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sad snowmanThe Wintery Blues

I don’t know about you but this winter has kicked my butt! Though my son, Otto, brought a great deal of sunshine, he also added to the fatigue. Although winter can feel long, at least I can get a lot done. There are books to be read, projects to complete but when it lingers as long and hard as this year I need a few helpful tools to get through.

I wanted to share a few things that really helped me get through the dark days of winter.
1. Hold your ground against cravings. As much as I craved them I stayed away from the carbs and sugar. I ate as close to the earth as I could. I ate lots of protein and greens. I also had a cup or two of Deep Bone and Harmony bone broth every day. That made my joints feel amazing!
2. Get inspired. One day we were all feeling the blues so I brushed off Deepak Chopra’s 21 day meditation challenge and sat the family down for a listen. It starts with a beautiful focus for your day and leads into a short silence. This gave Ed and I something nice to talk about and it opened our minds a bit on those very grey days.
3. Get out there! There were so many days I thought “I think I’ll just stay in my PJ’s with Otto.”  but instead I got us both dressed and took a walk in the fresh air.  Even though it was brisk it did us both good!
4. Get social. I am prone to skip the friendly dinners and find every excuse to stay home with a good book (isn’t that what winter is for?!) but I also made sure to go out at least once a week with a friend to change up the scenery .
5. Get into the sun when you can. Whenever the sun came out I would find a way to sit in it for at least 10 mins. This made a big difference for my mood.

 

I hope these suggestions help. If you have a few good ideas of your own please feel free to share them with us.

 

Hands down, the best way to beat the winter blues is by taking yourself to Costa Rica!!  Join Paula as she leads her annual Spiritual Awakening Retreat this March at the beautiful and serene Anamaya Resort in Montezuma, Costa Rica.

self loveSpend the year of 2015 in love…with you

Why do these damn resolutions never work?! I think it’s because they start with our glass half-full. Our thoughts start out with “I don’t have something–and how will I ever get it I get it?” Perhaps that’s followed with the thought “I’m don’t deserve it” or “I can’t ever have that anyway.” I devised a plan for 2015 to turn this around and it starts with filling the glass with love.

Often we struggle with who we are. We turn against our own nature. The thing is if there is one truth in the world it is our consistent nature. On a certain level we are who we are and it isn’t changing. We can mellow or shift but if you’re a leader, you’re always going to feel a little out of place following. So why not just own it? The amazing thing is, when you accept who you are, you begin to realize how beneficial it is, and then use it to your advantage. Let me offer an example.

During our Urban Silent Retreat at Reflections this January I spoke about a person who wanted adventure in her life.This is how it went:

A person wants more adventure in her life. She is starting with a lack “I don’t have adventure and I want it.”

The question is “What stops her from getting it?” What stops anyone from change? FEAR. “I would love to climb that big mountain but I’m afraid.” Perhaps the fear is around getting hurt, or lost, or a host of other possible outcomes. Often the next thought is an attack against one’s own nature: I will never be adventurous, I’m just a chicken! When we attack who we are I call that the INVERTED YOU. The you that hasn’t realized the greatness that you are. What if what you really are is prudent, not chicken. Maybe you are a person who needs the details to feel safe? The truth is I’d rather climb the mountain with that person than the person who always forgets the map (that would be me)!

So far we have two steps to this “use self love to change” story

  1. Face your fear. “I’m afraid of getting hurt.”
  1. Discover a love of your nature.  “I want adventure but my nature is prudent. I’m not chicken, just careful.”

Knowing that there are things you “are” that will never change, like your height or your prudent self, how do you get up that damn mountain? Again, you must first discover the beauty of your nature and then you can use it. I’m fairly certain there will be no chance of real change without real love. Once you can see that holding back and not barreling up the mountain isn’t a bad thing then you can invite real change in the door. Here comes step three.

Since you can’t change your blueprint or your inside world then what is left?  What you can change is your outside world. If you want adventure, then I hang around with the adventurous, not the dude taking photos from the lookout point or the people pulling up on the tour bus. Make adventure part of your outer world and soon enough it will be just what you do. You will start to walk the walk and talk the talk in your own way – according to your special nature. You will be the prudent adventurist!  Who knows, you might even get picked to lead everyone up the mountain because you have the best safety protocol!

otto cutieIn any given year we can reflect back and recant our experience, both good and bad. Yoga, in its many forms, has helped me to gain a deeper understanding and more importantly, acceptance of life’s inevitable shifts. It seems no one is exempt from experiencing both the beauty and the challenges of life.

The Yoga Sutras explains this so elegantly through the dance of the Gunas: the braiding of the integral flavors of life. We live in the continuous movement from light to dark and every shade in between –all adding to the richness of our experience here.

When we can truly see that nothing is wrong –or right for that matter, but that both sadness and happiness are inherent in the cycle of life, the challenging times become richer in their lessons and the gifts more precious in their beauty.

Knowing that the times of my life are as magical as the changing of day to night, or as beautiful as the turn of the seasons, offers me deep peace and awe in the knowledge that I am part of something much bigger than my particular life situation. We are both vast and minor in the lens of this world.

When we can find the wisdom to simply allowing life, we can see the innate beauty in everything. My newest teacher Otto shows me this each day. I plan for every moment and in those moments I let go and allow his tiny needs to guide me. I never know what we will need next but when I can let it be he smiles and we are doing just the right thing.

I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your incredible love and support this year. Reflections continues to grow in many new and exciting ways for our community to find their path and their own voice as we all walk this amazing journey of life. Whether you explore in our teachers training, yoga, dance  or meditation classes or find new ways in Reflections After Dark (RAD). The Reflections family hopes your light gets brighter and we are here to serve you in any way we can

Love and Light

And the happiest of holidays

 

Bring in a New Year with reflection, meditation, music, and love with New Years Eve at Reflections and start the New Year restoring, and rejuvenating in silent bliss at our Urban Silent Retreat.

morning yogaMorning is said to be the most auspicious time of day. The energy is calm, our minds are clear of busy thoughts and the channels are open  for possibility.

This is the time when I most like to get in touch with what my body is calling for. I have the energy to move in away that engages my muscles, deepens my breath and gets my blood circulating. I always start slow, first connecting inward and then mindfully moving to a tempo that feels invigorating and life affirming. I never –and I mean never try to compete with my body. Well, I did when I was younger and got a boat load of injuries as a result. Now I much prefer to serve my body — as it serves me so well everyday.
I enjoy an early morning stretch and strengthening practice that is in total synchronicity with the rhythm of my bones, muscles and fluids. I am certain this is why I had such a great pregnancy, and was on my feet just two weeks after Otto’s birth.  Although I had a major surgery, I stayed in tune and continued to breath and move everyday.
This is why I thought it was important to add the Kick Start classes to our schedule. I wanted there to be a sacred time for our students to have with their body and mind and where they could find a balance between strength and flexibility.
I hope you enjoy this practice as much as I do.

1094747_10153178624688032_5345327478532825887_oI could write forever about what this last month has meant to me. So many wonderful things happening all at one time – In moments the love was so big it spilled over and I felt lost in a sea of its beauty.

In these past few months I was as helpless and vulnerable as I have ever been. Nine and a half months pregnant – then Otto, my new son, born in the hospital by C-section. I had to open my heart and let people do all the things I felt I was “supposed” to do. I had to let go and surrender – I had no choice.  In what seemed to be my most low moment, I cannot express the amount of love that came my way. What surprised me and equally astonishing was the sheer joy people had in giving, it was palpable.

People from my many years of my teaching came forward to support Reflections crowd-funding campaign to help us move the studio’s location, others sent love and gifts to Otto — I was stunned by the amount of people who cared about us. People from high school that I had not seen in years, students from my first year of teaching all offering help and wishing us well. Reflections teachers and managers were unstoppable, taking the campaign and the move from 49th street on as if it was their own studio and again I had a realization – it is. Reflections is about the people in it. Its not about our location, it’s not me, it is about all the those who have come to heal and grow in that space. This is their studio and they were working to save it — Otto and I became a symbol of that. Those who knew how long I wanted this little guy and how hard I tried to have him saw the birth of this baby much like the studio – they are both in existence against the odds.

I remember getting one of our last donations from Brenna and Sam. Many of you will remember Brenna was the manager when we opened Reflections 5 years ago and she left and married our beloved Sam.  As luck would have it, she passed her seat over to the girl I couldn’t live without–Hedy! Getting that donation was such a poignant moment. Both of these women have poured so much love and time into Reflections- I was moved beyond words when it was Brenna’s donation tipped us to the $25,001 mark. I broke down sobbing in the CVS getting bottles for my breast pump!!  Ed literally had to walk me out.

The amount of love and the amount of people who have gone out of their way to help us just overwhelms my mind. I actually cannot understand it on the level of the mind, but I can feel it in my heart. I feel one of the most important vibrations we can live in as humans, is the vibration of gratitude. Gratitude now fills my every day — When I look at Otto, when I step into Reflections and see how beautiful it is, when students come all the way from the west side to take classes, when I think of all the work that went into putting this studio together while I could hardly lift my head.  I sit in the seat of my heart and feel so much gratitude for the people who are in my life and I can only hope to pass on a portion of the love I was given in this very special time… I am humbled – thank you

Please join us for our Open House Oct 11 and 12th. There will be free classes, lots of fun workshops and so much more.

Reflections East OutsideI’m having twins!!

Well at least that’s what it feels like! My sweet baby is due at the end of this month and I am also unexpectedly birthing a new addition to the family: Reflections East! 

After five years on the west side, Times Square NYC, Reflections Center for Conscious Living & Yoga must move. I have to say, it wasn’t our choice. We love our west side community. After all these years on W. 49th St., we have built a community that feels like family. But New York City real estate has gone out of control and we, like many, have fallen victim to the market and inflated prices. Don’t even get me started!

When I got the news that we needed to leave our home on W. 49th St., I opened my heart and asked if Reflections had run its course. What I received was an even more beautiful space on a quiet, tree-lined block, and can you believe it…at a lower rent! A more clear message could not have been given!

WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Moving a business in NYC is very expensive, and we were caught unprepared by the loss of our space on W. 49th St. To help us with this major expense, Reflections Center for Conscious Living & Yoga  will be running a crowd funding campaign to raise money for renovating and moving into the new space.

This is how you can help and become a greater part of your Reflections yoga community:

Go to our Indiegogo Crowd Funding Campaign and enjoy some of the amazing perks.  Your donations will enable us to open up our new doors.  We would LOVE for this to be theMOST SHARED indiegogo campaign EVER.  Please go to our Facebook and Twitter pages and share the post with your friends, family and community!

We are very lucky to have found a beautiful space on E. 24th st. and 2nd ave. The new 3,000 square foot duplex would not be complete without a homey Reflections kitchen, a relaxing lounge, private healing rooms for massage, meetings, or private yoga sessions, floor to ceiling windows, a Zen garden, showers, two bathrooms, and changing rooms. It is simply perfect for us. Reflections East will open in September.

Reflections Center for Conscious Living & Yoga will continue to offer the yoga classes you’ve come to love and appreciate as well as being a resource for cutting edge in healing, wellness and movement.

Here are a few important dates we’d love you to keep in mind. Be sure to check the website, newsletters, Facebook, andTwitter for updates and new information, and we look forward to seeing you and serving you in our new beautiful home!

Here are a few save the dates at Reflections East:

  • Wed 9/10: Studio blessing and concert with Shyamji Bhatnagar
  • Thurs 10/9 Opening celebration hosted by Body Local, from 7-10pm with Guest Speaker Mark Hyman (author of the 10 Day Detox Diet)
  • Sat/Sun 10/11 and 10/12: Open to the public with a weekend of FREE yoga classes