Category Archives: inspiration

Mindfullness Apps I Love

It’s no longer realistic to think mindfulness is contained to meditating on a beach or chanting alone in the forest. One of the most inspirational teacher/healers I know, Silvia Mordini, is known as an Apple ‘Power User.’ People are amazing- we adapt to new technologies and invent ways to cultivate mindfulness within them. Here are some apps I have used that keep me centered while I’m on my phone 22.5 hours out of the day…

HEADSPACE: My #1 choice for meditation apps. It’s a simple, creative, modern app for anyone- experienced with meditation or not. The main program is called ‘Take Ten,’ with several 10 minute meditations beginning with very simple techniques and building on them. 

INSIGHT MEDITATION TIMER: The basic function of this app is a peaceful/gentle alarm that tells you when the time you have allotted for meditation is over. I need this because I’ll be anxious about being late or whatever if I don’t set a timer. This app also shows how many other people around the world are using the app to meditate which is pretty cool. You can choose between singing bowls, chimes, etc to peacefully awake you from meditation.

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SPOTIFY: I would consider this a mindfulness app because music brings me so much joy and peace. This is by far the app I use the most. If I were homeless I’d still find a way to get the $9 a month for this app. My Playlists (mostly yoga class playlists)

ANGEL CARDS (old school verion): This is sort of a silly one. I read my real Angel Cards (these ones by Doreen Virtue) every day, but this app is just a little reminder to cultivate the beautiful qualities in angel cards. It has funny music and you can even write little notes with the cards you get.

I still have not found a good app for finding yoga in the area.. I just use Yelp or Google.

All of these can be found my searching the APP store on your iphone or ipad.

Get Clean

I haven’t been good lately. I’ve been strictly vegetarian for sure.. but I’ve been a booze-atarian bordering on drunkorexic. I’ve fallen into the same trap as millions of people. Working 60 hours a week resulting in eating shitty food, lapsing in self care, and self-medicating with beer, chocolate, and even vegan junk food I trick myself into thinking is healthy.

I will never be happy being just okay. I know from being on a high raw diet for years that my mind and body can do extraordinary things when I give them the right care. I believe a good diet can cure my chronic inflammation, help me shed unhealthy belly fat (the worst kind!) and help me be a more peaceful, happy person.

What prompted this was on Thursday I reached a breaking point. I knew my pathetic work/life balance (if you could even call it that) was not sustainable and my body felt like a dark heavy lump I was dragging around from job to job. A couple tears and $70 at Whole Foods later and I made about a gallon of green juice that I am nearly finished with after two days. I feel so much better.

Here’s the plan. February 28 starts the detox and rehabilitation process.

GOALS:

  • Fresh green juices: At least one a day. Other fruit/veg juices are bonus but getting the greens in is essential.
  • Green Smoothies: Daily. I already do this almost every day but having this goal will keep me on track.
  • 30 minutes of meditation a day: This is a huge goal and a time investment for me. After my vipassana retreat in 2013, my meditation practice has been confined to the 5 minutes of Savasana after yoga and the couple minutes when my eyes are closed before I fall asleep. 15 minutes, morning and evening. I will make time for it.
  • Practice yoga 5 times per week.
  • Work-out/Lift weights 2-3x per week: I feel 100000x better when I do this.
  • Strive for a high raw/paleo diet. Cutting out grains, dairy, legumes, processed sugar. I am not cutting out alcohol or coffee but I’m going to try to keep it to a minimum. Wine, cocktails with soda water and lemon or lime, and when possible fresh fruit juices.
  • Supplementation: Apple cidar vinegar, Algae Oil, trace minerals, and turmeric DAILY. These are things that have been recommended to me from healers but I haven’t quite been able to commit to, even though they’re sitting in my cupboard. It’s time.
  • Sunday Technology Detox: Take sundays off to be with friends, alone time, play the piano, practice yoga, rest. Keep phone/computer time to a minimum and don’t work.

February 28 I will weight myself, take measurements and photos. Because who doesn’t love a good before and after post?

Any suggestions, encouragement, words of wisdom?

love always,

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Spirit of the 12th Man

–I use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker online because I want everyone to share their own unique voice, not mine.–

I haven’t had my voice for over a week. Only one explanation needed: I live in Seattle. Teaching my yoga classes with a weak voice this week has been a struggle, but its more of a sign of patriotism to my city than an annoyance. Sorry if you’re from Denver or are equally as annoyed with the 12th man, but I want to briefly discuss the beautiful vibe in Seattle the past few months.

Yoga means to yoke, to unite. A well known stereotype here in the pacific northwest is ‘the Seattle freeze.’ Basically it’s the idea the Seattlites are generally very friendly, but can be very standoffish in social situation. The spirit of the 12th man has united us into an enormous family with boundless pride in our community. Honestly, I’m very sad the Superbowl is over, and this spirit will inevitably die out, making way for future events that will divide us once again.

The power of Mantra. Different sounds have different effects on human psyche. Waves on a beach relax us, the violin strings enchant our heart, and maybe thunder causes awe and fear. The speaking or chanting of Mantras provide us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves from the ordinary to the higher level of consciousness. Our twelfth man mantra is not unlike the sacred sanskrit mantras- they empower us to be our best, promote positivity, and uplift those around us.

This was a rare point in time, here are some sweet moments from the victory parade-

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The hero of the hour, Mr. Pete Carroll

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I felt no arrogance from the players, despite 750,000+ fans cheering them on.

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Every storefront along the 2.4 mile parade route showed their support

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Some Seattle schools considered the day of the parade an excused absence, but I don’t think it mattered. The very youngest fans and the very oldest fans came to celebrate.

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Crowd control was an issue…

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Every member of the team was celebrated as an equal.

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Even the coldest day of the year can't stop us!

Even the coldest day of the year couldn’t stop us!

Click here for some great photos from the pros.

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2014 Lunar New Year: Setting Intentions Worksheet

Representing primordial femininity, reflecting the light of the sun, the Moon is our mirror. No one is immune to its magic- just as the waves of the ocean willingly abide to it, human behavior patterns have been shown to be influenced by the moon’s fluctuations. The Moon’s regular cycles have been honored by countless people throughout time, helping us measure the passage of time and being a constant muse and source of creative energy.

Although we experienced  a BIG moon at the beginning of the month, the official Lunar New Year arrives January 31! Even if you stated your intentions on the first of the year, it’s always good to reaffirm those intentions so their importance doesn’t fade away. But it doesn’t stop there! As my teacher Silvia often says, “if you want something to change, you have to change something.” I think where I tend to go wrong with resolutions is getting a little vague and fuzzy about the details. I need a what and a how to go with it. It’s the daily actions that allow the undercover miracles of this year to unfold.

Let it be like a rebirth of your self, beginning at the beginning with the conception of your wildest dreams and intentions. Write them down, say them aloud, tell people about them! While studying for my photography degree, one of my professors would tell us to introduce and describe ourselves as artists. You have to become comfortable with that reality to make it a part of you.

Then move on to the growth and development phase, the phase where you nurture that wild intention and it becomes stronger and more tangible. This stage could be like the growth of a newborn to a toddler, rapid, noticeable changes that are immense and exciting. But it could also be subtle, less dramatic changes like the development of a human after 19 or 20. Be patient, everything is a process. But in many cases, the more successful you are at nurturing your baby intention with the new habits and actions it needs to manifest, the faster and more significantly it will grow.

Step three: Manifesting. It could be this year, it could be in twenty years. That doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re moving in the right direction.

I’ve created a worksheet for you to really get clear about your own intentions for 2014. It’s really simple, I didn’t want it to remind anyone of a school assignment(I hated those). This document includes some affirmations, a mantra, and some prompts to get you thinking about the year ahead. I highly encourage you to print a couple of these out and fill them out for each individual goal. Then, put them somewhere you will see them! Taped to your bathroom mirror, next to your bed, etc. I really hope this is helpful to you!

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Download PDF here: 2014 Intentions Worksheet

What’s in store for you in 2014? Stay tuned, I’ll be posting my 2014 goals this week!

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Ganesha : The Master of New Beginnings

Happy 2014 Yogis! A time to celebrate sweet endings and exciting new beginnings.

Who is Ganesha? Ganesha is one of the celebrity gods in Hindu philosophy. He is the destroyer of vanity, selfishness, pride and is the remover of obstacles. He clears the obstacles in your life, so there is nothing stopping you between you and your ideal life. I feel Ganesh is a kindred spirit to me because he loves sweets, and he loves to dance!

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He is half boy, half elephant, and the son of Shiva and Parvati. The head of Ganesh represents the Atman (ultimate reality), while his child’s body signifies the earthly realm of human beings. In his upper right hand Ganesh holds a whip or goad, which seems harsh but helps him propel mankind forward(like cattle) remove obstacles from the way. The noose in Ganesh’s left hand helps him capture and restrain all difficulties.

In his lower right hand is a writing tusk he broke writing the Mahabharata, one of the two major sanskrit epics. The Mala beads in his other hand represents the endless pursuit of knowledge and being a student of life. The candy he holds in his trunk indicates that one must discover the sweetness of the life, he loves sweets! The snake that runs round his waist like a belt represents energy in all forms. He travels by mouse!

On December 31st I took my last yoga class of 2013. The teacher asked us to close our eyes and consider the question, “what would you do if there were no obstacles stopping you from your ideal life?”

Not enough time, not enough money, not enough energy, not enough this or that…. These are excuses we use all the time. In this time of new beginnings, let’s get really clear on our 2014 intentions by letting Ganesh demolish our obstacles and excuses and not waste another moment of 2014!

Ganesha’s Mantra. Ganesh resides in our firey root chakra, the foundation of our being, and we can ignite him by chanting his mantra or silently thinking it during meditation. “Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha,” which can be loosely translated to “Yo! Time to wake up Root Chakra! Let’s get the energy of transformation moving so I can kick my obstacles’ ass and live my ideal life!”

And now for all of you auditory learners, Ganesha’s story through the immortal words of MC Yogi!

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Ahimsa

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Happy Sunday yogis, friends, friends of friends, strangers, christmas elves…

In the spirit of the holiday season, I present you with two interpretations of ahimsa.
From Patanjali’s yoga sutras:
2.35 As a Yogi becomes firmly grounded in non-injury (ahimsa), other people who come near will naturally lose any feelings of hostility.
(ahimsa pratishthayam tat vaira-tyagah)

ahimsa = non-violence, non-harming, non-injury
pratishthayam = having firmly established, being well grounded in
tat = that, of his or her
vaira-tyagah = give up hostilities (vaira = hostility, enmity, aggression; tyaga = abandon, give up)

Given here is Kino, the fabulous youtube celebrity of Ashtanga yoga, and Sri Swami Satchidananda, spiritual teacher. The important takeaway here is what Ahimsa means to YOU. Kino and Swami cannot use their fame to ahimsa the evil out of the world. But if we, one-by-one, commit to kindness in our daily lives, we can!

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148 BackBends Challenge from My Bikram Yoga Life

Here’s an excerpt from the awesome blog My Bikram Yoga Life. I absolutely love this idea, so I began my own ‘drop back wall’ at home. Thanks Leigh for the great post and inspiration!

Full post: 148 BackBends.

In the last seven days I have done 148 backbends. Is that a lot of backbends to do in seven days? I don’t know. I just decided to see how many I was doing in a week. I know that backbending is an important part of my practice, and I was doing them at home. However, I was pretty sure I wasn’t doing as many as I could or should. Keeping track of it for a week got me doing more than I think I normally would because I was paying attention. Plus, as a Type A personality, I just like to count things and keep score on myself.

Current location of my sticky tape. Gotta start somewhere!

Backbending got really fun yesterday (for real). I got some sticky tape and put a blob of it on the wall where I was currently landing when I went backwards doing wall walks. Then I put another blob just a bit under the first to give myself something to work towards. This helped in about a 1000 different ways.

First (no, I’m not going to count to 1000), it helped me see how far down the wall I was able to walk.

Second, I could see where I was in relation to the floor. Going backwards down the wall is a bit freaky. All I see is a solid color (yellow if I am at home and blue in the studio), but I often don’t know where I am on the wall. Now I know.

Third, it gives me something to look for. This helps me push myself. Once I’m warmed up, I know the marker I should be able to hit, and now I’ll just keep going until I hit it. Then, I can see my goal just below it, and I can decide if I can try for it or not. Right now, I’ve hit my edge, but I’m hoping to push to my new marker in a day or two. Having something to look for also keeps me focused.

So what does all this backbending look like? Well, I can’t make it down to the floor just yet. For now, I leave you with a picture of my current state of being.

My idea of a good time.

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I’m on Pinterest!

Follow me and I’ll follow you!

I pin an assortment of fun stuff about healthy living, yoga, anatomy, and food! I don’t pin stupid things, I won’t try to force my opinions on you, and I promise I won’t pin anything wedding or DIY related. Let’s share!

Follow me!

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I am a miracle made up of particles

Bodies of info performing such miracles.
I am a miracle made up of particles.
and in this existence,
I’ll stay persistent,
and I’ll make a difference
and I will have lived it.

A quote from one of my new favorite songs in the world. Just talking about music rarely does it justice, so I encourage you to download and enjoy this empowering song.

Free download of the piano version here!

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