Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reflections on Today's Yoga...


As I moved into seated forward bend this morning, I couldn't help but notice just how amazing it felt. I feel like I have new legs. My hamstrings have always been super-tight and there was a point where I thought I would never be able to reach my toes.

But, over time I've gotten much more flexible and I can just wrap my hands around the middle of my feet now. Not impressive for most perhaps, but I've come a long way, baby!

It made me think about the early days of my yoga practice. You always hear how great yoga feels. You see these crazy, contorted poses and think to yourself, "Ow! That doesn't look relaxing!"- and you're right. If you tried an advanced pose as a beginner, it probably would do nothing more than hurt or perhaps even injure you.

When you first move into seated forward bend- as a beginner- it doesn't feel good (or at least it didn't for me). I felt stiff and awkward and like I was moving things that didn't want to be moved. How can this be relaxing I thought?

Over time, your body adjusts to the resistance. Everything that's tight begins to loosen. Everything that's awkward becomes fluid. Your body "settles in" and accepts the change.



Hmmmn... this all sounds strangely familiar. In my life, and maybe in yours too, change is something that is met with resistance. I get set in my ways and my schedule and I don't like when something new gets thrown into the mix, especially when I have it all planned out for that day. But sometimes, it's time for a change. Sometimes it's the right time to let go of something stagnant, something that no longer serves you.

Maybe it's time for a new approach? It might be painful at first. It might be difficult, challenging or even scary. It might even make you fall flat on your butt. That's okay. Keep going. Push through it. It's the toughest of us who persevere. When you feel stuck in a rut or even stuck in your own life, keep going. Try something new and get good at it.

Who knows? If you just work through it and loosen up, you might just begin to feel the joy you've been waiting for.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Most amazing Before and After ever...

I'm not sure what this has to do with yoga or meditation, but I just had to post this video. Keep watching until the end. You'll be amazed! I can't understand it- but I can't look away.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Yoga & Southwestern Style...


Today we are pleased to showcase the jewelry of Desert Sky Designs.


Desert Sky combines their love of Southwestern American Indian style with their love of yoga to bring you a truly unique and stunning line of jewelry.


 With fine craftsmanship and a creative use of natural materials, Desert Sky's pieces will surely find their way into your heart.


Head to Desert Sky Designs today and get your Holiday shopping done early!


 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Love yourself today...


Decide today that you're going to love yourself. Make a promise to yourself to do it. Embrace your flaws, your imperfections, everything that is human about you. Accept them. Revel in the qualities that you love about yourself and pay much attention to them. When you love yourself, you give others permission to love themselves as well- especially the children around you.

Just like any relationship, this takes effort. We feel good about ourselves one day and the next our confidence wains. Recommit to your promise everyday while eating your breakfast, or brushing your teeth- pick anytime where you will remember to stop being so hard on yourself. Be kind and patient and release any guilt or regret that you are carrying. Today is a new day.

My Mom always used to tell me that "there's something nice about everyone." It's so very true and it's a great way to appreciate others- but sometimes you need to remind yourself what is special about yourself. The best qualities you have are the things that make you a unique and special person. Recognize your gifts. Use them to make the world a better place. Start loving yourself today and you'll find that more people start loving you too.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A tiny Yogini...

Here's my oldest daughter practicing yoga.  She loves to jump right in as soon as my mat gets rolled out. My little one jumps in and tries to steal the show at the end.








Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Step-by-Step Pictorial of a true work of Art

Below is the Step-by-Step process taken by artist, Rochelle Fox to create one of her intricate hand-painted silk scarves. 

Find these special scarves in Rochelle's etsy store and give someone you love a true work of art. 

From Rochelle's Blog:

I begin by sketching out my ideas with a mechanical pencil (mostly commuting on the train between yoga and the studio).

I completely redraw the sketch onto Bristol Board. I use tiny .005 micron pens to trace over the drawing (if you live in Brooklyn and your art store is sold out of .005 microns, I probably bought the last one.) I tend to leave a trail of them wherever I go...





I scan in the pen and ink drawing and print the design onto vellum. The transparency becomes a color separation (stencil) for screen printing. I screen print the image onto the blank white silk scarves with a black, water-based resist called gutta.


After the gutta dries, I stretch the scarf onto plastic stretcher bars using tiny pins. I hand paint the background with special silk dyes. I have to work very quickly and carefully to avoid getting watermarks or bleeding through the lines.


I paint the design using the silk dyes in a similar technique to watercolor painting, using the white of the scarf for highlighted areas. The painting process can take up to 7 hours for intricate designs.

Once the scarves are dry they need to be steam set. I roll them up in newsprint and aluminum foil and then steam them in a pot for 4 hours.

Voila! We have a silk scarf. Ready to wear or hang as a beautiful piece of artwork. If you order them from my Etsy shop they will be packaged in screen printed wrapping paper. Perfect for the holidays!
www.etsy.com/shop/rochellefox

Proper Yoga Alignment Video by Ali Magnano...

We're so excited to bring you our first exclusive video made just for FindingMyWayOM.com from yoga instructor Ali Magnano.

We think Ali is great. Her personality just jumps off the screen.

If you're in the Clearwater, Florida area, go check out one of her classes in person. You can see her schedule on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/YogaGirlAli.

Even if you're not in Florida, you can do yoga at home with Ali by checking out some of her amazing video's on youtube:

youtube.com/YogaGirlAli

Thanks Ali!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whimsical, Botanical, Beautiful, Yoga Gifts...

 It's "Check This Out" time and I have found the most amazing artist. Her name is Rochelle Fox and she makes limited edition yoga apparel and accessories. If you're looking for a unique, and beautiful gift that will truly "WOW" the recipient, look no further than: www.etsy.com/shop/rochellefox

Here's a little more about her and her work:
Whimsical Shop of Botanical Beauty
Rochelle Fox is a New York-based designer, illustrator and artist. Her spiritual, meditative imagery stems from her passion for yoga, Indian and Japanese art, exotic flowers, and Feng Shui. Rochelle's latest line of limited edition yoga apparel and accessories was inspired by a springtime trip to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. From sunny daffodils of Spring to enchanting lotus flowers in bloom, her work is intended to bring a little bit of harmony and balance into your everyday life! 

Feng Shui Your Wardrobe 
All of Rochelle's creations begin as pen and ink drawings featuring symbols such as the lotus flower and om. Flowers bring the energy of beauty and grace, flourishing good luck and Chi into your life. The vivid colors correspond to feng shui elements, attracting all good things... Whether it’s love, prosperity, balance or healing there’s something for everyone! 

Wearable Works of Art
Rochelle recently launched her new line of one-of-a-kind silk scarves! The intricately detailed floral designs can take up to 6 hours to hand paint. These luxurious, versatile accessories can be framed as a work of art as well. Available in a range of beautiful colors and varying sizes… a truly special gift for the holidays!

Twitter: @artofthefox

Don't Look Down...



Never look down on anybody unless you are helping them up. ~Jesse Jackson

Saturday, November 19, 2011

5 Simple Ways to Pamper Yourself Today...


It doesn't take that long to unwind. You don't need to have a whole day. Even busy Mom's can take a few minutes for themselves.  Sometimes 15 minutes for yourself can turn around your whole day.
Here are my 5 favorite ways to pamper myself:

1. Sit quietly and enjoy a cup of tea. I learned this one from my Mom (a very smart lady).

2. Take a hot, relaxing bath at night when the house is quiet and everyone else has gone to sleep.

3. Meditate for 15 minutes. Be quiet and still. Recharge.

4. Take a short walk by yourself outside in the fresh air. Bundle up and breathe in the goodness.

5. Take a nap. Naps are underrated. Even 15 minutes can perk you up.

Bonus tip: Go into the kitchen and get the sugar. Mix it a bowl with a little olive oil. You've just made your own hand scrub. Scrub your hands in the kitchen sink, wash and follow with some nice smelling hand lotion. Not only will they look great- but they will feel great too. Your hands do so much. Give them a break today.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I am a Warrior...


My favorite yoga asana right now has got to be Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II).

It's pronounced veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna and it comes from the word Virabhadra which is the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger's skin.

I don't know if I feel that powerful when I'm doing Warrior II, but it undoubtedly makes me feel powerful too. I feel like I am a warrior.


My legs are engaged, working, and strong. My head is turned to the side as if I'm looking towards the future with unwavering courage. My hand, with straight fingers is pointing towards what's to come without fear. My gaze is steady, soft but intent.

If I had to pick a pose to represent my life right now, Warrior II would be it. I'm feeling strong. I've been exercising and taking care of myself for a long time now. I've been meditating to exercise my mind and to have a clear picture of what I want out of life. I'm changing things I'm unhappy with and reevaluating my world on a daily basis. I'm becoming more patient and more observant.

There have been times in the past that I have felt like a victim of my own life. I felt as though my efforts were fruitless to change my situation- that I was caught in the whirlpool of life and it was taking me on a ride I didn't neccessarily want to be on. I don't feel like that any longer.


I am the architect of my life now. I am its artist, its composer to some extent and I am changing things that I don't like in my world. That doesn't mean life is without it's hiccups now and again, but I feel stronger and more able to respond with grace when they do occur. I have a plan and it's starting to come together.

I am a work in progress. I am surrounding myself with positive people and not taking any crap from the negative ones. I am still soft and gentle and kind but I am also braver, stronger, and tougher, than I've ever been before.

I am a Warrior. 


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Be Happier in less than 2 minutes with YOGA...

This is one of the many reasons I love yoga.  It addresses common issues and offers simple solutions. Feeling down? Make yourself feel better today with a simple pose and tell your doctor to put his prescription pad down.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

10 Meditiation Tips...

I am not a meditation expert by any means. I am just finding my way into my own practice. I have, however, been researching meditation a lot and compiling lots of information from many different sources. Here are my 10 favorite tips:

1. Try a mantra. Find something personal that strikes a chord for you. Keep it short and simple. Feel it.

2. Focus on each of your senses- one at a time and then slowly tune each one out- one at a time.

3. Focus on relaxing one body part or muscle group one at a time from your toes up to your head.

4. Take it easy on yourself. Remember, it's a practice- not a perfection. You'll have good sessions and moments where you just can't get into it. That's okay.

5. Don't be overly concerned about falling asleep. If you fall asleep it's probably because your body needs sleep more than meditation at the moment.

6. Have good posture. It might be hard to sit up straight at first, but your stomach and back muscles will get stronger. If your body is slumped over, your mind will wander. Mind and body are connected. Try to balance both.

7. If you're having problems concentrating, try counting your breath. Imagine your breath filling up the corners and curves of each number.

8. Do what feels right for you. Maybe it's 10 minutes once a day, 15 minutes twice a day or an hour long session. Make it your own. Don't meditate based on what others are doing.

9. Find a quiet place all your own to meditate. Surround yourself with things that make you happy.

10. In the colder months, meditate with a blanket draped over your shoulders. I have found that the warmth of the blanket helps me drift faster into a peaceful place. It's very soothing - give it a shot.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The BEST yoga & meditation gifts...

If your looking for a holiday gift for someone who is into yoga or meditation, look no further than Chantress Jewelry.


Chantress Jewelry  is lovingly handcrafted using semi-precious gemstones, precious metals, freshwater pearls, and murano glass.


Find a beautiful necklace, bracelet or pair of earrings to wear yourself or to give as an amazing gift.



All items ship within 3 days of ordering and include a satin gift bag and a note card that you can personalize.



 Please visit Chantress Jewelry today at www.ChantressJewelry.etsy.com and let them know that Traci at Finding My Way OM sent you. Namaste.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Shhhhhhhh. Sunday Silence...



We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness.  

God is the friend of silence.  

See how nature - trees, flowers, grass - grows in silence; 

see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... 

We need silence to be able to touch souls. 

~Mother Teresa

Friday, November 11, 2011

11•11•11 Yoga for Veterans...


I found a great charity while surfing the web for blog ideas the other day. They are called : Yoga for Vets and I think what they do is amazing.

Yoga for Vets is a non-profit that allows veterans to enjoy free yoga classes.

Combat is stressful and many of our soldiers come home with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other injuries that affect their quality of life. Yoga for vets has compiled a list of studios, teachers, and venues throughout the country that offer four or more free classes to war veterans.

What an amazing idea!  Please pass the word on about Yoga for Vets on this Veterans Day. God Bless our Troops!

http://www.yogaforvets.org/

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I walk the line...


It seems to me that when it comes to beliefs about the metaphysical...

I walk the line.


One part of me is rational and conservative. Hey- I'm a New Yorker, baby. If you want me to believe in something, you better have some proof to back it up. I'm a little skeptical, not overly so, but enough to never to be taken advantage of. I've always got my own back.
I have boat-loads of common sense and it's hard for me to understand when others don't. I think common sense is the best kind of "smarts" to have. If you have common sense, I want you around.

I'm analytical too and I have my two feet planted firmly on the ground. I can spot a scam or a phony smile a mile away. You're not pulling the wool over these eyes.

But, I walk the line.

I practice yoga and meditate everyday. I believe in something bigger than myself. I believe I have a say in the path that my life takes. I think that my thoughts can become reality. I believe in the law of attraction.

I also know that I am made up of energy and that you are made up of energy and somehow we all work together. I believe in karma and chakras and I don't believe that all the things that make up who I am will sit in a box in the ground when I die one day.

I know that there are things that I don't understand, things I can't explain and things that are much larger and greater than myself. I'm open to finding out about them and exploring new avenues of the universe.

But, I walk the line.

When I see people that wear angel wings on a daily basis, or chant loudly in the middle of the bank, or tell me that their spirit name is Sheera and that they are a dog trapped in a woman's body, I get a little uncomfortable. I'm not down with that.

When someone will only eat red food for a month to please their base chakra or spend 50 hours a week in meditation to the neglect of their job or kids, I'm sorry, I am not on board with that.

But, I walk the line.

I believe in balance and I do my best to balance both words. If I'm deep in mediation and one of my kids needs a snack... meditation time is over. If we're on a budget and I see a yoga retreat for $10,000 that I would love to go to, I'm not going.

For me, balancing between my two worlds works. If you find a different path works for you, namaste, my friend. I can respect that. But as for me, I walk the line.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Yoga for Prosperity...

In Kundalini yoga, it is believed that "Har" is the original force of creativity and will break down the barriers of the past. It will remove fear of not having enough and will give the confidence to believe in abundance. The first part of this video uses the mantra "Har".

The second part of this video uses the mantra "Har Hare Hari Wahe Guru." You already know what "Har" is.  "Hari" is the action and flow of creative infinity. "Wahe Guru" is the joy of Infinite wisdom.

If you're new to mantras, this might seem a little strange to you. I felt the same way. That's okay. Keep an open mind and just focus on the beautiful pictures. I highly recommend clicking on the play arrow and then on the arrows in the bottom right corner of the video player to watch it in full screen mode.

Does it work? Try it and let me know if it works for you!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Heal yourself today...

"Take a day to heal yourself, and then go heal somebody else." ~Maya Angelou

It's hard (especially as a Mom) to constantly feel like I have to be doing something. My to-do list sometimes gets overwhelming and I don't know even where to begin. Life gets too hectic sometimes.

I used to feel kind of guilty if I had a pajama day, but I'm learning to let that guilt go. It's not so much a "lazy day" but a deal to heal myself. Sometimes when I'm a little burned-out from life's daily to-do's I need a day to sit and veg and relax. Maybe I'll do some yoga and meditate for a long time. Maybe I'll wrap myself in a big blanket with my girls and watch cartoons all day. Maybe I'll take a nice hot bath and have a glass of wine.

Whatever it is that heals me on my day off, makes me much more productive when I return to the normal rush of life. It recharges me and I'm going to try to let myself off the hook from now on when I feel like I need to do nothing. Sure, the house might get messy (very messy), and the phone calls might not get made, but tomorrow is another day and everything else can wait.


Monday, November 7, 2011

An Angel on Earth?


Back in my late twenties, when my biggest concern was which cute outfit to wear to which bar, my friends and I were hanging out down in Port Jefferson, NY.
Port Jeff is a beautiful little seaside town on Long Island with a pretty little Main Street dotted with pretty little boutiques, restaurants, lots of people and of course, bars.


We were a group of about 6-8 people in our twenties surrounded by a sea of more people in their twenties and maybe a handful of people in their thirties. But there was one guy in the bar that stood out from the rest.

He must have been in his late 60's. He was tall and slender and grey-haired and didn't fit in with this crowd at all. It was his age and maybe his height that originally drew my eye to his vicinity, but that wasn't what held my gaze. What captivated me about this man was the expression on his face.



His lips were curled up slightly at the corners of his mouth in a peaceful smile. His eyes were smiling as he watched the people in the bar. He was relaxed, calm, serene, like Buddah sitting on a lotus. I watched him like this for an hour. He was like nothing I had ever seen and I was captivated.

Eventually, my Bud Light got the best of me as did my curiosity and I decided that I had to go talk to this man. "Excuse me, sir? I began, "my friends and I have been watching you over there for awhile. You look so happy and peaceful, so I have to ask, did you win the lottery?" "Ha!" he laughed, "no I wish" he said. I just really enjoy watching young people" he said.

There was nothing creepy about this declaration. He was like your favorite Grandfather or teacher, he just exuded kindness and I knew that he genuinely meant this statement. We made some small talk and I wished him a good evening and shuffled back to my friends.

But an hour later, this guy was still smiling! Still looking peaceful. Still! I couldn't resist. I was drawn back over once again, led by my curiosity. "Are you sure you haven't perhaps found the secret of life?" I jokingly asked him. "Oh... that I know," he said with a glimmer in his eye. Now I was really intrigued. "Would you consider sharing?" I mused. "Of course" he said and his kind light blue eyes looked in mine...


"Be good to yourself" he said.



Wow. I didn't know what to say. I quickly thanked him and went back to my circle of friends, but I was a little shaken.
I was not good to myself. I drank, I smoked and I stayed up too late. I was hard on myself. I judged myself harshly all the time as many young girls do. I thought I should be thinner or taller or prettier or that my skin wasn't clear enough, my teeth weren't white enough. I judged myself constantly. Could he see that? Did he know?


I didn't talk to him again after that. I think he might have left shortly after our conversation. But I think about that night and that man frequently, still. It was quite a few years ago now, but it's still as fresh in my mind as the day it happened. Was he just a wise man sitting in a bar or was he my own personal messenger? I'll never know for sure. Nevertheless, I think he would be pleased to know that I have learned how to be good to myself and that I'm passing on his message to you. Namaste.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yoga for a Hangover...

Happy Sunday! If you imbibed last night (like I did) you just might need some of these poses today from Tara Stiles to help you feel better (like I did).

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Forgiveness...


What could you want forgiveness cannot give? 
Do you want peace? 
Forgiveness offers it. 
Do you want happiness, a quiet mind, a certainty of purpose, 
and a sense of worth and beauty that transcends the world? 
Do you want care and safety, and the warmth of sure protection always? 
Do you want a quietness that cannot be disturbed, 
a gentleness that never can be hurt, a deep, abiding comfort, 
and a rest so perfect it can never be upset?

All this forgiveness offers you, and more. 
It sparkles in your eyes as you awake, 
and gives you joy with which to meet the day. 
It soothes your forehead while you sleep, 
and rests upon your eyelids so you see no dreams 
of fear and evil, malice and attack. And when you wake again, 
it offers you another day of happiness and peace. 
All this forgiveness offers you, and more.

~A Course in Miracles