Category Archives: Lifestyles

3 Daily Tricks to Unleash Your Yogi

Hello darlings! I’ve been thinking about how we can all connect with our inner yogi even when we’re not on the mat. Getting connected with the part of yourself that you always seem to meet when you’re in a yoga class can be so grounding and HEALTHY! So, I came up with 3 simple ways of doing this when you’re at work, standing in line, on an airplane…just about anywhere!

One: Pick up all ten yogi toes! Lifting your toes off the floor, no matter how high you can get them, instantly helps connect you with the four corners of your feet. Our feet have corners too ya know!? The pad below your big toe, the pad below your pinky toe, and then either side of your heel form the points which make up the sole of our foot. One way to physically ground yourself is to lift those tootsies and connect with your corners. So slip your shoes off at the office today and try it out!

Two: Shimmy your shoulders back in their sockets! This past weekend I went to a yoga teacher workshop all about adjustments. And I think almost every single adjustment involved bringing these long wavy appendages that we call arms and legs back into the core of our being. Plugging back into the torso. One way to do this is by taking the shoulders, shrugging them up to the ears, and then rolling them back onto the back. WOW! Your heart is instantly more open and tension is released. So now you’re grounded AND you have an open heart.

Three: Permit yourself perfect posture! If you’ve completed the two tasks above then you are well on your way to action three! Taking a moment to tuck the tailbone and lengthen through the spine allows you to check in with your body language. What are you telling yourself just in the way your carrying yourself right now? Is your weight shifted more toward one side or the other? Body reading tells you ALOT about what energy you have at the moment and guess what!? We can control our own energy just by adjusting our posture. Check out Kimberly Wilson’s six movements of the spine video to get the idea!

So open up those channels for some nourishing energy and stand tall, roll the shoulders up and back, and bring all ten toes off the Earth. Witness how this  helps you connect to the divine energy within you…It’s always there and you don’t have to be on a yoga mat to find it! Voila! Namaste lovelies! See you soon xo.

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Filed under Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness, Yoga poses

Teaching Yoga, Interning, & Lots of Joy

Greetings Shimmering Souls! I have so much to tell you all. Remember a few weeks ago when I said Yoga to Go would be slowing down with teaching? Well, as soon as I mentioned that on the blog oodles of new opportunities started flowing my way! I am now the proud yoga teacher at Appalachian State University Health Promotions for Faculty & Staff (what a mouth full!) and I couldn’t be happier. I was able to teach my first class there on Wednesday and although it wasn’t the largest attendance I’ve ever had, it felt so good to have my own space! I’ll be teaching there on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1-2 so if you know anyone who works for ASU, tell them to come promote their health and spirit in my yoga class! Mats, props, music, and lots of new yummy vinyasas will be offered every class. Just bring your self, maybe some water, and your breath!

Another new happening at Yoga To Go is my internship with….drum roll….Through Healing Eyes! I officially started work today, and up first on the agenda was to make them a shimmering blog that was as beautiful as they are. Check out the link above to see the new blog and please comment and subscribe! So, I’ll be writing for them as well as assisting many of Katheryns amazing yoga classes and so. much. more. If you’re in the Hickory, NC area you can come practice with us too! Here’s a link to Katheryn’s weekly class offerings. She is phenomenal…if you get the chance, come visit!  I couldn’t have dreamed up a better internship with nicer people. Through Healing Eyes..here I come! :)

I’ll also be graduating from my Health Promotion program at ASU in December and I can’t tell you how excited I am to put all the knowledge I’ve collected to good use. The past few days have been full of new beginnings and joy and I look forward to sharing all my new endeavors with you! Thank you for stopping by and reading…your comments and emails mean the world to me!

What has brought you joy this week? Whatever it is (big or small), I invite you to just sit beside it for a bit…and smile! Remember that if you dream it you can become it. Start now and manifest your joy! Would you like a joy cupcake? :)

I hope you’re having a beautiful weekend. Xo

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Filed under Beginnings, Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Teaching, The Journey, Transition

Happy Independence Day!

Hello yogis and yoginis! I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend full of good food, family, friends, and rest! Not only can we all celebrate the independence of America, but I vote we also make today a day to declare our own independence from negative self-talk. Have you ever stopped to listen to the negative tapes we play in our heads over and over again? Make today the day you hit stop on the negative tapes and press play on the tapes labeled “I am loved” “I am strong” “I am good enough”! Self-love is an imperative step to health and wellness of mind and body. Don’t fill your muscles, blood, and lymph with negativity, send yourself some compassion this day and onward. Remember, you are what you think! The mind is a powerful tool on your journey to wellness.
And in the spirit of Celebration…here’s my recommendation on the beer you should bring to your next event! Did you know that having 1-2 beers a night helps to raise your HDL (good cholesterol)? It totally does! And the best beer for a yogi is:

Lucky Beer! An Asian-style lager, its brewed and bottled in China before embarking on its global good-will journey. It features the seated laughing Buddha holding a large gold ingot above his head. Many believe this figure of Buddha to be a symbol of wealth, happiness, and life fulfillment. I love this bottle so much that I often hold on to it and use it as a vase!  Have a great fourth everyone! Namaste.

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Filed under Ahimsa, Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness

Have a Daily Ritual

Seriously. If you don’t have one…find one! It could change your entire day, even your life! My definition of a daily ritual is:

A. Something you do everyday without question.

B. Whatever “it” is, you do it mindfully! Key word: Mindfully!

  • The ritual doesn’t have to be the same for the rest of your life. Choose what your ritual will be, commit to it for a certain amount of time, and then let the journey be a fluid experience.
  • There are two ways to go about picking your daily mindful moment. You can choose something you ALREADY have in your daily routine and choose to do it mindfully. Examples of this are brushing your teeth, washing your hair, making tea, petting your dog/cat, etc. Or! You can come up with something you really want to add to your life and commit to that. Examples: Getting on the meditation cushion every morning, eating a meal without TV, or Taking a walk around the neighborhood.
  • If you choose to add a new ritual to your life, please know that there will be days you won’t want to do it at all! Do it anyway. Sit with your thoughts asking yourself, “What am I feeling right now?”, accept the feelings, and just do it! I promise it will make your journey so fulfilling in the end. PROMISE.
  • Your mindful moment should not have a cut-off time. Allow yourself the freedom to end your mindfulness when it feels right each day.

So how will having a ritual enrich your life? So many ways…lets talk about em’.

  • Connection – to the Earth, your spirit, nature’s cycles, and your own cycles. In today’s fast-paced world with media overload and constant noise its nice to reconnect.
  • Quiet the Mind – Being quiet and turning inward daily will help manage the monkeys in your mind. They need lots of managing! When your mind is still you are more balanced and can think more clearly about what really matters.
  • Home Base – Pretty soon your moment will become your rock. It’s always there to help ground you and bring you back to center.
  • The Physiological  Simply observing the breath and turning inward helps manage our nervous system. This in turn helps with heart rate, anxiety, and tension. It’s all about you baby!

Ground yourself, feed your soul, get some closure, and connect with the divine. Have a daily mindful moment. Namaste.

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Filed under Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Mindfulness, The Journey, Transition

Today…

Today has been eventful, but full of all the things I love to do! Seriously I don’t know where this burst of energy came from, but all of a sudden I was canning, sewing, and hiking! I even squeezed some yoga into my day for good measure. I woke up this morning and finished up canning some peach butter and pickles. Yum!

After the canning was complete…Stew and I left the cans to seal up and went on a hike! Would you like some peach butter?

There was yoga (fire-log hip opening goodness)…

Lots of hiking…

And lots of wet nose kisses

When we got home I decided it was time to revisit the sewing machine to get some creative energy out and I put together a quick drawstring bag! I don’t really LOVE the ribbon I used..but it’s what I had to work with. I do, however love the pattern! It was really simple to whip right up!

So that was my day today! It’s been full and wonderful. I hope you all are making space to feed your body and soul with creativity, yoga, and some local delicious food! Be well :)

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Filed under Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Yoga poses

Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice, or midsummer, is right around the corner. In fact its tomorrow! The 21st will be the day when the earth’s axis holds its greatest tilt towards the sun. It marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of summer. It has definitely felt like summer arrived early this year with all the heat, but that’s another story. So when you get on your mat tomorrow morning and salute the sun, take in the extra energy that will be pouring out upon us from the giant star in the sky.

Several traditions around the world celebrate the summer solstice by burning a bonfire all day and night. This is meant to celebrate the sun at its peak performance and to ask the sun not to withdraw back into winter. I won’t be creating any bonfires tomorrow, but I do plan to light a candle and keep it burning all day.

Summer solstice is also a time of reflection. Take a moment to take in the greenscape all around you and the growth of seeds you’ve planted. If you have projects that you’ve been working on or any other “seeds” you’ve planted. Now is the time to reflect on those and check in on their progress. Celebrate growth, love, and the world’s vitalizing energy within and around you. How are your seeds doing? I hope the solstice finds you well!

OH! and happy father’s day! Thanks for being here xo

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Filed under Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, The Journey

Yoga helps cancer survivors sleep: and an interview with Katheryn Harlan

A new study, the largest of its kind thus far, has shown that yoga helps cancer survivors get better sleep! CNN posted this article a couple days ago reviewing the study writing:

The study included 410 cancer survivors who had completed treatment in the previous two years and had been experiencing sleep problems for at least two months. All but 16 of the patients were women, and 75 percent were breast cancer survivors. In addition to the standard post-treatment care that everyone received, half of the study participants attended 75-minute yoga sessions twice a week for a month.

The results of the study lead researchers to believe that yoga is not only a viable exercise, but also a great way to calm the nervous system and manage pain! Through the use of restorative and Hatha yoga, both low-intensity styles, participant’s sleeping patterns improved and the use of sleeping medications went down:

At the beginning of the study, just under 85 percent of the participants in both the yoga and control groups were experiencing sleep problems. By the end, 31 percent of the patients who’d done yoga were sleeping soundly, compared with just 16 percent of the control group. The yoga participants were also using about 20 percent less sleep medication, on average, while the people in the control group actually upped their intake of sleep drugs by 5 percent.

This is encouraging news to yoga teachers everywhere who have “known” that yoga has a place in cancer survivor’s lives all this time. In honor of this finding I went to my dear friend Katheryn Harlan, who has been teaching breast cancer survivors for several years, and asked if she would mind talking about her foundation and how yoga has changed her student’s lives over the years. Katheryn is a breast cancer survivor, a certified yoga instructor, a mother, and an activist. She is the founder and director of Through Healing Eyes. Her organization promotes breast cancer awareness through education, provides inspiration to those affected, and makes breast cancer diagnosis and treatment available to those unable to afford care. You can read about the beginnings of Through Healing Eyes on their Facebook page. It is truly an inspirational story. Visit their website to purchase one of their calenders or make a donation. In addition to her organization, Mrs. Harlan teaches a group of breast cancer survivors every week. Below are some questions she took to her students about how yoga has impacted their lives as cancer survivors.

Which came first for you, yoga or breast cancer?

Katheryn: All of the ladies I polled said breast cancer came first. for me, however yoga came first. I then found the profound benefits of yoga after a diagnosis.

Did you turn to yoga after cancer as a way of management or were you already practicing?

K: They turned to yoga as a way of managing the “fall out” of cancer.

What percentage of your class are yoga survivors or are currently effected with cancer?

K:100% are survivors, in various stages of their recovery. Although most are”healthy” survivors I do have some that suffer from long term side effects of the chemotherapies/radiation/surgeries & drugs used in treatments.
How do your yoga students rank the benefits of yoga? In other words what has been the greatest benefit…increase in sleep, pain management, weight maintenance,  stress reduction, community building, healing visualization/meditation?

K: Stress reduction, more restful sleep, decrease pain,love being in a non-judgmental class where we can all FEEL each other’s pain, both physically & emotionally. Several have been helped with weight post treatment weight gain. Greatest benefit to me is to be able to recognize and truly and simply appreciate “me” and being here in the moment.

Additional perks: Reduce stress, improve balance, regain flexibility,
meditation and relaxation, focus, new friends with a special bond.  It is
my support group, even if we don’t talk about breast cancer.

Do you use healing visualizations as part of your meditation process? What kind of visualizations do you use?

K: I ask them to remember back to the time they first heard the words, ” you have breast cancer”, pause for about 10 breaths & then begin to talk about what has happened since then, how they have endured the treatments, surgeries, came to their 1st yoga class/support group, & any other positive steps they have taken & that depends on who is in the class & I know their background so I use specific situations, etc.
I ask them to visualize their breath as their favorite color & imagine that as their positive healing energies & send that breath wherever they need healing at this moment.
Sometimes we “go” to their happy place & refer back to that w/ each pose.
When doing strength poses or 1 legged balancing poses I talk about how their strength has helped them endure adversity & chaos during their time of “fighting” & has brought them to this point.

Thank you Katheryn for taking the time to bring these questions to your students. I am in awe of all the amazing work you’re doing, and I’m especially in awe of the amazing, strong group of women you work with.

Please check out Through Healing Eyes !  I hope you all have an inspired week! xo

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Filed under Interviews, Lifestyles, Living Your Yoga, Teaching