surrender and be fearless

The last two days have been a test. I have broke down and cried several times. Over fear, over generosity, over worry, over gratefulness. Back and forth I have felt sad tears and happy tears and all of it is because I am fifteen days away from the journey of a lifetime. I need to surrender and be fearless, God has great plans for me on the road ahead.

A few months ago I toyed with the idea of going somewhere for my 500 hour training for yoga and just two weeks from now I will find myself in a quiet seaside town in east Bali. Who would have thought?

I have often looked at life as an adventure, and I have been fortunate to take many trips through out the US and I’ve visited countries that most can only dream of. I went to South Africa and Malawi in 2014. It was my first time leaving the country. I got to meet people who live a completely different life than me. It was humbling, and the first time I realized that I have a bigger purpose in life than working 9-5 at a desk.

Shortly after, in 2015 I went to Mexico. Also eye opening – but I got to live in the luxurious tourist part, but man it was different than home, and it’s so close to home. I have been back to Mexico a couple times since and each time I have been able to experience culture at a deeper level.

2016 was Germany where I got to explore European life, sports and travel by train and bus where I visited Prague, Czech Republic and Salzburg, Austria. I explored castles where I wondered how it felt to be a princess, drank beer just like the Germans (it was Oktoberfest in Munich so I had to play the part) and tasted what makes European cities so amazing.

Here we are wrapping up 2017 and I am lucky enough to continue the adventure in Bali. I know that what I am about to learn will be life changing. Something their website said that made me believe this was the right training for me, “When it’s done you’ll be a different person…not a person who’s changed, but rather a person who has a clearer, truer understanding of who they really are…a person who sees the beauty and grace inside of themselves, and know what it’s like to feel a connection with others that’s so strong it can never be broken.”

I can’t wait to bring this feeling back to my students – I am ready to keep changing lives and I’m excited to better understand myself so I can make a bigger impact in this world. It’s tough what we face everyday in this world – in the news, in our jobs, in our communities. We can make a choice how we feel in our lives, even when bad things happen around us. We can surrender, we can be fearless and we can make a choice to be our best selves.

I am going to do my best to blog at least once a week while I’m gone – maybe even twice. But for the most part I’m staying technology free which is scary and exciting all at the same time. Be sure to follow here for updates 🙂

For more information on where I’m headed and what I’m doing Click Here
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I just got my butt kicked!! Boxing anyone?? Plus check out a new recipe below!

For the last two years I have been working on my yoga practice. I love the intensity of the vinyasa, hot and sculpt classes I take, not to mention I love the heat. Recently I have noticed boxing studios have been popping up everywhere. I have always wanted to box, mostly because I think i’m tough, but also because for as long as I can remember we have had a punching bag in my parents garage and I never really knew how to use it.

First off, I have learned in some yoga sculpt classes I have taken that I am not the most coordinated when it comes to punching/boxing. This is surprising as I was in tae kwon do through my younger years (Green belt, blue stripe….hold your applause please) so you would think I would find some sort of punching/kicking coordination, so not true!!! In order to find some coordination I have decided that I really want to seek out boxing and kickboxing classes because I love the cardio aspect and how something so simple (yea simple, ha) can increase your heart rate and burn some major calories.

I decided to peel myself out of bed at 5am and made myself go to the 6am boxing class. It was intense, sweaty, I swear it felt 3 hours long, but in just one short hour I can admit I just might be addicted to throwing on some gloves and punching the bag. Finally I might really get some use out of the one in my parents garage. So my challenge is to go do something different this week, something you’ve always wanted to do but you have let every excuse stop you. You might just find a new hobby.

On a yummy note…..

Sunday night I decided to get creative with the fresh basil I had from the farmers market. I originally got it to put in spaghetti and because it just smelled so good. I decided to make my own pesto with it.

I’ll admit it tastes way better than any store bought pesto I have had and it was SO simple to make!

Recipe

Handful of Almonds

2 cups Fresh Basil

3 medium sized garlic cloves

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper to taste

I used my ninja blender to make my pesto. First I put the almonds in and blended them until they were completely chopped, but not a paste. Then I added the basil leaves. This is when it started to look like pesto. I added in the garlic and blended a little more. Then I slowly added in the olive oil. I added half at first, blended, then added the other half. Last I added the Parmesan cheese. That was it. I did add a very small amount of salt and pepper. I think you could go with or without it.

To accompany the pesto I made some noodles (Market Pantry(Target) – gluten free) and added grilled shrimp!

A tasty and healthy dinner!!! Yum!

Self

In teacher training I learned a lot about Self discovery, that’s right Self, not self. Capital S means a connection with your true being, really understanding and knowing your true Self. I have had many Self moments lately. Last weekend I taught a free class at the St. Paul Union Depot to an amazing amount of new and seasoned yogis. It was an incredible experience to say the least (an experience I was honored to have, and experience where I was able to connect with my Self).

I had a woman come up to me after class and she told me the last time she was at the depot she was a little girl and she was with her mother who had since passed away. She remembered being there shopping with her mom. She began to tear up a little and said that during class she felt her mothers presence with her. It was a feeling of comfort and being in the moment that she had never felt on her mat until that exact moment. As an instructor it was a great story to hear and I was more than honored she shared it with me.

I have had many of my own moments over the last couple months. They have allowed me to let go and find my Self. With that I am starting to make many changes, one being my blog. I will still be writing, but my focus will be changing slightly. My goal is to bring the everyday things that create happiness in my life to my blog, in hopes it will send a new idea, challenge or happiness into your life. The big addition will be food! Yes, I love food. I think this is a hidden talent of mine that I don’t share nearly enough. So stay tuned for fun recipes that I usually just randomly throw together, and yes they randomly taste amazing!

xoxo

C

Be Still

Stop…… Just for a moment.

How difficult was that for you? How often are you just still? It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it can be the most powerful feeling.

This is how I end my classes. I tell my yoga students “be still just for a moment, give your body and your mind one minute of quiet, of silence, of stillness.” This can be really hard to do. I can tell which students are truly there in stillness and others that fight the quiet. To be still is completely rewarding for your body. It helps you recover, giving every muscle a little break. It also helps to give you that restart we often need in our chaotic lives.

I have noticed many teachers say this to their students. I am sure I picked it up from my training or my peers at some point because really it’s the most refreshing feeling that you have when you come out of that stillness.

I encourage you to find stillness with in your own body. Give yourself at least one minute, whether it is at the end of a workout or just sitting at your desk. Encourage yourself to be still. Let it help you to let go, to be refreshed.

Yoga is Love

What I love about yoga….Every time you come to your mat it’s different. Some days your body can move into every posture with ease and grace, and others it feels like you are working extra hard to get there. Yesterday in the vinyasa power yoga class I took there was a lot of hip opening and boy did I need it! I also got into headstand for the first time that it actually felt completely right in my body. It’s amazing that one tiny adjustment like moving my elbows closer together can make a world of difference in finding your strength for the posture. I was pretty excited I got into the posture even though I did have some assistance from the instructor (she didn’t let me fall forward!), but I went home and tried it again and what do you know I popped right into it! This pose has been challenging me for quite some time. Getting into it finally just means, I’m on to the next inversion! Handstand maybe??

That’s the beauty of yoga. There is always somewhere new to go. Even the poses that you may have “perfected” can be challenging from time to time. Each day should just be taken for what it is. Each day will be different. But each day will bring a new calm to your mind, a new energy to your soul.  It gives you that feel good and happiness you crave in life. That is why so many people keep coming back to their mat.

Allow the challenge to consume you, allow your body to be stretched further. Come to your mat with santosha or contentment. Be satisfied with your practice each time, whether it’s your first time on the mat, or your 1,000th. Yoga is called a practice for a reason. You continue to come to your mat with non-judgement and a new result each day. I love yoga because I love the changes I see within myself daily because of my own practice. Every journey is different. Find your love for yoga 🙂