Yoga for Healing After Loss

I recently had the privilege of attending the first teacher training EVER to be  a Grief Yoga™ Certified Instructor. This training was held at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health  which is located in Stockbridge, MA in the Berkshire mountains.  The center offers a vast array of trainings that range from personal to professional development.  It was a unique setting to experience my teacher training experience!

So what exactly is this practice all about?  Our trainer Paul Denniston has worked to develop this practice blending the worlds of loss and yoga into one to create a unique way to help individuals move through their experience.  This practice allows emotions to move through the body by utilizing 4 steps that Paul strategically put together to create the practice.  The main focus is the utilization of movement, breath, and sound to help move feelings through the body and make way for healing.  While these concepts are the base it has many branches into various forms of yoga to make it complete.  Some of these include: Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Let Your Yoga Dance, Laughter Yoga, and Restorative Yoga.

Paul was able to provide a unique experience by pulling in other presenters to make the training experience all encompassing.  David Kessler provided information to help gain a better understanding of the grief experience and how to best support individuals through their journey in grief.  Beth Segaloff was available as a support to Paul and other students as they moved through their training experience. Jurian Hughes provided us with an opportunity to experience Let Your Yoga Dance in the training and reminded us of the powerful effects that music and dance have together. The individual participants of the training came from a variety of backgrounds and also provided insight throughout the training.  The presence of each individual provided unique insight into all areas needed to make the training a complete experience for everyone involved.

This training helped me gain insight into where I am in my own personal journey of grief and also helped me develop further in my professional realm.  I was able to witness first hand the powerful effects of what the practice can provide for myself and others.  I am hoping that my knowledge as a mental health professional will only enhance the experience that I can provide through this journey.  I feel very honored to have went through this experience and have gained a whole community of others that can support me in my journey as I begin to share this practice.

Please stay posted for upcoming classes and workshops I plan to offer  in the near future.  I hope that you will help spread the word of this wonderful experience to others.  More information will be posted soon on my website Small Things Often .

Enjoy Your Journey,

Faith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindness

How many of us move through life secluded in our own little world? We are often guilty of not being present in our day to day activities. We take pride in multi-tasking and “getting things done” on our “to do” lists. However, we are rarely taking the time to be mindful of what we are ACTUALLY doing? When we are present, we are able to move through life and find opportunities to help others in small ways.

There are many ways we can do acts of kindness on a regular basis. These acts can be as small as smiling at a stranger to volunteering your time for a cause. However, we must be present to have awareness of these opportunities. This requires us to get out of our own little world to be available to engage with others. How can we know that someone needs help carrying something if we are scrolling on our phone? How can we notice someone is distressed if we don’t have awareness of our surroundings?

I am very mindful of the struggles that people face because of the work I do daily. Through my work, I often encourage people to have self-compassion towards themselves and empathy for others.   I work to not be judgmental and instead evoke a sense of curiosity about what struggles others may be facing. These lessons are really working towards teaching people to be kind or build awareness of kindness in the world. I strive to do this outside of my office as I move through my daily journey. So, I challenged myself to find a way to spread kindness and model this for others.

How can I spread kindness in small ways? The kindness jar became an idea that made my “actions for the week” list last week. I found myself a jar and utilized some free printables from Big Life Journal that focused on affirmations and expressing gratitude. I also left some blank papers available for people to add to the jar. This kindness jar will be travelling with me to my office and other outings that I will be hosting throughout the year. I may also carry a few around with me in my pocket to hand out as needed. Ironically, Satya Yoga is also sponsoring a Karma Yoga Series that incorporates yoga and doing small acts of kindness for the community. I recently attended the first class and was able to further spread some kindness through a similar activity. I encourage you to check out the next class on February 10th @ 12:15.

I hope that this blog has evoked a similar sense of spirt and challenges YOU to find your own small way of spreading kindness to others as you move through your journey.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. -Aesop.
Share with me your acts of kindness in the comments.

Enjoy Your Journey,
Faith

Thoughts on Sauntering…

Most people have an awareness that self-care is important to their overall wellbeing.  However, this is often one of the first things that people neglect when things get “busy” in their lives.  We do not expect other things, such as our car, to keep running efficiently if we do not provide the maintenance that is required.  Why then do we expect our mind and body to keep going without the maintenance that it requires? If you do not make a conscious effort to carve out time for self-care you will often find yourself “broke down.” 

You can provide self-care in many different areas which can include the following areas: physical, psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual realms.  Engaging in self-care is highly personal and each person has their own journey. You must make an active choice to engage in some form of self-care in one or all the areas to maintain a sense of overall wellbeing.  What do you do for self-care on a regular basis?

One of my favorite forms of self-care is sauntering in the woods.  I am working to replace the word “hike” with “sauntering” after reading a passage from Arnold Palmer’s work The Mountain Trail and Its Message. Check out this passage at the following link: Parable Of Sauntering  This passage helped me gain awareness to the fact that I was still “rushing” my time in the woods.  I was often focused on getting x number of miles in for the day or completing this in a set amount of time.  This focus often takes away from the true benefits of being in the woods.  The saying “stop and smell the flowers” comes to mind here.  I am now going to work towards enjoying more of what the woods can offer me. I will focus more on the smells, sounds, and sights that will help me to become more mindful of my surroundings.  My recent time spent on the Appalachian trail has taught me to stop and talk with others along the trail and hear their stories and gain a better understanding of their journey.  If I keep “rushing” through my time on the trail, I will risk missing out on some great opportunities.  I feel that we can all benefit from this concept in our everyday lives.  We often get caught up in the “busy” and forget what really is important.  So as you move through life, I challenge you to stop “hiking” and learn to saunter. 

Join me for a great opportunity to practice self-care by participating in the upcoming event Sauntering In the Woods! More information at the following link: Upcoming Events

Enjoy Your Journey,

Faith