Friday, June 6, 2014

If You Want a Rainbow, You Must Put Up with a Little Rain!

If your mind becomes firm like a rock
and no longer shakes
In a world where everything is shaking
Your mind will be your greatest friend
and suffering will not come your way.  Therigatha

How do I develop a steady mind when the world shakes around me?  How do I become my own best friend?  How do I release and let go of suffering?  I believe that it comes through the teaching of yoga called, "equanimity, or acceptance."
    • Equanimity describes a complete openness to experience, without being lost in reactions of love and hate. It's a powerful quality in its own right, and it fortifies other qualities. It supports wisdom because when the mind doesn't shake, we can stay with the truth of things long enough to have a deep insight. 
    • Equanimity has a balance that empowers loving-kindness (metta) with patience, so that we care, even in times when the people that we love do self-destructive things. 
      • "May you be happy and have the causes of happiness."
      • "May you be healthy in body, mind, and spirit."
      • "May you be safe, free from harm."
      • "May you be at peace."  Metta Meditation
    • Without equanimity we might demand that happiness occur in the ways that we think it should, rather than stay connected and loving with things as they are. 
    • Equanimity endows compassion with courage, so that we have the courage to face the pain in life and to face the cruelty in the world. When we care deeply, we try to help, but we can't always alleviate pain. Sometimes what we do doesn't actually help.  You can not control what another person will do.  Shaila Catherine
When I accept myself, even the parts of me that I do not appreciate, and release my ego, I find peace.  

Yoga is really all about finding that peace with yourself on the mat.  

Personally, I wish I was 22 again like Alyssa at times.  I long for the flexibility of Micah at times.  I desire the backbends of Sheri at times.  I envy the joy of a tall, lean body like Shelly at times.  But, I am "me."  

At 56, some days I have a cranky joint or an inflexible hip or lower back area.  I am learning each day to give thanks for who I am.  The more I cooperate with myself, the more peaceful I become with tolerating mistakes and getting along with all people, even the unfriendly ones.  The more I practice, the more I like myself, just as I am at this age with this strength, flexibility, and balance.

The real secret to yoga is not wishing, desiring, longing, and envy.  It is "letting go" of my perfectionistic tendencies and learning to accept myself for where I am today.  

Today is my gift.  Today is my present moment.  Today I am free one breath, one peaceful intention at a time.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

What has yoga taught me? A lot. Way more than I expected.

1. Flexibility is not only physical. It applies just as much to your mental and emotional side as well. The same applies for balance. 

2. Be present in the moment. I think Alyssa used the visual one time of idle thoughts being clouds moving overhead. They are there, acknowledge them but then let them go. Focus on your intention. I like that and use it a lot. 

3. When things get difficult (dolphin push-ups or say, losing your job), keep breathing. Those difficult things don't own you or define you. There is something better. Be fluid and have the flexibility to move with change (or hold the pose) through the difficulties. Let your breath guide you. 

4. Popcorn thankfulness. A thankful heart inside creates a healthy environment for other positive elements outside to grow stronger. This is so simple but so very true. 

5. God puts people in our lives at the right time to help provide what we need. Things that have happened "AY" (after yoga) would not have progressed the way they have if not for the things we have learned and experienced and applied through practicing at Tranquility. This is not to say all is easy all the time. It's not. It's hard work, but the lessons of yoga are multi-dimensional and applying them off the mat is what is different. Again, I was not expecting this when we started!
You have a teacher's heart, Jeanne and you impact lives. Thank you!!

Yoga is blessing me by:
1.  Stress & Grief relief  - for that hour or two my mind is calm(er); happier.  Learning to let go... 
2.  Think positive thoughts  
3.  I'm ok just as I am
4.  Breathe
5.  Relax

1) Yoga has helped all my aches and pains when I run. (especially my knees)
2) I have better posture.
3) Breathe!! I feel more confident that I can at least try the poses when I relax, concentrate and breathe!
4) I love the soreness! Especially when I hold long stretches. I feel taller and more limber.
5) Honor your body- it's ok to modify. No pain, no pain.
6) It's just as good of a workout as my other things I do!
Five things yoga has taught me:
1. To be kind to my body, no matter what my shape, size or weight.2. I can extend grace to myself, just as God extends grace to me.3. Insights into problems often come during final relaxation.4. No pain, no pain! There is no prompting to try and " gut it out" like there is in a lot of gyms.5. Yoga is not only about movement, its about focus, being in the moment, and tuning in to what my body is telling me.As a side note: the message I come away with is that I'm okay, just as I am, and that has been one of the biggest gifts I've received from my yoga practice. 
1. Positive over negative 24/7
2. Set goals for yourself regardless of age and health;
3. Never give up!
4. You can make a difference; love don't judge
5. A healthy mind makes for a healthy body in ways I never thought possible 
1. Comparison is the thief of joy.
2. Peace is my identity.
3. I breathe in love, peace and gratefulness and I breathe out the inability to let go of what harms my person.
4. I am worth more than what I think I look like.
5. I am stronger than I think I am.  

Yoga has taught me the following:
1. To find joy again in movement challenges (from lunge to standing 1-foot balance), 
2. To focus on relaxing points of tension (jaw, shoulders, hips), 
3. That I can get better as I get older
4. How interconnected we all are regardless of background or what appears to be different, and best of all 
5. How much pleasure I get from someone else's progress/success! And one more: there really isn't competition in the studio, just support and challenges to try the hard/fearful pose! Thanks to all the TY crew!

  1. Learning to accept that it's okay to have "me time".  It's not being selfish.
  2. Learning how to feel the peace and tranquility when you open your heart and mind to it.
  3. Yoga is a healing of the mind, soul, and body.
  4. It's always okay with everyone if you mess up--there are no real mistakes.
  5. I thought yoga was just about stretching--it's so much more (certainly not as easy as Jeanne makes it look! :)
1) I have value (this is my intention EVERY time...I struggle mightily with this)
2) I am stronger than I know
3) Jesus is closer than I thought
4) I CAN do yoga!
5) That coming to practice is vital for my emotional health.

  1. When working outdoors--squat instead of bending over. This has eliminated many of the back problems that I had by(before yoga)
  2. Count your blessings each day. Every night before I go to sleep, I think over all the things I have done that day - good and not so good. The positive stories that we receive at yoga help me to realize that small things make a big difference
  3. Balance and flexibility are so important especially the older I get. I know that yoga has improved this area of my life.
  4. Standing up straight with your core working and shoulders back. I use to have neck problems but now that I try to remember the correct way to sit and walk, most of that has gone away.
  5. Classes are never the same and I always learn something new even after 3 years. When I let Jeanne know that I have a sore or strained part of my body,  she always works in a pose that will help me.  Classes are always different and the teacher really helps you to get the pose correctly without hurting you.
I will stop at five but bottom line is that tranquility yoga has made a big difference in my life and attitude each day
1.   Breathe!  -:))
2.   Accept and believe in yourself
3.   Have faith
4.   Try your best
5.   Have fun, don't take it too seriously, let it happen!
  1. Yoga increases my concentration level
  2. Yoga has taught me to relax (still working on it)
  3. Yoga has taught me it’s okay to be me (I don’t have to be perfect, just “doing” is good enough)
  4. Yoga/you remind me of all the wonderful things I have to be thankful for.
  5. Yoga has taught me that I’m stronger than I think I am.
  6. And last but not least Yoga has taught me to breathe.
I have been so encouraged in my own practice by reading these top five or so reasons that yoga has benefited people's lives.  I will continue to add to the list in order for you to be uplifted, too!  At Tranquility Yoga in Owasso, we believe that yoga is for every body, size, age, ability or none, and range of motion.

Come and see how yoga can make these beautiful changes in your life as well.
Namaste'
Jeanne K



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dear Friends,
What a blessing to receive the e-mails for five things yoga has taught you!  I need at least ten more to choose the grand prize winner.  
Could you take a moment today and jot down five of your favorite things yoga has taught you? 

Here are some samples.
  • Relax  (when I first sit on my mat I let go of everything from the day)
  • Breathe  (still trying to master this, usually the ever so experienced instructor reminds me to breathe and it really does help with relaxing, focusing and being able to do achieve better results)
  • Yoga isn't as easy as it looks (not even close!)
  • Positive attitude (its such a breath of fresh air to have the friendly, inspirational and positive people around)
  • Jeanne, Micah and Alyssa are amazing (haven't had Sheri but I'm sure she is too) I personally haven't done yoga before Tranquility and I feel so at ease, support in helping me to do the correct positions and that yoga is for Everyone. Cindy
********** 
1.  
​ 
No comparisons! 
2.  Slow down and breathe!
3.  It’s okay to relax.
4.  Yoga does as much good for my body as boot camp, 
​z​
umba, etc.
  (I know you like that one!)
5.  “Scoop the belly in!” Love my yoga teacher and friends 
​ ​
 ​B​
etsy

**********​
Five things Yoga has taught me :
1.  I CAN do it!!!
2.  I am stronger than I think I am
3.  POSTURE POSTURE POSTURE
4.  Breathe!!!!
5.  I miss it sooo much when I can't get there!!  I'm ready for summer!!!!  Stacy
**********
I have seriously thought about this all day. There are So many more than 5 things I've learned!
  • It's ok to be me.
  • Breathe. Just like difficult poses, this too shall pass.
  • Be thankful for all the things. Breath, life, good, bad, body, mind, spirit. Everything is meant for my good.
  • Perspective. Dont get so gosh darn fired up about every little thing. I don't need to be peeled off the ceiling 20 times a day.
  • Be here. Right now. Enjoy what God brings me each day.
Seriously. If you need a longer list, just call me and I can give you more!  Julie

An article from Mind, Body, Green says it all!

I started practicing yoga for the first time on my Wii Balance Board with Wii Fit Plus. 
Fast forward a few years and yoga is now such an integral part of my life I don’t know how I ever survived without it. These are the lessons yoga continue to teach me every day:

1. New beginnings. 

Every day is an opportunity for a new beginning. My yoga practice is different every day. Poses that are hard on one day are manageable or even easy on another. I just have to accept what is happening on the mat for me today. I appreciate what I have on each given day… and know I can start again tomorrow.

2. The value of the pause. 

A friend once described me as a "quick thinking, fast talking" person. Having a million-miles-an-hour mind has its perks, but when that chatter becomes destructive, it’s hard to stop the snowball effect. Yoga taught me to pause and be still. I appreciate nothing more than those golden moments when I am moving, fluidly, in a dreamlike state, aware only of the flow of my own breath. Finally, my mind gives it a rest and I become free from its bondage.

3. Expression of my soul. 

Savasana has become an amazing opportunity for an encounter with my true self. Seated meditation is still a challenge for me but in savasana I connect with my soul. I don’t think, but things come to me. Insights into myself and I am left in awe of what is in my heart.

4. No more paralyzing fear. 

Challenging postures taught me that my fears and doubts paralyze me. When I doubt, I fall out and when I’m scared to fall, fail, or get hurt – I just don’t do anything. It’s my strategy in life too. So now I fall, I get hurt, and I get up… because it’s so important to DO something. When it doesn’t work out the way I planned, it’s never as significant as I thought it would be.

5. Releasing and letting go.

In a posture, when you hold on, you tighten up, constrict and contract, and there’s little room for moving forward. Sounds a bit like life – surprise, surprise! Letting go of what you don’t NEED is essential to move forward. The tension is self-inflicted; become aware of it, then release it.
 
6. Loving the bod.

Yoga has me seeing my body as a team. All my organs, cells, glands, and me – we have a little support group going on. I look after them, and they look after me. We chat and listen, and I learn so much from all of them because this body knows endlessly more than I could ever fathom. We heal each other every day.
 
7. Acceptance. 

My practice teaches me to be at peace with what is, even if it’s not exactly how I had envisioned it. I will be on a mission to conquer one of my nemesis postures, without progress to get excited about, when suddenly, without warning, I will get into another posture for the first time. Just like that. For every pose that has eluded me, yoga has given me another just as lovely instead.

8. My endless potential. 

I have expanded my body in yoga in ways that had me realize how much more there is to me. It’s a journey during which I am expanding my body, my potential and my understanding of the limitlessness of being human.
 
9. Physical body improvements. 

I am no spring chicken, but I’m in better physical shape than I've ever been. I am strong and I am healthy. No diet, no starvation, no extremes – just me and my "support group" doing the work as a team!

10. Happiness. 

Yoga has made me happy. I get a sense of intense joy when I roll out my purple mat and get into that first Downward-Facing Dog. I come home – centered, peaceful, and happy. I am being with what is. I am.  Tanya Kemp

One friend of Tranquility calls life BY (before yoga) and AY (after yoga).  She wrote 11!

  • My feet don't hurt like they used to BY (Before Yoga)
  • My right shou
    ​ld​
    er has greater range of movement than BY.
  • I can walk longer without my lower back hurting than BY.
  • I can turn my head farther than BY. 
  • My knees aren't hurting like they did BY.
  • I set my intention (balance) & am improving balance in yoga practice and out of yoga. 
  • I feel accomplishment that I show up and try.
  • Sometimes at the end of yoga during final relaxation I feel tears of release.
  • I see such a positive change in my daughter that I haven't seen in almost 7 years since 
    ​her baby ​
    passed away. Priceless. 
  • I see God working through you, Jeanne K, in many lives.  You encourage us, give us physical & spiritual tools to equip us for living lives to glorify God.
  • I loved seeing you work with 
    ​another client​
     the other night.  You got him to do far more than I'd seen him do previously. I could just imagine you teaching 2nd grade students who struggled. You expected a lot & showed
     ​ him​
     how to do it & then praised him for his progress.  Inspiring.

Join our contest and give yoga an opportunity to make a difference in your life.  If it has been a while since you came to a class, make one today!
Namaste'
Jeanne K

photo by Jason Dulin
​I am missing our classes/teaching time, but I am learning so many great things here in Connecticut through Yoga for Every Body practices and workshop.​ I will be home next Sunday and ready to share.  (:  The workshop I went to yesterday afternoon while the kids and grands were at their church picnic was about shoulders.  I am sincerely sore and cannot wait to teach some of her secrets to releasing the fascia around the neck, upper arms, chest, and back area.  My chest and upper back feel so much more open today!   P.S.  Sarah Summers, the teacher of my workshop was from the Kripalu Institute, Michelle Dalbec!