Archives for January 2015

Be.YOU.tee.full.

just beBecause I’m everything you thought you wanted, yet nothing that you’d hoped I’d be.

Acceptance.
noun
1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.
2. favorable reception; approval; favor.
3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.

Right. Acceptance. Accepting what is in this very moment. Who we are, what we are, where we are in any given moment. Something we as a culture probbbbbably fail at most of the time. Maybe we accomplish this exceptionally well during the delicious moments of life, but during the not so great? Probably not. We become the most incredible escape artists to ever exist. Daydreaming, looking to the future, reaching for the past, anything to escape the now.

There are a multitude of experiences, which create this thing we call ‘life.’ There are moments where we doubt ourselves, where we wallow in sadness, grief or perhaps even guilt. We all have this thing called the bullshit button (yep- I made that up) where sometimes we just find ourselves comparing ourselves and our lives to those around us. We aren’t good enough or maybe we feel better than.

Typically when we are feeling REALLY great, we find empathy towards everyone and anyone because well, frankly we are on top of the world and no one can knock us down and we have a lot to give in those moments. So why can’t we live in the shit as whole-heartedly as we do when we are on top of it all? Because we are always seeking the great. The warm fuzzies. And when we don’t have that, we want to run away from all of negative situations, moments, conversations of discomfort, those moments our tummies are in knots due of fear, anger, fear, probably fear, or just plain disapproval of our current status, situations and/or overall unhappiness.

I read this quote, it was a great quote. One I needed at that very moment, “if you’re looking for a sign, this is it.” Kind of thing.. (that wasn’t it, but that’s the quote that came to mind when I found this particular quote…)

“You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge.”

Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone—profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.” – Danielle Laporte

I spoke with a good friend of mine from yoga teacher training today, when I asked him how he enjoyed the third module of ytt, he replied with an enthusiastic- (and I quote this loosely) “I loved it, I thought it was great. It’s where everything really came together for me with my practice and emotionally and spiritually, it’s where I really had this amazing experience of self-enlightenment. I also think that happened for me because I wasn’t tied to any expectations. I didn’t know what was to come and I was open to everything. …”

Yea. What IF we experienced life with this same mindset. Without expectation, being open to what IS and letting go of the ‘what-IF’s.’ I’ve really tried to live in that mindset. I’ve also really realized that whatever outcome or circumstances come as a result to situations or scenarios, are completely well deserved,or earned, both good and bad. I’ve done PLENTY of my fair share of CRAP to myself, to those around me, usually my best friends or closest people to me, because they are typically the ones who get the raw end of the deal. Have I always loved the outcome or results of my behavior or reactions in certain situations? Absolutely not. I’m not perfect and I’m certainly not trying to spit shine my rusty imperfections, but I’ll tell you what.. I’m okay with dealing with whatever the outcome may be. I have to give myself a little pep talk in the moment, but I get over it. Might as well meet and greet the shit head on and get through it, then to run away and live in fear of it sneaking up again at a later point. Living in fear of what could be or what outcome could have been, leaves us empty and refilled with stress and anxiety and crap that eventually leads to break down and disease.

Learning to live, to sit, to be in the moment. To breathe in whole-heartedly all of the straight bullshit that accompanies the beauty of our every day lives. We grow from that stuff. The good and the ugly.

So lament a bit. “Roll In it..” There are no mistakes. Ever. Be where you are. Acceptance.

eat like no one is watching

For the Love of Sleep

sleepy conversation
How often are you able to crawl in to bed at night and fall asleep without a problem? Your mind relaxes the moment your head hits the pillow and bam, you’re out cold, right?

For a lot of you, that may be the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard and yet the biggest wish you have ever had for yourself; fall asleep soundly without tossing and turning. Sure, we all have a night here and there where our mind runs wild with things we have to do tomorrow, or things we forgot to do today, people we forgot to call, and things we are afraid to forget in the morning. A gaggle of stress lurking in your body, your mind and ultimately targeting your nervous system. Then we start stressing about the fact that we aren’t going to get buy 5 hours of sleep, 4 hours, 3, 2…
Sleep deprivation can be caused by stress and in turn lack of sleep can actually create stress on our bodies. It sounds a lot like the chicken and the egg, I’m not really sure which came first, but it’s an ongoing cycle until we break it. So let’s do that!

Here is my secret and biggest tip; do YOGA. Make it habit. I have had so many students come up to me and tell me that they just had the best night sleep after their yoga class they attended earlier in the day.

Wondering if there is a way to get the benefits of yoga without having to attend classes or pay for a membership at a studio you can’t afford?

Here are a few of my favorite poses to help calm the mind, and relax the body.

Inhale the awesome, exhale the crap

3-Part Breath or Complete breath:

To begin lets focus on our breath. It is the one thing that keeps us walking around, waking up every morning, and sleeping every night. It sustains us. It sustains our movement, it sustains our emotional stability, it sustains our mental state. It is something we take for granted because without even thinking about it, it’s happening. It has our back. It’s on autopilot because we are constantly over stimulated by the outside world. All of this affects our nervous system. To allow your nervous system a moment to release, let’s breathe.

Whether you are lying down or seated, get comfortable. Begin by taking a really deep breath in through your nose, so big you feel yourself sit taller, or lay longer and then exhale through your mouth and feel yourself relax, feel your shoulders relax down your back away from your ears. Begin to breath in through your nose and back out through your nose. Continue doing so and just allow your breath to deepen on it’s own.

-Breathe in through your nose; breathe out through your nose.
-Inhale in to your belly; let your belly completely fill. Exhale, release your breath back out through your nose, actively press your bellybutton back toward your spine.
-Repeat.
-As your breath grows, allow your belly to fill, allow your lungs to fill, exhale from your lungs, your belly.
-Repeat until it grows even longer, and continue doing so. Try to maintain this breath throughout all of the following poses.

Supine Twist or Supta Matsyendrasana:

-Lay on your back. Pull your knees in to your chest and then release your arms open like a ‘T.’ Leave your knees to hover over your hips or chest.
-Allow both of your knees to fall to your right. Try to keep both of your shoulder blades planted on your mat.
-Intensity: To make this a little more intense, you can take your gaze to your left. For less intensity take your gaze to the sky or let your gaze fall to your right.
-Remain here for a couple of minutes before repeating this twist on the other side.

Benefits of Supine Twists
-Twists are great for detoxification. Think of your internal organs as a sponge and you are ringing them out. I love twists and when I teach or practice I try to incorporate at LEAST one twist in to the class.
-Help alleviate stress and tension being held throughout the spine
-Aids in digestion also.
-Stretch the glutes and stretches and releases the spine.
-Opens tight shoulders
-Quiets and calms the mind
sleepsupineTwist

Seated Forward Fold or Paschimottanasana

I love forward folds because they allow you to connect with yourself, when you fold into yourself all that can be found is you. Letting go of the outside world, all of the external distractions, it’s just you.

Begin Seated with your legs extended long in front of you. Flex through your feet.
Reach your arms up above your head, think of yourself reaching toward the sky, get long.
-Leading with your heart and maintaining a flat back, begin to fold forward from your hips (not your low back) reaching toward your feet. Let your hands fall wherever. If they only extend as far as your shinbones; rest your hands on to your shins, that’s perfect.
-Come back to your three-part breath; stay here for 30 seconds or for 5 breaths. Then come up and out of your fold and exhale, release back in to it for another 5 breaths. You can repeat this for up to 5 minutes, or work your way up to a static 5-minute hold.
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***If seated is uncomfortable, you can take this pose standing: Standing Forward Fold or Uttanasana***
-Begin standing slowly fold forward, allowing your hands as well as the crown of your head to reach toward your mat, or the floor. Your gaze should be at your shins. -Feel free to allow your knees to bend slightly.
-To come out of this pose, slowly come up half way allowing the blood to rush from the top of your head, and then the rest of the way.
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Benefits of a forward fold:
-Stretches the hamstrings and strengthens and lengthens the spine.
-Massages the digestive organs
-Relieves digestive problems (ie: constipation)
-Stimulates the nervous systems
-Relaxes the mind and enhances your ability to focus

Childs Pose or Balasana

This is a very well-liked resting pose. Again it allows you to really connect with yourself, coming inside and allowing your focus to be on nothing but yourself and your breath.

-Begin in table-top position, walk your knees really wide and bring your big toes together.
-Press your hips back toward your heels
-Release your forehead to your mat
-Extend your arms out in front of you, or wrap them back around your sides toward your heels.
-Breathe

Benefits of Balasana:

-Stretches and releases tension throughout the back, shoulders and chest
-Alleviates stress and anxiety
-Stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
-Calms the mind and relaxes the body
-Normalizes circulation throughout the body

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Supine Butterfly Pose or Supta Baddha Konasana

This is one of my favorite poses. You can use this with or without supportive props. The point of this is to be as comfortable as possible, so prop yourself with blankets wherever and whenever needed.

-Begin lying on your back with your knees bent.
-Place the souls of your feet together and allow your knees to splay open.
-You can prop your knees by rolling blankets or towels up and placing them beneath each leg, or you can use pillows if you feel strain in your legs, hips or knees.
-You can rest your arms by your side, you can rest them on your belly, or you can take your arms above your head interlacing your fingers or taking opposite hands and grabbing opposite fore arms or elbows. This gives a little extra love to your shoulders.
-Come back to your breath.

Benefits of Supine Butterfly
-Grounding
-Calms Anxiety
-Reduces stress
-Soothes and comforts the nervous system, mind, and body
-Improves focus
-Reduces tension
-Relieves headaches

When you find yourself in an uncomfortable pose, change it or breathe through it. Please try to notice the difference between discomfort and pain. Never force yourself to sit through pain.

sleepblogsuptabaddhakonasana

sleepblogsuptabaddhakon

Legs Up the Wall or Viparita Karani

All you’ll need is you and a wall (maybe a towel or two and a blanket depending on preference). The easiest way to get in to this position is to sit next to the wall, as you lay back, sweep your legs up the wall so your booty should be as close to the wall as you can get it (within 6 inches or so). This will vary, if you have tight hamstrings; feel free to slide back a bit.
-If you have back pain, feel free to use blankets or towels to support you by resting them beneath your low back.
-Strain in your neck, roll a small towel and slide it underneath your neck.
-Rest your arms by your side or out to the side like a T. If it is more comfortable to rest them on your belly, feel free.
The point of this pose is to reverse the process of the blood flow.

Benefits of Viparita Karani:
-Regulates blood flow and helps those with high or low blood pressure.
-Improves digestion
-Relieves mild backache
-Provides headache relief even for migraines
-Alleviates stress and calms anxiety
-Relieves symptoms of insomnia and mild depression
-Stretches the back of the neck as well as the hamstrings and even into the calf muscles.
-This in turn can help restore tired feet or legs
-This is great for the reproductive organs for both men and women, including alleviating menstrual cramps.
-Can help with arthritis

I hope these poses help you find that sound nights rest you have been longing for. To help you find a little extra comfort, follow this link for your perfect bedroom addition. https://casper.com/mattresses)
All my love and gratitude, sweet dreams.

For any questions or comments, leave them here or feel free to email me.

Restful Resolutions

character

The beginning of the new year brings new year resolutions, new goal setting practices, new intentions, a new year, a new YOU. Yada yada yada.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all about creating new intentions and working toward new goals. What I’m NOT about is creating unrealistic expectations for oneself, so much so we believe we can’t adjust our resolution or intention or goal and as a result we give up on it all together. One where we build a box and decide to drop our resolutions inside of it; “I must lose 15 pounds, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it.” I think more of us would be willing to set new goals and intentions if we allowed ourselves to change and mold them as we see fit. Maybe 5-10 pounds while building muscle is more realistic for some, rather than just losing weight.

Life changes, we change, our goals change. Usually when we feel like we have a solid plan laid out, we go for it. When things seem to be running smoothly and suddenly a wrench gets thrown in the mix, we are all thrown off, as a result, we end up giving up. Just tweak it a little bit, get back on the horse and one day at a time begin to chip away at it.

On the flip side, do yourself a favor and don’t underestimate yourself. Don’t sit there and say “this year I’m going to journal one time.” Just so you are comforted in knowing that you have 365 days to fit that one entry in. Go big, but set yourself up for success.

Unlike most people, my new years resolution is to allow myself to rest and recover. We ran through 2014 as if it were a marathon and at the very end, the last two weeks, we sprinted through the finish line, leaving me absolutely exhausted.

So this year! I’m switching it up, while the gyms are packed solid with new year resolution holders, I am on the couch. With My protein shake, a pillow and three seasons of Bob’s Burgers. It’s early enough to give myself 4 weeks off from rest, by the end of that little stint, I’ll have new goals, I’ll feel renewed and the hustle and bustle of the gym will die down a bit. Instead of listening to the world drill into my head “a better body, better me.” I’m Listen to what my body is begging me for. For once. 🙂

So my sight is set on my diet, on my eye lids, on my breath, on me. We’ll see what we come up with. For now.

Be YOU. Do what YOU need, what is your body asking for? What makes your internal fire burn, or are you burnt out? Think about it. We all need some “me time.” And I’m super excited for this 4 week hiatus from chaotic, high intensity, even low intensity workouts.

Let’s get it!

Happy New Year All!

unicorn be yourself

Inhale the Holidays! Happy 2015!

do not fall in love

I find myself writing about gratitude, a lot. Maybe because I am grateful, maybe because there are plenty of times I find myself complaining when there is nothing to complain about.

Really, there is no reason for me to be grumpy. There is no reason for me to complain about feeling crappy. Chances are I did all to myself, I probably ate the wrong things, I didn’t give myself enough rest last night and the reality is, is that I probably just need a nap.

This has been one of the harder Christmas seasons for our family. That’s ok, because everyone has difficult holiday seasons. This just happens to be ours, (along with a lot of other people.) It’s also the end of the year when we begin to reflect upon our accomplishments, the not so great things, the awesome, the not so awesome. We think about everything and we compare where we are currently to where we were at the beginning of the year.

We beat ourselves up over the resolutions, goals and expectations we set for ourselves at the beginning of the year and then didn’t meet. We haven’t accomplished ENOUGH, our goals were not fulfilled, we gained 10 pounds and didn’t lose an ounce, we are lazy, we didn’t workout longer than 3 days of the very first week of the new year and we just aren’t good at life.

HA! Sure we get comfortable, we get a little stagnant, we find the things we love, we shy away from the things we don’t. I suppose this is why I love yoga so much, because we find ourselves in positions or poses that don’t feel comfortable. They are out of our comfort zone, but the longer we sit and lament, the more our body adjusts in search of finding a certain level of comfort, or a way to just ‘get through it.’ And then we are reminded… nothing is ever permanent. Nothing. Think about that for a second.

We are always moving forward, time does not stand still, we eventually come out of that situation, that pose and suddenly it’s fine. You may remember that particular feeling you experienced while enduring the pain, the discomfort, the circumstances, or just sitting in that pose, OR, more likely, you may forget it completely. The point is, is that you made it through that pose, you made it through that moment, you made it through your bad day, the tough time, the stressful deadlines, the terrible jobs, the trying relationships and with every moment of difficulty comes growth, we become stronger, internally and externally. Don’t think too hard about it because it may be minuet, it may be huge. Don’t discount any of it. Don’t beat yourself up about LIFE because you didn’t end up on the cover of US Weekly magazine or success hasn’t found you, or you still have $2 to your name and you are 62 years old. Focus on your today, focus on the people you interact with, focus on what you are doing in this moment, not the next, get out of what happened an hour ago and just keep moving forward.

No one is going to make it out of this life ALIVE, so fuck shit up and get dirty. No one expects you to be perfect. No one IS perfect. We rely on facebook to falsify and glorify our lives, but let me tell you. Life isn’t always glorious, and you know that, we all know that. So eat some freaking chocolate and sob yourself to sleep every now and again and be happy with that.

Be who you are, where you are, and stop worrying about the external accomplishments, the gold medals, the shiney bs that we like to show off to everyone. Be a little more real, show someone how much they mean to you by just giving some of your time, some of your love, some of your heart.

Christmas is not about the materialistic items, it isn’t. There is absolutely nothing on my Christmas list this year. I’ll give you a list of things that I would like. But not a single one of them are necessary and I will survive every day from now until death without them. Those things are just things and temporarily fulfilling.

A sweet friend of mine asked me what I would do if I had just one week left to live. I didn’t have to think longer than 2 seconds before I had it all figured out.

-First I would divorce my husband, because I would be preparing to acquire a lot of debt.
-Second I would fly every single one of my very favorite people..(this includes my husband.. my debt free husband). I have a lot of them, but they would all be coming with me (Hence the debt), to Bora Bora, Maldives, or somewhere really difficult to get to, but the most beautiful in the world.
-Third, we would all be staying in a few bungalows sitting on stilts over the most beautiful water.
-Fourth, that’s it, We would all be together, in the most beautiful place on earth, and all I want to do is laugh and be with them.
OH. And I’ll probably be naked, but that’s because- who cares.

It’s the people who hold a special place in my heart, who have built my heart, who have shown me what true love is, who have given me a taste of what life is and how it is meant to be lived, it is because of them my world moves. I may not be successful at a lot of things; I may not have a job that reflects my degree in any way, shape or form. My paychecks may be tiny, by my world, my heart, It’s all-full. Like the fullest of full. I am the richest yoga instructor in the world. ☺

So, I Focus on them. They are the reason for the season, LOVE is the reason for the season. LOVE IS EVERYTHING. LOVE just simply is.

Happy Holidays everyone. I hope you find peace and happiness in the space and place that you are right now. Because there is a very good reason for it.

Enjoy it. Good, bad, ugly. BREATHE and know, this too shall pass.

Yogic 3 Part Breath: With a multitude of benefits, this easy to do, everyone can do it because you are living and oxygen sucking human beings.. Take a minute, while you are driving, while you are typing, while you are day dreaming. Breathe, This will help alleviate stress and anxiety, realax. Relax. Relax.
-Inhale in through your nose, fill your belly, and exhale out of your nose. Repeat, and then begin to fill your belly, your lungs and beyond. Just sit with it for awhile. Let your body relax with every exhale, let go of the busy in your mind, and let yourself be where you are. You are always exactly where you should be. Always.

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