A Yogi // Therapist {An Interview}

I would like to start featuring interviews on my blog once in awhile to accompany portraits of some people I have the privilege of meeting.  There’s so many interesting and wonderful people in the world- and what a great opportunity I have to share some of their thoughts alongside of images of them!

To start it all off, I’d like to introduce you to Erica Viggiano!  I recently met Erica after a few e-mail conversations I had started with her.  I found her via google while I was searching for someone offering yoga for healing in Colorado. She is a social worker and has been incorporating yoga as a form of therapy for trauma for a few years now.  I was impressed with her work and was very interested to learn more about what she does and how it works!  (I’m a recent social work grad and also a recent grad of cambio yoga’s teacher training program) so Erica was someone I really wanted to meet!

We had a delicious lunch and talked long after we had finished our meal. Then we ventured to this gorgeous Denver park and took some photos of Erica for her website, and some just for fun!

Q + A 

What is your favorite thing about yoga?

My favorite thing about yoga is that it makes me feel alive and connected not only to myself but the world around me.  I also love the fact that the true practice of yoga is available and accessible to all human beings- all you need is your breath !

Do you believe yoga is a great tool for healing and why? 
Yoga has been evolving over thousands of years – it has met the needs of people over time.  So of course it’s still evolving- rapidly !  When you stay true to yoga’s roots it can express itself in so many different practices and styles.
Yoga is a really accessible way to connect with the truth of our experience in the present moment.
Apparently it has been helpful with both ancient and now modern challenges of being human.  As a healing practice Yoga Asana  provides opportunities to connect with our sensory experience and the energetic experience of having a body as well as thoughts and feelings.  If aspects of ourselves  and our ability to feel emotions, and feel sensations  have beet cut off or dampened, yoga can provide us with an ongoing opportunity for us to reconnect at a pace that is balanced  and manageable.
Do you have a favorite quote? 
One of my favorite quotes comes from Rumi – “God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches by means of opposites so that you will have two wings to fly, not one”.  To me this captures the full range of our experience and how valuable it is to be able to experience both pleasant and unpleasant feelings.  It also reminds me that all of our experience is impermanent,  unbearable feelings shift and change and move into the next feeling and pleasurable experiences have a beginning, middle, and end as well.  So when we become more familiar with these experiences in ourselves, it can help us understand how being able to feel a whole range of feelings leads to a sense of perhaps being more alive and comfortable with ourselves.  We can discover more of what we need and how to give it to ourselves.    I use yoga and mindfulness practices as part of psychotherapy to help people change habits like eating compulsively, acting out in aggression or shutting down their feelings as a result of trauma.  It allows our body to return to the wise resource and guide it was meant to be,  rather than being cut off or disconnected from our reality.   Over time, yoga  teaches us that we don’t have to shut off or avoid certain aspects of our reality,  we can be more aware, confident and trusting of  our own experience, and this leads to acceptance and peace with how we interact with ourselves and with the world.
Thank you, Erica!!
Erica teaches yoga in Denver and practices Yoga psychotherapy and Mindful Eating coaching with clients throughout Colorado and the US.  You can check out some more information about her services on her website: Integrative Life Services and also, her Facebook page!
Also, Erica may be offering some trainings in the future on using yoga for healing, specifically as a form of psychotherapy! Check her page for more info!!
Please check back soon for more interviews with some cool people!!

regrets and the ring of fire

Regrets…what are they all about?

I had this little experience yesterday and it brought on this idea and wanting to explore it a little more.

So yesterday, I had a really cool day with some lovely people in Boulder.  I worked with a great non-profit called Pink Elephant Posse (more on that soon!!) and as I was driving home, there was the most incredible light coming from the sunset.

Do you ever have that experience when you see something so beautiful, you can feel it in your heart?

As I was driving, I was noticing how gorgeous the sunset behind me was.  I was tempted to pull over (I had my camera in the back seat) and snap a few photos.  I kept driving.  Then I saw on the other side of the highway on the hill, a ton of people gathered with cameras set up facing the mountains and sun set.  I still kept driving.

The whole way home I was regretting it.  Maybe I should turn around!?  I won’t lose too much time on my drive home if I just stop for a little bit!?

I kept driving. Regretting.

Why didn’t I stop?  It was such a strange thing to think about as I drove home.  I wondered how often in my life I trade in my true desires just to do what I think I should do instead.  I think it’s more than I’d like it to be. I wish I could say that I live life in the moment.  That I live according to what my heart is leading me to do.  But often, I get stuck in my head and go where I think I’m supposed to – so as not to veer to far from the plan.  I’m not sure what that’s about.

This is another  sad part of the story.  Little did I know that the partial eclipse was happening at that moment!!  Over the breath-taking Rocky mountains, the sky pink and red and orange amidst the clouds was a natural event that only happens Now it makes sense why all those people had their serious photo gear out that particular sunset.  They call it the “Ring of Fire”. People all over the world were watching. And I was driving away from it.  I know it won’t help anything to regret my mistake of not stopping.  But it might serve a purpose in that it’s causing me to look a little deeper into my life.  And reminding me to listen to my heart more and go with it.  That’s the kind of life I want to live!

Aside from this life lesson I’m going to keep thinking about, all I have to show for last night are these few drive-by-hanging-my-phone-out-the-window pictures.

Taos Trip {with iphone + VSCO film}

I recently wrote about how I love having a camera (via the iphone) with me wherever I go.

This past weekend we went with some friends to stay in the Earthship in Taos, New Mexico.

It was so incredible! The time with friends was great and the place is so unique. The whole place is made out of recycled materials, and run totally off-the-grid.

The desert sunset was pretty great, too.

All the photos were edited on my phone with the VSCOfilm app. I highly recommend it!

We had such a fabulous time.  I’m grateful for these friends and for the beauty of this place! To learn more about the earthship community, you can visit this site: earthship.com

daily moments worth capturing.

Any other Instagram lovers our there?

I love having a phone that gives me the capabilities to take photographs wherever I am.  Each day, there are moments worth capturing.  If only we keep our eyes open!  Having a camera on me at all times reminds me to stop and capture these special gifts in every-day-life…and having a community to share it with intstantly, is also a great motivator!  Now there’s a way to view instagram pictures on the web. Here’s a little glimpse of my feed recently.

For me, stopping for a moment to capture the beauty in life is a way of worship. It’s a way of being reminded of the One who made all this beauty.

One of my favorite writers says it this way;

“BEAUTY is the voice endlessly calling and so we see, so we reach.

Doubt the philosophies, doubt the prophesies, doubt the Pharisees (especially the ones seen in mirrors) but who can doubt this, Beauty?

…All beauty is only reflection…Behold glory and be held by God.

How we look- determines how we live…

Living in His presence is fullness of joy and seeing shows the way in.

The art of deep seeing makes gratitude possible.  And it is the art of gratitude that makes joy possible. Isn’t JOY the art of God?”

-Ann Voskampmp,  “1000 Gifts”

Some big news on my birthday.

Today is my birthday.

For many years, I was taking finals or staying up all night to study for finals on my birthday.  One of the great things about getting older is that I don’t have that to worry about anymore.  But beginning my 31st year of life seems strange today.  I woke up to a beautiful scene and took some time to walk around, thank God for who He is and what He’s done for me, and take some pictures of the snow and fog.

It’s a strange, yet beautiful site for May, even for Colorado (at least the part of CO where I live!)

Yesterday I had a cool experience of God meeting me personally in some ways that I really needed.  Dan and I are starting some new adventures…the biggest one being that we are beginning our adoption journey!  We’ve known for years that we would one day begin our family through adoption.  And we’ve finally taken the first step…requiring a lot of trust and faith.  It’s been really challenging to me and I’ve battled some fear and doubt in these last few weeks.  I’m told that’s pretty normal, but it’s challenged me to really cling to what I believe God has led me to.

Dan read this to me the other day;

“While fearful questions may stop us in our tracks, it is only words of LOVE and HOPE that can draw us to new possibilities.  More frequently, fearful questions only produce fearful answers.  And as such, they will dismiss as impossibilities the answers of love and hope.  Thus finally, those fearful questions, while they may initially need to be listened to, will have to be abandoned.”

I’ve tried to listen to my own fears with compassion, and then give them over to the One who is Love.  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 john 4:18).  As I’m stepping into the unknown, I am doing my best to listen only to the voice of LOVE. God is love.  We heard a confirming sermon yesterday at our church on Being the Beloved. It was a beautiful reminder that God calls us His Beloved, and through that we can live out our purposes in this world with confidence and trust. His sermon was titled “Oaks of Righteousness”, which comes from one of my favorite verses;

“…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor”

-isaiah 61

If you’d like to follow our adoption journey, please visit our blog; Dear Beloveds and also, please visit the Love Roots store if you’d like to purchase a print to help us bring our kids home!

Thank you for being on this journey with us!

{Beloved} Jamie + Misty

Jamie and Misty are good friends of ours. They’ve been married for five years and have a marriage that is blessed with lots of laughter. The majority of the pictures I took included Misty laughing at Jamie…so endearing, but I promised Misty I wouldn’t put too many of those up :)  Another special thing about these two is that they are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia.  They have huge hearts for the orphan and feel called to bring two (or more) into their family.  They’re still working on raising enough money to bring their kids home. Misty is a photographer, too, and is working on raising some money through Tax Deductible Adoption Donation Photography. You can visit her site Bohemian Blu Photography to learn more!

 

If you have a beloved and would like this experience, please get in touch with me. I absolutely love capturing couples; whether you’ve been together for a few months or many years…it’s such a gift!

E-mail me at loverootsphotography (at) gmail.com for more information!