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9 Stellar Impacts Your Mindful Presence Can Have on the World

Seriously, Be the Brightest Light in the Room

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit and want to dive even deeper, enrollment for our online community-based course opens this month! Head over to our Community Course page to learn more about our online “inner MBA”, where you’ll practice integrative and mindful Mastery of your Behaviors and Aspirations. If you’re ready for the ultimate support in breaking free from the limiting beliefs holding you back in life, JOIN US NOW.

How many times have you walked into a room and thought: Hello, I’m here! and nobody takes notice? You’ve brought all your light to brighten a room, only to discover it’s not received.

That’s exactly what I experienced, often, growing up. And, if you’re anything like me, in moments like that you might have learned: Don’t be the brightest light in the room. You don’t deserve to be seen.

Seriously, forget anyone who’s not interested in seeing you. That’s their right and their business.

Just like it’s YOUR right and YOUR business to be the brightest light in the room if that’s who you authentically are.

For everyone else—aka: the folks who see your light and love that you shine it so brightly—there are nine tremendous affects your mindful presence with others can have. When you consciously decide to hold yourself in a space of positive emotions, others will feel good being around you, too. You’re humming along at the top of the Emotional Guidance Scale when you bring your purest essence, your light, and the truth of who you are into every room and situation, and anyone paying attention won’t help but feel drawn to your vibes.

Sounds like a dream, right? Being seen and celebrated exactly as you are?

But here’s the thing: You can’t offer any of your fullest presence to someone else unless you’re offering it to yourself first. That starts with sitting with yourself and discovering a more loving, kind, and aware truth within. It is in doing the work of cultivating an inner calm (aka: shutting up and sitting) that you are then able to offer the world a fully present outer calm—one that comes from a place of integrity, self-love, and healthy belief systems. Any one of us can shine our brightest light into any room, but that first requires going within and discovering the essence yourself, before you can shine it out into the world.

When you’re ready, consider these nine impacts your mindful presence can have on the world.

  1. Your presence instills calmness. People who feel empowered by your presence will become kindred spirits. That can only happen if they feel safe rather than attacked, secure rather than judged, heard rather than harassed.
  2. Your presence leaves others feeling energized. Your frequency automatically transfers to others. When you are at a positive frequency, it energizes others without you even speaking a word. They desire that energy to continue to flow and, as such, they are motivated to seek higher frequencies for themselves.
  3. Your presence allows others to feel better about themselves. Your compassionate, egoless energy will have a noticeably pleasant impact and cause others to feel good about themselves.
  4. Your presence allows others to feel unified. As you raise your frequency, others feel called to be on the same team. You are a unifying force.
  5. Your presence instills a sense of purpose. When you are at a positive frequency, you bring something to others that feels inexplicable. Your presence and behavior from a place of love, acceptance, nonjudgment, and kindness become a catalyst for others to feel purpose in their lives.
  6. Your presence allows others to trust in authentic personal relationships. In an atmosphere of higher frequencies, trust is naturally enhanced. You’ll notice willingness from others to open up and confide in you.
  7. Your presence inspires others to greatness. When you make others aware of their magnificence and potential, the service offered by that positive energy transmission is immeasurable. They will reciprocate in ways that astound and delight you.
  8. Your presence aligns others with others. Bonding synergy is inherent in higher frequencies. As you bond with another, you inspire them to connect and bond with others, thus improving the connectivity of the universe.
  9. Your presence instills health rather than sickness. The higher the resonance of your energy field, the more you’re able to impact others with a healing energy.

This sounds all well and good, right? Who wouldn’t want to feel these impacts within themselves and share them with the rest of the world?

But remember: The point of shutting up and sitting isn’t to get the world to love you. (That’s just your ego talking, again.) The point of cultivating mindful presence is to arrive at a space of acceptance, compassion, and loving-kindness for YOURSELF first; to discover the thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors that are no longer serving you, and then to walk through them to discover the grand truth that lies on the other side of all the stuff that’s been holding you back.

After all, the whole world might not be waiting for you, but YOU’VE been waiting for you.

Did this post inspire you to cultivate a more mindful presence? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

Want to learn more? There’s a book for that! Click here to take the first step towards greater awakening, awareness, self-love, and personal transformation.

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit, then you’ll love receiving weekly love letters from Yedda! Each week you’ll get stories, wisdom tools, and mini doses of mindfulness delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, workshops, new products, and more.


Do You Struggle to Express Yourself?

Try These 8 Tools for Healthy Self Expression

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit and want to dive even deeper, enrollment for our online community-based course opens this month! Head over to our Community Course page to learn more about our online “inner MBA”, where you’ll practice integrative and mindful Mastery of your Behaviors and Aspirations. If you’re ready for the ultimate support in breaking free from the limiting beliefs holding you back in life, JOIN US NOW.

If you have been following my work since the beginning, you know that I used to be pretty angry. (Remember all those Easter eggs I broke in grade school?) I spent years trying to party my way to wellness—aka: trying to do the impossible—drinking, using drugs, doing figurative back flips out of windows, throwing emotional hand grenades, and flipping off the world in general.

But when it comes expressing myself through anger and numbing pain with destructive behaviors, I’m hardly alone.

In fact, adults in the United States today are the most in-debt, obese, addicted, and medicated in history. This isn’t a coincidence. A combination of socially conditioned thoughts like: I am not good enough combined with a complete lack of education in emotional intelligence got us here.

But it’s up to us—to you—to fix it.

At some point, the idea that thoughts and emotions are things that just happen to each of us became a pervasive one. So many people believe that their emotions are out of their control—to either muscle through them or to medicate them, one way or another. But just like you can learn to choose your thoughts and harness the power of your emotions, you can choose how you express your emotions [https://positivepsychology.com/self-expression/] as well. (And breaking a third grades’ class-worth of Easter eggs need not be it.)

As a culture, we have stigmatized pain and struggle to such a degree in our culture that few people feel safe enough or learn the skills to express their experience in healthy ways. We are taught that pain is horrible, embarrassing, and shameful and that we should do everything in our power to avoid it. We have been so conditioned to believe that pain is unacceptable that instead of staring it in the face, we act out, living in a place of repressed rage and running off to the mall or the bar—entirely avoidant and asleep.

But the truth is, by learning to lean into our discomfort and suffering, we begin to connect with ourselves on a deeper level and start to heal.

Once you begin to understand how your thought-led emotions inform and guide your behavior, you can start to examine how you want to express them.

While self-expression might be a common way of dealing with human emotions, healthy and healing self-expression is far less common. If you don’t know how to express yourself in healthy and productive ways, chances are it wasn’t taught or modeled to you.

For many of us, healthy self-expression is something that we must teach ourselves.

Check out these eight tools for healthy self-expression, to try the next time you find yourself feeling all the feels.

1. Turn off the noises in your head. Mute the negative self-talk, fear, doubt, and confusion. Ask: Would I speak to someone I love the way I talk to myself?

2. Set boundaries for your emotions and needs. Stand for your “yes” and stand in your “no.”

3. Realize when the story you’re telling is not your story. Claim ownership and authorship of your own life story, not someone else’s or what that has simply been taught to you but isn’t true for you.

4. Do what brings you joy. Discover what will help you get your happy back. It’s okay to start small! Don’t forget, it’s okay to have a sense of humor and everyone needs a little fun in their life!

5. Remember that your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are always choices. No one is to blame for your circumstances. You can choose how to create your reality. Say goodbye to being a victim.

6. Understand “commas” vs. “periods”. Commas represent a pause, a breath, the unknown, or the uncertain, where all things new are created. A period denotes the end. Never place a period where a comma should be.

7. Express yourself in a way that feels healing. Self-expression is not just for impressing your point of view on others, or to convince people to do/think/believe what you want them to. Imposing your thoughts and beliefs on others is your ego trying to get what it wants—and your ego never considers what is in the best and highest good for everyone involved.

8. Get creative! Write, paint, dance, scrapbook, journal, knit, cook, throw pots, crochet—whatever it is that raises your consciousness and allows you to express yourself in a productive, healing way! Creativity is the result of having already raised your consciousness—it involves participation and appreciation, which creates connections. Connection, after all, is the highest outcome of self-expression.

Remember: This work has ebbs and flows, highs and lows. You won’t necessarily express yourself in the healthiest and most productive way the first (or the hundredth) time—especially if healthy self-expression isn’t your habit. But you always have the present moment to return to, in which to begin again. Through mindfulness, you will discover the present moment continuously renews itself over and over until eternity—giving you endless opportunities to self-express in new, innovative, creative, and healing ways.

Did this post help you consider how you might be expressing yourself? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

Want to learn more? There’s a book for that! Click here to take the first step towards greater awakening, awareness, self-love and personal transformation.

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit, then you’ll love receiving weekly love letters from Yedda! Each week you’ll get stories, wisdom tools, and mini doses of mindfulness delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, workshops, new products, and more.


Try These 5 Steps to Free Yourself from Limiting Beliefs

What stories or beliefs are you holding on to?

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit and want to dive even deeper, enrollment for our online community-based course opens this month! Head over to our Community Course page to learn more about our online “inner MBA”, where you’ll practice integrative and mindful Mastery of your Behaviors and Aspirations. If you’re ready for the ultimate support in breaking free from the limiting beliefs holding you back in life, JOIN US NOW.

Raise your hand if any of this sounds familiar:
     I must be “good” to be loved.
     Pain and suffering are unacceptable and mean I have failed at something.
     If I am not in control, everything will fall apart.
     If I do not stay in this relationship, I will be alone forever.
     My physical appearance is a direct reflection of my worth.

That, dear one, is the all-too-familiar voice of your inner-critic, and she is a direct product of social, cultural, and familial conditioning.

But no matter how pervasive her perspective might be now, she doesn’t have to run the show forever.

In fact, one of the most magical components of the life-changing magic of shutting up and sitting is transforming that externally defined voice of your inner-critic into your biggest fan.

Did you know studies have shown that the people who have a strong capacity for love and belonging are the people who think that they deserve it? I mean, how cool is that? Just by thinking you deserve something, you increase your capacity to obtain it—in this case, to experience love. (It also works with shoes… I’ve tried.)

At some point, if you have been doing the work of mindfulness long enough, you will start to awaken to the realization that you are not the person your past conditioning has created. In fact, you never were! The pure, unconditioned essence of you that was birthed into this world is the real you—and she is the person you deserve to bring forth in all her glorious fullness.

That old narrative that says you’re not “XYZ” enough?

You’re done with that.

But conditioned narratives and limiting beliefs can be sticky. There is a reason they can have so much power over how you live your life—and why it can take a whole lot of work and practice to free yourself from their grip, release yourself from their limitations, and rewrite your truth once and for all.

You cannot just “self-help book” your way there, without implementing the teachings you learn. That will just make you a smart person with dysfunctional thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You also cannot feel your way there through the “power of positive thinking”. (Aka: Pollyanna mind.) By doing that, you’re just tricking yourself into ignoring the undercurrent of emotion that is roiling beneath the surface of your life—and eventually, it will rise up. And you cannot just behave your way there—firstly because that’s exhausting and secondly, because the conscious mind is only in control of so much. Instead, you must learn something new entirely, replacing the conditioned narratives that inform your thinking, feeling, and behaving with new, more authentic ones.

Next time you find the voice of your inner-critic taking over, or your past conditioning directing you towards a misaligned or inauthentic decision, try these five steps to free yourself from outdated narratives and limiting beliefs:

1. Say to yourself: “I am not that person now.”
Remember: Chances are you were not that person EVER. You’re just holding on to old conditioning that was never a reflection of your deepest authenticity in the first place.

2. Begin the cognitive work of understanding your default attitudes about particular people, things, situations, and even yourself.
In other words, you must become your own existential detective. What beliefs, attitudes, and perspective do you hold about the world that are not rooted in your own experience, inner-wisdom, or love-based vision? If you find yourself repeating a belief or engaging in a repeated behavior without knowing why, chances are it was merely conditioned into you.

3. Listen to people whom you normally would not listen to.
Try opening yourself up to stories, narratives, and perspectives that don’t necessarily align with yours. You do not have to jump on every bandwagon that crosses your path, of course. But by listening to a vast array of diverse perspectives and beliefs, you will start to uncover what authentically resonates with you on a soul-level, and what is merely noise you have been over-exposed to throughout your life.

4. Favor the expanded awareness you get from engaging with new narratives.
Once you uncover what has been conditioned within you, versus what is truly the authentic voice of your soul, you must start uploading new—more self-aligned, authentic—programming into your mind. If you listen to political radio on the way to work every morning and arrive to the office angry and defeated, that is not serving anybody (lease of all, YOU!) Consider playing a peaceful soundscape, a meditation, or your favorite dance music instead. Prioritize a higher-level awareness for yourself, no matter what is going on around you.

5. Take the path of least resistance.
Identifying and rewriting lifelong conditioning—much of which probably began in childhood—is one of the most challenging things you can ask of yourself and your mind. After all, there are literal neural pathways paved into your brain that have been conditioned over years, and maybe even decades. There is no reason to make this work any harder on yourself than it already is. Start small, with a belief or behavior that isn’t necessarily rooted in trauma or shame, for example, and be kind with yourself (and those around you, who might still be holding on to limiting, conditioned beliefs and are uncomfortable with the changes you are making.) Judging yourself for what was merely taught to you when you were too young or inexperienced to know better doesn’t serve you or your authentic unfolding.

While it’s not easy to sit and connect with silence and stillness, finding the gaps between all the thoughts bouncing around in your mind, it can be done, and it will serve your highest and greatest expression of self. Identifying old narratives and replacing them with new ones to create new habits of thinking, feeling, and behaving is not as complicated as we make it out to be.

The key is to begin with mindfulness.

Did this post inspire you to consider your limiting beliefs in a new light? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

Want to learn more? There’s a book for that! Click here to take the first step towards greater awakening, awareness, self-love and personal transformation.

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit, then you’ll love receiving weekly love letters from Yedda! Each week you’ll get stories, wisdom tools, and mini doses of mindfulness delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, workshops, new products, and more.


Next Time You Are Feeling Stuck, Try These 9 Steps to Letting Go

There is power in acknowledging negative thoughts and emotions…

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit and want to dive even deeper, enrollment for our online community-based course opens this month! Head over to our Community Course page to learn more about our online “inner MBA”, where you’ll practice integrative and mindful Mastery of your Behaviors and Aspirations. If you’re ready for the ultimate support in breaking free from the limiting beliefs holding you back in life, JOIN US NOW.

Have you ever had a hard time letting go of a habit, thought pattern, or destructive emotional spiral? I know I have. Here is the thing about our habits—especially when it comes to what we think, feel, or believe—they are really, really hard to break.

Even when they hurt us.

If you are like myself or any of the clients, students, or other wisdom practitioners I have worked with, releasing negative emotions and finding freedom from sticky thought patterns has been the work of a lifetime. It takes practice. But it’s the whole point of learning mindfulness in the first place: To let that shit go.

When you find yourself trapped in a negative emotion or a place of resistance, try the following practice, in part developed by David Hawkins, author of The Map of Consciousness Explained: A Proven Energy Scale to Actualize Your Ultimate Potential to learn how to allow your negative emotion to exist and then let it go.

1. STOP* whatever you are doing.
Everybody loves a good acronym. In this case, STOP means:
     S: Stand up
     T: Take a deep breath
     O: Open your mind to another possibility
     P: Pause before taking the next step

(*If this step looks familiar, we covered it last week!)

2. Notice and accept your feelings about the situation you are in.
Give a name to your feelings and accept that you are feeling them. Journaling can be a great space for notice, naming, and accepting. Or consider asking a close friend or family member if you can voice your experience to them—without projecting your feelings all over them—to help you start to accept your feelings. (Remember, what we resist persists; and if we name it, we can tame it!)

3. Set an intention to clear the negative emotion rather than feeding the emotion.
To get unstuck from your emotions, you must make a conscious choice to let them go. It is all too easy to feed a negative emotion—with persisting thoughts, amplified feelings, or destructive behaviors. Negative emotions are not going to clear all on their own: You must invite them to leave and then make decisions that will release them.

4. Close your eyes and go within yourself, acknowledging the negative feelings as they arise.
In other words, once you have set the intention to clear yourself of negativity, you’re going to have to let that negativity flow through you and out of you. Allow your feelings to make the journey, invite them to be present with you and move through you, without reacting to them or analyzing them. Treat your feelings with the same loving-kindness and compassion that you would like to receive from them. Soften into your struggle—for now, let it be.

5. Give yourself permission to let all feelings arise without suppressing, repressing, expressing, or escaping them.
You can literally say to your anger, your fear, your pain, or your suffering: “You belong.” You might even consider personifying your feeling: What is the character of your anger? What does fear look like? Who is pain? Sit down and talk to them. Ask yourself: What if I sat with this for just one minute? Can I sit with this for two minutes? Can I invite my feelings to gather around a big dinner table and just be with them?

6. Shift your attention to something healthy that brings you happiness and joy.
This is called “the pivot”. (And yes, it is just as fancy and graceful as it sounds.) If you’re working through this nine-step process, by now you’ve changed your physical posture, gotten quiet, welcomed an understanding of how you feel, and asked yourself: Can I sit with this discomfort and understand where it comes from and what it’s trying to tell me? Now ask yourself: What is WORKING in my life? (Believe it or not, there are things in your life that are working.) Start to turn your attention away from your pain.

7. As waves of feeling continue to cross your mind and flow through your body, verbally give them permission to leave.
As the negative emotions start to leave you experience, replace them with the feelings about what is working in your life, what brings you joy, where you find beauty. Treat the retreating feeling with loving-kindness and compassion but maintain the clarity that the feeling has done its job and it’s time for it to leave.

8. No matter how long negative feelings take to leave your consciousness, acknowledge and accept them as part of your humanness.
The broad, wild spectrum of emotions is part of the human experience. It is normal and natural for negative thoughts to arise throughout the course of your day and your life. Regard yourself with compassion, even as you catch yourself overthinking or reengaging with the negative spiral. This work takes practice, and it ebbs and flows! Self-criticism not only fails to serve you, but it also holds you to a standard that is impossible to achieve. Be gentle with yourself and embrace your humanness.

9. As your feelings leave, remind yourself that you want to let them go because you desire higher feelings like peace, harmony, or love to enter your experience.
Regard your pain or struggle as a pathway that is leading you toward love. (If you need a refresher of how the Emotional Guidance Scale works, we’ve already covered it on the blog!)

No matter what, remember that whatever you are experiencing in any given moment is just the next hurdle you must jump to get to a higher state of being where you can bring your most authentic, joyous, soulful self forward, into the world. The world is ready for you.

Did any of these nine steps resonate with you or teach you something new? Are you looking forward to trying any the next time you find yourself in a spiral of negative emotion? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

Want to learn more? There’s a book for that! Click here to take the first step towards greater awakening, awareness, self-love and personal transformation.

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit, then you’ll love receiving weekly love letters from Yedda! Each week you’ll get stories, wisdom tools, and mini doses of mindfulness delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, workshops, new products, and more.


This ONE Technique is the Gateway to Freedom from Negative Emotions

Learn to STOP in your tracks and let go…

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit and want to dive even deeper, enrollment for our online community-based course opens this month! Head over to our Community Course page to learn more about our online “inner MBA”, where you’ll practice integrative and mindful Mastery of your Behaviors and Aspirations. If you’re ready for the ultimate support in breaking free from the limiting beliefs holding you back in life, JOIN US NOW.

Throughout the course of doing the work of shutting up and sitting—and then sharing it with the world—I have been open about my own story. I’ve shared some of the details of my parents’ staggering levels of dysfunction: Like alcoholism, drug addiction, and domestic violence.

When I was an infant, my dad would leave for days at a time, chasing a party or on a bender, and I often spent those days with my grandparents—honest-to-goodness, falling-down-drunks in their own rights. They owned little more than the mattress that they slept on and the clothes on their backs, and for as long as I knew they drank from sunup to sundown.

In fact, my baby book notes the very first time I drank a beer: At nine-months-old.

It also documents the first time I got drunk: Eleven-months-old.

That’s just how my life began. That is my origin story—one of chaos and raw emotion, alcoholism and drug addiction, survival and lack and despair.

I believe that building the life I have for myself, today, was practically a miracle: A miracle that started with waking up and turning to mindfulness. Mindfulness isn’t just something I teach; it’s been my personal journey. A journey of sitting down and shutting up—and discovering through silence all the life-changing magic that comes with it.

But, throughout all those years of drinking and drugging, violence and dysfunction, suffering and despair, I wonder if anyone ever thought to themselves: We should STOP.

I doubt they even knew they could.

If you didn’t catch last week’s post, on the three ways human beings handle emotions be sure to check it out, because it lays the foundation for what the STOP Technique is all about: Stopping in your tracks (or in the middle of a negative thought spiral, as the case may be) and letting go of negative emotions or destructive thought patterns.

This four-step technique is literally the gateway to freedom from negative emotions. (And its step number one of a totally transformational 9-step process I’ll be sharing on the blog next week!)
Here is the thing: The whole point of learning to harness the power that your emotions have is so you can let them go. When you find yourself trapped in a negative emotion or a place of resistance, the STOP Technique will guide you towards allowing the emotion to exist and then to letting it go.

Everybody loves a good acronym. In this case, STOP means:
     S: Stand up
     T: Take a deep breath
     O: Open your mind to another possibility
     P: Pause before taking the next step

In other words, whenever you become aware of the fact that you’ve launched yourself into a downward spiral, physically and mentally STOP whatever you are doing, pulling yourself out of unconscious patterns and behaviors, and connect with the present moment—the seat of all freedom. (You can even say it out loud to yourself if you must: “Stop!” If you’re spiraling out of control anyway, who cares what anyone around you thinks?)

Let’s say you’re in the throes of becoming really angry, for example. Notice that. Then, just stop.

Stand up, root your feet into the ground, take a deep breath through your nose.

Open yourself up to the possibility of choosing a different reaction.

Then pause.

Suddenly, you find yourself noticing how cool the air is, or the young family playing happily in the park outside your window. Maybe you start to realize that you are surrounded by beauty, joy, and abundance. Maybe you just take a couple seconds to really tune into your body and realize you don’t totally hate your co-worker (or whoever or whatever sparked your anger) but that actually, you just didn’t have time for breakfast and could use a sandwich.

The point is you choose another feeling. You recognize that anger (or whatever it is you are feeling) does not have to be your reality.

And, just like that, you free yourself.

If you want to learn even more about the STOP Technique, check out Power Vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior by David Hawkins.

Did this post make you consider how you might start to pivot out of negative emotions in your own daily life? If so, I want to know! Head over to Facebook to share any new insights, ideas, or questions you have!

Want to learn more? There’s a book for that! Click here to take the first step towards greater awakening, awareness, self-love and personal transformation.

If you enjoy reading Shut Up & Sit, then you’ll love receiving weekly love letters from Yedda! Each week you’ll get stories, wisdom tools, and mini doses of mindfulness delivered straight to your inbox. Plus, you’ll be the first to know about upcoming events, workshops, new products, and more.


The 3 Ways Human Beings Handle Emotions

Which one are you?

If you enjoy reading my blog, then you’ll LOVE my book, Shut Up and Sit: Finding Silence and All the Life-Changing Magic that Comes with It. It’s a comprehensive, integrative, and innovative guide to personal development, designed to help you radically transform your mind and become the master of your thoughts, behaviors, and aspirations.

The first thing that tends to happen after you sit down and begin to wake up to your life is that you stir up a whole lot of pain for yourself. (And often, as was my case, a whole lot of pain for anyone who happened to be around me at the time.)

Once the practice of mindfulness really began to sink in, I started walking down hallways in my mind that I’d been avoiding for years, opening doors that were locked a long time ago.

It made me pretty angry.

Like, doing figurative back flips out of windows and throwing emotional hand grenades, all while texting a steady stream of “F”-you to practically anyone I could think of.

In fact, studies on mindfulness show that one reason people don’t sit in silence and learn to connect with themselves is because it’s too painful.

In the beginning, mindfulness can even exacerbate your suffering.

Your thoughts have power. They are mental units of energy that lay the foundation on which your whole existence is practically built. The more you choose a particular thought, the more that thought begins to store feelings within your psyche.

Your beliefs become patterned into your actual brain waves.

But once you begin to understand how your thought-led emotions inform your behavior, you can examine how you want to handle them.

It’s easy to get into the habit of believing that other people and situations make us feel a certain way—but they don’t. Only we get to choose what thoughts and emotions we put our energy behind.

But, most of us have to go through a dark night of the soul to get to the light on the other side. Culturally, we’ve shamed struggle and stigmatized pain to such a degree that nobody wants to go through it—but if you want to change your life, it’s unavoidable.

The truth is, by allowing your discomfort and suffering into your consciousness, you can begin to connect with yourself on a deeper level.

Only then will you start to heal.

If you’re ready to harness the power of your emotions, let’s explore the three ways human beings typically handle emotions in the first place.

1. Suppression/Repression

Suppression manifests as irritability, mood swings, muscle tension, and various other physical ailments and illnesses. Remember, your feelings create hormones and chemicals that flow throughout your body. If you suppress those emotions, the compounds are stuck there, eating away at you, causing everything from panic attacks to ulcers.

Repression includes denial and projection, which tend to work together and reinforce one another. Denial results in major emotional and maturational blocks. Projection is the primary mechanism used by the world today and accounts for war, civil disorder, inequality, racism, and more.

2. Expression

Expression includes verbalizing or using body language to act out your feelings in front of others— otherwise known as our blow-ups, breakdowns, and toddler-scale temper tantrums. The expression of negative feelings releases just enough inner pressure that the remainder can then be suppressed.

Unfortunately, when you unload all your negative feelings onto someone else—particularly someone who hasn’t yet done their own work of mindfulness—they wind up suppressing, repressing, expressing, or escaping everything you’ve just unloaded onto them. This can create a cycle of negativity that just brings everyone down.

We often think we need to “vent” to others to feel better, but we do not. Expressing a feeling just gives it more energy. Instead, taking responsibility for neutralizing your negative feelings allows for positive emotions to be expressed, instead.

3. Escape

Escape is the avoidance of feelings through diversion. When you avoid what’s going on inside you by engaging in an endless variety of pursuits, dependency and addiction (to shopping, sex, food, drugs and alcohol, and more) often manifest.

This explains the constant, frantic activities modern humans immerse ourselves in: Endless socializing, talking, texting, reading, music-playing, working, traveling, sightseeing, shopping, overeating, gambling, movie-going, pill-taking, drug-using, cocktail-partying, and more.

We’ve all engaged in each one of these, and some more than others. But through mindfulness, what you can learn to do instead is sit down and shut up. Then you’re free to ask yourself what you’re suppressing, repressing, expressing, or escaping.

Once you’re aware, you can begin to free yourself from your emotions—with healthy activities like somatic exercises, rest, reconnecting with hobbies you love, supportive relationships, a walk in nature, volunteering in your community, and more.

The first step is simply becoming aware of how YOU handle YOUR emotions at any given time.

That is the essential wakeup call.


Your Step-By-Step Guide to Joy

It’s called the Emotional Guidance Scale.

If you enjoy reading my blog, then you’ll LOVE my book, Shut Up and Sit: Finding Silence and All the Life-Changing Magic that Comes with It. It’s a comprehensive, integrative, and innovative guide to personal development, designed to help you radically transform your mind and become the master of your thoughts, behaviors, and aspirations.

When I was born, my parents and I lived in government-subsidized housing. My dad was hardly ever around, and my mom had no car and very little money—certainly nothing to spend on entertainment. With nowhere to go and no one but a brand-new baby (aka: me) to talk to, my mom spent her days doing two things:

When I was asleep, she cleaned the house, and when I was awake, she cleaned me.

Every day, she gave me baths and changed my clothes repeatedly, just to have something to do. Day after day, once she cleaned the house, she would wash me, and dry me, and rub lotion on me, and dress me, and play with me, and then when she finished, she would start all over again―sometimes multiple times a day. (For a baby, I smelled really good.)

What the work of mindfulness taught me is that this became a deep patterning for me.

I’m a total spa baby. I love to be pampered. I love physical touch; I love physical connection.

They’re deep, visceral needs.

Now, I know it’s because the ways my mom used to care for me as a baby. And, it’s kind of amazing that in such staggering poverty, my mom was able to create such luxury out the love of a mother for her child.

Even as babies, we’re aware of what is going on around us. Before doing the work of mindfulness, I might not have been able to consciously draw the connection between my childhood baths and my love of pampering now, but that whole experience is still wired into my neural pathways.

On an emotional level, everything we experience is a part of who we are.

There’s a science to it, too.

Did you know that every human emotion has a measurable frequency?

Every one of your feelings creates a measurable vibration that transmits beyond your body. The visual representations of those frequencies is called the Emotional Guidance Scale—and not only does it illustrate that positive emotions create higher frequencies, it can guide you through the mental and emotional steps to achieve the feeling (and frequency) that you want.

The highest frequency emotions are feelings like joy, empowerment, freedom, and love.

The lowest frequencies include fear, grief, depression, and powerlessness.

A feeing like hopefulness—where you consciously begin to deliberately create your life—falls solidly in the middle.

Most of us live our lives near the bottom of the Emotional Guidance Scale—weighted down by lower frequencies.

You can think of your feelings like food for your cells—different feelings (like different foods) produce different results. Love is like the kale of feelings: Chock full of vitamins and minerals and all sorts of ruffage that will keep your insides happy and help you grow. Fear is kind of like the aspartame of “food.” (FYI, aspartame is technically a “chemical compound.”)

When you’re working your way towards the bottom of that Emotional Guidance Scale, plagued by negative thoughts that you can’t seem to shake, neuropeptides communicate those feelings to the cells in your body. This cellular process initiates the production of stress hormones like cortisol, norepinephrine, cytokines, and histamine. Some studies have even likened cortisol to metal-searing acid―that’s how crummy it is for our human tissue.

Metal-searing acid on your cells? All because of a set of patterned belief-informed thoughts that aren’t serving you?

I’ll pass.

The flip side is that when you move up the Emotional Guidance Scale your positive feelings ignite cellular processes that generate growth hormone, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin—all of which promote healthy cellular growth.

When you think about the state of our culture, particularly in the west—the abuse and addiction, the debt, and the obesity—everything we do to try to keep ourselves from facing the pain we feel is simply our way of trying to liberate ourselves from lower-frequency emotions.

But what if you believed you aren’t a victim of your feelings?

What if you believed pain was nothing more than your launch pad for moving up the Emotional Guidance Scale?

Every one of us has the capacity believe that our pain is simply trying to teach us something.

Fighting against your pain is never the answer. The answer is to sit down (and shut up) and allow your pain. Recognize it as a part of you and trust that if it is showing up, that means you’re ready and willing to learn what it is trying to teach you.


This ONE Formula Will Change Your Life

Do you know the math equation for personal transformation?

If you enjoy reading my blog, then you’ll LOVE my book, Shut Up and Sit: Finding Silence and All the Life-Changing Magic that Comes with It. It’s a comprehensive, integrative, and innovative guide to personal development, designed to help you radically transform your mind and become the master of your thoughts, behaviors, and aspirations.

A key part of being human is our capacity to feel and express emotions. What can totally trip us up is identifying our emotions, recognizing how we handle emotions, and mindfully exploring how they guide our behaviors.

After that, the hard work really begins.

Because once we become more aware of our emotions and our responses to them, then begins the work of not only letting go of negative emotions but learning healthy self-expression and the maintenance of mental well-being, too.

Take my client Karrie, for example.

When I started coaching Karrie, she had no idea what she had gotten herself into. She became my client at the request of her CEO, who was preparing her to be the next CEO of their company.

Karrie works in an industry dominated by male leaders. She first started her career as a clerk, working her way up the corporate ladder, year after year. Still, she doubted that she could be a CEO in her industry.

But Karrie did the work—not just to become the next CEO but also to become her best and highest self.

Today, she is a leader of compassion and intelligence.

With mindfulness as her secret weapon, the title of CEO will be one of many stepping-stones to-come in her career.

“It’s kind of magical to be able to sit in silence and bring myself back into alignment with who I am and what I’m about. Sometimes I wonder what it would take to go back to those previous feelings of anxiety and fear, as if this has all been a dream. But it’s been important for me to make drastic changes in my life, so that I don’t. Meditation is one of those drastic changes,” Karrie says.

As Karrie learned, mindfulness is an invitation to wake up and become aware of the intentions you’re setting for yourself: For your day, for your health, for your career, for your life. It’s in that intention-setting that you get to decide if you want your emotions to dictate you, or if you want to dictate your emotions. (Hint: You want to dictate your emotions.)

The good news is, there’s an equation for that:

Intention + Attention = Manifestation

In other words…

The intention is: What is the thought that I’m creating?

The attention is: What emotion am I putting my focus on?

The manifestation is: What energy and behavior am I putting out into the world?

It’s a pretty simple equation, but it can totally change your life.

What is the intention that you’re setting? Are you setting the intention for love? For inclusion? For vulnerability and connection? Or are you setting the intention for rejection? For exclusion? You might even be setting intentions subconsciously, due to patterning you’re not consciously aware of.

To what are you giving your attention? Where are you directing your energy, your emotions, your words, your activities? What do you watch and read; what media do you consume? How often are you scrolling?

All of those things make up your life.

Whatever it is you’re manifesting, it’s coming from the intentions you’re setting and the attention you’re giving those intentions. Once you’re are conscious of that, it’s your responsibility to choose intentions that serve you, and give your attention to those.

Remember: You are not a victim of your emotions.

I’ll leave you with some final words of wisdom from Karrie:

“Change takes time. Just like diet and exercise, mindfulness is like working a muscle. It’s a slow, steady, and continuous process. You have to keep doing it, you have to do it little by little, and you have to commit the time. It’s just a matter of believing in yourself and who you are, and if there’s any doubt in your mind that you can’t do it, just remember that you can.”

“You’ve made it this far, and you can make it further.”

Did this post make you think about what you give your attention to? Maybe you’re even considering starting an intention setting practice? When you’re ready to learn more, there’s a book for that! Click here to take the first step towards greater awakening, awareness, self-love and personal transformation.

COVID-19 Update

Dear Customers,

We want to assure you that we take the health and well-being of our community, customers, and associates very seriously. Like you, we’re closely monitoring the developing effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as communities re-open.

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have temporarily closed our studio to protect and care for those who work with us, our customers, and the public.

We have missed seeing you in our studio, but we have still been open online for virtual classes, where service remains uninterrupted.

With the phase 2 announcement in Richmond we have decided to offer 3 days of classes onsite at the studio effective Sunday June 14th. Classes will be in person at the studio Sunday/Tuesday/Saturday each week.

Here is what you need to know to join us in person on these days:

  • You MUST wear a mask in the studio and keep it on in lounge area
  • Mask on studio/class side is optional
  • 6ft social distance must be followed, studio has markers on floor for mat placement
  • Family members can remain closer while practicing
  • You MUST bring your own mat/props/water
  • You MUST sign up in advance on our website or on MINDBODY app
  • The studio will be cleaned thoroughly
  • Hand sanitizer is located at front desk
  • Only paper products will be offered, all hand towels/glasses/etc. are no longer an option for use at studio

If you are feeling sick PLEASE stay home. If you are not feeling safe joining us in person ALL classes can still be joined virtually.

We are all in this together. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, so we can continue to support our customers and communities as needed.

For more information about COVD-19 and what you can do to keep healthy and safe, visit the Centers for Disease Control at cdc.gov or your local health department’s website.

As a reminder, Mindfulness Bar is a safe, sacred space for ALL and offers a refuge of silence and stillness for everyone. Please be mindful of this when you arrive back in the studio.


EFFECTIVE MONDAY MARCH 23rd WE ARE GOING TO VIRTUAL CLASSES ONLINE

Dear Friends,

In order to honor health guidelines just released and to stay connected with our community and to continue to offer MUCH NEEDED STRESS RELIEF we are closing the studio to group classes and offering Live-Streaming for our weekly schedule.

All classes will be offered via ZOOM.

What you need to do:

Sign up on MINDBODYONLINE via the MINDBODY app or go to our website www.mindfulness-bar.com

CLASS PASS is also available as usual per their sign up steps on their platform.

Corporate clients with pre-paid membership sign up online as usual.

All class packs and memberships already purchased through Mindfulness Bar will apply and we are offering Live-Stream drop -in option as well, just purchase passes as usual on our website- all passes will apply to virtual classes Need more passes? BUY NOW

*YOU MUST BE PRE-PAID AND SIGNED UP ON MINDBODY 30 MINUTES PRIOR TO CLASS WITH ACTIVE EMAIL ADDRESS TO ATTEND VIRTUAL CLASSES*

Steps for ZOOM Live-Stream Classes:

  • Download ZOOM on your laptop, tablet, desktop or phone at least 30 minutes before class and create an account.
  • Join our custom meeting room via the link emailed to you 30 minutes prior to class.
  • Select “Mute” and “stop video ” in the bottom left corner of meeting screen.
  • Find a quiet space with strong internet connection.
  • Enjoy the practice, move, breathe, be in the present moment.
  • Drop any questions you have in chat box during class.
  • Namaste

We are here to serve you and our community during this time of uncertainty and we are also committed to supporting our instructors by paying them no matter what happens. We will ALL get through this by staying connected, even if only virtually for now.

We are so deeply grateful for you and for your word of mouth referrals where we receive much of our business.
If you enjoy your experience with us online please tell your friends and family by sharing this email on your social networks or forwarding to their email address.

We appreciate you and your support!

Sending you all healing energy, health and unlimited prayers for an abundance of prosperity and resources in every way to keep you healthy and well,

Mindfulness Bar Staff


COVID-19

WHAT WE ARE DOING

  1. We have a team of amazing people who work relentlessly to keep our studio environment clean and sanitized. Everything in the studio is cleaned multiple times per day between classes. We have regular and deep cleaning checklists which are followed by our team multiple times throughout the day.
  2. We use cleaners which are on the EPA’s list of approved cleaning supplies for killing COVID-19.
  3. We’ve added wipes to our selection of cleaning products which are available for clients. Please fully wipe down equipment after using.
  4. We have placed natural hand sanitizer at the entry of studio. Please sanitize upon entering and exiting.
  5. We have put out paper towels so that there is no community hand towels to share.
  6. We will be continuing community prop usage. Please consider purchasing your own to use in class if you are concerned.
  7. If you use props, clean them completely after class. We will then do a second level cleaning before they are used again.
  8. Although the hands on assists are loved in our our studio, we will regretfully put these on pause for the time being.
  9. While we have them in case you forget yours, we strongly discourage the use of community yoga mats. If you forget yours, we suggest you purchase a new one.
  10. We have no plans at this time to close the studio. We hope to be a haven of health for you during this stressful period and will be taking all precautions to remain open and available. If the worst case scenario happens, we will be prepared and will update you accordingly.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

  1. If you are sick, please stay home.
  2. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands. Use soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds before and after class.
  3. Avoid touching your face with your hands. Use a clean towel to wipe your face during class.
  4. Bring a yoga mat and towels to each class- one for your mat and one for your face. Wipe up your sweat after class. Sanitize your mat at home after each class with approved EPA cleaners.
  5. Fully wipe down any props after use with sanitizing wipes.
  6. Consider bringing your own props for class. We have these available for purchase in our retail area.
  7. Don’t panic. Most cases of COVID-19 are mild and if you have a healthy immune system, your risk is minimal.
  8. Work on boosting your immune system. Skipping class now is like shooting yourself in the foot before a marathon! Keep practicing and stay healthy!

The Mindfulness Bar exists to support YOU- your health and well-being are the reason we are here. We will continue to update you with any further developments or changes.

We wish each of you wellness and strength. Keep up with your self-care regimens and we will get through this.

Healing energy to you all,
Rose and Yedda


Meditation and Mindfulness for Business

Over the past decade, mindfulness has gone from fringe spiritual practice to mainstream obsession. Oprah meditates. Steve Jobs did it. Katy Perry does it.

And yet, with all the hype surrounding mindfulness, it’s easy to lose sight of its real benefits for businesses. Meditation, the core practice of mindfulness training, doesn’t just make you feel good or give your face a radiant glow. Research on this practice shows that meditation and mindfulness training more generally offer businesses a real ROI.

Put simply, when it comes to bringing mindfulness into the workplace, it’s not just the right thing to do. It’s also a sound investment that pays out real returns over the long run.

According to an emerging body of research, when companies invest in mindfulness, they are likely to experience the following five benefits.

1. Mindfulness reduces employee stress and mitigates the risk of burnout
The world of work has fundamentally changed over the past 20 years. We now go through our days with supercomputers in our pockets. We’re able to communicate around the globe in seconds. Despite the obvious advantages of our faster, more connected world, our current age also comes with a powerful challenge: We now live in an “always on” state of perpetual stress and technological distraction.

Mindfulness works as a powerful counterbalance to this ordinary state. Numerous studies suggest that mindfulness practice helps employees reduce stress and build what just might be the most valuable capacity in the digital age: resilience. One recent study, for instance, showed that the benefits of mindfulness training extend beyond the individuals doing the practice. Researchers found that even the direct reports of managers who practice mindfulness experience lower rates of emotional exhaustion.

2. Mindfulness reduces unwanted turnover
The workforce has become increasingly transitory, and unwanted turnover poses a threat to most businesses. Experts estimate that unwanted turnover can cost up to 200 percent of an employee’s annual salary. So how can we keep high-value employees from leaving? In one recent study, researchers examined the relationship between company mindfulness programs and retention. They found a significant relationship between mindfulness and higher levels of commitment among employees to their current employer.

3. Mindfulness increases productivity and engagement
Mindfulness training also has powerful effects on productivity. Researchers studying the effects of workplace mindfulness programs found that this training led to greater vitality, enhanced focus, and higher levels of engagement in the task at hand.

4. Mindfulness works as a powerful tool for recruiting top talent
In a tight labor market, where many companies struggle to attract top talent, mindfulness programs give companies a competitive edge. This is perhaps why leading companies like Google, Nike, Apple, and Goldman Sachs are all heavily invested in mindfulness training. And it makes sense. If given the choice between a firm that invests in the well-being and resilience of its employees and one that doesn’t, most savvy applicants will choose the company that is more invested in its employees’ success.

5. Mindfulness boosts creativity and innovation
With the nature of industry and work continuously changing and with new disruptive technologies like A.I. looming, creativity and innovation are essential business assets. Researchers at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, Netherlands, wanted to understand the impact of mindfulness training on creativity. They found that just a few minutes of mindfulness practice led to statistically significant increases in “divergent thinking” and also increased the range of ideas subjects were able to generate.

The key upshot of this emerging research is that mindfulness is a sound investment — one that pays out on a variety of different levels. At the level of social responsibility and doing good, investing in the well-being and resilience of employees is simply the right thing to do.

And yet, at the level of raw financial returns, these programs also offer a tangible and significant ROI. By investing in mindfulness, after all, businesses can expect to create an environment with less stress, less unwanted turnover, greater productivity, more top talent, and greater innovation.

Source: Inc.com


Chase Adventure with us in Greece!

Register NowHave you ever meditated at the feet of a sleeping volcano? Relaxed against a backdrop of crystalline blue water and drifting sailboats? How about stretching deeper into your body and mind with Yoga on the sands of an ancient Greek fishing village? If any of this sounds like a dream come true, then our Chase Adventure Retreat, in Epidaurus, Greece, is definitely for you.

Join the Mindfulness Bar and Chase Adventure in Greece with Rose and Yedda from September 28, 2019 to October 5, 2019, as we take in the sun, sand, local cuisine, and atmospheric history of Greece. Tucked quietly away from mainstream tourism and overlooking the Saronic Gulf, the town of Epidaurus is one of the world’s most important Greek archaeological finds: a place where magic met science and mankind met the divine. Distinguished by ancient Greek temples and recognized throughout the world as a place of both physical and spiritual healing.

PRICE INCLUDES:
7 nights stay, 3 vegetarian meals per day (along with acks), 2 yoga & mediation classes per day, 2 workshops on health and well-being and stress management, round trip grand transportation from airport to hotel

PLUS ALL THE FOLLOWING EXCURSIONS:
Day trip to Nafplio
Day trip to Mycenae
Visit to The Ancient Theater of Epidavros
Island/ beach day to Spetses Island
Island / beach day to Poros Island

Epidaurus is surrounded by stunning mountains on once side and dazzling waters on the other. It’s in this space of history and serenity that we invite you to relax, disconnect from your busy life, and connect with your mindfulness practice while you form new healthy habits and friendships. With natural and bright accommodations at Hotel George, you’ll be steps away from a fresh ocean breeze from an irresistible beach, healthy meals and experience and relaxation options to start and end your beautiful days in Greece. This is the ideal setting for blending introspection with community, and stillness with adventure.

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More Information


What is Yoga?

Yoga originated thousands and thousands of years ago, and no one knows exactly when. From then until now, the experience of yoga increases vitality, calms the mind, improves health, opens the heart and transcends cultures and religions. Yoga is practiced by many people because it transcends cultures by tapping into the deeper part of the “self” and fully creating venues for us to fully unify the body, mind and soul.

WHAT THE WORD YOGA MEANS?

Basically, yoga is about making balance and creating equanimity so as to live in peace, good health and harmony.
  • The word yoga means “UNION” yoga comes from sanskrit root to join or concentrate on.
  • Yoga has the divine ability to reunite polarities and merge opposites. Once you experience the pure state of union, you feel happiness, joy, peace, balance, bliss and the full essence of your true self. The practice of yoga is an art and science dedicated to creating union between body, mind and soul. It’s objective is to assist practitioners in using the breath and body to foster an awareness of ourselves as individualized beings intimately connected to the unified whole of creation.

THE YOGA PRACTICE INCORPORATES:

  • Faith full belief and trust in yourself and universe
  • Surrounding to the divine letting go and allowing yourself to receive love
  • Sound vibration
  • Endless/without boundaries expanding beyond your physical & mental capacity
  • Vinyasa flow of movement & breath, tap in the source , be in the breath, and embody the joy of life through energetic movement

LIFESTYLE:

Overall, yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy, a lifestyle and a way of life. The experience encourages you to be honest, loving, joyful, generous, forgiving, tolerant, and open to the divine possibilities of life.

Based on the principles and lessons cultivated on the mat, the following statements speaks to how you can
celebrate and live a full and abundant life off the mat.

  • Face your own demons with compassion & bravery
  • Step into a place of honesty and stand in your own truth
  • Trust you have faith in yourself and others
  • Let down your walls and reveal your heart
  • Follow your passions with conviction and purpose
  • Give and leave with love
  • Be your divine self without apologizing

The ultimate aim of yoga is to reach “ultimate freedom”. Freedom is peace, tranquility, and bliss. Freedom is the joy of being in the self, with the self and of the divine self.


Meditation Made Easy

Humans share the common experience of being barraged with fluctuating thoughts, feelings and emotions throughout the day. While our capacity to think and feel can be a source of inspiration for our work and passions, this constant flux of thoughts can be distracting and make it difficult to remain in the now. One particularly effective solution for taming the mind is meditation.

What is Meditation?
Meditation is simply a practice of tuning in. It’s choosing to tune in even when a myriad of thoughts might interfere with the meditation. Once you begin to tune in, you can become more aware of your thought patterns. When you recognize these patterns, you can begin to release them, eventually moving into a meditative state where you are keenly aware without being attached or overwhelmed by any one thought.

Benefits of Meditation
Talk to anyone with a regular meditation practice and they will likely share how the practice has improved several aspects of their life. Meditators often report having an overall improved sense of well-being, lower levels of stress and an increased ability to practice mindfulness—the ability to stay in the present moment.

In 1968, cardiologist and Harvard mind-body medicine professor, Dr. Herbert Benson, tested the effects of Transcendental Meditation, a specific form of silent mantra meditation. Benson and his colleagues wanted to see if meditation could counter the physiological effects of stress. They observed that during meditation:

  • Heartbeat and breathing rates slow down.
  • Oxygen consumption falls by 20%.
  • Blood lactate levels drop (blood lactate levels typically rise with stress and fatigue).
  • EEG ratings of brain-wave patterns shift from beta—or an awakened state—to alpha, a more relaxed state.

Benson described these observations collectively as the relaxation response. In 1997, nearly 30 years after publishing his initial research, Dr. Benson found that any meditation practice could produce these physiological changes as long as the following four conditions were present: (1) the environment was relatively quiet; (2) the meditator maintained a passive attitude; (3) the meditator sat in a comfortable position; and (4) a mental device was used as a point of focus (e.g., reciting a mantra or prayer, or visualizing a favorite color) (Benson, 2000). Additional research has shown meditation to reduce blood pressure, boost immune function, improve sleep quality, and decrease anxiety and depression. (National Center for Complimentary and Integrative, 2018). These benefits are thought to be the result of increased parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity, the branch of the autonomic nervous system responsible for the body’s activities when at rest.

Getting Started
As with any healthy practice you are trying to incorporate into your life, the best way to begin a meditation practice is to begin. To get started, you simply need to adopt a few habits:

  1. Commit to a regular practice. Even a few minutes a day will be beneficial. Set a timer so that you don’t have to watch the clock. You can add a few minutes to your practice each week. The more you meditate, the easier it will be to sit in your awareness for longer periods of time. If possible, practice at the same time every day. If that’s not possible, practice when you can.
  2. Find a place in your home (or even your office) where distractions will be minimal. Eventually, you will be able to meditate anywhere, but having a sacred and protected space will make it easier in the beginning.
  3. Breathe. Relaxed breathing can serve as a bridge between your active day and your meditation practice. Feel free to incorporate any breathing technique that helps you to feel calm and relaxed.
  4. Maintain a passive attitude during the process. Release any concerns about whether or not you are doing it correctly or accomplishing anything.

To begin enjoying the many benefits of meditation, try this simple mantra meditation exercise:

  • Set a timer. Start with 5-10 minutes and gradually increase your meditation time.
  • Sit upright in a comfortable position. You can sit in a chair with your knees comfortably apart or on the floor in a crossed-leg position. It may be helpful to prop a pillow or blanket under the hips for comfort.
  • Close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Notice any restrictions in your breathing. After a few moments of simply being aware of the breath, try the following centering breathing technique. Take a long, slow inhale through the nose. As you begin to exhale, slow down so that the exhale is gentle and of equal or longer length as the previous inhale. Next, take several breaths in and out of your nose as you naturally would. Finally, repeat the long, slow inhale and exhale. Repeat this cycle as many times as you need to until you feel relaxed.
  • Choose a mantra, word or sound that pleases you. It can be anything—a word such as peace or calm, your name—anything you like. Say this mantra quietly (but out aloud) five times. Continue repeating the mantra silently until the timer chimes.
  • Let your mantra find its own rhythm as you repeat it over and over. If and when your thoughts wonder to something else, allow yourself to be aware of the distraction and then bring your attention back to your mantra.

If you are new to meditation, the practice can feel unfamiliar and even a bit awkward the first few times you try it. Be patient with yourself and stay the course; you will be glad you did

Yedda, Consciousness Coach and Consultant
804.405.4358
www.yedda.me

“Be so still inside [yet vibrant] that you can listen at every moment to what life is offering you.” – David Steindl-Rast


It's Our Birthday, Come Celebrate With Us!!

It's Our Birthday, Come Celebrate With Us!!

As Shockoe Slip Yoga prepares to celebrate our big 5th anniversary this November, we’d like to take a moment of gratitude: gratitude for YOU, our amazing yogis, without whom this anniversary wouldn’t be possible. Shockoe Slip Yoga thrives through the support of our amazing clients, and we can’t tell you enough how much we love seeing you on your mat, each and every time you share your practice with us.

So, as a big thank you to all our amazing, supportive clients, we’re offering a Shockoe Slip Yoga Five Years Anniversary Special. From November 3 through November 10, our yogis and their friends, family and neighbors can attend any or all of our Five FREE classes, plus purchase our Five Years Anniversary Special package (5 classes for $25)*.

We hope this gives you even more reason to come practice with us, as we celebrate this milestone in the SSY community.

*(5 classes are valid for one year. Limit two per client)*

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Yogis, We Know You’ve Missed Us

Yogi, When Was The Last Time You Tried Something New?

Happy summer, Shockoe Slip Yoga family!

We know you’ve missed us in your inbox, and we’ve missed you too! This spring we celebrated some big changes (Rose’s wedding!) and welcomed some new members into the SSY family (a yoga baby!). But we’re back and busier than ever. Here’s what you need to know:

Our Shockoe Slip 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training is back for a second year, and we cannot wait to welcome another group of aspiring yoga teachers into our space! Led by SSY instructor Kate Ainsworth (SPT, E-RYT 500, YACEP) and Syd Collier our 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training includes one 4-day immersion and a series of weekend intensives that will blend traditional yoga teachings, modern evidence-based techniques, a physical therapist’s perspective, and plenty of time for self-empowerment, introspection, and discovery. If you’ve ever thought about broadening your practice and sharing it more deeply with others, this is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Visit: Teacher Training to learn more and apply. We kick things off with our 4-day immersion on July 12th, so be sure to sign up soon!

We’re also getting closer to our biggest adventure of 2018: Our Relaxation + Friendship Retreat on the Amalfi Coast of Italy is steadily approaching, and we want you there with us! The Amalfi Coast is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life—practicing yoga alongside spectacular views, meditating to the natural soundtrack of the Gulf of Salerno, and soaking up plenty of southern Italian sunshine. How can you resist? Head over to Truenaturetravels.com to learn more!

Finally, if you’re looking to spend more time on your mat this summer (and aren’t we all?) be sure to take advantage of our Summer Special. That’s 10 classes for $100 (aka: $10 per class.) You seriously can’t beat that! Click here to sign up.

We can’t wait to see you on your mat soon!

 

 


Yogi, When Was The Last Time You Tried Something New?

Yogi, When Was The Last Time You Tried Something New?

“Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.”
— Jason Crandell

Whether you’re new to yoga or have been practicing for years, chances are you’re always learning something new on your mat (that’s the goal, at least!) Discovering a new pose, finally finding that tricky alignment you’ve been looking for, or discovering a hidden corner of your mind you never even knew existed. At Shockoe Slip Yoga, we love taking our yogis on adventures, and inviting all of you to try new things with us!

This month, our Chase Adventure event series is kicking into high gear, with our first Yoga & Ride of the 2018 season! Join Shockoe Slip Yoga and Basket & Bike at Upper Shirley Vineyards on April 22 (Earth Day!) as we spend the morning practicing yoga along the James River, followed by a an hour-long bike ride along the Virginia Capital Trail, before concluding with an optional lunch and complimentary glass of wine at Upper Shirley. Your yoga class, bike rental, lunch, and wine is included in the $95 cost ($85, without lunch) and we cannot wait to see you there! Head over to our Chase Adventure Event page to reserve your space now!

Last (but definitely not least!) don’t forget about our SSY 2018 highlight: our Chasing Adventure On The Amalfi Coast: Relaxation + Friendship Retreat! We’re just a few short months away from our week of fun, sun, friendship, and yoga, and we would love to have you along for the ride! Learn more and sign up!

 


Yogis, Welcome To Spring!

Yogis, Welcome To Spring!

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”
— Zen Shin

Happy April, yogis! The springtime that seemed like it might never arrive is finally here, and with it, plenty of new opportunities to deepen your practice and become even more involved in the Shockoe Slip Yoga community (have we mentioned how much we love you, lately?)

If you haven’t already heard, our Shockoe Slip 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training is back for a second year, and we can not wait to welcome another group of aspiring yoga teachers into our space! Led by SSY instructor Kate Ainsworth (SPT, E-RYT 500, YACEP) our 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training includes one 4-day immersion and a series of weekend intensives that will blend traditional yoga teachings, modern evidence-based techniques, a physical therapist’s perspective, and plenty of time for self-empowerment, introspection, and discovery. If you’ve ever thought about broadening your practice and sharing it more deeply with others, this is definitely an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Visit: https://www.mindfulness-bar.com/teacher-training/ to learn more and apply.

We’re also offering Friday Open Classes, starting April 6! This one-of-a-kind 75-minute class begins with a led warming flow, and then provides space for a self-paced, open practice (with your instructor nearby to answer any questions or offer any tips!) We’ll end by gathering together for savasana, breath work, and a meditation. You’ll love this one, we promise.

Finally, we know you haven’t forgotten about our biggest adventure of 2018: Our Relaxation + Friendship Retreat on the Amalfi Coast of Italy is steadily approaching, and we want you there with us! The Amalfi Coast is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of your daily life—practicing yoga alongside spectacular views, meditating to the natural soundtrack of the Gulf of Salerno, and soaking up plenty of southern Italian sunshine. How can you resist? Head over to http://truenaturetravels.com/retreats/yoga-italy-rose/ to learn more and sign up now!

 


Any Time Of Year Can Be A Fresh Start

Any Time Of Year Can Be A Fresh Start

“Yoga is not about touching your toes. It is what you learn on the way down.”
— Jigar Gor

With the Persian New Year, or Nowruz (which beautifully translates to “new day”) just around the corner, we’re in the spirit of celebrating a fresh start at Shockoe Slip Yoga. This time of year in the Persian calendar is a great reminder that ANY day of the year can be perfect for a brand new start—transitions, transformations, and exciting resolutions don’t always arrive on an exact schedule, after all.

Speaking of brand new starts, we’ve got a brand new class for you this month! In honor of both the Persian New Year and the Spring Equinox, Rose will be hosting her new signature class! This special Persian Flow is designed to help you leave all those wintertime vibes behind by grounding you in the spirit of reawakening and guiding you through a series of poses that will open up and invigorate your heart and throat chakras. This upbeat, all-levels Vinyasa flow will start with an introduction to the traditional festivities of the Persian New Year (including a fun, one-of-a-kind Persian music playlist!) followed by a mindful grounding, and some deeper heart and throat chakra work. The world comes alive in the springtime, and this class is guaranteed to increase your vibration and liven up your spirits as well.

Join us on Tuesday, March 20, from 5:45 – 7:00 PM for this special, donation-based class. (Pay what you can and come ready to flow!)

We’d also like to remind you of another special event we’ll be hosting later this year. If one of your personal goals for 2018 is to step outside your comfort zone and add a little adventure to your regularly-scheduled life, it’s the perfect time to check out our Relaxation + Friendship Retreat on the Amalfi Coast of Italy! During six days in October, we’ll share yoga practices and explore Italy together, getting to know one another and taking time to reconnect with ourselves. You’ll find new friendships, take time for some self-care, fall in love with your yoga mat all over again, and leave Italy feeling refreshed, reenergized, and restored—consider this another invitation for a fresh, new start! Learn more and sign up.

 


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