Wednesday Yoga- Priorities

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Sometimes blame feels better than starting the healing process. Yesterday, I banged my shin while I was straightening up my bedroom. I have a large bin that is full pf shoes that I no longer wear but nostalgia allows them to take up space. I really should confront getting rid of them in the name of clearing space and all that. Alas, it’s a struggle to be evolved every day of the week. I mean c’mon, give a girl a break.

Anyway, while vacuuming I saw the edge of the bin sticking out from under my bed. Annoyed (because I hadn’t dealt with the useless shoe issue) I shoved the bin with my foot. My shin slammed into the bed. Hard. I could fit my index finger in the dent. After cursing for two minutes I looked at the bed as if it were guilty of the crime. Then I turned my attention to those god damned shoes. Stupid shoes….

I should have gotten some ice. I did, it took longer than I can to admit here- but I think my point is made:

  1. Whether you chose to deal with something/someone or not you pay. My bad.
  2. My bike life has made my legs strong. Sweet.

Pay attention to what is really important.

Namaste y’all

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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.

 

 

Monday Yoga- Every Passing Minute is Another Chance to Turn it All Around

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Psst. You don’t have to fear Monday. For many years I used to suffer from ‘Sunday Night Jitters.’ Sometimes it was well-deserved. I may have been blown off homework and was cramming to get it done. As an district manager, Mondays meant heading to the office for non-stop calls with my team, the corporate office and my boss. Though I loved, loved working in the world of books, at the end of Monday it sometimes felt like I had worked a whole week.

However I’ve learned that Mondays can be a day of inspiration. As soon as I’m up (these days before the sun) I sit and meditate. Most weeks, I welcome the new beginning. The Monday Campaigns, the folks who started Meatless Monday and Move It Monday had interesting stats on how our society views the first day of the work week.

 

Monday has a special significance in our culture as the beginning of the week, which influences our mood and health outcomes

The 7-day week and the meaning we associate with the days of the week is a social construct, and not based on biological or planetary cycles.  Yet a range of negative health outcomes, such as heart attacks and strokes, happen more frequently on Mondays as people transition back to the structured routine of the week.[i]

While 27% of people report that Monday is the day they experience the most stress, 58% of people see Monday positively, as an opportunity for a “fresh start” and a day to “get my act together.” [ii]  FGI Research (2014).  Online panel of 1,000 respondents.

 

And guess what? Monday happens all day, if inspiration doesn’t come bounding out of bed with you- so what!! Every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around.

Go for it. Embrace Monday.

Today I’m going to think about what it means to be more vulnerable and compassionate with myself. My evening meditation will focus on compassion. And before I hit the sack I’ll spend time in a therapeutic pose that opens my heart.

The best part? If my plans get sidetracked- I have Tuesday to try again.

Namaste y’all.

 

Start Now- Beginner Meditation (Audio included)

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Meditation may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Just try- don’t worry about being perfect, or getting it. The act of being still, even for a few minutes will benefit you.

2. Get comfortable. Sit in a chair or on the floor. You can also lay on your back, but don’t get in bed. Remember the point is to relax, not sleep!

3. Have no expectations.

 

Included is a recording that guides you through a brief session. The audio is nine minutes long from start to finish.

Give yourself a break and woosah!

This meditation is perfect:

  • First thing in the morning
  • When you need a midday break at work
  • When you are feeling stressed
  • After work
  • Before bed (but not in bed)

 

Namaste y’all.

 

*Do not listen to this while you are driving, walking, biking or using any other vehicle. 

 

Adventures in Meditation – “Life Just Isn’t That Obvious”

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‘Live just isn’t that obvious.’

 

This text came from my friend Kathleen. When you’re friends with poets they drop one line bombs with a quickness and on the reg. She’s more subtle than me.

I would have to follow up the text with:

drops mic

 

 

Fortunately, subtlety isn’t lost on this bull in a china shop. You may think astrology is hooey, but I’m a Taurus through and freaking through.

Anyway…subtle…point…

 

She sent this in response my waxing philosophical about my love life.

I’m the worst when it comes to dating.

The. Worst. Say it with me, the worst.

Work life seemed easier. Get ‘er done. Even when the terrain is difficult like say, navigating a whole new career I can manage to strategize, plan and execute. But a date? Relationship? Smooth.

 

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I made bad decisions and compounded those stupid decisions withworse ones. Antics ensued. It was easier to make work my relationship rather working on my relationships. Yeah, I knew what I was doing. I just didn’t fix it.

Until meditation.

Being still allows for thoughts to come and go. Something happens when we look inward. The sense of vastness at times overwhelms me. On some days it’s all I can do not to run away from the infinite potential discoveries. The is so much inside. On others, I find the answers without knowing it. In the abyss is a whisper of hope or encouragement disguised as an inhale or exhale. The is powerhttp://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/yogaxl.jpg in my mantra as I sit- I realize more and more that I know so little.

It allows me to be present even when I’m not meditating. This is great. And shitty. No more pushing things down and not dealing with them.

Recently, I had a great date with someone who didn’t fit what I’d imagined. I began my usual routine of trying to blow them off and a strange thing occurred.

I made a different choice. In fact, I made a choice wrapped in honesty despite my fear.

I called ___ and said, “I owe you an apology. I was being an idiot. I like you and instead of saying that I’m a little concerned that we’re different but I’d like to see I was just trying to push you away. If it’s not too late, I’d really like to start again and have you see that I’m not totally crazy, though clearly I have some issues.”

I was expecting rejection. Second chances are a gift.

And you know what? I got one.

While it did turn out that our lives were in different places- if I hadn’t been paying attention in the moment, I wouldn’t have decided to take a leap.

This is what meditation has done for me. I’m more awake than I’ve ever been. Like I said earlier, this is both fantastic and crappy. But, it is life.

Playing sliding doors for a moment…If I had played out old stories nothing would have changed.

Things don’t have to work out the way you want, but if you are brave enough to be here, now- it seems that things work out the way they should.

And embracing that is what yoga is all about.

It’s a good day.

Namaste y’all.

 

Guest Post! Discount Yoga By Kellie Murphy

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By Kellie C. Murphy

My practice got a little too expensive in the Fall. My regular studio is a quaint little dojo in Moorestown that can hold about 12 of us on a crowded Saturday morning. I got to the point where I couldn’t afford to pay the $144 per 12 classes what with Christmas coming up and many of my other major expenses — like my car insurance bill — being due. This isn’t news to anybody as many folks are struggling financially and the non-essentials needed to be cut out, at least for a little while. And for that little while I allowed the lack of funds to interrupt my practice. Well, there’s never a good time to neglect your practice, but the holidays are definitely NOT that time. I was going out of my mind! What to do?

I began practicing at home.

I found a number of great online resources, many of them free or at a very low cost, that helped me to continue my practice and get some much needed exercise and stress relief, without breaking my already strained piggy bank.

I found a website, Yogaglo.com, that hosts more than 2,000 practices in all different yoga styles and for any and all skill levels. The membership costs just $18 per month and your first 15 days are free. This is not only perfect for those of us that are broke, it’s perfect for beginners who want to try different styles and to get over that initial bendy, twisty embarrassment beginner yogis may feel when practicing in public in the beginning. There are also some great full-length practices on YouTube that are absolutely free.

This isn’t to say that at-home yoga is preferable to in-studio yoga. Nobody gets the full “namaste effect” of a practice by staying at home alone. Yet if it’s a matter of some practice to stay limber and keep the mind clear and the spirit strong rather than no practice, then by all means get your yogi on at home, and after savasana send love, light and your purest namaste out to your yogi peers in your mind. Trust me, this works.

Just remember to breathe and to be kind to yourself.

Namaste!

Two Of Kellie’s Favorite YouTube Yogis:

Esther Ekhart of Ekhart Yoga…

LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NoX35pqk5ZY&list=PLhheL8XkvsRYM4UGbvM9g_P2PB5cjtbHr&index=3

Vinyasa Flow with Ali Kamenova…
LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2Gb2UBEYzQ&feature=share&list=PLhheL8XkvsRYM4UGbvM9g_P2PB5cjtbHr

Kellie is a freelance journalist and yoga enthusiast who’s been practicing for about 15 years. You can read more of her work via her website www.KCMJournalist.com and follow her on Twitter @KCMJournalist.

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Adventures in Yoga – The Chiropractor

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My poor friend Patrice, I don’t know how she puts up with me. Daily I text, waxing enthusiastic about the joys of a particular brand of yoga pants that make my butt look amazing. The upside to my backside as it were. Everyone should have a pair.

So I tell her. Often.

This is what friends are for, right? 

Someone needs to remind Patrice. I can later today when I text her that she really, really needs to check out these yoga pants that make my butt…well, you get it.

Lucky for Patrice she’s on the other coast, but her distance doesn’t deter me from sharing lots of discoveries that I think are momentous. Like fabulous yoga pants.

And the chiropractor.

It sounds like the name of a Seinfeld episode. “The Chiropractor”

I text Patrice whenever I’m in the waiting room- waiting to be manipulated. 

It started out simply enough. My lower back had been hurting so badly I wanted to scream all of the time.

Wait. I’m afraid that you read that last sentence and thought- Oneika’s lower back hurt. I actually wanted to scream. All. Of. The. Time. No hyperbole. No foolin’.

Muscle relaxers and pain killers didn’t seem like a solution. A permanent fix (no pun intended) was needed. I’d been to a chiropractor before but didn’t have a lot of success. Actually, I ended up at the doctor a few days later with two scripts in my paw because I felt worse.

Someone told me about Brian the chiropractor. I’ve come to learn that this is what everyone calls him- Brian, the chiropractor and not Dr. Corrigan.

I  thought chiropractors were quacks, big quacks was skeptical. But I was also in pain and slept with Motrin next to my bed- so desperate times and all that.

Have you seen The Answer Man? Arlen Faber, the grumpy main character suffered from back pain.

While I wasn’t this dramatic (outwardly)- I can assure you this is how I arrived (in my head) to Brian the chiropractor’s office.

Some more important details. The office visit would only be $20. Right? That’s what I said to C, who first told me about Brian the chiropractor.

Me: What? 20 bucks?

C: Yes, for the first visit and then it’s only 15. He’s amazing, seriously. My husband goes as well.

Me: 20 bucks?

I had serious side-eye (again in my head) because it sounded too good to be true. Fast forward to me slugging Motrin by the fistful and the large hole in my stomach that was sure to soon follow. I didn’t have much to lose.

On a Friday, Brian gets me on the table and tells me that I have a twisted sacrum. This is before I even mentioned my problem.

I wanted to weep tears of joy.

After receiving an adjustment (which was less pleasant than I imagined it would be) he told me I’d be tender for a few days, and should come back Monday.

I paid and left, cautiously hopeful.

Saturday morning arrived. I was sore but not in pain. Not at all.

I realized that I had been in so much pain that the world looked different once it had been removed.

Cartoon animals followed me around singing songs about possibility! and tomorrow!. Flowers sprung up as I walked down the street. Sold.

I went back on Monday. I felt even better.

So much so that later that week I was practicing headstand while listening to Amel Larrieux’s ‘Afraid’. One should not jam and headstand. Down I went on my neck.

It was scary. And it hurt like a muthaf@ck*r.

I went right to Brian’s office and while he worked out one knot I was already swelling up. He gave me the adjustment and I let out a deranged laugh, because there is no crying at the chiropractor. But after, I sat up and was able to turn my neck back and forth.

I was reborn. Ave Maria blasted from the heavens as I walked home.

He’s my hero. I’m sure there’s a bit of transference going on- but I swear the man can do no wrong. You read Yelp reviews and wonder, oh puhlease, who is that good?

Brian the chiropractor.

I want to throw up my hands and shout, “I am healed!”

I feel a little euphoric after I leave perhaps this explains why I think my chiropractor is the bee’s knees.

Once or twice week I pedal down to his office and get an adjustment.

My practice has changed dramatically. Energy flows through me more evenly. I feel balanced. I have a stronger sense of wellbeing. My hips which have been super tight for-e-ver have begun to release.

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I’m not saying that the chiropractor is for everyone- but it works for me.

So in the waiting room I sit and text Patrice about pops, cracks and yoga pants. She’s a good sport.

Namaste y’all.