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!

 

just playing


   

What Are You Grateful For?

Sometimes within reality’s chaos, We lose sight of how fortunate we are.  There was a time in my life when being thin enough, pretty enough, or liked enough was the to me. Those desires to be below 100 pounds on a scale obscured my true priorities and derailed my happiness.

Once I realized how fortunate I was to be able to walk, talk and breathe in this body regardless of its shape and size, only then could I embark on a journey of peace and ease. There may be points of stress and discomfort in my life at the moment, but there is always something I can be grateful for.

Finding appreciation for one thing as simple as the sun rising and setting today will help you find light in the midst of darkness.

What are you grateful for?
  

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. 

Kripalu 200-Hour Yoga Certification: I Did It!

Bliss, serenity, fulfillment and love are the first words that come to mind when I think of my 200-hour Kripalu yoga graduation ceremony. I am overwhelmed by emotion and ecstasy. 

I contemplated being a yoga instructor for six years but never thought I was capable enough, thin enough, skilled enough etc. My fears of inadequacy and the unknown held me back from pursuing my passion. 

After exploring dozens of graduate school programs with little gravitation toward any of them, my mind painted an image of what my own yoga class would look like. I vividly imagined the methodically threaded posture sequence, the fun music, and the deliberate language I used to guide my students. My mind played this scene on repeat for months. That’s when one day I decided to pursue my passion.

After four weeks of a life changing immersion program containing crying, laughing, connecting with others and learning more about myself, I am finally a certified yoga instructor. I have absolutely no regrets and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for me.

Namaste.

   

        

The Yogi’s Ivy League: Week One

This experience is almost indescribable.

The first day was a whirlwind. Upon my arrival I went to a Kripalu yoga class, ate a delicious dinner with two of my new roommates and went to the first program meeting. I was overwhelmed by the forty-something faces gathered in our space, The Shadowroom. The nervous energy was almost tangible.

However, even without college-orientation-like icebreakers or structured assimilation activities, I grew to love these people very deeply and very quickly. Everyone, including staff, was compassionate, warm and positive.

As the days progressed, we woke up at 5:30AM to attend two hours of yoga (Sadna), ate beautiful breakfasts, had more yoga and lectures throughout the day and typically ended around 6:00PM.

Although I taught yoga to friends and acquaintances, this training taught me countless techniques and cues

I neglected pre-Kripalu.

Kripalu not only allows space for non-judgmental introverted insight and self-compassion, but also heightens my awareness to my surroundings. I’ve never been somewhere that provides this much comfort, emphasizes self-care, and fosters learning. 

So basically it’s more than I ever expected. I guess Kripalu (or Crypalu) really is the Yogi’s Ivy League.

Our Morning Sadna Routine (1 hour 45 minutes):

Centering & Meditation

Three Part, or Complete Breath (Dirgha)
Victorious Breath (Ojaii)
Breathe of Fire (Kapalabhati)

Warm-ups (ie. cat/cow, hip circles etc)

Mountain
Half Moon
Awkward Chair
Eagle
Warrior I

Warrior II (Side Warrior)

Triangle
Wide-Angle Forward Fold
Tree
Upward Facing Boat
Downward Dog
Pigeon
Cobra
Boat
Seated Forward Fold
One Legged Seated Forward Fold
Seated Twist
Yoga Mudra
Laying Twist
Savasana

The Sweet Breath (Nadi Shodhana)

I didn’t realize how much I love Hatha yoga, I hope to bring this practice’s structure home with me!



I packed way too much.



Coffee on Saturdays



Frozen Lake

 

Have a great Monday xx

Love Your Naked Face Challenge

Before college my idea of makeup was flavored chapstick.

Once I was exposed to the world of going out, Cosmopolitan and adulthood I discovered the beautiful world of Sephora. Now, I do not leave the house without a stitch of makeup on my face. Somehow, I even end up to my 5AM shift with eyeliner, concealer and mascara.

Why do I feel the need to wear makeup at every moment of the day? A lot of the time I play with makeup for myself, but is the onyx eyeliner I wear to the gym really for myself?

That being said, my new goal is to feel more comfortable in my own skin and really “face” myself. Get it? I love puns.

Although I don’t even brush or blow dry my hair, I definitely confess to a dimension of superficiality when I slather on my Jergen’s Natural Glow self-tanning sprays and lotions. Also, when I get ready for a night out I play with shadows, lipsticks, maybe cake a few shades of foundations on my face and top it off with fake eyelashes.

I think makeup is a fun way to change up your look, but I don’t like that I’ve become reliant on it. I’ve stopped using my self tanner, and hope to use makeup less frequently. And here’s my naked face:

-1Wish me luck!

Body Prep for my 200-hour Yoga Program

What’s unique about Kripalu’s 200-hour Yoga Teaching Program is that I will be living on the grounds for 28 days, eating three vegetarian meals a day and do an insane amount of yoga things.

Kripalu is so organized; they sent me two very helpful packets explaining how to maintain my health before and during the program. Here are the things I will be aiming for during the next twenty days.

1. Eating only three meals a day around 8:00AM, 12:00PM & 6:00PM

Setting meal times now will help my internal clock adjust to the scheduled meal times at Kripalu.

The objective is to prepare my body for the rigorous schedule of the teaching program. Here’s an example of the daily schedule:

Morning Yoga 6:00AM-7:45AM
Breakfast 8:00AM-8:30AM
Program Session 9:00AM-11:45AM
Lunch 11:45AM-1:30PM
Program Session 2:00PM-4:00PM
Yoga/Program Session 4:15PM-6:00PM
Dinner 6:00PM-7:00PM
Evening Session 7:30PM-9:00PM

2. Go to bed between 8:00PM and 10:00PM

I already wake up for 5AM shifts for work, I just need to learn to get enough rest. This isn’t college anymore; no more all-nighters.

3. Lengthen & increase the frequency of my yoga sessions

I’ve been doing insanity videos and running a lot lately, now that the date is approaching I need to refocus on my yoga practice.

4. Follow Guidelines for Healthy Digestion:

  • Avoid eating raw and cooked foods together
  • Choose only 3-4 items at each meal
  • Sip warm water instead of cold water
  • Eat without distractions
-1

Three vegetarian ingredients for breakfast: quinoa, almonds, blueberries.

I’m excited to meet like-minded people, learn more about myself and pursue something that I love. However, I’m nervous that I won’t excel or perform as well as I’d like. I’m also anxious to see how the workload and rigid schedule will work for me.

Above all, the word surreal comes to mind. It’s so surreal that the date is approaching!

xx