Head Between Our Legs by Michelle Chua
Has this year got you feeling like you have your head caught between your legs? Perhaps that's an understatement. When the wheels of everyday life come to a crash, what's there to do to feel sane? After we've sulked, continue to grieve over what's been lost and maybe even drown ourselves in ice cream or whatever mutes the pain, we're still here now.
I find it interesting that in the eye of the storm sits complete calm, so they say. Our head between our legs may not be comfortable, but it's surely a different perspective. One that can let us see which of our previous ways may have actually been upside down. Or, were preventing our own flexibility for change and growth. Or, were undermining our ability to transcend obstacles and surrender to creativity that flows through all of us--when our minds aren't busy in default mode.
Change can be magnificent, said the caterpillar, as I've witnessed some of you creating your delicious lemonade with this year's lemons. It's a state of mind, as yoga teaches, beyond the physical poses. How can we be the eyes, centered in higher vision, throughout whatever storms arise? Not expecting perfection, but aligning with our pure potentiality, knowing that we're in continuous evolution despite each's unique pace.
These past months have inspired new offerings that enliven me to share with you. But here's the soonest upcoming...To bring conscious closure to this eventful 2020, join me online with a soulful community on three Thursdays, 6-7pm PT in December for a workshop series birthed from last month's virtual retreat, Tools for Clarity. Each session includes 15 min. chakra-focused all-levels yoga postures and breath work, 10 min. guided meditation and 35 min journaling and group/partner conversation. Each session builds on the next:
12/3 Root in Clarity & Alignment
12/10 Empathy Empowers Peace
12/17 Transform Obstacles into Opportunity
We'll dive into practical tools to become aware of our unwanted daily patterns and choose freedom and to strengthen our volition and skillful capacity with wisdom from the Yoga Sutras, mindfulness practices, Nonviolent Communication, activational thought leaders and most importantly, from within. Let's connect in meaningful ways and invite grace as we transition out of 2020.
May you ride the waves with peace in your center.
Find our workshop details and registration at sliding-scale investment here.
Ever feel anxiety about the holidays and the inevitable Thanksgiving feast food coma, cold weather sluggishness and or even slight depression?
For decades, I subscribed to my limiting belief that holiday binge-eating and winter colds and flus were a staple part of the holiday season. I gave into eating all my Halloween candy and welcoming the seasonal viruses with poor diet, guilt-driven sporadic exercise as punishment and being down on myself, all under the excuse that I lacked self-control.
But I grew tired of this hamster wheel and being seasonally sick, and decided to change--one small thing at a time.
A gift of becoming a yoga teacher over ten years ago was feeling inspired to make the kinds of choices I wanted to help others to see they had, because I wanted to lead by example (as I was always taught, being the oldest of 5 siblings). Choice is powerful, and we exercise it constantly through action or nonaction. And by being consistent in these choices, I gained my trust in myself. And by gaining self-trust, I knew I was stronger than my habits. Anyone can create new habits that better serve how they want to feel and be.
Join our community supporting each other in our choice to celebrate health and peace these holidays! I've put together my top 5 Favorite Ways to Stay Fit and Peaceful During the Holidays. Enter your info below to request a copy!
Nature is Medicine by Michelle Chua
Ever feel quarantine fatigue? I don’t know about you but if I’m indoors for too long without sunshine, fresh air and trees, I feel antsy—sometimes even sad or depleted. Regardless of how busy my day may seem, it’s essential that I commit to daily quality time in nature. I feel happier, stronger and more connected to life, Spirit and my true self when I do. Do you feel a difference when you do or don’t spend regular time in nature?
There’s plenty of research about the benefits of nature immersion on your mind, body and spirit. An article on IonLoop explained that negative ions are found in high quantities in dense forestation and can absorb through your skin and lungs. Once absorbed, they may help to lower inflammation, reduce stress and boost serotonin—a feel-good hormone. A June 2019 scientific report concluded that spending at least 120 minutes in nature per week is associated with good health and wellbeing. Japan has a health practice called nature bathing, or shinrin-yoku, in which you fully immerse your senses in nature and among its health benefits is a stronger immune system and uplifted mood.
But I think the best research is hands-on—Do it yourself. Notice how 20-60 minutes a day of being amongst the trees, sunshine and fresh air affect you. I challenge you to try it for a week, and revisit this post to share your findings in the comments below!
Since July, the month he transitioned 17 years ago, to his bEARTHday yesterday, I've felt my dad's presence more strongly--from seeing his name, Milo, boldly painted on rocks I passed while hiking or biking in different places in nature to a physical injury that called me to look deeper into my energetic predisposition (as I believe that physical dis-ease is often a symptom of energetic imbalance). I got to thinking about how alike my dad and I are, despite the walls we built between us during his human being. I've been feeling more and more the strength of the bridges he's been building from the other side, from his greater knowing, as a call to healing patterns.
The pandemic and other recent awakening events may have spurred many of us into profound introspection, questioning lifelong or generational patterns--from spoken and unspoken worldwide traditions to personal triggers and emotional reactions. And how we may blindly perpetuate patterns that continue to harm--from disciplining children by instilling guilt and shame to constantly comparing yourself to others to deem your worthiness. But how empowering it can be to notice, to become aware. To realize that no matter how long "it's always been done this way," we can choose to not become a slave to those patterns. We can choose to forgive and to heal ourselves, those before us and those after us, realizing there's so much interconnection.
Those darn emotions I sometimes condemn myself for having, like anger, resentment, fear and shame, are all tools for healing--because they provide awareness. And with awareness, comes choice. Go back to the norm, just because it's familiar (even if you were suffering) or evolve into the unknown, with trust that you are inherently part of a Greater Knowing.
After all, yoga is ultimately a path to Self-realization, or union with our true nature--the eternal part of ourselves that's beyond generations of imprinting and our habits. It's the limitless Self that transcends the boundaries of fear: pure love.
Thank you, Dad, for the bright light you shine.
Camilo Ngayan Chua 11/16/48 - 7/19/03
Hiking Topanga Overlook, October 2020
A Collective Blog about Yoga Lifestyle & Inspiration
REviews of Root 2 Rise Yoga with Michelle chua:
Michelle truly lives out what she teaches. She is so much more than a yoga teacher - I learned this when I went on her exquisitely curated trip that she organized to Costa Rica this past June 2018...Hopefully like me, you'll be delighted by her effervescent love of movement, nature, and all people!
Michelle clearly stands out with her beautiful and bright energy. I love how her practice and teaching encompass body, mind and spirit. She not only teaches yoga but lives and exudes it.
Michelle not only teaches 'yoga', she embodies it fully with her heart and soul...
Michelle is by far one of the best instructors I've ever had, period. Patient, clear in her explanations and demos, and so encouraging...
My first yoga class was with Michelle years ago. You can have the best (yoga pose) sequence and not teach from your heart. With Michelle, I also feel her passion when I'm in her class. I can see she loves what she does, and she inspired me to want to teach yoga, too.
Check out our upcoming retreats here!
I'm so grateful to have met Michelle! Her kind energy opened up my interest in pursuing yoga and meditation. She is such an incredibly light and soul. She starts with grounding ourselves through mindfulness and breathing exercise. She brings the most authentic energy to the class by sharing the history and understanding behind poses, names, and techniques. I truly appreciate her work and impact on my well-being!
I’ve had dozens of instructors over the years, but Michelle is far and away the best yoga mentor I’ve ever practiced with. She epitomizes grace during these difficult times. Michelle has saved my sanity and my back while working from home, keeping me grounded with her sharing of yogic teachings and meditation techniques. Her repertoire of physical asanas is encyclopedic, and I’ve loved learning new poses and stretching my boundaries. Jump in, all. You’ve got this!
©2010 Root 2 Rise Yoga