You are more

Diving into yoga on all levels has been a major part of my life for 14 years. I have explored various yoga philosophies, schools of thought, and styles of yoga, how yoga helps with stress and dis-ease, various meditation techniques, pranayama techniques, cleanses, Ayurveda, anatomy, therapeutics, and more.

I enjoy going deep into the information even if it is just a repeat as it helps my brain make sense of some of it. Some of it I read and I have no idea what it’s about but I am still interested. I didn’t understand when I started yoga how much other stuff came with the practice, so much more than a downward dog pose.

 

After all these years I am only more intrigued. I intent to go to India to study but not yet and not with just anyone it will be an opportunity to immerse into yoga at it’s roots. I have no interest in doing a tourist trip or attending an ashram that caters to Westerners’ s flocking over for yoga teacher training immersions, just not my thing. I do want to understand more about the Hindu culture and how various ritual practices are tied to yoga.

 

I have little experience with this side of yoga but of the few traditional rituals I have attended I am more than a little intrigued to know more. Each one of us practice daily rituals but one of the major differences is that most of us are doing them with no mindful fullness at all, with no gratitude or connection to something more, it’s just daily, necessary body maintenance.

 

Recently, I wrapped up my 7th Yoga Teacher Training and sometimes there are just these moments that stick out from the other moments that really change how you see things or how you understand things. This one moment where a slight change of words, changes the meaning.

My understanding of Advaita Vedanta is that there is only one reality that we work with and everything else falls into the realm of illusion or maya.

 

This means that the only thing that is truly real is spirit and that everything else is “unreal,” a misunderstanding, and illusion and that our goal in life is to figure that out and to come back to this understanding. When we don’t get it we will suffer and the way out of the suffering is through remembering this, only Spirit is real and anything that changes and is matter, is a figment of the mind.

 

I have never been able to understand this, at the moment I am sitting on an airplane, bumping along through the air at high speeds, typing these words on my computer with a plane full of other people.   The idea that the plane is an illusion doesn’t jive with me. The idea that I am not my body, while I sit here and can feel every toe, finger, joint, muscle and I’m using my brain and senses , don’t resonate with truth to me. The idea that I am not my emotions, seems far fetched since I can feel a whole bunch of them right now in this very moment and since waking up I’ve likely touched on at least 100 or more different emotions. To tell me they are not real makes no sense and I question the validity of teaching people they are not their bodies, their thoughts, their emotions.

 

During the training this slight shift of wording hit me like a bomb and opened me up to a new and beautiful understanding of all of this. In yoga class, I have heard teachers say these very phrases “You are not your body, you are not your emotions, you are not your thoughts” but if we change this a little bit all of the sudden my heart lights up as if it was plugged into a powerful source of truth. What if we are MORE than our bodies, MORE than our thoughts, MORE than our emotions? What if we are MORE than we ever thought we were?

 

Perhaps some people that study in the Vedanta lineages of yoga have already come to that understanding and even mean that when they repeat or teach “I am not my body,” especially when it is sore , tight, falling apart, broken, failing but I haven’t heard a teacher imply that I am more than that but that it’s a flaw in my awareness, that I am only spirit and nothing more.

 

How liberating to know that you are more than just this aging body, the negative thoughts, the feelings of guilt, shame, sadness, anger, fear.   I am in love with this new understanding that I truly felt I was gifted to know, by a shakitpat like experience, as if the universe hit me in the head but what if it was this way, does that help? It brings me more peace and joy to see it in this light.

 

There is so much to be said about immersing yourself in yoga for 5 days at a time, to meditate with a group of people everyday, to breath together, to feel together, to laugh together, to grow together, to support each other as we expand our awareness of our own bodies or come to terms with injuries, chronic pain, people that have lost a child or a friend or a partner, people that are looking for community and connection in a time when it feels like any progress on the path of light was abolished with the recent election in the US.

 

Now I am filled with the idea that we are all MORE, we are more than we every thought we were and we get to use that information for our own awakening so that it helps each day for us to connect to MORE, even through the most simple, mundane rituals we all have. That we make each day rich with this understanding of being more and that we can use all of our experience to feel and experience the full spectrum that life has to offer us every day rather than sleep our way through life or feel that everything that is matter is an illusion of your mind (although at times that is also true, and valid, and important but not always).

 

You are MORE, much more,

xo

Mindy

 

I have to share this with you

I want to share this with you, no I have to share this with you!

In the last two years, my life, career, way that I live in the world radically changed. I am surprised that it did and I am thrilled about it too

Two years ago I made a leap, a commitment to myself after using doTERRA essential oils for 5 months and a phone call with my team leader I couldn’t believe I was saying yes to this business opportunity but I did.

Some history here, I have actually been in 3 different network marketing companies and they did not turn out well. I was part of Amway in university and had NO clue what was going on, then a friend introduced me to NuSkin, and at the time after a few wake-up calls, I saw that their products contained harmful parabens that wreak havoc on hormones, so that was it for me. Finally, I had a friend show me the awesomeness of ENJO products which we still use but as a business, I had no support, their customer service was terrible, not standing behind the products to help the distributor, and had a low retention rate so you always had to find new people. Needless to say, I was a bit hesitant having going down this road before about another MLM

The thing is the oils are so awesome; it is hard not to share them with other people when I know they work, they are safe, affordable and change lives! I had no clue what was going on and had a friend tell me she wanted to build under me so on that note I dove in.

What did that look like for me, at home with a baby under one? Well, I took time each day for personal development and committed to learning about the essential oils, doterra, the other products and to having my first class.

images3

My friend Rebecca taught my first class and my closest friends came and almost all of they bought a kit. That week a cheque came in the mail, it wasn’t for much but it helped with my monthly order so I was happy about that, since I wasn’t getting that many cheques. The next day another doterra cheque came and again it wasn’t much but it was awesome and truthfully I didn’t even know what it was for.

I love getting weekly cheques, I love getting my monthly order covered so my family has access to all the oils and products that we now use for everything , every day, on our daughter, ourselves, our house, car, and even our dog.

As a Mom that teaches yoga, has a hula hoop company, and a health coaching practice I wondered how I was going to fit this in but the weekly cheque was drawing me to learn more. There seemed to be some financial opportunities that can be hard to come by in my current jobs.

In, two years of cultivating my doterra business I am seeing my future and it’s bright. I started with some small cheques and some months were better than others and as I continue on they are getting bigger and why does this matter to me?

I was recently challenged on my why I was told it was too fluffy and you know what it was. I had to get clear about why I am doing this business. Here’s the down low on my why.

In university I got a credit card (this should be illegal), I immediately bought a brand new snowboard and maxed it out and didn’t have a clue about how interest worked. My credit card use was out of control, I was going on shopping sprees, buying alcohol and paying rent with my credit card. This has caused me a heavy burden and tremendous shame, guilt, and other issues.

Somehow I have managed to pay minimum payments without missing much but I was really just moving my available credit around to make that happen and was only going deeper.

After I thought I found my calling I opened a yoga studio, completely ignoring the financials to follow my heart, well that has also been a burden for me to deal with daily. I have been in debt since I was 18 years old. I have paid thousands of dollars back and so much interest it makes me feel sick.IMG_4948

My why? I want to be free from credit card debt, I want to easily afford the healthiest food on the planet, I want to travel with my family and friends, to have amazing experiences, to not worry about paying bills. That’s why I love my doterra business. I am set up to succeed I just have to stay with the program and if that means using and loving my oils well that is easy.

Believe me, it is tough to get clear and super truthful but to shift the energy I am willing to feel uncomfortable if it will inspire you.

I am committed to working with my team of essential oil lovers that also want to share oils and build a doterra business.

Are you curious to know what it takes? What is involved? If you could do this business?

Well, you have to start with your oils! Use them, every day, get confident, watch the ripple effect they create and once you are comfortable with that then this is the next step.

Set up your monthly Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP), this is the smartest way for you to get more products, to get points back from your orders to use toward more products, a chance to get a free oil of the month.

In order to build your doterra business, you must maintain a 100PV (point value) order every month and keep your cart at a min. 100PV at all times. This is because you get a commission only when you have kept a 100PV order.

I have had several businesses and done lots of reading about MLM business models and I am going to tell you this is a great business model for mom’s, students or people that don’t have $10,000 to start a business or the millions it takes to purchase a franchise. This type of monthly investment into your business and your health pays off, big time!

You have to have classes. How many classes? It’s up to you, how fast do you want to grow your business, how much do you want to get out of debt, travel, put away for retirement? What are you why? For some people 2-3 classes a week makes sense for others it is more 2-3 a month. Either way, you can get started.

What is awesome about the classes? Well, the person that enrolled you teaches it for you, there are tons of resources, like already made powerpoints or doterra has a class in a box for $35, which is literally a full class with all the handouts, samples, and DVD, it’s so easy.

So that’s it! Not kidding! You keep a 100PV order each month and you share oils with other people. You can do on-line facebook classes, one on ones, classes, make and take classes, rollerball classes, themed classes, the list goes on but you get to make this business yours! You have to fill out a monthly biz check-in in order to get a monthly mentoring call.

There are times when it’s tough but the other part of this business that I never had having my own yoga studio or other jobs which are a support team, a whole team of high vibe, like-minded people cheerin you on. Do you have that at work right now? Can it be better for you?

This is a low-risk business to test out but give it time, think long-term financial security.

I had to share this with you, to give you my honest opinion about doterra so that you know what is involved.

Next steps… book a one on one 30 minute biz exploration call with me and we’ll get clear on your why what your heart truly wants for you in this life and well make a plan together to get you started.

 

Thanks for reading

Xo

Mindy

Soul Warming Weekend

final soul warm

My Soul Warming weekend is coming up next weekend at Wholistic Hall.  I really wanted to create an event smack dab in the dreary, cold, Winter months for the yoga community to come together for an event that will cultivate growth, inspiration, light, love and community connection.

Each day will be a blend of asana combined with anatomy lessons, assists to help softly deepen the pose or guide the direction of energy in the pose, each day will also bring long, deep savasanas, pranayama (breath work to increase and balance one’s energy), meditations, inspiring messages or poems and on Sunday practicing yoga with essential oils (my absolute favourite).

Students can be of any level to come for the weekend.  My role as the guide on this journey is to provide the appropriate amount of challenge for each student will allowing people to expand but also to honour each persons boundaries and limitations as well.  Please touch base with me before the event if you have a particular injury that may limit your practice and also that I can be there to help you in certain postures to ensure no further damage occurs.

There is enough time each day to grab some lunch, take in a walk or grab a tea before the afternoon sessions begin.

The cost is $140 plus tax for the weekend.  You can also join for the day or individual sessions. The hours attended count toward continuing credits through Yoga Alliance, please indicate that you would like a certificate for the weekend so I can provide you with one.  If you wish to pay cash please bring the exact amount to the event.

If you haven’t been to the Hall the trek up to the third floor is so worth it.  Candice has created a lovely space for practice.  Parking is a bit tricky so give yourself a bit of extra time.  There is a lot right behind the studio off of Queens that is reasonable and you can cut through at Spaghetti Eddies walkway, then take a right.  It is upstairs from David’s bistro.   If it’s your first time at Wholistic Hall please sign at waiver at the desk when you get there.

I am so excited to have the time to be in yoga with such a dynamic group of people.  There are just a couple spots left if you wish to attend you can sign up  at the bottom of my website under events and you can also pay on line as well.  If you wish to do an etransfer please send it to mindy.menard@yahoo.com.

Till then peace, harmony and light,

Mindy

Soul Warming Yoga Workshop FB Timeline

Reflectiosn from the Sky

Reflections from the Sky

Reflectiosn from the SkyAs the brilliant orange glow illumines the horizon, I am flying home again. Another Yoga Teacher Training complete, another bittersweet end and another opportunity to grow authentically as a person, a mother, a friend, a teacher. I’m not sure how but every graduating YTT class just shatters my heart, it is hard to breath as I call their name to come up for their certificate. Is it because it is the end of our time together or something else? I really don’t know but I do know that after completing my 7th 200 hour teacher training it happens every time.

As the plane gently bumps along the turbulence I feel unsettled this morning. This could also be guilt for leaving my 21 month old to go to work or that my work for now has ended and I have to put it out to the ethers that I want that work to continue and then who knows which people will decided spending 200 hours studying yoga is what they want to do, and with me nonetheless.

All I know for certain is that my heart feels full, yet empty, open but closed, I feel happy and sad all at once and know that in the next few days I will get very quiet, process all this stuff bubbling up from my soul to the surface and go straight back to my role as a nursing Mama, chef, janitor, snow-shoveller, yoga teacher, friend and wife and that also makes me very happy.

So much of what I do is actually art, yoga is art and at times I loose site of that, sticking to my agenda’s, marking homework, booking travel tickets. When I started teaching these trainings I had to create all of the curriculum which felt like both creative work and also not creative work but just work-work. Each time I have seen how my offerings land with yoga students and then I must respond creatively to what I see. There is great danger in thinking you have arrived and no longer need to do the work, creative or not.

My fiery, pitta dosha, collides with my airy creative, vata dosha and a burning desire to be better, to do better in every part of my life engulfs me like a forest fire in a windstorm. Old ways are burned to ash and create the grounds just right for new creative ideas to sprout. If I don’t go with it I get so burned out and stuck. I never would have thought of myself of an artist but in the work I am doing more and more I see that I truly am that first.

Now I shift to accounting and create receipts, pay bills, return emails of curious yogis, change diapers, book essential oil classes and it starts to feel less like art and instead like I’m just going through the motions of life and responsibility. I know it’s more than that because I am always creating even when I doing less artsy things. Self care, being a better person, mom, wife, friend are constantly swirling around in my mind all day, often with only a short break during meditation and then boom right back to it how do I balance all these things and keep being authentic and creative? Must be the yoga, I often chalk things up to the magic and awesomeness of yoga.

I’m an artist, yep, I like that, I like the way I feel when I acknowledge that part of who I am, one that I don’t think I have ever acknowledged before because of course my mind has convinced me that I am never good enough to be that or anything else. Well… I’ve finally figured out that consulting my mind first for so many things is a mistake I have trained myself to start to listen to my heart first, what a joy that is since my heart talks much sweeter and kinder to me than my mind every does.

So now my work is done, I have set dates, put up posters, let people know that I will be coming back in March to begin the teacher training journey all over again and wonder who will come, what will transpire, who will I get to know through that process that I will forever feel a deep heart bond with. Wow, my life is good, like really good. I think about the accountant in the seat in front of me and the retired man going to visit his sick 92 year old father and recognize how different my life is and how grateful I feel to have made my own career out of what feels like a deep calling or a deep knowing about my purpose and dharma in my lifetime.

I thought I was going to sleep on this flight since I had to get up at 4:30 and went to bed at midnight but I felt the idea to write some of this out and share some these intense feelings, I will thank Elizabeth Gilbert for that since her Big Magic book seemed to be resonating at a deep heart level for me. Having said that she says that creative ideas are moving through the universe just looking for the right host to be expressed. I am happy to be that vessel this morning.

Love,
Mindy

Stories from your Psoas

The body/mind matrix is miraculous and fascinating.  After all, just what we can see on the outside surface is amazing but when I think about what is going on below the surface that is when my mind gets totally blown.  The psoas, is actually two muscles, the psoas major and the iliacus, together they form your iliopsoas.  This is the only muscle that attaches your spine to your legs.  It spans from t-12 to the lumber spine, comes across the inside of your pelvis and then attaches to the top of your inner thigh.

The biggest job for this muscle to to flex the hip, but it’s also part of walking, standing and running.  When this muscle gets overly tight it can throw a number of things off both physically and emotionally.  If you ever feel like you can’t “stand on your own 2 feet” look deep inside to your psoas as it likely has a message for you about that.  All you need to do is sit and people watch for a moment and you will easily see how many people in the world have lost their “uprightness.”

Overly tight psoas muscles can be connected to fear and can knock you adrenals out of whack.  When your breath is rapid and shallow it causes tightening of the psoas, this can become a cycle that tires out the adrenal glands that sit on top of the kidneys.  When your lower ribs jut forward you stimulate the adrenals and  the sympathetic nervous system.  Many people are chronically holding in that state and over time it can really wear you down.

If you have ever had your psoas massaged (barf), you realize how deep and often how tight it is.  Some suggest that the front of your body is more connected to the ego/individualism and the back body more connected to source energy or cosmic consciousness, so the action of moving your lower ribs (t-12) back and your thigh bones as well can help to release the psoas can create a safe space to release deep seated fears.  Often this muscle holds past traumas so it’s important to be aware of your physical alignment in yoga and allow for healing rather than triggering.  Events are stored in the citta (consciousness) and in the body, and that is precisely why yoga is one of the best practices to allow you to access a deep level of healing.

Even a posture like Virabhadrasana (Warrior) II can bring about an unwanted fight or flight response if the ribs push out, pulling them back allows the psoas to gently lengthen.warrior1_backleg_stretch

As some of you know getting your lower ribs back is no easy task!  For the first 4 years that is all I did in yoga and I often felt totally overwhelmed, emotional and always felt like I was standing on shaky legs.  Once I connected to this action of creating more space in my kidneys and supporting my psoas it totally changed how I felt in and after yoga.

Try it, push your lower ribs and thigh bones foreword… now pull your lower ribs back and then your thigh bones.  It is subtle but very powerful.  When we are in alignment we will be better able to hear the quiet messages from the body.  We can let go of unnecessary fear and connect to untapped potential.  Our connection to each other deepens when each one of us is more in tune with our hearts, minds and bodies.

images1

 

What is your psoas saying to you?

 

Listen.

Lost your Yoga

I was inspired this morning to write a post about yoga and how it’s like it’s own living entity in my life.  There are so many thoughts running through my head, thankfully there’s meditation or I’d be so lost, but one of them that repeats often is “yoga, yoga, yoga…”  I’m not 100% sure what that thought is about.  I think it’s a calling to my mat or a just a call for to get the attention of my higher Self, either way, not a day goes by that I don’t think about “yoga.”

My life with my daughter Mayla, who is turning 10 months old very soon, has forever changed my formal practice for now that is.  I don’t get to do 90 minutes where I am just totally immersed in my practice or heck even go out to classes but deep down what I can feel building is this deep desire, deeper than I have ever felt before it step up my yoga, my lifeline.  Although I have limited time I do take full advantage of it.  Morning naps mean Sun Salutations and as many postures as I can fit in, often cut short of savasana at the end, boo.

Over the time I have been teaching yoga I have witnessed many people come and go, some never come back and I don’t really get that since I know there is nothing like a deeply profound, spiritual awaking, hard as hell, transformative beyond words yoga practice, there is just nothing like it… nothing!  So if you have found yourself lost from your yoga here are my top 5 ways of finding it again.

1.  Consistency rules over the Time –  Commit to 15 minutes every single day with no excuse.  If you can do more wonderful but get those 15 minutes in every single day!  WHY?  Because you are worth 15 minutes every single day that’s why. Your body, mind and heart all need this.

2. Leave your Mat out – If your mat is out you are more likely to hop on and do a few dogs.  Often a few dogs lead to other postures because it feels so damn good so keep it out like you keep your sofa out in your living room.

3. Enjoy every single Second –  Santosha, Sanksrit for contentment means that you find the happiness in what you are doing.  Sounds like a very good idea to hit your mat that way as opposed to whining about having to do yoga.  The fact that you found yoga in your life is truly a gift so shift your perspective so you see it in that light, perhaps a few handstands will help with that shift.

4. Pick a Pose for the Week – Okay so you don’t need to get into a deep well thought out sequence, mainly because you can find those in so many books or on-line if you want but why not just pick one pose to do all week, say crow pose for example.  So every day you do some Sun Sal’s, standing postures, hip openers then crow or something more advanced if you fancy. This makes it simple when you do get on your mat as to where you are going.

5. Go to Class-  The landscape of yoga classes has really changed in the last 10 years, like wow!  Some classes are hardly recognizable as yoga to me anymore, maybe because there are so many teachers out there having said that find a teacher you love and go to their class!  Supporting yoga studios and teachers is very important and it helps to keep your practice going as well as giving back to the larger energy of yoga.

Well, I hope that has tickled some deep desire in you to wake up and yoga.  Side note, I know more than most that yoga is clearly way more than postures but without that piece it’s very easy to get truly lost in your thoughts, in the negativity and in this crazy world.

“Growth demands a temporary surrender of security. It may mean giving up familiar but limiting patterns, safe but unrewarding work, values no longer believed in, and relationships that have lost their meaning.” John Maxwell

 

Why you belong in a Yoga Teacher Training

“To live, to TRULY live, we must be willing to RISK. To be nothing in order to find everything. To leap before we look.”
Mandy Hale

As I prepare for my next Yoga Teacher Training to begin, I’ve been looking through applications past and present.  I put a question on the application that asks, What is your main intention for taking this training?”  Honestly, I skip through everything else and head straight for that response.

Did you know that for over 6 years I was a cable cop, oh yes I was. My job was to do audits on cable lines to see who was hooked up  and stealing the cable, yahoo!  I really freakin hated that job, but I did it day after day, I was sick, I was depressed, I was addicted to unhealthy things and I got laid off, a lot.

During my lay off times I took courses.  I remember the first one I took was about True Colours, I happen to be a blue/orange.   Find out what you are here – http://www.quibblo.com/quiz/edQd8L1/True-Colors-Test-What-is-your-TRUE-personality

Our teacher suggested that I become a yoga teacher, I laughed out loud and said there was no way I could teach yoga, I was so inflexible and was just learning, I was no pro that’s for sure.  But I did LOVE yoga already….. hmmm……

Shorty after that I found myself signing up for a 2oo hour Yoga Teacher Training!  WHAT??  ME???  I am not enough, I could never…. I …. blah blah blah.  Sure I had no clue most of the time what was going on in YTT, it was a new language, Sanskrit, the Gita, Patanjali, Ayurveda, heck I couldn’t pronounce any of these words or even understand them but I loved yoga and that was really all that mattered.

This is me just after falling out of a pose.

Since then I have completed another full YTT and was working my way to certification in Anusara, that at the time was no easy task it took hundreds and hundreds of hours and a lot of time and money.  Once Mayla, my 7 month old, gets older I intend to take another YTT was a new teacher and I will likely do a few more after that.  I love learning about yoga, yes I am a full blown Yoga-Nerd!

So, if you are contemplating taking a Yoga Teacher Training but your getting in the way of yourself just move your asana aside and jump right on in.  You do not have to be an expert, be able to do a drop back, the slits, pronounce Sanskrit and so on to immerse yourself in your yoga you only need an open heart.

Love and light on your path,

Mindy

 

Why go to Yoga?

Why go to a yoga class if you can practice at home?  There are so many reasons to get out to a class the first would be for the energy of the community.  A yoga community is special.  It’s a place where vulnerable hearts come together to practice yoga and to be in a place where energy is moved, harnessed and increased.

Inspiration

Since I’ve recently come back to teaching after a wild ride the last few years and having my daughter 5 months ago, it’s been a super sweet reunion of sorts not just with me and the students but the students and the students. It’s a hug fest before and after every class.  I love that yoga can bring us together in this way, don’t get me wrong the yoga community doesn’t come without it’s own icky drama but it all seems to get put aside when mats are unrolled and AUM’s fill the space.

Another reason to get to class is that you are able to refine your practice.  Although yoga teachers work hard to help you with your poses in terms of physical alignment a lot of teachers also incorporate poems, quotes, juicy little nuggets of wisdom to inspire you to a whole new level of practice for your spiritual alignment.  I have found myself replaying so many soundbites from all of my teachers over the years, they are like my backup crew ready to pick me up when I’m down, give me courage when it’s tough, accept what is out of my control and to forgive myself for not being perfect and screwing up.

Since everything is an energetic vibration we need to support the studios that are there, new and old.  I had my own space for 7 years and it’s a mixed bag of amazing and also so hard at the same time.  Money is a vibration and when you go out to classes you help support not just that studio but the entire yoga community. Studios often have at least a few teachers so even if you didn’t connect with one teacher it’s still worth trying out a different one.

The path of yoga isn’t at all a clear path, it’s full of up and downs, moments of total bliss, heartbreaking truths, and complex human relationships between students and teachers and teachers and teachers and studio owners and students and that teachers teacher, ya follow?  It’s total chaos sometimes but it’s orderly chaos!  So even though yoga comes with all that it’s totally worth going.

This message was an unedited thought coxed from the depths of my heart just to express some built up energy that needed to flow again. So thanks for reading.

Mindy 🙂

 

Yoga – The Rise of Consciousness

The impact of yoga in one’s life should never be defined or limited to something you go and do on a mat.  For most people their mats are their springboards that launch them into a whole new understanding of who and why they are.

To be in yoga is a gift.

In this lifetime not all beings are meant to be awakened, after all it takes a lot of practice and a deep profound dedication to a path of becoming a more enlightened being.  So it’s not for everyone, nor should it be.  In fact many Rishis or sages, warned against this very thing, working with practices that create larger surges of prana and power can short circuit some (I’ve even witness this after some yoga classes but especially at a weekend events, by the end people are fried not more alive per-say).

So with each pose done on the mat, each breath taken in pranayama, each minute spent in mediation one’s consciousness begins to rise, and in doing so you truly unite your body, mind, breath and heart.  With that union comes some wonderful benefits, like improved posture which leads to so many other positives like more efficient breathing, sleeping, organ function, strength and balance those become pretty obvious with only a short time “doing” yoga.  Other benefits, the ones that really do some funky things to you come with time, devotion and a burning zeal for the practice.

Sometimes I feel like I have a serious spidey-sense or am quite in tune with people or situations.  This is a blessing and a curse.  Why a curse?  It’s a pain in the ass to be aware of everything going on all at once, all the time and it’s not a switch that I can just “shut-off.”  My old techniques of numbing just don’t exist anymore the way they once filled my days.

So after over a decade (wow, already!) of yoga I would say that I am a much more conscious human being and that consciousness has allowed me to become more compassionate and thoughtful (although I don’t always get that right, nor does anyone so don’t be fooled).  I think about my ripple effect before I make the wake, I think about how my actions impact the planet here and now and in the future, not just for me but for everyone, I think about how I speak to others about others and try my best to get better and better at vented without being a bitch.  I think about how people are hurting, even if they are smiling, I think about how animals are treated and mistreated, I think about how to conserve, water, paper, recycle, re-use, what we eat, how we eat, I think about where stuff comes from and the conditions it was made in, I think about people that have lost someone, I think about people that have health problems and how I want to help, I think about alignment and getting people out of pain, I guess that is just it I just “think” more about everything all the time!

Phew!  It’s tiring to think so much but I will take my sense of “awakened” consciousness over living my life, numb, dull, drunk, drugged, asleep any day!

How I healed my Asthma

 

I’ve carried this very vivid memory with me for over 30 years and sometimes I wondered if I made it up.  It’s not a dream it was my reality as a baby, toddler, adolescent, and for most of my adult life, it was something that stole from me, that literally took my breath away, it is asthma and I want to share with you how I healed my body from it and have gone almost 100% off any puffers.

 

Let me start with my personal story because I know many of you will have a similar one.  I was put on formula like many 70’s babies.  In addition my Mom was told by her doctor to add cornstarch, and some white sugar to my formula which was mixed with cow’s milk.  Could this have been where it all started…. Maybe.

 

Babies are not born with asthma.

 

Well that’s my theory anyway and I am not a medical doctor.  I think asthma starts developing whether it is through the internal or the external environment.  Of course anyone with asthma knows that there are triggers same as someone that suffers from migraines.  This may include dust, pollen, allergies, exercise, cold air, and so on but can also be brought on by certain foods.

 

My asthma was life threatening.

 

I was in one of those horrific, or at least that is how I remember it, oxygen tents for days at a time.  The cold misty air soaked my only source of comfort which was my pink teddy bear.  I wasn’t allowed out very often and I can remember my dad sneaking me in a mint Aero bar.  I even remember that I escaped the tent one night and went straight to the playroom.

 

After that experience I was enrolled into asthma programs at the college.  The room was very creepy, dark, I could be making this up now but I’m almost certain for some reason there was a sarcophagus in the corner, RANDOM and again HORRIFIC.  We spent time blowing out matches and blowing bubbles with tubs of soapy water.  Back at home I was head down on my dad’s leg as he pounded on my back to help open my lungs.  In addition there were meds.  This disgusting peach coloured syrup that was followed by my reward for swallowing it, which was I got to punch out a tiny little paper bug.  YAY!

 

I was sick, and I think it was a lot.  I often had to have “the machine” as my Mom called it in my room to help me breath.  Same thing blowing this cold misty air onto me and getting Misser Bear all wet and gross.

 

So yeah, asthma sucked as a baby and toddler, then it kind of went away.  This mystery was never explained but it does happen.  I remember not having to use puffers or meds for some time in my life but then of course in my later teens years I was a total idiot and started to live a life that is really not good news for an asthmatic.

 

By the time I was in university I was constantly sick with bronchitis and at 21 I was hospitalized with what started with my regular asthma attack and head to the ER for some oxygen and prednisone, but this time I was a lot more sick than that.  My left lung collapsed!  My nurses button did not work and I spent the longest 3 minutes of my life, pushing the button, trying to get someone’s attention and watching a bunch of alarms go off, my oxygen plummeted and I was scared to death that I was finally going to die from not being able to breath.

 

After a week in the hospital I got back to my poor lifestyle choices and the asthma was worse then ever.  I took so many hits off my puffers, my body would have the worst tremors and shakes.  I was basically overdosing every single day.  I could not go anywhere without a puffer for fear that I would die.

 

At 15 I began a vegetarian.  I also began a PETA member and I started to dabble with Bulimia.  My already poor health only got worse, as if anyone would be surprised by that.  I’ll be honest when I say I was a vegetarian that did not eat any vegetables, okay well French fries but they don’t count, right?

 

This lifestyle which was killing me inside and out, along with a horrible attitude about life, zero self-worth and not being able to breath could have ended my short life at any time and I know in my heart it would have.  I joked about not living to see 30 years old, ya my friend’s didn’t find that very funny at all. But it was the truth.

 

Long story short, I found yoga yadee-yadaa, it changed my whole life!  I learned how to deal with stress, was more accepting of my body, ended my relationship with my eating disorder, cleared up my insomnia (which was also rampant), and was able to breath a bit better and reduce some of my puffer use.

 

Things got better in my life, much better but I was still suffering from random asthma attacks and was still being hospitalized.  At least when I moved to London, Ontario, the moment I was first hospitalized because of asthma I was immediately sent into the asthma program here, saw a specialist and thankfully he constantly hooked me up with free puffer samples because I could not afford them, at all!

 

I started to run but some days the asthma wouldn’t effect me and other times it would cripple me on the sidewalk, never mind running I could barely walk home.  I never understood why it was triggered and I think I didn’t really care either.  I just accepted that I had asthma, it was a disease that I had no control over, I would always have it and my life would be about managing the meds, so interesting because I was given that exact same story about my clinical depression and of course I was on anti-depressants too.

 

So in my bathroom, I had Zoloft, tons of puffers, different kinds too, a plastic thingy to blow into to test my breathing and if I came up short I was to start rounds of Prednisone.  I know I’m not alone when I honestly say that Prednisone absolutely sucks ass!  It’s horrible and the side effects were very intense.

 

I don’t take any meds and I don’t suffer from Asthma anymore!   

 

Yep, that is the truth!  How?  Not possible?  Yes, very very possible and very very doable!  After being the most unhealthy vegetarian ever, I started to become a healthy one.  At this point I still suffered from asthma and needed a few puffs a week when I was having trouble breathing or exercising which became a very big and important part of my life.

 

The real change started when I finally decided over 2 and a half years ago to go fully vegan.  Now it’s not so much the vegan part for me that did it but what really cleared up my asthma was getting rid of dairy!  Remember when I said that the moment I entered the world the first thing I consumed was cow’s milk?  Well…… if you want to managed your asthma, reduce your meds (maybe because I would never tell you to go off any meds), live better and not worry about dying from not being able to breath then maybe this is something worth trying out.

 

Dairy is the most mucous forming substance that you can ingest.  There are many but it is up there.  Why? Dairy is acidic and the body produces extra mucus to well, protect you from the acid.  How’s that bowl of ice cream looking now?  Dairy includes; milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, lard, ice cream and other products.  In the grocery store there is a whole section dedicated to good ole’ dairy!  If you are asthmatic maybe you should avoid that aisle all together and stick to the veggies and fruit.

 

I still own a few puffers, they are expired and to be honest I can’t fully through them out for that “just in case” part of my brain that exists.  I am okay with that.  I don’t own any prednisone and haven’t needed to take any or haven’t been hospitalized  because of asthma in many years now, this was a common occurrence for me over the course of my life and I have much better things to do with me time too.

 

I am passionate about my life and my health and I’m also equally passionate about helping others.  If you are sick, on meds, and so on where you really need to start is in your kitchen!  I’m not saying it will be easy but I know it’s worth it!  Start to exercise at least 3 times a week, you have to get your lungs working, get them stronger and keep em clear by giving the finger to diary and kicking it out so that you can free up some of the energy that you spend worrying about dying from not being able to breath.

 

To end, I’m not suggesting that you will be asthma free, medication free instead my wish is to enlighten you that there are people out there that are healing there bodies of aliments, diseases and other issues through food, nutrition and better lifestyle choices.  You can set the stage and your body will heal.

 

Breathe well and easy,

 

Mindy Willis-Menard

Health Coach, Yoga Teacher