Happy Birthday Brother Bear!

Everytime June comes around I am reminded of the kind and wonderful human my brother was and how he impacted my life and many others.  My brother Johan was born on June 4th, 1988, three years before I was born, and was the apple of my parent’s eyes.  He was an active little dude always running around or doing something and this didn’t much change at all really when he was alive.  Well, the little dude thing definitely changed, he turned out to be 6’1 210-220, but he was always doing something or attempting to go somewhere.  Then in August of 1991 I decided it was time to break up the party and arrive.  According to my parents he was so happy to be an older brother, always playing with me, and making sure I was ok.  One of my favorite memories from when we were growing up was him reading to me or catching lighting bugs in the backyard on summer nights.  When our dad surprised him with a Super Nintendo (which I still have to this day, Mario Kart is my jam!) he would always ask if I could play it with him, even though I was terrible at video games.  I think he would purposely loose just so I could win every now and then.  We still were very close throughout middle school and high school.  When I was a freshman in high school he was a senior and anytime I would see him in the hallway, he would run up and hug me while singing/screaming my name.  At the time I remember how embarrassing I thought it was, but now I would give anything to have those moments back.  We drifted apart while I was finishing up high school and going into college due to my brother’s drug addiction and substance abuse.  It was a difficult time for myself and my family, but just like a lot of families did, we survived to see another day over and over and over again.  Johan was sober for almost a year and during that year our friendship was back to how it always was; he was my best friend.  We would stay up late talking sometimes till 1/2/3/4 o’clock in the morning just shooting the shit.  He would ask about something trivial and I would snap back a remark and before I finished my remark we would be onto a different topic laughing like two insane clowns that just got done murdering an innocent victim (my brother and I’s laugh sounds like the laugh of a killer clown).   Then one day, at the end of February he was gone and life as I knew it would be forever changed.

June 4th, 2018 my brother would have been 30 years old (he died at 26) and I will officially be older then him when I turn 27 in August, which is a strange feeling.

June 5th or 6th of 2013 marks the last day I ever saw Johan alive and if I did the math correctly that’s 5 years.  I haven’t seen him in five years and that is another strange feeling that I will eventually get use to.

His death is something I will never get over, there will always be a part of me that thinks he will eventually just come home and life will be how it was (even though I know it is not true and he is truly never coming home).

Happy Birthday Brother Bear, you are officially old…..I love you and miss you more now than I ever have.  Until I see you again (many, many, many, many decades from now), “keep on keeping on.”

-Leah

A Supermoon, the month of February, & Fibromyalgia walk into a bar…….

If you are looking for an uplifting I am sorry this is not one of them.  As we reached the end of January my emotions go all places that are associated with sadness and anything that could make me happy doesn’t….I just tend to go through the motions and hope for the best.  So, if you have made it this far and want to continue…sit back relax and figure out how the fuck I make it through everyday without killing everything.

On the last day of Jan 2018 the universe decided to have a supermoon/redmoon/bluemoon/lunarEclipse which sent me into the biggest, most intense, most painful flare up of my fibromyalgia I had ever experienced. I didn’t know my body could revolt this much causing myself and my stressed out mother to contemplate going to the ER. For those who know me personally understand that my pain tolerance is high, higher than most due to the chronic pain I have experienced in and through the passed 3-4 years. But, I have always been able to work through it. This was different. It was a constant burning, aching sensation in my back, chest, and shoulders. My hands were numb and it hurt to move. My mother tried to console me to try and not raise my blood pressure more, but nothing would help. It got to the point it hurt to inhale and exhale. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, but finally after 5 hours of this, I fell asleep and woke up 75% of the way better…..and as I finish this post I’m right back on track to being 150% better. But, it was scary. I have never and don’t want to be in that position again. I am 26 years old and should be able to take on the world and the reality is I can’t and I have to come to terms with this.

One of the biggest reasons that I despise the month of February is the passing of my older brother. Three years ago on the 21st of February my older brother Johan unexpectedly passed away. For those who don’t know my older brother struggled with depression, anxiety, and addiction for close to 10 years. He was and will forever be my best friend, the nicest man I know, and the best older brother I could have ever asked for. He was gentle, kind, caring, and just a teddy bear. I was beyond lucky to have him for 23 years of my life and I miss him every moment of every day. The pain of loosing someone doesn’t leave, it doesn’t get easier, time allows us to adapt to the grief and learn what the new normal is. He is fantastic in life and in death. And for everyone that asks if I miss him, here is my response: of fucking course I miss him, I’m a human with feelings (damn this is nice to say).

So, now you know during February when you see me just know I’m trying my best. I’m trying my best to keep it together and moving forward and maintaining some sense of sanity (even though mine is not around anymore). I am trying my best. I am trying to survive each day. And I am just trying to be a normal human (this is forever impossible). Just know I’m putting whatever I have into each day to deal with my life.

I am forever grateful for my jobs, for my life, and for who I am as a person. I wouldn’t change anything even though some days seem impossible. Thank you for reading, know that you are a special human, and we are all just trying to make it this existence.

Until next time, stay bendy.

Leah

A much needed break…

When working at so many places putting in 10-14 hour days and feeling like life has hit you in the face and leaves you wanting to crawl into a hole and slowly whither away…and let me tell you it finally did me in. I was exhausted , overworked, and not making hardly any money after paying bills. So, I had to re evaluate some aspects of my life. What was working, what wasn’t working, and what needed to change so I could be living a more successful life. So, what did I do? I quick one job and got hired at another place, decided to beef up my yoga schedule to try and get more reliable income (still working on that), and decided to just pay off two credit cards in full draining my back accounts. Some things were done in the spur of the moment, others were done with a lot of thought and consideration. I have also had to shift how I think and feel about certain aspects of my life. How I do thinks? Can I do them better? How can I take care of myself better? And the best part is…I still don’t have any answers to any questions, I’m still lost in this crazy thing called life and I have a feeling this is going to be a permanent state of mind for a while. Do I enjoy being in this confusing state, no absolutely not. But, I know that it is necessary for me to be here; even though I may not enjoy any part of it. But, with this weird state, I am in and with myself just working my life into the grave, I know that good things are on the horizon. That if I can hold out for just a bit longer, things will be happier and healthier in my life. I’ll quote journey for a second, “don’t stop believing,” and that is just what I intend to do. Until next time everyone. Light, love, & Namaste.

Leah

When someone doesn’t like your class…

Waking up and enjoying your morning coffee, answering some emails, and enjoying the morning breeze.  As you are answering emails and all that jazz you stumble a crossed one that says your class was not what they were looking for and they will not be attending anymore of your classes.  Yes, this does happen to everyone that teaches yoga.  No, not anyone is going to love you a 110%.  Don’t worry, this is very normal!  But, it will and does hurt your feelings, unless your a sociopath and doesn’t have any feelings at all or can emit any empathy about anything or for anyone.  A sociopath is quite a frightening person that I would not like to ever encounter.  But, I am not a sociopath and it did affect my self esteem and self worth.  I tend to take things too personally, but I also do have the desire to have everyone like me as well.  But, oh well its life and life is a beautiful adventure of craziness that has been fun to navigate for the past 26 years.  During the last probably 10 I have learned that I don’t have to like anyone and they don’t have to like me.  Simple as that! Namaste.

COME TO A YOGA LIVE STREAM!

Hello Everyone!  I hope you are all having a wonderful day!  I am inviting you all to join me for my live stream TODAY MAY 2nd through PowHow.com at 9am CST.  The live stream will be an all levels, beginner friendly, and all sizes and ages yoga class!  AND THE BEST PART IS IT IS ONLY $4!  If you are interested Click HERE to register.

CAN’T MAKE IT TO THE LIVE STREAM? NO PROBLEM PURCHASE THE VIDEO BY CLICKING HERE

Hope to see you on your yoga mat…..literally!  Thanks for being awesome!

The Curvy Yogini

Busy Bees Make All The Honey

“Life moves fast, if you don’t stop to look around you might miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Yes, hello! It’s your friendly neighborhood yoga instructor of the plus size variety.  I know it’s been a while, but for good reason!  I have been sick…..well yes I have been sick, but really I have been juggling 10 jobs, yes I said it TEN jobs!  I work at two places for massage and 8 places for yoga.  I know, I know I am crazy, insane, and a chaotic sounding person!  Well, it’s because I am.  I love being busy I love having to go do things.  Maybe it’s because I like to stay busy to help calm my nerves from the impending doom of failure or maybe I just like to be doing things and I enjoy my day off (yes, I allow myself ONE day off).  Let me tell you that one day off is amazing.  I try not to do anything or maybe I just focus on catching up on paperwork that I have neglected during the week.  But, last week as I relaxed the whole day and unfortunately got sick I wanted to look up a meditation for myself to get me in the mood of healing and relaxing.

Guided Meditation Script Part 1
Introductory Relaxation

Find yourself a quiet place to sit. Turn off your phone and dim the lights. This is your time. A time for total relaxation and inner stillness.

Take a moment to make sure that you are warm enough, and that you are seated comfortably. Rest your hands loosely in your lap. Now close your eyes.

Take a long slow, deep breath in…hold it for a moment, and then slowly exhale.

Just allow any tension to melt away as you gradually relax more and more deeply with each breath.

Take another long slow, deep breath in…hold it, and then exhale. Empty your lungs completely with your out-breath.

Take a third deep breath in. Take your time. Hold it for a moment, and then let it go.

Already you are beginning to drift into a state of deep relaxation.

Continue to breathe slowly and gently.

Relax.

Now bring your awareness to the top of your head.

Sense or imagine a feeling of relaxation beginning to spread down from the top of your scalp….

Let the muscles in your forehead and temples relax.

Allow your eyes to relax.

Let your cheeks and jaw soften and let go of all tension.

Now this peaceful feeling flows down your neck and deep into the muscles in your shoulders…soothing them…releasing them.

Breathe.

Allow this peaceful feeling to flow through your arms. Relaxing and soothing…all the way to the tips of your fingers.

As your body relaxes, your mind relaxes. Your thoughts become weightless, like wisps of clouds on the breeze.

Now the peaceful sensation flows through your chest and your stomach. Feel how this area gently rises and falls as you breathe…slowly and deeply. Soothing and relaxing.

Turn your attention to your back, and feel this relaxing sensation flow all the way down your spine.

Now the peaceful feeling flows through your lower body.

Relax your buttocks…the back of your thighs…the front of your thighs. Feel all these large, strong muscles becoming loose and relaxed.

Soothing feelings flow down through your knees, and into your calves.

Your ankles relax. Now your feet relax.

Your entire body is soft, calm and relaxed.

Now it’s time to leave the external world behind, and go on an inner journey. A journey to a place of deep inner stillness.

Guided Meditation Script Part 2
The Inner Journey

Imagine that you are standing on a white sandy beach.

It’s early in the morning, and a light, hazy mist surrounds you.

The sun is rising slowly. You can feel the warm, orange light on your face and your body.

You are feeling content. At ease. Relaxed.

The sand beneath your bare feet is soft and warm.

A light breeze caresses your face.

This beach is deserted. You have it all to yourself, and you have all the time in the world.

Listen to the relaxing sound of the ocean. Its waves are breaking gently on the shore.

Begin to walk slowly through the mist towards the water.

A small boat is waiting for you. The boat is comfortable and steady. Notice that it is tied to the shore with a strong rope.

Walk to the water’s edge and step into the boat.

You are feeling completely at peace, completely safe, and completely relaxed.

When you are ready, untie the rope…and let it go.

Relax, and allow the natural currents of the ocean to guide you away from the beach.

Your boat drifts smoothly. It rocks ever so gently in the water. This rocking motion relaxes you even more deeply.

The sun is now higher in the sky. Its light has gathered strength.

Notice that the mist that surrounds you is beginning to evaporate.

You can see the air becoming clearer and clearer.

Watch as the sun’s rays dissolve all of the mist. Now you can see clearly in all directions. It’s as though a veil has been lifted.

Sparkling ocean water surrounds you on all sides, and in front of you, a small island comes into view.

Your boat moves closer and closer to the island, gliding slowly and effortlessly through the water.

The island is drenched in sunlight. It is covered in tropical palm trees that sway gently in the breeze.

Your boat glides slowly forward, and comes to rest on the shore.

You have arrived.

Step out of the boat and take a moment to appreciate this place of sublime beauty.

Exotic birds dance from tree to tree, and brilliantly coloured flowers grow in abundance.

The air itself seems to shimmer and vibrate with pure, luminous energy.

You can hear the soothing sound of the wind as it passes through the trees.

In this place, you are free from all memories of the past. You are free from all concerns about the future. You are free from all responsibilities.

This is a place of total peace, and it is all yours.

You notice an opening between the palm trees. In the centre of this opening, there is a narrow path that leads deep into a rich green forest.

Begin your journey into the heart of the forest. Follow the path as it meanders between columns of ancient trees.

This forest seems familiar to you, like the memory of a pleasant dream, or a place you visited as a child.

Walk deeper into the forest. You are guided by a force that you trust, and that makes you feel safe, nurtured and still.

You have reached the very heart of the forest. Before you is a shimmering pond of crystal clear water. A pond of perfect stillness.

The pond is round, and it brims with pure spring water.

Notice that the water is perfectly still, like a mirror, free from even the slightest ripple.

A ladder with three steps leads down into the water.

You decide to bathe in this magical pond, and you undress.

As you take the first step down into the pond, you notice that the wind has eased. All the trees have become motionless.

As each moment passes, the world around you becomes more and more calm, and you yourself become more and more still.

As you lower yourself onto the second step, all the birds in the forest become quiet. Their silence is deep and reverent.

Now lower yourself onto the third and final step and glide into the water.

Feel yourself sliding into a deep state of relaxation. In this pond, your thoughts simply melt away.

All is still and silent. The only sound that remains is the sound of waves, far off in the distance.

Your mind seems to expand. You feel timeless…vast…empty…relaxed.

For the next few minutes, enjoy this experience of solitude and inner silence. When thoughts arise, simply let them go and return your awareness to the sound of the waves. When it’s time to return I will guide you home.

Source from:: http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com/guided-meditation-script-inner-stillness.html

Long time, let’s catch up!

Hello Everyone,

I know, I know it’s been a while (insert song lyrics here) and for that I do apologize.  Life has been insanely busy, but I am loving every minute of it.  I recently (two months ago) accepted a job with a chiropractor up in Hinckley, IL!  The office is in an 1870’s Victorian Style house; it’s absolutely beautiful!  I also have been in a time of transition with some of my yoga teaching.  I have been teaching for about three years and felt stuck, so I am going through and mentally re committing to all of my classes and to my own yoga practice.  With this I think I will be able to find a different perspective in my own yoga practice.  I am allowing the next year as a transition year in my business and personal life as well.   I know all the changes, but I am happy to embrace and accept them as they come!  During the time of transitioning I have started writing for The Odyssey Online!  It’s something I decided to do just for me!  I will link the article below!

The Odyssey Online

I hope to see you on your yoga mats soon!

The Curvy Yogini or Leah 🙂

It’s all about balance….

How do you achieve balance in a world of chaos when there is no room for error or time off?  Hello Yogis, I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!  The past week has been quite interesting; from hurting my back to wanting to sleep all the time, and trying to act normal when I am no normal at all!!!  So, while I was on the struggle bus of life this week I was trying to achieve balance and get into a regiment…..but, of course that was not achieved this week.  The idea of organization and balance is not a familiar word to myself or my life style.  Yes, I struggle to keep myself organized, it’s a terrible existence (not really its just a bit more difficult).  So I dedicated this week to help de stress and take some time for myself.  I indulged in a lot of video games, napping, and catching up on some paperwork I have neglected for to long.  It actually felt extremely comforting being home as much as I was.  As I reflect on the past week I know as I look at my upcoming months of work and life I need to schedule in some time for myself to kick back and relax; before I combust and explode.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!  Until next time, stay bendy!

The Curvy Yogini (or Leah)

The Start Of The Rest Of Your Life…

Hello Everyone!  Long time no post!  For this I do apologize, I have been extremely caught up in life.  I hate to say it, but life can just consume me and before I know it I have lost my way in my so called life.  But, to be honest I have been studying for my MBLEX (Massage Therapy License), which I did pass (SO HAPPY I PASSED IT). But, now I have to get my application together and cut a check to the state….AND THEN wait eight to twelve for my Massage Therapy License.  This all sounds like a drag, but I am quite excited that I will be achieving a 10 year goal.  I have wanted to become a massage therapist since I was 15 years old and the idea that this is going to be the start to my new second career and achieving one of my longest dreams sends a ton of thoughts and feelings through my brain (the center of the entire body…..sorry anatomy for the win!).

Since announcing (well tell people that I passed my test) there has been so many encouraging and positive comments, which honestly puts a smile on my face.  It is so nice to receive so many positive vibes!  While I was telling everyone the results of the MBLEX I received an interesting question from a client of mine.  My client asked, “So, now that you have/are going to get your license, what are you going to do now?”  The sassiness in me immediately said, “well massage people of course.”  I thought to myself I didn’t just pay thousands of dollars to get this license and then throw it all away and not use the new skills I have acquired.  But, come to think about it….isn’t that what I did with my bachelor’s degree?  Whoops…..  But, need less to say I was very taken a back by this question, how is someone going to question what my career will be for the rest of my life?  Is this going to be it until my license?  Am I just going to constantly get this question of so what’s next?

My thoughts a week later on this subject are screw it!  I am going to massage people and they will all like it DAMN IT!  But, in reality I am going to try to best I can to help as many people as possible achieve happier and healthier lives through massage and yoga.  So if massage lotion in one hand and a yoga mat in the other: I will prepare myself for the start of the rest of my life!

Until next time,

The Curvy Yogini (or Leah, which ever you prefer)