Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yoga Teacher Training

Many of you have asked for information on my yoga teacher training program. I will be starting a new group soon and the details are as follows:

My program follows a more traditional pattern - rather than an intensive and expensive schedule packed into a few months, my teacher training program is based on 12 modules which are completed over 12 months. This approach allows for more extensive personal practice and study in order to complete each module.  Originally, the program was designed for each module to stand alone, but experience has shown that the modules build upon each other for learning experience. In between training weekends, there are homework assignments which are due the following month.

After completion of all 12 modules, students will receive a teaching certificate from Sraddha Yoga,  as well as being eligible to apply for registration through Yoga Alliance at the 200-hour teacher level.

Each module will require attendance during the following schedule:
- One Thursday evening each month from 6-9 pm
- One Saturday each month from 8 am to 2 pm
- Attendance at yoga practice with LeAnne per teacher training schedule

FOR THOSE WHO ARE NOT INTERESTED IN BECOMING A TEACHER, BUT WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOGA PRACTICE, YOGA PHILOSOPHY, ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY, OR ANY OF THE OTHER TOPICS DISCUSSED, I WILL BE OFFERING WORKSHOPS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR WHICH ARE OPEN TO EVERYONE.

THESE WORKSHOPS ARE ALSO ELIGIBLE FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT THROUGH YOGA ALLIANCE.

For specific details on dates, location, and pricing, please contact me through this website.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Permission to Play!

As we move towards the fall season, life seems to lose a little bit of energy. So, now is the time to give ourselves permission to play!

When is the last time you looked at life as an opportunity to have fun? Instead of sun glasses, let's put on some "play" glasses and bring joy to everything we do! Then, let's see if that's enough.

Ask yourself, "can I let that be enough?" Notice, I don't define what "play" means. I only suggest how play feels - JOYFUL!

Here's a great example; I love to have a clean house but I hate to do dishes. I know that if I do the dishes, though, I will have a clean house. So I decide to love to do dishes - with a sense of play. Can you think of a three-year-old and doing dishes? Notice how they LOVE to help with everything. Wouldn't it be great if we could recapture that joyful feeling for everything we do?

WE CAN! We simply need to mindfully add a sense of joy to every moment. This doesn't mean that every moment of our day becomes "frivolous" and "childish". Rather, we seek to bring our passion for life into everything we do.

Sometimes that passion is gentle and supportive, other times it is abundant and expressive. Whatever the case, our ability to express gratitude for the gift of life will become a vibrant part of who we are.

Can we do this? YES! Is it easy? NO! Why? Because we have filled our lives with moments of excessive obligation to "should". The concept of "should" robs us of our passion and fills us with thoughts of inadequacy.

"Should" makes us feel as if joyful play is not enough. Yet, if we are able to find a sense of play in everything we do, then that is all we need to do.

So, write down these two sentences - and then sign your name as a personal commitment:

LEANNE GIVES ME PERMISSION TO PLAY!

I GIVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO LET THAT BE ENOUGH!

Now, believe it!

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Let's Blame It On The Skinny Pants!

I feel fat! How many times a day do you say this? The question should be: why do we feel this way?

I was watching "What Not To Wear" on t.v. the other day and I was struck by how often the host gives the advice to buy clothes that fit well. What a novel concept!

Ask yourself this: when do you feel fat and why? You may be surprised at the answer. I would guess that this feeling usually comes because of the clothes we wear. Perhaps the waist of our pants or skirt is too tight, the buttons on our shirt don't stay completely closed, even our shoes hurt.

Do you have a pair of "skinny pants" in your closet just waiting for the day you will fit into them again? Have you ever thought that, perhaps, those pants are keeping the feeling fat going?

Here's my opinion: We buy clothes for the size listed on the label. Whether they fit or not, we command ourselves to buy that size. Then we spend our day uncomfortable and self-conscious.

When we are so uncomfortable and self-conscious, we do not feel like participating in social activities or exerting ourselves. This leads to less and less activity, as well as more and more body dissatisfaction.

On the other hand, when we feel comfortable in our clothing, we feel as if we look good and so we act that way. We are comfortable with socializing and getting involved. As we do this, we find more and more ways to be active - which leads to a more healthy body.

The size no longer matters, the feel becomes important. And so we begin to live from the inside out.

Do you ever go to the closet to try on your "skinny pants"? How do you feel if they don't fit? Does it make you excited about life or does it depress you into feeling worthless.

"Skinny Pants" are not a motivator - they are the problem! Ask yourself this: If I were blind, how would I shop for clothes? Wouldn't you buy what feels good to wear?

Make a deal with yourself - go and cut the size label out of all your clothes!
Then decide that the next time you go shopping you are going to "feel" the clothes you buy, not "size" the clothes you buy.

Finally, throw away the "skinny pants" and dance in your baggy sweats - because it feels great!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Do you really wish you were 20 again? STOP IT!

As I wrote this post, a commercial came on the television about a woman who was so excited to be able to fit back in to her “high school skinny jeans”. REALLY? MY POINT EXACTLY!

“I wish I was 20 again; I used to be able to do the splits”. That is how the conversation started. One of my yoga students was bemoaning the fact that she was unable to do things she did when she was a teenager. “I just want to get back to where I was when I was 20”. This “mantra” permeated her ideas of health and wellness.

Isn’t this idea universally expressed in our society? We glamorize and idealize our past selves and then mourn the loss of what we identify as our best selves. STOP IT!

In yoga, there is a teaching known as “Aparigraha”. A simple definition of Aparigraha is: Non-coveting/Non-attachment, especially through jealousy of others’ talents and abilities or the inability to let go of emotions, judgments and history.

The idea of Aparigraha is not to be detached and unemotional or to never notice things about other people which we admire. Rather, it is the idea of being always in the present moment and letting go of the strangle-hold we have on the past or on our desire to be like others to the exclusion of our own talents and abilities.

Putting aside this idea as it applies to others, ask yourself this question: Are you so attached to your past self that you ignore the amazing reality of your current existence? Do you covet your past self?

Do you find yourself expressing a wish to be as strong, flexible, skinny, pretty, tan, rich, spontaneous, fun as you used to be? Is your present life consumed with coveting and holding on to the past? AGAIN, STOP IT!

Have you ever noticed that the most interesting and comfortable people to be around are those who are truly engaged in life now. They are actively living and enjoying today! Does this mean they never remember the past? No, but they are not continually living in the past. BE THAT KIND OF PERSON!

Here are some questions to help identify our attachments and areas of self-coveting:

1. Do I wish I could have my past self here today?

2. Do I spend time remembering and speaking about things I used to be able to do and wishing I could do them today?

3. Do I remind others about who they used to be and express my wish for them to be that person today?

4. Do I feel that my best self lies somewhere in my past self?

5. Do I regularly complain about the effects of time and age?

Can you see how this falls into the category of coveting? Wow, doesn’t this bring a new dimension to this idea? So, let’s challenge ourselves to let go of self-coveting and we may be amazed at how vibrant and abundant NOW really is!

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

That's my body? Hey, that's my body!

Have you ever had one of those days when you question that which you ABSOLUTELY believe in? Well, I had one of those moments a few weeks ago.

I was so excited for the release of an interview I did with Steven Kapp Perry. The topic - Mormons and Yoga. What an exciting opportunity to share my firm conviction that yoga can not only co-exist with ANY spiritual beliefs, but also help support and increase those beliefs.

This was a great avenue to share my ideas about body image with anyone who may stumble across or actively look for this interview. Well, be careful what you wish for - it just might come true!

As I opened the website to listen to the podcast, I watched a picture of myself - in seated straddle position, no less - load next to a picture of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a very prominent leader of the Mormon church.

My first reaction was "that's my body?". Then, very quickly, "hey, that's my body!" I realized in that moment that, regardless of our personal convictions and beliefs, we all have moments - hours - days, when we question those beliefs.

I spend my day teaching individuals how important it is to let go of external demands and pressures about who and what we should be; but I still have moments of blunt, in your face, internal discussions about whether I really believe what I teach.

What I found on this day was a strong foundation that reasserted itself to say - yes! I really do stand in awe of the physical body which I have been blessed with to carry me through this life; along with all the unique quirks which are ME.

So, I want to challenge you to find your "hey, that's my body!" moment and share it with everyone around you. Share it as a comment on this site and help inspire others to feel great about their own bodies!

Finally, take a look at this podcast and see if it doesn't put a smile on your face just looking at the picture of me next to the picture of Elder Holland. Somethings wrong with this picture - but it has nothing to do with my body! It has to do with the idea that I could be on a website next to him. Maybe we do get what we wish for - go figure!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Never exercise again! (well, "sorta")

I'm starting a revolution today! Let's banish the word EXERCISE from our vocabulary. Want to join me? Ok, let me share my philosophy. As you may know, I work with eating disorder patients in an inpatient treatment setting.

One area of the disorder is often reflected in obsessive over-exercising. During a processing therapy session last week, we explored our connections to exercise and the "triggering" aspect of falling back into old habits. The group struggled with letting go of old ideas and beliefs about exercise while trying to build a new, healthy relationship with activity.

Have you ever had one of those "light-bulb" moments where a perfect answer simply presents itself? Well, I had one during this session. Stay with me for this concept. I explained that there are many avenues of interaction with the world and one important avenue is language. Often, our language "gets away" from us because we speak in words and phrases that are habitual or unconsciously expressed.

Many times, because of our life experiences, we attach meaning to words that limits our ability to accept other, alternate meanings and may lead to miscommunication due to our idea of what a word means as opposed to someone elses understanding of the same word. In eating disorder recovery, we learn to recognize and be more mindful of our language and the conversations of those around us. At the end of this therapy session, I proposed that we totally eliminate the word EXERCISE from our vocabulary!

While the word itself may be harmless, the connotation of the concept of EXERCISE is the ability to impose rigid control over the body in an effort to lose weight and build muscle. Whether you have an eating disorder or not, the very word EXERCISE may trigger feelings of tension, inadequacy, and rejection. Instead, I encouraged the group to adopt the word MOVEMENT in the place of EXERCISE. How amazing! MOVEMENT seems so fluid, so liberating, so natural!

When we changed the conversation to a discussion of MOVEMENT, the atmosphere changed. Instead of the tension and demand that the idea of EXERCISE reflected on their faces, a brightness and joy was expressed as each person shared why they loved to MOVE and how they loved to MOVE. Somehow, it became a healthy and honest thing to connect to - MOVEMENT. It was a revelation; it was a revolution! So, go forth and MOVE!

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My pants are too tight - but I can still touch my toes!

Here comes another summer and I'm sure we have all made the resolution to fit into those too tight pants this year! When you pull them out of the back corner of your closet, take a deep breath and ask yourself this - if they don't fit, will the world explode?

We use the phrase "so what" in a rather flippant way to show our disregard or disinterest in in a certain topic, but why not take it at face value. Challenge yourself this week to honestly ask "so what"? And then be ready for the answer that your ego throws back at you. Be honest - it is usually our ego, not our intuitive self, which drives us to ignore everything amazing about ourselves in favor of shining a spotlight on the things we hate about ourselves.

Can you touch your toes? If you can, then celebrate! Give yourself permission to be honest - not about what you want, but about why you want it. Then decide if you really want to wear those pants. If you do, make it a conscious choice every day until you can. If you don't, "SO WHAT"?

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Let's be honest, we're not all supermodels. So let's get over it and PARTY!

Oh, no - not another "feel good" blog about how to improve your self esteem! Welcome to my blog of down-to-earth comments on real life.

I tend to say it how it is and have some experience to back it up; but I always write with a sense of humor and a liberal dose of understanding - because I've been-there; done-that! I hope to share my experience and insights into body image issues, diet and exercise roller-coasters, and overall life strategies for embracing and exploring the abundance of living a vibrant life, no matter who you are or what your circumstances!

So, if you're ready to have a good time while you are being brutally honest with yourself, then this is the blog for you. It might be a bumpy ride - so hang on tight! Welcome to my world!

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