Breath Connection

September 14, 2016By Allison CelenzaConnection

Pre-natal connection and faith

As I walk out of yoga today, I take a moment to consider my breathing. Despite nearly 8 years of a dedicated yoga practice, shallow breathing continues to be my go-to rather than yoga breathing or belly breathing. I believe my shallow breathing habit probably stems from poor posture growing up hunching, which may be a physical manifestation to protect my sensitive heart. Through yoga, I have uncovered a belief that our bodies hold clues; I believe the shallow breathing and protected heart posture are my clues that this is an area I will be working to open in my life.

The other part of my story is that I am currently 7 1/2 months pregnant with a sweet baby boy. This is my first pregnancy and I have certainly applied what I have learned from yoga into this process because quite frankly, being pregnant takes a lot of faith. Just yesterday I had an ultrasound and have learned that my sweet baby is underweight and they are concerned he isn’t getting the nutrients he needs. Beyond the numerous doctors visits I will now need to attend, the biggest thing I can do is have faith….and to breathe.

But sometimes fear is interlaced with magic. As I lay at the doctor’s office yesterday with an ultrasound technician monitoring my baby’s lungs to make sure he is “breathing” (note: babies in utero simulate breathing but their first breath actually takes place at birth), panic begins to set in as the minutes tick by. The technician tells me that they allow 30 minutes for this activity in order to pass the test—30 minutes! Every minute that goes by, my breathing becomes shallower and harder to control as my worry rises. At the 25 minute mark I lay back and say aloud, “That’s okay baby. I’m not very good at breathing either.”, and he takes that long-awaited breath and passes the test. It is quite magical really. My connection to him is so strong that I just needed to connect to him and he connected back. The other magical part is what can happen when we surrender to our faith.

My breath connection to my baby reminds me that panic and worry can bring my focus outside myself; while surrender and faith will always bring me back. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Note: I gave birth to my beautiful, healthy son 5 days after this post was published. He was premature 6 weeks and 2 days and thanks to the help of the NICU doctors and nurses prospered and grew strong until he was ready to come home.

Look Within

September 8, 2016By Allison CelenzaConnection

Insight into my Scattered Mind

As my attention goes from purchasing a dress for an upcoming event to addressing the envelopes for a wedding client of mine to making plans to see a comedy show with friends this coming weekend, I can’t help but get a glimpse of a pattern in my day-to-day life. This pattern appears in the form of multitasking, ambition, and sensory overload. None of these things are particularly harmful, and can be great tools to use in order to accomplish change in life. Where I feel it is becoming harmful to me is when it distracts me from the connections I make with myself and my intuition from within.


I have studied the Myers-Brigg Personality study as well as Jung’s Typology test, and have found great insight into my own personality type, the INFJ. The INFJ, for those that don’t know, stands for Introverted Intuitive Feeling Judging. I could write a whole blog post on the intricacies of these four characteristics, but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on the Intuitive characteristic. The personality test I took gave percentage degrees related to each of the characteristics, and my Intuition came in at 98%. Clearly, intuition is a big strength of mine. So this brings me back to my point from earlier…why don’t I let it manifest to its fullest potential in my day-to-day life?

What I’m learning is that even though my intuition is a great gift, it doesn’t mean I don’t need to practice it. Same could be said of olympic gymnasts. It is a rarity to have such physical gifts as a gymnast, but that doesn’t mean that they can simply do gymnastics (and not injure themselves) without practice, and even a trainer to guide them along the way. Sometimes I forget the power of practice. It is so easy to see the accomplishments of others and not see the failures, practice, and work that was laid out prior to the visible accomplishments people market to the world.

One of my intuitions is that Hand-Painted Yoga is my opportunity to connect with myself and others, that is why I have decided to start blogging and sharing more—as a practice of looking within. I don’t believe one of my gifts is writing, so I appreciate your kindness as I start this journey and practice the art of connecting with you. Namaste.

Artwork by Hand-Painted Yoga