6 Ways to Fall in Love with Yourself Over & Over Again

Who Loves Ya?!

Are you stuck in a rut of self-judgement? Is your cup not as full as you would like it to be? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you'll want to keep reading. 

Read below on how to fall back in love with yourself. 

1) Revisit an old hobby. What did you love doing and one day just stopped because of whatever reason. Today is the day to ignite the dimmed flame. 

2. Cover your mirrors. Yes, cover them. For 1 week try your best to avoid mirrors. It is said when we look less in mirrors we can truly tap into how we feel, rather then how we look. Stop the nit picking and release your self judgement. 

3. Respect Yo-Self! Nourish your mind body and spirit with positivity. Respect yourself so much that you say no to others and yes to yourself! 

4. Push your emotional boundary and love yourself for every moment of it. Cry harder, love more deeply, sing louder, dance longer. 

5. Meditation. Don't fear meditation! I know I know, you're thinking how do I sit still or all the I can'ts come up. Meditation has been around for as long as it has for a reason and a good one! Meditation comes in many forms. Most importantly it is intentionally setting time aside to be quiet. 

6. Let go of your stories. What does this mean? It means, let go of all of the false stories you tell yourself, "I'm not good enough, why me, I don't deserve that, etc etc etc... the list goes on and on. Acknowledge those voices in your head & the language you speak. Letting go of stories is something that needs to be practiced. Chose to flip those stories & revise it to something positive & amazing! Focus on everything you can do, focus on the positive. I know.. easier said then done but hey, let's give it shot. Here's an example I often hear with my aerial students, "I can't do pull-ups" (followed by an eye roll) but guess what?! One of my most favorite things to do is to prove to my students they can and they do! We all need to work on our confidence but it starts with those false stories you tell yourself time and time again. Let's turn that CAN'T into a CAN!!! Not sure where to begin? Come to class. 

If you like this, please share it with someone that might need a little reminder. Thanks for reading! <3

4 Reasons to Close Your Eyes

4 Reasons to Close Your Eyes

And how yoga gave me the confidence to do it!

 PC: Aaron Santoro

PC: Aaron Santoro

I remember being scared to close my eyes in the shower.

I thought...

  1. Freddie Krueger was going to come through the walls
  2. Someone, like my big bother or his friends would jump out and scare me at any given time
  3. I was going to miss out seeing something spectacular like the tiled wall
  4. What if there was a spider?!

All valid points, I know, I know. I was recently reflecting back on these memories and realized another monumental lesson that yoga taught me. You can trust yourself with your eyes open or closed. Our thoughts are more to fear then pressing our eye lashes together but tell that to someone who experiences the same uncomfortabililty like I did is highly unlikely. Our thoughts control us throughout the day. Like Mahatma Gandhi says: 

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“Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny.”

 

My point is, I created false stories around the WHAT IF I closed my eyes and so many times over, I burned my eyes while shampooing my hair. I don't remember at what point I had the courage to close them but maybe I was fed up with the burning. Hey! I survived the scary concept of lids over eye balls and so can you! Freddie won't get us. Promise!

So how did yoga contribute to giving me the confidence to keep them closed? 

I'm pretty sure I didn't realize what was happening when it was happening. When I first started taking yoga classes, class after class, the dreaded savanna came. You know, the part at the end where you lie on your back, close your eyes and are suppose to clear your mind of every thought, be still and not panic and open your eyes. For some, this is the best part of the class, for others, not so much! I see it in my classes. Some of my students won't even attempt at closing their eyes. They just stare at the ceiling and honestly, in my book that is A-OK. 

However, let's get educated! 

Here are my 4 reasons why you should close your eyes more frequently: 

  1. Closing your eyes can help you remember & focus. Scientists say shutting eyes frees up brain power. Pretty cool, huh? I don't know about you but I can definitely use more of this! 
  2. Being still is more natural when eyes are closed. What we hear and understand is more important than what we see. There are some things that we can understand better with our eyes closed. Having our eyes open can sometimes provide distractions from truth that we hear.
  3. Challenge yourself & your balance! Try practicing with your eyes closed. This has become my favorite way to practice. It allows me to look within myself and feel the poses & the experience, instead of what they look like.
  4. Washing your hair will be way more enjoyable. Period.

I'm sure there will be a part 2 to this but for now, close your shampooed burning eyes. 

Stay tuned- I'm sure there will be part 2 coming. 

 PC: Aaron Santoro  Eyes closed, maybe.&nbsp;

PC: Aaron Santoro

Eyes closed, maybe. 

If you like what you read, please share or comment below <3

10 Reasons Why You Should Flip Your World Upside Down

What's More Scary... Being stagnant in your old ways or flipping your perspective for a possibility of something great? 

  PC: Aaron Santoro

PC: Aaron Santoro

I say, f* it!! Let's turn your world upside. 

Here are my 10 Reasons to "Turnt it Up"!  

[Turnt it up] when someone does something so unremarkably amazing that there's nothing left to say other then them turntin it up.
  1. Give your heart a break! Would ya?! When you are upright, gravity pulls the tissues and fluids in your body downwards, including blood. In order to return deoxygenated blood back to the heart, your heart has to work hard to help pump the fluid upwards and against gravity. When you are upside down, you reverse the blood flow in your body and it encourages venous return – the return of blood flow back to the heart. As a result, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard.

  2. Helps your lymphatic system. Inversions encourages the flow of lymph back to the heart. Your lymphatic system is a key part of your immune system. It’s like a big drainage system in your body, collecting extra lymph from body tissues and helping to fight infection. However, the lymph system relies on movement and pressure to move the lymph fluid. Inversions help encourage the flow of lymph back to the heart.

  3. Energizes you and builds confidence. This reason is less biological & more psychological. When you get upside for the first time in the hammock, there’s no other feeling like it. It’s energizing and makes you feel confident.

  4. Improves your balance. Inversions add another dimension to balance training. It forces you to learn how to sense your body in a different space & way (proprioception).

  5. Builds core strength.

  6. Forces you to focus.

  7. Releases your ego and helps you practice non-attachment. Inversions can be hard, humbling and tough enough. With the ease of the hammock, it allows for almost everyone to get upside with ease.

  8. Inversions in the hammock can help with vertigo and motion sickness in small doses. (Let your instructor know if you are sensitive to movement.)

  9. Provides a new perspective. Literally, flipping your view helps provides you with a new physical perspective that often flows into your every day life.

  10. It just looks & feels freakin' good!

  PC: Aaron Santoro

PC: Aaron Santoro

If you haven’t tried aerial yoga, there is no better time then now to try it. My hope for you, is to be challenged; mind, body & spirit. I invite you to show up, be present, and enjoy the transformative flight.

If you like what you read, please share or comment below <3

What is all the HYPE about AERIAL YOGA?

Well..... I'll tell ya! Let’s just say the hype is strong!

  PC: Aaron Santoro

PC: Aaron Santoro

Without assuming you know what aerial yoga is, let’s start there. Imagine aerial arts & yoga had a baby…. Voila! Aerial Yoga was born! Together they have created a beautiful combination of fluidity, strength, flexibility, decompression & support. Imagine, once again, having a yoga strap throughout your entire practice, a yoga teacher adjusting you to the proper alignment getting you deeper into your practice or modifying it to be more supportive and gentle. That’s right, restorative aerial yoga is thing! It doesn’t have to be all flips and tricks, although those are very fun. Aerial Yoga sounds pretty great, ay?! Well…  it is sure is!

Aerial yoga, makes the impossible, POSSIBLE! That’s what flying in the hammock will do for you! Fearless flips, backbends, and inversions might have only been a dream before the aerial hammock, but are now beyond feasible. Like anything else, consistency is the key to success. You will take your mat practice to the next level with some pretty badass supportive movements.

Practicing aerial yoga will provide you with benefits that you don’t receive from other practices out there.

Here are my top 5 Benefits to Practicing Aerial Yoga:

  1. Decompression of the spine: Think of an inversion table but so much more fun & easier to get out of.

  2. Proper alignment

  3. Less pressure on the hands, neck and shoulders

  4. Enhancing your floor practice – Want to go deeper into a pose? No problem! Want to take it down 10 notches and have yourself a gentle practice? No problem. Using the aerial hammock allows the deepening of your practice and the support of all your poses.

  5. Inversions without risk of injury to the neck or spine. Regardless if you are a novice or an advanced inverter, getting upside reversing the blood flow is incredibly beneficial, including anti-aging!! However, we know inversions aren’t for everyone. Take your time and modify as needed.

If that wasn’t enough..... read my next blog for 10 Reasons to Flip Your World Upside Down

 

  PC: Aaron Santoro

PC: Aaron Santoro

 

If you like what you read, please share or comment below <3

 

12 Ways to Super Charge Loving Your Healthy Bodacious Bod

Do you struggle with loving your body? Are you guilty of thinking: I'm not toned enough, I wish I was thinner, I want a bigger x, I want a smaller x, I want this, I wish for that, more of this, less of that little, or even fishing for a compliment? If you said yes to any or maybe even all of them, you will need to read this. 

 Pictured: Lauren Brunelli Talcott, Lizzy Dela Pena, &amp; me

Pictured: Lauren Brunelli Talcott, Lizzy Dela Pena, & me

May I share a story with you? Yes- keep reading, no- skip this section & just get to what you need. I don't know at what point it happened but I, like most other young kids, struggled with body image. Perhaps mine started a bit younger then others but perhaps not, maybe can you relate. I remember like it was yesterday, my 5'2" size 4 mama looking in the mirror, with her hands on her hips turning side to side and asking me if she looked wide. I don't remember my response to her but I do remember thinking, is she serious? I don't think my mom ever thought these moments with her were going to be so impactful in her little girls life. I literally stopped doing things all the things I loved because I didn't like how I looked and wasn't able to talk about. I was young & healthy, but I felt like I looked fat & unattractive. My family still to this day doesn't know this... So I'm sorry if you're reading this. I stopped dancing, gymnastics & swimming all because of how I felt inside. I felt so bad wearing my speedo & leotard and would make excuses to why I shouldn't participate anymore.  I quickly moved from a training bra to a size C to a DD. I was tall with enormous boobs, braces and just awkward. I started wearing big clothes to go with my big boobs and big curly unruly hair. What a disaster I was. Although, my mom will always say I was adorable. No, I was freakin' awkward and sought out attention in a very unhealthy way. Perhaps we'll save that for another blog. My childhood was pretty good otherwise, we had everything we ever needed and wanted except me wanting to look like the other pretty, skinny, girls. When I got to college, man was it game on! While most college kids were packing on their freshman 15, I actual lost 15 and was feeling damn good. I was working out so hard and definitely pushing it to an unhealthy place but I loved hearing, "you're so skinny" and being able to wear anything. How f*cked up is that? I was literally 15 pounds less then what I am today, maybe 20. I was itty bitty & quite unhealthy with bad habits, remember ephedrine? Oh, how I loved that stuff. It was a double edge sword because I knew it wasn't healthy but I did it anyway for quite awhile. As I lost the weight, I became wrapped up in what the scale & what people were saying. I quickly realized, this behavior & this whole scale thing has got to change! And just like that, poof, it was all gone! I registered for the ACE course and started educating myself on health & fitness. Any time I had to get on the scale for a doctor, I would stand on it backwards and ask them not to share unless it was of some concern. I knew the scale was a trigger to a road of bad habits and I wasn't ready to go back down that road. This lasted many many years & one day, I just stopped and started loving myself & this bodacious bod. I hope this helps you if you find you are struggling with loving your body. 

Here are my ways to Super Charge Loving that Bod of Yours.

 

1. Change your thoughts: You are what you think! You think negativity, that is just what you'll attract, create, project and become. You think you're fat and want to lose weight, guess what? The more you put yourself down, the more your body actually holds onto that unhealthy fat. #Truth. That's what stress does. It's time for you to change your thoughts. It's pretty easy once you get into the grove but you have to be consistent, you can do it, I promise! Here's how: when you have a negative thought about someone or yourself, turn it around right away and repeat the positive affirmation. Instead of judging all the things you are unhappy with, focusing on one thing that you feel good about. This might only be your nail polish to start. Let it be what it is, stop the negative judgment & love yourself! 

2. Are You Healthy?: What are you putting in your body? Are you on the latest trending diets to try to find a miracle? Stop the  yo-yo dieting and start living a healthy lifestyle. Eat colors! Stick to shopping the perimeter of the supermarket where you'll find fresh foods like fruits & vegetables. Avoid the center aisles filled with beige, processed foods. Stick to the real deal! Wouldn't you rather see beautiful colors on your plate or would you rather see beige? Come on, who even likes that color? Don't be boring like beige, be colorful, happy & healthy! 

3. It's all in the Angles and Lighting: Oh my, is it ever!!! I mean, this isn't new news, you all know this. What you see in magazines and online are totally edited. For real!!! Let's be honest, most of us are all edited in someway. If it makes you feel good to do it, go for it but be real about it & don't allow someone to distort you into someone you're not. 

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Same morning.. it's all in the lighting & angles. 

 

Pants: Lululemon

Sneakers: Scott

Photos are unedited

 

4. Quit the Jealousy: Jealousy never looked good on anyone so just stop it. You never know their struggle and what they have going on. Be darn grateful for your body and all the things it can do each and everyday. Simple. 

5. Shapes | Sizes | Blood type: What is your natural body type? Athletic, Curvaceous, Petite, be who are you and embrace all the beauty that it holds. Ask yourself if you're healthy &  are you nourishing your body in a way you can be proud of? If not, make the necessary changes to be proud. Not sure how, ask me & let's get you started. 

6. Distorted Body Image | Body Dysmorphia: Did you read my story above? Perhaps my mama and I both struggled with this at some point. I believe most of have or do. I see this frequently in class when I ask students to open their feet hip distance apart and more often then not, they open up much wider then their hips. Of course, this can also be lack of body awareness and not a distorted body image. However, what we deem as being real, becomes our truth. 

7. Body Positivity: Empower Yourself! Look down and say, "I love you". Don't be afraid to love yourself. Rub & love that healthy belly, beautiful body, those curves & even that freckle. The more you whole heartedly love yourself, the better. You have to break your negative habits & self sabotage, if you truly want to see and feel things differently in your life. They are just habits & habits are meant to change, break and evolve. Are you ready to break the self sabotage of negativity? Now is the time, right now!  Don’t let your negativity define who you are. You are stronger then that. What do you do when life gets challenging, run from it or fight for what you want? Look at yourself and say, "I love you"!

8. Fishing for a compliment: Love yourself so much you don't need others opinions to validate how you feel about yourself. 

9. Check your chub!  That's right, grab a hold of your love handles and get real with yourself. Are you constantly making excuses and are actually unhealthy & unhappy? Are you sitting around, twiddling your thumbs on a beautiful day waiting for the next BBQ? Do what you want to do, live your life but stop complaining about something you can change. I'm sorry but no one wants to hear it. Get super real with yourself and find a reason why it is important to you to love yourself.

10. Buddy System: One of my faves! This is so important when you are just starting out on your new journey of self love! It's a great way to connect, be social and hold each other accountable to what you claim is important to you. Maybe it's achieving a goal of completing or winning a race, losing 5lbs, climbing an epic mountain or doing a handstand. Find a friend or a co-worker who wants to get healthy too, maybe there is already someone who is  living the life you want to see for yourself and ask to tag along! You never know the new friendships you will create. Surround yourself with people who have good self image and positive thoughts, they will rub off on you. 

11. Dress to your body:  High waisted or low? What makes you feel good? Rock what makes you smile. If you feel good in what you're wearing, you are more likely to do things you enjoy! For instance, if going to a fitness class, yoga, biking, running, life, is a struggle for you because you hate how you look before you even leave the door, seek out some better fitting clothes. Lose the big baggy sweats and get into something that makes you happy. Athleta, Lululemon, Nike, Adidas, even TargetForever21 are just some of the places you can get some great fitness clothes at all different price points. Invest in yourself! If you feel good in what your wearing, you'll want to move. It's true! When I wear sneakers, instead of flip-flops, I am more likely to go for a quick walk, run or hike because I am already all set to go. 

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Same pants, same body, same lighting, all within moments of each other.

 

 

Bra: Public Myth 

Pants: Active Creatures

Photos are unedited

12. NEVER EVER LET SOMEONE DEFINE YOUR WORTH! You are beautiful, strong and can do anything! Love yourself no matter what. You deserve it. 

If you like what you read, please share or comment below <3