Thursday, January 21, 2016

JOY / WORK / PLAY / LIVE




If you are like me, you don't have just one job or role you play each day.  The upside is that this variety affords many angles from which to view ourselves and the tasks we undertake.  We may, however, be more vulnerable to feeling ungrounded and even overwhelmed until we discover ways to mindfully approach our many roles. 

So how we find peace, meaning and a sense of purpose in our complex lives continues to be the focus of both my personal and professional exploration.  In the last few years I have been excited to integrate this topic into my classes and workshops, and next month's Women's Midwinter Workshop will be no exception.

Join us as we play, work and build community in the warmth of Gasparilla Island.  Each day will afford the opportunity to reconnect with your body through yoga, recharge your spirit through day trips and experiential exercises that build a deeper sense of self, and reorganize how you approach all aspects of your dailiness.  

Just click on the Boca Grande Midwinter Retreat page above, or on the flier in the sidebar, to get more details about our retreat schedule and Boca Grande.


Immediate registration is easy.  Just use the pulldown menu also located in the sidebar.   








Saturday, November 28, 2015

NOW WHAT DO WE DO WITH ALL THIS GRATITUDE?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ
A still from one of Louie Swatzberg's time-lapse films of flowers
Thanksgiving is a time when we try to stop and acknowledge who and what we are thankful for.  We are also reminded that feeling and expressing gratitude can...
  • positively effecting blood pressure and decreasing physician visits
  • improve relationships with those to whom we express gratitude
  • increase personal happiness and motivation...we do better and feel better
  • decrease anxiety, depression and feelings of isolation
So for the last week we have been immersed in an awareness of feeling gratitude and how it can positively impact our biochemistry and general well being.  

But is all this gratitude only a wellness plan for us and the few we choose to share it with?  

My hope is that we can take the high we may feel from a week of gratitude immersion and use that to go beyond the personal. I believe this heart opening practice has the power to not only change us, but to change our world.  

So while I freely admit that I often fail to capitalize on all my daily opportunities to express gratitude, the idea that this special variety of loving kindness can positively impact the troubled planet challenges me in a way that lowering my blood pressure does not.  

I take Louie Schwartzberg film "Happiness Revealed" literally when it says "let the gratefulness overflow to a blessing to all that's around you".  I suggest we take the practice of gratitude we have re-engaged with this week to the next level by making it our service to the world.  

Be grateful for what does work on our planet, be grateful for all of those who are also trying to wage peace, and maybe even be grateful for those who are in our lives and our world who are teaching us the hard lessons wrought from our misbehavior in the past. 

So that's where I'm taking my gratitude from here.  I suggest you take the next ten minutes to watch one of Louie's inspiring TED talks, and see what you might be inspired to do with your gratitude throughout the year to come.

Monday, September 21, 2015

WELCOMING IN THE FALL EQUINOX



It seems counterintuitive, but just as the hours of daylight and darkness balance in the natural world, the Autumnal Equinox creates a very different internal dynamic.  

Fall is a time when all the aspects of YOU are busy transitioning.  With one foot in summer and the other stepping toward year's end, we often stumble.


Vata is one of the three ayurvedic energies (doshas) believed to circulate in the body.  Doshas are said to govern our physiological activity and strongly influence the nervous system.  Vata literally means wind, and as the fall season rolls on Vata exercises great influence over our other doshas: Pitta (fire) and Kapha (water).

An excess of Vata can blow you off course, or perhaps propel you onto your next great adventure.  I think it all depends on whether we let Vata rule us, or we fully honor and engage with Vata.  

Letting Vata rule can result in over thinking, stiffness,  hypervigilance, clumsiness, dryness and digestive disruptions and a busy/scattered mind.

Directing Vata can minimize some of these aspects, and facilitate movement in the direction we wish to travel.  In order to do this we must work to stabilize ourselves through grounding yoga postures.  I also change the essential oils I use with the season to support this intention from the inside out. 





What postures to focus on this season??  I always try to suggest poses that are very familiar, as we are then more likely to get on our mats and do them!  So keep it simple by focusing on warrior poses throughout your yoga practice for the next few months.  

If you regularly include warrior poses in your sequences, then spend more time with standing and balancing poses.  Focus on your connection to the earth through the feet, and build upward to form a solid foundation in the mid body before extending your reach upward or out.

In terms of essential oils, this is a perfect time to be using Young Living's Thieves blend or DoTerra's On Guard.  Both are a combination of high quality clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus oil.  Thieves will not only help to ground you, but it also provides protection against fall colds by boosting the immune system.


Please be responsible when using essential oils, making sure you use only the highest quality brands. I do not recommend Thieves if you are pregnant, have highly sensitive skin or high blood pressure.
If this is the case, consider using Sandalwood.  Not drawn to the earthy values in Sandalwood..try Vanilla.

Remember that where you focus your energy is where you generally end up.  Give thought to where you want the wind to take you this Fall, and work with mother nature. 







Thursday, May 14, 2015

"We don't stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing" George Bernard Shaw


I've read that we spend 50% of our time in the present moment…which I actually think is a generous estimate.
So when you consider that the present is THE only place from which we can directly influence our lives, figuring out how to remain present for longer periods of time is important.

This summer season I am exploring play as a way to spend more time in the present, positively effect the physical and energetic bodies, inform my yoga practice/teaching, get smarter/more creative, and (oh yeah) have a great time.

Here is what the research shows:

  •  Play eases tension and stress, which aids neuronal connection and releases endorphins….all of which facilitate creativity and even reduce pain.
  • Play minimizes worries, freeing up our brains to help us think in different ways that improve problem solving. 
  • Play stimulates imagination, making learning easier. 
  • Play decreases stress, which decreases cortisol and inflammation.
  • Play has the ability to loosen us up, increasing our capacity for empathy and compassion.  Laughter is also a byproduct of play, and all of these factors facilitate connection with our fellow human beings.

When we look at cultures where rest and play are valued (as in parts of Europe and Australia) we see populations that are healthier and more content than ours.  

So join me for my Cape Cod Women's Summer Camp this August, or for the Summer Essentials Aroma Yoga Workshop on Solstice weekend.  Lets all grow healthier, smarter, and maybe even younger this summer!





Thursday, April 16, 2015

Feeling Spring in Our Bones


The birds singing at sunrise and the slant of the sun both tell us that the season of new beginnings is upon us.

We are shifting from hibernation to rebirth.

But the dampness associated with spring has the potential to leave us congested in both our respiratory and skeletal muscular systems. 

In the emotional body, we can feel some crankiness as we try to release deep-seated emotions so the new beginnings can take hold.

The Kapha dosha (scroll back to my September post if you don't know what your dosha is) is made up of water and earth, which can accumulate in the body over winter.

You may be way into juice cleanses, closet cleaning and full scale expulsion of the darkness of winter.  But if your bones are talking back to you amidst the dampness of April consider this one sequence (in or out of the chair) to build a little heat and oil the joints and emotions.




Yoga for Seniors: Chair Sun Salutations







Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Finding and Following Your Passion

"
"Passion is a state of love and hunger"
                                                                        Gregg Levoy
Connecting and re-connecting with our passion is the hardest and most rewarding work of our lifetime.  
In fact I would argue it is the work we came here to do.

It is the calling of passion that propels us to seek out the best in life, and that sustains us during the difficulties we inevitably encounter in finding our way.

Callings may last a lifetime, or may need to be redefined as we mature.   
What is Calling You Forward At This Time in Life
is the seminar topic for our upcoming
Women's Winter Workshop 
February 27th - March 3rd in Boca Grande, Florida.

The retreat will be held at the Boca Grande Beach Club on Gasparilla Island.  This waterfront locale affords us a private sanctuary to practice gentle/restorative Yoga, share delicious/healthy meals and explore the daily seminar topics in our own way.  

Passion connects us with presence, enthusiasm and focus, yet does not require talent, proclivity, strength or expertise.  

Come thaw out with us in Boca Grande!
 Click on the Workshops Page above for more details and register by using the pull down menu in the sidebar. -->
Join us to fine-tune your calling and recharge your spirit.