Thursday, 31 January 2013

The True You



Inspired by a talk we went to from Danielle LaPorte and Gabrielle Berstein and a car ride home full of chatter with my awesome girl Lauren……….

We were all born to be love and to be joy. We are here to be ourselves and whoever we are is exactly who we are meant to be.

It is so easy to get caught up in who other people want us to be or who we have been raised to be, or who we think we should be but deep down there is a trueness of who we really are.

I am reminded who I am every time I hang with my friends and we laugh. We laugh hard and we laugh a lot. Or with my family when we are being silly or sharing our strange sense of humor. I am not trying to be something I’m not or look like someone else, I am just me. You know the feeling, when you take a deep breath and it all feels right. It is pure contentment, santosha. I want to wake up everyday and have that feeling and go out into the world just being more of me and I also want that from everyone around me. I want to know you, the real you. The world needs you and if you show up and be true to yourself you give permission for everyone else to do the same. Life is too short to not know you, so be you and be as much of you as you can. You are the one that I want to meet. Just you as you are meant to be.


“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” Dr. Suess. 

OM
CJ



Thursday, 24 January 2013

SERIOUSLY!

I've always been a very sensitive person. Able to feel the emotions of others and be deeply moved by my own. At a young age this was challenging for a few reasons. One, no one in my family ever seemed to empathise with my, sometimes over the top sensitivity to people, places and situations. Secondly, I didn't understand or empathise with myself, so most of the time I felt confused and self conscious.

I used to get comments like "Lauren, stop being so serious!" or would hear from behind "Lauren's just REALLY Sensitive!" UGH!

Well, as I got older and evolved as a person, woman and eventually mother I grew to appreciate my sensitivity and see it as a gift. Especially within the Yoga world, it's served me in many ways. Along this path I've had many teachers who've helped me manage my gift. Yoga teachers, Counsellors, psychologists, and my sister (Caroline) who's ability to Laugh at life and let things roll off her shoulders helped show me how to detach (when I needed to, of course).

Caroline is hilarious! Usually in a silly, look at me kind of a way. At Christmas time she would put on all of the clothes she got. Sounds normal I know, but she would put them all on top of each other, usually looking like the Michelin tire man. Couldn't help but laugh. She always has a bad joke for you and her Mike Myers, Fat Bastard impression is priceless.

Caroline sees the importance of laughter and uses it as an opportunity to lighten the mood or create some perspective. Now she's the middle child in the family so there's probably some psychological reason behind her behaviour, however today I just simply see it as a gift. She is my inspiration behind laughing loudly and doing my best not to sweat the small things. To see the Good FIRST even when times are tough.

Thank you Caroline for your bright light in my life. I am a better woman because of you.

May we all be reminded to not be SO Serious! See the joy in the moment and laugh loudly!
My family this Christmas (2012), just missing my brother mark, he already jumped out of shot!


Love,
Lauren

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Don't just do something....



What would you think if you found out that all you needed to do to meditate was sit quietly in a chair or on the floor for five minutes and this could have the potential to create clarity, space and even more time in your day.

I have struggled with meditation and tried a few different ways of approaching it. For close to 3 weeks I got up at 5am and did a walking meditation, I also spent 40 days doing ten minutes a day of Sat Kriya (a breathing exercise with your arms stretched up over your head). I have tried setting my kitchen timer and just focusing on not focusing, (really) and I have tried guided meditations.

I am at it again, I am currently on day 8 of a 40 day challenge and I am loving it. What I have learned from books, the Internet, articles and my friends that have a strong mediation practice is that there is no right way to meditate but it is definitely worth the time and practice. It is simply just finding some time in your day to connect to yourself. If your mind wanders to the grocery list or the laundry just accept it and bring it back to the breath. If this is still challenging, try a guided meditation. Or just try sending your focus to something that brings you joy. Maybe try repeating a mantra over and over in your head. Just sit with it, without judgment or worry. You may be amazed to find that not only does five minutes fly by but that you will have more clarity and energy in your day.

I will offer a small piece of advice from experience, lock any doors to prevent your 4 year old from sneaking up behind you and yelling BOO!

OM
CJ

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Date Night

My husband Cam has been struggling with a tight, sore back for a few years now. I gave him a short yoga sequence a year ago and he's been diligent about doing it before and after work. He's seen small improvements and has become more curious about yoga. So this year he told me his new years resolution was to do more yoga. I was instantly excited. As we continued the discussion, he asked me if I would lead him on a regular basis. I told him he should use YOGO.tv, as I'm usually tired when I get home from teaching and prefer not to teach another class. Plus, I'm gonna be honest here, he really doesn't take yoga direction from me very well. :)

When I mentioned how easy Yogo.tv was, he said to me "I just wish I could do it off the big screen TV".

I immediately said, "You Can".

So we took a trip to Staples and bought a AV adaptor for our Ipad. Came home hooked it up to our HDMI cable from our TV and BAM, YOGO.tv on the big screen. Cam was over the moon. I was too!

Seeing how easy it was we both agreed to a Yoga date, every Thursday night after our daughter went to bed. And I have to admit, I'm loving it too. Not only, do I get to practice yoga with some of my favourite people from a business I'm passionate about, but I also get to connect with my husband.

A workout buddy isn't a new concept. Having a friend or partner to help motivate you and keep you accountable has always proven to be effective. What I want to remind you is that it's also fun and meaningful.

So call your friend, email your sister or plan a date with your partner. Fire up the computer, or open your tablet and pick the Yoga class right for you. I promise you'll feel amazing and your yoga buddy will want to do it again too.

See you Thursday night,

Love, Lauren

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Salute the New Year


Stand tall, bring your feet together and feel the earth under toes. As you lift your kneecaps feel the energy from the earth begin lift up into your body. Bring your hands together at your heart. Have gratitude for yourself, your strength, your commitment, your ability to change, to adapt, to see the good first.

Take a breath. Have gratitude for those who have guided you, questioned you, made you straighter, stonger, and fight harder for what you want from life. For those that have taught you to walk gentler, laugh freely, brought love and light into your life. 

Inhale and reach your arms up to the sky. To the stars, to the unknown, to a New Year of new adventures. Bring your palms together, exhale and draw this energy into your heart and fold forward. Inhale and bring your hands to your shins as you lift your heart forward and lengthen your spine. Make space. Exhale fold forward bend your knees as you plant your hands onto the earth, step your feet back into downward dog. As you breath, lengthen you spine, make space for the new year and all it has to offer, make space to breath deeper, make space to let go. Move your body, your hips, your legs until you feel a stillness take over. Then breath into the stillness.

Inhale and shift your weight forward into plank, either lower your knees to the ground or strengthen your thighs. Draw your belly in and feel how strong your body is. Feel the support of the earth under you hands. Melt you heart and as you exhale begin to lower your body to the ground. Press your hands firmly into the earth and then draw them towards your toes and lift your heart up and forward for cobra. Take an extra breath here and feel the expansion of your heart. Exhale and lower, tuck your toes and move through child's pose into downward dog. Breath deeply. Take five long cleansing breaths here. Exhale and let go of what no longer serves you. Inhale and make space for something new and unknown.

On your next inhale bend your kness and step or hop gently between your hands. Exhale fold. Press your feet into the ground and as you inhale reach your hands out wide and up to the sky. Reach for all your dreams, your goals, reach big and reach high. As you exhale bring your palms together and draw this energy into your heart. Close your eyes and stand tall. Feel this energy, this prana, life force racing through your body. Let it fill you. Let it inspire you and give you strength. Breath.

Slowly open your eyes. May you have a year of peace, of pure bliss, adventure, strength and most of all love. Namaste.

OM
CJ