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Filtering by Tag: passion

Journey to Nepal...a journey within

Jennifer Oechsner

As many of you know, I am co-leading a yoga and meditation retreat to Nepal with Kimi Marin.

This adventure has been in the works for a year and it's a project Kimi and I are so excited to be working together on. Our partner in Nepal, Asahi Treks and Adventures, has been a great pleasure to work with. Thank you, Kumar for all of your help. This trip is another dream come true for me and as I prepare, I find myself filled with butterflies and joy. I encourage you to put your dreams on paper, make a plan and set the wheels in motion. Find what brings you joy and gratification and keep it in sight.

Arranging the volunteer component of Journey to Nepal has also been a moving experience for me, an experience from and of the heart. I am grateful for our guests' enthusiasm for this endeavor and for the many individuals who contributed to the cause. I embrace the opportunity to travel to this enchanting country and practice Karma Yoga, yoga of service.  I am grateful for each individual who is joining us on this journey.

I will be posting messages and photos periodically throughout the trip. Follow me on Facebook for updates on our adventures. 

Each year I will offer a new opportunity to travel with me to an amazing location.  Next year's retreat is already in the works.....Journey to Ecuador! Save the dates, March 23-April 1. It is going to be another amazing adventure with yoga, reiki, meditation, horseback riding in the jungle and more. This trip will also include Karma Yoga. Stay tuned for details. 


What can YOU resolve to release?

Jennifer Oechsner

"Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own" - Bruce Lee

It's that time of year again, time for resolutions. The time to begin healthy habits, to let go of unhealthy ones, to start fresh. I know Im not alone in the desire to make this year my best. I know I'm not the only one who wants to be the best version of themselves that they possibly can. The question is, what does this mean? We often make resolutions for things like exercising more, eating less sugar, eating more vegetabes, reading more books, maybe watching less TV. These are all great. But this year I need to go big. This year I have a couple resolutions, but my big one is letting go of fear.

Fear can definitely be tricky to let go of. Fear has the power to create so much unnecessary suffering. Fear takes hold of the mind and has the power to keep us in a seemingly endless cycle of self-pity and sadness. The first step to changing fear based behavior is to stare it right in the face. What is the fear? What story do we allow it to give us? How can we change that story? Buddhist teachings stress the importance of mindfullness practice to become more aware when thoughts or fears arise. This helps us recognize that we are responsible for the thoughts our mind produces. 

When fear based thoughts arise breathe deeply and ground yourself in the present moment. You can do this by observing the world around you. Listen to the rain or the birds. Feel the sun, rain or wind on your skin. Let this ground you in the present moment. Fears are often rooted in past experiences or future expectations. Over time, practicing being in the here and now can be an effective antidote to fear based behavior.

In my life, fear rears its ugly head and limits my growth. I feel effecting different parts of my life and it is difficult to break free. As many of you know, I have been studying martial arts for a number of years. It is the first thing I was ever truly passionate about. When I followed my new passion and became a yoga instructor I had the idea to somehow combine these two practices into one class I could share with the community. When I first started teaching yoga I held a couple of classes at a small gym. To my great disappointment, it didn't work out. Maybe it was the wrong time, maybe it was the wrong place, maybe I didn't give it enough time. Whatever the reason,  I felt like a huge failure. Over the past 5 years I have kept thinking about it, trying to figure out how I can make it better. I kept telling myself I would get around to it when I figured that out. But the real roadblock has been fear. And damn is it a big one. The question is, do I have the courage to let it go? What if I try again and it doesn't work out? Well, I've decided there is only one way to find out. 

I have resolved to step beyond this fear. I am at the point in my career, in my life, that I need to take a leap. All leaps are scary but I certainly can't grow if I keep quietly wishing for things. My wish, my goal, is to create my own Warrior-Flow. My own class that combines my passions of martial arts and yoga. So that's exactly what I have done. And it's going to be GREAT!

Each class will consist of a unique blend of yoga and martial arts, drawing from various disciplines I have studied over the years. AND I'm sharing my knowledge as a nutritionist by giving students a weekly nutrition focus and weekly recipe. And do you know how I know it's exactly the right thing to do? My gut tells me. The butterflies in my stomach just can't be wrong.

Here's the class info. Please email me for more information. Classes are scheduled to begin at the end of January.

NE PDX @ Whole Foods Market NE 15th and Freemont: Sundays 11:30-12:30
SE PDX @ 5514 SE Foster Rd.: Tuesdays 5:45-6:45pm

What can YOU let go of? How can you enrich your life experience and grow to become a better version of YOURself?

I would love to hear from you!

Breathe, Balance, Bliss

Jennifer Oechsner

As nature makes its way from summer to fall, I too find myself in a place of transition. Nature is graceful. The air become crisp, the days gradually grow shorter, and the leaves start to gently change color. My transition has been a bit bumpier. I have been in the process of moving to a new home, I'm sure that all of you can relate to all that this entails. There is always something to be done and it is easy to get caught up in the stress and lose grounding. In addition to all of the extra work on my plate, it is important for me to  ensure all of my private clients and yoga students who see me every week are still taken care of. Then there is self care; I need to find the time to take care of myself too. 

Mindfulness practice is vitally important to keep balance during times of chaos. The rhythm of life is in a constant state of fluctuation. Sometimes life feels spacious and calm, and other times life becomes more demanding and we take on a frantic energy that feels restrictive. The dance lies in how we maneuver.

When life is spacious do you become lazy or do you take the time to observe and reflect? When life becomes hectic do you live in a state of anxiety or do you strive for peace amidst the chaos? It is easy to get trapped in anxiety and stress. The only way out is to pause, breathe and take time to tap into what brings you balance.

A few months ago I wrote about finding your passion, what are YOU passionate about? Delving into this part of you is a great way to press pause and bring yourself back to a mindful state. Whether it be art, books, writing, yoga or music, taking a break to do what you love is an important part of self care. I am a big believer in the importance of this. Stress can weaken the immune system, take the nervous system into overdrive and cause tension in the body. Taking breaks when you need them, even for short periods of time is imperative to long term wellness.

Transitions are a challenging part of life that can test our resolve and patience. Taking time to breathe and find balance during these times of stress can help you to achieve moments of peace. Tap into your breath, find balance, create your bliss. 

The Process Of Passion

Jennifer Oechsner

As many of you know, I have been a student of  martial arts since I was 24 years old. Under the guidance of my amazing teacher Sahnya Thom in Milwaukee, WI, I was exposed to a wide range of styles and techniques within kickboxing, Taekwondo, and Jeetkundo (a blended martial arts style pioneered by Bruce Lee). I left Wisconsin in 2015 to start a new career in Portland and my physical practice of martial arts was pushed to the back burner. The practice was crowded out by my yoga practice and the challenges of starting a new career. That being said, I never lost that feeling of passion for martial arts. I knew I deeply missed it but was always making excuses. I told myself I didn't have time, I couldn't afford it, I didn't know a good school to go to. This winter I finally committed to a regular practice again and decided to try a new art form at Portland Shaolin Center. Here I found my passion again. 

Getting back to my first passion has really lit a fire in me. It feels amazing to reconnect to that inner warrior that has carried me through so much in my life. I am reminded of my power, my talents and my desire to live with passion and courage. 

Walking into the Shaolin Center on that first day was daunting. I wondered if my ego could handle going back to white belt. I wondered if I would still be good at it. I wondered whether it would be a good fit. I felt the fear of being new. Then it came back. The belt didn't matter, the movements came, and the fear dissipated. Connecting to this passion has filtered into other areas of my life. My yoga practice has become more focused, I am meditating more, and I have been commuting by bike most days. Most importantly, my self-confidence has been given a boost. How can your passion, whatever it might be, facilitate change in your life? How can you change your life practices to shift your consciousness? This practice might be yoga or another physical endeavor. It might be a creative art.

Whatever it is, connecting to your passion can have a powerful effect on all aspects of your life, if you tune in. 

Take time to investigate what stirs passion in you. What can you let go of to get you out of a rut. My negative patterns are to make excuses to avoid what is hard; to hide behind my fear of failure. What patterns can you let go of to allow for a shift of consciousness.  What can you renunciate to make space to grow and transform? What steps can you take to renunciate fear, move into courage, and live fiercely?