The practice.

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I was recently a guest on Camden Hoch’s podcast Truth & Dare and I was asked how Yoga Stability® came about. I’ve been asked this a lot and I’m still working on my elevator speech. Of course, we are our own worst critics and I feel like I butchered my answer, but the beauty in that is, it gave me an opportunity to try my best to articulate it afterwards while it was fresh on my mind.

And it’s such a great question (Camden had MANY potent questions for me. Keep your eyes peeled for our conversation together soon):

So, how did Yoga Stability® come to fruition?

Honestly, I was tired of hearing about injuries and I knew there had to be another way. The cringing chaturangas.  The fast-paced/numbing/I-want-a-work-out kind of class. The loss of stability when we start to fling our limbs around in vinyasa.

On my logo it says :  awake, aware, alive.  This practice is a blend of myself and my experiences and my trainings and my continual learning.  It blends Chinese medicine and Daoism with yoga poses — familiar yoga poses that are done in a different way, allowing us the opportunity to rewire (as if we were to take a different route to work from time to time). 

This practice is about internal (organs) and external (leverage) and not having to work so hard.  Insert exhale here. To TRUST that we don’t need to work so hard which seems counter-intuitive in this culture of work harder, get rewarded or no pain, no gain. I’m sure you can relate. It’s more along the lines of the organic shampoo that doesn’t lather and we’re not sure if our hair is clean, but it is, it’s just what we’re use to and/or there’s no visible results (you can’t see your organs harmonizing).

I don't even teach chaturanga anymore, or updog, and hardly any warriors.  If someone asks me to break them down, I will, and it will be from a place that will make you think differently. 

I, instead, prefer to teach a standing forward fold for hours (not really, but I’ve been tempted), allowing us to pause, to sit with the so-called uncomfortable conversation, to give our nervous system a break not anticipating what the next pose is and on top of it all, getting to know ourselves, our structures, our architecture which allows our organs space to work together, providing longevity to our lives (PHEW — pretty sure that’s not a grammatically correct sentence).

This practice is designed to LIGHT you up. It’s accessible and it will change your game. I couldn’t be more in love with what I do.

Thank you, Camden, for delivering questions that inspire connection and reflection.

The tug o'war with healing

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I remember being in Oslo last year, going to sleep sometimes around 4 or 5pm, because I was the most tired I had felt, ever.  I knew that it was all part of my lyme disease but I will never forget the indescribable level of fatigue.  I specifically remember saying that I wanted to admit myself to a hospital so someone could feed me and take care of me. I was too tired to do it myself. Well..... be careful what you wish for.  Read on.  It was in June that my health took me down and I did need someone just to roll me over in bed....

Massive change requires transformation.  And it's become clear to me that there is a difference between learning and transformation....

There's nothing I've experienced more potently lately than lessons, lessons, lessons.

A few months ago, I would have said that my health has "forced" me or "given me no choice" but to pause.  To feel.  And once I paused and I felt, I had to sit with it, literally, because I couldn't get off the couch.  Or on the toilet.  Or off of the toilet.  Or even turn over in bed.  Or put the covers on me or pull them off of me. 

Since, my perspective has softened and my patience has grown, and I would say that my health has showed me that surrendering is safe and it is the only way to heal.  That there is a gift in all of this.  My health has showed me how important it was to let.go of any fixed idea that I had of myself and to throw any plans I had out the window.

I'm way more compassionate.  My patience is improving. My mediation practice is way more powerful.  How I spend my time and my energy has taken a 180.  I am in no hurry to execute my ideas.  My resistance to anything has dissipated and it feels freaking incredible.  I've let go of control.  The list goes on....

You see things when you slow down. 

Answers arrive when you slow down. 

The world is a different place when you slow down.

I still can hardly squeeze my own tooth paste, pump soap to wash the dishes, and take the plastic seal off of the almond milk.  It's  still really hard to stand up or sit down. 

I'm still recovering from a massive kick in the ass from lyme disease.  Let's be honest though, I've been in pain for years.  Over three, to be exact.  And for almost three of those years, I hovered, JUST above rock bottom.  Trying to be strong.  Not letting this lyme disease win.  However, it was in June that I feel I was whacked with a crow bar behind the knees over and over again.  Every time I tried to walk, I fell back onto the couch in tears.  I was stuck.  Literally.

I was told by the universe to sit.  And to cry.  And to wail loudly until there were no more tears.

I was told by the universe that I can keep my career that I've built and my traveling life, but my habits need to change 100000%.

I was told by the universe to protect myself because I am a powerful leader and my energy will be sucked away by anyone who holds any envy or dishonest intentions.

I was told by the universe to WAKE UP.

Stop hugging people while I heal.  Stop focusing on what I can't do anymore.  Stop focusing on what I can't eat anymore.  Stop responding to my emails and planning new events.

Just be.  Literally, be.  And while I am "being", zero planning.  Zero figuring out what dinner will be that night.  Zero talking about my issues.   Just be.  Mediate more.  and more.  Stare at the sky more and more.  Trust more and more.

And so it began.

It sometimes takes me a week to respond back to you via email.  Even worse, sometimes I forget.

I've learned that energetic action is WAYYYYYY more potent and effective than the action of "doing". 

I'm really good at sitting around and taking naps when I need to.  I'm really good at saying no to social events or if I don't, I take part and then leave when I find it appropriate for my own energy.  Nobody else's.

Now don't get me wrong.  I still have my days.  Yeserday was one of them.  I am so tired of the quality of life I have -- meaning, I feel I am always always always in pain -- and I cry.  I feel impatient.  And then I realize, 3 years is not that long of a time to be dealing with a chronic illness.  Healing takes time.  Sometimes decades.  Or sometimes it takes as long as it takes until we learn what we need to learn from it all.

Having a so-called "invisible" disease makes you feel like you have to explain yourself because you look seemingly "normal".  I've learned to say: fuck that.  I don't need to explain myself to anyone.  Someone asked me why I was walking funny and I politely said, I'm healing.  End.of.story.

The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them.

For me, I am learning that I'm not so influential when I go 150mph.

I'm more inspirational when I tend to me.  When I have strict boundaries.  When I teach others to do the same. 

It feels more meaningful.  And it definitely feels more connected. 

As any entrepreneur knows, selling yourself and what you offer is part of the gig.  Always.  At events.  On social media.  Polishing your website daily.  It's always ON.  There's always a buzz in the brain.  And if you dare take a break or take a day off, you might just lose momentum. 

At least, that's what I thought.

But I've learned that the buzz prevents me from truly being present. 

I need to tend to my own personal vibration first and then things begin to feel effortless.

What I've also been sitting with is what I initially mentioned:  there's a difference between learning and transformation.  I've been experiencing a deep and structural shift in my feelings and actions and thoughts and it has potently and positively affected my way of being in this world. 

When we transform, expand, shed layers, step into our true selves, or whatever you want to call it, once you do it, there's no going back.  We can never contract to our original size.  Once you know, you can't "unknow".  It's a strange act of surrendering into the unknown.  It's hard to articulate for me.  It's almost as if you need to find your ground all over again because you're getting to know the new you.

Often when we are not ourselves, we resist.  We talk about "what is" and wonder why it's taking so long to stop being sad, or start feeling better, or get rid of our pain, or finally let go.  There is no one way.  There is no time line.  And the more we resist, the longer it takes.

There is a moment in time where everything stops.  It's calm, deeply satisfying, and the need to prove who you have become, what you have accomplished and why you do what you do, does not need a reason.

Healing isn't a straight line up and out of the rabbit hole.  It's a bit jagged and it goes up and down and sometimes backwards.  Yet having the tools to crawl out of the rabbit hole is key and if you're not sure where to even start, start with appreciating the smallest things in your life right now.  And if you ever find yourself on your knees, stay there in appreciation a little longer.

There's always opportunity. 

Lessons. 

Transformation.

Gratitude.

Did you know that the word for obstacle in ancient Chinese is also the same word for opportunity? 

So if you need to cry, cry. 

If you are wondering why you freak out or cry or feel scared around a certain situation, stop questioning.  Let it be.

If you are wondering why you are not healthy yet or why you are still grieving, be easy on yourself.

The more we can allow,

the more we can let it be,

the more we can be in the flow,

the more clarity we have. 

the more the answers present themselves,

the more we learn,

the more we transform and shed and expand and grow.

The brain wants to organize.  It wants to color code and put things in specific files in the filing cabinet. 

But the heart, it knows.  You just need to pause long enough to listen to it.

Trust, trust and trust.

As much as I cursed every single thing I couldn't do yesterday, I had to giggle and cry and laugh at it all.  And sleep.  A LOT. 

I've cultivated such a deep knowing that it's simply part of the ride.  If I wished to be healthy tomorrow, I would miss all of the insight in-between.  And there's something amazingly satisfying [and painful] about growing a new pair of wings.

xo

This Granola Smells Like Fall

It's definitely fall in these Rocky Mountains, but I can appreciate that comforting smell at any time of the year.  Here's a super quick and easy recipe for granola that will last you for days! 

Ingredients:

(and this is what I had on tap this morning. It changes, so feel free to use what's available in your kitchen)

3 cups rolled oats

1 cup almonds

1 cup pecans

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1 cup coconut flakes (I added a bit more because I love the texture of coconut flakes)

2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla (sometimes I pour a little over)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven:  325 degree F.

Mix first 7 ingredients together in a bowl (oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, vanilla and salt).  Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat up 1/4 cup coconut oil. Once it has melted, add the maple syrup and vanilla.  Stir into bowl that was set aside with granola mixture. I use a rubber spatula to really get in there and make sure everything is mixed nicely.

Next step is not necessary, but makes for a great texture: Get out your high speed blender or food processor. Transfer about 2/3 of the granola mixture to the blender/processor and pulse.  Just make sure you don't turn this into dust.  You still want some chunks.  The purpose of this is to break down the mixture a little bit.

Once you are satisfied with what your blended/pulsed mixture looks like, transfer that back to the bowl with the other 1/3.  Mix well.

Spread mixture onto a cookie sheet that has been oiled with coconut oil (today I used a deeper set pan). Use a rubber spatula to push down the mixture firmly.

Place in oven for 20-25 minutes on 325 F.  Do continually check on your granola -- as it can easily burn. 

**Side notes:

>I churn up the granola about 17 minutes in.

>Sometimes the granola takes up to 30-35 minutes to cook.

>I'll top it off with a minute or two (NO MORE) on the broiler setting to give it an extra crunch.

Enjoy!

I love to add it to a bowl of yogurt with blackberries or just eat it plain!

xo