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Inspiration

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

Inspiration, Nature, Spirituality

The Spiritual Vortex of Sedona

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It is a place where roads are named Lizard Head, Broken Arrow Lane and Devil’s Pass. It’s not unusual in this stunning, mountainous region to see cars parked on roadsides for mountain bike riders (young or old) to get their groove on in the valiantly hilly topography of Sedona, Arizona. Through the red, rocky mountains, the stars seem closer than usual at night and the air is cool, crisp and fresh. It’s a place where the mountains are so high in the sky, you have to tilt your head back to see the peaks. It’s a place where peace and serenity abound. Where it seems as though God took a little extra time in painting the scenery. Continue Reading

Happiness, Inspiration, Mindset

How to Be Unstoppable

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Think back to a time when you were a kid…when you didn’t look in the mirror, there was no social media, and when you were obsessed with playtime. When we were young and allowed our imaginations to soar, we were unstoppable. Over the holidays, I was playing with my grand-kids. Within moments after seeing them with plastic light sabers I asked, “Can I play?”  They all yelled an enthusiastic “yes!”.  Suddenly I was Princess Leia and we were running away from the Storm Troopers.  I didn’t ask questions, I followed their lead. We were in a make-believe world of our own, running and playing. We were unstoppable. We knew the ending because we invented the scenario. Of course, we won! Continue Reading

Health, Inspiration, Weightloss

Lose Weight Without Even Trying

Lose WEIGHT

I struggled with weight loss all of my life. When I was teenager, I was 30 pounds heavier than I am now. I know what it’s like to wake up in the morning and feel ashamed that I couldn’t fit into my clothes. I wore baggy tops so no one could see that I squeezed myself into my jeans. In total, I’ve gained and lost over 100 pounds in my life. 10 pounds here, 20 pounds there… It’s been a real roller-coaster ride. Finally, I have it figured out!

Like many of you, I wanted to discover the combination to not only losing weight but feeling great, once and for all. Here’s the secret: Continue Reading

Mindset, Spirituality, Wellness

5 Things I Learned From Being Sick

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It started out with the typical symptoms of sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, headaches and fatigue, but I was too busy to listen to my body. I had been doing a lot of interviews to promote my new book, “4 Minutes a Day, Rock ‘n Roll Your Way to Happy,” in addition to producing our TV show, “Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild”, and chores like cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, etc. On several interviews, I even bragged that “I never get sick”. But God had other plans, and here’s what he taught me when I discovered I had a sinus infection: Continue Reading

Fitness, Happiness, Health, Wellness

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

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On rare occasions we meet people who inspire and intrigue us with their love of life and adventure. Their energy permeates ours and we feel uplifted just being in their presence. Jill Wheeler is one of those people. She is an adventure therapist, filmmaker, mother, wife and yoga instructor who is traveling around the world with her family for a year. (How great is that?!)

I first met Jill several years ago when taking her paddle board yoga class with my son Rocco. The older I get, the more I want to step outside my comfort zone and try new things. The best Mother’s Day presents are just being able to hang out with my son, who lives thousands of miles away. His presence was more than enough, but he also offered to do whatever I wanted to do that special day. Having raised Rocco to be active and athletic, I asked if he wanted to try a new workout with me. Here is how the conversation went: Continue Reading

Inspiration, Mindset, Wisdom

Plan Ahead

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A goal without a plan is just a wish.―Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Do you feel you’re always rushing to get everything done and yet you never do? Although you know the holidays are fast approaching, do you still end up scrambling at the last minute to buy gifts? Though I know darn well when I have to travel days or weeks in advance, I often find myself hurrying at the last minute to do the laundry, pay the bills, clean the house, and pack. Usually, I overpack and still forget something. Sound familiar?

Part of the reason I wrote my book, “4 Minutes a Day, Rock ‘n Roll Your Way to HAPPY” is to learn these lessons myself. So try this with me, won’t you?

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Happiness, Inspiration, Mindset

Taking Risks

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This week I launched my book, “4 Minutes a Day, Rock ’n Roll Your Way to HAPPY” on Amazon.com.  It was a risky venture for me to put my heart and soul, my inner-most thoughts and ideas on paper for the world to read, but I am glad I took the gamble that it would be well received. My goal has always been to help others be happier and healthier by telling my story and sharing the tips and tricks to get in shape that I’ve learned throughout my thirty-three years as a fitness instructor. But it hasn’t been without conflict.

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Happiness, Inspiration, Mindset

Smile More

Smile. It will either warm their hearts or piss them off. Either way you win! —Author Unknown

guitar_pic_whitebackgroundWhen I was working at a radio station in Detroit as the traffic reporter, a coworker seemed to snarl at me whenever we crossed paths. One day, I finally asked her if I’d done anything to upset her. “I just have a problem with people who walk around smiling for no reason,” she said.

Well, I have good reason to smile. I’m truly grateful for my blessings and choose to be happy more than I’m sad. It’s what I want out of life. Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all walked around smiling and content?

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