Young Lady…Old Yogi…

I have been practicing yoga since 1997…Social media was barely a thing when I started my yoga teacher training in 2003. I did not even own a computer then?!? WOW! Now it is a whole different world…

I have several friends who are finding yoga, falling for yoga and even in teacher training now…reading their stories and seeing photos on social media has brought back so many memories, successes, failures, and even thoughts of yoga trips I have yet to take.

Yoga really is a lifelong experience…just when you start to feel that ultimate life balance, calm and strong…life shifts again. Yoga is the best tool I’ve found to adapt to life. Yoga helps us stay centered, gracious, and present. Yoga reminds us that breathe is our constant.

This last week I was feeling lots of shifts…closing my cooking business, taking on new yoga classes, planning the pitch for my new business…all positive things…yet all major shifts. For me, knowing I can carve out lil windows to dance with gravity of my mat; that is a good feeling.

As I have watch these friends I am “inspired” (the one word I focused on for 2014), I am humbled and I am self aware. There are good things about my journey being undocumented on Facebook, Twitter and the like…

But for whatever it is worth to the newbies…Here is what yoga taught me: (merely my observations)

1) Anything you want your body to do takes patience and dedication

2) If it was easy the 1st time…you are probably in bad form

3) yoga is not a religion, a cult or a place to escape life…it is an opportunity to embrace life as it is at this moment

4) the “AH HA” makes the days of the wondering mind worth it

5) it is not a competition-not even with yourself

6) if you are breathing you are practicing yoga

7) all the expensive toys in lulu or lola don’t make you anymore or less a yogi

8) you can be a yogi and still lack flexibility

9) teachers are still students if they are great teachers

10) anyone can do it and everyone should

11) yoga can help during pregnancy (lots!)

12) you must have a home practice to truly understand yoga’s value

13) yoga journal conferences are not ALL that (no space for mats)

14) helping others nail a pose is more gratifying then reaching a goal of my own

15) if you think you’ve seen it all…try a new style

16) if you are not present, it is just stretching

17) sometimes just surya namaskar is enough

18) the 5 Tibetans work

19) true yogis 💖 true yogis

20) there are might be more studios then Starbucks now…but that might be ok

I am not ashamed to admit it took me 16 weeks to complete my FREE 10 week teacher training at Yoga and Inner Peace. I learned discipline, got to really know myself, know who was really there for me. The monk like lifestyle was eye and heart opening…I would not change a thing.
Well, maybe the tacky uniform and 45 min drive at 4am to class.

If you are new to yoga…let yourself go. If you are burnt out and find the present a hard place to reside…explore new places…yoga is an eight limb path…all roads don’t have to lead to ashrams and asanas!!


How Sweet Life Is…

Today is the International Day of Happiness…I know, I know… there seems to be a day for everything from food types to TV shows…silly??… but I kind of love an excuse to eat Grilled Cheese and watch Dr.Suess Cartoons. No matter your take on the seemingly random everyday is a holiday thing…Happiness should be celebrated and spread DAILY!  Take it from a girl on day 2 of no processed sugars…LIFE is pretty freaking SWEET and Happy is in fact a choice.  YES A CHOICE!?

I refer to it as the 90/10 thing with my students and clients.

You know the old saying “Life is the 90% we make of the 10% that actually happens”…some days are easy…some not as easy.

So I woke this am at 3ish; after what I can only call a night terror, I had a great Wednesday like any other…sans sugar.

I went to bed last night relieved and proud of my dedication and so some might call this a rocky start to Day 2…but the day could only get better from there, right?!? I believed this and so it did! My attitude is my altitude…UP UP UP(Rainbows and Sunshine my patients call me) and so is yours!

Cuddling with Aliyah and watching Clifford at 6am…Yummy coffee and oatmeal with Judy and my sweet Aliyah at the Bux, baby clothes shopping for a friend (where I also happened upon cute photo socks and my jelly beans-to be enjoyed in 13 more days…give or take:), Making mac n cheese for Sher and Aliyah for lunch, chatting yoga, SUP, and a million other fun things like Diana App at Christina’s enjoying veggie melts and world class potato salad with Cathy…and it is only 2pm…How LUCKY AM I???

Now I am home in the quiet alone(YES!) and I still get to teach yoga, play with photos for my new business, go for a run and work on my butterfly painting…so I guess you could call today extra HAPPY!

What can you do daily to ensure you keep your spirits high, your attitude in check and life 90/10?





Making Life Sweeter with Less Sugar

If you know anything about me?!? You know I love setting goals, making to-do lists…and checking things off these lists.
Talk about feeling empowered…check, check, check and the crowd goes wild!!! Lol
This month was no exception, but there were some major mild stones not on this list that I can’t ignore.
1)Today marks day 3 of Aliyah not nursing…I am proud, because I never imagined I could do this for 17 months ;and surprised, because I am sad that time bonding is over.
2)Friday marks the closing of my Personal Chef company Divine Dining Florida…the web page is down, the parties are over and now the anxiety of will my new endeavor stay a float (no pun intended) is starting to set in…or is it just that today is also the 1st day of my 2nd SugarCleanse!?!
Ahhh…a good indicator that I am on the right path to self care and that it is time to exercise to get my energy up.
Exercise is my cure all…and with a crazy week like this I may have to run and yoga everyday! SWEET!
I know SO many questions, right?
Well, my new business is a highly physical job and so I knew the time was right to sugar detox-Again…yes I did this before…but old habits die hard!
See 2011:

So here it is 11am and I am still functioning and happy…maybe second time around will not be as tough?!? That would be a whole different kind of Sweet!

Join me? The benefits are endless: weight loss, less inflammation, clearer skin……

As for my other March Goals…

March Madness:
•Wear My Sequin Mini Dress Somewhere
•Finish the SeaHorse Painting(CHECK)
•Organize the File Drawers with Mini Boxes(CHECK)
•Do a Burpee Challenge
•Set Up Sewing Area…maybe where Sofa is Maybe in My Room…Maybe outside??(last Resort?)
•Paddle Lots like 10+ Days
•Remember your FUN first
•Create with Your Scarves and Hermes Card Set
•Learn some New Make up techniques
•Budget For our 2 Trips
•Perfect One Long Board Trip(CHECK)
•Start Oil Pulling(CHECK)
•Read for Fun(CHECK)

Only 12 days left…Make the Most of March…Make your moments not your food sweet!



Change your Perspective…Change your Life…How I Starting to Set Myself Free…Setting myself free! There is really something to the theory of life giving us lessons(the same lessons!!!) over and over and over……..until we learn to read between the lines-so to speak; Or stop and listen to the little voice inside us-intuition…higher power…etc After 2011…I felt invincible and never imagined my world would be rocked again so badly again by unnecessary worry?!? Que becoming a mommy…and the whole boat was turned over…lol My lesson is I am human and I can/will burn out. Oh and by the way: Burn out is not the same as hard work…burning the candle at both ends DOES nothing- truly it CAN’T bring more work or $$ longterm, it will not prove anything to the universe about your worth…it only creates madness, stress and negative feelings…I can do anything-BUT NOT EVERYTHING!!!! I have been speaking with my students and friends about perspective this week. Life is not always a series of making choices, but perspective –attitude towards life is always a choice! For a long time I was holding on to old ideas of success. I was fearful to reinvent myself at 34-35?!? Honestly-Somedays like the Karate Kid- I lacked focus! I’d over book, over schedule and all for this false sense of success…my perspective had me running in literal circles and I got so dizzy it was like an out of control merry go round! And it really began to suck when my schedule would blow up in my face?!? Why would a successful person make these crazy decisions? Worry- am I a good mother, a hard enough worker, a patient enough friend…and on and on… Worry is the root of my over scheduling. Some of this worry is realistic clients cancel or don’t pay bills on time?!? Some is self inflected non sense, but my perspective of my business was all screwed up?!? And it was spilling over into my life! I had been suffering an internal torment of sorts regarding work issues…maybe for as long as I’ve been in business…but at least since I started the Savor School last year. (Let me say in a side bar that most of Savor School was inspirational genius! motivational content is not one size fits all! Perspective plays a role in what drives each of us. Just this week I read a blog a friend found as a must read…I thought it sucked! And another friend posted pics of a bumper sticker that inspired her-hated it! So I am sure some of what moves me would repel others…inspiration is individual preference and only some of Savor school inspired me…Any-who!) For me trying to mask this worry for too long from the only person that matters in my business -ME…has convinced me to regroup. I used to adore being a savvy jack of all trades?!? Well I am, in fact; good at lots of shit, TONS even…but as my brother says, “just because you are good at it…or passionate about it…does not mean it needs to be a money maker”. Hmmm… In 10 years of being a private chef…it was only this last year that I began to HATE-it! What in the hell does all this business talk have to do with keeping skinny? SO much really…stick with me for a few… I became a yoga teacher in 2001, certified in 2004, took a personal training course at Fitness Institute in 2005…all to KeepSkinny(not as a career move!) literally to stay fit and happy! 2005 was the most stressful year of my life personally and I was dedicated to doing anything that made me feel better in 2006(the whole idea behind KS). Still in 2005-6 when things with my cooking business were getting tough off season(SLOW) I took on a training client(4) and then opening/managing Parkland Golf and Tennis Club’s Gym, and several yoga classes (2 of which I still teach). Money worry…had me throwing all kinds of business ideas (shit) at the wall to see what would stick?!? This insanity had me driving all over town…did I mention I was working as a shift manager at a Starbucks for my family health benefits too!!! WTF…was I thinking?!? Money worry…had me driving…myself crazy with schedules, clients and tasks all over South Florida?!? Money worry…even with funds rolling in left and right from fancy parties, cooking classes, cupcake baking, yoga classes, private personal chef clients, painting murals…and SO much more! No matter how much I made I worried about $!?! My perspective if my situation was negative. In reality, I was a phenomenal chef. I was getting major press, new clients by word of mouth only and I was financially comfortable. Where had it gotten me?!? All that negative perspective! STUCK…with my hand in too many pots(no pun intended) and all too often hating things I used to love…like cooking. Now that I have Aliyah I notice it more than ever…this lack of work balance…it had gotten a little better before her…I am no longer with Starbucks and since 2010 have only run a yoga and chef business..but nothing had been fixed in my perspective. Sadly, it had begun to effect my energy and workouts…I told you it SO had todo with Keeping Skinny and Sane even… Now what… In the last 3 months I changed my attitude again! I decided to commit to changes that are not negotiable…saying no when I mean no, picking 1 area of work to focus on, (more on this in April) pursuing things I love as hobbies (without $ guilt) putting my work outs over my worry! Making the hard decision to reinvent me and close Divine so I could be a chef for my family and those I love again. Embracing that if I perceive beauty, joy, and success that is my reality. Dream boards are fab, journaling/blogging is great, life coaches may assist you…but only the mind can truly set you free. So this am I ran 3 miles with my beautiful daughter, made myself a healthy snack, started a project life book (inspired by an artist friend) and started to get really excited to teach yoga tonight and have a rocking good time at Rocco’s with my besties tomorrow. Carpe Diem!


It Is Ok To Cry For No Reason

Monday was just a normal day…really…I ran, taught yoga, kissed A lots, had a fun day…until 8pm when I found myself curled in a ball on my bathroom floor sobbing?!? The reason many and few??…doesn’t matter… except for the part where I share this was not the 1st time and it probably won’t be the last!
Why?Because I’m human…I have a large wide open heart, I remember all the good/bad life has dealt me. I have a beautiful life, gratitude for it all and sometimes crying is what I do to remember this and survive the day.
I bring this up, because I want you to read this and know you are not alone when you feel alone. You can be a yogi, good mother, happy even and still find yourself on occasion in this predicament.
This type of moment does not mean you are crazy, or even depressed. I find it can be quite the opposite. It is good to feel.
I try not to stifle what I am, who I am or how I feel…life is too short for it!
It is hard enough to be a person of this magnificent universe, Loving, Losing, Caring, Dreaming, etc…all these authentic emotions can be wonderful and yet draining without faking we are something we are not…to please people who don’t matter.
How have I come to embrace the idea of needing a good cry as normal?
Having a loving relationship with myself is what makes me so certain I AM NOT ALONE at these times and that being just me is totally ok. We come into this world with ourselves only, and that is how we will leave it.
Be your own BFF 1st and your other relationships will begin to reflect it…like a magic mirror”)
I am a fighter. I am a creator. I am a loving daughter, mother, friend…I am a cry baby…lol…and yoga, running, my mirrors, life has taught me to rock it all with gratitude.
I’m thankful especially in moments like this…to truly feel alive.


5 Reasons I Don’t Do Yoga Daily Or Do I?

I am often thinking about a post topic and then someone says something that actually is the spark that causes me to type. The universe speaks…I listen.
Sunday morning a friend text me, “where are you yogaing today??”
My answer was “home”
But it got me thinking…even after 20 years of Practice and 13 years of teaching…I don’t do yoga daily?!? Or do I?

Truth is I don’t do asana daily, but I do lots of yoga!
** Asanas are the physical parts of yoga aka poses.

Here are my reasons why:

1) I do Pranayama(breathing) well duh…just try and go through a day without doing this properly.
Anxiety and stress, hunger and fatigue are all the side effects of irregular breathing.
I always start my morning with a few deep breathe exercises…and often in fits of rage(yes) or annoyance(yes me) I return my thoughts to these calm starting minutes

2) I am a Runner, Paddler, Aero Barre, Boxing…I could go on and on…Fitness Junkie, and well Asanas are Fab, but they are a small fragment of actual yoga and my fitness routine is balanced by not dependent on those stretches and strength poses.
Mixing it up has kept me keepingskinny

3) Karma Yoga or giving back to those around me, be it time, $$, or inspiration like this post are a HUGE part of my practice

4) Self Love, Self Exploration is a practice that truly takes practice. I am getting into the regular habit of yogic self love:
What do I need today? How can I serve my physical body to boost my mental and emotional self?
And well sometimes the answer is asana, and often it is one of the other activities in #2″)

5) Lastly…Rest is essential. I used to go through my asanas daily until sometime hurt. Boo hiss not self loving…I now know I have nothing to prove or gain by pushing through joint pain.

I find such comfort and beauty in knowing all 8 limbs of yoga and mixing them up as they serve my greatest good.
Take a moment and invite into your day what feels true.

Skinny Yogini


The “Ugly” Side of Authentic



Yoga has taught me to ease into things, to not push too hard too fast, and to be over all more gentle- especially with how I talk to myself!
Ahimsa teaches us not to harm, and to me this includes the ability to be authentic or truthful…1st with ourselves…here’s where I wrestle in grey area land…or what I like to call the “ugly side of authentic”.
This is not silly things that could be in the yoga world I studied in; considered “ugly”, but are my authentic. For example, the fact that I live for a good soap opera style drama like Revenge, still enjoy a good fried coated in sugar donut or pralines(pure sugar) every once in a while, or that I LOVE beer!
No, the “ugly” authentic I speak of is at the core of me, of you, of all of us! It reminds me of the old saying “if you don’t have anything nice to say…” You know the rest.
So, 3 days ago I started working on this post in my head…if I had been authentic in that moment the title might of been:
Why You Don’t Visit Relatives While PMSing In A Snow Storm
Stuck In New Orleans In Shitty Sleety Weather With A 16 Month Old And A Migraine
I’d…lol these, but the level of “ugly” that might of come from these posts is pretty great and that is not who I feel I want to be at my core.
My meditation and yoga practice afford me the ability and time to filter what I say which is my real authentic…being positive and helping others to see/learn it is a conscious choice…Even when life hands you lemons.
Asking is it Kind? Is it necessary? And most importantly for my blog/life Will it serve?
I shared my woes with some of my family and friends…yucky…ugly energy-SORRY!
And so instead of a another rant about things gone not at all my way…
Here is how that time(meditation/yoga) woke me up to the truths!
1) I had a warm bed at my Maw Maw’s both extra nights I was stuck in La…while others looked for hotel rooms or even shelters
2) Aliyah had a blast with her cousins, And I enjoyed my family too…some people don’t have a loving extended family or the funds to travel to them
3) Watching my Grandparents love for Aliyah is a feeling I have yet to describe with enough passion…and in their 80s I am so blessed by the Universe to still have 3 in excellent health
4) The kindness of strangers got me hot coffee and a ride to the airport…nuff said…love NOLA people…and Canadians”)
5) I have a new appreciation for Florida things/loved ones…#ilivewhereuvaca
6) The fact is this list could be longer…but you get the point

We can in fact pause and move past “ugly”Authentic…let temporary let downs settle, find meditative reflection and invite the sunshiny authentic us in. Owning the energy that I share is part of my yogic path.




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