I hope your July has been super fun! Can you believe that next week is August already?!?!? It felt so great to be back with you on the mat on Monday night after a chaotic and busy 2 weeks. I definitely needed to ground myself and reconnect with you and my yoga roots.
There's a bunch of stuff in here, so I won't hesitate any longer. Let's get to it!
First, there is a NEW coffee shop a few doors up from the Art Center, Hope & Coffee. This coffee shop is run by recovering addicts that want to create a safe space for the locals to hang out, drink coffee, socialize and snack on their featured baked goodies. So awesome! Here is a quick word from the benefactor.
"HOPE & COFFEE WILL BE A PLACE WHERE WE CAN REMEMBER THOSE WE’VE LOVED AND CARED ABOUT WHO WERE LOST TO THEIR ADDICTIONS. AND… A PLACE WHERE WE CAN CELEBRATE THE RECOVERY OF THOSE WHO EMBRACE IT."
— Lisa Jane Scheller
Here are the current business hours. The website says they will be extending their hours in Aug so check their site frequently to stay updated.
Mon - Fri - 6:30 am - 5 pm
Sat & Sun - 8 am - 3 pm
Here is the website if you'd like to check them out. --> http://hopeandcoffee.org/
Please consider donating and/or supporting this great local business.
Secondly, one of our fellow yogis Jessica Estremera, is putting together a team for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Walk. This is an excellent cause and I encourage you all to consider supporting this event.
If you would like, donate here --> https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.participant&participantID=1532497
Sep 8th is the walk date if you'd like to join her team. Also, there are shirts available for purchase. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to her on Facebook or email her here --> Jestremera08@gmail.com
I love hearing about what everyone is doing. If you are involved in a fundraiser or a benefit and would like some help spreading the word, let me know and I’ll email our yoga peeps about. I am happy to help!
Lastly, I have a surprise for all of you!!!! YAY!!!
August marks my 5 year anniversary of teaching yoga! Say what?!?!
In order to celebrate I wanted to offer all of you, my students that I love and adore, a few sweet deals.
August 13th I will be offering our regularly scheduled Monday evening class for $5 drop-in price!
For the entire month of August, 5 class passes will be on sale for $40, regularly $45.
When I first entered into yoga teacher training I wasn't sure that I'd ever teach for real. It was a dream that I had for many years but I didn't know if I'd be any good or if people would come to my class.
Here I am, 5 years later and still on my mat guiding you through postures and having laughs with you. Your love and support allows me to continue on this path that I cherish so deeply and it warms my heart.
Thank you, all of you, so so much. I couldn't do it without you!
Much love to you all. I hope to see you on you mats soon.
Enjoy the remainder of July!
Hi there Everyone! I hope your summer has been excellent so far!
I have been staying busy and enjoying so many moments with friends and family. I love summer and the warmer temps that come along with the season.
I want to start off by congratulating all of the 2018 graduates from all of our local high schools and those graduating from a university! I personally had the pleasure of attending the Tamaqua High School graduation this year to support my amazing niece, as she walked with her class and I found it, oh so inspiring. And thus, I'll share.
The guest speaker this year was Dr Kathryn Kropp from Companion Vet Hospital in Tamaqua. Her message was beautiful, heart-felt and so very important for not only our graduates, but everyone. Her message was simple, be kind and stay humble. <--- YES! THIS! SO MUCH THIS!
Her main points were as follows:
1. No matter what you're going through or what life throws at you, stay humble and be kind.
2. Always remember who was there to help you get through the tough times and forget the people who tried to keep you down or hold you back. (Seriously, F anyone that tries to put you down or hold you back in any way. You don’t need their shit.)
3. Keep moving in a positive direction no matter what setbacks or obstacles you encounter, good or bad. Real talk. We all go through tough times, its part of life. You CAN NOT focus on the negatives all of the time; focus on the positives and screw the rest.
4. When things start going right for you and you are achieving your dreams, stay humble and kind. Don’t be a dick and rub your successes in other people’s faces. Humble brags are the worst. Instead, find someone that needs help with something that you are good at and HELP them achieve their goals! That would be so kind of you.
5. Never expect a free ride. Nothing is free. Pay your own way. Repay your debts. Take care of yourself and others.
It's a simple, yet powerful message; one that I am striving for daily. Imagine how much nicer it would be to go to work or the grocery store or (insert a place you hate to go!) if everyone you encountered was humble and kind. The world would be a much lovelier place to live if this were true.
June 21st was Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day! Woohoo!
Enjoy this video in celebration of that!
I hope that the remainder of your June is excellent. I hope you have a happy and safe summer.
REMINDER! There is no yoga on:
Monday July 2nd
Monday July 16th
Hello everyone and happy April!
Welcome to the David Bowie themed newsletter! I hope you are a fan!
"Ch Ch Ch Changes. Turn and face the strange."
Today is a David Bowie kind of day for me. Ok fine, it's been a lifetime. I just can't seem to get enough of his music lately. If you're not familiar, I recommend getting on YouTube right now and checking out his songs. He is a legend.
Back to the Ch Ch Ch Changes.
I was offered (and accepted) a full time position with an agriculture laboratory. Yay! I've been trying to get back into my field since I was laid off in 2008. Since then, I have been accepting jobs that do not fulfill my souls desires, only my pockets, and this has been quite an empty and hollow experience for me. It has been a long decade of searching, trying new things, finding out it wasn't for me. "Every time I thought I'd got it made, It seemed the taste was not so sweet." I'm sad that I won't be able to teach my morning classes but I'm happy that I'll be back on track with my career.
This week will be my last week of morning classes at Jim Thorpe Yoga and at Tamaqua Art Center. Monday nights will continue on as usual.
The charity that has been chosen for our yoga fundraiser is the Hunger Walk in Tamaqua. More details to follow in a separate email.
Ok moving on...
There is a lot of controversy (too much if you ask me) in the news lately about racism, hate crimes against certain groups of people and judgement over people who aren't fitting into the "normal" standards of society. Young adults are being criticized for empowering themselves and speaking their minds. I applaud them. We need to keep fighting for equality and positive changes. People who are living their "truth" and being called freaks are being discriminated against simply because people do not understand their choices and ways of life. Kudos to their courage to live freely. I don't want to imagine a world where everyone is the same. BORING. I do imagine a world of unity where everyone has the same freedoms and we are all equal. This requires maitri, an Indian philosophers word for love or generous compassion. When we see someone being discriminated against or treated unfairly it could be so easy to show maitri if we practice it in our daily lives. Showing compassion for our friends and family tends to be much easier than for someone we've never met. If we practice, we can get stronger in those efforts. It's just like our downward facing dog (adho mukha svanasana), the more down dogs that we practice, the stronger our muscles become making each one easier than the last. I believe that if we make maitri or compassion a daily mantra, the easier it will become to love and have compassion for those we do not know. How do you start? How about smiling at a stranger when they make eye contact, holding the door for someone as the enter or exit a building or picking up trash that isn't yours? Easy peasey.
As I end this newsletter for April I hope that you go forward into May (and forever) with love. Love in acceptance of changes. Love in acceptance of that which you do not understand. Love for each other. Love for yourself. Always follow your heart and try new things. In the words of Bowie, I hope you choose the patch between the stars. "And you can know it all, if you choose. Just remember, lovers never lose. Gentleness clears the soul. Love cleans the mind and makes it free."
"Can't we give ourselves one more chance. Why can't we give love that one more chance? Why can't we give love, give love, give love, give love, give love...
'Cause love's such an old fashioned word . And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night. And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves."
Be someone's hero.
In love, Amy
Finding my focus? What focus? Please let me know if you've found it. I have been looking for it since...ooooh! Kittens!
Have you ever walked into a room and forgot why you were there? Me too. And quite often. What's up with that? For me, I have 1 million things running through my mind at any given moment, possibly more. With that overly exaggerated number of thoughts running through anyone's mind at one time, who could focus on any one thing? Not me. I've diagnosed myself with "Restless Mind Syndrome". It's like Restless Leg but in my head and 100% made up.
To top off the "Restless Mind Syndrome", I also struggle with doing things at the last minute. I want to do things early so that I have time to make changes if necessary, but I just can't seem to do it. I wait until right before something is needed and then I pull out the greatest hustle that I can in order to get it completed on time. And then I'm exhausted. Phew. Nap time anyone?
Maybe you can relate to these situations or you experience something similar. According to yoga philosophy our minds are restless because they are filled with 'endless desires'. The desire to have a spotless home, to have the kids ready for their practices and lessons, the desire to be in school, go to work, go play and have fun, bake, cook dinner, go to an event, play with kittens....and on and on.
We live in a fast paced world and we need to remind ourselves that it is ok to slow down and that it is necessary as well. Try simplifying your schedule, getting help with your chores or possibly ignore the extra things that pop up that aren't a necessity. This doesn't mean that you have to tell the kids they can't play soccer or that you can't put fun things on the calendar. It means that you take 5 minutes (or more) during your day to stop, breathe and focus on one task at a time. (I don't know what that's like but I'm going to try it. One day.)
If you are sitting at basketball game watching your All Star shoot hoops and you're on your phone or laptop trying to get work done and texting your friends or family about this weekends plans, STOP. Put your phone down. Close your laptop. Take a nice long breath in and exhale it out. Then just watch your All Star do his or her favorite thing and enjoy the present moment. Your work will be there later or tomorrow. Your people can wait until later or tomorrow to discuss upcoming plans. Enjoy the present moment because it won't last long and your All Star is going to grow up one day. And get this, you do NOT have to entertain everyone else's desires before your own. Holy shit. No way.
We tend to pride ourselves on our ability to multitask but is it always necessary? If you are always doing 3 things at one time are you ever truly giving anything the attention that it needs? No. The answer is no.
Try doing one thing at a time this month and see if that changes your mind and how you feel. Focus on your breathing when you're multitasking and when you're not. Do you notice a difference? Do you notice a difference in the amount of "crazy" you're feeling?
Yoga asana (poses) can help with focusing the mind as well. You need to get upside down! Not necessarily in a headstand or a handstand but something more simple like Downward Facing Dog. (If your butt is over your head, it counts as being upside down!)
I'm including a Pranayama (breathing technique) for you to try to help you gain focus.
The Pranayama is called Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing. This type of breathing is designed to help bring you back to your center.
No go and do 1 thing at a time. Practice your yoga on and off the mat. Leave your comments below if you've tried single-tasking or this breathing technique. Let me know how you're doing!
February is a month of LOVE. That can either make you gushy inside or want to vomit. It's totally up to you, as always. I'm all about the choices.
It's difficult to write about love amidst the recent tragedy in Florida, the emotional state of our country and how angry the world seems to be; I'm going to do it anyway. Why? Because LOVE is something that we need more of right now. I hope this email finds you and your LOVEd ones safe.
(Every time you read the word LOVE, you should do a yoga pose! WARNING! It's in here a lot. You owe me 4 poses at this point in the email.)
What does LOVE mean to you?
When I think of LOVE I think of freedom. (I think of many other things too but freedom is the first idea that pops into my head every time.) Why? Loving yourself enough to be who you are is probably the best gift that you can give yourself and others. When I am around a group of people who truly love me, I feel free to be the loud, goofy and usually falling over something, me. When I'm in an uncomfortable situation and I've got my guard up, I can't relax and I get weird(er). It's tiring and I don't prefer it. It doesn't serve me in a positive way. LOVE yourself enough to not cover up who you are and let your light shine into the world. We need YOU!
I'm going to leave you with some random thoughts on what LOVE is to me. I hope some of these resonate with you. Feel free to make a list of your own ideas of what LOVE is to you and keep striving for those thoughts and actions all year.
LOVE means you live the life that you dream of, or you're at least striving for that life. Don't worry about the naysayers, they're not you.
LOVE doesn't have to be schmoopy and romantic and money etc. (It can be but it's unnecessary.)
LOVE is accepting support from those around you.
LOVE is being kind.
LOVE is being honest, trustworthy and respectful.
LOVE is being a friend and offering an ear to listen, a shoulder to lean on and maybe advice to help them through. (Not giving advice if it isn't' welcomed is also acting in LOVE)
LOVE is being celebrated and celebrating others.
LOVE is sharing your pizza and beer. (Or kale and kombucha, whatever floats your boat!)
LOVE is a bubble bath.
LOVE is chilling with my kitties.
LOVE is finding time to read a good book.
LOVE is staring into the future (not my partners googlie eyes, gross) and making plans to travel and life the life that I desire.
LOVE is putting up with an incredibly chaotic blog post by your crazy yoga teacher.
YOU are LOVE. <--- This is the most important one of them all.
That's what LOVE means to me.
LOVE LOVE LOVE
Ok those last few were just to make sure you got in a good solid practice while reading this blog post!
Feel free to comment!
I never realized how many holidays are celebrated around the world in December. When I saw the list I was shocked! I want to wish everyone around the world the best holiday season yet, so I copied the list and included it here.
· Saint Nicholas Day (Christian)
· Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican)
· St. Lucia Day (Swedish)
· Hanukkah (Jewish)
· Christmas Day (Christian)
· Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian)
· Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish)
· Kwanzaa (African American)
· Omisoka (Japanese)
· Yule (Pagan)
· Saturnalia (Pagan)
That’s some list! Maybe in 2018 I'll celebrate them all! I know this time of year isn't always joy and laughter 100% of the time but I want you to know that you are loved. No matter the season, no matter the circumstance, you are loved. Hug your people and your pets and be sure to tell them how much they mean to you. Get on your yoga mats and be good to yourself. Never let this season be too heavy to withstand. Never let this season empty your wallet.
Be Merry and Bright!
I can't wait to see you in January!
Welcome to August! I hope that summer has been treating you all well.
This summer I have been quite busy and it's flying by all too quickly. So far, I've been adjusting to my new job, went to explore Colorado, I'm spending as much time outdoors as I can and reading, reading, reading. While I was browsing the internet for a few good articles, I came across one titled, "You're Allowed to Leave". It was short sweet and to the point (my favorite!) but it really resonated with me. This article was/is a wonderful reminder for of the things that I need most in my life and those that I don't. That message isn't always the easiest to receive but nonetheless, it's an important one that we need to be open to.
The article starts off with a quote that I want tattooed on my forehead. (Ok, maybe NOT my forehead but you know what I mean!)
“If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave.” ― Mo Willems.
It's such a simple concept but how many times do we listen and just, leave? If you are asking, "Leave what?", then you are on the right track! Great question. Answer: Everything. Anything. Anyone. Any story. Any situation.
I'm going to share the link with you at the bottom of this email so that you too can go ahead and read it. I don't want to take up too much time, other than to say that it is ok to leave places that don't serve you. It's ok to leave people that don't appreciate and value you. It's ok to leave your unattainable expectations at the door and create new ones. It's ok.
Here is the article. https://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/07/youre-allowed-to-leave/
I encourage you to read it and really take it in. Know in your heart and your mind that no matter what big or little thing you are going through, it's ok to leave. You HAVE to be your own best friend and surround yourself with love and the people and places that love you in return.
Enjoy and I hope to see you on your mats soon!
The link for this shirt is here --> https://www.uncommonlynormal.com/products/the-ana-sporty-tank
USE MY CODE AMY10 FOR 10% OFF!
Happy March! I hope that you love local charities and donating as much as I do!
As some of you may know, I was in a friendly competition in December to become an "AmBADASSador" for a company, Uncommonly Normal. They are an amazing company, founded by wonderful friends of mine, that sell awesome merchandise to raise money for local charities. Here is a little bit about why this company exists.
"All of this was inspired by the legendary original badass herself, Anastasia Susko, who was always someone I admired and looked up to (even though she was at least 25 years younger than me).
And then she got sick. Like devastatingly, unfairly-make-you-want-to-hate-the-world sick. She incredibly became even wiser overnight. And tougher. And more courageous than anyone three, four, or five times her age. (She was 8, by the way.)
If she could face the most horrible fate imaginable, then I should be able to face any obstacle. If her family could survive this, I should be able to accomplish pretty much anything. If they carried on despite being afraid, then I can too.
I can never pay back Ana for what she taught me, but I can help carry on her legacy by contributing to her scholarship fund that helps graduating high school girls in Ana's hometown to get out into the world, overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams."
You can find the whole story here. ---> www.uncommonlynormal.com/pages/about-us
I won that competition back in December, thanks to all of my friends on Facebook for voting for me, and this month I get to have part of the proceeds from Uncommonly Normal go to a charity of my choice, as well as the Ana Susko Fund. I chose Turn to Us.
Turn to Us is a local non-profit that helps people with major or chronic illnesses in Carbon County and the Tamaqua area. Website! ---> www.turntousforhope.com/
Turn to Us was inspired by a childhood friend of mine, Amanda Theirer. She was one of the smartest and kindest souls I've ever had the chance of meeting. Everyone loved Amanda. (We still do!) She was diagnosed with with a soft tissue synovial sarcoma. Unfortunately, Amanda lost her short but grueling battle with cancer and is no longer with us. I'm doing this in her memory for anyone that may need assistance due to awful circumstances such as this.
You can read more about Amanda's story here. ---> http://turntousinc.org/inspiration/
This month I am asking, if you are able, to check out the items that are sold by Uncommonly Normal and grab a few for yourself and your family members. Everyone involved in this crazy and fun excursion are doing it for the memory of the people we love, and to help others who are in need.
If you would like to SHOP go here. ---> https://www.uncommonlynormal.com/collections/all
Use my super special code AMY10 to get 10% off your order!
We encourage you to consider donating to these awesome causes as well, if that is something that you are able to do.
Please know that no matter what you are able to do, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your generosity.
Share this with your loved ones. Please feel free to forward my email along. Every dollar spent will help someone in need. Plus, you'll get some seriously good karma points too! ;)
Happy September everyone! I hope that your summer was filled with lots of adventure! I'm not quite ready to say good bye to long sunny days and warm temps but I guess that's just how it goes here in PA.
I was on Pinterest and saw this pin that said "Stop the glorification of busy."
And I thought to myself, yes, this needs to be plastered on walls everywhere! Life is hectic, for EVERYONE. Whether you have kids you are running around to all of their activities or working a second job, it makes no difference. Busy is busy.
I've been realizing through conversations with friends, people have NO time for themselves. We have become so busy taking care of the kids and the schedules that there is no time left for "me". How can you fill someone else's cup, if yours is empty? You can't.
We ALL need to slow down. The dishes will wait and the dust and the laundry will too. Everyone needs to refill their own cup. How? Get creative! But in case you're too busy to sit down and think about it ;) here are a few ideas for you. (I thank Pinterest and a few articles I've recently read for these wonderful ideas.)
1) Redefine success. What does success mean to you? Working the most hours? Making the most money? Success should mean thriving. When we thrive, we are able to take time for the things that really matter but always seem to end up on the back burner. Then go for a walk and breathe in fresh air. Feel the sunshine on your face.
2) Set Boundaries. Take back control of your life; your personal life and your work life. You do not have to say yes to every single person and their every single demand. Being obligated to 5 events in 1 weekend is madness. Choose what is more important to YOU and the rest will go on without. It's true! Then sit in the grass and read a book or magazine!
3) Try to avoid burnout. (I said TRY!) Burning yourself out only means you have nothing left to give to yourself and to your loved ones. It also leads to stress which can in turn lead to anxiety and depression. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Now go refill you cup with whatever makes you feel full again.A glass of wine, a bath with too many bubbles, cartwheels in the yard. No one is judging you. Go refill your cup. Or the bathtub.
4) Create a self- care routine. This one can NEVER be said enough times or heard enough times. I do my best to work out 4 times a week. Some weeks its more and some its less. Yoga, running and lifting weights makes me feel great. It helps to relieve stress and I sleep better. Maybe you make time weekly for more yoga, reading, sleeping more at night, building things out of Legos. Oh the possibilities!
5) SLEEP! I struggle with this one. I stay up too late and then I get up really early and there is no nap in between to make up for the short hours I let my body rest. SLEEP = RECOVERY! Whether its from your workout or from your stressful day, sleep is something your body needs in order to function properly. The less you sleep the bigger the increase you have for health risks and increased stress levels. Now, go take a nap with a kitty or a dog or a Care Bear.
6) Disconnect. Put your devices down. When was the last time you didn't have your phone in your hand and you truly paid attention to the people you were surrounded by? Sadly, people won't always be here and those emails, games or texts will. Be present in your company and hear what they have to say. Then grab some Play Doh, smell it (it smells so good) and create something with your hands.
7) Act childish! In case you haven't picked up on what I've been putting down throughout this email, act like a child! Do cartwheels or skip down the block. Belly laugh at everything. Let your hair be crazy. Don't match your socks. Color - OUTSIDE OF THE LINES. Whatever it is that takes you back to being a care free and fun loving child, DO IT! Right now. The rest of this email will be waiting for you when you are finished.
8) Give back! You live in your community, and you are active throughout. Why not give back to it? It feels great to help other people, especially when you can see the change you may have made in someones life, big or small. Reach out to people and see what you can do to help out. Then get back to acting like a kid for a bit.
REMEMBER! Baby steps to the bus Bob. We try things out first. Maybe some of these ideas won't work for you. It is my hope that they do and that you are able to find some time to spend on yourself.
I get very down on myself sometimes when I don't notice the number on the scale decreasing. I need to break up with my bathroom scale. (Sorry scale!) Who really cares how much you weigh? Today (on my day off) I didn't have enough time to get to yoga before some scheduled appointments so I decided to have a practice of my own at home. (It's been a long time since I've done that! Yikes!)
I've been working on my arm balances for quite some time but since going back to work full time, I haven't had as much, or any time to practice. Today I took a few moments to work on a pose and BOOM. Nailed it. My point? Screw that scale and it's stupid numbers. I bust my ass daily working out, eating right, practicing yoga and it IS paying off. Not in the number on the scale but in my strength and flexibility. I felt it today as I held my arm balance for 2 full but shaky breaths. I did it. I'm sure it wasn't beautiful. I have no picture because I was alone. None of that matters. What matters is that I stick to doing what I love. I do it at my own pace and I know that even though it seems like a slow process, it's a wonderful and ever changing one that I will never regret.
Join me for yoga sometime. I'd love to help you on your journey.
Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Be kind to yourself. Much love to you all. <3
Welcome to my blog! Beware! I like to use vulgar language and sarcasm. They are like oxygen to me. You’ve been warned.