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)

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

Zen Up & Shape Out?

As the end of 2014 comes to a fast close (in a few days) we (as a society) start to notice the different highlights of the year.  Maybe you try to find one word to summarize up your feelings/experiences/changes that have occurred throughout the last 365 days.  Or, maybe you look to the year 2015 start to plan the year out.  Figure out your New Years Resolution….which could be anything from the gym, to finding true love, maybe moving out, or start to realize that the 90’s was a long time ago (which is so strange to me, because I was born in the 90’s).  I am going into the new year not wishing for things to be different, but wishing that things continue to stay the same and get better.  My health is  always an issue……relationships with my family are always works in progresses…..keeping my romantic life with my wonderful boyfriend of 1 1/2 years hot and spicy…and continue being myself (which can be difficult).  So, maybe just sit back for a second and think what you want to get out of this upcoming year.  Maybe you can surprise yourself what you come up with.

Thank you for your eyes and ears…..and of course thank you for being you!

See you on your mat in 2015,

The Curvy Yogini

Push The Body Away In High Plank

In each yoga class there is that one pose, that one particularly difficult pose that you just don’t like.  Your body revolts, your muscles shake, and your breathing quickens.  And it’s like the teacher knows that you are struggling and starts to cue to that struggling.  As the teacher gently says, “deepen your inhale and exhales….your body loves this….it is just your mind that wants it all to go away and stop…”  During these nice statements all your mind is thinking of is how quickly can I get out of this pose and how quickly can I cut my wonderful, lovely, ninja like yoga teacher….     Than after class you almost feel bad for wanting to cut them, because your body feels so good.  But, than you soon forget and the next time you come to a yoga class the cycle starts all over again.   But, why does this cycle happen?  You think yoga and you think calm, peaceful, stretching, not a lot of physical activity.   WHY DO I FEEL ALL OF THESE NEGITIVE FEELINGS TOWARDS MY INSTRUCTOR?!?!?!?!  It could be that the teacher is pushing you to the next bar.  They are trying to mentally strengthen you.  Or it’s just a really hard class.  I personally have had people flick me off during high planks, high to low boat, & forearm planks.  Than right after class they apologize and say can’t wait for next week.   So really the cycle of hating your instructor for a few mins is quite normal.   Don’t feel bad about it or think you’re a terrible person….because yes even myself, a yoga instructor goes through this cycle.
So I leave you with this…..it’s ok to mad, your body is much stronger than your mind, & the more you come to class the easier each difficult pose will get.
Thanks for reading and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend & A GREAT MEMORIAL 

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Inhale The Arms Up….Exhale Hands To Heart Center.

“The light in me honors the light in you…when I am in that place of light in me and you’re in that place of light in you…we become one, Namaste.”  That quote/statement/phrase is how I end each of my yoga classes.  I don’t know why I picked this certain phrase, but I quite enjoy it.  I hope it helps connect my students together or at least connects them to their inner being, their soul.  The idea of reconnecting with yourself, is an interesting action.  Some people just go all day long.  They never stop for a moment.  They never relax or take a second for themselves.  I really just described my mother.  Now, my mother is a wonderful woman.  She is a great mother, an amazing teacher, and again she is overall a wonderful human being.  But, she never stops going.  She runs around all day long and is so stressed out and tense.  Just recently she is allowing herself to sit down and she started coming to a few of my yoga classes.  I hate to say this, but……my mom is the stiffest/tense/stressed out person in the group of yogis I teach.   I usually use her to give different cues to my classes.  But, she can never relax fully in class.  So I will pose the question.  If you can’t relax in class…how can you reconnect with yourself?  But, than the next question has to be posed….How can you relax in a yoga class?  Even though this question seems silly…it’s a quite real and plausible question.  Some classes i just can’t relax, I have to many things going on.  Or some classes I fall asleep due to being so relax.  But, I can never find the balance between not relaxing and almost sleeping relaxing.  But, this may have to deal with my narcolepsy?  Or maybe it’s just me?  But, this week lets focus on relaxing.  I will be exploring and experimenting with different techniques and in a few weeks I’ll let you know how it goes.  But until than…stay golden Yogis and remember to exhale your hands to heart center.

See you on your mat!!!

The Curvy Yogini

Take A Seat In Sukhasana.

“Life moves to fast, if we don’t stop to look around we might miss it.”  I remember watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off when I was younger and thought….life doesn’t move that fast….I can’t wait to grow up….life will be better when I’m older…..If I could go back in time I would tell my younger self to really stop for a hot second and take a close and careful look around….because you will never get this time back.  Sorry, this may seem like a sadder edition to my blog, but it’s more of an observance of everything that has been going on.  As I blogged about my diseases in previous posts, I find myself this week really being taken down by them.  My body is really noticing that I don’t have a thyroid anymore.  So, it’s been pretty difficult and frequently all I have wanted to say is why me!?!?!  Why do I have all of these medical issues, why is my yoga practice not progressing how I want it to, and why me to everything else going on.  So, during the midst of all of this self questioning I had the opportunity to have a one on one yoga session with a new yoga friend.  During our time together we chatted, talked (yes they are two different things), and of course practiced some yoga.  But, one moment out of the entire session stuck with me.  We were in legs up a wall and while talking she states, “everything happens for a reason and it will work out how it is suppose to work out.”  A simple phrase, but something I think everyone can relate to.  I have the medical issues and other things I have to deal with because I am suppose to.   Other people have other issues they have to deal with for other reasons.  And, we all have different vices to help deal with the different issues.  Mine, of course is yoga.  I even have different postures I use to help clear my mind, reconnect with my soul, and it calms me down as well.  So this next week lets take the advice of Ferris and the advice from my new yoga friend…..to slow down for a second, look around, and know that you are exactly where you need to be right now.  So don’t stress, close your eyes, and take a seat in Sukhasana.

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

easy seat