Yoga Fit Boutique Cincinnati Ohio

5 Tips to Reduce Stress When Waves of Stress Knock You Down

Many times life throws us unexpected curve balls. And sometimes it can feel unbearable and overwhelming. I would love to say that yoga and meditation should be your go to fix for stress relief, but the reality is that when a crisis strikes there are times when the situation is so cumbersome that we barely have time to eat and sleep, let alone practice. So, what can you do?

Well, in my personal life I have experienced one of these waves of grief this week where I felt like I was going to go down at times. Fortunately I am still here so I would like to share with you not only how I am surviving, but also how I am thriving.

My dad has survived three kinds of cancers for years and was doing well until a little over a month ago when he was diagnosed with a rare debilitating lung disease, which is causing his one lung to scar gradually and his breathing to become more difficult. As hard as it is to watch a man who I love so dearly struggle, I can handle this knowing that he is 87 years old and has lived a full life. But then in the last month a waterfall of other problems have ensued. The father of my children was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that less than .06% of people suffer from and is still not getting relief. And now my mom, who has always been healthy as an Ox and the caregiver of the family, suddenly started having trouble recalling what she wanted to say and began losing some muscle control on the right side of her body. This led to multiple trips to doctors and hospitals for many tests. The days have slipped by as I helped my parents deal with this crisis where I have not had time to step onto my mat. My house was a disaster and I was exhausted, but I realized I was doing what really matters. I was spending time with my parents, delivering home cooked meals that I knew appealed to them, attending doctors visits and being present. Family will always come first to me. This is really my living yoga and sometimes we have to step away from the mat to realize this.

My brother, my sister and I are working lovingly together to help find answers to get to the bottom of my mom's health issues. Our coming together has brought us closer as a family and that is the gift that is coming out of this difficult time. My mom will see a neurologist next week. Meanwhile I am taking a day to PAUSE and catch up on life.

So, here are my Top Five Tips for Relieving Overwhelming Stress:

    1. Make lists! Separate your to do lists into priority categories so that you absolutely know what must get done each day, what is not so urgent, and what can be eliminated.

    2. Ask for help! Especially in a time of need never hesitate to let friends and family help. It makes them feel good and it lifts a weight from your shoulders, too!

    3. Seek counsel. Please do not hesitate to go to counseling or therapy, especially in heavy times. If time is short, often therapists will do a phone session.

    4. DO NOT ISOLATE. Surround yourself with those who love you when you go through difficult times. They will help carry your burdens, help you laugh and help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    5. Take it one day at a time. Stay present, stay positive and always hope for the best. There is tremendous power in positivity!

I hope that these tips will bring you comfort in your times of high stress. Also, remember that we can slow our stress response by regulating our breathing. So, practice nice deep slow inhalations and nice deep slow exhalations. Breathe in love, breathe out love. 

Peace, Light and Love,

Libby

P.S. - Stress is a huge cause of health problems. Please try to manage your stress before it takes a toll on your health. We cannot avoid stress, but how we respond to it is really the key to living a Total Soulful Journey of Health & Wellness! <3

 

 

Oh Powerful Wizard of Oz

Follow the yellow brick road, follow the yellow brick road... Those words may sound very familiar to you. Well, Toto, we aren't in Kansas anymore. The Wizard of Oz is a beautul story about connections and about finding your purpose and true path in life. As Dorothy discovered along her journey, the answers we seek are in us all along, but having supportive friends makes our lives a little easier and gives us the courage to perservere.  

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It feels good to plug into collective energy. Remember, we ARE energetic beings, so, when we share our energy with other people, it gains momentum and spirals upward. There is power in numbers so to speak. This is why being a member on a sports team is so exhilarating. It creates a feeling of acceptance and a sense of appreciation. Team spirit is powerful. This applies not only to sports, but to any group that cooperates for a common cause such as family, a work community, or a group of friends.  When you realize you are a part of something much bigger than yourself, that is when the magic happens.  

When you feel connected, you feel a sense of purpose. You then wake up with a great drive and determination. This gives your life meaning and you are less likely to focus on unimportant things that once caused stress. With a strong support network you also have people who share your burdens so that in difficult times you are no longer isolated and alone. People who consider themselves part of a network or a community tend to be healthier overall and are able to better cope with stress and difficult situations. 

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There are five Blue Zones in the world where people are proven to live well over the ripe old age of 100 free from disease. Scientists are saying that air quality, nutrition, and social connections have a strong correlation with this remarkable life span and may in fact, in combination with a positive attitude, be able to alter our own DNA. Yes, waking up with purpose and feeling connected is THAT important!

People come and go like waves in our lives. Some stay only short amounts of time and teach us what we need to know and others stay longer, but each one adds an important lesson. The most valuable people bring out the very best in us. They allow our spirits to shine and that synergy (shared energy) is irreplacable.  

The last two years I have experienced the power of community first hand by having the privilege of volunteering my time to lead the Sycamore Community School Lady Aviator Water Polo Team in a once a week Yoga cross training session. Not only is it amazing for them to build core strength, open their shoulders and work flexibility and agility, but it gives me the distinct honor of getting to know these amazing young ladies.  If I can teach them to pause and breathe, it might mean the difference between making a goal or a penalty shot under pressure in a game. If I can teach them to lean on each other and support one another and practice compassion, then I feel like I have added greatly not only to their skills as a team, but to their life assets. I hope the awareness and acceptance that I instill on that mat carries off the mat and into daily life for each of these Ladies. That is what the journey is about for all of us; it is the journey of the self. 

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These ladies are absolute sharks in the water with determination and teamwork that is off the charts impressive, but out of the water I watch as they support other teams with unbelieveable sportsmanship and class. They are kind, respectful and compassionate. I am so incredibly honored and proud to be even a tiny tiny part of their experience. It is thrilling to me! I cannot even imagine how it must feel to be them! They are having a great season and every game has been incredibly intense. If you have never been to a water polo game, I highly recommend it. It is super fun to watch, albeit absolutely exhausting and not for the faint of heart. 

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So, follow the golden road to your own destiny knowing that it is within you all along (there is no almighty Wizard behind the curtain). You will also gain strength by surrounding yourself with a supportive community and by adding to that collective yourself. Get involved. Go find your true purpose and passion. Don't make it complicated. It is just something you enjoy. Add your passion and talents to a greater collective energy and watch that momentum build. You will have victories that you never imagined possible. You are capable of so much more than you even know. Just take the challenges that life offers. You have the power to weather the storms in your life, just as Dorothy survived the tornado that launched her on her journey to self discovery. 

In Victory of Light,

Libby  

As I watched the girls rest, giggling in the hammocks,&nbsp;I knew I was a part of something big. I felt my purpose and my heart welled with gratitude.&nbsp;I have never been so happy to be able to give my time to something. To be a part of something so powerful.&nbsp;It may seem small to some of you reading this, but in that moment, that energy that filled me, well.... it is still within me.... I encourage you to get involved. Find your tribe. Find your purpose!&nbsp;All that means is find a group of people that want you around and that involves doing something you absolutely love, even if only for one hour a week.&nbsp;Believe me when I tell you it is worth it!&nbsp;

As I watched the girls rest, giggling in the hammocks, I knew I was a part of something big. I felt my purpose and my heart welled with gratitude. I have never been so happy to be able to give my time to something. To be a part of something so powerful. It may seem small to some of you reading this, but in that moment, that energy that filled me, well.... it is still within me.... I encourage you to get involved. Find your tribe. Find your purpose! All that means is find a group of people that want you around and that involves doing something you absolutely love, even if only for one hour a week. Believe me when I tell you it is worth it! 

What do Your Dreams Mean?

Dreams have always intrigued me in a mystical magical way. Sometimes they are an escape from reality to a beautiful place with people you do not recognize. Other times they are aweful nightmares and you do not wish to close your eyes again. Why do we dream such things?  

Well, we sleep about 1/3 of our life and we dream roughly two hours out of each night. Some people recall their dreams vividly, some people recall only portions of their dreams and some people do not recall dreaming at all. It's ok if you do not remember your dreams. I often don't myself. Nothing is wrong with that. Sometimes we simply sleep so well that we do not remember. And sometimes our sleep is too interrupted.  

For those of you who recall your dreams and are curious what they mean, keep reading! If you have recurring dreams, start to journal them. Try to remember how you felt in your dream, and what was going on in your day prior to that sleep...

5 Common Dreams and What they may really Mean 

1. Dreaming that you are partially naked in public: 

This is a very common dream which is often a sign of vulnerability or shame. It can also reveal a fear of being exposed.  

2. Dreaming that your falling: 

This may be a call from your subconscious to make some changes in your life. Perhaps you are concerned about the direction that something is going and often this is associated with depression. 

3. Teeth falling out: 

This has nothing to do with whether you brush enough and floss properly. This is a signal that perhaps you spoke too harshly, gossiped, and need to speak less and listen more. 

4.  Being chased:

Examine if you are trying to avoid something or someone in life. Perhaps something requires your attention? 

5. Sex: 

This can be a literal sexual outlet, or it can also symbolize intimate connection with yourself or others.  

Dreams are a way for our conscious minds to connect with the subconscious. They usually have a message for us. So just deepen your awareness without putting too much thought and any judgement into it, and see if you get to know yourself a little better through your dreams! 

I recently had a very unique dream that I would like to share with you. It was unlike any dream I have ever had. I dreamt that I was kneeling on a dock on a dark night with the sky lit by the moon. I put my hand down into the dark, but calm water. I had no fear. I wished that a dolphin would come to me. Sure enough I saw a fin coming. Again, zero fear of it being anything but a dolphin. The dolphin came straight to my hand and then out of the water enough to hold itself cheek to cheek with me. We turned our eyes toward each other and both were smiling. The connection was extraordinary. Then the dolphin swam a minute before returning to look at me face to face. We smiled and laughed together as tears streamed down my face. Then the dolphin slowly went back into the water and I woke up.

When I woke I felt as if everything had changed. It was like the weight of the world had been lifted, as if that dolphin was my spirit guide releasing all my past troubles and worries and giving me the love and encouragement that I needed. The dream was a sign like an omen. It was my soul, as well as the Universe, speaking to me and telling me that now is the time for me to put my life dream into action. 

During the past year I have been researching and preparing notes to write a book. This has been a dream of mine for sometime and now the Universe is ready to make it happen. My dolphin dream represented the clarity and certainty I needed to forge forward in full motion with a new found confidence. Since this dream I have felt so inspired and full of life! I am happy to share with you that I am currently working on writing my first book that will address how to live a Total Soulful Journey and Reduce the Stress in your Life!  

The biggest message I want to convey goes back to awareness. Be aware of what your dreams are trying to tell you. They might be a sign to slow down and change something, OR perhaps a sign to forge forward with your day dreams that are now speaking to you through your soul at night. Ideas and dreams are wonderful, but without putting them into motion it is the biggest wasted commodity we have, unused creative energy. So dream big! Put your intentions into action and watch how fast they come to life. There are signs and miracles all around us and dreams are just one area of  insight. When we are aware we are able to see more clearly. 

You know the saying, "Dreams Really do Come True".... I believe in this power now in more ways than one.  

Sweet Dreams,

Libby 

P.S. - Please feel free to share (in the comment section) your recent dreams, or what your BIG DREAM is in life to begin the action of making it happen. And check out the video below to learn how to interpret and remember dreams from an inspirational speaker who I truly enjoy. 

 

 

The Dirty Little Secrets of Yoga and Why MEN Need It

There is a stigma that yoga is for girls, skinny flexible ones at that.  But, men need yoga just as much and actually yoga was originally practiced solely by men. Yoga provides better flexibility (something that many men struggle with), improves preformance in other sports and reduces the risk of injury.  

According to Men's Fitness Magazine and US News, yoga...

1. Improves digestion and reduces food cravings. 

2. Boost creativity and brain functioning, as well as focus.

3. Increases the quality and the quantity of sexual intimacy (yes, a great little secret).

4. Improves your quality of sleep.

5. Produces a natural high (another great secret) by causing your pituitary gland to release oxytocin, which is also known at the "love" or "cuddle hormone." 

Over my many years of teaching yoga, I have had a handful of men in my classes. Some were pleasantly shocked at how much they enjoyed the experience since they had never practiced yoga before and were hesitant to first get started. While my experienced guys knew exactly what they were in for and were pleased, as well.  In an effort to break down the dirty little secrets of yoga and the walls that seem to prevent men from coming to class, I decided to reach out to a variety of male friends worldwide and interview them.

 

Frits Johanson, Professional Dancer from Norway

Frits began his yoga journey because it was a large part of his kung fu training.  "To me the asana part of yoga is the part that comes most naturally, partly because it is very easy to combine with other types of training like my gymnastics and dancing. There are unlimited numbers of asanas and variations that I can work on and toward, keeping the practice challenging. The more I learned about focus, body alignment and positioning, and the connection between mental and physical, the more I could notice it helping with other trainings, as well.  In short, the asanas are a great way to keep both strong and flexible alone or in combination with other sports."

 

John Fortin (www.supdog.ca), Professional Skier & Yoga Instructor from Canada

John started his yoga practice to compliment his training for other sports, but specifically for Ironman competition. He felt the physical benefits of the yoga practice immediately. Practicing yoga allowed him to shift to a new elevated level of performance. "The bigger benefit was the mental aspect of my practice. Within a short time I was able to shift frustrating or difficult moments in my training into opportunities to grow. My mind accepted the challenge in a way that allowed me to continue to push myself to new levels." 

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As an instructor, I have heard many stories from my male friends of how they fully believe that they can benefit from yoga. Doctors who stand all day tell me they know that yoga can strengthen their legs and relieve backaches. People who drive all day tell me they know that yoga would relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. And people with high intensity or high stress jobs tell me they know that they need yoga, and yet something prevents them from coming to class. It is the fear of the unknown and many excuses (yes, you all know who you are).

So here is my personal advice on what you need to know for your first class:

1. Introduce yourself to the instructor. Tell him or her that it is your first class and let them know if you have any injuries or special requests.

2. Bring a hand towel. Yes, you might actually sweat in yoga ;)

3. Do not eat a heavy meal before class.

4. Wear normal workout clothes. I prefer dry wicking myself. 

5. LEAVE YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR! This is a biggie for men especially.  Yoga is very individual. Please do not compare yourself to or feel that you need to compete with anyone else. Do not push yourself too hard, especially on day one.  Allow the flexibility to progress with each  practice. Injuries occur when people try to compete rather than listen to their own bodies, 

Teaching at Lululemon Athletica at the Kenwood Towne Centre in Cincinnati, Ohio, where there are complimentary classes each Sunday morning!

If you would rather hear it directly from a male stand point, here is advice from Frits and John:

1. Find a style of yoga that works for you. There are many different ones with different focuses.  Perhaps you want something gentle and relaxing? Or, maybe you prefer a style that is more athletic. The great news is that yoga offers something for everyone. 

2. Go to a class. Learn on your own through books and videos. Just get started! To really get that "yoga feeling," I would strongly recommend going to a class. Classes have a special energy that is motivating and the personal instruction of a certified yoga teacher will help you safely get started and grow in your practice. Later you can dive in deeper by reading and exploring other aspects of yoga on your own.

3. Try it out with a friend. Like many new activities, taking the first step to get started can be the hardest part. Having a friend with you to hold you accountable can be a great help, especially the first few times.  And... you won't have to worry about being the only guy there if that is a concern!

4. Don't think about what you can't do. Saying I'm not flexible enough to do yoga is like saying I can't read well enough to learn to read. It is not a good reason to not get started.  

5. Find the parts that work for you! For many people, joining a yoga class that starts off with 15 minutes of chanting can be a bit off-putting. If you want to do yoga to get in shape and become flexible, then find the class that suites you. But, I do recommend exploring the meditative and spiritual parts of yoga, as well.  They might give you more than you think.

6. Get to class early and find a spot at the back where you can observe other students and how they are posing while you are learning.

7. Lastly, give it a try! Yoga is a great thing to work into your life! It has given me a lot, both physically and mentally. I recommend it for everybody no matter what shape they are in or where they are in life. It is something you can do for the rest of your life. 

I have to say that Fritz and John shared some fantastic advice! I truly hope that you guys have found the inspiration in this post to get you started on your yoga journey. Grab a buddy, register for a class, and join us on the mat! 

Yours truly,

Libby

P.S. - Stay tuned for my next blog about the fitness instructors at Breakthrough MSP (the fitness gym that is home to my yoga new studio) and learn how they can help you recover from injuries and setbacks to get you back into the activities you love! Also check out my Top Ten Reasons to Do Yoga if you haven't already.

P.S. P.S. - John also offers SUP-Surf-Yoga retreats in Nicaragua. If you are interested in SUP or SUP Yoga locally, I would be happy to take you out one on one or in organized small groups.

 

 

 

 

Tips for Combatting the Growing Obesity Epidemic and How the PHIT Act Can Help

Obesity is a gowing epidemic in the United States. According to the CDC, "Obesity related illness including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers are the leading causes of preventable death." It is truly "sad" that this is happening in our country. Ironically S.A.D. is also the acronym for the Standard American Diet

Our government considers this to be such an enormous problem, with health care costs going through the roof, that Congress is working on a bill called the PHIT Act. The PHIT Act will provide tax incentives to encourage physical fitness by allowing you to take a tax credit of up to $1000 as an individual, or $2000 per household for fitness expenses such yoga classes and gym memberships.

Inactivity is now the 4th leading cause of death in the USA and it contributes to the number one leading cause, which is heart disease.  Exercise and meditation, combined with breathwork can significantly reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Type 2 diabetes can also be reversed with a combination of a diet rich in plant based foods and physical movement. 

Inactivity is a HUGE problem and electronic devices and video games are adding to it. Physically fit kids on the other hand have been proven to get better grades in school. Add yoga to their physical activity and you will also see an increase in focus, memory and concentration.  I would eventually love to see all schools incorporate yoga and meditation into the school day and I believe we are headed in that direction, but we are not there yet. So parents, bring your kids and teens to yoga in the evenings or on the weekends. Even consider practicing yoga together. It is a great activity for the whole family! 

Your health is one of your greatest assets! Your body is your temple. WE can be in control of our lives for the most part. It is not easy to lose large amounts of weight, but it is not as hard as you may think if you break the weight loss process down it into small attainable steps. In other words, set simple goals that you can realistically achieve, be kind and accepting to yourself along the journey and know that there is always help. I have worked with clients who struggle with their weight and they have told me how intimidating it is to join yoga classes because their bodies literally cannot fully do many of the postures. I know that is a major point of frustration and discouragement. If that sounds like you, I am here to help you lose weight and feel better about yourself. I will modify everything in your yoga practice to make it work for you. 

I would strongly suggest if you are looking to lose more than 30 pounds that we schedule a private consultation, take body measurements (the scale is not always the best indicator for weight loss) and make a plan that will work specifically for you. I can teach you modifications that you can then use in group classes. I will also help by holding you accountable (accountability is a big motivator). Commit to yourself to creating a happy, healthy and active lifestyle. You will be amazed when many of your aches and pains disappear and by the energy and the enthusiasm that will flow back into your life.  You were designed to feel good!

Health & happiness,

Libby

PS -  My monthly membership cost is $130. If the PHIT Act passes, you will be able to write off $1000 from your yoga class fees annually on your taxes as an individual, or up to $2000 for a household.  You can even use this tax credit for Teacher Training and turn it into a money making venture for yourself! Please, I urge you, reach out to your Member of Congress and say YES to the PHIT Act! If you or a loved one (children included) are overweight, see me or someone who can help you.  

 

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

Basic Ashtanga Yoga Philosophy and Why Yoga Improves Your Life

For most people yoga starts as a simple physical practice on the mat, and for some that is all it will ever be. But for many it becomes a way of life and an answer to many prayers. The 8 limbs of Yoga, as expressed in the Yoga Sutras of Sri Panatnjali, were laid out as the foundation for living a spiritual life. They are simply a way to deepen your awareness that is created on the mat and integrate it into every aspect of your life raising your conciousness and ultimately becoming the best version of yourself.  

You were created to be happy, to be joyful and to be divine love. But the truth is that we live in a world that is glorified by being overly busy, possessing too much STUFF and we are pulled in way too many directions. As a result, too many people do not even know who they really are. They are so busy doing, doing, doing that at the end of the day there is no time or energy left for self reflection and discovery. Yoga can solve this dilemma by creating focus, purpose, calm, and good energy in your life.

The 8 Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga are as Follows:

1. Yamas: eithical standards how we conduct ourselves in life.  There are five Yamas.

I will break each Yama down in more detail on our Yoga Fit Boutique members only page on the website. You can become a member for free simply by signing up for our newsletter using the form in the side column of this blog on desktop, or at the bottom if you are on a mobile device (member benefits include early access to articles, new yoga classes, workshops, retreats and specials).

            a. Ahimsa: non violence

            b. Satya: truthfulness

            c. Asteya: nonstealing, non hoarding

            d. Brahmacharya: moderation

            e. Aparigraha: Non covetousness

2. Niyamas: self discipline or spiritual observances.  

            a. Saucha: cleanliness

            b. Santosha: contentment

            c. Tapas: fiery heat

            d. Svaydhyaya: self study

            e. Isvara Pranidhana: surrender to God

3. Asana: The physical practice of the postures (yoga poses) on the mat.

4. Pranayama: The practice of breath control.  There are many types, but this is the understanding that your breath is your life force.

5. Pratyhara: Withdrawl from sensories, or the ability to step out of the body and mind and simply observe free from judgment.

6. Dharana: Concentration on a single object.

7. Dhyana: Meditation, quieting the mind, letting go.

8. Samadhi: Ultimate enlightenment or connection with the universe and God.

You can imagine how using these basic techniques can improve the quality of your life.  Again, take it gradually and use what works for you. My personal experience is that the longer I practice, the more I begin to truly embrace each of these qualities.  I have become far less reactive to conflict, I am much more confident in my decisions, I do not live in fear and I do not want as much of the clutter in my life that I once tolerated in my younger years.  Even for me, it is a process and it will continue.  WE can always grow and get better. That is what "the practice" is all about.... It is a journey! So, trust the process, let go of all the worry and drama, and live each day of your life with divine love the way you were intended to live.  You will soon see dramatic affects. 

Namaste,

Libby

PS -  Register for my next 200 hour Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training Program, which begins October 28th.  This course provides a comprehensive understanding of the 8 Limbs of Yoga, plus so much more whether you choose to instruct or just deepen your own understanding and practice.

The Kids Might be Back in School, But There are Still Some Great Days Left to Relish Summer

Gearing up for school brings mixed emotions, but there's still time to make more great memories with your kids before summer truly slips away. For example, have you seen the new Hippopotamus Exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens?  It is really fantastic and a great place to take your kids!  

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The Zoo's new Hippo exhibit, called Hippo Cove, was one of our favorite outings this summer! Both of my kids and I loved it and we highly recommend that you experience it for yourselves! The zoo has two brand new hippos: Henry and Bimi. They are truly amazing and fun to watch. It has been many many years since the Cincinnati zoo has had a hippo exhibit due to the very extensive and expensive filtration it takes to maintain a hippo environment (if you have ever visited a hippo pool in Africa, you know how dirty they get). The newly opened hippo exhibit earned a big fat WOW from us!!!! Cinci... Congrats! You knocked it out of the park! The underwater viewing area is especially amazing! 

Underwater portion of the new hippo exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo

Underwater portion of the new hippo exhibit at the Cincinnati Zoo

Henry and Bimi are most active and playful first thing in the morning and from 2-6 pm.  Just next door, in the African exhibit you can also see the adorable baby giraffe. I know many people are anti zoo because they feel animals are better off in nature. I really respect that, and when I returned from my African Safari in 1990 it was very difficult for me to visit the zoo for many years. I now realize what a great educational vessel the zoo really is. Without it most would never get to see a real hippo or a giraffe.

Wild hippos in East Africa

Funny story... In 1990 I went on a youth trip to Kenya in East Africa. At that time I was between 8th and 9th grade and not so savvy about the dangers that lurk in the wilds of Africa. So one day my group was picnicking near a river. While the adults were setting up, some friends and I ventured down an embankment to the river. We thought perhaps we would cross the "big rocks" that were partially exposed out of the water and go to the other side of the river. Within seconds our tour guide was quite excited. Frantic some might say as he practically tumbled down the hill screaming for us to get away from the HIPPOS!!!! It was then I learned how dangerous these beautiful creatures really are. Thankfully we were all ok. 

Hippos have strong jaws and they will fiercely defend their territories.

The name hippopotamus comes from an ancient Greek word, which means "water horse." Hippos love to spend most of their time in the water, which keeps them cool during the heat of the day. But they also venture onto land at night to graze on grass. The average hippo weighs 3,300 pounds and can run over 30 mph. Although they appear "cute," they can be quite dangerous. In fact, hippos kill more people in Africa each year than any other animal. Fortunately for you, they can now be viewed up close at the Cincinnati Zoo in a safe and pleasant environment.  

Henry &amp; Bimi at the Cincinnati Zoo

Henry & Bimi at the Cincinnati Zoo

This weekend (August 20-21st) the Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating Visitor Appreciation Days and tickets are 1/2 off the normal price, so take advantage of this special and go see these spectacular creatures.

Venture out and let me know what YOU THINK of the new hippo display. To my readers and friends not in the Cincinnati area, please tell me in the comments below how you will enjoy these last few bits of the glory days of summer where you live. You never know, there's still time to take a short road trip and make great family memories!  

Go catch fireflies and toast marshmallows... Summer is not over yet!  

Libby

PS- Don't miss the cutest baby giraffe at the Cincinnati Zoo!

The Rocket Gets You There Faster, Says Bobby Weir of the Grateful Dead

Lakeside photos by Tim Bonn of B&B Productions

Rocket Yoga was formulated when Larry Schultz was traveling with the renown rock band, the Grateful Dead. Traditionally, Ashtanga Yoga was taught in a very set sequence where most people would never reach the more advanced arm balances and inversions. Well, Bobby Weir wanted to try the "fun stuff" because he knew the arm balances and inversions looked fun and gratifying. So Larry spent many nights in his room formulating a safe sequence for how to introduce practitioners of all levels, including new beginners to these more advanced postures. He came up with Bottle Rocket, Rocket 1, Rocket 2, and Rocket 3.  

Rocket incorporates a lot of core strengthening.  

Each of the sequences begins with sun salutations A & B which creates a deep heat from within the body. Following the sun salutations is a specific standing series, split series (a key component to the practice), seated series and finishing series. Each posture prepares you for the next building a beautiful balance of both strength and flexibility!  

When Larry formulated the series, he asked Bobby what they should name it and without hesitation Bobby said, "The Rocket." Larry smiled, nodded his head up and down and replied, "I like it, but... WHY?" Bobby laughed a little and said, "because it gets you there faster." It was a very true statement! Between each of the seated postures is some core strengthening and there are always a couple of dolphin poses, which also build core and shoulder strength preparing you for the arm balances and inversions. Within a year of regular disciplined Rocket Yoga practice 5-6 days a week, I was able to do the full splits. Now, I am not able to do them everyday, sometimes if I have not practiced I am immediately more stiff, but at least I know I am capable. The arm balances and inversions are incredibly fun and eventually those turn into your  transitions from one pose to the next flowing with grace. 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching the Rocket practice!!! I Love to see people break the barrier of their fears and conquer things they did not believe were possible. Being upside down is truly terrifying for many people. But we take this very slowly and build up to it safely. You get used to being inverted in high dolphin, you can use the wall and other props, and by all means listen to your body! In the splits series we hold each of the three splits 6-10 breaths allowing the body to slowly sink into its natural stopping point. Each practice may take you a little deeper. Most importantly we practice self acceptance knowing that wherever we are is exactly where we are meant to be. Yoga is a journey. We practice to improve. Many many people will reach full splits in time. For some, it takes longer. For some, based on bone composition, it simply will not be possible, but those folks can still enjoy the practice!  

So hop aboard the Rocket Ship and prepare to take your body places you never thought possible. Take your mind to new levels and ultimately connect the body and mind through the practice creating the best version of yourself!  

I am more than happy to lead privates, semi privates, group and corporate classes! If you have any questions at all please let me know.   

Namaste,

Libby McAvoy

PS - I want to give a big shout-out and thank you to Amber Espelage!  Under her excellent teaching and guidance I became 100 hr certified to teach Rocket Yoga.

Yoga Fit Boutique STUDIO Bids Farewell, but We are not Leaving YOU

Lori teaching Scott an advanced arm balance.

Yoga Fit Boutique was designed as a unique place where you could experience yoga and fitness in a comfortable environment with less intimidation than the common studios. We have absolutely loved getting to know each of you and watching you progress throughout the past two years.  

Libby & Lori welcome the Instagram Twinning Challenge.  Bring on the chin stand!!

Change and transformation are an important part of growth. Some of the changes are sad as we announce we will be closing our STUDIO in the physical sense.  We will miss your warm smiles and hearing all about your families. However, we hope you will stay tuned to our website and keep in touch because we value you, and there are some exciting things in the works that we look forward to sharing with you in the near future.  
 

Shelby,Tish and Rona after celebrating Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights.


Libby is thrilled to pursue other avenues of teaching you yoga in the comfort of your own home through private instruction and online videos.  It is an exciting time and Yoga continues to grow not only in its popularity, but also in the scientific discoveries of how it benefits the mind, the body and the spirit.  Libby deeply believes that yoga can benefit EVERY BODY! And she is determined to find innovative ways to keep it simple, keep it positive, and keep it encouraging. 
 

Lisa, our Teacher Training grad & instructor with her daughter. 


We thank you for all the positive memories and energy that we created together and we look forward to what is coming around the corner!! 

Please register for our email list to be a part of our inspirational newsletter that will go out every other week with how to do specific yoga poses, information on yoga & wellness, and much more. Also, check our website daily for new inspirational quotes and information, and follow us on Facebook and on Instagram.  We are not really leaving you, we are just shifting how we convey news, knowledge, and information.

Namaste to all of our friends! 

Tina and Libby after an amazing Healing Crystal Workshop.

Meditation: I heard it is good for me, but how do I do it and what is it anyway?

Anyone and everyone is capable of meditation. You do not need any set amount of time, you do not need to be affiliated or NOT affiliated with any religion. Meditation has been proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure.  According to Dr. Deepak Chopra, “meditation can both heal and reverse the biological effects of aging.” YES! Go back and re-read that line several times! It IS true! Just a few minutes of meditation daily has been proven to reduce heart disease by 80% and cancer by 50%! Now, imagine the benefits when combined with a healthy diet and exercise! You, my friends, are in control of much of your health. So, let me break this down in simple and easy to understand terms so that you can even meditate from the comfort of your own home.

There are many ways you can meditate. Even with just a few minutes you can consider a walking meditation. Walking down the street, pacing around the house, or even on a run. As your mind starts to wander, focus your awareness on the movement of your body parts and on your breath.  Pay attention to the feel of your feelings as they connect with the earth. Soon many of the other busy thoughts will fade away. This, is meditation, which is all about being mindful, present and focused. 

For seated meditation find a quiet comfortable spot. It does not need to be fancy.  It can be a spot outside, inside, or even in your car. Try to stay away from distractions to the senses; sights, sounds, smells…. Now, just allow yourself to be comfortable. There are no rules. You can sit cross legged if it is comfortable.  Or, feel free to recline. I want you to be comfortable so that you are able to let go of the clutter in your mind and focus on a single pointed thought. The purpose of meditation is NOT necessarily to clear the mind completely, but to lessen the chatter.

Meditation is not as difficult as you would think, it just requires practice. Try choosing a topic.  For example; you can meditatate simply on the breath ~ how it feels and sounds, and notice how as your thoughts quiet, the breath too will quiet and slow.  OR try to imagine with your eyes closed a place in nature that soothes and calms you. Be all there with all your senses.  Imagine how that place smells, feels, the sounds….. then when you are ready, bring yourself back to your present surroundings.  You can meditate on a color and imagine that color filling your body with each breath in and each exhale leaving your body and filling the space around you. 

As you can see, it allows for great creativity. There are also great guided meditations available on YouTube and meditation apps are another excellent reference.

The important thing to remember in this world that is glorified by multitasking and being overly busy is to SLOW down the pace! Take a few minutes of quiet time for yourself each day and allow your body and your mind to connect.  When we go on auto pilot too long, we disconnect and things go very badly. 

Try to practice at a regular time each day ~ find what works for you and your lifestyle. At first allow your mind to wander. It is perfectly normal, but also try to set those thoughts aside. Apply your choice of technique.  And with practice you will reach Samadhi, the ultimate enlightenment.

Namaste,

Libby