Weekly Intention

  • 10 Things to Let Go of in 2018 (& Always)

    New Years Intentions, Resolutions, Goals are well and good, but they can get to be a bit overwhelming. Right?

    This year, I reviewed my list of New Years Resolutions from the past few years and found a lot of...

    I'll do more of this…

    And more of that...

    More. More. More. More. More.

    While I’m cool with the idea of more, I’m also cool with the idea of less, because less is more. AND I am enough.

    As a striving Yogini I'm one of my prevailing practices is in non-attachment and creating a fairly simple life. I don’t really want a lot of stuff lurking around - physically and mentally. After perusing my list, I felt quite overwhelmed with all of the additional stuff. So, to counter that overwhelm-tion I asked myself:

    What can I do without this year? Both in my yoga practice and life?

    What can I do to lighten my load - to create space for all of this new?

    I listed the following.

    1. Fear

    “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” - John Lennon

    Face fear head on in 2018. Don’t pull back.

    Home Practice Recommendation: Join Laura Amazzone & Christi Christensen  for "Kali: Let Go of Fear and Own Your Power" , a vinyasa flow, mantra and meditation practice  that can be used to transform difficult emotions, such as fear, and tap into your power.  (67 mins.)

    2. Coulda, Woulda, Shouldas

    “Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, "It might have been.” - Kurt Vonnegut

    What’s done is done. You can’t go back. The present is now, be here.

    3. Toxic Relationships

    “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” - Mark Twain

    Enough with people that make you feel blah. Choose people that elevate you - people that make you better.

    Home Practice Recommendation: Turn to Ashley Turner’s online yoga video - a Cord Cutting Meditation - to help you release relationships or people in your life that have been toxic or unhealthy.

    4. Expectation

    “To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn

    Do not expect things to pan out just so. They rarely do. Hey, sometimes they pan out even better!

    Home Practice Recommendation: Check out Rolf Gates’ Vinyasa yoga video "Letting Go of Wanting and Not Wanting. Practice coming into the moment, letting go of wanting and not wanting, and being with the rise and fall of your breath in this challenging online yoga class. (93 mins.)

    5. Regrets

    "Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future." - Sivananda

    Do not burden your soul with things you cannot change. Resolve, instead, to be better next time. That’s all you can do.

    6. Excuses

    “I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.” - Florence Nightingale

    If you want to see things get done in 2018, stop making/accepting lame excuses. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    7. Yester-years

    “Never look back unless you are planning to go that way.” - Henry David Thoreau

    It’s tempting to meander down memory lane. Sure, it can be fun - even beneficial - to reflect, but don’t stay back there too long. Be present. Don’t miss out on all the beauty and opportunity right in front of you!

    Home Practice Recommendation: Love your past, create your future and find contentment in the present moment with  "Santosha: Heart Opening Yoga" with Dana Damara. (51 mins)

    9. Fantasies of Perfection

    “I think what makes people fascinating is conflict, it's drama, it's the human condition. Nobody wants to watch perfection.” - Nicolas Cage

    Strive for progress; not perfection. Perfect is an illusion anyways. And if it were real, it’d be boring as hell.

    10. Negative Thoughts

    “There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” – W. Clement Stone

    Happiness comes from shifting your perception of world. When things get messy in 2018, will you give up and catastrophize the situation? Or, will you take the happy road, and realize that all things - bad and good - happen for a reason?

    Home Practice Recommendation: Join Jeanne Heileman for "Lift up out of Your Bootstraps"  an online yoga class for those days when you are feeling thick, heavy and stuck seeing things from a negative point of view. This class is sequenced to helped you access more lightness and energy in your body. Be warned, you may end up smiling by the end of this practice! (64 mins).

    ***

    Dismiss the stuff that’s been holding you back.

    Lessen your load and lighten your spirit.

    Create space for your new intentions to manifest in 2018.

    What will you do less of in 2018? Please share!

     

    Edited post, original post written by Tessa Johnson

  • Self-Care for the Holidays | 10 Quick + Easy Ideas

    Weary Snowman via Community Playthings

    Has seasonal fatigue set in? Rekindle your joy with these great self-care tips from YogaVibes friend and Happiness Coach, Julie Santiago. Thanks, Julie!

    10 Quick & Easy Ways to Take Care of Yourself During the Holidays

    The holidays are such a hard time to prioritize ourselves and our wellness. December is usually filled with holiday parties, gift-shopping, organizing, planning, cookie baking, family gathering, etc. It's such a special time of year and you don't want to say "no" to anything. The more holiday merriment, the better - right?

    Often times this means we fall out of habit with the things we KNOW make us feel good. Getting in a workout, eating healthfully, taking time for ourselves can be really challenging when you're trying to juggle so many things at once. Our own self-care is usually the first thing to go and when we stop taking care of ourselves...

    We get cranky, snappy, impatient...

    We get tired, spacey, foggy headed, scatterbrained...

    We stop exercising which means we keep all the stress stored in our bodies and don't release through movement which usually means we release onto someone else... (Remember: Stored energy must eventually come out!)

    We make poor food choices so we feel even more depleted, less energized, and down on ourselves.

    But it doesn't have to be this way. Whether you have 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes, here are ways to refill your tank so you can FULLY enjoy the holidays without having to sacrifice anything.

    Got 1 minute?

    1) Take a quick break from whatever you're doing and step outside. Even in the cold, breathing in fresh air will immediately replenish your body, mind and soul. For extra credit, take your shoes off and allow your feet to touch the earth. Maybe even touch a tree to really get grounded and connected to nature.

    2) Turn on your favorite, cheesy song and dance like a crazy person just for one minute.

    3) Sit with your eyes closed. Inhale for 5 seconds. Hold for 5 seconds. Exhale for 5 seconds. Do this 4 times and you'll immediately feel calmer.

    4) Place one hand on your heart and take a deep breath in. Notice the beating of your heart. Imagine that through your hand, you're sending your heart love and gratitude for always taking such good care of you.

    Got 5 minutes?

    1) Make yourself a warm cup of peppermint tea. Drink it with no distractions staring out the window.

    2) Grab a pen and a journal and allow yourself to write everything you're grateful for in this moment.

    3) Google "Most Inspirational YouTube Videos" and pick one to watch.

    4) Stand up, fold forward and just let your head hang. As you breath into your lower back for a minute feel the tension releasing. Roll your spin all the way up and begin to circle your hips in one direction for one minute and then switch for another minute. Just allow your hips and your spine to move however they want. For the final minute, jump up and down shaking out of your fingers and hands releasing anything you've been holding onto. Imagine that it's all pouring out of your hands as you shake.

    Got 30 minutes?

    1) Do a 30 minute YogaVibes class. I have to admit…I'm one of those people who can talk myself out of yoga if I don't have 2 hours to dedicate to a class. But the awesome thing about doing yoga online is that you only need 30 minutes. It doesn't have to be this all or nothing experience. I recently did a 31 minute class by Rolf Gates called Wake Up Well and a 23 minute class called Core Hell taught by Annie Carpenter. Both days I was feeling frazzled and knew I wasn't going to have to actually go to a yoga class. So I found a quick and easy class and 30 minutes later my entire body and mind were reset.

    2) Give yourself an oil massage. Before you take a bath or shower, rub oil all of your body. Start from your feet and work your way, really massaging your muscles with love and care. Allow it to sink in for 10-15 minutes and then hop in the shower or bath. Your skin will feel amazing and your mind will be still.

    Happiness Coach Julie Santiago Happiness Coach Julie Santiago

    Julie Santiago is a former Wall Street trader turned Spiritual Mentor & Happiness Coach. Having spent most of her 20s living someone else’s version of her life, she found herself with money in the bank but a hole in her heart. Since escaping the golden handcuffs and diving into the unknown, Julie now helps other women get unstuck…in life, in business, and in love.

    She is a warrior for other women to fall madly in love with their lives as she guides them to break through their fears and experience happiness and freedom like they've never known. Learn more about Julie at www.juliesantiago.com

     

  • Intention: Dance Through Life

    natarajasana

    “When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” ~Wayne Dyer 

    When you yoga, your purpose is not to execute each pose on the mat with perfection. The purpose is to enjoy each pose and each breath along the way. The purpose is get so intimate with that breath and that pose that all else slips away and there you are: Fully in the moment.  

    Many people ask me what kind of yoga I do. I do Vinyasa. Then, they ask: "Well, what's that?" I usually give some loose description they probably don't understand, along with this: "Vinyasa means to place in a special way.” Thus, a part of the Vinyasa practice is, unquestionably, moving into and executing each pose with grace and intelligence. There's always gotta be some structure, right? Some of us, however, get so hung up on the structure and perfecting that structure that we forget to enjoy yoga. We forget to be present with it. Instead, we get all tanged up in an asana over-analysis. And there we are: Not fully the moment, but wrapped up in our heads. So not the point.

    For me, it's most important to enjoy the practice and be present with it. I mean if this isn't happening, then what's the freakin' point? Being graceful and intelligent is all secondary for me. As my practice has evolved, I've grown to see perfection as an illusion, clumsiness and falling as a part of the game, and mistakes as lessons and opportunities for growth. There's no end to learning in yoga. There's no one place to go with it. It's meant to be enjoyed. It's meant to help us live more fully in the moment.

    All of this goes for life too, right? We all wants things (goals, self-realization, love...) and by all means we gotta go get those things. But it’s not about the end result - the retrieval of those things. It’s about the journey to those things and finding joy and presence within that journey. That's the purpose.

    The practice is a dance. Life is a dance. It's all meant to be enjoyed and savored. So, stop over thinking. Stop getting caught up where you want to be. Instead, be here. Savor here.

    And for a little dancer action...

    Join Ashley Turner for her new Dancing Shiva Flow.Strengthen by softening in this online yoga class, exploring shoulder and heart openers that lead to one of the most celebrated backbends in yoga: Natarajasana or Dancer Pose. Enjoy a dynamic standing, balancing sequence and dive into the myth of Natarajasana. Learn how to dance through "the rings of fire" on the mat and in life in this energizing online yoga experience.

    vinyasa yoga videos

  • Sow Positive Seeds

    sow positive seeds

    At some point, we’ve all wanted to get back at someone - like really get back at someone. Sometimes the hurt is so overwhelmingly powerful and treacherous that dealing seems impossible. We cry. We do yoga. We read self-help books. We go into the mountains. We blast empowering music annoyingly loud. We gorge on chocolate cake. We drink one too many cocktails. We do everything we can think of to subdue the pain. But then...everything settles into stillness. The noise and distractions fade. In this place of silence, that person unexpectedly pops into your head like a jack-in-the-box, haunting you and laughing at you. And here begins the vindictive fantasies. Scenarios whirl around in your head of how you could right their wrong. Because that person deserves it, right? It only makes sense that they should get a sampling of your suffering, right?

    I feel ya. It's messed up. People are messed up. But just because you are on the receiving end of someone’s messiness, doesn’t give you any right to play with karma. You are not the Karma Comptroller. Unfortunately, you can only receive what the universe handed to you, learn a lesson or two, and ride it out. Planning and executing payback will probably not bring you the pleasure that you’re envisioning anyways.

    Why not?

    Because karma isn’t so straightforward. It’s pretty sneaky. Even if you do go bat sh-t crazy and play out one of your fantasies and even if you royally hurt that person, they still might not receive their lesson. They might be hurt (or just think you're crazy), but it won’t keep them from repeating their messed up behavioral patterns. So, your efforts to teach that person a lesson will undoubtedly be futile. Nice try, though.

    Plus, putting that person aside (because they probably don’t deserve your energy), you are doing your self a HUGE disservice by trying to get back at anyone. 1) You’re wasting your energy and 2) You're polluting the world with more negative energy. Instead of stopping the negative karmic cycle, you are fueling it, now infected by the negative energy of this person. Don’t let them exert that power over you. Don’t let their messiness poison you. And whatever you do, don’t let it spread.

    What you put out in this world matters, even if it’s not always readily apparent. You have a choice: Sow positive seeds or sow negative seeds. Know that in some shape or form, what goes around comes around. It might seem like the universe doesn’t always play fair. It might seem like this person got off scot-free. My advice: Don't worry about it. They will get theirs without you stooping low, sowing negative seeds, and taking karma into your own hands.

    To transform your energy from positive to negative and shed some of that heaviness and resentment you’re clinging to, practice Jeanne Heileman’s online yoga video: Anahata: Finding the Lightness of the Heart. In this yoga video, you will be guided through a specific pranayama called Viloma that moves the breath against the grain of what is comfortable to create expansion and strength in the lungs and heart. Jeanne will then guide you on an online yoga journey deep within the heart, using Tantric techniques she has learned from her master teacher, that can help you find a beauty and deep love that dwells at the darkest cave of the heart. This online yoga class can be a life-changer if practiced for 30 days in a row. It's highly recommended.

    Jeanne Heileman yoga online

    Keep up the positive vibes, yogis. Keep sowing those positive seeds...even when you don't feel like it.

  • Seeds of Intent: Plague the World with Joy

    “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?” ~ Swami Satchidananda

    forearm balance Practicing Joy via www.deeeezzy.tumblr.com

    Yeah. Why not?

    We get so caught up in how we think things should roll, both in our practices and lives. We survey the external and think about ways we can tweak this or that, struggling to control the uncontrollable. Maybe we attach to grandiose ideas of changing the world or aspects of it. Maybe it’s not that big. Maybe we form attachments to ideas of how certain people or things in our worlds - be they friends, asanas, lovers, business endeavors, family members, teachers, co-workers - should be. We all do this. It's natural.

    But guess what? You cannot expect to change ANYTHING outside of you. In fact, the more hung up you get on changing and controlling what’s out there – beyond you - the more lost, confused, and stuck you feel. You become a slave to expectation.

    Peace isn't having everything rolling as you think it should. Peace, instead, is detaching your self from these fantasies of how things, people, and circumstances should be. Peace is knowing that the only freedom you’ll ever have in life is your ability to control your reactions and maintain your cool in the in the midst of madness and messiness. The other stuff going on around you isn’t necessarily yours to change. All you have control over is your experience. So, why not make it serene? Why not color it with joy? Why not die happily, laughing?

    I think it’s because we take things too seriously, including ourselves. I get it. It's easy to do. And sure, there is a place and time for seriousness. Sometimes, you gotta put your game face on. Yet, too often, we are all walking around with our game faces on, wrapped up in tasks, lists, distractions, chatter, expectations, fantasies, etc. I say we all walk around with our smiley faces on and move through this world without all the heaviness. I say we wrap our worlds in joy, laughter, peace, and freedom. Because...why not?

    To tap into your inner joy, practice a vigorous online yoga class: Causing Breakthroughs in Your Life Through Your Asana Practice. Instructor Jen Pastiloff will lead your through meditations to release unhelpful thoughts and manifest your life's goals. Explore arm balances and inversions and enjoy singing by Samadhi Bishop. (90 mins.)

    Jen Pastiloff yoga online

    And for a dose of laughter - the best drug - join Gigi Yogini for an online yoga class weaving together meditation, pranayama, and Kundalini yoga: Throat Chakra Opener. Find balance in the way you communicate to the world and to yourself in this practice. You'll play with mantra and affirmative singing, smile, and, if all goes to plan, crack up. (12 mins.)

    Gigi Yogini yoga online

    Sending joyous vibes to you all!

    Shanti. Shanti. Shanti.

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