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.

* * *  * * ** * * * *

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