Are You Close To Om? —Why I love Andrea Marcum

Happy Wednesday Lovelies! How’s your week going? Are you creating some space for mindfulness & self-care for your deserving soul? I love when things cross my path that remind me to take a break from our to-do lists, auto-pilot behaviors and just breathe into what’s happening right in this moment. The sun is shining bright today, the breeze blowing so subtly through my curtain and after a week of rain the evidence of Spring is everywhere. Deep breath in— deep breath out. How good does that feel?

Inspirational Addict Lifestyle blogger, Healthy and Wellness, Yoga Instructor, Sonoma Mama photographed by Erik Almas

Have you ever been curious about how yoga could or does relate to your life? It doesn’t matter how long or short of a time you’ve been practicing, we will continuously be surprised at how much this practice reveals and supports where we are in our lives. The time spent on our mat can be a vehicle for transformation as life’s experiences take us up and down and to places unknown. The growth I continue to feel as a practitioner and a certified instructor doesn’t happen without the inspiration of others that I learn from.  If you don’t already know who Andrea Marcum is... you should. My yoga journey has been beautifully enriched as I show up on my mat again and again. Andrea is the witty & gracious guide sharing her gifts with me... and the world I may add.

Yoga Instructor and Author Andrea Marcum with Andrea Bogart, Inspirational Addict Health and wellness Blogger in India, International Yoga Retreat photographed by Erik Almas

I found Andrea at Best You Studio years ago after moving to Miracle Mile in Los Angeles and searching best yoga instructor on yelp. I remember her asking me my name since I was new to class. We both chuckled after I said, “Andrea”. My intuition was clear. I had a sudden need to blurt out “you’re going to be my mentor" like a 5 year old proclaiming they’d just tied their own shoes for the first time. I felt a deeper connection to myself throughout that seventy-five minute class than I ever had before. I laughed out loud a handful of times, I wept like baby and when class ended I felt like something major just happened. I was a mess when I first landed in her class and it was a mucky ride for while but I always left feeling better than when I arrived.  The really juicy gunk started to become the best part and whether; I face planted trying bakasana (crow), sobbed my way through hip openers or realized the people pleasing, perfectionist in me needed to learn to just be, I was genuinely feeling more joy and happiness as I'd get in my car and drive home from class. The pull to keep going was profound and my commitment was one I was excited about. Andrea has a humorous way of leading us in a humbling dance with our minds and bodies utilizing the very essence of yoga to be one we explore on our mats and effortlessly immerse into our everyday lives. I’ve spent years practicing in a studio setting and traveling through India on an International Yoga retreat with her, I’m grateful for how much I get to absorb from this accomplished soul. She's been an integral part of why I was inspired to get certified and have been teaching for the past 6 years. 

Please allow this wise human to welcome you to your mat and embark on an adventure I assure you will not turn away from. I will warn you of her ab sequences as that may be the one time you want to take a bullet train off course— hang in there, everything has a purpose. You can find Marcum literally everywhere these days; Studio classes at YogaWorks in LA, Online Classes, Workshops and Retreats around the world AND may I encourage you to join her Om Community as you listen or read her newly published, absolutely fantastic book, “Close To Om”. I'm so thankful I can practice with her on-line since I've relocated to Sonoma. I miss her presence beyond belief but I don't have to miss her awesome classes. Whew! 

I have a signed copy from Andrea Marcum I'd be delighted to put in the hands of one of my sweet subscribers, so leave a comment to be entered in the drawing— Winner announced next Wednesday 4/4/18 at 5PM PT. 

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Andrea's passion, knowledge, humor and grace strut across pages throughout this book. I love that you can be a seasoned yogi or brand new and feel like you're right where you need to be with enjoying it. She threads the perfect amount of philosophy and creates an opportunity for you to jump on your mat with clarity. If you are even the slightest bit curious about yoga and how you can apply the practice to your life you would love this book. Her shared life experiences and stories invites us all in to be exactly who we are and appreciate how a consistent yoga practice can deeply connect you to a deeper sense of self... her wit will keep you laughing and humble. 

We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing
— George Bernard Shaw

Thank you for stopping by gang and I hope you're liking Wellness Wednesdays... It's so fun to share things that I love and play a part major role in my happiness. I'll keep paying things forward and let me know what you're liking! I love hearing from you... don't forget to leave a comment so I know you're interested in winning an Andrea Marcum sighed copy of "Close To Om". 

XO ANDREA

INSPIRED By My Mom, Who Would You Write Your Letter To?

Have you ever wanted to write a letter to your Mom reminiscing about all the things she did that inspired you?  Or anyone special who played a prominent part in your upbringing? A trip down memory lane with them would make you fill up with gratitude... you know that feeling right?

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This is a free write to my mamma... 

You'd wake up and come in singing 'wake up you sleepy head, it's time to get out of bed', give me sweet kisses, a few pats and usually another soft & kind 'rise and shine'. Wild- Tina Turner hair in the mornings. For work days, nicely dressed and simple make-up. A less is more kind of Mom. Always a minimalist pulled together and beautifully natural looking. I would think, wow my mom is pretty. I remember you eating a half of grapefruit in the mornings and making everything from cereal, to donuts holes, to waffles & french toast for Eric and I. You'd put those blue calcium pills next to my plate and see if I might be up for a glass of milk today... juice always won.  I remember you going to aerobics, drinking tea and water, barely drinking alcohol (maybe a wine cooler)... never over-indulging in anything. I remember you working hard at Kroger, Lincoln Homes Sales and our School Office. You took me to dance, the grocery store and to run errands. I'd get to pick my favorite candy bar if I'd been good as we checked out. You took us to see our Grandmas & Grandpa often. You made me the cutest outfits by hand and encouraged me to learn to sew. You always made dinner, we'd sit together and talk about our days. Eric and I would be little shits and you and dad would threaten us with the chicken paddle that hung on the wall. Even when I'd come home from college and LA you'd still make my favorites; ham and beans with lots of cornbread, chicken and dumplings (extra dumplings), spaghetti with garlic toast. If I wasn't a gluten free pain in the butt, you'd still do it today. You'd let me have a pile of peanut butter with my crispy bacon. Corn curls with honey and my favorite grape & sunkiss orange soda. We had to pick green beans from our garden. We ate what you prepared, a balanced meal and asked permission 'may I please be excused' to get up from the table. I learned how to vacuum and dust to help you and earn allowances. We had to make our beds. A summer of doing the laundry helped me get my trampoline. You and dad traveled and went wonderful places like Portugal, Jamaica, Kentucky and lots of others. You did so many arts and crafts with me. Remember the paper angels we decorated with colored pencils and glitter, they took forever we did so many and set them on the TV stand for the holidays? We played games, we walked outside and rode bikes. We played frisbee, catch and swam, gave tennis a few shots. I tried roller skating, ice skating with your skates you had when you were young. You helped us with school work and projects. You got me a keyboard when I really was excited about piano. I had all those crazy sticker books you let me fill with pages and pages of stickers. Toys I begged for found their way under the Christmas tree. You insisted on using manners; always please, thank you, please be quiet- never shut-up. Endless trips to friends houses for sleepovers, dance class and competitions. Giving up so much of your time to be present for Eric and I with anything we did. You always said 'just do your best and smile' and don't bite your lip or play with your hair.

You took so many pictures of us kids. We did so much together. I got to have a Birthday party every year! Camping, boating, fishing trips, vacations, slumber parties, activities, the zoo, science center, roller skating, movies, shopping, mini golf, six flags and water parks. We had awesome Halloween costumes and school play outfits because of your creativity and talent. We have our special holiday movies; "Miracle on 34th Street" for me and "Scrooge" for Eric. Even tho I was a pickle often about church, I loved Sunday's. Family day, together for church, brunch after and usually something together outside. You read the 'period' book with me and although this was embarrassing at the time I'm thankful you communicated and shared with me what was going to happen to my body as I became a woman. You made Dr. appointments and helped me understand growing up and changes. You visited me in college, Japan and take time to come to LA often. We took a mother/daughter vacation to Cabo and it was awesome. You have hand written me cards dazzled with support and encouragement consistently since I moved out of the house at 18.. I have a keep sake box filled to the brim. I observed you having strength, courage, vulnerability, and joy. You we're quiet and more reserved but not uncommunicative, just never needing to be loud or the center of attention. Always having such grace with the way you spoke, friends you cared for, dancing with Dad, holding me and being the kind of mother that any child would be so blessed to have. This is just a peek at some of the stuff I vividly remember... the things that shaped me, supported me, taught me well and will continue to inspire me to strive to be a woman, wife & mom like you. I'm eternally grateful for all you do for me and our family. Thank you Mom for being you. 

In honor of her Birthday this week... Happy Birthday Mamma! 

A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts.
— Washington Irving

May this encourage you to take stroll into memory lane for a moment and tell the people who helped guide you and shape you, some of the reasons why. What brought a smile to your face and appreciation to your soul. I love the idea of not only giving yourself this opportunity to feel such gratitude but sharing it with those who mean the world to you, perhaps in an old fashion written letter? Lot's of love to you always, comments, questions and shared experiences are always welcome here! I love hearing from you guys.

XO ANDREA