Everyday is a New Beginning

Welcome October!

What a great month. The smells, the fall sports, sweaters, jeans, boots, hot chocolate, the crisp, cool weather, fires and the amazing beauty of the fall foliage.

Of course we can’t forget about the end of Daylight Savings Time when we all “fall back”, setting the clocks back one our to regain our sleep. Let us all remember not to “fall back” into any bad habits!

There is so much for me to write about on the first day of this month.

I will begin by mentioning all of the great workshops at SUKHA.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 2nd is the Dream Catcher Workshop at 7:00 pm. 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.

October is more than warm sweaters and football. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Join us as we partner with Fit4 Prevention and Keep a Breast Foundation to raise awareness about breast cancer through Fitness and Wellness. Our goal is to inspire people to reduce their risk of cancer by adopting a healthier, more active lifestyle in a way that sparks their inner champion.

Join Amy this Saturday, October 6th for a special donation call at 9:00 am. This class is DONATION based. $12 suggested donation per person. This is for a very good cause my friends. If you would like to donate via check, please make check payable to Keep a Breast Foundation.

The second donation class will be held, Sunday, October 14 at 9:00 am with Maribeth.

Both classes are open to ALL levels.

This Sunday, October 7th, Author and Founder of Hug Your Chaos; Lindsay Carricarte-Jones and her hubby, Author Chris Jones will be here for a “No BS Chakra and Yoga Workshop!! Those who attend receive a signed copy of Lindsay”s new book- “The Chakras. A Real-Life, No Bullsh*t Guide to Healing Your Life”

Your chakra health should not be a luxury! During this workshop, we're going to spend some time working with yoga asanas combined with chakra work in order to deliver a practical real-life approach to your healing. This workshop goes hand in hand with Lindsay's new book, "The Chakras. A Real-Life, No Bullsh*t Guide to Healing Your Life" and you're going to receive a signed copy of the book so that you can continue to explore the world of chakra healing even after the workshop. Chakras and yoga go hand in hand because it is on the mat that we can claim the space that allows us to begin releasing those stored energetic patterns that block up our chakras in the first place. Through yoga, we move stuck and stagnant energies which creates space for new and empowering energetic patterns such as showing up for ourselves, meeting our own needs, creating boundaries and finding our voice. It is on the mat that we can begin to practice these habits that once seemed far from possible for us and it is what we do on the mat that we can learn to carry out into the world. When you overlay your yoga practice with an understanding of the chakras as a whole as well as your own unique energetic patterns you gain a whole new level of power over your own healing and life. Bring your mat, wear comfy clothes, and bring something to jot down some notes or affirmations. Get ready to have some fun and smash out of those comfort zones. 

MaryJo is BACK! Join us for a Full Moon Cord Cutting, Crystal Bowl Meditation and Card Reading October 23 at 7:00 pm.

It’s that time to cut cords! What better time to do so. Full-Moon and New Season. Come join us as we utilize the energy and power of the  Full Moon! The time of the full moon is the perfect time to get closure and completion, to gain awareness or insight into a situation or to let go of what no longer serves you. Come join us to clear your energy field of negative energies and cut the cords to all relationships, feelings, and unhealthy situations that do not bring you peace and joy. It’s time to let go of old emotions and patterns that are keeping you stuck doing things the same “old” way. Come ready to start living with a fresh outlook and a clean start!

Join us for a Ladies Night on Friday, November 2nd at 7:00 pm for Malas and Merlot!! Make a Mala for you or to give as a Christmas gift.

Join Krista Lynn as she takes you through a wonderful spiritual and intuitive event where you make your own Mala Beads. The Mala is a strand of beads traditionally used for counting during meditations. Today, many people wear their Mala as a necklace or bracelet as a reminder of their personal and spiritual intentions. 
Making your own Mala Beads infuses your energy into the beads and encourages you to have a mindful experience in connection to the power of intention. Beautiful beads of spiritual quality will be provided. You will learn the meaning of Mala Beads, how to you use them and the spiritual meanings behind the stones you chose. Come get inspired and tap into your creativity. Take some time just for you to create a beautiful talisman to support you on your journey.
Cost: $45/per person - (all supplies included)
BYOB - glasses and light snacks will be provided.
Sign up on the SUKHA app and pay in advance at studio

Learn How to Read Angel Cards with MaryJo 11/4 2:00 pm $50

This workshop will help you to open your intuition and natural spiritual abilities to receive accurate information during your readings. Class topics include how to prepare yourself and your cards for an accurate reading, how to give yourself a daily reading, how to answer other people’s questions accurately, interpreting the cards’ true meanings & gaining confidence and clarity in your reading abilities. You will learn how to use multiple decks and do a nine card reading. We will show you how the cards tell a story. This is a very hands on class where you will be practicing doing readings on other people.

So, I am not even close to ending this blog!!!

One question….

Drug Store or Nature? For you and your family. What would you rather have in and on your body and your children’s?

The amount I learned at doTerra Convention last month was mind blowing and way to much information that I am still processing.

Starting tomorrow, the Dream Kit from convention is available to purchase. If you purchase this kit you receive a car diffuser and three 5ml oils for free! (Red Mandarin, Kumquat and Clementine!! This kit includes the Kids Collection (retail value $126.67), Tumeric, Pink Pepper, Yarrow Pom ($126 retail), On Guard Mouth Wash, Copaiba Soft Gels, Balance Deodorant, Magnolia, and green mandarin. This entire kit is $230 Limit 2 per person!!! Keep in mind the Kids Collection sold separately retail is $126. Yarrow-Pow is $126. A very, very good deal. All this for $230 wholesale. Click link below to read about each product and place your order and become a wholesale member. Empty Nester? No kids? Teachers, use this kit in your class room? Kids yoga instructors? Use in class. This kit will make a great Christmas gift or just use it yourself. The blends are amazing.

This kit includes:

Kids Collection

Magnolia Touch

Pink Pepper

Green Mandarin

Tumeric

Yarrow-Pom

Copaiba Soft Gels (A MUST)

On Guard Mouth Wash

Hydrating Body Mist

Natural Balance Deodorant

I don’t want to make this blog a book so I am attaching product information sheets for you to read. My favorites are Yarrow-Pom, Copaiba Soft Gels, Turmeric and the Deodorant. Yarrow-Pow is a MUST for those who are looking for younger looking, soft skin. It is truly amazing and can be taken internally for cellular, immune, and nervous system and supports healthy metabolic function. Turmeric, I think many of know know how powerful it is. Imagine how quickly the oil works?? Taken internally and externally. (Great for face masks too)

Dream Kit $230

Dream Kit $230

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. 

Salted Gems, Yoga and Meditation

You do not need to be a yogi to join us for a very special evening on the beach for a yoga/meditation essential oil class.

Combing essential oils with your yoga and meditation practice is a great way to support your body, let go of all of the negative thoughts, uplift your confidence, promote happiness, clarity and courage.

During meditation, combing crystals with essential oils will assist you in clearing any blocked chakras you may have.

You will learn about the top ten oils, the uses and Benefits and how to start living a healthy, vibrant lifestyle with certified pure therapeutic grade oils.

Join us on June 21st at 6:30 pm.

Meet up at Salted Gems then we will walk to the beach for meditation and yoga
$10 per person

906 Grand Central Ave.

Lavallette

Wellness Membership at SUKHA

Are you looking to heal physically, mentally and spiritually the natural, authentic way?

On May 21st Sukha is celebrating the one year anniversary. There is nothing I would like more than to continue to share the best ways of healing than through yoga and pure, natural essential oils. Both are life changing and change is COMING...The U.S healthcare system is BROKEN! Out-of-pocket costs are rising and accessing quality care in a timely manner is increasingly difficult for many Americans.

"Doterra is leading an innovative movement in healthcare in which medical providers are taking an integrative approach to keep their patients healthy and thriving. Proven methods of healthcare delivery-including traditional western methods, essential oil treatment and wellness services-are utilized in an effort to prevent disease and maintain optimal health".

From now until the May 31st  you can become a Sukha member for $55 a month for 6 months with the purchase of a wholesale membership with doterra. These multi-purpose, pure essential oils are revolutionizing the way families manage their health. doTerra harnesses nature’s most powerful elements and share these gifts through a global community. As a wholesale member you receive 25% off all products, access to two private group Facebook pages and essential oil education with yours truly. (there absolutely no sales obligation. This is for your personal use and benefit)
As a Sukha member, you have unlimited access to all yoga and Pilates classes. This one time offer comes with TWO free guest passes to bring a new friend to Sukha!! 

Start your healing the natural way with yoga and essential oils for EVERYONE!!!

If you are interested in the Wellness Membership at SUKHA, please email or call Maribeth

sukhayogaclass@gmail.com

877-SUKHA-11

**to get started in Wellness Package, members must purchase a starter kit of your choice before May 31

**if you have currently purchased a kit through Maribeth and would like the $55 a month for 6 months unlimited yoga and pilates, you must place your LRP order for $150 before May 31, 2018
 

Slow Down

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

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

SLOW DOWN.

Life goes by so fast. Why are we rushing?

Rushing to get places. Rushing to leave places.

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

Not thinking long and hard before accepting a job offer.

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

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

 

Everyday seems to be a traffic jam during rush hour.

 

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

Did I get scared? Yes

Did I get a warning? FUCK YES

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

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

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

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

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

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

We just rushed through life.

Right there.

Boom.

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

SLOW DOWN.

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

 SLOW DOWN. 

You may get a WARNING!

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

Two weeks ago.

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

Then the heart beat. The fast heartbeat. 

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

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

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

Results back. Heart good.

Phew. Relieved.

But, not 100% good.

"Your Pleura is inflamed". Pleura?

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

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

Am I "burning out"? FUCK NO.

Do I need to SLOW DOWN? FUCK YES.

What have I been doing? 

Putting my feet up.

Diffusing Essential Oils.

Meditating.

Reiki Treatments.

Breathing.

Teaching.

Getting Fresh Air.

Writing.

Being a mom.

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

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

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

Always Remember Good Things Take Time!

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

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

Smile

Put Your Feet up

Breathe

Slow down, you move too fast

You got to make the morning last

Simon and Garfunkel

 

 

 

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 this Family Smile

First let me begin by saying how much I love this family of four. I met Shana a few years ago. We connected instantly. Her strength, both physically and mentally, her beauty and her amazing family. Her trust and honesty. Her friendship. Shana is a business owner for B3 Fitness; where you can get one on one personal training.
Her husband Anthony is a hard worker, great dad and amazing husband. Oh and very sarcastic!! We crack on each other every time we meet. They have two amazing children. Anthony and Alessandra. Respectful, kind, funny, smart and loving.
We come together on Sunday mornings after they attend church for a one hour of "family yoga". Bonding, laughing and a few tears sometimes. Between school, working and day to day activities families can seem disconnected. Each family member may be going in different directions. Shana creates time for her family to come to SUKHA to reconnect and bond with her husband and kids.
Here is what Shana has to say about yoga and how it makes her smile:
 

Sitting here trying to put into words why Yoga makes me smile and what part about it specifically makes me happy is so difficult for me. It always has been a physical aspect for me. But it has also helped me be a little more patient. Yoga has helped my family reconnect. Both of my children absolutely love and adore Maribeth. She has introduced yoga to my family in such a positive way that now they no longer are afraid to practice with me in the living room. 
Setting an intention in the beginning of class is very important to me. It reminds me during practice that I don't have to be perfect but just try my hardest for whatever my intention is that day. 
Yoga will always have a special place in my heart. Yoga makes me think of my family. Practicing together is so beautiful for me. I will recommend everyone practice with their entire family. 

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!!!!

 

#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.

 

Key to Happiness

This morning in class, the first 23 people to arrive received a "Key to Happiness". 

I only was able to buy 23. That is all the Antique Store had. It worked out perfectly because EVERYONE received a key.

The reason behind this dharma is from the "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali". A book we were required to read in Yoga Teacher Training. And I read it often. This Sutra is one of my favorites and it is one of the reasons I chose SUKHA. Please read the SUTRA below. And use your keys to open the "four locks": 

  1. SUKHA (happy people)
  2. dukha (unhappy people)
  3. punya (the virtuous people)
  4. apunya (the wicked)

Patanjali gives 4 keys to open these locks. He says that if we always keep these 4 keys with us, when we come across any of these four locks, we will have the proper key to open it. The four keys are: maitri (friendliness), karuna (compassion), mudita (delight), and upekshanam (disregard). Patanjali reminds us that there is a Yogic way of approaching all people, no matter what behaviors and attitudes they may be exhibiting at the moment.

When you see a happy person, use the “friendliness” key. This means being able to share in another person’s happiness or good fortune, instead of being jealous or trying to destroy their joy through a bitter attitude or negative verbal comments. Through jealousy, you will not disturb the happy person but you disturb your own serenity. So we should always have the friendliness key when we see happy people.

When you see an unhappy person, use the “compassion” key. When someone is upset, try to help them or comfort them if you can. If they need space, then leave them alone after letting them know you will be there for them when they are ready. Don’t take pleasure in seeing someone else suffer, but remember how it felt when it happened to you and have compassion for them. By doing that, you will retain the peace of your own mind. “Through compassion you find that all human beings are just like you.” – HH The Dalai Lama

When you see a virtuous person, use the “delight” key. If you see a virtuous person, feel delighted. Do not envy the person, but rather appreciate the virtuous qualities and try to cultivate them in your own life. As we rejoice in and appreciate their qualities, we are inspired by knowing such greatness is possible. Observing noble qualities in others is a virtue of the heart.

When you see a wicked (non-virtuous) person, use the “disregard” key. We need to develop equanimity towards those whose actions oppose our values. It would be wonderful if all people always acted with honor and consciousness, but unfortunately this is not always the way. We ourselves, may have acted, spoken, or thought unkindly or hurt another person. So become indifferent to the person who is wicked at the moment.

In daily life we see people around who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate toward those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil.

Be happy,

Be healthy,

Be strong,

mb

Sources:The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda, The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi, and The Heart Of Yoga by TKV Desikachar

 

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

 

Dharma Talk from a Dad to his little girl on her birthday.

Knowing for months my daughters 14th birthday would fall on a Thursday and that my dharma would be about daughters. Wednesday I decided to ask Woody (my x husband) to write the dharma for my class. Because if it wasn't for him; Kelsey would not be here. She is my love, my life, my soul, my energy and my best friend. So, here it is.......A dharma talk from a dad to his little girl on her birthday. 

Yesterday I spoke to my daughter Kelsey and she asked me if I was excited about tomorrow?  I asked her what she meant and she said we get to celebrate the best day of my life. She was making a joke of course but she was right.  When I first laid eyes on her I started to cry, she was my baby girl and she was perfect.  Kelsey was instantly a Daddy's girl and I was wrapped around her finger.  I could have not asked for a more incredible daughter, she is still perfect in my eyes.  She is 14 today and it is bittersweet.  I would love for her to still be my baby girl but I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming.   The joy I get from listening to her music in the car, going shopping or just getting ice cream is immeasurable.  We talk about pretty much everything, she is wise beyond her years and constantly makes me laugh.   

As a father to a daughter our instinct is that we have to protect them from the world (mostly boys).   Kelsey has taught me how strong a young girl can be when she is confident in herself and knows her self worth.  I know I can not protect her from the World and this still keeps me up some nights but I am confident Kelsey will handle everything that life throws at her.   

 

Kelsey,

I am not sure if you will read this but if you do remember I will always love you no matter what.  Also remember:

  • Use the gifts you have been given.

  • Treat your body with respect.

  • Spend your life with someone who loves you like I do.

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