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  • Blog, Exercise, Maylo, Wellness

    Exercise to Energize, Rest to Restore

    Exercise to Energize, Rest to Restore!  How many times do you hear people say, “I’m just so tired all of the time…”? And, that’s after 3 cups of coffee?

    Or, how many people work with that high energy, let’s get the job done, oh wait, squirrel…

    As a yoga teacher I preach BALANCE. A time to energize and exert, and then bring it down — rest and restore.

    The cycle of exerting energy and restoring energy is incredible important to our bodies – our nervous system. But, our sedentary lifestyles blur the cycle – we never really physically exert, not fully, and then we never really rest to restore energy.

    I see this all the time at the studio, many of us are working like crazy as well as working at home and on top of that we are maxing out a high impact sweaty workout three to four times a week.

    It’s easy to get addicted to the ‘high’ that a good, rigorous Vinyasa Flow class, and never ever step into a Restorative Yoga class.

    Restorative Yoga is a class that is slow with dim lights and soft music and incredible stretches that are supported with bolsters and blocks and blankets. The whole class is designed to drop you into a ‘rest and digest’ state. These days, there are so many places online that you can stream a yoga class like this. Just a few props is all that you need. ( my personal favorites are the Manduka blocks and mat…..and the wonderfully supportive Max Deluxe bolsters. ) So, take a few moments at the end of your very busy day and drape your body over the bolster and breathe. You do not even have to take a full hour class….but I promise….you will WANT to.

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness, Wellness

    What Makes a Well Being?

    What makes a Well Being?  There is a lot of talk about Wellness. But, for me, the question is really, what makes a Well Being?
    • Nutritional Balance
    • Work/play Balance
    • Exercise/Rest Balance
    • Contemplations/Inspiration Balance
    • Energetically Balance
    • Financially Balance

    So, the obvious in all is BALANCE!

    Each of these elements of Well Being are segregated – people, places and activities. And, those that teach each element of Well Being, teach just one piece, and often don’t even recognize it’s a small part of the whole.

    People can get stuck! Even in trying to be WELL, you can get off balance! A hyper-focus on one aspect of wellness can completely dismantle all the work and investment, because of not tending to the other areas.

    We are not simply bodies…nor are we simply minds.

    We are mind-body energetic beings. Energy has to flow within us, around us. And, we require BALANCE!

  • Blog, Food, Healthy Living, Maylo, Weight Management, Wellness

    Nutritional Balance Matters!

    Nutrition Matters!  We all know nutrition matters, but how many of us really take the time to plan and manage for quality, nutritious foods – EVERYDAY!

    In our “look good at any cost” society, many are starving from the lack of vital nutrients. Lose that extra winter weight at any cost, its the same. Or, in our hectic, over-charged lifestyles, drive through the fast food line everyday—for sure the wrong type of calories.

    Our lifestyle becomes part of a self-fulfilling prophecy. “I just can’t keep the weight off…” “It doesn’t matter what I eat, I never lose any weight…” Before you know it, we come to the conclusion we are “just fat” in our desire to eat like a “regular person”.

    The problem? A “regular person” in our society eats the wrong things. Without any real thought or intention, we are just eating a sludge of preprocessed foods filled with sugar, salt and fats – all designed to get us to eat them!

    There are so many incredible foods that taste good AND don’t have a ton of calories. There are so many recipes that offer fantastic nutritional choices, BUT don’t require lots of salt and sugar to taste good.

    Take this quick, fun test:
    1. How often do you go to the grocery store? 2x per week, 1x per week, 1x every two weeks, less than that
    2. How often do you eat out? 2x per day, 1x per day, 4x per week, 2x per week…

    Now, divvy up the cart from your last grocery store run.
    3. What percentage of food was from the fresh fruit and vegetable isle? <10%, 10-20%, 20-50%, More than 50%
    4. From the fresh meat counter?
    5. From the frozen dinner isle?
    6. From the sugar and carbs isle (colas and other drinks)?

    This work requires a fearless inventory of your habits. Don’t sell yourself short. If you don’t cook, or don’t have time to cook, take the time to seek healthy alternatives. There are plenty of options out there.

    And please don’t forget that food is a pleasure. Ease up on some of your crazy restrictions and balance them out with alternative ways to enjoy your life. A nice fruit smoothie for dessert as opposed to that pint of Hagen Daz…(I know….I know) You can still have the ice cream….just save it for a special occasion.

    Enjoy your life!!

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    Energetically Balanced

    Energetically balanced – what does that even mean? Being energetically balanced means that you are very “in tune” with your nervous system. You sense, you feel and your intuition is in play.

    When you become energetically balanced, the old saying, “You can feel the tension in the air…” becomes real. There are other sayings that are ages old, like “You felt him walk into the room…” or “You could cut the tension with a knife…”

    It means that you can literally feel where your energy and the energy of others are either in-sync or clashing.

    With it, you begin to realize there are people around you that lift you, and likewise, those people in our lives that suck our energy right out. I call the second kind an “energetic vampire”.

    These are the people that “really want to go to lunch and hear about where your life is going…” and then dump all of their problems and frustrations on the table. I marvel at the abrupt, “I always feel SO much better after talking to you!” THEY leave feeling great and you are left feeling fatigued and drained.

    Most people are not even aware of this energy infusion or big energy-sucking going on. But, it’s real!

    Take a moment and think about a time when you truly shared with a friend. Positive energy flowing both ways. Each person able to hear some and share advice – from the heart. Remember how you walked away with the feeling of being complete?

    Turn your palms face-up and shut your eyes. Can you sense the gentle radiating energy that is in them? In yoga, we call this your Prana, your life force and guess what? It has an expiration date!

    What if you could actually track the amount of energy in and out of your Prana? If you only had an allotted amount of energy to run your household for a year, how would you use it? You’d pay attention to how it is being spent because you wouldn’t want to run out before the year is up right?

    Well, the reality is YOU ONLY HAVE SO MUCH ENERGY. Allow yourself to say No, at times. And, look for those people that help you find energy and renewal.

    Allow the energy vampires to find someone else to suck energy from…Spend your Prana wisely!

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    The Space Between No Longer and Not Yet

    I am always reminding my yoga students to be mindful when transitioning out of one pose and into another. That the ‘in between’ places are just as important as the places we land.

    Patanjali, who wrote the yoga Sutras, teaches us that how we practice on the mat is an indicator of how we live off of the mat. I can feel it when a student is rushing ahead of their practice. I wonder how often we do this in our lives? Running ahead of the moment.

    What I have experienced in my own life is that it is in the places of transition that transformation happens.

    We all are resistant to change…something as small as moving your cubicle from one side of the building to another can feel overwhelming. But if we can slow down enough to honor the in-between space…to honor the space between no longer and not yet…and by slow down, I do not mean move at a slower pace. I mean…slow down your mind.

    Try not to buy into the drama as the mind starts saying “this is hard…I don’t want to…it’s too much work…” If we can be present with the moments of transition and be just as steady and calm as if we were comfortably humming along in our habits, how much stress would we be able to eliminate?

    I have been thru many transitions in my life, as I know you have as well. And, I know one thing for certain, change is inevitable and transitions will continue to move me to the next stage of my life. Nothing really stays the same. Life is fluid!

    So, let your practice be to observe your active, wonderful mind, during a transition in your life, but remember that you do not have to buy into the drama in your head.

    Use your deep breaths to settle and be still and accepting and, to a certain degree, surrender to the process of transition because truly, it is in that place that you will transform.

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  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    The F Word – Moving Forward in a Positive Way

    Oh, so many years ago…decades ago really, I made that first move towards healing. I wanted… I needed… to feel better. Not only in my body, but in my heart.

    As I progressed thru various modalities of therapies and workshops, the F-word was something that kept coming up.

    I just couldn’t escape it. I didn’t WANT to look at it, I didn’t WANT to take it on. I wished that I could be healthy and happy without it, but the truth is that without working on the F-word, I would never be set free.

    I am sure that you have already figured out that I am speaking of Forgiveness.

    Yup. THAT F-word. It is a doozy. I had a few people in my very young life that I held a hot, bitter anger for. A few who really did not deserve to be forgiven. So, many are standing up with the ‘me too’ movement and that is great. A lot of awareness and healing can come from it. But our own inner work must be done as well.

    When presented with the task of forgiving so that I COULD BE SET FREE…I just could not fathom being able to just say “ oh well, I forgive you…it’s all good” because it SOOOOO is not all good.

    I had to literally ask for help, every single day in my quiet meditations. I had to admit, out loud, that I did not have it in me to forgive this…and that I needed help to come to a place of forgiveness.

    Then, one day, as I sat in stillness, the image of an infant came to mind. And I felt that this was the person that I needed to forgive, only, as an innocent. That this person began their life the same way that I did. As a completely innocent baby.

    Something, somewhere, went so terribly wrong that this person grew to do some horrible things. And a sadness came over me. Not for myself, but actually for the other person. A sense of loss. A loss of innocence.

    And then, a small shift in my heart. A little softening took place. I learned that it helped me forgive if I could remember that the person who hurt me also has been hurt. They did not arrive here as some evil baby. They have their own story too. If I could try to see them as a baby…the place they began….my heart would soften and I could begin to heal.

    I know this is a heavy, difficult topic. But it is imperative for your well being that you know how to fully forgive. That does not mean that you have to invite people who have hurt you back into your life, but that you can finally, freely, let them go and get on with your life. The F-word is not something that you can slip out of or fake. In order to heal, it has to happen.

    It is an inner work that may take some time but I promise if you do your work the softening will eventually ease your pain. We all have some work to do in this forgiveness area…but it helps to know that we are not alone.

  • Blog, Maylo, Mindfulness

    The News We All Woke Up To… Another Tragic Loss

    I was shocked and saddened by the news that hit me Friday morning when I woke. Before I could even grab a cup of tea, my daughter sent me a text. Anthony Bourdain has committed suicide. Right on the heels of Kate Spade’s suicide.

    All across the world, people were shaken to the core to hear that Robin Williams had done the same some time ago.

    My heart is heavy.

    We are moving too fast people. We are grasping and running and reaching…for what? Yes, it is very difficult to make a living…to make ends meet. We are all working long hours. Our mental health care system is broken. Too many people who are suffering either fall through the cracks or somehow not being treated properly. I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I think it is a combination of a lot of things.

    Each one of these people had access to the very best care. They all had so many people working for them and so many people that loved them.

    What do we do? What do we do?

    I am at a loss. There has been too much loss.

    Perhaps, in our own lives, we can stop for just a moment and breathe. Perhaps these tragedies serve as a reminder that life is precious. We are here to love and to be loved.

    I am a huge believer in the power of meditation to transform a life.

    To simply be still, to turn inward and cultivate gratitude. To meditate on the abundance of all of life. To take our eyes off of our problems and the paper tigers and broken dishes and take just 15 minutes to sit, breathe, and think about how all of creation so generously shares her gifts with each of us all day, every day.

    All of this crashing beauty, all that your body has carried you through and the children it has given you.

    It is all a beat by beat, moment by moment symphony…just for you!

    The sun sets a beautiful pink and orange and soon is gone. The flower blooms and then it fades. And right behind each, is another sunset, another flower. Life just keeps on giving and giving.

    Please, make a commitment, set an intention (and an alarm if you need to) to take those minutes. To close your eyes and take a deep long breathe, to let your gaze fall gently in between the brows and simply be still enough to hear the miracle of your own heartbeat. Becoming still helps us to release our grasping, hoarding, fear-driven appetites. It helps us to realize that we are already so generously cared for. And out of that knowing…we are able to relax enough to help others. To smile at strangers and hold the door, to give a good word of encouragement to someone else. We are here to love and to be loved.

    I cannot help our mental health system get fixed. But, I can love more, be more available to my neighbors and friends and the people standing in line behind me. And I can, I MUST raise my children to do the same.

    Blessings to all of you. Peace to you today, and every day.