Last night I had the privilege of spending the evening with the 359° team of teachers, healers, authors, managers, light bringers and their spouses and partners for our first Holiday party. It is a rare day that I get to spend time with all of them at one moment in time.
I Loved celebrating there presence and commitments to what they bring every day to the studio through classes, conversations, holding space, healing, directing, guiding, making endless playlists that inspire and motivate, and taking deep breathes on their mats each day as they continue to develop themselves through yoga, life, pioneering their own businesses, managing full time jobs and families, healing and service. Each of them holds such a deep energetic space that is vital to the collective energy and love we bring, without them 359° Yoga would not exist. I am eternally grateful.
To Katie Scarsella, my friend and confident who agreed to come on this ride with me sight unseen from our first random meeting in a mutual friends kitchen. Your presence and our meeting was a breath of fresh air. I found a lifelong friend and sister in that moment who cared, who embodied Love and authenticity and who I’ve witnessed share that on and off the mat on a daily basis. I am lucky and blessed to walk this journey of life, motherhood, business and friendship with you. You’ve helped me through despair and you’ve supported me through success. Your passion for mindfulness and healing are moving the planet and our communities forward, I am blessed to know you. Thank you for all your words of wisdom and support. To our future endeavors, May it Last!
To Jill Diaz, my partner, friend and bringer of light and healing. Your passion spreads like water. Your gifts both on and off the mat are immeasurable.
For the healing you provide and for stepping into your gift with the force of 1000 angels behind you is shifting the planet.
For you and all you inspire I honor you. Thank you for all you are. May we always walk in sync with our Love of Healing. You inspire me to be a better mom, healer, business owner and friend. I can't imagine my life without you.
To Cassie Padula, who would I share all my ideas and excitement with? Without you and your inner wisdom and light my days would be darker. For sharing your vast yogic knowledge equally on and off the mat.
Living authentically and lovingly encompasses everything I envisioned for the students inspired and drawn to 359° Yoga.
Your presence everyday keeps me grounded to serve and give to my greatest capacity. I am eternally grateful.
To Heidi McCarty, if I could bottle you up, your heart and soul and joy, I would keep you with me forever. Your genuine Love, and kindness and super strength and grace on and off the mat give me hope. All that you give and share keep my heart propelling forward. It is an honor and a blessing to have your presence and wisdom at the studio. My heart is full and you are a big part of that. Grateful is too small a word to describe my appreciation for you.
Jennifer Miracle-Best, you have made this vision this studio and dream possible. You have seen me at my worst and you have seen me at my best. The safety that comes from my heart knowing your hand is on my back at all times is something that can never be replaced. You have provided me the space to both be a mom and raise my kids and run a business, there are no words to describe my appreciation for you. Your ability to achieve and succeed in your own mission and souls work authoring and publishing Divinely Queer and still stand by my side will always guide me to do that for others. Eternally honored and grateful to walk beside you on each of our souls mission.
Mitchel Ray Doherty, LM, my third son and bringer of joy. For always laughing at my jokes and mannerisms. You get me, just like my 2 birth sons do. For sculpting your dreams and visions into the fabric of the studio, the energy you bring is unmistakeable. My days are more joyful because of you. My laughter is more present because of you. My intuition flows deeply around you. I hope you never leave my orbit of Love and frequency. Proud of every triumph and loss we’ve experienced together. You’re my heart, thank you for stepping in always.
Travis Reiff, you consistently bring the funk in yoga and in your music. In your dedication and spirit to this practice and to our studio. I wouldn’t have kept going and seeking treatments through my own personal spine trauma if it wasn’t for you. You see me and I know I can’t count on you day or night when I’m at a loss. In my moments of vulnerability you witnessed me and have kept me going on this journey. Stop the pain has been my mantra thanks to you. Travis you have been through the deep trenches and your physical practice inspires me more then anything, to not give up. Eternally humbled and appreciative of your presence and flow.
Natalie Cummings, my cheerleader and endless seeker of healing and service. Stars aligned when you emailed me from Texas. Our souls know each other on another dimension. You continue to fill up our cup with your endearing compassionate dedication. Your strengths as a mom, business owner, teacher and giver of hope keep me dedicated to the entire mission of healing with depth and compassion. I am honored to know you and serve next to you.
Medina Perry, empathetic and joyful and always willing to be of service to all around you. Growing along side of you shines hope and shines a light into my own goals and aspirations. Your love of yoga, helping and for all the steps you take every day to spread more of that into the world inspire me to do better. I am honored to know you and grow with you.
Veronica Crites, Adi Shiva and powerful woman. You instantly appeared during the first few weeks of opening when I said to someone “I really want to offer Thai yoga massage as a healing modality”
when souls and missions align the universe delivers that and so much more.
The lineage of healing and gifts that you serve to the community are expansive. You’re a true healer from many lifetimes. I feel I have walked along side of you for lifetimes. I Love your heart which translates through your hands, your inner knowing and all of your deep powerful gifts inspire me to keep diving, keep serving and to keep dreaming. I hope for many more lifetimes of authentic inspiring healing with you by my side.
Chris Abolio, authentic and truly magnificent on and off the mat. For the humble yet powerful yoga expertise you share and give is a force to be reckoned with. Always learning and furthering all aspects of your life are what dreams are made of. It is always a magical ride watching your many gifts! Your consistency and dedication keep me exploring on my mat and in my personal yoga journey more then you know. Thank you for being you and for allowing me to get to know you. Our community is brighter with your presence.
Amy Foran, the grounding silent powerful force that said yes. Yes to facing fears, yes to healing, yes to your gifts. The moment I put the headphone on you and looked in your eyes and said the universe has been waiting for you. I knew in that moment a part of me healed. Thank you for showing me grace in that moment, a moment that I wouldn’t let you say no. You motivate me to keep expanding and to keep helping others step into their greatness. Your ease and perseverance through your own journey inspires me to show grace and ease in my own. Thank you for saying yes.
Dan Niedzwiecki, the brilliant chemist and yogi, you embody a drive for excellence and growth in which dreams are made of. Your faith in yoga and the depths it can provide into life inspire me to keep learning and sharing. Witnessing the steps you take to provide a space for others to grow and evolve is the sign of a master teacher. I am honored that you said yes to sharing that with our community. With Love and gratitude I honor you.
Charis Calender-Suemnick, advanced master of Love and Light. We are just getting started....There are souls that you meet along the way that are kindred, easy and inspiring. For being a soul of love and healing to me. Thank you. For saying yes to your inner path of growth I honor you. For saying yes to teaching and sharing your light with our community I am eternally humbled. May we continue to elevate our conversations to higher and higher places and see where they land. It has been an absolute joy to share sacred space with you. Thank you for being a healing force in my life.
Megan Slattery, a pillar, a light and a gift to my life. Without your strength and infectious smile and wisdom I would not have had the confidence to share what I Love to our community of graduates. For your endless wisdom on and off the mat, for your personal friendship and business friendship I am forever changed.
You are a master, a true teachers teacher in this beloved world of yoga. I would not be where I stand today without you saying yes to me and my ideals.
May we always walk in the spirit of sisterhood and Love authentically and joyfully. You are Loved, adored and admired always.
To all of the yogi’s, clients and friends I have met along the way. May you always feel welcomed, celebrated and supported each time you walk into our studio. I begin each day and end each day with deep Love and appreciation in my heart for your presence and for your support. I can't imagine sharing this space with anybody else, for welcoming me and this dream I am forever grateful.
Join the 359° Yoga team as we share yoga poses in our own unique ways.
Tell us, where are you on your yoga journey?
With each pose, we want to see your variations of yoga postures as you grow in your practice. Whether you are using props, in the traditional expression of a pose or if you have added your own unique twists... this Instagram Challenge is all about YOU.
Your practice, your way.
April 2nd - 8th
Follow @359yoga, @littlebirdsoul @breatheindetroit & @lularoeashleyashley.
Show us your favorite yoga posture variations.
Tell us why you choose to practice each pose your way.
Tag a friend or your whole yoga crew to join in.
Use the hashtags #359yourway
We will choose 1 winner on Tuesday, April 10th!
Each day we will focus on a different pose, and our 359° Yoga Team will be showing ways they practice their way with modified and advanced versions of each pose.
Tank from @breatheindetroit | Bracelet Mala from @littlebirdsoul | Leggings from @lularoeashleyashley
Blog post by Katie Scarsella.
I don’t remember the first time I felt fear, I just know it’s always been there. At times It has kept me safe, but sometimes that fear has come at a cost. Because when we live in fear, it prevents growth and change.
Throughout my years I’ve made attempts to co-exist with it. At times I’ve let it define me, I’ve tried ignoring it, even attempted self-medicating to release its grips. However those attempts simply enabled it to appear in new, more creative ways.
Recently, there has been a shift. I now see the time spent on my mat has forced me to spend time with myself, without the influence of others. My practice along with the introduction to mindfulness had changed the way I viewed fear. It unknowingly helped me face it, and in a way, befriend it. I continue to learn from embracing it’s loveliness and it’s ugliness.
In those moments when I can say, ‘I feel your presence, fear’ it grants me a great freedom. That freedom becomes my ability to choose its relevance. Do I listen to fear and turn back around? Or, will I attempt to do what feels impossible. Am I fearing the task? Or simply the responsibility that will come from breaking through another barrier.
May your fear give you the power to rise, not just the power to hide. The moments of greatest transformation occur when we let our light burn bright, even if the winds of change attempt to extinguish it.
“What is to give light must endure burning”. - Viktor Frankl
The essence of the wisdom Marianne Williamson conveyed when saying:
“You dismantle the darkness by invoking the light”
is timeless. It has been interwoven in all spiritual practices throughout the ages. However, what she said before that is a key part of what keeps many unable to release their suffering. She explained how societally we have a tendency to feel a need to analyze everything, including the cause of our suffering, but suffering does not go away merely by analyzing it. It is when we bring light into our life, that the suffering finally begins to have less and less room to exist. Hearing her explain it this way was a huge “A-ha” moment for me. We all suffer in different ways.
Sometimes you can easily observe someone's suffering by their outward expressions, others aren’t as easy to read. Like most people, I was one of the later. I appeared normal and happy, for the most part, but internally I was seething. There are few people that knew of this struggle, mostly because finding a safe place to share this wasn’t easy. Admitting something wasn’t right would have likely lead to questions. It’s human nature to want to make someone feel better when they are upset. The questions “What’s wrong?” , or “Why do you feel that way?” would have likely been asked. Knowing this, I tried to analyze the origin of this deep upset myself, but I had no answers. I spent over a decade from adolescence onward on a journey from self abuse, to self love. Intuitively the women of my family helped guide me on a life changing path towards yoga, and healing body work. I received gift certificates for both, and immediately knew there was something in each of these practices that reached me at a soul level. They both allowed me to witness a deep peace and stillness beyond the self negating dialogue that ran through my head. As the years passed, I found my way to many different healers, and yoga classes, each offering their own special gifts and wisdom, each one bringing me closer “ to my own true nature”, as one teacher would like to say. My yoga practice wasn’t always consistent. I would go through phases of regularly getting to the mat, and the more I would, the more at ease my life would appear. I could feel compassion being cultivated for myself and those around me. Then the hard lessons of life would roll through, and I would lose my footing. The beauty was that no matter how much time I spent away from the practice, it was always there to receive me when I was ready to come back.
In the winter of 2016, ten years after my first yoga class, I felt I was finally ready to pursue the path of a yoga teacher. I searched different programs in the area, and asked those around me for their input. Coincidentally, Kundalini Yoga was being brought to my attention enough at that time, that I knew I needed to seek out a class. My first class engaged me on so many levels that I knew I had found the yogic path I wanted to continue on. After this class, my boss, friend, and intuitive sounding board, Jennifer Perry, text me the info afriend gave her about a Kundalini Teacher Training program that was coming to our area. I signed up, and since then the program has undoubtedly changed my life. It has taught me how important it is to commit.
When you commit to a spiritual path, it will invoke the light that is within you. Whatever your “Darkness” might be will be brought to light and released, and what will be left is peace, and pure love for those around you, and most importantly for yourself.
It is in developing this inner peace that we will begin to see peace in our homes which will spread into the rest of the world. I always say the reason that I travel this path is because I want to give the “Power to the people!”. I know it is not something I can actually give, but rather something I hope everyone will be able see for themselves by choosing to find a way to allow that light into their life. For me that path is yoga, for anyone else it may look very different. Ultimately you’ll know when it’s the right path for you because it will show you who you truly are, and displace the false story we tell ourselves about who we think we are. I believe that part of liberation and true prosperity is achieved by speaking and living your truth. I’m blessed to have this space here to share mine, and send you light on your path in finding and sharing yours.
Veronica Crites (Adi Shiva Kaur)
Blog Post by Jennifer Perry
There was a period in my life that I spent in reflection, introspection and in reverence to what was going on inside my heart. At that time, my heart felt broken, my life was in conflict and turmoil, my insides felt heavy and burdened and I didn’t know what the word LOVE meant to me anymore. I knew that I Loved my children and would do anything to keep them healthy, vibrant and emotionally stable through this time of resolve in me. They were my True North in grounding me back to my path that I had detoured from. The heart path.
During this time, I let myself be, I let myself feel, I allowed every emotion to flood in. I spent 2 years feeling and meditating on one word. LOVE. In this allowing I discovered a connection to my intuitive nature a deep place inside that we all have access too. I allowed myself to connect to all the space around me without needing it to be different, without wanting it to feel different. I observed, and I processed and in that space, I began to emerge, I began to remember. I emerged connected to the trees around me, I emerged connected to the wind and to all living things above and below me. I observed how our collective conscious created weather patterns upon the planet and I began the next path of my inner journey remembering who I was, how I was deeply connected to all of this and what part “I” was here to nurture, grow and share.
I observed the patterns of individuals on social media, I observed others stepping into their own greatness, I observed the continuous cycle of drama in the world. I observed the addictive behavior that individuals, corporations, our political parties have to this drama, I observed where I played into that same cycle. I observed, and I processed. I observed, and I processed. I still do this. I discovered that drama causes trauma to the world. So, I continued to observe my own personality, my own character flaws and I began to Love them without judgment but as a Shakti as a witness, and in that space, it allowed me to develop a deeper integrity with my own actions. In this process I learned, I absorbed, and I blessed. I blessed every person I hurt in the past, I blessed every person I admired, I blessed my family, I blessed the planet, when the late hours of 3:00am awoke me I blessed some more, I blessed strangers on the street and in my blessing a wonderful thing started to occur. I began to heal from the inside out. I healed with teachers, I healed with energy, I healed with faith, I healed with Love.
As the fragmented pieces of my heart began to connect again through this process I was now able to listen. I began to tap into my guides, my ancestors, my angels in a deep compelling way. These were and still are my strongest teachers and guides in my path back to the light, back to my heart. They are with me now as I write, they give me the courage to continue to live from this place of trust and integrity and heart. They cheer me on, they tell me when to say no more; and as my dad said to me in his direct jolly manner, the first time I connected with him from the spirit side; after asking him what took so long for you to come? Tears of joy rolling down my face, he replied: “It is like a concert hall trying to get through them all, to talk to you.” They, these spirits, angels, teachers and guides are my concert and my choir, and they are with you too. I realized the quieter I became the more I could listen. They were with me all along, I just couldn’t hear them…. but now I do.
My heart continues to heal through my unwavering inner practice of meditation, yoga, and service, all of which I began without ever fully understanding the depth of these practices. These 3 vital tools have become the anchor to my heart, my soul. Without them, I would not know which step or action to take. They have changed my body, my spirit, my life. Each day is different but through the evolution of my inner garden (heart) I get to observe, process and continue to water the areas that need attention and Love. I get to share the joy that has emerged in my heart, the Love for all individuals has deepened to a place of non-duality and non-judgment because I see their angels, I see their guides I see their soul. In learning and observing my own heart I have compassion for where they are on their own personal soul journey. I get to experience great joy in watching humanity moving back into this heart space, this place of remembering.
To all of those moving back into your heart space, doing the work, no matter how hard or challenging it may seem. To all of those showing up to every moment with integrity, with introspection, with the courage to recognize your own individual heart and into your own remembering; I honor you. I honor your struggle, I honor your greatness and most of all I honor your light. Keep going, the joy and freedom is always on the other side of deep heart work and as the Native American Proverb says, “Listen to the Heart, it knows.”
In Love & Heart,