Badass Women: Rose D.


Today, in the Badass Women series...my 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 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.


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.

Badass Women: Sam


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.


Photos in this post courtesy of Sam.

What makes you a badass?

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.

Go All In

 Photos by Respiro Photography.

What do you have to lose? Everything you've experienced, all your suffering and joy, it has led to this moment. You might as well go all in. 

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.

Tools for Yoga Teachers When Sequencing a Vinyasa Flow


There's a lot that goes into a yoga class. The postures... the music... theming... it all makes a difference in how the yogis in the room experience the practice.

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?


One tool I love using when I'm creating a vinyasa yoga flow is the Yoga Sequencing Deck by Jillian Bobowicz. The deck features 100 double-sided cards showing yoga poses and transitions based on Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga poses.

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 :)


This tool would be great for yogis who are in teacher training, too. You can consider the pace of a class and the anatomy of your students as they move from pose to 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.


My other advice for yoga teachers who are looking to mix up their flow is to always practice what you want to teach, to see how it feels in your body.

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.


I also recommend trying new yoga classes with teachers you've never taken before. This isn't really so you can copy exact sequencing or re-invent what you do... in fact, I encourage you to resist the temptation to compare yourself or judge another's teacher's class as 'better' or 'worse' than yours. We all teach a little bit differently, and that allows yoga to be accessible to more yogis!

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?


Above all else, be gentle with yourself. Teaching yoga is a learning process. Every pose offers wisdom. Every class is an opportunity to share, to connect, and to generate peace.

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.

Namaste.

Summer Sunglasses from Firmoo (And a Giveaway!)

 

Who doesn’t want free sunglasses in summer?!

I am grateful that Firmoo reached out and offered me the chance to try a new pair. I picked these awesome purple shades – I could not resist! I love how often getting the chance to write about a product on my blog encourages me to pick something a little more wild than I might normally choose :)

Of course I went with these badass purple shades – they are great for lounging poolside, going for evening walks, and summer hikes with friends!



I highly recommend Firmoo; they have an awesome website with lots of choices for glasses and sunglasses, which you can order with or without a prescription. Their website is easy to use, and they’ve got this handy feature where you can upload a picture of yourself and see what you’d look like wearing a certain pair of frames (it’s called their Virtual Try-On feature).

 

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!

Keeping a Gratitude Journal

Photo via Pinterest.

Lately I have been keeping a gratitude journal. Each morning I write down two things:

  • my intention for the day
  • a list of things I’m grateful for in my life

The intentions can be pretty simple…
Today my intention is to be aware of what the universe is offering me.

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

Simply bringing gratitude into my awareness at the beginning of the day has a huge impact. I am more in tune with life’s tiny blessings – moments that might seem ordinary as I experience them, and which are truly rich and beautiful. I am also more conscious of the way I can be grateful for experiences even if they are challenging. I can choose to be grateful no matter what happens. I can ground myself and remember how blessed I truly am.

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?

Being Open to Challenges

Photo via FYeahYoga.

My teacher shared a profound idea in savasana today. He didn't say, "Let go of all your thoughts and concerns. Detach from them and rest in stillness."

He said, "Consider whatever it is that's challenging you in life right now, whether that's a relationship or a situation or an unfulfilled desire. Embrace that.

"What are you turning away from? Look at how you can learn to embrace those challenges as they come up for you."  

Photo via Pinterest.

I think so often we come to yoga hoping to get away from the stresses of daily life, or the obstacles in our path. We are searching for relief from sadness and turmoil, or for a reprieve from apathy, a sense of deeper meaning and of belonging.

What we have to remember, though, is that yoga challenges us, too. The practice is meant to.

Yoga is not necessarily a break from challenges, but an experience in practicing how to embrace them and work through them one breath at a time.

Photo via Dudes Doing Yoga

Inevitably, at some point in class we reach a moment when we can choose to give up, or to trust the teacher's words and our own bodies... and that's when amazing things happen. We stretch farther into the pose than we did yesterday, or we lift off the floor in an arm balance six months after trying it over and over again.

We look in the mirror and see ourselves differently, or perhaps for the first time, we see ourselves for who we truly are.

And we leave the mat feeling lighthearted and energized, ready to face the challenges waiting outside the studio, more open to them than before.

Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Selfless Giving


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.


Photo via Pinterest.

With your heart open and mind calm, you can share what you have learned on the mat. You are liberated to give freely to friends and strangers, to love and respect others. To change the world.


If you'd like to be involved in the series, please shoot me an email at aliveinthefire at gmail dot com. I look forward to hearing from you! XO

Thanksgiving Blogging Break


I am heading north to Minnesota to be with family for the holiday this week. I'm so grateful for the chance to spend more time in nature, to be able to catch up with all the cousins and grandparents, and to give hugs all around.


It will be fun going for walks around the farm, eating amazing food and drinking lots of coffee, and playing games together. I'll be taking a little break from the blog this week and I'm looking forward to unplugging for a bit. I hope you enjoy a peaceful, restful week.


What are you grateful for this holiday?


PS A few Thanksgivings ago, I brought my cousin and her friend to their first Bikram class.
PPS Check out photos from a few years ago. What a turkey, eh?!

Dharma Yoga Teacher Training


I just found out I got in to the Dharma Yoga "Life of a Yogi" Teacher Training program! 

I am so stoked. :)


Between this news and the fact that I hooped fire last night for the first time, I am feeling insanely alive in the fire

Stay tuned for ways you can support me in my yoga journey.


Peace and love to you guys!

Update: I postponed my Dharma training but am currently training at Leap Yoga in Folsom, CA to teach vinyasa.

Finding Energy


What energizes you?

Lately I've been contemplating what attracts certain people together, where we derive energy, and the ways we're interconnected with the world around us.


I feel powerful energy and confidence when I take time every day to practice yoga. I often dedicate to my practice to the benefit of others, and I feel a resonance from that.

 

I also pick up strength from spending time with loved ones, working out regularly, eating healthy foods, being home, traveling, teaching, and sharing what I can.


To find new energy, consider setting a few new goals for yourself. What's one thing you can do this fall to improve your quality of life?


 

As Robin McKinley puts it, “I like that: a little pressure on the understood boundaries of yourself. Sounded like something out of a self-awareness class, probably with yoga. See what kind of a pretzel you can tie yourself into and press on the understood...I was raving, if only to myself.” 
 


I believe you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. Practice, be at peace, let your heart follow suit. Your energy will flow from there.

Bust a Yoga Move

Photo by a new friend from NYC. Thanks, Joshua, for sharing!

What do you fear? 

Yoga with no mat? Practicing yoga where someone might notice you fall out of a pose awkwardly?

Wondering who might notice your ass sticking up in the air in downward dog pose? :)

Photo by Tom Libertiny.

I used to fear these things. But with practice, I let go. I began erasing some deep-seated fears. (Am I good enough? Am I pretty? Am I strong enough?)

Learn to not fear your own body and its place in the physical world. You're beautiful, and you're right where you're supposed to be :)


Now I'm that girl on the sidewalk, barefoot and trying out lion's breath, being silly, meeting new people and sharing my love for yoga with them. Talking about mountain pose, child's pose: there is energy both up and down, I'll say. Here, try your hands like this.

I like to bust a move because sometimes I see a stranger smile and that makes my day. Have you ever tried yoga?

I'll ask with a smile, and I usually get one back. :) 

Busting a move is worth the little bit of awkwardness or embarrassment that sometimes creeps in. Try it! See what happens.

Do yoga during your travels. Be unafraid to stretch in a busy airport, an open field, or your neighbor's porch. Be free... go ahead and bust out your yoga moves.


 Namaste.

Thanks for Listening


Lately I have had a few serendipitous interactions that have made me realize how much I appreciate having a blog space where I am free to share my thoughts with you.


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).


Photo by me.

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!


Photo via Tyler Branch.

I just wanted to take a moment to honor all of you readers out there. It's because of you that I do what I do, and share the little stories I share here on the blog. I am so grateful for your listening, for your feedback, and for sharing in the universal yoga journey with me.


THANK YOU for reading along.


And don't forget how much I love to hear from you! As always, feel free to drop me a line. XO


Photo by me.
A heartfelt Namaste,
Rachel

Sadie Nardini's Core Strength Vinyasa: A Rockstar Workout


There are a few reasons why I've come to love Sadie Nardini and her rockstar yoga teaching style:

1. She knows how to work the core from a solid, organic foundation to build strength. 
2.  Sadie is fearless. She knows how to have fun during a challenging workout, and she's not afraid to do a little lion's pose (deep exhales out the mouth) in order to mix it up on the mat. I also love moments when she encourages her yogis to "play in the waves" of their practice, cultivate freedom and energy, or simply make space for being silly and lighthearted.



3. She's well-rounded and embraces bliss where she finds it. She's written a book on cultivating wellness in all areas of life, she teaches nutrition & health workshops, and she's all about living life to the fullest. Now that's a yoga philosophy I can respect!



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.



Photos in this post via Sadie Nardini, The Huffington Post, Yoga Journal, and Yoga Home

If you're like me and looking to build stamina in your inversions and flexibility in your hips, shoulders and wrists, I totally recommend this workout.

You will build core strength, and wake up the next day feeling muscles you didn't realize you had. Even within only a few weeks of practicing the routine, I can feel more strength in my core, and that I'm engaging in poses more responsibly and safely. 


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!

Green Cleaning and Happy Memories


As you know, I'm a big fan of green products... especially the ones that support my wish to breathe free of toxic chemicals, and inspire me to clean with a smile.

When Maggie from Eco Store USA contacted me a few weeks back, I was excited to try out a few of their products, including their luxurious coconut vanilla body wash and handy all-purpose citrus cleaner.


Right away, I fell in love with the body wash. The smell takes me right back to Puerto Rico! It turns something as simple as my daily shower routine into a mini-vacation right at home :)  And of course, brings back lovely memories of all those yummy pina coladas on the beach.



Highly recommended! This would make a perfect stocking stuffer for a sister, mom or friend.

I also tried out the citrus spray cleaner, and was happily pleased with its performance. There's nothing better than being able to wipe down your kitchen counters and bathroom sink without worrying that yucky chemical residue will be left behind. As the bottle reads, "no nasty chemicals" here!



Eco Store USA has a wide selection of wonderful bath and body, household cleaning and baby care products you should check out. They even feature green pet care products! For all you stellar moms and homemakers out there, theirs is a store that's not to be missed. Also be sure to check out Eco Store USA on Twitter and Facebook.

Announcing the Sponsored Yogis for 2011!

 

The decision was hard. The applications were incredible. A big thanks to all who entered!

And now, Alive in the Fire would like to introduce the blog's sponsored yogis for this year...

Emily Berna,
Nicole Crist,
and
Hans Park!

along with an extraordinarily awesome guest post team: 

Dana Almdale
Richard Krzyzanowski
Beth Morey
Annie Sullivan
 Emily Taggart

This is me, shouting a much deserved: CONGRAAAAAAATS!

In the weeks and months to come, you'll be hearing from these yogis who are located all around the country and who practice a variety of yoga styles ranging from Bikram to Vinyasa to Anusara and Yin, and more.

They are teachers and students.

Men and women with compassion.

Brilliant writers, designers and thinkers who are ready to share their reflections on life as it's lived both on and off the mat.

I couldn't be more excited to have them on board!


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
Thanks to you, the blog is better and it's growing. I hope you'll stay tuned for some lovely input from the sponsored team, starting with their bios next week (plus the cutest bio video ever!).


And once again, a big fat congrats to the sponsored yogis, guest bloggers, and to every applicant who submitted. You are amazing!


A new day, a new dawn (on the blog). Beautiful! Photo via One Love Photography.

Wrapping Up 2010

Balance and beauty in 2010: it's been a great year! Photo via F***YeahYoga.

Thank you, readers, for following Alive in the Fire's first year!


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. 


What do you love about the blog? 
What would you like to see more of?

Please leave a comment below or send me an email, and encourage your fellow yogis to do the same.


Check out that increase in page views! I love it. Thanks for your loyal readership, yogis and friends.


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!
Special thanks goes to:

105 Yoga in Oak Park
Grateful Yoga in Evanston


If you're interested in getting involved with the Winter Extravaganza, head over to our Partners page for more info.
Photo via Coffee and Yoga.

Throughout the year, Alive in the Fire has featured some pretty awesome posts. Which was your favorite?
  • 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!).
Photo via Yoga Dudes
  • 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.
Photo via PrAna.
Thanks for enjoying the ride with me. And please do leave your ideas below with ideas for the future of the blog. Namaste and happy 2011!