A meditation for when you need to soften, to be kind to yourself.Read More
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 breeze...open 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.
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!
Today, a post for Alive in the Fire's Badass Women series... I'd like to introduce you to Sam.
She is a talented journalist living in New York City and working as the Senior Editor of MarieClaire.com. I know Sam from journalism class during our Northwestern days and since then I've been following her incredible writing pursuits, admiring the hard work she's dedicated to build her successful career. I love Sam's wonderful sense of humor and the way she lives every moment to the fullest.
'Life without the boring stuff,' as she describes it on her Instagram bio... that truly captures the way Sam shares her story, and her fearless and beautiful spirit.
Oh man, to label myself as a badass is a bit scary—but diving right in! I think being true to myself makes me pretty badass. Cliché, maybe, but in my industry (media) and in life in general, carving your own path without being so influenced by what others are doing or how others might be presenting themselves is a necessity to being happy and positive and the best version of you. I used to worry about how others perceived me—I come off pretty young, I think, because of my attitude towards life and how I carry myself, and I thought that might be a detriment in my career. But anyone who knows me knows how driven and motivated I am—you don't have to be a miserable human who delights in others' failures in order to succeed and do well in your career!
How did you get where you are today?
I live in NYC—one of the best cities in the world, IMO—and I work at a pretty sweet gig (Senior Editor at MarieClaire.com) day in and day out. Northwestern got me the skills and the connections for that job, but I think attitude goes a long way in terms of where I've gotten in life. I think many people who have worked with me know that they should never mistake my kindness and happiness for weakness. I know when to put my foot down or make my argument. But having the understanding that we're all humans working towards something that touches others in a cool way—and that we all want it to be the best—is half the battle. And the reason I'm doing what I do every day.
What do you do for yourself to rejuvenate?
To rejuvenate, I love sitting by a beach. You know those people who can't sit still on vacations, who always have to be doing something? That's not me at all. I could sit on a chair, with a cool drink, for days. But if I'm not able to get away, just walking around the city—doing my own thing on no schedule for an entire day—that's like pushing the reset button.
What advice do you have for others who are looking to find happiness and become fully empowered?
It's hard to take people seriously when they say "be yourself." But knowing that your self can change—and that that's okay—is a big part of being happy and in tune with who you are. You don't have to stay the same person you were a year, a month, or even 10 days ago. You're allowed (and encouraged!) to change and grow any day or every day. I also think a keen understanding of what makes you truly happy—not just the stuff you *want* to be the stuff that makes you happy, but those things that actually do—is a big part of growing up and realizing your worth and value. Not everyone's thing can be your thing and not everyone has to "get" you—but the good people in your life will and should support you.
How do you plan to continue your baddass-ery?
Man, right now, I'm just seeing where life takes me! I feel like I've gotten really philosophical or happy hippy dippy in this thing, but it's actually just about enjoying life and having fun. That's what I try to do (with varying degrees of success) every single day. And I hope by writing and working on projects that reach others—that either inspire them or make them laugh or think or nod their head in agreement—that I continue to impact others' lives in at least some small way.
Thank you, Sam, for being a part of the Badass Women series here on Alive in the Fire. Cheers!
The Badass Women series is inspired by women in my life who are courageously pursuing their dreams and doing what makes them most happy. Women who aren't afraid to take risks. Or maybe they are, but they do it anyway. 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.
You can also check out my post in the series, and stay tuned for posts featuring other incredible women. Namaste.
Today I taught yoga and felt shitty about it afterward. 'The sequencing was off, I couldn't find my groove, the music wasn't right...' all these thoughts started coming into my mind.
I went about my day. I didn't dwell on it too much but my ego definitely was starting to chatter.
Then later on I had this moment where a child smiled at me with pure joy... he looked into my eyes and just smiled. It was a wonderful moment of connection without any judgment.
No 'this is good' or 'this is bad ' or 'I am this' and 'you are that.' It was just a smile. It reminded me that all of these experiences I'm having are what they need to be.
It is possible to have an imperfect experience and be grateful for it. We need all of this, the highs and lows and the in-betweens. All the yoga classes. It's possible to take away the judgment and just have the experience.
Careful, intelligent sequencing is important in order for a class to feel effortless and nourishing to the body.
As a yoga teacher, it can be challenging to come up with a variety of vinyasa sequences. What can you do to get inspired?
It's great for any level class, and especially useful if you're a visual learner. Plus, it's fun! :) I was recently joking with my friend and fellow teacher that we should play a game with our yoga friends where you have to draw a card and do the pose :)
Are you memorizing a sequence like the Baptiste Flow? Try something like this to mix it up, and/or quiz yourself on how you'd cue students into the pose.
Yogis are all different shapes and sizes, and at different times our bodies crave different movements. Some days we want to move fast, and other days, slow. Some days we want more challenge and other days we want to rest more or linger whenever a pose feels good.
I don't always practice what I'm going to teach the day of my class, but I try my best to do the flow in the week or so prior to teaching it. Sometimes doing this will reveal a change that's needed; swapping the order of a few poses, leaving something out of the flow, or starting over and doing something totally different.
Just notice the way a class is structured. Notice if there is a 'peak' pose in the practice, or a particular transition that feels really sweet in the body.
Notice the moments when you are challenged, or the moments when you fall so fully into present awareness that you stop caring what's on your to-do list or what emails you have to reply to or what you're going to fix for dinner.
How did the teacher bring you to that place? How were the yoga postures arranged so that the sequencing felt effortless?
Your class is wonderful and impactful whether you teach it effortlessly or you mix up your transitions or forget one side of a pose.
What matters, what your students feel, is when you show up fully and give what you can. When you breathe with them and support them in their growth and healing. And when you are willing to notice what sequencing worked, and what wasn't great -- and take that knowledge and apply it to your next class.
Continue practicing, feeling the flow move through your body, enjoying the poses.
GIVEAWAY! Firmoo is giving away 5 free sets of frames to Alive in the Fire readers! If you would like a pair, please leave a comment below or send me an email at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com and I'll gift you the code :)
PS Check out this other pair of sunglasses I reviewed for Firmoo a while ago. Happy shopping, yogis!
- my intention for the day
- a list of things I’m grateful for in my life
Today my intention is to live fearlessly out of love, and to stay present in the moment.
Today my intention is to give away what I can, and to be at peace no matter what circumstances arise.
Today my intention is to practice awareness of my root chakra, my base, my core self. I will breathe through any challenges and keep a flexible mind.
And the lists are eye-opening, even as I write them. Memories of experiences and heartfelt conversations resurface in my mind. I consciously take notice of the beauty that surrounds me. I feel more grounded, more patient, more whole.
Today I am grateful for:
- The wind in my hair during our walk by the lake, and the fact that we didn’t care it was pouring rain
- The peacefulness I felt in savasana last night, and how waking up was like coming into my own body again in a new way
- Coconut water
- Seeing my breath because it’s fall now
- New beginnings
- Quiet time alone
- The chance to do yoga in nature
- Deep conversations with friends
During the day, if negative thoughts or emotions surface, I return to my inward sense of thankfulness. I create a mental list of things I’m grateful for and I can feel my mood shift, almost as though a sense of warmth is coming over my physical body.
These little journal entries keep me grounded. As I write them, I continue to fall more and more in love with my life.
Do you keep a gratitude journal?
Like yoga postures, getting in the habit of selfless service takes practice.
As a way to inspire all of you beautiful readers, I started the Karma Yoga series a while back. My hope is to share stories of studios, teachers, students, organizations and projects that are actively cultivating compassion and love in the world.
Do you have a story you'd like to share with readers of Alive in the Fire? Are you practicing karma yoga, or know of someone who is?
By telling these stories, I hope it will motivate you to extend your yogic practice and take it with you into the world. The series is also a way for me to actively cultivate compassion within the Alive in the Fire community, and remind us all of the importance of giving back to those in need.
Update: I postponed my Dharma training but am currently training at Leap Yoga in Folsom, CA to teach vinyasa.
One conversation was with a long lost friend who shares my love of yoga and my love of writing (we've known each other since high school journalism), and the other was with a lady I just met through the blogosphere (she blogs about Bikram yoga, too).
Both of these women reminded me that the writing I do here matters. Their appreciation motivates me and humbles me at the same time, and I am so grateful to be reminded that there are real people out there, like you, who are inspired by this little blog.
It just goes to show: whenever I get to a point with my blogging that I feel unimaginative, or unsure of whether it's all worth it, I get a reminder from lovely people who have such wonderful things to say about Alive in the Fire!
And don't forget how much I love to hear from you! As always, feel free to drop me a line. XO
I've been practicing yoga for a couple years now and am so glad I found her Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga Total Body Transformation DVD on Gaiam TV.
Her approach to fully utilizing the core has started to transform my yoga, whether I'm going Hatha, vinyasa flow, or Bikram poses. Even simple warrior and sun salutation postures have been taken to a whole new level of integrity and strength.
This is because Sadie focuses on the deep core line, a whole-body muscle meridian, in all the asana she teaches. She shows you how to warm up your low back and spine, and "light up" your core before taking it to the next level with harder core postures and the energizing core plank movement. You spend a good amount of time transitioning between downward-facing dog, down-dog extensions, plank, and variations of plank that will set your abs on fire -- namely when you're invited to bring your knee to chest or knee to elbow, like in the photos below.
And keep in mind, Sadie will lead you through the entire sequence with an inspiring smile, a focus on maintaining your breath, and the motivation to totally reshape your body.
Try this DVD if you want to lose weight and get lean, toned and strong. This cutting-edge practice gives you twice the benefits for the time you spend on the mat... because you move continuously from deep center, you’ll burn more calories (yes--it’s cardio!), spark your fat-melting metabolism and transform your whole body from the inside out.
PS I wasn't paid to write this review; I simply love Sadie's approach -- and I think you guys will too!
I'd also like to send out a personal thank you to every blog reader who entered the sponsorship program. I hope the application process was fulfilling and helped you learn more about yourself and your yoga practice.
I couldn't be more stoked to share some of your stories in the weeks to come, too. I value and appreciate your feedback and your ideas about the blog.
Thanks to you and your honest input, you can expect to see some exciting changes around here at Alive in the Fire, including:
- new design
- more continuity
- a new series or two
- some new personal posts
- advice on specific postures, plus a comprehensive guide to every Bikram asana in the 26-posture series
- more info for yogis who don't practice Bikram
- more info for guys who yoga
And once again, a big fat congrats to the sponsored yogis, guest bloggers, and to every applicant who submitted. You are amazing!
It's been wonderful sharing 2010 with you and I'm so proud of the steady growth that Alive in the Fire has seen over the past few months.
As we wrap up the year, I wanted to extend a huge thank you to all of my faithful readers and generous partners, as well as offer you all the chance to provide some feedback abut the blog.
I'd love to get your thoughts on what's been great and what could use improvement.
Here are some of the highlights from 2010:
- Hundreds of readers and followers from around the world, including yogis in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands, the U.K., South Korea, Australia, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, India and Malaysia!
- Over 200 posts written and published.
- An ever-growing Twitter following and inclusion of the Twitter account (@aliveinthefire) on lists such as: yoga, Bikram yoga, Etsy Friends, Healthy Chicago, Evanston, and Fellow Yogis and Yoginis.
- An incredible Winter Extravaganza featuring giveaways from over 30 generous Etsy sellers and a large variety of yoga studios and yoga wear companies. A big thanks goes to all partners for offering readers hundreds of dollars in yoga and gift merchandise throughout the holiday season. And don't forget: the winning isn't over yet!
If you're interested in getting involved with the Winter Extravaganza, head over to our Partners page for more info.
- Bikram basics: a guide for beginners on how to prepare and make the most of your first session in the Torture Chamber. Plus some reasons your body will thank you for doing the yoga.
- The one, the only: Real Men Do Yoga series! An awesome compilation of stories from Bikram yogis around the world including John, Hans, and Joseph. This series will continue throughout 2011, and don't forget you can submit your story any time (and win a prize!).
- Living green and keeping clean with all-natural products: some reasons why you should eliminate harsh cleaners and unhealthy foods from your cupboards. Plus, where to shop in Evanston for local green goods.