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

One Fish, Two Fish, Crescent Lunge, & Prayer Twist

Inhale lift up your right leg, exhale low lunge plant your lifted foot between your hands, and inhale crescent lunge. As you get settled in your crescent lunge, notice how your thigh, hips, and shoulders are feeling. What sensations is your body giving you? What part of the body is stretching? Are you remembering to breathe? Try to deepen your breath a little more. Use the breath to relax the body or a body part.
Anyone that has been to a yoga class had heard versions of any of these phrases. Being a yoga instructor I say many of these phrases in my yoga classes. The phrases are suppose to help the yogis in class relax and come to a nice, zen, and calming place. But….does it really help? Or do I just sound like an idiot saying it? I was thinking about this as I was teaching my plus size yoga class tonight. As I was teaching and saying the different phrases and my students are being rock stars grooving and moving from pose to pose, I couldn’t turn my brain off. I kept thinking about what I was saying, the words didn’t flow like I wanted them to…to me it wasn’t believable it just sounded scripted and emotionless. Maybe I’m over thinking my yoga classes? Or maybe I’m overthinking everything else. It seems like once my stress level lowers my overthinking sky rockets and trying to find a happy medium has been difficult. The only solution I have found is get as much sleep as possible…….oh and drink lots of coffee….. Not permanent solutions but solutions non the less a solution. But, my lovely readers I have anatomy homework that is calling my name. Thanks for reading and what do you overthink? Have a wonderful week!!!

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

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Yoga For One?

Any yoga teacher knows the feeling when no one shows up to your yoga class.  It’s disappointing, annoying, & heartbreaking. You immediately think,  “No one likes me anymore….. Maybe everyone thinks I’m awful at teaching…..or in my own personal case I think….. It’s because I’m fat. ”  First, I know I’m not fat I’m thick and deliciously attractive looking.   But, the thought still crosses my mind in certain situations.   Well, I didn’t have anyone show up for one of my classes tonight and I felt all these feelings.   And well I’m broke (Thank you federal taxes) and really needed the money.   But,  just my luck…. no one showed up.  But,  my mom came with me to help me setup and take class. While I setup the room she goes for a walk around the building.   As the time got to 7pm, it was only my mom and I in the room.  So, when it became 7:02PM I turn to my mom and said,  “Do you want a private yoga session?” My mom finally agreed to it,  I turned the music on, and away the session went.   So, for the next 40 minutes I helped my mom into different restorative yoga possess.  Side note, my mom has a bad back, bad rotator cuff, and is blind in one eye.   She never sits down and is hard for her to relax.   So, after the yoga session she helped me pack up and was generous enough to fill up my gas tank (I was running on empty).  It turned out to be a nice night…. Even though I didn’t have anyone show up to my class.  So I guess the moral of the story is even though mothers are a pain in the asana we love them anyway.
Have a great week and I will see you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Rock N Roll, A Slow Vinyasa Flow, & Let’s Get Personal…Really Personal

This week is all about new things for me, myself, my yoga practice, & just life in general. So as you see in this post I added a video to it. This week I decided to combined my two loves which are Yoga & Music. I have been singing since I could talk….but, I knew that a career in singing was not going to be possible when all the health issues I have started….and the fact that I had my neck sliced open due to my thyroid removal surgery. So, I got a degree in Political Science and I got certified to be a yoga instructor. It’s funny how life can change in an instant….for the better or for the worse. To add a very personal touch to this blog, I will talk about how I got fired from a yoga studio and I thought my teaching career and life was over. I will not mention the name of the studio, so please do not ask. A few months after getting certified to teach yoga I auditioned for (or in the real work market it is called an interview). Needless to say I got the job and was asked to teach three classes, 2 vinyasas & 1 restorative. For the first month or two everything was great, my class numbers were growing, and I was pretty happy with how it was going. But, before I knew it I has someone complain about my music. I used a non-lyrical acoustic semi popular rock/pop songs. I guess someone didn’t like it. Ok, I thought, I will just change my music…no worries. But, it wasn’t that simple…. From than on I was a target or I had a huge red X on me. Nothing I did was right, nothing I changed was right, I just wasn’t right. So, this led to my classes being review….but, the fun part was the senior manager who reviewed my classes was texting on her phone while reviewing both of my classes….and barely participated in the classes. I felt cheated, I felt like I wasn’t given a chance to succeed. I felt like my size was a problem. That the owners and senior manager thought because was plus size I couldn’t teach. So, slowly but, surely my classes were taken away from me. And I was left teaching only my restorative class. I even attended the studio’s restorative yoga training. But, really it wasn’t training….if you call the senior manager reading from a book the whole time training…than ya I got trained. I got trained by a Paul Grilley book (nothing against Paul Grilley he is an amazing Yin Yoga teacher). But, that’s the problem…he’s a wonderful Yin Yoga teacher….not a restorative teacher. In my personal opinion they are two different styles of yoga. Yin yoga is holding postures for 5 mins a piece with no props & Restorative yoga is holding the poses for maybe 2-3 mins and using all the props in the world. Both styles of yoga are great for the body, but they are different. So the training was not training, it was story time. So, after the training (if you could call it that) I thought things would be better. I am technically trained in restorative yoga so my problems should go away, shouldn’t they? Well, before I could ponder this happening I had thyroid removal surgery and was out for 5 weeks for recovery. But, I did go back to the studio at 4 weeks just to take a yoga class. Than the week after I returned and taught my wonderful Restorative Yoga class. I ended up with 25 people in the class, mostly regular students of mine. It was the biggest class of the day, week, & I believe month….so I thought, awesome I’m out of the woods….things were going to be ok. So I walk into the studio the next week & my manager pulls me aside and says the owner’s of the studio don’t want you teaching for us anymore so I am going to take you off the schedule…this will be your last class here. I was devastated….I have never been fired before, never been suspended, I don’t think I have ever gotten in trouble except for a verbal warning. But, the one thing that upset me the most was the owner’s reason to fire me. The reason was I didn’t have a restorative yoga certificate, but I took their training. So, in my opinion I didn’t get an answer to why I was fired. I still have never received my review for my restorative class….and whenever I see the owners or the senior manager they either will not speak to me, walk away from me, or will ignore me…even if I was nice to say hello to them. After I was fired….I really thought this was the end. No one will want to hire me. This isn’t the right career for me. But, I still sent out emails and I still tried to get more classes. Two months after I was fired I had 3 interview/auditions at places who actually wanted me to teach for them. I got a couple private clients that actually wanted to learn from me. I got referred to a place….yes someone actually referred me to someone to teach yoga for them. And that brings us up to today, now, the present. I currently teach at 5 different locations, I have 3 private clients, & I have a meeting next week for another teaching spot. I work 7 days out of the week, have 1 day off a month, & I am starting school back up in 2 weeks for Massage Therapy. I can’t believe how my life has turned around. Even though getting fired was awful…that door was meant to close, so all of these other doors could open. I am extremely humbled to work at so many spots. Am I perfect? Do I make mistakes? Have I messed up some stuff? YES, YES, & YES!!! I’m not a superhuman, I am just a yoga teacher….A yoga teacher who is trying to figure out her place in the world, yoga, & life. It’s hard being plus size in a size zero industry, but I have never been the type of woman to do things the easy way. So this week I challenge all of you to not take the easy way out. Make those difficult steps in life, have that crucial uncomfortable conversation, & don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Life is what you & only you can make out of it.
Until next time…stay beautiful, stay confident, & stay you.

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini

Restore Your Mind, Body, & Soul

When you (yes I am talking to you) think of yoga, what comes to your mind?  Workout, zent out, bending, relaxation, or another word?   People go to  yoga classes for different reasons, whether it be emotional, physical, or a combination of both.  Personally I got into yoga for strictly stress management.  I was just starting college, working, and was in a long term relationship at the time.  So I felt like I was being pulled in about 30 different directions and my health started to decline at a slow steady rate.  I would always go to the gym and just do strictly cardio.  It was either the eliptical or stairmaster….and with bad ankles (from 6 years of soccer) it was very painful. It would only cut my stress in half on a good workout and I would go home in more pain that when I left.  So, I saw my gym offered yoga classes and I decided to go to one.   I went to a Yin Yoga Class and the instructors name was Kim.  I loved the class, the instructor was fine, and I decided to make this a weekly type of thing.  And just with replacing one of my workouts with a Yin Yoga Class I saw my stress level slowly be cut in half.   To this day I love teaching my restorative yoga class.  I call it a nap in a yoga class, because yes my students stretch and get into the muscle fashia and connective tissue, but I add a more relaxing vibe to the class.  I also incorporate my Reiki Training into the class as well.  Granted do I have a Restorative Certificate….no…no I don’t.  But, I have taken workshops, I practice restorative yoga on a daily basis, and I do a lot of research in the yin/restorative arena of yoga.  So, I am qualified to teach it, I just haven’t spent the money to get a piece of paper saying I know restorative yoga.  People (even in yoga) get so worked up over not having specific certifications.  I understand being a certified yoga teacher is important, I understand that, I am that..but, just becuase I don’t have a restorative certificate…just because I didn’t want to spend $400 to get it…..because I don’t have $400.  People think I don’t know what I am talking about…makes me sad sometimes.  So, I leave you with….don’t judge a book by its cover and be informed before you speak.
I hope you all can take a Restorative Yoga Class this week , it may change your opinions on some things. 

See you on your mat,

The Curvy Yogini