Upcoming Events and Schedule Changes

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy summer! 

The fall is approaching and there are so many great workshops on the schedule as well as schedule change and added Pilates.

Starting September 10th, Curvaceous Yoga will be held Monday evenings at 7:00 pm instead of Wednesday.

There will be a second Pilates class held every Saturday at 8:00 am. This class will be 45 minutes. If you are on unlimited, do Pilates and stay for Jake's class!! It's a win/win!!

This class will be a trial class for four weeks. If less than 5 people attend for four weeks, the class will be removed from the schedule just like the yoga classes.

Workshops are BACK!!

September 25th at 7:00 pm Breathwork Circle for the Busy Mind with Vikii. Sign up ASAP.

Most of us would say we have crossed the line from the mind’s primary role of thinking to overthinking 24/7. Often times we don’t understand why we are “like this” and end up feeling frustrated, even defeated, when multiple ways of trying to change how are minds work seem to fail.

The overworking mind isn’t bad but rather a sign something within us needs attention. Our bodies hold all of our experiences and emotions such as grief, anger, pain, and shame. When these and other feelings go unaddressed or aren’t fully expressed, the nervous system goes into overdrive and the mind attempts to process the overflow of information and/or uses overthinking as a way to attempt to move energy that feels productive (“I’m doing something about it!”) but isn’t getting anything done.

One way to address both the mind and body simultaneously is with Breathwork. This active meditation uses a three part breath to ease the mind so the body can call up and let go of everything that isn’t serving us. It moves stuck energy to create healthy energetic flow. When the breathing comes to an end, you will feel clearer, lighter, and more at home in your body with a peaceful mind.

This self-healing practice has been called “years of therapy in one session” and is open to everyone. No experience with this or other meditation techniques is necessary. Please bring a mat, sweater/sweatshirt (if you tend to get cold), journal and pen, and supportive tools such as crystals that you would like to have with you for your journey.

$40 per person
Circle is capped at 20 people.
Pay in advance

Dreamcatcher Workshop Tuesday October 2 7:00 pm

Native Americans believed long ago in the healing power of intention and manifestation. Something they may not have known then is the healing that occurs simply through the act of creating and weaving these spiritual pieces of art. Research shows that crafting has a lot in common with meditation and can improve problem-solving skills, reduce stress and anxiety, and improve overall quality of life. 

It’s important in the midst of our busy lives to take a moment for reflection and relaxation. Are you moving toward where you want to be? Does your daily routine nourish and fulfill you? Are you finding that very essential balance that is needed to prevent burning out? 

Dreamcatchers are, in essence, a symbol of acceptance, mindfulness, and healing. 

In this workshop, you will have the opportunity to mindfully awaken your creativity to design & weave your very own dreamcatcher. We will start with an intention setting practice and move through the stages of designing, weaving, and adorning our dreamers with yarn, ribbon, and beads. You will have the option to add words or additional objects to visually reflect the manifestation of your intention. 
All supplies will be provided, but you’re also welcome to bring any personal tokens, such as crystals, beads, dried flowers, or found objects to personalize your dreamcatcher.

DREAMANTRA is a creative outlet and personal self-care practice of Kristy Mathews, a licensed mental health counselor, artist, and workshop facilitator. She believes that it is within the creative process that self-healing occurs. Her passions include making and sharing her love for dreamcatchers, expressive/intuitive painting, poetry, mindfulness, and working with individuals, groups, and families to increase mental and spiritual wholeness.

$30 per person

All Supplies included

Full Moon Cord Cutting with MaryJo Kurtz 10/23 7:00 pm

It’s that time again to cut cords with the people, places, habits or just about anything that we need to let go of. Etheric Cords are part of our energy body. They can go from being positive to negative and from non-serving to positive. These cords connect us with the world and things around us through interaction and energetic dynamics within us. All cords are not negative. And remember, you can still cut cords with those you love. This will raise your vibration, increases and strengthens your vitality, well being and personal power.
$20 sign in on Sukha app, pay at door

Learn How to Read Angel Cards with Maryjo Kurtz Sunday, November 4th 2:00 pm

Description and price will follow

Thank you all as always, for choosing SUKHA to guide you through your yoga practice and pilates. Continue to get on your mat as much as possible. Try new teachers!! Taking others classes will allow you to grow in your practice. On the mat and off!!

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A Relationship with my Yoga Mat

In almost every class, I encourage my students to write. Just like yoga, writing is healing. After Thursday's class I received a message. A well written message. "A relationship with my yoga mat"-Michelle Amy.

 

"Thanks for checking on me today and thank you for an amazing class, summer back on my mat. I followed your advice and went back to what helped when I was young. I started writing away. I haven't written since before motherhood. Thank you!

"My mat knows me, the true me. The real-as-shit-can-get me. It has seen me at my best, worst, strongest, weakest, sweatiest, sanest and in the moments when I felt like I was completely losing my ever-loving mind. It pulls at my heart strings, grounds me, shakes me to my core, absorbs my fears, doubts, and at times, tears. It is where I push myself to face myself. My safe place that always catches me then catapults me right back up again. My mat does not take no for an answer and always sees through my bullshit. It is the place that is my space and mine alone. Its loyalty lies with me and only me, no ulterior motive. While its color or pattern or thickness may change, its commitment to me does not. My mat has supported me through failed relationships, stupid decisions, loss and gut-wrenching, how-will-I-ever-survive-this grief. It has guided me through new beginnings, major life changes, challenges and successes. For ten years it has been my mirror, my anchor, my refuge. Even when neglected, it always welcomes me back without judgment. Yes, my mat knows me, the real-as-shit-can-get me. And I am forever grateful."-Michelle Amy

Thank you Michelle for sharing. xoxoxox

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Happy Imperfect Mother's Day

What a great weekend of celebrating. My baby boy turned 14 and today we are celebrating Mother’s Day. Every day is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you hard working, multi-tasking, beautiful, strong, sometimes under appreciated, talented, mom’s out there.

Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful mom!!! I know I was not easy and guess what? Some days it is coming back in full force to bite me in the ass. But that’s okay. It’s full circle. Thanks for putting up with my shit during my younger years and even sometimes now. This strong mind of mine just keeps getting stronger. Thank you for doing what you did back in 1981. I am not sure the three of us would be who are today and where we are in life if you stayed. Working your ass off. I get it. Boy; do it get it. Full Circle for sure. Anyway, thank you and I love you. Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Before I continue to write, I would like to share something from a “unknown author”

“Mama, you were given these children. You—no one else. You were given these children because you are who they need. You have the soul to love them even on their hard days. You have the motivation and love to give to these children everything they need. You have the heart to wake up every morning and do it all over again, even when you are exhausted. You have the smile that they crave and the touch to make everything okay. You are their sunshine and their comfort. You are theirs, and they are yours, Mama. On the days you are questioning yourself, remember this…you’ve got this.” ~ Unknown

Yes!!! We’ve got this!!! There are so many days when we may think we don’t. There are days where you just want to run. Days where you are not sure how you are going to possibly handle everything. Days when you forget to pack lunches, baseball hats, give lunch money, forget to wash their favorite jeans, days when you don’t feel like having 6 teens over the house because you don’t feeling like dealing with 6 more sets of hormones or maybe the house isn’t clean enough or you just don’t have enough food in the fridge to feed 6 more mouths. But, it’s okay. We are human. We are superheros and some days we lose our power but it is only just for a moment.

There are plenty of sleepless nights. Worrying if some idiot that’s drinking and driving will run off the road and not see your kid on their bikes. Stressing over how you are going to pay for the next set of braces, the next trip to Spain, cars, college. Thinking about grades, parties, games, friends. The list is endless. What guess what? We’ve got this!!! We are strong, powerful, we are natural nurtures. We are doctors, taxi drivers, therapists, cooks, teachers, accountants, a voice, ear, and the eyes of amazing people that came out of us!! Think about that. WE CREATED!!! We created, we teach, we learn, we practice and we continue to share in hopes that our children turn out to be just as AMAZING as we are. But guess what? We need show that we are not perfect, show our flaws and teach them that it is okay.

I read a blog a while ago that inspired me to write what I am going to write.

I am sorry that I will NEVER be the perfect mother.

Everyday, I wake up knowing that Kelsey and Patrick deserve the best. Kelsey and Pat, I hope you read this one day.

I love you both will all of my heart and soul and I hope you know that. I am so blessed to have smart, talented, funny, beautiful, respectful teenagers. Some days, I am simply amazed at how amazing you both are and I  wonder “How the “F” did this happen”. I am proud. I am happy. I am blessed. But I am far from perfect.

I am sorry you did not grow up in a “traditional family”. But this is the road we were meant to be on. I have no regrets at all, but this is what  you needed even if our situation is different than your friends. You are simply two of the most wonderful young humans I have ever met. Not perfect, but that’s okay. 

I would fight for you and die for you.

I am sorry to the things I have to say no to. It’s rare and there isn’t a whole hell of a lot I deny you of. If I can make it happen, I will and I am in the process of doing so. Sit tight. 

I am sorry that in the past, I dragged you to before care at 6:30 am and after care until 6:00 pm and being so tired and slightly grumpy when we got home.

I am sorry some nights, I was logged on working remotely. I am sorry I dragged you to work with me on Saturday’s.

I had to and will continue to work. I am not perfect. But now I finally have the flexibility to pick you up from school, attended games, cook dinner almost every night and be there for you. Some days and nights I have to teach, and get work done when you are home. I hope that one day you understand my drive, motivation and determination for my why’s, and I hope it’s contagious for you in your future. Good work ethic is hard to find these days. If I can teach you a few things; I hope you have the ethic and drive to work hard at whatever you choose to do in the future.

I am sorry I was so tired that I just did not have the energy to play catch or bake with you at the time you wanted, but I am so glad that I did make the time and push myself to get out there enough times to make memories to practice, bake cookies, color or watch I Carly, Power Rangers,  because it was well worth it.

I am sorry for yelling at times in the past, present and I know I will continue to raise my voice in the future. But I promise that I will take a step back and remember to breathe. Remember that I love you. I am your parent, your disciplinarian and then your friend. I am not perfect and I am not a “Disney Parent”. You will understand what that means one day when you begin to figure it all out.

We are going to fight. We are going to disagree. You may not like me some days and I will not like you at that present moment, but the only thing we can do is know that these crappy moments will not last forever.

I am sorry I was not a honor student and can’t help you with all of your homework. Continue to study hard and work “your way”. I will guide and support you but this brain just doesn’t function well with academics and I am not embarrassed to say so. Continue to study and work hard. I am proud of the both of you for the achievements you have made so far. Keep it up. Don't "B" so hard on yourself if you get a "B". 

I am sorry some days the fridge is slightly empty.

I am sorry for not buying the junk food you crave, and going out for ice cream every night in the summer. Outings like this should be a special treat and a special moment. Not a demand or a habit. One day will thank me for the healthy lifestyle, I can promise you that.

I am not sorry for signing and dancing to Johnny Cash in the kitchen back in the day and singing Kenny Chesney with the top down in my jeep present day. I hope that one day you will remember the silly things and most importantly to sing and dance like no one is watching and not give a shit if some one is. Why? Because it feels good. "I hope you dance" "Now and Forever."

I am not sorry for posting selfies on my Instagram page because one day you will look back at them and be proud of me. Continue to share your stories. Follow the real, genuine stories and keep scrolling through the ones that portray themselves to be perfect. It's called False Advertising.

I am not perfect and to be honest, I am not looking to be. I am not the perfect mom, friend, sister, daughter, girlfriend, and boss. I will curse. I will go out of the house looking like a slob. And I will continue to take all of my hard work in the home and outside the home seriously.

I don’t need a big house, a fancy car or fancy clothes in order for people to think I live a perfect life or think that I am a perfect mother. There are days when I get nervous that my imperfections will somehow transfer to you. But guess what? You don’t need someone to show you perfection. You need someone to show you what REALNESS looks like. Realness is meant for the three of us. Real. Honest. Genuine. Low maintenance.Slightly Messy. IMPERFECT. This is US!! In a peaceful, happy, quiet, no frills, small kitchen house.

I am not sorry for not being be perfect. But I WILL NEVER BE SORRY for doing the best I can to continue to raise two awesome teenagers every day. Play hard. Study hard. Work hard. Laugh hard. Live hard.

I love being your mom even on the crappy days. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but in the end you will realize that perfect is so F’in boring and does not exist.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the IMPERFECT mom’s out there! Have a great day today and everyday!

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong

The Proud, Imperfect Mom

Celebrating One Year!!

This month SUKHA will be open one year!!! It has truly been a great year. 

Thank you to everyone who believed in me and supported my dream of opening in Brick. I am so glad I did not listen to the few who told me not to go.

I am grateful to all of the students that practice at SUKHA and trusting me and the other teachers as we guide you through your practice and basically trusting us with your bodies!! It has been my pleasure, honor and so much fun.

Thank you to all of the SUKHA teachers, Mary Jo Kurtz, Krista Lynn, Kim Traverso and all of the amazing women who hold the best workshops. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us.

Special thanks to Maria Preuster who introduced many of us to the true, deep, meaning and practice of yoga and the philosophy. And the amazing teachers that attended Gypsy Souls Teacher Training.

I can't forget one of the biggest supporter of my dreams, goals and one of the main reasons the studio looks the way it does!!! Thank you Matt!!!! For your talent, creativity, hard work and dealing with my drive, motivation and venting. xoxo

I am looking forward to so many great things ahead. 

This month the SUKHA Supporter of the Month is....

ALL OF YOU!!! 

Here's to all of the students and teachers at SUKHA The "Non-Intimidating" Yoga Studio.

Be happy

Be healthy 

Be strong

 

How Two Text Messages Made My Day

This Tuesday after my 9:30 am class, as always I am so f'in happy and feeling; well; pretty f'in good. We all chat after class for a few minutes about stuff. Lots of stuff. Celery, oils, kids, and life in general. After everyone left and I ventured over to see Alison at her new store a few doors down. And what a beautiful store it is BTW.

As we were chatting I received a text message. A very, very, nice text message. At first I was confused as to why I was getting it.

As I was driving home, another message came through. Another very, very, nice text message. I said to myself "WTF"! What did I do? What did I say? I honestly could not think of why I received two sweet text messages within 2 hours. I checked my social media accounts to see what I posted. I was still confused. Normal stuff. Yoga, me, sharing what I am learning and sharing. Whatever it was; those messages made me feel really good. (Text is at bottom of blog)

Both of these text messages did not come from people who practice at SUKHA. One has been twice, and the other has never been to Brick.

Then I thought about it. Mabye it was the posts and what I was sharing.

Why am I sharing this? Well, you see I teach yoga because I want people to feel good no matter what age, size or what they wear. I am sharing the practice and other practices that I am doing or in the process of doing so we can all live the healthiest and happiest life. 

Shit, it isn't easy as we age, but we need to prevent aging and illness the best we can. Whatever I learn, I share in class or on social media. I may post three times a day or I may not post for a few days. Sometimes the post may get 30 likes sometimes 111. The numbers do not matter to me. What matters is that the post about yoga, a quote, food, oils, skin care, or my son playing a sport reaches people. Reaching people to learn, practice, to be healthy, happy and grow. My posts come from the heart and I say it like it is. Sometimes it may come out harsh or bitchy but it all depends on how it is being read and by who.

If I post a quote, it means something to me and I feel it may strike a cord with someone else. 

By sharing your stories, experiences and lessons you have learned you are providing an opportunity for people to learn. You can take what you want, ask questions,  and choose what you want to act upon. 

LEARN-APPLY-SHARE-TEACH but do it AUTHENTICALLY. Your way. Authenticity is meant to be imperfect. If you mess up, that's okay. If you can't do a pose, that's okay. If you have a crappy day; well, WE ALL DO. Even the Instagram Famous have bad days.They may not post it, or some write way too much. Authenticity is not an image. Authenticity for some is still having a closed heart chakra that won't bust open, dropping the F Bomb often, working hard, being slightly selfish at times and forgetting to call your mother back. 

Own your life. Own your experiences and own how you feel about those experiences.

Tips from others and experiences are all around us. Everyone has a story  that we can learn and grow from. Some will come from people with years of experience, and others that are just learning and sharing as they go along. :) 

What you think is a minor aspect of your story might just be exactly what someone else needs to move forward.

So, be authentic, learn, apply what you learn, share and teach. Remember this is not only pertaining to yoga. Although yoga is LIFE. Practice, learn, apply and share on what you learn about life.

Before I close, I want to say that I have been posting and saying for years BE YOU. I came across a note/quote that says " I would say to be yourself, but it's too cliche', so instead I will say to own yourself, and to own your life"

Thank you again to the two amazing women who sent me the text messages. Although we live in the same town and we don't see each other all that much; you are AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL! 

be happy

be healthy

be strong

own yourself,

xoxox

 

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Tara. The SUKHA Supporter of the Month

Congratulations to Tara once again for earning the SUKHA Supporter of the Month.

Tara wrote about her experience at SUKHA that I would like to share with all of you and some beautiful photos we took today before class.

Taking a chance and going to Sukha has been the best decision I have made for myself in a long time.  I knew I wanted a consistent yoga practice but I didn’t stick to a home program and hadn’t found the right studio for me.  After my first class with Maribeth I knew I was hooked and I haven’t hesitated to try a new class, teacher or workshop since.  Sukha has truly become my happy place. Though I have a lot of work to do, I’m a more present, mindful person because of what I have learned at Sukha.  And my clothes fit better too 😉-Tara 2/12/2018

Thank you Tara as always for your continued love and support.

xoxoxox

To Me, Love Me

It has been a long time waiting for this workshop.

Something we all struggle with. EVERYONE!

I won't get to crazy with the blog. Saving it for the workshop!!!

To Me Love Me

We hear it over and over again "You have to love yourself first". Why don't you love yourself" Self Love" etc....
We have been trying for years. Sometimes we think we reached that point when we have it all together and one day, and all of a sudden it happens again. That doubt. The criticism.

We do all of the work. Meditate, Cut Cords, Yoga. But then it happens:

Do you find yourself gravitating towards the same bad habits, romantic relationships, toxic people? It all comes back to self love.

We all know how important it is. Important to living well, who we pick as a partner, and how you cope with problems in your life. From family life to our professional life. Self love is a MUST but it’s not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. It is choice you have to make every single day. It’s like Yoga. It’s something you have to work on every day. The more you practice and work in it the better you become.

We invest so much of our time and energy getting to know new friends and partners but are we truly putting the effort in for ourselves?

I hear it over and over again; “why do I attract assholes”, “why do my friends consistently walk all over me” , “my partner treats me like shit”?

These behaviors all come back to one thing; self acceptance and self love.

Some may say, “hold on, I love myself. I look fabulous for 45”, I am attractive, fun, smart, etc....
You may look great for whatever age but how’s that dating site treating you? Still attracting the same kind of people?
How’s your relationship with your partner? Is he or she still not coming home at night? Coming my home half in the bag? Always hiding their phone? Catching them in lies but still sitting, waiting, wishing? You try to communicate and constantly doing the work but nothing is changing.
Do you deserve this?

Or maybe you are in a better relationship than the last and still have trust issues from the past? Can’t let go? This hurt from the past leads to negative thinking and hurts your self esteem and can ruin a new, trustworthy relationship.

Join me for a very special, intense, discussion, journaling, meditation and short yoga sequences to face our inner critics,practical tips to practice self-love on a daily basis and work on becoming our own best friend and love ourselves unconditionally. Everyday.

"Self-Love is a way of living, rather than some elevated state of being"

Bring a blank journal.
$25. Sign up in the SUKHA app and pay at the door. The invite list will be on private and so will this workshop. What is discussed at SUKHA, stays at SUKHA
Hosted and guided by Maribeth Woodford

18 Benefits of Yoga According to Science

I have written about the benefits of yoga many times and one of my blogs reached a writer at Jen Reviews.

Jenn contacted me with a more detailed and updated guide on 18 amazing health benefits of yoga that I would like to share with as many people as possible.

Read it, save it and share it.

Enjoy!

Thank you Jenn! Read Jen's blog about making everyday healthy choices by liking her page on Facebook @jenreviews

Yoga is becoming more mainstream in western cultures as those who practice it realize the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with the ancient art.

Science has proven that yoga can have a transformative effect on the body, resulting in everything from lowered blood pressure to disease prevention. Here are some of the many health benefits of yoga, as proven by science.

1. Regular Yoga Practice Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Almost every benefit that comes from regularly practicing yoga stems from the activity’s proven stress-reducing properties.

Stress has become the norm in our everyday society. With high-pressure careers, children’s demanding schedules, and little time to focus on self-care, more adults than ever are experiencing dangerously high levels of stress.

Those who experience frequent stress and anxiety are at a higher risk for clinical depression, high blood pressure, chronic disease, insomnia, and a host of other problems. When the body becomes regularly anxious or stressed, it may never get the signal to return to normal functioning.

This can lead to a prolonged ‘fight or flight’ response that is incredibly draining on the body and the mind.

Preliminary research shows that practicing yoga can have the same stress-reducing effects such as exercise and relaxation techniques, which makes sense because it is essentially the combination of the two.

The controlled breathing that is inherent in practicing yoga is probably the biggest factor in reducing stress. When focused on breathing, participants have little room to engage in irrational fear, worry, or other obsessive thoughts, many of which are contributing to their stress levels.

Yoga also helps increase mindfulness and the focus on gratitude, both of which help to ease anxiety.

When we take the time to practice yoga, we are taking time to care for ourselves. This has taken a back seat in our current culture, and yoga can teach us to get back to basics.

Focusing just 20 to 30 minutes a day on the self-healing practice of yoga can then lead to other beneficial activities. It can be a gateway to a more calm, focused life.

Bottom Line: Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on breathing and increasing mindfulness and focus on gratitude.

2. Practicing Yoga Improves Cardiovascular Health

Heart health is crucial to our overall wellness. Hypertension and coronary blockage leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

Relaxation is incredibly helpful when it comes to heart health as it relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure while increasing blood flow to the heart. Because of its combination of breathing, meditation, and slow controlled movement, yoga is one of the most relaxing exercises on the planet.

Yoga, especially the more energetic forms, also increases the heart rate. This makes it as beneficial to your heart as any other form of exercise. In fact, yoga may actually lower the risk of heart disease as much as traditional exercise such as brisk walking.

Those who are interested in the cardio benefits of yoga should try out the more active forms such as ashtanga yoga, which provide more of a bump in heart rate than other forms. They might also consider pairing a vigorous form of yoga in the morning with a relaxing form in the evening to provide more stress-reducing and sleep benefits.

Individuals who have suffered a heart attack or are recovering from other heart-related issues also benefit from yoga. Because they are unable to perform more strenuous exercises such as jogging or bicycling, the low-key and less strenuous poses of yoga give them the exercise they need without taxing their already strained heart muscle.

In addition, those who have suffered a cardiac event also benefit from the stress-reducing effects of yoga. Having a life-threatening heart attack or stroke can induce acute emotional stress, which continues to have a negative effect on the heart even after the event is over.

Those who have heart-related illnesses often have to face the fact that they have a life-altering condition. This can often cause grief or depression, both of which are proven to be eased by yoga.

Bottom Line: Yoga improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, offering relaxation benefits, and increasing blood flow to the heart. It’s also beneficial for those recovering from a heart attack.

3. Yoga Strengthens Brain Activity

As we age, our brains change. Certain parts, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, shrink. Because these areas are crucial to our learning, memory, planning and other mental activities,

This can lead to frustrating memory lapses, inability to focus, and a struggle to retain new information. In extreme cases, in can even lead to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Not surprisingly, yoga promotes a more focused, calmer mind through its controlled breathing and focus on relaxation. What may come as a surprise, though, is that yoga can actually change the physical makeup of your brain matter.

Using MRI scans, scientists have detected more cells in certain brain areas of those who practiced yoga regularly. Yoga practitioners had larger brain volume in their somatosensory cortex, visual cortex, hippocampus, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These areas are in charge of visualization, concept of self, and directing attention.

Scientists attribute these benefits to the focused breathing in yoga, which maximizes oxygenation and blood flow to the brain. These benefits also led to fewer depressive symptoms and increased memory performance in practitioners.

The happier and more positive thoughts that flow from yoga can also help change the chemical composition of the brain and ‘rewire’ it to focus more on positive thoughts.

When we break the habit of reacting to stressful events with anxiety and negative thoughts, which yoga helps us do, we encourage the mind to embrace more beneficial thinking. This helps us embrace the present moment and let go of harmful anxiety.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps increase brain matter in various areas of the brain, leading to better memory, less depression and more focus. It also helps rewire the brain for positivity and promotes a calm mind.

4. Practicing Yoga Can Lower the Risk of Cancer

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, one of four deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to some form of cancer.

Practicing yoga may prevent the genetic mutation from expressing in those who have a family history of cancer. This means that it can have powerful cancer prevention properties. It can also help reduce fat stores in the body, which reduces the likelihood of cancer developing and spreading.

Chronic stress, which yoga helps to reduce, weakens your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to diseases like cancer. It can also enable cancer cells to grow and spread as it increases negative hormones and certain growth factors.

The stress-busting quality of yoga can boost your immune system and regulate hormones, both important cancer-fighting tools.

In addition to cancer prevention, a regular yoga practice with the soothing music from yoga DVDs can also help those who are battling cancer by lowering inflammation, boosting energy, and lifting the mood. One study showed that regularly practicing yoga for three months was effective in improving the negative moods of those undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Cancer treatments can also cause fatigue and zap strength in those undergoing them. Yoga has proven beneficial in combating these symptoms and can improve range of motion in patients and help them stay limber and active.

Bottom Line: Yoga can help prevent cancer by reducing fat stores and preventing genetic mutation expression. It can also assist those undergoing cancer treatments by keeping them limber and boosting energy.

5. The Deep Breathing and Poses of Yoga Improve Digestion

Devotees of yoga believe that all health begins in the gut. If we are digesting food, air, water, and energy properly, every other part of the body and mind suffer.

Yoga improves our body’s internal rhythms, which assist in how we digest and detoxify. Even if you don’t currently suffer from any outward signs of impaired digestion, increasing our body’s ability to remove toxins is extremely beneficial.

Many people suffer from poor digestion and constipation. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to colon cancer and other diseases.

Still others have developed chronic digestion disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. These disorders can have a serious impact on our quality of life.

Relying on laxatives or other interventions is not a good way to combat digestive issues, and many find that a high fiber diet is not enough to resolve their issues. That’s where yoga can come in handy.

Deep breathing, the cornerstone of all yoga practices, is like a mild massage for the digestive tract. Breathing brings life force into the body, and helps cleanse it of dangerous toxins.

There are also a number of different poses, such as the peacock and nauli, that are designed specifically to get waste moving through and out of your body. Many of these are best done in the morning on an empty stomach and after a glass of warm water with lemon.

In addition to being helpful for improved digestion on its own, the practice of yoga also encourages individuals to take care of themselves with a healthier diet, more rest, and fewer processed foods and beverages.

The increase in self-care helps not only with digestion, but with feeling good as a whole.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps move toxins through the body with deep breathing and specific poses aimed at improving digestion.

6. Those Who Practice Yoga Are More Aware of What’s Going on in Their Bodies

The term ‘body awareness’ can take many forms, each of which can be enhanced by the practice of yoga.

As we grow into adults, most of us start losing touch with our bodies as matters of the mind take over. We focus so much on our thoughts and feelings, we forget about the mind-body connection and how powerful it is.

This can lead to a reduction in the enjoyment of simple pleasures such as the feel of the sun on our face, or the warm breeze across our skin.

It can also lead to a disconnection between ourselves and our bodies. As we age, this disconnection becomes more pronounced, which is why we often hear of seniors experiencing more falls and accidents than their younger counterparts.

When we’re aware of and connected to our bodies as we step into our yoga pants, we’re able to better enjoy the present moment and understand what impact it has on us both physically and mentally.

Yoga brings body awareness to the forefront. Each pose is focused on one or more body parts and as we breathe in and out, we are only only aware of that breath but also of the part of the body we are currently stretching.

Yoga is also based on being aware of what your body is and is not capable of. Because no pose should be forced, those who are practicing yoga must listen to their body and make adjustments based on what it is telling them.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps increase the mind-body connection. This enhances enjoyment of the present, and also encourages us to be more in tune with how our bodies move.

7. Yoga Practice Lowers Sugar Levels in the Blood, Decreasing Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes is an epidemic that is becoming quite common in the United States. A condition that is triggered by high blood sugar, either due to lack of insulin production in the body or the body’s lack of response to insulin, diabetes can lead to a dependence on medication, amputations, or even death.

Type 1 diabetes tends to develop in childhood or early adulthood and is usually genetic while type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood and is often a product of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Along with lowering blood pressure and keeping weight in check, yoga helps with diabetes by reducing the levels of sugar in the blood, all of which help slow the rate of progression and lessen the severity of complications.

Though it’s a more gentle form of exercise than most people are used to, yoga still provides a workout. The boost in heart rate experienced by yoga practitioners can improve glucose metabolism and increase insulin sensitivity, both beneficial to diabetes sufferers.

Cravings for sweets is a common symptom of diabetes, and the ensuing consumption of sweets only aggravates the problem. Deep breathing, yoga positions, and meditation can help reduce these cravings.

When we become more aware of the mind-body connection through the practice of yoga, we can identify what our bodies really need and make healthy decisions about what we put in our body.

Bottom Line: Regular practice of yoga can decrease blood sugar levels, keep weight in check, and reduce stress, all of which help improve diabetes symptoms.

8. The Practice of Yoga Can Help Regulate Your Adrenal Glands

Adrenal fatigue syndrome can cause lack of energy, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and a number of other symptoms that are triggered by a sustained ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. This can result from prolonged levels of stress, a traumatic event, or a stressful living situation.

When your adrenal glands are not functioning correctly, too much cortisol is released into your body and it compromises your immune function. Those who have adrenal fatigue syndrome get sick more often and have a lowered level of energy to deal with the sickness. They are also more susceptible to osteoporosis and high blood pressure, and tend to gain more fat in the abdomen area.

Mastering the breathing that is the center of all yoga practices is a key element in managing stress levels. Because high stress is the main contributing factor to adrenal issues, it makes sense that this type of breathing will lower cortisol levels and lessen the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

When we practice yoga, we also give our minds a chance to quiet down and take a break from any negative our repetitive thoughts that often take over when our adrenal glands are overwhelmed.

This can be a beneficial time to check in with ourselves and identify how we’re feeling. Those experiencing high stress often put themselves last, which only leads to more stress.

Yoga encourages us to to take some time for ourselves. When we look deep, breathe, and practice self-care, we can often deal with negative emotions and the situations that are causing them.

Bottom Line: The regular practice of yoga can reduce stress and lessen the release of cortisol, helping to combat the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

9. Yoga Strengthens Bones

Weight-bearing activities have long been known to strengthen bones, which is why many of those who are at risk for osteoporosis are encouraged to begin a strength-training workout regimen. Yoga training, with its many positions that  put pressure on different body parts, can be considered weight-bearing and has shown the ability to build bone mass in scientific studies.

In contrast to other, more intense cardio exercises like jogging or weight training, yoga does not damage cartilage or stress the joints. Instead, it lengthens and holds muscles, which creates tension on the bone. This helps to build bone strength.

The release of cortisol, the hormone triggered by stress, is another factor in osteoporosis. Yoga, with its relaxing and stress-calming nature, can reduce the amount of cortisol that is released and therefore lessen the impact it has on the bones.

As few as a dozen yoga poses held for 30 seconds each, if done on a daily basis, can be enough to ward off osteoporosis and strengthen bones in the spine, arms, and legs.

Bottom Line: Performing weight-bearing exercises, including various yoga poses, can reduce calcium-destroying cortisol and build bone density.

10. The Healing Powers of the Breath Aid in Improved Respiration

Yoga is all about harnessing the healing powers of the breath. Though all of us must breathe to live, most of us do not breathe efficiently.

Experts agree that to feel your best, you should breathe approximately 5 to 6 breaths per minute. However, most of us take anywhere from 14 to 20 breaths per minute, which is three times faster than what is healthy.

Breath changes depending on emotion, and vice versa. When we get panicked, upset, or angry, we tend to breath more shallowly and at a faster rate. When we get used to breathing this way because of chronic stress, our body gets used to it and we develop the habit of breathing quickly even in normal circumstances.

When we breathe at a slow and relaxed pace, we are signaling to the brain that it can rest and that no dangers are present. This reduces stress hormones, turns off danger warnings, and allows our body to recover.

Not only do we turn off the ‘fight or flight’ response of our nervous system when we breathe deeply, but we also increase chest wall expansion and lung volumes. This is beneficial to all who practice yoga, but can be especially important for those dealing with a respiratory illness or condition such as asthma.

Everything in yoga is based on the breath. Pranayamic breathing exercises can be performed anywhere when you are in need of stress relief or relaxation. Make sure the air quality in your practice environment is good, however - consider getting an air purifier if that is not the case.

All other forms of yoga, from the extremely gentle restorative yoga to the more intense vinyasa and ashtanga practices, also rely on a basis of breathing deeply and being aware of how your breathing affects every part of your body and mind.

Bottom Line: All forms of yoga are based on breathing. The regular practice of yoga teaches us how to pay attention to the breath and can improve lung volume and chest capacity, helping those who deal with respiratory issues.

11. Chronic Pain Can Often Be Managed Effectively with Yoga

Chronic pain, whether caused by a disease like fibromyalgia, an accident, or a side effect of treatments for other conditions, can easily impair quality of life. If bad enough, it can also trigger brain structure changes that are linked to impaired cognition, anxiety, and depression.

The regular practice of yoga can help those with chronic pain manage it on a number of levels. If pain is due to muscle or joint issues, such as the case with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or back pain, the simple act of regular stretching with a yoga ball chair and range of motion exercises can be enough to significantly reduce pain.

The increased flow of oxygen to brain and muscle tissues that results from the breathing and movement of yoga also help improve energy levels and general feelings of well-being, making it easier to deal with physical pain.

This breathing, combined with the physical movements of yoga, can help release muscle tension held in your body. This often decreases pain or, in some cases, relieves it entirely.

The benefits of yoga as it relates to pain management do not stop there, however, Yoga also appears to increase gray matter in your brain through a process called neurogenesis. There are also indications that it can strengthen white matter connectivity. Many researchers believe that reduction of gray matter and weak connectivity are the most significant factors in chronic pain.

Yogis dealing with pain can also benefit from the stress reduction and decrease in cortisol release the practice brings. This not only helps with tension, but can also help them cope with the anticipation of pain. Instead of having a ‘fight or flight’ reaction to pain, those who have practiced yoga may be able to form a more gentle reaction that does not trigger additional stress.

Bottom Line: The breathing and movement associated with yoga can help those suffering from muscle or joint pain. Regular yoga practice can also trigger changes in the brain that can help chronic pain sufferers deal with and lessen pain symptoms.

12. Those Who Practice Yoga See Fewer Allergy Symptoms

Do you deal with the misery of itchy eyes, scratchy throat, fatigue, and congestion that comes with allergies? Millions of people suffer from allergies brought on by pollen, grass, dust, pet dander, or other substances to the point that it affects their work, their social life, and their sleep.

How do allergies develop? Many scientists have studied the phenomenon and found that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system over-responds to an otherwise harmless substance. Your body mistakenly treats this substance like a dangerous invader and releases histamines.

Histamines are a faulty immune response, and they can condition the body to display symptoms that start to resemble a disease. Many argue that, to be susceptible to allergies, sufferers may have a compromised immune system, weak digestive system or be experiencing toxic overload.

Yoga addresses many different levels of wellness that can lead to a reduction in allergy symptoms. Stress is a leading cause of a poor immune system and digestive problems, and can also be a toxin that makes the body weaker.

As we’ve already addressed many times in this article, the regular practice of yoga is one of the best stress reducers on the planet. Of the many benefits of stress reduction, an improvement in allergies is just one.

Kriyas, or cleansing practices, are another element of yoga that can help with allergies. These practices range from rapid breathing exercises to gentle cleansing of the nasal passages with salt water, which can remove viruses and pollen from the nose.

Studies have also found that regular yoga practice may reduce inflammation in the body. Another harmful effect of stress, inflammation can worsen allergies and cause attacks to be more severe.

Bottom Line: Those who practice traditional yoga or engage in cleansing kriyas can reduce their susceptibility to allergies and also improve the symptoms associated with them.

13. The Increased Blood Flow and Reduced Stress Associated with Yoga Can Increase Fertility

Couples who have struggled with conceiving a child often turn to fertility drugs or even more intensive measures of in vitro fertilization to realize their dreams of having a baby. Before turning to costly and sometimes side-effect laden treatments, couples should first explore the more gentle treatment of practicing yoga.

Yoga enhances fertility in the ways one might expect: by reducing stress that can often harm the chances of conceiving. Stress can lead to the release of an enzyme, called alpha amylase, which can impact a woman’s fertility. Many women who have problems conceiving are stressed to begin with, then become more stressed as they fail to conceive. This can lead to a vicious cycle where stress continues to increase each month, making it more and more difficult to get pregnant.

In addition to stress reduction, yoga can also increase blood flow to reproductive organs, which not only improves their function but also improves hormone function.

All regular yoga practices can help with fertility, but those who are actively trying to conceive may benefit from the more targeted fertility yoga practice. This is aimed specifically at nurturing, supporting, and strengthening the endocrine and reproductive system.

Fertility yoga incorporates specific poses that re-balances the system and strengthens muscles and organs that are used during pregnancy and childbirth. This helps make for a healthy pregnancy once a woman conceives.

Bottom Line: The stress reduction and rebalancing benefits of yoga can help women who want to conceive. Those struggling with fertility issues may want to practice targeted fertility yoga that helps with both conception and a healthy pregnancy.

14. A Consistent Yoga Practice Can Lead to a Balanced Metabolism

Your metabolism is the basic biochemical process that converts the food you eat into the energy you need to live. A sluggish metabolism can mean weight gain, low energy, and problems with regularity.

Though long thought to be a practice focused mostly on relaxation and stretching, yoga can actually be a moderately strenuous workout that increases muscle, increases heart rate, and revs up the fire of your metabolism.

In addition to increasing heart rate to boost metabolism, the practice of yoga also affects digestion, circulation, and muscle tone, all of which have an impact on how efficiently your body creates energy.

With the majority of your digestive tract located in your core, the yoga positions that engage the abdomen, especially those that involve twisting or bringing the knees to the chest, can wring out toxins and encourage waste to pass through your body.

Circulation is another factor important to your metabolism. If your body has poor circulation, your organs suffer from a lack of nutrients and oxygen, which slows metabolism. The deep breathing inherent in yoga helps open up arteries and release pressure, all of which help with proper circulation.

Many people make the mistake of thinking yoga is not strenuous enough to build muscle mass. However, the weight bearing features of many of the poses target large and small muscle groups, building them in size and density.

When we build muscle, we not only increase strength, but we also burn more calories. Muscle burns more than fat, and the more calories we burn, the more our metabolism rate increases.

Bottom Line: Yoga has an effect on digestion, circulation, and building muscle, all of which positively affect your metabolism.

15. Practicing Yoga at any Time of Day Helps You Sleep Better

Sleep is crucial to our energy levels, mood, concentration, and ability to be happy and successful in our everyday lives.

Those most sleep experts recommend that adults get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night, most of us get far less than this. Even if you are in bed for the necessary hours, inability to get to sleep, waking up frequently, or tossing and turning can turn those hours into less-than-quality rest.

Insomnia or reduced sleep quality can be the product of stress, underlying illness or disease, poor sleeping conditions, vitamin deficiency, or hundreds of other factors. This often makes it difficult to identify what issues are at play.

Though every person may have a different reason for not sleeping well, yoga can have a beneficial effect on everyone’s sleep quality. Because the nervous system is responsible for a restful sleep, yoga’s calming effects are especially helpful.

A calm mind leads to a calm body, both of which play a part in how easy it is to get to sleep and how restful that sleep is. Many people are bothered by a ‘busy mind’ that simply cannot shut off at the end of the day.

Yoga teaches us how to breathe deeply and disconnect from our worries and from those distracting thoughts that tend to keep us up at night. By giving ourselves the tools to put thoughts aside and instead focus on our breath, we give ourselves an excellent tool for the perfect night of sleep.

Although a regular yoga practice done consistently at any time of day will undoubtedly affect your sleep, those who really struggle may benefit from poses done at night that are specifically aimed at helping you sleep more soundly.

These poses include uttasnasana, halasana, and savasana and should be done as close to bedtime as possible.

Others benefit more from a Kundalini yoga sequence before bed that incorporates long, slow breathing and meditation. It’s best to try out both methods to see what leads to a better night of sleep for you.

The Bottom Line: The stress-relieving benefits of a consistent yoga practice can help improve your sleep quality. Those with sleeping problems can also benefit from a bedtime routine that includes specific poses or deep breathing paired with meditation.

16. All Forms of Yoga Work Wonders on Your Range of Motion

Range of motion is important to our overall quality of life, and it decreases as we age. Important for injury prevention as well as as our ability to do daily tasks with minimal discomfort, range of motion can be increased with regular yoga.

Why does range of motion decrease as we age and how can yoga combat this? As we get older, the tissue around joints tend to thicken and cartilage decreases. The knees and hips are especially susceptible to these depletions, making them more prone to injury in older individuals.

As muscle mass decreases, this also affects our range of motion as we age. Our ease of movement decreases, and general fitness levels tend to drop.

When range of motion decreases, it often triggers a snowball effect. Movement becomes more difficult, so individuals tend to move less often. This, in turn, triggers more movement impairment.

Yoga is based on controlled, prolonged stretching. This type of movement is still comfortable for those who are experiencing a lack of flexibility or injury that restricts range of motion.

Not only is yoga a practical exercise for those in this situation, but it also tends to reverse the lack of flexibility that they experience.

A daily practice of prolonged stretching that is inherent in any yoga program elongates the muscles and enables joint flexibility.

The slow, deliberate process of gently stretching muscles over a long period of time is both beneficial and achievable for those of all ages. It can be done throughout the lifetime and rarely needs to be suspended due to injury or other ailments.

Bottom Line: The gentle and prolonged stretching that makes up the core of yoga helps increase range of motion and preserve it throughout the lifetime.

17. Practicing Yoga Can Help Treat Arthritis

Arthritis is an excruciating affliction that severely impacts quality of life. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, can occur at any age, and is triggered by a faulty immune system. Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a degenerative disorder that usually takes place as a person ages. It’s estimated that there are over three million cases of OA in the United States per year.

While medication can greatly help both those suffering from RA and OA, exercise is always recommended as well. Because arthritis is characterized by painful swelling in the joints, many forms of traditional exercise may be unbearable.

Yoga is incredibly easy on the joints and is usually a comfortable activity for even the most severe arthritis sufferers. The gentle stretching of yoga can ease joint discomfort and the focused breathing can help those in pain distance deal with the chronic distress.

The muscle-building and energy-boosting effects of yoga can also help those with arthritis. OA and RA tend to zap energy, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle and muscle atrophy. Those who practice yoga tend to be more active, which lessens arthritis symptoms.

The psychological benefits of yoga on those suffering from arthritis are also to be noted. Those with arthritis who regularly practice yoga suffer from less depression, improved coping abilities, stress reduction and an enhanced sense of well-being.

Bottom Line: Yoga is a safe and effective form of exercise for those suffering from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It helps ease joint discomfort and boosts energy and a sense of well-being.

18. Practicing Yoga Leads to a Healthy Lifestyle and Enhanced Self-Care

Bad choices lead to more bad choices. A lack of exercise can easily lead into bad eating habits, which leads to weight gain, which leads to even less exercise.

A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle results in a depressed mood, low energy levels, and an overall pessimistic attitude.

Sometimes, it just takes one thing to start turning it all around. Yoga can be that one thing.

Because it can be practiced by individuals at any age and in any shape, yoga is a practice that can be adopted by virtually everyone.

Yoga increases our awareness, which often leads practitioners to start making changes in every part of their lives. As they develop more self-awareness, they often make changes that include healthier food choices, fewer toxic relationships, and more time to take care of themselves.

Over time, these choices add up to a much healthier and happier lifestyle. The increase in overall quality of life can even equal more years on your life.

Bottom Line: Yoga increases self-awareness, which leads to other healthy choices and overall increase in wellness and happiness.

Leaders and Followers

"The one who follows the crowd will usually get no further than the crowd.

The one who walks alone, is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been"-Albert Einstein

There are two parts to this blog about being a leader and not a follower and followers, likes, and friends on social media. It is a very broad topic.

That seems to be a word that comes up often these days. Followers.

How many do you have on Instagram  and Facebook? Does it even matter? Does it define who you are as a person or as a business? Are these followers paid for? Are you the one buying them? Are they even relevant to you or your business? 

We are in a world of friends, followers, and fans through a device for our own personal agenda.

Don't get me wrong,  social media is a great way of connecting with old friends and making new ones and for a business, well; it is a must.  All businesses should be on all social media outlets having followers that pertain to your business in your PMA. If you are in a business where you can sell all over the world; get it out there!!! Or if you are looking to get famous; good luck.

What is more important, 10k followers or 100 that will actually engage with you or your business?

Teens are obsessed and adults; maybe even more so.

A recent study found that one in five people say they feel depressed as a result of using social media due to stress of constantly monitoring status updates, likes, followers and people presenting MOST LIKELY a false picture of lives to the online community.

The last few months, I have been talking to people and running analytics on my posts and what I am finding is very interesting.

I post. For SUKHA and pictures of my kids and life. I enjoy sharing. Some get 3 likes, some 103. The blogs that get 3 likes, have actually been read by 116 people with over 4,000 visitors to my website in a month. People silently scroll, read and will bring it to my attention in person, but do not hit the like button. Why?

I found the answers from online sources and some personally.

1. I don't like it because you don't follow me back. (grow up)

2 .I don't like it because you don't like my posts. (grow up)

3. I don't like it because it doesn't have more than 20 likes in 5 seconds (grow up)

4. I don't like it because I don't want you to know that I am creeping on your shit at 4:00 am. (gross)

5. I don't like it because I am jealous. (self confidence issues)

6. I don't like it because my BF or GF would be mad. (Be confident in your relationship)

7. I don't like it because other people can see what I like. (Who cares)

8. I don't like it because liking is no way to communicate. (Then send a message or a text or tell in person) I prefer this!! :)

9. I don't like it because I don't like you. (Then please don't follow me)

10. I don't like it because I am not looking at my device 24/7 and the way the algorithm works I may not see your post for 2 days. Don't get yourself in a tizzy. (my answer)

So my friends, I have deleted Facebook off of my phone and is only on my Ipad. I post for SUKHA and on my personal page when I have something to share and will like and comment when I have my ipad. Please do not take it personally.

Social Media is amazing. It brings people together and is great for businesses.

Don't let it consume you, or make you sad or angry and most importantly, don't let it happen to your children. 

Now; back to the real reason for this post.

Are you happy to follow the lead of other people or do you make your own decisions and make things happen by doing your own thing and leading?

We teach our children this but are we doing the same?

Do you stand up or sit back silently and stay put? 

Don't be frightened by the responsibility to stand up and take the lead and make your own decisions.

Let's not spend our lives hiding behind a curtain. Follow your heart and go in the direction YOU WANT TO GO.

If you feel stuck being a follower, you can still lead by inspiring others with your words and actions and show other how to grow.

Continue on your path with love, kindness, determination and live from your heart.

Bottom line....

Who cares about how many followers or likes.

Be a leader with confidence, knowledge, respect, communication and you will fly.

xoxo