I’m Lana Ramer, and I believe in the power of love. Cliché? Sure. Yet I believe in the amazing power of love just the same. And that’s what my blog is really all about: the things that I already love (travel, style, natural personal care, spiritual development and elevating the mind), musing on ones that bring more love into our lives, love as an action word, and how love is the answer to everything.
One of my favorite quotes is by Saint Catherine of Siena (1347-1380): “You are rewarded not according to your work or your time but according to the measure of your love.” That resonates with me so much. I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction, the idea that what you give out you will receive back to you. So how wonderful would it be if we gave out lots more love and received lots more back? That is the life I strive for, and hope that visiting my blog will bring a tad more love into your life as well. Because when you talk, think, read, and dream about what you love, you bring those things to you. So let’s bring some amazingness into your life.
Love didn’t always come easy to me. I was born in Ukraine while it was still USSR (my maiden name is actually Svitlana Iarmolenko). Soviets didn’t exactly nurture loving and kind tendencies among their people: it was all about working hard, being loyal to the Communist party, and hustling to snatch hard-to-find goods (which pretty much encompassed everything) during the time of harsh economic deficit. These were the values instilled in my grandparents, and they instilled them in my parents, and my parents instilled them in me. I was taught that being loved, accepted, and approved was to be earned by hard work, achieving lots of great things, and never speaking up for yourself. Living in a highly collectivist society, we were encouraged to put our needs aside for the sake of the greater good. And while giving to others is a wonderful thing in itself, I since learned that you can never do that from a place of sacrifice, but only from a place of personal love and abundance. That understanding will not come until much later, and for the time being I spent my childhood and adolescence working hard in a 6-day-a-week school, spending my weekends helping my single mother around the house at a fully adult contribution level, and never doing much of anything for fun for the fear of being punished for “wasting time” on things that were “silly”. I left high school with a gold medal, college with distinction and acceptance into an MS program in the US, and eventually Penn State with a PhD degree and a job offer as a college professor. In the philosophy of my country and my family, I had it made! The only thing lacking? Genuine happiness.
That was when I understood that something was terribly, awfully wrong with the way I approached life. No matter how hard I worked and how much I let my achievement junkie run loose – I didn’t feel much satisfaction. In fact, I didn’t feel much at all (other than burnout I guess). I went and bought clothes and makeup in attempts to patch up the holes inside, but those didn’t bring any happiness either, rather regret for spending money I didn’t really have on things I didn’t really need. In a frantic search for an external source of love and approval I involved myself with people who shouldn’t have been allowed to even step their foot on my porch. I felt this black hole inside that seemed to suck in all my efforts at becoming “happy”, and I didn’t know anything different to try. I followed the hard work, loyalty, and self-deprecating philosophies taught to me as a child. There had to be a better way, but I didn’t know it. That was when I turned to books. My grandma, an avid reader and probably the only family member who always loved and supported me unconditionally, always told me that I can find answers by consulting wise people. Most of these wise people, it turned out, are accessible through their writings. I devoured book after book, from Rhonda Byrne, to Eckhart Tolle, to Don Miguel Ruiz, to John Gray, and many, many others. And while I am still learning every day though my reading, meditation, and marriage to a really cool human being, I have come incredibly far in my understanding of what brings true happiness, not conditional on external circumstances. I cannot wait to share some of my discoveries with you. But for now, let me just tell you this: love is the answer to everything.
This offering is a 60min VinYin format class which stands for Vinyasa + Yin. It incorporates best of both worlds – warming Vinyasa flow with longer holds in deeper stretches of Yin yoga – for achieving optimal energetic balance and physical release in the body. For the first half of the class students will warm up through a carefully crafted Vinyasa sequence focusing on warming the areas of the body that the later stretches will require. In the second half of the class we will use the generated warmth to slowly and carefully open up and release tight areas of the body. Each session will have a theme/intention and will finish with a relaxing Savasana accompanied by a dharma reading and aromatherapy.