On Saturday I went to Kevan’s class at Stil Studio. I love this class because it encompasses everything I enjoy about yoga. The music is amazing, the sequencing has the perfect ratio of originality and predictability, and I am always left pondering a new thought. Today I left thinking about technology. Our computers, smartphones, ipads, ipods, and other fancy items are supposed to make our lives easier and are designed to help us get things done quickly so we have more free time. Often times though these things take up all our time and can even result in more stress. We can get emails from work 24/7. We can engage with every form of social media any time we want. We are reachable to family and friends even when we just want to be incognito for a little while. We catch up with friends via text rather than face to face. Don’t get me wrong, I could write pages about all the pros of these devices as well, and I am the biggest offender of never leaving my house without my phone, but it is important to be able to disengage from technology once and awhile. Try and take some time to go device free this weekend.
“Even the technology that promises to unite us, divides us. Each of us is now electronically connected to the globe, and yet we feel utterly alone.”
― Dan Brown-Angels and Demons
This time of year can be hard. There are parties to go to, trips to pack for, presents to buy, cards to send, decorations to hang, the list goes on and on. Often times we rush around for weeks before the holidays, only finding peace and relaxation once they are over.
For me I stress a lot about gifts I am buying for friends and family. I want the gift to be special and meaningful. I want the receiver to open the gift and smile, not because the gift is the newest, trendiest item, but because the gift has some sort of personal meaning and was well thought out. Don’t get me wrong, the gift doesn’t have to have some profound deeper-meaning, I just like it to be personal and show that I spent at least a few minutes thinking about that person before I whipped out my credit card.
If you follow Lululemon on any form of social media you are probably well aware of their “give presence” campaign. They are urging people to try and be present in whatever they are doing. Whether it is in a yoga class, at your child’s school play, at lunch with a friend, they want people to focus on exactly what they are doing and who they are with at a certain moment, rather than all the other distractions that we are often bombarded with. This is hard. I have tried it, and it’s hard. Even if you fully prepare yourself to do this by putting away your phone or ignoring your emails for an hour, how do you stay present at lunch with a friend if they are still doing all those things?
This holiday season I urge you, along with the other gifts you give, to give presence as well. Engage fully in your conversations, breathe deeply in your yoga classes, and spend some an extra minute enjoying your surroundings.
Photo by: Jessica Jenkins
Even Santa struggles giving presence
“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh,
ok readers….. it’s that time of year again and we all begin to find ourselves feeling short on time and stressed to the max! The holidays are here, and for many of us, while they do provide much pleasure, we find ourselves feeling ill equipped to manage our “to do” lists. This is where our yoga practice can be put to the test!
A funny thing happened the other day at a local produce farm I frequent with my boys on the way home from school. We popped in with the agenda of grabbing an after school snack for the long ride home, and stumbled upon a young couple with their two, small, beautiful children. They had a different agenda. They were looking to get a Christmas tree, fairly early on in the season and in my opinion, there was quite a healthy selection of trees! Here’s the funny/sad part, and many of us fall prey to this task of “finding the perfect tree”, but they were all miserable. They couldn’t agree on a tree and the mom ended up getting visibly upset and shouting at her husband and small children. She looked at them and said “you all drive me nuts”! Well, I couldn’t help myself. I looked the dad warmly in the eyes, carrying one child in his arms and holding another by the hand, and I gave him a chuckle. I’ve been there. I get it. Christmas is hard, and playing Santa is even harder, but only if we let it be.
This season try not to let the Holiday noose strangle you. Try and find time for your yoga practice. Get on your mat every day. Slow yourself down. Listen to Christmas music in the car. Warm some cider on the stove. Wrap something you already own if you can’t afford gifts this year and give from your heart. Even Santa Claus needs to find time to get his yoga on!
Happy Halloween! Try and get on your mat this weekend. With daylight savings, the change in seasons, and a lot of candy, you’re gonna need it!
Sometimes I do not know WHAT MY PROBLEM IS! I know deep in my heart and soul that going to yoga rewards me in so so many ways, and yet there are days when, yes even a seasoned yogi fanatic resists. Why? My sister would say because it’s hard. It’s hard to set that alarm clock, or pass up a chance to get to work early. Sometimes we believe that by skipping that class we will free up time in our busy lives, when in fact it’s just the opposite. Going to yoga frees up space in our hearts and minds. We always leave feeling better. Like, every, single, time. So do yourselves a favor, if you’ve been dragging your feet, resisting the routine yoga class, stop. Stop resisting and just go.
Take your yoga pants to a yoga class.
I just wanted to share a cool product that I have recently tried. It is called Shakeology and I was suckered into trying it by a coworker. I usually have a homemade protein shake in the morning, and recently purchased the Nutribullet, but had found it was really hard to always have so many fruits, vegetables, and superfoods available all the time to make the recommended nutribullet shakes. It was also very expensive. Shakeology shakes are packed with nutrients and superfoods, and come in a really convenient packet that you just mix with water, almond milk, or whatever else you might like. When told about Shakeology I was skeptical, but I try to stick to the modo that I will try everything once, and I must admit I am pleasantly surprised with the outcome. The shakes are delicious, super filling, and have not only boosted my energy level but also my mood.I was talking on the phone with my mom the other day and she even commented on the fact that I seemed happier and more positive (she didn’t even know I was drinking Shakeology) You can also get packages that include awesome workout videos and eating plans. I got the 21 day fix because it was the best “bang for my buck” and even though I go to the gym and yoga, the workout videos have been a great alternative when I don’t want to leave my house or when I only have a short amount of time to workout. I have posted a link below if anyone is interested.Feel free to reach out with any questions!
(my personal page link)
(video explaining what is in every shake)
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
If you have a few minutes watch this awesome TED talk about Happiness. Very entertaining and interesting!
“Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~The Teaching of the Buddha
My new sister in law just sent me a yoga mat and I thought it was so cute I wanted to share with you where she got it. There are other styles as well. This website only hosts sales for a few days at a time, so if you are interested go check it out now. They make great gifts for your favorite yogi!
With the Holidays, and vacations, and weekend commitments it had been awhile since I had been to Stil studio. Thank god I was able to get back on Saturday. Kevan’s class was amazing. I had so many thoughts throughout class, but my overall takeaway was how yoga reminds us the we have control over our bodies. Whether it be the food we take in, the physical activity we exert, or the rest that we embrace, we can control how are bodies feel.
“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.”
(the picture is totally unrelated, just another excuse to watch the ad again)