5 Ways to Get Grounded for the Fall Season

Hi loves! How is autumn going so far for you?

If you're looking for some simple ways to get grounded for this new season, here are a few ideas. Cheers to cozy sweaters, warm foods, and relaxing routines to help you feel rejuvenated!

5 Ways to Get Grounded for the Fall Season

1. Walk in nature. Notice the colors, smells, and sights around you.

2. Massage your feet with warming essential oils, or use a diffuser in your home. Here’s a great post from Hello Glow with ideas about essential oil blends for fall. Some oils to try:

  • Cinnamon
  • Clove
  • Patchouli
  • Rosemary

3. Eat seasonally. Make a dish with pumpkin, apple, or squash. Create a hearty, delicious soup. Energize your food with positivity and love as you sit down to eat.

I highly recommend this Ayurvedic cookbook for ideas on how to eat seasonally: The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well. This weekend I made the pumpkin dal recipe and it is delicious! ;)

4. Try a sauna or spa.

5. Meditate and write in your journal. Create space to process the transition to this new season, and allow yourself to express your inner thoughts and feelings. Fall is a great time of year to slow down, reflect, and incorporate more rest into your daily routine.

Much love!


Photos of me by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Notice Each Moment

It's all going to be OK. In fact, it already is. 

If you set your mind on peace, and keep it there, nothing can steal that from you. 

Not surprises or unexpected conversations, not heartache, not anger, not loss. 

Not shitty behavior from people you care about. 

Not feeling confused or lost, wondering what your purpose is, not even the days when you want to give up. 

You begin to see these as experiences as experiences. 

You have a chance to be human here in this lifetime, to ride the ups and downs and simply keep noticing. 

Notice discomfort. Notice your breath. Notice the way you can keep your heart open. Notice the moments when you want to close, and then stay open. 

Take up space. Take care of you. 

It's all OK.

Photos by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.

What to Look for In a Pair of Yoga Pants

Yogis, I'm sure you've been there before: you're at your favorite studio, five minutes into class, and you realize... "Sh*t. These yoga pants suck!"

Or maybe you're new to yoga and trying to decide where to shop.

Well, let me help you out a little bit :)

What makes a pair of yoga pants awesome?

To me, finding a wonderful pair of leggings to wear to yoga is about three things:

1. Comfort. I like my yoga pants to fit snugly, but not so snug that they're uncomfortable. Yoga pants should be comfy enough that I can wear them for half the day, or more. 

2. Performance. Do the yoga pants move around too much while I'm practicing, or do they stay put? Do I feel hot when I wear them, or is the material breathable, so if I start to sweat I don't feel stuffy or overheated? Consider how well your yoga wear will perform as you practice, especially if there's heat involved.

3. Fun design. Let's be honest-- the new trends in yoga wear offer a variety of fun, creative print designs. Long gone are the days of boring yoga pants!

My new favorite yoga pants? Ginger Orange. I've been wearing my awesome purple leggings a lot lately and I've noticed that they are super comfortable and they stay put when I practice. Plus, they're gorgeous!

On the Ginger Orange website it says that their brand offers "activewear for rebel yogis, urban nomads and barefoot hippies." Now that's an awesome approach for yoga pants, if you ask me!

Photos in this post by Ken Johnson of CKCImage.com, featuring classic royal purple Ginger Orange leggings.

PS Regardless of what yoga pants you're wearing, I think you're beautiful.

Summer Sun Salutation (Yogi Surprise July Review)

Are you enjoying your summer, yogis?

I can't believe July is already halfway over! Hope you're enjoying slow, sunny days whenever you can. The summer season is one of my favorites, and I've been especially grateful for cooler weather on the coast lately.

I made a trip to visit friends and family in the Sacramento area last week and it was over 100 degrees-- too hot for me! When we returned to the green forests and cool breezes up here in Humboldt County, I felt quite relieved :)

I love that summer encourages us to celebrate. To be outdoors. To invigorate our hearts, be creative, and strengthen our determination!

I believe with all the heat and passion of summer, it's also important to find ease and balance even in this active time of year.

What are some of your favorite ways to wind down on warm summer nights?

I absolutely love my new Yogi Surprise July box, which was filled with summer essentials to help me relax and unwind.

These are my three favorite products from the box:

Shea Radiance whipped shea butter with apricot oil. Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is incredible! I've been using it on my feet at bedtime and it feels so luxurious. It's also great for moisturizing my feet, especially the area around my heels which has been dry and a little cracked lately from walking around barefoot and going to the beach. I'll definitely be buying a new stash of this amazing butter after I run out.

Gypsy Soul Organics sun salutation salve. This little guy is my new favorite lip balm. It's now at home in the easiest-to-reach-pouch of my purse -- 'nuff said :)
Manduka Equa yoga hand towel. This super-soft microfiber towel absorbs sweat quickly, and is now an essential in my gym bag or whenever I take a sweaty hot yoga class. It's perfect for someone like me, because as you know, I sweat a lot! :) I'm grateful that Yogi Surprise has partnered with Manduka because I believe they're one of the best brands out there for yoga gear (you can read my review of their lightweight travel mat, or check out how much the Sponsored Yogis team loved their cushy, supportive eKo mats.)

Cheers to keeping cool, calm, and refreshed all weekend, and throughout the rest of summer, too! Namaste.

Positive Body Image and Some Simple Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem

We all go through times where we feel disconnected from our bodies, discouraged about our appearance, self-critical, or uncomfortable in our own skin.

Now is one of those times for me.

Since I moved, I haven't been practicing yoga as much, and my skin hasn't been the happiest. I've felt more tired and bloated. I've been out of touch with my own sensual energy, with feeling sexy. And, I often look in the mirror and think, ugh, and a cycle of negative, judgmental thoughts comes into my mind.

So, what can I do?

I've been here before, struggling with my body image, telling myself I need to be different than the way I am. 

I've wondered, am I beautiful? 

And I've had days where I tell myself I'm not enough, that I could be better, that I need to lose weight, that I need to be 'perfect.'

The more I read on social media, especially in the yoga community, the more I realize this is a common struggle.

How do we keep loving ourselves, even when we want to nit-pick every flaw and every mistake?

How do we separate our being and our purpose from how our bodies look?

I don't know about you but sometimes I associate my body image with my self worth. I've had thoughts like, 'I've gained weight recently, I'm not a good person,' or, 'I'm not a good yoga teacher if I can't choose a green smoothie over a glass of wine.'

The other challenge I've been facing is that lately I feel hypocritical. I often write about being compassionate toward yourself, believing in yourself, and accepting the beautiful body you're in. When I was teaching a lot of yoga, I would often speak to this during class, reminding students to be kind to themselves.

But lately, I struggle to do any of those things.

I figured today is a great day to face my fears and tell this part of my story, and also to make a quick list of things that help me on days when I'm being self-critical. 

Simple Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem and Reconnect with Your Body 

These are my go-to activities for days when I'm feeling self-critical, and need to let go.
  • Do a short workout. Breaking a sweat really makes a difference for my mood. This could be 20 minutes of yoga, a walk around the neighborhood, a 10-minute jump roping session, or some pushups and situps in the living room.
  • Soothing self-care. It's hard not to feel at least a little better after a hot epsom salt bath, giving myself a foot massage, rolling on my Dharma Yoga Wheel or foam roller, or lighting a candle and just taking a few deep breaths.
  • Write about it. Writing always helps! A lot of times I want to ignore what's really bothering me-- what I'm fearful about, or angry about -- but taking five minutes to write in my journal can help uncover the deeper issue I'm struggling with.
  • Drink extra water. Staying hydrated helps me stay positive, and gives me a reason to say, 'I'm choosing to be healthy today.'
  • Celebrate small victories. I like to make lists of things I have to be proud of that day.
Photo via @nolatrees.
  • Use social media very strategically, or not at all. Social media has a way of making me feel extra sh*tty sometimes. I compare myself to all the famous yoga teachers, the successful and thin ones, and the people I know who are winning at life getting married and having babies and going on tropical vacations :) So, on days like today, I either take a break from Instagram and Facebook (easier said than done), or indulge my social media habit strategically. Lately I look at posts on Instagram from Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) or Dana Falsetti (@nolatrees), and that's it. Their posts are uplifting and real, and filled with loving kindness. I also follow a private group on Facebook started by a local boudoir photographer, and I love her posts about positive body image and the sense of supportive community from the women in the group. It's also nice to see that other women struggle with the same stuff that I do!
  • Wear a pair of sexy underwear. OK, I know this sounds like a silly thing to do, but it can help remind you that you're sexy. Maybe this even leads to some fun evening plans (solo or with your partner) which can boost your mood even more. Oh, and if you have boudoir photos, be sure to look back on those!!
  • Make a smoothie. Smoothies have a way of making me feel good about myself, plus they are a nutritious way to boost your energy levels. I love adding spinach.
  • Do something else. So, you're sitting there obsessing over how you look, what you ate, etc... just stop, and spend time doing something else. Sometimes I have to do this several times, just re-direct my energy until I land on something positive. It can be helpful to take a lion's breath, brush off my arms and legs to 're-set' my physical energy, or turn on music. I also love to spend time in nature or go to a coffee shop and read.

I'd love to hear from you, too-- what helps on days where you need a boost to your self-esteem?

Wow... it really feels good to get that off my chest! Thanks for reading along, loves, and for your continued support. May we keep encouraging each other, being kind to ourselves, and being honest about it on days when we struggle. 


PS, more posts on this topic:
On ways to feel pretty, and remember your self-worth.
Self love is powerful.

Abundance Is...

What does abundance mean to you?

Lately I've been pondering the things besides money that make me feel full, happy, and content. Things like:

Love notes to remind me I'm awesome.

Waking up to a house that smells like coffee, because it's already been made.

Warmth on a cold day.

Love from a sweet old pup.

The feeling of being out on the water.

The feeling of fresh air on my skin, and sunshine.

Beautiful, simple things. 

Yoga books I get to review on this beautiful blog. 

My knowledge of yoga. Being familiar with the poses.

Understanding my own body, and of how the body can heal.

Friends who will practice with me ;)

Friends who are loving, fun, and encouraging.

My practice.

And the sweet surrender of Shavasana.

In what ways do you feel abundance in your life lately? I'd love to hear...

PS I think I'll make this a regular thing, reflecting on abundance. In the last year of quitting my 9-to-5 job in order to freelance and teach yoga, I've learned a lot and reflected quite a bit.

I often find myself thinking about:
  • money and how much money is enough
  • what things make me feel at peace, whether it's my practice or my bank account
  • what I deserve
  • what I manifest
  • how my identity gets wrapped up in my work
  • what my career goals are
  • when my heart feels most full
Stay tuned for more posts on this topic of abundance, and how it relates specifically to teaching yoga. May you witness abundance all around you today. Namaste, friends.

Fun, Funky Shoes for Summer

Summer is here!

Well, not officially... but it sure feels like summer here in northern California :) 

Which for me means it's time to be barefoot or wearing comfortable, lightweight shoes. Recently I found the perfect pair from Iguaneye -- these little slip-ons are perfect for around the house, walking, hanging out on the beach, and kayaking (my favorite!).

I also like to wear them to and from the yoga studio, since they're perfect for on-the-go since they slip on. 

The other thing about Iguaneye that's rad is that these little shoes were inspired by the Amazonians. As the Iguaneye website reads, "Amazon Indians dipped their feet in the latex from hevea tree and smoked them in a fire to coagulate the rubber first tennis shoes...”

So cool!

Last weekend I wore these on our little kayak trip and was grateful to be comfortable during our walk on the trail down to the water.

These seamless slip-on shoes are lovely, and you can customize your order to pick any color combo for the sole and outer part of the shoe.

Plus, Iguaneye shoes feature little slits on the side for ventilation which means they don't get stinky and they dry out quickly. You can even opt to leave the sole part out.

Apparently the shoes are a big hit among minimalist runners, too, and are made from all recyclable material. 

I love my Iguaneye shoes and will definitely be rocking them all summer long!
What fun, funky summer shoes are you wearing?

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?


Honoring the Divine Within (Yogi Surprise May Review)

Do you ever pause to honor how truly amazing you are? :)

I love that this month's Yogi Surprise box is themed around honoring the divine within.

As we transition from spring to summer, this is the perfect time of year to take a pause. Honor the changing energy, the momentum that picks up as summer arrives, with its heat and ferocity. Give yourself a moment to breathe and simply sit with what is.

Honor the changes that have happened to you so far this year, and recognize that the space you're in is only temporary; things will change again.

This may even be a good time to take a break from some of the activities and plans that have been keeping you in a rush. If you slow down and savor the moment, what do you notice?

Here's a lovely quote from the Yogi Surprise box -- maybe take a few minutes to sit somewhere quiet and reflect on it.

This is a moment to savor. A space between the day's demands to give yourself nourishing time to dive inward and shake off any mental turbulence that you've picked up throughout your day.

...Allow yourself the extra space to connect with your pure divine self that is connected with all living things.

It is from this place that true balance, creativity, and nourishment are alive and reside in us all.

Here my two favorite items from the box:

These are lovely! I'm always grateful to add stones to my collection, and this set is complete with one for each chakra.
  • root chakra: red jasper for stability
  • sacral chakra: carnelian for creativity
  • solar plexus chakra: citrine for willpower (citrine is my absolute favorite!)
  • heart chakra: aventurine for love
  • throat chakra: sodalite for communication
  • third eye chakra: amethyst for intuition
  • crown chakra: quartz crystal for clarity

This lip gloss makes me feel so pretty! :) I love that it's a subtle color and adds a lot of shine. It has argan oil and echinacea and has a really nice texture, too. My new favorite makeup item (and I hardly ever wear makeup).

Be kind to yourself! XO

PS In these photos I'm wearing my favorite necklace from The Sattva Collection. If you like it or are interested in finding a beautiful piece of high-vibration jewelry, check them out! And save $10 on your order using the coupon code ALIVEINTHEFIRE. Namaste, loves.