Toni Kuhn

February 18, 2018
by Toni
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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
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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

January 15, 2018
by Toni
2 Comments

Empowerment

Today I packed my car with all of the safety things I need to have for winter driving. This act of ensuring I have the things to keep myself safe in the event of being stranded or stuck in the snow has made me feel very empowered. I have an ice scrapper, flash light, extra food, extra water, extra clothes and much more. I am ready. I can take care of myself. I have nothing to be afraid of. And when in doubt, I can simply choose to stay wherever I am. Whether I choose to stay home and not chance the roads coming into work, or if I choose to stay over in SCV and not drive home; the power is mine. I am prepared.

This feeling of empowerment is my work this year. I am learning to take back my personal power (my will) and be the strong woman that I know I am. You see, I do not have a strong will, but I am learning to nourish it and develop it. I have learned to say ” No”, even though it was very hard. I have learned to trust myself and my decisions. I have come to accept that not everyone is going to like me, and that’s okay.

My journey started with this gut healing protocol I have been on for 6 weeks. I am half way through it and I can feel myself getting stronger. You see, your will is connected to your digestive system. More specifically, it is your 3rd Chakra- the Solar Plexus. It is located in the upper part of your belly. “The main function of this energy center is to provide actual momentum to move forward and realize personal desires and intentions in the world. It plays a fundamental role in the development of personal power.” – http://www.chakras.info/solar-plexus-chakra/

Some of the main meanings associated with this Chakra are your will/personal power, making decisions, self-assurance/confidence and personal identity. All of these elements have come into light for me. I feel a sense of empowerment with my eating- even though it is so restricted right now. I have discovered new foods and recipes. I have taken charge of this nutritional journey and my body is feeling better. I have the power to choose how I eat and I am not letting anyone or anything influence what I feel is right for me. Sounds funny when all I crave is a damn muffin and I can’t eat one right now! But I am choosing not to eat it so I can heal my gut. Make sense? In 6 more weeks that damn muffin is MINE! LOL!

Now it is your turn to observe yourself. Are feeling a lack of empowerment? Are you feeling helpless? Do you lack direction or purpose? Perhaps you have been manipulative or misusing your power? These are signs that your 3rd Chakra could be imbalanced. But don’t fret. No one is perfect. Awareness is the first step. Take back your power by educating yourself and taking the steps towards a happier, healthier you.  I did, and I am feeling great!

Here is a great resource from Yoga Journal to help balance your solar plexus.  https://www.yogajournal.com/practice/navel-chakra-tune-practice

Namaste.

 

December 20, 2017
by Toni
2 Comments

Family

I  recently have been thinking a lot about the people in my life that I love, cherish and trust. My husband, my kids, my in-laws, my friends and my yoga/fitness students. Each and everyone in my life shares in an intimate connection with me. How cool is that? I am blessed to share my thoughts, love and teachings with so many wonderful people. I often remind myself of this when I am deeply missing my mother. She had such a light and always expressed her love to her family. Not a day went by that she did not tell me how much she loved me, appreciated me and was proud of me. She doted on her grandchildren and even remembered to to express her love to our pets. At Christmas she would make sure everyone had a stocking to open up- even the pets! She kept a tiny Christmas Tree in her room that brought her so much joy. My mother taught me how to love freely and unconditionally. She was always making sure that our home was open to anyone who wanted to come over and for anyone who needed us. Even when we had no money, she still tried to help others and bring them joy around the holidays. I miss her smile, her wonderful laugh, and most of all her warm embrace.

 

So today, I am reminded that family extends further than the bloodline. The urban dictionary defines family as “a group of people, usually of the same blood (but do not have to be), who genuinely love, trust, care about, and look out for each other. Not to be mistaken with relatives sharing the same household who hate each other. REAL family is a bondage that cannot be broken by any means.”

Here is my family:

My husband- he is my rock, my best friend, and loves me enough to stick by me even during the toughest of times. He is my one only. My forever love.

My kids-  have grownup into kind, loving and generous adults. They continue to amaze me with their intellectual minds, big hearts and beautiful souls. They are my greatest joy and the light of my life.

My brother- has always been there for me. I know I can count on him. We share the pain in losing our mother, but we also share in the joy of her memory. We have a sibling bond and a love that is genuine.

My in-laws-are  kind, loving, supportive and have opened themselves into my life with unconditional love. I can always count on them.

My friends- some of my friends have been in my life since I was a teenager ( just like my husband) and some of my friends are more recent. But all of them share space in my heart and have become a genuine part of my family.

My yoga/fitness students- continue to amaze me with thier openness to my teachings and their dedications to my classes. I have a deep sense of gratitude for their trust in me and for allowing me to share in their physical and emotional health.

This holiday I feel surrounded by my family in all areas of my life. And for this, I am grateful and humbled. I only hope that I can be that light in their life, just as my mother was.

” I honor the the place in you which the entire universe dwells.

I honor the place in you which is love, of truth, of light, and of peace.

When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me…

We are One.”

Peace. Love. Joy.

Love,

Toni

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
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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
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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.