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upside down right thinking

A client couldn’t have said it better after aerial class last night. “I feel terrific! all day long I couldn’t shake this funk in my body or my mind; aerial set me free.”

For me, I know full well the joys of inversions. They stimulate you, yet relax you at the same time. I too was feeling an “inversion high”, that you can’t quite get from any other practice. There is something in us, that frees when we truly surrender to the fabric, and TRUST it will hold us as we take our body in different planes. And if that wasn’t enough, we also got into some deep arm binds that I cannot do on my mat. The aerial supports some part of our body, so we can go much deeper into our poses.

Recently, I taught aerial to another teacher who was reluncant to try it again, after a not so great first aerial class she took somewhere else. I know full well how scary it can be, to surrender. We took it slow, introducing her to trust the hammock. And yes, she loved it, and will be back!

Isn’t it time for you to step out of a comfort zone and try something new? Something that really makes you feel alive, and your body sing? We have 2 free aerial classes for open house day. Come and be upside down. Trust. It will be awesome!

See you upside down,

Paula

Right Action & right Movement

Most people come to yoga for very specific reasons. Some come for the mental steadfast meditation, other find the movement takes away the aches and pains of living. But what about the pain that gets passed down from generation to generation? My dad had knee surgery, and so did my brother. I’ve had problems with my knees as well. 10 years ago I took a tumble skiing, and heard my knee pop. I tore my meniscus, some inner cartilage that holds your knees in place. My choice was rather than to undergo surgery, I would use my yoga practice to rehab my knee. I did so successfully, although some might argue a little slower than surgery, but my yoga practice got the job done.

Sometimes despite our best efforts, some generational pain will come knocking at our door. That is where I employee right action and right movement. Right movement is a combination of strength building and flexibility. Right action is looking deeply at my life (in my meditation) and deciding what I’m doing (similar to my dad and brother) that is causing the knee pain. You might think that is a bit over dramatic, and that the skiing caused the meniscus tear, but I believe that the body has everything it needs to heal, and that my emotions and actions of what I say and do can indeed cause harm to my body. Whether or not you are a religious person, Jesus said much the same; that things from the outside cannot harm us, but things from within our own minds, hearts can harm us.

Therapists do such a good job of this, but they miss the key component of right movement. The body is a tape recorder, and will remember every action done in the past. Simply talking about your problems will help you gain insight into making some right actions of changing your behavior. But, lets say you are depressed, and your chest is collapsing. Talking about why you are depressed will go a long way in healing, but the physical body always remembers your depression, and your chest collapsing, so the chest will influence the mind to hold onto that depression. But if you make some brave decisions to change things, and employee right movement of opening your heart and chest with the practice of yoga, the depression cannot have a hold on our body anymore.

We must face the truth of our behavior if we really want the pain to be gone from our body and minds. We must “weed” out the undesirable actions for better actions that are based in love. Believe me, when I started yoga, the furtherest thing from my mind was reviewing my life. I just wanted a good workout. But, the yoga we do has a way of creeping into our dark crevices and bringing light to see who we really are.

To open our hearts to others is a beautiful thing. We are called to do this. To love one another just as we have been loved by others. When you come to my class I use physical therapy, strength building, and the tools of yoga to gain the flexibility you need to keep that pain away, and usually a sprinkling of yoga philosophy.

See you on the mat,

Paula

our guru

What is guru, and more importantly who is guru? The definition of guru is this…. a Sanskrit term for a “mentor, guide, expert, or master” of certain knowledge or field. In Sanskrit, guru means literally dispeller of darkness.

Some people in the yoga world say your guru is your teacher, and that is so, but that implies that the guru is someone else, another person. We all have a guru and that guru is inside of us, it’s our conscious. The inner feeling we should do something; a calling of sorts. When I started yoga I never listened or hardly listened to this knowledge inside of me. I just did. I did life; worked, played, laughed, cried, slept, and repeated everyday.

Inside of your conscious your body knows exactly what you need to heal. And unbeknownst to you, your “guru” brings you to places, and brings people in your life for you to heal from. That annoying co-worker? yep, your guru brought you two together, so you can learn from you being annoyed. The job that sucks the life out of you? The guru got you that job, so you could get so fed up, and find that dream job, where your body and mind “sing”. Every experience, and thought that we think, we can use to heal.

When we first start yoga, your thoughts are NON-STOP. I often get the questions how can I quiet my mind. My answer…..Yoga. At first when you start yoga, your mind is like a drunken monkey stung by a scorpion. Slowly as you practice yoga, your mind starts to have “intervals”, where there is no thought. This is a great step, because it will clue you to know the yoga is working, deep inside of us. As your practice progresses, those intervals become longer, and closer together. The goal of yoga is not to stop these thoughts, but to slow them down, so you can either let them go, or take action about them……

Let me explain. Your thoughts will circle around a pattern, that begins to change over time. For instance, Yet again, you are asked to make a donation to this organization, and a thought of, wow, I don’t want to do that, ie: don’t have enough money comes in. That thought is greed, something we all have in varies degrees. To ease the mind, and rid that thought, we make a definite action of doing more giving. After a while, that thought of greed never enters the mind, because you have killed that thought with many giving actions that choke that thought.

Your thoughts drift all over the place, but with the practice of yoga, you can gain insights into your very being, and become a better person. This is called evolution. Yoga helps us evolve our soul, our spirit, to be one of giving.

Stop, listen to your thoughts….and if, when necessary, take action. Your guru will thank you for that!

See you on the mat,

Paula

One of the Best parts of Anahata Yoga Center

I love Anahata. It has truly been such a blessing to my life, and I hope many others. The other day I stood in front of my Monday night class, starting to sweat in the hot room, and couldn’t get started…..Why? you ask??? My lovely students were catching up with each others lives. The best part of Anahata is the community feeling….I thought about this when I was going home….

Quite possibly the worst class I recently attended was in Cincy. I walked in, feeling a little intimidated, and unrolled my mat. Much to my chagrin, the teacher just started teaching, without introducing himself, and I noticed other people around me were nervously waiting for practice without talking or saying Hi. This feeling is in a lot of gyms and different places I have visited. You feel like a nobody, a wall flower.

Most people belong to different community’s. You might below to a work community, where you work, or a church community, or even a gym or fitness center. I created Anahata to be a community of like minded people who can lift and support each other through the practice of yoga. One major thing that is different about Anahata is the non-competitiveness of this place. We have people who have been practicing yoga for 20 years, next to people who have been practicing for 6 months. At the end of practice, the 6 month yogi turns to the 20 year practitioner, and says, wow, I really enjoyed listening to your breath; you helped me remember to breath as well! You have an awesome practice.

An other client finds out about her yoga friend, who she has been practicing next to for the last year has cancer, and sets up food to be delivered.

One day I turned to watch a long time client of mine, go and help a new person she was next to….Everyday, I see my long time students go out of their way, and welcome someone new, often before I can even start a conservation! This evens the playing field, and helps you tremendously in your yoga journey.

Studies show people are just plan happier when involved in a community. We celebrate your victories, and cry together when things head south. We are your tribe, your ears, and the power of your voice to say, You Got This!

Come and Join our Yoga community!

Me Time

There is something so incredible, so amazing to body, mind and spirit……a Retreat.  Usually, every year I take a week retreat with my teacher, Doug Keller, and get caught up on the latest therapeutic applications that can be applied in my classes.  For the past 2 years, it has been canceled, and I’m sorely missing my retreat time.  

One of the very best things about the retreat is the time spent talking and sharing ideas with other teachers around the world;  there is “specialiness” in sharing what you love, yoga, with others who share your love.  What is also amazing, is the free time you get every afternoon.  I spend this time journaling, reading, praying, walking or just napping J.  It really makes me realize how crazy my life is at home, and this gives my spirit time to breath, time to think, time to analyze.  

Retreat time is NOT the same as vacation time.  On vacation time, I spend time being with others, with no agenda, but enjoying each other’s company without the stress and deadlines of work involved, let along meal preparation, housekeeping, shopping etc. .  Retreat time is solely ME time.  I immerse myself in what I care deeply for;  helping others with yoga;  I enjoy and linger over meals, and really enjoy the conservations I have with other retreat participants.    I come back so refreshed, and raring to go and teach what I have just learned.   

Similarly, my yoga teacher trainee participants have felt the same way about my program.  Most say they don’t want their training to end.  They enjoy the philosophy talks, learning about the body, discussions with each other, learning from each other,  and the laughter;   there is always much laughter!  Most of these clients are working mom’s and dads, carving out precious time to learn of yoga, and learn about themselves.  It makes me realize how very precious retreat time is.  

That is why, this IS THE YEAR!!!  For at least 4 years, I’ve dreamed of hosting a yoga retreat.  Of creating all the things I love about a retreat, and sharing them with others.  This year, it finally felt GREAT to let my imagination  run with ideas, and then narrowing them down to a sizeable list.  Please check out my Hilton Head Yoga retreat, “Explore, Restore and Break through” yoga retreat.  Come solely for the laughter and community!!  Of course, the yoga will be rainbow colored as well!  Treat yourself to healthy meals, long walks on the beach, 2’x a day yoga, journaling, and or napping!!  Do it for the love of you, to reset your bodies natural rhythm, heal from our past, and dream about the future, for now is the time to dream big, have faith that all will be well, and push past physical and emotional barriers that Covid left behind.  

What do you say,

“Are you in? or not?”

See you on the mat,  soon from

Hilton Head,

Paula

(not just saying this, but I have a good feeling this retreat will sell out…..if you want more information, don’t hesitiate, sign up for a free meeting, or the retreat itself.   Don’t hesitate, come and Celebrate!”

Take me to the edge

Part of our necessary growth, mentally, spiritually, physically is going to our edge.  It’s going to that place that is slightly uncomfortable, to push past our current boundaries.  It’s getting to know yourself better; increasing your self confidence.  These new experiences teach us how to live more fully, and we become aware of what we are holding onto.  You can’t work on something you aren’t aware of holding onto.  Each of these yoga practices we have at Anahata work on different aspects and bring a host of benefits that will leave your heart full and your body “humming”. 

Yoga Practice

Each practice I do brings the gifts of being present, of breathing, opening my body up, and surrendering my fears, worries and concerns in meditation.  We truly cannot understand ourselves without committing to our yoga practice.  More than movement, it connects my soul, mind, and body together.  I delight in the places of strength and work on the places that feel weak.  It’s my time to tune my instrument, my body, so that I can live and be of service to others without old age related problems.  It’s my calm in a sea of uncertainty.  

Hot Infrared Yoga Practice

My hot practice takes me right to the edge of my endurance.  Athletes of all types will love this practice for that very reason.  Last night the room was 117 degrees F. and within the first 10 minutes, sweat was dripping off my wrists, nose, and other areas that usually don’t sweat.  You might think….”I don’t like to sweat, or it’s gross, or not good for the body”.  On the contrary, circulation is greatly increased throughout our organs, muscles and tissues.  Sweating can prevent kidney stones from forming, clears up acne, has positive benefits on heart health, releases anxiety, and removes heavy metals and BPA plastic from our body.  Studies suggest that more fit individuals sweat sooner, and more profusely than non fit individuals.  An added bonus to the hot room, is the greater amount of flexibility that is gained in a short amount of time.  Sweating is good for us year around, and will probably prevent that nasty cold or flu that everyone else gets.  Sweating has been used therapeutically for centuries for that very reason.  https://wanderlust.com/journal/why-does-sweating-feel-so-good/

Aerial Yoga Practice

When life is heavy, and I’ve lost my joy, I go straight to my hammock.  That feeling of being upside down changes my mental state quicker than a comedy club.  It stimulates me, but also relaxes me.  It reminds me of the places in my body that hold tension, and I mean really deep tension, so I can let them go, such as in the hip flexors.  Those hip flexors  can pull on the back muscles, and are probably responsible for a great many people having chronic back pain.  Also, gravity is NOT our friend.  Gravity compresses the spine, and pulls down the organs to push on the bladder causing another problem, incontinence.  Going upside down has taken that problem away for me, as well as getting motion sickness quite frequently.  Aerial greatly increases balance, focus, leg and core strength, joint health, and literally makes you taller.  (I’ve grown 2 inches in the years I’ve did hammock). Because you get “air time” the disc’s in spine stay healthy and hydrated.  I will always keep up my aerial practice because of the core strength that is maintained when I do it.  I feel so energized, yet super relaxed at the same time.  

Are you truly living your best life? Come and join me on the edge of sweet discomfort. It is sooooo worth it!!

see you on the mat,

Paula

Be Open

Our experiences, thoughts, ideas tend to narrow as we get older…..Let me explain…..

Our thoughts:

  • you know, I can’t hang upside down, I get vertigo very easily.  (I healed my vertigo with aerial, and you can too)
  • that hot yoga is only for young people, I can’t stand to sweat.  (sweating is very good for the body, so is yoga, it’s a win-win!)
  • Last time I went running, I had knee pain for a week…..(a regular yoga practice HEALS & PREVENTS pain from coming in)
  • since COVID I’m scared to leave the house.  (we can’t hole up forever….we can and will stop this spread, by safe practices, it’s all starts with you)
  • I can’t possibly give a speech, I don’t like the way I sound  (yoga helps kill these thoughts that LIMIT us, and unites our body with our mind)
  • I can’t do all this technical stuff, it’s too complicated.  (I’m here to help you ……it’s wonderful to practice when, where you can with video on demand)

Someone asked me soon after becoming a yoga teacher why I practiced yoga.  Without thinking much, I answered to be free of death.  I have always been scared of my loved one’s dying.  Recently, I’ve changed my answer.  I practice yoga because I want to LIVE.  I want to ride that roll a coaster, and not worry about breaking something….I want to run, and not worry about what might happen afterwards.  In short, I want to LIVE.  I want to Love my family while they are still here.  I want nothing left on the table when my time comes.

We are here on this earth to LIVE, to LOVE, and to GIVE back all that we an.  I practice yoga so I can give back all that was given to me.

See you on the mat,

Paula

2021, your best year yet!

The other day I dropped into a hot class with our newest teacher trainee graduate.  The class was full, and as I went about my practice, I silently marveled at the teacher’s ability to read the room, guide the students into a beautiful yoga practice, offering modifications, and oozing confidence.  Believe me, this is no small feat for a brand new yoga teacher.  Most trainee’s I have seen from other programs have not been prepared to teach, and wait for months or years to get up the nerve to stand before strangers and lead them into a well thought out yoga practice.

I hate to toot my horn, but Anahata has developed a top notch program, that unfolds every aspect of yoga that a student needs to know.  Some students have said they expected the philosophy to bore them to death, but report it was their favorite part of the training.  Yet, others witness a profound deep experience that begin’s to change their lives for the better.  Most of the trainee’s love the support and friendship not only from the lead teachers, but their fellow yoga teacher trainees, and have developed long lasting friendships.  In the past, they have gotten together for drinks and meals outside of trainings, went to coffee shops to study for quizzes, and met to practice teaching at the studio, and bringing in food and pot lucks on day’s of training….(after all, you get mighty hungry moving that much!!).   If anyone has a struggle with any part of training, we all rally around, teachers and trainee’s alike, to help that person overcome the challenge, and get back on track.

Most are nervous to start this newest chapter in their lives, but I tell everyone, “it’s my goal to help you succeed in this”.  I prepare them well, and make sure everyone knows their anatomy, the postures, and the philosophy behind yoga.  I tell them how to retain students, how to be a successful yoga teacher and how to promote themselves.   They get a blue print that they follow to be successful.

The most common concern I get asked, is this, “am I ready to do this?, or “what if I can’t do some yoga poses?”.    The people that are ready for yoga to unfold in their lives have some of these common traits….

  • They have been practicing yoga, consistently, over a period of time.
  • They love yoga, and love to practice it, and the way it makes them feel.
  • They are intrigued by practice and want to know more about the postures.
  • They tell their friends and family how wonderful yoga is.
  • They are willing to set aside time when they are training to work and study about yoga
  • They are not currently in a big change, ie:  health concern, or family matter.

Notice what is NOT on the list……They can do ALL of the postures, perfectly.  That is why it is called “yoga practice”, instead of Yoga perfect.  In teacher training you will learn how to make modest long term goals towards the posture that is most difficult for them.

I love to do this.  I love to take yogi’s deeper into the practice, and help them find the hidden joy in yoga.  I love to see the moment they realize it’s all up to them, and they can DO this, not only today, but in the future.  They are the DIRECTORS of their own life, and they can create what every they wish.

Come and join us for a free informational meeting on teacher training, and address your concerns…..

  • Saturday, November 7 at 10:30 am click here to book
  • Wednesday, November 18th at 9 am. click here to book
  • Monday, January 4th at 5:45 pm. click here to book

If one of those times do not work, please contact the studio to set up a time of your choosing, at 513-204-5657.  Make 2021 for you! and make it your best year yet!

see you on the mat,

Paula

Your secret can of Whoop A?!ss

Many people are still under the presences that a yoga practice will only yield flexibility results, this is not true, and I can tell you a story that happened to me on Friday to prove that yoga practice builds internal core strength…..

I ride around in a scooter, ie:  electric motorcycle, weighing close to 600 pounds.  It’s a monster, and goes fast as well.  It hauls me around, plus often my husband and Ollie, our dog….The other day, close to home, it decided to die.  After many failed attempts to restart it, we (my husband was with me) decided just to walk it home.  We were only about a mile from home, a very doable distance.    But within that mile, was a pretty big hill up into the neighborhood.  Pushing, swearing, praying, cursing, grunting was just a few of the things coming out of me.  I managed about 10 feet of gains, before collapsing on the bike, out of breath, sweat running down my helmet, on this cool day.  We thought at the bottom of the hill, we could take turns, as it was difficult for both of us to find holds to push with.  My husband is pretty strong, and I consider him an athlete, with many marathons behind his belt, but he couldn’t push that bike up an inch.  He pushed, faced grunting, but didn’t get anywhere.  Yoga practice builds internal resilience, and deep core strength.

Upon reflection, the yoga I do hauls my own body around in space, and usually, once a week I focus on core strength.  Planking, reverse back lifts, leg lifts, oblique work etc.  Other than regular yoga I do not lift any weights, but I think the real benefit of yoga truly lies in the resilience it yields.  I’m talking about the can of whop as?! that sometimes you have to pull out to get something done.  Opening a business, training for an event, the birth of a child, going back to school, or caring for an elderly parent all require energy or yogi’s like to say, “prana”.  This practice builds energy, so whatever task is at hand, you can accomplish it.  Yoga also allows grace to flow, and your negative thoughts to become positive, so you BELIEVE you can, and therefore you do.

Next time you have to climb that mountain in your life, either physically, or mentally, yoga practice will help you overcome the challenges that are surely going to be put in your path, and most of the time, with a SMILE on your face.  It took me over 3 hours to push that bike up the hill, and probably the last ½ mile was flat, maybe 10-15 minutes.  I’m positive that I couldn’t have done it before being a yogi.

See you on the mat this week!

Paula