Moving!

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I’m loving this whole blogging thing so much that I’ve decided to move to my “om” sparkly new website! Yep, I’ve packed up all of my posts and images and am already moved in to the new site and some new additions have been added that you will enjoy. I’m so excited to share it with all of you!  And I’m one very lucky gal to have a graphic designer/web developer for a boyfriend, who has been super supportive throughout all of this. Thank you, Sam. And thanks to all of you! I love that we’ve created a great little community here in this small part of the internet.

If you currently subscribe to my blog, make sure to resubscribe to my new and improved blog by adding your email address over on the right side. And if you have not subscribed to my blog yet, you should. It’s a lot of fun:) Check it out:

Myomlife.com

Enjoy!

Searching for Summer

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Summer is just starting to hit me! I was starting to worry I wasn’t going to be able to get into the summer spirit, but luckily my seasonal enthusiasm came just in time. I love putting together images of what is currently making me happy. So here are some of the things that I’m looking forward to and are inspiring me this summer.

The-Notebook-Red-Dress1-Watching Noah and Allie’s complicated, summer romance in The Notebook for the gazillionth time-

Vintage-Catalina-Island-Postcard-Reminiscing of sunny days in Catalina-

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-Tulsi mala beads: believed to have strong healing properties that bring peace and harmony to one’s life-

img_5105-Striped anything-

circus1-Old-timey circus photographs-

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-I like to imagine I’m in Bali when I’m practicing yoga-

mint-chip-ice-cream-8-Eating mint-chip ice cream; my favorite!-

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-Wishing I owned all of Reese Witherspoon’s costumes/outfits from Water for Elephants

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-Listening to “Harvest Moon” on a balmy summer night-

Sandlot-cast_610-Watching Sandlot! S’mores would be an appropriate viewing snack-

Perseid-2012-2-Experiencing the Perseid meteor shower in August-

Photos from Google Images

Vacation State of Mind

DSC_0519The mental transition from vacation mode back to everyday-life mode has always been a tough one for me. Particularly this year, when our gang left Silver Lake to head home, the more we headed further along the road the more my head started to get bombarded with stressful thoughts. It was shocking how quickly my relaxed and loving mind-set that I cultivated during the trip was overshadowed by the worries of going “back to reality.”

But, having 8 hours of being on the road, I got to thinking about how the reality I created on vacation should be not be much different from my reality back home. Why allow stupid, insignificant things get in the way of making me feel absolutely great about myself; like the way I felt on vacation? Albeit, I did have some big things to tackle when I got home, I realized that I can take responsibility for my own life experience and stop those monster thoughts from controlling my mood. I should always feel like my beautiful and amazing, vacation self in my everyday life! So now, despite the difficulty to allow myself to let go of mood-controlling thoughts, I’ve decided to make the commitment to choose to live my life with a lovely, vacation state of mind; minus the constant desire for yummy, yet greasy, vacation foods. Cheers to living your life like your lounging by the lake with a glass of wine!

Lots of vacation pictures coming soon!

In the Mudra

A-okI’m just now realizing how powerful mudras can be in my yoga practice and even in my everyday life. Mudras are hand postures that help direct prana, one’s life energy, throughout the body and evoke certain emotional and mental qualities. Particularly, I have been focusing on and experimenting with the Jnana Mudra, or the Knowledge Mudra, in which the tips of the thumb and index fingers come to touch, as the rest of the fingers gently extend outward. It is considered the mudra of concentration and mental peace, but I had never noticed any effects it had on me until I had a paper to write last month and decided to strike a mudra during my morning pranayama (breathing) practice, in hopes of sharpening my focus for my task ahead. So I softly concentrated on the way the energy flowed through my fingers and hands for about 5 minutes, all the while breathing. And honestly I’ve never experienced myself so focused, yet so calm during the day! It was shocking that I was capable of that. I usually have a subconscious fist-fight in my head, while trying to get things done and by the end of the day I feel exhausted, like I was literally fist-fighting somebody the whole day! So I want to choose a more sane way of going about my everyday life (no more metaphorical black eyes and bruised fists) and this mudra seems to be doing just that for me. I now sometimes strike this lovely hand pose while driving (with one hand, of course). That’s what I like about this mudra; it is accessible anywhere I go, when I’m in need of a bit more focused and calm energy. It’s all right there in my hands.

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Photos: by Sam

Mudra Sources: 2nd Star to the Right, Healing Mudras: Yoga for Your Hands by Sabrina Mesko.

A Day to Celebrate

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I’m officially a college graduate! Finally! It’s been a long road for me and academia, but it was worth it. And being able to walk across the stage, as my name was announced over the loud speaker, was a great way to conclude my journey as a college student. I prepared myself mentally for the big day with the intention to simply remember to breathe through the experience and to have fun. And unlike my usual self in easily getting overly stimulated by constant noise and crowds of people, I mostly remained calm all day (it was heart pumping to realize that I’m about to walk across a stage, in heels, in front of thousands of people with my family and friends intensely watching). But it felt like I had a thin bubble around me all day that sort of blocked out all of the chaos and allowed me to completely soak in my own experience. But the best part of the day was the fact that my family and friends came together to celebrate with me. They all have been such a huge part in getting me to this point, so it felt good that we all came together to eat, drink, laugh and celebrate. It was a fantastic day!

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Photos courtesy of my family and friends.

Making the Connection

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Each day this week, when I sat down to set an intention for my day, I found myself returning to the intention: keep reconnecting with yourself. Last week was a whirlwind of a week, mentally. I graduated from Cal State Long Beach and although I’m thrilled about accomplishing such a huge milestone, the whole process (the time leading up to the day, the day itself and even the week after) was exhausting. Quite frankly, I’m still in a fog! But with the intention, keep reconnecting with yourself, in my head throughout my daily practice this week, somehow Ardha Chandra Chapasana (a variation of Half Moon pose) found its way into most days of my practice and seemed to really bring me the connection I needed to make with myself.

It’s such beautiful pose not only to do (because it looks pretty), but mainly to feel. There is this calm strength that happens at the peak of the pose. When I know I’ve got my left foot planted into the ground and my left fingertips on the ground, powerfully supporting me and when I reach my right hand to meet my right foot, I feel a sense of accomplishment. But once I’ve made all of those bodily connections to the earth and to my foot, I make the connection to broaden my collarbone and open up my heart. The rest of the pose is about mentally staying in that space I’ve created near my heart. And all of a sudden, I find that Ardha Chandra Chapasana has totally Miyagi’d me. The whole time I was working on “wax on…wax off” and making the connections in the pose, I was building up a connection with myself internally!

So, thank you, Ardha Chandra Chapasana, for weirdly knowing I needed you to teach me to connect this week. That is such an awesome thing about yoga. It’s always there for you in whatever way you need it. Sensei Yoga, I bow to you.

Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend! Grad pictures coming next week!

Balls to the Wall

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Lately, I’ve totally been balls to the wall with inversions, or I should say without the wall, because I am in uncharted territories as I discover my upside-down balancing skills without a wall to support me. And, let me tell you, it’s scary…but completely thrilling! I am challenging myself in my practice like never before and I have a broken laptop, lots of tender knee bruises and a retelling of an embarrassing fall in a yoga studio to prove it.

Inversions are a funny thing in yoga because they are so much fun, yet terrifying, but can also be quite dangerous when done improperly. Take, for example, my experience in using my boyfriend’s laptop to do a quick, 30 minute Yogaglo class entitled, “Find Stability,” which ended in the least stable way possible. I was instructed to do Sirsasana, Headstand Pose, and I think to myself I’ve done tripod headstand without a wall plenty of times before, I can definitely do Sirsasana without the wall. Same thing, right? Oh, I was so wrong! My legs flailed and fell behind me right onto the front cover of Sam’s laptop, breaking one of the hinges and bending the cover. But after a lot of tears, apologies and my entire tax return (and then some) to bring the laptop back to new, I am now a bit more weary of doing an inversion in the middle of the room with an expensive piece of equipment very close by.

But I think the laptop fiasco has given me more of a drive to stick a handstand in the middle of the room, almost like I want to prove to myself that I’m capable of inverting with grace and poise and without breaking anything. Which brings me to the not-so-graceful incident in the studio. Since my inversion-thristy ways have started, I’ve had the comfort of my own room to fall as I please. But when I stepped into a studio the other week, I think my brain didn’t switch off from comfy-home-space mode to in-a-room-full-of-people mode because I attempted to handstand for the first time without a wall. And I did it! For like a second. My thoughts, while most of my body was in midair, went a little something like this: Wow! Cool, I made it up here! I can’t believe…oh woa, where are my legs going? Oh my god, I’m going backwards, aren’t I? Oh shit. How do I get out….BAM! I land on the hardwood floor knees first.  After the lady next to me gasped like I was hit by a car and asked, “Are you okay?!” in the most worried tone, and to ease her alarmed state, I said “I’m fine,” I quickly scrambled back to Downward Facing Dog to come back to my breath and realized my knees are not fine. But I was actually so excited in my shaky, adrenaline-filled Down Dog because, despite falling, I stuck the pose! And despite, needing some more core awareness to zip up my abdominal muscles so I can maintain balance without falling backwards, I need to keep reminding myself that in sloppy times like these I am being bold and brave in my practice. And that’s a beautiful thing. I’m only a novice at inversions once in my life and that’s exciting.

I’ve come to realize that testing my inverting skills in the un-walled waters, that is the middle of room, is the only way to get good at it. Eventually the wall will get farther and farther away if I continue to challenge myself. And although these challenging postures can turn into expensive and awkward mishaps, it’s worth it. As I consistently tell my own students and have learned from my mentors: there is no perfect yoga pose. Wherever I am at in my practice or even in my life is exactly where I’m supposed to be. In the process of growing and evolving in my practice, things will get messy from time to time and that’s okay. It is just a reflection that I’m not stuck in a yoga rut and that I’m pretty ballsy!

Note to self: must learn new emergency exit strategies when inverting.

And here are some playful handstands that all happen to be at the beach! Enjoy the rest of your week!

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Handstand Photos Source: Google Images

Wall Photo Source: Me