ABOUT MONICA VERPLANK

About Monica

Monica Verplank is a Chopra Center Certified Master Educator. She is also a certified Ayurvedic Life-Style Consultant through the American Institute of Vedic Studies with Dr. David Frawley, Vamadeva Shastri, in Santa Fe, NM. She earned her B.A. in Education from the University of Arizona and holds her M.A. from Northern Arizona University in Multicultural Education.

Monica has practiced yoga for over 20 years, meditation for 10 years and has been an educator for more than 20 years as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent of instructional services and educational consultant. She deeply enjoys integrating modern neuroscience, ancient wisdom traditions and yogic philosophy into her professional life, as well as her daily, personal life as a parent, spouse and friend. Teaching the practices and benefits of navigating the stress response through breathing, mindfulness, meditation and yoga brings much joy to her life.

Workplace Wellbeing

Through simple breathing and mindfulness practices you and your colleagues will bring awareness to your own unique stress response and understand the damaging affects to the brain and physical body of hanging out in the stress response more than once a day, once a week or even once a month. Learn simple tools to effectively navigate stress and balance work or life overload, reducing the negative effects on the mind and body.

Contact Monica at monicaverplank@gmail.com for more details or to schedule a session.

Ayurveda

Ayurveda is the 5000 year old healing system of ancient India. The word Ayurveda translates as “Ayur”- life and “Veda” – wisdom. Ayurveda, the wisdom of life, understands that we are intricately interconnected in mind, body, spirit and environment. This ancient practice understands that the body is dynamic and constantly transforming, it consists of a network of energy and information in dynamic exchange with everything that surrounds us. Take the dosha quiz now to learn more about your own unique mind-body constitution. Ayurvedic wisdom emphasizes the importance of a strong digestive fire. Our digestion and metabolism are weakened through internal and external stress. Follow these simple tips to strengthen your digestive fire, improving your digestion and boosting your metabolism.

14 TIPS TO IMPROVED DIGESTION (PDF)

Meditation

Meditation takes us beyond the mental agitation of doubt, anxiety and judgement. Through the silence we remember our essential nature as peaceful, centered and creative. Just a few minutes a day allows us to experience wholeness in our lives, which supports balance, healing and transformation. In this world of turbulence and stress, meditation offers access to an inner sanctuary of quiet centered awareness. From this platform you will be better able to make life-affirming choices that benefit your emotional and physical well being.

Monica offers a variety of courses as well as small group and private instruction. View a complete schedule of her current classes listings in stress management techniques, basic and advanced meditation. Today’s cutting edge neuroscience aligns with ancient wisdom teachings on the power of taking a moment’s pause from our hectic lives to simply breath, to simply be.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of simply being in the present moment. When we are practicing mindfulness, we are noticing what’s happening right now. We harness our mind chatter and pay attention to what is happening around us, within us, right here, right now. We fully utilize our five senses to notice the sights, scents, sounds, tastes and touch of the chair or ground beneath us. In practicing mindfulness, we release our replaying of what happened in the past, and release our planning, planning, planning of what will happen later today, tomorrow, or next month.

One of the easiest ways to connect with the present moment is to bring our awareness to our breath. Holding our awareness at our breath, we notice the cool air rush through our nostrils as we inhale, feel our chest rise and belly expand as we fully, deeply inhale. We notice what it feels like to hold that air in, just for a moment, then release. We notice the contraction of our abdomen as we release the air and the warmth of the exhalation as it rushes past our nostrils, exiting our body. Just one deep, full breath can send a message of calm to our physiology, taking us out of the stress response and back into a calmer state of mind.

Through the practice of mindfulness, we simultaneously develop the three attention skills of concentration, clarity and equanimity. Concentration allows us to focus on what we want, when we want it. Clarity allow us to know, to truly understand, what is happening in the external world around us. Equanimity allow us to enjoy non-resistance and develop the understanding that while life can be unpleasant, we each have the ability to observe what is happening, allowing sensory information to move through us without pushing or pulling us in one direction or another. We flow with the moment and allow nothing unpleasant to stick.

Mindfulness is a tremendous tool to develop pause. It teaches us to pause, just a moment, so that we can process all the information necessary in order to proceed with a creative response that will serve our best interest, as well as those around us. Modern neuroscience helps us to understand how and why this moment’s pause is beneficial to the efficiency and effectiveness of our brain and its capabilities. Through a moment’s pause we negate the stress response, moving us out of our primitive brain (amygdala) and back into our pre-frontal cortex where high quality executive functioning and emotional regulation can occur.

Cultivate mindfulness in your life today. Follow your breath and notice how you feel. One full breath is powerful, three full breaths can bring you fully into the present moment, and five deep, full breaths can can take you out of the stress response allowing you to regain full access to the parts of your brain responsible for emotional regulation and high quality problem solving.

Wise Woman Yoga

Monica offers a unique approach to yoga, choreographing asanas/poses that move through areas of our core strength, tapping into regions of our body where we hold joy, stress, uncertainty and constriction. Practice this gentle, rejuvenating form of yoga and release old patterns, old sorrows and embrace all the joy and magnificence life offers when we are open to receiving.

Monica also offers private classes or small group instruction by appointment.

Chopra Logo 300

In the News

West Michigan WOMAN, a magazine for the influential and professional woman, featured Monica in an article in their Digital Magazine. Read more about her monthly classes and her journey to serenity.

“Caring and articulate … Monica is an amazing teacher who opened the doors to my — and my family’s — health, through her deep understanding of mind-body medicine. So grateful for her expertise and guidance.”  ~Susan V.

CHECK OUT ALL OF MONICA’S TESTIMONIALS