Signature Essential Oil Blend for Balance

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Essential oils are gifts from the Earth.  They are natural aromatic compounds that come from the seeds, bark, leaves, flowers, roots, and other parts of plants.  These essential oils have so many amazing benefits ranging from muscle and joint support to stress relief and emotional support.  I have spent the last few years studying the benefits and uses of essential oils.  There are so many ways to incorporate essential oils into your life.  Essential oils work much like yoga.  When I attend a yoga class, I always feel so much better when class is over.  My body craves the gentle yoga movements.  Yoga leaves me feeling rejuvenated and balanced.  When I use essential oils, I feel much the same way.  I am able to reduce stress, balance my emotions, and breathe better. 

With the grand re-opening of Moondog Yoga Studio, June and I wanted to create a signature blend of essential oils that encompasses the atmosphere of the studio and was a dosha balancing blend.  Our ultimate goal was to combine oils that were not only grounding and calming, but also invigorating and uplifting.  We worked together for a few months testing different blends and adjusting them to meet our goals.  In May, we released the MOONDOG YOGA SIGNATURE BLEND.  This blend is unique to the studio. 

The Moondog Yoga Signature Blend combines wild orange, sandalwood, ginger, grapefruit, frankincense, and myrrh essential oils. 

·         Wild orange essential oil is the oil of abundance.  It is calming and uplifting to the mind and body.  It fosters creativity and is both invigorating and renewing.

·         Sandalwood essential oil is the oil of sacred devotion.  It is great for prayer and meditation.  It calms the mind and stills the heart.  Sandalwood harmonizes and balances the emotions. 

·         Ginger essential oil is the oil of empowerment.  It is warming, accelerating, and stimulating.  It supports a warrior mentality.

·         Grapefruit essential oil is the oil of honoring the body.  It is balancing and uplifting to the mind.  Grapefruit is detoxifying and fresh.

·         Frankincense essential oil is the oil of truth.  It is a powerful cleanser and assists in spiritual awakening.  It enhances prayer, meditation, and focus. 

·         Myrrh essential oil is the oil of Mother Earth.  It assists in feelings of safety and security.  It promotes emotional balance and well-being. 

Along with these essential oils, the signature blend also contains moonstone fragments.  Moonstone is the stone of new beginnings.  It calms emotions and brings good fortune.  It is often associated with the crown chakra and is said to cleanse and dispel negativity from all of the chakras.  This moonstone comes from India.

We are so excited to share this unique blend with each of you.  Enjoy the signature blend and know that a lot of research and love went into its creation. 

Stephanie Borzio
Tru You Essentials
stephanie@truyouessentials.com
215-219-3418
www.truyouessentials.com

2 to Go!  YTT training in May

So this is the 2nd to last yoga teacher training before we are done and I gotta say, I am feeling very bittersweet on the whole thing.  I am excited to be completing this journey, but I am also sad that I will no longer get to see the people I have journeyed with on a regular basis.

 We are now working on our sequencing and developing a full class sequence which is both super cool and a little daunting.  I had the privilege of teaching for Memorial day (which I’ll talk about in a moment) and this weekend was super helpful in getting me prepared to teach.  We were advised before the weekend started that we would work in groups of 3 and each person would take a section of the class sequence and teach it to the rest of the group.  This is something that I have found to be natural to me.  I enjoy teaching people and love watching them understand and grow their own knowledge.

 Now onto my teaching experience for Memorial Day.  I was super excited for this opportunity and was prepared for my class.  When I woke up that morning, woah, was I a bundle of nerves!  I was worried that no one would show up and then I was worried that too many people would show up.  The latter happened.  I ended up with 19 people in my class and while I was nervous at first, as soon as I started teaching, my nerves calmed down and I was able to rest in my knowledge and the culmination of a little less than 200 hours of training experience.  Thankfully, no one got hurt :) and the little feedback I got from students was positive.  I also had the privilege of having one student from the previous teacher training there and he was able to give me constructive feedback on my sequence and how I presented the class.  I always try to be humble and grateful for feedback that is provided because it will only help me be better in the long run.  

 Back to YTT.  After working on our sequences, we started to delve into Ayurveda which is considered to be the sister science of yoga.  Ayurveda is basically the use of food as “medicine” to help with bodily ailments.  There are 3 types of dosha’s which are a person’s natural predisposition towards the elements.  There are Kapha’s which are your sturdy, reliable people, but who also have a hard time getting moving sometimes.  Pitta’s are those people who are naturally motivated and driven, but can have too much fire and may be hard to reign in.  And Vata which are those people who are airy light people who may need help bringing them back down to earth.  Everyone is a mixture of all three doshas but they will be stronger in one or two.  I, for example, am a Kapha/Pitta dosha so it means that while I am a motivated individual, I do have a hard time getting myself started, but I am organized and focused and I am a nurturer.  

When learning about the dosha’s we also learned about how they are affected by the time of day, and the season.  I won't get into more because I could talk about all of this till the cows came home, so I’ll end with this; If you are on the fence about taking this training, you should do it.  Not only will you learn so much, but you will have a new skill that no one can ever take away from you.  I am so grateful I went through this process because I feel more well rounded, and I have also grown so much over this time.

~Laura

YTT and Turning 30

Hello All,

Thanks for tuning in to another mostly coherent account of yoga teacher training weekends. This weekend was all about yogic life and the start of delving into teaching longer sequences (YIKES).  First we had the responsibility of sequencing a full class (60 minutes) in a group of 3, so one person took the warm up and standing poses, the next person took backbends and twists, and the last person got the floor work of seated poses.  The trick to this was making sure the class flowed, so it was a coordinated effort of making sure your last pose flowed nicely into the next person's opening pose.  We were fortunate enough to be able to prep ahead of time so friday we had a full hour with our group and then were expected to teach it to the group the next day.  Then after that, we had some review of what we’ve been learning this whole time and also began to touch upon the Yamas and the Niyamas.

Now, if you don't know what the Yamas and Niyamas are, I’ll explain.  Yoga has 8 branches which include the Yamas, Niyamas, Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi.  These eight concepts are what make up yoga.  Taking the first 2 limbs, the yamas are how to live in the work and the niyamas are how to care for yourself. I need to pay attention to the taking care of yourself portion.  The schedule that I am going to have is going to be a test of resolve and commitment so I hope I can meet my own expectations.  

We also started to delve into the gunas.  Dipping a toe into the ayurveda pool of information is almost overwhelming.  This just does not fit on my plate at the moment, but I want to know more and incorporate it into my life.  I just have to accept that while I am not there yet, I will get there at some point (I hope).  

On another note, I turned 30 this month (this was in April).  It’s kinda weird to say that I’m 30 because I still feel about 26.  and I also LOVE my birthday.  Not so much this year and I don't know if I was just repressing some hard bumming over the big 3-0 or if my hormones just threw me all out of whack but I was surprisingly bummed out about the day.  Part of it was also that it was on a Thursday and I did not take off work so it was just like any other day.  I am the type of person who wants everyone to make a big deal that I was born on a particular day and I guess the day did not live up to my expectations.  I am feeling ok now, my husband and I got all our friends together and we all went out to eat at a schmancy restaurant, so it more than made up for my lackluster birthday.  But while the day was pretty normal, I feel like I am finally hitting that point in my life where I am figuring out my direction and passion in life and actively working towards those goals.  I have never been more motivated to achieve my dreams and taking these trainings has absolutely contributed to my new life direction.  I will have my certification done this year, along with my MBA, and I will begin to delve into teaching more fitness centric classes as well.  My only regret is that I didn’t start this sooner :)  

Anyway, thanks for tuning in.  

 Namaste, 

Laura

Ytt Weenend # 7?

What??? Am I seriously this far through already?  Where did the time go?  I am writing this blog on the night of ytt weekend 8 because I’ve been slacking.  Sorry to everyone who waits with baited breath for my next work of genius (JK, it’s only half genius).  So I had to break out my notes on this weekend to remember everything that happened…..here we go.

 

This weekend was another guest teacher weekend!!!  YAY, let me tell you, the guest teachers that come in are super cool and amazing, and I want to be them….well the ME version of them if you know what I mean.  This weekend we had the lovely and talented Sarah G come and bestow her knowledge onto 9 of the sponge like humans sitting around her.  Friday night we were going back over the vedas (practice makes perfect right?).  We went over our systems that make up the body and went over what stress is and how if affects our systems.  Pretty much everything we do seems to come back to breath, diaphragmatic breathing and linking breath with movement, and let me tell you…..it freaking works!  My job has been kinda sucky lately and I made the decision that I need to make a change.  This is a big year for me, I turn 30 this month, YTT finishes up in June, I just passed my aerobics certification, and I plan on completing my MBA by November.  I don’t say these things to brag, I say them because, for me to write down my goals, helps me see that I can acheive anything that I set my mind to.  I am going to need stress management now, more than ever.  

But I digress, I have decided that I don't really want to work at the company I am with now,  I feel like I have finally found my passion in Yoga and I want to find ways to link this with something that can actually pay the bills.  We really started getting into the sutra’s and the writing of the yogic masters.  I am always amazed at the many perspectives and experiences everyone has.  No one comes from the same place but we all have something of value to contribute to the class.  The most amazing thing though, is that Sarah specifically talked about knowing when you are on a right path, vs. a path that doesn’t help sustain you.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  I know that everything happens for a reason and I see doors opening to me that I didn’t even know were there before.  

The one last thing I want to bring up before I bring this to a close is how we have been working on our breathing pretty heavily.  Not only with yoga and asana’s, but with relaxation, stress management, and meditation.  Breathing has really helped me learn to deal with hard and stressful situations without losing my composure.  I can’t tell you how awesome it has been.  I am a very sensitive person and issues at work used to stay with me and eat away at my sense of self and well being…..not anymore.  I am no longer a helpless passenger to my emotions, I have learned through this breath training, how to reign it in and have mastery over my emotions.  I don't always succeed, but I know that I don’t get rattled so easily and can have a cool head in hot situations.  

And there you have it, my takeaways from this weekend.  I promise to be more prompt with my next blog.  Namaste to you all!!!!!!

Laura

YTT and Ireland in February

Sooooooo this blog is super late, but I have valid excuses, I promise. 

This weekend was a little rough for me because on the Friday night that we were waiting to get into the studio, my mom texted me and told me that my grandmother had a stroke and was going to the hospital.  She’s doing OK now, but right then I had to leave and meet my family at the hospital.  I was upset about my grandmother and I was also upset because I was missing out on Luke Ketterhagen’s teaching. 

I didn’t get home from the hospital until around midnight and then had to get up for TRX and then yoga class.  I was kinda wiped both emotionally and physically, however the class that Luke taught was so amazing and it really helped me calm down and absorb positive energy, giving me the boost I needed to get through a full day……well most of a full day.  I left early to see my granny and lift her spirits.  One thing that really helped me get through this was the fact that we were working on inversions.  I understand that many people have a fear of being upside down.  Not me!  I am working on handstands and headstand every chance I get.  It helps to literally change your perspective on the world.  They also help with blood circulation, bringing blood to your head and brain and getting your stagnant blood moving.  They also help relieve stress, and let me tell you….I needed it!

If you haven’t had the pleasure of taking one of Luke’s yoga classes, I highly recommend you keep an eye out for when he will be around next and make sure to be there.  I felt so privileged to listen to him and what he had to say during our training days.  His perspective helped me think about some things in a new way and his open personality just helped to create an environment for learning.  I hope to one day have the means to take one of his retreats so that I can learn even more from him. 

Well after this weekend, I only had one more week of preparations before my husband and I traveled out of the country for our first trip to Ireland!  I was very stressed because I was worried about my granny, but she was improving every day and my parents said they would email me with updates.  Ireland is AMAZING.  It is so green and lush and the towns are so cute and the people are very friendly.  I got to see my very first castle and spent time being awed by the history of these crazy old places and cathedrals.  We got to see Dublin, Cork, and Killarney and spend about 2 days in each location.  I don’t think this blog will be long enough to share everything, but here are a few pictures to enjoy :)

~Laura

 

 

Yoga Teacher Training: Weekends #4 & #5

Hello There,

After the holidays and not one but TWO yoga training weekends in January, I feel like I haven’t had a second to sit down and write about everything I learned in the month of January.  Since we had two weekends of training this month, I figured it was easier to combine them into this one blog.  So, the two weekends that we committed our lives to were January 6-8 and then January 20-22.  It’s kinda amazing to know that we are half way through now.  I’m always excited to go to these training weekends, no matter what else is on my plate, or how tired I am. I just have such a sense that “this is right” and it’s so encouraging to know that I am on the right path for myself J

The first weekend had more anatomy (ugh, why do humans have so many bones and muscles?).  It can be seriously overwhelming when looking at everything that is involved just to raise your arm, or turn your head, or even just type out this blog!  It gives me a bit of anxiety and I want to retain everything so I don’t injure a student J.  However as Mandee has said and June repeated “there is no right or wrong way to do yoga, there is only safe and unsafe.”  This is SO TRUE!  Proper alignment is everything, and with all our practice I am seeing where the alignments should be (yay progress!!!) my yoga practice has been enhanced with my new-found mindfulness on the proper alignment of my body during yoga class. 

We also got into backbends and twisting postures which is more complicated in some ways, but it also makes me comfortable with the standing and laying postures we have been working with.  And we have also been working up to meditation practice (which I think should be a mandatory thing for all humans).  We have also delved quite heavily into relaxation techniques and I’m pretty sure that I have fallen asleep at least once per “session”.

Moving onto weekend number two.  This was a kinda weird weekend, I mean there were only 2 weeks between the two weekends and it felt like we just zoomed through everything.  Not that I’m complaining, every time I get to hang out with the other teachers in training, I feel such a connection.  We are all kindred spirits working towards the same goal for different reasons and everyone has new ways of looking at what we are learning.  On top of this I really feel like I am clicking with the teaching portion of our training.  I was never really all that nervous before, just inexperienced. And with all the practice we have had teaching one another, my confidence has really increased.  This weekend allowed us to interact with another woman from the previous class who had to finish up a few things.  It was cool to have another perspective introduced and hear her thoughts on our collective group as well. 

This weekend we moved into forward bends and more relaxation and meditation techniques.  We also got started with Pranayama practice.  If you don’t know what pranayama is, I will explain.  Pranayama is the practice of regulating or expanding prana (life force) by manipulating your breath.   We got into three different pranayama techniques and practiced teaching them all (lots of tissues were needed this weekend).  I now know how to energize myself without having to reach for the red bull or coffee (although these are fun to drink).  I also know how to calm down through the pranayama Nadi Shodhanam which involved alternating your breathing through each nostril.  

Wow, trying to write down a weekends worth of value into a few paragraphs is quite the challenge.  I don’t want to give it all away because I feel there is so much value in experiencing things with no expectations, but I also think that sharing my experience can help others decide to take the necessary steps towards their level 1 yoga teaching certification.  My personal goal is to get certified for aerial yoga because I feel like I was meant for the circus. However, I don’t think that I expected the level of personal growth that comes with immersing yourself in the philosophy and practice of yoga.  I have such a better appreciation for my teachers as well as I have a small understanding of what they had to go through.  I feel grateful every day that I was given this opportunity to grow in a way I never have before.   

~Laura

shake off the winter blahs

The  weather is definitely cold, sometimes bone chilling damp.  Whether there is snow or not, we feel the cold, heavy, wet qualities of winter (Kapha season).

Let's talk about how this plays out for us.  The cold of winter causes stagnation. Water in lakes and ponds freeze...talk about slowing down!  Our bodies have a large amount of water in them.  The darkness and cold may leave you feeling sluggish and very sleepy, with noticeably less energy.  January is considered to be the most yin time of year - a restorative time when the body rebuilds tissue.   
Your body continues to adapt.  Take your nose; it's function is cleaning, moistening, and warming the air in preparation for the delicate tissues of the lungs. The nasal passages swell up to warm this cold air.  Capillaries restrict blood flow for preserving heat. Less blood flow and lack of sun exposure also make your skin look pale and dry. Your heart rate slows with the colder weather, leading to blood stagnation. The body concentrates most of your blood at the core to keep your vital organs warm leaving hands and feet colder.
 
You can support your body by what you eat.  Think of adding foods with qualities of warmth (soups, stews, oatmeal) and warming spices (garlic, ginger, black pepper) even licorice.  Also, try eating your heartiest meal mid-day instead of late at night when the sun and your sun(digestive fire) is setting for the night.   

Create heat: Practice 5-7 rounds of Sun Salutations (any version) as part of your morning routine.  It will be 5 minutes well spent.  They create heat, move the blood, clear the stale air, and move those bones that have been chilled...

I love all the moon pictures you send.  keep 'em coming ~

PS Thank you Alex for this picture.

-june xoxo 

happy winter

If you have been to one of my classes lately , you have probably heard me talk winter and it's energetic qualities, or what Ayurveda refers to as Kapha season. 
 
Now that the holidays are past, the real essence of winter takes hold.  Dark, cold, sometimes bone chilling nights.  A quietness takes hold especially when  it snows.  It's time to slow down.  Hibernation happens for many plants & animals.  Oh! how I would love to hibernate for the winter, but i do like to ski.  Alas, we live in a modern society and may feel pressure to push forward and push through this tendency. We can't completely hibernate, but we can do something.  

Now is a great time for introspection.   Take some time, be still; recognize that the energy in you and around you is slow, maybe even heavy.  Not that you shouldn't move, but don't put too much judgement or pressure on yourself if your tendency is to "hibernate"/ slow down, or stay in and cozy up under a blanket or next to a fire.  

It's my personal belief why so many New Year's resolution putter out.  The support just isn't there.  In March, when things begin to warm, thaw and move, that's a great time for moving things forward.  For now, why not take your time and really contemplate what it is you need/want to change , make a plan, a really good plan.  Take your time.  Then in several weeks..go fot it!

Honestly, that is what I am experimenting with this year.  I haven't made a New Year's resolution, but I am taking some time for introspection.  Then in March, it's time for action.

Next time , I'll write about winter : your body & food. 

PS Thank you Jess for the picture
 
-june xoxo 

happy new year!

hi friends! hope you are all well.  i miss you and hope we see each other more in the next 30 days.  so, where have we left off?   back to the winter solstice.

thank you all who celebrated the winter solstice with me.  it was great fun and energy! a deep bow of gratitude for those who gave to britt. 

i saw britt, she is doing well.  she was touched, deeply, by your thoughts for her.

i hope you enjoyed the holidays. perhaps you relaxed, laughed, ate, drank, held space for yourself, for a friend, or slept as late as you wanted. whatever fills your soul; keep doing it...happy new year

okay let's talk. a vision i have had for 12 years is coming to fruition.  Moondog -she is a growing.  in about 90 days...eeekk...yes...we will have a new home, the old moose lodge on east broad street in qtown. i really want your thoughts. in a few weeks you will receive an email with or about a questionnaire (haven't gotten that far yet). i want to know your top three things about our sangha (community), what you'd like to see that we don't have, and something you wouldn't miss.  in addition, i'd like to know about your schedule: best days, best times for both classes and workshops and of course what classes and workshops you'd like to see more of ..speaking of that.

i will be training this winter for aerial yoga, so stoked. i am interested in aerial yoga, restorative aerial yoga  and  mixed aerial yoga classes.  your thoughts?

lastly, but most importantly. namaste my friends!  thank you for sharing yourself, your time and your practice with all of us at Moondog.  we enjoyed it!  

as my ancestors say..salute to next year!

-june & the moondog team

Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend #3

So, this weekend was kinda nuts.  Not only did I have yoga teacher training Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but I also had to go to my first Christmas party this season.  On top of all that, my phone decided that it didn’t want to work all day Saturday and so I was trying to figure out when I would next have the free time to go and get it fixed.  Luckily the issue resolved itself, though I have no idea how.  My biggest concern after this incredibly busy weekend, is that I have never been more worried about my hips and their flexibility. 

Friday and Sunday was spent learning and teaching backbends and learning their corresponding Sanskrit words.  We got into the muscles including learning which muscles are being strengthened, which are being lengthened, and which are stabilizing.  I am starting to put it all together mentally on what I can do to accomplish the yoga goals I have.

Saturday was all about the anatomy of the hips with some emphasis on the low back as well.  While this das seemed longer than the others, I was still fascinated by all the muscles that are used that allow us to move and stand.  I am now very worried about not injuring any students because of how interconnected everything is.  Luckily we are going into depth on how to prep for poses and their counter poses so the risk of injury is reduced. 

With everything that happens this time of year I feel like this holiday season is just flying by.  I am running from here to there and have little to no free time until after new year’s.   I almost can’t believe that we only have 7 more weekends left! Hopefully we being delving into meditation soon because I know I will need it.  

~Laura

Yoga Teacher Training: Weekend #2

Is it weird to feel invigorated after 20+ hours of yoga teacher training?  I would expect to feel drained and tired, but after what I learned, my mind feels open and I want to learn more.  I don’t know what I expected when I signed up for this, but I’m amazed by how much sense everything makes!

This was my first full weekend of yoga teacher training and I don’t even know where to start to convey a snapshot of the weekend. 

It began with June teaching us about Agni Sara which means fire essence in Sanskrit and is also called the “master practice”.  We attempted to do this in two different ways. The first way involved standing with our hands on our knees and we worked on the engagement of our pelvic bowl and the slow “rolling” of our stomach in conjunction with our inhales and exhales.  We did the same method in table top as the 2nd version. I find it amusing how difficult some poses and practices can be when people make them look effortless.

Saturday was spent working on standing poses and counter poses.  We practiced teaching and refining our movements and language and worked on getting a student both in and out of the pose.  The knowledge I gained from this class alone has made me a better yoga student.  I am much more aware of my alignment and the proper feel of a pose.  One of the biggest hurdles for me is not getting caught up in the minutiae of a pose and better present the big picture of a pose. 

Sunday we spent more time going over standing poses but we delved into Chakras midway through.  For me, it is truly eye opening to see how logical yoga is.  I usually try to approach new concepts with a scientific mind.  I like to understand the why behind concepts, and information that is not grounded in science or logic is either not represented correctly, or is completely made up.  This is not the case with Yoga.  For example, for the most part, the chakras are directly aligned with the spinal cord, which is a hub of nerves and energy.  That the chakra’s correlate almost directly with the spinal column is so logical to me, that I am able to embrace the more spiritual nature of Yoga without the cloud of doubt that had previously followed me.  I wish I could go back in time and “discover” yoga at an earlier age.

We ended our session by working on diaphragmatic breathing exercises and it was so relaxing I almost fell asleep!  It was a mindful end to the weekend’s training which helped me further absorb the weekend’s lessons and experiences. I’ve enjoyed each training session more than the last, so I can’t wait ‘til next month to deepen my knowledge and understanding of something that is now so large a part of my life. 

~Laura

This Is Us

This is Us  is a new show on NBC.  Already you may be saying "It's the Holidays who has time to watch TV?"  or "Network TV, ugghhh the only good shows are on cable, premium channels or Netflix ."  Hear me out.  If you have seen the early trailers, they didn't do it justice. I didn't watch it.  I wasn't interested until I saw several posts on Facebook.  I have since told some friends and this show was a topic of our Thanksgiving Dinner conversation-and much appreciated over politics

This show is a stand out!  The writing, the acting, the relevance, is all so rich and well done.   I can't say much more than that.  The way the show is written in such a creative, genius way too much information may change your experience.  Warning: you will cry!  BUT the cry is not a sad, I feel depressed cry.  It's a good cry.  The kind of emotional cry that is released when your heart is massaged and all the gooey love, compassion and joy residing there is released: sometimes known as tears of joy. Each episode gets into your heart and massages these emotions.

You must watch the show from the beginning.  Perhaps you can watch it will wrapping presents, or take some down time and binge watch it on the weekend, or after the holidays.  As most shows, new episodes aren't shown mid December to mid January.  You have time.

This show touches my soul.  I hope the same for you.

-june xoxo

PS. It is the Kapha season: time to slow down, hibernate and regroup.  What better way to do this in the 21st century than a good TV show..wink, wink.  I am also very fond of books. I just can't say enough about this show...as you can tell.  

The Deep Stories Pictures Hold

Halloween holds a special place in my heart.  Larry and I meet 30 years ago this past Halloween.  It was actually my first "grown -up" Halloween (translation: legally in a bar).  My boss who at the time had known me for 2 months and knew Larry very well kept saying to me "You need to meet Larry Hunt; you two would be great together".  So, Halloween rolled around and we went to a bar in Allentown.  Larry had his face painted white w/ a black diamond on it.  He wanted to be Mr. Clean (such a foreshadowing and I must say an added bonus for me...lol) but he had so much hair the skull cap wouldn't stay on his head...  how he loves to tell that story now. I was "too cool" to wear a costume. I was 22 and fresh out of college. 

This past Halloween marked 30 Halloweens together; we dress up often for Halloween parties winning once as Rocky & Adrianne.  Larry makes Halloween fun.  He spent many mornings with his coffee searching Pinterest (he still can amaze me) for costume ideas this year.  So, one morning he says "do you think Kim would want to paint this for us?"  I asked Kim and her reply was "I never painted faces but then again I never painted murals until the studio and your house".  I love her sense of adventure!  

What this picture holds is 30 years of tradition, 30 years in a relationship that is one of my life's great gifts, the sharing of this tradition with a friend we love and whose talent we admire, and how things come full circle.  30 years ago Larry painted his face (black & white) and I was "too cool" to dress up, now we are both painted black and white by our wonderful artistic friend. 

-june xoxo

Yoga Teacher Training: The First Weekend

I’m not much of a writer, in fact, I’ve never blogged before, so when I was asked to write a blog about the yoga teacher training I figured, why not?   

I’ve been thinking on what I wanted to write about for the past few weeks since the completion of the first teacher training weekend.  Do I write about what I learned or how I felt during the experience?  I’m going to try to accomplish a little of both.

So let’s dive in!

Yoga teacher training started on Friday October 7th and I was unable to go.  I instead had to attend a wedding that had been scheduled prior to the training.  I was bummed about missing out on the first class, but when Saturday rolled around I was super pumped to get my knowledge on!

This class is comprised of 8 people and it’s a fairly diverse bunch.  We come from all over and getting to know these people who are also passionate about yoga was, and I’m sure will continue to be a fun experience. 

As with all Saturday and Sunday teacher training, it begins with a yoga class.  Knowing that I will soon be teaching others caused me to participate and observe these classes in a slightly different light.  I now am paying specific attention to the words and phrases that are used to describe a pose and the mindfulness that comes with the attention I need to bring to sustaining the proper form.

After class was over, my fellow yogi’s in training and I got set up with our bolsters and books and settled in for our training.  Some set ups were pretty elaborate and I think we need to compete on who can set up the best bolster throne.  Since I was not at Friday’s class, we all introduced ourselves and I met Monica who is assisting with the teacher trainings alongside June. 

With little preamble, we dove right into the material.  Here are just a few of the things I learned over the next two days

*Yogash Chitta Virtti Nirodhah means “yoga calms the fluctuations of the mind” 

*Vedic Philosophy is about there being an absolute reality, there is pure bliss in the universe, and it is our birthright to be blissful

*Yoga is about being able to maintain a pose without struggle (effort and ease)

Just getting a small portion of this information was invigorating.  I like to understand how things work and feel empowered when I learn something new. 

On top of all this lingo, we actually started to practice teaching each other yoga poses which is incredibly nerve wracking even though we are all in a safe environment and going through the same curriculum.  I didn’t want to make a mistake, but I also know that I will be making plenty in each training I attend. 

Even though I was nervous about it, teaching others and being taught by the people in my class brought us closer as a group.  We certainly had a lot of laughs at our own expense and learned a lot about the teaching process of a full yoga class (even though we are a few weekends away from that).

Overall, this first weekend just strengthened my conviction that the teacher training is the right path for me.  And it has been helpful to keep in mind that we aren’t perfect at every pose, but Yoga is much less about trying to be perfect, and much more about striving to be better in both mind and body. That’s something I’d recommend keeping in mind whether you are teaching or being taught.

 - Laura