This week with V…

We’re kicking off Full Primary Led at Hamsa School of Yoga and Ayurveda this Saturday, the 29th with the final installment of our Beginners Ashtanga Series from 9am – 11am…only $35 to join us!!!

Beginning the following Saturday, May 6th from 8am to 930am, join V for Primary Led every weekend!!! Check out hamsayogaschool.com/classes for details.

Discover yourself and join V on the mat. 💜🙏💜

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HLbV Schedule at 5 Points Local

HLbV Schedule at 5 Points Local


Join me every week at 5 Points Local during the following times:

Ashtanga Yoga on Tuesdays from 6pm – 715pm & Saturdays from 8am – 930am
*$15 Drop-in or buy any one of the studio’s class passes ($65 for 5 Classes, $100 for 10 Classes or $200 for 20 Classes and Unlimited Monthly classes also available)

Private Sessions which may include Yoga, Pranayama (Breathing Exercises), Guided Meditation or general wellness consulting are available typically on Sundays.
*$50 for 1 Hour Sessions and $75 for 1 1/2 Hour Sessions (1st session is $50 up to 2 hours)

Contact me for availability or with any further questions or comments.

Cheers to healthy living and I’ll see you on the mat!!!

~V~

Photo Credit: Atom Van Doos

Be Careful of Your Words

  
Too important not to share…

“Be careful of how you talk to yourself.” -Taylor Hunt

Marichyasana C (and all super deep twisting postures) was a posture I didn’t ever really try to find. Thoughts about my body’s ability (or inability) to do certain things kept me in very comfortable modifications for years. Taylor blew all of our minds yesterday with a new understanding of this beautiful practice and called me out for the words I used to describe myself before even attempting the posture with his guidance.

Like a miracle that isn’t really a miracle because the potential was always there, he guided me into the full expression of this posture with ease. I felt strong, safe and fully protected the entire time.
Taylor reminded me of a fundamental truth that I thought I was living because I know I’ve been teaching it to others:

Be careful of the words you use when you talk to yourself. Be careful of how you describe yourself to others. Be careful of how you think of yourself in the quiet of your own stillness. Be careful of the stories you tell and your version of the “truth.”

Even in jest, even in the innocence of subtle comments made in passing, pay attention to the words you use…they will create your reality.

Love & Light,

~V~

*Picture taken at Southtown Yoga Loft in San Anyonio TX during an Ashtanga Immersion Weekend Workshop with Taylor Hunt 

HLbV Update – Yoga with V!

Join V on the mat at the following locations and times!

Tuesdays and Thursdays – All FMCU Employees at Gold Canyon – 530pm to 630pm

*Saturdays – 5 Points Local for Progressive Flow – 830am to 930am

*Every Sunday in February – The Vidorra Residents & Guests – 630pm to 730pm

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*Check websites regularly for updates to class schedules and new opportunities to join V on the mat!

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Welcome the Challenge and Make Life Beautiful

[repost from August 2013]

There’s a beautiful yoga tradition known as Ashtanga that has been my primary practice for the last three years and, as such, holds a very significant and tender place in my heart.  With its challenging postures and vigorous pace, I do not only strengthen and grow physically but am tested and humbled mentally, emotionally and spiritually, as well.  The place where I call “home” in my yoga practice is known to most by now as SYL and I am forever grateful for Kristal for everything she is able to offer through her instruction, her studio and her friendship.

Through a series of approximately 91 postures (including the opening sequence which is needed to heat up the body), it’s easy to lose focus, release the breath, start to wonder what in the world you got yourself into, become afraid you won’t be able to finish the almost two hour class, feel frustrated that you couldn’t achieve the full expression of a pose, or clench and strain through tired muscles, a lack of balance or a racing heart, etc., etc.  The order of the sequence is the same but, just as in life, there will always be a significant challenge and the types of challenges that arise always change from day to day.

Challenges feed the body as well as the soul.  It keeps the mind sharp, strengthens muscles and builds character.  Challenge is less about the stress it creates and more about the ways in which we learn to deal with difficulties and adapt as necessary to persevere.  Whether your biggest challenges in your overall health lies within the adjustments of your eating habits, the stress of a job or a difficult relationship, the motivation to get up and be physically active or even finishing a task or exercise that feels like it will never end, I encourage you to try just a few techniques that help to keep me going and going and going for more.

Just Breathe.  Any well-taught yoga class will remind you that your breath is essential to your practice and that if you are conscious of it, your breath will tell you how you are handling any situation.  Learning to control it, to never stifle it and allow it to flow evenly in and out of you calms the mind, lowers the heart rate and offers you something to focus on when you become distracted for whatever reason.  As your breathing becomes too jagged or shallow, this can be an indicator to you that it’s time to adjust in some way.  If you’re working too hard, depending on the source and degree of difficulty, consider easing up as necessary to get you through.  If it’s an emotional or mental stressor, this moment of refocusing on the breath will help ground you before reacting in a way that isn’t productive or helpful to you or others around you.

Find your focus.  In Ashtanga, each posture has a focal point in which you are encouraged to rest your eyes upon.  The verbal reminders in our guided class are always helpful to me because it’s easy to redirect my gaze, look around the room or out the window, think about the traffic on the way home, plan dinner or a meeting the next day, etc.  Not only does this distract  from the discipline of the practice itself but it can result in injury by not paying attention to proper form.  Now, not everyone’s mind is as exhausting as mine can be but we all do it from time to time.  Whether the challenge is regarding my nutritional habits and attempting a new approach because my clothes are starting to “talk to me” or the idea of using a heavier weight or going at a faster pace because I’ve been staying comfortable long enough, finding my focus will always guide me through.  Try it yourself.  Whether it be a point ahead of you that helps to keep your balance, a pre-determined mantra that helps to keep you motivated or a small-term goal that feels much more attainable than a big picture, end result, you’re much more likely to make it through anything.

Come back to the mat…or your desk, or the table or the conversation you’re attempting to have, etc.  This is similar to finding your focus but it’s more about returning whatever thoughts you have to present time.  In addition to finding something to focus on, being present in all that you do no matter what or with whom, ensures that you are conducting yourself in a way that is truly to the best of your ability.  It is with the highest quality of effort that you will see optimal results if everything you do throughout a challenge is not holding on to the past in any way or worrying about the future.  Think about it, any action requires a certain amount of your attention, so how much more for a challenge that might make you question or doubt yourself?  When you are struggling in life, no matter what it is, try calling yourself back to wherever you’ve wandered off as soon as you realize you’re not living in the moment.  Let go of what was and do not have any expectations of what will be so that everything you do in the present will not only be done with the utmost integrity, but will also be appreciated for what it has to offer.  Otherwise, how will you ever see it?

Welcoming all challenges in life with open arms, breathing through each one, finding your focus that keeps you going and always doing so in present time will ultimately be rewarded by the best possible results.  Whether it be in goals of overall health, personal empowerment, athletic ability or weight-loss, challenges are what ultimately help us grow above and beyond our utmost (perceived) potential.

Love,

V

Exploring Transitions

Exploring Transitions

Many of us spend most of our time completely focused on an event, a goal, a challenge or an accomplishment but how often do we pay attention to the time in between those experiences?  Staying focused on an event of any sort can certainly help you achieve your goals while in the process of them, but more often than not we are also holding on to those events long before they happen and long after they have come and gone.  With this habit we miss out on opportunities that are available in the present because we can’t let go of the past or we’re continuously worrying about the future.

On a smaller scale:  Exercise Habits

The next time you’re in a class, a training run or ride or in any sort of practice, consider the way in which you handle yourself in between reps or sets, intervals or postures.  Do you exhale dramatically and flop around like a fish, or do you try to stay composed and transition smoothly in and out of each one?  We all need to relax from time to time, but think about what happens to you mentally as well as physically when you release your composure so much so that you lose focus—your body is no longer fully engaged but neither is your mind.  These are the moments in which negative thoughts and frustration can creep in which can then make you convince yourself that you can’t keep going or you have nothing left.  If we take the time to work on graceful transitions we not only build additional strength by staying physically engaged, we stay focused on the bigger picture of improving our overall fitness or performance in the long term rather than a finite goal for one day.

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On a broader scale:  Life

How many times do we overlook our day-to-day experiences because we’re too busy analyzing events that have already passed or anticipating all the things that could go wrong in the future?  If that’s all we’re putting our energy into there’s no part of us focusing on what’s going on right now.  The only way we can appreciate what’s happening in the moment is to be in the moment.  The next time you find yourself complaining about the past or over thinking the future, take a minute to reset yourself and find something to either appreciate or learn from right then and there.  Sometimes it’s just about doing the best you can at everything you do.  Sometimes it’s about accepting the present just as it is in order to move on and move forward.  Other times it’s simply about realizing there actually is something to appreciate in your life.

Whether you’re working through a difficult time, a physical or emotional challenge or you just need to learn to enjoy life more, there’s so much potential in the transitions that we experience and we owe it to ourselves to explore them all.  It’s not just about the big events that come and go, it’s the smaller moments in between that can truly add to the quality of our daily life.

Love,

V

Visualize Your Success

Visualize Your Success

The words in the picture shown above and below were typed out by me two to three years ago.  At the time, nothing written on that piece of paper was true.  I was miserable at work and I knew I didn’t belong there.  I was physically sick more often than not when before that job I only had one or two must-stay-at-home sick days a year.  Something had to change.

The thing is I didn’t want to make the same choices that got me there in the first place.  It’s true, I promote at all times that everything happens for a reason and my very Zen approach to life focuses on the belief that all is at it should be at any given moment no matter what.  Most importantly, however, everything inside me at the time told me I wasn’t supposed to be there anymore.  So what was I supposed to do from there?

Very much like when I grew up unhealthy, overweight, sedentary and almost twice the size I am now, there was always some part of me deep down that knew I wasn’t being me.  I could often picture myself fairly slim and even had dreams of myself healthy and active but when I woke up in the morning and looked in the mirror I was shocked to see what I had ballooned up to or that going up a single flight of stairs would suddenly take the wind out of me.  If I hadn’t stopped obsessing about everything that was “wrong” about me, I wouldn’t have taken the time to start visualizing my potential.

Every thought we have about ourselves, our lives, our relationships our careers creates what we have today—every bit of it.  Not even a year into that job I found myself repeatedly expressing anger, frustration and every instance of agitation which only increased the stress I felt.  I do believe venting is healthy and necessary, but what’s most important is that the worse it became the more it helped me to become aware of where I found myself and that I had to make a change.  I was so miserable, though, that visualizing my life any differently was extremely difficult.  I was angry and depressed all of the time so picturing myself happy was not an easy feat.  That’s when I reverted back to what does work for me— writing.

I enjoy my job.

I call them now “Create My New Reality Journals” but at the time it was just a way for me to describe how I personally wanted to think, feel and act every single day when I couldn’t have been farther from it.  After my last divorce, I did the same thing with a journal describing a “new me” in my romantic life and a month later my now-husband suddenly appeared more clearly than anyone ever before—but that’s a story for another post!

Rather than focusing on thoughts like I should do this or that, I began to visualize through words what “this or that” actually looked like since I couldn’t really picture it in my head.  I wanted to go bigger and broader and just have the ultimate sensation of what mattered to me most—joy, peace, passion, love and sharing that world with others.  When I wrote that new reality, I liked it so much I transferred it from a scratch sheet of paper to writing it out in a formal journal.  Then I knew I needed to read it more often so I typed it up and made three copies:  one was taped up at my desk at work, one at my desk at home and the other was on my side of our bathroom mirror.  Every day I read that entire sheet of paper to myself whenever I was in front of it and I started to see myself through it.  Every day I got closer to stepping away from my reality at the time and today I can say that every single line on that piece of paper is absolutely true.

When I wrote it, I thought I was describing a new job—the career I was “supposed” to have developed for myself by this time in my life…but I could never have imagined or truly pictured that while some lines would refer to my day job now which I LOVE SO much, other lines refer to this life, the life of Healthy Living by V, the part of me who is able to do all of those things that I had hoped for but could never actually see.

It certainly didn’t happen overnight.  In fact, from there I went on to another job that took me SO FAR out of my element that I was not myself at all for an entire year.  But even though in SO many ways I could have seen it as “worse” than I ever had it before, it taught me SO MUCH about me and what I wanted and certainly what I never wanted again.  So I don’t look back at any moment as a terrible time in my life anymore.  In fact, without some of the people I met and worked with along the way no matter where I was, I wouldn’t have grown or appreciate all I do now.  I have amazing friends and know some of the most wonderful people for whom I have the utmost respect, admiration and appreciation.  I am so grateful for them all.

Ultimately, whenever I stopped judging others and myself and my world and my pain and my anger and I finally let it all go, I was able to begin creating the potential, the love, the joy and the happiness that was rightfully mine—as it is for all of us—this whole time.

Love,

V