Grind and Shine for 28 days for $28

Motivation and Creativity at its best!!

I absolutely love this combo and I absolutely adore one of the creators of Grind and Shine.

Sarah Giberson is a student at SUKHA. Sarah and her husband Ryan started practicing both yoga and pilates at SUKHA in June. You can find this motivated duo at SUKHA almost every day. They made commitments to themselves by living a healthy lifestyle.

It was a pleasure to have them on our first yoga retreat in October.

Sarah and her officemates created a blog called “Grind and Shine”. “This blog is for people looking to fuel their competitive spirit and energize the nine to five".

Every month they post a challenge.

This month, is YOGA!!!

“Namaste your way to a happy, healthier you”

Grind and Shine will start this yoga challenge 12/3 and will go for 28 days straight of yoga practicing at least 45 minutes to one hour per day.

I loved this blog and challenge so much, I am offering anyone who makes this commitment to themselves to Grind and Shine for 28 days a great deal. (new clients only)

28 days of yoga at SUKHA for $28

Now, you can’t get better than that!! No need to be nervous, you will feel at home at SUKHA in a comfortable, non-intimidating environment.

Just arrive at SUKHA 15 minutes before class, mention you are here to “Grind and Shine” for $28.

Cash only please.

You can view the schedule and sign up through our website and pay at the door.

Grind & Shine #everydamnday

offer ends 12/27

Grind & Shine

Take Responsibility for Lighting Your Own Flame

This week I spoke about my visit to the church, mindsets, childhood wounds and being proud.

We always tell our children how proud we are of them for all of their accomplishments and I think it should be said when deserved and be sure we make it about them and not ourselves. We must give the credit when the credit is due with taking ourselves out of the equation.

This Tuesday I came to the studio and found myself dead in my tracks at the front door. I actually looked up at the purple sign, the stickers on the door and as I walked in, I stopped and said to myself “wow”. “This is your studio. You did this.”

I have never had this feeling and I have never given myself any kudos for creating such a great space.

This moment brought so much up for me. Childhood wounds, fear of expressing myself or the fear of what others may think if I verbalized my feelings of achievements. I don’t crave attention or praise. I actually don’t like it. Yes, it feels good but I am humble. Humble and proud.

Be proud of yourself. Give yourself some credit. “You’ve survived heartache and heartbreak. You work your ass off for what lights your soul on fire. Take time to say “great job”. “I am proud of you”. Because guess what? It’s nobody’s responsibility to keep your flame lit but your own”.

This quote came rolling off of my tongue last night. I was hesitant to post it with the fear that it was too rough. But it’s tough love and it’s the truth. It is time to take responsibility for your own life. Why? Taking responsibility of your life moves you from victim to victor. This will change your energy and will raise your vibration.

When people seek constant praise, approval and admiration it is a noticeable sign of Narcissistic personality. This is why it is so important to give praise to others, especially our kids when most deserved. Not when they draw a good picture, come home at curfew or take out the trash.

If you find you are looking for praise for all of your hard work, look in the mirror and say:

“I am proud of all of my efforts”

Take in deeply, beyond the layers of self doubt to the truth of your glowing spirit.

You are amazing.

Take responsibility for lighting your flame and….

BE PROUD.

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

IMG_4526.jpg

You are Always Stronger than You Think

I have been feeling the need to re-introduce the teachers of SUKHA. 

So many students at SUKHA that have been practicing for over a year now still have few doubts in minds about their yoga practice. I will start out by saying this....you are all amazing and have the ability to do whatever you want whether it's a career, relationship, a home, or a new lifestyle. You are never too old, too fat, too skinny or don't have the money. If you continue to wire your brain with negative thoughts, you will be stuck for a long time.

Today I would like to share this blog by Amy. Amy has been with me since day 1. When I first started teaching. Amy was my only student. We learned together, practiced together and shared a lot together on this yoga road. Amy doubted herself for a long time about going to teacher training. I pushed her and she did with the confidence and determination to do it. And she did. Almost three years later, here she is....

Amy Sowul is a Brielle resident and mother to two boys.

She has been an instructor at Sukha for almost three years. Her classes are a mix of strength and grace, as she creatively takes you from pose to pose. She is always looking for mindful and challenging ways to improve upon the basics, paying close attention to the transitions.

Amy is a writer, poet and nature lover. She is an employee at Barlow Flower Farm where she connects to the beauty all around her. Check out her amazing photos of her passions on her Instagram page @asowul

Class description: Mindful Power Flow

This class is not about being intermediate or advanced. It is about taking the next step, and piecing together what you already know with the things you never tried. Most importantly this class is about faith in your body and it's ability to learn new things - despite your shape or size or age. You are always stronger than you think. 

Personal Yogis, Schedule Changes and More

I hope everyone had a great weekend and found their way to yoga wherever it may be. When you practice, please continue to really practice yoga on the mat and off. Let's have a re-cap in case some forgot shall we? 

The Five Yamas of Yoga

  1. Ahimsa- the practice of non-violence which includes physical, mental, and emotional violence towards others and the self.
  2. Satya-truthfulness. urges us to live and speak our truth at all times.
  3. Asteya-NON-STEALING is best defined as not taking what is not freely given. 
  4. Brahmacharya- (continence) states that when we have control over our physical impulses of excess we attain knowledge, vigor and increased energy. To break the bonds that attach us to our excesses and addictions, when we need both courage and will.
  5. Aparigraha-(non-coveting) urges us to let go of everything we do not need, possessing only as much as necessary.

Why the re-cap? Well, this weekend unfortunately our good friend, talented, gifted, brilliant, hard working, single mom; Krista Eggering who you all know from our Mala Workshops was notified that a so called "yogi" stole her intellectual property. Every word from her posts, invites and went so far as to copy the description of the work shops and used it on all social media outlets as well as her mala work. Truly heartbreaking. 

 Why was I notified? Well, this "yoga" decided to steal my intellectual property as well. This situation put the two of us in a rip-roaring spin. We work hard. We think. We are creative. We spend hours and hours creating. From descriptions, to posts, playlists, logos, dharmas, what ever the case may be to find out that someone just can't think for themselves. And I do not want to hear that we inspired her. Stealing is different than inspiring. She went so far and obviously did not see my logo watermarked on the photo. Silly yogi. Tricks are for kids.

Krista and I spoke, messaged each other, and were there for each other and we both did what we needed to do to calm down and remember that this will return to her.

Krista said it best. " I connected this situation to the energy of the year..being that it is an 11 year and an inner reflection year....we were her mirror."

And I will add; that mirror has cracked. 

So, this situation has been resolved and this WILL NEVER happen again with this "yogi".

What a great way to end a emotional week! Sunday's class was full of light and POSITIVE energy. I am proud to say, almost one year and I have not yet had to sage the studio after class!!! Thank you for always coming to class smiling, happy, not complaining, not demanding, no criticizing and always spreading positive vibes.

Announcements and Reminders!!

Saturday, May 12 at 11:00 am is the Mother/ Daughter Workshop with Michelle and Bayley. $40 sign in on the SUKHA app and pay at the door. I am sad to announce that Brittany has decided to pause her yoga teaching career to focus on her full-time teaching job and make that her first priority. I would like to share with you what Brittany had to say in case some of you don't see her. "I want to thank you for being an incredible boss and operating an amazing studio that has such a beautiful community attached to it. I've loved teaching at SUKHA so much and I have grown so much from it." 

We will miss you. Brittany will hopefully be subbing for us.

Friday, May 18th 6:00 pm Big Hearts to Little Hearts Fundraiser at All Dolled Up Paul Mitchell Salon in Brick " A night of Wellness". Yoga, Reiki, Angel Card Readings, Playa Bowls, Local Vendors, Essential Oils and give-a-ways. $20 at the door. All proceeds go to Big Hearts.

Tuesday, May 29 7:00 pm will be a Full Moon Cord Cutting with Maryjo. $20 Check in on SUKHA app, pay at the door.

Thursday, June 7th 7:00 pm-   Clean. Green. Home.  A Free class on how to clean your home with chemical and toxic free oils. From glass cleaner to hard wood floors. I am so excited to announce that this will be held at SUKHA neighbor "A Shore Style" Unique Coastal Industrial Decor and so much more. Light refreshments will be served. Tips and DIY tricks to get your house CLEAN and GREEN. Toxic FREE. 

Personal Yogis!!!! Well, this is going to be exciting!! Just a teaser. but stay tuned for a new and exciting offer from SUKHA. 

Check the app my friends for schedule updates and changes.

May Specials!! $12 drop in or 5 classes for $50 for new guests

Gentle Yoga/Restorative with Cathy Higgins will begin Mid June. Sunday's 10:30

Monday the 4:30 pm is BACK with Destinee!!

Monday 6:30 pm CLASSIC Rewind with Maria ( this class is one time only. this week) keep checking up for new Monday evening class times)

Two for Tuesday with Bayley!!!! 9:30 am and 5:45 pm

I feel like Carol Miller!!! HA HA. LMAO

Have a great week my friends,

xoxo

 

 

 

 

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.

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

 

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

Pay it Forward

"Pay It Forward"." It's about caring and sharing. It's about compassion and kindness. It's about generosity. It's about sacrifice....And LOVE. You get what you give. So give GOOD."-M. Anders

Well, where to begin....

I will start here the way I always start my classes, my social posts, my email blasts, and how I close my class..... THANK YOU!!!! Yesterday's article really blew me away.  The call came last week from Night and Day Magazine asking if they can feature me in their publication. How did this happen? Not sure, but all of you made it happen.

Thank you to Manasquan Recreation for giving me this amazing opportunity to teach in a kindergarten classroom, that some have considered "not a real yoga studio". It has been such a great year. And I have to thank you for making your way through the doors and giving it a shot. To those that have practiced in other studios and those who have never made it on a yoga mat and found comfort in SUKHA. Now it is time for me to "Pay it forward"

On August 21 at 9:00 am there will be a donation yoga class in the gym for Evelyn Morrow Mizer. Evelyn is a beautiful and strong one year old that was diagnosed with a very rare metabolic disease called Hurler's Syndrome.  While there is no cure, Evelyn and her family have been down at Duke University to find the best treatments.

A few people asked; "Do you know her"?

No. I do not. But Evelyn's mother Sue is cousins with Marykay Roberts who is one of my dearest friends here in Brielle. Marykay and her family have been amazing to my children and I. AMAZING!!! Her parents, her sister's (and their families), and her x-husband. Kind, loving and generous. I would do anything to help.   

"Pay it Forward"

How can you make a difference in this world? 

  1. Be attentive wherever there are for opportunities to help someone.
  2. Do something nice for someone you don't know (or don't know very well".
  3. Spread the word.

Bring your mats and a towel. Water will be sold at the class. $10 suggested donation.

SAVE THE DATE for Event #2

On 9/17/2016 the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention/Jersey Shore Walk will hold the event at Leggetts. If you are interested in walking with our team, we are walking under team "Camp Cooney". What or who is Camp Cooney"? Camp Cooney was an old Girl Scout camp with hundreds of acres in Montana that Patrick Patterson's friend bought. Patrick spent so much time there. Who is Patrick Patterson?

Patrick Patterson is the brother of my friend, our friend and Brielle resident; Bridget Sawitsky. Patrick passed away on March 22, 2014.

Patrick committed suicide. 

I asked Bridget if she could share some information about her brother. She did. This is what she wrote:

Okay where do I begin to tell you about my brother, Patrick. I think of him daily but still don't really believe he is gone, I especially can't wrap my brain around that he took his own life. This is so weird for me so please deal with my rambling. I pulled up part of his obituary to give you the basic facts of his life.


Patrick J. Patterson, 37, passed away in his home on Saturday, March 22, 2014. Patrick was born in Neptune, New Jersey and grew up in Manasquan before moving out west and settling in Stevensville, Montana. Patrick attended Manasquan Elementary and High School. He was a graduate of Paul Smith's College in Saranac Lake, NY. He was employed as a carpenter in Missoula, Montana. Patrick was a member of the Manasquan Volunteer Fire Department and later a member of the Stevensville, Montana Fire Department. He was an avid outdoorsman and talented craftsman. He enjoyed hunting, skiing, snowmobiling, and hiking.

Patrick was so much more than these facts just as every person is. Things I miss most is smile, his big fall on the ground laugh, when he laughed you always laughed with him. His big strong hugs. The way he always said "I love you" when saying goodbye even though the rest of my family never does. His sense of adventure and being true to himself. He didn't care what others were doing and never got caught up in impressing others. He loved nature, the quiet outdoors of upstate NY,Montana, Colorado,all over out west to Hawaii. His friends in Montana said Patrick had probably seen more of the Montana than most people who were born and raised in Montana. He was always scouting out new places to hike and camp, it didn't matter the season and the more remote or rugged the better. He was creative and great woodworker. He loved to carve in found wood making walking sticks, and sculptures.

He loved his family, his friends and his dog Sadie who passed a few months before him (if she was still alive I believe he wouldn't have taken his own life) . I believe he felt every emotion good and bad intensely. Below is the email he sent out after Sadie died. It makes me cry. I am including it to you so you can get a better feel for who he was. This happened less than 2 months before he died. 

On Jan 31, 2014, at 6:12 PM, Patrick Patterson <paaattt77@yahoo.com

You all have heard by now that our best friend,our only child, has left this world to be in a place where she will feel no more pain. She lived 15 and a half great years. Always waiting to greet us with a smile and a happy dance. True unconditional unjudgemental love.She has seen more of the Montana high peaks and backcountry wilderness than many Montanans. She will roam in the hills and in our hearts and howl in the cool mountain air forever.Sadie is the toughest girl I ever met, and has had far more than 9 lives, at 6weeks old she was washed down the Big Thompson river in Estes Park,shes been hit by a truck, anaphlactic shock, caught in a wolf trap, the shit kicked out of her by a heard of elk, lost her eye, another few anaphlactic shocks,torn ACL, among many other feet and leg problems, recent hypothermia, and many more that i will remember at some point,and after every time she was knocked down she got back up to fight another day with a smile on her face and a wiggle in her tail. I wish I could be more like my girl. I have alot to learn from the years of joy and happiness she brought to us.We have so many memories of the silly things she did and the long exhausting back pack trips that we went on and she was always their right by my  feet or chasing a squirrel up a tree(she did catch and kill many by having patience to wait them out) We have so many memories. Her bed is still on the floor and her water bowl still full. We will miss you Sadie. We love you. This is not going to be easy. Theres nothing left to do except smile smile smile.

p.s. forward to those who care

As I read it again I look for more understanding of how he was truly feeling. I have such regret that I didn't call more, ask more, I never made the opportunity to visit him in MT. I was waiting for the boys to get older so they could keep up with all the adventures he would take us on. My ex-sister in law told us about at a time he took her on this crazy straight up a mountain hike which seemed like it was in the middle of no where and when they got to the top there was a road there. He never took the easy way. Except in death. I can't say he looked at it that way, but I view it as an easy way out of the tremendous hardshipslife sometimes hands us. 

I feel guilty about the anger and the judgement I sometimes feel. I don't know what was running through his mind that night. There was no note. But even if there was I am not sure it would anything clear for us. The only thing I do know is he was drinking that night. I know he had several severe concussions in his life. I know he couldn't have been thinking clearly.  This wasn't him!!!  I am guessing he must have been so sad, so lost and lonely without his Sadie, with his separation from his wife, with the uncertainty of his future, with the inability to connect with his friends that night, and with his family being across the country not really knowing the whole story. I am not sure of the truth and never will.  I can't imagine his final moments and the thoughts of despair he must have felt. I feel sick and helpless to think how low he must have felt.  I think he was trying to protect my parents. In the couple months prior to that night two members of my immediate family had been diagnosed with cancer and we're going through there surgeries and treatment. Another sibling had been dealing with cancer for the last five years.  Patrick never burdened others with his problems, maybe if he did he would be here today.

It is all still a guess on what, and why it happened? I read somewhere you can't begin to heal from a loss of a loved one by suicide until you get past the suicide part. I think I may have gotten there by denial or by ignoring it. I get through each day on trying not to dwell on it. I still imagine him enjoying the solitude of the mountains watching the sunset. Where he is now part of the mountain. (We spread his ash there)

 


Thank you Bridget for sharing your story.

Let's all walk for Patrick and hopefully save another family from this tragedy.

Check in is at 10:00 am and the walk begins at 11:00.

There will be lunch, Basket Raffle, 50-50 and more. 

For more information on this event please visit: www.outofthedarkness.org

Let's flow for Evelyn and Walk for Patrick. 

 

The People, The Music, The Energy, The Flow

As most of you know music is a big part of my classes. Every playlist reflects the dharma talk of the class. Creating the playlist is so much fun, and rewarding. Time consuming? Yes. Worth every minute? Absolutely.  Honestly, I could not imagine it any other way. Some are harder than others. Some days, not every song reflects the dharma.

Thank you to those who have participated in the past. Thank you to those who randomly shoot me a message with song requests. Keep them coming. Some love country, others; not so much. Every playlist is carefully chosen to be certain that the SUKHA Family leaves happy!! Happy with the flow, the music and most of all the message. 

This mornings 6:00 am class inspired me to write about the music, the dharma, the dancing, and the singing! A full class of 25 amazing people, the SUKHA room was filled with positive energy. From new students to the people who have been on this journey with me since day one.

The dharma was about AURAS! The electromagnetic energy that surrounds people.

I am so blessed to be surrounded by so many people with strong, positive auras. To have a strong, powerful aura means you have a strong, healthy body, well-balanced psychological and emotional health and a spiritual maturity and strength. 

Having each of you walk in that room between 5:20 am and 5:55 am, smiling, laughing, and talking to one another (so much that I must ring the bell) is rare. SUKHA is special. It is uncommon. ALL OF YOU created this "REAL STUDIO" that has positive energy and a good aura! Thank you. I can honestly say, I don't think I have EVER seen anyone walk in  those doors unhappy. 

Here are a few songs from today's class:

Silver Springs

Snake Eyes

Lights

Blinded by the Light

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

Electric Avenue

She's so High

The Way You Make Me Feel (SUE ANN ROCKED IT)

Unbelievable

Black Magic Woman

Bette Davis Eyes

Creep

Young, Wild, and Free

Cleansing Aura

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong

MB

 

What makes Kristine Smile?

This amazing, beautiful, Manasquan Resident made her way to SUKHA a few months ago after being told by Alison Crowley. Nervous about trying yoga for the first time, Kristine made her way onto her yoga mat and can't seem to get off of it!! She practices with me 3-4 times a week at SUKHA and at Manasquan River Golf Club. Krsitine practices with her daughter at SUKHA. The mother/daughter bond is awesome. They have a beautiful yoga practice along with their beautiful smiles and personalities. It is a pleasure to have them both in my class.

I am so happy that Kristine loves yoga and found a place to practice where she feels comfortable. Thank you Kristine for practicing at SUKHA and MRGC. You are positive and motivated. Keep up the good work. 

This is what makes Kristine Smile:

What makes me smile?

My wonderful husband, children, mother, sisters and friends

Unconditional love and support

SUKHA!

Finding a blessing in everything that comes my way

The Beach!!!

Sunrises and sunsets

My puppy

Inverting (who would’ve thought it possible without a trip to the emergency

room!!!)

YOGA

Thank you Maribeth for opening your studio, (yes, it’s a real yoga studio people!!)

your heart and your wonderful practice to a newbie like me, and for giving me the

confidence to keep reaching higher. Thanks also to all the people I practice with for

making this place so inviting, welcoming and supportive. Thanks also to Alison who

encouraged me to try it…. I will be forever grateful to all of you!

Drum Roll PLEASE........

"Here it is....as Alan Funt used to say,"Smile, you're on Candid Camera". This is how Sue Ann Biello opened her #whatmakesmesmile note.

Before you read what Sueann has to say, I want to say how much fun it is to have this beautiful, funny, lady in class.

I am blessed to have met Sue years ago. Moving to Brielle almost 10 years ago, not knowing anyone. I will say that it was not easy meeting people, being a divorced mom of two. What I remember and I will never forget is a handful of married couples welcoming me not caring what my martial status was. Maybe not a handful, actually three. One of them being Sue and Jim Biello. Our children are the same age and we live around the corner from each other. From Brookside to Baseball, this family is welcoming, helpful, kind and thoughtful. Did I mention the sense of humor?? And I will continue to do so.

Sue and I became friends instantly. She is one of the happiest people I know. Her sense of humor is incredible. One of the funniest human beings I have ever met. Jokes and comebacks just roll off of her tongue. 

I am so happy that she has found her way onto her yoga mat and practices at SUKHA a few times a week. The tears of laughter are priceless. She will randomly "coo" in Pigeon Pose, And stick her tongue out in Lizard Pose. Oh, and the cucumber jokes!! Well, I can only discuss that in class. So, you may have to find your way to SUKHA to find out. (Yes, Sukha is a real Yoga Studio.) Unconventional? Absolutely. 

Thank you Sueann for making me smile every class you attend. I am so happy you enjoy class. You make the entire room smile!! 

So here it is......

What about yoga makes Sueann Biello smile?

Drum roll please….here it is…as Alan Funt used to say,” Smile, you’re on Candid Camera”

There are so many things that make me smile.…there are the obvious things: My fabulous, hardworking husband Jim, my boys Patrick and Ryan who continue to challenge me and keep me on my toes, my extended family, my friends, my two fur babies Fred and Coco and last but not least my new-found love of yoga, for which I thank Maribeth.

Here’s a short list of things that make me smile

Summer nights on the beach, having dinner and watching the sun set

Maribeth’s accessible, easy going approach to yoga

Imbibing in a cold rose

Laughing, no one laughs harder at their own jokes than me

Equilibrium both physically and organizationally, when I can find it.

Next stop Hollywood!

What makes this yoga teacher in training smile?

Happy May!!

I am loving the #whatmakesyousmile "campaign"!! It has been so much fun taking photos of my students/friends and hearing what about yoga makes them smile. Again, thank you Bridget for launching this fun experience and Chris and Bob for the first "couples yoga" photos and blog post. After every post, the photos are displayed in the SUKHA studio/"classroom"/"imaginary studio". Ha ha. JK. (had to throw in a dig). I always will. 

So, this week I am so happy to introduce Amy for the #whatmakesmesmile blog!!

I had the privilege of meeting Amy on September 28, 2015. The first day SUKHA opened the doors. A shy, beauty who I can call one of my good friends.

Amy practices with me at SUKHA 3-4 times a week. Our 6 am classes now start around 5:15 am!! For conversation, coffee, discussing poses, alignment and LIFE! Amy is a mom of two awesome boys, a employee of Barlow's, a true yogi, an amazing, talented artist, writer and a poet. She inspires me daily. From her beautiful yoga practice, to the art you can find on the walls at SUKHA and on the tank tops.  Amy is going to be graduating from yoga teacher training this month and will be teaching at SUKHA!!! You will be seeing Amy more and more. Thursday and Sunday morning Amy will be in class doing adjustments and giving essential oil head massages. 

Here is Amy's list of what about yoga makes her smile!! Thank you Amy!!

What about yoga makes me smile?

Everything. It's that simple. Trying to pinpoint a few bullet points would limit the scope and lessen the practice.
However...if I were talking to someone who has never taken a yoga class or maybe just started I would say this...
It's a journey that begins in a few basic postures, but one that never ends. The postures evolve as you do. Beginning to find even a few stolen moments of self awareness is that first asana (posture). It might be the hardest one.
You realize that you have to practice releasing in order to become stronger- both physically and mentally.
In a yoga class, especially someplace as close knit and kind as Sukha, you don't do it alone. We fall and laugh and build back up together- no matter what your level is.
But the "yoga" of it all, the "yoking together" of all these things is what makes me smile. We are the moving meditation. Each of us brings something to yoga and helps evolve it into that never ending posture on and off the mat.
Mostly yoga gives me hope- for more health, more peace, more strength, more confidence, more me.

 

What makes this amazing couple smile?

Yoga allows us to be more aware of ourselves and feel connected. The past nine months I have connected with such amazing people. We have become a family. A family that laughs, cries, dances and sings. A family that I can open up to about pretty much almost anything. And this week has definitely proven that.

This weeks dharma talks emotional and fun. From "Stay Gold" on Tuesday morning and  "Spring Cleaning" on Thursday morning( that we all should do. And I don't mean the house or the yard.) Thursdays dharma was intense and hard for me. I would have never been able to talk about that with anyone. I thank you!! And of course, during class, I always mess up one thing or have one blooper. And this blooper may be on top of the list for the best. Instead of "lower your hips", I said "lower your tits"!! It was the ice breaker. Tears of laughter after the tears from the dharma. So, I thank you all for dealing with my forgetfulness and my slip ups!! 

The SUKHA family is a unimaginable group of people. From teens that practice with their parents, to young adults, to middle-age. The bonding, the connection is amazing. Did I mention the couples that practice at SUKHA?? Well, there are a few. And I think it is amazing! Practicing yoga with your partner, family member or friend is a great way to build a stronger communication and intimacy with any of these relationships. Creating shared memories, improving self-awareness, a sense of balance  and trust. 

The word "yoga" means union in Sanskrit. "A uniting of two people".

One of the "SUKHA Couples" is Chris and Bob of Manasquan. I have been so blessed to have them in my class. Their sense of humor, the patience they have for each other, the way they still look at each other is off the charts. Even after 25 years of marriage, and 3 young adults. Triplets! I was honored to guide two of them through a yoga class. Beautiful, respectful, funny, 22 year old adults that came to a yoga class with their parents on Easter Sunday.  That is what I call a beautiful family.

This week the #whatmakesmesmile blog is about Chris and Bob. A beautiful couple that I respect, and look up to. You both make me smile every time you come to my class.

So, in order to be in this fun campaign, I asked them "What about yoga makes you smile"?

Here is their response:

S – Such a great group of yogis

U – Upside down feels good

K – Karma rhymes with Dharma

H – Headstand (does it count if Rich didn’t see it?)

A – Acceptance

Y- Your Journey

O – Okay (I’m okay, you’re okay)

G – God, is it hot in here?

A - Asses in the air like we just don’t care

Thank you both again for your support on this wonderful journey. I am so glad you love yoga! I love having you both in my class. Keep up the good work. On your mat and OFF!! xoxo

 

 

#whatmakesyousmile

#whatmakesyousmile

A hashtag I have been using for a few years on Instagram. Taking a pictures of things that make me smile. From sunrises to sunsets. My children. Yoga. Nature. My life.

So I decided to use the theme as one of my Dharma Talks during my classes.  Asking my class, my students, my friends, "What makes you smile"? Everyone participated with answers ranging from their children to walking on the beach. I love when the class participates and decided to take it a step further. The wheels were spinning on what I should do to take this a step further. A video testimonial of what makes them smile? Hmmmmmm

That Sunday evening my instant messenger on Facebook beeped. It was a message from one of my students. Bridget Petrulla. A student/friend that started taking my class in January. The message read: 

"I want to speak on your video that goes viral!! I want to say my happiness is now yoga! I want to say thank you for letting me learn to like and trust myself again! Your classes have made me stronger than I ever thought I could be. I came home and was teaching my kids yoga and they loved it! I have you to thank for that. Thank you, thank you for letting me love yoga again, thank you for letting me feel good about myself again, thank you for welcoming me into your class and spirit. I am truly inspired and you make me want to be a better person. You came into my life when I truly needed you.. It's amazing how things like that happen. So again, thank you, thank you."-Bridget

I was so touched by the message. But it wasn't me. It was Bridget. She found the courage to get back on her yoga mat. I was able to provide her with a comfortable place to practice yoga. A room with four walls and a great group of men and women.

Because of my love for taking photos and posting them on social media I have decided to take photos of each student that would like to participate in the "#whatmakesyousmile " SUKHA campaign.

Because Bridget was the first to respond, we met early Sunday morning for a photo shoot. She was nervous, but confident. Her poses were amazing. She has come so far in such a short period of time. After sending them over to her, she messaged me back; "I hate to admit it, but I think I actually look pretty good"!! ADMIT IT!!! You should. You look amazing". Yoga builds confidence, self esteem. We all have our insecurities. I get it. I still do. It is a process. Even this time in our lives. Moms and dads. Focusing mostly on our children. Make time for yourself. You are a reflection of your children. Be happy. Be healthy. Be strong.

Thank you Bridget!! I am so proud of you and I look forward to continue to guide you through your practice.

 

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