Summertime Self-Discovery: How to

Did you feel it? That shift in energy that came in with the Solstice last week?

It happens every year: Summer bursts in and the power of the season is either harnessed or wasted...

What are your favorite summer activities? I bet you already begin to harness Summer's innate energy. 

Summer's Fire Element makes this the season of the tongue! Talking, connecting, being together in community are all signs of living in harmony with the seasonal energy. 

Here's a quick recap of the three key empowerments Summer brings according to time-tested Taoist wisdom: 
  • Physically: Summer Season marks high tide for the large muscles, and the cardiovascular system, specifically energizing the heart and blood circulation and supercharging the flow of your life-force energy (prana or qi). 

This means you feel more awake, alive, and ready for action, and in command of your physical form.

  • Emotionally: Summer is season of the heart's joy, love, and...
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Channel the Energy of Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice, also known as Midsummer, is just around the corner on June 21.

The Sun will reach its zenith at the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere. providing the most hours of daylight. Across the ages, ancient cultures celebrated Midsummer with fertility and harvest rituals and community events.

In the Taoist Wisdom Tradition which sources back to ancient Asia, Solstice ushers in the season of manifestation and joy.

We all feel it: that desire to be out doing, connecting with friends and creating the experiences that make summer so memorable.

Traditional Chinese Medicine and 5 Element Theory stems from these Ancient Taoist Wisdoms. The Summer Season connects to the Fire Element in early summer (now) and the Earth Element in late summer, which begins about 6 weeks after Solstice. 

The ancient masters studied the naturally repeating phases in nature and connected these rhythms to the human body, mind, and spirit. They observed a direct positive correlation...

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Resources: First for Women Magazine Yoga Collaborations

I collaborate throughout the year with First for Women Magazine on yoga articles.

Each one has a specialized topic, from yoga can you do at your desk, to yoga for thyroid, to yoga for hips, and more.

The latest article just published and focuses on yoga postures to soothe menopause symptoms. You can find it here.

For easy reference, below are links to past articles.

They are complete with pictures, step-by-step instructions into the postures, and are beginner friendly so all levels can succeed, even if you've never tried out these particular sequences. 

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How to Mingle at a Party Like a Boss

“And I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Raise your hand if fear of being a wallflower, not knowing anyone, or tripping over your words has ever stopped you from attending a party or a networking event?

I meet new people at my studio daily, I’ve taught classes to packed conference rooms, and I've delivered a TEDx Talk to a crowd of hundreds.

I am the boss at planned classes, events, and conversations, literally, becasue I'm usually organizing the event these days! Yet for a long time, just the idea of attending a cocktail party or a networking event where I had to “just be myself” paralyzed me.

I lost confidence in myself during my 20's and 30's after getting sick and a string of poor relationships. I forgot that I had something valuable to offer other people, that I was just as interesting as the next person, and that I had my own...

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My Daily Personal Maintenance Routine in 3 Easy Steps

 

My husband spent a large part of the holiday weekend doing maintenance at our yoga and wellness studio: painting, cleaning, changing light bulbs, polishing the wooden benches and cubbies. And it looks great! A fresh coat paint can make almost anything look new.

But it got me thinking... What do I do for personal regular daily maintenance, for my whole self, not just my living space? I don’t mean laundry and dishes, Marie Kondo decluttering, or even daily yoga or meditation.

I’m talking about the big picture vision of what I do regularly to nourish all levels of myself: body, mind, and soul.

I've distilled my personal “almost daily” maintenance into 3 bigger categories:

(I say almost because let’s keep it real: some days it just doesn’t happen, and that’s ok!)

Appearance 

I’m a believer that “when you feel good you look good” and when you look good, you feel good! So when the invisible hands of depression or anxiety...

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Mala Meditation Made Easy

When I first opened my yoga studio in 2007 and started teaching yoga and meditation, few of my student had ever seen a mala. Today, they are integrated into pop culture for fashion, but few people actually know how to use them aside from a funky outfit accessory. 

If you struggle with meditation and are seeking an easy way to begin, mala beads may be the answer.

What are mala beads?

A mala is a string of beads, sometimes separated by tiny knots. Traditionally the beads were made of sandalwood or hard, round seeds, but today you can find them made from various types of wood, crystals, or gemstones.

A standard string has 108 beads plus one additional distinct bead or tag, so you can mark the beginning and the end of the circle.

Mala bracelets are also popular and may have 18, 27, or 54 beads.

What are mala beads for?

Malas are a meditation tool. Each bead on the string is one inhale and exhale, one breath per bead, or one word or phrase of a chant, mantra, or prayer. (Similar...

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Mastermind for Presence, Purpose, and Passion

I just returned from a three day Mastermind Retreat in CA.

Up to three times a year I leave the comfort of the my own space and travel to connect with other people just like me — I have a mastermind group for online business owners looking to scale, a group for yoga studio owners seeking inspiration and support in running their businesses and I am forming a group that starts this summer for my clients who want to work inside an intimate group with me and other like minded people facing the same daily struggles and looking to live with more presence, purpose and passion. 

In a world of social media where we can connect instantly with others across the world and make a new friend at the click of a thumbs up sign, I believe people are actually becoming more isolated.

I admit that I often feel alone and disconnected which is why I gravitate toward working in smaller groups. I like to really know a person, past the surface of socially acceptable answers and get deep into the...

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Drink Water, Save Relationship, Save the Day

 
I love being married. But I also love my precious alone time, always getting my way, and having everything I want! Where is the compromise in that!?!?! 

Through seven years of marriage, plus working together everyday, here is the trick that saves us daily and the Taoist medicine behind it: 

A glass of water. 

Stay with me here - I know the suggestion to drink more water is not news, but let me offer you the reason behind it, so you can gain new insight on why this is and how to implement this to your benefit. 

In the Taoist Chinese Five Elements, every body part and all emotions are categorized into one of the Chinese Five Elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, or Water. 

When you feel and look your best, physically and emotionally, each of these Elements are aligned with the others and working in balanced harmony. When don't feel or look your best, somewhere within your...

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What Wrinkle Cream Taught Me About My Birthday

I celebrated my birthday last week.

Never one to disappoint, my mother-in-law provided my most provocative birthday gift: wrinkle cream.

I took it like the champion birthday girl I am, with a smile and a thank you, but was instantly transported through a lifetime of birthday flashbacks, ripe with all of the unique, raw emotions another candle on the cake inevitably brings.

I remember feeling terribly anxious at birthday parties as a little girl. I worried excessively about fitting-in. The party games, my party dress, my present, even my shoes and those little white ruffled ankle socks that were a staple in little girl wardrobes when I was growing up, all represented bottomless wells of childhood angst.  

I distinctly remember the birthday party that changed everything.

I was about nine years old and this was the “school’s finally out and summer is here!” inaugural sleepover birthday party of the season. I was one of about 20 lucky guests on a...

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Why Effective Communication Your Key to Empowerment

Empowerment is such a juicy word.

It drips with images of freedom, happiness, ease, and even a touch of glamour. We all want to embody it, exude it, and live it.

But what, exactly, is empowerment?

7 individual aspects of life, when nurtured, collectively reveal how to discover, reclaim, and embrace, your own potential in order to fuel your own unique vision of personal empowerment.  

Communication is one of these seven centers of personal power and a key player in daily happiness and self-worth.

The time I spend in Greece each year with my husband’s family highlights this.  I struggled for years to communicate, drowning in the nets of language barriers and cultural expectations.

I’m embarrassed to admit to the hours of island perfection I sacrificed by hiding behind my husband (or glass of wine or cup of coffee) wishing to disappear and finish out a family evening unnoticed. 

I made myself miserable, which...

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