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!

My 4 Tips for Meditation

My 4 Tips for Meditation

The number of times in the last decade that I've told myself I was finally going to start meditating (like for real though) and then dropped off a day, a week or a month later is actually laughable.

I was initially hooked on the physical side of yoga because it delivered results I could see - a stronger body, an advancing practice and an increased ability to breath into poses that push me far outside of my comfort zone. Meditation on the other hand was 5 or 10 minutes of discomfort that just confirmed I was one of those people that talked to myself, all the time.

Are your Beliefs Limiting You?

Are your Beliefs Limiting You?

One of the main reasons - there are too many to count - that I feel called to share yoga with the world is because of what it's done for me. My practice was the first thing that gave me the tools to notice what was happening in my head, the perspective to see how this was impacting my life and the wisdom to know that the power to change was actually within me. It taught me that I always have a choice.

Here's the catch though. That choice is only available to me and you when we are able to recognize that something needs to change. We have to have the self-awareness to connect the dots between what we're thinking and how we're feeling.  

A Gentle Reminder to be Grateful

A Gentle Reminder to be Grateful

I want you to be completely honest with yourself for a moment.

Do you spend more time appreciating your life or complaining about it?

I'd say a lot of us, even if we don't like to admit it, are complainers. We focus on what we think needs to change for us to finally accept ourselves. We set our sights on what we think we need to do to one day be happy. But as the saying goes, happiness is an inside job. It doesn't come from out there, we have to create it for ourselves. 

Anticipatory Anxiety - We All Have It

Anticipatory Anxiety - We All Have It

"I'VE LIVED THROUGH SOME TERRIBLE THINGS IN MY LIFE,
SOME OF WHICH ACTUALLY HAPPENED"
- MARK TWAIN

I remember so clearly the first time I read this quote. I was living at home, a few months into the start of actually getting help with my anxiety. I had just started doing yoga. I was soaking up all the mental health information that I could and was specifically drawn to the stories of people who had been through something similar. It was comforting to hear that I wasn't the only one with a mind that ran wild. 

Blue Sky is a Bonus

Blue Sky is a Bonus

When I told people I was moving to London, I got used to hearing that most of my days would be wet and grey and that I better get my umbrella ready. I was warned of how tough the winters can be over here and that I better hop on a flight every now and then to soak up some sun. It's only November but yes, I can confirm, it's pretty grey, pretty often.

As you can imagine, when I finally made the move, my weather expectations were low. I expect it to be dark and rainy every single day. Because of this, I no longer take something as simple as sunshine for granted. When I wake up to bright blue sky, it feels like such a gift. 

So you think you aren't ready to teach yoga?

So you think you aren't ready to teach yoga?

I felt the same way.

It was the Fall of 2010 and I was going to yoga every single day. Power Yoga CanadaClarkson was like a second home to me. I was in love with the practice, inspired by the community and was finally starting to understand those people that claimed yoga had changed their life. I was constantly eyeing posters and hearing buzz around the next round of Kinndli’s 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program that would be starting that January.

Be present

Be present

Looking back on the first few yoga classes I took it's safe to say I spent most of my time confused. Not about the physical practice. I had the poses figured out (or at least I thought I did). It was the mental side of the practice that at first, didn't seem to make sense. 

The teacher would tell me to 'be in the moment' and I would think to myself: Well, yah, obviously. I'm here. I'm in the room. Where do you think I am, teacher? 

Newsflash: You're Wrong - a lot!

Newsflash: You're Wrong - a lot!

I'm sure you've seen the bright orange book cover with the bold statement of dropping an F bomb in the title (he's obviously not as concerned about his Mom reading as I am). If you haven't, I highly recommend you go find Mark Manson's book and read it. It's filled with amazing, no BS wisdom that everyone can relate to. His idea of opening our eyes to where we're wrong really hit home for me.

Last week I wrote about my inner perfectionist and it's powerful ability to keep me stuck. I also refer to that nasty little voice as the 'voice of doubt' because it relentlessly questions everything I am and everything I do. The one that subtly whispers 'you can't' or at times screams out 'you suck'. Some of us may hear it louder than others but we all have it. It's human nature.

One is the loneliest number...

One is the loneliest number...

I'm sure it's happened to you before, maybe more often than you'd like to admit. You walk in the door from a long day, sink into the couch and take out your phone. You open Instagram and decide you'll just see what's happening and then get on with the rest of your night. Your thumb starts scrolling and scrolling and it keeps scrolling. What you're looking at isn't even all that exciting but your eyes are glued and your mind is numb and you just keep going. You look at the clock. You've spent double, triple, maybe even more of the time you said you were going to be on social media and can't help but wonder:

Does this even feel good? 

Perfection Paralysis

Perfection Paralysis

It's actually a thing. You know, the voice in your head that says if you can't do it right you may as well not do it all. Well actually, maybe you don't know. Maybe you're one of those courageous people who dive in and make mistakes as you go. I have never been one of those people and I'm sure that some of you reading this can relate.

When it comes to this blog and my writing in general, I've been paralyzed by perfection for years.

A Blessing in (a Nasty) Disguise

A Blessing in (a Nasty) Disguise

I sat there with my forehead pressed against the window, eyes glazed over with a blur of road lines whizzing past me. My expression was blank. My heart hurt and I had a pain inside my soul that I couldn't explain to anyone because I didn't even understand it myself. I wondered how I'd gotten to this point and felt overwhelmed by the thought that this was the new 'normal' for me. 

More lines whizzed past me as the car moved forward.
I felt a hand on my shoulder.

"I KNOW IT'S HARD FOR YOU TO SEE THIS RIGHT NOW, BUT ONE DAY YOU'LL LOOK BACK ON THIS MOMENT AS A BLESSING IN DISGUISE" 

New Year, New You!

New Year, New You!

How many times this week have you been bombarded with the 'New Year, New You' campaigns? It seems that everywhere I turn there's a screen to watch, image to see, or article to read focused on what I'm going to do in 2017 to make myself better.  

The pressure to come up with bold resolutions and big goals is high. January 1st hits and the world sheds it's pizza-eating, wine-guzzling, couch potato skins. We're supposed to instantly transform into radiant, gluten-free, sugar-free, sober beings who meditate daily and workout two hours a day.