We Need You!

When coronavirus came around, we had to act.
We had to wear masks, wash our hands, stay at home, work from home, take our kids out of school, use less toilet paper, etc. 

It was inconvenient, uncomfortable and difficult for many of us. We made sacrifices. But we did it because people were getting sick. People were dying. 

But a worse health crisis has been on our hands for centuries: racism. And many of us have not acted. We haven’t inconvenienced ourselves, gotten uncomfortable or made sacrifices to do something about it. Even though black people are getting sick. Even though black people are dying. 

We have to act.

Racism hasn’t been declared a pandemic by WHO, but it should be. Racism has been recognized as a public health issue by numerous medical groups and last year was declared a public health crisis in Milwaukee. And yet there have been no apparent changes or healing to this systemic disease. No rush for a cure like there is for a vaccine. Sit with that for a minute. It’s packed with uncomfortable truths, both racist and economic.

Not sure what you can do? I’m still learning myself. But educating yourself is a good first step. Here is a list of anti-racism resources. It’s big. There’s lots to learn and do. Just start somewhere. Share it with others. 

If you’re buying a book on this list, please consider purchasing from a black-owned bookstore here: https://aalbc.com/bookstores/ rather than Amazon.

This work will take strength and energy. It will be difficult and emotional. Change always is. Please make sure you are also taking care of yourself. We need you.

Remember that we are all works in progress. And when you mess up, try not to defend yourself. Instead, listen more. Making mistakes is how we learn. And doing something and messing up is better than not doing anything at all.

f you are not black and believe there’s nothing you can do about racism, or that you’re not part of the problem, I get it. I was the same way. For a long time. But it’s not true. I implore you to open yourself up to the possibility that there is more for you to learn about racism, more you can do. We need you too. 

What Do You Believe About Yourself?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.” 
~Henry Ford

During the pandemic it’s become more clear to me than ever that our attitude and beliefs shape our lives.

I have a friend who is a wedding planner. When the lockdown began, she believed her business was over. Communications with her clients all but came to a screeching halt and she told me she “had to move back home.” She seemed utterly defeated. 

I recently met another wedding planner. When the lockdown began she helped her clients re-schedule everything. She connected with new venues in more remote areas where she guessed lockdown restrictions might be lifted sooner. She worked with her clients to make videos for their “future” wedding guests to share their story and help them all stay connected and excited about the event. She believed she could help her clients, and she did. As a result, she’s gained 8 new clients in the past month through referrals from her current clients. It’s the biggest bump in her business she’s ever experienced. 

What does this have to do with health and wellness? EVERYTHING!

What gets in the way of improving our health more than anything else are our beliefs about what we can and can’t do.

But beliefs are NOT reality. They are a pattern of thinking, a “habit of mind” that we have chosen.

And if we want to make changes to our health, it’s important to examine how, or if, our beliefs are serving our well-being.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can address limiting beliefs, let’s chat! I offer a free Wellness Strategy Session where we will look at what’s getting in the way of you achieving you wellness goals and how to move past those roadblock. Contact me today to set up your free session.

Your Only Real Safety Net in Uncertain Times

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Before COVID-19, you may have felt secure in your job. Or maybe you were certain you’d be taking a spring break or summer vacation across the country. Perhaps you were convinced there’d never be a shortage of toilet paper!

It’s always been the case that there is very little that is truly secure or certain in life, and the pandemic has spotlighted this fact for us all. Life is full of surprises. Always.

But according to Pat O’Donnell, environmentalist and former president and CEO of Patagonia (among many other accomplishments), there is one safety net we always have: OUR VALUES.

In his early years, Mr. O’Donnell left a comfortable and secure job as an engineer in San Francisco to flip burgers in Yosemite National Park because he wanted to do more rock-climbing. When asked how he made such a big decision, he responded that:

“Each choice I made was consistent with my values and my vision, at the time. That’s what I’d always come back to. Your values are your only real safety net.”

Yogic philosophy and Ayurveda suggest that values are what connects you to your Higher Self, what creates integrity and allows you to discover your dharma, or purpose in life. In fact, Ayurvedic wisdom goes so far as to say that one of the main causes of disease and suffering occurs when we don’t act in accordance with our values, our inner wisdom.

In other words, knowing your values and aligning your actions to those values brings fulfillment, joy and healthy living. 

Do you know what your values are? Do your actions and habits align with those values?

Despite the fact that we all have values, many of us go through life without clarifying or articulating what our values are.

Are you interested in learning more about clarifying your values and leanring how to live in alignment with them for a more meaningful life?

Contact me for a free Wellness Strategy Session and I can help! We’ll clarify what you value and what’s getting in the way of you acting on those values.

The Key to Starting Any New Habit

I’ve been speaking with a number of my workshop attendees–can you guess what I hear about the most in these conversations?

1. I know the habits I have are not great.

AND

2. I want to change those habits, be healthier but I don’t know where to begin

OR

3. I’ve tried making some changes, and it works for a while but then I get thrown off track and struggle to get back to those bad habits.

Change is rarely easy. We’re often working against some deeply rooted patterns. But it’s not impossible to change those patterns.

Today I’m sharing my top tip for getting started on creating a new habit:

GET CLEAR ON WHY YOU’RE DOING IT. 
The first step I take with any client is clarifying why they want to make changes. Understanding what’s sparking this desire to change will keep you anchored to your motivation. It will help you get through the tough times on your journey and remind you why you started in the first place.

And we gotta go deep here. No one wants to lose weight simply because they want to fit in their pants. So it’s important to keep asking yourself “why” in order to get to your deeper desire. For instance, ask yourself: Why do I want to fit in my pants? Why is that important?

And whatever your response is to that question, ask again–well why is that important? I recommend asking yourself “why is that important” about 9 times.

There is always a much deeper reason underlying your desire to change that you may not have admitted to yourself before. Find out what it is. 

TIPS: As you ask yourself why, get out of your head. You’ll never find the answers there anyway. See if your responses can come from the heart or the belly. Allow the deeper desire to emerge from your whole self. Try not to edit what comes up. You may want to “free write” or talk into a recorder without worrying about anyone (especially you!) judging what comes out. 

Once you’ve got your BIG why answer, write it down. 

How powerful can this be? As an example, that client who thought she wanted to lose weight to fit in her pants? She made another discovery. What she really wanted, was to lose weight because she wanted to have more energy to spend time/play with her kids, and to show them that they can do things they set their minds to.

A little more powerful than pants right? And by the way, she’s lost almost 30 pounds.

Address Your Stress with These Two Tips

For those of us in California, our stay at home order, unsurprisingly, was extended another month. Eesh.

Regardless of where you live, the restrictions and changes we’ve experienced over the past month have been a LOT to process emotionally. To various extents, we’re all experiencing more stress in our lives. And it’s important that we address this added stress and counter it with healthy activities.

And yet, sometimes when we’re feeling stressed, it’s hard to think of anything but the stress.

We forget that we already know so many ways to help ourselves.

So here’s a couple of recommendations I’ve made to my clients, and advice I am following myself!

1. Keep a list. Take a moment and write a list of healthy activities that help you reduce or manage your stress levels. Write everything down you can think of that makes you feel better without compromising your health (in other words, keep activities and substances off this list that aren’t boosting your health or immune system).  

Keep this list handy, and when you have time or urgently need to de-stress, take it out, pick one activity on the list and do it.

TIP: Try not to get into your head too much about which one to do. Pick the one that caught your eye first. Or you might even decide before feeling stressed which activity you’ll do when you are feeling stressed. Either way, avoid paralysis by over-analysis!

2. Make de-stressing a daily habit. Commit to doing one or more of these stress-reducing activities every single day. Rather than doing these ONLY when you’re super stressed out, designate a particular time of day to de-stress daily. Not only will this help you create a good habit, but it will also help you build resilience to stress.  

TIP: Try doing your daily stress-reducing activity with a partner. This helps you both be accountable to each other.

Design Your Holidays: How to Get What You Really Want, Part 2

 

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Now that you’ve got your Guiding Light Statement, let’s create a plan that will move you closer to it. Below is an exercise to create action plans to help you map the way forward.

Same instructions here as in Part 1:

I recommend brewing a cup of your favorite herbal tea and setting aside 45 – 60 minutes to journal about the questions.

And if you don’t have the time right now for this exercise, open up your calendar and find the time within the next few days to do this for yourself. Set a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Don’t forget to read my important message at the end of this article. 

Part 2: Action Plans

  1. Think about a time when you’ve experienced one or more or all of the things you wrote in your Guiding Light Statement. What was happening? Who were you with? What did you do or what qualities do you possess that caused this to happen? Were there any preparations or organization that helped? What made it possible?
  2. What challenges or obstacles might prevent you from having this experience this holiday season? Who or what might have a different opinion about/effect on how your holidays should go?
  3. So you have an idea of what might get in the way (#2). And an idea of how you pulled this off before (#1). Ask yourself, how can your knowledge and experience from past success help you work through any challenges that may arise? What qualities do you possess that will help you move towards what you want? Who can you turn to for support? What practices or techniques will aid you? You might even make a list of who/what won’t support you in this endeavor. Sometimes we look for support in all the wrong places. Let’s get clear on who or what can really support us and not place unrealistic expectations on those that can’t/won’t.
  4. For each challenge listed in #2, come up with an action plan based on your answers in #3 to help you move beyond that challenge. As part of your action plan, get as specific as you can about details like where, when, how often, with whom, etc.

Here are a few examples of action plans:

I am going to make a gift giving plan so that I am not doing all my shopping that week before Christmas when nothing is left or sizing is all wrong and I’m just getting whatever I can so there’s a gift under the tree. I will make this gift giving plan on Nov. 15th @ 9am, and will plan to have all of my shopping completed by Dec. 2nd.

I am going to let my family know that it’s important to me to have an earlier, lighter dinner by around 6pm. If they are not able to accommodate me, I will make my own dinners and eat by 6pm and then have tea with them while they are eating at least 5 of the 7 nights I will be with my family. Those two exceptions will be on Christmas night and the first night I arrive.

I will keep up my daily morning exercise and meditation routine 6 out of 7 mornings I am gone and will ask my husband to join me and keep me accountable.

I will limit my alcohol intake to 3 glasses of wine per week. I will let my family know when I am planning to have those glasses so that they don’t bother to ask me every night if I’m having wine with dinner.

I would love to hear your action plan!! Feel free to post your plan(s) on Facebook or Instagram (and be sure to tag me @nmyogawellness). Or you can email me and share what actions you’re going to take this season!

IMPORTANT: Our patterns during the holidays run deep and we are surrounded by people who expect us to follow those patterns. So if at first you don’t succeed with your action plans, don’t despair or be too hard on yourself. This defeats the purpose. Instead, pat yourself on the back for taking these initial steps to creating a better holiday season. This is a great gift to yourself and those around you. Learn what you can this year so you can think about how to improve your action plan for more holiday cheer next year.

Design Your Holidays: How to Get What You Really Want, Part 1

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We tend to believe that we don’t have much control over how our lives go. Yet, in my work, and in my own life, I’ve observed time and time again that this just isn’t true. While there may be a few things we have less control over, we can drastically transform how we experience life simply by getting clear about what we want and what we value. And then using those desires and values as a guide for making decisions and choices that will allow us to have a more joyful and meaningful experience of life.

And this is the case with the holidays too. In other words, if we determine what it is we really want this season and what we value about this time of year, we can create a plan that guides us into experiencing a more joyful and meaningful holiday.

I’ve created a two-part exercise to help you:

  1. Clarify what you really want, and
  2. Create a map that gets you there

Below is Part 1 with Part 2 to follow soon. I recommend brewing a cup of your favorite herbal tea and setting aside 45 – 60 minutes to journal about the questions.

And if you don’t have the time right now for this exercise, open up your calendar and find the time within the next few days to do this for yourself. Set a reminder in your calendar so you don’t forget. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Awesome. Here are the questions for Part 1:

Part 1: Your Guiding Light Statement

  1. What would you like to experience this holiday season? How do you want to feel? In your body, mind and spirit?
  2. Why do you want to experience that? And why is that important?
  3. Ask yourself question #2 above at least 3 more times. Dig deep here. Why do you want these experiences and feelings?
  4. Create Your Guiding Light Statement: Now write a sentence or more that encompasses both what you want (what you wrote for #1) and why that’s important to you (your ultimate/last answer to #2, why it’s important to you). Try to keep it in the positive. So that rather than talking about what you don’t want, focus on what you do want to feel and experience.

Here’s an example:

“I want to have a joyful and effortless holiday season, where my body feels relaxed, my mind is at ease and my spirit feels connected. I want this because when I feel like this, I am able to laugh more, have more fun, be more present with friends and family, have deeper conversations and feel more connected to life.”

I recommend honoring your guiding light statement by writing it on a piece of paper and posting it somewhere you can look at it often. Draw, color or decorate any way that seems appropriate for you to keep it on your mind.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #5

REASON #5: Ayurveda’s ancient wisdom stands the test of time.

Has Ayurveda caught your eye yet? It has certainly been getting a lot of attention from modern science. And Ayurveda-lovers like me are thrilled to see that researchers are now recognizing how the principles and practices of this ancient tradition are incredibly relevant and healing to the imbalances and diseases of modern living.

For example, just last year the Nobel Prize in Medicine went to three doctors for their studies on the effects of the circadian clock on our health and wellness. But Ayurveda has known this for thousands of years!

Dinacharya, or daily rituals, have been an essential part of Ayurveda’s prescription for health on all levels. These rituals emphasize the significance of aligning our activities, such as eating, sleeping, meditating and exercising, with what is referred to as the dosha clock in Ayurveda. This clock demonstrates that different times of the day are governed by the different doshas or bio-energies. And a fundamental teaching of Ayurveda is that if we align our activities with these energies, we support our bodies’ ability to heal and thrive. This is effectively the same conclusion these Nobel Prize-winning doctors found regarding the influence of the circadian clock on the body.

Modern research has also found several other Ayurvedic practices to be of great benefit to modern ailments, including the use of turmeric and other plants and foods for healing, abhyanga or self-oiling, and neti pots and nasya oil to increase immunity, not to mention the well-known benefits of yoga and meditation, which are part and parcel to the Ayurvedic lifestyle.

And it seems every month I’m hearing about another study that validates what the Ayurvedic sages learned centuries ago. Follow me on my Facebook page for postings on these subjects including links to articles and podcasts.


Ready to learn how these ancient practices can heal your modern woes?

Sign up TODAY!! Early  Bird Pricing Ends This Week!

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 24th, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #4

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REASON #4: Ayurveda reminds us of our deep connection to our eco-system and community.

When Ayurveda was developed over 5,000 years ago in India, the concepts of “going green,” being “eco-friendly” or “socially conscious” were unknown. The Ayurvedic sages lived in attunement with nature and thus were already all of these things.

In our consumerist culture, however, we are out of sync with the natural world, and thus out of sync with our own true nature.This has led to disease in our bodies, minds, spirits and environment. Just take a look at the increasing numbers of auto-immune diseases, heart disease, diabetes, and digestive disorders, to name a few.

Is there a correlation between these rising numbers of disease and disorders and the declining health of our planet?

Some would say yes, and I would agree with them. What I’ve learned and experienced from Ayurveda, is that when we align with the principles and rhythms of nature, we learn how to take care of ourselves, take care of each other and the planet. We begin to understand that our relationships to each other and to earth are interdependent and must be nurtured so that we can all enjoy good health.

Because Ayurveda is based in nature, its practices inherently honor and revere the eco-system that keeps us alive. And its principles recognize and appreciate the fundamental abundance and interconnectedness in all life.

By adopting Ayurveda’s natural practices and principles into our daily lives, we find a more balanced way of living in our bodies, with each other and on this beautiful planet. And I believe if we, both humans and the planet, are to thrive for many more centuries, this ancient tradition, must be the wave of the future.


Ready to learn how you can change your health and the planet’s? Join me for my upcoming workshop on Ayurveda.

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 24th, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.

Why I LOVE Ayurveda: Reason #3

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REASON #3: Ayurveda teaches the power of self-healing.

When we get sick, most of us are trained to seek answers or healing from somewhere outside of ourselves – usually from doctors who hardly know anything about us! Or some of us look to the internet for solutions to our symptoms.

Ayurveda asks us to instead develop a deeper connection and level of communication with our own bodies, so that we can listen to its messages and learn what it needs.

As I mentioned last week, Ayurveda tells us that we experience symptoms because of an imbalance in our constitution, which is composed of the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. And the key to restoring health is to correct that imbalance.

Ayurveda teaches us the qualities of the doshas so that we can become familiar with the characteristics of our unique constitution. Such knowledge enables us to recognize 1) when we go out of balance, and 2) how to take action to bring ourselves back into balance.

In other words, Ayurveda provides the language in which our bodies are speaking to us. It helps us understand our bodies’ messages so that we can understand how to restore that balance.

That is not to say you should abandon your ties to Western medicine. Instead, it’s an invitation to notice where that model has gaps in its approach to healing, and to open yourself to the possibility that you have much more self-healing power than you have been led to believe.

Stay tuned for next week when I share REASON #4 for loving Ayurveda.


Want to learn how you can bring Ayurvedic self-healing practices into your life? Join me in my upcoming workshop: 

workshop1

RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH + THRIVE WITH AYURVEDA

Saturday, March 24th, 2018:

2pm – 4pm

Square One Yoga, San Leandro

 

Ayurveda is the world’s oldest holistic healing system and is considered Yoga’s “sister science.” Though shunned for many years, modern science now recognizes the incredible efficacy of Ayurvedic practices in healing disease and imbalances of the modern world.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the nature of this life-transforming tradition, and discover how the principles of Ayurveda teach us to awaken our natural ability to self-heal and bring benefit to our communities, all living creatures and the planet.

All workshop participants will be offered a free 15 minute Ayurvedic phone consultation by appointment after workshop.

Cost: $30 for members of Square One, $35 for non-members.

$5 off if you register by 3/17/18.

Be sure to save your spot and register here.