Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The Marrakech Migraine

I went to Morocco with no expectations other than to do something different and get away, to clear my head, and to put things into perspective again. I decided that I would be a big shot, drive myself to JFK, park long term parking, travel alone, and return in the same manner. I would not be alone while in Morocco, but I was going on an adventure to Africa!


* * *

A staff member whipped a garbage bag open and it sounded like dynamite going off in my head. My teary eyes squinted to see what was happening, but the lights were too intense and I quickly pulled my hood over my head and face again. I took a deep breath. There were too many voices for my brain to interpret. Each person that spoke sounded like they were doing so through a bullhorn. My husband, checking his phone for football scores, clicks on a video of a sportscaster and I jump up, grab my head and move to another seat. There is laughing, sobbing, registration clerks typing and asking for information, family members squabbling over what to do, a security officer telling someone to step further back, and then there is the door...the door slamming over and over again as another nurse walks into a back room after screaming out a patient's name.

* * *

I am back in Marrakech, Morocco. We are at a lively dinner show. As the tajine arrives, belly dancers begin to roam the room, followed by snake charmer's flutes and drumming. Our group laughs and talks amongst ourselves - there are 10 of us at dinner and the conversations go from what we ordered for dinner to what is happening around us. A woman with a stacked candle display on her head danced by. The trumpeters begin their music. My head begins to throb, and I turn to a fellow traveler, a neurologist. She advises me to take advil and stave off any headaches. I do so, which means no wine for me for dinner...tonight. I snap some pictures in the restaurant and try to listen across the table to some of the conversations there. My friends yell to me as the bellydancer climbs on the table. We all clap and yell loudly, provoking her to dance more wildly for her dollars. And then the hookah is ordered and slowly passed around the table. More laughing, more dancing, more loud instruments, and yes, more food.

Because in Marrakech, it just keeps coming!






* * *

I am taken to the room with the loud slamming door for bloodwork and urine sample. It is a little quieter back here, but she cannot find my vein. She tries three times and finally gets it. I nearly pass out when I stand up to walk back to the noisy waiting room. My head is still throbbing and I haven't eaten much in two days since arriving home from Morocco. I drove myself home from JFK after a long flight with heavy turbulence. I'd been taking advil for every subsequent day since the infamous restaurant dinner. The next day we traveled to the Atlas mountains and climbed up to nearly 3000 km. I had a difficult time with the altitude and stayed back at the restaurant on the hilltop while some others hiked further. I was feeling off and not myself. I was tired, possibly dehydrated, and the late nights in Morocco were a challenge for my current schedule. Let's face it, I live a more zen lifestyle, I go to bed early, and I don't do loud noises and crazy energy.

Haha, Marrakech is laughing at me!

Driving home from JFK was rough. I hit rush hour traffic in Brooklyn. And finally when I got 2 miles from my exit (over two hours of driving later), I found myself in stand still traffic due to roadwork. It took me another half hour to drive those final two miles, get off my exit and head home. When I got home, I crashed. I hadn't eaten more than some bread and yogurt on the flight. It had been hot and Royal Air Maroc was stingy with the water and beverages. Did I mention the turbulence? It was pretty bad. Our pilot finally went of course to go around it, but I was invoking Archangels Michael and Raphael to wrap white light of protection around our plane...while trying to ignore it by watching a movie.

After sleeping in the next day, I could hardly move. Forget my head pounding, I had a full blown migraine. Unfortunately, I knew these well due to my concussion last December, but hadn't experienced one symptom since April. I thought I was out of the woods, but Marrakech had other ideas.

As I write this, it is 5 days since I arrived home and I am still not well. Today I haven't taken any advil for the first time, and I have a slight head throb. But my gut still isn't right. I'm not sure what exactly happened because we left the hospital after 5 hours of not being cared for. I'd never experienced such neglect and lack of care in an emergency room before. But I couldn't take the noise one more minute, and since we hadn't even seen a doctor on the floor in the entire time we had been waiting in the back room, I could hardly wait any longer for one to show up and decide that I could have something. I told the little girl who was supposed to be caring for me that I could go home and at least take advil. Her response, "you don't have to check out, you are free to go any time."

Bye bye. Home it was.

I stopped at CVS and got myself coconut water and electrolytes. The one thing I found out in the ER was that I was NOT dehydrated. But, maybe I needed electrolytes. Maybe it would help. My head was feeling better, and I went home to rest, and slept until 11 am the next morning. I was feeling better, but not great. My detective archetype believes that the migraine was triggered in Marrakech due to several things, exasperated by the turbulent, hot flight home and stressful drive...oh, and most likely a travelers bug in there too.

* * *



I went to Morocco with no expectations.
I landed in the continent of Africa.
I rode a camel on the beach.
I met some fabulous people.
I ate wonderful, heavy food.
I stayed out late...
                          danced a tad...
                                              drank a little...
and I shopped and haggled in the famous souks.

Oh, I may have pissed off some snake charmers.

Morocco is no joke.
I came home with an experience of a lifetime, some clarity, a travel bug and a migraine...

...a Marrakech Migraine!
Yea, they aren't happy...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

99 Days of Angels


I haven't posted a blog since May. I had an absolutely incredible, positive, life altering trip to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), and then got home and things started to fall apart. I do not mean that in the way that many people will take it. On the outside my life appeared to be the same: owning the yoga studio and teaching, my marriage and family life good, etc. Yet, something was not right inside of me. I wondered since I had my 49th birthday if I was having a mid-life crisis! I tried to understand where the basis for my fears and issues, but I was not able to figure it out and for the first time in my life I was dealing with major fear issues and anxiety. It was truly scary.

I pushed through each day, teaching my classes and living my life. But I would cry and fall on my knees wondering what was going on with me and why I was feeling so scared and lost. 

One day, in the midst of a fit of crying, it came to me to seek out help with angels. If anyone had asked me even a year ago if I would be doing anything with angels, I would have told them that I didn't really "get" the whole angel thing. Yet, here they were, calling me to reach out to them.

I knew that Doreen Virtue was the "angel lady," from my Hay House emails and I had even purchased her Indigo Angel cards a few years back (for some unknown reason!). I went onto YouTube and found a meditation almost immediately that invokes angels and priestesses that each correspond to a different chakra. It spoke to me. For 34 minutes every single day for 45 days straight, I listened to this meditation. Sometimes I would not get out of bed (except to grab my phone to put on the meditation) until I did the meditation with Doreen. It became an integral part of my life. 

I began to invoke Archangel Michael, specifically, and invited him to protect and guide me daily. I started writing in a journal June 10, 2017 about the angels and I haven't stopped. I've worked with the angels for the past 99 days, and it has ben life altering.

One June 11th, I went to Barnes and Nobles and purchased the Angel Tarot cards and began doing readings for myself and picking daily angel cards. June 13th I found my first random "feathers." I taped them onto the journal page. June 14th I pulled my first Archangel Card: Raziel: the Magician! June 15th I found two larger feathers outside of my studio and taped them into my book. 

6/16 Archangel Zadkiel
6/19 Archangel Raphael (and my first white feather was found)
6/19 I did a celtic cross spread for myself and 3 Archangels showed up: Raziel, Gabriel & Raguel.
6/20 Archangel Zadkiel
6/21 found large black feather (Summer Solstice)
6/23 Archangel Gabriel
6/26 found a white feather
6/27 Archangel Gabriel
6/28 found light gray and white feathers
6/30 Archangel Ariel
7/1 Archangel Uriel
7/3 Archangel Jophiel
7/5 Archangel  Jophiel
7/6 Archangel Jophiel - for the 3rd day in a row!
7/9 Archangel Metatron
7/10 Archangel Jeremiel flew out of the deck after I initially chose another card
7/13 Archangel Raziel
7/14 Archangel Raziel
7/16 Archangels Metatron & Jophiel - I let each of the dogs choose a card!
7/18 - did another celtic cross spread and received Archangels: Gabriel & Raphael in it
7/19 found a very big black feather. After I received my first card I felt that I needed another to help, and received Archangel Azrael.
7/20 found another large black feather
7/22 Archangel Michael
7/23 Archangel Michael - 2nd day in a row
7/26 - 3 card spread with Archangel Jeremiel
7/28 Archangel Raziel and Ariel
8/1 Archangel Jophiel and found iridescent feather!
8/4 Archangel Raziel
8/7 Archangel Saldolphon
8/12 - 3 card spread with Archangel Raphael and found light gray feather
8/13 - chose another card to help with the first one I received: Archangel Jeremiel
8/14 Archangel Chamuel and found beautiful feather with white tip
8/16 Archangel Raziel & Metatron - I let the dogs pick the cards again
8/20 Archangel Jophiel and found two feathers
8/27 - 3 card spread with Archangel Gabriel in FUTURE!
9/2 Archangel Raziel
9/4 found the most beautiful white striped feather so far
9/5 (first day I did not choose any cards)
9/14 went to the beach and found 3 white feathers (had an interesting interaction with a seagull)
9/15 Archangel Raziel and found clumps of feathers
9/19 Archangel Haniel

...and there it is. For a while, the Archangels were flowing to me on a very consistent basis. They slowed down when I stopped doing the daily meditation and started feeling better. 

During this time, I also brought the angel cards to the studio. People LOVE chasing a card before class. I shifted from the Angel Tarot deck to other angel card decks that I purchased. People still like the angel tarot the best! I promised I would bring them back in. There was a day when we had 10 people in class and 8 people chose Archangel cards! Now, you have to understand that a tarot deck has 78 cards...and there are only 22 Archangels in the angel tarot deck. So, the odds of receiving one are not as high as you may have thought when I listed how often they showed up for me. In every yoga class where we chose angel cards, we always received at least 3...there was one class where I only had 2 people and we didn't get any archangels, but that was it. Other than that, they were always quite prevalent in the yoga studio too! Quite amazing.

So, what can I say about this experience? 

I am not one to ask for help. That has always been an issue for me. But when I was so down and had no other choice, I asked for help and the angels arrived. They stayed with me very regularly until I found myself again. And they still check in with me. For that, I am quite grateful, and thankful that I know I have help available to me whenever I need it.

The feathers are another surprising edition. I find feathers everywhere now. I see them as a sign that an angel is near, especially when I find white ones or really fluffy ones. 

Moving forward I will certainly continue to chose angel cards daily. I hope to also get back to the meditation because I do miss not doing it. I would some days listen to it on the way to work. I need to get back to that because it just helped set my day right. 

I am also quite interested in aligning the Archangels to the 12 Chakra-system. Currently, I only teach a 7-chakra methodology to my students, however, I have been working on aligning the archangels to the 12-chakra system all summer long, and I am getting closer to finishing that and bringing it to the studio...all in good time!

99 days of Angels. I can't wait to see what the next 99 will manifest!

In Love & Gratitude!!!!



Friday, September 1, 2017

September's Theme: FRIENDSHIP!


Indigo Angels: FRIENDSHIP for Sept. 2017
It's a new school year and soon children of all ages will be making new friendships or reconnecting with old ones. Some of us may have spent time this summer in connection to friendships, having spent time on vacations or enjoying BBQ's and special events such as graduations, birthdays and weddings with friends. "Friendship" is our theme for this month, and isn't it so fitting? Just like usual, this card turned over in the deck and presented itself for our community at One Yoga Center, which has certainly grown to provide many ongoing friendships throughout the years. It is wonderful to watch people connect through the studio and form bonds of friendship outside of our sacred walls and into the world. Community and Friendship is absolutely a basic energetic component of our studio.

Here is what Doreen Virtue says about this card: 

"FRIENDSHIP: This card is showing you how much the energy of other people is affecting you. Or it could be guiding you to open yourself up and allow others in. Friendship is a regular exchange of energy and emotion...Take some time to consider how the energy of friendship (or lack thereof) is influencing your thoughts and your opinions about yourself. It's important that you maintain an awareness of how each person in your life makes you feel inside."
For the month of September, sit with the idea of Freedom (or lack thereof). Is there a friend you have been meaning to call or see, but haven't had the time? Are you feeling a little more loner these days and realize it is time to show back up and reconnect with friends? Is there a friend in your life who's energy you are not connecting with anymore and you need a distance from them (in love, of course)? Take time to explore the many aspects of Friendship this month, and choose to surround yourself with those who light you up inside and with whom you feel a strong connection with. This will go a long way in affecting your energy in a positive way.

Join us in community on Saturday, September 16 for an Open House event featuring LuLaRue clothing. Our regular classes will be held that day for a $10 drop-in rate. LuLaRoe will start to arrive for a 1 pm shopping extravaganza! Tracey will be on hand to concoct some summer spirits and hanging out for anyone who wants to drop by and say hello, shop inside or outside (yes, we have some new things in our inside shop too), or discuss the upcoming yoga retreats, yoga teacher trainings, or yoga classes. September is all about renewing and firming up the bonds of friendship! This is just another step in getting your energy and your life to flow in a positive direction.  

In Love, Service & Wisdom, OYC Founder, Teachers & Staff

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Special Message from Tracey for September

YES, friendship! I love it! I love, love, love it! You know, all throughout school and my adult life I was the one who kept in touch with friends and kept everyone together. Sometimes I would feel a little upset that I was the only one doing the work to keep in touch with someone, but then they would tell me how much it meant to them that I did, and I would get over my "stuff" and be me - the universal networker. I've since slacked a bit on my friendship duties, but thank goddess for Facebook, because it truly keeps me connecting with so many friends that I do not get to see on a normal basis. 

Since I started teaching yoga 17 years ago and conducting my own classes through what we now know as One Yoga Center, I have watched numerous people come together in the bonds of friendship through our walls. It is probably something I enjoy watching even more than people practicing asanas together. I feel such love and happiness when I see another friendship blossom at the studio and when a particular student is absent for a week or so how we all worry and make sure that he/she is okay! 

Friendship is something that is deeply meaningful to me, and probably one reason why I sometimes stay too connected to people long after I should. I know that concept seems strange, but please allow me to explain. Energy changes. I believe we are all put together at specific times for a reason. We all have lessons to learn and our friends - even more so than our family because they often know even more about us - are there to shine a light on aspects of our life that we are sometimes unaware of or be there for us during particularly challenging times to help us through. Friends are the cornerstones of a successful movement through times of difficulty as well as a complete enjoyment of happy times. But that does not mean that we are meant to always keep that same closeness to them. Sometimes energy shifts and you move in another direction for a while. You may reconnect with those friends at a later time, remain in touch at a distance, or move away completely. And moving away completely doesn't diminish the time that you spent together or the love that you will always feel for them. It just means that maybe you are different people and need to honor that.

I've had two of my closest friends pass away: One in 2008 and the other in 2011. Both were heartbreaking because they happened suddenly and unexpectedly. I grieved for a long time for the loss of my friends and I still miss them to this day. But what I learned from this is that everything is impermanent, and that includes the life of those closest to us. Energy changed. I used to take it personal when someone did not keep in touch with me. Now I understand that it's all good and part of a larger, divine plan. And I trust that.

I still keep in touch with friends from grade school. I don't see them so much, but when I do we pick back up where we left off as if no time had passed. When I traveled to Easter Island I asked my good friend Suzy, who I've known since high school, to come with me and we had the time of our life. Friends come in all kinds of packages too - like my little dogs Bodhi and Kali who I tell every day are some of my best friends. When we graduated third grade our teacher, who had just finished her very first school class with us, introduced us to Elton John's song, Friends, and we sang it together on our last day of school. I will always remember these things that I shared with friends.

I could go on and on and on because friends have always been such a big part of my life. I'm psyched to be sharing Friendship with you for September! And I would LOVE to hear about your favorite friendship moments too. Send me a short friendship story (with or without a picture) and if I receive enough of them, I will share them with you all at the end of the month.

In Love & Friendship,
Tracey L. Ulshafer, 
Founder of One Yoga Center (OYC), 
E-RYT500, RYS, CMT-Licensed in NJ, Energy Worker, Spiritual Teacher

CONTACT TRACEY AT:
Email: Info@OneYogaCenter.net

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

August's Theme: FREEDOM!


INDIGO ANGELS: FREEDOM for AUGUST 2017
Welcome to the new monthly newsletter format. So many people have expressed their appreciation for our monthly themes that we decided to expand it. Doreen Virtue's angel oracle cards are beautiful messages that anyone of any faith can relate to. In her deck called "Indigo Angels," we drew the card of "Freedom" for August. Truth me told, the card chose us when it flew out of the deck just like the picture of the beautiful angel to the right!

Freedom was our community's theme a year ago for July 2016. But through the eyes of the angels, let's take a different look. Here is what Virtue says about this card: 

"FREEDOM: This card answers your question by guiding you to seek greater freedom. Perhaps this comes from releasing something that no longer serves you. This card is also a confirmation that any of your prayers for freedom have been heard and the angels are working to bring change into your life. As an intuitive and caring person, you can sense when someone is being controlled or manipulated. You have an innate ability to see unnecessary restrictions and rules. But sometimes, you may unknowingly impose your own restrictions and rules upon yourself. When this card is drawn, it signals that you should release control over your desires. Freely dream big for yourself and this planet, and allow the angels to guide you with their eternal and infinite wisdom."
For the month of August, allow yourself to consider all the ways that Freedom (or lack thereof) shows up in your life. Our Swadhisthana Immersion on August 20th allows you to dive into the waters of the 2nd Chakra, where some restrictions may be held within you. Or, drop by the Summer Mala class on the 14th to create an intention to move through some energy that no longer serves you! Totally stumped? Join Tracey on the 26th and learn how to use the Pendulum to help you find the answers that you seek!  
August at OYC is all about 
 
freeing up more energy 
 
so that you can raise your vibrations and take another step closer to becoming who you were truly meant to be!

In Love, Service & Wisdom, OYC Founder, Teachers & Staff


* * * * * * * * * * *

Special Message from Tracey for August

The first half of 2017 has certainly been crazy for most of us. I have spoken to so many people who are struggling with issues that they have either never had before or are experiencing old issues returning with a vengeance. I have certainly also had my share of things come up, and recently I'd also been dealing with addition of incredible bouts of anxiety, the likes of which I had never experienced before. The healer in me went back through old books and class materials and enrolled in new ones too. I took on a stronger daily practice of meditating, working with angels, and digging out old energies that no longer serve me so that I can work on releasing them once and for all. The good news is, I am feeling better. The other news is, I still have work to do. In fact, we all do. 

We are collectively fully involved in the next age of our planetary evolution. We are in the "Age of Aquarius" and Ascension energies are becoming increasingly available. Some people have shared with me that the do not understand what this means. Its okay. We are all evolving and learning what it fully means. All I can share is what I have learned from my teachers and the resources that I use. I can share that this is a positive, loving and enlightening energy and nothing to fear. I can share that the more this energy comes in, the more urgent it is to clear up the "lower" vibrational energies. These are energies that keep us in duality, feeling separate and those that are based in fear. Many teachers have been talking about this work and so many people are feeling things shifting within them and around them, but not understanding what it is that they we are integrating.

This is a recent explanation I saw on line that I think sums it up very well:
"Our auric field expanding and becoming brighter as it receives higher frequencies from cosmic energies and higher dimensions, but in the process it is filtering out the lower vibrations in our body."
He went on to say that some of the physical affects of going through this shift are: 
  • emotional changes
  • feeling irritable
  • overwhelming mood swings
  • mental changes
  • feeling disoriented
  • lack of concentration
  • high pitch sounds vibrating in the ears
  • intense pressure around the head
  • fatigue
  • exhaustion
Here's why: as the old realities are disappearing, our DNA is being programmed for the new Earth. Energy is trying to re-align in our body, but we are still holding on to old patterns that do not serve this new energy or our highest self. Yoga teachers and healers have been talking this talk forever, but guess what? Its finally time to walk the walk! The time to clean house is now!

I hear you saying, "This is all great, Tracey. But what can I do to work through this process?"

Enter the beautiful theme for August of "Freedom." I asked myself how do I become truly free? That list quickly became long and overwhelming. It renewed my feelings that a daily practice is the key. We cannot be part-time creators in our life and in this shift to manifesting harmony, love and peace. It's all about the commitment. I have my own daily regimen of meditation, energy work, and other techniques that continues to evolve as energy shifts. I'm finding that things that used to work to clear my energy are no longer as effective, and I've had to find other methods. And one thing I know for sure is that I am here to help others through this process. The way I teach my classes has changed based on this need. As I work on methods myself, I am sharing them with my students. It is also why I created a new 4-week series called: "Yoga for Inner Peace." This class will meet on Tuesday nights in August (8/8-29) at 7:30 pm and I will share various yoga and mindfulness techniques in helping find harmony within. My intention is to help others create a regular practice that can be done every day to work through these energies and to ultimately find freedom. Of course all of my yoga classes have that intention, but I wanted to provide those who are really struggling in this day and this age with their own space.

For those wishing to understand on a deeper level this energy, I am available by appointment for 11:11 card readings as well as spiritual counseling and energy work. If you have been having a challenging time, remember to ask for help. Seeking help from a licensed professional is also recommended. Wishing everyone peace and well-being as we move into the next phase of the year.
In Love & Light,
Tracey L. Ulshafer, 
Founder of One Yoga Center (OYC), 
E-RYT500, RYS, CMT-Licensed in NJ, Energy Worker, Spiritual Teacher

CONTACT TRACEY AT:
Email: Info@OneYogaCenter.net

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July's Theme: NURTURE!

JULY 2017
"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it."
- John Lennon

How was the theme of "NURTURE" not come up yet? I went back through my emails and blogs because I found it hard to believe, but this is the first month we are receiving the message to "NURTURE." So, what does that mean? Nurturing is simply applying consistent care and encouragement towards the development of something. Usually we tend to equate nurturing outward towards another being, especially to a baby or child. Proper nurturing of a small life is certainly very important to his or her development. But what we do tend to forget most often is nurturing ourself. How else do we have the energy and vitality in which to care for another? And yet, there it is...

If you have developed a regular yoga practice, you probably understand what it means to nurture. You realize without your practice, your body, mind, emotions, and other aspects of the self start to deteriorate in some way. The yoga practice is a complete way of caring and tending to something sacred and important for yourself and for others.

Now what other ways can you nurture yourself? This question can be a different answer depending on the person, but take a moment to ask it. "How do I nurture myself?" The answer should come easy to you. If not...uh-oh...we have some work to do! And summertime is an excellent time of year for it too. We just passed the Summer Solstice, so the second half of the year and a slow winding down of solar energy now begins to occur. There is a subtle energy movement inward. We may not feel it until the Autumn Equinox because the sun's energy is so prevalent at the moment, but its there. Taking a well-deserved vacation can be a nurturing thing to do. Making time to rest at home with friends and loved ones, taking time to nap, read, get a massage, take a bath, or just sit and enjoy the sites and sounds of nature - these are all very nurturing things. Maybe you can think of some more for you.

For those who like the idea of receiving a massage, I am now back to hosting them at the studio and is now taking appointments. 

Whatever you do, consider what nurtures not only your body, but your mind and your soul. July should be a month of self-love and care in as many creative ways that you can dream up!

In Love & Light,
OYC Founder, Tracey L. Ulshafer & your OYC Teaching Staff



* * * * * * * * * *

Tracey's Message:

I love the idea of nurturing. I even do it sometimes too! All joking aside, I always have been one to nurture myself in some way. I realized long ago the importance of taking care of myself so that I have the energy to do for others. Its no secret that I've been working through some challenges the first half of the year, which forced me to slow down. Even though I did tend to move at a rapid pace, I always convinced myself that because I got a monthly massage or took a day off here or there that I was nurturing myself too. I've learned that nurturing is a constant effort; however, one that is important to do daily, not just once a month!

I've integrated morning meditations and daily chanting into my practice for about six months now. It has really helped me nurture my body, mind and soul in a more complete way. Of course I've always told other people to meditate, but I never really took the time to do it myself with regularity. Now, I find my day is not complete without it. If I skip doing it because of a schedule conflict, I really feel the difference. Meditation can be that nurturing element for you if you find yourself unavailable to do the physical practices anymore or at least at the moment. But even if you don't do the postures, you can still come in to any yoga class, lie down, breathe and soak up the energy of our themed classes. You'll be surprised how much you can get out of just being at the studio in a class.

I've also recently found a connection to Angel guides. I never thought that this energy would be so healing and nurturing to me. I've started integrating Angel cards and readings into my regular yoga classes for an added nurturing element for students too. Everyone has found it comforting to know that the angels are around us during our practice, providing each person with a special message or reminder in which to focus on during class. 

And, in addition, I've decided to put a focus on my massage and energy work again. These modalities took a backseat to my teaching yoga for a long time, but I remembered how nurturing performing therapeutic massage also was for me as well as the recipient. You can see my appointment times on the flyer below, but if those times don't work for you, call or email me to talk more. I may have other availability depending on the week.

So if you are looking to nurture yourself, come see me at the studio in July for some of these special things. Or, if you know someone who could benefit from some of these nurturing items, contact me to purchase a gift card! Nurture away!

In Love & Light.
Tracey L. Ulshafer, Founder/Director, One Yoga Center 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June's Theme: DREAM!

According to the father of yoga, Patanjali, swapna or dream is a level of consciousness. Famous psychologist Sigmund Freud said that "the day's residue is transformed by dream work into a dream and made innocuous by sleep." Some people do not remember their dreams, others claim they do not dream. And then there are those who dream in full feature film - with musical underscore, dramatic tensions, chase scenes and more. 

For those that dream frequently and can remember their dreams (even if just upon awakening), you can try keeping a dream journal by your bed. Before stirring to much, write down your dream while it is fresh. If you notice a pattern emerging, then your dreams may hold a deeper picture for you coming from your unconscious mind. For those who do not remember dreams but want to, you can try setting an intention to remember your dreams before bed, and meditate on that intention just before retiring for the evening.

And then there is daydreaming - the type of dream where you find yourself, mid-day, caught in a fantasy world. Sometimes daydreams are reality based - dreaming of a life you want to live - while others it is complete fantasy. Either way, who is to say that what you are dreaming about cannot happen?

If you find that you are spending time (in a sleep state or awake) dreaming about the same thing, perhaps it is time to make it your reality. Perhaps what you are dreaming about is not as far out of reach as you think it is? In fact, perhaps it is right there literally waiting for you to wake up!

Children dream of many things. As adults, unfortunately, for some reason many people have gotten to a place where they may feel that dreams are a waste of time. What if we focus on our dreams for the month of June? What if we keep a log of them and at the end of the month see if there is a reoccurring theme that just might have a place in your reality? Let's not ignore the energies of these higher levels of vibration. Dreams speak to us if we only can take the time to listen.

In Love & Light,
OYC Founder, Tracey L. Ulshafer & your OYC Teaching Staff

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Most of my childhood can be summed up as a daydream. No matter where I was or who I was with, I was able to dream a little dream and create a slice of heaven on earth. Today I have to admit, I still do it. As most of you know, I drive an hour to work. Instead of listening to music, I often drive without the radio on. Every day, by the time I have gotten to work, I have created a lovely little daydream, and then I set about creating the positive aspects into my reality.

The fact remains that there just aren't enough hours in the day to accomplish everything that I would like to. And since I am trying to honor not being as busy as I have been in the past, I am finding that I get less done than I used to. But this is okay for me. I am also realizing that not everything has to be done in the moment that my mind creates it and that some times the best things come with time and patience. 

My step-daughter just graduated from college and every graduation card that I read stated a similar message of never letting go of the graduate's dreams. I felt a little sad as I thought about what that was basically saying - that as adults we tend to abandon our dreams? You know, life is not over...until its over! We still have plenty of time to carry through with our dreams. I feel it is important to get to it, however, before it is too late. And that is something that I've personally gotten back to recently. 

There were two themes for young Tracey. If you asked me what I wanted to be I would say, "a magician" or "a writer." The writing came a little later on, but my littlest self believed in magic. I still do. I still believe we all have the capacity to create magic. I work with these energies every day and it is a constant part of my life that I have never given up on. I'm not saying that I am always able to achieve in manifesting magical energy, but every now and then, I do amaze myself! And as for writing, I have already shared that I am getting back to that too. In fact, I am currently in the middle of writing three different books! Yes, keeping the dream alive!

What did the little you want to be? What did you believe in? What did you dream about? Is it time to get back to living it? ...If not now, when?

In Love & Light.
Tracey L. Ulshafer,
Founder/Director, One Yoga Center 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Energies of Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

The following contains the transcript of the Energies of Easter Island Video that I created using mostly photos from my recent journey to this special place. The link to the video should be attached below. I welcome you to follow my journey...In Love, Service & Wisdom.
Tracey L. Ulshafer

Easter Island Video Voice-over:

Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, south of the tropic of Capricorn, sits “Rapa Nui,” or more famously known as “Easter Island.” The island itself is only about 64 square miles with a large portion of it uninhabitable due to various issues that they experienced throughout their history. 2250 miles from the nearest Polynesian island of Pitcairn, and 2340 miles from the Chilean South American mainland, it is often referred to as one of the most remotely inhabited islands on planet earth. The local airport receives just two flights a day and it currently hosts no ports for transport ships along its shoreline. Reaching Rapa Nui is no small feat, and not for the meek or inexperienced traveler. For some reason I had this pull - a calling - to go there.

            Most people had no idea where Easter Island was when I told them where I was going or even afterwards when I returned home did they understand where I had been. But as soon as I showed anyone a picture of any one of the monolithic statues found there, every person realized that they had seen these famous Moais before…somewhere…

            The Moai are a fascinating part of the history of Easter Island and one of the main reasons that I did want to travel there. With somewhere between 800-1000 of them created, the history and intention behind them still remains quite vague. Most archeologists agree that the majority (about 95%) of the Moai were created of Rano Raraku tuff, mostly from the volcano of the same name in what is referred to as “the quarry” there. There are about 55 other Moai that were created from a more dense white stone found on a different piece of the island. The Moai range in size from 6-33 feet high and could often be found on a platform called an Ahu were as many as 15 could be found aligned in a row.

            Most of the Moai were originally erected to face into a village; with the exception of a few that faced the sea. But all of the statues hold the gaze of their eyes slightly upward – looking towards the sky. Another name for the island is Mata-ki-te-Rangi, which means “eyes towards the heavens.” Some say that the Moai were created in the images of past kings. Others argue that they represented different important people of the villages. None of them are said to have had the name of a deity. Much of these facts surprised me because my thoughts before going to Easter Island were that the Moai faced the sea in a way of protecting the island and that they did take on the image of a god due mostly to their size and ambiguity. One thought that an explorer named Geiseler reported about the Moai in 1882 was that they were highly respected and thought to have special attributes and possess great powers. Why else would a people create and move so many similar monolithic statues in such a short period of time, completely deforesting their island in the process? The only explainable reason is that they were highly significant to the ancient people. But the real reasons behind the creation and placement of the Moai still remain somewhat of a mystery. And that completely fascinates me.

            The fact is that Rapa Nui is an enigma. Although it is a highly respected theory by historians that the early Polynesians found and populated the island, there remains little hard evidence to prove when or how this may have happened. Much of the history of the island has been wiped out - largely because of the Christian Missionaries who came and removed much evidence of their prior culture, partly due to the Peruvian slave traders that at one time kidnapped all but about 100 Rapa Nui and forced them into slavery, and also due to various catastrophic events such as earthquakes and tsunamis. And that’s just what we know of and is agreed upon by mainstream scientists and historians.

            There are many other more recent theories about Rapa Nui that are not being grandly accepted, but warrant a deeper look nonetheless.

            Popular theories say that Easter Island was formed by three separate volcanic eruptions on the ocean floor beneath the Nazca tectonic plate between 1 million and 100,000 years ago. The last of the volcanoes is said to have erupted some 10,000 years ago. And it is thought that the island was not settled by humans until sometime between 600 and 900 AD, with most of the Moai being carved around 1000-1600 AD. This is the popular historical opinion.

            But what if the history that we are being told is only a portion of the story? Or better yet, what if it is simply untrue?

            Back in the early 1920’s, a topographer named Sir Alfred Watkins noticed when he was surveying the prehistoric landscape in Britain that there were certain alignments, which he termed as “ley lines” running through the planet. He found that a huge number of archeological sites from different periods were formed along these ley lines. And he went about mapping them out on the planet, creating what is now referred to as a planetary energy grid. The same ley line that tracks through Egypt and the various sites of many ancient Egyptian archeological sites travels straight into Easter Island. In fact, Easter Island is situated on a major energy vortex connecting at least 10 other ley lines on the planet! The Name “Rapa Nui” translates to “Naval of the World.” The lone found archeological reference to this naval is a circular stone found on the island that legend says was brought by the first settler and king, Hatu Matu’a, who brought it from a mythical island. The stone is said to possess much manas, which is spiritual powers bestowed by the gods, and thus bears the secrets of the Universe inside of it. It is said to be “the one who collects the most important spiritual energy of the earth.” Unfortunately today the rock, with the four other smaller stones of similar matter, is contained in a rock wall and guarded by someone from the National Park. So that you cannot touch it to feel any energy that it may contain.

            Regardless, it was my personal experience that the island’s energy is extremely potent and palpable from all areas and those who are sensitive to energy will no doubt feel various different sensations – from heat to vibrations and more – throughout their discovery of the island. My friend and travel companion, Suzy, felt immense heat generating from the core of her body for our entire stay on the island. For myself, I felt my own being vibrating with the island. Certain sites, and particularly the Ahu where many fallen Moai were left abandoned, radiated a vibratory energy that completely disoriented me at times. I was careful to respect the National Park’s warning not to touch the Moai directly. However, whenever I had a chance to get up close and put my hands on the rocks surrounding it, or on a similar unmarked stone formation found randomly in a field, I was quick to do so. Each location did offer its very own sensation to me, validating my feelings that it was more than any of my own physical issues such as low blood sugar or headaches that I had been experiencing since a concussion. The fact is that I left the island healed of any lingering issues that I had from my accident. There is vital and healing energy in the island, my friends, and there is much more to discover, for sure.

            Some theorists suggest that the island was used as a location site by extra-terrestrials, and point to evidence such as the upward gaze of the Moai that appear to be looking at the sky, or the fact that how these monolithic statues were actually moved without destruction to their relatively soft material. Regardless of one’s feelings on the idea that extraterrestrials visited or were a part of creating significant statues on Easter Island, I found it interested that NASA extended the airstrip to be able to receive the space shuttle, and also has a facility there that they supposedly used to use to monitor the movements of the Nazca tectonic plate, which creeps approximately 2 cm closer to the South American mainland every year. This NASA facility has been completely abandoned and holds another eerie mystery as to why, if the Nazca plates are still moving significantly each year, they decided to abandon the monitoring of this movement on the island. Or, was there another reason for their presence there?

            Other scholars such as Graham Hancock and Colin Wilson now also suggest that Easter Island may have once been part of a far larger island and that the original discovery and use of the site may actually be thousands of years earlier in time that predates the great floods. The theory states that twelve thousand years ago when the great ice caps of the last glaciation were still largely un-melted, and sea level was 100 meters lower than it is today, it would have formed a chain of antediluvian islands as long as the Andean mountain range. If this is true, and Easter Island was a part of a much larger landmass, then it could have been the site of an astronomical observatory of an ancient and forgotten civilization. Even more interesting is the theory that the melting of the ice caps also occurred with several cataclysmic events such as crustal displacement, which changed the actual topography of the planet, so that sites such as Easter Island would have very well been located at quite a different location on the planet several thousand of years ago. If this is true, then the evidence of such ancient civilizations could have been lost into the sea…forever…

            …which brings me to just that. The sea. The relentless pulsation of life energy that crashes upon the shores of Rapa Nui daily, offering no sign of relief is hypnotic, to say the least.

            I spent time every day – several times a day, in fact – gazing into the sea just as I imagined the earlier Rapa Nui had done. I imagined living on the island a long time ago when there was no way on or off, and that the 64 square miles would have been all that anyone living there would have known of as the world. It literally was their entire world. They would have spent a lot of time watching the sea, the sunrise and sunset, the moon and the stars, wouldn’t they have? I know that I did.

            In fact, being on East Island allowed me to retune my body to the earth’s energy because it was literally all that I had. The five elements are heartily available on the island. And if there is one constant in my life it is my continued focus on living my life in tune with the natural elements of our planet.

            The first element is Fire, which is represented as the entire island. Fire created this volcanic island, after all. Fire is the spark of creation, the energy of transformation. What was once hot, liquid fire hardened over time to create the land that I was sitting on – the land that stuck out of the sea in a sacred triangular formation. Fire is an intense energy that is associated with heat, of course, which explains my empathic friend’s complete absorption of heat the entire time that we visited. The sun is also related to the element fire. And as I have said, we spent every day attending to the appreciation of the sun, probably just as the ancients had done. We always watched the sun set. We sometimes caught the sunrise. We always knew were the sun was. And although we were not there long enough to notice any significant transits, I realized that the ancients must have done just that. They would have recognized any differentiation of location of the sun immediately. Many of the Ahu where the Moai are set up align to the rising sun of the equinoxes or solstices. So, yes, they were aware and they acknowledged this ball of pranic fire in the sky by erecting great statues in its honor. Yes, fire is ever present.

            The second element is Earth. The hardening of liquid fire is earth, but it is also the foundation of our entire planet and associated with all of the life that exists on it. Because of the remoteness of Rapa Nui and the deforestation that devastated much of the land, there are very few native animals or birds to the island. Upon arrival, our host told us that there were no bugs. While we did find some, the fact was that there were not many. There are also no snakes or reptiles, except for one small lizard. There are some birds, but not as many as back when the Birdman Cult thrived on the island. As for other mammals, wild horses and cattle roam freely about today, but all animals have been brought to the island from the mainland. Wherever life comes from, the reality is that you notice it when you see it. At home back in NJ most people do not stop to watch the wildlife or better yet, to honor it. In Easter Island I found there was never a time that I did not acknowledge life when I saw it, for it was so special. And special also is the rock that jutted out of the ocean upon which we stood. Were it not for that peace of rock/earth being there, the island would not exist at all. There is a major conservation effort to bring back areas of the island and I want to say that at least half of the island is in that active rehabilitation zone. Many historians and scientists refer to Easter Island as a cautionary tale for our planet, calling it a microcosm of planet earth and using it as a perfect example of what can happen due to overpopulation and pillaging of the planet’s natural resources – things that many have warned us about for years – and today what many more are now very concerned about as a growing reality seems to be emerging that we are closer than ever before to needing to find a new planet in order for our specious to continue to be. I strongly feel that every person on our planet should have an experience such as living on a remote island like Easter Island to fully appreciate what the earth has to offer us, and to understand the significance of needing to know how we can work together as beings on this same rock to ensure that its life continues for eons to come.

            Air is the third element. Air is much prevalent here for it is windy just about everywhere that you travel. There was never a moment when I was outside on the island where I did not feel the existence of air. From a small breeze to a gusty wind, air is there to remind one of flow. While the earth may provide a stable foundation, the air reminds us not to get stagnant. Air or wind is the breath of life. Without air in our bodies, we would not be alive because there would be no breath. Rapa Nui’s breath is ever present, inhaling and exhaling all around you – breathing you in and breathing you out – there is no escape until you hunker down inside a residence or establishment, and even then, the presence of air can usually be heard rapping against the building. I did a lot of deep breathing on Easter Island. And as a yoga teacher, I knew that this would keep me present in the moment – grounded and centered. But what I did not fully understand until after I left was how connected I had become to the pulsation of the island through the air. It’s essence literally blew into me - and I became one with it.

            The fourth element is water, and that is certainly present since as an island the sea surrounds the entire landmass. Like the wind, this element is relentless as it pounds the shore on every side daily. This has no doubt caused a change in the shape of the shoreline, since the volcanic stone is relatively soft and carve-able. No matter what part of the island you are in, if you are near the shore, you can hear the roar of the sea and watch the spray. As waves crash in and flow back out, producing a trancelike state when you allow yourself the time to sit and watch. This meditative state brings calmness amongst the raging energy of the sea - and this dichotomy creates a surreal feeling like no other I have ever experienced. The rational mind or ego may want one to be afraid of this unapologetic energy, but the presence of Oneness that is felt reminds he or she that all is just fine. In fact, all is freakin’ amazing!

            And that brings me to the final element: Ether. Ether is that ever-present, mystical and magical energy that connects all: this is the embodiment of Rapa Nui itself. From the first site of the island from above, as the clouds parted, God was present. At sunrise and sunset, God was seen. Every Moai and Ahu – whether it had been re-erected or was still lying facedown and fallen in pieces, held an undeniable essence and energy. The palpitations and vibrations of the place inspire a feeling of love, compassion and appreciation for all. It is truly a magnificent and life-changing experience to have been there. I am forever grateful for all of the pieces that landed in place in order for me to be able to visit. One of the most famous explorers and historians to have spent time on Easter Island was a woman named Katherine Routledge. In 1919 she wrote, “In Easter Island…the shadows of the departed builders still posess the land…the whole air vibrates with a vast purpose and energy which has been and is no more. What was it? Why was it?” I myself, felt this same vast purpose and energy, and know that it will one day reveal much knowledge that will be helpful for us as a species.

            I hope to one-day return to Easter Island. I feel that I will. There are many mysteries that still surround the place. I am confident that we are on the precipice of understanding more than ever before some of the ancient origins – such as the Rongo Rongo language which survived on only 25 tablets, all of which have been removed from the island, and of which today are still mostly undecipherable.

            The island still requires tender loving care. Mass tourism threatens the archeological sites as well as the life of the island. I understand the recent regulations to keep people off or limit access to certain sites. Perhaps if we became more loving as a species, more understanding of our place on the planet, this would not be an issue. It was my personal experience that spending time on Easter Island certainly assured me of the understanding of my place on our planet.

            “Naval of the world.” That is for certain.

            In much gratitude…and until I return again…