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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


The Lotus

Nov 02, 2022 10:14PM ● By Nicole Zornitzer

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” — Anais Nin

To fully bloom into this life, into the present moment, requires effort, patience and courage. This message has become paramount in my yoga offerings and the ability to hold space for others as they journey through difficulty. In a recent conversation with one of my colleagues, we discussed the importance of providing a safe place for our fellow practitioners to evolve and share their struggles both on and off the yoga mat. 

One of the primary offerings we teach on the mat is the idea of encouraging the evolution of self through movement, breathing techniques and mindful engagement in life. This process is not easy and it is not meant to be. We have all heard the saying that anything worth having should not come easy. When we put effort into resolving past traumas, patterns of behavior that may not be serving us any longer or aspirations for a different future, we are faced with the difficulty of seeing with our reality with eyes wide open. This reality, while at moments may not be ideal, is one of importance to enable us to best map our path for the future. 

There are different methods to encourage release of samskaras (past wounds). One of the more common is through the physical aspect of yoga asana. By moving the body in tandem with pranayama (breathwork) we are moving energy through the physical body and thereby creating a channel to essentially release unwanted energy. This energy could be emotional baggage, physical trauma or spiritual disconnection. Another method to find balance is meditation. Finding this quieting of the mind and steadiness of breath creates an environment of peace and tranquility which thereby enhances our ability to connect with ourselves and others. One modality that has dramatically changed my private practice is the art of sound healing  which uses sacred instruments to move energy through the body. This form of healing locates areas within the body that are either lacking in prana or perhaps overwhelmed with prana. As a sound therapist, it is then my mission to effectively and respectfully shift this energy in the physical body and ultimately create change in the emotional, spiritual and energetic body.

When we allow ourselves to let go of the need to hold onto patterns of the past, we gradually begin to release the tight hold we have on past beliefs of ourselves or our life’s purpose. We are then gifted with the opportunity of a lifetime, happiness and true connection. Life is about growth. When the subtle aspects of the mind prevent such growth, the creation of disconnection with our purpose on this earth ensues. 

The risk to step out of our “bud” and blossom into a beautiful flower reminds me of the lotus flower that is birthed out of the mud. It is through the muck of life that we find our dharma, our purpose, our passion, and our innate ability to enjoy life as it was meant to be experienced.

Nicole Zornitzer, ERYT 1000, yoga therapist, founder of Niyama Yoga & Wellness Shala, located in Randolph, New Jersey; Upper Lake Mohawk in Sparta, New Jersey; Roseland, New Jersey; and Delray Beach in Florida.


Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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