicine, namely acupuncture & herbal medicine. She stated that Eastern medicine considers the body to be like a garden, that all body parts are interconnected. There are different types of treatments in Eastern medicine, like meditation and Qi Gong, but acupuncture and herbal medicine are the most commonly known. Acupuncture, from an Eastern medical perspective, can help balance symptoms that occur from imbalances and complex energetic systems inside our bodies. When balance is restored, these symptoms diminish and, over time, disappear. From a Western scientific perspective, acupuncture can help reduce inflammation in the body, modulate the immune system, balance neurotransmitters in the brain, increase circulation and oxygen levels and many others.

Sonia is a massage therapist who specializes in providing medical massage for injury treatment and rehabilitation, as well as relaxation massage for stress reduction and wellness. While she emphasized that massage therapy is not a cure, it can help promote comfort and care. Massage therapy is an approach to hands-on comfort and is a tool used to assist the body in its own healing process. It is also a method of manipulating muscles and tissues, creating greater blood flow, calming nervous systems and reducing stress.

Kelly is a chiropractor who combines traditional chiropractic methods with contemporary sports medicine. His main focus when treating a patient is to discover why the patient’s pain or medical issue is happening. By helping you learn and understand your body more, chiropractors can more easily get to the cause of your body problems. Kelly states that his goal is to help his patients stay active and help them continue doing what they love to do.

Tom is a licensed primary care naturopathic physician. Naturopathy, or naturopathic medicine, is an alternative medicine that uses a wide array of “natural” modalities, including homeopathy, herbalism, and acupuncture, as well as diet and lifestyle counseling. Tom emphasized that we need to learn how to listen to our bodies. He stated that there are four practices of naturopathy:

  1. Do no harm to the patient
  2. Treat the cause of the disease
  3. Treat the whole person
  4. Know that the body wants to heal

Naturopathy is based on the idea of self-healing. With this in mind, Tom states that the goal is to empower patients to take care of themselves and allow them to make their own choices. Physicians are simply there to guide choices.

Pamela is an occupational therapist and a certified Jin Shin Jyutsu instructor and practitioner. Jin Shin Jyutsu translates to “art of the creator through man of knowing and compassion”. It is a mechanical technique that allows us to harmonize and balance ourselves by using our hands along 26 sets of energy lock points on our bodies. According to the Jin Shin Jyutsu website, it is “an art of harmonizing the life energy in the body” by releasing tensions that are the causes of various symptoms in our bodies. According to Pam, our bodies are made up of energy pathways that feed life and energy internally. When one or more of these paths get blocked, it can cause discomfort or pain and will continue to disharmonize the other energy paths. Using this style of acupressure, you can experience physical, mental, cognitive, and spiritual harmony and restore balance to your body.

The take away from these informative presentations is there are many treatments and techniques to explore, whether complementary, integrative, or conventional. Only you can know what your body is experiencing and feeling. It is important to search for what fits you and to advocate for yourself in order to embrace your life to the fullest.

A Resident’s Perspective – Now It Is August…

Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. July 2016

Like many of us, we are wondering where spring went. It was full of Rhodies and Azaleas with a hot week of weather somewhere in there. Now we are into full summer and ahead is another hot week, but it has been lovely and cool between those sessions of heat.

Here come the Hydrangeas, in so many forms, and the lilies are show-stopping! My husband has enjoyed documenting the blooms on our walks around campus.

Hydrangea at Panorama

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The surprising thing is the Magnolia tree in our rear yard, after an amazing spring bloom, has sported some more flowers on outer branches. What a show. I didn’t remember it doing so last year.

It is also the time of year when hikes/walks and strolls are back on the activity schedule. With the Patio Sale behind us, there is time to sign up for these outings. The recent hike out on trails near Lake Quinault sported wild flowers that were subtle and hidden along the paths. The Self Heal below just lit up the trail!


The activities and outings arranged for us at Panorama are such a gift, really. I just read in the paper that the Sunrise and Paradise areas of Mt. Rainier are now abloom with wildflowers. The northwest has so much to offer and we are given the opportunity to enjoy it in whatever way we are able.

Our daily climb of the north five flights of stairs in the Quinault building often gives us good views of Mt. Rainier. We are thinking of putting a tally sheet up on the top landing for those who want to log in their trips up the stairs for exercise and we will get it to Jenny Leyva at the Fitness Center monthly.

Soon we will be into fall season. I can’t believe that we are in our fourth year at Panorama!!! The time is just warping and we love every minute of it!!!

Sandy Bio