I have about 1 billion spotify playlists. I am a lover of music, and I generally have music playing at all times. I wanted to share a non-yoga playlist that I've been listening to around the "house" aka apartment. I've been known to always refer to my living quarters as a house.
Here is what I am jammin' to lately! Thank you Graciegirl for inspiring me with a few of these gems (i.e."Diamonds on the soles of her shoes").
I love my girl's blog, if you follow the belief that health=wealth, check out her blog!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” – Henry Ford
Have you ever had a teacher, coach, teammate, or leader, who believed in you? Who really believed in you? To the point where, it made you start to believe in yourself more than you had previously? A person who’s positive influence and inspiring spirit lifts you up to your highest potential? Effortlessly. Because they are believers themselves, it is natural for their believing powers to also extend to you. Those are the people I want to surround myself with.
1. accept (something) as true; feel sure of the truth of.
2. hold (something) as an opinion; think or suppose.
Growing up I had a basketball coach, who thought I was the next big thing. He had such high hopes for me. His faith, made me feel like I could go anywhere in life, not just because I was a good basketball player; beyond my skills he simply believed in me, he wanted me to succeed in all areas of my life and he knew that I would.
I had a club soccer coach, who actually had my teammates and I lay down as a team to meditate and visualize our goals, right before the first whistle blew. This coach would check-in with us periodically to make sure we were earning good grades. This coach cried when he had to step down as head coach. He believed in us, and not just our ability on the field, but in life.
In high school, I had an inspiring English teacher, who is now the current high school principal. He also happened to be the high school track coach. Once upon a time, I quit playing high school lacrosse (for one week) and joined the track team because there was a conflict with lacrosse practices and my club soccer schedule (I prioritized club soccer). Wow, I sound like such a jock. When I joined the team he was ecstatic. Thankfully (for me but not for him), I was able to re-join lacrosse and miss a few practices, with the okay from my lacrosse coaches and therefore I left the track team for good (thank god). I was worried that the English teacher/track coach would be upset, but no. He still believed in me, he still wanted me to succeed, he still wrote my college recommendations, and he still continues to inspire hundreds of students to this day as the high school principal. He actually had me fully believing that I was a skilled writer, that I had great class contributions to make, that I was talented at giving speeches (oh lord was I nervous for the speech series of class - stay tuned for a future post on public speaking), and that I did a stellar job on my midterm and final. As far as I am concerned, convincing a high school student that they are good at anything is an achievement in and of itself, I am glad those days of insecurity are over.
I will carry the imprint that these coaches and mentors have left on my life forever.
In college, I had teammates that inspired me. Teammates, who were so selfless and hardworking (cough Rachael, Anna, Jess, Linds, the Sara(s)) that their efforts on the field made me work harder. I had one amazing professor in particular who touched my heart. I already wrote an entire blog post on this amazing woman, but she too believed in me. I’ve had excellent bosses. At McLean Hospital, my boss was so brilliant, compassionate, and personable, it made working for her inspiring. She too believed in me and offered total support in whichever career path I decided to take, despite her very busy schedule. Currently, I am surrounded by inspiring coworkers and yoga teachers, such as Miss Coco and Miss Marissa, who inspire me in my teaching and practice and really believe I can do more. I remember Coco would say, you can do x, y, z backbend of sorts… “I saw your whole wheel.”
It is that true belief or faith that these mentors have had in me, which has stretched my mind to its fullest proportions. These are the types of people I want to surround myself with, the believers, the ones who inspire, the ones who say ‘I can,’ ‘You can,’ and ‘We all can.’ The ones who are always thirsty, searching, ready, and constantly growing themselves, they are never stagnant. This realization got me thinking about how we can all become more self-sufficient; I am not de-valuing the benefit of having these amazing rock star people around as members of your tribe. Rather, I started thinking, how can I inspire myself in the same way these mentors do, to be the absolute best version of myself? The application of this concept applies to your yoga practice tremendously, especially, if you practice at home, alone. When it is just you and your mat. How do you pick yourself up? How do you stay present, focused, and how do you keep growing? We all desire constant growth.
What I learned? Tell yourself you can, but don’t care about the outcome.
A few days ago, as I was lying in savasana after Marissa’s class, feeling nothing short of awesome, I was just about to leave, when I decided to play with handstand press; it had been a while. I practiced it months ago on my own at home, and then I left it on the backburner to simmer, probably out of frustration at making turtle-paced progress (but that is yoga). Cruising on my yoga-high, I randomly decided to come back to it, and voila, I did a handstand press for the first time, ever. Naturally, I circled back to this phenomenon later, because I couldn’t quite understand why that had happened, after taking so many months off of practicing this Holy Grail transition to handstand. Why now?
Here is what I came up with:
-Many hours of practice.
-Devoted core work.
-I was unattached to the outcome.
-I went into it telling myself that I could do it; I pretended for a moment to myself, that this transition was already apart of my practice, and then...IT WAS!
With that said, my tribe remains super important to me, I want to continue to surround myself with the believers everyday. Not only do they make things happen for themselves, which inspires, but they believe in the best that is within you, and help you shine to be your best. Those are the keepers.
“Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people.” –Albert Einstein
Are you a believer? Can you begin to share that belief you hold for yourself with others? Or perhaps you believe in others, can you borrow some of that confidence for yourself?
1. Weekday beach breaks between teaching yoga classes. Reality check, is this actually my life? Yep, okay, pinching myself.
2. This book. I am so inspired by this lady. I am doing some major soul searching these days; I’ve read two of her books over the last two weeks!
3. Yummy dinners for one, though they are suitable for two.
4. Farmers market flowers, Hawaii style. With a great reminder from my favorite guy, 'everyday is love day,' so true. There is 'Donezo Washington' our exotic beta fish!
5. Volunteer work on farms, complete with my favorite things: Yoga, fresh juice, live music, dogs, and the great outdoors. (NaloSTE)
6. This beautiful Himalayan Light; a gift from my wonderful teacher training mentees, thank you! Yep, Derek, the place is officially, a hippy haven. I can't wait for you to get back here!
7. Fresh juice and homemade soap from the wonderful Tawney (she rocks).
8. Leaving 'work' and soaking in the epic double rainbows from the parking lot. I love you Hawaii. Thank you for providing me with constant reminders of how beautiful and precious life truly is, everydamnday.
9. This song: “‘Cause you’re stronger and you’re better and you’re ready for whatever.” I've got it on replay!
10. Snapchats from this pair of best friends. STAWP, this is too cute.
"If you try to keep your most sacred ambitions off your weekly calendar and your most genuine traits off your resume, then you're missing out on the power of real integrity." - The Fire Starter Sessions
"Anything or anyone that does not bring you alive, is too small for you." - David Whyte, poet
Danielle Laporte is an inspiration. I highly recommend this book.
Dream big, you are 'freer than you think you are.'
You are productive. Hello, 4:30am wakeup call, 6am yoga class, teaching a private yoga session in the park, followed by my own yoga practice. I was ready for you.
Did I mention that there were sea turtles swimming right in front of me?
Is every day as inspiring as today? No. I thought about what life details I wanted to share on my blog, and I decided that I want to share what I am feeling. If and when I go through a really rough time, I am not opposed to sharing my feelings.
The truth is right now, I feel pretty damn good about life. Furthermore, I generally write when I feel good, it’s not that everything in my life is always rosy and peachy, but right now it feels that way. I am writing a lot these days because I have something to share.
It feels really good to share and not hold back. Today was awesome.
As a yoga teacher, I practice standing in my own authentic truth, speaking my mind, and not worrying about what others might think. Today, I was basking in my own truth, in a puddle of savasana, I smiled, hugged my knees to my chest, and was one refreshed and happy girl.
First of all, I get to write this post from the comfort of Whole Foods (Kahala), before I teach my 2:30pm class at CorePower Yoga. I have never felt I am more on the right path, in the right place, than I do now. I love helping and working with people. Teaching yoga is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now.
I am 100% self-motivated to do what I love; it is scary, thrilling, exciting, and energizing. It is infusing me with even more passion and drive to share and continue on this journey, doing what I love, yoga.
I am even more excited about what is to come, and the unknown of it, is propelling me forward to work even harder. I feel very fortunate to be making what I love into a sustainable profession.
Sit down with a pen and paper and reflect on where you are in life. What drives you? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Is the job you are in, going to take you there? If not, how can you begin to make moves to get yourself there? Just start thinking, writing, planning, and doing.
I love to wake up with the sun shining on my face, while I am lying on top of the sheets and comforter; and after 9 hours of sleep, the bed looks as though no one has even been on it. My mom would always joke about this when I was a kid, “Laura, did you even sleep in this bed?” … I still do it, Mom. Since Derek has been away, I’ve pushed the bed all the way up against the wall, where Derek’s surfboard rests, that too is the kid in me…goblins anyone?
I love waking up and knowing that I don’t have to get out of bed, but I do, because I am eager and excited to get my day started, because Sunday is my day. French vanilla coffee from Down to Earth? Yes please. Coffee is pretty much the best simple pleasure, ever. Paired with some yummy toast with fresh ground peanut butter, organic honey, and cinnamon on top (I am a toast lover). YUM.
And it’s right to “work” I go. Planning my sequences for my 3 classes today. Planning my future. Constantly, pinching myself, and experiencing so many reality checks on life, for I just can’t believe the amazing turn it has taken.
Just asking myself, some small questions...
I feel so much abundance all around me. Good things keep happening, and one notion has become really clear to me: abundance attracts abundance. I am so thankful for all of my friends and family who are continually fueling my inspiration because they too are inspired. Abundance attracts abundance. Now it is time for yoga with my three friends.
Happy Sunday everyone!
Surround yourself with those people that fuel your own inspiration and find one small pleasure that lightens your day and makes you smile.
… be awake to the Life
that is loving you and
sing your prayer, laugh your prayer,
dance your prayer, run
and weep and sweat your prayer,
sleep your prayer, eat your prayer,
paint, sculpt, hammer and read your prayer,
sweep, dig, rake, drive and hoe your prayer,
garden and farm and build and clean your prayer,
wash, iron, vacuum, sew, embroider and pickle your prayer,
compute, touch, bend and fold but never delete
or mutilate your prayer.
Learn and play your prayer,
work and rest your prayer,
fast and feast your prayer,
argue, talk, whisper, listen and shout your prayer,
groan and moan and spit and sneeze your prayer,
swim and hunt and cook your prayer,
digest and become your prayer,
release and recover your prayer,
breathe your prayer,
be your prayer.
This is a how-to-posture breakdown. There are tons of postures that you begin with to build up to this point (plank and navasana), but anyone, can practice the alignment set up of this posture and maybe even try a hop or two! If you are practicing against a wall, set yourself up so that you are one thumb and one forearm distance away.
Handstand is just so wonderful. In fact, if I were a yoga posture, I would be a handstand. I will get into the benefits in a bit.
For now, I will break down the posture into 4 parts.
1. Draw Femur up in Down Dog.
The posture starts with your set up. A lot happens in step 1.
Come into your downward facing dog (hands shoulder width distance apart, feet hips width distance, index fingers parallel to the side of your mat). Now, draw your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears. Next, lift one foot an inch off the mat (or higher) without bringing your foot forward or backwards. Hover your foot there for 5 full breaths. Feel your femur bone descend into the hip socket, so there is a sensation of drawing it upwards. As your leg is lifted, hug your inner thighs together (adduction). Squeeze your forearms in towards one another, and hug your ribs together. Keep that squeeze of your inner thighs, and point your pinky toe down towards the earth. You are all set to practice little hops up with your lovely square hips. Your hips will remain square if you keep hugging inward and rotating inner foot arch up and pinky toe down (engage your feet and toes).
2. Hinge Forward, followed by a bent front knee.
One legged downward facing dog with square hips, keep your arms and belly strong, and with hips level. Keep squeezing your inner thighs together to use more mula bandha power. Inhale, hinge forward and tack your shoulders over your wrists!
Next, while in one legged downward facing dog with square hips, keep your arms and belly strong, and with hips level, play around with bending your front knee and hopping off the crowd to your comfort level. Keep squeezing your inner thighs together to garner more mula bandha power. Stack your shoulders over your wrists!
3. Draw bent knew into chest, but keep the lifted leg strong and straight.
With your shoulders stacked over your wrists, hips are identical on both sides, hug the bent knee to your chest, center yourself, breathe, hug thighs in, and once you find the point where you feel strong and balanced extend your other leg up, and reach the balls of your feet high up towards the sky.
4. Handstand Happiness.
Hug legs into your midline before, during kick up, and while in handstand! The balance comes from your center and expands outwards to your arms and toes. The pelvis is really heavy, and kicking up can be scary, I know! But by hopping up with square hips, you are doing yourself a real favor in terms of balancing; you are doing it with a lot more control!
Also, look at how freakish my toes look. I am flexing and pointing (flointing), and by doing so, I am firing up and activating every muscle throughout both legs. Keep your feet engaged!
In sum, handstands, work every muscle in your body. Try to see if you can smile and have fun, laugh at yourself, every time you fall down...and try again!
There are endless handstand benefits, but here is a short list:
-strengthens upper body
-improves balance (duh) but even when you are right side up (was that a duh, not sure)
-mood booster (you will feel like a rockstar)
-CORE (navasana helps)
-improves bone density (body weight baring), circulation (it gets your heart rate up), and breathing (don’t hold your breath while you are up there as many beginners do, keep breathing)
My bottom got all sandy, because this happened....
Keiki to the rescue! Summer is also an awesome adjustor, add that to her list of being the best kid ever.