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HOLISM -living life whole!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

7f2effead1362c6cad13871b4f2c9b91One of the powerful lessons I learned from both Yoga and HeartMath is how to live my life from a whole being perspective, holistic. Prior to embarking on my yoga and HeartMath practice I lived (like many) in my head, thinking of how life “should” be or what others would think of me as I did things. I often neglected my physical sense of comfort, denied my feelings and intuitive sense of things, while not seeing the biggest picture of how this affected everything else around me.

 

Everyday in many ways I get the opportunity to not only think about things, or believe in things (mental) but also remember to note how I feel (emotional) or sense my relationship with other (spiritual) all the while being in my body (physical) in the experience of it. We all have the potential to live our lives whole by balancing the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements of being.

 

HeartMath shares it this way. We have four domains of resilience that help bring us into coherence.

  • Physical includes: physical strength, endurance and strength
  • Mental includes: mental flexibility, attention span, ability to focus, incorporate multiple points of view
  • Emotional includes: emotional flexibility, positive outlook, self-regulation
  • Spiritual includes: spiritual flexibility, commitment to values, tolerance of others’ values and beliefs

 

When we are cognitive or mindful each day of our four areas of being we are observing our capacity to be flexible in all four; ie to be focused (mental), while physically durable (physical), regulating our emotional responses (emotional), and tolerant of others’ values (spiritual.) The practice for both yoga and HeartMath is centered in our breath as a guide or timeout mechanism to observe all of it and make adjustments when needed!

 

Asking yourself “how does this food/thought/belief/feeling/value benefit me?”, is a great way to move through your day. If you know it will weaken you physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually you just may want to make another choice. Knowing what uplifts you spiritually, nurtures you physically, enlightens you mentally, or renews you emotionally is the self-empowering practice of holism. It is truly amazing how good we CAN feel, if we only allow ourselves the gifts of being present in these way.

 

It is a practice.

It does take time to build.

You will resort to old ways.

Yet when you get back to it, you just may find progress has been made.

It is important to take the time to celebrate the progess! BE YOUR OWN MENTOR!

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Retreat – why and how

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

happy woman in grass istock Are you new to the concept of retreats?  Or maybe you have tried one before but didn’t feel any benefit from it.   In this time of overextending oneself, feeling stressed out and exhausted from the imbalanced nature of work with no play, retreats are becoming more popular as a counterbalance to our culturally stress driven lifestyle.  Choosing to retreat begins as a mindful intention to step out of the daily life pattern you are in and spend time apart. 

Vacations, for many, are just another time to overbook, feel stressed about getting everything in and not missing out!  The hectic pace of the day-to-day life has crossed over into vacations, and you end up coming home as tired or more so then you did when you left. 

Retreats are rising in popularity as they truly give you a time out and away! 

When you retreat it is a time to get away, reflect, care for oneself, find quiet, stillness and well being.  It is a time for solitude.  We come to retreat from a place in our mind to find ease and distance to observe a situation, a sense of who we are or what other possibilities are available to us.  This is called Pratipaksa.

Pratipaksa, like a retreat, is when we step out of a situation, allowing our mind to resolve any problem in unconscious awareness, while the mind is relaxing and enjoying another activity.   It is a powerful practice that I often experience when I make the conscious decision in the middle of a situation to practice Pratipaksa.  Many times I choose to go sailing or paddling when a situation comes up that I am stumbling with.  I let go of the situation, and spend time enjoying Mother Earth and allowing my mind to relax into the spacious nature of sky and sea.  When I am done I often find another viewpoint, or a resolution shows up at my doorstep. 

 Take a mini retreat in the course of each day.  When you start to feel overwhelmed, find a way to empower that free flowing nature inside of you again.  Just a few moments of easy breathing, or an hour of time away from the stresses of life can recharge you completely.  If it doesn’t then it may be time for a longer retreat.

 Look for a retreat that will take you away, give you space, take care of your well-being and support your healthy choices.   If you must, call it a vacation with your friends and family, but deep down inside you know you are retreating, getting away and finding space to recharge your adrenals, clear your mind and nurture your soul.

The key to getting the fullness of a retreat is to let go of the things that stress you, from work to food, relationships or habits.  Find time to be in nature, try something new, be still and find quiet. Above all allow yourself space and stillness.

 I’ll see you there!

 

 

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Traveling Yoga

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

travel-language-tipsDon and I are so very grateful on a daily basis, for the opportunities to meet all of the yoga practitioners that visit us both on Cape Cod and Key West.  Because we teach seasonally in both places a great number of our students are likes gypsies, traveling through our area and stopping by for a quick visit.

We meet some amazing people, share our yoga practice on the beach with a diverse level of practitioners and are gifted with a window into the world of Yoga out there.  And of course, we learn from all of you as you bring the world of Yoga to us through your practice, culture and lifestyles.

I often receive emails full of excitement, query and caution prior to the arrival of a traveling yogi or yogini.  They are curious as to how we operate our business, and are mixed with excitement and concern for trying out a new practice, away from their usual teacher/studio/practice.  Their questions often remind me of the gifts we enjoy while we are teaching out on the beach.

Space Limited – Not here

From some of the questions I have been asked, I have gleaned that many of the big cities charge for mats, and with limited space require pre-registration for classes.  I love that we can still offer mats and props for no extra fee (travel light, no extra baggage needed), and with a large beach area we can always pull up some more beach to accommodate students as they arrive.  We love to give you a “de-stress offering” for your vacation so pack lightly and feel free to drop in anytime.  Our philosophy is that there is always room, space and a way to practice with us.

Distractions Welcome

Another great benefit of teaching outdoors is we don’t have to put any pressure on students to arrive on time.  In most studios if someone arrives late, or needs to leave early, it can be a distraction for others.  The sound of the door opening or a mat being laid down can feel so intrusive, and in the effort to create a calm quiet space for practice, there can be pressure to not disturb that environment.

Well welcome to distractions when you take a class outside on the beach!  Our practice is to find the calm, the centered and the stillness inside, because all around us are distractions.  From the sounds of boats, planes and a city nearby to the call of a rooster crowing a few feet away or laughing gulls reminding you to take yourself lightly, each moment on the beach is punctuated with distractions.  That is only what the ears might detect.

Open your eyes and Mother Nature entices you with a whole array of beauty.  The scene of the sea in its sparkling blue, with some days waves crashing while other days a calm sea until a dolphin or ray pierces the surface.  Be still my heart.  Sailboats, seagulls, osprey and pelicans all fill the sky with a sense of floating, soaring and flying.  Then we are reminded to take a breath, connect to the earth under our feet and ground ourselves back into the practice.

 

Your Arrival is Always On Time

Our doors are always open, literally!  Feel free to come when you can and leave if you have to.  We celebrate when people come to share in our practice, and understand when you may have trouble finding “our studio.”  So if you find yourself running late know that you will be greeted with a smile.  We truly are so very happy to share Yoga on the Beach with you, and certainly don’t want it to be a stressful experience.  So relax, arrive, settle in and join us free of any concerns of what time it is.  The time is NOW, and we take a gentle breath with you joyfully when you join us.

Nature’s Bounty

It is a joy to offer a space for practice that truly is natural in its ability to be spacious, calm, forgiving and free.  Take some time in nature with us to help you unwind from your lifestyle of not enough time, space and even breath. No rules needed, come as you are, when you can and join us for as long as you can.  Namaste

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Righteousness

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Has anyone else noticed how unattractive righteousness is?  I know it may seem like an odd question but for a few months now I’ve been noticing how down right ugly righteousness is.

I have seen it present itself on a road as walkers, bikers and drivers on this small island are vying for their space on the road.  “I have the right to take up the road”, says the group of walkers as they meet up with a group of bikers who believe “I have the right to ride side by side.”  And then a car comes towards it all, adding to the righteousness that their size demands a right to forge ahead demanding all get out of their way.  Scowling, angry hand gestures and/or yelling ensue and none of it looks very attractive (let alone thoughtful or kind.) The righteousness stand off begins!

It becomes so very apparent when two “wrongs” meet and each one wants to stand in their self righteousness and blame the other for doing the wrong.  For instance a biker rolling through a stop sign meets up with another biker doing the same thing.  Neither one of them wants to admit that they may have just seen themselves in the mirrored action of the other, they just want to point the finger of blame at the other for doing the wrong thing.  The beautiful opportunity to smile in recognition of the common action and be grateful that no harm occurred is missed, and what remains tends to look very dark, moody and angry.

For some reason righteousness tends to lead us down the road of actions that appear unkind, especially when we feel threatened or fearful.  We start telling one another how they were wrong, or what they should have done right, both of which bring on a churlish response.  The slippery slope of unpleasant magnifies as the person being accused of doing wrong will often retaliate with more unpleasant. No one is feeling goodness and down the rabbit hole we go…..

Self responsibility, when we recognize that our actions may be colliding with another, can help us tremendously when in collaboration with kindness.  Seeing the situation from the eyes of sharing rather than competing is another way to combat the ugly nature of righteousness. We find ourselves somewhere between courtesy and gentility when we open our eyes and hearts to one another.  In the nature of sharing, righteousness no longer holds its grip on our spirit demanding us to spew out fiery barbs, it softens into a feeling that is reciprocally beneficial.

We all have rights, yet it is a dangerous and ugly spirit within when we see our individual rights are more important than how our rights relate with others.   Two people meeting with the right for space, viewing their rights over another creates disharmony, disconnection, and often aggression.  Yet two people with the right for space, who also see that other’s rights are valid will find a way to share the space in a thoughtful, kind way.  Who knows, they may share a laugh or a phone number.

Self reflecting on your own moments of righteousness gives you an opportunity to offer a kinder, thoughtful and gentle sense of yourself into the world.  As this New Year begins why not take some time to be aware of your own moments of righteousness and open to softening into understanding and sharing.  I’m in on that!  See you at the crossroads.

 

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10 Things I’ve Learned on the way to 60

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

I have been involved with some amazing transformations these past few weeks.

Here is a simple list of what I learned along the way…

1.  I make my choices whether I am aware or not.

I seem to enjoy the choices made WITH awareness!

2. The sweetness of life is magnified as drama is released.

Yes that’s right “drama free living” creates a sweetness in contentment that can not be compared!

3. There are so many ways to live, learn and die.

I embrace diversity!

4.  Resistance exists.

Now I look at how I can live aware of its vibrational chord, and resonate acceptance!

5. Driving up to Miami is not such a big deal.

Especially true when you are traveling with a friend, to see another friend!

6.  Celebrating your birth is a joy.

Somewhere around the 58th day of celebrating I got tired!

7. Pomegranates are amazing, once you get the knack of deseeding them.

Here is the link that saved me: http://lifehacker.com/5895852/deseed-a-pomegranate-in-10-seconds-using-a-wooden-spoon

8.  I am blessed.

Each day counting my blessings expands my understanding of how blessed I AM!

9.  Paddleboarding at sunset with a dolphin is euphoric.

Enough said!

10.  60 isn’t so scary!

My spirit is ageless and the rest is following!

 

 

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