Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014, Hello 2015!

Namaste, friends!

2014 has come and is almost gone. This year was a beautiful yet challenging one for me. A lot of monumental things took place for me in 2014:

The birth of a new Niece
Completing Yoga Teacher Training
Starting up my own Yoga business
Planning a wedding for 2015
My workplace had to close it's doors

This year had it's peaks and valleys, but I am grateful for everyday of it. There was growth, laughter, tears, breakdowns and breakthroughs. Every year comes with it's challenges but know that it will always pass. A favourite quote of mine is: "If you can't change the circumstance, change your perspective."- Unknown. At times, we cannot control the things that happen to us, but we can change how we respond to it. Embrace what comes and let it move through you.

My favourite thing to do when entering a New Year is journal. I write a gratitude list for 2014, and I write down any nagging or not so positive thoughts that may be lingering; Then I turn the page. A fresh, new canvas. A restart button. On this page, I write my intentions for 2015. This year, because I am now a business owner, I decided to do 2 lists. One personal and one business related.

In 2015, my yearly mantra is to be present. I am Here. To live in the only moment we are promised: The now. In 2014, I focused and put too much energy into the future. I tried to create or control things that haven't even occurred yet. Not this year! I will be more mindful and live presently.

This year, I will be ringing in the New Year at home. My fiance and I will share a glass of champagne together and savour the moment while we welcome another year.

How are you ringing in the New Year? And do you have any intentions for 2015?

"Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional."- Glenda Cloud

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Do You Make New Year's Resolutions?

Namaste, Yogis!

As we are nearing the end of 2014, I am reflecting back on my year. The ups, the downs, and everything in between. How far I have come, and places I still want to go; Both physically, mentally and emotionally. I reflect on new relationships made and relationships lost. I find it important to reflect on both the positive changes that have occurred in your life, and the not so positive things. They all play an important part in our life.

With this reflection, comes my intention for 2015. Over the last 2 years, I have given up on "Resolutions". I find they have a negative backdrop to them. If we don't succeed with our Resolution, then comes this heavy feeling of failure. They seem so concrete, so black and white. They don't leave room for any play, curiosity or heck, even mistakes. If one sets a goal to lose weight, and then doesn't accomplish that goal, then you are left with this feeling of failure and that doesn't make you feel very good, does it? You already feel down for not making your goal, and now you are considering yourself a failure. What does this accomplish, other than negativity in your life. We want to eliminate the suffering in our lives, not add to it.

 I've come to find setting intentions for my new year much more satisfying for the soul. Instead of setting one big intention for the whole year, I will focus on an intention for each month. It may be a mantra, a phrase, or even just one word.

My January, 2015 Mantra is: To stay grounded, stay strong.

I am learning the ropes right now as a new business owner. There were a lot of things I said Yes to in 2014 even though I didn't feel passionate or connected to whatever it was at the moment. I often fall into the "People Pleaser" mode. And although I always want to leave a positive impression, that doesn't mean that I should forego what I believe in. In January, I will stay grounded, and stay strong in what I believe in. I will only agree to projects and ventures that I feel good about, rather than just saying Yes to be a people pleaser.

For January, I am also introducing the word 'Playful' into my life. Again, this comes hand in hand with me being a new business owner. Why does everything have to be so strict? I am setting an intention for myself in January to be more playful with my business and life. Playful, yet smart. I will seek out new ventures outside of my comfort zone. I want to experience something different. Something outside of the business norm!

If you wish to lose a few pounds, I find the word health, or self love more gratifying then telling yourself that you need to lose weight. Health and/or self love will nurture your soul. Everything starts on how we feel on the inside <3

If you wish to save more money in 2015, perhaps starting a gratitude journal may be a lovely way to begin. We seem to take for granted how rich we really are. A supportive family, great friends, a roof over our heads, etc. This exercise may put things in perspective for you, and may encourage your to deal with your money more mindfully.

What intentions, mantras, words, etc. will you be incorporating in your life in 2015? Be open hearted, take your arms out wide and welcome 2015 with open arms. Be curious, playful. Let go, stay grounded. Adjust your sails. Do things that will make you happy and that will contribute to you being your very best self!

I am wishing you all a Happy Holiday and a happy, healthy New Year!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Finding Steadiness and Ease During the Holidays

♪ It's the most wonderful time of the year.....♫

Yes, this time of the year is a wonderful time. You get to spend time with family; Some you haven't seen since last holiday. You get to attend lovely events and parties BUT it can also be one of the most stressful times of the year...Funny they didn't make that a song!

You're making a list, and checking it twice...Only this list isn't to see who is naughty or nice. The To-Do lists won't stop growing and the calender keeps filling up. You can feel your fuel running low, and soon this favourite holiday turns into a not-so-favourite holiday.

In Pantanjali's Yoga Sutra we learn about Steadiness(Sthira) and Ease(Sukha). In Asana(Postures) we should always practice Sthira and Sukha. Sthira(Steadiness) to hold steady; Mind, body and soul. Sukha(Ease) to be in that "good space"; That space of comfort in a posture. When you are in perfect alignment and your bones and joints are free from any strain, you are physically and mentally in a "good space".

It's beneficial to live Sthira and Sukha in your daily life. That point of being balanced/steady and at ease. Things may be challenging(just like a Yoga posture) but practicing Sthira and Sukha can bring you back into that "Good space" And you'll be able to take the blinders off of the small stresses this holiday can bring, and focus on the joy and happiness it brings!

How to find that joy and balance during this holiday season? Well, here are some suggestions:

Lose expectations: In Pantanjali's Yoga Sutras we learn about the Yamas and Niyamas. The Yama Aparigraha translates to Non-Attachment It is easy to get so caught up in how things should turn out. How the outcome of something should be. These expectations can take away from us experiencing the real joy of the situation. You'll be attached to the outcome and when it doesn't go the way you expected then that takes away from your joy. Take a breath and let it go. Drop the expectations and just let things be as they are. 

Give time to yourself: How can you fully enjoy this wonderful time of the year if you are running on empty and juggling a dozen things a minute? You can't. Take time for yourself. And let go of the to-do list. Don't think about what you should be doing when you are trying to relax and give back to yourself. Just take a breather and refuel your tank. Reboot!
  • Practice Savasana every day Or take an extra long Savasana at the end of your practice
  • Meditate
  • Practice Yoga
  • Read a Book
  • Take a Hot Bath
  • Have a Hot cup of tea, hot chocolate, coffee, whiskey, etc
  • Cuddle(with your kids, loved ones, dogs, cats, blanket, teddy bear, all of the above!)
  • Move around(dance, go for a walk, a run, etc)
No matter how you like to enjoy your down time, just do it. Take that down time for yourself

Ask for Help: It's okay, you don't have to do all this on your own! You are allowed to ask for help. 
  • Ask a friend or family member if they can watch the kids while you take that down time, or run some errands, Christmas shop, etc. 
  • Host a potluck style brunch or dinner instead of tackling the whole shebang on your own. 
Be Kind to Yourself: This may sound crazy but you are not obligated to do anything you don't want to do. Don't feel you have to attend every function you are invited to. Be kind to yourself! If you rather turn on Netflix and make clothes optional, then do it! This is your holiday, too.

Gratitude Journal: This was something introduced to me during Yoga Teacher Training and I have kept it up since. It has been life changing. As often as you can(I write every night in bed) jot down everything you are grateful for. Sometimes it may be 10 things, other times it may just be one. You may write down that you are grateful for your kids, family and the roof over your head, and one day it might just be that you didn't flip off that driver that cut you off or that you didn't engage in your co-workers argument. Every bit counts!

Reflection/What Does this Time Mean to You: Journal or just think about what this time means to you. What is it that is truly important to you during the holidays? I doubt it's fighting long lines and cranky sales associates while Christmas shopping. It's probably snuggling under a blanket during the snowy nights, gathering with family or friends, sitting by the fire listening to your favourite songs, baking cookies with your loved ones...Whatever the reason may be, reflect on it. 

Live in the Moment: This time can get busy but don't let all that busyness cause the time to fly right by you.

Happy Holidays!