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Breath Work

ANNOUNCEMENT!

One more quick announcement this week to alert you to an opportunity.

If you’ve been reading these emails lately, you know I have talked A LOT about guided breath work and all the benefits it has on our mind, body, and spirit. Are you curious about guided breath work and what sort of positive impact it could have on you and your life?

Be curious no more! I have two, six-week series coming up:

Starting May 4th at VT Sun Fitness in Middlebury – weekly guided breath work sessions Tuesday mornings from 7:00 – 8:00 am. $75.00 for members, $90 for non-members. Virtual OR in-person sessions. 

OR

Starting May 9th at Balance Yoga in Richmond – weekly guided breath work sessions on Sunday evenings from 4:00 – 5:15 pm. $75.00. Virtual meetings via zoom. 

In addition to the weekly meetings, you will also receive weekly guided breath work audios and a worksheet to explore the weekly mantra and how it relates to you.

I am VERY excited about this and would LOVE for you to join. Only 15 spots available at Balance Yoga and 15-20 spots available at VT Sun Fitness.

Let’s get you signed up today! Reach out to me, Balance Yoga or Sun Fitness!

Goals, Health and Wellness, Joy, Pursuing your dreams

May Newsletter – Big Life Changes!

Hello all – I  have a few BIG updates for you today. 

First off, I am OFFICIALLY 35-years-old! I turned 35 on April 26th and it was an amazing day. I spent the morning hiking Camel’s Hump! Through the 14-20 MPH winds, 30-degree temperatures, rocks covered in ice and a lot of fear, doubt, uncertainty and self-coaching, I made it to the top. Never in my life have I hiked alone but what better day to do it than on my birthday! I felt empowered, thrilled, and grateful when I made it to the top. Sometimes I want to push through the journey without even recognizing the beauty in it just to get to the destination, but this hike wasn’t about standing on top of that mountain, it was about the grit, determination and self-coaching it took to get me there. Our strength is built in our journey. Needless to say, I am so ready for this next year of my life; every step, every trip, every fall and everything in-between. You’re mine, 35!

Which brings me to my next big announcement: two months ago, I stopped working at Home Health and Hospice to pursue my business FULL TIME. That’s right, I am officially 100% an entrepreneur pursuing this dream of mine. I have kept it pretty “hush hush” because I’ve wanted to avoid any additional perceived pressure and because of the fear of failure. However, I see how this could also limit my capacity for growth. I also see that this dream not becoming what I want it to be, isn’t a failure; a failure is never giving it the attention it deserves. So as I pursue this dream, as I stumble, as I thrive, as I fall – just know that although you may see me fall, you will always see me get back up. 

My ask for you is this: if you are someone or know of someone that is looking for support as they pursue their health and wellness, will you give them my information? If you know someone wanting support when it comes to movement, nutrition, behavioral health or stress management, I can help them. If you know someone struggling with stress, overwhelm, exhaustion, or anxiety, I can help them. My mission with this dream of mine is: to help guide people on a journey towards healing. We are our own medicine and our own remedy, but sometimes it just takes someone to light the path for us. That’s what I’m here to do. 

I’m pumped for this year. I’m ecstatic with the decisions, expansion and development I’ve experienced lately and there’s SO much more to come. 

Check out my website for a quick refresher on the different services I offer and keep it in mind when someone is expressing dissatisfaction with their current level of health – I’m their gal! 🙂

Breath Work, Health and Wellness, Limiting Beliefs, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Overcoming Self Doubt, Personal Development, Perspective, Self Awareness

Breath work has Changed my Life

Bold statement, but simply the truth.

Breath work has made a significant impact on my life, my health, my healing and my spirituality. Sometimes it feels complex to talk about because it feels so different from what I have experienced in the past or from how I have previously lived my life, but it’s part of my life now. Breath work has allowed me to realize that I have everything I need within me. It’s allowed me to realize that when I’m having a really hard time, a really big feeling or a really down day, I have the power within me to re-center, re-align and settle into my essence. 

Breath work has helped me re-connect with the essence of who I am. I had a very intense vision during one of my sessions: there I was standing in darkness, holding onto a string that was connected to the black and white way of life I have been living, mostly in regard to my job. Through this session, I thought about my life and the journey I have been on. Through this session, I thought about how I’ve been feeling in my current role as a nurse. And by the end of this session, I realized that holding onto this string attached to the black and white way of life just simply didn’t feel right to me. It felt wrong. It felt heavy. It felt nauseating. It felt like I was trudging through concrete. And then I saw the other string. Attached to this string was the gray way of life. But to me, it wasn’t gray – it was so full of life and color. It felt light, it felt warm, it felt exactly like home. It was in this session that I realized, although most of my life I have felt that I need to climb the latter, or have the cookie-cutter way of life or a job that everyone understands, ultimately that’s not who I am. I am not the black and white way of life, I am the gray way of life, where it’s a bit more obscure, a bit more ambiguous, a little bit different from the mainstream, but exactly right for me. 

Breath work has helped me to heal and continues to help me to heal. There is a lot with this concept, but ultimately, I feel we all experience our own level of tragedy, trauma or wounding in our lives. Breath work has allowed me to do the shadow work, to nurture the parts of me that felt neglected, abandoned, hurt, abused or forgotten. Breath work has allowed me to nurture the little girl part of me that still feels that hurt. Breath work has allowed me more compassion, love and grace for who I am today and the traits that I have always deemed as weaknesses. 

Breath work has helped me to realize that I have everything I need inside of me to succeed. We are often taught throughout our lives that in order to be happy, in order to be successful, in order to be loved, or in order to be healthy, we must seek something outside of ourselves. Breath work has shown me that I have everything I need to achieve what I want to achieve in this life. Breath work has helped me to stop directing my attention externally for validation and accolades and instead turn my attention onto myself and seek internal validation, love and acknowledgement. 

Breath work has helped me to manage my stress, overwhelm and anxiety. Breath work has helped me to identify what I need and then to go after it. Breath work has helped me to re-become the version of me that I let go of, suppressed, ignored, have hated and/or abused. Breath work has helped me to recognize my worth and has helped me to stand strong in defending that worth.

Breath work has changed my life. 

Breath Work, Fitness, Health and Wellness

The Positive Impact of Breathwork on your Health

So maybe you’re thinking: “So what? My breath, big deal. I breathe every day, why do I need to sit down for 15 minutes each day to focus on it?” If you are wondering why and how breathwork has the ability to change your life, here are a few ways that it can have a positive impact on you and your health.

  • Skin Health – when we practice breath holds, and hold the breath inside the body, it supplies oxygen to the skin cells. When we increase the oxygen to the skin cells, we increase the blood thrush which improves the appearance of the skin. With breathwork we are also detoxifying the blood which is often the etiology for various skin conditions. We also have the ability to prevent premature aging. 
  • Respiratory Health – when we practice breathwork, we can improve our expiratory power which enhances the airflow by decreasing resistance to the lungs. We improve the strength and endurance of our respiratory muscles. With regular practice, we can produce positive changes in the respiratory pressure and cycle. 
  • Cardiovascular Health – when we practice breathwork, we can reduce our heart rate and blood pressure, we can modify the heart rate by stimulating cells of the body and by increasing oxygen intake. 
  • Boost Immunity – we’re all looking for this these days, am I right?! By practicing breathwork, we can boost our immunity by lowering our natural stress response and by down regulating pro-inflammatory markers. Breathwork also has beneficial effects on cell-mediated and mucosal immunity. 

In addition to above, it can also help with weight loss, insomnia, anxiety, depression, detoxification, focus and concentration. Breathwork can help you become reconnected to your essence and true self and deepen your spiritual practice. 
 
If we can heal ourselves with our breath and optimize our health, why wouldn’t we?

Breath Work, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset

How your body changes when you change your breath

Oftentimes, we don’t think about our breath, it’s such a natural occurrence that even though we breath up to 20,000 times a day, it goes unnoticed. It’s time to shift our awareness from the external, to the internal. It’s time to shift our awareness inward so we can optimize our mental, emotional and physical health. 

The majority of people are embracing their days with short and shallow breathing. When we are constantly breathing with a short and shallow breath pattern, we are not using our full lung capacity; we are not fully exhaling the CO2 in our body. By not fully exhaling the CO2, we accumulate CO2 in our body which makes our blood more acidic, this puts us at a greater risk for disease. 

When we practice breathwork, we have the ability to self-regulate during a stressful and overwhelming situation, we have the ability to cleanse and release tension, emotions, traumas and wounds and we have the ability to live our lives in a place of calm and harmony. 

When we practice strong and dynamic breathing practices, we are breathing more, which is decreasing the CO2 in our body. When we have low levels of CO2 in our body, our pH rises and our blood becomes more alkaline. When our blood is more alkaline, we are stronger in fighting off and preventing any chronic condition or disease. When we practice strong and dynamic breathing patterns, we activate the sympathetic nervous system, which activates, unblocks and resets the mind, energy and emotional system. 

When we practice gentle and soft breathing practices, we are increasing our CO2 levels in the blood, lowering our pH and making our blood more acidic. The high levels of CO2 leads to vasodilation and bronchodilation which induces a state of open breathing and cardiovascular system dilation. Slow and calm breathing techniques will induce a state of deep relaxation combined with high concentration. Slow and gentle breathing practices calm down the nervous system, decrease the heartrate and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. 

What if you could consistently self-regulate when you were in a state of stress and it would only take one minute, would you want to learn the technique and practice it when needed?

You have the ability to heal, it’s simply about your breath. 

Breath Work, Personal Development, Self-Worth

What to Expect with a Breathwork Session

Before I completed a breathwork session, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I have tried meditation in the past, and it just wasn’t for me. Let’s just say I have a monkey mind, and during a five-minute meditation session, I thought more about my day and to-do list than actually meditating. So, when I discovered breathwork, I expected something similar… boy, was I wrong.
 
Here is what you can expect when you do a breathwork session:

  • Movement of energy: anxiety, stress, depression, and overwhelm are all types of energy in the body. With breathwork, through strong and deep breathing, you have the ability to activate, reset and unblock the mind, energy and emotional systems. With this, you have the ability to bring the anxiety from your head and shift it into energy in your body. You have the ability to not only activate the energy that is inside of you, but realize the power you have within you.
  • Emotional release: with the use of your breath, you have the power to heal from trauma, childhood wounds, limiting beliefs and anxiety/depression. With the use of your breath you can unlock, cleanse, energize and harmonize the body, mind and emotional systems. Emotions coming to the surface, whether that be sadness, anger, happiness or peace, are emotions being released and are all part of the process of resetting the emotional system. 
  • Sensations: that’s right, expect to feel tingly sensations. I will go more into this next week when I talk about the physical changes that are going on within your body during a breathwork session, but just know that if you feel tingling in your hands, legs, chest, stomach, lips etc., this is normal. Some also experience tetany: cramping of the hands, which is also normal due to the physiological changes going on in the body. You may also feel cold or hot, so make sure you have a blanket nearby, if needed. 
  • Meditative state: I have never been one to be able to go into a meditative state until breathwork. While in a meditative state you have the ability to activate your third eye, harmonize, calm and balance the subtle layers of your being, as well as rediscover your true self.

Breathwork has been an impactful, spiritual and life-changing modality for me. I know that if you give it a chance, it can be this and so much more for you. If you ever have any questions or want to reach out to me, please click below on the email tab – I’d love to hear from you!

Breath Work, Health and Wellness, Limiting Beliefs, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Overcoming Self Doubt, Personal Development, Perspective, Self Awareness, Self Care, Self-Love, Self-Worth

April Monthly Newsletter – Your Breath can Heal

Did you know that you have the power to heal yourself? Yes, you! You have the power within you to heal yourself from stress, anxiety, overwhelm and ailments. 
 
For so long we’ve been shown and told that in order to heal, we must take medication or we must seek something outside of ourselves; when in reality, we have everything we need within us. It comes down to something so simple, so natural and so essential to our existence: our breath.
 
Take a minute, sit back and recognize how you are currently breathing. Are you breathing into your belly or your chest? Is your breath long and slow? Or short and fast? Are you holding your breath? Is it irregular? Do you breathe in through your nose or your mouth? 
 
Anxiety, stress, or overwhelm is simply energy in our body. If we can learn to regulate our breath, we can learn to regulate and shift from our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) to our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest). 
 
When our bodies are in a constant state of stress our blood is typically acidic due to the increase in CO2 in our body. The increase in the CO2 in our body is due to our poor breathing habits. When our blood is acidic, it is an optimal environment for disease. 
 
Over the next month, I will be writing all about breath work: how it has made a massive impact on my life, overcoming my limiting beliefs and healing my childhood wounds. How it can optimize your health in regard to your immunity, respiratory and cardiovascular health, as well as mental health. How it can have an impact on how you pursue your days; one breath at a time.
 
That’s right, I am a certified breath work instructor and it’s time to show you the positive impact your breath can have on YOU.
 
It’s time to start healing ourselves, from the inside out? You in? Let’s go!

Fitness, Goals, Health and Wellness, Marathon Training, Mindset, Pandemic 2020, Running

Marathon Training Through a Pandemic

Honestly, I feel like this whole pandemic has actually been similar to marathon training. It’s been hard and rewarding with a lot of shifts and adaptations to achieve what I want to achieve. 

As I was thinking about sharing my marathon training experience, I wanted to write about it so it was relatable. Not everyone is actually training for a 26.2 mile race right now, but my assumption is that we are all up against some sort of challenge or our own race right now. So as you read this, consider your own race you’re up against. 

By the time you read this, I’ll be eleven weeks into training. Over these eleven weeks, it’s been a consistent push-pull of going for it and wanting to sit down.

There’s been self resistance and push-back. It shows up mostly in the morning during a mid-week long run or just before my long run on the weekend. The resistance shows up as bartering, self-loathing, what if’s, and slight irritation. The questions come up as: “what if I didn’t run today and did it tomorrow instead?” “Why do I keep putting myself through this?” “The marathon date is already pushed, it’s not really necessary that I run 18 miles today.” The excuses, what if’s and self-induced peer pressure come flying at me to knock me off course. However, what I will say is this: no matter how tempting it is to shift my run or not do it, once I get running, I’m fine, in fact most of the time, I’m great. I have also found that once I’m done the distance, I’m grateful I did it and feel so empowered. 

I was talking to a client recently about this idea of being half-way up a mountain. Picture you’re half-way up a mountain and feel completely depleted; mentally, emotionally and physically. At this half-way point, you’re at a crossroads. You can keep going, or you can turn around and go back. How would you feel in each scenario? That’s how I picture these training runs; if I didn’t do it, I would feel like garbage and the irritation and frustration would probably be exemplified. However, if I did it, the elation, pride and empowerment would carry me through my day and completely lift my mood. 

Whatever race you’re facing right now, whatever challenge is in front of you, take a minute and envision how it will feel when you overcome it or envision how it would feel if you quit pursuing it. Which scenario feels better to you? Whatever scenario feels better to you, do it. 

And maybe “quit” is a strong word, because honestly, sometimes the things we pursue are not actually in alignment with our essence. When you find yourself at a crossroad of todo or not to do, take a minute to tune in to your intuition and listen to your higher self. Figure out what is true for you, determine if it’s a yes or a no and go with that. Ultimately, what I have found is if I stay in alignment with my truth, then there’s no room for regret, guilt or shame. 

What sort of race are you facing right now?

Health and Wellness, Kelly LeVeque, Nutrition, Recipe

Greek Chicken Salad

This recipe is from, Body Love Every Day, by Kelly LeVeque. Reminds me of our trip to Greece… ENJOY! (Serves 2)

Dressing:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Salad:

2 chicken breasts, cooked and sliced
2 romaine hearts, rinsed and chopped
4 small Persian cucumbers or 1/2 English cucumber, diced
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, 
1 avocado, thinly sliced

In a large bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together. Add the salad ingredients and toss to coat. Cheese/Feta optional!

First Responders, Health and Wellness, Mental Health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Personal Development, Self-Care, Self-Worth

A Big Day for Me!

In January, I was asked to speak on Code 321’s podcast, a podcast directed towards first responders. During the podcast, Nick Carson and I took a deep dive into negative emotions, the bad habits that often accompany the negative emotions and how they can have a massive impact on not only our life, but of the lives of the individual’s we love. Take a listen for some quick tips on how to recognize your unhealthy habits, identify the trigger attached to the unhealthy habits and how to shift them.