Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Year In Review

after nearly 12 hours of sleep, my aches and sniffles seem to be a bit more tame this morning. i woke up bright eyed around 5am and managed to lay in bed until 6. i fed my 4-legged loves, brewed some coffee and booted up my laptop for my annual YEAR IN REVIEW blog post. i was going to journal this, but never got around to it so i'm asking a lot of my brain this morning... but i am excited to recap with you what was probably one of my most transitional and powerful years to date.

Sept-Dec 2008 (yes, i know i'm cheating a bit here, but it's important to include!) completed 200 hours of hatha yoga teacher training and am released out into the world to share what i've learned.

Jan 2009: juggling the start of my third year in PR and also taking on my very first yoga class on saturdays.

early jan 2009: make the monumental decision to leave the safety and comfort of PR to teach yoga full time. after seeing how much it changed my life, i can't imagine not sharing this gift with everyone in the world. i sit in my boss' office, sick to my stomach, and tell him of my decision. one of the most emotional days of my life. i loved my job and my boss and co-workers and clients. after it was done, i swore i was going to throw up.

jan 16, 2009: last day of PR job. hubby and i go out to celebrate my next steps into the world even though i still have that nagging vomit feeling.

jan 24th : gave first ever Present Moment Workshop in honor of Yoga Day USA. met with huge response and gave me signs i was on the right path.

feb 2009: with the help of my fabulous sister-in-law, Anxiety to Zen was launched!

march 2009: slowly gathering more classes under my belt. i join the team at world gym and harmony yoga studio. became VP of Discover & Recover, a non-prof dedicated to raising money for yoga scholarships and introducing alternative health therapies into institutions.

april 2009: first private client signs on for anxiety and stress coaching. went to florida with hubby on a company trip and had a great time. the last time we went i was so riddled with anxiety i skipped out on some group activities and dinners and barely spoke when faced with new people. this year, i partied it up with everyone and finished the trip off rocking out to "sweet home alabama" on the dance floor.

may 2009: my 26th birthday. feeling good about leaving 25.

july 2009: was interviewed by kimberly wilson ( and had my story, along with Anxiety to Zen, featured on her amazing site. got to talk to a teacher that i really, really look up to and admire.

summer 2009: kept adding more classes and officially became considered a part time teacher. on my time sheet... bally's, world gym, harmony yoga, sunrise health club and a handful of private clients. website kept growing as i reached out to more people for insights and thoughts on anxiety and yoga. gave another Present Moment Workshop and also completed multiple 6 week long stress and anxiety relief yoga programs. introduced running into my life and there began my love affair with it. totally fell in love with raw foods. after years of experimentation (what makes me feel sick, what doesn't, what helps ease my anxiety) i found my freedom in raw foodism. i was met with stares and gawking about it, but i kept pushing through.

sept 2009: went to europe for the first time! only needed to take some stomach soothing meds every once and awhile and conquered two nine hour flights, packed out trains, travel confusion and running around different countries with no sweat! had the best time and made memories that will last me a lifetime. discovered a deep passion and love for traveling. anxiety didn't stop me once! and took home my first piece of prada.

oct 2009: celebrated my 2 year wedding anniversary with the best hubby ever. signed up for 5k. booked a trip to new orleans for the new year. was asked to be a bridesmaid!

nov 2009: by far, my busiest month. ran my first 5k with my pup. went to a wonderful anusara workshop. threw a baby shower. celebrated thanksgiving with my family. officially consider myself 50% raw foodie. started volunteering at Last Hope. immediately fell in love with every dog in there.

dec 2009: ran my 2nd 5k with the hubby. officially obtained full time teaching status. began helping promote D&R Krishna Das fundraiser. BECAME AN AUNT! got my 2nd piece of prada. a new laptop! started taking bikram yoga classes. this was a huge mind trip for me as it exposes my anxieties. i get very anxious when i feel trapped or stuck. i also get anxious about having to go to the bathroom or become ill in front of people or in public. enter bikram. i was told once i enter the studio i cannot leave (gulp), if the heat makes you feel ill just sit it out until you feel better (double gulp at the thought of passing out in front of the class) and drink gallons and gallons of water but don't leave the class to use the facilities (ok, i'm nearing my limit). but i did it anyway. i drank the tons 'o water, i stayed put in the studio and focused all my energies on my poses rather than the fact that the heat could make me pass out. it was like a torture chamber for my mind. now i know i'm making this sound as appealing as a lobotomy, but.... i left feeling empowered. i conquered something that exposed all my anxiety weaknesses. i felt stripped down and scared, but i did it and i succeeded. and i went back for more! out of all the yoga classes i've taken and all the studios i've gone to, bikram was the first one i committed to. that says something. i wouldn't go as far to say i'm a devotee at this stage, but i'm sure as hell loving the adventure of it. there's something transformative about being in that kind of situation. i'm sure i'm over thinking it a bit because i'm coming at it from such a different mind set, but that's what makes it all the more powerful for me. so i discovered a lust for bikram yoga.

so there you have it. my life in 2009. i feel transformed and different. and i hope 2010 brings just as much transformation and growth. i reconnected with old friends, made new ones, lost some. after all the styles of yoga i've tried i became enamored with bikram as it touches me on so many different levels. i got two 5ks under my belt and am looking forward to training for a half next jan. discovered the power and beauty of raw, living foods. fell in love with my beautiful baby nephew and saw how rock star my sister-in-law was with her natural birth! deepened my relationship with my hubby. began to devote some of my time to volunteering to a cause i care about. grew my classes and clients and my ability to share anxiety relief with others.

i'm a lucky girl.
i'm a thankful girl.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

bitten by the bug!

ick! i've finally managed to catch myself a little cold that has left me hacking and sneezing all over town. luckily i was able to cancel my classes tonight so it's nothing but hot water with lemon and bed rest for me. i'd like to kick this bug before ringing in the new year.

on an exciting note, my germy little hands are typing out this blog on my brand new laptop! my old one was coming close to celebrating its 7th birthday and caused more frustration than fun when trying to do anything like use the internet, load a page, answer emails, work, you know - basically anything. hubby felt bad because i pretty much relied completely on my phone for internet and work so when i came home from a client sesh yesterday a beautiful, new, black, shiny laptop was awaiting me! and because electronics don't like me very much, i also found another late christmas surprise in my stocking .... a new (functioning!) ipod nano! now i can make all my running and yoga playlists which makes me a very happy girl.

how were your holidays? i hope wonderful and RELAXING!

have you set your 2010 intentions yet? i've been doing this in all my classes this week. i have a mile long list of intentions, but the ones i'd like to focus on the most this upcoming year are creating more space in my life, practicing non-reaction as opposed to over-reaction, mastering (or at least stepping within the vicinity of) the art of forgiveness and ego-checking.

in the meantime, i plan to spend some time journaling the highlights of 2009, writing out game plans for 2010 and figuring out ways to incorporate these intentions into my life.

i would love to hear some of your intentions!

image: madammoisellenon

Sunday, December 27, 2009

baby's first christmas

after a crazy couple of days i have finally been able to sit down at my computer and catch my breath! the days leading up to christmas were a blur of teaching yoga, taking yoga, running around for last minute gifts, snow storm prepping and gym time. i was definitely looking forward to some holiday down time, but my soon-to-be-born nephew wasn't! we got the "i'm going into labor" text early christmas eve AM and by 5pm my very first nephew was here to say hello! my husband and i raced eagerly to visit baby and family at the hospital where i was a mess of emotions. crying, laughing, excited... mom and baby looked fabulous!

the rest of the days were a mixture of relaxing, visiting family, excited phone calls and nephew cuddling - i'm so in love with that kid!

i hope everyone had wonderful holidays! i get back to teaching tomorrow and i am very much looking forward to it. i was only able to fit in one run since christmas eve but it was 3.5 miles in rain and frigid wind so i feel that i've earned my quality couch time. NY's been giving me some rough weather and my legs were aching so i just had to get out there.

on a fun note, some things i got to do this weekend:
* snuggle my nephew
* spend quality time with my parents
* make raw choc coconut crinkle cookies (and my husband totally digs them!)
* a crazy run in the pouring rain where my hubby and i got lost half way through
* have cocktails by the fireplace
* watch a marathon of A Christmas Story
* go out to dinner at one of my fave restaurants

i hope your week brings you many more days of fun (and relaxing!!)

Monday, December 21, 2009

happy winter solstice!

Today officially marks the shortest day of the year. After today we can look forward to longer days of sunshine. Many people celebrate this transition day and find ways to reflect. And you'll probably find lots of yogis rocking 108 sun salutations. If you're not up for that many, than do what you can and celebrate whatever way works for you!

I was recently introduced to a new blog I'm totally loving and she did a great post on the winter solstice and the importance of the number 108. Check it out here:

Enjoy your short day my loves. I plan to honor the day with lots of twists to help with the transition this day marks.

And at the rate this year is winding down, summer solstice will be here before we know it!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

I'm officially snowed in. There's over a foot out there and I spent all night watching it fall and coat my block in white. Hubby and I took a walk with puggle at one point and it was coming down so hard I could barely see in front of me. Puggle was thoroughly confused as he watched it pile higher than him! Its been great being snowed in. Nowhere to go, nothing to do. Sometimes we all need a little something to slow us down. I've gotten my apartment cleaned, gifts wrapped and all loose ends tied up. I'm topping off my snowy sunday with ordered in pizza, a margarita and some quality time spent curled up on the couch. I'm starting to get excited for all the holiday festivities coming up around the corner...especially spending christmas eve with my parents and their home cooking and christmas day spent with my new nephew (considering he'll be arriving any day now!).

If you're with me on the snowy east coast, stay warm! If not, send some of your warmth and sunshine our way!

And in honor of the winter wonderland outside, I've been indulging in Snow Angel Savasana... Take you savasana with arms outstretched to the sides and legs wide apart. Rest here and sit with your breath for 10 mins (at least!). When bringing movement back to your body, slowly draw arms down to your sides and back out to the sides while sliding your legs together and back out. Ta-da! Snow Angel Savasana.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

in a holi-DAZE

i've been running around like crazy lately. i have an almost full-time class load, am volunteering weekly at a rescue animal shelter, fitting in private clients, holiday shopping/decorating/card writing and tree trimming and trying to keep up with my race training and yoga classes. i feel like these last few weeks have just flown by.

i'm very excited about a new 'ask the experts' piece which i'm hoping to get up in january to kick off the new year. my sister-in-law is about to give me the best present ever... my nephew is due any day now! hubby has some upcoming time off and my classes will be easing up a bit soon so i'll be able to get some much needed rest right in time for new year's eve!

in between all of the chaos, i'm trying to take time to still take care of and appreciate my myself. last year the holidays were even more chaotic as i was working full-time in PR and wrapping up my yoga teacher training along with all the other holiday responsibilities. so i am reminding myself that even though my schedule is a little nutty, i'm still loving every class, every client and every day. i also make time to spoil myself with little yoga treats now and then... can anyone say "legs up the wall pose."

here are some of my 'stay sane' secrets for this year:

*practice yoga - right now i'm doing restorative asana at home and bikram 2x a week to sweat out toxins and stress

*keep moving - even though chilly 30 degree days make me want to hide under the covers all day, i make sure to get a spin class in or a run. got to keep my energy flowing smoothly and not bottle up - sure fire way to feel anxious

*invest in food - i'm still trying to make time to prep healthy, light meals that keep me full and energized and feeling good. it's so tempting lately to just grab something on the go, but i know it'll make me feel worse in the end

*take it one day at a time - there are numerous times i want to just sub out a class or skip a run because i feel a cold coming on or am just physically exhausted, but i push through because once my classes slow down due to the holidays i'll miss them and regret it

i leave you with this... when you get caught up in the holiday crazies, grab your mat, shimmy into legs up the wall pose and throw a blanket over yourself for a 10 minute time out.

photo: active

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

forget about what it's not, take it for what it is

this phrase is like my new MO. kind of like that whole "he's just not that into you" craze. we spend lots of time making things into something they're not. we over analyze what it means if a guy hugs us rather than kiss us, we ponder endlessly about why our co-worker was called into our boss' office instead of us after a huge presentation, we try desperately to make diet food taste just like the chips and cookies we're used to... we tend to resist accepting things for what they are.

this concept came to me (read: hit me so hard it almost knocked me unconscious) when, for the 100th time, i found myself explaining that i haven't lost my mind just because i find myself wandering over into the raw food lifestyle.

over the past couple of years i've spent my life experimenting with food. at first it was weight related... diet this and diet that, non-fat everything. then it was because i became committed to animal rights activism and quit eating meat. then i ventured into a soy-craze. finally i finished off my experimentation by reading about metabolic typing, ayurveda and raw foodism. i tried it all and what left me feeling the absolute best was raw food. so it seemed to be completely logical to continue to learn about this new food lifestyle and how to best incorporate it into my life.

on thanksgiving i became so bold as to bring a raw pecan pie to my aunt's house. my family conveniently looked away from it, grabbing at the usual dessert staples - apple pie and cheesecake - but a few brave souls braced themselves and tried it. it was met with pretty positive reviews, although directly followed with "but i still prefer regular pecan pie." ugh.

so as i sat there talking about raw food and my health i was met with a familiar question - "but does it taste like regular food?"

this is when i found myself hit in the face with my realization. yes. raw food does taste like regular food. regular for raw. just as french fries taste regular and normal for fried food and milk tastes normal and regular for dairy. everyone gets so hung up on whether or not this raw food i'm eating tastes exactly like its cooked counterpart that they lose the entire concept of the diet. its not about whether jicama mimics the exact taste of a cooked french fry, its how the jicama makes me feel compared to the cooked french fry.

i began to scour over my raw recipe books and realized that all of the food had names like "unfried french fries" or "rawvioli." now these names help me understand what food i'm making and the cooked food it resembles, but i'm sure to find that the raw food doesn't ever taste exactly like the cooked food. and if i really just forgo that concept, i often find that some of the raw stuff i make actually tastes better! i happen to totally prefer my raw pies to any cooked.

and i started to see that its not just food we do this to. we expect people to look a certain way, act a certain way and behave in a certain way. if we see someone picking up garbage along the street the first word that may come to mind is "gross" because its out of the ordinary and "not normal" but maybe that person is deeply committed to the earth and environmentalism. Maybe a friend tells us something less than stellar about ourselves and we get offended because its not the regular niceties this person usually exchanges with us. forget about the fake kindness and take the words as those of advice and caring. i have caught a lot of flack for enjoying practicing my yoga to rock music and encouraging students to have fun on the mat. but that's not me disrespecting yoga, its my interpretation of a practice that has transformed my life.

so today i whipped up a raw spinach quiche, flax crackers (currently dehydrating) and cacao sunflower balls... and i'm not going to cut into that quiche expecting it to taste like a cooked quiche and i'm not going to bite into those cacao sunflower balls and expect them to taste like sweet chocolate fudge... i'm going to look forward to enjoying them for what they are and decide if i like them based on nothing more than their individual taste. forget what they're "supposed" to be or "supposed" to taste like. and tomorrow AM i'm hoping to take my first hot yoga class. i am not going to lie, i've formed some preconceived notions about this style of yoga, but i've based it on my own personal thoughts and opinions. i've never tried it. so i'm going to take a class and experience it for what it is, not constantly judge it or anticipate how i'll feel after compared to a "regular" yoga class. that word regular is dangerous. its a slippery slope for me and leads me into endless amounts of dissatisfaction and comparisons of nearly everything.

so i'm going to try to encounter things and appreciate them all for what they are. stop the comparisons. stop trying to replicate what already is. stop making something into what it's not.

i love you, you're perfect, now change.

i love you, you're not perfect, forget change.

Friday, December 4, 2009


i'm teaching a free yoga class this tuesday, 12/8, at Melexis Fitness Studio in Bellmore from 9-10am!

if you'd like to join me, give 'em a call and let them know you'll be coming!