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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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 👍🏽

When the universe conspires...

Earlier this month, I received a message from Zymbol®. Below is one of their popular pieces Crystal Wrap Bracelet. 

Zymbol® was ‘accidentally’ created when the company Founder was doodling. After discovering all the letters and numbers the Short family decided to create a line of inspirational jewelry based around the design. The concept? When you wear or gift a Zymbol® it can mean anything you want because it contains every letter of the alphabet! They named it Zymbol® as it is one symbol that represents all letters, A to Z. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIWiOwJ-UUk

Zymbol® included this message "Trust The Yoga"--what a nice reminder that by trusting my instinct and practice it would lead me to share Yoga. Been brainstorming on how else I can share my practice with the Bronx community...more on that soon! 

Stay tuned on how you can enter to win this giveaway!

In the mean time, what would your Zymbol® message be? 

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!

Special Teachers

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
-William A. Ward

This morning I was motivated to take one of my Yoga teachers' Yin/Yang class. Class was amazing and at one point she reminded the class to pay close attention for those who have an injury. Up until that moment, I was modifying as I was going and at times, was all in my head.

Her paying close attention to the class and in particular knowing my management of the lower back was yet another moment of how teachers truly are *special. When she said that, he quickly glanced my way and I felt her support.

 That moment was a reminder of how much support there is in the Yoga community. I've been fortunate to gain so much from those who have led my teacher trainings. The knowledge and their practices stem from other teachers, so on and so forth. 

I hope to guide my future students, explain as much as I can, demonstrate if possible, but most importantly....I hope to inspire.

Daily affirmations...Motivational posts...Inspirational quotes...Are they effective?

I don't see why not. There's so much literature (check out the self-help, positive psychology, self-improvement, etc at a bookstore/library) banking on the theory of its effectiveness. 

Let's begin with our own thoughts. You know, the conversation you have with yourself (we all have these and no you're not abnormal because of it). For the most part, we all have our own perception, opinions and thoughts of our self. *Think self esteem. 

Now, if a fly were to hang out in the walls of your mind and thoughts...what would it hear? Are those conversations with yourself; positive/neutral/negative?

I recall a patient tell me he thought the very worst of himself the second he woke up...every day. How do you think the rest of his days played out? Not great.

From that meeting, we began experimenting with his first thoughts to himself. For him, he felt it was silly, pointless and perhaps a juvenile recommendation from his therapist. But alas, he began detangling his negative self-talk and replacing it with either neutral and later positive self-talk. I literally "prescribed" him to come up with daily affirmations. Guess what? Over some time, that initial thought of thinking he was "useless" and "lacking a purpose in life" first thing in the morning happened less and he began feeling better about himself!

Some people write quotes/affirmations on post its, have it tattooed, and others (like myself) like to receive it via text (Shine text!) and via my social media feed. 

If you enjoy daily motivation, positive quotes, inspirational photos...TIY will be posting Daily Motivation during the week via Instagram. Follow my IG page @trueimage_yoga and get in on the fun. Who said there's such thing as too much inspiration?