Staying Sane in the Season of Giving

Isn't it interesting how the season of celebrations can be the most stressful time of the year for people?

I mean, just the expectation to have fun; to be in the MOOD to celebrate creates a little tinge of anxiety in me.

Don't get me wrong, I love fun. I love celebrating. But I also love my quiet time (something I don't have a lot of in this stage of my life with small children). So when my calendar is filled with not only work responsibilities but school events and activities, family activities and an assortment of other places to be and peoples to see; it does not leave much time for me.

I am 42 years old and I've only recently figured out that demanding ME time is not selfish but loving. Loving to myself and in turn; loving to my family. Because let's face it, if mama ain't happy, ain't no one happy.

So then what? How do we resist the wine and sugar merry-go-round that is December? How do we give ourselves love – and dare I say – double down on giving ourselves love in this Season-of-Giving?

Here's what I got:

Yoga. I'm sure you will shocked that I suggest you do yoga. Here's the thing though; it doesn't have to be a long class to make a difference. Don't make the great be the enemy of the just do something. A posture or two before you go to sleep or on the kitchen floor while the water boils can make a huge difference. Here are some examples from my kitchen floor.

 

    Plop down on your floor wherever you are.  Fold over from your hips and grab what you can.  Let it be easeful - it doesn't matter how flexible you are or aren't.  Feel a stretch but the most important part is your breath and where you mind is.  Bring them together.  Bring your mind to your breath and feel your body in this position.  Feel.  Breath.  Soften.  Stay for 10 breaths and then sit up and make sure your water isn't boiling over (just kidding).

 

Plop down on your floor wherever you are.  Fold over from your hips and grab what you can.  Let it be easeful - it doesn't matter how flexible you are or aren't.  Feel a stretch but the most important part is your breath and where you mind is.  Bring them together.  Bring your mind to your breath and feel your body in this position.  Feel.  Breath.  Soften.  Stay for 10 breaths and then sit up and make sure your water isn't boiling over (just kidding).

    Still in your seat, cross your right elbow over your left and then cross your forearms and connect your palms or the back of your hands.  If this isn't happening - give yourself a big ol' hug.  Breath so deeply that you can feel your lungs expand your ribs which stretch the muscles around the torso up into the neck.  Close your eyes.  Feel this body breath in this way.  Soften and breath.  Keep your mind on your breath and breath 8 big rounds.  Then switch sides.

 

Still in your seat, cross your right elbow over your left and then cross your forearms and connect your palms or the back of your hands.  If this isn't happening - give yourself a big ol' hug.  Breath so deeply that you can feel your lungs expand your ribs which stretch the muscles around the torso up into the neck.  Close your eyes.  Feel this body breath in this way.  Soften and breath.  Keep your mind on your breath and breath 8 big rounds.  Then switch sides.

If you happen to have more time and space – but not enough space to go to the studio – here is a long vinyasa and a short hatha video for your living room yoga pleasure.

Meditation. Oh you knew that was coming! But you don't have to sit with your legs crossed and watch your mind go bonkers while you try to sit still. How about being simply mindful while you do basic things? Walk down the street and actually look and smile at every person you see (this is magical, I suggest you try this). Really see them and greet them. See the trees, see the buildings, see everything around you. When you notice your mind wandering and thinking; come back to your breath and your environment.

Just be mindful and don't let you mind go bonkers. Notice when it does. Notice when your mind is judging and planning and opining and doing what it does. Its not you. You aren't your mind and its not your boss. So breath space in between those thoughts (that cause stress by the way) and let them go.

Gratitude. Tis the season for everyone to tell you to have gratitude. And I very rarely say this; but everyone's right. FEELING gratitude (not thinking it) literally changes the neurochemicals in your brain. It reduces stress and makes you feel better. I like the good ol' gratitude shower (it's better than the to-do-list shower). When you shower (hopefully, daily?) feel thankful for your hot water, your nice soap or shampoo. Feel thankful for all of the other amazing things in your life (there are LOTS of amazing things in your life, find them and feel their amazingness).

Above all – if you read this, think oh, all these are a great idea and then get on that wine and sugar merry-go-round until January 1s – love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Take one step at a time, one day at a time.

Smile.

We are all here together for a short time on a tiny planet spinning in space so infinite we can't comprehend it.

What's there to stress about anyway (she reminds herself daily)...?

 

Alyssa Snow Comments
Going with the Flow
 Riding the waves of life sometimes feels like this.

Riding the waves of life sometimes feels like this.

This week, while the studio has been closed, I've had more quiet time than I usually have. And I've been thinking a lot of about flow. I wrote a blog post a while back about why I stopped seeking balance and instead sought to simply be in the flow of my life. Cultivating presence is key to this but what else?  

How else can we step into the flow of our lives?

First, for me, know my mind. Know how my mind rocks and rolls. For example - my mind LOVES to plan and problem solve. Obsessively even. It's never in the past but always in the future. Trying to see around the corner. Trying to predict. Good gracious is exhausting and, by the way, the exact opposite of being in the flow. So I recognize this - I watch how my mind is trying to problem solve something and this becomes an alarm clock for me to observe my breath. I connect with silence. And then magical things happen; solutions present themselves without all the mental agitation. Always.

Second, I observe my resistance to what life is presenting. Example:  Construction in the studio. When the landlord informed me I needed to close for a week for this work in two days time; I got really still. I watched my mind fu*&ing freak out. I felt my chest clench. I felt my heart race. I used all of these sensations to remind me to watch my breath and then it all dissolved. BAM. Gone. I was able to calmly and reasonably negotiate a shorter construction time (they worked longer days) and a longer notice for the teachers and community. Ultimately, my experience during a stressful situation was not stressful. It was easeful.

And third. Trust it will all work out. Construction is supposed to be done today but won't be done until tomorrow late afternoon. Which means - little ol' me stays up past my bedtime to put the studio back together and I miss a dinner party I was looking forward to. It also means some schedule re-jiggering with my children. Again - my internal reaction was mentally tight. My mind told me how inconvenient this was for so many people, how much extra work this was going to be, yada yada yada. My mind freaking out again (cuz freaking out is generally fun for the mind) but I didn't. I ignored the internal complaints and I just began the process of rearranging knowing in my heart it was all going to be just fine.  

So...how do we stay in the flow of our lives? Be present. Stop resisting. Trust it will work out (even if we have no idea what that looks like).  

And practice yoga. Because it teaches us to be present and observe.  This is the foundation for everything.

Alyssa Snow Comment
The Business of Yoga

Yesterday I read an article called “The Brutal Economics of Being a Yoga Teacher” in NY Magazine. There was also another article a year or so ago called “Why Yoga is a Broke Ass Business” which was even more dreary.

So yeah, make no mistake about it: being small business owner in the yoga industry is hard – and I have a business degree.

Here's the problem I have about these articles. While they ring true for many of us what I hear is a lot of fear and not many solutions.

Fear is a troublesome emotion. It can keep us stuck. We end up making the same choices over and over and hoping for a different result. We drag our feet on change because the unknown is scarier than the known; even when the known isn't working.

This happens in all facets of our lives and it happens to all of us.

Have you ever had the experience of really disliking your job but not quitting because the fear of not having a job was worse?

What about not breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend because the idea of no relationship is scarier than the wrong relationship?

This is what it looks like when we are stuck and it happens in business, too.

The economics of the yoga business has been the same for a long time. Heck, when I opened the studio in 2009, I used the same class card prices that my neighborhood studio had in 2004.

Many years ago, I briefly dated a gentlemen who said “I never want to know what goes on behind the scenes of a yoga studio”. He insinuated that in order to be successful – owners had to be ugly, greedy and downright “un-yogic”. The guy didn't stick; but his words did.

I set my intention to run a Dharmic business. This is an actual quote from my “intention” journal written 2005:

"I am the owner of a healing center where the core business is yoga. We offer yoga classes of all schools and healing services of all types (yogic, energy, shamanic, chinese, “new age”). This is a community of like-minded souls who have come together for the purpose of personal growth, healing and happiness. The business provides services that are affordable to the community and provides jobs and income producing opportunities for teachers and healers in the community”.

You know that quote from Field of Dreams “If you build it, they will come”? Well – that was my mantra. I was Kevin Costner building a baseball field in the corn. I was going to create a business like no other in Washington Heights – a prosperous yoga studio that offered affordable classes to a community of like-minded souls, employed teachers and healers from the community and provided me with a good income in which to contribute to my family of 5.

Oh and the yoga room was going to be small enough for people to get a personal experience and learn yoga really well.

Entrepreneurs are very optimistic people.

And so it went. And then I was that person the gentleman of my past was referring to. The person behind the scenes of the business of yoga. That person, trying desperately to practice what she preaches (Yoga works! Do yoga!) with scheduling stress, financial stress and general life stress beating down the door.

And I felt stuck. And you know what was keeping me stuck? Fear. Fear of change. Fear of doing something different than everyone else. Fear of failure.

Fear of failure is a bitch if you let it be.

So here is where I get transparent with my business. Your community yoga studio.

Do you know what most yoga studios (including mine) struggle with? Cash flow. Money coming in (predictably) and money going out (predictably). It's easy to count on the money going out – but the money coming in? Hm. Harder. Guess what happens when more money goes out then comes in? Owners pay out of their pockets. Owners go into debt. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Guess what else happens? Fear and stress knock on the door to your life.

There are a lot of mathy type stats we can play with as studio owners but the nut of it is this: we need students to practice consistently at our businesses OR we need a VERY large pool of people who practice at no particular frequency.

For us, in Washington Heights, we do not have a very large pool of people.

Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. In life they call that insanity. In business they call it bankruptcy.

So what did I do? I lowered prices and created memberships. Memberships with different levels of practice frequency per month at VERY affordable per class prices (actually, the lowest I can find in NYC). What's the catch? It's monthly and it auto-renews. Memberships are flexible (we are flexible yogis after all) but they are intended to help students commit to their practice in an affordable way.

From the studio perspective, it helps us predict that money coming in the door part of the equation which is oh so important to keeping those doors open.

So it's a new way of doing things. And new is scary and not always pleasing to all. But to grow personally, we must try new things. I'm pretty sure its the same for business. Lets see!

 

Alyssa SnowComment
The Tension of Doing vs. Being

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life" - Eckhart Tolle

This is the essence of the teachings of Yoga Philosophy and of Buddhism. These teachings ask us to cultivate a state of being and give us the tools and techniques to do so.

But what does this really mean?

For me, it means that I seek to reside in a place where I can be a witness to life as it unfolds before me. I trust that I am supported by the Universe and that everything I need for the evolution of my consciousness will arrive in time. It means that I am fully present with my mind and my body at all times. It means that I can witness my thoughts and my emotions as separate from me. It means that I am enlightened.

So therein lies my internal tension. I am firmly planted on this spiritual path yet I do not seek enlightenment. I certainly seek to cultivate presence of NOW and trust that the universe will provide everything I need for my evolution. But I'm a mom, a wife, and a business owner; all identities that require a fair amount of doing.

In my life, I need to plan and problem solve. I have goals and desires. I need to negotiate and communicate. I'm a go-getter. I go and get what I desire. I'm a first-born type-A personality person.

It's who I am.

Or is it?

When I really cultivate Presence, I let life unfold before me. I trust and I observe. I am deeply connected to that space within me that can't be rattled. That space that has space for good and bad and all things in between. I am at peace.

When I'm in doing mode – when I plan, problem solve, strive and go go go, I am anxious. I worry. My mind generates an infinite list of things “I should do”. Does this make me productive? Hell, yeah. Does this bring me peace. No. No, it does not.

I LOVE manifesting my dreams. I love planning and doing. But oftentimes a line is crossed – and my mind goes out of control and my thoughts attach expectation to all this planning and doing. And then....anxiety and worry arrive.

The trick is to plan and do without an attachment to results (!!!!!!!!).

The life exercise is to do what is necessary and then let go of our desires for any particular expectation.

Goodness this is hard.

But for me, this is the tension between doing and being. I use my anxiety as an alarm clock that my mind has run amuck with thoughts about doing. The doing itself is just fine – its those pesky thoughts about doing and the results of doing that get me in to trouble.

And since I prefer peace to anxiety I will continue to lean in the direction of Being. Being is my home base. Doing has me hitting home runs and running the bases. But I am always heading to home base.



Alyssa SnowComment
Happiness is your Birthright

One of my favorite quotes from Yogi Bhajan is "Happiness is your Birthright". It's one of those statements that sounds so simple, yet is anything but. If happiness is our birthright then why is happiness so fleeting for so many in our culture? Why does it seem so elusive?

In our culture, many of us are habitually saying to ourselves "I will feel happy when I am fulfilled in my job", or "I will be happy if I had more money", or “I will feel happy when I have a family of my own”. You get the picture. Happiness is dependent upon something happening – and many times, that something is out of our control. So we chase happiness – focusing our minds on (the lack of) that one thing (or things) that we need to happen in order to be happy.

Both science and yoga disagree.

Science has been studying happiness for a little while now and what scientists have discovered may surprise you. 50% of our happiness is genetically disposed. We arrive here in our bodies with a genetically coded range of happiness. So, right off the bat, 50% of what determines our happiness is set.

What about that other 50%? Will that fulfilling job make you happy? Eh, maybe. What about more money? Maybe, if more money helps you to meet basic needs that were not being met. But not really, no.

Science is showing that our life circumstances account for only 10% of our happiness! Seriously. 10 percent. How much of our time do we spend focused on pursuing or dreaming about external situations that we believe will bring happiness. 75% of our time (that may be an exaggeration, but not by much).

So what about that other 40%? 40% of what creates happiness in our lives are our intentional activities. When we choose to do things that make us happy – we are happier! What a freaking revelation! Happiness is a choice.

Sutra 1.33 in Pantajali's Sutra says:

"By cultivating attitudes of friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight for the virtuous and disregard toward the wicked, the mind-stuff retains its undisturbed calmness."

Pantanjali speaks about cultivating attitudes. We can choose to feel happy when good things happen to others. We can choose to feel compassion when someone is suffering. We can choose to feel delight at all the good in the world. And we can choose to not get all worked up when we encounter assholes.

How we experience our life is our choice. Happiness is a choice but it is also something we are wired for. When we peel away all of the layers of mind stuff that confuse us about what will bring us happiness; happiness appears. When we can be present to the life we are living right now and not the life we wish were were living; happiness appears.

For me, this is why yoga brings me such happiness. First, it feels good physically. It moves my body and releases tension. It activates the secretion of chemicals in my brain that make me feel great. Most importantly, yoga brings my mind into the present moment. It allows me to peel away the layers of my mind that contribute to unhappiness or dissatisfaction so I can reside in the Truth of now. And what MY truth of now?

I have everything that I need and more. My life is a blessing because I never have to worry about where my next meal is. My life is a blessing because I have a home. My life is a blessing because my children are healthy, safe, nourished and educated. My life is a blessing because I am loved. My life is a blessing because I get to share it with all of you.

I am grateful and from the seeds of my gratitude, my happiness blossoms.


Alyssa SnowComment
Namast'ay In Bed

Last week struggling with some things, I wrote the following to our yoga community that resonated deeply with many of our students:

“If you follow this sort of stuff you may know that mercury goes retrograde on May 18th through June 11 used to joke that when mercury went retrograde the photo copier would stop working or my computer would crash. But a recent article in Elephant Journal goes a heck of a lot deeper and so much more interesting. A quote:

"Almost two weeks ago we had the edgy full moon in Scorpio, a time of death and releasing those things that were no longer serving us. If we had difficulty with the theme of letting go in any area of our lives, this Mercury retrograde will help us with the final stages. But, with the new moon in Taurus softening us all with a romantic blur, this letting go phase isn’t about what we are losing. This is all about what will be gained by letting go. It’s about having the courage to make the choice to move from one phase in our life to another, and letting the universe reward us for taking chances."

Does that resonate? It sure does with me. Without getting all TMI on you - there has been an elephant in the room of my life for a little while now. I have been not dealing with it, hoping it would just iron itself out.

But ironing itself out would not have given me the opportunity for the deep honesty and clarity that this situation required. Sometimes we need a push, and that push comes in so many forms. Maybe you have to move because your apartment prices rose up too high. Maybe a relationship ended that you were holding on to. Maybe a finances have to get worse so you take a good hard look at what you are spending and make different choices. Maybe a lot of things.”

Maybe you are at a fork in the road. You see choice. One road you have taken many times before. It's familiar and you know where it goes. It's the easier road in some ways because it is so familiar and well traveled. The other road is new. You don't know where it goes. It feels unfamiliar and scary. We know we have a choice to make. And choosing new takes courage.


So, while the theme is change – mercury retrograde is also about slowing the heck down. If change happened already and you are reeling; don't rush to move on to the next thing. Let the next thing come to you.

We should always be kind to ourselves but now especially, lets give ourselves a collective break. Slow down, smell the roses. Take a walk. Stare at the ceiling and listen to Jack Johnson (or your own happy music) or have a dance party with your kids. We know change is happening and we know we need to gather our courage but thinking about it 24/7 will just make the experience harder.

So close your eyes and see where you want your life stream to take you. You know your choice. Make your decision. Then go out and play. Or go back to bed. Above all – know its all going to be alright!



Meditate Anywhere, Anytime

The benefits of meditation are widely known. It reduces blood pressure, chronic pain, anxiety and depression, and even slows the speed your cells age. Science has now confirmed that the practice of meditation triggers the production of neurochemicals that, simply put, make you feel good. And feeling good is a powerful tool for health and longevity. So why don't more people do it?

When I ask this question to my yoga students, the answers range from, “I don't know how,” and “My mind is too busy,” to “I can't sit still for that long,” or “It’s boring.” The perception that meditation is about sitting still for long periods of time without thinking is a large barrier for many people. But it doesn't have to be.

Meditation is about being present with your attention. The point is to cultivate mindfulness. It is simple but not easy. The mind thinks and wanders. Meditation is the practice of not only watching the mind think, but also watching and feeling everything that is happening in the present moment. It takes practice. But that practice can be done anywhere. 

P1000229.jpg

In the Shower

How often do we get in the shower only to think about anything other than the act of bathing? The shower is a perfect opportunity to meditate. As you adjust the water to the right temperature, feel the water. Acknowledge the temperature in your mind as too hot or too cold or just right. As you step into the shower, feel the water over your body. Move slowly, without rushing, to grab soap or shampoo. When you use them, be aware of the smells. Be mindful of the body parts you wash and the thoughts that come to mind. When you find your mind wandering, just bring it back to the shower. 

Chopping Broccoli 

Cooking and even preparing produce are wonderful opportunities to cultivate mindfulness. While you are preparing your food, be aware of every scent. Do the same when the cooking begins. And also when the cooking is over. Notice color. Notice texture. Notice every nuance of those scents. Notice your mind wander to memories associated with those smells. Notice your mind wander to the future, imagining the taste of the meal. The point is to notice everything that is happening now, including the thoughts in your mind. As you chop vegetables, let your breath sync with your actions. I like to send healing thoughts to my food as I prepare it. I’ve done this many times over simple salads for family dinners. They’re usually large salads and I spend a good deal of time cutting cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, onions and herbs, etc. As I touch each veggie, I silently bless them. The salads are always a huge hit, though nobody can ever pinpoint why. Try this and notice the difference in the taste of your food.

Eating

How often do we eat our food on the run? Standing? So often we eat without paying attention. We race through meals, barely even tasting our food. Eating is not only a wonderful opportunity for mindfulness, it is also a deliciously rewarding one. Before putting a bite in your mouth, take a moment to smell your food. Inhale the aromas long enough to trigger your salivary glands. Smell each individual ingredient as well as the overall scent of the combined food. When you place food in your mouth, don't chew it right away. Feel your taste buds explode with sensation. Move the food in your mouth, exploring texture and taste. Feel yourself chew. Don't rush to swallow. Be present with the experience of smell, taste and texture. Notice how amazing food is when we pay this much attention.

All the Time

Seated meditation or meditating through mindful actions are not the only ways to get the same benefits. We can thread the same mindful actions all throughout our daily lives, no matter what we’re doing. Not only will we receive the same health benefits, we will also notice our awareness of the present moment become more commonplace. And in this awareness we begin to see a rich world of scents, colors, sounds and experiences worth meditating on.

Alyssa SnowComment
Mindfulness in a Modern World

Have you ever started eating a bag of chips and then look down and the bag is empty? Or been driving somewhere and arrived at your destination only to realize you remember nothing about your drive? This is so common. In our modern, busy lives, we constantly multi task. Its easy to lose awareness of the present moment as when we become lost in our efforts to juggle work, home, finances, and other conflicting demands to our attention. The human mind is a powerful thinking, planning and emoting machine and right now, most humans believe that they ARE the thinking, planning and emoting machine.

What is mindfulness? It is a hot buzz word right now. There are scientific studies and media outlets speaking about the numerous benefits of being mindful. Being mindful reduces anxiety, soothes depression, and helps with a host of other medical conditions. Its even said to literally make your cells age slower! Being mindful slows down the aging process!  Yo...I am SO IN!

OK - now that we are all in, what is it and how do we do it? Simply put - mindfulness is the FULL awareness of the present moment. It is the awareness that we are NOT the machine.

To understand how it is practiced – lets take the concept of “awareness of the present moment” a little further.

The awareness that we are not our thoughts or our emotions is the first part of mindfulness – to practice mindfulness – we must accept our present moment. Non judgmentally – crap this is so hard! How can we accept – without judgement or labeling – some of life's more difficult experiences? Lets look at what happens when we don't do this – I'll give you an example of me, last week: My children are off from school. I have a six year old and a three year old and no morning sitter which left me to work on some time sensitive things while I was with my children. So right off the bat – my attention needs to be divided. This is my reality. My present moment and I'm fully aware of it.

  Please note the blond child is (happily) painting her hand.  

Please note the blond child is (happily) painting her hand.  

I can't give my work my full attention (as much as I want to) and I can't give my children my full attention (as much as I want to). So notice i'm resisting a bit? But this is life, right? The children (of course) want to paint (their hands). Which, in case you aren't aware – is the A#1 messiest kid activity there is. Nevertheless I let them paint. They paint happily while I try to concentrate on my computer. Then my 3 year old spills the water ALL OVER THE TABLE. This is when mindfulness gets REALLY practiced – when shit goes wrong. The feeling in my body – the constriction in my chest, the desire to yell, the overpowering resisting of my moment created some major stress sensations in my body. When I resisted my experience – my mind was agitated with negative thoughts (which make it worse) and my body responded with a stress reaction. Now if I didn't have a practice of mindfulness – I may have flew off the handle. But because I was, in the moment, aware of what was happening, aware of the sensation of stress and the sensation of my thoughts – I was able to affect my behavior. I was able to take a breath and (mostly) calmly deal with the situation.

So the practice of mindfulness is not just the full awareness of the present moment – it is the full acceptance and EXPERIENCE of it. I resisted my experience – but I also was aware of my resistance and experienced and watched how that felt (tight chest, negative thoughts). I came back to the moment by becoming aware of my breath and deepening it. This immediately pacified my system.

Why?

MRI scans of meditators have shown that concentration on the present moment (aka meditation) shrinks the amygdala – which is the primal region of the brain associated with fear and emotion. It is the initiation of the brain's fight or fight response to stress. Interestingly – the MRI also showed the pre-frontal cortex – the part of the brain associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision making – becomes thicker. Further – the functional connectivity between the two regions changes. In long term meditators, the connection between he amygdala and the rest of the body gets weaker. The connection between the pre-frontal cortex and the rest of the body gets stronger.

It is the disconnection from this “stress center” that is leading to the physical and mental health benefits. It seems that long term meditators brain's are able to remove or lesson the aversion to unpleasant stimulation and thus the stressing nature of it. How do you think that is happening?

Meditators are refraining from engaging in the thought process that make an experience painful. So for me, in that moment, I disconnected from my resistance of the situation. I disconnected from all the negative thoughts surging in my mind, pushed them aside and became aware of my breath.  This helped me be nice mommy.  Not this mommy:

                                                   I was almost her.  actually I am her sometimes but i'm mindful of it.  

                                                  I was almost her.  actually I am her sometimes but i'm mindful of it.  

 

So, in our lives, in this modern world, science is now showing the residing our awareness of the present moment, accepting what is happening in every moment – FEELING what we are feeling in every moment (not distracting, repressing or numbing), brings our body into a state of its highest health.  It even helps us to be kinder, more patient and more loving to the people around us.  

So, I'm all in.  Are you?  

 

Alyssa SnowComment
The Process of Awakening

For many people, the practice of yoga is a form of exercise and an avenue to deeper relaxation that makes them feel great. For me, it is those things and more. For me and for many, many others – it begins a process of awakening.

The time I spend on my yoga mat brings me into deep awareness of myself. My time on the yoga mat is a doorway. My time off the yoga mat gives me opportunities to walk through that doorway.

My time on my mat begins my process of awakening. Awakening is a shift in consciousness that happens when our thinking and our awareness begin to separate. We are aware that we are not our thinking. We become aware of Presence – which is simply put, that which watches the thoughts.

Once this awakening begins, this doorway appears in the form of a different perception of our life stream. We now see our lives and the situations in our lives as opportunities for growth and further evolution of our consciousness. Which for me, simply means the ability to anchor myself in the present moment. This is all there is. From here, life unfolds and the support of the Universe is almost magical. But work has to be done in order to anchor ourselves in the present moment. This is yoga off the mat. In order for our minds to be able to settle in Presence – some layers of our being need to be addressed and some perspectives may need to be shifted.

 

 My bedroom altar where conception took place  :)

My bedroom altar where conception took place  :)

I was on my yoga mat in my bedroom on a Saturday in September. My children were coloring, my husband was on his rowing machine and I was in my room practicing yoga. Finding silence and space in sensation. Finding silence and space in between the thoughts. I was in down dog and my mind sort of wondered – how can I help women feel this good? In an instant (and I guess this is what the new age peeps mean about getting downloads of information) an entire course outline just exploded into my mind. That is what it felt like. One moment I was experiencing the space in between my thoughts (with random questions floating around) and the next moment I was running to grab my journal to write it all down. This was the conception of the Empowered Woman Series.

The course is a six week journey on and off the mat. It is a process of awakening and it is deep, deep work. And while it is presented in a linear fashion; awakening is not a linear experience. This course is meant to be an aid for you in life, to come back to, again and again. Yoga practices, meditations, discussions and exercises are meant to support your process of awakening. We are monks without monasteries, living in chaotic modern times. Our chronic stress and unhappiness is an alarm clock meant to get our attention. Now is the time to wake up. Now is the time to live in joy. As Yogi Bhajan said “Happiness is your birthright”. Claim your happiness. Dive in.

If you would like more information on the course, including some sample videos, you can find that here.   

I welcome you to join the first week “Being” for free. Much can be gained from the simple work of strengthening our present moment muscle. No obligation - just sign up below and we will send the first week to you.  

Alyssa SnowComment
Why I've Stopped Seeking Balance

I've been seeking balance for a long time. Balance in all forms. Balance in my body, balance in my mind and more recently; balance between work and family. As a mom of little ones running a busy business, I am capable of feeling out of balance. Kids are off from school – not enough time to focus on my business. Business is busy – not adequate time to spend with family. I found myself chasing a sense of balance that eluded me. And because I'm a thinker and a doer, I attempted to think and plan my way to balance. That didn't work either.

Just for fun, lets dissect balance. Balance is static in nature. It refers to a moment in time. And in each moment in time, wherever our attention is, we can find balance. We can find balance if our attention is 100% in the moment wherever we are. This is hard. Have you ever seen me trying to finish up working at the studio while my 3 year old plays baseball with the crystal spheres or tries to pick-pocket the jewelry? So in a modern world, we are all monks without monasteries. We have busy lives that are constantly changing. Life situations happen so fast and they all compete with our attention. What then, do we do?

Instead of connecting with balance (which remember, is static in nature) – lets connect with the flow of our lives. Life flows – like a stream. My friend and Spiritual Teacher Selina Maitreya refers to our lives as our “life stream” and I love this because that is what life feels like. Sometimes the stream is straight and you can see whats coming, sometimes it curves a lot and what is ahead is a mystery. Historically, I'm one who's always trying to climb a tree to see whats ahead; but jeez, I realized that was taking up so much of my valuable energy. Now, instead, I find myself simply residing in the mystery.

How do I do that? Simply put, I am do-ing less and be-ing more.

Over the course of my day, as best as I can, I cultivate presence. I'm not in my phone (as much) when I am with my husband and children. I'm in the shower when I'm in the shower (not planning my day), I'm walking down the street seeing the trees, the bustling city and people rather than staring at my phone and/or daydreaming about whatever. It takes effort. My mind wanders and I really like to distract from the present moment by lurking on Facebook. And I do, but much, much less than I used to.

This takes effort at first and then it becomes more effortless. It becomes a pattern to notice thinking and then come back to the moment. Once I truly realized the ONLY place for me to reside in was the moment, it was a huge relief. When I find myself worrying – I come back to the moment and I am soothed. When I find myself planning – I come back to the moment and my shoulders soften. When I find myself staring into my phone when my child speaks to me, I turn it off and I am happier. She is happier. My life is happier this way.

So this is how I reside in the flow of my life stream. I simply reside in the present moment. This doesn't mean I am a passive participant in life; it just means I respond to life as it unfolds before me in the moment. I have goals and dreams and wants and desires; but I don't knock down doors to achieve them. I do the legwork and I set the stage and then trust that if an experience is useful for my spirit, it will happen.

Balance was about controlling my life. Flow is about experiencing my life.

So, I'm going with the flow.

 

 

 

Alyssa Snow Comment
OH What a Feeling!

 

I'm reading a lot lately on the necessity to feel our emotions. Not bury them or repress them – to feel them and experience them. This is powerful advice and its what we are doing on the yoga mat. Feeling everything that comes to us. Feeling our bodies in space. Feeling our breath move. Feeling our FEELINGS.

Why is this so important?

Emotions are powerful energetic currents that are caused by the thought fluctuations in the mind. Emotions are our reactions to our thoughts. And in the same way we get caught up in our “stories” - we get caught up in the turbulence of our emotions. And just like the thoughts, we can use them for our own evolution or we can allow them to use us as a playground for distraction.

ALL emotions are valid. All of them. And not only are they valid – they are a power source of healing, transformation and creation. We can spend a lot of time and energy repressing uncomfortable emotions. Repressing emotions creates inner tension because emotions are meant to move. The very word – emotion – is derived from the Latin word – emovere - which means to move out.

Anodea Judith wrote in her book “Wheels of Life” - emotions promote the evolution of consciousness through the body. She says – when we emote – we move energy out of the unconscious mind, through the body and into the conscious mind. Wow!

Emotions stem from thoughts – so when we have an experience in the present moment and the mind creates a thought about it – an emotion will result. When we don't experience those emotions (and sometimes we don't even let ourselves process the thoughts)they get stuck in the body.

Years ago, I was beginning the exploration of releasing stored emotions in my body through a modality called Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. My therapist put me in a supported pigeon pose, which is a deep hip opener and after a few targeted questions, before I knew it – I was sobbing about my fear that I would never get married and have children. (Update, be careful what you wish for, you may get it.)

I had no idea that fear was living in my body like that! It was a huge release to experience it and let it go. Chronic lower back pain. Gone. Intermittent sciatica..gone.

And that is what emotions are meant to do. Be experienced and then released. In fact, when we experience the emotion and really acknowledge it, it dissolves. It is when we turn our back on the expression of it – when we distract ourselves from it – that it lingers and becomes imbalance.

Emotions expressed can heal us of trauma. Emotions expressed can transform unconscious patterns of emotions to conscious patterns that can be shifted. When we clear ourselves of repressed emotions and become conscious; we can then use our emotions to create the life we want for ourselves. More on that soon!

 

Alyssa SnowComment
A New Kind of Resolution

I love cookies. If you open the refrigerator door in the yoga studio, you will find cookies. I reach for a cookie when I don't want to do the next thing on my to do list. Cookie is so nice then! I reach for a cookie when I am feeling tired and don't know what else I want to eat. I reach for a cookie, frankly, whenever a cookie becomes available to me. Which is often.

And then, I was in plough pose one day and as my belly and I came face to face (literally), I came face to face with my cookie habit or in other terms; my sugar habit. And it made me unhappy. The change in my body made me moody sometimes if my clothes didn't feel right. And while that cookie felt really nice in that moment – many other moments in my life told me I needed to look at what I was putting in my body.

So I thought to myself – I'm going to make a new years resolution to eradicate sugar from my diet! Yeah! There you go! Can't give up sugar in December – who does that? Yes, January 1st – here I am a no sugar yogi. Go 2015!!! I will change my cookie eating ways!

 

*****DISCLAIMER: On January 2, 2015 Alyssa Snow bought a box of cookies. Back to Nature 8.5oz of Pure Enjoyment. 

  *****DISCLAIMER: On January 2, 2015 Alyssa Snow bought a box of cookies. Back to Nature 8.5oz of Pure Enjoyment. 

*****DISCLAIMER: On January 2, 2015 Alyssa Snow bought a box of cookies. Back to Nature 8.5oz of Pure Enjoyment. 

Sigh. I lasted a day.

How often does that happen to us? We make a “resolution” and it doesn't stick. I've spent the last few days eating cookies and thinking about this. Kidding (kind of). So many times, I've wanted to create a change in my life – which usually revolved around changing a habit that I wanted to let go of, and I would just not succeed. Over and over again, I would perpetuate the habit. Habits are hard wired and hard to change.


We can't just think them away. Positive thinking is sweet but it does not create change. Do you know what creates change? Having different experiences. This is how we change our habits – by being mindful of our choices in the moment and making different choices than we have made before. Ideally we make choices that lead us to how we want to feel (not what we want to avoid).


So now my focus is how I want to feel. How do I want to feel? I want to feel happy and healthy. I want to feel strong and lithe. Now that I know how I want to feel – when I make choices I will make choices that will lead me in that direction. I do this for my business and it has made running my business more fun and more satisfying (and WAY more effective). So now I am incorporating this into my life.


Does this mean I'm giving up cookies? HELL NO. But it does mean I'm choosing fruit more. It does mean I'm drinking more water. It does mean I'm being patient and loving with myself as I make choices all the time – because some will lead me to happiness and some will perpetuate old habits. Life is a process. I'm learning. And I am so grateful for that.

Alyssa Snow Comment
How To Savor the Holidays and Not Stress Them

The holidays can be stressful for many of us. Not only do we tend to be over scheduled with celebrations - we can find ourselves with family members that don't exactly bring out the best in us. How do we stay steady and empowered and avoid the need for a vacation from our vacation? How can we stay connected to our practice when we are our of our daily rhythm? Here are 5 tips to keep you steady and truly joyful through the holiday season.

1.  Practice moderation in food and in drink. Drink more water than wine. Oh those holiday parties are FUN! Wine is flowing and it is soooo easy to have more than your usual... and then you wake up the next day and you are cranky pants. No one likes a cranky pants, least of all the cranky one so moderate your intake of sweets and spirits.

2.  Find space and silence for yourself. At least 10 minutes a day and hiding in the bathroom is totally cool (I do it all the time). The aim is to get our of your head - get space in between your thoughts. Find a quiet place, lock the door and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and observe your breath and how you feel in your body. Observe yourself. Be with yourself; honestly and compassionately. Good is not the only valid feeling; so feel how you feel. Begin to focus your mind on the words "I AM". Inhale the sound "I' and exhale the sound "AM". Let this be your mantra. I AM. Let this be your refuge. 10 minutes a day; this is all you need. Because you may have in your mind "I am a mother (father)", "I am a wife (husband)", "I am a daughter (son)", I am a sister (sister)", but all you need to be is yourself. In every moment. Be exactly who you are. "I AM" is enough.

3.  Practice forgiveness. Forgive yourself for whatever you are mentally scolding yourself for. Forgive your family for being whatever they are that triggers you. Forgive yourself and everyone else because we are all in our own story doing our best.

4.  Practice gratitude. What you put your attention on expands – notice this. Are you focusing on what you don't have? How does that make you feel? Likely, not good. Focus on what you have – focus on all that is good and beautiful in your life. Notice how this moves your entire experience of life toward joy.

5.  Let go of expectations.  Sometimes we build things up in our minds so big then when the reality arrives, it is disappointing.  All year we look forward to the holidays, time off, time with family...whatever.  Let go of everything you thought this time would be (good or bad) and just experience what IS.  And when you find yourself having trouble with this (and we all do) - come back to tips 2, 3 & 4 especially and practice those).

Above all - Love and be Loved.  Happiest of all holidays to everyone!

Alyssa SnowComment
Trust

I'm working on trust in my life lately and its coming up on a few levels.

When things get tight financially – trusting that everything will be just fine and feeling in my heart – knowing – that my family and I really and truly have everything that we need.

When I become anxious about my to do list or my busy calendar – I continue to try to remember to come back to trusting that everything will get done and everything is on track. And it if doesn't get done or I forget something; then everything will still be okay. I mean, really and truly, fine.

Trust asks that I get out of my head and into my heart – which I am slightly embarrassed to say is hard for me. But in my experience of being awake; this is what it is about, right? Being aware that I am not trusting and making an attempt to shift it. Being aware that I am anxious – feeling the anxiety, feeling the discomfort. This is the process of transformation – I want to move into the experience of trusting naturally and feeling much less anxiety. But I'm not there yet – I'm smack dab in the middle of this transformation and it is painful sometimes. But great wisdom comes from pain and I teach from my wisdom; pretty much in real time.

So I come back to trust. Trust that my transformation and growth as a human being is exactly as it should be. That what I teach is useful and timely.

Today, I look at this same concept from the perspective of our society. And my only hope and prayer is that on some dimension of our Cosmos what is happening makes sense and is part of the process of a collective transformation.

My prayer is that the souls of these black men and children sacrificed a long happy life to show our country the collective disease of bigotry and racism. To shine a light on it so our society can transform. It is painful and if it is painful for me, a white woman in the US – how painful must this be for black men and woman living in these times? My friend Tracii, an empowered and phenomenal black woman, posted on Facebook “I. Cant. Breath”.

Eric Garner couldn't breath and now none of us can breath at such earthly injustice. I am angry for my fellow humans who have to endure this insanity of racism and blatant ignorance. I am angry that I feel so helpless.

So I come back to trust. I don't want to reside in anger. And I certainly do not want to feel helpless. Our collective will wake up when we individually wake up. When we individually live our lives and contribute to our communities from a place of compassion and deep understanding that we are all of one – one human race - then little by little – transformation will happen. There is a lot of waking up to do out there. A seemingly overwhelming amount, actually.

So today I will choose to double down on trust. Trust that how I live my life and how I raise my children will change the world. Trust that all of the millions of other humans, just like me, are raising their children to be awake and compassionate and anchored in the knowledge that we are all one; all equal and all in this together. I trust that this will contribute to the change that is so obviously called for at this time.

Alyssa SnowComment
My Child is My Teacher

My daughter Lily is three. She's a force of nature with an independent “I do” attitude, fearless and super impatient.  Sometimes, if she cannot put her shoes on in two seconds – she screams and throws them.  Sometimes, if the noodles don't stick to fork the first time, she melts down into hysterics, she can't get her arms through her shirt; she emits such a high pitched frequency that we all dive to the floor and cover our ears.

This behavior triggers me and my impatience. At that same time, I recognize what is happening to her, physically and emotionally; because the same thing has always happened to me. One of my biggest spiritual lessons in my lifetime is patience.

In the (amazing) book The Conscious Parent – by Shafali Tsabary, she says a few things that really opened my eyes:

“To parent consciously requires us to undergo personal transformation. In fact, it's my experience that the relationship between the parent and child exists for the primary purpose of the parent's transformation and only secondarily for the raising of the child.”

“Our children come to us so we may recognize our psychic wounds and call up the courage to transcend the limitations these wounds place on us.”

“In this your children are your allies, as they repeatedly mirror aspects of your unconsciousness, affording you opportunity after opportunity to awaken from your slumber”

I've shared before, in the my previous posts – I'm prone to anxiety. I understand, intellectually, that anxiety is my refusal to accept my present moment, and wish it were different in some way. I see clearly where I want to go in my life; what circumstances I want to call to me. I'm good at that. What I really, profoundly suck at is allowing the process of a manifested life to unfold in its own time and rhythm.

I want it now. Linear time is a bitch.

And I've been too busy manifesting things to realize that I'm failing to enjoy the moment. This has resulted in:

  • Chronic anxiety

  • Lack of self care

  • Exhaustion

  • Chronic neck pain

Feel free to chuckle now at the irony that I teach yoga for a living.

But my studio and community offer me a myriad of blessings. Shamanic healers like Kay Dougherty. Acupuncturists and herbalists like Katy Hogan – wonderful healers that support me and in the last few months, have helped me integrate some things that have been coming to me in my meditations and shamanic journeys.

It all started this spring when my neck locked and I was in enormous pain. Around that time, I participated in a shamanic ceremony wherein all I kept seeing was a rolled up carpet unfolding itself. When it unfolded itself; it rolled back up and did it again.

I got what it meant - let life unfold..yada yada yada - but I didn't integrate it.  Live it.   The pain continued. So did my anxiety and my wish that certain things in my life were different than what they were.

Then my daughter's impatience attracted my attention (how could it not?). I recognized myself in her actions. I recognized a part of myself that needed to change because it was causing me unhappiness - and also, and perhaps more alarmingly, my pattern was being repeated by my child.

Lily was showing me the source of my anxiety, my physical pain and frankly, the biggest spiritual lesson thus far in my life.

Patience.

In a myriad of ways, the Universe (or Spirit, or God, or Light) began to show me all the ways I was impatient--by creating situations for me to be impatient about. All the while, my daughter's impatience was terrorizing our house.

When God wants you to learn something; first there is a whisper. If you don't hear the whisper, then there is a tap on the shoulder. If you shake off the tap on the shoulder, then, in my experience, you get conked on the head.

My chronic neck pain seemed to be the rock that conked my head. It was not until the other day that I had another awakening about it.

I came across a notebook that I used pretty consistently in 2005--before I met my husband, when I was in the middle of my vinyasa teacher training program.

In it were a few things to remind me of the magic of life. First were some journal entries that I wrote regarding what I wanted to create in my life. I wrote two pages on the type of relationship and marriage and partner I wanted. I wrote two pages on the livelihood I wanted to create (the yoga studio and wellness center).

Everything. EVERYTHING (ok, with the exception of geography-- I thought I'd end up in Brooklyn) has come to fruition. All of it. Every. Last. Sentence. Reading it confirmed my capacity to create the life I want. Reading it confirmed it will all be OK. Reading it did not encourage patience, however.

Then I started reading some of my notes I took during TT. When I came across the following, I began to cry.

“Patience is the action of not cheating time. The state of nurturing our mind. The 5th Chakra (throat) activates patience. Patience is the experience of experiencing the flow of life. Impatience is losing the rhythm of time or losing the flow of life. Poses that create a strong neck lock bring this area into balance: shoulder stand, plow, fish pose”.

The night before, as I was meditating, I had a strong urge to do fish pose. It was almost overwhelming so I just did it. I felt the heaviness in my throat, the density and the imbalance. My body shook. Anxiety came to the surface. I countered it was a nurturing plow pose and went to bed.

When I read these words, my own words interpreting my teacher almost 10 years ago – I knew what my simple, oh so simple job was right now.

Be present in this moment now.

Meditate

Shoulder-stand, plow and fish, daily.

Surrender and trust that all will come, in time.

And above all, remember what Yogi B said. “Patience Pays” and I am a work in progress.  

 

Om Namah Shivaya

Alyssa SnowComment
2014 The year I figure it out

What is IT you wonder? Well, first and foremost, IT is self-care. IT means I fill my vessel first so I have enough for others. Like when you are on the plane, and they tell moms and dads – if something goes wrong - put your oxygen masks on first then help your kids. You can't help your children if you are unconscious.

Like that. That IT.

And self-care means, for me, daily pranayama. Now, i've gotten myself into quite a fix recently. Some pretty major imbalance mentally and emotionally – insomnia, anxiety attacks, lots of tears, an embarrassing amount of anger.

A holy-shit-use-the-tools-you-teach-to-help-others-to-help-yourself type of awakening.

Ok, so I'm a late bloomer, but here you have it. That is my real.

I know what to do; I just need to do it.

Now I'm going to get all teachery on your tush.

Meditation is daily maintenance and cleansing of the mind. My mind got muddled with to-do lists and responsibilities and life. My unhealthy patterns and tendencies got the best of me because I did not maintain my mind. I let everything else come before this practice and I suffered for it (my husband would also say he suffered for it, but he can write his own blog).

Meditation is a state more than an action. The action needed to cultivate the state of meditation is concentration. I use mantra to concentrate my mind. The mantra I use is Sat Nam. I inhale the sound of Sat and exhale the sound Nam. Sat Nam means True Identity. This mantra has been with me for 15 years. A mantra is anything that is uplifting to you. It doesn't have to be in Sanskrit or Gurmukhi

to be effective. It just has to resonate with you. That is all.

Now concentration is hard. Super. Freaking. Hard. And when in a state of imbalance (um most of us, most of the time) is downright impossible. This is where a pranayama practice becomes super useful.

Pranayama is breath control. Plain and simple. The breath can breath us (thank you autonomic nervous system) or we can breath our breath (thank you consciousness). When we breath our breath consciously and with control – the body begins to heal itself. You can heal and balance your psyche with pranayama.

I was suffering from anxiety and anger – sometimes even rolled up into one delicious explosion of a panic attack (ie, adult temper tantrum). I'd like to explain my practice and why it works. This particular practice is quickly effective. I do it for 20 minutes every night before I go to sleep. If 20 miutes seems daunting, start with 5 and build up. Just start.

This pranayama practice is Nadi Suddhi - alternative nostril breath. Beginning with the left side pacifies the nervous system. This breath is great for alleviating anxiety, depression, emotional PMS and issues with anger and over reacting.

Alyssa SnowComment
How Does She Do It All?

 

 

I've spent an extraordinary amount of time in my life striving for an ideal. This vision in my mind of what is, I guess, what Oprah would call “Your Best Self”. Or your Best Job, or Your Best Family, or Your best Whatever. Whatever that ideal was though, it certainly wasn't happening now.

Let me back up a bit. 10 years ago I was single, making a very good deal of money, with freedom to do whatever I wanted. Despite this, I was usually unhappy. I pined for the family I saw many of my friends creating. I pined for a livelihood that was useful to other people. I pined for a version of myself that was more together, more sober, more capable of self-care, more, more, more..... something.

Even my yoga practice reflected this. I wanted to become more proficient, more knowledgable, more yogi pure. (Oh how this purity thing screwed with my head...). I was rarely happy with where I was right then and there. I was always planning the future. Creating. I did meditations for this purpose. I had intentional collages everywhere, I even had a vision binder putting together all the words and visuals that I wanted to call into my life. I was quite diligent about it, actually. And guess what? It worked.

I got exactly what I asked for. The beautiful family. The (albeit modest) livelihood running my own business that I felt made a difference.

And guess what else? I still wasn't really happy. And I didn't really understand why. From the outside looking in – things looked great. I put on a professional smile and taught sweet, balanced yoga classes. I managed to grow my family and grow my business but in the midst of all that growth – I got smaller. Smaller, smaller, smaller....and then I couldn't find myself.

And then I broke down.

I was that yoga teacher with the soothing voice that came home and screamed at her kids.

I was that yoga teacher that told everyone to go with the flow and then came home and gave my husband attitude because he didn't straighten up the house to my liking.

I was that yoga teacher that didn't practice yoga (all that much).

And I made excuses. When was I to practice? Working basically every day and (co) maintaining a family did not leave much time for me (I said). I woke up exhausted and went to sleep exhausted. I made choices with food and drink and drug that created short term fixes and long term problems.

That “ideal” me was still very, very far away. I knew it and I hated myself for it.

 My daughter Lily and I and our first foster baby at nine days old.

My daughter Lily and I and our first foster baby at nine days old.

I was that 30 year old woman still in a lot of ways – really sucking at self care and self love. Except this time – I was not in a bubble. I was a member of a family. A wife and a mother. And my self-love and self-care, I came to realize, was critical to the health of my marriage and my children's happiness.

This sort of cemented itself into my consciousness this Christmas as I sat amidst unwrapped Christmas presents, having not spoken to my husband in 36 hours, crying, screaming “I fucking hate Christmas”.

Not exactly ideal. But certainly very, very real.

The real is hard to be in. It can always be better. My house can always be cleaner. My yoga practice, always somehow better, my meditation practice, more consistent (ie, better). The list goes on, actually, but you get the idea. My reality kicked my ass. I could not handle the life I created for myself. Joy left the building.

Looking at my life I realized I was not experiencing joy and that scared me. That realization rattled me to the core. And then I remembered why I started practicing yoga in the first place 15 years ago. To cultivate happiness and joy for myself. To stay off of anti-depressants. To manage my temper. To try and be the same light-filled person on the outside that I knew I was on the inside. To synchronize.

This is what yoga is for me. A life raft in the middle of the ocean. An anti-depressant. A practice that brings me toward my “ideal” by anchoring me in the “real”.

There is a reason I made yoga my livelihood – because without it, I become a servant to unhealthy learned behaviors and habits. Without it I am unhappy. Plain and simple.

So, how do I do it all? This is a question I get a lot. I can get a lot done, it is true. But without a yoga practice I straddle insanity, barely keeping it together, living in a house of cards.

This is a really personal post. And I'd like this blog to be a personal connection to the community of yogis that i've been blessed to help create. A real connection representing a real life. Not an ideal life. A real life and a real yoga practice from a business owner mom with three kids.

And maybe, just maybe, as I share my life and my practices – you can be there with me, resonating with my words because, ultimately we are all the same. We are all looking for happiness and the expression of what we feel to be our Best Selves.

Lets begin by being real.

Sat Nam (True Identity).

Alyssa SnowComment