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This past week was a BUSY one!  I subbed 3 yoga classes and taught 2 of my own.  I prepared for Halloween for my kids.  I had a playdate for my oldest son, and I did a mommy and me class with my youngest son.  We attended soccer games together, had family dinners, dropped off and picked up from school, cleaned house, did laundry, got some mileage in on the road running, and got in my own yoga practice each day with an additional 2 hour yoga class in studio.

I loved every minute of it.  Why does it seem when you are the busiest, you get the most done?  It is crazy to me that some weeks our schedule is very light and open, and it is those weeks that my house is the messiest and no one has anything to wear.  So, maybe it is focus; maybe it is drive; it doesn’t really matter.  It is life.  Sometimes we are busy.  Sometimes we are efficient.  Sometimes we just need to rest.  I don’t really feel the need to analyze it anymore.  Yoga can brought this attitude of noticing the circumstances (i.e. the sensations or the fluctuations of the mind) and realizing that they are what they are.  They are the sensations. They are the thoughts of the mind. They are the circumstances we find ourselves in right now.  But, they are NOT who I am.  I am that which feels the sensation.  I am the thinker of the thoughts.  I am doer of the tasks in my life.  I am.  This way all “the stuff” no longer defines you.  It is just the stuff.  It is what you have to do now, but the success, failure, or degree of completion becomes irrelevant to how positive you feel about yourself.

In yoga class this past week, I continued to teach rooting in practice to plant seeds for growth in the future.  I emphasized the thoughts of “hugging the line that holds”.  When we “root down” in principle and are grounded in reality, we are able to find that authentic core being inside and live a outwardedly shining life from that light. 

“I hug the line that holds me that otherwise breaks me into two.

I embrace the lighted core like the rind of orange holds together parting segments.

The juice of life’s inner love drips down and melts me into subtle awareness.”

Eliza Lynn Tobin

This week’s challenge pose:  After seated meditation and/or pranayama, do Standing Hand to Big Toe for 1 min on each side.  Feel the rooting from your legs and the hugging into your center line or core that allows the expansion in your body.  Have a lovely week!!  Namaste’

In thinking of my season of change this week, I have made certain steps to let go of things that are no longer working in my life.  I have tried to nurture and develop some of the things that seem to bring positive change to my life and that of my family right now.  It has been insightful and beneficial to our lives so far.  I began thinking about all of this while I planned my 4 Week Fall Yoga Series.  I wanted to create a class series that allowed time to think about growth.  To think about what things we need to shed in fall and plant seeds for growth in the new year.  I had the class structure, sequencing, asanas, meditations, etc picked and thought out pretty much.  But, as luck would have it, a couple of days before the series started, I found a painting at a store.  The painting was a beautiful deep, burnt red (very ‘fallish”) with a sketched person doing Vrksasana (Tree Pose).  When looking closer it had a BEAUTIFUL poem written artfully through the painting.  It was exactly what I wanted to teach to my students!  It is amazing how life provides exactly what you need when you are present, aware and ready to receive.  Here are the words that I will be meditating on, teaching, and living this fall:

I hug the line that holds me that otherwise breaks me into two.

I embrace the lighted core like the rind of an orange holds together parting segments.

The juice of life’s inner love drips down and melts me into subtle awareness.

My feet flex and fold into the ground below me to find the pulpy, soft and sweet.

I’m a planted seed of solidity.  In this boundary of a body.  Ever pulsing.

I pull inward to move outward.

Gathering from the ground.

Growing to the sun.

I strengthen shoot-legs downward.

I lengthen branch arms up.

I am rooting, rooting, rooting and rising back out.

-Eliza Lynn Tobin

Challenge:  This week read these words and then do tree pose two min on each side each day.  See what happens to your “balance”.  Let me know how it goes!!

As I discussed yesterday, we need to be ready to change with the seasons of our life.  Sometimes to do that it takes a little “clearing out”.  Well, today I have done 2 of the things I discussed yesterday.  First, I meditated for 10 min this morning.  Honestly, I did not get out of bed to do it but I was awake, I was focused and I was quiet.  Correction – IT was quiet.  Before anyone got up or yelled “MAMA” from the crib in the other room; before a little squirmy 5-year-old crawled in my bed for a morning snuggle; I remained quiet with my own thoughts.  Really that time in the morning seems to clear the “gunk” out of my head before I get bombarded with more.  I know we all say we don’t have time to meditate.  But, when I get really honest with myself there are moments during my day like this that I have.  It may not be perfect on a zafu, with a timer and some calming ocean noises in the background; But, it is time nonetheless.  And, today it made for a very peaceful morning in my household.  Like they say, when momma’s happy, everybody is happy!

Secondly, I took my littlest one out for a jog this morning in the stroller after we dropped off his older brother.  This too is a way to really clear out left over “gunk”.  I sweat out toxins that may have been consumed through food, and I melt away toxins that have been absorbed through other negative highways…i.e. self doubt, criticism, judgements, etc.  It leaves me feeling refreshed and energized.  Today on my run I realized that I was running at a time I normally have to be at home for my youngest to nap.  This little thought led to a big “AHA” about some freedom that has recently come into my life.  Now that I am not tied to my home in the mornings, there will be more time for me to do things like run with my babe.  But, freedom comes with responsibility.  And I know myself.  If I don’t constructively use this time it will waste away on things like Facebook and web surfing.  I committed during my run that tonight or tomorrow I will sit down and write a plan for this new time.   I will only check email during certain times so that I am not constantly filling holes in the day with computer.  This really seems to waste time and clog time with my family.  I will also devote certain time to writing, blogging, and class development.  This way I do not neglect any relationship in my life.  I will make quality time with my family, while still devoting energy to my own work and creative development. 

During this season of change for me, I realize I am moving from the all-consuming baby land, to the land of the toddler mom.  Very exciting!  Hope that with this intentional thought on clearing out and starting fresh, there will be more positive developments and changes.

What “seasons of change” do you see in your life or in the world around us??  I am interested to hear!!

Fall is most definitely here now!  I love the mild temperatures, the crisp, fresh air, and the changing colors of leaves.  It just feels like a fresh, new beginning.  Sometimes beginnings are exciting.  The ability to try new things, start a new project, and venture into new territory.  But, beginnings can be scary.  They represent change and means letting go of some things that may have ordinarily made a person feel safe and secure.

I was reminded of this dynamic this weekend.  I was an attendant in a beautiful wedding ceremony of a dear friend.  Weddings are all about new beginnings.  Beautiful young bride marrying a handsome young man with fresh dreams of a life together, a family and many happy memories.  It also it the closing though of a chapter.  A father lets go of his little girl.  A mother sheds a tear for the years spent in worry and in caring.  A sister or brother remembers that special bond that will always be there but will forever be changed by that one moment.  It can all be hard and overwhelming.  The beauty in the union is that by the letting go of old ways and connections, new connections and an intercate web of friendships, love, and acceptance for a new life is born. 

Resistance to change is normal.  The beautiful connection that awaits you may not be as visible as the example of newlyweds.  Many times in life we resist change when due to fears.  Maybe we are scared of disappointment so we don’t ask for that job promotion.  Maybe fears of rejection so don’t allow us to ask the new person in the office out on Friday night.  Maybe you worry about stability so much you shrink back from opportunities to explore the world or go on trips because you feel you must always save your money just in case the bottom were to fall out.  And, maybe you simply are afraid of not being accepted by everyone out in this highly critical world  so you shrink from being exactly who you were intended to be.  All of these are real fears that everyone has all the time.  Many times it is these instincts that keep us from being impulsive and acting in irrational manners and making mistakes.  I think it is important to evaluate where we are in this spectrum all the time.  I think it is important to evaluate whether we are shrinking away from adventure or being scared to step out of the box.  Like everything in our lives, we must find the balance. 

Fall is the perfect time to find this balance.  This is a season that will be more structured and regimented – school is back in session, vacations are over so workloads increase, and holidays quickly approach making your time management skills imperative.  In order to shake off some old habits that aren’t serving you and accept some new habits that will bring positive change, here are a few great “spring-cleaning” ideas for fall:

1.  Ask yourself what do you have too much of in your life?  Too much work, too much food, too much drama, too much judgment, too much fear???

2.  Ask yourself, what do you have too little of in your life?  Not enough acceptance, not enough patience, not enough money, not enough free time???

3.  Plot out a clear plan to draw balance between the first two questions.  Ex) Bring lunch to work so you can leave 1 hour early to get home in time to make it to yoga and fix dinner for yourself/family.  OR Plan on thinking 1 kind thought about each person you come in contact with each day.

4.  Eat whole foods and think about where they come from.  Make a point to draw in more nutritious, whole foods where you can actually think about the source of who grew, tended, and harvested those foods to nourish your body.  By bringing gratitude to more meals each day, you will find you are more intentional and deliberate with your choices.  A balanced body and mind starts with nutrition!

5.  Spend 10 min a day in meditation.  Taking 10 minutes to reset/recharge your day, will make you a more productive and clear thinking individual.

6.  Spend 30 min, 1 hour, 90 min…whatever you can build into your day, doing a healthful practice for you body to wear away at the gunk that is weighing you down and preventing change and positive growth in your life.  Do yoga, run, cycle.  Whatever action feels most authentic to you and you can feel the body letting go of fears, resentments, and obstacles.

Making a few intentional decisions each day will begin to clean away the clutter of your life and welcome the new beginnings that the fall season brings.  There is only one thing that is constant in this world – CHANGE.  Learning to embrace it and move with the seasons of life make this crazy train we are riding on seem more enjoyable and meaningful.

I will continue to write about my own fall “spring cleaning” and what this season of change brings for me.  Stay tuned 🙂

“Change is a measure of time and, in the autumn, time seems speeded up. What was is not and never again will be; what is is change.”
-Edwin Way Teale  

So, this past week I did not write very much due to a full schedule that I was not used to.  I subbed a few classes for Susan McMurry of One Love Yoga that meet at Lotus Living Arts Center.  I am so grateful to have had this opportunity…great people, great class, great energy!  I also had the opportunity to be in a yoga video for Yoga Vibes with Kelley Gardener of The Bindu.  Also a fabulous opportunity to be in the presence of some great yogis and be exposed to this process.  I can’t wait to see myself on film…well maybe not :).  Included in the rest of my week was 2 hour advanced yoga class on Monday, deep stretch yoga on Wednesday, a long run on Thursday, and a walk with family and friends on Friday.

In addition to this full week, Tuesday I finished up my series on Yoga and Running at Gotta Yoga University.  These folks were amazing.  They dedicated 5 of their Tuesday nights to come sweat it out with us.  Some reaching out to try running for the first time and others trying to make a commitment to yoga to maintain the health of their bodies while running.  Either way we had a great time together, and it is so inspiring to see people step out of their box and try new things or push themselves to places they never thought they would be.   Many of these folks decided to participate in the Susan G. Komen Run for a Cure 5K with us on Saturday.  Somewhere close to 20,000 people came together to raise money for a CURE!  The energy was fabulous to say the least and many of us got a PR (including me…26:47…YAY!).  Some completed their first race.  So uplifting!

And, if the energy of my week wasn’t vibrant enough, I then took a Kundalini Inspired class with Dolly Staveros today.  Dolly is my teacher.  She has inspired me in so many ways and set me on my course to being the yoga teacher I am today.  I try to take a class with her whenever I can, which is harder now that she lives in Bend, Oregon!  But, the class was amazing.  Kundalini yoga is a type of yoga that tries to move energy through the chakras to release blockages and shadows that may be weighing the body and mind down.  In a typical class, you move and breath in rhythm, doing many of the same moves over and over to release these blockages and encourage the energy to rise.  There is also an element of devotion, lots of pranayama and meditation.  It was a heart pumping, sweat inducing, mood increasing, 80’s rockin’ time (she played 80’s music the whole time)! 

So this past week was a whirlwind of obligations, work, and jumping from activity to activity.  But, the various activities I had intertwined kept my energy and motivation moving towards a positive place.  I feel great this evening.  This is proof that dedication to a practice and to your health is important.  It is what keeps our energy levels up, our bodies healthy, and our minds clear and focused.  I am looking forward to the week ahead of a new running and yoga series, some deep stretch yoga classes, and some great runs with great friends.  Sometimes things are just simple…stay active, surround yourself with good people, be happy!

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Wilmington, NC

Tuesday
10:30 AM Vinyasa at Gold's Gym-Porter's Neck

Wednesday
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MARCH 9TH
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Jessica Hagler King

"Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross, then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own." -- Nikos Kazantzakis
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt