Thursday, August 27, 2015

Recognize stressor, Relax with breath, Release the tension or negativity! Come Home to Yoga! Come Home to Tranquility!

Yesterday as I was teaching the Pose Specific Class on Tuesday, I came up with a new mantra that goes along with our focus in August of the Breathe, Relax, Feel, Watch, and Allow (BRFWA for short).  

Anxiety, stress, fear stories, and tension are part of living in the present age.  Whether you are a teenager, a 20 something, a 30 or 40 year old with young families, a 50 year old with changing bodies, a 60 or 70 year old or young at heart, these issues affect all of us.  The purpose of yoga is for the whole body, soul, and spirit; the workout is amazing, the mental practice is life changing, and the spiritual side is cultivated with peace, rest, and God's presence in relaxation.

Brian's new motto is "Come Home to Yoga; Come Home to Tranquility," and it goes well with my mantra of recognize, relax, and release because it brings you home to your inner self whether you are on the mat in class or consumed with a relationship struggle or at night with insomnia or in your car in traffic or at work with a cranky person... 
1.  Recognize

  • When you feel anxious, stressed, impatient in traffic, or worried, your brain cannot distinguish between real fear (imminent danger) and a fear story (worry).  It sets off the "fight or flight sympathetic nervous system."
  • Your heart beat speeds up, your body heats up, and your breathing becomes more rapid.  Problem: More inhale; less exhale.  You have a physical reaction to a mental stressor.  The body tightens and tenses.
  • Often times, in meditation class, I encourage you to imagine that your mind is like a big blue sky.  A dark cloud passes by, you notice it as a distraction or negative thought, and let it go.  A beautiful light fluffy cloud of peace or positive nature, I encourage you to stay with it.  You become the "Observer" of your thoughts.  Don't judge yourself; just witness it.
  • "Recognize" literally means.  Stop and think about what you are thinking about that causes the fear, anxiety, triggers for stress.
2.  Relax
  • Breath practice, or Pranayama (breath control), is just what it says.  You practice consciously breathing.  The breath is autonomic (you breathe without telling yourself to), and it is also somatic (able to be controlled by your thinking and action).
  • When the "Fight or Flight" takes over due to the fear response of thinking thoughts, engage the "para" ("I have come alongside to help") nervous system of slowing your breath down.  
  • You can breathe in your nose slowly and exhale audibly or pretend you are blowing out a birthday cake candle.  Then, slow it down even farther by breathing in and out your nose.  Make the exhale longer each time without constricting the breath or holding it in any way
  • Now, relax your body using the "Body Scan" meditation idea of starting at the crown of the head or tips of your toes.  For example, "Forehead, relax and release.  Corners of the eyes, relax and release, cheeks slide towards the ears, ears soften and quiet, jaw line relax and release, tongue moves away from the palate and relaxes into the back of the throat...." just like I say to you in preparation for Savasana or breath practice in class.
3.  Release
  • Here is the opportunity to choose for yourself.  You do have control over your thoughts, and you are not a victim of your circumstances.  You can choose be proactive or reactive.
  • Say to yourself, "I release or resist that fear, anxiety, stress, worry,..."
  • Say to yourself, "I choose to think about what is good, kind, loving, and compassionate for myself and others."
  • As you say this to yourself (even if you still feel the fear), believe that change is on its way and release the negativity with each exhale.
  • Numbing behaviors are what we often choose when we decide to keep the anxiety.  These are cyclical and just create more drama in our lives.
As someone who has struggled with anxiety, I know this works because I am using it in my own life.  The more I practice, the better I become at the "letting go of aversion or attachment" because they do indeed cause suffering.  I am not exempt from suffering, and neither are you.  Our choice, however, is how we will handle the real fear and the fear stories that go along with it.  
May you find peace and well-being from this practice.
Jeanne K

  • Beginner Classes are every day of the week!  Join Jeanne K, Sheri, and Ashley as we teach MWF at 12:00 p.m. and MW at 6:45 p.m., T/TH at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and6:45 p.m.  Saturday at 10:30 a.m.
  • Moderate Classes are for Seasoned Beginners who can modify or enhance their practice.  I consider myself a "Seasoned Beginner."  Join me at 6:30 a.m. on MWF, 5:30 a.m. on T/TH, 7:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Power/Vigorous Classes are for the Seasoned Beginners, Intermediates, and Advanced to strengthen and challenge.  MWF at 9:00 a.m., MWF at 5:30 p.m., T/TH at 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Saturday at 9:00 a.m. with Jeanne; come with the attitude of play and practice.
  • All Levels can enjoy our Sunday Meditation and Slow Vinyasa Flow at 4:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.  Jeanne is once again the teacher.
  • Hot Yoga is coming soon!  The floor is on, and we will be sweating to the beat of the music with our Vinyasa Flow on Friday evenings sooner that we imagined.
  • Power Pilates will be our Thursday afternoon class (similar to 9:00 a.m. on Saturday morning) on October 1st at 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

12 Ways to Transform Your Self-Talk!

In yoga we continually talk about how finding "balance" is the most important reason for practicing.  Balance, between the hard and the soft, too much and too little, is optimally the goal of every posture.  I found this list of 12 Ways to Change Your Words and tweeked it a little to fit our self-talk.  Perhaps it will be helpful to you as well.
  1. Above all else, as I practice yoga, I know God loves me and created me just the way I am.  He knew me before any one else.
  2. Realistically, my faults and weaknesses can get the best of me on hard days, but I desire to change and transform.  Therefore, I believe that God is working in my life.  He is changing me bit by bit.  I think this is like "yoga," because as I practice the postures I find myself getting stronger, more flexible, and more balanced even when I know that they are still not the way I want them to be.
  3. Since God loves me and accepts me, I can in turn love and accept myself and others right in the present moment.  I do not have to wait to see change in order to believe it is happening.
  4. I choose to work with God to overcome my weaknesses.  Just like showing up again and again on my mat says to me, "Don't give up....don't give up...don't give up."  I am not alone.  God is right there with me.  Sometimes I feel closer to Him there than anywhere else because I am most vulnerable and He is the most STRONG.
  5. Everyone has faults, good days, and bad days.  I frequently say, "Sometimes we fly like a ROCK Star and sometimes we fall like a ROCK."  I am not a failure just because I am imperfect.  I am a work in progress.
  6. You must show up to go up or grow up as you see it.  No matter how many times I stumble, the goal is not to GIVE UP because God is with me to strengthen and sustain me.
  7. I like myself.  No, I don't like everything about me, and my "to-do" list on fixing my imperfections could go on forever.  I choose each day to like myself right where I am.  I want to change, but if I reject myself--the change will cease, and I will get stuck.
  8. God has a GOOD plan for my life, my family, my yoga practice, and my spiritual walk.  I will be all I can be for His Glory.  He has gifted me with talents and abilities, and I pledge to see those gifts used to help others.
  9. I am nothing.  Yet, I am everything!  In my own strength, I falter and fail, but in God's Strength and Ability, I have staying power.
  10. He sustains me just like in a yoga pose that I don't like or want to do, I think to myself, "One more breath....just one more breath."  In life, when I want to throw up my hands and quit, i remember that I am not alone.  He is my sustainer.
  11. No competition.  No comparison!  It steals my joy, my contentment, and my feelings of happiness or peace.  I refuse this moment to be controlled by what I think other people think of me.  Even if they totally reject me or as Brian would say, "Throw me under the bus," I am going to be okay.  This is my path.
  12. As long as I keep believing, God has promised never to let me go.  He affirms my value even if I forget to set my intention to be positive.  "I can do, I can do, I can do!"  Philippians 4:13
I hope these 12 affirmations are a blessing to you.  I would love to hear back from you.  May God bless you and keep you!  May God make His Face to shine upon you. May God give you peace that passes all understanding....
I might add, "May God help you get to yoga because the hardest part is showing up."
Jeanne K
Saturday, January 10:
9:00 a.m.  Vigorous Vinyasa with weights
10:30 a.m.  Chakra Yoga for the Core
12:00 p.m.  Happy Hips and Hamstrings

Sunday, January 11:
12:00 p.m.  Yoga Warriors (free to military/veterans) and everyone else pays $5
2:30 p.m.  Yoga Mix
4:15 p.m.  Keep Family Yoga is dwindling in numbers and will go off the schedule with less than 6 in a class.

​"Be the change you want to see."  Gandhi

Jeanne K. Doss;
ERYT 200/Yoga Alliance; Certified Personal Trainer/Cooper Institute; Pilates and Aerobics certifications; Zumba training Level 1 and Gold; YogaFit 1 and 2; Yoga Therapy Certification Level 1
"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."
(The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)

With over 30 class offerings a week, we have a practice designed just for you at Tranquility Yoga in Owasso.  Check Facebook page daily for class themes. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Yoga Warriors!

Reasons Why Yoga Is Helpful for Veterans and Military Personnel 
(I would add "anyone" who has undergone a traumatic experience, in my opinion)

  • Yoga begins with the question, "What is right with me?"  not "What is wrong with me?"
  • Soldiers in battle are in a constant state of "fight or flight."  When they return home that response does not turn off, making the transition to normal life difficult.  Yoga can help to reduce the hyper-arousal and connect the mind with the body in the present moment.
  • Military personnel need to main flexibility in switching from the stress inducing environment of hyper-arousal and vigilance to normal functioning.  Yoga can improve a person's ability to return to a normal state once the stressor has disappeared.
  • Yoga gently unlocks rigidly held memory material in ways that normal talk therapy might not.  The feelings may be too complex for words, or the person may be too self-conscious and find it difficult to verbalize their feelings.
    • The speech center of the brain often shuts down during trauma leaving the right brain to record the event in visual images or as other isolated sensory events.  
    • They may "literally, not have the words to speak of the trauma and can start a tailspin of flashbacks, night terrors, and anxiety"
  • Yoga helps release issues by putting us in touch with our emotional body.  It allows us to safely express stored emotions such as guilt, shame, anger, sadness, and grief so we can better understand, make peace with, and manage those feelings.
  • Through yoga, the body becomes associated with pleasant sensations.  This is so important for many traumatized individuals who associate their bodies with unpleasant sensations due to war wounds, rape, and so on.
  • Through yoga movements, a person can "unfreeze" bad memories and create a new bodily memory.  (Muscles have memory, I often say.)  A person who has been in trauma might re-create a desired response now that there is less danger and fear.
  • Specific yoga postures and mantras (things that we say while practicing) can be used for nurturing and comfort.  Oftentimes, traumatized individuals self-impose isolation, struggle with addictions, or battle anger issues.
  • An important key to recovery is evoking the relaxation response, the body's antidote to the stress response
    • According to Dr. Herb Benson, founder of Harvard's Mind Body Medical Institute, the relaxation response causes the release of neurotransmitters in the body, creating a soothing effect.
    • Yoga is one of the activities (along with meditation) that create the "relaxation response."  Taken from my manual, Yoga Warriors International Healing the Wounds of War Breath by Breath
Sunday, January 4, at 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.  Come and practice. No experience necessary, no flexibility necessary; just a willingness to learn.

Sunday, January 4, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.  Yoga Warriors (class is open to everyone age 18 and up)
  2. 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.  Yoga Mix (class is open to tweens, teens, and adults)
  3. 4:15 - 5:00 p.m.  Story Time Yoga (45 minutes) ages 3 - 8 and adults to practice along with children
Monday, January 5, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 7:00 - 7:55 a.m.  Good Morning Yoga - Moderate Level (55 minute practice)
  2. 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Yoga Mix - Vigorous Level (75 minute practice - Moms can come late if necessary since they are dropping off the kids!)
  3. 12:00 - 1:05 p.m.  Healthy Back/Core Yoga - Beginners Level
  4. 5:30 - 6:35 p.m.  Power Yoga - Vigorous Level
  5. 6:45 - 7:45 p.m.  Restorative Yoga - Gentle Level
Tuesday, January 6, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 7:00 - 7:55 a.m.  Good Morning Yoga - Moderate Level (55 minute practice)
  2. 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Yoga Mix - Vigorous Level (75 minute class)
  3. 12:00 - 1:05 p.m. Yoga Therapy with Lower and Upper Body - Beginners Level
  4. 4:15 - 5:20 p.m.  Power Yoga - Vigorous Level
  5. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Happy Hips and Hamstrings
Wednesday, January 7, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 7:00 - 7:55 a.m.  Good Morning Yoga - Moderate Level (55 minute practice)
  2. 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Yoga Mix - Vigorous Level (75 minute class)
  3. 12:00 - 1:05 p.m.  Healthy Back/Core Yoga - Beginners Level
  4. 4:15 - 5:10 p.m.  Yoga for All - Moderate/Vigorous Level (55 minute practice)
  5. 5:30 - 6:35 p.m.  Power Yoga - Vigorous Level
  6. 6:45 - 7:45 p.m.  Restorative Yoga - Gentle Level
Thursday, January 8, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 7:00 - 7:55 a.m.  Good Morning Yoga - Moderate Level (55 minute practice)
  2. 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Yoga Mix - Vigorous Level (75 minute class)
  3. 12:00 - 1:05 p.m. Yoga Therapy with Lower and Upper Body - Beginners Level
  4. 4:15 - 5:20 p.m.  Power Yoga - Vigorous Level
  5. 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.  Open Shoulders, Open Chest, Strong Back = Good Posture
Friday, January 9, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 7:00 - 7:55 a.m.  Good Morning Yoga - Moderate Level (55 minute practice)
  2. 9:00 - 10:15 a.m.  Yoga Mix - Vigorous Level
  3. 12:00 - 1:05 p.m. Healthy Back/Core Yoga - Beginners Level
  4. HOT YOGA with Jeanne K 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.  (75 minute class)
Saturday, January 10, the following classes are scheduled:
  1. 9:00 - 10:05 a.m.  Vigorous Vinyasa with Handweights option - Seasoned Beginners and Intermediate Level
  2. 10:30 - 11:35 a.m.  Chakra Yoga - Manipura Chakra this week - Yellow! Any Level is welcome.
  3. 12:00 - 1:05 p.m.  Happy Hips and Hamstrings - Beginners Level
  • Please get all of your supplies:
    • props, 
    • your final relaxation cloth, 
    • your bolster in the reception room as you prepare for class.  
    • Blankets are in the cubbies below the sign in desk on the wall in the living room, and straps are on the wall inside the studio.  
    • This gives us more room to practice and allows Jeanne K's housekeeper to clean efficiently.  
    • (:  P.S.  Jeanne K is the housekeeper.
  • Do not forget to sign in; it is our legal representation of all who are here.  Thanks!
  • Don't forget our January special is 10% off all Unlimited packages.  Cash or check only.  Please add 4% to credit or debit card purchase for courtesy fee. 
  • Thank you for practicing with us.  Namaste'