See Ya 2018 and Thank You

Happy New Year everyone!!

As we said goodbye to another year last night, my hope is that everyone is all geared up for 2019.

Every New Year is a time for growth. The years that have past were all learning experiences and any experiences either good or bad were all lessons. Every lesson makes us stronger, heals us and allows us to be ready for the years to come.

2018 started off spending 10 days with my children and parents in Florida. Kelsey knocked swimming with Manatees off her bucket list, went to Spain and was indicted in the Spanish National Honor Society. Patrick had a great year of sports winning the Triple Crown in Soccer, Baseball and Basketball, first time in pads on the football field with a few touchdowns, and some amazing plays and made the high school basketball team.

I am one proud mom and all I hope for in 2019 and going forward is that they continue to work hard and play hard. (on the field that is) My advice now and always, don’t follow the crowds. Study hard because the parties and the friends won’t last forever. Make yourself the number one priority. Be you always. Continue to learn. Create. Inspire. Lead.

For Valentine’s Day Matt & I took a much needed trip to Antigua. Relaxation and much needed solo time. We met an amazing new friend, connected with nature and each other.

2018 was a year of learning, writing, growing, detoxing and healing. Detoxing the body and removing toxic people from my life.

Finding stillness, and living in the NOW. Setting boundaries and sticking to them.

Hiking in Utah as I continued my education about Nature’s Gifts.

Thank you 2018! You brought me peace, joy, clean living, a voice, knowledge and wisdom. You opened my eyes to many things. I am grateful to you. It was a magical year.

As I started my intentions and plans for 2019 early, I took speaking and writing to a whole new level with Authentically Speaking; a new podcast where I will be sharing my stories as well as guests who will share theirs. You can subscribe to the channel on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and Anchor.

What are your plans? Intentions?

Be sure not to set goals or resolutions to fix problems. Don’t make it for just one year. Make it for the next two to five. Set goals. Not tasks.

Try something for 20 days. Then it becomes a habit. Create daily habits that make you feel good. How good do you want to feel? Are you taking care of your body? What brings you joy? What will get you there? When do you feel good? When do you feel like shit? Think about it. What people, places and things make you feel good and what people, places and things make you feel like shit?

“Celebrate You. If it doesn’t bring you joy in 2019, get rid of it”-Denise Casagrande Authentically Speaking

This upcoming year and all to come is going to be great!! I have a vision. Do you? What do you want to see? Close your eyes and vision it.

I want to thank everyone who made my 2018 special. I have met amazing people locally and across the globe and I look forward to meeting more authentic people who are on the same path.

Cheers to you and many great years ahead.

Celebrate You. 100% authentically you.

Happy New Year!

xoxox

mb

Spring Detox and Cleanse

Well my friends it's time!! Time to cut the cords to unhealthy eating!!

Spring 2018

"FRESH START" DETOX

4 WEEK SPRING CLEANSE

Begins Monday April 23rd thru Monday May 21st

The earth is awakening from a long, cold winter and very soon the temperatures will be warmer and daylight will be a little longer each day. Spring is a time of transition, renewal, growth, and expansion. Soon we will be ditching our coats, opening the windows, and finding ourselves eager to begin spring cleaning! The list goes on and surely will include potting some seeds for summer blooms and planning our 2018 adventures. Spring is truly a wonderful time of year that screams ACTION!

It's also a season that has been used for thousands of years and in many traditions to detox and cleanse the body in a way that supports our health, energy and immunity so that we can take the action we are being called to do in the summer and year ahead.

This program is designed to support you in changing your eating and nutritional plan to one that supports and fuels you. It's your 2018 "Fresh Start!"

Join us for this 4 week program and make the changes that are right for you. You will have options for how you want to detox - No deprivation or starvation required! You will eat delicious nutrient dense whole foods. We’ll help you to make some simple changes in your routine that will help you gain energy, clarity and motivation to stay on track. You will also uncover some of the things that block you from making lasting changes and create a lifelong plan for eating for optimal health.

This 4 week program includes our kick off meeting along with ongoing support via a private FB group, weekly group conference calls/chats and access to special rates on detox therapies and tools!  Take advantage of these 4 weeks to get focused and feeling great before Memorial Day!

Need more information? Join us for one of the Information Sessions:

Tuesday April 17th @ Sukha Yoga following the 7 pm Healing Circle/Meditation

Choose Your Opening Session:

Monday April 23rd - Online Conference Call ( information will be provided at sign up)

or

Tuesday April 24th in person 7pm @ Sukha  in Brick

TO REGISTER - Sign Up at Sukha or Email me @ mjskurtz@wellnecessity.com

Offering $125

MORE INFO:

Why should you do a cleanse?

Our bodies are incredible organisms with  a natural built-in filtration system to help us get rid of toxins. Believe it or not we are exposed to more toxins than any previous generation. . This influx of toxins comes from our food, pollution in the air and water, toxic ingredients in beauty care and household cleaning products, electric and magnetic fields from technology, and more. These harmful substances have an extremely negative impact on our health and we are seeing the result of this with the onslaught of chronic disease, serious  illness and general degeneration of our bodies. The primary organ and powerful built-in filter that helps our bodies to process excess toxins is our liver. 

The primary goal of this detox is to lighten the toxic load that our bodies are currently experiencing. It gives our liver a chance to rest and catch up! The results are feeling more energy, vitality, clarity and much more! And that's just the beginning. During this cleanse you will learn about many different eating plans and uncover what will work best for you.

 About Mary Jo:

Mary Jo Kurtz is owner and founder of Wellnecessity, a Certified Holistic Health Coach, A Certified Life Coach, Reiki Master Teacher, Ordained Minister Practitioner, Certified Angel Oracle Card Reader, Spiritual Intuitive & Counselor, Aromatherapy Practitioner, Member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and International Best Selling Author and Speaker.

Mary Jo is the creator of the 4 Week Spring “Fresh Start” Detox Program and has been facilitating the program since 2008. She has helped her clients regain their health through this program which teaches the impact of food, herbs, essential oils and lifestyle changes.

 

 

Hot or Not

Hot or Not???

Hot or Not is a rating dating site that allows users to rate the attractiveness  of photos submitted voluntarily by others. Yes, it's a dating site. Luckily, I am not writing about such a disgusting dating site. Let's create a site called "Beauty Within" having men and women search for qualities such as loyalty, honesty, compassion, independence, confidence, joy, loving, and all the imperfections that may come with a truly beautiful person. Maybe no photos? Just a nice "get to know you" PHONE CONVERSATION! No swiping. No scrolling. Just a bio.

Luckily, I have no need for that crap anymore. 

Now that I have your attention; this blog is a re-post that I would like to share with all of you that have called and asked about the safe temperature to practice yoga.

Everyone has their personal preference of course. Many people love to sweat to ensure they are getting a great workout. But let's also remember the true meaning of yoga and why we come on our mats in the first place. Again, everyone practices for different reasons. It doesn't matter where you practice, with who, how cold, how hot, what outfit you wear. As long as you practice. On the mat and off. I speak of practicing yoga off the mat often; almost every day. I will recap it briefly before I share the article with you.

Do you rock your crow pose or handstand? Awesome. You are strong. You have amazing upper body strength. Are you mentally and emotionally strong? How do you deal with the roadblocks in life? Being mentally strong is not about acting like a tough ass. It is about being aware of your emotions and learning from painful experiences. We have all been through crap it's about how we deal and how we turn it into a life lesson.

Do you sit quietly in easy seat during meditation with a clear mind? It is hard for many. This may be the toughest. Are you present at home? At work? Are you a good listener? Or you scrolling through Instagram at dinner? Or when someone is talking to you, you are hardly paying attention because you are thinking of something else. Be present. Off the mat.

Do you leave yoga class feeling so thankful for the space, your teacher and your body for rocking a new bind? Leave class and make a call to your boyfriend, mom, sister, friend,teacher, children for how thankful you are to have them in your life. Write a note. Whatever it is, just do it.

During your time  in class, you are so kind to your body. You are doing the body and mind amazing good. You gently get into new poses to prevent injury, you focus on your breathe through every pose, inhaling and exhaling.. You are (hopefully) kind to the teacher, and your fellow yogis. How do you treat others and yourself when you leave class? Do you go home and drink a bottle of wine and eat a pint of ice cream? Do you call a friend and start talking trash and gossiping? Be kind to others and to yourself off the mat.

You are so disciplined in your practice. You use straps or blocks, you go at your own pace and you listen to the teacher who is guiding you and your body. Off the mat; are you working in a disciplined matter at home and work? Are you working towards what you want in life? Your goals and dreams? Or do you procrastinate? 

I think you get it. That was the scaled down version in English. For more on taking yoga off the mat read The Yoga Sutras. The Yamas and Niyamas. How we show up on our mats and off. 

Turns out, hot yoga isn’t more effective than yoga at room temperature

By: Allasandra Milato

Why put yourself through an hour-long session in 90 degrees for this?

There may be no need to put yourself in a stifling 100 degrees for a hot yoga session.

Bikram yoga, also known as hot yoga, involves 26 positions usually done in a room of 90 or 100 degrees. Part of the allure is that the heat opens up the muscles faster than room temperature and can release toxins from the body, but new research from Texas State University and the University of Texas at Austin found it’s no more effective than the latter.

Yoga at room temperature does exactly the same thing as hot yoga, the researchers found. It reduces the risk of heart disease and can delay atherosclerosis, a disease where plaque builds up in arteries and can result in a heart attack or stroke. Half of the Bikram yoga class was spent in standing positions, which requires balancing on one leg and can be more taxing than floor positions, the research said.

They looked at 80 participants enrolled and randomly assigned to three study groups — heated room, room at regular temperature and a control group — and asked the participants to attend three Bikram yoga classes a week for three months.

Why avoid hot yoga in favor of regular yoga? There are additional risks associated with hot yoga. People can suffer from heat-related illnesses, according to a separate study from 2015 sponsored by the American Council on Exercise. A group of 20 healthy men and women practiced Bikram yoga in a 105-degree room for 90 minutes after swallowing a temperature sensor and wearing a heart rate monitor.

The researchers found the participants’ body temperatures rose to 103 degrees, one degree away from potentially suffering from heat stroke. The average heart rate for the men was 80% and the women’s was 72%. Sweating during hot yoga doesn’t do enough to cool the body down, the researchers said.

But there may be some benefits to hot yoga. It can improve “vascular endothelial function” or thinning blood vessels in middle-aged and older adults in a relatively short time period, according to a 2016 study from the University of Texas and published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise. “Bikram yoga may be effective as a secondary preventative measure in reversing endothelial dysfunction in middle-aged and older adults who are at risk of developing vascular disease.”

If you’re set on participating in a hot yoga class, there are ways to help mitigate any health risks. Drink 80 ounces of water the day before, and 16 ounces of water two hours before a class. After class, refresh by drinking water with lemon or having dark leafy green vegetables or water-heavy fruits like watermelons and cucumbers. Stretch before and after sessions and use a towel during the class, not just to pat down sweat but also to dry off your mat and prevent falling.

 

Again, practice, practice, practice. Hot or Not! It's your practice. Just do it. On the mat and off.

Have a great weekend!

xoxoxox

New Year

Well, it sure has been a while.

Happy 2018 to you all of you.

Taking some time off last week was a great time for me to spend quality time with my children and my parents and to reflect on what a great year 2017 was and how 2018 will be better.

Most of you are aware of the changes that were made at SUKHA in November and I am truly thankful for those who were supportive and are making their way to the Brick location. Many of you finished your month in Brick and are now on the "Special Pricing" for three months. 

There are so many things that I would love to write about all in this post, but honestly; I will save it for weeks to come.

I don't have resolutions for this year. I have plan in place for myself, my family and my business that I will continue to visualize and support them with positive and encouraging images doing what I desire to have a great year.

Yes, I certainly have things to work on. We all do. 

Anything that happened in the past was and will always be necessary for growing so we can learn. Taking the time to sit back and reflect to find solutions to problems and how I can try everyday to  be the best mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, girlfriend, teacher and business owner I can possibly be. This is not something that comes once a year, this should be done daily. It is hard as hell to do so, but I will certainly try my best. And I wish the best for all of you.

We all need to give up bad habits to make room for good ones. 

Don't put a time frame on it. Just try to make little changes . If you really want to make changes within and work towards the best version of yourself that you can be continue reading:

1. Stop putting yourself down-Be there for YOURSELF when no one else is. You are your own cheerleader, start acting like it.

2. Stop giving up so easily.-Stop letting this WORLD tell you no.

3. STOP BLAMING OTHER PEOPLE FOR YOUR OWN MISERY.-True happiness comes from within. You are not as much of a victim as you think you are.

4. STOP THINKING THAT YOUR WAY IS THE ONLY WAY-In this life, there is almost more than one way of doing something.

5. Stop saying yes when you want to say no- Don't do it if you don't want to.

6. Stop letting others define you- You are only defined by yourself and your actions. If you accept the things people think or say about you as fact, then you are wasting your time. The past is just that. THE PAST. We can't change it and should not give it power. Move on and become who you are meant to be.

7. Stop letting people use you as a doormat- You are a person. A amazing, beautiful person. Stop letting people control you and use you. Be your true self.

8. Stop wasting your life- Do things that YOU WANT TO DO. 

I wish you all a happy and healthy new year! I hope to see you all soon.

Please continue to check the app for any schedule changes and the website for the 2018 Specials.

You will be seeing new names on the schedule in weeks to come! The Gypsy Soul Teachers in Training have started to teach as part of their training.

The Crystal Bowl Meditation and Card Reading will resume this week. Tuesday night at 7:00 and Friday morning at 11:00 am.

On January 20th at 11:00 am Editor of Elephant Journal and author of Hug Your Chaos and Fractured; Lindsay Carricarte-Jones will be hosting a workshop about the chakras, healing, energy work and empowerment. You don't want to miss this. They are in NJ for a short period of time until they head back to CA.

On February 3rd, Kim Traverso will be here from Hawaii to hold a FREE Essential Oil class at 11:00 am. 

Many of you express interest about the oils. This session you will learn how to use the oils, how they expedite the healing process and why they are causing a shift across the globe!!

Sign in under event on the SUKHA South Facebook page.

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong

mb

 

 

Slow Down

I hope everyone is doing well and adjusting to the cooler, fall weather. Summer temps definitely hung around for a while which was nice and fall took its time. Wouldn't it be nice if we all took our time and slowed down?

Those words have been coming up so much in my head, out loud and in conversations with others so I felt the need to write about it. 

SLOW DOWN.

Life goes by so fast. Why are we rushing?

Rushing to get places. Rushing to leave places.

Rushing to get the new fashion trend. Buying the latest and greatest. The biggest and the best.

Not thinking long and hard before accepting a job offer.

Taking on more sports, fitting it in to one season.

Running non-stop and constantly checking our phones, emails and social media.

 

Everyday seems to be a traffic jam during rush hour.

 

Do I go the speed limit on a daily basis? No. 

Did I get scared? Yes

Did I get a warning? FUCK YES

I am not talking about driving a car. I am talking about life. Daily life.

Our society rushes through life. It starts early. Even before technology. 

We can't wait to get out of grammar school, can't wait to drive, can't wait to turn 21, can't wait to get engaged, can't wait for the wedding, can't wait for the first house, can't wait for to get prego, can't wait for a bigger house, can't wait for the second baby so baby number one won't be lonely and it doesn't  matter if we have no money because we are speeding through life and we must do what everyone else is doing.

Then the family is set and the house is bigger. Not because we NEED a 5,000 sf house for a family of four because we need the biggest and the best. Then we can't wait until the kids can feed themselves, can't wait for them to go to school full time so mommy can get her body back and have a few hours to get things done. We can't wait until our husband gets home. Not to have sex with him but to have some time alone or go out with the girls and have wine. 

The kids are now driving and we couldn't wait for them to get their license so we don't have to play cab driver anymore. 

Next thing you know, the house is empty, kids in college and you can't wait for them to graduate and get a job, meet their love, get married and have kids so you can be a grandparent. 

We just rushed through life.

Right there.

Boom.

WTF just happened? We rushed through life and our kids are going to do the same and it becomes a vicious cycle. Rushing. Speeding. Flying through life.

SLOW DOWN.

It has been a eye opener the last few weeks. Constantly going. Keep going. Don't stop. Won't stop. It is nothing new to me thou. My entire life. I am not a couch potato. Never was. Never will be. But I need to know when to SLOW DOWN. I rush. We all do. Rush to get kids to school, rush to work, rush home, rush to feed family, rush to get kids to sports, meetings, so much rushing. Why? For what? Really think about it. Can Johnny Boy be five minutes late for the Recreation Soccer Practice? Did you pay for him to play? Is he on the Celtics and getting paid millions? Will he get fined? Enjoy your dinner. Take time to taste it and not see it on the soccer field. Don't do 40 in a 25 to get Sally Jane to Field Hockey at the High School. Maybe start dinner early or teach Sally how to start dinner for you.

 SLOW DOWN. 

You may get a WARNING!

I tell everyone in class to listen to their body. I needed to do the same. And I did.

Two weeks ago.

A strange, numbing feeling in my left shoulder blade. It would come and go.

Then the heart beat. The fast heartbeat. 

Telling no one. No phone calls. No text messages.

I stayed up all night. Taking baby aspirins and praying that I wasn't going to have a heart attack. It can happen to anyone. My grandfather died at 42. It was in my head. Shit. I take vitamins, I eat well. Shit!!! I am a fucking yoga instructor. This can't be.

Drove the kids to school the next morning and went straight to the ER. I was hooked up to machines within minutes.

Results back. Heart good.

Phew. Relieved.

But, not 100% good.

"Your Pleura is inflamed". Pleura?

Now, I am not a nurse or a doctor and really don;t know that much but I thought they just did blood work and EKG and my legs were not in stirrups. PLEURA just sounds so gynecological. Pleura is a membrane consisting of tissue that lines the inner side of the chest cavity and a layer of tissue around the lungs.

This could have been caused by pneumonia and I never knew I had it because I can't slow the fuck down. I do recall one day I didn't feel right. I did everything I normally do. Green Tea, Essential Oils and lots of water. I felt fine. Back to normal.I kept going as I always do ( BTW, essential oils are a LIFE SAVER.)

Am I "burning out"? FUCK NO.

Do I need to SLOW DOWN? FUCK YES.

What have I been doing? 

Putting my feet up.

Diffusing Essential Oils.

Meditating.

Reiki Treatments.

Breathing.

Teaching.

Getting Fresh Air.

Writing.

Being a mom.

Really, nothing different, but SLOWING THE FUCK DOWN. Not rushing to get to the next moment.

"Surrender to the Moment". Accept what is. The present moment is all we really have. Yet we"re so busy rushing ahead and planning, we are never able to enjoy the moment.-Eckhard Tolle

What does this quote mean? Stop rushing. Surrendering the mind is self-mortification. 

Always Remember Good Things Take Time!

Let's not look back on days, weeks or months and wonder where it all went.- 

Enjoy what is in front of you and take your time doing it, and do it well.

Smile

Put Your Feet up

Breathe

Slow down, you move too fast

You got to make the morning last

Simon and Garfunkel

 

 

 

Dear Future Yogi

Dear Future Yogi,

I am writing you today to confirm that everything I have said still remains true. Yoga is for everyone. If everyone practiced yoga, what a wonderful world it would be. (As long as they practice all aspects) lol

There is no such thing as a "yoga body". Please do not let social media determine what your preconceived idea or notion of what people that practice yoga look like. 

Is it their clothes? Their body? Their diet?

What is your reason why you have not tried yoga? is it because you can't touch your toes? Or do you think you are too big? Out of shape? Eat meat?

Yoga is not exclusive to just women. Yoga is not only for the flexible or spiritual or plant eaters.

The yoga philosophy encourages being non-judgmental and compassionate to others and ourselves.

So, my BEAUTIFUL friends, remember that you are that. BEAUTIFUL. Inside and out. No matter what. Please do not let anyone or any social media page steer you away.

Yoga is about connecting with your individual self, body and mind. Making room for exactly where you are in that moment. Every day is different on your mat. Just like life. Some days we fall, but we ALWAYS get back up.

 This note is to reassure you that you will be fine. You will feel comfort and joy. You will laugh and sing. You will clear your mind and relax. You may touch your toes. You may not. But who's judging? No one at SUKHA. 

Throw on your pj pants or shorts. Your favorite, old sweats, a pair of leggings from Marshall's or leg warmers and a head band and get on your mat.  You may just hear "Let's Get Physical" or "FAME". 

A yoga mats job is to catch you if you fall. My goal is to make you feel 100% comfortable the second you walk through the door. And it won't stop there. That, I will promise you.

My door is always open and my phone is always on. 1-877-SUKHA-11

Love,

Maribeth 

 

 

Speaking Your Truth

Well, here it goes my friends. It has to be blogged one of these days and tonight is the perfect time to speak my truth about something I have been holding back on for a while now.

As many of you know, I have not been practicing for too long. My story is short and sweet and pretty f'in cool.

I tried it, I loved it, I went to training, I starting teaching, Recreation asked me to teach yoga, it grew, and grew. And here I am today. The truth. Two studios later. Minus a few "friends". But I have gained a shit load more. That are my family. Real, genuine people who practice yoga at SUKHA. They respect me, the teachers, and most of all the SUKHA Philosophy. 

Years ago when I was living in NYC. I was living uptown and Maria was living downtown, I remember her telling me she was going to study to be a yoga teacher. Yoga was not big then. BUT, if anyone would be a yoga instructor it was her. You see, my impression of a yogi, was always someone like Maria. Since the day I met her in 1986. Sweet, caring, honest, real and she would do anything for anyone. Maria never got angry. Maria always spoke her truth. Maria is a good friend. A friend who is proud of my accomplishments, a friend who teaches, a friend who does not lie, a friend who asks for advice and a friend who gives amazing advice.

So, years later, I always thought that ALL YOGIS were like Maria. The Truth.

I was wrong. After the Squan studio grew, I grew, my yoga community grew and I began to get heat. And I am still getting it. #everydamnday. From who? Just guess.

It is getting old. The mystery phone calls from other studios, the yoga instructors walking into SUKHA South giving false names, looking at my sign in book instead in my eyes and pretending they are someone they are not just to get information, the instructors that were hell bent on getting my book of business so they can bring it to another studio. The list goes on.

Are these people truly practicing yoga? They may be physically practicing, but are they practicing the Five Yamas?

Let's just talk about the second shall we?

Yama 2: Satya TRUTHFULNESS-seeing and reporting things as they are rather than the way we would like them to be.

REFRAIN FROM TELLING LIES and speak with kindness, compassion and clarity. 

If you have any questions, my fellow yogis, please call me directly stating your real name. If you want to come in a take a peak, tell me where you really teach and what your intentions are. Want to grab a bite to eat? Call me. Let's Chat. I am lots of fun. Come take a class or ask any of the SUKHA Family. I am sure they will fill you in.

I am not perfect. I announce that I am not perfect. I may not teach the yoga philosophy in all of my classes, but my dharma talks always go to a yoga teaching in some way. And I ALWAYS speak my truth. Sometimes too much. This blog is a perfect example.

I am not focused on being Instagram famous or being a Ambassador for a clothing line.

My number one focus is to make feel people comfortable, happy, confident and to teach yoga in a non-intimidating atmosphere and have fun while doing so. 

Helping others is very important to me. Volunteering my time for LOCAL charities and foundations without a reward in return.

The communities where I teach have been so kind to me and it is my turn to give back.

So, the bottom line is. Speak your truth. Be kind. Practice yoga off the mat. If you teach it, make sure you practice.

I am not competing with anyone. That is not my goal. You run your business and I will run my business. So.....MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

xoxoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

16,802 Days Living

Well it's that time once again. Where the f*#k did time go?

Yesterday morning in class I shared SOME of the things I have learned in the 16,802 days living. I have decided that sounds better than 46 years OLD! OLD. That just sounds WRONG!

I have been debating all day if I should share it here, but I decided not to. Typing as everything came to mind. In no particular order. Bullet points. A few words. Some emotional. Some embarrassing and well, some brutally honest. Not feeling 100% comfortable sharing it all publicly. Only sharing it with those who truly know me, respect me and "get me". No judging. No assuming, and no gossiping. It is amazing how one can just open up in front of 25+ people at 6:00 in the morning.

I thank you all for listening without judgement and being a part of my life.

This year was amazing. Kelsey had a great freshman year finishing in honors and top ten percent of her class. She met new friends, cheered, worked and studied her ass off.

Patrick had great grades, play hard in hoops and hit incredible on the field finishing the baseball season with 18 home runs!!

Although I do not fill my Facebook feed with photos of all of their accomplishments, I am so proud of them. I can not and will not take all of the credit. Woody was Kelsey's Honors Biology study partner and Patrick's coach off the field. Co-parenting!! JUST DO IT people!!

This year I had a goal. And well, I achieved it. Bringing SUKHA to Brick! Creating a "Non-Intimidating" Yoga Studio to a second location. 

I could not have done it without the support and love from the family at SUKHA Squan. Thank you!

And, of course. Matt. Thank you for a great year! Thank you for all of your help, creativity and putting up with my determination throughout the process. 

So, what have I learned? Here are just a few things from this past year

  • Always ask for help
  • Let go of things you can't control
  • It feels AMAZING to help others and volunteer as much as you can
  • You will have critics and haters. 
  • It's never too late to start
  • You are never too old
  • Your kids are not you. We teach them, love and support them. You can't change them. They are not you
  • Perfection is boring
  • Social Media makes people crazy
  • It's not about the likes. It's about how many people you have touched and inspired. (and not by wearing and posing in fancy yoga clothes)
  • Yoga (if practiced correctly) helps you found out who you really are. 
  • Do your own thing. One day you will be gone. 
  • Many women just don't like other women. Especially when they succeed.
  • Stalkers will stalk. Haters will hate. Don't do either.
  • Confidence is attractive
  • The 3 P's-Personality. Place. People! 

There is so much more. That's the non-emotional, clean version.

Thank you all for always listening, sharing, liking, and truly being a friend. 

Thank you to those who are are the critics and the haters. You motivate me #everydamnday. Even at 16,802 days living!

Life is good.

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong

BE KIND. And BE YOU!

xoxo

mb

 

 

Go Back To The Basics

SUKHA "The Non-Intimidating" Yoga Studio. 

Is SUKHA for beginners only? That seems to be what people think. The answer is no. SUKHA is for everyone. Yoga is a practice for the mind, body and soul whether you have been practicing for 1 day or 15 years. We learn new poses everyday. So, EVERYONE is a beginner. No one knows it all. We are not GOOGLE.

Just like life, we learn something new every day.

Leave the ego at the door. There is no need to look for the toughest teachers and force yourself to get into the toughest pose. Why? So you can post a really fast picture on Instagram and walk out limping? 

Advance your practice by going back to the basic fundamentals.

Every teacher has a different way of approaching a pose and describing it. All of the teachers at SUKHA have a different way of teaching. We make sure everyone in the room is comfortable no matter what level.

We all have a different "personal practice". It doesn't mean we teach that way. 

We ALL modify every class accordingly based on each students level. That is what teachers do. We accommodate; modify and support. EVERYONE! EVERY CLASS! 

Open up your mind, maybe go back to the beginners mindset and be proud of how far you have come. 

There are two workshops approaching soon at SUKHA.

This Saturday, June 17th at 10:30, join Maria Preuster for a Back Bending workshop.  Learn the fundamentals as your open your heart and your mind.

Saturday, July 15th at 10:30, join Melanie for "Yoga FUNdamentals". Whether you are new to yoga, or don't know your asana from your elbow, this workshop is for you. Build confidence on and off the mat by going back to the basics. From breath work to modifications. First class or 101st class. We can all use a refresher. 

All welcome. Except EGO. They can be left at the door.

Thinking of Trying Yoga or Maybe Ditching Yoga?

After speaking to a few people this weekend about yoga and "changing it up", the feedback was "XYZ" place tore my hamstring, I was sore for days, My shoulder popped out from lifting". I can't do that again. Yoga feels better. No equipment necessary. 

Or "I don't have time to practice". You can practice in yoga in your kitchen!! #justdoit

On the flip side, many emails coming through asking "I am dying to try yoga but I am scared, I don't have an outfit, and I have not stretched in 50 years"! And the famous line "I can't touch my toes".

Well, I thought I would post a great article I found this morning to share with those who want to start, and those who are thinking about "ditching yoga".

Here you go. Happy Sunday my friends! xoxo

Thinking of Ditching Yoga? You May Want to Reconsider

By Emily Waters 

Yoga has so many mental and physical health benefits, it is hard to actually count and keep track of. Since any form of exercise is beneficial for one’s mental and physical health, the majority of individuals today rely exclusively on cardiovascular/aerobic activities, while throwing to the wayside yoga/meditation or other forms of diaphragmatic breathing designed to have a powerful effect on your body and mind. In case you need a gentle reminder and a little motivation, let us review the myriad health benefits of yoga that are designed to keep you feeling well both physically and mentally as you age well into your golden years.

  • Supercharges your brain. As little as 25-30 minutes of yoga increases your memory, attention span, focus and helps you process information more accurately and quickly.
  • Soothes stress. Practicing yoga can have immediate psychological effects. Among these are cultivating a sense of calm, and decreasing anxiety and stress. Over time, these positive mental benefits occur even when you are in your kitchen cooking a meal, and off your mat!
  • Improving flexibility. In a few studies to date, yoga increased people’s flexibility by up to 35 percent after only 7-8 weeks of practice.
  • Increases balance. Certain poses enhance balance, and in older individuals specifically can actually reduce the number of falls they have, and reduce their fear of falling.
  • Fends off weight gain. Those who practice yoga regularly gain less weight as they age than do those who don’t practice.
  • Boosts body confidence and image. Women who practiced yoga on a regular basis rated their body satisfaction higher, regardless of current weight, than those who pursued other forms of exercise.
  • Relieves headaches. Yoga reduces the frequency and intensity of various headaches, including migraines, and tension headaches.
  • Reduces depression. Studies show that yoga can lesson symptoms of depression, like feeling lethargic and overall fatigue. One reason may be yoga’s boost to GABA, a neurotransmitter that is often low in people who are depressed.
  • Protects your heart. Yoga, when practiced consistently reduces blood pressure, lowers level of harmful LDL cholesterol by almost 12 points, and lost an average of 5 pounds.
  • Promotes more zzz’s. This is really great news for insomniacs. After 2 months of practicing yoga for 45 minutes before bed, students fell asleep 15-18 minutes faster, and had more quality REM sounding sleep leading to more than a half hour longer each night in deep sleep than controls.
  • Lessons inflammation. I have written about chronic inflammation in the past that is linked with a whole host of health issues from diabetes, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure to name a few. In regular yoga practice, yoga tends to lower levels of cytokines-as immune system protein associated with this.
  • Slows aging. With yoga therapy and yoga based stretching, scientists have discovered it may lengthen telomeres-the end caps of chromosomes that affect aging, and that consequently shorten every year we age.
  • Controls diabetes. Men and women with type 2 diabetes who practiced yoga for 5-6 months saw a substantial decrease in their blood glucose levels, a recent new study found.
  • Encourages Exercise. Inactive people enrolled in some form of yoga for a minimum of 8 weeks found that this markedly increased the chances they would partake in other physical activities. This is largely due to the release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins all flooding your body.
  • Improves your day, and your mood. Various studies over the last 10 years have shown that yoga lowers stress including workplace stress, and promotes general well being. This zen disposition is not only visible on the outside, but the transformation is taking place from within, which contributes to a longer lasting positive effect on your health.

The list goes on and on, and this is far from an exhaustive list. It might be tempting to skip yoga as part of your exercise routine, and to shave off some time for yourself, but given all the health benefits, it might be wise to continue using it in your exercise regimen if you already incorporate it, or reconsider doing yoga alongside your aerobic activities to improve your overall mental and physical health and well being. It is important to remember that yoga is not about how much you weigh or how flexible you are, and that there are various forms of yoga suitable for different interests. As trite as the old adage sounds, when it comes to yoga, it really is never too late to start no matter your age. So get rollin!

 

Teachers of SUKHA South

Well, opening day of SUKHA South is tomorrow, Saturday, May 20. Nervous, excited, scared? Who the "F" knows. I finished a three day cleanse on Thursday and I feel amazing and ready to roll! Thank you Maria for all of your knowledge and guiding the SUKHA Family through three days of the cleanse. 

Maria will be teaching Saturday at 8:00 and 9:30 in Manasquan. Thank you for all you do!

The SUKHA app is updated reflecting the new schedule for the weekend and going forward. I do suggest signing in to the class/classes you would like to attend.

Each of the teachers are unique and I am so happy they are going to be teaching at SUKHA South and Tara will be teaching at both Manasquan and Brick. These women are amazing and I feel blessed to have found them.

I want to share with you something about each one.

So, my friends; welcome the teachers of SUKHA South!

Brittany Rossi:

I reluctantly tried yoga as a last-ditch effort to battle depression and anxiety, but was shocked to find it completely changed my being physically, mentally, and spiritually. After my first formal class I knew this was something I had to share with others; this practice isn't strictly for the flexible and strong, if anything it is for those who consider themselves the opposite. I received my 200 hour teacher training certification through Bodhi Yoga Academy and cannot wait to move forward to continue to explore and learn more about this beautiful practice.

Class description: Brittany's class follows the vinyasa tradition of linking the breath with movement to help link the body and mind. This class will open with breath work (pranayama), followed by creative and explorative movements leading into a deep relaxation (savasana). Get ready to move and accomplish things you once thought impossible!

Brittany will be teaching "Rock your asana vinyasa" at SUKHA South!

Linda Vera:

Linda has been practicing yoga since 2005. Ever since then, she knew it was a life changing moment. Over the next twelve years Linda's continued practice and quest to continue that feeling of "Balance, of Mind, Body and Soul" every day, lead her to yoga teacher training. Linda is a volunteer for Kula for Karma which is a nonprofit organization that offers programs at no cost to populations in need who face physical and mental health challenges as well as the medical community to complement traditional approaches to healing those with illness, disease, chronic pain and those recovering from abuse, trauma and addiction.

Currently, Linda spends time volunteering her time at the Integrity House in Newark, which is a substance abuse program.

Linda will be teaching a "very warm" vinyasa flow that will inspire balance between effort, awareness and breath. The emphasis is on YOU!

Melanie Viani

Melanie Viani is a woodworker, dog-lover, puzzle-doer, baked good worshiper, occasional wall climber, Yahtzee roller, book reader, runner, ex-math analyzer, knitter, traveler, stir-fry maker, full-on hiker, yoga enthusiast who is eager to practice with you.  Drawing inspiration from everyday life, Melanie’s classes are jam-packed with fun-filled sequences that encourage exploration through movement and mindfulness.  Bring your energy and your awesomeness.

Melanie will be teaching "Dynamic Yoga"

Change is good, especially when it comes to yoga. Challenge your body and your mind with a series of poses aimed to keep things interesting. Modifications are encouraged, all energies are welcome.

Tara Kennedy

I took my first class when I was 8 years old, solely for the purpose of wanting to be

just like my mom, and I can honestly say I fell in love with yoga. From then on, I

practiced on and off until then developing a dedicated practice during college. I

earned my 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification in December 2016.

Personally, I use yoga as a tool to help me be happy, on and off of my mat. To some,

they may not understand how having a yoga practice can help you to deal with your

day -to –day-life. Believe it or not, how you do anything is how you do everything. By

simply showing up to your mat, with a will to put in effort, is a major step in the

right direction, and will help you find the confidence to take that step in all other

aspects of your life.

Join me for a physical and spiritual practice for all levels, where you will listen to

great music, meet inspiring classmates, develop a relationship with breathe, learn to

get comfortable with your limits, and then learn how to push them before you’re left

melting in savasana. Let's do this!!!

Tara will be teaching at both Brick and in Manasquan!

Amy

For those who do not know Amy, she has been teaching with me for a year now. I decided to take it upon myself to write about Amy. (Don't kill me Amy)

Amy is a mother of two boys, a writer, poet and amazing artist.

Amy has a soft, gentle, beautiful practice; that is a true reflection of her personality. Her soft, voice guides you through a relaxing, gentle; but challenging practice. But, don't let "challenging" scare you. Amy will take you through every pose, offer modifications and end class with a great massage!!

This morning Amy filled the room in Manasquan for the 5:45 am class. Throughout the day today, I received three text messages, one email and a phone call saying how amazing her class was/is! Thank you Amy for all you do! Professionally and personally. 

Join Amy at both Sukha South and in Manasquan for a "Free Flow".

Well; it's me left to write about. But I am not going to!! Ha ha.

You can find out more "about me" and "who I am" under the "about Maribeth" page on the website.

I look forward to a great opening weekend and meeting so many great people in the Brick Community!

Download the Free SUKHA app to sign in for the classes over the weekend.

See you tomorrow!

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong

MB

 

 


 

Proud and Grateful

I shared this with the 6:00 am class this morning and wanted to share it with everyone!

For the most part, all of you in this room come to SUKHA every morning faithfully 2 to 3 times per week. Some 4 times.

This past Sunday inspired me to write this dharma for today.

Having everyone home safely from Spring Break, the energy, the fun, the chatter, the music, and most of all; YOU!

This is rare. What has happened here. The energy that walks in this room is truly uplifting and so rewarding.

Think about it. If you win in the morning, you win the day. Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. All of you get up early, arrive at SUKHA starting at 5:30 am. You arrive with smiles. We talk, laugh and ask how everyone is doing. Amazing friendships have been made in this classroom.

I may sound like a real classroom teacher but I am so proud of all of you! Most of us are in our 40's, 50's and 60's, getting up to practice yoga. The best practice for the mind, body and soul!

We come together on our mats and off.

We truly care about each other.

We help one another.

We inspire.

We encourage.

We tell our stories.

We have each others back.

We are REAL.

People were designed to be in communion with one another. We are not meant to be alone, and our lives are enriched by strong bonds and friendships. Life is better when it's lived along side and for others.

We are all here, in this classroom for a few reasons. Physically, mentally, and spiritually. Deep down, I believe we are all meant to be in each others lives.

I am dedicating this class to all of my SUKHA family.

We may not be spring chickens anymore, but if we continue to look within daily, we will be around for a long time. We will age gracefully providing a sense of self acceptance and gratitude that is often missing in one's younger years, as well as a gradual quieting of the ego as perfection ceases to be a goal.

Flexibility, skill and vitality continue to sustain our bodies as we get older, but the self acceptance, self knowledge and forgiveness that deepen and grow through our yoga practice here at SUKHA make aging a process of more, not less enjoyment.

Thank you for being you.

Thank you for choosing me to guide you through your unconventional yoga practice every damn day!

Keep up the good work my friends!

Thank you for allowing me to be me!!

xoxoxo

Playlist upon request

 

Snapchat's Aprils Fool's Joke and Sukha's April Fool's Joke

We all know that Instagram pretty much copied Snapchat.

This April Fool's Day, Snapchat decide to play a joke on Instagram by rolling our a filter that looks almost exactly like Instagram's story interface.

This April Fool's Day fell on a Saturday. 

My dharma for Saturday was done by Thursday night totally not thinking that April Fool's Day was Saturday. But that's okay because my Sunday 8:00 am crew is the best crew to play a joke on; and indeed that is what I did.

It didn't take me too long and the playlist was a breeze.

As always, they started piling in at 7:35, coffee, mingling, laughing, and buying new SUKHA tanks.

Then 7:59 came around and I started to shake and get a pit in my stomach as if this joke was not a joke.

I had them all lay on their mats. Most did. The ones who always sit up, did not. I made them. Telling them I had something very important to tell them.

I heard "Oh no, this doesn't sound good".

It isn't I said. In fact it is bad news.

I received a call from Rec saying that the pub crawl was not professional and risky and they decided to close down Sukha North!!

Well; mostly all sprung up, Martha looked like she was going to kick someone's ASS. I tried so hard not to laugh. I kept a very straight face. And asked them to please all relax and let's practice.

And it was a very, very, Belated April Fool's Day at SUKHA. Well done, I must admit. Funny as shit too!!!

For those reading this that may wish it was true, sorry folks. It was a joke. Not going anywhere, but location number 2 in Brick!!!!

Love you all!

Thank you for making it amazing to love what I do everyday!!

Pay Per Click? Don't be a D*%K!

Here is are of my thoughts on pay per click campaigns and customer service. Having a background in both, there are a few things on my mind.

Be who you are. It reflects your business. 

Be kind. Don't be nasty. There is no need to buy key words that are not your primary focus of business. 

 "Pay-per-dick", I mean (damn auto correct) "Pay-Per-Click" campaigns are great for BIG business. 

SUKHA is not a gym. SUKHA is a Yoga Studio. We have mats, not DUMB bells. 

Sales down? Looking for business?

How about starting with customer service: Here is a very good tip:

"Good customer service is treating customers with a friendly, helpful attitude. Good customer service means helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner.  It's one of the things that can set your business apart from the others of IT'S KIND".

Click Away my friends. It's a great read. 

"Keep on CLICKING"

"Keep on CLICKING"

"Keep on CLICKING"

 

 

Yoga, Aging and Knee Pain

We all know that yoga is a great form of exercise, both physically and mentally. It is a life changing experience.

Yoga makes us look good and feel good. 

Yoga has us glowing from the inside out.

The majority of the SUKHA family is in the 40's-50"s. But if you come to SUKHA for the first time, you would think you were in a room of 30 year old's!! You are all doing a great job!! Kudos my friends. Keep it up! 

In yoga, age is not measured in chronological years, but with the saying " You're only as young as your spine". And the amazing part of that is, you are never too old to start.

Let's face it, we are not getting any younger. We practice yoga, go the gym and eat well, but we still get aches and pains. 

The knees are most common that us old folks complain about. Including myself. Years of spin class at the gym, and running took a toll on my knees. Yoga has helped with the aches and pains. From time to time, I may have a few that I bitch to myself about, but that comes with being a 46 year old. 

Below is a great article on strengthening knees and avoiding knee pain,

Avoid Knee Pain and Injury with Yoga

BY CATHERINE GUTHRIE

There’s no doubt that yoga asks much of the knees. Done properly, asana practice can shore them up to prevent injuries and slow the progression of some musculoskeletal diseases, but practiced without mindfulness, it spells disaster for these joints. Clearly, there are just as many people who credit yoga with rehabilitating weak knees as there are determined yogis like Ray, who will themselves into complex poses and pay a big price for overdoing it. But in poses like hero pose , in which the knees can feel pushed to the edge, it’s sometimes hard to know if you’re helping or hurting them. So what’s a yoga practitioner who’s concerned about protecting the knees to do? Nothing can replace the guidance of an experienced teacher, but certain principles can guide you into a safe, beneficial practice.

Weak in the Knees

The knee marks the meeting place of three bones: the shinbone (tibia), the thighbone (femur), and the kneecap (patella). Two crescent-shaped pads of cartilage, each called a meniscus, sit between the shinbone and the thighbone and act as cushions between the bones and shock absorbers during movement. Two sets of ligaments—the cruciates and the collaterals—strap all three bones in place. The cruciates crisscross below the kneecap; the collaterals run alongside the outside of the kneecap. The leg’s substantial muscles help these ligaments keep the bones properly aligned.

Unfortunately, the knee’s mechanics are better suited to chasing animals for dinner than to sliding into second base, says Stephen Messier, professor of health and exercise science at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. “We weren’t designed to do the things we do with our bodies nowadays,” he explains. “The knee’s engineering isn’t the greatest.”

And it shows: Every year, nearly 11 million Americans complain to doctors about knee pain. Orthopedic surgeons operate more often on the knees than on any other body part; they performed more than 1.2 million such surgeries in 1996 alone (the latest year for which figures were kept).

Roughly 21 million Americans have osteoarthritis of the knee—a degenerative disease in which the cartilage gradually decays and fails to provide the shock-absorbent padding that cushions the bones. Many older people suffer from this painful arthritic condition; age is considered a risk factor, as are obesity and knee injuries.

For years, experts have touted leg strength as one of the best ways to ward off knee problems, including osteoarthritis. This is because the knee’s key muscular supports are the hamstrings—which run from the base of the pelvis down the back of the leg to just below the knee—and the quadriceps, the four muscles on the front of the thigh that (among other things) extend a bent leg. At the first sign of the disease, doctors often instruct their patients to build muscle tone and develop flexibility in the legs so as to delay cartilage deterioration and subdue pain.

But the findings of a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in April 2003 indicate that in some cases, building leg strength doesn’t slow the disease’s progression—in fact, it hastens it. Researchers tested 230 volunteers with osteoarthritis of the knee for quadriceps strength and knee alignment, and then retested them 18 months later. The results surprised the medical community: Many volunteers with strong quads also showed rapid cartilage deterioration. But there was a catch—many of those who had strong quads and experienced a rapid progression of the disease also had misaligned kneecaps, a small but significant impairment that intensifies pressure on the cartilage.

You don’t even have to suffer from osteoarthritis for misalignment to cause problems in your knees. In fact, Messier says, “misalignment can cause injury and osteoarthritis over long periods of time, especially if you have stronger muscles that are directing the forces improperly.” If the muscular contraction between the two sides of the knee isn’t balanced, the knee rotates as it bends, which makes the joint pull toward the stronger muscle. Over time, this wears down one meniscus faster than the other and eventually damages the bone the cartilage protects.

While the study points to the problems created by building uneven leg strength, Messier is concerned that its findings will be misinterpreted. “The last thing we want to do is discourage people from getting stronger,” he says. What the study actually highlights is the importance of evenly building the leg muscles to keep the joint properly aligned—a task for which yoga is perfect.

One of the Best Antidotes

Whether you’re out to guard against injury and disease or regain strength and flexibility after an injury, yoga can be a superb antidote to knee trouble. “Yoga is fantastic for the knees, especially for people recovering from damaged ligaments,” says Michael Salveson, who has worked on dozens of yoga students during his 33-year tenure as a Rolfer in Berkeley, California. “Yoga increases the stabilizing action of the leg’s big muscles.” When the inner and outer quadriceps are equally strong, he adds, they exert an equal pull on the ligaments, which keeps the kneecap in alignment.

Sandy Blaine is a good example. As a teenager, she enjoyed dance and gymnastics. By her early 20s, she’d dislocated both knees on several occasions. Searching for a low-impact way to stabilize her joints, Blaine tried Iyengar Yoga when she was 26. She was initially surprised by the discipline’s difficulty, yet what impressed her more was how remarkably good she felt afterward. Within six months of attending two to three Iyengar classes a week, Blaine found that her knee pain had vanished. Today, at 42, she still sounds as if she can’t believe her knees are pain-free, calling the result “an absolute miracle.”

“I was looking at a lifetime of being very constrained,” says Blaine, who is now an instructor at the Yoga Room in Berkeley and regularly conducts workshops on yoga and knee health. Regaining healthy knees “was an incredible relief,” she adds.

To evenly engage the leg muscles, Blaine does chair pose with her back against a wall. She focuses on lifting her toes and pressing down evenly through all four corners of her feet. Otherwise, the outer quadriceps do all the work and old patterns are reinforced, she explains. Another way Blaine works on equalizing muscle use is by balancing on one foot with her eyes closed. “Without the orientation of the eyes, your feet and ankles have to find a true alignment to come into balance,” she says.

Robust ligaments are also essential for healthy knees. Less elastic than muscles and tendons, ligaments can give a little and bounce back to their original shape. But trouble brews when they stretch too far: Like a rubber band that’s lost its snap, they lose their shape, leaving the joint loose. Salveson, who is also an instructor at the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado, compares the microtears a ligament sustains in an injury to frays in a rope; when a few strands snap, the rope lengthens. After a torn ligament heals, one side may always be a little longer and, therefore, more susceptible to reinjury. “You can make it stronger,” he says, “but you can’t make it shorter.”

Knee experts are actually divided about whether ligaments can be strengthened. “We know that you can increase muscle and bone strength,” says Angela Smith, M.D., a clinical associate professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. “Intuitively, we think that the other structures of the knee—ligaments and tendons—get stronger as well.”

Blane, for one, is convinced that years of Iyengar Yoga have toned her knee ligaments. “At first, my feet, ankles, and knees were so weak that the standing poses were sheer torture,” she says. “My ligaments and muscles were strong on the outer leg and weak on the inner leg, which pulled the knee joint to the side. Yoga helped me strengthen those weak areas. It taught me how not to go with the path of least resistance.” Her ligaments used to be so weak that she once dislocated her kneecap tripping on a curb. But since committing herself to a regular yoga practice, she hasn’t suffered a knee injury in years.

You also can’t overlook the role of the joint’s supple cartilage in supporting the knee. Without regular use, the cartilage protecting the knee joint becomes dry and brittle, making it vulnerable to decay. “Cartilage is like a sponge,” says William Roberts, M.D., president-elect of the American College of Sports Medicine and associate professor of family medicine at the University of Minnesota. “When you exercise, you squeeze the sponge, which allows it to soak up nutrients.”

If you’ve ever struggled to sit between your heels in Virasana or cross your legs into Padmasana, you’ve probably felt a twinge in your knee joint. While most yoga instructors agree that sharp pain is a one-way ticket out of any pose, the answer to the bigger question of how much (if any) sensation is OK is less obvious. Roberts recommends stretching muscles, not ligaments. “Tension in the muscle is fine. Sensation directly above the kneecap is not a problem,” he says. “But if the tension is on the sides of the knees, I’d back off.”

Some yoga teachers, however, consider Robert’s warning too conservative. “It’s a controversial issue,” Blaine admits. “At some point, you’re going to have some sensation.” She advises her students to breathe through the mild sensation of stretching but to immediately come out of any posture that becomes painful.

Joni Yecalsik, a yoga practitioner since 1970, discovered Iyengar Yoga in 1988 while recovering from a torn meniscus. She now teaches Iyengar classes in Hoboken, New Jersey, and encourages her students to tune in to the subtle differences between a sensation in the joint itself and one in the muscle and to avoid anything that irritates the knee joint. “You should feel an opening sensation in the belly of the muscle,” she says, “but you don’t want to strain the tendons or ligaments.”

A focus on body awareness and allowing slow, deep openings make certain forms of yoga ideal for students recovering from knee injuries. These include Iyengar and Anusara (which focus on attention to detail) and Kripalu and Viniyoga (which focus on gentle compassion and healing). If you’re recovering from a knee injury or surgery, you might want to steer clear of practices that involve a lot of athleticism and quick transitions between asanas until your recovery is complete.

Regardless of the style you choose, make sure the teacher is knowledgeable about knees and willing to see you through the recovery process. Try to move toward a tough pose with patience and compassion for yourself and with the attitude that getting into the final pose is only the icing on the cake. Then, when you get there, your knees will be as happy as you are.

7 Ways to Protect Your Knees in Yoga

1. Avoid Hyperextending: When joints are overly mobile and flex too far back, they’re hyperextended. In the knees, hyperextension often occurs in poses in which the legs are straightened, such as Triangle Pose and seated foward bend, putting an unhealthy tension on the ligaments. If you’re prone to hyperextension, keep a slight bend in the knees during standing poses and keep your weight evenly distributed among the four corners of your feet. In seated forward bends, place a rolled-up sticky mat or towel under the knee of the extended leg or legs.

2. Start With Your Feet: Proper alignment through the feet is the key to building strength evenly in the ligaments on both sides of the knee; when all the ligaments are equally strong, the kneecap glides effortlessly up and down and the cartilage doesn’t get worn down. Separate your toes and press actively through the four corners of your feet in every pose, even inversions. If your feet are out of alignment, your knees are going to suffer.

3. Keep Your Knees in Line: When moving into deep knee bends, such as Warrior 2 and side angle pose, first align your bent knee over your ankle, then draw your kneecap in line with your second toe. Maintain awareness in your back foot, pressing down evenly, while lifting up from the arch of your front foot. “If you let the arch drop, the knee falls inside the big toe, and you’re set up to suffer a number of different kinds of overuse and acute knee injuries,” says Angela Smith, a professor of orthopedic surgery.

4. Tune in to Subtle Signals: “Oftentimes, the knees don’t give immediate feedback,” explains Iyengar teacher Joni Yecalsik. “Only later do you realize you’ve gone too far. When it comes to the knees, the sensation that would normally proceed the red flag is the red flag.” If you feel achiness when you come out of a bent-knee pose, you may have worked too hard.

5. Build Strength by Balancing: Balancing poses, especially those that require moving through a bent standing leg, such as Eagle Pose, are especially beneficial. “Very dynamic balancing protects the knee against future injury by training the functional alignment, not just working the muscle,” Smith says.

6. Be Prop-Friendly: When it comes to seated asanas, nothing makes a tight knee happier than a bounty of props. In Virasana (Hero Pose), try raising your seat with blankets or a block. Anytime the knees are deeply bent, such as in Childs Pose, pressure can be relieved by placing a rolled-up washcloth as far into the knee pit as possible before bending the joint.

7. Warm Up With Hip Openers: “If your big joints aren’t open, your small joints will always take the stress,” yoga instructor Sandy Blaine says. “Many people hurt their knees doing Lotus when their hips aren’t ready.” She recommends warming up with hip stretches like Bound Angle Pose.

Keep those knees safe!!

xoxo

MB

 

Everything Is Going To Be Fine

"Everything Will Be Fine"!

Something I find myself saying;  "Everything Will Be Fine" to my kids, my SUKHA family and to myself during hard times. At times, it may feel like they are just words when you don't know what else to say. I truly mean it. With hope, faith, a positive mind set and a shit load of love; everything is going to be fine.

At the present time it does not sound so helpful when your friends and family may be feeling like everything is falling apart. Health issues, divorce, death, tragedies, and finance problems. 

Whatever it may be, it may not be okay now, but that's okay. It's okay not be fine.

We all go through tough times. Some suck more than others.

But you will get through it. We are strong and powerful. Have faith and trust. You are not alone. There is so much love around you to support you during the bad times. Stay strong and positive my friends. You got this!!

I found this AMAZING blog written by Heidi Priebe. It was perfect to read during class. After reading to myself last night and then out loud over the phone, it struck me. But not as hard as it did reading to all of you today. I found myself choking up and then the tear. (or maybe more than one). ha

Please read carefully out loud, to yourself and to someone else. 

Everything Is Going to Be Fine

You’re one year and seven weeks old and you cannot take two steps without falling over, even though everyone else around you can. You can’t speak without your words coming out in starts and stops. You can’t make sense of where you are or who’s around you, even though you sense that in some way, that it’s supposed to make sense. You often fall asleep in one place and wake up somewhere different altogether. But you’re okay. You’re going to grow up. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re eight years old and you are starting to discover there’s a hierarchy, even on the playground. You are not at the top. You read a lot of books, you hand in your homework on time, you do everything your parents say to do but it doesn’t always translate ideally. You’re starting to scrutinize yourself. The way your body looks, the way your voice sounds, the way you cannot run as fast or make others laugh as loudly as the other kids around you. You don’t know how to grow up right. But you’re eight years old. There’s a world outside the playground, you just can’t see it yet. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re seventeen. You’ve been accepted to the college you wanted, but your boyfriend got in on the other coast. You don’t want to be a high school cliche. You don’t want to have to move on alone. You’re starting to realize, for the first time in your life, that you’ll have to make choices that are not win-win. You’re going to have your heart in two places at once. Life isn’t simple or linear or easy to predict the way it used to be. Your heart is breaking and everyone is buzzing excitedly about your future. You’re not ready for your future. But it’s going to come, and it’s going to be better than you could have imagined. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re twenty-two, and at your college graduation. You have a job prospect lined up and a sky-high list of ambitions and more privilege than a lot of your classmates. But you’re not sure you can live up to your big, huge plans and dreams. You’re not sure you can make it outside of this city that made you into the person you are, with the friends who have taken up the biggest, hugest place inside your heart for so many years. You’re not sure you even want to make it. You’re not sure that there’s anything better out there. You don’t know yet that there is, it’s just a very different ‘better.’ Just a ‘better’ that is sweet in all the ways your current ‘better’ is sour. Just a ‘better’ that might not be better at all, it’s just happiness in a different form. A form you can’t imagine yet, because you are twenty-two and scared. But you won’t be forever. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re twenty-six and falling behind in every way. You’re more alone than you knew you could be, you’re more lost than you ever thought possible. Your heart has invested in too many people who left. Your plans have been built around too many empires that fell. You’re twenty-six and sitting at your dining room table with a steaming cup of coffee and the silence you’ve forgotten how to fill. You don’t know if things get to come together for you. You don’t know if you’re going to become one of those people who can ever say they got their lives in order. You’re worried that you’re going to fade away into insignificance, but you won’t. Because you’re twenty-six and you’ve forgotten that being found first means getting lost. Which means you’re exactly where you ought to be. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re thirty-four and you’re supposed to know more by now. You’re supposed to understand how to make a relationship last, how to structure and provide for other people, how to keep yourself in check when all of the shit hits the fan, but you don’t know. You’re thirty-four years old and there are days where you still want to curl into your mother’s lap and hear her tell you it’ll all be alright. Except soon you’re going to be someone else’s mother, soon you’re going to be the one someone comes to for hope and for comfort, and you’re not sure that you’re up to the task. You’re not sure you will ever know enough. Except you will. Because you already know everything you need to. You just can’t see that yet. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re fifty and you’re not sure how the years have gone so fast. You’re worried that you’re stuck now – on the singular path that you’ve chosen, on the life that you built with young hands. You’re fifty and you’ve watched too many of the people you love already leave you, clutched too tightly to what you have left. You’re not sure if the future belongs to you at all anymore, or if it’s only left for others. For the children taking their first steps, for the eight-year-olds sizing themselves up on the playground. You’ve forgotten that you were once each of those people. That so many times felt like the end, just like now. But it wasn’t the end. It never is. Everything is going to be fine.

You’re eight-five and you cannot take two steps without falling over, even though everyone else around you can. You can’t speak without your words coming out in starts and stops. You can’t make sense of where you are or who’s around you, even though you sense that in some way, it’s supposed to make sense. You’re eight-five and on some days you are twenty-two years old, with your college diploma in your fingers and your hopes and dreams aligned. You’re eight-five and some days you are thirty-six years old watching your child take his first unsuspecting steps. You are eighty-five years old and you’re not entirely sure, most days, if your life is ending or beginning, but a part of you suspects that it’s both. A part of you knows that there has never been a true ending before this, and maybe there are no true endings after. You finally know that you are every version of yourself you’ve ever been. That there will still be versions you can’t see yet. Everything is going to be fine

By: Heidi Priebe

 

 

Big Hearts to Little Hearts Gala

Please join us on March 4, 2017 at The Manasquan Elks Club for The Big Hearts to Little Hearts Gala! There will be a gift auction, 50/50 and live music by UNDISPUTED! You can register on line at https://bighearts2littlehearts.com/upcoming-events/

Big Hearts to Little Hearts mission is to lengthen and improve the lives of the littlest heart patients by funding critical research and programs.

This is a great cause. For little hearts and big.

Just recently diagnosed with Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. 13 year old Jullian Meehan,  Brielle resident, son of our good friend and SUKHA family, Amanda Meehan and one of my son's best friends.

Meet Julian:

Julian is a 13 year old boy who was recently diagnosed with hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy (HOCM).  He had a sports physical and the Nurse Practitioner heard a heart murmur.  He went to a pediatric cardiologist who referred Julian to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  After several visits and multiple tests, the doctors at CHOP diagnosed him with HOCM. The main concern with HOCM is sudden cardiac death.

Julian was very active in sports and loved playing flag football, basketball and baseball. He can no longer play those sports and his activities are restricted. While early detection is important to prevent a sudden tragedy, there is no cure for HOCM. Living with this diagnosis is a physical and emotional challenge.

So we begin our journey of faith and hope that more research and medical advances will find a cure. Attending this event will help with more and more research.

Donation Yoga Class coming soon!! All donations will go to Big Hearts to Little Hearts!

Date: TBD

 

Three Steps to being a "Successful" Yogi.

Happy Monday!!

Wanted to share this great article by Ashley Colloton Loescher that was posted on Elephant Journal.

I hope you all have a great day!! Stay dry and safe!!

Our yoga practice started long before we think.

It began on the day of our birth, with our first breath. When our body was exposed to the temperature of the room, the lights, the sound of mother’s voice. With time, we continuously became more aware of when something hurt and when something felt good.

We developed an understanding of how our thoughts, words and actions affected ourselves, and others. With experience, we became more mindful of all the pieces that make up daily life.

As we all continue to learn and grow with our yoga, there will be good days and bad. So life goes, no matter what hobbies or careers we choose to pursue. As natural ebbs and flows continuously present themselves, I have learned three key principles to staying grounded and focused while remaining a successful yogi.

1. Humility.

Initially, I experienced feelings of jealousy and envy as my peers began performing more advanced postures and receiving opportunities to teach yoga. It forced me to confront my feelings of insecurity, asking myself questions such as, “Does my own self-worth lessen because of the success of another?”

I found that my discomfort came from feeling a sense of ownership and seeking attention and approval through the practice. Once I was able to identity these selfish desires and refocus on yoga in a truer sense, I was able to give credit to others and feel genuine happiness as they succeeded. I found that humility allowed me to remain unattached to the outcome.

As we gain more and more techniques and knowledge, the key is to stay humble. Avoid fueling ego, wanting or needing something from practicing or teaching. Remember that yoga is a universal language shared by all beings. Gaining knowledge of yoga does not make one superior; rather, it makes us all equal. Stay unattached to identifying with yoga and seeking ownership of something that belongs to no one.

Ways to create more humility in your life:

>> Avoid seeking recognition.
>> Give credit and praise to others.
>> Share what you know and congratulate others as they move forward and succeed.

2. Seek additional interests.

I experienced a sense of self-inflicted pressure when I first began practicing yoga. A pressure to practice and teach a lot, a self-imposed and misguided belief that more was better and made me more of a yogi.

As I began my practice of letting go of feeling attached to yoga and a sense of dependency, I began to slowly explore other hobbies with friends and family, finding peace and comfort in hiking, painting, singing and serving the local community.

When something is new and exciting, it might be tempting to identify with that new interest. Or perhaps we replace old feelings of heartache and pain with a new label. The key is to remain open. Being a “yogi” is only one percent of who we are. We are also love, light, plasma, muscles, stars and galaxies. Avoid limiting yourself to a role. You are more; you are expansive. Let that expansiveness fuel your life.

A yoga practice is our introduction to mindfulness. It is a defined time and space to pay attention to our body and breath. However, the ultimate goal is to pull this awareness into other activities. I have learned that one is not a yogi because of constantly performing postures; one becomes a yogi when they practice yoga while not performing postures.

Ways to experience yoga off the mat:

>> Volunteer in our local community.
>> Spend time in nature.
>> Sing while cleaning the house.

3. It’s not temporary.

Although I was practicing yoga in the physical sense, I would occasionally find myself speaking poorly of my peers to make myself feel better temporarily. I realized I was harming myself by trying to advance too quickly in my physical practice. I noticed a sense of addiction to exercise and postures.

This behavior created discomfort and discontent, as it was out of line with the universe’s natural rhythm of unconditional love and compassion.

Yoga in the classroom helped to create mindfulness, and I began to become more aware of the truth that there is no ultimate perfection. There is no one way it is supposed to play out. This gave me permission to let go of control. Surrendering allowed me to settle into the present moment.

There, in the present moment, we begin to learn what needs to change in our lives to align us with a sense of greater good. With this awareness, my practice no longer has a beginning or an end; it is continuous.

Yoga does not begin at the start of the drop-in class and end with the closing om. A class or book or workshop or training or recording—these simply demarcate a period of study in addition to living mindfully. They key is to implement yoga in such a way that it becomes a manageable, effortless part of our being.

Ways to integrate our yoga:

>> Do the best we can with pure intentions.
>> Surrender to the natural rhythm of the universe.
>> Smile with love and compassion.

~

Author: Ashley Colloton Loescher