lifestyle

Monday Mantra - April 22th

"I can think and speak for myself."

One of my personal goals as of recently is to work on being clear with my communication, therefore those around me cannot make assumptions about what I mean, how I feel or what I am doing. On the other side, I try to ask questions and not make assumptions about others. Making assumptions leaves only room for us to hurt ourselves and hurt those we care about. Communications seems so easy to do, but in reality, we are raised to not communicate our feelings, so its much more challenging that it seems.

On your mat this week, i invite you to start your practice by reducing your anxiety, allowing yourself a clear flow of communication with your mind, body and spirit as you practice yoga this week. How do you do this? Try a tapping, my personal favorite is thymus tapping. Use your fingers to tap on your sternum, collarbone, sinus, or thumb (the list is endless). breathe and repeat to yourself this affirmation.

Off your mat this week, I invite you to do this technic of tapping and then use the reduction of anxiety to have a conversation in a situation where you made an assumption of someone else, and where someone else made an assumption of you. Allow it to be small, we don’t have to take on the large conversations, bite sizes create the movement to move forward.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

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This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - April 15th

I remember, all is temporary.”

We go through life with this up and down rollercoaster, never stopping. We have our high points, which feel like utopia, but we also have our low points which seem to last forever. We flow through life with no stops on this up and down ride. Our breath is never the same breath in this moment as the last one, as the next will be. We can use this pranayama to help us navigate the temporariness in this moment and move into the next whether its cherishing what we have in this present moment or accepting it and letting go to move into the next.

On your mat, this week I invite you to try to practice a continuous breathing. Inhale fully, expanding every corner of your lungs, and the moment you feel you cannot expand further, exhale every bit of stale breath. Between inhales and exhales, do not hold your breath, do not pause, the moment you finish inhaling, begin exhaling. By working this continuous breath with no hesitations, we allow ourselves to live completely in the moment.

Off your mat, I invite you to examine where between the peak and valley, you stand in life. Find a moment to accept where you are and appreciate the temporariness of this moment. Whether it is at the top of utopia or the valley of struggle, accept this moment and know, it will give you the strength you need to concur the next wave in the movement of life.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - April 8th

I am not the center of the universe.”

Many of you may have read this weeks affirmations and immediately thought “what the heck are they thinking, that is negative, not affirming” but, as I mentioned last week, I have been rereading the four agreements and the second agreement is Don’t take anything personally. Now, the major way we end up taking things personally is by only thinking of something from our perspective. If I am subbing a yoga class and someone comes, sees me teaching and leaves, I have a tendency to take that personally, when in reality, that person may not know my teaching at all, but are a creature to habit and want the same teacher. It has nothing to do with me, and it is my job to detach myself from that hurt I feel initially and see the situation from the others perspective.

On your mats this week, I invite you to have a practice of forward folds and heart closers. These poses like humble warrior, seated forward fold and shoulder stand are poses we need to stimulate the heart and throat chakra in ways we need to be humble to our fellow humans.

Off your mats, take this week to reflect on how this action of letting go of your ego and seeing how a situation may be different when you see it from someone else’s eyes. When you have conflict with someone, truly listen and breathe through the things they say that may cause you to react. Maybe even put this affirmation on your fridge to remind you throughout the day to be humble.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - April 1st

I am intentional with my words.”

As I work on reading The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz for what might just be the 100th time. I have decided to plan a baby yoga series around these agreements. The first one being my hardest to follow since I tend to have “foot on mouth” moments, but really, who doesn’t? This week as I work on being intentional with my words, I ask you to join me in following this idea of clear communication, being truthful yet intentional.

On your mat, (well technically off) with your practice, before getting onto your mat, take a walk on the earth. Whether this is dirt, grass or maybe dip your toes in natural water, find a way to feel connected with the earth and plant a seed in your mind of nourishment. Let this connection to earth give you the grounding you need to have an intentional practice. Notice how your practice changes after doing this walking meditation.

Off your mat, I invite you to write things down before having a hard conversation with a loved one. Be honest about how you feel but also express your feelings accurately. Read it out loud to yourself to make sure you are getting your message across in how you feel and not what is wrong with the other person.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - March 25th

I crave new, healthy experiences.”

Spring is here! We are working on slowly coming out of hibernation and getting back into the swing of our outdoor lives. Whether you are a hiker, camper, swimmer or even just playing pokemon go on a summer’s night type, we are beginning to see ourselves reconnecting with nature in ways we couldn’t this winter. We have evolved and see ourselves wanting to pursue new things, let this transitional time be your time to find new experiences and grow into new habits.

On your mat, I invite you to scan your body while practicing, do you notice a pose is “easy” and you could find some extra growth in going a little deeper? Do you find yourself doing the same postures and find room to try something that may have seemed scary before? Crave a new pose but find a healthy limit to challenging yourself.

Off your mat, I invite you to make a list of all the experiences you’ve wanted to try but haven’t taken the action to do quite yet. Find a realistic first step to achieving this experience and work toward one step at a time, a healthy step at a time. Don’t let the what if’s win, and never hold yourself back because of them.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - March 18th

I forgive myself and I forgive those who have hurt me in the past.”

Forgiveness is probably one of the hardest things we can do. When we become hurt, we blame ourselves and struggle to find a place of growth. The sayings go “forgive but don’t forget.'“ and “forgive them for yourself.” But we don’t think about the intention behind the healing component of that need to forgive those who have wronged us in our past and forgive ourselves for letting ourselves be hurt. It’s the intention to heal that matters most.

Off your mat this week, I invite you to make a list of all the people you want to forgive for the things they have done to hurt you. After your list is compiled write down a sentence forgiving each person. This week is the full moon and I invite you to burn each sentence in a fire, whether it’s a fireplace, a fire pit or in a candle, as each sentence of forgiveness burns away, let go of the hurt and allow yourself to move towards healing.

This same idea can move onto your mat as well. As we practice, practice strength poses. This strength building will give you what you need to move forward. A combination of breath and strength postures will be the tool you need to release the hurt and allow the healing to commence.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Monday Mantra - March 11th

“My mind is slowing down.”

Do you ever find yourself going and going all day and before you know it, you look up and the clock says it’s 10 hours later and the sun is starting to set? This is an example of how we overwork ourselves and find ourselves in this wormhole of stress and mindless working. We aren’t slowing down enough to have intention behind our work. Learning to be in the present and aware of the world around us while still working towards a goal of accomplishing a task. This is where this week mantra comes into play.

Off your mat, I invite you to set an alarm every hour, when the alarm goes off, stop whatever it is you are doing, close your eyes and take 3 deep breathes to recenter and become present in the moment. Doing this for one day will help you recognize how these small moments of meditation can help slow your mind, reduce stress and become present with the task at hand.

On your mat, focus on a practice around the breath. Use pranayama and closing your eyes in your practice to look inward. Try to slow your mind and let the thoughts that don’t serve you on your mat to release from your body on the exhales. Try to not let ideas of what you need to do next invade your space while you are doing something for yourself. Most importantly, take that time for yourself.

-Namaste, Michi P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MICHI POINDEXTER

the sushi place (3).png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.


Yogi Bookshelf - Yamas & Niyamas by Deborah Adele

YOGI BOOKSHELF: YAMAS & NIYAMAS

Many of us yogis practice our asana practice regularly, but did you know there are more layers to what yoga is than just the physical practice? I recently started a book club for yogis to get together and read about the ethics of yoga and how to apply these practices off our mats, allowing us to live yoga as a lifestyle. The book we most recently finished was The Yamas and Niyamas Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice: by Deborah Adele.

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Yoga has eight limbs (ashtanga). These limbs include

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Some of these limbs may seem confusing since most of us have experience with only the first 3-5. I personally struggled with understanding the last 3 for I have not reached that point in my practice to understand them. The limbs are building blocks. We need to grasp the first one, before moving on to the second and so on. The first two limbs are ways we can better ourselves with how we interact with others and ourselves in our everyday life. This book covers the first two. These are practices we need to have off our mat before we even attempt to step into the asana practice.

The first half of the book covers the Yamas, which includes

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Whether you practice yoga or not, Adele does a great job at breaking down these principles in a way that a modern day person can incorporate. Since these are ways to interact with those around you, you don’t need to be a yogi to hold these ethics or morality in how you interact with your fellow humans. She takes each word and breaks them down into the different ways to apply them within ourselves, with other humans, and within our environment.

The second half of the book goes over the Niyamas, this includes

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This portion of the book is where you can either learn a lot about yourself or over analyze yourself fast. It lays out self-reflection in a way that allows for you to become in touch. I found myself having to stop and take breathers because some aspects hit a little close to home where I could better myself.

The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was at the end of each chapter, it gives you a month long exercise of things you can do to practice each week to incorporate that principle into your everyday life. My favorite exercise was for Saucha and it was to take an hour to eat an orange so you can start to pay full attention to the things we do and slow down our eating habits.

Adele has a way with words that allows me to pull some awesome quotes to use in yoga classes and personal mantras when I need them most. This book is also a quick and easy read and is a good book to reference when in need of a pick me up.

My only issue with the book surrounds around the idea of the use of god as a fixed term. In yoga, we use the terms the divine, god, the universe, spirit and many others to express a freedom of interpretation to the unique individuals experience. I wish I would have seen more of this broader term used throughout the book.

I have found myself incorporating this book into my everyday life as a teacher, as a student, and as a person in general. As a yoga teacher, I take these principles and utilize them to teach my students something on their mats that they can also take off their mats. As a student, I allow it to be an act of humbling and connection with myself and my fellow yogis on the mats next to me. Lastly, as a person, this book has allowed me to find a healthy connection with things around me and realize, my truth is not the full truth. As “The Buddhists say that the universe dies when you do because you have created your own little world of reality. “ (Adele 151).

Lastly, for anyone interested in getting involved with a group of fellow yogis to read more about yoga ethics and how they apply to a modern day yogi. We meet every other Wednesday at 7:30pm at Harvest House. For March 6th, we will be reading the introduction and first chapter to Do Your Om Thing by Rebecca Pacheco.

-Namaste, Michi P.

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Michi Poindexter.png

This passionate knowledge seeking teacher, started their yoga journey with karma a few years ago and after falling in love with the community of yoga completed their 200hr Teacher Training at Yoga from the Heart. They have been a Dentonite since 2014, graduated from TWU and runs community groups. With their trauma-informed certification, they emphasize trauma healing by sharing healing techniques to take yoga off the mat. Aside from yoga, they enjoy outdoor activities, reading and mix media art.