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


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

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Saraswati’s Gift of Awakening

Saraswati.  Goddess of knowledge.  Goddess of wisdom.  Goddess of knowing.

Somewhere in the vast darkness grows her gifts of light.

She offers us gifts of creation.  Gifts of true wisdom.

And so, Saraswati reveals herself to me.

She sat by my side.  She introduced herself.

I made a polite gesture and smiled.

I sat for a long time.  I listened to the chatter

and soon I forgot she was there.

Every now and then, I’d look up.

I’d look out the window, I’d glance at the door.

Unsure of myself, unsure of others.

And waiting…waiting for something…something more.

Saraswati, she sat patiently, it simply wasn’t time.

I was everywhere, and I was nowhere.

Lost in darkness.  Lost in the stories,

And suddenly afraid to feel…anything anymore.

And as I fell, I fell to the floor,

Broken into a million tiny pieces…………………..

But before I could give up, before I could give in,

Saraswati reached down and gave me her hand.

One by one, she picked up each piece of me

And made me remember the pain.

Together, we walked through each memory,

And this time, with clarity, I became whole again.

Saraswati looked at me and gently said,

“My gifts have always been there.

There, within you.  Within each experience

Jewels of wisdom exist, and now you are aware.

And as she held my hand, she placed in it a mirror, a key.

A key to reflect back at me, a friend.

An awakened soul, surrounded by love,

Surrounded by light, and never to be lost again.

(A poem by V as inspired by the Southtown Yoga Loft Awakening Soul Teacher Training Program, Class of 2015)

Final Tip for the Holidays: Swing into the new year with short-term commitments!

As 2014 comes to a close let’s ease our way back from the excess. Explore a simple, new twist to your lifestyle for 30 days or less and be easy on yourself. All too often we push too hard too fast and then become easily discouraged when we’re not able to maintain it.

Choose some sort of twist that challenges you but aim for a week or two at a time and maybe 30 days max. Try cutting out sweetened beverages, red meat, processed or fast food. Maybe your challenge is to start walking 30 minutes a day, add strength training to your cardio or vice versa and maybe it’s cutting back on eating out or drinking alcohol.

There are so many ways to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle and the key to starting small is to also pay attention to how much better you feel with this small twist. Starting there can turn this challenge into a new reality for you and your loved ones.

Happy New Year!!!


Holiday Tip#6 – Try ONE new strategy at a time and get creative!

There’s enough to think about during this time of year so don’t overcomplicate your healthy living choices.

Start one new physical activity, sport or workout and make it something you’ve always been curious about but never thought you’d try. With everything from Crossfit to Pilates to Water Aerobics…there’s something out there for EVERYONE and probably something you never thought you’d learn to LOVE!

Is excessive snacking or overindulging more of an issue? Make a conscious effort to skip those extra treats and commit to keeping a tally of every chance you have to give in but don’t. By the end of the day count up your total and transfer that amount in dollars to a savings account or an “I didn’t cheat jar.” By the end of the week reward yourself by watching your savings grow or buy yourself a little something to celebrate your accomplishments! Success is best measured in acknowledging the small steps we take to make the best possible choices we can every single day.

Cheers to Healthy Holidays!


Holiday Tip#5 – Don’t turn your salads into desserts…

…or your veggies into “fat transports,” for that matter!

Taking nice, clean, whole veggies and adding a bunch of dressing, candied nuts or dried fruit just bumped up your calorie and sugar intake without any effort. Same goes for veggies that are battered and fried or happen to be drowning in butter, cream or cheese…that’s a lot of extra fat that isn’t needed and ultimately not wanted.

Keep your veggies as clean as possible by keeping dressing on the side and lightly dipping your fork with each bite or stick to dashes of oil, vinegar, salt & pepper.

For added sustenance think of only adding lean proteins, avocado for fiber and healthy fat and look for colorful veggies to add lots of flavor and texture to your plate. Learning to appreciate clean veggies can really improve your taste for good quality nutrition and lighten the load on your heart!



Holiday Tip#4 – ‘Tis the Season to Get Moving!

The holidays are the BEST time of year to begin or increase our cardio/fitness/exercise routines. Use holiday shopping and running errands to get some extra walking in by wearing comfortable shoes and parking in a safe but good distance away. Maintain a brisk pace and encourage your heart rate to match the energy of the hustling and bustling crowd!

Allow your body, mind and spirit to manage any stress the holidays can bring by taking advantage of the amazing benefits of physical activity and movement! The rewards are endless!!

Cheers to Healthy Living!


Holiday Tip#3 – Fill Up and Always Feel Satisfied!

Before you hit the dessert table or even the main course, don’t ignore that fruit and vegetable tray! Filling up on clean, whole, raw fruits and veggies will help you fill up quickly with the nutrient-dense good stuff and with minimal calories and unnecessary additives.

Keep the dressing, oils, creams and extra sugars to a minimum (if not avoid them completely) and still enjoy the other courses to your heart’s content! This healthy habit over the next couple of months will keep you feeling lighter and still fully satisfied without deprivation. Eventually you might even retrain your cravings to opt for more clean, whole foods without really trying.