Reiki

30 12 2013

The first time I experienced Reiki, I was hooked. I went in knowing nothing. I wanted it that way. An open mind would keep me from expecting to feel something, anything.

Yoga is known to assist in balancing the chakras, so the concept of these energy centers was not new to me. In fact, I design yoga classes to concentrate on a specific chakra or to align all the chakras, when needed. Certain poses, along with the breath, affect specific chakras to keep the energy flowing throughout the body. If one chakra is blocked, it can hinder the flow and may show physically in the body and/or our thoughts and feelings.

I always feel better after practicing yoga. Even when my focus is not on the chakras, the chakras benefit from the practice. After my Reiki experience, I felt there was more I could give to those looking for a way to receive greater relaxation, reduce their stress and balance their chakras.

Peace and gratitude are part of my daily life since I started practicing Reiki. Before Reiki, I strove to feel a closer connection, incorporating yoga, meditation, and prayer into my day. The connection was attainable though more effort was needed and the sense of connection was not as strong.

My journey continues, opening my eyes and my heart to more than I could ever have imagined.

Namaste’





Goals vs. Intentions

23 07 2012

We are almost half way through the year. How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions for 2012? Have you accomplished what you set out to achieve? Are you moving closer to your goals? If you are struggling with what you thought the New Year would bring or gave up on what you hoped would be, maybe you are like me and have confused your intentions with your goals.

It is a good idea to have goals that map out your desires. They require a plan and the discipline to follow through with the plan to make them real. As you proceed and work the plan, you begin to live your life in the future. If you reach your goal will you be happy? What if your efforts do not produce the ideal plan you had in mind? Do you start to doubt yourself? Do your dreams become unattainable? Will that make you unhappy?

Now, let’s look at intentions. When I think of my intentions, it is more about how I am living right now, this moment. Am I the type of person I want to be? Am I acting, speaking, thinking like that person? I want to live every day by the human values I believe to be important. When I focus on my intentions I am motivated to achieve my goals. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I become side-tracked from my plan and react in an undesirable way. This is when I need to refocus and feel my intentions to help create my future, even when it is different than I had originally planned.

It is an ongoing practice for me to live in the moment. But, when I am in touch with my intentions, I am more successful in reaching my goals. My desires and wants are not my focus. These goals are ever changing or may become another goal or may never achieved. It is my intentions that remain and give me peace of mind. I am not giving up on my goals nor am I trying to be perfect. My attempt is to let go of the competition, the judgments, and the expectations attached to those goals. This is my journey.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Put your eating utensil down between every bite.

Body: Act like your inner child. Skip, ride a bike, go to the park.

Soul: Do something kind for someone else, anonymously.

 

I would love to hear from you.  Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





Spring Has Sprung!

4 05 2012

This is my article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on April 29, 2012.

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

Spring has sprung! I mowed the grass for the first time this season. It is early, but I am thoroughly enjoying the weather. Flowers and trees are blooming. Spring is a time of new beginnings. Many of you may be thinking of beginning an exercise plan and considering walking or running. These are great options to increase cardiovascular fitness, lose weight, and reduce other health risks. But, where do you start?

Before you start any workout program, check with your doctor. Then remember to start slow. Exercise should be a part of your lifestyle, not something just to help you reach a certain weight or fit into a piece of clothing.

Find something you like to do. Remember, everyone is at a different stage of fitness, has different goals, and different likes. You will look forward to exercising when you enjoy it and you will be more apt to continue.

There are great beginner programs to coach you to reach a goal of 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons, and full marathons. Google “0-5K”or “0-10K” and you will find programs which help you to gradually and safely reach your goals. There are even inexpensive smart phone apps to talk you through your runs while listening to one of your favorite playlists.

Need inspiration? Find music that makes you want to move, sing, or just makes you feel good. Download the songs to your smart phone or MP3 player and get moving. You can even Google playlist suggestions to walk or run to.

Don’t go it alone. Ask a co-worker or your spouse to join you. I bet your dog could use the walk, too.

Once you make the decision to start, you will feel better mentally and physically. It is a journey. Enjoy the journey. Notice your surroundings: listen to the birds, feel the breeze on your face, and smell the food cooking on the neighbor’s grill. And be grateful for this journey.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Plan the next day’s meals the day before or plan for the entire week.

Body: Walk a little faster and lighter during your normal day. Pull in the abdominal muscles, hips over your feet, land softly, and pick up the pace. Notice how you feel a little more confident and self-assured.

Soul: Greet everyone with a smile.

I would love to hear from you.           Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





My Peaks at Enlightenment

22 04 2012

This is my article printed in the Weekly Record Herald on April 15, 2012.

Hi, my name is Tammy Shellhaas. I am a yoga instructor/personal trainer and I would like you to join me on a journey to challenge your mind, body, and soul. Every other week we will explore a new aspect of a healthy lifestyle. My hope is to offer new information, or a new perspective to what you already know, or reintroduce an idea that may have been forgotten. So, let’s get started…

In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali, a second-century philosopher and yogi, summarizes the guidelines or eight limbs for ashtanga (asha=eight, anga=limb) yoga. The limbs are meant as guidelines on how to live a meaningful life with purpose. The limbs provide  help in relationships, interactions with the world, positive thought and actions, yoga postures, breathing practices, meditation and concentration, and, finally, lead to Samadhi, or enlightment. Wow, I want to practice and achieve all those things, but I really want to jump straight to becoming enlightened and find my True Self. Nice try. There is no short cut to achieving Samadhi. Samadhi cannot be taught or practiced. It is obtained.

So, I will be honest. I have not reached enlightment, but I do see glimpses of my True Self at times. I saw a peak at my True Self with each birth of my two beautiful children. My husband, John, reaches for my hand when taking a walk – another peak. I tear-up when I hear Somewhere Over the Rainbow. (I don’t know why, but I do. I love that song.) Peak. I practiced, practiced, and practiced the Crow yoga pose. (Crow is a balancing pose. Both hands are on the floor, bent knees are positioned on the backs of the upper arms, and toes lift off the floor to balance on the hands.) Then, one day, my body “gracefully” eased into Crow. Peak!

I have reduced the meaning of Samadhi to a very basic level. As you can see, I am in the early stages of my journey. A late bloomer, you might say. The exciting part of this journey is, as I practice all eight limbs of yoga, the glimpses of my True Self are peaking through more often. I am in wonder of how my life has changed since starting this path. Each day brings surprises. I need to share what I learn on this journey with others. I cannot keep it to myself. My hope is that you find a peak at your True Self.

Tammy’s Challenges

Growth does not come from one perspective. To achieve a healthy lifestyle, you must do more than concentrate on exercise alone. Diet changes will enhance your wellbeing, but it alone is not healthy. Let’s not forget the soul or spirit. It needs nurturing as well. So, here are a few mind (diet) – body (exercise) – soul (mental) challenges for you to try.

Mind: Try a new vegetable.

Body: Every stoplight/stop sign, contract your abs and hold, until you start moving again.

Soul: Stop saying, “I wish” and start saying, “I will”.

I would love to hear from you.          Email: Tammy@TammYoga.com

Facebook: TammYoga

Twitter: @TammYoga

Namaste  (The spirit in me respects the spirit in you.)

Tammy





Spring

22 03 2012
Spring has sprung! I mowed the grass for the first time this season. It is early, but I am thoroughly enjoying the weather. Flowers and trees are blooming. Spring is a time of new beginnings. Many of you may be thinking of beginnin an exercise plan and considering walking or running. These are great options to increase cardiovascular fitness, lose weight, and reduce other health risks. But, where do you start?
Before you start any workout program, check with your doctor. Then remember to start slow. Exercise should be a part of your lifestyle, not something just to help you reach a certain weight or fit into a piece of clothing.
Find something you like to do. Remember, everyone is at a different stage of fitness, has different goals, and different likes. You will look forward to exercising when you enjoy it and you will be more apt to continue.
There are great beginner programs to coach you to reach a goal of 5k, 10k, 1/2 marathons, and full marathons. Google “0-5K”or “0-10K” and you will find programs which help you to gradually and safely reach your goals. There are even inexpensive smart phone apps to talk you through your runs while listening to one of your favorite playlists.
Need inspiration? Find music that makes you want to move, sing, or just makes you feel good. Download the songs to your smart phone or MP3 player and get moving. You can even Google playlist suggestions to walk or run to.
Don’t go it alone. Ask a co-worker or your spouse to join you. I bet your dog could use the walk, too.
Once you make the decision to start, you will feel better mentally and physically. It is a journey. Enjoy the journey. Notice your surroundings: listen to the birds, feel the breese on you face, and smell the food cooking on the neighbor’s grill. And be grateful for this journey.




Ahimsa – Non-Violence

19 01 2012

Yoga is a journey in physical discipline. But, we don’t want to forget the philosophy that connects the mind and body, which follows us off the mat into our daily lives. The guidelines of yoga philosophy are meant for personal contemplation. It is not about right or wrong. It  is about seeing the truth in ourselves and noticing whether we are moving in the right direction, making the right choices. Yamas are the guidlines for interacting with the outer world. Niyamas are the practice of how we interact with ourselves internally.

One of the Yamas is Ahimsa, the practice of non-violence. We are to bring awareness to our actions, thoughts, and words and practice being patient, loving, understanding, and compassionate. These actions are meant to be expressed towards others, but also towards ourselves. Although, this does not mean we are to let others walk all over us. There is a time to say, “No”, to create boundaries to avoid stress, manipulation, or violence.

In my experience, women have a tendency not to support one another. Maybe we feel we are working in a “man’s world” and need to do what we can to succeed. Sometimes we may feel threatened by a promotion, a relationship, our looks, our age, or anything else we can think of to compare ourselves against. The sad side to this is, if we would support and lift each other we could accomplish and succeed more collectively than alone.

My friends are few, but they are friends that want the best for me, knowing I want the same for them. It is not a competition. We share our successes as well as our failures.

The internal chatter in my head is a constant battle for me, but I believe through my yoga practice I have progressed on this part of my journey. The negative talk, or Monkey Mind, is always there, but I pay attention to it more now and quickly replace it with a positive thought.  It is a journey.

Bullying seems to be a problem with young women. We experienced it in our family a few years ago and a friend of mine is experiencing it in her family as I blog. It is horrible. I don’t know the answer to the problem. The person bullying needs attention, as well as, the person being bullied.

Maybe, if we try to practice Ahimsa more in our daily lives, it will spread to all those crossing our paths. We are strong, intelligent, courageous, (I am sure I am leaving out something important. Help me out here and fill in any other positive adjective.) and totally awesome women (and men) that can accomplish anything we can imagine.

Have you experienced bullying? Do you battle with your Monkey Mind? How do you practice Ahimsa? Please share your thoughts….

Namaste

Tammy





Competition, Judgement, and Expectations

13 12 2011

At the beginning of each yoga class I ask my fellow yogis to let go of competition, judgement, and expectations.

The competition may be with the person on the mat beside them or the competition could be between their mind and body. The mind’s image of what they think they should be able to do may be different than their body’s ability.  Why do we feel we must force ourselves into a pose, when maybe we need to listen to our bodies and ease into the pose? (I work in a women’s fitness center. Need I say more?)

All of the yogis attending my current classes are women. (The men have not worked up the courage to attend. But, I am working to entice them.) So, I am assuming the yoginis struggle with judgement. We are bombarded with air-brushed photos of celebrities and models in bikinis at every checkout line. Hopefully, we are not judging someone else, but it is likely we are judging ourselves when looking in the mirror. Judgement happens on the yoga mat, also.

My Dancer Pose today.

Why is it one day I can feel like a ballerina in Dancer Pose and the next time I am wobbling and struggling to stay upright? Frustrating. But, maybe I need to consider what I ate the day before. Maybe there is stress at work or with my family. Maybe I need to stop the negative judgemental thinking.

 

I like changing the flow of poses in the yoga classes. Some parts are predictable, such as one pose following to another or Sun Salutations. But, the progression to a more challenging pose may not be noticed. No expectations, just flowing from one moment to the other. One yogi is challenged by Crow Pose. She is determined to conquer it. I attempt to help her realize the need to practice other poses that will strengthen her body and prepare her for Crow. One day she will conquer Crow. But, not when she expects to conquer Crow.

Yoga is a journey. And that journey can be so enlightening, if, when we step on the mat, we learn to leave competition, judgement, and expectations behind. Then the real magic happens when we leave the mat and take what we have learned about ourselves into our daily lives.

Namaste

Tammy