Category Archives: Uncategorized

Elementor #799

Thou shall not fear.......

After I had taken my Yoga teacher training, and some time with the yoga practice, someone after class asked me why do I practice?  Without much thought, I answered, “Fear of death”.  Even caught off guard by my response, it has taken me this long, to contemplate my thoughts with regards to the answer.  Most of us don’t want to talk about death.  We avoid it, and some of you will move on to other more pleasant things to think about, but with the recent events of Covid going through our country, this is a worthy topic to discuss.  

Don’t misunderstand me, I hope to live a long ripe age, and with the practice of yoga at my side, chances are better than most that I will.  What I really think we need to ask ourselves is NOT what we are fearing, but why we aren’t living.  Currently in my life, I have did a great deal of things that scare the crap out of me, running a successful business being at the top.  At the end of my life, and really now, I feel at peace.  If I died tomorrow, I would be at peace that I lived my life to it’s fullest, loved the hardest I could, and contributed the best  that I can, using my talents the spirit gave me.  

Before yoga I stood on the sidelines of my own life.  Playing it safe was my motto.  If you put yourself out there, you might fail, and failure in our society is such a disgrace.  I have stood and faced failure, and decided to learn from it, grown from it, and use it to propel myself towards my destiny.  

Most will think “geez, I just wanted to do yoga for my bad knees, or to get longer hamstrings”, and you will get that if that is your wish.  But don’t you think to live at peace is greater than having open hips?  To use your talents, that no one else has, to say I did it?  Here is wishing you peace, today and always…….

See you on the mat,

Paula

 

Yoga will help with THAT??

Running around for the Holiday’s doing my shopping, I was taken back at what I witnessed.  A guy came in to the photo department at Walgreens, and proceeded to rip the Walgreens worker to shreds because his pictures came a little off.  It was uncomfortable just being in that space.  The 2nd encounter was the poor girl who greeted people at the BMV.  Many people couldn’t understand why their place in line wasn’t saved, when they went out in their car, chatted to friends, etc. on their phone, and missed their text informing them they were up in line.  The girl did the best she could to fit them it, meanwhile making everyone wait longer behind them.  

My point?  It always circles back to yoga.  Yes, I know it is flustering when you loose your place in line, or when someone gets your order incorrect.  But to simply take it out, and vent your flusteration is doing harm to your body.  When a strong emotion comes in us, everything possible says we must get rid of it, and we usually do so by taking it out on an innocent bystander, or even worse our own loved ones.  Seems like there is a better way, and yes it’s yoga.  Yoga helps you deal with strong emotions.

This is also a good reminder on how karma works. When you yell at someone, you create a seed, that one day will ripen at someone telling you off, and ruining your day.  We must remember to simply breath, remove ourselves from the problem, take a deep breath, and then start to communicate without using strong emotions or words that harm others.  Seems like there is a shortage in service industries so know before hand that you might wait. 

It’s also helpful to give yourself some leeway to learn this new way of communicating.  Sometimes you will fail, and fly off the handle.  But if you sit silently, and carefully review your actions it will help you do a better job next time you want to yell at someone.  

Remember you are creating your own world each and everyday.  Do your best to get to your mat, and get rid of the tension in your body, and your mind.  This was a HUGE difference I noticed in myself after yoga teacher training.  One day, I just turned to my husband, and asked him if I was kinder lately.  I felt different, less reactive than before.  It was a very good feeling indeed!!

See you on the mat,

Paula

The reason behind the pose

Every pose in yoga has a direct effect on your physical and mental body, and most importantly your central nervous system. Some postures simply build strength, while others allow the body to become more flexible. A master of yoga knows this. A yogi master knows when students are anxious, and teaches a sequence to combat these feelings. A yogi also can teach a sequence for a grumpy back, a sore knee or even a broken heart. A yogi knows that if you show up, do the prescribed asanas or postures, that eventually the hurts will heal, and the mental state will become steady and serene.

Too often the asanas or postures become an egotistic goal. There is nothing wrong in progressing in your asana practice, and one should feel a certain sense of pride of simply showing up week after week, and doing the work. It’s when you want to do a arm balance to impress your fellow yogi’s, or show your kids that you can stand on your hands, that the asana becomes egotistic. This can come and bite us further down the road with falls, or more injuries.

The real reason of the postures is to become comfortable in a seated meditation posture and learn to BE with your thoughts. When you sit for awhile, and your hips scream at you to get up, or your low back starts to ache, the energy of the body, the wellness of the organs is not balanced. Yes, each organ has an energy line that feeds that organ/tissue. If somewhere on that line is tight, the organ will not be balanced, and is at risk for dis “EASE” later in life. This is how asana keeps us healthy.

For instance lets look at the spiral line of the body. A vitally important line to keep balanced. When the Spiral line has an issue, most of your body will be influenced.  These influences are not always obvious at first.  By the time most of you notice the nagging low back pain, radiating hip pain, TMJ issues or neck pain the spiral line will have many areas that need to be addressed. By this time, there will be a group of myofascia involved. It is most probable that the first signs were too subtle to notice.

A spiral line can be felt in pigeon pose, seated hero pose, revolved triangle pose to name a few. If this energy of the spiral line becomes stuck, stagnant or tight, issues such as ankle pain, edema, or swelling due to arthritis, cold feet, kidney disfunction, water filtration, difficulties regarding urination, urinary incontinence, poor circulation, peripheral vascular disease, limited range of knee, sciatica, hip pain, knee pain or constipation can arise.

That is why we do a yoga practice. Keep your body moving, healthy, and thriving.

See you on the mat,

Paula

Easy yoga button

There are many different types of yoga to practice, but one of those types has been vitally important to my physical and emotional health; Bhakti yoga, or yoga chanting. It is something that anyone can do, and it’s so easy to incorporate into your life. Most of the time, I chant while I’m in the car.

Thousands of years ago, the rishis, or seers, of India gave us the systems of yoga to bring us to a state of harmony, peace, and ultimately, union with the God. These ancient yogis were well aware of the multiple layers—physical, mental, emotional—that make up the human body, and they created practices to bring light to the whole being. They recognized emotions as vital and sacred and saw them, not as an obstacle, but as a great energy that could bring us to liberation. And they gave us bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion, to channel that energy and use it as a bridge to carry us back to our source.

Kirtan, the practice of chanting the names or mantras of the gods and goddesses, is perhaps the most important technique in bhakti yoga. Although the practice itself is simple, the internal process that it stimulates is vast and mysterious. Externally, we’re just singing repetitive songs with simple melodies and a few Sanskrit words. It’s quite easy to learn, but care must be taken to pronounce the words correctly for the vibration to take hold.

Chanting certain mantras puts pressure on tongue, vocal chords, lips, palate and other connecting points in the body. The vibration from the mantra stimulates a gland called hypothalamus. It is responsible for the regulation of many body functions including immunity and some happy hormones. The happier you are the stronger your immunity. Some other benefits of chanting are….

  1. builds immunity
  2. helps you have a positive outlook
  3. Helps clear your mind
  4. Opens the chakras for better physical health, today and tomorrow
  5. increases concentration and learning
  6. for a healthy heart
  7. helps relieve stress
  8. is a cooping mechanism to combat depression
  9. Helps with asthma (helps regulate the breath, and heart rhythm, as your breathing deeply and at times, holding the breath)

Then the magic happens: Walls constructed long ago come crumbling down. Wounds that we never knew were there begin to heal. Long-submerged emotions come to the surface. As we sing, we immerse ourselves in an endless river of prayer that has been flowing since the birth of the first human beings. And somehow, effortlessly, we move into a meditative state that creates a safe haven for the flower of the heart to unfold.

I’ve witnessed it time and time again. And best of all, it’s a simple practice that I can do while I’m in the car. It’s even better when I take a long car trip, and can chant for hours at a time. It’s stimulating (keeps me alert) and relaxing at the same time. All you need to get started is a good song; one that you like the sound of. Turn it on, sing it, chant it. Feel the way your tongue strikes your palate to make sound, the way your teeth come together, and the way your mouth moves.

Take the Sanskrit word “shree”. The word means abundance, prosperity, wealth, but also pronounce it, and see how your mouth form. A smile comes to your face as you pronounce it. When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. Then other neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin and endorphins come into play too. … There’s been some evidence that forcing a smile can still bring you a boost in your mood and happiness level.

So, the point is, it’s great for you! Go ahead give it a try! See if you don’t notice a change in your physical body or your mental health.

see you on the mat,

Paula

for love of you and yoga

Most people reading this say, “a sign, ok, not a big deal”, but I beg to differ.  Ask any small business owner nowadays, and it is tight.  When Covid hit is 2020, even though I was live streaming, and learning new technology, I had some free time to make a channel letter sign.  I got quotes from other businesses, and it was looking like the sign I wanted to have would cost above $10 grand.  That number was not in my budget.  My intention for Anahata is to keep my costs down, so that more people can practice yoga.  So I decided to make it myself.  There was no instructions on youtube that were helpful, and one sign company sold me the material, and basically, said, “Good luck!!”.  Nevertheless that didn’t stop me from trying.

Each letter first had to be cut out of wood, painted, and then this curvy tin was molded around each curve of the letter.  The channel letter signs you see from other businesses were made in a factory, with a computer doing the crimping and molding that is making the letters.  I made do with what I had;  which was some metal tools, and my own 2 hands.  Each letter probably had to be molded 3 times, because the final letter didn’t make the cut.  Sometimes, you would get far into the molding, and realize that the acrylic part of the channel letter would not fit on the metal.  So the actual sign took me years, and that is another reason they are expensive, they are labor intensive.  Over this summer, Tom, and Jake, and myself, hoisted it up on a French clever on the building, which again, was no small feat.  (by now it was quite heavy).  Another month went by, and Jake came and hooked it up to electric , where now it stands, quite proudly, announcing that you are entering Anahata!!

Your yoga practice is just like making a sign.  Sometimes, you are going to get frustrated, and want to quit.  Often, you are going to have to throw everything you know out of the door, and start over from scratch.  But, one day, you are going to get there.  Your body will be full of light, so you can help others find their light.  It is like crawling up the mountain, failing, getting back up, and starting over.  When you believe you can reach the summit, you won’t want to quit when the going gets tough.  You humbly get back on your mat, and change your practice, which will change YOU.  

Regular Yoga Practice is not for the faint of heart.  It takes dule diligence, persistence, and a humble heart letting your ego go.  But, every minute of every practice is worth it.  Even if you slide down the mountain. (more of the ego letting go). Sometimes poses are super easy, other day’s your body is tight, and feels like tin man!  But don’t give up.  Don’t lose hope.  Find someone who knows how yoga really works, and can help guide you through the slippery times.

It is SO worth it.

See you on the mat,

Paula

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!”