Yoga Brat

I’ve become such a yoga brat.

Really.

So particular as to what teacher I take and what studio I go to. A darn snob I am.

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You know what happens when you’re a yoga brat? No yoga! Because nothing will satisfy your 100 page checklist of requirements for the teacher and studio to meet. In fact those requirements don’t even exist they are so dang demanding.

And naturally, today my neck is starting to act up from lack of yoga so I did what I always do. Google all local studios within 30 minutes of me. I already know what they are but I like to see them all on one page. Then I look at each studios schedule and if there is an exact time slot I like (6:30pm) I then browse over to see who the teacher is. At that point I spend a large amount of time stalking this unknown-to-me teacher online via social media to see if she/he meets my absurd requirements. If the studio does not have my preferred timeslot or preferred class style, I send a rant email to my bff as if the studio should be able to read my mind and know what I want that particular day at that particular time.

So yoga, right? So relaxing. So go with the flow. ;-)

But tonight, I am putting my yoga brat to the curb. I am going to a studio I have never been to before, to a teacher I’ve never heard of and I am not doing any social media stalking of them.

Because my body is screaming for yoga.

Because I realize I have become way too irrational about what classes I take.

And because after all it’s just a yoga class, not a 401k plan or home I am purchasing.

Its 90 much needed minutes.

So to all my fellow yoga brats out there, check yo self and get to yoga.

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30-Day Inspiration Challenge

Welcome to 2015 beauties.

The beginning of a year tends to be a great chance to start something new, to make a change or to commit to something greater in your life. Because of this perfect moment in time to start something, I’ve compiled a 30-Day Inspiration Challenge to inspire those feeling stuck and bored.

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There is no certain order you need to follow. Just complete one task each day with no skipped days.

If you want to live an inspired life, there is no better time to start then this moment.

Print out the challenge and mark off each day you complete to keep track. Print here.

Stay connected with moi throughout the challenge and share your big moments.

Inspiration is a few steps away.

New Year’s Buzz

As we approach 2015, I’m sure you will be inundated with “New Year, New You” programs, New Year’s resolutions and self-promises of change. Tis the season.

I do love this time of year though; there is a certain buzz in the air. A certain energy mixed of excitement, hope and enthusiasm for New Year success.

A turn of a new chapter, the start of a new page, a blank canvas for you to paint any color you choose.

Should you decide to start a new chapter come January 1st, I have complied a list of my top 6 blog posts that might help you with the process.

Use, share and repeat!

Creating Systems for Your Life

What’s Your Hypothesis

Your 15 Minutes of Fame

Your One Page Manifesto

5 Steps to End New Year’s Resolution Paranoia

Guide to Moon Phases

Things I Learned in 2014

I know it’s not over yet, but I couldn’t help to reminisce and share :)

Less is more.
As in clothing. Only buy what you absolutely love and look’s great on you. Not that shirt that looks ok and you might wear once in the next two years. I’m all about the French ideals of the 10 piece wardrobe. I might not go that far, 10 pieces seems very unrealistic for me, but I’ve dramatically cut back.

Just start!
Worrying about what might happen is a complete waste of time. Just do it. Just start. Somehow make it work. Go to the blank canvas without expectations, without caring if things get messy and without worrying if the end result is ugly. Just start.

Drink the coffee.  So what if your friend’s yoga teacher’s holistic nutrition coach says coffee is bad for you. I give you permission to drink it, because it’s damn good and you like it. And you cannot imagine your morning without it. Only say no to coffee when you’re on a cleanse, the rest of the month go for it if you wanna!

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Speaking of coffee….Mornings can be delightful.
I’ve spent nearly my whole life dreading mornings. Now, I don’t mind them at all and in fact quite enjoy my little morning rituals.  I’ve even created a no-filler, to the point guide for everyone to find magical mornings.

Taking on new hobbies is confidence boosting. 
Like dancing.  
Learning to ballroom dance has had a tremendous impact on my life. I adore ballroom dance now and am looking forward to learning the art of the Argentine Tango in the future! I hope to spend the rest of my life dancing.

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No matter what you fear the outcome might be, if you aren’t voicing your feelings (1) no one will know and nothing will change (2) you’ll be doing more harm than good. Speak your truth.

I love the summer. My whole life I’ve spent in love with winter but this year I am finding the winter too harsh for my skin and bones.  I spent my summer weekends soaking up the salt air at the beach as much as my schedule allowed for it and I loved every second of it.

Treat everything like an experiment so you can never fail, you can only revise and re-try!

During my time in Nicaragua I really learned to waste less.  They didn’t have the means to buy a new chair the day theirs broke, they would fix it themselves. They didn’t have a trash truck coming to their house each week, they had to burn it. Everything was fixed, reused, repurposed or burned in the village we stayed in.

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Pursue what excites you. It seems silly and like DUH, but I don’t think I really got it until this year. The things that give me energy, make my heart beat faster, those are the things I need to be doing more of in my life.

It’s ok to say no to an event. If you don’t want to go to something, then don’t! Why suffer through it. Do what you want to do.

Finding your personal style is fun.  I’ve never been into fashion at all. I’m the type that will be 5 of the same shirt in different shades of black and grey. But this year, more so this month, I’ve been reading more about fashion and trying to find my own unique style. Perhaps it’s because I’m getting closer to 30 or perhaps it’s because I’m ready for a change but fashion is actually fun.

What did you learn this year?  Make a list and feel free to share! It can be enjoyable to go back through the year and reminisce some big aha moments.

“You’re being selfish!”

Has anyone ever told you that you are being selfish?

You know when you say no to someone who asks you to do something, so you can go to yoga or get your nails done or do anything for yourself.

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And so you change your plans, decide not to go to yoga, just so no one can say you are being selfish. This then causes you to feel unfulfilled and frustrated because you aren’t doing what you want but instead listening to someone else.

Break that habit now. Stop changing your wants for someone else. Easier said than done, I know. But when you hear the sentence “you’re being selfish” from someone, a warning flag needs to pop up. That is your alert that the person calling you selfish is trying to put guilt onto you. Most likely they don’t even realize they are doing it. It’s a subconscious act. They are trying to pull you back to your old ways (or ways they think people should follow) and not taking into consideration your own needs.

Once you get over the fear of saying “I’m not being selfish” then each time you say it, or act upon it, you create little victories for yourself. Each time someone tries to tell you that going to yoga or buying organic food is selfish, GO to yoga, BUY organic food and prove to yourself that it is not selfish. When they start to see your glowing self, they will realize self-care is no selfish act. And maybe, just maybe, they will start adding some into their own lives.

Self-care is never selfish. Read it, say it and live it.

Start Before You’re Ready

When an idea floats into my head that makes my heart beat a little faster, I jump in.

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I commit to it like it’s the best idea I have ever heard. Worry, doubt and fear don’t even enter into my vision because excitement and inspiration are in the captain’s seat.

From business ideas to creativity t how I feel about something, I commit and I commit hard. Once my mind is made up, there isn’t anything that is going to stop me. Except myself that is. But we’ll get into that later.

Right now, let’s talk about starting things before you’re ready.

Getting caught up in what if’s and cant’s and not-yet-perfected is like digging yourself into a hole that you will never be able to get out of. If you’re worried about everything being perfect and just right, you’ll miss the opportunity, the fleeting chance to dream big, to dare and to do. Starting with what you have, where you are, is a magical pathway to your happiness. Really. You have everything you need to start some form of what you want to do, that dream, that big idea. It might not look like what you fully imagined, and you might have to dig deep to find it but once you do darlin’ nothing will stop you.

Fear, worry, doubt and not (insert wanna be trait) enough, these things are barriers. They are locking you in a never-gonna-happen jail. And the only thing that will unlock you out of that jail is yourself. Yourself being willing to start before you think you are ready. To dive in knowing that you have everything you need to begin.

Use your inspiration, hunger and creative energy and take action. Finally. Just do it.

What is the best that can happen?

Creating Systems for Your Life

Some of the most accomplished entrepreneurs have credited their success to putting proper systems in place.

Systems (which explain exactly how to handle any situation) allow anyone to do the task flawlessly as long as they are following the system put in place. So an entrepreneur who sets good systems for her business should be able to go on vacation and not have to worry about her business or even check emails while she is away. She knows everything is being handled exactly how she wants it to be, exactly how she would handle it, because she has put systems in place.

She does not even have to think about it or worry about it. It’s just how things are naturally done.

If systems in business can work wonders, it got me thinking if they would have an effect on personal lives. Is it possible to systemize your life and would it be worth it? So I experimented. I created systems for areas in my life that I know needed improvement, pain areas, moments of weakness to be more exact.

Pain Area Number One: Snacking

A pretty common issue among most humans in America, eating for no dang reason at all. I know what my triggers are: boredom, depression, television and driving. Snacking is something to do. It occupies my time when I feel like I need my time occupied. But it’s not like I’m snacking on carrots and broccoli here, it’s more like cookies and chips. So a system needed to be put into place. Every time I find myself snacking or having the urge to snack I need to occupy my time by doing something else more productive. But this alone is too general. It needs to be specific. More like: Every time I find myself having the urge to snack, I will drink a large glass of water, remove myself from the kitchen/living room and read at least few pages in my current book. This gives me the immediate satisfaction of doing something with my hands (drinking water), and then removing myself from the deadly area (kitchen/living room) and then doing something to occupy myself (reading). I could get even more specific here if I snacked on specifically one thing, like chocolate chip cookies. So every time I passed a chocolate chip cookie (at home or out) I would do something else besides eating the chocolate chip cookie, like go wash my hands or something specific that removes myself and my thoughts from the cookie.

Pain Area Number Two: Posture

I’ve become a sloucher, a slumper, a shoulders rolled down person. And this makes me cringe. Most of my slouching is done at work while I am on the computer and often I don’t even realize I am slouching until probably an hour deep into slouch abyss. System put in place: Every time I open a new email I will do a quick posture check. I open emails all day long at work. This will allow me to make sure my posture is good all day long and keep me checking in regularly since this is something you can so easily not even realize you are doing.

Pain Area Number Three: Getting to Yoga

I know, I know…I’m a yoga teacher, going to yoga should not be an issue for me but lately it is a huge issue. I love yoga, really love it. I know it’s amazing for me; it has improved my life greatly. Yet, I just can’t seem to get myself to a studio. Why? Well a bunch of excuses really but I know my biggest excuse is being tired after work and just wanting to go home instead. Also, I over think going to yoga way too much, it is really becoming a problem. Knowing that my main issue is overthinking about going home or going to yoga, I need to create a system based on exactly that, the moment I start to over think it. System put in place: Every time I start to over think going to yoga, I will remind myself all the good it has brought me and then shift my attention to traveling to Paris. This may not seem logical, but thinking about Paris always puts me in an inspiring and excited mood, so it will shift my overthinking thoughts of “to go or not to go to yoga” into thinking about Paris, which will also feed my silly Francophile needs.

Soon these systems become a normal part of your life, something you don’t even think about. So every time I open my email, I will do a posture check without even realizing I am doing it. Every time I start doing the “to go to yoga or not to go to yoga” mind dance, I will shift my thoughts to the glorious, dreamy cafés of Paris.

As with anything you start the beginnings will be the hardest, but if you stick with it, if you maintain the systems, soon you won’t even realize there are systems in place, it will just all be a part of your routine. Something you naturally do.

 

Half Naked #Yoga

It seems to be normal these days to see yogis taking pictures, contorted in some crazy yoga pose, half naked.

A quick Google search or stop at your standard yoga blog will affirm the negative thoughts on this matter. Yoga pictures in a skimpy bra and thong for supposed more likes, more followers, more attention. Half naked yoga pictures seemingly demoralizing, un-yoga like, totally against said person’s core values as a woman and yogi. Many writers have written articles explaining their dislike towards this trend. How it has sent them running in the other direction, never to return to yoga again.

I am a woman who encourages other woman to feel confident and beautiful in their skin, in their bodies, just as they are. With negative body image being a huge topic, especially in the yoga world, I feel I must write about this, I must share my thoughts and feelings.

I am always worried about my body image. The cellulite on my legs, the roll under my belly button, my double chin when I look down; these are things that are constantly on my mind. I don’t take pictures of myself half naked in yoga poses not because I am against it, not because I think it is un-yoga like, but because I am terrified to show my body. I can barely wear shorts in my own home without feeling insecure about my legs, let alone share a picture for the whole world to see. And I know I am not alone in my thoughts, that there is a whole world out there filled with woman who feel exactly the same as I do about their bodies.

So why can’t we look at a healthy, toned woman without judgment, without hate and without negativity towards her and her body? How sad for us to portray our on insecurities and shadows onto her.

When I see women post pictures showing their skin, their legs, their belly, despite their insecurities, it gives me confidence in myself, in my gender and in my role as a yoga student and teacher. My hope is for all women to feel confident, feminine and secure in their own bodies.

Secure enough to post half naked yoga pictures and secure enough to see half naked yoga pictures without harsh judgment.

because you must

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Why do writers write, painters paint, singers sing?

Because they must.

Because they absolutely have to.

Because the outcome doesn’t matter, the process is what they enjoy, what they crave, what they whole heartedly need to do.

It is passion and inspiration. It’s a hunger and burning desire to express.

A writer writes because they simply must. They need to get the words out on paper or they will feel untrue to the core of who they are.

Distractions don’t happen because they don’t let them. Time magically appears because they form it. Anxiety slips away because the need to express is greater than the fear.

If you look deep into your soul, the core of who you are, what is it that you feel you must do? If you dig deep, if you surrender to the fear, to the people saying you cannot, to the notion that you are to old/young/tired/busy/poor/uneducated, if you put that all aside, what comes to the surface?

Let yourself express. Let yourself be inspired. Let yourself create.

Because you simply must.