Friday, May 27, 2016

Have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Hope you have a beautiful weekend, yogis!

What are you up to for Memorial Day? Any fun plans?

I'll be hanging out with family and friends, relaxing, and doing some yoga.

If you get bored (or hungry), try this amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe!

Wendy's Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1.5 c sugar
1.5 c brown sugar, packed
2 c crisco (can use a bit less, or substitute butter)
3 eggs

Beat above ingredients until they are creamed together.

1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
3 tsp vanilla extract

Blend in to mixture.

Finally, blend in 4.5 cups flour, adding a bit at a time as you go. Fold in a bag of chocolate chips. Scoop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet and bake 7-10 minutes or until edges are golden.

Hope you have a beautiful and relaxing weekend. Namaste.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

3 Ways to Help Let Go of Worry

A friend of mine shared a beautiful thought the other day:

Worry is thinking about feelings instead of feeling them.

I love this idea!

With that in mind, here are three simple things I do on days when I want to encourage feeling:

1. Be in my body. When I'm connected to physical sensation, it helps bring me to the present moment, and allow feelings to surface and process. Some of my favorite ways to do this are to breathe audibly (exhaling through the mouth), stomping my feet, and practicing yoga poses.

2. Listen to music. Music is powerful for stirring up emotions. I have certain songs I know will encourage tears, or will lift me into a more positive mood. Make playlists and invite mood music to help encourage more feelings.

3. Sing, chant or write. I try to stay curious as I do any of these. It can be challenging to stay in the feeling mode instead of thinking, but see if it's possible to do these without becoming overly analytical. When I do this, I let myself sing whatever song I want to sing, I chant whatever chant comes into my heart, or I write freely, without holding back. Singing, chanting and writing are great tools for moving energy through me, which can release any blockages and allow the emotions to come through.

Feel what you feel. Namaste.

Photos in this post by Tom Huynh.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Let's Trade Lives for a Day

Do you ever get stuck in worrying about your own life? Where you feel heavy and weighed down by responsibilities, expectations, and obligations? Do you ever find your own emotions overwhelming and your relationships challenging?

Today, a thought for you to consider:

Picture yourself trading lives with someone you know.

Maybe a friend, a family member, a colleague, or even the waiter who works at your favorite restaurant.

What if, only for a day, that person could take over your worries and you could trade them in for theirs?

What would happen?

Obviously you're not actually going to do this -- and I'm not saying that trading would make your life easier or better in any way -- but don't you think that if you suddenly stepped into someone else's shoes, you might discover new things to be grateful for, in spite of all the worries and frustrations in that person's life?

A mom who's sick of hearing her kid cry -- suddenly you're in her spot and you have this rare, incredible chance to hold a baby. In that mama's shoes, instead of feeling a burden, you feel wonder at the site of a baby's face, and beautiful fingers and toes. Maybe you've always wished you could be a parent, and this experience of holding a child gives you a new appreciation for that role.

Or, you swap in for someone whose bank account is empty and they're piling up debt on a credit card. Maybe you trade lives with someone who has just lost a loved one. Yet instead of guilt or fear or grief, you're suddenly able to notice all the love that surrounds this person. The way their friends and family are offering such steadfast support and encouragement, the way they say, "I love you," and really mean it. You see the light and love surrounding this person, despite the dark struggle that they're going through.

Try playing this game in reverse: picture whoever that person is who trades in and steps into your life. What do they notice? What blessings are they surrounded by? Who talks to them? What freedom do they suddenly have?

It's my prayer that letting your imagination run wild might help you see the beauty that surrounds you, all the little things there are to be grateful for.

In this precious moment.

And in your whole one wild and precious life.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mixing Up Your Workout Routine

Hey, yogi friends! :)

This week I've been mixing up my workout routine, and I'm finding I like the change of pace. How often do you change up your routine?

Do you like to try different workouts, different types of yoga classes, and different meal ideas and snacks?

Recently, I've been varying my workout. Instead of my usual routine of a 60-75 minute yoga class each day, I mixed it up like this:
  • Monday: 3 sun salutations + 30 minute jog/walk + 8 minutes of abs + 15 minutes of yin stretching
  • Tuesday: 15 minutes of jumping rope + a few yoga poses on the wall (forearm stand and headstand) + cool down and Shavasana
  • Wednesday: 30 minute hike with the dog + pigeon pose. Later that day, a 20 minute walk with the family
  • Thursday: morning 60 minute barre booty class (amazing!); in the afternoon, 15 minutes of hula hooping, squats, pushups, and then 15 minutes of yin
  • Friday: 1 hour kayaking trip (followed by ice cream and a long, hot shower, ha!)

Some other fun ways you can mix up your routine:
  • ask friends to join you
  • create a new playlist for your workout
  • go outside instead of being inside 
  • research free classes or meetup groups in your area
  • set a specific goal, and see if that sparks ideas for changing your routine (ie, I want to hold plank for 10 breaths) and also keep a journal with notes on your progress

I love mixing it up-- changing my workout routine keeps my body guessing, and helps me grow stronger. I always return to my yoga mat feeling new awareness, new strength, and more gratitude for my yoga practice.

What new ways are you mixing it up lately?


Monday, May 23, 2016

Your Year

What will you look back on next year or a few years from now and remember about 2016?

"2016... ah, yes! That was the year when I..."

Recently it struck me that the year is almost halfway over (?!!) and so it got me thinking about what this year has been for me.



2016... ah, yes! That was the year when I:

  • Made Sponsored Yogis something great(er than ever before)
  • Taught some badass yoga classes
  • Doubted myself completely as a yoga teacher, but kept teaching
  • Moved somewhere completely new
  • Allowed myself to be a student of yoga again
  • Learned to cook more
  • Lived by the beach (and went kayaking)
  • Believed in myself even when things felt like they were falling apart
  • Shot boudoir photos and loved it
  • Connected with some badass women and in publishing their stories, realized I, too, am badass (always have been)
I've only started this list, but already it's reminding me that this has been a pretty awesome year.

What's your 2016 been like? I'd love to hear...

Photos in this post by Tom Huynh (1, 2) and me (3-6).



Celebrate life, the sunshine, the people you know, the strength you have. 

Celebrate small victories. 

Celebrate YOU!

Make today a day worth remembering, through little (or big) celebrations.

Photos in this post by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Opening the Hips

In the yoga class I took yesterday, the teacher said something that stuck with me.

We were working on opening the hips and she said, "Take it slow. These are some of the biggest muscles in the body. Getting them to open takes time."

Such a great reminder, don't you think?

When we are working on something big -- something that's vital to the very core of our being -- we must take it slow. Whether that's the muscles of the area around the hips and pelvis, or it's the work that we're doing in our lives, the impact we're making. When we remember to take it slow, we find the opening we need.

Photos in this post by Justin Kral.


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