December... the month of giving- gifts, time, effort, kindness, compassion, love, your heart. November, is the month of giving thanks and gratitude, during December we give...Period. As Helen Keller said, "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart." And, I would add, given with the heart. Above all gifts, give your presence this holiday season. Our gift of time with others while being fully present cannot be forgotten or cast aside after all the glitter and glitz of the holidays is long past.
During this time of year we tend to indulge in all things we love. We eat more food, and often make food choices that may not agree with us. Some of us drink more sugary sweet libations, most of us move less, and do less exercise in exchange for high stress to do lists of shopping, cooking, gift wrapping, socializing and party going. It is natural to feel physically and emotionally out of balance. Take this opportunity to practice more restorative poses like legs up the wall, supported back bends and yoga nidra to calm your nerves and sleep better, AND be sure to engage in more active practices that include twists to improve digestion and maybe even bring a little sweat to your brow. You'll feel better and your new found energy will last throughout the day.
My wish for you is that you'll enjoy the magic and wonder of this beautiful, sentimental holiday season. Much love and Peace to you and your families. xo!
The best and most beautiful
Meet Charlene Flynn!
Charlene attends yoga at Val Vista Village (VVV) and I couldn't run my classes there without her assistance! She is the one who greets you, takes your money and initials your punch cards always with a smile. Charlene was in my very first class at VVV when I began with just five students seven years ago. We've come a long way from that first day, eh? She is not only a student of my classes and yoga, but has become a dear friend too! Here are her answers to my Featured Student of the month questions where we learn more about our fellow yogis who brighten our path and make our journey joyful.
SJ: Where is your permanent home?
CF: Nevada, Missouri (Ne VAY da, Missourah) on the southwest side of the state - about 100 miles south of Kansas City or 60 miles north of Joplin, or an hour and half from Branson!
SJ: What prompted you to try yoga for the first time, and why do you keep practicing?
CF: I had chronic migraines, was having acupuncture one to three times a week, and my doctor suggested it. It was another year before I tried it, but the minute I did, I knew I had found something profound that I was meant to do forever! A few years later, I began doing yoga two to three times a week and my migraines also stopped... but I was also starting menopause, so what is the real cause/effect - who knows?!! But I really feel good after each class too!
SJ: What have you found most challenging about the practice?
CF: A handstand. Still can't do it. But, really, with my flexibility, sometimes, it is remembering that "just because you CAN do it, doesn't mean you SHOULD do it!" When I actually back off a bit, I've learned better muscle control in places I didn't realize I had muscles, because my tendons are so loose.
SJ: How does yoga influence your life outside of classes?
CF: I stand taller, my posture is better, and when I feel better I approach life in a more positive manner. The jerks in life can still get to me, but at least I start out with a good attitude!
SJ: Name three things on your bucket list.
CF: 1) New England Fall Colors cruise from Boston to Quebec. 2) A 200+ day World Cruise seeing China, India, Japan, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, Russia, Croatia, Turkey, etc... 3) Riding camels at Petra in Jordan. 4) Touring Ireland with my son, Michael Patrick Flynn! He's always been 'all things Irish' and I think we'd have a fun trek.
SJ: What would your friends say you are most known for?
CF: My smile, a quirky way of looking at most of life, being the energizer bunny (of sorts) on some days, and enjoying my wine!
Thank you Charlene! for being a 'Featured Student' and for being part of our yoga community at Val Vista Village. Your presence indeed makes a difference! We'll have to schedule a happy hour yoga at your place soon!
Our teachers often use just the right words to inspire us on our mat, and in our lives. Here are some of my favorite quotes, thoughts and stories that inspire me to live my best life.