Today I read something that resonated so deeply with me:
"In any moment, in any circumstance, a miracle will occur if I align myself with love."
Which is to say that I believe in miracles, and I think they present themselves to us when we are purposefully moving through life. We can miss them in the rush from A to B. We can miss them if we are hampered by negative feelings, when ironically it might seem we need that miracle the most. Yet, it's only when we slow down, hit pause, check in, and re-align ourselves, mentally and physically, that we are able to properly receive miracles.
When the world moves fast, moving with intention can get lost the in whirl of productivity, deadlines, achievement, etc. Happily, yoga is this brilliant practice in hitting pause. It teaches us mindfulness, even if on a scheduled basis (that's intentional though!). Every bit of practice counts.
There is no order of difficulty in miracles, one is not harder or bigger than another. Yoga becomes this beautiful practice in stepping into the present moment. Where in the present we can release all cares, all burdens, and all questions to whatever higher power we believe in.
Yoga is a practice where we don't constrict our energy, but rather relax into the practice, let go. Personally, I feel a divine lift in the practice, like a mood boost, but a bit more pronounced.
Here is a good example, your day could be total madness, and then you step onto the mat and come into child's pose and breathe. And suddenly, you might think, 'what was I so worried about? all is okay!' The transition from the chaos of the day to the mat is sort of akin to the most lovely/soulful person you can imagine whispering into your ear, 'all will be okay.' Except this is entirely self-sufficient and driven by you, and your mindfulness practice.
The more we do, the more burdens we carry, the more temptation we experience:
Let's be intentional, and do the opposite. Let's release to love.
Needless to say, I am greatly looking forward to tomorrow's practice. I cancelled (postponed) my mainland job interview, due to COVID-19. And I am so excited to practice tomorrow and see you!
As always, I would love to have you join me for Sunday yoga (tomorrow) from 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM (HST) email email@example.com to join. For me, a consistent Sunday practice, habitually lays the groundwork for a brilliant and productive week. It also makes it much easier to be kind to others once I have taken care of myself.
I wanted to share with you this Summer offering of mine. I announced the release of this Goal Chaser Series two weeks ago, before the world changed. The BLM Movement has rocked the world for the better, including my own (world). Nonetheless, I went silent on sharing this since the day I mentioned it. As last week I was immersed in reading about race and all matters related to BLM.
As a PhD student, I generally crawl out of my academic hibernation each Summer and say hello to all of my yoga students and jump back into my life mission work. Given my own shift in focus over the last week, I went back and forth on whether or not I should postpone all of my Summer offerings, or whether I shall proceed as scheduled.
With everything I’ve learned in the last week, silence is deadly. I am choosing to share this offering with you all, and I feel now is as important a time as ever before to take a new look at our goals. It’s as good a time as ever to question how we show up in the world. And no time like the present, we start a week from tomorrow (June 15th)!
Please consider joining me for this 4-week adventure online via Zoom. The weekly lectures are 60-minutes long. There is a bit of homework each week. There is some yoga practice included in the series as well. All lectures will be recorded, in case you live in Germany and don't wish to wake up at 5AM to join the lecture live.
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
I have been eagerly waiting, all day, to sit down and write you all this email. It has been quite the day! I know, whenever you hear that, you instinctively think uh-oh. And you are not wrong there. After one quick morning meeting and teaching my structural kinesiology course via Zoom this morning, I decided I would follow up on the gentleman from AAA's recommendation to get a new car battery. Seems easy enough, right?
Well AAA comes and again confirm (as they did last weekend) that I need a new battery, but advised I take it a mechanic to be sure. So after a jump start, and with my empty tank from my last jump start on Sunday where I drove around for 45 minutes, I decided to brave the roads. I live in Honolulu and I am very loyal to the Honda Windward, as I approached the Likelike tunnel (tunnel through the Ko‘olau Range) I was literally praying to myself - please don't stall. After emerging from the tunnel, I then was sitting at the final intersection with the service shop in sight at the longest red light, it was very suspenseful. Alas, I made it! And you just might be thinking okay, so what? Good question.
I was thinking, gosh, I am drained and have nothing to offer in an email of any sorts today. After I got back home, I made a big batch of tofu scramble. Truthfully, I had started it this morning and left it out when AAA arrived and I had to leave immediately post-jump start. While consuming a second brunch was delicious, it still didn't do the trick. I was still feeling something to the effect of 'ughhhh, today is horrible' - dramatic, yes, but this is how I felt.
I did what any good millennial would do, I googled "what to do when you are having a bad day." I took from the google search what seemed likely to work and boost my energy, spirits, and vibe of the day. I incorporated some of my own strategies too, here is what I tried today, maybe it will work for you too!
1) Pour yourself a "seltzer" as we say on the east coast - modern day translation - La Croix.
2) Read a light book, such as Harry Potter.
3) My Google search told me to pet a cat, but I recommend petting a dog. I hope you cat lovers understand.
4) Walk your dog.
5) Listen to some above-the-line music, I chose Justin Bieber.
6) Go grocery shopping! I know this is a tricky one right now. I will say that Whole Foods has the store very organized. It honestly felt like a little vacation to go into the AC and pick out all of these yummy snacks, foods, and drinks for the weekend. If you had asked me last week if this would make the list, I would have said "oh, heck no." With the store cleanliness and the small number of shoppers allowed in, I am telling you, today it was a vacation.
7) When you get home with said groceries, start by eating something super healthy, such as a smoothie. I had to clear out freezer space, and made Derek and I a huge kale/fruit smoothie. I also opened up the Veggie Sticks while making the smoothie, to hold me over!
8) My little brother challenged me to a virtual game of beirut. I have NEVER played mobile phone games, ever, so I downloaded it and let's just say it's not my forte, but it is fun! And brothers are awesome.
9) Shower! Getting clean, lets you just leave the day behind, and start fresh.
10) Make any apologies that need to be made. Husband? Not sure who else I could have offended today. I even had the thought of picking up the phone to call the Honda Windward just to say "thank you" - because, goodness, I have no idea what kind of vibe I was giving off today while I was there. And driving home with my car battery replaced, I was feeling very grateful for all of the essential workers, particularly those that just helped me.
I guess, even though today wasn't rainbows and butterflies, I still feel I can share with you how I went about this annoyance. Yes, the perspective that my problems are nothing compared to many others right now, was not lost on me. I thanked a gentleman at Whole Foods today, just for working (does anyone else do this?). He replied, with surprise, "Oh you are welcome. I am just happy to have a job right now." Truth.
Despite car trouble, and possibly being hangry, my life is fully blessed. I was speaking mantras to myself as I was approaching the Likelike tunnel 'you will be okay' - and many more - and I was okay. While the picture of anjali mudra above doesn't exactly match my current mood, things are looking very good for the weekend ahead. Maybe you understand where I am coming from here? Long week, a bit of stress, and did anyone else have car trouble? My husband said, "wow, you have been really unlucky with your car lately." Don't worry, I won't go into another long car saga.
What was interesting for me today, was the methods I chose to boost my mood. I didn't use any of the traditional methods of lifting my mood and spirits (ie. deep breaths, yoga, meditation, running), because again, nothing was terribly wrong. I was just annoyed and I think hungry. They say, if you feel tired, before jumping to the conclusion that you need sleep, you might just need water. In my case, you just need some good food and the reminder that you are okay and all will be okay. And sometimes that message translates in the form of mantras, and other times it is through reading Harry Potter and playing Justin Bieber music.
If you are saying to yourself, TGIF-TGIF-TGIF, you are not alone! We made it through the week. And unscathed. Blessed to just be here. Blessed to be healthy, thriving, and to have such mundane problems as needing a bleeping car battery. And if your problems are bigger than this, you are also not alone. We are all there with you. Here to support you. Smile to strangers. Thank tellers. Be kind.
I would love you to join me on Sunday morning at 8am for yoga. Let's begin the week together with a fresh and healthy start. Let's forget these silly annoyances from our days, and practice, seeing the bigger picture. We are here, together, even though virtually, and we can get through this very strange time. It is a tough time, for some more than others, but everyone's feelings are valid. Offer others the same patience you would want, god forbid they catch you in a moment like I was in today, hungry at the car dealership.
Join me for Sunday Yoga Flow at 8am via the same link as every other week, if you haven't joined yet, email me at email@example.com for the link and password.
Another semester and year completed ✅. I am officially 1/2 way done with my PhD program. It’s been the hardest two years of my life (so far), but also, two of the most rewarding. I am sitting in one of the classrooms I teach my undergrad courses in...done with the semester, and what am I doing? I am studying the colon anastomoses and reading “When Death Becomes Life • notes from a transplant surgeon” for FUN! Yes, I make myself giggle.
On my ig account these past two years, it’s been mainly a personal account. Most of what I do is confidential, I am not allowed to post any photos of the work or even write about it on this platform. So I’ve struggled with how best to share these main aspects of my life. As such, I keep it v simple. All you see is my yoga life, my husband, my pup, and my friends. But of course, my life is filled to the brim with science, discovery, so much brain stimulation, and I could write a whole book on the challenges I’ve faced alone. My dissertation work is combining my past work in neuropsychology on neuroplasticity and my current work with biomechanics gait/balance and motor tasks.
I wanted to hop on here and say hello. I am now a third year doctoral student studying biomechanics and anatomy. Only some of you close friends know what I do! I am always reminded of how little I share, after a chance encounter with one of you where 1- you don’t even know that I am a student or 2- you have noooo idea what type of research and teaching I do!
Apologies that I can’t share more of my work. From the biomechanics lab to the cadaver lab to the classrooms where I teach - I’ve had two full years of beautiful challenges, victories, failures and everything in between. So yes, life isn’t as perfect as these little squares suggest. It’s actually better, and richer, for all its complexity and messiness. My husband said he thinks I have crammed more information into my brain over the last two years than one might over 4 or 6. Haha. I say this not in a bragging way, but to explain the struggle.
I majored in psychology and business undergrad. Then I worked in research for two years in psychopharmacology at McLean Hospital, then one in Alzheimer’s Caregiving research (psycho-social/biological) at UCSD Med School, then got my Masters in Public Health studying childhood obesity, 6 months of cancer research, and THEN jumped to my full time yoga career for 3.5 years. And now I am still Yoga-ing, but also doing all things PhD. I had no previous background in the anatomy and biomechanics content and have since needed to cram my brain with all of it. Hence, @dereklinsley point! It’s been hard work.
My friend wrote the other day that we are all a little broken and that’s how the light gets in. It’s true! Just like our muscles, when we are challenged, we breakdown a bit only to grow back stronger for it. Big picture: I trust the path I am currently on and I am loving loving this challenging scientific journey. So much that I can’t put this transplant surgery book down or stop studying. I have totally found the perfect field for myself. And to everyone who has been asking what my next steps are - I don’t know yet but have loads of ideas!! In the meantime, I will be starting a podcast. For realz. Cheers to all of you, for lighting up my feed with updates on your life and for your support over the years!
Happiness is a choice. This month join me in taking active steps towards happiness - choose happiness. Maybe for you happiness means more walks, time with friends, yoga, or bubble baths. For me choosing happiness means creating freedom in my schedule to choose what I want to do, be it hiking, yoga, reading, or even cleaning!
Some other techniques:
1.) Be present + honest. To live in the present moment is happiness. One of the core tenets of being present is to be honest - all the time. If for a moment you are not honest, it takes you into a state of worry or distress and out of the present. Stay present and honest.
3.) Surround yourself with people that lift you up.
4.) Get enough sleep.
5.) Smile more.
If a baby cries, we don't assume malice of the baby, no. We don't think, "that baby is out to get me"...rather, we think, that baby is hungry or tired. Similarly, as adults we might be drained of those same basic needs. Before assuming malice of another, consider that their less than stellar behavior could be attributed to lack of sleep or hunger. Not everything is complicated, in fact, more often than not, it is simple! Don't overthink situations and give others the benefit of the doubt.
What I have read recently: Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.
As the Emperor of Rome, he had the same mental struggles as we do and was trying to improve as a person, just as we are. When he lived he was the most successful and powerful person in the world. He would pour his thoughts into his personal diary unaware that one day it would be found and published. The message I received was that success and power do not equal happiness. Happiness is internal.
These techniques really help me and I hope they work for you too. Everything is a practice: yoga, soccer, nutrition, physical fitness, everything - including happiness.
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For the first time ever, I taught at Wanderlust Festival on the North Shore of Oahu. It was a blast. I taught a workshop on "Vision, Goals, and Mantra Development." It was a new fresh topic for me to share with everyone, a topic that I've become so passionate about and practice everyday. It has some yogic principles tied in, but at Wanderlust I outlined a path to arriving at your truest vision and goals. I was nervously excited to teach at such a famed event; it was new territory for me, which is always scary, so I knew I had to be there, and all in no less. At the end of my workshop, Lululemon asked me to be their ambassador! I was so excited to teach at this festival. Here are some photos from my workshop.
Wanderlust got me so excited for my upcoming retreat. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to create magic like that again for my students at my Go Deeper yoga retreat on the Big Island in Kapa'au (May 27 - June 1). We will practice yoga and dive into a lot of juicy vision and goals work as well. There will be lots of free time to hike and explore, and the food is all sourced from the retreat center's on site organic farm. There are still spots available. Use my VIP code "VIP10" at checkout until Wednesday to receive 10% off!