What Makes People Truly Happy?

 
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With only a few weeks left in the year I feel inspired to lead a new online masterclass for you.

The idea for this masterclass originated at a point in my life when I was in an abyss of despair and felt total emptiness.

It was about ten days after I had accomplished one of my wildest dreams, and the realization had settled on me: when we reach a goal, fulfill a desire or finally attain something outside of ourselves that we’ve been reaching for, often a feeling of emptiness follows.

The desire had been reached and I was left with this empty hole.

That emptiness was unbearable.

And i realized it was that unbearable feeling - the inability to hold myself in exactly what was -was what first led me to be a seeker.

Because as much as our ego would like us to think attaining what is outside of ourselves will bring us true happiness, ultimately it falls flat.

So as I remembered my first days becoming a seeker, I decided to meditate. The next day I meditated again, and the next day again. And soon that emptiness turned into something else.

I realized this abyss and emptiness was how I had experienced being in the unknown, and that had been one of the hardest places for me to be.

But one morning I found a great peace, and realized there are two ways I could view the unknown:

I could see it as the cause of great anxiety, or even depression.

OR I could see it as a space of ultimate potential.

The place where all creation manifests. The dark womb of the mother.

And it was as I opened to that space of ultimate potential, I found my true joy...

In the unmanifest...
In the mystery...
In the patience of not knowing...
In the cosmic space of infinite potential.

I realized true happiness was not in the materialization of my desires, but actually in the anticipation of realizing something I truly longed for. It was in the willingness to be with the mystery.

I finally saw there was a beauty in that anticipation. A seductiveness of the unknown.

And from that place, words began filling the page of my journal, and afterwards I looked down to see I had wrote:

6 Secrets to True Fulfillment

I’ll let you in on one of them: it’s making peace with this mystery.

This invites us to deeply embody the essence of the feminine. The receptive quality of being okay with everything as it is, while opening ourselves to the pure beauty and potential of what is to come.

But how do you do it? … Keep reading…

If you find yourself reading this today I imagine you are a person of depth and devotion.

You’re looking in your inbox for something more than the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

Your soul is seeking to express itself.

Your whole being is seeking true soul fulfillment.

So today I’m not here to sell you anything. Actually I want to give you this information for free.

Because there is something so much deeper your heart is longing to express.

Something so much more powerful you are being called forth by.

The world needs your leadership. Your courage. Your voice. Your dreams.

But something deeper than the material, something that will expand your heart to the size of the room and open you to the power of true fulfillment.

Are you ready to explore your highest potential for 2019?

Join me next Thursday, December 6th at 12 pm PST on the Sagittarius New Moon to connect with your highest hearts jntentions for the New Year…

Free Online Masterclass: 2019 Fulfilled

You’ll Learn:

  • Six Secrets to tap into fulfillment, peace and lasting joy

  • A step-by-step process to align with your intentions for the new year, and how to take tangible steps to manifest them

  • The most common forms of resistance and self-sabotage and how to avoid them

  • Secrets of the Queen archetype to harness your true potential

  • An Insider’s look into my upcoming program, The Sovereign Circle

Sign up right here.

When you sign up you’ll receive an email with the call details, and you’ll be sent the replay even if you can’t make it live.

With love,

Meredith

 

How I Healed My Heart Through Mindfulness

 
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I've been reflecting on the power mindfulness and meditation have had on my life lately because I am getting ready to co-lead a mindfulness program in Sebastopol this Fall. (There's a free orientation tomorrow night, Tuesday, Sept. 5th if you'd like to join me, more details below.) 

As we collectively and personally move through hardships and challenges in this great time of awakening, I thought it would be relevant to share a few of the ways mindfulness has helped me through hard times:

1. Heartbreak

For those of you who finished reading my book, you learned about two powerful experiences of heartbreak that I've experienced in my life, and how I learned to respond to that pain completely differently from the beginning to the end of the book as I deepened my practices of yoga and meditation in India. 

When I reflect back on some of those more challenging moments in my life, particularly when my heart was hurting, I realize:

Meditation and mindfulness showed me how to witness my pain as pure sensation, and through that space of pure witnessing presence, my heart began to heal. 

I began to create more spaciousness for myself, I learned to surrender to my emotions and accept my emotions, without a need to fix or change them. It is in that space that I opened to love, compassion and forgiveness, and my heart opened to heal.

2. Physical pain

Meditation and mindfulness helped me to relate to my pain in a completely new way. Not just emotional pain, but also physical. I've gone through periods of my life experiencing chronic pain on a daily basis: muscle aches, headaches, and jaw tension. For so long I tried to push it away and distract myself (going to sugar, alcohol, caffeine, anything to take me away from my body and out of the present moment) but I soon realized that only made the problem worse. 

It was only through really being with myself in the pain, opening to it, and breathing through it, did it begin to transform. But in releasing my need to change the outcome, I had a powerful tool of being able to love myself in those moments even when it didn't go away. 

3. Grief

arlier this year my grandmother passed away. I sat with her in her final days in meditation. If you've ever been with someone as they are passing, you know that it invites you to be in a state of total presence. I sat in full presence with her. I held her hand, I meditated, and I sang. In the days and months after she passed, I knew how to feel my grief and let it move through me. 

Now when I reflect back on my grandmother and all we shared, I no longer feel the weight of grief because I allowed myself to fully feel it. Now when I think of her I feel a profound joy and gratitude in my heart. 

4. A car accident

Two years ago I was in a car accident where my car was totaled. It was actually amazing to see what happened in the moment after impact when my airbag opened. I began practicing Vipassana meditation without even thinking. My awareness immediately began feeling my breath and my sensations from the top of my head down to the tips of my toes. I was fully grounded in the present moment. 

Instead of freaking out, I was able to act in the moment from a grounded state. I moved my car off the road, I called for help... I assessed if I had any injuries and I checked in with the person in the other car involved. Within minutes help arrived, and everyone was ok, but reflecting back I see I was able to move through such a hardship with grace because of my years of practice with meditation.

women-meditating

Beyond moving through challenging times, mindfulness has brought a wealth of positivity to my life: 

1. Self-Worth - a sense of having enough, and being enough

I've learned to focus more on what I have, and who I am through a lens of wholeness rather than lack or scarcity. It has helped me come back to gratitude and an innate sense of worthiness.

2. My Relationship - more ease, love, and appreciation

Now when a difficult conversation or situation arises with my partner, I can almost see the situation from the outside. Rather than being so attached to my pain or fear, I can take a step back, breathe and move forward with love. 

3. Priorities - The ability to get crystal clear on what's really important to me

In being able to take a step back from life, I am no longer getting caught in the same habitual patterns or routines. I'm able to make choices from a broader perspective and take steps forward with intention based on what is truly most important to me.

4. Productivity - making a positive impact in my business and with my clients

Meditation has sharpened my mind and brought focus to my work. It's helped me to be fully present and compassionate with my clients and podcast guests. It's helped me tap into my intuition in a way that has been able to guide my business towards success. 

But the truth is, these results do not happen overnight, and it's not always easy to keep up a meditation practice. I have had to put in the time and attention to come to the place I am in today. 

The way I have been able to keep up my practice, is through community. That is why I am so excited about the community forming for the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program this Fall. 

Would you like to bring more mindfulness into your life? 

Join me Tuesday, September 5th, for the free orientation of MBSR at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol, co-led with Spencer Sherman of Abacus Wealth Partners. 

The details:

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) ~ an 8-week program created by Jon Kabat-Zinn of Spirit Rock, guided by Spencer Sherman and yoga guided by me 

Location: The dhyana Center, 186 N. Main Street, Sebastopol (upstairs)

Course Dates: Tuesday nights, 6:30 - 9 pm, Sept. 19 - Nov. 14th (no class 10/31, full-day class on Sunday, 11/5)

Free Orientation: Tuesday, September 5th, 6:30 - 9 pm ~ learn more about the program curriculum and practices, meet the teachers and fellow students and see if the program will be a good fit for you.

RSVP to the free orientation right here. 

With love, 
Meredith

P.S. if you aren't able to be with us in person, you may like to check out my guided meditations on the insight timer app ~ simply download and search for "Meredith Rom" in guided meditations

 

You're Invited to a Nourishing Spring Retreat

 
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When I feel agitated, frustrated, have pain in my body, or am experiencing difficult emotions, I show up to my yoga mat.

That is when I receive all my best insights.

That is where I am able to tap back into what's really important, make decisions about my business, and receive guidance when I feel at a loss at what to do.

I believe our body is full with wisdom.

We all have a 'highest self' inside who knows the answers.  However,  we can only access this wisdom when our mind is quiet enough to tune into intuition.

It's so important to listen to what our body is telling us, but often we get distracted.  To-do lists, obligations, work, kids, and a busy mind can crowd out the wise-self we all have inside.

That's why Karen Prosen and I decided to devote a whole day to help those ready to tap back into this wisdom.

We want you to reconnect to that wise, centered part of yourself.  The part of yourself that already knows all the answers. 

We also want to honor and welcome the new season of spring.  This is a time to start fresh and release old patterns that are no longer serving us. This is a time to step into a new way of being and living in the world.

We have rented a gorgeous yurt in Occidental, CA for a one-day retreat in honor of our body's wisdom and the new season on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from 10 am - 5 pm.

We are creating an intentional space for an intimate group.  I'll be teaching gentle yoga, breathing and voice exercises.

Karen will lead us through meditation and yoga nidra to recede into rest and we will end the day in celebration with kirtan chanting.

For lunch, we have invited Camina Gillotti to prepare an ayurvedic lunch with locally harvested foods.

If you are in need of nourishment, of rest, of community and reconnection to your body's wisdom, I invite you to join us.

The investment is $108 when reserved by March 18, or $188 when you reserve for two.

You can read more about the day and reserve your space here.

And if you're unavailable, or don't live locally, please take a moment to ask yourself, "Do I know anyone in the Bay Area in need of this kind of nourishment?"  I invite you to forward this message to him or her.

In love and service, Meredith (and Karen) <3

 

Is Patience Really A Virtue?

 

I am the kind of woman who likes to get stuff done. When I have an idea, I sprint into action. But when my idea doesn't manifest as my reality right away, I often get frustrated and upset.

Recently I saw this attitude permeating all areas of my life.  I found myself asking questions like, "Why isn't my business growing faster than this?" "When will I ever be able to buy a house of my own?" and "Will I ever get married?" 

Sound familiar?

Then I was invited to a friend's house for a meditation. I did the best I could to stay present with my breath through the hour we practiced, but often found my mind wandering into the future.  Thoughts like,"Should my next blog post be about self-care or relationships?" "How do you know when it's time to hire a virtual assistant?"  and "Would I have reliable wifi if I lived in Bali?" crossed my mind.

At the end of the practice, my friend pulled a book off the shelf, opened to a random page and read a dharma teaching aloud to us.  He said:

There once was an old man who was very devoted to his guru. He had been meditating for over twenty years and just knew it wouldn't be long before he became enlightened. He went to his guru and asked, "How much longer until I become enlightened?" 

The guru looked at him and said, "It will take you three more lifetimes." 

"Three more lifetimes!" the old man exclaimed. "That is ridiculous!  I have been working so hard, meditating for twenty years, and it is going to take me three more lifetimes! I can't believe this!" 

He stomped his feet and left.

Then, a young boy who was watching nearby came over. He went to the guru and asked, "How many lifetimes until I become enlightened?" 

The guru looked up at a nearby tree and said, "It will take you as many lifetimes as there are leaves on that tree." 

The boy looked up at the tree and gasped when he saw there must have been hundreds of leaves on it.

He took a deep breath and replied, "I'm so glad to know that I will become enlightened. I can surely count how many leaves are on that tree. That means, one day, I really will become enlightened!"

He was simply in the joy and eagerness of receiving what he wanted, without being attached to it.

The boy left and the story goes, that very day he became enlightened. Because he was willing to wait and be patient, all was granted to him.

I thought about this and realized when we get what we want, we are usually excited for a little bit of time, but soon there is emptiness.  Shortly after, a new desire arises and takes the place of the old one.

I wondered, What if the joy in life is actually in the waiting, rather than the getting of what we want? What if the best part about getting what we want is the anticipation itself?

If we are willing to be in the process, to fully be present there and to be in our growth, there will be joy.

And when we are willing to be present and find joy in the process, it will be easy. There won't be  a struggle because we're not trying to skip steps and jump further ahead than where we really are.

I saw that the struggles I had recently faced were happening because I was pushing before I was ready. I didn't trust in the process. And with this new knowledge, I knew I could be patient. If you are willing to be patient in the joy of waiting, you might even get what you want right away.

 

Are Your Desires Making You Miserable?

 


Lately I've been thinking a lot about the difference between desire and attachment...

When I was on a ten day silent meditation retreat over the holidays, I began to see how my mind would obsess over the same desires over and over again. (Mostly about achieving more, doing more, having more...)

It became crystal clear that those desires - that had once been born out of pure innocence - had become attachments and they were causing me suffering. 

In a moment of realization in meditation, on Christmas Day, when I had been feeling quite a lot of pain in my body, I broke down in tears, realizing I had been creating the cause of my own suffering by focusing so much on what I didn't have, and what was not in my present moment reality.

So I did what I could to clear those attachments away. I focused on what was happening in my body and breath and released the need for anything to be different than it already was.

An image flashed in my mind of myself being completely stripped down to simple clothes and a shaved head, meditating - settling into a state of stillness and total presence. 

From this state of complete patience, self-lessness and letting go, a ground zero of sorts, I asked myself what was really important to me - and the answer was so simple: time in beautiful natural environments with my beloved, singing and being a teacher and mentor, walks in the back field with my cat, Quan Yin, and going out to dinner with friends. That was it... 

From that day forward in the retreat, meditation became so much easier. Pain began to lift on my body, and in the times when it came back, my relationship to it was completely different. I had developed a patience that hadn't been there before. I allowed the sensations to be there, the thoughts to be there, witnessing, knowing at some point they would pass, and they always did. 

Carrying these insights into my life, I've found a state of more ease and gentleness.

But what about our desires? Isn't it good to have goals and ambitions? I think it is good to have desires, goals and ambitions, but when we find ourselves suffering from those desires, it's time to ask if we have become attached.

It has been a great relief for me to enjoy life (and all that I already have) from a place of nonattachment - allowing everything to just be as it is.

I can't say I've figured it all out, and sometimes those old attachments linger back into my mind, but that's when I come back to my meditation practice, noticing the sensations and breath, and remembering all that is real and perfect in this moment.

To hear more about this topic, listen to my latest podcast where I share the introduction of my book due to release this summer. If you missed my last email, you'll hear all about the new title, Just Be: A Search for Self-Love in India. And, if this message resonates with you, I'd love to hear in the comments.

With love, 
 Meredith

 

An Ancient Hawaiian Practice for Forgiveness

 
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Image from the_soulessence

As humans, we are prone to making mistakes.  At some point, we all mess up--we click send before reading over the message, we say something before thinking it through, we forget to show up, or show up late--and as much as we try to avoid it, sometimes these things happen.

So what do you do when it happens - when you've made a mistake and find yourself sinking into negative energy?  How do you shift your mood and let it go?

This year I learned a simple practice that has become an essential part of my life.  I read an article by Joe Vitale about an ancient Hawaiian practice called "ho'oponopono" Shamans passed down for years.  It's based on the simple words:

"I'm sorry, I love you. Please forgive me, thank you." 

The story goes that there was a prison in Hawaii that was a horrible place to be.  People who worked there often quit because the prisoners were so hard to be around.

Then a Hawaiian psychiatrist was brought in to work with the prisoners.  He began doing his healing work, and suddenly the prisoners were really changing.  People were being released on early leave, and people who worked there saw a huge shift, and began to love their job.

However, the psychiatrist never even interacted with the prisoners in person.  So how did he heal them?

He sat in his office, looking through each file of the prisoners and used the ho'oponopono practice.  "I'm sorry, I love you."

Susan Minarik notes:

According to the teachings of Ho’oponopono (and just about every other system of well-being as well), you are responsible for everything that you experience.  Everything you see, think, notice, hear and feel is a creation of your own mind.  All your reactions and interpretations are of your making, based in memories from the past. 

The psychiatrist was working energetically with each of the prisoners.  The ho'oponopono is based on the idea that we are all responsible for the pain and suffering in the world.  When we take responsibility, people around us begin to heal.

Joe was skeptical of this practice, so he tried it when he got an angry email from a colleague.  Instead of hitting reply he just sat, looking at the email, saying, "I'm sorry, I love you."

An hour later, he received another email from the same person, apologizing for what she had said.

Joe describes:

As long as people hold on to grudges, they will remain unhappy and unhealthy.  The hardest thing for people to accept is total responsibility, yet the door to freedom is opened when you accept it all as your responsibility.  Again, it's not your fault, but it is your responsibility.

I began using this practice often in my life.  Anytime I felt upset, or worried that I triggered somebody else, I closed my eyes and repeated, "I'm sorry, I love you."

When I do the practice, I feel an immediate shift in my energy.  In my softening, I feel any negative energy between me and another person begin to lift.

So, the next time you make a mistake, or feel yourself going down a negative thought spiral, breathe and try it.  Repeat, "I'm sorry, I love you. Please forgive me, thank you." over and over until you feel a release.

 

Calling in the Light~ Summer Solstice Retreat Invitation

 

It's finally here!  In a few hours I will be high in the sky on my way to Bali, Indonesia to live out a dream I have been holding for a long time...

I've been planning this adventure for the last eight months and cannot wait to find myself meditating in sacred temples, exploring the streets of Ubud and joining together with twelve women in the first Rising Women Leaders  Bali Retreat.

Many of you expressed interest in coming to this retreat in Bali, but ultimately decided it was too far for you to travel at this time, and I totally understand (I am currently on a twenty-something hour flight!)  

So for those of you seeking retreat and nourishment closer to home, I have great news for you today...

I will be teaming up with Karen Prosen and the Great Kosmic Kitchen for VESSEL: A 4-day rustic yoga retreat highlighting meditation, devotional art and herbalism as we call in the Summer Solstice.  

We will be gathering June 16 - 20 on the Mendocino Coast at Oz Farm, located only 3 hours North of San Francisco.  

You are invited to treat your body as a temple with yoga, hiking and herbal infused traditional foods as we join together to welcome the LIGHT.  Embrace the timeless wisdom of the self with meditation, art, ritual, and end the journey with a day of reverent silence.

Our highest intention is that you fall in love with your one body VESSEL and leave with the fortitude, knowledge and practices to walk on the pilgrimage of life more embodied, connected and lighter than ever. 

Some of the highlights include:

  • Devotional Art:  How to Create Yantra Paintings with Karen
  • Song Circles around the Fire with Mackenzie Myers
  • Shamanic Journeying and Past Life Regressions with Karen
  • Restorative, Vinyasa and Kundalini Yoga with Me 
  • Delicious Herbal Meals and Rituals with The Great Kosmic Kitchen
  • Yoga Nidra and Breathwork with Karen
  • Relaxation on 240 acres of earth, river, meadow, forest and sky at Oz Farm
  • Candlelit Dinners served with Ceremony
  • Space to Unplug, Journal and Reconnect to Yourself
  • A New Community to Welcome the Sun of the Summer Solstice With

I invite you to learn more and apply here.

I hope to see you at VESSEL, and in the meantime, stay tuned for more updates from my travels.

With Love, 

Meredith

P.S. If you missed my podcast interview with Karen, you can  listen here.

 

Last week on tour...and music for you!

 
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A few days ago I shared a story about forgiveness, and how key that was for me when I went through a difficult breakup four years ago. The strength I gained from that experience pushed me forward to find true forgiveness, freedom, independence, and love within myself.

As I let go, and focused on my dreams and visions, new love entered my life.

I have always seen relationships as a beautiful mirror - showing us what we need to see in ourselves.  For me, that reflection happened when I met a musician, Michael.

Music was always something I loved, but growing up, didn't always feel I could excel in myself.  I thought you were either born with a natural talent to sing and play instruments, or not.

But when Michael and I started dating, he consistently encouraged me to sing with him and use my voice.  I usually shied away from it, but last year, something shifted.  

I bought a harmonium and began learning to play mantras.  I brought the harmonium into my daily meditation practice, and alone in my room, began to sing.

I gave myself permission for it to not be perfect, and after a few short weeks, I was amazed to see the transformation and confidence I gained in my voice.

With Michael's guidance and encouragement, I began to share with friends, and accompanied him at performances.

When Michael and I planned our Vision & Voice tour, I expected to teach yoga, and only occasionally accompany him with the harmonium at our performances, however, that quickly shifted.

We've been on the road for four weeks now, through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and the California coast - and are on the last few days of our tour.  

We have events in Monterey, Santa Cruz, Mill Valley, Berkeley and Sebastopol this week.  (details below)

I know not all of you are able to make it to our events on the west coast, so I wanted to share a couple songs from one of our live performances in Ojai this week.

~ You can listen here. ~ With love, Meredith

Upcoming Events:

May 21: Monterey / Pacific Grove, CA, Kundalini Yoga + Kirtan, Chautauqua Hall  May 23: Santa Cruz, CA, Yoga with Live Music + Kirtan Divinitree Westside May 24: Mill Valley, CA, Homecoming KIrtan Celebration, Redwoods Retreat House May 25: Berkeley, CA, Singing Workshop, House Event May 29: Sebastopol, CA, Yoga with Live Music, The dhyana Center May 30: Sebastopol, CA, Homecoming Celebration Kirtan, The Root Collective

 

How I Fell in Love with My Meditation Practice

 
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Over my career as a yoga teacher I have spoken to many women who strive to keep up a home yoga or meditation practice, but quickly give it up when life gets busy. 

I used to constantly struggle with keeping up a morning practice and would feel guilty when I fell off track.  I tried numerous ways to keep up a practice, but had a hard time keeping it up and wondered, “Why is it so hard for me to keep a consistent connection to spirit?”

I know that when I am connected, and do take out that time in the morning to myself, I am so much more present, calm and compassionate throughout my day.  I know that’s when I rely less on others and am more in tune to my inner guide. 

When I connect to the love within myself, I am not constantly searching for it in my relationship or places outside of myself.

I’ve found more than anything else, when I made my meditation practice enjoyable, it became sustainable.

I knew I wasn’t going to wake up every morning to sit quietly and do something I dreaded.  I had to lure myself into my meditation practice.  I had to bring in the romance.

Gabby Bernstein says, “I made spirit my boyfriend.”  When she did that, everything else in her life began to flourish.  When we fall in love with spirit, we begin to attract and manifest what we want and need in our lives easily.

I know how hard it can be to keep up a daily meditation practice, so I wanted to share the top ways that helped me fall in love with spirit and keep my morning practice sustainable…

I learned to:

Shift from Discipline to Devotion

I used to live in a house where my roommates and I practiced silent meditation together for one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening.  The practice became so disciplined that I began to avoid it altogether.  Even though I willingly created the rules, when I felt constricted, all I wanted to do was break them.

I eventually moved out of the house, and went months with no meditation practice.  My rebellious side wanted to take back control.  After awhile, I began to miss those solitary moments with my breath, but I knew I had to approach my practice in a different way.  I remembered something my yoga teacher had said about developing a home yoga practice, “No one is making you do it.  You’re doing it for yourself.  Think of it as a devotion, rather than a discipline.”

Shifting my perspective and realizing, no one was making my do it, but rather I was showing up in devotion to myself and to spirit changed everything.  I suddenly was able to show up to my meditation pillow, and my mat with ease.

Change it Up

When my practice was the same silent sitting everyday, I got bored and went back into avoidance.  I learned I needed to change it up once in awhile, even if it was a slight change to stay with it.  Some mornings my practice includes yoga, some mornings it is pranayama, and sometimes it is mostly silent meditation.  When I prioritized devotion over the structure, I was able to let go of the guilt and keep coming back to my meditation seat.

Call on an Archetype

I began connecting to archetypes in my meditation after reading Deepak Chopra’s book, Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire.  I would imagine a heroine, chief or goddess I felt connected to and began to ask, “Please express yourself through me.”  Over many days of connecting to the powers and attributes of someone I looked up to, I began to embody the qualities myself.

Move and Breathe First

What many people often struggle with when meditating is a “busy mind.”  The Indian guru Osho says you need to get all the garbage out of the mind first before you can get anywhere in silent meditation.  The best ways I have found to “get the garbage out” is to breath and move my body.  That could mean going on a run first, putting on music and dancing or shaking, or doing breath of fire or other kundalini breath work before silently meditating.  When I exert myself first, then sit silently, the experience becomes so still, silent and peaceful.

Bring in the ROMANCE

When I began to think of my morning practice as a devotion, I began to think of all the ways I could make my practice more enjoyable.  I bought an essential oils diffuser to create beautiful aromas of Rose and Geranium into the space.  I sat on a heating pad to feel warm and comfortable, I began my practice with singing, and made my altar a gorgeous representation of my devotion.  Every day I felt so happy waking up to my practice because of how loving and romantic it became.  This is the art of falling in love with yourself.

Connect to a Vision

After learning about the law of attraction, I began to bring manifestation to my morning practice.  I wrote out, in the present tense what I wanted to create in my life and in the world.  I connected to how I wanted to wake up and feel everyday.  I connected to why I wanted what I wanted, and every morning, read this vision out loud.  Every morning then became not only a devotion to myself and to spirit, but a devotion to what I wanted in my life and for the world.

Set a Container (A   begin and end date)

In order to create a new healthy, habit, it helps to choose a set number of days to do your practice for.  Feel free to start small and say something like, “For the next seven days I am going to do this practice.”  Put a reminder in your calendar, an alert on your phone, or a note on your bedside table to stick to it.  Tell yourself, “If resistance comes up, I am going to just sit down and do the practice, only for these seven days.  If I still don’t want to do it after these seven days I don’t have to anymore.”  Chances are, you will be able to keep it going after the set amount of time you create.

I choose to do my practices in forty day increments.  Forty days is historically known as a sacred time period for enacting change.  It can clear old subconscious patterns, set up new positive patterns, and change your life for the better. At the end of every forty day cycle, I celebrate and reflect on what has changed in my life.

Get Others Involved

It helps to know there are other people out there meditating with you.  Try calling up a friend and creating an accountability partner.  I began a whole program based around creating a vision and meditating with other women for forty days because I wanted to create that accountability for myself and others.  The program grew to include women in five continents.  I began to see when I meditate, I am not just meditating for myself, but I am meditating for the visions of women all over the world.

Whether you are just starting a meditation practice, or you’re a seasoned meditator, try these tips when you sit down for your practice to fall in love with your own connection to spirit.

 

 

6 Practical Insights on Happiness From the Road

 
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It's been six days on the road now - Michael and I have led four workshops together and already driven through five states. I feel myself sinking into more comfort as a teacher and a singer, gaining confidence in my own vision and voice as I teach others. Something both Michael and I have noticed since we left is that we are both really happy. There's a deep joy in our hearts as we travel from city to city. It made me wonder, "What's different now than before?"

I broke it down to what I think are six essential insights on happiness, and practical action steps you can take to find more happiness right now.

1. Seek out Community

We've been surrounded by loving, likeminded friends on every step of the journey. In each city on this trip we are being hosted by friends or friends of friends. We've had meaningful connections every step of the way. It's been different than my normal day-to-day working at home in my cottage, because I am actively seeking out and visiting my community.

Connection is an essential human need, and I can see, even as an introvert I have a large capacity for face time with people I love. It can be easy to get lost in my own world, connecting with others through the phone and the internet, but facetime with old and new friends is so key in continuing a feeling of happiness in my days.

2. Do a Random Act of Kindness

Before leaving San Francisco, Michael and I participated in the "Happiness Course" through The Art of Living. Our assignment one day was to do three random acts of kindness. It totally shifted my state of mind from thinking about myself to wondering how I could make someone else's day better. I asked, "Where can I find a homeless person to give money to?, "Where can I actively comment and engage on other people's blogs and social media?"  and "Who can I tell that I really appreciate them?"

One of the other students came back one day to say, "I bought the person behind me in line breakfast and he said, 'I just moved from the East coast and heard about things like this happening in Berkeley, but didn't believe it really would!'"

While on the road, we are being mindful of where we can be more generous and kind. From picking up the bill with a friend, to giving someone one of Michael's CD's who didn't expect it, every act of kindness has brought so much joy to my heart.

Often we wait to be generous when we have more, or forget to be kind. What simple act could you do today to make someone else's day better? Then do it, and notice how this makes you feel afterward.

 
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3. Look out for the magic

When you take steps outside of your comfort zone, especially while travelling, you begin to notice the magic that is all around you.

On my birthday this year, I pulled a card from my animal medicine tarot deck with the question, "What is my animal totem for the year?" It was the owl. Owl sees everything, even in the dark and is often the medicine of sorcerers and witches, those drawn to magical practices. The tarot deck said, "Pay attention to the signals and omens, owl will bring you messages through dreams and meditation."

For the last three nights, staying in the homes of three different people, there was a picture of an owl in the room.

Synchronicity is everywhere if you are on the lookout for it. Try using the affirmation, "I am awake to coincidences. I see them as messages from God."

When a synchronicity happens in my life, I immediately feel connected to the divine. I have more trust in the world around me and am able to let go of fears and sink into the joy of being guided.

4. Share your gifts

Knowing that I have workshops set up in every city I visit on this trip makes me so happy. To be in the act of service, and sharing our gifts is so satisfying. When I remember this trip isn't all about me, but that there are actually people we are here to help, I feel like I have a place in the bigger picture.

I've seen several people in tears during our workshops, touched by the music, and the space to open their voice and connect to avision for their lives and the world. We are offering an experience for others to connect to their heart by using our gifts and talents. We find that afterwards, no matter how many people showed up, we are so happy knowing we have done what we felt called to share.

5. Do what you love

Practicing yoga, teaching yoga, singing, being in the flow and visiting friends is essential to my happiness. When you give yourself permission to do what you love, everything else becomes more joyful.

When you priortize what makes you feel good, what makes you truly happy, life becomes a celebration.

What do you love? What makes you come alive? Is it the yoga class? A walk in nature? A tea date with a girlfriend? Go take action and do it.

6. Meditate

No matter how beautiful a place you find yourself in, if you don't feel good in your body and mind, it doesn't really matter.Focus within first. When you make your internal space a beautiful sanctuary, your surroundings will begin to reflect that.

When you soften around the edges, create more spaciousness and compassion within yourself, you meet difficulties that arise in life with fresh eyes. You can handle whatever comes your way.

Michael and I have meditated together every morning on this trip. We encourage each other in our practices because we know if we find love within ourselves first, we will be more kind and loving to each other.

When you take the time to process your own emotions, to be devoted to yourself, and connect to a larger vision, every action in your day becomes more clear. Intuition heightens and you know what steps to take next.

SO what will you work on to bring more happiness in your life? Will it be an act of kindness, sharing your gifts, or seeking out community? Whatever it is, I hope you take action on it right away. If you want to be held accountable, make a comment below to let me know what you'll be working on.

Our next event is a kirtan singing workshop in Boulder, CO on Wednesday April 29. Next week I'll be writing from New Mexico and Arizona as we continue our travels...

Find me on instagram @meredithrom to follow the journey day by day, as I'm posting about photos with stories from the road.

With love, Meredith

How to handle any difficult situation with ease and grace

 
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When I first started doing yoga, I noticed I slowly became less reactive.

If something happened that would usually make me sad, angry or frustrated, instead of blowing up at the situation, I was able to find an inner calmness to process my emotions.

One of the most valuable tools for me has been Tonglen meditation.  I learned Tonglen from one of my mentors, Kimber Simpkins in a yoga training.  It is a Buddhist practice to lessen our reactivity and hold a space of compassion for ourselves, and all beings.

It goes like this:

Breathing in, I allow myself to feel exactly what I'm feeling. 

Breathing out, spaciousness and compassion for myself. 

Breathing in, I know I am not alone.  I remember so many other beings have experienced and have felt what I am experiencing and feeling right now. 

Breathing out, spaciousness and compassion for all those other beings.  

This meditation helps me realize I am not alone in my reactions and emotions.  It reminds me that actually so many other people have experienced this before, and instead of being caught up in my emotions, I can hold a space of compassion, knowing I am now experiencing something so many other beings have experienced before.

I created this guided meditation video for you to follow along and embody the practice. Click below to watch:

[av_video src='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQy1iheyf8U' format='16-9' width='16' height='9']

And the next time you feel you're about to blow up in a difficult situation, try it.  Let me know how it goes for you in the comments below.

Love, Meredith

PS. You can also view my other yoga and meditation videos here. 

 

A New Moon Holiday

 
new moon-yoga and meditation-vision-self expression-self devotion

A couple weekends ago I went to a moon ceremony.

We were led through a meditation, remembering what happened during each month of the last year. At the end, we were asked to imagine and share what the essence of the last year was for us.

I was thinking back through each of the months, and realized the values I had been holding in my yoga teaching and my coaching practice - the values of courage and self-love were exactly what I was living in 2014.

The essence of my 2014 was stepping into courage and self-love.

This was the year I stepped up to invest in myself and my business - with both financial resources and time. This is the year I began to see significant returns in my investments...and I've been seeing my clients face their fears and fall in love with themselves.

I've been seeing more and more how I can fully and abundantly support myself doing what I love.

This year I began sharing my voice in a much bigger way, both through singing and through speaking.

Some highlights of the year included giving my first talk, leading a workshop in Hawaii with Erica Jago, signing on international clients including amazing women in Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and Brazil.

I led three group programs, including my women's yoga sangha with 10 beautiful ladies for 3 months that began last January, my 6-month group coaching program for five goddesses, that lasted from May to November and most recently, VISION, my latest group coaching program and meditation course that will last for six more weeks through the new year with over twenty beautiful ladies.

This year I went through four dedicated 40-day practices, the first one beginning in January.

I fully stepped into living from a place of self-devotion rather than self-discipline.

I saw working on my business as a devotion. I saw waking up to meditate as a devotion. I saw taking care of myself as a devotion.

Through this devotion, I am seeing my message reach farther, and I am grateful. It is a time to celebrate.

This Sunday marks the Winter Solstice which also happens to land on a new moon.

This is an auspicious time to reflect on the year past, create and share new prayers and visions for the future.

I will be holding space for the women in my VISION program to share their highest intentions for themselves in a ceremony this Sunday.

In the evening I will be attending The dhyana Center and will be singing and playing harmonium in a ceremony led by the founder, DeAnna.  It will be a free event, so if you are local, I'd love to see you there.

Now take a moment to think of all YOU have accomplished in the past year.

Take some time to journal what you remember from each month.  If you wrote down intentions last January, take some time to revisit them.  CELEBRATE YOU and all you have done.

Then ask yourself, "How will I live in devotion in 2015?  How will I be devoted to myself?  What will I devote myself to?  What will daily devotion look like to me?"

I'd love to hear in the comments below.

May the coming year provide you with all the tools you need to take leaps into courage and self-love.

In celebration & gratitude, Meredith

 

Yin yoga to access your intuition (new video)

 
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I just arrived back from nine beautiful days in Hawaii.  I was blessed to co-teach a class with Erica Jago while I was there.  

We designed a class blending two of my favorite styles of yoga ~ kundalini and yin.  I taught the yin poses while Erica taught kundalini.  We were joined with live music by our partners - both named Michael (hehe).  I even brought my harmonium with me (it folds down to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane!) and we sang and sang. And today, I'm happy to share with you a short yin yoga practice video you can do at home.  

Yin yoga is where the poses are held longer, 3 - 5 minutes, and the muscles are soft.  When we hold the poses longer, we begin to stretch the connective tissues, the tougher ligaments that join the bones together.  This is thought to be where the meridian system is held.

Yin yoga not only balances the body on the physical level, but brings balance on an emotional and energetic level by harmonizing the meridians.

It is a practice to be present with your edge - the edge that may not always be so comfortable, however in my life, I have found when I am willing to be with the difficult sensations or emotions, I discover so much growth.  And even more than this:

When we are willing to be with all aspects of the human experience, the good, the hard, the beautiful and the ugly, we have greater access to our intuition and the wisdom of our body.

So I invite you to set aside some time this evening to do this practice with me.  Be in the silence, with your body, however it feels in that moment, and see what wisdom, guidance or intuition arises.

And if you are local, join me at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol for my Yin Yoga & Harmonium series.  The theme tonight is, "Cultivate Patience, Release Anger: Yin postures for the liver and gallbladder meridian."

Love, Meredith

Some photos from my trip....see more on instagram @meredithrom

 
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It takes courage...

 
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From the moment I left my stressed out life in New York City over four years ago to get on a plane and start a new life in San Francisco, I realized how much courage it really takes to follow your heart.

Anytime I have slowed down enough to listen, I have had to consciously learn to release self-doubt and trust in the process.  When I went to India by myself on a one-way ticket with a 6-month VISA, it was the same.  When I started my business with no clients and only a few months of rent in my bank account, it was the same.  When I sang in front of my boyfriend (who is a professional musician) for the first time, it was the same.  And in the times I have felt overwhelmed with so much to do, but have consciously stopped to honor my body, stretch, breathe and make a healthy meal to take care of myself, it was the same.

It takes courage to step back from life and do something that nurtures and honors yourself.  tweet it

And today, I want to tell you:  Self-doubt is a natural part of the process.  When you are following your heart, even if it is to simply take care of yourself, self-doubt will be there.

I recently read an amazing blog post from KC Baker about birthing her baby boy.  As she was in the moment of labor saying to herself, "I just can't do this!"  Her midwife turned to her and said, "KC, you ARE doing this."

DOUBT IS PART OF BIRTHING, WHETHER IT BE A BABY OR A DREAM.  ~KC Baker

Tonight, I invite you to explore your dreams and desires and find the courage within yourself to slow down, let go of the to-dos, and listen to those dreams.

This evening marks the Autumn Equinox, and the first class in my 6-week series, Yin Yoga & Harmonium in Sebastopol.  We will be singing, releasing self-doubt and cultivating courage to follow our heart.  There will be live music for the entire class by Michael Zeligs.   I hope to see you there.

And for those of you who would love to be there, but live elsewhere, join my email list below and stay tuned for a surprise I will be sending to you next week...

Love, Meredith

 

Are you afraid to share your voice?

 
courage-comfort zone-self expression

For years I felt a block around sharing my voice. I thought I was a terrible singer and had trouble speaking up in groups.  It's hard to say when it began, but small experiences throughout my life added up to a huge block of self-expression.  By the time I got to college, I felt so terrified of public speaking that I avoided it at all costs and would never for a second consider myself a singer.

I eventually went to a counselor at my school because I realized I couldn't live my life without speaking up, and I was ready to do what I needed to move on with my life.  However, the response the counselor gave me was not what I was expecting, "I think you should try voice lessons."

"Voice lessons?  Me?  I'm not a singer!" I thought.  He reassured me the voice teacher he knew would help me with my breath and speaking voice so I could feel confident speaking in my classes.

So, I took his advice and the next week arranged a series of lessons with Caroline, my voice teacher.  I remember so much emotion and fear came up at my first lesson.  I broke down in tears as I started to open up because I had so much self-criticism about my voice.

So, for the first month, all I worked on with Caroline was the breath.  She guided me to breathe all the way down into my lower back and fill my body with breath to strengthen my voice.  She guided me to clear out my nasal passages and expand the space inside my body for breath to move more freely.  Those lessons made a world of difference for me and laid a foundation for me to further explore my voice when I later became a yoga teacher.

In summer of 2010, I moved to San Francisco and bought a tiny ukulele.  I had done my lessons and wanted to keep using my voice.  I would shut myself in my room for hours, practicing where no one could hear.  But eventually, the ukulele led to the guitar and more songs, and I couldn't keep it all to myself, so shared a few songs with my housemates.

Then I discovered kirtan.

It was through devotional singing that I learned my voice was a tool to come into a deeper state of meditation.  As I used my breath and sang, more oxygen would fill my body and I felt a state of presence and stillness after each song.  I discovered:

When you focus on the breath and add intention from the heart, the voice becomes an expression of the soul.  {tweet it}

Since then, I've explored singing with guitar, ukulele, and most recently the harmonium.

I asked myself, "How can I share singing in a safe and exploratory way to encourage others to gain confidence using their voice?"  The answer came in a series of yoga classes with the harmonium.

If you are curious about using your voice through devotional song, I invite you to join me September 22 - November 3 for my Yin Yoga & Harmonium Series at The dhyana Center in Sebastopol.

And I would love to hear - What thoughts come up for you when you think about singing and sharing your voice?  Are you ready to break through those old fears?  I'd love to hear in the comments below.

With love, Meredith

 

 

Sync with the moon

 
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Since last Wednesday I have been sleeping outside in a tent watching as the moon grew full over the horizon.  I drove from my home in Sonoma County, CA up to Mount Shasta and to Oregon for a music festival.  (check out some photos from my travels here).  Sleeping outside on the land, watching the moon brighten to its fullness and start to wane again has made me think about the connection between our bodies and nature. You may notice you feel more social during the full moon and more introverted with the new moon.  The moon pulls the tides and can also sync with the woman's body during her menstrual cycle.  Traditionally, women would menstruate with the new moon and ovulate with the full moon.  The new moon energy of drawing inward would coincide with the woman's time to rest.  The energy of the full moon would energize the woman during ovulation and nature would optimize the conditions for her to find a mate.

Unfortunately, with so much artificial light both inside and outside our homes, many women have lost their connection to the moon.  So today, in honor of last weekend's full moon, I have a few tips for you to harmonize with nature and sync with the cycles of the moon.

4 tips to sync with the moon:

1. Sleep in total darkness during the new moon and allow light to come in through your window during the full moon

The body will attune to the moon the way women did in ancient times sleeping outside with the moonlight.  Make sure there are no digital lights in your room when you sleep and do your best to turn off all technology.  Leave your blinds open during the full moon so the moonlight can seep in.  Your body will begin to naturally sync your menstrual cycle with the cycles of the moon.

2. Rest during your menstrual cycle and save times of rigorous exercise, movement, dancing and socializing during ovulation

The menstrual cycle is a time to focus on intuition and listen to the body's subtle messages.  It is a great time for gentle yoga, journaling, and reflection.  During ovulation, the body will have much more energy to be social and active.  See if you can sync with your body's natural rhythm.  If you are not sure when you ovulate, count 14 days after the first day of your period.  Plus or minus 3 days of this time will most likely be when you ovulate.

3.  Eat foods to support your own moon cycle

Did you know certain foods are beneficial during the woman's menstrual cycle?  The best foods to integrate into your diet at this time are dark leafy greens, like dino kale, beets, and sea vegetables like kelp.  Try adding a few kelp leaves to the mix when you cook brown rice.  These nutrient dense foods will replenish the body during the depleting time of menstruation.

4.  Practice these restorative yoga poses during menstruation to relieve low back aches and menstrual cramps

This sequence of poses was adapted from the Iyengar moon cycle series for women.  The poses support the downward flow of energy during the woman's moon cycle.  I used this sequence just a few weeks ago during my own cycle when I woke up in the night with aches.  After twenty minutes, I felt relief and was able to fall back asleep.

[av_video src='https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cp7tAnOBb14' format='16-9' width='16' height='9']

Have you ever thought about connecting to the moon?  Let me know what you think of these tips in the comments below.  Try out these poses the next time you're on your "moon" and let me know how it goes!

With love, Meredith

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About the Author:

Meredith Rom is a women's leadership coach,  yoga teacher, and group facilitator.  She helps women tap into intuition and manifest their dreams through yoga, writing and retreats.

 

The Cedar House Retreat

 
yoga and meditation-retreat-self care

You are invited to the first Cedar House Retreat in Occidental.

This idea came back in April when three of my girlfriends (Mackenzie, Jasmine, Amy) and I did a self-retreat where we each shared our gifts and teachings with each other.  We thought, "Wow! We should do something like this for our community!"

Just months later Jasmine closed the deal on a new house and moved in this month  - and just like that -  the perfect space appeared to hold it.

I will be teaching a yoga class, Mackenzie will lead us in a sounding song workshop, Jasmine will lead an embodiment meditation and Amy will guide us through a sensory garden tour!

Join us:

Sunday August 3, 10 am - 4 pm 

Bohemian Lane, Occidental, CA (address will be sent to you after registering)

The Vision: 

A retreat for men and women to join together to explore the divine masculine and feminine energies of the self

Nourish, Connect, Sing, Rejoice

Sunday, August 3

10 am - 4 pm

Led By: 

Jasmine Amara, 

Meredith Rom, 

Amy Winzer and 

Mackenzie Myers

Includes:

90 minute yoga class

Sounding song workshop

Embodiment meditation

A sensory garden tour

A homemade organic vegetarian lunch

The Land: 

7 acres of redwood trees, beautiful flower gardens, fruit trees - figs, persimmons, and lemons, a large house made entirely of cedar with a big deck for sun basking.

Will you join us?

$30, Limited to 15 

Register in ADVANCE

We will only accept money at the door if there is space left, so reserve your space now.

We've already had an overwhelming response to this retreat.  The deadline to register is Wednesday July 30.  To Register:Email or call 707-775-1525.   You will be added to the list and sent payment options.

Love,

Meredith

A taste of the retreat in photos:

 

5 yoga poses to cure a headache (plus my first yoga video!)

 
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Have you ever noticed that you can go into a yoga class with some kind of tension, ache or pain, and come out an hour later and the pain is gone?

In the last couple years, yoga and meditation has been an essential tool for me to relieve stress and chronic pain in my body, particularly with headaches.

Somewhere deep in my subconscious, I developed a pattern of tightening my jaw and grinding my teeth during my sleep.  When I clench my teeth at night, I will wake up with a tension headache the next morning.  I have actively sought out solutions to these headaches, and the root cause of the tension, and along the way have acquired a whole list of tools to find relief.  So I made a video of 5 simple yoga poses to share with you...

But first, here are some of my favorite tips to relieve a headache in addition to yoga:

Be with the sensation

I've been working with an idea from Pema Chodron:  if you are willing to be with an unpleasant sensation for more than 90 seconds without judging it, it will go away.  Instead of pushing away the sensation I now give the sensations my attention and allow myself to feel the pain or discomfort fully. 

When I am there for myself for even just a few minutes without judgment, the uncomfortable sensations begin to dissolve with the breath.

From Pema:  Acknowledge the feeling, give it your full, compassionate, even welcoming attention, and even if it's only for a few seconds, drop the story line about the feeling.  This allows you to have a direct experience of it, free of interpretation.  Don't fuel it with concepts or opinions about whether it's good or bad.  Just be present with the sensation.  Where is it located in your body?  Does it remain the same for very long?  Does it shift and change?

Drink more water

So many Americans are chronically dehydrated.  If you drink caffeine or alcohol regularly, your body needs even more water....  So start the day with a 16 oz glass of water before anything else.  Carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and make sure you stay hydrated.

Try this recipe (for migraines)

Migraines occur when we put stress on the liver.  The liver is connected to the health of our eyes - so that's why we may see spots or have poor vision during a migraine.  Luckily I've discovered this recipe as a natural cure when you feel a migraine come on:

- Squeeze 1/2 an organic lemon into a glass then simmer the peel for 10 minutes in 2 cups of pure water.  - Let the boiled lemon peel water cool then add it to the juice and drink.

Ease off caffeine

A caffeine headache arises when you regularly drink caffeine and then stop.  The cure for this kind of headache is to gradually drink a smaller amount of caffeine at the same time each day.

Find support

When something in our life isn't working, we need to remind ourselves it is okay to get support.  I've found so much relief from consistent body work in addition to therapeutic yoga with Mark Lundbeck and most recently have tried hypnotherapy with Karen Prosen in Santa Rosa.  Having someone else on my side has brought profound knowledge into my life and has helped me prevent the pain from arising in the first place.

Here are 5 Simple Yoga Poses for headaches.  Follow along with the video for demos and descriptions!:

Backbend over a blanket roll

Supported Low Bridge (Setu Bandhasana)

Thigh and Shoulder Stretch (Bhekasana)

Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)

Legs Up at the Wall (Viparita Karani)

So the next time you have a headache, before you rush for the Ibuprofen, try one of these tips and follow along with my yoga video.  If you're looking for more personalized support you can learn more about my one-on-one private therapeutic yoga here.

With love, Meredith

[av_video src='http://youtu.be/ZHvvfwhrWpQ' format='16-9' width='16' height='9']

 

How I cured my headaches

 
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Seven years ago I was stressed out, had chronic pain throughout my body, and terrible headaches that started behind my eye that moved down my neck all the way down my arm.  My jaw was tense, I used the computer way too much, and had little to no tools on how to deal with stress.  After visiting many doctors, having an MRI, meeting with physical therapists and sports therapists, I still had no solution better than pain killers.  One doctor even diagnosed my pain as fibromyalgia and wanted to start me on antidepressants.  Sadly, no one ever asked me about my lifestyle, my diet, looked at subtle physical misalignments or the amount of stress in my life.

It was around this time I started going to donation based yoga classes in a packed studio in New York City.  I would struggle through the one hour class waiting for that brief moment in savasana, the final resting pose, when I could experience peace.  The pain in my body would subside, my busy mind would quiet down, and I could have a glimpse of my true nature aspeaceful.

When I became a yoga teacher three years ago, I vowed to help others heal chronic pain in theirbody, the way my teachers had helped me.  Over the years I have cleared misalignments in mybody through yoga and dramatically changed my lifestyle to eliminate the high stress levels I was experiencing.  I attended workshops and trainings on therapeutic yoga with Sianna Sherman, and really came to have a deeper understanding of my body.  I no longer felt helpless, because when pain arose, I knew how to clear it.

When I moved to Sebastopol, I found fellow Anusara trained teacher, Mark Lundbeck.  Mark has experienced similar profound healing in his own body through yoga, and even spent 12 years in Tahoe incorporating yoga principles of therapeutics into physcial therapy offices in Tahoe.

For the last seven months I have been attending Mark's private therapeutic sessions, diving into the world of biomechanical alignment principles and seeing profound empowerment and physical change in his clients.  Through these sessions I have learned so much about my ownbody and have become a better teacher to my students.

I'm proud to be leading my first therapeutics workshop with Mark this Sunday at Alive Yoga.  If you are interested in clearing pain from your own body (from misalignment or injury), want to deepen your understanding and practice of yoga, or are a teacher and want to gain more knowledge for your students, I highly recommend you attend.

Love, Meredith

P.S. You can also watch my video, 5 yoga poses for headaches  

 

10 guideposts to whole hearted living

 
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I've been re-reading Brene Brown's Daring Greatly this month as part of my Women's Yoga Sangha required reading for the group.  As I've practiced yoga this week, I have reminded myself that my yoga mat is the place where I began to let go of all of the below.  It was the place I could let go of what other people think, the need for comparison and certainty, and especially letting go of anxiety of a lifestyle.

It is our choice to live with that which does not serve us.  This year, why not let go of it and focus on what is truly nourishing to you?

Here is Brene's list from the first few pages in Daring Greatly.

1.  Cultivating Authenticity:  Letting Go of What People Think

2.  Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism

3.  Cultivating a Resilient Spirit:  Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness

4.  Cultivating Gratitude and Joy:  Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark

5.  Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith:  Letting Go of the Need for Certainty

6.  Cultivating Creativity:  Letting Go of Comparison

7.  Cultivating Play and Rest:  Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth 

8.  Cultivating Calm and Stillness:  Letting Go of Anxiety as a Lifestyle 

9.  Cultivating Meaningful Work:  Letting Go of Self-Doubt and "Supposed To"

10.  Cultivating Laughter, Song and Dance:  Letting Go of Being Cool and "Always in Control"