Tag Archives: Hawaii

Aloha Yogis,

“Allow yourself to be a torch, and allow the flame of your torch to be transmitted to other torches. Practicing like that, you can help peace and joy grow in the entire world.” -Thich Nhat Hanh

Very simply put, I think this is what life is about, finding what lights us up inside and sharing that light. I love the energy of a big class, it is uniquely different than an at home practice or a small studio class. Did you know that at some point in a vinyasa class, the breath, heartbeats, and movements rhythmically syncopate? It’s in this space, this feeling of oneness and connection via our physiological rhythms, that we support each others growth in a practice. It might lead to successfully making it through the core workout or to a restful savasana, but the point is the energy of your yogi neighbor's truly helps and it heals.

It’s almost as though our individual light becomes more tangible, whether it's through thermodynamics, mindfulness, physical activity or some combination of all of it. With every drop of sweat, every exhale, or each chaturanga, we feel it surface more. The heaviness of the day becomes more distant and our to-do lists fade. We are present with that light. Our light. Suddenly our light becomes much more accessible and recognizable. With each successive practice, the process of digging up that light and connecting becomes more efficient.

The sum of the parts is that with a mindfulness based yoga practice we connect more deeply to ourselves and to others. We form real connections and sometimes without words. We know ‘Tom the lawyer in the second row,’ even if we’ve only practiced yoga together a few times. I love watching my students become friends and connect in their shared passion for yoga. We all leave class feeling a little bit lighter and more connected. We can sprinkle that light everywhere we go. Start with yourself, be the light, be the torch.

Love and Light,
laura mary

Aloha Yogis,

Last night, we returned from our honeymoon trip to Ireland. I have many stories from the trip and the wonderful time that we had, and if you come to class, you will hear! Essentially, the Irish folks are incredibly kind. I was in total admiration of their friendliness to all.

I couldn't wait to get right back into teaching. I was working out some details on this update over my honeymoon, but I can finally share the news!

Over the Summer, I will be teaching three yoga classes per week at a beautiful new space in Kaimuki.

My Summer yoga home is located at 3454 Waialae Ave., Unit 1 (above Mud Hen Water). It is a beautiful space, I can't wait to get started. In fact, my first class is tonight from 6:30-8PM! Can you make it?

I hope to see you tonight, but if not, here is my full schedule!

As always, I teach Thursday 5:30PM at Magic Island. All classes are donation based.

Deep breaths and Sun Salutations,

laura mary

Photography by Derek Linsley, Connemara National Park, Ireland.

The Beauty of Beach Yoga in Hawaii

Truth be told, practicing beach yoga in San Diego is what really got me “hooked” on yoga. I would walk home after my weekly outdoor practice with a big smile plastered to my face and a new outlook and clear perspective on my day. That might sound like the typical aftermath feeling of everyone’s yoga practice, but let me explain how it is so much more.

The experience of practicing yoga outside, with the ocean in front you, the sun on your face, and the ocean air to breathe is incredibly refreshing. Your body craves the pure oxygen, is drawn to the beautiful views, and appreciates the energizing boost of vitamin D from the sun. The peaceful feeling and deep respect that comes from interacting with the environment inspires and empowers you to get outside more – because it feels good!

Simply moving your mat outside adds quite a few challenges to your practice as well. The uneven terrain challenges your balance and core work. Every posture is brought to the next level, and small musculature adjustments throughout your whole body need to happen in order to maintain alignment and balance. If holding a handstand on solid, flat ground in the studio is easy, take your mat outside once a week to deepen your practice; you won’t be disappointed with the challenge.

In yoga class, teachers often speak about gratitude. Sometimes the comments might resonate with you, other times they might not. Beach yoga fills up your cup with gratitude…better yet, your cup is simply overflowing with gratitude by the end of class. Rather than think about gratitude as a broad idea or intention for class, gratitude is simply woven into the experience of soaking up such a gorgeous and heart warming experience: yoga outdoors. I am constantly thinking, “Wow this is my life, how lucky am I?” It’s easy to forget that we live in a breathtaking paradise, but a great way to remember that your life is real and you are in fact the one living this incredibly beautiful life is to try a beach yoga class.

Not only is the outdoor yoga experience awe inspiring, it also serves as a great reminder of how yoga began: outside in the elements, teacher to student, with the breath being the foundation of the whole practice. Students feel more inspired to take full inhalations of fresh ocean air at the beach. This provides clean oxygen to the body and will help to energize you all day long. Additionally, simply seeing the majestic and strong mountains as you hold mountain pose (tadasana) helps remind students to be strong, stable, and bold like a mountain. Balancing in tree pose (vrksasana) can often be humbling; however, while holding tree pose and simultaneously witnessing the trees sway in the wind, students are reminded that their tree might sway and that it’s fine, they can still be strong.

Beach yoga is tranquil and challenging. An outdoor yoga practice will leave you feeling more connected to your environment. It will force gratitude upon you, as it is impossible to not feel grateful for such a wonderful experience. Oceanfront sunset yoga in Hawaii, does it get any better?

Laura Mary Flynn, Master of Public Health (MPH) and certified yoga instructor teaches private yoga (at your home), corporate yoga (at your office), studio classes (at Power Yoga Hawaii in Kahala), and sunset beach yoga (at Magic Island every Thursday night 5:30pm). Please visit her website for the beach yoga location (www.lauramaryflynn.com/yoga/beach-yoga/). Laura Mary is the editor-in-chief of Laura Mary Healthy Living (www.lauramaryflynn.com/newsletter). Email Laura Mary with any inquiries info@lauramaryflynn.com.

With Love,

laura mary

Oh June,

I can't believe you are almost over!

Love List:

1. Weekday beach breaks between teaching yoga classes. Reality check, is this actually my life? Yep, okay, pinching myself.

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

 

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

2. This book. I am so inspired by this lady. I am doing some major soul searching these days; I’ve read two of her books over the last two weeks!

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately 3. Yummy dinners for one, though they are suitable for two.

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

 

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately4. Farmers market flowers, Hawaii style. With a great reminder from my favorite guy, 'everyday is love day,' so true. There is 'Donezo Washington' our exotic beta fish!

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

5. Volunteer work on farms, complete with my favorite things: Yoga, fresh juice, live music, dogs, and the great outdoors. (NaloSTE)

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

 

Love List: What I am Lovin' Lately Love List: What I am Lovin' Lately

6. This beautiful Himalayan Light; a gift from my wonderful teacher training mentees, thank you! Yep, Derek, the place is officially, a hippy haven. I can't wait for you to get back here!

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

7. Fresh juice and homemade soap from the wonderful Tawney (she rocks).

Love List: What I'm Lovin' LatelyLove List: What I'm Lovin' Lately 8. Leaving 'work' and soaking in the epic double rainbows from the parking lot. I love you Hawaii. Thank you for providing me with constant reminders of how beautiful and precious life truly is, everydamnday.

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

9. This song: “‘Cause you’re stronger and you’re better and you’re ready for whatever.” I've got it on replay!

10. Snapchats from this pair of best friends. STAWP, this is too cute.

Love List: What I'm Lovin' Lately

What are you loving these days?

With Love,

laura mary

 

Fire Starter Sessions

They have begun...

Dreaming...BIG...

"If you try to keep your most sacred ambitions off your weekly calendar and your most genuine traits off your resume, then you're missing out on the power of real integrity." - The Fire Starter Sessions

"Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive, is too small for you." - David Whyte, poet

Danielle Laporte is an inspiration. I highly recommend this book.

Dream big, you are 'freer than you think you are.'

With Love,

laura mary

 

 

The Many Reasons I love Sundays…

I love to wake up with the sun shining on my face, while I am lying on top of the sheets and comforter; and after 9 hours of sleep, the bed looks as though no one has even been on it. My mom would always joke about this when I was a kid, “Laura, did you even sleep in this bed?” … I still do it, Mom. Since Derek has been away, I’ve pushed the bed all the way up against the wall, where Derek’s surfboard rests, that too is the kid in me…goblins anyone? Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

I love waking up and knowing that I don’t have to get out of bed, but I do, because I am eager and excited to get my day started, because Sunday is my day. French vanilla coffee from Down to Earth? Yes please. Coffee is pretty much the best simple pleasure, ever. Paired with some yummy toast with fresh ground peanut butter, organic honey, and cinnamon on top (I am a toast lover). YUM. Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

Light up some candles and turn on some Norah Jones

Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga And it’s right to “work” I go. Planning my sequences for my 3 classes today. Planning my future. Constantly, pinching myself, and experiencing so many reality checks on life, for I just can’t believe the amazing turn it has taken. Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

Just asking myself, some small questions... Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

I feel so much abundance all around me. Good things keep happening, and one notion has become really clear to me: abundance attracts abundance. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family who are continually fueling my inspiration because they too are inspired. Abundance attracts abundance. Now it is time for yoga with my three friends. Sunday: Abundance, Food, Life, Yoga

Happy Sunday everyone!

Surround yourself with those people that fuel your own inspiration and find one small pleasure that lightens your day and makes you smile.

With Love,

laura mary

Universe Memos

 

Life Lately:

I’ve never been a “writer,” per se, but now I feel their pain. Writer’s block, is a real phenomenon. Don’t be discouraged, there is a way to combat writer’s block, and that is with the power of intention. There is a huge power in setting intentions and then leaving them be, to develop as they will.

Oh the trials and tribulations of being me…

If you want to write a blog post and you don’t have an idea yet, whatever you do, don’t sit down to write one. Go do something else, like take a shower; really, you can do anything you want, except sit down to write.

While you have the intention of wanting to write, go off and do something else. As soon as you forget about the intention (though it has still been planted), suddenly, BOOM, ideas start flowing at a rapid pace.

Now, you have about 7 theme ideas in your head and you are trying to finish up your shower, whatever you do…don’t get out of the shower and plan on writing, because unless you repeat those 7 theme ideas in your head continuously (and all of the thoughts that stemmed from the original idea), you will only remember the last idea formulated.

Try that experiment, but, if you are not vested in the outcome of the blog post, you may find different results. However, I can conclude that I am clearly vested in the outcome of my blog, as this current post is the only idea that I’ve been left with since my shower ended.

I am going to interpret this as a gigantic memo from the Universe to slow down, let go of my attachment, and go do something that I enjoy. So I will go practice yoga for an hour with a notebook beside my mat…

And hopefully, you will all be hearing from me tonight!

I hope you enjoyed my stream of consciousness, I wrote this at midnight and I’ve been up since 4:30am! OH, life, why are you so awesome at dishing out lessons in the most unusual of manners?

With love,

laura mary

 

Ahimsa: Do No Harm, but Take No Sh*t

101 on the 8-limbed-path:

Patanjali (either one or many people) is the author(s) credited with writing the Yoga Sutras, around 2 centuries after the life of Jesus. The Yoga Sutras outline the 8-limbed-path to living a life of personal fulfillment and one that also benefits society.

The Eight Limbed Yogic Path:

1) Yamas (5 moral restraints)

  • Ahimsa (nonviolence)
  • Satya (truthfulness)
  • Asteya (nonstealing)
  • Brahmacharya (continence)
  • Aparigraha (non-hoarding/noncovetousness)

2) Niyamas (5 observances)

  • Saucha (cleanliness)
  • Santosha (contentment)
  • Tapas (heat, spiritual austerities, discipline)
  • Svadhyaya (self-study)
  • Isvara Pranidhana (surrender to a higher source)

3) Asanas (postures)

4) Pranayama (breath control)

5) Pratyahara (turning inward)

6) Dharana (concentration)

7) Dhyana (meditation)

8) Samadhi (union of self with object of meditation)

Do No Harm, but Take No Sh*t (Ahimsa)

The current post will focus on Ahimsa or non-violence. Ahimsa is the first of the 5 yamas (moral restraints), which serve to guide a ‘yogi code of conduct.’ Ahimsa does not exclusively refer to physical violence, but includes violence of words and thoughts as well. The thoughts we hold about ourselves or others can be as powerful as physical attempt to harm. The practice of ahimsa on our mats means to be kind to ourselves; maybe that means not forcing yourself into a posture once you’ve lost your breath, and rather backing out and staying at the first layer of the posture. To practice ahimsa off of our mats means to be constantly vigilant and to observe ourselves in interaction with the world and take note of our thoughts and intentions.

There is a famous story about ahimsa told in the Vedas (great collection of philosophical teachings from India). A sadhu (wandering monk) traveled annually to several villages to teach and one year he came across a snake, a notorious villain in the community; he was terrorizing the people. The Sadhu shared with the snake his teachings on ahimsa or nonviolence.

When the sadhu returned the following year for his annual teachings, he saw the snake again. The once strong, powerful, magnificent creature had transformed to a skinny, bruised, and cowardly one. The sadhu inquired as to why the snake had appeared sick, damaged, sad, and without confidence. The snake explained that he had taken the teachings of ahimsa to heart and had stopped terrorizing the village. However, as he was no longer terrorizing the people, the children had taken to throwing rocks at him and taunting him, to the point where the poor snake was scared to leave his hiding place to hunt for food and thus had become skinny and bruised.

The Sadhu was very disappointed, he shook his head and said, “I did advise against violence, but I never told you not to hiss.”

The famous story teaches us that protecting yourself and others does not violate the yama of ahimsa. To practice ahimsa means to take responsibility for your own harmful behaviors and to make an attempt to stop potential harm caused by others. Ahimsa does not ask us to be neutral, to play small, to cower away, to hide, to curl up; this is not the point at all. Practicing true ahimsa means to stand even stronger in the face of insult, to roll your shoulders back and puff up our chest when someone tells you they don’t believe it can be done or that you won’t be able to make it happen. The next time someone puts you down, know that your value does not depend on the opinion of anyone else, know that their thoughts, and words, if not delivered with a loving intention become their problem, and NOT yours.

Practicing ahimsa is to act, think, feel, and speak with the clear intention and motivation of love behind each. Go out there and be you, let the words of others bounce right off of you, and practice standing a little bit taller, and continue to act with your best loving intentions.

Namaste,

laura mary