Be The Person That Your Yoga Mat Thinks You Are

I just love that quote!!!  So true…when we are on our yoga mats we are thinking positive, healing, profound thoughts that we hope will follow us off the mat and into our everyday life.  Since starting my yoga journey, I have definitely benefitted from my practice.  I do feel calmer and more centered, but I also have had the summer off so I’m sure that is part of it too.  Here are some thoughts that I try to carry off the mat.

*ALWAYS MAKE TIME FOR SELF-CARE…YOU CANNOT POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP.
*JUST BECAUSE OTHERS ARE COMPLAINING OR SEEING EVERYTHING WITH A NEGATIVE MINDSET DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THEIR LEAN.  IF YOU ARE AT PEACE, GO WITH IT AND SEE JOY IN ALL SITUATIONS.

 

*I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON THIS ONE ALL SUMMER.  WHENEVER I WOULD SEE SOMETHING THAT ANGERED ME OR BOTHERED ME, INSTEAD OF THINKING OR SAYING A JUDGMENTAL THOUGHT, I TRIED TO SEE THE GOOD IN THE SITUATION OR HAVE EMPATHY FOR THE PERSON OR PEOPLE.

 

*THIS HAS BEEN PHRASED IN DIFFERENT WAYS…ANOTHER QUOTE THAT IS SIMILAR TO THIS IS ENERGY FLOWS WHERE YOUR ATTENTION GOES.  IF YOU THINK POSITIVE, JOYFUL THOUGHTS… THAT IS WHAT YOU’LL MANIFEST.  IF YOU THINK NEGATIVE, JUDGMENTAL THOUGHTS, THAT IS WHAT YOU’LL MANIFEST.

 

When I’m at my yoga classes, this is the beautiful mat that I use.  I just got it and I LOVE It.  It is a Yohola cork mat.  Talk about no slipping!!!  I sweat a lot even though it’s not hot yoga and my hands DO NOT SLIP!!!  It is so great.  This company is in South Carolina and they have a green, sustainable business with great products.  This is the design that I got on my mat, but there are others to choose from.  There are also mats with no design and there are different thicknesses and types to choose from.  I got an Aura mat, but I emailed them because I wasn’t sure if it was the right one for me because my hands sweat so much.  They got back to me with a recommendation.  If these seem like the mats for you, click here (affiliate link) to explore the wonderful world of Yohola Yoga.  You receive a 10% discount with this link:)

If you order a mat, have a mat you love, practice on the grass…no matter how you yoga, I hope that you live your life off the mat with all the joy, calm, love and focus that you have on your mat.

Wanderlust 108 Boston for Yoga Lovers

I attended the Wanderlust 108 festival today in Boston and I can’t even express to you how awesome it was. It was supposed to rain all day and the bright sun came out giving a lovely glow all around the festival. The festival was held at the DCR Hatch Shell, which is where the Boston Pops perform on 4th of July. The setting could not have been more glorious and the energy was so positive and uplifting.

So let me go way back to before this festival came to town.  I was debating whether I was going to go.  I am a HUGE fan of Yoga with Adriene on Youtube and I follow her on Instagram and Facebook.  There was a post on her Instagram saying she was coming to Boston.  Wait!!!  What??!!  She’s coming HERE!!!  The post also said that if you emailed her “Find What Feels Good” peeps you would be put into consideration for a free ticket to the festival.  So after hyperventilating (not really), I sent off an email saying how much I loved Adriene and how she is the reason I got into yoga.

Well, I got an email back saying I was being offered a ticket.  Wow!!!  Not only was Adriene coming to Boston, but she gave me a ticket too.  So I headed down to Boston early this morning with me, myself and I.  I knew it was going to be a good day when I met some yogis in the parking garage and we all walked over to the festival together.  I checked in AND got a FRONT ROW SPOT for my mat.  Yesssssss!!!!

MINDFUL TRIATHLON

This was billed as a “Mindful Triathlon”, the first and only one ever.  The first leg of the triathlon was a 5k run/walk, which I couldn’t participate in because I have some hip issues.  If I did the 5k, I wouldn’t have been able to do yoga and yoga was my reason for being there.  While most people were 5k-ing, I visited the Kula market, which had lots of free samples, food, yoga inspired clothes & jewelry and the Adidas souvenir tent.  You didn’t even need to bring any food because there were so many free samples, including Late July and Yasso frozen yogurt.

YOGA AND MEDITATION

Adriene did a 75-minute yoga class, which was so awesome.  I love her style and have done many of her Youtube videos at home so it was the perfect flow for me.  She is very knowledgeable and also very funny so I appreciated her addition of little jokes here and there.  Adriene is compassionate and accepting and wants everyone to be comfortable in their practice no matter what level they are at.  After her class, there was a 25 minute meditation by Enrique Collazo.  It was a perfect ending to the practice with the breeze blowing off the Charles River.  Just perfect!!!

MEET AND GREET

After the meditation, Adriene made sure to take pictures and talk with all her fans.  She was humble, loving and just downright awesome.  So glad I got to interact with her.  If you haven’t experienced a Yoga with Adriene class, click here.  You will not be disappointed.

The Wanderlust 108 festival will be visiting Brooklyn and Washington, DC in September along with many worldwide locations.  If you love yoga, check it out.

3 Podcasts That I Am Slightly Obsessed With

I have been slightly obsessed with 3 podcasts lately…okay…it’s  full on obsession, let’s be real.  I sometimes get tired of the same songs over and over on the radio and I don’t want to pay for satellite radio.  Also, during the school year (I am a teacher), my ride home can be anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.  This is my PERFECT time to listen to podcasts.  **Warning/Disclaimer or Whatever You Want to Call It**…these 3 podcasts do use explicit language so they are not what you want to listen to when you’re picking the kids up from school or carpooling.

By The Book

OMG…this is the best podcast ever!!! Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer read different self-help books and then LIVE them for 2 weeks.  The follow the rules, activities, mantras…whatever the book tells them to do.  They then talk about their experiences and then recommend whether to read the book or not.  The podcast is interspersed with conversations with each of their husbands along with other family members.  As it states, it’s half self-help show, half comedy show.  Some explicit language in this podcast.  They also have a Facebook group that you can join called By The Book Community.  ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PODCAST!!

Truth and Dare

This podcast is all about female empowerment.  Their tagline is speaking our truth and daring to change.  The two millennials who host the show are Allie Van Fossen and Carly Talbot.  Even though they are young, they have old souls and they talk about issues and problems that women of various age groups can relate to.  This podcast has a lot of explicit language so if that sort of thing bothers you, I’m giving you fair warning.  Allie has an Facebook group called Live Your Journey and it is wonderful, especially if you are a yogi, like daily inspiration, enjoy meditation, etc.  It is an extremely supportive and welcoming group.

Your Kickass Life

This is a podcast hosted by Andrea Owen.  She is a life coach and she discusses many issues and self-help strategies that women of many ages face.  This podcast can also have its fair share of explicit language.  Andrea often has guests on the podcast that talk about different areas, such as therapy, finances, books they’ve written, etc.  She also offers her life coach services if you are on the lookout for one.   When you see her picture, you may think…how can this beautiful blond know anything about what I’ve gone through in my life?  She looks like she has it all together and then some.   Actually, she has had a pretty tough life, which makes her more relatable and she really doesn’t take herself too seriously.  I really like her:)

Guest Post: Zen Malas

This is a guest post by Crystal Dayton of Zen Malas.  We connected because we make similar jewelry products.  I make mala necklaces and she makes mala bracelets.  Check out her story and social media.

Zen Malas

In 2016, I started getting really interested in crystals and their healing powers and I used to travel places to buy different bracelets. At this time, I also left my cooking job to pursue my graphic designer business. Then I started making a blog to showcase my work. I started doing some meditation and looking into a lot of self-improvement which lead to starting my Jewelry Business in July.

I found once I started making these malas and posting them a lot of people were really interested in them. So, I started looking into the meanings of each mala. I found it very interesting how each stone represented a different meaning.

MY SOCIAL MEDIA 

Etsy shop

Instagram

Facebook

My Blog

3 Social Media Resources You Will Love

I recently started a part-time job as a social media manager for a local yoga studio.  It is a combination of two of my passions and I am so excited about it.  I get unlimited yoga classes as my payment, but that it fine with me because I’d spend the money on classes anyway.  I have learned a lot about social media as I have used it to promote this blog and for my Etsy shop so I had a great foundation going into the position.  I’ve been at it for a week and I have learned even more.

Canva

I love this app/website.  I make most of my graphics using this.  You can get a lot without even having to pay for anything.  Some pictures and pre-made set ups cost money, but I just choose the free options and have done just fine with them.  You can also upload your own pictures so if you find a picture that costs money you can just find a free one to upload to the site.  I use it on my laptop, my phone and my Ipad.  LOVE IT!!!  Five stars!!!

Pixabay

This is a great site for free photos.  It has a great selection and they are FREE!!  You can make a donation to the site if you are so inclined, but there is a HUGE selection of photos and you don’t have to pay a dime.  This has a website and an app so I can use it on both platforms.  LOVE IT!!  Five stars again!!

Ripl

Ripl post on Instagram

I just started using this app the other day and I also love this one.  You can make moving graphics that are way cool.  This also has a free option with not as many choices.  I opted for the Ripl Pro for $9.99 a month because I can use it for my job and my Etsy shop so I don’t mind paying the price.  You can also upload your own pictures to this app; free version or paid version.  This is only an app.  You can post your graphics to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for this app or you can save them to post later.  LOVE IT TOO!!!  Five stars!!!

What are your favorite social media resources?

Healing Crystals: Part 2

I wrote a post on healing crystals several month ago and at that time I said I’d be back with a follow-up.  It’s been a while and I am back with the next installment.  I’ve learned even more about crystals since I opened my Etsy shop because I have been making meditation malas based on the healing qualities of the crystals and stones.

AMETHYST

Amethyst may be one of the most well-known crystals because it is also a birthstone and widely available stone.  I use this stone a lot in my malas (above) because of it’s many healing qualities.  Amethyst is a powerful and protective stone.  It is beneficial to the mind in that it can help with focus, decision-making, tranquility, balancing emotions…it is a do-it-all stone.  This beautiful purple stone is wonderful for meditation and it is one of the most spiritual stones.  I especially loved the colors and banding on the piece in the upper photo.

SODALITE

I use Sodalite in many of my malas (above) because of its wonderful blue color.  This particular stone in my photo has a lot of white, but many of them have mostly blue.  Sodalite, like Amethyst, is good for the mind in that it gets rid of mental confusion…who doesn’t need that??!!!  It calms the mind, which allows new information to come in.  Put on top of a computer, it blocks the electromagnetic pollution that emanates from within.  It brings emotional calmness to the user and calms panic attacks, among other attributes.

MADAGASCAR SMOKY QUARTZ

As you can see, smoky quartz is a translucent stone.  I have used this stone as a counter bead in some of my malas (see amethyst mala above).  Quartz is very common and comes in different colors.  Each color has a different healing quality.  Among other things, smoky quartz relieves fear, improves depression and calms emotions.  It teaches you to leave behind anything that no longer serves you.

CHALCEDONY BLUE LACE AGATE

This picture does not do this stone justice.  It is a beautiful light blue color.  There are many different types of agates and this is one of the many.  Blue lace agate is a throat healer and helps with verbal expression.  It counteracts anger, infect, inflammation and fever, among many other uses.

All of these healing crystals have other healing qualities that I did not include in the descriptions.  I chose to write about the qualities that I chose them for.  If you want to read more about crystals and their healing qualities, I recommend The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall **affiliate link**.  Great photos and explanations of many crystals.  She also has a 2nd and 3rd edition with additional crystals.

Keep Calm and Ocean On

As I sat on the beach looking out at the ocean this morning, my happier place, I couldn’t help but get into a meditative state.  When the waves came in, I felt the positive energy come to me.  As the waves went out, I could feel that negativity being washed out to sea.  I could match the waves to my breath, too. Breathe in…waves in; breathe out…waves out.  Maybe this is one of the reasons that I love the beach and ocean so much.  Such a perfect metaphor for living.

Some of the waves started out very fierce and looked somewhat dangerous.  They would crash violently, making a huge splash.  Once they crashed and then made it to the shore, however, they were calm and smooth.  At times, this is how problems may seem in our lives.  We feel like the problem is fierce and we confront it as it comes at us.  When we do this, it is bound to knock us over.  When we give it some time and a little distance, it levels off and drifts away.

 

While gazing out over the ocean, I noticed how the paddleboarders were at one with the ocean waves.  They would paddle out, stand tall and just let the current lead them.  They didn’t fight the waves or current, they just went with it.  When I saw other people try to fight the waves or go against the current, they were not successful.  Another metaphor…just ride the current and let it take you where it needs to.  Don’t fight it and you may end up in a place of true calm and peace.  It was amazing how easily those paddleboarders just rode the rise and fall of the ocean and let it take them on a beautiful journey.

It’s funny because growing up, I lived close to the beach, but didn’t spend a lot of time there because I have fair skin and I always had to cover up so I didn’t get burned.  I also hated the sand all over me.  Now that I am older, I just love the sunshine on my face and don’t mind the sand at all.  It has become a place of relaxation, calm and peace.  I still live close to the ocean and spend a lot more time there, even going on vacation to other beaches.  This is even where I got the name for my blog.

 

Where is your happier place?

Wild Horses of Corolla, NC

This post may seem out of left field for my blog, but it is actually quite the opposite. My blog is about anything that is good for the body, mind and soul. I LOVE animals and I feel that caring for them is good for my mind and soul. There is nothing like the unconditional love you receive from a pet or the absolute fervor of another animal loving person. That is why I am writing about visiting the wild horses of Corolla, NC.

If you have ever been to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, you may know about the wild horses that live in the northernmost section. You have to take a 4 wheel drive vehicle to go see them because part of Route 12 in NC is the actual beach. While driving on the beach, you are on Route 12…it’s crazy. You MUST have 4 wheel drive and a high clearance on your car to get to where the horses roam. We had an all wheel drive car with lower clearance so we opted for a wild horse tour.

The tour we chose was Corolla Wild Horse Fund tour.  We chose this one because they are the caretakers of the horses and the proceeds go directly to helping the horses.  It was actually a bit cheaper than the commercial tours.  So glad that we took this tour because we saw lots of horses.

colonial spanish mustangs

The wild horses of Corolla are Colonial Spanish Mustangs that came from, you guessed it, Spain.  When settlers were coming to the “New World” in the 1600s, the Spanish wanted in on it.  They sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and got stuck on sandbars off of Virginia (Jamestown) and NC.  They needed to offload the heaviest items on their ships in order to get off the sandbars so there went the cows, pigs and horses.  Cows and pigs don’t swim, but horses do.  That is where they originated from.  In the early 1920s, there were between 5000-6000 of these horses.  Now there are only about 120 horses left.

important facts

Our tour guide told us so much about the horses and the area they live in.  He said they graze 16 hours a day and can only eat the grass and leaves indigenous to the area.  Any fruits or vegetables offered from people can actually kill them because their digestive systems can’t handle it.  If a horse is very sick or hurt and has to be taken out of the herd, it cannot be returned because it might infect the herd with bacteria it picks up outside their area.  Some stallions can get very aggressive and have to be removed from the herd.  The herd is so small and it needs to be preserved any way possible.

There is another similar herd on the southernmost island below the outer banks.  The Corolla Wild Horse Fund would like to introduce some of those horses into the Corolla group in order to add more blood lines into the herd, thereby growing the herd.  There is a bill in Washington, DC to help protect these wild horses and to get the two groups together in order to grow the herd.  Here’s hoping that that bill gets passed sooner rather than later.

The only reason we got close enough to take pictures was because we were in a tour car.  There is a $500 fine for going too close (50 ft or less), feeding or any type of interacting with the horses.  They are very serious about keeping the herd safe and also keeping people safe…they ARE wild animals.

horses on the beach?

 

We didn’t see horses on the beach when we were there, but our guide told us they do go on the beach for 2 reasons…to eat the sea oats and to get the bugs off of them.  In one of the photos, you see a white bird near one horse.  That is an egret and they jump on the back on the horses and eat the bugs off them.  The horses actually don’t mind them being there.  If the bugs are really bad, they go down to the beach where it is windier so that they can get the bugs off themselves.

Photo from the Corolla Wild Horse Fund

If you ever visit the OBX, make time to go on this tour.  You will send some great time exploring and learning about these wonderful animals.  With your tour, you also become a member of the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.  Money well spent.

Farmers Market: Yes Please!

I have been struggling a little with adding a nutrition post to my blog.  Then it hit me…Farmer’s Market!!  There is one near my Saturday morning workout class so I thought, perfect!  The weather is beautiful and I need some fresh produce.  Something to look forward to after a tough workout.

location

My local Farmer’s Market has a lovely location right on a lake.  There is a nice breeze and lots of trees so even if it’s a hot day, it is comfortable walk around the market.  This particular Farmer’s Market has fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, dog treats, fish, coffee, pasta, jellies as well as a few craft tables.  There was also live music.

goodies

When I go to a Farmer’s Market, it is usually to buy items that are healthiest for me.  However, there are so many yummy baked goods that it is hard to resist.  I bought some homemade bread, which I felt was the least unhealthy of all the baked goods that were offered.  If I was told that I could only have one type of food for the rest of my life, I would probably choose bread.  So delish!!!

fresh produce

I truly did stop at the fresh produce table first.  I just love all the bright colors and selection that is offered.  My son loves strawberries so I got him a pint of those.  I also got red lead lettuce and the biggest zucchinis I have ever seen.  I will be using those for zoodles later today.  This particular farm also offered beets, raspberries, blueberries, tomatoes, many types of squash, basil plants and some other greens.  They had samples of their raspberries and they were so good.

The prices at Farmer’s Markets aren’t always the cheapest, but they are reasonable for what you are getting.  There is no middle man when picking out your produce.  The produce is picked, put on a truck and then you buy it…pretty simple process.  I just love the colors and outdoor atmosphere of shopping at a Farmer’s Market.  It makes me want to bring a bottle of dressing and make a salad right there.

Local Harvest is a great tool to find the Farmer’s Market nearest you.  Just enter your location and it will tell you where and when you can visit your closest Farmer’s Market.  Give that a resource a try…you may be pleasantly surprised by how many markets you find in your area.  Happy, Healthy Shopping!!

5 Affirmations that I Try to Live By

I have been on a true self-care, getting to know myself journey the past few months.  I have discovered great coaches including Gabi Bernstein, Allie Van Fossen and Rebekah Borucki.  One thing that they all live by and advocate about is positive daily affirmations…and why not?  A few positive words every day are food for the soul.  As I stated in my post title, I TRY to live by these.  One of the things I LOVE about Rebekah/Bex is she is the first one to say that her life is not perfect and some days are suck-ish.  I LOVE that.

1 – i am like a boat in the ocean

This is one of my all time favorite Rebekah Borucki (Bex) meditations/affirmations.  I LOVE the beach and the ocean so this is perfect for me.  I can visualize the boat and I when I feel overwhelmed, I can use this to calm myself.

2 – Energy flows where attention goes

This is a Gabi Bernstein-ism that I also love.  She may not have invented it, but these are words she definitely lives by.  So if I am thinking positive, uplifting, joyous thoughts…that is what I will manifest and that is what will show up in my life.  My work BFF and I tell us this all the time during the school year, especially when we get into a negative mindset.

3 – her success is not your failure

This is probably one of my all time favorite affirmations and I often forget to use it.  I see this affirmation connected to the one about comparison being the killer of joy.  If you often feel bad when others have success because you often feel that you are not enough or you don’t do a good job, stop.  Just because someone else is having success or is happy or has joy in their life DOESN’T mean that you can’t have it too.  You can be just as successful, happy and joyous if not more so!!!

4 – i am calm, i am at peace

Another great Bexlife meditation…told you I LOVE her.  This is perfect for ANY time you are feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, scared, unhappy, etc.  Close your eyes and say this to yourself or speak it out loud.  It is guaranteed to ground you and make you feel much better.

5 – whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy

This should be the last sentence of every valedictorian speech in every high school and at every college commencement speech.  You MUST be happy or get some type of happiness in whatever you do.  If not, you will waste time that could have been joyous and fruitful.  I know that you have to pay the bills, but be sure to have SOMETHING in your life that you are passionate about and that brings you JOY:)