My Yoga Journey

If you know me personally, you know by now that I have embarked on a personal journey of becoming a certified yoga teacher. My best friend introduced me to hot yoga back in 2009 and the rest is history after that. After my very first class I was hooked. I found an outlet for my passion and for the first time I felt like I was headed in the right direction. The choice to start this journey so late, while “competing” or more like being compared to so many others who have been doing this for decades, was a very difficult one. I had to muster up all the courage inside of me to start and not fear any judgement while giving it my all even if my progress wasn’t up to par with every one else in this profession. You have to start somewhere right? I also figure, if I’m going to compete with others it might as well be with the best.

For the past 6 years I practiced yoga on and off but really implemented daily and weekly practices 2 years ago when I got fired from my previous job. Getting fired forced me to look at myself and realize that I had to make changes and take action in order to take my practice further. It was during that year that I realized how strongly I felt about yoga. Yoga helped me deal with the loss of my job by keeping me healthy and distracted. I couldn’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on yoga classes (as we all know yoga has become quite expensive) so I started yoga hopping. I would go to a different yoga studio every month and buy a new student introductory unlimited pass. This gave me an opportunity to try different styles of yoga to see which style best suited me and I also got to learn from different teachers and get accustomed to various teaching styles. After all that I learned I started applying the lessons to my own practice at home and mastered quite a few postures and actually taught myself more advanced postures.

After realizing the benefits of yoga and that many of the teachers today are not equipping students with the right tools to practice yoga properly, I thought it was important to share my knowledge with all my family, friends and my community. By becoming a yoga teacher I will have the expertise to explain the science and health benefits of yoga and be more credible. I will also gain valuable contacts by networking with industry professionals thus, allowing me to gain a foot in the door into the alternative health care industry so that I can eventually pursue my real dream. I still have quite a way to go, but, I promised myself that I’m going to embrace every moment of this journey before it’s over. So, wish me luck, I can’t wait to become a certified teacher so that hopefully I can see you in one of my classes!

mindbodysoul

“Floating”

My intention for this year is to try as many new things as humanly possible.  So, two weeks ago on a Monday night, I tried something totally new and different (for me), I tried “floating”.  Floating is a new age therapeutic meditation or stress release technique or procedure that helps a person achieve sensory deprivation while floating in salt water in a dark tank or pod.  The object of “floating” is to achieve complete sensory deprivation while becoming connected to ones self.

You can attempt active or passive floating depending on what you wish to achieve.  If one wants to achieve relaxation, one would simply be passive and float and attempt to clear the mind.  Active floating is different whereby one can perform different techniques.  A person may perform meditation, mantras, self-hypnosis, or make use of educational programs to help achieve a certain state of awareness.  Active floating allows the body to be in complete relaxation, thus, allowing the mind to become highly suggestible while taking in information into the sub-conscious and retaining it.  This relaxed state can help in the healing process for many conditions such as stress, anxiety, pain, swelling, insomnia and jet lag.

A sensory deprivation pod/tank is about the size of an oversized bathtub or jacuzzi which closes and seals out sound and light.  The tank is filled with water and uses epsom salt and magnesium sulfate in high concentration so that you achieve a complete weightlessness or “floating” sensation while in the tank.  It is supposed to mimick the dead sea.  There is roughly 1200 pounds of epsom salt in the tank, thus, creating such density that the entire body is floating with ease while keeping the head buoyant so not to drown.

Another benefit one gets from the tank/pod occurs because high concentration of magnesium helps enhance the therapy.  Magnesium is absorbed through the skin due to natural molecular diffusion and plays a major role in correcting magnesium deficiencies in the body.  Typically, magnesium is absorbed from the diet but in many areas of the world, over-cropping and other processes depletes necessary content of magnesium in our foods.  The body naturally balances the levels of magnesium so there is no overload effect caused by the “floating”.

After trying “floating” I can honestly say I’ve already booked my next 5 sessions in advance.  I plan to do this once a month for as long as I possibly can.  I achieved such a state of awareness and connectedness with myself that I can’t even describe.  I was able to hear myself, my true inner voice, calling me and guiding me.  I was able to make definitive decisions that I wasn’t able to make prior to my session.  I gained a confidence about myself after my session and I can’t even explain why, other than, it really helped me get inside my head and tell myself things that I already knew, but, avoided.  “Floating” has definitely helped me open my mind and soul and I am looking forward to my next float session to uncover even more greatness trapped within myself.

http://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=images&cd=&ved=0CAUQjhw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fgalleryhip.com%2Fdeprivation-tank.html&ei=ZyW9VOPgEYOYyQTWlIFw&bvm=bv.83829542,d.aWw&psig=AFQjCNH45azQ3LgI2cq3g-K7AertVJAO5w&ust=1421768383047451

“When I first tried a sensory deprivation tank, people thought I had lost my mind. In fact, I had found it.” ~ Ryan Lilly

Heart Attacks

Heart attacks can be extremely scary and debilitating.  In fact, every 7 minutes in Canada, someone dies from heart disease or stroke (Statistics Canada, 2011c).  Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada.  These statistics are based on 2008 data (the latest year available from Statistics Canada). 

I am drawing attention to the topic of heart disease because my dad recently suffered his second heart attack. My dad had his first heart attack in 2009 and in less than 5 years he suffered his second attack. My dad and mom are my source of inspiration for writing about health and lifestyle awareness. After witnessing them deal with their medical challenges I knew I had to reach out to my community and raise awareness. I know there are many families out there that have suffered through similar experiences as my own family. Bringing awareness about certain common diseases or health problems will help others make better decisions pertaining to ones health and lifestyle choices.

Within my community, I noticed most of us tend to lead very similar lifestyles and have similar habits. Knowing this, I can’t in good conscience allow other families to go through tragedies all because of misinformation. I want to share some facts that could possibly help save someones life. By knowing some common signs of a heart attack you can save someone from suffering through a debilitating stroke and can prevent them from experiencing severe heart damage.

Here are some basic facts about the heart and how it functions.  The heart is a muscle. It works by carrying oxygen and nutrients in the blood. When the blood flows constantly and smoothly through the heart it gets energy and works properly. The misconception with heart disease is that it only has one condition, however, heart disease is actually a group of conditions that affects the function and structure of the heart. Take Coronary Artery Disease for example, it develops when a combination of fatty materials, calcium and scar tissue (also known as plaque) builds up in the arteries. These arteries supply blood to the heart and they are being blocked and clogged not allowing blood to flow smoothly. The plaque basically builds up and narrows the arteries and prevents the heart from getting enough blood.

Many Canadians die from heart attacks yearly because of not receiving medical treatment early enough.  Many of the deaths related to heart attacks could be preventable if we all knew the tell tale signs of a heart attack and notice specific symptoms.  By learning to recognize these signs you can significantly help someone or even potentially save a life.  One of the most common symptoms of a heart attack is chest pain in both men and women.  However, some people may not even experience chest pain at all, while others might feel a mild pain or slight discomfort or tightening sensation.  Some may feel pain in an entirely different area of the body, while others feel a combination of several symptoms.  Listed below are some of the most common signs of a heart attack that you should watch out for.

  1. Chest discomfort – uncomfortable chest pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain, burning or heaviness
  2. Sweating – sweating lightly or heavily, moist, feeling cool and hot simultaneously
  3. Nausea – upset stomach, need to throw up
  4. Discomfort in other areas of the upper body – neck, jaw, shoulders, arms, back
  5. Light headedness – feeling dizzy or light headed and have difficulty keeping balance
  6. Shortness of breath – uncomfortable breathing, pressure in chest

mindbodysoul

 

Detoxification

What is the meaning of detoxification?  Well, it’s sort of like a cleansing of the body from inside out.  The scientific explanation is the removal of toxic substances from a living organism.  Detox occurs when the body tries to eliminate and remove toxins produced in the body from foods, the environment and our genetics.  We are all relatively clean people whereby, we shower, keep our bodies and hygiene clean, brush our teeth, and etc..  However, rarely do we clean ourselves from the inside.  The reason being is we are not educated on the proper methods for detoxification.  Most of the time we aren’t even aware when our bodies require a detox.  So, I want to share with you all some symptoms that you should be aware of to determine whether or not you may benefit from a detox.

If you experience any one or more of the following symptoms, you may want to consider researching detoxes particular to your health needs.

  • Allergies
  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Dark under-eye circles
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Poor concentration
  • Skin issues
  • Sluggish digestion

Here are some tips on how to minimize your toxic load and help keep your liver (your detox organ) clean.

  • Drink lots of WATER!  Stay hydrated.  Drinking good quality water daily helps flush out toxins.
  • Eat foods that contain high fibre such as fruits, veggies, whole grains and nuts and seeds.  Fibre helps to eliminate toxins by stimulating bile flow.  Also, the more regular and better your bowel movements are the more toxins you release.
  • Eat organic and avoid foods that use artificial ingredients, chemicals, pesticides, additives, and preservatives.
  • Eliminate anything that hinders your detoxification such as caffeine, alcohol, white sugar and bad fats.  Chemicals are also absorbed through the body and this means you should avoid certain beauty care products that contain harmful chemicals such as perfume, antiperspirant, makeup, soap, cream and etc.
  • Exercise!  Try to move your body everyday!  Incorporate effective breathing as well to help reduce stress and help blood flow to all the areas of your body to keep it limber and flexible.
  • Eat more detoxifying foods.  These foods can stimulate the liver to detox, purify the blood and promote bile flow and regular bowel movements.

 

food

 

Consistency

I have come to realize that in order to live a magnificent life, one needs to be outstanding at all times.  You can’t pick and choose which day you want to be outstanding, you have to be that way consistently.  Well, you can live a life of inconsistency but where will that lead you?  It may lead you to a mediocre life that meets the basic standards of this society.  You may live a comfortable life based on what others believe your comfort should be.  Or you may live a very unfulfilled life, always wishing you had done more, knowing you had the potential.  Whatever the case, if you are inconsistent, then expect to live a basic to comfortable life.

Consistency is one of those things that you have to develop.  It isn’t something that just happens, you have to work at being consistent.  Developing this “good” habit of being consistent leads to “excellent” habits which in turn leads to excellent outcomes.  Consistency occurs when you are able to perform your A game every day and with everything you do.  Consistency in your work, your exercise or diet, your relationships, your personal development and etc. all lead to living a very magnificent life.  By being consistent you are helping yourself achieve greater results.

Human nature is to cut ourselves slack when we realize we are burning out.  I can’t tell you how many times I gave up on an exercise routine or diet because I thought I achieved enough results to satisfy me momentarily.  I would reason with myself and say that, “oh I’ve been doing so great for the past 2 weeks so I can cut some slack now and relax for a week”.  These little inconsistent patterns led to so many, “I wish I had started earlier” or “I wish I didn’t cut myself slack” moments.  By picking and choosing which days I wanted to be on my A game, I set myself up for failure.  Instead of being on my A game all the time and every day, the progress I would make in 2 weeks would mean nothing when I would relax for 1 week.  By taking the unnecessary time off I would negate all the growth that occurred in the prior 2 weeks.

Being consistent not only leads to outstanding results but it is a way of life.  I have made a conscious decision that I want to be consistent in everything I do going forward.  I will make conscious choices to be consistent at everything I do.  Even if it’s something really small like consistently making my bed every morning.  Or consistently going to yoga 3 times a week, every week.  By starting small and consistently doing the small things while on my A game, I can then tackle the larger habits of inconsistency I have.  Eventually, this will lead to me to living a consistent life which will hopefully lead to many magnificent outcomes.

Time to reflect:

Are you inconsistent?  Do you cut yourself slack unnecessarily when you know you should continue giving your A game?  Well, stop!  Make the effort to be more consistent.  Start off by doing the small things that you know you put off or cut slack on, like cleaning your room or eating right every day.  By performing the little things as if you’re on your A game, you will start developing standards of expectations for yourself.  You will see outstanding results where you once saw ok results.  This standard will force you to grow and develop consistency in all of your actions.  So go ahead, start being consistent and start with the small things.  Soon you will see how magnificent your life will be, all because you chose to be consistent.  

mindbodysoul

“I’ve learned from experience that if you work harder at it, and apply more energy and time to it, and more consistency, you get a better result. It comes from the work”. ~ Louis C. K.

Congruency

Here is the truth about me…I have big dreams…but I am not motivated.  There is some sort of disconnect with my dreams and my actions.  I am lacking congruency.  Until I am able to become congruent with my vision and my actions I will remain demotivated.

Have you been on a quest to accomplish a task or goal?  If so, have you completed your task/goal?  If you haven’t, can you tell me why?  No?  Well, I can.  It’s because you are not congruent.  Now, I know what you’re thinking…“what the hell do you know about me to accuse me of not being congruent”.  And yes, you are right, I don’t know you, but if you haven’t accomplished your task or said goal, I don’t have to know you personally to know that you’re just not congruent.  It’s that simple.

I know this because I know what it’s like not to be congruent.  I am living proof of in-congruency.  I am one of those people that want, believe, dream and desire change and growth but I lack the actions to substantiate or validate those dreams and beliefs.  I lack action.  Because I lack action, no matter how much I dream or wish or want, it will NEVER happen, because I am not congruent.  My dreams don’t match my actions.  My dreams are bigger than my actions.  This is what causes in-congruency, when what you say, believe, and do, don’t match.

So how do we fix this?  Well, first off, we need to consciously admit our faults.  Yes, I admit, I lack action and therefore, I lack the motivation to follow through with appropriate actions that coincide with my dreams.  Next, I need to make a conscious effort to catch myself being incongruent.  Each time I have a wish, desire or want, I write it down.  This forces me to become obligated to this “list of things I want” and it reinforces my thoughts.  After I’ve written out my dreams and wants, I ask myself what actions could I take to help me eventually achieve what I want.  After going through the list of immediate and long term actions, I can clearly see how much more or little I need to do in order to accomplish my goal.  By doing this, I am able to gauge my current situation and progress and see if I am being congruent or not.  I can officially determine if I am on the right path, if I am making any progress even, or if there are more things within my capability that I should be doing.

By becoming congruent, you take control of your words which then become your actions.  I always wanted to be a woman that could confidently say, “you can take my word for it”.  Until now, I have not been able to be that type of woman, because I’ll admit, my words had very little meaning and value.  I said a lot and did very little.  But, now, after teaching myself to become congruent with my thoughts, words and actions, I can confidently tell others, “trust me”.

Time to reflect:

Are you incongruent?  Are you noticing a lack of motivation in your actions?  Are you the type of person who wants to do amazing things, but, your actions aren’t meeting up to the standards of your dreams?  Well, that’s because you need to become more congruent.  Congruency occurs when what you say and do match one another.  If you claim you’re on a diet, yet, you go to McDonald’s every day, you wishing and wanting to be healthy will NEVER happen.  Developing congruency is the key to succeeding in any goals.  So, teach yourself to become congruent and you will see how motivated you become and how quickly your words become your actions.  

mindbodysoul

“I believe the ultimate goal of living and refining your values is to identify and achieve congruence with universal principles”. ~ anonymous 

Start now

I want you to be brutally honest with yourself.  Ask yourself how many times you’ve stalled or waited around before doing something.  I mean…how many times have you, instead of starting, sat around and waited for the perfect time or opportunity to come by?  By the time you waited and waited, all your colleagues, peers and friends passed you by as they achieved their goals and seized opportunities.

I get it, it’s so easy to fall into this pattern of not starting.  Trust me, I used to be a habitual staller.  I justified me NOT starting as “oh, I have the time tomorrow,” “I don’t have the money to start just yet” or “I don’t want to push too hard or I might seem desperate”.  I missed out on many great opportunities because I failed to start sooner.

Then after starting have you ever told yourself or felt like, “damn, I wish I started earlier”?  Well that is how I was feeling about almost everything at one point.  I got into this bad habit of putting things off and cutting myself slack.  You see, I know that I can do most anything I put my mind too.  That being said, because I know this about myself, I wouldn’t put the pressure on myself that I needed.  Especially being self-employed and having no one to guide or push me, I was having a hard time figuring out a balance between discipline and spontaneity.  I got into a habit of not setting specific deadlines and that in turn kept deterring my progress because I would stall so frequently.  This eventually led me to having many “I wish I started earlier” moments.

It wasn’t intentional, I wasn’t trying to not start.  Things would just pop up that I would rather do or not do.   I couldn’t figure out what exactly was causing me to stall.  Then one day, I realized that not having set deadlines was the reason for me not starting.  So, in order to change this habit, I decided to consciously set short term goals for the day or the week.  By doing this, I could teach myself to develop positive habits of not procrastinating or stalling.  By writing out the things (even if they were little things) I had to do for the day or week, I consciously had a timeline that I had to follow.  And sure, I could still indulge in my usual habit of stalling by not immediately starting my tasks so long as I accomplished them by the end of the day.  As long as I could finish everything on the list or at least start it, I was happy knowing that I was able to make changes in my usual stalling habit without it completely throwing me off.

Going forward, to help me avoid NOT STARTING, and to help me START NOW, I consciously write out my task list of what I need or want to accomplish.  If it’s something that I know will take a long time and cannot be completed in one short day, I still write it down and transfer it over to the next days list.  This reinforces my goal and keeps me aware that I have to take appropriate steps to achieve my said task.  By getting into this habit of being aware of the tasks I need to accomplish and then having a deadline (even if no one else is monitoring it), it pushes me to start on the task.  Now, I find that I am well prepared for many opportunities that come my way.  I am prepared financially whereby, I can attend a seminar or course because I took the time to plan appropriately.  I am prepared emotionally because I am not stressed out about all the other things that still have to be completed.  Finally, I am prepared with extra time because I am managing my time a lot better.

Time to reflect:

Do you stall?  Do you wait for the perfect time or place or etc. to get you started?  Well, more often than not, if you get into a habit of stalling you will miss out on many opportunities.  It’s important to do what you can to change this habit, especially if it’s detrimental to your personal development.  Do something small, like writing down the task you need to do that day.  Doing this puts subconscious guilt or obligation on yourself to finish the task.  Even if you don’t finish, at least you started and got the ball rolling.  The key is to, start now!  Good luck!

mindbodysoul

“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.”  ~ Lord Chesterfield