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Wake Up to Life With Yoga!

Published on June 4, 2018 by in Uncategorized

The following is from a recent speech I gave May 24th, 2018  at Bailey Toastmaster in Euclid, Ohio

As most of you may know that I am a yoga teacher. I have been studying, practicing and teaching yoga for almost 20 years and I am initiated into the Satyananda Yoga lineage out of Bihar India.

I don’t know how much you know about yoga, but it has been around a long time and  believed to be over 5000 years old.

However, longevity of existence, does not equate with universal understanding, and there tends to be a lot of confusion surrounding the word YOGA and more than a few “Yoga Myths” to be dispelled.

Here are a few…

Many people think

  1. Yoga is a religion.

 Because of it’s origin in the region of India it is often associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, or other Eastern religions. However, taking up yoga should not make you undermine your own current religious beliefs.  Yoga can be done by anyone with or without religious preference.

  1. You have to be flexible to practice yoga

Yoga is really for “every BODY.”  Inherent in yoga postures are many movements that can be tailored to individual needs and current levels of flexibility and health.  There is no need to be able to do the splits, wrap your leg around your head, or even touch your toes to practice yoga.

Speaking of wrapping your leg around your head…. Many people believe

Yoga is all about the Poses

While the poses tend to be the face of Western Yoga, there is so much more to yoga than downward facing dog or tree pose!

Yoga is really the science of right living providing us with tools such as breathing techniques and meditation practices etc. that are intended to be integrated into one’s daily life. Tools that can “WAKE us up to ourselves and the world around us.

Mr. Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters and Guests tonight we are going to look at some simple and practical ways that we can use yoga to Wake us up to life and help us be the healthiest, happiest version of ourselves. 

The meaning of the word “Yoga” is “union” or “oneness”  It is derived from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” (pron. “yug”) meaning “to join”, or to  “to yoke”.

This union or yoke can be with God, the universe, a partner, or something as simple as the present moment.

Being at one, or in union with the present moment, the NOW of our lives, is often called mindfulness or present moment awareness.

Bill Keane the Author of the comic strip “Family Circus put it perfectly when he said “Yesterday is the past, tomorrow the future, but today is a gift, that is why they call it the PRESENT. And in that Present day gift…..

There are 1,440 “present moments…” 525, 600 in a year.

That’s A LOT of opportunities to be present! A lot of gifts to recognize!!

What does it mean to be present?

It means to be aware of what you are doing when you are doing it.

When you are walking, you know you are walking.

When you are eating you know you are eating.

When you are sitting in a Toastmasters meeting listening to a speech you are doing your best to truly listen, to be present with the speaker, to be where you are, to be in this room.

So, if you mind has already wandered to what you could have done instead of coming to this meeting, what you are going to do after this meeting, or if your thoughts have gone off on a tangent of something I said…

Come back to this room, come back to my speech NOW!

Paying attention, staying present with what you are doing is not easy. There are so many distractions-phones, people, noise, etc.

But like a muscle, if trained, properly nourished, and rested, your attention, your awareness, can regularly work at an optimal level.

So how can we train our awareness? How can we wake up to the present moment, wake up to our life with yoga?

One way is to make more connections to mind, body or breath throughout the day. And you don’t even have to go to a yoga class to do this.

Let’s go through a sample scenario

Let’s start with the 1st present moment of our day. The minute you wake up.

YOUR FIRST THOUGHT
What is your first thought in the morning? Is it one that is inspiring or one of anxiety or dread?

Our first thought in that first moment can often set up our day. Why not make it a positive one? Consider replacing it with a prayer, a positive affirmation? I have 3 mantras or chants that I bring to mind and repeat the first minutes I wake up. One for healing, one for wisdom and one to over come distress in life and to live in harmony with it. So when I find unserving thoughts creeping in…I go to to these first.

YOUR FIRST MOVEMENT

Instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to get ready, take your time. Make a connection to your body and wake it up slowly. You are going to ask a lot of it today.

Become aware of your feet and ankles and begin to slowly move your ankles in a circle. Slowly and carefully. This simple ankle rotation is from the the Pawanmuktasana series called Anti Rhuematics-they release energy blockages and are helpful for alleviating stiffness of joints and muscles. By moving your ankles slowly with awareness you are making a mind body connection to the feet. Preparing the feet that are going to literally carry you through your day. If you have ever had a foot ailment such as planter fasciitis, this is a MUST DO before putting your full weight of your body on your feet.

Hey, but don’t stop there…go to the wrists and the fingers attached to them. Bring the hands out in front of you beginning to bend them up and down at the wrists. Our hands do so much for us as work on our computers, text friends, drive a car, workout etc. Due to our constant use of of the fine motor movements in our hands many of us have or on the way to having overuse injuries. These injuries can be painful and limit our movement significantly.

THE FIRST BREATH

Before getting out of bed. Bring the awareness to the breath. Notice the natural breath. The life giving breath. You will take approximately 22,000 breaths today…pay attention to the next few and as many as you recognize throughout the day. Did you know that when you breath mindfully, it comes from a higher brain center then automatic breathing? When you are AWARE, when you know that you know that you are breathing, the parasympathetic nervous system’s flight of the the fight or flight is activated.. And because of that, your heart rate is lowered, your blood pressure lowers, cortisol levels, which are associated with stress, decrease.  All of these heart healing benefits associated with mindful breathing.  Take 3 deep. mindful breath, get out of bed, and carry the awareness of the mind, body and breath into you day.

Throughout the day you begin to notice spaces… where you can take a few deep breaths. Where you can connect with your body moving it carefully, keeping the energy going.

Spaces where you can see things from other people’s perspective. Choosing to remain silent when you realize you don’t need to make yourself known, you don’t need to defend or deflect.  In yoga, this is called ANTAR MOUNA inner silence. The ability to watch and the thoughts as they surface but not necessary act on them. The ability CHOOSE or change your thoughts.

Flash forward to the end of the day

Lying downin bed… take a moment to think back through the day…from the first present moment until now…

You realize, the more PRESENCE you bring the more PRESENTS your receive. You very may well realize you have had ONE OF THE BEST DAYS EVER!

For the last time today, come back to the breath for a simple breath meditation. Bringing your awareness to your natural breath begin to count your breath backward from 108 down to one… It is a yogic way of counting sheep! Breathing in 108, breathing out 108… Breathing in 107, breathing out 107….so forth down…well deserved sleep is on its way.

“Yoga is bringing suppleness in body, calmness in mind, kindness in heart and awareness in life”

Amit Ray

And with that…Sweet dreams… as you look forward to waking up with yoga to the best version of yourself tomorrow!

Mr. Toastmaster…

 

 
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A Mobile Yoga Life In Review-2018

Published on December 25, 2017 by in Skating, Travel, Yoga

“Mobile Yoga” as a concept is showing the complimentary aspects of yoga and skating.

Mobile Yoga as a lifestyle? Well, that would describe mine.

In 2017, skating kept me “flying” around rinks in Cleveland and over 80000 miles in the air from the beaches of LA to the mountainous regions of China. While yoga continued to serve as an anchor to good health, inner peace and the cultivation of present moment awareness. Skating and Yoga, two aspects of my personal and “work” life, certainly continued to serve me well in 2017.  It is hard to believe that at 50 years old I have managed to cultivate such a physically active, mentally stimulating, and emotionally rewarding life. Thanks to the support of my husband Greg and my children-who lovingly chide me as “the absentee mother,”  I am truly blessed and my life filled with so much love and happiness.

Let’s take a look at a “Mobile Yoga Year in Pictures.”

January 9-17 Beijing, China/Seoul Korea  Sled Dogs Snowskates

Sled Dogs China-Korea Team 2017 Sled Dogs Logo Grey

January 18-May 5 Cleveland , Ohio  Spring Semester    Cleveland State University

CSU Shavasana Spring 2017

January 26-31 Los Angles, CA .  Rollerblade Workout & Tips for Beginners 2 Videos

LA RB Video KrisStop & Go Workout

 

Screen Shot 2017-12-26 at 11.01.54 AM

February 2-5 Miami, FL   Skater Migration Event

Skate Migration Yoga 2017Kris & Tree South Beach 2017Skater Migation 2017

February 20 New York City Visit Friends & Catch a Show

NYC Blue Man Group Kris Jade 2017

April 8 & 9 New York City   Saturday Night Live

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 10.37.51 AM

May 5-12 Venice, Italy     Rollerblade International Sales Meeting

B Annual Sales Meeting

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 10.39.41 AM

May 15-24 Chongqing/Hanzhou/Shanghai China  Inline Certification Program

Chongching L1 & L2 2017

Nails Chongching 2017Bikes Huangzhou 2017

June 1- 3 New York City Parkinson’s Foundation & Columbia University Reunion

Screen Shot 2017-12-24 at 10.44.28 AM

June 9-11 Snowshoe, West Virginia      Wanderlust 

Wanderlust Kris & Tree 2017

June 12-July 30 Cleveland, OH   Cleveland State University Summer Research Inline Skating Study

CSU VO2CSU Study One Legged

July 1 Cleveland, OH     Kris’ 50th Birthday Extravaganza

WEB FINAL 28 (3) Kris 50th Mark & David WEB FINAL (11) WEB FINAL (9) WEB FINAL (7) Kris-Edited

July 2-July 19th  Germany, Slovenia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria  European Vacation

Slovenian Mountain Family 2017Bratislava Family 2017

 

Piran with Franc 2017

August 11-15 Madrid, Spain  ICP Level 2/Level 3 & Sled Dogs Snowskates

Madrid L3 Night Skate 2017Madrid L2 & L3 Groupo August 2017Madrid Snowzone 2017

August- December  CSU Fall Semester

CSU Lord Shiva

 

September-present Cleveland Area,  OH  Learn to Play Hockey & Technique/Power Sessions

Kris MentorCH LTP

October 12 Chagrin Falls, OH  The Pond –Teaching to Be Teachers Seminar

The Pond LTS Program

December 7-17 China/Korea  Sled Dogs Snowskates

Sled Dogs Nanashan 2017 Harbin INdoor Sled Dogs 2017 Sled Dogs Kris & Xu Wei 2017 Sled Dogs Harbin 2017 Korea Party 2017

December 18-20 Los Angeles, CA  Visit Friends 

Santa Monica Kris & Jade 2017.jpg

End of the trail indeed!

Kris’ Mobile Year in Review…..The End.

 
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Build Confidence & Skating Numbers with Rollerblade’s Macroblade ABT

Rollerblade's ABT

Click To Start Rollerblade ABT Video

In my 20+ years teaching skating, I have taught 1000’s of people how to skate or how to skate better.

When meeting new skaters, or listening to the reasons why a relatively experienced skater is hesitant to skate more often, I have noticed a common theme:

Lack of Confidence:  People want to feel more confident while on their skates.

Being able to control your speed and stop in a variety of settings and various surfaces is the basis of a safe and enjoyable skating experience. It is the foundation of what keeps people skating.   Being able to skate when I want, and wherever I want is what motivates ME to skate.

The Macroblade ABT is perfect for the skater that needs a little confidence booster.  The Active Brake Technology allows the skater to have all 8 wheels on the skating surface, which provides the stability and control that they are looking for in their skating experience.

Personally having skated in the Macroblade 80 ABT (Pictured below) since Rollerblade’s International Sales Meeting last year. I have found that the brake does not get in the way of my skating at all, which is a common concern for some skaters, and have been able turn and maneuver in variety of situations with ease. It truly feels like an extension of my foot.

Women's Macroblade 80 ABT

2017 Women’s Macroblade 80 ABT

 

For those new to the sport, the ABT is the perfect tool to speed up their learning curve giving them the confidence and motivation to skate more often and for longer periods of time.

This is something that I believe we can all agree upon is important for the growth of our sport:

More people skating confidently, More people skating for longer periods of time. More people skating.  PERIOD.

For additional information about the Macroblade ABT, skating videos, skating advice and more check out www.rollerblade.com

 

Men's Macroblade 80 ABT

2017 Men’s Macroblade 80 ABT

 
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