Toni Kuhn

November 21, 2017
by Toni
6 Comments

Goodbye Coffee

I recently did some new food sensitivity labs to help me on this quest to heal my gut. I have had food sensitivity tests before and that is why I do not eat dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, bananas, oats, corn, cane sugar or bakers yeast. Hence, this is why I have adopted a Paleo friendly diet. Eliminating these from my diet has greatly improved my arthritis and over all health. However, I have still been having inflammation in my body, especially in my mouth.  This new test showed food sensitivities directly related to my gut ( the mouth is a part of the digestive system). Several foods came up highly reactive which I have to give up for 6 months, and some came up moderately reactive which I have to give up for 3 months.  I won’t go into detail about all the foods I have to give up or monitor( because it is a lot), but I will share a few.

Coffee turned out to be highly reactive in my body. When I heard this I think I went into shock. I thought, “There is no way I can do this, I LOVE coffee”! Tis’ the season for coffee! Not only is it yummy, it is also a social thing. I seriously mourned having to give up coffee. I felt depressed, frustrated and just plain cranky! And then I snapped out of it. I realized I have come so far in my quest to decrease the inflammation in my body, I can do this. So I tried tea. I found a chai tea that I like and ordered it in bulk off of Amazon!

Here are some of the other heavy hitters that I have to give up.

Tomatoes ( I am Italian, OUCH! LOL)

Vanilla  ( yikes, it’s the Holidays!)

Onions ( I am okay with this one as it really hurts my mouth)

Peanuts ( yikes again! This was my go to food!)

My nutritionist is monitoring me carefully and has created a gut healing protocol that includes supplements along with omitting foods from my diet.

My husband gets the award for the most patient and supportive. I have been playing around with dinner recipes and he still eats them even when they turn out crappy! He just smiles and says ‘Look at it this way, we wanted to change up our meals and now we are. Think of it as an adventure”. Isn’t he a trooper? I do make sure he has snacks and foods that he can enjoy. Its really only dinner that he suffers through! I baked him is favorite cookies this weekend as a thank you and he was very happy!

He had his cookies with his coffee…….

I miss you coffee. I hope we can get back together in 6 months, I know this is not goodbye forever even if we can only see each other a few times a week.

Namaste.

November 2, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Balancing Life & Body

I recently started working with a nutritionist to correct the imbalance in my gut. We have begun protocols to heal my gut to help decrease the inflammation in my body. This is going to take a long time, but in the end, I may be able to go off of hormone replacement therapy and my arthritis medication. I have noticed positive changes in my energy level and the way my body feels.

I have been working with my wonderful personal trainer, Michelle to strengthen my shoulder from injury/arthritis that lasted over a year. I am finally feeling stronger and my muscle tone is coming back! Yay!

As you can see I have been working very hard to improve my health. To be in a place where the inflammation is my body is under better control. This can only happen if I work from the inside out. From my gut, to my mind, and then my exterior body. I really thought I was doing well, but then the universe had other plans for me.

“Slow Down!” is the message I just received.

You see, I tripped and fell very hard last Saturday. ( Red Alert; Do Not Text and Walk! ) I hurt my knee pretty bad and my doc is concerned about the meniscus being damaged. My first thought was, ” Oh no, I do not have time for this!” and “What about my workouts and my goals?” Then after deep contemplation, I realized that I am pushing myself too hard. I work a lot and I have been trying to add in more workouts in for myself.

This fall was a message for me to take a look at the imbalances in my life, not just in my body.

Wait a minute.

What?

I thought I was supposed to take time for myself. Working out makes me happy and I feel stronger. Yes, they do, and I should keep doing them when my knee heals. But, I think the lesson here is to look at my life, my work, my family and find the balance there. You see, I am a work alcoholic. I just finished a long season of yoga retreats and I have not stopped pushing for last 6 months. Already I am deciding the next project to start and the next training, the next video, and the next… ( you get the picture).

“Balance your life”,  I hear the message. 

So this inconvenient knee injury is a lesson for me to slow down,  pay attention and be in the moment. it’s time to balance my life, my gut and my body. I know this will lead me to a sense of wholeness and well-being.

“Accepting the reality of change gives rise to equanimity.” – Allan Lokos

Namaste.

 

 

October 16, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

A wonderfully busy couple of weeks…

Giant Forrest

Giant Forrest

The last couple of weeks have been wonderfully busy. My husband and I took a couple of weekend getaways. We went to Morrow Bay and walked through the Elfin Forrest, walked through an amazing ocean trail with breath taking views, visited Morrow Rock, and Black rock hill. The next weekend we went to Kern River on a yoga retreat and then up to the Sequoia’s. We walked through the Giant Tree Forest and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Kern River. We enjoyed the yoga retreat and Doug even got a golf game in! These two trips were very healing and rejuvenated for us.  We were both so happy to connect to nature! I came home inspired and ready to work. LOL!

Elfin Forrest

Kern River

 Upcoming Workshop:

I have a Yin Yoga/ Fermenting workshop coming up on Saturday November 4 at Yoga Works. In this workshop I will be teaching a Yin yoga class and then Laci will be doing a small class on fermenting and its health benefits. We will even have a Amaze drink for you to try. Come join us to balance your mind, body and gut- just in time for the holidays! Here is the link with the information and to sign up. You do not need to be a member of Yoga Works to take the workshop.  Link to to Workshop

2 New Yoga DVD’s

I have 2 new yoga DVD’s, Chair Yoga & Yin Yoga, and they are both ready to purchase. Each DVD is $5.00. If you would prefer the recordings on a flash drive, I can do that for an extra $10.00 fee (multiple videos can be loaded on to a single flash drive). You can put a flash drive directly into a Smart TV and the video will be in high definition. You can also load the flash drive directly on to your computer.

 

Morrow Bay Rock

Top of Black Rock

ocean cliff walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me. I look forward to seeing you in class!

Namaste.

September 12, 2017
by Toni
1 Comment

Good Morning

Good Morning! It is 3 am and I am up writing this blog. People always ask me how I can get up so early to teach my 6 am classes. I live an hour away and wake up early enough to have some quiet time before my long day of teaching. I do this routine two days a week and yes, sometimes it is hard to get going in the morning. But I always feel more relaxed during the day if I take the time to enjoy the early morning hours. The extra time in the morning gives me a chance read articles, explore my teaching themes and helps me to stay focused throughout the day.

I love the solitude of the morning. It is very dark outside and the moonlight is shining in my living room. I can still hear the crickets singing and the sound of the gentle wind. There is something magical about being awake at this time. I feel more connected to world and to myself. As I drink my coffee I can feel my senses becoming clearer and I feel grateful for this special part of my day.

In a few hours I will teach my first class of the day. I love teaching yoga at this time. As I watch my students stumble into class with sleepy eyes, I know that their minds are still pure. This is the first experience of their day and stress has not woken up yet. It is a beautiful time to set an intention for the day. To connect to the Self and the world. To cultivate peace and harmony.

If you cannot make it to my 6 am yoga class, you can still wake up a little early each day to embrace morning hours. Maybe you start with an extra 15 minutes in the morning for some time by yourself. You could just sit for a minutes and take in the morning sounds, you could meditate or do a short yoga practice. Taking a few minutes for yourself before you begin your busy day will go a long way in helping you cope with the day’s events.

Here is a short yoga practice you could do to start your day.

Half Sun Salute– this will help you welcome the day.

Start in standing up in mountain pose.

Inhale reach the arms over head.

Exhale lower the arms and fold to the floor.

Inhale place your hands on your shins and come half way up.

 

Exhale fold back into the self.

Inhale press down with feet and come all the back up to standing.

Exhale bring your palms to heart.

repeat 5 times.

Reverse Warrior 2 & Triangle pose– these will help you stay grounded.

Start in a standing position and straddle your legs.

Bend your right knee and rotate your leg to the right.

Turn your left leg in a little.

Bend your right knee and keep your knee inline with your toes. Reach your right arm up and gaze at your finger tips..

Hold this Warrior 2 for a few breaths.

Straighten the right knee.

Shift your hips and reach to the right, then set your right arm next to your leg.

Hold this Triangle pose for a few breaths.

Come out of pose, turn your feet forward  into straddle position.

Begin the poses on your left leg.

After you finish Warrior 2 and Triangle on the left side, slowly bring your feet together and stand in Mountain pose.

Bring the palms together at the heart.

 

Bow your head a just breathe here for a few moments.

Set an intention for your day.

Have a beautiful   day!

Namaste.

 

August 9, 2017
by Toni
3 Comments

I Am Spiritually Awake

This past month has been challenging for me yet very transforming. I faced the hardship of witnessing my dear friend’s mother dying and my cat passing away. I cried so much and so deeply over these two events that I completely purged myself of many things that were holding me back from living. These two events reminded me to focus on the good in life and live everyday to the fullest. I know it sound’s like a cliche’, but I  finally realized that I was living to please others and I was not looking within myself to make the choices in my life that serve me. I stopped listening to the opinions, commands and demands of others. It was like the mirror to my true self was no longer foggy and I could look directly at myself. I now feel like I can honor my own  needs and make decisions about my life without feeling a sense of lack or wrong because other people are pushing their beliefs on me. I made small changes in the way I eat, the way I respond to people, and the way I experience my yoga as a student and a teacher. It was a tough process and I felt as if my world was crumbling, but when I came out on the other side of my pain, I felt liberated and ready to live for me.

These are the things I am trying improve in myself. The things I am trying to let go of.

  • I suffer from a lack of confidence.
  • I let other people’s opinions influence me too much.
  • I am a people pleaser.

This weekend I finally felt confident enough to try clipping my feet in and riding a road bike up here in the mountains. My friend held my hand and coached me all the way. This was the scariest thing I have done in a long time. Your feet are literally clipped in and you have to have faith and confidence to be able to balance and clip out quick enough when you stop. I did really well on the stopping part, but I did have a little trouble with the starting. Lesson learned: don’t try to start going up hill! After falling 3 times, I think I finally learned that lesson! LOl! I felt so free and alive on the bike. I felt like I discovered something missing from my life- simple joy.

Even though I have been clipping in on my Spin Bike for 15 years, I never felt confident or good enough to clip into a bike and ride outside. Now that I have, my confidence has been boosted!  I feel like “hey, maybe I am good enough”.  I have been asleep for so long and feels amazing to finally see my life, the world I live in through my own eyes and not clouded by other peoples views.

How can you live your life for you? What is holding you back?

Take a peek into your mind and your heart. Discover the things that are holding you back and work through them. It will be hard, but when you get through to the other side, you will be a much better and happier version of yourself.

I did it.

And I am spiritually awake.

Namaste.

July 3, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

I Choose Happiness

The past few months have been challenging. I have witnessed true suffering, illness and pain in some of friends and students. I witnessed cancer, a death in the family, a death of a pet, illness, financial strain and depression. It reminded me that life is very real and sometimes we get so caught up in the the day to day maintenance of living that we overlook truly living.  We must have gratitude for all of the good things around us. Yes, life can be very hard and stressful, but there is always good around us.

My best friend is battling round 2 of her cancer. She never complains about her pain and fear. She finds the things around her that make her smile. She prays and and has faith. She planned and paid for a trip to Europe next summer.  I have learned so much from my friend and how she deals with what  life has dealt her.  She chooses to be happy and deal with her cancer in a proactive way. She saw a nutritionist and changed her diet; she researches and educates herself on her disease; she keeps in close contact with her family and friends; and she tries to do as much normal stuff as she can (laundry, dishes, pay bills).  She reminds me that life does not have to stop when we are suffering. We can still live moment to moment and experience happiness even through the most challenging times.

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~ The Dalai Lama

I have learned that happiness is inside of us. It is not about our appearance, our financial status, our belongings or even our health. Happiness is about what is happening within us and our actions. Do we allow life to beat us down and surrender? Or do we look deep within ourselves and find the seedlings of happiness? Do we keep living moment by moment with gratitude, compassion and love? Rise above the suffering and embrace even the smallest of joys.

 

 Meditation is a great way to look within and discover the strength, peace and joy within. It is simply about pausing in stillness and observing your breath. When your body is still the mind will slow down. And when the mind is slow and focused on your breathing, your emotions will settle and the mind will clear. This will allow you to savor each moment, breath by breath. To embrace the happiness within.

My friend has taught me how to survive the trials that life often brings. She has reminded me to be grateful for every day I am alive and to embrace the peace and happiness within.  To find the joy in even the everyday tasks and chores. To be grateful I am well enough to do them. To plan the future and not get stuck in the past. To live each moment with attention to each detail. TO CHOOSE HAPPINESS.

Namaste.

May 27, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Saucha- Purity

During my yoga retreat last week we discussed the niyama saucha. Saucha translates to “cleanliness” or “purity” and helps us remember who we are at our core when we burn away distractions and obstacles. Thus allowing our energy to flow freely.

“As we purify ourselves from the heaviness and clutter of toxins, distractions and scatteredness, we gain clarity to meet each moment with integrity and freshness. We become more pure in our relationship with each moment”- Deborah Adele

When we clear away our clutter we begin to experience moments of supreme clarity. Moments where beauty stops us and makes us wonder. Moments when we are filled with so much overwhelming love that it brings tears to our eyes. Moments when we are completely content that we just ooze well-being from our pours. Moments when life pulses through us like an electrical current making us feel vibrant and young. Moments when our awareness is in technicolor.

Unfortunately, all of us carry “loads” that block our energy from flowing freely. These “loads” can be as complex as a past trauma or as simple as cleaning out your closet. The trick is to identify your “loads” and break free of them.

What are your loads?

Examples of loads that may be weighing you down:

  • Body carrying toxins from poor diet
  • Mind carrying the heavy baggage of victim-hood
  • Mind carrying the heavy baggage of forgiveness
  • Home & work-space full of clutter and junk

This work of clearing our clutter and letting go of our loads is a daily process. If you find yourself scattered or frazzled, take a moment to breathe and observe your surroundings. Is your area messy and full of clutter? Observe your thoughts in the moment. Are you stuck on replay of a past experience? Or are you stuck on fast forward trying to predict what’s next? Come back to the breath. Concentrate on the breath. Be in the moment breath by breath and your mind will slow down.

Namaste.

May 13, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Being a Supportive Friend

Yesterday, my dearest friend told me that her cancer is back. It is back with a vengeance and the situation is not good. She has been battling cancer for many years and this is the first time she said its bad. They took her off of work, which is like taking a life line away from her. She is a fitness instructor and loves to work out. This is a very scary time. She lives about 350 miles away and I feel so helpless. My friend is a devout Christian and has a lot of support from her church. I know they will be there for her along with her friends and family. But they are not me. I wish I could be there everyday holding her hand, making her laugh and doing gentle yoga with her. I know in time, I will be heading up there to be with her.

Today I was searching the web on ways to support my friend and I found this great article on the American Cancer Society website. Here are great tips on how to be a supportive friend during this trying time.  How To Be Friend To Someone With Cancer

Next Saturday is the Relay for Life in Santa Clarita. I am going to be there on stage with my colleagues from Total Women Gym. We will be doing the warm up to kick off the walk. If you can’t join the walk, you can make a donation on line at Relay For Life.

As I sit here closing out this this blog I am reminded that the best way I can support my friend is to live my life. She has always told me to keep living and do things that make me happy. The last thing she wants to be is a burden. So I am going to try my best to live my life, even if it means I do it through the tears that keep spilling over.

Here is the chorus from a new Lady Gaga song that I have been listening to. It is called “The Cure”.

You can listen to the song here.    The Cure

“I’ll fix you with my love
No matter what you know, I’ll
I’ll fix you with my love
And if you say you’re okay
I’m gonna heal you anyway
Promise I’ll always be there
Promise I’ll be the cure (be the cure)”

 

May 5, 2017
by Toni
0 comments

Cycle To Support Cancer

I am doing a special 90 minute cycle class at Total Women Gym on Tuesday May 9 at 8 am. This is to raise money for the Relay For Life. I am riding to support my dearest friend Kirsti with her fight. She is a true inspiration and a fierce warrior!
If you can’t join me but want to donate, you can drop a donation of at the gym or go to the Real For Life website.

Relay For Life

Sadly all of know someone who has cancer or has lost the battle. Here is a list of people I know who are still battling cancer. Some are in remission or still battling it, and some have sadly lost the battle.

SURVIVORS:

  • Kirsti Contreras
  • Dave Friedin
  • Jackie Field
  • Sue Ellen Hiatt
  • Barbara Rosen

R.I.P:

  • Ann Sticksel ( my friend Kirsti’s mom)
  • Uncle Dan Ricigilano
  • Richard Brown

Unfortunately, I know more people, but these are the people I am comfortable posting their names.

 

April 30, 2017
by Toni
2 Comments

Afraid To Let Go

Lately, I have been spending a lot of my energy on fear. I am making big changes to my work schedule, and that is not only hard to do, but very scary to me. What if my students get upset? What if I do not like my new schedule? What if I lose clients? What if people get mad at me? ( I could go on and on). The truth about these changes that I have made is that they are for my health. The driving has not only been wearing me down, but it has also affected my shoulder. I have developed bursitis, tendinitis and early arthritis in my left shoulder. I know driving did not cause this, but it does not help it. In my quest to manage the pain, I have to let go of things that do not serve my body. So I gave up my classes on Mondays and now I only drive to SCV for work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

I have been doing some deep soul searching and I kept asking myself why this decision took so long and why it was so difficult to make. I discovered that I was holding on to these classes “just in case”. Just in case, I was not making enough money. Just in case my private clients could not change their appointment date. Just in case I changed my mind. Just in case someone got mad at me for not teaching on Mondays. Just in case…..

Here is an article that my friend gave me. It explains the “just in case” dilemma.

From Bemorewithless.com

When we say “I’ll keep this just in case,” what we are really saying is …

“I’m not ready.”

“I’m afraid I’ll need this.”

“I’m afraid to let go.”

“I’m afraid I won’t have enough.”

For those of us decluttering and in search of more peace and simplicity, our problem has never been not having enough. Too much is our issue. Owning more, doing more, spending more and proving to everyone around us that we are more is weighing us down. It’s preventing us from figuring out who we are and how we want to live. It’s stopping us from doing work we love, spending time with people we love and helping those who don’t have enough.

Just in case doesn’t just apply to clutter and things in our homes. What else is going on in your life that you are holding on to out of fear? What are you holding on to because you aren’t ready, or because you are afraid to let go, or afraid you won’t have enough? When I began to let go of my just in case clutter, little pieces of fear went with it and it became easier to let go in other areas of my life.

Admitting that just in case means never allows us to stop procrastinating and invites us to let go and stop living in fear. When we say goodbye to just in case, we can start living and giving in more meaningful ways.

Today I am planning to tackle some of my closets and drawers to declutter my life. Maybe through letting go of things I do not need or use any more, I will feel lighter and more clear headed about my new schedule that starts tomorrow. Perhaps it won’t be so scary.  So what are you saving ‘Just in case’?

Namaste.