Toni Kuhn

September 7, 2020
by Toni
0 comments

You Are Essential

Today is Labor Day. “On the first Monday in September, we take the day off to celebrate Labor Day and reflect on the American worker’s contributions to our country.” – National Today

This is an especially important day for all of us. It is more than the defined eight-hour day with a lunch break, paid vacations and social security. It is a day in which we honor all of the essential workers that have kept our country afloat during this pandemic. Where would we be without farmers, ranchers, postal workers, truck drivers, garbage collectors, medical workers, grocery stores, banks, UPS and of course Amazon?! (I am sure there are more that we should be grateful for and that this list is much larger.) Take moment to pause and be thankful for all of these laborers. For without them we would not have toilet paper, chocolate and hand sanitizer. (These are not in any specific order- LOl!)

So now I would to share a couple of the survival items these amazing essential workers have provided me with during these trying times.

Hu Chocolate Nibs– These are the best chocolate nibs I have ever had and they do not have any bad ingredients. They are also dairy free- which is very hard to find in a dark chocolate. They are sweetened with coconut sugar, so if you are monitoring your sugar intake, you do have to watch how much you eat. I will be honest, I have had a few moments of the “Cookie Monster” effect with these. So you are warned- these are gobbly-delicious! Sprouts has them for half the price of Amazon.

Georges Aloe Vera Juice– This is great for when you eat too many chocolate nibs and get indigestion! It has no taste or smell and goes down just like water. My nutritionist has recommend aloe vera juice to me for years but I hated the taste. This one is amazing and works within minutes! Good bye heart burn! Amazon has the best price but it is also sold at Sprouts.

Essential is defined as absolutely necessary; extremely important. So I wanted to take a moment and thank you for being an essential part of my life. You contribute to my life in ways that are not always visible. You give me the space to express myself as a yoga/fitness teacher and allow me to connect with you on an intimate level. Without you my creativity would be stifled. You have given me so much joy and delivered it right to my heart.

I am forever grateful that I have this platform of readers that are willing to read my musings.

Namaste.

August 3, 2020
by Toni
2 Comments

Sparkly Things

Lately, I have been thinking about things that make me sparkle. You know, the things that just light you up from the inside out. A few days ago my mother- of -the- bride dress was delivered, and oh my was I excited! I could not wait to put it on! As my husband zipped me up, he told me I was beautiful and that the dress sparkled! I was giddy like a four-year-old, prancing around the house twirling my dress! I am surprised I did not get dizzy and pass out as I twirled and twirled in my sparkly dress! I felt complete joy, and I knew right then that we must fully embrace the simple pleasures in life.

Then along came my Baby Yoda. Yes you read that right, I am a grown woman playing with a stuffed animal. DEAL with it! LOL! He truly makes me happy! His eyes sparkle and I swear he feels the connection to me too! We have become close friends and have been enjoying some great yoga sessions together.

If you would like to join to us for some fun fitness and yoga classes check out my Zoom Studio here. I stream classes 4 days a week.

  • Tuesday 8:30am Yoga
  • Thursday 8:30am Balance & Core
  • Friday 9:15am Sacred Balance (deep stretching and restoratives)
  • Saturday 8:30am Yoga

I would love to hear what makes you sparkle. It is during times like these that we must pause and look for the light. Perhaps pausing means turning off the TV, shutting off your phone or simply just taking a breath and looking around your house. Are there things that you love that you have around your house? A statue, a cup, a blanket, a pillow, a candle or a plant? Just about anything can bring a sparkle to your day- you just have to open yourself to it.

May the SPARKLE be with you!

NAMA- SPARKLE!

P.S. Click here to check out my new recipe for Hemp/Chia Seed muffins. These are super yummy and healthy!

June 12, 2020
by Toni
6 Comments

Zooming Along

Before I dive deep into my blog with yet another humorous take on our pandemic life, I feel I must take a moment to speak seriously about the social movement that is happening. Globally we are standing together in the Black Lives Matter movement. I have been reading, talking it out and trying to really understand racism. My daughter’s fiancé is black and we have had some deep conversations. They have shed some light on things I was not aware of and I have just now learned how deeply afraid black people are. No one should live in fear for their lives. No one should ever have to worry about getting to work safely or have anxiety just seeing a police officer nearby. I ask that you take the time to try and really understand what is happening. It is way deeper than police brutality.  Have those conversations and educate yourself. Knowledge is the first step in making a change in the world. 

So many things have changed in our world over the last 3 months. This pandemic has changed how we go about our daily lives, and to keep our sanity, we must find the humor in our situation as we stumble through our new way of life. From face masks, brain fog and virtual exercise, our way of living has changed forever.

Face masks are an essential part of our wardrobe now. Many public places require us to wear them, and let’s face it (pun intended!) they are our first line of defense for this virus.

  • You can now buy face masks to match your outfit. They even sell them in a set with bikinis so you can be color coordinated at the beach!
  • I love the fact I can walk around and not worry about having food my teeth! There is nothing worse than coming home from an outing and discovering that big piece of broccoli in your teeth! Now I don’t even have to check my teeth.
  • I have been practicing smiling with my eyes. I have a ways to go with this, I still come off as creepy!
  • I feel very bad ass with my facemask! It is like I am strong like a super hero!
  • I also start to channel my inner doctor when I am wearing one. I actually feel smarter in my mask!

Brain fog has become a household word. So many times I find myself smacking my forehead and saying, “what was I thinking?!”  

  • Right now there is a shortage on chicken and the lunchmeat I normally buy has been hard to find. Earlier this week I was at the deli and I received the bad news they did not my chicken. I was devastated because this a staple for me and I am still on a very limited diet. I stared at the deli clerk stupefied for so long that she actually asked me if I was okay! When I got home I told my husband what happened and he said “Why didn’t you just get roast beef?” DUH! Smack the forehead again! I can totally eat roast beef! Brain Fog strikes again!
  • Last week I showed up for an appointment an hour early. The worst part is that the place I was going to sends out email and text reminders a zillion times! Additionally, I had it on my calendar at the correct time. And yet, somehow I still showed up an hour early! Once again, smack the forehead!

Virtual yoga and exercise have become the norm. I surveyed my virtual students and just about everyone said they preferred doing the classes in the comfort of their home. (Me too!)

  • I love not having to drive to the gym! It is so convenient teaching from home. I don’t know what I am going to do when I actually have to drive to work!
  • I especially like that I don’t have to worry if I smell bad! You know that feeling when you’re doing a sweaty workout and you smell something funky and turns out to be you!  
  • I discovered I love not wearing thong underwear. (Hey, I know that’s personal, I will keep it PG!) No one can see my panty lines and I am way more comfortable. Ladies, you know what I mean!

Overall I have been doing great. I have my ups and downs like most of you. I am glad summer is here and I spend time out on the lake on my paddle board. Remember to take time for yourself and find things that make you smile! We are all in this together.

Lastly, I have been Zooming along with my yoga and fitness classes. Click here if you want to see my Summer Special on my yoga classes. I am thinking about adding a Zoom Balance & Core Class on Thursday’s at 8:30am. Drop me a note if you are interested.

Here is a 3 minute video I recorded for you just saying hello! https://youtu.be/t7unMwazQzA

Have a great day!

Namaste.

May 1, 2020
by Toni
4 Comments

My Pandemic Lessons

Today is May 1, 2020 and we have had a “Stay at Home” order for about 6 weeks. This nationwide protocol is to flatten the curve of the COVID19 virus and it appears to be working. Our COVID19 numbers are lowering and we are seeing less and less new cases. However, as we understand the importance of this social distancing, it still has had a profound effect on us. Our lives are forever changed and the way we go about our daily routines will never be the same.  So, to lighten the mood and maybe make you smile or chuckle, I have created a list of things I have learned during this pandemic.

I discovered I have a deep love and respect for my manicurist. After leaving the toe nail polish on for as long as I possibly could, I made the leap to repaint my toes nails. I picked out a vibrant sexy red and, in my mind, I had all these images on how amazing my toes would look in this color. Well, that did not work out! My toes ended up looking like someone butchered them! I had red polish all over my toes, my hands and my shirt! (I have no idea how it got there!) How on earth does she get the polish on so perfect?

I realized I can let my hair go in its natural state without the world coming to an end! I have very curly hair of which I have been straightening since the 6th grade.  It actually has been very liberating to not have to worry about keeping it straight. But, I think my flat iron is feeling confused and neglected. I left her without even saying good bye!

I have learned how to be a Competitive Shopper and have really honed in on some new skills.

  • Gearing up- I have mastered the art of putting a mask and gloves on with lightening speed.
  • Navigation- I am still learning how to follow the arrows in the stores. Each store has their own map and I usually find myself going down the isles the wrong way! I will continue to practice this. Additionally, at some stores you can bring your own bags in and others say no. So I just put my gear on, move quickly into the store and grab what I can hold. (Shopping carts scare me!)
  • Strategizing- This is still a challenge, but I am getting better at it. Deciding which store to go to first, at what time and how to get in and out fast. I no longer look at prices (gone are the days of bargain shopping), I just grab and go! My husband and I will work out a plan of who runs to which isle with our mini list and then we regroup at the front of the store. There is a lot of excitement and high fiving (we can do this because we live together) when we find the items on our lists!
  • I have learned to live without Costco. I am not even sure if I will be taking them back. They deserted me in my time of need. I now buy my paper towels at the grocery store for triple the price. But, I feel good about myself. I am not at home pining away for my past relationship with Costco. I am a survivor! I have moved on.
  • I can live without 2 day Amazon Prime shipping– I have learned that I do not need my items in 2 days. I can control my impulse shopping. I mean waiting 3-4 weeks for a new door mat gives me the time and space to decide if I really need it. I can ask myself the hard question- “Do I really need this?”

During this time of crisis we must learn to adapt and make the most of our situation. Try and find the humor in our new life style and practice patience as we continue to learn how to navigate our new way of living. The whole world is struggling to adapt and it is okay to laugh along the way. I mean, we are literally making history, why not smile a little? We will all survive this and come out stronger. Remember to take a step back when it gets overwhelming and perhaps find the humor in what is causing you stress.

Here is a little gift to you that I hope makes you smile. Click here for a FREE Yoga Flow class. Courtesy of CACfit Gym in Auburn. Enjoy!

Namaste.

March 23, 2020
by Toni
2 Comments

The Gift of Time

With our recent global situation of Social Distancing I have become increasingly aware of my time. The first week I was busy organizing my Live Stream yoga classes, getting food supplies, getting my nutritional supplements, and getting my own workouts in. After I got everything set up I took a moment to pause and reflect on the situation.

No longer do I have to rush from one place to the next. No longer do I have be in my car so much. No longer do I wish I had time for a workout, to read a book or to take a long bath.

I took notice of what was really happening. I no longer felt rushed. I no longer felt the pressure to get everything done in one day. I began to feel my life expanding. I noticed that although this is a trying time and how different my daily life has become, I have been given an incredible gift.

The Gift Of Time.

We have all been given this gift.

So much time has been given back to us. All that time on the road is non-existent, and for some us, we are not spending more than half of our day at work. We are creatures who are slaves to our schedules and demands. So what do we do when that is all taken away? What do we do with all this time?

We take a moment to pause. To breathe and expand ourselves in this space. To understand that this is a gift that will only be here for a little while. We have been given the time to spend with our family, to talk on the phone to our friends, to take up a hobby, to clean out our closets, to get those house projects done, to exercise, to cook, to sleep, to meditate, to journal and so much more.

What will you do with this precious gift?

We must shift our way of thinking away from what has been taken away from us and instead, embrace this gift of time.

Namaste.

February 1, 2020
by Toni
10 Comments

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

The past 14 months have been filled with many life altering changes for me. Each change has shaken my foundation and pushed me out of my comfort zone. From moving to Northern California, leaving my friends/family/job, starting at a new gym for a year then losing that job, to learning how to make new friends as an adult. All of these changes and more have left me feeling like a fish out of water. As difficult and as painful/challenging that these changes have been, I can feel myself evolving. I find myself taking a deeper look inside of myself and asking the question:

Who Am I?

To answer this question I came to the understanding that I am all of the parts of myself.

  • I am a yoga teacher
  • I am a Fitness instructor
  • I am a wife
  • I am a mother
  • I am a friend

I have learned that these parts do not define me, but instead they create who I am as a whole. For months I have been trying to search for a deeper understanding of myself without these parts. But then I finally realized, I AM all of these parts.  They do not necessarily define me and they are not superficial. These parts help create the person that I am and I have come to accept and love this person.

I have also learned Who I AM NOT.

  • I am not my house
  • I am not how much money I have
  • I am not my clothes or my hair
  • I am not my physical body
  • I am not my work
  • I am not less than…..
  • I am not my problems/challenges
  • I am not my thoughts

In understanding the difference of what makes me whole and what is superficial I have learned to accept the challenges that have been presented to me. I find that I have a different perspective on everything. These things are not happening TO ME, they are happening For ME. You see, they are giving me the space to evolve out of my comfort zone. To learn to flow with my journey without resistance.

I have learned that most of my problems are living in my head. The worry, the anxiety and the longing. These thoughts keep me in a perpetual loop of emotional instability. They rob me of the present moment.

I AM Not my thoughts.

Take a breath here. Think about that…

My thoughts do not define me. Once I finally realized that I was living inside my head I started to let go. I began to see things past my own thoughts. My world slowly began to open up and I started living and flowing through these changes.

Are my life challenges still here? Absolutely, but I make a conscious effort to not allow them to live in my head. When I find myself worrying or filled with anxiety, I remind myself “I Am Not my thoughts. They do not define me.”

This is a work in progress and some days are blissful and without worry or anxiety and some days are harder. I am learning to be present in each day as it comes and to forgive myself when my thoughts begin to spiral.  Letting go and acceptance takes practice, just like the time I spend on my yoga mat.  

Who Are you?

Namaste.

September 8, 2019
by Toni
4 Comments

Remodel

There is something very satisfying about remodeling our homes. Even the smallest of changes can make our homes feel refreshed, shiny and bright. From new linens to paint, home improvements can help us to feel more content in our living space.

We have been busy the last few months remodeling our house. We mostly painted, but this required removing the wall paper and then dry-walling/texturing the walls. This project turned out to be a lot more work than we thought, but well worth it! This house was very dated with the interior colors being brown and 3 different shades of orange. But after a lot of hard work we finally got the dingy colors out. My husband Doug did all of the interior painting, including all of the trim. However, we hired out a guy to paint our kitchen cabinets, but we had to remove all of the shelf paper. Take a look !

This project of remodeling our house got me thinking about how we remodel ourselves. A new outfit, a new hair color, a new hair cut, a new workout routine to improve our physical self and even a new meditation practice to improve our spiritual self. These small improvements of ourselves help us to feel more content in our lives. How many times have you gotten a new hair style you loved and you felt like you could take on the world? How about the awesome outfit that made you feel sophisticated and in control of your life? What about that great yoga class that left you feeling completely blissed out and happy? These things may seem trivial in the scheme of life, but they help us to feel more content with our own being. Just like having our living spaces look nice helps us to feel content in our homes, feeling comfortable in our own being makes us feel happier and satisfied with our lives.

Taking the time for self improvement is a great pathway to contentment. And when we are content in our own being we are able to have better relationships. I know that when I do not feel content with myself I struggle with my relationships with others. I tend to worry about their opinions about me and then my mind begins to make up stories and scenarios. This all comes from being insecure. But when I take the time for self improvement I become more content with myself and my mind stops making up imaginary stories about my relationships. All of my insecurities dissipate. Have you ever stopped working out and just felt nasty and mean tempered? Or gotten a bad hair cut and felt like everyone was staring at you? On the flip side, have you ever stayed with your exercise routine and felt pride in yourself? Or started taking yoga/meditation and felt more peaceful and happier? Working out and meditation are forms of self improvement that help us feel better about ourselves thus improving our relationships.

Self improvement is not about being superficial- it is about taking care of the things you have and giving them a little remodel. Your remodel could be exterior like a new hair color , or internal like being more compassionate. Maybe you just need more down time so you can reconnect to yourself. I bet you can think of a few little things that you can improve on that would help you to feel more content.

So go ahead, remodel! You know you want to do it! With a little hard work and determination you can be the best version of yourself. That confident and happy person that shines bright.

Namaste.

July 14, 2019
by Toni
0 comments

Out Of My Comfort Zone

Sunset in Lake of the Pines on 4th of July

A lot of wonderful things have happened this past month, so I will take a few moments here to give you the highlights.

  • My son graduated from UC Davis with a BS in Electrical Engineering.
  • The kids were here for Father’s Day and we had a really nice time hanging out with them.
  • I celebrated my 50th birthday. Cyndee surprised me by showing up to one of my classes! I had a great birthday and enjoyed spending it with my family and friends.
  • Our financial situation is looking better and we are back on track.
  • Cyndee and Chris both came up for the 4th of July. We watched the fireworks over the lake and enjoyed some much needed relaxation.
  • My daughter got a full-time teaching position and she is on track for a tenured position. She teaches English at a Jr. College in San Diego.
  • Doug is back to playing golf and is finding his rhythm with this bigger course.
  • I got a paddle board and I am enjoying the it on the lake. I also spend a lot of time at our pool.

Well that about catches you up! Here are a few pictures from this past month.

Brian’s Uc Davis Graduation

I have been finding myself in situations where I am being challenged by being out of my comfort zone. I have had to dig deep to find the courage to be in this space. I am very self conscious about my body and I finally got up the courage to switch my one piece swim suit to my bikini. I actually will take a dip in the pool without putting shorts and a tee shirt on over my swim suit. I am even starting to feel a little less self conscious when I hop out of the pool and walk back my lounge chair. I was inspired to try this by my mentor teacher Ashley. She posted a picture of herself in a swim suit and talked about accepting our bodies. She really helped me to step out of my tee shirt and shorts and accept my imperfect body in a bikini! Although I have yet to walk across the pool deck to the restrooms without my cover up , I still feel a sense of accomplishment! I still feel “naked” , shy and a bit vulnerable, but I am accepting these emotions as I learn to be out of comfort zone.

Another way I have been stepping out of my comfort zone is that I have been making decisions based on what I want to do. In the past if someone suggested I do something a certain way, or go somewhere I really did not want to go to, I would just say yes anyway. But lately, I have been really asking myself if I want to do these things. Does this make me happy? And if I feel obligated or forced to do something, I now know that it is not right for me. This is a big step for me. I am beginning to trust myself and my thought process. Sometimes I feel like I am standing out of my comfort zone and I wonder why am I standing here, it is so much safer over there. But as I keep practicing my truth I am beginning to feel empowered.

What things bring you out of your comfort zone? Did you know that by taking the step out of your zone you may actually find happiness? In my yoga classes this week I challenged my students to try different poses or to add an element to their poses. Most of the time we ended up laughing and just enjoying the newness of not being comfortable in the poses. But we all learned that we have a choice in everything that we do and that sometimes there is pure magic in trying something new.

We must remember to live life moment by moment and to get out of our heads so we can actually enjoy our lives! How many times has your joy been interrupted by self doubt, self consciousness, or fear of trying something new? Yoga teaches how to navigate our poses and breath on the mat and it also teaches us to navigate our life. It allows us the room to grow, explore, challenge, accept, embrace, fail, succeed, be humble and be kind.

Well, that’s it for now. I leave you with this thought. Our lives can be cut short unexpectedly. Why not take a chance and come out of your comfort zone to experience all the magic your life has to offer?

Our yoga community is deeply saddened by the passing of Maty Ezraty who’s teachings have been passed down in one way another to all yoga teachers. She was the heart and soul of yoga and her teachings will continue to inspire us all.

Namaste.

June 10, 2019
by Toni
0 comments

Trust The Process

Well summer has begun and with that comes our busy schedules! This is the time of year for travel, spending time with family and enjoying the outdoors. I have been able to enjoy our community pool and I am loving it! This past month has been very active for us. We took a trip to So Cal, we have been working on the house and now we are preparing for our son’s college graduation celebration.

Our extended family
Our nephew Nick’s high school graduation

Our trip to So Cal was amazing! Both of us thoroughly enjoyed seeing our old tribe, friends and family! Our nephew’s high school graduation was very moving and the bonus, we got to see our daughter too! Doug visited our old house and golfed with a couple of his buddies. Additionally, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and conversation with our extended family. We stayed with Cyndee and Chris and could not of asked for better hosts. We felt pampered and very relaxed staying with them. I already miss waking up to my coffee being made!

This week our son graduates form UC Davis. We are so proud of him! Our daughter and her fiance are flying up to celebrate along with Doug’s sister and her family. We will have a house full of family and love! The bonus for this celebration is that both of our kids will be home for Father’s day! If you have adult children you know hard this can be! I can’t remember the last time both kids were home for Fathers Day!

Doug has taken a break from golf and has been painting the interior of our house for a month. We ended up getting crazy deals on paint so we took the plunge. It looks absolutely stunning. I never knew how much changing the color of the walls could change the whole feel of the house. The orange/brown is gone and the new light grey /white makes our home feel so much calmer and settled. Doug gets the rockstar award for all of his hard work!

Many of you have expressed concern and compassion after my last post about our financial situation. So I thought i would give you an update on our financial bump in the road. Doug is still looking for a job and is keeping a positive attitude. The good news is that we had a solution that presented itself to us. Someone needed a place to live for a few months and we had an extra bedroom. So we decided to rent out our downstairs bedroom for about 4 months to one of my yoga students up here. Long story short we are helping each other out. She will be moving in at the end of this month and I am excited to hang out with her.

It is really strange the way things have been aligning for us. The timing of our painting the house, the timing of getting a roommate and the timing of me picking up special event classes and workshops have really helped to put our minds at ease. It comes down to trusting the process and letting go of trying to fix everything. The moment I surrendered to our situation and let go of trying to navigate it, things started moving in the right direction. We are not over the bump yet, but we can see over it now.

Unshakeable Trust Seal

This mudra represents unshakeable self-confidence, inner strength, and faith in something greater.

Sometimes we try too hard, push too hard for answers and solutions. Life is always going throw us bumps in the road. The lesson here is to trust the process. The next time you are faced with one of life’s challenges, try using the Unbreakable Trust Seal mudra. Just sit with your hands in place and breathe. Say the words ” i trust in the process. I trust myself. ” You may find yourself being presented with the direction you need to take.

Thank you all for sending so much love and support our way. I feel so honored to have so much love in So Cal and so much new love up here in Auburn.

To my So Cal friends, I look forward to seeing soon. I am hoping to plan another workshop in September of this year at Total Woman Gym. More on that next month….

Namaste.

P.S. I posted the playlist from the Gratitude Workshop. Click here to view it.