Author: Yoga Jean Marie

“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind, body, spirit.”

 

Namaste’

 

I have been teaching yoga for over ten years and recently decided to add yoga retreats as a new experience for those who are trying to expand their yoga practices. I had my first retreat this past March in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  I went into the retreat not knowing what to expect. When all was said and done, it is now one of the top ten times in my yoga career that I will always cherish. It was everything I could have asked for, and more. Every person was open, willing to listen, participate and come together, and connect out of LOVE.

 

So why attend a yoga retreat? I will give ten whole hearted reasons:

1.) Unplug from mundane, every day life

2.) Reboot- give back to yourself

3.) Connecting and make life long friendships

4.) Growing your personal practice

5.) Expanding your knowledge

6.) Really meditating

7.) Surrounding yourself in a beautiful location

8.) You leave feeling better than you came

9.) Going home with a new perceptive on life

10.) Because you’re worth it!

 

Join me January 28th- February 1st, 2018 in Costa Rica. Click here to go to my website.

 

*Below are a few testimonies from my previous yoga retreat*

 

“I recently spent several days in Broken Bow, OK, on a yoga retreat hosted by Jean and it was an incredible time.  Mornings started with nature walks to set the mind straight and prepare us for the coming day.  The day was filled with fun activities that included everything from river walks, kayaking, Qigong practices and shopping at local establishments.  I built long lasting friendships while still having time for spiritual reflection.

Over the course of several days, Jean guided us through numerous relaxing yoga practices and finished each evening with a crystal bowl practice that led to the best sleep that I have had in years.  The cabins that she chose were spacious, warm, inviting and fit perfectly with the goal of the retreat.  The food was scrumptious and Jean bent over backwards to accommodate all our various dietary requirements.

Jean and her husband are such warm and caring people.  They are down to earth, good people.  Jean has a love for yoga that is infectious and yet she’s not “out there” as yoga people have a reputation to be.  For anyone that is looking for a getaway from the rat race, a time to reflect on your inner self, a time to heal and to make wonderful friendships, Jean’s retreats cannot be beat.”

-Cliff J.

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“I am new to yoga and have really enjoyed it. I went on the Yoga Retreat hoping to increase my skills. What I came away with was a sense of peace and compassion. And that compassion was just for the others on the retreat, but towards everyone—and maybe more importantly, for myself. The retreat was a real opportunity to nurture and grow friendships with fellow yogis. There was also time for quiet contemplation, focusing on self and the breath. My skills did improve, but so too did my overall mental serenity and sanity. I was able to recharge my batteries and harness a sense of well-being.

I would highly recommend any of Jean’s retreats.”

-Mary O., Friends For Life

Mary O'Meara

 

“I hope this journey we all embarked on together continues for years and years. I want to grow and learn, and what better way to get there, ‘Together’! As my eyes meet each of yours in passing, I yet again with feed off your energy and love for yoga and friendship. I’m grateful that each of us had a front row seat together to be part of Jean’s Journey as she starts a new path to spread love deeper, and grow our practice to places we have never been.
Struggles, challenges, obstacles, hurdles, walls, mountains or whatever we all have before us, I find comfort in knowing, I can find a friend in all of you to bring positive light to overcome anything and everything.
When I walked into yoga class last night, I did not just see faces I saw forever sisters and brother (Cliff). It truly is a tight bond all of you have, I am blessed beyond measure that I can now be included.”

-Debbie N.

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“It’s been over a week since our worlds collided in a beautiful dogwood laced corner of Oklahoma. Our Guru Yoga Jean shared her gifts and we shared our hearts in a safe and welcoming cocoon that will forever be a place I can return [to] when life gets harried”

-Lisa H.

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Namaste’

It has been a while since I sat down and blogged about something that I felt so strongly about.  Every week I prepare my classes for all the formats I teach but what I take the most time on, is the message. I feel my job as a Yoga Teacher is that I bring light to awareness of how we each live our lives. How we interconnect with others and why it’s important to live our life for “US”, not any one else. But, most importantly, that I inspire them each and every week with the knowledge and wisdom of this beautiful practice we call Yoga.

Nine months ago I had a conversation with a great friend and fellow Yoga Teacher, Pat Fabulous (and yes her last name is Fabulous). She came to me with a idea of putting on a Yoga Retreat with her in Hawaii. I thought  “WHAT?! Yoga Retreat……me?”  I have seen it over the years, other big name yoga teachers putting on these wonderful retreats but I thought I wasn’t at that caliber. I had to process this idea. I meditated on it, I researched yoga retreats and sat quietly in my back yard visualizing it my heart and wanted to make sure I “felt” it. You know that sensation when you know something is right.

I have said for years to my students “You are right where you are supposed to be.” So, I applied that to myself. I was right where I was supposed to be and it was time to “JUMP”! But before I planned Hawaii, I thought I would do a small one close to home to get my feet wet and most importantly see if anyone would jump with me and come along on this journey and take my retreat.

So it began, I started to plan the direction on what I wanted, a cabin setting, in spring time, 10-12 people. Someplace we could hike, be outside for yoga, but at night have this serenity setting; where could all hang out, tour  the town. It wasn’t hard to find that place: Broken Bow, Oklahoma was the place. My husband, Terry and I had stayed there before and went with friends there, as well.

This Thursday, March 30th is my first  Yoga Jean Marie Yoga Retreat. I couldn’t be more excited and honored to be hosting this retreat with 10 beautiful souls that believe in me and are opening their hearts to spent 4 days with me (and my husband).

So it all boils down to this. Direction and Choice. I believe what ever we put our energy to, feel in our hearts and visualize what you want to be……….you will manifest it. In one week this retreat sold out. One week! I was so humbled but so excited at the same time. It wasn’t about having a ton of people it was about getting a group together that I could manage and be intimate with and that they could have  my full attention and that I know I could love on for 4 days. The direction was clear for me. A retreat in a  cabin, beautiful setting, hiking, shopping, lots of eating and drinking wine at night by a camp fire and  a yoga experience they would have never dreamed of.  The choice in all this was letting go of doubt, believing in myself and not let anyone, anything or any thought get in my way. I am ready, packed and looking forward to spending time with people I know well and some people I can’t wait to get to know better.

Other Yoga Retreat is in the works. We will be going to Costa Rica January 27th – February 1st, 2018. All details are coming later, but if you would like to view the venue, visit here!

Make a decision, stick to it and always believe it is the right choice. Remember this saying……..

There will be obstacles, there will be doubters, there will haters, but with all the hard work, it is worth it” – unknown

Have a happy day my friends!

Find a retreat for you,

Love and Peace

Jean

“Yoga doesn’t take time …it gives time,” is written by Ganga White.

You need yoga the most when the hour long class seems long and will take up too much time.

 

Yoga allows us to bring all the garbage with us on the mat: the anger, frustration, fear, doubt, insecurities,  tension, etc. Our bodies are a beautiful vessel but all day long we fill our head, our heart, and our body like a container of garbage that we never take out. We just keep filling it to the point that it overflows. Once we get to the point that we can no longer stuff it, we fall over or get sick.

 

Duke University of Medical Center did a study on a group of people that came together to work out. They found out that, as soon as they walked into a room full of people, they stimulated the hormone oxytocin which is the “love hormone.” Which brings me to: why are most yoga studios all over the country full in every class? It automatically makes you feel better. You don’t even have to do a single yoga pose the entire hour. You can just be in child pose, observe your breath and you will  have a successful hour and feel better just from the love in the room. Breath by breath and pose by pose, you start to dump your trash.  I have never heard anyone say that they felt heavy after class (meaning they have a full trash can), but rather, “I feel so much better, lighter, new again, and stronger…I am not mad any longer.”

 

How does Yoga give time it is this simple: it allows us to remove the nonsense from within. It creates space in our minds, heart and body so we can be who we are suppose to be. We escape from the prison of needless nonsense we put ourselves in on a daily basis.

 

Yoga teaches us to live more presently, to be an observer without judgement, to know that thoughts are just thoughts and that they are not who we are when they are in a negative form. It also teaches us to find compassion for ourselves and  to know that life is not perfect, so we don’t have to be……..life is simple and we complicate it.

 

Let yoga be the doorway to become free.

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Namaste’

This week is about creating a personal connection with everyone around you. Hedy Schleifer was on Ted talk and I happened to stumbled across her talk about “Power of Connection“. It is amazing how 19 minutes can make a difference in my day. She says, “there are three invisible connections or connectors we have in every relationship“.

  1. Space – sacred space between us
  2. The Bridge- crossing to the other person or to be in the “now”
  3. The Encounter – human essence to human essence

Simple right? I think so. I am going to give this meaning all week.

 

First, I love sacred space. The silence, the pure sound of my breath, of someone else’s breath, and being one with the space you are in with no expectations. Just being.

 

Second, I love bridges and when she uses that as a metaphor, it resonates with me. Hedy Schleifer says “cross over and listen with a open heart and new eyes” every time you’re connecting. New eyes. Love it!

 

Third, to have human essence to human essence is right there in the yoga studio. Yoga is all about connection. It is key to being a great yoga teacher and student. Sharing energy, a smile, a touch, or a sigh.

 

Last, Human Connection is one of our basic needs in life. Virginia Satir, a family psychologist says, “We need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth“. How many do you get a day? Bridge the space with your essence!

 

A quote on Rumi:

Beyond right thinking

Beyond wrong thinking

There is a field – I will meet you there

Love and Peace

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Namaste – LOVE AND PEACE

Two of my favorite books on meditation are “Meditation for Beginner” by Jack Kornfield and “The Art of Living” William Hart.

 

Both are based on Vipassana Meditation; or Mindfulness. Vipassana a Pali word meaning “to see things as they really are“. It is the a form of meditation widely used by Asia and the Buddhist traditions. A mindfulness practice is also called “insight meditation”

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Making a Difference

You want make a difference in the world? It starts with how you walk into a room. Instead of saying, “Here I am!” Say, “There you are.

 

Namaste,

 

Over the years I have met a lot of wonderful people that created this space and mindfulness to be better. Being better opened my eyes to hopefully make a difference in other peoples lives. It starts with a choice, connection and impact.

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Namaste’

The crisp cool air, leaves falling, shorter days and longer nights, nature is telling us Fall is here. (In Northern Texas anyways) It is a reminder as nature shifts we should shift with it.

 

Autumn is a great time to self reflect, change our routine and do more YIN! Let me explain. This time of years begins to be very busy, the holidays, baking cookies, shopping, party’s ect. All this busyness can create havoc in the body because nature is trying to tell us to “release and let go” maybe even make a purposeful pause throughout your day to enjoy the weather, listen to the birds and watch the trees blow in the wind as the leaves drift by you and the colors of the leaves and plants start to change. I feel it’s magic before my eyes.

 

Living in Phoenix, Arizona most of my life I didn’t really see much difference with the dessert. My fondest memory’s were from living in Rochester, New York until I was 10 years. We had plenty of seasonal change there , but here in Northern Texas there is a shift with nature. I currently live outside of the city and in what we call “the country” and change happens every day.

 

According to the Chinese Medicine there are 5 elements that are centrally related to the cycle of nature and will reflect the cycle of our bodies. The elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water and they take on their own emotion and organ system. Metal is heavy, condensed, solid. It represents a stillness or even a slowness not found in nature any other time. The trees literally draw their energy inward and the leaves do this magical dance before your eyes before they fall to the ground for their decent. Metal also is associated with the coming and going of life and it represents the Lungs and Large Intestine. In Yin yoga we move, create, and stimulate energy into 6-14 major organs. At this time of year we want to get plenty twist, forward folds, heart opener and rest to keep the body healthy.

 

We all know someone that gets bronchitis, the flu, or a cold at this time of year. If you know someone tell them this. Open, twist, fold and savasana every day! Or invite them to a Yin class… they will fall in LOVE because it allows you to make a purposeful pause with every pose.

 

If there is something you have been holding onto an experience, a situation, or conversation that plays over and over again in your mind (monkey mind) and you can’t let it go. This is the time and season to start fresh. “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go” Hold on to the things that serve you and let go of things that don’t. Neil Gumenick states: ”Trees in autumn don’t stubbornly hold onto their leaves because they might need them next year” So why do we hold on to a situation, negative thoughts for next year?

 

The bottom line is we know what to do. When we let go of attachments, expectations and that devil the “ego” We will be happier, and healthier.

 

I love this quote: “Who should be blamed when a leaf falls from a tree?  Is it the wind that blew it away? or Is is the tree that let it go? or Is it the leaf who grew tired of holding on? Life unfolds a lot of misunderstandings everyday…every moment… It’s up to us to: Solve it or Leave it  or Live with it.” Rishikajain.com

 

Don’t wait for the New Year to start fresh, start fresh this month.

 

Yin Yoga is very grounding practice. It is an open door to meditation. All poses should be held from 2 minutes to 5 minutes, eyes closed with a very natural breath. It allows you to go into your Parasympathetic Nervous System to rest the body, mind and digestive system.

 

Here are yin poses for the Lungs, and Large intestine:

Butterfly pose ( palms together leaning forward), Quarter dog pose, Seal, Full Forward fold, Wide Knee Child pose with a Twist, Lateral Dragon pose, Melting Heart, Frog (with arms stretched out),Reclined Twist

 

To a healthy you, lighter you and peaceful you.

 

Love and Peace

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Namaste,

 

I am Jean Marie, a 50 year old full time yoga teacher. I have 3 grown children, a loving and supportive husband, and 2 dogs. I walked into this yoga world in 2002, after a divorce, looking for peace. What I later found out through my journey in yoga, was that peace was internal, not external. I didn’t find that out until many years later.

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“The way we spend our time defines who we are.” -Jonathan Estrin

Namaste’

These two words yoga and time have more meaning behind them than you may think. Yoga is not all a work-out but more a work-in. Time teaches us to make good use of what we are given or it teach us the value of life.

 

In my every day life, I like to say I try strive to live in a yoga bubble. From the time I open my eyes, the first few minutes are the most precious of minutes. I give thanks for the morning and my day ahead, kiss both my dogs and never fail to tell them I love them and how grateful I am for them- which I need to say more to my husband but he gets up before me. Then I meditate for at least 15 minutes. Those first few minutes of my day I cherish because time is presence, time is listening, and time is observing. Peace within and being mindful, is yoga.

 

Yoga teaches me to manage my time better- to decide what is important in my day. Serving myself (meditation, practicing yoga, ect.), meeting and being with people I love, slowing down and living in the now, are all giving me purpose. Fifteen years ago, I think I was speed walking through life without spending time on myself, family, or giving myself peace within. I was chasing everyone and everything, and never knew that if I slowed down, everything would come to me and there would no longer be a chance.

 

My life is not perfect. I would be lying if I said it was. What I am trying to say, is that yoga has become a time tool for me in the sense that when I have so much turbulence in my mind, also known as monkey mind, I meditate. When I feel stressed, I practice yin yoga. When I need energy, I take a hot vinyasa class. When I am in a large crowd, I have learned to listen and observe, instead of being the noise in the room. When I with my kids, who are all grown adults, I learned to be in the moment and enjoy every minute with them. Most importantly, yoga has taught me to let the outside obstacles that no longer serve me, my heart, or my value of time, go.

 

A great quote by Ganga White, “Yoga doesn’t take time, it gives time”

 

Did you know that 20.4 million people or 8.7 percent of U.S. adults practice yoga, according to Yoga Journal magazine. That is an amazing number and I am grateful to be part this movement, teaching yoga and being a practitioner.

 

Meaning: The next time you feel you are chasing life, you are really chasing time and in a blink of an eye, you will wake up and you will be 70 years old (hopefully). You will look back on life and think, “Wow, I missed life.” I am 51 years old and have three grown children. My oldest just had her first baby, our first grand baby. Her name is Scarlett Olivia.

 

What do you fill your day with? Are you serving yourself and others? I know when I am teaching, I am the most present version of myself and I have so much appreciation because my students chose to share their day and personal TIME with me. That’s pure love.

 

Make your next 24 hours have meaning. Be mindful, fill your actions with love and appreciation. And get rid of the rest.

Love and Peace

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   ” I am a part of all that I have met”   Alfred Tennyson

I can’t believe it is already the second week of January, 2016! Time keeps ticking and I feel as if I am trying to catch the time every day. So much to do but most of all put 2015 into perspective.

 

When I look back on 2015 I  want  to process every month and learn from the experiences I had……all of them. I feel it’s important to grow as woman, yoga teacher, wife, mother and friend. It’s important to me to always thrive to be better and never stay stagnate.

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