Tag Archives: yoga

Have you Herd of the Goat Yoga Craze?

October 24, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Megan Roth sits cross-legged on her mat in black shorts, a white tank, and a blue baseball hat with the words “Live Simply” etched into the front.

“We know why you are here and it’s not because of me,” Roth announces, a certified yoga instructor with Simplicity Wellness Yoga + More. 

Roth begins with gentle neck circles, side stretches, and cat-cow poses. 

One participant, Roca, is ignoring all the commands. Instead of downward dog, he unzips a lady’s jacket, pulls it back up, and zips it down again. Up. Down. Roca loses interest and mischievously jumps on someone planking. His bewhiskered mother, Almond, would not approve of the kid’s behavior. 

Welcome to yoga with goats and sheep, where four-leggeds and two-leggeds find inner peace together. Or something like that. 

Roca’s sister, Joy, seems more concerned with sucking shoelaces, hair, and fingers than nailing a perfect seated twist. Two lambs, Cottontail and Toast, snuggle next to human yoga participants. Freckles begs for some chin scratches. Another little goat lays across someone’s neck like a soft scarf. 

Instead of deep breathing, goats bleat and sheep baa from the al fresco “studio,” scented by pine trees and fresh farm air. It’s not a traditional yoga studio. It’s actually the lush pasture at Doe’s & Diva’s Dairy in Honey Creek, Iowa.

Yoga has been touted for its mental, physical, and emotional health benefits. Throw in some farm animals and it is a shot to the endorphins.

“Like triple the endorphins,” Roth says. 

This could be why goat yoga is the hottest trend sweeping the nation. Starting in 2016, the format is the brainchild of Oregon’s Lainey Morse, who believed goats turned her depression around. Goat yoga isn’t about sweating it out and going all hardcore, but rather a cuddly mood lifter. 

Roth has seen even the most cynical man melt at the sight of the brown, white, and black baby goats looking for a little attention. 

“I love seeing how everyone lights up like 5-year-olds at Disney World,” Roth adds.

On a whim, Janna Feldman posted a photo with two baby goats on the Facebook page for Doe’s & Diva’s Dairy in January: “Thinking of offering baby lamb and baby goat yoga sessions.” The online feedback was encouraging, so she began looking into making it a reality.

When Feldman reached out to discuss a collaboration, Roth felt it was a win-win. Feldman wanted to socialize her kids and ewes, who tended to be leery of humans. Although bottle fed, they still weren’t used to leaping on a stand for milking. Curiosity almost always takes over the little ones in a pasture with colorful mats and yogis. It’s an easy way to get them accustomed to being handled and touched.

The dairy’s sheep and goat yoga classes began in spring 2018. Independent of the classes at Doe’s & Diva’s, a neighboring dairy in Honey Creek (Honey Creek Creamery) also offered goat yoga classes with five different yoga instructors during the initial spring 2018 season.

Rebekah Lowe, 35, joined a class at Doe’s & Diva’s to get centered in the midst of cuddly baby barnyard animals. But her shy lamb kept escaping back to the owner. 

“Half the time I tried to get selfies [with the goats], and the other half I did some yoga,” Lowe says. 

The 70-year-old dairy owner, Feldman, believes another benefit is just being outside the city limits. Doe’s & Diva’s is located roughly 20 minutes north of Omaha in western Iowa.

Feldman realized this potential on a stressful day when she just sat in the middle of her pasture. The does (another word for a female goat), her divas (the nickname Feldman uses for the ewes), dog, and cats came up to her one by one to offer comfort. Even though it was only 10 minutes, she felt ready to take on the world again. 

“It’s restorative. It’s peaceful. It’s beautiful,” Feldman says. 

The slow-moving rural life fits with mindful workouts like yoga. Feldman hasn’t joined a session yet due to a hip injury, but she stays plenty busy running around making cheese from “her girls.” People can taste the tangy samples once the class is finished (or they can sign up to take a cheese-making class). 

Feldman started the dairy farm in 2005 with her husband when they discovered their daughter was lactose intolerant. Now she milks 30 sheep and 18 goats twice a day. 

“The cheese is so good. I was very surprised,” Lowe says. Goat and sheep milk contains lactose but is easier for humans to digest than cows’ milk.

The real stars of the hour show are the goats, with their big personalities, and the sweet lambs. People laugh while doing some gentle yoga, close to the ground. Goats do like to stand on some people, but only weigh about 5-10 pounds, so it feels more like a Swedish massage on the back. And they love to chew on just about anything, but have no top teeth. Sure, some do occasionally urinate on a mat, but it’s all about the experience. 

It isn’t for everyone. Classes in April and May coincide with kidding season. Weather could range anywhere from bitterly cold to steamy hot or somewhere in the middle. The cost is $20 for one session at Doe’s & Diva’s. 

Chanell Jaramillo, the owner of Transpersonal Health and Simplicity Wellness Yoga + More, grew up around goats on her aunt’s farm. As a child, she saw ornery, older adult goats butting heads. When the idea came up, Jaramillo “wasn’t super-psyched,” but she had no qualms with the proposed collaboration so long as Roth led the classes. 

Jaramillo opened her studio in January, only a few months before Doe’s and Diva’s inquired about goat yoga. Then, after the success of the dairy sessions, the Florence Home Healthcare Center reached out to discuss a fundraiser for launching an adaptive yoga program at the senior facility.

Jaramillo, who has a Ph.D. in psychology (her dissertation examined yoga as a healing modality for individuals with autoimmune diseases), noticed no one in town was offering adaptive yoga. She started by partnering with Quality Living Inc. to help rehabilitation patients recover from spinal injuries
in 2014. 

Repetitive motions and rhythms allow those with brain injuries or those confined to small spaces to be present in the moment, to expand and breathe. She figured that such an adaptive program would help upgrade services at the Florence Home for seniors who had cardio and pulmonary issues, dementia, or limited mobility. 

Incorporating the goats into a fundraiser yoga session at the Florence Home helped provide the financing to get the center’s new yoga program up and running. 

Roth, the goat yoga instructor/advocate on Jaramillo’s team, was out of town the day of the fundraiser (May 23). So Jaramillo had to take on herding duties.

With help from Priscilla Russell, another yoga instructor, Jaramillo took two baby goats and a lamb over to the Florence Home in dog crates on a hot and humid day. About 60 people came out with mats or towels for two 30-minute sessions, raising about $500. Since then, adaptive yoga has become part of the Florence Home’s regular schedule for one hour every week, helping participants with anxiety and mood.

Goats were just there for the initial fundraiser to generate public interest; however, Jaramillo says they will be bringing baby goats back to the facility in April 2019 when the kids are still tiny.

She is passionate about teaching anyone yoga, but she sees something special in nuzzle-friendly goat yoga classes.

“The reaction is always the same,” Jaramillo says. “Pure joy.”

Visit doesanddivas.com for more information about the Iowa dairy hosting goat yoga in the spring. 

Visit omahaseniorcare.org/florence-home-healthcare-center for more information about the Florence Home.

From the Heart

September 30, 2018 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Cristina Bertuldo caught herself singing—and lowered her voice to a slight hum. 

“Sometimes, I’m very selfish with my gift,” she explains. “So many of my friends ask why I don’t sing as often.”

She’s a sensitive soul, that Bertuldo, always looking for the good in others even after she’s been burnt. She’s an Omaha singer-songwriter who battles depression and anxiety.

Bertuldo has the unique ability of conveying the passion and pain in songs yet somehow maintaining a playful mood. She preaches from her scars. The local 101.3 FM radio personality, yoga instructor, photographer, and mentor uses music as a healing force.

“I just want people to know that they aren’t alone and not to be afraid to reach out,” she says. “If I could preach one thing…be kind because you have no idea what another person is going through.”

Bertuldo, now known as Lady Scientist, is (by all appearances) a well-adjusted woman whose voice dances with delight as she recalls a favorite anecdote or takes stock of her good fortune. In college, however, Bertuldo encountered her first bout with depression after her best friend’s parents died in a car accident. Overwhelmed by emotion, she returned home early from college. She turned to music, which soothed her soul.

Shortly after that brief stint in college, Bertuldo attended a Nikka Costa concert at the Music Box, a now-closed Omaha venue, and met producer Printz Board, who put her in touch with musicians to sing backup.

In 2006, Bertuldo sang onstage with Allan “apl.de.ap” Pineda Lindo of the Black Eyed Peas at a Council Bluffs concert. She met Lindo when recording in the same studio as the Black Eyed Peas. He was on the video shoot of “Don’t Lie,” when Bertuldo approached him and threw her spiel about her talent. He asked her to freestyle. She did. They linked up, and Bertuldo moved to LA, but the pressures of the music business, and the big city, brought back demons.

“I was dealing with depression and anxiety on top of that,” she says. “When you’re caught up in that…you can’t grow.” 

In 2008, she moved back to her Nebraska home to heal. By way of random and not-so-random connections, she was occasionally booked as an opening singer at area concerts and music venues. Her sultry  yet soulful voice kept her on stage. In 2011, she won an Omaha Hip Hop Award for Best Female R&B singer. 

“Whenever I tried to push music out of the way,” she explains. “It always fell in my lap.”

Right now, she prefers to be behind the scenes helping others. She helped a friend broaden her reach in fashion design with pop-up boutiques. She began consulting another friend through the use of her photography. And she began mentoring Chikadibia Ebirim, a local self-produced musician whom she assisted with music promotion. 

“I wasn’t trying to heal myself,” she says. “But I was healing myself by helping other people.”

Life has been a roller coaster, she adds. “I’ve hit rock bottom several times. [Because] I deal with dark thoughts, I think people who are capable of so much light have this darkness they also battle.” 

Follow @ladyscientist on Facebook for more information.

This article was printed in the September/October 2018 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

A Professor in Motion Stays in Motion

April 27, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The sun barely penetrated the narrows of the canyon. Kris Berg, Ph.D., scrambled over dusty red rock, carefully avoiding the steep cliffs that plunged down 50 yards on either side of him. History and geology combined with each footprint he left behind.

While most come to Las Vegas to roll the dice, Berg would rather hike with his wife in the outdoors, taking in the natural beauties of the world (which he accomplished during a recent winter trip).

Berg is a self-described exercise nut. The physical fitness bug struck him at a young age. When Berg was just 12 years old, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Rather than a healthy boy, people saw him as fragile and sick. In high school, Berg’s coach even kicked him off the football team.

“I’ll show you. I’ll be so healthy that no one would do that again,” Berg thought.

After his family moved, a new doctor told Berg to experiment. So Berg lived his life, not letting diabetes limit his physical abilities.

“Exercise is such a powerful thing,” he says. “People are always looking for a magic pill. It’s right in front of us.”

He played multiple sports in high school and college. The science behind it all stimulated and fascinated him. With a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Missouri in hand, Berg began teaching at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.

“Top to bottom, front to back, he is enthusiastic,” former student Robert Buresh says.

Kris Berg, Ph.D.

UNO had no laboratory at the time so Berg developed one with the backing of the dean. Berg, a prolific researcher, made ties with the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He developed an exercise physiology lab geared toward an investigative-driven program which would look at the human body from a scientific angle.

He soon started a special exercise program for Type 1 and 2 diabetes. His own brother had passed away from the disease at 32. Berg spent years of his career dedicated to informing the public on the positives of exercise to help regulate blood sugar.

Berg’s interest never wavered. He tackled osteoporosis next. The Strong Bones Program was born, helping the elderly build up confidence and mobility to avoid falls.

“We were very fortunate Berg initiated this program,” Berg’s former colleague Josie Metal-Corbin says. Although a dancer and yoga enthusiast, 65-year-old Metal-Corbin took the class for the added strength training and sense of community. The classes soon combined into the Adult Fitness Program.

After four books, more than 200 articles, and 45 years at UNO, Berg hung up his tennis shoes last May and retired. However, retirement didn’t stop him from doing what he loves.

Berg still finds time to visit with graduate students who need his help on papers, and he spends two hours or so a day researching.

“I wanted to go on being physically active regardless of age,” Berg explains.

Long and lean at the age of 73, Berg follows a diverse workout plan. He smacks the ball around on the tennis court four or five days a week. The physical and mental “chess match” keeps him sharp. He also still shovels snow, pulls weeds, and hikes.

“I have a tremendous enjoyment of exercise. I never get bored,” Berg says.

At the gym, Berg avoids the machines, preferring resistance training (similar to his classes). He stresses the importance of maintaining coordination and mobility. His goal—for himself and for others—is to prevent age from becoming an obstacle to living life. 

The Adult Fitness Program is open to members of the general public age 50 and older. The supervised fitness class takes place twice a week at UNO’s Health, Physical Education, and Recreation (HPER) Building. The program costs $36 for three months; parking costs $54 for three months. Contact the UNO Exercise Physiology Lab at 402-554-3221 or exphyslab@unomaha.edu to enroll.

Visit unomaha.edu for more information.

Let it Flow

January 3, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

“Omaha has amazing yoga leaders who’ve been here for decades, but I wanted to bring something a little more contemporary to the table, in line with what I’d practiced on the coasts. (Lotus) is really a big family and a women-run company; all the people on our leadership team and in administration are women.”

-Mary Clare Sweet

The writing is on the wall at Lotus House of Yoga.

Colorful chalk scribblings dance across interior walls at the new Aksarben location, transmitting empowering messages like “Trust your gut,” “The revolution starts with one hungry heart,” “What you can dream, you can achieve,” and “You are getting stronger right now.”

Lotus offers yoga, barre, and cycling classes that will get your body in shape, but even more impressive are the positive effects on mind and spirit. This isn’t merely physical exercise, it’s an exercise in love, strength, and fulfillment. 

houseofyoga1“My ultimate goal is to share love through yoga,” says Lotus founder Mary Clare Sweet. “You leave feeling better because you’re developing an authentic relationship with yourself. When you’re connected to that authenticity—with nature and with your own true nature—you can go out into the world and make great changes.”

Her nickname is “M.C.”—short for Mary Clare and also quite fitting as she’s master of ceremonies for the alternately peaceful, playful party that is Lotus. With an extensive background in dance and a lifelong love of yoga handed down from her mother and business partner, Lotus CEO Anne Sweet, Lincoln native Mary Clare moved to Omaha via NYC to lay the foundation for her Midwestern yoga empire.

“Omaha has amazing yoga leaders who’ve been here for decades, but I wanted to bring something a little more contemporary to the table, in line with what I’d practiced on the coasts,” says Mary Clare.

In 2010, Mary Clare partnered with her uncle, Joseph Duryea, to launch Lotus at 144th Street and Eagle Run Drive—where she taught a demanding 19 classes per week, “just purely driven by my heart and the love,” she says. In 2012, she bought Duryea out and Anne came on as partner/CEO, bringing business experience that Mary Clare says helped take Lotus to the next level with solid strategy and brand communication. That winter, Lotus opened at One Pacific Place and Midtown Crossing. Two Lincoln locations followed in 2013 and 2014, with the downtown studio adding a neighboring Lotus-powered High Vibe Cafe, a fresh juice bar also selling healthy snacks and açai bowls, in 2015. 

houseofyoga2In 2016, Lotus closed its Midtown Crossing studio and opened in Aksarben. With vibrant natural light, a welcoming lobby where UNO students and others happily hang out, studios for barre, yoga, and cycling, and an in-house High Vibe Cafe, the latest location is a proud progression for the Lotus crew. 

“You can see the manifestation of our vision written on the walls here,” says Mary Clare. “It’s exactly how we want it, we wouldn’t change a thing. It’s absolutely filled with love, and we’re so happy to be here.”

While Lotus sees plenty of male clients and has some male teachers, it is largely a female-driven endeavor. 

“[Lotus] is really a big family and a women-run company; all the people on our leadership team and in administration are women,” she says.

In addition to the strong, lady-powered energy and community spirit forged by these humble warriors, clients can also depend on classes filled with sweet beats, rad refrains, and soothing sonic journeys, as carefully crafted playlists strategically correspond songs to chakras. From The Beatles to Beyoncé, tracks span genres including folk, pop, hip-hop, soul, and rock.    

“Music has always been the cornerstone of Lotus. Our mission is to raise the vibration, and music is vibration; so that’s a huge part of it,” says Mary Clare. “We aim to marry the ancient and modern together to create an experience that feels like home, that feels like love, that’s accessible and available to everyone, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Visit lotushouseofyoga.com for more information.


Half-Monkey Pose

August 26, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Half Monkey pose stretches and strengthens the hamstrings, hips, lower back, and calves. It also tones the leg muscles and increases blood circulation in the hamstrings and hips. FamilyGuide

  1. Begin in downward-facing dog (by making an upside-down “V” with your body, with arms and legs straight). Step your right foot forward, in between your hands, to come into a low lunge.
  2. Keep hands at either side of the foot, lower the left knee to the ground, and place the top of the left foot on the ground (you may keep your toes tucked to help stabilize you).
  3. Create space in the chest by pulling the shoulders back and down, away from the ears.
  4. Pull the belly in towards the spine to activate the core.
  5. Square the hips by shifting the left hip forward while pulling the right hip back.
  6. Shift the hips back, and begin to straighten the right leg until only the heel is pressing into the ground. Keep a micro bend in the knee to protect your kneecap. Flex the right toes.
  7. With a straight spine and open chest, begin to fold over the right leg until you feel a small stretch in your right hamstring.
  8. Pause and breathe deeply for 10 breaths.
  9. As you inhale, keep your hands on the ground, bend into your front leg, and step back to downward facing dog.
  10. Repeat opposite side.

Family Guide


True Colors

August 19, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Chanell Jaramillo helps people discover their true colors—just as she once sought to divine her own.

Gifted with vision and intuition that transcended her childhood in a hardscrabble neighborhood of Yuma, Arizona, she later revived those abilities to make another great escape. She transformed herself from an ill, overworked executive to a healer, surrounding herself in the safe, centered haven of her ultimate truth.

“Life experiences are teachings,” says Jaramillo. “You can look at them as challenges and get stuck in your circumstance, or, you can see them as lessons and allow them to take you to a place of wisdom.”

Channell1Jaramillo is a solution-focused holistic health practitioner with a Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology, a school of psychology that integrates the spiritual and transcendent aspects of the human experience within the framework of modern psychology. She employs that philosophy in guiding her clients toward their own personal truth and optimum path. Working primarily as a transformational life coach from her Omaha Healing Arts Center office, Jaramillo skillfully walks the line between analysis and intuition, academic knowledge and life-learned wisdom, fact-based theory and gut-based truth.       

Jaramillo first adjudicates clients with her Biopulsar, a biomedical measuring device that’s one of just 300 in the U.S. It reads energy from the hand’s 49 reflex zones—each correlating to an organ or gland in the body—to produce a uniquely kaleidoscopic aura scan portrait, bursting with colors from the chakras, or spirit centers in the body. Jaramillo interprets these colors, from red for basic trust to violet for spirituality, to determine distressed bodily areas.

Someone needing more white in her life may need to unblock the heart center. A client needing more turquoise can use something as simple as a coffee cup to visually help open the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word.

Jaramillo then provides clients a customized healing regimen, which can include lifestyle and diet changes, yoga, energy work, massage, and other forms of therapy.        

“In real time, [the Biopulsar] measures your consciousness—what you’re feeling and thinking,” says Jaramillo, adding that thoughts have relationships throughout the body that are able to create holding patterns and can cause physical problems. “It’s used medically for preventative health in Europe and Asia because it shows if a thought has manifested yet at a physical level or if it’s still within your auric field.”

Channell3Before Jaramillo could heal others, she had to find her own path to healing and happiness.   

Years ago, while navigating 70-hour workweeks as an executive for a large Southern California resort and winery, Jaramillo became extremely ill. A chorus of doctors chimed in with various theories, yet none could explain why she was sick.     

“I started balancing my work/life better and changed my entire outlook,” says Jaramillo, who, on the heels of a profound awakening, found herself intuitively guided toward lifestyle adjustments that ultimately healed her where prescription medicine had failed.

Striving to make sense of her experience led Jaramillo down a path resulting in a vocational calling to return to husband Chris Basilevac’s native Omaha and work as a holistic healer.     

“I kept having dreams guiding me back to Omaha to work in the spiritual field. At first I thought, ‘Uh, Universe, I think you have your coordinates wrong,’” says Jaramillo. But the call persisted, so she decided to “just trust and follow the breadcrumbs.”

The leap paid off, and Jaramillo now embodies the tradition of her great-grandmother, a curandera, which means “healer” in Spanish.

“I’ve always admired the idea of the crone, the wise old woman, which isn’t honored in our society today,” she says. “I want to be that wise old crone someday, who people can look to knowing that I speak from the experience of living life, learning from mistakes, and growing. Maybe that’s how I ended up doing this work, trying to return to a tradition our culture’s lost.” Encounter

Visit thlpros.com for more information.


Dolphin Pose

August 3, 2016 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Dolphin pose strengthens the arms and shoulders, tones the abdomen, stretches the hamstrings, and reverses blood flow.

1. Begin on hands and knees. Place your knees directly below your hips, and your wrists directly under your shoulders.

2. Lower the forearms to the ground.

3. Press all four corners of your hands firmly into the ground, and move the shoulders out of the ears by pressing them down the back.

4. Pull the naval in towards the spine.

5. Curl your toes under and press up.

6. Press the floor away with your forearms, push the hips back, and straighten the legs while reaching the heels towards the ground (you may need to keep a micro bend in the knees if your hamstrings are tight).

7. Let your head hang freely and breathe deeply for 10 breaths.

8. Bring knees to the ground, let the big toes touch together, and press back into child’s pose, with the arms extended in front of the head, palms face down on the ground.

9. Breathe deeply for 10 breaths.

10. Repeat two to three times.


One-Legged Pigeon Pose

December 21, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Editor’s note:  Rachel is on maternity leave, spending time with young Nova Joy.  While she is gone, we are happy to bring you this yoga pose by Lindsay Lee.

I always joke with my students that Pigeon Pose is one of the ultimate signs that you know you’ve made it to the cool-down portion of a yoga class. This deep pose helps to open the hip flexor muscles, relieve sciatic nerve tension and low back pain, and, by practicing regularly, it allows you to connect to the center of your creativity.

  • Begin in a tabletop position with the hips aligned with the knees and the shoulders stacked on top of the palms.
  • From tabletop, inhale deeply and slide the right knee forward so that it comes behind the right wrist. The shin should come no further than a 45-degree angle.
  • Exhale and gently slide the left leg behind you, flexing the right toes to engage the right leg, which helps to support the knee.
  • Keep the palms, or fingertips, pressing into the ground as you keep the chest open, the crown of the head lifted, and the hips square.
  • Maintain steady breathing. Make a pillow using your forearms and rest the torso and forehead on the arms.
  • Breathe deeply in the pose for at least five reps.
  • If resting the torso, slowly place palms on the ground and lift the chest and head. To come out of the pose, inhale and bring the left knee forward, then exhale to bring the right knee back into tabletop position.  Repeat on the opposite side.


Making the Old New Again

November 5, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Sherri and John Obermiller decided their new downtown condo reminded them too much of the suburbs.

They should know. The couple moved in 2011 from their five-bedroom, five-bathroom home in the white-picket-fence-lined neighborhoods off 180th St. and West Center Road to the eclectic, artsy downtown for a reason, and it wasn’t perfection and modernity.

Obermiller2“It was time to downsize and just get rid of stuff,” Sherri says. “Plus, this gave me an excuse not to do yard work anymore.”

The pair looked at five or six buildings before deciding the 902 Dodge Street condos were a natural fit for them. The building is located close enough to walk to yoga classes or sushi restaurants, but far enough from the bustle of the Old Market. “We don’t always like to be in the crowd, but we like to be near it,” Sherri says. “We enjoy being anonymous in a sea of people.”

An available condo on the fifth floor was too small and in need of a facelift, but the Obermillers saw its potential. Their first act as new owners? Asking their neighbor what amount of money it would take for him to move. Their new home instantly doubled in size.

To further construct their vision for the space, they enlisted the help of Stephanie Basham, principal designer and owner of Group One Interiors, and Don Stormberg, owner of Stormberg Construction. The couple rented and lived in a unit on the second floor of the building as Basham and Stormberg’s teams worked to renovate the condo to the Obermillers’ standards.

Obermiller3“It’s always challenging to work in a space that people are inhabiting during construction,” Basham says. “The Obermillers have a finely tuned sense of contemporary style and an appreciation for urban modernism. And to top that, John and Sherri value attention to detail, which is a dream for a designer.”

From using lime green as an accent color to matching the gray of the exposed concrete ceiling to the condo’s columns, the detailed design was inspired from the Obermillers’ travels to metropolises like New York City.


To make the home feel larger, Basham took advantage of the high ceilings and crafted a floating translucent cloud above the kitchen island. The focal point of the home, the cloud creates a sense of separation between the kitchen and adjacent rooms without impeding the view. Local fabricators and installers used frosted acrylic to have the effect of tinted glass without the weight. This fixture is a personal favorite of the Obermillers.

“The cloud above and countertop below have the same steel lines, so they mirror one another,” Sherri says. “We strived for symmetry throughout our home.”

Following nearly a year of renovations, only the cherrywood cabinets in the kitchen remain in the now-2,400-square-foot condo.  An entire patio was removed; new floors and appliances were installed; iron-welded, artisan-crafted barn doors were mounted; and rooms were ornamented in furniture from as far away as Sweden. The result is a simple, contemporary design that’s entirely unique to the Obermillers.


The Obermillers saw not only the potential of their condo but the value of the downtown area as well. While the CenturyLink Center was the major draw north of Dodge Street when the Obermillers first moved downtown, the area will soon be home to HDR’s high-rise headquarters and a collection of newly developed apartments, offices, and entertainment space.

“We are incredibly excited about this development and what’s next,” John says.

Obermiller6Embracing an urban lifestyle is a hot trend, yet the Obermillers aren’t concerned with following or setting trends. Instead, their new home serves as a space for them to reinvigorate their story together.

“We can walk to the trails by the pedestrian bridge or quickly go to the restaurants in the Old Market. It’s fun and incredible,” Sherri says. “It feels like we live in a much bigger city than what Omaha really is.”

When the Obermillers aren’t watching Nebraska sunsets melt behind the Woodman and First National from their building’s rooftop terrace, they enjoy a different view from their living room window. They look down onto the interstates weaving under and over themselves, roads looping and stretching in different directions. An image the Obermillers agree is beautiful. Just below the roads and between the urban sprawl of Omaha and Council Bluffs lies the river.

“We always thought at this point in our life we’d have a condo overlooking Lake Michigan,” John says. “Living happily next to the Missouri River in downtown Omaha? Well, that’s just the next
best thing.”


Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend

November 3, 2015 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Wide Angle Seated Forward Bend stretches the hamstrings and inner thighs, tones and strengthens the spine, opens the hips, and stimulates the abdominal muscles, all while relaxing the mind.

  1. Sit upright and separate the legs, creating a “v” shape.
  2. Rotate the legs back so that the knees face towards the sky, and flex your toes to protect the knee caps.
  3. Ground the sit bones to the earth, and lengthen the spine by reaching the crown of the head towards the sky.
  4. Roll the shoulders down the back, and away from the ears. Open through the chest to unround the spine.
  5. Actively press the thigh bones into the ground.
  6. Inhale deeply, and as you exhale, bend forward at the hip joints.
  7. Place hands on the ground in front of you, and reach forward (for a more advanced pose, grab each of the big toes with the peace sign fingers and thumb).
  8. Breathe deeply for 10-20 breaths.
  9. Inhale to come up, and repeat.