Becoming a Yoga Teacher at 55!

I've practiced yoga for approximately 15 years now.  I has always been such a peaceful time in my day, especially during some rough times.  Like the teenage years of my children, for example.  Dim the lights, burn a little incense, turn on some soft music and then it's just me and my mat.  Having been in the teaching profession for not only the junior high and elementary grades but also having taught private piano lessons, I had often thought about training to become a yoga instructor.  Last year I had my chance at that.  And I took it!

I had no idea what I was getting myself into whenever I signed up for a 200 hour yoga teacher training course.  Oh, I knew we would have to engage in the actual physical part of the practice and, of course, I questioned whether I would have to do anything extreme because let's face it...I'm not really into anything extreme.  I also knew that the training would be in a hot studio environment which I used to practice in all the time.  But then came that dang menopause and I was hot enough without being in a room that was 100 degrees.  I much more enjoyed the room temperature studio and didn't mind power yoga at all.  But to get those 200 hours surely I could do it.

Often times I wonder, "WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING?!"  The entirety of my yoga training I thought that.  I knew that I would be the oldest student in the room but that really made no difference to me because I think I can do anything (sometimes foolishly...) and experience counts for something, doesn't it?  Well, I'll let you in on a little secret:  Yoga training is not easy.  And not only the physical part but there were sessions of inquiry where you really had to dig deep into yourself and sometimes that sort of thing is more painful than the physical aspect.  There were also very long days (lots of 12 hour ones) where we practice taught and learned about the anatomy of the human body, read numerous books and had to write a paper in the end.  And on top of all that, my mother had her fall and began her decline during that period of time.  Those 200 hours did not come easy and for me it was very stressful at times.

I wanted to quit so many times but it's just not in me to quit.  And now, I'm so happy that I didn't.  Because I really do love teaching yoga; bringing something to someone else's life.  It has also helped me to cope a little with the loss of my mother.  I haven't gotten out very much since she passed away but the one thing that I did do was to take on one weekly yoga class to teach.  It has been good for me on a number of levels.  So, although yoga training was quite a challenge for me, I am happy that I hung in there and completed it!  Namaste...
During yoga training you get so close with the ones you train with and these gals will always hold such a special place in my heart.

Creating Good Habits for 2018

I'm not much of a goal setter or resolution maker so this year I've decided to set some good habits in place for myself.  A good habit may not be a goal, however, it might lead to a goal you have had in mind.  Here's an example:  I have a goal of being able to run a marathon.  My good habit would be that I will start running for 30 minutes each day which might in turn get me to that marathon.  Get it?  Yea...that was just an example because there is no way I ever plan on running a marathon.  But I will share with you a few things I have come up with that will perhaps make my life a little better in this new year.

There's nothing like the death of someone dear to you to make you stand up and take notice of your own life.  After watching my mother fade away in hospice care and eventually pass away during the holiday season, I took stock of where I am in my own life and where I would like to be.  I decided to focus on a well-rounded me and to do that I needed to develop some good habits in several areas of my life:  Physical, Mental and Spiritual.

     I will commit to making healthy choices with food, which includes eating more fresh real food
     than the processed kind.  Also, choosing an exercise that I really enjoy is important because if
     I enjoy it, I am more likely to stay with it.  It is my intention to attend yoga classes at least 3 times
     a week.  And the fact that I am now teaching one of those 3 makes it easier for me to keep that
     good habit.

     Peace of mind is a big thing for me.  I am a worrier so I am going to get into the habit of living
     more day to day and not borrowing trouble from tomorrow.  Yoga will also help me clear my
     mind and meditate on positive things.  I have recently picked up my painting after quite a long
     hiatus and I remember how happy it makes me to paint and create, therefore I am going to make
     it a habit to paint a little every day...and a lot some days!  And to disconnect more from electronics
     and replace them with enjoying the quiet, outdoors,  music and people.

     My spirituality is very important to me.  I'm going to make reading and studying my Bible a
     priority this year.  I want to have some quiet time and meditation every morning.  It is my
     intention to simplify my life.  I want to be concerned less with things and more with people.

Spending time with my mother during her last days here on earth made me realize that there are so many things in life that often times keep us busy or complicate our lives.  However, in the end, it is a life well lived in peace that really matters.  It's the choices you make that lead to your joy and contentment.

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Where Dreams Come True: Tips for a Stress-Free Holiday Disney Vacation

With Mardi Gras, Easter and summer vacation coming up more quickly than we are ready to admit, families from all over are getting ready to travel.  And where do most families travel with children?  You've got it; "The Happiest Place on Earth...DISNEY!"  Traveling to Disney with children can be a bit overwhelming and quite stressful if you are not fully prepared and organized.  With that being said,  today I have a guest blogger, Henry Moore of Fit Well Traveler , who has agreed to share some really helpful tips for planning a stress-free vacation to Disney.

The point of a vacation is to take a break from everyday life and enjoy yourself. In spite of this, sometimes vacations come with unavoidable stressors. Who will pet sit? Will we have enough time to get everything done? Can I really afford this? Just like every difficult situation, there are solutions to every problem. The following is a list of tips for making sure you have a fun and stress-free Disney vacation.

1. Make concrete plans. As fun as it could be to do everything on a whim, not having a plan when going on your vacation could cause unnecessary stress. Particularly when you’re traveling with kids, it’s important to plan out at least some of your travel and vacation ahead of time. Use an itinerary so that you can plan out where you’ll be each day of your vacation. An itinerary lets you plan out a route so there aren’t any surprises while you’re traveling to Florida or California for your Disney excursion. Google Maps is a great tool for this.

2. Protect your home before you leave no matter how long you’re going to be gone. Although it may seem like a chore to fully prepare your home for when you’re gone, anything could happen while you’re away, so you’ll want to be ready. recommends doing whatever you can to make it seem like you’re still home to discourage a break-in. This can be as simple as asking a neighbor to park in your driveway, having a friend stay at your house for a few days, or putting a noise maker by your front and back doors playing a recorded conversation or podcast to make it seem like someone is inside.

3. Don’t try to squeeze everything into one trip. Author Robin Hutson from has a great list of things to plan for on your Disney trip, and her best advice by far is to not try to do everything at every park in one trip. Chances are, you’re going to have a great time, so you’ll want to go back for another trip in the future. This means that you don’t have to try to do everything at once, because you’ll return home feeling completely spent. Instead of trying to hit every park, visit one or two of them, then spend time at some other attractions in the area that consume less energy and give you time to relax. If you are traveling with your partner, switch off parenting duties. Have them take the kids down to the pool for an hour or two while you relax, or vice versa.

4. Don’t break the bank. Some of the biggest stressors that people experience during a vacation are money-related. Even if you’ve been saving for what feels like forever and you’re sure you’ve calculated enough money for the trip, there’s still a chance that, at some point, you’re going to be stressed about money. Ease some of your stress by first packing responsibly. Don’t buy anything at the parks that you can bring from home. You’ll be surprised how expensive a poncho is just because it has Mickey’s face on it. Another easy way to save money is to avoid Disney during its peak season. recommends going the Sunday after Thanksgiving through the first week of December. This is when you can be sure to experience mild weather and low crowds.

There’s a reason that they call Disneyland “The Happiest Place on Earth,” so you should try to avoid stress at all costs during your vacation there. By following this short list and by taking time to relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be sure to have a fun vacation that you’ll be telling everyone about when you get home.

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