Gift of Health

Gift of Health

The gift of health cannot be overrated.  Ask someone who is sick, and above all else, they value their health at the top.  We all want good health, but we are not really sure how to get there.  Good sleeping patterns, good nutrition, and proper exercise are things we can all do to stay healthy.  I’m not interested in being healthy, I’m more interested in THRIVING.  Having tons of energy to go about my day, making an impact on others, and taking care of myself are top priorities. My answer?  Yoga.  Since doing yoga everyday for 15 years, I have not caught a cold, virus, or flu ever, during those 15 years.  That fact alone, speaks to yoga’s effectiveness.  But something you may not be aware of, is the health of your internal organs.  Everyday, your lungs filter the air you breath, everyday, your liver and kidneys wash your blood, and keep you healthy, and your brain works to write, function everyday.  We don’t think about these things as being vital, until they are not. Your body is a network of energy lines.  In Eastern medicine they explain it as chi, or meridians.  There are 12 major meridians that function together to keep you healthy.  You can think of those as highways.  Lets look at the liver.  Everyday the liver does 500 essential tasks to keep you going.  The liver meridian starts at the outside of the big toe, runs through the arch of the foot, and goes up the inside of the leg, groin.  When it meets the pelvis, it flares to the outside of the hip, through...
Traits of Centenarians

Traits of Centenarians

Centenarians fascinate us with their ability to live past 100 years old.  Have they been blessed with good genes, or had no stressful experiences in their lives?  It turns out how we feel about ourselves and our ability to adapt to an accumulation of challenging life experiences may be as or more important than health factors.  Enter:  our yoga practice.  Yoga practice begins to change our brain, and how we cope with stressful situations.  Most of the time, life is not extremely stressful.  It happens to be the little changes in our lives that seem to disrupt our peace.  An unruly teenager, endless tasks to complete, unpaid bills, new bosses at work, etc. the little changes never stop coming.  How we adapt is crucial to how we live. I was not so good at adapting.  I am one of those people who like to know all the facts before doing something.  I plan, plan, and re-plan, to make sure everything goes smoothly.  Unfortunately, the universe laughs at such people, throws them some curve balls, to spice up their life a bit.  Take our yoga practice.  We love it.  We come faithfully every week to Sara’s class.  We just love her!  Until, Sara moves away, or her class changes, or she decides to go in a different direction.  Disappointed, we stop our yoga practice.  But here is where a big step in yoga really happens.  If we know how yoga works, we can meet lifes changes, including the little stresses in our lives, with grace, poise, and not be disrupted by the waves of our lives.  It’s ok to like...
Loving yourself fully

Loving yourself fully

Unbeknownest to me when I became a yoga teacher, was how much I really enjoy helping others.  I came to teacher training with a singular goal: to finally rid myself of hip pain.  To start the process of wanting to heal yourself is a good enough reason to take yoga teacher training.  You learn many things in teacher training that you will never be introduced in a regular yoga class.  It is a turbo jet start to your transformation.  But what I have learned along the way, is I really enjoy helping others achieve their goals,  to feel good about themselves, to put a smile on their face.  Making people feel good about themselves is something we all strive to do, whether we help out a neighbor, donate items to the hungry, or do it everyday through our job. I think some of the most powerful jobs are which we are helping others.  This can come in many different ways, through directly helping, or indirectly.  I’m so thankful when 1 person shows up for my class!  This desire to help others should be at the core of our living.  I try to be as prepared in my training to be able to help my clients out, as best as my abilities.  That is why we should always be striving to be just a little better than we were yesterday. Over the weekend, I received an email from a client who used to come to me for yoga.  Leigh and I go way back, back to when I first started teaching yoga.  Always so fun to teach, and a joy...
Paula’s little secret

Paula’s little secret

Maybe to some of you who know me, it’s not such a little secret, but I love to chant in Sanskrit.  In fact, every chance I get I chant.  However, my husband doesn’t get it.  Not that long ago, I asked if I could chant on a driving trip.  At the end of the trip, he says, “I don’t get it, they just say the same thing over and over.”  It might be the same reaction you get from a friend, about how good yoga practice makes you feel.  One just doesn’t believe it, until they experience it. Called Bhakti, or devotion, chanting is like partaking in God’s radio.  And now, scientists are discovering, there are real mental and physical benefits to chanting in Sanskrit.  Why Sanskrit?  The sounds are specially constructed to penetrate the analytical mind and affect our nervous system very directly in how the tongue strikes the the roof of the mouth.  They are like spiritual pharmaceuticals that enter into our soul with palpable physiological effects. It is this capability that gives mantras the very specific therapeutic and spiritual properties that are missing in our everyday language.  What are some of the benefits of Bhakti? Reduces Anxiety and Depression (by adjusting our chemical composition of our internal states, removing fear and despair emotions) Releases Neuroses (it clears away subconscious habit patterns, that may be holding us back) Boosts Immunity (it releases serotonin and dopamine, known as the “happiness hormones,” due to the impact they have on our moods) Opens Intuition (By enunciating the mantra, the tongue taps certain points along the roof of our mouths, sending...
Turtle wins in yoga!!

Turtle wins in yoga!!

Yoga practice will cure you of your ailment, with some simple understanding on how it works.  To achieve results yoga must be done with 3 things in mind. Steadiness and ease Persistence over a long time With great joy So, lets say you have an ailment and come to yoga for it.  First thing you must overcome is Persistence.  Many things try to get in our way when we commit to a yoga practice.  In the beginning,  clients come pretty regularly, because at first, yoga works rapidly, and you do experience a feeling of well being right away.  This blog is really for the person who has been practicing steadily, and run into an obstacle.   Say, that obstacle is back pain.  Because we really don’t want to face the reality of our thoughts and actions, we put the blame on something else…… ” well, you know, I’m getting too old to be doing this yoga, I’d better stop”   or I’m just too busy, since I’ve got my new job, or My back pain came back, I guess yoga doesn’t work after all, or ________________insert your excuse. You see, your body is a tape recorder of every experience, every thought, every action you have ever done.  It’s like have 10,000 coats on top of your body.  At first, with yoga practice, you start taking off layers, and it feels really good, and free not to be weighed down by all those layers.  But then, you reach that really,  really tight itchy sweater that sticks to your skin like laminate.  It seems impossible to take off.  Now you have a choice. ...
Examine you thoughts, healing happens

Examine you thoughts, healing happens

This practice of yoga opens you up.  Yes, it opens your hips, legs, shoulders, and spine.  But practiced long enough, it begins to change your thoughts…….Before yoga, I had a lot of self doubt.  Self doubt in myself, in my actions, and who I was in this world.  I berated myself when I messed up, and gave myself a tongue lashing inside my head.  This became a vicious cycle that is difficult to surmount.  I think most of us are like this.  Even when I became a yoga teacher, I would fret and pray, that I could teach yoga, help people, and they would like my class.  All of that self doubt did nothing, except cause disharmony in my body, and tightness in my hips. All of these years later, occasionally that self doubt monster comes out, but I don’t let him have a say.  I walk away from each job, hopefully with my head held high, that I taught a balanced class, respected people, and met them where they were on this day.  Hopefully, I planted good seeds in others, instead of bad seeds. When I do fail, and I do, I realize it, come up with a plan of action, so I can and will do better the next day. This practice of yoga has also opened another space in my heart, forgiveness.  By examining my own thoughts, and actions, I realize when I fail.  Hopefully, I’m quick to apologize, and try to make amends.  By finding forgiveness in my heart for myself, it has allowed me to forgive others when they fail.  I realize that living...
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