Magic Becomes Reality
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The lessons I learned from Reshu apply every day of my life. I was so certain that she would be in utter despair being almost completely paralyzed from the neck down from her terminal brain cancer. This is quite the opposite for this highly witty, light-hearted, and brilliant 15 year old from North India. I would ask her how she became so happy. Her answer was simple: MAGIC. Reshu would then smile and bobble her head. These moments made me realize that she had not lost her swagger.I would often be playful with Reshu by testing her intelligence. I had her do things like recite the English alphabet. When she completed A-Z with such effortlessness, I asked her to recite the alphabet backwards. Reshu was able to perform the task perfectly on her second attempt. Try it yourself some time and imagine if English was your second or third language. Unbelievable! I would then ask her how she became so smart. She would smile, bobble her head and say, “MAGIC!”

My experience with Reshu has increased my commitment to life. There is not a day that has gone by that I don’t think of her. Reshu shows me that a person can experience severe trauma, terminal illness, and still keep their smile and swagger. This little girl has taught me that magic can become a reality.

Michael Fong
www.rtwyoga.com
www.michaelfongyoga.com


Break Away and Discover your Soul!

 

 

On being “Externally Resourced”…

When a person is primarily “externally resourced” they are overly identified with their human self and the conditioning of the three-dimensional reality or the world in front of their eyes. This often translates to getting caught up/ stuck in the immediate impact of our life circumstances.

When a person is primarily “externally resourced”, their mind is functioning at a deficit, on account that they’re not Trusting (i.e., yielding to) and not Surrendering (i.e., merging with) Source energy. In other words, when you’re primarily “externally resourced” you’re not partnering with or Living in Alignment with Source energy. Subsequently you’ll not have access to the “bigger picture view” of who you are, what you’ve come into this life to experience and or unable to access universal wisdom.

The Living in Alignment process is designed to free you from the constraints of your societal conditioning and facilitate a transition to becoming internally resourced and discovering your Soul mission or calling in life.

In a nutshell, here’s what it means to be Living in Alignment:

Living in Alignment with your Soul is a very different way of being and living your life. You will experience a transformative process of change: from being primarily externally resourced to being internally resourced.

Instead of allowing societal conditioning and dictates to override your inner knowing or truth, you will learn to listen to and follow the guidance and promptings from your Soul.

Living in Alignment with your Soul will foster your self-empowerment and facilitate your personal transformation.

To learn more about becoming internally resourced and the Living in Alignment approach please visit my website: www.darcyclarke.us

A little about me – Darcy Clarke.
I am a licensed holistic psychotherapist with over thirty years experience. My calling in life is to assist people to have a conscious experience of partnering with Source energy in their daily lives.


“Not so Bendy Wendy”

 
Alright.  I’ll admit it.  I’m not the most flexible yogi.  Not by far.
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Flexibility has been a challenge for me my whole life, even as a child.  I took gymnastics when I was 5 years old and I was the only kid who couldn’t do the splits or backbends.  Even though I liked it, I always felt stuck and different than the rest of the kids.  My childhood gymnastics career lasted a year or so and then it was on to soccer for 10+ years.  That I was good at, but became increasingly less flexible over the years due to the fear of stretching. 😜
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I was super tight in my back and hips and about a foot away from reaching my toes in a standing forward fold.  It wasn’t until my teens when I randomly stumbled upon one of my mom’s yoga/workout videos and decided to give Yoga to a try.  I started with the Asana (physical postures) practice not having a clue of the internal/spiritual benefits.  All I knew was that I felt good in my body by incorporating my breath into each movement.
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Extra long story short…It has taken me about 15 years to get to the point I am at in my Asana practice.  My students will often tell me how flexible I am and I laugh inside because they have no idea how far I’ve come and how far away I am from where I would like to be.  Often times I get discouraged from seeing all of the super bendy acrobatic yogis on social media. (There are a ton!).  In fact, I find myself feeling shy about posting my daily flows or pictures of progress because I’m thinking “who really cares to see another yoga pose that’s not as impressive as the next?”.
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My point in sharing this is to tell you that you don’t have to be flexible to start practicing yoga.
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There are plenty of not so “Bendy Wendy’s” out there.  The word Yoga means “union” and the purpose of the Asana practice is to cultivate the flow of Prana (vital life force energy) connecting spirit and body.  There are 8 whole limbs to yoga.  The Asana (physical postures) is only one, and within that there are many different forms that are ever evolving.  My message to you, that is also a message to myself, is that even if you think you aren’t as good as others at something, you shouldn’t let it keep you from trying something new and inspiring others through sharing what brings you joy!  Share your bliss!!  It might make someone smile to see you laugh at yourself while falling out of a balancing pose and/or struggle into the splits!
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Morgan Fallon

by Michael Fong, at Leap yoga – Folsom Ca.

Beyond the Noise

Vipassana is a true test of determination and letting go. 11 hours of meditation a day presents enough challenges for most individuals on the planet. Anything can become a potential distraction to the practice. My Vipassana took place at the famous Dhamma Joti Center in the heart of downtown Yangon. This part of the city could be very loud, with noises ranging from barking street dogs to electronic dance music. There were plenty of times I was able to get close to having blissful moments, only to be interrupted by honking cars or screaming people. 

The noise was not limited to the outside of the meditation hall. There were a symphony of sounds coming from all of the participants in the Vipassana. Burps and farts would vibrate from across the room. Students would moan, sigh, and crack their joints constantly. Each individual sound would test my concentration and patience. It’s as if the 4am wake up call, meals of white bread with onions, or feeling like your knees are going to blow from being in one single position for hours at a time isn’t difficult enough. Add in unnecessary noises, and you create any reason to get lost in frustration and start grinding your teeth. FYI, this is not the best way to meditate. 

I was so grateful to travel to India and visit my teacher Nani Ma before the trip to Yangon. I asked her how she was able to practice meditation in environments like caves and out in the elements of the Himalayan Mountains. Nani Ma told me that she knows where she is going, so she simply goes there. It sounds simple enough, but the task is very hard. This profound statement reinforced the lesson that distractions are not relevant when you know how to get to your desired destination. The real obstacles of meditation are not club music or flatulence, but rather the chatter of one’s own mind. 

Once I was able to turn the volume down inside my head, my meditation began to appear. The technique and long hours of fierce determination guided me to a place beyond the noise. One of the most encouraging things about the entire experience is to know that this place exists. Consistent practice helps me to efficiently arrive into silence. These moments are fleeting, but the sense of calm and clarity is always there inside of us.

Michael Fong
www.rtwyoga.com
www.michaelfongyoga.com


by Michael Fong, at Leap yoga – Folsom Ca.

The mornings during my 10-day Vipassana meditation course felt like I was going to trek a mountain so high that I could not see the top of the peak. This sinking feeling in my guts became heavier knowing that I had nine more mountains to climb after the one right in front of me. I wouldn’t have made it through the entire 10 days if I maintained this feeling of being overwhelmed. Dwelling on the fact that I had to sit for 11 hours each day made me anxious. I decided to zoom in my perspective and concentrate on the present moment. When the gong sounded at 4am, I would simply focus on getting my feet out of bed and down to the floor. That momentum carried me to taking me one step at a time towards the meditation hall. Arriving to my designated meditation spot was one of the biggest hurdles in the training. I just needed to keep showing up.

 

The process starting my day back home in Sacramento mirrors what I did in Vipassana. Lately, I have been waking up around 430am to begin my morning ritual. The early mornings in the 10-day meditation showed me that this type of discipline delivers bountiful rewards. I have developed the will power to put one foot in front of the other. There is so much strength in a single step and there is great freedom in the continuation and longevity of small progress. I am doing my best to keep up this good habit. Did I say that this isn’t easy for me? I don’t really remember because I am feeling a little sleep deprived. It is not easy, but totally worth it!

Michael Fong. www.rtwyoga.com  www.michaelfongyoga.com

For more information about Micheal Fong, Leap Yoga and Vinyassa, please visit www.leapyoga.net


by Butch Mitchell, ‘Papa Yogi’ at Leap yoga – Folsom Ca.

When you experience a great meal at a new restaurant…you can’t wait to tell others….here’s my story.

 

After completing my 200 hours of Teacher’s Training  over six years ago I deciding to join in on opening a yoga studio with a group of three others…two of which were seasoned teachers.   They were holding “try outs” and I asked to be considered for one of the positions and when could I try out.  A couple of weeks later I received the news that I had made the team and was offered the 5:45 am class on Tuesday and Thursday.  I was going to teach yoga!

 

As “luck” would have it our first official class was on Thursday…February 16, 2012…at 5:45.   We had 3 people in class…and one was my wife and the other was an employee of the studio…who, by the way…after the class…told the other owners “….I don’t think Butch is going to make it”.

 

I was very intimidated as many of the students that attended the class were other yoga teachers. But I was like a sponge…asking for feedback at every turn, attending any workshop that came my way.  “I have to get better”, I would say to myself…I have to share this with others “how yoga had changed my life. Well I did get better and the classes grew and I felt I was making a difference.

 

Now Kaiut yoga has come into my life. I first heard about KAIUT Yoga from my teacher Stacy.  Months back she was on vacation in Bolder Colorado when she called me and said “I just had the best yoga class…it’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced”  Wow I said…sounds interesting…what’s it called? KAIUT she replied …what? I asked.   KAIUT…it’s named after its founder Francisco Kaiut…from Brazil, and he’s been teaching it for about 30 years.   So…to make this long story a little shorter, we asked one of our teachers,  Molly,  if she’d be interested in attending a Teachers Training that was scheduled to start soon in Toronto, Canada. She jumped at the chance.  After she completed the training she returned home anxious to share what she had learned with our students but wanted to practice her teaching at home for a month or so until she felt more comfortable.  Once we introduce KAIUT to the Leap Students it was evident that we were going to need more classes AND  more teachers.   So Michelle, Molly, Cindi and yours truly were off to Toronto for Teacher’s Training with Francisco himself.  While the training was amazing and I plan on going back for another 100 hours…my real story is what it has done for my body.  You see I’ve had a bad back sense I was in my early 20s…born with scoliosis of spine and low back issues caused from working in construction  while in college… I’ve been in some kind back “discomfort” for over 50 years.  On  about the third day of training I was struggling in a pose called “Sukasana”…it’s where you’re sitting on your bolster, legs crossed, leaning forward…slightly forward in my case… with hands on your mat.  Francisco walked over to me, bent down, took my hands,  gently pulled my hands and arms forward saying “the spine will follow”.  It was after that class that I realized that most of my back issues  must be  related to my hips…not my back.  In sharing this  with Francisco…his comment was…”It’s all in our hips”.

 

So now it’s back to square one…teaching a new style of yoga.  And while I’m intimidated all over again…this is something that must  to be shared.  Won’t you please join me as we learn more together  over  our  weekend with Francisco Kaiut…January 18- 21st at Leap Yoga. Post script:   While in Toronto we stayed in a VRBO rental that had the hardest beds and pillows I have ever slept on…and guess what….NO back issues.

 

Namaste

 

Butch…aka Papa Yogi

For more information about Papa Yogi, Leap Yoga and Kaiut, please visit www.leapyoga.net


by Molly Oser, Yoga teacher at Leap yoga – Folsom Ca.

I have been teaching yin yoga for almost six years now; a brief pause in the big world but a defining time in my little world. How did it happen? After a long, pretty steady fifteen years of practice, I was faced with life changes, an end to a long, passionate career. I wasn’t sure what to do or where to head except that I was sure I wanted another field that I could be passionate about. My son was studying in Sweden so I was going to visit him. Stacy Whittingham, my teacher (pre Leap), told me to bring something back with me. I knew she wasn’t talking about a souvenir. At the time, the yin practice had become part of my life, part of my heart. So I looked on line, and it so happened that one of the few yin teachers around was leading a teacher training at an ashram in Sweden. There it was. So off I went… on faith. And it was beyond amazing. I began coming out of my mourning of losing my career (part of my identity) and opened up to a new journey of helping others. I knew that was the only reason I would ever consider teaching. That was my purpose in my first line of work and I knew that if I worked again, it would only be through those eyes.

I began teaching upon the encouragement of a studio owner and since then have completed another 50 hours of yin training (total 125 hours) and 300 hours of Embodyoga teacher training. But as time went on, I began to feel that something was missing. The embodyoga principle is to move from the inside out and to find the work and the ease in every pose, in every thing. To move from integration and wholeness. To find contentment from the inside out. Yin yoga also works from the inside out along lines of energy and through the organs and tissues using long passive holds to lengthen fascia. I was looking to bring it all together. Again, Stacy came into the picture. She had returned from a trip to Boulder where she went to a studio and took this odd sounding yoga, Kaiut. She told me to check it out, it brought it all together. So I looked at the little bit of information on line, and bought my tickets to Toronto. All on faith. I had never taken a Kaiut class and you know, Toronto is the place to be in early February!

I showed up like in a deer in the headlights. Completely open and not having any idea what I was going to experience. After two days, (six classes), I was hooked. This was it. It brought all my trainings together, but more than that, I felt so good. And Francisco Kaiut held us so confidently and completely that I let everything go and followed on trust, and yes, that Faith word again!

That was February 2017. I returned and practiced…and practiced. And once again, Stacy showed up. When are you going to share? When do you want to try it out? So I started, community classes and then Leap put it on the schedule. Purely on faith. And people showed up. And started feeling the changes in their bodies as traumas began releasing and they were noticing that they were aching less. Low backs were easing, knees were bending and ankles were folding. Even nasty shoulders were hurting less.

So I was convinced in my own body and seeing relief in the students. Watching as the fear eased and they let the practice and the poses work. It is that faith in the practice that encouraged me to sign up for the second one hundred hour training this past September. ( a much more inviting month in Toronto!). And before I knew it, the Leap owners were signed up too. They had each taken one class but were convinced that they wanted to learn what this was all about. So off we went, me with my passion and Butch, Micheal, and Cindi on faith.

When I got to Toronto, I was exhausted. I had been teaching quite a lot and my mind and body were spent. When I saw Francisco and exchanged pleasantries, I told him I was there to heal. Yes to learn, but to heal. Please help me heal. So I practiced. And with his steady hand and skill, I began to come back to myself. I allowed myself to open to exactly what was happening at every moment and to begin to touch the joy and the passion that is yoga, again. We all get caught up in life, to have this time to step back and to be guided was such an amazing gift. And over the course of the nine days, I felt the healing. It started with exuberance that I was there and able to be led through the practice, followed by exhaustion, followed by healing. Exactly the same as it has been in February minus the four below temperatures! And I watched the glow come to Cindi, Butch and Micheal. I watched the fear, the letting go and the ease…I watched the yoga work. I watched my body ease, strengthen, and my aching right knee stopped talking to me! For the first time in months and months, I could sleep on my right side without the pain in my shoulder. I had developed a steady home practice, but being taught three classes a day was the kick that my body needed.

And here we are. I have been teaching Kaiut for eight months, Butch and Micheal are just beginning their Kaiut foray. And the Leap community is responding. By letting go, and trying something completely different. On faith in the practice, the teaching, the studio. And because of you, Francisco Kaiut is coming to Leap Yoga on Thursday January 18, 2018 for four days! You will be amazed, you will be softened, you will be healed. Don’t miss this opportunity. Leap is a lot closer than Brazil. Let yourself be held, let yourself be taught. Let yourself have faith.

 

For more information about Molly, Leap Yoga and Kaiut, please visit www.leapyoga.net


By Sarah Grace

As we’ve discussed in prior blogs, being energetically sensitive and/or an empath can come with A LOT of stimulus. Physical, mental, emotional, and energetic ramifications happen when we accumulate excess debris in our energy bodies and don’t take proper measure to balance ourselves.

One staple to feeling good as an empath is our relationship to our physical body. Our capacity to not only be in our body but also properly tend to its needs has a direct impact on how much/little energy we perceive and retain in our aura.

Let’s be clear and say that there is NO ONE WAY to do anything that is best for everyone. This includes diet and nutrition! Some people’s bodies work best on vegan or vegetarian eating plans while others run optimally in the Paleo or Ketogenic programs. Understanding that there is no one “right way,” we can shift our objective to becoming curious about what types of food best fuel your unique system.

What I’ve noticed with myself and in working with many empaths over the years is that higher good fat/protein options in combination with tons of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, often stabilize our systems. Refined sugar and starchy foods can complicate the delicate nervous and digestive systems of an empath significantly. I know… right? Arg.

With our nervous system running more energy than the typical person, and with the transverse colon lying directly under the solar plexus (which is where higher levels of energy bodies attach to the physical form), we tend to be prone to imbalance when we introduce sugar and starch because the sensitive body often has a visceral inflammatory reaction. This reaction creates a ripple effect, which then often percolates through our full aura – creating imbalance.

Does this mean I can never eat sugar again?
NO! That would be miserable!
I’ve personally found that eating clean 80% of the time while allowing myself treats 20% of the time is an eating plan that is sustainable for my long-term health. My experience is that being too strict or regimented sets me up for failure as I feel deprived and restricted – which often boomerangs me right into wanting to reach for the cookies or chocolate.

In the future blogs, I’ll break down great choices for each food category, and how to implement nutrition that you can live with for the long haul. Remember, the key to sustained vitality is CONSISTENCY AND MODERATION! Healthy choices the majority of the time will build the lasting foundation for your physical vessel. Also, life is for the living – and food is a tremendous aspect of our everyday lives. So if you want to indulge a bit once a week or so, go for it. Enjoy every last little morsel and really let yourself appreciate what you eat when you eat it.

You are amazing and loved ~ exactly as you are! Cheers to great health and abundant physical energy! I’ll see you next week! xo


By Sarah Grace

While it’s true that I believe we are innately all our own greatest teachers and healers, sometimes we can come up against difficulties in life that have us looking outwardly for guidance and direction. This blog post is a quick little ditty about the best ways to find the right healer to help you in that time of need.

First things first, what is the nature of your problem?

Physical? Mental? Emotional?

Spiritual/Energetic?

Combination?

All energy systems are interconnected, but finding a healer that can work your chief complaint or primary issue will likely be the best place to start. There are many genres of healers, but here are a few subcategories I’ve personally experienced great results with:

Physical: Natropathic Doctors, Acupuncture, Massage Therapy (specifically those focused on lymph flushing or myofacial release) Craniosacral, Bowen, Medical Intuitive, Hands-On Energy Healing, Holistic Nutrition, Movement Therapy

Mental: EMDR, Brainspotting, Trauma Release Therapy, any licensed therapist who combines cognitive therapy with somatic release, Empowerment Coaching

Emotional: EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), Massage Therapy, TRE (Trauma Release Exercises), Pranyama, Movement Therapy, EMDR Spiritual/Energetic: Hands-On Energy Healing, Medical Intuitive, Medium, Shaman, Medicine Men/Women

The list could go on and on, and I welcome your comments and additions in the comments below!

Where To Find Them?

Coaches and healers are everywhere nowadays, so the trick is asking around your community to find the healers with solid reputations.

Google and website research can also be good places to start if you don’t know anyone in those circles.

Trust yourself.

Regardless of the online packaging/presentation/ reputation, if something doesn’t feel right about a healer to you, then move on. There are plenty to choose from. The most important thing is that you feel safe and comfortable with your chosen provider.

Got One! Now What?

Do not be shy! Ask questions!

  • What is their training?
  • How many years have they been in practice?
  • Why do they do what they do?
  • Are they happy?

And perhaps the biggest telltale sign of a balanced healer: VITALITY. Are they healthy? Do they walk their talk?

Any healer worth their salt won’t mind you asking questions about their background, training, and intentions. If you are met with attitude or
avoidance, you might want to consider finding services elsewhere.

In this day and age where there is metaphorically a coach and healer behind every tree, knowledge is power. Choosing a provider doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Research, ask questions, and above anything else TRUST YOUR INTUITION.

Your own health and vitality will thank you for it!

Cheers!


What is Personal Power by Sarah Grace

 

When you think of a powerful being, do you think of yourself?

Why or why not is that, do you suppose?

Often times, when we ruminate on personal power, we may think of an archetypical superhero dressed up in their costume ready to save the day.

Or perhaps we envision a famous celebrity, who seemingly has the world at their fingertips. It seems that our society has bred us to look externally at other people and things to feel a sense of power.

That typically backfires, though, as instead of feeling powerful ourselves, we often feel inadequate in comparison.

What if I told you that on an energetic level we are ALL powerful energetic beings who have the capability of manifesting amazing lives?

Would you believe me?

The tendency of our culture is to externalize what we want ~ to think that somewhere out there is the person/place/thing that will finally let us feel good, accomplished, loved.

But, the Universe has a sense of humor. You see, we are taught to look ‘out there’, while in actuality the essence of what we seek is within each of us. It’s kind of funny – in an annoyingly overlook-the- obvious sort of way.

While it’s true that manifesting what we desire in this reality has to do with our thoughts and desires, the Universe responds tangibly to how we feel. We get what we feel we deserve, even if that means coming from a subconscious level.

Without delving into The Secret and Laws of Attraction too much (another post) – I want to talk about personal power. Because when we realize that our energetic grid is actually a hologram that responds constantly to the trillions of vibrations that comprise our life – we start to understand that we actually have power in what we want to create.

SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS PERSONAL POWER?

Personal power is our own individual awareness and willingness to harness our own physical, mental, emotional, and creative energy to live a life of our broadest capabilities.

Is it easy to find and hold onto? No. Not necessarily.

Why?

1) Because we are taught that ‘it’ (power) is somewhere ‘out there’ and that we have to do something to achieve/earn it.

2) Because there are billion dollar industries devoted to keeping us searching in order to sell goods and services.

3) Because humans often don’t want to assume personal responsibility, and it is easy to blame someone outside of ourselves if we don’t get what we want.

How do we give our power away?
Lots of ways!

1) Comparing ourselves to others

2) Self-limiting beliefs (I don’t deserve…)

3) Self-limiting talk (I’ll never be as good as…)

4) Using old trauma as an excuse (I’d be fine if it weren’t for…)

5) Blaming others (He made me..)

And the list goes on!

What can we do?

First things first, we have to be willing to take ownership of our circumstances and be willing to take action to create change.

Brutal, honest, self-inventory of what we think, believe, do, and say can uncover many ways that we keep ourselves stuck.

How do we maintain our personal power?

1) Get real. I mean really real about your current thoughts/beliefs, and choices.

2) Be willing to change.

3) Go from being reactive (it’s being done to me) to
proactive (it’s being done for me).

4) Become strong/healthy in your body.

5) Energetically call back all of the power that you have given away over time. Allow it to integrate into your grid, and practice calling back your power every night before you go to bed. What you have expended can thus return, filling you with more of your own vital life force.

There is MUCH MORE to be said on this topic ~ but that’s enough to sink your teeth into for today. Remember your divinely powerful nature. Your Higher Self, and tangible life, will thank you for it!