Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Americanos, macchiatos and flan oh my!!!

I know my New Yorker and PDX peeps will scoff at this but have you considered getting on the caffeine free train? Here is a great to kick caffeine the easy way. Now I know this is hypocritical of me to talk about since I love my coffee. Americanos, macchiatos, almond milk lattes...mmmm mmmm! However, I think that one of the ways I move towards something or some idea is by talking about it. With my coffee I'm generally happy to have decaf. It's the flavor I love not the feeling. Those rich, chocolate, caramel, sometimes fruity flavors that tickle the tongue really, really make me happy. Sitting with a warm cup in my hands and smelling the aromas (yes, just like the Foldger's commercials) has become a morning ritual I look forward to. However, the deeper I get into creating a healthy lifestyle for myself the more I understand about caffeine and how bad it is for my body.

Here is an excerpt from the article over at Dr. Frank's. You can catch the full article and a 30 Rock reference here.

  • Day 1: Today, have your usual amount of coffee.
  • Day 2 – Day 5: Blend your coffee 50%-50% with decaf (preferably certified organic). Drink that for three days.
  • Day 6: Have 25% regular coffee, 75% decaf for one day.
  • Day 7: Start drinking pure decaf.
*Eventually, maybe you'll consider kicking the decaf.

I'll always tout the "everything in moderation" horn and for that I will, for the time being, still indulge in my coffee habit. Like most people I know I have a knack for loving things that aren't great for me. The funny thing is, many of those things I've found to be not especially wonderful for my body I eventually eliminate from my life. The more you begin to understand about your body and how it functions at it's best the more inclined you are to do good things for it. Sometimes this means allowing yourself something you really want. Right now I love a delicious piece of flan from across the road. I don't do it every night but I do treat myself, without guilt, without worry and with a big freakin' smile on my face.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Practice makes better...

As the days start to meld together I find I am able to define my time easier by the books I've been reading. I couldn't tell you what I did last week but I could tell you that last week I discovered a sneaky plot derived by a crooked tavern keeper to thwart a you Scotsman from liberating the coal heaving gangs in London. See, my book choices here are limited to what the wonderful beach bound BBC ladies bring, thusly devour and inevitably leave behind. I mean really, would you want to take home that trashy romance novel or a Tom Clancy epic with you? Thankfully no!

In between deep philosophical thoughts from the Tao, teaching yoga, and hanging out with the wonderful ladies of Bikini Bootcamp I've had the pleasure to pour over a few murder mysteries involving disappearing swimsuit models, romance novels starring wolverines, vampires and valkyries, and a few pages involving freedom and liberation in 18th century Scotland. All in all...pretty awesome.

Needless to say my mind has been craving a little academia, a little critical thinking and depth. Here's where the yoga part comes in. I've taken this need into my practice and realized that no matter what I need at any point in my life I can find it in my practice. A year and a half ago after leaving an unfulfilling relationship with a man that I loved deeply I found myself a wreck, in need of love, support, confidence, and mostly understanding. Just as my friends were there for me so was my practice. I found that all of the emotions I was battling were easier fought on my mat rather than in my head at 3am. Off of my mat all of those things I had learned on my mat now came into play.

Being able to tap into my breath to get through a difficult moment or remembering that just because something may be arduous doesn't mean I don't possess the ability to rally strength and make it to the other side. I found love, compassion and gratitude towards myself as I had never known in the months that followed that breakup. Lately, I find what I need is intellectual stimulation and challenges. My practice continues to give me that both on and off my mat. I set boundaries on my mat during my physical practice. I push myself to find my edge and explore, listening to my body and heart to tell me how far I can go. I can take this idea into my everyday life and set boundaries, realistic ones mind you, regarding work and space...lord knows this girl needs her space.

These days I find my practice more intellectually stimulating as my awareness of my body deepens. I can feel muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints move, shift and support. This gets me thinking about the anatomy of the body in relation to poses differently than I have been. This influences the way, or how and what, I teach and hopefully works to make me a better teacher. I know...ramble ramble ramble...my point is this (especially for those of you just starting your practice):

Your practice will always give you what you need even if you don't recognize it at first, even if you don't want it, and especially if you don't know you need it.

I'm doing just the thing that turns me off to blogs.
Too many words, not enough pictures.

Currently residing: Amansala Resort Tulum, Mexico

Thursday, May 19, 2011

getting some perspective...

I've been asked so many times in the past few months about safety and traveling in Mexico and I tell people over and over again, it's fine. Safer than you think. All this business about murders and death and destruction? Well that happens everywhere guys and ladies. Think that all the drama about illegal immigration and the sudden appearance of violence in Mexico is coincidence? Rather than listen to my long diatribe on the matter I'll pass along some excerpts from Tim Leffel's blog.

"...according to the FBI, “An estimated 15,241 persons were murdered nationwide in 2009″ in the United States of America.

Officially, 111 U.S. citizens were killed in Mexico last year, a third in just two cities. Almost all of them were involved in illicit vocations, usually the trafficking of guns, drugs, or people across the border. This is 111 out of close to 8 million visitors, with nearly 1 million of those being part- or full-time residents choosing Mexico over the U.S. or Canada.

You know who else had 111 murders in one year recently? Boston. And Las Vegas. And Orlando. Are any tourists scared of going to those places?"

Now let's address the Yucatan, the state in which I am currently finding paradise.

To put things in perspective, the murder rate in the Yucatan state of Mexico is 2 per 100,000. That’s about the same as Fond du Lac, Wisconsin or Evansville, Indiana. Mexico City’s is 8 per 100,000. Despite being one of the most populated cities on the planet, that’s on par with Albuquerque, NM. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never felt scared in Albuquerque…

I think the most important point to take home here is that yes, it is safe to travel to Mexico, just as it is safe to travel to New York or Baltimore. You just travel to the right neighborhoods.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Guess what?! May 6th is International No Diet Day! INDD was founded in 1992 to celebrate the diversity of bodies and body acceptance. Blogger, Anna Guest-Jelley, has some great ideas on how we can all benefit and celebrate over on her Curvy Yoga blog.
News flash beauties, diets don't work. Usually the decision to diet means eating a bunch of foods that you don't like and preparing recipes that are unfamiliar and time consuming. Diets lack the necessary education and information about food and lifestyle habits that people need to actually achieve their goals. Diets rarely teach the individual about grocery shopping, cooking and generally encourage health-threatening restrictions like imposing extremely low calorie meals. People, we NEED calories for energy! Diets don't teach about exercise, they tell you to exercise but how is that really helpful.
The scientific side why diets don’t work for most people is because when you go on a low-calorie diet, your body thinks you are starving; it actually becomes more efficient at storing fat by slowing down your metabolism. When you stop this unrealistic eating plan, your metabolism is still slow and inefficient which causes you to gain the weight back faster, even though you may still be eating less than you were before you went on the diet.
What we really need to do is wipe the slate. Stop letting the media impose body ideals on us. Accept where we are on our path in life. Celebrate ourselves and cultivate some self love. If we are truly unhappy with the way we feel inside and want to live a healthier lifestyle...make that decision, educate ourselves on how to follow a path towards wellness and try.
And when things don't work out the way we plan, be okay with it. Easier said than done I know. I also know that there is so much more to this, but if we begin at this very basic level of acceptance, self-compassion and self-love we have strong foundation from which to find out what makes us truly happy. Everybody's bliss looks different. For me, I lead a path of non-restrictiveness, daily movement (yoga, stretching, playing), and lots of love. If I want a chocolate I eat it damn it! Nobody is taking that bliss away from me ♥

For a far more compelling and not so disjointedly written argument on why happiness does not equal weight loss go here. She's rad.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


We have not come here to take prisoners, but to surrender ever more deeply to freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from love.
Run my dear from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings
Run like hell my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.
We have a duty to befriend those aspects of obedience that stand outside of our house and shout to our reason, "O please, please come out and play."
For we have not come here to take prisoners, or to confine our wondrous spirits, but to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light.