Equilibrium

October 28, 2015 — Leave a comment
crow

Crow Pose: A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. An often overlooked detail is the gaze – slightly ahead and gently fixed assists in finding equilibrium.

It has taken me 38-plus years to fully understand how my spirit operates.

I always pay attention. I am so detailed-oriented that I can drive myself crazy. I love the details of a modern home that still feels cozy; the subtle nuances of my partner as he moves; the distinct facial expressions my son makes when he becomes intensely focused on working hard at playing. I feel safer that way, in the details, more centered in the full experience.

I fall in love with the details.

And I don’t do well with endings; not with friends or lovers, not with jobs, nor passing of pets. Letting go gracefully is not really one of my greatest assets. I go over and over the details in my mind, wondering if there is something I could have done differently. I feel slightly envious of friends who see choices, make a decision, move forward, and hardly look back. They glaze over the nitty-gritty details, have the capacity to judge the only the big picture, the full body of work as a sum from which they propel themselves forward.

That is not me. I process and I engulf myself in the details.

I have almost a sixth sense; intuition powerful beyond imagination that informs me of important details few may even notice. I can feel instantaneously if you and I will be old friends one day or strangers parting ways after a handshake. I feel a pull towards you or the profound urge to step back. The details of my heart beat or a clear gut reaction always steering me in the right direction.

Not once have the operators of my spirit betrayed me, but I have most certainly betrayed them.

Lacking trust in myself and what I was feeling, making choices that seemed right instead of felt right. The correct choice always feels right, without exception. The answers are most certainly in the details. And at times, this is not always what our intellect tells us we should do. Our thoughts are masterful game-players, filtering the truth and coloring in the details into shades of our liking.

Our deep sense of knowing plays into none of that.

As I approach yoga postures that scare me a little, I pause and sit with the subtle details, examining and feeling the push and the pull of the pose that ultimately creates Sukha, balance and ease in the posture.

And I bring this experience off the mat. Examining life’s true balance: the light and the dark, the ebb and the flow, meditating on the details of my daily experiences that will create the whole of my life and an ease of being. For the operators of my spirit are masterfully crafting the perfect balance for me off the mat; patiently watching, presenting me with life’s artfully designed details, nudging me on gently and holding me every step of the way.

Sabotage

October 24, 2015 — Leave a comment
Pigeon POsture

Pigeon Pose: At home with myself, I feel safe and secure, a positive sense of pride about who I really am. – giaim.com Photo Cred: battleyourself.com

More than once, my lack of patience has led to choices that resulted in regret. I have broken the Golden Rule. I’ve broken promises, broken hearts; hell, I’ve even broken a forever vow. I’ve silenced the urgings of my soul for perceived security. It lacked balance and substance so like anything lacking a solid foundation, it crumbled before my eyes.

I’ve put my dreams on indefinite hold which slowly built resent that surfaced ugly and loud. You can only quiet who you really are for so long, it seems. I’ve been lied to, misled, and cheated on but have also been untrue at times in life. I’ve jumped without double checking the parachute, falsely assuming something would cushion the fall. Sometimes it turns out there was a net, other times it was a crash landing. I’ve envisioned worst-case-scenarios and lived to self-actualize the experience. There is no odder feeling than sitting in that space, a self-fulfilling prophecy come true. I imagine there are few things more painful than the despair felt in that vast space, naked, stripped down life lessons staring, glaring, right at you. Get eaten up or get stronger. I chose the latter.

I’ve sat quietly and listened to my heart; felt my way through next steps on the path. I’ve allowed sensations in my body to provide answers when solutions felt so far out of reach. I’ve pushed through discomfort in ways that helped me break open; sometimes I’ve pushed too much only to circle the wagons and break down.

I’ve pushed away goodness only to accept something less than I might have truly deserved.

Sabotage, if you will.

I’ve allowed my ego to take the wheel more times than I like to admit. Given the chance for a do-over, I’d change those ego-driven reactions in a heartbeat. How human of me, I suppose.

I’d choose forgiveness and mean it every time. I’d say what I was feeling without fear of the outcome. Risk, unsure of any rewards. I’d break down walls that create separation and instead hang up mirrors all around to remind myself that I am a reflection of you. The things that are toughest to tolerate in you, merely my own shadow peeking though.

Could of, should of, probably would of; those who say there are no bad choices just the ripple effect of the choices we make are probably right. Our soul’s duty may just be to “do better” when we have the awareness and the chance. Maybe this life is a Choose Your Own Adventure story; no wrong paths to take, just different lions, tigers, and bears as we select our way at the forks in the yellow-brick road.

So I step onto my yoga mat and bring along all my imperfections, supremely aware of my propensity for self-sabotage. I notice how it plays out in my body, in my postures. I listen to the stories whirling round in my head. And then it gets quiet. I am the sum of all the things I’ve sabotaged, yet totally at peace in the ruins.

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose is recommended for restoration of the adrenal glands. It is a super-simple, do-anywhere pose. According to Yoga Journal, this position stimulates the blood pressure sensors, which in turn leads to decreased nerve function in the adrenal glands. Photo creds: yogapantsandheels

Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose is recommended for restoration of the adrenal glands. It is a super-simple, do-anywhere pose. According to Yoga Journal, this position stimulates the blood pressure sensors, which in turn leads to decreased nerve function in the adrenal glands. Photo creds: yogapantsandheels

Monday morning. Try as I may to bound out of bed with a smile on my face, my entry into the work week is a uglier than desired. It requires the snooze button and coffee. I even bumped my Monday workouts to Tuesday-ish because there is no denying that my Monday morning workouts were, shall we say, dreaded, inefficient and lacking great outcome. I fought it for months until one day, I just gave in. The glorious relief of dropping that must-do-cannot-skip-it-ever-no-excuses-attitude-in-all-things has made my emergence into the work week feel graceful. I snuggle with my son a few minutes longer; drink that extra cup of coffee; perform my daily yoga flow with less stress to get it done. I may be a slow learner – it took me years to actually stop fighting ‘the Mondays’ and to find a routine that supported bllissful arrival as opposed to hairy madness. Sound familiar?

In truth, it’s taking me years to stop fighting the perfectionist attitude I hold onto so tightly.

Holding my son’s hand walking to the school door today, we followed our normal routine saying out loud what we are grateful for that day. I listened to his perfect five-year old thoughts and I excitedly thanked God for Monday mornings that start this smoothly, possibly the most genuine prayer that I have ever uttered. And for once, I didn’t feel bad, like an underachiever, or less-than.

I wondered, is this how it feels to actually “let go”? Yum.

On my commute, I multi-tasked (such a dirty-word!) and called my best friend for an overdue chat. I listened to her as she beat the hell out of herself: she is a working parent with three little ones under five. In my eyes, she is Wonder Woman. Three babies, career, active wife with many commitments and long hours. She is fit and beautiful; self-aware; an amazing cook and one of the funniest people I know.

I heard my beautiful friend “grade” herself in all the categories of life. An overachiever by nature, she is largely unsatisfied unless she gets the “A”. I detected shame in her voice as she told me she had fallen to be a “C” student in most subject areas these days and I knew it was killing her to feel that way. Fully connected, we brainstormed options for “letting go” of something(s). Though loving most the things we both have in life, it was high time to reflect and change the things that were sneakily stealing our positive energy and joy. Constantly tired and a little beat, something had to give.

For starters, let’s all just accept that most of us are exhausted, beating ourselves up in the pursuit of perfection, being “A” students in the classroom of life. Science has told us that we are suffering from all kinds of woes because we are stressed, maybe even experiencing ‘adrenal fatigue’.

Yes, my adrenals may take a much-deserved nap and so should yours. Time to make a change.

Change = discomfort. The yoga of change has some mighty lessons to teach us. If it gets too uncomfortable, we don’t even fully engage the pose, abandoning it all together and taking the comfy option; or we press on in the face of true pain and risk injury. To grow a pose to its fullest expression, it is all about finding some balance on the journey. To grow “you” is no different. Seek tiny adjustments to create your more blissful existence. Not sweeping changes, just small, tolerable shifts. Then sit in that. Expect it might be sticky and uncomfortable going in and move from there. My tiny step was letting go of ONE must-do cannot-miss-it obligation that was causing great stress and fatigue in my week. Just one. But bigger than that…

Like the need to nail every pose in its perfect form, it is the unrealistic pressure to be perfect in every life category that is causing all this distress.

Adrenal fatigue, no more, I say!

The relentless pursuit of perfection is quite literally depleting us entirely. Perfection is best friends with procrastination. Procrastination is the enemy of progress. And when feel like we aren’t “progressing”, we start stressing. And so it repeats.

Can you consider that ‘perfection’ is a pie in the sky, a figment of your tormented imagination, never to be reached but only there eating away at your bliss?

Yoga says “start where you are”. Perhaps today is a perfect day to start “progressing”.

Being Brave

October 16, 2015 — Leave a comment
Def: surrender
sur·ren·der – (verb) to cease resistance to an enemy or an opponent
(səˈrendər)
childs pose

child’s pose photo creds: published in Elephant Journal Oct. 2015

Don’t be scared. It will be okay. On second thought, be scared to death. Be so afraid that your heart pounds, sweat drips and fear takes over. Allow it to take you over. Those feelings are there to save your life. Let them do what they were designed to do – save your life. Because they will. You can save your life.

But you have to listen.

You have to listen to your body because right now your mind and heart might fool you. They may talk you out of leaving. Tell you he loves you. That there are good sides to this person. That he really wouldn’t hurt you. But he has. And he will.

So use your instincts.

The fear rising up in your body right now, urging you to run. Don’t look back. For God’s sake – don’t go back. Because you will want to. Every minute of every day, at first. You will second guess yourself. Talk yourself in and out of all kinds of things. They are only thoughts and you can change your thoughts at any moment. Just. Don’t. Go. Back. Set up every kind of protection you can. Protection designed to ultimately protect you from yourself. Protect you from second guessing yourself right back into a deadly situation. Don’t be ashamed. Just set things up so that you can’t go back; so you can’t take him back when he shows up. Because he will. He always does. And you love him, so you will work it out. Like all the other times. And it will be bliss, again, for a little while. Until it isn’t. And it repeats. Repeats.

But the stakes get higher every time.

Except this time is different. Tell your family. Tell your friends. Tell anyone who will remind you of the real danger you are in – that you deserve more – although you really don’t believe that yet. Tell everyone just so you don’t go back. It won’t be easy. You will cry. A lot. You will grieve. And mourn. Your heart will hurt. You will worry about money. Or if you will be alone forever. You will miss the good times and the future you thought existed. It never did exist in the way you planned it out in your head. It was actually disguised in a shroud of control and manipulation artfully designed to keep you exactly where you were.

But you aren’t there now.

And you can love parts of him. You must now just do it from afar. Forever forward, from afar.

Now you just need to maintain. The worst is behind you. Maybe. Maybe not. It might still get harder than you can even imagine. But not forever. It doesn’t matter because you are strong and now you design your future. And the future needs to only be faced moment by moment, day by day. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Lean into whatever holds you: friends; family; work; hobbies; workouts; yoga class. Eat brownies or drink a glass of wine. Travel a bit or stay in bed all day. Feel every feeling and whatever you do to cope is perfect, for now. Just don’t go back.

Soon you will only reflect on this time once in a while, when something sparks a memory. A vacation, a song, a restaurant – and all the memories will flood back in. Some will be happy and that will make you really sad. Others will terrify you and wake you out of a dead sleep at night. Feel those the most. Hold those ones tightly for just a second. Remember they are the messages sent from above. So pray; and let then it go.

Let your body heal. Let your mind still. Let your heart be at peace. Let go now.

It won’t be easy and you can’t force time. Nothing good happens by force anyhow, remember? So just let it unfold and sit with it when it stings. Just feel, no action required. Your body is wise, listen. And allow space to create clarity; allow the time to simply pass, unanswered.

Say your story; write your story; purge. That chapter has closed. You are the author, the designer of the story in this book. So consider how you want this one to go from here.

Be proud of your bravery; proud of your courage but acknowledge your experience, your fears, your doubts so they never entrap you again. Take the lessons but hold your head high. Know that you stood for something that many people in your shoes will never have the power to stand for themselves. Stand strong for them. But never go back. For you.

This month Blue Nectar Yoga is the featured Studio of the Month at the Association of Fitness Studios (AFS).  We couldn’t be more excited or honored.  Thank you, AFS, for recognizing the work we’re doing at BNY.  Read the article below:

BNY

Adapted from AFS website. Text written by Josh Leve, AFS Co-Founder & President  

Studio Spotlights are an ongoing AFSfitness.com section that shines its light on some of the most successful studios in the nation, uncovering strategies and tactics that you can apply to your studio.

This month’s Studio Spotlight features Blue Nectar Yoga, located in Falls Church, Virginia. Studio Co-Owner/Co-Founder Jane Bahneman shares some outstanding information on the value of suburb customer service, retention efforts, and the joys she gets day in and day out running her own yoga studio.

What were the motivators that made you want to get into the business of running a fitness studio? We have observed great things being achieved/accomplished in yoga studios nationwide, but we also saw what seemed to often be lacking in many studios. We were challenged by the idea that we could do it better, that we could raise the bar in the yoga studio industry. We know yoga studios are “onto something” – but “what if” we used our deep industry experiences, created a very intentional plan, and stuck with the vision?

My business partner (Amy Trietiak) and I believe it’s important to have a voice and feel valued in the work place, to feel like you are making a positive impact with your career and what you devote your time, energy, and life to. We wanted to create this type of environment. Additionally we both thrive off of connecting people and building community – and are motivated to make a positive difference in the lives of our customers.

How did you get your first clients? We have a collaborative partnership and bring very different skills to the table, which is ideal. We got our clients by strategically building our name(s) and careers in the industry as individuals long before we embarked on Blue Nectar Yoga. We strived to be industry experts that are and continue to be respected by our colleagues and peers first. When we felt ready to take the leap – like we had gleaned everything possible from other career experiences and the only thing left was to take the leap and put it all to the test in our own business, we felt as ready as anyone could be! We selected our commercial site strategically in the market where we had largely built our names and careers. We continually entrench ourselves in the community surrounding Blue Nectar Yoga, which pays off daily. We love doing it and it is great for business growth! A strong social media strategy has also proven to be quite beneficial.

What does your business look like today? We follow the mantra “Trust the vision. Hold the process.” We remain committed to our plan but we remain flexible within it. This enables us to shift with the market while remaining true to our vision. Proudly, we are experiencing the growth we projected at the rate we projected! It did require being flexible and honest as we launched ourselves into the market, but we are flourishing a healthy rate. On the back end of our business, within our team we focus on what we want people to experience in our studio – and the amazing thing is that without “saying” it, we constantly get feedback that our customers are actually experiencing what we set out to achieve! It is a really special thing.

“The difference at Blue Nectar Yoga is not explained, it is felt.” We know this to be true because our customers say to us “it just FEELS different in here!” But if we were to tell you what “it” is without giving away our trade secrets (!), “it” is outstanding customer service practices by everyone on our team, our commitment as owners to developing the team in many ways, our strategy to do things a little differently than we have seen done by competitors (and being willing to do the work that is required).

Ease your transition into Spring this year! AcuYin Bliss for the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians is a two-hour workshop, which includes sixty minutes of a focused Yin Yoga practice followed by a healing ear acupuncture treatment received during savasana.The spirit of the Liver is responsible for vision, imagination, direction, decision-making and benevolence. Emotional and physical symptoms of an imbalance in these meridians include anger, frustration, impatience, moodiness, difficulty making decisions, indigestion, abdominal bloating, difficulty losing body fat, dizziness, blurred vision, pain along the IT band, headaches and depression.

Yin yoga is a practice where one holds asanas or shapes for anywhere between three to five minutes working into the deep connective tissues of the body, working with the Meridian energy lines of the body by unlocking the fascia. Yin yoga increases mobility and flexibility in the joints and in the connective tissue of the body.

Ear Acupuncture has a long history of use in China and is a complete medical system in Chinese Medicine. It was mentioned in the most famous of ancient Chinese medical textbooks, “The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine.” Shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s own feel-good chemicals, savasana will include one or two acupuncture needles in each ear (and is certainly optional but recommended!) helping to alleviate stress and anxiety while aiding to balance one’s energy.

Please be sure to eat prior to our class. Class size is limited. Register early to guarantee a spot! Don’t miss a unique opportunity to experience this amazing course!

Participants who are pregnant, have a pacemaker or heart condition, have a seizure disorder, or those with a bleeding disorder or taking blood thinners should contact the instructor directly prior to attending. (jodi.knauer@gmail.com)
Jodi Knauer is a board certified licensed acupuncturist in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Visit www.bulayoga.com for information about Jodi!

{the deets}
Date: Friday, May 30
Time: 6:30-8:30pm
Instructor Name: Jodi Knauer

We loved having Jennifer Triassi in the studio last week!  She taught back-to-back days and it was an all-around good time.  We had a handful of requests for her Pina Colada mocktail, and Jennifer shares her thoughts/recipe below.  Enjoy!

Adapated from Jennifer’s blog, Fit Mom Yoga:
Thank you to everyone who came out last Friday night for “A Sweaty Good Time” at Blue Nectar Yoga! I had so much fun teaching a heated 90-minute flow, listening to the sounds of ocean waves and Bob Marley. After the beach-themed guided meditation and long relaxation, I stepped behind the registration desk-turned-beach bar, and blended some pina colada mocktails! I had several requests for the recipe, so here it is!

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
agave (to taste)

Assemble all ingredients in your Vitamix, or other high-powered blender. I like to use pineapple chunks that are frozen. Of course, fresh or canned pineapple can be used. You’ll just need to add ice to make a “frozen drink”; be aware this can “water down” the overall flavor, so you may need to add more pineapple. Also, a little bit of agave goes a long way, so start off with a small amount, then add more if you like it a bit sweeter. I often omit the agave completely, but that’s just my personal preference.

Let me know if you like it! Please visit me at http://www.fitmomyoga.com!

Thanks for sharing, Jennifer

PC

Providing hands-on assists and adjustments is one of my absolute favorite parts of teaching yoga, and I am continually amazed at what our bodies can do with “just a little help from our friends.”  In this interactive 3-hour workshop designed specifically for yoga teachers, we will begin with a brief vinyasa practice to warm our bodies, followed by demonstrating and practicing assists on each other, complete with constructive feedback so we can fine-tune our touch!

We will explore moving the body into safe and effective postures through dynamic assists, including assists for standing balances, arm balances and deeper twists and binds.  In addition to practicing these adjustments, we will discuss working within a student’s limits and healthy range-of-motion that will allow you to challenge your students while still keeping them safe.

Be ready to learn more ways you can lend a helping hand to your students! This is a training opportunity you don’t want to miss!

See you soon!
Jennifer, fitmomyoga(dot)com

{the deets}
Date: Saturday, May 17
Time: 12:00-3:00pm
Room: Blue Chaise
Instructor Name: Join favorite NoVA yoga instructor & giver-of-the-best-assists around (everyone knows it!), Jennifer Triassi for one day only of yoga education!

Cost: Register in advance online (advised) $40.00 BNY non-members $35.00 BNY members

Walk-in registration, if space is available: $45.00

Blue Nectar Yoga partners up with like-mined entrepreneurs Power Supply. Power Supply is a local company that provides pre-made meals to local gyms/studios. Blue Nectar Yoga serves as a meal pick-up point.  If you’re interested, let us know (leave your name and e-mail at the studio or in the comments).  Think gluten-free, dairy-free, healthy options.  Think I-don’t-have-to-cook! And by the way, the nutrition bars are to die for.

About Power Supply:
Locally made, responsibly sourced, super tasty, uber convenient and always changing meals – that’s what you can expect from us.

From Mixitarian (meat and veggie template, including gluten free grains and the like), to Paleo and Vegetarian meals, and now with new soups and bars, we design our food to fuel active folks and the busy lifestyles they juggle. We improve what we make through open customer feedback starting right on every label. And every last one of our meals contributes to the local community we serve through the PS Giveback Program.

We downright heart these little freshly made bundles of natural ingredient joy and hope you will too.

Fwd Poster (feel free to post on social media) and Power Supply Overview doc - melody.parry@gmail.com - Gmail - Google Chrome 582014 32957 PM.bmp

Yogi’s: If this sounds like something you’d be interested in trying, sampling, or purchasing, please let a Blue Crew member know! Call 1-703-533-0009 and leave a message. We will call you back to chat and get you rolling with power Supply!  

why blue

May 5, 2014 — Leave a comment

Blue Nectar Yoga is a premier yoga studio and boutique in the heart of Falls Church, Virginia.

practice: Two warm studios – toasty warm, not desert-like heat – just right for our signature vinyasa yoga style.

the space: Spacious and inviting with dark wood floors and soothing colors.

classes: You’ll find challenging and inspirational classes with top-notch instructors and a welcoming staff to make you feel right at home.

shop: And don’t miss the Bluetique – just the basics and only the best.

the best part: Free parking in the garage behind the studio.

Come experience the BNY difference for yourself!  See our class schedule and events, online: http://www.bluenectaryoga.com/