Dealing…

Have you ever been told to Suck It Up Buttercup? Or to get over it because someone else has it much worse than you?

How’d that make you feel, as an adult going through something that may have created great despair or pain?

I think phrases such as that are fine to tell our children when they are acting like spoiled brats upon not getting their way. As a matter of fact, I should probably say something like that more!

Appropriate for everyone, though? I’m not so sure.

Two months ago my son committed suicide. I’m having to learn to live without the one who gave me a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging. I’m learning to live without one of my life’s greatest inspirations and teachers.

This passage is for me, to remind myself of my own strength, will, and determination.

Yes, I’m putting myself out there to be judged and criticized, but somewhere I know that there is someone out there, dealing with what they seem they cannot endure, and I pray this reaches them. 

“There’s someone else who has it worse than you.” Yes, that’s true, but please use that phrase with caution unless you really know that to be true. 

A short synopsis of what life has thrown at me…

Anxiety and misdiagnosed dietary/health issues starting very young. Depression and eating disorders by grade 8. Sexually violated and suicidal by 12th. Survived, after feeling unwelcome and unloved by even God during my near death encounter with the Keeper of the Golden Gates. “Not yet. Someday. You still have work to do down there.” Don’t believe in near death experiences? You should.

Unexpected pregnancy by age 19. Keep or abort this baby? Rocky Relationship, but I love him and I already love this little creation with my whole heart. Keep. I might get disowned. But definitely keep. All I’ve ever known for sure is that I want to be a mommy. Easy pregnancy, relationship turned violent. Addiction returned. Had to walk away. Tried unsuccessfully to get back together but then the toughest of love lessons came our way. I had met another who promised the world so please don’t call anymore. Probably not what I really wanted. Probably wanted him to put up a fight, but he listened. If that was my plan it backfired.

Single mom married to someone who hid his true colors well. Marriage was emotionally/financially/spiritually abusive starting day 1. Within a year, became seriously ill in eating disorders and checked into recovery facilities out of state at 84 pounds, after accidentally overdosing on prescribed medications just to try to get some rest and migraine relief. Left my now 4 year old behind. Heart broken.

Worked my butt off to stay healthy and to try to salvage anything left of my so-called marriage. Unsuccessful, but too afraid to leave. Too many threats, another pregnancy with a daughter this time. Yay!! I had been told no more kids, too much damage to my reproductive system.

Where are we going to live, though, now that she’s a toddler?! Don’t have a clue where all the money has gone, but house payment hasn’t been paid. Foreclosure. How did I find out? My aunt saw it in newspaper, and my mom asked me about it. Seriously? This is happening and I’m the LAST to know? What kind of person am I living with?? Found housing, and took over bills to try to dig us out and figure out finances. Hmmm…lots of things don’t make sense and don’t add up. But don’t question it. I’ll regret it if I even consider it. 

The news that Christopher’s father had died turned my inner world upside down. So much I could have done differently. I let it end without even saying I love you. I had lost him, really lost him forever. Could I have helped save him?

Not sure if it was too much stress or all the anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds I was on, but I miscarried twins. A boy and a girl. Guess who didn’t care? No support from my husband, so I’ll just keep this one to myself. Most likely no one else will care either. Heavy burden to carry alone. So much sadness and grief and no one knew for years.

New house. New beginnings? Nope. More of the same. Baby boy on his way now. Cannot wait! My kids are truly my world. My whole reason for living.

Wait. Lies. Lies. More lies. Just admit the truth. I can forgive it all. Nope. Denial and more narcissistic behaviors make me think I’m totally nuts. I can’t do this anymore. It’s killing me. I’m living life as a prisoner in my own home. Please go out of town soon, or work overtime. The kids and I need to come out of our rooms and feel welcome in our own house. My kids cannot grow up thinking this normal or ok.

Get out of my house. Divorce. But it’ll be rough. The only promise he ever kept was to make my life miserable and difficult if I ever left him. Two years for the divorce to be finalized, all the while having to watch my back for his vehicle or a co-workers, or vehicle from another agency hiding around the corner watching me and the kids through binoculars. Just within enough distance to let me know their presence to intimidate me, but far enough away that I can’t call in for restraining orders. Well played, but please understand that people at my workplace are noticing, too.

Anxiety. Here, Baby Boy. This helps me. Some Yoga and Pranayama (Breathwork). And carry this special rock with you in your pocket. It has Mommy’s Kiss and anytime you miss me or feel anxious, get it out, rub it or kiss it, and remember that I’m not far away. I promise I wouldn’t leave you here if I didn’t trust your teachers. Thanks, Mrs. Principal for lovingly restraining my boy while I run off to get to work through my tears. Not only did Father choose to leave, but Mommy left her 16 year old position as stay home mom to go to work. I promise I’m not abandoning you, Sweetie. I’m doing the FOR you. We’ll repeat this process all year and have more of this experience for another 2 or three years. Whew! Eventually it does get better.

Ok…hang on tight. Here’s a ride. Thank God I know the signs of depression. Helping a daughter who had discovered self-harm and had her own suicidal thoughts wasn’t fun. How many nights did I cry through this?! Such a difficult thing to go through alone. Poor Peyton. How neglected you must feel while I try to help Sissy. What?! She’s pregnant? OK. Another baby is always welcome, plus he saved her life. Thank you, Angel Child.

Dating? Are you kidding me? How many guys do you think want to date a woman who is in Mommy Mode 24/7. Oh wait…I AM only on standby for four hours a week but I really need that time to nourish myself. Please leave me alone since I’ve finally learned that he isn’t really just going to take off with the kids and not return them! I’ve learned that it is ok to take care of me! Anyway, if you aren’t going to be good for and to me, and be willing to accept me AND my kids for who we are, then we don’t need you. Go ahead. Walk away and use whatever story you need to tell yourself to make you feel less guilty. We’ll be ok. We are perfectly imperfect and we are a chaotic mess. But we are each other’s everything.

Too much stress and overwhelm has created chronic illnesses that make it difficult to function in my everyday life. Guilt arises at all I’m not accomplishing and time I can’t spend in wholeness with my kids. Yoga and meditation help greatly but I need more support. That’s hard to admit…SIGH…

I watch from a distance as my (step)daughter goes through stuff that I’m not in a position to be able to offer help or even much emotional support, and her babies and my (step)son’s are all growing way too fast. I hate that I’m missing it. But I have never been allowed to develop relationships with the rest of the family, so this really shouldn’t bother me so much. Yet, it does. Always has.

Now Christopher.

What did I miss? I think nothing, but there must have been something? He was the one who spent the most time in counseling. His faith in God is the strongest fo anyone I know. He has so much to look forward. Graduating with highest honors, faithfully attending mass and chapel, loyal to his friends and family. What did I miss? There were no obvious signs. He worked hard, he was proud of himself for his efforts. Perhaps it was uncertainty of what’s next after College Graduation. Perhaps he was afraid of not getting into grad school. Perhaps he was afraid of being alone, starting his new chapter in life. Perhaps it was lack of sleep as he tried to excel in his classes, but he didn’t speak about his “maladies” openly to us. Or to anyone, it seems. I have, however, seen notes of encouragement left in his school mailbox. I cannot express how thankful I am for those short, sweet notes.

Because I had allowed myself to become stressed to the point of illness, I did my best to remind him to slow down. Rest. Play. Enjoy Life. He was much like me, in many ways. I could never ever deny him, nor would I want to!

He did Enjoy Life. He travelled. He spent quality time with friends. He knew what he wanted to do, and he did it, with no apologies or regrets, except that he did care whether or not his family supported his decisions. Of course, we usually did! He enjoyed life. Or so it seemed.

Robin Williams. I see now that my child had a soul in resonance with the great comedian.

Someone recently expressed concern over my being alone at my Yoga Studio at night. I assured him I take safety precautions when I’m alone, but that I’ve already experienced so much, that not much else could phase me. Sure, I could be killed, but I’m all good. Death happens, and it’s going to come to me anyway. The worst thing that could happen to me at this point is that something would take away one of my kids.

Damn. I was right about that. So please excuse me while I grieve.

Nothing. And I mean NOTHING is worse than losing a child.

So I write this reminder to myself. Not for sympathy, but to remind myself that I’m strong, determined, and now capable of showing compassion and unconditional love to others. I now know how to share and help others who have struggles, too. I take joy in sharing with and serving others and helping them find their Light again.

I write this as a reminder that I’ve changed tremendously for the better. I’m happy to say I’m not the same person I use to be.

I’ve been through Hell and Back. And I’ve survived. In large part to my parents who always have my back, and in large part because of my Faith in One Higher Than I, for all those times I didn’t feel adequate, capable or able. And of course, Yoga. It makes everything better. 

NOTHING is worse than losing a child. But I’m doing pretty damn good, considering.

And so are you, The Bright Shining Star who is reading this. Go, Do You. Nobody else can do it so well!

Struggling so much you’re not sure you can hold on much longer? Trying to help someone you love?

Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline today! 1-800-273-8255

Namaste,

Nikki

Eating Disorder Awareness 2018: Day 7

I realized I needed help when my firstborn was almost 4 years old. I was a full time student and a primary caregiver to my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s. I was in an unhealthy marriage. I was stressed to the max and overwhelmed. I was scared. I weighed in at 83 pounds, couldn’t sleep for days at a time, suffered horrible migraines, and literally hated everything about myself.
I used alcohol, opiates, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety meds to try to survive. I was in therapy, yet I was in large part self-medicating. One night, I overdid it, and was lucky to have woken up the next morning. I called my therapist and she got a team together to start putting my treatment plan in place. She saw my desperation to stay alive so that I could be Mommy to my baby. I am thankful she believed in me and fought her own battles to see that I got appropriate help. If I had nothing else to live for, I had my baby.
I was sent to Florida for treatment, where I resided in two facilities, and started attended different 12 step meetings. I despised being away from my kiddo, and angry that I missed his 4th birthday. However, that’s where Yoga found me, and I realized my story was to be used for a Higher cause someday.
My healing began 20 years ago. It is a process, not a perfect. Recovery has been a rough ride, and I have good days and bad. When I can’t remember on my own the tools I’ve learned, I have friends and family who jump in to help. Even on my darkest nights, though, I remember the who and why that finally brought me face to face to my most dangerous demon.
This kid, from the moment I first found I was pregnant, gave me a sense of purpose and belonging. My Mommy Status requires that I stay healthy, set a good example, and live my life in accordance to Divine Will.
I didn’t choose to suffer with eating disorders, but I can choose to give up or continue on the fight. I choose to allow God to work through me, because I know somewhere out there someone else needs to know he/she isn’t alone. The struggle is real, but help is out there. 
28514868_10215164936457827_6190148179061621823_o

Call NEDA now 1-800-931-2237, and if you want, use the form below to contact me, too. You are not alone.

 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 5

10 (MORE) general Physical Symptoms of Eating Disorders, as per NEDA:

Dental problems, such as enamel erosion, cavities, and tooth sensitivity; Dry skin and hair, and brittle nails; Swelling around area of salivary glands; Fine hair on body (lanugo); Cavities, or discoloration of teeth, from vomiting; Muscle weakness; Yellow skin (in context of eating large amounts of carrots); Cold, mottled hands and feet or swelling of feet; Poor wound healing; Impaired immune functioning

Today’s Challenge: Uneasiness/Vulnerability- Putting yourself out there and trying something new can sometimes make us pretty uneasy. Have you ever done a yoga posture or fitness class that just made you feel unsure, maybe a bit vulnerable? Did you have to back out or were you able to complete the task! Tell us and post a picture of what it was.

Although I can easily answer yes to certain yoga poses and fitness classes causing me to feel uneasy, tonight’s challenge was literally just to get me out of the house to start stepping into my “normal” life. I have not been out of my house much at all since Feb 9. I’ve only left a few absolute necessary times, for short amounts of times.

Tonight, though, I even got out of yoga pants and into jeans, and I put on makeup. GASP! I know, right?! In truth, there were probably other reasons for the makeup…but it still got put on…that’s a true rarity.

One little step into acceptance that my life really does have to go on without one of my children. I’ll probably forever hate Fridays, but spending time tonight watching My Little Man play basketball was worth taken on the anxiety and the vulnerability that I am still feeling.

How could I even think about missing his first AAU game of the season? Could I have forgiven myself if I hadn’t been able to get over my own $#!t?!

I’m thankful for some people who have made me feel just a little bit more safe during this dark night.

And I’m thankful for this kid. Just look at his smile.

28423997_10215151117432360_3803853092815654537_o

Do you or someone you know need help? Call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237. You can also use the form below to contact me. Remember, you are not alone.

 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 4

Let’s start talking about some general PHYSICAL Symptoms of Eating Disorders  

The first 10, as per NEDA: Noticeable fluctuations in weight, both up and down; Stomach cramps, other non-specific gastrointestinal complaints (constipation, acid reflux, etc.); Menstrual irregularities — missing periods or only having a period while on hormonal contraceptives (this is not considered a “true” period); Difficulties concentrating; Abnormal laboratory findings (anemia, low thyroid and hormone levels, low potassium, low white and red blood cell counts); Dizziness, especially upon standing; Fainting/syncope; Feeling cold all the time; Sleep problems; Cuts and calluses across the top of finger joints (a result of inducing vomiting)

Challenge- show us Strength! What activity have you done in the past that made you feel strong? Tell us and post a picture of what it was so that we can celebrate YOUR strength! 

My yoga studio. Designed for small, intimate classes. I had a vision many years ago to use my life experiences to help/serve others through Yoga. I was being called to help others heal. Yet, there were many, many obstacles to overcome to first. I had to first understand what Yoga had done for me.

Yoga helped me through eating disorders, an unhealthy marriage, divorce, severe depression and anxiety, dealing with a child suffering from her own and then dealing with her teenage pregnancy. Now Yoga is helping me find acceptance in the worst ever kind of Momma Nightmare imaginable. Through Yoga, I connect closely with God…that’s where any strength I have has ultimately come from.

I vowed to someday teach using my own experiences. I understand that not all yoga is right for everyone. I get to watch people thrive who once didn’t feel comfortable in other class settings or who have been too self-conscious to try Yoga. I was one of those people, too, so I get it! I LOVE to watch people change and grow confident in themselves.

My strength…My Little Studio…because I know where I once was and I’m thankful for how much I’ve changed.

0115181834

Do you or someone you know need help? It is time to call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237.

Feel free to contact me, too, using the form below. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 3

6 (MORE) COMMON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF AN EATING DISORDER, as described by NEDA:

  • Any new practices with food or fad diets, including cutting out entire food groups (no sugar, no carbs, no dairy, vegetarianism/veganism)
  • Withdrawal from usual friends and activities
  • Frequent dieting
  • Extreme concern with body size and shape
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws in appearance
  • Extreme mood swings

Today’s Challenge: Resourcefulness! What is the most resourceful thing you have ever come up with to get your workout in?

Well, Darn it. I’m actually going to have to do more today than just snap a shot of a pose or two. Am I ready to practice? My first actual asana practice since 2.8.18. Twenty days. I don’t know if I’m ready. May it’s time. I should clean up first. I’m a mess. My pants don’t fit well, my hair is a mess, and this shirt though! Just do it.

Ok. Done. Did I really forget a few Ardha Uttanasana? My alignment is off, I couldn’t hover in Chaturanga, I had trouble with headstand. Look at my heavy breathing. Do I dare post this?! I know I have to…for me…and perhaps someone else.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations…if I do nothing else to move my body, I practice a few rounds of these. Often, like today, once I start, I’m led to a few poses that I need. Sun Salutations create the perfect balance between strength and flexibility. Sun Salutations offer a meditative experience as each breath links to each movement. Sun Salutations raise the heart rate and help with detoxification and purification.

Most importantly, though…Sun Salutations can be done almost anywhere. No special equipment needed. Not even a yoga mat is really needed, but carpet is gross…my nose isn’t going there!! But what’s better? Fifteen minutes. My whole practice today timed right at 15 minutes. My body feels better tonight and my mind feels more focused. And I’m thankful for the challenge.

Do you or someone you know need help? Call Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237, and remember you are not alone. Feel free to use the form below to contact me. 

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 2

6 COMMON EMOTIONAL AND BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMS OF AN EATING DISORDER, as described by NEDA:

  • In general, behaviors and attitudes that indicate that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns
  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, carbohydrates, fat grams, and dieting
  • Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g., no carbohydrates, etc.)
  • Appears uncomfortable eating around others
  • Food rituals (e.g. eats only a particular food or food group [e.g. condiments], excessive chewing, doesn’t allow foods to touch)
  • Skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals

“Today’s challenge: Humanity/Humbleness: What is one activity that you have tried that you failed at miserably that first time you tried it?  Did you go back and try it again?”

This was tough for me because impulsively I answered LIFE! Too many miserable attempts and failures to count! UUUGH! Ok, I do admit though…I’m not in my happiest of places right now, and every day, every thing I do is taking every ounce of effort.

So I chose my favorite yoga pose that helps me break free from ego’s pride. This asana helps me surrender to the truth of what’s happening in my body, mind, and spirit when strong and often uncomfortable sensations arise telling me all those long held “issues in my tissues” are ready to be dealt with and released. When I learn to stay present during difficult moments on my mat, I’m also learning to stay present during life’s perfectly imperfect moments.

Humble Warrior reminds me to stand strong in my truth and in my faith, and to do so in sweet surrender. I am reminded to turn my focus inward so that I can Listen to Divine Calling. During particularly difficult times, I couple this asana with the Kali mudra to connect with My Inner Fierce Goddess. On my darkest days this mudra helps to let go of the pain and allow the light to enter again.

0227181303

Do you or someone you know need help? Please call NEDA’s Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237.

You can also use the form below to contact me. You are not alone.

Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2018: Day 1

According to The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

Types & Symptoms of Eating Disorders:

Anorexia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa  

Binge eating disorder

Orthorexia  

Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

Pica

Rumination disorder  

Unspecified feeding or eating disorder (UFED)  

Laxative abuse  

Compulsive exercise

It’s a picture from September 2017 but I love my expression! Obviously, I was shocked to have  lifted. After YEARS of studying and practicing yoga, I finally decided to stop letting fear get in the way of attempting handstands. How many times has fear stopped me in my tracks off the mat, too? Adho Mukha Vrksasana is my new favorite practice to help me remember that I can stay stuck or I can keep practicing living a my life fully. This is the asana that currently helps me embody confidence. Today’s challenge was to share a pose that helps me find confidence. I still have a long way to go, but no doubt I have more strength now than I did when I first came to yoga while in was in a recovery center for eating disorders. Not only that, I have developed a more playful attitude, too. With confidence, comes the ability to laugh at myself each time I come tumbling down!

28472089_10215116517047372_5454586575637018717_n

Do you or someone you know need help?
Toll-free Information and Referral Helpline: 1-800-931-2237

You can also use the form below to contact me. You are not alone.

Self-Study: Atha-Yoga-Anusasanum Yoga Sutra 1.1

 

Hi, Lovelies!

I come back to study the Yoga Sutra over and over again. The very first one is perhaps the most important and significant for me.

The Yoga-Sutra of Patañjali: A New Translation and Commentary by Georg Feuerstein Ph.D. defines the first yoga sutra as Now commences the exposition of Yoga.”  

“Yoga is Now. Feel God_s presence.” (1)

Nischala Joy Devi’s definition in The Secret Power of Yoga: A Woman’s Guide to the Heart and Spirit of the Yoga Sutras  says: “With humility (an open heart and mind), we embrace the sacred study of Yoga.”

“Yoga is Now. Feel God_s presence.” (2)

Easy enough to study. Easy enough to say. More difficult to put into practice.

On my mat, I can more easily put all else aside for a couple of hours and just focus on my practice. Yet, even that isn’t always possible for me, unless all of my children are with me, and I know everyone is completely safe! Trying to implement this first sutra caused me to be taken aback as I became more aware of my ongoing struggle!

I stopped in the middle of making my bed to open my curtains. I brewed my coffee while starting laundry. I picked out my clothes while brushing my teeth. I seemed to dislike having my radio on one station as I commuted, so I alternated between radio, CD, and podcasts. I drank my smoothies on the road, and made any phone calls then, too. I ate lunch at my desk while working. I lost count how many times a day I checked my phone for texts, social media notifications, messages, and voicemail. While scrolling through social media feeds, I got distracted by friends’ posted articles and curious about how others commented. While surfing the web, Google wouldn’t let me only make one or two inquiries. No way! I had to browse several sites until I found just the right pages that held my interest for the longest amounts of time. I don’t know how many times I stopped what I was doing to talk with my children, co-workers, or friends…but worse…how many times did I pick up my phone to make sure I wasn’t missing anything while I was in the middle of a conversation?! That is rude, and I cannot apologize enough!

None of this includes going about my daily tasks while simultaneously having continuous thoughts about anything and everything other than the task at hand, and try as I might, I just couldn’t successfully tune out other people’s’ conversations that were in no way of concern to me. Did I mention I put away tons of clean laundry while binge watching a new Netflix fav?  

It is no wonder, I am tired, stressed out, and overwhelmed. It is no wonder my health has been in a fragile state. I’m in a constant state of multitasking!

There was not much pause to be present with any one thing, much less find God’s presence.

Yet, Spirit was there, in everything and in everyone I encountered, being ignored and going unnoticed and unappreciated. Except on a few occasions when I was made to shut up and listen!

This week, I’ll try more diligently to be still in the present moment and more aware of all that is. I’ll try to focus with more clarity in all situations, and speak more carefully.

As I continue to meditate and contemplate both of these translations, they resonate within me as such, “Yoga is Now. Feel God’s presence.”

“Yoga is Now. Feel God_s presence.”

Tonight, I will remember Yoga is a practice. Being still is a practice. Listening for God is a practice.

Namaste,

Nikki

One, Yoga Mat…Two, Yoga Mat…Three Yoga Mat…Four…

Hi, Lovely!

I have been met with some health and family issues which caused a great deal of overwhelm and exhaustion.

Part of being human is to face challenges, overcome obstacles, and restore health. It’s life!

How do I deal when life happens? I come to my Yoga mat!

Yoga has much to offer, no matter my energy level or my body needs. When I’m stuck in chronic fatigue and my body is inflamed in pain, I rest and relax in restorative asana. When I feel a bit stronger, but still need to go slow and withdraw inward, Yin Yoga is my go-to practice. On my strong and energetic days, I love practices that incorporate Vinyasa Flow. Of course, I have some favorite Kundalini practices that bring my whole being into balance at any given time.

What is your Yoga like? Are you wondering what mat is best for your needs?

I use three mats on a regular basis.

1483496998576

My favorite mat of all, cheap and generic, is my very first yoga mat. It has seen the most tears and transition. After 20 plus years of practice, it still holds me in its grip, but the sticky these days might be from years worth of grit, grime, and kiddo sticky stuff! This mat stays in my home teaching space, to remind me how I first came to yoga, and how I wish to use my yoga stories to serve others.

1483752364681

I recently started using a Gaiam Print Premium Yoga Mat  originally bought for my daughter several years ago. For the price, I am impressed by its grip and quality of this lightweight mat! It travels with me when I teach at Take Charge Fitness, and it stays in my car for impromptu yoga practices in parks, on work breaks and road trips.

My most expensive and heaviest mat stays home, for my personal practice, and it is used inside and out. The Manduka PRO Yoga Mat is quite pricey. At first I was skeptical because I found this mat very slippery. However, I have had this mat for a couple of years now and realize it still isn’t fully broken in! This is my thickest mat, perfect for days when tender trigger points are present. The extra cushion is a blessing! My naturally  oily and sweaty body still slips and slides in some vigorous workouts, but a yoga towel on top of the mat helps absorb extra moisture. This high quality mat just may be the last yoga mat I will ever need to purchase!

There are some great yoga mat options out there, and some I wasn’t aware of until I stopped to check out Reviews.com.

While I’m NOT an expert on yoga mats, my friends over at Reviews.com ARE! I love what they have to say, learned a few tips for my Manduka PRO, and I’m awesomely impressed at how they’ve spent hours surveying, researching, and testing top brands at varying prices. They’ve talked with experienced yoga teachers and experienced asana in extreme temperatures and in all asana practices imaginable. Yoga dedication is seen through their ongoing studies, and reviews are updated accordingly to include the newest products available.

I am confident you’ll find YOUR perfect mat as recommended by Reviews.com. Check them out today!

Your Yoga practice is waiting for you!

Namaste,

Nikki

 

Dressember 2016: Welcome to My Day Twenty-One

Only a few Dressember Days to go!!

It’s been a good day overall. I am feeling tired, though, and a wee bit sad, but I haven’t had time to let myself go there yet. Days like this are the days I most need to remember all I have to be grateful for.

It also helps to have reminders that I have a Higher Purpose than I realize. Maybe, just maybe that is part of my mission here. Along with my @Dressember Sunflowers and Snow Teammates, I am finishing out a month of wearing dresses to help raise awareness for slavery. Think it doesn’t exist? Think again, and know that it is happening in our area!!

According to a 2011 report released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, out of the runaways actually reported each year in Tennessee, about 1000 are trafficked. Virtually all trafficked youth have been abused and /or traumatized prior to their trafficking.

This 2011 study determined that minors who are trafficking victims are sold 10 to 15 times a day, six days a week.

THAT MEANS THAT EACH VICTIM IS “USED” 9,360 to 14,040 TIMES A YEAR!! I cannot  imagine the level of  trauma that would produce in a child?

End Slavery Tennessee, best sums up that 2011 study…

85 Tennessee counties: Reported at least one case of human trafficking

4 counties:  Reported 100+ cases (a  case usually involves multiple victims)

94: Number of children trafficked in Tennessee every MONTH.

**Sixty-eight counties in the state reported at least one case of minor human sex trafficking. The following four counties reported more than 100 cases a) Shelby, b) Davidson, c) Coffee, and d) Knox.

Have I mentioned that Knoxville ranks 4th…did you hear me? FOURTH!! in the heaviest sex trafficking market? I am not ok with that!!

Thank you @A21 and and @IJM for this eye-opening opportunity for me to learn more about modern day slavery!!

It’s not too late! If you haven’t yet, would like to be part of this team effort, Melissa West, Jenn Ashton, Madeline Hildek, Nicci Rea, Harmony Darling, Aynne Johnston, Laura Moyer and I would love to have you join Sunflowers and Snow.

Donate here to help raise funds that go toward rescuing human trafficking victims and  their aftercare.

Or simply keep on with your “Likes” and Shares!

Namaste,

Nikki

15747849_10211174360815930_614425429378885815_n