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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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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4 Easy Steps to Vote Mindfully 

How to vote mindfully All sources agree, that it’s been a particularly divisive election season. My neighbor, a little old lady – a Christian – sort of captured the current climate when she said, “I can’t in good conscious vote for either one of them!” Indecision, unfortunately, is not an option if we want to create a future we feel good about. So, here are some tips for ensuring peace of mind after you send in your ballot.

Before you do anything, visit mindfulVOTE to see what other conscious people are talking about regarding this election. Then…

Step 1 – What are your needs? Write down what you need from your government to make life better. Do you need clean air/water? More affordable housing/healthcare? More job opportunities? Student loan relief? Do you worry about those in need, and want them to have resources? Racism? Having access to certain herbs or medical procedures? Take some time to reflect. Look into your heart; are you being mindful with your needs? See step 3 to make sure you’re acting with mindful ethics. Some wisdom to keep in mind, from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet:

“The righteous is not innocent of the deeds of the wicked…like a procession you walk together toward your God-self.”

“For the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are met.”

Step 2 – Don’t vote blindly. Now that you know your needs, gather information. Get to know what’s on the ballot. Check your local news site and government (state, county and city) sites for updates, as well as online  resources such as Ballotpedia.org and vote411.org. And new this year, a Google search will give you accurate election info. TechCrunch.com reports: “Web users who search for a query like ‘who’s on my ballot,’ will now be presented with detailed information about the candidates, as well as information on your own state’s referenda.” 

You can also find an organization or publication that aligns with your beliefs and see who/what they’ve endorsed. For example, if you care about the environment, check this endorsement list of approved candidates from The Sierra Club. Or if you’re about women’s rights, here are choices from the Utah Women’s Voter League. It takes less time than you think to get an idea of which candidates and propositions align with your needs. **dont forget to study your local candidates and issues! Local elections arguably have a greater impact on your daily life than federal. 

Step 3 – Review whether or not a candidate acts with mindful principles. Being mindful isn’t just about being in the present moment. There are ethics associated with mindfulness. In the Buddhist tradition, there are the 4 brahmaviharas, or states of emotion one strives to cultivate. They are: Metta (Loving-kindness); Karuna (Compassion); Mudita (Joy with others – being happy for their success); Upekkha (Equanimity – nonjudgement and non-reactivity). Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh gives an example of the type of conduct conducive to a mindful life: 

“I am determined not to kill, or to condone any act of killing…I am committed to cultivating loving-kindness and learning ways to work for the well-being of people, animals, plants and minerals. I am committed to practicing generosity by sharing my time, energy and material resources with those who are in real need.”

You may not have a “perfect” mindful candidate who follows all of these standards. Nowadays, it’s hard to find a politician who has never lied to save face, or never voted on the wrong side of an issue. As a mindful person, we are also asked to be forgiving (the concept of nonself says we need to love others as we love ourselves, because we are one) and take a look at that person as a whole. Are they apologetic? Compassionate? Connected to authentic causes? Try to see the big picture with a candidate before writing them off. There are dealbreakers: treating people without dignity, acting with blatant disregard for others and our environment, nonlistening. These traits show a deep suffering and unconsciousness, with which right leadership will not be possible. 

Lastly, meditate. Election prep is important but even more important is that you continue your mindfulness and meditation practice. My teacher Deepak Chopra says it’s the best thing you can do for world peace. Just imagine if everyone was mindful; if we all cultivated the brahmaviharas; acted with nonself. A peaceful world is possible, as you’ve witnessed by creating a peaceful environment within yourself. 

So namaste, and may you cast a mindful vote. 

As always, I’m here to help if you’d like some one-on-one meditation and mindfulness guidance. 


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Yoga for Sciatica / Low-back Pain


As someone with five herniated discs, I know pain. I know many of you suffer from back pain, too – particularly a common form known as sciatica.

Sciatica – or sciatic pain – is an uncomfortable condition causing nerve pain from the hip possibly all the way down to the toes. The cause can be anything from a herniated spinal disc to a tight muscle in your glute pushing on the sciatic nerve, and it is usually only is painful on one side of the body. So, to alleviate some of that searing pain (of course, first, ask your doctor and then) it’s time to release some tension and make room for the nerve.

Try these yoga stretches:

  • reclined leg stretch with strap
  • figure four
  • pigeon pose
  • standing twist
  • standing hamstring stretch

Watch step-by-step instruction of these poses on my Fresh Living segment that airs every month on KUTV 2News. CLICK HERE TO WATCH!

Coming up on October 1, 2016, learn how to get control of your emotions, health and life with my Meditation Intensive. Anyone can enjoy the endless benefits of meditation by learning a few simple tools. For more information, visit Simplegreenme.com


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‘Advanced’ Yoga Poses You Can Actually Do!


You see those OM-mazing yoga poses on Instagram and think, “I could NEVER do that!” Well, you CAN and here’s how!

  • Build Strength
  • Start Small
  • Build Confidence
  • Let go of expectations

And remember, there most advanced yoga is when you know how to LISTEN to your own body and follow its advice. So in many cases, child’s pose is much more “advanced” than a handstand!

Try this Baby Grasshopper pose, which looks quite impressive but may surprise you with its ease (for some). Learn it HERE on my monthly Fresh Living segment.

For more information or to schedule a meditation consultation, visitsimplegreenme.com.


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Yoga for Toned Thighs


We complain about our thighs all the time, but did you know that’s one of the areas MOST RESPONSIVE to exercise? Yoga can quickly tone with poses that strengthen muscles in that area. Watch out inner thighs, and saddle bags! Yoga’s coming’ for ya!

Watch my monthly Fresh Living segment to learn simple moves to tone your legs HERE.


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Yoga for the ‘Smartphone Hump’ and other Poture Problems

Amanda showing “Fresh Living’s” host how to fight curved shoulders


Ok, so the headline may sound extreme, but technology is causing an increase of the Dowager’s Hump – a buildup of fat and calcium at the base of the neck – in young adults and even children. You yourself may even be a victim! It used to be that gravity would pull our heads forward and cause our spine to curve and fuse into a humpback, but now, looking down at your phone has become a faster-acting cause. 

When we text, our chin tucks, our head slips forward, and our shoulders round. If we fail to strengthen our back muscles, they soon become overstretched and weak, as the pectoral muscles get shorter and stronger, further pulling shoulders forward. Our task is to counterbalance the down-looking by strengthening your back muscles. Here are some yoga poses designed to do just that!

1. Posture “stacking”

2. Wall or chair shoulder stretch

3. Behind-back chest-opener with strap 

4. Locust pose

Hope these poses open up your shoulders as much as they have mine!

*watch me demonstrate all these moves during my “Fresh Living” segment HERE.

Get a personalized posture correction or prevention plan by signing up for a FREE consultation HERE