Saturday, April 28, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Why the name "Hawk and Lily"?

"Put your ear down close to your soul
and listen hard."
-Anne Sexton

People have asked me lately, "Why is your company called Hawk and Lily?" It's a good question! And, here's my response: 

A few years ago, I began to develop an idea of creating a company that would inspire a reconnection to the joy we are all born with — that "being happy just for the sake of being happy!" trait that we seem to lose as we grow up, a truth we forget as we face challenges in life, and an element of ourselves we often misplace as become who we think we are supposed to be.

As I was developing workshops and offerings to balance both inner and outer strength, I began to pair activities outdoors (like surfing and rock climbing) with inner experiences (such as yoga and meditation). I'm actually not sure what came first, whether it was the idea of bringing the "Hawk" and the "Lily" together, or whether they came about as I started offering these workshops. What I do know is that when those words came to the forefront of my mind, my heart stirred and I thought, "That's it!"

Simply put, Hawk and Lily represent the ethos of my company — the hawk symbolizes outer strength and a fiercely clear vision of truth, while the lily balances everything with the sweetness of the soul. Both are creations of nature, as I believe being out in the open beneath the wide sky with feet touching earth is imperative to a healthy overall lifestyle. It's okay to not want to get dirty, but it's important to breathe fresh air and soak up a bit of sun and simply stand in the space of something greater than ourselves. For me, every single time I see the ocean — and I have always lived near a body of water, so this ALL the time — it takes my breath away. I am humbled and I feel blessed to be able to witness such wonder that existed long before I did and will continue to exist long after I am gone.

After the name popped up in my head, I started researching the words "hawk" and "lily" a bit more. To my surprise and perhaps, because my higher consciousness was involved in the process, the symbology of these two items were exactly what I hoped this endeavor would be about:

Hawk
  • Represents awareness, perspective, insight, truth, visionary power, guardianship, strength, initiative, decisiveness, creativity, messenger, caution, leadership.
  • In Native American interpretations, the Hawk brings messages of change and uncovers one's deepest wisdom.

Lily
  • Represents purity, truth, and the goddess.
  • Depending on the culture, Lily can be interpreted as spirituality, sexuality, devotion, sweetness, and royalty.
One of the most important elements of Hawk and Lily is the inspiration that I get from the people in my life who are absolutely passionate about what they do. Be it surfing or climbing or art or music, their love for what delights their hearts helped me to rediscover what it is that I love in my life and in the world. 

When I developed my eating disorder 17, it took over everything for over a decade, so that I forgot what I actually enjoyed in life. There was no happiness. There was no bliss. There was only struggling and suffering. I didn't know if I had a favorite color, if I liked the way a fabric felt on my skin, if I enjoyed being around one environment or person. I was completely not present and lost in the darkness of my mind.

After witnessing and experiencing so much pain in recovery with all the courageous women and men who were also fighting their own battles, then shifting to becoming a "survivor" who led support groups and worked with individuals in the process of healing, I realized one vital element of life was missing: joy. I wanted to change that, because I have always believed there is SO MUCH MORE to living than hurt and struggling. 

In yoga, we learn that we all have a bliss body, an anandamayakosha. And, if we can get our brains to wrap around the idea that it is always there, it will never disappear, and it will be with us until we release our last exhale on this planet, then there is comfort in understanding that whatever crap happens around us, to us, or even within us, we will always know how to find our way home to bliss.

That's what Hawk and Lily is about. This company is here to inspire and support each and every individual in their discovery of their unique anandamayakosha, because happiness only grows when shared. 

I believe that every person is meant to be as happy and as healthy as possible for this experience of life. May you and all of those you touch throughout your days love life and thrive!

Hawk and Lily. Be strong, wild and joyful.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Poses in Detail: Chaturanga Dandasana (Plank Pose)

"The only thing that keeps one going is energy.
And what is energy but liking life?"
-Louis Achincloss

The first time I saw this image, I laughed out loud — and if anyone knows where I can get a tank top with this print, please let me know. 

Not only T-Rex, but anyone who feels their core and upper body might not be the strongest parts of their physical self may not dig Chaturanga.  However, by practicing this asana over time, you build confidence and "oomph" intoto your practice, so that you might start to truly love this stabilizing pose. I do!

Chaturanga Dandasana is one of the asanas in the Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) flow. You can practice this pose on its own from 10-30 seconds, but remember to breathe the entire time you're exerting effort, so that your prana can continue to flow. Release on an exhalation. As a counterbalance strentch, either lay yourself gently onto the floor or push back strongly with the power of your core into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog).

Here's Chaturanga in detail: 

Chatur = Four
Anga = Limbs
Danda = Stick, staff
Asana = Posture

Four Limb Staff Pose
("Danda" is a symbolic name for the spinal cord.)

Step-by-steps:

1. Begin in Table Pose with the wrists beneath the shoulders, knees beneath the hips.
2. Bring the shoulders into a neutral position by relaxing them down away from the ears, widening across the upper back, and spreading the shoulder blades apart as you also widen across the front of the chest.
3. Spread the fingers wide with a firm base of support through the hands, pressing down into the pads below the knuckles and into the webs between the thumbs and the index fingers.
4. Rotate the upper arms slightly outward, so the eyes of the elbows come forward. 
5. Keep the head in line with the spine and the neck soft and relaxed with the gaze directly downward.
6. Engage the bandhas fully to support the neutral position of the pelvis and lengthen the spine.
7. Stretch the left leg out, curl the toes under, lengthen from the heel to the crown of the head. Stretch the right leg back and voila, you're in Plank Pose!
8. Press the heels back and the crown of the head forward as the shoulders remain relaxed away from the ears. 
9. Firm your shoulder blades against your back ribs and press your tailbone toward your pubis.
10. Press the forearms gently toward each other and the upper arms and shoulders slightly away from each other to stabilize the pose.
11. Energize the core of the body and relax the abdominal organs simultaneously.
12. Lift the rib cage out away from the hips, even as you relax the lungs and heart. 
13. On each inhalation, feel energy moving from the soles of the feet to the crown of the head. On each exhalation, sense the energy releasing tensions down and out of the body.
14. Feel free to release down into the half pose with knees down at any time, resuming the full pose when ready.
15. With an exhalation, slowly lower your torso and legs to a few inches above and parallel to the floor with the elbows close to the ribs. There's a tendency for the lower back to sway towards the floor and the tailbone to poke up toward the ceiling. To prevent that, firm the core and keep the tailbone firmly in place with the legs very active and turned slightly inward. Draw the pubis toward the navel.
16. Be sure the elbows don't splay out to the sides. Hold them in and tight to the torso, pushing them toward the heels. Press the bases of the index fingers firmly into the floor. Lift the top of the sternum as well as your head to look slightly forward.
17. Release the pose by slowly dropping one knee at a time to the floor, while maintaining all alignments, then releasing back into Child Pose to sense how your core strength can support you through your practice.

Extra tidbits:

- Allow any shaking or trembling to occur, understanding that deep tensions are being released from the core of your being.
- Notice if you can hold a little beyond the mind — not the body's — normal limits without compromising alignments and ensuring safety.
- Notice where the upward and downward movements of energy meet at the center of the body, Samana Vayu, and sense the massage of the abdominal and reproductive organs in the pose.

The benefits of the pose:

- Balances Fire, Earth, and Air in Ayurvedic medicine. To learn how to practice especially for your doshaso please feel free to contact me.
  For imbalances in the doshas, aim for the following:
  - Vata: Place block underneath the pubic bone for longer holding to increase grounding and reduce overexertion.
  - Pitta: Focus on subtle aspects of core strength rather than the muscular elements.
  - Kapha: Hold the ful pose, especially in Sun Salute.

- Primarily activates the first Three Chakras; the Sixth becomes active during longer holding.
- Develops postural stability for the entire body.
- Strengthens and aligns the shoulder joints, which may prevent injuries.
- Develops overall fitness level, including the heart and lungs to give greater stamina and energy throughout the day.

Modifications:

- Keep one or both knees on the floor.
- Place a block under the pubic bone.
- Place a block at the mid-chest line.
- Keep arms bent rather than holding straight.

Injuries:

- Use a strap for elbow injuries. For photos and tips on alternatives to Chaturanga, check this what Teachasana has to say.

Based upon Integrative Yoga Therapy by Joseph and Lilian Le Page and Yoga Journal.

Poses in Detail: Bhujangasana (Cobra)

"The mind I love must have wild places,
a tangled orchard where dark damsons drop in the heavy grass,
an overgrown little wood, the chance of a snake or two,
a pool that nobody's fathomed the depth of, 
and paths threaded with flowers planted by the mind."
-Katherine Mansfield

Image from Charlie Weingroff

Cobra is a basic prone (supported on the front side of your body) backbending pose that extends the spine, hips, knees and elbows. The serratus muscles are supporting the chest in creating more space, and the abdominal and oblique muscles are engaged to prevent overmobilization of the lumber spine (lower back).

The Sanskrit breakdown:

Bhujanga = Cobra
Asana = Posture

A few notable highlights:

- Your legs are engaged, but your tushy should not be so taut that it's doing the work for the entire asana. As my friend and fellow yoga teacher once said, "Mushy tushy! You want a mushy tushy in Bhujangasana!"
- Be sure that you're extending the hips without externally rotating the legs.
- When the arms push, the shoulders should not elevate, but the spine should still be lengthening.
- Keep an eye out for flaring of the elbows, which will lead to elbow and shoulder joint injuries. The forearms should stay parallel to each other for the best alignment of action through the arms into the spine.
- Most people enter into backbends on the inhale, but try entering it on an exhalation. If you're belly breathing throughout practice, the inhalation would restrict the extension of your thoracic spine and rib cage.

Step-by-steps:

1. Lie on your abdomen with your arms stretched out overhead, forehead on the floor, and the back of the neck lengthened.
2. Draw your hands back until they're under the shoulders, with the elbows tucked all the way into the sides and pressing back.
3. Relax the shoulders away from the ears and draw the shoulder blades down the back, as you engage the bandhas to prevent arching in the low back.
4. Spread the fingers wide, using the entire hand for support, and press down through the web between the thumbs and index fingers and into the pads beneath the knuckles.
5. Press the pubic bone into the floor and lift the torso to a comfortable height, using the strength of the back muscles. Lengthen as you lift, so the torso moves forward as it rises up.
6. Relax the buttocks energetically toward the backs of the thighs to lengthen the low back.
7. Lift and lower several times, activating the back muscles on the lift and softening them as you lower.
8. Rise up slightly higher, pressing into the hands and use the strength of the arms to hold Half Cobra.
9. Draw the chest forward as you press back through the feet, pressing the tops of the feet into the earth. Hold, or lift up into full Cobra by straightening the arms, leaving a microbend at the elbow joint.
10. Lift and open the chest fully, gazing directly forward, as you draw the chest through the gate of the arms, bringing the shoulders back and down.
11. Keep the lower body relaxed even as you lengthen forward and up.
12. Press the sacrum and pubic bone down into the earth to activate the Second Chakra.
13. Allow energy to grow in the pelvis, then rise up the spine through the heart center, where it radiates through the chest, arms and shoulders.

Extra tidbits:

- See if you find a place of rest in the pose, to allow the mind to be absorbed in the energy of the heart. As the sensations expand, create space in the heart to hold them, all the while breathing, sensing and feeling the Anahata Chakra opening.

The benefits of the pose:

- Balances Earth, Air,  and Fire in Ayurvedic medicine. To learn how to practice especially for your doshaso please feel free to contact me.
  - For imbalances in the doshas, aim for the following:
    - Vata: Focus on grounding the lower body.
    - Pitta: Open the heart energetically and emotionally, as opposed to physically.
    - Kapha: Perform as part of a Vinyasa, moving up and down, then back into Child and forward into Cobra.

- Primarily balances the Fourth Chakras, then the Second and Third Chakras.
- Strong spine extension boosts spinal health as long as the forces are evenly distributed.
- Powerful massage and opening for the endocrine system.

Modifications:

- Rather than lengthening the arms all the way, try Half Cobra with the arms bent.
- For a more advanced practice, you can begin to bend the knees and move the soles of the feet toward the crown of the head until they touch.

Injuries:

- If you have low back pain, place a bolster underneath the torso and lift only to the point where the low back begins to arch. Begin with modifications and deepen from there.
- Avoid if you are pregnant or have high blood pressure, heart disease, or have suffered a stroke.

Based upon Integrative Yoga Therapy by Joseph and Lilian Le Page and Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Poses in Detail: Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)

"Be afraid of nothing—
you have within you 
all wisdom, 
all power,
all strength, 
all understanding."
-Eileen Caddy

(Image from beginning-yoga.info)

In breaking down various poses in yoga, I'm hoping that it'll inspire an exploration of your own body, so that you can become more familiar with how the asana should feel for you rather than the images that are often imprinted in our minds based on the covers of magazines. 

In Leslie Kaminoff's book, Yoga Anatomy, he writes that "yoga practice is fundamentally experiential" and the way that it feels for you is not going to feel the way it feels for me or anyone else in this world! (That's pretty cool.) Also, remember that the asanas are a process rather than a final product. There's always more deepening and refining that can be done, so that you're always engaging in a dialogue of practice rather than perfection.

Here are noteworthy points for Warrior I — 

- This is a standing pose with the base of support beginning in your feet. With the feet connected to the ground, weight-bearing forces are transmitted down to the earth while simultaneously drawing supporting energy upward into the body. Practice brahmana (expansion) in a way that Desikachar described as "sthiram sukham asanam" — sthiram is "alertness without tension" and sukham is "relaxation without dullness."

- The feet are unique to the human stance with architecture and musculature that helps us reconcile and neutralize opposing forces. Throughout our daily lives, we're wearing shoes and walking on paved surfaces, which is different than how nature originally built our bodies to come into contact with the ground beneath us. We no longer need to navigate uneven surfaces on bare feet, so many of our muscles have become weak, which can lead to various issues that "barefoot" shoes aim to address. Yoga lets us literally kick off our shoes to restore strength and flexibility in the feet and lower leg muscles. Standing in these asanas helps us to once again attain the feeling of natural aliveness, strength, and adaptability of our feet. It also gives us a chance to have our feet inform our brains of what's happening beneath, around, and above us. 

- Standing positions have the highest center of gravity of all the starting points for various asanas (there's also sitting, kneeling, supine, and prone). Humans are the only true biped mammals on the planet, yet we're also the least stable because we have the smallest base of support, the highest center of gravity, and proportionately the heaviest brain to top it all off.

Vira = Hero, brave
Bhadra = Virtuous
Asana = Posture

Step-by-steps:

1. Begin in a wide standing pose. Turn the right foot out at a 90 degree angle, then step the left heel back to a 45-60 degree angle, grounding the heel firmly. Traditionally, the front heel is in line with the back arch.
  - When I teach, I focus on the foundation first, then evolving from there. To ensure protection of the sacro-iliac region of our bodies, we can start this asana by focusing from the hips downward. Here's a fantastic video to understand just how deep we should be going with this pose.

2. Draw the front hip back and the back hip forward, so that your hips are square and face forward as much as possible. Move with the breath as you rotate the hips back and forth to find that sweet spot alignment of being in a neutral space. Hold.

3. Avoid overarching the low back by engaging the bandhas and releasing the sacrum down toward the earth.

5. Press the back heel firmly into the earth and bend the front knee towards 90 degrees. Keep the forward knee directly over the ankle and hug the muscles around the bones to support this alignment.
 - The abductors are important here as they help to lift the back knee away from the floor. If these muscles are weak or tight, other muscles in the body will be recruited to work, but they'll also bring in an external rotation of flexion at the hip, which shows up as an inability to "ground" the back foot. Refer to the video above to see modifications for this step.

6. On an inhale, raise the arms up overhead, then interlace the fingers and place them behind the head. Press the head and the neck back into the hands to align the head over the torso as you drop the shoulder blades down the back.

7. On your next inhale, release the interlacing fingertips and stretch the arms up overhead parallel to one another, drawing the head of the humerus back into the shoulder socket, relaxing the shoulders, drawing the shoulder blades down the back.

8. Rotate the pinky fingers inward towards the back to create more space across the upper back, where we hold a lot of tension from being seated at our computers and living our modern lifestyles.

9. If the shoulders rise up towards the ears, separate the arms a bit more, so that your shoulders can rest in a neutral position.

10. Allow the neck to lengthen in alignment with the spine, with the gaze forward and the chin parallel to the earth.

11. Press into the back heel and lengthen through the back leg, sensing a spiral of energy moving up the back leg to help the back hip move forward.

12. Breathe fully into the solar plexus behind the abdomen to activate the Third Chakra and from this central space, allow energy to radiate throughout the entire body.

13. Press the shoulders away from each other to open the chest and fill the heart with more strength and space.

14. Return to center by releasing the arms, standing back up into a wide leg stance, then repeat on the other side.

Extra tidbits:

- Begin to sense the willingness to meet life with the courage of an open heart.
- Sense the balance that comes to mind when you find the strength within to approach all of life's experiences.
- Hold the pose and allow yourself to meet obstacles that stand in your way with grace, equanimity, and valor, moving beyond limited beliefs to a greater sense of self and truth.

The benefits of the pose:

- Balances fire and air in Ayurvedic medicine. To learn how to practice especially for your doshaso please feel free to contact me.
  - For imbalances in the doshas, aim for the following:
    - Vata: Hands on the hips, feet fully grounded, soft drishti (gaze) on the horizon.
    - Pitta: Focus on opening the heart and not making a great effort. Practice sthiram at the start of this post.
    - Kapha: Use Vinyasa movements and hold.

- Primarily balances the Third and Fourth Chakras, then the First and Second Chakras.
- Develops flexibility in the hips and shoulders as it enhances stability.
- Tones the abdominal organs.
- Mental-emotionally teaches us to face life with virtue, honesty, bravery, and an open heart.

Modifications:

- Lift the back heel off the floor to facilitate alignment of the hips.
- Place the hands on the hips with a shorter stance for back, knee, or balance issues.
- Press the palms of the hands into the wall to assist alignment of the torso.
- Press the palms into the side ribs to further open up the chest.

Injuries:

- Anyone with knee, hip, low back pain, high blood pressure, heart disease, or history of stroke should begin with modifications then deepen the asana from there step-by-step.
- Gravity is creating flexion at the knee and the hip, so the hamstrings and quadriceps are very active to balance the pull of gravity. Different arrangements of the feet affect the pose in various ways with the more extended stance creating a deeper action at all the joints and lower extremities. It's important to have sufficient muscle strength in the legs, which can be done by working on the basic starting stance, otherwise additional stress will be placed on the joints and connective tissues.

Based upon Integrative Yoga Therapy by Joseph and Lilian Le Page and Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Poses in Detail: Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Dog)


"Energy rightly applied and directed
can accomplish 
anything."
-Nellie Bly

(Image from Yogahut.ca)

Tomorrow, I'll be leading a workshop that details the alignment points for the "core" poses we practice often in yoga. By knowing what our proper form should be, it helps to prevent injuries when we begin to repeat the same poses in a more fluid or a faster practice. 

Here are the deets for Downward Dog, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana. This is a Stabilizing Pose, as well as an Inversion, because the head drops below the hips.

Adho = Downward
Mukha = Face
Svana = Dog

Step-by-steps: 

1. Start in Table with the wrists beneath the shoulders and the knees beneath the hips.
2. Release into Extended Child Pose, lengthening the arms as you stretch the fingertips away from you and draw the upper arm bones back into the shoulder joint. Lengthen the spine and engage the bandhas fully (don't perform any bandhas if you are pregnant). 
3. Inhale back into Table, widening the base of support in the hands by spreading the fingers and pressing underneath the knuckles and into the web between the thumb and the index fingers. This helps to alleviate pressure off the wrist and engages the entire arm bone.
4. Rotate the upper arms outward, so the eyes of the elbows roll slightly forward. Draw the upper arm bones more deeply into the shoulder sockets and spread the shoulders apart as you press the lower arms toward each other.
5. On the next exhalation, curl the toes under and lift the sits bones into the air, keeping the knees bent and the heels off the floor.
6. Lengthen through the arms and the spine, creating a straight line of energy from the wrists to the pelvis. Keep the shoulders relaxed and the shoulder blades moving towards the pelvis.
7. Move the spine from flexion to extension as in Cat-Cow Pose, sensing the forward bend and the back bend, then isolate the neutral position where energy can flow from the wrists to the base of the body unobstructed.
8. Engage the bandhas fully and lift the hips higher into the air as the legs straighten.
9. Stretch through the legs and pedal the heels from one leg to another to deepen the stretch, and when comfortable, draw both heels toward the floor and hold the pose. 
10. Press the heels toward the earth, finding a firm base of support through the entire foot. 
11. Find a balance point between the front body and the back body, supported in the center by the bandhas, and rest in this position.
12. Widen across the upper back to create space between the shoulder blades and completely relax the head. Make sure there's space between the earlobes and shoulders, so you're engaging the entire shoulder girdle and not drooping towards the earth to alleviate pressure in the sensitive area of the neck. 
13. Activate the chakras in the hands by pressing the web between the thumb and the index fingers; in the feet by spreading the feet wide and drawing energy up from the earth.
14. With each inhalation, draw energy up the arms and legs into the First and Second Chakras (located at the base of the spine and right below the abdomen). With each exhalation, allows this energy to radiate out from the core, providing support for the pose.

Extra tidbits:

- Allow any sounds that want to emerge from the throat to do so, releasing energy from the neck and head, and relaxing the nervous system to encourage a deep and calming stillness, even while the body remains active. 

Let's explore the benefits of the pose: 

- Balances all five elements in Ayurvedic medicine: Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Space. My private clients benefit from a practice designed especially for their dosha, so if you'd like to learn more, please feel free to contact me
  - For imbalances in the doshas, aim for the following: 
    - Vata: Develop firm and steady holding.
    - Pitta: Release strain and effort while developing calmness.
    - Kapha: Focus on drawing energy up from the earth and into the lungs.

- Balances all seven chakras
- Creates integration and balance between the upper and lower body. 
- Strengthens the legs and the shoulders.
- Calms the nervous system.

Modifications:

- Stand facing the wall, bend at the hips, and press the hands into the wall. 
- Keep the knees slightly bent, heels and tailbone lifted, ensuring the spine is straight.
- Strap the thighs together or place a block between the thighs (the skinny side) to develop leg strength and alignment — this really works by bringing your attention to the bottom half of your body and engaging all of your legs. 
- Place a strap around the arms and press into the strap to create strength and alignment. 
- For a deeper stretch in the calves and hamstrings, as well as alleviating pressure from the wrists, practice with the forearms on the floor, parallel to one another.

Injuries: 

- Those with wrist or shoulder pain should begin with modifications.
- This is an inverted pose, so be cautious if you have high blood pressure, heart related problems, eye issues (floaters), neck problems, epilepsy, previous stroke or sinus problems.  
- Because this can be intense on the shoulders, be sure to strengthen the shoulder girdle area. For any rotator cuff injuries or shoulder sensitivities, warm up the shoulders first. 

Based upon Integrative Yoga Therapy by Joseph and Lilian Le Page.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happy News: Online live workshops via PowHow!

"Good for the body is the work of the body,
good for the soul the work of the soul,
and good for either the work of the other."
-Henry David Thoreau

I love teaching. It's in my genes (my mom was a teacher too) and it's genuinely a passion of mine. Plus, I believe that being around other people who are energized about what they do inspires each us to seek a little deeper for that same quality within. Currently, I've been invited to become a beta teacher for online workshops on a fabulous new website called PowHow before it's officially launched into the world wide web!

It's a bit distinct from YouTube or other yogic websites that tout streaming classed and videos on-demand—PowHow enables you to take the class LIVE and interact directly with the teacher and fellow students. This is a perfect place to launch two workshops that I've been planning for quite some time: 

$30, 9-11am PST on Saturday, May 12

Get your creative juices flowing with yoga and flash fiction exercises! Designed to inspire creativity through physical and intellectual movement, these two-hour workshops begin with 60 minutes of Vinyasa yoga, followed by a flash-fiction prompt, then a brief guided meditation and an open space to begin crafting words onto paper. After the body-mind exercise, there will be time for workshop participants to interact with one another and share what they've written, toss around ideas, and marinate in the worldwide connection of good ideas and supportive individuals. It's perfect for aspiring and established writers to move thoughts from the inside out in productive ways. And, it's also a wonderful opportunity for anyone looking to use writing as an outward expression of an inward contemplative and healing practice. 

Limited space available to ensure that everyone who attends gets the most out of each workshop!

$28, 6-7.45pm PST on Wednesday, May 16

As someone who's recovered from an eating disorder, I know firsthand what it's like to struggle and to suffer. It's a horrible and dark place to be, and often it feels like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. This is a special workshop designed especially for those who are in eating disorder and body dysmorphia recovery, as a means to help every individual reconnect to the joy within. Learn how to be strong and free, to take one step closer on the path towards loving ourselves unconditionally. I believe that for as long as we are breathing, there is a divine warrior within us always championing for our best selves — we are courageous, we are brave, and we can be free to be happy. 

Join me for a very limited space workshop that begins with guided breathwork to make space in our minds, sweet movement to compassionately understand our bodies, and gentle energy healing techniques to learn what genuine, unconditional self-love is all about.


There is one free guided meditation class and two free yoga classes for the month of May, so that you can get a sample of what an online class is like and see if it's a good fit for you. Book your seat today as spots for these classes are going quickly. 

I look forward to seeing you online and sharing what's very near and dear to my heart. :)

***

Please let me know if there are other times and dates that you would prefer. I'm happy to do my best based on what most people would like!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Today, I don't feel beautiful.

Keep Doing That
-Mira

Love, you have wrecked my body.
Keep doing
that.

I am more well with this deep ache
of missing 
you

than content with the
physical wonders
you can pacify
us with.

One of the best things about stepping on this yogic path is how much more in tune you become to intuition, to the world around you, to your own body. I'm a newbie at this, even though part of me has known everything since I was a little kid and despite the fact that I've been practicing yoga for over a decade. As I learned in Ayurvedic training, we are simply re-membering, becoming again a part of the great society of which our higher selves all belong to. The answers already lie within. Like many eastern cultures inspire, we are all born divine — we just happen to forget that along the way in life because our conscious mind thinks a little too much. 

I like to believe that like that everything in our lives is more of an unfolding rather than a seeking. I have a couple of pictures of myself as a little girl on my desk to remind myself that I'm aiming higher for her, and to love myself unconditionally for all the women around the world who are purely perfect just as we are. I don't want to forget the simple fact in growing up, that we are all born Divine. 

Still, we're all human. As much as I'd like to pretend that's not true, so that I can live as some sort of supernova star that's just emanating good juju all the time, I have many moments of feeling like I'm imperfect and not where I want to be. To pretend otherwise is silly. We live in a culture that continually touts the unattainable to keep us wanting and striving for more, rather than being comfortable in our own skin. And, the only way to change that, is to change that. One person at a time!

I have spent all of my adult life striving to find a "perfect" physical shape that my body simply is not meant to adhere to. I have bigger thighs than I would prefer, a fuller belly than I would like, and broader shoulders than most girls I know. There's a flip side, of course. My strong thighs enable me to breast stroke in the water like you would not believe, my ample belly is a wellspring of creativity, and my shoulders mean that I can kick ass when it comes to paddling, punching, scouring up a rock wall. Still, I don't look like images in the media I see day in and day out. 

I loved when I was in Costa Rica, and my friend Richard said, "What?! We don't want a girl to look like that! We like girls with curves!" It shook up my incorrect notion that all guys want girls who look like they belong on the cover of [insert your own take on whatever's the latest fitness craze/magazine].

But today, I don't feel beautiful. Instead, I feel like my hormones are preparing for my moon cycle and traditionally, in times before I came into existence on this earth, this would mean that it's quiet time, days for women to look within. (For your reference, this is also a time when yoga poses that cause blood to circulate in the other direction are not good to practice — Halasana Plow Pose or Sarvangasana Shoulder Stand are good examples.) 

I feel like I want to scream "BLARGH!" and jump on my bed in frustration. I wonder why things aren't happening fast enough and why I'm so irritated by the smallest of things. The funny thing is, I'm aware this is happening, so I try to take the healthy steps to balance myself out. While I could feel proud that I wrote another chapter in my book today, instead I felt how far I am from my ultimate goal, so I gingerly stepped away from my desk and started to flow through a powerful asana sequence on my mat. When that wasn't enough to burn tapas, I put on my shoes and started running (literally) out the door towards the beach.

I saw clusters of people relaxing and sunning on the beach, and realized I wanted to be one of those people! So I stopped and meditated, asked the Universe for help and guidance. What I heard was how much the Universe loves me — regardless of what I look like or how I feel right now. I made time to lie down on the sand, taking off my tank top no matter how insecure I was feeling, so that I could bask in the warmth of natural golden replenishing energy. My higher self encouraged me to envision the rays surrounding me with exactly what I was seeking and I started to let go of tension in the corners of my eyes, in my shoulders, in my back, letting the sand envelop me and morph to support my unique needs.

I am not perfect. I can't do all of the poses I would like to do. I am not infallible or very graceful or not juicy in certain places of my body. But, I'm me. And the more human and honest I can become, then perhaps I will learn that everyone else is in a similar space at one time or another. This is how we overcome shame, and guilt, and feel more at peace with our vulnerability. This is how we truly connect with one another. 

***

What do you do when you feel uncomfortable in your own body? Have you been able to not "do" anything at all, but just be? How can you let yourself be seen completely, without projecting how you would like yourself to be perceived? 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Money and mantras.

"The real measure of your wealth 
is how much you'd be worth
if you lost all your money."
-Author Unknown

When I was growing up, financial troubles abounded. It wasn't just that my parents didn't have money to buy me designer jeans, it was that at one point, my elder cousins were helping to foot the bill for our groceries, because my parents were struggling to deeply with their businesses. By the time I was 15 1/2, I had two jobs — it was my junior year of high school and I could not wait to start making my own money, so that I would not have to rely on my parents for anything. 

I'd go to school during the day, take the bus to one job, then take the bus to another, before I finally took the bus home and then passed out, after which I would wake up at 1am to finish my homework. My parents would yell at me, mostly out of guilt that they did not have the means to pay my way through anything. "Why do you even care about buying stupid clothes?" they would point at me and shout disapprovingly. 

But, the money I earned didn't go towards just a new shirt or a lunch out with friends. It went to my SAT prep course, my college applications, my electrolysis and waxing so that I would finally feel pretty in comparison to all of my fellow Beverly Hills High School teenage girls. From the moment I was legally allowed to work, I did. And, I haven't stopped. There's nothing that my parents have paid for other than the home, utilities, and meals that I resided in while growing up. By the time I got to college, I still had two jobs (sometimes three) and financial aid. Every so often, I would send what money I could back home, because they were still struggling. Rather than my parents paying for my health insurance, I was paying for my father's dentures so he could eat a decent meal and be nourished. 

Meanwhile, my fellow freshmen and sophomore Berkeley buddies were complaining about asking their parents for extra money to buy this or that, and I quietly knew that would never be an option. I hated the idea of debt and never became accustomed to it that within a few years of my graduating from college, I completely paid off my loans. I did not want to owe anyone anything, so if ever I borrowed an item of anything or was given a gift, I made sure to return the favor though I also do genuinely like giving others gifts. 

All of this made for a feeling that I had no security blanket upon which to wrap me should anything happen, so I made it a point to stock as much safety away as I could. Thankfully, the Universe has been very good to me. I've always landed on my feet with great opportunities that I make sure to appreciate to the fullest. And, since moving to San Diego from Los Angeles, I crave so much less than I used to have. The simplest things here make me happy, from the gorgeous sunny weather to the amazing outdoor activities to simple evenings and attire.

But, this doesn't mean that money still doesn't haunt me. I worry all the time about my nest egg. Simply having one has enabled me to take risks and pursue my dreams. And, no matter how much my financial advisor reassures me that I'm doing great for someone my age, for the past few years I've been withdrawing more than depositing, which although not problematic is troublesome to me. 

Chinese people like to talk about money. American people find it taboo. Chinese people like to talk about getting the most value for their dollar. Just watch any Russell Peters comedy routine for what I'm referring to. American people may like to clip coupons, but don't necessarily like to use them in public display. Chinese people get in your business about how much something cost and why you spent that much. American people look the other way and think it's none of their business. Perhaps it is because my parents' generation come from an era when money, food, and everything except fear was scarce. And, since emotional baggage tends to travel from generation to generation, I picked it up too. 

Here's the thing I've learned from yoga: money is an energetic exchange that demonstrates how much we value and honor things, people, experiences. I wish I could say that looking at it from that point of view takes all the shadowy effects of currency away. But, it only slightly alleviates the stress I feel around finances. Similar to eating disordered thinking, I often find myself thinking, "Is my savings ever going to be good enough?" 

Over the past two years, I began to delve into travel writing. In this way, I was able to experience things that most people on this planet will not ever do — not just for free, but getting paid on top of it. I visited a private island in Fiji, stayed at the Four Seasons twice in Maui, have been treated to multi-course meals with private chefs, and received massages and pampering on top of it. There are absolutely ways to live like the rich and famous without being either of those things. My beau calls it smart. I call it lucky. Again, I feel blessed to have been grated opportunities that I am humbled by. It's just one of the many ways in which I am wealthy.

I repeat lots of mantras when it comes to money. And, it helps. Every time I've asked for assistance, the Universe has delivered almost immediately. For example, I backed my car into a cement pole [please do not insert Asian female driver stereotype here — I swear I'm a great driver] and the deductible was $500. A few weeks later, my uncle (who I've only seen three times in my life) visits from Taiwan. At the end of his trip and as a generous Christmas present, he hands each of my siblings and I a red envelope. I put it away and open it a few days later, only to be shocked yet not surprised that there were five crisp $100 bills. The Universe supported me in just the way I needed. Thank you Uncle and Universe!

At the beautiful Self-Realization Fellowship store in Encinitas, they have a free little do-it-yourself paper bank you can put together to welcome abundance into your life. You deposit a coin in it daily as you meditate on fruitfulness, practice faith, and trust that you will be provided with all that you need... then watch watch happens over the span of 42 days.

Slowly, I'm redefining my relationship with money. Rather than seeing it as an amorphous and intangible cloud which might rain upon me at any time, I am envisioning good weather for all my days. As my good friend Gary always reminds me, "We live in this world, where we do need to survive. I always ask the Universe to help me take care of my needs so that I won't have anything to worry about. That way, I can focus on giving the best care to my clients. If I were constantly worried about finances and paying the bills, then I'd be distracted and would not be able to provide any healing that would be worthwhile for anyone, least of all me."

There are so many things in life that we never get coached on, never get any guidelines for, never get taught. Usually, these are also the big things that we need the most help with. Some of us are lucky in that we do have guardians and resources that help us navigate life a little more smoothly. Some of us learn on our own. I have made my life with my own two hands, my own brain, my own heart. It's defined who I am and who I'd like to be. And, it has created a tale worth telling. 

My mantra for money is, "Abundance comes to me freely and easily." And I believe, like everything else, if we're open to it and we're doing the best we can in every moment, then the Universe is listening... and responding. 

***
What are your approaches to financial independence and success? How do patterns in one area of your life carry over to others? What mantras do you repeat to help you meet life with a heartier approach? 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Food & feeling good.

"I'm trying to eat better. And, I do feel wise after drinking tea.
After eating vegetables, I just feel hungry."
-Carrie Latet

I started doing CrossFit at the end of March and know exactly why—I wanted to feel strong. As I dived deeper into my childhood and teen journals to create content for my memoir, a subconscious part of me realized that this would require quite a bit of mental and emotional fortitude. So, similar to the Chinese Medicine philosophy that you can either treat a disease from the inside out or from the outside in, I decided that if I could feel physically mighty, then the process of bringing the past back to life would not be so unbearable.

When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I spent a LOT of time at the gym. This was partly due to my eating disordered thinking and the other part was because I simply love movement. It's still fascinating to me what the human body can do. And, more and more so, as I'm taking anatomy and physiology courses to deepen my understanding of how everything interplays for optimal health, which I can then impart to students.

Having focused most of my adult life now on yoga, surfing and climbing, I loved the feeling at CrossFit of immediately seeing what you can do. Rather than the slower learning curve associated with my normal passions, when you are able to dead lift 175 pounds in repetitive cycles, you see right then and there what you've accomplished and are capable of. 

"It's funny," my CrossFit personal trainer told me. "You can see who's new to CrossFit, because when they're lifting weights, they put them down so gently and don't want to make any noise. I kept telling you to drop your weights on the ground, but you wouldn't do it!" Now, I drop and clang with the best of them, while grunting, too. After class, I always feel so incredibly good from simply marveling at what my body and mind are capable of. And, after a little yoga to balance everything out, I am on Cloud 9... until the soreness settles in, of course.

This isn't my first foray into CrossFit. I used to spend a lot of my time with a great group of guys who were devoted to both the physical exercise and the lifestyle choices that accompany it. Most notably, the Paleo diet

When I was in my eating disorder therapy program, "diet" became a four letter word. Anything that was vaguely attributed to restricting became taboo and a means to set myself up for failure. I've done everything from starving myself to the cabbage food diet to the lemonade cleanse to juice fasts to weighing and measuring my food to Atkins to veganism and vegetarianism. Basically, when it comes to eating right, I hardly knew which way was up, and which ways would simply plummet me further into the depths of darkness.

Now, things have shifted where the associations I have with food are transforming into being able to truly see that it is fuel for my body and meant for enjoyment, but not repeated over-indulgence. Moderation is hard for someone who thrived on an all-or-nothing mentality; limits and boundaries are tough for someone who yearns to break all the rules for fear of confinement; and growing up and approaching things with a more mature perspective? Well, I feel like that's hard for almost anyone.

In 12-Step programs, you learn that you'll always have a disease to reckon with for the rest of your life. I don't agree with that — never have and hopefully never will. I participated in the 12-Step group for Overeaters Anonymous, Eating Disorders Anonymous, and when I was working with girls at an in-patient recovery home, I would also take them to Alcoholics Anonymous, so I've had experience firsthand. While I absolutely believe this program has much merit, like everything else in life, you have to find what works for you. (They say this in the 12-step programs, too.) 

So, that model did not work for me. And that's okay. I did not want to spend the rest of my days believing that I would always have a cloud hanging over my head that I needed to be vigilant of, and when I looked around the room, I felt there was such a desperation to reconnect with that pure place within us, before it was tainted by all of life's challenges. I both saw and experienced a lot of suffering, a lot of bowing down to this beast within us and very little ability to let the spirit be happy and free.

I believe that everyone can find that space within that we were all born with, an untouched and beautiful wellspring of happiness, freedom and genuine love. And when we find it, then true healing begins. That's why Hawk and Lily was born.

Less than half a year ago, I saw a healer who told me that I should actively purge. In the morning, she encouraged me to drink a tea that would cause me to throw up. I looked at her and said, "You do realize that I used to have an eating disorder, where I specifically could not stop myself from throwing up?" She looked at me and said, "Yes." It was as though all of the weight and shame I had attached to my bulimia meant nothing. And I was staggered. Could I really detach myself from the identity that I had created  around my eating disorder? 

The things in our lives that we devote attention to, those are the things that grow. Be it a garden we're cultivating, a relationship we're invested in, or our addictions and destructive behaviors. Whatever holds center court in our minds takes so much space in our hearts that sometimes we don't even realize the extent of it. All of my life, from the time that I was 17 (I'm 33 now) has revolved around this disease that permeated everything. The choices I made, the relationships I had, the type of work I went into. It's almost as though the eating disorder became an invisibly gaseous substance that infiltrated my entire atmosphere, so that everywhere I went, I was always in this space whether I knew it or not. There was no escaping it.

And now, I'm surprised at how my perspective is shifting. I can take food at face value without all the countless implications and associations I made with it for so long. "If I eat this, then it means this..." has become "What does my body need right now? What will help my body thrive and feel good for a long time to come?" I believe in indulgence, I believe in food being a connecting force for family and friends — this is the culture I grew up in. But I also now believe in food for food's sake. 

So, in the past couple of weeks, I started living a little bit Paleo style, and luckily, my beau is on board with me. I'm taking away the things that don't serve me and creating space for the things that do, just like I teach in class. 

I see now that eating after 8pm gives me bad dreams (and they're usually dreams about my beau, where I wake up and get mad at him for being a jerk to me in my unconscious mind!). We laugh about it in the morning and he apologizes for he's not sure what. I also see that removing refined substances from my diet has me feeling lighter and more limber, not just in body, but also in heart. It's a good feeling. And it's one I'd like to keep nourishing. I see that I'm making healthier selections at the store or at restaurants, not because I feel like I have to, but because I feel like I want to.

This isn't an overnight shift and it's one I'm sure will involve a lot of ebbing and flowing through old habits and new ones. But, this is where I am today. This is the space in which I am living where I feel I am thriving and fully alive! I am consciously making choices that support my feeling good about myself... because I'm worthy of every great thing in life, just like you, and you, and you.

Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said, "Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are." Right now, I'm drinking sparkling water, because I like how bubbly and refreshing it feels. So maybe that means that I am sparkly. 

***
What's your relationship with food like? How have you redefined your perspective on things that may have been previously extremely challenging for you? 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Getting out of our own way.

"I am not a human being.
I am dynamite."
-Friedrich Nietzche

Lately, I've noticed that I like to have something "on" around me all the time. Whether it's a streaming news story, a podcast, a video or music, I've wanted noise. This is unusual, as I actually truly enjoy silence. It's how I write best, it's key to meditation, and with so many stories swirling around my head, it's how I can encourage a bit more internal and external peace. 

Having listened to Sherry Turkle chat about how the connections we have to our cell phones are playing a role in the development of modern psychology. She notes the many ways in which this little square in our pocket is creating a yearning for us to be close to others, yet only at arm's distance that we're comfortable with and in ways that we can control. Essentially, we're trying to make life fit into tidy patterns rather than being okay with the inherent unpredictability that is the human existence. I wondered if this need to be close was what my wanting noise was about. Then, during the shower today, it finally clicked! (Btw, 30 Rock did a hilarious skit about how brilliant ideas come about when we step away from what it is we're intently focused on.)

I want the noise, because it prevents me from finding the quiet space to grow into my fullest potential. Right now, Hawk and Lily is doing wonderfully! There are so many great directions in which my business is growing that I'm overjoyed at the opportunities. I'm working with talented individuals to not only make my dreams, but all of our greatest hopes, come true. And, because of all this goodness, I am encountering old habits of self-sabotage.

A lot of us do this. Marianne Williamson and Nelson Mandela have both made references to this trait of human behavior, that we're not afraid of what we can't do; instead, we're intimidated by all of our greatest potential. We wonder if we're truly worthy. We question if we can do it. In the book, Forty Rules of Love - A Novel of Rumi, Shams (the often unknown inspiration for much of Rumi's poetry), shares:

"Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That's the hardest part and that's what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow."


All we ever really have to worry about is what's right in front of us. And maybe, because it's so simple (which is not to say that it's easy), our brains try to make it more complex. I don't have to worry about the outcome of things. I simply bring my best self forward, however that shows up in this moment today, and then create a clear intention of wanting to be of service, that the rest is a practice of faith and trust and letting go.

I once heard a business philosophy that shared how success comes from follow-through. Just that. Many people have phenomenal ideas, but it's the follow-through that actually transforms thought into reality. We all have the capacity to be great encoded within us, but how we decide to unlock that gift and bring it into the world is up to us.

"I can do this," I tell myself. Every time I brush my teeth, I stand in front of the mirror and look directly into my own eyes and repeat affirmations to myself the way that I would encourage a friend. "I am doing the best that I can in every given moment. I can do this!"

We all have doubts. We all have fears. We all feel alone sometimes. It's part of the human condition, and it's the flip-side to all the other emotions that we also experience... confidence, security, connection. The more that I can admit that I'm just like everyone else, then the more we can all be encouraged to embrace how special we also are.

When one of us thrives, we all thrive.

***

What "noise" are you putting in your own way as an obstacle to your dreams? What secrets do you keep to yourself that you think only you are suffering from? How can you take one step today towards your own power?


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Reflections & Musings: Calling the Spirit back.

"The universe is one being. 
Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. 
Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation.
Do no harm. Practice compassion.
And do not gossip behind anyone's back—not even a seemingly innocent remark!
The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish
but are perpetually store in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time.
One man's pain will hurt us all. 
One man's joy will make everyone smile..."
-The Forty Rules of Love, Elif Shafak

Lately, I  have been thinking about calling back my Spirit. Caroline Myss talks about that in her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, as do many eastern traditions that believe when we feel negative towards someone, we are releasing our life energy. In order to be whole again and return to balance, we need to bring back what is ours and in turn, release what others have given unto us. 

Awhile ago, my beau and I were at an impasse. We're both headstrong and independent, and it felt as though there were a blockage between us that we couldn't move through. We tried talking about it, fighting, letting things go, but it seemed that our individual patterns when combined were getting the best of us. Despite how much we loved one another, we both acknowledged that one of two things were likely going to happen: 1) we would figure out how to get through these hurdles and solidify our relationship in a very good way, or 2) we would realize that there were issues we simply couldn't overcome and would care for one another enough to go our separate ways.

One night, before my friends' wedding in Palm Springs, I confirmed with him my plans to move to Maui. Up until that point, he thought that it was just an idea floating around. So, we talked about logistics, why I really wanted to move, what I was hoping to get out of it, what would happen between us. And, by implementing the promise we made to one another when we first started dating — that we would always honor the other person's life journey, even if it meant it would take the person away from the relationship — we suddenly realized what was truly important between us. 

The trip to Palm Springs could not have been any better! He became kinder, more patient and compassionate, while I became less attached to the idea of perfection and accepted things just as they were. We thought, "Well, we better enjoy this time with one another while we have it!" and all the problems we had held onto prior to that discussion melted away.

When we got back and settled into the daily routine of life, I began to move full-force in pursuit of my dreams. I devoted myself to writing my memoir, I committed myself to teaching yoga, I persevered in building a business that encompasses all the things I love. And, in the process, my relationship with my beau deepened. 

The conversation about my moving to Maui came up again, when opportunities began to present themselves that would involve a longer-term commitment for me to stay in San Diego. This city is beautiful. I live in a town that is likely the closest to feeling like Hawaii that anywhere on the Mainland could be. Everything that brings a smile to my heart is within reach — amazing yoga studios and teachers, my family less than a two hour drive away, the ocean which is always perfect for an outdoor practice or meditation or playing in the waves, fantastic friends, and an international airport that encourages even more travel writing. So, my beau and I talked about it again.

We both acknowledged how our relationship had improved by leaps and bounds. I attributed it to the fact that he thought that after a few months, I would be leaving San Diego. He replied, "No, I don't think that's it. I think it's the fact that we had a really honest conversation with one another, and from there, things began to shift." And, the conversation between us continues to grow in a very healthy direction.

People always say, "You and [he] have amazing communication." I always tilt my head and wonder, 'Really?' I feel like the way that we chat about our past, present, future, hopes, insecurities, feelings toward one another are natural, which I suppose is an incredible gift that we are each able to bring to our relationship.

I knew that part of me was running away when I seriously planned to move. I thought it would be easy to drop everything and ship out, start anew, say that all of my focus would be on writing, when in actuality, I had already learned the lesson a long time ago when I moved to Shanghai at the depths of my eating disorder that wherever you go, there you are.

We have had one tiff thus far. It felt badly in the moment, and both of us could sense that we were returning to old patterns. But rather than holding onto negative emotions, I said, "I'm sorry." Because I also played a part in the argument. And immediately, he said, "I'm sorry, too." And then voila, everything — the energy, the sentiment, the heat, the weight — immediately switched. *Poof* it was gone.

I have decided to stay. I'm staying because things here are very good and growing in gorgeous ways. And because I realize that Hawaii will always be there — I don't doubt that I will make a move. But, I will make a move when the time is right, when my heart is set with a true intent and purpose, and when the next place is really where I am meant to be.

So, with everything shifting the way it is now, I realize that I need to call my Spirit back. That in sharing my emotions with friends and confidants when things were not going well means that I created an impression in the world of something that I feel a bit of an obligation to rectify. It's interesting, the art of blogging, because this is a snapshot in time. And, who knows what'll happen tomorrow? I'll grow, I'll think differently, I'll behave differently. But what I've said now is out there. 

Sometimes, I look back and wince. "Did I really say that? Did I really think that? Look at how vulnerable I was! And I put that out there for others to see?"

Then, I stop wincing, and realize that I am human. I'm doing my best in any given moment. And, in an effort to be kindler and gentler to myself, I accept me as I am now. Living in my truth as best as I know how.

***

Do you ever feel the need to call your Spirit back? Do you feel like you need to make amends for things? Or, to learn better for next time? How do you better accept where you are now, where you've been, and where you're going?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Upcoming Workshops at Place360 Health Spa — free!


Experience private yoga + energy healing sessions now at Place360! 
(Monthly group workshops available, too.)

Every body is beautifully different — Place360 is excited to offer personalized yoga sessions that blend mindful movement, guided meditation, Reiki energy healing, and Ayurvedic philosophy for an entirely unique experience. Designed to inspire a deeper understanding of oneself through a truly customized practice, Place360 supports every individual to become strong, wild and joyful.

In addition to private sessions, duets and trios, Place360 will feature monthly workshops that highlight enlightening body + mind themes. For the month of April, we are hosting free workshops to introduce our newest yoga service offering to the community.



Thur, 4/19: 7-8.30am — Breathe & Bask Under the Sun

Begin your day basking in the glow of the sun. As a naturally heated yoga flow class, learn how to start meditating a few minutes every day with three types of yogic breathing.
(Open to all levels.)

Wed, 4/25: 6.30-8pm — The “Core” Poses

Get a breakdown of the poses we practice most frequently in class: Downward Dog, Cobra, Warrior I & Warrior II and Chaturanga. And, learn why the "core" is so important, especially when it comes to arm balances.
(Open to all levels, especially those with an active practice)

Thur, 5/3: 6.30-8pm — Determine Your Ayurvedic Dosha

Everything in nature is made from the five elements — space, air, fire, water, earth — that form three basic body-mind profiles called
doshas in Ayurvedic medicine. Learn what your dosha is and what types of yoga are best for you to practice to bring everything into balance for overall good health. (Open to all levels.)

Fri, 5/11: 6.30-7.45pm — Couples Starlit R&R (Restorative & Reiki)

Spend “date night” beneath the stars learning about Reiki healing energy and enjoying an evening restorative yoga class that balances body, mind and soul.
(Open to all levels — couples, singles, friends and family all welcome!)

RSVP to concierge@place360healthspa.com
1219 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA 92014
(between 12th & 13th Street)



Please bring a yoga mat and any additional supplies you’d like to have (blocks, strap, blanket, etc.)