30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 14

Well here we are on hump day, which I think is appropriate because…

Today I am grateful for:

  • Camel pose aka ustrasana. (Get it? Hump day? Camel Pose? hehe) This is one of my favorite poses for several reasons: I have a very tight back and this really helps to alleviate the back pain I occasionally experience; it’s good for your thyroid and I have a hypo-active thyroid; and it’s empowering! I feel strong and open in this pose. It really is one of my favorites.
  • Off Days. This sounds counter-intuitive, but sometimes having a day that isn’t going your way is just what you need to put what you really have into perspective. It’s the perfect opportunity to practice gratitude or to practice your coping mechanisms. My main coping mechanism? Yoga!
  • Classic books. I’m currently re-reading Mansfield Park (I’m a girl, Jane Austen is in my blood). Next on my list is ‘100 Years of Solitude’ and ‘East of Eden.’ It’s replaced my nightly television watching and I think it’s definitely helping me fall to sleep better. Not to say that the books are putting me to sleep, but they are an excellent way to settle your mind before bed.

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 12

Day 12?!?! Wow, I have really been dropping the ball! The good thing, is that even though I haven’t been diligent about recording my gratitude journal online, I have been starting my day doing so (with a cup of coffee, of course) and it’s had such a powerful impact on my day and my life. If you haven’t started doing so, I would greatly encourage you to do it. Of course, it doesn’t need to recorded online, or even shared with anyone. Just take a few short minutes every morning (or evening, or whenever it is convenient for you) and set you mind into one of gratitude.

With that said, today I am grateful for:

  • Being myself! Gone is the blonde SoCal wannabe hair and back is my dark, twisty self. Hehe. Kidding. But it’s a nice change to be back to brunette. Less upkeep as well! And that is always a good thing!
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Embracing my Italiana roots. Blonde no more!

  • Practicing yoga outside. I’ve been fortunate to find a studio that has an outside patio. It’s beautifully set up with bamboo floors and walls, banana trees, twinkle lights, and steps away from the pacific ocean. They also play live music, which is such a great experience when getting down with your yogi self. But lately, as I’ve been trying to cut costs (darn you yoga and your expensive classes!) I’ve been bringing my practice to my own outside patio. With the help of a few great iphone apps, I’ve been having a great time. I encourage all my fellow yogis to get away from the mirrors of a studio and practice outside. Trust your body. I think once we all take our focus away from the mirror we can really start to experiment and have some fun with our practice.
  • Fall weather. I know that’s such a funny concept in San Diego. But the last few days have had a definite chill in the air. I felt not even a little silly breaking out the tights with my favorite LBD the other day.

Anyone know of any outside yoga classes in San Diego? I’m thinking a beach class would be AMAZING!

Namaste!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 11

Alright, I have been horrible about posting daily, so this 30 Days of gratitude might stretch out for a bit. But maybe that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Practicing gratitude is something I aim to do daily; not just for the month of September.

So today, I am grateful for:

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  • My boyfriend! He has the best sense of humor, is incredibly sweet, and is an excellent partner to compete against while watching Jeopardy. He’s cute too 🙂 But honestly, he has proven to be an excellent partner in every way. I respect his intelligence, the pride he takes in his work, and his unwavering support. He’s one in a million.
  • Fall! Fall or Autumn – whatever you wish to call it, it’s my FAVORITE season of the year. Here in San Diego, I wouldn’t say we get the changing of leaves other cities get, but there is definitely a change in the air. Even if it’s in my head. I am looking forward to the day I can comfortably break out my boots!
  • Hurdlers pose. My roommate and I have been diligently working on this particular pose for the last several months. And I think this speaks to our relationship perfectly, but we both favor opposite sides. I’m better on my left (I am a lefty, afterall) and she absolutely nails it on the right. So I’ve been working on my right side, and I’m starting to feel some real progress. My next goal is to transition from Hurdlers into side crow. Eeeek! Regardless, these balancing poses are turning into such great confidence boosters. They aren’t bad for my arms either!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 4

Yesterday was a good day. I absolutely KILLED it on Fantasy Football. Too bad my Vikings went down to the Lions…

Today I am grateful for:

  • A clean house. During law school, I picked up a habit of cleaning whenever I was stressed out (or just felt like procrastinating from studying). The upside, is a clean house always makes me feel better. Things look nice and are put in place, and chaos has momentarily been stayed. So Sunday mornings are a favorite of mine – lots of coffee, vacuuming, mopping, and good tunes (or football!) being played throughout the house.
  • Pharmaca. Pharmaca is my local drugstore/health store. Not only can I pick up my prescriptions from there, but they have an amazing line of organic, environmentally safe products for the body and mind. I’ve picked up essential oils, my favorite Acure Organics body line, treats like dark chocolate, and the occasional gift from there. If you live in San Diego you should definitely check it out!
  • Tree pose. It’s such a powerful, grounding pose. Whenever I feel like I need a lift in my spirits, or to gain some confidence, a few moments in tree pose ALWAYS helps.

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 3

Sundays are always a little bittersweet. The fun of the weekend is not over, but it’s certainly coming to a close.

We enjoy leisurely Sunday morning around here.

Today I am grateful for:

  • The beach. I am so incredibly lucky to be living just steps away from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. I often take it for granted; living so close to the ocean. But sometimes, when I’m driving down the street and catch a glimpse of the blue water, or when I take my dog for a walk, I realize just how good life is. People come from all over to visit San Diego, and I get to live here!
  • Yoga breaths. There is something about that rhythmic, oceanic, sound that completely relaxes me. Well, I suppose that something is really about the oxygen I’m receiving, the focus, and the awareness of my body. Even at night, when I am having trouble sleeping, these deep-belly breaths put me in a state of calm so that I can finally drift off to sleep. And during practice, focusing on my breaths allows me to get through difficult poses. Deep breaths people!
  • My sister. A few weeks ago, after a really stressful week, I opened my front door to find a box full of treats! We’re talking candy, new iphone cover, the lipgloss I mentioned yesterday, pretty pens, notecards, shorts, books, etc. It was one of the most thoughtful things someone has done for me in a long time and it literally brought tears to my eyes. I wish we all did things like that to each other more often. It meant so, so much to me. She’s a sweetheart.

Hope everyone had a great weekend. Here’s to a wonderful upcoming week!

30 Days Of Gratitude: Day 2

I meant to put this up earlier today, but as I was starting to prepare for it last evening my roommate walked in with another friend and suddenly I found myself in the midst of a proper Ladies Night. Girlfriends always take priority over the Internet 🙂

So today I am grateful for:

  • Girlfriends! You can never have enough and the time spent with each other is invaluable. I always come away from my time with my girlfriends feeling stronger and better about myself and my life in general. They’re good medicine for the soul!
  • Lipgloss. It sounds stupid, but sometimes just changing things up with a bright new color can do wonders for your day (or night). My recent fave is a Burts Bees lipgloss in Ruby Moon. My sweet sister sent it to me earlier this month and I LOVE how I feel when wearing it.
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My current favorite lipgloss – Ruby Moon!

  • Football. College and NFL are back! I’m not ready for fall weather, but I am so glad my favorite fall pastime is back. Thursday night’s football game was especially great since my fantasy football QB is Peyton Manning and he KILLED it! I’m looking forward to many weekends filled with football. Go Cats! (College) and Skol Vikings!

Namaste!

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Valentino practicing his downward dog

Did you know that it’s Yoga Awareness Month? What a fantastic way to jump into fall! I’ve been kind if absent from the Internet, for good reason, but this was just the inspiration I needed to ‘get back on the mat’ so to speak (clever!).

This month I’m making a pledge to dedicate more time to my yoga practice and to start my day with gratitude. For the next 30 days I’m going to post 3 things that I’m grateful for. I hope this encourages a few of you to do the same! I’ve been doing it on my own this summer and I have to tell you, it does wonders to my day. It’s an easy, and quick way to set a positive intention for your day.

Hope you have all enjoyed a happy and healthy summer so far!

Relax, It’s Just Life!

Valentino (right) definitely knows how to enjoy the moment.

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve really come to enjoy and appreciate my yoga practice. It not only eases my anxiety, but it adds a deeper level of awareness and balance to my day-to-day life. That being said, sometimes, for whatever reason, I find myself struggling to find my balance or to really get into a pose. And this causes a lot of frustration on my end. Suddenly, I’m focused on what I’m doing wrong, or rather, what I’m not doing, instead of focusing on that fact that I’m there, on my mat, doing something for myself. In these moments, it’s easy to lose my sense of self and obsess over the failings of my mind and body.

So bless my instructors heart, when the other night she so helpfully reminded us to “have fun tonight and don’t take yourself so seriously!” Umm…Duh!!! Sometimes, I just need to hear the words from someone other than myself.

We all fall. It’s a fact of life. But hey, it’s not so bad. Summer is around the corner, life is beautiful, and we’re all doing the best we can! Let’s all celebrate who we are and where we are today. Wow, I am so. darn. cheesy.

On a related note, I’m sooooo looking forward to this upcoming Memorial Weekend. I don’t have anything in particular planned, but I am looking forward to some general time at the beach and enjoying the (hopefully) beautiful weather. Hope you all have a safe and enjoyable weekend!

I Feel Strong

This is a big deal for me. As someone who barely reaches the 5-foot mark, I usually feel little…small. But after about 5 weeks of practicing yoga 3-4 times a week, I really do feel strong. This isn’t my first foray into yoga. I discovered it during my years as an undergrad as a way to alleviate the stress I felt from my Organic Chemistry and Calculus classes. Since then, I’ve practiced on and off over the years. But lately, the last few years especially, it’s been mostly off. So now, five weeks later, I’m feeling good. Apart from making me feel strong, it’s made me a better runner and most of all, it has helped bring a sense of mindfulness that I’ve been sorely missing these past few months.

I am a very anxious person, and these sessions on my mat have made a world of difference to my mental health. Focusing on yourself and your breathing, the connection between mind and body, can seem scary at first. Especially for someone who can’t stand to be quiet or still for a moment, lest their floodgates split open and their worries come flooding out in a big rush. But once you let that fear subside, maybe acknowledge those thoughts briefly and then let them go, even if only for that hour, you can truly appreciate the control you have over your body. Your body can do amazing things if you give it a chance.  The highlight of my week involved my roommate and I squatting around the living room last weekend and suddenly hitting Hurdlers Pose. Even now, it brings a smile to my face. I never would have thought myself capable of that a few weeks ago.

I’m still working off those winter pounds that crept up on me (they actually starting accumulating in Fall…) but they feel less important right now. When I look in the mirror I see someone who looks happy, confident, and I swear, taller than their 5’0 height would suggest. I know yoga has a lot to do with it.

happy girls