Sunday, April 26, 2015

Chocolate, Chakras, and Catching Up

Hello there!
Happy end of April, haha! Man, does time fly when your a busy gal! April is shaping up to be my most successful month! I feel as though I am settling in to my classes as a teacher. Of course, I will always be a student, in many ways, but currently, I am enjoying finding my confidence when sitting in front of students. I imagine that if I continue to be authentic, continue to expand my knowledge, and continue to listen to my students, May will be an even better month!

In May, Modern Milk will be holding several free community classes to try to draw people in to the amazing space. If you are local or surrounding Scottsdale, AZ I HIGHLY recommend you check them out. I've bragged about them before, but it really is a great resource for any expecting and new mother! We've introduced a toddler yoga class, for babes crawling to 2 years old. I get to take Leia to it which is great, but she is still trying to find her way in the class. She is used to having ALL of mommy's attention, and while I am teaching, I can only give her so much of that attention. She notices, and begins to act out. I know that with time, this will only get better, but it can be frustrating. If another mothers child were to act out in the same way, it wouldn't even phase me. However, I have set unrealistic standards for myself and Leia, and I am realizing that sometimes having the teachers kid be the one who has a total meltdown can be good haha. I know she is picking up on the yoga though. She can now do hands at the heart, down dog, three legged down dog, tree pose, and a few pranyamas (breath work). It's amazing when suddenly your daughter will calm herself down from a tantrum by taking a deep breath! Anyways, at the end of May, I will be teaching a Chocolate Yoga class! It is my first time ever doing anything like this and I am so excited! I'm going to use a locally made, wonderfully infused chocolate and tie them in to certain yoga poses. Do a few poses, take a bite of chocolate! How wonderful does that sound?! As soon as the flyer's are posted, I will post a link here!

Things are also going great at Aloha Yoga! (BTW, it is so freeing to only be employed at 2 studios. They are in completely different areas of town and so it gives me the freedom to promote both equally). We tried doing a Family Yoga class, but it didn't stick so we are doing a VinYin style and I am SO excited! I got the idea to tie in the chakras to the classes (at least for the first 7 weeks) and the owner thought it would go perfectly with her own free Intro to the Chakras class. So far, there seems to be a lot of interested people and positive buzz surrounding the class. The first class will be on Muladhara, or the Root Chakra. I just finished creating the layout for the class and I think it is going to be great! My goal for each class is to get people in touch with each of these energy centers in the body and to find out if there are ones that are closed, open, balanced, or in disarray. Even if you don't believe in "energy centers", there are bundles of nerves exactly where each chakra is located. I've created a special sequence that will target each chakra, thus targeting those nerve bundles. I hope it is an informational and healing experience for all that attend. We've also introduced Toddler Yoga, and so far it is picking up! I expected a full class, but I am remembering that the people who need it will come to it when they are ready. Leia likes this class the best, I think because the space is huge and she has plenty of space to run around. Plus, the kids are older and more interactive! I am excited to see where this class goes as well.

Everything else in my little life is going great! I have started the regimen of prenatal, fish oils, and probiotics as we get closer and closer to trying for baby #2! I still have a "weight goal" in mind of where I would like to be before getting pregnant, but I know that if I continue to eat healthy and move my body, I will get there. My biggest problem right now is trying to cut way down on caffeine. I am realizing just how addicted to it I am and it definitely is weighing heavy on my mind. I am hoping that my doing this chakra series myself, I will find my root cause for holding onto this addicting and thus, letting it go and creating a healthier home for our 2nd babe. We are in a transitional phase, but we are ready for what lies ahead!

I am off to bed now! Letting the wind of the storm outside lullaby me to sleep. Have an awesome week everyone!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Toddler Yoga and Family Yoga

Happy Spring everyone! Or if your in AZ, whatever you call this season before triple digits. I've had lots of new things happen over the past few weeks and I am so excited to share! Personally, I am happy to report that everyone in our house FINALLY seems to be sickness free! Thank the lord! Finally getting back into our normal routines, healthy eating, working out, etc!

Yoga-wise, everything is going great! I've added a Mommy and Me Movers Yoga class at Modern Milk. For those local, it is Wednesday morning at 10:30am. Perfect to get energy out before nap time. Ages will be crawling to 2 years! I'm so grateful that a place like Modern Milk exists for moms. If you are expecting or are a new mom, please come check this place out. Stephanie, the owner, is a former labor and delivery nurse and certified lactation consultant. They have weekly support groups, breastfeeding 101 groups, infant sleeping classes, and of course all the prenatal and mommy and me yoga you could ask for! Check out the website here for class times and pricing.

Another fun venture has been adding Toddler and Family Yoga to Aloha Yoga and Hula in Chandler! The toddler yoga is for ages 18 months to 4 years old and the time is Fridays at 3pm! It is still in it's testing phase, but I know the want for a class like this is high so I'm hoping that attendance picks up! Family Yoga is Sunday at 4pm. This class is for anyone ages 6 and up! You can come with kids, or feel free to come just by yourself or with your husband and friends. I've designed the class as a fun beginner flow style!

I did end up dropping two classes from my weekly schedule, one by circumstances and one by choice. My fellow co-teacher at Modern Milk did a great blog post recently on how we sometimes glorify being busy. Society seems to value us as better functioning members in society if we have our plates full. However, where is the glorification in having so much prep work to do for classes your teaching that you don't have any patience and energy left for your family? I am teaching double-digit classes a week. A lot of people think that it's as simple as time spent driving to the studio and then teaching an hour or a 75 minute class. The truth however is I spend at least 5-10 hours prepping all my classes for the week. Mostly I do this at night after Leia has gone to bed, which means I'm working exhausted. Now, I love teaching. I find that my body is getting used to practicing almost daily while I teach (I like to run through the sequence with the students as a lot of them need visual cues over verbal ones), I love teaching Prenatal and Mommy and Me and then relaxing into my Yin and Restorative classes. Right now, I feel like my body can handle everything! Plus, the money isn't half bad. I love being able to contribute to our bills and still have money for coffee, shopping, spoiling haha. However, I had to face the fact that I was getting burnt out. So the Universe took care of one class, and I took care of another. Of course, I got offered to teach another class on a day that better suits me :) So I will stick with it and see how long I can go on teaching 12 classes a week!

Enough of that! Do you have plans for Easter? I am off from all teaching jobs! So my 1 and only goal is to RELAX! Hopefully you can do a bit of the same!

Namaste! Until next time!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Healthy Eating

Happy Wednesday, almost Thursday!

I wanted to share a yummy smoothie recipe with you guys! I can get in a rut sometimes when it comes to healthy eating, and with a toddler, it can be especially difficult to find something we both will like. While Leia as gone from loving all veggies to being particularly picky, she is allll about smoothies! So of course I have to sneak in some veggies!

Here is the yum-tastic smoothie I made:
8 oz organic coconut water
1 C organic spinach
1 C organic frozen strawberries
1/2 C organic frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon of Nutzzo 7 seed and nut butter (found at Costco---seriously, go buy this)
1 drizzle of local honey
1 dash of cinnamon

Blend to smooth delicious heaven! Lots of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, protein, and of course flavor!

Friday, February 27, 2015

A Little Update Post

I actually have time and energy to blog a little tonight, so I figured in addition to promoting myself (hehe) I will also get personal. First, my sweet butterfly baby is sick :(. We have been so blessed to have a rarely sick child. In her 18 months on earth, she has had 2 colds (that lasted roughly 3 days each) and 2 diaper rashes. Well, I knew tonight something was different, she has been SO clingly, uncomfortable, coughing, feverish, and just miserable. I took her into urgent care and sure enough, she has her first ear infection and the start of pneumonia! How scary! She was able to take a dose of medicine tonight, so I hope she starts feeling better in the morning.

I stopped babysitting full time this week. It was a scary step, but I have had so many opportunities for my yoga career, that I couldn't devote to because I was just so busy during the day. Many people don't realize just how much planning goes into 1 yoga class. I like to offer different things with each class. Whether it is sequencing, themes, etc. I couldn't properly prepare for my classes in the way I liked because I had way too much going on. Now that I am adding 6 extra weekly classes this month, that will bring the total number of classes to 12! I am seriously blown away! I never would have thought I would be able to teach yoga as a living, let along teach pregnant mothers and moms and babies! I am sad though, I will miss my adopted little squish baby every week! Leia will miss having someone to "play" with haha!

To keep myself from getting stressed out, I've been really honing in on my personal practice. With the addition of Toddler Yoga and Family Yoga this month, I have decided I need to start practicing more around Leia, and gauging how involved she wants to be. So far, she is pretty happy playing with the yoga blocks and my yoga towel haha! She does do an adorable down dog and forward fold!! I will try to get pictures next time!

I have been saying these little mantras to myself over and over lately. First, I struggle with comparison. A lot. The two most important aspects in my life are being a mother and being a yoga teacher. These are two subjects that also have a ton of different perspectives and opinions on. It's easy to get caught up on comparing yourself to other people, some of which you only know through Instagram or Facebook. While I love having the use of social media at my finger tips, I hate how sometimes scrolling through my feed will make me like I'm less than that person. I see skinny, toned, Lululemon wearing women getting into gorgeous arm balances with such ease. Here I am in my Walmart $12 pants and I hurt my back, so I am only doing Restorative poses. While I am still losing weight, it's at a much slower pace then I am happy with and I will always have the mommy pooch. Then I see the mommas that do creative home schooling or take their babes on sweet outdoor adventures. Sometimes, I just wish I could get Leia to watch tv so I can have a break! All this comparison really begins to ware me down. It's been hard trying to talk myself up when there are times I feel like I am such a failure! I know I'm not: I've got a smart, healthy, laid back babe. I've got 12 yoga classes a week that I teach. I've reached my pre-pregnancy weight (not that it should matter, but it's an accomplishment to me). I am healing my body so that I can practice deeper and get into those beautiful balancing poses. I have everything going for me, and yet I still feel like it isn't enough. Our minds are tricky aren't they?

Trying to find balance amongst life is not easy. No matter whether you seek it in work, personal life, family life, with can be an uphill battle just to feel like everything is running smoothly! Just because I teach 12 classes a week doesn't mean I am a better yoga teacher than one that teaches once a week. Just because someone can get into Handstand like it's a joke, doesn't mean that they are more enlightened. Just because my class may not have resonated with the students, doesn't mean I am a bad teacher. All these things I've attached myself to could all leave at any moment. I am working on letting those attachments go and just focusing on the HERE and NOW. Because I don't have any control over anything, except for how I show up in this world.

Phew, enough of that! Hopefully there are still some people reading so that they can see my updated schedule for the month of March (thank you if you are).
Here it is:

March 2015

Prenatal Yoga 9am - 10:15am at Modern Milk
Mommy and Me Yoga 10:30am - 11:30am  Modern Milk

Prenatal Yoga 4:30pm - 5:30pm at Ha Yoga 

Prenatal Yoga 9am - 10:15am at Modern Milk
Mommy and Me Yoga 10:30am - 11:30am at Modern Milk
Yin Restorative Yoga 7pm - 8pm at Aloha Yoga and Hula

Toddler Yoga 3pm-4pm at Aloha Yoga and Hula (STARTS MARCH 20TH)

Restorative Bliss Yoga 10:45am - 11:45am at Aloha Yoga and Hula

Prenatal Yoga 10am - 11:15am at Modern Milk
Mommy and Me Yoga 11:30am - 12:30pm at Modern Milk
Prenatal Yoga at 1pm - 2:15pm (MARCH 8TH & 22ND) or Mommy and Me Yoga at 1pm - 2pm (MARCH 1ST, 15TH, & 29TH) at Spa Lamar.
Family Yoga 3:30pm - 4:30pm at Aloha Yoga and Hula (STARTS MARCH 22ND)

I am looking forward to seeing you at these classes! Remember, Mommy and Me classes are for babies 6 weeks up to a year! Prenatal is for all trimesters, as long as you are cleared by your doctor to exercise. Yin and Restorative are classes for every body! Toddler yoga will be for babes 18 months up to 4 years. Family yoga will be for everyone 6 years old and up!

I hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!! Talk to you soon!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Where I Am Teaching This Week and Other Big News

Good Monday Morning friends!

While Leia is running around "brushing" her teeth (any one else have a kid obsessed with tooth brushes???) and chasing the puppies, I figured I would take a second to check in and let you know of some cool developments!

First, here is where you can find me this week:

Wednesday 4:30pm, Prenatal Yoga at Ha Yoga Tempe, Az

Thursday 7:00pm, Yin Restorative at Aloha Yoga and Hula, Chandler, Az

 Saturday 10:45am, Restorative Bliss at Aloha Yoga and Hula, Chandler, Az

Sunday Prenatal 10am and Mommy and Me 11:30am at Modern Milk. Scottsdale, Az

Mommy and Me 1pm at Spa Lamar, Scottsdale, Az

I have linked my yoga facebook page, please like the page to receive updates and schedules!

Now for even more exciting news!!
Starting March 20th, I will be teaching Toddler and Momma Yoga at Aloha Yoga! I am SO excited to be able to incorporate Leia into my teaching, and to get her little friends and mommas involved!!! So keep posted for updates on that!

I have to go, Leia is letting the puppies lick her gross.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Classes Taught This Week **New Class Alert**

Hi friends! Is it seriously almost the end of January? HOW!? Wow time flies! I will say that so far, I am living up to my New Years goals! I could do better, and will do better, but I am happy with the progress I've made thus far! How are you doing with your resolutions?

I've added a new class to my schedule starting this week! Yin Restorative Thursday at 7pm at Aloha Yoga! Here is a little bit about Yin Yoga from an excellent resource,

Yin Yoga has the same goals and objectives as any other school of yoga; however, it directs the stimulation normally created in the asana portion of the practice deeper than the superficial or muscular tissues (which we are calling the yang tissues). Yin Yoga targets the connective tissues, such as the ligaments, bones, and even the joints of the body that normally are not exercised very much in a more active style of asana practice.

Suitable for almost all levels of students, Yin Yoga is a perfect complement to the dynamic and muscular (yang) styles of yoga that emphasize internal heat, and the lengthening and contracting of our muscles. Yin Yoga generally targets the connective tissues of the hips, pelvis, and lower spine.

We will do a yin style at the beginning of class, and then follow with a restorative practice. In restorative yoga, nourishing poses like childs pose, legs up the wall, and supported bridge are held anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes to create ultimate relaxation and release! This will be the perfect after work flow to get you ready for bed and rested for your Friday morning!

Here is a link to my facebook page where you can find more information on the class:
Jenessa D'Elia Yoga

Here is my schedule for the whole week:

Prenatal Yoga at Ha Yoga
Wednesday 6:30pm-7:30pm
More info here.

Yin Restorative Yoga at Aloha Yoga and Hula
Thursday 7pm-8pm
More info here.

Restorative Bliss Yoga at Aloha Yoga and Hula
Saturday 10:45am-11:45am
More info here.

Prenatal Yoga at Modern Milk
Sunday 10am-11:15am
More info here.

Mommy and Me Yoga at Modern Milk
Sunday 11:30am-12:30pm
More info here.

Mommy and Me Yoga at Spa Lamar
Sunday 1pm-2pm
More info here.

I hope to see you at one of the many offerings here! Have a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Starting At Modern Milk This Sunday!

Happy Thursday friends!
This Tuesday was the grand opening of the new and awesome gathering place for moms called Modern Milk! I am so happy to be there and to be a part of such an awesome community of moms. They are offering Prenatal and Mommy and Me classes every Saturday and Sunday. I am the Sunday teacher, so here is my schedule for that day! Hope to see you there!

Prenatal Yoga at 10AM
Mommy and Me Yoga at 11:30AM

This week will also be Prenatal Yoga at Spa Lamar at 1pm. 

Saturday, I am teaching Restorative at 10:45am at Aloha Yoga in Chandler! You can find the description of Restorative Bliss Yoga here!

For fun, here is a little pic of my baby girl and I rockin bow pose! have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Mommy & Me Yoga---what is that?

Hi there!
When I tell people I teach Mommy & Me Yoga, I am usually met with a wide eye stare and a confused grin. Some comments like "what do you even do", "how is that beneficial", or my personal favorite..."they are just babies, why do THEY need yoga".

....le sigh....

First, let me start off by saying that yoga is for EVERY BODY. Yes everybody, but also every----body. Big, small, thin, plump, old, young, flexible, tight, missing legs, extra get the idea. Many people know that asana is a big part of yoga, but pranayama (breath) and meditation are really where yoga starts to transform peoples lives. They are the core of yoga. How does that tie in?
When you just have a baby, things change. You are altered almost forever, not in a bad way, but in the way that change NEEDS to occur. First, your hormones are completely out of whack. The placenta, which was housing your baby inside your uterus for 40+ weeks is now released from the body (btw, fun fact-placenta encapsulation can help level out those hormones amongst other things) causing a big drop in your hormone levels. Second, breastfeeding itself can not only be challenging to get down, but it puts a lot of new tension on the body, particularly between the shoulder blades and on the lower back. Third, lack of sleep will cause you to feel run down, exhausted, stressed, and inadequate as a new mom, because the mind does funny things when we are low on sleep. Now, this isn't a post to scare you, it's just a taste of some of the things that new moms go through! Mommy & Me Yoga can help with all of these things and we haven't even touched on why it is good for baby!

Leia, mesmerized by the camera

Each yoga teacher will instruct differently, so if you have the option, feel a few classes out. If you find one that sticks immediately, SWEET! If not keep looking! Here is just a small rundown of what I like to do in my Mommy and Me classes (which you can find info for here).

Suzanne, and her sweet babe August.

Benefits For Baby
In my  class, I like to do a lot of movements that target and encourage the growth of gross motor skills. We move the legs and arms quite a bit (as long as baby is willing, they are in charge after all), we encourage vocabulary growth and language skills by singing songs, and they see you moving your body, and deepening your breath which can release happy and relaxing hormones in the body. Here is a great list of things that baby benefits from during a yoga class (click here).

Nicole, and her babe Willow, taking a feeding break during class :)
We do a mixture of standing postures, letting baby rest and also having them join. In the class, you are always following your babes lead. If they like what is happening, we keep going! If they don't, we change it up! We also do tummy time activities and finally end with a svasana, either lying on your back, or side with the option to breast/bottle feed.
My goals for class are for moms to have fun, babies to get lots of one on one attention, and lots of bonding for both. It's important for mothers to get their postpartum bodies moving again, and some can be resistant because their body is different then it used to be. My hope is that they see they can move their body and feel great afterwards. A happy mother that takes time to devote to herself also benefits baby. Here is another great article about the benefits of yoga for mother and baby:

Have you been interested in trying a yoga class with your baby? Check in your area! If you are local, you can find mommy and babe classes that I teach at Spa Lamar in Scottsdale and NEW at Modern Milk in Scottsdale as well! Ha Yoga in Tempe (where I teach Prenatal on Wednesday nights) offers mommy and me classes 3 times a week (and there is NO age limit for the babies).

Namaste, until next time!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Classes This Week!

Welcome to another fabulous week in January! 2015 has been a great year so far, I must say! I was getting worried, wallowing in self doubt about what I am doing and this journey as a yoga teacher, prenatal yoga teacher specifically, and everything has be confirmed and reassured by the Universe! I am exactly where I am supposed to be and I love it! Are you still sticking to your resolutions? Mine are a daily work in process, but I am happy with my progress! I am attending more yoga classes, and doing more practice at home. I am learning and diving even deeper into class planning. I am eating better, taking probiotics and vitamins again. Life is good!

Here is where you can find me this week!

Wednesday 1/14/2015
Prenatal Yoga at Ha Yoga in Tempe, 1940 University Dr. Class starts at 6:30pm! This space is wonderful and you will immediately feel at home within this group of women. Nikki (owner/prenatal yoga teacher/doula extraordinaire) has started such a warm and wonderful prenatal/mommy and me program. Most of the women meet each other in prenatal yoga and then continue to stay connected in mommy and me yoga. I love it there. Check out the website (here) for more info!

Saturday 1/17/2015
Restorative Yoga at Aloha Yoga and Hula in Chandler, 4939 W. Ray Road. Class starts at 10:45am. If you have never taken a Restorative class, you are missing out! In Restorative yoga, you are held and supported by props (blankets, bolsters, blocks, and straps) while you sink deep into postures held for 5 to 10 minutes at a time. The idea is that as you relax into these poses, the muscles release, and you are able to breath new oxygen and new blood circulating into these areas of the body. It is completely rejuvenating, and an experience that can't be missed. Today also marks the beginning of Aloha's 30 days of yoga for $30, where you are able to take up to 17 classes a week! That is pennies on the dollar! Find more information here! The winner of the challenge will receive a FREE additional month of unlimited yoga classes! The studio is gorgeous and serene, like practicing on the ocean water. Check them out!

Sunday 1/18/2015
Mommy and Me Yoga at Spa Lamar in Scottsale, 5115 N. Scottsdale Rd. Class starts at 1:00pm!  There is a wonderful group of mommies that have been attending these classes! Age range for babies is asked to be 6 weeks up to crawling. I wanted to create a class where mothers could gather, bond with their babies, and move their bodies. Of course we need to keep our babies entertained as well, so we have fun singing and clapping, which is great for babies development. It's a fun, light-hearted class that will make you laugh and relax! Babies are in charge, so if at any point you need to feed your baby (breast or bottle), change them, rock them, is absolutely welcomed and supported! We end every class with a 5-10 minute savasana in which you can breath and relax with your baby! I ask that you bring whatever makes you and baby comfortable! We have blankets at the studio, but burp rags, toys, and stuffed animals are always welcome!

Starting January 25th, I will be teaching Prenatal and Mommy and Me at the AWESOME new place opening up called Modern Milk. For more information on this wonderful new meeting ground for mothers and moms-to-be, check out the website here!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to do what I love as a "job". It is wonderful to love what you do and do what you love! Namaste friends!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

January 1st, 2015!

As stated in my previous post, one of my goals for 2015 was to establish an at home yoga practice. This is embarrassing, but I usually only do a practice at home once a week...I do practice yoga while I teach, because frankly I like to, but it is definitely different then just focusing on myself.
So when a friend shared that Yoga International was doing a 30 for 30 daily yoga video challenge, I jumped right on! You sign up through Yoga International's website (here) and every day you get an email with a 30 minute yoga video you can do right in the comfort of your home! How easy is that?! This happens throughout the whole month of January (hence, 30 for 30). The first video was fun! Lots of standing and dynamic postures, which I love!

I also joined in on an Instagram yoga challenge! It is called #rebelresolutions. They have 30 different poses to do, one for each day in January. Today was Akho Mudha Svanasana (aka down ward facing dog). You can see my DD here.

So, how did the first day of the New Year treat you? Did you follow through yet with any of your resolutions?