Simple Green Me

Cultural reporter for KUTV 2News and adjunct yoga/meditation professor blogs about wellness, green living, downsizing, simplifying, better travel✨and more. Offering mindfulness, meditation, goal-setting and decluttering coaching!


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I am sitting here trying to meditate. Now what?

You’ve decided you’re going to start meditating. You bought a comfy meditation cushion, even a string of Mala beads. Or you’re sitting on a simple chair, or lying on your couch. 

Your eyes are closed. You have stopped “doing.” You may think, “Is this it? Am I doing this right?”

The answer is YES. Your intention to meditate is 2/3 the battle. Now, as taught to me by Deepak Chopra, this is what happens next.

RESTFUL ALERTNESS

In one of his meditation videos, Chopra calls the next stage after sitting/lying “restful alertness.” You are still practicing nondoing, but you are very much aware. You’re aware of sounds. Tensions or discomforts in the body. Sensations. Make sure you fix any major discomfort before continuing on. 

FAVOR THE BREATH

Then, we start to notice our breath. And we add the mantra, “I am.” Perhaps you think “I” on the inhale, and “am” on the exhale. The Sanskrit words for “I am” are “So hum;” you can use those, instead. But, as Chopra says, we don’t kill ourselves focusing on the breath or mantra, but rather, we favor them over our thoughts and emotions.

BACK AND FORTH aka MINDFULNESS

Chopra says you will likely go back and forth from thinking, to favoring the breath, from feeling an emotion, to saying the mantra, back to thinking. And that’s OK. The goal is to always return to the breath when you notice yourself getting caught up in thinking and emotions. That’s mindfulness

PURE SPIRIT

Then, at some point – “especially if you’re not trying,” Chopra says – all the thoughts, emotions, sensations will be cleared away, and you’re left with you. What exists now, in his words: is “your pure spirit.” 

It gives me goosebumps – that state is pure freedom. Connection. Nonself. Peace. But, though we are grateful when we get to “be” in this way, sometimes we don’t get there. I have plenty of meditations like this. We may simply stay in restful alertness, and that’s still awesome, instructs Chopra, because we are still getting all the benefits of meditation…learning to always return to peace.

If you’d like some personal guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact me for an in-person or online session. You can also sign up for Chopra’s classes and retreats here


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Lazy Day Yoga (great for recovery or the elderly)

Amanda jones shows easy yoga movesI only do an average of 15 minutes of yoga each night (I’m a Vata..relaxing is good for us go-getters 🤓 take the the dosha quiz here to see what you are) but even THAT is too much of a hassle on days of overwhelm. Thankfully, the ancient art of Hatha yoga has us covered with its “energy releasing” Pawanmuktasana Series I – a series of “anti-rheumatic” poses great for lubricating joints, increasing circulation and toning nerves. Virtually everyone can do these poses: chair-bound, arthritic, postpartum…even those with a simple case of the Mondays. 
Watch me walk through the following series in my latest monthly yoga segment on KUTV 2News Fresh Living.  

1. Padanguli- and Goolf Naman – Toe and ankle bending (point and flex)

2. Goolf Chakra – Ankle rotation

3. Janu Naman – Knee bending

4. Poorna Titali Asana – Butterfly 

5. Mushtika Bandhana – Hand clenching

6. Manibandha Naman – Wrist bending

7. Manibandha Chakra – Wrist joint rotation 

8. Kehuni Naman – Elbow bending

9. Skandha Chakra – Shoulder socket rotation 

10. Greeva Sanchalana – Ear to shoulder stretch

11. End with Chin or Jnana Mudra

If you liked these poses and want more, continue on with Pawamuktasana Series 2 and 3. 

As you practice, be aware of your mindchatter, and link each movement to an in- or exhale. And with movements this simple, now we have no excuses not to practice (we don’t really want to miss out anyway)!

I found this information in the book, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. 


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How important is a meditation teacher? 

My mindfulness journey began with books and YouTube videos, as many of ours do. We learn enough to start thinking a bit differently; start up a basic practice; makes some good changes. But after a time, As many of us do when we get gung-ho about a new diet or exercise plan, I plateaued. And when you plateau in mindfulness, the risk of slipping back into unconsciousness and habits of suffering, is high. One needs to always be growing; learning; practicing…in order to continue to experience and embody inner peace. So I am grateful I was advised to seek out the guidance of teachers, because they are the ones who truly helped me grow my inner guru. 

One of my first teachers, Yogi Cameron, has a good explanation of the importance of a “guru” HERE

My student Catherine told me she has downloaded meditation apps in the past, which helped her fall asleep. But it wasn’t until she started going to in-person groups, such as my class, that she experienced true transformation. Now, she is working on downsizing her life, finding a job that better suits her talents and ideal lifestyle, and finding true happiness within herself. 

I still rely heavily on books and videos to keep my practice fresh (in fact, you can find a few of my favorites herej), but thank goodness I have the support of wise teachers when I need some extra honesty, consolation, a new perspective, and more personalized guidance overall. 

If you’d like more meditation tips or personalized guidance, don’t hesitate to contact me by visiting www.simplegreenme.com

Namaste!


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Yes, diet and exercise – but first, MINDFULNESS.


It was 6 months after my baby was born, and I suddenly found myself 20 pounds under my pre-baby weight. I got REALLY lucky, because many women’s bodies need 2 years or more to let go of all the extra water, fat and nutrients that that particular baby needed. We never know how post-baby body will look; we can only stay in the moment and breathe into the cards we are dealt. 

I had gained 30 or so pounds during pregnancy, being very aware of what my body was asking for! It was definitely more meat and potatoes and sugar cookies than green salads. But I had been eating green salads prior to pregnancy and my body said, “hey, a little more sustenance, please!” After the baby, I was back to green smoothies and yummy healthy food, but it wasn’t because I HAD to; I ate that way because when I did, I felt more energetic; more emotionally satisfied. Pregnancy taught me to go for foods that made me FEEL good; not to just stick to a rigid diet. Pregnancy was the beginning of mindful eating. 

A few months after the baby, I hadn’t even started doing yoga again when the scale started dropping. Now, two years later and I’ve maintained the weightloss. Here’s the crazy part: I’ve done the whole personal training thing, eaten rabbit food for weeks on end, and tried every-day marathons of yoga,  yet I’ve never sustained my Weightloss like I have now. The one thing that’s different about my current fitness plan is MEDITATION and MINDFULNESS. Without awareness of your thoughts and emotions, and how they manifest in your life through action or reaction, your diet and exercise plan is merely a bandaid on a deep-rooted issue. In order to heal the body, you must first heal the soul, so that you can once again HEAR what your body is asking for.  

For example: Merideth struggles with anxiety. She leads a busy life, and sometimes when she gets home, she grabs a bag of chips and sits in front of the TV, just to unwind and distract her from the cyclone of “to-dos” in her head. But after learning breathing and meditation techniques, she grew more aware of the emotions she was having and learned to label them as “anxiety” or simply, “thinking.” Soon after, she would get home and pour a cup of tea and have an apple; she didn’t want a full stomach for her 15 minutes of light yoga she’d do in the living room. After yoga, she ate a colorful dinner and ended her evening in the bathtub with a book. Because she knew these actions brought her peace and self-love, instead of self-loathing and guilt that came with her former habits. 

Ain’t nothing wrong with vegging in front of the tv; everything in moderation! This example was just meant to show you that when you are mindful of how you feel, and how you WANT to feel, you make decisions that are much better for your wellbeing. And that is a sustainable fitness plan. Let me repeat, I’ve enjoyed two years and counting at my ideal weight. 

 Let me know if I can help set you up with a personalized mindfulness plan including meditation tools! Your first call is free; the second one is only $30! Clients tell me it’s a mix or goal-setting, relaxation techniques and therapy. I welcome you to try it! Click here to get my number. Namaste!!


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#15secondzen – the key to positivity

“The seeds that are watered friendly are the seeds that grow strong.”

-THICH NHAT HANH 


☀️ the key to staying positive is in today’s #15secondzen! CLICK HERE TO WATCH

It involves doing more of what makes you feel GOOD to give you 😀fuel for when the 🌧storm comes. Some of my tools are:🕯lighting a #candle (or making one!)

💆🏼 yoga stretching or just #breathing 

🎶 uplifting music 

🍃 meditation (try it at www.simplegreenme.com)

🏄 standup paddle boarding  if I can get a babysitter 

You get the idea! What helps you grow 🌱 your “good feelings?” 🌈

#lifeonkratom #takekratomandhandleit #yoga #meditation #happy #donthatemeditate #mindfulness #wellness #anxiety #depression #stress #lifeisbeautiful 


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#15secondzen – suffering your way to enlightenment 

Today’s ✨#15secondzen –
why we need suffering. My take on it today? When I’m in pain, I’m reminded to feel my body. To breathe. To reach out to loved ones. It turns on that need for “something more” in that spiritual sense. YOU HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO BE PRESENT. The reason I’m so into meditating now is Because I was trying to ease suffering. And now, it is my tool for prevention of suffering. 

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering.” 

-Friedrich Nietzsche

And make sure you check out all the new stuff at http://www.simplegreenme.com! Use the code FRIEND10 for 10% off your first order. !


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#15secondzen: The moments between moments

Today’s mindfulness video teaches you to stop swinging from task to task, moment to money. When you get off the monkey bars, and start to notice the moments in between tasks, you’ll realize that more life actually happens during nonaction.

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Non-action:  we’re programmed to live a life of doing, fixing, planning, achieving and controlling. Our worth comes from our productivity. Non-action is when we can know our worth, and actually cause less suffering to ourselves and others, by being still, and aware of everything in- and outside of ourselves.