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

Schools out FOREVER!?!?!?

READERS, BLOGGERS, AND YOGIS ALIKE!!!!  I have some news that will knock your socks off!!!  After 6 years of schooling I am finally DONE!!!  Those who are just tuning in, here’s a little more information about my schooling adventure.  For the past six years I have been a college student.  I have gone to school for my Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Yoga certification, and now Certificate in Therapeutic Massage.  During my schooling career I have only taken one semester off alternating between part time and full time status.  It was a long haul, but I can finally say that I am officially done with my college career.  And it feels amazing!!!  Granted I have to study and take my State Exam for Massage Therapy, but I am done with college.  The feeling is surreal and just weird.  But, now I can focus on my yoga business a bit more and just take time to relax and get back to my own yoga practice, meditation, and sauna routine; while also getting caught up on all the work I need to do on my website and finding out how to be an actual adult.  I will be back to my normal weekly posting, thank you all so much for all your support and patience it means the world to me!  I hope you all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!!!  Until next time, I will see you on your yoga mats!

Namaste,

The Curvy Yogini (aka Leah)

The Business Behind Bending

Behind every flexible & zen yoga instructor there is an employer that does all of the paperwork for them….or there is a busy ass instructor doing paperwork on her off hours of teaching (which she is not getting paid for).  Can you guess which one I am?  Huh?  Have your answer?  I’m about to blow your mind……I am both of these people.  I teach at a total of nine different places, at 2 of those places I am employed and the other 7 I am independently contracted (I run four of them by myself paperwork and all).  I do all the paperwork, emailing clients, updating client information, updating my facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin, online store, and website.  I do this while being a full time massage therapy student, work full time, run a small business, and tries to be a decent human being some of the time.  Which can be incredible hard to manage my time, for example today I have a private client in about an hour.  I should be working on some school/work stuff….but, I am shopping online (using one of my gift-cards I got for Christmas)…..well, I am technically doing working writing this blog post….so I guess not all hope is lost (for my own time management).  For a 24 year old, this is a lot to juggle….but, I enjoy every minute of it….even though dealing have to deal with a lot of bullshit and not being taken seriously by lots of clients (due to my age), and just finding ways to fund my business.  Running a startup business is extremely costly, so you have to find ways to fund-raise and give clients incentives on why they should come to class or buy a certain product from you. So, the real question is who do you go about doing this thing called making/raising money for a start up business?  The first idea is barter.  Barter for everything and anything you can.  Advertise for free as much as you can, for example social media advertising is a glorious thing for a start up business.  Find groups on Facebook that allow businesses to advertise on them, especially ones that will reach your targeted client base.  Maybe, start a blog? I think it’s pretty fun to track my ups and downs in the journey of being a business owner.  Maybe start a a campaign with Teesprings….go check out my new shirt by CLICKING HERE….and reverse your shirt today.  See what I did there? I advertised!  Another way to gain funds for your business is become a representative for a company or two.  For example you can become a rep for PuraVida and get a percentage of commission for every person that uses your specific link….so the next time you want to place an order with PuraVida use LEAHRICHARDS20 to receive 20% off your order!  Not a bracelet person? No problem!  Get in touch with the amazing benefits of essential oils by CLICKING HERE, it will change you life and make you smell amazing!!!  There are a bunch of ways to advertise and fund-raise for your small business, you just have to think outside of the box.  Starting/running a small business is a lot of trial and error and frustration times ten, but I quite enjoying being the boss and calling the shots.  I have high hopes for my yoga business, but even if I don’t reach the hopes I have, at least I know I love what I do and I do what I love. Until nest time, Namaste.

See you on your mat!!!

The Curvy Yogini

There’s No Rest For The Wicked

Life tends to get in the way of life….Sounds silly, but it’s true!!!  From being in school to going to the BeHealthful Retreat to working to than sleeping.  This has pretty much been my life for the past month.  Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all of the great opportunities, but it can be a bit tiring running around all the time.  But, hey isn’t that how life works? We get throw challenges and then learn from them.  Granted I feel like this year I have learned enough lessons for a lifetime…..but, oh well, life can throw whatever it wants at me I am game and ready for the challenge.

The first challenge of life = school

I started massage therapy school in August!!!  I have been wanting to do massage therapy for years and years, so after 8 years of wanting to I signed up for classes.  I was not expecting the amount of studying and money I would have to put into the program.  But, the knowledge is so useful for my yoga instructing that I just go with it and appreciate every moment of the program.

The second challenge of life = work

I am still teaching at 8 places and enjoying every minute of it!!!  Yes, it is time consuming, busy, and I will never become a multimillionaire….but it is so rewarding that I am able to help people.  I couldn’t imagine not having yoga in my life.  I have met some incredible people through yoga, have gained a sense of worth and calming, and it has helped me stay toned (I do have muscle underneath the fluff!!!).  Yes, I work crazy hours and I drive everywhere…but, I feel so accomplished after teaching three classes in a row.  I know that I have helped people and to me that is the most amazing feeling in the world.

The third challenge of life = medical conditions

I struggle with my various diseases and lack of organ on a daily basis.  It has been a struggle to keep everything in control, but I try my best to do it and not complain.  Recently, I found out that some of my levels were not at goal and I have been feeling sick and sluggish.  Thankfully I have excellent doctors that are confident that my levels will be back at a normal state soon.  I try not to let it get me down in the dumps, but this week it really has been difficult to deal with.  But, I just take one step at a time and deal with each day as it comes.  I remember what my late brother would always say to me, “Keep on keeping on sissy, I love you.”  And with those worlds in my head I do.

The fourth challenge in life = relationships

With my busy non traditional schedule I do not have a ton of time to go out and see my friends.  I am lucky enough to have super understanding friends that don’t hold it against me that I am always busy.  My friends think its cool that I don’t work a 9-5 job….granted I am one of the only ones out of the group of my friends that doesn’t sit at a desk all day…so maybe they are just trying to make me feel included (hopefully not).  But, regardless I have the best friends that any person could have.  I am extremely lucky to have all of them in my life.  I also have been with the same wonderful man for over two years.  Unfortunately because of scheduling we do the long distance relationship life that involves lots of texting, phone calls, and skype dates…..but, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  He’s amazing and I am so lucky to have him in my life.  I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

My number one cheerleader in my life = My Mother

My mother is the most fantastic person on the planet.  She is kind, giving, patience, helpful, supporting, loving, a hard worker, and THE BEST MOM IN THE UNIVERSE.  Through breakups with boys, colleges, and doctors appointments my mom has been there every step of the way.  If I can be half the woman she is I would be the happiest person on the planet.  I love her with all of my heart and am so lucky to call her my mom,

My guiding light in life = My Older Brother

My brother was my best friend and just an overall amazing human being.  When he passed away eight months ago my world shattered.  He was the most important man in my life, we had a wonderful relationship, and I miss him every single day of my life.  He will forever and always be my guiding light.  When I feel like I’m lost I know he will be there in spirit to show me the way.  When I am lonely I know he will be there to comfort me with a hug.  I know he’s proud of me and I hope to continue to make him proud.

I am extremely lucky to live the life I live!!!  Is it perfect? No, absolutely not!!  But, it’s perfect for me, myself and I.  I have a support system of people that are in my corner every second of the day.  I love my job and love what I am going to school for.  I am lucky enough to be able to go back to school for Massage Therapy (which is totally opposite to what my Political Science BA).  And I am just happy being Leah….would I change things yes…but, am I happy with where my life is going? Absolutely!!!  I encourage all of you that read this post to observe your life and if there is something you don’t like in it, modify it until you are happy with it.  Everyone should lead a happy life, not just some weird yoga instructor that has a blog.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and week.

Until next time

Leah (aka The Curvy Yogini)

Fluffy Is The New Black

Hello Everyone!!!

I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday!!!  I am currently enjoying my first day off in 7 days….I taught 20 classes this week!!!  So a day off to get some much needed relaxing is exactly what the yoga doctors ordered.  But, I am doing a bit of work, because I wouldn’t be Leah without working on my day off……So, I started a campaign with Teespring to help promote plus size yoga and just the idea of loving yourself.  I would be over the moon thankful if you all went to check out the campaign and buy a t shirt!!!!  The URL Link to the campaign is: 

thank you a million and a half!!!  and a new thoughts in my sauna will be coming soon…..I plan to sit in my sauna and think lots of lovely thoughts today!!!

Namaste Lovelies,

The Curvy Yogini

Closure In The Form Of Rain

Hello Everyone!!!  I know it’s been a while *insert lyrics to it’s been a while since I last saw you*, but I am back and back in the Yoga Game.  The reason why I needed a break from blogging was preparing for my late brother’s birthday and his memorial.  The 4th of this month would have been my bro’s 27th birthday and let tell you that was a more than difficult day for myself and my family.  Exactly a week later we had his memorial at our house with a bunch of friends and family….I also wanted to speak at the memorial, because I could.  There was no reason other than I wanted to it because he is/was/will always be my brother who I love and will forever miss.  On top of all of this I was still teaching close to fifteen classes a week and trying to keep some sanity in my life, which was very hard to do.  The memorial was beautiful, it was exactly what my mother wanted it to be which was perfect for me.  If my mom is happy my dad is happy…which makes myself happy.  Even though my parents are divorced they are extremely civil and nice towards each other….it’s not the perfect situation, but it’s a lot better than it could be.  We had a catered lunch in after the service with the Grateful Dead playing in the background.  My brother was the biggest dead head I had ever known.  After the memorial, my best friend and I adventured to a starbucks and a local record shop.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I love music….all different types of music….especially rock n roll.  So after wandering through the record shop I found an old school Styx record and a Garfunkal record for my mom.  As soon as I bought the records it started to rain and even though my fibromyalgia was killing me.  I felt a sense of calmness.  It was the feeling I got when I hugged my brother for the last time a few years a go (he lived in Florida, so it was hard to see each other).  I felt better as I walked to my best friends car it literally was closure in the form of a rain drop or maybe the calmness from which that raindrop brought.  I will forever love and miss my brother terribly, he was an amazing man, a kind person, and a wonderful human being.  I am proud to be his little sister and I hope he is proud to have me as a little sister.  I’ll give you some life advice this week….Cherish every thing that life has given you because in a blink of an eye it could be gone.  I send positive energy to all of you this week.

Until Next Time, I’ll see you on your mat,

The Curvy Yogini

Revamp The Restorative

Humans are creatures of habit.  We hate change, don’t like to be uncomfortable, and (well in America) we want things NOW!!! Which is not wrong…..our brain chemistry (survival method) tells the rest of our body once we are comfortable we should not change anything because that could eventually lead to us not surviving.  So, when you look at this as a survival mechanism humans hating the idea of change is an understandable thing.  With that being said, when I went to sequence some new yoga classes….well, I was more than not too thrilled.  But, it was a thing that needed to be down.  Since my brother’s passing…I hate to say this….but…..I have been coasting……through every aspect of my life……  I can’t really blame myself because I am grieving the loss of my brother, my best friend, and my favorite person.  I am allowed to be sad (everyone keeps telling me).  So, knowing that I need to get some sort of normal back into my life….I grabbed my notebook, a few yoga books, some of my yoga journal issues I have marked some good ideas in, and I powered up my tablet and I started sequencing.  I wanted to focus a class on hips, shoulders, and lower back, once I had that figured out I opened up my favorite yoga book….which is, “1000 pearls of yoga wisdom.”  This book is amazing to just have for class inspiration, breathing techniques, break down of some poses, and lots of quotes (my favorite).  Once, I had a light bulb moment I wrote down all of the poses as quick as I could.  Than I focused on modifications for the poses and finally got the breathing down.  The process took a while because I was actually trying to be creative….while trying to be creative.  But, at last I was done and happy with what I had come up with.  I was proud of myself, I actually sat down and changed something about my teaching and maybe it’s a change for the better….who knows?

I hope everyone is having a lovely Memorial Day!

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Coffee, Yoga Mat, and Your Home

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

Since the death of my brother life has just passed by….not stopping to say hi…..not taking into consideration how I am feeling or how my family is feeling.  It just keeps flying by.  Hours turn into days and days turn into weeks….work continues, school goes on, and life rolls on.  My brother would not want life to stop for myself or our family, but I am not going to lie I miss him everyday terribly…and I probably always will miss him.

To help focus my energy to something positive and productive I have really started to work on developing my Yoga Practice in the comfort of my own home.  Since I live in the country I call it my hillbilly yoga studio.  I have my mat right in front of my wood stove (regardless if a fire is going), get my cup of coffee, and start with about 20 mins about deep stretching followed by a small flow.  Doing this everyday has help a lot of my medical diseases and is a nice way to start or end my day and its just nice to take the time to myself and relax, breathe, and set my daily intention for the day.

I encourage everyone to do this, even if it is for only 10 minutes a day.  You owe it to yourself to take ten mins out of your busy day for some TLC to yourself.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week

Namaste,

The Curvy Yogini

*I DO NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO THE FEATURE IMAGE USED IN TODAYS POST.  ALL RIGHTS ARE RESERVED WITH THE CREATOR OF THE ARTWORK*

The Week Of Sickness = Corpse Pose for Seven Days Straight

Hello Everyone, I hope you are having a lovely, relaxing, and HEALTHY weekend….a huge emphasis on the healthy part, because I have been sick for about the last five days straight.  No, it isn’t Ebola or the Measles or Strep Throat….it’s just a nasty head cold virus that has to work its way out.  I’m at the stage of the cold where I don’t have a voice and I’m hacking up a bunch of stuff (I won’t go into detail about that…..that’s a bit to much TMI).  But, I am also at the stage where I feel the need to disinfect everything……I feel gross….therefore everything I touch feels really gross…..lets just say I had my mom (yes I live with my mom….you don’t go into the yoga teaching profession if you want to be rich) get Clorox Disinfecting Wipes and Other various cleaning products.  I have had to cancel a ton of classes this week because of this head cold and I have been watching youtube videos and playing my favorite video games (yes I am a nerdy yoga teacher that likes video games and documentaries).  But, since I have had to cancel classes this week I thought I would post a couple yoga sequences, with music according to each style, and references for each yoga pose….so you can still get your yoga at home.  Namaste.

See you on your Mat!!

The Curvy Yogini

Vinyasa Yoga Mini Sun A and Sun B Series

Start in an easy cross legged seated position, hands on the tops of your knees, eyes closed.  Stay here for 10 breaths (in through the nose out through the month)

(after the ten breaths) Inhale the arms up over your head, exhale drop the right hand down to your yoga mat, inhale up through the left arm (still over your head), and exhale reach the left arm up and over your head and gently rest your left hand on your right shoulder as your twist your chest to the ceiling (hold for 3 breaths) Repeat on the other side and hold for three breaths

Inhale both hands over your head and exhale transition into a table top position and do five sets of cat cows (inhale cow & exhale for cat).  Table Top, Cow Pose, and Cat Pose reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqnua4rHVVA

Inhale back to a table top position and slowly all the way down to your stomach.  Keeping the hands underneath the shoulders, inhale cobra pose hold for 3 breaths.  Cobra Pose reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgvolE4NAH0

Exhale lower down to your stomach, inhale press up to a table top position, and exhale tuck the toes, press into the mat, and come into downward facing dog.  Downward Facing Dog reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayRU3ecmPbI

Sun Saluation A

Starting in Downward Dog, inhale look between your hands, exhale walk your feet between your hands, hinge at your hips, hands down to the mat, and stay here in forward fold for 2 breaths.  Forward Fold reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrp6Q_QyDkc

Inhale Mountain pose w/arms up over your head (not shown in the video), reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATLU-XX_lro Exhale forward fold, inhale half way lift reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbMtkw5-qlQ exhale high plank reference video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMR5ikcgWaI

Take a deep inhale and as you exhale lower all the way down to your stomach, inhale cobra pose, exhale lower down to your stomach, inhale press up into high plank, and exhale down dog.

REPEAT SUN SALUTATION A 3 TIMES!!!

Sun Salutation B

Starting in Down Dog, inhale look between your hands, exhale travel your feel between, and come into a forward fold.  Inhale half way lift and exhale forward fold (this stabilizes out your back and spine)

Inhale Chair Pose (bring legs together to touch, arms up over your head (biceps right by your ears), and sink your tailbone low (like you’re doing a wall sit).  Chair Pose reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWsUHtwRGvI stay here for 2 breaths, than exhale into a forward fold, inhale immediately into a halfway lift, exhale high plank, inhale and exhale lower down to your stomach, inhale cobra, exhale lower down to your stomach, inhale high plank, and exhale downward facing dog.

Inhale your right leg high, reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2yYLDg4tR0, and exhale low lunge (plant your lifted foot between your hands).  Inhale Warrior 2, reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QbIrd6onJwQ, exhale extended side angle, reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPbp3o6jD7s, inhale reverse warrior, reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mx3Tn3tGJfY, and exhale cartwheel your hands down to the mat, inhale high plank, and exhale downward facing dog. Repeat on the left side

REPEAT SUN SALUTATION B 3 TIMES

Music you can use for this mini series (upbeat techno): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lptp0pG-80

Restorative/Yin Yoga Mini Series

Start laying on your back, eyes close, take 10 breaths (inhale through your nose and exhale out through your mouth)

Each Pose will be held for 3 minutes

Supine Twist on the left (hold for three) and on the right (hold for three)  reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elI403TmzZY

Reclined Butterfly Pose reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4guzdc7EiQs

Waterfall Pose reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EznG1cH5A4Q

Seated forward fold reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyiFhjwWXkw

Wide legged seated forward fold reference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xT5Cfzw4Jqw

Than bring the legs back together and lay all the way down on your back and come into Reclined Butterfly Pose one more time (hold for at least three mins)

After the three mins are up hug both knees into your chest hold for 4 breaths and then exhale into your final resting pose which can be anything and stay there for as long as your need.

Music for this series (nature/relaxing music): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOEvKulq2sY