Noticing Neighbors Anna Glenski
This upcoming Saturday, Anna Glenski is collaborating on an event that can bring the whole family together. Her company Elevated NRG is collaborating with Urban Hikes Kansas City to host the Yoga Flow Family Urban Hike. Starting the hike at 1pm from Union Station, everyone attending will get the experience of combining the sightseeing of downtown hiking, with the conscious breathwork and mindfulness of yoga. With surprise stops planned along the trail, this event is for bringing generations together. Lisa Peña, the owner of Urban Hikes Kansas City, shared about the collaboration:
“I’m so excited to work with Anna, first of all because she is an amazing and fun person to be around. Second, because of her we’ll get to provide an opportunity for families to bond through an urban hiking experience and do yoga together. You don’t get that opportunity everyday!”
Anna Glenski is the certified yoga instructor and owner of Elevated NRG, and sat down to share her story.
For readers that may not know it's coming up, can you explain the details of the event?
Yeah, so Urban Hikes Kansas City is glad to bring a hike on their side, and I’m glad to bring yoga from my side, and we are joining it together for families and kids. It's going to be leaving from Union Station up into the West Side, and then hiking back down. There are some surprises along the way, like we'll end up getting to do a little obstacle course together. In the middle of the hike, we'll also stop and do a yoga flow with a breathing session as well. It is going to be a kid friendly yoga session, which is what I focus on. It’s called youth yoga, and I am certified in it. It'll be a three mile hike we’re taking all together, but we will have that time in between to relax and go, “Isn’t this nice?”
I feel like with the hiking or the active side, sometimes it's easy to forget about the breath part of it and how important that part is. Having that integrated into the event is a neat experience.
Yes. I think breathing is so automatic for us that we don't even realize that we're doing it, for one. Then the power of focusing on your breath is amazing, and it can be life changing at times if you utilize the process correctly. I'm really excited to guide that session for everyone.
Artist credit: Zulu Painter We're also going to explore the murals. So the urban hike side is what she does, where she will basically take people like you're touring your own city. I think that so often, we are traveling by car and it makes me think—what have you missed? There are these small pockets of Kansas City to see, and there's so many spots that are just so cute and bright and colorful! There are so many murals, and that's one of our biggest focuses is taking a look at the artists in Kansas City. So we'll walk by different sites that have very colorful murals. There’s one site in particular, one of the artists that we will walk by does a lot of work for Children's Mercy. He does the artwork that covers the buses for the clinic, where he designs all those fun cartoon characters you’ll see around town. He personifies animals and makes them really cool for the kids. We walk past one of those murals down in the Crossroads area, and then there's one up here that’s newer and we will walk by that too—it's really pretty and cultural, just very bright.
That’s actually where we're going to do the yoga flow, right in the grass lot. The mural is right across the street.
That's like such a good experience for any age. So it’s definitely an intergenerational, “bring the whole family” kind of activity.
So far, I’ve seen a lot of young teenagers that are interested, and it’s so fun for the parents to come along too.
I can tell you definitely have a deep intention behind your yoga practice, and have been very vocal about the importance of it. How were you introduced to yoga?
For me personally, it started because there were a series of relationships in my life that just weren't working out. I was at a point where I was gonna focus on me, and what does Anna need? So that ended up being meditation, and then that’s how breathwork found me at that point.
I was already doing physical fitness and I enjoy working there, but I took it a step further into the holistic direction when I found meditation and breathing. That just opened and it was a very different mindset, even for me. It allowed me to find my passion, and what I really wanted to do.
As I dove in deeper with it during 2020, most of the gyms were closed. That was when I was faced with: how can I still get people working out? How can I still personally work out, and allow others to have access to that as well? So I did a personal fitness approach. I would come to your apartment or your home, and that’s how I started my wellness business Elevated NRG. It allowed me to offer the personal training aspect.
Hayley: So the journey of your business was parallel to what you were discovering for yourself, too? Anna:
Yeah, because that’s when I started integrating more of the meditation and the breathwork side. I included it because I found it to be powerful for myself. Then I was like, I really feel like others need to experience that as well.
A lot of things come up when you're meditating, and just being with yourself: trauma and past experiences, different limiting beliefs and just stuff that you don't normally think of in the day to day because you're on-the-go. We're all like, go go go whether it's work or family or different relationships, we tend to just put ourselves and our own thoughts on the back burner. Yoga and meditation was such an elevating experience on my own personal journey, so bringing it into other people’s lives is something I honestly think I've just been called to do.
Now fast forward to today with the youth yoga certification: I chose to focus on children specifically because I feel like if they can get that exposure to good practices while they're young, then they might not have the trauma and all that baggage when they get to our age and thinking to themselves, now what do I do with that?
They could think: ‘My life is crumbling and I don't know why,’ or ‘I'm not reaching the level of success that I feel like I should’ or ‘my relationships are failing left and right, and I don't know why.’ If they have these healthy breathwork and meditation practices that they can lean on when they do grieve—or need to cope, or find themselves in a hard situation—then I feel like it'll make their life that much better as they get older. That’s why my focus is on the youth. I mean, they are our future generation and will be leading any type of change. Maybe they can figure this out better than we have. Hayley:
You know, you're being really generous in sharing your background professionally, and so I'm sure that you're making a real impact because you know what signs to look for with the kids. There's a joy in getting to see it, because you personally know what a difference this makes. If someone's reading this right now and they want to start easing into breathwork, yoga, or meditation, what would be a good way to get started?
If they've never done it before, I would say to honestly start with mindfulness practices. They’re very accessible. If you just YouTube that, they have so many videos you can do in ten minutes where they will literally guide you through meditation and breathwork. So that idea of YouTube University is easiest for a lot of people, but then there's also studios and things around town.
So if you can get to that place of working with a video comfortably, it might be time to get out of the comfort zone. There are so many yoga studios in the area, and so many events for it outdoors. The Nelson Atkins hosts yoga flows on Sundays down at Berkeley Park. There is always something going on.
Wow, that's a great tip too, just to ease into it with people in the community.
So you're not doing it by yourself.
As you have been doing that work, and putting in the time to get certified in youth yoga, is there anything that helped you stay focused? What are you hoping for the kids that you work with, and visualizing for them?
Honestly, my hope is to just inspire them to regulate. Like, If they are having a bad day, or sitting in the classroom and they can't seem to focus for whatever reason, I want them to take it back to that step-by-step process that we had together.
They can step outside of themselves and think: Okay. I remember this breathing technique that I did, and it really helped me to relax. They can implement it in that time, and then realign themselves to whatever paper they need to work on. I want them to integrate it into their everyday moments, too, because it's just so powerful. It's a beautiful experience to have with yourself. Sometimes, I feel like we live so detached from ourselves. Even if you're not sad or anxious or stressed, there is such a benefit to just being for five to ten minutes a day.
Just put the screens away.
Yes. We're so into social media, what's happening next, and the news. I have not watched the news, and honestly, much TV for the last two years. I'm like, I can't. It's too much. If there's something that I need to find out, I will learn through somebody, but my mental state just cannot handle this anymore. I think, also, that we're all energetic beings, right? So whenever we are so tuned into the negative, it creates a low vibration that’s easy to get stuck in. If you can limit it a little bit, we'll all be higher elevated beings.
With your journey into yoga by leading it, offering instruction, and also experiencing it for yourself—how have you seen positivity through this part of your life?
Honestly, if I hadn’t started this for me, I wouldn't be where I'm at right now in all ways. It made that much of a difference. I was just stuck in negative patterns and mindsets from the past, and I would probably still be lost in terms of my direction. Going through this journey has helped me find my true purpose, and then allowed me to share that with others.
All media originally published by Anna Glenski, Elevated NRG and Urban Hikes Kansas City via their online platforms.