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

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

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)

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)

Holiday Season Of Love

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!  I hope every that celebrates Christmas had a wonderful Christmas!!!  For those who celebrate other holidays, I hope your holidays were just as wonderful!!!  

Lots of things have happened the past month…..things that I never thought I could do, but somehow managed to do it.  I feel that I am able to look at things in a different light after the last few months.  I successfully completed and passed my first semester of massage therapy classes.  If I continue how I want to continue I will be a licensed therapist by the summer, which feels super surreal and very nerve wracking…because I just barely passed the first semester…..Multiple choice scan-tron tests are my downfall.  So, I guess I will be hitting the tutoring center at the college I am taking classes through.  I also created (with the help of my wonderful mother) two different plans to help with my stress level and to promote success in the program.  Stress affects me in the worst way possible.  When I get stressed out any symptoms that I have from my medical conditions increase and become more prominent.  So the goal going into this next semester is to stay as stress free as possible and keep my eye on the prize!!!  I feel excited for classes and look forward to learning everything and anything I can.  How was everyone’s Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas)? I had a lovely Christmas, I celebrated it with my wonderful Mother (I live with her).  We had a wonderful Christmas Eve with just the two of us at home and than Christmas Day we had some family over.  It was very bitter sweet feeling to not get a phone call from my brother.  I miss him a lot, but I know that he was around in spirit.  It you don’t celebrate Christmas, I hope you had a wonderful time during the holiday of your choice.  Switching to the topic of New Years, does anyone have any New Years resolutions?  My resolution is to delve deeper into my yoga practice and start a meditation practice too.  I feel that I have started neglecting my own personal practice, which is bad for my physical and mental health.  I need to practice what I preach and right now I am not doing that as much as I should.  I need to be able to take care of myself before I try to take care of other people.

Sending all of you light and love as we enter the new year!!!

Namaste,

The Curvy Yogini

*I do not own the images used on this page unless it is stated. The images used on this page are not used to sell products or used as a logo for 360 Yoga. They are used to make people smile. If you have any questions on the use of images, contact Leah Richards*

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)

A Week Of Loss

Have you ever had a moment in your life where you have been preparing for, what it feels like forever….but when that moment comes your whole world is shattered?  I had this moment on Saturday February 21st about 8pm….this is the moment I found out that my brother had passed away.  My brother was the kindest person you would have ever met…His smile would turn any frown upside down….And his laid back personality would calm anybody down.  He was the most lovely human I knew and he was and will always be my favorite person on the planet.  I loved every minute that I got to spend with him…even when he would make me mad.  I would give just about anything to see him again, but I know that I will never see him again in this lifetime.  But, his memory will always live in my mind and his spirit will always live in my heart.  My brother would never want anyone to be sad over his death.  But, it’s hard not to be….especially when it is your brother.  So, even though I will miss him every day of my life I know he is always with me in my heart.  Until next time, keep smiling ❤

The Curvy Yogini

It’s The Most Stressful Time Of The Year

It seems that right after Halloween the Christmas MADNESS hits, people forget about Thanksgiving, and stores have had Christmas merchandise out since August.  With all of this pressure to go to every store that has a sale, figuring out who to get gifts for, what house the holidays will be at………and the list could go on and on and on and on and on….  With all of these different things floating around in our minds, disrupting any peacefulness that once lived there…..the stress starts to build and the holidays loose their meaning a little bit.  Yoga has helped me so much actually remember the meaning of the holidays.  It’s not what you get gifted or what you are gifting to someone, but it’s the time spent together…laughing, smiling, enjoying each other’s company.  During the holidays especially I get really overwhelmed and stressed out because of large gatherings with my family.  This is due to all of my medical stuff I have and it can be exhausting to talk to family members, friends, even my boyfriend.  Which sucks, because I love seeing my family, friends, and my man….but, sometimes it takes to much of a toll on myself to do it.  So I use yoga to center myself and to find a little bit of sanity that I keep in the back of my mind and when things become difficult I just use a little piece of that sanity and zen out.  I also look and use different feet and arms positions….even neck and hand/finger positions (mudras) to help promote energy and happiness.  And if that does not work, than I just excuse myself and lay down for a bit….allowing my body to physically destress.  Because you need to make yourself happy before you can shine some happiness on other people.  Peace, Love, & Zen

I’ll see you on your mat,

The Curvy Yogini

Yoga Doesn’t End After Savasana

As Savasana/final relaxation comes to an end all the yogis on their yoga mats start to twitch and wake up from their yoga naps, roll over to one side for fetal pose, and than gently sit up and say namaste. After class ends some people roll up their mat right away, other people stay in their yoga nap positions, and others just like to stay and meditate. Each different ending to a yoga class (the three actions in the last sentence) sort of can show how people use yoga in their daily lives. Yoga can be used as just a form of exercise, maybe used to help treat different diseases (fibromyalgia, arthritis, ect.), for stress, depression, and anxiety purposes, and a million and one other reasons people use yoga. Yoga can also be interpreted in different ways. People think yoga is just breathing…others think it is only stretching….to some Bikrim is the only type of yoga. And when you factor in the different types of styles and poses, yoga can just seem like a never pit of OMing, namasting, mantras, chants, and body contorting. With all of this never ending information some people that practice yoga only go to classes at a studio and never bring any of their yoga home with them and some people like the idea of bringing yoga into the rest of their life. The beauty of it is there is no right or wrong way to, “yoga.” It’s just all about how you want to use yoga or how you don’t want to use yoga. Yoga will always be there whether you use it or don’t use it. Just remember to keep breathing and everything will be alright.
Have a wonderful week everyone!!!

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

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