Awaken: An E-Book from Alive in the Fire

Hi, friends! Some exciting news today on Alive in the Fire...

I'm now offering an e-book!

Are you feeling a little lost? Lacking direction or motivation? Or maybe you could just use a few moments of deep rest, of looking inward?

This one's for you!

Inherent to the practice of yoga is the element of Svadhyaya, or self-inquiry. We explore layers of awareness through physical sensation, breath, emotion, and thought. 

In this 20-page workbook, I will lead you through a unique experience of yoga that includes asana (poses), meditation, chanting/sound vibration, and creative writing. 

You’ll explore questions such as, what am I here for? What’s holding me back? Do I trust my inner wisdom? How can I release fear?

Asking these questions isn't easy work to do. We can start by creating a quiet space, breathing, and connecting with the physical body.

What we find can be beautiful and enlightening... it may also be painful or make us feel vulnerable, raw, or overwhelmed. It becomes our task, then, to trust the outcome and trust our inner wisdom. Sometimes we must walk through the fire in order to gain clarity. 

My goal in offering this e-book is to extend a little piece of my yoga teaching into this community I've created here at Alive in the Fire, and help however many yogis I can experience a little more peace in their day-to-day lives. 

It's $3 to purchase the e-book, and my hope is that it is a practical, useful tool that can enhance your yoga practice and help you discover something new about yourself along the way.

As always, I'm open to your feedback and would love to hear from you if you try out the e-book and want to share your experience (my email is aliveinthefire at gmail dot com).

Please check out the link below to support the project.

Sending each of you a heartfelt Namaste.

Buy Now

Badass Yoga Teachers

Are you following along in the Badass Yoga Teachers series here on Alive in the Fire? :) I hope you're enjoying the posts and finding them useful!

I've been digging through my archives and realized I have quite a few posts on topics relevant to yoga teachers and wanted to share, in case you missed any of these:

As always, please feel free to email me any time, too! (aliveinthefire at gmail dot com) Much love and namaste.

Embrace, a Documentary About Loving Yourself as You Are

Have you guys heard about the documentary Embrace?

I heard about the film back when it was being funded through Kickstarter, and I just watched the trailer (it releases in September 2016 in the U.S.)

Taryn's story (and the people she talks to) bring tears to my eyes every time I watch.

Here's the description from the YouTube trailer:

When Body Image Activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013 it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn’s crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.

What Taryn is doing and the message she is sharing through The Body Image Movement is just incredible. 

You may have seen my post earlier this week about struggling to love my body lately, and the timing of seeing this trailer really resonates with me.

I invite you to check out the film, and Taryn's story, especially if you've struggled with body image or are experiencing loathing toward your own body.

Sending a big hug.


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.

Yoga for Healing the Emotions

Yoga helps us heal.

I believe the deeper you explore this practice, the more that healing extends from the physical body into the mind and emotions.

Over the next few weeks here on Alive in the Fire, I'll be offering some posts about which postures can help with certain emotions.

Stay tuned for ideas on how to incorporate 10 minutes of yoga into your day, whether you're feeling:
  • anxious or tense
  • angry
  • sad
  • in love
  • joyful
Please let me know if you have other ideas for posts, too!

Sending a heartfelt namaste your way...


Hi, lovelies!

So, I'm wondering... do you like to set personal goals? What's on your goal list these days?

With 2016 officially half way over, I've been thinking about my goals for the rest of this year (and beyond). A lot has shifted since I moved, and lately my focus has been on spending time getting to know myself and loving myself.

I've also given myself space to rest and to mix up my workout routine (sometimes I even skip yoga! eeps!) :)

Here are some other goals I'm working on (or at least cultivating awareness of):

  • Love my body.
  • Embrace imperfection; take the pressure off!
  • Cook awesomely and digest happily.
  • Limit late night snacking and get to bed by 10pm.
  • Do my own yoga flow.
  • Let go of fears (not being good enough, and fear of failure).

What are your current goals? Do you set intentions and use mantras to manifest what you want?

Or maybe you'd consider filling in the blank to this statement:

2016 is my year for...

I'd love to hear more in the comments below, or you can always shoot me a quick email at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com. Namaste my friends.

PS You can find more awesome ideas for meeting your goals or setting new habits over at the blog Zen Habits, by Leo Babauta. His blog is one of my favorites!

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).

5 Daily Activities You Can Do While Practicing Yoga

Illustration via Pinterest.

Note: This is a guest post by yogi Alberto Güitrón

5 Daily Activities You Can Do While Practicing Yoga

Who hasn’t had one of those days when it’s hard to find time to catch your breath? I know I’ve been there. Sometimes it is challenging to relax and be mindful, let alone find time to get on the mat and practice a full yoga sequence.

But hey! We don’t have to be on a peaceful yoga retreat to practice. Because even surrounded by the constant hustle in which we live in, we all still have to take a shower, right?...I sure hope so :) We all still have to eat, sleep, get dressed, and go about our day. So, why not fit in some yoga during the activities we do each day?

These simple poses can help you create awareness, soften any muscles in your body that are tight, and help you keep a positive attitude.

Here are the five activities that can help you fit asana in, even during your busiest days:

Image source: Power Living

1. Practice yoga while taking a shower
I will share a brief personal story for this one. Before bringing yoga into my life, I used to find it hard to wash my feet. I had to balance leaning against the wall and grab my foot trying not to slip and fall. Until one day it occurred to me: Why don’t I try it in a Standing Forward Bend? Voila! Now I can easily reach my feet and wash in between the toes in Uttanasana without worrying about the slippery floor. Then, a Halfway Lift is ideal to wash the legs, and whenever I feel adventurous, I even try the Reverse Prayers Pose to reach my back with the sponge. I encourage you to do the same. Just pay attention to your breath or the water will run down your nose.

Image source: Storyteller Within.
2. Practice yoga while writing

Even if writing is not one of your main duties, I’m pretty sure almost everyone sends an email, writes a memo or just types on a laptop at least once a day. How about doing it while sitting in a Lotus Pose or a Hero’s Pose? Just put a flat surface on your lap to hold your notebook, laptop or whatever you’re using to write, and feel like a hero in your Virasana.

Also, if you’re on a chair behind a desk and are too shy to sit on the floor in the middle of the office, you can try to grab one ankle and bring it over the opposite thigh (something like a Figure Four but sitting down). Send the chest forward a little bit and feel the juices flowing in your hips and hammies without the shame of your coworkers staring at you.

Image source: Elemental Embrace.

3. Do yoga while reading

Since you are such a busy person, you may not have the time to read a good novel. However, there might be some boring reports waiting to be read. Motivate yourself with a Sphinx Pose! Grab those papers, lie on your stomach and put them in front of you. Enjoy the backbend and you’ll be done with the task way faster.

Image source: Yoga Shala.

4. Get dressed while practicing yoga

How about dressing up in a fun yoga-ish way? You can put on a t-shirt while transitioning from Warrior I to Warrior II, both arms would escape through the holes at the same time avoiding the usual struggle. You could adjust your shoes practicing Triangle Pose; and if you feel brave enough, you could even try to put on your pants in a Headstand... gravity will do most of the work.

5. Sleep and yoga

This one is easy. At one point you will have to sleep no matter how big of a workaholic you are. Therefore, go to bed in Shavasana, relax your body, focus on your breath and let your body move deeper until you fall asleep. You’ll wake up feeling fresh, energized and with no back or neck pain.

Now, those who claim not to have time for yoga have run out of excuses. And even if you do have time for your regular practice, these poses are fun to do and will help remind you to carry your practice with you no matter where you are.

Alberto Güitrón is a Community Manager at He is a committed yoga practitioner who still can’t touch the ground with his heels in Downward Dog. One day he’ll do it and he will probably write a story bragging about it.

You are Worthy

 Photos by Respiro Photography.

You are worthy of love.

You're worthy of good things.

You're lovable, just the way you are-- the way you look, how smart you are, how many breaths you can hold a yoga pose, how many items you've crossed off your to-do list.

You actually don't need to change a thing to become worthy. You already are.

Nothing you do can change the fact that you're worthy and deserving of this beautiful, breathtaking life.

You Are Beautiful

Photos by Tra Huynh of Two Twenty Photography.

Remember how beautiful you are. Remember real beauty is inside, even though the world sometimes tells you otherwise.

Feel this.

Write it down if you need to.

Remind others that they are beautiful, inside and out.

Know the ways you are beautiful. Feel them.

The softness of your smile. The way you look in the afternoon, the way speckled light dances in your hair, and in those moments, your confidence and calm. Your way of being infinite and all at once, present in this moment.

What if, just for a second, you could see yourself the way others see you? How beautiful and precious you are. How perfect.

Trust what you know to be true: that you are beautiful.

When you doubt this, return to the reminder you've written to yourself.


Distraction and Devotion

 Photos by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

There is this constant balance between devotion and distraction. 

In this moment, where do I focus my attention? 

And when I step back and look at my life, what have I devoted myself to? 

Am I distracted by what surrounds me-- or have I set my gaze on what I most desire? 

Every moment has purpose. Every life has purpose. 

What holds your devotion? 

Badass Women: Rose D.

Today, in the Badass Women dear friend Rose, an incredible massage therapist and entrepreneur who is one of the most soulful, open-hearted people I know. I admire Rose for her courage, her independence, her work ethic, and her positive outlook. 

Rose shines brightly anywhere she goes, and when you're around her, you begin to notice how present she is. Her mind isn't wandering elsewhere-- she's here, right now, with you. I'm so grateful for Rose and excited to see where her dreams lead her.

What makes you a badass?
I define a badass as someone that does not let fear hold them back from achieving their dreams and living up to their potential (I am a work in progress;-). We all have incredible talents and capabilities yet most people aren't taught how to harness them and believe that we can actually pursue them and make a living at the same time. A badass knows that anything with a pure motive to help others will be fully guided and supported by a higher power. This takes an immense amount of faith and is an art of maintaining a positive attitude as challenges arise. 

How did you get where you are today?
My journey can be defined as spiritual one that came about through in-depth soul searching. From an early age I found it extremely easy and enjoyable to tune into someone's body because of a genuine concern and desire to improve their physical, mental and emotional state. As an added bonus, I felt therapeutic benefits from giving treatments as well.  

I realized that my gift for stress relief, relaxation and pain relief was rare and much needed in a high-stress society. I realized that I had to take the leap of pursuing my passion in a professional realm.  I also realized that you have to believe that what you have to offer is so helpful that you are doing the world a dis-service by living anyone else's dream but your own. This mental shift has allowed me to discover other talents I have, as well as meet some incredible people that have similar visions of helping others live healthy and happy lives. 

My clients also inspire me by trusting in the power of all natural modalities and by doing what it takes to live in a Centered state where you can hear the messages all around you telling you to live up to your greatest potential. If I can be a part of that in any way, I am complete. 

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
Gratitude is key. Every morning I think of what a blessing it is to be given a brand-new baby day with immense potential. Prayer and Meditation are the two most powerful tools for staying grounded and rejuvenated. Counting my blessings on an everyday basis keeps my focus on the bright side. I also remember to keep a light-hearted attitude and not take myself too seriously. Spending time with children and animals always help me remember this. Breathing exercises, alone time, journaling, spiritual conversations, reading the bible and being one with nature always seems to pull me out of trivial matters and gain a strengthened perspective.

What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered? 
Remember that no matter who you are or what has happened in the past or is happening, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for. Life itself, food to eat, air to breathe, freedom of choice, the trees, a your eyes to these things and the blessings will flood into your mind. Feeling happy with yourself and where you are right now will allow you to be in a state of mind to dream bigger as you realize your potential as a result.  Know what you want. Set goals and stay away from self-doubt. Balance humility and confidence with grace. Know that no one has it all figured out completely.

Empowerment comes from accepting the things that you can't change and making the most of the things you can. Also, never depend on anyone to tell you, you can do it; you have to believe in yourself and the unlimited power that surrounds us.

How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;)
Never quit! I will never stop growing, and being open and available for opportunities to help in any ways I can. 

As I gain more awareness, I plan on expanding in all directions, and also am focusing on a global effort by networking with other like minded individuals and utilizing my advertising skills to spread messages about healthy living and protecting mother nature's resources. Somehow, it all fits together; healthy people, healthy planet...and the sky has no limits!

Thank you so much, Rose, for being a part of the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire. For more posts in the series, check out (other) Rose, Sam, and Summer.

Yoga Wear and The Ripple Effect

'I just want to live a meaningful life.'

Isn't that a beautiful way of describing what happens when you follow your heart?

Yoga blogging is a lovely way to connect with like-minded souls. Over the years here at Alive in the Fire, I've discovered many brands created by yogis. 

Recently I connected with Brittny of Twin Flame yoga wear. As Brittny says, she was inspired to create Twin Flame as a way to share love. She didn't just want a profitable business, but she also wanted to create a more vibrant community and fund-raise to create a kid's yoga program. She wanted a more meaningful life.

Twin Flame is a lifestyle brand inspiring a happy, healthy and soulful life. While the clothing itself is beautiful, high-quality and functional, the passion behind the business goes much deeper than that.

What I love most about Brittny's story is that it reminds me of the ripple effect we have on everyone around us. Brittny sharing her passion for life and for yoga encourages those around her to do the same. Her students, her customers, even her contacts on the other side of the country -- we are all inspired by what she's doing.

In a similar way, my Sponsored Yogis program directly impacts amazing women who are near and far. I share love and compassion with them, and they share it with others.

As soon as I told Brittny about Sponsored Yogis, she was happy to share a shirt both with me and with Keyla from the Sponsored Yogis team. Her immediate response, in fact, was 'I manifested this!' It made me smile, knowing that she had invited this opportunity for us to connect, and to support each other.

We both hopped on Instagram and shared a little Twin Flame yoga love recently, and that love has a ripple effect out into the online yoga community as well.

I also shared Brittny's awesome website and story with my friend Brynna, who is a talented photographer I work with on a lot of shoots for Alive in the Fire. At our recent photo shoot on the Tower Bridge in Sacramento, I wore the Hamsa Racerback tank

Brynna loved hearing about Brittny's story and seeing the comfortable tank in action, and so she placed an order for a Twin Flame shirt. While this story isn't all that revolutionary or mind-blowing, it again points to some simple truths...

We are all connected.

And every action we take, every act of kindness we share, has an impact on those around us.

Now when I wear my Hamsa shirt, I am reminded of these beautiful yoginis who inspire and encourage me.

I am reminded to stay true to my passions, to live a meaningful life.

Life is way too short for us not to spend time doing the things we love, and sharing kindness and compassion with those around us.

We all have so much love to share.

Whether we're on our yoga mats, blogging, wandering the streets of Sacramento for a yoga shoot, or hanging out in sunny Florida creating custom yoga clothes... let's remember to have a positive impact on those around us.

Thank you, Brittny and team Twin Flame Yoga Love, for all that you're doing. Thank you for the awesome tank and for sending one to Keyla so we can dress like twins even though we're miles apart. :) Thank you, Keyla, for being a part of Sponsored Yogis. Can't wait to take a photo with you some day wearing our matching tanks. Thank you, Brynna, for capturing these lovely heartfelt moments. Maybe you can take that photo with me and Keyla, and we'll get Brittny in there too :)

Namaste, loves!

PS Follow us on Instagram:
Brittny of Twin Flame Yoga Love: @twinflameyogalove and @twinflameapparel
Brynna of Respiro Photography: @respirophoto
Keyla of Sponsored Yogis and Eat 2 Live 2 Day: @yogabgirl
Rachel of Alive in the Fire: @aliveinthefire

Badass Women

Photo by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

Welcome to a new series on Alive in the Fire that's all about badass women. :)

I am constantly impressed by women in my life who are courageously pursuing their dreams and doing what makes them most happy. Women I've known all my life, women in my community, and even women who I've met very recently or only met online through this blog. 

Women who are teachers, mothers, writers, warriors, business owners, leaders, artists, yogini goddesses... beautiful women of all ages, shapes, backgrounds, who have experienced a diversity of successes and struggles in life.

These women are badass. They aren't afraid to take risks. Or maybe they are, but they do it anyway. They know their strengths and don't let fear run the show. They create art and think big and sometimes break the rules. They live life to its fullest, go for wild adventures, and wear their hearts on their sleeves.

I love, too, that these women understand the importance of loving and caring for themselves, and that they take time to balance their busy schedules with moments of rest and relaxation.

These women are inspiring and encouraging, and I'm so grateful to be able to share their stories. I hope that you'll enjoy their positive energy and bright ideas over the weeks to come. As always, I welcome your feedback and encourage you to share these posts with other women you know. As women, we've got to support each other in being badass!

Photo here and below by Brynna Bryant of Respiro Photography.

To kick off the series, I'd love to share my own post on being a badass. After all, this is my fearless year :)

What makes you a badass?
My relentless positive attitude. I believe others are inspired by my encouraging, uplifting spirit. 

It sounds silly, but sometimes I watch people around me notice my hair and my tattoos and the sparkle in my eye and I swear I can see its effect on them. Like at the grocery store. I'll have strangers at the grocery store smile at me, and I love that feeling, that I've brought joy to someone else just by being 'me.' 

I see it with my students after yoga class of course, too, and with my family and friends. Recently someone told me, 'You have such great energy!' and that made me feel so happy. Being the calm, peaceful person I am and being recognized as that is so empowering. Being badass is about being confident in yourself, and that's something I can honestly say is true for me at this moment in my life. I'm confident in who I am. I stay positive and I don't give up. And I share that sense of joy and peace with others around me.

How did you get where you are today? 
I believe devotion is a big part of it. Devoting myself to the path of yoga, focusing on my intentions, working my ass off, and believing in myself. Also remembering to stay humble and to ask for help when I need it. We all experience suffering -- goodness knows I've had some really dark times in my life. It's important to remember that we're in community with others for a reason. I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my loved ones and my yoga community.

What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
My favorite things for rejuvenation are massage, Reiki, taking breaks from my phone, going to a Yin class, and journaling.

What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered?
Clarify your vision. Get really clear on what you want. And then be kind to yourself in the process. 

If you're unhappy with something in your life, first you have to believe that changing it is possible. Tell yourself it's already real. When I realized I wanted to become a yoga teacher, I told my teacher at the time about my dream and she said, 'Perfect! Now you're a teacher!' She challenged me to start thinking of it that way in the present moment, rather than waiting or delaying or worrying about the 'what-ifs.' Before I'd ever even researched teacher trainings or led a class, she had me coming to yoga and considering it from the teacher's perspective and that shifted everything. 

You already have all the tools you need; I tell my students all the time, 'Everything you seek is within your reach.' Sometimes the part you're missing is awareness. What do you really want? And what fears are holding you back? It's a matter of understanding those things, and also finding a sense of gratitude for all the blessings you currently have. Make gratitude lists. Start each day with a list of 10 things you love. Doing this has always helped me shift my perspective so that I can move forward even on days when I'm struggling.

 Photo by Jobi Otso.

How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery? ;)

The more I love myself and others, the more impact I can have. I want to continue making my healing journey a priority, and developing my skills as a yoga teacher and a Reiki healer so that I can hold space for others. I always want to be learning new things.
Photo by T. Libertiny.

Coming soon in the Badass Women series... a magazine writer living in NYC, an entrepreneur from Chicago, and a massage therapist/esthetician from northern California, all of whom I adore :)

Stay tuned, lovely yogis! 

Peacefulness, On and Off the Yoga Mat

You know yoga is working its magic on you when you can become so immersed in your practice that you don't notice distractions in the room. 

The girl on her mat a few rows over who cracks open a can of energy drink in the middle of class. Or the one with a cup of hot coffee that she's sipping before the teacher walks into the room.

The frustrated sounds of a kid next to you sighing and saying I can't do this. The way you notice out of the corner of your eye that he reaches up in High Lunge and then promptly leans to the side and lands on his mat with a loud thump. But, you notice, he keeps going.

The person in the back row who's crying quietly. Or the one near you whose body odor feels overwhelming when experienced in the heat and humidity. Or even, a fart in the middle of class!

The sound of the teacher's bracelets as they clink together every time she walks around the room. The crackling of the speakers playing the music.

These are all real scenarios I've witnessed, by the way ;) When we show up for yoga, we are surrounded by distractions. There's drama. Noise, odd behavior, anxiety and frustration -- all of it shows up in the room at some point or another.

Can we allow ourselves to stay detached from the crazy that's surrounding us, and just stay with our own practice, breath by breath?

Sometimes we ourselves are the ones doing the distracting; we show up late for class and ruffle around in the silence, or we knock over a water bottle during Savasana, or laugh unexpectedly.

What's beautiful is when all these things are happening around us, and we're still able to keep our attention drawn inward. To re-focus again and again on the breath. To let go of our need to control every little thing.

This carries off the mat, too, of course. If I am able to put a breath, a short pause, between the crazy shit that's happening during my day and my reaction to it... that's when I know my yoga is working.

PS There's really no 'magic' in yoga... the benefits are a result of the effort you put toward your practice, and the balance you find by detaching from the outcome and surrendering to the moment ;)