Fall In a Cup: Apple Cider

Apple Cider! A homemade fall blend. Perfect for a cold winter day, in your cozy chair, a great book or visiting with friends.

Benefits of Sun Salutations

Sun Salutations bring great focus, healing breath, movement that flows, a calm to the mind before starting your day. Gradually work up to doing one more complete cycle each day. You can change up the poses you use in your sun salutations as well. See my video clip on my blog “To All You Gorgeous Women Out There”.

Teaching Yoga to Children With Special Needs

A look inside a yoga classroom from a new perspective.

Have you ever heard a child laugh so hard from the core of their entire being?  And then you had to start in, laughing right along with them? Then, loving to hear their laughter so much that you have to do something else outrageously funny to get them started right up again? Well that was my experience in yoga class today!! I was both the teacher and the student again as I taught yoga to children with all different disabilities, but all with unique abilities!!

This was my first time teaching yoga to this particular group of students along with their care providers, and their first time trying yoga. I was not sure of their personalities, capabilities, attention spans, or interest levels as of yet. I was told that there were some particularly challenging students at the school that I had hoped to reach out to. I am always up for a challenge myself, so decided today to see if I could bless these kids with my love for yoga. Knowing the capacity for healing that yoga brings to people from ALL walks of life, I was willing to offer my time, this afternoon, to these students!

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Why I Love Teaching Yoga

Purpose behind my love of gifting others with yoga.

Photo Description:  My wheel pose (Eka Pada Chakrasana) on my paddle board.

Continuation from blog post “The Joys of Teaching Yoga”

Reason #2: Bestowing a gift, a blessing of self-compassion.

Have you ever experienced a yoga class for the first time and thought, “Why have I not been involved in the practice of yoga before?”  Or maybe you are a regular class goer, if so, have you been filled with a longing to return the next day?  Longing to be filled with the joy of discovering what your body is capable of?  Have you been challenged to calm the mind, strengthen the body, and bring about restoration and change deep down into the core of your very existence? Have you wanted to let others know about your most recent class and have them share in the same experience?  Have you rested in Savasana at the end of a class, just bubbling over with peace for a rejuvenating few moments in time, fully able to rest your mind, your body, and your soul?  If not, maybe you’ve been walking in and out of the wrong class over and over, rather than the one that is perfect for you!!!

Yoga has become such a part of my daily life.  The calm that yoga brings to my mind, the peace it brings to my spirit, the joy it brings to my heart, and the smile it brings to my face, are all worth sharing with the world around me.  I know the changes that have occurred within my life from walking down this healing road.  To discover pure joy and incredible satisfaction in entering a class as a student and as a teacher each day, cannot and should not be contained only for myself.  I have learned that a passion in life for what I love, is not worth sharing at all, if it is not offered as a gift to others out of the deep emotions of my own heart.

In every class I teach I become the student as well, asking myself the same questions as those I listed above.  I enter each class noticing, observing with watchful eye, and ready with a gracious heart.  Throughout the class I am aware, are the students experiencing their fullest potential?  Have I encouraged them to succeed in helping them make the best use of their time with clear direction, attention to posture, and good alignment?  Have they smiled, have they had a little giggle, have I helped ease their mind of worry, of competing, of comparing?  Have I spoken in love, with a smile on my own face, and brought a sense of peace, of calm, of grace to the room?  Can the students feel my grace enough to want to open their own life up to grace, to compassion for who they are deep inside?  Are they experiencing healing, restoration, and a deeper understanding behind the purpose of this yoga class they have given their precious time to enjoy?

After the journey of a yoga class has come to a gentle close, I know that my efforts were a gift of love,  a blessing from my heart, and a journey shared from my own experiences.  I have traveled down a new path with the students.  Has this path challenged them?  Has it helped them to face the day with greater purpose, and a deeper love for self?  Have I opened up a deeper part of who I am in every class that I teach, discovering the student within as I give of my time to teach others?  Becoming vulnerable to the eyes looking back at me, but standing strong in the grace I have grown to know for myself, gracing others with this yoga that I love.  The greatest blessing one can bestow upon oneself is self-compassion.   It is my hope as I teach yoga that the student discover this blessing for the one life they have been given, the gift of self-compassion.

The Joys of Teaching Yoga….

Why I chose to become a Yoga Instructor.

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A continuation from my blog post, Why Yoga? 

Reason 1:  The purpose and healing art of the BREATH!

I first realized the deeper meaning and benefits of yoga once I started to put into practice the new knowledge I had gained through breath awareness.  My ability to fall back to sleep in the early hours of the morning ………. (even through non-stop, sleep deprive, restless, fear-filled, overwhelming, baby-crying-for-attention, single- mother-in-another-country, nights)………started not long after I discovered the real gift of yoga classes, nearly ten years ago.

Yoga brings about healing from deep within, by use of the breath.  In my deepest struggles, darkest hours I used to tell myself, “Where there is breath, there is hope for my life.” The life is in the breath, in the blood coursing through your veins.  If your breath becomes tight, restricted, unaware, in the chest, short, shallow, nearly non-existent……then issues of anxiety, stress, horrible sleep patterns, hyperventilation, inability to think clearly, to reason, all become magnified and confused.  Adding to that, PTSD, and you have yourself praying non-stop for God to change something, anything in your life to come back to that sacred place of deep breathing, healing sleep, and relaxation.

The practice and focus of the breath is a vital element, a key to yoga success.  It is possible to bring your complete awareness to the breath.  Yoga teaches us to practice the art of closing out all thoughts and fears of past events, triggers from present circumstances, anxious thoughts of the future, burdens, needs, goals, plans for later in the day.  It teaches us the vital element of life, of returning to the gift of the breath, this breath that sustains our very existence, held carefully with a higher purpose in the loving hands of our Creator.

The breath brings the sole focus of life to the very present moment you are living in.  In this still, perfect, unharmed moment you find the road ahead to be one of love, calm, peace, compassion, and joy.  A road to enlightenment, a furthering of education, of deeper awareness that brings about positive change.  The simple act of a deep inhalation through the nostrils, to the very core of your soul; and a long slow purposeful exhalation out through the nostrils, through the crown of your head, is all it takes.  Learning the art of the breath, even for a few brief moments, a few minutes in time, will increase awareness of the beauty of life all around you.

The breath will take you outside of all that is shoved so deeply inside, and give you new vision, new insight, new eyes to see the bigger picture of life.  You will begin to long for, crave, and desire this time for the breath each day, for longer periods of time, saturated in the rejuvenation.  In this time, you will see the world around you through the eyes of the Creator.   If you have ceased the flow of all other thoughts flying through the mind, then you have achieved one of the most vital steps to discovering who you truly are.  You have achieved the first vital step in yoga, discovering the perfection of the breath that you were gifted with the moment your lungs filled with their first full breath of life, with the mind free from the cares of the world.

“The breath is the driving force, the sustainer of life, the first gasp at birth, the last gasp at death. The breath is the sound of the ocean tide, the rhythm of the heart, the beat to our step, and the light in our eyes. The breath creates the emotions of the mind, the love in our soul, and the balance in every day.” Ruth Graupner

God breathed His own magnificent breath of life into the nostrils of Adam, His creation formed from the very dust of the earth, and the man became a living being.

Genesis 2:7

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