Trauma & Yoga

Standard
Trauma & Yoga

Imagine sitting in a crowded bar with your date….all is well, the band is playing, food arrives at the table, and the conversation is comfortable.  It’s a great evening that feels easy and normal—fun, even.  Then, an image of the musician on a low stage, a handsome man surrounded by a throng of cheering women as he plays his guitar.  All of a sudden, the bar becomes immediately unsafe.  It feels as if all the air has left the building and an elephant sits on your chest.  You start to sweat and feel dizzy and panicked and there is no other way to fix it, except to leave—right now.  Your date is confused and worried.  You feel like an idiot and a wacko and you know in your head that this is a crazy response to a completely normal evening, and yet you are powerless to stop your body from bolting.  You try to talk yourself out of it in the bathroom, but coming back with those images still up on stage, you Just. Can’t. Make. It. Work.  

So, you leave, in tears and frustration, wondering if you will ever be able to be normal again, as you try to shake off this attack from an invisible enemy. “What is wrong with me?”  You think as your heart rate slowly comes down and you catch your breath in the safe car with a man you know you can trust–who is, thankfully, patient and caring and trying to understand.  

Sexual trauma is part of my story, and causes reactions just like the one above.  This scenario actually happened, as well as many others months and even years after of the original trauma.  Thankfully, I found a way out.  Yoga was part of my solution—my path back to wholeness. Every class I taught or took helped me gain back control over my body…..the mat, at times, was the one place I felt completely safe, and I knew the sense of peace I got from each hour of practice would linger awhile after class. Thankfully, the teachers I had and the training I received allowed me to find the practice that fit for me. Now I am able to pay it forward and help others to claim their power by finding and trusting their connection to self.

Many of our yoga students and mental health clients have experienced traumatic events and suffer in silence. It is critical that professionals who work with women and men living with trauma notice and pay attention to the cues given. Rather than push, we want to gently respond in ways that can help the student or client manage the feelings and fears that have risen up inside them. Learning what signals to look for, how to respond, how to help as well as what not to do is critical if we are to assist clients in moving toward healthy ways of functioning. Our workshop will provide not only this information, but will also give clarity in defining trauma and addressing how professionals can pay attention to their own responses and possible traumatic pasts. Join us in September to find out how you can be an integral part of wholeness for your students and clients. Click here to register!

Co-written by: Leah Murtagh and Janet Yates

Intuitive Personal Training Part 2: #moveforjoy

Standard
Intuitive Personal Training Part 2: #moveforjoy

Wobblers!  Since my last post on Intuitive Personal Training, (remember, the one about training differently, listening to your body and using me to help you create the right movement vibe for YOU on any given day, right on the spot?), I and several new clients have been having a super time!  We are using all kinds of tools to learn about strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance all inside an intuitive bubble.  These amazing students are gaining functional strength, improving their posture, surprising themselves with their ability to do all kinds of new movements at any age and with the body they have, seeing visible changes in their muscles, safely working around injury or chronic conditions, and learning fun and engaging ways to #moveforjoy.  

I’m writing today to let all of you know that I have 3 client openings for the month of August.  Several clients are renewing their services, and I’ve still got a little room left.  My hope is that you will schedule a consult (for FREE!) to find out if this type of exercise might be a fit for you.  At the very least, you can ask a few questions and get a little guidance about where to get started on your movement journey, even if that journey does not include our Wobble Tribe.

Call, email, or text today to take the first step toward a lifetime of joyful movement with me, Leah Murtagh at Embrace The Wobble Yoga!

Intuitive training—What?!

Standard
Intuitive training—What?!

Hi, Wobble Tribe.

Intuitive training.  Yep, it’s a thing.  (Mostly because I just made it a thing.)  

After so many years of waiting to have a personal and small group training space all my own, I’ve finally got the perfect space in our new Embrace The Wobble Yoga location.   CKK_4570-(ZF-7719-52573-1-020) I absolutely ADORE this space.  So far, it’s been a dream as a trainer to work with individuals and small groups in this space.  I got to choose all the equipment, layout the design, and take complete ownership of the vision of this space for efficient, effective training sessions.  Now, I just need to fill it with more clients.  Will you be one of them?

So, I’m trying to figure out how to explain what I do, which is NOT your typical scream-and-grunt-fest in a regular gym.

Enter Intuitive Training.  Some people think it means I’m a mind reader, like, “let me look into my crystal medicine ball and I can see in your future 25 squats and lunges.”  Not even.

Intuitive Training means:

  • Asking a ton of questions about you, the client, or taking several “discovery” sessions to learn about your body and your mindset, and what you want to do with your body (lose weight?  Recover/adapt to injury or pain? Gain strength?  Improve balance?  Avoid a heart attack? You name it.)
  • Finding out through a few movement assessments what your body’s “default” positions are with various joint actions, and where there might be areas of muscular imbalance or ingrained not-so-productive movement patterns
  • Checking out what is making you “tick” on any given day—what kind of energy do you have?  What other stuff have you been doing this week?  What aches and pains are you bringing to the table? Where is your head coming into the workout?  What emotional things are going on right now?
  • Coming in with a plan, but then chucking or tweaking the plan if it is not “vibing” like it should.
  • Being in FLOW with your movement—finding a movement zone that feels JOYFUL for you—JOYFUL could mean very challenging or gentle, intense or mellow, a personal best or active recovery, a focus on strength or a focus on balance, or, or, or……..and we don’t know until we are in the MOMENT.  It’s a delicious surprise, always.
  • Equipping YOU the client with knowledge and practice of key movements so that YOU can take what you have learned and create that same productive flow on your own—and love it, crave it, miss it when you don’t do it because it feels so good.
  • Intuitive training is turning the corner on exercise-as-a-chore to movement-as-JOY.

So, I’ve got several (FREE) consultation openings in the next few weeks as I build my private and small group clientele.  If you are intrigued by this content, reach out and schedule a time to talk.  I’d love to answer some of your questions about figuring out your own body.  Plus, the new space is SO COOL, and I’m psyched to show it off and let you play a little with all our new toys.

Find me Wobbling online, by phone, or in person.  See you soon on the mat!  Need more incentive?  Click on this link for a few testimonial clips.  And then call!  My openings will fill up fast.  

Wobble On, Wobblers.
Leah:)

Embracing the Journey

Standard
Embracing the Journey

I can’t help it, I have to spout off.  Today begins the two year anniversary week of Embrace The Wobble Yoga.  In MY facebook feed, I was reminded of that by a picture that popped up as a memory…..my dining room table in my basement stacked with a new laptop, printer, and a shoe-box for keeping receipts.  (See below)  I captioned the pic with “Embrace The Wobble World Headquarters, our basement, Robbinsdale, MN.”  

I am now typing this post from a brand-new street-level studio with a team of 6 instructors and one administrator.

Holy Sh*t.

I am here today to profess that even in the face of political upheaval, despotism abroad, and several global humanitarian calamities, many things about this Universe remain generous, benevolent, and synergistic if not always easy and simple.

Not that I am comparing my level of good fortune with the scale of tragedy in the world, but I find myself TRYING to see the good in the world, and because of that intention, I’m actually SEEING it.  We all have to start somewhere!

I know a husband and wife who are starting year #2 of a world-wide bicycle tour.  So far, they have found only kindness and generosity from all the folks they have met along the way–all of them starting as total strangers (with NO shared English language) willing to share their homes and hospitality for varying lengths of time.

Another friend of mine recently pulled off a trip to Africa and a new home (not in Africa) without exactly knowing where the money was coming from until it showed up (And, to the best of my knowledge, she has no Mafia ties or winning lottery tickets.  *wink.)

One of my yoga students just landed a part-time job with FULL benefits—something she never thought existed before and which will allow her to be a both a competent nurse as well as the mom she wants and needs to be for her kids.

I could list another twenty cool things like this without batting an eye, and that makes me feel hopeful and trusting of the Universe.

I guess my message today is this:  PUT WHAT YOU WANT OUT THERE.  Be clear about it.  See and feel yourself doing it.  Give yourself permission to want it.  Speak it to others.  Refine your wishes and refine them again.  Write about them.  Fantasize about them.  Take baby steps toward them.  Listen to the whispers around you in all forms giving you guidance.  Facebook just may contain some pretty relevant nudges with a chance phrase or meme–if you are tuned in.

My journey to this place of trust and hope has had many ups and downs (like turning my marriage inside out, taxing my time with children, offering up big and small “growth” challenges”– psycho babble for really hard, emotional, gut-wrenching, mistake-ridden, regretful, fear-based, panic-stricken, irritated, cliff-jumping moments).   However, I have never not LOVED it.  I mean all of it.  Even when I have hated it.

Now, two years into this adventure, the one constant about the whole thing is that I. LOVE. HELPING. PEOPLE.  Specifically, I love helping people feel better in, around, and with their bodies.  And, I’m getting pretty good at it.  I love helping other instructors fill their classes.  I love figuring out all of the puzzles that go along with running a small business.  I  love (bird’s-eye view here) the partnership richness that has occurred with my husband from walking this very hard path.  I love the gratitude I feel by being constantly reminded that this whole thing is a group effort—that I am so lucky to have competent professionals who have chosen to work with me and a family and friends who support and champion this project.

Do you know that you can have that too? I mean, you can have your thing.  Even if it feels like you can’t.  Or it’s impossible.  The key is to begin by pretending it’s true.  And, observe how you feel when you pretend—-like, it should feel amazing.  You can see the details fleshing themselves out.  It should feel……RESONANT.  It should feel maybe a little scary as well, but not too much…..just enough to give you the chills and start some butterflies in your stomach—-the good feeling kind. Like the kind you get when you flirt with someone cute and they flirt back.  That is you nudging up against your power.  If you are not feeling that resonance, than maybe it’s not your thing, or maybe you are close, but not quite there in your clarity or curiosity.

Then, what happens is, you spend more time thinking about what you want and how good it feels to see yourself there. And you notice more contrast between where you are and where you would like to go. And, then it may seem even more impossible to get there, but KEEP GOING. Keep pretending.  Keep feeling and observing. Keep resonating.

And then stuff starts happening.  Little chance encounters, tiny “yesses” from the Universe, new people and new experiences in your life that all fit together to magnetize your thing a little closer to you.  Keep going.  Keep refining.  Keep talking about it.  Keep asking for help getting there.   Pretty soon you are living into your desire.  You wake up one morning and You. Are. Doing. It.

You don’t have to believe me.  But what if?  What if you tried the pretending thing and it made you feel a little bit better?  We could all use a little bit more “better” in the increasing chaos of our times.  I’m serious about changing the world.  This is certainly no time to just throw our hands up (whatever side of the political table you sit on) and say “oh, well!”  So come along with me for the ride.  We will be doing more of this in the coming weeks.

Take care, Wobblers.

Leah:)

Sam in the Spotlight

Standard
Sam in the Spotlight

Our Student Spotlight this month is Sam Handler! Sam has been an inspiration on the mat since joining our studio. He is a constant in class and his friendly demeanor helps everyone feel welcome. We are proud to have him as a part of our community! 

When did you start coming to Embrace the Wobble?

I started in August of 2014. Since then, my attendance has steadily increased, and now I’m taking 4-5 classes a week.

What changes have you seen in yourself since attending classes?

I’ve seen notable increases in my strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as a general improvement in my overall health and well-being.

What are you favorite classes to attend (and why)?

Wobble Strength, because I enjoy a challenging workout, and Progressing Wobble, because I enjoy learning new things and deepening my practice. I like being able to attend classes in the evening, because I am most definitely NOT a morning person.

What is/are your favorite poses or exercises?

Any type of inversion or arm balance. I love to challenge myself and explore what is possible.

What do you like most about Embrace the Wobble?

I find myself continuously amazed by the level of enthusiasm and engagement that both teachers and students bring to the studio. The teachers make an conscious effort to get to know their students, both on and off the mat, and are always open to having a discussion or receiving feedback about their classes. This level of commitment, and the positive environment it creates, assures me that I will remain well-supported as my practice continues to grow.

Monday Motivation

Standard
Monday Motivation

At a time of the year when it’s so cold that leaving the house is a chore, we would like to introduce you to Sandy . Sandy is one of those students who never gives up, who pushes herself every class. We love Sandy’s responses to our Student Spotlight questions especially because she started her journey with Wobble during one of our 8 week challenges. Read Sandy’s story below, it’s sure to motivate you to get out of the house and into the studio!

When did you start coming to Embrace the Wobble?
– I had a slow start – I went a couple of times with my friend, Jessica, then really starting going consistently, I think in January 2015 during one of the challenges.
What changes have I seen in myself since attending classes?
– I’m stronger and more toned, I went down a size in pants – actually texted Leah from the dressing room when I discovered that!  I feel really good about myself – I’m proud of the shape I’m in at 44.
What do you like most about Embrace the Wobble?
– I love that Leah and the other instructors really know the students and really seem to care about us.  I was out of town and missed a couple of classes and Leah checked in with me to make sure everything was ok.  That has never happened to me at other fitness studios.
What classes are your favorite to attend?
– Well, I love Wobble Strength – that is hands down my favorite with the combination of working super hard and then finishing up the hour with yoga – in my mind it is the ideal class because I work hard, but then still get time to stretch out those muscles I just pushed.  I run and bike a lot and am never good about taking a few minutes at the end of that workout to stretch, I really need to follow the Wobble Strength model outside of class!  I also love Restorative Yoga, though I haven’t made it to class for way too long!

Meet Martha

Standard
Meet Martha

For our December newsletter we featured Martha Hoffman in our Student Spotlight section. Martha has been a loyal student and a bright spot in each class she attends. After reading her responses to our questions we were so appreciative and impressed with what she had to share. Martha was kind enough to allow us to feature her on our blog as well so we can share her story even further. Below is Martha’s Student Spotlight 

What changes have you seen in yourself since attending classes?

  • I feel better in many aspects! My right knee has had meniscus repair surgery and is very arthritic. I am also overweight. Leah has taught me how to accommodate my knee during class and has also given me extra knee stretches to do at home. I literally feel like my knee has improved at least 90% and I have lost a good 10 pounds! In addition, when I leave class I feel very proud of myself for going out of my comfort zone and attending classes regularly – and that is just a great feeling!

What classes are your favorite to attend?

  • I have been attending class Monday (Wobble Mix), Wednesday (Wobble-lates) and Friday (Wobble Strength) all at 5:30 a.m. – I picked the classes at first based on the early morning time as I am an early riser and start work at 7 a.m. The early classes work out perfectly with my schedule and I am so grateful for that! These classes also offer me the perfect combination of yoga technique and strength training! There is also a wonderful community of early birds in these classes!!

What do you like most about Embrace the Wobble?

  • I like SO MANY things about Embrace the Wobble! I love the welcoming community at Embrace the Wobble! I never felt judged when I came as an older and not so fit student! Leah and Autumn always take the time in class to help me modify things and are more than willing to offer suggestions and support after class. I also love that the instructors at Embrace the Wobble are professionals and experts – I know  that they are teaching me proper technique. I love the early morning class offerings and the close proximity to my home in Robbinsdale. But most of all I am just all around happier and more fit because of attending Embrace the Wobble!!

Do you have a goal (yoga or fitness) you can share?

  • My goal is to just keep attending classes at Embrace the Wobble and to continue to reap the benefits the classes are providing me! I have seen such improvement in my knee health and overall health that I am just so excited to keep going and perfect my technique and enhance my fitness to the max!