a blog by @LBMarelli

Showing posts tagged yoga

Yoga is an important part of my life. I attend a class taught by a wonderful local resident. I hope you all find a yoga instructor who connects deeply with you — and on occasion, kicks your ass in class as you focus on your breathing. *big smile* 
Much regard to the wonderful yogis in the world! 

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Life is a theater. Invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships.
Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you? The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.
You cannot change the people around you but you can change the people you are around. It’s true that we don’t know what we have learned until we’ve lost it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow. 

Yoga is an important part of my life. I attend a class taught by a wonderful local resident. I hope you all find a yoga instructor who connects deeply with you — and on occasion, kicks your ass in class as you focus on your breathing. *big smile* 

Much regard to the wonderful yogis in the world! 

*********************************************

Life is a theater. Invite your audience carefully. Not everyone is healthy enough to have a front row seat in our lives. There are some people in your life that need to be loved from a distance. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you let go, or at least minimize your time with draining, negative, incompatible, not-going-anywhere relationships/friendships.
Observe the relationships around you. Pay attention. Which ones lift and which ones lean? Which ones encourage and which ones discourage? Which ones are on a path of growth uphill and which ones are going downhill? When you leave certain people, do you feel better or feel worse? Which ones always have drama or don’t really understand, know or appreciate you? The more you seek quality, respect, growth, peace of mind, love and truth around you, the easier it will become for you to decide who gets to sit in the front row and who should be moved to the balcony of your life.
You cannot change the people around you but you can change the people you are around. It’s true that we don’t know what we have learned until we’ve lost it, but it’s also true that we don’t know what we’ve been missing until it arrives.
I don’t know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow. 

The Gift of Free Yoga

 

What is it about yoga that attracts so many people to practice this 5,000 year old tradition? Is it the philosophy? Is it because it grants us an hour-long break from our hectic lives where we can focus on ourselves and listen to our bodies?Practicing yoga is often a very personal choice as is the decision to grow deeper into its practice. Despite yoga’s growing popularity, many people still haven’t experienced the wonders of yoga – maybe the local studio is too expensive, maybe there aren’t enough hours in the week, maybe they feel overwhelmed by the different types of yoga or maybe they think they aren’t flexible enough.

 Full article “The Gift of Free Yoga” by Liesl Marelli of Girona Consulting (published by Lux Magazine) here: http://myluxmagazine.com/the-gift-of-free-yoga/

Saturday morning Yoga

Photography by Liesl Marelli, All Rights Reserved.website  ⁞  blogModel: Jennifer Anzuena

Photo by Liesl Marelli (www.LMarelliPhotography.com)

I look forward to Saturday mornings because it’s a yoga day! Sometimes I’m not as prepared to leave the house and I have to rush to class. I realize rushing to yoga is a bit counterproductive but it’s just the way it goes.

I drive up the parking deck, pop the truck, grab my mat and head to the library. I wait anxiously as the elevator doors open and take me toward my yoga retreat. If I’m late to class, I have to search for an open space. Lately I’ve been good about being on time and even a little early. Those extra moments on my mat before class begins lets me stretch out and prepare for a wonderful experience.

Classes rotate between two instructors. Their styles are very different as are their accents. I cannot help but love Priyanka’s accent. Her voice sounds like a beautiful melody that’s constantly reminding me of her upbringing in India. Maybe it’s her accent, maybe it’s her tone, maybe it’s her natural love of yoga … but she’s become my definition of a yoga instructor.

Sometimes the classes prove more challenging than others. There are a lot of people who attend each class and so we sometimes get squished in to make room for everyone who wants to attend. That means we aren’t able to stretch out as much as we would during smaller classes. Accidentally touching a neighbor is an unfortunate occurrence (like today’s class) that snaps me out of my peaceful trance and back into reality. It doesn’t happen of then though, I’m happy to report.

I love the diversity in class. We are a combination of men and women who are a rainbow of the gods’ creation, we represent an array of fitness abilities, age and health. I particularly love that people living with cancer come to class - whether it’s together or not, it’s just cool seeing that those housed within the four walls of our yoga class all care about the same thing — each other, peace of mind, body and soul, and a collective need to have yoga in our lives.

Class is twice a week. It’s a wonderful excuse to stretch, rest my mind and focus on my breath. I’m surprised there aren’t more men my age in class. I know there is a stipulation about yoga among those who haven’t tried it yet. I’ve heard my fair share of men scoff at the idea of doing yoga who pledge to never do it because they’d rather do a real workout. Funny how I bet they’d feel better after doing yoga and it would actually benefit their workouts with “real men’s” weights. lol

The paradigm is slowly shifting though and I’m pretty certain yoga will continue sweeping the nation. Little-by-little yoga will venture into all of our lives.

Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years and, according to Yoga Journal (Press Release: Feb. 26, 2008)  more than 15.8 million Americans practice yoga. I am sure there are a few million added to its list of followers at present time. Apparently the female to male representation in the class is a quite accurate national averages because in 2008, the overall yoga population was 72 percent female and 27 percent male. (Yoga in America study, 2008) Even more interesting is that 44 percent of U.S. yoga practitioners have a household income of more than $75,000 and 24 percent earn more than $100,000. I don’t believe I’ve ever read statistics about fitness habits and wealth before. Have you? I saw it in the study and figured I’d plug it in here but it’s still a bit odd to me …

You know what’s funny about the gender statistic? I would think that going to a yoga class is an ideal place to meet someone. I’m actually pretty surprised there aren’t more guys in class. I love that my honey comes to class with me. Some people in class are couples, some attend alone, some attend with friends and some bring their well-behaved kids. I enjoy sharing a (noncompetitive) activity with my honey. It’s as good for our relationship as it is for our bodies and minds. We also play racquetball together but that’s 100 percent competitive (and fun!).

To all of you who are considering yoga, I hope you cave to the temptation and give it a shot. There are a ton of discounted classes offered on Living Social, Groupon and some cities, like West Palm Beach, Chicago and Miami, offer classes for free. Your only cost is a bottle of water, mat and transportation to class. Check it out! It’s absolutely worth it.

Useful references:

My Free Yoga at http://myfreeyoga.com/ has a few classes you can watch. As a beginner I’d strongly suggest going to a yoga studio to make sure you are doing the postures correctly. It would be awful to execute them the wrong way and get hurt in the process!!

My Yoga Online at http://www.myyogaonline.com/ also offers videos, educational material and a plethora of other resources. Their website is easy to maneuver and great for both new and experienced yogis.

Groupon at http://www.groupon.com/ is something I’ve used for a while now and absolutely love. It’s a great way to shop around at local businesses and venture into new activities without breaking the bank.  Living Social at www.livingsocial.com is similar to Groupon. I use both.


And, if you still aren’t convinced, the Mayo Clinic says this about the health benefits of yoga:


Stress reduction. With its quiet, precise movements, yoga draws your focus away from your busy, chaotic day and toward calm as you move your body through poses that require balance and concentration.
Increased fitness. As you learn and refine new poses, you may enjoy improved balance, flexibility, range of motion and strength. And this means you’re less likely to injure yourself in other physical endeavors or in your daily activities.
Management of chronic health conditions. Yoga might help with a variety of health conditions, such as cancer, depression, pain, anxiety and insomnia, by helping with sleep problems, fatigue and mood. Yoga also can help reduce heart rate and blood pressure.
Weight loss. If you’re overweight or have binge-eating disorder, yoga may help you make the healthy lifestyle changes necessary to gain control of your eating and drop those extra pounds.
While you shouldn’t expect yoga to cure you or offer 100 percent relief, it can help some health conditions when combined with standard treatment. And if you already enjoy good health, yoga can be an enjoyable supplement to your regular fitness routine.


Photography by Liesl Marelli, All Rights Reserved.website  ⁞  blogModel: Jennifer Anzuena 

Photo by Liesl Marelli  (www.LMarelliPhotography.com)

Inspired, Shared Strength Through Yoga 
By Liesl Marelli
I love my Saturday morning yoga class. It’s free. It’s close to home. It’s full of amazing people. I blogged about a recent class I struggled through because I couldn’t focus on me + my mat. There were so many distractions like a cow-like gum chewer, people’s phones ringing and my thoughts. It was rough for me. I failed miserably at maintaining my focus. I went through the motions but only half of my mind and breath were practicing yoga.Today was a beautiful class. I worked my way through the cell phones ringing and was happy no gum chewers were in hearing distance. The class overflows into the hallway and because I ran a bit late, I was one of the people hanging out in the hallway practicing yoga.I put my purse and shoes behind me and settled on my mat as quickly and quietly as possible. I’ll admit that it’s kind of ironic when you are in a hurry to sit on the mat. It was just me and another woman when I set down my mat a few minutes into class. By the time we were doing our first downward facing dog, I glanced at my feet and saw another woman had joined class and was behind me.She caught my attention immediately. She was different. She had very short hair. She looked like she might be surviving cancer.On occasion, I would open my eyes to help give myself extra balance and saw her practicing all the moves. She was working her way through without (it appeared) any problems.Class is challenging. Have I mentioned that before? I consider myself to be in pretty good shape but my legs and arms shake sometimes. Doing Warrior II (B) - boy do my legs shake. I may look strong but up close I am sure you can see my off-balance wobbles and shaky arms and legs."Remember to breathe," our instructor reminds us. Who knew it would make such a different to have someone tell us, "Remember to breathe." As soon as she says it, I focus on consistent, deep breaths through my nose.Even in positions that really challenge me, I breathe through it and keep trying. Don’t give up. Breathe through it. This is a breathing exercise. That sometimes sounds funny because … isn’t everything a breathing exercise?By the time an hour has past, my body feels worked and still fully energized. Our wonderful instructor reminds us to meet someone new after class. I love the peer pressure of mingling with fellow yogis.As I rolled up my mat, the woman with short hair behind me said, “I don’t have much strength these days so it was really nice watching you.” She said she was happy I was in front of her for class because my strength was pleasing to watch.Awwwwwww! My heart practically leaped out of my chest.I asked her if she was surviving cancer and she said, “Yes.” I gave her my business card and told her if she wanted to have photos taken, I would be happy to do it for free. I figure there has to be a big identity shift women who survive cancer. The hair loss, the physical changes, etc. So, why not help capture their body and spirit as they are reborn into a new life? To all the people out there living with cancer and those who survived it, may the gods continue to bless you and those around you. And, to the woman on the mat behind me in today’s yoga class, even if you never call and never see this blog, know that I am sending you all the positive vibes in me to help you make it through your journey. Your strength inspires me. Namaste. 

Inspired, Shared Strength Through Yoga 

By Liesl Marelli

I love my Saturday morning yoga class. It’s free. It’s close to home. It’s full of amazing people. I blogged about a recent class I struggled through because I couldn’t focus on me + my mat. There were so many distractions like a cow-like gum chewer, people’s phones ringing and my thoughts. It was rough for me. I failed miserably at maintaining my focus. I went through the motions but only half of my mind and breath were practicing yoga.

Today was a beautiful class. I worked my way through the cell phones ringing and was happy no gum chewers were in hearing distance. The class overflows into the hallway and because I ran a bit late, I was one of the people hanging out in the hallway practicing yoga.

I put my purse and shoes behind me and settled on my mat as quickly and quietly as possible. I’ll admit that it’s kind of ironic when you are in a hurry to sit on the mat. It was just me and another woman when I set down my mat a few minutes into class. By the time we were doing our first downward facing dog, I glanced at my feet and saw another woman had joined class and was behind me.

She caught my attention immediately. She was different. She had very short hair. She looked like she might be surviving cancer.

On occasion, I would open my eyes to help give myself extra balance and saw her practicing all the moves. She was working her way through without (it appeared) any problems.

Class is challenging. Have I mentioned that before? I consider myself to be in pretty good shape but my legs and arms shake sometimes. Doing Warrior II (B) - boy do my legs shake. I may look strong but up close I am sure you can see my off-balance wobbles and shaky arms and legs.

"Remember to breathe," our instructor reminds us. Who knew it would make such a different to have someone tell us, "Remember to breathe." As soon as she says it, I focus on consistent, deep breaths through my nose.

Even in positions that really challenge me, I breathe through it and keep trying. Don’t give up. Breathe through it. This is a breathing exercise. That sometimes sounds funny because … isn’t everything a breathing exercise?

By the time an hour has past, my body feels worked and still fully energized. Our wonderful instructor reminds us to meet someone new after class. I love the peer pressure of mingling with fellow yogis.

As I rolled up my mat, the woman with short hair behind me said, “I don’t have much strength these days so it was really nice watching you.” She said she was happy I was in front of her for class because my strength was pleasing to watch.

Awwwwwww! My heart practically leaped out of my chest.

I asked her if she was surviving cancer and she said, “Yes.” 

I gave her my business card and told her if she wanted to have photos taken, I would be happy to do it for free. I figure there has to be a big identity shift women who survive cancer. The hair loss, the physical changes, etc. So, why not help capture their body and spirit as they are reborn into a new life? 

To all the people out there living with cancer and those who survived it, may the gods continue to bless you and those around you. And, to the woman on the mat behind me in today’s yoga class, even if you never call and never see this blog, know that I am sending you all the positive vibes in me to help you make it through your journey. 
Your strength inspires me. 
Namaste.