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

Finding My Zen In A World Of Stress.

“Learn to let go…That is the key to happiness. ”  Letting everything go is difficult.  We as human beings are constantly stressed out with something little or big or medium size.   Stressed does not discriminate.   The quote that I put at the beginning is a Buddha quote…… ironically it is the tattoo on my forearm.   But,  Buddha says to let all things go you will be happy.   So it’s that the key to my zenning?  Should I forget about things? Should I turn into a pushover and allow people to walk all over me?  Should I become a different person? Even though I love this quote, it makes me think about what it would be like to not have stress in my life.   So last post I said I was hunting for ways to de stress.   My findings are……. Maybe I work to much…… Maybe I’m not taking enough me time…..Maybe I’m not getting enough time with my man….. or it could be all of these or it could be none of these.   My hunt still continues….. Maybe I’ll try mediating for the answer during my taking of the yoga classes this weekend.  Or maybe it will just come to me.   But,  until then stay beautiful,  stay confident,  and stay you ♥

See you on your mat,

image

The Curvy Yogini

P.S the picture is my tattoo, Namaste Yogis♥

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

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

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