V-DAY

“Love thy neighbor as thyself.”

I should be more prepared, but inevitably every year it sneaks up on me.  It happened this year on January 5th.  I was leaving the grocery store and on my way out something caught my eye.  A flash of pink…upon closer examination it was a lot of pink, like someone had poured Pepto Bismol all over a display shelf.  There they were…boxes and bags of pink, red, and white candies.  Valentine’s Day.  I was still wishing others “happy new year” and the powers that be decided it was time for the next big holiday.  Upon registering what I had seen, my first reaction was son of a…eye roll…already?

My reaction isn’t a new one and I have a sneaking suspicion that it has less to do with rushing to the next holiday and more to do with my history with this day.  When I looked back I see that up until adulthood, my experiences were mostly positive.  Picking out valentines for my classmates, the party at school, coming home with a box full of cards and if I was lucky, some of the cards had candy attached to them!  But, fast forward to adulthood and it is riddled with some success, but also loneliness, and unmet expectations.    My expectation for the day has always revolved around someone else or the absence of someone else.  Do I have plans? Do I have a special someone? Will they come through? Will we have fun? Will they get me something I like? If I go deeper beyond expectations though, because let’s be honest I could choose to let those go, I was hinging my happiness on something or someone external to myself.  This is a shaky place to reside in life.  I have learned this the hard way over the past five or so years.  My whole life, my dad always was there for me with a card, flowers, and his never ending support when an inattentive boyfriend wasn’t or when I was single.  When he passed away, I was unsure how to feel important or loved on my own.  I had to learn that.  A year and a half ago, I broke off a long term relationship.  Whatever I didn’t learn about knowing and loving myself when I lost my dad, I had to face through this experience.  Who am I? What do I like to do? What makes me feel good?  Life throws us all types of challenges: death, divorce, break-ups.  It is inevitable.  But, if you know yourself and love yourself, life’s changes and challenges can be moved through more easily.  

There is a saying that you can only love someone else as much as you love yourself.  Well, it is true.  

After interviewing people and listening to thousands of stories, Brene Brownwas able to develop a definition of love.  She proposes, “…love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them.  We can only love others as much as we love ourselves.” Brene Brown goes on to say that this definition was tough for her to accept because she didn’t want her level of self-love to “limit” how much she can love her family members.  Do you know why? Because loving others and accepting their limitations is much easier than doing that for ourselves. 

I always get resistance from my clients about this concept.  Love myself? Put myself first? Isn’t that selfish?  It is actually the opposite.  Here is why.  You have more to give if you give to yourself first.  On top of that, your relationships experience less pressure, less expectation if you are able to take care of yourself and supply yourself with your basic needs.  We get into trouble when we overly rely on others to make us feel loved, accepted, and worthy.  It sets up an unhealthy dynamic that might work at first, but ultimately, causes resentment, self-sabotage, and hurt among other things.  Louise Haystates that, “self-love is the most important gift we can give ourselves, because when we love who we are, we will not hurt ourselves, and we will not hurt anyone else.”  

My challenge to you is to set a goal this Valentine’s Day.  Vow to love yourself.  Think a loving thought or shut down a negative one.  Set a boundary.  Say no without supplying an excuse.  Sign up for an exercise or creative class.  Learn to get quiet or meditate.   Approach yourself with compassion, forgiveness and generosity on Valentine’s Day and every other day.  It will benefit you and your relationships will become easier, more peaceful, and loving.  If you can put these principles into practice for yourself, you will be more willing to approach others in your life this way.  

This year I have been able to make peace with Valentine’s Day.  When I really examined my thoughts and feelings after my initial reaction of dread, I felt okay about not knowing what Valentine’s Day or any other day will hold for me when it comes to love–from someone else that is.  I do know what it holds when it comes to loving myself.  The work I have done in this area has been challenging, but it continues to grow and no person, no bad date, no lack of a date can take that away from me.  And that is an empowering place to be.  

 

 

Annalisa is an education research psychologist, licensed professional counselor, and registered yoga teacher.  She offers counseling, life and professional coaching, and movement therapy using yoga practices.  Her philosophy is holistic and believes it is important to examine each part of life because she truly believes everything is connected when it concerns mental, emotional, and physical suffering and pain.  Annalisa feels truly grateful to be doing this work and believes her purpose in this life is to assist others on their journeys to self-discovery and healing. You can reach her via e-mail at amgramlich@yahoo.com or by phone at 816.916.9642

 

Resolutions

“You ought to write down your goals.  It serves as a guidepost and gives strength for purposeful action.”

Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind

Around this time of year there is so much written about making, keeping, and following through on resolutions.  I have made them for the past few years and have had some success with implementing them and having some small things show up.  For instance, I had travel as a goal for the past few years; however, during this time, the opportunity to take small more localized trips has materialized.  While my resolution to travel certainly included smaller trips, my hope was to be able to take a longer and more exotic vacation.

After writing my resolutions for 2016, I pulled out some old journals that contained the previous year’s resolutions.  Turns out that I have been making the same resolutions for a few years! A few I could cross off, but for the most part I desire the same things.  Initially, this shocked me and I immediately went into judgment mode.  Why can’t I get this done? Shouldn’t I be further along than this in these areas? After a few minutes of this I realized that being critical of myself was not going to get me where I wanted to be.  How can I turn this around? Then I had a thought, our resolutions or goals are lived through our daily actions, habits, and thoughts.  It is all well and good to set a goal of losing weight, but what actions can bring this about?  So, I developed the following exercise:

Write a list of your resolutions.  Be specific.  

For each resolution write ways in which that resolution can be lived.  What actions can you take on a daily basis? Get creative!

Examples: 

Lose 10 pounds-cook healthy meals at home, research gyms or memberships, work-out three times a week, take stairs at work, take short walks during breaks, plan meals, shop with a grocery list.

Travel locally and take longer vacation abroad-research weekend trips, save money weekly, join airfare watch service, sign-up for travel newsletter or group.

This process had an empowering effect on me because it gave me some tangible actions to focus on and to implement in my daily life. Surprisingly, I also discovered that I was already doing or had planned to do a few things that were in line with my new resolutions.  So, I had made more progress than I had originally thought with past resolutions and I’ve got a jump start on going even further this year!  Some goals take longer than others to accomplish, but getting creative with our daily actions and habits can be a more empowering path to living the life we desire.

I hope you find this exercise helpful and that you have a peaceful and prosperous 2016.  Happy New Year!

About Annalisa Gramlich

Annalisa is an education research psychologist, licensed professional counselor, and registered yoga teacher.  Annalisa offers counseling, life and professional coaching, and movement therapy using yoga practices.  Her philosophy is holistic and she believes it is important to examine each part of life because she truly believes everything is connected when it concerns mental, emotional, and physical suffering and pain.  Annalisa feels truly grateful to be doing this work and believes her purpose in this life is to assist others on their journeys to self-discovery and healing. You can reach Annalisa via e-mail at amgramlich@yahoo.com or by phone at 816.916.9642

Meet our Team – Annamarie Weddle

Annamarie Weddle has been practicing yoga since 2009, and she’s loved every minute of it.

“Once I started, I just dove in head over heels,” Annamarie said. “I became a yoga teacher because I’d started taking yoga and just really enjoyed it. I love teaching it and sharing it. And teaching has also taught me a lot about my own practice.”

Currently, Annamarie is trained in process, Vinyasa and power yoga. In all the classes she teaches, she tries to focus on the mind-body connection. Her personal emphasis in class is on intention and stress relief, setting students up for a fulfilling and holistic practice.

Plus, Annamarie says, she tries to help her students apply the content of the class to other parts of their lives.

At Hagoyah, Annamarie teaches the basics class at noon. 

“I really love the basics class because it’s a connected, feedback-oriented class,” she says. “It’s a class of instruction and a slower pace.”

Annamarie welcomes anyone to visit her class, from beginners to long-time students.

“I have a lot of people who come in and say, ‘It’s my first yoga class,’” she said, “and by the end of the class, it just clicks: this is why people love it.”

A typical day for Annamarie begins by waking up early and teaching a class, she said.  

“That’s a great part of the day because it gets you focused and allows you to set your intention for the day,” she said.

The rest of the day is flexible – because she teaches yoga all over the Kansas City metro area, she gets to see different studios and different parts of the community. These days, she spends her time at Hagoyah, Unity Temple, the Waldo Library and Belle Yoga Studio in Westport.

Annamarie loves being a part of the Hagoyah team in part because of the atmosphere, she says. “I love the concept of Hagoyah in general – the hair, the yoga, the nutrition! And I love Angela and Holly too. It’s neat to know that this is their place and it’s great to see their dreams manifested.”

 

Yoga Posture to try: Childs Pose

 

One easy and relaxing yoga pose is the child’s pose. This practice stretches your lower back, extends your arms and relaxes your entire body.

1. Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together; sit on your heels. Separate your knees about as wide as your hips.

2. As you exhale, bend over and lay your torso down between your thighs. Lengthen and stretch your tailbone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift your head far from your thighs, away from the back of your neck.

3. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso palms facing up.  Release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor, and rest your forehead directly on the floor. 

The child’s pose is a resting and stretching pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Beginners can use this pose to get a taste of a deep forward bend, where the torso rests on the thighs. 

 Stay in the pose up to three minutes. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

This posture is welcome at anytime during your practice.  

 

 

Three (More) Lies People Believe about Yoga

 

Our Hagoyah team hears misconceptions about yoga throughout the week. These are a few common reasons people don’t try yoga – that is, a few lies people believe about yoga. Give yoga a try! You’ll see that these lies are just, well, lies. We tackled three misconceptions last week .

Here are three more.

 

 1. Yoga poses? I can’t do those! 

Yoga poses, just like yoga itself, isn’t one-size-fits all. Every pose looks different on every body. Your flexibility, physical fitness and strength are all factors. For a pose like standing forward fold, for example, the person to your right might be touching his toes and the person to your left may not be able to reach past her knees. 

The best part? Neither person is doing it wrong. Different bodies allow for different expressions of every pose.

 

 2. Yoga is only for stress relief. 

Yes, yoga is for stress relief – it’s a powerful stress buster and you can leave a yoga session feeling more relaxed and calmer. But yoga is more than that! A regular yoga program strengthens muscles, deepens your breathing, improves your balance and makes you more flexible. Yoga can help with many ailments and illnesses – asthma, arthritis, depression, heart disease, infertility . . . the list goes on.

 

 3. Yoga is only for young people.

At Hagoyah, we have students of every age! Yoga offers benefits to everyone, no matter what your generation. It’s never too late – or too early – to begin practicing.

 

 

Three Lies People Believe about Yoga

 

 

Three Lies People Believe about Yoga

 

Our Hagoyah team hears misconceptions about yoga throughout the week. These are a few common reasons people don’t try yoga – that is, a few lies people believe about yoga.

Give yoga a try! You’ll see that these lies are just, well, lies.

 

1. I need to be flexible to try yoga. 

So you’re not flexible enough for yoga? It’s just like saying you can’t go to sleep because you’re tired, or you can’t ___ because you’re ______. Yoga is designed to build your flexibility. Starting from scratch is okay: we’ve all been beginners at one point.

If you lack flexibility, yoga is just the experience for you! Flexibility isn’t a requirement. All you need to do is show up with a positive attitude. At Hagoyah, we’ll teach you the rest.

 

 2. My religion doesn’t fit with yoga. 

Yoga isn’t associated with one religion, one or belief system or one faith. You don’t need to worship any deities, serve any gods or participate in religious ceremonies.

Yoga is more than a physical practice: it’s the unification of your body and mind, your spirit and breath. In yoga, you recognize your thoughts, become conscious of your actions and words and comprehend who you are. Yoga is about seeing your connection to others and becoming connected to yourself. Having any religion, or no religion in particular, doesn’t exclude you from yoga. It’s a physical practice for everyone. Adapt the practice to your own beliefs!

 

 3. Yoga is too expensive for me.

Sure, some yoga studio classes may bring a little sticker shock. But while it’s true that some yoga classes can be costly, many have deals or specials for new students. At Hagoyah, we love offering our Enlighten-Up Lunch Break classes, where you pay what you can. It’s an introduction to yoga for anyone, and we’re happy to offer this gateway to further yoga practices.

And yoga isn’t expensive when you do it at home! Take what you learn from class and put it into action outside the studio. Roll out your mat in your own living room and practice your sun salutation, downward dog, child’s pose and warrior sequence. When you pay for a yoga class, you pay for more than just that hour: you pay for the knowledge you gain. 

 

Yoga Schmoga!

I have found there are roughly three types of people.  Those who practice Yoga and LOVE it, those who are curious about Yoga, and those who want to stay as far away from it as possible.  There are lots of questions and stereotypes regarding Yoga.  If you don’t love Yoga, I feel you may be misinformed or misguided.  
 
I have gathered some of the most common questions regarding Yoga and hopefully they can help clarify some of the misconceptions regarding Yoga.  
 
Of course, “different strokes for different folks”.  But, I strongly feel that Yoga is for everyone and everyone can do Yoga.  Please let us know if we can answer any of your Yoga questions.     
 
  • What is all this hype about Yoga?  
You really have to just try it for yourself.  The first few Yoga classes I attended, I swear that I was HIGH when I left.  It is really quite difficult to put into words.  It was almost as if everything was amplified for me, colors were brighter, sounds were crisper and everything seemed to be at peace.  Physically, I felt more open, and my body craved more of this Yoga stuff.   
  • What is the difference between “this” Yoga and “that” Yoga?
There are several “styles” or “brands” of Yoga out there.  Most of which claiming to be “the one and only” or “the best”.  There also seems to be a multitude of “Fathers” of Yoga and it’s hard to trace exactly Who’s Your Yoga Daddy.  I think in this instance it is okay to not know who the “Father” is, but just embrace the  several mentors we have to learn from.  Again, different strokes for different folks.  
It may take some time to find that particular style/brand that works best for you. 
  • Is Yoga an exercise program or is it a religion? 
Neither or both.  It is whatever you want to get out of it.   
  • Why do they call it a practice?
As a noun, practice is defined as, “the customary, habitual, or expected procedure of something.”  As a verb, practice is defined as, “to perform or to carry out.”
Once you begin a Yoga practice, you will always be practicing.  You never actually “get there” to some destination.   You may finally be able to get into a particular posture, or your mind may quiet down a bit more, but you are always a work in progress.
  • Will Yoga make me a Vegan-Tree-Hugging-Hippy?
No.  I love steak, make-up, beer, camping, wine, chocolate, and I also love Yoga.  
Many people who love Yoga also love all the wonderful things that life has to offer, even though they may not all be the best for you.  
Yoga is for everyone, and everyone can do Yoga.   
 
  • Why do they say Yoga creates a spiritual or emotional experience?
I really don’t know if I am the best person to answer this, but I will do my best.  Yoga is literally translated as a “union”.  Think about being separated from  someone you love dearly and you don’t know if you will be reunited.  You are finally reunited, and it is a wonderful experience full of many emotions.  Through Yoga you are able to create a union, of mind, body & spirit.  Sometimes this reunion can bring up emotions.  As for the spiritual experience, that is something very personal and unique for everyone.  I have had a spiritual experiences in nature, eating delicious food, and spending time with loved ones.  For some people, they find a spiritual peace in their Yoga practice.
 
Also, Yoga helps to build consciousness or awareness.  Experiencing a heightened level of awareness, some people translate that as having a spiritual experience.  Being more aware helps you to notice the things, people or behaviors that may not be truly serving you, and as you naturally build this awareness through Yoga, those things/people/behaviors will fade.       
 
  • Why should I practice Yoga?
Do your homework.  There is endless physical and mental health benefits.  
I started because I am vain and wanted a hot yoga body, and heard that Yoga is the fountain of youth.  I found out, it is much more than that.  
Again, different strokes for different folks.  It is what you want to get out of it.  
 
  • When should I practice Yoga?
A little bit everyday if you can.  I recommend attending an actual Yoga class at least once a week.  
 
  • Where should I practice Yoga?
A little bit everyday in your home/office/yard/park if you can.  I also recommend finding a Yoga studio that fits your style that you can go and practice at least once a week.  Nothing beats having an instructor guide you.    
 
  • How do I practice Yoga?
If you can breathe, you can do Yoga.  Attend a class, read a book, rent a dvd or download a podcast, and repeat.  

Beauty-Body-Balance

Hagoyah is Holistic beauty.

 

Holistic is the theory or practice of incorporating Holism.

 

Holism is the care of the entire person in all aspects and/or; theory that whole entities, as fundamental components of reality, have an existence other than as the mere sum of their parts.  

 
Beauty . Body . Balance

 
Beauty is the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind.  

Body is the physical structure of a person or an animal, including the bonesflesh, and/or: the physical and mortal aspect of a person as opposed to the soul or spirit.
 
 
Balance is an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steadyand/or: stability of one’s mind or feelings.