Sunday Special, Vol. 9

This week was a special one, since I spent it in nearby Silver Lake babysitting a cute little doggie. I found that housesitting or dog sitting is a nice way to change up your life without permanently changing up anything in your life. It was definitely refreshing to get a change of scenery and learn the streets of a new neighborhood.

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Health

I’ve been living in a vegetarian household since I moved to LA, which is totally cool with me! I was a vegetarian for a pretty long time, and I respect all dietary choices. But when I signed on, I didn’t realize how much I would miss cooking with meat or seafood. I don’t eat it every night, but when I see a cookbook recipe or a blog post, sometimes I get bummed if it’s something I know I won’t be able to make. I’ve also found that including meat/fish in my diet usually helps me to eat healthier. I can have protein and veggies for dinner without feeling like I have to add something starchy or processed or a lot of beans. To my delight, the friends’ place where I stayed this week was not a vegetarian kitchen, so I got to indulge in some baked salmon, turkey chili, and turkey meatballs. Yum yum yum. Plus, living with a dog had me out and about on long walks 2-3 times per day. (+)

Family

We’ve got an exciting cousin wedding coming up in two weeks, so there was a lot of planning going on for that. I’m excited to see my dad’s side of the family, and I’m so thankful that some members are willing to pick carless me up and drop me off at our various destinations! (+)

Friends

One sticky thing about being an adult is that is kind of hard to make new friends! Do you agree? I think it’s because we know ourselves a little better so we are more protective of quality alone time where we can rest and recharge (because we’re old!). We’re also juggling work and other responsibilities and sometimes just trying to manage our relationships with our already existing friends. But I’ve made some quality friends here in LA, so I really try to balance where I spend my time, even when part of me would rather go to bed early or watch mafia crime dramas on HBO GO. It’s important to have friends, new and old, so I’m proud of myself for taking time to build and maintain those friendships. (+)

Mission/Work

I’m excited to see my schedule filling up with classes, but at the same time, I took some time to reflect this week on the best way to manage a yoga teaching schedule. I think the best teachers are not only teaching their own classes, but still finding time to take classes with other instructors. That’s a little harder when we’re teaching 2-3 times per day or more. I’m curious to find out if the best way is to develop more of a home practice while attending a couple of studio classes each week, or if it’s really important to keep taking a lot of classes in-person. I’ll need to do some experimentation. (+)

Finances

I may have taken myself out to a few too many classy lunch and coffee dates in Silver Lake, while getting to know the neighborhood, of course. (-)

Adventure

I had a whole new area to explore, so this week was full of adventure. Pootie the pup and I walked to the reservoir and the park. And yesterday a few friends and I checked out the Eagle Rock Music Festival. There was a bunch of live music, melted cheese, and sweet cupcakes, and that’s really all you need to know. (+)

Hobby

For artists of Instagram, October brings Inktober, a drawing challenge where people complete one sketch per day and can share it with the world of social media. While I’m still on the fence about calling myself an artist, I like to draw, and last year’s Inktober led to the eventual creation of my Enlightened Pugs Coloring Book. Who knows what this year’s will bring? (+)

Spirituality

I’m trying Sam Harris’ Waking Up meditation app . I don’t necessarily like apps like this and Headspace where the instructor keeps interrupting to give pointers. But that’s probably because I start getting lost in my thoughts and I don’t like being called back to the present, so I think this may be good for me. (+)

Emotion

I’m coming off a fun week that felt like a vacation, and I know that this coming week will be a little short, since I’m attending a music/camping festival next weekend. I apologize in advance if there’s no post next Sunday! It’ll be nice to leave computers behind for a while. (+)

The Brown Skirt

Ok people, hold onto your own skirts because I have a story for you…

Early this summer, I was driving around LA, as we do, and I saw a girl crossing the street wearing a skirt that I liked. It was brownish tan or suede-looking, had buttons down the front, and hit a little above the knee. I thought, “Hm, that girl looks good and fashionable. I think I would like a skirt like that.”

Please note that my closet is bursting with of all sorts of clothes, and I certainly don’t need any more of any type of clothing, especially not skirts, because I spend all of my days not wearing skirts but doing and teaching yoga.

However, my capitalist self came home and perused the pages of the internet for a similar item. I looked on Poshmark to try to find something used, and later ventured onto Forever 21 and even Madewell, pretending that I am an actual person with an actual salary. I found a few pieces that might have suited my interests, but I am not a very impulsive online shopper, so I decided not to purchase anything right away. As days and weeks went by, I decided I didn’t really need a new skirt and eventually forgot about it altogether.

Let us flash forward to September when my mom and sister went shopping together in Boston for a bridesmaid dress and other “back-to-school” clothing necessities and/or maternal bonding that, of course, daughters are in need of long after we’ve finished school. Afterwards, my mom called to tell me that Elayne had tried on a medium skirt which ended up being too big, so the store had ordered a small for her. But, when they finished checking out and got home, my sister realized that the sales clerk had accidentally included the medium skirt in the bag.

The small skirt arrived a few days later, and my mom called the store, but since my sister lives in New York and the store is in Boston, it was decided that it wouldn’t be worth it to return the skirt. Flash forward to me, a size medium, relaxing in my yoga pants when my sister sends me a description followed by a picture of the skirt and…. IT’S THE SKIRT! An exact replica of the skirt I had coveted, let go, forgotten about and subconsciously been aligning myself to all along.

 Everly brown skirt

Now it’s here and a little big, but we are making it work because what else would I write this post about if it didn’t fit? Anyway, this isn’t a story about shoplifting skirts or fulfilling all your consumerist dreams; the skirt is a metaphor*. What are you holding onto that you don’t really need or aren’t sure is worth the trouble? If you release your grasp on it, you may find that it works its way back to you in an effortless and delightful way.


*It’s also an actual skirt that I plan to start wearing later this week.

New Classes!

Hi friends doing yoga in LA… I am starting a new all-levels flow class this week and I’ve posted the details below. I will also be subbing the Tuesday 12-1pm flow class at Mockingbird Yoga in Eagle Rock for those of you who are wanting some mid-day yoga on a Tuesday.

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Days: Tuesday & Thursday

Time: 6-7pm—Get there early for street parking!

Location: Seishin Karate Dojo in Highland Park

Price: $10 drop-in

I’ll be holding this class every week starting October 2nd, and I look forward to practicing together and building a community of interested yogis.

Sunday Special, Vol. 8

Here I am checking in on another week! This one was a bit confusing, since on Thursday I basically forgot where I was supposed to be and what day it was, so I showed up to teach a 7am yoga class one day early, and later started driving to my Friday yoga class. Hi self, let’s slow things down and get our footing!

 Snail


Health

Since I’ve always been an athlete and now I work as a yoga teacher, it’s usually easy to get myself to exercise. There aren’t many days where I spend my days fully couched, so moving my body is never really an issue. But, since I grew up extremely active, I’ve mostly been able to eat whatever I want, with some level of reason, and still stay on track as a fit and healthy person. However, on the nutrition side of things, when my schedule gets crazy, it becomes much hard to control my eating out habits! As much as I love veggies and home cooked meals, I have a super sweet tooth and find it hard to resist carbs. This week had me running all over the place, and I did not do a great job of planning my meals. There were a lot of skipped breakfasts and then quick meals grabbed in a very hungry state of mind, ie. not the best choices! I’m starting Sunday with a lot more green stuff, and a lot less bread, cheese, and sugar. (-)

Family

Phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. (+)

Friends

Fortunately, my not-quite-so-healthy regular eating out habit provides me with many opportunities to connect with friends out in the world. I’ll be spending the next week in Silver Lake watching a furry friend, while her non-furry humans are vacationing in Iceland. On Tuesday night, they treated me to yummy falafel, wine, and good conversation, which in retrospect may have contributed to me getting all the later days of the week mixed up. I tried a Zweet new coffee shop with another friend and then convinced others to join me for beer and pretzels at the Golden Road. (+)

Intimate Relationships

I prefer to keep this section private for now :) I leave it on here in case you want to conduct your own personal check-in, a la High Performance Habits.

Mission/Work

The yoga continues to grow, and I feel fortunate to have the time and space to practice and teach in this bustling city. It is nice to have a solid community of teachers, students, and supporters of the practice, so there is always somewhere to come back to when I feel a little off balance. My roster of classes is still mostly unpredictable day-to-day and week-to-week, and I’m setting an intention to sit down and schedule out my days the night before. (+)

Finances

Actually, not too shabby this week in spite of my endeavors as a restaurant enthusiast. Dog sitting ventures may indeed pay off. (+)

Adventure

New coffee shop! New brewery! And, starting this weekend, a weeklong staycation in Silver Lake to switch up the scene. (+)

Hobby

I’m very close to finishing my crochet bag (three weeks later)! I’m so glad to have crochet as a skill/hobby. It’s easy to learn and I recommend it to anyone with a flighty mind that’s always planning 5 minutes, days, or years into the future. Speaking of flighty, I imagine it might be good for people who get anxious while traveling in planes, trains, buses, or cars (in the passenger seat, silly). It also weirdly helps me stay focused while watching TV shows or movies. And has saved me in past relationships with video game addicted boyfriends. (+)

Spirituality

I prefer to do my meditation first thing in the morning, but I’m not much of a 5am riser and I had to set two 6am alarms this week, so I tried sitting on my cushion later in the day. It was a bit more challenging to make myself stay there, but repeating a mantra with prayer beads usually helps me focus. The more I sit and breathe, the better I become at forgiving myself for little slip-ups, like showing up for Friday on Thursday or stopping for an In-n-Out cheeseburger on the way home from yoga teacher training. I am able to step back and see how we all swing back and forth from on top of things to underneath them, and we do what we can to find the middle way in between. (+)

Emotion

Driving from place to place with a scattered schedule made me feel like a bit of a non-human, running on coffee and “fast” food (or sometimes no food!). I’ll be using the next week to manage my time a little better and question where I really need to be. (-)

Weddings in Austin

If anyone wants to get married to me, please just send me an Instagram DM and make sure you’re ok with getting married in Austin! I know it’s become THE place for bachelor and bachelorette parties, but after attending my friends’ lovely wedding this weekend, I’m thinking it could be one of the best places to do the actual thing.

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Austin is sweetly located a few quick steps away from beautiful Hill Country. It’s a fine place to dance and eat catered BBQ, but they also have tacos if you’re not so into smoked meats. There are lots of trees surrounding precious barns for celebrating, and a short ride into the city will get you to the afterparty scene. What better way to celebrate love?

I felt incredibly lucky to be a part of the couple’s special day. We had a blast two-stepping into the night.

Women's Yoga Series

Hi yogi friends! And, more specifically, lady yogini friends! I’ve got two videos that may be relevant for you, if you ever struggle with cramps before or during your period.

It can be a drag, but it’s special and something that connects us, or at least gives us a reason to hang out and complain and eat chocolate every month.

Check out these two new classes. We’re keeping it very chill:

Yoga for PMS/Cramps

Yoga for Period Pains

Sunday Special, Vol. 7

Whew, y’all! I just got back from a whirlwind weekend in Austin, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. It featured BBQ, boots, and 2-stepping in a barn, so you know it was a good ol’ Texan Time. Here’s the Sunday rundown:

 Austin poster


Health

I was actually feeling very revved up about getting to the gym first thing in the morning for most of the week. Between that and yoga, I think I carved myself a nice little deficit, which I then filled with barbecue and booze for the celebratory weekend. It’s all in the balance. (+)

Family

I bought my ticket home to New York for Christmas! That was… breathtakingly expensive, but those times are precious and I wouldn’t miss it again after last years solo festivities in Nicaragua. (+)

Friends

All the pluses! I feel so fortunate to have reconnected with so many dear hearts in the past two days. Somehow we all managed to cross paths over the years and can reconvene to make Central Texas an extra special place. (+)

Intimate Relationships

I prefer to keep this section private for now :)

Mission/Work

I finally started a monthly newsletter to highlight some of my class offerings and schedule updates— send me your email if you’d like to receive it! It’s tricky to be business-minded when most of your work is just reminding people to breathe, but I’m trying to grow here. (+)

Finances

Well, if you’ve ever been to a far-off wedding or friend weekend, you might understand the minus that follows. However, I’ll take this unsponsored chance to highlight the Chase Sapphire card for usually giving me enough points to get one domestic flight leg free! (-)

Adventure

First attendance at an Austin wedding! Congratulations to my friends Katie & Cory! (+)

Hobby

Does watching a bunch of episodes of the Sopranos count? (-)

Spirituality

I feel bad giving myself a negative for spirituality, but I did welcome a lot of interruptions and skips in my meditation practice this week. (-)

Emotion

I’m over the moon to have had the chance to check back in on my Austin fam this week. As much as I long for stability and permanence, I still feel most myself when I’m jet-setting from place to place with light luggage, sleeping on friends’ couches, and already on a plane the next morning. (+)

Fair Festivities

It’s the middle of September and we’re starting to wake up in the dark. If we were living by the clock of nature, shouldn’t we wait just a little bit until the sun shines through the window and warms us up? I guess we started this whole time thing for farmers and, I know only a little bit about farming, but couldn’t the farmers sleep in a bit, too? I’d be ok with it.

But the last days of summer bring one of my favorite childhood memories: going to the fair! The Dutchess County Fair, our local event back home in New York, is hard to beat. Even the Texas State Fair for the entire state of TEXAS paled in comparison. That’s saying something.

But we’re in California now, and the LA County Fair came through for me. It’s held in a massive Fairplex with two chairlifts to carry non-walking people from end to end. There were your typical treats including rides, games, farm animals, and fried everything. On top of that, there were palm trees, A ZOO, and the aesthetic hanging bistro lights that millennials like me love. I missed pierogi and 4H milkshakes, but they had chicken in a waffle on a stick, so let’s say I did not starve.

There’s still time to check it out if you’re in the area. Otherwise feel free to live vicariously through this picture of me and my chicken waffle below:

 Waffle on a stick

Finding My Voice

When was the last time you did something you were really, genuinely afraid to do?

 Joshua Tree

That was me last weekend—not for anything actually scary, but in the face of going on stage to sing karaoke… solo! I’ve been to karaoke a lot of times, but I usually watch from the audience, or join a group of at least three friends and stand in the back, far away from the microphone. Then afterwards I dream of choosing my own song and rocking out without caring what anyone thinks of my performance. “Oh well,” I think, “maybe next time.”

Apart from the past few years where I’ve pushed myself hard to step out of my comfort zone, growing up I was actually very shy. I was a hardworking and focused student, but it always made me extremely nervous to ask a question in class, and I think I would rather have died than present in front of a group.

This summer, I went to a friend’s family party and one of our middle school teachers was there. She remembered me— “You were such a good student, but painfully shy!” I’ve been working so hard to be outgoing that I had almost forgotten about those days. Her words reminded me. One year, I even wanted to run for student government but decided against it because I would have had to give a speech.

Somewhere along the way, I found my teaching voice. I still get nervous in front of a class (or recording videos of myself!), but I love the rush of connection so much and find the information so important that I keep stumbling through it. Singing karaoke on my own was another story. I’m always envious of the people with beautiful voices, and even more of those who can get up on stage and put their whole hearts into it when they don’t sound great. Like most humans, I usually want everyone to think that everything I do is excellent. A totally realistic goal, haha! Unfortunately, my singing voice is not one anyone would describe as “excellent” by a long shot.

Last Friday night, my two girlfriends and I sat watching and cheering on the other performers at the Joshua Tree Saloon. I had chosen and practiced a song for days, but I could sense the familiar heart racing, cold sweat feeling that usually keeps me in my seat. I procrastinated, waiting until we ordered drinks (of course!) and looked over the food menu. The crowd was small and friendly, and the performances were sparse since it was early in the evening. Would tonight be my night? I remembered back to a discussion with one of the brave women on our Thailand yoga retreat. She loved singing and did it as much as she could. She’d told us, “We don’t sing because it sounds good, we sing because we have a voice.” I swallowed pride and fear and walked up to put my name in. And when it was time to sing, I sang!

It wasn’t very excellent, and I kind of tried to hide behind the microphone, so stage presence is something to work on for next time, but I sang, by myself and for myself. And as a bonus, my friends and I were so supportive of the other singers that later in the night, we got called back onstage to perform background vocals for another performer. A little hype goes a long way!

Sure, there are truly terrifying things in life—disease, losing a loved one, going skydiving for the first time—but most of the time, what we worry most about are the little things. Should we speak up in a meeting? Can we state our boundaries or ask for what we want? Is it the right time to tell someone we love them? It’s easy to back away from taking risks because, for most of us, life as it is can feel pretty comfortable.

This year, this decade even, for me has been all about breaking through that comfort zone to find out what’s on the other side. Try the skill you’ve been wanting to try. Say the words you’ve been wanting to say. Sing the song you’ve been wanting to sing. Eventually, you might find yourself living the life you want to live.

Sunday Special, Vol. 6

This week was fast! It feels like I just finished writing about the last one and, bam, here we are again…

Health

l went to the gym a bunch of times this week. And, I must say, if you’re looking for a way to get yourself to the gym more often, find a job where you work at the gym. It’s hard to make excuses to avoid working out when you’re already there. I also read this book/listened to this Ted Talk which could be helpful in your own workout motivation. (+)

Family

I didn’t even have to ask and my mom sent me a new water bottle decorated with pugs. Now my sister is sending me the most perfect skirt that is the exact skirt that I’ve been waiting for. That’s really about what my family is doing for me instead of what I’m doing for my family, but let’s count it anyway. (+)

Friends

Went to Wednesday night hip hop night at a new bar with a new friend. She’s 23 and I’m 30, so I did get a little sleepy after the 11pm hour, but I’ve gotta hold onto my youth while it’s still in sight. I also got to Facetime catch up with a few friends back home. I’m thankful to the technology that makes long distance friendship a little easier! (+)

Intimate Relationships

I prefer to keep this section private for now :)

Mission/Work

This week held news that I’ll be adding 3 additional permanent classes to my teaching schedule in October. More info on that coming soon! (+)

Finances

So, it’s hard to explore a new city, try to be a frugal business woman, and keep control of your finances all at once. Could use some more self-control in this department. (-)

Adventure

On Saturday we went to the LA County Fair! I think I’ll tell you about it in a separate post this week because it was a whole exciting thing. They have two chairlifts for goodness’ sake. (+)

Hobby

I crocheted two halves of a bag and now I need to link them together. It’s slow progress but something is happening. And I have no updates on my keyboard playing abilities at this time… (+)

Spirituality

Our yoga teacher training classes this week were focused on pranayama (breathing exercises) which is pretty new terrain for me. I’m learning more than ever about mantra and meditation, so it has been interesting to expand meditative techniques. (+)

Emotion

 This week really felt like a blur, but I believe it was an enjoyable one! (+)

 LA County Fair

Bulldogs & Beach Daze

Last weekend, we celebrated a friend’s birthday at a new favorite beach of mine, Point Dume. There were rocky cliffs, turquoise waters, sea lions, and the types of things you might think of when you think of Malibu. Actually, I didn’t see the sea lions or think there were sea lions in Malibu, but I heard and believe they were just around the bend.

 Point Dume Malibu, CA

The only small bit of trouble was that we brought one of these girls without knowing about the steep stairs and rocky descent down to the water:

 via  Instagram

Fortunately, Cricket loves the beach, so she trooped on out to the ocean and the whole group of us had a very nice day.

I’m still dreaming of a dog of my own, and I hope you’re still heading outside to seek out sights near you!

3 Tips for Solo Camping (as a Lady)

As you know, I’ve now been on a solo camping trip to here, and I’ve returned to share some wisdom of the wilderness. These are not very gender-specific rules, and they might even be helpful for everyone, but I did take being a lady into account when sleeping in the woods alone. And I bet I am not the best person to give this advice since I’ve only done it one time, but I’m obviously very excited about it and have been talking it up a lot, so here’s what I’ve learned:

 June Lake Campground
  1. Plan ahead

    It was important to me to pick out my campground ahead of time. Even though my site didn’t end up having the best view, I was glad to be close enough to other campers to feel safe without being overcrowded. Solitude can be sweet, but for my own security, I preferred not to be too isolated. I planned to arrive with plenty of daylight to establish camp and scope out the area before dark. Years ago, I also practiced setting up my tent ahead of time just to get the hang of it.



  2. Do some activities (but not too many)

    I knew I wanted to squeeze some planned activities in—like June Lake Beach and the June Lake Brewing Company—but I also left plenty of time for lounging and breathing. I thought I might get bored in the dark and hit my sleeping bag at 8pm, but my fire kept me interested well into the night, and then I looked up and saw all the stars!

    Also, you should know how to build a fire on your own. It’s pretty easy in a dry climate. The internet has tips. Luckily, I once went on a camping trip in Austin with a mountain man and two bada** ladies who knew what they were doing, so I acted all “Oh yeah, I know about fires, too,” and observed their tricks while pretending to gather sticks and be helpful.



  3. Lie

    Unfortunately, in the life of a lady (or general person) on her own in the world, sometimes bending the truth is required. I made some friends at the brewery who offered an invitation to come out in Mammoth Village with them later that night. They seemed fun and friendly, but I fibbed and told them I had other plans and hadn’t decided where I’d be staying that night. I might have missed out on some good times, but I had a separate date planned with Nature. I think if someone is going to turn into a real friend, they would understand why you couldn’t be completely honest.



 Red Rock Canyon

That might be all I learned this trip, besides not to eat too many Hot Cheetos on the drive up. If you can get past the initial scariness, camping on your own can be a wildly empowering experience and a great way to enjoy spending time with yourself.

Sunday Special, Vol. 5

It could be something about the new moon or the high of a great weekend, but I'm giving every category a plus! I hope your Sunday feels just as swell.

 Dodger stadium

Health

l went to a Dodgers game where I ate a hotdog, a pretzel, and a very large beer, but I think and hope the rest of the week held more vegetables than baseball stadium items. All the yoga classwork, teaching, and assisting made it difficult to maintain my personal practice this week, so I spent Saturday and Sunday reconnecting.  (+)

Family

Phone calls and texts are the name of the game. One of my friends' grandmothers passed away this week, so I made sure to call mine. I could do a better job of checking in more regularly-- I'm lucky to be able to talk to her!  (+)

Friends

I made a surprise new friend at the very first college alumni gathering that I've ever attended (the Dodgers game), and another precious friend invited me to her birthday party out in Joshua Tree. Plus, plus, plus. (+)

Intimate Relationships

I prefer to keep this section private for now :)

Mission/Work

I was back to a normal teaching schedule this week. I've shifted from subbing almost every class to having a few permanent classes of my own which has been very nice since it allows us to get to know each other better and lets me learn more of the students' practice. I'm happy that things are steadily progressing on the teaching front. (+)

Finances

I ate a lot of packed lunches and sort of restrained myself by avoiding expensive chai lattes so, what the heck, I'm throwing in a plus. (+)

Adventure

I'm a little tired of driving, but I am certainly not going to complain about a trip to Joshua Tree to see my friend's perfectly decorated future Air-bnb abode. (+)

 Joshua Tree House

Hobby

I went up to sing karaoke by myself for the first time, but it's too soon to tell if that will become a hobby! However, I spent an afternoon crocheting with a crafty friend at a cute little art store, so it's still a win. (+)

Spirituality

I finished reading Wherever You Go, There You Are, and there were multiple instructions to not share the details of whether your meditation practice is going well or not, so please forgive me for doing that in the past! I'm pleased to be learning new pranayama, or breathing, techniques from teacher training, but it definitely requires a lot of focus and discipline to keep my mind on track. (+)

Emotion

I would have given very different answers depending on the day of the week! Wednesday was a cloudy day, I was low energy, sitting on the beach between classes, and could almost feel myself on the verge of tears. I dragged through our group meeting and class that night, and couldn't wait to get to bed and end the day. On Thursday the sun came back, and the weekend was all a blur of fun. Emotions can be such an unpredictable whirlwind; sometimes we just have to sit and watch them pass. (+)

 Joshua Tree art gallery

Yosemite

If you ever find yourself only an hour's drive from Yosemite National Park and you're not considering going to Yosemite, well, I kindly suggest you reconsider. I'm glad I did!

 Yosemite National Park
 Yosemite National Park

It was an early rise for me, but it felt like a full day of seeing the sites and hiking in some trees before making the drive back to LA.

 Sequoias at Yosemite

I found it to be well worth the trip.

 Yosemite National Park

June Lake

Hi sweet friends!

Last week, I made a spontaneous pilgrimage to NorCal to visit June Lake, one of the places where I skied with my dad this spring. It's crazy how time slips by--I can't believe I've been out here for almost six months already! After seeing June Mountain in the winter, I knew I needed to check out the area in the warmth of summertime. 

 June Mountain

Even with the five hour drive up there, the day was full and peaceful. I found a musical road in Lancaster, CA on the way, then spent the afternoon hiking around the campground and lounging at the beach. August had made the grounds hot and dry, but the waters of the lake were perfectly cool and refreshing. And I don't think any trip to June would be complete without a stop at the local brewery

 June Lake

I drove around the June Lake Loop whilst eating too many hot Cheetos and scoping out some other more scenic campgrounds. I was pretty happy with the one I chose, but could've used more access to the water (like at nearby Silver Lake in the photo below). Anyway, mine was safe, bear-free, and with bathrooms so I really can't complain.

 June Lake Loop

The next day including a brief visit through Yosemite, and I think that deserves a post of its own. I hope you're still out seeking summer adventures wherever in the world you are!

Sunday Special, Vol. 4

Welcome to September! Here we are on a Sunday that's like a Saturday with a Monday like a Sunday coming soon. I spent the last days of August on an exciting trek up to June Lake and Yosemite, and I will tell you about it very soon. Here's the check in:

 June Lake beach

Health

Well, I was an unsupervised child on the camping grocery trip so things started off with apples and turkey sandwich supplies but quickly flew off the rails with chocolate pretzels, hot Cheetos, and frosted mini wheats a.k.a. crack cocaine. I tried to make a comeback later in the week, but yesterday after yoga in Santa Monica, I figured why not stop at Sidecar Doughnuts because, really, WHY NOT? There was a very intriguing chef's special chocolate chip donut with cookie dough in the middle (a cookie doughnut, if you will) that I could not resist, but it ended up being a bit too much even for my sweet stomach. If you haven't been to Sidecar, you certainly should, but my belly advises you to keep it simple with Huckleberry or Butter & Salt.  (-)

Family

Monday was my dad's birthday, so I sent him an electric knife since that is a thing dads are asking for as birthday gifts. A major highlight of the gift was finding the perfect card featuring a pug (do you know I love pugs?) flipping pancakes with the greeting "Dad, you're flipping awesome!" (+)

Friends

Even though the mid-week camping trip was solo, it's been so nice to continue growing a broader group of friends here in LA. The yoga teacher trainings have introduced me to many wonderful people, and I've been running into friends in almost every class now. Also, on Friday night, other friends took me to an extra special art event where we scored some patches and gummy octopi (I guess that was a plus and a minus due to other indiscretions which you can read about in the Health section of this post). (+)

Intimate Relationships

I prefer to keep this section private for now :)

Mission/Work

My teaching schedule was pretty light this week because I had originally planned on going to Burning Man, but all of the arrangements didn't come together as I'd hoped. On the bright side, I picked up a new permanent class--Thursday mornings at 9:30 at 24 Hour Fitness Monterey Park! -- and (sort of) started a monthly email newsletter for yoga happenings. (+)

Finances

Still a minus because I was not very firm about sticking to my two times eating out budget for the week. Better luck next time. (-)

Adventure

Very big adventures were accomplished this week! Camping on my own for the first time was a rousing success! And I picked up a National Park Annual Pass in the hopes that many more journeys will follow. (+++++)

Hobby

Do camping, reading, and yoga count? I got a little frustrated with piano practice because I'm never certain if I'm putting my fingers in the right spots on the keys. My grandma says I need real lessons instead of a book/YouTube. Do you play? Any advice for a confused beginner? (+)

Spirituality

Being on my own up north allowed me to experience a connection to nature while I read more about mindful presence with Jon Kabat-Zinn. I had a reassuring feeling of being home and safe in new places, but of course there's always the need to put down my phone more often and just be. (+)

Emotion

Emotions were on high this week since my busy mind loves venturing from place to place. I'm always packing as much into each day as possible, although that can make me a little restless. I'm slowly learning to spend more time sitting when I haven't scheduled a surplus of activities. (+)

 Coleman 4-person tent

Happy long weekend! I hope your sweet days are filled with what you love.

Success and No-Success

Well, I was going to give you all a week-by-week recap of my 300 hour teacher training with YogaWorks, and suddenly here we are in week three already! How did that happen?

Our 30-person group meets every other weekend for a workshop on revolving topics (ie. standing poses, hands-on adjustments, pre- and post-natal, etc.) and every Wednesday to discuss philosophy. During the weeks we study under an experienced mentor teacher to attend and assist her classes. We also work in smaller groups of 5-6, all under the same mentor, to practice teaching and receive more personalized guidance.

We're now two workshops, two Wednesdays, and many mentor classes in and, flashing back to week one, I'll try to pick out a most interesting observation from each week.

The lectures that tend to stick with me best are usually the philosophical studies, and our first night class on the Bhagavad Gita kept me thinking long after returning home. The story reminds us of an important aspect of life--discovering our purpose, our dharma, and acting according to it without attachment to results, awards, or success. Can we find our purpose and keep fulfilling it when it doesn't bring riches or glory? And even if it does, can we stay true to ourselves and keep doing it, unaffected by the powerful ego?

Our teacher left us with a quote:

"While remaining the same in success and in no success, such sameness is said to be yoga."

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After two and a half years as a yoga teacher, I feel a certain reassurance that this teaching is what I'm meant to do. When I pass auditions or someone returns to my class regularly, I see it as a sign that I'm doing well. But really, the assurance is not about any of that; it's the joy and the flow that I get from the teaching itself. Likewise, in any work or activity we undertake, like playing an instrument or writing a book or taking care of someone, we often find ourselves doing it for the sake of doing it, unselfishly and without concern for a return on investment, simply because something inside said it was right. And that's when we really know it's the stuff for us.

Sunday Special, Vol. 3

Whew! This week was as hot and lazy for me as a late August no AC week could be. I hope you're powering through, and finding ways to be productive (and to relax!) amid this summer heat. Sometimes it's smart just to let the air of the season direct your activities (and your naps!)

 Santa Monica beach

Health

This week, I went to the doctor, which I guess a lot of people don't normally do when they're healthy, but we should! My Austin doctor said it was safe to visit for a physical every three years if you're in good health in your 20's, but I'm in my 30's now so there may be a new set of rules. (+)

Family

Lots of phone calls! Nothing in particular to report. (+)

Friends

Some new activities here! Last Sunday we went to a soccer game at the new LAFC stadium and I think I've become a fan. All these teacher trainings have earned me new yoga friends all around, which is always a good thing. And I ate some vegan Thai food with one of my roommates since it's wise to have friends in the places you live. (+)

Intimate Relationships

I'll usually keep this one private since it sometimes involves being vulnerable or putting myself out there to strangers from the internet. 

Mission/Work

I'm feeling great about the yoga training here in week three, but I can't say I accomplished much else besides the basic necessities. This week had me slow and sluggish, but I'm still giving it a plus since all the things were done without any extra efforts. (+)

Finances

If you've been reading the past couple weeks, you know this area could use some work! I am loving that I have the time to experience much of what LA has to offer, but sometimes it gives me a "treat yourself" attitude that does not happen to be very affordable. I've made some carrot ginger soup, and I'm going to limit my eating out habit to 2x this week.  (-)

Adventure

Taking the metro to the soccer game was a fun one! And one night took me out in Venice Beach until the wee hours, so that was new. (+)

Hobby

I have a whole stack of yoga books checked out from the library, and I've been flipping my way through them. I made a few more hair wraps, watercolored a turtle, and played the keyboard with two hands. (+)

Spirituality

My meditation and yoga practice stayed solid, and I experienced some interesting reflections while reading The Dharma Bums. (+)

Emotion

Hm, this one held a few ups and downs this week. I can be hard on myself whenever I'm low energy, so I wasn't happy with the amount of lying around in the evening hours this week. On the other hand, there were plenty of fun times with friends to balance it out! I know everything comes in cycles, so I'll try to let August be what it is. (+)

Enjoy your Sunday, and let's not freak out that the next post like this will be in September!