Archive for the ‘Japanese Decor’ Category

3 things to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed by life

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

We all experience moments when we feel overwhelmed by life’s responsibilities. Perhaps we’ve just got a new job and we’re worried about learning all our new tasks and impressing our boss, or maybe we just had a baby and find ourselves knee-deep in dirty diapers, we haven’t slept in a week and the laundry has formed a small mountain in the bathroom. Sometimes we simply feel overwhelmed by the seriousness of daily life without being able to pinpoint exactly what is causing the most stress. Taking responsibility and learning to balance the ebb and flow of daily life is the reason we come to our yoga mat each day. Bringing those lessons off the mat is necessary to reap the benefits of our practice in everyday life.

The reality is that whether we’ve been practicing yoga for 20 years or only started last week, each one of us at one time or another will find ourselves paralyzed by that sense of overwhelm. It’s part of the modern human condition, but also a reason to put the lessons learned on the mat into daily life.

To help us all get through these moments, here are 3 things you can do anytime and anywhere when you’re feeling paralyzed by overwhelm:

  1. Take a mindfulness pause

Stop whatever it is you are doing, including obsessive thinking and worrying and come into the present moment. Look around at what’s happening right now wherever you are…the trees moving in the breeze, the traffic passing my, the people chatting at nearby tables or working at office desks. Alternatively, close your eyes and notice how your breath continues to rise and fall like the waves of the ocean. Ever tried to do tree pose while thinking about what to make for dinner? A mindfulness pause is an anchor where you can find stillness within yourself and a place of balance within yourself.

  1. Make a list of the 3 most important tasks

On your smartphone or in your agenda (I’m a post-it kind of girl myself!) list the 3 most important or most urgent tasks. Perhaps these will be the only 3 things you accomplish today out of the thousand you have swimming in your mind but by breaking the overwhelming “to do” list down into a first small group of 3, you lighten the weight and are more like to get them done. No use kicking up into handstand without checking shoulder stability, the core, and drishti so break down the big jobs into little pieces in the same way.

  1. Practice non-judgement and self-forgiveness

These go hand in hand for me. Before, during and after all your tasks, be kind to yourself, release self-judgement and forgive yourself for those judgements you’ve been making about feeling overwhelmed. We can not go back and change the past, but what happens in the present moment creates our future. No action is too small a seed to plant for tomorrow. How many times do we notice judgemental thoughts during asana practice or seated meditation? We train ourselves on the mat to observe, yet continue. A little extra non-judgement and self-forgiveness off the mat today creates a stable foundation from which we can continue getting things done.

Feeling overwhelmed is a sign to step back a moment, before either coming to a complete stop or simply going forward on autopilot. Once we take a moment to realign ourselves and identify our main objectives, we can move forward knowing that we are putting the lessons learned on the mat into practice in our daily lives.Overwhelmed

-Roanna Weiss

Three ways to shift your day through breath

Monday, February 9th, 2015

If you are having a tough day, take a pause and notice your breath. Do you feel yourself breathing? Our breathing reverberates in our body and this vibration is directly related to the vibrations in our mind that come as thoughts. As ancient yogic texts have explained, our thoughts affect our breath. Our breath affects our body function. Our body function/health affects our speech. Our speech affects our actions. And our actions affect our destiny. Therefore, if you want to make a change in your life, invite a positive change to your breathing pattern.

Notice the next time that you are feeling angry or stressed about something. Excited thoughts lead to an excited breath, which can lead to quick, reactive decisions; some that we later regret. Sad thoughts lead to a dull, heavy breathing pattern that can make it hard to take any action to help ourselves. Positive, happy thoughts are connected with effortless deep breathing throughout the body. This leads to positive actions and choices that can make our life better. The pattern of breath and thoughts which vibrate within you will ripple out into the functioning of your organs and determine what words are spoken, what actions are taken, and the energy attracted.

On-The-Go Breathing Tools:  

 1. When you need to quickly re-set – Breathe through the nose to allow the breath to slow down. This also helps you get more air into the lungs, and helps you clean more old air out of the lungs. If you pause and take some really deep breaths, moving the air deep into your body, you will immediately start to feel differently.

2. When you are feeling angry or stressed – Pause and fold forward at the hips, letting your torso hang down towards the floor. If you feel tightness in the lower back and hamstrings, bend your knees a bit so that your hips rotate over the legs. Now, lengthen your inhale and let your exhale last as long. See if you can stay here up to one minute.  Then, slowly roll up to standing. And notice how the world looks.32

3. When you are feeling low in energy or emotion – Stand up, feet hip-width apart. As you inhale, take your arms up to the sky. As you exhale, take the arms out and down by your side. Do this about 10 times, and begin to connect the breath with the movement of the arms. See if you can even go slower with the arms and breath. On the last round, keep the arms up in the air for 10 smooth breaths through the nose. And then gradually lower them down.

Suggestions To Start Your Practice:

  • Take a Yoga Class – Yoga is more than just exercise for the body. Many forms of exercise focus on exhaling, pushing and forcing the heart rate to rise. Yoga balances that with time to inhale lots of good, fresh air into the body. The more fresh air we put into our system, the more efficient our body operates. Digestion, assimilation and elimination improve. When our bodies are working well, it’s easier to have positive thoughts and take positive actions.
  • Practice Pranayama – If you are really interested in improving your breathing, consider taking a Pranayama Class at a yoga studio. Pranayama is the technique of expanding one’s life force (the energy behind the breath) through breathing techniques. Many Pranayma classes inlude a few poses to open the body and end in a meditation.

If you don’t like what’s going on in your life, before you decide to take a radical action, start simple. Expand your breathing to bring more positive energy into your system. This will ripple from your mind to your breath and out into your life.

Written by ~ Jeanne Heilman

Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Press Release


Chopa Zen Home and Gift Receives 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award

Panama City Beach Award Program Honors the Achievement

PANAMA CITY BEACH April 24, 2014 — Chopa Zen Home and Gift has been selected for the 2014 Best of Panama City Beach Award in the Online Retailer category by the Panama City Beach Award Program.

Each year, the Panama City Beach Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Panama City Beach area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2014 Panama City Beach Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Panama City Beach Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Panama City Beach Award Program

The Panama City Beach Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Panama City Beach area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Panama City Beach Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Panama City Beach Award Program


Best online Retailer Award

Best online Retailer Award

Welcome Spring with Chimes for Healing and Energy

Monday, March 24th, 2014

tigers eye chimeThe ice is finally melting across much of the United States, as nature springs to life outside every window. Harsh winters seem to bring about a beautiful spring, so this one should be glorious. Why not get your home and garden ready to usher in the warm breezes with these beautiful new chimes? Every chime is different in that it evokes a different mood or energy to the listener.


Welcome to the New Age of Noisy Meditation – Gong Therapy

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

healing gongWhen we think of meditation, an image of someone sitting cross-legged on a pillow comes to mind; perhaps in a quiet room with candles, hands upturned. But for people who are not quite accomplished in the art of relaxation, meditation can be very difficult. Fortunately, this group of people has a noisier option – gong therapy!


Windchimes Bring Clarity, Energy and Good Fortune

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

feng shui windchimeAs “Westerners,” some of the ancient wisdom of Asian cultures might seem a little unusual. Whether it’s the practice of Zen meditation, Feng Shui or Chi Energy therapy, it’s easy to feel like an outsider looking in. But windchimes have a spiritual energy that everyone gets. Kinetic and resonant, wind chimes bring a sense of oneness that calms and energizes simultaneously. It’s a universal language of hope and beauty; one that isn’t easily duplicated.


Astrology Soul Coach – Cosmic Dance for October 2013

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

Astrologically speaking October is a very dynamic month of change with a Full Moon Lunar Eclipse in Aries on the 18th and a Mercury Retrograde pattern beginning on the 21st.  First let’s tackle the Eclipse. At the time of the Full Moon, the Earth will stand in-between the two luminaries keeping the light of the Sun from reaching and reflecting off of the surface of the Moon, thus creating a Lunar Eclipse. We can’t deny there are physical repercussions as the electromagnetic pulses are temporarily disrupted. Psychologically there are effects as well – mostly positive.

All eclipses are harbingers of change, but Lunar Eclipses, usually indicate we have come to the culmination or ending of a project, relationship or endeavor. Eclipses act like wild cards bringing new people, opportunities or events into our lives that prompt and guide us to make big changes. Many people report eclipses feel like their internal systems have been rebooted. It’s the chance to clean out some old “programming” and make a clean start. Even when an eclipse drops something in our lives that seems “out of the blue” or surprising, when all is said and done, we often realize the change is exactly what we needed.

Mercury, the planet of thinking and communication, will make its third and final retrograde cycle of 2013 starting this month. This one is in the mysterious, sensitive, complex, and psychological sign of Scorpio. Scorpio represents our need for cathartic change and transformation and the need for intense and passionate involvement. Minds and hearts will come together to reveal some amazing insights!

Both events – the Lunar Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde – have change as a common denominator. We don’t always have control of the changes in the world around us, but we do have the ability to choose our interpretation and use events as valuable learning devices on our way to earning our PhDs in Earth School. Enjoy the ride. I’ll be back with you next month to talk about the Eclipse of new beginnings – a New Moon Solar Eclipse on November 3rd. I’ll leave you with the words of Viktor E. Frankl, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”

C.A. Brooks is a clairvoyant astrologer, writer, speaker and coach

You can find her at and read her weekly astrology column in Mark’s Power Peek at She hosts a daily radio show “A Course in Miracles Daily Lessons” on at 7am Pacific – 10 Eastern. You can also tune into her weekly Astrology radio program, Simpletales, on every Tuesday 11am Pacific – 2 Eastern.


Shoji – The Element of Japanese Style

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

shoji screensWhen we hear the word “shoji” in the West, we sometimes mispronounce it. Just for the record, it’s “show-jee” and it’s not limited to those rice paper room dividers we often find in futon stores. In modern Japan, shoji usually refers to wooden sliding door units, paneled with translucent paper. Specially made to smoothly slide on wooden tracks, these sliding doors are very quiet. But shoji isn’t limited to closet doors and room dividers. The art has gradually moved into window coverings and lighting fixtures.


Mt. Fuji – Japanese Legend and Cultural Icon

Monday, September 9th, 2013

mount fuji comforterHave you ever wondered how certain plants, animals and scenery always seem to be shown in Japanese prints, fabrics and artwork? If you pay attention to the popular patterns available, you will notice cherry blossoms, dragons, tigers, koi fish, chrysanthemum and bamboo emblazoning many different Japanese items, primarily kimonos. But one of the most prevalent icons of Japanese culture is the Hokaido print of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan. This active stratovolcano hasn’t erupted since 1708 and it is snow-capped for several months of the year. On a clear day, the mountain’s symmetrical cone can be see for 60 from 60 miles away in downtown Tokyo. Mount Fuji is actually a part of the “Three Holy Mountains,” along with Mount Haku and Mount Tate, and in addition to being a major tourist attraction it is frequently seen in art and photographs.


Decorate Your Home with the Graceful Stroke of Calligraphy

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

chiWhether you’re a decorator looking for inspiration or a follower of Zen who collects Japanese prints, Japanese calligraphy might be a major design element in your home. This is especially true with young couples and individuals who have more time to update their living spaces. Each Japanese symbol used in Calligraphy prints can be executed in eight strokes or less, and are typically written by professional calligraphers, but it’s also a popular artistic endeavor.