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trust "I like to think that if you put your trust out there, I mean if you really give people the benefit of the doubt and see their best intentions, people will rise to the occasion."

This quote was from a comedy that I watched and thought that it was very moving and ironically enough..true. As humans we value faith, relations and compassion. Trust is a sacred act, feeling and emotion. We can soar from it or fall beneath it. But for starters, to trust anyone or anything, we must first find trust in ourselves...to thine own self be true. Others will be receptive to our truth and we can all work together to rise to any occasion..


With this hectic (but wonderful) holiday season upon us, have you found that you are staying true to who you are? I guess this blog is a gentle reminder to help ourselves not get to lost in the hustle, bustle and sometimes pressure associated with this time of the year. In the yoga world we associate truth with the sanskirt word Satya. Satya is our inner truth that permeates all.


From 1000 pearls of Yoga Wisdom: The manipura chakra behind your navel, (gut instincts!?) governs how secure you fell in your sense of self, helping to establish your level of ambition in life. Turn to this area into your personal "steering wheel" to act on your gut reactions. All forms of yoga will help you to trust these instincts, increasing your sense of inner truth.

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joy Joy and Celebration!


So the holiday season is offically upon us. Thanksgiving has come and gone, black friday loomed it's frightful head and windows and houses have started up with the festive decorations. Did I spy a Santa the other day as well?


Now some people might delight in the holiday spirit while others might want to run and hide. Through all and all, it seems that ignoring it is inevitable. So why NOT embrace it?

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” -the buddha



Yes there are many breathing exercises and yoga routines that can help you reduce stress to help get you through the holidays, but what about ways to help boost happiness and joy within us! And the easiest lesson I could give to start this process is to simply: LIVE IN THE PRESENT MOMENT. If you can simply be in the present, you will find joy in the even the most mundane activities. Too often the mind is distracted by the future or past, which limits your capacity to be joyfully present. All forms of yoga and meditation can help reveal the jow of NOW.

ardhaA pose for joy: try Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)

As you stretchi n this pose, your body traces the smooth arc of a crescent moon, you will have to practice but when you finally balance without fear it is a feat to celebrate!

 

"From joy springs all creation, by joy it is sustained, toward joy it proceeds, and to joy it returns"




 













 

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patience They say patience is a virtue. Which is true, with virtue meaning a commendable quality or trait, and especially in these times. And as much as we may all commend patience how often are we ourselves practicing it? I believe patience is more than a virtue, it's an aspiration, a goal, and as scholars would say, a compaion to wisdom. Ironically enough we learn over time to aquire patience. We are tried and tested everyday with patience, and coming from a society that is displayed and tempted with drive thrus, instant coffee, high speed internet, and botox (just to name a few) a sense of patience and restoration is needed more than ever.
rocksBreathing exercise for patience..

 

Inhale to the count of 4, exhale to the count of six. Slowly start increasing your numbers. Example: inahle to 6, exhale to 8. This breathing exercise helps reduce blood pressure and induces state of peace and relaxation.childs
We may find this true to our practice on the mat as well. Ego can sometimes run high in yoga as we scan the room and wonder and gawk on how and why someone can so easily practice an asana that we might not be able to conquer. But we think to our own bodies, we think of patience and we know that over time we will find the answers or find our own form of practice that is satisfying and true. Don't forget, one persons mastered asana can be another persons arch enemy. Our bodies are all shaped differently, from bone structure to tender fascia, we are what we are. So please let us remember the reason yoga has come around, asanas are preparing the body for meditation. Mediation takes great patience and ease to lead us to samadhi. Samadhi is the ultimate state of bliss. And eternal bliss seems like the best virtue of all..

“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.” ~Proverb.


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Keeping the Light

 

sunrise "Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness"-chinese proverb.



Aah, it's that time of the year again where we "Fall Back", gain an hour of sleep but lose an hour of sunlight towards days end. For those who might not be early birds, it can be a bit daunting.
We should remember that "When you possess light within you, you see it externally". The following are articles found that can help us with these seasonal changes as well as remind us we can and should take the time to restore and rebalance.


Excerpts from the Huffinton Post and Yoga Journal:


lampAt 2 a.m. Sunday morning, we finally recaptured that lost hour of sleep from last March as we marked the end of daylight saving time. And for the 47 million Americans who are sleep deprived, that extra hour is a chance to literally make up for lost time."This is one of those weekends we should really relish," said HuffPost blogger Russell Rosenberg, Ph.D., CEO of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and chairman of the board of the National Sleep Foundation. "The fact that Americans are so sleep deprived, it's a nice reprieve from the busy lifestyles that we all lead."a New England Journal of Medicine report found that heart attack rates decrease the Monday after the end of daylight saving time, Harvard Health Blog reports, while a Canadian study found a decrease in car accidents after the fall change, though Harvard Health Blog does point out that another study found an increase in accidents after both changes.Yet while the transition may be an easy one, for many falling back also signifies a shift into winter and the changing light patterns that come with it. And perhaps that's the real health story behind the end of daylight saving time, stretching into winter long after that regained hour is forgotten.
For early birds and school children, the shift will mean it's light instead of dark outside in the mornings, which is good news for our internal biological clocks. When light stimulates a certain part of the brain first thing in the morning, it can make us more vigilant throughout the day and boost moods in the long run, Decker explained. "Now that the sun is rising a little earlier, we really want to think about getting up, going outside," he said. "Getting that bright light in the morning is absolutely key to health and performance and everything that goes with it."
But getting sunlight earlier in the day also means it may already be dark by the time people are leaving work. "There's always a psychological impact of it getting dark so early -- feeling that the days are shorter, and that winter is coming," Rosenberg explained.
And over time, that increase in darkness can lead to feeling blue and even experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder. According to the NIH,
symptoms of SAD typically start in late autumn and winter and include increased appetite, increased daytime sleepiness, decreased energy in the afternoon, loss of interest in work, unhappiness and lethargy.restorative


For years, winter brought serious mood changes for Natalie Engler. She craved carbohydrates, struggled with lethargy, and hated to get out of bed in the morning. The feelings lasted through April, when her mood brightened and her energy returned.
Engler developed a practice to combat her winter depression. It included
pranayama (breathwork) and meditation; vinyasa yoga; and at least 20 minutes a day of restorative yoga, which she describes as the single most powerful part of the practice.
"Restorative yoga may look passive from the outside, but it's very active internally on both subtle and dramatic levels," says Forbes, who is the founder and director of the Center for Integrative Yoga Therapeutics in Boston. "Our nervous systems are designed to respond to minute fluctuations in our environments. Restorative yoga, combined with breathwork, is a potent tool to recalibrate the nervous system."
Restorative yoga and breathwork form the heart of the therapeutic
yoga practice Forbes developed for emotional balance. Restore & Rebalance
Bo Forbes says the breathwork in these restorative postures makes all the difference in their effect on the nervous system. If you're feeling anxious and restless in your mind and body, as is typical of SAD during the fall and early spring, exhale for twice the count of your inhalation as you practice these poses. (If you're still feeling agitated after that, take a supported Childs Pose.) If you're feeling lethargic in your mind and body, make your exhalations and inhalations of equal length. Hold each pose for 5 to 20 minutes.


What Is New here at ATM
  • International teacher Shiva Rea will be here this Thursday!
  • Our new catalog for Jan- April 2012 will go to the printer next week...expect it on your doorstep Dec 4!
  • Sunday is the last day for this 40 day group. They were an amazing group and Kendall made us all a wonderful apple crisp for our last class.
  • 11/11/11 an auspicious date.. a time opening and great time for intention. Mary Partyka is bring a tree for us to put our intentions on. The Reiki folks will have a ceremony at the Reiki Gathering that night. Jessica might be offering an early morning sadana...stay tuned.
  • Yoga Ball is also happening 11 11 11 click here for more info.

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Happy Halloween!



 



halloween


To me this is such a fun and exuberant holiday! It also fills me with delight to know that not only do the people in this country like to honor this holiday, but the WHOLE WORLD. It invites a sense of union, community and (in a ironic way) peace. Most everyone knows that things can get a little wild and crazy, but there's a communal understanding that it is because of this day, this tradition, that everything really is OK and we can let go.


 
Maybe we can apply this is our lives for everyday living. Not by exactly dressing in costumes and invoking a sense of fear on people, but to let ourselves go in simple and subtle ways.

If you like Halloween because you can really get into making some sweet home-made costumes, consider taking some time to really acknowledge this creativity in you and apply it to daily situations. You'll never be bored or down on yourself if you have a project to work on!
If you like Halloween because you get to indulge in some candy, give yourself than once a year and DO NOT feel guilty about it. Plus there are many organic, and healthier holiday treats you can make;)
If you like Halloween because you invite the sense of fear into your life, try some more challenges! Whether it be on or off the mat, build yourself up to overcome any type of fear you might have and start checking off that bucket list.

All in all, Halloween is a special time for different reasons, and when you discover your own think of how you can keep this joy and communal spirit going through good and bad!
now where's that candy....




 

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Last week we looked to the trees for some inspiration,insect
this week lets look what may be IN the trees for some more...

Flexibility
(characterized by a ready
capability to adapt to new, different, or changing requirements.)

Take the katydid here, an example of how evolution (or something greater) helped design a species to easily blend in with its surroundings. Flexibility is an important characteristic to our lives as well. Once we have become fully rooted in who we are, we also should find a balance to be flexible in our relationship with others. Let us remember to be open minded, experience new and old as well as finding a peaceful way to adapt to the ever changing world. We want to be fully awakened to accept opportunites that might come our way, or keep our health and state of mind when times may get tough. Like bamboo or branches that sway in the wind, they are strong and yet flexible.
With relation to yoga - mental flexibility and inner spaciousness are the core work of yoga, equipping you to engage fully with others and to understand your place in the world. A flexible body is a joyous by-product of that process.

The boldness of asking deep questions may require unforeseen flexibility if we are to accept the answers. -Brian Greene


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leaves1Finding Balance

 

 

 

Lets look to the leaves this week for some inspiration shall we?

 

Right now it seems as though in certain areas of the state the fall foliage is at it's peak of greatness (color, quality and warmth) and yet other areas have begun their journey into winter.

 

How can these transitions guide us through life? Here is my take on some autumn delights.

 

 

 

When the leaves are at their best it encourages me to also let myself shine. Maybe I can finally finish that project I have been chipping away at or have even better putting off. Maybe I can dive deeper into my practice, whether yoga or meditation, to really tap into my own natural state to see how far I can go or observe how far I've come. Maybe I'm already there, happy and content with my present being and just want to share that with as many as I can. Walk around with that glowing look, share my colorful self with others and inspire them to find their "peak".leaves2

 

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you're at home. ~Author Unknown

 

 

 

When the leaves start to descend, they encourage me to slow down.

 

Maybe I will let go of certain judgements or worries that have plagued my mind. Maybe I should release myself from fear and confinment...it's time to explore new options, surroundings, challenges and ideas. A leaf falling could mean a sense of freedom rather than a sadness. Maybe it will remind me to return to the earth-through an environmental approach. Maybe I should consider how much trash I really throw out, or what I could do to reduce my environmental footprint. Maybe a leaf falling just means I need to become more grounded, maybe it simply means I need to relax..and stop asking myself all these questions.

 

 

 

Either way you look at it, I hope you can find some inspiration in it. The only thing constant is change...If you don't like something change it; if you can't change it, change the way you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit

 

 

 

And if your not an outdoorsy person....maybe yoga will help:)

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Meet Seychelle Hoffer, our featured student spotlight!
Seychelle is a wonderful and kind yogini that represents All That Matters well.

When did you start yoga and what attracted you to the practice:
I started about 7 years ago and was happy with the increased strength and flexibility that I noticed. I found that yoga complimented my other physical activities, and over the years yoga also benefited my mental focus and connection to my spirituality.
What is your favorite style of yoga: Vinyasa, although I enjoy an occasional Bapriste Power Class.
seychelleWhat other activities do you enjoy: I love being active in any way, especially outdoors! I like gardening, hiking with my dogs, reading, writing, and cooking vegetarian food.
What is the last great book you read/recommend: Even Cowgirls get the Blues by Tom Robbins.
Favorite sound: The ocean, especially in the early morning when the beach is still empty and quiet.
Least favorite sound: Monday morning alarm clock...
Favorite meal: Tofu/Veggie pad thai from Seven Moons:)
What keeps you doing yoga: How great I feel after every class! No matter how stressed or tired I am heading into class, I always feel energized and rejuvenated by the time we hit savasana. Yoga is healing for both my body and mind, and the physical strength and flexibility are nice side effects.
Advice to beginners: Try a variety of different classes to find which is the best fit for you. Approach yoga with an open mind and be prepared to feel frustrated at times. It’s not a competition, and if you stick with it, you’ll find the benefits will be amazing!
What do you like best about All That Matters: I love the sense of community, I have met some amazing people here—both teachers and students. I feel as though I can leave stress at the door, fully relax and devote some time to nurture my mind, body and spirit.
Any other words of wisdom: Yoga has taken me places I never would have thought possible, both directly and indirectly—I can’t imagine not having it in my life.

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The Importance of Awareness

purplemushroomI was out hiking in the woods yesterday trying to take in the fresh air and the overall fall feeling, when I noticed the cutest little purple mushroom growing out of the ground. Instead of just glancing at the mushroom and continuing on my way, I actually took a minute or two to really observe the fungi as well as my surroundings. I became fully aware of my surroundings, the mushrooms presence as well as my own. It was so small and myself so large. It thrives on light and moisture. We also need sun and water. But the special thing about seeing this mushroom (and fully appreciating its presence and how it helped me heighten my senses and feel more aware) was that the further along I walked on my hike the more and more mushrooms I spotted. It was as if the universe was rewarding me with a feast for the eyes because I put it out there that I was interested and amazed with the mushroom.

So in an effort not to ramble on too much, I hope to bring some kind of reference or conclusion to this story. And to sum it up here is a quote by Richard Miller:


"When we move in the world of senses, yet keep our senses in harmony, free from attachment to attraction or aversion, we rest in the wisdom heart of our True nature...the true equanimity of Being.." - from YOGA NIDRA.



May we take this story and apply to our own lives, whether through times of stress or peace. Being present, aware, awake, and mindful removes the "blinders" and can open your mind and heart to extraordinary experiences and opportunities; maybe with room for improvement.



If you would like to fully immerse yourself in how to really connect to your senses without going for a hike in nature, then check out our upcoming series of classes Inegrative Rest - Yoga Nidra with Kendall Sheldon. Kendall can bring you into a relaxed state and calls this class the ultimate stress buster as well as a quiet time to seek inward. Richard Miller's book is also available in our store~yoga nidra

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