“Brides to Bee”

adorable-wedding-cake-topper-bride-to-bee__full“The most complete and true happiness comes in moments when you feel right there, completely present, with no ideas about good and bad, right and wrong — just a sense of open heart and open mind.” ~ Pema Chodron

Let me begin by saying I believe with every part of my being that the greatest thing we can ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. If you are planning to be married soon, Congratulations! I was married almost 8 months ago, and it has been wonderful! However, don’t be fooled, leading up to the big day was stressful and confusing at times. If it weren’t for the tools of Yoga, I don’t know if things would have turned out the way they have and I can tell you my husband definitely is appreciative! That is why I have launched Yoga for Brides to Bee and am passionate and committed to guiding the bride and anyone involved in making your wedding day perfect in every way.

Sometimes leading up to the “big day,” our wedding day we can forget about the present moment, neglecting the here and now, therefore losing sight of what really matters. Marriage is about commitment, partnership and a lifetime of sharing, growing and learning. However, sometimes, we forget and make the mistake of thinking it’s all about this one day.

With that said, the ceremony of our wedding day is an extremely important and special occassion. In fact, it is so special and important, I believe that we should relish in every single second of it. However, I hear from so many brides that their wedding day was a whirlwind that just flew by and that they don’t really remember any of it! I’m here to tell you, that there is a remedy for that.

keep calm and marry on

 No matter who it is, we all just want to feel seen. We especially want to feel seen by our partner. If we are constantly looking toward future events, our mind cannot be present in the here and now with our partner, which can lead to our partner feeling neglected. 

We don’t want to go into our wedding day feeling disconnected from our partner, so it is important to remain present and connected with your partner remembering the celebration of marriage is really a celebration of your love and connection. (Partner Yoga is a great way to connect!)

Below are some tips for when you feel your mind wandering, on overload, anxious and catch yourself living too much in the future.

1. PAUSE. Take a breath and ask yourself, is this thinking/behavior moving me toward stillness or away from stillness? This is an excellent litmus test that works every single time.

2. For those times when your mind just won’t seem to stop no matter what you do and your anxiety is topping the charts, try the Bumble Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama). Again, this works every time! The Bumble Bee Breath is an ancient yoga breathing technique that imitates the sound of a bumble bee. It is very relaxing and prompts the release of seratonin.

Some benefits:                                                                                                                       – calms the mind and soothes anxiety                                                                                     – helps memory and concentration                                                                                          – good for headaches including migraines                                                                               – good for the thyroid

How to do it:                                                                                                                          1. Sit comfortably                                                                                                                   2. Relax your shoulders                                                                                                         3. Close your throat slightly so you can hear your breath when you breathe in                    4. Cover your ears with your thumbs and gently rest your fingers over your eyes               5. Keep your lips closed but lightly and your teeth slightly apart with your jaw relaxed and breathe out slowly making a long, low humming sound, similar to the buzzing of a bee      6. Make your exhalation long and smooth

Repeat 5-10 times. Then sit with long slow breaths for a couple of minutes and enjoy the peace.

3. Last but definitely not least. Be kind to yourself. This can be a stressful time and you more than anyone else deserve your love. In Yoga, we practice Legs up the Wall or Viparita Karani. It’s a restorative pose that’s also an inversion, that opens the heart and gives a boost of energy by encouraging deep rest in the body and mind. We all need strategies to help us maneuver through life’s difficult days with some measure of sanity and grace.

(Note: Skip it if you’re pregnant, have blood pressure, have a history of stroke or heart failure, or have glaucoma.)

Instructions:   legs up the wall 2

1. Sit next to a wall with the side of your body on the wall and your knees bent into the chest.

2. Bring the lower back onto the floor while bringing the legs up the wall. Keep the upper body supported with the elbows on the floor.

3. Slowly release the elbows and lower the whole back down to the floor.

4. If you are comfortable, stay here several minutes.

5. To come out, bring the knees into your chest and roll to your side.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Yoga can support you leading up to your wedding day, please contact me directly at indiabeeyoga@gmail.com or complete the contact form below.

wedding toast kiss

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The Way of the Bee …..<(0)~"

flying dolphin      I was a gymnast growing up, and an active child who played different sports, but gymnastics was my first love. Growing up in the suburbs of Houston in the 1980’s, I never heard much (or anything for that matter) about Yoga. When I was in college, and my stress level began to increase, I became curious about yoga and wanted to find out what it was all about. My body had become accustomed to stretching through gymnastics, and I was drawn to yoga from a place of inner knowing. I was just completing my undergraduate degree at ASU and had been accepted into the Peace Corps where I would be doing grassroots community development work in Bolivia. Looking back I was definitely in a place of transition in my life. A friend of mine took me to a studio in Tempe, AZ. It was the first time I had been to an actual yoga studio. It was a surreal experience, and at the end of class I cried. No one fawned over me asking if I was okay, they just let me have my experience; my release.  It was the beginning of a beautiful awakening for me again and again and again over the past 13 years. 
           Without actually realizing what I was doing, I started to teach myself first while living in a rural village of Bolivia. I received a book as a going away gift with 12 weeks of yoga practice in which one week built upon the next. I would record my voice while reading the instructions from the book on to my tape recorder (yes, tape recorder!), and then play it back while I practiced. I don’t think I had the confidence in myself that I could actually be a yoga teacher to others, until another teacher approached me years later, once I had returned to the U.S. and asked me if I had ever thought about teaching. I took her up on this offer and am so grateful I did. It has been female mentors and teachers in my life that saw something in me that I could not see myself. With their support, I found the courage to become a teacher. Now, I can’t imagine my life without teaching. However, I will forever be a student of yoga and life as well.
           Yoga has brought many benefits to my life. Yoga has helped me to become more present and able to stay in touch with my inner voice, which in turn has enabled me to connect with more self-love and peace. Yoga has given me another level of awareness so that I’m now able to recognize when I’m not breathing properly, when I’m holding tension unconsciously in my body, and has helped me to control my thoughts and anxiety. Overall, yoga has brought — and continues to bring — a true state of balance, peace and harmony to my life. It reminds me to connect with my inner joy and to share that with all beings. 
           One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to lead by example. I spent a good part of my life trying to change other people or even trying to change the world. Leading by example reminds me that the only person I have control over is myself and that it is up to me to be the change I’d like to see in the world.
           Anyone can do yoga! As a teacher, it is my job to meet students where they are, and I am confident that yoga is available to any-body. It seems like there are so many misconceptions about what yoga is, but to me, it is really just a time to come to our mats alone or with community to practice presence, awareness and connecting with our breath. Yoga is a time for us to come to our mats to practice what we’d like to cultivate in our lives off the mats. If you’re curious, please come check it out for yourself. We always love to grow our community!
  follow the way of the bee
 

Celebrate The Solstice!

tiagatewintersolsticeExactly 10 years ago, June 21st, I celebrated the solstice at the pre-Inca ruins of Tiwanaku, near Lake Titicaca along the border of Bolivia and Peru. It is not exactly known what happened to this advanced ancient culture. Some believe Tiwanaku is the oldest city in the world. Others believe it was built by an extraterrestrial race who also created the Nazca Lines.

(Note: Because I was in the Southern hemisphere, we gathered to celebrate the winter solstice, rather than the summer solstice, which is what I will celebrate this year being in the Northern hemisphere.)

On the night of June 20, 2003, I gathered together with what seemed like thousands of others, mostly indigenous Bolivians (this day is also the Aymaran new year) in the frigid temperatures of the high altitude of the Andes. Fires burned while we sang and danced and passed hot drinks while chewing coca leaves to pass the time until the main event, which is sunrise.

india tiahanaku 2003 (It was COLD!)dancing tiahanacu 2003(Please excuse photo quality. This was before the day of digital cameras & are a picture taken of a picture.)

The rays of the rising sun on the winter solstice pass through a stone entrance called “the Sun Gate”. The creator god Viracocha is carved into the center of the gate and is surrounded by winged beings. On it are also carved the instructions for interpreting a giant wall made of 11 pillars nearby (one of which is lying on the ground), which acts as a solar calendar.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAviracocha sun god

When the dawn is getting light and has not yet shone the first ray of sun, a group of amautas (sort of priests) meets with ceremonial objects, and make libations, incense and sacrifices of llamas immaculates (whose blood is an offering to the Sun and Earth for soil fertility), while waiting for the sun’s rays to pass through the Sun Gate, which officially starts a new agricultural cycle.

For those of us in the Northern hemisphere this year celebrating the Summer Solstice, this marks the beginning of summer. Honor the sun. If you enjoy doing yoga, this a great time to practice the Sun Salutation. The Sun Salutation nourishes your body and your soul, balancing both in harmony through meditation, conscious breathing and physical movement in one. Begin this exercise on the morning or anytime during the day of the summer solstice and aim to make it a daily habit from this time on. This link will walk you through a Sun Salutation. http://www.howcast.com/videos/249-How-to-Do-a-Basic-Sun-Salutation

While growing your herbs and veggie garden, remember to thank the pollinators. Summer is a time of high pollination because so many trees and plants are flowering. And yet, in recent years many bees have suffered from disease, in particular colony collapse disorder, threatening the future of pollination by bees. Find out all you can about what is being done to protect bees and give bee keepers who practice natural, organic and chemical-free beekeeping your support.

bee thankful

So as you can see, whether you are in the Northern or Southern hemisphere, the solstice is all about honoring the Sun and the Earth (Pachamama). This is a beautiful time to feel and show your gratitude for all that Pachamama and the Sun do to support our lives here on Earth.

Just imagine–What would happen if the sun just decided not to rise one day? How would this change our lives?

What are your plans to celebrate the solstice? I’d love to hear from you.

Love the Life you Live

bee your very best self

“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.” ~ Mary Catherine Bateson

When I was 23 years old, I packed my bags and headed out to Bolivia to work as a Peace Corps volunteer. Why? I was going to change the world, of course! However, it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be…

Change was hard. Change took time. I spent a total of 3.5 years in South America, living in two countries and traveling to five during this time. When I left, I had come to a conclusion that the only way to make real, sustainable changes with a positive impact was through education.

Fast forward a handful of years or a decade and it finally hit me. Change is hard. Change takes time. The only way to make real change with a positive impact is through education. I knew the answer. I had discovered the formula. It was time to apply this formula to myself!

Self-Study! Self-Care! Self-Love!

How could I hope for equality, peace, happiness and health for the world, if I myself did not embrace all of those qualities first? How could I even imagine a world of peace if I myself did not have inner peace, did not have peace in my relationships?

It is amazing what happens when you choose to live your life in exactly the way you would like to see the world. I’ll say it again and again, but it really is so true; Be the change you wish to see in the world!

When we show up differently, suddenly the world around us starts shifting as well. I promise, it’s true. You do not have to try and change anyone or anything. All you have to do is show up exactly how you are (which may be different than how you are showing up now), and just like that, you will see the power you have to make positive change.

Go out in the world and spread your light. Don’t be afraid to love the life you live and live the life you love.

Feels SO good!

Love the life you live

Beginner’s Mind ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

awakening-from-the-illusion-thich-nhat-hanh

“Everyone has a desire, but the desire to transform one’s self; to transform one’s affliction, suffering, in order to get free and help other people and change the word, that is a good desire.”

“If we have fear and despair in us, we cannot do anything to help remove the suffering in society.”

“When you have understanding of your own suffering, compassion arises in yourself, and you know how to transform your own suffering. And with that you can help other people do the same.”

Without a community, we cannot go very far. Let’s work together to form a Healthy Community. To approach our challenges with compassion and non-violence.

peace in ones self peace in the world

May you find the peace and happiness inside yourself and share the same with all beings.

Be Healthy, Be Happy, Be Free.