Taozi Tree Yoga

The seeds we water are the seeds that grow.


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Africa Consensus Forum in Beijing

SERENDIPITY! Yesterday I was asked to speak on a panel at the Africa Consensus Forum held here in Beijing at the Norwegian Embassy. I was able to share about the amazing things happening with Musana Community Development Organization and Taozi Tree Yoga to some incredible influencers in African governance. They loved it and didn’t want to stop hearing about it! Why? Because Musana and this project are tangible evidence that big things are happening in the world and change is indeed possible.

Beijing

Honestly, one of the primary topics of the forum was how to make sustainable business models in Africa work. I was able to share with them Musana, a project that has actually changed an entire community. With “The Yoganda Project”, we are trying to make grassroots business more sustainable by creating quality products that foreign consumers will want to buy, rather then buying products because it is charity. This is a huge deal. If it works, it will act as a business model that allows for sustainable income from foreign consumers in these vulnerable communities.

We would so appreciate your support for “The Yoganda Project”-  making the future for international trade with grassroots African community projects more sustainable. With out your help, this would not be possible. If you have not seen or donated yet, please check it out and help if you can! It is a miracle project. Please visit Indiegogo: “The Yoganda Project” and if possible, please make a donation to make the project a success! Every little bit helps. With a $100 donation you get one of the first “Yoganda” bags made! Not only that but you become a part of the project and it is indeed a special one.Emily 2

 

I look forward to sharing more with you about the project! We leave in less than 2 weeks! :) Ahhhh! So exciting.

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A Series on Affordable Natural Beauty Tips: #1 Sugar and Lime

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The last few months I have been experimenting tirelessly with using natural ingredients as cosmetics. As more and more unsafe, unhealthy and unnatural ingredients are found in everything we use from shampoo to face wash, I feel it is more important then ever to start steering away from these products and shifting more towards all natural choices. However, I don’t think it is necessary to spend a fortune on store bought natural cosmetics either… can we get by with making our own? I have been trying myself and have discovered a few things that are working well for me that I would love to share with you. Keep in mind that every one is different and as such, the products we chose to use on ourselves should reflect our own individual needs.

1: In the Shower with Lime and Sugar

lime

sugar

I was upset when arriving in Mexico a few weeks ago to discover that I had left behind my St Ives apricot scrub… devastated actually. It is a great product that I have used since I was a kid and though not 100% all natural, it is a great product that works for me. Exfoliating the skin is an important part of keeping the skin young looking, refreshed, and clean. It is how we remove all the dead skin from our body and make room for the new skin to shine!

I went to a local “phamarcia” here to see what I could find and ended up talking to a really sweet older women about what product to use. I told her I was looking for a natural exfoliator…with out hesitation she said, “Just use sugar and lime!”

She claimed that by putting sugar in the palm of my hand and adding a few drops of fresh lime juice, then rubbing it together that I would have an amazing all natural exfoliant. As soon as I got home I tried it and I loved the way that my skin felt after. By insuring that you remove all the excess sugar with a good rinse there is no worry of aggravating the pores in the skin. All that happens is that the slight abrasiveness of the sugar combined with the acidity of the lime, unite and act as a really wonderful cleansing exfoliator.

So for my first post in “A Series on Affordable Natural Beauty Products” the ingredients and the process is super simple:

Lime + Sugar + gentle scrub + rinse = totally clean and refreshed skin…

Enjoy!

—If you happen to have a natural beauty tip that you would like to share, I would be happy to hear it, try it, and share it! Thank you so much… 😉

*** Please visit Taozi Tree Yoga on Facebook for details on Taozi’s travels, teaching schedule, and inspiration!***


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How to plan for the future in the present moment…

How does a yogi plan for the future while staying in the present moment???

 Our minds are normally like a constant stream of babbling monkeys… are they not? One of my favorite yoga teachers, Peter Clifford, accurately describes our minds attempts to analyze and define everything as “Monkey Mind”. They are constantly planning, plotting, and fanaticizing about what has been in the past, and what is to come in the future.

Monkeys! Outside the classroom, with Veronica and I.

Monkey Mind! 😉

Here is my question. How does a person, a normal person, not a monk living in a cave, make and face day to day life decisions while constantly staying in the moment?

A yogi  wants to “see there own true nature” while maintaining a perfectly still mind. Alas, we still have to plan and make life choices that will inevitably lay a framework for the rest of our lives, and this is challenging, right? Career paths, relationships, and families are all huge parts of life and can’t be made or taken apart, without a bit of responsible foresight.  Does this mean that if we think about our own destiny, if we do not always have a still mind, that we are going to be left behind, never to “see our own true nature” like the rest of the ascending yogis? No. When we make life plans, we get to learn lessons of our own.

The good news for us, when we have to take steps to plan for our life…, is that while we accommodate in our minds, fantasies about what life should become or be, sometimes they manifest and sometimes the Universe has something else in store for us. So when the time comes and we get a “No” from the Universe, we get jolted by the unexpected detour. This “jolting” or period of pain, forces us to look beyond ourselves and into the realm of the spiritual.  The disappointment we face as a result of our own unmet expectations actually provides us with the fertilizer for our own unique opportunity for spiritual growth.  This quiet space between the surrendering of our own ideas of what should be to acceptance of  what the universe hands us is where we will find peace.

women flower meditation

It’s the same peace a monk meditating in a cave has, it’s just a different way of getting there.

And it is here, while resting in faith in our own supreme higher power… that we start to see that we are intimately connected  with the universal power.  So, getting a “No” from the Universe isn’t a “bad” thing.  Whether you are a monk living in a cave or a planning, plotting, person of the modern world, you will always have plenty of opportunities to grow, and to “see your own true nature” as life events come and go. Especially when you are told “No”…  Keep on moving forward and things will change, and you will be right where you are supposed to be the entire time.


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How to make your soul shine? Be. Uncomfortable.

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It is amazing to me how as a species we constantly strive for a feeling of safeness. We always want to be comfortable. We generally avoid things that are scary, too hard, or out of our normal routine. Instead we stick to what we know, whom we know, and where we know. Let me ask you… how does this pattern help us to grow?

I am sure that through experience and time, eventually yes… we will grow by following our normal, safe routine… I would argue however that by pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, we put miracle grow on our spiritual life.

This has been my experience over these past few weeks and particularly, this weekend.

I was asked to speak at a large gathering of spiritual souls on Saturday night, sharing my experience with nearly a hundred strangers. When I was asked I said yes. I was so nervous and I had no idea what was going to come out of my mouth, and yet, when the time came I prayed and asked for help. I was desperate for it. So scared. So overwhelmed of the audience. However, I didn’t want to lose site of the fact I was there to be of service to them. I needed to show up and be my authentic self with no filter. I needed help to make this happen and help is what I got. For thirty minuets as I spoke I was in a trance and my soul shined out from the inside.  It was remarkable.

Another example…Last week I decided to start a 11th step yoga and meditation class at a local club that I regularly attend here in Denver. I have never before taught a class like this and yet, I felt pulled in my gut to do it. I taught this class on Sunday morning and the turn out was way bigger then what I was expecting. Again, what came out of me was beyond me. Before the class I was incredibly nervous about what to teach, what postures to hold, and what breaths to cue… I desperately wanted to make this new class perfect. I couldn’t handle the stress and so, again, what did I do? I asked for help. I got quiet and sat in silence and reflected on the idea that what I was doing was an act of service to others. That even though it was uncomfortable for me it wasn’t about me and it was something that God was asking me to do. I got the help I needed with a profound sense of internal inspiration and intuition. This is the key to growing.

In order to become better then who we are we need help form a power greater then ourselves. We only desperately seek this power when we feel we NEED it. When I am brushing my teeth and going through the “normal” the “comfortable” day to day things I do… I naturally think, “I got this… all on my own.” And it’s true, I can handle brushing my teeth on my own but we were made for so much more. We were made to shine our souls out towards others. All of our missions are different and we each have our own gifts… and yet we all suffer from the natural tendency to dim the light, to be subtle, to not go out and reach for our fullest potential. At least, this is something I struggle with, have struggled with, and am in the midst of breaking out of.

I want to feel confident enough in my self, in my spirit, and in my higher power to share this with others totally uninhibited. This is what we should all seek to do. We cannot do this unless we are truly pushing ourselves beyond our natural abilities.  At this point, we ask for help, we get it, and we truly shine, grow, blossom.

So, go on… do something today that is outside of your comfort zone, ask for help, and see what happens. 😉

Love,

T