A Mindful Transformation

 

I see many things in this photograph (taken 2010). I see a girl skittishly looking at the seeminlgy impossible journey ahead of her, a girl desperately seeking calm, and lastly I see a girl I barely recognize.


Pursing my passion was a breath of fresh air. Yoga created the space to intrinsically explore the mind, navigate the journey ahead despite adversity, and to love myself wholeheartedly. Yoga’s elements of self-care showed me to importance of listening to and prioritizing my needs. With this small shift of asking myself what I truly need, I have found small ways to create my own happiness.


For those of you who have never done yoga, the best way I can describe it in this context is using mindful movement to manifest a deep, intimate relationship with yourself. In this fast-paced world when else are we invited to slow down and attend to our needs? Giving myself the time and permission to feel, think, heal, and move freely on my mat without judgement is empowering.


How can you bring a moment of silence, peace and clarity to reflect on your thoughts and needs without yoga? Maybe it can be as simple as driving without music for ten minutes or eating a meal in silence. 
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Summer Solstice!

Gah, where to begin!

So the solstice, or June 21st signifies the start of summer. If you’ve read Birthdays are the new New Year’s then you know I LOVE new beginnings. I’ve already planned my July detox… But that’s another post.

I spent the first day of summer in beautiful, sunny New York City. I took a 5:40AM train into Grand Central, met with my life coach for coffee and headed over to her assistant coaching class. Since I agreed to a code of confidentiality, I’ll just speak about my feelings and thoughts coming away from the experience. Students of the program spoke very openly, honestly and deeply about themselves. Their self-awareness and yearning to better their own lives made me feel at home. This experience solidified the fact that I want to be a life coach.

After seeing the characteristics of these successful individuals, I know that i can both enjoy and excel in this field. Next step? Actually finding a program. Oy. Too many options!

So after those beautiful coaching conversations, I changed out of my business attire into comfy yoga gear. Every year for the past five years I’ve gone to an event in the city called “Solstice in Times Square.” Essentially, thousands of people from all over come to the bustling heart of Times Square and do donation-based yoga. It is such an incredible experience. Doing a back bend on your mat, seeing a sea of strangers with a common interest, all staring at the gorgeous urban landscape and sunny sky? Indescribable. 

I went to the 2:00PM slow vinyasa class and posted a facebook status about the highlight of my experience: Perfect day for yoga in Times Square! Out of the thousands of people at the Summer Solstice event, I sat next to a man from Amsterdam. Afterward he thanked me for bringing lightness and positivity to the practice without needing to say a word. He said I had a gift. Just feeling really appreciated and inspired after those words of kindness.

Overall, perfect start to a new season.

P.S. I applied for a fitness position at a nearby gym. Also, my ACE personal training certification bundle arrived today! I’ll start studying tomorrow or Wednesday and hope to take the exam in twelve weeks.

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“Girls Can’t Grill”

I love grilling in the summer time! Not only is it figure friendly, but also the smokiness and crispness of anything you grill is irresistible. Last night I made my family and I halibut steaks with marinated eggplant and salad. I’m trying to go back to basics.

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I went to my local Asian market and found these beautifully shaped eggplants! I couldn’t resist. The eggplant recipe that I used is from a magazine, it was perfect:

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Italian Grilled Halibut Steaks

Ingredients

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
4 TBS lemon juice
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
4 halibut steaks

Directions

Preheat grill with even, medium high flames. Mix first five ingredients together in a bowl. Baste halibut with lemon mixture on both sides. Place on grill, let cook for five minutes or until the flesh pulls away from the grill easily. Baste the fish again with the mixture, then flip. Cook  for another 4-5 minutes. Serve with eggplant, greens and lemon wedges.

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Outdoor Yoga

If you’ve read my last post “My Goals – Six Month Plan then you’d know that I’m practicing yoga every single day. Regardless of the session length, yoga gives me clarity and helps me practice mindfulness. Being mindful while eating, exercising and making decisions throughout the day is super important.

Another reason why I love yoga is that it’s the epitome of “me time”. Learning about how flexible, strong and energized my body is that day is an intimate, important experience.

But what brings this to the next level? Being outside. Try walking, running or reading outside and I promise you’ll feel renewed.

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So today, I did 20 minutes of strength training, 45 minutes of spin and 30 minutes of ashtanga yoga (think aerobic-style yoga with lots of sun salutations). So far so good!

The ashtanga primary series – repeat the first two sun salutations five times each:

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