Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facing Your Fears, and Letting Go

Facing Your Fears, and Letting Go

There are some days when I get up, drag myself to the mat and dread every second of it. There are days when I leap out of bed and float to my mat and want it to go on for hours. But it’s those days when I really don’t want to practice when I need to do it the most.

There are many reasons we don’t want to practice, we are tired, stressed out, feeling ill or just being lazy. But there are other reasons, and it may be that we don’t want to face our fears. Facing our fears is probably the best reason to do your yoga practice, but is for sure the hardest.

The fears that we may have can range from not wanting to push outside our comfort zone, to not wanting to face our true self, to feeling inadequate, to having to let go of what you thought you were.

The fear of dealing with the physical discomfort is a natural human behavior, so the lesson in this is easy. We must work through the discomfort to move forward. If we always did things that made us feel comfortable in life, we would probably not have many life experiences or feel very successful. On the other hand, if the lesson to learn is easy, making it happen is the actual challenge.

Attachment to fear may be one of the factors that are preventing us from moving forward. Think about it, we have lived so long with this idea of who we are, that we have this fear, so much so that we have no idea how to let it go. It’s ingrained in our being and letting it go could leave an empty space in our lives.

The other day, while watching others do their practice, I felt a sense of loss to the person I once was. It was a feeling I had never had before. I knew that I had changed, that I had become more dedicated to my yoga practice and have changed my lifestyle, but what I hadn’t realized until that moment, was that I was no longer the person I thought I was.

Over the past few years, I have given up habits and behaviors that would not be conducive to a yogic lifestyle. While giving up those things was not difficult, realizing who I have committed myself to becoming shocked me in a way that was never even conceivable until now. What came to light, at that moment was a sense of loss. I was attached to who I had been for so many years and had a fear of embracing who I had become, of whom I have wanted to become and of whom I would like to evolve into. Fear overtook my entire being at that moment and I just wanted time to stop so I could put the brakes on for a moment to analyze the situation.

Since that moment, I have been mourning the loss of my former self. A flood of emotions overwhelm me on and off the mat, and the physical discomfort of daily practice feels more like agony. The more I try to hold on, the more painful the process becomes. So the lesson is easy, “let go”. But the action of doing so is very difficult.

Non-attachment is part of the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. I believe it is one of the most difficult practices, for sometimes we don’t even realize what our attachments are. I for one had no idea that I was attached to my former self. Now that I know, the process of letting go can begin. I know that when I am ready to embrace my “new” self, I will eagerly float to my mat knowing I have overcome yet another obstacle in this day to day operation we call life. I will have pushed myself out of my comfort zone and will feel really successful. Until then, I must experience and enjoy the journey ahead. Ready or not, here I come.

Maureen Hanusek

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Come Celebrate our 2 year anniversary with us at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park!

Please Be Sure to RSVP by emailing to reserve your spot for the led Primary Series class with Krista 9:30-11:15am and also let us know what you would like to bring to the potluck lunch!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Workshop with Krista Shirley at White Orchid Yoga in Tampa

Krista Shirley Workshop ~ December 3 & 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3

  • 9:00-11:00am ~ Guided Full Primary ~ $25

  • 1:00-3:00pm ~ Deconstruction Before Reconstruction ~ $45

Sunday, December 4

  • 9:00-11:00 ~ Mysore Style ~ $25

  • 1:00-3:00pm ~ Creating a Daily Practice ~ $45

Thursday, September 22, 2011


What has happened to this idea called commitment? I am sure you have heard about it. It's when you decide to do something and stick with it, through the good and the bad.

But when was the last time you made a commitment to yourself? How many of us have really made a commitment to ourselves? If you can't do that, then can you really commit to anyone else?

It's obvious our society has left this idea by the wayside. You can see it in the physical health of our countrymen and women. Health is the number one commitment you must make to yourself, and if you don't have that, then all else adds up to very little. You are just existing while taking up too much space on this diminishing planet.

Commitment is saying to yourself EVERYDAY that you will do the best you possibly can to treat your body, mind and soul like a temple. Do we do that every minute of everyday? No, of course not. But it's obvious, with the amount of sick and obese in this country that few even try to do it the majority of the time.

If your body is sick, then your mind is not clear. If you mind is not clear, then your priorities are misaligned. When your priorities are misaligned, your stress levels increase and the whole cycle continues. Is there any amount of commitment in that?

Making a commitment to your yoga practice, is the first step in creating a better life for yourself so that you can continue you be a positive role model for your children, family and friends.

With commitment comes the good and the bad. Some days I don't feel like working through the discomfort of my yoga practice. I wish my mind would be clear without the daily practice of meditation and I wish I could be physically fit and internally healthy by eating potato chips and pizza at every meal.

But through the good days and bad days we get up out of bed and make it to the mat. Through the good days and bad days we take the time to quiet the mind. And through the good days and bad we choose to eat our vegetables.

It saddens me to see what has become of our society. The loss of hope that Americans once prided themselves on. To come back to a commitment to ourselves is to rebuild a stronger society one man, woman and child at a time.

Maybe that in the past, breaking your commitment to someone or something did not have consequences, but isn't it apparent that that philosophy has led us to where we are now? Which direction do you want to go? Figure it out and commit to it, through the good and the bad.

As a yogi, get on your mat regularly. Do it often and with frequency and don't give up on yourself. There will be days when it's probably the most difficult thing you will have to do and others when it is not. When you make this commitment to yourself, and do not break it, great things can occur for you and the ones who rely on you.

Maureen Hanusek

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Right Here, Right Now

Right Here, Right Now

by Maureen Hanusek

Chances are, if you’re sitting here, reading this, you are in no immediate danger. And if you are in fact, sitting here, reading this, life is pretty good. So, at this very moment, right here, right now, all is perfect. How miniscule the present moment can seem compared to a lifetime. How infinite the present moment can be at this very second.

I am reading the book The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. A friend let me borrow it. And it’s really got me thinking about how to stay present in this moment. So far, it’s amazing. When I truly cut out the mind chatter and things past and future, life seems so beautiful.

But every moment can’t be beautiful, can it? I wish every moment could be beautiful, but things aren’t always beautiful, like our yoga practice, for example. Some days you feel as if you could float on your mat easily from posture to posture. While other days you feel like a lead brick, flopping around on the mat like a poor dying fish out of water. Thus the Power of Now begins.

Your yoga practice is the best place to start your attention to the present moment. This is where your day begins or ends and comes full circle, on your mat. There’s no hiding from it, it’s there, waiting for you to “check in.” It’s where you peel away the layers of your external self and actually have to be with who you really are. And it’s happening every moment you dedicate to your practice. Don’t like yourself so much one day; what’s your practice going to look like? Love yourself another day; how does your practice feel? What is every moment like being you?

Being fully alive in this present moment can be a daunting task when we first realize how much effort it may take, but noticing how wonderful life is, right here, right now can fill us with gratitude and compassion. With practice, living in the present moment becomes more natural and all the chatter and pains that we seem to live with go away, if only for a fleeting moment. Soon these fleeting moments become strung together and longer lapses of clarity exist in our lives.

Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? How do I get this clarity? Where do I begin? Begin on your mat. Whilst practicing asana, feel what the body is doing, feel the breath, the bandhas and refuse to listen to what the mind is telling you about the past or the future. Know that this very moment of your day will only exist for a very short time and that noticing it will not only make it a more enjoyable experience, but allow you to connect with a deeper inner self that may need acknowledgement. In these fleeting minutes, is where we can truly listen for that “Ah-ha” moment. It’s where breakthroughs occur and where those questions we keep asking become answered.

Now is an incredible time to be alive. Now is a powerful tool for self discovery. Now is the time to enjoy the life you have been given. Now is your opportunity to live you best life.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Brian Friedman Workshop at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida (just outside Orlando)

Boundaries and Knowledge Yoga Workshop

with Brian Friedman

Saturday, September 24th


$35.00 early registration, $50.00 thereafter.

Join us for a powerful workshop facilitated by Brian Friedman on Saturday, September 24, 2011 where we’ll explore the ideas of boundaries and knowledge.

What are boundaries?

  • Posture
  • Breathing
  • Gazing Spots
  • Synchronized Movements
  • Energy Locks

What is Knowledge?

  • Understanding Astanga Vinyasa Yoga
  • Knowledge of the Self

These ideas will help you establish good habits during every yoga practice and Brian will share with you the single most important idea of them all.

It’s time to take your yoga experience to the next level! Part discussion, part demonstration, and part led class, this personalized, highly interactive workshop will give you the tools you need to develop great yoga habits and to receive outstanding yoga results!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

If I had my life to live over

If I Had My Life to Live Over

a letter written by Nadine Stair at age 85

If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax; I'd limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles and fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who lived sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day. Oh, I had my moments, and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after the other, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had it to do over again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over again, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances; I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies.

Thank you for a peaceful day. Also, I just found my Sutras of Patanjali book under my computer desk. Have a great night! My little ducks just got home so the fun begins. :)

Friday, September 02, 2011

Beginner Yoga at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida (in the Orlando area)

Have you thought about trying yoga but never knew how to begin? At The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida, we have beginner yoga courses just for you! Our beginner yoga course is meant for students brand new to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (and if you have never done ANY yoga before than this is perfect for you too :)

At the yoga shala we specialize in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. To learn more about our yoga school please visit our website.

If you are interested in starting a yoga practice, read more below about our four week beginner yoga course. Our next four week course begins on September 13th. You need to pre-register for this program by either calling Krista at 407-506-4626 or email Shanna (Shanna (at)

Four Week Beginning Yoga Course

This four week beginner Yoga course is designed for students with little or no yoga experience. Students are introduced to Ashtanga yoga in a slow, safe and comprehensive manner. This beginner Yoga course is progressive, in order that each class will allow students to build from the previous. At the end this course, students will be equipped with the knowledge of the history of the Ashtanga Yoga method, a physical foundation of the sun salutations, standing postures and breath work required to advance in the Ashtanga practice, and the self-assurance to enter into the Mysore program. All classes are held at our Orlando Yoga Shala location. This course requires pre-registration, call 407-506-4626 for more information.

Please select the course you wish to enroll. You may come five days per week during the month beginner course (unless you register for the evening class, which is four nights per week); please keep in mind that it is most ideal to come four-five days per week but please be sure you can come at least three days per week in order to receive maximum benefit from the program.

Beginner Course Timings






Beginner Course Dates - You must call to register

September 13 - October 7

October 10 - November 4

November 7 - December 2

December 5 - December 30