Last Christmas of this Decade…

It’s that time of the year…  Festively decorated houses, gridlock mall parking lots, free 2-day shipping (for us Amazon Prime Members), receiving packages, etc.  In the middle of all the hustle and bustle, it is so easy to forget what Christmas should really be all about.  Holiday To-Do List (1)So, using the “Holiday To-Do List” that I saw on-line (I recreated the photo on the left), I decided to personalize each point:

1.  Buy Presents Be Present

My love language is Receiving GiftsThis doesn’t mean that you can buy my friendship.  It just means a lot to me when a family member or a friend gets me something (it could be a box of Altoids) because it reminded them of me.  It shows that they were thinking about me.  But because receiving gifts is my love language, I tend to default to giving gifts to show my appreciation and love (that’s probably one of the reasons why I do a monthly giveaway to my newsletter subscribers who have purchased a copy of my book).  I want to work on being more present in these last few days we have left in 2019.

2.  Wrap Gifts  Wrap Someone in a Hug

This one sounded a little cheesy to me at first, but I started thinking about how you just don’t know what kind of day someone is having.  Some time this year, my husband Shawn saw a homeless man near his office as he was walking to his car.  The homeless man asked for help, and Shawn gave him all the cash he had in his wallet (we generally don’t carry cash, so the fact that he had some was unusual); but what impacted the man more than the money was the fact that Shawn spent a few minutes talking to him afterwards, and he gave the man a hug before he got in his car and drove home.  I want to work on making people feel special with a hug the way Shawn made that homeless man feel that day.

3.  Send Gifts Give Love

Because we live on the opposite coast as our extended families, we send a lot of gifts during this time of the year.  But how much love am I giving during this holiday season?  Am I taking the time to make sure I’m loving people the way they feel loved (not everybody’s love language is going to be Receiving Gifts).  I want to make sure I take the time to figure out what my friends and family’s love languages are so that I can give love the way they will feel loved.

4. Shop for Food Donate Food

I must admit, I have not done a great job at donating food.  I mean, I feed all of my daughter’s friends when they come over (it’s amazing how much food teenagers can consume), so sometimes I feel like I’m donating food to them!  But seriously speaking, I know there are people in my community who may need extra help with food during the holidays.  In fact (as I’m writing this), I just remembered a friend who can probably use assistance with food this season.  I will reach out to her today to make sure she and her family have food to enjoy this week.

5.  Make Cookies Make Time for Others

I tend to like being alone.  I like going to bookstores alone, and I even enjoy having a meal at a fancy restaurant alone.  Not that I’m anti-social; I just enjoy “ME TIME” because that’s how I recharge (yes, spoken like a true introvert).  But this holiday season, I’ve been making plans with friends that have been wanting to spend time with me (and vice versa).  As I get older, I desire memories more than material things.

6.  See the Lights Be the Light

This is a big one.  In order to be the light, I need to be shining.  And in order to shine, I need to be intentional about walking in my authenticity.  I find myself wanting to get lazy and hibernate as the weather gets colder and life gets more hectic.  I need to make sure I go back to my Why’s.

 

I hope that this has inspired you to make your own Holiday To-Do List that goes beyond the hustle and bustle of Christmas!

 

With Gratitude,
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Inversion Addiction

Salamba_Sirsasana_-_Supported_HeadstandBefore I completed my 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training, I had so many ideas on what I wanted to achieve through my training. I dreamed of doing perfect Headstands, Shoulder Stands (which I was already doing pretty well), Hand Stands, and whatever else inverted stands you can think of. I was thinking, “I’m gonna be so hard core with all the cool poses I’ll be able to do… and I bet my body’s gonna be pretty ripped!” Two years (and over 600 hours of teaching) later, I laugh at my thought process back then!

Towards the end of my teacher training, I was involved in a bad car accident where I was rear-ended by a pizza delivery boy who was going about 40 mph and texting (or looking down at his phone) at the same time. My SUV was totaled and I was left with a severe case of whiplash. I went through months of chiropractic care and even received a cortisone shot as well as went to a Orthopedic Doctor, but I still have neck pain to this day. I’m sure I didn’t have a perfect curve in my cervical spine (the spine in the neck area) before the accident, but any curve that it had went out the door and I now have two bulging discs in my C5 and C6/C7.

Documenting life in 2010.

Majority of us have lost some (or all) of the natural curve in the cervical spine from sitting behind a desk and staring at our computer screen (our heads start to protrude towards the screen, chronically straightening the curve in the neck) and from texting (most people look down toward their phones to text).

Okay, getting back to Inversions…

Raja_sarvangasanaInversions like Headstands put too much pressure in the already-straightened cervical spine, causing compression in the discs. Shoulder Stands (see picture on the left) straighten out the neck which eventually contributes to loss of curve in the cervical spine. Handstands are probably the safest pose in regards to spinal health, but the shoulder joints and wrists were not made to bear the weight of our bodies (minus the weight of the hands and arms) for an extended period of time. Being that I already have an injured rotator cuff, I try not to overuse it doing full weight-bearing activities.

Although the benefits of inversions are wonderful (improves circulation, energizes, detoxifies, improves immunity), the risks seem to outweigh the benefits, especially when there are other poses that can be done with similar benefits.

Non-Inversion Poses

My ego still misses the head stands and other inversions, but my higher self (and neck) are perfectly happy with skipping those poses in my traditional yoga practice. Now, inversions in aerial yoga is another story!   🙂

Namaste,
Jheni

Me and Kate Hudson

So I bet you’re wondering what my association to Kate Hudson is.

Kate is the co-founder of Fabletics, an active wear company for all shapes and sizes (they even have a men’s line called FL2)… and I represent her company as a Master Trainer.

The Master Trainers (known as “Fabletics Masters”) lead dance/fitness/yoga events that Fabletics sponsors. I get to give away Fabletics Swag at the events that I teach and answer questions and provide information on their VIP Program.

I have been a Fabletics Master for a little over a year now, and I am so proud to represent a company that celebrates all women! (Like I mentioned earlier, they do have a men’s line called FL2, but I’m going to focus on the women thing for now)

As you can see in my pictures on this website, I’m not exactly a size 0 fitness model. I’m a size 4, medium-build and average height (5’4″), and sometimes after eating a really great Indian Buffet, I get bloated and feel like someone should roll me out of the restaurant (it doesn’t happen often, but I do indulge at Indian Buffets once in a while). What I’m trying to say is, I’m not someone that would stand out in the crowd at the grocery store. But whenever I write blogs for Fabletics and send photos to them to publish on their site (like this one), they never retouch my photos to make me look leaner or more in shape.  I love that about Fabletics.

Kate is also very involved in the design process.  She and the design team listen to feedback from customers and us Masters.  In fact, we (Masters) provide feedback every quarter on the products (how they fit, the designs, etc.) to the design team… and our feedback to them is based on what the public (our students, friends, family, co-workers) expresses to us.

 

Here are a few of my Fabletics Outfits:
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I’ve compiled a short list of common questions that I’ve been asked (and my answers to the questions):

  • Q: What is the VIP Program?
    A:  It is like an on-line membership where you get special pricing on the clothing.
  • Q:  Do you have to become a VIP Member to buy from Fabletics?
    A:  No, you can make purchases without being a VIP Member but you will have to pay full-price for the items.
  • Q:  Do you have to buy something every month?
    A:  No, you can skip purchasing for the month by the 5th. You can skip as many months as you like. You will receive more than one e-mail in the beginning of each month to remind you.
  • Q:  I just saw a Fabletics commercial on TV about getting the first outfit for 50%.  How do I take advantage of that?
    A:  Click here to go to the website and sign up as a VIP Member to take advantage of the 50% off on your first outfit!

I recommend getting the Salar Capri or Salar Leggings… They have maximum compression but don’t feel like they’re sucking your insides tight!

Happy Shopping!

Namaste,
Jheni