Yoga Cincinnati Ohio

Do you Find Yourself Comfortably Numb in Daily Life?

Often times we wake up and go through the same motions each day like robots. We are so programmed and conditioned that we forget to fully wake up to the sensations of our bodies, to take conscious control over our thoughts and to truly LIVE our lives. Repeating the same things each day is not the same as living. To truly live means to take chances, to feel the ups and downs, to laugh and to cry. Because to live means to be vulnerable. To be vulnerable means to open your heart, and to do that we have to risk being hurt. But the alternative is to shrivel up and emotionally die and that is no way to live. Without growing, changing and continuing forward, stagnancy takes over and a numbness consumes us.

We are born to love. We are born to seek joy. So make time time for the ones you love. Everything else is just an excuse. Dig deep... what is it that you are really hiding from? Are you using work, alcohol, drugs, extreme workouts, seclusion, social media or sex to numb yourself? There are many ways that we mask our pain, but it's important to really live. Not to live comfortably numb. We only get so many days. Grab the ones you love. Find the passion in your heart. Take some time and do the things that set your soul aflame! THAT is what life is really about!  

It's not about the money that you make or the things that you possess when you die. All of that is actually a burden in the end. So, cherish today. Live fully in this moment and make sure that you build the blocks and lay the proper foundation for where it is that you want to go. The key is to strike a healthy balance between being HERE NOW and taking steps in the direction of your biggest dreams and aspirations. Please, I am begging you to wake up and stop feeling comfortably numb. Life is a fantastic song so let's sing it and let the music wake us up and keep us moving along in life!  

I hope this leaves you inspired to do something that you love, or say the things you have wanted to say to someone you love. It takes a lot of strength and courage to live authentically, but I promise you that it is the only TRUE way to live and feel your BEST. Not everyday will be great, but there is something wonderful in every day if you are open to the miracles that are happening around you. Go for your dreams! Feel your fire or tapas (from the Yoga Sutra) within! You are a burning beautiful person with a mission to live life to the fullest. What are you waiting for? 

Wishing you an inspiring week,

Libby

Healing Yoga for PTSD with Libby

Many people suffer from extreme and chronic stress. Stress causes a lot of harm to our physical bodies, as well as to our mental well being. In some cases it can become post-tramatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is far more severe. People who have been through traumatic events such as combat, assault, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, an accident or a natural disaster may suffer from PTSD. Symptoms include nightmares, flashbacks, stomach aches, headaches, and many other chronic manifestations that can last for years if left untreated. PTSD also effects the people who love and care for their loved one who is suffering. 

Supported Bada Konasana opens the hips and the heart. We hold a lot of emotion in the hips.  

*Photos by Morgan McAvoy

According to the Veterans Administration, more than 8 million men, women, and children suffer from PTSD in the US in a given year. I myself suffered and did not recognize the symptoms at first. I went through a physically and emotionally traumatic event many years ago when I was violently abused by a loved one. I had undergone therapy, forgiven, found yoga and thought I had dealt with my grief. In reality I had compartmentalized and stuffed the feelings of betrayal, hurt and fear deep down within to the point where it took many years for those emotions to surface again. Through years of my personal yoga practice and helping others I was able to heal myself. I no longer feel like a victim and I am not at all ashamed to share my story. I want to help others find peace, restoration, and comfort in their own selves, as well.  

In addition to clinical treatments for PTSD via medical (i.e. prescription drugs) and psychological avenues (i.e. Cognitive Processing Therapy, EMDR), yoga is a wonderful way to calm the body and the mind through the physical practice and also to gain control through breathwork. Our breath is one thing we are always in control of, which is quite empowering and an important part of the healing process. In yoga, the parasympathetic nervous system literally slows down and by slowing the breath and the parasympathetic nervous system we literally lower heart rate, blood pressure and calm the mind.  

Seated tree pose is a great stretch for the hamstrings. All forward bends direct your awareness and attention within the self.  

The acceptance and awareness on the mat will eventually carry off the mat and into your daily life. The US Military is now using yoga to treat Veterans recovering from PTSD, and the USMC is referring local vets to Yoga Fit Boutique following a three week intensive program that they have in Chicago. Rehab programs are also using yoga to aid in recovery from drug addiction and alcohol abuse, and prisons are using it for reform.  

Yoga is a journey of the self, through the self, to the self. It is a way to dive deep inside yourself to the heart of your soul where true healing, love and forgiveness can occur. You were created to be pure joy. I have now created a class called "Healing Yoga for PTSD," which is specifically designed to restore and relax you, to tune out the chaos of the busy world and nurture yourself in a safe and accepting environment. All hands on assists and adjustments will be optional and you will have the freedom to get up and leave, or rest in child's pose if you feel overwhelmed at any point. This class will help you understand triggers and reconnect you to your mind, body and spirit.  

Supported, or restorative child's pose. Here you are supported by as many props as necessary to fully relax. You can feel free to close your eyes, or if you are more comfortable by all means feel free to leave your eyes open. This is your time to rest and release.

If you or a loved one feel that you suffer from PTSD, this is a serious condition and there are finally helpful resources available to assist you in your healing. The VA, for example, has excellent resources to get you started:  http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/index.asp

Much love & healing support,

Libby

PS - Please visit my Class Descriptions page to learn more about Healing Yoga for PTSD. I offer 20% off my rates for veterans, current military service people and first responders for any of my yoga classes. Because managing and healing from PTSD is so important, I am extending this offer to anyone suffering from PTSD who signs up for my Healing Yoga for PTSD class.

 

Relationships 101

Are you searching for the love of your life or struggling to hold onto your marriage? The bottom line is that we all have basic needs. The bigger issue is how to interact in a supportive respectful way. After being in a few relationships myself and experiencing one particular tramatic experience, I think I have a good grasp on what works and what does not.  

First, find someone with whom you share common interests. Be sure you can be great friends before moving into a romantic relationship because the passion unfortunately usually does not last.  

Next, learn your partners love language. We all have certain innate needs that we desire our partner to fill. The five most common are quality time & conversation, sexual touch, gifts, acts of service, and words of affirmation. Learn what your partner needs and communicate in a way that honors their love language. 

Keep your passion and sex life active! Many people overlook this, especially years into the relationship and with the hectic schedules that come with raising kids. Sex is more than pleasuring your partner. It is a way to connect and become one. Talk to each other, try new things and enjoy one another. No matter how long you have been together, always date your partner. Try to remember those first months and how much effort you made and then continue that at least occasionally! 

 Stay fit! Ladies and gentlemen take care of your bodies. It is important for health reasons and your partner wants you around for a long time. But let's face it... Many of us gain significant weight and let our bodies go when we know someone has committed to us. Don't do that!!! Yes, they may still love you, but the truth is that they will absolutely appreciate you taking care of your body and staying fit and active!  

Do things together. It is ok to have independence and occasionally do things on your own. Please do not get me wrong, but for the most part when you go to events together, or garden together, or whatever, you will form a tighter bond. So do things with each other and enjoy life together.  

No bickering! No one likes to be around the couple who argues all the time. Compliment each other. Support each other's stories! Listen to one another. Laugh together. Life is short so enjoy it! 

Practice honesty and forgiveness simultaneously. No one is perfect. We all have an innate need to feel trusted and to trust. Loyalty is very important in a relationship. Always be honest with your partner, even if you know you have done something that may hurt that person. It is important to be honest and forthcoming. If your relationship is strong and your partner is forgiving and practices unconditional love, you will survive (within reason). Of course, you must also practice respect for your partner and never do anything in the relationship that could cause you to lose this special person. As long as you practice this, then honesty, trust and forgiveness are relatively easy.  

That sums it up. You do not need to spend a lot of money to enjoy quality time together. Go on a hike, have a picnic, lay under the stars, light some candles or just hold hands.  Let your partner know everyday in some way how much they mean to you. We are never guarenteed tomorrow so treasure today. Tell your partner how much you love him or her and then follow that with action! Life may be hard at times, but it's a little easier with a loving partner. Let's face it... All we really need is LOVE! 

Loving vibes, 

Libby

How to do a Headstand: 6 Steps to a Safe Headstand Using a Solid Foundation to Achieve Your Goals

It's a brand new week so it is the perfect time to set new goals. Make a list of easy ones that you would like to accomplish today. Next, make another list of slightly bigger goals you would like to accomplish this week. Finally, write down several really, really big dreams! If you believe they will happen and work toward them, you will likely achieve your goals!

The first step is getting started, and honestly that is usually the hardest part. Building a firm foundation is key. In relationships that foundation might include honesty, respect, communication and many other joint things of importance. For financial goals and manifesting abundance, it may involve a solid education, connections in your field of interest, and many hours of dedication and perseverance. In yoga, a firm foundation requires a regular disciplined practice. Through this regular practice you build the strength and flexibility allowing you to advance. You create awareness on the mat that then carries off the mat and into your daily life. And all of these experiences affect your practice! After all, the body and mind are deeply connected. 

Today I will show you the basic foundations for learning how to do a safe and sturdy headstand. This method will allow you to graduate into the full inversion as you feel ready; letting go of your fears and building your core strength. It is very important to use your core and to listen to your body! If you feel too much pressure on your neck, come immediately out of the posuture!  

Here are the 6 steps for safely doing a headstand:

1. Start in downward dog position. Drop to your forearms and interlace your fingers around your head. Bring your big toes together, then walk your toes in toward your elbows. Stay here and breathe to build strength and get used to having your head below your heart, OR move to step 2. 

2. Lift one leg at a time using your core strength. Keep your knees bent and legs close to your body coming into egg position. Feel free to do this with your back close to a wall and your mat doubled under your head and arms.  

3. Once both knees are up you are in control. You can slowly lift one leg at a time all the way up, or if this is enough for you at this moment, simply come back down.  

4. Keeping your knees bent as you raise your legs allows your center of gravity to stay low. So, if you feel wobbly, simply lower your legs and come safely back down.

5. Go slowly. Take your time. Press into your forearms to relieve pressure on the neck. Eventually, you will have the strength to press all the way up so that your head leaves the ground.

Photography by Morgan McAvoy

6. Finally, you can lift all the way up and achieve a full headstand. To come down safely and in control you want to practice coming back into that egg position. Remember, listen to your body. This is not the place for the ego to be involved. Safety is a priority.  

Practicing headstands has many benefits including: stress relief, increased focus, improved digestion, increased shoulder and arm strength, decreased fluid build up and retention in the legs, ankles, and feet, and increased core strength. Headstands also stimulate the lymphatic system. Not to mention they are fun and bring out your inner child!

It is so important to remember to have fun in life and continue to grow and accomplish new things! We are NEVER too old. Age is simply a number. What is important is how we feel. So get to it! Set your personal goals and make them happen. Feel the energy rise as your dreams start to come true! 

My personal short term goals this week are to: 

1. Finish organizing my studio space at home.

2. Make and deliver treats to families I know who are struggling.  

3. Clean and put away all of my laundry (dirty secret revealed! I tend to throw clothes on top of my dresser instead of actually opening the drawers).  

My longterm goals are to: 

1. Make an instructional video and DVD.

2. Plan and implement yoga retreats.  

3. Grow the audience for this blog and website by offering high quality content.

Feel free to comment and share your goals! I would love to hear from you. Remember, these are the starting points. If you do not accomplish them today or this week, forgive yourself and add it to your goals for the following day or week. Practice full acceptance of yourself and know that all is coming!

Simply believe!  

Libby

PS - Make sure to sign up for my NEWSLETTER.  If you do it through the pop-up window on my website, you will automatically be given access to my new and highly informative article called, "Top 10 Reasons to Practice Yoga." This inspiring guide also has links to additional articles that go deeper into each subject. Email me if you are already signed up for my newsletter and I will send you the password and instructions to access these tips.  You will also receive the password in my next newsletter that I am currently writing.  Thanks so much for your support and interest!

 

Fresh, Simple, Delish.... Summer Harvest at Its Best!

Summer is the perfect time to visit your local farmers markets because the produce is super fresh, ready to eat, local and oh so yummy.  You even get to meet the farmers who grew it, so you know where your food comes from and you are supporting your local economy. Better yet, you can support local organic farmers, which assures that your family will not be eating GMO's and produce that is potentially contaminated with the residues of hazardous herbicides and insecticides. After all the health of your family is of utmost importance!

Findlay Market, the oldest farmers market in Ohio. Located in Downtown Cincinnati, it was established in 1852.

Findlay Market, the oldest farmers market in Ohio. Located in Downtown Cincinnati, it was established in 1852.

Cooking at home is not only theraputic, it also gives you the ability to control what goes into your food, which in many cases can make it healthier by using less added fats, sugar and salt. If you have children, by all means get them involved too!!! The more they participate in cooking with you, the more likely they are to try new things and consume a broad spectrum of healthy fruits and vegetables. The younger ones can pour and stir. The older ones, with supervision, can start to chop, slice, measure and use the stove.

Farmers markets have so much more than just fruits and vegetables! Local honey is incredibly healthy and can help prevent local allergies. You can find handmade candles, baskets and other goods as well!  

When I grew my first garden in 2010, I planted eggplant and that was the first year my kids tried eggplant Parmesan and loved it! They ate it because they thought it was so beautiful! It is easy and fun to eat colorfully in the summer and it is proven that the more colorfully we eat, the more likely that we and our children will receive the essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that we need to grow and live a healthy lives.

Take your time, talk with the farmers, enjoy the experience! 

Take your time, talk with the farmers, enjoy the experience! 

For or those who do not like to cook, or live alone and feel overwhelmed by too much food when you cook, I get it! But, summer is a great time for simple, healthy dishes where portions are easy to control. By shopping at local farmers markets you can buy single amounts of tomatoes, zucchini, corn, cucumbers, small eggplants... The possibilities are endless!  

Totally yummy and easy to make tomato & zucchini casserole.

Here are some incredibly simple and healthy meal ideas that take less than 15 minutes to prepare and are best prepared with fresh and local veggies in the summer:  

TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA SALAD

1. Slice fresh tomato, top with mozzarella cheese, drizzle with good balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Also feel free to add fresh basil leaves. Mmmm, it tastes so incredibly delicious this time of year! *Tip: no need for oil here- save it for your bread to go with this and you have a complete light meal. 

Nothing beats a fresh summer tomato.  There are many types of tomatoes so again, talk to the farmers and they can direct you if you do not know which kind you want.

Nothing beats a fresh summer tomato.  There are many types of tomatoes so again, talk to the farmers and they can direct you if you do not know which kind you want.

GRILLED SEASONED CORN ON THE COB

2. Peel the husks from an ear of corn, lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, feel free to add the seasoning you like such as cumin, chili powder, garlic, tumeric... Grill 5-10 min. Cut off the corn off of the cob and toss it with black beans, cucumber and tomato. Finish it with 1T of red wine vinegar and salt to taste.  Top it with feta or blue cheese if you like and enjoy! 

Fresh basil

FRESH HOMEMADE PESTO

3.  Place a cup of basil in a food processor, add a clove of garlic, a sprinkle of salt, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and the juice of half a lemon. Start to blend, slowly add good quality extra virgin olive oil just until blended (maybe 1/4 c). Use this pesto on roasted grilled veggies, eggs, pasta, steak or chicken if you eat meat, potato salad w green beans... It will keep 1-3 days in your fridge. It is also great drizzled over the tomato mozzarella salad or on a sandwich!

Visiting farmers markets can also be fun on vacations.  This is a market in Palm Springs, Ca.

Visiting farmers markets can also be fun on vacations.  This is a market in Palm Springs, Ca.

Make plans to visit your local farmers market this weekend and try one of these delicious and easy to make recipes. You'll be so happy that you did!

Happy Healthy Eating,

Libby

PS - If you are concerned about the the food that you are feeding your family and its impact on the environment, I highly recommend the documentary film, "Food Inc." Check it out on Netflix or YouTube and tell me what you think.

Learning the Art of Surrender when Faced with Life's Challenges

We all face challenges at different points in our lives. It is how we manage the stress of these challenges that matters. The truth is what doesn't challenge us won't change us. And we ultimately grow stronger with each challenge that we conquer. But... As a whole, we are resistant to change. We resist change for two main reasons, in my humble opinion, and please feel free to comment below on how you feel! I feel we resist change because of fear and attachment to the outcome.  The truth is without change there is no growth and without growth we remain stagnant. 

We are taught as a society that quitting is giving up and that is a sign of failure. But many times it takes the most successful person to recognize that it is time to move on. I would rather call it surrender. Surrendering is far different from quitting. It means acceptance of what is without battling against what you thought it should be. It is the full release of the ego centered mind. It is a full letting go...  

Anytime you feel stress, be it from a relationship, work, school, traffic, financial pressure, just surrender to what is and let it be. Breathe, release, let go. Sometimes this requires big life changes and breaking through major barriers of fear, but please believe me when I tell you it is so worth it! I have lived through this so many times in the past six months.   

Most recently I closed my yoga studio. This was heartbreaking! At first I saw it as failure. Then I took some deep breaths and practiced everything that I truly believe from my years of yoga practice, spiritual studies and business lessons. I realized it was not at all a failure, but the beginning of the best journey of my life. My friends and family stepped up so beautifully, moving me out of the studio, showing up with meals and pies, hugs, notes... And this week a HUGE limb mysteriously crashed down in my backyard. It was not raining. There was no wind. Miraculously my dogs, who were playing in my yard, were not seriously injured or worse.  It was a really close call for Luna, but she fortunately escaped unharmed. Anyway, my daughter's friend showed up without being asked, cut up the wood and hauled it away. He even cut my grass. These acts of kindness are the light at the end of the tunnel. Accept the kind acts of others, surrender pride and practice gratitude.

So you see, I never needed the studio. That was just the physical space that allowed me to bloom for a short period into who I am today. I can do my work anywhere, which is a liberating feeling. I am unbound and so aware of the miracles around me. I have let go of almost all fear (I am still human so...). I practice complete and full acceptance of myself and others and I welcome change. Surrendering to what is and what will be is my new motto because the truth is we are in control of very little. We can control our breath, our thoughts, our behavior toward others and our reactions and that's about it my friends!  

Truly, I have been touched by the outpouring of support. Once I surrendered, I realized the difference between surrendering and quitting. I felt tremendous relief. Quitting implies failure. There was no failure in closing my studio. There is no failure in divorce. There is no failure in changing careers... Sometimes making a decision for change is the most courageous thing you can do to propell yourself toward upward growth. Surround yourself with like minded, positive, supportive people and everything will be ok. Listen to your intuition. Trust, trust, trust...  

Faith & Hope, 

Libby

PS, I hope you will watch the video below for many reasons.  Music touches our souls and affects our emotions in many ways.  The message is to simplify, which is so beautiful and is one part of the 8 limbs of yoga, which is non needing and non hoarding, which goes in line with the Yama of Aparigraha, and also in line with the Niyama of Santosa, which means contentment or being happy with what you have.  Ultimately, once you realize you have all that you need, you will be a much happier person.  Yoga is far more than a practice on the mat ;)

Have the Courage to Try and the Vulnerability to Remain Open

Many people never go after their biggest dreams in life. It takes a lot of courage and you have to let go of your fears, including the fear of failure. Once you do, however, there is an incredible freedom on the other side. It is through challenges that we learn how much we are truly capable of achieving and through this process we grow. 

I went after my big dream much earlier than I had anticipated. I opened my studio about a year after finishing Yoga Teacher Training. Everything fell perfectly into place and suddenly my dreams were coming true. But owning a studio comes with its own challenges. I loved helping people, inspiring them, being inspired by them, and seeing them conquer their goals! The reality of running my studio, however, was that I was like a volunteer who had tons of responsibilities for the past two and a half years. I never took a pay check. I covered my employees and overhead, but I did what I did out of the love and joy of it. So recently I had to make a critical buisiness decision to close the doors to my physical studio. Some may see this as failure, but I do not. It was my greatest success to date because I pushed through more fear than you can imagine and came out a stronger person. I met the most amazing people who changed my life, enhanced my soul, and helped me to grow.

My daughter was there when we remodeled the studio before moving in and we put in countless hours sanding, cleaning, painting... AND she, and her friends (to whom I am so very grateful) were there to help me move out. After cleaning, I finally lost it. My lip started to quiver and tears rolled down my cheeks. Tears of joy for all the amazing memories. Tears of sadness for this chapter ending. Then I looked at my beautiful daughter and she was sharing the exact moment. The love and vulnerability was so beautiful. We shared a hug and wiped our tears. Not all good things come to an end, but many do.  And often it is because something better is on the way.  What is meant to be will be and we have to TRUST rather than fear. 

My last photo before turning in the keys to my studio.  So grateful!

This was just the start for me. I do not know exactly where I am going next, but I know I need to teach and continue this amazing journey. I know now that there is nothing to fear! If we do not ask, we never know! If we do not try we can never conquer! We must remain vulnerable and open. So here you go. I am real. I cry, I laugh, I get scared, I get frustrated, but mostly I live from a place of love and acceptance. I accept my past, I accept my present and I welcome my future! 

Thank you for being a part of my journey!

Love & Light, 

Libby

P.S. - I had an incredible landlord who was easy to work with and who made closing a very positive and uplifting experience. 

Human Connection vs Social Media "Friends"

We are living in a technological world where social media is the norm.  Even my 80 year old parents are texting. Direct conversations, snail mail and even good old fashioned get togethers without the distraction of phones are becoming a rarity. You go to dinner these days and you see people typing away on their smartphones rather than enjoying talking with one another. This is a sign of "real world" disconnection. Technology, as wonderful as it is, is in many ways handicapping us in our social efforts. 

According to an article in The Wall Street Journal, a hug feels six times more supportive than an emoji. But instead we exchange emojis all day long. Think about it. When was the last time you hugged your friends?  

I would like like to challenge you. Go to coffee, or lunch, or dinner and put your phone and computer away. It may feel strange at first. You might miss a few calls or texts. If you need to, let people know in advance that you will be unavailable for one hour. And then give the person or people you are with your full attention. The world needs us to plug back into kindness and compassion and we cannot do that when we are constantly distracted by Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. Please, don't get me wrong, they have their place and are great in moderation. But, make time for real life connections. Give more hugs than emojis each day!  

In addition, close social connections have been linked to living longer, happier lives. Have you heard of Blue Zones? There are specific places throughout the world where people are known to reach incredible longevity (over 100 years of age) based on the ideal living conditions. They have great air and water quality, they eat plant based diets high in sweet potatoes, soy, and tumeric, they get lots of exercise, they feel that they have purpose and they have a strong sense of community and connection to friends. So one of the parts of your wellness plan if you would like to live a long happy life needs to include a close knit group of positive and supportive friends.

Stay connected!

Libby

 

 

Energy Exchange: The Law of Attraction and You

You are energy. Everything you do has an equal and opposite reaction. When you put out energy, it comes back. That is the law of attraction. When you are attracted to a particular person it is because you see similar qualities of yourself. It is very magnetic. The same goes with negative qualities. When you are angry or upset with someone likely, not always, you might be deep down upset with yourself.

When we slow down and think about this energy exchange it really helps us understand relationships. It makes us want to stay positive. You see, it is not about what you want! It is about being happy with what you have, because then you will attract what you want! Let go of the outcome and stay in the present moment radiating love and joy. You will then attract all that you could want and need. It is manifesting, the law of attraction,  and autosuggestion

Write down as many positive things as you can think of in your life! Positive qualities about your friends and co-workers, positive qualities about yourself, things you're grateful for. Then write down a few things that you want to manifest. Perhaps you want to attract the love of your life... Write it down. Maybe you want to attract wealth... Write it down. Maybe you want better health... Write it down. Whatever you want or need, write it down. The universe WILL provide them to you if your energy is set to the right vibration!!! The magic is within you!  

Our thoughts will not always be positive. We are human. When a negative thought comes, simply be aware and examine what is bothering you. Try not to dwell there. Turn it around into something positive. We can always look on the bright side if we choose. Our mind is a powerful tool!  

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope your energy is high and you keep the momentum spiraling upward! Surround yourself with other positive inspiring people and rise above the negativity that is weighing our world down. Be the Change!  

Good Vibes Only, 

Libby

 

 

A Bountiful Garden: Time to Pickle and Can

Home gardening is extremely gratifying, but certain vegetables like squash and cucumbers can grow so prolifically that you might get overwhelmed. Besides sharing with neighbors and friends, making pickles is a wonderful way to use the produce and save it for the upcoming winter months! I have a recipe that is not only quick and easy, but creates the best tasting pickles I have EVER had! Try it and let me know what you think!!!  

First you want to gather your ingredients. You will need Mason or Ball jars. You choose the size! Then you will need distilled white vinegar, whole black peppercorns, dill seed, sugar, kosher salt and crushed red pepper.  

Next, thinly slice your garlic and cover the bottom of the jar. It takes 2-4 cloves per large jar and 1-2 cloves per small jar depending on the size of the clove! Feel free to skip if you do not like garlic.  

Sprinkle Peppercorns (1/2 T for large jar, 1/4 T sm jar), dill seed (1T. Large jar, 1/2T sm jar), a dash of crushed red pepper - more if you want spicy pickles over the garlic. Slice the cucumbers and fill the jars tightly with them.   

Meanwhile for the brine, boil 1 1/4 cups white vinegar and add 3T salt and 2 T sugar. Stir until dissolved. Add 2 cups of cold water. Pour over your cucumbers. Put your lids on and place the jars in the fridge. 

Viola! It's THAT easy! No boiling jars... They make wonderful gifts and taste delicious! These crispy cunchy pickles will leave you craving more with their salty sour taste that is beautifully balanced with a hint of sweet and spicy. They are great as a refreshing cool summer snack on their own or paired with a nice mellow cheese such as gouda.  They are perfect on any sandwich. You can also chop and add them to your egg salad, chickpea salad or pasta salad.  Save the brine and use it for dressings! The jar will be gone in no time at all!

Store them in your refridgerator for two months, but they will taste great as early as the next day! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!  

Bon Appetit, 

Libby

homemade-pickles-in-jars

The Power of Breath

Have you ever noticed how powerful the force of water in nature is? Your breath is similar. Now visualize a large body of water. Sometimes that water is choppy with whitecaps. Sometimes that very same water is flat and still. The water moves with the wind. When we are stressed or angry, our breath tends to be rapid and shallow and the body, as a result, becomes taxed. When we are calm, our breath is naturally slow, steady and deep. But you have the power to instantly use your breath to turn your stress or anxiety into calm.  The key is awareness! Try the following meditation. 

image.jpg

Now, close your eyes for a moment. With your eyes closed, breathe in deeply through your nose and out deeply through your nose. Put your awareness into your breath as you allow the other busy thoughts in the mind to fade away. Acknowledge any thoughts that pop up, but save them for later, they can wait. Simply listen to the sound of the waves in each breath going into shore, and back out to sea. Breathe in, breathe out.  Feel your breath slow and listen as it quiets. 

 Now, with your eyes still closed, visualize that body of water. As your breath calms and quiets, that body of water will begin to still. The body of water represents your soul conciousness. Once the chaos of the external world subsides, your natural state arises like the surface of beautifully calm and crystal clear water. Small ripples represent the effects of others upon us and us upon others. But underneath is where the depth occurs. Your true authentic self is deep below the surface. It is in this calm where the breath is slow and steady, and that the body and mind can truly become one and work to be their best. Your natural state is one of calm and joy. Your natural state is divine love. It is here in this silence that the answers you seek will come. There is in essence no need to worry. Just let go. Just be.  Just breathe. 

 Breathe in, breathe out, release and let go... 

Breathe in peace, breathe out chaos.

Breathe in acceptance, breathe out judgement.

Breathe in divine love, breathe out divine love.

 You are enough. You are all you need. In times of chaos, turn to your breath. Take just a moment, listen to those waves and let that calm you. It is proven to lower your heart rate. It works and it is in your power all the time! Have an incredible start to this week!  

 

Clarity

Clarity

Happy Monday, 

Libby

My Yoga Teacher Training Journey - By Libby McAvoy

Libby's 200hr Ashtanga cohort

People come to yoga for many reasons, all perfectly good and acceptable. For me, yoga centers and calms me. It creates a wonderful focus and allows me to grow spiritually into my best being. It is a constant journey of growth and evolution that requires full acceptance and self love that begins with an awareness that is created on the mat. 

Libby at Multnomah Falls

My Yoga Teacher Training Journey gave me confidence, physical strength, cultivated my daily practice, increased my patience and gave my life tremendous value. Teacher Training was when I really showed up in my very own life. I finally felt comfortable in my skin and knew I had found my calling. I took everything I loved about my personal training experience and then added everything I realized I did not know when I began teaching and tried to make the most helpful and useful course I could deliver. It is well rounded and will give you the experience and education to prepare you to teach immediately finishing your training if that is what you choose to do.

I love knowing I am getting closer and closer to ultimate enlightenment each day. Currently, I am training to become a Sage. Learning never ends. I will always remain a student. I love knowing that I am able to help others achieve their own goals and find acceptance of themselves, as well.  We are, after all, all one. Each day is different and each practice is different. Sometimes I have more energy or more love available to give. But every time I teach I feel better. 

So, if you want to cultivate a daily practice, improve strength & skill, embrace the attitude of conscious expansion, can identify with being a student and always keeping a beginners mind, and want to grow as a better human being, then please consider registering for our upcoming 200 Hour Teacher Training Yoga Alliance accredited program which begins Friday, June 24th at 5:30pm, Sat June 25th 10-4, and Sunday June 26th 9-4. 

Visit our Teacher Training Tab on our website YogaFitBoutique.com for our reading list and further dates, times and information.  If you have a conflict in the schedule or a problem with tuition please speak to me personally and we will try to work it out.  I really want this program to be fun, enjoyable, meaningful, and available to anyone who’s heart is fully in it.

I am super excited to share this journey with you and I truly believe that this life changing experience is the best thing you can possibly do for yourself at any age. 

Peace & Divine Love,

Libby