This summer, I am so honored to have the opportunity to bring awareness to The Team Tatiana Foundation. Tatiana was a sweet soul who was dedicated to becoming a social worker. Last year, Tatiana fought a mighty battle against Covid-19. Ultimately, she lost her battle to the terrible disease. Tatiana’s family and friends have worked hard to create the Team Tatiana Foundation where they hope to carry on her legacy and dedication to those in need. This foundation’s goal is to fill in where she would’ve stepped in as a social worker and help kids thrive in whatever way possible, easing their daily challenges or whatever they may face.
You can help me to promote the work of this group by simply attending any of my yoga classes. For every paid participant in any of my classes, I will donate $1 to this foundation. You were amazing at helping me raise $100 for the Amherst Tiger’s Den Food Bank in Amherst, NY. Let’s help spread Tatiana’s legacy as well!
Please look for upcoming classes and a donation based class to benefit The Tatiana Foundation! Visit the “yoga classes” page here on the site to register!
“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”- Brené Brown
Last year, when I began my yoga teacher journey, I really was not completely clear where it would lead or what I would do with the training that I was receiving. I only knew that I was desperate for something that I could call all mine. As you have read in past posts, I am a mom of three, a middle school teacher, and a wife. In the past few years as all of my kids were getting older and doing their own things and as I was growing more and more restless at my job, I began to feel like I had lost myself and my own identity. My husband has always had his coaching career which he was fulfilling for him and that he is amazing at. I felt like it was time for me to have my thing, but was not sure when I would find the time. I knew, however, that I loved yoga ever since starting to take amazing classes with Mari from Soul Candy Project. I knew that it helped me to feel relaxed (which I was in desperate need of). I also felt like it was the perfect mix of the movement that I missed from being a former dancer and athlete. An added bonus was that I got to take classes with friends and socialize afterwards. I felt so blessed to have found a yoga class that I felt comfortable taking since I had gone my whole life avoiding yoga because I had convinced myself that I was not flexible enough or did not look like the typical “yogi”.
Fast forward to the summer of 2020. I had just completed my first yoga certification and was on summer break from what could have been the most challenging end to a school year (or at least I thought). I was not as “active” as I had once been because going to the gym was not something that anyone could do and walking on my own was something that I could do so much of. However, I was in love with everything that I was learning from yoga and decided to sign up for another certification starting in the fall. I jumped at starting my own business as well feeling like I had found my “thing” and really wanted to share it with others. So much of me had benefited from all of the amazing things that I had learned from my outstanding teachers at Yoga Farm Ithaca and I felt as though I was called to share this with the world, even if it was to a small audience. I wanted to scream from the rooftops that yoga truly is for everybody and EVERY BODY! I had found my Sangha and I wanted to create a community that would find yoga to be the medicine that we all so desperately need.
However, there is one thing that I was fighting with and continue to suffer with even as I write this blog today. I am a mom, a teacher, a wife (and now business owner) in a pandemic. The last few months have been HARD!! I have struggled most days to even get half of my step goals because my job now requires me to sit and stare at a computer all day. As a family, because we have not been able to do anything that requires traveling outside of our cozy home, has eaten our share of takeout. We have made poor dining choices out of exhaustion, out of stress eating, and out of the pure fact that it seemed like “something different” during the pandemic. I have not been to the gym because either has not been open, or when it was, who really wants to do cardio with a mask on after struggling some days to just make it up the stairs? Can you relate??
The reason that I share all of this is because while I was finally finding myself and finally doing what I love (I ADORE TEACHING YOGA!!) I was not scheduling classes for a while because I was afraid to get in front of any camera or any person to show them what I looked like. Yes, I was letting the idea that I had fought against so hard get the best of me. I was telling myself that I was not good enough to be a yoga teacher because I did not look like the stereotypical yoga teacher.
However, after a pity party, I realized that the exact reason that I decided to teach yoga is because I wanted others not to be intimidated about doing yoga. I wanted EVERYBODY and EVERY BODY to feel the benefits of a great stretch, a meditation exercise, and the community that yoga builds. I wanted to shout this off of the rooftops at a time when I feel like we all need yoga in some capacity in our lives. So, I got up..I grabbed my calendar and started to schedule some online classes for anyone who wanted to give it a try. And guess what…I built it and they came!!
My point to all of this is that I am here to say that I am just like so many of you. I live a busy life taking care of others during a global pandemic. I am not svelt athlete that I used to be. I sometimes cannot touch my toes in class. However, I LOVE YOGA and I LOVE SHARING YOGA! I get better with every class I take and every class that I teach. I am always learning and will forever be a teacher of yoga. I know that yoga fills me up and also helps to wind me down. I know that yoga is so much more than just how flexible you are or if you can even get into a down dog! It is truly for everyone and EVERY BODY if you are willing to give it a try. I have met the BEST people through yoga and I hope to do this until I am 100 years old.
There are a lot of yoga teachers out there and I pray that you find the right one for you. I know that I did and it was a life changer. Whatever you do, don’t shy away from yoga like I did for too long. Anyone can do yoga. You may not look like everyone else in the class as you attempt to get into a pose, but then again you shouldn’t because we are all put together differently. Remembering that what may feel good in your body may not feel good to someone else and vice versa. My yoga teachers always remind us that yoga is an inside job…Yoga is not a bunch of poses that your body gets into, rather it is the poses that help you to get into your self. I would love to have you join any of my classes if you are interested when the time is right for you.
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” – Brené Brown
So we do a lot of sitting these days. My job went from one where I was on my feet all day to one where I sit behind a number of computers looking more like I am landing planes than teaching middle school kids. I hate how much I sit. It has made me feel so much less healthy. It is amazing how exhausting sitting all day can be as well!
I recently received my certification in chair yoga and am so happy that I have learned this amazing type of yoga. I have taken many classes myself, but was so excited to learn a multitude of ways to do yoga with people of all abilities.
I decided to introduce some chair yoga to my students last week and they LOVED it! I have always known that yoga was amazing, but seeing them enjoy it as much as they did was very exciting.
I have created a short chair yoga flow video to share with anyone who may be looking to get a little stretch in during the day. It is perfect for a short break in your day. If you are a teacher, it is perfect to share with your students to give them a break in their day! I hope that you enjoy!
Want to try a class for yourself? Check out my yoga class schedule for regularly scheduled chair yoga classes.
Happy New Year! While I know that most are happy to have 2020 behind them, I have to say that I am not completely upset with how the year turned out. Please do not get me wrong…there were plenty of ups and downs, bumps and bruises, disappointments and just all around bad days in 2020. However, for me, I found it to be a time of self investment and learning. I was able to take some time to learn a lot about myself and about new passions. It was definitely an uphill battle, but one that I am finding some joy in. I will count them as blessings.
As the new year is still ringing in the first new days, there is a lot of talk of resolutions, planet alignment, and all things that we are hoping and praying will improve in the new year. For many years, I would make a list of resolutions that I, like so many others, would give up on by week 2. This year, after a lot of thought and reflection, have decided that I am going to go with a word. Yes..just a word that will be my mantra for the new year. That word is …NOURISH.
This past year, I enrolled in a 200 hr YTT. Had you told me in January of 2020 that would be something that I would do, I would have thought that you were crazy. However, it turned into the greatest thing that I have ever decided to do for myself. I fell in love with everything about yoga and all of the philosophies that the training taught me. I read tons of books, watched a million videos, participated in live classes and taught hours of yoga. The feeling that I got when I earned that certificate…well there are not words for it. That led me to sign up for a 300 hr YTT through the same amazing school and it has been just as fulfilling and life changing and the last training, if not more. I have learned so much about myself and have learned that the only way to truly be grounded and at peace is to nourish myself mind, body, and soul.
So often we think of nourishment in terms of what we eat and drink. However, nourishment is part of everything that we do. When we read a great book we are nourishing our mind. When we listen to great music and lose ourselves in the words or melody we are nourishing our mind and spirit. When we have great conversation with someone, we are also nourishing our mind and spirit in ways that we sometimes forget about. Taking a walk in nature on a beautiful day is nourishment for mind, body and soul. So what if that was our goal each day? What if we were intentional in our choices to ensure that what we are choosing to spend our precious time on…our one precious day….was on the things that nourish us mind, body and spirit. When something does not feel good in one of those areas, maybe we decide to say no and take a nap instead. Maybe when we want to each a whole bag of M&M’s, we reach for something more nourishing (although sometimes you just need some M&M’s!)
I look forward to sharing so much with you this year. Please stop back often to read my blog, take an online yoga class, or just be nourished. I hope that I can find ways to help you to nourish yourself mind, body and soul! Namaste!
Are you looking for a way to relax this holiday season while also doing something to benefit a great cause? Join me on Sunday, December 6th for a Slow Vinyasa Yoga and Mindfulness Class. This class is perfect for all levels and will be sure to help you relax and recharge after a long week.
Stony Brook shines is an amazing local holiday tradition with so much love and charity behind it. Located in The Stony Brook Subdivision between Pleasantview and Walden Avenue in Lancaster, there are more than 300 decorated houses and hundreds of trees that line the 9 streets. The numbers are growing each year for the 2 month long fundraising campaign.
Each year more and more people take a ride through our neighborhhod to enjoy the decorations and lights during the holiday season. Some drive, park and walk or get a van of friends, even horse drawn carriages and buses have visited.
The kick off to the Winter Illumination Spectacular with a cause is Thanksgiving night through January 1st. You can drive through the neighborhood with your family from dusk until 10 pm each night. You can visit their website at www.stonybrookshines.com for more information about this truly wonderful holiday event.
To register for this yoga event to benefit Story Brook Shines and WNY Heroes:
Click HERE for Sunday 12/6/20 at 10 am class
Click HERE for Thursday 12/10/20 at 7 pm class