As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, we are reminded of the love that exists in our lives. Some of us are reminded of how much we feel loved, how much we love others, and some of us are reminded of the love that is absent in our lives. (I mean, a zoo is offering people the chance to name cockroaches after their ex’s so they can be fed to another animal.. I’m sure they will make a lot of money over people’s broken hearts.)
As I reflect on the day, I am reminded of a love that was absent. Love from my family is far from lacking, but love for myself is. I always knew how important it was to love one’s self, but somehow it always got pushed aside.. Maybe it was coming from a broken family, or maybe just putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect. As most mom’s can relate, I’m sure, the majority of my energy and love goes to my children. There needs have always come first. For instance, whenever I go shopping, I have no problem dropping a hundred dollars on them, but I can’t spend twenty dollars on myself without feeling guilty. But as we have all heard, we have to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first before we assist others (if you fly often, you know what I am talking about.) I was suffocating myself and I didn’t even know it.
A few months ago I met Oana and started a journey that has changed my life. I was sitting at a Women's Business luncheon and Oana was the presenter that day. She began speaking about the Body and Brain Yoga studio she opened in the strip mall in front of the Lake Villa Library. I was looking for a place to help me get in shape. I mean, aren't we all “thinking” about getting in shape? If Oana hadn't offered a free trial week to us that afternoon, I would still be "thinking" about it. Well, I fell in love. I have been going regularly for the last 6 months and although I don't have the swimsuit cover bod that I planned on from working out regularly, I am in shape mentally. I am a true believer that things happen for a reason. I was at a place in my life where I needed to be reminded to focus on myself and not feel guilty about it, and our paths crossed at the exact moment they needed too. I was intrigued to learn about Oana’s story and what brought her here so I invited her out for a drink… Her drink of choice? Tea of course.
So it all started 10 years ago during a winter much like we are having now. Oana was on her way home from the hospital where she worked in a bad snow storm. We have all been there… stuck in traffic and having to go to bathroom. The closest place to go was a Yoga Studio (fate??) Since the snow was so bad she decided to take a class, it was better than getting stranded in her car. After the class, the roads were clear and she felt amazing.
The next day she went back to Yoga to see if she would feel the same thing. During the class, she started crying because she had so much sadness in her life.. Something moved her. (I have had the same experience in class. It is amazing how much emotion can be released during class.)
If we truly want to know what lead her to this point we must understand that Oana’s story actually starts many years ago as many of ours do. She had a very dark past and used to live behind it. She used to hate herself and was actually proud that she hated herself. She was what you would call a goth.. wearing black all the time.
Stepping into a Yoga studio, made her see that there was more to it than darkness. A few years later someone suggested that she open a Yoga studio. The seed grew and it made sense. It was a 10 year process. In the 10 years she realized how much hate she had… and that it wasn’t good. This person told Oana she should consider it because people would benefit from her experience of surviving herself. Now she is proud to be bright and helping others find the brightness within themselves.
She has not forgotten that part of herself… She embraces the darkness to teach her. Everyone carries a lot of pain, not everyone is honest about it. It takes courage. She feels that she is at a place to hold their hand and help them up. She wouldn’t be able to do what she does without her experiences.
The reason she started Lake Villa Body and Brain Yoga? To give others hope…If she could come back from such a dark place, then so can you.
I will warn you that you might think it is weird or crazy, but have an open mind. There are many benefits to the class. The different types of stretching and movements are to help you open up energy meridians (Here is a great link for more info). People have hard time grasping it mentally sometimes. You need to let energy move freely so you can get what you want. Clean up body energetically from inside out, and bring in what you want. You will ultimately improve relationships, your well being, even your business… taking a pill won’t work.
You will also practice connecting your brain to your body to help your intuition grow. You will begin to be more aware of your thoughts and your body in the moment. The classes will empower you to believe in yourself.. You can take everything you learn here to step into your own power and strength. There is nobody out there who can’t do this.
Everyone is at a different point in their life and therefore your experience will be different than mine, but if you are committed and open to it, you will see changes in your own life. I have experienced a better understanding of myself and improved my relationships with my family. I am less stressed and more relaxed. Unless I have a pressing matter, I start my day at Lake Villa Body and Brain Yoga with my extended family. We have class together and then share tea together.
Lake Villa Body and Brain Yoga Studio
895 E Grand Ave