Bits 'n' Pieces: Instuctor puts yoga principles on paper

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Dana Layon believes that the benefits of yoga extend beyond the mat or the studio and into all aspects of one’s life.

“We can pretty much translate everything that’s on the mat into how we live our daily lives,” said Layon, a 42-year-old Vancouver resident and yoga instructor.

Layon owns Yoga Tree House in Camas and is also a writer. She’s written a seven-part series of inspirational books called “Off the Mat: Confessions of a Yogini.” There is one book for each of the seven chakras, or energy centers in the body.

The sixth book, which addresses the Third Eye Chakra, is coming out this month, and will be featured at a release party from 7 to 9 p.m. June 9 at Mint Tea, 2014 Main St., Vancouver. The event is free, but Layon requests that people register through her Facebook page if they plan to attend (http://www.facebook.com/danamlayon).

Layon’s latest book is about intuition, she said. “It’s all about following your intuition in life instead of listening to other people.”

The first book in her series came out in January, and she’s released one each month since then. The seventh comes out in July. They’re a compilation of her Weekly Oms, email newsletters she started writing about six years ago.

More information is online at http://www.danalayon.com.

La Center couple wins Ugly Kitchen contest

photoAlan and Shelley Markham won the Ugly Kitchen contest.

It might not be the most polite thing to say, but Alan and Shelly Markham of La Center have the ugliest kitchen Dave Warren has seen in the past two years. That’s actually a good thing for the couple, however, because it has netted them $15,000 in free upgrades for their $18,008 kitchen remodel, as part of a contest by Kitchen Concepts in Portland.

Warren, who owns the Portland shop, has run the Ugly Kitchen contest for the past two years. The Markham’s kitchen was even uglier than last year’s winner, he said.

“It’s pretty bad,” Warren said. “Probably nothing’s been done to that kitchen in forever. There are no doors, there’s water damage. It’s just an old farmhouse that needs help.”

The couple submitted photos of their kitchen a few months ago, and Warren narrowed it down from several contestants.

Companies are donating a refrigerator, stove, microwave hood, dishwasher, a $500 certificate for flooring, as well as cabinets and a granite countertop.

The contest, which will seek applicants again next spring, is only open to homeowners within 60 miles of Kitchen Concept’s showroom at 12518 N.E. Airport Way. More information is online at http://www.kitchenconceptsinoregon.com.

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Courtney Sherwood 360-735-4561, or e-mail features@columbian.com.