Love Donation Meditation Course

Here at Changing Leaves, we believe everyone deserves the right to continue their Yoga Practice. The way we see it, the path to self-love, self-discovery, and self-growth is a right. Not a privilege. Our Dream is to see every Yoga Student, Teacher and Individual strengthen their practice, educate themselves and discover the inner-peace and bliss that lies right within themselves. The wealth of happiness and contentment that lies within all of us is accessible with the right tools. Help us make this dream a reality.

Donate whatever you feel you are able and I will gift our very first online meditation course to you. It will give you lifetime access and I will be uploading new meditations weekly! Give what you can afford, from $1 up to $50. The Course is Valued at $55. If you can give more, please do, but whatever you can truly afford is perfect. Know that your Love Donation goes back into our studio- and to you!

About Our Online Meditation Course

People United… Making the World Peaceful…One Breath At a Time…
All you have to do is show up each day with an open mind and a pure heart willing to learn, and a sincere desire to live a clear-minded, healthy, peaceful life. Discover how learning to clear the mind makes way for more abundance in every of your life. This will be a private group full of love and acceptance. Leave your worries and expectations at the door. Here, you will find a safe and warm place to grow and share.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation, as stated by Sankya philosophy, is “the liberation of the mind from all distracting thoughts, emotions, and desires”.
Simply put, Meditation is allowing one’s self to let go of all thought, worry, and distraction by means of bringing their attention to the present moment. This is obtained by finding an anchor which is directly connected to the present- the body. We are able to be directly connected to our body (and therefore connected to the present moment) by means of learning to become connected to the breath.

The Benefits of Meditation:

Decrease stress and anxiety
Helps Ease Depression
Enjoy a peaceful state of mind
Supports a healthy life overall
Strengthens your immune system
Increase motivation
Improve concentration and focus
Alleviates Insomnia, headaches and much more…

Develop a Daily Meditation Practice- Learn to Breathe Easier, Relax the Body, as well as, Quiet & Calm the Mind.

Being so deeply connected to the pursuit of self-truth and discovering who my ‘self’ truly is… I began to realize the real answer to who I am and why I do what I do, think what I think, Feel How I feel….was deeply rooted in the connection my true self-made with my emotions, thoughts, distractions, and desires. When I learned how to separate the two… I began to break free of the hold that my anxiety and my emotions had over me!
 I am giving this course to everyone as my way of giving back to this beautiful practice of Yoga & Meditation. I want everyone to experience the freedom and peace that meditation can provide. Our little studio is working hard to reach every student and provide yoga to everyone.
  • Unlimited LIFETIME ACCESS
  • Gain an Understanding of what Meditation is.
  • Receive a New WEEKLY Guided Meditation Session to help you discover and strengthen your Meditation Practice!
  • Develop a Daily Home Meditation Practice
  • Learn Breath and Body Techniques to Calm The Body Mind and Soul
  • Learn the Ability to Clear the Mind
  • Learn How to Handle and Control Your Thoughts and Distractions and How To Let Go of Them With Meditation

To Get Started:

  • Click on the donation you’d like to make.
  • Login or create a new account if you are new
    • If You Are a New Student- make sure to update your information and sign the waiver so I can contact you.
  • I will send you an email with the course location and password.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your Meditation Practice: Thinking Outside The Box

The true definition of meditation is “the liberation of the mind from all distracting thoughts, emotions, and desires”.  Simply put, Meditation is allowing one’s self to let go of all thought, worry, and distraction by means of bringing their attention to the present moment.

Traditionally taught,  the practice of meditation is obtained by finding an anchor which is directly connected to the present- the body. We are able to be directly connected to our body (and therefore connected to the present moment) by means of learning to become connected to the breath.

What would happen, though, if we broke down the true idea of meditation and begun to think outside the box when it comes to what meditation really is and how we can incorporate a bit of meditation into every moment (or many moments) throughout our day?

Meditation is simply the act of being completely and fully immersed in the present moment. In what ways can we become totally and completely connected to the moment?

Cold Water Meditation

Sit or stand quietly and close your eyes. Take a sip of cold water. Feel the cold glass in your hand… how does it feel? How does the water feel as you take a sip? Notice the cold sensation on your tongue and in your mouth.

As you begin to swallow the water notice the way it feels on the back of your throat. Can you stay with the sensation and feel the cold water going all the way down the throat and into the stomach? At what point does the sensation dissolve? Throughout this experience, you were completely connected and in the present moment!

Shower Meditation

This meditation can begin with the act of turning on your water and running your hand through the water to check its temperature. How does the water feel against your fingertips? How does the water pressure feel as you run your hand over the water? What is the temperature of the water? How does the water feel? Bring your awareness there.

As you enter the shower… bring your total awareness to the moment as the water surrounds you. What sensations do you feel as the water touches your skin? Notice the very space where the crown of the head becomes covered in the water. How does that sensation of going from dry hair to wet hair feel? Notice the way your body sensations change at the temperature of the warm water. Here, you have been submerged into the moment!

Sitting Meditation

As you sit either on your yoga mat or in a chair… notice the space where the earth meets the base of your spine. Feel supported. Notice the way the body responds to being supported by the earth. Notice the way the spine can grow tall and long as the base of the spine presses into the earth.
Place your hands on the mat or on the sides of your chair… feel the way the surface feels against your fingers. Notice the material. Become aware of how the sensations in your body begin to change as you settle deeper into this experience. You have become connected now to the moment and have experienced total connection!

Think outside the box. What other ways throughout your day can you experience meditation by being submerged into the moment?

 

26 Things I’d Tell Myself 10 Years Ago (…and lets be honest… probably yesterday)…If I Could Send Myself A Letter

I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting back and marveling at how much I’ve grown just in the last few years…. I have extreme deep love for the girl I once was… The one who fought with everything she had so that I could be the person I am today… So I decided to write her a letter….

  1. Enjoy the little things.
  2. Don’t lose faith. Loss happens but life is still good.
  3. Listen to your dads silly jokes. He won’t be around forever…
  4. Figure out what you want to do with your life before you rack up probably literally a million dollars student loans….
  5. Surely, we are all charmed by your quick Wittiness… but perhaps you could dial it back a few hundred notches…. not everyone enjoys that much sarcasm…
  6. Don’t hold grudges. They manifest in the body and give you physical aches and pains!
  7. Don’t judge people. You don’t know them or their journey.
  8. Don’t become offended so easily.
  9. Stop taking random college classes that don’t connect to your major…. seriously… you thought it would be cool to try to learn to draw in the middle of your degree!?
  10. You’re not “gross” or “unlovable” you’ll have an amazing fiancé when you turn 30 and it’ll be perfect because you’ve had 10 years to figure yourself out first.
  11. Start doing yoga now
  12. Anxiety is not who you are. It’s just something you’re dealing with.
  13. Flex that Forgiveness muscle and keep it in shape as you get older. Remember… Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself…. It’s not for them.
  14. Be gentle with others. Don’t take their bad day personally. They’re not being “rude to you”, they are just not seeing beyond their struggles right now. We’ve all been there.
  15. Some things just aren’t about you. Acceptance is much easier to digest than bitterness.
  16. In 10 years… you’ll still struggle. Becoming an adult doesn’t magically make you “put together” being human is a lifelong endeavor
  17. Make an effort to be kind to others. But don’t be offended if they don’t reciprocate. Like my Dad always said…. you can’t help miserable people.  Let it go.
  18. Also as my dad used to say… he who angers you owns you. Never allow yourself to belong to anyone but you.
  19. Don’t hold yourself back because you’re afraid of what they’ll think. They don’t care. They’re not thinking of you… and if they are judging you…. than they clearly don’t have. Handle on who owns them…
  20. Your mental health is a thing and you should take care of it.
  21. You actually do use math… you’ll own a business one day… pay attention!
  22. Stop Procrastinating.
  23. Slow down and enjoy life. There is no reason to be in a rush.
  24. Start Learning discipline and structure young.
  25. MOST IMPORTANTLY….
    Don’t change a damn thing! Everything you’ll do from this moment until you turn 30 lead you into the amazing life you have today!
    Make the mistakes. Take the wrong classes. Never stop learning. Never stop exploring. You are not a mess. You’re not a failure. You are just a crazy beautiful girl finding her way to being a crazy beautiful woman. Keep breathing. You matter.
  26. You’ll dream of changing the world one day…. start with yourself.

One extra for the road….

When in doubt….always choose love.

It’s Okay To Cry- Allowing Energy To Move…

Seriously… Crying is a natural part of life. It is totally okay to cry!!

One of my students came to me this week and said “You know… during Yoga Nidra… I just couldn’t stop crying and I tried not to but I couldn’t help it….” This is what I said to her and what I say to all of my students….

Crying, much like all other expressions and releases of energy, is so normal. It is just our bodies way of releasing that energy. Let it flow. Let it go.

Allow yourself to create space for the energy to move through the body. Find acceptance for the feelings you are feeling. Notice them as sensation rather than label them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Allow the sensastions you are experienceing to be acknowladged and accepted without judging them or becoming attached to them. Allow them to move through the body as pure sensation.

If you’ve seen my recent video on “Letting energy flow”(watch it below)…. you’ll remember this quote… “Trying to stop energy from flowing is like trying to stop the whole universe from spinning…. energy moves no matter what.” Energy will continue to move no matter how we handle it.

Naturally what happens when energy moves throughout the body is it circles through the body and then releases upward. We may experience this energy shift as tingles…tenson in the shoulders… tightness in the body… or even tears. It is important to just breathe into these sensations and allow them to flow through the body without trying to stop them or change them. When we stop energy from flowing (by means of tightening… tensing… clenching… resisting….) it gets trapped and it continues to circle within the body and becomes stuck. This is when trapped energy begins to manifest into physical symptoms such as headache, backache….chest tightness… all things we know as stress… let the energy flow through you as you experience it in the present moment. It really is all temporary.

So the next time you find yourself crying or feeling some intense emotions…. allow yourself to breathe into it… accept it… create space for it… and allow it to go. It’s okay to cry…. most importantly…. love yourself deeply through it.

“We must move through it if we want to get passed it…”

…Sending you all the love and light in the world…. xoxo

The Science Behind The Sound of OM

So you’re sitting in your first yoga class at the very end of class… totally blissed out… barely hearing what the yoga teacher is saying and all the sudden… it happens… the entire room begins to chant the sound of ‘OOOOOOOMMMM’.

Pronounced ‘AUM’, the sound of OM has been a traditional part of the Yoga Practice for… well.. as long as yoga has been around… centuries!

It’s not just a crazy hippie Yogi thing we do to signify our yogi weirdness… we promise. The sound of OM is actually scientifically proven to change our brainwaves!

The sound of OM is known as the universal sound that carries vibration- and this vibration resonates with the entire universe. This universal energy touches and connects every fiber of our being together.

Studies have shown that the vibrations associated with the sound of OM have an impact on our brainwaves and actually do change the frequencies of vibration within our bodies.

The sound of OM calms and relaxes the entire being, bringing the vibration within us to a higher frequency. Chanting the sound of OM will ground you and bring your energy into deeper connection with all the energy surrounding you- this means a much more chill and relaxed you! Try it….

“OMMMMMMM…”

To Every Yogi Who Has Known That Yoga Found You When You Needed It Most…

 In Honor of My Yoga Teacher and my Yogi Sisters and Soul Sisters walking this earth alongside me on our Yoga Journey

January 2013…
When I walked into that room… the night I attended my first yoga teacher training class…. having expectation… set opinions about who I was and “where I belonged”…. Soul Tattered… Broken Hearted… Anxiety-Ridden… Depressed… Having buried my father and at that time two brothers I loved very very dearly…. a grieving mother, now widowed…who had her own pieces to pick up while also picking up mine…I had no idea how I would make it… or if I even belonged… but something way down deep in the depths of my heart and soul held my feet to the earth… firmly planted… knowing I just needed to be there…

I often called myself an “emotional gypsy”. I ran from career interest… to career interest… to hobby…. to distraction… and back again… trying so desperately to find that spark that would set me alive again….
I believe most of me knew the universe was telling me to be in Yoga Teacher Training. I hoped with all my heart that it was where I was meant to be… but a small part of me thought, with a heavy heart, that it might just be another thing that I ran to…. and most likely would run from when it wasn’t holding my attention away from my pain anymore…

The joke was on me…because I didn’t realize the truth about yoga. I didn’t realize its true intention. I didn’t know that yoga wasn’t just not falling in Tree Pose and Warrior II. Yoga taught me how to feel… and Yoga taught me how to stay in the moment when the feeling became enough to make me run… Yoga saved my life. Yoga saved my soul.

As we moved through teacher training our Yoga Teacher taught us about acceptance… about love… she gave us a place where we were allowed to cry and feel what we were feeling without needing to explain it. She gave us a place where we were able to ‘simply be’ without explanation. It was liberating and a home for all of us that made us feel whole and able open up and speak our truth…
I learned so much about my sisters in yoga teacher training. I learned about their lives. What made them tick. Their struggles… I saw one thing that…actually beautifully…. made me realize we were all broken in some way. We were all in that studio space… cozy wooden floor… breathing together… moving together… huddled together… picking up each other’s pieces… becoming strong enough to pick up our own…. feeling and existing without need for explanation… it was then that I took a deep breath and felt a space where I’ve honestly never encountered again anywhere else… A place where I was able to be exactly me. Where I didn’t need to fit in any boxes.. where I wasn’t asked to make sense to anyone but myself… Where I got to just be a raw bundle of exploding emotions waiting to be felt and let go of…

It was then when it started to occur to me… and has resonated with me more and more as I move through my journey of Yoga…. Yoga attracts the broken, tattered souls who have realized they have a home within it. Those who have come for the true meaning of Yoga… those who yoga has found who are meant to belong in its space… have been experienced life in such a way that they need to explore and find the space to ‘simply be’ and be a soul within a body. A spirit. An experience not of the mind or of anxiety or of depression or of loss… but simply the core truth of who they are. They become so grateful that yoga has given them the space to be who they are that they begin to open and feel and breathe… and they begin to exist and be who they truly are.

We have all come to this practice of yoga with a story…. with a purpose.. and with a oneness. We are all here for the same reason. To ‘simply be’ who we are.

Walk into any studio… throw your mat down by any yogi… ask them about their story… ask them how they found yoga…. or perhaps… how yoga found them. I guarantee… they will have a beautiful story that will touch your soul and that may even connect to your own.

Four Ways Sugar is Dulling your Vibe and Six Ways You Can Get On The Path to Kick It For Good!

My students know I’m human. I always joke that I’m “Not Your Typical Yoga Teacher”. It’s true. I start my day with coffee…. I’m not afraid to admit that I just “enjoy a really long savasana” on the morning when I’m not awake enough for anything more than Meditation and Mellow Breathing Time…..I fall in tree pose WHITE TEACHING constantly. I laugh through it…. I enjoy desert occasionally…. and I have always been 100% real with my students about who I am.

I chose to write this article today as much for myself as I am writing it for my amazing students. “Kicking the sugar habit” is a huge theme in my life right now. It has been a huge struggle, but I know it will be worth it in the end…..Yoga, help me.

So without further adieu….

Four Ways Sugar is Dulling Our Vibe….

Sugar Causes Inflammation Throughout The Body…

Inflammation leads to Pain and pain obviously slows us down. I discovered this the hard way recently after waking up with soreness throughout my body one morning with no other explanation besides the coveted piece of moms birthday cake the night before (after weeks of no sugar and feeling great). 

Sugar Highs Lead To Energy Lows.

We may feel great after that candy bar or can of soda…. that is because sugar gives our bodies artificial energy… and when that energy runs out our body has nowhere else to go but down… Enter…Dun Dun Dun Dun…. the dreaded crash. When our bodies experience that sugar crash we feel exhausted… we struggle to function and we begin searching for our next source of energy…. yep… you guessed it… more sugar.

The Artificial Energy That The Sugar Is Giving Our Bodies Tricks It Into Thinking It Doesn’t Have To Produce Its Own Energy

When we introduce artificial energy producing products into our body, it actually tends to get a little lax and starts to believe that it has enough energy within the system so it does not produce more. This can actually lead to a lack of energy overall because our bodies begin to depend on the outside source of energy (the sugar) to sustain its levels.

Sugar Leads To More Sugar

It’s true. it is scientifically proven and widely known that consuming sugar causes us to crave more sugar… As hard as it sounds to say no to that sugary snack…. You’ll thank yourself for preventing yourself from having to say no to it over and over again.

Six Ways To Kick The Sugar To The Curb For Good

Be Realistic and Be Gentle With Yourself

As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day… You don’t have to give it all up and vow to never ever ever have another piece of cake ever again. Let’s all just pause and take a moment of silence in honor of our fallen promises on this one. Set yourself up for success. I know for myself, the second I tell myself I can’t have something it is all I want! Take it slow. Maybe give up m&ms today… give up ice cream tomorrow… Pick the one thing that you struggle with the most and try challenging yourself to give it up for 3 days.. and then a week… Baby Steps…

Practice the Art of Letting Go

Come on yogis… Pull out that Ujjayi Pranayama now. Take a moment, set a timer even if you have to and spend that time practicing deep breathing. Allow yourself to practice a very simple, even and uniform breath in through the nose… out through the nose… and just watch the tension in your body fall away.   Each time you find your thoughts getting carried away off into candy land just bring your attention to the breath. Notice the sound of the breath… notice the way the breath feels within the body… maybe even notice the surface below you. How does the chair you’re sitting in support your spine and sitz bones?

Practice Literally Standing Your Ground

Take a moment to stand tall. Feel the earth below your feet. Feel the spine grow long. Feel the heart open as the shoulders drop open as they relieve stress and tension. I always tell my students in Mountain Pose… Know what you stand for… Don’t just stand here… but really know what you stand for. Grow roots. Stand tall… Grow Tall. Take that moment to feel the strength and courage within you. You are strong enough. You are worth it. You can do this.

Drink Something Cozy

Have a hot cozy cup of tea or black coffee. I think, often, when we are looking for sweets to satisfy a craving we are really just looking for pleasure and comfort. I find often that even the feel of a hot mug of black coffee or tea in my hands gives me a wonderful sense of peace and comfort and I am much more able to easily let go of that sugar craving.

Meditate

Meditation is sooo important. Oh My Goodness. Develop a Daily Meditation practice and you will truly watch all of your tension melt away and all of your inner strength return. Meditation is simple. Simply settle into the present moment. We do this by practicing the breath and being aware of what is going on within us. Begin to notice the sensations in the body. Feel the heartbeat. Witness thoughts as they come..be accepting and non-judging…and let them go. Practice non-attachment. Each time a distraction comes to mind breathe deeply and let it go. Come back to the breath each time.

Physical Practice

Do your Asana Practice (the physical postures of yoga), take a walk or even break a nice sweat. Exercise releases endorphins (one of the feel-good triggers in our brains) which makes us happy and reduces cravings. The simple fact is… when we feel well… we eat well.

 

Take lots of deep breaths… Be gentle with yourself… Stay Strong. We’ve got this!

And Remember….when in doubt… Always Choose Love.

Your Yoga Mat is Waiting For you….

 

Your Yoga Mat Is Waiting For You…. All You Have To Do Is Show Up….

This is a lesson I have Learned Over… and Over… and Over…. It’s finally starting to click…

Some days it is harder to get to my mat than other days… Some days I’m tired…. I used to work myself up and somehow tell myself that it’s all or nothing… I have to get on my mat and do my big full Asana (postures) Practice… I used to somehow guilt myself into thinking I “failed” myself if I only do a few Sun Salutations and a longer Savasana…..

The day I showed up on my mat with no other intention but just to sit… and breathe… feel the mat below me… and be present… It was a beautiful thing. I liberated myself that day…. A tiny voice inside me whispered…. “I’m here…. I showed up…” I took a deep breath and I remembered that here…. on my little tiny yoga mat sized slice of heaven… no matter what I was doing… I was home…

That day… it finally clicked for me. Being present in the moment is about breath…. intention… love… and acceptance. That is all I needed.

Some days I get to my Yoga Mat and I practice Standing Postures… Balancing Postures… I Feel BadAss in Warrior II…. and I flip my dog like there’s no tomorrow….

Some days all I have within me is the ability to sit… breathe…feel the mat below me…. and be present….

I now know that on both days… I showed up.