Toni Kuhn

October 2, 2018
by Toni
2 Comments

Life Changes

Yesterday I made the big announcement that I am moving to Northern California next month. I have been so worried about making the announcement. I felt like I was letting my students down by not being there for their classes and I felt like I was deserting my friends and family. But the out pour of well wishes from everyone has made me feel a lot better. My dear sweet friend Bunny said that I have taught my students well and although they are sad, they understand that change happens and they can cope better with with it because of my teachings. She went on to say that all the yoga philosophy and long conversations we have had in class and at my retreats have truly made a difference in their lives. I was deeply moved by her statement and realized that my story with you does not end here. I will forever be a part of your lives through my past teachings and hopefully with new ones to come. All of you have touched me in a magical way that I will hold close to my heart.

Life has a way of changing and sometimes it changes in an instant. Today is the 14th anniversary of my mothers death. My mother was alive one day and then died in her sleep the next. There was no warning. No time to prepare. No time to say goodbye. I have been haunted by all of the things I wanted to say to my mother before she died. Like how much I loved her and how I appreciated her faith in me. Everyday she thanked me for helping her and told me she loved me. Everyday she told me how proud of she was of the woman and mother I had become. She taught me to value family, friendship and love. I will forever miss her, but her loving words will always remain in my heart.

We must remember that life is fragile and that our time here is not permanent. What ever time we share together must be cherished and valued, so that when we move on, we can have peace and love in our hearts. Life has a way of changing in an instant, so say what you need to your friends and family. I want to thank all of you for allowing me to be a part of your journey and for helping me become a better person. I am so proud of you and I have faith in you.

“There comes a stage in life, when you must go away; whether it is because of personal reasons or professional ones, goodbyes are hard, really hard. But, no one can escape them. We get so caught up in our own small world, that we don’t want to get out of our comfort zone. But, to achieve your dreams, you just gotta move away from your friends and family, sometimes. You may be going away physically, but people you love will always stay in your heart.” Unknown

The light in me

will always honor & recognize

the light in you.

I will miss all of you very much. I have cherished our time together and you have made a difference in my life. My heart is full of love and sadness at the same time.

 

 

 

                                             

September 1, 2018
by Toni
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Website up dates, recipes and retreats

Good morning!

Just a note to let you know that my website has been updated and refreshed! There are more pictures, a video and I have added some new pages. I now  have a Playlist page and a Recipe page. I have posted on both of these. You can check them out by clicking on these links.   Playlists   Recipes

Also, I have still have a few spots open for my October 20 Yoga Retreat. You can find more information here.

Let me know what think of the changes to my site!

Have a beautiful day!

Namaste

August 13, 2018
by Toni
2 Comments

Relieve Your Suffering

This past month I have witnessed a lot of suffering with friends and students. There has been deaths of a loved ones and beloved pets, illnesses, physical injuries and additionally , the catastrophic events across the world. Witnessing these tragic and painful events has taken a toll on me. Because I love and care about these people in my life, including the strangers across the globe,  I suffer right a long with them. Life is constantly moving and changing and sometimes suffering is just not avoidable.

“In the Yoga Sutra, II.16 (heyam duhkham anagatam), Patanjali says that if you can accept that no one is immune from suffering and you understand the causes of suffering, then you can be prepared for the suffering that is yet to come and avoid unnecessary suffering.

You can’t change the fact of difficulty, loss, and heartbreak, and you can’t change that those things may cause you mental, physical, and emotional pain. But, with effort, you can change your reactions and your responses when life takes these turns. You can avoid destructive responses such as blame, guilt, and regret—the shoulda-coulda-woulda and the why me. (“Why not you?” Patanjali might answer; challenges, difficulties, and tragedies happen every day to undeserving people.) These responses don’t relieve your suffering; they only add to it.”- Kate Holcobme, Yoga Journal

So how do we relieve our suffering?

The first step to accept that no one is immune from suffering and suffering is everywhere. Life has a way of shifting unexpectedly and challenging us to look deep with ourselves to process these changes. So the second step is accept these changes and understand that they are not ours to control. Mourning the loss of a loved is the normal step to accepting the loss. It is okay to feel sad, cry and even angry about the situation. But harboring guilt, blame or regret only hinders the healing process. The same is true for world tragedies, illnesses and injuries of people. Sometimes awful things happen that are out of our control.

The last step is understand that each of us processes suffering differently and we all heal in our own unique way.

“Suffering is universal, but each experience is unique to that person. When you accept this, you can avoid the unnecessary suffering that comes from comparing or judging yourself or others with thoughts like, “I should just get over myself—look how bad she has it!” or “Why is he so upset? I have much more of a reason to be upset than he does!”- Kate Holcobme, Yoga Journal

Understanding that your feelings are your own and accepting them without judging yourself is an important key to your healing. Acknowledge what emotions are coming up and let them run their course. Accept yourself in the moment with love and compassion, knowing that pain will ease as long as you don’t ignore it.  Yoga and meditation are a great way to relieve suffering. Spending time connecting to your mind and body creates space for healing. The physical aspects of yoga relieves the physical tension that can live in our bodies during this difficult time. The mental aspects of mediation allow your mind to rest and your heart to open, giving yourself the space to accept the situation. To know in your mind and to feel in your heart, that you will be okay.

Namaste.

July 10, 2018
by Toni
1 Comment

Things Can Change In The Blink Of An Eye

A friend of mine recently started dating a man who has a unique zest for life. He lives life in the moment because you never know when one thing can change your life forever. You see his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver just a year ago. He is still mourning them and spent many months in the deep darkness of sadness. But, his son was not in the car and he figured out that he must continue to live life. He is trying to just live day by day, moment by moment because you never know how and when your life can change in the blink of an eye. I had the pleasure of spending time with these two and it is so beautiful how open they are about this tragedy. This man speaks freely of his family and his feelings. I am so happy they found each other in this moment of time and are just taking it day by day.

His story inspired me to take a look at my own life. How many things am I putting off for this reason or that? I find myself making excuses for things I want to try, places I want to travel to and things I want to develop in myself. What am I waiting for? In pondering this question i realized I am not actually waiting for anything. Instead, I have created barriers that are blocking me from living and doing things in my life.  These barriers are fear, not allowing myself the time to do these things,, over working and putting demands on myself to be a certain way. Does this sound familiar? How can we actually let go of these barriers that have become so familiar and comfortable?

I came across this great article that addresses some mental barriers that we need to let go of. Here is an excerpt from this article on how to take the steps to let go of these barriers.

7 Mental Barriers You Need to Let Go Of Today- By Kyle Hunt- The Abundance project

http://www.theabundanceproject.com/2015/02/7-mental-barriers-you-need-to-let-go-of-today/

#1: Self-Criticism

There is nothing inherently wrong with a routine self-checkup to keep yourself aligned with your goals, but an innocent self-evaluation can turn into harsh self-criticism very quickly.

The old cliché phrase is true: “We are our own greatest critic”. Instead of putting yourself through endless torture each time you make a mistake, try speaking kind words of affirmation to yourself. You’ll soon find that you’re able to forgive yourself and move on to more positive thinking.

#2: The Need for the Approval of Others

It’s normal to desire the praise and approval of others, but when it transforms into obsessive thinking that affects the way you live your life, it’s reached an unhealthy level.

Don’t allow yourself to base your self-confidence on the approval you get from others. Instead learn to be your own person and find joy in your talents and originality.

#3: Guilt

We all stumble and fall at some point in life, but hanging on to guilt for past mistakes can quickly turn into an unhealthy obsession. When you think about it, guilt is incapable of solving any of your problems. All guilt does is bring added suffering, heartache and anxiety. Learn to let go of your guilt and live for tomorrow. We all need to learn to forgive ourselves.

#4: Limiting Beliefs

Michael Jordan, NBA Hall of Famer, said it best: “Limits, like fear, is often just an illusion.” When each of us thinks about personal limitations, the limits we envision are often the limits we have imposed on ourselves. If you allow yourself to be controlled by limits you’ll never achieve the dreams and success you’re striving for. In reality our success is only limited by the belief we have in ourselves. If you believe you can push the boundaries and achieve greater things, you will.

#5: Procrastination

Everyone deals with the temptation to procrastinate. With so much on our plates every day, it’s common for the most important “to-do” items to get pushed off until a later date. Though procrastination is second nature for millions of people, you don’t need to let it become one of your habits.

Instead of pushing things off until tomorrow, try to be proactive and find tasks to complete every day that will put you one step closer to achieving the success you desire. If you do a little bit every day you’ll avoid becoming overwhelmed, and you’ll also feel like you’re on track.

#6: Past Grudges

Studies have proven that grudges are bad for your mental health, but they can also negatively affect the health of your heart. If you hold on to past grudges you are literally poisoning your body from the inside out. If you want to relieve yourself of this burden try contacting the person you have a strained relationship with. If that’s not possible, just let it go. The longer you hold on to the offense, the greater you will suffer in the future.

#7: Negative Thoughts and Influences

You’ll soon find that the people around you shape your personality and your vision of the world. If you have anyone around you that is insincere, pessimistic and overly critical, it’s probably best to limit the amount of time you spend with them. If you want to reach for the stars you must surround yourself with positive thinkers who are determined to live successful and abundant lives.

Conclusion

No matter where your goals and dreams may lead you, make sure you don’t bring mental barriers along for the ride. If you can learn to avoid self-criticism, not concern yourself with the opinion of others, rid yourself of guilt, avoid limiting beliefs, not procrastinate, and let go of past grudges and negative thoughts and influences, you’ll be on your way to a more fulfilling and abundant life.

It is time to let this stuff go and live life to the fullest in every moment. Because things can change in the blink of an eye.

 

These steps are great! Can you see yourself maybe applying just one step and seeing how your life begins to unfold? Today is the first day of the rest of your life. How are you going live it?

Namaste.

 

June 13, 2018
by Toni
6 Comments

Learning Acceptance

This past month has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for me. I have been busy with my classes, yoga retreats, clients and my nutritional protocol. It has been a bit of an emotional ride too as I am struggling accept where my body is at this time. You see, I suffer from poor body image and I am a recovered anorexic. I can say recovered because I have been “clean” for 20 years. But, this anorexic mind does not leave you. It brings up feelings of not being pretty enough, skinny enough or good enough. It is something that I live with everyday, just like a recovering alcoholic.

What brought these thoughts to the surface for me recently? Well, as I have been working hard to heal my gut and reverse my auto immune disease; I have had the side affect of losing weight. My body has changed a lot and my clothes do not fit. Usually people love this. For me, it brings up the war in my head. I have to really practice accepting where I am today and not force myself to try to get thinner. A part of my mind knows I am healthy where I am today, but another part of my head thinks that if I get thinner I will be a better person. I will be enough. I will be pretty enough.

Here is an example of this war in my mind. One of my sweet students bought me the cutest pair of yoga pants yesterday. I absolutely love them. BUT- the size is one size smaller than I usually wear. I immediately protested and said there is no way these will fit me. I tried them on and they fit. I still protested. I even drove to the store where she got them and tried on the next size up. They did not look as good as the smaller size. So I kept the smaller size. Now I feel stress and worry that I should of kept the bigger size. What if I gain weight and they don’t fit? What if I bust a seam? But I know on the other side of my brain that I just have to ACCEPT where my body is today. Enjoy the yoga pants and if they don’t fit someday in the future, it is not a big deal. Easier said than done. LOL!

This is a real struggle for me but I am working on accepting myself and my body where it is today. These yoga pants have pushed me into an uncomfortable part of my mind, but I need to be here. I need accept the smaller size and accept that this is where I am today. I need to let go of worrying about what size I will be tomorrow. It is a work in progress and everyday I am learning acceptance.

I am learning to let go of thoughts that cause a war in my mind.

I vow to practice accepting my body where it is today. Practice, practice practice.

Do you feel like you need a break from the worries and struggles of everyday life? Do you have a war of thoughts in your mind?   Are perhaps dealing with a personal issue that you would like to release? A day in the mountains could help you! Come spend the day enjoying nature and exquisite quietness! My mountain retreats will leave you feeling relaxed and nourished.

In my yoga retreats there is always a philosophy discussion and a theme. I teach a day filled with self care and guide you into self introspection. I use music, dancing, singing, mantra work, breath work and yoga poses. I give you a day of just experiencing your life and emotions in a positive way. You leave feeling connected to your self, your loved ones and the world. I always feel so inspired, happy and peaceful after one of my retreats.

If you would like to spend the day with me, click on the Retreats tab for more information on my yoga retreats.

Namaste.


May 10, 2018
by Toni
1 Comment

I am Cured

The definition of cured is ” relieve a person or animal of the symptoms of a disease or condition; to heal, restore to health, make/better.”

Today my RA doc called me with the results of my recent blood tests. All of my inflammation markers are NORMAL and my auto immune disease is cured! Wait what? I have been battling this disease for 8 years.  Over the years I have suffered through flare ups where I was in extreme pain, overwhelming fatigued, stayed in bed and even had to take steroids and pain meds. I have not had a flare up since September 2017! This is amazing! My doctor believes that all of the work I have been doing to heal my gut and body has worked! I still have arthritis in my knees and back, but the horrible debilitating auto immune disease is gone! This is so exciting!
So how did I do it? What really cured me? Honestly, I think it was s series of things that my nutritionist and I worked on. Here is a summary of what we did and are still working on.
  •  I am healing my gut and fixing the imbalance of candida (yeast) and bacteria in my body. This has been a very hard process ( I had to give up coffee and wine!), but results are paying off.
  • I decreased my stress level. I let go of things and people that were causing me stress. This has been very hard for me. I am a people pleaser and I always blame myself when things go wrong.  This is a work in progress, but I am learning to let go of the things I cannot control.
  • I changed my workout routines to accommodate what my body can handle. I have been weight training to support my muscles around the joints that have arthritis. A big thank you to my trainer Michelle at Total Woman Gym!
  • I am eating for my health and for what my body needs. I have learned to let go of the judgement and scrutiny from people who expect me to eat a certain way because I am a yoga teacher. I eat steak and bacon because my body needs it! I buy only high quality meat that is humanly raised.
  • I get regular check ups form my doctors and found doctors that are willing to work with me as I go through this holistic approach to my health. My RA doc is on board with what I am doing and so supportive. I am an advocate for my own health and well-being.
  • I am learning to love and accept myself. To trust myself and express my will. More on this on the next post!

 

Lastly, I want you to know that whatever you are going through, whether its physical or emotional pain, you can find your path to healing. Trust the process and accept that everyone heals differently and at their own pace. What works for one person, may not work for you. But, there is support out there. There are people that can guide you and help you along the way. Feel free to contact me for advice, and if I can’t help you, I can hopefully point you in the right direction.

I have been sharing the information I have learned about nutrition in workshops. If you missed them and would like to get the information contact me. We can set up a one on one session and go over the information. We can do this in person or via phone or Skype.

 

Have a beautiful day!

Namaste.

Toni

April 16, 2018
by Toni
0 comments

My Food Relationship & Patience

As I continue on my journey to heal my body, I find that I am learning so much about food and it’s relationship to the body. I recently had a little set back and had an allergic reaction to apples. My mouth and tongue swelled, my throat was sore and hoarse, and my sinuses hurt. I just got apples reintroduced now for about a month and it was an easy food for me to have when I am working. I think my reaction was due to a series of events, but for now, they are off the table.

This reaction really brought my spirits down. I thought I was well on my way to healing. I also found out that I will be on this restricted food protocol for at least 3 more months. After shedding a few tears, and still mourning my long lost relationship with coffee, I was able to regroup and get myself together. You see my husband reminded me that my gut has been unhealthy for most of my life and I have only been on this healing protocol for about 7 months. He opened my eyes to what was so obvious. I need to be more patient with my progress. Sounds so simple when he says it! LOL!

So how do I have patience with my body during this healing process and my relationship with food? How do all of us have patience with things we do in life?

The dictionary describes patience as”  the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.“. This definition has become my mantra. I cannot change the process I am going through, and being upset only makes the situation worse.  I find comfort and solace with this situation by sharing what I am learning. I am hosting nutrition workshops to share what I have learned about food and it’s relationship to the body. I hope to help as many people as I can take control of their health through food. I have discovered that there are many people struggling with their relationship to food and I am learning even more by hearing their stories. I realize I am not alone and that there is comfort in sharing our experiences. Wow, that sounds like an AA meeting! Maybe there is something to that. I mean gut health is a journey, it doesn’t happen over night, there are steps to take, and a support group can go along way in the healing process. When I look at it this way, I feel more confident that I can continue this journey. I have an amazing support network with my husband leading the pack. I can do this with patience, acceptance and compassion for myself.

Four Steps to Patience     by- Jane Bolton Psy.D., M.F.T., Psychology today

 1.” Understand the addictive nature of anger irritation, outrage.  So the first step in growing patience is to get in touch with the addictive quality of the opposite of patience- anger, irritation, blaming, shaming. Usually it starts with a slight discomfort and tensing in the stomach area that goes along with the interpretation that things are not going our way. Then the storyline of thoughts appear.”

2.” Upgrading our attitude towards discomfort and pain.  Pain has its purposes. It pushes us to find solutions.”

3. “Paying attention when the irritation/pain starts. Focusing on what’s actually happening inside you, you can notice the dread of not wanting what’s happening, the resistance.”

4. ” Self talk. The main thing here is to just stop the story. And as we get more and more practice attending to that vulnerability inside without fueling it with our story about how wrong it all is, how wrong they are, how wrong we are, the feeling can pass through in mere seconds.”

If you are interested in joining my Food Support Group, come to one of nutrition workshops. I have a workshop coming up on May 5th. We will be discussing nutrition for weight management and how food sensitivities can cause inflammation and weight gain. I have been working hard to decrease the inflammation in my body and I have lost 14 pounds without effort. Now I am working on maintaining my current weight.( I actually do not want to lose or gain.) For more information click on this flier. 

Wishing you success and patience in all of your journeys.

Namaste.

March 19, 2018
by Toni
0 comments

Change is Scary

This week I am scheduled for jury duty. You know the drill. Call each day to see if you have to go in. I called Sunday and they said to call back on Monday at noon. I called again, they said to call back later today at 6:30 pm. Oh the agony of not knowing! I am a person who thrives best on order and schedules. This not knowing how my week will play out is pure torture. But then I pause for moment, take breath. Why am I so afraid of being in limbo with my schedule? Is it the not knowing? Is it the fear of the bad weather expected the next few days? Is it how am I going to going to eat? To drive there? It is all of it! But, what it really boils down to,  is being afraid of not only not knowing, but the lack of control that I have in this situation. Again, I am a woman who likes to be in control with all my boxes checked off or scheduled! So, how do I deal with this situation? I reminded myself of how I felt about 6 months ago when I started working with my nutritionist on healing my gut. And how once I let go of my fear, I was able thrive on the program and learn so much about food.

This afternoon I realized that having a change in my schedule is not so bad. This will teach me to go with the flow and know that I am safe, grounded and still in control of many things in my life.

Perhaps this week of jury duty will help me to let go of my dependence on my consistent schedule. To let go of my need to be in control of the flow of my life. Because in the end, fear just paralyzes us and keeps us from growing, evolving and progressing.

 

Next month I am giving a workshop on Food & Nutrition and it’s effect on inflammation in the body. This is a hot topic right now. Many people have been asking me questions about what I am doing and what am I eating. I am doing this workshop to not only educate you on this topic, but to help you take the fear out of changing your diet. Trust me, I know change is hard, but imagine the possibility of having less joint pain or tummy pain by giving up dairy, gluten and sugar. I know, I said the “S” word! Really give up sugar??? Enter in the fear….. LOL!

But I will make you a deal. I will work on letting go of my fear of schedule changes if you take a moment to consider a change in your diet to progress into a happier healthier you. To blossom into the person you are meant to be.

Take it one step at a time. One change at a time. Let’s let go of fear and see what the flow of life brings us.

Namaste.

 

Here is the info for my Food & Inflammation workshop. Space is limited and is filling up fast. Food and Inflammation

 

February 18, 2018
by Toni
0 comments

Gut Healing and Self-Compassion

My blueberry muffins made with almond flour

This week I had a follow up appointment with my nutritionist. I am in the home stretch of finishing the Candida Cleanse in my gut. I am so excited! This week I was able to put a few things back in my diet. I can now have almond flour, blueberries, unsweetened applesauce and tequila. Of course all of this is moderation, but hey, I got back my blueberry muffins and unsweetened homemade margarita! It has been a very great weekend- LOL!

The next phase in the treatment is to stay on my supplements that support my system and allow my system to rest for a month. Then we will retest and see where my gut is at this point. If the candida and bacteria are gone, then we start the next phase which is to heal my gut with supplements and work on balancing my endocrine system.

This has been a long and difficult  journey but I have learned so much. I truly have a deeper understanding on how food plays a huge role in our over all health. I want to share what I have learned with all of you. This has been such an education for me and I am hungry for more knowledge. I have an ” Food & Inflammation” workshop planned on Sunday April 8 in Valencia. Additionally,  I am planning to take a nutrition certification course later this year so that I can counsel clients privately on their nutrition/fitness goals.

This gut healing journey has not only taught me about how to heal my physical body, it has taught me how have self-care, self compassion and self-love for myself. If you have attended any of my classes this month you know I have been going into great detail about this topic.  Here is some information from Harvard health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/the-power-of-self-compassion

The power of self-compassion

Forgiving and nurturing yourself can set the stage for better health, relationships, and general well-being. Self-compassion yields a number of benefits, including lower levels of anxiety and depression. Self-compassionate people recognize when they are suffering and are kind to themselves at these times, which reduces their anxiety and related depression.

While some people come by self-compassion naturally, others have to learn it. Luckily, it is a learnable skill.

Harvard psychologist Christopher Germer, in his book The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion,suggests that there are five ways to bring self-compassion into your life: via physical, mental, emotional, relational, and spiritual methods. He and other experts have proposed a variety of ways to foster self-compassion. Here are a few:

  • Comfort your body. Eat something healthy. Lie down and rest your body. Massage your own neck, feet, or hands. Take a walk. Anything you can do to improve how you feel physically gives you a dose of self-compassion.
  • Write a letter to yourself. Describe a situation that caused you to feel pain (a breakup with a lover, a job loss, a poorly received presentation). Write a letter to yourself describing the situation without blaming anyone. Acknowledge your feelings.
  • Give yourself encouragement. If something bad or painful happens to you, think of what you would say to a good friend if the same thing happened to him or her. Direct these compassionate responses toward yourself.
  • Practice mindfulness. This is the nonjudgmental observation of your own thoughts, feelings, and actions, without trying to suppress or deny them. When you look in the mirror and don’t like what you see, accept the bad with the good with a compassionate attitude.

Take a moment each day to honor yourself. To do something just for you. Just 5 minutes can go a long way in making you feel happier, energized, and balanced.

“Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.”
—Christopher Germer, The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion

Namaste.

February 1, 2018
by Toni
0 comments

Yoga Retreats

I am taking reservations for my 2018 Yoga Retreats. My Yoga Retreats are on one Saturday a month and run from May-October. They are located at my home studio in Pine Mountain Club and are 10am-5pm.

Come join for for a relaxing day in the mountains! Just click on the link to see the schedule.

2018 Yoga Retreat Schedule

May 19 is SOLD OUT!

Please note payment in full must be received to reserve your spot. These retreats sell out fast! You can mail your payment with this enrollment form Retreat Enrollment and Waiver Form to my PO BOX,  or give it to me in person.

If you have any questions you can contact me below.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

The mountains are calling and I must go.” — John Muir