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

Yoga, Warp Tour, & Hashimoto’s Disease

“When life gives you lemons……you make lemonade.”  This is a quote/phrase/saying that is said to smooth any rough patches that life wants to throw at us.  This is a very yoga type saying, it means try to find the good in all situations.  But, sometimes you can’t find any good in a situation and you’re filled with nerves and anxiety.  This is how I felt last weekend.  Last weekend I met my boyfriend of over a year’s kid at Warp Tour.  Which was nerve wracking, scary, and if the kid didn’t like me it would be the end of my relationship.  So with all of these factors in the back of my mind….let’s just say I was a ball of nerves.  Thankfully the kid liked me and my man was happier than ever.  So I think the day went well.   My yoga business has been booming!!! Making schedules, booking clients/places to teach at, and just the necessary paperwork that is required.  Also, the fact I am missing a thyroid and that I also have Hashimoto’s disease my body is in a constant state of war.  And lately the Hashimoto’s disease and lack of organ has been winning this fight.  And currently it is still winning, but I have blood testing that I have to go in for.  So, hopefully I will start feeling better soon.  Just like everyone else’a life, I have stressful moments.  But, I’m still brainstorming how to de stress those moment.  I’m hoping to start post a bit more during the week.  So, hopefully we will meet on the blog post in a few days.  But, until than stay beautiful, stay confident, and stay you. 

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

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

Lets Meet In Savasana.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…….The harder you fight for something the more it will mean to you….Fake it till you make it…”  These are phrases that are said to you when you’re going through a rough time.  It could be from the loss of your dream job, a long term relationship ending, getting into an argument with a loved one, being sick, or any other reason you can think of.  Personally I hear this a lot (and even more in the past few months).  And when people say this to you all you can think about is, “Why the hell is this happening in the first place?  I don’t deserve any of this!  I don’t understand…..”  People go through a grieving process during these specific hard, rough and bad times.  It’s how human beings cope with their own lives and the people in their live….and those certain situations.  Even though I am only 22 I personally feel like I am 32 half of the time.  For those who do not know….I have a few medical issues I deal with on a daily basis.  I have Hashimoto’s Disease, Narcolepsy, and a very severe Vitamin D Deficiency.  Don’t worry I will briefly explain all of them.  Hashimoto’s Disease is an auto immune disease that breaks down and kills the thyroid gland.  There is no cure for it and it could attack other parts of the body as well.  To help manage the disease I decided to have my thyroid removed in December of 2013.  Narcolepsy, well the form of it I have, is essentially the connections in my brain are slowed down due to extra fluid around my brain.  So, this also causes me to become extremely tired during the day..and there is no cure for this either.  Last, but not least, my body uses so much energy throughout the day…resulting in my very severe vitamin d deficiency.  Which is also incurable.  So dealing with all of these medical wonderful issues….life can be difficult some days.  Having my thyroid removed has helped a lot.  Before surgery I couldn’t breath well, due to my thyroid pressing against my vocal chords because it was so big.  And not being able to breath properly meant my muscles were not getting enough oxygen to them, causing me to not walk as well.  The vitamin d deficiency also caused a lot of muscle weakness and having a bum thyroid caused my tiredness from the narcolepsy to turn into exhaustion.  Having these medical issues caused me to put on almost 70 pounds.  So yes, to answer your question I am plus size…due to a few medical conditions.  Being a woman in her early 20’s with 3 incurable medication issues/diseases, not being able to control her weight, walking like someone in their 70’s-80’s, having her hair fall out (due to the Hashimoto’s Disease), and looking stoned all the time (due to being tired…I have never taken any drugs) was very difficult.  I felt like no one understood.  I had a friend at the time say I just need to get over it.  And really, a lot of people only paid attention to how I looked….and when I told them I had a thyroid disease their immediate reaction was, “Oh, ok now I understand….”  Yes, it was hurtful….Yes, it’s frustrating….No, you can’t change how people act, but you can change their perspective for the future…..which I have been trying to do.   So, how does this relate to yoga?  Why, did I bring this up?  Easily…this relates to yoga easily.  I hear all the time from my students, “My doctor told me to try yoga…they said it would be a low impact exercise that I could do.”   Doctor’s know more than I do about medical issues, but I know more about yoga than they do.  Not all yoga styles are accessible for everyone.  This is why I make it goal in my classes that all of my students succeed in class….The last thing I want to hear is someone saying, “I can’t do this!”  Because once I hear this I know that they have completely shut their mind off from trying something new, trying a new posture, and just having an open mind.   So to help with the keeping an open mind, I sometimes talk about my medical issues.  No, I’m not ever trying to draw attention to myself…but, to show my students that yes you can do this.  My famous line is, “If I can do this you can do this.”  The final pose in a Vinyasa Flow class or a Restorative class is savasana.  Savasana is final relaxation pose in yoga.  Here is where you let everything go…..If you didn’t have as good of a class as you wanted, let it go in savasana….because lets face it, we all can’t have a good days all the time or have a productive yoga class all the time.  But, who cares?  Only you are judging yourself for it.  So, how about the next week we do a challenge.  Even if you don’t attend a yoga class…lay in savasana for 5 minutes at the end of each day.  Lay down on your bed, arms comfortable to your sides, legs long out in front of you, eyes closed, and slowly take deep inhales and exhales.  Let your mind become quieter on each exhale and create stillness on each inhale.  Slowly let your mind drift away, your body become relaxed, and your judgement disappear.  Become one with yourself, create love in heart, and I’ll meet you in savasana.  Namaste Yogis and Yoginis.

See you on your mat!

The Curvy Yogini Image