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Posted by on in Thoughts and Info

I've come to the conclusion that we, as humans, are like Tootsie pops.  Tootsie pops come in different colors and shapes.  They seem to have a hard, protective shell, but if dropped, they shatter into a million pieces.  The tootsie roll center that is protected by this "outer shell" is ALWAYS the best part.  Unfortunately, if a little fuzzy gets stuck on the outer shell, the whole sucker is seen as "dirty" and thrown out.

 

We all have little "fuzzies".  Maybe we're not the right shape, or our nose is a little too big.  Maybe we had a bad hair cut, or we tripped walking to science class.  These "fuzzies" shouldn't be how the world sees us.  I think too many people get "stuck" on OUR outer shell.  Our bodies.  Our hair.  Our height.  The list goes on and on.   What's sad is that sometimes, when people get stuck, they forget that the best part of US is inside.


Our heart.  Our soul.

 

Remember that old quote, "Beauty is only skin deep?"

So wrong.

 

Beauty IS our heart and our soul.  What's on the outside is just the protective coating.  But sometimes our protection isn't so strong and we shatter into a million pieces because our shell isn't seen as "perfect".  But NOTHING is perfect.  What we must do is accept it.  Accept the fact that perfection doesn't exist and embrace every imperfection that we have because that's what makes us, us.

 

I have made myself a promise that has helped open my heart and accept my imperfections.  It goes something like this:

 

Surround yourself with people who look past your shell.  Who set your soul on fire.  Who make your heart so happy it could pop out of your chest.  Because everything WILL change, but beauty, YOUR beauty, will always remain.

 

I see people now for the light they shine on my world.  For the laughs they make me laugh and the smiles that make my cheeks ache.  I see them as generous, caring, loving, thoughtful, silly, and creative, instead of "short", "weird", "skinny", "clumsy", or any other physical label.


By practicing yoga, I have learned to pay close attention to my thoughts and my body.  I have learned the power of acceptance and continue to learn the importance of balance. Yoga has given me a new sense of purpose.  I feel more in control of my thoughts when I come to class on a regular basis and more aware of how my body is feeling day to day.  Everyone I have met at the Zen Zone has helped me keep this promise to myself of maintaining a positive outlook.  The instructors are so encouraging and friendly before, during, and after class.  I am always greeted with a smile and a warm hello.  I began practicing yoga on my Wii Fit two years ago.  Let me tell you, I haven't used it since I began coming to the Zen Zone!  There's absolutely no comparison.  The atmosphere is so peaceful and you get to practice with others who enjoy yoga just as much as you.  Everyone goes the extra mile to make you feel comfortable and "looks past your shell".  Whether you are a beginner or and advanced yogi, you will feel so much love here from the moment you step foot through the door.

 

My heart is lighter since I began yoga and since I have made the promise to see people's hearts and souls, rather than their physical appearance.  I encourage everyone to look past others "shells" and into their hearts.  It will change your heart, I promise.

Namaste,

AmyJo

Hits: 1369

Posted by on in Thoughts and Info

 

Detoxification is a removal process of impurities from the blood systems in the body. The body has it's own natural process of healing the body; by adding detoxifying postures, foods, and other nourishments into your life you help to move the body's own natural process along. More detailed, it can help to:

  • stimulate the liver, drawing toxins away and out of the body.
  • promote elimination of waste in the intestines, kidneys, and skin.
  • help to re-load the body with nutrients and increase circulation.

 

Here are a few Detoxifying Postures to get you started:

Seated Spinal Twist (Bharadwajasana) - an abdominal twist; squeezing through the liver and other organs to release toxins from the blood and speed digestion through the intestines.

 

 

 

Fish Pose (Matsya Asana) - a chest opener; increasing circulation of the lungs, reaching down into the very lowest part, sending stale air out from the body. Again works with the liver and intestines from the pressure and contraction of the abdomen, cleaning the blood and helping with digestion. Also helps to relieve mental stress trapped in the mind.

 

 

 

 

Bow Pose (Dhanu) - arch of the spine; helps to clean out the entire body. Pressure of abdomen massages liver and intestines, works out stiffness of the spine, can help to release toxins trapped in the kidneys and spleen, and works with the pancreas (helpful for diabetics). Another pose that helps to relieve mental stress, working through the alignment the seven major chakras.

Practice these poses at home and always feel free to talk to your instructors about how these postures make you feel.

 

Namaste!

Grace

 

Hits: 1756

Posted by on in Thoughts and Info

origin feature

The May/June issue of Origin Magazine is now out for purchase at all Whole Foods stores across the country! If you don't want to make the drive to the store, you also have the option to buy the online digital issue for only $5!

Thank you to all of those who voted for me to be a part of such a great magazine! I cannot begin to explain how immense my joy is and how deep my gratitude flows from within. Without the help and support of over 1000 people, I would not have been chosen as one of four individuals featured in this publication of Origin. I would like to add an extra special thanks to all of my students who provide me with loving support and endless inspiration each time they attend class. I appreciate each one of you dearly; thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Be sure to check out my feature in the issue!

Namaste!
Grace

Hits: 1593

Posted by on in Thoughts and Info
savasana
The topic of "Savasana"  is something I'm all too familiar with, as both an instructor and as a student. Every yogi has struggled at some point in time with the last few moments of class. A thought appears in the minds of many whom have difficulty with allowing their bodies to relax; "Why should I lay motionless on the floor on my mat for five-ten minutes when I could be doing something "productive"?
So... why should we participate?
Savasana translates to "corpse pose" or sometimes referred to as "final relaxation." This posture stands as a metaphor for dying and then coming back to life. After working through intensive postures for 60 minutes or more, lying down with a motionless body allows your breath and mind to relax while releasing any tension that may have been built up through out the class; or stress that has been trapped in the body for a longer period of time.
For many of us, the body may receive most of our attention during our yoga practice. This simple action may be a large part of the reason as to why it is so difficult to relax during Savasana. Subsequently the body has been in constant motion for an hour (plus), moving into absolute stillness can be a rocky transition for some people. Either the mind now wants all of that attention the body was receiving prior, or the body doesn't want to stop moving.
So why is the absence of motion so important? Exactly because the removal of activity allows one to learn to redirect their thoughts and focus from "motion" to "stillness"; or from "busyness" to "calmness".
Along with many other positive benefits such as:
  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Relaxes the body
    -decrease in muscle tension, metabolic rate and the consumption of oxygen
  • Reduces headache, fatigue, and nervousness
  • Relives symptoms of asthma, constipation, diabetes, indigestion, insomnia, and lumbago
  • Helps to lower blood pressure
  • Reduces general anxiety and panic attacks
  • Improves concentration and in memory
  • Higher levels of energy and productivity
Savasana should be looked at from a different perspective. Rather than viewing it as a waste of time or just laying on the floor, look at it as a chance to improve your well being; just as you do any other physical asana. Moral of the story, yogis - don't skip out on Savasana! You gain so much more out of this posture than what it appears; as it is incredibly beneficial to your body, mind and spirit. Not only would you be missing out on a few moments of peace in your busy life, it's rude to the other students who are trying to participate in final relaxation not to mention incredibly disrespectful to the instructor. This creates noise, distraction and an actual physical change in energy levels of the room.  So unless you have to leave early for work or to pick up a child, don't cheat yourself by leaving before the end of class.

Namaste!
Grace
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Posted by on in Videos

Join the Zen Zone for "Spring into Hope" on April 27th and 28th!
Purchase 1 ticket ($25) and get the second ticket for free! Tickets are good for both Friday night - food and drinks included - as well as Saturday. Check out the video below for more information about the event.

Namaste!
Grace

Hits: 2133

Posted by on in Thoughts and Info

Namaste!

If you are a fan of the Zen Zone, a student or just simply a practicing yogi; please help to spread the love of yoga by helping our studio! When one "likes" our page or updates their status by sharing experiences with friends and family members through facebook; it helps to create a network for those who are looking to join a studio, begin a practice as well as support a local business! So please, do us a solid and hit the "like" button! Or go even further by telling your friends and family to do the same.

Spread the love yogis! See you in class. :)

Namaste!
Grace

 

circle

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Posted by on in Thoughts and Info

 

Celebrate the Spring Equinox at the Zen Zone!

 

As we move away from the cold and enter into warmth, on March 21, the world will experience 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness. The spring equinox (literally translated to equal night) celebrates the change of seasons and a symbolizes "breaking out of the darkness" that has been acquired over the past several months of winter. In yoga, it is celebrated through a practice of transformation and renewal.

 

Tree Pose

 

Join Amy Wald on Tuesday, March 21, to celebrate the Spring Equinox at the Zen Zone from 6:45-8 pm. Energize your body through a practice of awakening vitality in preparation for the upcoming season in a candle lit Zen Hatha class setting. Let go of the grogginess and inactivity of winter; open your heart to renewal and growth in your practice!

See you soon!

Namaste!
Grace

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