Blog

Oct 17th

5 Year Birthday Letter

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Dear NS Tribe,

This month we celebrate 5 AMAZING years. As I write this to you, a member of our tribe, all I can think of is gratitude. What a blessing it has been to share the healing practices with you in this beautiful collective space of energy, love, acceptance, peace and bliss. Together with the incredible Nourishing Storm team, we are doing what we love and loving what we do because of you. Each day you bring us your smiles, kindness, your willingness to raise your vibration, and that of others, as your beautiful light fills the spaces within the studio and beyond. And this is what fuels us, makes us stronger and gives us inspiration to serve and be more.

This year our theme is “Keep Calm, Dream On.” Part of what Yoga has done for me since I started practicing over 15 years ago is to help me dream bigger, to know that whatever (crazy) ideas come to me, and there are quite a few, that I can actually accomplish them. That I have an incredible community of students, teachers, artists, beautiful souls that are here to encourage, support, share and help grow these ideas. And that is my wish for you, that whatever your dreams are, you got this. You have us, your tribe at Nourishing Storm, to lean into along the way. Remember the quote from the yoga mat as you enter the yoga studio? It says “I will catch you if you fall.” We will do the same shall you ever fall.

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”
– Erin Hanson

To celebrate our 5 year birthday, on Saturday, October 21st we will be holding an open house from 10am-2pm where our teachers (your favorites along with our new teacher trainers!), juice bar gals and artists will be there to meet and greet with you. We will also be sampling some treats from our fall menu. Oh and dream catchers from 12-2pm, come make one!

At night from 7-10pm we will be having a “Pj + Pancake (gluten free of course, with lots of toppings to choose from) + Movie night.” The movie we selected is “Secret Life is Walter Mitty” – such a gem, very inspiring. From there we dance!

We would LOVE for you to be there this day and/or evening, but if your life is calling in other directions please make time soon to tell us how your experience at “The Storm” is going and offer us feedback on how we can continue to offer a healing space in meaningful ways. We have become who we are because of what the community has shared with us and we strive to do our best to make the studio and cafe a safe haven and nourishing space, despite any Storm that is happening. So please reach out to me at the studio, via email, phone or grab one of your favorite teachers and share your thoughts!

To rising together and growing community,

Kristin Ritter
Founder, Director of Wellness & Holistic Health Coach
harmony@nourishingstorm.com

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Oct 13th

Anjaneyasana (AHN-jah-nay-AHS-uh-nuh)

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Crescent Lunge or Anjaneyasana is a dynamic standing pose that energizes and utilizes major muscle groups in the body. It strengthens and stretches both upper and lower body, all while creating balance and awareness. This pose can be met with great enthusiasm as it can meet anyone at any level in their practice (yes, even those with sciatica pain!). For beginners this pose can be gentle with the support of the opposite knee on the earth with a mild backbend incorporated if wanted and for advanced students the knee can be lifted, deep backbend met or twist/binds added.

Benefits (from gaia.com)
  • Strengthens your quadriceps and gluteus muscles
  • Stretches the hips
  • Relieves sciatica pain
  • Expands and opens the chest, lungs and shoulders
  • Engages and tones thighs
  • Prepares the body for childbirth by creating more room in the pelvis
Directions
  • Start in Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana).
  • On exhalation step right foot through and place inside right palm. Line up right ankle up with right knee and lower left knee to the earth keeping it behind the hips. Toes can stay curled under for stability or lower to the top of the foot to the earth.
  • On inhalation raise torso and sweep arms up and over your head with palms facing each other. Relax shoulders down and away from the ears allowing the shoulder blades to roll down the back. On the next exhale allow the hips to relax forward and down until you feel a nice stretch in the front of the left leg.
  • Slightly tuck the tailbone, lengthening your back muscles and engaging the core. Start to draw you thumbs back (even hooking thumbs if you’d like), lift through the heart and shift gaze up for a little backbend.
  • Stay here with the supported leg down or curl toes under if they weren’t already, lift the left knee and lengthen leg for Full Crescent Lunge.
  • To come out of pose frame the right foot with palms and step back to Downward Facing Dog and repeat with the left leg forward.
Variations
  • Palms can touch when raised overhead or palms come to the sides for a “V” shape.
  • Add a twist by bringing hands to heart center and twisting to the right first or place left palm to the inside of the right foot on the earth or a block and twist open to the right.
  • For advanced students you can add a bind by coming to a twist to the right, allowing the left forearm to press into the outer right thigh, right arm comes behind you and clasp hands together between the legs (use a strap or scarf to build to full bind).
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Sep 28th

Trust me, I’ve got this!

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I don’t know how, when or why I lost trust.  Maybe it was all of those politicians issuing promises they’d never keep.  Perhaps it was all of those executives from Philly sports teams assuring us that a world championship was right around the corner.  Who knows, it may have begun when I was a kid and learned the truth about Santa Claus.  Regardless of when it happened, I had become a cynical old curmudgeon.  I was 57 years old, flabby and lethargic.  I had a grouchy disposition and an aching back.  In short, I was a mess.

Then one day I walked into Nourishing Storm.  That was a year and a half ago, and my life has been changing for the better ever since.

The catalyst for my transformation is named Kristin.  From the moment we met, I recognized that there is something unique and special about this lady.  She possesses the most pure and joyful spirit I’ve ever encountered.  Her faith in, and compassion for, her students is absolute and unwavering.  I am continually inspired by her eternal optimism.  And she is relentless in her drive to achieve.  Kristin has taught me so many things, much more than just yoga poses.  Most important among these lessons is this.  Once I’ve learned to trust myself, all of my goals would be attained as soon as I committed to them, only the journey would remain.  It wasn’t a concept I easily embraced, but I trusted Kristin and followed her guidance.  Soon I started to see results and my confidence soared.

About a year after my first yoga class, Kristin invited me to join Nourishing Storm’s latest Teacher’s Training course.  I initially balked, having previously read the daunting curriculum.  But Kristin would have none of my defeatism and knew exactly how to handle my reluctance.  After a good dose of her encouragement, I was not only convinced but excited for the class to begin.   We just finished our first training weekend.  It was absolutely amazing, highly enlightening and thoroughly inspiring.   The weekend has also confirmed the fact that this class will be as challenging as it is rewarding.  But that’s alright because I’m no longer a quitter.  Now I’m an achiever.  So, in almost exactly one year I will graduate from Nourishing Storm’s RYT 200 hour Teachers Training program.  Trust me, I’ve got this!

-John

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Sep 28th

Healing Journeys: Trust A Work in Progress Working the Process

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I have always had trust issues. It wasn’t until very recently that I fully understood it was a lack of self-trust at the root of them all. I suppose most issues are self-issues at the root.

I’m indecisive. I can see things from multiple perspectives. I think that is a good thing and it is for keeping an open mind. But I need to delineate my own true perspective from all the others and make decisions from that place. I know this.

It is not easy for me. I have been wrong so many times before about so many things, so many people, so many feelings. But if I am honest, most of the times where I’ve been wrong it was in my lack of trust in my own process or my lack of boundaries protecting that process. Sometimes it is just easier to do what is expected of you instead of what is true of you. Until it isn’t.

My personal definition of trust is having faith in the outcome of following my Truth. I stumble and doubt and fear but I keep going when it feels right. My trust is my process. I apply this process by checking my direction, my actions, and my feelings against my truth. If it jives, I move on. If it doesn’t, I recalibrate. My path isn’t determined by the destination I seek mostly because I do not have a fixed destination. Allowing the end to be open has been the biggest test of courage and trust in my life.

I exercise my trust by being authentic. I seek the ever-evolving integrity of my flawed being. I walk my path with my heart as my compass and Love as my true north. It isn’t always comfortable despite how glung-glung zen I just made it sound. Ahhh my heart is my compass and Love is my north.

Pretty words. But in reality the truths I find are not always gracious. They can be quite ferocious and brutal at times. But I integrate each new truth. Especially the ugly ones for I’ve found they carve into my heart more deeply and make space for fresh faith.

I can’t ever know what really lies ahead. I’ve been knocked off my path more than a few times. And I’ve wandered off as many times too. And I may not be walking a path that anyone else can understand. What I do know is that I will never regret the steps I take and decisions I make when they are rooted in honest and unconditional love. Not ever.

So that is my process. I fuel up on grace and inspiration in whatever form they offer themselves to me in each moment. Then I keep going in the direction of my heart. I trust that is enough. I trust I am enough.

Like the flower gives a fragrance, give yourself a chance, just a chance, to trust yourself, love yourself, and be yourself. Now close your eyes, raise your right hand, place your left hand on your heart, and take a vow, repeating 3 times: I trust myself, I love myself, I am myself. —Yogi Bhajan

Nikki is a Mother, Wife, Healer, Hopeful Suburban Homesteader acknowledges words are her mind’s tools; writing her soul’s craft; and this circus of life her heart’s muse. Read more from Nikki here on her blog, The Way I Bee. Nikki’s massage therapy and energy healing, including reiki/cranio with some spontaneous journey work, are part of the offerings at Nourishing Storm Wellness Company.

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Sep 1st

Healing Journey: Flow the Ebbs

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There is a rhythm to life. A divine order to all the movement in the universe. We share these rhythms with the universe and we each have our own. We find our heart’s song when we find our flow within these rhythms.

The way of our world doesn’t always go with this flow. This world wants to move forward on warp speed and has us thinking that is how our journey should look as well. But when we look to the natural rhythm we see we don’t move on a linear path. Nature and our souls flow on a spiral. Circling around while still on the path of evolution.

We experience these ebbs and flows much like our natural world. The waves and tides rolling like our breath. The waxing and waning of the moon, the rising and setting of the sun, the choreography of the stars across the night sky like the phases, cycles and seasons of our own lives.

Unlike our natural world, we try to control our ebbs and flows. We usually pay more attention to the ebbs. Where we feel like our progress is halted or reversed. That downward spin of the spiral, we resist. We resist the waning period of our lives. We resist the the dark times. We don’t swim in the low tides.

The cycles and spirals are the way of life. Always moving towards adapting and evolving with the new energies at play. The universe, the galaxy, the Earth all constantly contracting and expanding like our lungs, like our pulse, like all our vital signs of life. It is no coincidence that we share these rhythms and no coincidence that being in nature can call us back into rhythm. Yet still we resist the ebbs. We forget that even as they pull upon our hearts, we are still moving within a greater flow. That is the flow we must connect with. That is the flow that carries us through to a greater awareness and sense of purpose and order in our lives. It is subtle. It is almost imperceptible, especially in the midst of what feels like a spiritual recession. That there still could be a stream of abundance found in the waning periods and new moons of life seems impossible. And it probably is if we only look for a linear path to self actualization or if our progress is only measured against fixed, external mile markers that we had no hand in making.

But that is not how life works. And we know this. There must be an up for every down and a give for every take. When we resist our contraction, we limit our expansion. We can move through the downs with grace when we allow our soul to be unbound from the rigid limits of a linear path. When we remember we don’t move that way. When we dance along the infinite spiral, we see there is always a flow.

“Dreaming, dreaming, sleeping, awakening –
Rhythms of darkness and light.
Day and night, night and day, wondering . . .
Who am I? Who AM I?

Who is morphing through this
Ever-shifting flow?
Beloved, wake up!
Dance in your true body before time,
Shimmering energy without end.”
Radiance Sutras – Lorin Roche

 

Nikki is a Mother, Wife, Healer, Hopeful Suburban Homesteader acknowledges words are her mind’s tools; writing her soul’s craft; and this circus of life her heart’s muse. Read more from Nikki here on her blog, The Way I Bee. Nikki’s massage therapy and energy healing, including reiki/cranio with some spontaneous journey work, are part of the offerings at Nourishing Storm Wellness Company.

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