Posts In: Philosophy

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….

 

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.

– 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

Meditation…

July 22, 2018

2008-05-20 16.29.18Have you ever thought about your thoughts?  Have you ever thought about how your thoughts make you feel?  Often times it’s our thoughts that stimulate our feelings.  If you think about how someone disappointed you, you may feel sad or upset, however if you think about the person who helped you move something or watched your children while you ran an errand or some other good deed, then you may feel a sense of love and connection.  So it’s evident our thoughts have a lot to do with our feelings.  This week let’s take a minute to examine our thoughts.  Are they mostly positive or negative?  Do they leave you feeling good or bad?

It may seem weird to examine your thoughts but you will find that you gain clarity and peace of mind when you are more in control of what you are thinking.  Here’s an exercise you to help.  On a blank piece of paper draw a line down the center to make two columns.  Use the left hand column write down your “negative” thoughts then on the right hand column write a list of your “positive” thoughts. Your positive column may be small but notice how you feel when you think about those thoughts.

Now that you have separated your positive and negative thoughts you will begin to notice them more and more.  In fact carry your list with you throughout the day so you can add to it on either side.  Then at the end of the day cut your list in half lengthwise so the columns are separate and burn the negative side so all you have left is the positive side.  Then take the positive side and place it in a prominent place in your home or workplace.  Repeat the exercise everyday for 5 days.  You will end up with 5 positive lists.  Try not to repeat anything on the lists.  Now for the next two days keep reading your positive lists and let the good feelings affect your attitude, your relationships, and your connection to Universal Source Energy and all things good and beautiful.

 

Live Simply and Wisely,

Justine

For more information on meditation classes please visit

https://fulleryoga.com/events-workshops/

wall-yogaAs the month of Love is upon us it gets me thinking of the heart, self love and deep courage.  What makes courage, courage?

My conclusion is that courage is doing or saying the things most other people we know are not.  If they were it would be called normal not courage.  For example, if everyone were to quit their stable jobs and leave their family to go travel around the world at the age of 45 then it would be the norm, and then not going would be courageous.  But on a smaller scale if everyone had those difficult conversations that include topics like; I want to separate, or I’m deeply afraid of showing you I’m vulnerable, I love you so much it scares me, I lied to you, or I have a terminal illness and I’d like to talk about the end of my time,  then we might be a healthier more well adjusted society.

It takes real courage to get to the heart of it.  To be deeply honest with yourself and then be  that honest with those closest to you.  Your palms might sweat, you may experience shortness of breath, feel anxious and even a little nauseous, but in the face of communicating your truth these are all signs of great courage.

So how do we live the tough stuff?  Sometimes our truth may disappoint people. They may feel hurt, betrayed or thrown off their path.  Then we feel responsible and don’t want to feel that we are the cause of another persons suffering. And in the same way our truth may help another feel relieved and validated.  If we say nothing we deny ourselves the opportunity to strengthen our courage muscle the heart.  Because it is only with great strength and courage that we can even have those difficult conversations.

Here are a few things I’ve learned over the years to help get over the fear and draw on the courage that lives in you heart so the truth can set everyone free.

  1.  Spend time alone.  It’s hard to tell if we are reacting or not.  It’s easy to say I want to move to another state when your state just raised taxes yet again.  Or fantasize about a new lover when you just got into a fight with yours.  Time spent alone will help you determine what is true.  The truth doesn’t yell.  It doesn’t give the finger, or yell F. You.  The truth never says “If only…… or when I…… then……I’ll…..”  The truth is usually quiet and strong and hits you like a rock when you stubble upon it and it is best found when you are still with no distractions and by yourself.
  2. Ask yourself often, “Is this what I really want?”  You may not know what you want but you may know something is off, not quiet right.  Somewhere inside you know you haven’t met your truth just yet.  This is a good place to be because sometimes you have to know what you don’t want in order to know what you do.  Be curious.  The answer to the question; What do I want? lies also in the question; “Is this what I really want?” because it helps you focus on what is here right now in front of you and not something that has not yet been realized.
  3. Embrace the fear.  Never try to push it away or stop feeling it.  That only leads to bad things.  When your palms get sweaty embrace it.  Know that you are on the right track.  When your stomach starts to do flip flops pat yourself on the back,you are on your way to being more courageous then you ever have before.  Set a place at the table for your fear and anxiety when you are ready to have that oh so difficult yet courageous and deeply liberating discussion.  And of course remember, the truth doesn’t yell.  It doesn’t give the finger, or yell F. You.  The truth never says “If only…… or when I…… then……I’ll…..”

 

Strengthen your heart this year.  Be your own Valentine and show yourself are courageous beyond measure.  Take the risk.  Love yourself deeply enough to be true.  Tell the truth.     It might just set you free.

Breathe,

Justine

For a full list of classes workshops and fun events visit www.fulleryoga.com

For individual sessions of wisdom please email;

info@fulleryoga.com

And if we don’t have those difficult talks and maybe even arguments then we all suffer.  There’s hidden anger, sadness and resentment that can linger for years.

 

godEver since “The Secret” got the general public thinking about The Law of Attraction and other meditation techniques to help you reach your goals people have been trying to figure it out.  Well here’s the one thing you really need to know.  You are not your thoughts.  So many of us think that what we are thinking is the truth, reality, and the hard cold facts.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The REAL Truth.

Until you can take control of your mind and thus your emotions that follow you will struggle with getting what you want.  In order to manifest your dreams you have to be very detailed, specific and feel really good when you think about getting them.  You can’t want a new house and the minute you think about having it you come up with excuses as to why it can’t be for you.  You have to love thinking about your new house, decorate it, paint it, mentally live in it.  How does it feel to live there?  Wake up there?  Park your car there?  These are the details needed to let the Universe know you mean business.

And at no time should you ever let doubt, excuses or negative thoughts enter your mind.  They are not real.  They are just thoughts passing by like people on the street.  Let them go.

How else can you get your mind to keep focusing and feeling good about what you want?  Create a Vision Board!  That way every day you get to see what it is you want and remind yourself how good it’s going to feel when you have it.  But again DON’T let your mind take over.  Your mental talk is designed to keep you safe and small for your own survival.  But we’ve grown so much since the days of real imminent danger.  It’s time to challenge your mind, challenge your thoughts and start thinking of good things.  Things that make you smile, laugh and lift you up.  In fact thank goodness for smart phones because when my mind would get negative and doubtful  all I had to do what watch some comedians on YouTube and my spirits lifted.   Don’t let your mind brood and go on and on.  Get out of that quickly, however you can.  And don’t spend too much time around others who bring your down also or don’t believe in you.  They won’t help your cause.

So go ahead and try a Vision Board, Feel what your Dreams accomplished feel like and most of all Have Fun!

If you want a more personal approach to manifesting your dreams and a little guidance send me an email at fulleryoga@gmail.com  We can set up some coaching calls, exercises and if your local we can even do some meet and greets.

Rates are flexible.

Breathe

 

christmas-relax

Tis’ the season to be merry or at least congenial and nice.

The holidays are stressful.  We are entertaining, traveling, have to mail packages, and then of course there is the baking and cooking.  You need a way to get through the holidays while still enjoying them.  So from a yoga perspective I’ve come up with 4 things you can do to get through the holidays without loosing  your s&*t.

  1. Take the pressure off!  5o years ago or even 20 we didn’t have as much technology or hand held gadgets that contended with our time.  There’s no reason we can’t “go back in time” to a less multi-tasking era.  Cut yourself some slack and put down the phone.
  2. You can’t do it all perfectly.  But you can probably do 3 things really well.  Pick a few things that you really care about and do them well.  Maybe it’s setting the table, or making your favorite dish amazing, or making sure your guest feel cared for.  Whatever the 3 things are, do them like it’s your first time.  The rest can find it’s way without all the tension.
  3. Laugh more.  Watch comedians on you tube, Lampoon’s Christmas movies or old movies of people you love.  Laughter will help you not take it all so seriously and help you find some joy this season.
  4. Get quiet.  The best way to keep your sanity is to go inward, listen to your breath and sit still. Reflect on the good things you have in your life no matter how small.  This will create space in your mind and space in your heart.  And from this space all things are possible.

Keep in mind that most people no matter how miserable they are do the best that they can.  I wish you a joyful and safe holiday season.

MERRY NAMASTE’

For me it’s personal. headshot 2015

I was living in New York City, I was 26 years old and living my dream of auditioning to become a full time modern dancer and travel the world with a group of people that would become my best friends.

Audition after audition with other dancers who were far more trained than I took its toll on myself esteem and made me question the feasibility of my dreams.  I was waiting tables taking dance classes everywhere and fitting in at least one yoga class a week with Dharma Mittra.   My ballet teacher from San Francisco raved about how we should all take yoga as part of our dance training.  So although I had read Krishnamurti as a teen, my yoga practice was only focused on getting better balance in my turns.

Then a fellow dancer suggested I sign up for Yoga Union’s 200 hour teacher training with Alison West.  When I initially met Alison I noticed she carried herself well.  She was incredibly precise and with her British accent came across as strict and slightly intimidating.  In fact she still is unless you know her.  She is a stickler for form, safety and the health of every individual’s body while they are taking her yoga classes.  I liked her so much I signed up for the month long training.  This was to be part my career change and making my transition to Connecticut.  During the training I would stay 5 nights in the city and travel to Connecticut for one day and night to spend time in my new residence.

What always amazes me when I look back on these things is, how did I pay for that?  Both with the Yoga Union training and subsequent overseas yoga training, it always amazes me that somehow I pulled it off financially.  But you know how the saying goes, “if there is a will, there is a way.”

I remember Alison said to a new student one day jokingly, “be careful if you take a yoga class, it will change your life.”  And for me it did.  I never thought teaching yoga would be a full time job for me or that I would be good at it.  I had always thought I would teach the older populations thinking it would be easier.  Who knew I had a power yoga teacher hidden within?

Over the 18 years I have been teaching yoga I have seen yoga go from a practice on the outskirts of the fitness industry to a staple in every gym.  And with anything that becomes mainstream the details can get lost in hype.

That is why I am have dedicated the Fuller Yoga Primary Teacher Training towards the making of knowledgeable, sensitive, and discerning yoga teachers.   I have seen many “certified” yoga teachers know very little about anatomy and the body’s natural abilities and limitations in an individual.  There is also a lack of knowledge about how to modify or make accessible postures for those individuals whose body’s aren’t quite ready for the full expression of the pose.  I have even seen yoga teachers who have been teaching less than 4 years start their own teacher training.  And not to mention the incredible onslaught of social media pictures of women who are young and extremely flexible giving the average person something completely out of reach to emulate.

Fuller Yoga Primary Teacher Training is about so much more than turning out teachers and making a profit.  This training is about you, your practice and the gifts you can offer to others through the practice of yoga.  Our Training is designed in two tracks.  Track 1, The Foundation is to deepen your study of yoga and to learn more about yourself and how yoga can help you navigate the ups and downs that life has to offer.  You will learn anatomy, breathing, yoga philosophy and the alignment of each posture.  There will be study on the mind, its nature and how you can manage thoughts and emotions by using your yoga practice.  You will also be exposed to various styles of yoga and we are looking into a field trip to NYC.

Track 2, The Gift is for those who have made the commitment to become a certified yoga instructor.  This will be for 3 weekends.  In this portion you will learn how to teach a class, deal with multiple levels in a class, how to plan a themed class and the art of sequencing.
You will also learn how to market yourself and establish yourself as in independent contractor and how to create boundaries with students both on and off the mat.

I’ve learned so much within 18 years of teaching, anywhere from a gym, to a yoga studio, to a church basement and upon receiving your certificate will be well equipped to teach wherever the universe needs you.  Fuller Yoga Teacher Training will not teach you a system of yoga where one size fits all.  It is designed to help you know how to cater each posture and each class to either yourself or the students you teach.  You will graduate stronger physically and mentally, more confident and with skills that can assist you as a teacher, a parent, a co-worker, a boss, a partner, and a member of the human race.

For more information visit https://fulleryoga.perfectmind.com/SocialSite/retreatstrainings

or email info@fulleryoga.com

A True Yogi

June 30, 2016

It was 2 years ago that Patrick Williams came into our life as a student of the Om For Life™ class (bottom left).  2015-03-24 Om For LifeHe had recently been diagnosed for the second time with cancer.  The first time was with a brain tumor at the age of 2.  As these things go his doctor is also a student at Fuller Yoga and once she heard about our Free Yoga class for Cancer Patients and Survivors (Om For Life) she sent Patrick to us right away.  He was a pole vaulter, swimmer and skier and so took to yoga like a fish to water.  That was two years ago.

As he continued the program he began to take more and more classes.  Patrick would take everything from Heated Power Yoga to Gentle Yoga depending on how he was feeling that day.  As the tumor(s) grew in his abdomen and as the pain and nausea meds changed so too did his practice.  But what never changed was Patrick’s attitude.  He was always ready to greet you with a smile and ask “how are you?”

Patrick was a wonderfully willing student of yoga and it showed in his practice.  His ability to surrender to the day at hand allowed him to accomplish the 25 mile bike ride for bike 5 patrick and momCT Challenge last year as well as complicated postures with the most surrendered and grateful heart.  Patrick didn’t hide his illness nor did he seem embarrassed or ashamed.  He was gracious to talk about how yoga helped him through treatment and keep his mind focused on the present moment instead of making him crazy.

He got frustrated though and had to deal with not being able to do the things he once loved.  He mentioned that all his friends were moving along in their college careers and that he was behind.  He also got frustrated that his illness took away his strength and ability to use his body as he once had.

So this year we are dedicating our 2nd Annual CT Yoga Fest to Patrick Williams who passed away June 16th, 2016.  Patrick was a big heart and an even bigger yogi.Patrick Williams 2016.jpg

To donate to our Fuller Yoga bike team and raise funds for the Om For Life Program         Click here.

For more pictures of the CT Challenge ride and Patrick Click here

If you think a yoga teacher training isn’t for you think again. It’s a life changing experience!

Whether you’ll ever teach or not it’s about doing the work and transforming yourself into a more authentic version of yourself.  You deepen your knowledge of an activity you love and as my teacher Alison West told me. Yoga will change your life. And boy was she right.

So I’ve put together the Top 10 Reasons you would want to take the Fuller Yoga Teacher Training.

  1. Learn more about the yoga practice you love. The history, the philosophy, lifestyle choices in being a “yogi” and why they work.
  2. Learn more about your body and how to keep it safe. Those who dive into a yoga practice without having good knowledge of body mechanics get injured more quickly than those who know how the body should and shouldn’t move.
  3. You get to throw around big fancy words like dosha, citta, samskara and vashistasana and actually know what it means.
  4. You will get an opportunity to understand yourself better. Fuller Yoga teacher training is about diving deeper to understand what makes you tick. As Socrates said, “To know thyself is the beginning of wisdom.”
  5. You will get to do more yoga than you ever thought possible. Our training requires you to practice, practice, practice, and keep a record in order to get credit for all those hours on the mat.
  6. You will know how to teach to everyone. Our program is comprehensive. You won’t graduate only knowing how to teach to one type of yoga student. Whether they are beginners, devote practitioners, injured, or in their advanced years you will know how to teach a class specific to that demographic.
  7. Make new friends. Yoga Teacher Training is about sharing the love of yoga. Bonding over tea and texting each other to ask how you pronounce Utthita Hasta Pandangusthasana. Besides, these friends are embarking on a journey of health and well being which will be a great influence all around.
  8. Gain confidence! Whether you end up teaching or not you will gain more confidence being in front of people, sharing your experience and taking a leadership role.
  9. Giving is getting. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing someone say, “ah, that’s just what I needed, “or “thanks, my back doesn’t hurt anymore.”
  10. Make some money. You probably won’t retire on your yoga earnings but teaching and continuing to practice will keep you out of the old folks home with a little extra change in your pockets.

For more information on the Fuller Yoga Primary Yoga Teacher Training please contact or click here.