Staying inspired!

It can be hard sometimes to keep the wheels of creativity and inspiration turning, and turning efficiently! I often struggle with how to keep my classes fresh, workshop content interesting and new, and how to keep myself from getting stuck in the details. Below are a few tips that I use, weekly if not daily, to keep my mind fresh and my outlook positive.

  1. Organize your space/refresh your workspace – I posted a picture on IG the other day showing my newest form of staying organized! I have to constantly keep my workspace organized AND visually stimulating or I feel completely stagnant and bogged down. I have lots of little items that are colorful and meaningful around my workspace to help me stay visually inspired.
  2. Indulge in some favorite things – sometimes it is a piece of chocolate and other times it is snuggle time with my cats. Whatever makes you feel amazing DO IT! Take time every day to indulge in something that makes you smile and feel loved; your whole perspective will shift afterwards!
  3. Make time for daily reflection and daily expressions of gratitude – This should probably be first on the list. Daily reflection is so so so important. It helps us see where we’ve been and where we are likely headed. It gives us space to talk about what is going on and what we want to do next. When you add in a gratitude practice it becomes doubly impactful. Being able to express gratitude can be hard for some people. But the more you practice it the easier it becomes. A solid gratitude practice not only feels good but on those days when you feel like you have NOTHING to be grateful for, a gratitude practice shows you that there is always something to be grateful for and that alone can be a game changer.
  4. Take breaks! – You can use whatever format works for you but I like the 50/10 rule. For every 50 minutes of work, I take a 10 minute break from it and do something else. It helps to keep your mind fresh and it gives your body a break from whatever it has been doing for the last 50 minutes. Sometimes walking away from a project helps to bring it back into focus.
  5. Make time for creativity that is DIFFERENT than your normal work/medium – Being in love with what you do is important but varying how you are creative helps to move inspiration around. I have found that when I’m doing anything that is creative and fun, I become immensely more inspired in my day to day work. Even 20 mintues with an adult coloring book can make inspiration overflow.
  6. Keep learning – Keep learning about what your work is. Learning new things will keep your ideas and goals fresh and new. It will make you better at whatever your job is and it will keep your mind active.
  7. Create a flexible self care regimen – It is important to do at least one thing every day that is just about YOU! Whether it is a 5 minute meditation, a short walk around the block, a run or a yoga class. You have to make time to give back to yourself. If you aren’t feeling nurtured or cared for your depletion will have substantial impacts on your ability to stay focused and inspired.

Do you have a list of things that you do to stay inspired!? Let me know in the comments!

As always, namaste, Tracie ūüôā

 

Gratitude + Melissa Klimo-Major Podcast

Last March I was laid off from my full time job. I wasn’t sure what the next step would be and luckily I had had some notice that I would be losing my job. I spent much of February and March trying to decide what my next step should be. As I thought and dreamed and ruminated I decided that I would try to make my part time job a full time endeavor.

In late May the dream that had been very quickly becoming a reality, despite my trepidation and amazement, completely and immediately fell apart. I wasn’t sure what to do at first. It may have been the lowest point of the last year and half. If I’m being totally honest, I’m pretty sure I cried for several days straight. Ultimately, I decided just to keep moving forward and see where it led. I found a new place to live at the very last minute and began my new pursuits in Akron, Ohio.

I don’t want to bore you with the minutia but rest assured there have been and still are many moments of ups and downs and highs and lows. This adventure has been one that it truly terrifying and wonderful in equal measure. The support that I have received in so many forms from friends new and old is overwhelming and appreciated beyond words. My loved ones have been steadfast in their support and so generous with their time, encouragement, unending belief in my endeavors, love and not the least of importance money. Without them I would not be able to continue pursuing this path!

Every day I feel the pull of this path and while it is exhausting sometimes, it is wonderful. I have learned so much about myself and about people. I have been invited to be a part of so many amazing peoples’ journeys and am so grateful for these relationships. Although I run around most days driving from here to there, covering well over 500 miles a week and generally don’t know exactly what day it is until I check my calendar, I’m so in love with my life and my work.

I have learned, and maybe I already knew this but didn’t want to acknowledge it, that fear can be a master motivator and also a silencer. The when you are deep in the the struggle to care for your basic needs and responsibilities you can become the most creative; full of raw and amazing ideas and plans. That a loving embrace and words of support are even more valuable than money to pay a bill. And possibly the most important thing that I have learned is that life is meant to be lived most fully; drawing each breath full of bittersweet moments and realizations and that experiences, good ones and not so enjoyable ones, are so much more valuable than anything else.

I would be lying if I told you that I don’t struggle with fear, the what ifs and doubt. I do, almost daily. But I have a steadfast commitment deep in my soul to be happily pursuing that which brings me joy and makes me feel so fully alive. I’m so grateful for each of you and the part that you have played in my journey. It is because of my clients and students, friends and loved ones that I continue each day when I want to stay at home in bed and feel sorry for myself. You have all been the greatest teachers for me and I’m certain that you will continue to do so! Thank you for making the last year of my life so amazing, exhilarating and fulfilling. Most of all thank you for your love and unending support!

Peace and love, Tracie

mkmPS.¬†Here’s the latest podcast!!! My dear dear friend, champion, and inspiration Melissa Klimo-Major joins us for the second June podcast. She talks about her inspiration for teaching, her growing business Balance & Brews and the super exciting Beer Yogi Tour that she is about to embark on! As always feel free to reach out to her! All of the necessary links and email addresses are in the notes for the podcast. Also if you have any ideas for a podcast or topics you want to hear about let me know! ūüôā

What to do if you’re new!

It isn’t any secret, I LOVE YOGA! ūüôā I recently started a podcast to help make yoga more¬†accessible. With only about 9% of the adult population of the US currently practicing, there is lots of Copy of Tracie M Zamiskaroom to invite others to add this amazing practice into their lives. The podcast is just one way I hope to make yoga less mysterious and scary and more open and welcoming. Subscribe to the podcast so you can stay in the know! ūüôā

I often get questions from people who have heard of yoga but are nervous or afraid to go to a studio. They don’t want to feel out of place or self conscious. They are worried about what to wear. They are afraid that they will do something embarrassing. Well intentioned devotees and teachers alike often say, usually in a patronizing way, “Oh don’t worry! You’ll be fine! We’ve ALL been there!” CASTLE (2)I KNOW I’m guilty of this myself. But just giving brief and slightly dismissive verbal encouragement isn’t enough to really invite someone to yoga. SOOOO I made a video that walks you through some of the props and poses that you will find in a vinyasa flow class. In addition to the video I’ve given you some tips below to help make things a bit less uncomfortable.

If I missed anything or you have other questions let me know and I’ll update this list based on your questions/suggestions! Also, if you aren’t sure what studio to try, let me know of your location and why you want to try yoga and I’ll try and give you suggestions based on your needs. I know teachers all over North America as well as a few countries in Europe and also in Australia and New Zealand. If I don’t know anyone in your area I can email my network to get a recommendation for you.

WHAT TO WEAR
Wear whatever you’re comfortable in! It is helpful for the teacher that you wear clothes that are more fitted or closer to the body so s/he can see your body and ensure proper alignment, however Lululemon or something similar is not required. The most important thing is that you are COMFORTABLE. If you aren’t, you are going to hate the class and never come back. Layers can be helpful so you can regulate temperature a bit on your own.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR
SOCKS!!! I don’t make people take socks off but I often suggest it. Socks can be hazardous to your practice, especially in a vinyasa class. The whole point of the yoga mat is to provide a stable and sturdy base for you to move. Socks can slip and slide and that can lead to losing your balance or worse an injury. If you feel truly uncomfortable about people seeing your feet, splurge and do something nice for yourself like an at home pedicure. Also, be mindful not to wear shoes throughout the studio space. Most studios will have cubbies or mats close to the entry door so you can stow your belongs, that includes shoes. And lastly, this one causes a bit of drama. Try not to wear heavy perfumes or heavily scented lotions in class. The room might get warm and all the smells of 20 people combined can make for an unpleasant experience, especially for those who are sensitive to chemicals. So studios request some sort of deodorant but nothing that is super smelly.

WHAT TO BRING
It is helpful to have a small towel in case you sweat or your mat gets sweaty and slippery. You can also lay it down across the width of your mat in cases where things feel a bit slippery. Also, bring some water! A plain old bottle from the 24 pack you just picked up from the grocery store is fine. You don’t need any fancy bottles. Possibly a yoga mat, that said most studios will have them available to you that you can borrow until you decide if this yoga thing is a good fit.

WHAT NOT TO BRING
Your cell phone. Please leave them in the car. Unless you are an on-call doctor/nurse, you do not need your cell phone. Remember 20 years ago when we didn’t have them? Everything turned out ok if you missed a call. ūüėČ

The only other advice I have is to have fun! Like everything in life yoga isn’t serious business, it is a way for you to connect to breath and connect to your body. An invitation for you to slow down a bit and see what you are capable of. Namaste people! ūüôā

CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Katy and how she got her groove back!

I have been running for over 15 years now-it has always been an “off again,¬†on again¬†relationship”¬†due to knee pain. It always begins in my left knee¬†which causes me to alter my stride, and then the rest of my lower body starts to fall apart. My knees click, pop, and lock, and then I freak out and desperation sets in.

IMG_9893After spending way too much money on the latest and greatest support shoes, chiropractor visits, knee braces, athletic tape, and sports medicine doctor visits I decided to give yoga a try. I mean at this point, why not? I have to admit: I was a bit of a skeptic. I am a high-strung person, so I prefer fast-paced, high-intensity workouts. I thought yoga would be slow and boring.

Tracie recommended a few poses for me that I began working on to open up my hips and increase my flexibility a while ago. I started incorporating them into my daily routine, along with daily leg extensions to build quadricep strength. But I was still having pain, so Tracie sent me a video of a flow for the abductors/adductors. I added that to the mix and began doing the full video three times a week (and sneaking in some of my favorite moves from the video with my daily workouts). The flow was not boring at all; in fact it is probably one of my most challenging workouts because it is targeting muscles that I have clearly been neglecting.¬†I couldn’t believe how sore I could be without running!

Now, although I am very slowly building my mileage back up, I feel like a whole new runner! I can feel the difference in my stride and can feel¬†improved stability in my hips and knees. My knees still pop occasionally, but have not locked up at all since I started incorporating yoga into my workout regimen. I truly believe that without Tracie’s intervention, I would not have the physical strength or mental confidence needed to take on the challenges of the races I signed up for this year!

 

Fall Feel Good Tips & a Morning Routine

Fall is here! I love this season. I sort of feel like October and the beginning of November are the calm before the storm of holiday craziness. Here are some of my feel good tips for Fall to keep you centered and your immune system up and running!

  • Get enough rest and sleep in one day a week! Figure out what your perfect number is, 7 hours, 8.5 hours, whatever and make a commitment to get to bed nearly at the same time every night. Creating a sleep schedule will help you get more rest and better quality rest. Sleep is our mind’s way of processing¬†our lives. Similar to a computer, when we sleep restfully and long enough our hard drive (our brain) defrags our memories, thoughts, feelings and lessons and stores them away in the appropriate places so we can quickly access them later, when we need them. Without this we are often left feeling spacey or scatterbrained and disconnected. ¬†Sleep is also our body’s way of restoring itself after the physical and emotional demands of each day have pushed us to the limit. If you can manage an extra 30-45 minutes in bed one day a week to just peacefully sleep or daydream it will leave you feeling a little indulged and supported.
  • Keep your feet, low back and neck covered! You probably read that and either thought, “huh?!” or “duh!” I once went to a Chinese medicine doctor and she scolded me, quite sufficiently, for wearing ballet flats without socks and no scarf in the middle of November. Let’s start with the basic premise of this instruction. ¬†In Chinese medicine the saying goes that wind is the harbinger of 100 diseases. Usually it is because of what the wind carries with it. In the case of your body, having your neck, low back and feet exposed to the cold can cause all sorts of tensions and dis-ease. First the cold causes us to tense up to stay warm, which is why keeping your neck and low back warm can be especially helpful to keep the muscle tightness and kinks at bay. Secondly, cold is going to prohibit fluid movement, warm of course encourages it which is what you want. Keeping the bodily fluids, waste, lymph, blood, saline, etc, moving ensures that you’re staying properly hydrated and free from waste. Lastly, the kidneys are an important organ to protect, along with others of course! I won’t get into all the science here but the kidneys are thought of as one of the most important organs in your body. Having strong kidneys helps to ensure the rest of your system is strong. ¬†The kidneys are located under the diaphragm near your low back¬†and the beginning point for one of the major kidney meridians is in the bottom of your foot. Keeping these areas covered and supported will help protect the kidneys and your immune system.
  • Develop a consist daily practice! It doesn’t really matter what you focus on but doing something daily is shown to create positive results. ¬†Whether it is a daily meditation practice, pranayama, yoga, gratitude practice or journaling. Having even 5 minutes each day for quiet and reflection will help you stay more present in the rest of your day. And before you begin to protest, everyone can literally find 5 minutes. Even if it is just a few stretches while you are snoozing in bed before your alarm goes off or a few forward folds before your shower. Maybe you can sit in your car for 5 minutes before heading into work and just take a moment to breathe. ¬†Adding in a consistent practice will have far reaching benefits.
  • Clean house! People think of spring cleaning as the time to get your house in order but really we use spring cleaning to air out our homes and add some newness to our lives. ¬†Now is the time to CLEAN HOUSE! Take some time to inventory what you have and if you still need it. Whatever you can easily part with, donate it ASAP. ¬†If you are uncertain about an item or attached to it, take some time to consider your resistance of letting it go. ¬†I just posted a meditation about clearing out clutter in our hearts. Try the meditation and see what comes up. ¬†Releasing old patterns, emotions and experiences helps to free up your energy and make space for all the new things waiting for you. ¬†Similarly, making space in our homes creates space for new and wonderful things!
  • Eat for the season! Ayurveda and TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) both have suggestions about eating for your individual needs as well as seasonally. Because it is starting to get colder, especially where I live, it is important to eat fortifying and warming foods. ¬†Having a salad every day for lunch might make you feel better about your eating habits but by nature raw veggies are cooling and you want warming foods to stoke your internal fire and your metabolism. There are lots of resources online as well as the FREE upcoming Ayurveda Summit in two weeks. Also consider adding spices to your daily foods like turmeric and cinnamon. Every morning I add cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and coconut oil to my tea. ¬†It helps stabilize my blood sugar and it warms me up!
  • Take time for YOU! Pampering and nurturing yourself is most important this time of year. Our bodies are preparing for winter and we are ramping up for the holidays. To keep the blues at bay and the holiday anxiety from setting in, make a commitment to pamper yourself at least once a week. It can be ANYTHING that makes you feel good. For me it is a nice hot bath, a glass of my favorite red wine or low key evenings snuggling on the couch with my cats, my partner and a few episodes of Downton. Whatever it is for you, do it!

I hope that these tips will add a little bit of freedom and support to your days as we move deeply into the season of Fall! Namaste

Morning Routine: 

While still in bed, bring the knees into the chest and then drop them over to the right side for a few breaths. Inhale them back to center and then to the other side for a few breaths.  Inhale them back to center and then reach your hands up over head as you stretch your legs out, flexing your feet and pointing your toes. Slowly roll to one side and use your arms to push yourself up to sit. Sit for a moment and take a few natural breaths. Close your eyes and complete 3-5 rounds of alternate nostril breathing.

Slowly and gently stand. Close your eyes and feel the ground beneath you for a few breaths. Inhale the arms up overhead and open your eyes. ¬†Slowly and gently come to a forward fold and with knees gently bent sway from side to side. ¬†Repeat 3-5 times. On your last round inhale the arms up overhead and exhale hands to heart center. Set an intention for your day. Namaste and have a great day! ūüôā

Ayurveda: An ancient system of healing and living

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and any information supplied below is not intended to replace medical treatment by a doctor. Also, the content below is only for informational purposes not for medical advice or use.  Whenever you choose to make lifestyle changes please consult a trusted medical practitioner of your choice.

What is Ayurveda?

There is a TON of information available online about Ayurveda. Simply put, Ayurveda is an ancient system for healing and living. Ayur means life and veda means science or knowledge. This ancient life science has been practiced in India for at least the last 5,000 years; it is believed that at least 90% of all Indians use some form of Ayurveda.  In the western medical world it is considered an alternative form of medicine. You might use some forms of Ayurveda and not even realize it! Yoga, meditation, pranayama, eating with the seasons, oil pulling, and netti pot cleansing are just some of the simple daily practices that contribute to an Ayurvedic wellness plan.

It is designed in a way to link your inner wisdom with your body to help guide you to create a holistic daily regimen to ensure mental clarity, physical health and emotional well being. It is an individualized approach to wellness that takes many factors into consideration when evaluating an individual’s health and creating a wellness plan.

Why is it helpful?

Sometimes we notice several small things in our life that we want to change to improve our health and the daily quality of our lives.  Things like getting better rest, making time for exercise, feeling less stressed, etc. In a system like Ayurveda you can create a daily practice that incorporates small changes that can add up to enormous benefits! By creating an individual plan, you become empowered and in charge of your health and well being.

Want to learn more? Here is a FREE online seminar that can provide more information from the experts!

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How private sessions work and why they help!

I get this question a lot, “what is a yoga private?!”

Here’s how they work:

We meet for the first session and I listen to what your goals are for yoga. More balanced feeling, stress reduction, strengthening and toning, fixing muscle imbalances, reducing chronic pain, dealing with an injury or chronic issue, etc. Then I do muscle testing to see if all of your muscles are working properly and together.  I also do range of motion tests.  Then I take all that info and what your goals are and I make a plan of attack!

Once I have all this info I create your Yoga Prescription.  This will consist of stretches, strengthening exercises, meditations, pranayama or a combo of all of these wonderful tools. In the next session we go over the YP so you understand how to do each pose/exercise and clarify any questions you may have.  You do this YP for four weeks and then we test again and see what the results are and what needs to be tweaked.

The next question I get is, “how often do I need to come see you for private sessions?”

Of course this is entirely up to YOU! Here are some factors to consider:

-what are my goals for yoga?
-how much time do I have to meet in person with someone on a weekly basis?
-how quickly do I want to see results?
-can I commit to completing my YP (Yoga Prescription) at least 4 times on my own per week?
-what is my budget?

Most of my private clients see me weekly. ¬†We briefly check in at the beginning and see how they are feeling, what’s new in their lives and how the YP work is going. Then each session I work on them with their goals. ¬†Usually these are completely different from the YP. Sometimes it works best for some of my clients to see me biweekly or monthly. It all depends on what works for YOU.

And finally, the last question I get is, “why do these privates work? how do they help more than just going to yoga a few times a week?”

This of course all has to do with your goals. Lots of people come to me for help with chronic issues or specific muscle groups they wish to strengthen. Going to yoga classes at a studio is going to improve the quality of your life and help put you on the path to achieving your yoga goals.  One on one sessions give you that extra push to focus specifically on a few main goals and have a plan designed specifically for you and your body. I see private sessions as a way to take your practice to the next level and commit to a significant change.

Private sessions increase the tools we have in our toolboxes; giving us a little extra when we need to move onto the next place.

As always if you have any questions specifically about how privates can help you please feel free to send me an email or set up a free call.

Wishing you eternal peace. Namaste.

Get grounded! Find your anchor.

This time of year certainly encourages us to find our feet and get grounded! Last month I included a grounding meditation with the newsletter. I find that especially around the change of the seasons it feels nice to really commit to setting up my system and practicing coming back to center.

This month I’ve added a quick anchoring guide that you can utilize whenever you feel disconnected, overwhelmed or the need pull back from whatever you’re experiencing.

I discuss this briefly in the anchoring guide but when we start to feel stressed or on the defense we have a tendency to pull up into our minds.  We can sometimes feel that if we move to our mind we will be in control; but this actually does the opposite.  Culturally we are encouraged to be endless thinkers and over thinkers. The more time you spend in your head the less you can be in the moment and fully present to what is happening around you AND within you.

It is natural to do this; to pull back. We can often do it without realizing it. The challenge is to stay immersed in EVERYTHING about the moment. The sounds, smells, the feelings. The more we do this, the more we will continue to get know ourselves and our bodies better. The result of a stronger relationship between the mind and the body is full heart centered living. Anchoring instead of pulling back will help you embrace being in the moment and lead to a more genuine experience.

Take a moment to look inside and see if you can identify three instances this week where you pulled away from an experience. Try to relive those experiences in your mind; you’ll probably feel the exact moment where you started to disconnect. Spend a brief moment looking at what you felt at the moment of disconnect. Then compare the three moments of disconnect and see if you find a theme. That’s where the work for this month begins! Be well!

Welcome October!

I hope each of you are transitioning peacefully into fall! I’m excited to share so many things with you. First, I have a new website! You can now find me at traciezamiska.com. The website has my menu of services, links to scheduling, purchasing packages, a blog and more!

Secondly, I’m returning to SpyngaFlows for a few workshops this Fall. ¬†I’m so excited to be back at the studio where it ALL began for me.¬†I’m also happy to announce that I’ve joined the teaching staff at Kent Yoga and Li’l Yoga Shop.

A great way to prep for the new season upon us is to really get in your body and experience what exactly is going on.  One way to do this is my Myofascial Release Workshop. Myofascial release is the release of held areas of tension in the superficial tissues of the muscular system. This workshop uses tennis balls to help you find areas of held tension and chronic pain and then release these holding patterns to keep your muscles hydrated, functioning optimally and relaxed.

I’m holding this workshop twice this month; North and South. ūüôā ¬†THIS Saturday 10/10, I’ll be at Kent Yoga from 4-5:30pm and then Saturday 10/24 from 3-4:30pm I’ll be at SpyngaFlows.

September ended on such a peaceful note for me. This year has been mostly about surrender for me but also transitions. ¬†I’ve learned so much about how to trust the process and enjoy the moment. I hope you’ll find some helpful tips in the blog post and recordings this month. As always, thank you to EACH of you for your continued support! Light and love to you and yours! Tracie