Hi Friends, Family, and Yoga Practitioners!
I feel happy to be back in Arizona! The High Desert is a wonderful home: the mountains, creeks, cacti, and magical sunsets. Ah! Beautiful. Please take a look at my new schedule. There are some exciting additions, including a new Kids Yoga class at Seven Centers Yoga Arts, and a Prenatal Yoga class at Shiva Shack’s new location on Cherry Street and Main. Also, join me for my monthly Hatha Basics workshop at Shiva Shack.
I just returned from Clearwater Beach, Florida, where I got the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. The newest friend I’d like to talk about is a dolphin named Winter. Winter lives in the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and has worn a prosthetic tail for most of her life. She was accidentally trapped in a crab cage and rope, which forced her rescuers to amputate her infected tail and find a creative solution to keep her swimming. She is such a sweet, loving dolphin here to inspire and help children and adults overcome trauma and emotional pain. Now, children from all over the world go to visit her, just to be in her presence. When I met her, I immediately fell in love, and moreover, I felt her love and spirit so purely, like she was a great guru. I cried and cried, and it was as if I was meeting an old friend. She is the Great Dolphin Guru. My hope is to take a group to meet her next year. I would like to do yoga with her. Please let me know if you are interested. (For more about Winter, go to SeeWinter.com)
The angel message of for the month of August is Inner Wisdom. This is the month to meditate and organize the wisdom that already exists deep down in the heart center. This means that we have to make the connections with clarity and confidence. Often times, Inner Wisdom may not be obvious, but with deep silence and connection to the heart center, we can access it in Godspeed. In practical terms, this means that we need to act on our Inner Wisdom. Make a worthy foundation for real change and transformation to occur so that you can live an inspired life. Remember. Life is meant to be rich with inspiration. Can we inspire like Winter?
September 26th – October 5th
Children’s Yoga Teacher Training at 7 Centers Yoga Arts
August 24nd- Basic Hatha Yoga at Shiva Shack from 4-6 pm
Restorative Yoga Retreat in Pinetop, AZ
Saturday, Aug. 30- Sunday, Aug. 31,
Meet Winter Yoga Retreat in Clearwater Beach, AZ
July of 2015
For more information, including registration and payment, please go to Ana-Yoga.com.
Much love to you and yours. Namaste, Ana
Upon arriving in Florida, I was greeted with a gentle pour down of rain. Months of Arizona dryness had taken a toll on me, and the soft rainfall was absolutely welcomed. We flew out early on a Monday to get into Florida in the early evening time. It is a tradition for our family to go away in the summers, and for the past three years, we have come here to Clearwater Beach. There are some touristy places here, but our family’s beach home is on a very private part of the beach. It is quite lovely and healing. We watch the dolphins and spend quality time in the sun and ocean. The highlight of the week was the paddle boarding and kayaking adventure. I can't believe that my son already can balance on the paddle board. To me, it was just yesterday that he was learning how to walk. Where does the time go? Before I left, I was asked to write an article about children’s yoga. I have included that article below. I worked on it on the airplane ride. Writing and traveling is interesting, and if the vata is out of balance, it is almost impossible to concentrate. The idea about the article just came from years on reflecting on the kind of world I want for my son.
Preserving the Light of Children
Upon reflecting on the past two years since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and other school tragedies, whether on K-12 or college campuses, I have deduced there clearly needs to be a societal and cultural change for the sake of our children’s security and well-being. For me, the Newtown tragedy was one of those moments in history where I could never forget exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard about the children’s fate on that December day of 2012. I was actually teaching a yoga class at 7 Centers Yoga Arts, and we did a healing meditation for the families. Admittedly, it was extremely difficult for me to get through the class without tearing up constantly. I felt like the children in Sandy Hook Elementary School were my children. When I found out that the shooter responsible was barely out of his awkward teens, I felt even more heartache. The incident was only a symptom of a deeper problem in our American youth.
I feel strongly it is time for us as a collective to preserve the Light of our children. Our children’s hearts and souls are being neglected to the point where we would rather medicate them then educate them on real life. We should help our children understand feelings and emotions, so that they can become resilient to life’s constant shifts and turns. We should help our children connect with Nature for a sustainable future, through hands-on actions like gardening. We should give our children the tools to understand energy management of the body through the practices of meditation and yoga so that they don’t constantly feel stressed and imbalanced. It is going to take the collective effort of the community to protect, support, and heal our children. This is where teaching children’s yoga becomes profoundly significant.
When we teach children’s yoga, we have a beautiful opportunity to expand the world of a spiritual child that may otherwise be lost. Yes, research has shown that children who practice yoga have improved memory, motor skills, and muscular skeletal functions. However, the benefits can even go deeper. By teaching yogic principles, we can help children build meaningful relationships, not only with people, but with Nature. We can help children build a strong foundation of self-confidence, self-esteem, and intuition. Ultimately, we can together help children find Dharma or life purpose. The Children’s Yoga Teacher Training Program at 7 Centers Yoga Arts is an invitation to change the life a child. Some highlights of the program are the Ayurvedic Nutrition class and the Ahimsa Anti-bullying elective. Also, we offer a comprehensive foundation of yoga techniques and practices to serve children no matter what developmental stage or special need. With the sincere intention to love and nurture the future generation, we can together heal and support our children. In conclusion, we and our children can lead the way to open the hearts for peace in our communities.
For Day 8 of my cleanse, my son was sick so my day was dedicated to managing his digestion. There is a pretty ugly stomach flu out there right now. At first, I thought that he may have had the measles. But after further investigation, the friend, who originally informed me of the measles exposure, called me back and said that the doctor misdiagnosed. The blood work had returned with a negative indication. I was totally relieved. My son is not vaccinated. We made that choice and was totally aware of the pros and cons of the route (another blog for later). However, I learned much about managing the measles in a conscious way (another blog for later). My son's oil regimen to heal is stomach yuckiness consisted of Eucalyptus oil (anti-biotic), Chamomile oil (digestive), and On Guard (anti-biotic).
For my exercise, I waited til my son was sound asleep with the angels (I used this term in the past and there was some confusion. I mean that he is in deep sleep with the angels and spirits in heaven.) and I went on a night walk for an hour. I realized that this whole process of transformation has been one big RESET button. We all need a time to reset our digestion or just reset our lives. And it is never to late to do this rebellious, courageous thing! What have you desired to reset? Your love life? Your career? Your spiritual life? Your relationships with your friends and families? What areas in your life do you want to change? Your body? Your mind? Your spirit? What areas of your life need to be reconciled? What has been lost or maybe just forgotten? What areas in your life do you not like? Are you totally excited about today? Are you totally excited about your life? Are you totally excited about your devotion to God? Are you ready to make your transformation?
Let me know if you would like a $50 Gift Card to go towards your cleanse. I highly recommend you embarking on this transformation for yourself.
My Day 7 felt nice and simple, compared to my Day 6. A trip to Phoenix the day before really made me exhausted. I love Phoenix sometimes, like in the months of December, January, February, and March. The rest of the time I don't think about it too much. My entire family lives there so it is nice to go down once in a while for holidays and to visit my grandmother. My sleep has been pretty horrible the entire time of the cleanse, so I was so happy when I got a nap of the seventh day. My energy was bouncy after the nap. It gave me the rest I needed to continue with my day. I lost another pound which is wonderful, and I feel lighter. All around, I feel lighter. Earlier in the cleanse, my mind felt like my life was in review, and now, my mind just feels clear and free. This is a very welcome change, because I don't like feeling strange in my own life. Have you ever felt that way? Like an outsider in your life? Well, I am sure that we all have felt this way sometime. I exercised 45 minutes by taking a walk outside in the night time under the moon. It amazed me that when we look up at the darkened sky, we are actually looking into the past. The night time and the darkness is only for us to rest and restore, and for the past to sparkle our own knowledge. Whatever we see in the dark, it is already happened in the past. All the stars and planets that we see with the naked eye is only a reflection of the past light. Very fascinating. Day 7 was a day of great gratitude, and my heart felt open to everyone and everything. I don't really have much more to say. Namaste.
My Sweet Grandmother
They say that Day 3 is the most challenging. However, I would disagree. My hardest day was by far Day 6. I think I walked right into Eat-Exactly-What-You-Are-Not-Supposed-To Street though. We celebrated Mother's Day early, and went to a pretty well-known buffet. This wasn't the challenging part of the night. I just had to mention it, because the food was horrible. I didn't eat it, but my sister told me all about it the next day. She said that it didn't have any life force whatsoever, and she was sure it was all GMO. We both could not understand how people could stand to pay $12 for a plate of awful, flavorless food. On the positive, it was decorated with pizazz and color. The appearance of the food was fabulous! Furthermore, the restaurant we went to was so packed full of people! I couldn't believe it, but they must not know the taste of true food. How could so many people be attracted to such awful food? And also, I don't mean to be hypercritical and believe me, I am not always correct. Nonetheless, I offer the question still: How can so many people devour food that is not good for them? It is just part of society I suppose. Addiction? If you have any insights on this, please let me know.
This day was my most challenging, because after the GMO Headquarters Restaurant, we visited my grandmother who is 89 years old, and we got her my favorite Mexican food. The soothing smell haunted me, and I immediately focused on the regimen of the cleanse. Mexican food, for me, is the ultimate comfort food. It reminds me of my mother. Tacos. Rice. Beans. Burritos. As kids, my siblings and I didn't call what we ate Mexican food, we just called it FOOD. Fresh Tortillas daily. Fresh tacos daily. Albondigas weekly. Menudo, every New Year's day. My family has been here for generations, and my aunt even owns a Mexican food restaurant in Phoenix. Thus, I reminded myself of my intention: Ana, clear your mind. Also, my grandmother really noticed my different appearance, which was further affirmation for me. Once I saw Eat-Exactly-What-You-Are-Not-Supposed-To Street, I am happy to say I turned around, and went to Cleanse Street. Overall, I didn't go off the cleanse. Namaste.
Yay! Hurray! I have made the half way mark. I spent my half way mark teaching Restorative Yoga at Seven Centers Yoga Arts, and relaxing all day with my son. My energy was very low, and I weighed in at 132 pounds. I think my day was pretty low-energy, because of the two and a half hour hike the day before. I committed to taking it easy for Day 5. Furthermore, my stomach felt different, and the cravings started. I was surprised that it took five days for cravings to come up in my thoughts. I don't think I had any of the obvious cravings. Some people instantly crave sugars and sweets, like cakes, cookies, and pies. I don't really eat those things to begin with so I didn't really crave that at all. My craving was more alluring. I absolutely love udon noodles or genuine ramen noodles. Plain noodles with onions, veggies, and garlic is a Thanksgiving dinner for me. (All organic of course.) I could have it everyday of the week, and before this cleanse, I ate it at least three times a week.
Why Organic Foods?
I mentioned before that the Purium cleanse is 100% organic. Many of my own family has asked me why choosing organic is so important. I should add also that I have been the joke of my family for choosing organic. They like to joke around about organic or inorganic, and I have learned to be light-hearted about the joking. It is kinda funny. Hey Ana, Is that TV show inorganic or organic?
When you do more research about organic foods and the health-related issues with non-organic or GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) foods, the decision and choice becomes very clear. It is important for many reasons: 1) GMO food is not actually considered food. It is considered organisms. Most inorganic foods are GMOs. According to Gmo-Foods.com, In September of 2012, French scientists discovered the actual long-term effects of GMOs on rats. More specifically, the effect of GMO corn on rats was the growth of tumors; 2) We need the most nutrient-dense foods for our families. Studies have shown that GMO foods and inorganic foods are less nutrient-dense. The rise of childhood obesity in the United States is a definite message. for us all. Our society culture is over-eating the poorly nutritious foods; and under-eating the foods rich in minerals and vitamins; and 3) Inorganic and GMO foods are weak in PRANA. Yes, prana is a wonderful gauge of the vitality and health of a vegetable or fruit (or any other food). Take a moment and connect with the PRANA of your food. If you can connect immediately, then you know it is alive and wonderful for the AGNI (fire) of the stomach. Often times when a dish or food is PRANA-less, you can feel it in the first bite. Your body gives you clear messages; the smell might be off or the taste might be spoiled or completely dull. Purium is a supporter of the Million Mom Movement, which is a pledge to CLEAN and GREEN, high-quality foods for families. To end, I wanted to share it with you today. Namaste.
The Million Mom Pledge
I pledge to defend the health of my family and myself.
I pledge to reject GMOs, artificial ingredients, trans fats and over-processed foods.
I pledge to educate myself, read labels and lead by example.
I understand my actions TODAY will positively impact the health of future generations.
I am COMMITTED to sharing this mission until I have a Million Moms by my side!
I did way too much exercise on Day Four of my Transformation Cleanse. My family and I hiked the Camp Verde caves across from Camp Verde High School. I didn't know it would turn into a two and a half hour adventure. On the cleanse, it is suggested that you exercise 30-45 minutes. Additional stress on the body should be avoided. Although I was aware of the exercise guidelines, I still participated and enjoyed the hike. The caves were so unique, and I had a distinct feeling that people lived there. I felt the spirits of the past. I looked around, and it felt as if it was a neighborhood hundreds of years ago. I could feel the tasks of the community being done, and the routines of living on the land. I felt special to connect to the history of the land. The limestone of the caves were like chalk. The ruins on the top of the mountains were untouched and preserved. We even found some ancient pottery pieces. My son was amazing; he hiked all the way up the mountain on his own. He didn't complain about it; he really enjoyed the hike. I really think one day he will be a long distance runner or cross country competitor. He is very athletic, and it comes totally natural to him. We also took our small dog, Chuy, who is just a puppy. And the dog did a fabulous job too. He loved it. He barked at every little creature though, which echoed from mountain to mountain. His barks awakened the spirit of the mountains. I saw the faces in the rocks; and they were very old and wise. I gave the rocks and mountains all my worries, and I made a wish.
I am working on a book that has totally challenged me to listen faithfully to the Mother, which is the Goddess. My fourth day was filled of listening exercises for me to examine and analyze. I returned again to the Goddess to help listen deeply with compassion and purpose and most of all clarity. Don't get me started about clarity! I feel like most of my life has had some level of confusion in decision making. The last six months for me has been a practice of clarity and clarity and yearning for more clarity. I noticed a few days ago that my son and I have communication problems, where sometimes he doesn't listen to me. I am sure there are instances where communication is an issue for everyone, but I wanted to see my 5 year-old's response to my question, "Why don't you listen to Mama?" And he simply said that he didn't know. I truly believe him. I don't think he knew. On this Day Four, my big realization was that I needed to listen to him with more understanding and more love. I thought that I had been listening to him, but in actuality, I was too busy to consistently listen to him with my heart. I know that no one is perfect, and I don't pretend to ever be perfect. I was just happy that I discovered a deeper understanding of my beautiful boy. You can't receive these moments of understanding if you are too rigid and firm with children. You need to lighten with them to totally understand their imagination and world. It is well worth the investigation. The Goddess led me to this deeper understanding of my family. I believe that she has a hand in everything I do and I am so grateful for her presence in my life.
Vitality of Listening and Loving
We all want to be heard and listened to unconditionally, especially children. It is an act of love to give another person this space and hold it safe and secure for them. When we rush to judgment and criticism, we are no longer listening. We are no long feeling. We are no longer empathizing with them. We cause them stress and generate stress within the thinking mind. This is a form of violence and aggression. Listening is the most loving act we can give another person. It is the most important weapon of our generation. It is the most forgotten skill in the world. Listening is one thing we can do today to change our entire environment. When we focus on what others are saying with loving intentions, then we become one with their hopes and dreams. Then we know that no word is ever wasted. No word is ever misused. We must know how to use the words wisely to empower us all. This is what really inspires me and motivates me on this journey.
What ignites your life? Where is your passion? Where is your excitement? We are meant to be excited about our own existence.
For the third day of my cleanse, I spent a few hours at the New Day Spa, and had a lovely massage. The new renovations were quite beautiful, and they have a jacuzzi which was so nourishing. There was an enticing contrast of the cool air and the hot, bubbly water of the hot tub. The clouds were perfectly painted across the sky. The spa setting was exactly what I needed. I actually received a Spawish gift certificate from my husband last December, and waited this long to use it. I really should do spa days more often, but as a mother, this is the last thing on the mind. This process thus far has been such an introspective time for me. The day was very low energy, and I couldn't quite get my footing. I felt like my entire life is on review. I asked at the beginning of this process that I remove all anger and judgment from my energy field, especially the anger and judgment that is in the subconscious. I don't want to know where it came from. I yearn to be free of its grip and limitations. I know how yoga is absolutely amazing at revealing the subconscious mind. This is all I want at this moment. I want everything to come into the light and be freed. I don't need to know anything else. My hope is to find the clarity at the end of the transformation.
Like I mentioned, I felt tired during the second half of the day, but I had to go off schedule, which really contributed to the low energy. I didn't plan properly when I was teaching yoga classes, but I didn't eat anything that wasn't on the flex list. Which brings me to mentioning some of the foods you can eat if you choose the flex options. On this cleanse, you are allowed three flex items; one drink and one food. You can have sauteed green vegetables or squash with some coconut oil and simple seasoning (no salt). You can also have a small apple or berries. You can drink herbal teas as well.
This is all for now. I need to spend time with husband, who has been so supportive during this entire cleanse. I am lucky to have such a wonderful support system. Much love to you and yours.
Welcome to the month of May, and we may be experiencing the effects of what is called the Grand Cross in the night sky. It is a rare occurrence when the planets of Jupiter, Mars, Uranus, and Pluto are all aligned to form a cross over the earth. This time has been one of great change, but not like we are not used to it already. 2014 has been packed full of surprises, and twists and turns. This month’s angel message comes from a Doreen Virtue Ph.D.’s deck, The Goddess Guidance Oracle Card.
Creating a Sacred Space
Nemetona’s message focuses on creating time for silence and retreat. Nemetona was a Celtic goddess that created, sustained, and honored several power places in England. My interpretation of receiving Nemetona card is that we all need to connect with sacred space regularly during this time of great changes. I talk about this quite often in my yoga classes. We all yearn to connect with divine silence and the practices of yoga and meditation can help. Develop a home yoga practice for fifteen to thirty minutes. Include lots of Pranayama breathing practices, which is the energetic bridge between the external and the internal.
How can we create a sacred environment within our homes? Very simple devotional scenes can bring peace to any living area. One idea is to create lovely altars. Select an empty space that is kept tidy and clear of clutter. Second, choose a center piece for your altar. It could be a picture of a deity, statue, candle, painting, art piece, rock, book, card (from an angel or tarot deck), fortune cookie message, collage you have created, life map, journal entry (with a wish list or intention), geographic map (that has special meaning to you), or flowers from a garden. Lastly, surround your center piece with offerings of love, such as flowers, silks, incense, essential oils, or fruit. Pay close attention to keeping your altar clean from dust. In my home, we have two altars with two different intentions. The altar in the kitchen is meant to keep the heart of our family healthy, and the other in the bedroom is meant for deep meditation and intuitive insights during sleep time. You can add an intention for your altar as well if you would like.
Creating Sacred Space with Sacred Essential Oils
Frankincense and sandalwood essential oils are perfect for home altars. Frankincense is often regarded as a holy oil in many countries and throughout time. It is mentioned in the Bible as one of the gifts given to Jesus by the three wise men. Many ancient civilizations used Frankincense in ceremony and ritual. As part of a home altar, it can be diffused or burnt as incense. Frankincense can help focus energy and calm impatience. On the other hand, sandalwood is used to balance the emotions. Sandalwood is another ceremonial holy oil, and ancient Egyptians used it for embalming. Sandalwood can be placed at the third-eye before and after meditation. Integrate the magic of frankincense and sandalwood into your home's environment and experience the energetic shift.
Free Essential Oils Class May 5th at 4 pm. Location: Mother’s Nest in Cottonwood, AZ.
Peaceful Restorative Yoga Retreat in Clearwater Beach, Florida
July 23- July 26 th
Peaceful Restorative Yoga Retreat in Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona
August 30- August 31st.
Spaces are limited. Reserve your space today. More details on my website. Much love to you, Ana
Yesterday at Mother’s Nest in Cottonwood, I taught a class on Emergency Oils and I want to share with you some of the resources I found while doing my research. I especially enjoyed the Dr. Hill’s video on Youtube which is below. First, I would like to mention using essential oils with confidence. Recently, I have been helping a family who has never used anything like oils before; not anything plant-based. They became open to using essential oils because monthly (steadily for four months) they have not been able to get rid of their colds and flus, and the frustration was overwhelming and real. I felt for them. My brother’s family has gone through that cycle of sickness. Once it get started, it is difficult to stop it. I suggested On Guard DoTerra Blend (similar to Thieves Blend) to them, and they are using it now. I spent an hour coaching them on being confident with using the On Guard. They seemed really hesitant to use it but completely curious. I could almost read their thoughts: Does it really work? What if it does work? What if it doesn’t work? Ultimately, I found that education is the key to feeling confident about using anything new. I also wanted them to feel empowered by using the oils; which hopefully that will grow and evolve. I felt baby steps are the key in introducing new oils. I have been using herbs and oils for the past 13 years and I forget that some people have no background or knowledge on where to begin. I haven’t been to an allopathic physician for over a decade. And I had a midwife for my child’s birth. For me, the reflex to run to a physician when I am sick is just not there anymore; when I get “sick” I go through a whole other process (which is for another blog). Confidence is the key; in knowing that this type of medicine has been used for a whole lot longer than chemical, synthetic-based medicines of the recent history. Egyptians have been credited as being the first to use oils as medicine; furthermore it can be traced back as part of India’s Ayurveda and China’s Acupuncture. All of these are ancient, sacred healing modalities that have withheld the test of time and modern industrialization.
The top Emergency Oils that I have on hand in my home farmacy are the following: lavender, Deep Blue (DoTerra Blend), lemon, and helichrysum. There are many other ones you can use as well; however these four are super versatile.
Lavender is a natural stress reliever. We often forget that emergencies come in all sized and shapes; mental and physical. Lavender is that Go-To oil in the case of all emergencies. For mental relief, we can turn to lavender to calm the nervous system; for depression; for shock; and for emotional pain. For cuts, scrapes, and bruises, we can turn to lavender oil for antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. It helps with skin rashes or skin cuts; and pain. It is the ultimate medicine to reduce stress in the body.
Deep Blue is a DoTerra blend that was specifically used for muscle aches and soreness. This is another versatile blend that I use for bruises or any joint problems. It is similar to Tiger Balm, but with much cleaner ingredients. The blend includes Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, German Chamomile, Helicyrsum, and Osmanthus. Ok. I love absolutely love peppermint oil, but I kept it out of my top four because it is more of a digestive in my mind; however, it could easily fit on this list, because of its cooling effect on cells and tissues. Deep Blue was specifically constructed to address problems in muscles and bones.
Helichrysum is useful in the repair and regeneration of the cells. It is safe to treat wounds, broken blood vessels, tissue repair and tissue repair. Energetically, it is used to calm down anger emotions and shock. This is only used for children 6 years and older; and of course adults.
Lemon is your natural sanitizer, cleanser, and disinfectant. You can make your own Lemon Sanitizer Spray by blending eight ounces of water with 10-15 drops of lemon essential oil. You can add 10-15 drops of On Guard into that blend as well. Keep this one in your bag at all times, instead of using those chemical-based sanitizers
Overall, I could have easily added my favorite oil of ALL time: Frankincense, because of its healing effects on the nervous system. The most important aspect of treating your child in emergency situations is being confident. Be confident with yourself and your ability to be your own physician. You can do it! I have done it and many mothers have done it too. Know that this is the tradition of real wellness and health. Also, you are showing your child true empowerment. This is priceless. Where else will they learn true health? Also, know when there are emergencies you can not treat, and when it is time to ask for more help. Hope this helps. Much love, Ana
Modern Essentials: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Oils, Fourth Edition