Hello Friends-Happy Sunday

Sunday-Good-Morning-quotes-about-life-happy-Sunday-experience-life-quotes

 

Good morning friends!  Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Sunday!

It’s been a while since I’ve been  able to post anything (two months to be exact!)  Wow!

Happy to announce that the journey of  the 200 hr. Yoga Teacher Training is now completed and definitely a transformation.  At the beginning it seemed like a long road, but once it was over, in my heart I didn’t want it to end.

Have practiced yoga for eight years, and thought I knew the correct way to practice.  Quickly learned that there were a lot of things I found out and am still exploring and experiencing.

Was grateful to have a senior Yoga Teacher (Margarida Tree) who has been practicing and teaching for over 22 years.  Couldn’t see myself taking the teacher training with anyone else.

If you have been practicing yoga and are thinking about taking the yoga teacher training, I highly recommend checking it out.  The website you can go to is: www.oneyogaplanet.com 

One Yoga Planet is located in downtown Fort Pierce, Florida.

Grateful to be back and hopefully will be able to catch up!

May your day be filled with peace, love and bliss!  Namaste, Tammy

Enjoy the Simple Moments

It’s Tuesday-teach Yoga and go home.  That is what I do.  But this Tuesday, I decided to take myself out to lunch.  I don’t remember the last time I did, so must mean it’s been a while.  One of my favorite places to go is The General Store downtown.   If the first thing that comes to your mind is there is no food there, think again.  Yes, it is a store with over 500 different beers, candy from the good old days ( Neco, sky bars), they have more, but now I have lost my memory.   They also have incense, Saki, homemade soaps, Jamaican seasoning, green tea, you get the idea.  It is not only nostalgic, but the owners are like family.   Not to mention that the food is outstanding.    I had a veggie Panini and a cup of chicken turnip soup.   You can sit inside or outside, doesn’t matter which you chose, every time you go, something catches your eye that you didn’t see the previous visit.   When you are there, you go back to when life was simple and easy.  A little get away without spending a lot of money.

So, as I was enjoying my lunch, a magazine called “Charm” got my attention.  It is a small publication for the Treasure Coast, filled with short stories, local businesses and upcoming events.  There was one story that I liked the most and want to share it with you.

PUT ON A HAPPY FACE….AND YOUR BODY WILL FOLLOW

“I heard a definition once.  Happiness is health and a short memory!  I wish I’d invented it, because it is very true.” -Audrey Hepburn

This statement is true because when you are in good health, life is much happier.  There are fewer things to worry about when you feel good.  Even the common cold can play on you.  “How am I going to take care of my family?”  “How does the house get cleaned?”  Workouts, etc.?  

The short memory comes into play as it relates to stressful situations.  Sometimes, the less we remember about things, the better off we are.  I definitely have friends who are in denial or who have selective memory and seem much happier throughout their day.  But we all can’t go through life fluttering around from place to place and person to person.  We make commitments that have to be fulfilled.  The key is “how do we find happiness”  that allows our bodies and minds to keep moving?  For me, happiness stems from seeing my husband sleeping next to me, and then how I physically feel each morning as the alarm goes off.  When I wake up and get out of bed, am I moving slowly as I set off to wake my other happiness up for school, my daughter.  Am I sore from working out?  Did I get enough sleep the night before?  I look forward to my coffee and meditating until my daughter comes flying down the stairs.  That is my morning happy.  

Once my daughter is off to school and the dog is walked and my husband is off to work, I turn the focus to my next happy.  Working out…no matter what else is going on or how I feel, a workout enhances my good mood or can turn a bad one into happy.  In the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise makes people happy, happy people don’t kill their husbands.”  And why don’t happy people kill their husbands?  Happy people laugh a lot.  And laughter, according to Norman Cousins, “is a form of internal jogging.  It moves your internal organs around.  It enhances respiration.”

Vanderbilt University did a study that found that adults burn an average of 1.3 calories per minute of laughing.  Or laughing a 100 times is equal to 15 minutes on an exercise bike.  By the way, children laugh on average about 400 times per day, while adults laugh about 15 times.

From an anatomical standpoint, the anatomy of a laugh is as follows:

There are 12 facial, jaw, and throat muscles involved in the laugh/smile.  Zygomatic, risorious and ocular muscles of the face contract; mandibular muscles also may rhythmically contract.  While laughing, the abdominal muscles and diaphragm contract and the vocal cords uncontrollably vibrate.

Gelotology is the study of laughter and its effects on the body, from a psychological and physiological perspective, specifically to the cause and effect of laughter and stress on the body.  Laughter counteracts stress by accelerating heart rate, increasing blood pressure, and releasing dopamine into the brain(all similar to exercise).  These hormones restore balance.  Exercise and laughter have several other things in common.  They improve cholesterol and blood pressure, decrease stress hormones, strengthen the immune system and increase appetite.

Laughter Yoga, developed by Dr. Madan Kataria, found that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter.  Therefore, a person gets the same physiological and psychological benefits from both.  Through a series of childlike play, breathing techniques and the mind-body/body-mind connection, laughter is generated to increase overall well being.  A perfect example of putting on a happy face…And the body following.  through Laughter Yoga, you teach yourself to laugh even if you are not “in the mood” or you do not see something funny.  Dr. Kataria has said that, “You don’t see anyone dying of laughter, they die because they are not laughing.”  Laughter creates a happy state and  a person’s physiology can reflect that.  For more information, go to http://www.laughteryoga.org.  

Lord Byron said, “Laugh whenever you can; it’s cheap exercise.”  And now we know why.  Take the time to find your happiness.  Laugh as much as you can during each day, and like Eleanor Roosevelt said, you will find that your “happiness and well-being will be a by-product of a life well lived.”

If your mind and body will believe whatever you tell them to, then by all means, tell them to be happy.  Do the things you need to do to induce happiness.  And remember, if you put on a happy face, your body will follow.

Article by Nancy Matican Bock

A Sun Shiny Yoga Fest Sunday

This is a particularly exciting day, at least for me!  The first Yoga Festival in Port St. Lucie, Florida.  Also the first time that I will be exposing my art to the community.  Excited and somewhat nervous.

I send my gratitude to Down To Earth Yoga for opening up their heart and booth space to display the art.

So, let’s move on to the focus of this day.  The event took place at the Civic Center where local artists, businesses and yoga instructors gathered together outside surrounding the fountain area.  (The specific fountain area is fairly vast and  in the center of the front of the building, temporarily off).

As I walked onto the grounds, I noticed everyone was setting up and preparing so they would be ready by 10:00.

I helped Down To Earth set up their booth and then placed my art in its space.  We finished early, so I walked around a bit to take a quick glance at everyone who was gathered here.  There was a variety for all, from purses to homemade soaps and oils, bags for yoga mats, henna tattoos, homemade chocolates, Pampered Chef, the list goes on and on.

There were some particularly beautiful people who really touched my heart.  Party Lite was one and all the women who were representing just had a glow and warmth that was inviting.  If you have never heard of Party Lite, they sell candles and create beautiful centerpieces and other items along that line.   But it wasn’t just that, on the other side they started “Love Your Neighbor”, an organization to spread love all over St. Lucie County.  Plain and simple, neighbors helping neighbors.  Every month they strive to serve families with hardships.  In simple, yet loving ways they bless families by donating clothing, food, household items, and/or gift cards.  Their mission is to show folks in the community that they care about them and their lives.  Give them hope.  A beacon of light in a time when many neighbors are losing jobs, homes, loved ones, and health.   When I heard about this awesome organization, the question popped in my head: “What if all communities worldwide did this?”  What a huge blessing!

Now we come to the second beautiful spirit which was Nicole!  She and Dottie accompanied the booth directly behind us which displayed Akea Essentials.  Akea Essentials is pure whole food power of the World’s Longevity Hot Spots.  There are over thirty organic superfoods, probiotics, enzymes and minerals….recipe for Hot Spot Health!  Akea’s mission is to have a profound, positive impact on your health, the health of your family and the health of your community by helping you easily incorporate the principles of the world’s healthiest people into your lifestyle.  Nicole was nice enough to give me a sample of the whole food supplement, which is in powder form that you can mix with water, coconut water or breakfast smoothie.  I decided to mix it with coconut water and it was a clean and energizing way to start the day! www.organicgirl.akealife.com

Wait, there’s more!  Nicole had let me know she liked a particular piece of my art.  She also had some jewelry pieces she made, one of them were crafted out of a spiral notebook wire, made into a heart shape.  At first, I negotiated a price, but then she replied: “want to barter?”  I said: “sure!”  I was grateful to have met Nicole and to own some of her beautiful work.  In addition to those two areas, she has opened the Treasure Coast Reuse Center, which I think is great!  A beautiful woman inside and out!

Yoga classes were about to begin, which were being held in the grass.  There were a variety of instructors who shared mediation, breathing techniques, hot yoga, anusara and power yoga.  All the classes were free and everyone joined, even the kids!

It is now 2:00, time to shut down and head home.  One last announcement from the woman who put the event together, thanked everyone for coming and what a great turnout.

I was noticing that everyone started to rush to get things put away and to their vehicles, thinking why?  Someone told me that the huge fountain I talked about earlier came on at 3:00 and the water spray was wide enough to give us all a bath and then some!  To many pictures in my head to explain.

A great event for everyone to come together and share their gifts.  Most of all to have fun!

Occupy Yourself Outside of the Box

   Posted on March 8th, 2012 by in LifeLessons           I’m beside myself with worry.

I can see my mother standing at the kitchen sink in our childhood house, her hands immersed in soapsuds, proclaiming this. It was a phrase she used a lot when I was young. How confusing to my childhood brain! There she was, standing in front of me, clearly only one mother, not two. How could she be—beside herself?

I’ve been thinking about this phrase a lot these days, which, according to the Dictionary of Word Origins by Jordan Almond, was used “because the ancients believed that soul and body could part and that under great emotional stress the soul would actually leave the body. When this happened a person was ‘beside himself”.”

Living yoga off the mat seems to be the ultimate coming together of self—the unity, the yoking of body, mind, and spirit—the antithesis of being “beside one’s self.” My mother was speaking her 1950s understanding of how to cope with stress and with feelings. Hers is the model that I learned, the model that today brings me suffering. As 2012 unfolds, I am committed to practicing the ancient and ultimately relevant model of unity consciousness, a powerful and effective way to cope with life. As I come into awareness of what is, as I relax around it, transformation occurs.

When I notice my body feeling quirky and creaky—when I recognize that my thoughts are habitual and racing toward imagining the worst of me, of you, and of life—when I find fear nibbling at my spine—these are the moments to come into myself. To relax into the physical sensations, to soften around the crazy thoughts, to wrap myself up in a blanket of radical acceptance for this moment, just like on the yoga mat—to bring my awareness directly to those places of sensation as a blessing of presence—all open the door to change.

Using the phrase coined by my colleague, Annie Kay, I choose to Occupy Aruni, to dive into myself, to notice, to embrace, to relax—and to realign my thinking, my perspective, toward the positive.

Occupy Aruni. This is my 2012 proclamation.

That is where I can end my struggle with the moment. That is where I can savor what is, and not obsess about what isn’t.

That is where transformation happens.

My 2012 urging to us all: Occupy Yourself.

How do you occupy yourself in your daily life?

My Dark Day Became Clear the Moment This Child Appeared

This post is coming in late and I want to apologize for my absence.  Hope you all are having a peaceful and happy weekend!

The time is Thursday at 9:00 a.m. and Yoga class is about to begin.  The students are gradually coming into their sacred space and laying down mats with conversation filling the air.  As we are all having our little talks, the doors slowly open and I first see little Yogi feet.  I was kind of having a gloomy day, but when I saw that it was a beautiful ray of sunshine, I instantly knew my day would be different.

One of the Yogis that has come for a while had brought her little one to experience Yoga.  (Out of respect for my student, I will be using a fictitious name).  Her name was Chloe and I cannot begin to describe how cute and bubbly she looked.

She walked over to me and I asked her if she was ready to do some Yoga, she just shook her head yes, being shy like any three-year old.

As we began the class with meditation, I would open my eyes every few minutes just to see her little face.  She had her eyes closed and was in her own little moment.

I told the group  that today’s sequence would be a restorative one.  All of the postures are relaxing, restoring and regenerative.  During this time there is not much movement and requires one  be still and silent.

The first posture was Savasana (which is also called corpse pose), I prefer to call it complete relaxation.  Just something about the word “corpse” gives me an uneasy feeling.  So everyone laid down on their mats and were still for five minutes.  Chloe did well in the beginning, but you know the three-year old button soon started going.  I do have to say that even though she got restless, she was still silent.

Now it was time for legs up the wall pose.  It consists of laying on your back and extending your legs with your heels touching the wall.  Closing your eyes and resting for five minutes. (This posture is really good for your nervous system).  Chloe was not too keen about this one, so she sat on her mom and was facing me, still being quiet.  We were making eye contact with each other and smiling.  To keep her mind busy, I started to do some poses of my own and she was doing them too.

After five minutes, everyone slowly came out of legs up the wall and sat in easy pose for a minute.  So, I decided to ask Chloe if she would do a Yoga pose.  She was being shy still.  I said: “can you do downward facing dog?”  She shook her head no, but her mom said she knew how.  I got into downward facing dog to see if she would do it too, but she didn’t want to play that game.  It was okay, I was having fun just having her join class.

We came back to our sacred spaces and did a few more postures, which Chloe made it all the way until we were ready for the last relaxation, then her silent button was ready to go outside to turn the voice button back on.

Before they left, she came over to me and gave me a hug!  No words can describe how happy that made me feel.  Then she hugged me again, and I shook her hand and told her it was nice to have met you!  She smiled and they were on their way!

I can’t begin to tell you how blessed I was to have Chloe there that day!  It was as if Spirit knew what I was feeling.

You never know who is watching over you and who may bless your life!

May you be peaceful and happy!

Tammy

Yoga: Union of Mind, Body and Spirit Whether Your Eight or Eighty

September 2011: The turning point on this journey of life.  Yoga was a part of my daily routine, but I was not really engaging the entire spectrum of the Yoga lifestyle.

Even though I was not fully quenched with the benefits, I had a wish to bring Yoga to others for some time.  Some may call it a dream, and there were days when I believed that it was just a dream, maybe more of a fantasy.

The passion to help others when possible has always been a part of my human development.  I have to give credit to my parents for teaching me to be kind always and do your best to keep smiling in any situation, good or bad.

The first part of this post  reads: “September 2011: The turning point on this journey of life.”  The chance to share Yoga with others was not a fantasy anymore, it had become a reality.  I had talked about teaching Yoga with Janice, the Reverend of Unity Spiritual Center and she told me I could use the center to teach Yoga.

So, Yoga began with class on Monday at 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.  I was so grateful to be able to share Yoga that the first class was FREE and the turnout was great!  On that day there were several students who signed up to receive more.  Again I felt blessed and so joyful!

As the months have come and gone, there have been many beautiful and loving people who I have met as well as developed a friendship.  Classes are not just joining into a room and doing postures together, it is a family who communicates with each other and shares life experiences.

Until recently Monday was the only day that Yoga was available.  A couple of weeks ago an opportunity had opened up to add extra days so more students could join in the Yoga family.  My heart filled with excitement!  Now there was Yoga on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Students were happy as well because they could come more than one day.

So, this past Thursday I had the pleasure to have two of my Yoga sisters which were my mom and Denise.  My mom had brought a woman who I had not seen in twenty years!!!!  ( I am still shocked at that number).  Her name is Ginny and has been a friend of the family since my childhood.  It was her first time in a Yoga class and she had looked the same as when I first met her.

We hugged and asked how each other had been.  Now I just have to tell you that she a sweet and petite woman from Kentucky with blue eyes and a bubbly personality.  A few minutes had passed and out from her mouth came that she was 80!!!!  The whole time I was thinking that she was only in her sixties.  As we were going through the Yoga flow, I kept looking at her and for the little time we had spent together I was seeing my grandmother who had passed on when she was in her sixties.   I felt like I was able to connect with her in a spiritual sense.  (Now I know that might seem a little weird to some, but I believe that everything comes back to you in some way).

Each moment in life is a connection to another.  We are all blessed with the opportunity to love everyone we meet.

Life is a precious gift, treasure the times you are given, whether good or bad, all of them have a purpose for your journey.

May everyone have peace in their thoughts, peace in their words and peace and love in their hearts.

Peace and love to you all,

Tammy

Healing the Pain

Having joint pain everyday limits your ability to enjoy life to the fullest.  There are some of us who have pain caused by past injuries which create inflammation and then ones who are born with limitations.  Whatever the situation may be-pain is not in the fun schedule.

There are many ways of healing this particular pain.  The majority of us may chose the easy way, which is medication (by the way most doctors would smile at this decision), but that is not the only cure.

I am one who suffers with pain in my foot everyday.  Being born with club feet, or also known as “pigeon toed”, has not been an easy road to travel.  One of the disadvantages as I age is the onset of arthritis.  For me, the medication line is not one that I want to participate in.  So, I researched an alternate method.

Believe it or not,  I practice Yoga on a daily basis.  Doing this has not only transformed my body, but also my mind and spirit.  I start with ten to twenty minutes of meditation. (Note: If you are new to mediation, you may want to start with five minutes and increase your time as your body allows).  When you have done meditation for a long period of time, you will begin to focus within and let the outside world disappear from your mind.  (Note:  This experience will not happen overnight, it took me a while to relax and focus on the moment.  Give it time and allow it to cover your being.)  Whatever you do, don’t force anything you do, in time it will come.  Your body knows it’s limits.

After your meditation time, you can move on to starting with a basic Yoga class and then add on as you become stronger and more flexible.  This is one of the many that I do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C639ArXu1iw&feature=colike

If you practice on a regular basis you will see the benefits and it may surprise you how well you and your body feel.  One of the benefits I have reaped is the ability to be able to walk in the morning when I first get up.  Now, you may be saying: “what do you mean walk?”  Every morning  my foot is so cramped up and painful that I cannot even step on the floor.  It’s like my whole leg is locked.  That’s the way it used to be.

I have been practicing for about two years and now I am able to get out of bed and walk!  For me, that has lifted my spirit and encouraged me to keep a daily routine of Yoga because I know it is a healer! 

Yoga is union.  Union of one’s mind, body and spirit.  Together they cultivate the divine inner strength and reveal the light in you!

So, if your frustrated and tired of dealing with pain, try Yoga-believe me you will be glad you did, I know I am and never will look back.

Hope this will help and if you do try Yoga, please leave a comment to let me know how you are doing.  I would love to hear from you!

May the long time sun shine upon you, all light surrond you, and the pure light within you guide your way on.

Namaste