A Blog about a Boutonniere

I felt the need to write last night. My mind was non-stop. I knew what was on my mind, but not sure how to get it all out.

Last night was the 8th Grade Dance. The "Last Dance".

For months, Patrick was going solo until the day before. Kelsey and I were thrilled by who decided to ask a beautiful and smart young lady, but as a busy mom, last minute running around is not fun. But this time it was. Shoes, a tie, a hair cut and bonding. Late Monday night it dawned on me about FLOWERS!! Crap. Amy to the rescue! The first thought was a Succulent for Patrick. Not sure why, but it was the first thought and it was perfect. Keeping reading on how it all comes together.

My stomach was torn up with emotions that as always, I held back. This is hitting me pretty hard. High School. College. Life. My baby. The man of my house. 

Anyway, the night went like this....

5:30 pm pictures at my house with Patrick, Kelsey, Woody and I. The Perfectly Imperfect Divorced Parents. The tide was up and the train was flying by. The ducks, the birds, the perfect breeze and two sets of the most beautiful blue eyes a brown eyed mother would only have look at her in her dreams. Smiling, making jokes and of course hitting one another on a creaky, old, white-washed gazebo that is just perfect at high tide and mucky and buggy at low tide with the train still cruising by no matter what. I love the train and I love mud. No mud. No lotus. You first have to sit in the mud. In life's terms, the work and suffering that we put in are what yield in return, the reward. (I don't mean a bigger house or money. For me anyway.)

You see, when I first moved to Brielle someone asked me, "Where do you live"? I was confused because our kids both went to Brielle and you have to be a resident. I answered. Her response."Oh, "over there". Slightly taken back by response I asked what exactly does that mean? Response "On the "Other Side of the Tracks". Tracks? What Tracks? The Rail Road Tracks? You see I love the train. My grandmother lived in the Bronx. No air, windows always open, the sounds of horns honking and the train chugging, hissing, screeching and whistling. Music to my ears!! A small home, by the tracks, low tide or hide, it doesn't matter. Less is more. Noise can be calming. Silence and sterile can be sad and lonely.

Still torn about the reasoning for this blog I was starring at the Instagram post I posted on my personal page. swiping and swiping. Looking and thinking about the afternoon, the "photo party in the hills", the breathtaking view, the beautiful young teens, the parents, and my son and his friends. Then I figured it all out. It all came together.

The first photo is Patrick and I on the gazebo with the tracks and the "creek" in the background, the second was Patrick and his date on the River up in "the hills", the third photo is Patrick and his two friends, then Lilly and Patrick, Kesley and Patrick and Patrick solo.

You see the three boys in the photo are all sons of hardworking, very strong, single moms that continue to work their asses off for their children and continue to thrive everyday.

 Next pic....LILLY!!!! Patrick and Lilly have been best friends for years. They are one! Most Athletic and friends until the end. I admire and look up to this young lady so much than I can say or write in any blog or any book. Before I continue I want to say that from the teens I did see, everyone looked beautiful and handsome, but Lilly stole the show!!! Classic white button down, pink khaki pants, a low, wind blown pony, clear, bright, natural ,glowing, freckled skin and a smile that projected her confidence across the river. Come to find out Patrick and Lilly spoke the evening before about the dance. She did not want to go. I am not sure of the entire conversation, but what I do know is, real friends stick together. Through the mud and the rough waters. Friends help each other up when they are feeling down. Friends are confidence boosters and a support system. Lilly, continue to be you. Less is more. Walk with your head high ALWAYS.

Still confused about this blog? So am I. Here's the deal.....

SUCCULENTS.

They are difficult to kill and require little maintenance.

 

They are grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance.

They survive in HARSH climates.

They're reflections and reminders of our existence and consciousness. The colorful leaves brighten up any room. They are living Mandalas. (means circle in Sanskrit)

The circle center of our power is the third chakra. Solar Plexus. It is the center of will power, personal power, confidence, responsibility, reliability, self-esteem and warmth in your personality.

Succulents and Mandalas. Both like art, just like every photo that I described. We overcome situations that gives us a clear opportunity for doing things in ways we have always known we should do. We learn how to make it work by making it work. Just like three single moms, a teen putting it all together within one day  and a natural beauty inside and out, showing up. HER WAY.

Lastly....

No mud. No Lotus.

"Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow".

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong,

 

The happy, single mom, living on the tracks in the mud. 

Proudly.

 

Be a Succulent

Dear Future Yogi

Dear Future Yogi,

I am writing you today to confirm that everything I have said still remains true. Yoga is for everyone. If everyone practiced yoga, what a wonderful world it would be. (As long as they practice all aspects) lol

There is no such thing as a "yoga body". Please do not let social media determine what your preconceived idea or notion of what people that practice yoga look like. 

Is it their clothes? Their body? Their diet?

What is your reason why you have not tried yoga? is it because you can't touch your toes? Or do you think you are too big? Out of shape? Eat meat?

Yoga is not exclusive to just women. Yoga is not only for the flexible or spiritual or plant eaters.

The yoga philosophy encourages being non-judgmental and compassionate to others and ourselves.

So, my BEAUTIFUL friends, remember that you are that. BEAUTIFUL. Inside and out. No matter what. Please do not let anyone or any social media page steer you away.

Yoga is about connecting with your individual self, body and mind. Making room for exactly where you are in that moment. Every day is different on your mat. Just like life. Some days we fall, but we ALWAYS get back up.

 This note is to reassure you that you will be fine. You will feel comfort and joy. You will laugh and sing. You will clear your mind and relax. You may touch your toes. You may not. But who's judging? No one at SUKHA. 

Throw on your pj pants or shorts. Your favorite, old sweats, a pair of leggings from Marshall's or leg warmers and a head band and get on your mat.  You may just hear "Let's Get Physical" or "FAME". 

A yoga mats job is to catch you if you fall. My goal is to make you feel 100% comfortable the second you walk through the door. And it won't stop there. That, I will promise you.

My door is always open and my phone is always on. 1-877-SUKHA-11

Love,

Maribeth 

 

 

Speaking Your Truth

Well, here it goes my friends. It has to be blogged one of these days and tonight is the perfect time to speak my truth about something I have been holding back on for a while now.

As many of you know, I have not been practicing for too long. My story is short and sweet and pretty f'in cool.

I tried it, I loved it, I went to training, I starting teaching, Recreation asked me to teach yoga, it grew, and grew. And here I am today. The truth. Two studios later. Minus a few "friends". But I have gained a shit load more. That are my family. Real, genuine people who practice yoga at SUKHA. They respect me, the teachers, and most of all the SUKHA Philosophy. 

Years ago when I was living in NYC. I was living uptown and Maria was living downtown, I remember her telling me she was going to study to be a yoga teacher. Yoga was not big then. BUT, if anyone would be a yoga instructor it was her. You see, my impression of a yogi, was always someone like Maria. Since the day I met her in 1986. Sweet, caring, honest, real and she would do anything for anyone. Maria never got angry. Maria always spoke her truth. Maria is a good friend. A friend who is proud of my accomplishments, a friend who teaches, a friend who does not lie, a friend who asks for advice and a friend who gives amazing advice.

So, years later, I always thought that ALL YOGIS were like Maria. The Truth.

I was wrong. After the Squan studio grew, I grew, my yoga community grew and I began to get heat. And I am still getting it. #everydamnday. From who? Just guess.

It is getting old. The mystery phone calls from other studios, the yoga instructors walking into SUKHA South giving false names, looking at my sign in book instead in my eyes and pretending they are someone they are not just to get information, the instructors that were hell bent on getting my book of business so they can bring it to another studio. The list goes on.

Are these people truly practicing yoga? They may be physically practicing, but are they practicing the Five Yamas?

Let's just talk about the second shall we?

Yama 2: Satya TRUTHFULNESS-seeing and reporting things as they are rather than the way we would like them to be.

REFRAIN FROM TELLING LIES and speak with kindness, compassion and clarity. 

If you have any questions, my fellow yogis, please call me directly stating your real name. If you want to come in a take a peak, tell me where you really teach and what your intentions are. Want to grab a bite to eat? Call me. Let's Chat. I am lots of fun. Come take a class or ask any of the SUKHA Family. I am sure they will fill you in.

I am not perfect. I announce that I am not perfect. I may not teach the yoga philosophy in all of my classes, but my dharma talks always go to a yoga teaching in some way. And I ALWAYS speak my truth. Sometimes too much. This blog is a perfect example.

I am not focused on being Instagram famous or being a Ambassador for a clothing line.

My number one focus is to make feel people comfortable, happy, confident and to teach yoga in a non-intimidating atmosphere and have fun while doing so. 

Helping others is very important to me. Volunteering my time for LOCAL charities and foundations without a reward in return.

The communities where I teach have been so kind to me and it is my turn to give back.

So, the bottom line is. Speak your truth. Be kind. Practice yoga off the mat. If you teach it, make sure you practice.

I am not competing with anyone. That is not my goal. You run your business and I will run my business. So.....MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

xoxoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking of Trying Yoga or Maybe Ditching Yoga?

After speaking to a few people this weekend about yoga and "changing it up", the feedback was "XYZ" place tore my hamstring, I was sore for days, My shoulder popped out from lifting". I can't do that again. Yoga feels better. No equipment necessary. 

Or "I don't have time to practice". You can practice in yoga in your kitchen!! #justdoit

On the flip side, many emails coming through asking "I am dying to try yoga but I am scared, I don't have an outfit, and I have not stretched in 50 years"! And the famous line "I can't touch my toes".

Well, I thought I would post a great article I found this morning to share with those who want to start, and those who are thinking about "ditching yoga".

Here you go. Happy Sunday my friends! xoxo

Thinking of Ditching Yoga? You May Want to Reconsider

By Emily Waters 

Yoga has so many mental and physical health benefits, it is hard to actually count and keep track of. Since any form of exercise is beneficial for one’s mental and physical health, the majority of individuals today rely exclusively on cardiovascular/aerobic activities, while throwing to the wayside yoga/meditation or other forms of diaphragmatic breathing designed to have a powerful effect on your body and mind. In case you need a gentle reminder and a little motivation, let us review the myriad health benefits of yoga that are designed to keep you feeling well both physically and mentally as you age well into your golden years.

  • Supercharges your brain. As little as 25-30 minutes of yoga increases your memory, attention span, focus and helps you process information more accurately and quickly.
  • Soothes stress. Practicing yoga can have immediate psychological effects. Among these are cultivating a sense of calm, and decreasing anxiety and stress. Over time, these positive mental benefits occur even when you are in your kitchen cooking a meal, and off your mat!
  • Improving flexibility. In a few studies to date, yoga increased people’s flexibility by up to 35 percent after only 7-8 weeks of practice.
  • Increases balance. Certain poses enhance balance, and in older individuals specifically can actually reduce the number of falls they have, and reduce their fear of falling.
  • Fends off weight gain. Those who practice yoga regularly gain less weight as they age than do those who don’t practice.
  • Boosts body confidence and image. Women who practiced yoga on a regular basis rated their body satisfaction higher, regardless of current weight, than those who pursued other forms of exercise.
  • Relieves headaches. Yoga reduces the frequency and intensity of various headaches, including migraines, and tension headaches.
  • Reduces depression. Studies show that yoga can lesson symptoms of depression, like feeling lethargic and overall fatigue. One reason may be yoga’s boost to GABA, a neurotransmitter that is often low in people who are depressed.
  • Protects your heart. Yoga, when practiced consistently reduces blood pressure, lowers level of harmful LDL cholesterol by almost 12 points, and lost an average of 5 pounds.
  • Promotes more zzz’s. This is really great news for insomniacs. After 2 months of practicing yoga for 45 minutes before bed, students fell asleep 15-18 minutes faster, and had more quality REM sounding sleep leading to more than a half hour longer each night in deep sleep than controls.
  • Lessons inflammation. I have written about chronic inflammation in the past that is linked with a whole host of health issues from diabetes, depression, obesity, and high blood pressure to name a few. In regular yoga practice, yoga tends to lower levels of cytokines-as immune system protein associated with this.
  • Slows aging. With yoga therapy and yoga based stretching, scientists have discovered it may lengthen telomeres-the end caps of chromosomes that affect aging, and that consequently shorten every year we age.
  • Controls diabetes. Men and women with type 2 diabetes who practiced yoga for 5-6 months saw a substantial decrease in their blood glucose levels, a recent new study found.
  • Encourages Exercise. Inactive people enrolled in some form of yoga for a minimum of 8 weeks found that this markedly increased the chances they would partake in other physical activities. This is largely due to the release of dopamine, serotonin, and endorphins all flooding your body.
  • Improves your day, and your mood. Various studies over the last 10 years have shown that yoga lowers stress including workplace stress, and promotes general well being. This zen disposition is not only visible on the outside, but the transformation is taking place from within, which contributes to a longer lasting positive effect on your health.

The list goes on and on, and this is far from an exhaustive list. It might be tempting to skip yoga as part of your exercise routine, and to shave off some time for yourself, but given all the health benefits, it might be wise to continue using it in your exercise regimen if you already incorporate it, or reconsider doing yoga alongside your aerobic activities to improve your overall mental and physical health and well being. It is important to remember that yoga is not about how much you weigh or how flexible you are, and that there are various forms of yoga suitable for different interests. As trite as the old adage sounds, when it comes to yoga, it really is never too late to start no matter your age. So get rollin!

 

Proud and Grateful

I shared this with the 6:00 am class this morning and wanted to share it with everyone!

For the most part, all of you in this room come to SUKHA every morning faithfully 2 to 3 times per week. Some 4 times.

This past Sunday inspired me to write this dharma for today.

Having everyone home safely from Spring Break, the energy, the fun, the chatter, the music, and most of all; YOU!

This is rare. What has happened here. The energy that walks in this room is truly uplifting and so rewarding.

Think about it. If you win in the morning, you win the day. Mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. All of you get up early, arrive at SUKHA starting at 5:30 am. You arrive with smiles. We talk, laugh and ask how everyone is doing. Amazing friendships have been made in this classroom.

I may sound like a real classroom teacher but I am so proud of all of you! Most of us are in our 40's, 50's and 60's, getting up to practice yoga. The best practice for the mind, body and soul!

We come together on our mats and off.

We truly care about each other.

We help one another.

We inspire.

We encourage.

We tell our stories.

We have each others back.

We are REAL.

People were designed to be in communion with one another. We are not meant to be alone, and our lives are enriched by strong bonds and friendships. Life is better when it's lived along side and for others.

We are all here, in this classroom for a few reasons. Physically, mentally, and spiritually. Deep down, I believe we are all meant to be in each others lives.

I am dedicating this class to all of my SUKHA family.

We may not be spring chickens anymore, but if we continue to look within daily, we will be around for a long time. We will age gracefully providing a sense of self acceptance and gratitude that is often missing in one's younger years, as well as a gradual quieting of the ego as perfection ceases to be a goal.

Flexibility, skill and vitality continue to sustain our bodies as we get older, but the self acceptance, self knowledge and forgiveness that deepen and grow through our yoga practice here at SUKHA make aging a process of more, not less enjoyment.

Thank you for being you.

Thank you for choosing me to guide you through your unconventional yoga practice every damn day!

Keep up the good work my friends!

Thank you for allowing me to be me!!

xoxoxo

Playlist upon request

 

SUKHA South Location

I am so excited to open SUKHA South in Brick!!

Sukha South is located at 602 Mantoloking Road next door to Jersey Mikes and Dunkin Donuts and a hop away from PLAYA Bowls!!

Playa Bowls is amazing! The company is growing at such a rapid pace; they are so inspiring for all business owners including myself. And I can't forget how much my teenage daughter loves them! Drive thru???? Whoa. Now that's exciting.

Here is a article written By Laurie Cataldo February 6, 2017 1:19 PM
 

Playa Bowls is best known for their acai bowls, which are basically like super-thick smoothies in a bowl, topped with lots of fresh fruit and others goodies like Nutella, almond butter, chia seeds, or granola.

In addition to the acai, they also have pitaya (dragonfruit), coconut, oatmeal, chia pudding, or green (kale) bowls, not to mention juices, smoothies, and even soups!

Playa Bowls will open this week in Red Bank. (Laurie Cataldo)

But wait, it gets better! A spokesperson tells me Playa Bowls is planning to open in the The Shoppes at Brownstone Square at 645 Mantoloking Rd. in Brick in April or May, complete with the chain’s first drive-thru!

Game changer.

There are also plans to open a store on the boardwalk in Asbury Park, and another in Millburn (Essex County) but there’s no timeline on those just yet.

I can only recommend you try Playa Bowls for yourself, but for real, Nutella Bowl all day!! It’s just a totally refreshing (and surprisingly filling) option for breakfast or lunch.

In our area, Playa Bowls has stores in Belmar, Manasquan, Bay Head, and Long Branch, plus a food truck currently at the Jackson Premium Outlets. There are also locations in New Brunswick and Montclair.

 

SUKHA is looking forward to having great neighbors!!! xoxo

 

SUKHA South

Well, I did it!! Signed the lease for SUKHA South!! 

602 Mantoloking Road! 

The classes at SUKHA South will be held the same way as they are at SUKHA (St. Denis). "Non-Intimidating", good music and a relaxed atmosphere with essential oils and cold cucumbers. 

Spreading the "non-intimidating" vibe in a great area that is not over saturated with yoga studios. My goal is to try to create the loving, fun, community that we have at SUKHA for people who have never tried yoga or to a yogi who has been practicing for years and looking to change it up maybe for a class or two.

I am not looking to compete with other studios, and that was never my goal when the doors opened at St. Denis. My goal was to teach yoga with a non-intimidating approach and to bring amazing people from the community to flow, laugh, sing, dance and maybe cry. And it happened. I have been so blessed to have met all of you and I continue to look forward to so many new things ahead.

SUKHA may not be for everyone, and that's okay. 

As I say everyday in class; it is not a race or a competition; it is a practice. A fun-loving, practice with beautiful people in a great community and I am sharing the experience with as many people as I can.

There will be kids yoga, teen yoga, adult yoga and chair yoga.

There will be crystal bowl meditations and card readings.

There will be inversion workshops and restorative workshops.

There will be Reiki by appointment only.

Opening May 2017

Once again, I thank all of you for love and support and most of all the friendships. Some of you I have only known for two years and you have become a huge part of my life.

Be Happy

Be Healthy

Be Strong

Maribeth

 

 

Pay Per Click? Don't be a D*%K!

Here is are of my thoughts on pay per click campaigns and customer service. Having a background in both, there are a few things on my mind.

Be who you are. It reflects your business. 

Be kind. Don't be nasty. There is no need to buy key words that are not your primary focus of business. 

 "Pay-per-dick", I mean (damn auto correct) "Pay-Per-Click" campaigns are great for BIG business. 

SUKHA is not a gym. SUKHA is a Yoga Studio. We have mats, not DUMB bells. 

Sales down? Looking for business?

How about starting with customer service: Here is a very good tip:

"Good customer service is treating customers with a friendly, helpful attitude. Good customer service means helping customers efficiently, in a friendly manner.  It's one of the things that can set your business apart from the others of IT'S KIND".

Click Away my friends. It's a great read. 

"Keep on CLICKING"

"Keep on CLICKING"

"Keep on CLICKING"

 

 

The Golden State Warriors are YOGIS

Thursday night my 12 year old son Patrick and his friends decided to take the Teen Yoga class at SUKHA. They loved it!! They are athletes. Full blown, non-stop, basketball, baseball, lacrosse players and surfers. Although, even if you don't play sports; we are all athletes. These boys are on their way to improving their game both physically and mentally.

Patrick has practiced before many times. With a group and of course, at home with me. Core work, flying into crow and just lying on his back relaxing. 

Have Woody and I noticed a difference? Absolutely. No more pouting, sulking, getting angry or crying! I am not saying it is all from yoga. Good parenting definitely has a big part. Talks, print outs on "how to be coach-able", contracts drawn up on loving the game, being a team player, respecting coaches, umpires and teammates and how to have fun.

Meditations, relaxation and breathing is key!!

YOGA IS NOT JUST FOR GIRLS!! 

I can not stress enough the importance of yoga for athletes. So many professional sports teams are practicing yoga daily. #everydamnday

Here is a great article that was posted on one of my sons favorite basketball teams. The Golden State Warriors!!

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

Updated: JANUARY 20, 2017 — 11:12 AM EST

by JANIE McCAULEY, The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Anderson Varejao lowered his 6-foot-11 frame into a runner's lunge and raised one arm high into the air to add a twist, demonstrating after a recent shootaround the new yoga pose he just learned

Kerr keeps Warriors winning with yoga, creative approach

Then, he took it up a notch and attempted an airplane balancing pose on one leg with his arms spread wide.

The Golden State Warriors have become yogis.

Coach Steve Kerr is committed to changing things up, and he gave Golden State a day off from the practice floor one day last week so the players could practice yoga instead. In the middle of a prolonged stretch at home with a more regular routine, the schedule allowed for some improvising.

"I really liked it," Varejao said. "I'm going to do more."

Doubt you'll see Draymond Green or Klay Thompson doing downward-facing dog again soon - though Green might be talked into another try eventually.

"I'm bad," Green said. "Yoga isn't for everybody. I think it's a great thing, I just don't think my body is made for all of those different positions. I did well at a few of them. It's hard, it's tough. My body really isn't cut out for yoga."

The very next night after the group class, during warmups for a home game with the Pistons, player development coach Bruce Fraser pulled his foot to his opposite inner thigh for an impromptu tree pose. He laughed as an amused Shaun Livingston watched from the baseline.

Andre Iguodala is an experienced yogi who can really cat-cow and is considered top on the team, often taking classes. Center Zaza Pachulia also can forward fold with the best of them. They took prominent positions in the class led by Lisa Goodwin, Golden State's director of corporate communications and also a yoga teacher, at a Berkeley studio - a first for Kerr taking the team away from team headquarters for a yoga session.

No surprise, two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry can bring it on the mat, too.

"We've had some optional yoga sessions at our facility. This is the first time we took everybody and made it mandatory," Kerr said. "It was good."

The temperature was about 92 degrees for the hour-long power vinyasa class, so it was steamy.

Everybody was drenched in sweat by the end for final resting pose, or savasana.

"My muscles felt good," forward James Michael McAdoo said, rubbing his stomach where his core got a workout. "It was fun. It was hot in there, like working in a sauna. I told our strength and conditioning coach, 'You got to step up your game. Lisa embarrassed us.'"

"It's awful, it's pitiful," Thompson said of his own yoga ability. "It's something I worked on and it's something I actually enjoy. More than just being physically challenging, it's an incredible mental workout. It tests your pain tolerance and your ability to push yourself mentally. That's why I like it. It was really good. I think it helped a lot of us - everybody, even the coaches."

Along with the experienced yoga veterans, there were some first-timers.

A few found it extremely tough.

"I'm not the most flexible," acknowledged player development coach Chris DeMarco.

Assistant coach Mike Brown described his debut as "terrible."

"For me, it was really hard, but it was fun," he said, later adding, "I nearly passed out."

Ron Adams, another assistant who focuses on preparing Golden State's defense, happened to work out in the hottest corner of the room for his first time practicing in that high temperature.

"It's such a cleansing exercise," he said.

The Warriors aren't the only ones doing it.

Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy has scheduled yoga time for the Pistons, saying: "It's got its value, no question about it. Would I consider doing it with them? Probably not."

Kerr goes whenever he can fit it in, typically taking an hour-long class during the lunch hour on game days when the schedule - and his body - allows.

It's a time he can focus on taking some deep breaths, literally, away from the pressure-packed NBA workload and just be just another yoga student for 60 minutes out of his day.

This weekend marks one year since Kerr formally returned to the bench last Jan. 22 against Indiana after a lengthy leave of absence to deal with complications from a pair of back surgeries. Current Lakers coach Luke Walton led the way during a record 24-0 start and went 39-4 before Kerr's comeback on the way to winning Coach of the Year after an NBA record 73-9 finish.

While the 51-year-old Kerr still has some discouraging, physically challenging moments dealing with pain and headaches, he considers himself fortunate to be on the sideline doing what he loves.

"I guess normal is a good way to say it. He seems like his old self," Curry said. "You know he's been through a lot just physically trying to recover from the surgeries he's had. I can't imagine the frustration, how long it took and things he had to do and all the doctors he's met with. His whole story is crazy. We're obviously happy to have him back but not only that, you see him with energy and his presence like he wants. It's been good to see."

Whether Kerr will take his team back to yoga any time soon, time will tell. The Warriors are at the season's midway point and the "dog days" of January as Kerr has put it. Golden State was home for all but a night from Dec. 26 until leaving for Houston on Thursday for Friday's game against the Rockets, with just a quick bus ride to Sacramento as the lone road trip in a 10-game stretch during that span.

Because there was so much time to practice, the yoga day was a nice change of scenery.

 

Published: January 20, 2017 — 11:12 AM EST

Get your boys and girls to YOGA

 

 

How the Grinch Found Yoga

This is GENIUS!!! For everyone. Instructors and students

Please read this AMAZING poem by Via Lyn Gerfin Kehoe

Elephant Journal 11/20/16

When last we left off in the Yogaville district,
The Grinch had Found Yoga, his heart optimistic.
Dedicated yogi he was, trekking to town every day.
Heading straight to the studio, never going astray.
One day in particular as he walked in with his mat,
A new flyer was posted, he stopped in his tracks.
With eyes growing wider, he lost his Grinch cool.
In bold letters, he read: Yoga Teacher School!

Then the teacher strolled in; the breathing started.
The practice began, his effort half-hearted.
His mind so distracted, excitement barely contained.
He remained calm on the outside. The inside he strained.
And the more the Grinch thought of this whole teaching thing,
The more the Grinch knew he must do this training!
And the longer he pondered, with wheels endlessly turning,
His head grew bigger, his ego mindlessly yearning.
“Why, for two years now I’ve come to this space!
I know I can do it, I can take over this place!
I will be the best teacher this town’s ever known.
From miles they’ll come, they will build me a throne!”

So with focus and agenda, his journey began.
He studied and practiced, fine-tuned his Grinch plan.
Bought all the books, memorized all the right words.
Practiced the sequence, his goal never deferred.
And the day finally came, his certificate arrived.
He gave his dog a sly smile, and then a high five.
Of course, first on his list, doing what all legit teachers do,
He opened a Twitter account and a Facebook page too.
He took a few selfies; upside down in the snow.
Posted on Instagram with requisite yogic style prose.
He filmed YouTube videos, with his dog Max as his pupil.
It took only one day, and his followers quadrupled!

This was still not enough for his yogi star scheme,
The final touch was added, a completion of his dream.
A new studio he began building on top of Mount Crumpit.
He called it Grinch Yoga. Well, that pretty much summed it.

As he stood on his mountain, looking down at the town.
His shifty eyes landed on his final takedown.
Watching the yogis, the tall and the small,
Bustling to class, this would not do at all!
So just for good measure in the middle of the night,
The Grinch snuck into his old studio and stole everything in sight!
He took all of the mats! The candles for lighting!
The sign on the outside! His emotions delighting!
All the pictures on the wall! All the cubbies in the hall!
All the lights that were hanging! He left nothing installed!
He stole all of the schedules and workshop brochures.
Then he snatched his teacher’s notes, just to be sure!
And then, just in case all that wasn’t sufficient,
He tweeted cruel words. A clearly Grinchish decision.

And before you could say #yogaeverydamnday,
His new home was completed; Grinch Yoga here to stay.
He bounded through the door, new clothes on display.
Prepared to teach his first class, without any delay.
His teacher’s words mastered, his yoga jam cued.
Exuberant and giddy to the utmost magnitude.
With great confidence and ease he patiently waited.
His ego, of course, 10 sizes inflated!

He waited, and waited and waited all day.
But not one yoga student came, not one,
Through the doorway!
And there the Grinch remained, puzzling for hours.
No sense to be made. Why, he had even planted fake flowers!

As he sat on his mat in deep contemplation,
He heard a soft noise, a humming vibration.
He looked out of his window; eyes followed the sound.
He shook in surprise as he gazed down at the crowd.
And he shook, and he shuddered at this most disturbing of views!
In the yoga studio he had emptied, the yoga class grew!
They twisted and turned and chanted away.
Nothing the Grinch did had ruined their day!

“No, it can’t be! I’ve done everything right!
Photos and followers! Hashtags and websites!
New floors and fresh paint, in perfect location.
Thousands I spent on this yoga education!”

And then what the Grinch did, without even thinking,
He packed up old Max, crept to town, his pride shrinking.
He walked into the studio, well, some would say slunk.
But all would agree his high hopes had been sunk.
He looked at his teacher, Yogi Lou Who,
With questioning eyes, heavy heart, feeling blue.
And she tilted her head, raised an eyebrow.
Told him to sit and to get rid of his frown.
And with a slight wink, she proceeded to speak:

You can’t steal yoga, within is what you seek.

It’s not a fancy pose. It’s not rhyming prose.
It’s not a personal platform, for a Cirque de Soleil show.
No matter the location or the color of the walls.
The flowers planted. The track lights installed.

Doesn’t matter the words strategically placed.
What matters are actions executed with grace.
Followers will follow, and likers will like.
But none of this matters if you behave with dislike.

For students to emerge you must teach from your heart.
It’s inside of you too; it just needs a jumpstart.
The only way out is to go through, the only way through is to go in.
You must do the hard work, stop believing your own spin.
Some days will be easy; others will not.
(On those days, two words: tequila shot!)
It’s an ongoing process this self-study thing,
But in the end will be discovered the best kind of bling.
The glow from the inside will be quite distinct,
When your intentions and actions are completely in sync.

And the knowledge you search for, you already possess.
At this moment it is there, it just needs to be accessed.
Your purpose discovered. Clearly defined.
It is here, my Grinch friend, you will find peace of mind.

And this wisdom you have can not be shanghaied.
No matter what happens. Though, some will surely try.
Oh, they will try! Oh yes! They will try, try, try, try!
But when they go low it will teach you instead how to fly!
Keep the focus on you and others won’t matter.
Silence you will find, trumps the meaningless chatter.

And it won’t be about selfies or how many likes.
Your followers on Facebook or a playlist contrived.
It won’t be something learned in two hundred hours.
Your silent voice inside contains all your power.
And it won’t be what’s trendy or Instagram fame.
Or the RYT letters you attach to your name.
Find the teacher inside, and the students will appear.
Not always an easy task. Trust yourself and don’t compare.

So, back to his mat went the Grinch and his Self.
Old Max snoozing soundly in his bed on the shelf.
His playlist deleted, his pride feeling cheated.
But the worst part of it all, his spirit depleted.
He got out of his head and started to work in.
It didn’t take long for the transformation to begin.
He found his way back to where he began.
And slowly let go of his Grinchy yoga plan.
His ego grew weaker, his monkey mind meager.
His compassion expanded, mindfulness was eager.
His goals disappeared, replaced with intention.
And in this still space, he found his connection.

And what happened then? A revelation some say.
The door opened up, students walked in and stayed.
They laid down their mats, spaced barely an inch.
They all stood together, surrounding the Grinch.
And the Grinch looked around, not believing his eyes.
They finally opened up as he slowly realized…
“This teaching it seems doesn’t come from a book,
Not words that are mimicked or how a studio looks.
It’s not perfect alignment or abdominal locks.
Not master playlists or five different props.
It’s not how you speak, or the way that you walk.
It’s in owning your truth and walking the talk.”

Then, the Grinch found his voice, and also his heart.
(A bit shaky at first, but an impressive good start.)
He guided the practice; they breathed and they flowed.
Compassion and honesty always in tow.

In unison, they moved. Together sang the last Om….
And there in his Self, the Grinch finally found home.

~

Author: Lyn Gerfin Kehoyo

Editor: Toby Israel

~

 

Release, Detox and Letting Go

What a week!!! 

Emotions, cord cutting, detoxing, flowing, and releasing. Even though it's November, it has been a great time to let it go. "Out with the old, in with the new". We have been releasing early.

We cut cords this week with people, places, situations, and emotions so we can move on from them and let them go energetically. It does not mean we do not love or care about them anymore. Cord Cutting is a process that severs that negative attachement between you and another person so that the shadow of that relationship does not hang over you or affect you in the present.

Who do we form cords with? There are major and minor cords. Major cords are formed with:

Lovers, spouses (exes and present), children, parents, siblings, close friends, abusers, or any sexual partners.

Minor cords are formed with: clients, teachers, bosses, co-workers, and friends.

You definitely know who you have the most toxic cords with. There is a certain negativity attached to the relationship, no matter how much you love or respect that person.

Tuesday night, we each wrote a list of the people, places, emotions and situations we needed cut. My 1/4 sheet of paper was full. From my x-husband to my family members. My home, that I have so many emotional attachments with, fears of romantic relationships (which I am happy to say that I am almost there) and the list went on. 

This was a week of detoxing.

I am proud to say that I did my first ever three-day cleanse!! Many have looked at me and said "Why"?

This cleanse has NOTHING to do with weight loss. In fact, I don't own a scale. Scales drive people CRA CRA!! STOP weighing yourself my friends.

 I have been experiencing horrible headaches on my right side for weeks now along with exhaustion. And, it does not have anything to do with getting up early and teaching. I have always been an early bird. 

After the Inversion Workshop, I spoke to Maria who is also a Holistic Health Counselor and she told me about a juice cleanse. 

I decided to try it thinking that maybe I needed to detox and flush out my system. There are five fresh juices a day for three days. They are YUMMY!! Day 1, EASY. Day 2, hard, Day 3; BRUTAL for me!!!! I felt weak, dizzy, and hallucinating. Thank goodness for a friend that pushed me through and encouraged me not to give up. I didn't. I finished. I am proud and thankful.

Before I spoke to Maria telling her about my experience on day 3, I was saying to myself "How the fuck do people do this"? This is crazy. What a horrible feeling!!! I NEED FOOD!!

Maria told me this was how my body was detoxing. Everyone is different and reacts a different way. It has nothing to do with how much I weigh or how active I am. It was the toxins releasing!!

Most of you know my eating habits. I love food. I eat. All in moderation. I don not deprive myself of anything. But it was time. Time to clean. Time to release.

This cleanse was much needed. Just like the cord cutting meditation.

Today was the first day of food. I ate. I taught three classes, slept for two hours, cooked a healthy dinner and I feel like a million bucks. I have not had a headache since last night.

Don't wait until the New Year to cut cords, detox and release.

"I do not know anyone who doesn't get a good feeling when they hear the following words, LIGHT, CLEAN, BRIGHT, HAPPY, ENERGIZED". You have just begun a journey towards feeling all of these." It is the way to go"-Maria Preuster

 

 

Pay it Forward

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

Well, where to begin....

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

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

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

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

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

"Pay it Forward"

How can you make a difference in this world? 

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

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

SAVE THE DATE for Event #2

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

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

Patrick committed suicide. 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

p.s. forward to those who care

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

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

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

 


Thank you Bridget for sharing your story.

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

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

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

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

Let's flow for Evelyn and Walk for Patrick. 

 

The People, The Music, The Energy, The Flow

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are a few songs from today's class:

Silver Springs

Snake Eyes

Lights

Blinded by the Light

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

Electric Avenue

She's so High

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

Unbelievable

Black Magic Woman

Bette Davis Eyes

Creep

Young, Wild, and Free

Cleansing Aura

Be happy

Be healthy

Be strong

MB

 

What Makes this Family Smile

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

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

What makes Kristine Smile?

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

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

This is what makes Kristine Smile:

What makes me smile?

My wonderful husband, children, mother, sisters and friends

Unconditional love and support

SUKHA!

Finding a blessing in everything that comes my way

The Beach!!!

Sunrises and sunsets

My puppy

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

room!!!)

YOGA

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

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

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

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

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

How Matt takes yoga off the Mat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Drum Roll PLEASE........

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

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

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

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

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

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

So here it is......

What about yoga makes Sueann Biello smile?

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

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

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

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

Maribeth’s accessible, easy going approach to yoga

Imbibing in a cold rose

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

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

Next stop Hollywood!

What makes this yoga teacher in training smile?

Happy May!!

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

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

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

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

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

What about yoga makes me smile?

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

 

What makes this amazing couple smile?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is their response:

S – Such a great group of yogis

U – Upside down feels good

K – Karma rhymes with Dharma

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

A – Acceptance

Y- Your Journey

O – Okay (I’m okay, you’re okay)

G – God, is it hot in here?

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

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

 

 

#whatmakesyousmile

#whatmakesyousmile

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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