Are You Looking for Trouble?

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My dog Daisy has her quirky ways and her little routines. Rituals to keep things running smoothly in her world, through the years she has trained me to follow her cues. Upon waking, we have some adoring time, that means I get to kiss her on both sides of the face, then one kiss on top and she heads right to the treat jar, out pops the tongue, and she waits, waits until I give her the treat, then we repeat, and repeat again, until I say “no more”. Time to change tactics, she takes a walk around the room, looking for just the right item, sock, shoe, napkin, to run with, until ( I am well trained) she has my full attention, again, and I “make the trade” , giving her another treat, as she drops the item. You get the picture, she starts her day, “looking for trouble”. This is her “story”
Many of us start our days the same way… I recently worked on a client with sciatica. She was on the table, the pain subsided, she was happy, then she sat up, hmmmm, there it is, I continued to work the area, again, she felt good, but, wait, there it is… this went on. I realized, she would probably always have this pain, she identified with it, the pain had become “her story”, she may not have been ready/willing to let it go… Do you have an area in your life that you hang on to? Do you go “looking for trouble” My question is, can you do without it?

“Who would you be without your story?” Byron Katie

Here is a Quick Way to Slow Down

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I recently had an experience that left me wondering if any of us are truly in our bodies in the moment paying attention to our life. I received an email, the writer had forgotten what was agreed upon in the previous email, the excuse? “I’m soooooo busy.” I sighed to myself, I, too, have been there, up at 5:00 am, multitasking, pushing through to get “stuff” done, rushing and racing. I no longer find this a fun or satisfying way to live, this is no longer validates my “worth”. I wonder how many people are living distracted, rushed, fractured lives, why is it so hard to “stop and smell the roses?”
A quick way to slow down may sound like an oxymoron, however, I assure these tips will move you out of fight or flight into a parasympathetic state, you will be surprised how easily you can get things done.
Do Less, Learn to prioritize,
Disconnect, spend 10 to 15 minutes upon waking, and enjoy the quiet before you reach for your phone.
Single task, do you really think you can do more than1 or 2 things at once well?
Use this simple formula, 1, Stop, 2, Notice your breath,inhale, expand your belly first, then the ribs, finally the chest, take a long exhale, 3, Ground, plant your feet under you, look for the four corners of each foot, stand or sit taller, feel the crown of your head centered over your spine,look for your center, 4, Feel, notice what/where you may be “holding” in your body, 5, Observe, try not to judge or engage.

“There is more to life than increasing its speed” Ghandi

Do I like Onions?

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My sister recently pointed out something to me. Since I was a child, I have had distaste for onions, I have spent many, many years eating around them or picking them out of my dinner and pushing them to the side of the plate. She asked me, “how do you know you still don’t like them, have you tried them lately?”  It was kind of an eye opener about being stuck, hanging on, and defending my perceptions. I don’t know. I am sure the only way I will know is to try an onion and see what I think. Is there something going on for you now, a belief you are strongly defending?  How do you know if it’s true or you are just reinforcing a habit, clinging to an old pattern that may not serve you today?

I leave you with this quote…

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.”
Byron Katie,

Getting off the Treadmill

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 In a recent conversation with a friend, she told me “I am caught on a treadmill, the grind, I work, I go home, to start all over the next day, just a grind. It seems little by little, everything I enjoyed doing, I have let go of.” I thought, we all have busy lives, most of us work, have families, friends, and commitments.  I then, asked myself where I could add in more of what I enjoyed doing in my life and subtract what I really don’t care about. Done.  Know what?  Life does look and feel different when you live by your own design.

To all Mothers, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!

I leave you with this quote…

“Slow down and everything you are chasing will come around and catch you.”

John DePaola

Negotiations

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Negotiation has been my word the past couple of weeks, I like it. We are often negotiating during our day – with strangers, loved ones, pets, at work, our dreams and visions. Sometimes we seek “win-win”, sometimes we don’t…

In classes we have been negotiating with our bodies, encouraging them to align for “our greatest good”. We have been encouraging all our parts to work together and harmonize. Everything shifts when one part moves, we could “win” or our posture could unravel quickly. Awareness, breath, and connection are the glue holding all together.

It is important to remember in both class, our bodies, and life, we are all connected, a movement in one part effects another. Stay aware,as you work with the most important relationship you are negotiating, that with your “self.”

Getting your body to work for you

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Happy St Patrick’s Day, Happy Early Spring!

How many times have you heard me say, “Get your body to work for you’? This is my personal goal for everyone studying with me. I want you all to continue to feel the positive effects of your practice when you are not in class, to have the awareness to self correct during your daily activities.

We have spent the last two weeks working with one of my favorite exercises, “The Clock.” We have been working to find the body’s center of power, the core.  A strong center helps us move with ease, effortlessly, have better posture, and balance. A weak center leaves us susceptible to back pain, misalignment of the pelvis, knees, ankles, injury.

Our practice is designed to help break patterns in the body, mind, and emotions. Patterns, that no longer serve us. What better time than this seasonal transition to let go of what is no longer serving you and move into your power?

I leave you with this quote…

“Change is not something that we should fear. Rather, it is something that we should welcome. For without change, nothing in this world would ever grow or blossom, and no one in this world would ever move forward to become the person they’re meant to be.”
– B. K.S. Iyengar

It’s OK to act like you feel

 

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More snow, and more on the way. Most of us have had enough.

A conversation I had with a student about a year ago came to mind. One of my dedicated yoginis walked in and I asked her, “How are you?” “Cranky,” she answered, then became a little apologetic. “Good, I told her, cranky is underrated.”

I meant it. There is nothing  “wrong” with being cranky. We should not judge our feelings, pushing away the ones we perceive as not nice, wrong. Our yoga practice teaches us to observe all our emotions, acknowledge the feelings. We understand life ebbs and flows, we can’t hang onto the good anymore than we can avoid the bad.

So if you are sad, be sad. If you are angry, be angry. If you are weary be weary. You get the idea. Act like you feel, let the feeling express. Stuffing a little cranky down will only give it more energy.

Be whole.