Thank you to everyone that dropped their spare change into the jar. We'll be sending $54 to the Lehigh Valley Walk to End Alzheimer's.  

This month's recipient is The University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Center in honor of Carin Schaufele who sadly lost her battle with Leukemia yesterday.

Brenda Schaufele, Carin's sister is a longtime Moondog student and the owner of Golden Cabinet Acupuncture. You can read about Carin's fight at her blog https://ordinaryfridays.blogspot.com/

To learn more about the Cancer Center or to donate directly please go to https://giving.apps.upenn.edu/fund?program=MC&fund=600499

 

Good Karma Jar

Thank you to everyone that dropped their spare change into the jar. We'll be sending $48 to the GoFundMe for Maggie Chesla's service dog. 

This month's recipient is The Lehigh Valley's Walk to End Alzheimers.

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About Walk to End Alzheimer's

Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer's Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. This inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to join the fight against the disease!

When you participate in Walk, your fundraising dollars fuel our mission, and your participation in the event helps to change the level of Alzheimer’s awareness in your community. The Alzheimer’s Association provides free, easy-to-use tools and staff support to help participants reach their fundraising goal. While there is no fee to register, we encourage participants to fundraise in order to contribute to the cause and raise awareness.

Moondog will match the amount of change we collect but for more information on the Walk or to donate directly click HERE.

summer surrender

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at the risk of getting an eye roll with this alliteration ...  summer surrender... what are you going to surrender into this summer?  

we did a Big Spring Cleanse several weeks ago.  perhaps you heard? or read our conversations in our facebook membership page? ( more about that later).

one of the practices was removing (giving up) a habit for the duration of the cleanse and replacing it with a habit that  is considered self-care.  before you wonder too long; yes, i gave up Starbucks, yes, i have been back, and, no, honestly, not as frequently. it shifts things...i mean, really shifts things

so it's summer.  i have always seen summer as the time when we get to do "fun summer activities,"  but now i am thinking ...what can we surrender into this summer...working late? sleeping late? getting up early? reading a book? doing crossword puzzles? 

in the summer, when we were young, we surrendered the structured time of a school day...we had plenty of time in the summer, to do...whatever...cloud watch...sleep late...play late into a long summer night.

although as adults, we can't completely surrender as we did when we were kids, what are you going to surrender...just for the summer? ...you define summer how you like, but make it at least 60 days.  i am going to use the summer solstice until the fall equinox..(hopefully...lol)...well, who knows, maybe not...and would that be so bad?

much love, light, and laughter to you all

-june xoxo

Good Karma Jar

Thank you to everyone that dropped their spare change into the jar. We'll be sending $10.50 to Transformation Yoga Project. 

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This month's recipient is A Service Dog for Maggie Chesla.

Maggie has hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS), a rare genetic connective tissue disorder, as well as dysautonomia (POTS) and mast cell activation syndrome. As a result she has chronic pain and headaches, joint subluxations and dislocations, insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, fainting spells and seizure-like episodes.  After being misdiagnosed for over 10 years, she was finally able to start proper treatment in 2016, but by then many of her symptoms worsened and new symptoms developed. She's had to stop dancing - her passion - due to joint pain and instability, and more recently chronic vomiting, and she has been unable to tolerate medications to alleviate pain and other symptoms. Despite these challenges and countless visits to various specialists and hospitals, she handles everything life has thrown at her with a remarkably positive attitude.

A service dog would not only give Maggie emotional support but also alert others when she has fainted or fallen, provide stability and support for walking, retrieve medicines when she is having an allergic reaction, help stop tremors and overall offer her more independence. Maggie has always connected deeply with animals, and for her 16th birthday her family would like to get a puppy that can be trained for her unique needs. 

Your donation would enable them to purchase a puppy and provide the  training, equipment, and care that the dog will need.

Moondog will match the amount of change we collect in the studio but if you would like to donate directly to the Go Fund Me for Maggie, click HERE.

where did the year go?

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it's been a year.  it's been a year? it's been a year!!

that is exactly what i have been thinking, in that order, with its corresponding inflections. yes, the last one has 2 explanation points for two reasons, too (yes, i chose the word "too" instead of "also" purposefully--diane, are you proud of me?)

it's been a year. april 15th marked the year anniversary of our moving to broad street.  on that day i was reflecting back to last year when we moved.  this year it was raining and it made me smile, as i thought about the deluge we had on moving day. when I was telling luke ketterhagen about our move and the rain, he told me that, in the tantric tradition, rain symbolized washing away the old, cleansing, and moving forward. so, this year, when it was raining, i thought of luke, and how appropriate the rain was.

it's been a year? where did THAT go? i find myself saying this more and more with many yearly occurrences in my life.  on one hand, it seems the year went quickly, but then when i reflect on the year i lived in between--i realize i did a lot of living! time seems to fly, but upon further look...said time was full of great and challenging things, good times spent with family & friends, many hours spent living and teaching my passion (but not as many as i would like) mediating and reading for fun.  next time you find yourself saying... It's been a year? take a some time and reflect on all the living you actually did in that time, it was more full than you think! and THAT is a good thing.

it's been a year!! one exclamation point is for "damn that was a lot!!"   it represents the steady, ardent effort we must put into the things in our life that are meaningful our life, work, relationships, and yes our yoga and fitness practice. anyone who has moved a home knows moving, in and of its self, is a big undertaking.  it certainly has been a year of ardent, steady effort moving  moondog. our team grew into our new home, physically and mentally, through the transition of this past year in our new home.

the second exclamation is "woo-hoo it's been a year!" and represents the ease  and joy that accompanies and follows the ardent, steady effort.

much love, light, and laughter to you all

-june xoxo

Good Karma Jar

Thank you to everyone that dropped their spare change into the jar. June has decided to match whatever we collect each month which means we'll be sending $15 to the Love Your Brain Foundation. 

This month's recipient is Transformation Yoga Project. Benjamin and I are both instructors for TYP and we're happy to be hosting one of their trainings in the studio this month. 

Transformation Yoga Project serves people impacted by trauma, addiction and incarceration through trauma-sensitive, mindfulness-based yoga. Participants develop skills to heal and navigate life with comfort and ease.

Learn more about TYP HERE

~Jamie

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Introducing the Good Karma Jar

Every month we'll pick a different non profit organization to benefit from your spare change. Donations can be placed in jar at the front desk. Any amount is welcome!

You may know that every week June works with a group of students that have suffered traumatic brain injuries so in honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month this month's recipient is LoveYourBrain. 

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Kevin Pearce suffered a near fatal traumatic brain injury while training for the 2010 winter Olympics. Kevin’s remarkable resilience was documented and transformed into the award winning HBO Documentary, “The Crash Reel,” which brought light to the experience of traumatic brain injuries.

LoveYourBrain is the message that embodies our positive approach to brain injury prevention and healing. Our programs are designed to build community, foster resilience, and help people understand the importance of loving your brain.

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Learn more at http://www.loveyourbrain.com/

 

The Rich Tapestry of Life

rich and intertwined, just like a tapestry.  these are the words i keep coming back to in describing life...the long, deep, rich threads of our lives that seem independent (each color thread is its own), but marvelously interweave with other threads and form a beautiful expression of a life lived.

i came to this metaphor from a recent experience i had.

many moons ago (literally, 1992) i, too, like the queen elizabeth ll,  had an annus horribilis.  i was 28, and what i was going through at the time was the deepest, darkest time in my 28 years.  at my lowest point, i got into my car and this song came on the radio, the music just hit my heart and broke it open.  i was crying so hard i could hardly see to drive. there was something about the song, the music,  the way it just broke my heart open and let the pain out.  because it was a popular song i would hear it often and for the next several weeks, it was my vehicle to languish in my pain.

then we pick ourselves up and move forward. the song was under the bridge, by the red hot chili peppers.  as you can imagine, from that time forward, this song was always playing.  i could no longer listen to it.  i avoided it like the plague. honestly, i spent too much energy avoiding that song.  the words " i don't want to feel like i did that day" haunted me, reminded me of a time i really didn't want to remember. i really didn't want to feel like i did that day!  as many of you kno,w i am a huge chili pepper fan! eventually (by that i mean about 5 years later), i  came to a place where i could listen to the song, but i didn't like it!  a few notes from that song and i could be transported back to THAT day, THAT time in my life.  add 5 more years, and i could listen to it, i could sing to it w/ no real emotions, but hey! it was progress. i wasn't changing the station and I actually listened to the whole song.  i became ambivalent...that's progress for you!

now fast forward to last year--connor & i go to our first RHCP concert, first for me, first for him.  side bar:  two or three years prior, we tried to get tickets to their concert and couldn't.  one day he & i were driving in my car and jamming to a RHCP song (a common occurrence with us). after the song was over, he looks at me (he was about 16) and said, " i really want to go to a RHCP concert with you before you die."  yes, yes, you read that right.  so what does a Mom do? the next time the RHCP tour, you get tickets, come hell or high water, or high ticket prices, but you get them!  

so,  there we are on the floor, 10th row in philly.  we are dancing & singing ; both in our own joy & sharing in each others! it was magical.  yup you guessed it!  ( i actually have tears in my eyes now as I type this).  Under the Bridgeplays!  we are singing & dancing together to this song and i am so caught up in the pure joy of the moment!  then it hits me!  i start crying...crying tears of pure joy, and feeling such a deep richness that is my life.  this song, this song that 24 years ago represented pain.  this song,  that i didn't like, that i avoided listening to. this song, this song that I am now sharing with my son.  a son? when i was  28 years old, I was never having children.  and now this song represents one of the most joyful times in my life, with a son i never dreamed of having then.  this song now will always remind me of  a common bond, a common love, and a wonderful experience with my child.  this song has woven together separate threads of my life, so separate and so many years and experiences apart.  

and that my friends is the rich tapestry of life.  stay in the game, with heart and mind open long enough, and everything intertwines, forming a beautifully rich tapestry that is your life!

la dolce vita!

post script: we went two months later to see them (RHCP) in concert again in d.c.

post, post script:   i was driving to moondog, contemplating writing this story, and under the bridge came on the radio.  i pulled into the parking lot (it was very early--i was the only car there)  and i sat in my car listened to the song. i let the whole story wash over me.  then, with tear in my eyes, i looked up at the sky and said..."okay, I got the message. i will tell my story."

life is amazing...truly...stay in the game, keep your  heart and mind open.  it will be a roller coaster...but oh! what a ride.


much love, light, and laughter to you all

-june xoxo

what will your dash hold?

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our beloved zia marilyn passed recently.   zia is Italian for aunt.  zia, as she is called, is my husband's aunt, my father-in-law's sister. since i married into the hunt family 29 years ago, she is my aunt. the service was difficult, beautiful, and thought provoking.  what is in your dash?

the priest spoke about the dash.  i'll use zia as an example.  when we pass, our lives will be referenced by our birth and our passing, as february 17, 1930 - january 6, 2018.  however, the life that was lived is in the dash.  the small, seemingly insignificant dash holds the story of our lives.  what will your dash hold? what is the life you led? the people you loved? the joys, the challenges you lived? the beauty and tragedies you saw? the dreams realized? what is in your dash? the dash, seemingly insignificant, holds the story of your life, if you are reading this, you are still the author of this dash which actually supports this new year's beginning.  what is/are your words/words for 2018? how do you want to live this year? how do you want to fill your dash this year? you are the author of your life, your dash. as kelly always says, "yes you can!"

more food for thought from the priest: he quoted  Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie (one of his favorite books) 

"Death ends a life, not a relationship." 

interesting thing--we (larry, the boys & I) are not practicing catholics (zia was very devout).  we all (larry, connor & i) separately told the priest what a wonderful, beautiful service he conducted for zia.   he gave us all a gift that will stay in our hearts forever.  i can only imagine how rich his dash will be.

much love, light, and laughter to you all

-june xoxo

Decluttering by Not Procrastinating

I think being more organized is a standard New Year’s Resolution. For me it’s not as much about organizing and decluttering as it is about getting to all the projects I’ve been putting off. I posted an article a few weeks ago about minimalism, the goal is to get rid of 2018 things in the year 2018. Part of getting there will require passing on clothes that the kids have outgrown and donating things I haven’t worn since 2006 but a lot of it is that I’m finally going to have to go through the pile of preschool art projects that I couldn’t bear to part with and before I download another book on to my kindle, I need to go through the pile of magazines that sucked me in at the grocery store checkout line. 

Almost three weeks into January, I’m at 450 items. I compromised on the art projects - I took pictures of everything and saved them to an app called Artkive, I’m almost through the magazine pile and Purple Heart has already done one pick up from my house. I don’t really have a method - I can’t say I’m going room by room or spending so much time per day on decluttering but I am trying to be less of a procrastinator with my projects. If I have some down time, I am choosing to spend it going through a pile I’ve pushed off to the side rather then getting sucked into Facebook or Netflix. 

Now, the real challenge is going to be not replace it all!

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What I’m loving
My Messy Bun hat. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a hat with a hole on top so you can pull your ponytail through. For someone with long hair, it makes wearing a hat SO much more comfortable. I got mine at Love Obsessed on Broad Street.

What I’m reading
Do Your Om Thing by Rebecca Pacheco. I say all the time that it’s hard to balance being a good yogi with real life but this book takes all those ancient teachings and puts them into modern day perspective. This review from The Huffington Post will tell you about the book way better then I ever could.

~Jamie

Final YTT Weekend

Hello All! So yoga teacher training has finally come to a close and let me tell you, I am both excited that all of our hard work has culminated into this amazing experience where I have grown in knowledge and in my yoga practice, and I am also really sad that I will no longer see my fellow trainees on a regular basis.  The group of people that you go through this training with are so special and unique and they are lifelong friends and part of my yoga family. Yes, I did cry on the last day, and no, I am not ashamed of it.  Even writing this blog brings happy tears to my eyes and I am blessed that I still feel so strongly about every single one of those people who helped me get through the weekends.  

This weekend got started in such a fun way, June and Monica cooked an Ayurvedic meal for the group so Friday night we ate and hung out for an hour before moving through more of what Ayurveda means in a food and meal context.  It was freaking delicious and once I have more free time, I am going to start exploring this method of using food for healing because I have been eating garbage lately in what I refer to as “eating my feelings”.  But anyway after a wonderful night of food, friends, and laughter, I went home feeling excited for the remainder of our time together.  The next day involved more practice teaching, but this time we had guest students who had been through the training previous to ours.  Now it was showtime and we all had portions of a class to teach to the group.  Some people were observers and some people were participants.  This allowed for some really great feedback on teaching styles and areas for improvement or to keep in mind.  By this time, we were all so much more confident in our own knowledge that it was like night and day from the first time we taught to today.  It was basically teaching and exam review for the rest of the weekend.  

I can’t end this blog without my shoutouts to my new yoga family and what I learned from each of them.

Jen is this steady force with a chocolate addiction who has such a funny sense of humor.  She never got rattled by anything we were doing and approached every lesson with confidence and skill.  I learned so much from her.  She has a lucky family and I count myself among them.

Jess was one of the quiet ones in the group, however the amount of growth she showed was amazing.  She was completely outside of her comfort zone and still approached each teaching experience head on and was able to take our feedback and make herself better each time she got up to teach.  Her quiet energy was so great to be around and she’s also pretty freaking funny.  She also asked really great questions in each class which helped all of us grow.

Dean was one of the guys in our sessions and I don’t think that I will ever meet anyone quite like him.  He has an engineer's mind and so the way he would see the information, was so unique that it helped me expand my own viewpoints as well.  He also never failed to make me laugh, even if unintentionally.  I will always be grateful that he would go and get me a large ice tea with extra lemon at the dunkin donuts whenever he went :)

Ashley…...what can I say about this girl except that while we are complete opposites in most things, we shared a really strong connection.  She was another one who I got to see grow so much, from being super uncomfortable with answering questions in the first weekend, to offering up her personal experiences for us to see without judgement.  She is so tiny, but she is one of the strongest people I have the privilege of knowing and I can’t help but sing her praises.

Kim is another quite one to watch out for.  Her dry sense of humor often caught me off guard and I loved just sitting and talking to her about anything.  She has this quiet strength and confidence in who she is that comes across.  I would often listen to her teach a pose and take notes on what I was going to steal from her and use in the future.  She knows who she is and that is something to admire.

Ann Marie joined us about halfway through our training and I am so glad she did.  She had started the process with the previous group and needed to finish up her training hours.  She is another one who has a unique look at the world and will ask questions until she understands what she needs to.  Her one liners often had us all rolling in laughter and she was always so thoughtful and empathetic when one of us needed it.

Courtney is so graceful and knowledgeable, especially with the sanskrit.  This poor girl survived multiple illness, a broken toe, and anxiety over teaching.  She also shared her amazing baking skills with us.  She has so many talents and now she can include being a yoga teacher.  Her calm quiet demeanor opened up after a few weekends and I am happy to have gotten to know her.

Dale, I have so much to say about this wonderful, and mischievous man.  Being the oldest in our group, and a male, he certainly put up with a lot from us ladies.  He has a sneaky side and he likes to mess with people.  We would often play jokes on each other and I really enjoyed learning from him and his experiences.  

I could write so much more about these people, but I’m trying to keep it short.  I’ll close this one out by sharing the picture of our “graduation” dinner.

“I honor the place in you where the entire Universe resides.  I honor the light, love, truth, beauty, and peace within you, because it is also within me.  In sharing these things we are united, we are the same, we are one.”  

Namaste.

~ Laura

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