Happy-U Bloggity Blog

Holistic Approach to Positive Psychology & Yoga

Why Life Coaching is the Perfect Compliment to your Yoga Practice

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“From your heart, you’ll dare to devise a dream. With your mind, you’ll translate that dream into plans, and with your whole body, you’ll execute.” ~Elena Brower

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5 Reasons Why Life Coaching is the Perfect Compliment to your Yoga Practice

1) We feel amazing on the mat and immediately following class, but how to we bring “the work” off the mat and into our LIVES? Life Coaching helps us to translate what we’re experiencing ON the yoga mat into our daily interactions with the world around us.

2) If we truly want to live our yoga, we need to implement our core values into every aspect of our lives, which can often be easier said than done. Life Coaching helps us to clarify our values and our Vision (with a capital “V”) so that we can be sure we’re consciously living from a place of authenticity.

3) Both Yoga and Coaching help us to release resistance, whether it’s in our bodies or in our minds. We identify what’s holding us back, allowing us to move beyond our perceived limitations.

4) Both Yoga and Coaching will bring you more CLARITY in all areas of your life… In your job,  your family, your dreams & your inspirations. Clarity of mind & clarity of intention lead to SUCCESS.

5) Both practices provide you with tools for greater happiness 🙂 You become a proactive creator of your life, rather than a passive recipient of the hand you’ve been dealt. It doesn’t get better than that!

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For a limited time, we are offering a special Intro to Coaching Special to help you make your dreams a reality. People come to coaching for all sorts of reasons, from the BIG, BROAD STUFF (“I feel stuck”, “I’m trying to figure out my purpose in life”, “What’s my next step?”) to the SPECIFIC (“I want to lose weight”, “I want to start my own business” “I’m ready to move across the country”).

Personally, we feel that EVERYONE would benefit from having a Life Coach, as it keeps us expanding and growing at all times 🙂 We hope you’ll take this opportunity to consider amping up your commitment to your goals and joining us on the journey!

Contact us at coach@happy-u.org to get started 🙂

CoachingSpecial

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Rampage of Appreciation: 10 Reasons Why my Workshop Rocked :)

Happy-U Guy

1. It was sold out 🙂 Seriously, we would have been hard pressed to fit any more mats in there, and it made the energy & the vibration SO incredibly awesome.

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2. The demographic was incredible. Men, women, older people, younger people, siblings, spouses, friends, and strangers. And of those people, half had taken my workshops before, and half were brand new to me, and had heard about it from a friend or on the blog. So rad!

3. My husband was front and center. Now granted, Mitch is technically part of the HAPPY-U team, but it can’t be understated how uplifting it is to have your husband right there, beaming with pride, totally into it, and supporting what you’re passionate about.

4. I managed my time! Two hours goes by SO quickly when I’m in the zone. When I’m flowing, grooving on this positive psychology stuff and on how it and yoga can make your life infinitely better, one hour seems like a minute. So the fact that I never had to rush, that I had done enough HAPPY-U workshops this year to know how long things would take, and I actually got everything done in exactly two hours was a tremendous sense of pride for me.

5. My playlist was effing legendary. Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, the Beatles… highlights for me were the group sing-alongs to Michael Jackson’s Man in the Mirror (“If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change!”) and Sublime’s What I Got (“Lovin’ in what I got!”). And all while holding yoga poses, no less 🙂 Gave me chills!

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6. Laughter. Nothing raises your vibration quite like laughter, and boy, was this a fun bunch. Everyone was so light and open, willing to be playful but took the stuff seriously as well. Having been a high school teacher for 5 years in my former life, I know the distinct difference between a room full of disjointed laughter and a room full of focused laughter that improves, rather than detracts from what’s going on. This felt good in my soul.

7. I heard some great stories before and after the workshop. Everything from someone who had cleaned her fridge after reading yesterday’s post to one gal telling me about her elderly father having had silently participated in the Happy-U Accountability Group for the Meditation Challenge and how he’s now hooked on the blog! So great 🙂

8. I got to see people do headstands for the first time! (Well, I reminded everyone that we all did ’em when we were 3, but peeps were going for it for the first time in their adult lives!) At one point in the yoga portion, we partnered up and spotted/supported one another through an inversion of our choice. I had a few pairs flag me down to say they didn’t know what to do, but with a little guidance they did it! Little Tripod Headstands produced Big Fat Smiles yesterday. And I got to be witness 🙂

9. People came away empowered, invigorated, and prepared for action on how to choose happiness more of the time. People were standing taller, fully motivated, and armed with new information that could steer their lives on a clearer, more joyful, more positive path 🙂 It was wonderful to see.

10. And finally, when Mitch and I got home, we had a voicemail that a very special delivery we had ordered was on its way and will be at our door any minute.

And here it is!! SHA-ZAM! The new HAPPY-U MOBILE!!!!

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I am not even kidding.

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So yeah!! Basically, yesterday kicked major ass, and I am more motivated than ever to continue spreading the HAPPY-U word and jammin’ out whilst I do it. THANK YOU SO MUCH to everyone who came out yesterday and played with me. I had such a blast, and I can’t wait to do it again!!

Big love!! XXOXOX

Karson

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Why I’m Being So Selfish on Saturday

This Saturday, I’m holding my next HAPPY-U Workshop, an act of ultimate selfishness on my part.

Yes, I continue to be thrilled as ever to share with others what I’ve learned about happiness, positive psychology and yoga in the pursuit of living a fulfilled life, but I’m reeeeeeally doing it for me

I’ve long known about myself that when I’m teaching something I’m passionate about, I’m in my FLOW. Time simultaneously slows down and speeds up. There’s no resistance, there’s no struggle… it become effortless, and I feel at my best. Do you have something like that?

Now over time, the “what I’m passionate about” has changed forms… When I was little, I taught my babydolls and stuffed animals about cursive handwriting as I played School in our playroom. When I was 10, I morphed my love of painting with, err… fingernails… and set up a nail boutique in our basement in which I taught mock seminars on how to do beautiful nail-art.

Pretty.

In highschool and college, I started teaching dance classes, and in my 20’s I became a high school teacher of theatre arts. Now, I still love all those things (esPESH fancy nails, duh), but I’m most passionate about HAPPINESS and all things related to FEELING GOOD.

Happy-U is my new FLOW…

The truth is, preparing and planning these workshops makes me SO happy. Reading, coaching, doing my positive psychology research, preparing the yoga sequences, finding kickass, makes-you-wanna-sing-along music for the playlist… My sense of flow and excitement and enthusiasm starts well before the Workshop begins.

And so I consider it selfish. And wonderful. And exactly what I’m meant to be doing.

The research shows that when you are utilizing your top strengths, you are happier. And so, even now, as I demonstrate GRATITUDE (my #2 strength according to the VIA-Test of Signature Strengths) for the work I get to do, I am feeling better than I did before.

And KNOWING that my Workshop on Saturday is going to be fun, fabulous, and vibration-raising puts to use my #1 strength- Hope, Optimism, and Future Mindedness, so NOW, I feel even BETTER. And also, because EVERY. SINGLE. PERSON. who has told me they are coming on Saturday I think is AWESOME and I really truly LIKE, I know it’s gonna be even better, because positive social interactions are among the top happiness-raisers for everyone, no matter who you are or what your strengths might be.

Yeah!!

So Saturday, December 1st, at OB Namaste in Ocean Beach from 1-3pm, come watch me be selfish.

And I’ll watch YOU be selfish. Because you’ll be doing something fun, healthy, mind-expanding, and positive for yourSELF. And you deserve it 🙂

Remember, the greatest gift we can give anyone is to be happy ourselves. So in the spirit of the holidays coming up, consider this a gift to your family, your friends, and everyone with whom you encounter. COME GET HAPPY WITH ME 🙂

VISIT www.obnamasteyoga.com and hit the Classes tab to register.

 

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Wear your Royal Crown and feel Divine: SAHASRARA

Today, we’re focusing on the 7th Chakra, the CROWN Chakra, or Sahasrara.

This chakra, the highest and most sophisticated of the bodily chakras, is our CONNECTION TO THE DIVINE or our SEAT OF ENLIGHTENMENT. Located right at the crown of your head, it’s like a vibrant shaft of light that connects you to Source, God, Spirit, or whatever you believe that is bigger than you in this physical body.

When the Crown Chakra is balanced, we feel a deep sense of peace, open-mindedness, and a strong spiritual connection. When it is lacking in energy, we feel skeptical or cynical of a greater power, are closed-minded, and tend to have very rigid beliefs with regard to spirituality in general. When the crown is overactive, we might be less rooted in the material world, feel dissociated from our bodies, and feel spiritually elite.

So how do we balance it?

Here are the stats on the Crown Chakra…

COLOR: Purple (Purple is the color the divine, so wear it when you want to connect to your spiritual side)

ELEMENT: Thought/Silence (Mind your thoughts; Meditate to quiet the active mind and tap into the sound of silence.)

LOCATION: Crown (top of the head) (Visualize a beam of light connecting you to spirit; think of a little door on the top of the head and invite rigid and stagnant thoughts to float away, making space for inspiration).

PHYSICAL SIGNS OF A CROWN CHAKRA IMBALANCE: Headaches; dissociation from body; overactive mental chatter.

ISSUES: Spirituality, Enlightenment, Divinity, Connection to higher self (Meditate; offer loving kindness to all beings– including yourself)

YOGA PRACTICE: Balance your crown chakra by focusing on awareness, witnessing consciousness, releasing attachments, and connecting to a higher power. Poses like Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Vrksasana (Tree Pose), and Warrior I invite the divine. Couple these poses with inversions to bring awareness and circulation to the crown of the head & flush the brain and nervous system. Play with turning your world upside-down to open to a new perspective.

THOUGHT OF THE DAYWe are more than just this physical body, we know this. By opening ourselves up to Spirit and the great Source that unites us, we find ourselves opening up to a life beyond our wildest dreams. A big, radiant, overflowingly abundant life that shines brighter than our ego ever could. Here’s to the balance, the duality of having our feet on the ground, but our crowns up in the sky. Here’s to the beauty of it all… 

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Today is the last day to join the HAPPY-U Accountability Group for the 21-Day Meditation Challenge with the Chopra Center! Starting TOMORROW, we are embarking on a 21 day journey of meditation on the theme of ABUNDANCE. Please join HAPPY-U as we support one another with this worthwhile goal. E-mail karson@happy-u.org with the message “I’m up for the challenge!” to join for free!

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Oh My Gawd, You are a God!

It is believed that the Hindu God of Creation, BRAHMA, created the world simply by meditating.

Unbelievable, right?!

Can you only imagine if you had that ability? To create your world simply by meditating?

Sorry to break it to you…

But you DO.

 

Take a moment and ask yourself this question:

Based on the thoughts I’ve been thinking lately, what kind of world have I created?

Every thought we have, every image we create, every path we allow ourselves to walk down energetically, is a seed of our future reality. To be at peace, we must see ourselves at peace. To be in love, we must see ourselves in love. To live in a state of abundance, we must see ourselves as abundant.

To be happy, we must see ourselves as happy!

Imagine your life as you’d like it to be. On a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. What does it FEEL like? What does it feel like from the inside out? Feeling that way, how do you behave? How do others respond to you? How do your dreams manifest as reality?

Notice how your current thoughts create your reality, and meditate on your life as you would like it to be.

Starting on Monday, we are embarking on a 21 day journey of meditation on the theme of ABUNDANCE. Please join HAPPY-U as we create our worlds through meditation starting on Monday, November 5th… Fifteen little minutes a day is all that stands between you and the world you’re dreaming of.

🙂

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Open your THIRD EYE

The AJNA Chakra

Today, we’re focusing on the sixth Chakra, the THIRD EYE Chakra, or Ajna.

It is said that the physical eyes look OUTWARD as the third eye looks INWARD. The Ajna Chakra is our center of INTUITION, DREAMS, VISIONS, & SEEING YOUR FUTURE. When your third eye is balanced (or opened), you feel a strong sense of intuitive guidance, and more importantly, you TRUST IT. You have strong memory, creativity, and can remember your dreams. You are generally able to see the big picture and have an optimistic vision of what is ahead. When your Ajna is lacking in energy (or the third eye is closed), you have difficulty hearing or trusting your intuition, you may have poor memory, poor concentration, have a narrow view of your circumstances or life in general, and may be skeptical of your own decision making and of that of others.

So how do we balance it?

Turn Within

Here are the stats on the Third Eye Chakra…

COLOR: Indigo/ Deep Blue (wear more deep blue when you need to connect to your Intuition)

ELEMENT: Light (Connect to the sun, be mindful about the lighting in your home, use candle-light or darkness to amp up your inner vision)

LOCATION: The Third Eye is about one inch above and one inch behind the point between your brows. This chakra also includes the eyes, brain, pituitary gland, lymphatic & endocrine system (close your eyes, meditate, trust your balance, place lavender essential oil at your third eye point.)

PHYSICAL SIGNS OF AN AJNA CHAKRA IMBALANCE: Headaches, poor eyesight, hallucinations, vivid nightmares, learning disorders.

ISSUES: Intuition, Inner Wisdom, Dreams (journal, meditate, begin to notice how you experience your intuitive hits in your physical body– i.e. in your gut, clammy hands, your heart flutters; practice acting upon your intuition rather than letting your thoughts override your decision-making; remind yourself that your intuition is NEVER WRONG– it’s our mental interpretation of the message that can steer us down the wrong path)

YOGA PRACTICE: Balancing postures. Lifting your gaze. Using drishti (or points of focus). Trust your balance, and practice with your eyes closed. Meditate 🙂 (In fact, join the HAPPY-U “Get Your Meditation On” Accountability Group to start the 21-Meditation Challenge starting Novemeber 5th. E-mail Karson at karson@happy-u.org with the message “I’m up for the challenge!” to join the free online group)

AFFIRMATION: “I am AWAKE and TRUST MY INTUITION. I ask my third eye to OPEN ITS EYELID so I may connect to a deep sense of INNER PEACE AND KNOWING.” 🙂

AJNA

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The most powerful act in the world

 

 

 

I came across this quote this morning from Wayne Dyer…

I meditate each day
to increase my awareness of the divine power within me.
Through meditation, I am able to realize
the beauty, grace, and love that directs my life
and fulfills my deepest desires. Start with 5 minutes a day.

And then I remembered…

 

And I thought that an hour sounded like a reeeeeally long time. But then I remembered, ooh yay, the next 21-Day Meditation Challenge with the Chopra Center starts in 10 days, and each meditation is only 15 minutes! Score!

And then I thought, I’d love for all my beautiful Bloggity Blog readers to join me on the journey so we can talk about it! So I decided to put the link here so you can register fo’ free 🙂

CLICK TO REGISTER!

And then I got so excited because ABUNDANCE is one of my favorite topics, and this Meditation Challenge is all about it! It’s called, Creating Abundance!… how perfect 🙂

And THEN, I remembered this OTHER quote from Wayne Dyer…

 

…and I got really amped up about meditating, so I stopped typing, hit PUBLISH, and meditated.

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Express Yourself with the THROAT CHAKRA

Today, we’re focusing on the fifth Chakra, the THROAT Chakra, or Vissuddha.

The Throat Chakra is the first one on the spiritual plane, and has to do with COMMUNICATION & EXPRESSION. When you find yourself unable to communicate your needs and desires or have difficulty putting your feelings into words, your Vissuddha needs some attention. This area of your body (which includes– you guessed it– your throat, neck, mouth, & ears) has to do with your ability to express yourself, listen, and be understood.

When this chakra is balanced, we feel like we’re in vibration with the world around us. Our voice is full, we can easily put emotions into words, and are good listeners; we generally express ourselves WELL. When this chakra is deficient, we fear speaking our truth, may have secrets, speak quietly, and can’t easily find the words. When this chakra is overactive, we might talk too much, overshare, gossip, criticize, or talk too loudly.

So how do we balance it?

Here are the stats on the Throat Chakra…

COLOR: Turquoise (wear more turquoise when you need to balance your creativity & expression; write with a turquoise pen; paint & write poetry)

ELEMENT: Sound (sing, chant, listen to music, mindfully experience sounds & silence)

LOCATION: Throat, neck, jaw, teeth, mouth, tongue, ears (Use your words– practice working with mantras; drink soothing tea for the throat, stretch the neck and upper shoulders, trill the lips to soften the face and jaw, make vibratory sounds (like OMMMMM))

PHYSICAL SIGNS OF A THROAT CHAKRA IMBALANCE: Stiff neck, teeth grinding, jaw issues, throat ailments, under or overactive thyroid.

ISSUES: Being understood, Expressing ourselves, Communicating and Living your TRUTH; Stress, Hyperactivity; Hurtful Communications & lying (Watch your words; try NOT COMPLAINING for one whole day!; do some artwork or write poetry; be creative; really listen to someone when they speak to you.)

YOGA PRACTICE: Stretching & opening the neck to release blockages (i.e. Neck Rolls, Fish Pose, Plow Pose, Shoulderstand, Camel Pose); Forward Folds; use of Mantra

AFFIRMATION: “I express myself with clear intent. I hear and speak my truth.” 🙂

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Why Savasana is the most important/HARDEST yoga pose

Has this ever happened to you?

If Savasana is truly the “most important of all the yoga poses” (as every yoga teacher says in class– including me), then why don’t we just come to class, lay down, and Shavaas for an hour and fifteen minutes. That sounds pretty sweet to me.

While Savasana may appear to be the “simplest” of all yoga postures, why’s it gotta be so EFFING HARD!?

Well, I’ll tell you why… it’s the ultimate act of SURRENDER.

The reason we don’t have 75 minute Savasana classes is because… Well, would YOU be able to keep your mind quiet for that long? I sure wouldn’t. I’d either be creating my to-do list for the day or snoring. NOT the point of Savasana.

We come to the mat and move our bodies through these asanas (or postures) so we can TIRE the body and mind out enough to get that sweet sweet Savasana. It’s like taking your dog to the dog park or your kid to Disneyland… that is the calmest & quietest ride home on EARTH!

Puppy Savasana

In my opinion, WE, as a culture, need to learn how to do Savasana WAYYYYYY more than we need to learn how to do a handstand or Scorpian pose. 

We need to learn how to DO NOTHING once in a while. We need to completely surrender in order to give up all the ways that we fight and struggle with life. We need to allow the dead parts of ourselves to fall away so we can have a new beginning each time we reawaken. That is forward movement; that is growth.

As you Savasana this week, just notice… Can you just lie there, as we are expected to do, and TRUST that the breath will carry you to the next moment? Can your release the tension in your body AND your mind, and give yourself permission to float in that peaceful place of renewal?

Remember, you don’t need to go to class to do this. But trust me, it helps.

If you PRACTICE surrender ON the mat, it becomes easier OFF the mat, which is ultimately why we do yoga in the first place 🙂

Ya hear?!

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Ishvara Pranidhana: SURRENDER :)

 

 


Every day, I make it the 1.5 blocks to the ocean to grab a piece of perspective. To remember my size in the grand scope of things, to see God’s work in the beautiful horizon, and to breathe in the fresh energy of the Pacific. More often then not, there are surfers out there (see those little dots up there?). And even more often, I see them sitting on their surfboards, NOT riding the waves. They are waiting… patiently waiting and trusting that the waves will come. Sometimes, a wave comes and they watch it pass. Sometimes, they ride it. Sometimes they fall, sometimes, they ride it all the way in. They know that they cannot choose when the waves will come, the ocean does that. So rather than forcing waves, they ride them as they come. And if a wave never comes, they try again tomorrow.

This is surrender… The fifth of the Niyamas, Ishvara Pranidhana.


Ishavara Pranidhana is surrendering to the Divine Plan… It is trusting that everything is as it should be, and something bigger is at work. It’s believing whole-heartedly that by virtue of the fact that something is happening in your life, it is somehow necessary in your experience. It’s knowing that LIFE knows better than you do…

You can either fight it, or accept it. You can resist or you can allow. The choice is yours. Yesterday’s post on the HEART CHAKRA reminds us to open our hearts to allow the goodness in. Getting out of our own way is often the key to surrender.

I like what author Deborah Adele says about surrender… “Surrender invites us to be active participants in our life, totally present and fluid with each moment, while appreciating the magnitude and mystery of what we are participating in.”  It reminds me that surrender is not the same as giving up… It’s simply softening my resistance so that I may fully experience the whole of my life.

 

So ask yourself… what does SURRENDER mean to you? How often do you get hung up on what you think SHOULD happen? How do you respond when things don’t go “your way”? Is it possible to allow more GRACE into your life by choosing to welcome each moment as it arises rather than judging it?

 

This week’s quote comes from Swami Chetanananda:

Ultimately there is nothing I can tell you about surrender except
Having nothing and wanting nothing;
Not keeping score,
Not trying to be richer,
Not being afraid of losing;
Not being particularly interested
in our own personalities;
Choosing to be happy,
No matter what happens to us.
These are some of the clues.
The rest we learn with practice and grace.

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