Giving back to the community is one of my favorite things. I recently had the opportunity to do so at the Care + Share Expo.
I was able to do Chair Yoga demos, story time and Yoga for children, Aromatherapy and Mindfulness.
It was such a well planned and executed event. The city of Surprise created a space to connect with the community to educate about available services.
On a personal level, it was very meaningful to be part of this event, being able to share the benefits of Yoga.
I hope that all Expo visitors enjoyed themselves as much as I did!
Spending time in nature has so many benefits. The Sonoran Desert is beautiful, especially this time of year. The temperatures are just right to spend time outdoors.
Frederick Law Olmsted, the 19th century architect of many great American parks, captured the experience well:
Nature employs the mind without fatigue and yet enlivens it. Tranquilizes it and enlivens it. And thus, through the influences of the mind over body, gives the effect of refreshing rest and reinvigoration to the whole system.
Some people say spending time outdoors is taking a nature bath. Overwhelmed by a full schedule (work or personal), long hours of screen time, what better way to unplug. Soak up the sun, listen to the sounds of nature and recalibrate. If it's available to you take a few moments to meditate or even practice a few yoga poses.
This morning I started my day with a beautiful hike. Greeted the day with a few rounds of sun salutations, before I hiked back down. My mind is clear and refreshed, ready to face the world.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of nature, full article by the Greater Good Science Center How Nature Helps Us Heal | Greater Good (berkeley.edu)
As for Yoga with Oma, more info about Yoga practice and mindful walk/ hike coming soon.
There's nothing to it, but to do it!
This was my motto for the weekend. I started out with an idea, a few measurements, a hammer and a staple gun. Home Depot here I come! Purchased a drill, a saw, wood, screws, chicken wire, roofing. I made a promise to myself, if my plan to build a catio doesn't turn out - I will build something! Luckily the catio turned out the way I pictured it in my head. I had done some minor YouTube research. Contemplated Ikea shelf vs building a frame myself. After a brief cost analysis, it was cheaper to build the frame myself (minus the tools). It took me 2.5 days to build (I didn't work all day long, still too hot in AZ). I learned a lot! I remembered helping my grandfather and my father build stuff. I remembered little workarounds I picked up watching them. I rediscovered my passion for building stuff. And most important, I learned that I CAN DO IT! I had a nice playlist on Spotify to keep me going. I was going from classical piano, to Boat Jazz (Christians BJJ Globetrotters playlist), to Bossa Nova, and I had to listen to Thundercat, of course. All in all a great weekend! Most important, no injuries! I hope Daisy will enjoy the catio as much as I enjoyed making it for her.
In summary, don't let anyone tell you or make you feel you are not capable! Don't let an empty tool chest stand in your way! "Where there's a will, there's a way!"
My summer sabbatical is almost over and I will continue Yoga with Oma in the park. I can't wait to see you!
Monday June 21st is international Yoga day or World Yoga day. 2021 theme: “Yoga for Well Being”
All the world is passing through COVID-19 pandemic and almost every country has imposed lockdown in a certain form. In this situation, it is hard or impossible for people to remain mentally and physically fit and healthy. People are suffering from anxiety and depression even if the lockdown is getting softer in some parts of the world. 2021 theme focuses upon telling people to stay motivated at home and adopt a healthy lifestyle by doing exercise and yoga.
If you would like to learn more
International Yoga Day 2021 :Theme, Meanings, Celebrations, History, Quotes (internationaleventday.com)
Since we are in Arizona and experiencing the dry heat, Yoga with Oma in the park is on sabbatical. But I don't want to leave you without any ideas how to participate in World Yoga day.
Here's what you can do:
*If you have limited space, Chair Yoga might be a solution. It is multi-generational and multi-level. From children to grandparents, beginner to advanced yogi. I've put together a chair yoga sequence for your well being. This sequence can be beneficial at work or in your home office. I hope you find value in this short sequence. Please use a sturdy chair (no office chair with wheels!), hold each asana (pose) for several breaths and practice each side x 2 (pose 2 - 10).
If you would like to practice virtually, I am offering Yoga practice via Zoom. Send me a message via contact form.
On May 15, 2020 I received my RYT 200 certificate. I was officially certified and able to call myself a Yoga Teacher. Why celebrate this accomplishment, or the 1-year anniversary? If you have a couple minutes I will explain.
In 2020 when the entire world was faced with the pandemic, a cloud of doom paralyzed most people. Working in health care I was getting information about the severity of the pandemic quite frequently. I knew I had to do something to stay sane, especially during lockdown/ social distancing. I decided to take my passion for Yoga to the next level and completed 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. Not only did the daily Yoga practice help me stay healthy physically, it helped my mental well being as well.
Yoga with Oma was born (to learn what Oma means, go to "All about Oma" tab).
I wanted to be an example for my children and grandchildren. I wanted to show them that even during a difficult time something beautiful can be created. Just like a Lotus flower.
"The lotus flower's daily resurrection is certainly interesting, and surely symbolic of revival. (This makes it the perfect gift for anyone recovering from injury or a traumatic experience.) But the flower also has a fascinating will to live. A lotus seed can withstand thousands of years without water, able to germinate over two centuries later.
The flower also blooms in the most unlikely of places such as the mud of murky river water in Australia or Southern Asia. Not only does it find sanctuary in the muck, but due to the waxy protection layer on its petals, its beauty is blithely unaffected when it re-blooms each morning. It continues to resurrect itself, coming back just as beautiful as it was last seen. With such refusal to accept defeat, it's almost impossible not to associate this flower with unwavering faith. Although cultures have largely dubbed the lotus as a spiritual figurehead, it is most emblematic of the faith within ourselves. It is particularly what the Buddhist proverb, aims to edify; living life with unwavering faith, as the lotus does, ensures the most beautiful revivals". Source: "The secret meaning of the Lotus flower" by Katie Robinson
When life gives you lemons,......you know the saying. I, instead decided to become a Yoga Teacher. I wanted to share the benefits of Yoga, but how? I decided to host monthly free Yoga practices in the park. Each month I choose a local non-profit organization and fundraise for them. If you attend my free Yoga practice, you have the opportunity to donate towards their cause. So far I have collected funds to fight food insecurity of the Navajo Nation. Hosted a food drive for local food bank. Collected hygiene products for local women's shelter. Rounded up Arts and Craft supplies for local Family Resource Center. I have been blessed with a group of wonderful people who support me and my vision.
I wanted to give back to them, so I decided to host a 1-year anniversary celebration. It was a beautiful morning in the park. We took a closer look at Sun Salutations and possible modifications. The Chair Yoga session was well received and we ended with Spring Yoga for children. Throughout the event the talented photographer McKenna took pictures that captured the essence of this celebration.
In closing, I want to thank all my supporters, my friends and family, and I am leaving you with this quote:
"Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes round in another form" - Rumi
Temperatures rising quickly in Arizona! A good time to talk about hydration. Not only do plants and animals need more water, we humans do too. A good way to remember to drink water on a regular basis is to have a water bottle with you whenever you go out. I prefer to use an insulated, reusable one. It will keep my water nice and cold and it's eco friendly. Children and senior citizens are more susceptible to dehydration.
"Babies and young children are more prone to suffer from dehydration than older children. It is due to the fact that young children lose fluid more quickly than others. Some of the common reasons for dehydration among children are low fluid intake, increased sweating, frequent urination, vomiting, diarrhea or a combination of these conditions."
"As the body ages, the amount of water in it decreases, and this is one of the main reasons elderly adults are at a higher risk for dehydration. Whereas younger people can afford to lose more water, adults over 60 can lose the same amount and develop dehydration faster."
Here are a few tips to stay hydrated:
This is a good start to keep you hydrated during the Arizona summer. Should you find yourself dehydrated and you don't feel better after rehydrating, seek medical assistance.
If you would like to learn more about how much water is enough or too much, click on below link.
Water: How much should you drink every day? - Mayo Clinic
This past weekend I hosted another fundraiser. The theme was "Spring-New Beginnings". Participants received a gratitude gift of wildflower seeds. Planting seeds; anticipating the fruit of your labor, beautiful flowers.
Spring, a season of life lessons: to attain the fruits of your labor, you must face harsh and taxing conditions beforehand. Simply put: getting through winter is a challenge. Spring; however, is the light at the end of the tunnel to many who’ve bore the brunt of winter. Source: Health-Ade March 15, 2019
The pandemic was our winter, our harsh and taxing conditions, therefore spring is even more symbolic for new beginnings and change. We all experienced isolation, longing for social interaction. I am thankful that I am able to meet people and interact with them. Practicing Yoga in the park, giving people the chance to do something good for themselves. I had a wonderful encounter at the fundraiser, I met a sweet lady who joined the Yoga practice. Afterwards she was telling me how hard it is to connect with people and how much she appreciated my invitation to Yoga with Oma. Life is good and spring is a lovely reminder how beautiful change can truly be.
Here's to new beginnings!
Why celebrate International Women's Day?
International Women’s Day is a dynamic holiday dedicated to lifting up the social, economic, cultural and political accomplishments of women. It is also rooted in raising awareness of the issues women face across the spectrum and, accordingly, advocating for gender parity.
I recently watched "The United States vs Billie Holiday" - what a powerful piece of art. It stirred up a whole bunch of emotions. I am not going into detail as to why - as we all experience art differently.
What I am going to talk about is finding strength in pursuing ones talent. Art is a way to express emotions, experience joy, and to communicate with others. Art is like speaking another language! It can help reduce the strong emotional charge attached to traumatic memories, providing relief from difficult symptoms. Art can aide in moving forward on the path to healing.
Everyone should be in a safe environment and able to express their talent.
I am closing with a poem by Bunmi Laditan
It's tempting to hold each moment
up to the sun
examining it for flaws
noticing how it fails to meet our expectations
for what it should be, could have been
but what if you put it down
let it wash over you
accept it as yours
make your peace
with the present
acknowledging that it doesn't have to be
Another successful event! The weather was beautiful, not too much of a gamble in AZ! We started with kids Yoga, this month's theme "I am Peace". The adult Yoga practice focused on various stretching poses as well as balance. This month's fundraiser was a food drive for Valley View Food Bank. The donations are for emergency food boxes for families in need within Arizona. If you would like to learn more about this non-profit organization click here Valley View Community Food Bank | Providing wholesome, nutritious food to a diverse community. (feedingaz.org)
We express love for others in many different ways. But do we take care of ourselves?
Here are a few tips on how to practice self love/ care: