Life, Yoga

Yoga, I’m back!

“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”  – Nelson Mandela 

Yoga, I have missed you. With every muscle, bone and cell in my body.

While I have been practicing yoga at home and occasionally going to yoga events in the park or classes at the YMCA, I haven’t stepped foot into a yoga studio since we moved to Denver. Why? I don’t have a good answer for that. I still wanted to be doing yoga, but going to a new studio? Yikes! Scary. No one will like me. I won’t ‘fit in’ in the yoga community here. I’m not good enough. It’s too expensive. Yadda, yadda, yadda. The list goes on.  I think FEAR and/or missing my home away from home studio in MN, Green Lotus, was holding me back. I was worried nothing else would compare. How silly is that? It’s ridiculous, but these were the stories I kept telling myself.

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Self-Awareness, Yoga

Alternate Nostril Breathing

Your nose is directly linked to your brain and your nervous system. That is one reason why in yoga we focus so much on the breath. We use it as a tool to calm our minds and help create that mind-body-spirit connection. Focusing on the breath not only brings us right in to the present moment, it also directly affects our bodies and minds on a cellular level by triggering the parasympathetic nervous system. It helps calm the mind and relax the body. The parasympathetic nervous system is the opposite of our sympathetic nervous system, which triggers the fight-or-flight response. Even just taking deep belly breaths can start to change your brain chemistry, almost immediately.

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Self-Awareness, Yoga

Let Go

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.”   – Thich Nhat Hanh

Let go.

This one simple act can fill your life with so much love and joy you won’t know what to do with yourself.

It’s so easy to let the little stuff get to us. To focus on the negative, to hold on to things (the past, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, people, situations, etc) that bring us down. We don’t even realize we do it.

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Self-Awareness, Yoga

Face your fears & believe in yourself!

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop and look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

I have always been very shy and reserved person. I’ve never like being the center or attention or having to talk in front of a group of people…even people that I know! There are certain things in my life that I just never thought that I would (or could) actually do.  If you asked me a year ago if I thought I’d be certified to teach yoga in a years time, I don’t think I would have believed you.

On sunday I graduated from the Yoga Teacher Training program at Green Lotus Yoga and Healing Center.

When I first started the training in september I was terrified. It was something I knew I always wanted to do, but never actually thought it would happen. (Me? Teach yoga? There’s no way! I’m way too shy…I’d be way too nervous!) The minute the opportunity presented itself for me to join the program , it definitely conjured up a ton of fear and self-doubt. My nerves were going CRAZY! In my heart I knew I wanted to do this more than anything, yet my head was telling that I  wouldn’t be able to.

Even though I was feeling what felt like debilitating fear, I didn’t let it stop me. Sometimes I wanted to give up, to walk away, but I didn’t let myself. I pushed through my fears and self-doubt. There were times I almost convinced myself that this was something I couldn’t do, but I knew in my heart that the voice telling me those things was wrong.

I made a decision to feel the fear and do it anyway.

I knew that this was something that would be amazing and life-changing if I let it. This experience was exactly that; amazing and life changing! It was scary at first, but each month it felt more and more like I was supposed to be there; like I belonged there. Even when I had to teach, my nerves would be there, but they’d lessen every single time. Every thing I learned (about yoga, about life, about myself), every fear I had to face and each and every person in my group; it really was meant to be. Through this training I actually started to believe in myself.  My life will never be the same and I couldn’t be more grateful.

If there is something you fear – move TOWARDS it; not away from it. I heard it said like this once: use fear as a compass to help lead you towards what you should do in your life. If something scares you (unless it’s something obviously bad!) that is the universe telling you to DO it. Don’t walk away from it. Don’t give up. Feel the fear and do it anyway! When you face your fear and find your way to the other side…it’s truly AMAZING.

Facing your fears can be scary and sometimes feel really, really awkward. No one likes being uncomfortable, but it’s actually a GOOD thing. I’m learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. It means I’m stepping outside of my comfort zone. It means I’m growing and evolving. I want to live a life full of purpose and passion and learning to getting out of your comfort zone is a huge part of that.

I’m discovering for myself, for the first time ever, that we can really create the lives that we want. We can follow our dreams and they can come true. We are capable of anything we set our minds to. It’s an amazing revelation to me and sometimes hard to believe, but life keeps confirming it for me; over and over. Life keeps giving me more and more reasons to believe in myself and to go after my dreams. Doors keep opening that I didn’t even know were there. I believe it is a direct result of me facing my fears and believing in myself.  This is possible for each and every one of us. We just have to believe in ourselves and go after the life we want.

 Trust yourself. Believe in yourself. Follow your heart. Face your fears.

It is possible and it all starts with YOU. 🙂

Self-Awareness, Self-Care, Self-Love, Yoga

Learning to be present; how meditation changed my life!

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, not to anticipate the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.     – Buddha

For most of my life I’ve had a lot of issues with anxiety. My anxiety level was almost always sky high and I was worrying about something, anything, everything! It didn’t matter what it was or wasn’t. I was over-thinking, obsessing, worrying, ruminating, etc. People would say “Just don’t think about it!” , “Let it go!”, “What is worrying going to do for you?”, etc…but hearing that just made me more frustrated. More anxious. Sure, it sounds easy to let I go, but it’s not. Especially when you are the middle of it, it’s impossible to see any reason. I honestly felt kind of crazy a lot of the time.

A couple of years ago I started doing yoga regularly. I had done it before, here and there sporadically throughout my life, but I never really understood what the big deal was. My mom took me to a beginner workshop to a yoga studio by her house. The moment I walked into this building I was I knew this was somewhere special. The class was amazing and after that I started taking classes there regularly. When I was on my mat, for the time EVER, I was learned to quiet my mind. I don’t think I had ever been able to do that before. It was amazing! I was hooked. Quieting my mind off the mat though, well – that was a different story! I was still really anxious and worrying constantly.

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