Journal

The Laughing Yogi Fall Schedule

Come breathe, and I’ll lead you to your own divinity….

Mondays 

10:30am, ALL LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @Fitness Edge, Milford

6:30pm,LEVEL 2/3 VINYASA FLOW @Bend Yoga, Milford(starting Nov. 5th)

7:45pm PRIVATE CLIENTS- contact for more info

Tuesdays 

6pm ALL-LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @Crunch Stratford

7:15pm ALL-LEVEL VINYASA FLOW@Taylor-Made Fitness , Shelton

Wednesdays

8:30am PRIVATE YOGA-contact for more info

 11:30am CORPORATE CLASS

7:00pm PRIVATE GUIDED MEDITATION-contact for more info

Thursdays

9:30am SENIOR YOGA @ Taylor-Made Fitness

4:00pm PRIVATE GUIDED MEDITATION- contact for more info

6:30pm PUBLIC GUIDED MEDITATION GROUP- contact for more info

Fridays 

10:45am ALL LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @Edge Fitness, Fairfield

12:00pm PRIVATE MEDITATION- contact for more info

4:30pm ALL LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @ Edge Fitness, Trumbull(on hiatus, Starting up again Jan. 25th 2020)

6pm ALL LEVEL VINYASA FLOW@Edge Fitness, Milford

Saturdays 

9AM ALL LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @ Womens’ Wellness, LLC, Milford,

PRIVATE CLIENTS- contact for more info

Sundays

8:30a am PRIVATE CLIENTS –contact for more info

10:30am ALL LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @Edge Fitness, Derby

Coming Soon! Five new meditation and yoga classes at Exhale Studio in Shelton starting November!

For Private sessions Email Michelle at Thelaughingyogict@gmail.com .

 

The Mirror of Yoga

Arriving on your mat can mean so many things to a yogi. First, there’s the promise of flexibility and stress-reduction. Then there’s the anticipation of the actual feeling of “yoking” or union. And finally, there’s the exfoliant-like effect it has on our soul, resulting in a feeling of freshness and renewal.

What don’t we expect from our daily practice?

Triggers, deep-tissue memories, sadness, anxiety and all dirty, dusty things that tend to come up from the  recesses of the soul when engaged in a deeply spiritual endeavor. And yet, it doesn’t get talked about so much.

Oh yes, we hear about how” Yoga and meditation can change your life! “; but those are just taglines, albeit, entirely true. Although both practices are a wonderful elixir to the challenges of life, the reality is that these mindful practices also creep into the dark and shameful crevices of your soul,  shine a flood light on them, so that you can really get uncomfortably intimate with them. Yoga and meditation bring up so many repressed feelings, memories and triggers that when practiced on a committed level, the practitioner is often left feeling emotionally side-swiped. However, this is just when things start to get good. It is only through braving your way through the challenges(asana,pratyahara, yamas, niyamas, etc) of yoga, while simultaneously remaining vulnerable, that we become true yogis.

I became a very “unexpected” person through the two, now pillars, in my life. Both yoga and meditation have given me pain and joy equally, but mostly, insight and growth. The latter pair of attributes, of which, are paramount to our soul’s evolution, and eventual path to samadhi.

C.S Lewis said, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscious, but shouts in our pain.”
Pain is a traveling professor, making house calls to those of who are in need of lessons the most..
Answer your doorbell.
Namaste and Ahimsa, dear Yogis..

Rage and Meditation

When most people think of mediation, they envision a lithe, bearded man in a turban sitting in cross-legged position, with his hands in a funny position. Generally regarded as “hippie dippie” or only for those formally inducted into spirituality, the practice of mediation has taken on a soft and flighty role in the western world.

Little do people know that it’s pretty hardcore.

It’s not all breath and bliss…Things, very ugly things, come up in meditation; rage, anxiety, pain, fear. Meditation is a practice that ultimately calms the mind and body while bringing with it, inner peace. It is equally a catalyst for change, serving as a tool shed for working out issues. And although you are guided in an effort to clear the mind of thought, this is the exact moment that the feels come out to play; good and bad; ya know, like getting sideswiped on a Wednesday afternoon..

Then we come back to the breath; the anchor to nothingness.

Just when we think we’ve got a handle on it.. BOOM! WTF?? Why am I crying uncontrollably? Left-field feelings emerge from deep within. Then we judge ourselves for thinking, feeling, analyzing. We judge our judgement. But then you remember to recognize the pain. Bear witness to it, accept that it is part of the entire human experience. And eventually, you fall in love with your scars.

Then we come back to the breath; the anchor to nothingness.

And we’re ok again, and even a little freer.

This will happen countless times in my meditation practice. But that’s precisely why it’s a practice. You don’t give up on other things in life because they’re hard; you keep trying because it makes you stronger and deeper.Eventually, you get to know yourself, and more importantly, love and accept yourself..aka. inner peace. When you have inner peace, the rest of the world is your peace. You fall in love everything…

Not bad for sitting funny for an hour…

 

The Laughing Yogi Weekly Schedule

The FUN is always flowing with The Laughing Yogi…. COME PLAY!

-Mondays 

10:45am, ALL LEVEL VINYASA @Fitness Edge, Milford

6:30pm,LEVEL 2/3 VINYASA FLOW @Bend Yoga, Milford(starting Nov. 5th)

7:45pm PRIVATE CLIENTS- appt only

Tuesdays 

5:30pm ALL-LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @Crunch Stratford

7:15pm ALL-LEVEL VINYASA FLOW@Taylor-Made Fitness , Shelton

Wednesdays

8:30am ALL-LEVEL VINYASA FLOW @Edge Fitness, Milford

11:30am CORPORATE CLASS

7:00pm PRIVATE GUIDED MEDITATION-contact for more info

Thursdays

9:30am SENIOR YOGA @ Taylor-Made Fitness

4:00pm PRIVATE GUIDED MEDITATION-contact for more info

7pm PRIVATE CLIENTS-contact for more info

Fridays 

12:15pm CORPORATE CLASS

4:30pm ALL LEVEL YOGA @ Edge Fitness, Trumbull( Starting Jan. 25th)

6pm ALL LEVEL YOGA @Edge Fitness, Milford

Saturdays 

9am  ALL LEVEL YOGA @360 State St, New Haven

Sundays

10:30am ALL LEVEL VINYASA @Edge Fitness, Derby

Private Clients- Email: Thelaughingyogict@gmail.com for scheduling.

 

Contact Michelle for private sessions in Yoga, Guided Meditation and Spiritual Counseling.

— Where to find me

You gotta love yourself, or it ALL falls apart…

Being involved in wellness world on many levels over the years ( bodybuilding, power lifting, racing, cycling,vegan chef, YOGA), has given me a front row seat to the body dysmorphic tendencies of the fit, specifically women. In my experience,  it’s been the fanatics of health that have been the most self-critical and loathing. From becoming visibly anxious at the thought of the gym reducing its hours for holidays, to having a “power yoga” teacher be replaced by a gentler instructor,  Ive seen some people lose their s*#t!  And this is only the active part of health. When it comes to relationships with food, I’ve seen women completely unravel, as if eating was the weapon of choice to combat self-hate and more disturbingly, used to compete with other women by shaming them.

Tragic.

This collection of  reactions stems from not being in control over one’s self-worth. And as Herculean a task it seems to become at complete peace with ones self, it’s even more challenging to live with a life of self-judgement and fear. When you put value on something that can be taken away from you, you will never be happy. When your self-worth is dependent on things that are physical and temporary, you won’t find true love, because you won’t love yourself…

So maybe instead of five more minutes of cardio, take those five minutes and reflect on what you love about yourself, instead of what you need to change. You’re NOT broken, so you don’t need fixing.

Be Grateful.

Be Kind.

Be Compassionate, to others, but mostly, to yourself.

 

Namaste and Ahimsa

 

 

Embracing the Darkness…

Heading into the “light” is such a common go-to behavior in our culture. We utilize it in a effort to avoid pain and to stop spreading negativity. This action is seen even more so in the spiritual community. How many times we are told to “think positively” and to “watch your thoughts”, as if that’s a safeguard against suffering? With the popularity of the teachings of the “Law of Attraction”, we are  encouraged even more to avoid negativity, because that behavior will bring about “more of what you don’t want”.  And although I agree that dwelling upon challenging situations,by letting your monkey mind go down the rabbit hole is counterproductive and can intensify your suffering,you first need to recognize that you have pain. Its like when a toddler throws a tantrum; you acknowledge him, but you don’t yell at him for crying.  It’s the same thing with pain.Once you acknowledge your pain, you let it rest.

You give it space and compassion. Bless it. It will leave when it’s good and ready…

We are under the delusion that pain is a hot potato, and something to quickly get rid of.  Quite the contrary: pain is a traveling professor, here to teach us  how deeply we can go. The depths of our humanity lie in suffering. Our value and potential is infinite, and pain and challenge are the only ways we forge a deeper connection to ourselves.

Namaste and Ahimsa my friends!

The sneaky path of Yoga: Robin McPhee- Zen Yoga Barre

Some people are attracted to Yoga in the hopes of cultivating space and peace within. Others come to Yoga to heal a broken childhood heart. And some come to Yoga, frankly, to get a better butt…..no, really.  Well,whatever the motivation is for the great “seek”, there is one lesson to learn here;  all paths to yoga are as different (or as crazy, some say) as the yogis who teach it, and Robin McPhee’s journey is no exception.

In 2014, Robin almost died as a result from a burst appendix. Thankful to be alive, but unable to engage in traditional “no pain/no gain” exercise, someone had suggested she try Bikram Yoga. She was told  Bikram would get all of the toxins out of her body from all the medications and surgeries she had  endured that year, but was not aware of one of the possible side effects; addiction to yoga. She says “I became addicted to yoga as it made me feel better each time I went; I gained a little more strength, not to mention the mental benefits of being centered and not focusing on my poor health I was dealing with”. As we see from her story (and most of our own), the path of yoga in one’s life is unpredictable!

Fast-forward to 2017, Robin is now a 500-RYT as well as the proud owner of the Valley Press Reader’s Poll award-winner (Best Yoga Studio) Zen Yoga Barre in Unionville, CT.  Buyer beware: This is NOT your mama’s yoga studio! Her ambitious menu of options include, Yoga(ALL levels of course!), Barre, Yogalates, meditation, Thai Yoga and therapeutic massage, and Red Light Therapy(visit www.zenyogabarre.com for more info).

Additionally Zen Yoga Barre  also has a beautiful boutique attached to it, filled with gifts and natural products ranging from local artists’ creations, malas, essential oils, local honey, yoga clothes and props, jewelry, Mantra bracelets, soy candles,vegan soaps and so much more.

Contact this busy Yogi for more info about workshops and events at www.zenyogabarre.com

 

Namaste and Ahimsa!