Friday, March 9, 2018

The Yogini Emerges - Are YOU an Accidental Yogini too?

Sat Nam.

The Accidental Yogini is out and available for purchase on amazon.com

Click Here to Purchase

The book follows the life of a girl named Kristin, who unexpectedly finds a yoga practice and through it transforms her life to one filled with purpose and full of love. The book jacket reads:

"Kristin is living the life that she never imagined. Her career has taken a wonderful turn, she has found a true love, and her day care full of mindfulness and purpose through a yoga practice. But it wasn't always this way. There was a time when Kristin's life was defined by painful issues in her tissues, poor eating habits, and negative thought patterns. She seemed stuck in a loop of bad luck and low-level energy vibrations. When her family and friends suggested that they all go to a yoga class together, Kristin was more than hesitant. After all, nothing else had helped her so far, so why would yoga be any different? Soon Kristin found herself on an unexpected journey of understanding and accepting the past, finding happiness in the present, regaining trust in the universe, and transforming into a person that hardly resembles her former self. Kristin, not unlike many others, is The Accidental Yogini."

The Final chapter of the book is titled "The Yogini Emerges." Well, here she is! And isn't she beautiful!?

The journey of this book is one that many people who practice yoga can relate to. Everyone who rolls out the yoga mat first did so for some reason or another. Maybe a doctor recommended it to help combat high blood pressure or anxiety. Perhaps you had an injury and someone you know suggested that yoga would help you recover. Or, maybe you just bought a Groupon to check it out on a whim. Either way, you came to yoga knowing very little about the practice, and honestly, may still only know a little about the depth of this amazing self-development practice.

Fun Fact: The yoga postures are not what defines yoga. Yoga is self-realization through the unifying of body, mind and soul. One of the tools in which to get in touch with the true self is through moving the body and dislodging misalignments and blocks in the physical self that may have resulted from negative experiences or traumas. So, what brings you to the yoga mat, is not the end all - be all - of yoga! And yet, here we all are, downward dogging the day away!

So now that the book is out, I want to hear about your journey to yoga. Are you An ACCIDENTAL YOGINI too? I bet that you are! And I want to hear your story. Here's how you can:

1. Post a comments on this blog
2. Email me at Info@oneyogacenter.net with permission to share your story.
3. Join the Facebook Page for The Accidental Yogini BY CLICKING HERE NOW
Once you've joined the page, you can contribute your story right here to share with others on how you are also The Accidental Yogini!

I'm putting together a fabulous contest and will pick a winning story. Stay tuned for details and dates! In the meantime, share your story of how yoga has helped to transform your life in the most positive and unexpected ways!

Namaste.
Tracey

The Spiritual Challenges of Writing

Writing does not come easily to all people. To others words flow effortlessly to the page or screen. I have always found myself to be the later, the person who can write all day until her hand hurts, and never stop except to occasionally eat and use the bathroom.

There is something cathartic about writing and releasing emotions and blocks through the process of it. Using the hands, which are an expression of the heart-center, a writer is challenged to drop into the deepest recesses of his or her heart and to explore and share those "secrets" with the world. I have always found this to be true. Yet, this does not make the process an easy one.

Last year I began a re-write of a book I'd thought of penning for years. I always knew the title: The Accidental Yogini. For some time I thought it would be the story of me and my journey. But through the years of sharing so much of myself in blogs, classes, and with students, I realized that my story was already out there enough. And yet there was a book that needed to be written.

One morning I sat up in bed and realized that the book should be a fictional novel and one that I could incorporate aspects of many of the students and yoga teachers that I had met over my many years of teaching yoga. I knew that this format change was vital, and I set out right away to begin working on it. Just like always, the words flew out and onto the page effortlessly. And yet the more that I wrote, the more that my spirit was challenged. Thoughts of self-doubt and worth also flew in as I wrote. For a time the heroine is a hot mess, so writing her character and the negativity that she embodied not only brought up lots of old patterns and fears within me, but created new ones that I never even knew that I had.

The writing was effortless, but the emotional and spiritual wounds being brought up were demanding attention. This put me into a strange place. I found myself confused about who I was or what I really wanted in life. I pondered the meaning of life with great effort, only to find myself coming up short many days on that all powerful question of WHY!? Through the process of writing the book the heroine finds a life of purpose and love because of an unexpected yoga practice that she falls into and what that brings up in her. I found myself also diving back into my yoga asana practice more than I had been for years. My body some times felt stronger and some times so much weaker. I wanted to practice like I had years before, but my body would remind me that I was in may 49th year and closing fast in on 50. Each day held a new and often agonizing moment of either physical, mental or emotional pain - all while I was writing about a girl's positive journey through yoga. I knew that this was all a part of my own journey - the divine plan. And yet, each day I effortlessly wrote and painfully practiced. And just like the heroine, I felt myself slowly becoming stronger - day - by - day.

At first these gained strengths were not easy to see. The progression snuck up on me, just like hers does in the book. I found myself suddenly one day realizing that my body had worked and released some blocks and traumas and that my mind was starting to find its groove again.

By the time I launched my book, The Accidental Yogini, on Feb 18, 218 (11:11), I was ready to release her and myself to the world. I finally came to the place where writing is not a hobby, but a deep life-purpose for me that needs to be shared with the world. I understand that I may not be the literary genius of the century, but I certainly have a lot to share and that the time has come to do so. I finally feel good about "coming out" as a writer and putting myself out wholly and completely in that energy. And, with that, certain challenges remain.

We are always on a journey of self-discovery. With each passing year we hope to get closer to who we really are - our true self. I feel privileged to have a venue in which to help me achieve that understanding. Writing is certainly not an easy process, even when the words come out effortlessly. Through the process of writing, one can most certainly ascertain greater insights into his or her own soul. But even more so, it can help one to clear out the blocks that smear or smudge the sense that we use to see ourselves with. You just have to find the courage to do it.

In Love, Service & Wisdom.
Tracey

Thursday, March 1, 2018

March's Theme 2018: EMRACE THE CHANGE

March 2018's Theme: 
EMBRACE THE CHANGE!

The old adage says that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. With the Spring Equinox signifying the equal day of light and dark, and with warmer, brighter, longer days immediately following, change has always been the mantra for March. 

As a practitioner of yoga you probably already know that this practice can bring about significant life-changes. As the practice allows you to reconnect with your true and authentic self, first through the body, but then onto the deeper levels of your being, you cannot help but come to understand yourself more, and thusly, make the changes in your life that are calling to you to do. And yet, we often struggle with change, don't we? The familiarity of our existence, even when it is not fantastic, is often chosen over the unknown, which some might think could be worse than what we've already got. But, nothing great ever happened by not taking those chances and stagnating. 

Just when caterpillar thought world was over it became a butterfly. - proverb.

Your yoga practice is always there for you during times of change, helping create balance where you need it. Weather patterns can abruptly change during the month of March, wreaking havoc on our immune and other body systems. Nothing new is growing quite yet to eat in our area, so we are rationing the last of our stored food or eating veggies that have been shipped from across the country or world, often lacking in significant prana (life force energy). It's important to continue to nurture this month during the cycles of change. But be careful not to overdo it physically. Spring will be here soon enough, bringing a boost of energy for everyone. Until then, use March to move smoothly through any changes, but with the heightened energy of the double-dosed full moons on both the 1st and last day of this month, be prepared for significant and positive things to manifest! 

Here are some helpful yogic tools for March in helping cultivate this energy:

Chant: The Hindu goddess, Saraswati is honored each Spring in India with her own festival. Chant to Saraswati, goddess of arts, wisdom and learning this month to give you the extra push to finish up winter projets: 
OM AIM SARASWATI NAMAHA (Salutations to the Goddess Saraswati)
Meditation: Chakra Balancing guided mediations are great for March. Get those energy centers aligned and balanced! 
Breath: Breath of Fire. This powerful breath cultivates the powers of transformation. It is a challenging breath done by exhaling sharply through the nose while pulling the belly in rapidly and repeated. The inhale is more passive through the nose. Focus on the sharp exhales, pumping the belly. Start slowly for 20 reps, then gradually increase in speed and reps. Contraindications: high blood pressure (unmedicated), pregnancy, recent surgery, abdominal issues. 

Postures: All yoga is going to be helpful this month, but we especially invite you to try a different class or style than what you usually attend, attacking your practice with the beginner's mindset! You can also practice 108 Sun Salutations on the day of the Spring Equinox. This is a powerful ritual performed by yogis on the solstices and equinoxes. So, if you can't get to it now, we still have summer solstice coming!

Alter: Your alter for March is for the energies of the Spring Equinox. Although Easter isn't until April 1st, eggs are a popular symbol used for the Spring Equinox. You can get plastic eggs or use hardboiled ones and color them. Write positive words or affirmations on a piece of paper to put inside the plastic eggs, or write them on the hard boiled eggs. I suggest a green colored candle at the center of your alter, for growth.

Here's how you can join us in March at One Yoga Center to support our theme of Embrace the Change:

Meditation (moving within, relaxing the mind & restoring the body)
Monday Meditations with Tracey at 11 am. $5 if attending 9:30 am class or $10 drop-in

Combating Compassion Fatigue - Sunday March 18, 11:15 am - 1:45 pm
Is it burnout? Compassion fatigue? Vicarious trauma? Or am I just a little nervous? Those in healing professions discover over time that there is a cost for caring. We may seem that we are dealing with our stress, but it can be too much and draining. Join clinician and yoga teacher, Kathryn Bedard, as she leads us through discussion, self-assessment, and healing plans. Investment $45. 
Drumming Circle - Saturday March 24, 6:30 pm
Drumming has a powerful way of moving through and releasing energy. Join our friend and drummer, Vincent Pierce-Smith, as he guides us through a drumming circle! Investment: $20

Kundalini Gong Immersion - Saturday March 31, 4:30-6:30 pm
Join Malkaprem on a deep, healing Kundalini Gong Immersion! This sound vibrational healing is just the beginning of this deep, transformational event. Investment: $40  
We hope you will take some time to join us in these amazing offerings! 

In Love, Service & Wisdom, Tracey and the One Yoga Center Teachers.

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Special Message from Tracey for March

Embracing Change seems to be a regular mantra for me. I am always changing something around - my hair, the statues in the yoga room, my furniture - you name it! When I was younger I did not like change. I remember getting stomach aches whenever I began a new school - including the day my parents dropped me off at college. Perhaps the biggest change in my life occurred when I left my full time job to teach yoga and do massage full time. It was scary, but it propelled me on a journey of embracing change that I now welcome with anticipation!

I've been working on changing certain aspects of my life once again. The biggest things I always need to change are my mindsets or thought patterns. Take my writing: I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I treat it as a hobby and not a profession. I decided that I was ready to embrace being a writer - and all that this meant - and I went into my latest book with a different mindset: one of a successful, professional writer! Of course the book isn't out yet (maybe by the time you read this it will be), but the feedback I've received by my team of editors and community has been tremendous. I'm bringing in my two favorite things: yoga and writing! And I cannot wait to share The Accidental Yogini with the world. I'll be sure to announce when the book is release and the launch party is going to be - so please stay tuned! Here is a glance at the cover:

One thing that always helps me in dealing with change is trusting that the universe has my back and that while I may not always be able to see where the present change is going to propel me next, I know that it is going to be something wonderful and for my best and highest good. I realize that trusting is not always easy, but its better than living in fear and worrying about not being able to control things. Nothing good can come from this way of being. And the reality is that you can never control anything anyway. So, be in the flow, trust in the universe, and embrace the change! 

In Love & Light,
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Founder, One Yoga & Wellness Center LLC, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours (E-RYT500), RYS, CMT, Energy Worker, 11:11 True One.

If you would like to meet for private yoga, spiritual counseling or mentoring, contact Tracey at (609) 918-0963 or Info@oneyogacenter.net

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 2018 theme: LESS IS MORE!

February 2018's Theme: 
LESS IS MORE!

The concept of "Less is More" is one that is often challenging in our Western culture. However, more and more people are embracing simplicity in their lives - some going to the point of stripping down to very bare necessities, sprouting the now popular term "minimalistic." 

The Yoga Sutras offer many teachings about simplicity and any student of yoga often finds him or her self already on this path. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sutra II.40 says:
Through simplicity and continual refinement (Saucha), the body, thoughts, and emotions become clear reflections of the Self within. 
 
Therefore, a yogi or yogini is constantly seeking to live simply, which, in turn, clears energy at the body, mind and soul levels. We in the west, however, have been mostly raised with ideas like, "those with the most toys, wins" or "bigger is better." And there are many who still believe this to be true and live in this way. But, our obsession with excess has created problems that never existed before. In fact, the more "stuff" we possess, the more problems we create. 
 
In 2001 a visiting yogi named Sadhuru Jaggi Vasudev gave a talk at Princeton University on the "Art of Effortless Living." He said something that has always stuck with me - he said, "Animals have one problem: Hunger. When that's fed, they are happy. But with us once our hunger is fed, that's just he beginning of our problems." He went on to say that we create all of our other problems and have cultivated a culture of unhappiness that is now the norm because we continue to seek happiness by looking outside of ourselves for it. And are you ready for the kicker? He also said, "Using external means to be happy creates enslavement to the thing that you are trying to use to make you happy. Slowly you destroy what you seek and wind up unhappy."
 
WORD!
 
What we seek - what we all truly seek - is happiness. At the end of the day, we all just want to be happy. And believe it or not, this is totally achievable without any of your "stuff." In fact, your "stuff" is what is getting in the way of your happiness.
 
February is the last of the cold, damn, dark months. March ushers in the Equinox - the day of equal light and dark - and shows the promise of Spring. February is beautifully positioned in the year for releasing and letting go of excess. Whether to you this means accumulated possessions or inflammation in your body, let's work to release and purify the system and the energy around us this month and discover for yourself how less can be more!
 
Here are some helpful yogic tools for February in helping cultivate the energy of LESS IS MORE:
 
ChantOM. Keeping to simplicity, the mantra OM is the primordial vibrational sound that created all that exists or has ever existed in the universe. OM is all. Why not chant the simple mantra OM daily?
 
Meditation: Silence is a perfect meditation for this time of year. It is also the most challenging! So, start with several rounds of OM to help focus energy, and then focus on your normal breath. Try to keep your mind focused on this and coming back to this over and over, while still allowing for other thoughts to emerge. Start with 3-5 minutes, and give yourself permission to sit in a chair or lay down (just as long as you don't fall asleep).
 
Breath: Natural Breath. That's right. Your natural breath is beautiful. Sit or lay down comfortably and follow the ebb and flow of the inhalation and exhalation. Notice also any pause in between...it's as simple as that. 

Postures: Gentle and Restorative yoga postures can be hugely beneficial for this time of year. Doing less does not mean that you are not attending to your health and well being. Giving yourself time to rest and restore in a yoga practice can be everything! Check out our gentle classes on the regular schedule and the Restorative class this month below.

Alter: Your alter for February can be simple too. Since Imbolc is around February 2nd, use items appropriate for this time of year. A white cloth and candle at the center and an offering of water or milk can be added. Since there are no fresh flowers in February, you can put some dried-out herbs leftover from your garden on the alter, or some grains in an offering bowl. Remember that your alter is where you attend to your daily intentions, prayers and meditations, so always keep this area clean, and remove items from the past month.

Here's how you can join us in February at One Yoga Center to support our theme of LESS IS MORE:

Meditation (moving within, relaxing the mind & restoring the body)
1. Monday Meditations with Tracey at 11 am. $5 if attending 9:30 am class or $10 drop-in
2. Kundalini Meditation with Nirmal Nam Kaur Thursday Feb. 85pm $10
3. Crystal Bowl Meditation with Shalini Sunday Feb. 11, 11:30 am $25

Restorative Yoga w/Essential Oils, Sunday Feb. 18th 1 pm with Barbara
There's no better gift than the gift of self care. On Sunday Feb 18 join Barbara as she guides you through a restorative practice to soothe your body, calm your mind and  recharge your spirit. Through a series of supported poses you will nurture your nervous system leaving you feeling more balanced, relaxed, and refreshed. Barbara will also infuse the class with special essential oils for an added relaxation affect! Investment $40.
 
Yoga Regular Classes (creating balance for body, mind & soul)
Yoga has a way of creating balance where you need it. At One Yoga Center we try to work with the natural energy for the time of day and year in our regular classes. So, stop in and see any of our amazing teachers as we facilitate classes for all levels.
 
We hope you will take some time to join us in these amazing offerings! 

In Love, Service & Wisdom, Tracey and the One Yoga Center Teachers.

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Special Message from Tracey for February 

February is a short little month packed with a lot of punch. Valentine's Day aside, this month is full of holidays and special events, but is still mostly dark, damp and cold. Why do people get sick? Because we over do it in February. We still need to rest and take it easy, guys. I am reminding myself here too, because as we all know by now, I need it. This is why I felt it important to introduce the theme of LESS IS MORE for this month. 

When I first began holistic massage school the idea of less is more was introduced to me. In holistic philosophy, this is an imperative theme. I often think of how people begin new projects and new year intentions with overloaded energy, and then peter out fairly quickly. The idea is that by introducing things slowly and mindfully, the body, mind and spirit can integrate it gently into the entire being for longer and better affects. I have definitely found this to be true for me and in my life. And I have found profound benefits from using the approach of less is more even in my yoga practice. 

For instance, you know that place we call your "edge" in a posture? That point where you go to and maybe there is some shaking or notification from your body that you can, in no way, continue any farther? Well, I teach to find that spot, and pull away from it just slightly. Find the place where you can breathe into the pose in comfort and ease, as all yoga masters teach. You will find that if you stay and breath here that you will gradually increase your edge. If you push it, however, you will often find pain and even injury as a result. Thus, less is more.

The entire yoga practice teaches this concept. Simplicity, refinement and mindfulness are all taught in yoga. There are no sutras that mention purchasing the newest yoga mats each year for better performance or owning 47 pairs of leggings (oops)...and yet...

Last month I began a process of going through many levels of things and determining that it was time to purge and release in a bigger way. This epiphany came after a realization that I simply had too much "stuff." This stuff - these things - are not only possessions, but behavior patterns as well as excess weight and inflammation in my body. If everything is energy, then every little thing that you hold on to, attaches and creates issues. These accumulated attachments therefore create chronic pains and problems that continue to manifest into more energy and it can seem endless. I realized the only way to truly begin to heal all of the layers of "stuff" is to begin to let it go. And then in the end, less is more.

I came across this powerful manifesto that I invite you to invoke with me for February:
In Love & Light,
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Founder, One Yoga & Wellness Center LLC, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours (E-RYT500), RYS, CMT, Energy Worker, 11:11True One.

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Power of Being Authentic & Embracing Yourself

I've been pondering the nature of being authentic and embracing my true nature a lot lately. We live in a world today where every minute detail of our lives are played out on social media in front of everyone we know and often judged and misinterpreted. So we may learn to play certain aspects of our lives up...and other ones deemed negative or inappropriate by others, down.

Can you relate? I can.

A few years ago I entered one of my self published books into a writing competition. One of the professional criticisms that I received back was that I write very straight-forward, something that he often sees from people who live in New Jersey. I grew up with the impression that this was actually a good thing. Suddenly this very successful publisher was telling me the opposite.

When I am criticized - by anyone - I always take a step back and assess it. I think about what the person is saying and if there is validity to it. I really try to go deep and figure out if there is some way I can learn and grow from what is being said or if the comments are just this other person's "stuff." I dove deeply into this for a long time and in the process, I lost myself. I admit it. I have been holding back - a lot. This holding back, unintentionally or not, created a pattern of me holding on to excess weight and pain in my body. One part of me knew this, but another part of me was still questioning how much I should be who I authentically was and how much I should shut it off so that I was more appealing to others who had criticized me - the least of which was this publisher.

Over the years people have come to me to tell me what other people have said about me. Sometimes these are from people who I know have a personal vendetta against me due to their own jealousies and other "stuff." yet I always listened to the feedback. At first I didn't think that this was affecting me. But in hindsight, I can see how the collected data has. I started to hold back my energy, my light - my power. I started to listen to other people more, in general. And I started critiquing myself based on what other people had to say about how a good yoga teacher should be or should not be too. I started to believe the judgements. And in this process, I stopped being me.

A little tip: you are never going to please all the people all of the time. Someone said that. I have to google it. Point is, you cannot please everyone and - not every one is right either.

About a week ago I moved the yoga studio around. I actually put it the way I wanted to set it up two years ago. These other people's voices that got into my head and had me misjudging myself and my intuition really messed with me. I stopped listening to my gut and started trying to do things I thought other people would like. When I finally course corrected the studio, I felt like my old self. I can only explain it to say that I felt lighter and better than I have in at least the last two years. Moving the studio from East Windsor to Hightstown was a good idea, I knew that. But, I have been complaining how challenging the work has been in reinventing myself. Why? Why did I get the feeling I had to reinvent myself? The question was, what was wrong with me to begin with? Not one of my favorite movies, but there is a line in Pretty Woman where Julia Roberts says, "people put you down enough, you start to believe it." Powerful stuff...

I don't know where I get the strength sometimes to pull myself out of things, but I can say that I was raised by a very strong woman and two very strong Grandmothers so I believe that they rubbed off on me in just the right way. I am thankful for all the supportive people that I do have in my life, but at the end of the day, I know that it is only me who can get myself up and going again. I had to pull myself out of whatever self-loathing habit that I had gotten into when I allowed myself to listen to other people's critiques of me. And I had to find myself again. I believe that I have. And I am feeling great.

I will still continue to be mindful of my thoughts and actions. I will speak with truth and integrity, but not when to do so might hurt another person. I will be a better me than I was before because of this. But hey, I'm a Jersey girl. So, really, if you don't like it, head out...turn the page...stop listening. But when you need an honest person to have your back, you'll look for someone like me, won't you?

So, that's me. I'm back, baby...and ready or not, here I come!

In Love...

- T

Monday, January 1, 2018

January's Theme: COMPASSION

January 2018's Theme: 
COMPASSION

COMPASSION is one of the highest vibrational qualities that a person can possess. To be compassionate, we must be able to be there for another with a full and open heart as well as for ourself. To be compassionate there is no judgement. To be compassionate there is no end game or interest in receiving anything back. To be compassionate, you just need to be loving and willing.

Creator of the Indigo Angel cards, Doreen Virtue says, "The answer to your question involves treating those around you in the same way you wish to be treated. This card reminds you that how you act affects everything and everyone in your life. This is a time to show the higher part of yourself. To move forward, you must exude higher energy, because what you give out is what you receive. So check in with yourself and take inventory to ensure that you are treating others with fairness and compassion." 

In our haste to get on with the day, we can sometimes cut off our loved ones. We can be consumed by work, social media, or issues that we may be having in our own life and not allow ourselves to connect in a true way with those around us. We can also be very judgmental. Ask yourself if you snap to an opinion about something or someone without really knowing them or understanding the entirety of the issue? There is a quote, "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes." How else can we know, really? It has been said that everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. So let's assume that anyone who cuts you off, talks over you, or is rude or ignorant, is having a problem and needs a little love and compassion sent their way. It may not always be easy, but in the end it will be carry you to higher places than you can imagine. 

Through cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, the conciseness becomes favorably disposed, serene and benevolent. - Patanjali's Yoga Sutra 1.33

For the month of January, consider how you can construct a life filled with compassion. Here are some helpful yogic tools:

Chant:
OM MANI PADME HUM. This Tibetan chant is associated with the bodhisattva of compassion. It translates roughly to "the jewel in the lotus flower." 

Mudra: Lotus. Bring your hands in front of your heart and touch the base of the palms together, thumbs touching and pinkie fingers touching. Soften the fingers and allow them to fold open like lotus petals. 


Postures: Those that open your heart-center like yoga mudra, Hare, Eagle-arms, Cow-Face, Camel, Bow, and even the Warrior II series where the arms are reaching out.

Alter: Add a statue or picture of the goddess Kuan Yin or Mother Mary, both of whom help invoke energy of compassion for all beings to your alter this month. Make offerings of fresh roses flowers or rose scented incense or oils.

Discussion/Meditation: CLICK HERE FOR DALAI LAMA TALK ON COMPASSION AND MINDFULNESS MEDITATION

If you want to explore some of these helpful tools for opening to compassion in a particular class this month, just let us know!

In Love, Service & Wisdom, Tracey and the One Yoga Center Teachers!

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Special Message from Tracey for January 2018

Its 2018 and another opportunity to begin anew. January always feels like an energetic, hopeful month for me. I usually take some time to evaluate my past year prior to the Winter Solstice so that I am clear what I am bringing in with the new year. 

There were many good things that came with 2017. I love to travel and had the opportunity to co-lead a yoga retreat to Bali, Indonesia in March. In April I took a bucket-list trip to to one of the most remote and misunderstood places on the planet: Easter Island. I was blessed to travel with one of my very closest friends and we couldn't have had a better, more magical, spiritual trip. And then in October I also hit another bucket travel list: I stepped onto the continent of Africa when I took a trip for myself to Morocco! Personally, I was able to spend more time with family and some friends that I hadn't seen in a while as I found myself drawn to reconnecting with many people in my life. And professionally I was blessed to be able to finally work with some of my favorite people on this planet: the athletes of Special Olympics NJ. I am donating my time to working with these athletes and their caregivers in a unified program with SONJ and have been asked to develop a larger program for them too. I am finishing up a new book that has a yogic bend to it and cannot wait to publish it this year. And let's not forget my work with Gwen R. and Yoga4Sobriety, where I get to share my knowledge of yoga for those in and for teachers and therapists who are helping those in ongoing recovery. Wow! Looking back, I am overwhelmed by the amount of positive energy and abundance that I had in my life for 2017!

Of course, where there is light, there is also dark. 2017 started off a little rough for me with my accident. I learned that a head trauma is no joke. And this issue hung around with me throughout the year, providing me with humbling opportunities in which to learn the value of slowing down, simplicity and what is truly important in life. I also had a few other health scares - the least of which is not my latest bought of salmonella poisoning that my body worked through without any medications. Health in 2017 was certainly not the best. But, I look at this all as a sort of cleansing and purification process preparing for 2018.

The biggest challenges for me this past year came from a spiritual conundrum of sorts. As a small business owner, I work a lot of hours that people do not see on the computer, with billing and marketing, answering phone calls, emails and texts from students and more. Taking time off for my health, having a slow summer at the yoga studio and having to cancel events ushered in an anxiety that I never had before. When revenue slows down, I have to figure out new ways to generate income...and this usually means working more. But the universe put things in place to slow me down and put me out of commission. I often found my ego and spirit in an intense game of tug-of-war! I love what I do and I do what I love. So I'm still figuring out how to balance it all: to nurture myself and take care of my health while still owning thriving businesses that help change lives for the better.

There are no surprises in life. January's card is COMPASSION. I find that I have so much compassion for others and helping people find their purpose and work through their journey, but I have little compassion for myself or taking time to work through my own things. This energy goes deep for me - this is past life stuff, karmic stuff, and archetypal stuff. These are some of my deep-seeded spiritual issues, and it is, of course, with perfect timing that the universe has me working through it now.

Ah, but there is hope! 2018 has sprung and a new year has begun. Hard work does pay off. But I have a feeling that what the future holds is not always going to be "business as usual." And this is goes for many of us. I find some key words for me for 2018 are mentoring and ministering. I still plan on teaching yoga and offering trainings and workshops at One Yoga Center - as long as you show up for them! So if you have been "meaning to" get back to your practice - now is the time! 

I'll end by offering you some questions in which to ponder for this year:
What energy does your spirit want for you for 2018? An how can you bring more compassion into your life? 

With Love & Compassion,
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Founder, One Yoga & Wellness Center LLC, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours (E-RYT500), RYS, CMT, Energy Worker, 11:11 True One.

PS If you want to learn some "key words" for yourself for 2018, schedule an 11:11 card reading with me today! It's a great way to start the year with perfectly clear intentions.

Friday, December 1, 2017

December's Theme: MANIFEST

December's 2017 Theme: 
MANIFEST!!!

The art of MANIFESTING is not, in theory, that difficult. It first requires one to be in alignment (body, mind & soul) with his or her dharma, or truth. Then, to properly MANIFEST, one needs to believe and then to align all thoughts, words, and actions to the "goal." See, that's it!

So why do we have such difficulty manifesting our dreams?

One reason is that human beings tend to dwell on what is not working in their life or what is wrong, in stead of their full potential. Another is that there tends to be a lot of thinking...and a lot less action in the direction of the goal. And then there is the fact that many people do not really understand just what it means to MANIFEST. 

Creator of the Indigo Angel cards, Doreen Virtue says, "The act of MANIFESTATION is more than just dreaming about what you desire in life - it's deciding that your dreams have already come to fruition on the spirit level and trusting that with Divine timing they will appear in material form. This card asks you to be aware of how much your energy affects the reality around you and to realize the importance of believing in yourself. When you're using your natural manifestation power, you feel complete and trust and know that every new day is preparing you for the next chapter of your life." 

Divine Timing...hmm...that's an interesting factor too! Yes, sometimes we need to hold the faith, keep up the work, and just hang in there until the time is right for it to all come to be. Are you patient enough?

We realize that it is difficult understanding just how to MANIFEST your dreams. Sometimes having guidance and tools are the first steps in successfully MANIFESTING. So, here you have it - some MANIFESTING EVENTS here at ONE YOGA!

VISION BOARDING - Sunday, Dec. 3rd, 11 am - 12:30 pm. Join Tracey for a Vision Boarding event for 2018. Manifest the year you desire by creating a Vision Board that you can look at and create a daily ritual around. Tracey will guide you through a grounding meditation and visualization. Then we will cut & paste particular things onto our board, creating a visual piece of art as well as a perfect manifesting tool! Investment $35 (includes board, glue stick & some cut outs as well as the guidance). Please bring magazines or cutouts and scissors.

6th CHAKRA IMMERSION - Sunday Dec. 3rd, 11 am - 5:30 pm.
Yes, that's right...same day! The Vision Boarding is a part of this full day Immersion to the 6th Chakra, the center responsible for visualizing and seeing the truth. Perhaps yours is blocked! Maybe you cannot clearly see the patterns in your life that are creating continual problems for you and prohibiting your ability to create and manifest your dreams! If this speaks to you, stay with us the whole day for $75 and Tracey will lead you through many things to help you manifest!

SHAMANIC JOURNEY TO FIND YOUR POWER ANIMAL - Sunday Dec. 17, 2 pm
We begin with a ritual cleansing and creating of sacred space. Then, Tracey will guide you through a Shamanic meditation to discover your current Power Animal, a totem that can help you navigate your current life situations with strength, hope and grace.
Wear comfortable clothing, bring a journal, and get ready for special Sacred Journey right at home! Investment: $30.

108 PRANAMS - Sunday Dec. 18th, 11:15 am - 12:30 pm
Pranams are similar to Sun Salutations, but considered "bowing." This incredibly spiritual practice will help you to clear out the spiritual clutter within and open up to that ability to understand the importance of divine timing and the universe's role in our life's unfolding. Investment: $30.

We hope that you will join us for some of this incredible offerings to help you MANIFEST the life you are meant to live!
In Love, Service & Wisdom, One Yoga Center Teachers!

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Special Message from Tracey for December

The holidays are fast approaching whether we like it or not. And while many people are busy running around buying gifts and preparing for the festivities, this time of year I always step back and assess the past year, and begin planning for the coming one. I got a jump on things and created a new vision board for myself about a month ago because I knew that I needed to refocus my manifesting energies. But to me, that is what this time of year is really all about: manifesting. So when I was shuffling the cards and this one fell out of the deck (as the one card I pick tends to do frequently), I was not surprised.

I realized that I do a lot of manifesting. But I also recently realized how unfocused and kind of scattered my energy has been. This has created a little blip in my manifesting. I could blame this lack of focus on my concussion and many other things, but when I get right down to it, this past year (2017) has been largely about me learning how to slow down, get focused, and realign with what I am truly meant to be doing...and in the process, stop spreading myself so thin and trying to do too much.

I remember when I first graduated massage school, in what feels like a whole other lifetime ago, and I began learning about different techniques, holistic healing tools, and other interesting things. I wanted to do it all and learn it all. I started doing that, but soon realized that I had to focus on something and master that - instead of being that jack of all trades, but master of none. So, I focused on yoga for the majority of the past 17 years. I've amassed thousands of hours of teaching my own regular classes, not to mention thousands of more hours training people to teach yoga. Don't even get me started on my own hours on the mat...countless by now. I am in no way saying that I know everything that there is about yoga, but I know a lot. And I've seen a lot. Now, yoga is such a part of who I am that you can barely imagine who I am without the practice. This is something that I am very proud of and yet, quite humbled by. My hope is to continue to teach others for many more thousands of hours. And although you might think that this should be easy, it is something that I still have to work on manifesting - all the time. The popularity of yoga has changed this saturated market, and although I have been in business for a really long time, and have a lot to share, the options for people with yoga are so vast now. So, I continue to manifest for the studio and for myself this year, just as every year before. I am also just finishing up writing a book with a yoga theme that I am quite excited to share with you all in the beginning of 2018. I want to work on manifesting a lot with that! In addition, there is my newest venture of yoga retreats with a spiritual bend: Sacred Journeys. The inaugural trip to Greece is still booking for June 2018 and I am also currently working on dates for Peru & Thailand in 2019.

As you can see, I have a lot to manifest! And, I want to help you manifest too. I have several events listed above to help you with just that. But, I am also available to help you find your focus, dharma, and purpose one-on-one. If you would like to schedule a personal spiritual counseling with me or with using the 11:11 cards, contact me. These are incredible transformational cards that can help you realign with your true self and clear the energetic clutter in your life. I love using them myself and know that you will love them too! Email me at Info@oneyogacenter.net to or call (609) 918-0963 to schedule today.

Let's create the 2018 that speaks to our soul and makes our spirit sour!

In Love & Light.
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Founder, One Yoga & Wellness Center LLC, Experienced-Registered Yoga Teacher 500 hours (E-RYT500), RYS, CMT, Energy Worker, 11:11True One.