About Me

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I have an art degree from Rhode Island school of Design. My visual arts background has expanded into the healing and transformational arts. I am a life/spiritual coach and wellness consultant. I have walked the shaman's path. I practice and teach Eastern and Energy Medicine, Shiatsu, Massage and Yoga. It is my experience that the power of touch and movement can access ones heart, soul, inner truth, unique expression and creativity which is a vehicle to living a joyful and fulfilling life. My blog will include my poetry, photographs, art, insights, experiences and suggestions for living a life that you love! If you are new to this site, please review my older submissions as well as the new ones for they all contain information and concepts that I wish to share and keep alive.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yoga as a Spiritual Practice

I have been practicing yoga for over 30 years and during that time I have seen many changes in attitude and understanding around it shift. When I began my practice many questioned whether yoga was a religion. As individual experience of yoga grew, people realized that it is a spiritual practice that has nothing to do with organized religion but could enhance individual spirituality no matter what your core beliefs.

Another shift that has taken place is that in the past it was easier to have a group of people commit to their yoga practice over time. As a teacher this made it easier to introduce theory and concepts and deepen knowledge and understanding. One session built upon the other. The energy of the class became a container for spiritual growth. If a new person joined the group the review process would further deepen the spiritual understanding of those who had experienced it already.

Teachers are more challenged today as many people are less committed to long term practice. Each class may contain new people with different experiences. People come sporadically when time allows. Every person has different expectations of what they want to get out of a yoga class and many do not understand that yoga is a spiritual practice at all. 

What seems to be more of an issue teaching at the moment is that many people view Yoga as an element of an exercise program and not a spiritual practice. This may be due to the fact that many gyms are teaching yoga and promoting it as such. Yoga is good exercise but when it is taught in it's totality it is exercise not only for the body, but for the mind, and development of the spirit as well.  I am surprised when students do not know the definition of yoga. When I teach, I start my classes with students breathing in the energy of yoga. The energy of unity, The energy of connecting oneself to the divine source within. I teach that this can be a very personal definition. I hold space for the spirituality of yoga to flow.

I always teach some aspect of Yoga philosophy as part of a guided meditation at the beginning of class. I carry this thread throughout the class to introduce the spiritual aspect into movement, breath and meditation. This is new for many students who have had teachers in the past that have just taught the physical movement and postures on the mat. Most students welcome this aspect and I have feedback from many that this style of learning has deepen their understanding and the spiritual aspects of their practice; the relationship to themselves and the world as a whole. Feedback from other students has been that they want to "Do Yoga" not learn theory. Of course, again this shows the a lack of understanding and different expectations of what yoga truly is.

My goal as a Yoga teacher is to be true to myself, my practice, and my commitment to share the spiritual aspects of Yoga. Those who resonate with this will be attracted to my classes. In the past year I have made a personal commitment as I have renovated my former apartment rental into my private yoga space. This is created as sacred space where I can teach small intimate classes and create a dedicated spiritual community. I see all of my experiences with yoga over the years as food for spiritual growth and maturity. It has served me well and I will continue share my experiences and pay it forward.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Balance Your Energy - Create Your Life!

You have the ability to create your life! We all are born with gifts and a divine “spark” for materialization of spirit. What stops many people from manifesting is some level of energetic imbalance caused by circumstances leading to avoidance. Often there is a belief that there is no choice or a fear of failure. This may cause a person to become stuck in a limited pattern. A safety zone where your potential for living fully and putting yourself out there is never met.

Creating Balance With A Practice
Life happens, and we all react in different ways to different situations depending on personality, constitution, learned beliefs, support system and past learning experiences. No matter what your situation, you can manifest almost anything if your energy is in balance and flowing smoothly. When you are feeling balanced it is easier to plan and take action. There are many practices such as yoga, meditation and qigong that create balance, harmony and inner peace. There are also many treatment modalities such as shiatsu, acupuncture, Thai massage, craniosacral therapy, reiki, polarity, chakra balancing, EFT, conscious breathwork, ect. that can assist you on this journey. It doesn’t matter what you choose as long as it resonates with who you are. If you are comfortable with the process you will get results.

Understanding how energy effects the body/mind

Creating Balance Through Treatment
The energy matrix that gives vitality to the body and creates life has a lot to do with how and why we live the way we do. Energy is connected physically to the adrenals, which act as an internal battery. Lack of sleep, poor diet and stress wears down this energy, which is also connected to the water element and the kidney and bladder meridians. The impetus to move forward in life with out fear and to adapt to different situations comes from these channels of energy. If energy is blocked in either a meridian or chakra it prevents smooth flow of emotions, thoughts, physical and spiritual energy as well. If energy is stagnant very often you feel stuck in life and unable to create. If energy is low or deficient in any area you can be fatigued and lack the impetus to follow through on your desires. Depending on where the imbalance lies, you may not be able to come in touch with what you want and need to move forward and create.

Meridian Lines and Acupoints

The energy of emotion and your connection to love and passion lives in the heart chakra and fire meridians. This includes the ability to connect to yourself and others and find excitement in the spark of life. The small intestine meridian, which is also part of the fire element, helps you to assimilate circumstances and sort out what is optimal for your life and what is best to be eliminated. The large intestine energy takes over and is in charge of eliminating not only physical but also emotional and mental waste.

When you are in touch with your emotions you can use them to put power, which is held in the solar plexus, back into your life. The ability to create comes from the sacral chakra. The expression of creation comes from the throat. Being grounded in what you want for yourself comes from the root chakra, the earth element and the stomach and spleen meridians. This energy helps you to digest the circumstances of life and create transformation. Choosing to do something new and different is the wood energy of the liver and gallbladder meridians. Bringing it to fruition is the energy of lung and large intestine and the metal element. Following your intuition and inner wisdom as you proceed comes from the third eye. Believing in yourself shows the strength of your solar plexus. Listening and knowing you are guided from a higher source comes from the crown chakra. As these different channels of energy start to realign and balance there is a shift in your way of being. This may be subtle and happen slowly over time or it may be dramatic and quick. It depends on how entrenched the imbalance is and what the mind is ready to process.

The people in your life also effect your state of balance. To totally move forward, you may have to avoid those people who are stuck in their own pattern of disharmony. They may not like that you have transformed your issues and are moving forward without them. Misery loves company. Anyone with a victim or defeatist attitude may give you a million reasons for why you cannot accomplish anything. Listening to this mindset and believing it is what holds many people back in life. By moving forward and creating what you want you will be setting a new example for what can “be”. This is an opportunity to inspire others to find balance and create as well.

Be aware and start simply by choosing to create anew one day at a time. Choose to do something different then your norm and follow through. Check in with how you feel and notice any shifts from your behavior in the past. Next step out of your safety zone. Pick something that you have dreamed of doing or admired someone else for doing. This may take some planning. A good first step is to share what you wish to do with others who can support you in the process. Push yourself through any avoidance and notice where it comes from so you know what issues and energy blocks you still need to work on. Focus on the goal, as the reward is freedom, and excitement around achieving and creating a wonderful life and a connection to the divine spark within.