Saturday, November 24, 2012

How to Calm the Chaos: Inner & Outer

This past weekend started on Thursday afternoon and ended late Sunday night for me. It was one of those long weekends that you hoped would be relaxing and yet somehow it felt busier than being home without the familiarity & comfort of home. The funny thing about it was that I enjoyed most of it. I would've liked more rest, more beach, a bigger bed, and less activity, but I know I got what I needed. I had the opportunity to try new things, meet new people, unexpectedly see long lost friends, reconnect with family and appreciate what I have and need, like relationships & quiet time.

So how are your weekends? your vacations from work & chores? For most people, they don't know how to rest, relax, let go and enjoy. I have family and friends who would rather push themselves into exhaustion than sit still and even worse, sit silently alone. It makes me wonder and want to us, is it louder or scarier inside than out? I know it can be for many us. At various points in our life, the inner chatter is so critical and confusing that keeping busy feels like the only solution. When we get to this point, it's hard to make any changes without support, whether that be from a loving friend, partner, or professional. The important thing is to reach out and remember that you're never alone and that living in constant chaos outside to avoid the chaos inside is no way to live - in fact you usually can't do it very long without getting sick in some way. I know that tasks, goals, productivity is important but when the cost begins to outweigh the benefit, trouble is afoot.

I had someone ask me lately to help with a tendency to overcommit - a problem over half the population has while the other half can't seem to commit to anything. I consider over-committing or over-scheduling a product of the above at times. Over-doers are usually either trying to fill an inner void yet avoid the inner critic while others are trying to "be all they can be" because they truly want to help or create. There is probably an overlap though in these departments though. It seems that even when we truly want to participate there is usually a piece of a "should" or "ought to" attached to it that is actually rooted in an even deeper judgment of self about what our critic and others will say or believe if we DON'T participate or have to "turn it over" to another person. Where is the compassion for self and the awareness that sh*t happens; meaning, sometimes things come up last minute and truly keep us from doing what we had planned or wanted to do OR sometimes in the 11th hour we are hit by the spiritual 2x4 and realize we can do another thing or we will fall over or bite someone's head off with our words.

The remedy to this tendency or at least potential softener is the practice of transition periods. How often do you truly schedule in adequate transition time and space as you go from one place or activity to another? I saw counselors for years who scheduled clients back to back seemingly all day. When I became a counselor I realized I was doing the same thing, which gave me maybe 5-10 minutes tops, to breath, remember myself, stretch, grab the next file, brief it, then jump in again. After the 4th client I was about to have a panic attack or melt into my chair as if I was watching a movie. Since then, I've made it a point to never schedule more than 3 without a 15+ minute break following and to take mini "awareness breaks" between all sessions where I breathe, body scan, and determine what I need and how I can give it to myself before the next session in some form or fashion - even if it's just writing myself a note of encouragement or doing one yoga pose. All my activities and adventures outside of work are considered "penciled in" unless they are super super important...but even some of those have been abandoned in the end if I was too cooked to do another something. My determining factor usually has to do with how present and alert am I right now. Can I feel the energy and breath in my body? Is my mind feeling alert and open? If I cannot answer these questions and give myself thorough details as if I were an observing witness and an experiencer of them, then I probably need a break. Sometimes, a slow short walk with deep breathing will do it, other times, it's a 30 minutes nap, a few yoga poses, free-flow writing, or even having a relaxing cup of tea or more elicit beverage quietly on the back deck.

What items on your schedule can you begin to pencil in? Remember to evaluate how each event supports you or stresses you. Don't take out the ones that support you, even if they feel like the ones that are somehow "optional" - like a walk over another 30 minutes of work. Build in some transition time between each event then double the amount of time you think you need. We usually short ourselves on the good things and overdo the unhealthy ones. After a week, see how you feel then decide how you want to go forward.

For confidential support, call 205-908-1247 or email me

May you know peace, happiness, health, and freedom from suffering.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Arthritis & Food Remedies


For some nutritional "yays" and "nays" for Arthritis & Inflammation, check out my food & nutrition blog called Eat, Bike, Run, Reflect.

Monday, November 12, 2012

NEW Yoga Classes starting Feb. 2013

Here's your chance to register for the yoga class that fits your needs.

ALL ARE WELCOME and can find a place in one of these two classes.

 Starting February 2014, Chair Yoga and Gentle/Moderate Mat Yoga (1hr) at Birmingham Yoga.

 Schedules is TBD depending on interest.

Options are Monday - Thurs from 11a & 2p.

 Wednesday @ 1p will probably be the Gentle/Moderate Class but it depends on who speaks up. 

Drop-ins and 6-wk Series will be available.  

Call/email/respond with the day/time/class you're interested in attending along with questions.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Health & Nutrition Programs

If you aren't 100% satisfied with your life AND your state of health (weight, energy, mood, diet, etc.) then commit to yourself to attend the presentation and see what options are available to you.  More and more research surfaces daily about food, health, illness, and healing.


Then there are 2 plans below to choose from OR  you can request a single evaluation to tailor to more specific needs.

Options will include either: 1) a 30-day generalized plan or 2) 6 months of health & wellness coaching

  Plan 1 includes the basic 30-day outline, recipes, food guide, & 1 coaching session.  Cost =  $60/initial session & $40/addtl sessions

  Plan 2 includes all the above plus an initial health & wellness assessment, goal setting map, food/mood journal & the following weekly items: personalized 1-hr sessions (cooking, grocery shopping, exercise support including yoga, etc.), phone/email check-ins, & a newsletter (including educational/support articles, recipes &  more).  Cost = $100/mth with 6 mth commitment

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Feeling Too Old, Too Soon?!

To go from this  to this  in a matter of weeks, days, or even hours can be quite traumatic to say the least. No matter how old or young we may be chronologically, our bodies & minds don't always match up.  As we age, we hope, pray, and work to keep our bodies & minds feeling, looking, & acting younger than we are, BUT even when we are still relatively young in years, we have to make an effort to stay strong & healthy.  At the ripe old age of 30, an osteopathic doctor told me (the health food nut & athlete) that I had bursitis in my left hip and was developing arthritis in BOTH HIPS, not to mention a whole slew of other diagnoses that included words like impingement, dysfunction, enthesopathy & facetogenic pain (till not sure if that's pain that makes your face twist up or not :D sure feels like it though).  While my chronological age is almost 30, the physical age of my hips seems to be about DOUBLE that!

So what do we do when we are faced with pain & problems that disturb our internal balance?  When I work with people as a Health & Wellness Consultant, I look at the whole person (physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, etc.) because each piece plays a role in creating a lifestyle wellness plan that meets that individual's needs, goals, & life demands.  Consider this a type of "Couch Potato to 5k" program that lasts a lifetime and prepares you to run the race of life at your own pace.  Even the best athletes and the seemingly healthiest people need support and guidance because no one knows everything....a hard lesson to learn for us "know it alls."

We weren't created in isolation and therefore cannot live happy, healthy lives in isolation.  So we take what we know and apply it to ourselves as best we can then we go out into the world to fill in the gaps that will link us to others and create a stronger, healthier, happier community and world.  I know how to eat right and exercise my body BUT I don't know what will help strengthen the muscular imbalances my body has because of genetics and previous injuries.  So I go to an osteopathic doctor, a chiropractor, and a physical therapist.

  Where is the mortar missing in the foundation of your life?
  • poor or imbalance diet?
  • physical pain or inactivity?
  • high stress at home/work?
  • financial constraints?
  • you fill in the blank _______________
*Ready to make a change that's affordable & manageable & just for you?!
Your Health & Wellness Plan will include:
  • initial assessment (90 minutes) of past/present lifestyle habits & stressors, important life events, goals, strengths, limitations, potential roadblocks
  • weekly 1-on-1 sessions (30 - 90 min.) in the office, grocery, kitchen, gym, yoga studio or in nature to teach & support the action plan
  • bi-monthly group sessions (60 - 90 min.) for support & community building
  • monthly re-evaluation (30 - 60 min.) to chart your progress & modify as needed
COST: $100 - 200 / mth (adjustable, income-based)

 ***To setup an appointment, click here.  Choose Health & Lifestyle Coaching, time/day, then enter your contact information. ******

 Here are some additional links to help prevent and rehab injuries:
  Where Does It Hurt?
  Restorative Yoga Stretches
  RW Injury Prevention Videos


When it comes to any form of activity at any age, we are always at risk for injury.  Of course, depending on age, weight, former and present activity level, overall health, & diet, not to mention uneven or wet terrain & weather, some of us are greater time-bombs than others.  Take heart though!  Literally.  It is possible to rewire that bomb and turn it into a wonderfully, effective time-keeping & tracking device that can guide you towards health vs. hyper-tension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or hyper-extension.

Here's the how my business helps you build a personalized wellness plan:
  • ASSESSMENT (who? what/where?): nutritional, physical, mental, emotional, financial, social, medical, etc.
Before creating a personalized wellness plan, data is collected during an interview where the more information provided means the more specific and effective the plan.
  • GOALS (why?):
Now that we know who you are and where you are on the health continuum, let's specify the why you seek a wellness plan.  We identify your short- & long-term goals within each category previously assessed.  Then we highlight areas of strength & struggle so that goals stay attainable and you stay motivated and encouraged.
  • ACTION PLAN (how?):
Combining the assessment with the goals, we collectively outline the how of your journey towards ideal health and wellness.  In the action plan, we also educate and learn how to combine what you already know that works with additional strategies.  Mixing up the old with the new sustains motivation and increases success.  By knowing what works & what doesn't along with your strengths & your struggles, we create a friendly path towards wholeness and happiness for a lifetime.
Once your wellness plan is created and approved by you, the moment of truth begins.  We will periodically check-in via phone or face-to-face sessions to keep you motivated & accountable to yourself.
As days & weeks go by, we will adjust your plan as needed to fit any changes or excessive and unhelpful challenges that are hindering your progress.   Ebbs and flows will happen and offer an opportunity to learn how to handle stagnation or setback, but too much of either can lead to discouragement and the disintegration of your journey.
Hopefully within a few weeks, you will begin to see and feel the benefits of your hard work and dedication to your SELF.  This is the time when we celebrate the small and BIG milestones.  You learn ways to celebrate that don't sabotage your continued journey but instead support the next steps on your journey.
 To begin or deepen your journey towards a happy, healthy life, contact me to setup an appointment. No one is turned  away because of financial concerns, health limitations, or time constraints.  If you want support then you will find it here.  All you have to do is ask. Peace.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Tri- Yoga..made for YOU

Some people are curious, others are confused, and the rest seem indifferent when they hear "yoga."  The comments range from "I don't like yogurt" to "I'm not flexible enough."  The 1st comment I tend to ignore, the second follows with, "that's exactly WHY you need to do yoga."  At the age of 8 my mother enrolled my in gymnastics because I couldn't touch my toes.  We practice something in order to learn it.  Yoga is not just for the flexible & fit.  In fact, it was never really about exercise &flexibility in its' native home of India.

There are several branches of yoga, many of which emphasize disciplining the mind, but Raja (hatha) yoga, as outlined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras, focuses the mind by concentrating on health and purity of the body.  Hatha yoga is performed via behavioral disciplines (yamas/niyamas), physical postures (asanas), and breathwork (pranayama), which prepare the whole self for meditative concentration that can lead to an awareness of oneness with creation (samadhi/nirvana/spiritual connectedness).  These 8 limbs of Raja yoga outline a way to life a whole, happy, healthy life.  While it is not a religion, it is definitely spiritual in its' nature.
Also, it can simply be a way to improve flexibility and mental stability. Whatever your need, there is something yoga can offer you because after all yoga means union.

***What feels disconnected in your life?
***Aren't you curious to see how a plan of yoga/union could help you connect the dots?

As a Registered Kripalu Yoga Teacher & a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner & Group Facilator, I offer individual &  group sessions for all levels to create a health & wellness plan that works for your goals & abilities.

Here's a sample:
 This pose sequence focuses on the core areas worked during swimming, cycling, & running. Be careful when performing postures if you've never done fact, make it a priority to seek out a class or instructor.

Tri Poses
By RunningYogi
Cow Pose

Cat Pose

Ujjayi Pranayama
Conqueror Breath

Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose

Marichyasana III
Marichi's Pose

Staff Pose

Seated Forward Bend

Upavistha Konasana
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend

Ananda Balasana
Happy Baby Pose

Fish Pose

Plow Pose

Supta Baddha Konasana
Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Bridge Pose

Corpse Pose