Uncomfortable Zone

I’m not sure if it’s because of my Taurus tendencies (or Kapha tendencies, for Ayurveda nerds like me) but I love to feel grounded and close to the earth. Thus, inversions where both feet are off of the ground TERRIFY me. Although logically I know I’m physically capable of certain inversions, my mind prevents me from fully exploring those poses.

Everyday I try to step out of my comfort zone. I hurdle into the unknown in hopes of slowly overcoming fears and weaknesses to only emerge with peace and strength. Whether I ask for a cute guy’s number, run (bleh.), cook an unfamiliar meal or travel and create new adventures, I learn more about myself with each experience. 

Understanding inversions will be on the top of my to-do list this summer. How will you step outside of your comfort zone this week or these next few months? How will that help you realize your goals?

Remember, baby steps!

 

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Wishful Thinkers of 2014

Resolutions are just wishes unless you have a plan. Create a resolution, or a goal, and don’t just focus on the final product but ask yourself HOW are you going to get there? What are you going to do differently this year? How are you going to measure your progress? Don’t just make a wish (Trevi fountain reference) and wait for it to happen, be proactive!

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Look at your resolutions for 2014 and genuinely ask if you accomplished them. One way to transition from wishful thinking to realization is to create SMART goals:

Specific. Think of what you want to achieve and ask yourself the five W’s: who will be involved, what will I do, when will I accomplish this, where will my progress and final product be and why this goal?

Measurable. Quantifying your progress and goals helps with troubleshooting and motivating you to keep going!

Attainable. Although you can accomplish anything, seeing your objective in an approachable light will be vital. Plan your steps wisely and establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow and expand to match them.

Realistic. Your goal should be something you are willing to work for and able to attain. Setting unrealistic, extreme goals are discouraging and unattainable.

Time. A goal completion time frame creates urgency. For instance, saying “I want to lose 2 inches in my waist someday,” diminishes your intrinsic motivation and increases the likelihood of procrastination. Instead, once you’ve outlined a specific, measurable, attainable, realistic plan then switch that goal to “I want to lose 2 inches in my waist by March 1st.”

Happy New Year!

Stay Fit xx

Breathe Through the Holidays

The holiday season is hectic. Baking, shopping, finding time for friends and family, the to-do list is seemingly endless. Take one moment during this chaos and breathe. Simply inhale, exhale and be present.

Approaching your week feeling overwhelmed, stressed, agitated and defeated will not help you accomplish your goals. Feeling your body breathe reminds you of the present moment instead of dwelling in the past or worrying about the future.

Relax, you’ve got this.

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The Balance Between Healthy and Obsessive

Any extreme is bad. How can you tell if you’re creating a healthy or unhealthy habit? Here are a few questions to honestly ask yourself.

  1. Genuinely ask why. Why am I doing this?
  2. Are the intentions setting me up for success or failure?
  3. Are the means to obtaining my goal in service to me or not?
  4. Is the time, monetary and energy investment worth the cost?
  5. Do I beat myself up when I do not follow the regimen needed to attain my goals?
  6. Do i deprive myself of things that make me happy? (i.e. seeing friends, getting enough sleep, “me” time)
  7. Is this something that I genuinely enjoy, or is it something that I feel obliged to do?
  8. Am I being true to who I am?
  9. Is my mind completely consumed with this?
  10. Am I happy?

When writing this list I had a few contexts in mind. Sex every night versus celibacy, overeating versus under-eating, excessive exercise versus no exercise, giving too much versus never giving anything.

I cannot stress the honesty enough. It’s one thing to censor your speech in conversations with others, but its another to avoid the truth in your own consciousness. Sit in the mirror and answer these questions candidly if necessary.

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From Skinny to Fit II

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My friend, a fitness manager, once said that most people have a little screw loose that drives them to pursue a career in fitness. As strange as that sounds, he’s right.

In my case I had depression and anorexia or orthorexia in high school, but labels are irrelevant. Essentially, I played two sports with just enough food to energetically feign a smile and conceal my intern battles.

Read more of my story here, or read my first STF post here.

I posted this photo on Instagram (body.culture) and got an overwhelmingly positive response, which I appreciate so much. As the caption says, “I’m wearing floral skirts differently nowadays. I’ve progressed from malnourishing my body to fueling it, from physical weakness to strength and from discomfort to confidence.”

When I see the girl that I used to be, I feel sad for her. I wish I could help her and tell her that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. She seems sad, alone and lost. However, the girl on the right drastically contrasts her qualities. That girl loves herself fully.

If you’d like to talk, please email me at bodyculture.us@gmail.com

If you’d like to follow my journey follow me on Instagram (@body.culture)

Victoria’s Secret “Perfect Body Campaign”

My friend brought this article to my attention and I think everyone should give it a read. Essentially, Victoria’s Secret created a new ad campaign branded with the tagline “The Perfect Body.” This slogan appears under beautifully photoshopped Victoria’s Secret models. Although these models have gorgeous physiques that they work hard for, that does not give VS the right to deem it the perfect body. By giving these thin, beautiful, genetically gifted women the title of “perfect” it makes women with other body shapes feel inadequate. Perfection alludes to the idea that this is the quintessential look for every person; we must strive to be this ideal in order to be accepted.

This is not the case.

This emphasis on aesthetic perfection from the media is damaging to young women. Everyone has a different body shape, genetic makeup, and fitness level. Their goals should be tailored to their lifestyle and culture. Shame on VS for making any woman feel less than beautiful or worthy.

Sign the petition here because “we would like Victoria’s Secret to apologise and take responsibility for the unhealthy and damaging message that their ‘Perfect Body’ campaign is sending out about women’s bodies and how they should be judged.”

If you’re on instagram hashtag #iamperfect to retaliate against this campaign.

200 Hour Yoga Application

I’ve decided to become a yoga instructor.

Lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed by the plethora of career options the real world has to offer. However, as often as I change my mind or rationalize each possibility, I keep going back to yoga. I am so intensely passionate about it. And not the passion that I feel about working out, cooking or a lover. Yoga is very personal to me.

I know, I know. I sound like a dorky hippie. I can’t help it.

Anyway. I have always dreamed of getting my 200-hour yoga certification at Kripalu Center of Yoga & Health. If Kripalu was a girl, she would be my woman crush Wednesday every Wednesday.

My biggest apprehension about getting my certification was that I wasn’t skilled enough. I cannot do a handstand, I struggle with crow some days and I still use the wall as a crutch for my headstands when my core strength isn’t up to par. However, after speaking to a sweet, soft-spoken woman from Kripalu’s office, all of my concerns were quelled. Here’s one question and my answer from the application. Thoughts?

  1. Why do you want to be certified as a yoga teacher at this time in your life?

Yoga is a huge part of me. Although I’ve dreamed of teaching yoga every day of this six year journey, there was always something holding me back from realizing this goal: my ego. When I first attended yoga classes I silently competed with others in the corporate gym’s fluorescent lit group exercise room. I mindlessly sped through each asana and did anything to gain the yoga instructor’s verbal praise.

These actions were in vain.

When my objective shifted from being in an asana’s deepest expression to listening to my body and being mindful of my movements, the real journey began. Truly letting go, finding peace, grace and understanding on the mat helped me appreciate my body, learn more about myself and discover my genuine passion for yoga.

After six years of transformation and redefining what yoga means to me, I am ready to help others start their own journey of mindfulness, compassion and understanding.