Benefits of Yoga and Pilates

The many benefits of yoga and pilates for all shapes, sizes, ages and levels in a non-intimidating environment.

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Create. Take Risks. Live Your Passion.

Happy Friday!! Most of you are probably jumping for joy that it is the end of the “work week” and have been looking forward to it since Monday.

I remember feeling the same way towards the end of my career in the car business. Waking up every morning repeatedly saying “ugh, I don’t want to go, I wish I could work for myself”. “I wish I could just start my own business”. “I wish I was my own boss”. “I wish I had flexibility”. “I wish I could pick my kids up from school”.” I wish they would take my suggestions”. “ I wish I didn’t feel like a caged animal”. TRAPPED!!! For life.

I wish. I wish. I wish.

My wish came true with hard work, dedication, motivation and not giving up.

I did it. I did it. I did it.

And I f’in love it. Being a small business owner and a Wellness Advocate is the most gratifying career I have ever had. I truly love helping others. I love to use my creative mind and putting the ideas into place without approval. If it works, it works. If not, oh well. I will try again.

The best part is I am able to do what I want to do. Pick my kids up from school, attend games, cook dinner calmly, not relying on others to help and making my own schedule.

Most of you know that know me are fully aware that I do not sugar coat anything.

Being a small business owner is not easy. Being a small yoga studio owner is not all bare feet, pretty leggings and peace love and happiness. That’s for f’in sure.

But one thing is for certain, when people leave the studio smiling, laughing or crying with tears of joy, that is what makes me keep going everyday. That is what motivates me. It’s obviously and definitely not the money because in this business, it is very tough to make a profit. (at least at my very reasonable prices) But guess what? I am HAPPY.

I took a chance to do what I love. I broke free from the cage and put my creative mind, passion and heart to work and jumped in. I am no longer trapped and that feeling of being stuck is gone.

A few people this past week sent me messages or told me personally that they finally broke free from their cage!!! I am so proud of you ladies for following your heart. Congratulations!!

How many of you have that fear? Not the money fear but the fear of being stuck. TRAPPED. If you are feeling this way you need to think about that maybe feeling this way is a sign that your current job is a very TOXIC environment.

Ask yourself these questions, write them down in your journal:

  1. Do you get anxiety and sad every night thinking about going to work?

  2. Do you suffer from stress?

  3. Are you taking your stress and anger on others at home?

  4. Do you feel unappreciated?

  5. Are you lacking motivation?

  6. Do you dislike being told what to do?

  7. Are you mentally and physically exhausted?

  8. How long is your commute?

  9. Are you using all of your talents and creative abilities?

One of my main goals in this lifetime is to help others through yoga, learning, practicing, sharing and teaching how to live a natural, healthy, authentic lifestyle.

If you are feeling “stuck” in any way; practice yoga. If you are feeling stuck and looking to break free; send me a message either way.

Two years ago, I became a wholesale customer with doterra Essential Oils. I began using essential oils daily in many different ways. Then one day about 9 months ago, it dawned on me. How selfish can you be not sharing these life changing oils with people. So, I began to learn more, practice more, share more and teach more. And now I am building a team of people who are looking to do the same. Authentically. On their terms.

I am looking for two enthusiastic and motivated people to join my team to help share these gifts from nature so we can heal everyday. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. One drop at a time.

Are you passionate about healing and living a natural lifestyle? Are you motivated and driven? Do you love to help others and want to see others succeed?

I love being my own boss and so will you!!

Baby steps. Crawl. Walk. Run. Learn. Practice. Share. Teach.

Xoxoxox

Email: maribethwoodford@gmail.com


Resume of Life

There are a few things that inspired me to write this blog. The first being Bayley’s post on Instagram. “Can cross this off my (b) list”. Congrats again to Bayley for finishing her first Half Marathon. For those of you who do not know Bay, she is a almost 20 year old teacher at SUKHA, a now Half Marathon Runner, a College Student, a Care-Giver for children, a daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, cousin, niece, artisan and a diabetic. For 19 years young, Bayley is crossing things off her list. Congrats Bayley!!

We have told for years from our parents, teachers, and mentors “Stay with one job, it looks bad on your resume”. I disagree. Thanks mom. You never held me back from any of my wacky decisions. Each decision was a learning experience and helped me to grow and be who I am today.

I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that I did it all!! Or at least as much as I can mentally and physically handle.

When I was about 8 years old, I remember playing school and wanting to be a teacher. Then as I got older and being introduced to the New York Times Fashion Magazine, I then wanted to be a Fashion Designer/Merchandiser.

As a teenager, I was a waitress, a cashier at Shoprite. I worked concessions at PNC Art Center, I stuffed envelopes with travel brochures in NYC on the weekends with my mom. I attended Newbury College and received my degree in Fashion Merchandising. I worked at Prudential in NJ and Boston, Merrill Lynch, I even scooped Ice Cream and sold Fanny Farmer Candy then off to NYC where I did billing for a diamond company, then worked my up to Account Executive, then Merchandiser where I traveled to India for quality control.

Years later, I was blessed to have had the most challenging, gratifying, most under appreciated job in the world. I became a mom to two amazing children. When you become a mom, you add to your resume a nurse, a doctor, therapist, teacher, accountant, taxi driver, chef, maid, coach, disciplinarian, and a friend.

This will always be my number 1!

I sold jewelry and skin care products. I held Spa Classes carrying around bins and towels to give people at home spa parties. The list is long.

Oh the car business!! Who would have ever thought. I loved it and hated it. I learned so much as Director of Business Development and I have no regrets. Now years later, at 47, a Yoga Instructor, Small Business owner, Wellness Advocate and Blogger. Make the most from each one. Learn from your experiences. Share them.

These were only jobs/careers. Like Bayley, I have a list. Much has been crossed off, but there is more.

Guess what? I am not stopping here. Who knows what will be next. I am beating my own drum.

Do what you love and love what you do. Learn. Don’t stop because someone told you it looks bad on your resume. Try it all. Be a wealth full of knowledge. In one industry or multiple. Do what YOU want to do. Make your own decisions. Be kind, honest and compassionate. Inspire and motivate yourself and others. Run a 5k or a half. Hike. Paddle. Travel. Read. Write.

The last few days I have been listening to the most inspiring man; the late Wayne Dyer.

I will leave you with this:

“Don’t Die With Your Music Still In You”. -Wayne Dyer

For those who know me, you can see why this is so inspiring to me and how this blog all links together.

“Not dying with your music still in you is not about what you “do with” your life. It is about how you lead your life. Raising children to dance to the beat of their own drum means raising them first to hear, and then follow their own inner calling”-Serena Dyer

Don’t get caught up in what others tell you to do. Follow your heart and not others.

“When you follow the herd, you’re bound to step in shit. Avoid the herd. Think for yourself. Do what you feel is right for you”-SD

Teens: Study and continue to learn. Have fun. the right way. Never stop learning. I know you may hate it now, but trust me; Don’t “F” up. You are young. Learn to balance it all. You can do it!! DON’T FOLLOW THE HERD.

xoxoxox

Love Your BOOBIES!

Thank you to everyone who attended both donation classes and made donations. SUKHA hit the goal and raised $1,225!!

We Love Boobies!! Let’s save them by living a clean, healthy, toxic free life. Obviously there are some things we can’t fully control. Genetics and our environment but we can take action with preventative solutions such as diet, supplements, diet, exercise and less trips to the drug store.

The last few weeks I have been some research on our armpits and boobies and the things we can do to prevent the “C” word.

“Over 85 percent of the lymph fluid flowing from the breast drains to the armpit lymph nodes. Most of the rest drains to the nodes along the breast bone. Bras and other external tight clothing can impede flow”-Michael Schachter, MD.

If you ask any holistic women’s health Practitioner they will tell you that breast heath is a daily thing, and us women need to take it more seriously. We have so many unhealthy breast practices, from ill fitting bras to diets high in inflammatory foods and cooking oils. But no one wants to live in fear constantly right? So what can we do to help our boobies stay healthier and lymph system work well?

DILUTE and apply these three topically as often as you can:

Frankincense supports our breast heath on the cellular level, used topically or internally Frankincense has been shown to reduce instances of free radicals impacting our body, increase cellular vitality and support cellular renewal.

Clary Sage is considered the “women’s tonic herb” and it also functions as a tonic for our breasts.  Apply topically for skin support, tenderness, and circulation support.

Cypress supports normal circulation of fluids in our body. Use topically in clockwise motions aimed towards the underarms to help the lymph fluid flow and restore circulation to areas under compression from clothing.

So, for years we put deodorant on everyday, sometimes twice or three times a day not knowing exactly what harmful ingredients are in them. Here is just a little “secret” list of the toxins that may make you think about your next trip to the “drug” store when you need deodorant.

Aluminum is the ingredient in antiperspirants that actually clogs your pores and prevents sweating. Aluminum exposure has been linked with the development of Alzheimer’s disease and interferes with your estrogen levels. When your body can’t process estrogen properly, there’s a higher risk for breast and prostate cancer.

Parabens is a chemical that is used in a lot of products these days as a preservative, but it is possibly one of the most harmful additives of all. Sometimes parabens act as estrogen in your body, which disrupts hormonal balances and has been linked to breast cancer and prostate cancer

Steareths

These additives are the product of ethoxylation (weakening of harsh chemical in the manufacturing process), which simultaneously produces carcinogens and dioxanes.

Triclosan

The FDA has classified triclosan as a pesticide, yet it is in the majority of brand name deodorants. It’s used to kill bacteria in the manufacturing process, as well as when it comes in contact with your skin. When triclosan is combined with water it can also create a carcinogenic gas called chloroform.

Propylene Glycol

If used everyday, this chemical can cause damage to your central nervous system, heart and liver. It is also shown to irritate skin, especially if you have sensitive skin. Propylene glycol can be harmful at as small a percentage as 2%, yet deodorants generally have a high dose of 50% propylene glycol.

TEA and DEA

Triethanolamine (TEA) and diethanolamine (DEA) are chemicals can seep into your skin and affect your liver and kidneys. In fact, they’re so harmful that these two chemicals have already been banned from products in Europe because they are known carcinogens

It is so crazy for all these years we are buying harmful products that are advertised and marked as “clean” with a “fresh scent”.

So here’s the deal. I have tried many products that are marked natural and by hour 4 of my long day, I started to stink like a number 11 on the sub list! Until 3 weeks ago when I attended convention, purchased my kit and the first thing I tried was the new Balance deodorant from doterra. Smells amazing ALL DAY long and no chemicals!

  • Features CPTG® essential oils of Spruce, Ho Leaf, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus

  • Aluminum, paraben, phthalate, and talc free

  • Arrowroot powder aids in absorbing underarm moisture leaving you feeling fresh and dry throughout the day

  • Baking soda helps to neutralize and prevent odors

 

Starting today, I am offering a “I love my BOOBIES” special until 10/31.

If you purchase a kit, or the three “I love my BOOBIES” oil care kit, you will receive a FREE Balance Deodorant,..

Recommended kits:

Family Essential Kit $125 wholesale $166.67 retail

In this kit you receive:

5 ml bottles of frankincense, lemon, peppermint, lavender, tea tree, oregano, deep blue, digest zen, breathe, on guard. A perfect starter kit.

Aroma Touch Kit

$110 wholesale $146.67 retail

In this kit you will receive

Balance, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, wild orange, aroma touch, deep blue, on guard and fractionated coconut oil. Perfect kit for the active person. Deep Blue is a must.

Dream Tour Collection (Limited Time)

Wholesale $230

Retail $306

If you purchase the Dream Collection, you will receive a FREE month of unlimited yoga and pilates at SUKHA plus the three “I Love my BOOBIES” oils in a 5ml bottle.

This amazing kit includes: (savings of $174)

  • Green Mandarin (15ml)

  • Magnolia Touch (10mL)

  • Pink Pepper (5mL)

  • Turmeric (15mL)

  • Yarrow | Pom (15 mL)

  • doTERRA On Guard Mouth Wash (16 fl oz)

  • Copaiba Softgels (60 count)

  • doTERRA Natural Deodorant (2.65 oz)

  • doTERRA SPA Hydrating Body Mist (4.2 fl oz)

  • Kids Oil Collection

The Kids Collection is amazing for all ages. Kids or no kids. This kit is included in the Dream Collection. This kit is formulated for developing minds, bodies and emotions. Flashcards, carrying case, and carabiners included. Get the kids to start learning about what their bodies needs throughout their day.

Nature or drug store?

You can become a wholesale member (just like Costco) and receive 25% off products for a full year whenever you need to shop. If you purchase a kit the $35 membership fee is waived! FYI: As a wholesale member, you are just that. Shop whenever you want with NO OBLIGATION to sell. If you are looking to become a Wellness Advocate, I suggest becoming a wholesale member first so you can try the products and familiarize yourself with them prior to.

If you wish to pay retail, select Retail Customer.


If you are interested in any of the kits or products, please click “start here” below. Fill out your information, find the kit you are interested in, add any additional products, finalize your shipping info and you are on your way. Be sure to include my ID# 3339118 if my information did not appear.

Once you become a wholesale member, you will be added to private groups on Facebook for loads of information on these life changing products given to us from nature.

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#samehere #ditto

Happy Monday!! I hope those who have off today are finding time to relax, disconnect and take time for yourself or spend time with your family and friends.

This weekend was non-stop for me with so many great things happening at the studio. Thank you to everyone who attended the Keep A Breast Donation Class with Amy. We raised $500 towards our goal. Next class will be Sunday, 10/14 with me at 9:00 am.

Thank you to Hug Your Chaos for a powerful workshop on the Real-Life, No Bullshit way of healing our chakras.

Sunday, my dharma was inspired by so many different situations that came up for me.

The first of many was the blog written by Lori. The blog was read by many and then it happened. The comments “I had no idea”, “ We never realize how much we all have in common” and even Amy’s powerful dharma for the donation class about her story. (You can read Lori’s blog below)/ There have been so many women last week that have the same situation going on right now or have in the past.

In a nut-shell; many reactions were “me too” as well as so many other situations we find out about when we share our story.

Now “Me Too” does not always mean the most powerful and popular hash tag among women right now. It should not only be characterized by sexual harassment.

It’s everyday struggles. Struggles from the past and the present. Addiction, physical, mental abuse, anxiety, depression, weight struggles, self esteem, mommy issues, daddy issues or any form of illness or diseases.

I created this space because it allowed me to start the healing process by speaking and sharing my stories for the first time ever. Sharing and teaching what I am learning to heal wounds so I can continue to be a better mom, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher, business owner, x-wife, and girlfriend.

Healing is a life long journey and providing tools and a space so we can heal.

So, whatever it is that you are going through, I can guarantee that someone else in this room is going through the same thing. Whatever it may be. Expressing our imperfections and struggles allows people to say “it’s okay”, “me too” or maybe we should create our own hashtag!! #sameheresukha #ditto. Ha ha. Just did! #dittosukha

Remember. it’s okay to ask for help and a shoulder to lean and or cry on. Having a space and a community to share and heal; it’s a wonderful place to be.

It is also okay to not always be “FINE”. (Feelings Inside Not Expressed).

I am going to close this blog with a quote by Cheryl Strayed

“Let yourself be gutted. Let it open you. START HERE”

#sameheresukha

#dittosukha

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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

Upcoming Events and Schedule Changes

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy summer! 

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

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

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

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

Workshops are BACK!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dreamcatcher Workshop Tuesday October 2 7:00 pm

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

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

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

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

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

$30 per person

All Supplies included

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

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

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

Description and price will follow

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

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Pilates with Peggy

Shame on me for never formally introducing Peggy from Pilates here at SUKHA. Peggy has been teaching Pilates at SUKHA for about one year now.

I asked Peggy to write a bio to re-introduce herself so I can share what she is continuing to learn so she can continue to practice and teach.

Thanks Peggy!!

More Pilates will be added to the schedule this fall!

Hi I’m Peggy Rossi. I live in Howell with my husband and three children
24, 21 and 15. I have always been athletic growing up, on swim and
track team. As a got older I was a big gym enthusiast. Lifting weights
and having to get my cardio in. I thought that was the answer. Till I
discovered yoga and pilates. I finally was able to understand what mind
body connection was. To understand my own anatomy and what was
happening to my body when I moved a certain way. I was able to clear
my head and I felt so much healthier and stronger and aligned without
having to beat myself up at the gym.
I do not believe in the no pain no gain philosophy. I am certified
through AAAI/ISMA and The Physical Mind Institute. Pilates
concentrates on all the small muscle groups in your body. The building
blocks. It lengthens and strengthens the body. It is not just exercises.
We want you to have an awareness of what the movements do to
strengthen the body and improve mobility.
I’ve been teaching at Sukha South a year now. I love my Sukha Family
and the community we created. I love the connection I have with my
classes and bringing something new to the mat each week.
Pilates is for every age and every body. The exercises can be done in a
chair or standing for modifications, as well as adapting a sequence and
making it more challenging for an advanced student.

I’ d love to meet you on your mat for a class one day!

Join Peggy every Wednesday night at 7:15! New friends get 5 classes for $65

Pilates with Peg

Honor Your Voice to Awaken Others

Last night I listened to another amazing podcast from Oprah with Zainab Saibi. It was truly ironic that I had just posted a blog about women sharing their stories and not holding back because you never know who you can help.

Zainab Saibi is a humanitarian, author and founder of Women for Women International. Her story, her message and what she has done and continuing to do is truly amazing.

This podcast opened with “Giving Women a Voice”-Letting Women share their stories. Honoring your own voice to awaken others for new possibilities. Help heal so others are not alone”.

Mind you, I had just posted my blog and this is what I heard within minutes. I felt relieved and happy. Some may say, I should only be teaching yoga and call it a day. Why?

I was very broken and I have been putting the pieces back everyday. As I am mending myself, why would hold back from sharing with others? That is called selfish.

This blog is not about how I am going to try to save the world or that I want to be the next Oprah or Yoga Girl. I just want to be me and teach how I want to teach, learn, share and help others who are interested in doing the same through yoga, conversation, blogs, email, text message or social media. There is so much to learn. As we age, the learning does not have to stop and everyday we are offered the opportunity to learn and grow. No one “Knows it All” so don’t be one. Be open to others ideas and opinions, and always remember there is always more than one way besides your way to look at situation.

With that being said…..

Happy Menopause Monday!!

Why are so many women embarrassed to discuss menopause? There is nothing to be ashamed

of. Going through these changes does not make us less of a woman or less attractive. It may cause weight gain, crankiness, exhaustion, low sex drive, dryness, hair loss, mood swings, rashes, bloating, constipation and so many other attractive side effects.

But guess what? All of this can be controlled!! Don’t let what you read online fool you. Read the Medical Medium to find out.

About eight months ago, I decided I needed to remove gluten from my diet for a few reasons and weight loss was not one, so don’t roll your eyes. I was having extreme digestive issues and rashes on my hips. Juicing and gluten free worked!!! No more bloat, itchy rashes. I felt great.

About three weeks ago, I went bad. This summer has been challenging with cooking. The kids are rarely home so I haven’t cooked because they are out with friends. I caved. My family was in town, I went to visit my mom and HAD to have her sauce, and a few late afternoon early bird happy hours with the BF. Well, going  bad was horrible. I developed itchy rash behind both knees and a few days after, I started bleeding. CRAZY!!! I haven’t had a period in years. WTF!!!

As most of us do these days, we run to Google before the doctor. “What causes bleeding after menopause”? The answer:

Vaginal bleeding after menopause isn't normal and should be evaluated by your doctor. Post-menopausal vaginal bleeding can be caused by: Cancer of the uterus, including endometrial cancer and uterine sarcoma. ... Thinning of the tissues lining the uterus (endometrial atrophy) or vagina (vaginal atrophy)

Not the answer I was looking for, so I kept searching only to find the same response, if not worse. So I called my doc and the next morning I was having a ultrasound and three days later having a endometrial biopsy. Both tests were negative. A cyst on the ovary and a polyp on the cervix. Nothing to worry about except going back in two months for another.  

I truly believe that all of these situations are caused by food. Of course you won’t find that on Web MD. But you will find out from being fully in-tune with your body.

The Rolling Stones sang it best: “Time is on My Side” and guess what? So is menopause.

Anthony Williams states in his book, “Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal: (BUY IT)

“Menopause is actually on your side. Believe it or not, the aging process slows down after menopause. That’s not the message that is out there. Women think of menopause as the onset of aging and age-related health problems-when in fact it’s just the opposite.”

“Women are told reproductive hormones are the fountain of youth. The irony is that your youth wasn’t in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s. Your true youth happened before puberty. Reaching menopause is a way of reconnecting with that time. Menopause ends the reproductive system’s cycle (and its drain on your body) and brings down reproductive hormone levels. It’s the body’s natural way of slowing down aging so that you can live a long, healthy life”-Anthony Williams

How lucky am I to slow down the dreaded aging process at 47? I have now accepted this stage of my life and looking forward aging and living a happy, healthy life. Perfectly Imperfect. My way. By learning, practicing, sharing and teaching.

 

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You have Gifts, Talents and a Purpose. LIVE IT!

I felt the need to write tonight as a "week in review". It will not be poetic, or maybe some of you may think its pointless. There are certain times I feel selfish not sharing. Sharing is caring and when we hold ourselves back from sharing, we are holding back love from ourselves and others.

Last week was hectic. My calendar was full of classes, football, cheer,  a fundraiser, preparing for High School, writing dharmas, posting blogs, playlists, laundry, bills, scheduling, bike repairs, food shopping, cleaning and grey removal!!( I needed to fit some self care in)

Two amazing blogs were posted written by two amazing, brave, perfectly imperfect women. Michelle Amy wrote about her relationship with her yoga mat and Krissy-Jo poured her heart out about her weight loss journey, self-love and acceptance. Continue to write, to heal and share your work. Water it with compassion, kindness and light. It deserves to be seen by everyone. You ladies have a purpose. You ladies have a gift. You ladies have a talent. LIVE IT. SHARE IT.

It was a week of running around. One to cheer and work, and the other to football. I don't want to get into the football experience, because I am still trying to figure out how I am going to be able to sit through a season without cringing and coming pretty close to passing out. A football blog will soon follow. I would like to share with you a great movie I watched Saturday night on Amazon that is for everyone to watch. Parents and kids. ATHLETES!! It's a must. "Peaceful Warrior" staring Nick Nolte. "A warrior does not give up what he loves, he find the love in what he does".

Friday  early evening I decided to meet up with two good friends for a couple of hours. It was great catching up, sharing stories, thinking, creating, laughing and enjoying the moment. WE have a purpose. WE are living it and we WILL SHARE IT.

How do you find people that inspire you? Do your friends inspire you or do they bring you down? When you find people that help you find the best version of yourself, KEEP THEM.

Find people who want to learn, grow, share, raise their vibration and live authentically.. Men and women who want to be grow, transform and have the same interest in personal development.

As you continue to lift yourself up by learning and growing you start to attract the same. Shine bright, SMILE, be full of energy and you will find the same. You will lift them and they will lift you. Stay clear from the ones who bring you down. I have had many the last few years.

We all have the desire to want those around them on the same level they are. )At least good people do).

When a person makes s decision that they are going to improve their life, lift themselves up, those around them (the nay-sayers) instinctively try to pull them down. They will make fun of your efforts, work and success or try to minimize it. They will belittle your abilities to reach new levels. Bottom line? Those peeps are no good. (I am being very kind)

What is the reality? They are bringing you down to lift themselves up. 

Stop accepting the advice of people who you would never want to be like. Take a VERY close look.  It may take you days, months or a year. That's okay.

Begin to slowly remove the trash talkers, the downers, the nay-sayers. Anyone who keeps you from growing, and reaching new heights. Hang on tightly to the ones who help you grow. Be the one who shines bright and has the energy to pull others up. Be that beautiful, smiling, energetic, compassionate soul that encourages others who are actively working to improve their own life.

I will conclude this blog giving a shout out to a group of women who I have witnessed lifting each other up, supporting their dreams, who are looking to improve their circumstances, and are glowing, alive and want to raise their vibration and bring others along for the ride. It has been so refreshing to meet Jenn, Debra, Lauren, Lindsey, Ellen, Alexis and Viki. These amazing women I was blessed to meet a few months ago through yoga. We flowed Thursday night for Debra and her son River. There were tears, smiles, and lots of hugs. These women are a TRIBE. A Perfectly Imperfect, Good Vibe Tribe who lifts each other up personally and professionally.

These amazing women are members of The Bloom Foundation. The Vision of this foundation is to create a world where every mother has access to a new standard of care for maternal mental health and wellness. Viki has been holding Akashic Record Readings at SUKHA and will be holding a breath work circle at SUKHA 9/25. 

Ladies, you have gifts, talents, and a purpose!! Continue to LIVE IT and SHARE IT. 

 

 

 

Bloom Foundation

If you think you know it all, you are not listening..

What a great quote!!

Learning, practicing, sharing and teaching has been my mantra the last week thanks to two text messages that made my day.

I have said it before and I will repeat it again; it doesn't matter how old you are, how many degrees or certifications you have; how much money you make or have in the bank. We have to continue to learn. If not, learn to learn, learn to practice, share and teach. If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.

This is for everyone. Especially the "know it all's". UGH. Now there's one on my pet peeve list. No one knows it all. There is so much out there to learn. Stop dismissing opinions, comments, ideas or suggestions of others. 

There is so much to learn about in this life and as I am approaching 47, I want to learn more now than I ever have. Obviously, time is a factor, but I am finding the time either at 5:00 am or 5:00 pm. Whenever I have a few extra minutes or an hour.

Mother, yoga instructor, business owner, daughter, sister, friend. Still learning everyday on how to be better at all of the above. I will never be perfect, and that's okay. There is NO SUCH THING. Nobody has a perfect yoga practice (I don't care what fancy pics you see on social media), daughter, boss, business owner and definitely a perfect parent. If you think you are, write a book and please share.

Everyday I am listening and learning from people, books, pod casts and blogs. Two years ago I was introduced to essential oils. I loved the smell and purchased a kit not really knowing exactly all of the amazing benefits. I used them in my yoga classes. As a few months went on, I continued doing homework, listening to a friend about the benefits, reading her posts and digging deeper. I then started using them on my face, neck and chest. Then colds, sore muscles. And holy shit!!! They work. 

Did you know that doTerra oils are pure plant derivatives, with no pesticides or fillers and have the highest quality testing and can be ingested? The oils in Whole Foods and other companies are not pure. Who knew? Now I do. I am learning, practicing, sharing and teaching. One drop of lemon oil is equivalent of 20 squeezed lemons! Our sense of smell is so powerful, and immediately upon breathing in an oil, this purifying and calming effect begins to work the limbic system of the brain that deals with; emotions, memories and stimulation. This system connects parts of the brain that deals with high and low functions for thinking and movement.

Now there's some interesting facts that I bet you did not know. 

What has essential oils done for me? The list is long. But first, my skin. Tighter, smaller pores, crows feet lines are reduced, my skin tone is more even especially on my forehead where I had major sun damage, and the wrinkles on my chest have reduced tremendously.

I share what I learn, so I am sharing with you.

Join me Friday May 5th at 6:00 pm for a FREE one hour information session on using essential oils for your skin. The oils I have been using and I will review the top 10 doTerra oils. These oils can be use aromatic, topically, internally and in the home. Safe and kid and pet friendly. 

There is no obligation to purchase anything. Come and LEARN. 

Fall in love with taking care of yourself-Mind-Body-Spirit

Teach and show your children how to do the same. The environment is not getting any better and the food is not either. Teach them to eat the right foods, exercise and take care of that beautiful skin. 

Visit the SUKHA South Facebook page under events to see the before and after pictures :)

 Visit the FREE SUKHA app to check in.

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong

 

 

 

How Two Text Messages Made My Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

be happy

be healthy

be strong

own yourself,

xoxox

 

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Spring Detox and Cleanse

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

Spring 2018

"FRESH START" DETOX

4 WEEK SPRING CLEANSE

Begins Monday April 23rd thru Monday May 21st

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Choose Your Opening Session:

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

or

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

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

Offering $125

MORE INFO:

Why should you do a cleanse?

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

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

 About Mary Jo:

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

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

 

 

Your Future is Influenced by the Past

Yes, it certainly is...

Do you know that your current feelings, your personality traits and your behavior were shaped by the past events you have been through? Your past is currently affecting your present. You have to be tuned in, willing to identify and think. And that is what I did during this snow fall we had and to be honest, I am blown away. Most of you may fully understand what I have written below, some may not; but you will. Read carefully and you will understand and read the proof that the past has shaped me for where I am right now. Enjoy!!

What the diamond and car business taught me about life and how it has incorporated in my life now.
Two of my most important careers was in the diamond district in 1995 until 2001 and the car business from 2006-2015

The two are so very different with many hidden things in common. Both dealing with metal, high priced items, both luxuries (depending on the car obviously), one is a necessity (depending on the woman). Ha

Did you know that platinum, palladium and rhodium are used for catalyst converters in automobiles as well as in the jewelry business? Just a bit of useless knowledge. But it all makes sense now.

Read carefully on this journey and what it has brought into my life years later.
Amazing.

I started working for a large diamond wholesale company doing billing and data entry, I worked hard. Arriving early and staying late. Driven and interested in learning more. And that I did. I then became assistant account executive, then account executive then Manager of loose diamonds.

Then hard work paid off. I was approached by an Indian company to do merchandising for the jewelry line. No brainer. I accepted.

I traveled to India monthly for quality control on the jewelry I designed before it shipped to NYC and before the inspectors of the large retail chains inspected it.

Going to Bombay was one of the best experiences I have had. I traveled alone. Every month staying for 12 days at a time.
Learning so much about the business, the culture and myself. I met amazing people and learned in my early 20’s how lucky we are here in America and how much we take for granted. I lost 10 pounds every trip, I made friends, I was invited to their homes, to night clubs, and to birthday parties. No judgments. They welcomed me with open arms. They walk a lot. Some who were lucky enough to have automobiles that is; drove far distances without complaining. To see their friends, to the market, to meditate, to the clubs and obviously to work.

Living in NYC during this time, I worked hard. I didn’t socialize too much. Once in a while happy hour with co workers or meeting Maria in the Village. To get our belly button pierced or dinner and a beer. She was my only friend from home living in NYC. She was in the Village and I was on the upper east side. She had her own business and I was working for a big company traveling. We both worked our asses off.

Fast forward to 2006.
Divorced. Needed a career after staying home with the kids. Couldn’t go back to New York with a 4 year old and two year old. Needed a job. And that I found.
Answering leads part time for a Saturn Dealership. I learned, I grew.
Motivated, determined.
I bought a fixer upper in Brielle. It needed lots of work and money. I did it. Alone. Working hard.

“Moving Forward” to Toyota. Internet Manager. Managing people and leads. As the internet grew, so did I. Marketing, traveling, managing. 

A “boys club” and pretty intimidating at first. I wasn’t as mentally strong as I am now, but boy did that change in the car business. You definitely need thick skin, stand your ground and not be intimidated by anyone. 

Why did this snow bring me to write?
Big storm in 96. I walked 40 blocks to work. I had work to do. No excuses, no hoping the office would be closed. I had work to do. Worked that I loved. I walked. In the snow.

In the car business, well; they don’t close. Even the biggest storms. And here’s a news flash for everyone that doesn’t know much about the business. There is no machine or service that cleans off the cars after a snow storm. It’s the employees. Men and women!!! Every car and truck.
I remember driving in a huge storm, knowing I had to be there to help. I did.

Get it??

Putting the pieces together years later. Getting closer.....

People have flaws. Just like diamonds. You need to sort through the ones that are dull and have negative energy.

Move to a big city, even if it’s all by yourself. You never know who’s there and will be by your side in years to come.

Travel. As much as you can, wherever it may be. Go alone at least once.

Welcome new friends. In your home, out for coffee or to a yoga class. Make everyone feel comfortable no matter what skin color, shape, size or gender.

“ Suck it up and press on”. Never let anyone intimidate you.
Work hard even if you don’t want to do something.
Be mentally strong. In any business. You never know if you will travel to another country alone or work in a environment where it’s necessary. Keep going. Keep Moving Forward.

Luxury items are not important. It doesn’t make you happier. Traveling to India made me realize, less is more. They were the happiest people I have ever met. Some with no shoes on their feet, children with no clothes. One room homes. But smiling. Welcoming. No judging. They practice yoga in cotton, loose fitting clothes. “Materials that are tight fitting and compress the body are not right for a practice that is centered around breath”. Many wear Saris. (I have a few)

Work hard.
Walk if needed to get you were you need to be.
Have thick skin.
Be a team player.
Keep moving forward.
Shine.

Choose the people that sparkle with love and light, guide and inspire the ones who need a shine, and remove the “Bad Cut Diamonds”- “a bad diamond cut result has to do with the choices the diamond cutter made. He may have had the bad luck of being saddles with big carbon inclusions that were naturally occurring in all the wrong places in the rough diamond crystal. The cutter took the hand he was dealt and made his choices and they didn’t include what would clear the most light”.

A well cut cut diamond shines and sparkles and shows fire.

Be “DRIVEN”
“Shine Bright”
Be Reliable

Here I am in 2018, putting pieces together from the past that have impacted where I am today. 

Walking in storms, shoveling after the storm, and now opening for classes in a storm.

A hard worker, owner of The "Non-Intimidating" Yoga Studio. A studio that welcomes everyone with open arms and no fancy attire necessary. A few drive long distances; others may complain.

I have removed people from my life that were wearing me down, bringing me down. and speaking down. Working hard with a friend from the past. She lives north now and I live south, but we found our way to meet once again, years later. Teaching yoga.

(maybe tattoo next?)


The impact your past has on your present is so powerful. You need to learn how to connect with it in a positive way. Be open to it. You will be amazed at what comes up.


 

To Me, Love Me

It has been a long time waiting for this workshop.

Something we all struggle with. EVERYONE!

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

To Me Love Me

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hot or Not

Hot or Not???

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

Luckily, I have no need for that crap anymore. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Allasandra Milato

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Have a great weekend!

xoxoxox

Your Heart

I hope you all had a great weekend or still enjoying the long weekend. Please check the schedule for class times.

A few of you asked for the blog that I read Sunday morning in class about "Our Hearts". The playlist can be found in the Sukha South Private Community page.

For anyone looking to learn more about the chakras, and how they contribute to our overall well-being across the body, mind and spirit; join Editor of Elephant Journal and Author of Hug Your Chaos, Lindsay and Chris Jones.

Lindsay and Chris are certified coaches and healers who specialize in guiding others to smash through their self-limiting blocks in order to start living the life they are meant to be living.

The workshop will consist of an introduction to the 7 chakras (lecture with Q & A), a diagnosis of your chakra quiz, guided meditation and The Three Pillars of Happiness.

Catch them before they leave to go home to CA!! January 20th at 11:00 am. $30 pay at door, sign in on SUKHA app.

"Your Heart Is Not Made Of Glass"-Ari Eastman

Your heart is not made of glass. It doesn’t shatter when dropped. It doesn’t splinter, doesn’t ricochet off the kitchen counter when someone accidentally bumps it. It doesn’t crack down the middle just because someone was clumsy with their hands.

Your heart is not made of glass. It isn’t fragile or cold or even something to be handled timidly, to worry how it should be touched. It doesn’t need a CAUTION sticker slapped across its front. It’s not as delicate as you’ve been made to believe.

Your heart is not made of glass. It doesn’t break just because it hurts. It’s not beyond repair just because it feels a little bruised.

Your heart is your powerhouse. It’s your white noise when everything else is too much. It’s the steady drum reminding you you’re alive. It’s your life’s accompaniment. Beating. Thumping. It’s not weak. Listen to its resiliency. Listen to the consistency.

Your heart is not made of glass.

It’s an incredible organ, full of strength. It’s tough, you know?

Your heart is not made of glass.

 

18 Benefits of Yoga According to Science

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

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

Read it, save it and share it.

Enjoy!

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

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

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

1. Regular Yoga Practice Relieves Stress and Anxiety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Practicing Yoga Improves Cardiovascular Health

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Yoga Strengthens Brain Activity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4. Practicing Yoga Can Lower the Risk of Cancer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. The Deep Breathing and Poses of Yoga Improve Digestion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. Yoga Strengthens Bones

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

11. Chronic Pain Can Often Be Managed Effectively with Yoga

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12. Those Who Practice Yoga See Fewer Allergy Symptoms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. Practicing Yoga Can Help Treat Arthritis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Year

Well, it sure has been a while.

Happy 2018 to you all of you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign in under event on the SUKHA South Facebook page.

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong

mb

 

 

Full Moon Cord Cutting

Both Mary Jo and I are so happy everyone is enjoying the card reading and meditations.

You don't want to miss this!!

Cord Cutting & Healing Circle with Mary Jo

Tuesday Nov. 28th 7 pm Sukha South

Friday Dec. 1st 11:00 am Sukha South

Get ready for December’s Full Moon and utilize the energy and power of this SuperMoon. The time of the full moon is the perfect time for closure and completion, to gain awareness or insight into situations 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. As the holiday season approaches it’s easy to let old emotions and patterns keep us stuck in doing things the same "old" way. Enjoy this holiday season with a fresh outlook and as 2017 comes to a close, get ready to step into the New Year with a clean start!

Reasons to cut cords:

  • Unable to move on
  • Unable to stop thinking or obsessing about a person
  • Frequent conversations in your mind with a person
  • Frequently remembering what they said in the past, feeling their ongoing judgment or criticism
  • Arguments, sometimes daily in your mind with someone (these can be actual psychic arguments)
  • Constant memories or emotions that arise - i.e. we used to watch that show together
  • Temptation to go back to a relationship that does not serve you
  • Stalking another online through social networking, watching them compulsively
  • Unable to sleep, experiencing amnesia
  • You seem to endless process the past and what happened there
  • Deep feelings of sadness, anger, and depression around the past
  • Feelings of wanting to get revenge, or constantly aware of unfair treatment
  • Crying a whole lot, an emotional wreck
  • Turning down other offers and invitations, feeling uninterested
  • Becoming stuck in the past, not looking for new opportunities

 

Come relax, recharge, and rejuvenate! Because we limit the number of participants we ask that you pre-register on the SUKHA app or in person to secure your spot.