Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer Smoothies

One of my favorite traditions of summer is to make smoothies with fresh fruit. I recommend using frozen fruit so that your smoothie is really cold and refreshing ;)

Here's a simple, delicious smoothie recipe I've been using lately. Enjoy!

Summer Smoothie
  • 1/2 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c strawberries 
  • 1/4 c mango
  • A splash of acai juice (or 1-2 frozen cubes)
  • 1 banana 
  • One handful of spinach 
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1/2 c Greek yogurt
  • Optional add ins: 1 Tbsp honey, or 1 Tbsp peanut butter or almond butter
  • Protein powder -- I recommend Illumin8 plant-based organic by Sunwarrior
Blend everything up for 1-2 minutes (Vitamix is the way to go!) and then pour into a glass and sip through a straw. So refreshing!

Yum! What are your favorite summer smoothie recipes?

PS Some of my other favorite recipes for fresh juices and smoothies.

Monday, July 25, 2016


Change is good.

It can turn your strengths into invincible powers. Sometimes you get sick of sitting in the chair so you build a standing desk.

Sometimes you get bored with painting so you dive into sculpture. 

Whatever is happening in your world, don't stop.

Things will click and doors will open.

Quote by Markus Almond. Photos by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Have a Fun Weekend!

Happy Friday, yogis! What are you up to this weekend?

I can't wait to relax, have slow mornings, have a BBQ with the neighbors, go to the beach, and eat dark chocolate :)

Here are a few fun links from around the web:

Easy dinner ideas. Also, I want to try this recipe for a quick lunch.

Ways to tune up, connect with, and become more aware of your chakras.

One of my favorite boudoir and portrait photographers.

Tips on creating the life you want. I love this one: "doubt the doubt." Yes!

Reflections on what it's like to do a silent meditation retreat. So fascinating.

Is your loved one depressed? Ideas for how to help them get through it.

Would you ever try drawing a tarot card?

Is it hot outside where you live? This depiction of summer made me laugh.

Also, in case you missed any of this week's posts on Alive in the Fire:

Happy Friday and cheers to you!

Illustration (1) found on Pinterest and photo (2) by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Badass Yoga Teachers: Filing Your Taxes

Today in the Badass Yoga Teachers series, I'm talking about a subject that I usually like to avoid thinking about: filing taxes.

All in the same year, I went from working full time and teaching one or two classes a week... and then to teaching up to 12 classes at many different studios. With my unique income situation, I felt overwhelmed by the idea of filing my own tax return.

What did I need to keep track of? What could I count as expenses? How should I differentiate between studios where I was paid as an independent contractor or studios where I was paid as an employee? Was I missing anything?

I quickly decided that I wanted to hire a professional tax consultant to help me file my tax return.

And that's my #1 piece of advice about taxes: if you're feeling over your head, want to focus your time elsewhere, or you just know that you have a complicated tax return, consider hiring a professional to assist you. It's not super expensive; I spent about $150 for the entire process, and was able to ask as many questions as I needed to, meet with my consultant several times, and call her whenever I needed help.

If you are going to hire someone, ask around to your friends who are established yoga teachers to see who they can recommend that specializes in taxes for independent contractors.

I ended up working with a woman who deals mostly with freelancers-- yoga teachers and hair stylists in particular-- and she also does payroll at several local yoga studios, so she's very up-to-date on what the IRS requires, how often they audit, what you'll need to do if you get audited, and what red flags to avoid on your return.

In the meantime, as you're finding someone you'd like to work with, I recommend compiling some data about your yoga classes and the income you're making from teaching, as well as your expenses. (My tax professional gave me an awesome spreadsheet to use to track everything, and it calculates profit and loss based on what's entered in Excel, and having a tool like that has made all the difference!)

Start by tracking this information:
  • the number of classes you teach at each studio
  • what you get paid for each class, as well as how much you bring in with each paycheck
  • mileage you drive to any studios where you teach
  • your expenses:
    • trainings
    • workshops
    • books
    • Spotify or Pandora subscription for your playlists
    • yoga clothing
    • yoga gear, like mats or towels or candles
    • costs to create your website or pay for marketing services
Also be sure to save paystubs or checks you've deposited and receipts for your expenses. I recommend buying a little file folder with a section for each month of the year, and organizing the paperwork that way (you can even write off the cost of the file folder, too!)

If you're interested in tracking your growth and attendance, you can also use tools like Mind Body Online to print reports with your class numbers (how many students showed up, how many were comps, etc).

All these numbers may also come in handy if you're applying for a healthcare coverage plan, and need to report your income, too.

One key to all this tax business is to do a little bit of work each month so that you don't end up with a big pile of work at the end of the year.

If you write down your income and expenses month-by-month, the process becomes streamlined and efficient. And by giving yourself plenty of time to find a tax consultant to help you file your taxes, come April you'll be free from any headaches and able to breathe through the whole process!

Want more info about how to file your taxes as a yoga teacher? Here are some other great articles:

Cheers to a stress-free experience when filing next year! Namaste.

PS Other posts in the Badass Yoga Teachers series:
Holding space for your students.
Books you may not have read in your yoga teacher training.
Advice from real-world yoga teachers on how to sequence a class.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ways to Wind Down After a Long Day

What helps you wind down after a long day?

Recently I wrote about my morning rituals; here's a little list to balance out the other half of the day :)

Relaxing Rituals for the Afternoon and Evening
  • Light a fire in the fireplace, or the firepit in the front yard.
  • Take a walk in the woods, or around your neighborhood.
  • Light a candle.
  • Read a magazine in the sunshine.
  • Have a glass of wine.
  • Watch the sun set.

  • Take an epsom salt bath.
  • Journal for 15 minutes.
  • Practice relaxing yin yoga postures.

What helps you relax at the end of your day?


Wednesday, July 20, 2016


Yoga allows you to rediscover a sense of wholeness in your life, where you do not feel like you are constantly trying to fit broken pieces together.

-B. K. S. Iyengar

Tuesday, July 19, 2016


Yoga is a practice of staying flexible when things don't go as planned.

My practice gives me the freedom to fail. To set a goal and fall short, and still stay hopeful. To try again, without judgment or guilt.

Yoga is a practice of understanding. Of inner awareness.

It is not a race, a competition, or a performance.

Yoga is a spiritual practice of awakening. Of seeing things differently. 

Awareness within each moment.

Flexibility to adapt, willingness to breathe, even as things change.

Photos in this post by Felipe Silva of Uprise Collective.


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