"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness." -Shakti Gawain
Is 15 minutes enough for a workout?
Sometimes, friend, it’s not how long you spend on the mat, but how much you focus while you’re there.
If I’ve learned one thing in the 7 years I’ve been on this journey, it’s not about how long your workout is.
It really isn’t.
There’s the notion that if you’re not putting in 2 hours a day for 5 days a week, then you won’t see results, and that just isn’t true.
If you make the commitment to make it to your mat daily, or nearly daily, for as much time as you are able to free up, then YOU WILL SEE RESULTS.
This isn’t about the quick wins.
This is about the lifestyle changes that create the long haul wins. The wins that mean you can just keep going, to the horizon and beyond.
To infinity and beyond!
It’s the little steps you take that paint the picture of your dream life and your dream body and your dream health.
So if you’ve only got 15 minutes, make those 15 minutes count. (With this new class!)
Give your practice everything you’ve got and I promise you, you will see the results of that commitment.
“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”
– Amy Collette
Today is the last Tuesday of the month of November, and also, incidentally, the week of Thanksgiving here in the USA.
It's going to look a little different this year, isn't it?
Instead of a huge family gathering, with multiple branches of the family, it will remain a small, intimate family gathering complete with zoom dessert comparisons.
What will your Thanksgiving look like this year, if you're celebrating? Let me know your favorite holiday dish!
I know that there is a lot of tumultuous history around the celebration of Thanksgiving (linked with the colonisation of the Americas), and I do believe it worth acknowledging that many of our fore-fathers were terrible people. My family was no where near this continent at the time of the initial colonisation, but as a white woman in the USA today, I acknowledge and sympathise with the pain the ancestors of our indigenous brothers and sisters had to bear due to the damn white man.
But I think it also worth noting that the original Thanksgiving feast was due to harmony between natives and settlers. One of the truly harmonious relationships at that time or in the many years to follow.
My point here is that nothing is ever all good or all bad. There are shades of grey in every situation.
And the perception of every situation is different pending who is doing the perceiving.
And you have the power to choose how you perceive the world around you.
Do you choose to experience a reality based on fear or anger?
Or do you choose to experience a reality based on love and compassion.
And perhaps this 45 minute yoga class will help.
From the safety of our yoga mats we explore heart opening postures designed to break the armor around the heart chakra and allow the flow of love in and out.
We try our hand at expansive, more advanced postures, all the while seeking joy in each moment.
Joy in each movement.
This is a class for choosing joy.
Will you choose joy with me today? I sure hope so.
Happy Gratitude Week.
“Go with the flow. Force nothing. Let it happen – trusting that whichever way it goes. It’s for the best.”
- Mandy Hale
Have you lately felt a bit stiff, a bit stagnant, a bit stifled? (yes alliteration!)
If this season, year, election, virus, quarantine hasn't got your shoulders up by your ears and your body in a protective posture, I would be shocked.
Fear and Anxiety are top of the mind right now, it's true. There's a lot of new and a lot of uncertainty happening; a lot of restrictions, too, that we're not used to.
Our first instincts are to rail against the injustice of it all. To try to create some semblance of normalcy, and blame those that are trying to make things change.
Have you done this? Where has it got you?
But, sometimes, doing this is what's got your shoulders up round your ears.
(Imagine banging your fists against a brick wall will you? Bloody inutile I'd say)(Is inutile a word in English?)
It's so much harder to change, than it is to stay the same.
Sometimes, yes, change happens in a direction or in a time or a place that you weren't anticipating, or didn't want.
That's fair, the resistance to it. It can be right shocking sometimes! We're not prepared!
I get it.
What makes it harder, though, is fighting that change.
Change is the only constant, they say. And it's true.
Things happen when and as they were meant to happen.
They are all lessons, sometimes hard ones, and sometimes obvious ones.
But every obstacle, struggle, or bump in the road is a lesson. What have you learned from this one?
So here, I invite you to go with the flow of these changes. Allow yourself to move with them, to flow, to become fluid, and see where that takes you.
Energy goes where attention flows, so get that energy flowing, see what happens.
And you know what, like my grandpa always said, if you don't like it you can spit it out. I got your napkin :)
I'll see you flowin' on the mat.
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.” ― Nikola Tesla
It is a time to celebrate,
Time to celebrate the end of an era and the beginning of healing.
Collectively, for the world, for the USA.
Whether or not Trump succeeded in some ways as the president of the USA, he is a terrible human being, and that means more to me than policy or money or our standing in the world.
So I am happy that I no longer have to worry about another 4 years looking at his face and knowing he represents this country.
I'm a humanist you see.
There are a lot of different kinds of Humanists, but I consider myself someone who simply believes that our collective humanity comes first, before profit or laws or country, and that we all have rights that should never be stepped on, regardless of your home country, the language you speak, the color of your skin, your religion, or any other myriad of things that make you the beautiful being that you are.
So that's my tangent for the day. I'm grateful that we will have a new president, who will not be perfect, but who, I hope, will be a more compassionate and thoughtful human than the last one.
Speaking of compassion, this class is born from self-compassion.
Do you remember when I hurt my knee?
That's cool. I get it. No one pays attention to me anyway... *slouches off*
Anyway, I couldn't put weight on my flexed leg, so there are a few classes filmed with no standing sequence.
This is one of them.
Rather than building heat through jumping or more intense postures, we build heat with the breath.
In this class we focus on a pranayama technique called Breath of Fire.
Breath of Fire is an AMAZING technique that releases toxins from the lungs, strengthens the nervous system against stress, expands lung capacity, increases oxygen delivery to the brain, boosts the immune system and, my personal favorite, warms you up!
Though we don't move far from the mat, this class is sure to get you sweating, get the body heated, and is an excellent class to come back to in the winter months.
Or anytime it's a tid bit nipply.
Hope you enjoy! Leave me a "BoF YES!" below the class so I know you're doing that Breath of Fire!
“Anxiety's like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you very far.” ― Jodi Picoult
Whether or not you're in the United States, it's likely that you know what today is.
It's election day, here, and it is a day I've been waiting impatiently for for four years.
(I was in France the last round, and cried all day. It was the first time I truly felt that the United States had let me down and I walked through Perpignan with my head down and my shame radiating from my skin)
Whatever the outcome is, half of the people are going to be in turmoil while the other half is going to be rejoicing.
I've got all my fingers and toes and legs and eyes crossed on this one.
So, instead of bringing in more yang on a day that is bound to be high tension, I thought we could all use a little extra yin.
Yin is a slower paced style of yoga, wherein the asanas (postures) are held from anywhere between 45 seconds to five minutes. The postures are used to stimulate the channels of energy in the body, knows as Meridians in Chinese medicine, or Nadis in a Hatha yoga sense.
Oh, I know, now I'm getting into weird yoga things ?
But think of the nadis as simply channels within the body through which your energy flows.
The three main nadis, according to yoga philosophy, flow from the base of the spine to the head, and consist of Ida on the left, Pingala on the right, and Sushumna in the center. You can think of Sushumna Nadi as your spinal column, as it follows the same path, but in the physical rather than the energetic. These nadis flow through and connect all of the main Seven Chakras in the body.
What are Chakras? Let's get into those on another date.
Ok, back to this Yin Class.
Yin is the more feminine energy, tied to the moon, introspection, and fluidity.
The connective tissues within the body: the tissues that are stable, solid, and give us shape. So, in Yin Yoga, we focus on stretching the connective tissue rather than the muscle.
How do we do this?
We practice Yin cold.
As in, before we're too warmed up. When we warm up, we are more likely to stretch the muscles and lose connection with those connective tissues.
So, do this class first thing.
Allow the mat to support you in moments of stress or tension.
And I encourage you to truly lean into your practice when times are tough. That's what it's there for. That's why you have a daily practice, even if you're here for the fitness.
Because physical and mental health go hand in hand.
See you on the mat.