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

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)

The Business Behind Bending

Behind every flexible & zen yoga instructor there is an employer that does all of the paperwork for them….or there is a busy ass instructor doing paperwork on her off hours of teaching (which she is not getting paid for).  Can you guess which one I am?  Huh?  Have your answer?  I’m about to blow your mind……I am both of these people.  I teach at a total of nine different places, at 2 of those places I am employed and the other 7 I am independently contracted (I run four of them by myself paperwork and all).  I do all the paperwork, emailing clients, updating client information, updating my facebook, twitter, instagram, linkedin, online store, and website.  I do this while being a full time massage therapy student, work full time, run a small business, and tries to be a decent human being some of the time.  Which can be incredible hard to manage my time, for example today I have a private client in about an hour.  I should be working on some school/work stuff….but, I am shopping online (using one of my gift-cards I got for Christmas)…..well, I am technically doing working writing this blog post….so I guess not all hope is lost (for my own time management).  For a 24 year old, this is a lot to juggle….but, I enjoy every minute of it….even though dealing have to deal with a lot of bullshit and not being taken seriously by lots of clients (due to my age), and just finding ways to fund my business.  Running a startup business is extremely costly, so you have to find ways to fund-raise and give clients incentives on why they should come to class or buy a certain product from you. So, the real question is who do you go about doing this thing called making/raising money for a start up business?  The first idea is barter.  Barter for everything and anything you can.  Advertise for free as much as you can, for example social media advertising is a glorious thing for a start up business.  Find groups on Facebook that allow businesses to advertise on them, especially ones that will reach your targeted client base.  Maybe, start a blog? I think it’s pretty fun to track my ups and downs in the journey of being a business owner.  Maybe start a a campaign with Teesprings….go check out my new shirt by CLICKING HERE….and reverse your shirt today.  See what I did there? I advertised!  Another way to gain funds for your business is become a representative for a company or two.  For example you can become a rep for PuraVida and get a percentage of commission for every person that uses your specific link….so the next time you want to place an order with PuraVida use LEAHRICHARDS20 to receive 20% off your order!  Not a bracelet person? No problem!  Get in touch with the amazing benefits of essential oils by CLICKING HERE, it will change you life and make you smell amazing!!!  There are a bunch of ways to advertise and fund-raise for your small business, you just have to think outside of the box.  Starting/running a small business is a lot of trial and error and frustration times ten, but I quite enjoying being the boss and calling the shots.  I have high hopes for my yoga business, but even if I don’t reach the hopes I have, at least I know I love what I do and I do what I love. Until nest time, Namaste.

See you on your mat!!!

The Curvy Yogini

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*

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

Everyone needs a break… Including Yoga Instructors

Vacations are good for the mind, body, and soul. It’s nice to get away from what your, “normal,” life is. That is what I did. My father recently moved from Illinois to Maryland and I decided to go visit him. Which was a huge thing and it involved a lot of firsts. First time flying by myself, first time navigating through an airport by myself, an first time I got to entertain my niece for more than 10mins. I also got to see DC with my Dad and Stepmom, which was fantastic because my major is in political science (and I never am able to use my degree). I successfully have done all of these things and had quite a interesting time especially playing with my niece (she’s my favorite small person alive). But, of course all good things come to an end and I fly back to Illinois and start working the next day. Am I sad I have to leave? A little bit. It was a nice break from Illinois. But, am I ready to go home? Yes, it’s time to get back to reality and be an adult. Have a wonderful Hump Day and stay awesome!!!

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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