Friday, 2 December 2011

I knew there was a six pack hiding under there!

I was always a skinny girl, short & tiny.  And then in 2008 I had a hysterectomy.  As great as the after affects of having no uterus are, the recovery from that surgery was horrible.  I couldn’t do anything for 8 or 9 weeks.  Needless to say, I gained weight.  And even after those 9 weeks, I couldn’t do any regular form of exercise because it just felt weird and painful on my stomach.

From 2008 to 2009 I tried Turbo Jam.  Which was fun at first and worked the hell out of my ass.  But it got boring doing videos in my living room by myself.  I tried going to the gym, but I always felt completely out of place.

In October 2009 I found Moksha Yoga.  I fell in love.  In love with the place, with the people, with the practice.  I found a calmer me, a happier me, a fulfilled me.  I also dropped 2 pants sizes by Christmas 2009, so needless to say....veeeery happy!

From December 2009 to October 2010 I felt my body shifting.  Gaining lean muscle in areas I didn’t have it before.  Being able to do a full flow, chaturunga to up dog and not feel like I’m going to fall on my face or belly flop down is amazing.  Eventually I’ll be doing headstands...or so the lovely Lauren tells me...

I have not lost any more weight though. Well, I know I have, lost weight, and gained muscle mass, but still, I was looking to trim down.  Go down from a size 8 pant to a 6 or 4 (wishful thinking).

So I’m not big, by any means.  And most people were pretty surprised when I told them at the end of October I weighed 148 pounds.  I’m 5'2.  I do have a lot of leg muscle, not much upper body muscle, but yeah, 148 pounds at 5'2 is considered overweight.

So a few friends of mine in Ontario have been promoting Body By Vi through their Facebook and losing weight rapidly and loving their lives.  They got me involved.  I joined, not only as a customer, but as a distributor in Nova Scotia.

The Body By Vi 90 Day Challenge involves drinking 2 shakes a day as meal replacements and then eating one healthy third meal.  Let me just say right now, if I hadn’t seen the results for myself on other people on the challenge I wouldn’t have done it.  I’m a skeptic when it comes to shake meal replacements.  But then I tried the shakes!  It’s a powder.  You can mix it with any form of liquid.  Juice, milk, soy or almond milk, water, tea, coffee...there are HUNDREDS of recipes so you never get bored.  Butterfinger, Reese PB Cup, Chai Tea, Ice Capp...need I say more?  Throw it in your blender with some fresh or frozen fruit...good god, I’m thirsty just thinking about it!

I started my Challenge in the last week in October.  It is now the last week in November.  I AM DOWN 10 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!   Not only do I look better.  I FEEL better!!  I have more energy.  My yoga practice has so much more strength behind it!!  My IBS is completely under control (between these shakes and the regular yoga is gone!)

I was getting ready for work this morning, searching through my closet in my bra and panties and caught sight of myself in the mirror and actually said “holy crap!” out loud!  I had to stop what I was doing and just look at my body!! 

I know that it is a combination of my Body By Vi Challenge, and my 30 Day Yoga Challenge that has gotten me this far, but I know that it’s BBV that kick started the weight loss again.

I still have 2 more months in my 90 Day Challenge and I can’t wait to see what I look and feel like at the end of January!!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

You grew a moustache....I did Yoga

Day 29 of 30.

I was supposed to blog throughout this whole month long challenge, but that didn’t work out so well.

First off, yoga took over my life.  When I wasn’t doing yoga, I was doing laundry to have something to wear to yoga. 

Before this challenge, I tried to get to yoga 4 or 5 times a week.  I didn’t realize the difference between 5 and 7 times a week!  It was hard.  There were days where I hurt so bad that I didn’t want to go.  There were days that I went with such bad sciatic pain I couldn’t do a forward fold but rather the flat back, hands to shins, that you’re supposed to come UP out of the forward fold to!

I started to feel sick at the midway mark.  Like my skin hurt on my muscles kind of sick, nauseousness, just plain icky.  Then I received an email from the lovely Estelle telling me that a lot of people get sick during a 30 Day Challenge because you’re pushing yourself so hard and your body isn’t used to it.  She told me to just come to class and if I had to, lay in savasana the whole time.  Well I didn’t lay in it the WHOLE time, but there were a couple classes near the end that my back was flat on that mat when everyone else was flying in dancer’s pose.  To be fair to myself, these times were during a second, back-to-back yoga class after going all out in the first hour!

One of my yogi sisters said to me the other day, “when this is all over, I’m taking a break from yoga”.  As nice as it sounded, I knew that my 4 or 5 days a week practice would continue when the Challenge is over.  If I don’t get to yoga every second day I can feel it in my muscles, my bones and most definitely in my bowel (see earlier blog).

So what have I learned from this 30 Day Challenge. 

I learned to put my ego in check.  Leave it outside of the hot room.  It doesn’t matter what others think of my practice in the studio (they shouldn’t be thinking of me at all!)  If I need to be on my back, then that’s where I need to be. 

I learned patience with myself.  So many injuries surfaced during this 30 days.  Sciatic pain in both butt cheeks, right shoulder pain, lower back...which I think was related to the sciatic pain, what felt like a broken pinky for one week (try toppling tree on a broken pinky...not as easy as it sounds!)  I had to come out of a lot of asanas and I would shake my head and say to myself...that’s okay.  Every day is different.

I learned strength.  Not just the strength of my physical body, but the strength of my mind and my heart.  Don’t get me wrong, looking in the mirror and seeing a difference in the shape and contours of my body is absolutely amazing!  But the strength of knowing I could commit myself to something this powerful and complete it.  Do whatever I needed to make sure I got my 30 days in.  I’m proud of that accomplishment even more than how I look!

I learned all over again how much I love this community of mine.  I may not know everyone by name, but going through something this challenging with so many happy, loving faces, changes a person.  I’ve been practicing with Moksha Yoga Dartmouth for over a year now, and it still amazes me every day how blissful it is to be there.

Something I still have to work on....

Patience for others.  I have to put this as an afterthought because it is something I REALLY struggled with this month.   November was an insanely busy month at MYD.  You knew that every class was going to be packed.  The teachers tell you when you enter to put your mats close together to make sure there is enough room for why is it that there are those same people every class that take up room enough for 3.  WOOSAHHH   

Patience for others.  Savasana is a time to allow your body to take in all the work you just did and process all that work.  When I first started going to MYD, I was one of the yogis who got up and left ASAP.  I didn’t realize how important savasana was back then. Whether it was because I didn’t want to stand around a crowded change room or because I had to rush home for some reason or another, I left as soon as possible.  BUT!!  I left as QUIETLY as possible.  Respecting the fact that others needed that time to process.  I am now one of those yogis who remains in the hot room for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE.  I even place a facecloth across my eyes so that I won’t be tempted to look around the room as others leave.  I NEED that “me” time on my mat.  Newbies and even those yogis who don’t feel the need for savasana....PLEASE, I beg of you, pretend there is a newborn baby sleeping next to you.  Roll your mat up as slowly and quietly as possible, wait to put it in your bag with the zipper or velcro until you leave the hot room, tiptoe out so as to not wake that sleeping baby, and slip that door closed softly.

So patience for others is my new goal in yoga and in life.

If you knew me a year ago, you would be able to comment that I have already grown by leaps and bounds in this area....but I know I have a long way to go...

~ Namaste ~

I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end. ~ Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

This pose is for you Dad!

So I have been away from my blog for a very long time...but honestly, I was thoroughly enjoying my yogi sister, Wendy’s blog so much that I felt mine wasn’t required anymore!  Seriously, that girl is a RIOT!  So poignant and honest, and FUNNY!!

So I’ve decided to join the blogging world again because I feel I have something to blog about.

The month of November is dedicated to Prostate Cancer.  Men from all over the world grow their mustaches and raise money for a cancer that doesn’t get as much exposure as say, breast cancer, but yet affects just as many people, including my family.

My father is a SURVIVOR of Prostate Cancer.  In 2005 my dad was diagnosed.  I remember the day when I got the call from my father that he was given a clean bill of health.  No more cancer.  I remember I was standing up at the time at my desk at work and when he told me he was cancer free, my knees gave out from under me and I collapsed to the floor, crying happy tears.

My father is my hero in every sense of the word.  There is no man in this world that can compare to him.  He is the strength I look to, he is the wisdom I seek out, he is the humour that surprises me with bursts of laughter.  My father is the TRUEST measure of a man.

This month Moksha Dartmouth is doing a 30 Day Challenge where all proceeds are going to Prostate Cancer Research.  As a participant in this challenge, I have committed myself to practicing yoga for 30 days straight.  This is a feat for me.  Getting to the studio every day may prove difficult, along with the aches and pains of a daily practice.  Knowing when to push myself and when to put my ego aside and modify my asanas.

My father SURVIVED Prostate Cancer.  Everything he went through is what will push me through this challenge because nothing I go through over the next 30 days will come close to what he had to go through to BEAT Cancer.

I dedicate my 30 Day Challenge to my father, Tim Olive.  The strongest person I know.

He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.  ~Clarence Budington Kelland

Monday, 23 May 2011

An End That Is The Beginning

Well, blog followers, as you may have noticed...I missed Week 7 completely.  I was out of the country at a wedding in Jamaica.  It was definitely a week of indulgance, but I did manage to do morning yoga on my room deck 3 times, so that has to count for something right?!?

I didn't find out until I got back that the final week's challege was to do Savasana for 20 mins, 5 days straight.  I know that I do NOT rock the savasana in class.  I'm usually one of the first ones to leave class, due to childcare responsibilities.  I have gotten scolded by many a teacher on staying after practice. 

I think this probably would have been a very beneficial week for me to participate in, so I am sorry that I missed out.

Having said that...I am not sorry for spending a week in Jamaica!  I had never been anywhere south (past Florida~Disney)  It was not only a beautiful, relaxing place, but to get to meet locals, visit the straw markets where they sell their wares and bartering prices, it was fun and informative!

Every now and then I got to check the internet on a friend's iPad and the emails that inundated my hotmail account were mostly from the LYM facebook page.  I missed my Moksha family!!!  I had to spend a lot of time reading back through the page, and of course catching up with the always hilarious Wendy's blog.

I really can't believe this Challenge is over!  I hope that the page stays open, or that a new Moksha Sangha page opens on Facebook, so that we can all keep in touch and continue such open communication and guidance. 

I have learned so much about myself, who I am, what I want, all from opening myself up to these Challenges. 

I just finished reading Wendy's latest blog, and agree that a year is an awfully long time to wait for another LYM Challenge.  Maybe Wendy and I will have to get together and plan some weekly challenges to keep ourselves busy!

What progress, you ask, have I made? I have begun to be a friend to myself. 
Hecato, Greek philosopher

Pooh had it right all along!

I have a Happy Buddha that I absolutely love.  His smiling face, his jolly belly, his stretched out ears.  Everytime I walk by him on my landing, he makes me smile. 

As a non-religious person, I always felt more partial to Buddism than to any other religion.  I always made a blatent statement of "if I had to choose a 'religion' it would be buddism"...until I started doing some very weak research.  This started about 15 years ago, when I picked up The Tao of Pooh.  Yes, I said Pooh, as in Winnie-The-Pooh.  Benjamin Hoff uses the characters from Winnie-The-Pooh to describe and explain the many facets of Taoism.

Right at the beginning of the book he takes the time to explain the differences, as he sees it, between Confucious, Buddist, and Taoist. 

The book starts with a description of the Vinegar Tasters, which is an actual painting portraying the three great eastern thinkers, Confucious, the Buddha, and Laozi over a vat of vinegar. Each tasting the vinegar of "life," Confucius finds it sour, the Buddha finds it bitter, but Laozi, the traditional founder of Taoism, finds it satisfying. Then the story unfolds backing up this analogy.  It was in this story that made it clear to me that what I am searching for is more in the Way of Laozi, as opposed to Buddha.

I am not looking to transcend this world for something greater, as in Buddha's teachings.  I am looking to love the life I live, not fight against it, searching for more or living in the past where mistakes were made.  I want to be happy in the now, enjoy every moment that I have and learn from everyone and everything around me.  This is the Tao Way.

"We don't need to shift our responsibilities onto the shoulders of some deified Spiritual Superman, or sit around and wait for Fate to come knocking at the door. We simply need to believe in the power that's within us, and use it. When we do that, and stop imitating others and competing against them, things begin to work for us." ~ Benjamin Hoff

Sunday, 8 May 2011

LYM Challenge ~ Week Six ~ Live to Learn

Made it through Week 5.  Unfortunately I was sick from Wednesday on!  Didn't get to class Thursday or Friday, but snotted my way through Hot Fusion on Saturday and did a 60 min Power Vinyasa Flow class in my living room on Sunday.  Reach out wasn't a week of a great deal of growth for me.  Being sick didn't help, but also I just wasn't sure how to reach out!  I did make the donation to the two charities for the week, so I did give myself some stickers!

Week 6 is Live to Learn.  This week's challenge is to devote one hour a day to learning something new, either by reading a novel recommended by fellow yogis, researching online or learning from a friend/colleague/yogi on the next mat.

I read A LOT.  I read a lot of fiction, and do find time to pick up non-fiction every now and then when the topic interests me.  I also enjoy watching documentaries, as you know from a previous blog on Enlighten Me (seriously, watch it!).

I have downloaded some of the books from the LYM Facebook page question on what books have affected your life.

This week, I am going to stop reading my trashy novel and start reading THE BOOK OF AWESOME.  I mean seriously, the title alone just screams AWESOME!

I am going to supersize my challenge this week, since reading is something I would normally be doing anyway, and I am going to learn the pronounciation and meaning behind the Sanskrit names for each posture in the Moksha series.  I love the sounds of the Sanskrit names.  The way they flow off the tongue, and I know I am probably pronouncing over half of them wrong.  All 40 poses may be ambitious, but if I eventually take the teaching course as I plan to, this is going to be something I will have to learn then!

Oh and P.S. yes I was quoted on the LYM Challenge Newsletter this week :)  If you haven't read The Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, pick it up, it is seriously brilliant!

No amount of knowledge will nourish or sustain your spirit, it can never bring you ulimate happiness or peace.  Life requires more than knowledge; it requires intense feeling and constant energy.  Life demands right action if knowledge is to come alive. ~ Dan Millman

Friday, 6 May 2011

Enjoying the view

I have a beef I want to discuss.


Some women hear this word and cringe.  Especially at my age (33).  Not me, not now.  I have finally found happiness in my singledom.  I don't feel the need to be in a relationship, or really even be searching for one.  Sure I go out on dates, yes I talk to men, but this is not in the hopes of winding up in a relationship.

Now maybe I feel this way because I have been married.  Twice.  Yup...33 and been married twice.  Kinda feel like Ross from Friends with that one!  First time was young and stupid and knew before I even walked down the aisle that it was a disaster.  I really should have taken my fathers advice he was giving me as we were walking down the aisle and "run out and jump in the car that's waiting outside the door".  Seriously, that actually happened!  The second time, I found a man who was very good to me and my daughter.  He was a great father figure and loved her as if she was his own.  This was what held us together even though it was apparent we didn't have enough in common to make it last.  Number Two and I are still good friends who should have always been just that.  Friends.

Now I'm living in Singledom again.  It's cozy here!  I own my own home, car, have a stable job that I enjoy.  My daughter is happy and healthy and well cared for by me alone (well, with the exception of the emotional support provided by my parents)  I am at a point in my life where I realize I can do this on my own.  I don't need to be in a relationship to be happy, or taken care of, or financially comfortable.  I don't have to "report" to anyone or have anyone "report" to me.  I can do what I want, when I want, without hurting anyone else's feelings.

My girlfriends, who are mostly all coupled up, married, engaged, common-law, are always saying "you're an awesome girl and you'll find someone soon", or "it's when you're not looking for it that love shows up".  Well my answer to these is "Yes!  I AM an awesome girl, and that's ENOUGH" or "No, I'm not looking, and I don't care if love shows up"

Even my daughter gets in on this and says "Mom, you need a boyfriend".  This coming from my 12 year old who has a 'non-boyfriend' (because I don't believe in elementary school kids being able to date).  I am trying to instill in my daughter that a girl doesn't NEED a boyfriend.  That I'm HAPPY on my own.  Yes, I'll go on dates, but no, they won't become a regular fixture in my day-to-day life.  I don't want her to think a woman is to be defined by the relationship she is in.

In the past, I have been the type who jumps into a relationship with both feet.  Sink or swim.  Usually I wound up drowning.  I don't want to drown anymore.  I really enjoy floating along MY lazy river and enjoying the view.

"You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose." - Jo Courdert 

"Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free till they find someone just as wild to run with them." - Sex in the City

Sunday, 1 May 2011

It's a Family Affair :)

I am so happy :)  You want to know why?  Because my sister loves yoga!!!

My sister and I have always had a very tumultous relationship.  We were not friends growing up.  I didn't have a sister that I could talk to about my problems, and I'm sure she felt the same way about me.  She moved to Toronto four years ago.  And right before she moved away we had started to build a good relationship.  Now we talk on a regular basis, I go to her when I need advice and I like to think she comes to me too.  We laugh more, we share more, we seem to have more things in common.

Well of course my Facebook and Messenger status updates have been inundated with my yogic lifestyle and recently it sparked her interest enough to give it a go!

I was ecstatic when my sister told me she was going to try hot yoga!!  She went to a studio in Toronto that used infra-red heat.  Her first class was a beginners hot yoga class.  Well after the class she said the only thing beginner about it was that the heat might have been turned down.  She felt a little lost, but picked it up quickly and loved it!  She's been going Wednesdays and Fridays since the beginning of March :)  Her status' on the social sites now include her love of yoga and we have even MORE to talk about!

I'm heading to Toronto in May and had already made a date with her to head to the Moksha Yoga Downtown Toronto.  I cannot wait to share my love of yoga with my sister!! 

I woke up this morning to a message on my cell phone "I'm going to Moksha Yoga Milton" tomorrow morning :)"

I seriously cannot contain myself!!  I can't wait to hear her response to Moksha.  I know the heat is a lot more extreme than the infrared heated studio that she's been going to, but my sister is a sun worshipper.  She lives for laying out on the beach and the summer and the heat.  I know it won't bother her.  If anything, like me, it will help her get into her poses as the heat loosens up her muscles and allows her more movement.

So this is the last day of Week 4 ~ Sangha Support ~ LYM Challenge.  I made it to 4 classes this week, and hoping to get there at some point today as well.  I met some new yoginis at the studio.  I brought a friend for free to a practice.  My dear, sweet, loving friend, Melissa got accepted into the Energy Exchange program at our studio (YAY!)...and I'd like to think my constant pestering and badgering of the lovely and AWESOME Uriel had something to do with that!!   Overall I think it was a good Week 4!  Onto Week 5 ~ Reach Out!

And as a last note....let me just say....YAY JEN!!!!  :)

Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.  ~Margaret Mead

Monday, 25 April 2011

LYM Challenge ~ Week Four ~ Sangha Support

This week's challenge involves Sangha (pronouced Song-gah).  Sangha is a word the Buddha used to describe a community of people supporting one another on a common path.

The challenge this week includes making more of an effort to get to know my if you've kept up with my blog at all, you know how much I love my studio, Moksha Yoga Dartmouth!  I'm already always talking to other yogis in the studio, so this part of the challenge is easy for me.  Since beginning this blog, I have people approaching me as well to talk about the blog.  It was a great opener for my Sangha to get to know me :) 

This morning as Wendy and I were leaving after our awesome class with Ashleigh *shout out* I was putting my stickers on the sticker board...noticed Wendy had already put hers on and turned to her and said "and who did you meet today here?!?"  She immediately turned around to the woman standing behind us talking to Ashleigh and said, "Hi, I'm Wendy, it's very nice to meet you", I said, and I'm Stephanie, and then continued to explain the LYM Challenge because the look on her face was a little shocked at the insertion of ourselves into her conversation.  She was a first timer, I like to think that our friendliness will make her definitely want to come back ;) 

Since beginning at MYD I have brought so many people to classes with me and had half of them buy a package themselves.  This weeks challenge is probably going to be the easiest week for me because I already bring everyone I know to yoga, and I already talk to anyone who will listen to me!

The LYM Challenge Facebook page is proof positive of the Sangha Support in the Moksha community. 

Sangha is like a chosen family...I believe I have definitely chose a keeper family :)

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.  ~Buddha

Friday, 22 April 2011

Enlighten Up!

Morning yogis!

So I just finished watching a documentary called "Enlighten Up".  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it highly!

This woman, Kate, who has been practicing yoga for 7 years decided to take a random person, Nick, and follow him on a 6 month yoga journey to see if it changes his life.  They travel all over the world speaking to Gurus and visiting Ashrams.  Nick is completely anti-God, and has an extremely hard time linking up his yoga practice with any kind of spiritual awakening.  This is what I loved about the documentary.  Along his journey he speaks to numerous yogis of different practices. 

One of the most outrageous being Diamond Dallas Page (ex-wrestler turned yogi) who created "Yoga for Regular Guys" and who believes that men need an incentive to practice yoga..and his incentive is "T&A"....good god, that was painful...

Kate then takes Nick to meet her current Guru, Norman Allan (first American to learn Ashtanga yoga from Pattabhi Jois & bring it to the US).  I loved this part of the show.  His energy and passion was beautiful, and he was very real and personable while making sense of Nick's questions regarding spirituality and yoga.  On a side note...I learned that Moksha means "the soul liberated while in body".  I love this!! 

They then journey to Mysore, India, to practice with Pattabhi Jois himself and gain an interview with him.  Nick tells Pattabhi that he is not spiritual.  The advice he gets is to continue with his practice and he will get the spiritual gain from it in time. 

What he gains from BKS Iyengar is beautiful.  Iyengar started on his yogic path purely for the physical level.  To get healthy and control of the body.  It wasn't until 6 years after he gained health that he moved into the spiritual side of his practice.  "Yoga is a subjective way of eradicating the instinctive weaknesses of human beings" ~ BKS Iyengar ~ "Yoga can take a person into two ways of living.  Enjoyment of life or liberation in life"

The movie flips between a lot of talk of god and spirituality and the importance of both to the practice of yoga, and then discussion not to worry so much about spirituality.  That it will come as you move deeper into your practice.

Guru of the Blissful Refuge was the final stop on his journey through India.  The energy eminating off this man was such a positive, happy and loving energy. "It's not important what you are doing.  It's important why you are doing".  I can't possibly put into words everything this Guru says, but it was the most poignant part of the whole documentary for me. 

I, like Nick, struggle with my non-belief system and melding it with my yogic lifestyle.  Guru of the Blissful Refuge says you can have religion/spirituality without believing in a god, Krishna, Bachdi (sp?), as long as you Be Your True Self.  Happiness is not outside.  It is within us.  This is a Guru I could follow :)

So though this has nothing to do with the  LYM Challenge, I wanted to share in the hopes that others who struggle with their melding of the mat with the mind may gain some insight as I have through getting their hands on a copy of this documentary. 


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

YES DRILL SERGEANT!!! ****missed you Emilie****

So tonight was Hot Fusion....dear gawd how I love Hot Fusion!   Hot Fusion is a cardio-style yoga (set to soothing music *love*) I don't think I can put into words the amount of mixed emotions that come up during this class.  It is hard!  It is fun!  It is different every time, using different, harder poses, flowing between those poses in new and awkward ways!

Now everyone breathe and open up to what comes next...

Every time this statement comes out of Emilie's mouth, all I can think is "oh damn! here we go!"   I know the next move is going to be damn near impossible and yet I find myself smiling and looking forward to whatever weird position she's going to put us into next!

Emilie is this tall, beautiful, absolutely SWEET yogi who brings us through flows as if we were in our first week of bootcamp for the army!  Up Dog, Down Dog, Up Dog, Down Dog.  Plank to Hover, Plank to Hover, forward into Up Dog, and back to Down Dog, and again. 

I do believe I mostly owe my newly toned arms to Emilie's classes twice a week!  haha!  The Hot Fusion twice a week is a great cardio style yoga to add spice to my regular practice, which includes 60 min practice and usually a Level 2 and a Yin Yoga practice.

Emilie was away for a week and boy did I miss my Hot Fusion classes!  Thankfully, the lovely Estelle threw some Flow classes in their place that week, which are not as difficult as Fusion, but still, oh so much fun!  Our studio has taken Flow off the schedule *insert sad face here*  This was another class that was an AWESOME addition to my practice as it changed things up and added a difficulty level above the regular Moksha practice.

I know this post isn't about being green...but honestly I just had to praise Emilie tonight.  We missed her and her crazy modified flows!!!

But on the BE GREEN aspect of my blog...since it's supposed to be based around the LYM Challenge...I did NOT give myself a sticker in the action column today, as I got so excited about ordering chinese food at lunch time that I kicked myself in the pants when it showed up in styrofoam!  Dammit!  And I was doing so well! 

Monday, 18 April 2011

LYM Challenge ~ Week Three ~ BE GREEN

It's Be Green Week!  I think this is the most important Pillar globally, correct me if you think otherwise.

This week our challenge is to live as GREEN as possible.  Here are some of the challenge ideas offered up:

Take out containers - Bring your own tupperware if you eat out (sometimes this confuses restaurant staffers and makes for some funny looks! Share your stories with us on facebook!)
~~~~ I might actually try this one...just to see the looks on the faces and have a story to tell!! haha

Coffee cups - Carry your own travel mug
~~~~ I'm not much of a tea/coffee drinker outside of the home, so this doesn't really apply

Plastic Water Bottles - Use your own glass water bottle and save money by refilling. If you're flying this week, remember to bring your water bottle onboard. Airlines do not recycle their plastic or styrofoam cups!
~~~~ I do use a water bottle instead of plastic, so this is already my practice :)

Plastic Grocery Bags - Keep a stash of canvas bags with you so you don't forget!
~~~~ Oh this one gets me every time!!  I have so many of the Sobeys bags and I always forget to put them back in my car for the next use! Drives me crazy.  The only saving grace I have is that I re-use the plastic bags for picking up my puppy poo! lol

Paper Towel - Try hand towels or reusable cloths to wipe up your spills
~~~~ I don't really buy paper towel, but I do use the disinfectant wipes for kitchen use...hmmm...

Toilet Paper - Okay, we can't all go ZERO on this one, but why not try to use just what you need, if um, you know what we mean (tee hee!)
~~~~ Try getting a 12 year old to understand "just what you need" in this department! hahaha!

Printing Paper - Depending on the type of work you do, attempt to cut out all paper use for the week. Email instead of print paper, walk over to a colleagues desk to share information instead of writing a note, call your bank and cable company to ask for electronic bills, make a "No Junk Mail" note on your mailbox at home.
~~~~ In my line of work, I have no say on paper usage...

Paper napkins - Try cloth napkins instead (how sophisticated!)
~~~~ This could be fun!

Turn Off - your computer when it's not in use, lights (don't we all look better in candlelight anyway?) heat, electronics, and everything or anything else that requires energy.
~~~~ I'm going to look into energy saving power bars for around the home.  I already keep my heat down and turn off lights when I leave a room :)

If you drive to work, consider car pooling, taking transit, riding your bike, walking or using offset companies to minimize your carbon footprint.
~~~~ I'm a transit user :)

Remember when computers became the big new thing and all the kids were doing it, and the parents were dumbfounded at how to even turn the damn thing on?  That's how I feel about BEING GREEN.  I feel like our kids know so much more than we do.  They are being brought up in a community where littering is unacceptable.  My daughter actually had on her list of school supplies, "reusable water bottle to be kept in class".  I think this is fantastic!

I think I'm pretty GREEN now, except in the area of recycling...that seems to be the bain of my GREEN existence!

I think for me, the idea of BEING GREEN comes a lot easier than actually BEING GREEN.  Up until last year I was an apartment dweller.  This meant I didn't recycle or use a green bin.  I know, I know, it's horrific, but keeping a rotting bucket of veggies and leftovers under my sink to attract all sorts of no-see-ums was not something I was willing to participate in.  My building was also not a strict enforcer of this.  I shouldn't say I didn't recycle...the cases of beer stacked nicely in the closet until it was time to return them for money...*sigh* so bad...I know.

Last year I bought my first home (yay me!) and started using my green bin that was provided with the house...again....HATE the flies!!  I seriously can't stand them!!  But I continued all summer and then slacked off again come winter time...

ALSO.. can I just say, the garbage men do not make it easy to recycle!!  I will have one large box and break down all other boxes and set them in the large one, which I think is damn convenient and well controlled.  Put that box full of cardboard out on recycle pickup day, and the end of the day, the damn box is still there?!?  "I have to break them all down, wrap them with string in order for them to take them away"...WTF is that about?!? 

This sounds like a lot of bitching doesn't it...haha, yes, it is a lot of bitching, but as much as I want to be good to my environment, society in general makes it difficult to do so! 

So in preparation of BEING GREEN, I went to the grocery store on Saturday and shopped mostly in the outer aisles.  Lots of vegetables and fresh meats.  I love that spring is here because I will get a whole lotta use out of the barbeque!

I also have to give props to my cute handyman who came over and fixed my washing machine (or just showed me how to use it properly) so now I can actually do all my washes in cold water :)  He's also fixing a leaky pipe in the bathroom (once we find the shutoff valve!haha!) so that will save water...since the bucket will no longer be needed ;)

So my challenge comes with recycling.

My brilliant cousin is a creative genuis in building household items/furniture etc.  Her creations are space efficient, stylish, accentric, and beautiful!!!  She has her own website in case you'd like to check out her creations!

So I've been bugging her to create a garbage separator for 3 bags (1 garbage, 1 recycle, 1 recycle for money).  I ended up drawing up a design and sent it to her...her response "Looks like you have a new project, come on down!!"  Now, to say that I am completely clueless around power tools is the understatement of the century!  BUT!! I'm thinking this week would be a fun challenge for me to actually make my garbage separator!!! 

I will definitely be posting about that attempt! haha!

Good luck on your GREEN journey this week! xox
I'm not an environmentalist.  I'm an Earth warrior.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Accessible to the Excessive!! :)

Well my fellow LYM Challengees, we did it again!  Made it through another week!  Pillar 2 complete!

I think what will be really interesting about this week is how many of us will continue to make ourselves accessible from now on.  No more bad thoughts about yourself, less bad thoughts about others around you (you know what I'm talking about.  That annoying co-worker, the driver with their blinker on who never moves over)  I have found since beginning my yoga practice last year, I have definitely lightened up on the quick-to-snap-ness.  I still have my bouts of it, but I am also quicker to apologize when the witch with a capital B possesses my body.

I didn't get to nearly as many classes as I wanted to this week (3 so far) but again, I'm not going to beat myself up over it!  I still have Sunday and then it'll be 4 in 7, which is still pretty darn good if you ask me!

So a girlfriend of mine who is currently in her initial first month package deal is nearing the end.  She is quite upset about it because she has fallen in love with Moksha and doesn't want it to stop.  Unfortunately, like most of us, she is on a fixed income and it just isn't in her budget to join.  I want to see her continue with her practice as I really see how much she's getting out of it.  She's happy, she's involved, she's annoying all her non-yogi friends (haha, this part I love the most!).

I know full well, for myself, if it weren't for the studio, the COMMUNITY of Moksha, my practice would definitely suffer.  It's not just about the postures and heat, it's about the energy shared from the class.  And it's a potent energy!!  If you have any doubt of the love and support of the Moksha community, check out the LYM Challenge page on Facebook.  So many people willing to share their experiences, answer questions, be there for complete strangers with a common interest.

I didn't realize I was looking for a community at first.  At first it was about getting into shape.  And it has gotten me into shape.  I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin.  But in addition to those benefits, what I have found is a community of people so open and giving of themselves.  I walk into my studio and it's not just the yoga instructors who smile, it's all the other yogi who have come to the studio, whether its for fitness, peace of mind, or some other unknown-to-me reason.

I love knowing my studio is filled with people who are just as happy as I am to be there!  I have friends who think I spend way too much time at my studio, but these same friends will say in the same breath that they see and feel the change in me.

It is simply beautiful!

We are not human beings on the 'spiritual path'
We are 'spiritual  beings' on the human path. ~ Yogi Bhajan

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I am a SUPA-STAH!!!

I dedicate this post to Estelle!!!  Way to rock the Flow class!!!  I miss the Flow class so much and you were great, especially with the cute little belly protruding! hee hee!

Estelle set our intention to all of us being Superstars in class.  No bad thoughts on how our practice was going, falling out or losing our breath.  This was a challenging class for me.  There were outside distractions tonight that kept me from being able to concentrate solely on my frustrating!  I was all about "Okay Stephanie, just breathe.  Doesn't matter what's going on around you, just stay with your practice.  This is about you, and you are a Supa-stah!"  *ode to SnL*

Upon leaving class tonight I got into a discussion with Estelle and my yogi-sisters about Eat Pray Love ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, and the idea of losing yourself in a man/relationship.  I have done this a lot in my life.  If you haven't read this book, I recommend it highly.  I wanted to include two quotes...

 "I have a history of making decisions very quickly about men. I have always fallen in love fast and without measuring risks. I have a tendency not only to see the best in everyone, but to assume that everyone is emotionally capable of reaching his highest potential. I have fallen in love more times than I care to count with the highest potential of a man, rather than with the man himself, and I have hung on to the relationship for a long time (sometimes far too long) waiting for the man to ascend to his own greatness. Many times in romance I have been a victim of my own optimism."

. . . . . . . . . .

"If I love you, I will carry for you all your pain, I will assume for you all your debts (in every definition of the word), I will protect you from your own insecurity, I will project upon you all sorts of good qualities that you have never actually cultivated in yourself and I will buy Christmas presents for your entire family. I will give you the sun and the rain, and if they are not available, I will give you a sun check and a rain check. I will give you all this and more, until I get so exhausted and depleted that the only way I can recover my energy is by becoming infatuated with someone else." 

In her story, Elizabeth Gilbert "finds herself" again and then finds love and is too scared of falling into her old patterns and losing herself again.  Hers is a journey of realizing true balance.  Do you relate to this story?  Whether it be about love, your job, your children.  Do you lose yourself in something and lose the balance in your life?  I DO!  

"When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit     with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings."

I have been single for quite a long time now, and it was when I found yoga that I started feeling like I found myself, who I wanted to be and how I wanted to express myself and live my life.  I have realized I like being alone.  That alone doesn't mean lonliness.  Yes there are bouts of lonliness, but that also is something I have learned to handle and be calm in.

Estelle says she met her hubby in a yoga class.  Love found her when she was in her happy place.  She didn't have to give up herself or her balance.  And now a new baby bundle of joy is blessing her life!!  I am so happy for you!!! 

So I'm sure I could definitely get deeper into my issues regarding love, balance and the loss of self...but I'm not ready to delve that deep yet!  Baby steps!! BUT!!!!



Sunday, 10 April 2011

Be Healthy COMPLETE!!! phew!

So week 1 of the Challenge is complete!  YAY US!!  We did it!

I completed all 7 days of vegetarian meals once a day.

Only one day did I cheat and eat sugar...and really, it was a green tea & caramel gelato from Humani-T (& an oatmeal and hemp cookie & Happy Tea ...ssoooo good!)  So even though it was sugar, it was healthy suger (shut up, there is so such a thing!)

My goal for my practice was 7 classes in 7 days...I went every day, then Friday came and I missed a class to go to Humani-T Cafe, and because of this I felt like I let myself down (hello week 2 challenge), so Saturday I went to a 60 min class in the morning and a 75 min class in the afternoon :)  ahhh that made me feel better.

Went out dancing Saturday night (in stilettos by the way) which is in and of itself another GREAT workout!  Woke up Sunday to a VERY sore body! haha!  It was so sunny out so I figured, lets do the spring yard work (again, great workout)

So all that was to say I made it to 6 of the 7 yoga classes, in 7 days.  Not bad if I do say so myself! (yay, week 2 challenge positivity!)

Overall the week was a success!  Oh! & I bought not one but 2 BE FREE LYM T's :)  They are sooo comfortable!  (wearing my grey one as we speak) 

So Week 2 starts tomorrow - BE ACCESSIBLE - we are to practice accessibility through self acceptance.  This is the week to practice acceptance and non-judgement with ourselves, and ultimately with those surrounding us. 

Self acceptance and non-judgement is something I struggle with internally and have for as long as I can remember.  As a lot of adults who have suffered childhood trauma, it affects how I view myself and how my inner voice speaks to me.  In the past couple years I have been getting better at allowing myself to be me, and knowing that it's okay to be loved for who I am.  But again, it is still a daily struggle to silence the hateful voice and let the loving one have a turn in there...

I'm not a judgemental person outwardly.  I think that everyone has their issues, and leads them to be the people they are, I accept (whether or not I understand) those quirks and personality traits in those around me.  I'm very helpful at work.  If someone needs help, I'm the first to offer.  I listen openly and respond thoughtfully.  I forgive easily.  I know that if I hold onto something, it is festering in ME, it is in no way harming or affecting the other person. So why hold onto those feelings when it is so much easier to let it go.

I'm not sure how this week will pan out for me.  I have to find some challenges for myself that will make me feel like I'm accomplishing something past what I normally do.  My biggest challenge is within, so I guess maybe that's where I should keep my focus?

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but other things do fall under the jurisdiction. I can decide how I spend my time, whom I interact with, whom I share my body and life and money and energy with. I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts."Elizabeth Gilbert ~ Eat Pray Love

Friday, 8 April 2011


Day 5!!!  So today I had dental wasn't too hard to eat one vegetarian meal today, seeing as I was knocked out for most of it!  I didn't get to yoga today, so that means I won't be doing 7 practices in 7 days, but I'm thinking of possibly going twice tomorrow, one 60 min class in the am, and the Hot Fusion class in the afternoon (wish me luck!)

Tonight my very good friend Melissa took me to Humani-T Cafe in Halifax.  Humani-T Cafe is a health food store which, on Friday nights, has an open mic night.  I had heard such great things about it from Melissa that I really wanted to check it out.  So tonight was the night :) and was I ever impressed!!!

The night started with the couple that puts on the open mic night, singing and playing guitars.  They both have such beautiful voices!  Next up was this character and his ukulele.  He's not much of a singer, but his songs were quirky and cute and everyone really enjoyed him.  There were poets who got up and shared their works and another couple singers, who were SO GREAT!  I had no idea such a beautiful night was what I was in store for!

I must say, the piece de resistence was the drum group!!  A group of 6-8 people, with a "box of noise" which handed out different musical instruments (tamborines, triangle, etc).  There was a guy playing flute and another playing a didgeridoo!!  Bongo players and another drum types.  And they just PLAYED....all of us got to join in with our little instruments and were instructed when to be quiet and when to play loud....

SO MUCH ENERGY EXCHANGE!!!   It was like DOING MUSIC, instead of doing yoga!!  The vibes in Humani-T were so positive and light and just pure HAPPINESS!!

I really wanted to share this evening with you all, so please feel free to view the attached video.  Bear in mind it was taken with a blackberry video it's not the greatest quality....  this was an amazing experience to be a part of and I will definitely be going back!

Enjoy and I hope to see you at Humani-T Cafe!! :)

Thursday, 7 April 2011

The Music of My Life

YAY!!  We've made it to DAY 4!!!  It's literally half way through our first week!!  I can honestly say, my outward appearance and attitude is a whole lot different than I feel inside with this challenge...haha!  I put up a good front that I'm doing GREAT!  The fact is, no sugar is hard!  I find I'm not eating as much b/c I'm trying not to snack.  There's a lot more water intake, which I'm sure is great for me, but I am really missing sugar!  If I liked honey I would be living on it this week!

So this blog I've decided is about music and yoga. 

I love music.  All types, all the time.  I love it playing in the background.  I find I'm more efficient in my day if there is music to lift my spirit as I work.

Twice a week I enjoy Emilie's Hot Fusion class at my Moksha studio.  There is soothing music playing during the class.  I find the class so much more enjoyable with the music playing.  I find myself sinking into the soft sounds while focusing on my breathing. 

Every now and then an instructor will play a song at the end of a regular 60 minute class.  It's usually something soft, like Bob Marley.  It's a great way to keep me on the mat.  I'm one of those yogi who cannot stay in savasana at the end of class, due to outside commitments, but I find when there is a song playing, I'm getting my "me" time at the end of class without having to rush out

...something about the music keeps me in place on my mat .... and in I sink.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  ~Berthold Auerbach

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Yoga, The Thinker & The Pooper

Yup, you read that, the thinker & the pooper :)

I wanted to take a moment to fill in those who are following my LYM challenge to share my health benefits I have received from my new passion.  I apologize if some may find this falls into the TMI category! haha!

As I stated in my previous blog, I have been a migraine sufferer since I was 2 years old.  I got so used to having a constant ache behind my eyes that it seemed "normal".  I know the general ache is not a migraines always started with an aura of what I liked to call "t.v. snow" around the edges of my vision (usually more right-sided) that would eventually move toward the centre...LOOK OUT..migraine acomin'!  The past number of years I have been living on a diet of Extra Strength Excedrin Migraine, 2 in the am, and usually another mid-afternoon, just to get through the days. Obviously, this was NOT good for my insides, but nothing else was working!  I had my eyes checked, I cut out a lot of foods, I even had an MRI done just to be sure there wasn't something more drastic going on than just pain in my head.

When I was in my 20s I was diagnosed with IBS.  My mother is a sufferer of crohn's and colitis and when I started having severe pains in my 20s decided to tested, tests came back with IBS.  Again, diet shifting, but not much else was done for that...when it acts up, it acts up...simple as that!

So fast forward to October-ish 2010 when I walked into my first Moksha yoga class :)  I left feeling alive, calm, happy....actually that's an understatement!  I was ecstatic!  I kept going for the initial month package and as already stated, was hooked!

Now, I knew I loved yoga because of the feelings in my body, my spirit and heart, but it wasn't until that first month package finished that I realized I was no longer taking the Excedrin!  I couldn't believe it!  I hadn't even noticed that I wasn't achy behind the eyes!

Not only this, but all of a sudden I was regular!!  Now anyone suffering from IBS knows how thrilling this is! haha!  To be able to not have to sit back and think about the last time you visited the pooper is phenominal!  I know I've lost weight during my practice, but I'm pretty sure I'm also just not bloated anymore!

I'm comfortable in my skin, not only from weight loss and toning muscles I didn't know I had, but because clothes fit better, I feel better and my head and guts are not in a constant state of pain and knots!


So we're onto Day 2 of the LYM Challenge - still no sugar, no caffeine.  Breakfast and lunch were both vegetarian meals, and a 60 min Moksha class complete as well.

I don't find I'm missing sugar, so much as I'm missing snacking....  snacking to me does not mean carrot sticks and dip..that's not a snack...that's rabbit food...harumph! *arms crossed over chest*

Last week I did 5 of 7 days of practice, including 2 Hot Fusions.  Even though it's only on day 2 of 7 classes this week, my buttocks and arms are already screaming at me!! Tues, Weds, Thurs, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues...and still 5 more classes this week! I love a good challenge! hahaha! xox

On an airplane, you are always told to put on your oxygen mask first. The same way in life, you need to take care of your health first. If you are not happy and healthy, you cannot make anyone else happy and healthy. -Rajashree Choudhury

Monday, 4 April 2011

LYM Challenge ~ Week One ~ Be Healthy

So day one is complete of my LYM Challenge!  

The first pillar of Moksha is "Be Healthy".  To celebrate this pillar in week one we are to "eat green" once a day.  This means, one vegetarian meal per day.  For me, my breakfasts are always vegetarian, so I'm not counting breakfast :)  I've looked up a bunch of recipes and am trying them out this week.  Actually, I started experimenting last week just to see how I made out.  Spinach lasagna (MMMM!!) and my 12 year old daughter ACTUALLY liked it!!  This alone made me beyond happy!  I also made sweet potato & pear latkes last week (again a hit with the pre-teen!)  I will definitely be mixing up some more of those this week.  

Today's lunch was a stirfry and rice (check on the vegan meal of the day!)  

We were given more ideas for possible challenges if we really wanted to push ourselves.  In addition to our regular practice of yoga ~ I'm actually going to go for a full 7 day practice this week (dear gawd my body will hate and love me I'm sure!) I have decided to cut out caffeine and refined sugar for the week!  Holy hell...

So this morning, I had an acai herbal tea, no milk, no sugar, which was delish I must say, and throughout the day, my snacks consisted of apples and bananas and water.  By mid-day I had a headache...I'm assuming this is because of the no sugar...  It's not like I eat a lot of sugar, but my snacks normally consist of a poptart or some cookies and a juice box...

By the time I got home and ate something, my headache was starting to subside, and then it was off to my 8:30 moksha class :)  of course, by the end of class NO MORE HEADACHE!!!

I don't know about the other practitioners, but I have suffered from migraines since the age of 2, and let me just say, since finding yoga (or it finding me) in October-ish of last year, I have to say my migraines have diminished by 75%!  

Anyhoo, it's late, I'm feeling good and rested, so it's time to relax :)  Yes it's only day one, but I think I'm going to enjoy this LYM Challenge!

You'll know your limits until you try to extend them and even then, 
one has to break out of his/her comfort zone to appreciate that effort

Sunday, 3 April 2011

The GOD Experience....

It's not quite LYM Challenge time (starts tomorrow) so I figured I'd just continue rambling and see what happens!

So I'm not sure how this post will go over...I guess, that's the whole point of a blog though right, to voice an opinion.

I'm an Atheist.  Well, let me state this a little clearer...I was a born and raised Roman Catholic, DECIDED Atheist :)

Anyone who is or has had a religion forced on them (by the most loving and positive parents in the world, I owe them more than I could ever repay!) and then grows into the person you are, with the non-beliefs you have, tend to have strong feelings about said prior religion.  Likewise, anyone who has had bad life experiences, which undoubtably shape who you are in adulthood, tend to question a religion that was not of your choosing, but is so strict it TELLS you how you MUST live your life, while in and of itself seems very hypocritical.

Needless to say, for me, the word God has a negative connotation.  It is a word that is synonomous with Catholicism and in turn, not my cup o' tea.  The word God leaves a queezy feeling in my stomach, to say the least. 

I have, in my life most recently, been able to separate Spirit, from that of religion and reclaim it as my own.  My Spirit.  My Lifeforce.  My Energy.  That which is connected to the earth around me and the Spirits of the people surrounding me. 

When I search around on the internet looking for reading material on yoga, meditation, spiritualism, the word God comes up a lot.  So does my queeze...  I am doing my best to open my heart and mind to allow the love and peace that I can feel from my practice fill me, but that word....

Let me put it to you this way.  An alcoholic ATHEIST joins AA and is told they must follow the steps in order to atone and be at peace in their disease.  SIX of the 12 steps involve God....what does that person then do?!? 

Some of you reading this may think this is a horrible comparison because alcoholism is a disease and shouldn't be compared to me searching for peace through yoga...without including someone else's God, but it was an example, and a relevant one in my still learning and growing state of being....

How do you keep with the practice without letting go of your belief...or non-belief as the case may be?  Do I continue to open myself up to Spirit (in my definition of word)?  Maybe those of you who have taken their practice off the mat and into meditation or buddism or some other form of spirituality could help me on my quest?

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Chicken or the Egg?

So how did yoga find me you ask? 

Yoga was something I always admired.  I admired the concept of the exercise and spirituality.  I envied the flexibility and sense of peace that radiated off of yogis.  But I always thought, nah, I couldn't do that.

Then I went to a movie.  Yup!  A movie!   Eat Pray Love.  I sat in the movie theatre and watched as Julia Roberts "found herself" in India at an Ashram and then onto Bali.  If I remember correctly, at no point in the movie was there even any yoga shown.  It was more on the spriritual side and chanting and meditation.  She found peace within herself and the ability to forgive.  This started my path. 

I had walked by the Halifax Moksha studio numerous times when visiting Pete's Fruitique, so I decided to look it up online. I went to my first Moksha Yoga class all by myself one evening in the Dartmouth studio.  It was intimidating!!  But the yoga instructors and staff were SO friendly!  The room was so incredibly hot!!  Moksha is sauna heat, not the infra-red heat, so it was exceptionally warm!  I put my mat at the back corner of the class and did my best to follow along.  I made it through the class, from the first savasana to the last and all the mindblowing poses in between!  I left that class with a feeling of euphoria.  I did it!  Not only did I do it, but I felt like I was good at it!

This was for ME!  My body felt amazing, but besides that, my HEART felt amazing, my SPIRIT was lifted....I WAS HOOKED!

Didn't know I was searching...until it found me...

Well hello there! I'm not quite sure how to do this whole blogging thing, but figured if there was ever a time in my life to write about something, this would be it!

I have a dear friend who knows me better than I know myself.  We always get into these deep discussions about spirituality, religion, the future, etc.  He said to me not too long ago, "you've been searching for something for the 15 years that I've known you, but you didn't know it was this".  Well welcome home Stephanie.  It was an AHA moment for me handed to me by one of the most brilliant people I know.

So I found yoga...or it found me...I'm not quite sure yet...It's sort of the chicken or the egg scenario, but either way, I'm so fortunate that it happened :)  I'll go back in time to describe some of that as I get into this blogging thing.  For now I'll just start by saying, starting on Monday, I will be partaking in the Living Your Moksha Challenge along with my fellow yogis across the world.  This LYM Challenge takes the 7 pillars of Moksha and integrates them into your daily life through weekly challenges.  This blog will be about my quest to complete my LYM Challenge :)