Being Honest.

February 5, 2020

Recently I’ve come across individuals who say yes.  People with good intentions.  People putting on a front.

But it’s not real.

We’ve become such a sensitive culture that we’ve lost our back bone.  People are afraid to speak their truth, even if it’s done with great kindness.  The fear of either looking bad or disappointing someone is so much greater than just being honest.  Well, guess what?  When you say yes and you really mean no there will be disappointment and maybe even bigger disappointment due to wasted time and even money.

So how can you tell if someone is not being honest?  For one thing they will say yes.  Then, while they are doing the task, they will complain, mumble under their breath, talk badly about others, blame you, or procrastinate.  What should you do if you suspect someone is not being honest with themselves.  CALL THEM ON IT!  You can say things like, “you know, I get the feeling you don’t really want to do this.”  or “are you sure you are ok with this?” or “Why are you complaining?” or my favorite, “I don’t believe you when you tell me you are ok with this.”

It’s hard to tell the truth.  It may mean you have to face some parts of yourself you may not want to.  You may have to admit that you have a not so attractive side or face someone you love being disappointed.  However, when you can really be honest with yourself and communicate with kindness when needed you will find that you have developed character.  That people respect you and they can count on you to not be wishy washy.

To say yes when you mean no is clearly not the yogic way. In fact it goes against two of the 8 Limbs of the Yoga Sutras.  Satya and Ahimsa.

There are 5 Yamas within the Yoga Sutras.  Yamas are tenents in which to live by that make life flow easily and can keep you connected to a higher energy.  Of the five, the two that deal with honesty are

Satya which means Truth or to be truthful and Ahimsa which means Non-Violence, to act in a way that is not hurtful to yourself your others.

So, when you say yes to something and you don’t want to, you are first not being truthful and second violent in the way that you are hurting yourself by going against your truth and dragging the other person down a road that could of been avoided.  If they knew you didn’t want to do it they could of made a different choice.  One that was going to work better in the end.  They could of found someone who indeed meant their yes.

Find your courage.  Take a deep breath. Put a smile on your face and kindly say “I’m sorry but I’m not able to do that at this time.”  or “At this time that is not the right thing for me to be doing.” or “In order to be at my best I need to decline but thank you for offering.”  You can say it any way you want that is not hurtful and I’m sure everyone will be happier in the end.

for more articles on truth click here.

 

History of Pilates

January 9, 2020
Joseph H. Pilates
(1880 – 1967)Joseph Humbertus Pilates lived to be a robust and vital 87 year old icon. Had he not succumbed to the effects of smoke inhalation during a fire, in the restaurant below his studio on 8th Avenue in New York City, he potentially could have demonstrated an incredible level of physical fitness for many years to come. Looking at photographs of Joseph Pilates, even well into his eighties, it may be hard to imagine that he did not always enjoy such vitality.Pilates was born near Dusseldorf, Germany in 1880. His unusual last name is actually derived from his Greek heritage and would have been Pilatos. Much controversy surrounds the correct pronunciation of his name; however, nearly all publications show it as (Pi –LAH – teez). All instructors crack an amused smile at the mispronunciation of his name by those outside the Pilates loop. Living relatives of Joseph Pilates say that the name was not pronounced as it is popularly known today. Mary Pilates LaRiche, the niece of Joseph Pilates, and a long time resident of South Florida, says her family name, as best she can recall, was pronounced (Pi – LOTTS).

Mary Pilates LeRiche qualifies as an expert and probably was Joseph’s earliest disciple as she had worked in her Uncle Joe’s exercise studio as a young woman in her 20’s. A now famous photograph of Pilates’ exercise studio at 939 Eighth Ave., NY, NY displays a long rectangular room with at least four Reformers (the original group sessions?) in a line. Joseph stands between two, his wife, Clara, in her nurse’s uniform, by another, and his niece Mary at yet another Reformer. Mary relocated to South Florida in the 1960’s and continued teaching fitness as her uncle had taught her. Even today, at 81 years young, she will demonstrate the “only way” the exercises should ever be done. That would be just the same way it was done in the 1940’s.

“People won’t understand the brilliance of my work for 50 years.” That is a quote from Joseph, himself, about 50 years ago. Mary LeRiche says that her uncle would be quite happy and surprised at just how much impact his work is having on the world. Today, healthcare professionals are studying and implementing his work into their healing therapies. Medical doctors are writing prescriptions for their patients: Pilates. His clever exercise apparatus designs are virtually the exact designs used by today’s equipment manufacturers. How many of the exercise machines found in today’s traditional gym setting can accommodate hundreds of exercises on one single piece the size of a twin bed? The Wunda Chair doubled as a small living room side chair that when flipped upon its back becomes a gymnasium with two bedsprings. Pilates felt that every home should have one.

As a child he had suffered with asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. Even as a young adolescent he made a life-altering decision that he would restore his own health. He studied the Eastern disciplines of yoga and martial arts and blended them with Western forms of physical activities such as bodybuilding, gymnastics, boxing, and recreational sports. At the young age of just fourteen years he had sculpted his physique so well that he was posing for anatomical charts.

As a young man he moved from Germany to England where he became a boxer, circus performer, and self-defense instructor. When World War One erupted he, and other German nationals, were incarcerated in Lancaster as “enemy aliens.” Pilates influenced the other detainees to follow his exercise regime which he called, “Contrology.” His fitness program was so beneficial that he and his fellow compatriots survived the 1918 influenza epidemic that took the lives of thousands of people. He attributed their survival to their physically fit lungs! Hence, the Pilates Principle of Diaphragmatic Breathing!

Pilates was later sent to the Isle of Man to work as a nurse orderly caring for the war wounded. One can imagine the condition of many of these soldiers; some had probably grown weak from lingering in hospital beds for months, their muscles atrophied, further inhibiting their potential for recovery. Unable to participate in Pilates’ floor exercises, these men benefited by Joseph’s cleverly designed apparatus to rehabilitate them right from their hospital beds and wheelchairs. Looking at the Cadillac one can see the table as the hospital bed; plumbing pipes create the canopy and borrowed bedsprings become first assistive and then resistive exercise tools. Despite whatever injuries the wounded may have had, Pilates was able to strengthen their muscles and restore them to their potential good health.

After the war Joseph returned to Germany but became disenfranchised with the political direction his country was taking. He decided to immigrate to the United States of America. He met his future wife, Clara, on the ship. Clara was a nurse and they realized that they shared the same interest of wanting to restore the good health of others. When they arrived in New York they decided to open up a physical fitness studio.

Joseph Pilates’ method of physical and mental wellness has been a best-kept secret of the dance and entertainment world since the 1920’s when his studio was discovered by Martha Graham, the mother of modern dance, George Balanchine, the artistic director for the New York City Ballet, and Rudolf von Laban, founder of Labanotation. Dancers such as Hanya Holm and Romana Kryzanowska, along with prizefighters, actors, actresses, and traveling circus performers embraced his methods both for the total body conditioning needed for the rigors of their work and also for rehabilitating the injuries that often plague dancers, performers, and athletes.

Dance companies all over the world use Pilates’ exercises to keep their dancers in top form. Many dancers go on to become Hollywood celebrities; Patrick Swayze and Madonna to name only two. Due to the attention the mainstream public gives to Hollywood celebrities the name Pilates is now a household word. If Madonna does it, it must work.

Romana Kryzanowska entered Pilates’ world as a young dancer in New York. Pilates regarded her as his disciple; she had absorbed and could express the essence of his work as if it were coming from him. She continues his legacy today in New York and has generously shared her knowledge with the world through her students, books, videos, and lectures.

Joseph’s obituary, appearing in the New York Times in 1967, reads like an advertisement for his methods. He is described as a white-maned lion with steel blue eyes (one was glass from a boxing mishap), and mahogany skin, and as limber in his 80’s as a teenager.

Joseph and Clara operated their exercise studio for over 40 years. He had dedicated his life’s work to restoring the health and vitality of others. Gone now for thirty-five years, the essence of his work continues on into the 21st century.

Happy New Year!

January 9, 2020

Now is the time after the holidays where we have eaten too much, sat around too long and done very little to lose the weight we wanted to before the holidays started.

I recently surveyed our students and asked them what their wish was for the New Year and 90% of them said health and one wanted the remodel of her kitchen finished. LOL!

So let’s look at fitness.  Should you pic a studio setting, a big box gym, crossfit, Zumba, group exercise, personal training, or videos?  The options are endless so how do you choose?

Around us we’ve noticed an onslaught of franchise fitness establishments popping up in 2019 and although they might be good, choosing an independent owner/operated yoga/Pilates/fitness studio is your best chance of sticking to your resolve for better health in the New Year and here’s why.

 

  1. The person running the show is invested. The owner, especially if they are the operator as well has invested time, sweat and loads of their own money to create a business that runs smoothly. They take care of their members and don’t rely on the brand name to create their clientele.  They will get to know your name know about your kids your job and even how your parents are.
  2. They believe in what they do. A franchise fitness studio did the work once.  Now anyone who buys in is relying on someone else’s bright idea to make it work for them.  Have they tested the product?  Do they work out there too?  Do they workout at all?  How much did they use the product or go to that facility before they decided to open one for themselves?  When you go to an independently run studio you will find people who have tried and tested the product, found that it works and believes in it so much that they want to share it with you.
  3. You will be acknowledged! We wonder about you.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the thought, “hmm I wonder where ______________ is?  I haven’t seen them in class.”  We get to know you.  If you’ve injured yourself, had knee surgery, a c-section, arthritis we know it all and we remember.  Since it’s more than just a job for the instructors and the owner you become part of the family.  That means that classes and sessions are catered to you just as much as the group.

 

For these reasons we think you should choose a studio that people are invested in, because they will also be invested in you and when people are invested in you, you end up investing in yourself.

It’s crunch time!  If you haven’t been exercising or keeping up your yoga and barre workouts then you’re late!  They say Summer bodies are made in the Winter but if you are just now rubbing the sleep out of your eyes, I’ve got an awesome arm hack for you.

My arms never saw definition until I started doing yoga on a regular basis.  And mind you I was dancing at least 8 hours a week and picking up heavy trays at the restaurant.  I love the way yoga incorporates one’s own body weight in such a dynamic way that it builds muscle strength, bone density and flexibility.

So here are my best picks for really toning up the arms for your summer dresses and tank tops!

Down Dog

Make sure your hands and feet start from plank pose.  Then rock back into down dog.  If your legs are tight and you find a lot of weight is in your arms then bend your knees so you can push your chest to the thighs.  It’s important to externally rotate the arms in down dog so you can really engage the triceps.

 

Side Plank

Often times students put their hand too far above their shoulder to gain any real strength.  So start in plank pose with your shoulders directly over your hands then turn to one side and stack your feet on top of each other to form one long line.  Use your inner thighs and core to keep your hips up and in line between your shoulders and feet.

 

Chaturanga 

Oh the illustrious chaturanga!  One of the most challenging arm positions in yoga. In this pose you want to keep your elbows in line with your wrists and do not round your upper back and dump your shoulders below your elbows!  As you get stronger you can bring your knees up off the ground!

 

Have fun and practice these for 3x at least 20 seconds each time.  Then we’ll wave to each other with no flapping in the wind!

I’ve been teaching yoga for quiet some time.  This year will make 21 years!  So along the way I’ve seen all sorts of people do yoga and I’ve heard all the excuses why someone can’t do yoga.  The assumptions people have about yoga are as many as the day is long.  Either they think it’s boring (usually the type A personality) or they think it’s too hard, or they think there is some sort of skill involved that they don’t posses.  But at the end of the day the truth (as cliche’ as it might be) is that if you are breathing you can do yoga.  The word yoga means “to yoke”.  To bring together breath, body, mind.  It’s definition is not; exercise that gets you into challenging positions to make you sweat or feel uncomfortable in the name of flexibility.  So if you are breathing and you can be mindful of your body you can do yoga. However, a yoga practice won’t be beneficial if you are inconsistent.  It really doesn’t matter if you are flexible, strong, injured, or out of shape.  The point is to practice.  To show up on your mat as often as possible to be present.  To breathe.  To slow down and check in with YOU!

Some of the best excuses I’ve heard are;

  1. I’m too tight.  Yes of course.  And whatever you don’t go to a yoga class to help with that.
  2. Yoga is boring.  Well then you haven’t been to the right class.  Yoga can be slow, fast, hard, gentle, sweaty, and deeply healing.  If you haven’t liked it yet keep trying.
  3. I wish I had time.  As I say, you either take time or time will take you.  It’s that simple.
  4. I have too many injuries.  The pharmacy industry is making a killing because you don’t think yoga can help.
  5. I couldn’t do that!  No you can’t.  You are in your 50’s and haven’t done much exercise but what you can do is start somewhere with something that works for you and stick to it.
  6. My mind is too busy to do yoga.  And so is everyone else’s. Just get on the mat.

One time in particular I got so tired of hearing a gentleman I had just met with multiple issues yoga could help with all his excuses I said, “You know it’s not your body that’s tight.  It’s your mind!”

 

 

 

 

Of course it was a relationship.  They’re always the most piercing way the Universe has to help us grow and understand ourselves.  And Holy Shiva it can be painful.

I was in a relationship with a man whose every word either offended me or hurt my heart.  Unfortunately, the pain was also a source of curiosity.  Why am I so offended?  I know this is not about me, so what have I not addressed in myself that I feel this primal need to defend myself?  The curiosity continued.  Then, there was a moment he was “telling me about myself” and I had an epiphany.  Oh!  This is yoga!  If I sit here in the discomfort and watch how I want to react but don’t, I can let him have his say and he will have no power to affect me unless I choose to react.

I realized all my hours on the mat had indeed prepared me for this moment.

I think there are a lot of times we are unable to react in the ways that we want to.  Times at work or with family that we can’t just have our say and that can help keep the peace but I believe it’s very important to notice how you feel.  Take notice of how you are being affected by the situation.  What is it that makes you want to react that way?  Do you feel powerless, ignored, not heard or offended?  Is it your ego that is offended?  Is there a threat to who you think yourself to be or who you  are trying to project yourself to be?

When you are able to be a witness to the inner reactions and not act out, unless needed of course, then you have started to cultivate the true meaning of the word yoga to “yoke”. To bring together.  To unify the feelings in your heart, to the thoughts in your head, to the words that may or may not come out of your mouth.

Keep Breathing….

 

Starting Yoga

January 31, 2019

Are you new to yoga and not sure where to start?  Or maybe you are a practicing and seasoned yogi looking for a community where you can expand your practice.   Not matter what your circumstances, finding the right home to practice yoga can be overwhelming. There are classes at gyms, local community centers, and a ton of studios with 32 flavors of yoga: want a practice full of heads stands and arm balances? Done. How about dance music? Or even yoga ‘boot camp’? Sure thing! There’s a class for every yogi, even if most of those things aren’t necessarily yoga.  But what’s important is that you find a studio with teachers that resonate with your needs; that provides you with an inviting space to practice; that specializes in providing one-on-one attention to students in order to meet their needs; and that welcomes new yogis without making you feel like you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing. This is what Fuller Yoga is all about.

At Fuller Yoga, we are focused on the well-being yoga can deliver.  We offer a range of classes to meet the evolving needs of our students, but we also specialize in helping all students achieve physical and mental well-being.  We are staffed with a team of seasoned, highly trained instructors that specialize in proper alignment and working with students who suffer from chronic pain and injuries.  We provide a clean, safe and judgement-free environment so students can learn the basics of a yoga practice, or take their existing practice to the next level, and experience all the benefits that doing yoga regularly can offer.  We love what we do and take pride in being there for every student in our community, ensuring that individual needs are being met.

So, if you’re wondering, or a friend asks you, here are 4 reasons why you should check out Fuller Yoga.

  1. Our goal is to utilize the practices of yoga and Pilates to support each student to achieve their goals of increasing flexibility, getting stronger reducing chronic pain
  2. Our team of experienced teachers focuses on a practice that will support proper alignment for your individual body and mechanics to build strength and stability.
  3. We take pride in creating a clean and judgement-free learning environment where each student can focus on their mind-body connection to reduces stress, anxiety and pain.  
  4. We love what we do!

Check out our new student specials or contact us directly for a private one-on-one yoga session.

How I got out of back pain.

January 14, 2019

You wouldn’t know this by looking at me but I have had low back pain most of my life.  Most of the time it didn’t bother me too much.  Just when I did too much or stood around a lot.  My family went on long car trips which was too much sitting and we visited lots of museums which was too much standing and those floors are hard!

Some days were better than others.  Some days I was ok and others I could hardly get out of bed and I would have to do stretches under the covers just to get my feet on the floor.  There was the constantly fiddle-ling with my hips, pushing them around twisting, shifting, anything to get relief.  When I did too much it hurt more, and when I did too little it hurt more.  But I never really took it too seriously.  I’m an active person and figured it was par for the course. Until the winter of 2015.  I believe when we got a snow storm every Monday and I took that time to sit and do my accounting for the business.  Boy was that a bad idea!

I hardly ever sit. And sitting that long repeatedly resulted in one day not being able to put my arm behind my back and feeling some serious numbness and tingling down my arm into my forefinger.  I went to the doctor, got an MRI saw some things going on to look out for in the future but it wasn’t until I saw the good people at Chiropractic Health Center of Glastonbury until I started to understand what was gong on.

First, I was loosing the cervical curve in my neck so my neck was flattening out; not good. And second, I found out I was born with a lumbosacral fusion and an additional fusion on the transverse process to the sacrum.  This was kind of a big deal and so many things started to make sense.  Now I understood why the left side of my back hurt more than the right.  Why I was constantly manipulating my left hip and why the left leg dominated when I was a young gymnast.

I also adjusted my yoga and pilates practice a lot.  I started to scale back on stretching my hamstrings too much which was beginning to de-stabilize my pelvis and work at strengthen my glutes and stretching my quads and hip flexors.  And in addition to starting chiropractic care which helped a lot.  I coupled that with massage and using The MELT Method and the Yoga Ropes Wall before before an adjustment.

I’m fortunate that I understand the body and know how to navigate around pain and spinal issues.  In the end my best advice is to tell you it’s a process. And be consider the following:

-Get an x-ray first and have someone knowledgeable explain it to you.. Manipulating the spine without knowing what is going on underneath the hood is not the best use of our time or money.

-Find yoga pilates and fitness professionals who truly understand the body.  If they have worked through injuries themselves then even better.

-Get chiropractic care and be pro-active around your appointments.  Stretch before hand or get a massage.  Even still learn The MELT Method.  These small practices can really advance your care as they tell the muscles that have been pulling on your bones to stop what they have been doing and relax so your adjustment can really take hold and get your spine back in alignment.

-Reduce your stress.  Take walks out in nature and remember this is a process.  Breathe In and Breathe Out. And finally…

-Never Give Up!

Now I can honestly say I am in less pain than I have been in in my whole life.  Sure there are moments that are not so good but they are far and few between.  Plus, when I start going down that slippery slope I know what to do.  Stretch, strengthen, MELT, massage and make an appointment with the chiropractor and do my practice!

To book a private session with one of our certified instructors please email: hello@fulleryoga.com.  We look forward to working with you and help facilitate your journey our of pain.

Word for 2019!

December 29, 2018

This year I thought let’s make it simple.  Let’s pick a word that we want to be an overarching theme for 2019.

So instead of resolutions and regimens let’s just sprinkle a little word into our year, our months, our weeks, our days and relationships. Maybe it’s the start to your day.  Wake up, stretch a little and say the word to remind yourself or your intentions and desires.

Afraid you’ll forget it?  Tattoo it on your arm! Although I did see a woman who had inhale tattooed on one wrist and exhale tattooed on the other. (No just kidding) Find a cheap canvas from Michael’s and make it an art project.  Get your kids involved maybe they have a word too.  How about saying it out loud before each meal?  Could you answer the phone with your word?  That might be fun!  Instead of saying hello we say Joy!  This is ______________how can I help you?  Our students have begun to find their words like fabulous, peace and unicorn.  Don’t rush it.  Let it come to you.  Open your mind, relax and see what bubbles up.  Whatever it is make sure the word brings a smile to your face and a lightness in your heart.

Meet me for the big reveal on Facebook  Tuesday Jan. 1st 2019 and tell us…

WHAT’S YOUR WORD?

– YvesMathurinPhotography

Have you ever heard that you should cut your hair on the New Moon? Well, the idea is that as the moon grows so does your hair. So cutting it at the appropriate time can make or break your lovely locks. Check out more info here.

This applies to your New Year’s resolutions as well. You see, we spend all this time gearing up for the holidays only to counteract them with resolution for January 1st to do things differently like eat better, quite sugar, workout more, start yoga, stop drinking, and start saving more money. But whatever the resolution, we usually fail by Martin Luther King Jr. Day and then we say to ourselves I HAD a dream.

The timing for New Year’s resolutions is simply wrong. Just like the phases of the moon we need to work with the phases of the calendar. December 21st is the shortest day of the year and September 21st is the Fall Equinox. So somewhere between September 21st Fall Equinox and December 21st we should have contemplated and established what we would really like to change in our lives and make our resolutions on December 21st so our resolve can grow with the days ahead.

Another thing we should do to help our resolutions stick is to ask if we are really ready for things to be different. Sometimes we only say we want them to change but we don’t really want life to be different. We are too comfortable doing what we’ve always done.  We’re used to it. We understand this misery. We don’t want to rock the boat and bring up the fear of actually being happy and fulfilled. We don’t want to try to change and find out we failed again and we are back where we started. Better to not even try than to risk failure. I mean you’ve done this resolution thing enough times to know it doesn’t work, right?.

But have you really?

When was the last time you took action on making a change? When was the last time you wrote about what you like and dislike about your life and how you experience it? When was the last time to really took an honest look at how you are contributing to the things you don’t like in your life? Or made a commitment to yourself, God, and people who can hold you accountable; that you will do whatever is necessary to make things different.

The hero story is all around us. She goes out into the world wanting to fulfill her dreams and passions. But along the way there are battles, struggles, fear, loss, dark places, death, and enemies ready to take her down. It doesn’t come easy. Then, when she has had enough, she finds her resolve, her commitment to find a way no matter what, and the courage within to change. She begins to prevail. Slowly things shift. Changes start happening in her life one day at a time and she celebrates them. She starts to see the little achievements and daily wins that will bring her to her rightful place in the world and she is grateful. Then when time passes, she looks back and realizes she is fulfilling her passion, being of service, enjoying lots of love in her life, and, of course, making lots of money.

So honestly, until you are ready to get down in the mud and use it to bring you to a better place, start making some serious commitments and set a date that works with the solar system nothing will really change. What are you ready to do?

“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud–the obstacles of life and its suffering. . . . The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. . . . Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying, and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness, and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.” 
Goldie Hawn

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