Around this time of year we start to come back to life again. We may or may not have stuck to that routine of getting more fit and eating healthy, but it's never too late to start again. How many times do you think Olymipic athletes have failed at their goals???? The Answer...MANY! The reason they won isn't because they failed though, it's because they got back up, reflected on what went wrong, adjusted their plan of attack and kept on truck'n!! YOU CAN DO IT!!! I believe in you and so should YOU!! Now lets get to it!! LETS MOVE!!
By moving our bodies on a daily basis we keep the muscles from atrophying (or breaking down) and our joints nice and lubricated so they can work and move efficiently for you through your daily activities. Moving doesn't have to be harsh on our bodies either, but yoga isn't ONLY about "stretching". It's a movement with breathe that's purpose is to lead you to a connection between mind and body. Ultimately allowing you to sit with yourself in any space in a meditative state. Or, if you will, take a time out from the world. With all the chaos we go through on the daily from our everyday lives and news being thrown in our faces on who to vote for, or even what to feed the family, when does pay day happen how will I pay these bills? BREATHE! Move with that breathe! Allow yourself to let go of it all and be with the most important person in your life...YOU. Five small minutes...or if you're really loving on yourself go for more! The point is to balance yourself between it all.
On Listening to your body and Giving it the Love and R&R it truly needs. What my trip to Nicaragua taught me about...LIFE!
I recently went on my first yoga retreat and was expecting it to be tough but lovely. I go away a lot to do workshops to learn and bring back info to share with you and it's a lot of mind and body work. I was nervous because it was out of my element. I've never been to Nicaragua. I speak some Spanish but not much. I've also never been on a retreat, stayed in a cabana and knew no one, not even the lead instructor, Jessica Sandhu. Also, being sick with an infection that led me to the ER a few days earlier I wasn't sure I should be going. The day of departure I missed my flight and thought I could be ok with it since my body was healing, however, there was a strong pull to go...a phone call made it EASILY happen. This was the moment I knew I was suppose to go. No resistance from the universe, other than it wanted me to get more sleep than I would have taking my 6 am flight. I arrived in the night. Alone. I was naive and ignorant in the fact that I assumed English was well used. My driver spoke maybe ten words of English. Why should he speak more? So in fear I became nervous and texted my husband and friends.
My wise husband replied," Well, use what you know" ...so I did. My mantra for the trip became "If it makes you uncomfortable, step into that...explore it till it feels good"
Meaning, just put yourself out there. If ever a moment you want to not do something, ask "WHY?". Why don't I want to do this? Is it fear based? If so, can it REALLY harm me or put me in danger? If the answer is truly no, then DO IT! What's holding you back? LIVE!! Explore Life!! Use what you know to get you through and you learn so much! I'm glad I learned this lesson moment one on the trip. We talked the entire three hour ride...as good as we could. Because one thing we both knew was that we are both human. We are not perfect.
Throughout the trip I led with my mantra. The first morning I met the group, whom of which welcomed me with open arms, literally hugs and smiles all around. That's the thing about Yoga Retreats! Everyone is there to get away and explore. They all want what you want.
We were in it together! We are all curious humans. It's not always easy being thrown into a group of new people, but we do it all the time for work, activities, and life events. We manage to get through and enjoy getting to know people and the interesting stories they have come across in their lives. To explore a new world together with new people creates a new bond and ignites an inner spark of light. Not only are you awakening your inner adventure seeker but they are too and together there's a new bond of camaraderie unlike any other. There's a certain magic in expanding your horizons to places only imagined. We saw animals in nature that are not in our home towns of Washington DC or Howell, MI. Sloths and toucans in the tree tops above us! Even gliding a zip line through the jungle was an experience like no other place. The views were magnificent. The city we explored, San Juan Del Sur, was amazing. We all had our own unique experience outside of doing yoga that made it a truly fascinating place.
Yoga in another world feels so magical. We tend to get into a routine day after day and feel a little "sticky". Taking your practice out of its element brings a whole new aspect to it. Plus, trying new practices and flowing with new people brings a new energy to it as well. It also adds that little push of "fear" of the unknown. Being somewhere else as the student, or instructor, you never know how it's going to go. With the wind energy comes the strength and gusto and the new aspect of how to stay on the mat when the mat no longer wants to stay with or under you. My personal humbling moments were dealing with being ill and stepping back from my practice instead of listening to Ego and pushing into possible injury.
You are humbled when in child's pose as the world around you continues to move. Ego tells you that you're able push through but listening to your body and knowing the limit is what makes you stronger. This is yoga.
It was great to experience the retreat from a student point of view. Knowing now what it's like to be on the retreat and experience the whole thing from this side was incredible. There were moments of release that came throughout the trip that helped my body and mind relax and let go of what no longer served me. You get to experience a new wold with like minded people who want to flow and explore just like you! The greatest thing was we each had our own experience. We weren't herded like cattle from place to place with so much structure. It was relaxed and safe but adventurous and and strong or soft in practice as you wanted to be. This is exactly how life should be. Explored and led from your point of view. Where do you want to go? What places in the world do YOU want to explore?? YOU!! Take some time for you!!! Meet new people!! Try new things!!! I was delayed leaving Nicaragua by a few days after my group went home. I decided to go and explore more of what Nicaragua had to offer. Check out my adventure to Granada here. Keeping with the mantra to go for it, do new things, walk into fear (as long as I feel safe) I met amazing people, learned so much more about the culture, and just opened my self up to being present in the moment I was in fully. From the other side of the retreat, it was also amazing to be able to share a little of my teachings with the group as an instructor. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have gone on this retreat and meet amazing people. The energy and excitement of a retreat is like no experience ever. Do what sets your inner light on FIRE!! Live your greatest passions!! Life is about balance. A great way to find balance in life is through letting go and disconnecting. Getting out of the daily grind and into a new place helps to balance mind, body and soul. You discover new people and surroundings. You have time to breathe, put the phone away and explore. Learning about a new culture and place expands the mind and opens the heart. Eventually letting go completely and reviving your spirit down to the core. Have you ever dreamed of going away on an adventure living and exploring the world?? YOU'RE IN LUCK!!
This fall and next spring Jessica and I are partnering up to take you away to magical places! One of which has been covered with pixie dust for the past few years aging only slightly. It's a place set back in time and oh so vintage. The beaches amazing, culturally rich and the energy of flow will be INCREDIBLE!! Want to know more?!
Our fall retreat is in the works as we speak! We're ready to explore and take time to breathe while living an adventure! Where do you want to go??? Join us on an amazing trip away from life and take some time for you! Take the first step and sign up for our special Fall Retreat 2016 info List! Let us know what you love, what your passions are and greatest dream place of going is!! We'll keep ya posted and invite you on a magical journey to self discovery. You DON'T wanna miss it!!
Empower Your Practice Online Series...
Continuing with our empowering your practice online series and delving deeper into yoga than just the flow of it last month we looked at the first limb of yoga and ahimsa one of the "yamas". This month we will stay in our yama's (or golden rules) and move on to Satya. Now to start as a reminder, these are by no means a religious point of view but rather a simple set of guidelines put in place to help you get to the end goal of yoga which is enlightenment or inner peace. The movement and flow of yoga allows us to calm and focus our thoughts allowing the quieting of the monkey mind and eventually allowing us to sit in posture for meditation. No matter what your goal is these guidelines help us focus and find our own peace in a world of chaos. Strengthening the body allows us to live a healthy life while quieting the mind helps us to live it happily. Now :) on to Satya… or truthfulness, refers to being honest not only with others but with yourself. Speaking your truth is important in keeping your mind free from self harm (ahimsa). Knowing and honoring your truth is important in the same way as keeping a clean conscience. If your carrying something around with you that is untrue in the end it becomes heavier and more of a burden that just being honest in the first place.
I am a shy introverted person. I love being around people once I know them and actually love to be “on stage” laughing. I do however, need downtime for me and when I meet people I am a bit quiet as I am also an observer. That is my truth. Knowing this helps me move through life is a positive more balanced way. I’m also a person who enjoys challenges and explorations. With that said, knowing my truth or who I am and being honest with myself I put myself out there in situations I may be uncomfortable, this helps me grow. I also allow myself for a reboot session to take it all in and absorb what just happened. I breathe and think and don’t judge myself. It’s about being honest with yourself and what your expectations are from you. If your life is feeling overwhelming taking a step back and looking into who you are and your truth will help identify possible situations you can adjust to accommodate your truth.
That being said it’s also about being truthful with outside relationships too. Never in a harsh way but pleasing people isn’t going to work out in the end if it’s not entirely honest. It’s about doing good and keeping good going in the world. Not every truth is positive but rather can be a learning lesson. This also goes for your practice as well. It was quite humbling to sit out of practice while others where strong each morning on the retreat, but truthfully my body wasn’t ready to move in that way. My ego had to sit aside and let Satya take the cake. Be honest with yourself. Don’t power through something because you can! That’s also blowing through Ahimsa or non-harming. They go hand in hand with this. What GOOD are you doing if you let ego take over and don’t listen to your truth/body? Not very much if you get injured thats for sure. So be honest when speaking to others, so you’re running late life goes on. Make adjustments in your own life and intentions to not be late and then explain as it is your truth what really happened. True friends would rather have you there and honest instead of not and lying. Plus it feels good to tell the truth. However, be truthful with yourself in this and maybe you have too much on your plate that either you can’t fit it all in and need to ask for help or just are too tired and need to drop a few things.
You get my drift :) . It feels good in all ways to practice Satya, for you, for friends and life, and for practice. Integrating little by little helps trigger new habits!
YOGA IN THE PARK!!!! IT'S ON IT'S WAY.....
The weather is getting warmer here in Michigan! Are you ready to start flowing in the park with me?? Well, you're in luck! We will be starting back up as soon as possible, but first I need to know where and when?! Click here to take the survey and let me know what best suites you and a schedule will be popping up soon!!
Stay in the know and subscribe to my events as they pop up! Then you can be the first to sign up and get flowing in the park again!! Or sign up to receive emails on the where and when of Yoga in the park! I look forward to hearing what your preferences are! See you at the hill!
Not in Michigan?! No worries...Take the survey and let me know where you are and what park is near you and times that work for you and your friends! I tend to "POP" up all over the place!
What are you waiting for....Let's Flow!!!
Any questions or comments please feel free to ask or contact me privately! I would love to hear from you!!
Have a fabulous day!!