I love the following quote from Gandhi, as I feel it embodies the spirit of yoga.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” –Mahatma Gandhi
It is very difficult in this fast paced world for us to bring a mindfullness to our daily routines – making sure our actions and choices align with our beliefs. I feel that one way to do this, to find this path of happiness, involves opening our hearts and loving more. The practice of yoga is a great tool for this as it opens our hearts, both physically and emotionally. Below I have listed 3 ways to open your heart more:
1) Open our hearts to others by being happy and excited for their successes – Some of the best advice I was given in a yoga class is to look at the students around me and notice something positive about them, or a pose that they are doing well. Be excited for someone else in class when they have a fulfilling practice. Congratulate the yogi who learns a new arm balance or pose after working on it for years. Take the attention away from ourselves, and the need to be competitive or perfect. Once I started doing this in my yoga practice, I found that it became a deeper, more meaningful practice. Opening my heart and loving others, celebrating what makes THEM fabulous, had a profound effect on my practice and how I felt. It is so amazing what can happen in our lives when we open our hearts to others. I have found that opening the heart not only lets people in, but it opens our lives to new experiences, and attracts similar energy.
2) Open our hearts to ourselves by practicing ahimsa – We are better able to open our heart to others if we open our heart to ourselves as well. Being kind to ourselves often gets pushed to the wayside. During your next yoga practice be okay with your limitations. Practice ahimsa, or non-harming. Ahimsa goes beyond the physical, into the emotional. Be nice to yourself. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We are all human. No one is perfect. If we chase perfection, we will not find happiness.
3) Physically open the heart – I always notice when my body feels stiff and rigid, that it creates a rigidity in how I feel emotionally as well. There is something powerful about physically opening our heart center. Try supported fish pose, one of my favorite poses to open the heart:
*roll up a blanket, use a bolster or use a rolled up yoga mat
*bring the edge of the blanket, bolster or rolled up mat towards the sacrum, but not quite touching the sacrum
* lay back
The mat should come between the shoulder blades. As you lay down feel a gentle opening in the shoulders and across the chest. Notice how different you feel on the inside once you physically open the heart.
Maryanna GibbsFind out More >
Tomorrow is our Bring a Friend Yoga class to kick-off the next session of Yoga at Creative Rehab. Come out and enjoy a Vinyasa flow class with Maryanna and then enjoy some healthy treats from the MissFIT Cookbook! See you at 8:30am!
Winter II Yoga Session Schedule
Libertyville Creative Rehab Classes:
1781 Northwind Blvd.
SATURDAY MARCH 1st – BRING A FRIEND TO YOGA – $15/pair!
Join us for a Vinyasa flow yoga class from 8:30am – 9:30am with Maryanna and then enjoy some healthy snacks from the MissFIT Cookbook!
Saturdays 8:30am – 9:30am with Maryanna (vinyasa flow)
Winter II Session: 3/8, 3/15, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26
Mondays 7:15pm – 8:15pm with Bette (gentle therapeutic )
Last class in current session: 3/17
(1/27, 2/17 classes cancelled due to weather)
Winter II Session: 3/24, 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28, 5/5, 5/12
Wednesdays 7:15pm – 8:15pm with Bette (gentle therapeutic)
Last class in current session: 3/5
Winter II Session: 3/12, 3/19, 3/26, 4/2, 4/9, 4/16, 4/23, 4/30
Gurnee Creative Rehab Classes:
222 S. Greenleaf #101
NEW CLASSES ADDED THIS SESSION!
Tuesdays 8:00am – 9:00am with Bette (gentle therapeutic)
Winter II Session: 3/11, 3/18, 3/25, 4/1, 4/8, 4/15, 4/22, 4/29
Thursdays 8:00am – 9:00am with Maryanna (vinyasa flow)
Winter II Session: 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, 4/17, 4/24, 5/1
8 week sessions – Pre-pay $120/session (walk-in $17/class)
Multiple class discount available!
Call or email Shannon at MissFIT 847-340-1111 Shannon@missfitcomplete.com
Or Creative Rehab 847-362-9171 to reserve your spot!
Shannon SwansonBS Phys Ed, cPT American Council on Exercise Find out More >
It’s only happened a few times. That I’ve seen.
When his mom died, his dad, our sweet golden retriever Cookie, and my wedding day.
And I quote his Father of the Bride speech, “I didn’t lose a daughter that day…I gained a bathroom.” But his jokes didn’t fool me. I saw his eyes when we had our dance. For the 3 seconds I could handle looking before my heart was a puddle of mush on the floor. Geeze, Dad, don’t cry. I paid good money for this makeup job. Or, wait. Maybe it was your money.
Then there was this other day.
No tears of grief and loss. No tears that told the story of a little girl and her Daddy. Tears of fear.
There’s a lot I don’t remember. That is typical for me. I don’t remember a ton of details as I do how everyone felt. And maybe what I was wearing. Weird, I know. It was my Senior year in high school. I remember riding to the hospital with my mom in our sky blue Chrysler LeBaron convertible. Top up. I was silent. Though my mind raced to dark places my body lay still. Tears withheld. Also typical for me in intense emotional situations. But she was in hysterics. Also typical for her (thank you menopause), but for quite good reasons.
“He could die!” She kept saying it over and over.
It was true. He could.
He was out for a run when he felt a little sick and then the pressure increasing. He said it felt like someone was sitting right on top of his chest. He was only a block from home, but sat down on a neighbor’s driveway and asked the poor neighbor lady for help. This angel of a woman dropped everything she was doing and immediately drove my dad to the ER.
That’s when my mom got the phone call that my dad was mid heart attack. That’s when we started driving. That’s when I thought my dad was going to die. But I kept those thoughts to myself because my mom was doing enough of that thought processing out loud.
My mom miraculously got us to the hospital safely and someone led us to where he was at. I was wearing my gray hooded track sweatshirt. Never ran track, but my field hockey coach let us raid the old uniform closet and I scored a sweet retro hoodie and a pair of sweatpants perfect for sleepovers, Saturday mornings and “that time of the month.” Frantic from the call and car ride over I was a sweaty mess. But rather than waste a moment tying up my hands with useless efforts of removing sweatshirts I grabbed a hold of my dad’s hand and kept begging God to spare his life.
Then he cried.
Like fear of dying cry. Lose your wife and kids cry. At your lowest moment cry. I’ll do anything if cry.
Then I cried.
Then my mom, well, my mom cried harder.
But, he made it. He didn’t die. For whatever reason, that day he was spared and given a second chance at life.
About 600,ooo Americans each year won’t get that second chance.
So when February rolls around each year and the national campaign raising awareness for heart health is plastered everywhere I take a moment to remember this story. Afterall, it’s this story that heavily influenced my calling to become a personal trainer.
How many of you can relate? Maybe it wasn’t your dad. Perhaps a grandparent or uncle, neighbor or best friend’s mom. We all know someone who’s had a heart attack. 920,000 Americans will suffer a heart attack this year and 920,000 more stories like mine will be written. But it doesn’t have to be. Heart disease is highly preventable. Highly.
What are we doing to care for our hearts? How are we encouraging others to care for theirs?
Today, I share my story with you.
Tomorrow, I’m going for a jog. And calling my dad. While rockin’ my hoodie. If I can find it, watching my wedding DVD with his speech on it because, seriously, best Father of the Bride speech. Ever. So thankful he was there to give it.
Becky NowakCertified personal trainer for the past 10 years. Married 9 years. Working for MissFIT 8 years. Mom for 3 years, Precision Nutrition certified, and a lifetime lover of all things wellness! Find out More >
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Now YOU CAN get that extra push you need to attain that healthy lifestyle you’ve been dreaming about! Work with a Personal Trainer who customizes every workout just for you. Just for YOUR goals! Just for YOUR body! Just for YOUR schedule. No appointments necessary.
When you purchase a one month package you get:
- 30 minute phone consultation/assessment with a MissFIT Personal Trainer
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How much you ask? Only $85 per month.
All the help you need to succeed at your fitness journey is just one easy step away. We will be there to guide you, answer questions, and get you on the path to living a healthy, active and fit lifestyle.
What are you waiting for? Connect with a woman who knows how difficult fitting in your “me time” can be. We are all working wives, moms, care givers, and have figured out a way to take care of our precious bodies. You only get one to live in, make yours the best it can be. Call us at 847-775-0076 or email Peggy: email@example.com
Peggy KreschcPT, American Council on Exercise; MissFIT Complete Program Coordinator Find out More >
- Yoga uses the breath to relax and nourish the body and mind
- Improves strength and flexibility
- Improves balance
- Improves energy levels
- Allows you to reflect and quiet the mind
- Restores range of motion
- Provides stress relief and management
Yoga Classes in our Community
1781 Northwind Blvd – Libertyville
**Wellness Month Participant
Mondays and Wednesdays 7:15pm – 8:15pm (Gentle Restorative Yoga)
Saturdays 8:30am – 9:30am (Vinyasa Flow)
2500 N Northern Ave – Waukegan
**Wellness Month Participant
Tuesdays 3:45pm – 4:45pm
2755 N Delany Rd – Waukegan
**Call to Inquire about special pricing for members and non-members
Tuesdays 7:00pm – 8:00pm (Power Yoga)
Thursdays 7:00pm – 8:00pm (Yoga for Recovery)
Shannon SwansonBS Phys Ed, cPT American Council on Exercise Find out More >
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