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A wellness blog inspiring you to take your health and happiness into your own hands.

Diaries of a Yoga Student: Week 11

  This weekend we met after being away from each other for the holiday weekend. Bundled up from the San Diego “cold” we embraced on Friday night knowing that we only had two weekends left.

Jon Old-Rowe walked into the studio and I was immediately engulfed in his presence. While many may enter a room and immediately jump into discussion, Jon took his time speaking mindfully and with intent as we were enveloped more and more by his memorable demeanor.

Our evening with Jon explored the depth of the role of a teacher and its place in personal development. Teaching itself is a way to study ourselves and grow our means of communication and understanding. After a powerful exercise showing our interconnectedness and innate human desire to feel acceptance and love, we jumped into the practice of chanting and mantras.

Our mantra was one that I had been using in my meditation practice over the past week since we had visited Manoj and learned about all the Hindu deities:

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Travel Essentials: Stay Comfy On The Road

You’ve been on the road for days, lugging around your suitcases and bags stumbling over your own feet just waiting for the moment you can put everything down and get some z’s. We’ve all been there. I hate to say I’ve been there one too many times to the point that I said ENOUGH! Give me some convenience and a comfy pair of leggings so I can kick back and relax! If you are new to traveling or only familiar with weekend getaways, you may be asking yourself how the travel commercials make it look so easy. Planes aren’t comfortable, let alone being on one for 10+ hours, so what’s an explorer like you to do?

For me, I look to comfort over fashion any day. Seriously, yoga pants are my pantsuit at work. With trial and error, I’ve found these few products to be my go-to's when it comes to traveling:

Sleep Mask

As a traveling yogi, it’s hard to practice sustainability when you’re on the go, especially in foreign countries where you have...

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Sound Baths, Aliens, and Uncovering Mysticism in Joshua Tree

“Where and when would you time-travel to?” I asked her. This wasn’t just a long drive hypothetical. Considering that we were twenty miles away from a human cell rejuvenation and potential time machine designed by aliens, it was a fair question.

It’s hard not to speed on the road to Landers, CA. Dust covered and desolate, the roads get smaller and emptier the farther out of Joshua Tree you drive. Littered with open space and abandoned homesteads with yard sale signs up, the highway winds around sun-scorched boulders and the namesake trees that reach towards the heavens.

Where we were headed, though, has much more to do with what’s underneath the miles of dust and yucca root. We were speeding towards an intersection of geomagnetic forces that amplifies the Earth's magnetic field.

In 1954, George Van Tassel, retired aeronautical engineer for Lockheed and Hughes Aircraft, began building The Integratron after, as he...

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Why I'm Trading In My Desk Job For a Life on the Road

“It is better to live your own identity imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” - The Bhagavad Gita

In one month, I’ll be packing my bags and boarding a plane to South America leaving my career and life in California behind. What had started as a vacation with my partner flourished into an idea; a concept that this could be a new chapter of my reality. This journey will be more than an extended vacation. This journey will be one in which I pursue my passions, my talents, and skills and leave behind the corporate world. For good.

While this shake-up may sound terrifying, I know that the stability I’ve had over the past 5 years is more terrifying. The idea of making six figures and clocking in every Monday-Friday just doesn’t sit right in my stomach anymore, and it may not sit right in yours. We live in this ultra-connected society where we are able to easily access the lives of others and watch their story...

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GRATITUDE

Gratitude (n.) — the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

The act of gratitude is something I’ve just recently honed in on through my personal and interpersonal growth. As a teen, it’s quite easy to get lost in the world of haves and have nots which end up clouding our ability to be grateful.

I look at gratitude as a mirror. One that I can see myself as I really am and show gratitude that all that I offer. In this mirror, I find relationships, both past, and present, clearly outlined for me to appreciate. This mirror of gratitude takes time to clean and understand, it isn’t easy to face when you haven’t been given the tools to do so. With awareness, acceptance, and love you can see every inch of your mirror and grasp exactly why it is all there.

When you are looking through this mirror with clarity, there is an understanding of both positive and uncomfortable elements in your life. There is equanimity in...

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Diaries of a Yoga Student: Week 10

Meditation has always been daunting to me. Sitting still and quiet with no stimuli is such a contrast from what we’re used to, I think we all may get a little fearful when we’re left alone with the mind and body. It was much to my surprise that I openly welcomed it this past Friday night when we were joined by Zen Master, Henry Ryu-un Shukman, from Mountain Cloud Zen Center in New Mexico.

Henry’s calm but excited demeanor energized me the moment he walked in the room and as he spoke I found myself mesmerized by every word he said eagerly hanging on the edge of my mat waiting to learn more of his wisdom.

The Immense Power of Meditation

In our short time with Henry, I learned more about meditation and myself as a meditator than I have throughout my entire time as a yogi. Yoga itself is a moving form of meditation and through it, we are able to pay attention to the here and now without any judgment.

Meditation allows us to witness the magic and treasure in basic human...

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Finding A Balance Through Meditation

Over the past year, I’ve been fortunate enough to make incredible leaps in my transition from a desk job to a freelancer. It’s been a whirlwind of excitement and trial and error trying to manage my time while also managing to not exile myself from society. It’s safe to say I’m still long ways away from completely understanding how to find a balance between work and play, but I believe I have found a tool that anyone can integrate into their daily routine to achieve success whilst remember to call your friends and love your boyfriend. This tool is meditation, and I’m about to rock your world with all the benefits meditating once a day can bring to you.

The Importance of Balance

Balance is key. It’s a simple idea that for some (me) is quite hard to execute. When I have ideas, my brain flips a switch and I’m off to the races putting 110% into making this idea successful. But, what’s happening to those other things I’m working on?...

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Heal Your Heart Chakra In Time For The Holidays

I’m very lucky in a sense that I have a pretty incredible family. Holidays don’t evoke an anxious-ridden emotion for any of us and it’s always pretty smooth when we’re all together. I know that’s not always the case, though. The upcoming holidays can induce a spectrum of emotions for an individual, especially if family gatherings are paired with drunk aunts or moody cousins. You may look at the holidays as a time of cheer. On the other hand, you may dread the winter months and end up stressed, depressed, or closed off entirely.

With retail and media shoving holiday cheer down our throats from October on - I’m looking at you, Michael’s - it’s only natural that we want to have a cinematic holiday. I mean, who doesn’t want to kiss someone under the mistletoe and drink drama-free Hot Toddy’s with all your loved ones while playing Catchphrase?

Maybe, just maybe, all your holiday woes can be cured by bringing your...

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Diaries of a Yoga Student: Week 9

 Anatomy, Ayurveda, and yoga…oh my! This weekend was filled with so much valuable information my brain might explode, in a good way, of course. Since we’ve finished learning queues for the sequence, there has been a huge shift to have us all teaching which leaves me excited and eager for the weekends.

There’s something so empowering about teaching. Maybe it’s the clarity you see people come to when flowing through a class or the way everyone’s bodies move to the sound of your voice. Whatever it is, it’s addicting and incredibly satisfying. It’s a beautiful balance between improving someone else’s day through movement and electrifying your own.

Learning Outside Asana

Our homework this week ties back to the Eight Limbs of Yoga which we began to learn about on Friday evening. Starting with the Yamas and Niyamas, Jill led an open discussion for us to share our experiences and understanding of each and how it ties into being a yoga...

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How Yoga Can Awaken Your Creativity

For most of my life, I labeled myself as “creatively-challenged.” I never knew what it felt like to completely zone out and zone in on a piece of art, although I desperately wanted to feel it. I avoided painting nights with friends because I was embarrassed by my lack of creative imagination and defaulted to spending my nights watching TV because I needed an outlet for decompression from my desk job. I buried myself into a comfortable nest of sedentary routine that destroyed the child-like imagination within.

Does this sound familiar?

We spend so much of our lives striving for financial freedom and constantly aiming for the “top.” We work hours of overtime staring at a screen and frying under fluorescent lights while waiting for that next promotion. Glued to our desks and attached to an idealistic destination of happiness, we forget about that imagination because we’re too busy with the real world.

There is hope, though. I found that hope through yoga....

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