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Hi all,

I’ve got my July schedule finalized, so please check my Schedule page for updates. The biggest change is my Deep Stretch class at the YMCA on Thursday evenings…we’ve changed the start time to 6:00 p.m., rather than 6:30 p.m., and I was able to get Pam Greene to help teach that class with me, so that we can offer it more frequently. My  Schedule page only lists when I am teaching the class, so you’ll need to check the YMCA’s Web site for the full schedule…I’ve included a link to it for you.

I’m also subbing quite a bit at Synergy’s Rock Hill location, and those classes are also listed on the  Schedule page for you.

Looking forward to seeing you in class!

Namaste,

Melanie

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Hi everyone!

Just wanted to put a quick post up because I’ve been hearing that several of you are pretty concerned about me, so I wanted to let you all know that I am OK.

Apparently, I completely and utterly forgot that I was supposed to teach a Deep Stretch at the YMCA last Thursday, so I never showed up. One of the instructors there called to check on me, and as I was listening to the voice mail, I still had no recollection that I was supposed to teach at all. I’ve NEVER forgotten that I was teaching a class before!

I’ve heard several of you who were there were worried about me, especially because many of you know I’ve been dealing with health issues the past few years. I am OK, but I have been dealing with a flare up of my Lyme Disease symptoms these past 3 weeks or so. My guess is that the stress from several things I had going on is the culprit….my older daughter graduated high school, my younger daughter graduated elementary school, and I had a business trip to Texas. So none of it was BAD stress, but stress nonetheless, and I guess it just got to me.

One of my biggest symptoms has been my memory…when things are bad, I get crazy brain fog and have trouble remembering things. I’ve had some other symptoms crop back up, but I promise that things are already getting better…the things that were causing the stress are finished, so I should back to my normal self quickly. It certainly doesn’t hurt that I am at the beach right now, and a desolate one at that…so I have NO CHOICE but to relax and recuperate, right?

I am so grateful that so many of you out there are keeping tabs on me. It makes me realize that I need to do a much better job at managing things to keep things in check.

One other thing. For those of you who attend the Deep Stretch class at the YMCA regularly, the start time may change to 6:00 p.m.  I am waiting to hear from management if that will happen, so I will let you know as soon as I am told. Also, it will still be on a rotation, as I don’t think I can quite take it on weekly at this point. I am still trying to find another teacher who will rotate with me, so that it can be offered every week. I’ll let you know as soon as I have more to report.

Thanks everyone! I love all of you…you make teaching so gratifying for me, so I hate that I let some of you down this past week. Please know that I will do my best to make sure that doesn’t happen again.

Namaste,

Melanie

 

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ~~ Dalai Lama XIV

nurture
(Photo courtesy of Just As I Am)

This week’s post is a bit late, I know. Honestly, I just have not had the energy to devote to it until today. I think I am still recovering from the events of the last two weeks, as I am noticing my energy is extremely low. It’s like I used everything up to get through these past two weeks, and I’ve got little left to give away right now. It’s frustrating, but just part of this thing called life, right?

Usually when I get this way, I find myself apologizing for not being able to do everything I would normally do. But I came across the most wonderful blog post last week from a new friend of mine, Melissa. Her blog is absolutely wonderful, and always hits home in some way for me. But the post from last week REALLY hit me, because it’s all about NOT apologizing for every little thing because it actually minimizes you. Profound, right??? You should read it…click here to check it out.

Then earlier this week, my other friend, Patty, posted her blog. And yet again, it spoke to me REALLY strongly. When I met up with her for our workout on Tuesday evening, I let her know that it was the PERFECT blog for me to read this week…it’s all about listening…REALLY listening to the messages meant for you. If you don’t, you’ll never be able to truly know where you’re meant to fit in this world. Makes sense, right? Click here to read this wonderful post.

So…I am not apologizing for being late with this post, as I am not sorry at all. I actually did what I needed to do…which was to listen to my body’s signals that I needed to take a break for a few days. To regroup and recharge, so to speak.

It’s all about nurturing yourself. You have to give yourself what you need, body and soul. Otherwise, how can you expect to be any good to the people who need you? Had I posted on Sunday or Monday, like I typically do, whatever I wrote would have been totally unauthentic. And to me, that’s totally unacceptable and a disservice to everyone who takes the time to read this blog.

This week, take the time to nurture YOU. I know many of my readers have families, and you spend most (if not all) of your time doing for others. Do you also take the time to do for YOURSELF? If you don’t, you may end up totally run down like I was. It happens. But do your best whenever possible to take some time for YOU. Maybe it’s to take a yoga class (hopefully one of mine…hint, hint!), maybe it’s to get your nails done, maybe it’s to take a nice walk. Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that recharges and rejuvenates you. If that means doing something by yourself, then do it! Believe it or not, all those people who depend on you will understand. If they truly love and care for you, they’d rather have you at your best, wouldn’t you say?

I love hearing from you all, so feel free to comment here to let me know what kinds of things you do take care of YOU. And I am sure the other readers want to know, too…sharing what works for each of us is a great way to build community…another great way to nurture. Just sayin’! Here are some of the things I did to recharge this week:

  • Watched marathon sessions of True Blood, as I am new to the show…I’ve been watching 1-2 episodes a night to catch up and I am now over halfway through Season 3…total escape from reality, which is just what I needed.
  • Strength session with my friend, Patty. I almost canceled because I was SO tired and run down. But I didn’t and I am so glad I didn’t. It was just what I needed.
  • Hot Slow Flow Yoga class with my oldest daughter. She called me at work yesterday and asked me if I wanted to go to this class with her. Again, I was SO tired, but she’ll be going off to college in a few months, so I will take any alone time with her that I can until then. Plus, my friend Patty was teaching…bonus! I had to modify and take lots of breaks, but that was what my body needed so I listened. And I walked away feeling amazing!
  • Visited my chiropractor. I know that when I am “off”, I need an adjustment. Sure enough, my adrenals were a mess, which explains the super low energy. After the adjustment, I felt a huge difference…LOVE!

Namaste,

Melanie

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
~~ 
Helen Keller

Young man meditating on rock by sea

(Photo courtesy of The Ayurvedic Path)

In last week’s post, I asked if there were specific yoga topics you wanted to know more about. Several of you mentioned wanting to know more about meditation, and I think now is a good time to focus on that very topic, as I am not teaching one single yoga class this week or next week.

You’re probably wondering why this is the perfect time to focus on meditation if I am not even going to be teaching it to you in a class. But that’s the beauty of meditation…you can do it anywhere, and for as long as you have the time to do it!  So if you’re as busy as I am going to be these next couple of weeks, there couldn’t be a more perfect time for you to begin a meditation practice if you don’t already have one.

Meditation is something I feel everyone should be doing on a daily basis. Benefits of meditation include, but are not limited to:

  • Stress reduction
  • Better physical and mental health
  • Improved focus and memory
  • Reduction in anxiety

I know that for me, when I meditate, I sleep better and I just feel better overall. Sometimes I have only a few minutes to devote to it, but I really love when I can find the time to get in 15-30 minutes.

How to begin? Well, the answer is, “It depends.” Not everyone can meditate in the same way, so you really need to find what resonates with YOU. There are SO many ways to meditate. But here are some tips that may help get you started:

  • Start off small. If you’re brand new to meditating, commit to 5 minutes. As you get comfortable with that, add on if you feel like you can. But even if you only have time for 5 minutes, you get all the benefits I mentioned above.
  • Begin by taking 3 mindful breaths. Most of us don’t take time to do this nearly enough. When we’re stressed, we tend to breathe very shallowly and unevenly. Breathing in that way all the time wreaks all sorts of havoc in our bodies. So start off by focusing on taking 3 good, deep breaths. Close your eyes and really focus on breathing in to your entire torso, letting it completely expand. As you exhale, let everything deflate. I recommend exhaling through the mouth, as a big, heavy, audible sigh…it really does wonders in helping you to let go of tension.
  • Make sure your environment feels relaxing and comfortable. For myself, it’s hard to find a good place to meditate, as I’ve got a husband, 2 daughters and 3 dogs to contend with. That doesn’t leave me with many quiet spaces where I can truly let go and relax. So for me, I’ve recently started taking a nice bath in the evenings, after the sun has set. I light several candles, turn off the lights, add in my favorite essential oils (usually I use lavendar and grapefruit essential oils, as they are very relaxing scents for  me), and I also add about a cup of epsom salts. Epsom salts contain a lot of magnesium and sulfate, both of which are known to induce relaxation. Epsom salts also help reduce inflammation and aid in detox…bonus! Sometimes I read while I’m in the bath, and sometimes I just lay there with my eyes closed and practice deep breathing. Either way, I always feel amazing after!
  • Find relaxing music. Not everyone likes to meditate with music, but if you’re having trouble getting your mind to focus on the present moment, if all you can think about is all the stuff you have to DO, then music could be very helpful. Pick music that relaxes you and makes you feel happy.
  • Pick a mantra. Again, some people have trouble turning their minds “off”, so sometimes it helps to have a short phrase handy that you can repeat over and over while you’re meditating. It could be a favorite quote from a book or song, or just a simple affirmation that means something to you. Whatever it is, pick something that inspires you, something that makes you feel good about yourself. My go to mantra? “It’s all good…”
  • Try a walking meditation. I just started doing this only a few days ago, and I love it! Find a natural setting…maybe a trail, the woods, a creek…and walk for as long as you have the time for. Take the time to notice the noises around you and see the beauty that surrounds you. Notice the smells, the breeze, the temperature…whatever you see and hear, notice it and reflect on it. Don’t play any music. Let the sounds of nature be all that you need.

Hopefully these tips help get you started. Or if you’ve already been meditating for some time, maybe some of these tips will inspire you to try something new. I’d love to hear about your experiences!

There will be no post next week, as I will be traveling and most likely will not have the time to write anything worthy. So I will look forward to hearing from those of you who are willing to share your meditation experiences with me. Look for a new post in two weeks!

Namaste,

Melanie

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