This meditation is to help you let go.
Let go and simply be.
This meditation is to help you let go.
Let go and simply be.
Popsicles are fantastic for:
But we've found that it's incredibly hard (or impossible) to find popsicles at the store that don't have a lot of sugar and other additives.
And so, we are making our own. You may been doing this awhile, but they're a new addition in our family. And there's no turning back now!Read More
Here's a mini guided meditation to help you pause and reset.
Whether it's been a long day, or you just need a break between activities, or maybe you're at the beginning of your day and are wanting to create the foundation of mindfulness, this practice is for you.Read More
Yoga breathing for kids and grown-ups alike. Smell the flower + blow out the candle. Enjoy!Read More
This meditation is to help you remember + re-connect with the feeling of gratitude. Enjoy!Read More
Here's a little somethin' to get grounded, open and allow for life to flow more freely. Find a quiet spot, get comfy, and settle in for 10 minutes of peace. Enjoy!Read More
Recently I had an "Oh S*&#@!" moment. You know the kind where time seems to stop. And then you think, did that really happen????" And then you realize, "Yes, it did." And it's like a complete, harsh awakening to the present moment.
Yep. Those moments can really give you a wake up call, or rather an awakening of sorts.
3 Quick Tips to bring more mindfulness, peace and breathing room to your holiday season.Read More
December and I have a complicated relationship. Being raised with both Christmas and Hanukah traditions, having my birthday right before Christmas, and not to mention multiple holiday parties and New Year’s Eve, being busy during December is an understatement. Phew!Read More
Enjoy a few minutes of guided meditation for a mid-day break, post yoga session, or before you go to sleep. NamasteRead More
“If I could only just roll out my yoga mat and practice on my own everyday, that would be great.….. But I don’t know what to do or how to start.” I often hear this from my students, and I know this feeling well myself! I too used to be mystified by the idea of doing yoga on my own at home. And when I did occasionally practice on my own, it never felt as good as going to class. But life gave me opportunities to get on my mat and develop a sweet relationship with myself while doing my own thing.Read More
The first time yoga came into my life was about 8 years ago...I remember feeling curious....The initial feeling of calm and quiet was a feeling that was a little foreign to me, so this intrigued and scared me at the same time!Read More
One of the things I love most about teaching yoga is the inspiration I get from my students! It's truly an honor to hear their stories, share in their journeys, and grow together through this practice (on and off the mat). So I've decided to do a monthly inquiry with students and share their yoga stories with you here. To start us off is the lovely Sarah Pham, my student, neighbor, and dear friend. Sarah is a mom, who works full time and has a very dedicated yoga practice. Here are some of her thoughts on yoga and how it fits in to her life.Read More
I can hear myself telling folks "Breaks are good, even from things we love like yoga. The time away always provides new perspective." I've said this countless times to students who have taken time away from their yoga practice. Many of us feel guilty when we stray from our healthy habits and routines. But the truth is, life happens, and sometimes the breaks are necessary.
For the last week I have humbly stepped back on my yoga mat. Actually, I rolled out my mat at least 3 other times the previous week with the intention of practicing, but ended up holding my newborn as I modified my asana to "mama and baby" yoga, which was really "mama holds baby on the mat yoga." But this week the stars aligned and I was able to indulge in some "me time" in my little studio 5 different times! Woo hoo!
It's been 10 months since my pre-pregnancy yoga practice. And during that time I slowly let go of asanas: inversions, backbends, twists, and forward folds. I shifted out of my rigorous yoga routine to a more gentle, restorative, intuitive practice. And at the end of my pregnancy I actually let go of doing asana all together. With all the limitations and modifications, my asana was no longer enjoyable. So I opted for lots of meditative walking and savasana. My yoga of "listening in" became a practice of not "doing yoga," but rather "living my yoga" and honoring myself in each moment.
Fast forward to 1 month post birth. I'm adjusting to my new body, on and off the mat. Here are 5 things I'm learning and remembering back on my yoga mat.
1. Not being on auto-pilot- Yes, rationally I know that yoga is about tuning in to each moment. But after 20 years of yoga, as much as I thought I was aware of myself in down-dog, there was also a deep sense of familiarity and comfort. After many months away from down dog, I return with a sense of wonder. "Wow! This feels incredibly different!" My tight calves and hamstrings are great teachers these days in how to be present. Actually, it's hard not to pay attention!
2. Non-judgement- Well, my postnatal body feels very different that before, to say the least. Things that used to be easy are now challenging. Places I used to feel open are now tight. These differences are truly opportunities for me to let go of how I think I should be or shouldn't be, and to practice allowing for what is.
3. I am enough- Even if I only practice 30 minutes, 5 minutes, or have just a few moments of mindfulness, I am enough. Whether or not I have to stamina for challenging poses, or realize I need more restorative, I am enough. This is my mantra.
4. Patience- Nothing is permanent. I know this. As I humbly return to my asana practice, I know that each day gets easier, and each day I can do more. I know I can't instantly return to the strength and flexibility I previously knew. But I feel I'm at a new beginning, and with time and patience the beauty of my new practice will continue to unfold.
5. Gratitude- After taking a needed break from my mat, I return with a sense of gratitude. I feel truly thankful to be able to return to a practice that is so healing, so helpful in my life. Some of things I took for granted before (i.e. the luxury of 2 hour yoga sessions and ease within challenging poses) I now have so much appreciation for.
Breaks are good, even breaks from things that are good for us. They give us perspective and also new motivation. Breaks also offer us a chance to fall in love again with the things we took for granted. I'm feeling blessed for the break, and even more grateful for the return.
Speaking of breaks, I'm super excited about retreating this winter for the 3rd Annual Om for the Holidays Retreat! I created this retreat with the intention of offering a mindful alternative to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Find out more details HERE.
Twas the night before my due date, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..... Well, not exactly, I feel the "creature" stirring inside my belly! But otherwise, it's pretty calm and quiet around here. Hubby's on the couch writing his last big paper for school. Dog is by my side for yet another nap. The hum of the washer can be heard in the background. Yep, it's pretty quiet around here today.......... Is this the calm before the storm???Read More
Namaste - I hope you new year is off to a fabulous start! We made it through the whirlwind of the holidays, and hopefully some of the busyness at the beginning of the new year has settled. Now is another great time to check in, listen-in, and reflect. With busy schedules and heartfelt intentions, we strive to live our lives to the fullest. But coming from a culture dominated by the idea that "more is better," sometimes we lose site of the art of the pause, the practice of simplicity, allowing for quiet and silence, and taking space between activities. What do we do when we find ourselves getting off track and stretched too thin? We simply begin again. And again, and again and again. Each moment of our day is a opportunity for us to practice mindfulness, and begin again.Read More
The new year is a great time to get clear on our intentions and desires, and to let go of things that no longer serve us. However, January can also be an extremely busy time of catching up after the holidays and keeping up with our new routines. That is why I decided to organize a weekend getaway for the end of January as a way to pause, reflect and reset. The Love Life Yoga Retreat (January 30-February 1) will be held in the lovely Valle de Guadelupe, the heart of Mexican wine country located just 90 minutes from San Diego. This is a magical region of beautiful rustic countryside, culinary sophistication, and extraordinary wine. Here are 5 reasons to retreat to this premier food and wine destination.
1. The Food- According to chef Diego Hernandez of renowned restaurant Corazon de Tierra, "Here in Baja, we have a palette of flavors like a painter." And USA Today calls the region the "Napa of Mexico." The Valle offers a deep connection to the land, biodynamic farming, exquisite culinary taste, and the art of heart and soul in their cooking. Check out the Sunset Magazine article for more info on the food, wine, and magic of this region.
2. The Wine- There is a long history of winemaking in this region. Many of the vineyards here were planted in the 18th century by Jesuit priests. Today the Valle is home to over 50 wineries. The Wine Enthusiast voted the Valle de Guadelupe as #3 of the Top 10 Wine Destinations of 2014
3. Slower Pace - The Valle is a beautiful open countryside that presents an invitation to slow down. Away from the hustle and bustle of urban life, the Valle offers quiet, open space, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. And at hotel La Villa del Valle, there is minimal wifi and cell service- a great place to take a break from technology and reconnect with ourselves and nature.
4. Love Life Yoga Retreat - This January I will be hosting a weekend retreat at the beautiful boutique hotel, La Villa del Valle. This is also the home of Corazon de Tierra, Vena Cava Winery, and the amazing Troika food truck. In addition to practicing yoga and mindfulness, we will be savoring the flavors of fine dining, wine tasting and enjoying life. This will be my last retreat before my 11 month retreat hiatus. More Info
5. Why Not? My husband's Tony's name spelled backwards is Y-Not. So this is his motto for doing the things he wants to do. I've adopted this motto, and it seems to work well for reminding me to follow my heart and and embracing the fullness of life.
Below is a short great video on exploring the hidden gems of the Valle de Guadelupe
I just returned from the Om for the Holidays Retreat in Sayulita, Mexico. Five days of living in nature- beautiful thatched huts, free from electricity and technology (yes, we lit our rooms with kerosene lamps and candles!), nourished by healthy delicious meals, daily active and restorative yoga, lots of hiking, gorgeous ocean views, and most importantly surrounded by an amazing group of conscious, caring, and fun-loving folks. My heart is full, mind more settled, and spirit recharged. I'm ready for the new year!
How are you preparing for the new year? In addition to parties and celebrations, it's important to take time to be quiet, reflect, and get clear about our intentions. I'm not one for making new year's resolutions (which can often set us up for disappointment.) But I do like to look back at the year's journey- all the learning, growing, twists and turns. When we get so caught up in moving forward we tend to forget to honor and appreciate how far we've come. This reflection is key for practicing contentment along our the journey. And in preparing for future, instead focusing on how we "should" change and what we "should" quit doing, we can instead focus on getting clear. Getting clear about our visions and values, what makes us feel alive, and what direction we'd like to move towards, allows us to be less attached to how things to turn out and more open to possibility. Writing, meditating, and taking a walk are wonderful ways to take this time and space for reflection. Do you have any new year's rituals? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Om for the Holidays 2014 Memories. Much gratitude to Sarah Pham and Melanie Delgado for capturing these beautiful moments.
Many blessings for a happy, healthy, new year!
Love & light
Tis the season for reflecting on that which we are grateful. Gratitude is a practice we can of course do all year long, but it's good to have the reminder of Thanksgiving to help us pay extra attention. By remembering the good in our lives, we can more easily tap into the feeling of abundance which is closely related to gratitude. Here are 5 ways to practice feeling abundant and grateful.
1. Gratitude Journal
"Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance." - Eckhart Tolle
Whether it's in the morning, evening or a time when the feeling strikes you, writing things down is a great way to remember. I particularly like the idea of doing this at the end of the day as a way to prepare the the mind and heart for a more restful, peaceful sleep. Even if it was a long, rough day, taking a few moments to write about a couple of things in a gratitude journal can take us out of the mode of complaining and lacking, into a feeling of being thankful and having enough.
“Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment I know this is the only moment.”- Thích Nhất Hạnh
By practicing mindfulness throughout the day we can shift out of our habitual patterns of planning, seeking, regretting, and longing into a feeling of contentment. By being fully present while washing dishes, we can appreciate the sound of the water, the sensation of water and soap on our hands, and the act of cleansing and renewal. When we focus on the moment, we can more easily turn chores into opportunities of presence.
3. Share the Love
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi.
When we focus on negativity and what we are missing, we have less love and compassion to share with others. By remembering the good in our own lives, we are filled with a greater sense of abundance and thereby have more energy to give. Sharing the love- in thought, word and action- can actually helps us to feel more grateful. According to research published in BMC Public Health, people who volunteer their time to help others tend to have lower feelings of depression and increased overall well-being.
4. Move Your Body
According to Dr. Robert Emmons, gratitude researcher and psychology professor at the University of California, Davis, people who practiced gratitude also engaged in more exercise. Being physically active can help us to clear our minds, let go of tension in the body, and feel more open and free. Less stress = more space for gratitude.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice....And When You Get Off Track, Begin Again
“Waking up this morning, I smile. Twenty-four brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion.”- Thích Nhất Hạnh.
Just like everything else, gratitude takes practice. And the more we practice, the easier and more fluid it becomes. But we are human, and have our range of human emotions. It's impossible to feel grateful at every single moment. So when we find ourselves getting off track, falling into the patterns stagnant negative energy, we can always begin again. Wake up with the new day and renew your commitment to gratitude. Wake up to the moment and recommit to being present. When we give ourselves room to be human, and not perfect, we are less likely to get bogged down in guilt and disappointment which can infringe on being grateful. We must be open and willing to make mistakes, and with loving kindness, redirect our energy back the practice of gratitude.
It's been awhile since I last wrote. I took a little hiatus from cyber communication and have been focusing on nesting resting and restoring. It was unexpected for me to make this shift, but in "living my yoga" I had to listen in and honor what's felt right. I'm 3 months pregnant!!
It's been an interesting time of slowing down and moving inward. With the intense changes going on in my body, it's been a wonderful time for curiosity, reflection, and envisioning the future. Many of my normal daily routines have shifted..... everything from what and how I eat (yes, I've been eating every couple, with new cravings and aversions) to how I practice yoga and how I sleep. All my self care routines continue to evolve. And I understand that all the change that's happening right now is great preparation for the bigger changes that lie ahead.
This has been an immense time of learning. One of the main lessons and reminders is that our lives are always in flux. Whether we are changing jobs, moving to a new home, growing in our relationships, letting go of relationships, embracing the aging process, or simply observing the continuous evolution of our own consciousness, change is constant. So how do move through transformation with more grace and ease? And when it's not an easy process, how do we stay open?
Do you have any other suggestions? I'd love to hear your thought! Feel free to leave a comment below.
Much love and light,