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Page Park - Finding Strength in Vulnerability with Grief Yoga
Episode 203 • 12th January 2024 • The You World Order Showcase Podcast • Jill
00:00:00 00:37:04

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In this enlightening episode, Page Park, discusses her unique approach to grief yoga. The conversation explores the inclusive nature of grief, emphasizing the therapeutic value of yoga for emotional release and self-discovery, making it accessible to those navigating life transitions.

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Transcripts

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Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we are talking with Page Park. Page is the founder of Soul Sanctuary dot One, and specializes in grief yoga. That is very interesting. It's a new.

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Take for me.

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At least welcome to the show page. I'm so happy to have you here.

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Thank you, Jill. It's so I'm so excited to be here and to share with you and your audience.

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Let's dive right in.

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Tell us how you got started. Grief yoga is something I have never heard of before, and I'm really interested in hearing all about how you're doing it and why you're doing it, how coaching works into it.

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OK.

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I got started.

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Ten years ago, my divorce was final. 5 minutes after my divorce was final, my mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she passed away nine months later.

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And then two years after my mom passed away, my father passed away and we were caregiving. We my brothers and I were caregiving for both of our parents during that time period. And then two years after my father died, my oldest brother passed away.

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Oh wow.

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And so it was this series of.

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And my body didn't know what to do with all of it because there was so much emotion and not just the grief, but like the after grief. So, like, we had to sell Mom and Dad's house and finalize these state. We had to do the same thing with my brothers. So my by the time I finished all this, my nervous.

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System was a hot mess.

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Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I was #1 on the call list when my.

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Parents were in care.

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So I would get the two one.

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35 AM phone calls when something happened to.

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One of them.

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And so I was. I was doing some work and internal work and a friend who was a UM.

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Energy. She did energy work, and she's like Page. Why don't you try yoga?

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And I went.

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Oh yeah.

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I forgot about yoga because I had been in. I had been yoga, had made its way in and out of my life for years. I took my first yoga class as a P/E.

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Credit for college and then you know, prior to my divorce, I really leaned into.

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The breath work.

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Of yoga to help me deal with all of that.

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And it kind of went by the wayside when.

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I was dealing with my parents.

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And so I was.

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Like. Oh yeah, and right. I was a teacher and right about that time, the school corporation that I worked for offered some yoga classes at a deep discount. The school was picking up part of the cost. And then we had to pay part of the cost and that became.

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My safe haven in my sanctuary.

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That space.

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Became just an integral part in my life in my world, and I found myself again. I found regulation again.

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I figured out how to handle all the things that were coming my way. I was able to use the postures to help my body like move the emotion through without becoming super attached to the story that went along with it. So it just allowed the motion to come up and dissipate as I moved through the different.

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So I was like, hey, this is cool. I want to teach this to my students because like I said, I was a mild disabilities special education teacher for years and years.

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And I talked to the yoga teacher, she was going to do a teacher training was going to sign up for that, but she ended up moving it. And this was 2000. Oh, no, this is.

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No, it was 2019 and I ended up signing up for a yoga teacher training that was supposed to be in Costa Rica in July of 2020.

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And that didn't happen. But I did get trained the teacher that I went with flipped her model from an in person retreat model to an online model, and I was in her 1st 200 hour class, and then I was in her first 300 hour class and it's kind of one of those.

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Things when she done jumped.

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Down the rabbit hole you just keep doing.

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Things and so I've.

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Taken yen certification and restorative and some other things as well.

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Yeah. So that's kind of how I got into it. The grief part came in. It's really funny, like grief is what led me to yoga, but it's not what got me into yoga teacher training. I wanted to create social, emotional curriculum for high school students struggling with mental health concerns.

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Was my original intent and about six months after I completed my 200 hour one of my best friends went.

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Hey. Hey, do you need to teach Greek?

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And I went. No, I don't. You're crazy. And two months later, I started teaching grief yoga, and it has morphed into more.

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Of a coaching.

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So I help people with their personal yoga practice if they want.

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To incorporate that.

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But also the 8 limbs of.

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Yoga are a beautiful guide on how to live life and how to how and how.

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To live a.

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Balanced life and so I use the.

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8 limbs of yoga to help people.

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Find their own balance.

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But easy to.

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Get knocked off balance when you're struggling with grief. It's you, it's personal, but it's also external because you have to interact with all of these people that really don't know what to say to you and know how you're feeling. And no matter what community you're in.

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It's never.

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Because it's so personal and each experience is.

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Personal in a different way. It's like you lose your mom. You feel one way, you lose your dad, you feel a different way. You lose your siblings, you feel a different way. You lose your spouse. It's totally different and you know it's not one-size-fits-all and the yoga.

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I can see how.

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The two go together so well and leave a space for people to just experience the emotions they're experiencing and give their body something to do with it.

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Yes, yes, very much so. It's all about just being with yourself and your body physically where you are and then embracing whatever happens to come up.

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So do you do this online now or is?

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It all in person.

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I do I do online and in person. I have a I have a membership that is 100. Well, I mean you can do a.

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Virtual or you can do an in person class of membership, but it's online so it's got an archive of meditations and yoga classes. And then we meet twice a month.

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And those get recorded and then they go back, they go into the archives. So you.

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Can access any previous classes.

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That sounds really, really interesting. Do you do it through Facebook or do you have like a an outside?

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All right, it's through my website. So I have a the. I use Squarespace for my website, so it's just a membership portal in Squarespace that.

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Holds all of the things.

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I.

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I only ask because sometimes there are people that are just like, no Facebook forget.

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It I just want to.

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To let the audience know.

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That, you know, not everything.

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Is revolves around Facebook.

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Right. Yeah. Well, and with Facebook.

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And I know I don't know.

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If you've experienced this.

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As a as a business owner like.

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I don't own that.

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But with Squarespace I own it so that that's one of the reasons I went with my website instead of Facebook is because if something happens, if it gets disconnected, if it.

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You know, whatever might come up. I don't. I have no way of contacting my people. Whereas with Facebook or with, you know, through Squarespace through my.

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Website I do.

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Yeah, that's.

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And so it's the meditations. I do a monthly virtual meditation. And that's the first Tuesday of every month. And then the classes I haven't settled on a day and.

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Time yet for.

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Those, but they're twice a month, sometimes three. If I'm feeling extra generous.

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OK, OK. So.

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What kind of people would?

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Would be interested in coming to see you. I know people that are experiencing grief, but.

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Are there other?

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People that are experiencing grief and it doesn't have to be like grief that happened this year. It could be grief that happened. Like for me 10 years ago.

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Nine years ago, like it, it doesn't have to be recent grief. It could also just be, if you're feeling kind of stuck.

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Like there's something going on here physically, and I can't quite wrap my hands around what it is and how to move it.

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Then you would want to come to me.

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And grief doesn't.

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Always have to involve death of a loved one. It can involve, you know, losing your job or getting married, you know.

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No, it doesn't. It doesn't.

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Grief around losing, having your kids move out. There's grief around a lot of different things.

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Yes, yes. Having your kids.

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Yes, grief is more than just loss. Looking at life in a different way can also be grief.

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You know, we all went through the experiences of 2020 and how the world changed. That's the type of grief.

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Losing a job, starting a different job.

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Marriage, divorce. Having a baby?

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Having your kids go off like all of those can involve the feelings and emotions of grief, which are deep and complex. There is no one emotion.

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That goes with it.

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And even things that are.

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Ostensibly really exciting and new in your life, like having a baby or getting married.

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You do grieve a certain to a certain extent, the other life that you knew so well. Or if you're a teenager and you're moving out of the home for the first time, there's grief involved in that. Yeah, it's grief happens. It transitions times of transition. When you let go of one thing and you embrace something new.

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Yes, absolutely.

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It the grief.

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Is kind of the newness of existing and trying to figure out how your body and mind and soul are going.

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Acclimate to it.

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Yes, way of looking at it.

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Yes, absolutely. So grief is one of those things that we don't always identify it as grief.

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We but any and I do. I do talk about that like any transition in life can bring grief up even if it's a beautiful and positive thing, even if it's something that you desire and that you want. I went through a grief I left teaching this past June after being an educator for 24 years.

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And there was a grief that accompanied that transition and change into being a full time business owner versus being a teacher and a.

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Part-time business owner.

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Yeah, and recognizing that.

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It's OK, it's.

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Oh yeah, absolutely.

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Happening and.

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And just being able to be at peace with it. And again, I think the grief yoga is like something so, so fascinating to me.

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Because it's, I love yoga to begin with.

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It is.

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Just such a great mechanism for allowing your body to release things to and to experience things all at the same time. You're taking in and you're.

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Giving out you're.

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Part of the universe. But you're.

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It's not you.

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Know it's the it's the whole yin and.

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Yang of the thing, but.

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Having.

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Somebody that's showing you how to.

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Incorporate both pieces of like trying to get the grief work out through the postures and the breathing exercises and the meditations. I think it's really.

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Something very helpful and useful for people.

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Yeah, it's a really powerful practice that you don't always think about when you're when you think about, like grief and working through.

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The emotions and all of the things that go with it, but yes, it's such a powerful practice and it's a beautiful way to just express the emotion I was telling. I think I told you before I came on. I just.

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Got done with the retreat and.

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On the last.

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The last day.

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Where she it was a yin yoga retreat and our last Yin yoga class. She puts us in this deep hip opening posture called Pigeon.

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I have a love hate relationship with pigeon and I do a lot of yoga. I practice a lot of yoga and I sobbed the entire I think we were in the position for.

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5 minutes because it's again.

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Oh my God.

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And I sobbed like left side stopped the entire time I'm in, I'm in bed and I'm, like, trying to breathe and it hurts. And all of this feeling is coming up.

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And I was like, OK, that's done. Now we're going to move to the other side as soon as we hit the posture on the other side, I started.

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Sobbing again like.

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I thought we were done with that. Apparently not. OK, there's more. We're just going to cry and I just sobbed through the second side and it's OK, like.

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It that all needed to come out it all.

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Needed to come.

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Up and I felt afterwards I felt such a relief that.

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Oh, OK, it was stuck. It was stored. It's moved through and I know that that's some of what my clients experience as well. Now it's hard for me to get that when I'm coaching myself, so I go to things so that I can experience that for myself as well.

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And that retreat was just a wonderful way to process and experience and work through all of those things that have been stuck within myself as well.

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Totally see that?

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With picture. I'm sorry, I.

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Love the relationship. It's OK. Yeah. I love this relationship.

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Have a hate.

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With the two.

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It's just like I never thought of.

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Love hate relationship.

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Crying that that might make it feel better.

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I that's one of the first times I usually just try and breathe through.

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Pigeon. Sorry. The dog is being annoying course.

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Your dog is totally fine, my dog. I have this puppy and he barks randomly.

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I get off.

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When I'm.

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Doing things.

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I get on, I get on zoom and she decides that.

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She needs all of the attention.

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So yeah, it well and it.

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Actually it felt.

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Really good to cry through pigeon. I don't.

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Think I have before.

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But it everything just bubbled up.

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And I couldn't. I was like, OK, well, this is where we're going. So this is what this.

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Is where we.

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Are and. She's so sweet that the teacher for the well she was the space holder for the retreat and the teacher for the class she comes.

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Over she just rubbing my back.

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And like you got this, just let it go. And I did. And it. Yeah. It's just such a beautiful way. Because especially as humans in general. But as women specifically, we store a lot of garbage in our hips.

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And crying is such an amazing release and.

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We're told all.

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Our lives don't cry. Don't cry. Don't cry. Well, I say cry crying is.

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Oh, I should cry.

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So good for you and.

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You don't even have to.

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Have a reason if your body is saying.

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I want to cry. Just let it go.

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I had absolutely no reason. I had no.

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Reason other than there was something and I like it's one of the things that I tell my clients is when you feel an emotion, just feel the emotion you don't.

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Have to put a.

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Story with it, it doesn't have to mean anything.

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It doesn't have to that we don't have. It doesn't have to tie to some event that happened, just feel the emotion.

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And that's what I did. I sat there and I breathed. And I'm like, alright, well, I guess we're going to cry because that's where we are right now and we and I cried.

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And after a while it dissipated.

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Just away, my daughter does that. She taught me this. It was an amazing lesson, but she would often cry. And I would ask her why.

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Are you crying? You just.

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I don't know.

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I'm just crying. Are you sad? No, I'm just.

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Crying. Are you mad?

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No, I'm just crying. OK. Do you want a?

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Hug. Yeah, you can hold me.

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Hold her and she would cry. And then then she would be better.

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Yeah, yeah.

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And it's not something that.

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Necessarily has to last long.

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Sometimes just a few minutes and I would experience that when I.

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Was really in the in the throes of grief after the loss of my parents, I would. I would have moments of just intense tears.

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And then oftentimes the tears would give way to laughter. Could because then a story would pop in my head of something that my parents did. Or specifically my dad, something that my dad had done and that would lead to me just cracking up.

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Because he was hilarious.

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And so then you just feel that too? And it's all good and it's all beautiful and it's all OK.

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Yeah. And it's being able to just recognize that emotions have specific releases that your body needs to express. Otherwise there's all these chemical things happening inside of.

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You they have.

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No place to go and they end up actually attacking your organs, and if you don't let it out, which is a whole nother thing.

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I think that's why.

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Which can lead to all sorts of other things, but we're not going.

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To we're not talking about.

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That today.

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Yeah. We're not talking about that today, but is.

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Really long conversation.

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Yoga is really an excellent way to release all of that stuff because gets your body moving.

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It really is.

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Yes, it gets your body moving and it gets into those areas where things can go stagnant.

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That we may not necessarily, especially in our especially in our more sedentary lifestyle, we may not necessarily move.

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And so when you get into those shapes in yoga, then it will release some things so that you can.

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Move through it.

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And and as the layers peel back, you release and release and feel better and uncover.

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More and more.

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Of who you are.

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And just going through the postures?

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I think it.

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It might scare some people off when you watch people who are have been practicing yoga for a long time. I know it did when I first started, I was just like.

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You know I.

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I can't even stand on my head anymore.

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Like God this.

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These postures are like not happening for me, doesn't matter. It's just going and.

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If you're just standing there with your.

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Arms stuck out.

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Yeah. And it's not about, it's not about standing.

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That's where you start.

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On your head.

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It's not about hand stands and arm balances although.

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Those are super cool.

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And Crow and all these.

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It's about, yeah, yeah, yeah.

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Other things out there that.

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You know, you don't have to do those things. You can just do the simple positions and you can do them the best you can for the.

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Shape you're in.

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And it will.

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Improve over time, you'll find that you can you.

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Know Bend over further and.

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Yeah, I've had clients who couldn't touch their toes when they started working with me, and after a few months.

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Right to oppose.

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Of releasing and learning the basics and the postures and the foundations, they were able to touch their toes.

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And that's it. Could be that simple.

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It doesn't have to be complex.

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Right, right. And so if you're trying to like?

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Find a way to deal with the grief that you're going through.

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Don't be.

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Put off by the idea of doing yoga or contacting page and.

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And having her help you.

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Walk through what grief yoga looks like, because no matter.

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Where you are the yoga journey, there's something that you'll get out of it every time you practice.

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Oh yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And that's so true no matter where you are. Like, I've been practicing on and off for years, and I still cassette. I saw robbed.

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Just earlier this week.

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As a result of being put in a certain shape.

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And that's OK. Like it and sometimes you may have an experience or an emotion, and sometimes you may not. And that's OK too. Sometimes it's just the simple act of moving your body that helps.

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Yeah. Yeah. And every.

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Every time you go to the mat.

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At the end.

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You know you've done.

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It and there's just a certain amount of satisfaction and knowing.

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That you did something.

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That you were committed to every day.

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Yeah, there is.

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Or a few times a week, or.

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Yeah, there's definitely a satisfaction in coming to the mat.

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And leaving.

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Leaving behind what's not serving you on the map.

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And moving on without it.

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My Favorite part of yoga I used to go to a yoga class. Now I do yoga.

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In my bedroom.

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But we had this gal and we would.

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We would do it for like an hour.

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And then at the end when we were doing.

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Shiva the final rest.

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The final rest.

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Courts the meditation part at the very end that I loved. So.

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Corpse pose.

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Much it was my favorite pose.

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She would come.

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Around with essential oils and put them on her forehead and she just like it, was just the.

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Way she touched you and her.

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Much was so amazing. It's something that I will take.

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With me forever and.

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Yeah, there are some people that do that very magically.

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Will forever value Denise?

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For that in my life.

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Yeah. No, that's the best part. And I there was somewhere I read or heard. Maybe it was my. I know it was my teacher as I was going through teacher training. She said if you don't do shavasana, you haven't done yoga.

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Yeah, because.

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That's, that's you. Move the body so that the mind can then focus. So that's the purpose of the positions and the postures. It's not to get into these different shapes, it's to move the body.

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And you move the.

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Body so that the mind can then focus and that's why you do the meditation at the end. So the meditation is actually.

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The purpose of yoga?

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It's to get to that point of quiet meditation and refocusing the mind.

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And when it's like.

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Walking through the doorway.

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Yoga's 11 space.

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The Savasana is the doorway into like the rest of your day.

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It kind of.

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Closes the door on the yoga session.

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But it also opens your.

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Your movement into the.

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New experience that you're going to have for the.

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Rest of your day or.

::

Yeah, yeah, like how you worded that.

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Your time.

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Yeah, it does. It does it.

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Opens the door on.

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Well, and oftentimes you leave them at.

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And you go out into the world.

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And the things that you've learned on the mat you can take with you out into the world. Absolutely. And it's like a miniature version of the world and so.

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Bringing that out with you.

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Creates more space and more peace and more.

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In the chaos of life, it gives you this different perspective so that as things come your way.

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That maybe are not necessarily so great because we know that that happens in life. We are constantly bombarded with things that we struggle with.

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It gives us a different perspective on how to handle those things.

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Which is why it's such a beautiful pairing with grief, because it gives us a different perspective of.

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How the grief affects us.

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As with other things as well, so not just.

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Creep, but all of the.

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Chaos in life.

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And putting your attention.

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On each posture that you're.

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You're forming.

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It helps you.

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To control your thoughts and really controlling your thoughts is key to everything in life.

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To me, if you can't control your thoughts, you're just going to be at the whim of whatever comes up in your life, whereas.

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If you can.

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Control your thoughts and as you're doing yoga it, it's all about controlling your thoughts and controlling your breathing. Breathing is the other key aspect of controlling you.

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Why sometimes you're going to get in situations where they're scary. They're terrible. They're threatening to you in some way. If you can control your breathing through it.

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Even as simple as which nostril you're breathing through, you can you can change the way your brain chemistry is working in order to have the proper response or to call upon your resources.

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Like one side is an emotional side. You it.

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When you breathe through one side of your nose, it stimulates the emotional side of your body. So if you plug that and breathe through the other nostril because you only breathe through one nostril at a time, I know it seems like we breathe through both of them, but it doesn't really happen.

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So if you're feeling emotional and you don't want to feel emotional, you block off that side of your nostril or your nose.

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Yeah, the left is lunar. The left is lunar, so the rest and digest and.

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You want that nostril?

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The right is solar.

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But also if you need to amp yourself up for something like to increase your energy, then you breathe through the right.

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Yes. Yeah.

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I think we breathe through it or.

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It's the opposite.

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They cross.

::

Yeah, they do.

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So I am always confused and that's why.

::

I never say what.

::

Well, I can tell you the left is lunar and the right is solar, but I feel there's and I should know this, but I'm also just coming off of retreat.

::

So yeah, the left is lunar, the right is solar. So if you block the left and breathe through the right, then that stimulates.

::

Go left.

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The solar side? No, it does it. I think it's simulated. And if you go the other way then it simulates the.

::

Lunar side or it could be the rivers because they do they the and you're referring to the naughty?

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Which are energy channels through the energetic body. According to yogic philosophy. And it starts on the right and the left, and then it crosses at the Crown or at the third eye, and then it goes back through the body and crosses it each.

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Chakra center.

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But that's again.

::

Another conversation for another time. Yeah, it can be very confusing, although I find yogic anatomy really fascinating.

::

You get really confusing.

::

I love talking about the energetic body because it's so often overlooked.

::

And it's so important it just like.

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It's almost. I feel like it's almost more important than the physical body because it the, the, the emotional body, the energetic body, it words are hard. It expresses.

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It really.

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In the physical body.

::

So if that is out of alignment, then oftentimes the.

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Physical body will also be.

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Out of alignment.

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The simple things that you can do to fix it, which is just, you know, some yoga positions doing them.

::

You can feel totally different and kind of.

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I call it kind.

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Of an ethereal feeling. It's like you're here, but you're also there. It's an amazing feeling.

::

And you haven't done any drugs or alcohol?

::

Right.

::

They love it.

::

And it's so fun.

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But it is so fun. It feels so good. It's just like.

::

To me, it's better than drugs or alcohol and.

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Don't do either.

::

Of these days.

::

So yeah, it just kind of like helps you be one with.

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The world, their universe, and.

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And it really is a feeling that allows you to.

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Be present more fully than any other time.

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Yeah, absolutely. It absolutely allows you to be present well and that's where life is happening is in the present. So the more you're able to not think about the past and not worry about the future and just to be in the midst of what is happening now, the better off you are.

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For sure for sure.

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I know that you.

::

Have a self regulation quiz that you offer to people on your website. Let's talk about that for a second.

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OK.

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It is there are different types of self regulation and So what it does is it gives you and we there is no one you're not this specific type all of the time. Sometimes you fluctuate between the types depending on your mood depending on what your experiences are in that moment.

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But we tend toward kind of a certain way of responding to things, and so the quiz will give you what your type is, at least in that a snapshot in that moment. But then you also get an eBook that gets delivered to you that has an explanation of all of the types. And it has a practice to.

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Go with each type.

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Oh, I love that.

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I love that. And how can people get?

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Get that?

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Uh, you can go to my website, soul sanctuary .1.

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And it's like right at the top of the home page. Just click the link and it'll.

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Take you to the quiz.

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Well, I'm going to take it.

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This has been amazing.

::

Tell us the one thing you want to leave the.

::

Audience with today, Page.

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Yoga doesn't have to be a complex practice. Sometimes it's just bringing awareness to what's going on.

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Remembering to remember.

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It can just be checking in.

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With your breath.

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How is your breath?

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Where are you breathing?

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Are you breathing from your chest? Are you breathing?

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From your diaphragm.

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Do you need to slow your breathing down?

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And sometimes just the simple act of paying attention to our breath, paying attention to our breathing.

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Can help create shifts.

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So we don't have to get into fancy.

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Positions like we talked about, you don't even always have to move your body.

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Into a yoga shape, just pay attention to.

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Your breath.

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I love that. I love that it really is that simple.

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Thank you so.

::

Much for joining me today, this has been awesome.

::

Thank you so much for having me, I.

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Really appreciate it.

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