Be a Fan.

Well this week has been one for the books in the wonderful world of sports here at the Jersey Shore.

I love watching my daughter cheer and my son play sports. 

I am a fan. A fan of all kids and young adults who play sports it does not matter what school or what town, county or "over the bridge" or "over the tracks". It is inspiring to watch them grow whether it is the same team or kids on the other team. I sit, watch, listen and observe. I am not a screamer. I am a fan. A fan of young athletes playing sports that THEY love. 

This is something that I have been wanting to write about for a very long time. How parents behave at grade school and high school sporting events.

I clearly remember the first time. Biddy basketball. My son was 7. He had the ball, hauling ass to the basket. A dad (who never cared for me for some reason) stood up, screamed at his son "GET HIM NOW" "GET THAT KID"!!! 

"That kid". Hmmmmmm..... I believe he knew his name VERY well. His eyes were bulging out of his head like he wanted to get on the court and take the ball himself. It's BIDDY basketball. Give me a f'in break you nut job. 

Soccer season. First year playing and it was a good one for my son. One comment on parent behavior:

Please do not speak poorly about 13 year old boys. They are children. It is immature, disrespectful and the parent ALWAYS finds out. 

A few weeks ago, I witnessed a few parents who were out of line and out of control at a 8th grade basketball game. The words, the actions and the behavior. Unreal. Another mom and I silently said "It's only 8th grade basketball, no one should behave like that". Two seconds later a head came in between the two of us and she stated "all parents act like this at games". Our reply; "not here".

This afternoon was another great game played by BOTH teams. Athletic, young, talented 8th grade boys coached by amazing, hardworking, giving, coaches. The boys played so hard on both teams. As I mentioned earlier, I enjoy watching how these boys have grown playing sports. They have been playing each other in hoops and baseball since they were little and it is wonderful to see how they have grown into young, talented teenagers. I always feel truly amazed and proud of the opposite team.

I usually sit alone. Today was one of those days. I sat on the bleachers with "fans" from the other team. This is what I heard:

"Jesus Christ Ref", "Oh my God he's holding". I will stop there.

hmmmmm.......We played a catholic school.  Enough said.

This week there was a local basketball game that my daughter was cheering at. Fortunately and unfortunately, I was not there. I wish I was there to watch my daughter, I am so glad I was not there to witness the inappropriate, immature behavior from parents in the stands from the away team. Another catholic school. (and people knock public schools) Don't get me wrong here. I went to catholic school pretty much my entire life.

My soon to be 16 year old daughter was completely in shock from what she witnessed. A grown man, getting thrown out of his sons basketball game??? Adults stomping their feet, yelling at the coaches, refs and KIDS!!! Adults yelling at kids that are not their own at a High School basketball game?? WTF is going on?

Is this how you want your children to behave when they are adults watching their kids play sports?

Remember, kids are a product of their parents. Monkey see. Monkey do.

We all want our children to succeed in school, sports, college and in life. If they are doing well in anything, it makes us feel proud and happy. Let us all behave like adults at sporting events and set a good example for our children; our future.

Of course I did some homework.

Here are The Top Ten Rules of Expected Parental Behavior by Rick Wolff's WFAN Radio Show, The Sports Edge

  1. Parents should be seen, but not heard. Blend in with the woodwork. Don't draw attention to yourself.
  2. If you have something to say, it should only be a positive phrase. It's simple.
  3. NEVER OPENLY CRITICIZE your kid and whatever you do, NEVER CRITICIZE somebody else's kid. 
  4. Please do not do a play by play of the game. Let the coaches coach.
  5. If you can't control your mouth, stand alone. 
  6. Refs are not there to be abused. 
  7. It's okay to applaud a nice play to the other team. We are trying to teach our kids to be good sports (I think) teach them to respect their opponents.
  8. Understand that YOU ARE A ROLE MODEL and they WILL follow your behavior.
  9. Give your kid a smile. Kids do look for parent approval. If you look like you are having a good time; so will they.
  10. If a coach or a ref tells you to calm down, take that seriously.

Let's all set good examples for our children by providing encouragement and support no matter what sport or activity they choose. We were their first teachers an we should remain the best teachers for the rest of their lives.

Be positve

Be calm

Be a FAN

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

 

Real Men Do Yoga

I have many men that take yoga at SUKHA. But not enough. Yoga is not just for women in leggings. Yoga is for everyone. Especially men.

So many men that I have spoken to keep saying "I am dying to try", or "I can't touch my toes", or "I will be to your class soon, I just have to loose more weight first". 

Here's the deal my friends, yoga is a full body workout. It's not all about chanting, meditating, talking about feelings or other stereo types that most of you think. Yoga builds strength, increases flexibility, improves balance, stability, sleep and relaxation. I am not sure that lifting weights, and running as it tightens up all of your muscles in the process can do all of the above. 

If you still can't get over that you think it's too girly, take a look at all of the professional athletes that are practicing yoga. Torrey Smith, Evan Longoria, Vernon Davis, Kevin Love, Steven Jackson, Sean Burke, Blake Griffin, Victor Cruz, Dirk Nowitzki, Russell Wilson, Kevin Garnett, Tom Brady, Shaquille O'Neal, Ray Lewis, and Lebron James just to name a few. 

Feeling intimidated?? Don't. Come try at SUKHA. The "Non-Intimidating" Yoga studio. Both men and women practice here. We laugh, dance, sing, flow, learn and grow together. No competition goes on in this studio. EVER!!!

Here is a testimonial from one of my male students:

"My adult fitness life has evolved around lifting weights, biking and boxing.  All great workouts, however shortens the muscle and if you don't stretch properly flexibility is non existent.  18 months ago I tried yoga with MB, thinking it would be easy except for touching my toes.  It was just the opposite. It was hard, intense and the sweat poured out of me like a spin class.  What an incredible workout. 

Today, 18 mos later I am stronger with leaner muscle and can almost touch my toes. 

Practicing yoga is a great compliment to your other workout routines, it strengthens your core, promotes better breathing, and helps with flexibility. 

I highly recommend yoga as a great life-long workout."-S.H.

 Try it. It will change your life by improving your other workouts, prevent injury, increases libido and sexual performance, relieves chronic lower back pain, and reduces stress and helps you sleep better.

So, leave your ego at the door along with your leggings and incense. Wear your oldest basketball shorts and your Bud Light t-shirt from 1992. Because no one inside SUKHA cares what you wear. If you want to wear leggings, of course feel free. As long as you let me take your pic!!!

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong

Maribeth

 

 

 

How Matt takes yoga off the Mat

I've known this yogi since high school!!!

Both SJV graduates, both proud to be from Matawan and two people that will NEVER forget where they came from.

Moving 17 miles south to Manasquan, this police officer of 22 years found his way on his yoga mat almost one year ago. 

Matt is a very close friend. On the mat and off. 

Kind, genuine, outgoing, friendly and sincere. And extremely good looking.

I have been very fortunate to have such a great friend in my life. Talking, walking, practicing yoga and throwing back a few Guinness from time to time.

Matt has been on this yoga journey since the first day I started teaching. Growing, learning and experiencing such a great practice. He incorporates yoga on and off the mat. In his personal life and on the job. I encourage all to do the same. 

I am so happy he found yoga. With that being said; this is what makes Matt smile:

 

I'm happy to be a part of the "What about Yoga makes me smile" campaign.  It's been almost a year since I've started yoga and its been a great ride….   Its hard for me to pinpoint, in one short blog, what specifically makes me smile.  But, I'll try.

First, the fitness aspect:  Everyday presents new personal challenges;  this makes me SMILE!

Next, the Dharmas absolutely make me smile!!!!  I like to learn something from everyone I meet and through each of life's short, or lengthy, interactions.  The daily dharma's are always thought provoking and make me look at life just a little bit differently.  I have learned a lot about myself within the past year.  This makes me SMILE!!

What really makes me smile about Yoga?  The people!!!!  I feel blessed to surround myself with a truly great group of people:  Fun, funny, and positive!!!   We are all there with the same goal:  to improve one or more aspects of our lives.  We laugh so much, with or at each other.  We support each other in our individual challenges, on and off the mat.  This makes me SMILE!!!

I don’t remember my expectations when I started this ride, but where it has brought me today certainly makes me SMILE!!!!

 

Is SUKHA a "Real Yoga Studio"?

What makes a Yoga Studio Real?? Hmmmmmm....What exactly does that mean?

I am not really sure why anyone who truly practices yoga or even if they don't practice would ever say "It's not a real studio". 

What does that mean? 

SUKHA is located in St.Denis School in Manasquan and run through the Manasquan Recreation Program. The school was closed down last year due to low attendance. The Recreation Program leases the building to run the programs in the gymnasium and two very large classrooms. One of the classrooms has been converted into a "Yoga Studio". The business name is SUKHA. This is my business name; a legal business name, a real name. The size is perfect, it is relaxing, zen, quite, peaceful and no distractions. There are four walls, mats, blocks ,heat, Buddha, candles, music, TWO bathrooms,  and people. Amazing, real, fun, people.  Although to practice yoga,  none of this is required. That's the beauty of yoga. You can do it anywhere. Solo or not. And I encourage that!!

SUKHA and the Manasquan Recreation Program is making yoga affordable to the community. at a low drop-in rate of $12 per class. Does the affordable price mean it is not an authentic studio? Or is it because it is held in a classroom? I'm not sure. You tell me. So, of course I asked a few of my students, my friends, new friends that have been with me on this amazing journey since July. They practice with me 3-4 times a week. 

So what makes a studio "real"?

"The people make it real. There is comradery instead of competition. " says one yogi friend who has practiced at other studios and feels comfortable in the "non-intimidating setting at SUKHA". 

Comradery: "The spirit of friendship and community in a group who keep each other upbeat despite the difficulty of their circumstances".

"The space that yoga is practiced can be anywhere....outside in nature, a gym, a stage, a bedroom". The space doesn't matter because yoga is a physical and mental practice and a journey. "Real Yoga Studio" is just an aesthetic phrase that confines it to four walls and a sign outside"- says a yogi friend/teacher in training.

"A peace of mind...an ability to quiet my mind. A balance of mind and body. It allows me to learn how to focus.. Separate things in my mind. To figure out if they are even worth worrying about. I can do this at SUKHA. "Your classes and your personality have helped me find that". The other classes I have taken just feel like a "room to do yoga". Your classes have a warm, welcoming, and real feel". You make it personal. -Says another yogi/friend.

"I get so much from your dharma talks. Real, genuine. From your life's experiences and ours". You get your students involved, you print us quotes, you are funny, caring, genuine and you make mistakes. You are human. You fall, you laugh and you get back up. You inspire without even realizing it. You can't do crazy poses and you admit it. You sing, you dance, you cry (trying to hold it in). You let us be real. No judging. No competing. We are all growing together as we laugh our asses off, and that is the beauty of SUKHA and what makes it real". -Yogi/Friend since the beginning

So with all of the responses from my yogi students (that I can honestly call each one my friends) to my simple question "What makes a yoga studio real"? I will say that the comment made "why don't you practice in a "real studio" has baffled me. Who says that? In my opinion, not a true yogi or a very nice person. But I know that SUKHA is a place to practice yoga. A great space, through such a great program, in a great town, with amazing people. Come see for yourself. You won't know for sure what is real until you come check it out. 

You will be very surprised and maybe even put it on your list as a "real yoga studio".

Below are 7 Habits to Actually Practice Off the Mat. I encourage everyone to read these even if you do not practice yoga.

  1. Practice compassion and kindness.-Knock off judgmental ways, put an end to the rumor mill and hush up on gossip. Don't speak if it's going to hurt. Say hello to a stranger. Let go of destructive thoughts.
  2. Practice gratitude-Don't think about things that are missing in your life. Stop comparing yourself to friends or even strangers. You have family and love. You have time and health. You have yoga (in a real studio or not). Don't relish in what you are lacking. Announce what you are grateful for.
  3. Practice contentment-Find joy in any experience no matter how big or small. Appreciate how far you have come in life.
  4. Practice humility-You're no better than anyone who doesn't practice yoga. Be inspired by people who come into your life.
  5. Practice generosity-Treat others as you treat yourself on the yoga mat. Give with your heart and spirit. Be present. No anger. No jealousy. No hate. Jealousy, anger and hate are UGLY.
  6. Practice slowing down-No rush. Your outside world is a reflection of your inner world. Reduce your commitments. Prioritize your life.
  7. Practice smiling-So easy to do. Try it first thing in the morning when you look in the mirror. It helps you feel good and it looks AMAZING!! It can brighten someones day.

Take these habits with you. Practice them daily.

Be happy, Be healthy, Be strong

 

Parts of 7 Habits from Mind/Body/Green Article

 

 

Leap of Faith

This mornings dharma talk and play list hit me in so many ways. I laughed, the eyes teared up and I felt proud.

I am so grateful to all of my students/friends for practicing yoga with me and really understanding what it is all about.

Thank you Bob for writing this beautiful dharma and sharing it with all of us and putting a smile on our faces bright and early on a Sunday morning!

"Leap of Faith"

When I was “volunteered” to do a dharma my initial thought went to topics like BELIEF and  FAITH…maybe because yoga for me was a leap of faith. I thought of it like tofu or going vegan or becoming a democrat… surely good for you but a little too “out there” for me. Besides, it wasn’t a REAL workout like running or the spinning classes I do at the gym.

So I didn’t go looking for yoga. Instead it came after me! On days between runs or spin classes I would go to the club and use the equipment or workout in the fitness room when there was no class there.   Well one day MariBeth and her yogi’s took over my training room! I almost walked into the room because the lights were off but waited until the class was done so I could get a workout. She was still in the room and twisted my arm to try it, seriously twisted my arm!

So Chris and I gave it a try and the initial experience was clumsy and awkward…. but Maribeth made that seem okay (THANKS!).  Her guidance and encouragement kept me involved and it became a challenge to me as I saw small improvements and started to get it.  

So what I have come to believe is this:

I believe yoga is really good for me physically and spiritually

I believe yoga is a real workout

I believe yoga and I will be together for a long time

I believe MariBeth is a great instructor because she is true and authentic

I believe I will do a good headstand

I’m not ready to go vegan but maybe Hillary? Heck, maybe even Bernie!

So the music for this dharma kept bringing me to the FUN side of yoga. So I hope you enjoy CRASH,   HURT SO GOOD,  FREE FALLING and COLLIDE and that it reminds you that it is JUST YOGA!

The first song is my thank you to Maribeth for bringing this experience to my life.    

 

You’ve Got It-Bruce Springsteen

Adventure of a Lifetime-Coldplay

Crash into Me-Dave Matthews

Hurts So Good-John Mellencamp

Give a Little Bit-The Goo Goo Dolls

Free Fallin’-Tom Petty

Breakdown-Jack Johnson

Land of Hope and Dreams-Bruce Springsteen

Collide-Howie Day

7 Years-Lukas Graham

Gonna Fly Now-Bill Conti

The Scientist-Coldplay

Best Day of My Life-American Authors

 

99 lbs, 110 lbs, 120 lbs, 180, lbs, 160 lbs, 140 lbs..I have hit them all!!

Yep!!! I have been all of the above!!!  

 

My first real weight gain was my freshman year in college, coming home for Thanksgiving with the added 15 lbs from beer, pizza and all of the Ramen Noodles I could possibly eat.  One comment at a party motivated me to run the bleachers at St. John Vianney every day with my brother until it came off. Loosing the weight quickly and headed back to school I stayed motivated and started running. I began to realize that my weight was never going to be consistent and that I had to really work at it and watch what I put in my mouth and exercise daily. 

My second biggest, was pregnancy! Obviously. But I would have never thought that someone with my build could get so big!!! 180 lbs with both kids!!!  After my first, it took 6 months to come off. After my second, it took a long, long time. I was in a size 18 down to a 6 within one year. Still not the size I should be for my height and build.

I have been up and down with my weight since College.  Taking care of myself has always been a priority for me. My mother will still tell me that I started putting Oil of Olay on my skin since I was 2!!

The purpose of this post is to share that I have been all sizes in my adult life and it does not come easy. 

I am focused 

I am motivated

I am vain

I love food.

I do eat bad from time to time. (Did someone say PORK ROLL FRIES??)

I do drink alcohol occasionally.  (LOVE BEER)

I do yoga everyday 

I row for 10 minutes twice a week

I go on the stair climber twice a week for 10-20 depending how I feel. (I hate this machine) JK

I walk weather permitting

I ride my bike weather permitting

I do things I love to do. 

I am active. It is hard for me to sit still.

I don't sit or lay on the couch.

I don't watch TV

I am 105 lbs today and I could be 115 lbs next week. It all depends on what is going on with my body. I am not shy to say that I am going through menopause at the young age of 44. It started 2.5 years ago with the hot flashes and night sweats. It comes and goes. I refuse to let it change me mentally and physically. 

P.S-Obviously I am not a writer, and I am not trying to be something I am not.  Just sharing a few bits and pieces of ME! Big or Small