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Meet Your Kula: Mel Douglas

  Meet Your Kula: Mel Douglas Part of what makes us so unique are the amazing members of our Yogi community, our kula. Each month, we’ll feature one member of our yogi community, chat with them about their practice, learn more about what draws them to yoga, and get to know each other a little […]

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Achievement or Experience: What’s Going to Make You Happier?

I want to be happy. Don’t you? I’m going to take a leap here and suggest we’d all appreciate being happy and content, yet we pretty consistently get in our own way. I can give you at least 17 examples every day of things I do to get in my own way. Can you relate? In yoga, we practice the state of being present and non-attachment. Lovely, yet lofty goals these are. It’s too easy, even in the midst of our practice, to get bogged down by anxieties and the pressure of feeling we aren’t doing enough. We’re not enough. We haven’t achieved or experienced enough. And I believe it boils down to priorities. That and how we define achievements and experiences in their relationship to happiness. Are you game for a short questionnaire? Answer the questions below to determine if achievement or experiences are more important to you currently.  *Side note: we change our minds. Sometimes it’s achievement, sometimes it’s experience. But knowing where you are right this moment and connecting it to your overall sense of well-being might help enlighten you to some shifts that may be beneficial. And also, sometimes it’s both. We really can have it […]

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Why You Really Do Need to Go Hug All of The Trees

I knew the second I spotted her that she was the one There she was, just as majestic and impossibly beautiful as a living creature has the capacity to be. She beckoned without paying me any attention at all. With zero chill, I raced in her direction and hurled my body fully against her’s. We became one, me and that Quaking Aspen, and the feeling of our full embrace will never quite leave me. Or leaf me. And speaking of leaves, I took one from the ground as a memento of our brief but impactful time together. There’s quite a lot of evidence that tree hugging has many benefits Not only are you fully aware that you feel better after getting in that snuggle, but you may not notice some of the more subtle yet highly impactful benefits tree hugging has to offer. In his spellbinding book, Blinded by Science, Matt Silverstone explores the health benefits of hugging trees and the vibrational healing powers that this simple act has to offer. Trees offer specific vibrations that trigger positive responses in our biological behaviors when we commune with them and tap into their restorative powers. If all it takes is just one tree […]

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Satiating Wanderlust on a Serious Budget

I feel it too. The itch to go. A longing to be somewhere odd, foreign, really anywhere that’s not where you live. Wanderlust is a constant theme in the yoga community. Every other conversation I have is about where someone just traveled or an impending trip. And I never tire of discussing it and hearing other’s stories of other lands, foods, languages, and landscapes. The physical effects of wanderlust are apparent immediately. It’s like eating something spicy, knowing from the first bit that you’re going to be on a ride for a little while. And there’s only one cure. You have to go. Heed the call. Get your fix. Most of us take a trip or two a year if we’re lucky. And too many of us get caught up in work, obligation, who’s going to watch the dog, and we can’t afford it. Yeah. It’s easy to find excuses and reasons to skip travel and do the easier thing. The boring thing. But it’s not going to ignite your imagination or stir your soul now, is it? I regard traveling at the bottom of the list of the hierarchy of needs. Food, shelter, clothing, water, travel And what if you make five figures […]

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Morning Practices to Turn Mindfulness Into Second Nature

Practicing mindfulness is kind of like being your own therapist You bear witness to your choices, thought processes, reactions, and decisions. And from there, you have the opportunity to assess if you like how you feel as a result. If you don’t, you understand different thoughts and actions must be taken. Sounds easy, right? But we all know it’s not. It’s a practice that requires constant attentiveness and that can feel overwhelming. Mindfulness is a vigilant practice that requires us knowing the various versions of our past selves and shining a spotlight on who we are right now in this moment. We keep adding to our experiences and draw on our past choices with the retrospective eyes of someone who knows better and differently. Employing wisdom is one of the key elements to mindful living and thinking. Doing our very best based on what we understand is an essential element for living our greatest life. Mindfulness and self-awareness are basically synonymous It’s easy to get caught up in our habits, routines, and the stories we create in our heads.  Developing daily practices the help us strengthen the muscle of awareness is the springboard to turning mindfulness into how we go about […]

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Meditations for People Who Think They Can’t Mediate

I feel you. Meditation can be exceedingly challenging for some of us. It’s incredibly hard to direct our thoughts in a way that helps us clear out minds. Being still is the opposite of calming. I know it comes naturally for some, but that ain’t me, and if you’re reading this, it’s probably not you. So let’s redefine meditation. Let’s make it something we look forward to and really find value in Traditionally, meditation is done in a quiet room. The practitioner takes a comfortable seat, closes their eyes, and clears their mind. Mantras and chants can and often are a part of the equation. Dim lighting, no distractions, and comfortable clothing are paramount. Sometimes, it’s a guided meditation taking us on an internal journey. You’ve tried all of it. And you’ve tried again. It’s not clicking and you wonder if you simply can’t meditate. You peek at others in the room seemingly enjoying their own experience and appearing to not struggle in the least. You feel like a failure and trend towards thinking meditation just isn’t for you. It’s so easy to buy into these thoughts, but they’re simply untrue. Let’s throw out tradition and get to the heart […]

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5 Ways a Singing Bowl Can Benefit Your Home Practice

I remember the first time I heard a singing bowl I was still fairly new to yoga, and still getting used to the entire vibe and all of the accouterments that were commonplace in the yoga world realm.  The instructor, Christina, had an ethereal energy and I was enthralled with her. We were in a silent savasana, and I was dwelling somewhere in between the plains of awake and asleep. And then I heard it. One clear, bright, soul-stirring sound. One note. It not only brought me back to awareness of my surroundings. It touched on something deep. Something I didn’t know I could feel. As I found my way back to a seat and listened to her words of wisdom and encouragement, I could still feel that singular note resonating within. Everyone around me began rolling up their mats and putting props back in their proper place. But I didn’t want to move. I wanted to be with this new, exciting feeling. Eventually, I packed up too. But before I left the space, I asked Christina about the sound and how she created it. She smiled and signaled for me to follow her to the front of the studio. […]

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How to Get the Men In Your Life Interested in Yoga

You love yoga and you want your man to love yoga too I’m one of the lucky (very) few who has a male partner who loves yoga. LOVES. This really doesn’t happen all that often. As in pretty much never. And yes, my partner loved yoga way before he ever loved me. If you’re now thinking, “Well whoopty f*cking doo for you. My boyfriend won’t even sit on a yoga mat let alone come to a class with me.” I feel you. Previous partners weren’t game. And I’ve seen many women drag their husbands, boyfriends, roommates, brothers, and even their dads to class, believing so deeply that if they just try it, they’ll surely fall head over heels for yoga and probably sign up for teacher training on the spot. Only to look over at them wide-eyed and hopeful the second class ends to receive a shrug of a shoulder or roll of the eyes. Now, just what are you suppose to do? You know it would benefit him in a myriad of ways and if he just gave it a chance, he’d really fall in love with it. He’d get what you get. It would become his way of life. Approach […]

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3 Techniques to Permanently Shift Your Inner Dialogue

Real talk about self-talk: most of us are kinda cruel. Observe your thoughts about yourself even for 20 minutes. Write down the kind ones and the rude comments. Which list is longer? Those uncharitable thoughts hurt us more than we realize None of this is new information. We know this, but how many of us are actively doing something to change our inner dialogue? How long are we going to suffer through untrue assessments of ourselves and continue to allow the thoughts in our head to shape how we see ourselves? We need to decide enough is enough and take a stand. Choosing this as our practice right alongside asana. Hell, above asana. This has to stop and the time is now! Okay, cool, so everyone’s on board, yes? Now, how to do fix this internal bug once and for all? We need a strategy. We might need several. The only place to begin is at the beginning. Why are we addicted to thinking unkind thoughts? I decided to do a little research on this. Not internet research, but old school asking individual people what their beliefs are about this incredibly important issue. Some of the answers may resonate, and […]

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Utilizing Amethyst in a Guided Meditation for Contentment

Many of us love various crystals for their vast and intensive properties offering us anything from the attraction of money, healing, and protection to enlightenment, love, and creativity. We believe in their power and they’ve become an integral tool for our yoga and meditation practices. Amethyst is one of the most interesting and potent stones on earth. I remember being very envious of my sister growing up because she was lucky enough to have amethyst as her birthstone. The deep purple hue is dazzling and as a child, I associated it with royalty and beauty. It’s shine and magnetic energy are seductive in a way that makes it difficult to shift your eyes elsewhere. Beyond its beauty, amethyst holds space for something many of us consider intangible: contentment.    Amethyst shares its shade with our crown chakra, making it a conduit for the obtainment of enlightenment. And isn’t this the path to contentment? When I think of people I would describe as content, few of them are extremely wealthy, not monetarily. None of them are famous or super-models. Only one of them holds the title CEO or President. And when I think of their energy, it’s always purple. And I […]

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