“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable.” ― Rainer Maria Rilke
Sometimes it's the simplest things in life that are the most profound and the most gratifying.
A bee floating from sunflower to sunflower.
A butterfly landing nearby.
Birdsong in the morning.
The first time you ride a bike.
The smell of your favorite meal.
We don't always have to create complicated sequences, follow complicated agendas, or overthink the simple things.
Sometimes it's better to make it simple.
No having to make your way to the gym.
No having to find a mask that you can breathe in.
No having to put on actual pants.
Just a simple 15 minute workout.
Just an easy to follow along calendar.
No wasting time.
Are you ready to enjoy the simple things?
I'll see you on the mat.
“In youth, it was a way I had, To do my best to please. And change, with every passing lad To suit his theories. But now I know the things I know And do the things I do, And if you do not like me so, To hell, my love, with you.” ― Dorothy Parker
Top o' the morning to ya!
Tomorrow is National Women's Equality Day for those of us who live in the United States.
It's a day to commemorate the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote right along side their good ol' menfolk.
Granted, I think it's a little ironic that we have a Women's Equality Day that is 1. not a paid holiday and 2. we don't yet actually have equality among the sexes....so there's that.
There is still a very distinct gender wage gap where women consistently earn less than men, and the gap is wider for women of color.
People speak so highly of the American dream, yet how many of us, whether we were born here of moved here for any number of reasons, struggle just to make ends meet.
And even in jobs where we should be able to get by and we're paid higher wages, their still less than the wages of a white man!
And then, to think, that if you had the same job as a white man, as a white woman you'd make less, and as a woman of color you'd make even less.
But, this email is not all about riling up the armies and taking a stand for women's rights and equality.
If you want to do that, and I think you should, definitely definitely do it.
And let me know where to be and when.
But I make yoga classes yeah?
So this email is all about this empowering new class!
It's all about feeling powerful, beautiful, and empowered in our bodies.
As womxn, we have a lot of expectations thrust upon us to look, act, and think a certain way.
And this class is about shooting down those expectations and stepping into our highest, most divinely embodied self.
We are strong, as womxn. We live in a world on fire, overflowing with masculine energy, and sometimes, oftentimes, we need to take back our power and embrace the feminine.
However, my definition of feminine does not mean weak. It means strength and fluidity.
So we will explore different expressions of the Divine Feminine.
I hope you enjoy it.
I hope it makes you feel a little something.
I hope that, whether you are a womxn or not, that you learn to embrace your feminine side and feminine energy so that we can better create balance and bring the world back to harmony.
“We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side.” ― Khalil Gibran
Guess what today is!
It's the new moon! The new moon moves into Leo today, beginning to close out the Leo season.
Ok, well it's today or tomorrow depending on what source you look at. But that's just a technicality. You'll know when the magic is right.
This is the time to move forward with new beginnings, to set the intentions that you want to manifest during the coming lunar cycle, and get that Universe to start sending all the goodies your way.
But you can only manifest the things that you've created space for.
And that's what today's free class is all about.
Creating space for receptivity.
It's a little bit of a longer class, but you can't rush greatness.
It's also a little bit different from what we often see on this channel as we work with pranayama and mudra.
Pranayama is breathwork, or the intentional movement of energy through the vehicle of the breath.
And mudras are specific gestures, often with the hands, that are used to cultivate a certain energy.
These are things that I find myself using more and more in my personal practice, and so they will show up more and more in the classes that I create.
And I would love to hear your feedback! Would you like to see more classes that include pranayama and/or mudras? Or would you prefer sticking strictly with the physical classes? Comment below and let me know!
I'm building a library of classes that will be exclusively for members (for my upcoming membership site squeeeeeeeee!!!!) and would like to know what you want to see there! So give it to me, friend!
Then, when you're done with that, create some space for your practice, which will in turn create space for all of your dreams to come true.
Remember, the universe is already sending you everything you've asked for.
Sometimes we're so focused on the exact way we think that should look, that we miss a different option toward the same goal.
Other times we block that which is coming toward us with limiting beliefs or fears.
A lot of times that looks like "I don't deserve this" or "I'm not good enough to have this" or "what if I make all this money and then throw it all away and I end up back where I started?"
These are the conversations we need to let go of.
When you are on your mat, spend time as the observer. Listen to the things you say to yourself. Catch yourself when you feel doubt or fear or anger or frustration and ask yourself why.
Always ask yourself why.
Why do I feel this way? Why did I just say that? How is this belief benefiting me?
There will be a way that it benefits you, I promise, even if it doesn't seem like it right now.
So use this class to create a space to receive.
To receive all that is good.
To receive all that is worthy.
To receive everything you every dreamt of.
I'll see you on the mat!
“The desert, when the sun comes up...I couldn't tell where heaven stopped and the Earth began.” ― Tom Hanks
Goodest of mornings to you!
I know with the world as we know it cracking into unrecognizable pieces, most of us probably aren't traveling right now.
That's right, and good. And it's much much safer for you to not be traveling unless it's absolutely necessary. Both for you and for those around you.
But it's hard isn't it?
I was supposed to spend the summer in France. I get it.
Camping trips, Festivals, Concerts...you name it, it's been cancelled.
But we still need to do what we can to support our sanity.
If that means going camping alone for the weekend, then I'm all about it.
If that means social distancing on the beach to get those sunshine rays, I'm doubly about it.
If it means safely exploring a neighborhood that isn't your own, just so that your eyes can take in something new, do it.
Maybe it means closing your eyes and taking a nap. I'm about that life too.
Whatever you choose to do, let it be something that makes you feel good. Let it be something that makes you smile.
Let your eyes feast on beauty and your soul rejoice.
Move your body, stimulate happy hormones.
Consume nourishing substances.
Let go of the things that drag you down.
And while you're taking care to do good things for yourself, I invite you to try out this week's free yoga class.
It was shot, once again, in Desert Hot Springs, CA, where I went with my dad on a much needed escape.
It's quick and powerful, and the perfect way to start your day off on the right (shaky) foot (leg).
Bonus points if you take this class outside somewhere where there's a view!
And I would love it if you left me a comment to let me know what mini escape you are taking this week!
What is your favorite genre of location?
I would have to say that mine, first, is the beach. Followed very closely by the desert.
I love the dryness, I love the colors. I love the way the plants and animals have adapted to live in such beautifully harsh conditions.
I grew up hiking and rock climbing in the California desert. I would go to Joshua Tree National park all of the time with my dad. But he had never taken me to Desert Hot Springs until I asked him to this year.
And it was exactly my kind of vacation. Doing nothing. Laying in the sun. Dipping into the water when it got too hot. Watching the wind blow through the palms. We even saw an owl! A real life wild owl that was probably annoyed by our staring.
But I come from the city you know? Suburbs at least. We don't have owls here. So it was a wonderous experience for me!
Have you ever seen a wild owl in real life? In it's own element? Not behind some cage at the zoo? If so, where? I'm coming to visit!
Anyway, it was a good mini vacation. Much needed. After spending months and months cooped up staring at my computer screen.
And don't worry, where we went it was fairly secluded. We weren't trying to be near crowds. We were just trying to get some good ole vitamin D!
So, I encourage you, if at all possible, to do today's class outside. Get some of that vitamin D for yourself! It's important, both for your immunity and for your mental well-being.
Getting enough vitamin D is vital for the absorption of calcium which in turn keeps the bones healthy and strong. It also helps with strengthening muscles, which is what we're all about here at Yoga Infusion.
On top of that, it helps to boost the immune system and fight off inflammation.
Let's just have a think for a second about how important the immune response is right now. Can you think of a reason that we might want to have a stronger immune system?
Yeah, that's what I thought.
But wait, I'm not done! Vitamin D is my favorite vitamin if you can't tell.
This vitamin also has been known to help treat hypertension, which is one of the markers of cardiovascular disease. It can help you lose weight (hurrah!) and the one I'm really keen on which is that is can help battle depression.
Right now, more than ever, we need to be doing what we can to support or mental and physical well-being.
We need our bodies to be strong and healthy to fight illness, and we need our minds to be strong and healthy to remain positive and uplifted.
And if going outside in the sun for 20 minutes every day can help boost all of these good things, then I'm going to say you should do it.
So, when you load up today's new Hot Fire Flames Interval Yoga class, try to find a place where you can take it outside.
And if you can't work out outside, make sure you sneak in a bit of a walk before or after.
Soak up the sun, and let it work its magic on you!
Can you feel the love tonight?
And that's clearly all I know from that song, as is proven by my horrendous serenading at the end of this class.
But you gotta laugh you know?
It's ain't that serious.
None of life is.
Yes, things are important. Wearing your mask is important. Living your life with kindness and self-compassion is important. Being considerate of others is important. But why do we have to be so serious?
When was the last time you laughed at yourself?
When was the last time you belly laughed?
Laughter is so good. It's healing. It's honest. It creates more joy in your life.
And what better place to laugh than on the yoga mat, this safe space where judgment is not welcome and self compassion is law?
So join me today for this lower intensity interval infused class and let your inner wild child loose!
I promise you'll get a good laugh. I promise you a song. I promise you some weird yoga mumbo jumbo. And, as always, a good time.
See you there!
“Having compassion starts and ends with having compassion for all those unwanted parts of ourselves, all those imperfections that we don’t even want to look at." - Pema Chodron
How long have you been on your yoga journey?
For me, it's been about 6 years.
6 years may not seem like a long time, but let me tell you that those 6 years have completely changed the direction of my life.
There is life before Yoga, and there is life after Yoga.
In life before Yoga, I was stumbling along with a box of carne asada fries, a horchata the size of my head, probably drunk, with no sense of self or purpose.
The only thing I looked forward to was homemade Sangria from one of the bars near where I worked, and finishing the next Kdrama. (I haven't lost the Kdrama obsession...)
Then there was Yoga: something to do with my body and with my mind for 30 minutes a day that was not work, was not boredom, and was not planning for the next country/job/weekend.
I didn't know how to be present. Didn't have a clue. Who on Earth cared about the present moment when there were so many things to look forward to?
Then there was yoga.
For 6 years, yoga became my thing. The only thing that mattered to me. But that's a lie. It wasn't "yoga," per se. It was fitness. It was trying to get the body that would make me feel like I was worth something. It was an obsession with losing weight, but in a "healthy" way, sustainable, over the long term. And that worked well. It did. It got me started on a much better path.
I built up my practice every single day (give or take one or two) for 6 years.
Then Covid hit...My routine was destroyed. I finally got my dream of working from home, but then found I had no idea how to juggle my job with my yoga business pursuits when I was sitting at my desk at home.
The long and short of this is that my yoga practice suffered. Greatly. Sometimes I showed up on my mat, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I was excited to be there, sometimes I forced myself. Half the time it was forgotten altogether, because I had other things to do and my practice took the back seat.
Can you relate?
The reason I'm telling you all of this, is so that you know that even the most dedicated yogi loses their balance sometimes. And you know what is likely to throw someone off balance?
We are all learning how to deal with it and adapt in our own ways.
There is a shadow of fear that has fallen over our planet. It's not necessarily obvious, but it's there.
A wariness in the back of the mind anytime you see someone walking on the road.
A lack of trust.
Division along the lines of beliefs.
It's heavy, this shadow. But maybe only in the corners of your eyes.
So you need to remember to live with compassion. Compassion for others, yes, but compassion for yourself.
You are human, you are learning, you make mistakes, you lose your routine, you eat crap food and drink tequila for breakfast, and then you put your big girl/boy pants on and take your life by the horns once again and start over.
It's a cycle that will happen again and again.
So instead of trying to fight it, I encourage you to support the process, support your growth.
Support it through a practice of self love and yoga.
Because one day you will make it back to your mat. Like I will once I'm done with this email.
You'll make it back and you will be so thankful you did.
This class is for that day. To remind you that you are worth it.
You are glorious.
You are beautifully imperfect.
You are You.
And there ain't nothing else you should ever try to be.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
We have made it past the halfway point of this extraordinary year.
I say extraordinary because, if nothing else, it's been eventful.
The world is going through growing pains, and we need to ride it out, flowing with and over the ocean waves of this storm to see what kind of sunny skies await us on the other side.
Because there will be sunny skies.
This is the first time something like this has happened in our lifetime, but it is not the first time that something like this has happened in the lifetime of our species, nor of our societies.
The planet, the ecosystems, are changing. We will adapt, or we will not. Those who adapt will go on to thrive on the other side. Those who do not will likely suffer, and perhaps go extinct.
There are macrocosms and microcosms of this, but they all play out in similar ways. Because we are human does not mean we are exempt to the ways of the natural world, though we may not see it that way.
So as we look out ahead to the waves that we see, and those we do not, we come back time and again to our practice. Yogis have done this for thousands of years. Westerners are just learning the path now.
That you are on the path is more important than where you are on the path.
Today's yoga class will meet you wherever you are. It's designed with minimal use of hands and maximum use of core and focus. So that we can learn where it is that we should aim our focus. HINT: it's not super close to you, nor is it super far away. There's a middle ground.
Have I mentioned yet that our practice on the mat is the microcosm of our life off the mat? ?
I hope you enjoy this week's free class, and this slightly philosophical letter. I am someone of both lightness and depth, and today I'm coming off a weekend of no cares in the world and needing to balance that myself with some depth of thought.
I've also been reading "Meditations from the Mat" by Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison, during our weekly Coffee Conversations and in my own time. It consists of short essays about bringing yoga more fully into your life, about living your yoga really, and it's got me thinking quite a lot. If you're interested, check it out here!
All my love,
“Peace is not always easy to grasp or keep close. In the process of attaining and protecting it, you may find yourself tired, weary, and uncertain on how to keep your peace safe. While being uncertain is normal, continue to commit yourself to peacefulness. You are worthy of every drop of sweetness and ease that you encounter. Being tested is a part of the journey. Giving up, and letting go, is not.” ― Alex Elle
When was the last time you slowed down?
I can honestly say that, for me, it's been a bit.
If it's not work, it's overcoming technical difficulties. If it's not overcoming technical difficulties, it's not having enough time. If it's not not having enough time, it's navigating roommates or partners or children or parents.
There is always something that has to be done, something we have to rush toward.
So this is my invitation to slow down.
To take a breath.
To notice the colors of the sky.
To catch a glimpse of a flower in bloom.
To sit on the ground and wrestle with your cat/dog/child/gerbil whatever.
If there's one thing I know, through experience and being Arian (a person born under the sign of Aries), it's this: you will never successfully accomplish anything if you spend all of your time and energy juggling all of the things.
One needs to find focus.
Focus and breath.
And yoga. Duh.
This week's free class is a bit longer than we normally have, because we move slow and really work on feeling into the postures.
Rather than jumping from pose to pose (but don't worry, we do jump) we move with grace (and strength) in and out of the postures.
We find breath and stillness, a bit of sweat, and a lot of joy.
Meet you there.
“Yoga is the best way to learn to adapt and adjust to the changing environments.”
― Amit Ray
How are you dealing with the upheaval that has hit the planet? Are you leaping out there to get your voice heard, excited for the chance to make a change? Are you totally overwhelmed and hiding away in your home? Somewhere in between?
Wherever you are, you're doing it right. As long as you're listening to what your body and your heart is telling you, you're doing it right.
If you can't be on the front lines, but you're reading everything you can get your hands on, you're doing it right.
If you don't have time to read, but you're donating to the cause, you're doing it right.
If you're ignoring all of it because you can't handle it on top of everything else that's going on, you're doing it right there too.
It's important that you learn to listen to your body, to your internal wisdom. If it is telling you that you're overwhelmed and you need to remove yourself from that stimulation, listen to it.
If it's telling you to scream from the rooftops, listen to it then, too.
Are you getting my drift?
I want you to do you. Whatever that means.
In life, and on the yoga mat. (We've talked before about how your yoga mat is a microcosm for your macrocosm life off the mat)
Which is why I have made it my mission to create a library of wrist-free classes. (Adapt, don't give up!)
To lean on when typing on your laptop for 3 months, day in and day out, has given you tennis elbow (what is this?! I don't even play tennis!!)
Or when you got so angry at your internet provider you tried to smash the router and consequently destroyed your hand. (No, I haven't done this, but I've thought about it)
What I'm trying to say is that there are a multitude of reasons why you may not be able to use your hands or your wrists, thus you must adapt.
Adapt so that you don't lose your footing, so that you can come back stronger.
But does that mean you shouldn't come to your mat?
Not at all. Get your ass over there, yeah?
Cause this class will really help you burn off whatever residual frustration, fear, or anger you may have. There will be no room for that kind of energy when you're a sweaty mess after this (no hands) workout!
Just like when you adapt to do what you can in life.
You don't let a little hiccup like a hurt wrist or a busy schedule or a stressful job stop you from living your life do you?
I thought not.
See you on the mat!