Always love when I can share my thoughts about self-care and self-love with other amazing women! Thank you twitter for connecting us. Can't wait to see what we get to build together in the future.
Read the whole piece here.
Always love when I can share my thoughts about self-care and self-love with other amazing women! Thank you twitter for connecting us. Can't wait to see what we get to build together in the future.
Read the whole piece here.
So one of the most requested things I get asked about is skin care…which starts from the inside. I’m no skin professional but I am happy to share a few things I use that have worked for me.
/ Drink water. This goes without saying… hydration is one of the major needs of the body and especially the skin. Dry skin is more likely to show age, tiredness, and wrinkle prematurely.
/ Never sleep with make up on. This should be gospel. Never go to sleep without washing your face. Even if you don’t wear much make up, the day to day grime can build up on the skin. Let sleep be a time for the skin to be totally clean so it can rest and rejuvenate itself.
/ Cleanse the skin appropriately. It is not always about a power scrubbing or something extreme. Depending on your skin type, different approaches can work. Less is always more with skin. Keep it simple. I love oil cleansers for getting make up off, don’t be afraid of oil face washes. Quickly became a favorite as skin, even when breaking out, needs moisture. Stripping all the oils might only cause more problems.
Tatcha Cleansing Oil (so good)
Jose Maran Cleansing Oil (a long time fav)
Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser (also exfoliates, no need for a brush)
Glossier. Milk Jelly Cleaner (just so good, and gentle)
/ Moisturize. Do not be scared of keeping your skin hydrated. Dry skin will go searching for oil anywhere it can, which can actually lead to break outs. I also want to be young and supple forever…So… find a moisturizer you like, and use it. Every day. Morning and night, on clean skin.
/ Exfoliate. Getting rid of dead skin, and helping to increase the production of new collagen…we all know exfoliating is good for us. It can be irritating for some, so I find every other day or at least 3 times a week works well for this. This goes for body, face, neck, and lips.
Find one that works for you, it should not feel like you’re ripping your skin off…gentle formulas also work.
/ Take skin / hair nourishing vitamins. I would say do this daily but I forget, and for some biotin can cause break outs. I have been taking these supplements for over two years now, for my hair and nails… but your skin and joints will also benefit from them.
With any supplement, please do your own research to see if they are a good fit for your body and needs.
/ Face Masks. There are so many masks out there. Some use them once a week, others use them every 2-3 weeks (Like me. Hey, time is a luxury, but I can easily slap one on in the evenings while I’m checking emails, after I wash my face.) They all seem to serve different purposes… and have different levels of ingredients. Look for one that is best for your skin needs. These are the two I use most.
Bliss Multi-‘Face’-etedMask (be aware this contains ingredients that can make skin sensitive to sunlight. Use accordingly.)
/ Change your pillow case! So much crap can get onto your pillow case that you put your precious face on every night. I have been using the Sleep Clean Care pillow case to help with this (it inhibits bacteria growth.) Other wise, change those pillow cases for clean ones often. This also goes for towels you use on your face. Even use paper towels and pat off water if your skin is prone to break outs. (I have often done this to get rid of all possible bacteria that could get to my skin.)
In the mornings, I use nothing but water to wash my face. Followed by an eye cream (type changes if my eyes or puffy or not.) And tons of moisturizer (also changes by season or current skin vibes)
If I’m wearing make up, a primer is a must. It creates a layer between your skin and anything you put on it…as well as keeping what you do put on it smooth.
Evenings are when it all comes off…and I am passionate about getting everything off. I have never been able to “wash my face” and get eye make up off (considering I only wear mascara, I have no idea how make up bloggers can get that stuff off without a separate remover.)
I use coconut oil to remove my eye make up, just a little works. Then I tissue that off gently, and wash my face with a cleanser (listed above), and sometimes with a face brush (like those clarisonic ones, but there are so many out now for a lower price point that work just as well.)
Then comes serums, eye creams, anything else that needs to get into the skin.
Next comes Lush full of grace… my favorite. Ever. And maybe some more moisturizer depending, to lock in all those oils. I go off to bed looking like an oil slick… but I’d rather that than wrinkles.
Nutiva Organic Coconut Oil (Any coconut oil works but look for organic, refined for beauty)
Cleansers (listed above)
Love yourself. Your skin is beautiful, and yours and yours alone, take care of it.
I’m often asked about how to make a smoothie or what to put in it, as if I might have some magical combinations. And maybe I do!
Though I find smoothie recipes to be silly. Smoothies are like salads… just toss everything you like in a bowl, and see how it tastes. You will figure out about how much you like of certain things and what combinations work the best.
I only use smoothies in 3 situations…
1/ A quick meal, like breakfast where you can put everything you in need in one, easy to consume, edible item.
2/ Post workout as a way to get valuable nutrients back into the body quickly after a heavy workout
This will be different for what you’re training for and your given goals. Most do not work out hard enough weight wise to need a separate smoothie. They can just continue on with regular balanced meals, with maybe a few more carbs on lifting days. Endurance athletes have different needs than heavy lifters, and both have different needs from those trying to lose weight.
3/ A means to get tons of super foods in one place, easily.
So, that being said. I don’t have recipes, but I have suggestions that make for the most sound and clean smoothie that isn’t just sugar and fluff.
This could be anything of substance. Think frozen berries, a banana, canned pumpkin, cooked sweet potato, anything that is… creamy or thickening, if that makes sense. Use pineapple if you want. Frozen mango is delicious. But really… choosing one of these works… Too many and you might get some strange flavors but hey, do you.
This could be almond milk (unsweetened), coconut milk (unsweetened), coconut water, hemp milk, regular milk… could be anything. You could use juices, but it will not be as thick. You can also use yogurt or kefir if you’re into that. Creamy liquids, make creamy smoothies… water is just ehhh… not that yummy in a smoothie.
This is all optional. Maybe you want some of these, maybe you want one, or maybe you want all of them… it’s really up to you.
Protein (I use a plant based vegan protein from aloha)
Greens powder (I also use aloha)
Chia seeds (these can get gummy though)
Spirulina (a teaspoon will be fine, any more and it will get bitter and overpowering)
Collagen (I use neocell)
Almond butter (the natural kind) usually don’t need more than a tablespoon
Peanut butter (the natural kind) usually don’t need more than a tablespoon
Kale or spinach (a big handful will be fine, any more and it will overpower the smoothie)
Lemon, ginger, etc. (start small with these potent flavors)
Maca (be careful with this, I find men really like it but it can really bother with women’s hormones)
Any other supplements that make sense to you and your goals.
If you want to sweeten?
Agave, honey, stevia
I find it to make the smoothie airy and I like my smoothies thick and substantial, so I never use ice. It can also tear up your blender if you don’t have a strong enough blender that is made for ice. I also freeze all the fruits I put in smoothies, to keep them nice and cold and thick.
Everything is better thick.
There’s no recipe. Play around with what you like and need. I use them as a means to an end (something nutritious, all in one place, otherwise I eat whole foods.)
Use these suggestions and add in anything else you might like, or leave them as is. All fruits are frozen (except bananas and pineapple) juice should be fresh as well if you can get it, all milks unsweetened. These are from a smoothie menu I created years ago, but still use many of these combos with my super food additions.
A green smoothie that actually tastes good // Pineapple + Banana + Kale + Almond Milk
Simple // Banana + Strawberries + choice of milk
// Raspberries + Coconut Milk + Banana + Honey
// Mixed Berries + Yogurt / Milk + Honey
// Black and Blueberries + Yogurt/Milk + Apple Juice (optional)
// Pineapple + Mango + Honey + Coconut Milk
// Peach + Banana + Pear + Strawberries + Honey + Milk
// Blueberries + Banana + Wheat Grass Shot + Milk
// Mango + Pineapple + Milk or OJ
// Strawberries + Blueberries + Banana + Apple Juice
// Banana + Mango (optional) + Almond Butter + Almond Milk
// Banana + Cocoa Powder + Maca + Honey + Hemp Milk
Can we just stop? Like, can it just be over…all the rants about things people have said to one another about another’s body? Can we finally just accept that we all have different bodies, and different likes and different thoughts on what we like in, on, and around our bodies?
Reading another blog about the unsettling situations that highlight someone’s ignorance, or just sheer misfortune of not knowing what is and isn’t appropriate made me think… perhaps I should write all the times an uncomfortable comment was made at me, or to me, concerning me and my body.
The list would almost be too long to complete, but more so, I don’t have the time or energy to make one. At some point, it’s exhausting to highlight all the negative. It’s tiresome to lament another’s bullshit and issues they put on you.
As a youth, just like everyone else, I had my worries about others opinions of me. Even now, no matter how self assured and confident and earnest I am, in my work and life, there are still things that are said that bother me. They don’t hurt now, but they are just bothersome. Maybe they expose a side of humanity I still don’t want to think exists, maybe they show small minds and how sad it is society still functions with such mediocrity of thought and acceptance… or maybe they are just rude and insensitive.
Everyone will always have an opinion, and a set of standards that may or may not be yours. So, I’m going to pause on sharing stories of things said to me or about me. I am not going to try to validate my worth and substance, because I have no energy for that. Instead, I will share some truisms I have complied over the years.
/ You will always be too much for someone.
/ Often the most successful and prolific people, are also the most misunderstood, hated, and/or feared. Being a weirdo has helped me more than it has hurt me.
/ The opinions of others rarely have anything to do with you…your worth, your substance, the content of your heart, and your glorious mind. However, when you have a trusted circle of friends and partners in life, their outside opinion might help you learn more about yourself. Take it in. Listen. And see if it fits. All opinions are there for us to take and use for good, or confirm internally they are false and can be let go.
/ As long as you are comfortable, happy, healthy and not hurting anyone…do you. And keep doing you. I source so much power from knowing I’m living on purpose and in spirit, even if no one else gets it. They really don’t have to.
/ Be kind to others, in your words and deeds. Be kind to yourself, too.
If there is one thing that I think can make your life better, in any area, it is your mindset. We have the power to work on our brains, and the thoughts we think, including the messages we tell ourselves all day long. In honor of this new #mindfulmonday post, I’m going to list a few things that come to mind on the topic.
To be mindful, simply means “pay attention” and when we pay attention our minds and bodies slow down. This is where the healing aspects of meditation come into play.
Meditation is the practice of thinking deeply, or focusing one’s mind for a given period of time, in silence or by use of someone’s voice in a guided meditation. I encourage and talk a great deal about meditation, with my background in depression and anxiety, and yet I think many are intimidated by it, or scared.
If you have never even tried to meditate, I can imagine it might seem overwhelming or something you can’t do because your thoughts don’t stop… or even boring. You might think it will take too long or not help. Well, the thing is… every little bit helps. We all have to start somewhere, and even 10 minutes of focusing your mind can help. Use an app, and choose a meditation that is guided (meaning someone will talk you through what to think and how to properly relax your body) and choose a quiet, safe space to practice.
In terms of being scared… sometimes thoughts and issues we don’t want to deal with because they hurt come up. Sometimes these thoughts expose sides of us we don’t want to face or acknowledge, sometimes they show us how we are and we don’t want to accept that. This might happen. This might not. Feelings are scary but I can tell you that working through anything rough, will only get you to a higher, more light, and more free space.
Try meditation. Try to tune into your senses more. Try to give yourself some silence, and allow thoughts to come and go. Focus on your breath. Find a mantra that works for you or repeat your intention… or anything that speaks to you.
Try apps that can help you meditate.
In yoga class, never leave before savasana, which is often the highest form of practice (to be still.)
Being mindful, and paying attention will allow you to be more present in your life. It will change your brain, too. Though scientists aren’t fully sure how it works, the brain changes the brain. It has been found with consistent meditation, the brain changes in areas that relate to emotional intelligence. It means you will have more empathy for yourself and others, more compassion for yourself and others… And overall, it has the power to change how you react to stimuli in your environment, and ultimately live a better, calmer, more fulfilling life.
For this week, I share with you my favorite, and most powerful mantra. You could also call it an affirmation, and you can repeat it over and over as you meditate or all day long if you’d like.
In yoga I say, come back to the breath. But you can also come back to your thoughts, come back to your intention, come back to what you want to tell yourself… But make sure to always keep the thoughts in the positive versus the negative. For example, instead of I am not tired, change it to something like, I am alive, awake, and aware.
Fill in the blank with something that speaks to you.
I am loved, loving and lovable.
I am abundance.
I am powerful, strong, and able face anything that comes my way.
I am a child of addiction and it’s not my shame.
I am bigger than my struggles.
I am alive, awake, and aware.
I am happy with my body, and love what it can do.
I am safe.
I am ready.
I am willing.
And the list goes on. Insert anything you need to hear, or are working on, and let that be where your mindfulness and meditation starts.
We recently both spent the day at a Manduka (IG) event, and finally got to connect! Having extremely similar views on who yoga is marketed to, and how those people look and are shaped, led us to engaging in some great conversations. I’m so proud she is open about starting a dialogue that matters, and that yoga needs.
The messaging behind #DontGetBentOutOfShape, is that of stopping the body obsessing and showing up…to practice and to life. Showing up and being seen. It’s a vulnerable move that many are still too scared to do…but Jessamyn, myself, and many others are here to show you that yoga is for everyone in a real, authentic, and approachable way. Body acceptance is for everyone, too!
I’ve spent a lot of my life buried in books. A book list has been requested many times, so to begin…a little list of books that have most influenced my thinking.
The Power of Intention, Wayne Dyer // Read this and listened to it probably 40 times as a book on tape, and can quote much of it. Just really important. Therapist recommended… I remember the first time she said “what’s your intention” to me. It’s over a decade later and I’m still trying to live by that principle.
Notes to Myself: My Struggle to Become a Person, Hugh Prather // I adore this book. It’s a quick-ish read but I continue to go back to it. For its words, for its thoughts, for its honest approach to how a man is sorting through feelings and himself, as we all do. It’s just a solid read.
Rhythm of Life, Matthew Kelly // It’s a really good starting place for someone asking the question, how to live a more sound and authentic life that connects me to my purpose, makes me feel empowered and real, and shows me how that is structured. I just really like his approach.
The 7 Levels of Intimacy, Matthew Kelly // Recommended by my adolescent therapist, who I still adore for all the gifts of thought and presence she gave me.
Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto, Anneli Rufus // I loved this. The intro was more meaningful because it confirmed being an introverted, weird, super creative (or maybe super smart?) kid who didn’t much care for her peers. (Some liken this to Quiet about introverts, but I didn’t really “feel” that one.)
Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill // Always fascinating, with quotes that stick with me (“Awake, arise, and assert yourself, you dreamers of the world.”) and lots about the mind, thoughts, attraction, and being ready for your opportunity when it appears. It also touches on love and how powerful it is in success.
Living a Life that Matters, Harold S. Kushner // Listened to this as an audiobook, and then read it, but it’s a touching book. Just the spirit and aim is gentle and earnest.
The Wisdom of Insecurity, Alan Watts // Not quite what the title says, but a classic for those who think deeper and beyond the regular concept of living in the present, and what that means.
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield // Sort of an essential for the creative… He also wrote Turning Pro, but I liked this one more.
Daring Greatly, Brene Brown // Brown and her thoughts on vulnerability, a very accessible book for those getting into work on the self.
Mating in Captivity, Ester Perel // Found her through her TED talks. She has some really interesting thoughts on infidelity and desire in relationships… And having a less than conventional view and thought process on relationships myself, I gravitated towards her methods as whatever we are currently doing isn’t working in most modern relationships… Hell, what I’m doing might not be working either but I’ll sure as hell try to arm myself with the most tools and knowledge I can.
Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, Chris Hedges // A smart, cynical friend who has the most beautiful mind was reading this once, and me being a creep for connection, decided to read it too. It’s fitting, and draws a social theory of things…worth a read for those who know it’s all an illusion.
What Makes a Man, 22 Writers Imagine the Future, Rebecca Walker // It was just an interesting book, about what we think of when we think of a man, for now and the future.
That Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations for Codependents, Melody Beattie // Classic 12 step daily devotionals book, from my therapy/treatment days.
Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One With the Universe, Yumi Sakugawa // Bought this at a meditation studio here in NYC, it’s a beautiful day when a studio just for guided meditation and mindfulness can exist, but it's a cute illustrated book to the universe. Being a moon child I like it… Not deep, mostly cute.
The Road to Character, David Brooks // Read an essay on NY Times from the author, David Brooks… Was hooked and the book continues to satisfy. A life well lived is really more about the depth of your heart and how well you loved...not things that look pretty on a resume.
How to Be an Adult in Love: Letting Love in Safely and Showing It Recklessly, David Richo // If you’re already on the path of universal love, for self and the rest of everything…and needing some more guidance and reassurance about love…. And really solidifies my live in love, not fear… That I preach. Making decisions out of love and not fear, continues to make life better, fuller, richer, and more beautiful everyday.
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba
Fascinate, Sally Hogshead
Sacred Geometry and Spiritual Symbolism, Morihei Ueshiba
What are you reading? Follow and comment, to let me know what else I should check out.
As I watch the content being posted on social media channels, it’s hard to miss the obsession we have with body and image. No matter the campaign at hand, I seem to find, even the "proud of your body" social posts are still a focus on the body… And I’m sick of the body obsession that takes time and energy from living a life that is full of positive experiences.
Regardless of gender, we all think about our bodies far more than we should. It takes away precious time… Life is short, and imagine how much you could do and be and enjoy if all the moments you spent worrying about your body were used for something more positive and fulfilling. Social media has a wonderful way to build community but it also creates a false narrative of what health is, what bodies look like, and how we should feel in our bodies…
As someone with a past of depression, anxiety and borderline eating disorder as a teen (anxiety manifested into me being about 85lbs and almost dying)… I’ll be the first to say, the mind is a key component to body acceptance and peace. Our thoughts fuel everything from how we feel to the actions we take, to how we treat ourselves and those around us.
I’m much more interested in what my body can do and far less in what it looks like. Certainly, there is a message of health in everything I do, but the only thing I ever got from obsessing over my body or comparing my insides to other people’s outsides, was tired. Tired of having to waste my precious time and energy and thoughts on something so arbitrary, relative and ultimately meaningless. Fundamentally we are not our bodies… They are just fun sporty models we get to run around in while we are on this beautiful earth. So why not let go of all the obsession… All the comparison… Because time is of the essence, and you might as well be proud of who you are… Be it thick, be it slim, be it muscular, be it short or tall… Just chill… Even if you’re on a health journey to something else.
Body image is a weird thing, honestly. Speaking from where I am now, I rarely think about it. I’m so concerned with all the thoughts in my head and the feelings in my heart, and trying to find love in everything I do while praying for those who need my blessings, and being a humble and earnest person in the world… I don’t have time to think about my body. It’s just a handy vehicle for my soul while I run around this planet for a spark of time in the grand scheme of infinity.
I think the strongest thing one can do, mentally and otherwise, is set an intention. From that place, all decisions should flow. An intuition (mine was always, ‘I want to feel good’) or mantra, will help you make choices that reflect your inner most desire. When you’re living based on that intention, your body will follow suit. My skin, my hair, how my joints move, to how my digestion works is a reflection of the decisions I make based on the simple intention of “I want to feel good.”
Maybe it sounds simplistic. Maybe it sounds far too optimistic and carefree. But I can promise you, nothing fulfilling and beautiful will come from a mind full of obsession and comparison. You will never feel the self assured peace and love that comes with accepting your self and your physical form.
What is your intention?
What affirmation do you use to change your inner dialogue to a more positive, and loving one?
What does self love mean to you and how do you show that to yourself?
Join the conversation here, and don’t forget to post your #dontgetbentoutofshape participation on socials!
Social media has become a special place for me, that is used constantly in my business and interacting with brands, people and places I find inspiring and enlightening. Sorting out one’s role in this world of socials might be difficult but despite what boxes I might fit into, at the core of my work is a passion to share what I know with others. I’m ultimately an educator of yoga, and fitness; of mindfulness and peaceful living, and someone with some serious opinions on our bodies and our relationships to them.
In being on the inside of this strange, smoke and mirror laden social media fitness world, I see the pros and the cons of exactly where I am situated. Inspiration abounds and a sense of “we’re in this together” develops over common interests and issues. What’s better for someone in the wellness industry than to be able to reach far more people than they could in their neighborhoods and communities? To share their stories with the masses? It’s a special moment when I receive touching messages from people everyday, all over the world sharing their yoga pictures with me, saying they tried something new (yoga) because of me, or how they are taking back their own style in terms of health.
However, for all the power and inspiration we share, there is also a side that I know exists; as I’ve been there too, 62 weeks deep in someone’s page thinking, is this a feasible lifestyle? We can get trapped spending an unusual amount of time scrolling through pages of edited, nipped, tucked, and filtered photos of models and contrived lives. We start measuring ourselves against these often unreal standards. We compare our insides to their outsides, and it can never be enough.
Watching all this unfold around me, I had to step back and think about what my role was in all this.
I started posting yoga poses because I wanted to share my way of doing yoga and living that was free of rules and stereotypes. I have a deep and long attachment to yoga, the values it taught me and how it made me feel. Traditional American yoga standards didn’t really accept me, as I had always done things a little differently than the norm. But it was the only way I knew how to share; from a place of authenticity. If I can’t offer a genuine portrayal of how I maintain a healthy lifestyle in this body, then why am I here? You should all keep it moving if I can’t share that.
When we see something real and obtainable, or something we can look at and see ourselves, we sit back and realize it’s ok. It’s ok to be this shape or that, or to struggle with our bodies or our thoughts surrounding them. The most beneficial part of all this social media fitness, and what I most identify with in my own purpose, is the fact that we learn we aren’t alone. Social media will forever be criticized that it creates a false connectedness, and we will end up unsatisfied because of our neglected human need for relationships as we are lose touch with how to communicate in a real way. But, what if these messages and sentiments get people to local yoga classes, running clubs, or anything that is an in-person exchange? Fitness easily takes to group settings and can create common ground between even the most uncommon of individuals.
Once we see through dark corners and find the light in socials, we can take a conscious look at what someone is putting out and the messages they are sharing. You might just find some genuine exchanges of how we all strive to achieve a more healthy state. From what I have found, we are much more alike than we are different. In our triumphs and in our struggles; in our moments of celebration, and in our moments of insecurity and faltering self esteems, even if we never post anything about them.
Our physical bodies aren’t that different either. We all have the same shoulders, the same hips and most of us want to find a greater peace with our bodies, be it in how they move or in how they are shaped. We all seek a better sense of self, and want to find people to look up to that are living in a way we admire. Social media creates a place for that to include people all over the globe, with as many different shapes and sizes as there are different fitness disciplines and styles.
Social media, health and wellness might break us down as much as it brings us together, but I can only hope that we find fitness trends that can be turned into lifestyles, individuals who promote something positive in an other wise dark world, and a place of acceptance for our bodies and ourselves.
Trill Yoga started as a hashtag as a way to describe how I practiced yoga. It had a guerrilla approach, and took me, the “unconventional” non-yoga-looking yogi, wearing what I wanted, practicing where I wanted, and throwing all stereotypes and stigmas about what yoga is, and has to be, out the window. It is now becoming a global vibe for those who practice yoga according to their own rules.
Trill is a way to describe something well respected, authentic, true and real. Yoga means union, and ultimately is a journey back to the self, through the self. What is more real than practicing in a way that is unique to you, and who you are? Trill Yoga just wants everyone to embrace themselves, whatever that is, and still be able to find and utilize yoga. And maybe you don’t ever do yoga. I would hope it would at least inspire people to look at yoga a little differently, and give this whole wellness, and mindfulness thing a chance.
Yoga is so much more than just a physical practice, but I have always believed those who need yoga the most don’t even think its available to them. Ironically, a practice that is meant to show us how to find ourselves has become something that separates, judges, and shames. #TrillYoga was my way of showing yoga is for everybody and every body.
The first time I ever defined Trill Yoga, I said it was a practice that is open to all looking to reap the physical, mental and spiritual benefits yoga can offer. It’s real, it’s raw, it’s whatever you make your yoga practice. It values music, art, culture, and the power of individuality. We're on the streets. We're in the desert. We're in living rooms, apartments, and open spaces. We're wherever we want to be, showing yoga is open to any and all.
Ideally we change how yoga is seen, and continue to break stereotypes and stigmas many have about yoga, wellness, and a healthy, thoughtful lifestyle. A trill tour is in the works, but more than anything I love seeing anyone who is inspired, posting on social media using the hashtag.