the yoga diaries: pt. v
it’s been quite a while [almost two months, if we wanna get technical] since i took some time to post here on the blog about my yoga “journey”… whatever that means. initially, the yoga diaries was intended to be a place for me to record and share my experience going through yoga teacher training, but as it came to a close, i knew i didn’t want to stop writing about yoga.
when it comes to yoga, the learning never ends and you will forever be a student to the practice, and with that knowledge, it didn’t really seem appropriate to end this series when teacher training ended. so, here we are!
immediately following my teacher training [i’m pretty sure i killed my final exams, by the way], i took a little hiatus from yoga… not on purpose or anything… remember, i love yoga… but i was so busy catching up on life that i didn’t make it to class for almost three weeks… and that was a big change! i spent some time with the friends i hadn’t gotten to see too much of, i slept in, i watched some Netflix, i went out and had a drink or two [which i hadn’t really done while training was going on], i took a few weekend trips… i hung out with my classmates from teacher training outside of the yoga stuido… you get the picture.
i almost felt guilty about it, but you know what? in all honestly, as much as i love yoga, i think my body needed a break after 12-weeks of the most intense practice of my life. it was also a good way to remind myself that yoga is not only a physical practice, but a guide for how you approach life… i feel like regardless of if i get to class or do a single asana in a day, i can still find ways to practice #yogaeverydamnday.
eventually, i made my way back to the studio, opened an unlimited monthly membership and got back to the mat. i’ve been consistent with my practice and can feel the difference in the way i move through each class, the way i push myself when i know i can handle it and the way i back off when i know i can’t.
i don’t even view yoga as a form of “working out” anymore… while it has basically always been the only form of physical activity that i truly enjoy, it’s so much more than that for me at this point. it calms and centers me, connects my thoughts and emotions to my physical body, serves as a spiritual practice [seriously, if yoga was a religion… ] and just makes me feel effing good.
my demeanor and outlook on life has definitely shifted, as well. i feel more confident, less stressed and just generally a little mentally calmer… a lot less brain chatter going on than i’m used to! i don’t dwell on things and have become much better about just letting sh*t go. i feel kind of unstoppable and as if i can do anything i want. i’m gearing up to make some big changes in my life and i honestly don’t know if i would have the courage to do it if i hadn’t gone through this training. i seriously have yoga to thank for so many things.
[my teachers gave me a postcard with this quote on it on the last day of training for a pretty specific reason. i look at it every. single. day. and it will always serve as a pretty special reminder to me… thank you dani and heather for always being so supportive… i love you guys!]
i’ve obviously noticed the changes in myself, but my friends and coworkers have told me they’ve sensed a shift in the way i carry myself, too… as if i seem lighter [not physically, but in an energetic way] and just more at ease. you know you’ve gone through a transformation when other people take notice… and it’s a pretty good feeling!
finally, i’m pretty excited to say that i’ve been teaching classes! i’ve taught a handful of small groups as well as some private sessions and it’s just so much fun. i’m feeling more and more comfortable with teaching each time i do it, and i think i’ll be confident enough to start going on auditions for teaching positions at some studios here in new york soon. the thought terrifies me but… i can do anything i want, right?!
before i sign off for the weekend, if you’re located in new york and want to do some yoga with your’s truly, please reach out! i can teach all levels in private, group or corporate settings and i‘m offering free sessions from now until the end of this month on a first come, first serve basis. if you’re interested in, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get something on the calendar!
enjoy your weekend… and go to yoga! namaste!
what i ate wednesday: l.a. edition
from the minute i booked my birthday trip to l.a. back in january, i’ve been researching restaurants and mapping out my meals. i find myself planning weekend trips and full vacations around where and what i’ll be eating [and drinking!] more than what tourist spots and sightseeing i want to do… i guess that means i’m officially a “foodie”?
if that’s the case, l.a. is definitely a great city for foodies and even more so, a great city for health conscious foodies. while i’m all about balance and believe in letting yourself go all out, especially when you’re in a new place or celebrating a special occasion, i have to say that i didn’t really feel like i was overdoing it at any point, simply because 90% of the meals i ate were vegan… and i didn’t even have to try! here’s a round up of the places i ate and most importantly, what i ate.
breakfast at rawvolution:
this little café in santa monica is 100% raw and organic. i had the probiotic coconut yogurt with berries, a little agave and bee pollen with a hot cup of organic coffee after a yoga class. great food, really great service [as with just about every place in l.a., the people are so nice!] and very eco-chic environment.
lunch at kreation kafé:
this place was #soLA i could have died. i met up with a friend here for lunch and we sat outside on the patio [duh]. the vibe was great, the service was also great [again, you’ll notice a pattern in l.a. with this] and they serve your water with chlorophyll in it. yea, right up my alley. i had the hummus garden salad and a green juice [naturally]. kreation kafé has multiple locations in the l.a. area and also happens to have a full juice bar/cleanse line, so they kinda kill two birds with one stone here.
pre-dinner drinks at nobu malibu:
no explanation needed.
dinner at malibu farm:
the pictures are a little dark because we were seated outside, but this was one of the best meals i had on this trip for a few reasons. let’s just state the obvious first: malibu. now, more specifically, this place is located at the end of the malibu pier… outdoor seating, cute decor, big fleece blankets to stay warm with on those chilly southern california nights… you see what i’m saying right? second, all the food is fresh, organic, sourced locally and doesn’t contain any sh*tty ingredients. simply prepared, but so. effing. good. we started with the cauliflower pizza [and wine, duh] and i had the vegan coconut entrée [tofu, veggies, wild rice and coconut sauce].
brunch at gracias madre:
plant-based mexican food. again… do i really need to elaborate? easily my favorite meal of the weekend. first of all, just look at those drinks. now take those, add some chips and guac, vegan cauliflower and mushroom tacos with black bean sauce and cashew cream, and then wrap it all up with a fudge brownie topped with salted mezcal caramel, cashew coconut whipped cream, and coconut bacon… PINCH ME, I MUST BE DREAMING. amazing ambience with an outdoor patio, the best service ever, and bangin’ food. don’t be scared away by the whole “plant-based” thing if you’re not really into that. i promise you won’t even be able to tell the difference.
dinner at sur:
if you’re a bravo fan, you’ll know that we really just ate here more for the novelty factor than anything else. i’m a huge fan of the real housewives of beverly hills [no shame, everyone’s allowed a guilty pleasure] so i felt like not eating here wasn’t an option… and i really wanted to meet giggy. the food was fine, but a little pricey and the portions were pretty small. i had the fried goat cheese balls and the endive salad with gorgonzola cheese and pears [and a cucumber cocktail]. no signs of giggy or lisa… soooo like… did we really even eat at sur?
ice cream at kippy’s:
coconut ice cream [i tried a combination of the cinnamon and date flavors] with a coconut-based chocolate shell and coconut-based caramel syrup. yup.
lunch at true food kitchen:
so, at this point you can probably see what i meant when i said how effortless it is to remain conscious of what you are eating in l.a. i had the “tlt” – tempeh, lettuce, and tomato – sandwich with avocado and two sides [kale salad and sweet potato hash] and the kale-aid green juice… really effing good.
birthday donuts! from dk’s donuts:
finally, my friends surprised me on the morning of my birthday with these babies [and “21” candles, because i’m 21 and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise]. i’ve never seen donuts quite like this before – literally sliced in half and assembled with fillings like sandwiches. one was strawberry shortcake and one was strawberry nutella. yea, i’m done here.
so, my final thoughts are:
must-eat: gracias madre
must-drink: nobu malibu
honorable mention: malibu farm + dk’s donuts
your turn! tell me all of your favorite l.a. spots! my list has grown to 50+ restaurants/bars/cafés… so i have a lot of work to do, but always want more recommendations!
the big two-seven… from l.a.!
i am beyond happy to be able to say that today’s post is coming to you from warm and sunny and perfect l.a.! i’m out here visiting friends and celebrating my birthday and i could not be more excited to be turning 27 here.
ever since the days of the o.c. [zero shame, and if someone wants to get me a birthday gift i would love this shirt], california has always intrigued me and as i’ve gotten older, my obsession has only grown. the lifestyle, the mindset, the scenery, the weather. california has a certain vibe to it that i haven’t felt anywhere else. this is my fourth trip out here in the last year and i have to say, i often ask myself what the eff i’m doing in new york…
… anyways! i’ll be sure to do some recap posts of my trip for you guys over the next week or so, but make sure you’re following me on social media [instagram | twitter | facebook] so you can see what i’m up to in the meantime! [spoiler alert: palm tree/beach/ocean/sky pictures and, most importantly, a lot of #eatingfortheinsta posts to follow.]
enough about that… let’s talk about 27 for a minute. twenty-seven. two. seven. twenty. effing. seven. how did this happen?!
i really feel like this number has snuck up on me because i truly do not feel like a 27 year old… and i’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a sign that i seriously need to get my act together. we’ve heard the old adage “age is just a number” hundreds of times and i always roll my eyes when someone says this to me, but right now, i can actually say that i agree with this.
i’m in my late twenties now? excuse me… what? when did that happen? how did that happen? i think the fact that i even have to ask these questions is proof enough that age doesn’t define you. it’s just a number and you are only as old as you feel. so like… 27? no big deal… right?
in the spirit of turning the big two-seven and officially leaving my mid-twenties behind, here are 27 things i’ve learned while being alive on this planet, in no particular order. some big, some small. some funny, some serious. all important. none to do with food/fitness/wellness/crunchy hippie sh*t.
- taking yourself seriously is a waste of time.
- there is no point in not saying how you feel or what’s on your mind.
- change is scary, but 100% necessary if you want to move forward.
- you’re never too old to take a nap.
- there is absolutely no avoiding the kardashians and we might as well just get used to them.
- it’s okay to change your mind.
- there’s a lot of power in doing. effing. less.
- the best cure for a hangover is netflix and seamless. Or another drink.
- it’s okay to take a sick day [even when you aren’t sick].
- trying to hold onto your pride is stupid. no one wins. not even you.
- the best thing you can spend your money on is experiences, not things.
- dogs are better than humans.
- math is, and always will be really, really hard.
- you can’t change the weather [but you can change your location, which in a way can change the weather].
- if your phone battery dies you will not, i repeat, you will not die with it.
- you get 24 hours to totally lose your sh*t and cry/mope/kick/scream/break things over a guy/girl. after that, you pick up and move on with your life. [thanks for this one, mom!]
- if you can’t find a little humor in bad situations they will only be that much worse.
- fuck the scale. that bitch is a liar. [still working on this one.]
- your real friends will be your friends no matter where you’re located geographically.
- if you don’t know, just ask.
- perfection is not a real thing. unless we’re talking about beyoncé. she might be perfect.
- if you really have to talk yourself into something you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
- no matter how sh*tty your situation is, it will get better.
- when you know, you know.
- “family is most important.”
- sometimes it feels good to just kinda wing it.
- if you don’t do it now, you never will.
there you have it. BRING IT ON TWENTY-SEVEN. i’m ready for ya!
motivation mondays: week 32
wow. monday already?! groan.
i spent last week nursing a serious cold and even though i felt like i was super busy, i made the necessary adjustments to my schedule to really just focus on me and getting better. at the beginning of the week, i had my schedule booked before and after work every. single. day. i cancelled plans [which i hate doing] and listened to what my body was asking for… some serious r+r. i stayed in and went to bed before 10:30pm both friday and saturday nights [sometimes this is so nice to do even when you aren’t sick, just fyi… or maybe this is just my **almost** 27 year old self really growing into her age, who knows] and yesterday i did the 5 boro bike tour. so, i went from literally doing nothing all week to just casually riding a bike for 40 miles through all five boroughs of new york city… nbd.
i’ve known about the bike tour since i first moved to new york almost five years ago, but never signed up since, you know, i don’t even own an effing bike. this year, a few friends were talking about doing it, so i figured, “why not! i’ll figure out the bike thing later!” [this is such a me thing to do, by the way.] i scrambled to find a bike, but needless to say, it all worked out and we all successfully finished the tour [i wasn’t doing this to race or beat a time, i literally just wanted to be able to say i did it] and followed it up with some well-deserved mexican food and margaritas [naturally]. here i am pre-race [editor’s note: after picture not provided for good reason]!
needless to say, today i’m completely exhausted and feeling like i got run over by a truck, but it was a gorgeous day and i’ve been wanting to check this off of my new york bucket list for years… it was an experience i will never forget… and one that i will never subject myself to again.
so, motivation mondays! we meet again!
this one is pretty relevant to my life right now, especially considering how last week went for me. how often do you find yourself so booked up… between work, working out, meeting up with friends, running errands… that you don’t have more than maybe an hour each day to actually just relax and unwind? for me, this is what the past three months of my life have looked like, especially when yoga teacher training was a part of the equation.
last week, i came down with a cold, was forced to take a sick day, cancel most of the plans i had for the week and just chill the eff out. the idea and the actual act of doing this seriously stressed me out. the thought of going straight home from work with no plans almost every day of the week is such a foreign concept to me at this point that i really didn’t know what i was supposed to be doing with my time, but you know what? it felt damn good.
a lot of people, especially here in new york, define their importance and success on how busy they are. scheduling time to get dinner and drinks with a friend can take weeks when two schedules need to be worked around, and honestly, while i love being busy and having things to do and look forward to, last week taught me that putting some time aside for myself is not only okay, but necessary. i almost feel like i got sick in the first place because my body was trying to tell me to slow the eff down.
i want everyone to remember that it’s okay to not have 1,000 things to do all of the time. it doesn’t mean that you aren’t successful or that you’re failing, it just means that you respect yourself enough to say no and breathe every once in a while. make time for what’s really important and if you’ve scheduled something that you really could just do without, don’t do it. give it a try this week and let me know how it goes, i always love hearing from you guys!
and what would motivation mondays be without some links to get your week started?
1) i posted this article about taking the leap on facebook last week and wanted to share it here again because it was just. that. good.
2) i’ve got another post on living body wellness this week! need 5 quick ways to healthify your life? look no further!
3) and honestly, i spit my coffee all over the place when i saw this.
have an amazing week everyone! check back on wednesday for a healthy recipe you can whip up for dinner this week… and on friday bananas + bellinis will be coming to you from warm and sunny l.a.!
class review: peloton cycle
let me just start this post, a review of a spinning studio, by being 100% honest with you: i absolutely hate spinning. like, seriously, hate it like i hate no other form of working out. my friends and i still joke about the first time i ever tried soulcycle because i was just that miserable. i don’t know what it is, but i just can’t seem to get down with spinning.
now, with that being said, since my first trip to soulcycle, i have, oh, i don’t know, come to terms with the idea of spinning in the sense that a] i sweat a sh*t load, b] it’s challenging [both physically and mentally, at least for myself] and c] it’s a good way to switch my workout routine up here and there. i’ve pushed myself to attend a handful of spin classes at various studios and i’m at a point where i can handle it in small doses.
about a month or so ago, my roommate invited me to check out a beyoncé ride with her at peloton cycle here in nw york. as you know from my first class review, i’ll sign up for any workout that is beyoncé themed and i figured that even though i’m not into spinning, the music would get me through the ride.
… and i was correct! the instructor, cody, was energetic, funny and kept it positive and light-hearted… and obviously the music was ***flawless. i even enjoyed myself enough to book another class the following week [it was also free soooo]. same instructor only this time nicki minaj themed. again, really fun and definitely a challenge.
i do need to mention that i did take one other class… a 7am-er with a different instructor last week… and let’s just say, even though the theme was jay-z vs. kanye… i still hated it. i’ll go ahead and behonest here: the instructor’s style was not doing it for me. she gave really confusing instructions, made strange noises and by the end of the class i was literally just making sh*t up and doing my own thing. after that class, i think it’s safe to say that it will be a few months before I’m setting foot in a spin class again.
so, what’s the verdict?
3/5 bananas for peloton cycle!
here’s the thing with peloton: if spinning is your thing, definitely get to a class. your first class is full price [$30] but when you check-in they will credit your account for one free ride, meaning that your first two classes are only $15 each. if you feel the way i do about spinning, make sure you take a class with a theme you’ll enjoy [and take a class with cody, you will love him].
another thing to note: the space is amazing and has a community feel. it’s super modern and fun, with a lounge, smoothie bar and really nice, clean locker rooms with all the amenities you could ask for [although the line for the showers after class is ridiculous].
finally, peloton could have earned a 4th banana [even from me] if they bumped the music a little louder during class… i like my music effing loud.
what class should i be heading to next?! i’ll be in l.a. next weekend celebrating my birthday and will definitely be trying out some classes there… any recommendations? share them in the comments below!
image courtesy of peloton
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