For quite sometime I have experienced some frequent health issues that have been built upon over the years. The first being that at about 16, I noticed that I would sweat in a cold room. I remember it beginning when I returned from a Caribbean Cruise I took with my family. I blamed it on re-acclimating myself to the dryer climate. At around 20, my nails started to flake. At the time, I was working for Starbucks so I attributed that to working with cleaning chemicals and using hot water on my hands all the time. At that same time, I noticed I was also getting stomach pains that were almost debilitating. These later flared up when I was 25 where I had to rush to the hospital because I thought my appendix was going to burst. But around 23, I experienced a lot of hormonal issues that were very in line with hypothyroidism.
I'm now 26 and decided enough was enough and decided to visit the best of the best MD's (well according to ZocDoc at least). I'm not one to go to the doctor and felt that one would not believe me. Even when I had visited the ER last year, the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with me and said "maybe" my pancreas was inflamed. From then I cut out a lot of sugar and went on to give up gluten and dairy... just so that I could uncover any hidden triggers. Still nothing changed! I explained this to my regular doctor (the best of the best I could find) and she decided we should run every common blood test possible. When I received my results, the only thing that came back abnormal was my white blood cell count. She attributed it to stress and said I was healthy. WTF.
You guys, I literally sobbed after the doctor told me that I was fine. Clearly, I was not. I started to question if it was all in my head, but I couldn't fully convince myself of this as my symptoms were SO real. I lived with this feeling of just knowing there was not something right in my body. I was speaking to one of my friends about my frustration. She recommended Eric Isen (http://www.ayurvedicintuitive.com/) because she was going through similar issues that could not be solved by Western Medicine. He is an intuitive healer, as in he has the gift to be able to "psychic-ly" see into your body. Crazy and sounds hokey, right? BUT keep reading.
So I sat down with Eric yesterday. He asked me what was going on. I mean, we sat for about 20 minutes discussing my issues. I even told him, "maybe it's all in my head! who knows!" trying to downplay the seriousness. After that, we meditated. (YES!) And that's where he uncovered my issue... I have a parasite/virus. He could literally see it in my body. EVERYTHING clicked. That explained my low white blood cell count- it's the #1 symptom for chronic infection, second to stress. My body is in fact quite sensitive to all the things I did cut out of my diet- sugar, dairy (except cheese, less lactose), and gluten. And the hormonal/stomach issues and odd sweating, are due to excess inflammation in my gut that hover my ovaries and kill my hormones. So it's not that I was low/high in my hormones, they just weren't traveling correctly. He told me the parasite/virus could have come from my family vacation OR possibly from the bad case of the chicken pox I had as a child. Instead of antibiotics, he recommended A LOT of tinctures (purified herbs) for 2 weeks where I will go through somewhat of a detoxification process as I kill this almost 10 year parasite! I just ordered them and will probably begin this 2 week process next week. I will definitely be posting about this afterward.
For the first time, I feel hopeful. I cannot wait to see the results of how well I really do take care of my body, rather than feeling like I have to work against it. If you want any of Eric's information, the website in this post will link you to him. His visits can be done over the phone, as well and are only $108.
I posted this #TBT picture sharing my journey from the hospitality industry to becoming a yoga instructor. I've been really surprised to receive a lot of messages from friends on Facebook and Instagram asking how I'm making a living off of being a yoga teacher aka a full-time hippy (lol jk) I decided I'd fully share my journey of this huge career transition and what has helped me find success!
Firstly, I never planned for this! Honestly when I gave my notice to my previous job in October 2016, I had no plan. I had a vague idea what my next step was. I was in such an unhappy position that not knowing was so much better than remaining where I was. I was absolutely terrified. I had just enrolled in grad school for Nutrition and figured I would begin yoga teacher training as a complimentary thing. I had debated the idea for 2 years and randomly came across a Corepower ad on Facebook. The program was 2 months and honestly I had only ever practiced at Corepower once or twice. However, something pushed me to respond to the "sign." I called their corporate number and enrolled over the phone, haha.
I remember the day I gave my notice. It was the day before I started my teacher training program- October 11th- and I told myself if "Landslide" comes on in class, I'm leaving. Well, I got in the class and the teacher's intention was about letting go and trusting to get the things we need...and then "Landslide" played. I cried...scratch that, no I BALLED the entire class. I woke up my husband when I got back home and told him "I'm doing it! I'm quitting!" (I want this to be emphasized- my husband was the biggest emotional support through this all. He was prepared for any disaster, as long as I was happy. Thankfully, no disasters occurred. I prayed way too much for all that ;))
You're probably wondering how horrible my old position was for me to feel not having a plan was better than staying there? Let's just say I cried everyday on the way to work, and would read inspirational quotes before I would get out of my car. I also started to initiate unnecessary arguments with my husband and drink so much from my lack of happiness. I had been in therapy for other personal issues and it soon became a safe haven from work. My therapist ended up diagnosing me with Work Related Depression and Anxiety. From such, despite me quitting, I was given the right to receive unemployment benefits. I had planned on returning to work ASAP but it was apparent that I needed to take advantage of the benefits available to me. I must have applied to an average of 2 jobs per day, and probably received a total of 3 call-backs. I'll be honest- I was a little embarrassed that at 25, I was on unemployment with no job in sight. However, sometimes you have to put your pride aside and just keep truckin'.
As soon as I graduated my teacher training program (December), I received my first teaching gig with Bloom Yoga, then on a whim I applied to LA Fitness and got hired, and then found a resort-style apartment complex seeking a teacher. Before I knew it, I had a class everyday. I always kept my eyes peeled on Indeed.com! I ended up finding a part time at-home position- I assist an owner with a club lacrosse team. From then, a friend of mine introduced me to the owner of Sojourn - the newest studio on my resume ;) where I'll also be assisting (aka hanging out lol) with anything and everything yoga!
I only have a year left of school so I'm excited to see how Nutrition will incorporate into all of this. Between my multiple teaching jobs and helping with Sojourn, I've managed to build my income back up to what I was making when I was working full time ...working no more than 30 hours! So why do I share this with you? The point is that as long as you keep an open mind and follow your heart, you will be okay. l know how cliche that sounds but it's said for a reason. If I could credit my "success" to one thing, it would be stepping out of my comfort zone. This started with me quitting a job that didn't serve my happiness. Most recently it's been me saying "yes" to more public speaking opportunities- I co-hosted a Nutrition workshop and this Saturday, I'll be guiding a meditation class. I figure I can't say no to anything from fear, and neither should you. I do not spend my free time watching TV. In fact, I try to avoid "relaxing" for the day until I've studied, taught, and contributed to my future in some way...today that would be contributing to my blog. Other days that means creating a new playlist or researching new yoga poses to use in class.
So whatever it is that you want to go after- do it. It is okay to be scared, but think of the amazing things that lie of the other side of your fear. But most importantly remember this, "A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing grows there."
I've been on this exploration of the chakras ever since I became Reiki 1 and 2 Certified about a month ago. True story, I used to think dedicating an intention around a chakra was an easy out for yoga teachers (gah, I'm so judgey) until I actually realized it's genius- I've learned so much and feel so much more comfortable talking about these said chakras (which are the 7 healing energy centers throughout our body symbolized by the colors of the rainbow)
This week we have come to the Heart Chakra, or Anahata Chakra, located in the center of the chest, symbolized by the color green, you can only guess how it's related to loooooove. This could be romantic or self love but I'm going to hone in on the aspect of self-love. I actually had a blog post about self love sitting as a Draft since MAY. I didn't feel comfortable posting it because to be honest, I'm still on this journey to appreciating myself a little more. But I read something upon my research of the heart chakra...and it was the hugest AHA! moment for me. I can't remember where I read it (wish I could credit the person) but it said that self love is as simple as detaching the EGO from the SELF. The ego is linked to expectations, comparison, the "shoulda-coulda's," and too much attention on how things appear on the outside. Whereas, the self is the beautiful light within you, this is your divinity, your life's purpose, and the purest and truest form of YOU.
So how does this apply? And what happens when the ego is attached to the self? It's when you start comparing your journey/body to others'. When you start to believe you should be doing something else "more important" with your life despite your happiness. Or worrying about what your parents or peers will think of you. It's questioning how others will perceive you.
But, pause those negative thoughts for a second...
What if we decided that we SHOULD be happy? And worried about what YOU think of yourself, your life, your job, etc. How do YOU feel?
We attach a lot of our self love to conditions like what we weigh, what we eat, or how "fit" we are...do you see the pattern here? It's all extraneous. It has nothing to do with the self and everything to do with the ego. Think of your body as a vehicle, not an ornament. Appreciate it for the weights it can lift, the exercises it can perform, and its resilience! After losing 85 pounds, I will tell you straight up that losing those "last 10 pounds" won't make you love yourself. Because your BODY is not your self. Think of it this way, as long as your self love is dependent upon your body, it's just as shallow as loving your significant other for their looks. So, with that being said, what do you love about yourself? Think of five things and let them be qualities that have nothing to do with how you look.
I love me because:
1) I am resilient; I never let anything stop me.
2) I am a bad dancer and singer but I will sing and dance my heart out anyway.
3) I genuinely care about helping others.
4) I am strong.
5) I stand up for myself and do NOT let anyone take advantage of me :)
I’ll never forget my former boss’s words, “Being a welcoming and friendly person isn’t natural for everyone and I think that’s the case for you.” That moment was my cue to escape comfort and chase after happiness. I had found myself in a position where people thought of me as this miserable and mean person. I’m fully aware that I shouldn’t care about what people think of me. However, in this case, I believe my unhappiness started to seep out of me without me even realizing it. Perhaps it was also a combination of my former boss only getting to know me on a superficial level. It didn’t matter though. I quickly realized no matter how hard I tried or excelled, her thoughts would not change of me. No matter my efforts, I would not excel in my role, I would remain in this stagnant place…so I quit and it was the best decision I made for my career and self-happiness.
Before I got to the point of having that conversation, so much sadness and depression had built up inside of me. I couldn’t be happy for my significant other. My morning commute consisted of a slew of tears. My life revolved around Fridays and Saturdays, and on Sunday, this cloud of doom would hover over me knowing that I returned for another dreadful Monday. It started to get so bad that I would feel bad for myself. My husband finally suggested I go to therapy because of my job and other things. I never let on to how sad I was, and I think my husband was the only one who truly knew. For a while, I hid it from my family and friends, because if not this job, what was I going to do? I applied to about 50 different jobs and no one responded. So, after months of trying to force things to work, I had to let go. I remember the day I decided to take the leap of faith. It’s so strange but I have this song that I will stop and pray for it to be played wherever I am. (Landslide- Fleetwood Mac) It’s almost like my little angel. That morning I went to a new yoga class and the song played. The teacher’s intention was also about letting go. I had never cried so much in a yoga class. I came home, woke up my husband in tears and said “I can’t do this anymore. I’m going to quit!” Not to get too personal, but finances were rearranged and SO many blessings came our way that the transition was almost seamless.
So what’s my point? I solemnly believe that when you chase after something that makes your heart sing, life will meet you there. Think about what it is you’re passionate about. What makes your face light up when you speak of it? What do you find yourself completely and effortlessly consumed by? This is the thing that you will thrive in. You will radiate happiness, thus attracting others to your “craft.” I know it’s SO easy to get wrapped in a job that pays the bills, and it’s not always easy to just walk away from that responsibility. I recognize how extremely blessed I am. But my suggestion to you is to make room for your happiness. Perhaps there are things you can do without – the $100 gym/studio membership, eating out, cable, etc. Instead of spending your extra time in front of the TV, sleeping or going out, explore the thing that makes you shine!
Before I quit my job, I was working 40+ hours, enrolled in a yoga certification program, and working on my Master’s. I was always tired but I worked hard, and it’s what allowed me to feel secure in my decision of leaving. Instead, I was ditching the mundane to seek joy. In a matter of 60 days, I found 3 studios willing to hire me and a stay at home job that allows me so much flexibility! So if you’re considering that pay cut or just fed up with your current situation, I’ll leave you with this amazing piece from Deepak Chopra’s, Seven Spiritual Laws of Success,
“We know we’ve become part of the cosmic plan when the universe upholds and supports us...Every law and power of nature comes to our aid and supports us spontaneously.”
CHASE YOUR DREAM. Be prepared, but I promise you, abundance will follow you and your newfound happiness. And remember, nothing ever got accomplished in your comfort zone.
On Monday, May 29th, it will mark one month of marriage for Kevin and I! I've been so busy since that I haven't had the chance to write about it! Life is just now starting to return to its normal routine, and it's a little comforting. I'll be honest, returning from our honeymoon was a rough transition. I was bloated (#ifyoulikepinacoladas) and discouraged mentally and physically. I honestly missed wedding planning. Does that sound crazy? My wedding was truly the best day of my life. All of our families gathered in mine and Kevin's home city to eat, drink and celebrate. What could possibly be better than that? And seeing how our families/friends come from different areas, it's rare that it will happen again.
As beautiful as the day was, my wedding marked this incredible new beginning (as I'm sure it does for most people). All of my life I have waited to become serious with a man who brought out the best of me. In fact, Kevin is my first "real official relationship." Just six months before I met Kevin, I went through probably the roughest times of my life. I had a broken heart- from a boy and from not getting my "dream job." They coincidentally broke my heart on the same day. I had felt SO lost and for someone quite sure of their self, it was painfully uncomfortable. I ended up accepting a job offer here in San Diego. I remember right before meeting Kevin, I took part in a self-love 30 day challenge. I actually started to revel in the alone time I had. I would buy myself flowers, journal positive affirmations, and read self-help books in the early morning. The idea was to become the person I wanted to meet. It was as if God and the universe were preparing me for the next step in life. Before I knew it, along came Kevin... As I wrote that last sentence, magical sound effects went off in my head. He has transformed me from the inside, out. I won't go into too much mushy detail, but I have never felt more peace in my heart. I have never felt more beautiful. He is truly the answer to my prayers and what I have felt in my heart my entire life.
Though my life has become more beautiful since the day I met Kevin, it was my wedding day that I really felt the doors to a painful past shut. I've since recognized that those instances simply HAD to happen to get me to today's present moment. For those of you who may feel hopelessly single, my advice to you is to work on yourself. Those negative feelings are coming from an area that you need to tap deeper into. There is nothing wrong with being alone, but in order to attract "your person" you first need to become that person. I know to some that I could possibly be a tad bit annoying blogging about how love is so transforming. However, I don't care- this is my blog, after all (lol). I only wish those people knew what I felt inside.
So for those of you who saw on social media and last week’s post, I posted about joining Sojourn Healing Collective as a yoga instructor. The space is tentatively set to open in the Hillcrest area of San Diego come this fall. I interviewed three of the partners opening Sojourn; Melanie Esperon, from Reiki Room, Virgil Sim from Sim Massage, and Whitney Yarnall, a Yoga Instructor but also, the woman who had a vision and ran with it! See below to learn more about this awesome space!
Talk to me a little about Sojourn and your vision for it.
Melanie: With so many practitioners with their own private practices, we realized that our clients were traveling to so many different locations for healing. We wanted to bring everyone together under one roof to create accessibility for healing the mind, body and soul.
The ultimate vision of Sojourn is to be a supportive community of gifted healers, teachers and students of life; inspiring truth and self-realization in one another. With Sojourn's unique extension of the traditional yoga experience, we combine physical movement and restoration with alternative healing techniques (yoga, meditation, reiki, massage, intuition, nutrition, chiro, acupuncture...list goes on). Clearing creates Clarity where we can then guide participants to realize their greatest potential from within.
Was there a single moment in which you knew this was your next? If so, can you recall it?
Whitney: There was not one clear moment for me, it was almost as if the universe was leaving me a trail of puzzle pieces and I picked up everything that I needed along the way. I spent a lot of time becoming clear on what I wanted, and how I wanted my life to feel. The rest slowly fell into place over time.
What is your life’s current intention or theme?
Virgil: My current intention is to bring hope, peace and love to the forefront.
For those resistant to tapping into their spiritual side, what would you like to say?
Melanie: I say, “show up when you are ready”. You can’t force anyone to be ready to face themselves…it can be a hard process just acknowledging the past and root causes of mental/emotional/physical pain and illnesses. Once they decide that they are ready, WE begin strong…touching on mind body soul simultaneously.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Melanie: Animal style in and out fries. Those are so bomb!
Whitney: I love Swedish Fish!!!
Virgil: I love coconut ice cream!
If you'd like to keep up with the opening of Sojourn and current classes being held in their temporary space (True Motion) , like them on Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/sojournsandiego/ or Follow on Instagram: @SojournSanDiego
For those of you saw on my Instagram, I had an amazing experience last Saturday. It began with a Reiki session with Reiki Room San Diego. Reiki Room is run by Melanie Esperon. Simply put, the practice of Reiki is tapping into our body's energy to heal. However, Clairevoyancy is Melanie's most heightened gift, she is a clear seer of the future. In addition, she is also Clairecognizent (a knower), Claireaudient (a listener), Clairesentinent (a feeler) On top of all of that, she is a Medium and can connect with Angels and those who have crossed over. Melanie describes herself as an “Open Channel.”
For those of you aren’t as spiritual, or perhaps traditionally religious, this all might sound like a bunch of “witchcraft.” It isn’t. I’d first like to state that I do believe in God. Perhaps it is not in the traditional Christian/Catholic way, but I believe. Secondly, Melanie’s work is simply meant to be healing. Just hear me out…
Melanie and I go back to when I first moved to San Diego. I’ll never forget when she asked me if I had a boyfriend with dark hair. It was that morning that Kevin and I became official...like 2 hours prior. Of course she then shared with me that she had a gift…or multiple, rather. That moment was fate to me- it opened a door I never knew existed. It was almost 2.5 years ago that I had my first session with her. She told me that I was going to be a yoga teacher and also a part of the holistic world in some way. I always felt this in my heart but there was this disconnect of how I was going to get to that point. Boy, did time and life experiences find that connection!
Amongst many other things, Melanie also exposed me to my gift – I’m Clairecognizent and in my most recent session, she revealed that I’m becoming Clairesentinent.
This past session brought a lot of clarity for me. I’m getting married in 16 days, preparing for next week's final exams, settling into a new job (it’s remote, but still), and trying to give my heart and soul to all of my yogi's. It’s a beautiful life I live, but it’s busy and I just needed some confidence that I was headed in the right direction. Well, I am…and the most beautiful thing happened, I got to connect with my “grandfather” on my biological mother’s side. (I realize that was said so technically. It’s because I wasn’t raised by my biological mom…that’s another story, ha!) Nonetheless, It was beautiful. I got to know about my children, my job…guys, in the next year or so, I’m actually an AYURVEDIC NUTRITIONIST and still a Yoga Teacher! She actually read that I’ll be a part of a healing collective, Sojourn Collective, opening up this fall. Last night I got hired on to teach yoga upon their opening!
In a nutshell, I’m living my dream. But as Melanie told me, I’ve gotten so caught up in making myself busy that I need to SLOW DOWN. Just this afternoon, I lost my keys from being so disconnected. This is something we can all relate to. We need to just BE in the moment. It’s in THAT stillness that we are able to connect with the energy of the world, God, our Angels, our purpose. If our mind is turbulent, the biggest sign could go unnoticed.
So together, let’s just be and TRUST that all will go well. In fact, it will go better. <3
If you'd like to connect with Melanie from Reiki Room, Check her out at:
What do you have to be thankful for? This week, I have decided to theme my yoga classes around the concept of gratitude. It's really easy for us to get wrapped in wanting so much for ourselves that we forget what we DO have. I'm completely guilty of this. What brought me to this theme was my experience earlier today.
This morning I was on my way back from an interview. I'm currently in search of a part time job- around 20-25 hours max. With Kevin deploying soon, I'm anxious to fill my time. If I'm being completely honest, it's also a bit of a hit to my ego to work less, and in turn make less money. As a part time grad student and yoga instructor, a side job would compliment my schedule nicely. The position I was interviewed for starts at 30 hours, with hours soon to expand to 40. This definitely was not what I had in mind but as I said, my ego was involved and thus my focus was lost. As a backstory, last fall I left a full time job (a miserable one) but nonetheless, I drove myself to the ground trying to balance life with teaching yoga, grad school, and full time work. However, I have been so fixated on finding more work to the point that I considered spreading myself thin again. Being a student and part time worker was never where I imagined myself at 25, soon to be 26 years old. I thought of how maybe I could give up some yoga classes to make it work, maybe even drop my course load...
But I started to think...I wasn't being grateful for my current situation. I had this mindset that what I currently had in life wasn't good enough. I needed to work more, make more money, be more. Do you see the theme here? More, more, more. This "more" mindset required me to push everything that I love to the side.
Giving up some of my yoga classes? I get to connect and guide others to transform physically and mentally. This doesn't even feel like work.
Sacrificing my free time while also risking my performance in school? Right now I actually have the time to learn and benefit my future as a Nutritionist. Being able to focus on my future was a strong reason why I left my previous job. I wasn't productive doing both.
Comparing myself to my peers/colleagues and feeling self conscious for not working a 9-5? All of our paths are unique! How fortunate am I to have the resources and opportunity to pursue what I actually love?! It was almost an impossible thought to be able to find a studio who would hire me so soon and here I am, working for three!
Immediately I started to feel so much gratitude for my life at its current standpoint. I didn't need more. I had everything. My feelings of slight shame and anxiety shifted when I shifted my perspective. While it's okay to want more for ourselves, we have to learn to appreciate what we have right now in order to achieve happiness. Otherwise, happiness becomes this place we're always striving to be. It then becomes this unattainable "destination," rather than what it really is, a journey. More than likely, what you have today were among the things you only hoped for at one point.
As I have encouraged my students, list 3 things you have to be thankful for and I bet you'll end up with a list a lot longer than that.
In my last post, I talked about being mindful. For those of you who don't know, my fiance is a Rescue Swimmer in the Navy. With our first (and only- thank God) deployment together, mindfulness is essential. As stressful as wedding planning is, I'm trying to enjoy this time as it's truly the most consecutive time we have spent together in a long time... and it's only been 3 months. As far as 2017 goes, I believe we have 9 weeks left together.
I don't write this post for your pity or guilt, but really to share the reality. It's not just the 8 months of deployment that these men are away from their loved ones. They spend months and weeks on detachments. Detachments are usually training or work-ups to prepare for the deployment, and more time spent away on a boat or in another city. Could you imagine being away from your significant other for that amount of time? No texting, maybe monthly video chatting, and primarily communicating through email (daily, if you're lucky). I won't lie, it terrifies me thinking of it. With the way our world is, and the recent addition of our lovely president, how could I not be?
I write this post for those not in my situation or anything similar to it, to appreciate your loved one. Kiss and hug them a little harder. Cherish that moment in bed, right before your day starts, when you wake and see their face next to yours. Put your phone down. As Baron Baptiste states, "We are here or we are nowhere." So be here for you and your person.
Of course I knew that our relationship was bound to be deprived of complete normalcy, but you do anything for true love. My fiance is my best and truest friend, and if I have to pause our normal life for 8 months, then so be it.
Yay for my first post and of a topic that I have been living and breathing the past couple of weeks. If you're not aware, I'm in the midst of wedding planning. I get married on April 29th and Siri just informed that's 54 days away! Where did time go? This is really what I've been trying to figure out the last couple of weeks. It dawned on me on my last trip home, when I had my bridal shower. The day just flew by and probably even faster given all the mimosas I consumed. I grew a bit sad because I felt I hadn't soaked up every moment given to me. This was the only bridal shower I was going to have, and I spent the day a little inebriated. The day truly felt like a blur.
Putting my bridal shower aside, with a wedding comes so many exciting things! Marriage invites the idea of buying your first home, children, career planning, etc. Instead of focusing at the task at hand, I find myself looking up houses with 3 or more bedrooms with the potential income I hope to make after grad school. If you're at all familiar with the San Diego market, it's daunting. You pretty much need to be a millionaire to own a decent-sized house. From there, it's a downward spiral of me freaking out about if my career path will support the lifestyle I hope to have. Will my children live comfortably as I want them to? Will Kevin and I spend our lives stressing over money? And then I go back to today and I'm only planning our wedding. Today is all that really matters. Of course, you have to have somewhat of a plan for the future, but as we all know, life will guide us to where we need to be.
I only get to plan one wedding and as stressful as it's turning out to be, I just have to appreciate this moment in time for what it's worth. Life is simply beautiful right now. I'm planning an event to celebrate my love with my soulmate. There are a few practices I've been trying to take part of to truly become more mindful in life. I've listed them below:
1) Stop & utilize your senses
What do you see? Smell? Taste? Feel? Hear? Etc. It sounds dramatic, I know but it works. Give yourself a full-body scan and comprehend that moment. You'll never forget it and perhaps it is those very smells and sounds that you'll associate to that moment in the future.
An important part of yoga is your breath. A strong practice requires a focus on your inhales and exhales. Why? Because if you are truly focusing on this, you cannot think of anything other than what is happening NOW. You move with intention and control. It's simply a tool to connect your mind and body, and acts as a guiding force during the physical practice. Yoga was explained best in a video I watched the other day - "If you remain open to the broader offering of yoga as a lifestyle, you can begin to see that it shows up everywhere." As a teacher, I preach yoga as a way of life so the importance of breath off the mat is apparent. During times of stress, like traffic for instance, focusing on long, powerful breaths can calm you and draw you back to the present. Instead of racing to your destination, you can appreciate your journey.
3) Don't consume alcohol in excess
This applies to any mind-altering substance so drugs, natural or otherwise, are included. Especially for important occasions like birthdays, weddings, concerts, etc, consuming alcohol should be done with caution. I remember every detail of my proposal. Instead of going out and celebrating, pounding down shots, I had a few glasses of wine and I will never forget how happy both my fiance and I felt. There isn't anything wrong with getting a little tipsy but as more alcohol is consumed, the more inhibited we become. This interferes with the practice of mindfulness and certainly can dull an experience if you cannot fully feel it.
This doesn't have to involve you om'ing as most people imagine the practice of meditation. This could be as simple as sitting comfortably and taking two minutes to just focus on the present moment. Maybe pay attention to your breathing pattern, the smells in the room, or even take to a guided meditation on YouTube or a Podcast. I often use my time in Savasana to meditate and sometimes it's simply euphoric, I can't help but stay and extra couple minutes.
5) Plan Accordingly
I say this very lightly. Sometimes there are situations we simply cannot anticipate the future, but for the situations we can, like appointments or our daily routine before work or school, etc. Take this for example- when you're in a rush, you simply have no time to "stop and smell the roses" Everything around you is a blur and you zip through life during that time. So for as much as you can, give your self space and time to slow down. We live in a culture where if we're not doing things fast, we're being "unproductive," yet we're sick, stressed and tired all the time. Coincidence? I think not.
These are just a few that come to mind for me. Feel free to comment below with ways you keep mindful!