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

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

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)

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

Tilt Your Body Into A T For Warrior Three.

Kick off your back foot sending your chest to the ground and creating that quintessential T like shape and your body. This is the start to a basic transition  from Crescent lunge to warrior 3. Yes, it’s a difficult transition….. but, anyone can do it. But for the first time yogi thinking about different transitions and different postures that involve more than just laying down can be very overwhelming to the mind, body, and soul. So you’re probably asking me why am I bringing up a first-time yogis experience? well… I just finished teaching a class of new yogis. And to be honest it was more of a learning experience for me then I think it was for them. It sounds silly, but I do learn things from each class I teach. Even if the class was in my opinion bad or it was the best class I have ever taught. I will still learn new things, such as how to cue bodies differently….  how different bodies move to each posture … And that some people will never gain flexibility even though they have been practicing Yoga for years. I find it quite fascinating and of course a little unnerving to teach a brand new group of people Yoga for the first time. I’m always really worried that they won’t like me and that my class sucked. And I know any yogi reading this, well yogi or yoga teacher or an aspiring yogi, will say your class will never suck because it’s you you have your own style of teaching and that style is unique to you. But I know that all yoga teachers and maybe some yogis secretly judge their own yoga practice or judge their own teaching style or judge someone else’s teaching style. And again I know in yoga we practice not judgement, but even yogis and yoga teachers are human….. And humans are known to be judgmental. So maybe someone can give me insight on practicing the idea of not being judgemental. Because I judge myself in my own classes when my students aren’t getting into the pose like I want them to . And I judge myself for this because I feel like I am failing them as a teacher. Even though my students love the class. I still always feel like I can do better. Maybe I just feel like I can do better in other aspects of life. Like, can I be a better daughter, a better friend, a better student, a better girlfriend, the better patient, or just a better human being. I get it, yogis will always tell you you are a beautiful work in progress. They also will tell you, that you are exactly where you need to be in life, in your yoga practice, in your relationships, or just overall you are in the exact, perfect, and beautiful spot that you need to be.   They will also tell you that fate led you to this Yoga class. I don’t know if I necessarily believe that. Even though I am a yogi and yoga teacher, even though I am spiritual, and even though I’m Reiki trained……. I am still an atheist . So I don’t think that you are drawn to go to a yoga class. I don’t think most the time that you had a higher power guiding you to the yoga class. I like to believe that you wanted to go. You as a yogi wanted to go learn something new on your mat. You did this for you not because some higher power pushed you to it. You went into the class hoping to learn something new, just as I or any other yoga teacher go in to teach a class and hope to learn something from their students. I never take anyone who comes into my class for granted. I always make sure they succeed and yoga. I do this because I know how it feels to be looked at like I’m the fat girl in the room. So this week I hope you and I will try to do this as well be more non judgmental towards people. Because you don’t know what they have to go through. You don’t know if they have issues they have to deal with. So I’m going to take it on myself to be less judgemental and to try to learn as much as I can from my students. And maybe if I learned enough information from my students, then maybe I will be able to achieve my perfect warrior three. Until next week yogis .
See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Exhale Supine Twist To The Left.

“Notice the changes on this side of the body….Even though biologically  we are the same on each side our muscles are not the same…So really breath into the openess or the tightness in each muscle of the body,” said all yoga teachers around the world/universe/a galaxy far far away.  But, it’s true….not all muscles are the same.  For example, my left hip flexer is tighter than the right hip flexer…..my shoulders are always super tight…for reasons I have no idea.  Maybe our muscles reflect how stressful or non stressful our lives are?  It’s a valid theory.  Or maybe it’s from lack of using the muscles (probably a more concert theory)?  Or maybe it’s from a completely unrelated reasons all together.  The human body always seens to amaze and confuse me at the same time.   With having Hashimoto’s Disease (auto-immune condition) my immune system killed off a relatively healthy organ.  My immunue system works great, but can’t figure out what is a harmful virus and what is a healthy organ.  So I guess that could be a reason that differrent yoga poses feel better in one persons body or better in an other persons.  Or maybe change can eventually happen in the body and in liking the different yoga poses better.  Or maybe I am just rambling on and on this week?  Maybe, yes…. I have had some major changes this week.  I went from working two places to working five places and having a six place in the works.  This is huge for me….having been let go of a place that in my honest opinion didn’t like me because I was plus size.  I thought that I had picked the wrong career, but than I did a 360 degree change on my perspective of what had happened.  And not even 3 months later I teach at five places.  I honestly didn’t think that this could or would happen.  So I encourage anyone who is reading this to take a sitution that is just god awful and look at it from a different angle.  Just like in yoga all angles in life and in the different yoga postures will be/feel/seem different…..So always remember to take supine twist to the left.

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Grow Your Branches In Tree Pose

“Now we move into Tree Pose on the right, ground down through your left foot, feel rooted and stable like a tree…..once you feel good and stable inhale your right foot up off your mat.  Place your foot on your ankle, calf, or thigh….above or below the knee…..once you feel stable in your tree pose, grow your branches, and close your eyes.”  We all have our own comfort factors in life. Whether it is food, a favoirte piece of clothing, or a favorite activity.  Some comfort things are healthy and others are not healthy at all….but, regardless they are still are comfort things.  Comfort things make us feel better in any situation.  Just like in yoga.  Any Yogi or Yogini has a favorite yoga posture.  Mine currently is Supta Badha Konasana with my arms over head.  When ever I’m having a hard time in a posture i revert back to this.  It helps me recconect with my practice and helps me recconect with myself as well.  It feels like my yoga home to me.  So this week I want you to think about what is your favorite yoga pose?  What feels like home to you on your yoga mat?
And last, but not least…don’t forget to grow your branches in tree pose.
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

Round Your Shoulders In Paschimottanasana.

There is a stigma in yoga that plus size, thicker, rounder people can’t bend as well or in fact do yoga at all.  I know, I know any Yogi or Yogini reading this is going to automatically say, “That’s crazy!  Why did you just state that?!?! Yoga is for everyone, why did you just say this!?!?!” I said it because it’s true.  I hate that it’s true, but it is.  I personally have to deal with it all the time.  When my students first meet me, when I go in for an interview/audition, or if I am going to a yoga class at a new studio.  Again, I’m not thrilled for the stigma that being a plus size yoga teacher brings…but, over the past year I have learned how counter the stigma.  First, I go above and beyond to look, sound, and act professional…no sometimes I’m still as goofy as ever…but, hey A for effort?  Second, I always introduce myself to my classes…if it’s a new session…new students…new anything…people know who I am as a person and not by how I look.  Third, I teach my heart out in my classes…combining power yoga with a slow vinyasa flow yoga…lets just say I get emails the next day about how sore my students’s cores are…..combining restorative with reiki….I have people fall asleep during classes because they are so relaxed.  Fourth, I stay as knowledgeable as possible on the different subjects, chakras, modifications to the different postures, and how the body moves from pose to pose.  And last, but not least I always have a smile on my face through bad auditions to great interviews.  A smile will automatically ease the situation and create a better zen vibe.  Here’s the deal, I will never not be plus size.  I can’t change my body structure, how dense my bones are, or people’s opinions towards me….but, I can change how I feel about myself and how I act towards people.  This week I encourage everyone to take the rounder approach in yoga and in life and let me know if you enjoyed rounding your shoulders in paschimottanasana.  Peace, Love, and Namaste 🙂

Round it out and I will see you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Downward Facing Dog