Tag Archives: yoga

Why I Yoga

“Every moment you are on this planet, every moment that your heart is beating and your breath is flowing, is an opportunity to celebrate. So many wonderful blessings come into our life, and when we’re present, we see them. When we’re strong and disciplined we push away the garbage, and when we’re bold we make the big choice to light up the world around us, to celebrate…”

– Outlaw Yoga 

dancer-pose-at-trilogy

Happy Friday & last day of September!

Speaking of September, it’s deemed National Yoga Month by the Department of Health & Human Services. It’s the month where the worldwide yoga community celebrates the practice. As a yogi, I think that every month is yoga month, but this month I’ve definitely been thinking about my motivations for getting my Om on most days.

Lately I’ve popped into a few yoga classes at CorePower in Encinitas to sweat it out in their heated classes. To commemorate National Yoga Month, the yoga chain launched a campaign called #WhyIYoga – which encourages yogis everywhere to share why they practice.

whyiyoga

So what are the reasons that I keep coming back to my yoga mat? 

One motivation is to find balance. I find that the practice of yoga gives me balance not only in the physical sense when I’m standing on my head and trying out more progressive asanas, but also mentally and emotionally. Yoga gives me perspective and centers my mind, body and soul.

handstand-practice

It gives me the space to practice mindfulness. I can have so much going on, but when I hit my mat, I’m focusing my energy on the present moment. Even if I at first am not in the mood for yoga – which certainly is the case sometimes – after a couple of minutes of flowing through some poses, I notice that I’m more at-ease and relaxed. The stresses of life melt away a bit, and I always feel better after I’ve practiced. I never regret a yoga session!

runners-lunge

“Go from a human being doing yoga to a human being yoga.” – Baron Baptiste

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My Workouts Lately + Foot Injury Update

Hi there!

It’s been 6 weeks since I shared with you guys about my foot injury, so today seemed like a good time for an update post + to chat about my workouts lately! I’ve been kicking my exercise routine up a bit in the last few weeks since taking it easier for a solid two months after getting my foot injury diagnosis. Some recent workout highlights lately include:

Calavera Lake

My first (baby) hike in months! When my cousin was in town last week, we went to my favorite nearby park for an hour-long walk. I’ve been taking my pup there and just doing the trail around the lake and skipping the little mountainous climb, but this time we went for it. Even though it was just an itty bitty hike, it felt great! I miss hiking so much and it just makes my soul happy.

Mountain Biking-May 16

Getting back on the bike. Not only did my hubby and I go for my (only) second mountain biking excursion of the year a few weekends ago (and I had no weird foot/calf pain afterwards!), this week I hooked up my bike to my indoor trainer to test out short cycling workouts again. I had given pretty much all cardio a rest while trying to heal my broken foot bones, and now I’m trying out 20-30 minute rides to see how they feel. We shall see how it goes!

tennis session-May 16

Tennis. Since I’m testing out bringing back some cardio, I’ve played tennis twice in the last couple of weeks. It’s more casual tennis in that I don’t full-blown run since I’m still trying to minimize jumping around, but it’s been fun! Just a few nights ago, my hubby and I had an impromptu short tennis session before it got dark out. I learned that casually volleying back and forth is a good stress reliever and positive way to end the day!

Dog Beach May 16-Wheel Pose

Ommmmm. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga lately – mostly on my own for fast-paced at-home sessions. It’s such a nice way to start my mornings and focus my energy.

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Aurorae Yoga Mat Towel Review & Giveaway!

Hi there!

Today I’ve got a fun giveaway for you guys! Recently the folks at Aurorae sent me a yoga product of theirs, called the Synergy Mat Towel, to try out. I was intrigued by the mat because of its built-in non-slip microfiber towel.

Aurorae mat-5

I had never seen a yoga mat with a built-in towel before, and it sounded like a brilliant idea to me. I had owned a few yoga mats already, but wasn’t in love with them because of how I seemed to find myself slipping around on the mat once I started sweating and getting into my workout. I was interested to see if Aurorae’s mat would eliminate this annoyance.  Aurorae Mat Giveaway

Aurorae is a yoga, fitness & aromatherapy e-retailer that has recently expanded into a number of new divisions, including apparel and outdoor accessories such as beach towels. They’re a small family business who keeps customer service and satisfaction as their main priority as they operate in the spirit of yoga.

Aurorae mat-3

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My Yoga Practice Lately {July Recap}

Greetings from the northeast!

My sunrise view this morning

My sunrise view this morning

My red eye arrived bright and early this morning. Between seeing my family, my hubby’s family, my girlfriends, and my friend’s wedding that I’m in next weekend, there is a lot of fun to be had on this trip. Today is also my hubby’s birthday! I’m sure I’ll be filling you guys in on all of the excitement going on here, but today I want to talk about my life lately when it comes to yoga.

DCIM100GOPRO

My yoga practice is always an interesting journey. Some months I slack off a bit on practicing as much, and then some months I really get into frequent and heart opening yoga sessions.

Side Bend stretch

July was a case of the latter. I went to a few yoga classes on the beach and at my favorite studio in my town, but mostly I practiced at home. Sometimes I get into following a lot of videos, but for the past month, I mostly put on my latest yoga playlist, started moving, and let my practice take me wherever it wanted to go.

Inverted Twist pose

Sometimes I get more into the spiritual aspects of yoga, and other times what brings me to my mat is just some achy muscles that want to be stretched out, the hope of increasing my flexibility, and the desire to get a gentle workout in. But I always leave the mat feeling more centered and calm.

Wild Thing pose

Some days I would do a more gentle flow, other days I would incorporate light hand weights into my yoga. Some days I would practice headstands and balancing poses, other days I stayed away from any inversions. Thanks to an Instagram yoga challenge that I took part in, many of my poses this month focused on heart opening postures….   Warrior I

…and of course, the month entailed some dog photobomb yoga pictures: Camel Pose

When you have a crazy dingo who hates actually looking at the camera but loves just getting in the way during photos, it’s inevitable!

The Instagram challenge I took part in was called Back to Backbends, and was designed to incorporate a lot of poses that strengthened your backbend practice.

Low Lunge pose

While sometimes during a yoga challenge, it’s a pain to get a photo each and every day posted on social media, I thoroughly enjoy them as a way to try new poses. The challenges also bring about a fun sense of community with yogis on Instagram.

Reverse Plank

Here are some yoga poses that I’ve been working on:

Compass Pose

Compass pose. Stretching my arm over my head and grabbing my foot is not an easy task! This is a pose I definitely practice only once I’m warmed up. Otherwise my body does not want to bend this way!

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{Throwback Thursday} Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life *Book Review & Interview*

Hi friends!

Since my week of posting is a little out of whack due to my traveling on Monday and not posting as I usually do, and since my friend Brittany just started a Throwback Thursday link-up, I decided to join in on the fun with her today!

My Own Balance

The gist of Throwback Thursday is for bloggers to revive older blog posts that we like, and today I’m republishing a post that I originally shared in June 2013 about the book Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life. The author owns a yoga studio here in San Diego, and I really want to visit there and meet him in person sometime.

This original post was a book giveaway, so I edited that section around this time around. But I really enjoyed reading the book and interviewing its author, so I wanted to share my review of it and conversation with him once again. Here we go!

Growing up with a grandfather who taught (and at age 81 [edit: he’s now 83!], still teaches) yoga, I was exposed to the teachings of yoga and meditation at an early age. Back then, I remember feeling so bored during the meditation parts of class and thinking that everyone was just taking a nap. I was too young for the purpose of meditation to resonate in my mind. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to learn that the poses and meditation are only two aspects of yoga. It’s a way of life that has the power to permeate into every aspect of your world. As Bhava Ram, the yoga guru whose book, Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life, exclaimed as we spoke last week, “Yoga is the greatest science ever created on how to be a human being.”

Enjoying the book at the beach

Enjoying the book at the beach

Warrior Pose is the story of Brad Willis (whose taken on the yoga name Bhava Ram), an ambitious journalist whose career took him to the middle of major conflicts and events in places like Afghanistan, Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Kurdistan and Hong Kong. In the book, Willis talks about his experiences as a reporter and the sometimes heartbreaking things he witnessed. I found this aspect of the book to be educational, giving me a sort of inside look to events that happened when I was either not born yet or just a kid. In reading about his travels and work, I could sense that Bhava is a unique person who was really motivated to make a positive difference in the world through his journalism.

Warrior Pose is also the story of Brad Willis’ pharmaceutical-induced nightmare, gradually brought on after a fall that caused a mildly broken back. After years of ignoring the injury and covering the pain up with alcohol and pills, Willis’ unwillingness to put his life on hold to take time to heal his back leads to a majorly broken back. He soon also learns of another medical horror – that he has stage IV thyroid cancer. Fallen into a deep abyss, the chronic pain and illness consumes Willis until one day, his loved ones stage an intervention and Willis agrees to get help. Constantly motivated by the phrase Get Up, Daddy!, something his young son said to him one day when Willis was far from able to easily jump up out of his chair, Willis embarks on a journey to try to get his life back.

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Getting My Zen On at La Jolla’s Trilogy Sanctuary [Yoga Studio Review]

One of the many reasons that I dig living in San Diego is all of its awesome local businesses geared towards healthy living. There’s no shortage of juice bars, veg eateries, fitness studios, spas, yoga centers and lots more around to explore. Being the wellness lover that I am, I experience these places as much as I can.

Trilogy Sanctuary-7

I’ve teamed up with ClassPass again for a blogger project (more on that to come soon!), so lately I’ve been a fitness class maniac, booking classes at studios all over San Diego County in my never-ending attempt to find the best workouts in the area.

Trilogy Sanctuary-4

Last week I journeyed over to the beautiful beach town of La Jolla to meet up with a girlfriend of mine for a yoga class at Trilogy Sanctuary. Immediately when I walked in, I was like all, Ooooh! So cute, I love this place! 

Trilogy Sanctuary-6

Situated on the rooftop of a building in the middle of La Jolla’s main shopping and restaurant area, Trilogy Sanctuary gives off laid back SoCal vibes. Not only is it a yoga studio that specializes in aerial yoga, they also have a vegan cafe and juice bar. Diners can lounge on cozy couches and tables and watch the yoga classes, which take place directly next to the cafe.

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Wherever You Are, Be All There | 7 Powerful Mindfulness Quotes

If there’s one thing that I think each and every one of us can do to enrich our lives, it’s to practice mindfulness. Any regular blog readers may recognize this to be a constant life practice that I bring up, because I really believe that living in the moment and appreciating the now are surefire ways to feel happier and lower stress levels.

definition-of-mindfulness

(via)

Today I had the chance to practice at a yoga studio I hadn’t visited before – a rooftop yoga studio and vegan restaurant in La Jolla called Trilogy Sanctuary. I’ll be sharing a full review of the studio soon, but as I participated in a lunchtime vinyasa flow class – feeling the ocean breeze, looking up at the bright blue sky, stretching out in some yoga poses – I couldn’t help but feel appreciative of the moment that I was experiencing.

Trilogy Sanctuary

In the spirit of the gratitude that swept over me today in a moment of mindfulness, I wanted to share some powerful mindfulness quotes that I’m loving. Here we go!

at any choice-quote

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My February Yoga Practice: Three Poses I’m Working On

Happy Friday!!

Crane cab

Are you feeling excited for the weekend? You could say that I’m a bit overly excited because my hubby and I are going on a weekend getaway! We’re taking a road trip up to the Santa Barbara Wine Country area, and I’ve been looking forward to it all week long. Have I ever mentioned that I love wine country?!

In Napa, circa 2011

In Napa, circa 2011

A photo I took in Livermore Valley, circa 2013

A photo I took in Livermore Valley, circa 2013

At my favorite local winery when we lived in Morgan Hill, CA, called Clos LaChance

At my favorite nearby winery when we lived in Morgan Hill, CA, called Clos LaChance

….oh, probably only about 2,700 times! I’m sure I’ll be sharing all of the details of my weekend with you guys later, but for today, let’s get a little zen & talk about yoga. February has flown by in what feels like the blink of an eye, but my month has had no shortage of yoga practice!

Yoga Pose Collage

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My 2015 Yoga Practice Thus Far + prAna & Fit Approach’s #TaketheLeap Challenge

Happy February!

Whew! I can’t believe that the first month of the year is already gone, but I feel like my year is off to a great start. On the fitness front, my 2015 has included a lot of movement and a lot of yoga practice.

Side Angle Pose

At the egging on of my sister, whose in training for her yoga certification, I decided to take part in an Instagram yoga challenge throughout January. Basically every day of the month, the challenge hosts – both amazing, beautiful yogis – would post a photo or video of them doing a yoga pose, and everyone participating in the challenge would post a photo of their best attempt at doing the same pose. Deemed the #BeStrongin2015 challenge, I certainly felt strong & healthy practicing these poses, and I enjoyed the sense of community I felt via social media sharing my journey and checking out everyone else’s photos.
dolphin pose

I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorite poses, plus some of the ones I found to be the toughest from the challenge, so here we go!

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ClassPass: A Great Fit for the Hyperactive Exerciser (Like Myself)

When people ask me what workouts I typically do, I usually rattle off a list of things: hiking, kickboxing, cycling, strength training, yoga, rowing, barre, and so on. I usually follow it up by saying something along the lines of, “I do a lot of different regimens, but I’m not really an expert at any of them.”

headstand

It’s true, I’ve never been into just doing one type of workout. I know that lots of people are strictly runners, or are amazing yogis and that’s their signature regimen, or wherever their fitness passion may lie, but for me, I’ve always wanted to do a bit of everything. I call it exercise ADD, and I figure that as long as I’m moving, it’s good for my body and soul to keep switching it up.

ClassPass San Diego

Over the past month, I’ve been trying out ClassPass. You can check out my full intro to ClassPass here, but the overall gist is that it’s a program that just hit San Diego last month that allows members to schedule classes at lots of different nearby studios. I’ve found that for fellow fitness lovers who enjoy variety, ClassPass is a great option.

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