“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.” ~Abraham Maslow

Tomorrow I board the train at 7am (!) to Santa Barbara for my Summer Yoga Retreat! It will be a weekend of yoga, meditation, journaling, hiking, gourmet vegetarian food, hot tub and natural pools, practicing silence in the mornings, awesome people, and much more. I have a total of 20 people going, which is great for the first time at this venue.
All the planning and preparing is over and now it’s time to enjoy myself and try to give my students the most incredible experience of their summer. I’m super excited! And what’s even better?? My hubby comes home in less than a week. Oh yes. And the 500 hour Advanced Yoga Training begins the very next day. Not enough?? Well we have Vegas the following weekend and then the Playboy Mansion the weekend after. Oh, and then a quick little getaway with K to San Fran. Whew. I have a full dance card and I am ready to put my party dress on.

Which brings me to the topic of health and well-being. I know, Whomp, whomp. Kind of a boring topic after I mentioned yoga retreat, Kaleo, Vegas and Playboy Mansion in the same paragraph.  But just hear me out.

If you pay attention to yourself and are able to recognize how the daily choices you make affect your overall health, you know what you should/shouldn’t do in order to feel like your optimal self. Most of us, when feeling stressed or time constrained, revert to things that are comforting but ultimately not good for us. It’s so easy to grab some bad food when you don’t have the time to cook, or stay home and watch TV on the couch because your day has been so hectic instead of getting some form of exercise. And when you make those choices, how easy is it to say, well I’ve already (ate crappy, drank too much wine, fallen off my workout plan, etc), and blew it, so why bother now…? I know, me too!
But this is the most important time to stop, think about what makes you feel good (physically good, not emotionally satisfying for the time being), and create your own little go-to program of healthy choices that you can easily implement in a time of stress, busy life, travel, anytime when you feel like your routine has been altered beyond your control.

So, my go-to program for my busy-like-Whoa schedule for the next month is going to be something like:

1. Always have healthy (preferably protein) snacks on hand for those times when my meal option might be a chain restaurant or late night food that I will regret in the morning. Snacks like hard boiled eggs, protein bars, nuts, seaweed snacks, etc. The protein will sustain and satisfy you for a longer time than, say, a bag of chips.

2. Do some form of exercise NO MATTER WHAT (even if you had a late night). A ten minute yoga practice in the hotel room, a brisk walk for 45 minutes, some squats and abdominal crunches, whatever makes you feel like you’ve gotten some sort of workout in. If you can do an entire  workout/yoga practice/run? Awesome! But if you don’t have the time? Do not let that discourage you from doing just a little bit. Yes, it’s good for you physically, but emotionally? Even better. You will feel great.

3. Hydrate. I can’t express this enough. Bring your water bottle with you everywhere and keep refilling. I keep mine in my purse and probably drink 4-5 refills a day.

4. If you are really exhausted, honor that. Just chill. It’s ok to say no once in a while and just do nothing. Of course, after you have eaten healthy, exercised, and hydrated. Just kidding. If you need to rest, DO IT. But seriously, drink water.

5. And take care of yourself in other ways too. Take a little time for yourself to read in the bath for 10 minutes, or style your hair how you love it, or wear those favorite shoes that make your legs look fabulous. And I always put a flower in my hair, and wear my favorite essential oils. It’s the little things that make me feel put together, relaxed, and me, even in the middle of a chaotic schedule.

Speaking of chaotic schedules, I must get some sleep before my much too early train ride to SB in the morning. Good thing the station is a 3 block walk from my house. 🙂
Have a beautiful weekend and be good to yourself. Love all that you are.

Peace,

Currently…
Eating: raw cashews and organic blueberries
Grateful for: dad’s surgery went well on Tuesday
Making: Jewelry! (and a mess)
Playing on my guitar: ‘All I want is you’ performed by Tristan Prettyman (original by Barry Louis Pollisar)

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.” ~William James

Just a quick post today with an amazing video that’s so heartwarming, I got all teary-eyed. The kindness of humans never ceases to amaze me. Everyone has it in them to make a difference, either big or small. Mother Teresa said, ‘If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one. ‘
So if you can’t save a hundred whales, save just one…


I ask you this: Without spending any money, how can you be of service to the world today?

Peace in, Peace out… 

“’Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?’ ‘Supposing it didn’t,’ said Pooh. After careful thought, Piglet was comforted by this.”

What kind of day are you going to have today?

One of our favorite things to say at night is: “Tell me about your perfect day tomorrow.” And then each one of us describes what our ideal day will be like. And you know what? It’s works. Now, I don’t necessarily mean that if I say that I want to fly to Brazil in the morning, we just hop on the plane. But we describe how our day will play out with all of the things that are already on our schedule, and of course adding the events that we want to happen. It’s a little manifestation practice that shows immediate, positive results. And you will be so pleasantly surprised at how your outlook on your day changes when you are focusing on the positive, perfect day you have already created in your mind.

Alright, so I can almost hear the nay-sayers out there: Yeah ok, but what if I have the day from hell tomorrow, and I’m just dreading everything about it?

Very good question. My opinion? Your day is going to happen anyway. You might as well accept it for what it is. I mean, a person can find anything to complain about, no matter what the circumstance.  Coming into your day with the dreadful feeling of, Ugh, this is going to be such an awful day, I can’t believe I have do this, why can’t I just get a break, I have the worst (insert here: life, job, luck, etc) ever. Getting into a negative state of mind will not make your day any easier, more positive, or any better at all. The only thing you can control? Your outlook and your thoughts. Again, your day is going to happen anyway. Embrace it with dignity and a positive frame of mind, and push through. You will come out of it on the other end with a feeling of accomplishment and peace.

So what if you aren’t facing a crappy day, you just aren’t really inspired to chase rainbows and butterflies? Another good question!

My answer to that is, well why not?? Why can’t you make up your mind to have the Best. Day. Ever. Each and every day? It doesn’t have to be a day filled with activities, decadence, shopping, dates, whatever floats your boat. It can be a simple day of a phone call to a friend, making a pot of your favorite tea and cuddling up with a good book, taking your dog for a walk, making your loved one’s favorite dinner, laughing hysterically with friends, anything that brings joy to your heart. If you look to the simple pleasures in life, the things that really make you happy… You will find inner happiness. This is the happiness that buying a new purse can’t give. This is the happiness that warms your heart and makes you smile from the inside. This is the happiness that inspires you to want to make others happy as well.

And we all have it in us. We all have the ability to take control of our own day, and make it a great one. Just as we all have the ability to face a difficult day with grace and make it to the other side. You know… the side where the rainbows and butterflies live. 😉

Currently…
Reading: A Stolen Life- A Memoir
Drinking: Mama Chia (Blackberry Hibsicus) – One of my yoga students started the company and I am hooked!
Grateful for: My gorgeous hubby who inspires me to have the Perfect Day, everyday
Listening to: Beautiful day by Donavon Frankenreiter

“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” –Christopher Robin to Pooh

Hi friends,

It’s about to get all kinds of real up in here.
So as you know, I am a yoga teacher. The teachings of yoga are so accepting and beautiful, and offer up the idea that we all are already perfect, whole, complete, and inherently good. This is what I teach my students, and what I truly and whole-heartedly believe. It teaches us to be accepting of ourselves and to see our so-called  “flaws” with loving eyes and humor. Sounds amazing, right? It is… But when does acceptance become complacency?
What I am trying to say is, When on Earth did I gain these 7 pounds??  I mean, I feel happier than I have ever been, I do yoga everyday, I eat extremely healthy and always organic food… But I have come to realize that even though I accept myself exactly as I am (which hasn’t always been the case), it doesn’t mean that I don’t think I could be, well, better.
So of course my yogic mind is telling me: Hey, whatever! So you gained a few pounds. You need to love yourself no matter what, even though you don’t want to wear that little dress right now. Just put your yoga pants back on.
But my realistic, girly, vain mind is saying: Oh, hold up! We need to talk. Are you really ok that your favorite jeans are snug? Reeaally??!

And so it is. (I told you I was getting real.)

Good news is, I am having SO much fun with my new daily routine of at least one yoga class, a five-mile walk (on the beach while listening to the best playlists ever!), and my ballet warm-ups infused with more core and butt a la Tracy Anderson’s mojo. It’s just a lifestyle change and something I look forward to everyday. I get so caught up with my work and studies, that the change is delightfully welcome. And of course a lifestyle change wouldn’t be complete without some favorite food!

Besides juicing lots and lots of yummy organic fruits and veggies daily, I have two favorite meal/snacks that I am absolutely loving right now. The first one was ‘invented’ by my hubby. It’s a Wasa cracker (I prefer the MultiGrain or Hearty) with a light spread of organic almond butter and blueberries on top. To die for.
 

My next fave was created out of wanting a meal and a sweet ending, but not wanting a lot of both so that I was too full. And it had to be healthy and light and full of protein. Start with an Ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla, heated. Cut it in half and on one side, spread hummus (I’m loving red pepper humus), cucumber, spinach, tomato, avocado, shredded carrot and a quirt of Braggs aminos. The other side gets that yummy almond butter and either blueberries, banana slices, or both. Roll them each up like wraps and just try to tell me you aren’t totally satisfied and impressed with yourself. 🙂

So anyway, I have successfully lost a few pounds, but it isn’t about that. It’s about how I am feeling, and I feel great.
On to other things…

My Santa Barbara Yoga Retreat is coming up here very quickly, and I am really excited. I have 18 yogis signed up so far; most of them are my students, a couple others I have yet to meet.  We will be taking the train up to the White Lotus for the weekend, and by the time we come home it’s almost time for Kaleo’s return. How perfect is that timing?? Yoga retreats are such an incredible gift to yourself. There is much time for reflection and re-connecting with you. It’s also a very valuable experience being with others in an atmosphere that is supportive of personal growth and exploration. One such tool is by practicing silence in the mornings. Wow. If you haven’t ever tried it, I highly recommend it. It’s one thing to be silent with just one other person (still really hard!), but to be on retreat and sharing a meal with 17 other people who are all practicing silence is a very powerful thing. I think as humans we need to be able to be comfortable being by ourselves. Even being alone while in the presence of others. It’s a pretty cool experience to be able to go within and really enjoy your own company. It isn’t a narcissistic practice, it’s just simple self-awareness. Once you are able to be with yourself, it is much easier to be in a healthy relationship with another person. On the retreat we only practice silence in the mornings until after breakfast, so it’s not all rigid. We will be hiking, doing lots of yoga and creative writing, lounging by the pools and hot tub, eating gourmet vegetarian foods with wine and chocolate… Oh yes. It is going to be awesome. And I am planning on holding this one every summer, so think about next year… 😉

Well my friends, thanks for going there with me. I know this post wasn’t a funny, entertaining one. But if just one person can relate, then it’s all good.

I will leave you with song I seem to keep coming back to. Love love love Swedish House Mafia, and if you ever get the chance to experience one of my favorite DJ’s, Tiesto , mixing this… do yourself a favor and go.

Have a great weekend!

Peace,
M

“When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.” ~Anthony Robbins

On June 21st, the afternoon of the Summer Solstice, we officially welcomed the arrival of summer! We had our 108 Sun Salutation Mala of Intention event at the studio and raised $381 for the Oceanside chapter of Stand Up For Kids, yay! This is the second time I’ve held a 108 event and I can tell you, it doesn’t get any easier. I was so sore the next day and two days after… Well Hello, hamstrings! Three of our wonderful teachers helped me by each leading one round, with me closing the event with the final round of 27 Sun Salutations. It’s such an empowering experience, I highly recommend it to everyone! I will be holding a similar one 2-3 times a year, with all proceeds benefitting charity, so if you are ever in the area when it is happening, come and check it out. 😉

Speaking of summer, I feel like a flower who has just been put out in the sun and given fresh water. The weather has been so lovely with the sun shining and the warm temperatures, and especially the long days. I’m thrilled to be able to come home from yoga and go for a walk on the beach, and still be finished with dinner before the sun goes down. There is something undeniably heart warming about summer in southern California. I love living here. I love driving down the wide, palm tree lined streets as the sun is inching its way closer to the ocean. Sun roof open, sunglasses on, favorite happy song of the moment playing loudly… Everything is so warm and golden, and sparkly, and it invites the feeling of limitless possibilities. It’s no wonder people come from all over the world to reinvent themselves and try their hand at becoming famous. It’s definitely not my dream, but in that moment, I get it.

On this holiday weekend, I have been out enjoying the sun, people watching (which is so fun down here), doing lots of yoga, and getting ready for Kaleo to come home tonight. Yay! Home for the holiday, and I couldn’t be any happier. It’s amazing to be in a beach community on a holiday weekend. Things get cra-zaazy. I kind of like to have some personal space when I am out in public. You know, maybe even like a bubble of, oh I don’t know, 4 feet radius?? 4th of July at the beach? Not going to happen. It’s the wildest thing, people are all up in each other’s business! And by business, I mean almost laying out on top of each other. Umbrellas and tents are almost touching, if not battling for space, and the beach goers are pretty much raging. I’m not just talking about partying and drinking, I’m talking about the kids who have been consuming sugar and hot dogs all day who are screaming like banshees and running around throwing sand at people. Whoa.
It is a sight. But who am I to put my idea of a good time on anyone? Just because it isn’t for me and you will not see my butt in a bikini sandwiched in between the Joneses (all 12 of them) and the 50 year old uber-tan creepy guy who is checking out the 12 year old Jones girls, doesn’t mean that I don’t have a blast people watching while on my walk.

{yesterday}

In honor of summer and being able to wear sunglasses at anytime, I got contacts. I’ve tried them before and struggled with them horribly. So I am giving them another shot, and I am actually loving it this time around! It is so freeing to be able to wear sunglasses and… SEE at the same time! Who would have thought… And now I can see my feet in a yoga class, wow! It’s been pretty fun. I’m not wearing them all the time because I do love my glasses, but it’s a nice change to be able to get dressed up and not ruin the outfit by putting on glasses that don’t match. Or have someone make a comment like, “Oh I see you’re trying to go for the sexy librarian look.”  No, actually. I’m terribly blind and if I want to make my way around with everyone’s safety in mind I have to wear these things. Smartass.

One major bonus of getting contacts is riding a bike. Yes, I know, it’s the simplest things that I haven’t been able to do! In the sun, I can’t wear sunglasses because I needed to see. But also, if I just wear my glasses, I have awful, if any, peripheral vision. Which is no bueno when you’re riding a bike on a busy street. So- I am really looking forward to riding my bike everywhere now that I can see and am not a vision-impaired menace to society.
And of course, with my newfound freedom of sight, I kind of want a new bike. Because it’s only the cutest bike ever. It’s made by Linus, which is also the cutest name ever. I want her to be cream-colored with a brown basket (for the farmers market) and a bell. Yep, I am that girl. I want a bell on my bike. These bikes are the most adorable Euro-looking bikes I have ever seen, and I am manifesting one to come into my life. I did that with my car, exact color, interior, everything. So now I am doing the same with my bike, who I will name Lucie. Too much information? Well here is a photo…

{photo courtesy of beaux-monde.com}

{Linus Dutchi 3}


Love, love, love. And she even has the bell. Swoon. The Linus website has all the little bells and baskets to outfit your bike properly, and from my research, you can find the bikes used and refurbished, which is what I am going to do. Because they don’t come cheap.
Who else is excited for summer?? What is on the schedule for this holiday weekend? Lots of sun, friends, good food and music? Sounds like a good time to me. And the fact that I am spending it with my love? Even better.
I will leave you with a fun song that keeps popping up on my random iPod shuffle…. Have a safe and fun-filled weekend!