Since moving to San Diego, lots of new experiences are coming into my life.  New people, new places, new practices.

I went to a new studio last week to attend a class I’ve never been to before with a good friend of mine who swears by this one teacher in particular, Tabu.

It’s interesting how you get to a certain level, you feel comfortable, you feel on top of things, and you develop a level of consistency and confidence around your abilities…

…and then become humbled by crashing onto your face!

After a super intense opening sequence, we were instructed to move into Eka Pada Galavasana, or flying crow.  This is a pose I can normally reliably move into and hold…

…but not, apparently, after burning my muscles out first and becoming drenched in slippery sweat!

I slipped, and literally fell on my face, landing on my right cheekbone right below my eye.

I was shocked.

I had NEVER fallen like this before!

And it was so much less bad than I ever expected.  I was totally fine.

How many times do we not take the chance, or take the leap, or say yes to something, because we are afraid of falling?

But, really, what is the worst that could happen?  Falling is actually not as bad as we think.  In fact, I had a teacher back in Hong Kong who would have us fall intentionally just to GET OVER that fear and out of our own way so we could move on to bigger achievements and greater self-confidence.

Imagine what life could look and feel like if every morning, you took a leap, made a choice, or created a space so big you could fall?  If you got comfortable with getting uncomfortable?  Every single day?

You would be able to do more, expand more, and hold more.

That’s FREEDOM.

Give it a go.  Try it on.   Lay out a plan for a week.  Comment below with how YOU plan to take some big leaps every morning for this upcoming week.  Yes you might fall, and if you do, it probably won’t be as bad as you think.  But what if you don’t fall?  What if you fly?

Have a beautiful day and Namasté,
Julie

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As we discovered in my last post, “Create…by listening,” I found that I could manifest just as powerfully by resting as much as, if not more than, manifesting by doing.

I want to clarify this point based on some personal lessons I learned this week.

This question of when to rest and when to PUSH has been one that I’ve toiled with for a long time!  I think I finally have my answer…

I spoke with a woman yesterday who, despite all her best efforts at the gym and in her diet, is still not seeing the weight loss and health results she’s hoping for.  She’s beating herself up.

…Sort of like how I wasn’t seeing healing in my knee joint EVEN THOUGH I was resting, and getting so frustrated.

In both cases, the energetics did not line up with the intention.  In both cases, there was an energy of resentment, frustration, and depletion.  Self-doubt.  Self-loathing.

This woman was saying things to me like, “Sometimes it feels like I should just give up.  What’s the point.  I’ve always been this way.  I’ll never change.”

It was heartbreaking.

Just like how I learned I needed to be more loving towards my knee, and my body in general, this woman needed to send her body reinforcement and love!  Not self-deprecation and defeat.

I, for example, found that, yes, I needed to rest, but I ALSO needed to be foam rolling regularly, doing my PT exercises daily, and icing every day after my runs.  And since starting this practice, for the first time in decades, not only is my knee happier and healthier than ever, but I’m also getting coached to run the longest distances I’ve ever done at a pace that is beyond my scope of comprehension.  I’ve cultivated the love and belief in myself that health is possible, AND followed it up with healthy, CONSISTENT actions.

Since the above woman’s block was not consistency or diet or exercise programming, it came down to energetics and self-love practices.  The stress and anxiety from self-loathing has built up so much that the stress hormones in her body that are meant to protect her were working overdrive, and the fat was just not burning away.  Reduce the stress, amp up the love, and the results will appear.

Before I had coaching, I was out of shape and in pain.  I, like the woman I just mentioned, was completely defeated and frustrated.

And yet, I’m now living proof that with a combination of good coaching, a loving inner belief system, and consistent practice in training, PT, and joint care, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, and I feel completely amazing.

What would this feel like for you?  Take a deep breath in, and imagine your body in a pool of healing water, a loving energy of God lapping up against your skin and washing away any negative self-talk or energetic toxins.

How does that feel?

Let me know how this post helped you; what are you going to start implementing in your day to embrace more consistency, self-love, and positive choices!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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It’s like it was happening in slow motion.  I picked my foot up.  I put it back down.  And there was just enough weight and torque and angling that the kneecap popped out…and then it popped back in.

This represents the 20th (ish?) time I’ve sublexed my knee.

And it happened last Friday.

I was teaching Hip Hop Prana™, one of the popular song+choreography combos was starting (Talk that Talk by Rihanna feat. Jay Z), and not even ten seconds into leading the class, my right knee sublexed and I nearly fell down.

The knee popped back into place, and I very carefully and gently kept teaching class.  Earlier that day, I attended a vinyasa flow yoga class; the day before I taught Hip Hop Prana™ and subsequently ran 4.5 miles.  The day before I worked out twice as well.

I think my body was trying to tell me something…

…and I finally was ready to listen.

A large component of my coaching and teachings are physical; we create our reality by intentionally moving energy through our body so that we can manifest with our minds.

I create custom yoga sequences for my clients (and myself) that specifically target their energy centers that are not in alignment, in order to realign them daily.  And once you start to see the possibility and the benefits of this practice, it’s actually kind of addicting!  Movement and practicing were making great things happen for me, so I was enjoying doing as much as I could every day.

After hearing my laments in my social media, my friend and colleague Dr. Tera Maxwell generously offered to do an energy healing on me.

And it was during this healing I heard the yin to the yang.  All of this creating and making and manifesting–and I had been forgetting to listen!

My body had been trying to tell me that it needs some gentleness.  Some rest.  And some nourishing.  I always considered myself pretty fantastic at the whole “self-love” thing…but I had unwittingly been resentful towards my body because of my recurring knee problem and its effects.

Tera helped remind me that it’s also important to listen.

So I spent the entirety of this morning LISTENING.  I laid in savasana with my crystals and soft music, just breathing, and hearing what my body had to say.  The biggest message that came up was gratitude.  A sigh of relief.  “Finally…,” it said.

And then I went on to have SUCH a wonderful day.  Some of the best client calls I’ve ever lead, some of the best chakra readings I’ve given, and the most wonderful afternoon, outside in the breeze and the sun writing this blog.

My knee feels great.

This kind of bliss is available for you, too.  This is your reminder to listen.  To take time to be quiet.

You might say, “I don’t have time to listen.  Or be quiet.”

And I say, “Do you have time to get injured? (or sick? or slowed down in some other unexpected capacity?)”

I am so incredibly grateful that I received this important reminder to slow down and tune in.  And offer the message to you.

Now it’s YOUR TURN!

What do you plan on doing in order to slow down and create health, abundance, and bliss?  Comment below with your intention!

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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If there is one thing that is true about me, it’s that I’m a life-time learner.  I love learning more than almost anything else, and I get really excited about opportunities to be a student.  While I’m learning, I feel like everything else in the world is okay and, for me, it’s like there is never any sense of being lonely or disconnected. 

Indeed, I was a double major in college (Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology and Anthropology…that could almost be 4 majors lol), a double minor (French and Finearts) and later went on to receive my master’s in Marine Mammal Ecotoxicology.  One of the things I loved most about my majors, and even minors, is that there were so many surprising connections I would learn between different topics and areas that were so seemingly unrelated.  It was like finding treasure when I heard a professor lecturing about a concept in my Cultural Anthropology class that was also just previously discussed during my Cognitive Neuroscience class — Every time it ASTOUNDED me that these extraordinary connections existed.

So when I graduated with my my collection of degrees, while it was certainly a happy accomplishment, I was also devastated at the same time.  At the time, I thought it meant that the treasure trove of connections were forever behind me.  No more learning.  No more interesting and novel philosophies and concepts to be absorbed.   And worst of all–I felt alone.

It wasn’t long before I realized that there would–and could– be more learning.  Of course I would continue to find ways to make interesting and novel connections across seemingly unrelated areas.  First, because it’s simply my nature.  Second, because we attract that which we manifest.

So, into my life came podcasts.  Those of you who also enjoy learning, or crave a bit of mental stimulation, I HIGHLY recommend downloading the “podcast” app to your phone RIGHT NOW.  And then do a search on topics and people.  When my friends come to me needing advice and support, do you know where I tell them to go first?  Yes.  Podcasts.

So I was listening to the TED Radio Hour on NPR the other day and had another one of those golden moments of unexpected connection and knew I could not delay in sharing it with you all.  I know you will be just as excited as I was.  Especially since it really gets to the root of why so many of us love and stick with our yoga practice and meditation work.

In the deserts of Arizona lives a facility which simulates and tests a model of a habitat which is fully enclosed and fully self-sufficient.  A BiosphereFor two years, a group of scientists LIVED there; growing their own food, recycling their own waste, breathing only the air that was found in this fully enclosed space.  They had their own miniature rainforests and a private beach with a coral reef.  They had a savanna, a marsh, a desert.  They had their own half-acre farm upon which they had to grow everything.  I’ll let you check out the talk if you want to learn more about it on your own, but let me tell you now why I bring this up.

One of the things said in the talk struck a chord so deeply in that same familiar resonate way that I used to feel in college when I heard something in one unrelated class be said, perhaps in very different words but with the same meaning, in another class.   The scientist discussing the experience, Jane Poynter said this:

The most profound experience I had in the biosphere was the experience of not only being completely dependent on my biosphere, but being absolutely a part of my biosphere in a very literal way. I mean, as I walked through the biosphere, I was incredibly conscious of the fact that the plants surrounding me were providing me with the oxygen that I needed to breathe, and that I was providing them some of the CO2 they needed to grow.

When I breathed out, my CO2 fed the sweet potatoes that I was growing. And we ate an awful lot of sweet potatoes. And those sweet potatoes became part of me. In fact, we ate so many sweet potatoes I became orange with sweet potato. I literally was eating the same carbon over and over again. I was eating myself in some strange sort of bizarre way.

And then, a little later, in the context of broader learnings for all of us, she said:

And if you lose where you are in your biosphere or are perhaps having a difficulty connecting with where you are in the biosphere, I would say to you, take a deep breath. The yogis had it right – breath does, in fact, connect us all in a very literal way. Take a breath now and as you breathe, think about what is in your breath. There, perhaps, is the CO2 from the person sitting next door to you. Maybe there’s a little bit of oxygen from some algae on the beach not far from here. It also connects us in time. There may be some carbon in your breath from the dinosaurs. There could also be carbon that you are exhaling now that will be in the breath of your great-great-great-grandchildren.

CONNECTION.  If you ever feel alone (and I know some of you do because I hear this a lot), Take.  A.  Breath.  And reconnect with this perspective.  Remember your part, your role in the world.  Literally.  Ecologically.  Physiologically.  You are so important, your existence, everything about you.  Take a step back.  And remember that.

I hope this message gave you the “aha” moment that I experienced.  How cool is it that these scientists, interested primarily in the pragmatic applications of creating a biosphere to bring to Mars, ultimately had epiphanies shared by yogis worldwide?

I would love to know your feedback and find out what you think about this story.  What connections did you make?

Much love and Namasté!

Julie

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It’s the end of the year, you’re SO ready for 2013 to be over, and you know 2014 has got to be better than last year. 

However…you’ve stopped setting New Year’s Resolutions.  Or if you do, you just set them half-heartedly.  Why bother?  You won’t follow through on them anyway.  You never do.

Let this be the last time you think that to yourself.  Let this be the year that the whole-hearted goal setting is followed by real action that leads to real results.

I’m going to give you a super simple tip to help you in this process, and you’re going to be like, oh em gee, Julie, why didn’t I think of that?  And I’m going to be like, well that is why they pay me the big bucks.

So here we go. 

Prepare:  Start by taking a big piece of paper and listing out all the months (Jan-Dec) with plenty of space between each.  Get another piece of paper for other brainstorming and notes.

Step 1:  Identify your ONE big goal for the year.  Just pick one!!  If it helps, start by making a list of each area of your life (career, relationship, spiritual, financial, family, fitness/health…), list out all your goals in each of those areas, and then let that help you make a decision about your big #1 overarching goal.

Step 2:  Identify what action steps will help you achieve that goal by this time next year.  Turn those action steps into Quarterly Goals.

Step 3: Identify what should be achieved by the end of each month to help you arrive at each quarterly goal.  turn those action steps into Monthly Goals.

Step 4: THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP OF ALL!!!  Identify what beautiful daily and/or weekly routine you can establish for yourself to facilitate the achievement of your monthly goal.

FUN EXAMPLE: 

My #1 goal is to do handstand in the center of the room with no support by the end of the year.

Quarterly Goals: Jan-Mar: Master “floating” from downward-facing dog to forward fold.  Apr-Jun: Master balancing with the hips over the shoulders and the knees and feet off the ground for a few seconds.  Jul-Sep: Master balancing on the hands with the knees tucked to the chest for 5 seconds.  Oct-Dec:  HANDSTAND!

Monthly Goals:  Jan- Upper body-focused stregnth practices.  Feb- Core-focused stregnth practices.  Mar- Arm-balancing practices. Apr- All inversions, all the time.  May- Self-trust exercises on and off the mat.  Jun- Increase # of vinyasa flows in each practice to be between each pose.  Jul- Upper body + Core.  Aug- Advance arm balance practice.  Sep- Revisit inversion insanity.  Oct- Balance in handstand every day for 5 seconds.  Nov- Balance in handstand every day for 15 seconds.  Dec- Balance in handstand every day for 30 seconds!

Daily/Weekly Goals:  60-90 minute practice 6 mornings a week, every week, for the entire year.

 

What is your #1 goal this year?  What is your quarterly/monthly/weekly plan for achieving it?  Let me know in the comment section below!

Namasté and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Julie

 

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Let’s talk about the BIGGEST question on all of our minds, especially during the holidays.  The question that keeps us up at night, the question that makes it impossible to wake up in the morning–the question that nobody really seems to actually ever know the answer to.  I’m going to say it RIGHT NOW whether you’re ready or not!:

How do I achieve perfect life balance?!

Realistically–how many times a day do you say this to yourself in one form or another?  Maybe it also sounds like, “I ran out of time so I can’t work out tonight like I planned.” or “Feeling a little depleted now–maybe I’ll have chips for dinner instead of making salmon.” or “I had to take my son to soccer and my daughter to her friend’s house and my husband’s shirts to the dry cleaners–so what is this thing you call ‘me time’?!”

Once you get into the habit of the daily drudgery, anything other than this typical routine of yours will sound absolutely alien!

So let’s start from the top.  What even IS life balance?  This is my interpretation:  Balance is the delicate dance of giving and receiving.

Think about how and where this can apply to your life.  Is your give/receive barometer out of whack?  Do you give more than you receive?  Do you receive more than you give?  Perhaps it’s inconsistent in different life areas?  Perhaps it’s totally consistent in each life area?

More likely than not, you give more than you receive.  And here is my simple suggestion for today to make a life-changing difference for you:

Cancel one obligation on your calendar this week.

Just one.  Start small.  And use THAT time to do something wonderful for yourself.  Take a bath.  Sit in meditation.  Journal about your amazing accomplishments of this past year.  Take the time to cook a REALLY delicious healthy meal.  Get a massage.

A friend of mine told me I needed to practice receiving more, and he’s totally right, hence the inspiration for this post.  So how about we take this journey together?  I’ve been spending every evening at the rehabilitation hospital taking care of my father who is recovering from a severe stroke, and today, in light of this important message, I spent the morning with him instead of the evening to be able to go to a beautiful yoga class with my friends and to support one of our other friends who is teaching the class.  I literally haven’t seen my friends in over a month since I stepped into the role of caretaker, and this is an important choice on my behalf that I know EVERYONE (not just me!) will benefit from.

And how about YOU?  Where can you rearrange your schedule to make room for love and joy?  Let me know YOUR action plan in the comments below!

Have a beautiful day and Namasté!

Julie

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So many people say to me, “Hey Julie, how do you stay so invincible all the time?  You’re never sick during the winter and I’m super jealous of your skin’s healthy glow!”

Or something like that.

But seriously, I haven’t been sick since I can’t even remember when (even when my close family/friends/partner is a sneezing, goopy mess), and I really do get a lot of compliments about my skin.

How amazing would it be to NOT get sick this winter season?  To be 100% healthy throughout one of the busiest times of year, and wake up feeling refreshed and excited about your plans every day?  This is not a fantasy–but rather an easy to accomplish reality with just a few very simple steps.  These steps can be implemented both as a preventative measure as well as a cure to whatever yuckiness you may be experiencing now.

Are you ready to hear my secret?

It’s a five-way concoction:

  1. Get lots of sleep Do whatever you need to do to make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep every night (or whatever your optimal sleep time is…everyone is different).  The body heals while we sleep, and it’s vital to not deprive ourselves of this essential window of opportunity.  If you think you can’t sacrifice the late night work hours or social time, imagine how much more time you will have to sacrifice not being able to work or hang out with friends because you didn’t get the necessary healing sleep in.
  2. Vitamin C, Zinc, Echinacea, Omega 3’s These supplements are essential to induce the body’s anti-inflammatory response and support your immune system as you navigate our germ-filled world.  The fact is, there are illness-inducing goobers EVERYWHERE so it’s very important that we equip our body with the necessary chemical compounds to keep them from taking over our own beautiful little microcosm.  Vitamin C and Omega 3’s are in my supplement routine throughout the entire year, and I add Zinc and Echinacea during this time of year when I feel I need that extra support.
  3. WATER I drag my Lululemon canister with me everywhere I go and I always keep it full.  Constantly flushing out the body with hydration does many positive things, including enhance weight loss and make your skin shine with vitality.  Staying hydrated is a key to staying invincible this winter season.
  4. Inversions – Many people see this one and cringe/see how they can avoid it.  Which is so silly.  While headstands and shoulderstands are incredibly supportive to the body’s lymphatic and circulatory system, you don’t need to be a full-on yogi to get the benefits of inversions.  If you want to start small, just lay against a wall next to your bed or the floor and swing your legs up.  Legs-up-the-wall pose brings you lots of the same benefits and is also extremely soothing for the nervous system.  Put a little pillow or blanket under your hips to receive added benefits.  Unlike your circulatory system, your lymphatic system doesn’t have a muscular pump.  Therefore, it relies on you moving around to be able to function effectively.  Inversions are a quick and simple way to get those lymphatic fluids flowing.
  5. Steam/Heat – If you belong to a gym, spend some time in the steam room and/or sauna.  Breathing in the steam helps clear the respiratory passages.  The lungs operate best when the air that we breathe is very warm, which is why we have a natural warming mechanism in our nasal passage, but help your body out a little by spending some time in a toasty sauna or steam room.  Not to mention, sweating is also an effective detoxification mechanism that helps your body remove troublemakers.  If you don’t belong to a gym that has these amenities, just take a long, hot, steamy shower at home.  Its healing properties cannot be undervalued.

And there you have it!  My Secret Concoction to Invincibility this winter.  If you want to avoid getting sick, make each of these steps a big priority in your life.  It’s a guaranteed way to remain healthy, and to wake up every morning feeling fantastic.

Which steps were your favorite, and what are you planning on adding into your daily routine?  Put your thoughts in the comments below and let me know what you think!

Have a beautiful day and Namasté!

Julie

 

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