Thursday, December 28, 2017

Why I wrote this book

Are you a yoga student thinking of becoming a teacher?
Are you wanting to understand more about yoga?
Do you have a yoga school or want to own one?
Are you a yoga studio owner or administrator of a yoga program?
Are you a yoga teacher that has many questions concerning business, keeping students and dealing with burnout?
Have you gone through training and feel you still need support?

This book is for you.
It is available
 at https://www.amazon.com/Mud-Lotus-Guide-Workbook-Students/dp/194452892X
and Etaliapress.com
I guarantee this book can save you the cost of the book in dollars or stress.
I love to help teachers, individuals and business owners.

Please see my website for more info on my bio.
Consulting starts at $75 an hour and is done via Skype, email or phone.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

The Struggle with The Struggle

The older I get I believe that so many things in this world are not black and white, however there are things I do believe are clearer than others. Be kind and most people will be kind back, however not everyone will be kind. Make good choices and work hard and there is a pretty good chance you will have a productive life and be able to care for yourself. These things are pretty certain, yet life happens and things happen and we are "human", humans make mistakes. It only takes one bad choice to derail an otherwise productive life. Yet we can, with connection get back on track.

I have come to believe in my nearly five decades on earth that we are the physical manifestation of source energy, or God, or spirit, on earth. We are the extension of God's energy on earth, therefore we have the spirit of God in us. I may be wrong, this is only my perception from practice and life. We are however like clay and even the Bible uses the example of Jesus being a potter. Isaiah 54:8 says that Jesus,  who was a psychical manifestation of God is the potter and we are the clay.  My belief is that there is one God for "all" people and he is shaping and molding us. This is not a religious post by any means but one that is here to express that we are source energy and we can connect to source energy, the love of the God of your understanding,  through meditation, contemplation and love.

When we feel good and right and at our highest self we are likely connected to source. When we feel needy, tired, hungry, sad that is our humanness being molded by the potter. When bad things happen, when people say and do mean things that is the pressure of the world and how we respond is the action of the way we allow source to mold us. How we respond is what comes out when we are put under pressure much like squeezing a sponge.

I told my dear friend the other day "I struggle with the struggle". When someone does something and I feel it's hurtful to me I want so bad to be able to be the example of grace and love but I don't always know how. I actually do feel hurt, sad and at times broken by another persons actions. It is not their action but my reaction that shapes me, I know this and yet it's still hard. My belief is that our humanness is the experience of all of those feelings we have here on earth, and those feelings are the school house, the learning area to navigate life to make us smarter, kinder, wiser spirit filled people. What if all those things, those perceived bad things are exactly what is suppose to be happening? I had a situation recently that hurt very badly and I heard this in my soul "Everything is happening the way it is suppose to Courtney"... So I got that what was happening may seem bad, but it is for the greater good. Now I do not believe all bad things that happen are for good but I do believe source can take the hardships, the pressure and make something good out of it, mold us. Maybe that is when we take our bad and hurtful experiences and help others.

So when you are sad, when you are lonely, depressed or generally in a really bad place in life. Be still. Close your eyes, turn your palms up and simply observe. Observe the messages in your life. Connect through your breath to your body, this is the highway between the mind and the body, this is fastest way to connect to God, and God is always in the present moment. Source is here, right now, right here. Listen inwardly,  you are not your thoughts, you can change your thoughts, you are not your name, your job, you status, your place in the family, you are simply an extension of the great "I am" and when you stop and connect that energy will guide you. Ask the questions "What do I need?", "What would you have me do?", "What is right?", "Should I respond or be silent?" Then listen in your gut, literally you will feel it. If the answer you get feels "good" that is source, if you feel bad, sad , guilty that is not. Sift through it and when you know with certainty how to respond then do so. It's okay to set boundaries with people, and mean what you say without being mean. It's okay also to be silent until you know what you need to do. You are not wrong or right, you are simply a student of life.

Be open and allow source to flow through you. Source, The God of your understanding, only has your highest good in mind at all times. Listen and be open and you will see it, you will start to see, it will show up in your life once you become aware. You become aware by going to that still quite place inside.

Love and Light,
Courtney

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Depression, Anxiety, and PTSD : Coaching and Yoga Therapy as Healing Salve

"Follow the Sun by Xavier Rudd a song I listen to when I need inspiration."


I do not know if this is true in research or what the data (feel certain it is)  is but I do know from first hand knowledge. Depression and anxiety are often triggered by trauma. I know this all to well from my many bouts of months and years of  dealing with this myself.

No matter how smart, savvy, self care knowledgeable we are. No matter our credentials,  degrees or the level of comfort in which we live, no one is immune to pain and heartache. Some people get more than their fair share and some people get less.  I have never met anyone that has not experienced it. Sometimes I wonder if it is a prerequisite for spiritual growth.

The past two and a half years I have been writing a manual, book, textbook, semi self help book about yoga and during that time I have been hit with a major bout of PTSD. I was diagnosed at the age of 19 with PTSD by a therapist after I had a still born baby. The PTSD was not only from the loss of my child but also from trauma I had sustained growing up. Most of us have some sort of trauma at some time in our life, some of course much worse than others. I don't know anyone who has not endured some severe pain or loss.

At the age of 46 the one thing I have going for me is perspective. Yesterday one of my senior students commented to me that "You are always so happy.", which my response was "Oh I have my stuff but when I show up for work I am here for you not me.". And that is true, when I show up to work it's not about me, I have to flip the switch and be there for them. And that is not always so easy. This year I was thrown into a major post traumatic episode with a family member who I dearly love, but who is suffering severe trauma and substance abuse issues. Many old memories and pains came to the surface and before I knew it I was in my own full blown depression once again. So what do to do? The only things I knew how to do are more of what I teach as a yoga therapist and Solution Focused Coach:  yoga, meditation, and hardcore radical self care. It is the only thing I know that remotely  makes life bearable during a depressive, anxious, period. I say period because you can't "will" yourself out of this, it has to take it's time.

So here is an example of how I cope and what I do. It is much like taking an aspirin. It temporarily takes the pain and makes it bearable. Then over time you heal and can manage on a more balanced level.
During normal times when I am not going through an episode I do all of these things, during a painful period I up it as much as possible.

1. See a therapist, it's helpful to have a non biased person to speak to that you can trust.
2. Go to Alanon or AA, or any 12 step meeting, support group if that is relative. Find a sponsor if that is relative to your situation.
3. Go to gentle yoga classes that are balanced by a qualified teacher.
4. Meditate. I use Insight Timer, and I use daily meditation books like "Journey to the Heart", or simply sit quietly and observe your thoughts without attachment.
5. Have a mantra that you say anytime you feel yourself going into the uncontrollable crying. Mine are "I am Brave", "I am whole", "I am worthy". Write it down and post it so you can see it.
6. Walk, exercise.
7. Go outside in nature and connect. It helps to watch animals and realize that life goes on outside of our heads.
8. Have a gratitude list. You need to write it down, it makes a difference.
9. Feed yourself nutritious food.
10. Get adequate sleep.
11. Talk to a friend you can trust.
12. Have a calendar with self care appointments. I know that each day I have one of these things :yoga, an Alanon meeting, a date with myself at the gym, or dinner with a friend. I plan each day with something to refocus and get out of the loop in my brain.
13. Take it one day at a time. One hour, one minute. Just get through the day. You don't have to figure out the future.
14. Say the "Serenity Prayer" often.
15. Get yourself cleaned up and look your best. At all cost do not look pitiful. It makes you feel pitiful.

We are all imperfectly perfect human beings. All experiencing this life as one big school house, I am certain we are here to learn.
Be compassionate with yourself and others.

Love and Light,
Courtney

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How to live a Holistic Life

 The five points of yoga or using cognitive (mental) and somatic (movement) therapy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Preparing for a Big Time Commitment

As the New Year approaches I know many people will be thinking about commitments. There will be old commitments revisited and new things to explore. I'm a curious person and there are many adventures I would like to take. Many things to learn. There is one thing I know in my four and a half plus decades of life. You can have it all but you can't have it all at once.

Twice in the past month I have heard that people don't really change until they become uncomfortable enough to change. You eat a poor diet and the doctor tells you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol but you feel fine so maybe you don't really change until you have a heart attack and vow on that hospital bed to change your life. When I was in Virginia this past year at a yoga therapy conference I heard one of the speakers say there are two ways to learn. The hard way is to have to pay a consequence or suffer from your mistakes and the easy way is to observe others. If you want to have money do you ask a rich person or a poor person how to accomplish your goal? If you want to be happy do you ask a negative person? Heck no, you find a pleasant and peaceful person.   

My career is one that has been based on many, many years of trainings. It is also a career that has required to me to constantly train and keep up. This means working sometimes seven days a week. I have learned quite a few lessons over the years to keep up with this schedule and I thought I would share them here in hopes that it would help the readers and especially in hopes that it might help some of my students. 

1. Keep a nice big paper calendar and sync it with your calendar on your phone/computer. Do this every couple of weeks. 
2. Fill your calendar out in advance. 
3. The week of your training or big commitment do not make any unnecessary appointments. 
4. If something comes up that you must do, such as a child's school event, then go but plan so that it's not to exhausting. Go right home after. Have an easy meal prepared that evening before you go.
5. Avoid alcohol the week of the event or training. Also avoid artificial sweeteners a few days before something that requires heavy thinking.
6. Eat a healthy diet.
7. Take your vitamins. 
8. Have a regular sleep pattern. 
9. Avoid negative media. 
10. Plan time off. I plan my summers with as few working weekends as possible. I make sure I am off two weeks at Thanksgiving and no weekends for three weeks during Christmas. Most months I have to work Monday to Thursday at my day job, every day at my home office and two to three weekends a month teaching or taking trainings. It is imperative that I "KNOW" I have some time off coming up so that I don't get exhausted. 
11. Take mini breaks during the week. If you are working seven days a week can you sneak in a couple of hours to do something you enjoy. Maybe a pedicure or a massage, maybe a 4:00 matinee, or dinner with a loved one. These little mini breaks are very important to not getting worn out. My dear friend once told me she enjoys one hour of mindless t.v.. One hour of relaxing is very helpful to your nervous system. 
12. Do mini exercise sessions. I do 7 minute workouts, 10 minutes on the treadmill, 5 min meditations. Sometimes I'll do them throughout the day. This is essential to my mental and physical health. 
13. Do not take on many commitments at once. Stay focused on one goal at a time. Occasionally things overlap but be very careful to not allow this to happen to often. 
14. You can not do many things well. There are so many hours in the day and simple daily activities that you must do take up much of your time. If you take on a big commitment try not to take on two at once. Sometimes this is unavoidable. I had three schools going when a dream job came along that I couldn't turn down. I immediately hired extra help to give me a break. It's hard paying that extra money but I also know that I would be mentally drained if I worked 7 days week for a year. So if you find yourself in this situation try to find a way to give yourself some relief. Hire a sitter, a house cleaner, a yard service, or someone to give you a break.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ten Simple Things You Can Do To Reclaim Your Health.

Ten Simple things you can do today to reclaim your health for nearly no cost.

1. Exercise for 10 to 30 minutes. Take a walk, go on a hike, ride your bike, do an internet workout video.
2. Meditate or sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes : I like the Insight Timer app on my Iphone. It's free.
3. Eat some veggies (not fried).
4. Eat a serving of fresh fruit or a healthy fruit smoothie without the sugar.
5. Drink a few glasses of water.
6. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings or call and ask about how they are.
7. Make a meal plan for the week that includes beans, peas, grains, fruit, veggies, clean soy, nuts, and yogurt.
8. Give or get some hugs.
9. Shut off all social media and news for one day or at least 1/2 a day. Turn the dang phone off.
10. Go to bed on time or an hour early allowing for a full 8 to 9 hours of sleep tonight.




Ten Simple Things You Can Do To Reclaim Your Health.

Ten Simple things you can do today to reclaim your health for nearly no cost.

1. Exercise for 10 to 30 minutes. Take a walk, go on a hike, ride your bike, do an internet workout video.
2. Meditate or sit quietly for 5 to 10 minutes : I like the Insight Timer app on my Iphone. It's free.
3. Eat some veggies (not fried).
4. Eat some fruit in it's natural state.
5. Drink a few glasses of water.
6. Talk to someone you trust about your feelings or call and ask about how they are.
7. Make a meal plan for the week that includes beans, peas, grains, fruit, veggies, clean soy, nuts, and yogurt.
8. Give or get some hugs.
9. Shut off all social media and news for one day or at least 1/2 a day. Turn the dang phone off.
10. Go to bed on time or an hour early allowing for a full 8 to 9 hours of sleep tonight.