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It’s Not OK!


Many of you who follow my posts know that I advocate to use yoga to stay healthy in mind, body, and spirit. I use yoga Asana (the physical part), along with Pranayama (the breathing part), as well as the introspection of Svadhyaya, to promote spiritual health. What I have been remiss in writing about is acknowledgement and that's not OK.

To acknowledge a hurt and a dissapointment, even privately, is frowned upon.  Children are told, "Don't be a baby"; teens are told, "Grow up"; and adults are told to "Handle it",  or "Be a team player".  Acknowledgement is not advocated until it becomes out of control.

It's not OK to bury resentment and disappointment. It's not OK to let someone or something control you. It's not OK to be mistreated, maligned, and managed. It's not OK to say you're fine when you're not.

It's not OK to bury resentment and disappointment. It's not OK to let someone or something control you. It's not OK to be mistreated, maligned, and managed. It's not OK to say you're fine when you're not. Click To Tweet

I applaud the women and men who are part of the #metoo movement that is now coming to light. They have shown courage in making their stories so public and I hope the media attention will help them feel vindicated and released from their burden. But what of the people who carry a hurt every day and have no outlet to express it? To those people I say give yourself permission to acknowledge. Write it down, say it out loud, tweet or text it if you want. You have the right to be heard and acknowledged. Not everyone will see it your way, and you might not get the sincere, contrite reaction you are expecting, but just the act of acknowledgement will help you towards the road to healing.

I acknowledge the people and institutions who were unkind and dismissive to me.

I acknowledge the clients and potential employers who did not hire me.

I acknowledge that my body is not 20 anymore.

I acknowledge that there are things out of my control.

What do you acknowledge?


Yoga Guide for 2018

Start 2018 off right!

In the next week or two, we will be bombarded with New Year's advice on health, diet, exercise, relationships, and career. At the end of a calorie laden, sugar intensive, holiday season, this seems like a good idea. Start fresh, start anew, improve your life! Yet, for many all these good resolutions disappear by February and become a very distant memory by summer until before you know it, it is New Year's again. Ever notice that the same resolutions show up year after year?

In 2018, let yoga be your guide. Most people know about the asana, or exercise part of yoga, but few think about yoga as a way to change your inner thinking. Setting intentions are part of your yoga practice. Setting intentions is a simple declaration of what you need in the moment. For instance, most people will set a goal to lose x number of pounds. In yoga you would set an intention to eat healthy and what your body needs for the day. Instead of hour long, grueling workouts, your intention might also include moving your body to bring oxygen and blood flow. If your career is at a standstill, your intention could be "getting unstuck" and to be open to new experiences.

How do you set an intention? It doesn't matter where or when, but do stop, be quiet, and take a deep breath. As you inhale say to yourself, "I am" or "I need", and exhale with your one word positive intention. For instance in the middle of my busy day I might say "I am" as I inhale and "calm" as I exhale and I repeat it as many times as I need to.

Once you set an intention, your subconscious will direct you to fulfill it. Your job is to listen. Things will happen, sometimes not what you expect, but they will happen. Tune out those other little voices in your head that says you can't, or it's too hard, or that it will never happen, and listen to your inner wisdom.

It only takes a few moments in the many moments of your day, to let yoga in and transform your life. Start in 2018 and you will experience the difference that yoga can make not only in your body, but also in your mind and spirit.

Can You Really Be Thankful?

There is a commercial currently running that features a group of guys in a convertible, running low on gas. One of the guys takes out a birthday card from the glove compartment, takes a picture of the enclosed check, and voila! They can instantly buy the gas they need and are on their way. Clearly they are happy for both the gas and the instant access to the funds. But are they truly thankful?

Little children everywhere are taught to say please and say thank you, and they dutifully repeat these words to get the object of their desire, but we know they are just parroting the words. They do not hold meaning, other than it makes the adults smile, and that is good in their little world.

In our everyday life, we routinely say thank you as well.  It is polite, socially acceptable, and a conversation ender. You said it, it's done, on to other things. But saying thank you and feeling thankful are two separate things.

But saying thank you and feeling thankful are two separate things. Click To Tweet

When I think of the times that I have been truly thankful, it is because someone shared their skill or resources to help me do something I could not do myself. Whether that was a doctor, a fire fighter, a technician, an auto mechanic, a teacher, a co-worker, or a stranger, the times I am truly thankful is when I am in need. I am even more thankful when I see what it costs for the giver to help me. How many of us have received checks in birthday cards from a grandparent or older relative? How many of us realize the actual cost to those sending the check? Do the guys in the commercial think about what grandma went without so she could send a $10.00 check (plus postage?)

Saying thank you is easy. Being truly thankful requires humility, sincerity, and empathy. In our yoga practice, we focus on these things and seek to stay on our path of enlightenment. What are you truly thankful for today? How can you show it?

See also Being Thankful in a Thankless World. Pay it Forward in kindness and truly celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in your mind, in your words, and in your heart.



Doormat vs Welcome Mat?

Are you a door mat or are you a welcome mat?

I was watching Jeopardy the other night and I don't even know what the category was, but the contestant's response was, "What is a welcome mat?" Alex's response was  "Correct! Welcome mat or door mat are both acceptable responses." I thoroughly disagree. There is a difference between people being a door mat or a welcome mat.

There is a difference between people being a door mat or a welcome mat. Which are you? Click To Tweet

If you tend to be a door mat, than you are unhappy when perceive a job is beneath you. You grumble and gripe when the extra project gets dumped on your desk, when there is a need for extra coverage and you are "volunteered", when there is a family crisis and you reluctantly step up to the plate. Everything to you is a crisis and crazy, and you just don't understand why everyone can't see how mistreated you are.

If you tend to be a welcome mat, then you gladly take on a new project and work the extra hours. You ask for extra responsibilities, listen and learn. You are enthusiastic and humble. You offer suggestions rather than demands, you are respectful rather than condescending, and open to whatever changes might happen.

As I watch another year of graduations take place, I wonder how many of these new grads will be door mats and how many will be welcome mats? Which are you?

Yoga Helps Replace That 4 Letter Word

Intriguing title, why did you click it? And what four letter word I am talking about?

The four letter word is FEAR.

FEAR keeps us from achieving our goals. FEAR paralyzes us and keeps us up at night. FEAR keeps us stuck in unhealthy jobs and relationships. FEAR leads us to hibernate and wallow, perpetuating even more FEAR, resentment, anger.

What can you do about it?

Replace FEAR with YOGA. Yoga helps to calm your mind. Yoga will help to keep you centered. Yoga will help you realize your self worth. Yoga will help you to set an intention. Yoga will help to get you un-stuck and take positive action. When you learn to tap into your inner wisdom through yoga, you will be able to see a whole myriad of possibilities.

Do you need help? This week I am so excited to be part of the Life Beyond Limitations Free Online Summit with Dr. Molly Casey – starts April 11th, 2017. I will be discussing how to overcome obstacles and live life beyond limitations! Claim Your Spot Now by clicking here. I look forward to helping you achieve your dreams and goals through yoga!


YogaAnita is Moving

Dear Friends,

Sadly, we have to say good bye to our Leominster location. Thankfully I was able to reserve additional space for classes at the Dragonfly Wellness Center on Devens. For those of you who have already been there, you know what a truly beautiful space this is and for those of you who haven't been there yet, you are in for a treat! And along with the space, wellness services, and other fitness modalities, comes the Natural Health Cafe, where we can relax after yoga with a tasty treat and beverage. I am grateful to Anne at Dragonfly for making room for us to add another class there, but mostly I am thankful to all of you who will join me on a journey to another new location. Initially, I will offer two classes there: Monday at 4:30pm and Saturday at 9:00am. The first class will be January 7, 2017. You may prepay online or in person and use your credit/debit card too. Many thanks for your comments and patience.

For those of you not joining us in our new location, I wish you well and hope that you will continue your yoga practice. It has been an honor to serve you.



Fitness Motivation Tips for 2017

Here's my contribution:
Author and Blogger

What are my 3 best fitness motivation tips for 2017?

Accept Change

Acknowledge and accept change-change in your body, change in your relationships, change in your career. Know that you have the power within to become a better you.

Find Your Goals

Set an intention to be healthier. Once you set an intention and send it out into the universe, you have set the ball the rolling. Follow through by making a plan for your eating and movement.

Be Positive

Surround yourself with positivity, cut out the negativity. Sometimes we hold on because it is convenient but not in our best interest. Keep what serves you and your goals, discard the rest.

Please read 99 more tips here. Thanks to Cathy Scarlett @ garagegymplanner.com for compiling!

Practicing Kindness

Peace in yoga

Kindness towards yourself and others is not an easy thing to do. Reflecting on your use of time, how often does kindness figure in? Can you go just a few minutes without letting negative thoughts come through? As a teacher in an elementary school and as a yogi, I hope to model kindness in my everyday actions, yet I realize that there are some days when it is a struggle, when it is easy and convenient to deflect blame or wallow in negative thoughts.

A few weeks ago my mother passed away. In that time I have been the recipient of so many kind acts that it humbles me.  I'd like to acknowledge some:

  • Nashoba Valley Hospital in Ayer which supplied coffee and snacks while we were sitting with my mom.
  • Kelleye, the nurse on duty, who explained the end of life process to us, checked in without being obtrusive, and stayed passed her shift to give my dad a hug.
  • The neighbors and relatives who brought food, sent cards, and sat with us
  • Other neighbors and friends who went to visit and sit with my dad after everyone went back home to their lives
  • The people I work with who came to the wake, sent me messages and cards, and Jeff who baked delicious bread when I returned to work
  • Other people who know me from my yoga practice, blog, and facebook, who sent words of encouragement

Thank you for your kindness. Kindness received becomes kindness given. Perhaps in the aftermath of this election, our leaders can practice that as well.


Preparing For (A) Fall in Yoga

changeYesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.– Rumi


It is now officially Fall when we prepare our homes and ourselves for the winter months ahead. How can yoga help? As yogis, we know how yoga can help us physically, mentally and spiritually (see Discover Yoga). As we dive deeper into our practice, we invite ourselves to change with it. Sometimes, these changes are not what we expect. Often times, being open to change can also lead us down the path of pain, disappointment, and rejection. It far more comfortable shut ourselves away from people and situations outside our comfort zone, staying in our little hobbit holes of complacency. Yet when you are stagnant in one place, negative feelings will eventually percolate and bubble over. How long can you be ignored, marginalized, and taken advantage of before you become bitter, depressed, and robotic? I always tell my students who are new to yoga that the hardest poses they will do is centering at the beginning of class and savasana at the end because in these poses you are forced to be quiet and to look within.

So how can yoga prepare you for what lies ahead?

First, it is helpful to know that you are not alone. In this age of social media, there is always someone or some group out there who you can connect with (in a safe way of course). Isn't it true that being anonymous is so much more freeing than being face to face? Just remember to use common sense when posting, getting and listening to advice.

Second, change isn't all bad. You can always take "baby steps" if the change is within your control, go with your gut, and don't second guess yourself. You are your best teacher.

Finally, yoga is made to help you navigate changes. Listen to your breath, listen to your body, follow your heart. Be open to the changes within. Let yoga be your guide.







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