Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Tale of the Accidental Yogi


I'm an accidental Yogi. I was introduced to Yoga because on an injury, but before I speak about my injury I'd like to mention I became a vegetarian in 2004, a year and a half before my injury. I feel this is important because it sort of led me to Yoga, but more on that later. I should also mention I was in the fashion industry and only used high heels. For everything. Ok. Enough back story.

In January 2006 on a rainy week day I was walking into work, from the parking lot, and as I stopped at the front door, I fell. My right foot slipped on the concrete and kept going, making me fall onto my left knee. I tried to stay straight up, but couldn't. I heard a crack in my back and fell back onto my head. I was so embarrassed I didn't even care if I was injured, I just wanted to escape.

I went into the employee lounge and assessed the damage. A Human Resource employee saw me and immediately had me sent to the Employee Clinic. While there they took X-Rays and stated I had a sprained back. I was released and back to work I went, being told to contact the clinic if I had any further pain.



Six months went by and one day I went for a 15 minute walk, which uncovered my real situation. I couldn't hold my back up and it went out. I hadn't realized the gravity of my injury until that moment.

I went to Cedar Sinai and received an MRI. They scanned my back and saw a 4-5mm herniation in my lumbar between L4-L5. Yes, that detailed. The Specialist said surgery was routine for my back injury. I was 29 years old. I did not want back surgery. The Specialist suggested walking, swimming, and Yoga to help heal my back, stating some had healed completely with yoga. He also said no more high heels! To which I cried and died. I felt as if my entire identity has been robbed from me, and I was lost. Had no image, no idea who I was outside of my superficial self. Had no knowledge of inside self, at all. I fell into a depression which lasted about 2 years.

I was sent to therapy, and introduced to Yoga, or rather therapeutic exercises, for 12 weeks.  After that, I signed up for the local Y and swam. For 2 hours a day, religiously, I swam. The backstroke, to be exact. I was focused and dedicated on strengthening my lower back. Which I did, and then some! I did this for 2 years. I even ended up teaching their Aqua Aerobics class! My back was strong and I was happy. In 2007 I ended up being an assistant manager at Dancing Shiva Yoga & Ayurveda.

While working there I became enthralled with Yoga and Ayurveda! I took class every day, I ate accordingly, I was heavily into it and soon slid into Brahmacharya. I avoided everything and everyone. I began to strengthen my spirit, mind, body! My life changed immensely, for the better, after finding Yoga and Ayurveda. It allowed me to open up and be raw about life. I stuck with the Yoga and Ayurveda and able to birth 3 children, with no surgical assistance. I attribute that to Yoga, and God, of course.




I currently suffer from chronic pain if I do not practice yoga. If I eat badly, my back becomes inflamed. I stay active and practice yoga daily to maintain and manage my back pain. As a recovering alcoholic, I don't believe in taking pain pills, so I do my best to use food as my medicine. Part of my healing process involved removing pain pills from my life, they were easy to get, because of my injury. Those pills only masked my pain, and kept me in a daze.

Yoga healed not only my physical self, but mental, and spiritual bodies as well. It continues to do so, everyday. My Yoga journey was so different, because I feel it started when I went vegetarian, before asana. My injury is a reminder on my humaness, but Yoga reminds me that I'm not the body, and not the mind. My Health is in My Hands. I am empowered!

You can too! What are you waiting for?

Email me today for a consult!

-the Breath allows the Flow and you Thrive-

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top 3 Things for Constipation


I detest bodily fluids. Immensely! 

But bowel movements and urine readings are my specialty! Only mine and my children's though - don't ask me to assess yo shit!

Moving your bowels is an essential part of life.

1. Eat food.
2. Small Intestine does some shit.
3. Large Intestine does some shit.
4. Colon shits.

If you're lucky, that's at least once a day.

At least.

Otherwise, here are 3 things to alleviate constipation.


1. Water. I have to say it because everyone has chaos and forgets about drinking water. Our bodies are 60% - 70% primarily water. Imagine a river inside your body, if you will. Drinking water carries everything through the channels and into the colon and kidneys for release. Without water your inside can stagnate and may become dis-ordered and dis-eased.



2. Emotionally, constipation is a sign of holding onto past hurts, unable to let go and let it flow. The colon is represented with the Root Chakra. The Muladhara is represented by the color Red and is associated with grounding, survival, and contact between our bodies and the physical world. It rules our perspective of fear, money, addictions, and low self-esteem. A healthy root chakra person has a feeling of belonging, stability, security, and patience. Balance the Root Chakra by placing a gemstone (garnet, ruby, or black tourmaline) at the base of the spine. Take a walk. Get a pedicure. Wear red colthes. Eat red food. Affirm I am a divine being of light, and I am peaceful, protected and secure. 



3. Triphala. Translated as "three fruits", as it is composed of the dried fruits of Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki, it contains 5 of the 6 tastes (all but salty). Triphala removes excess doshas from the body, bringing back balance and proper functioning to the body. I take 2 Triphala pills every night. Religiously. I wake up every morning and release my bowels. Its one of my secret weight loss tips. I feel the effects when I don't take it, like when I went camping for a week. I was so backed up! I was having movements, but not as efficient or effective. If you're ready to have regular bowel movements and get rid of your constipation, invest $10 dollars today and get your Triphala now!

Aren't you ready to drop all your shit?

Namaste

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Exquisite Voices Breaking Barriers and Walls


I am in awe of these wonderful Divas! I grew up in a home surrounded by Mariachi, a music governed by men until now! 

Meet the Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea! An all woman band based in L.A. They are Grammy winning women with enough passion and zapateado to warm the coldest of hearts. 

They are making history and I'm here for it!

I was lucky enough to attend the Pre-Release party for their 12th CD! Yes folks, they've made 12 albums! Have you gotten one yet? If not, what are you waiting for - click here!

I bought the latest CD (which will be releaed on June 24th!) and love it! This CD is a tribute to Joan Sebastian and Rigoberto Alfaro! Such legendary music sang by women! All my life these songs have been sang by a man, and I've lived long enough to see Women cross the threshold in a very masculine industry. I could not be any more prouder. Go here to get their new album!



Breaking barriers and stereotypes, just like I am. I decided to only listen to them while I practice yoga, to remind myself that breaking stereotypes unites us, wether we realize it or not.


Find them on Facebook, or Instagram

Here's a sneak peak of their amazing talent!




En-Joy!

Disclosing: I was invited to this eventbut I paid for my own drinks, food, and CD. Gladly. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

5 Reasons to Abhyanga


First, what the fuck is Abhyanga?!

  • Based in Ayurveda 
  • Self massage with pre-medicated warm oil

For most Americans, touching ourselves is generally reserved for our private parts.

*We don't associate touch with healing*

In Ayurveda, it is part of our lifestyle to do a self massage. How often depends on the Dosha. It varies from daily to weekly.

Find out more here.

It took me a very long time to begin this practice.  Here's why:

  • I didn't love myself
  • I thought touching myself was only for sexual purposes
  • Oil on my body - say what?
I bought some amazing Kapha oil to start the journey. I usually warm up my oil in hot water, or a mini slowcooker. I like to apply the oil after a shower or bath, however, I also apply before my yoga practice. 
  • Applying before yoga allows us to sweat out deep seated toxins while practicing.

Here's a quick vid of how I apply. This is only my arms and legs, I also do my back and stomach, which I didn't show (but you can see a more thorough example here).



I suggest laying down a towel on your mat after oiling down. Your yoga mat will get slippery without one. 

After a month of practicing this therapeutic modality I experienced:
  • Love for my body and shape
  • Confidence, which led to feeling empowered
  • Better sleep
  • Improved emotional, and mental state
  • A Goddess like feeling (no, seriously)
  • So much more!
It almost felt like I was peeling away the layers and unearthing the "me" that was before I decided to "adult".

I hope you're curious enough to try this out. If you buy from the links I've shared (for which I'd be grateful), I get credit, as I am an afflilite. 

If you need any help, advice, have a question - I'm here to serve and help as much as I possibly can. 

En-Joy!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Eye of God in Big Bear


This week we went on a hike to the sacred site of snow quartz, the Eye of God, located in the "Pine Place" named so by Native San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Tribe.

It's located close enough to see my home from the Eye of God, or Crystal Mountain, coined by the locals.

The captivating history can be found here. Upon discovering the history, I felt immense gratitude to be living so close to such a sacred site. I knew I had to place my bare feet in that quartz!

After discussing my itinerary with my partners (read children) we packed water, snacks and headed out to explore.

I followed the directions, parked, and began walking.


It was so impressive.

My heart skipped a beat, shit, many beats! It was awe-some. I took off my boots and opened up the chakras in my feet by placing them on the quartz. I felt joy, heart, love, energy! Similar to when I visited Yogananda's dwellings at the Mother Center. Almost over whelming, over powering, like a big hug that makes you cry.


I took along Ganesh, my Chakra healing stones and crystals, my Reiki wand, and my Tulsi mala to charge, energize, connect with the quartz. It was so peaceful.

The view was breathtaking! I didn't want to leave, so we promised to go back and picnic all summer long. Next time I will definitely take her a gift. She was kind to us and I am forever grateful to know she is watching over us. Now and forever. Aum!

En-Joy

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Kichdi Recipe


Spices are essential for healing the body from the inside out. This recipe allows you to play with many, but this is my favorite recipe.

Kichdi - (kitch-dee, AKA kitchardi, kitchdi)
Basmati Rice and Split Yellow Lentils

  • Nourishing and healing
  • Easily digestible
  • Complete protein and meal
  • Tri-doshic
  • Gluten free

I like to eat this (and this only) for 5 to 7 days at least once a year, during Spring. It helps the body release any old toxins that may be disturbing the beautiful body. Is this something you see yourself doing? Email me now!

Let's get to it!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup Split Yellow Lentils
  • 6 cups of water
  • 1 inch of fresh Ginger, grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 2 tsp ghee/butter
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4tsp Salt and Black Pepper/or to taste
  • Fresh Cilantro leaves

Preparation

  • Sort and rinse rice and lentils twice
  • Place in pot with 6 cups of water, ginger and cinnamon
  • Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer for 20 minutes
  • Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute the seeds in the ghee or butter until they pop (about 20 seconds on medium high heat), and immediately add the remaining spices 
  • Stir for about 15 seconds, until you smell the spices, then, add to pot of  rice and lentils. 
  • Cook for 20 minutes
  • Top with cilantro leaves, a squeeze of lime and serve

En-Joy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Ignite the Agni Tea


Spring has arrived and brought all that pollen and the loosening of all that mucous we store during Winter. If you were smart (unlike me), you stayed away from toxic food, and your body didn't create any extra mucous to release. 

But my body did. My "allergies" are going ham!

So I help my body burn up that mucous from the inside, by drinking tea. A real simple, and delicious tea.

Let's discuss what's in the tea.

Ginger
  • effective in aiding and alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders
  • increases the natural fire (agni) in the digestive system
  • an anti-inflammatory food, helping reduce inflammation, from which many dis-eases begin.
Cinnamon
  • Anti-microbial purifying the body
  • Heating to the body, increasing the agni
  • Anti-inflammatory
Cardamom
  • Anti-carcinogenic battling all the bad radicals in the body
  • Anti-inflammatory
  •  Great for digestion, teeth, spasms, it's a must!
Star Anise
  • Great for PMS, as it has properties akin to Estrogen
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Exporant, opening up the respitory

Ignite the Agni Tea Recipe

2 Cinnamon sticks
3 one inch slices of Ginger
1 Star Anise
3 Cardamom pods or 10 Cardamom seeds
2 cups of Water

Place all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Turn off and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain and add sweetner of choice. I am trying to reduce my sugar intake and didn't add sugar.

Drink often and feel free to add or remove any ingedient that doesn't resonate with you. 

En-Joy!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Blueberry Chia Chocolate Shake


I'm turning 40 this year and it's like a switch was turned on, I can't stop obsessing on getting and being healthier. I feel like I want to kick life's ass in a gentle and healing way, if that's possible.

A few things that I'm feeling and resonating with:

1. Eating better, and improving my digestion. As a person with more Water and Earth elements, my digestion gets sluggish during the Spring.
2. Being more active, so I'm going to start running with some local peeps here on the mountain. Starting today.
3. More recipes! I am having a ton of fun in the kitchen lately. Creating food that heals and nourishes is not only a physical gain, but also a mental one.
4. Expanding my yoga practice. I'd like to master handstands this year, and wheel!
4. Having fun! I have spent the first part of my life doing what I'm supposed to, and I'm tired. Now it's my turn, my highway, my dreams. Dreams or bust!

I began with food, of course. I love to eat and was craving something sweet but hadn't had breakfast. I was inspired and whipped up this Blueberry Chia Chocolate Shake and it was oh so yum! Madre mia, it was more than I imagined it could be, so I'm sharing!

I made a cinnamon and cardamom tea this morning, with 2 cinnamon sticks and 5 cardamom seeds. I reused those same sticks and seeds to boil 1 cup of water and the dates. Just a little background.

Blueberry Chia Chocolate Shake
2 scoops of chocolate protein poweder (I used Neolife)
1 banana
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
4 dates (boil with cinnamon and cardamom seeds)
Chia seeds

Boil the dates in 1 cup of water with cinnamon sticks and cardamom seeds for 2 minutes, then turn off and set aside.

In the blender add, 1 sliced banana, 2 scoops of protein powder, the dates and water (do not add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds are okay), and chia seeds. Once blended place in glass and drink. Yum!

I'm hooked.

En - joy!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Pray For Me


It's like I wrote that last post and then hid in my cave.

But I'm back!

With lots of great news!

I'm teaching yoga again, and cooking! I'm offering cooking classes based on Ayurveda. I've noticed a lot of food shaming talk about healthy food going on and I decided to do something about it. I started teaching cooking classes in my neighborhood. My cooking classes teach people how to use affordable veggies and fruit to make whole, nourishing meals.
It's you'd like more information, shoot me an email -  breathflowthrive@gmail.com.

I also moved! Off The grid! We are officially off the water, and gas lines. We have a huge water tank and a reasonably sized propane tank, and I was (probably still am, tbh) freaking out because we are a family of 5! Universe knows what It's doing with us and I willingly follow along. This is a whole new level of conscious living as I am watching our water and gas intake and use. 

My first change - I've been filling the sink with water for The Dishes (capitalized by auto-correct, but that's how I feel about them), instead of washing as we go, they soak now. 

I'm also collecting the bath water

Biggest change - not flushing the toilet. Do you know how much water is wasted that way?!!!!! Up to 4 gallons in an old toilet!  So in this house if it's yellow, we let it mellow. You know the rest. 

On average, one person uses 80 - 100 gallons a day. We purchased 3k gallons for $260...and I'm praying it lasts all month, hahahahahahaha hahahaha
There's 5 of us....at 80 gallons per person, that's 400 a day. A day! However, there are 3 children in the home who can't reach the faucets, so I'm safe there. Phew!

But seriously, this made me realize how PRIVILEGED we are to live in a country that has running water That we flush it down the drain. We can wash our hands 100 times a day. We can shower and bathe, and not be worried about it running out.
And then I thought, it's already running out. Here in California we are experiencing a devastating drought, and I can't help but think it's inevitable, we will have to ration water.

When that happens, I'll be ready, for I've started my journey to being self sufficient, off the grid, and independent of "The System"

My descent onto the path of a revolutionary has begun and I'm taking you all with me!

Also - pray for me - this conserving water and gas is the unknown for me, and I'm (trying to) happily embracing it! The views help compensate, that's for sure!

xxoo

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Name Is Irrelevant

Hello, my name is irrelevant, what's important is that I'm an addict. Recovering addict. I was addicted to telling the victim story. The one where "bad things happen to me", and "woe is me" story.

Things got so bad for me I began drinking...but first, the back story.

My roots are deep in First Nation (Dine), and Aztec Indian.  To say alcohol is in my DNA is pretty much fact. My family, on both sides, are purveyors of spirits. They have an intimate relationship, one which has led many to am early death.

I began drinking heavily after my back injury. I was depressed, medicated with Vicodin and muscle relaxers.  I had a major life style change and not by choice! My thirst for alcohol was small at first but my body has a very high tolerance. As the weeks went by, the number of drinks increased until I was drinking Johnny Walker Red straight up, no chaser. That was my favorite, followed by Dirty Martinis. Because Vodka and Olive Juice!

This went on for a year. Maybe 2.

Old age makes me forget.

But I'll never forget the day I stopped drinking.

Many, many moons ago,  around this time, I went to a Halloween party with my best friend, *Nick. This party was a partay! Drugs, booze, pool, BBQ, the whole ensemble! They kept serving us drinks and lines, which we greedily drank and inhaled.
The next morning, because that's what I recall, I awakened in my bed and unable to recount the night before, it was hazy. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was safe. Nick had kept me safe and got me home safe. I got up to get dressed and walked to my closet and felt a wet spot on the carpet.

I thought, oh my God, I peed on the carpet.

Are you laughing yet? Or still in disgust?

I was horrified!

I had peed on the carpet right in front of my closet. Like an addict. Like someone who had lost it.

Because I had. In my world. In my mind.

I had blacked out and lost control.

And,

That was my rock bottom.

I vowed then and there to never drink again.

To drop the addiction.

To let it go.

Too often we say it's an addiction and it has us in its grip, but it's us who won't let go.

We won't let go.

Until rock bottom.

Maybe not even then.

And everyone's bottom is as deep as their trauma.

My fear of loss of control was stronger than my desire to lose control.

Read that again.

At first, I drank to lose control, to forget, to let go.

By the end, I was terrified to lose it completely.

I found my line, my boundary.

But most don't. Desire is stronger than fear.

While I do see the addictive part of me rear is egotistical head sometimes, I decapitate it with gratitude. For I'm in a much better place now than I was then.

For that, I'm grateful.

I have compassion for those who are addicted because their rock bottom is deep.

So deep they are still falling.

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Birthday Week!

My birthday was on the 2nd, but I celebrate all month long! Hahahahaha!

I began the week with a lovely hike here in Big Bear.

On my birthday, the 2nd, I spent the day having cocktails with a very good friend and Bartender, Maryanne, and overdid it.
To remind me why I don't drink.
Ever.
There was I time I was addicted to alcohol, but that's another story for later.
On Saturday I attended Mas Vidal's Open House in Echo Park. It was great to see friends and catch up in a healthy atmosphere and environment.
I was blessed to attend Hemalayaa's Cooking Class and was filled with love and joy in body, mind, and spirit. She began by making us a decadent chai masala, followed up with a restorative kichardi, accompanied by a cleansing kale salad. It was such a complete meal that I slept like a baby that night.  Check out her program, Enlightened Women ~ Leadership Program, as well! She has a gift to aid in transformation in a gentle manner.

The evening brought my sister, my friend Richard, my friend Maryanne, and myself together at the local bar which Maryanne tends. It was karaoke night.  Needless to say I got up but as a backup dancer, because that's what I do. Maryanne sang Airplanes by M.I.A. It was fun to reconnect with my posse from almost a decade ago. They are my How To Get Away with Murder crew. Ride or die. Haha!

On Sunday, I watched B. Lioness from the Humble Servant Band perform in a contest for best Female Reggae Singer at a local reggae venue. She was awesome, and humbly congratulated and celebrated with the winner. I had a great meal of brie quesadilla, garlic french fries, humus, and mac and cheese for the children. It was tasty!

We then drive back up the mountain and began a new week. Which I'm doing right now, too.
There should be a limit to how many times I do this.

Anyway, that's it.  Have some fun things I'm going to announce but maybe not.  Haha

Namaste

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bhakti Fest 2015

I'm not one for festivals anymore. Maybe as a youth I attended too many and I'm over it, or more so, it's all the people. Surrounded by so many levels of energy, it can be taxing, I've learned.
I was asked by Ms. Hemalayaa if I'd be open to assisting her at Bhaktifest West.
Ok, let's back up. I've known Hema for a while and absolutely adore her. She is a sweet and loving spirit. I'm blessed she's my soul sister! She was teaching yoga at the festival (a fantastic class which I was lucky to attend), and I was only too eager to assist and be of service. 
Bhakti is Sanskrit and means devotion. To God, Source, Uni-Verse. The festival is a group of people coming together to celebrate and sing (chant) to God. It's like saying the rosary, except in festival form with hundreds of people saying the rosary with you.
It's pretty amazing.
It was my first time and I was open, with no expectations. I was also blessed to be able to assist my yoga teacher Mas Vidal. It is always a blessing to be among like minded individuals who have the same goal. It's rejuvenating, invigorating, and inspiring. I attended 2 lectured by Jeffrey Armstrong, astrologer extraordinaire, and it blew my mind out of my head, as my 5 year old says.
But what I really took from the festival was this -
There's not enough love in the world.
There's not enough self love.
In order to establish it, we must begin in the physical, then mental, and then spiritual. Because we are not the body not the mind, but rather, Spirit!
This bhakti yogini is ready to serve all, for the greater good of all.
In love and devotion.
In service,
Jai Jai Yo Momma