Is the Countdown Always On?

Is the Countdown Always On?

I hate to rub it in, although I’m sure you already know this if you follow me on Instagram, but I’m writing this from 30,000 feet in the air on my way home from a 10 day trip with Mike. We started in Tenerife as our first winter in London left us craving a little blue sky, sunshine and warmth. From there we hopped over to Amsterdam where we spent Easter weekend exploring, strolling and adventuring around what so many people had told me was one of their favourite cities in Europe.

I feel it necessary to out myself here as what I like to call a ‘chronic countdown-er’. No matter how hard I try to just be present on vacation, that little whisper creeps in - oh no, 3 days to go. It’s almost over. This is your last day. Sometimes by the middle of my trip, I’m already anticipating the day that I have to leave. 

Any other ‘chronic countdown-ers’ reading this?

Yoga Made Me (less) Flexible

Yoga Made Me (less) Flexible

Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, they usually respond with:

"YOU MUST BE SO CALM"
Actually no, not at all, that's why I do so much yoga. 
OR...

"YOU MUST BE SO FLEXIBLE"
Actually, I'm less flexible than I was when I started. 

You read that right. I started dabbling in the world of yoga over a decade ago, I've been practicing regularly for 9 years, teaching full time for the past 7 and the truth is, I'm less flexible than I was when I started. Are you wondering how that's even possible? Stay with me, especially if you're one of the bendy ones that can access a lot of range of motion in your practice. 

I guess it's important to point out that I was a dancer first and a yogi second. I came to yoga with a lot of flexibility and an inner perfectionist that always wanted to be 'the best' which in my opinion at the time meant having the most range of movement.

Teach Me How To Breathe

Teach Me How To Breathe

This past Sunday I found myself lying on the floor with a room full of strangers waiting for Alan Dolan, of Breath Guru, to teach me how to breath.

So there I was, eyes closed, hand on my belly, listening to Alan's cues. I was trying really hard to nail the technique and experiencing the flip flop between breathing and thinking that I'm sure you've experienced if you practice yoga or meditate. 

Breathing.
Feeling my belly inflate like a balloon.
Noticing the longer inhale, shorter exhale.

Thinking.
How long have we been doing this?
How long are we going to do this?
Am I doing this right?

The Liar That Lives in Your Head

The Liar That Lives in Your Head

You know that voice in your head? The one that chatters incessantly about everything that's going on in your life, worries about what might one day happen in your life, overanalyzes your every move and oh, sometimes if you're lucky, wakes you up at 3 o'clock in the morning with a few problems you really need to worry about. Today we're going to talk about that. 

And for those of you that are reading or listening to this thinking 'I don't have a voice in my head', yah you do. Whoever you heard say that just now is the very voice I'm talking about. 

We all have that voice and while it serves a very essential purpose by allowing us to process and understand the world around us, when it's left to run wild, it causes problems. By problems, I mean it has the potential to make us feel really awful about who we are and what we do.

Is your butt in the chair?

Is your butt in the chair?

Committing to a weekly post has been both a really fulfilling and at times, I'll admit, really frustrating experience. Writing is so much fun when you're full of ideas, creativity is flowing and the words just seem to spill out onto the page one after the other. But what about those days when writing is more the slow process of staring at a blank page with no idea where to start and no clue what to say? You guessed it, not so fun.

Maybe it's that we're in the heart of winter and my energy is always lower at this time of year. Maybe it's the lack of inspiration that I'm feeling during my slow season - which I'm okay with and wrote about last week - but for some reason, I've had a lot of trouble getting words out recently. I told myself I would have this post finished days ago and here I am, finally tackling my blank screen because Monday morning is here and the 'editor' of this blog is pressing me for the finished product - that's me!

Laundromat Lessons

Laundromat Lessons

I'm sitting here at the laundromat - glam Friday, I know - and overheard the lady who works here say to a man leaving 'have a nice day'. He nodded towards the snowy street (in London standards) and moaned, "how can you possibly have a nice day in this?"

Mindset - it's everything. I've been in a bit of a funk this week that started with an overflowing pipe in our living room (ew) that then spiralled into seriously missing my yoga community in Canada and then moved into feeling sorry for myself that Mike works allllll the time. I find it usually happens like that, for me at least, start complaining about one thing and it has a domino effect.

Basically, I'm right where I should be. I needed to overhear the man in the laundromat letting the weather - something he can't control - dictate his happiness.

My Mid-Winter Crisis

My Mid-Winter Crisis

I've had to explain more times than I can count this year how I own a yoga studio in Canada but can somehow manage to peace out to London for 8 months of the year. It's easy to explain to the Toronto crowd that understands the short but intense busy season that hits cottage country every summer. It's a little harder for the Londoners who have never heard of this 'Muskoka' place to wrap their head around.

I explain that it's an outdoor studio and that it's only open for 4 months of the year - but if one of your could strike a deal with Mother Nature and get me 6 that would be great! I'm most often met with the same reaction...

Worry: The Energy Waster

Worry: The Energy Waster

A few months ago, I wrote a post about anticipatory anxiety and the useless but frequent habit I have of worrying about what I think might happen in the future.

When I moved to London for the year, I told Mike that I was worried about enrolling for this years June yoga retreat in Muskoka because for the first time since I started teaching, I wasn't going to have any presence on a regular schedule in Oakville/Mississauga/Toronto. He tried his best to reassure me but deep down the irrational voice in my head was worried that no one would sign up because everyone would forget about me by then. Sounds so silly typing it out and sharing that with the world, but let's face it, I'm sure that you also hear a lot of stupid things between those two ears of yours. 

Only You Know

Only You Know

I complicate things. It's a skill I've mastered over the years. From the simple decisions of daily life like: what should I have for dinner? To the big picture questions like: what's my life purpose? I overanalyze everything - especially in the wee hours of the morning when I can't sleep and am certainly not going to find any answers. 

I remember sitting with a friend a while back, struggling with indecision around a major life choice and after telling her everything that way flying around in my head I said: I just don't know what to do

She responded: 
"But you do know. You just don't want to do it." 

Consistency is Key

Consistency is Key

A few months ago I vowed to give up being paralyzed by my quest for writing perfection. I finally started blogging again and took it one step further by committing to put out a new post every Monday morning. Aside from a little break I took over the Holidays, I have been really consistent with my weekly blog post and it feels great. I'm inspired and in love - okay fine, some days maybe not - with the process of writing again and for the first time in, well maybe forever, I'm not really concerned with who is out there reading. I'm writing for me because it feels really, really good to just be creating again.

If there's one thing I've learned from listening to countless podcasts about writing, entrepreneurship and anything in the realm of creativity, it's that we can't just sit around waiting for inspiration to strike.

On To The Next One

On To The Next One

For those of you reading this that practice yoga, I want you to think of a pose that is out of your reach. One that you eye on Instagram. One that you feel a little twinge of jealousy when the person next to you in class float up like a little angel into it and you, the commoner, are left behind in some basic pose. 

If you don't do yoga, I want you to think about something in your life that you really want. The job promotion, the big house, the rockin' body or in the words of Queen, somebody to love. The type of thing that isn't a part of your life right now but that you tell yourself if you could just have that thing, that success or that partner, then you'd finally be happy. 

It's a part of who we are. I often struggle with balancing my deeply rooted desire to do and be more - which we all have - with my desire to be present, appreciate what I have and not be so hard on myself

Playlist of the Month: January

Playlist of the Month: January

So yes, I'm a little late to the punch here but as you all know, January was a slow start for me with my trip home. Here's what I'm moving around my mat to this month and I'll warn you, it's a bit more dance/house inspired than some of my Muskoka playlists with lots of good oldies. So if the dance-y stuff isn't your thing, check back in February.

Feel free to follow along on Spotify if that makes for easier listening. 

Happy Flowing! Xo  

Direct - Tranquility
Izzamuzzic - Adventure - Original Mix
Gavin James, Richard Judge - For You - J.U.D.G.E. Remix
Nall, Lawrence - Angkor

The Simple Things have the Biggest Impact

The Simple Things have the Biggest Impact

I'm back to school today and so excited about it. As you read this I'll be immersed in Day 1 of Module 2 of my 300-Hour Teacher Training with Jason Crandell. I learned so much from him in Module 1 that despite the full schedule, long hours and way too much time sitting on the floor for anatomy, I didn't want it to end. I'm excited to be diving in again so I can share more with all of you! Module 1 focused on the Hips + Legs. Module 2 is all about building integrity and stability in the Core + Spine. We practice what we're learning so in all honestly, I'm a little scared. Say a little prayer for my tummy muscles

My biggest takeaway from Module 1 and what I'm excited to explore further in the next two weeks is how the simplest parts of our practice have the biggest impact.

Intentions Diverted

Intentions Diverted

It seems like so many of you have kicked off this year with clear intentions and big goals. I've been loving all the enthusiasm that you've shown for 2018. I always like to have a healthy, productive and inspired January but I have to be honest with you.

My first week of 2018 was anything but that.

I pretty much did the opposite of what most of you were doing and I wouldn't have it any other way. It was a lovely and much needed break from the healthy and sometimes rigid routine that I often find myself in. That said, when I returned to London a week ago I was ready to get back to it with two very clear intentions for this month.

1. Save Money. London is expensive!
2. Eat Healthy. More specifically, eat most of my meals at home. 

To the one who...

To the one who...

To the one who has always struggled with her body...

The one who looks in the mirror and hates what she sees.
The one who doesn't like looking at pictures because she picks herself apart.
The one who is at the gym drowning in sweat because she wants to shrink.
The one who sees beauty in everyone else but can't see it in herself.

I hope that this is the year that you learn to love yourself for who you are already...

The year that you see your body as a gift instead of curse.
The year you pipe up when your inner critic starts to pick yourself apart.
The year you appreciate what your body can do instead of just what it looks like.
The year you throw out the belief that your value in this world is tied to how you look. 

Is the work worth it?

Is the work worth it?

Whenever I find myself deep in conversation with someone else about the future and my goals there's always one thing that sneaks its way in on top of the expected yoga, mindfulness and helping others. Writing. I went to school for it. I love it. I've always wanted to do something - even though I'm not quite sure what that something is - with writing. 

But here's the thing. Writing is hard. If you do it right, the reading is easy. But the actual writing part? Not so much. It takes time. It takes effort. And sometimes it takes writing 100 bad sentences to get just one good one. Which doesn't fit well with life today.

We live in a world of instant gratification.
Need an immediate answer on something? Google.

Gift Guide: What to get the Yogi in your Life?

Gift Guide: What to get the Yogi in your Life?

It's December 14th. 

Did anyone else wake up today and realize that none of the Christmas shopping is done? As in it hasn't even been started?

This happens to me every. single. year. Maybe it's because I don't like shopping. Maybe it's that I have trouble making decisions. I always end up doing my Christmas shopping last minute. In an effort to further procrastinate on my own list, I've decided to help you instead!

Wait, I'm the one with an accent?

Wait, I'm the one with an accent?

I was at Tesco the other day doing a quick little grocery shop. I'd brought my own reusable bag to carry my things home so when the cashier asked me if I'd like a bag I quickly and happily replied (as my parents taught me) 'No Thank You'!

She stared at me for a moment with a big smile, repeated 'No Thank You' a few times and giggled. I stood there wondering what was so funny. Was it weird that I said Thank You? Did she think I was too polite? Was there something in my teeth? I was confused and I'm sure my face showed it so she finally explained herself.

"Your accent, it's so cute!"

Playlist of the Month: December

Playlist of the Month: December

My Friends, I guess I've been in quite a dance(y) mood this month. This ones got quite a few house songs on it so if that's not your thing, maybe skip December and check back in the New Year. I'll switch it up I promise.

Special shout out to 'My Way' which is thanks to one of my spinning teachers and 'Runaway' another good one by Ziggy. I'm pretty much obsessed with both so at the very least listen to those two!