Mindful Parenting–I'm Curious, How About You?

Hi wonderful humans. I hope you're having a tremendous week. As a new mama I'm incredibly curious about mindful parenting, are you? I have no doubt that practicing mindfulness and mindful parenting have many differences but are equally influential when implemented in our home lives. It may be wishful thinking, but I pray for the day that all our education systems also include mindful practices into the curriculum. Wouldn't that be great for our children and our educators? 

Inspirational Addict Writer Andrea Bogart Sonoma Mama Actress Health and Wellness Yoga Instructor 

From the time an infant is one month old they start to make facial expressions and possibly even mimic some of their parents gestures. These first years of a child’s life are crucial for setting up a strong foundation for learning, relationships and mental health. As we stick out our tongues, play patty-cake and comfort with hugs and kisses, we quickly learn how babies and children are prone to copying behaviors they see. As the various developmental stages take shape, involving them them with things like yoga and meditation can help them deeply bond, sleep better, grow stronger, relieve fussiness, learn self-regulation, increase body awareness and promote neuromuscular development… just to touch on a few. Parents creating this space for themselves propels curiosity. Our little ones’ abilities to absorb impressions are rapid and undeniable so I implore us to experiment as early as we can. Although much of our information is young and anecdotal, I'm intrigued that research is revealing trends and further investigation is being prompted on how effective meditation and mindful practices are for our youth.  

Inspirational Addict Writer Andrea Bogart Sonoma Mama Actress Health and Wellness Yoga Instructor

In many cases when a woman becomes pregnant, a mindful yoga practice is being recommended by doctors encouraging them to maintain a calm, healthy pregnancy. Various stressors, if become constant, may negatively affect a growing fetus so it’s no surprise parents are interested in learning how to reduce unhealthy stress and use coping mechanisms, like meditation and yoga, to assist in stress management. Throughout my pregnancy I remained consistent with my meditation practice often using the Chopra Center meditations as a guide. I truly believe that even now with our baby girl only being ten months old she recognizes the voices and has an understanding that it’s a relaxing time not just for mommy and daddy but for her as well. I have found in my own struggles with being up several times a night to breastfeed that using an uplifting mantra helps me create inner peace, stay relaxed and I easily fall back asleep after she’s done feeding. I can’t help but hope this affects her positively as well. She too has been observing and involved with my yoga practice since the day she’s arrived. I’ve watched her press into downward dog long before she could even crawl. She loves to be involved, crawling all around my mat and watches as I breathe and move through postures. My positive experience leads me to believe that it’s beneficial to weave these practices in as early as you get to hear a heartbeat.

Children are showing signs of anxiety, restlessness and stress earlier and being diagnosed with things like ADHD before the age of six. Parents in-turn have a perpetual concern about children’s attention. We have an opportunity to shift concern into action by showing and teaching mindfulness early on. The amount of interest being displayed with your child in the action you are promoting will be your best guide. While there isn’t a distinct age said to begin teaching meditation it’s been recommended by experts to start off short and simple. Perhaps trying one min of meditation per year of age. After working with children in a theater camp, ages four and up, I was shocked and thrilled to see how many knew what yoga and meditation was and were able to lay quietly as we practiced meditation in savasana at the end of our yoga session all together. With that said it’s important to pay attention to your child’s nature and temperament so it may take some trial and error to find the structure that feels good.

There are a variety of creative ways to invite your children into a calming mindful space that can lead to an ongoing meditation practice. Mindfulness is not simply sitting perfectly still; music and movement often make ideal mindfulness entry points as well. Whether it be creating a special space in your home, using things like a candle flame to focus on, encouraging imagination with colors and visualizing or saying mantras with simple breathing exercises, allow your child to partake in the idea fun and help lead the way to mindfulness. We can watch them evolve into healthy adults by offering them simple tools now and most importantly, leading by example. Here are some wonderful resources I’ve explored with my youth yoga students and baby girl and simply love.

Inspirational Addict Writer Andrea Bogart Sonoma Mama Actress Health and Wellness Yoga Instructor Baby Girl with Meddy Teddy Meditation Yoga Bear

Meddy Teddy is a 100% posable bear who practices yoga and meditation. Meddy can be a tool and a buddy as you bring awareness into how to sit or lay comfortably to meditate. His eyes are closed to remind us how to turn inward to ourselves as we find our breath to feel grounded and calm.

My Light Shines Bright is The Chopra Centers first guided meditation app for kids age 8-12. The 22 guided meditations are geared toward building confidence, encouraging good sleep, creativity, and deep connection.

Itsy Bitsy Yoga is a wonderful book by Helen Garabedian that introduces parents and babies to the many ways of bonding together and improving health. A delightful guide to introducing mindful techniques as early as birth.

Breathing Buddies Best-selling author Daniel Goleman shares such a sweet and simple way he observed children learning to use their breath and strengthen their focus in a classroom setting. After finding a comfortable place to stretch out they are to put their stuffed animal on their belly and count as they breathe in 1,2,3 and out 1,2,3, watching their toy move up and down.

I also weighed in on this topic with one of my favorite wellness platforms MindBodyGreen so please feel free to read more on kids and meditation there.  

Thank you guys for stopping by! Would love to hear from you especially if you have kids and have insight on what’s working and not working for you! Wishing us all the very best as we navigate our way into mindful parenting. 

XOXO ANDREA

 

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

My Younger Self Would Have Greatly Benefited From Mindfulness, How About Your's?

Is there an activity in your life today you would have greatly benefited from in your adolescences? What are some of the most essential things you'd share with your younger self in today's world?

For me that is answer is YES. Especially now that I'm a mom, it's got me thinking about my youth and how I can raise this little person to be a strong, compassionate and loving human.  A desire commonly shared in parenting, I have no doubt.  

If I knew how much yoga and meditation would have impacted my life for the better, you bet I would I have grabbed on to the practices sooner. I didn't get committed to either until my 30's. I was incredibly dedicated to being a dancer and tumbler as a young girl. With that came discipline, hard work, developing a passion, busy schedules, tons of joy... and let's not leave out anxiety, nervousness, failure and thoughts about never being good enough. Although these things help shape us at a young age, isn't it equally important to learn how to cope, manage and understand the more difficult emotions we encounter? It would be incredible to see more effort focused on acquiring self-help tools and practices and less on dramatic labels and prescriptions in my book. There is so much going on in the world today. We are more and more inundated with information coming at us, sharing our lives in a fantastical social-media manner, stripped of the simple things and horrified by devastation time and time again. Mindful practices continue to bring me back to gratitude and compassion and that always provides a shift into something great. 

While I am thankful for great parents who did a tremendous job guiding me, not everyone grows up with such direction and support. And even if you do, sometimes outside sources, pressures and the circles you fall into can have a negative impact. I know yoga and meditation would have only strengthen my mind, body and spirit connection, complimenting my active and competitive lifestyle all through my youth. We only have so much time for our extra circular activities outside school when we are younger, which is why I find it inspiring to see more and more school systems implementing yoga into their curriculum. It's truly more than just a physical practice when guided by skilled, trained, passionate instructors. Children are beginning to learn yoga and mindful practices in pre-school now. Some schools are using meditation during detention and evolving the mindset of troubled kids. Not to mention companies like Google, Apple, Time Warner, YAHOO and AOL offering meditation and wellness programs on-site for employees. How amazing is that? If we are continuously seeing the scientific benefits of mediation, yoga and mindful practices significantly making a difference in the work place, I sure hope we unite as a society and encourage more of this for our youth. The same goes for nutrition, but that's another blog. 

I share my enthusiasm for these things because of the exponential growth and transformation I've experienced from consistently practicing them for years. I am a mom now, I have a responsibility and desire to be a great one who's full of vitality. Helping our baby-girl see how important wellness is; mind, body and spirit is a gift I simply want to pay forward and educate her with early on. I believe that proper nutrition, the power in breath work, regular stretching and being able to sit with ourselves quietly, are a key elements that will encourage awareness of our health, continuous growth and expansion with-in. I'm excited to be a part of a wellness shift I feel happening in the U.S. and pray we as individuals care enough about our wellbeing and that of our families, we learn as much as we can so we can make wise choices.

Sonoma Mom Inspirational Addict Blogger and wellness influencer Andrea Bogart with Daughter and Erik Almas Photography

If any of you are curious about meditation there are wonderful apps out there you can get started with. I personally love Deepak Chopra and Oprah's 21Day Meditation Experiences they offer several times a year for free. The next one, Making Every Moment Matter starts Oct. 30th if you want to join me? 

As a fun exercise, try writing a letter to your younger self sharing the lessons that have impacted you the most so far. This can be incredibly therapeutic and give you some clarity about what you really appreciate and serves you well today.

If you have great resources you love, share them with me. I'm all about creating community and helpful tips for one another! Have a beautiful week. 

XO ANDREA 

 

How To Challenge Yourself Mind, Body & Spirit With Get My Body Back (GMBB5)

Hello amazing humans! I'm inspired to share the official Invitation to the GET MY BODY BACK 5 Elective by "The New Hollywood" (TNH) starting September 12th through December 11th! This is my third year participating and second year supporting you as one of the expert leaders. I’m motivated knowing I’ll get to encourage you along the way, just as I need you encouraging me.

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Do you wish you got more sleep, spent less time on your phone, drank more water, started a meditation practice, took walks frequently, ate healthier meals, carved out space just for you or engaged in more mindful activities with friends or loved ones... to suggest a few? HERE IS YOUR YOUR CHANCE, WITH A COMMUNITY SUPPORTING YOU! We all learn from accountably. Receiving and giving support with my TNH Members has changed my life for the better. There's a drive to continue to grow and pay that energy forward in a variety of ways. For #GMBB5 we put our money where our mouths are, involving a beautiful charity aspect. Ready to be truthful with yourself? You get your money back if you successfully complete your challenge and if not… it goes to a charity. It’s a win win in our book but we absolutely want to see you succeed in your challenge. Choose something, anything, big or small that you believe will create a healthier, happier lifestyle for YOU– let's do this!

Photo By Erik Almas

Photo By Erik Almas

Listen, I’m a new mama as of July and as a daily yoga practitioner, taking a break to let my body heal has been difficult and now that I’m cleared to get back at it, things hurt more than usual… which tells me how important it is to keep moving and stretching as we safely can. Not to take away from how valuable it is to listen to your body and rest as well. It’s been more important for me to relish in baby time and I have appreciated the break. Bonding with her is just the best. My life style has shifted so much recently, this years participation will be a new sort of challenge for me. As a member and leader with the TNH elective I will commit to 10 minutes alternating booty & core work daily and I will post an Inspirational Addict blog every Sunday to warm your soul on your journey! I’m excited to get my body back into shape post-baby and writing for my blog is such a passion and super challenging with a newborn, so I love the idea of committing to these things. Often we set goals that are just too much, too unrealistic and fail and then beat ourselves up about it. So take a beat to think about what will serve you well in this challenge mind, body & spirit, don't over do it, and get excited about committing to what you choose. That is how, together, we will create changes... hopefully some that stick with us long after our 90 days. 

Click the link below for complete details and join us for the challenge. The “I want to sign up” button is waiting for you there.

http://www.thenewhollywood.org/getmybodyback5.html

The New Hollywood Women’s Goal Group Inc. is a philanthropic women’s goal group and 501c3 non-profit. TNH wants to inspire everyone to Rise Higher, Shine Brighter and Give Back! The four pillars of our organization are: goals, support, education and charity. Join our movement, on line community and quarterly newsletter by signing our pledge page
— The New Hollywood

Thank you guys for visiting me here. I love sharing things that I hope we can connect on and keep each other inspired about life. Sending you all lot's of love and laughs always. If you have any questions or comments... share away! I love hearing from you.

XOXO ANDREA

Evolving From A Multitasker to A Singletasker... You Ready?

Hello wonderful humans! I'm coming right out to ask... are you constantly tempted to multitask?

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According to the Author of The One Thing "Since the 1920’s the word multitasking has existed but it was’t until the 1960’s that it was being used to describe computers, not something the human race did."

A girlfriend calls: “Hi Dre what are you doing?” 

Me: “I’m multitasking a million things like champ, getting stuff done… you?”

I admit it, that’s actually come out of my mouth for years now. I wore that phrase like a badge of honor, truly believing I was efficient in doing many things at once. Thankfully several resources including meditation, yoga and helpful literature have all inspired me to see how ineffective multitasking actually is. I'm challenged continuously and catch myself over and over again having to stop, realize I'm doing it and change my patterns. 

For example; I can memorize lines for an audition as I listen to upbeat music with lyrics, I can be on the phone and attentively listen as I unload groceries, I can read articles and pay bills on line switching from tab to tab while also creating Spotify playlists for my yoga sessions. These are are just a few of the things I thought I could do at the same time and do well. It really wasn't until I began consistently going to yoga that more awareness of myself & distracting habits surfaced and meditation helped me understand how to practice changing it. Get connected to the word practice, I use it a lot and find so much comfort knowing my growth lies in my commitment to practice... EVERYTHING. 

Snap By Erik Almas at the Taj Mahal in Agra, INDIA

Snap By Erik Almas at the Taj Mahal in Agra, INDIA

In the middle of writing an important email you stop and switch tabs to your on-line banking to pay some bills, then you decide to hop up and make a snack then back to the computer, someone texts you and you start engaging and before you know it you’ve just wasted two hours and not completed one thing. This is embarrassingly sometimes my day. I don’t want to pull anyone down here with me… but tell me I’m not alone? 

When I look at my todo list, I know I’m notorious for making long one’s. I even put the lists into categories and it’s still daunting. It's quite aggressive to think I could get it all done in a month let alone a few days. Do you do this too? It’s my attention span that often has to be redirected. How disrupted are you by your own thoughts? It's apparent that distractions surround us constantly and we will drive ourselves nuts if we don’t create a unique, personalized system that releases our ideal of doing several things at once. Let's start there. Deep breath in and out... and release the need. 

We want to actually complete tasks, we want to feel amazing about getting multiple things done... but in order of importance not scrambling them together like your best breakfast omelette, right? So how do we redirect our energy into doing one thing at a time? I love the juggler analogy The One Thing uses, "even a juggler, catches one ball at a time." 

TIP #1: IDENTIFY WHEN YOU'RE MULTITASKING

Catch yourself and pause. Reflect for a beat about it bringing awareness around it. Re-direct your actions into what's most important and follow through on one single task. Then move onto the next. Have a chuckle about it. 

TIP #2: ENJOY THE PRESENT MOMENT

Challenge yourself to be completely present in doing one thing at a time. Notice how different you feel. Enjoy and appreciate how wonderful it is. 

TIP #3: ENGAGE IN A MEDITATION PRACTICE

For me, this is it. Meditation is what calms the mind and creates a rich connection to the self and your ability to be still. Try 5 minute MOODBOOSTS with me as I talk you through various ways to quiet the mind with the Mindsail App. Sit with your beautiful self and love it. 

Snap by Erik Almas in Sarnath, INDIA

Snap by Erik Almas in Sarnath, INDIA

I have no doubt without yoga and meditations I’d be a total basket case still trying to master the art of multitasking, determined to be the best at it. No matter what your fitness routine or mindful practice is... can I inspire you to capture the essence of slowing down and taking one thing at a time?  With how fast things come at us these days, connecting to your ability to enjoy something moment by moment will enrich your capacity to be present with yourself, the tasks you want to achieve and others who are graced with your presence more and more. I'm with you on this journey, I love the challenge it presents and look forward to doing less with more focus as a singletasker. 

Thank you for stopping by. If you have any great tips about being a better singletasker... send them my way! Let me know if you find any of these tips helpful... share your progress! I'm so proud of all of you. 

Black Friday Shop Carbon38

Hi there! Hope you've all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. 

I just wanted to share my extra special discount I get for being an ambassador for Carbon38. They carry tons of great styles and brands you can choose from on-line. Aloyoga and Teeki are a few of my favorites. For a limited time Carbon38 has a pop-up shop on Robertson if you prefer to peruse in store... so hop on over before Jan. 31, 2017! 



AlOYOGA Airbrush Legging

AlOYOGA Airbrush Legging

ALOYOGA Coast Legging

ALOYOGA Coast Legging

Happy Shopping Loves!

To Malibu With Gratitude

A Sunday morning drive down PCH, sipping on a smoothie with some mood music and my man-squeeze next to me is a great way to start the day...

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Something about the ocean-side drive always deeply connects me to my sense of gratitude. The quick breeze almost takes my hipster hat. Erik and I share a laugh that's worthy of the windows remaining down. There's a whisper in the air that breathes, it's going to be a great Sunday. I love this feeling– are you with me?

The Malibu Yoga Shala is our destination, a private event hosted by the gracious Leah Marsh and Ed Freedman. We stroll into a beautiful space with the excitement of meeting new people and claim a spot as yoga mats are being rolled out. A stunning beach-front flow accompanied by live acoustic music is such a gorgeous way to bring people together... I'm inspired and honored to be here. Glimpsing into the kitchen, I can see a small crew hard at work preparing an array of fresh foods and the sweetest chocolate lab is brushing by with a tennis ball in-mouth, ready to play. There are hugs and handshakes with some friendly faces I know and introductions with those whom are new. I'm in my element of bliss and soaking up the experience of participating as a guest before I get to guide this radical tribe. 

The smell of the salty air, sounds of waves crashing and the light strumming of a guitar is grounding and I feel alive. My rhythmic ujjayi breath is a graceful ballroom-waltz dancing in and out... in and out... in and out. I'm relishing in the last bit of shade as the sun beams its' rays onto half of my face. I am present, I am grateful, I am happy. 

For seventy-five minutes Kat McGee has us gently flowing, threading in the word simplicity and I sink deeper into letting go and release my worried demeanor about getting everything done on my to-do list.  Jenna Maranga's angelic voice flutters like a beautiful butterfly over my movements.It's calming to practice being present & the art of acceptance. The time spend on my mat and meditating gives me the freedom to enjoy the process.  As we lay in Savasana and I surrender letting thanks wash over my sun-kissed, dewy body I cherish the calm, quiet connection to the earth supporting me– Namaste. 

We are invited to stick around and enjoy breakfast prepared by the talented Chef Oren. The presentation is something a food blogger would go nuts over. YUM! Everything is delicious... my pallet is satisfied with flavorful & clean local ingredients that he's passionate about serving. This was such a special addition to the already wonderful morning we were having. 

Photo by Me

Photo by Me

Photo: Chef Oren - Lavender Dragon fruit Chia pudding

Photo: Chef Oren -Lavender Dragon fruit Chia pudding

Photo: Chef Oren -  Mini healthy tostadas w/ Brown quinoa, spinach, Chili's, black beans, fire roasted tomato salsa and hard-boiled egg

Photo: Chef Oren -Mini healthy tostadas w/ Brown quinoa, spinach, Chili's, black beans, fire roasted tomato salsa and hard-boiled egg

Photo: Chef Oren -  Acai coconut bowl

Photo: Chef Oren -Acai coconut bowl

Of course we couldn't leave with out getting our toes in the sand and me asking my talented guy, Erik Almas to snap some beach yoga photos. The beautiful connection nature triggers spiritually for me is a reminder, I'm the most comfortable outdoors and surrounded by it. Beyond getting a great shot, it feels nice to have the sea splashing up on me as I try to find balance on a rock. 

Special Thanks to  Body Language Sports Wear  for my summer floral leggings and  LuLu Lemon  for my favorite black bra top.

Special Thanks to Body Language Sports Wear for my summer floral leggings and LuLu Lemon for my favorite black bra top.

We mingled for a bit and as I thanked Leah and Ed for their loving, generosity and hospitality, I realized how special this is and what a privilege it will be to flow with these yogi's as I lead this private event on Aug. 7th.  Another bucket list will be checked off and it will be something new for my 31 day class pass challenge I'm doing this month with my friends, Jake Ferree and Namastamy. I've been wanting to teach a flow accompanied with live music; our featured musician is Peter Chung.  I spoke with Peter and he mentioned he's always wanted to play live with a yoga flow... SYNCHRONICITY is so grand! A special thanks to Chris Pan founder of MyIntent for connecting me to this group of wonderful humans. Stay tuned for a follow up blog with more on the Aug. 7th Malibu Yoga Shala Event. 

Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is.
— Mark Twain

Thank you for popping by! Can I inspire you to try some new things for the rest of August with me and include #InspirationalAddict in your hashtag when you photograph it? XOXO

We Are All Warriors

To be a warrior to me is to work hard, honor those along side you, inspire and be inspired, rise and strive beyond what you thought was your best and lead with your heart in all that you do. 

As we journey through life we have days where all this could feel pretty good and days where our warrior mind may be adrift right? Spend a little time hanging out with yourself, if I may encourage you.  The more we get to know ourselves, the more in-tune we become with our mind, body, sprit connection.  It's in these moments I experience the ability to honor myself more deeply and learn how to control the negative thoughts that tend to be the easier place drift to for some reason.  Mindfully take charge Warriors. you have the power already with-in you!

Photo by Erik Almas - Tower of London

Photo by Erik Almas - Tower of London

Can I inspire you to take your Warrior Mind to the yoga mat or sit and meditate?  Allow yourself to breathe,  get grounded and see what arises?  

I share my passion for teaching yoga three days a week at Rise Movement in an intimate class setting and manage ten to twelve private clients a week with such a grateful heart.  I continue to learn so much about myself through mediation, yoga and from the very people who inspire me through their own consistent practice.  

This quote resonated with me as i continue to seek a more open heart.

Be aware of yourself and know yourself. No matter how much you have learned and how much you know, if you don’t know yourself you don’t know anything. Indeed, if you don’t know yourself you cannot know anything else. People who don’t know themselves criticize others from the point of view of their own ignorance. They consider what agrees with them to be good, and hate whatever doesn’t go their way. They become irritated about everything, causing themselves to suffer by themselves, bothering themselves solely because of their own prejudices. If you know that not everyone will be agreeable to you, know that you won’t be agreeable to everyone either. Those who have no prejudices in themselves do not reject people, and therefore people do not reject them.
— Shosan from The Japanese Art of War

What does being a warrior mean to you?  

For some fun warrior wardrobe inspiration check out my best friends line  NAMASTAMY by Amy Morrison. 

Sadhus in Varanasi

Namaste from Varanasi, India's Holy City. Tonight we witnessed so many things I will never forget. From the ghats at the banks of Varanasi to see the evening prayers, and for an evening boat ride on the holy Ganges River— I'm speechless and my soul feels like its received a blessing in some way I've never felt.  

Photo by Erik Almas

Photo by Erik Almas

What is a Sadhu you ask?

Here is a little bit on the Sadhus, the good man/holy man we are photographed with, whom may or may not be a real Sadhu.  Now I say this because it was brought to our attention by our guides that tourists, like me, want to get pictures with these interesting faces of India.  Similar to our favorite super heros and disney characters who line the Hollywood Walk of Fame taking pictures with tourists, they've all found a way to capitalize on this and make some great tips.  

Photo by Me:)

Photo by Me:)

In Hinduism, a sādhu (Sanskrit sādhu, "good; good man, holy man") is a religious ascetic or holy person.[1]Although the vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, not all yogīs are sādhus. The sādhu is solely dedicated to achieving mokṣa (liberation), the fourth and final aśrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. Sādhus often wear saffron-coloured clothing, symbolising their sannyāsa (renunciation). This way of life is open to women; the female form of the word is sādhvī. In 2014, an all-female akhada (group of sadhus) was formed; it is believed to be the first such group in India.[2]  (Wikipedia)

Sadhus are also often referred to as Baba, meaning father and real or not, some of them we crossed paths with had intriguing energy and with curious eyes we were drawn in.  As the sun started to rise I watched this ash covered Baba Sadhu turn himself to bow and then begin a tea & smoke ritual.  Our guide helped us communicate that I’d like to have a picture with him and next thing you know I’m invited in, offered a smoke (I said no thank you and we all cracked up) and I folded my feet on top of my thighs for Lotus and he joined the party, clearly not to be out done!  We both pressed our body weight up into an elevated Lotus Posture (Utthita Padmasana) while Erik captured some really fun moments.  After it all, our guide explained he was a special Baba Sadhu, who practices hot yoga and more rare to see.  What a treat.  I’d like to believe our paths crossed and I just did some yoga with a real Sadhu.  I’m grateful. 

Photos by Erik Almas

Photos by Erik Almas

Through the higher spiritual intelligence, there is the realization of the Light of the Self
— Lord Shiva