Saturday, July 11, 2015

Can You Tell Me How To Get, How To Get To Happiness Street?

If you follow either of my Instagram accounts, girlfromthegym or theyogabeastblog (the name will be changing soon!), you'll see a complete diverse set of pictures and content.  I have two very different sides to my life.  One side is full of machines, iron, heavy things, sweat, punching bags, locker rooms, and meal prep.  The other side is full of peace, happiness, zen, meditation, yoga, mindfulness, and balance.  But there is one common thread: my mission and desire to #ChooseHappiness.

I don't even know for how long I've been using that particular hashtag in my posts, but it all started out as a reminder to myself that I get to choose to be happy.  It started amidst a very uncertain time in my life where I was dealing with something no more or no less challenging that anything anyone else  had gone through, but for whatever reason, I had expected everything and everyone to make concessions for my sad situation and experiences.

There wasn't some eye opening conversation with a friend telling me to pull myself out of it.  There was no great epiphany while reading some self-help book in an effort to mend my heart.  There was simply the realization that I got to choose how I felt, regardless of what was going on around me.

We tend to forget that there's this one great and amazing thing determining how our day, week, life, job, relationship, projects, and dreams go.  We tend to forget that we have a choice. Emblazon that hashtag on your mind.  Brand that mantra on your heart with a searing and passion-full heat.  You get to choose.  It's really all up to you!

Friday, July 10, 2015

12 Easy Steps: Creating a Lighter Life

photo and article credit ::here::

1. Forgiveness is not something to work through or unearth it is simply a decision that you can make. Forgiveness actually strengthens you. Not only in what it takes to accomplish forgiving someone or yourself but that it opens and frees you up to love, which is a constant source of energy and vitality.

2. Being aware in the midst of our daily activities allows us to savor every moment of our existence - good or bad, void of judgment, creating within us a continual point of access to our inner light and a platform for deeper self-exploration.

3. Being able to face all aspects of ourselves with awareness and compassion is a vital step on the path toward a meaningful and fulfilled life.

4. Beneath what we believe we should be doing, or are doing in order to survive, lies dormant most of our values or deepest truths and therefore our potential to live our most fulfilling lives. To uncover and bring them into the conscious part of ourselves by first seeing them and then by honoring (or living them) in our everyday lives, we bring to light a deeper experience of satisfaction and unblock the pathway toward ultimate fulfillment.

5. Hearing our inner voice and being able to follow it tells us that we have reached a new level of connection within ourselves and to universal consciousness. In fostering this ability, we allow ourselves to plug into the divine within ourselves, creating a powerful link between the inner and outer worlds we inhabit.

6. Embracing your fear liberates you to live the life you have always wanted yet never dared to have.

7. Create a moment and communicate.

8. Sharing your true self will have an impact on those close to you, your community and the world.

9. If we are responsible to our true inner selves, we naturally become more involved with our families, communities and ultimately mother earth as a whole. We affect the greater consciousness of the world when we become conscious of our own personal actions by first taking responsibility for who we really are.

10. The deeper we can feel our sorrow the deeper our joy. Emotions define us in every way. Restraining ourselves from emotion is like cutting off a part of our being; we limit our experience of ourselves and, therefore, the life we live. Simply allowing ourselves to feel in the moment gives us the freedom to interact with all of life’s beauty.

11. Inspire others through your greatness by living your life to it’s fullest potential. If you want to live in a peaceful, beautiful world then be peaceful and beautiful in everything that you do. Make it a part of your personal practice every day to show others an example of the kind of world you want to live in.

12. For what is anger but an expression of the need to be right, to defend your own ego or identity? What is there to defend if we are all one? Start to recognize the love around you. What small actions can you take to increase the love in your life? What actions can you take to give of your love, when you might take it away. A heart that gives protects the soul as it allows the flow of life to be constant. When we stop this “life blood”, the flow of energy, the flow of love we keep ourselves from the much-needed nourishment that fills our souls and gives life to this planet.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Just Breathe

article and photo cred ::here::

I recently took a breathing awareness course at my yoga studio. We met once a week for eight weeks. Our weekly homework assignments included a home practice of 20 minutes four times a week consisting of a set of three asanas – two restorative poses that varied from week to week followed by savasana (final resting pose). While in these poses, we were asked to observe our breath. The idea was that through deeper awareness, we could learn to breathe more fully and find relaxation. At the end of each week, we submitted a practice form summarizing our activities and observations.
In the first week, the asanas were a reclining supported backbend, child’s pose and savasana. When I got into the first pose, I noticed that I was holding my breath. Then I exhaled a little and inhaled a little. When I tried to take a deeperbreath, I noticed that I had puffed up my chest and sucked in my abdomen. No air was getting into my belly. On the next inhale I tried to relax my belly. Although I felt air getting deeper into my lungs, it didn’t fill my chest as much as I wanted. I also noticed that I did not exhale as deeply as I inhaled. Then a lump in the blanket I was lying on distracted me.
It was digging into my rib cage. I should be more careful when folding my blanket. After awhile, I realized that I had been thinking about what I wanted to eat for breakfast, my last birthday and my eighth-grade science project. During that time, I didn’t know what my breath had been doing. I swore I would do better in my nextasana but it was the same story. In savasana, I paid attention to two breaths. Then, I thought about myriad hypothetical situations.
During the following weeks I experimented with bringing my attention to tense body parts as well as focusing on relaxed areas of my body. These exercises were useful but once I was done with them, I was back to directing my breath. When I could watch it, all I could see was what I was doing wrong. My impulse was to try to correct my imperfections but I was failing miserably. All my attempts at deeper breathing were awkward. I felt like I was trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with oven mitts on. By the fourth week, I was still at square one.
During the fifth week, before class started, my teacher returned the last week’s practice form to me. She told me that she understood my frustration and hoped that I would hang in there. I nodded but I felt noncommittal. My mind was on the pranayama (yogic breathing) course that I wanted to take. How could I take a course on the yogic art of breath control when I didn’t have a clue how to observe my breath? It was very disappointing to realize that I couldn’t.
As the class began, I turned my attention to my teacher. We did some warm-up asanas followed by a restorative pose. Then we discussed the assigned reading as well as any questions and observations on our practice. The discussion was followed by a demonstration of the asanas for that week’s home practice.
The next morning, after I reviewed my notes from class, I began my practice. In the first asana, my breath felt shallow as well as uneven. In the next asana, I could feel myself taking deeper breaths. The muscles around my ribcage were more flexible. In savasana, my mind and body felt quiet. There was movement from my breathing but not much noise. The sensation in my mind and body was much like how I feel several minutes before I fall asleep at night. It was the first time I ever felt the air traveling into and out of my body.
During the next 24 hours, my nose and lungs became heavily congested due to allergies. In the morning, the last thing I wanted was to do my asanas but I did them. There was no need to bring attention to my breath. It was already there. Before long, I sneezed. As I sat up to blow my nose, I realized that a sneeze is a deep inhale followed by a deep if violent exhale. When I got back into the asana, I had little smile on my face. My body knows how to breathe deeply.
In the remaining weeks of the course, my practice continued to challenge me. However, I discovered that I could actually enjoy the sensation of breathing. When I finished the course, I decided to continue my home practice. My breathing is not very different from how it was before.
I’m just more present with the movement of my breath through my body. In savasana, I bring my awareness to my body. My attention naturally moves to my breath. I feel the air entering my nostrils and traveling down my throat. My lungs expand and my diaphragm moves down into my abdomen. Then it ascends and the air begins to rise up my chest and through my throat and finally out of my nostrils. From time to time, my mind wanders off. When I notice this, I bring my attention back to the breath.

Ann Bui lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She intends one day to do a handstand away from the wall.

Thank you for "doing it" on

Thursday, June 11, 2015

When Yoga Brings Out Your Inner Witch

Bringing out your inner goddess through yoga is a practice we love. You can’t beat the feeling of angelic serenity as you skip out the door, but what do you do when you unexpectedly come face to face with your inner witch?

Yoga is capable of bringing an emotional storm to the fore – and it’s time to rejoice in that.

When we get to know our true selves and embrace the shadow side we really come into our own spiritual strength. From this place you can cultivate strong and nurturing relationships with others. Every relationship you have is based on the relationship you have with yourself.

This week I was coaching a client. She’s dedicated to transforming her life, but was having a bad day. She’s been taking on other people’s work instead of standing up for herself and laying down boundaries. And she’s been seething on the inside knowing that this people pleasing no longer serves her. In essence, she was out of alignment.

Following her yoga class she was standing in the cool autumn air getting madder and madder. Forget the principle of non-violence or non judgement. Forget inner peace and compassion. The negative self-talk was unleashed: ‘My husband’s going to be mad that I didn’t find out about the event he asked me to. He’s late picking me up. Where is he? It’s cold. Urgh, it’s windy. I feel crap and he knows that, why isn’t he here already? Look at those trees, they’re ugly and evil tonight. I’ve got a busy day at work tomorrow. That rushed meal gave me indigestion,” and the torrent continued. Each comment another abusive blow to the self-love we’d been cultivating.

She woke at 4am. Sobbing. And there we have it.

Sometimes the MIND can LIE to us and tell us that everything is ok and we don’t have to assert ourselves. Logic will always find the right and the wrong and convince us in both directions (your ego is as smart as you are, think Einstein). When we consistently people please and deny to ourselves how we’re feeling we’re in deep doo-doo. Thankfully the body (said to represent the subconscious mind) does not lie.

The tears, the pent up frustration rose to the surface when triangle and warrior pose squeezed stuck emotion out of her cells and into her awareness. First it was rage, then sadness.

Some memories and emotions may have been quietly napping since childhood. When you’re in a situation where you can receive the emotion - OM – there it is. You have the emotional memory of an infinite elephant.

When you learn to connect to yourself through breath, movement and self-inquiry you can let go of what no longer serves you. Sorting out that old mess can free up your shiny inner being; pure joy.

When you meet your inner witch show gratitude that you are releasing pent up emotional pain. Bring comfort to yourself. No more chastising. 

Yoga did not make you angry or sad. You already held these emotions deep at your core – yoga simply facilitated their release. This part of your yoga practice can enrich your life and relationships.

Here are a few tips if you find your inner witch cackling:

1. Stay with the journey. Yoga isn’t creating this stuff; you are purifying.

2. Go home and journal. What is this feeling? What do you need to know? Find relief.

3. Ask yourself what you need right now to feel supported – you’re not looking to avoid the feeling but to feel safe enough to fully acknowledge it

4. Connect – find a yogi friend or a coach who gets it, and work through this stuff because this is part of what’s holding you back in life. Set the pain free.

Letting go of the past brings you to the present – and this is your point of power.

If yoga makes you feel on top of the world that’s brilliant. If it makes you feel like a witch then that’s cool too. It’s Halloween; you can experience the dark side without freaking out. And trust me, this too shall pass when you stop TRICKING yourself, and instead TREAT yourself with the love and compassion you deserve.

Sophia Lennox is a transformational coach and helps her clients to go deeper with their emotional work. As a Yogi Times reader you can benefit from a free complimentary consultation if you’re interested in working with her to transform your life. Contact her directly at - code - Yogi Times.

True Story

A patient was recently visiting one of the clinics in the hospital in which I have worked for the last eight years.  While he was reviewing his medical history with the physician, they came to the "Mental Health" section.  When the physician asked this patient if anyone in his family has any mental health issues, the man replied, "Nobody except my uncle.  He does yoga."

When the physician told me this story, I laughed for a split second before feeling a little bit of sadness when I realized that there is a major misunderstanding surrounding the world of yoga and meditation.  I remembered my own interactions with people who scoff at my yoga and meditation practices.  I remembered my own interactions with people who have told me that I'm weird, with people who have told me I'm following some weird religion, and with people who just completely zone out the minute anything comes up about my practices.  I remembered my own interactions with people who have poked fun at the mala beads I wear.  

I've heard it from complete strangers, co-workers, friends, and yes, even my own family members. While hearing it from my own family hurts the most, I'm not sad for myself and I'm not sad for those that ignore or make fun of me.  I'm just sad for the ignorance.  But I won't try to educate them or make them see it my way.  If anything, I'll remind myself that I do this for me.  And, maybe over time, the naysayers will see how yoga and meditation and my beads have changed me.  For the better.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Aunt's Day

I always love the opportunities given to me by Mala Collective to contribute to their site, to their community.  But when I was asked to write an article pertaining to mothers, my stomach sank for a minute or two.  It's a hard subject for me, especially when centered around Mother's Day.  While I'm blessed with an amazing mother and countless mother figures, this day tends to evoke a little sadness in me.  While very few...and I mean very few....know why, I knew it was time to share my story. Why? Because there are oh so many just like I am: the cool aunt.

I hope you'll go read it on Mala Collective.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

What Is It, Anyway?

Just like Victoria Lynn Schmidt, in the article below, I've been asked and frustrated by this question. I've been accosted by uninformed people who think it's a religion or some hokey, new age, mumbo jumbo.  I've been given weird looks when I talk about what it is, what it does, and what it can be.  So, I was very happy to read Victoria's article on Yogi Times this morning because it helps gives answers in a way that might make sense to some of you.  Yoga is not something new.  It's been around longer than you probably think.  It's not a religion.  Though it can be quite a spiritual experience for those who are truly able to tap into the deeper parts of it.  Yoga is a way to stretch and calm your body, stretch and calm your mind, and truly allows you to confront those obstacles that you think your mind and body cannot handle.  In my opinion, anyway.

Such a frustrating question I have often received from friends and family members. They know I am athletic but everything I do and teach is more about energy, meditation & the mind than it is about poses and stretching. They are confused. This is normal though as many in the west think of yoga as a stretching class and there are some teachers out there who approach it as such too, so there is bound to be some confusion.

Here are some interesting tid bits that might also help anyone new to yoga answer this question from family and friends.

1. Yoga is about union. It’s about getting you to your highest and brightest potential, about being your best self, as Oprah would say.

2. Yoga is what ever it needs to be so that a practitioner can unplug from the drama of life and recharge on the way to a higher way of living. For many westerners this means getting the body in line, or unwinding stress and tension in the body, so that the mind has a chance to find peace. This is what westerners needed, so in the west we are used to Yoga as a physical practice.

“The first workout-like practice of asanas, or poses, stem from the Sritattvanidhi, a book written in the early 1800's by Mummadi Krishnaraja, a patron of Indian culture and arts.” Sadie Nardini

But Yoga has always been so much more than working on the physical level. In order for union (yoga) to happen one must train the mind and live a noble life. There are many teachings on spirituality (non-religious), mental development, right living, and philosophy to guide practitioners.  

“If we agree that yoga includes both preliminary and advanced practices for the body, mind and spirit, then there is plenty of archeological, linguistic, textual, genetic or other evidence to suggest that Hatha Yoga is at least 1500 years old, that Tantra is at least 6000 years old, that Yoga philosophy is at least 3500 years old, and that goraksasana (a complex Hatha Yoga bhanda) was practiced more than 4000 years ago.” Ramesh Bjonnes

There are forms of yoga that hardly stretch at all such as Jana yoga (working with the mind), Bhakti yoga (working with the heart), and Kundalini yoga (working with energy).

So it is up to us to help our western friends (and some teachers) understand the vast offering within yoga to help us on many deep levels to live a better life. It is not just stretching the body, it is stretching the mind and soul. Physical poses help calm us down enough to get to the good stuff!

“Confront a fear, practice patience, express gratitude, exercise generosity, and think of others first. This is what I call emotional yoga.” Dr. Miles Neale

Sunday, April 5, 2015

And All I Really Want....

I was in the middle of a trail run, yesterday, when an all too familiar song from the 90s started playing and all too familiar words ran through my head.

Enough about me, let's talk about you for a minute
Enough about you, let's talk about life for a while
The conflicts, the craziness and the sound of pretenses
Falling all around...all around

Why are you so petrified of silence
Here can you handle this?

Did you think about your bills, you ex, your deadline
Or when you think you're gonna die
Or did you long for the next distraction

I was in the most perfect location to stop, find a rock on which to pop a squat, and welcome in the silence.

It made me question, quite a bit, why we're so afraid of silence.  Why, when we're in the company of others, do some people feel the incessant need to talk, non-stop, about nothing in particular, no direct outcome, no direct purpose, just randomness that pops into their head and out their mouth to fill a silent void?  Why, when we're alone, must we have the blurring distractions of music, TVs, computers, tablets, etc., raging on?  Why are we so petrified of silence?

When I was first learning to drive, my father told me that I should probably not listen to music all the time.  He told me that by listening to the car, I hear the weird little clinks and clunks that could tell me that something was wrong.

It's the same with life.  Turning down the distractions, shutting your mouth, opening your heart and ears enables you to listen to the weird little clinks and clunks when life is trying to tell you something is wrong.

Turn it all down.  Sit back, observe, listen, and shut that mouth.  I mean that in a nice way, I promise.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Is Your Peace Dependent On Your Brain?

article credit ::here::
Yoga is a science. The more you practice and the more you study, the more this will ring true! Let’s first lay out the science of your brain to see how it directly impacts your perceived level of safety, daily ease of life, and your overall level of peace.

About Your Nervous System

The brain houses your nervous system, which is responsible for communicating to, and directing the function of, all other bodily organs. Some parts of the nervous system work consciously while others work unconsciously. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) works automatically, without your conscious effort – regulating the widening or narrowing of your blood vessels, heart rate, and your rate of breathing for example.

The ANS is divided in two, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). These two divisions have opposite effects on your organs but, work together to respond appropriately to life situations. The SNS prepares your body for short-term survival, while the PNS prepares your body for long-term survival.

Evaluate Your Stress Response

Let’s find out if your perceived level of safety, daily ease of life, and your overall level of peace are impacted by your brain! Take a moment now to recall a recent argument you've experienced and then answer these three questions:

1. Why did the argument begin?

2. Did you feel threatened?

3. Was this a life threatening situation? 

Understanding Your Stress Response

If you answered 'Yes" to the last question your brain and SNS are reacting as they should to real life-threatening situations. When the SNS detects danger – whether real or perceived – it immediately alerts the entire body to prepare for action: to increase your heart rate, widen your airways to make breathing easier, and release stored energy for greater strength.
Simultaneously the SNS alerts your other body processes - such as your digestion and urination - not needed for self-defense, to slow or shut down completely. This process is your body’s Stress Response protecting you for short-term survival.

For those of you who answered "No" to that last question, too often the brain perceives non-threatening situations as threatening situations leaving you in a chronic state of stress. The role of the PNS is to manage your response to daily activities, primarily by conserving and restoring - working to slow your heart rate, decrease your blood pressure and stimulate your digestive system. On the flip side, when your Stress Response is activated as it is in Stage 1 – whether real or perceived – the PNS provides additional resources to continue your fight for survival through Stage 2.

Inappropriate Activation of Your Stress Response

With the ever increasing pace and stress of life, often times your Stress Response is activated inappropriately – when there is no real threat or danger. The Stress Response is your survival mechanism, but when chronically activated inappropriately can wreak havoc on your body and level of peace. Long-term exposure to cortisol, which is produced with the activation of your Stress Response, impairs the healthy functioning of your endocrine, digestion and immune systems.

Re-Conditioning Your Brain with Yoga

Much of what activates your Stress Response is not a matter of life and death. So, the inappropriate activation of your Stress Response has been conditioned psychologically. The good news is, you can restore, and re-condition, your Stress Response to its inherent function! By practicing awareness, consciousness and mindfulness you can change your psychological patterns and re-condition your brain and SNS to only respond appropriately – when there is a real threat or danger.

Practices of reflection and mindfulness training will help you to create new patterns of response. The practice of iRest® Yoga Nidra, Pranayama and Meditation restore the body, mind, and senses back to their natural state of well-being by calming the nervous system and inducing the relaxation response. Transformation is a journey inward and with daily mindfulness practice, new healthy patterns will emerge, while old patterns fade!

Overall, the practice of Meditation, Yoga Nidra and Pranayama will help your brain to better manage stressful situations - ultimately, retraining your brain to only respond to real threats of danger ~ allowing you to live freely.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

7 Days to Mindful Eating

I'm so grateful to Mala Collective for giving me an opportunity to write this article about Mindful Eating, and more grateful that they're featuring my 7-day guide on the first day of their Mindful March Challenge.

As you’ve probably learned after a breakup, stressful day at work, family celebration, or a night out with
friends at a local restaurant, our relationships with food can be equally beneficial and damaging. After battles with eating disorders left me with horrible emotional scars, I learned a crucial lesson about my
own relationship with food: it had become “therapy”, not “fuel”. Striving to better myself and not wage a war with my body, I found fitness, developed a love of working out, and learned how to steady myself in this ongoing battle.
One resource, mindful eating, absolutely helps to create a personal and mindful relationship with your food. But it’s not something to flippantly jump into. You wouldn’t run a 10K endurance race without training for it, right? You’d build up to it! 

You can easily build up to mindful eating by following my 7 day training for mindful eating.
Start simple with “Day 1” and gradually add each new day to your routine.

Day 1: Prepare each meal with a consideration and focus specific towards your nutritional needs and goals.

Day 2: Wait for hunger. Learn to differentiate between hunger and boredom. Studies have shown that most people are truly thirsty when they think they’re hungry. Drink a large glass of water and, if after 20 minutes you’re still hungry, then eat.

Day 3: Begin each meal with some deep breaths and a pause to become fully present. Use your senses. Notice colors, smells, textures, and sounds.

Day 4: Before taking your first bite, take a moment to think about how grateful you are to have this delicious food available and use a food related mantra to maintain your mindfulness.

Day 5: Eat your meal sitting down at a table. Not in the car. Not in front of the TV. Not standing by the fridge. Not at your desk. Not with a book. Not with your tablet or smart phone. It’s just you and your food.

Day 6: Notice when you are about 80% full rather than 100% full and stop eating at that point. Trust, from experience, that with what you have eaten so far, you will be full shortly and if you continue, you'll move from satisfied to stuffed.

Day 7: Pay attention to the food you have eaten and notice how it affected your mood and your energy. If you don't like the way you feel, please do not reprimand yourself with negative self-talk, but rather note the feeling and remind yourself before eating that food again in the future. If you feel good, note that, too, and be grateful.
As you gradually follow each day, building on what you mastered the day before, you will create a beneficial relationship with food. Most importantly, you will have learned to enjoy your food and that food is “fuel”, not “therapy”.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Mindful March Challenge with Mala Collective

Don't forget to sign up for the Mindful March Challenge with Mala Collective!  Receive free guided meditations & mindful tips and tricks from our ambassador's right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Mindful March Challenge now:

Letting Go of Unwanted Emotional Patterns

Found this amazing article on Yogi Times and couldn't NOT share it!

letting go of unwanted emotional patterns
Photography by bryan sillorequez 

letting go of unwanted emotional patterns

Live Healthy | Personal Story 

reliving the origin of our emotional difficulties to let them go
For as long as I can remember - back to my kindergarten years in France, where I was born - I always have been an anxious person. I held within me a lot of fears, anxieties, and anger. A whole spectrum of negative emotions.

As a young child, I became skilled in hiding my anxiety behind work, good grades in school, and humor. But it expressed itself negatively through my body. I was dealing with eczema, asthma, anxiety attacks and angry outbursts at home.

I pursued a career in the restaurant business because I wanted to bring joy to people. I enjoyed a great deal of professional success. I spent most of my career in the USA, working for a major corporation. While everything seemed easy and smooth for me from the outside, inside I was still dealing with a great deal of anxiety and fears. Restaurants and hotels are like small worlds, or even small laboratories. For years, I was able to observe just how much emotional triggers rule our lives, whether at the tables with restaurant patrons or in the kitchen with my employees.

In my mid twenties, I decided to go on a personal quest to experience several kinds of body and mind techniques to get rid of my own anxieties, so I could better help my staff and the people around me. Although many of the modalities I experienced were powerful, most of them required a lot of effort, time and money, and the effects were temporary. It was a lifelong, ongoing process. That was not what I was looking for. I believe in work, but I also believe in definite, measurable results.

Most of our fears or emotional struggles are irrational. Sure, we can intellectually find a reason why we are the way we are, why we are reacting a certain way, such as: “I get angry in traffic, because people are driving like idiots!”, “I am lacking self-confidence because when I was a kid my parents did this or that…”, “I cannot have a normal relationship because my ex broke my heart 2 years ago”. We can find reasons why,  but this understanding does not bring healing. We still suffer.

After many years in the corporate world, I was feeling useless in the world. I was not really helping anyone. I was not feeling fulfilled. In 2009, I was ready to quit my job. Ok, but for what? That was when I found the work of a fellow French man, Luc Nicon.

This man claimed that once a person was able to identify an emotional difficulty (such as phobias, anxieties, stress, anger etc.), they could regulate it within 30 minutes when working with the approach he designed, called T.I.P.I. Of course, I was skeptical.

What really triggered my interest is that Luc Nicon was not a spiritual teacher, or even a therapist. He was a researcher and teacher with a solid reputation who was working with athletes and major companies. What was also very appealing about this work was the fact that anyone could learn this technique for themselves and be completely autonomous with it very quickly (in 3 hours.)

I read his book (TIPI, technique for the sensory identification of unconscious fears – “T.i.p.i, being a French acronym for “Technique d’Identification Sensorielle des Peurs Inconscientes”) that explained his research, and my interest in the process grew.

I contacted Luc to ask more information about it, and his answer was quite simple:

“I am not going to try to convince you, try the process on yourself. You can do so when you are triggered, when you are in an emotional difficulty.

When you feel an unpleasant emotion (stress for example)
Make sure you are in a “safe” place and that you won’t have to deal with anything or anyone.Pay attention to the physical sensations present in your body, let them evolve, without doing anything, without taking control, just stay a conscious observer of your physical sensations until you feel calm.

This process will last 2 or 3 minutes at most, but usually it will last 30 seconds. After that, the emotion you started your session with will be resolved, permanently. It will just not be a part of your life anymore”.

Hmmm, ok, it was a bit too simple, a bit disappointing actually. I did not think it would do anything thrilling, but I have tried things a lot crazier than this stuff before, so what the hell, I gave it a shot.

The next opportunity came quite fast: every week, I was extremely triggered when one specific coworker gave his comments during a weekly meeting. This Friday afternoon, as usual, when he started speaking, I felt a lot of anger coming up. Perfect! I excused myself, went to the bathroom, locked the door and tried Tipi:

  • I closed my eyes
  • I Paid attention to my physical sensations (my throat was tight and dry, my stomach twisted, and I was feeling abnormally hot)
  • I stayed with these sensations, without trying to change them, just staying present with them.
  • And they indeed evolved: what was tight became loose, my temperature rose even more, then went down, my stomach untwisted, and I felt that all my blood left me from my belly button and came flowing back with a pleasant warm feeling.
  • I just let all that happen without doing anything
  • Until I felt calm… I then opened my eyes.
I came back to the meeting, feeling a little tired but calm.

The interesting part is that the following week, at the same meeting, I was not triggered at all by this colleague. Intrigued, I repeated the process a few more times on different issues (road rage), and every time the emotional difficulty I worked on would not come back.

Something potent was happening, something that I did not understand but which was clearly working.  I decided to quit my 6 figure salary job and go back to France to study with Luc Nicon himself, with the idea to bring this work back to the US.

Interestingly, for me personally, as I cleared some of my emotional difficulties, such as my fears, all my physical symptoms such as eczema disappeared.

I asked Mr. Nicon to teach me to become a trainer, in order to bring Tipi to the US. He did, and it is now my pleasure to help people regulating their emotional difficulties.

So what happens during a Tipi session?

During a Tipi session with a specialist, the person works on one specific recurrent emotional difficulty.

The goal of a One-on-One Session is for people to experience a total and permanent resolution of the difficulty they selected to work on.

There is one requirement to every session: 
You must be able to clearly remember a real life moment that represents the emotional difficulty you want to resolve.

During a session, we are simply seated facing each other, and the person seeking help is guided through the steps for her/him to consciously connect to her/his sensory memory through the sensations present in the body after reliving a specific situation (“reliving” being a precise process).

Clients are 100% conscious during the whole session. They do not feel any emotional pain during the session, however they might experience uncomfortable physical sensations for few seconds.

When someone decides to work with a specialist on a recurrent emotional difficulty, no story is shared, the specialist is taking the person the way he/she is right now, with the actual current difficulty experienced today.

A session generally takes less than 30 minutes, and the effect of Tipi is immediate. In certain cases one more session may be necessary. A trained Tipi specialist can teach you how to be autonomous with the approach in 3 hours.

It is a fact that we all possess a natural ability to self-regulate our emotions. For example: after a car accident, or a relationship break up there may be a period of heightened emotions. It may seem like the experience will never end. Yet, eventually the emotional experience of the trauma naturally resolves itself. One day we find ourselves driving without a second thought, or deeply in love with another person.

However, for some of us, this natural ability may become blocked. For many individuals, this only becomes more difficult over time.

According to key neuroscience research studies, these blocks develop in response to particularly intense events or fears.

Tipi is a process in which one 'reconnects', physically (through physical sensations) to the original event that created such blocks.

This process re-establishes the natural self-regulation of these blocked emotions.

When we are “in” the emotion, the door to self emotional regulation is wide open.

One year ago, someone very close to me committed suicide. No one around her, including myself had any idea of her distress. Some of us are experts at hiding our pain. Most of the time these people just cannot ask for help, they do not want to talk about their stories. But I know for a fact that most of them are trying to find ways to get better. Putting the information about Tipi out there is so important for me. People who can’t ask for help can learn to do this work on themselves, by themselves. This organic tool is here for us to use.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Mindful March Challenge with Mala Collective

Let's create space and become more mindful together! 

Join us March 15th-21st as we support you with mindful practices and tips, mindful eating, and FREE guided meditations. Plus, daily prizes! 

Sign up now!

Friday, March 6, 2015

I Can Carry It - Part 2



On month till February, keep on holding on
And I know it sure, and I know it sure
On month till February, keep on holding on
And I know it sure, and I know it sure

And it's times like these, and it's things like these
And it's times like these, and it's days like
It's been a long time coming but I'm FALLING SHORT
It's been a long time coming but I'm FALLING SHORT

'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this

And it's times like these, and it's things like these
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
And it's times like these, and it's days like
It's been a long time coming but I'm FALLING SHORT
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
It's been a long time coming but I'm FALLING SHORT
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
Not too far to carry this, not too far to carry this

Because you took something away from yourself
Come back to this world and take your heart to higher shelf
Heart to higher shelf
Not too far to carry this, 
Because you took something away from yourself
Come back to this world and take your heart to higher shelf
One month till February and this is how I feel
Because you took something away from yourself
Come back to this world and take your heart to higher shelf
One month till February
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this
'Cause you could say this is not too far to carry this