For many years I have been teaching the concept that much like a garden we have outside, before we can plant anything and expect it to grow, we first have to remove all the old stuff, the trash and the things that are cluttering the soil. Today, as I was doing that exact literal thing in my backyard raking leaves and removing last years dead plants that were once so vibrant, I was reminded of the conversation I had this week with a group of men who have traumatic brain injures.
I teach this topic every March, regardless of who is in my classes because I think no matter who you are and what your life experience is, we all have something that is cluttering up our heart and therefore limiting the potential we have to grow. This might be something like fear, disappointment, regret, guilt, shame, resentment, anger or any other feeling and emotion that we have carried around for days or decades.
As I was guiding a meditation about visualizing a garden and seeing the old growth, the twigs and the trash, I asked them each to see a garden in their heart that may also have some things that could be getting in the way of growth.
I shared with my ‘frat house’ that they have fondly referred to themselves as, that I have some disappointment that is taking up space in my own heart. I carry it day after day, year after year and despite all my attempts to pull it out, it seems to have a root system that is deep and new shoots pop up and take over my heart at times.
As we had a discussion about this, they called me out on it and the wise man who developed a life changing brain tumor at age 23 gave me the best insight on how to manage all the little twigs and trash that take up space. He is turning 60 in a a few weeks and following his diagnosis while in his final year of college his life has been a series of assisted living settings and long term support. He lost his independence and so much more, and yet is so wise.
Are you ready for this? In my humbleness, I asked how does one remove all the “twigs and trash” from our hearts. I asked how do I remove the disappointment?
He shared that you can never fully rid of every twig or piece of trash that has landed in the garden, instead you have to learn to manage and grow around them.
Huh, I said.
Tell me more, I said.
He went on to say that the remnants of the the “twigs” and “trash” will likely always be there and sometimes they may stick out of the soil and poke you but our job is to plants things around them so the beauty takes over.
Again, I asked how.
The wise teacher said:
When we forgive ourselves and others we remove so much of the garbage that fills our heart. This removes resentment, bitterness, and what-if thinking. When we accept was IS we no longer grieve for what might have been which brings presence to growing today. And finally, when we focus on being grateful we see all that we have, not all that we do not have.
How’s that for insightful?
It’s not so much about removing the parts of our heart that impede growth, but rather moving them aside through forgiveness, acceptance and gratitude so that we make space for something far more amazing to grow.
Behold my friends, the spring has come; the Earth has gladly received the embraces of the sun, and we shall soon see the results of this love. —Sitting Bull
Ahhhh….Can you believe that spring is just around the corner? Soon we will push our clocks forward and the longer days will be upon on us. I can’t wait! I love a good snowy day, but to see the beginnings of green growth popping out is so exciting to me! When I recently was out raking some old stuff up in the garden I was thrilled to see a little green in the wildflower area.
I love spring and the symbolism it represents to me. It is during the springtime that we often think of beginnings, newness, and growth. I can recall at least four times in my life that major changes occurred in March. This is a great time to begin to cultivate your “soil” so that soon you can plant seeds of intention. One way to do this is to write down anything in your life you wish to increase—friendships, health, abundance or joy, peace, etc. Be clear about your visions, review your intentions often, and dream big!
While you are preparing yourself for a season of growth, this is also a time to eliminate the old stuff of the past season that is leftover–things like thoughts of limitation, fears or doubts. That kind of clutter can easily invade your precious garden of growth. I like to think of it much like my actual garden bed in my backyard where last years leaves, twigs, trash and growth clutter and cover the soil. If I want to give the new growth any chance to break through, I better take the time to clear away the old stuff. I like to call this preparing our soil for a new season of growth.
Pay close attention this month as you will daily changes around you, if you opt to pay attention. As we connect with Nature we also connect with ourselves. We realize that we too are ever-changing and growing beings. We can set the seeds of intention and begin to nurture and cultivate what we wish to have growing in our lives. It here we are reminded of the union that Life offers.
Be sure to check out my upcoming March classes around these topics. Also, I am offering lots of virtual classes as I heal from knee surgery and so that the people requesting to join can do so from wherever they are. Be sure to also check out the special sacral chakra class where we will learn all about our own center of creativity and the potential for growth. I also have two virtual chair yoga sessions—I can show you how I adapt my practice to my own body’s need for healing.
I would love to share space with you as we welcome in a new season.
NOTICE A FEW CHANGES TO THE STUDIO!
Monday Evening at 5:15pmhas a couple openings as a couple regulars have had to change their schedule. Also, I will now be offeringMonday at 5:15pm (MDT) VIRTUALLY as a live streamed option. Now anyone can pop in from anywhere! If you would like a spot IN STUDIO please reach out to me below. Please note that there is NO class 3/13.
Another change to the studio classes is I am now requiring pre–payment for the classes you’d like to attend in person. The cost for each class with prepayment is $20 and drop in is $22 unless you are offered a waitlist spot the day of class. You can pay through Zelle, Venmo or cash.
Be sure to watch my website or follow my business page on Facebook for the latest.
SPECIAL CHAIR YOGA ONLINE
Did you know that there is some amazing benefits to chair yoga? And if you think that it is just for an older population, you are mistaken. There is actually a totally difference sensation and experience when practicing in a chair. Since I am having knee surgery this is a great time to give it a try with me!
Saturday March 18th at 1030am *will also be recorded
Monday March 20th at 1030am. *will also be recorded
Are you wanting to have access to a yoga or pilates practice at home that fits into your busy schedule? I offer chair yoga, sensation and intuition based guided gentle yoga, pilates and meditation without having to log in to a specific class time. All of my classes are offered at a donation. You can find ALL of my videos on my website! If you are struggling with developing a home practice, let’s talk. I would love to help you find a way to love practicing at home.
ESSENTIAL YOGA–ALIGNMENT (VIRTUAL)
This month’s online class on Alignment and includes the self-application of a variety of therapeutic grade pure essential oils throughout the practice. Please reach out to me if you need samples to fully enjoy this class. Donations are appreciated.
Wednesday March 22th at 6:30pmCost: $25, includes a sacral chakra blend
This beautiful second energy center governs our creativity, sensuality, sexuality, flow and movement. This chakra is all about going with the flow and fostering creativity–the perfect focus for springtime!. If you are feeling stuck, lacking creativity and need support flowing through life, this class is for you! Cost includes access to the online yoga class and discussion, a custom essential oil blend for the sacral chakra with gemstones, and a gemstone. All from the coziness of your own home. Once you register, you will receive an email from me to receive your goodies.
Have you been feeling like there is something that you are seeking but can’t quite put your finger on it? I am offering a modified version of the Daring Greatly course that I took with Brene Brown in 2016. This virtual class will focus on finding your deepest core value and how to step into it within your daily life. We will navigate this class over a two part series and it will include a special blend of essential oils that correlate to this teaching, gentle chair yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.
This two part series will be Friday March 24th and Friday March 31st at 10am (MDT).
Cost for the two sessions, meditations, and essential oil blend is $40
Are you looking for a way to jump start your health? Have you ever wanted to know some of my tips and tricks to living a positive life, losing weight, improving sleep and managing stress? How about a free wellness consultation to talk about your goals? Schedule yours today and let’s create a wellness plan! I offer FREE wellness consultations to talk about your goals and desire for a healthier, mind, body and spirit.
I am inspired to create and share with you some mindfully themed blends each month that I spend time thoughtfully crafting. This month’s blend is called OPTIMISM and is a delightful bright optimistic blend. This blend includes Tangerine, Bergamot, Joyful blend, Siberian Fir, Green Mandarin, Invigorating blend, Helichrysum Flower and Natural Citrine.
Flowers represent everything beautiful about springtime – and they also make pretty good teachers on how to live fully in any season. Here are ten inspiring thoughts from the mind of a daffodil, tulip, rose, or whichever bud you prefer!
1. Follow the sunlight. Do what makes you feel happy and warm.
2. Take your time. Bloom when you’re ready, no need to rush.
3. Be yourself. Wherever you are, bring your own spring with you.
4. Make friends. Surround yourself with those who care and support.
5. Smile bright. Spread your colors into the world.
6. Stand tall. Be proud of everything you do and achieve.
7. Stay grounded. Keep yourself connected – water your roots often.
8. Have faith. Know that the sun always emerges from the clouds.
9. Don’t mind bees. Even the bees are your friends. Do your thing, and let busybodies play their part.
10. Feel the rain. Open your pores and drink in every season.
Stacie believes that it is her life purpose to share the gift of Yoga with anyone who is willing to say yes. In addition to raising a family and being an advocate for those with disabilities, Stacie is founder of Embracing Spirit Yoga which specializes in bringing adaptive Yoga into community centers and rehabilitation clinics. Bringing her depth of compassion to the mat–or the chair–she offers students the opportunity to grow as an individual in all aspects of their life.
With over twelve years experience, Stacie Wyatt is an E-500 hour Registered Yoga Teacher with Yoga Alliance, Life Wellness Coach, Senior YogaFit Instructor, Mind/Body Personal trainer, Stress Reduction and Meditation Instructor, Pilates Instructor, and Barre Instructor. Stacie is also certified in Integrative Movement Therapy™and is also a believer in the power and application of essential oils for health and wellness and proudly shares doTERRA essential oils.
Stacie brings her personal life experience of raising a daughter with a disability and over 12 years working in special education to her everyday Yoga classes.
In addition to teaching classes at a variety of local centers and health clubs, Stacie also continues to offer Yoga and Wellness coaching individually to those seeking private sessions.
Impermanence is the truth of life. Embracing it in our most basic daily activities can be the key to everyday ease.
I am a big believer in speaking truth and since I have opted to being more emotionally exposed this year and vulnerable I am jumping in.
Since having three hip surgeries and an ankle surgery I have been avoiding the physical aspect of yoga for over six years. Occasionally I might unroll a mat and move around in positions that feel good, but a full on yoga practice guided by someone else?
Never. I have told myself for years that my practice was not focused on the physical and that I was simply working the other aspects of Yoga.
Was I? Or was I avoiding the sensations that bring up uncomfortable? Had I slipped into the practice of resistance or even worse, avoidance?
Maybe the continual orthopedic challenges over the last six years are valid or maybe it is my reasoning or excuse, or simply the story I tell myself. Unpeeling the layers of truth and excuse began to unravel quickly this past weekend on the Yoga mat.
With great intention to have at least one guided solid practice a week, I opted for Sunday to be the day. Sundays are typically a little slower around my house and seems to have a little tinge of sacredness on this day. I wanted to have someone else guide me through a practice because I tend to flow into poses that I like and are rarely challenged by. I stay within my comfort zone and was being gently nudged to open myself up to receive a practice guided by someone else and for me to not have any idea of what would be offered.
As I went out to my studio my eyes longed for the dumbbells that sat there eyeing me and my newly defined muscles. I wanted to grab them and do my thirty minutes of weight training that gives me a sense of strength and empowerment. I yearned for the fast 45 second on/15 second rest pace where I watch the time pass with eagerness to move onto the next exercise, or finish and get back on the whirling of the treadmill. I craved the fast and powerful movements where time flies.
Weight lifting has become my jam.
My Yoga practice used to be that. It was also where I laid out my emotions, my grief, my struggles, my celebrations and every other emotional season of my life. It is truly where I loved being and lifting weights was my aversion. As I continued to struggle with pain I needed a new relationship with my body and weights found a home in my heart. I even wrote about it here.
I knew I needed to work through my resistance to Yoga. I began the practice and literally within five minutes I was fighting myself to not quit. Every pose offered I had the internal dialogue as to why I hated it and why I can’t do it. I argued with myself. I made up a million reasons as to why this sucked. I wondered about half way through the practice why anyone would choose to do this and even more PAY for it. I heard myself say utter the words, “I hate Yoga and anyone who does this nonsense for 60 minutes must be crazy”. I fought the feelings of tightness and the humility of forward folds hurting and some of the postures being completely beyond my what I thought was available to my seeminlgy strong body. I glanced at my weights with love and endearment and thought to myself–they don’t hurt me like this.. they love me. I wrestled with the endless about of space and time in a single pose. I fought back quitting and then the realization that I was feeling this way was as shocking as the language my body was speaking. When the final moment came and the teacher thanked me for sharing my practice with her I wanted to scream “never again biiiiiiatcccch”.
I rolled up my mat completely stunned at my reaction to a simple 30 minute practice. Prior to my hip surgeries I was practicing hour long classes four to five times a week for a nearly two decades. What happened? How could I — a full time yoga teacher — feel such angst to time on the mat? I felt so much like I was an illegitimate English teacher who never opened a book.
I was shocked at what was coming up for me. These were deep feelings fueled with emotion that I can buried beneath surgical recoveries, a new found love affair with strength training and my seemingly inability to be still, and more be still with myself.
I am still one week later still stunned. And humbled. And determined to look deeper at this.
Judith Lasater says, “Impermanence is the truth of life. Embracing it in our most basic daily activities can be the key to everyday ease.” I suppose this master of Yoga would include time on the mat with this statement.
Oftentimes, we can no longer practice certain poses because of age or injury, yet we feel agitated because we assume that the poses of our youth should be the poses of our middle and old age. We are surprised when familiar asanas become difficult and formerly difficult ones become impossible. This surprise emotion rattled me and when I spoke to a fellow Yoga teacher I was relieved to learn that she too experiences much of the same resistance to time on the mat, for many of the same reasons. The inherent acknowledgement of the impermanence of each stage of life is key to acceptance both on and off the mat. There is here in this awareness—not just because our lives do obviously and unavoidably change but, more important, because when we accept this fact as truth, we suffer so much less. Without having an awareness of impermanence, we typically fall into one of two patterns: denial or depression.
So what do I do with this? Deny it or become depressed.
Neither are an option for me, especially since I am a master at discipline and overcoming hard things. I choose to not deny the ever changing qualities to my body and my constantly evolving practice, and I also choose to not be depressed about it.
Instead I am going to roll out my Yoga mat and try again. And again. And again until I fall into that sweet spot of surrender that once lovingly welcomed me into her arms.
Do you know the most important part of a house? What about a tree?
Is it the big windows and fancy backyard? Is it the glorious leaves and fruit? Or is it the foundation and the roots?
What’s the most important part of YOU? I believe it isn’t the material gains, titles, how much you weigh, how fast you can run, the size of you bank account, the size of your home, how much weight you can lift, your boundaries or how smart your kids are.
What is it then?
It’s the depth of WHO you are and how you show up in the world. It’s your values that lead you down the path. It’s the beliefs you hold most dear to yourself. It’s the way you treat yourself and others.
Not sure what values make up your foundation or your roots? If you don’t know yourself that well, it’s likely your behaviors and choices aren’t aligning with your best self and you’re often struggling in relationships and in life.
Thanks for reading my #tedtalk of the day and reach out if your life can’t seem to withstand the storms. It’s likely you have a rotten root or a weak foundation wall.
It seems many people have opinions on other peoples business model, and the two most common statements I get as it relates to my yoga business is 1) I’d never drive that far for a class or student, and 2) I would never teach a class for that little of a rate (usually followed by a laundry list of all the trainings and education they have).
Here’s the thing. I’m not in it for the money, but the money is always there. I’m not in it for the fame although I am booked solid week after week and literally have no room in my schedule for more. I’m not in it for the ego, yet I know that I make an incredible difference in the lives of many.
Why do I drive hundreds of miles a day only to find my student still in bed because staff didn’t bother to wake him up? Because I said I would and because when he did decide to get up, together we created a beautiful session that included him doing something he hasn’t done in decades. This incredibly special student was injured at age 25 and his college roommate continues to write him a letter every single week and they are now in their mid 50’s. My student actually wrote him a letter back! Remember, yoga is defined as union and it doesn’t have to include pretzel shapes with our bodies.
I do it because it is service—which to me is defined as doing something without an attachment to personal gain. I do it because it is my gift. It is purpose. I do it because this is the manifesto my business and life is structured around.
The minute I start calculating how much money I am going to make, I have stepped out of service.
And do you want to know what? The money is always there.
I’d much rather show up within the foundation of my manifesto than seek out fame and fortune. That isn’t what I am about. I am about service and becoming the best version of myself through those I humbly serve.
I often say that I am putting all of the amazing nuggets of wisdom that come from my students with brain injuries into my future book and to share on my future Ted Talk. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Year after year and class after class, I am humbled at the insights that come from people living with brain injuries and feel so strongly that they can teach the world so many things about truly living. Over the years I have kept a little notebook with some of the teachings that they bring to my life and will often pull inspiration from that notebook in my everyday classes or in my personal life.
This one is a keeper.
I have been teaching from the theme of freedom this month. According to Webster’s dictionary, freedom is defined as having the ability to think, speak and act without hindrance or restraint. As we broke down each of those areas and shared the hinderances in our lives it is easy to see that everyone has certain hinderances or restraints that keep them from living fully free. For some, it is living without the ability to move their legs, or for others it is not being able to drive or work. For me although I can drive and work, I have certain physical limitations and responsibilities that keep me from being fully free in my actions.
We then moved onto our ability to speak without hinderance or restraint and it was evident that while the idea of free speech exists, there is a limitation to what we can all say and not get into a little hot water, whether that it within our own home or in the community.
We finished our discussion with the realization that the only true place we have freedom is in our thoughts. We are all free to think what we think and no matter what our challenges or our struggles are, it is ultimately what do with it through our mindset.
Here is the moment of ah-ha that has stayed in my heart for weeks. As we were closing up our discussion on living freedom, this was spoken:
“The confinement that I feel is only what I ALLOW myself to feel.”
Read that again.
The woman who said this is a student who lives in assisted living and occasionally comes down for yoga. Her body is riddled with pain so her practice is breathing and sharing. She is brave and wise.
She also lost her independence, her family, her ability to work and drive, and basically do the things that feed her soul. And yet she has the insight to see that despite all of her lack of freedoms, she can escape the cage with her thoughts. She is one of the most insightful and grateful people I have ever met.
And to think that I am called the teacher.
Truth is, I am a conduit for their wisdom. I get to be the messenger.
Freedom is defined as the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
We have all heard of the metaphors of feeling stuck in a cage and not able to be free to fly, or the imprisoning walls that have been built around us. Sadly, it seems that the brick and mortar is often what we place around ourselves that create our own version of prison. This can include negativity, questions of worthiness, regrets of the past and worries of the future. Similarly the key to the cage that we so often feel trapped in resides in our own hands. It is our choice to stay in the cage or take the key and unlock it. No matter what circumstance we are in, we ultimately have choice in what we do with it.
There are a million examples of how we can feel stuck, trapped, locked in, or caged. Whether it is a relationship, a job, a location or a belief you have about yourself, freedom truly means that WE have the power to act, speak and think without restraint and hindrance.
We are in control of what we do with our circumstances. Certainly opening the cage door or tearing down the walls that give us a false sense of safety takes incredible courage and sometimes can be the scariest thing we ever do, but the payoff is much better than feeling closed in and stuck.
I hope through a practice of mindfulness and yoga, I can help others to see the freedom that is available through the spaciousness of our hearts and minds. This month we are going to chisel away the beliefs and fear that build a wall around ourselves. We are going to slip the key into the lock and learn to fly. We are going to feel free. Just as the little finch sits on a branch that perhaps has no insects or is not protective enough, she has the freedom to find a branch that is and we too can jump from a negative thought to a positive thought.
Consider what it would be to take a look at some hard questions and then prepare to take flight.
Do you feel imprisoned? Are you the one laying the bricks down and filling them with mortar? Do you hold the key in your hand and refuse to unlock the door?
I’ve never been a yoga teacher that loves pictures of postures. It seems so very anti-yoga to me, especially since the true essence of yoga has very little to do with the physical body, and so much more with how we show up in life, and I am always hesitant to post my (somewhat) able body in a posture that so many of my beloved students could not access. It seems pretty exclusive and not at all what yoga is about.
I am cultivating a love and presence with this physical body of mine who screams in pain and asks me for subtle changes to find comfort. I am in awe of her form that wrestles with daily pain and yet still keeps on keeping on. I am finding a mad love affair with her resiliency, so pardon my pictures of form to document that she is okay, and strong, and powerful and glorious.
Pain is a beast. Be kind to those who you might assume has a cake job/life. It’s not always so glamorous as it seems.
Sometimes I go to my yoga studio and just sit on a mat or cushion and ponder life’s mysteries. I might process it all through some movement and other times I just sit with the silence and my wandering thoughts. Recently, I have been working at noticing the thoughts that irritate me and invite them in for a deeper look, which usually results in some pretty awesome growth. I have found that the irritation is usually a mirror reflection of myself (duhhh….isn’t it always?).
This weeks recommendation from me is to go find a place to sit, to move and to be. Notice what shows up for you and then welcome it in like you would an old friend and see what shows up. It is likely a portal that will allow you to peel away another layer and reveal even more of your deepest truth.
One of my most treasured aspects of Yoga is how we go about with showing up for ourselves and others. This is the essence of Pantajali’s non-harming Sutra known as Ahimsa. Pausing to consider kindness (ahimsa) influences the choices you make and how you truly show up for yourself and for others. Ahimsa (pronounced “ah-heem-sah”) literally means “non-harming” or “non-violence” in Sanskrit. In it most basic level, it’s refraining from causing harm.
As we practice ahimsa in today’s modern life, there is more to this idea of non-harming than simply refraining from acts of physical violence. We understand now that pain can be more than just physical – it can also be emotional and mental. The deepest pain we feel is often very emotional and it most often sprouts from our relationships with other human beings. The grief that we experience when we lose someone or a part of our life that meant so much to our identity. The loss of a relationship or a painful life change can bring about deep and soul-shattering pain.
When we practice ahimsa, we are thinking about how our actions could hurt others and doing so invites us to take into consideration the potential physical, emotional, and relational consequences of our actions. We pause to consider kindness.
I am frustrated with the non-kind world that exists where division and opinions flood our everyday lives. I am saddened at the lack of humanity and desperate need to be heard in what seems to be a constant “what about ME” mentality. I am exhausted with the lack of kindness for fellow human beings.
But, I chose kindness despite my own struggling emotions. I offered ahimsa for the exhausted world in which I get to share Yoga. I pause. To listen. To see. To feel. To give.