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Emotional Wellbeing, Finding Strength, Fitness, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Meditation, Mindset, Nature, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Wellness, Wisdom

Tearful Yoga

The room was completely dark except for the illuminated “Exit” sign.  As I lay on the floor in a supine position, sweat streamed down the side of my face, arms and legs. Toxins and stress drained from every pore.  It had been fifty-eight minutes of the most strenuous stretching, balancing, and hard-core strength exercises a body can tolerate, but as I lay in my own pool of sweat, I felt elated.  Yep.  Elated.

The instructor, Michael, taught an intense power yoga class which included traditional yoga postures combined with a series of faster paced moves which called for a bit of mental gymnastics.  When a difficult pose ended, another began. There was very little rest. When we were instructed to hold a challenging balance that required muscular strength and stretching limbs and torsos beyond what was once imaginable, my mind played its usual tricks:  leave now and go get a cappuccino…why are you working so hard on a Sunday when you could have slept in and read the paper….there’s a woman at least ten years older than you bending like a pretzel…..c’mon…you can do this, etc…

At times, there was no music, just the sound of the instructor’s voice encouraging us to go deeper into the pose, or take just another “sip” of breath. Serious and seasoned yogis use a diaphragmatic breathing technique that’s supposed to bring attention back to one’s breath, maintaining calm and focus amidst chaos. The mind continually races, however, with thoughts of “I should have worn the black tank top….what am I having for lunch….to…I bet I’ll lose three pounds of sweat from this class…”

While there are many different kinds of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, power, gentle, and everything in between, yoga has evolved from thousands of years ago. Today, yoga is a culture of its own. There are people who do (it) and people who don’t.  You either fall into one category or the other.  There’s little flexibility because many gurus are so serious about their craft. Although I’ve been in the fitness industry for more than thirty-five years as a choreographer, program developer and instructor, I often feel as though I’m out of my league when I attend a yoga class.  It’s a feeling akin to sports fanatics.  You either like to watch games or you don’t.

The yoga culture extends to manners and clothing, as well.  Be prepared to speak in a whispered voice and be cognizant of your space when entering a yoga studio. Smiles are given freely and often, except when walking on someone else’s mat or (gasp!) when a cell phone buzzes. Anger is simply not welcome.

Stretch pants previously reserved for the gym and only the gym are now seen on both hockey moms and dads in and out of yoga studios and worn as a statement; “I can do the splits and I eat kale.”

The lights dimmed with just a hint of radiance from the gorgeous chandelier above me and the music became so loud I couldn’t hear myself or the person inches away from me breathe, or fart, although I’m quite certain that happened to at least one of us during the hour.  It felt like a nightclub scene, but without any alcohol or pick-up lines.

The instructor never demonstrated any moves, and as an intermediate yogi, I was unfamiliar with the sanskrit terminology, so I cheated by looking at those nearby including my son, Rocco, who is currently attending yoga teacher training.  Not realizing we would have to remember sequences, I simply played “follow-the-leader” as I mimicked those around me in the shadows of the dimly-lit room.

At the end of the class, when it was so dark I could only see the ‘Exit’ sign, we laid on our sweaty yoga mats, exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. It was quiet, with only a faint sound of deep, relaxing sighs.

Then, with the first sound of the piano notes, it started.  I felt a tightening in my throat, and heavier, more intense breathing.The music blasted, but this time with a more peaceful, poetic combination of Gaelic, New Age and classical sounds that both calmed and comforted me.  The volume of the music grew along with its intensity to levels that I felt in my bones. Suddenly, a persuasive, emotional wave took over me and within seconds, tears filled my eyes and streamed down my cheeks.

I began to weep.

Salty tears of elation mixed with my hard-earned sweat.

And it felt so good.

Feeling blessed to be healthy! #4minutes2happy #yoga #healthyliving #fitness #exercise

Feeling blessed to be healthy! #4minutes2happy #yoga #healthyliving #fitness #exercise

Health

{WEBINAR} 30-Days to a Healthier Happier Life

I want you to know that I’ve found the fountain of youth!

I know that’s a lofty claim, but let me start by saying I have never felt better in my life, never slept better in my life, never had more energy and never known such vitality, ever!  While I wasn’t looking for another job, another responsibility, or one more task on my list of things to do, these products found me and I have no choice but to tell you how they’ve changed my life.  It’s not a responsibility.  It’s an obligation..and a blessing. That’s why I’m so passionate about sharing it with you.

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After recovering from pre-emphysema due to toxic mold exposure in our home that was once featured on MTV Cribs, I cured myself and my family with alternative remedies like vitamin IV, infrared sauna, and oxygen. What had happened to me affected me on a cellular level. Here’s an example:  When I was getting sicker and sicker, plagued with debilitating migraines and not sure why, there was a time when I thought I was having a heart attack.  It felt as thought an elephant was sitting on my chest!  My husband rushed me to the hospital, but doctors in the emergency room sent me home because they could not see any problems with my chest x-rays.  That’s only because they couldn’t detect what was happening to me on a cellular level. They’re only explanation was “sorry”.  It took many more months of headaches, fatigue and insomnia for me to determine that “sorry” wasn’t a good answer.  I deserved to be healthy!

You know when you feel good and when you feel bad.  Back then, I thought I was dying.  Now, I feel as though I’ve never had this much vitality in my life, and that I just have to share my secret!

After only one day of taking these products, I had a total body transformation from the inside out.  Perhaps even a spiritual awakening. Now, I’m a month into my journey and I cannot believe how amazing I feel.  I wish I would have had these products when I was teaching back-to-back 2-hour sessions at the International Zumba Fitness Conventions!  I would have been unstoppable!

As a healthy lifestyle expert, I feel compelled to share this information with you. If I have an abundance of energy and sleep better, maybe you can too! Oh, and the other side effect is I have zero food cravings all throughout the day! From the moment I got these super foods into my body, I started feeling as though I could conquer the world!

Join me tonight! I can’t wait to see you there.

Emotional Wellbeing, Relationships, Wisdom

Sometimes It’s Best To Save Yourself

 

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“Save yourself.”  That’s what a friend told me after we discussed a predicament involving a mutual acquaintance.

Sometimes it’s best not to get involved in situations we cannot control even though we may think we can be of assistance.  It’s difficult to allow others to make their own (bad) choices and allow them to figure out the predicament themselves, but occasionally we may need to.  Often, it’s best to back away, bite your tongue and save your sanity.

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Health, Wellness

Get Good Sleep

Sleep

I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? —Ernest Hemingway

Getting enough sleep is an important part of being healthy. Adequate sleep makes you look and feel better. It helps boost your metabolism and immune function, and helps your memory. The older I get, the more I appreciate a successful slumber. But getting good, restful sleep can often be difficult.

You probably won’t function at your best if you don’t get enough quality sleep. “Losing four hours of sleep is comparable to drinking a six-pack of beer,” says Tom Rath, Author of the New York Times bestselling book, Eat Move Sleep.

Here are some things you can do to improve your sleep:

  1. Try organic bedding, mattresses, and even pillows.
  2. Unplug any electrical appliances, including alarm clocks, and put them seven feet from your bed, or even move them to another area.
  3. Avoid cell phone and computer use at least two hours before bedtime.
  4. Stop caffeinated drinks at least eight hours before bedtime.
  5. Take a few minutes to meditate, relax, and stretch before you jump into bed.
  6. Make sure your bed and pillows are clean and comfortable.

When we don’t sleep well, we’re worthless and tired the next day. Taking prescription drugs to stay awake or go to sleep adds more chemicals to your body and can contribute to lethargy the next day. Sometimes we overthink problems causing our brain to be on a constantly repeating soundtrack. Create a bedtime routine that includes all of the things listed above and sleep well!

Health, Nutrition

Go Green

juicing characterVegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. —Jim Davis

I have a confession to make: I didn’t always eat healthy. There were times when I was thirty pounds heavier than I am today. Though we had fancy dinners with crystal and china every Sunday after church, we were often served Hamburger Helper, chicken pot pies, and frozen dinners. During junior high and high school, I would frequently have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a bag of chips, and two Hostess cupcakes. I was involved in many sports and sometimes called “healthy” or “big-boned.” Growing up, my nickname was Shelly. Occasionally, kids called me “Shelly with the big, fat belly.” I prayed I would be as skinny as the models on magazine covers.

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Happiness, Health, Inspiration

Make Time for Playtime

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You will find more happiness growing down than up. —Unknown

There’s more to playing than just having fun, though that’s important too! Many of us are just too serious. We seldom have laugh-out-loud fun. Playtime helps us physically and mentally by allowing us to exercise and be creative. Our imagination can be stimulated through a childlike recess. Physical exercise can release hormones in our bodies that create a feeling of euphoria (similar to the process that occurs during sex!). These hormones are also used to block pain. On top of it all, having fun burns calories and helps us to temporarily ignore our troubles.

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Health

Energy Vampires

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Surround yourself with positive people, there are too many energy vampires out there, all to happy to steal your shine.” – Author Unknown

Energy Vampires

An energy vampire is someone who sucks the positive feeling from you, leaving you drained and exhausted. They are also referred to as Emotional Vampires. Unfortunately, I’ve had a lot of experience dealing with people who may or may not even realize the affect their behavior and essence have on others.

My son, Rocco, and I were in an elevator when a man rushed in as the doors were closing. He was out of breath and breathing heavy. He began to thump the button for the 10th floor rapidly, as if hitting it faster and harder would have any effect on how quickly we would arrive. When he exited, Rocco and I looked at each other with confusion and exhaustion etched into our faces. Have you experienced something similar when someone else’s bad vibes cause your typically happy demeanor to become tainted?

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