Month: December 2018

Mindful Monday: Happy New Year

Good morning, mindful ones! Not only is it the last Monday of 2018; today is the last day of 2018!

While there’s so much emphasis placed on the advent of a new year, the truth is today is just another Monday and tomorrow is another Tuesday.

Yes, there is certainly something so satisfying about closing the book of 2018 and starting a fresh, clean page called 2019.

And we come prepared! An ambitious list of new year resolutions. THIS is the year we get it together! I’ll do everything right this year! I’m living my best life in 2019. The world is my oyster!

But I believe we have that opportunity every day of every year. And there’s a reason why most new year resolutions are abandoned by February!

I’m certainly not diminishing the added momentum and energy a fresh, new year brings to our efforts at self-improvement. But let’s be honest, those who do make New Year’s resolutions usually make the same ones year after year.

So how can we create lasting transformations in our lives?

I think it’s important for so much more self-awareness. If you want to lose weight, or get a better job, or stop drinking as much, or eat healthier, or improve your relationships/health/lifestyle/whatever…. ask yourself WHY?

What will happen when you lose that extra weight? What will happen when you make more money?

The underlying goal of all of our resolutions is to be more HAPPY. Am I right?

So why don’t we look at that? Because as we practice becoming happier, weight loss, healthier lifestyle, more successful career, better relationships will all naturally develop.

Our resolutions are just addressing symptoms. Creating a happiness mindset is addressing the cause.

So how can we become happier?

First, let’s acknowledge that happiness is a state of mind. Lasting happiness is an internal state of being. Pleasure on the other hand is a temporary state attached to the physical and the external.

So rather than stale old new year resolutions, let’s focus on cultivating happiness.

Here are some tips that have helped me grow my happiness quotient throughout the years.

1. Attitude of gratitude – Focus on all of the amazing things you have in your life. And here’s the kicker: it’s all amazing!! It’s easy to focus on the seemingly positive. Remembering so much that even those things we perceived as negative actually carried with it seeds of growth, learning and transformation. So basically if you are alive and breathing, you are winning! There is always, always, always something to be grateful for.

2. Move your body – get up and get moving. Take a yoga class. Go for a walk. Dance naked in the mirror. Just start moving and get out of your head. It uplifts your energy and raises your vibrations!

3. Limit social media and screen time – Login for a specific reason. Post a positive message. Find inspiration for yourself. Catch up with a long distance friend. But be mindful of endless scrolling and time sucking. I’ve found I feel overwhelmed oftentimes by an overload of social media and being overly connected and accessible. I’ve been focusing on the actual people in my life versus the virtual community. Real versus manufactured.

4. Dig a little deeper – what are the things that make you feel good? Do more! What are the things that make you feel crappy? Do less! Here are a few of my triggers that I have observed throughout the years:

  • Comparing myself to others
  • Dwelling in the past or anxiously obsessing about the future
  • Noticing I’m squandering my time
  • Doing things I don’t really want to do out of a sense of obligation
  • I’m playing the role of a victim and giving my personal power away
  • Obsessing over relationships
  • Trying to control situations and outcomes rather than allowing the universe to guide and unfold organically
  • Shifting from my abundance mindset to scarcity and fear
  • Allowing myself to downwardly spiral into negative thinking and overindulgence
  • Allowing other peoples energies to affect mine
  • And thinking that there is a certain magical point in time where these things will suddenly stop happening

As we welcome in 2019, let’s remember so much that we are exactly where we are meant to be! Trust yourself and trust the universe. Believe in the synchronicity of life.

Happy, happy new year, my beautiful mindful ones!!

Mindful Monday: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Good morning and happy Monday!

Sending Christmas warmth and well wishes to all of our YBD family with a special dose of LOVE to those out there who may be far away from family – either through a physical distance or an emotional gap. Know that you are LOVED and CHERISHED every single day of each year of your life! Family isn’t always about blood – but rather those that surround us and care for us, love us, support us and root for us!!! And of course the most important love of all – love for your true, authentic SELF!!!

When we spend time together practicing yoga, sweating, falling and getting back up, allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and opening our hearts to one another, we pretty much define a family.

And if you still have some last-minute shopping to do, here are some Christmas gift suggestions:

To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.


Mindful Monday: School is in Session

Good morning and happy Monday!

Just a friendly reminder that every compliment, criticism, promotion, setback, good vibe, cough, misunderstanding, breakup, disappointment, or really long line you have to wait in is a gift that was meticulously designed to make possible your becoming who you were always meant to be. Who you really are. Who you already are underneath all of the conditioning and domestication.

You never have to pick up another book again. Just observe your life and you will learn all the secrets of the universe.

And if you don’t learn your lesson the first time, Life will keep repeating the lesson until you learn it.

Each moment is the lesson, the test and the teacher. School is always in session.

Make it a great week of learning and growing!

December 2018 Pose of the Month: Five Pointed Star

Our December 2018 pose of the month is Uttihita Tadasana or Five Pointed Star pose.

Literal translation:

Utthita – extended

Tada – mountain

Asana – pose

We love this pose for the symbolism of the Star which is always prevalent this holiday season. And also because of the grounding and energizing benefits the pose offers! Exactly what the yoga doctor ordered as we navigate this busy time of year.

This month we’re offering it in two orientations to the earth! Everything is better upside down, am I right?

Here’s how:

1. From a standing pose, step your feet wide apart, with your arms out to the side. Your feet should be under your wrists, facing forward and parallel.

2. Press your weight into your feet, pull up your knee caps and activate your thighs, gently tuck your tailbone, and feel your strong and solid legs rooted into the floor.

3. Reach out through your fingertips, trying to touch the side walls. Relax your shoulders down and back, gently opening your chest towards the front of the room.

4. Inhale and press the crown of your head up towards the ceiling. Look straight ahead with your chin parallel to the floor.

5. Inhale deeply into the belly and chest, exhale press into the feet, fingers and crown, feeling your body expanding out in 5 directions. Option here to walk your gaze up toward the ceiling opening your heart toward the sky.

6. Keep breathing and hold for 4-8 breaths.

7. To release, bend one knee and simply step back into a standing pose.

The handstand variation is exactly the same except your hands replace your feet!

See you next year, yogis!!!

Mindful Monday: Holiday Stress

Good morning, mindful ones! We are in the home stretch for this holiday season and for this year!

When things are at their most frenetic pace and we find ourselves running around to holiday gatherings and for last minute gifts; it’s more important than ever to pause, breathe and reflect.

We live in the most technologically advanced time in human history. Anything we could possibly need is a phone call or even a click away and can be delivered right to the doorstep. Food is abundant (overly abundant!) We have instant heaters, electric blankets, reliable electricity. We have an endless supply of clean water that can also be warmed to any temperature for a hot cup of cocoa or a warm bubble bath.

There has never been a better time to be a human being. And we live in one of the best countries in the world in terms of economic opportunity, political stability, public safety and quality of life.

Pause. Wow we’re so lucky!!! Gratitude is truly the highest vibration. And it’s pretty darn easy to find a zillion things to be grateful for in this nation, even more so in our communities!

That being said, depression, stress and anxiety are at all time levels in our country! And they are predicted to continue to rise.

Well, that’s pretty puzzling, wouldn’t you say?

Actually, it’s really not … Because stress is an internal condition, not an external one!

Sure there’s tons of things happening right now: overstimulation of all the senses if you step foot in the mall (which I have pretty much successfully avoided this holiday season) or basically even out of your house.

But it’s our reaction that causes the stress! It’s how we process all the external stimuli that bombards us that can potentially create an internal state of stress.

Listen, it’s the holidays. Even the most well-adjusted, “normal”, traditional families will face some type of family drama.

And for the rest of us, it can get much more complicated. Single parents, people who have lost loved ones, those with social anxiety and even people with no family or friends to celebrate with.

“The most wonderful time of year” may be even more challenging for those struggling, because there’s the added expectation that everyone is in a carefree, celebratory state.

So with all of this emotional turmoil many people are facing, it’s really no surprise when people overreact to every day situations like waiting in line or driving in traffic.

People may snap more or react rudely. Let’s be honest, we see this behavior very often, unfortunately. When people are stressed, their fight or flight mode kicks in which can often lead to aggressive and anti-social behavior.

So let’s not pretend to be surprised when we witness this behavior, and be so gentle with yourself if you find yourself getting a little snappish or prickly.

And it always comes back to breathwork.

The reason you sweat it out for endless hours on your yoga mat is training for these very moments in life.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re about to lose your marbles, take a moment to breathe slowly and mindfully and then breathe out. Allow yourself a few moments to pause to give yourself the opportunity to react in a way that you will be proud of and won’t create more anxiety and stress when you think back to that moment.

Reacting to someone else’s stress is your choice. Choosing to take a few breaths and remain stable and grounded is the best thing for your personal health and wellness. And your grounded energy might be just the anchor someone is searching for who may be tail spinning out of control.

In these critical moments in life, there is tremendous opportunity for our personal evolution. And trust me these opportunities are abundant year round! Can we cultivate compassion for ourselves and for one another during this holiday season?

It can make all the difference in someone’s life. We never know the burden they’re carrying.

Remember, kindness and compassion will revolutionize the world.

We got this, you guys!!

Mindful Monday: Miracles

Good morning and happy Monday, mindful ones!

Let’s talk about miracles! I totally, 💯 percent, without a shred of doubt in my mind or body, believe in miracles!

That’s a pretty bold statement; but it’s totally true. Well, what is a miracle?

According to the Dictionary:

• a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

• a highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment that brings very welcome consequences.

• an amazing product or achievement, or an outstanding example of something.”a machine which was a miracle of design”

According to me:

It is when the seemingly impossible happens!

• It’s when doctors have given up on a sick child and for no scientific reason, that child gets well.

• It’s when you’re down to your last dollar, have piles of bills to be paid, and a check arrives in the mail from some unknown source or an opportunity arrives out of seemingly nowhere. (This literally happens to me almost every single month!)

• It’s when a huge natural disaster hits and you are somehow spared in the midst of it.

• It’s on 9/11 and you stop to buy cigarettes before going to your job in the World Trade Center, and smoking saved your life.

• It’s when a child is born and you can’t believe how exquisitely miniature this new life appears.

• It’s when my brother was in Mumbai on business back in 2008 and his associate talked him into having one more drink before heading back to his hotel which was attacked by terrorists at that exact moment. Drinking literally saved his life!

• It’s watching the sunset on a deserted beach in Hawaii filled with a sense of awe and wonder and the deepest feeling of gratitude.

• It’s when you’ve prayed for a specific purpose and that prayer is answered.

• It’s when there is no earthly reason something wonderful has happened.

• It’s the sun rising and setting each and every day.

Miracles take place everyday. Sometimes they’re very subtle and quiet, sweeping in like a touch on the face. Other times, it’s very evident and public. It doesn’t matter who you are, miracles can and do happen to all of us!

If you take a moment to pause and reflect, you’ll start to see all of the wonderful miracles that have happened in your life.

Have a miraculous Monday, friends!