written by: Tara Beckmann
When you see or hear something about yoga, does it just seem like something that requires you to be young, flexible, thin, basically ‘in shape’ to practice, and that it is therefore, not for you? Have you seen posts on social media that make yoga look like more like a performance or a feat of contortionism that appears to put the body in terribly uncomfortable looking positions and just thought, ‘No thanks.'?
I’d like to help in any way I can to make the practice appear less intimidating, more approachable, and actually doable! My hope is that more people will see that yoga is a deeply personal practice, something you do for yourself, and that it can be whatever you want it to be, whether you come to our studio or any other, or simply decide to start a practice at home. Know that your choices are not limited to ‘hot' ‘power' ‘flow’ ‘vinyasa’ or whatever classes. You do not have to do headstands if that’s not your thing, and in fact, I highly recommend checking out beginner, basic, yin, restorative classes, or intro classes if you are indeed a newbie. If you haven’t practiced in a while, or maybe you used to run, hike, bike, weight train or whatever, and you’re just interested in getting yourself moving again, you might actually enjoy a Zen Yoga class with me. I used to weight train and hike, I love to move, and I’ve always been active in general.
As time went on though, the weights and the trails left me feeling sore, and not really in a positive growing pain kind of way. More like a repetitive use kind of soreness. In addition to that, I had always struggled with insomnia, anxiety and depression. I got sober and stress did not magically disappear, in fact it got a lot worse at times. I struggled with socializing and feelings of loneliness and isolation. For me personally, going to a yoga class became a way to be around other people, but not in a way that I felt obligated to talk necessarily. It became an opportunity to take ah hour long break from ‘reality', to check in with myself, to clear my mind by moving my body, breathing, and linking that breath with the movement. t’s a powerful tool for connecting to your own intuition, to find your own inner reserve and resolve, to get down on the mat and simply get to know your body. For all of these reasons, I decided to study so I could teach this practice to others to help them find a better experience of life in the way that it’s helped me.
My yoga practice gives me the ability to have a gentler, kinder and more compassionate relationship with my own body and mind. It is self care, daily hygiene, a time to work out the kinks in my system, both physically and mentally. It calms and settles me, and I can assure you that more times than not it looks nothing like an Instagram worthy post.
We all can quickly come up with a list of obstacles preventing us from taking time to exercise, prepare a healthy meal or relax, but the most frequent reason I hear is guilt. So often we feel guilty for taking action, time or money to do something that improves our health and/or happiness. I say hogwash! How can you be a patient and kind parent, spouse or friend if you are stressed out, run down, or operating on crappy fuel and junk food?
You owe it not just to yourself, but to your loved ones to take care of you! If you have ever flown, you know that each and every time you fly the attendants will remind you that in the case of an emergency you should put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. Why is that? Well you can only go so long without oxygen right? You only have a matter of minutes before you will pass out. After you have passed out you cannot help anyone! In fact, then others will need to help you instead. So, put on that oxygen mask immediately, and you can be of service to the entire plane.
Is this any different than real life? I would argue that it isn't. It's likely that you have a number of others that depend upon you including children, pets, co-workers, family members, neighbors and others in your community. If you are neglecting to take care of your health, you won't be able to help anyone else for too long. If you are stressed out and under nourished it is a matter of time before you will exhaust yourself or even worse get sick. Long-term stress that goes on for years can have even more serious results such as chronic diseases including cancers and depression. But with a little planning you can take a few minutes for yourself and take action to feel great for years to come!
Here are some suggestions / reminders of ways that you can help yourself out:
These are just a few ideas, I think you get it. The main point is do NOT feel guilty about taking time for you. This life is a gift and so is your body. Take good care of it and reap the benefits of self care. .
winds of change,
time is ticking,
in your mind drifting,
forward you move,
towards your goals,
inward you move,
towards your soul,
may your spell bind,
all in your chant,
as atoms expand,
and molecules dance,
give you the power,
raised from sleep,
you call on the essence,
of inner peace
Poem by Sol Asar, Raw Foods Chef and Kemetic Meditation Teacher at PuraVegan Cafe. You can take meditation class with Sol in exchange for a donation on Fridays at 12pm, inside PuraVegan Yoga Studio.
The goal of the Food for Life: Diabetes Initiative program is to empower people who have diabetes and those concerned about developing diabetes, along with their friends and family members with new information and skills. Each class offers nutrition educational discussion, cooking demonstration, and provides samples of delicious, health-promoting dishes, along with a take-home packet of easy and affordable recipes.
Who is this class for?
The Food for Life: Diabetes Initiative is the plant-based nutrition and cooking program for type 2 diabetes prevention and treatment developed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The intended audience for this program is people with diabetes, prediabetes (defined below), a family history or risk factors for developing diabetes, and their adult family members. It is also designed to introduce health care professionals to the basics of plant-based nutrition for preventing and treating diabetes.
How often do you rush through your entire day wondering where the time went and how it's already time to climb into bed? Or how many parents feel like the time slips away and their kids have grown up in the blink of an eye. We spend so much time "being busy" and doing things we think will pay off in the future, we often forget to pause and savor the current moment. Learning to pause, taking a breath, and participating in the present moment can have tremendously healing benefits and provide much needed breaks from our repetitive thought patterns (aka: stress).
What does it mean to pause? What do I do?
It's simple. Put down the phone, or close your laptop. Look around and observe your surroundings. Look at the person you are with, or look at the sky, your hands or anything in front of you. Listen to the sounds, even if it is as simple as the hum of your refrigerator. Feel the sensations on your skin, or of your heart beating. Smell the air, or pause and notice the scent of your food before or in the middle of your meal time.
When is a good time to pause?
I think a better answer is when should you not pause, because you can almost pause any time. I do not recommend pausing when driving or operating machinery. Avoid pausing when engaged in activities that require your focus for safety. Otherwise most any time is a good moment to pause. Below are some examples:
By now you are probably getting the idea and understand some benefits of pausing. Now is a good time to get started!
written by: Gina Schneider (bio below)
Happiness is not an unattainable mystery emotion handed out to a lucky few. It’s more like car maintenance. Just like shaving and cleaning, happiness is easier to maintain with regular attention. The longer you let it slide, the harder it is to get back under control. Here are a few simple ideas to help you be and stay happy.