Friday, December 14, 2018

Yoga for Inmates

 
In Western society, prison is viewed as a punishment- a "time-out" from society.

Although there are undoubtedly dangerous & broken people who may be beyond repair, many people are incarcerated for non-violent or drug offenses. The way our system is set up makes it difficult to become a well-adjusted citizen and re-enter the community once time is served.

If the focus was really on rehabilitation and education, it would make the tax dollars we spend on prisoners a better investment. Of course, one growing problem is the proliferation of "for-profit" private prisons. Just like corporations, the only thing that really matters is the bottom line. How much money can be squeezed from every person & situation is the guiding principle. The benefit to society and the individual is secondary, if it's even a consideration!

One proven way to help rehabilitate those in prison is practicing yoga, which has tangible benefits for both mind & body. The physical activity, combined with the art of self-control through breathing and physical discipline, goes a long way to changing the mindset of people who practice it.

I saw an article about this psychiatry study that demonstrated how yoga practice can reduce the psychological distresses of inmates- such as paranoia and anxiety.

PsyPost:

The most important aspect is the positive effect it has toward re-introducing the person back into society. From the study: "The provision of opportunities for prison inmates to carry out physical activity in general and yoga exercise in particular can be an important tool for improving their reintegration into society and for helping them lead a drug free and law-abiding lifestyle upon release." 

If we can get past the Puritan heritage in how we deal with people who break the law, and try to improve, rather than just punish, the individual, then it would solve many of the problems with our prison system and the people we place into it.

Here is a video I came across while researching the topic, of a project being carried out in Seattle called Yoga Behind Bars:


-Paul Micarelli

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Private Yoga Lessons & Parties!


As Loretta's yoga practice has expanded into teaching at multiple studios, we have also been looking to promote private 1-on-1 lessons & group events.

She has been booking personal classes & parties, and is also teaming up with Robbie Bacon to offer Thai Yin Yoga with deep stretching and body work.

I created this graphic so she can start promoting this awesome service online.

if you are interested in booking Loretta for lessons or yoga party, contact us through our website:



or through our Facebook page @ConsciousLivingForYou www.Facebook.com/ConsciousLivingforYou

-Paul Micarelli

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Take the High Ground

One way that I want to help reach people through our Conscious Living for You page is using my design skills to create motivational or inspirational graphics.


"If you always take the HIGH GROUND...
No one can walk all over you." 
 
-Paul Micarelli

If we act out each moment with confidence and integrity, we become immune to the negativity or manipulative behavior of others. Stand tall, and never let others bring you down. When you rise above unconscious patterns of behavior, you become like a mountain- firm, unmovable, and unable to be crushed.

-Graphic by Paul Micarelli


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Conscious Living for YOU Website is Here!



Loretta & I created the brand and this blog for Conscious Living For YOU as a resource for people who want to lead a healthier lifestyle.

In addition to being a creative professional and being interested in spirituality & meditative traditions, I have a science background and love to learn about everything.

Loretta is a nurse and a yoga teacher with a RN, BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing). She has a strong background in science, health, nutrition, and a passion for naturopathy and an integrative approach to medicine.

After working on it last weekend, I'm excited to announce the new website for Conscious Living For YOU is live!


It will be the central location for all info on Loretta's yoga classes, as well as a source for my graphic design for health & wellness businesses.

We hope to inspire others to improve their state of being, mental & physical. We also hope to inform on the best practices of both science & spirituality.

 Please check it out, and share it if you think others will be interested. Thank you!

-Paul Micarelli

Friday, September 28, 2018

Love Light Yoga & Arts Festival 2018


 Last weekend, Loretta & I went to the Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, Maryland for the Love Light Yoga & Arts Festival.

Here is a photo album of our experiences with some videos, too:

Google Photos:

We camped out from Friday to Sunday afternoon, and had an awesome time. The outdoor setting of the Pearlstone Center among the rolling hills, fields, & trees was a beautiful environment for mindful practice of yoga, and just for the joy of being alive!
 


Everything was in walking distance, and from our campsite on a hill, you could see most of the grounds, with the various pavilions & buildings.



There were dozens of classes and workshops over the course of the weekend, covering all kinds of topics and practices. I went to several different yoga classes- including ayurvedic & acrobatic/thai yoga (partnered up with my wife), and also kundalini meditations, tantric shamanism & breathing workshops. Loretta went to power & primal flow yogas, and also participated in events at the Healing Village. It's so great to have all these opportunities to try new techniques with different teachers, all in one location.


There was also a main stage with musicians and bands, playing throughout the days & nights. One set that stood out to me was singer Ajeet Kaur & Sukhmani Kaur Rayat on tabla drums. The music & vibe the artists were putting out was amazing.
 

There were also artists & vendors with booths around the concert area, selling all kinds of cool items & services.



The last night we were there, Loretta & I left the main stage around midnight & went to a bonfire and drum circle. It was family-friendly, with no visible drugs or alcohol (other than us being the only 2 with drinks in our hand, & the occasional smell of some weed being smoked out of sight.)




 
It got wild, as I ended up being shirtless & we joined the dance around the heat of the blazing fire. Finally, Loretta told me it was 2am, & we should get going so we could get some sleep for the next day. I could have partied all night, but I also didn't want to feel like garbage the next day.

Unfortunately, it started raining on Sunday, making the conditions fairly miserable. Everything got muddy & wet, but we still went to classes and workshops until we decided to head out in the afternoon when there was a brief pause in the rain for us to pack up our tents & gear.




The festival overall was a memorable and enlightening experience (even with having to pack up in the crappy weather). When the weather was nice, it was downright utopian. We met a lot of kind, loving, & inspirational people who felt like a big community. The location was idyllic and a perfect setting for a festival like Love Light.

We are probably going to go back next year if they have it there again, and hopefully the weather will be nice the whole time!


-Paul Micarelli

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What A Great Day To Be ALIVE



Well, I am grateful today, and for that matter, everyday. Today is my Birth Day and I feel compelled to write a small blip on how GRATEFUL I am to be ALIVE. 


Today at 02:00 1983, I was born into this world. My beautiful mother, Donna and my intelligent father, Joe, were happy to have their first child. I was the only child for that fact that was ever conceived by these two wonderful souls. Philly is were I resided until my parents decided that a small town with lots of trees and less pollution, was a more suitable location to grow up. NJ is were they would move and that is were I have been since I was about 3 years old!



I had a great childhood, and since I am a pretty honest person, not always the best environment. That doesn't bother me much now, for I am an adult now and an insanely self analying individual who understands that my past has built my character. I wouldn't trade a thing that I went through to become the awesome person I am today! I am thankful for every lesson that God has shown me, and with my own strength, I have made decisions to lead the life I wish to live. 

The life I have chosen was my choice, and with the grace and guidance from God, he/she/it (whatever you may call), has always allowed the light to shine on my path. Has it been easy to make the best decisions, OF COURSE NOT, what ever is? The important thing is that I stay on my journey. My journey will lead always lead me to the all knowing/the force/the truth/God, or the light. 


With this being said,  EVERY DAY I AM ALIVE, I choose to be grateful. Grateful for life, breath, family, friends, animals, a job, the earth, food, money, the sun, for God/the vortex/the divine source. Today, especially right now at this very moment, I am happy to exist! I feel humbled and joyed by the very fact that I am ALIVE. 

May all of you find the joy and peace that I am sitting with right now. May you ALWAYS be grateful, even when you are in a struggle. May you always look forward to a pleasant feeling, even in a moment of discomfort. May you hug, or love the one who sits next to you, even if that person has brought you pain. Find the love and strength to persevere through any hardship, and look up to the sky and say "THANK YOU!" If you don't want to look to the sky, then look inside yourself and say "THANK YOU."
 

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 2018 Yoga Classes

Loretta is the yoga instructor at a local fitness center, The Fit Barn on Delsea. She has grown into a dedicated and motivating teacher, & I try to attend as many classes as possible to support my lovely wife.

Yoga has become an integral part of our lifestyle over the past couple years. Our practice has greatly increased the quality of our lives- giving us more strength, flexibility, energy, muscle tone, and better overall health.

People of all shapes, sizes, ages, and skill levels have been coming out to her classes, and it's wonderful to see people making the effort to live a healthier lifestyle. We have seen a lot of new faces in the classes, and there are many people coming back after feeling the benefit of the all-levels classes. Those who attend the classes leave feeling happy & invigorated.

We also started a monthly newsletter for Conscious Living for You, in which Loretta is sharing wisdom & information about the yogic lifestyle. To sign up for the newsletter, please message us on Facebook and include "Subscribe" in the subject.

I just made the new graphics below for September's classes, showing the schedule & pricing- as well as the promo for this month.





Friday, August 24, 2018

Nature is NOT Human-Hearted

One way I want to help reach people through our Conscious Living for You page is using my design skills to create motivational or inspirational graphics.
 

"Nature is NOT Human-Hearted" 
-Lao-Tzu

The Universe, God, the Tao, Nature... whatever you want to call the overall, organizing principle of our reality... it does NOT think, feel, or act as we do.

This is a fundamental error of our ego, to apply our own human characteristics to the world at large. In doing so, we reduce it to a caricature like the mythological god Zeus.

-Graphic by Paul Micarelli

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Virtual Yoga Problems


It looks like virtual reality yoga has NOT been perfected yet!!!

Although I may feel this way toward the end of an intense yoga class, luckily things haven't gotten quite this bad in the real world...

Not surprisingly, virtual reality yoga is a thing. I personally think that wearing a VR headset while doing asanas would be cumbersome. Also, the point of yoga is to be present, where you are, and be mindful of your body in whatever situation you are practicing.

However, I am very open to the use of technology for any application where it benefits the user in some way. So, maybe this would help some people connect to their practice on a new level.


-Paul Micarelli

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Conscious Living for YOU Logo

I told Loretta that once we had 100 followers on our Facebook page, @ConsciousLivingForYou, I would officially unveil the Conscious Living for You logo that I designed.

We had a few new followers over the weekend, and passed the threshold.... so, here's the logo! We will be using here on the blog and on any designs we create for Conscious Living for You:

The lotus is an ancient symbol for spiritual progress- since the flower rises up through the muck at the bottom of a lake or other body of water, & blooms beautifully at the surface in the light of the sun.

I also incorporated the flame of enlightenment in its center, to represent the fire we hope to ignite in the consciousness of others.

-Paul Micarelli