Just Enjoy

Jumping right into this Monday morning was quite ROUGH (definitely blaming it on the bottomless wine from last night)…I was not feeling it AT ALL 😒

🌈What has helped me especially on days like Monday mornings is keeping a light morning routine. I make sure to enjoy getting ready for whatever type of day is ahead 🌞

What helps me get into the swing of things on Monday mornings is making sure I enjoy every step of the way. No matter what.

First thing is making a pot of coffee ☕️ (unless my mom beats me to it). I LOVEEE the smell of coffee, cheers me up instantly. Once in the shower 🚿 , I used a new charcoal sugar scrub from Fit Fab Fun Spring box. Lathered my dry legs with Nivea. I walk to my room with coffee in hand, turn on the radio or to a Podcast episode (Whoreible Decisions has been my new jumpoff) as I get ready. Once I get something playing in the background, I do my skincare followed by getting dressed. Last is my hair and most mornings I have enough time to put on some make up 💁🏻‍♀️

Was very proud of myself for packing my gym bag! Although I wasn’t feeling 100%, I made sure to not let however I was feeling at that moment get in the way of how I could potentially feel later. Been loving the feeling of getting out of the gym. To add to my little celebration of packing my gym clothes, an Hermana texted me “Gym today?”. That boosted my mood. 🥳

By the time I made into the Social Service department, this quote on my desk is a daily reminder to Enjoy the little things in life….So I thought I’d share. What does your Morning Routine look like? 👀

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5-Minute Golden Milk Recipe

Here’s a quick step by step recipe on how to make your very own Turmeric Tea aka “Golden Milk” 💁🏻‍♀️


What exactly is Golden Milk & Are there any benefits?

  • This warm drink which is packed with Turmeric has been valued for its medicinal properties in Ayurveda and traditional Chinese medicine for centuries!

  • Some of the benefits include: aiding in weight loss, improving heart health, supports digestion, immune function and liver function

  • Turmeric (Curcumin) is known as the “Spice of Life” —Many chronic diseases have inflammation at their root (Read more here)

  • I’ve enjoyed this best right before going to bed—as it also aids with relaxation and helps boost the immune system while sleeping 😌 💤


What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups of milk of your choice (coconut*, almond, oat...)

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

  • A pinch of black pepper

  • Tiny piece of freshly peeled ginger root

*Optional Ingredients: pinch of cayenne pepper & 1 teaspoon of raw honey/maple syrup

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Blend your choice of milk and ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth

  2. Pour into a small saucepan and heat for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until hot (do not boil)

  3. Sip & Enjoy 😌

How To Get Away With Loving Yoga

Everyone has been one….a Newbie to Yoga

TBH: Yes, it’ll be a little weird, different, there’s a lingo that Yoga teachers speak and you’ll be asked to do some breathing exercises. But quite honestly, the less judgment you go into a class about Yourself, you’ll see what all the craze is about All Things Yoga.

I went ahead and compiled a list of items and suggestions to get you started—so that you can hop on your mat & feel at least Intermediate 😉

First thing’s first, you’ll need a Yoga Mat.

You can walk into a Yoga studio & trust their rental mats, but nothing yells “I came for Savasana!” more than having your own surface to practice on

My very first Yoga mat is by Gaiam. She’s my Ride or Die ✊🏽till this day, so I highly recommend their mats.

Here’s Gaiam’s Beginners Kit (it includes: yoga mat, a yoga block and a yoga strap for those hard to reach areas) for $29.98!!

You’ll be walking around like a pro, no one will suspect you’re new to the game


Unless you’re a person who doesn’t sweat ever (ps. I don’t trust non-sweaty folks) You’ll find microfiber towels to be your bestie.

They come in handy whether you take a class in room temperature or try a hot style sesh, you’ll work up a sweat and don’t want to be slipping and sliding 😅 Yes there’s stretching in Yoga, but trust you’ll create some body heat. I picked up a Yoga Rat towel from a Marshall’s some years ago and she never lets me down.

You can find some on Amazon starting at $7.99


🙅🏻‍♀️This one is for my Bronx peeps🙅🏾‍♂️

What better way to try different Hot Yoga classes than never having to leave our borough & do so at a great starting price?! 😲

Grab your bestie or that Yogi in your life and lock in a Month’s worth of Unlimited classes. New Year, New Yogi? 👀

I signed up earlier this month and I am loving their variety of class types such as Bikram, Bodhi and Yin. They’re conveniently located at 5500 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463. Bikram Yoga Bronx GroupOn for $51.00 ($140 Value)


Recommended Yogi Read Alert 🚨

“Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Guide to Finding Joy in Unexpected Places” By: Sam Chase Besides him being one of my favorite Yoga Teacher Trainers… his writing style and explanation of finding joy is relatable, to the point and while reading just felt like I was in a classroom once more with him (& trust he doesn’t put you to sleep)

Do yourself the favor and grab yourself or someone you love a copy—available in paperback & kindle.


I must share my new jump off…a Podcast recommendation 🤓

J. Brown has what I consider a similar passion and desire to share Yoga as I do. He describes his work as “a quiet revolution, based in healing. [He] seeks to change the dialogue, and direction, of yoga in the west”.

The discussions have been refreshing to hear and relate to as a yogi student/teacher. It reminds me of how awesome Yoga is and will continue to be 💕

Yoga Talks has featured Pedro Luna IG: @Yogimemes, Dr. Loren Fishman, and so many others. Plug in to Yoga Talks today.

Side-note: Dr. Fishman is on the faculty at Prema Yoga Institute for his Yoga for Back Care expertise. I’ve had the pleasure to sit in on his lectures for PYI’s Yoga In Healthcare Training. Side-Side note: I received a Prema Yoga Therapy application I must get to ASAP (ah!)


Last but certainly not least….Have you seen my first YouTube Vid yet?? Check it out 👍🏽

Secret Life

You have this glare in your eyes

that reels me in

I give you my undivided attention

My drum beat speeds up in my chest

I’m forced to think about my breathing

I have to calm myself around you

& You

You strut around as if none of this is wrong

You step all over me

Know just what I’d want you to say & do

& I

I feel like I’m doing overtime on my downtime

Every time you come around

& You

You treat me indifferently

Which drives me insane and spins me out of control

How the fuck do you do it?

Every. Single. Time.

& You

You walk away like nothing

& I

I clean up the mess you leave you behind

I called to tell you…

We are living separate lives

& only one of them is real

Hey Love, I've Fallen Out

Hey Love, I’ve written about you. Falling in and out of you to be exact….

6/12/2011

In my perfect world, I’d walk towards him at the airport, give him a stare in which he’ll say “what?”. And there, I’ll just say it…”I love you”. Either that or I’ll ask him “guess what?” just so that he can say “what?”. As a perfectionist, I want the moment to be special of course. Me just saying it wouldn’t be enough. I want it to be natural, the song of triumph to play as I find the opportunity, those 2 seconds with no noise/interruption and catch him off-guard. I want this to be a moment I’ll never forget. Would he say it back? or say nothing and make me feel rejected like that day I surprised him with his favorite cologne.

7/13/2011

The day arrived, landed at JFK. He looked stunning of course. The words just hung out beneath my tongue.

8/10/2011 5:10am

I woke up in tears. And in order to not drive myself insane, I thought writing would ease me up a bit. This whole thing has me losing myself. I’ve been contemplating and even rehearsing how I would tell him I love him, yet that speech remains stuck in my throat. Two weeks ago I texted him “How much do you love me?” He didn’t respond.

We spoke the next day and he said he loved “us”. He said by him saying he loves me, he’d be placing all his eggs in one basket. *ouch

8/22/2011 8:15pm

I finally told him! We were heading downtown on the 6. A male passenger said “Isn’t being in love nice?”

He didn’t say anything. Stranger added “I can tell she loves you by the way she looks at you”. I blushed and would’ve done anything to disappear in that moment in time. I kept silent and pretended to not hear the guy. I wondered what he thought all the way going local downtown.

Later that night, after having a few too many drinks. I told him in the middle of the dance floor. He said it right back, no hesitation.

5/31/2012

We went to a wedding this past weekend. Our time there was calm, relaxing and full of laughter. During the wedding reception, he got closer to me as we slow danced and whispered “don’t get any ideas”. Which of course I tried not to…he should’ve warned me earlier.

8/1/2012

We haven’t argued lately. I passed my licensure exam this morning! My therapist is recommending EMDR treatment in our sessions. I’m honestly uneasy about going into my childhood memories.

8/15/2012

I did Yoga yesterday. Instead of Hot Yoga, I tried Vinyasa, its very flowy and certainly something to get use to. I gave it my all during those 60 mins and in a room at 100 degrees! I was fighting with myself to close-out the practice without any negativity. The instructor began reading “The Invitation”. So I laid there and I began to cry with a smile. Those words spoke to me again.

1/28/2013

I’ve fallen from the tops of my self-worth. I can’t seem to wrap my head around what’s going on. Maybe it’s still too new and even from the very beginning I knew it was too good to be true. I’ve cried to sleep lately, letting my tears hit the pillow silently, yet I want to yell your eardrums out. Reality has checked in, I must’ve been in some deep trance, but this feels so real and I’d rather go back to dreaming.

2/1/2013

He broke up with me today.

2/19/2013

He called me this morning, to tell me he loves me and misses me. He then asked “where do we stand?”

What the fuck does he think he’s asking me? That moment you doubted me was the same moment I began giving up.

4/19/2013

I went to see him today. woke up around 6:30am and left my house at 7:30am. Last time we met just us two, it was back in March. We held hands this time. Last time we touched was the day he broke up with me.

1/2/2014

I must be out of my mind. He got me so upset, but instead of confronting him, I’ll write about it like always. Deal with it on my own and like every-fucking-thing else, I don’t say shit. I came home today, he arrived a little after. He went straight to using his laptop and we got physical, purely sexual. He didn’t even look at me. Nothing intellectual, no substance. It’s now 11pm and he’s knocked out. I’ll probably caress his head and watch tv until I knock out. This is what I waited for.

2/10/2015

I was considering purchasing him a movado watch for Valentine’s/4 year-ish anniversary but I decided not to since he said he didn’t want to exchange gifts this year. He said they weren’t his priority this year.

3/5/2015

I’m fucking livid. We had yet another argument this morning because I turned him down in the shower. I was running late and my mind was occupied after finding out my grandfather was in the hospital and even more so I was pissed I found out through Facebook.

3/28/2015

He broke up with me that night of my last entry (3/5/15). I haven’t written because this shit is too painful. I read my previous entries and I should’ve seen this coming. I have this twisted scenerio replaying in my mind, where he’d be home by the time I get in. He’ll apologize and realize what a big mistake he’s made… yet again.

But each day passes, he isn’t here and I’m losing hope.

Boogie Down Yoga

This past Sunday True Image Yoga held a Free sesh at the Bronx Brewery! 

Huge shout to: The Bronx Brewery, @pixbybanx for the photos below, @djrbi & @djnarco for the music, @addicteddesigns for the merchandise and online store (more info below), @stevelucin for the promo flyers, @guazabara.earthstrong for the Kombucha, @jelynn01 for the natural skin food, and @dotty_x for the breathtaking Buddha painting she completed during our class.

The backyard space was ideal with its infamous mural. Participants walked through the Brewery's tap room and enjoyed a Free 60 minute Yoga session held by yours truly. I had some friends assist me in making this a unique experience. 


Started class with collective breaths (Pranayama) Alternate Nostril Breathing.

Three good reasons for practicing this Pranayama:

1. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system and reduces blood pressure.

2. It enhances respiratory functions: increases respiratory strength and endurance.

3. It improve attention and fine-motor coordination/performance. 


Child's Pose offered at the very beginning as part of Yoga to the People "tradition"

Child's Pose offered at the very beginning as part of Yoga to the People "tradition"


Opening up our shoulders in Downward Facing Dog

Opening up our shoulders in Downward Facing Dog


Warrior I

Warrior I


Warrior II

Warrior II


Provided a variation of Tree Poses to the class--I love how focused everyone is

Provided a variation of Tree Poses to the class--I love how focused everyone is



Sweet surrender and another opportunity for students to practice Self-Study

Sweet surrender and another opportunity for students to practice Self-Study

Self-study (Svadhyaya) has the potential to deepen our  yoga  practice way beyond the mat

Self-study (Svadhyaya) has the potential to deepen our yoga practice way beyond the mat


If you can have your students smile, even in Chair Pose, then that's a huge accomplishment!

If you can have your students smile, even in Chair Pose, then that's a huge accomplishment!


Getting that good stretch for the lower back in Camel Pose

Getting that good stretch for the lower back in Camel Pose


Group love

Group love


During the event, True Image Yoga and AddictedDesigns brought out Merchandise samples. The online store is up and running. Tanks are available in Women and Men's sizes. 

Check it out!

 

Here's to many more successful Yoga in the Bronx.

3 Small Acts of Self-Love

There's countless ways you can practice self-love. Today I'm sharing three ways how I've practiced taking care of me first. 

1. Acts of kindness. Here is a photo from my visit to Bali last year. After a long day of walking to three beautiful temples, there was an enormous pond of Koi Fish and visitors can feed them. I was smiling so hard because they knew what time it was once I sat near them with their food. 


2. Set yourself a bath. This past Friday, I tried out a new Bath Oil from Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. This one is their Furze has dried elderflower and amaranth flowers along with neroli oil swirls, jojoba oil, moisturizing mix of extra virgin coconut oil, organic shea and cocoa butters. You just drop this bad boy in the tub and watch the oils swirl and welcome your dry-ass Winter skin. I came out shiny as ever ;)


3. Positive Affirmations with a twist. These cute mason jars were gifted as a housewarming gift and the best part, you can personalize them! So on this particular day, I needed a little reminder. I have the best advice. 


Thanks for stopping by! I'd love hear about your self-love practices. 

Be the Best Friend you can have

Creating a Meditation Space

My relationship with meditation began in 2005. Seeing a counselor made my Freshman self more anxious. Even the idea of discussing my "issues" as a first generation Guatemalan-American female, made me want to avoid that therapist's couch like no other.

I walked out one day from his office and saw a flyer offering Free Meditation. I had zero experience and my 18 year old self was desperate to find anything to help with my sleep issues. I enrolled in the 6 week/sessions of mindfulness meditation. I kid you not, each time I thought I was doing it wrong. I kept telling myself my mind will never keep quiet or still.

But then I began practicing it in my bedroom at night. Training my body to be at ease and just noticing my thoughts was a little easier. De-cluttering my mind was progressively not as hard. I began creating a night-time routine.... I experienced myself being able to soothe myself and eventually get some rest. 


Curiosity and desperation led me to find meditation...It's worked for me, time and time again. So I've made a specific space in my bedroom to practice. 


By having a space as a go-to area for meditation, it helps me train my body to know that specific area is available. Once I start a practice in that said area, I'm training my body and mind with a routine that "meditation takes place here". 

When someone asks about my Meditation practice or state they have an interest. I most often hear "I want to start meditating! How do I start to do it?"

First step is by starting at a point in time. Same time, Same place is my motto. It's recommended to Meditate at least 5-10 minutes. You can play music, you can sit, stand, lay down. Your mind will most likely have A LOT of thoughts! I also tell others that quieting your mind isn't going to happen. Practice, Practice, Practice!! Notice your thoughts as though they were items on a conveyor belt. Download an app. Yes there's tons of apps for meditation. I use Insight Timer. 


First step is by starting at a point in time. Same time, Same place is my motto.


Below is a recent photo of my alter (which you don't necessarily need) But I have found useful in creating a safe, inspirational and comfortable space. 

1. Essential Oil for my evening Abhyanga "Self Massage"- Currently mine has Sesame Oil, Peppermint oil and Lavender oil. 

2. Inspirational quotes- This one was gifted from one of my Hermanas  (Sorority Sister) at our Annual Holiday Brunch a few years ago. 

3. Cultural item- I purchased this from one of my visits to Guatemala. I often meditate to the visual of Lake Atitlan. Memories of Guatemala always bring a smile to my face.

4. I have two Ganesha figurines and two other fertility statues. Ganesha is known as the Lord of Good Fortune who provides prosperity, fortune and success. He is the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles of both material and spiritual kinds. 

5.  Singing Bowl – My cousin gifted me this Singing bowl from his trip to Italy. Singing bowls are known as the ancient brain entrainment methodology for healing and meditation. If you haven't heard or played with one of these--do yourself the favor! Some of the benefits from Singing bowls include; Reduce stress and anxiety significantly, Chakra balancing, and promotes stillness, happiness and well being.

6. Family- My brother Gio and I call each other Monkey. So I've made sure to think of him, pray/send him positive vibes while in this space.

7. Mala beads- Both were gifted and placed on alters during my teacher trainings for positive energy. The Namaste beads were exchanged to me at Ezoo two years ago! 

 

I'm curious to know about your meditation practice, what have you found useful or not in your space. 

Namaste!