What You Do MATTERS

The Secret to Happiness is in the Smallest of Things
by Jenny Houston
This year has been a doozy, filled with ups & downs, loss, fear, anxiety, grief….
I could go on.
It’s super easy to name the negatives.
And the truth is, there are so many positives that have come from 2020. The pandemic has given us an opportunity to re-evaluate what is important. There’s been an unveiling, a surfacing, of areas where we’re sick and/or misaligned, both personally and globally.
Distractions like travel and social engagements have been taken from us, and although it feels like a dreadful punishment for most of us, we’ve been given the gift of time, to go inwards and build awareness around how we live our lives and what (and whom) we surround ourselves with. The quality of the foods we eat, the honesty in our relationships, the way we treat our fellow humans, the disfunction of our politics, (etc., etc.) are all impacting who we are, and who we are becoming. And to see it, perhaps for the first time, can be unnerving and rattling… to our very core.
Well, hey….I’m just gonna to give it to you straight. 2020 has turned me upside-down and inside-out. As a business owner, a mother and a partner, and as an individual, I’ve seen parts of myself that I haven’t been happy to see.
And, the good thing is, it’s all in my power to change.
Have you heard this quote before?
“It’s not your fault you’re messed up,
But it’s your fault if you stay that way.”
Oooof.
When I consider how long it’s taken, basically my entire life, to become the person I know myself to be, I can choose compassion when I’m frustrated with outcomes I’m not pleased with. I’m always doing my very best, with what I know at the time.
And when I know better, I have the opportunity to do better.
It’s in our smallest of daily habits where we stitch together the fibre of our beings. This is really hitting home for me.
We may not realize it, but every decision we make impacts our future Self.
Every. Single. Decision.
From what we eat, to our sleeping habits, to our work habits, to how we make and spend money… right down to the thoughts we think about ourselves.
Everything we do matters.
Every moment and every experience accumulates, and over time we’ve carved a path for ourselves that we might be proud to look at, but for most of us, it can be a bit of a rude awakening.
When we get right down to it, we can only blame (or praise!) ourselves for the place we’re at in our lives. No one else makes us choose the burger over the salad, or snooze the alarm, or opt-out on a workout, or arrive to work late on a consistent basis, or hold grudges, or think mean things about the reflection we see in the mirror. These are daily habits.
The good thing is, today we can re-write the ending to our lives! Starting right now, we can all make decisions that over time will impact us in very positive, powerful ways.
We might decide to walk for 30 minutes, or read 10 pages in a thought-provoking book, or name 3 things we’re grateful for… daily.
I invite you to look to places in your life where you feel unhappy, and break it down really small. What is one small change you could make today? And after doing it repeatedly, day after day, do you think you’d be impacted in a very positive way? Absolutely, you would.
However… anything that is going to create a significant amount of change is going to take time, and for a long while you won’t observe any kind of change, at least nothing dramatic. You’re going to want immediate results, especially if you’re reconstructing an area in your life you’ve been very unhappy with. You’ll be very tempted to quit when you’re not quickly shown evidence that your new habits are ‘working’.
With these small daily habits, you’re going to need to practice trust, and patience, and consistency.
If you’d like to know more about creating daily habits that are so small and so easy, I would recommend grabbing the book called “The Slight Edge”. This is where I’ve been gleaning this amazing perspective!
Have You Let Things Slip? (Hey, It’s Okay.)
The reason I’m sharing all of this here is because I’m dreadfully aware of how much we’ve let our (collective) selves slip since mid-March. I can see the impact of time and poor decisions, and letting go of our routines… and I see the downward trajectory it’s created.
{This is ‘the slight edge’ at work, in a not-so-flattering way.}
If we’re going to make decisions anyway, then why not use the slight edge to our advantage?
If you’re one of our regular attendees, congratulations, you’re utilizing the slight edge and applying small, positive, daily habits! Depending on how long you’ve been practicing, you’re either starting to see small incremental changes, or you’ve been observing them on a larger scale for quite a while! I’m curious to hear what it is you do/think in order to continue with a regular yoga practice? What sorts of things do you say to yourself? Do you have an image in mind of your future self and it keeps you motivated?
When you want to say ‘no’, what makes you say ‘yes’ instead?
Well…. for the rest of us who might be slightly behind the daily-practice-of-yoga curve, we’ve got an amazing offer that you might like to consider….
Today, deciding to gift yourself a yoga pass that will get you through to the end of the year might seem sort of insignificant.
But, if you get this pass and you commit to a daily practice of movement, mindfulness & breath, imagine the results you’ll see on December 31st, 2020…. and imagine the new path you’ll be on as you move into the new year!I’m incredibly ecstatic for you, and the amazing results an opportunity like this could do for your wellbeing.

This pass will get you unlimited classes (both virtual and in-studio) and an added perk — you’ll have access to our Poser YOGA library of recorded classes! So there really won’t be a good enough reason for you not to practice every day!  (Except for all the excuses and resistances you’ll conjure up on a daily basis!)

A journey starts with a single step…

So Many Ways to Access Gratitude

I once had a friend say to me,
“Jenny…. have no expectations, and you’ll never be disappointed.”
This comment did not sit well with me.
It sounded so dull, so sad, so…. boring!
How can you look forward to things if you don’t have expectations???
Only recently have I come to understand this very sage, very wise advice.
It’s not really expectations that can harm us, but the attachment we have to certain outcomes, and the meaning we make of them, that can lead to disappointment.
Maybe I’m only speaking for myself, but when I want something, or I’m hoping for a certain outcome, I can get pretty specific.
So specific in fact, that there’s very little room for anything BETTER to come my way.
What I mean is, when I decide for myself that I want something, I leave nothing left for the Universe to surprise me with.
My limited expectations leave nothing left to unlimited possibility.
I’ll use this simple example:
Let’s say I’ve painted a beautiful piece of artwork, and I’ve decided I want to sell it. For me, having someone appreciate my artwork enough to want to purchase it is already super exciting, so I timidly ask for $200. In my mind, $200 for a painting is amazing, and beyond what I think someone would be willing to pay.
And then, as the money is being exchanged, they say,
“I like it so much, I’ll give you $1000.”
Hmmm, maybe this isn’t the best example….?
Well… think of your dream job, or your dream home, or your dream relationship, or your dream anything… no matter how fantastic it is in your mind, it’s a limited picture. What if it could be… more?
What if your wildest dreams are beyond what your human mind could fathom??
In this case, not getting what you expected, works out for the better, because you ended up getting MORE than what you wanted.
More importantly, we need to talk about the pain we feel when we don’t get what we want.
Let’s say you have this amazing image/expectation in your mind, and it comes crashing down. You’ve set your expectations high, and you don’t get what you’ve been hoping for.
Likely, you feel disappointed, hurt, unworthy, let down, not good enough, etc.
What if…… NOT getting what you want is the BEST thing that could’ve happened to you?
What if the devastation of not getting what you want has created an opening to something you couldn’t have anticipated, had you gotten what you *thought* was best for you?
This week, I’ve been playing with this concept:
OBSTACLE vs OPPORTUNITY

If something looks like a road block, it’s also a redirection.
Definitely something unexpected, and…. possibly, the BEST thing that could’ve ever happened.
Think of the 90 degree turns in your life; the sharp corners where your direction was completely altered.
You were headed on one path, and everything changed.
You lost your job, a relationship ended, you had a health scare, a loved one passed away… all of these are painful experiences, and any one of them would tear you apart.
Over time, you have changed, because your path has changed.
You can be angry, and dwell on the ‘not getting’….

Or you can trade your expectation for appreciation.
Who are the important people in your life that are only there because you didn’t get what you’d originally intended?
What sorts of things are you doing in your life, that only came from your expectations not being met?
What can you appreciate because you didn’t get what you wanted?
That friend I spoke of at the beginning of this story, with the sage advice on how to avoid disappointment…
it was an ex-boyfriend.
Had that relationship worked out, absolutely none of the wonderful things in my present life would have come true.
I’m so thankful that I didn’t get what I thought I wanted.
What are you so thankful you DIDN’T get?

 

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You xx

As I was addressing Ann’s class this morning, our last class before we temporarily close our physical doors, a few of you said “thank you”.

Wow. It’s such a simple phrase. And it has touched me very deeply. 😭

I’ve been so concerned with figuring out how to maintain our quality services. I’ve been focused on how to *not* disappoint our community.

It didn’t occur to me that my efforts are actually being seen. And appreciated.

Thank YOU. Your support and trust (and the support of our 5th Element community as well) means SO MUCH to me and my family.

I’m thankful I was able to speak to some of you in person before we make this transition. Your kindness feels like a beautiful gift and it’s given me an extra boost of strength and motivation.

These are tough times. And they’re also special times. We have a chance to rise above and make the best of an uncomfortable situation.

I think our resilience will surprise us.

Please continue to support local businesses as you can. We need each other more than ever.

Have a wonderful Sunday. 💜

Love to All, Jenny xx

Zombie Thriller Flash Mob – 6th Year! Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 in Port Angeles

This Thursday marks our 6th year surprising the crowds of Port Angeles, dressed as Zombies and dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller! If you’ve got the time, catch us at one of our venues…. and if you take photos or videos, please share them with us… we’d love to see them!!

Laurel Place Senior Living (1133 E Park Ave) – 1PM
Peninsula College (cafeteria) – 1:15PM
Nols-Port Angeles Branch – 1:30PM
Swain’s General Store – 1:45PM
Safeway (3rd Street location) – 2PM
Country Aire Natural Foods Market  (out front, under the canopy) – 2:30PM
Laurel Street Fountain – 2:45PM

Below are a few photos from last years’ Flash Mob!

Sher Cappa Is Back September 4th, 2019!

Yoga with Sher
with Sher Cappa
Wednesdays 2-3PM
PA location
Sher Cappa is back and her new class will begin September 4th!! This will be a specialized class, focusing on making safe modifications and accepting individual limitations, making accommodations for current physical abilities, and gradually (and safely!) improving on these abilities.
In order for Sher to offer individual assistance, this class will be limited to 10 students. We ask that you be especially mindful of holding a space for yourself in this class. If you cannot make it, please sign yourself off the roster, or let us know at the desk (360.452.6121)

Let’s Talk About Health & Wellness (FREE Info-Session at Poser YOGA)

Let’s Talk About Health & Wellness
with Mary Bailey & Candi Griffith
Thursday Aug 15th
7-8PM
Port Angeles location

We are so excited to be able to offer a space for these ladies to share their wealth of knowledge! These two women have many, many topics they are passionate about and we’d love to offer a FREE info-session once a month. We’ll give this first one a try and see what the response is!

We’ll launch with a conversation on DIGESTION.
-Supporting the Stomach and Spleen
-Keeping your Digestive Fire Burning
-The Root Cause of Acid Reflux and Heartburn (this will surprise most people)
Did we mention… IT’S FREE!!

Unlimited Summer Yoga 2018!

We know how challenging it can be to keep up with a regular practice during the summer months — the weather is beautiful, the kiddos are out of school, and schedules fall by the wayside with last minute getaways, bonus hours of daylight, and extra socializing and sport partaking!

We ALSO know how beneficial it is to keep up with a regular Yoga practice. We hear it so often…

“With all the hiking/biking/kayaking/long distance driving I get up to in the summer, Yoga is my saving grace! I can stretch out, reset, and head back out to do it all over again!!”

So it just makes sense… taking advantage of our Unlimited Summer Yoga pass is the way to go!

UNLIMITED SUMMER YOGA
3 months (June, July + August)
$215

>>> It’s discounted heavily, so you don’t have to worry about ‘wasting’ your money on the days when you’re a little busier!
>>> It’s 3 months long, so you can practice when you can and you don’t have to worry about expiration dates, OR your bank account balance – it’s already taken care of!
>>> If you currently have a 5 or 10 Pack Pass, we’ll put it on hold for you, and on September 1st you can pick up right where you left off!

This pass is valid Friday, June 1st to Friday, August 31st, 2018.
Purchase any time you like, and it will activate on the 1st of June.

AND one last thing to make the deal even sweeter… you’ve got TWO WEEKS to take advantage of LAST YEAR’s price of $199! Purchase before Friday, May 18th to get this Early Bird pricing!!

Are you ready to make your summer even MORE awesome? Purchase now! 

Heated Yoga in the Summer?? You bet!

Here in the PNW, it’s fair to say that most of us aren’t acclimated to the heat. It doesn’t take much for us to say, “It’s HOT out there!“… so, the thought of taking a Heated Yoga class in the middle of summer seems like the worst idea ever… but is it? You might be surprised to know that Heated Yoga  during the summertime offers specific benefits and positive results that can give you a deeper edge on your practice and complement your practice through the cooler months.

{To save time, I’ve cut + pasted a good portion of this article, and I’ve adapted in some places to make it apply to our specific community. To give the author credit, I’ve linked the article at the bottom.}

10 Great Reasons to Practice Hot Yoga in the Summertime 

  1. You’ll better acclimate to the heat outside: Practicing Heated Yoga during the summer months can help acclimate you to the season’s heat and humidity. Your body cools itself more efficiently and effectively through sweat. So when you leave the yoga room, the outside air feels cooler than inside! If you practice often enough, you may notice that outside weather doesn’t feel as hot as it used to, that you don’t need your air conditioning as much, and that you don’t mind being outside as much when it’s sweltering.
  2.  You’ll cope more effectively with the heat: During summer yoga practice, you are reinforcing the proper coping tools for handling heat—learning to focus on the breath when things heat up, or to kneel or sit in order to lower your heart rate.
  3.  You’ll take your practice deeper: Keeping up your practice is the key to maintaining all the headway you made during the winter. It’d be a shame to lose all that range of motion you worked so hard for! In fact, your muscles, joints and ligaments will already be nice and warm when you enter the studio, so you will likely find you’re more flexible and can go deeper into the postures during the summer. Take advantage of the summer months to increase your joint flexibility, core strength and spinal mobility and make gains in your practice.
  4.  You’ll encourage good habits: Heated Yoga encourages you to stay well hydrated and to replenish your electrolytes regularly. This can be a great benefit during the hot summer months. Warmer weather often means you have a lighter appetite, which can take your Heated Yoga practice to a new level by relieving you of that ‘full’ feeling and letting you go much deeper into the postures.
  5.  You’ll be in better shape for summer recreation: By adjusting to the heat in the yoga studio, you’ll be in top-notch shape for any summer sports or outdoors activities you like to do. If you make time for your yoga practice, you may notice that you don’t mind the heat and have more endurance when you’re running, biking, pushing the stroller, hiking, or playing other sports outdoors. Building strength and flexibility through your practice for these activities will certainly help, too.
  6.  You’ll energize your body and mind: Often the summer months can leave us feeling a bit “fried,” both mentally and physically. We’ve all had days when the heat makes us feel super-sleepy and we can’t be bothered exercising.  Yet we know that Heated Yoga helps energize our bodies and our minds and provides us with so many health benefits. Committing to a strong summer practice will keep you from that sluggish summer feeling and give you quality time spent focused on your Self.
  7.  You’ll surprise yourself: That relaxed ‘can’t-be-bothered’ attitude can transform into a relaxed and therefore enhanced practice. I’ll bet you can remember a class when you came in expecting very little and walked out feeling amazing, can’t you? Same sort of thing applies here.
  8.  You’ll detoxify more: If you sweat more during class, you’ll release more toxins. This is great for your internal organs and skin, just remember that with more sweating comes a greater risk of dehydration, so don’t forget to drink lots of water and juicy fruits throughout the day.
  9.  You’ll take advantage of your summer schedule: If you work in a profession where your summer schedule is lighter or more flexible, take advantage of the fact that you have some extra time to spend on yourself and your health. Your body and mind will thank you!
  10.  You will tone up for the summer: You’ll look great and feel more comfortable and confident all summer long!

TIPS FOR A SMOOTH SUMMER PRACTICE:

  •  Hydrate Properly. Proper hydration is extremely important for every physical activity but, due to the increased sweating in Hot Yoga, hydration is even more important.  Drink at least 1 to 1.5 liters of water before every class.  Such preparation will also prevent you from needing or wanting to gulp lots of water during class, which can cause stomach cramps and generally act as a distraction.
  •  Replenish Electrolytes. Electrolytes are salts and minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and calcium that may be lost from the body during periods of heavy sweating.  Symptoms of electrolyte deficiency include dizziness, headaches, cramping and fatigue.  Electrolytes are contained in most sports drinks, but drinks that are low in sugar, e.g. coconut water, are preferable and healthier.  A mixture of water, sea salt and lemon juice can also work to restore lost electrolytes, as well as tomato juice.
  • Eat right. As with any physical activity, you’ll want to make sure you’re eating right to help you perform your best. While a snack or light meal an hour or so before working out is recommended (fruit, fruit juice, raw vegetables, a small serving of almonds or trail mix are all viable options), you might want to allow two hours between any snacks and four hours between any heavy meals and your yoga practice. The only thing worse than practicing with a belly full of water is practicing with a belly full of food! You’ll want to eat a snack or meal that contains both protein and carbohydrates within an hour of finishing your practice.
  • Listen to your body and respect your edge. Only you know how far you can comfortably push your body. Listen to those signs that your body offers you. When our muscles are warm, it’s easier to stretch them, which means that suddenly body parts find it easier to reach one another—forehead to the knee, fingertips to the toes, foot behind your calf muscle. Move slowly and mindfully to a point where your muscles feel challenged, breathing all the while! Don’t feel the need to “keep going” in a pose if the intro level is enough of a stretch and challenge for you. Your yoga practice is yours and yours alone. Quiet the ego–that little voice that tells you to push harder when you know you could risk injury–and just breathe and enjoy being where you are now.
  • Dress for it. Hot yoga is not the time to be modest. No one is there to judge you, and no one looks his or her best when dripping in sweat. Wear tight-fitting clothes, as looser garments trap heat. Tank tops are a great choice, as they allow for better range of motion and generally stay in place better than a T-shirt. Regular cotton clothing is not recommended—once drenched in sweat, it will feel heavy and clammy against your skin. A moisture-wicking headband is great for keeping sweat from dripping in your eyes. That’s a surefire way to break your concentration!
  • Go au natural. Though it seems counterintuitive to shower before a workout, I often rinse off before yoga practice to remove any lotions or oils that will make my skin even more slippery once my body starts to sweat. Skip the perfume, the smell of which can be overwhelming in heated, humid rooms.
  • Take rest as needed. If you feel lightheaded, dizzy or otherwise ill at any point during the practice, take a break. Take a knee, sit down on your mat (keep your head above your heart), or if on the floor, rest in Savasana.

CitedGreat Reasons and Tips for Practicing Hot Yoga in the Summertime

A Gentle Reminder Re: Studio Etiquette

Just this past week, we had four separate students request that we address the noise levels in the room while waiting for class to begin. Understandably, many Yogis seek a quiet, zen-like space, and this might be their only opportunity to decompress throughout the day. Out of consideration, my immediate reaction was to enforce a ‘no chatting’ policy. However, one teacher made a very good point: We practice Yoga, in part, to let go of the things we can’t change, and we seek to find comfort amidst the uncomfortable. On some days, the energy is much more boisterous, and I think we can all agree that this level of noise is a little too much. We do want to instill though, that Poser is a place where like-minded people gather, and we want to promote and encourage this flourishing community.

Moving forward, let’s all be mindful of our conversations and be aware that there are others in the room.

Yoga certainly has a culture all its own, and sometimes expectations are subtle, so don’t worry about it if you’ve been left unaware!! Perhaps a quick read-through of the tips on our ‘Studio Etiquette‘ page will serve as a good refresher for all of us.

Namaste, and I love you.
Jenny xx

PS:  For more, here’s an article you might like:
“Quieting Your Mind in a Noisy Environment”