Money Yoga

money and life

 

 

Money and Life is a documentary that talks about where money comes from (thin air) and how it’s been turned into the way we live our lives and what we can do about it.

 

 

 

Money & Life Extended Trailer from Katie Teague on Vimeo.

It got me thinking about my recent change in my relationship with money.  In the past two years I’ve let go of a lot of things that most think are big measures of success- my luxury condo, my car and lots of stuff that wasn’t serving me.

 

This isn’t to say that I don’t think that I should move on a commune away from society. But I have shifted my paradigm of thinking when it comes to how I measure my success and what I want to offer to the world. I’m more interested in the inter connectedness of the world rather that trying to squelch someone’s chances of success for my own gain. That kind of thinking works off a thought process that there isn’t enough. When in fact, there is enough. There is enough food, money, success, happiness for everyone.

I’m not talking about Law of Attraction woo woo stuff here. But one thing I have realized is that I used to put a lot of focus on accumulating stuff and not living life. And though my lifestyle has changed drastically from the one that I was living a few years ago- I’m more centered and more content than I have ever been.

I don’t think I’m fooling myself either, because the more I connected with the work I want to do, I created opportunities for myself.

In the beginning of the new year most of us look to cleanse our bodies. But what about cleansing for we spend and live? Life gets busy and our routines could use a shake up. When was the last time you checked in with your kids about how they understand money? Have you taken a look at how you are saving for retirement? Are you spending excess money each week without knowing it? Regardless of how tight you may think you manage, it’s a good idea to check-in.

Beth Kobliner, probably best known for her book Get a Financial Life encourages people to do a ‘money fast’ at the beginning of each year. After paying necessary expenses, can you spend the month with spending any money? It’s a great way to see what’s important and what’s not. It may also challenge your idea of what is important.

If you are serious about jump starting your financial health. Levo League has five great tips to get you started on a 30-day financial cleanse.

1. Introduce yourself to the bare necessities.

Cut out all frivolous spending, so you can get to the bottom of your relationship with money. You can spend on groceries, bills, transportation, and health expenses—nothing more.

2. Convert to cash

When we use cash, we become more aware of our spending. It might sound counterintuitive, but managing your spending habits becomes simpler without a credit or debit card. Either your wallet is full, or your wallet is empty. You see the flow of your money in real time.

3. Monitor your spending

Over the course of a week, you can begin to monitor what you really miss and what you are surprised you can easily live without. You’ll be motivated by the amount of money you’re saving in the meantime, and you’ll likely think to yourself, “This is a lot easier than I thought!”

4. Learn to forgive, in order to learn

Even with all the progress you’ve made so far, you’ll most likely slip up and purchase something you didn’t mean to. It’s very important to forgive yourself.

Like I said, our habits become very automatic and as soon as we let our guards down, we may catch ourselves swiping a credit card on something we are in the habit of buying. Take this moment to truly consider your motivations behind your spending.

5. Reassess your values

Understanding your values and what’s really important to you is the key to financial wellness. Your spending and use of your time should point to your values—meaning, you should be spending the majority of your time and money on things of utmost importance.

If you’re not, you’re unaligned with your spending and have the opportunity to use your money in much more meaningful ways. For example, if family is really important to you, but you spend no time with them and no money on spending time with them, you’re missing out on very fulfilling spending.

You may want to plan more trips with them, or even plan to visit them if they aren’t nearby. I call this putting your money where your heart is.

 

 

 

Check out the entire documentary Money & Life below.  It’s great to watch with the family.

 

 

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Kayak Yoga – Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight

free kayak

Maybe it’s the yoga, maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I have a newfound sense of freedom since I got my bike- but I’ve been up for trying new things.

This was not always so.

I wasn’t a fan of change and in fact- I didn’t like it. Not one bit. Round peg, round hole is how things should fit.

At least that’s the way the Dr. Seuss version of me thought of things.

But I caught up with a friend last Sunday and took a dive into the unknown.

Don’t get too excited. I didn’t climb a mountain.

I went out on a kayak.

Hey- baby steps, people. Baby steps.

We rode our bikes to Hoboken from Jersey City and parked at the Hoboken Cove Boathouse. We signed a sheet of paper and got to kayak for free. Right? Free. No strings. Just free. How did I not know about this? They had free kayaking all summer long? This is what happens when you don’t explore, you miss out on good shit.

So- I hopped in my kayak and had a blast. It’s also quite an arm workout.

And because once I dip my toe,  I tend to go whole hog I decided to try a stand-up paddle board.

‘Just keep paddling,’ I was told after a brief lesson.

Off I went.

Look Ma! I’m doing it! Yoga was great prep for this- using the core and feeling the movement of the water to stay steady was a lot less difficult than I thought.

And then, a wave.

Things slow down before the body takes a tumble. I could feel the entire thing. The space-time continuum halted like in an episode of Fringe. I half expected to see bizarro Oneika rise from the water (She better not have a better ass than me, and I do not want her hair longer). But she never showed up and I was snapped my to my merely average  ass swaying to and fro on a paddle board.

The wave came and I could feel the balance shift. I didn’t even fight it, because there was nothing to fight. I was going in the water and that was that. I should say that I love the water and love to swim etc..etc… so this wasn’t a huge thing, but it wasn’t exactly warm and I was hoping to keep my clothes dry.

Ah well. In I went. All the way under. Completely soaked. My head popped the surface and I  exclaimed, ‘THIS IS AWESOME!’ Maybe I was bizarro Oneika? An interesting twist. I glanced at my butt- still the same. No matter. I felt freaking awesome.

I got on the board and fell off again. And again I giggled. I kept thinking I wish I had known about this during the  heat wave because I would have ‘slipped’ over and over.

Eventually I got back in the groove and headed back in. Once back on shore the guy asked if I was okay and I said I was great, it’s about getting back up.

I had to give a mental fistbump to  Dandayamana Dhanurasana- aka Standing Bow Pulling Pose in the Bikram series.

The pose is about falling, in the sense that once you fall can you pick yourself back up and try again- without judgement, maybe even with joy.

There’s one last weekend of free kayaking next Saturday. You can bet I’m going to be back on that stand up paddle board.

Fall seven times, stand up eight.

Paddle board yoga. Namaste y’all.

Bicycle Yoga

bike yoga sunset

Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving.

– Albert Einstein.

I bought a bike a few days ago.

Sweet.

I’ve been talkin’ smack for weeks (months) about getting a bike.

I’m beyond excited.

Grove Street Bicycles was really helpful. M, the salesperson who helped me saw my look of confusion and walked me through the basics. I was able to trust but verify my findings with the assistance of my Dad. He’s one of those guys who masters sports with uncanny ease.

Uncanny ease.

There isn’t a sport he hasn’t tried, but cycling has been stuck with him for the long haul. His tips were invaluable.

M measured me, asked questions about me and bike goals. After a lesson about proper mounts, dismounts and stops I was off for a test ride.

Aw shucks….. Memories whooshed by as I pedaled.

Instantly, I was transported to the 70s cruising down the street with a wide grin like a dog hanging out the side of a car window.

This bike was fast- but solid. I changed gears…

In another moment it was 1988 and I was with my high school best friend, making a 12 mile ride from home to New Hope, PA. Even back then it was a cool artsy town.

I had to have this bike.

Despite being a yogi, I’m still a not so secret fan of instant gratification. Show me a bike shop, I’ll show you an Oneika who wants to walk out with one on the same day.

It doesn’t work like this- who knew?

But I will be picking it up this week!

Cruising from classes and to clients should be a breeze. And zipping to the green markets? Forget it! Stoked.

I have a feeling the town will seem different on a bike.

Just like lots of things these days.

Dig it.

Namaste y’all.

4 Ways to Release Your Wild Thing

Google-s-Epic-quot-Where-the-Wild-Things-Are-quot-Animated-Doodle
And the wild things cried, ‘Please don’t go! we’ll eat you up, we love you so!’

 

 

Google outdid themselves with the Wild Thing Doodle. They were celebrating the legendary Maurice Sendak. I was heartbroken last year when he died.

 

It seems appropriate to repost a few thoughts from last year.

 

Beloved author Maurice Sendak died at the age of 82. One legacy he left with us is ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. The best kids books have lessons for children and the adults that read them to kids. Here’s what we all can learn from Max and his friends.

 

1. The night Max wore his wold suit and made mischief of one kind and another. 

Oh merry mischief makers come out! Life is too short not have some fun.

‘Let them call it mischief: When it is past and prospered t’will be virtue.’ – Ben Johnson (poet)

 

2. That very night in Max’s room a forest grew. 

Imagination makes us grow as children and can help keep our brains in shape as we get older. At work it can help us find creative solutions to problems and bring forth new ways of leading. Playing at home reduces stress and frankly gives us life. Who couldn’t use a bit more of that?

 

3. …til Max said, “BE STILL” and tamed them all with a magic trick.

Being afraid and doing something in spite of it is when the magic truly happens. Tame your wild things and write your own destiny.

 

4. LET THE WILD RUMPUS START! 

Need we discuss how dancing cures all that ails us? There’s nothing like a dance party to get things going and make us laugh out loud. So turn up the stereo and break a sweat!!

 

May we all have adventures like Max!

Namaste y’all.

 

Why So Serious? Maintaining Joy in Your Practice

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A few days ago a teacher encouraged me to come to class two days per week with nothing but a mindset of letting go.

I’m thinking too much.
I’ll wait for the shock and awe to sink in.

*crickets*

This is what good teachers do.

They see you.

They watch.

They give good advice.

My over correction issue seems to be getting the best of me.

I may be a little hooked when it comes to letting go.

My backbends are where it’s most obvious.

The good ole heart chakra. I wonder if I have lingering trust issues that are keeping me from falling back. Not relationship kind of stuff, but the trust that comes from making big life changes. Falling into my yoga completely means the letting go of my old life. Am I trying to straddle two worlds? This would explain why my hamstrings have been freaking killing me.

I kid. But for real- there’s some truth here. I have to leap. I have to trust.

I’m resourceful.

I work really hard.

If anyone can make this work- I’d say that I’m probably a good candidate.

Am I keeping all of this fear in my backbend?

Seems crazy- but since I’m writing about it, uh- there’s a good chance that it is so…

Back to the studio…

A deal was struck. Two days weekly I come to class just for fun.

You might infer that I’m waaay too intense on other days, so let me clarify.

There will always be a side of me that is like Alice through the looking glass. My curiosity is infused with tapas. So my fire to learn can burn a bit too brightly.

Striking this balance is just what I need.

This morning I showed up at the 10am. I’ve never been to the Saturday morning class.

Just what the doctor ordered.

I just chilled. I smiled a lot.

It was dare I say, fun.

Disclaimer- I thought about taking the next class thinking maybe I needed a little more.

But I didn’t. Huzzah! Progress.

I was walking to the subway when I saw the teacher who gave me the advice. We said hi like passing ships and I shouted, ‘Hey! I had fun in class today! ‘

She replied, ‘Best news I heard all day!!! I’m so glad.’

Exhale.

Have a great weekend everyone.

This is yoga.

Namaste y’all.

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What I Learned from 108 Days of Yoga

magiczone

Here is a list of the things I had done for more than 108 days in a row:

1. Smoke
2. Quit smoking
3. Breathe
4. Eat
5. Sleep

It’s not a very impressive list.

I didn’t intend to do 108 days of yoga. It was something that I had planned for later in the year. But we never get to plan our greatest lessons.

After doing 45 days of hot and vinyasa I decided to keep going. So overwhelming was the thought, I wasn’t ready to get into the details. It was more personal than I anticipated.

Now that I’m done and have taken some time to reflect, I may have learned a little somethin’.

1. Flexibility

I’m a reformed partially reformed control freak. When things go as I plan, I’m okay. When I expect things to go awry, I’m also okay. But when things go okay and I expect awry, I’ve been known to fuck bring unnecessary chaos where it wasn’t needed. When things go awry and I expect okay I can also get a bit stubborn. While my body is flexy, not all of me is always so willing to stretch.

Work in progress…

I got sick during my 108 days. Panic set in- all I could think of was missing a practice. Fortunately, I’m not all crazy, so there was a side of me that said chill out.

What is yoga anyway? It’s a uniting of body and breath. Maybe your yoga is to do a few restorative poses that foster healing instead of going balls to the wall in 105° heat. This thought didn’t come until after I had practiced two days with no voice in the heat, but like I said I’m a work on progress.

Change happens- it’s the one thing I can count on. 108 days taught me that I can always breathe through it.

Learning to breathe cultivated my flexibility more than any asana.

2. Commitment/Trust

I may or may not be known to twitch just a smidge when it comes to commitment. We all have out shit. This is mine.

But when you show up every single day for 108 days, you learn to trust the process. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen at the end.

Maybe nothing.

Maybe everything.

Regardless, I wanted to see it through. On the days that I really didn’t want to go, I learned the most. There were also days that when I hit my mat and felt like a rock star, only to be humbled, a crumbled sweaty mess.

But fall down seven times, stand up 8.

3. Peace

Say hey, doing 108 days of yoga is a row is hard. But, I did it. The act of practicing daily became meditative, down to the way that I prepared my yoga bag the night before. There was a sense of calm that I took with me once I left my mat.
I think I’m most grateful for this.

I realize that while coming to my mat each day is pretty much given- what will happen in that moment is unknown. That is a little scary. And a lot of fun. But no matter what, I can be with whatever happens.

This is yoga for 108 days and beyond.

Namaste y’all.

Pranayama Yo – Things Can Only Get Better

baldhead

I have this thought that keeps turning right round like a record. It’s a grand idea, maybe even crazy but I can’t help it, when I’m inspired- look out.

To paraphrase the genius Howard Jones while I do feel scared, I won’t stop and falter. Things can only get better.

To be fair, I get lots of ideas- no delusions of grandeur or anything…Though one time someone asked me if I thought I was the Queen of Sheba. It was said in anger- actually it was said like ‘Who do you think you are? The Queen of Sheba?’

I was being pretty bitchy too so… That doesn’t count, does it?

Sorry. Ideas. Inspiration. Whatnot.

It’s no secret that I think that yoga can save the world. As I really reflect on these early months of teaching, I’ve come to understand that our breath is how we not only live, but prosper.

As yogis we talk about breathing so often breezing over its power can get caught in so many other things.

I took a class last week with a friend  who is a fellow teacher and her husband.

Of course we talked a lot about yoga.

I love that the studio where I teach offers community classes.

I love that Yoga to the People has an outstanding hot class for 8 smackers.

We talked about how folks who really could use yoga to change and save their lives don’t usually have easy access to a studio. Even more often yoga as a concept isn’t on the radar.

This has to change.

And while I do imagine all the people living life in peace, I know that it’s down the road a bit.

If you have talked to me for more than five minutes you have already heard this story, but I will ask you to tune in one more time because it’s worth hearing daily. This September I was listening to the This American Life podcast. There are few things that I enjoy more than TAL. I was walking Dakota and stopped when I heard the story about the kids living in Chicago’s South Side. The affects of consistent violence in a community can affect kids cortisol levels up to a year later. Do the math. If these kids are under a constant barrage of violence these cortisol levels never drop.

So what the hell to do in the meantime?

I want to teach the world to breathe.

I may not be able to find a way fix the violence. But I can teach people how to breathe.
I can show someone how to choose a better breath, one that will help be the calm in the center of the storm.
Inhale more peace. Exhale what’s not serving you….
This is what it’s all about. Teaching people to fish and all that. As yogis we know yoga happens off the mat.
So no more turning it round. Time to figure out a plan. Time to get people on board. Time to walk the walk, or breathe the breath as it were.
And I won’t stop and falter.

This is yoga, changing lives one breath at a time. Things can only get better.

Namaste y’all.

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My Features Form with a Change in the Weather

snow city

My features form with a change in the weather

– ‘Mother’s Talk’, Tears for Fears

Two days ago a sleet storm graced the NYC area. Just lovely. I stepped outside after class and the streets were a slishy, slushy mess. It was dark and my open pores made my body feel like a sponge as I got full with cold air. I pulled my hat down over my ears and rolled my eyes at Mother Nature.

‘This is some ole bullshit.’ I grumbled to no one.

The streets were fairly empty and the snow still white, looked pretty. Sure I was cranky, but once I accepted the snow I could appreciate it the moment.

Accepting what ‘is‘ can be so hard. I think we are trained and socialized that run away from discomfort.

‘If it doesn’t feel good I don’t want to be near it’ seems to be a way of life for so many.

Imagine though, learning to stay with a feeling and see it through.

Imagine if we could learn to accept the icky parts of us without judgement or reservation?

That kind of revelation could change a life. If I can accept and then love all parts of me(warts and all), I’m ready and open to love every part of everyone.

This could come in handy especially when people I love try my patience (grrr).

We are imperfectly perfect.

If I can love Mother Nature with all her tantrums, I can certainly unconditionally love/accept myself when I have my own.

Everything we do puts us on the path to enlightenment.

This is yoga, for every season.

Namaste y’all.

Handstands – Practice, Practice, Practice

HikeYogaSplitHandstand

Have you read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell? It’s an interesting read that delves into the world of exceptional performance- what makes people like Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan and the rest of us mere mortals . Turns out genetics can be useful- but the real differentiator is practice. People who are great at something do it all of the time. They log thousands of hours making them more proficient and movements become second nature.This makes me feel good. When I like something I do it all of the time. This is not such a great thing when it comes to things like smoking or eating cheese, but turns out its pretty cool for yoga.

I’ve been itching to get into a handstand. It may be silly but for my particular yoga journey it’s one if several destinations. In a class a few months ago a teacher gave me an assignment- practice kicking up a little bit each day. I was also to try doorway handstands and handstands against the wall. It will come she told me just practice.

I did it for a week and was frustrated (I know and I’m a yoga teacher- just imagine if I didn’t have yoga- yikes). I kept at it. And I kept at it. And I kept at it.

Today I kicked up against the wall at hung for a few seconds and then realized my legs hadn’t yet touched the wall.

I. Was. In. A. Handstand.

Holy shit. My feet touched the wall and I was grinning upside down like a freaking Cheshire Cat.

I had done it!

Sure it was only a few seconds- but it was pure magic I tell ya.

There’s nothing like the joy of working hard on something and seeing progress.

This is yoga. And it progress happens after thousands of hours of practice and in the blink of an eye.

Namaste y’all.