Happy Healthy and Fit

Monday, July 30, 2012

Feel Like a Walking Contradiction? Honor Your Humanness

Sometimes I watch the phone ring and I don't answer it.  Sometimes I call back right away and sometimes I never return the call.  Sometimes I laugh when nothing is funny and sometimes I cry when nothing is sad.  Sometimes I roll through stop signs and accelerate through red lights.  Sometimes I am so engaged in texting, I hold up traffic at green lights.  Sometimes I forget to be grateful for what I have received and long for what I have not.  Sometimes I say things that hurt people's feelings and sometimes I swallow my feelings, because they hurt too much to say.  Sometimes I think the whole world is cheering for me and sometimes I think the whole world has turned against me.

Sometimes I can do the splits.  Sometimes it hurts my back to sit.  Sometimes I take candy from the bulk bins and pretend I am sampling it, knowing full well I have no intention of buying it.  Sometimes my shorts are too short and sometimes my hair grows too long.  Sometimes I peek at the big scale in the grocery store when a stranger is on it.  Sometimes I compare myself to others.  Sometimes I teach yoga and tell others to focus only on themselves.  Sometimes I snoop around on the internet.  Sometimes I create stories around people I have just met.  Sometimes I act like an 8 year old.  Sometimes I have the wisdom of a 108 year old.

Sometimes my next step is crystal clear and sometimes I waver as I lurk into the mysterious unknown.  Sometimes I engage in gossip and sometimes I remind others that nothing is more poisonous than gossip.  Sometimes I'm a minimalist and sometimes I'm a hoarder.

The list of contradictions goes on and on.   Although I aspire to ascend ego and reach the levels of elevated consciousness, I recognize that as long as I am on this planet,  I am engaging in the human experience.  Sometimes it is logical and sometimes it is not.  Sometimes things are as they seem and sometimes they are not.  You may never understand why you are experiencing the emotions and feelings that you are experiencing especially when you are right in them.  Perhaps you have a pain body or a pattern from this lifetime or a previous life time that is triggered in a way that you could not attempt to comprehend.

When you see a side of yourself surface that you don't like, be careful not to judge or self deprecate.  As long as you are walking on this planet, you will have some relationship to ego.  Bringing awareness and a sense of humor to your life situation is a beautiful way to Honor your Humanness.

Sometimes I really believe it is important to be right, but in my heart, I am certain it is more important to be happy.  When you fall from grace, get back up.  If you have ever shared any of these experiences or your own similar ones, embrace your humanness.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means accepting yourself exactly as you are today, while striving to reach your greatest potential without any judgment.  Life is Short.  Make Yours Magical.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Health and Happiness are Right Under your Nose

It is fascinating that people struggle to control companies, countries, companions, children and situations and lose complete control over the only thing that can actually be controlled.  Look right under your nose, I am talking about the breath.

Without breath, there is no life.  If you have ever been in a situation, where you are literally struggling for breath, you know that you will no longer think about anything going on outside of you.  Your focus will be entirely inside of you, on your breath.

In just a few minutes everyday, you can greatly improve your health and happiness.  The best part?  It's free!

Very rarely do you breathe through both nostrils at the same time.  Chances are you never really noticed this or thought about it.  If you did, it wasn't for very long.  Typically about twelve hours per day are spent breathing through each nostril.  Isn't it amazing how little attention you give to something so vital, going on right under your nose?

As you transition your breathing from one nostril to the other, it is possible that you are breathing through both for a moment.  Doctors, scientists, philosophers and yogis recognize this breathing pattern, but the whys and hows remain a mystery.  It is known that the right nostril is related to the sun, controlling the vital and physical aspects of the body.  The left nostril is ruled by the moon and controls the mental functions of the body.

Balanced breath harmonizes the body ensuring a balanced personality.  If you are struggling to control anything going on outside of you, take a moment and check in with your breath.  Anxiety and anger lead to a shorter, faster breath which tax the body.  Long, slow and fluid yogic breaths create a calming sensation, which brings a heightened sense of awareness, allowing you to see things more clearly.   Isn't it possible if you don't even notice your own breath, you may not fully appreciate someone else's point of view or perspective?

There are many different types of meditating and breathing exercises that you can learn, but simply bringing consciousness to your breath returns your focus to your center.  Life is not intended to be a struggle.  You cannot control anything going on outside of you anyway.  You can only learn to control your response to different situations.  Tune into the breath and take a nice, long, slow one.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means honoring and appreciating your life by honoring, appreciating and lengthening your breath.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Power of Believing! What if you Could Walk on Water?

Are you a DREAMer or a DOUBTer? 

Perhaps you have heard of the relatively new sport known as Liquid Mountaineering.  This could also be translated as walking on water.

This little YouTube video made my heart burst with joy.  It is worth your three minutes.  In fact, I watched it twice.  There is something wildly contagious about the narrator's enthusiasm and passion.  Yes, he believes he can walk on water.  The key word is Belief.

When you have belief in your heart, you can do anything you set out to do.  Simply apply focus, persistence and discipline.  Seeking acceptance and approval takes momentum from your dreams and can quickly diminish your confidence.

Can you imagine what people would say if you told them that you believed you could walk on water?  What would you say if someone told you they could walk on water?

After watching this little fun video, I encourage you to take a moment and observe your own attitude.  Did you feel inspired and experience a surge in your energy level?  Or, did you observe yourself to be a doubter and think things like 'that's not really walking on water...'

Your own beliefs create the confines of your limitations or the infinite possibilities of no limitations.  Next time someone approaches you with a dream, can you be that one person who believes in them?   Next time someone laughs at your dream, just smile and run, run, run fearlessly in the direction of your heart.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means having the courage to believe nothing is impossible even Liquid Mountaineering!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Surya Namaskara~ 3 Powerful Reason to Salute the SUN

Sun Salutations are an essential, integral and popular part of many modern yoga practices.  The Sanskrit word Surya means 'sun' and Namaskara translates to mean 'worship' or 'salute.'

The sun itself is a symbol of spiritual illumination and knowledge.  The sun shines outside of you, but also radiates inner light from inside of you.  Incorporating one to ten sun salutations into your daily life is an amazing way to elevate your consciousness and to be more joyful!

3 Powerful reasons to practice yoga sun salutations are:

  1. To Revitalize the Whole Body~  Sun Salutations remove signs of tiredness, work all the joints, flex the muscles, massage the internal organs, activate the respiratory and circulatory systems while toning and harmonizing the entire body.  They also build heat and boost endorphins, the feel good hormones.  
  2. Express Gratitude for Heat and Light~  The Sun is the source of heat and light.  Without the sun, the planet would cease to exist.  All life would be snuffed out.  Consciously expressing gratitude for things like the sun keeps you open to receiving all of life's amazing blessings.
  3. To Remember Sunset is necessary for Sunrise~  Saluting the sun is a great way to reflect on the cycle's of life.  When it seems like nothing is happening, trust that like the sun, you are about to have a breakthrough.  It is always darkest just before the sunrise.  The quiet times are just as important as the active times.  There is such a thing as too much light.  Everyday the sun reminds us that sometimes you are rising, sometimes you are maintaining and sometimes you are decaying.  This applies to your energy levels, relationships, business and life in general. 

Although it is helpful and beneficial in many ways to attend an actual yoga class, it is not necessary to do so in order to gain the benefits of sun salutations.  In fact, they can be done anywhere, at anytime.  If you have never done any yoga, it is recommended that you get proper instruction before beginning.  You can always just face the sun just face the sun and inhale your arms up over your head to begin to feel the benefits.  As you exhale bring your hands to your chest in prayer and fill your heart with gratitude.  Allow a smile to come across your face and know that sun is an amazing teacher of persistence and determination.

If you have a regular yoga practice, practice bringing a heightened sense of awareness to your sun salutations.  Inhale each time you look up and exhale each time you forward fold.  Appreciation for the sun outside of you enhances and expands the sun shining inside of you.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit comes naturally when you incorporate yoga into your daily life.  Namaste~

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unity and Tolerance Pave Your Way to Happiness

Judgment and expectations create pot holes along the path to happiness.  They cause unnecessary wear and tear to your soul that even daily yoga, prayer or mediation cannot fill.

Judgment is the biggest obstacle to helping others.  When you have had some kind of spiritual awakening, the sensation is so amazing that you want to share it.  Awakening can occur in the form of sobriety, discovering yoga, healthy eating, volunteering at a hospital or just the overall realization that heaven is here on earth with the right consciousness.  Awakening is an elevation of consciousness to compassion and universal love.   In an a newly awakened state, it is easy to judge others who are not yet there.

Suddenly, you quit smoking and everyone should quit smoking.  You quit drinking and everyone should quit drinking.  You stop cleaning with bleach and everyone should cleaning with bleach.

It is human nature to want to share.  Selflessness is the path to self-fulfilment and lasting happiness.  When you experience an awakening, you are filled with enthusiasm.  The magic is in delivering your message without criticizing or judging in the process.

Of course, I want to stand from the top of the highest building and yell from the top of my lungs: Live Out Loud! Do Yoga!  Eat Organic!  Go On an Adventure!  Create Harmony!  Tell the TRUTH- all the TIME!  Open Your Heart!

I desire to share these things with the world, because they are my truths and the path to being Happy, Healthy and Fit.  However, chances are I would get arrested for disturbing the peace.   People would feel judged.  The message would go unheard.

The most powerful way to deliver a message is to be the message.  Trust that whoever is ready for your message will receive it.  If you really want to connect, teach and help another, show up with unity and tolerance.  It is the greatest gift you can give to the world, especially when it comes to those closest to you in spirit, as well as, those furthest from you in appearance

Practice noticing when judgment and expectations arise and replace them with unity and tolerance.  This is the real yoga.  Yoga is more than yoking the mind and body, it is yoking the individual to the collective.  As Gandhi said best~ Be the Change you Wish to see in the World!

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means knowing that unity and tolerance pave your way to ultimate happiness.  Judgment and expectations are pot holes along the way.  May your journey be sweet and smooth!

Life is Short.  Make Yours Magical!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Relax Your Butt and Squeeze Your Anus~ Respect for the Direct

'Relax your butt and squeeze your anus' are not exactly words you hear everyday.  However, they were exactly what I needed to hear yesterday in my ashtanga practice.   Admittedly, I was initially startled and then had to laugh.  I appreciated that she wasn't trying to choose her words delicately.

Knowing that my sacrum was locked up, she was actually trying to help me lengthen my spine and relax my glutes in Upward bow posture also known as Urdhva Dhanurasana.  Upon, further reflection, I couldn't have imagined a more direct focus.

Later in the day, I was equally stunned when I went to a new my massage therapist and she declared that she does not 'do breast or genital massage.'  I actually burst into laughter.  I am not really sure why this was so funny, if it was funny or if it was just startling.  

Either way, it reminded me that there is power in saying exactly what you mean.  Saying things directly clears up the potential for gray areas, crossed boundaries and speculation.  It also reminded me that it takes courage to speak your truth.

Over the years, I have found myself in a variety of undesirable situations because my flowery language of fear kept my message from being clear.   If you are not speaking your truth, then you are living a lie.  

If you have feelings for someone, tell them.  If you no longer have feelings for someone, tell them.  If you want to be happy, tell the truth, be direct.  It may be uncomfortable for a moment, but then it goes away.  Fear of speaking your truth keeps you in a self-constructed prison.  The Truth will set you Free!

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means having respect for the direct.  Say what you mean!  Use your flowery language to express love, not to mask fear.  Life is Short.  Make Yours Magical!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Food & Consciousness~ Eat Your Way to LOVE!

If carrots can improve your vision, see what else you can open your eyes too: heart, lungs, Creativity and LOVE!

You are what you eat from your head down to your feet!  I can remember learning about the Four Food groups back as early as the second grade.  Sometime later they morphed into what you now know as the Food Pyramid.  The serving sizes and amounts have changed, but the message remains the same.

On the surface level, you can deduce that if you eat healthy foods, you will have a healthy body and mind, and if you choose unhealthy foods, you will have an unhealthy body and mind.  On a deeper level, TCM doctors and Ayurvedic Healers know that food contains consciousness.  The you are what you eat technology has been helping people to heal and awaken for thousands of years.

If you look at a carrot sliced into a circle, you can see that it resembles the shape of an eye.  You can actually see the organ it heals.  The same is true of walnuts resembling the brain, olives and ovaries, citrus and mammary glands, grapes and lung alveoli, kidney beans and kidneys, the list goes on and on!

Interestingly, food has played a significant role in human development since the beginning of time.  Recently I was listening to a Swami speak at the Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas about the age-old question of 'where do we come from?'  Of course, there is the obvious Mom and Dad, followed by the egg and sperm.  When it comes to where the egg and sperm come from, it is about the foods you eat.  Again, you are what you eat.

You can heal your body parts by eating the fresh foods that resemble them, but what about improving your energy centers, psychic listening skills and creativity???  It's true~ Food is Consciousness!  Need to slow down?  Eat snails.  Want to be more creative?  Try mushrooms ( and I don't mean those!) Need to raise your vibrations? Choose high flying fruits like pineapple and mangos!  Feeling flighty and need to be grounded? Add potatoes or other root vegetables to your diet.

Want more LOVE?  Remember love is like electricity!  It is always there just waiting for you to tap in.  Open and Expand your heart consciousness with foods eagerly sharing their own love!  See the hearts bursting out of the beets and strawberries pictured here.  Aside from being red on the outside, the hearts they reveal are shaped like Valentine's Day hearts.  Love is everywhere when you open your eyes and heart to it!

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means knowing that Love is in the Air and everywhere when you are aware of the Love in your Food.  You are what you what you eat, so slow down and be creative.  Let your conscious be your guide and Eat Your Way to Love!  Want more love?  Be more Love!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Ready for SOUL-Full Living? When your Soul Speaks, LISTEN!

One of my favorite teachings of yoga is that yoga is not about adding anything.  It is about removing what does not serve you to reveal your True Self also known as atman in Sanskrit.

Great back bends, handstands and splits may be demonstrated by a gymnast, but alone they are not necessarily the path to peaceful bliss or samadhi where is attained.  Mastering a yoga pose may feel like a great accomplishment, but do not let this be the end result or an obstacle on the path to your Soul-full life.

Do you ever have those moments where you get a spark of inspiration and you feel an intense wave of excitement run up and down your spine?  You cannot wait to tell someone, try the recipe, make the phone call, write down the idea, begin research or take whatever action you were just inspired to take.  Your whole body is emblazoned and your mind empowered.  Your spirit is energized and your soul is glowing.  You are on fire!

This feeling is an elevation of consciousness.  Your True Self which is a spark of Light is connected to the light of the Divine.  Acting as a channel, you are open to receiving divine inspiration.  That sensation running through you up and down your spine is energy working its way through your energy centers from inspiration at the crown to manifestation at the root.

Yogis recognize these centers as chakras, but even non-yogis may be fascinated to know that the greatest 'thinkers' and inventors of all time attribute their success and findings to channeling the divine, even and especially things like the Periodic Table of Elements.

If you have ever felt this sensation of energy rushing through you, take a moment to recall the feeling.  In that moment, your soul was speaking.  It may have been around a seemingly outlandish idea that friends and family would shun, but listen closely, for that is the voice of your True Self.  It may be the moment you realize that you want to quit your high paying job and become a yoga teacher, get a divorce, have a child, move across the country, climb a high mountain, sell off all of your worldly possessions, grow your own vegetables, lead retreats, start your own clothing line, radio show, magazine, be, do or have anything that makes you feel energized and purposeful.

If you occasionally experience glimpses of this sensation or if you have never experienced it, it is time to draw back the curtains and let the Light into your Life.  Your soul is like the sun, it is always shining.  Sometimes you cannot see it, because it is hidden behind a cloud, a time zone or even a tree.  You know it is always there.  The same is true for your soul.  When you are not radiating, your true essence, it is simply being blocked by fear, doubt, worry, judgment, uncertainty or ego.  Just as one tree can create the illusion that the sun is not out, one thought can keep you from shining purposefully.

The practice of yoga is designed to quiet the mind and body, to rid the distractions and reveal the true self: the spark of life is your purest form and greatest good.  Tap in and tune into this spark and vibration of love.  When you feel the tiniest spark, pay attention to what inspired it.  Even the greatest of flames begins with a single spark.

The 3rd chakra is associated with the soul.  It is the area around your solar plexus.  You can bring energy and attention to this area to jump start your soul-full exploration.  The color yellow stimulates this chakra.  Eat yellow foods.  Wear yellow clothing. Buy yellow flowers.  Notice yellow. Turn down the volume on the naysayers and turn up the volume on your Soul.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means discovering, listening to and feeding your SOUL.  It is the path to creating your Best Life.  Life is Short.  Make yours Magical and Soul-Full!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Craze for Convenience~ What's Your True Cost?

In today's fast-paced society, it seems that convenience outweighs pretty much everything including health, wealth and happiness.  It would almost appear that America is built on convenience.  People are willing to spend freely for faster responses, cheaper quality and less than stellar results.

Cell phone companies, Convenience stores, fast food establishments and plastic surgeons are just a few of the obvious forces behind the craze.  Just as in the moment, it would be more convenient to lie, cheat and steal than tell the truth and face the consequences.  Convenience can can come with consequences.   What you force today, you will have to fix tomorrow.

Cell phone providers continue to distribute newer and faster phones.  Quick is the consumer to overlook fees for breaking their contract simply to have the latest technology.  Improving the quality of life, reducing stress and increasing happiness do not necessarily come into play.

If you have ever stepped foot into a Convenience Store, you will find lots of pre-packaged foods with expiration dates extending out months and possibly years, beer, alcohol, tobacco products, soda, donuts, candy bars and chips.  Prices are expected to be high, but you have been trained that you are paying for convenience.  With so many colorful wrappers in reach, it is easy to make poor choices for consumption.  Shopping at the Convenience store may save you some time, but what is the cost to your wallet, habits and health?

The same is true for fast food.  It is no longer a secret that sand is an approved ingredient to to be mixed in with 'beef' burgers or 'beef' tacos.  Mix these choices with a diet soda known to contain formaldehyde and you have turned your body into a science experiment or toxic dumping ground.  It may not seem like a big deal today, but what is the cost of disease on your mind, body, spirit, wallet and loved ones?

It is easier to buy your own fresh cut flowers then it is to plant a garden.  Although the first option produces an immediate flower for your enjoyment, the second brings beauty over a season and possibly year after year.  This is evidence patience and inconvenience can produce lasting results, not to mention for a fraction of a bouquet, you can buy seeds to produce flowers that will reproduce seeds and bring you infinite flowers.

Practicing yoga at a studio may not be the most convenient or affordable way to go.  However, how often do you say that you will practice at home and then never make the time?  In fact, exercise and change in diet is not always convenient or fun, especially when you believe you can run out for liposuction or lap band surgery.  Shopping for and preparing healthy foods can cost a little more today and take a little longer, but what is the cost of restricted diets and pricey prescriptions in the future?

It can certainly take some effort and a bit longer to make higher and better choices in life.  They may not always be the most convenient, but chances are you will be produce better results and longer lasting fulfillment.

Take a moment and notice what you force in your life, cut corners on or pay more for just for the sake of convenience.  Does that option really save you anytime or money?  Does it bring you anymore love, joy or happiness?  The True cost of Convenience isn't always obvious or instant, but chances are you are sacrificing your own lasting Happiness for the sake of fleeting pleasure.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means recognizing and acknowledging your true cost when it comes to convenience.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Don't Knock It Until You've Tried It! Overnight Fishing, Raw Beets and Yoga

Practice Replacing No with Yes and watch your world EXPAND!

When the idea and invitation to an overnight fishing trip surfaced last week, I must confess that I cringed.  I could feel my entire body tense.  As a self-proclaimed and openminded positive thinker, I love to observe myself falling into fear of the unknown.

I am not actually certain of the negative thoughts that must have swirled up in an instant causing me to stiffen and make faces.  The only thing I do know, is that my mind was playing tricks on me.  After all, I had never been on an overnight fishing trip, so I really didn't even have a point of reference to know that it would be a miserable experience.  Just as I was about slide down the slippery slope of negative thinking, I grasped a higher and better thought.  How can I knock what I have never tried?

I understand that the tension resulted simply because I was moving into the unknown.  As I mentioned last week, anytime, the mind or body are challenged with new opportunities, situations or experiences, it creates stress and tension.  This happens even around positive things.  Instead of thinking how horrible it would be to sleep on a boat deck with some people I barely knew, use a portable potty and be dirty for two days, I opened my mind and heart to the possibility of an amazing adventure.

It is true, moving into the unknown can be uncomfortable, simply because it is new.  I did sleep on the boat deck in the middle of the ocean and had the most amazing view of the sunset, a sky full of stars, planets and a near full moon.  The sunrise was center stage, the weather was amazing and I shared many bountiful belly laughs with the people I barely knew hours before.

If you want to expand your horizons, adventures and experiences, catch your yourself feeling uncomfortable and wanting to say No.  Then, practice saying Yes.  New experiences make you interesting, expand your consciousness and ability to connect with others.

I have seen the same thing recently with raw beets.  Food is one of the things that you make your mind up about based on a belief.  After discovering raw beets in Nicaragua earlier this year, I have been sharing them with anyone I can.  At the idea, they cringe.  After a small sample, they are intrigued and fascinated by these sweet, heart healthy treats.

The same is true of non-yoga practitioners.  I am always amazed by what people who have never tried it have to say about this ancient healing system.  Beliefs are just the lies that you keep you stuck in your limited existence.  Yoga is an amazing way to expand your life expectancy, range of motion and your consciousness.  Don't knock it until you try it.

Being Happy Healthy and Fit means bringing self awareness to your own limitation and then lifting them.  Simply replace your 'worst case scenario thoughts' with the 'best case scenario thoughts.'  Ask yourself, what is the best thing that could happen on an overnight fishing trip, trying raw beets or giving yoga a chance?   You might just discover new friends, new food and a new lease on life.