self

Why I practice

private yoga instructor in Tampa

I have been practicing yoga for 18 years, and meditating for 8 years…I’ve gone in waves of being super diligent in my practice…to completely blowing it off. And, I can ABSOLUTELY tell when I’ve been blowing it off. It’s when I’m NOT practicing that I REALLY understand the reasons why I practice…because the benefits are present when I am being present, and practicing daily.

Here are 3 BIG reasons why I practice:

  1. Less anxiety. This is my absolute #1 reason for both meditation and yoga practice….but ESPECIALLY meditation. I suffered with anxiety for YEARS without even knowing it…until I started meditating. I realized that with a daily meditation practice, the anxiety that has been a constant in my life isn’t there in the way that it used to be. The constant buzz of nerves I felt in my belly (for YEARS without realizing it) goes away when I practice. I now can actually FEEL the anxiety coming on, and have the opportunity to respond to it in a different way…which has absolutely changed my life (I know, I KNOW…this sounds pretty dramatic, but it has been truly life altering!!)

  2. Greater strength. Another biggie. The physical strength that comes from my yoga practice isn’t even as important as the INNER STRENGTH that comes from both yoga and meditation. My practice leaves me feeling empowered.

  3. More self-compassion. So, with yoga I’ve learned over the years to be ok with falling out of tree pose, or my tumultuous relationship with shoulderstand. Truly, I’m ok with it…some days I nail the poses, and some days I don’t. With meditation, I’m ok with the monkey mind…and I can see when my super-judgmental thoughts creep in about it. The biggest benefits come from paying attention without judgement. I think this is why, when I’m not on the mat, or meditation bench, that I’ve gotten so much better with self-compassion.

Does any of this ring true for you? Why do you practice? I’d love to know! Leave your comments below!

finding balance.

balance, equinox, partner yoga

The spring equinox is Wednesday, March 20th….let me tell you…my hippy-people LOVE this stuff! If you go to a yoga class this week, chances are, you’ll hear something about the moon or the equinox.

So, what does this REALLY mean? Well, the equinox is a time when we have almost equal amounts of day and night, right?! Whether or not you believe in the energetic qualities of the different moon phases or seasons, I think it’s a GREAT time to reflect on balance.

You COULD consider grabbing a partner and doing some snazzy yoga-balance poses (like the pic above)…

I’d like to ask you: HOW are you finding balance in your life?…and ARE you finding balance in your life? I’m talking about the balance between DOING and BEING.

We can get so caught up in constantly DOING…that we miss out on the BEING part. I get it! We get super busy! How can you find balance, then? Here are some ideas:

  1. Self care. Take time to take care of YOU. In whatever way that may be.

  2. Get out in nature. If you think my people like moon phases…don’t get us started about EARTHING! Take your shoes off, and walk through the grass, or sand, or anywhere for that matter! Or go for a hike!

  3. Turn off your phone. Pay attention to what is going on around you. Truly be there for each experience you are having.

  4. Meditate. Even if for a few minutes. Take some time to pay attention to your breath.

What do you do to find some balance in your busy life? I’d love to hear them!!

#blessed

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Thought I’d repost this from a few years ago:

3 ways you can be TRULY blessed.

A friend got a holiday card she shared with me a few years ago, and it went like this: "We are so BLESSED" it said..."*Mike got a huge promotion at work, we took a 2 week family vacation to France, and bought his & hers Audis"...it went on to talk about their gifted children and all of their accomplishments ad nauseum.

Cringeworthy...am I right?!

It's great when friends find financial success, are proud of their kids, and get to take trips and buy things. I love to hear about all the exciting stuff in their lives....but it's NOT because they are blessed!

  1. Keep your #blessed about people, not things: You are truly blessed to have people you love in your life. Your family, your friends, your spouse/partner/loved ones.

  2. Just be yourself! You've got this. You are already blessed. Being blessed isn't happening when there is no adversity in your life, you have all of life's wonder and grace with you already.

  3. Be humble. I'm not talking about the humble brag (like, "I can't believe parking is $24 for my 90 min. yoga class. #cityliving"). It's difficult to find true humbleness in the world of selfies...when we constantly share our joys and accomplishments on social media...but a humble person is helpful, conscious of others, and kind. Try it!

So, go about your day with this true feeling of being blessed...and possibly re-think that holiday card you were planning on sending out.

*not his real name!

What’s up with crystals anyway?!

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…the New Age phenomenon beloved by white girls everywhere. –Katherine Gillespie

I set out to write about crystals, and their energy…and how different crystals can help different issues you may want addressed. I thought I’d attempt to demystify them…and went on to research each crystal, and how they can be healing….

Well…GUESS what I found?! The “healing energy” in crystals is no more healing that a placebo! Yep. Maybe this doesn’t come as a surprise to you. Apparently, the healing powers of crystals is just bullsh!t. Sigh. My hippie ways are being crushed right now.

I love crystals. I think they are gorgeous additions to my yoga/meditation space…I may or may not have bought a stone or two based on their energetic qualities. I will neither confirm nor deny spending money on malas based on the stone’s energetic qualities.

So, this placebo effect. It’s definitely a thing! Studies show that the placebo effect can change your brain. There is definitely a power in THINKING that you will feel grounded (or whatever quality a gem is claiming to have), can actually make you feel grounded!

I say, buy yourself some pretty crystals! And, realize that there is power in intention, and thinking a certain way. If you set your mind to feeling a sense of calm…you can achieve that state…AND you can either achieve it with a pretty gem, or without!

Just don’t use crystals to try to cure any type of sickness. That’s just nonsense.

You are beautiful.

It’s International Women’s Day! The theme this year is #BalanceForBetter, and focuses on bringing gender equality to the world.

I’d like to bring attention to the crazy standard of beauty that women are held to…and the inequality that is ever-present. It’s certainly a topic that has been talked about ad nauseam. And yet, many of us STILL aspire to look like someone else...to an unattainable ideal. We base our self-worth on our appearance. This sh!t gets old…things need to change. Change can start with you. And me.

Mindfulness is paying purposeful attention. So…if you are hard on yourself for not looking a certain way, or weighing a certain amount…bring some awareness to your thoughts and emotions that come up around this. Bring a little curiosity to the way you react. Give yourself a little compassion, too (sometimes this can be the hardest part!).

I adore this short animation that my daughter sent me. It shows how women’s body ideals have changed so much over time.

So, take some time today to appreciate being YOU. Because, you are beautiful just the way you are.

great expectations.

What kinds of expectations do you have for yourself? For others? What if you could sweep away the cobwebs of doubt, and have only the highest expectations about the things you could achieve?! What would that feel like? I absolutely LOVE This American Life on NPR...and this episode really spoke to me. It's totally worth an hour of your time. Click HERE to listen. ( I attempted to embed the player from NPR, but failed! sorry!!)

What do you think?!