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How many times this week you found yourself gasping for air, checking your watch and worried about not being able to meet all your obligations? How many to-do lists do you have around your house? How many items are you actually able to cross off that list?

We all live very busy lives, with more obligations than time. But how many of those obligations actually bring us joy?

The concept of time has has been really challeginng me lately – it has my entire life, actually.

I am always in a hurry. I always have the perception or belief that there’s not enough time to do everything. There’s not enough time to fully concentrate on anything or relax into anything. I always feel like I am 10 steps behind.

And how does that affect me?

For one thing, I feel like I am never truly present. Slowing down and taking my time to enjoy any given task feels like a luxury.

That stems from the need to be all things to all people. The feeling that we always need to meet everyone’s needs and expectations, whatever they may be. Can’t let people wait. Answer the call, reply to the text/ email. Get stuff done, cross one item off that long to-do list.

The quest for perfection

We all have some need for control: who doesn’t dream of a perfectly orderly home, with a place for everything and everything in its place? Delicious dinner ready on time, fresh laundered sheets in our beds, a clean house, perfectly balanced check book, vacations planned years in advance – no surprises.

If we learned anything from the past 2 years (with COVID) is that, in reality, we have very little control over anything.

The quest for perfection and the need for control go hand in hand. If we let go of one, the other one tends to dissolve. Knowing that we are imperfect beings living a spiritual experience may help. We are not meant to be perfect. We are here to learn, grow and evolve. And we learn by making mistakes, we grow by forgiving ourselves for those mistakes and we evolve by embracing our humanity.

The importance of being present

Last week I started this exercise. I invite you to try it: any time I felt overwhelmed and angry because “there was not enough time”, I tried to take a step back, take a deep breath and repeat this mantra several times: THERE IS ENOUGH TIME.

Sounds simple, yes? It is!

But it requires practice. It’s like strengthening a muscle that hasn’t been used in many years. It’ll get sore before it gets strong.

Breathing is another way to bring ourselves to the present moment. A 2-3 minute pause can really make a difference. Inhale, exhale, ground and slow down. Slow inhales, long exhales. Try a few rounds, see how it feels.

Grounding ourselves

Another good practice is to try and ground ourselves when our minds are taking us here and there, not settling on anything. Bring both your feet to the floor, place your hands on your knees, close your eyes and just feel the weight of your body. Feel your feet touching the floor. Feel the texture of your clothes, the quality of the air, invite everything in without judgment. Listen to the sounds, notice the smells and tastes. Then, find your breath. Open your eyes, and take in the colors and shapes. Connect with your breath for a moment or so. Now you are here, you’ve fully arrived. Welcome! Spend some time with you, noticing the present moment.

Creating community

Another way to ease overwhem is by creating stronger connections. It’s so important to spend time (whether in person or online) with like-minded people, who can offer us support and remind us of how similar we all are. When we make ourselves fully present and available to others, we tend to get out of our own heads a little. Call an old friend, start an online bookclub, meet a friend for coffee. Put that phone away for a minute, turn off the sound and just be there for that person. We all like to be heard and cared for.

Looking for more ways to connect with others?

On Thursday, February 3rd at 6pm, we will start our first Satsang. This is a free event, open to all. We will do a short guided meditation, then read/ discuss passages of the Tao Te Ching, and explore practical ways to let go and find connection to the universe. This will be an in-person event at our Lyndhurst studio.

Theresa Conlon

Theresa is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor (200-hour RYT) who has been teaching since 2013. She is skilled in various yoga styles including Hatha, Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, and Meditation. Theresa also brings an extensive dance background to her yoga practice, which includes teaching both modern dance and ballet. She has over 40 years of dance/theater performing experience and currently showcases her choreography as part of Bergen Dance Makers, a dance collective in northern New Jersey. Theresa’s yoga classes offer a calming mix of traditional asana postures and creative movement flows, supported by energy-moving breath. Students of all skill levels are invited to find ease and peace in their bodies/minds/spirits through the joyful bliss of yoga movement.

Carrie Parker Gastelu

Carrie Parker Gastelu, E-500 RYT, has been teaching yoga since 1993. Carrie began her journey when Yogi Raj Mani Finger initiated Carrie into the ISHTA Yoga lineage after training with Mani’s son, Yogi Raj Alan Finger. In addition, she has studied many other yoga traditions as well as anatomy, physiology, movement, and awareness practices to create an eclectic style all her own. She is known for her honest, non-dogmatic yet passionate approach.

Carrie is a regular speaker and contributor at conferences, websites, and print publications and has been featured in Fit Magazine, the Yoga Zone Book, and in the Yoga Zone Video, “Flexibility and Stress Release.”

Lisa Podesta-Coombs

When Lisa found yoga in 2008, she started to find herself again and it set her on a path of health and healing. She received her 200HR RYT certification from Raji Thron of Yoga Synthesis, and her 30HR Chakra Yoga Teacher Training certificate with Anodea Judith and holds a Y12SR (Yoga of 12 Step Recovery) certification. She is also a Holistic Health Coach (certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition). Lisa believes we’re all on a journey of learning how to trust ourselves; she helps her clients build that trust by supporting them in creating better habits for a better life through various functional movement modalities like yoga, barre, Pilates & strength training, mindset, and whole food nutrition.

Forever a student with a passion for people, holistic health, and self-actualization, Lisa is always embracing opportunities to advance her education to better serve; Ayurveda workshops & immersions have been of particular interest as she continues to deepen her knowledge of and experience with food as medicine and she recently completed Unleash Her Power Within, a transformational program of rediscovering our truest selves, powered by Tony Robbins.  

As she continues to give herself space and grace to nourish her natural self and actualize her potential, Lisa continues to share the gift of movement as medicine to inspire authenticity & health in body, mind, and spirit. You can expect mindful, accessible, dynamic, playful, and uplifting classes from Lisa.

Tanisha Sutton

Tanisha’s yoga journey began when she was an undergraduate student studying at university. Changes in her health coupled with anxiety over grades, relationships, and life in general, forced her to search for healthy lifestyle choices she could implement to help manage the stress that she was experiencing as a new adult. A friend of hers suggested that she attend some community yoga classes to help with the anxiety and increase her daily physical activity. Initially, she was reluctant and filled with all these false ideas about yoga and the people who practiced yoga. Like many others, she was concerned that her body type and lack of flexibility automatically excluded her from being a student. Curiously yet hesitantly, she journeyed on to her first class and began laying the foundation for a home and public practice that has supported her over the years.

On this journey, she has discovered that yoga has nothing to do with appearances nor is there anything, but an open mind needed to begin. She intends to provide you with a gentle yoga session that is safe, inclusive, and accessible. Her classes are an expression of self-love and are a deliberate choice to tend to ALL the parts of our being that are neglected, ignored, or disregarded during the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Through meditation, deep breathing, and gentle movement we will collectively share space to observe, rest and re-set. Tanisha is honored to share her practice with you and looks forward to seeing you on the mat!