Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nama Say Wednesday: Chakra's Part II

This is part two of the Nama Say Wednesday Chakra posts. I wanted to break them up into a more manageable read for you all and am excited to share the knowledge I currently have on our energy alignment (as well as to delve even deeper this year and continue to share).

As I mentioned in the last post, a chakra is an energy channel. We have seven chakras and in last weeks post I covered our root, sacral & solar plexus chakras. In this second post, I will be covering our heart, throat, third eye & crown charkas. Continuing up the alignment of the spine we come closer to our intuition & infinite wisdom within: we come close to Samadhi.

Samadhi is enlightenment or nirvana. Interestingly and contrary to popular belief, monks do not spend their entire lives in enlightened bliss. It is a glimpse into Samadhi that we receive and that is what we strive for – to feel the enlightenment and then once it is lost we continue our process again to achieve it once more.

The fourth chakra is the heart or Anahata. The heart chakra is green or pink in color and located at your hearts center. It represents all the things you would immediately believe the heart to represent: compassion, love, emotion & well being.

The heart charka is best opened through heart openers or back bends (bridge, wheel, dancers pose, cobra). When a teacher focuses on back bending, you may feel a lot of your emotions rise as well as your direct issues with love & trust begin to flare. This is a normal piece of the process to clear the energy on the way to your crown charka & Samadhi.

Vishuddha is the throat or the fifth charka. The throat charka is located in your throat and blue in color. It represents communication but not just the spoken word. It is written word, words we are unable to communicate (to those who have left the earth or perhaps out of societal or family context) and expression. Common poses to begin opening the throat chakra are fish pose & plow pose as well as the ancient art of chanting (more on chanting in a coming article).

The sixth chakra is known as the third eye, brow or Anja. It is violet in color and located directly in between your eyes on your brow – a place known to many as the third eye center. It represents intuition and the inner guide. Common poses for the opening of your third eye chakra are inversions and forward folds as well as chanting. There are many mudras (hand symbols) that connect to opening the third eye charka as well. Also, during guided meditations in savasana you are occasionally able to open your Anja.

The last and final of the seven chakras is the crown or Sahasrara. It is white in color and located at the top of the head or just above your crown, floating above you. It represents enlightenment, Samadhi, beingness, emotional action & the release of karma. The pose in which to open this chakra is savasana, often a yogis favorite pose.

The first time my dad tried yoga, I told him that savasana is like a yogi nap where we don’t sleep but rather rest and open our minds towards enlightenment. One lies on the earth or the floor and meditates after a physical yoga asana practice.

Combined with the first three chakras from last week, this concludes the introduction to chakras and their energy channels. As with all yoga, chakras are a practice. I am still learning all there is to know about chakras and there is an infinite amount of information. Please feel encouraged to add information or ask additional questions in regards to the chakras or anything with yoga. I would love to continue sharing my knowledge as often as I am able.
What do you think about the chakras?
Does your teacher mention them in class?
Would you take a chakra flow vinyassa class?

Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Smoothie 411

Have you been looking longingly at other people's smoothies?

Is Pinterest calling your name?
Are you bored with your coffee in the morning?
Are you looking for a new, healthy way to find energy in the morning?
Do you LOVE the color green?
Then THIS is the blog post for YOU!
Today I am going to deconstruct the elusive green smoothie for you and help you with some hints on what to stock your cabinets with, why we drink green smoothies & what tastes best (seriously).

A co-worker of mine recently asked me for some recipes and additional information on green smoothies. She mentioned that she is trying to be healthier and wants to know more. She tries her best (and looks amazing, especially for someone who gave birth this past year) but wants a few helpful hints. I thought I would help not only her but also all of you with deconstructing green smoothies.
First of all a green smoothie is an acquired taste. There are many ways to build up to this taste and many ingredients that are still not in my own repetoire but it's important to experiment and have fun, knowing that it will all come together eventually.

1) Greens (spinach, kale, parsley, cilantro etc)
Spinach is the first ingredient I would try as a part of a green smoothie. I LOVE KALE but as I mentioned there are certain ingredients (kale being one of them) that are an acquired taste and need some adjusting to. I would start with a typical strawberry and banana smoothie and add a hanful of spinach. It turns your smoothie green and adds a few additonal nutrients to your breakfast. Spinach is full of protein and iron and delicious nutrients.
I would add kale whenever you're ready! It really does amp up your nutrients and after a little adjusting it tastes delicious.
The other greens I have not yet experiemented with are a bit too much for me as of now. They include cilantro, parsley etc. I HAVE tried fresh mint and a DASH of peppermint extract which is minty and delicious! Go ahead and begin experimenting, it's the only way you'll learn what you love.
2) Powders
I use a number of powders in my smoothies. They all add a different set of nutrients, or energy and amp up my smoothie to not only be delicious but practical. My doctor loves that I drink them every morning and says that we should all "eat breakfast like a king." When I am running around and out of time in the morning, I pop in a few of my favorite ingredients to keep me going and make sure that even if it isn't large it is FULL of whatever I need for my day.
Spirulina is a vegetarian supplement that is 60% protein and contains B12. It is wonderful for those of us who are meat & dairy concious and would like or need a little protein boost in their diet. When I began using it a girlfriend of mine told me to use a pinch (no bigger than my thumbnail). I listened to her for a while and then began to use more - not a good idea. It definetly has a taste and I would recommend using a 1/2 tsp at most. You can add it to most any smoothie and it will absolutely add green & protein!
Amazing Grass Green Foods is not only delicious but also nutritious. I have been adding this particular supplement to my smoothies for a few years now. It was the first one I was brave enough to add and I love it! I use the chocolate grass as it is a nice flavor but have heard that the berry is also really good. It is a quick & easy way to add greens to your smoothie if you run out of them or if perhaps you just want more nutrients!
I typically use my green foods powder with raw cacoa which is really yummy! I do this if I want my smoothies to be chocolatey! Lately I have been using the dark chocolate which I picked up by accident. I have always used Hershey's Powder but there are many others to choose from if you hunt around! Give them all a try.
Maca Powder is a powder for energy. It is grown in the Andes in Peru and used for medicinal purposes, a vegetable and supposedly an aphrodisiac. Brought down to a powder it is now used as an energy boost. Many of my friends claim it is as good as coffee. I do not say this quite yet, I'm still thinking it is as strong as a caffinated tea, but it's a good start. I have just recently started using it so any suggestions below are welcome.
3) Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are so yummy that they deserve their own category! And before you ask: chia seeds are the same seeds used to grow a chia pet and NO it will not make your insides look like the outside of a Chia pet!
It supports heart health, helps with omega 3 intake, is full of antioxidants & is rich in calcium as well!! This little article introduces a few of the "Why" questions around Chia seeds.
The best part of chia seeds? I don't just use them in smoothies. I use them in overnight oats, chia seed pudding & a handful of other recipes.
4) Fruits & Veggies
This category should be self-explanatory! You can add in whatever nutritious and delicious fruits and veggies you like. I keep some in my freezer for an added cold burst or if I run out of fresh. I also buy fresh fruits & veggies often for my smoothies.

Simple veggies that are easy to digest and throw in your smoothie: zucchini, kale, spinach, celery, carrot & cucumber.
Fruits: berries, bananas (I freeze mine - peeled first and cut in half), apples, pears, pineapple and more.
Added yumminess: ginger root, lemon, mint leaves, extracts and more!
5) Liquid Base
If I want a milkier taste, I use half almond milk and half water (or all almond milk if I need it). When I run out of almond milk, I use my husbands skim! Occassionally I use coffee and almond milk for a coffee smoothie (recipe below) or juice. Typically the juices my hubby buys are a bit too sweet for my taste so I again use half water and half juice.
My favorite "juice" base at the moment is the 15 calorie lemonade from minute maid with half water! My favorite chocolatey smoothie at the moment is coffee, almond milk & water as a base.
6) Sweeteners
Now you have all of these powders, greens, fruits/veggies, liquid base & your chia seeds. But it just doesn't taste right. Maybe you need a sweetener or an extract?
Sweeteners I love: raw sugar, stevia, maple syrup, agave & ocassionally (in coffee) regular old sugar. I try not to use too much white sugar as it isn't good for my body, but sometimes I use it in the morning coffee for hubby & I so there it remains.
Extracts: I like to use only vanilla & peppermint extract at the moment. I have heard some amazing things about hazelnut and almond though! My biggest suggestion is that you use a capful or less. Especially with the peppermint which can become VERY strong.
7) Recipes
I have two recipes here for you all to try!
Chocolate Aztec Smoothie
Almond Milk
*1 capful of vanilla extract
Cocoa powder
*Amazing supergrass
Ice Cubes
Pinch of cayenne pepper
This simple and delicious smoothie is adapted from the recipe book Crazy Sexy Kitchen (go buy it now!) and if there is a * next to it, it is something I've added on my own :-) YUMMY!
Ginger Lemon Smoothie
Ginger Root
1 Squeezed Lemon
Maca Powder
1/4 Avocado
YUMMY! I made this one up because I love, love, love ginger and lemon.
Both of these two recipes may be too spicy for you - so hunt around the internet, play on pinterest and pull out your blender. I hope you enjoy!

Green Smoothie!! 
Please, please, please let me know YOUR smoothies, what you add, what I missed and what YOU love.
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Magical Monday: Blissful Vibes

As I am writing to you, I am in such a beautiful, calm & blissful state. I am sending you all a million positive, blissful vibes. The only thing I can imagine is the perfect wave of a rainbow in a bubble - THAT is how blissed out I am after my first 500 hour teacher training weekend.
Blissed Out @ Teacher Training
Needless to say this past week was amazing, it was and is everything I had hoped for in a training and I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be in this moment. I even sent my husband a text the first night of training that said: "I am vibrating with such an amazing energy. I love you!" And as always, he supports me in my whimsical and crazy hippie ways and told me he was sending me more blissful vibes and that he loves me as well (what a lucky gal I am!).
This past week was challenging at work, but as always it was wonderful. I am blessed to work with some great people and more than thrilled to come in everyday. It is also such a blessing to have people wanting to know more about yoga while I'm at work. I try to keep everyone calm & happy and it makes me giddy to be able to share all that positivity with the folks I work with every week! It's great to be able to share a blog post or a simple chair twist. I love helping others and to see some of the subtle changes in my co-workers is a great feeling.
Karthik also joined me this week in yoga! He came to Kundalini and it was a great experience to squeeze his hand right before savasana and make eye contact right before a kriya - I sure am a lucky lady to have such an amazing man.
One of the highlights of my weekend in teacher training was when Coral told us that our 50 elective hours need to concentrate on a specialty. She mentioned that some of us may know already what our specialty was while others would go on a journey to find theirs. I did not know it until Coral mentioned it, but the moment she said concentration I knew: charkas, energy, healing. THAT is where I'm supposed to be and I'm so excited to begin diving into this additional curriculum.
What a great week behind and weekend I have had. I seriously feel as though I'm riding on a bliss wave and so excited to share everything I have learned thus far with my students and all of you! The week ahead is a beautiful wedding I am excited to DJ, Easter weekend, Kundalini, a fun date and lots of OMwork!
The Little Things
Hanging out with Zack & his roommate Ben, making them dinner at 10pm on Friday night (and having them eat EVERYTHING), having a great little brother in general, seeing my cousin Sam Thursday night & then having a wonderful lunch on Friday afternoon, getting tests done for my wrist, meeting my friend Leisl after almost 7 years & eating yummy cupcakes with her(!!), healthy food, yogi talk, meeting new friends, being re-inspired for Journey to Hope with all the energy of the weekend, Dakota's 10th birthday (a bunny), cuddling, Karthik coming to Kundalini, discussions around labeling, new knowledge, being overwhlemed & excited at the same time, getting excited about Easter (and the supposed good weather for Sunday), team building events coming up at work and so much bliss and loving energy!!
Dakota's 10th bday @ teacher training
I am wishing you a week full of love, blessings & gratitue. If you had a tough week or weekend, Iam sending you all positive vibes!
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Nama Say Wednesday: Chakra's Part 1

Chakras are something I often discuss in class. If we are in the middle of a deep twist I will ask my students to rinse out their anxiety and will power through their third chakra. Many of them likely have no idea what I’m talking about, but I try to describe in best detail as I’m able what a chakra is.

A chakra is an energy channel. We have seven chakras within our being and today I will discuss our first three: root, sacral & the solar plexus. I am starting from the root and going to the top in an attempt to discuss how important it is to stay grounded.
The first chakra is your root chakra also known as Muladhara. The root chakra is red in color and located at the bottom of our spine. It represents all things grounded. Money issues, shelter, work, stability and so much more can be found coming up through this chakra. It is where we store a lot of our deepest set fears in the world and often the toughest energy channel to break through.
The root chakra is best opened with grounded poses (warriors, triangle, mountain pose). Typically chakra flow classes begin from the ground up and as such we often begin by opening our root chakra first through grounding poses, as well as to build heat within our bodies to create a better flow.
Swadhisthana is the sacral chakra and is located within the sacrum. It is orange in color and represents sexuality, fertility, relationships, basic emotions and creativity. When I “open” this chakra through asanas (poses) I often jokingly tell my students I am not trying to get them pregnant but rather cultivate the fertility of new ideas. This is a very sensitive chakra but in my experience can be very easy to open through a yoga class.
The sacral chakra is best opened with hip openers (lunges, pigeon, frog). Hip openers tend to open a lot of energy channels and emotion (especially for women) and it is often where we store old pains and fears. This is one of the reasons we are so tight in our hips (among others: driving, sitting in offices etc) and why occasionally we feel like cursing the teacher or crying in pigeon. It's normal to open and release this energy while we're in our hip opening poses.
Manipura is the solar plexus or belly chakra. It is yellow in color and represents will power, anxiety & digestion. The poses most associated with the manipura are often twists to release some of the anxiety we build. We need to hold onto our will power, however so we must not twist too deeply. And as we do, we must rememeber to hold our will power within while letting go of what no longer serves us.

I LOVE asking my class to get into deep twists and begin rinsing away all of the worries that no longer serve them. Next time you're feeling anxious, try sitting cross legged on the floor and doing a nice spinal twist across your body. It may release a bit of your manipura energy and open your third chakra to let go of all your worries!
Chakra flow classes can be extremely eye opening. You  are often opening energy channels you did not know existed. You begin to use the physical to connect to the spiritual and the energy within you. I mention “opening the channels” as we literally open the channels of this stuck energy through asanas, physical yoga classes and spiritual journeys.
A yoga instructor can and often does take the seven charkas to create a yoga flow to help open your energy. It’s one of the reasons you sometimes leave class on a yoga high!
The quiz below is a lot of fun and represents where you are in terms of energy. If you answer the questions honestly you will understand where you are blocked and need to be reopened! Please do not hesitate to ask me additional questions and I will try my best to answer them.
Next week I will be discussing the final four chakras and creating an at home yoga practice to begin opening all your chakras!!
Get out there – do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Magical Mondays

Yesterday my hubby was finishing dinner after our amazing weekend and leaned over to me and said "I'm so sad it's over we had so much fun!" I looked back at him and said, "Yes, but aren't you so glad it happened?" :-)
That's how I feel almost every Monday. Not necessarily sad the weekend is over but excited that it happened and equally as excited to count my blessing each Magical Monday. (Having great co-workers doesn't hurt to ease the Monday "pain" either!)
This past week was crazy wonderful. We had some weird work schedules, I saw a lot of my in-laws and ate delicious food. Hubby & I received loads of good news and we finally got my wrist looked at. I had x-rays and this week I am being electrocuted (over exaggerating, but I'm getting a nerve test done) to see what's going on. I'm not healed, but at least they are now looking into additional possibilities!
This weekend was full of meeting new friends, celebrating our newlywed friends marriage and dressing up in traditional Indian clothing!! What a whirlwind of a weekend!
With our favorite newlyweds!!

Anisha & I went to the salon ALL DAY on Saturday. We had brunch with our husbands and then skipped down the street in the light flurries to our hair and nail appointments where we proceeded to spend the next 3 hours sitting in comfy chairs and getting pampered! (Ohhhh la la). I got a new haircut and the nice young man who did my nails INDIVIDUALLY PLACED GLITTER on my toes and fingernails. I was in heaven. So much glitter and it all matched my sari perfectly.
My best friend. :) Love him so much!
We then got ready & ordered yummy Indian food before the guests arrived. We ate delicious food (I usually eat with my fingers as per the tradition and was totally called out for it - apparently people aren't used to seeing a little white girl eat biryani with her hands!). We danced the night away, ate cake and celebrated Niraj & Anisha's wedding in only the way young couples can. We ALL wore traditional Indian clothing and laughed late into the evening.
The next day we awoke to a delicious brunch next door and with the effort of 6 people, a clean apartment for our friends before we left for home. We picked up our boy, ate more food & snuggled all night long.
Toasting the beautiful bride, Anisha!
I am so grateful for all our friends & family, and so happy to know Niraj's new bride (and love her tons and tons!!) The week was also full of beautiful little blessings, as always! Keep your eyes open for them as they are always there for you.
My favorite picture! New friends: Susie & Mike!
The Little Things
My teacher training weekend (this coming weekend!!), Heart of Yoga, salon day, crazy friday work schedule, musical sing-a-longs, revisiting Wicked & all it's glory, showing hubby "my skills" while singing said Broadway musicals for 5 hours, traditional Indian clothes, eating with my fingers, selling the first 5 Leap of Faith Kits, getting the first video preview for The Ahimsa Project, Kris Carr, Marie Forleo & Gabby Bernstein (as constant inspiration), amazing horoscopes, great co-workers, finally feeling amazing in my "style", my new WHITE leather jacket, long necklaces, planning fabulous trips to Paris, individualized glittery mani/pedis, beach walks, collecting sand dollars, Apollo spending tons of time with his grandparents, Digger cuddle time, laughing until it hurts & being grateful, always.
I hope you are counting your blessings. Know YOU ARE LOVED. YOU ARE LOVE.
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Nama Say Wednesday

Hello ladies & gents!

I have decided to create a weekly blog feature post called “Nama Say” in which I describe to you some piece of yoga that you may have a question about. Yoga is comprised of an entirely new language to most western yogis: Sanskrit. 

Sanskrit is an ancient Indian language used for many of the poses. It is not only used within the physical world of yoga but also in breath (pranayama), meditation & scripture: the original yoga sutras and the bahgavad gita. 

This weekly feature "Nama Say" will cover not only words, but also poses, breath, meditation, moral ideals and symbols that you may be curious about. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on my facebook page. I would be more than happy to answer as many questions as I'm able!

We have been brought some beautiful translations into the west but there is so much room for interpretation, as well as so many who are unaware of many of the phrases we hear in our day to day classes. I thought I would shed some light unto you all and begin with two words you hear all the time in yoga classes: Vinyasa & Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara).


How many times have you heard a teacher say “flow through your vinyassa to your downward facing dog” in a class? 

If you’ve ever taken a vinyassa yoga class, you’ve heard it often. But what IS a vinyassa? Is it moving from a standing forward fold, to a high plank, to low plank, back up to upward facing dog and then pushing back to downward facing dog? Is it all of those moves in that particular order? No. That series is a sun salutation.

Vinyasa simply means flow. It is the fluid connection between breath & movement.

If you are in a particular position and move consciously with breath to another position without stopping to readjust, you are likely experiencing a vinyasa movement.

If you have only taken vinyasa classes and not yet had the pleasure and opportunity to discover other styles, you may have assumed a vinyasa is a sun salutation. A sun salutation (or surya namaskara) is a vinyasa but a vinyasa is not necessarily always a sun salutation. Vinyasa is the action of fluid movement with breath. It is found in many styles of yoga; vinyasa, ashtanga, Forrest and occasionally found in gentle or yoga flow classes.

Hatha yoga is a familiar style to many yogis and although is is a nice practice, traditionally hatha yoga and vinyasa are NOT the same. They are very similar within particular asanas (poses) but hatha yoga does not have the fluidity of a vinyasa class. In a vinyasa class you are often going to be flowing through your poses and more often than not, moving at a much faster rate throughout the entire class time.

Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)

A sun salutation is a series of asanas. You begin by placing both feet on the floor hips width distance apart. You fingers are spread wide with your arms by your side and your gaze looking forward. Reach your arms towards the sky on the inhale and as you exhale you begin to slowly fold forward into your standing forward fold (utanasana).

As you inhale place both hands on your shins and look forward. BEND YOUR KNEES A LOT and step back (or jump if you're a more "seasoned" yogi) in your high plank.

High Plank
In your high plank, you want your gaze looking slightly forward, but down. Your shoulders are directly over your wrists. You pushing the weight through our heels and thinking about tightening your core for a strong posture.


As you lower down, only lower down half way into your chataranga (or low push up) position. You are still holding your belly and core in tight and bringing the weight from your head to your heels in a straight line.

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward Facing Dog)

As you begin to "sweep through" to your upward facing dog, think about ROLLING your shoulders behind you to open your heart even further. (Or as I very kindly say when I have all women in class.... stick out your boobs!)

Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog)
Begin to tighten your core as much as you are able and think about rolling over your toes as you left you hips up towards the sky. This will bring you into an inverted V position - Adho Mukha Svanasana, or commonly, downward facing dog. In this position, try to relax your head in between your shoulders and think about eventually reaching your heels to the earth.

And there you have it! Often times, teachers refer to a sun salutation as a vinyasa and it is! But a vinyasa is not only and always a sun salutation.

I hope this first Nama Say Wednesday was helpful. Please let me know if you have any additonal questions in the comment section below or on facebook!!

Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!


P.s. Thank you to Candice Harper who helped come up with the name of my new feature. Check out her comic strip!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Magical Mondays!

Good Morning Yogis!!!
What a marvelous Monday! I feel so rested and balanced - it is amazing what a quiet Sundaycan do to reset your body. I had so much fun this weekend at a friends birthday party and then spent much of the day in bed on Sunday just lounging with the hubby & furry babies. It was so nice to read, watch movies and generally lounge around all day - something I VERY rarely do. I'm terrible at sitting still but my body needed rest and now that it's the Monday following daylight savings, I feel so much more rested and wonderful!
Yesterday the only thing we actually did do was go see Oz - The Great & Powerful! It was amazing. The cinematography, the graphics, the sparkly flowers and James Franco (swoon!) & the whole cast did an amazing job. I loved every moment of it and it was so nice to have a bit of fantasy. We haven't been to the movies since Christmas and it was so fun to go on a movie date!
This past week I spent a lot of time on my mat in the studio and thought a lot about the balance it brings me and the styles of yoga I enjoy. I decided that this year will be dedicated to discovering new styles of yoga and what they can bring me. I will begin writing about them soon, and going on many adventures to various studios across New England. I'm so excited to begin furthering my physical practice as well as delve deeper into what it means to teach. My 500 hour teacher training starts in two weeks & I am THRILLED to begin learning even more about the practice I love so much.
The Litte Things
Spending quality time with hubby, snuggling with our pets, lauren's birthday party, Cupcake Charlie's, yoga, yoga, yoga, teaching for Jill during teacher training weekend, creating new blog features, finishing the leap of faith kit, starting B school, handstands at the bar, feeling productive, our Journey to Hope photos arriving, my email cleanse and our clean home.
One of our JTH photos of the volunteers & I!
I am looking forward to the weekend ahead as we have an Indian wedding reception to attend & I get to wear a sari and devour delicious Indian food while visiting our favorite NYC friends!! I am also excited for my homework,  the final touches on a few projects and more yoga.
What are you grateful for? What are you looking forward to in the week ahead?
Count your blessings & open your heart for a Magical Monday.
Don't forget to recharge your intentions as today is the new moon!!

Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Leap of Faith Kit

My lovely yogini's,

I have decided to create a Leap of Faith Kit for you all. Many of you are reading from afar while others have the opportunity to practice with me on their mat weekly. I appreciate your support from all ends of the earth and couldn't be more thrilled to begin to spread my joy, and love of yoga to all of you!

Within the Leap of Faith Kit, I have created a mini meditation/yoga starter kit. I have coordinated with some of my amazingly talented friends to bring you this beautiful box of goodies. It includes mala beads, cards, candles and more! I will be including each person's business card and tags as well so that you can learn about these local artists and purchase more of these goodies on your own if you are interested.

I wanted to create something that would bring you a bit of magic and sparkle to the beginning or middle of your meditation practice. It is NOT easy to sit on your mat or your pillow in silence and listen for the answers. We so badly would rather pray and ask then meditate and listen. Because I know the difficulty of beginning of meditation practice, I wanted to create a Leap of Faith kit for you all that would ease you into the meditation practice as well as bring you beauty & joy.

I will include suggestions and will be writing each of you hand written, personal notes within this kit but ultimately what you do with it is up to YOU. The Ahimsa Project is creating love, promoting peace and the Leap of Faith kit is just the first step. I'm here to guide you, to nuture you and to send you love but you need to complete your journey on your own!

Please let me know if you are interested in purchasing a kit but commenting below or letting me know on facebook!
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Power of a Nap or a Bubble Bath

Yesterday I was in a terrible funk. I was grumpy, I had a headache and I was just sad. The snow, the wind, the rain and insignificant "bad" news was all beginning to get to me. I came home, gave my husband a quick kiss and the furry babies a pat and went straight into the bathroom.

I have to admit, I love bubble baths and since experiencing LUSH products, I have been quite obsessed. I started with my favorite scent, Karma but I have recently opened my palate to include others. My friend Ashley sent me a fun gift pack that included all kinds of citrusy scents and it was so full of sunshine (she knows me so well - winter is NOT my season)! I also purchased a few bubble bath bombs a few weeks ago and have been experimenting with those as well. One of them made my bathtub look like a lagoon and made me feel like a sparkly mermaid, which is ALWAYS a plus in my book.
With my bubbles in hand and a notebook & pen nearby, I sank in. In my personal opinion, bubble baths & naps rank in the top 5 stress relivers just below yoga and a wee bit above the perfect hot chocolate. It was so nice to actually be able to relax. I put on my pajamas and went from the bath to the bed for a wee bit of a nap. An hour and a half after I came home, I looked, felt and was a completely different person then the frazzled woman who had walked in the door earlier that evening.
I believe self care is something we do not invest enough time in. The 21st century is teaching us to rush and constantly be connected. My doctor recently diagnosed me with carpal tunnel (which I don't believe and am getting a second opinion), but if it is then I directly relate it to my overuse of technology. I am constantly connected as my job is at an internet company and I want to create an online yoga presense for you all as well. Sometimes we just need to unplug and destress without the use of technology.
After my bath and nap, I cuddled on the couch with hubby and made us a nice dinner before we went off to bed. Sometimes all it takes is a bubble bath and a nap. Other days it is a yin yoga class, a power yoga class or a glass of wine! Whatever brings you joy and allows you to destress.
My husband is amazing and knows when I just need a few minutes. Our friend Lauren calls them her "Lauren minutes" and it's a really nice way of letting others know you just need a little bit of alone time, or a break from the world.
It's time for you to indugle. What will make YOU happy today??
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Magical Mondays

Glitter!! Sparkles!!! YOGA!!!!!
This weekend was full of glitter, YOGA & sparkles. It was full of self-love and talking about The Ahimsa Project. This past week was full of collaboration, getting things done, steaming full charge ahead and spreading goodness. I couldn't be more thrilled to see things being pieced together and to begin to spread some true joy and happiness to you all through my written word, videos & daily inspirations.
A few highlights from the weekend:
* I taught an amazing class on Friday night!
* I shot the first few videos for The Ahimsa Project, met with Lola & Hollie, had an amazing time shooting yoga poses on Castle Island, played with GLITTER, saw my glitter preview test and had an overall amazing Saturday afternoon with Lollie :-)
* I went to the dog park and Castle Island with Apollo & he had an absolute blast at both places. So many people, dogs and interactions. He is so well behaved and it really shows when we are out. Proud mom moment!
* I hung out with my family: my mom, my gram & my in-laws. I went to church and saw some great friends (as well as some surprise congregational hugs - John Intorcio!) I had yummy Indian food, quality mother/daughter time, silly talks with gram & her friends, tried on sari's and had a blast just BEING with my family. It was such a nice time-out.

The Little Things
Playing with Apollo, my amazing job with the best co-workers a girl could ask for, taking care of friends in need, playing surgeon's assistant for a morning, seeing my hubby in surgery, the first preview photo from the Journey to Hope photo shoot, collaborating with friends to create The Leap of Faith Kit, homework (!!) and required reading (nerd alert!!), upcoming parties & weddings, the little boy screaming: "WHY IS THAT LADY DOING OGA?", the honesty of my elders & quality time with the people I love.

I am so looking forward to this coming week. I have a lot going on with my job and all of my passions as well as a ton of homemade Indian food in my fridge! Not cooking all week frees up more time to be physically practicing yoga on my mat and more cuddle time.
Hubby & I are planning on watching a few of the Oscar nominated films we missed this year, as well as a little bit of spring cleaning!

What are you plans? What are YOU grateful for?
Get out there - do yoga & make life sparkle!