by Licensed Therapist Rachel Ford
As May is Mental Health Awareness month- I would like to get this point across; WE ALL STRUGGLE. Yes, you, me, all of us. It is fascinating to me that there is so much shame in admitting that we struggle. That we deal with sadness, stress, hardships in relationships and that sometimes; that sadness and stress turn into depression and anxiety. The reality is; life is hard and there are so many beautiful moments but there are also a lot of hard moments.
I am not sure where the belief came from that we all have to have these perfect lives. That if things are hard, we must be doing something wrong. I would love nothing more but to change that belief. For the reality to be our truth and that reality is life is hard, bad things happen to good people, relationships end, we get lost sometimes, we get burned out and overwhelmed by the demands of life; and all of this is ok.
I often say to my clients when they are struggling; that I would be more concerned if they were not having a hard time going through what they were going through- like if they were “all fine and dandy” then I would actually be MORE concerned about their mental health. Hardships are a part of life; and when we carry around shame and guilt for having these hardships, or not coping perfectly in every situation; we actually increase our suffering. We often want to move through our sadness or discomfort as quickly as possible. Make it go away, avoid it, rush to get through it. But one of the best tools I can give you is LEARN TO SIT WITH IT. Just be with it- whatever IT is and trust me, you will grow stronger, wiser and more resilient by being with those uncomfortable feelings and emotions.
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Over the years my mindset surrounding yoga and what it means has made a dramatic shift. I realized that the advanced practice comes from what you get out of it. How you feel when you are done, the way you listen to and trust your body throughout. I was sick for almost 4 months when I was pregnant. Nothing really felt good and it was hard to get into any type of movement practice again. And I was just tired…so tired!! I had already been teaching prenatal yoga before becoming pregnant but I don’t think I truly got the significance of it until I got to practice while I, myself, was growing a tiny human inside me.

Prenatal YogaPreparing for a baby typically includes finding the best car seat and stroller. Decorating your little ones room to resemble a Pinterest board and having everything READY. TO. GO. But why is it that we are not preparing ourselves to the extent needed for what will be the biggest event of our lives?! Do you know what happens during labor (not like what you see in the movies), how long you should stay home and when to go to the hospital if that’s what you are choosing? Do you want to understand the process and the decisions that have to be made while in labor and after your baby is born? Do you recognize the incredible amount of work it takes to birth your baby and that “kegals” are definitely not the answer to being able to push your baby out or help your pelvic floor recover post baby?

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By Jen McMahon

“I just can't manage it all”

I remember about three years ago one of my personal training clients came in to see me. She was in her 60s at the time and she had recently lost her grown son to a sudden unknown disease.  She was not only mourning his loss, but she was now in charge of taking care of her grandson and her life had abruptly changed quite drastically overnight. She had always been healthy and vibrant and she really wanted to continue to take care of herself. She was coming to me two days per week to keep up her strength and she wanted some nutrition advice as well.  We had discussed all of the ways she could improve her diet, her hydration, reduce her stress and try to get more sleep, but each day she'd come in feeling more and more overwhelmed with all of the things she couldn't do right. One day she looked at me and said, "I just can't manage it all".

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We are so grateful for our Allomi Tribe! This month's member spotlight is Angela Lanahan. This special lady has been with Allomi since the beginning. We wanted to honor her and let you get to know her a little better!

Where are you originally from? How long have you been in the SouthBay?

I was born in Illinois and spent my early childhood years in Columbus, Ohio. We moved to Simi Valley, CA when I was 12. I ended up in the South Bay by chance. My husband and I “temporarily” moved here back in 2008, and never left. 

more about Angela

Intention is our desire to have more of something in our life whether that be health, happiness, contentment, peace, or healthier relationships. Setting monthly intentions is a beautiful practice that can allow you to feel clear and grounded - emotionally, physically and spiritually. 

  1. When setting an intention, make sure it aligns with your values and your purpose. Be clear about the WHY behind your intention. There has to be a clear understanding of WHY we desire this in order to maintain the motivation and not lose focus when the stressors and business of life sets in. 
  2. By being clear with our intentions, they will manifest, but we cannot just declare them and stop there. It is a dance between us and the universe (our spirt, our guide, God or however you desire to refer to it as). A dance of declaring our intentions, being clear on what actions you are doing to assist in the manifestation of this intention, but also allowing the universe to guide us, bring people or opportunities to us, or show us the lesson we get to learn in order to bring that intention to fruition.

MINDFULNESS is a state of consciousness, grounded in awareness, to be fully present in any given moment. It is a way of living, a practice. One that involves listening. Listening to my inner voice, that voice connected to spirit, Universal Source Energy, light and love. And listening to those around me with an open heart and an open mind, with kindness and non-judgement, with love. It is a practice that involves seeing with eyes that are separate from my ego and my ego’s projection. And in every moment I have the opportunity to practice mindfulness—to breathe, center myself, listen to the stillness within me, my inner voice, my heartbeat and my breath.

more about Carolyn

As far as my favorite movement at Allomi, I'm a fan of all things yoga, but Allomi has introduced me to a number of other styles of exercise. I think Plyojam is my favorite, it's just 55 minutes of pure fun, and the work-out is just a bonus!

I love moving meditation. Sometimes taking a quiet walk, or doing a yoga flow helps me reset and quiet my mind like nothing else. Meditation doesn't always mean you have to sit still. If you breathe and have a clear intention, almost anything can become a meditation.

For me, mindfulness means checking in. It's taking time to notice how I'm feeling so I can take a step back in any given situation and respond, rather than react. It means thinking about something before I say or do it, to make sure it's coming from a place of love and positivity. And when I'm not feeling so positive, it means noticing and acknowledging that, so I can take action to clear my head and get back to a more calm, peaceful state of mind. That could be eating a healthy home cooked meal, taking a yoga class, or just taking some deep breaths and being honest with myself about what is really troubling me. To me, it's as simple as being aware of myself and how my actions ripple through the world.

Join Amber for Restorative Stretch Yoga Wednesdays and Fridays at 12pm. Health and Nutrition Coaching, Available by appointment

We are so grateful for our Allomi Tribe! This month's member spotlight is the one-and-only Lisa Woomer. We wanted to honor this amazing woman and let you get to know her a little better!

Where are you originally from? How long have you been in the SouthBay?

I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and came to Southern California for college where I met my husband 29 years ago, wow that’s a long time. We moved to the South Bay about 16.5 years ago right before our second child was born. We now have three fabulous children ages 19, 16, and 9 and have been enjoying raising them here. We love everything about the South Bay mainly because it is so family and community oriented. We have taken advantage of all of the year-round youth sports and music classes as well as being able to enjoy the beach and the outdoors. There is so much to choose from. You can never be bored here. :)

more about Lisa
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