Tag Archives: Gratitude

Making Friends in Yoga

Over the years, I have discovered that yogis make some of the best friends. From my studio in Boston, to my own studio now, and the ones I’ve worked in and visited along the way; I have met so many incredible people & have built many lasting friendships. Yoga is a truly great place to meet and connect with people.

Yogis of all ages and backgrounds are often united in their love of yoga and a common desire to be friendly both on and off the mat. I’ve been able to deepen friendships through the transformative experience that was my teacher training, numerous classes I’ve taught and attended, workshops, as well as community gatherings and potlucks.

With yoga as the glue, I have found that that the things we have in common are far greater than those things that set us apart. So yoga studios are a great place for meeting people and building friendships.

Yoga for the individual:

Yoga is about self discovery. It’s a wonderful way to become more in tune with your mind and body so you can find your true self.  Yoga helps eliminate suffering, stress, and negativity in our lives. During a yoga class, you’re challenged to bring your attention inward and connect with yourself on a deeper level.

With an open mind and willingness that’s cultivated in class, we can work on ourselves and begin to strip away the negativity. When we let our guard down like this, we not only begin to explore a deeper connection to ourselves, but also a deeper connection to others.

Yoga for the group:

While yoga is very individual, it is also very collaborative. Yoga helps create union with one another and a sense of togetherness. Through collective breath and movement in class, yoga helps create bonds with the people around you like none other.

Once class is over, there’s this overall feeling of oneness, connection, and collaborative energy.  There’s this beautiful window of opportunity to make introductions, mingle, and foster a deeper connection and potential friendships to those around you.

Next time you’re in class:

Spark up a conversation with your yogi neighbors in class, introduce yourself to the teacher, talk to people after class, whatever it may be, break out of your shell, be brave, allow yourself to be vulnerable and open. We are all connected and if nothing else, one thing we know we have in common, is our love for yoga and our dedication to our practice. There is always space in our lives for new positive people. Take a chance, say hi.

 

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Thank You To My Family & Friends

I wanted to dedicate this week’s blog to you; my family and friends. If you’re a new reader to my blog, you may not be aware that last weekend, my husband and I opened our very first business, a yoga studio- Empower Yoga.  I have been talking about starting this business for over two years and now my dreams have finally come to fruition.  I have so much to be grateful for in my life, particularly for all of the wonderful people in it; who have been a part of my journey, helping me get to this point. This letter/blog is for you! Continue reading Thank You To My Family & Friends

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Cultivating Gratitude

What are you grateful for? Have you thought about it? Do you show gratitude in your daily life?

At times, I often feel that we take so much for granted and forget about all the good that is present in our lives. Instead, we think about all the things our lives are lacking. However, when we stop and look around, this life is pretty amazing and we have so much to be grateful for.

In an effort to remind myself and others of all the things we should be grateful for, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to the idea of gratitude! Enjoy :) Continue reading Cultivating Gratitude

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Keep a Contented Heart

happiness-projectA couple years ago my husband and I read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.  I recently revisited this book because I’ve begun to find myself needing a few reminders about what happiness means and how to find happiness in our life, especially when things become difficult for us.  

So I decided to pull the book back out and revisit the chapter, November. Keep a Contented Heart is the heading for this chapter.  I started reading and thinking about this idea. What does “keep a contented heart” mean? Well literally, according to the dictionary, “contented” refers to happy and at ease, and “heart” is the organ that pumps our blood and is also the central or innermost part of something.  So having a contented heart means to be happy at your core.  Would you say that you have a contented heart right now? My immediate answer is no, but after some more thought, I would answer yes and I am sure you might too.  At first, keeping a contented heart can feel like a giant task, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact I think it can be easily attainable.

I think one of the most important things that leads to happiness is attitude; which Gretchen writes about in the chapter.  I believe attitude speaks volumes about how to achieve a contented heart.  If you can master a good attitude about whatever comes your way, good or bad, it can go a very long way to building your happiness level. I work daily on keeping and maintaining a positive attitude about life, even when I feel derailed or when life gets hard.  I awake each day with the mantra, “It’s a great day to be alive” and work hard to live up to that mantra by trying to achieve greatness each day.

And when I refer to greatness, I do not mean having power or wealth.  To me, having greatness can mean something a little different every day. It can include setting small, attainable goals that I set for myself.

For example:

attempting a new arm balance

running a faster mile

PRing my deadlift

complimenting someone

acknowledging someone’s hard work

It can also mean having the courage to stand up to injustice and the ability to help and be kind to all (i.e. people, animals, the environment).

For example:

being a vegan or vegetarian

not polluting our environment

offering support to someone who needs it

being a voice to the voiceless

As a former learning consultant and now yoga teacher and studio owner, I have spent my career caring for and teaching others. I believe in the importance of helping, supporting, and being kind to all beings and share that belief with my students through my words and actions.  I try to not take anything for granted and appreciate the small gifts in life.  This positive attitude, will, and desire to live a good, strong, and kind life has helped me to work towards achieving a contented heart.  I believe that it is important to be grateful for the things we have, tell the people in our lives that we care about them, and do something each day that will challenge us and help to make us better, because we never know if this day will be our last. Live it up!

November after all is the month that contains Thanksgiving, and it is a great time to work on having a contented heart. It’s a month that focuses on gratitude, thankfulness, and counting blessings both big and small. What better time to work on this?  There is no time like the present!

What can you do today to help you have more of a contented heart tomorrow?

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Always Growing & Always Changing

KM YOGABefore I became a yogi and exercise fanatic, I was many things. It took me many years of exploration and soul searching to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life.  While I don’t believe we ever really stop learning, as I’ve gotten older I have become much more in-tune with my feelings, needs, wants and desires.  I have learned to love myself and work hard everyday to never doubt, never hate, and never criticize who I am.  We all make mistakes and I try to learn from mine with compassion and love.   Continue reading Always Growing & Always Changing

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Life Lessons From My Dogs

A & S 2My husband and I have two dogs (Sebastian and Annabelle) that we cherish and love. They are are more like children to us then pets. They have made our lives so special in so many ways. They’ve shown us endless amounts love and devotion and we could not be more grateful to have them as a part of our family.  In fact, because we love our dogs so much we decided to adopt one more… a little pug we named Liberty. LIBERTYWe could not be more excited.  As our family continues to grow, my heart continues to expand as I open myself up to more love than I’ve ever imagined.  I owe a lot to these special dogs.

Having dogs has taught me so much about life and love, so I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to my babies.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned from my dogs! Enjoy! Continue reading Life Lessons From My Dogs

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Block Party

Why yoga blocks can enhance your yoga poses:

block crowDid you ever try using blocks for yoga? If not, you should consider incorporating them into your yoga routine.  Blocks can be extremely useful to your yoga practice. They can help provide length, stability, and comfort, but can also create a challenge and are a great way to enhance your practice.

Blocks can help you progress into the more challenging variations of certain yoga poses, helping you build better strength and balance, and allowing your body to get into a more effective shape of the posture.

Yoga blocks provide: Flexibility, Strength, Support, & Balance

block pyramidAs you work to increase balance and flexibility in your practice, yoga blocks are a great tool. Yoga blocks allow you to safely move into poses so that you are aligned, open, and feeling good.block triangle When your are having a hard time performing some poses, for example half moon pose, warrior pose, pyramid, or triangle; the blocks can serve as a supporting tool that you can place your hand(s) on to help bring the floor to you, allowing for added length to your arms and getting full extension in the pose. Choose the block height based on your flexibility. Note that you may choose a different height each time you get on your mat.

Yoga blocks can also provide support. Blocks can support your head and neck during lying positions or support your weight during sitting and standing positions. In a lying position, place the block under your neck to avoid straining your neck or spine. In seated positions, try sitting on a block; either cross legged or legs behind you as in hero’s pose for example. Sitting on a block is a great way to alleviate any tension or discomfort on your knees. When in a standing pose, for an extra challenge or degree of difficulty, try standing on the block (i.e. maybe in tree pose or warrior III) and see how it feels, this is a great way to work your balance and your core.


butt on blockAdditionally, since yoga blocks can help support weight, they can also maintain balance. This is helpful during standing, squatting, as well as sitting positions. Blocks will help you find your center of gravity so you can maintain your balance and hold a position longer, feeling more open and aligned.block bridge 2

So next time you’re in class, rather than worrying about how the blocks will make you look, think about how they will make you feel!

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Giving is Good for You!

hand heartAs most of you may be aware, I love hosting fundraisers and raising money for charity. I am  always looking for new ways to give back. In fact, in a previous blog, I wrote about why I love running on a charity team team so much. Being able to help and support others is something I am incredibly passionate about. I support many charities and organizations and find true joy and happiness in being able to help others. In fact, I have made a career out of helping others. I want to leave my mark on the world so that when I look back at my life, I can say that I gave it my all, that I helped as many people as I could, making a difference in their lives through my actions and words.   Continue reading Giving is Good for You!

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30 Perfect Things!

I have been thinking about how often people take things for granted.  How we sometimes focus on the negative in our lives and we forget about all the good things.  Somehow we’ve learned to believe that we need material items to be happy.  So we go to work, hoping to make lots of money so we can buy things we want.  We believe that these items will help us feel more fulfilled or make us feel that we matter; proving our worth to the world.

Since I quit my job and taken a pay cut, my husband put me on a budget.  At first I thought, “what am I going to do?” Then I realized that I don’t need much.  I have so much already and more than what money can buy.  I started to think about all of the wonderful things in my life and having done so, I feel more content, more happy, and more sure that I am exactly where I need to be in life.  

We don’t need to buy things to make our lives beautiful or joyous. We don’t need more glamorous items in our lives to find happiness and contentment. We can find these wonderful qualities in what’s already in front of us.

At times, I forget this. But in my best moments, I remember and my heart expands with more love for life and everyone around me.

In my mind, these things are perfect and are proof that we don’t need to buy anything to be happy, cool, excited, or content:

  1. Family
  2. A quiet morning walk with the dogs before sunrise
  3. A run outdoors with good friends
  4. A great cup of coffee
  5. Reading a book curled up on the couch
  6. A hug
  7. A yoga practice
  8. A delicious fruit smoothie
  9. Holding the door for someone
  10. A good workout
  11. Hot soup and good bread
  12. A song that gets you singing and/or dancing
  13. Fresh fallen snow
  14. The sound of the ocean
  15. Meeting a new friend
  16. A sunset
  17. Leaves changing colors
  18. A fire in the fireplace
  19. Cuddling with your significant other
  20. Sunday mornings in bed
  21. Pancakes
  22. Spending time with friends
  23. A bite of mango
  24. Reflecting on life, blogging
  25. People laughing around you
  26. Imagining future possibilities
  27. Helping someone else
  28. Writing a note, email, or text to someone you care about  
  29. Knowing that you love yourself
  30. You

“Happiness isn’t about getting what you want all the time. It’s about loving what you have and being grateful for it.”

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