Snacking

As a health coach snacking is a subject I cover frequently. I don’t know the statistics but if I had to guess I’d say we are a country of snackers. Food is available to most of us ALL THE TIME. As a result we tend to eat whatever we want, whenever we want.

I apply to following rules to snacks:

  • Try a glass of water first
  • Eat a whole food snack when possible
  • Eat a protein snack some of the timeimages
  • Make the snack naturally sweet (think fruit)
  • Snack between meals not instead of meals
  • Don’t snack after dinner/before bed

We snack mindlessly. Keep a food journal for a few days. You’ll be amazed. Snacking fills time or fills a void in our life. We snack when we feel  emotional or stressed or bored. We look to  food to fulfill us. Sometimes we snack only because we CAN.

The message I want to convey is YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT EVERY TIME YOU THINK YOU’RE HUNGRY! Thankfully, these words found me today…

“When hungry, just eat.”

Whenever we eat or drink we have the opportunity to turn our attention to the vivid clarity of this very moment of experience – – if we take time to just eat.

From “How to practice Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays
Lion’s Roar magazine

When you’re present make the right choice. Always. If you can stay present when you want to snack, you might decide you don’t want a snack at all. If you do want the snack then be present when you eat it. Make a good food choice and allow the food to nourish you.

Namaste,
Melissa

Love

imagesIt’s Valentine’s Day and I want to write about love. All morning I thought about love. Romantic love.Family love. Love (or attachment to?) of things, places, tastes, feelings. As I sat down to write I became overwhelmed by the depth of this topic. I’m not sure I can say anything that hasn’t been said. Which is exactly why I have to say something. Here it goes.

I think the concept of love is simple. I mean, even very young children can grasp the concept of love. Maybe the world needs to keep it simple (KISS) when it comes to love.

Just love.

Everyone.

All the time.

Why is this so hard for us? I think it’s because we forget that we are love.

See, I believe the Universe and everything in it was created from a loving energy. That loving energy makes up the grass and trees, buildings and cars, you, me, the Universe and God. Love is everything and everything is love. When I love you I also love myself. If I hate you, I must also hate myself. Get it?

We are all the same, from the same loving vibration. We are all one. Love moves through us and surrounds us. We are connected by love. Love is the very essence of who we are, the essence of life.

I say we embrace our true loving nature and spread it everywhere we go. I challenge to try to love someone you don’t find especially lovable and see how it opens your heart. Notice how the more you love the more love you notice.

And I’ll leave you with the simple words of The Beatles…all you need is love, love is all you need.

Namaste,

Melissa

The Number Two

From a numerology standpoint, the number two has a peacemaker vibe. It asks us to be diplomatic and cooperative. To get the most out of the number two we need patience. The two is sincere and gracious.

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What we start under a number one we continue with a two. Partnerships are formed. We gain an understanding that we can work together to achieve goals. There is a sense of cooperation and consideration.

The number two has a spiritual, meditative influence. It thrives in the light. It most often works for the benefit of the many instead of the few.

Does the number two resonate with  you? I’d love to share how the number two influences you and how all your numbers guide you on your path in life. Visit the website for information and to set up an appointment.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

Why Do You Use Essential Oils?

This is another question I get a lot. I’m all about a holistic approach to life and to wellness. For me, that means I use a variety of natural solutions. Things like the neti pot and ear candles are common at my house. I view self-care as a holistic way to stay well. I also try to use commercial products with fewer ingredients that are eco-friendly when I can. That doesn’t mean I don’t see a doctor or ever buy Clorox wipes. For me it’s not one or the other, it’s both. Natural solutions can be easy and work well. Essential oils fall into this category.

Essential oils have been around for thousands of years and they’ve been used for a variety of purposes. They were used in biblical times as part of a spiritual practice or ritual. EO’s (for short) are used in many household products from cleaning supplies to health and beauty aids. There’s a high likelihood that you use a commercial version of EO’s and don’t even realize it. Where do you think that lemon scent comes from in your Lemon Pledge?

The EO’s I use come in a very pure, therapeutic grade. This gives them great potency – a little goes a long way. I use them in many of the ways I just mentioned. I add them to my dishwasher or laundry detergent. I put them in my mascara and moisturizer. I diffuse them to lift my spirits or purify the air in my home. EO’s can take the itch out of a bug bite, help relieve the muscle discomfort from a workout, and soothe a fussy child.

We’re surrounded by chemicals all day every day. We breathe them in. They come from our furniture, carpets, and cars. There are chemicals in much of what we eat and drink. I do what I can to limit chemical exposure for the people I love. EO’s help me do that. Plus, I feel active and in charge when I use a natural solution. I feel like I’m in control of my well-being.

It’s easy to get started with essential oils. I’m having a class at the studio on February 9, 2017. It’s free so come out and learn more. Register here.Oils

Namaste,

Melissa

What Type of Yoga Do You Do?

This is a question I get asked at least once a week. Is this vinyasa yoga? Do you do hot yoga? Are anusara and ashtanga the same? Can you teach me power yoga? Iyengar is a funny word…do you do that type? As yoga studios popped up all over my town the style of yoga they offered became a hot topic. Everyone wants to do the most trendy style, best for you style.

But consider this…here you have a beautiful practice that’s meant to balance your body, mind, and spirit. It’s not a workout, it’s a lifestyle, a path. I mean, you don’t do yoga, you live yoga. I feel like the question of “what type of yoga do you do” was being answered in the wrong way. Here are the answers we should be giving…

I am a bhakti yogi, I practice the yoga of devotion. Bhakti yoga is based on devotion to a deity and/or a well-defined spiritual path.

I am a karma yogi, I practice the yoga of service. Karma yoga is based on serving others without attachment to the outcome.

I am a  jnana yogi, I practice the yoga of knowledge. Jnana yoga is the search for the knowledge and truth that lies within us.

I am a raja yogi, I practice the royal path of yoga. Raja yoga is the study of the 8 limbs of yoga.

Each path of yoga is trying to balance body, mind, and spirit. Each path uses asana, pranayama,  and meditation along with other practices and to varying degrees. However, the focus of the 4 paths  isn’t a handstand or the perfect lotus pose. Yoga should take you deeper into yourself. Then is should help you explore your mind. Yoga opens the door to compassion, love, and healing.

Yes, choose a style of yoga that you enjoy doing. The one that engages you physically and mentally. Then consider what path of yoga you want to pursue and let your style of yoga lead you deeper on that path.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

A Holistic Approach to Inspired Living

That’s the tag line for breath.life.yoga because my goal for the studio is more than yoga poses. I want to help people feel better physically, of course. I also want them to feel better mentally. I want them to find a spiritual practice that nurtures and elevates them. I want people to see that they are in charge of how they feel. I want them to know they can affect their health and well-being through the daily decisions they make. They can affect their whole self through simple holistic practices.

I wanted to create a space where I could share ALL my knowledge. Teaching asana is a great way to reach people and help them to start on a path. Once they’re on the mat I have a chance to teach them to breathe, to slow down, to be present. Then I can show them how to meditate or eat better or use an essential oil. I can share practical tips on food or sleep plus I get to introduce concepts like ahimsa (do no harm) or santosha (contentment).

Through all of that I hope to inspire people to look at their lives from a holistic view-point and to make changes that work for THEM. I want people to make lasting changes at a deep level so the life they lead reflects the peace within them. Maybe then they can inspire someone else to step onto the path to better living.

A holistic approach to inspired living brought to you by breath.life.yoga

Namaste,

Melissa

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The Number One

In numerology, the number one is where we start. It’s the beginning, often of a 9 year cycle. It’s the number of origin and originality. It’s an inventive number full of creative thought. The number one asks us to be courageous and strong. It asks us to embark on new initiatives and new adventures.

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2017 carries a one vibration. It’s OUR chance, collectively, to bring something new to the table. It’s a chance to take a fresh look at the world around us, near and far, and to be brave enough to explore new ideas, different ways of being. Change comes when we embrace the challenge of the one. We should face it with determination and a beginner’s mind. We have to be willing to take a leap of faith.

Although the larger one vibration that the universe feels in 2017 affects us all to some degree, you may notice the one in different ways for you and at different times of your life. You may connect strongly to the vibration of the one. It may have a subtle influence. Like most things in life the vibration of the one ebbs and flows at a different rate for each of us.

I’d love to share how the number one influences you and how all your numbers guide you on your path in life. Visit the website for information and to set up an appointment.

 

Resolutions

I love to celebrate New Year’s Day. I love the idea that we can reset our lives and begin fresh each January 1st. It’s such a hopeful holiday. I love the idea of resolutions, although that word is a turn off for many. I looked up the definition…resolution – a firm decision to do or not  to do something. The synonyms are a great group of words like intention, decision, aim, plan, and resolve.

My #1 resolution (to do or to not do) for 2017 is to live a balanced life. There’s depth to this resolution. For instance, I want a balanced diet and balanced relationships. I want work/life balance. I should balance by checkbook. It goes on and on. Balance is kind of a never-ending proposal.

Here’s my #1 action step to help me achieve balance. Meditation. I know from experience that when I take the time to meditate a chain reaction of balance is set off. So it has to be a priority. It’s the cornerstone of my balanced life. There’s an old saying (maybe from the Buddha) – “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day, unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour.”  Through meditation we find more time for the things we feel are valuable and important.

What other actions steps do I need to achieve balance in my life?

  • Self-care which starts with meditation
  • Sleep well and rise early which starts with meditation
  • Do a better job of prioritization which starts with meditation
  • Let go which starts with meditation
  • Stay present which starts with meditation

That’s a partial list. As I write down what I want and create my action steps meditation comes up at every turn. This one practice is the key to balance for me in the coming year.

What’s your resolution? How does meditation fit into your plan? Let me know if I can help you with your meditation practice or with setting and achieving your goals in the coming year.

Namaste,

Melissa

Why Meditate?

imagesMeditation gets a lot of hype but is this ancient practice for everyone? You bet it is! As a  yoga teacher and a health coach I would recommend a meditation practice to all my clients. But why?

Meditation provides clarity. We live in a 24/7 world. We have the ability to carry the internet in our hands. It’s possible to know anything at any time. Our minds become overwhelmed by all the incoming data. When an issue arises that needs our attention we often find it difficult to focus on just that one item long enough to resolve it. Mediation practice helps to quiet all the extra chatter and bring clarity to the issue at hand.

Meditation provides presence. Oh, how multi-tasking has taken a toll on us. We go 100 mph, in several directions at once, to do multiple tasks. How much do we accomplish? Are we doing things well? We feel disconnected even though we seem to interact more than ever. Meditation teaches us the value of only doing one thing. When we sit still, eyes closed, mind at rest in mantra, we are present. We can translate this to presence in everyday life.

Meditation provides connection. I would argue that in today’s world we miss connection. Connection with each other certainly and in a larger sense connection with Mother Earth, connection to our Source. Yes, I mean God or your version of A Higher Power. The stillness of meditation provides a space for us to re-connect (or maybe find that Source for the first time) to something larger than us. That something is there to guide and nurture us. That something makes us better because it connects us all.

If you don’t have a meditation practice I encourage you to start. If you don’t know where to start, I’ll help you. Check the website for information on meditation classes. At the studio we meditate each January 1 at 10:00am. No experience necessary. Please join us. You can sign up here.

Namaste,

Melissa

 

Will You Please Help Me?

As a Yogi and a small business owner, I find the task of promoting breath.life.yoga to be somewhat daunting. I love to talk about what I do and yet, I don’t want to sound like a broken record. Plus the idea of tooting my own horn makes me really uncomfortable. Marketing is quite a challenge.

I DO feel I offer a great deal of knowledge and experience when it comes to yoga, meditation, and holistic lifestyle. I’ve spent much of the last quarter of 2016 updating the breath.life.yoga website. I’ve refined and added to the marketing pieces. I’m trying to increase my social media presence and (hopefully) bringing new life to this blog. As I expand the offerings at the studio to include health coaching, and shine a light on numerology and reiki, I hope to serve a wider audience. I’m doing my best to get the word about me and breath.life yoga out into the world.

Will you help me? As with most small business the best marketing comes from my wonderful clients. Referrals make up much of the new business I see. Simply sharing a Facebook post or inviting your like-minded friends to “like” us on Facebook goes a long way. I’m on Twitter and Instagram as well. And did you know you can have this blog delivered to your inbox? I’m happy to provide you with materials to share and offer your friends a free class to try. Please help me spread the word about breath.life.yoga, a holistic approach to inspired living, in 2017. Thank you.

Namaste,

Melissa