Are You Wasting Your Energy?

Recently a friend mentioned to me that she feels competitive during her yoga practice and how could she get away from comparing herself to others. We’ve all been there! I know that I’ve personally struggled with this to varying degrees and on many different levels. We all at different times could be, or have been competing for a position at work, measuring our performance based on others, muscling and pushing into yoga poses that we know could harm us, using social media as a guide to what we should have or should be, or even competing with our past self.  All this energy that we spend comparing and competing takes us away from the true Being that we are, here in the NOW. It’s wasted energy on all levels!!!

For my yogi friends, our practice is a chance for us to reconnect with our true selves, on a very deep, very pure level, but also to connect as a community.  We are so much more alike than we are different and this sense of connectedness strengthens our bond to our Being, and to each other as well.

Apply this blog post to whatever life circumstances that this seems to be speaking to for you as an individual, and tap into where you are leaking your energy.

If you tend to measure your self worth by comparing who you are now, to who/how you used to be then read this carefully…You aren’t fully living! If you are fully present and in the now, then there is nothing that you can measure, or use to compare yourself. Your previous self was the you that you were in the past “now” moment.  The you as of now is living in the past, so check in and ask yourself if you’re doing the very best that you can, within this moment.  You are so much brighter, stronger, smarter, and more worthy than you could ever imagine.  You are enough in this moment and the next. Embrace the tiny miracles that are keeping you healthy, moving, thinking, alive and be present!

If you can’t help, but look around in class, or life and find yourself constantly comparing yourself to others then practice pratyahara. Pratyahara is when you turn your intention inwards, away from the external distractions,  and away from the senses. This can be a way to help you observe your own inner strength and tune out everyone and everything else. This “drawing in” of the senses allows you to further connect to your own body, your mind, and your power. This focus helps to allow you to meditate, to complete the end of a race, to blow past your previous PR and/or to just remain calm in very challenging situations. You can practice a form of pratyahara by closing your eyes and by focusing on your breath.  Maintain even, fluid, deep breaths in whatever pose you are in. Feel how the breath moves in your body and how different poses effect and change where your breath goes. When your gaze or mind starts to wander, close the eyes and let the breath anchor the mind.

Another way to further connect is with dharana, which is concentration on a single point. I often cue my students to use drishti, which is where you focus your gaze on one spot. Regardless of the pose, the burn, the outside distractions, you keep your gaze and your focus on one spot to increase your power and to bring about mental clarity. This isn’t a new technique for many athletes, since most of them do this to varying degrees without even knowing it.  If you are a runner you will naturally keep your gaze a few feet in front of you to judge your trail and footing.  If you snowboard then you look where you want your board to go and your body will follow along. Dancers will “spot” during turns so that they can maintain their balance. This technique has made a huge difference within my own practice but for my pilates students as well. My students are able to connect with their breath and their bodies much quicker and have then been able to push themselves to their own edge in a safe, focused, present way.

Repeat after me…”There is only one me.” No one else is meant to be here living your life. It’s your own journey, struggles and experiences that shape the person you are. Embrace being you daily! The next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to others or in some sort of false competition, practice one of these tools to bring back your focus. Our focus is a like a muscle to be worked.  It will get stronger over time and easier to focus the more you practice staying present. I find it helpful to remember that the English word competition is Latin for “striving together.” Striving to reconnect to your own inner light, and to feel the interconnectedness of the community in which you live.

Namaste friends!

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BLD (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) Turkey Patties

Hi Friends!

I’m excited to share this simple and delicious recipe that my sweet friends The Young’s gave me.  Introducing BLD Turkey Patties! I jokingly call them BLD, because you will find yourself eating them cold in the car for a fast breakfast, warming them up with spinach for a nutritious lunch, and eating them for dinner with sliced avocado and roasted veggies.  Even my kids love them!  Best of all you can make a huge batch and freeze the patties that you intend to save for another week.



  • 1.5 lbs of ground turkey meat
  • 1/2 of a large white onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic diced
  • 3 Tablespoons of Braags Liquid Amino Acids
  • 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper


  1. Heat your grill to 375 degrees F
  2. On medium heat, warm up a pan with the coconut oil.  Once hot add in chopped onions and garlic. Saute for about 3 minutes. Stirring so the onions and garlic don’t burn.
  3. Add raw ground turkey meat to a large mixing bowl. Add in the liquid aminos, chopped spinach, coconut oil mixture and desired salt/pepper. Mix with your hands to fully incorporate all the ingredients.
  4. Line a cookie sheet with foil and begin shaping your patties with your hands. ***Remember portion size here! The patties should be about the size of your palm and about as thick as a deck of cards.  Women get one palm sized patty, and men get two palm sized patties.
  5. Spray coconut oil on your grill and place your patties on.  Grill for about 4-5 mins per side. Cool and enjoy!


First Time Yogi

I’m so excited to announce that I will be teaching yoga on Thursday nights at   6:30 pm starting on August 20th! I feel even more enthusiastic, because I’ll be bringing yoga to part of the community that isn’t practicing.

Crossfit Double Time is where the classes will be held and check out the beautiful space that they created. I’m a fan of all things related to fitness and health so I hope to learn all about Crossfit, while I can teach them about yoga.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 6.28.06 PM This new adventure got me thinking that for a real first time yoga student it might be a little daunting to take a class.  Trust me, I know I’ll be a little nervous for my first crossfit class. 🙂 I still remember my first yoga class and the time it takes, and still takes to develop a solid, well aligned practice.  The very best thing about yoga is that it’s a practice in the now…there are no 6 week challenges, it’s not a competition, no specific poses that win you medals, it’s not focused on speed, personal time records or even your flexibility.  I know a few of you are reading this and arguing that you can’t do yoga, because you aren’t flexible! (Trust me, just take a class!)

When someone says yoga you probably picture some contortionist in a beautiful pose on some exotic beach…thanks instagram. ;)  While that is lovely, and that is that person’s yoga it isn’t the imagery that should stop YOU from trying out a real life yoga class.

Yoga is about you; it’s your time to come back to yourself, the union of your mind, body and spirit.

Here are a few things to start absorbing before your first class:

  • Shoes are left outside of the room and you practice barefoot.
  • Bringing your own mat is probably the best choice, because you are going to sweat, lay and walk all over it.
  • You want to wear comfortable clothes that you can move in and that won’t get stuck under your feet, or distract you. I’m a huge Lululemon fan!
  • Cell phones can be left with your shoes and remain outside of the studio
  • Depending on the style of the class and the class level you should be prepared to work.  Yes, yoga creates flexibility, but it also will strengthen and challenge you.
  • “Sanskrit has been called the mother of all Indo-European languages”. This is the language that you will hear many yoga teachers speaking when they teach. It’s believed that the vibrations of these ancient words are healing and powerful. Practicing a pose while hearing the Sanskrit name can help you embody the pose.
  • Asana means seat or pose and “asana” will be in most pose names. For newer students most of the poses will be given in their English name first and then possibly in Sanskrit. An example would be Mountain Pose or Tadasana. What’s even better is that the teacher will demo a lot in the beginner classes, so even if you have no idea what the pose name is you will visually be able to see what you should be doing.
  • Namaste which is usually said at the end of class means ” I bow to you.” It’s the acknowledgement of another person’s light, soul or just overall awesomeness that you bow to.  Knowing that the same light and divinity is also within yourself.
  • Savasana (Corpse Pose) is at the end of every class. We practice this pose to fully relax while being conscious, to let the benefits of our practice sink in, and to prepare for meditation.
  • Don’t compare your practice to anyone else in the room. It’s a major waste of your energy! Instead be so present in your ability to listen to the teacher and feel how the teaching cues speak to your body. This type of focus over time leads to power; feeling powerful in your body and in your mind.
  • Om-ing is a completely normal thing for most yogis. The sound and vibration of Om (or AUM) resonates with the universe and all living things. The sounds of Om (ahhh-ohhh-mmm) is one of the most popular and shortest chants.  Collectively the group will Om not only to collectively bring the energy of the group together, but it has a way of centering and energizing you in an instant.
  • Don’t eat a big meal before class.  A lot of the poses require you to twist, stretch, and to work your “edge” whether that be with your flexibility, strength or endurance. Digesting your meal should be something that your body does outside of class. I have a fast metabolism, so I will usually eat a banana or an apple before class, just to make sure that I’m not practicing hungry.
  • Bring a sense of curiosity and openness to class. So much of your class experience will depend on what you have going on in your mind.  Do you best, show up, have fun and let yourself define what yoga is to you.

Can’t wait to see you on the mat!!!


Southwestern Salad

So easy and so delicious!!!

~ 2 small heads of romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces

~ 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed

~ 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels

~ 1 avocado, chopped

~ 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

~ Fresh cilantro, diced

~ 2 Tablespoons olive oil

~ 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice

~ 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

~ Season with salt and pepper

~ 1 rotisserie chicken

1.  Combine lettuce and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

2.  Whisk together oil and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl.  Drizzle over salad, toss and throw in pieces of the rotisserie chicken.

Enjoy! 🙂

Self-Care Tips

We live in a society that prides itself on all the things we do.  What we can accomplish in a day, for some, sets the standard of our self worth. We get attached to the idea of being busy, as being productive, and being productive as being better, and being superior in general.  But at the end of the day, how many of us really feel at peace?  I’m talking soul, blissed out, peace…

 I believe that the laundry list of “things” that we need to get done is used as a distraction.  Sure, there are actual things that one must do in a day, but there are hundreds of useless activities that tie up our attention for no reason at all.  How many times do I catch myself on social media sites when I should be present with my family, or why do I try to do 3 things at once as opposed to just 1 thing at a time.

When we are busy we are distracted from not only the good moments in our life, but also the ones that we are running from. We often break down our bodies so significantly that we then have some sort of major breakdown, or illness that requires us to stop; to stop everything.  It usually takes one with a major injury, virus, disease, or overall loss of health to then see that their life needs some adjusting.

I also push too hard, over schedule, over work, but I’ve made a promise to myself to practice Ahimsa.  Ahimsa means to not injure, to not harm.  Most of us need to show ourselves some kindness, so that we can bring this sense of peace and love to our families, friends, jobs and communities.

Through self-care one can begin to listen to the signals of the body and to tap into your own inner wisdom and the bodies natural healing capabilities.  In order to live a full life there needs to be time devoted to restoring our bodies, our minds, and to deal with our emotions.  Here are my favorite tips on how you can create more space in your life for you.

  • Create a self-care pattern/routine. Write down three things every week that you want to do to create more balance in your life. List things that will lift you up emotionally, physically, mentally. For me personally, these things are usually small, but bring me so much peace!  Here are my top 3 for this week: self Reiki, hot bath with essential oils, restorative yoga practice.  Some other idea’s might be a girl’s night out, a Pilates class, daily meditation, walking outside, booking a massage, acupuncture, foam rolling, etc.
  • Journal about the things that are going on in your life that are good.  The things that make you happy.  Just jotting down a few quick sentences about what is going right in your life will help to shift your energy and bring more of the good stuff your way.  I usually start with the basic foundational needs, like how thankful I am that I live my life with integrity and a high moral standard.  I practice kindness and am teaching my children that nothing is quite as important as being kind to the people we meet.  I then go on to structural blessings like my health, the balance I work to create daily, and the emotions that come to mind when I think about my friends and family.  Then on to the practical stuff which can sometimes be taken for granted: our house, the food we eat daily, and the way we interact as a family.  You can see how just a small list of  “love” can turn into so much more, and for those bad days when you need a boost you can go back and re-read your list.
  • Use essential oils to help boost your mood.  I can’t get enough of Young Living’s Frankincense, Peace & Calming, and Joy blend.  Peace & Calming has to be my very favorite though, so if there’s one to try I’d recommend this one.  It’s a blend that encourages deep relaxation and emotional support.  I rub this on the soles of my feet for deep sleep, and diffuse it throughout the day to boost my mood. I also wear it as a perfume, because I just love it that much. It’s made of Blue Tansy which helps to combat negative blockages, anger, and emotional baggage.  Patchouli to stimulate the limbic center of the brain, which helps to center me.  There’s also Tangerine, Orange and Ylang Ylang oil.  These oils bring peace, security and the ylang ylang helps to increase libido…just sayin’.🙂 Add a few drops to your bath, or do palm tent diffusion (take a few deep breaths of the oil on your palms) as needed.
  • Do a Supported Relaxation Pose…just trust me on this!  If you do anything from this list of tips this should be the one you try.  This pose will help you achieve an inner state of bliss.  As you relax in this pose you will activate your Parasympathetic Nervous System which will help calm you down, increase your digestion, balance your hormones, relieve stress, and balance your heart chakra. It’s best to do these types of poses for at least 5 mins, so set the timer on your phone and commit to whatever time you can.  Pick a soothing song or some calming music and make yourself as comfortable as possible with whatever props you need.  Close your eyes, settle into the posture, and observe your breath.  Work towards balancing out your breath…4 counts for an inhale, pause, 4 counts for an exhale and pause.  Whenever your mind starts to wander, bring your awareness back to your breath.


  • Feed your body from a loving, accepting place.  Choose foods that are going to strengthen you and cultivate health.  I don’t believe in overly beating ourselves up over eating a cookie, or chocolate.  There needs to be balance in your diet and while I feel so much better without processed carbs and sugar, I know that there’s a time and place for a great dessert, your favorite wine, etc.  Tap into how eating certain foods makes you feel.  Notice if your blood sugar is stable and if your mood is stable after a few hours of the meals that you eat.  It’s about being present in your body to understand if the things that you are eating are benefiting you physically and mentally or if they aren’t. Do what can to show yourself love by choosing healthy, organic, non processed, whole foods and watch how your mood and your body change for the better.


Hopefully this list helps you become more present and brings awareness to the miracle that is you and the world you live in.


Cranberry Quinoa Salad

Not all carbohydrates are created equally.  Let me introduce to you Quinoa in case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere.  Quinoa is high in protein (all 9 essential amino acids to be exact), Gluten Free and it’s delicious, and easy to make.

 Quinoa is a good source of fiber, lysine, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and Riboflavin B2.  If you are Gluten Free like me then these types of healthy carbs are essential to maintaining a somewhat normal diet.

Cranberry Quinoa Salad 

*A handful of dried cranberries

*A few cloves of chopped garlic

*A large handful of mint leaves removed from stem and chopped

*A large handful of Pine nuts, toasted

*A handful of chopped red onion

*Cooked Quinoa (cook according to the package instructions – it is easy peasy.  You can find Organic Quinoa at Trader Joe’s)

*The Holy Trinity:  Olive oil (extra virgin, first cold pressed, lemon (organic), salt (flake sea salt – nothing better than Maldon’s)  Add and taste, then add some more until you are happy with the flavor

When the couscous is done, add all the remaining ingredients and stir well.  That’s it, and yes it is so deliciously light and healthy.

PLF Daily Tip:  Don’t get stuck in a nutrition rut.  Try different vegetables, fruits and grains.  You will be surprised by how many yummy new recipes you can come up with.

Shoulder and Glutes Circuit

Working my shoulders and glutes is one of my favorite types of workouts.  Below is the circuit that I do once a week.

Enjoy and get moving!!!


Shoulder & Glutes Circuit

  1. Lateral Squats with the band (optional), add in lateral shoulder raises as shown in the video.  15 squats to the right, 15 squats to the left.
  2.  100 Mountain Climbers (optional gliders and perfect push-ups)
  3. Lateral Squats with single arm Cheerleader Press.  15 squats right, 15 squats left.
  4. Lateral Squats with shoulder flexion.  Stop arms about the height of your chest. 15 squats right, 15 left.
  5. Cheerleader Press (both arms together) 15 reps.  Keep the arms slightly in front of you as you press up.
  6. Toe Taps:  30 back at an angle, 30 straight back, and 30 crossed back behind your standing leg like a curtsey. Curtsey pulses 30 reps.   Be sure to sit low and to maintain the work of the standing/stabilizing leg.
  7. Lateral shoulder raises 15 reps.
  8. Toe Taps on other leg: 30 back at an angle, 30 straight back, and 30 crossed back behind your standing leg like a curtsey. Curtsey pulses 30 reps.
  9. Plie Squats with the Kettlebell.  Place it on the ground for one rep, then pick it up on the next rep and repeat for a total of about 30 squats.  Add in the V Raise as shown in the video as you stand tall.
  10. Marching with the band 40 reps.

Do this circuit 1x if you are a beginner, or short on time.  Otherwise 2x for my intermediate followers, 3x for my advanced people.