200hr YTT Fall 2018

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Quick update on the YTT program I will be part of starting October 13th! Super excited to let you guys know I am teaching the Yin section of this teacher training program hosted by my friend (and awesome Yogi) Steph! If you are looking to strengthen your practice or have been playing around with the idea of becoming a yoga teacher but are not sure where to begin, because for real, finding a YTT can be extremely confusing and overwhelming, this is the program for you! What sets this teacher training apart from the others? You will learn and be certified to teach different styles of yoga such as chair, yin, vinyasa and pre-natal.  By having knowledge in multiple areas, instead of just one, will help set you apart in the vastly growing yoga community. Hope to see you there!

XOXO

CC

Beach Yoga

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Its FINALLY that time of year again and I am beyond excited to share with you that I will be teaching beach yoga again this summer in Lavallette through Breathe Life Sangha Yoga Studio. Classes will take place on the oceanfront at Trenton Ave, 7:30 – 8:30AM. We have a great line up of amazing teachers from the studio set up to teach. Classes are open to all levels and cost $10.00 for a drop in. Children under 13 are free.  (please bring cash)

To sign in online, more information or to view the schedule visit their website: www.BreatheLifeSangha.com

Dates I am teaching:

Friday July 6th 

Thursday July 12th

Saturday July 21st

Thursday July 26th 

Friday August 3rd

Saturday August 18th

Thursday August 23rd

Thursday August 30th

Tips:

  • Make sure your wearing waterproof sunscreen so if you sweat it does not run in your eyes.
  • Bring a large beach towel or sheet as a mat.
  • Don’t forget water for hydration
  • Bug spray incase there are flies
  • Bring your friends!

Hope to see you on your mat at the sea!

XOXO

CC

 

Third Eye Chakra

Third Eye Chakra (Ajna): 

This is an important Chakra since it is the key to learning and wisdom. It allows you to put things in perspective and helps differentiate between reality and fantasy.

Located: Forehead, in-between the eyes.

Means: To perceive.

Organs/Area: Neurological system, brain, pituitary gland, ear, nose, and eyes.

Influence on the Body: Sense of trust, intuition and coordination.

Color: Indigo.

Symbol: Descending triangle within a circle.

If Imbalanced: Discipline, sleep disorders, concept of judgement and reality, confusion, blindness, stroke, seizure, brain tumor, pride, arrogance, learning disabilities, and illusions.

Cures and how to balance: 

  • Wear indigo clothing or jewelry
  • Meditate/touch/carry amethyst stone
  • Light mugwort incense
  • Repeat the affirmation in your head “I trust my intuition” or “I know that all is well in my world” during meditation
  • Eat blackberries, blueberries, grape juice, red wine and poppyseed
  • Diffuse or wear frankincense oil

What I do: I Light a candle, place my amethyst stone on my alter, and put frankincense oil on my wrists. I then set my timer for 12 minutes. I take a comfortable seat on my pillow, sit up nice and tall pressing the shoulder blades down the spine and close my eyes. I take 5 deep breaths and start chanting the affirmation “ I trust my intuition” in my head. There are many different affirmations you can chant but this is my favorite one.

Stay tuned for next week moving on to the Crown Chakra!

XOXO

CC

Throat Chakra

Throat Chakra (Vishuddhi): 

This is an important Chakra since it is responsible for your willpower, communication, decision making and your faith. When the chakra is closed we will feel anxious about how others react to our views. When the chakra is too open one will be too opinionated. When the chakra is healthy you’ll be able to express your truth and will become a good listener, something that can be challenging at times.

Located: In throat, parallel to the thyroid.

Means: Literally means purification.

Organs/Area: Mouth, gums, teeth, trachea, thyroid, vertebrae, neck, throat, oesophagus.

Influence on the Body: Sense of security, independence, self expression, loyalty, communication, planning and organization.

Color: Blue.

Symbol: Circle with descending triangle.

If Imbalanced: Flu, fever, sore throat, swollen glands, thyroid imbalance, laryngitis, scoliosis, gum problems, poor decision making, lies, criticism and addiction.

Cures and how to balance: 

  • Wear blue clothing or jewelry
  • Meditate/touch/carry sapphire, blue agate or turquoise stone
  • Light frankincense incense
  • Sound: Ham
  • Repeat the affirmation in your head “I live an authentic life” during meditation
  • Eat tare and tangy fruits such as lemons, limes, and grapefruit
  • Diffuse or wear eucalyptus oil

What I do: I Light a candle, place my blue agate stone on my alter, and put eucalyptus oil on my wrists. I then set my timer for 12 minutes. I take a comfortable seat on my pillow, sit up nice and tall pressing the shoulder blades down the spine and close my eyes. I take 5 deep breaths and start chanting the affirmation “ I live an authentic life” in my head. There are many different affirmations you can chant but this is my favorite one.

Stay tuned for next week moving on to the Third Eye Chakra!

XOXO

CC

The Heart Chakra

Heart Chakra (Anahata): 

This is an important Chakra since it is responsible not only for the love you have for yourself but for the love you have for others as well. It helps you feel “unstuck” in this world.

Located: Near the center of the chest.

Means: Literally means unstuck. Moves love through life. Storehouse of your energy system and the center for healing and love.

Organs/Area: Lungs, blood, diaphragm, heart, shoulders, arms, legs, breasts and hands .

Influence on the Body: Compassion, forgiveness, passion, devotion, love for self, love for others, and circulatory system.

Color: Green.

Symbol: Crescent moon.

If Imbalanced:  Lung cancer, pneumonia, breast cancer, shoulder problems, confidence problems, envy, fear, hate, despair, and jealousy.

Cures and how to balance: 

  • Wear green clothing or jewelry
  • Meditate/touch/carry emerald or jade stone
  • Light jasmine, rose or lavender incense
  • Yam chant- sound
  • Repeat the affirmation in your head “I am open to love” during meditation
  • Eat broccoli, spinach, parsley, green tea, basil and thyme
  • Diffuse or wear tea tree, eucalyptus, pine or rose oil

What I do: I Light a candle, place my emerald stone on my alter, and put rose oil on my wrists. I then set my timer for 12 minutes. I take a comfortable seat on my pillow, sit up nice and tall pressing the shoulder blades down the spine and close my eyes. I then place my hands in Abhaya Hridaya Mudra. I take 5 deep breaths and start chanting the affirmation “ I am loved, and I am open to love” in my head. There are many different affirmations you can chant but this is my favorite one.

Stay tuned for next week moving on to the Throat Chakra!

XOXO

CC

Solar Plexus Chakra

Solar Plexus Chakra (Manipura): 

This is an important Chakra since it provides pranic energy to the human body. Think of it this way, There is no life on earth without sun; it provides energy to this planet.

Located: Stomach area just above the navel.

Means: City of jewels, it’s the chakra of will power and assertiveness, deals with ego and identity.

Organs/Area: Digestive system, muscles, liver, pancreas, gall bladder, kidney and spleen.

Influence on the Body: Self confidence, growth, self-control, digestion, ego, self love.

Color: Yellow.

Symbol: Descending triangle.

If Imbalanced:  Diabetes, constipation, digestive problems, ulcers, oversensitivity to criticism, self-esteem issues, self image, fear, nervousness, poor memory, anger and shame.

Cures and how to balance: 

  • Wear yellow clothing or jewelry
  • Meditate/touch/carry a sun stone, tiger’s eye or topaz
  • Light cinnamon or ylang ylang incense
  • Repeat the affirmation in your head “I love and accept myself” during meditation
  • Sunflower seeds, milk, yogurt, cheese
  • Diffuse or wear cinnamon or peppermint oil

What I do: I Light a candle, place my topaz stone on my alter, and put peppermint oil on my forehead and temples. I then set my timer for 12 minutes. I take a comfortable seat on my pillow, sit up nice and tall pressing the shoulder blades down the spine and close my eyes. I then place my hands in Mantangi Mudra.  Place the hands in front of the stomach area, and raise both middle fingers to touch. Women cross the left thumb on the right thumb, and vice versa for men. I take 5 deep breaths and start chanting the affirmation “I love and accept myself” in my head. There are many different affirmations you can chant but this is my favorite one.

Stay tuned for next week moving on to my favorite Chakra, the Heart Chakra!

XOXO

CC

 

Sacral Chakra

Sacral Chakra (Svadisthana): 

This is an important Chakra since it is the storage of karma, and is all about change and how you deal with it. Relationships, creativity, finances, personal power and sexuality are effected. Remember passion is fuel to creativity, so if your feeling stuck in your personal or work life, coming up with new ideas, and being motivated you may want to pay attention to this Chakra.

Located: In sacrum, below navel and in your lower abdomen.

Means: Sweetness. Emotional identity, directed towards self gratification, pleasure, sexuality, procreation.

Organs/Area: Sex organs, liver, stomach, kidney, gallbladder, spleen, middle of spine, womb, and bladder.

Influence on the Body: Joyfulness, enthusiasm, reproduction, creativity, kidney problems, stiff lower back, menstruation.

Color: Orange.

Symbol: Up-turned crescent.

If Imbalanced:  Anger, greed, guilt, control, power, pelvic pain, urinary problems, libido issues and impotence.

Cures and how to balance: 

  • Wear orange clothing or jewelry
  • Meditate/touch/carry a golden topaz stone
  • Light sandalwood, vanilla or almond incense
  • Listen to sounds of nature
  • Repeat the affirmation in your head “I respect my needs and the needs of others” during meditation
  • Eat oranges, mangos, passion fruit, carrots and cinnamon
  • Diffuse or wear sandalwood, rose, clove,orange or patchouli oil

What I do: I Light a candle, place my golden topaz stone on my alter, and put orange or clove oil on my wrists. I then set my timer for 12 minutes. I take a comfortable seat on my pillow, sit up nice and tall pressing the shoulder blades down the spine and close my eyes. I then place my hands in Dhyana Mudra, hands resting on your lap, palms facing upwards, on top of one another. I take 5 deep breaths and start chanting the affirmation “I respect my needs, and the needs of others” in my head. There are many different affirmations you can chant but this is my favorite one.

Stay tuned for next week moving on to the Solar Plexus Chakra!

XOXO

CC

 

Balance with Me: Root Chakra

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I am a firm believer in the chakra system and how it works.  The short version- Chakras are spinning wheels of energy in our bodies which are all linked together. When one of these main chakras goes out of balance; is underworked or overworked, it has a physical, emotional and mental impact on your body.

I meditate on chakras all the time especially the Heart Chakra during my yoga practice. It is super important to be in tune with your body and clean up shop once in a while as well. Once a year I usually cleans all seven of my chakras making sure all are balanced starting from the ground up focusing on the Root Chakra first. I meditate on that specific chakra for a week, then move on to the next.

I thought it would be postive to share with you guys how I do my cleanse and hopefully inspire someone out there to do something so small to improve their spiritual life significantly. Below are a few tips that I use and some information regarding the Chakra. Feel free to reach out to me! I would love love love feedback on your amazing journey whether your new to this or do this all the time.

Tips: This involves meditation so I suggest setting up your “shop” in a peaceful, no interruption zone spot in your home.

  1. Have a comfortable pillow to sit on while meditating. You do not need to spend $70.00 on a “Meditation Pillow”.  A throw pillow from your bed will be just fine or you can stop in my favorite store HomeGoods and pick a cute decorative pillow for like $10 dollars. Make sure its wide enough to sit on.
  2. Have you alter or whatever you want to use set up already. When it is in your face ready to roll with zero clean up or set up we are most likely going to follow through with our meditation schedule. I like to call it “A Date with Oneself”.
  3. You do not need oils and crystals to balance your chakras, use what you have, use what you want that makes you comfortable. Your alter is YOUR home, YOUR spiritual space. You can have 1 thing or 80 things on it. The more you have on it does not make you any more spiritually inclined then next.
  4. Make sure your timer has a peaceful sound when it goes off. While your deep in your meditation you do not want to be frightened at the end with an alarming sound blurting in your ears. I set mine to a ring of a soft bell or sounds from nature.
  5. Be patient with yourself.  You do not need to sit there for 60 minutes everyday. Do what you can. Maybe somedays are longer than others. Start with 5 minutes and work your way up.

Root Chakra (Muladhara): 

Located: Faces downward towards your feet towards the base of your spine in the reign of your pubic bone.

Means: It is the chakra of survival and grounding, root-support.

Organs/Area: Reproductive organs, spinal cord, immune system, large intestine, legs and feet.

Influence on the Body: Mental stability, sense of security, sensuality, sexuality.

Color: Red.

Symbol: Square.

If Imbalanced:  Varicose veins, lower back pain, depression, low self-esteem, security issues, constipation, knee problems.

Cures and how to balance: 

  • Wear red clothing
  • Meditate/touch/carry a Jasper stone
  • Light lavender incense
  • Listen to sounds of nature, drumming
  • Repeat the affirmation in your head “I am here, I exist” during meditation
  • Eat red foods such as radish, beetroot, onion and red pepper
  • Diffuse or wear Patchouli oil

When the Chakra is closed we may feel fearful, like a victim, blame others, and have low self esteem. When the chakra is healthy we take care of needs, we are self sufficient and have a sense of identity. When the Chakra is too open we may feel excessive with things such as being a workaholic and not letting things go.

What I do: I Light a candle, place my jasper stone on my alter, and put Patchouli Oil on my wrists. I then set my timer for 12 minutes. I take a comfortable seat on my pillow, sit up nice and tall pressing the shoulder blades down the spine and close my eyes. I then place my hands in Muladhara Mudra. I take 5 deep breaths and start chanting the affirmation “I am here, I exist” in my head. Before you know it your buzzer is going off. There are many different affirmations you can chant but this is my favorite one.  See? Super simple.

Stay tuned for next week moving on to the Sacral Chakra!

 

XOXO

CC

 

 

Drop and give me YIN! Yoga that is…

Hello my loves and Happy New Year! Since the holiday season, I have been majorly MIA, and took a much needed break from being social on social media. This allowed me to unplug, unwind, and enjoy little moments with my loved ones. BUT I am happy to say I am back, with good news! I am happy to announce, that after a brief brake from teaching yoga, I have secured a spot to teach my relaxing yin class at a fabulous space called Lala Land, … a mindful place to find your happy place! The owner and space are beyond amazing. They offer yoga for both adults and kids. Check out their website for their schedule!

For those of you who are wondering what the heck “Yin Yoga” is and if it is for you… YES! YIN YOGA IS FOR EVERYONE AND EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT. The main focus of Yin Yoga is too strengthen and stretch the connective tissue while we work on the meridian channels in the body, which help promote healthy organ function. You will learn to be kind to yourself by recharging mentally, spirituality and physically. Below are just a few benefits from the practice:

  • Regulates energy in the body
  • Lowers stress levels
  • Increases mobility
  • Protects our joints from wear and tear on our bodies and as we age
  • Provides a better yang practice such as vinyasa flow ,kickboxing, running etc
  • Teaches us how to meditate and quiet the mind

Two of my biggest benefits I have found in my personal yin practice have been mobility and patience.  I tell this story all the time to my new students. When I was younger I was kicked off the gymnastics team. I just was not flexible like the other kids and couldn’t do a split for the life of me. Fast forward 23 years later and thanks to my flexibility I obtained through my yin practice, I can now say I can do a split without feeling like my leg is going to rip off. I wake up with a pep in my step. I can sit up straight for long periods of time in a seat. I am less stiff. I crave Yin, I need Yin. If life gets in the way and I don’t get to practice, I pay for it in the end and usually feel achey.

Secondly, this practice teaches us patience. You will get to know yourself inside and out. One day we may be able to hold butterfly and another day we may find that we can not get as deep in the pose. Accept it and accept what your body needs. Be patient with yourself. It’s not about how far down we can get in a pose. Its not about “How good one is”.  Never start at your max. Work at slowly achieving results. In the world we live in today, there is a quick fix to everything. There is a pill to loose weight, a dry cleaners who will wash, dry, fold, and deliver it to you all in the same day. Want to have a home cooked meal but not prepare for it? There is a service for that. Living in such a fast paced world we can forget that sometimes things take time. Yin gives you the opportunity to slow down and listen to what your body needs. If we are not 100% how are we suppose to take care of others and give them 100%?

Yin is not just a physical sensation. While holding these poses one might experience strong emotions.  Yin is a form of meditation and quiting the mind which is one of the hardest things ever…hence why it is important to practice. It can bring up and out some heavy stuff but it helps us work through our emotions.

So with this said, What to expect in my class and what exactly do you do? You will hold poses for 3-5 minutes. Don’t fret, your not holding a physically exhausting pose. You will step into a semi dark, inviting, room to practice in that is a judgement free zone. I will guide you through a simple mini meditation. I will use oils and lotions to massage pressure points aiding in your relaxation. (If you wish not to be touched thats OK too!) I will explain the poses, why and what we are working on. If something does not feel good I will give you an alternative pose. I am here to help you relax and renew. I will hug you if you need a hug and laugh with you if you need a laugh and I will always greet you with a smile.

You do not need to be a size 0, you do not need to be flexible, you do not need to be a hardcore yogi, you do not need to be spiritual or believe in a certain religion, you do not need to show up in a cute expensive yoga outfit with essential oils and carrying crystals. You do not even need to know what a chakra is or how you balance it. What you do need is an open mind to want to do something positive for yourself. I guarantee Yin Yoga will change your life.

Wear comfortable clothing, loose sweats is my favorite thing to practice in. The studio has everything you need for your practice: Mat, props, water etc. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces on the mat! And if your reading this and not in the area I hope you will look up yin classes in your area 🙂

I teach Monday nights 7:15-8:15 PM.

Lala Land: 

681 Franklin Ave, Nutley, NJ

973-320-2091

XOXO

CC

YOGA I missed you.

This fall has been amazing but also has been super busy and somewhat stressful due to a few new changes in the last two months.  I had three amazing trips pretty much back to back- Italy, Cuba and Disney. Talk about a good time, but with that comes packing and un-packing, a slowly draining bank account, stressing about making up missed school work, and pretty much, two weeks worth of colds which made me lazy and lethargic.

With all that is going on I have had very little Yoga time, and have been eating on the go mostly. My body is begging me to follow my normal eating habits! This is probably the first time I have not practiced yoga for three weeks straight in over 4 years so this feels super foreign to my body. I feel like I have aged 40 years.  It hurts to do a forward fold.  I am stiff, notice lower back pain, constipated, irritable, less balanced and feel heavy. Heavy in step, my balance is off, heavy with stress and my upcoming tuition/credit Jesus Christ Christmas is coming bill. My digestive system is NOT happy with me at all. Too much candy and wine… not enough nutrients. The last two weeks I have been crazy with sugar and dairy…two things I have reduced in my diet significantly because it makes me feel better!

I finally started back up with a new job I love that pays well. ( phew ) My days are long again but I don’t mind. Last night I was so tired (and lazy) by the time I got home from work I literally just crawled into bed with a huge glass of wine, one Reese’s Pieces cup, a few “fun sized” twix bars ( I may or may not have stolen from a kids Halloween bucket…who have I become) two kit-kat bars and eight Hershey kisses later, that was my dinner.

When I awoke at 5AM thanks to all the sugar with a headache from the wine, and severe heartburn from both the sugar and the wine I decided I have had enough.  I am done with feeling shitty. I went to my math class, and came straight home to clean my yoga space (my porch) so that my DAILY practice can begin again. I stepped on my mat this afternoon and smiled. Oh Yoga I have missed you and all you do for me mentally and physically. Please make all the aches and pains go away.  I thank you, I am forever grateful for you, and I will never leave you Yoga, I promise, never again! BYE BYE stress! BYE BYE heartburn BYE BYE stiffness! (can’t touch this)

Note: I hope this little minor rant inspired anyone who has fallen off track in their life, whether it be diet, goals, routines, hobbies, relationships etc. I say minor because this is such a little problem to have in the world we live in today. I am grateful for all that I have and know how blessed I am. I have a roof over my head, I have my loved ones, I have my health. I’m not complaining I am simply just showing an example that I think everyone of us faces. It’s ok to self sabotage. You can always start over, you can always start new. By falling off the ban wagon with my diet and yoga routine I realized HOW important it really is to practice every single day, to move and stretch my body, to meditate and quite my mind, to observe what I put in my body, how is it making me feel, and what is it doing for me. Remember there is always a positive in a negative.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

XOXO

CC