Every End is a New Beginning!

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Well, tonight marks the end of Bootcamp 2016! Never fear…I’m already working on plans for 2017!

While I want to keep a lot of the aspects the same, I also want to make some changes. Rather than just pounding our bodies with intense workouts, I want to make it more of a yoga fusion. We would still be working our hiney’s off to burn calories and build muscles, but we would incorporate some yoga postures to help with flexibility & breathing techniques for stress reduction. It would be a holistic, total body approach to maximize your overall well-being. Sound good? Good!

If you’re with me so far, I want to go over some very important matters.

Registration is limited to 10 participants…no exceptions – It’s very important to me to be able to monitor everyone’s form and to give you more one-on-one attention if it’s needed. When my classes get too big, it’s pretty tough to make sure everyone is doing every exercise correctly. Your safety and well-being is of utmost importance!

Attendance – Results depend greatly on your participation, and if you don’t show, chances are, you will not see the results you desire. I do plan on instituting the Team dynamic again, as that seemed to work really well for attendance. I understand that things happen or come up, but excuses and just general no-shows have no place in this Fit Camp.

No Registration Agreement, No Admittance – A signed registration agreement is required with your payment to participate. If you bring a friend/family member that wants to try it out, they will be allowed to watch, however; they will not be allowed to participate in the workout.

No drama! – This simply means that if you start trouble, then you’re out. I want the environment to be encouraging, supportive and motivating. We vent to each other about everyday life, which it totally cool, but trash talking or complaining about others within the group will not be tolerated.

Goals, Goals, Goals! – Everyone will be required to have a goal. Whether you want to lose 5lbs, be able to run a mile, drop a dress size, etc., you need to have something to work towards. Something measurable so that you can feel totally awesome about yourself when you accomplish it!

Still with me? Then Fit Camp is for you! I want you to come away from it feeling confident & proud with a new lease on life. Stay tuned for more information! Registration will begin soon!

Namaste,

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The Top 5 Things I’ve Learned From Yoga

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In Western Civilization, most people have misconceptions about yoga…

  • It’s only for flexible people.
  • It’s just a series of weird stretching poses.
  • It’s an activity where my super cute yoga pants are acceptable.

…just to name a few.

Yoga is so much more than stretching and contorting your body into unnatural feeling positions. Patanjali, known as the Father of Modern Yoga, outlined these 8 Limbs (or Sutras) as the foundation of Yoga Philosophy, and act as guidelines on how to live a purposeful and meaningful life:

1. Yama

This sutra deals with one’s ethical standards & sense of integrity. It’s how we conduct ourselves in life.

There are 5 Yamas:

  1. Non-violence
  2. Truthfulness
  3. Non-stealing
  4. Continence
  5. Non-covetousness

2.  Niyama

The second limb, is all about self-discipline and spiritual observances.

There are 5 Niyamas:

  1. Cleanliness
  2. Contentment
  3. Heat; spiritual austerities
  4. Study of one’s self
  5. Surrender to God (Your God, the Universe, the Divine)

3.  Asana

Asanas, or postures, is what are most familiar to Western Civilization. In the yogic view, the body is a temple of spirit. Through the practice of asanas, we develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation.

4.  Pranayama

The 4th stage consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process while recognizing the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions.

5.  Pratyahara

Pratyahara, the 5th limb, is withdrawal. During this stage, we draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli.

6.  Dharana

Dharana is concentration. We learn how to slow down the thinking process by concentrating on a single mental object.

7.  Dhyana

Dhyana is Meditation; the uninterrupted flow of concentration. Dhyana is ultimately a state of being keenly aware without focus.

8.  Samadhi

Samadhi is the ultimate state of Meditation. It is a state of ecstasy, where the mind and soul are at equal balance. Some refer to this state as “enlightenment” or “becoming enlightened”.


After learning all of this for myself and trying to apply it all to my own life, these are the

TOP 5 THINGS I’VE LEARNED FROM YOGA:

1.  IT’S A PRACTICE!

The first couple of times you try Yoga, you may not notice a difference physically or mentally. It really takes practice and perseverance, not only in the Asanas, but with your breathing, and all of the mental aspects of the 8 Sutras.

2.  LOVE EMANATES.

When I practice regularly, really try to focus on living in the present moment, and use meditation as a tool to quiet my mind, I feel nothing but love. Love for you, love for the universe, love for the sweet little birds singing in the trees… That’s what we’re supposed to feel, right?

3.  I ACCEPT MYSELF.

For most of my life, I have always had self-esteem and self-confidence issues. I think that’s true for most women in this day and age. With movie stars and models in all of their presumed “perfection”, flashed in our faces constantly, there is such a high standard that we feel like we have to meet. I’m tiny, I’ll blind you in the sunlight, I have super long monkey arms and legs, I have a birthmark on my forehead, I have freckles… For years, all of these things bothered me and I would do my best to disguise what I could. But now, on my path to enlightenment, I embrace all of these things because they don’t define who I am. Our physical appearance will never be “who we are”. When I was a 5 year old little girl, I was Casey… Now that I’m 33, I am still Casey, even though I’m taller (not by much!), with shorter hair, and a lot more freckles. I wasn’t any more Casey back then than I am now. Why? Because my soul…my consciousness is who I am…not the shell that I’m residing in.

4.  POSITIVITY BEATS NEGATIVITY .

When I’m on my yoga mat, focusing on my breathing and feeling that life-force pulse through me, negative thoughts never seem to arise. That’s because my mind is focused and not wandering. As I lay in Savasana, I focus on something beautiful, whether it be a rainbow, sunshine, flowers, the love I have for everyone, and nothing but positive feelings flourish, and it just sets my day for one of positivity and peace. Positive brings positive… Negative brings negative… I think I’ll just keep on doing yoga and cash in on the positive.

5.  LIVING IN THE PRESENT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GO.

I’ve practiced the Western idea of yoga for about 9 years, and by this I mean, learning and practicing the asanas. For about a year out of those 9, I’ve REALLY been practicing yoga. I’ve worked on trying to apply those 8 Sutras and become more mentally and spiritually involved with the process. I was like many others in those first 8 years, because I thought it was just about breathing and poses. Now that I’ve educated myself, and have been applying all of those other aspects, I can say that I’ve never “lived in the present” as much as I have been lately. I used to worry about everything, and I mean EVERYTHING! But, when you live in the present, YOU…DON’T…WORRY. Why? Because you are focused on what you are doing at this very moment. You’re not thinking about past events, or worried about the future. I’m sure everyone knows someone or has read a story about someone that died suddenly or way before their time. That’s the truth of life…that we will all die. Whether that be today, tomorrow, or 50 years from now. Since we don’t know when that will be, why not live our life in this moment, since it’s right in front of us. There’s no need to waste time when we can just be happy now. It really makes you appreciate everyone in your life more, you love more deeply and live more happily.


“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” – Patanjali

Train Your Brain!

I was talking with a dear friend and client of mine this morning about how important it is to take time for yourself every day to set intentions, reflect, and overall just relax and not worry.  Mental health is just as important as physical health and should be a priority on everyone’s daily to-do list.
I have found through yoga and meditation, that happiness and contentment comes from within. It’s not about other people making you happy, things you think will make you happy, or circumstances you yearn for that you think would make you happy. You can wake up every day and decide that you will be happy. You have that power, but over time, we lose sight of that power, and rarely use it.
Take 5 or 10 minutes of your day and dedicate it to yourself. Learn to live in the present moment, because the past is over and done with and can’t be changed. The future is not a guarantee, so all of those “what if’s” and worries are just robbing you of your joy in this present moment.
Yoga and meditation can help you learn to love deeper, sleep better, be happy, become more grounded, reduce stress, and the list goes on and on.  Try these simple poses to connect to your inner self and relax a moment from the stress that can be life.
Can’t find a quiet place? Then book a 30-minute relaxation session with me! I’ll provide that quiet place along with relaxing music & essential oils, and will guide you through calming and restorative poses to calm and center you. We’ll end with a relaxing meditation and hot herbal tea. Contact me for more details!
Start in Easy Pose with your hands in Anjali (together at your heart).  Set an intention for your practice and begin with 10 slow, deep breaths.

Come into Child’s Pose for 10 slow, deep breaths. Toes together, knees about the width of your mat.

Bring your legs through, lay on your back and push your hips into a low Bridge Pose. Hold for 5 slow, deep breaths.

Using a support under your lower back if you need to, bring your Legs-Up-the-Wall. Start 5 or 6 inches away, and move your sitting bones closer to the wall if you can. Rest here for 10 slow, deep breaths.

Finally, come into Savasana.  Let your body melt into the floor and clear your mind. If thoughts arise, notice them, but then just let them pass. Stay here for at least 5 minutes, breathing deeply.
Peace to you! ~Namaste~