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

Busy Bees Make All The Honey

“Life moves fast, if you don’t stop to look around you might miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Yes, hello! It’s your friendly neighborhood yoga instructor of the plus size variety.  I know it’s been a while, but for good reason!  I have been sick…..well yes I have been sick, but really I have been juggling 10 jobs, yes I said it TEN jobs!  I work at two places for massage and 8 places for yoga.  I know, I know I am crazy, insane, and a chaotic sounding person!  Well, it’s because I am.  I love being busy I love having to go do things.  Maybe it’s because I like to stay busy to help calm my nerves from the impending doom of failure or maybe I just like to be doing things and I enjoy my day off (yes, I allow myself ONE day off).  Let me tell you that one day off is amazing.  I try not to do anything or maybe I just focus on catching up on paperwork that I have neglected during the week.  But, last week as I relaxed the whole day and unfortunately got sick I wanted to look up a meditation for myself to get me in the mood of healing and relaxing.

Guided Meditation Script Part 1
Introductory Relaxation

Find yourself a quiet place to sit. Turn off your phone and dim the lights. This is your time. A time for total relaxation and inner stillness.

Take a moment to make sure that you are warm enough, and that you are seated comfortably. Rest your hands loosely in your lap. Now close your eyes.

Take a long slow, deep breath in…hold it for a moment, and then slowly exhale.

Just allow any tension to melt away as you gradually relax more and more deeply with each breath.

Take another long slow, deep breath in…hold it, and then exhale. Empty your lungs completely with your out-breath.

Take a third deep breath in. Take your time. Hold it for a moment, and then let it go.

Already you are beginning to drift into a state of deep relaxation.

Continue to breathe slowly and gently.

Relax.

Now bring your awareness to the top of your head.

Sense or imagine a feeling of relaxation beginning to spread down from the top of your scalp….

Let the muscles in your forehead and temples relax.

Allow your eyes to relax.

Let your cheeks and jaw soften and let go of all tension.

Now this peaceful feeling flows down your neck and deep into the muscles in your shoulders…soothing them…releasing them.

Breathe.

Allow this peaceful feeling to flow through your arms. Relaxing and soothing…all the way to the tips of your fingers.

As your body relaxes, your mind relaxes. Your thoughts become weightless, like wisps of clouds on the breeze.

Now the peaceful sensation flows through your chest and your stomach. Feel how this area gently rises and falls as you breathe…slowly and deeply. Soothing and relaxing.

Turn your attention to your back, and feel this relaxing sensation flow all the way down your spine.

Now the peaceful feeling flows through your lower body.

Relax your buttocks…the back of your thighs…the front of your thighs. Feel all these large, strong muscles becoming loose and relaxed.

Soothing feelings flow down through your knees, and into your calves.

Your ankles relax. Now your feet relax.

Your entire body is soft, calm and relaxed.

Now it’s time to leave the external world behind, and go on an inner journey. A journey to a place of deep inner stillness.

Guided Meditation Script Part 2
The Inner Journey

Imagine that you are standing on a white sandy beach.

It’s early in the morning, and a light, hazy mist surrounds you.

The sun is rising slowly. You can feel the warm, orange light on your face and your body.

You are feeling content. At ease. Relaxed.

The sand beneath your bare feet is soft and warm.

A light breeze caresses your face.

This beach is deserted. You have it all to yourself, and you have all the time in the world.

Listen to the relaxing sound of the ocean. Its waves are breaking gently on the shore.

Begin to walk slowly through the mist towards the water.

A small boat is waiting for you. The boat is comfortable and steady. Notice that it is tied to the shore with a strong rope.

Walk to the water’s edge and step into the boat.

You are feeling completely at peace, completely safe, and completely relaxed.

When you are ready, untie the rope…and let it go.

Relax, and allow the natural currents of the ocean to guide you away from the beach.

Your boat drifts smoothly. It rocks ever so gently in the water. This rocking motion relaxes you even more deeply.

The sun is now higher in the sky. Its light has gathered strength.

Notice that the mist that surrounds you is beginning to evaporate.

You can see the air becoming clearer and clearer.

Watch as the sun’s rays dissolve all of the mist. Now you can see clearly in all directions. It’s as though a veil has been lifted.

Sparkling ocean water surrounds you on all sides, and in front of you, a small island comes into view.

Your boat moves closer and closer to the island, gliding slowly and effortlessly through the water.

The island is drenched in sunlight. It is covered in tropical palm trees that sway gently in the breeze.

Your boat glides slowly forward, and comes to rest on the shore.

You have arrived.

Step out of the boat and take a moment to appreciate this place of sublime beauty.

Exotic birds dance from tree to tree, and brilliantly coloured flowers grow in abundance.

The air itself seems to shimmer and vibrate with pure, luminous energy.

You can hear the soothing sound of the wind as it passes through the trees.

In this place, you are free from all memories of the past. You are free from all concerns about the future. You are free from all responsibilities.

This is a place of total peace, and it is all yours.

You notice an opening between the palm trees. In the centre of this opening, there is a narrow path that leads deep into a rich green forest.

Begin your journey into the heart of the forest. Follow the path as it meanders between columns of ancient trees.

This forest seems familiar to you, like the memory of a pleasant dream, or a place you visited as a child.

Walk deeper into the forest. You are guided by a force that you trust, and that makes you feel safe, nurtured and still.

You have reached the very heart of the forest. Before you is a shimmering pond of crystal clear water. A pond of perfect stillness.

The pond is round, and it brims with pure spring water.

Notice that the water is perfectly still, like a mirror, free from even the slightest ripple.

A ladder with three steps leads down into the water.

You decide to bathe in this magical pond, and you undress.

As you take the first step down into the pond, you notice that the wind has eased. All the trees have become motionless.

As each moment passes, the world around you becomes more and more calm, and you yourself become more and more still.

As you lower yourself onto the second step, all the birds in the forest become quiet. Their silence is deep and reverent.

Now lower yourself onto the third and final step and glide into the water.

Feel yourself sliding into a deep state of relaxation. In this pond, your thoughts simply melt away.

All is still and silent. The only sound that remains is the sound of waves, far off in the distance.

Your mind seems to expand. You feel timeless…vast…empty…relaxed.

For the next few minutes, enjoy this experience of solitude and inner silence. When thoughts arise, simply let them go and return your awareness to the sound of the waves. When it’s time to return I will guide you home.

Source from:: http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com/guided-meditation-script-inner-stillness.html

Self-Care Tip #1

Take one moment out of your day to relax, meditate, reflect, and recharge.  You’re mind, soul, and spirit will thank you.  

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