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Happiness can come from Grattitude.

In today’s post, I want to share some thanks to the people that I’ve been working with since I’ve quit my full-time job in April to work in yoga.

To anyone out there reading this far, thank you for reading what I have to say. I am building this site to help you share things I explore that might help you find more peace and balance day to day. It’s fun, I like the feeling of being honest and sharing. I spent a long time feeling lost, and chasing the next promotion, the next vacation, purchase or whatever to trying to feel happy. Eventually, I started asking more questions of life and of myself.

I’ve been practicing Yoga for a long time. At a certain point, things started to slowly click for me, and I began to deepen my practice. Eventually, with encouragement, I enrolled in a teacher training. A few twists and turns, now here we are! Since it’s been about 3 months since I made the leap out of my corporate job, I wanted to share my thoughts and thanks.

  • Learning never stops. I’m learning to be humble, open & humourous. You can learn something new every day.
  • Social media is somewhat necessary but it doesn’t replace personal connections. I’ll always continue to post, but it’s not going be the main focus.
  • I’ve made plans to get certified in children’s yoga and to study prenatal. I’m really excited and thankful to the friends who support and share in this journey of mine! I’ve also gotten the opportunity to serve as the ambassador for the NYG Kids Yoga program. If you are interested in learning more yourself click here, The program is running a few good sales rates.
  • I am so thankful to the  artists and photographers I’ve worked with so far. They’ve all been amazing and help me build this site and posts. I think it’s important that I mention this – because it’s not realistic to set give the impression that I’m doing difficult poses all day every day (It’s just sometimes ;)) and that this is a one man band. That’s just not my reality, I’m so thankful for my community. I work with some fun people to make fun pictures to share with you guys online because I want to get the positive message of yoga out – I think that posting is one of those ways! If you like the photos and want to check out any of their links, here’s who I’ve been working with!
    • Space Coast Videos – http://www.spacecoastvideo.net/
      • Kick Ass Videos! Really unique and beautiful camera angles and focuses for videos. Original and fun film techniques.
    • Acevedo Photography – http://acevedophotography.zenfolio.com/
      • Great wedding and community photography. Really Shines with Family Photography as well. Really top of the line work and experience.
    • L&M Photography – https://l-mphotos.smugmug.com/
      • Really cool old school New York. Excellent Commercial & Event Photography. Has some awesome natural photos and scenery as well.
    • Lynsymadison – https://society6.com/lynsymadison Animation & freelance Artist. Designed my logo – Beautiful work!
  • I’ve been teaching and practicing on my own, as often as I can. I’ve added 3 additional classes and a Workshop July 8th at Downtown Yoga that I am teaching for this month! I am so excited, and at the same time really working to find balance with this.  I truly feel my own personal practice is the key to me being able to share the best information with you that I can find as a teacher. I love all of the teachers at Downtown Yoga and really feel honored to study & practice with such skilled and experienced teachers.
  • I’m expanding my website! –  I will have fun things to share with you in the upcoming year. It takes time! Hoping to have some at home yoga & meditation videos completed for you all,  and add more hand-made art items to my store for you to enjoy. Through it all, I want to always continue to do my best to bring relevant and meaningful content to the surface of this internet bubble we all can easily get stuck in. Real life is out there! Go out there and enjoy it ❤ ❤
  • I’ve gotten to Shadow a yoga class for students with disabilities. I’ll be writing about that next week! It was an awesome experience and I am so excited to be able to share that with you all!

Namaste! Please comment, Share & send feedback on what you would like to hear more about. I would love to hear from you

 

-Mariah

Uncategorized

Sore Hips and Shoulders! Getting up and down from the floor properly, and how yoga can help.

Hi there! This week, I want to tell you something cool I stumbled upon. I was getting out of the bathtub and had a moment of inspiration. Something about that blue bathroom must do something for my creative juices 😉 haha!

As I went to get up my hip just… popped! It was loud, and It does this occasionally. Sometimes – my knees and hips get a little sore too. I always feel better when I do my yoga so scratch that off the list, but I have begun to think about how I am moving during the day. Sometimes I think.. what the heck am  I doing that makes me so sore?

Are you noticing the way you move?  Have you ever considered that you might be causing strain day to day on your body in repetitive movements? It surely can be different from person to person but I encourage you to listen to your body.

So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to focus on that, as I go about my day. Here’s what I noticed so far:

  1. I’m on my cell phone too much. I think that all the thumb typing is messing with my arm. I’m trying to figure out ways to still be a part of the conversation online – but also – not wreck my wrists! Does anyone else have this struggle? I’ve been playing with ways to still write and post without being glued and setting aside work hours. Much too easy to get sucked in to that little gadget.
  2. The way I sleep is a bit too… smushy. My shoulders get so stiff, and I have to balance them out all the time. I straight up – sleep on my arms. I’ve started sleeping on my back without a pillow (Think Savasana) and have surprisingly been a little less stiff.
  3.  The way I get in and out of things, or up and then back down is too rough and unintentional. I started to wonder – is there a good form to this? I was slowly noticing all the ways that my body snapped, popped, or felt just a bit of general discomfort. Ergonomics, per say every time I got in and out of something specifically. Here are a few examples:
    • Getting in and out of the car. I tend to have a graceful plop going on here. (I think this is common especially if you are shorter or taller than the average)
    • I crack when I climb in and out of the bed. (Short people things)
    • How you sit on the toilet (sitting, standing & twisting)
    • Getting down onto the floor, and then standing back up (Especially with pets or kidd-o’s)

So of course, like any normal human, I go to the internet and looked up “how to properly get on and off the floor” ….Because….. Google :). This is what I found. I am a super nerd and love to research  https://www.verywell.com/how-to-safely-get-up-and-down-from-the-floor-1230957

So pretty straightforward, it’s an article about how to get up and down off the floor.  BUT THEN when I looked at the photos I was like – wow, no wonder yoga helps people build balance & strength. It strengthens all the muscles in your body you use to get up and down if you practice in a balanced way. So, in conjunction with the link above (check it out!) Here are a list of some of the common yoga poses I noticed, that can help you build the muscles you need to get on and off of the floor.

  • Modified Cresent (Knee down) Strength in legs, core, arms and flexibility in shoulders and hips.
  • Lizard Pose – Flexibility in Hips, strength in legs, core and arms,
  • Table – Strenth in core, arms and legs
  • Runners Lunge – Builds Flexibility in hips and strength in legs and core
  • Modified Chattarunga – Strengthens Chest and Arms
  • Gate – Stretches Obliques

If you ever have any questions, or if anyone would be interested in having me demonstrate some of the poses and posting online, please feel free to comment or shoot me a message. Maybe that is something that I can take a video of from home to demonstrate. I’m looking into that type of thing, and would love to hear your ideas.

While I won’t be able to do everything, I am truly interested in what people want to hear! Always makes me a better teacher 🙂

Namaste!

Mariah

Food, Health, Love

How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Eating and learn to love your Body

Hi there 🙂 – I thought it was time that I covered a rather intimate topic… Eating! What’s closer to us than what we each choose to give our bodies each day to function. So many different preferences, tastes, and foods.

As a teenager and young woman there have been times where I’ve scrutinized my looks, taken a yo-yo diet, and tried questionable pills and “herbal” teas in order to lose weight. None of these gave lasting improvements in my life. There have been times in by life where I was carrying more than I needed to on my body, and that made some things uncomfortable for me. That being said, I was doing a few things, (in hindsight) that were’nt really helping me feel any better. If you struggle with finding a healthy meal plan to suit your lifestyle – You are not alone. Even if what I, or another person eats doesn’t work for you………. there IS something out there that will, and I encourage you to keep looking, trying, and eventually you will find something that feels right for you.

Just like when we are on the yoga mat, if we make little adjustments here and there to make something feel better we are still succeededing. It is good to make adjustments to suit your needs as long as it is helping you, not harming you. Here are a few tips that have helped me to slowly make lasting improvements to what I eat. When I am eating healthy, I am accepting of how I look because I know that I am doing my best to eat as well as I can. This gives me more self-acceptance

  1. Drink lots of water. Water with fruits in it (try rasberry!), water with vegetables (try cucumber!) in it, Water blended with frozen fruit and plain ‘ol water. Just drink it. Being hydrated makes life better. Drink less soda, juice, sweetened milks, pre-bottled tea, and drinks made with artificial sweetener. These don’t help you!! Both types of sugar are added to products so that you will be addicted to them. There are many studies coming to light showing that companies exploit this for money, and sugar is addicting like cigarettes. Seriously. Listen to a few podcasts. I suggest this one (my boyfriend is into Joe Rogan) to start if you are curious.
  2. Find some sort of Realistic Excersise that you actually enjoy. And not like fake like, find one you LOVE. I like to reccomend yoga – Not only because I am a teacher, but because if you take a beginner class, IT DOES NOT MATTER what you look like, how much you weigh, or what type of shape you are in, you can do it! And if you have a good teacher in a Beginner Class they will have lots of modifications for you. if you don’t like that – I also really enjoy Tai Chi, Hula-Hooping, walking the beach with my dog, bike riding, shooting basketball hoops, gardening, dancing and swimming. Also – don’t do them all at once. Do them little by little, and get days of rest. If not, you’ll just get sick of it, get really tired, or hurt yourself and probably stop completely for a while. Better off to enjoy it, starting out with one class a week. Then add in little things here and there.
  3. Read Labels – set aside an extra hour and take a long shopping trip at least once in a while. Try not to buy things with added sugar or bleached flour. It’s hard- But there are options out there. Also – There are like lists of things claiming to be healthy that just.. are not. They are the opposite of that. Here are the ones I know to be the worst culprits.
    • Sugar-free desserts
    • low-fat Yogurt and sugar-free yogurt
    • Granola- most of the big brands, high fructose corn syrup is in the top 5 ingredients.
    • Lunch Meat – Some lunch meat has a lot of fillers and isn’t really much meat. I learned this by working in a deli.
    • Juice – All sugar
    • Cereal – Mostly Sugar
    • Most Salad Dressings – Sugar
    • Bread – sugar
    • Processed Cheese (American)
    • Butter Spreads and Butter substitutes
    • Low-fat and Sugar-Free Coffee Creamers – sugar
  4. Try and Cook for Yourself – Even if that’s starting with one meal a week – Try to know everthing going in that one meal. Not from a box, not pre-seasoned – Just a meal.
  5. Try to avoid office treats – Honestly, unless its something I know is made with good ingredients, why waste my time? It’s just going to make me feel icky. I cave sometimes, but I often regret it. Once you’ve been eating better for a while, sub par food just makes you sick. It’s like when you change your dog’s dog-food too quick. Just.. no. haha!

I would jokingly refer to it as the path of least resistance diet… but hey… it works for me! These are just a few little things that have helped me. Is there anything special that has helped you? Is there something that is tough for you? Please share, I’d love to hear feedback.

-Namaste!

Gardening

5 Ways Growing Plants can help you Bloom!

Happy Memorial Day! My dad was in the navy –  Sending thanks to all who served.

It was also world Bonsai day this past week & I wanted to write a post about that, and also a bit about what we have been up to in the garden. Antonio and I have been building our garden up for the last year and a half not only with vegetables but also with Bonsai plants. We really enjoy the peace that growing things bring. He’s into the little plants (Bonsai), and I’m into food. How fitting for our personalities 😉

We had a busy week, attending a wedding (Congrats Kaci and Ryan!)  But still managed to sneak to Disney/Epcot to see the bonsai display up last weekend and THIS weekend we got to enjoy the Bonsai Society of Florida’s Convention at the Florida Mall! There is a raffle (we won last year, but not this year. shoot!)  and over 40 Award winning Bonsai’s lining the room. It’s absolutely breathtaking to see all of the carefully groomed trees and appreciate how much love was put into growing each one.

Without further ado – here are 5 reasons why you might benefit from growing

  1. Plants help you to stay grounded! Getting back in touch with nature can help you to learn to notice the little things and appreciate them. New leaves, new growth, and beautiful flowers.
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Pretty Tree from the bonsai convention. The white just melted my life.

2. Bonsai’s teach you about balance –  The traditional art of trimming a bonsai tree encourages to to trim the tree in a way that mimics nature, Balanced, so that the tree does not topple over. You must balance the appropriate amount of water, soil, light, and leaves to ensure that your plant thrives. In life, you must also strive for balance to thrive. It helps you learn to build a routine that promotes this.

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Notice how the tree is balanced on the left and also on the right.

3. Gardening helps you give back to the planet – We spend so much time eating up things, why not grow something? Not to mention, Plants add oxygen naturally back in to the air.

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Teeny tiny olives on an award winning olive bonsai. So sweet!

4. Plants and Bonsai’s get you outside! You start to notice nature more often now. began to walk around my neighborhood and have been able to appreciate many plants that I may have overlooked before

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5. It’s good to give love and be reminded that growth takes time and effort. There is a beauty in that. Flowers, new branches, new roots, and the fruits of  your labor all give you love back.

Here’s what we’ve been up to at the Bonsai Convention, and out in out in our garden. What are you growing in your life? If you like what I write, please share my blog on your social media or consider writing back @ almerez.mariah@gmail.com or commenting below. I’d love to hear from you.

 

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The first round of beets that I harvested in my garden. I was so excited!!!

With Love  – Mariah

Health, Love, Yoga

Yoga can Help you to Connect with your Body and Regulate Stress

Hey there,

I’ve been a bit behind in my blogging – but don’t worry! I’m still here. I know that this is a good waterway for me to send out my little positive vibes. I sometimes imagine them like little paper sailboats. They may not always get to everyone, and they may not always go far, but – I think they end up going where they need to.

Something cool about Yoga is even if you do the simplest poses, and really! I mean that. Forward Folds, and butterflycresent moon, reclined pigeon. (check out all the variations

Try them all at home, just a little bit every day and you may notice that you start to learn how to listen more closely to what your body. I’m talking about really keying in. When something hurts (like standing or sitting uncomfortably for too long), when you are tired (trying to finish something, and getting nowhere), when you are hungry, when you ought to just breath (feeling anxious or panicked), and when you really need to just blow off a little steam and clear your head. Physical discomfort and a lack of oxygen can have a really profound effect on your emotions and perception.

Problems materialized out of thin air for me because my mind was so clouded. I still get caught sometimes. Often, the real issue is that I need more rest, nourishment, or a bit of alone time to clear my mind. Had I not been practicing yoga, I may not have listened to my body, I could have easily blamed someone else for my emotional discomfort, and then I would have had a meltdown or gotten angry. There are so many distractions in life. We are straight up ignoring our bodies in favor of… whatever – Phones, TV, Work, Kids, all types of things. Some important and some not. The real point is – You HAVE to take care of yourself first if you want to get anything done, and if you want it to go well.

The anxiety that comes with trying to “make it” in our society and the complete disregard for self-care is …… appalling in some workplaces and societal circles. Life does not have to be this way. In my experience striving for balance only makes my path smooth. Balance your busy and your rest – your yin and your yang.  There are still turns, but there can be an ebb and flow, and it’s up to us to take the time to practice making those adjustments.

  • Are you really angry at your significant other because of something that THEY did that affected you? 
  • Are you really mad at the guy in traffic, the thing your boss said, the shoe your dog chewed, the person in front of you at the grocery store, your mom, your dad, your best friend? OR are you missing something? nourishing food? rest? Time for self-care? etc?

Things to think about, no? No reason for guilt and obligation if you are doing your best to care for yourself first without harming others, and then graciously assisting those around you. As a Yogi, raised Christian, I grew up hearing – Your body is a temple. I think there is something to that. Your body is your house! Your spirit is living in this body and your mind. It is your spirit’s job to take steps to care for your body and your mind. When it forgets, your body will feel that your life is in turmoil! Things will feel cloudy. Life will be exhausting.

Yoga, even simple poses – help me practice regulating my emotions. I listen for the signs, then take notice. Listen to your bodies, heal your emotions. I know that’s not 100% of everything – But I KNOW that it is one of the things that helps. Thanks for reading. If you like this – Please share my blog, or send me some feedback! Comment, email – I’d love to hear from you.

Namaste!

 

 

 

Yoga

Nadi Shodhana Pranyama – Alternate Nostril Breathing

Hi! Wishing you all well!

I’m settling into my new life and really enjoying the way I am feeling as I’ve increased the amount of Yoga that I am teaching in the community (Brevard County.) Life seems to make a bit more sense when you can say you are pursuing what you want to do in life… your “personal legend.”

As I am still human, stress still exists! Being a yogi does not make you exempt. I recently got a question from a friend (I used to babysit her sweet kids! who are getting so big!) about what types of yoga postures you can do to manage stress when you are recovering from a surgery. I had to think for a moment – as the standard yoga class can be tough, depending on what sort of modifications you may need to do to make sure you are not putting to much pressure on areas that are healing. Then, Ah! Breathing came to mind.

I wanted to make sure that I answered the question thoroughly, so I’ve decided to write this post. I’m going to talk a bit about Pranayama (Breathing Techniques)

Pranayama

“Pranayama is an in-depth science for expanding and channeling the life force, prana. “Pranayama” comes from two Sanskrit words: “prana”, meaning the fundamental life force, and “yama” meaning to control. Pranayama is, therefore channeling or controlling the life force.” – http://yougoyoga.net/pranayama.html

Pranayama includes various types of breathing techniques which can help to manage stress. Today, I’d like to talk about one particular type “Nadi Shodhana” (Alternate Nostril Breathing), How it can help, and how to do it!

Benefits of Nadi Shodhana:

  • Reduce stress by physically lowering your blood pressure. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, enabling you to slow your heart rate and calm the breath and racing thoughts.
  • Helps to Strengthen your lungs and respiratory system. This helps you to absorb more oxygen to enrich your body and your brain.
  • Improves fine motor coordination and concentration. This allows you to feel more grounded and mindful. Present in the current moment instead of getting lost in racing thoughts. When you are able to focus on what you are doing in the current moment, stress can be reduced.

Positive benefits to the heart, lungs, and mind! Stress can be physical! The mind and body, aren’t as separate of two things as some might lead you to believe.

Nadi Shodhana Practice:

  1. Find a comfortable seated position. Soften your shoulders and your breath, beginning to allow the mind and body to settle. Place your left hand gently on your lap or your left knee.
  2. With your right hand place your thumb gently onto your right nostril and place your ring finger gently onto your left nostril. The two fingers in-between can rest on your forehead, or wherever feels most comfortable to you.
  3. Begin by gently closing your right nostril (using your right thumb) and inhale slowly through your left nostril.
  4. Then switch, closing your left nostril (using your ring finger) and release your right. Exhale through your right nostril.
  5. Pause
  6. Inhale back through your right nostril (the same you just exhaled through).
  7. Then switch back, closing your right nostril (using your thumb) and release your left. Exhale through your left nostril.
Here is a video I recommend, if the text is a bit confusing.
What is your favorite type of breathing technique? Do you have any questions? Comment below!
Love, Yoga

Sometimes adjustments feel good!

 

“What you need to know is this: Before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up. It’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon’

“Every search begins with beginners luck. And every search ends with the victor’s being severely tested.” 

“The boy remembered an old proverb from his country. It said that the darkest hour of the night came just before the dawn.”

 – The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

As promised, I’m documenting a major life milestone of mine with this post. But first, a little back story.

When I started this blog, I wasn’t really sure what direction I was taking with it. I just knew I needed to get some things out, to see if anyone felt the same way I did. I was having a really tough time documenting my thoughts , but I knew that writing was a good way to look at the progress I’d made and my shifting views about the world. Just like you can find inspiration in a before and after fitness photo, I knew this could help me along in life. I tried two or three different notebooks – thinking each one with a different style or size would motivate me more.  I even tried grid diary app, which was cool, but I didn’t end up keeping up with that either. I thought maybe with some mission or some sense of obligation I would keep at it with a blog. I’m proud to say I’ve kept up with it for five months now. Here’s a link to my very first post if you’re curious later. It was the beginning of some big shifts for me……

That brings me here today – writing this post. I’ve quit my full-time job working 8:30-5:30 as a Tech Support Manager to work part-time so that I can find balance and pursue yoga. I want to practice more yoga, study the yogi lifestyle, and teach as often as I am able to. The positive changes that I’ve seen in my life and my way of thinking about my place in the world feel good, and I want to share them with others. I feel it’s my purpose in life to share light with others. The happiest and most fulfilling moments that I can recall in my life, are those when I am giving support and uplifting others who then feel better for it OR working deeply in my art. Singing as teenager in church up on stage making the people happy, training those who needed help in all of the jobs that I’ve ever had, making gifts and art for others. Giving love to those who need it and bringing beauty into my surroundings.

My life is too short, and I’ve spent a lot of time putting my energy toward things that didn’t make me happy or fulfilled. What is the real cost of living this way? If I help someone find yoga, who might benefit from it – maybe I can help be a part of their journey to find the tools to heal their own heart, loosen their stress, release tension and pain in their body, breath better, and live a more balanced and calm existence.

Maybe I can watch them find space where before there was clutter. Maybe I can encourage them on a bad day, or help lift them up.

I don’t know that I’m capable of doing that in a 8:30-5:30 setting, or at least not where I was.  I came home most days drained and exhausted. I just… wasn’t happy. It didn’t feel good. If there are any lessons you take with you off the mat – Know that if something doesn’t feel good it’s okay to make adjustments. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Now, I’m not saying quit your job tomorrow.. I’m saying, allow yourself to explore opportunities to make a shift. I’m hoping with this change, I’ll be able to shine more often. I want to build peaceful relationships with those around me and become more at balance with the Soul of the World.  I don’t want to fight against my inner nature just to confine myself to expectations of the American Work Culture focused only on financial growth. I will make enough to live, save, and be strategic – and I will pursue being a yogi the rest of the time.

If I need to, I’m sure I can go back. The money hungry are still out there, and I’m sure they will want to eat up my time and abilities if this part of my journey was not meant to last forever.

But that’s the beauty of life, isn’t it? It’s all about the journey, not the destination.

Namaste.