Manifesting With The New Moon

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I’m a big fan of writing down new moon wishes. Most of us are probably aware of the full moon. We see her beauty in the sky. We may have noticed our emotions become more heated around the full moon, or that babies are born around the full moon or that our kids and family act crazy. Two weeks later, there’s a new moon. Full moon is a time of completion, letting go and releasing. The new moon is the time of planting seeds, making wishes and watching them unfold.

I have been writing down new moon wishes for years. If you google, you will come up with a lot of information. I always turn to astrologer Jan Spiller for both the new and full moon information. I am so passionate about the new moon that I wanted to share with you some things that I have found helpful when using the new moon energy to make your dreams come true.

Here are my Top 10 Tips on Writing New Moon Wishes

1)   Handwrite your wishes on a piece of paper. I keep a new moon wish notebook. It’s fun to read over my past wishes and see how many have come true. Of course there are some wishes I’m still waiting to manifest.

2)   You should write down 2-10 wishes. Astrologers say not to write down more than 10 since the energy may disperse. I usually write 10 but there are times when I have written more. ***Update*** I ended up adding another wish to my list so this month, so far, I have written 11 wishes. 

3)   If something is very important to you, write the wish in more than one way. (Refer to Jan Spiller’s New Moon Astrology book for more information).

4)   I always end my list with “This or something even better is manifesting in my life today for my best and highest good. It is done, it is done, it is done. And so it is. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.”

5)   It’s very important to know exactly at what time the new moon is since timing is everything when it comes to writing your wishes. There are astrological aspects called balsamic moon and void of course moon. The moon is not at her “best” so it’s best to avoid writing wishes at that time.

6)   The best time to write your wishes are the first 8 hours after the new moon. But the first 48 hours still work. (Again, refer to Jan Spiller’s site for the exact timing).

7)   I like to read my wishes out loud to make sure they feel good to me. And, it also adds an extra something something. If you write a wish and change your mind, or it doesn’t feel good, cross it out.

8)   I like to add the words “easily and effortlessly” and “today” in every wish. I’m not patient. I want my wishes to manifest fast and also in the easiest way possible. Does it always happen that way? No, but I like to put it out there. *** Update*** I decided to reread my wishes before I began chanting to Shiva. I realized that I didn’t like how the word “today” made my wishes sound so I crossed it out and wrote “every day.” 

9)   It’s a good idea to consider what sign the new moon is in every month. The first new moon in March falls in Pisces. According to Jan Spiller’s book, Pisces rules imagination, inner happiness, psychic sensitivity, trusting our intuition, spiritual healing, compassion and releasing helplessness. Pisces also rules self destructive habits or behaviors, drinking, food, criticizing others or ourselves, or procrastination.

You may want to consider writing wishes on these issues. I also like to find out what astrological house the new moon is hitting (I have a chart on astro.com). For example, this new moon hits my 4th house. 4th house rules family and home. I made sure to write down a few wishes that related to my children, husband and home.

10) Have faith and have fun writing the wishes!

There are two new moons in March. This is very rare! The best time for writing down wishes for the new moon in Pisces is Saturday March 1st 3:00 a.m until midnight, Sunday March 2nd 12:01 am-6:03 am, 10:41 am until midnight, and Monday, March 3rd, 12:01 am- 3:00 am. Writing your wishes the first 8 hours after the new moon while avoiding the void of course moon, is the best time to write your wishes.

The second new moon is in Aries and arrives on March 30th. This new moon is very special because it arrives after the Spring Equinox. Jan Spiller talks about creating a treasure map or vision board on the new moon in Aries. I highly recommend doing that!

May all your dreams and wishes come true for your best and highest good today. Please keep me posted. I would love to hear from you and your experience with writing new moon wishes. Namaste.

Every Day Is Valentine’s Day

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I had to share these photos that I took in one of my kids yoga classes yesterday. My theme was Every Day Is Valentine’s Day. We pretended we were Cupid (none of the kids knew who Cupid was). Sending love, chocolate and lollipops to anyone who was sad or needed extra kisses. It was so sweet.

Teaching Yoga

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When my friends learned that I was searching for a yoga teacher training program, they assumed I wanted to become a yoga teacher. I did not. I wanted to deepen my own yoga practice. I wanted to learn about the Sutras and the Gita, ancient yogic texts. What I didn’t realize, though, was that I would have to teach in my training. As students, we were supposed to teach, if I recall correctly, at least six community classes. For some reason, my teacher thought I was going to be an “amazing” (her words) yoga teacher. She told me I would get a following. She had me sub for her during my training, something most trainees don’t do.

I never enjoyed teaching. I was very nervous and insecure. I know some my fellow classmates felt the same. I reached out to experienced teachers for advice. I learned they too recalled feeling similarly as they began teaching. One or two even admitted they would take something to calm their nerves before teaching.

I felt I didn’t know enough to stand in front of a class and tell them what to do. I was scared someone was going to get injured in my class. I prayed, I sought the help of energy workers and spiritual coaching to help calm my nerves. I even had a session with a hypnotherapist. I often had to sub classes and I swear I could hear people’s voices saying “Oh shit, a sub! Ugh, I want to leave!” I did approach a few students after class to find out if they were thinking that. Why yes, they were. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a Reiki practitioner and am quite sensitive to feelings but I hated it. OK, I didn’t always hate it. I did teach a few series where I had the same four or six students every week. I knew them and they knew me. I got to know their bodies. I integrated yoga with Reiki. I did enjoy those classes. I felt I was serving these students to the best of my ability.

Even though I was nervous, I kept on teaching. I would say yes to most opportunities to teach. I approached yoga studios about getting on their schedule. It was a struggle since there are many yoga teachers in my hood. I even looked into renting my own space to teach a class after teaching six students in my living room for weeks.

And  yet…..

It wasn’t until I returned home from my trip to India last Fall that I realized, hello, I did not have to teach adults! Apparently some of my friends had given me that advice but I never heard them. Once I decided to devote my teaching to children, it was as if I had lost weight. I felt much lighter and freer.

I don’t always feel light and free when I teach kids. It’s challenging work. I don’t walk around a room teaching and demonstrating a few poses. I’m on the floor with them doing frog jumps and donkey kicks. I try to maintain their attention and focus. I’m constantly scouring blog posts and websites, taking trainings, buying books and props to use in my classes. However, I generally don’t get anxious and nervous as I used to when I was teaching adults. I do feel some anxiety before teaching at a new school or center, but it’s really not the same.

Yesterday, I read an article titled Memo to New Teachers: Be Patient. I thought the article was good until I came to the end when the author wrote “The world is full of great artists who never came to be because of a fear of being bad before they were good.” That sentenced took my breath away. Was he talking to me? Had I let fear win?  Or, was I simply following my dharma?

In my case, I believe my skills and gifts are best served teaching children. Who knows. Maybe if I had continued teaching adults, I would have overcome my nerves and anxiety. I also believe life is too short and there are many great yoga teachers. Once I made the decision not to teach adults, I wondered if I would change my mind. It’s been over one year, though, and my mind hasn’t changed. Will it ever?

Fellow yoga teachers, how did you feel as you began teaching?  Have those feelings changed the more you teach? Yoga practitioners, do you know or sense when a teacher is a new teacher or if she/he is nervous or anxious about teaching?

Easy Does It

advanced yoga pose I read an article in elephant journal today that is making the rounds on all my yoga Facebook groups. The writer, Theresa Pauline, says “If I had a nickel for every time I saw a posted photo of a yoga teacher in handstand, I’d be a millionaire.” This sentiment is something that I have experienced myself. I have seen countless photos of teachers and yoga practitioners who are able to contort their bodies into spectacular poses. On one hand, I feel it’s not my place to judge. Every body is different. Perhaps that teacher studied gymnastics as a child or is naturally flexible. Perhaps they have practiced that pose daily for years. Who knows. On the other hand, I have gotten intimidated and shied away from practicing with certain teachers because of the photos I have seen of them. raghu Hello Raghunath! I was so afraid to take his class, Flight School, for years. Sure, I heard friends rave about him but I was still nervous since I felt his practice was way more advanced than mine. When I found out he was leading a spiritual pilgrimage to India, I felt I had to take his class. Turns out that while he seemingly is able to do inversions and arm balances blindfolded, he was a “normal” person and a great teacher.  I took a class with Kathryn Budig at the 2013 Yoga Journal Conference. kathrynbudig I hadn’t realized her class was on advanced yoga poses. One thing I remember her saying was that her life didn’t change when she was able to get her foot around her neck. One of my favorite yoga teachers never posts photos of herself in advanced poses. Another favorite teacher recently posted a photos in advanced poses.  I was impressed. I have taken her class many times and she has never introduced these poses in class.

I don’t consider my poses to be “advanced” at all. The photos that I have on my website are rather tame. Downward dogs and tree pose.  I’m also aware after having taught yoga, these “tame” poses may be advanced to certain yogis. My definition of an advanced practice has nothing to do with yoga poses, but more about taming the monkey mind. In that aspect, I’m a total newbie.

Back On My Mat….Again

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A few months ago, I wrote about renewing my love for yoga. After a while of not practicing, I felt great being back on my mat. I felt amazing. However, I spent most of my summer off the mat. I have my reasons, aka, excuses, of course. I gave tons of Reiki sessions. I started kickboxing. I did make it to a handful of classes. Some days I even managed a home practice.

But my heart wasn’t into it as it once was. I tried to be gentle and kind to myself. I knew this was only a phase. I knew it would pass. But it was still challenging for me. I didn’t feel like I was being who I was, if that makes any sense. I continually reminded myself that yoga is not just asana or yoga poses. I knew I would eventually find my way home again.

And I have. These past few weeks I’ve been taking more classes. I actually crave yoga. I think that is what was bothering me:  I was missing the desire for yoga. Without that desire, I felt off kilter. I did love kickboxing. I also love the other workout classes that I have been trying recently. The difference is that now I can’t wait to get back on my mat. I’m looking forward to practicing with my favorite teachers and practicing with new teachers and studios.

Speaking of mats, I also purchased a new mat. It’s called The Mat by lululemon. While I have heard great things about The Mat, I always shied away from it mainly because of the logo. I typically dress head to toe in lulu and I felt silly practicing with a lulu mat. Yet after reading rave review after rave review  (and seeing it released in the color Plum), I decided to purchase it.

I blogged about finding the perfect yoga mat over a year ago. That blog post is one of my most popular blog posts. Clearly there are many yogis in the same boat. Since writing that post, I have only been using my Jade Fusion mat. I find it cushiony and non-slippery. I either haven’t broken my Manduka Pro in or I have a defective one, but it’s so slippery. I just don’t reach for it since I hate slipping.

I’ve used The Mat at least three times. Pros: It’s very grippy and lighter weight than my Jade Fusion and Manduka Pro. Cons: It shows stains and it smells. When I first opened The Mat, I laid it out in my office with the windows open for a few days. My office still smells. The Mat still smells a tiny bit but it has gotten a lot better. The thing that bother me the most are the stains, aka, sweat. When I’m in child’s pose, my forehead leaves a stain on the mat. It does go away eventually, but it’s taking me some time to get used to seeing stains as I practice. That has never, ever happened to me in any of my years of owning a yoga mat.

I bet the black mat doesn’t show stains as much. If you know me, you know I love all things purple but I may get a black one next time. In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy my mat as much as possible, stains and all.

Yoga Isn’t Just For Kids

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Now that school is back in session, so are my kids yoga classes. This past week I’ve slowly eased back into my teaching. I taught two classes in East Orange to kids who have suffered trauma and now demonstrate severe emotional and behavioral issues. I will admit to being a bit nervous about resuming teaching there. Before I enter the Center, I take a few minutes in my car to center myself.  I pray and ask for guidance and support to best serve the kids. I send Reiki to myself and the room. I slather myself in calming essential oils and off I go. The classes I taught this week are the “easy” ones. The kids are younger and, for the most part, not as affected. Yet, I was cursed at, called stupid, had my props thrown across the room and a child tried to kick me. This particular child knew me from last year so I was surprised at his reaction. I do my best to stay calm and present to them an adult that will not react to them by yelling or getting overly upset.

I also led my free kids yoga class at Shatki Yoga. I had 20 kids (!!!!) in my class.  While my class is geared for kids ages 3-7, most of the kids were on the younger side. This free class always draws a large crowd. We like to offer a free class a few times a year so the kids can try the class before the series begins and the parents can see how it goes. This free class is a bit different than the classes I teach in the rest of the series simply because there are so many kids. I had an assistant this time which helped tremendously. What usually happens is one child asks to use the bathroom and then every single child has to go. With that amount of young kids, I needed an extra set of hands. All the kids seemed to have a lot of fun. So did I.

On Friday I visited Karma Kids Yoga. I became certified to teach kids yoga through this studio and I have continued to take numerous trainings they offer. One of the great things that the director, Shari, extends to graduates is the opportunity to observe classes. Since I don’t begin to teach on Fridays for another two weeks, I took the opportunity to head into the city and observe a 3-4 year old yoga class.

karma kids room

The studio is filled with butterflies, bright colors and fun. It was great to watch the teacher. It made me feel a lot better about my own teaching since her class was very similar to the ones that I teach. Sometimes I worry that I’m not doing a good enough job but observing this class helped increase my self confidence. The teachers who teach there are so lucky as the studio is filled with amazing props right at their fingertips.

Lastly, I volunteered to teach a free kids yoga class for my community on Saturday afternoon for the Maplewood Loves Wellness event. Even though I had just taught a free class a few days before, I still felt compelled to offer my service at this event. I assumed there could be families who weren’t aware of my class at Shakti. There really isn’t a way to prepare for an event like this. The event was like a street fair. My class was announced over a microphone and kids started to come over. I had kids ranging in age from 2-12. We sang some songs, did sun salutations and breath work as parents and passerby’s walked by.

All in all, it was a nice transition week back to teaching. Plus I was also able to give two in person Reiki sessions and one long distance session. I’m thankful to be able to continue offering healing energy sessions in addition to teaching kids yoga. As the weeks go on, I will be teaching at a preschool and an enrichment program at my daughter’s elementary school. Summer was great while it lasted!

American Beauty

sunsetgrandcanyon My family and I just returned from an adventurous  vacation. We hiked through the Grand Canyon, Zion and Sedona. The beauty blew me away. In addition to strenuous hikes and breathtaking views, I also was able to find a few moments of peace. In Sedona, I made sure to visit areas known as vortexes. According to this article, “the vortexes in Sedona are swirling centers of subtle energy coming out from the surface of the earth. The vortex energy is not exactly electricity or magnetism, although it does leave a slight measurable residual magnetism in the places where it is strongest.” The article also states that “Sedona has long been known as a spiritual power center. This is because the power that emanates from the vortexes produces some of the most remarkable energy on the planet. This energy is the reason Sedona is full of people that are “on the path”, that is, people who have made a commitment to grow and become as much as they can spiritually. It is also the reason that such a large New Age community has sprung up in the Sedona area, bringing with it a variety of spiritual practices and alternative healing modalities, and it is the reason Sedona has sometimes been called a spiritual Disneyland.” As you can imagine, being an energy worker, I was very, very excited to visit a vortex. At the same time, I tried to remain calm since two of my friends recently visited the vortexes and neither felt anything. My family and I visited two vortexes: the Airport Vortex and the Bell Rock Vortex. When you visit these places, there is no X marks the spot, aka, no sign that reads Vortex. However, at each vortex, I searched for a juniper tree since I read that these trees are a sign of the vortex energy. This is a photo of the juniper tree that I bonded with at the Airport Vortex: vortextree This is the juniper tree I sat under at Bell Rock Vortex: bell rock vortexSo, did I feel any energy?? I can’t say for sure. I did fall in love with the tree at the Airport Vortex. I bonded with this tree. I felt attached to this tree. It was hard for me to say goodbye to that tree.  Other than that, I didn’t have any other sensations. However, my 10 year old daughter had a different experience. For some unexplained reason, she lost a tooth under each tree. She hasn’t lost any teeth in months and months and yet two teeth basically jumped out of her mouth as she sat under the juniper tree. I saw the first one happen. She initially sat under one tree and I sat on another a few feet away. She then came to sit with me and said that her tooth felt loose. I turned to look at her; she wiggled her tooth and it jumped out of her mouth. We were both in shock. The next day we went to Bell Rock and searched for a juniper tree. As we walked towards one, I wondered out loud if she would lose another tooth. And she did. At the Bell Rock vortex, I asked my family for some time alone. As I sat under the juniper tree  (the Bell Rock vortex is supposedly the strongest out of 4 vortexes most often mentioned), I set the intention that the vortex energy reach all my Reiki clients. I set intentions for family and friends. Later that day, I chatted with a woman who told me her life dramatically changed two months after visiting a vortex in Sedona. She said she didn’t feel anything at the vortex but when she returned home, everything in her life began to change and she ended up moving to Sedona. Guess we’ll see what happens to me. In the meantime, please enjoy this photo of Bell Rock. bell rock