Friday, March 17, 2017

Yoga Perfect

So many times, I hear how I'm in "great shape" & that so & so doesn't want to come to a yoga class, because they're not flexible.  Without offending them, I simply smile & encourage them to give it a try at least three times, before sweeping it to the side.  Why not give it a try once?  When you try something once, you feel so much discomfort & the chance of you giving up because of that ONE experience, is almost 80%.  A million things are going through your mind, like wtf is a "Tadasana" and why can't the stinkin' teacher say "stand tall" or something easier?!  The 2nd class, you're still pretty uncomfortable, but theres a little blip in your mind says "oh hey, I remember Downward Dog from last time!" and feel less awkward.  By that 3rd class, you're feeling more confidant.  You know where they keep the yoga blocks & you've found that sweet spot in the room that isn't too hot, and don't mind (as much) that you're not in the VERY BACK CORNER.

Struggle-bug w/ that gangsta lean

Sometimes they'll take me up on the offer, sometimes they smile condescendingly as they shove another cookie in their mouth.  Ohh well.  But what I really want to say, is that yoga isn't about flexibility.  Yoga isn't a religious cult following.  I promise that you'll sweat if you come to my class, it IS a real workout  No, I won't judge you when you "can't touch your toes" or if you accidentally fart in your downdog.  Ok, maybe I will silently judge a rancid fart, I'm human & I have a super human sense of smell, thanks to my kids.  Side note, you should have a light snack before class, say a piece of fruit... not a Big Mac.  You'll thank me.  

I also want to tell you that while I'm small, there are certain limits to my range of motion from injuries, and there are some things that I'll never be able to do in my practice, and I'm OK with that.  I'm also 35 and forget my left from right at least 15 times during class.  Our bodies are all different.  Our practice is all different.  There is a reason why it's called Yoga Practice & not Yoga Perfect.  No one, I repeat NO ONE, is perfect.  Along those same lines, your practice from day to day, will not be the same.  Your body is not symmetrical, there are imbalances.  I can almost guarantee that the person next to you has those same thoughts and concerns.  Once you roll out that mat, whether its from Lululemon or Walmart, you're in a safe space.  The only person that I'm judging, if I'm being 100% honest, is the person that complains that they want to come to a class to try yoga, but never do and truly have no intention to do so.  They are no closer to reaching their toes than the day before.  Maybe one day.

Part of my journey, is acknowledging my insecurities, and embracing them.  I've come a long way in my journey, but I'm still learning & trying to improve.  While I may be leading your class as the teacher, I'm still a student and have so much to learn.  

xo, Mia

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fitness Choices & Learning Opportunites

In a world where many kids would rather sit inside, glued to one of many gadgets, we try as a family to get outdoors, as long as the weather permits.  We're lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, where the outdoor options are endless.  In our very own town, is a lake, where we can paddle boat, picnic, hike, bike ride... you get the point.  In the Bay Area, the weekend was hot.  And when I say hot, its 84 in the Spring.  Now that may seem fairly mild to some, but by Bay Area standards, thats beach weather.  We opted to take a little mini hike, since there was a light breeze & we could hide out in the trees.  
Tree break, from the hot sun

Round trip, we were out about 45 mins.  no more than 1.5 mils, if even that.  My younger daughter, hates walking.  It's been a thing for her since she was a baby.  Never wants to walk, always asking us to carry her.  We've spent the last few years trying our best to break her of said habit, but it's a major struggle.  While 3 out of 4 of us are enjoying the sunshine & fresh air, there's my little baby, pink cheeked and annoyed.  Almost every hike we take, one of us always stays back, to keep her pace.  Trying to keep her upbeat, I started asking questions about what she didn't enjoy about going on hikes, and if there were any other activities she'd prefer instead.  

1. It's too hot
2. Her legs are so little, so she works harder to keep up
3. She just doesn't like it :(

Bridge, meets bridge
That's when it dawned on me, that she may not ever truly enjoy going on hikes, the way that we do.  She'd rather hop in the paddle boats, or ride her bike, or go swimming.  Luckily, my girls love to be outside, more than they like the TV or their iPad.  It was more about finding activities that they enjoy.  So we're working on a list.  Sunday activities.  Having the majority rule every time & forcing them to participate isn't always fair, and what (might) work better, is adding things to the list, that each individual enjoys, and rotating. 

Now that may pose the exact same problems in the future, but having the opportunity to suggest an activity and have it clearly in black & white, gives options & choices.  A 7 year old isn't always heard in the spur of the moment.  We as parents are trying to teach them about taking care of themselves through fitness, and they showed us that they get it.  There are many ways to promote that self care, and a hike on a hot day, is just one of many.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Birthday Happiness

Santa Cruz Boardwalk - Dont ever grow up!
Slowly climbing through my 30's is a big deal.  It means that I'm not a 20-something kid.  I should be a responsible adult.  I should have my life together.  Gone are the days of staying out all night, partying til the wee hours of the morning, with a drink in hand.  Not that there's a single thing wrong with a drink in hand, but I prefer to be on my couch, with a beer (or 3), watching a Warriors game; then in bed at a decent hour.  I'll be honest & say that we did party hard for my 30th birthday, but 4 years later, I certainly have no intention of reliving that night.  

For my 34th, I opted for a low key birthday instead.  We took the kids to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, and enjoyed the sunshine.  We rode rides, ate cotton candy & walked the famed bridge from the movie "The Lost Boys".  If that statement doesn't age me, I don't know what will!  The sun was shining, my girls were happy & it meant the world to me.

Sutro Baths Labyrinth 
The next day, we took a family hike through the San Francisco Sutro Baths.  It's a family friendly walk and the weather cooperated perfectly.  The waves were fierce on the Pacific, and we were fairly close to being knocked into the water by a huge wave.  We were trying to get a good family picture in (and a awesome yoga pose for me!) when we ended up completely soaked.  Luckily it was early on, and we dried off fairly quick.  Round trip, it was about 4 miles.  Pretty good for my 7 year old!

Golden Gate View from Eagles Point
Lost Boys Bridge - Santa Cruz, CA

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Fear is an inherent human trait.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of failure.  Fear of letting others down.  It's a scary world!  As a parent, I'm terrified that I'll make mistakes & my girls will end up in endless therapy one day.  I fear that I'm not enough.  I worry that I will disappoint the people I love.  I'm afraid to take chances in business opportunities, fearing my failure.  I wonder if I'm pretty enough to keep my loves attention, fearing that one day my beauty will fade.  I wonder if the world is judging me. Again, it's a fricken scary world!!

Astavakrasana - 8 Angle Pose
There's no turning back.  Every day passes & if we are not moving forward, are we truly living?  As a parent, it's my job to guide my girls on the path to independence.  To provide opportunities for growth.  To give them the confidence to try
 Whether they succeed or fail, is not the point.  One of my favorite things to tell my teenager, is "don't be afraid of LIFE".  The worst that can happen is hearing NO.  You can't succeed, if you don't try.  Failure is a stepping stone.  Failure is a lesson; humbling.  A mile is a mile, no matter how fast.  

Now, if only I could listen to my own advice.  Well, here I am.  Putting myself out there, again.  Striving for my own greatness, to show my family what I expect from them.  "Do as I say, not as I do" is not something I want in my vocabulary any longer.  I want to show my girls that they are strong.  But why would they believe me, unless I showed them my own strength?  

So here I am.  Being true to myself.  Allowing my inner light shine. 

True North

For years, I've struggled with trying to find who I am and what I want to be when I grow up... mind you, I'm 34.  My children are 13 and 7, and my girls, are literally my life.  They are the reason I work, the reason I wake up... I'm a mom.  As they grew and are in school for the full days, I realized my days had a few hours for "me" for a solid portion of the day!  I started going to more yoga classes, reading and sitting quietly.  I realized that I'd lost myself throughout the years, and I wanted to find my purpose again.  As I try to find a balance between being an independent adult and being "just a mom", I realized that intertwining the two was difficult, but possible.  I wanted to be home for my family, but I also needed to work.  Enter yoga.  

As a practitioner for years, I wanted to practice with my girls, but noticed there was a lack of classes for children.  I decided to pursue a kids yoga training.  Once completed, I was excited, but found that many studios that I reached out to, were reluctant to hire someone that had not gone through the standard 200hr training.  Eventually I jumped into the 200 hours training, and man, did it change my life!  Something in my heart changed during that 6 month training.  I made friends and connected to their hearts, in ways I didn't know ere possible.  I looked at myself and accepted my flaws.  I also found the importance of meditation.  Sitting quietly, letting my mind go.  All of the problems spinning in my hamster wheel, gone, if even for a few minutes.  It was at the end of my YTT, that I knew I was a different person.  

As hard as it was, I began to slowly let go of anything (and anyone) that didn't hold significance in my heart or life.  I wanted more for myself, and my family.  As I began teaching, slowly making connections with my students, the gratification was exactly what my heart needed.  I was helping others, they were vocalizing what they needed and we were in tune!  Then the holidays rolled around, stressors popped up and the anxiety began to sink in.  While I had been using lavender and tea tree for years, a friend of mine introduced me to a world of alternative options for essential oils.  After months, I finally began truly using essential oils in my home.  Natural options vs our heavily supplied medicine cabinet.  That, in itself, is a million more posts, for a different day.  But I felt good about myself.  I felt good saving money on natural cleaning products, by making my own.  My daughter had less anxiety with natural stress relievers.  I diffuse oils in my yoga classes and have positive feedback on their moods when the hour is up.  I diffuse different blends during the day, before bed and in the car, and my family is emotionally supported, and it feels fantastic!  

One of the hardest things I've done, was leave my cushy corporate jobs, to be home full time.  Being the support system for my family is engrained in my me, its who I am.  How I do it, is a different story.  This is where I am in 2016, I've found the path to my True North.  This is my journey.  Thank you for following along.