Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

You look like you’re here, but are you? March 13, 2018

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Recently, a fabulous yoga instructor at Pure Yoga in Asheville encouraged us to feel what we are feeling & notice the emotion. Sometimes our emotions have been dragged from the past & sometimes lassoed from the future. The question is; Are we experiencing fully & thus feeling deeply the present moment?

That morning as she guided us to witness, I found I had lugged frustration to my mat from the past. Through this inquiry, I was able to realize that there was absolutely nothing frustrating about the present moment which consisted of sitting quietly with my breath listening to the wisdom of a teacher I respect.

In the present moment of that class, all was well. I believe if we truly took stock of our emotions, we might find this to be true more often than not. That, in the present moment, all is well & the discomfort we are experiencing is either dated or foreshadowed. And sometimes, the discomfort is truly related to the present moment. Part of living well is giving ourselves permission to feel our lives deeply and honestly.

And… Can we discern between the NOW and what was or what’s coming so that we stay awake to what is?


be all there


Why do we roll? January 2, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 3:52 pm
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starts here

Roll out our mat, that is.

What brings us to yoga is often not what draws us back.  We come wanting, striving, reaching for wellness, inner peace, and connection.  We come back to receive its gifts in a knowing that it is not about “doing yoga” but about allowing yoga to envelope us.  And instead of thinking we are “changed;” meaning we’ve altered our state, perhaps we can consider that we are awakened to our true and natural state.

Always there; waiting for us to notice.

A gift of our practice is harmony.  We practice over and over, and then one day sometime between our opening om and our closing savasana, we wake up to the simple wisdom that we are so much bigger than our mind.  That our intelligence bursts beyond the limits of our cognitive thinking.

Our mind – that beautiful cranium that resides in our upper quarter – was divinely designed as a tool.  And with any tool, we use appropriately and with purpose.  We use a hammer when a hammer is needed, a wrench when a wrench is needed, and we keep the whole tool kit tucked away when we have no need at all.  (And given that we have upwards of 70,000 thoughts a day; most of which are repetitive, unconscious, and not helpful, I might argue that we don’t need it as often as we assume).

Our mind enables us to use discernment, solve problems, map out, and progress forward.  Without it, we would struggle to exit bed let alone have a meaningful impact.  However, much like the hammer, it is not always the only and/or most meaningful source of intelligence to apply.

Within us we carry divine intelligence, innate wisdom, heart knowing, and body brilliance.  All guides and as powerful as our mind.

So we roll out our  mat, and we signal to the brain:  Relax. Trust. Play well with others.  I am grateful to you, and I am not enslaved to you.  And while our intelligence habit is one of mind dominance, we come to our mat to access our full knowing, our total Self.



What’s riskier than heart disease & diabetes? May 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 1:18 pm
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According to the Surgeon General, the greatest health risk American’s face isn’t Cardiovascular, Diabetes or Cancer, but isolation.

To varying degrees, isolation is something we have all experienced. Often times occurring even when we are surrounded by people.  So how do we learn to combat these feelings?  The answer is in creating meaningful connections.

Connecting with those around you goes deeper than merely being in their presence.  It’s breathing with them, genuinely seeing them, listening with our hearts and minds, and truly putting ourselves in their shoes.  Often times we become entranced in our own experience and forget to be fully present with others.  Mindfully shifting our perspectives teaches us to breath in our own discomfort while breathing back into the world the love and service we feel and want to cultivate in others.

Today, when you encounter someone who feels isolated, I encourage you to commit to connecting with them on a deeper level.  Through this connection, you allow them to break their cycle of fear and not only heal themselves, but through the process of connecting, heal yourself and go on to heal other.  With this cycle of healing, we can begin to heal our planet one person at a time.


Drop the tire April 29, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 12:00 am
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Does yoga lead to weight loss?  I’m going to answer this often asked question without going on and on about why I dislike the question itself.  A caveat:  I am not a doctor, dietitian, or naturopath – nor do I play one on the yoga mat.  All the same, here we go.  Does yoga lead to weight loss?  I realize this is a controversial question, and my answer is a resounding yes.

  • Yoga builds your mindfulness muscle.  When we cultivate mindfulness on our mats through our breath, we can access the skill of mindfulness when staring in the freezer at the ice cream tub.
  • Yoga connects you with your essence and higher purpose.  When you tap into this connection, a potato chip’s grip on your mind dissipates.  When you are up to something bigger, the “small” fades without effort.
  • Yoga is movement.  Movement = caloric movement & digestive fire.
  • Vinyasa and power yoga are mindful versions of high intensity interval training.  HIIT creates the ultimate burn in that it simultaneously stimulates bursts of aerobic activity balanced by total recovery (think rinse and repeat) and strength training.
  • Yoga resets your nervous system.  When you are in fight or flight (sympathetic NS activation), you improperly digest and fire.  When we drop into a relaxed nervous system, our metabolism and digestive system operate optimally; using food as short-term fuel and detoxing our organs.
  • Yoga improves sleep.  Sleep enhances weight management.   Not sure you buy it?  Research the literature on sleep, and you’ll change your bedtime.  I promise.

One last plug for yoga as a weight loss tool…  I am a proponent of heated yoga.  (And thus both of my studios are 84 – 94 degrees based on the class style).  Heat builds stamina and flexibility.  It elevates the heart rate and detoxifies the system.  Heat reduces hunger and increases water thirst.  All of these factors are positive contributors to weight management and loss.

Here’s the bottom line… yoga decreases stress, increases mindfulness, and reconnects us with our higher purpose.  When this trifecta is in play, our desire to binge, nibble, snack, graze, and indulge is replaced by our desire to love, connect, breathe, and create meaning in our life.

Just ponder.  And choose well.