Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!
the Spiritual & the Physical
By Alana Cahoon
Breathe. Stretch. Repeat. Sounds like you’re washing your hair, right? Close. You’re washing your body. Inside out.
I’ll never forget being introduced to yoga back in the 1980’s. A long haired hippie dude was teaching at a gym in NYC. He wasn’t very good. That experience turned me away from the practice for awhile.
I was a modern dancer at the time and practiced hard core aerobics. I didn’t need to add yoga to the mix.
Today, I couldn’t imagine living without it.
Yoga the spiritual and the physical. That’s the beauty of it. There are meaningful aspects of the practice that bring about a range of health benefits. And that’s what is needed today. More than ever.
The spiritual aspect of yoga is found within its philosophy and meditative practice. The aim being to unite one’s spirit with the Divine. Doesn’t that sound amazing? The meditative practice of yoga is equivalent to samadhi or concentration which brings about self awareness.
As a teacher, I like to begin classes by setting an intention. This acts as the theme throughout the session and is frequently aligned with your spirit such as, ‘I feel calm and relaxed.’
You may have heard of balancing the chakras. This is something I have been doing for most of my life. It’s a beautiful sequence of activating the 7 main chakras or energy centers of the body. These are aligned along your spine, the first located at the base moving up to the seventh at the crown of your head. In addition to balancing these energy centers during meditation, they can also be activated during the physical aspect of your yoga practice.
Some say the practice of yoga began approximately 5000 years ago in India. My course of study suggests less it dates back to the 2nd century BCE with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjala, the foundation for the practice. These were brought to the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga, which is the form we are most familiar with in the US emerged in India around the 10th century with origins in tantra.
‘What?’ You may be asking. No worries. Meditation is the first step to the spiritual side of yoga. Understanding its roots and beliefs of origin are the next.
You may be fascinated to learn more. If so, there are dozens of books and videos available on the subject. I suggest you peruse several and see what’s a fit. If you learn best by reading, you may want to engage in a book on the traditions such as the Bhagavad Gita or the Upanishads or Yoga Sutras. If you’re a visual learner, check out videos available online. Start with a simple search of Yoga and go from there.
The spiritual side of yoga is found within its meditative practice. This elevates the conscious state to one that is clear and in divine union, ultimately bringing one to a sense of absolute freedom. Ommm.
I believe that the physical aspect of yoga is just as important as the spiritual side and vice versa. A balanced mind body and spirit involves the activation of all.
Typically a yoga class is focused on the asanas. These are the physical poses of yoga. These poses can be held for several minutes which are often found in the yoga teaching of Iyengar. Or they can move from one to the next in a flowing series which can be found in the Vinyasa style.
As a dancer, which do you think is my favorite? Right. Vinyasa!
Hatha yoga is the overarching style predominantly taught in the west. Vinyasa, Iyengar, and even Power yoga are all under its umbrella.
A well rounded yoga class will include focus on the breath, the asana and the concentration. These aspects will stretch and strengthen your mind, body, and spirit.
Today there are numerous yoga studios both in brick and mortar and online. Circling back to my first encounter with yoga, may I suggest not to give up if at first you don’t like the experience. The teaching style, environment and/or personality of the instructor have an impact on your personal experience. Find some one who speaks to you. In mind - body - spirit.
Here are some of the yoga poses you may learn. I’ve noticed that depending on the source, the names may differ slightly. The first word is the basic English name. The second is the Sanskrit name. Have fun saying them and doing them!
Asanas - Yoga Poses
Boat - Navasana
Bow - Dhanurasana
Camel - Ushtrasana
Cat - Marjariasana
Chair - Utkatasana
Child - Balasana
Cobbler - Bhadrasana
Cobra - Bhujangasana
Crescent Moon - Anjaneyasana
Crocodile - Makarasana
Crow - Kakasana
Dancer - Natarajasana
Downward Facing Dog - Ardho Mukha Shvanasana
Eagle - Garudasana
Easy - Sukhasana
Fish - Matsyasana
Garland - Malasana
Half Moon - Ardha Chandrasana
Half Spinal Twist - Ardha Matsyendrasana
Headstand - Sirsasana
Head-to-Knee - Janusirasana
Locust - Salabhasana
Lotus - Padmasana
Low Plank - Caturanga Dandasana
Mountain - Tadasana
Pigeon - Kapotasana
Plank - Phalakasana
Plough - Halasana
Pyramid - Parshvottanasana
Seated Forward Bend - Paschimottanasana
Shoulder-stand - Sarvangasana
Shoulder Supported Bridge - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Side Angle - Parshvokanasana
Side Plank - Vasishtasana
Staff - Dandasana
Standing Forward Bend - Uttaasana
Standing Half Forward Bend - Ardha Uttanasana
Sun Salutation - Surya Namaskar
Tortoise - Kurmasana
Tree - Vrikshasana
Triangle - Trikonasana
Upward Facing Dog - Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana
Warrior 1 - Virabhrasana I
Wide Stance Forward Bend - Prasarita Padottanasana
Yogi vs Yogini
As a man who practices not only the physical but the philosophic aspect of yoga is considered a Yogi. For all you women out there on the path of yoga, you are on your way to being called a Yogini.
Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC. Grow your business. Expand your mind. Heal your soul. www.AlanaCahoon.com
It's tax season time. If you're an entrepreneur like me, you'll be scrambling to get all of your documents in order. This includes your receipts, bank records, and a system to put it all into place. If you're smart and lucky, you'll have an accountant by your side to assist you.
Money. It's a funny thing. The flow of currency. A piece of paper that makes a difference. Representing power.
Transactions can appear complicated depending on your mindset. I'm one of those people who are challenged. Even having my spreadsheets neatly organized with columns, numbers create havoc. I can feel them rumbling around in my stomach. Thank goodness I meditate.
In the end I always come out in the black. Once again thank goodness!
I’m what you call an intuitive money girl. Let's shift that to a Money Goddess. I kind of like that. I think it fits. You're welcome to try it on as well, girlfriend!
As a Money Goddess, I attract abundance naturally. I'd like to say easily. But it does take some effort. In fact the more you can focus on the law of attraction, the more effective it will be.
So where do we begin. Let's start with you!
Becoming a Money Goddess
Who are you?
Self discovery is pertinent in almost every aspect of your life. Money included. How you think of yourself and how you show up in the world make a difference. Let’s examine that.
Do you believe you are worth it?! Do you deserve comfort? A steady stream of income? Extra money to play with?
How do you show up in the world? Take a look at yourself right now. What are you wearing? Are you composed? What is your posture saying about you?
Everything about your appearance, and I mean everything is a reflection of what you expect from the outside world. Go ahead, wear your jeans and T-shirt. Walk around in your sweats. But know that you will be treated like someone walking around in their jeans and T-shirt or sweats. Which means very casually and not very seriously.
True, there may be some exceptions to the rule. Especially if your jeans are really nice and your T-shirt is neat and new.
How you present yourself to the world sends out a direct vibration of what you expect to come back to you.
In order to start attracting something to you, you need to see it first. Clearly in your minds eye. Heck you can even write it down, or find a picture of it, print it and post it someplace you can see it often. Whichever way you choose, you need to clearly visualize what it is you want to attract to you.
Let's try that now.
Since were talking about money. Think of that right now. Imagine money. Imagine it flowing to you. You can see it as hundreds of dollar bills flowing toward you. Or piling over you.
I'd like you to think about how much money you would like to come into your life over the course of the next year. Go ahead and do that now. Now, add a zero at the end of it. And tell me how it feels.
Notice I mentioned money coming into your life. Not the money you were earning. Know that there are many sources of money. So as you see money coming toward you, see it coming to you easily. Unless you're really keen on working really hard, long hours!
When you came up with your dollar amount, $75,000 for instance, what was your reaction to increasing that dollar amount by one digit? Were you comfortable with the concept of bringing $750,000 into your life over the course of the next year?
These are serious questions in regards to how the law of attraction operates. If a dollar amount is too low, you may simply ignore it. On the other hand if it is too extravagant, you may be intimidated by it. Play around until you find the dollar amount that suits you.
This brings us right back to tax season! Look at the columns of your accounts receivable and accounts payable. Did you spend more than you earned? Are you in the black or are you in the red?
These are just a few of the ways you can tap into the Law of Attraction. But it's easy to forget about, to lose track of, to lose interest in! That's where coaching comes into play. Someone who hold you accountable, who guides you along your path.
I've worked with coaches myself who have helped me to attract more money into my life. It works! It especially helpful to have someone hold you accountable. A coach to remind you what your goal is. To help you set your intention clearly. And to celebrate your victories.
Be specific with your requests before sending them out to the universe. Because they will come back to you. If you ask for a lot of money without explaining how it will come to you, you may not like the source.
If you ask for abundance in your life without being specific, you may suddenly get a whole lotta stuff you don't want!
One time I realized I had no baseball caps. Hear me out on this. And I sent it out to the universe that I wanted baseball caps. Within the year I had seven. I don't even know how I ended up with them! Point being, be specific on what you want to attract into your life.
Nothing brings me more joy than watching my clients break through the six digit income plateau. You Can too.
Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC; guiding women and men to self discovery and business formation. Grow your business. Expand your mind. Heal your soul. www.AlanaCahoon.com
Is your glass half empty? Or half full? Some of the time? Or all of the time?
The practice of giving thanks will fill your glass to overflowing. Every time!
I asked a few gals around Grow 2 B U Studios what they were thankful for. Here’s what they shared.
Abigail Clark, DJ
“The courage and spirit to keep on trying in new ways!”
Thank you, Abi for reminding us to never give up, especially on ourselves! Her alias, Abi Rose shares more uplifting thoughts on air at WXIR 100.9 FM on her segment of Reclaiming the Narrative - Art Blooms.
Caitlin Coleman, Occupational Therapist
“I am grateful for my loving and understanding friends, many of whom I do not spend enough time with (and desperately need to).”
Caitlin reminds us how important it is to not only have friends but to spend time with them! Call a friend today. Thank them for their friendship. Then do something wild and fun together! Or just catch up.
Kathy Jackson, Real Estate Agent
"I’m grateful for the chance to take care of family, including my mom and grandson, for good business, beautiful nature around, ….life.”
Kathy comes full circle as she takes care of her family; grows her business; and wonders at the natural environment surrounding her. She sees them all as opportunities to cherish, not to be taken for granted. Thank you, Kathy.
Nicole Corso, Yin Yoga Teacher
“I am grateful for gratitude because it is both a gift giving gratitude and a gift in receiving gratitude. Namaste beautiful sister”
Namaste Nicole! The practice of gratitude is to be thankful for!
Kellie Adami, Advertising Agency Director
“I’m grateful for my friends and family always—but something new—I’m grateful for taking charge of my life and finally realizing how important self love is.”
OMG Kellie! I’m so glad to hear you say it. May this be everyone’s new mantra:
I’m Grateful for
Taking Charge of My Life
& Finally Realizing
Self Love is
While it’s true to value our loved ones, friends and family, it’s just as true to nurture our selves. We need to fill our love reserve before and after sharing our compassionate nature with others.
Begin each day with a message of self love. Self nurture. Value. Compassion. As we treat ourselves with loving kindness, so will others.
Joy Kravetz, Yogi-Dog Walker
“I am grateful for my health and the health of my family and friends! Hard to narrow down just one thing but that was the first thing that came to my mind as I read this just after leaving the gym.”
Joy’s comment points to our health. Not just hers but everyone’s. This may have been inspired by her workout at the gym or her yoga practice at the studio!
My mother used to say she was grateful for her health all the time. I didn’t get it. I was born with excellent health and just assumed that everyone else was, too. I wanted her to be grateful for something else. At that, she would say she was grateful for me and my siblings. Boring! I thought. But now as an adult and mother who’s had her share of illness and injury, I get it.
Min Chiou, Engineering Executive
“I'm grateful for the opportunity to explore who I want to be. I'm grateful for being surrounded by good people and influences to guide me on my way.”
What a gift! The opportunity to gain insights on your own way of being. Self discovery has become a thing only because our true selves have become hidden! Conformity vs authenticity may have assisted in moving society forward in a swift and structured manner. But what has been lost?
Thanks, Min, for allowing us to receive wisdom about ourselves through coaching, mentors, and advisors. May we all open to our true nature!
What are you grateful for?
Every day as you wind down and prepare to sleep, review your day and give thanks. Consider the natural environment such as the weather, the sun, the flowers and trees.
Appreciate your accomplishments. We tend to ignore the small steps toward big goals. But without them, we may never move ahead!
Feel the warmth or coolness of your home. Its four walls of safety. The hum of electricity or sounds from an open window.
Offer appreciation to your loved ones near and far. Give praise to your highest self, your spirit guide, your creator.
Give thanks for your beautiful body as it is at the present moment. Affirm that you will take care of her or him as you would your best friend.
Admire that amazing mind that is reading these words and making sense of them. Love the lively spirit within you. Wonder at the colorful emotions you get to explore every moment of every day.
Go to the gym and strengthen your body. Take a yoga class. Mediate to clear the mind and calm the emotions.
Practice Mindfulness on a daily basis. This will help you to not only bring attention to your health, but offer you the awareness of the beautiful world around you. Appreciation becomes an effortless practice. And your glass becomes a glass half full.
Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC; guiding women and men to self discovery and business formation. Grow your business. Expand your mind. Heal your soul. www.AlanaCahoon.com
I considered writing a column about the holiday blues because, let’s face it, we all have them. Gift buying or no gift buying, romance or no romance, tree or no tree, there are a lot of choices that can add to the overwhelm in our already busy lives.
Instead, let’s talk about possibilities! Let’s get inspired.
Dream. Dare to dream about the places you never thought you’d see. Whether it’s a quick getaway to an island, a trip around the world, or a month in a foreign land, dream BIG about the places you’d like to go.
Make a difference. Everyone knows that there is plenty of room in the world to make a contribution. Make yours unique. Let it have meaning to you. Let it not only touch the heart of others but awaken your own.
Need an idea? Host a meal for a group who may not have family. Volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Make handmade gifts for nonprofit organizations serving those in need. Sing at a benefit concert! Allow your unique gifts to be shared.
Bake cookies - but don’t eat them all. Baking can be a healing gesture in the home as long as it’s shared. Children love baking! The aroma wafting through the kitchen into all the rooms of the house brings a nurtured vibe. It is sometimes what makes a house a home. Decorate them using themes. Then pass them out to neighbors, friends, and colleagues. You can even make them healthy!
Host a holiday party. Offer an activity that supports a cause. You may have everyone bring in their favorite photos and show them how to transform them into holiday cards. Then send them to prisoners or hospitals. Offer inspirational sayings of health and bright futures.
Share the wealth. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you can help someone less fortunate than you by offering a financial gift. Remember the saying ‘As you give, so shall you receive.’ It’s true. It doesn’t matter the size of the gift. It could be dropping coins into the Salvation Army bucket, giving $2 - $5 at the checkout of your grocery shopping, or mailing in a contribution to a charity.
Meet a friend for a cup of tea, coffee or cocoa at a local cafe. Dine with friends and family at a family owned restaurant. Go window shopping at boutique stores. Get your nails done with friends. All these will bring you and your friends joy while supporting your local business owners.
Where to Start
All of these make you feel better. And they definitely make those whom you are serving feel better. Why wait? Here are some connections to set your ideas into action:
Google ‘Travel’ or ‘Cheap Travel’. You’ll receive options that will likely have something that both resonates with your soul and your pocketbook. Try one of these.
Help the Homeless
Contact one of these agencies and ask how you can assist.
Rochester Area Interfaith Hospitality Network
Open Door Mission Samaritan House
House of Mercy
Volunteers of America
Share your voice at a benefit concert or chorale your own group and bring music to your neighborhood. Contact your local church to inquire about singing opportunities or try one of these:
Rochester Women’s Community Chorus
Taiwanese Choral Society of Rochester
Concentus Women’s Chorus
Maybe you’ve collected a book of recipes from your favorite aunt. If not, it’s never too late. Here are a few places to find fun & tasty recipes, as well.
Offer Inspiration to someone being hospitalized. Get a listing of those serving time at a local jail or prison. Then send them holiday greetings filled with inspiration!
Monroe County Jail
130 Plymouth Ave. South
Rochester, NY 14614
Monroe County Correctional Facility
750 East Henrietta Road
Rochester, New York 14623
Strong Memorial Hospital
- or -
Golisano Children’s Hospital
601 Elmwood Ave
Rochester, NY 14642
1000 South Ave
Rochester, NY 14620
Rochester General Hospital
1425 Portland Ave
Rochester, NY 14621
Entrances to grocery stores and shopping malls usually have someone dressed as Santa ringing a bell, carrying a bucket, hoping you will drop a few coins into. Here are a few charities that you can send bigger sums to.
Providing services and beds to women and their children surviving domestic abuse
Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester offering free programs and events to cancer patients, survivors, and their families
Helping people in recovery from drugs and alcohol to get fit using exercise, yoga & meditation
Providing clean water to places where there is lack of sanitation
Offering food and food shelters to the hungry
A place to connect parents with children in need of a family
Teaching children how to play music
Providing sexual healthcare services to all
Supporting those who have served us in national security
Creating a supportive community for homosexual orientation
Rochester Children’s Scholarship Fund providing financial support to qualified RCSD high school students
Eat, Drink & Window Shop!
Here are a few places you can explore in the city.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Be creative and come up with your own inspirations. You may start a tradition of your very own!
Alana Cahoon is the founder & creative coach of Grow 2 B U, LLC; leading professionals to bring prosperity, joy & balance to their lives. www.AlanaCahoon.com
These fabulous gals have each made their mark as industry leaders. Some with bold branding, others with heartfelt motivation. You’ll have the chance to listen to them live at the upcoming 'Women Leaders Thrive in Monroe County’ workshop series on November 6th. Get a glimpse into their stories now, and be inspired.
Read article at RWO October 2019 Issue Page 338 - or glance below. & leave your comments!
50 years ago, Zen roots were established right here, in Rochester, NY. The Rochester Zen Center was established. It attracted practitioners from all areas of the country and in some cases the world.
I’ve had a few experiences at the Rochester Zen Center. The first time I arrived, it was closed. The only time of year that the center actually locked its doors to the outside world. I believe in signs but was not deterred for long. A year, at most.
On my second occasion I participated in an introductory weekend where I sat in silent meditation for countless hours while literally counting from 1 - 10 over and over again. Somehow that meditative exercise moved me to tears as an onslaught of former memories arose in my mind. Always going back to 1, 2, 3 and so on, sniffling throughout.
My third attempt took me to a traditional sitting. (Sitting is a term used for sitting in silent meditation or Zazen.) Read More HERE on page 222 - OR below
a hidden gem
You've got a startup, an idea, a business ready to go to the next level, and you're wondering how to go about it. A sounding board might help. Business resources could help. An infusion of finances might even help. But where to go?
The Entrepreneurs Network. That's where.
Meet Jean Kase ...
READ MORE HERE at page 532 ~ May 2019 issue
The Misdiagnosis Scare
I was diagnosed with cancer last month. It came out of left field. While it's true I wasn't feeling well, a terminal illness was not what I had in mind.
The good news is - it was a misdiagnosis. The bad news is - it took a month to find out.
Some of you may know what that feels like. To carry around the weight of the unknown. Suddenly you're confronting your mortality. Thinking about who will take care of your loved ones. How you will cover all the medical expenses. How long you may have to live. Will you be able to fight this and if so, will you succeed.
Let's backtrack a little.
READ MORE HERE at page 260
Alana writes her monthly column 'Mind, Body, Spirt' for RochesterWomanOnline focusing on the balance of all 3 in a creative manner, filled with inspiration.