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Where I’m At

I’m writing this after completing my Friday morning class at our Kits Beach Studio.

It was one of those powerful mornings where the sun was streaming in the windows and the energy in the room was high. Towards the end of class, after all the dancing, sweating and singing we slowed things down. And as we all started to move more slowly and breathe more deeply, I thought about how important it is to sustain your energy.

The challenge you’re trying to see through, whether it’s the next set of 26 squats or 11 minutes of holding your arms up high or yet another plank, requires you to sustain your energy.

You know this…your strength doesn’t live in your muscles. Your strength comes from a place deep inside that you touch when you breathe deeply. One deep breath is all it takes to touch that place of calm strength that will sustain you – regardless of what you’re going through. You see, whatever challenge you’re facing might take some time to resolve.

Its ok, it’s just part of this journey. I know you want to know exactly when everything is going to be ok but honestly everything is ok right now. Whatever is happening right now is perfect. It’s part of your learning, and it’s part of your growth.

A few weeks back I talked to you about suffering and how you increase suffering by not facing what is.

That very same deep breath you take to get through the next set of frogs (squats), is the very same thing you need to do when you’re faced with something that feels too big to handle. You hear this said all the time because its true, “you’re never given more than you can handle.” So, whatever has landed in your lap and you need to find your way through, choose to find it with peace, grace and calm. Don’t go running scared and please drop your “I can’t story.” Because it’s a story, that’s all it is. You can and you will. And when you keep your energy high, and your thoughts positive, and your words and actions all at the highest vibration, you help everyone in your world get through too. Doubt, fear, blame, and anxiety have no place in your heart.

Whatever you’re ready to be free of, just breathe it out now. And decide to be free.

The work, the challenges, and all the things that seem insurmountable, are your gifts to embrace. Get super curious about what is happening and then take the deepest breath, connect to that pace of calm, and let’s all carry on.

Sat Nam,

Gloria

Personal

I started writing this to give you suggestions for exercises you can squeeze into your day no matter how busy you are. There are two exercises in my practice that I never skip because they are so powerful. But I don’t want to talk to you about “squeezing” a practice into your day. “Squeezing” something into your day means that it isn’t a priority.

Before your week gets away on you, pull out your calendar and decide where your yoga and meditation fit in, or where that practice that puts you in “flow” fits in….flow is that blissful state where your sense of time disappears. It could be running, walking, swimming, dancing or any number of things, what’s yours?

I only mentioned physical activities because if you want to have a healthy mind, you have to get your body moving. You see the health of your body and the health of your mind are integrally linked.

Mental and emotional health is very much on my mind these days. In my message to you last week, I told you I was making the toughest decision of my life, and my apologies if I worried anyone. Everything is going to be ok, but I am spending a lot of time in the dementia ward of the hospital with my mom these days. The message is loud and clear that mind body health shouldn’t be “squeezed” into your life but made a top priority.

What I’m witnessing a lot of these days is conversations that revolve around worry and fear.

We all have these “fear dialogues” happening, they’re just not as exposed in us as they are with someone with dementia. Are we all living with this much anxiety and fear? Well, it’s estimated that over 30% of North Americans suffer from anxiety. The numbers are likely much higher as these stats don’t include those suffering from a lower grade of anxiety that doesn’t require medication. And fear in all its disguises (worry, anxiety, tension) is what keeps us all from living our best lives.

Now, I did mention I was going to share two exercises with you.

The poses I don’t go a day without doing are frog pose (yes, squats!) and stretch pose and you can find videos of them both here,

But, it’s not enough. Back to your calendar, where is that time for you? It doesn’t need to be an hour but there needs to be some breathing space in your day to move your body, and empty your mind of the worries that keep you stuck and drag your energy down. This is important…. sweat out your anxieties, your worries, your fears… breathe them out, dance them out, sing them out. Just keep moving them out.

And, before I go, I want to say a very special thank you to everyone that attends the 4:00pm Hatha class at Semperviva’s Sun Studio. You’ve made it possible for my mom to continue yoga for a full two years after her stroke with the help of her amazing caregiver.

THANK YOU for accepting her with loving kindness.

Sat Nam

Gloria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The toughest decision of my life

This fall I’ve had to make one of the most challenging decisions of my life.
The truth is, I would give anything to have someone else make this decision for me.
And the more I delay what I know I have to do, the more suffering I create.

What is suffering?
Suffering is resisting what is.
There is something real, challenging and heavy weighing on my heart.

Resistance…more than anything I don’t want to be responsible for this decision.
Course of action…YOGA and lots of it.
Why?

Because for me, yoga is the most powerful remedy to:
-quiet my mind
-calm my anxieties
-gather my courage, willpower and strength
-listen to my heart
-say what needs to be said
-and let myself be guided

It’s times like these that I’m beyond grateful for the gifts that yoga gives me, and it goes way beyond toned muscles.

When I can touch the stillness, yoga gives me, only then do I know that this decision is the right one. That the answer came from my higher conscious and not from my scared small self, or my ego. And, I was never really alone in making this decision after all. We’re all supported in more ways than we will ever know.

Sat Nam,

Gloria

You Don’t Know What You’ve Got (Until It’s Gone)

I hate to say it but that’s how gratitude often works…

“you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone”, and when it’s gone, you develop a huge appreciation for what was.

Whether it’s your career you may be complaining about, your partner or your kids, it’s possible you find it easy to complain.

Every morning might sound something like this:

…ugh I have to go to work, instead of I’m grateful for my career

…ugh I have to get the kids to school, instead of appreciation for time spent with them

Do you ever take things or people for granted? Even your health. Most of us don’t think much about our health and wellbeing when we’re feeling good but, when we’re sick, all of a sudden our health becomes the most important thing to us.

Where you are now in life is a result of all the choices you’ve made up until now.

Sure, sometimes crisis seems to appear out of nowhere but mostly things fall apart because of constant neglect over a prolonged period of time.

What in your life have you been neglecting?

Lots of us could put ourselves at the top of this list. The pace you’ve created in your life may feel unsustainable and finding time for self-care might feel impossible.

In fact, the #1 excuse I hear from people for not doing yoga is “I don’t have time.”

I believe wholeheartedly that yoga is the greatest definition of self-care because it’s fitness for your mind, body and spirit.

But the truth is, self-care won’t really matter to you until your health is compromised in some way be that through mental, physical or emotional disease.

That’s a very chaotic way of living where you run from one problem to the next trying to fix what shouldn’t be broken.

Yoga gives you time and space for self-reflection. The inward journey shows you what is working well in your life and what isn’t. Don’t wait until things are broken to fix them, especially your health and your heart. Your heart breaks a little each day when you go against yourself. When you start to believe that you have to maintain this unstainable pace.

Slow down, and right now take a really deep breath and ask yourself:

What are your true priorities for today, and for your life.

Who and what is really important to you now?

And, be grateful.