Posts tagged health
Tapas: Self Discipline

Often, in yoga class, I hear the teacher say, "When you want to stop, that's when the pose really starts." The moment that my legs are burning and shaking and I think I cannot stay a moment longer is always the moment the teacher chooses to say this phrase. Last week a teacher said it and it made me take a moment to observe what was going on in my mind. My thoughts were a combination of desperately trying to find a way to make the pose easier mixed with blaming the teacher for keeping us there so long. As soon as I observed this I had to laugh at myself. I was the one who chose to go to yoga that day because I wanted to practice and there I was in class trying to get out of doing the work all the while blaming the teacher for doing exactly what she was meant to do. So I took a breath and just stayed in the pose and stopped blaming or trying to change the moment. I just stayed with it.

It goes further than that though. That little moment of observation extends deeper into life. It is a way of dealing with conflict. When things get hard in any area of life is it possible to stay with it and live in the difficulty without running away, cheating, or blaming someone else? You may have different thoughts that pop up when you have to stay in a pose for long periods of time but, whatever those thoughts are, I bet they will tell you something about how you live your life as well. Remember staying in the pose helps us grow stronger! Every struggle we encounter helps us to grow and learn.

"In those times when we don't know how to get through the next minute of what seems unknown and overwhelming to us can we hold on until we are somehow blessed by our struggle?" -Deborah Adele

"In those times when we don't know how to get through the next minute of what seems unknown and overwhelming to us can we hold on until we are somehow blessed by our struggle?" -Deborah Adele

On Determination and Hearing "No"

I've heard "no" in a lot of different ways in my life. I've heard "you're too big to be a dancer", "you're too shy to be a trainer", "you're too skinny to be healthy", "you're too boring", "you're too intense", "you're too quiet", "you're too calm", the list goes on. Not to mention the "no's" I've told myself. What I've learned? Every single person I meet in my life will have a specific perspective of what they believe to be true and acceptable. It does not mean I have to believe the same! 

The truth is, I can't be 'too much' or 'too little' of anything. I can only be me. If someone thinks I am 'too much' or 'too little' then I am only 'too much' or 'too little' for them! It doesn't make it less painful to hear. However, it does mean I can choose to surround myself with the people who believe that I am exactly enough, not 'too little' or 'too much'. Even when all the odds are against me, who says I can't be the one to prove them wrong? 

So please, go take all of the qualities that make you you and prove that you can be the first person of your type to succeed in whatever way they believe you can't. Don't forget to prove yourself wrong too!


"When someone tells me "no," it doesn't mean I can't do it, it simply means I can't do it with them." -Karen E. Quinones Miller 

Contentment: Santosha

Santosha, meaning contentment in Sanskrit, is one of the niyamas of the ethics of yoga. Contentment is a difficult concept to grasp. It is a feeling of fullness and satisfaction yet it is not laziness or avoidance of difficulties. As I read Deborah Adele's chapter on contentment in Yamas and Niyamas, I realized that anytime I started to feel content in my life I would chastise myself for being lazy, lacking ambition or settling for less than what I am capable of. So I spent some time observing what contentment really is and how I can be less afraid of it. I found that contentment is the ability to feel grateful for what is happening in each moment. It is the feeling of accepting that what is currently here in this moment is exactly as it is supposed to be. Contentment does not take away from my ambition, my hopes and my dreams but it does allow me to be fully present and thankful every step of the way. It allows me to look around and be in awe of everything that is already happening so naturally and effortlessly. As Deborah Adele writes, "every moment is complete". I think it is worth your thoughts and attention to find how contentment serves you in your life. 


 "Discontentment is the illusion that there can be something else in the moment. There isn't and there can't be. The moment is complete." Deborah Adele on Santosha: contentment . 📸 by Eastman Garcia 

What Can I Add?

When I sit down to meditate an abundance of thoughts fill my head. I think of them like a snow globe swirling about but after a few minutes, some days many minutes, they begin to settle. Tonight as they settled one glowing thought seemed to fill my whole snow globe. What can I add? After a few extremely busy months I noticed that my thought process had become more about subtracting things. Thoughts like, “I would feel better if I didn't eat sweets, drink coffee, etc.” frequently entered my mind. What can I add though? When this thought popped into my mind I had a shift of perspective. It isn't about what I can subtract from my life to make it better, it's about what I can add. For me those additions are more joy, more adventure, more fresh fruits and veggies, more laughter, and more compassion. Sure, there are things that I do everyday that I would be better off without but focusing on what needs to go has never helped me let it go. Focusing on what positive new things I can add to my life naturally takes attention away from the negatives and slowly those things that are no longer serving me disappear. So, I encourage you take a moment to write down somethings you would like to do, see and feel. Allow some room for those in your life. 

Stress and Rest

Hello and welcome to the blog section of my site! In this blog you will find ideas that have come from conversations between my clients and me, discussions with other fitness professionals, yoga instructors, and artists of all kind. This is not strictly to tell you how to perform an exercise with correct form - though you may learn that too - but to open conversations on how we can live our lives in a healthy and fulfilling manner.

I have been a personal trainer for over 2 years now. I got into training because I am a dancer. I’ve danced ballet since I was 8 years old and studied many styles of dance including ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, african etc. since that time. Dance is still a big part of my life and is my emotional outlet but the lessons I learned from growing up in dance studios are truly what made me who I am today. My hope is that this blog can shed light on some insights I have discovered through intensive dance training, working one on one with clients in gyms and most recently, teaching yoga. I am only at the beginning of a much longer adventure but I feel like I’ve acted like a sponge for years soaking up any and all knowledge I can find about our bodies, minds and spirits that I would feel greedy not sharing some of the amazing experiences and discoveries I have had.

A topic that has come up recently is the concept of balancing stress and rest. In the body when stress is applied to the muscles and bones they grow stronger but if too much stress is placed on the body, the muscles will strain or in the worst case the bones will break. It is important to know your body’s limits, to push it to the point of growth and not to the point of breaking. It is a fine line that we walk and it is one of the most important lessons I learned from my body for all areas of my life. In today’s world it is easy to become consumed by work and forget to leave time for rest. Rest means not thinking about work, relaxing, doing something completely different for a while. When rest time is allowed in a training session, then the body can recover and has new strength to complete the next set. If rest time is not allowed before using that same muscle again its energy stores will be depleted and the body will be unable to lift as much weight as if could with a period of rest. Applying this lesson to our lives is so valuable because allowing time for our brain to think about something else gives us the ability to come back to our work with new strength and focus.