Tag: #yogi

It only takes 15 minutes a day!

“Can we talk?” I hope you heard my inner Joan Rivers voice coming through. I constantly hear about how we can accomplish this, that or the other and “it takes just 15 minutes a day” or do this for 30 minutes a day and you’ll be fit, wealthy, beautiful, happy or balanced.

As a Mom, I completely understand that some days are just busier than others. It would unreasonable to jump on that bandwagon that we all hear “it only takes a few minutes a day”. 10 minutes in the morning to wash and moisture your face, take at least 20 minutes to meditate, 30 to 60 minutes of exercise, take an 1 hour on Sunday’s to meal plan, write in your journal…etc. etc. the list can go on and on.

I always try to stress to others (as well as myself) that you/I just need to focus on the doing the the things that bring out the feeling of happiness and peace. I try to participate (even if it’s just for a few minutes) in what is most important for me and I don’t worry about how long I spend in the process.

Now what makes me happy is probably completely different then what makes you happy and that’s a good thing! If we all did exactly the same things, our lives and world would be dull and not creative at all. In my life, being balanced and happy always includes some form of Yoga and Meditation/Self Care and Reiki. A day without these items just doesn’t feel right but I always, always stress that it doesn’t matter how long your practice is, consistency plays a much bigger role in your overall feeling as well as your inner and outer connections – the people around you will feel the difference when you are not balanced.

Here are some of the things I do to bring myself into alignment everyday:

  1. Give Thanks – First thing after waking up. give thanks for the day and for keeping me and my loved ones safe. I give thanks for not only the day, but for the ability to walk through it, the ability to feel it and the wisdom to embrace all that comes with it. If you can add in in a little overhead stretch in bed, do it! Follow it up with a quick balasana (Child’s pose) and you’ll awaken a beautiful energy and ground yourself in the process.

  2. Smudge/Reiki – I take a few minutes everyday to smudge myself with some Sage and follow it up with some Palo Santo, while again saying a quick prayer, this time to release any negative or stagnant energy and infuse my mind, body and soul with positivity, joyful light and Reiki energy.

  3. Drink water – Every morning I have a glass of water with 1 – 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar. There are endless studies that prove just how effective and awesome the benefits of drinking ACV everyday are (but that’s for another post).

  4. Coffee – That’s right, I said coffee. I love my coffee!!! (see the explanation points?) I know, I know…some people say not to drink it but honestly I like it and yes it makes me happy. I enjoy my time with beautiful cup of Joe every day, so there it is. If coffee isn’t your cup of tea…then have tea (Sorry I couldn’t help that one).

  5. Focus on the day – As I am enjoying my morning coffee, I visualize my day. I see every part of my planned day with happiness and joy in every situation, in every action. It’s a coffee meditation of sorts. At this time, if I can or if I feel called to I write in my journal.

  6. Meditation/Self Care/Reiki – Here is where you might have to get creative, on days when I have extra time my morning meditation consists of some or all of the following: Sitting in easy pose, focused, with candles, crystals, my Mala beads, Chanting a mantra, with music and essential oils and focus on my Reiki practice. Most days it’s much simpler than that. Just allowing the water to wash away anything that doesn’t serve me while I’m in shower can be my meditation. Seriously, get creative here. Meditation time could be while your in the car waiting for the kids to get out of school. walking your kids to school, packing lunches, washing dishes. Don’t worry about the vision of the yogi floating away on some clouds while they meditate. Just fit it in – somehow, someway.

  7. Yoga – I would love to say I have a beautiful, flowing 60 minute practice all to myself, every single day but I don’t.  I’m a yoga teacher, mom, wife, I cook, I clean, I go to the market, I’m on homework duty and make sure the kids are clean and get to bed on time…life gets busy. I have to admit there are days when I only have the chance to do Balasana (child’s pose) in bed or fit in a Uttanasana (standing forward fold) and Ardha Uttansana (half way lift) as I doing my hair or getting things out of the pantry or fridge but hey – It all counts! Extra tip here: I lay out my yoga mat in the living room and as I walk by it – I do a quick little flow or a quick pose as I’m getting things done around the house. It works for me and keeps me in my flow. 

  8. Learn/Read/Listen – I try to learn something new everyday. This old dog really can learn new tricks! With our phones in our hands and social media in abundance, we have amazing access to information. Use it to your advantage and subscribe to some great Facebook groups, Instagram pages or YouTube channels that post positive, uplifting, inspiring and educational content. There is always something you can learn or ponder.

  9. Give hugs – You’d be surprised and how much a hug can affect your day or someone else’s day. There are people who don’t get hugs, so if you have the ability to do it – do it! It makes you and them feel better.

  10. Smile and Laugh – nothing makes you feel better than a smile and a good laugh. Trying singing a song with a smile and then try singing it without a smile, you will feel and hear the difference. Share your light, it makes a difference.

Image provided by Tinybuddha.com

These are the things that I feel are vital in my everday life and contribute to my overall wellness. What things bring out your inner sunshine? Take just a few minutes (hahaha…really just do it) to make a quick list of the things that make a difference in your daily life. See how and where you can apply them, do what makes YOU happy, with whatever time you have to bring yourself balance and energy. It doesn’t matter how much time you do these things, just as long as you do them – every little bit counts.

Namaste,

Annette

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My Journey Into The World Of Yoga

Projectrefinedlife.com
I’ve always loved yoga. It has always been a way for me to relax, feel refreshed, energized and alive. My vocal/piano teacher introduced the practice of breathing, mediating & some light yoga as a teenager. I remember thinking “Okay, this is cool but I’m here to sing and learn to play the piano. Why is she having me do this”. Looking back now I realize she was trying to open my mind, focus my energy and deflect the some of the negative influences and habits I had surround myself with.
As an adult, I practiced Yoga from time to time. In the mornings before heading off to work, at my local gyms, at a couple of the kick boxing gyms I belonged to. I tired out some studios here and there and with dvd’s. No matter what I was doing in life, no matter what season in life I was in, I always came back to Yoga. Last year, I made Yoga a part of my everyday life at a wonderful studio in old town Tustin called Yoga2 (Yoga Squared). This studio felt good, the energy was good and the teachers and students were friendly and kind. As soon as I started practicing on a regular basis, I knew this was something I needed to include as part of my being and on a bigger scale.
I began to feel and think differently. At this time I was already engaged in some courses and study’s which made the practice (asana), the words, the shapes and the thoughts I was experiencing during my Yoga sessions light a fire within me. This past December, I decided to take my love for yoga to whole new level and embark on a 15 week – 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training course through Shanti Shanti Yoga School.
Mediating in the Grand Canyon
Deciding to take this training was a hard choice for me. I already had such a busy schedule, I was afraid of the commitment, scared of all of the studying that would be involved. I was older than your average yoga teacher and didn’t have as much flexibility as some of the yogi’s around me. Could I keep up with my family, my household duties and other outside commitments? I sat down and had a talk with my family to discuss how everyone’s life would be different (at least for 15 weeks) if I took this training. With the support of my family and despite all of the challenges – I decided to do it. The 15 weeks would come and go regardless of my taking this training, so why not at least try it.
Well, here I am in week #11. I must say – this has not easy but it has it been worth it! I have met some amazing human beings. I have discovered things about myself that need to change. I’ve discovered things about others around me that made me wake up. I am learning about SO many things and so many different perspectives. It’s been a humbling and an eye opening experience and I am loving every minute of it!
Quote from Winnie the Pooh.
In my daily life, I am beginning to prioritize my day and my life differently. I realized almost 12 years ago that although I plan my life ultimately there is a power much greater then myself that is control. I am however in control of how I respond to what happens in life. There are certain things in my life that I am okay with letting go of (folding the laundry is one of them). In all seriousness, I feel a huge shift in my life and it is due to this inner reflection that is required in this training. This training is unlike any other training or education I have ever taken part in.
If you have ever considered taking Yoga Teacher Training – do it! A few words of advice:
  • Look for a good school –  Find a school that is registered through Yoga Alliance. You want your training to count and many yoga studios won’t hire you if your teacher training wasn’t through a Yoga Alliance registered school. Very important, make sure the teachers/trainers are in practice, knowledgeable and kind. I feel like I hit the jackpot with my Yoga school of choice. They are all very professional, well trained and caring.
  • Don’t go big – when it comes to yoga teacher training, bigger isn’t necessarily better. Smaller class sizes means more individualized attention. They’ll get to know you and what your capable of. Don’t be a number.
  • Internship Programs – it’s scary to be sitting along side the teacher, teaching segments of the class or the whole class during  your training but so worth it. The opportunity to have a mentor guide you and prepare you to teach before you’re out there on your own is priceless. I appreciate every single word of advice and the direction I receive.
  • Keep a journal of how you feel and your thoughts on a weekly basis. I feel differently every week. There have been a couple of times I felt defeated and that I wasn’t cut out for this. But I’m still here – learning, growing and facing my fears. It’ll help to look back on your changes.
  • Be prepared – your life and your perspective will change and that’s a good thing. Embrace the changes that lie ahead and remain truthful to yourself.
There is still so much to learn. I am still nervous about my journey and my future as a Yoga Teacher. I am surrounded by some awesome examples of Yoga Teachers and people. At the beginning of my training I wasn’t sure if I wanted to teach but I now I am sure that I need to share this with others. It’s bringing an awareness into so many other areas of my life. Areas that I want to explore and learn more about. It has also brought into perspective things that I have already learned and how to incorporate them into what I what I am learning and what I will be teaching. I still have a few weeks to go and finals to get through but regardless of the outcome from this journey (Yoga Teacher Training) I know that my mind, body and soul will be better, more knowledgeable, more accepting, stronger and healthier because of this. Let the project continue!

Peace and Love,

Annette – Project Refined Life

 

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