Sunday, November 30, 2008

first snow

It was so nice to wake up this morning to a thin blanket of snow on the ground. I finished putting up Christmas decorations yesterday, and now that it is snowing, I am ready for the Christmas/winter/holiday season. As much as I would like to live in a place where winter only lasts for 3o days (does such a place exist?)--as this gives me just enough time to enjoy sitting by the fire, sipping hot cocoa, and layering on clothes, hats, and gloves,--I cannot imagine living somewhere where there weren't the four seasons to enjoy and remind one of the cycles of life.

Enjoy your day. Stay warm and cozy.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving prayer

Thank you
for my life, my body, my health, my home,
my husband, my family, my friends,
my practice, my pets,
my journey, my lessons, my growth,
my style, my soul, my breath,
my being,
Thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

give thanks

As we approach Thanksgiving, one of my most favorite holidays, here are some thoughts on gratitude:

"Nothing purchased can come close to the renewed sense of gratitude for having family and friends." --Courtland Milloy

"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven." --Johannes Gaertner

"Whatever we are waiting for--peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance--it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart." --Sarah Van Breathnach

"The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure ,wonder, and even ecstasy."
--Abraham Maslow

"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough." --Eckhart Tolle

I have made little cards out of card stock for each member of my family. On each card is one of the above quotations about gratitude. Under the quote there is space for each person to write a list of things they are thankful for. I think this will be a nice way to try to keep the focus on giving thanks rather than just eating and football.

I fully believe that giving thanks is one of the secrets to a long, healthy, and joyful life:
Live with a spirit of gratitude.


Monday, November 24, 2008

do yoga

I found this list written by yoga instructor Erica Rodefer, on It made me smile, so I thought I'd share it with you this Monday morning. Enjoy!

10 Reasons to Do Yoga

1. You noticed your shoulders creeping up toward your ears . . . again. Yoga helps manage physical, mental, and emotional signs of stress.

2. Your yoga mat really brings out the color in your eyes. ;)

3. If someone gives you one more thing to do you feel like your head might explode. Yoga lets you slow down, take deep breaths, and encourages you to do one thing at a time.

4. You're worried about the state of the world. You can make an impact simply by setting an intention, taking care of yourself, and emitting a positive energy into the universe.

5. If you ever want to touch your foot to the top of your head, you better start practicing now.

6. You ate pizza and popcorn for dinner last night. The increased awareness yoga class brings will spill over into other areas of your life—just like the soda you spilled onto your keyboard while you were checking your email.

7. A yoga studio is the perfect place to pick up girls. (If picking up girls isn't your thing, it's also a really great opportunity to make new friends.)

8. Two words: Yoga Butt. You can be one of "those people" who look fabulous in spandex. And even if you're not, a regular yoga practice will bring out all of your most beautiful features—inside and out.

9. It will make you more popular. Trust me. People will like being around you more when you're calm, balanced, serene, and uplifted from your post-yoga buzz.

10. A Monday yoga class will set the tone for a great week! It takes just an hour to align your body, mind, breath, and spirit.


Sunday, November 23, 2008

you are your guru

When instructing yoga classes, I always encourge yoginis to view me only as a guide, and to know they themselves are the experts on their bodies--only they know exactly what they are feeling and experiencing in each moment and in each posture.

As a counselor, people often assume my role is to give advice; however, from my philisophical standpoint, my role is to aid the person who is having a problem in figuring out for themselves what he or she needs to do in any given situation.

With all the messages we receive from family, friends, and the media it can be easy to forget that we are the experts on our bodies, our minds, and our lives. There are many teachers out there, and it's important to be open and learn from them, but ultimately we can and should be the guru in our own lives.

Here are three yogathoughts for the day on this topic:

"I know this could be a surprise for my mom, but I have to reveal it. I'm no longer my self. So please stop talking about what I think because I don't think that anymore. Thanks in advance." --Stephen Hawking

"Every time you don't follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness." --Shakti Gawain

"To know what you prefer insteand of humbly saying Amen to wht the world tells you you ought to prefer, is to have kept your soul alive." --Robert Louis Stevenson

Trust and embrace your inner guru.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

sweet cigars and santosha

Sweet Cigars...this is the birthday dessert I had instead of birthday cake. It is funnel cake sticks in a lemon custard with fresh berries. Yes...I realize it's full of sugar and not a very healthy choice, but it was my birthday. (At least it had fresh berries, so it's semi-healthy, right!?!)

On a much more healthy note, I went to a 90 minute eclectic hatha yoga class last night. This particular class is titled eclectic hatha because the instructor mixes it up a lot and you never quite know what you're going to get. Last night's class ended up being a very slow and deep yoga class. We were on the floor the entire class and held every posture for 2 minutes. After about the first 20 minutes of class I concluded that the entire class was going to continue to be a slow, deep stretching class. After my initial disappointment at this realization and my yearning for a more physical, fluid, sweat-inducing yoga class, I experienced a yogic ah ha moment. I recognized my attachment to wanting my experience to be a certain way, feeling disappointment that it wasn't that way, and was then able to completely surrender to what my experience actually was.

I found myself practicing santosha--or contentment. With this surrender, acceptance, and contentment came so many sweet and juicy sensations I know I would not have had if I had stayed in a place of thinking, resisting, and judging. The class didn't end up being what I expected or wanted, but it was exactly what I needed. I know if I had stayed in that place of discontentment, I would have missed out on the yumminess of the entire experience.

Practicing santosha is definitely important both on and off the yoga mat. We live in a society that consistently promotes discontentment. Truly, in the media there is almost always an undercurrent of the expectation that one should never be satisfied or content in life. Sadly, this discontentment with what is, is a sure way to be miserable, and there does seem to be a lot of miserable people out there. Once again, back to my strong belief that if everyone had a regular yoga practice we could change the world!

A few last thoughts about santosha...Contentment does not mean complacency. It does not mean stagnation. It is a place of serenity and connection to the moment. It is a step towards emotional maturity and peace. It is a moving with the flow of life, rather than against it.

Wishing you much sweetness and santosha in your life. Goodnight.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

servant or master

"I will still practice (yoga) 'til the last breath of my life so that I do not become a servant of the mind, but rather a master of the mind." --B.K.S. Iyengar

I must admit lately I've been feeling much more like a servant of the mind than a master of it. I am at least aware when my monkey mind (swinging from thought to thought to thought) has taken over, but I have been struggling to get it to stop. This past week, I talked with a lot of upset kids, and I often feel like I too easily absorb the energy of those around me. Between this energy and my monkey mind, I am feeling unsettled. I will continue to breathe and check in with present, so that I will have a few moments when I can say I'm the master of my mind rather than a servant to it.

On a completely different topic, I am so excited to see the sun shining today! For the past three days, it has been very overcast and cold, cold, cold! Winter has definitely arrived. Last night, hubby built us our first cozy fire of the winter season. Love, love, love the smell, sound, and ambiance of a fire. Yesterday, I also got a little birthday cash from my dad, and I was thrilled to find the cutest ever arm warmers and scarf at Target last night...perfect for the upcoming winter months.

Here are a few things I enjoy during the wintery season:

*warm, cozy, fires
*lampe berger "heavenly spruce" scented oil
*fun arm warmers, scarves, and hats
*cute coats
*yoga flow in a well heated room
*hot baths
*lounging around the house in my warm, soft robe with slippers
*hot cocoa

Here is a mantra for the day:

"I always have the ability to take a breath, be still, and be the master of my mind."



Yesterday afternoon when I got home from work, I was excited to see my newest edition of Yoga Journal in my mailbox. I just finished up reading it from cover to cover. On the very last page there is an interview with B.K.S. Iyengar, a 90 year old man who created the Iyengar style of yoga. Here is a bit of wisdom from the interview with this yogi sage:

"From the perspective of someone turning 90, what do you think is essential for a happy life? Uniting the energy of the body with the energy of the soul. There is a difference between happiness and delight. Happiness is at the mind level. Delight is beyond the mind. When you see a sunset, you don't see it from the mind. You see it beyond the mind, from beyond yourself--it's an experiencing state. My asana is all beyond the frame of mind, not within th frame of mind. That is delight. Happiness is sensual happiness. But delight is spiritual happiness."


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Here is your yogathought for the day:

Fully embracing and giving your authentic self to the world is the greatest act of service possible.


Monday, November 10, 2008

recovering perfectionist

I have struggled with perfectionism most of my life. Now that I'm into my 30s, I feel like I'm definitely on the road to perfectionism recovery. It has taken a lot of work, but it's definitely been worth it. I know I have times when I fall back into old perfectionist tendencies and thoughts, but overall I'm doing well.

Here are a few thoughts on perfectionism from Julia Cameron's fabulous book, The Artist's Way. See if any of these ideas resonate with you:

"Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop--an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole."

"The perfectionist writes, paints, creates with one eye on her audience. Instead of enjoying the process, the perfectionist is constantly grading results."

"To the perfectionist, there is always room for improvement. The perfectionist calls this humility. In reality it is egotism."

"Perfectionism is not the quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will every be good enough--that we should try again."

"Usually, when we say we can't do something, what we mean is that we won't do something unless we can guarantee that we'll do it perfectly."

"Question: What would I do if I didn't have to do it perfectly?"
Answer: A great deal more than I am."

"We've all heard that the unexamined life is not worth living, but consider too that the unlived life is not worth examining."

Think about it.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

totally inspired

This evening I found myself going to the local movie gallery in hopes of finding an uplifting and inspiring flick. I didn't have a particular movie in mind and was delighted to find one copy of Kris Carr's documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer. I just finished watching it, and I am completely humbled and inspired. Carr's courage, truthfulness, determination, tenacity and strength in the face of illness and disease is absolutely amazing. I plan on keeping her message of living fully and living well in the forefront of my mind. Next time you're looking for an inspiring movie, I highly recommend you seek this one out!

Live fully. Live well. Goodnight.


sacred sunday

This morning I slept in until 7:00 a.m. (yes, that is sleeping in for me). It felt heavenly. Hubby is out in the woods, so the pups and I have the house to ourselves. I am lounging in my newly purchased pjs from Victoria's Secret. I got a $10 off coupon for my birthday month and these cute satin tied pj bottoms were on sale for $20, so I got them for the bargain price of $10.00 + tax. I adore the cute little ruffle that's been added to the bottom of the pant. I own two pair (ok, maybe I have a pj addiction, too) of the older version without the ruffle, and was excited to see the cute addition.
I am sipping my decaf brew, smelling my "Winter" scented home fragrence oil (from Bath and Body Works), listening to a chill chick music playlist I created, and blogging. It's a wonderful life!
Here is your yogathought for the day:
"Listen to your inner callings, ignore how others might want to direct your life energies, and allow yourself to radiate outward what you feel so profoundly and deeply within you. There is a reservoir of talent, ability, and intelligence inside of you that's endless and inexhaustible."
--Wayne Dyer
Wishing you a sacred Sunday full of bliss!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I am

Here is your yoga mantra for the day:

I am light.
I am love.
I am responsible for the energy I bring to every experience.


Thursday, November 6, 2008

moving into stillness

While in Barnes and Noble on Tuesday, I picked up Erich Schiffman's book Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness and immediately knew this was a book I was adding to my must-read list! Here is just a short excerpt on stillness:

"Imagine a spinning top. Stillness is like a perfectly centered top, spinning so fast it appears motionless. It appears this way not because it isn't moving but because it's spinning at full speed. Stillness is not the absence or negation of energy, life, or movement. Stillness is dynamic. It is unconflicted movement, life in harmony with itself, skill in action. It can be experienced whenever there is total, uninhibited, unconflicted participation in the moment you are in--when you are wholeheartedly present with whatever you are doing."

Wishing you much stillness, peace, and joy.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

glorious day

I have the day off from work, and I decided instead of making plans , I would have this be a "do what ever I feel like in the moment day." I can tend to be a very planned and scheduled gal. I definitely believe each of us needs these types of days at least once every two to three months. Our lives can get so busy, so scheduled, so cram-packed full that we can easily forget how to listen to what our intuition and feelings are telling us. We can easily forget to take time to enjoy ourselves! Today, I have no responsibilities, no plans, no to-do's (except to vote of course), so I can totally go with the flow.

I woke at 6:45 a.m. this morning and showered, made my morning cup of decaf brew, watched the Today Show for 30 minutes, vacuumed the floor--yes, I actually felt like and wanted to clean the floors--walked to the voting location and voted, walked back home, and now I am downtown at Panera Bread, sitting outside (it is a beautiful 65 degree, sunny, fall day) having a yummy bagel. The energy in the air today is of excitement, anticipation, and hope. I realize I am so very blessed to be able to have a day where I can do whatever I please and to be able to vote for our next American leader. It is definitely a glorious day.

Here is your yogathought for the day (it actually came out of a fortune cookie):

"Utilize what you have been given."


Sunday, November 2, 2008

feelin' the flow

Yesterday I attended a 2 hour yogaflow class, and I am definitely feelin' it today! I haven't been this sore in a while...especially my bum, back, and shoulders. Anyone who thinks that yoga isn't a workout should definitely attend a yogaflow, ashtanga yoga, power yoga, or bikram yoga class--and be prepared to sweat!!!

Here is your yogathought for the day:

"Flow with whatever is happening and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting what you are doing. This is the ultimate." --Chuang Tzu


Saturday, November 1, 2008

wise words

Your yogathought for the day from Haviz:

Find A Better Job
All your worry
Has proved such an
Not Find a better