When I was younger, on Saturdays, we used to watch cartoons. I liked to sit and eat cereal and watch all my favorites. Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes, Smurfs, and last but not least, was Superheroes. My dad would come sit and watch with me. He liked comic books and the Superheroes were something we could watch together. What I couldn't wait for was for was Wonder Woman and Supergirl....boy, I had to wait. Most of the time they were just side kicks or played off secondary to their male counter parts, but I still couldn't wait to see how they would always save the boys!
Wonder Woman the "real" TV show was on syndication and if I was lucky enough I got to stay up late and sneak an episode. Lynda Carter was so strong and beautiful. Lifting cars and capturing the bad guys, never a hair or eyelash out of place. With the onset of the movie, my love for Wonder Woman has resurfaced.
Lately I've been practicing my yoga like Wonder Woman. Half naked. (At home of course!!) SWEATY, hair everywhere and make up dripping down my face. (only an Amazon Goddess doesn't sweat!)
What I realized is that it is time to stop my negative self talk and embrace the body I have right now. After a life time of bad eating habits, eating disorders on every spectrum: from starvation to binging/purging, I'm tired. It's time to enjoy the strength, the curves, the stretch marks and everything in-between. To acknowledge the WONDER of my WOMANhood and just be.
It is freeing to finally uncover and unleash my WONDER WOMAN.
Stand in your mirror naked, and take the WW Stance.
Feel the power.
Feel the GODDESS shining through.
You will LOVE IT!
#yoga #loveityoga #gatheryoga #loveityogastudio #loveityogaescapes #yogalifestyle
#yogaeverydamnday #yogagoddess #thisishowweloveit #yogaheartbeat
learn more about Wonder Woman here:
Lately when someone asks,
"How are you?" I've been answering, "Living the dream..." Most of the time everyone chuckles or says one of two things; "must be a good dream, I'm in it!" or, "dream or nightmare?" Usually, I just chuckle and nod my head. As I have said it more often, it clicked that I am LIVING MY DREAM. I am living in this space that Joe and I have molded. I work as a pediatric nurse part time. I own Love It Yoga, teach and share my passion with my partner Caroline. I teach ballet and am working on more teacher certifications for that too!
I have the house I always dreamed of, a very supportive, loving husband and extended family. My girls are wonderful and working on creating their dream-reality.
This has all come with great work, determination and sacrifice. It hasn't been easy, it hasn't been pretty. I missed many a parent teacher interview, Joe missed recitals and we've both missed dance competitions. Dinners are alone sometimes and Skyping in at breakfast is the only way to communicate. The one thing that we agree on is the GOAL! The DREAM. Our outcome is EXACTLY as we dreamed it.
Yes, I take responsibility and make no apologies for our hard work. Because you can live your dream too.
Love and Light,
Seven years this year. It's true. Love It Yoga has been a part of the yoga community of Windsor/Essex county for almost seven years. Amazing! It's actually a miracle. A small business is hard let alone a small business in a small community. We have had many up and downs and many changes throughout the years. New owners, new classes, new teachers, old teachers. It all plays a part in this crazy business. We are a business because of you, because of our students in Amherstburg, Ontario.
Why do we do it? You may ask. Because we LOVE IT. There's no other reason.
There's no money in a yoga business. We aren't scamming our customers for $17 a drop in or $85 a month. We pay rent, we pay teachers and that's it. Just like most other studios here and everywhere. Yoga studios all over the country are closing. Why? Because people have this vision that yoga should be free or close to it. That it is just a hobby and not a valid life choice.
Let's do some math. If the average teacher training is approximately $3000 and the average pay for one class is $25 and you teach once a week it will take you 1.2 years to pay off your teacher training. A strip mall rental of 1000 square feet at $10-$20 a square foot is $1600/month that's 19 people at full rate of $85 just to pay the rent. There is still hydro, internet, phone and yes, MORE teacher trainings just to survive and be current.
This isn't a complaint or a gripe it's just so that we can all be on the same page when customers ask, "When is your next special?" or "I got a Groupon for another studio so I'll come back next month" You are the heart of our studios and we only survive because of our loyal students and because you trust us. And because you spend your yoga dollars here, in your community, because you LOVE IT!
Thank you for Loving It,
The light in me ALWAYS honors the light within you,
I really can't remember when I came up with this statement. I think it's because someone in my household was complaining about something ridiculous. Sometimes I just block out the incessant bickering and the trivial fighting between siblings. (I am an only child so I really don't get it!) This day though, I couldn't take it. One more eye rolling and sighing was going to throw me over the edge. I yelled out "CHANGE YOUR SCRIPT! NO ONE IS LISTENING! SO CHANGE YOUR SCRIPT!!" Joe and the girls stopped, looked at me and burst out laughing. "What does that mean?" Joe asked. "Well", I said, "what they are saying is not being heard. They need to stop, edit and change the script. Maybe then they will be heard. Obviously what they are doing is not working."
GENIUS. I AM.
It's so true. Change your script. What you are doing is not working. Rewrite and start over. How simple is that?? I know, easier said then done but just think how easy it could be.
What script is going on in your mind right now?
ME-"I'm not good enough."
ME-"I need a new job."
ME-"I have to start running....."
Rewrite the script.
ME-"I am good enough!" she said emphatically!
ME-"I will apply for my dream job." she said with determination.
ME-"I will NEVER start running. I hate it. I will walk my dog!" stomps foot and breaks into song.
Keep rewriting until you get it right. Only you have the power to change your script. Write your perfect ending.
Let me know how it goes.....I would love to hear your story.
Love and Light,
I unfortunately do this face a lot. In my mind, I look cheeky and rock-starish. Not so much. I also like the colour blue and my coffee strong. When I'm on midnights, the girls and Joe know not to wake me up before the allowed time or else they pay the consequences. I LOVE my POWER yoga, don't give me that slow mindful stuff, I want to sweat and push my edge....oh, and I like a sandwich for lunch. Please and thank you.
I am pretty predictable. This is not how I pictured my life. When I was about 15 I wanted to travel the world. Go where the wind took me. Be spontaneous. I am not that person. In fact, I am the total opposite. I really like repetition, discipline and predictability. When left to my own devises I wander around the house aimlessly. That's why I like the Ashtanga method of yoga, I like the Cecchetti method of ballet, and why I'm a nurse. All of these aspects of my life are pretty measurable.
Yoga however teaches us to go with the flow. To explore the unpredictable and be open to other aspects of your life. Svadhyaya (self-study) " Examining our actions becomes a mirror to see our conscious and unconscious motives, thoughts, and desires more clearly." This is sometimes an uncomfortable prospect. We may not like what we uncover but self-study can free us from old patterns and thoughts. It can empower us to accept who we are and to leave undesirable thoughts and actions. If I make that face again will the world stop NO! but now I can appreciate how silly I can sometimes be and that is the beauty of self-study. Don't be afraid, it really can be an amazing journey where you find YOURSELF! I still like a sandwich for lunch though....
What have you learned through yoga? What have you embraced, or left behind that makes you so amazing a unique! I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Embrace all that is you, silly, predictable and wonderful!
As a studio owner I've heard a lot of strange phone messages. I've had lots of inquiries about what yoga is, I've had people say they were going to pray for me because I was spreading evil and I've had LOTS of calls about beginning yoga. It is a very scripted phone call and it goes something like this...
ME(M): "Hi! Thanks for calling Love It Yoga, this is Ena how may I help you?" CALLER(C): "Hi, I'm looking to start yoga my friend does it and she looks great, she's so calm and peaceful there has been a big shift in her... (M): "Yes actually, I have a very diverse schedule, and in fact you have called at the perfect time, we have a four week beginner series starting this Tuesday at 730pm." (C): "Well, I'm a runner and I work out so I'm pretty fit can I come to an advanced class?" (M): "That's great I'm so glad that you are taking care of yourself. Have you taken yoga before? (C): "Yes, I took a class or two about two years ago. I didn't like it I hurt my back. (M): "Well I'm sorry to hear that but I'm glad that you are trying again. The four week program is designed to give great instruction on postures, breath and some philosophy. The teacher will take time to help you find your breath and move safely in the poses. As well, because it's a very relaxed class there is time for questions and for some specific modifications...(C) "Well that's great but when is the hot power class, I really don't think I need the beginner series.....
GRRRRR! The frustrating part of this conversation is that my new student is doing a disservice to themselves. When they come to that Hot Power Class they will get hurt and not come back again. They didn't give themselves a chance to start fresh and new. If I went to learn the piano, the teacher would start with scales and reading notes, she wouldn't give me Beethoven to play in my first class. If I joined a Learn To Run group the leader would have me run for a minute and walk for three, not put my shoes on and run a marathon!
Give yourself the gift of new beginnings. The gift of starting something from scratch. Learning yoga is a lifetime adventure, a gift that you can start at the beginning.
I have a love hate relationship with the holiday season. When I was little, I loved Christmas. My parents (all 4 of them) made Christmas magical and seeped with tradition. I loved Santa and all the hype. I loved the family that I got to see, the sparkly lights and the food that I got to indulge on.
Since having my children Joe and I have merged our traditions and created new ones. Somewhere in all of this I hate everything about it. I hate feeling that I have disappointed someone for not doing something or for not have given them the perfect gift. I hate that I can NOT find the magic. You may think that I sound like a Scrooge but I'm not. I cry at the bookstore when I hear a little voice around the corner talking to their mom or dad about what Santa is going to bring them. I do feel the love of family past when I cook a secret family cookie or put an heirloom ornament on the tree. Most of what I feel is sadness.
We all suffer from depression from time to time, that is a statistic. But when you have depression you feel stifled and lonely. Outcast, secluded even when there are many, many people around you telling you that they love you.
Two things have saved my life. My family, and my yoga. The girls are my angels keeping me guessing and laughing, Joe is my rock and my savior, and Yoga is where I feel safe and accepted. I have learned over the years, to relax and not put so much pressure on myself. To really sit back and take in the moment. To enjoy the quiet of Christmas and revel in the simplicity. I KNOW that the most important part of Christmas is about being together and sharing in LOVE.
I hope that you try to enjoy being with your family and friends this holiday season. Take some moments to breathe and practice being present.
Eleven years ago, Joe and I bought this beautiful house in Grand Bend, Ontario. It was to be our home away from home, a sanctuary from our everyday, busy lives. Solace from the clutter and chaos of starting a family and a business. There are no vacations when you own a factory, only stolen moments and days that at any time can be disrupted by a crisis. This paradise was only two hours from our home and accessible, if only for a day. As a family, we got to spend many hours on the beach, looking for fairy houses and just enjoying the beautiful sunsets. Here, we could be free and happy.
Fast forward five or six years, the girls have friends and weekend commitments. We are not able to go to the Casa D'Amicci as much as we once had. Joe is still very busy with work, I have opened Love It Yoga. Our demands have changed and those stolen weekends are very few and far between.
What I'm able to do though is RETREAT. Retreat to my cottage and share this wonderful heaven with my students. I get to explore once again, the beach, the sunsets, the solace of the walking paths. I can help my students once again, reconnect with themselves, to find their inner quiet if only for a weekend. What a great gift we all get to share.
Of course, any great event has many planners, and event coordinators. No hassle free weekend would be possible with out the love and caring of Caroline and Michelle, and the culinary expertise of Claudia. The weekend was seamless, absolutely perfect because each person attending was open, honest and ready to do some soul sharing. We can't wait to do it again!
Joe and I finally got to go away for a few days. Gabi was lucky enough to get to go to ballet school in Holland, Michigan. Madie is working and we decided that we would go a few days early before we got to pick up Gabi. We just wanted to relax. Spend some time together, reconnect. We both lead really busy lives together, as a family and separately. He goes to work, I teach yoga. He goes to China, I teach ballet. He goes to work in China, I go work at the hospital....it's been a great summer!
We stayed in Douglas, Michigan a small hamlet close to Saugatauk and Holland. There are two State parks, beaches and Bald Mountain. Lots of little shops, galleries and RESTAURANTS!!!! Every corner of these quaint towns has a different culinary smell and boy was it amazing. Curry, barbeque, garlic and bakery, how I live for the smell of bread!
I couldn't wait to have some great foodie experiences. The challenge being: VEGAN. We could do it! A salad here, tofu and a farmers market over there! We were going to preserve!
Yeah, about that...
I never realized how much animal products I eat. After puruseing menu after menu I have been enlightened how much dairy is in almost everything! And, how much meat is hiding in most dishes. Obviously a steak or chicken, but minced shrimp or chopped ham it's in there!!! There were some great salads but economically my $15 cherry walnut Michigan salad minus the blue cheese was not comparible to the grilled fresh catch of the day with heritage tomato salad for $10. What is a girl to do? How am I supposed to say NO! to every creme caramel??? LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH! Maybe it's time to re-evaluate over fresh Traverse City Cherry Pie and homemade vanilla ice cream.
This is a life style challenge. An eye opener to a better way of living and an experiment. I'm on vacation. It's hard to challenge myself with no rules. It's a little anarchy really, being on vacation. Maybe I ate vegan once or twice a day during my short Michigan weekend but I did wave a white flag and succumb to a great dinner or two that did include smoked Gouda and whipped cream (not together mind you). Am I terrible for giving in? No. Can I add 5 days to my challenge and continue marching on? Yes!
Let's take the vegan walk of shame, add 5 days and continue on our challenge!
How do you handle difficult vegan situations? Any secret tips for handling vacation and parties? We need 'em!
Peace love and eternal grooviness,
Ena and Joe
PS! Dr. Janice made some great vegan cabbage rolls! They had lentils, rice and were deeeeelish! Check out her blog at www.drjanicedaviend.com maybe she will post it for us!
Whooo! Hoooo! First 6 days done!! (95% vegan, epic fail on Monday! re-read last post) 24 days to go. What am I going to do? Here's the plan I will continue on my "path" and keep forging ahead. I am always like this, let's jump in and figure out the rest. Vegan? Sure. My fridge is full of salami and cheese. Open a yoga studio? Sure. I've taught 3 classes... Hey, wanna buy a swamp in Florida???? I'll probably sign the deed.
Here is the secret. To living your best life you need a plan. Wanna go vegan, don't have a fridge full of salami and cheese cut up in cubes for you. Have fruit and veggies available. Have smoothies ready to drink. Don't leave it up to chance. Maybe if you are going to a restaurant or to a friends house for dinner call. Let them know that you have special needs. A great chef will accommodate a guest if given the chance. Better yet, try a new recipe or a new restaurant! You might LOVE IT!
Here are my tips from week one:
1. PLAN plan plan. Whether you are a strict here is what we are eating on Monday to here is our weekly menu, you need a plan in place. Try to plan at least 3 breakfast options and 4 evening menus. If you are an over cooker, you will have plenty of left overs. Lunch can always be a shake or my favourite hummus. Hummus and bread, hummus and veggies you get, it hummus rules!!!
2. GET HELP! Ask. People are willing to share their ideas, recipes and tips. My friend Darlene is sending me lots of alternatives and hints. Dr. J made me awesome protein balls to have on hand! Now, I'm actually looking at all the great recipes I've pinned on Pinterest. I've also dug out all my vegan cookbooks and have been re-reading them!
3. BE KIND TO YOURSELF if you have just made a huge change in your life whether it's starting an exercise program, or a huge diet change you are going to make some mistakes along the way. IT'S OK! Just realize it, own it give yourself a big hug and get right back up again.
Any other tips and tricks you can
There are some things that you just might be not be able to give up. It's a challenge and Joe still hasn't given up his Tim Horton's steeped tea double double!!! Maybe this week? However, we are going to go to Seva's before going to a Sarah McLaughlin concert!!! Can't wait!!!
Ps. check out Dr.J's blog at www.drjanicedaviend.com for more tips and tricks and don't forget to post your comments.
The Love It Yoga Team
Yoga teachers, dancers, waitresses, empowerers, nurses, foodies, wine lovers, everyday people.