Off The Mat - Let's Have Fun, Ok?

For many of us, our days are filled with "adulting". We have work obligations, family obligations, kids, pets, volunteer opportunities, healthy eating, and exercise needs to focus on. 

And while we may enjoy these activities and the people that we do them with, they might not all be fun.

Can you remember back to being a kid on the playground? You had no cares in the world. No sense of time. No worries about where else you could (or should) be or what else you could (or should) be doing. You did things purely because they were fun. And you skipped the things that weren't. And if you saw someone do something that looked cool, you tried it out. Without stopping to think or wonder what might happen or to worry about what would happen if you failed.

When you were a kid on the playground you were in the moment. You truly were present. 

Stepping onto your yoga mat gives you that same opportunity. Your yoga mat, your yoga studio, can be your playground. Can you allow yourself to take your practice less seriously - in a good way? To approach it with a sense of playfulness, with a sense of fearlessness, to do things simply because they are fun. And stop doing things when they stop becoming fun (hello, 100th chaturanga of class). 

Let yourself be present in your body for your time on your mat and set an intention to experience joy. In this week's flow we practice baby crow and (what has been dubbed) teenage crow. They're goofy names and goofy variations of postures. They beg to be taken lightheartedly.

And when you move off of your mat after your practice can that sense of playfulness come with you? 

Even just for today, let's have fun. Ok?

xoxo

LP

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Random Edition (pt. 1)

The past few Wednesdays have featured themed lists...but this week it's all random. And I labeled it "pt. 1" because, let's be real, there are bound to be many more random weeks.

I've had a really great few weeks of feeling like I'm back in the groove of things - physically, mentally, with work, and at home. I think most of us have had periods of time where things just feel off and can agree that it feels great when life just starts to click again!

So that's all I have for an intro this week... short, sweet, and to the point.

xoxo

LP

DO

Angelo and I have lived in our current digs for about six months and have had a few lingering household projects waiting to be done. One was buying or building a shelving unit for the corner of our bathroom. Our bathroom is seriously lacking storage (but at least it's normal sized! Our old bathroom was stupidly large in a tiny apartment) and we had a tiny little nook to find shelves for. Enter the problem: pay an over the top amount for a shelving unit or wing it ourselves? We opted for the latter and (surprise!) it worked out! A fun trip to Home Depot, a few hours of sawing and sanding and staining and nailing, and we have custom shelves that fit perfectly! Plus we had a really nice day together building them. All for around $60. 

SEE

I ran into Home Goods this week (dangerous, I know) to pick up poop bags for Arlo (aside - they are SO cheap there) and ended up picking myself up some new journals as well. I'm picky about the notebook I use tow rite my yoga sequences in and the pages in my current one kept falling out. These neon and gold ones jumped out and I love them. Is anyone else a notebook whore with drawers upon drawers of half filled notebooks? No? Just me. Ok then.

HEAR

My good friends Lou and Amanda are known for many things, but one is their great taste in music. When they recommend an artist I'm pretty much guaranteed to like it. A few months ago they recommended listening to this band, The Suffers, and honestly I just forgot to listen to them. Which was a bummer - because they're awesome. So keep an ear out on my playlists, they are coming.

TASTE

What's an ice cream lover to do when they're avoiding dairy??? Try all the non-dairy variations of ice cream that exist! My current fav: NadaMoo. Coconut milk based and delicious. Grab the Snickerdoodle flavor. Complete with gluten free snickerdoodle chunks! I dare you to try not to eat the whole pint. PS You can find them at Sprouts. You're welcome.

SMELL

Natural deodorant was a concept introduced to me by some friends who work at Saje (my fav essential oil brand) a while ago. But the spray natural deodorant just doesn't seem to hold up to the significant amounts of sweat I produce daily (ew, I know). A few weeks ago I found the brand Schmidt's and tried their Lavender and Sage deodorant stick. OMG. It smells awesome and works so so so well. Lavender not your thing? Plenty of other smells to choose from!

Off The Mat - Expectations

If you practice yoga with me on a regular basis, you know that at the beginning of the year I took it upon myself to start theming my yoga classes month by month. I did this to challenge myself and my creativity as a teacher, to force myself into a deeper study of yoga, and because I wanted to provide my students with both something they could work on/towards for longer than just one class and with a piece of learning that they could take with them.

This monthly theming has ranged everywhere from concepts like the bandhas to postures like working towards single leg crow. I didn't expect this overarching idea of theming per month to create such an open opportunity for me to theme weekly as well. And I've noticed that carrying a subtheme for an entire week really allows me (and my students) to dig deep into that thought or idea, instead of it passing in just one class. 

Throughout all of my teaching I attempt to suggest some way of taking the learning off of the mat and into the rest of daily life - and hence "Off The Mat" is born.

This week's theme fell into my lap via Facebook. A good friend of mine took my yoga class on Wednesday night. This month's theme is to work on arm balances, towards single leg crow, via different crow variations. This week specifically was all about side crow - lots of twisting (no wonder my abs have been so sore!). After class she blogged about how she started crying in class while attempting side crow. She acknowledges that struggling with this posture started a cascading wave of feelings of self doubt and failure. Feelings of comparison to the others in class. Feelings of expectation - and failure to meet that expectation. And, because she's a badass, she very quickly realized and acknowledged those feelings and so strongly moved on to complete class the way she needed to. But this idea of expectation stuck with me.

We go into yoga classes as students with expectations - of ourselves, what we can and can't do, how it is or isn't supposed to feel. With expectations of our teacher, of the other students, of the entire experience. And as teachers we have expectations as well. I expect my students to behave a certain way, to be able to complete some postures and to struggle with others, to leave class having had a positive experience. And I have expectations of myself - how articulate I'm going to be, how the music is going to sound, how my sequencing is going to work out.

But here's the thing with expectation - it's an attempt at controlling the outcome of the future. Which we cannot do. So this week's theme became about letting go of expectation on your mat. Using your breath as your anchor to keep you in the present moment. To feel and experience postures and transitions and pauses as they are happening. And to let them happen as they do, without expecting them to be something else.

When all is said and done, leaving expectation behind when we step on our mat is relatively easy. The challenge becomes stepping off of the mat and doing the same. Can we move in and out of work and life, meetings and interactions, challenging times and easier times without having expectation of outcome, of ourselves, or of others? The challenge becomes about having trust in the process, trust in where you're at, and trust in knowing that it is exactly where you're supposed to be.

What I'm Into Wednesday - Marathon Training Edition

The Boston Marathon is coming up on Monday...and I won't be there this year. While I'm incredibly bummed to be missing one of my all time favorite races, I am stoked to be healthy this year and moving forward towards re-qualifying (while feeling good)!

I'm running the OC Marathon on May 7th and I am in the middle of my last big, big week of training. That sparked the idea for this week's What I'm Into post: Marathon essentials.

See

If you're looking for motivation to start running long distance, keep running long distance, or decide to take on a new running challenge, I have an author for you! Christopher McDougall has a few excellent running books. Most of us have (at least) heard of Born to Run - the book that birthed the barefoot running movement. But did you know he wrote another book? Natural Born Heroes is my favorite of the two - running meets nutrition meets history.

Hear

I don't listen to music while I run. I used to but I broke my trusty iPod while training for a race about 4 years ago and just never replaced it. When I do have solo long runs that I need a boost for I listen to podcasts! This podcast plug goes to perennial favorite Tim Ferriss. He interviewed Ricardo Semler, who is a Brazilian businessman known for his radical re-organization of industrial democracy. Sounds boring, right? Totally not. This guy is full of life lessons. 

Taste

My go to hydration brand, nuun hydration, just dropped a brand new product that I'm pretty excited about. Nuun Performance adds back in the carbohydrates necessary for sustained or intense exercise (yup, marathon training falls in there) while still being one of the cleanest options out there. I am a little bummed that they are discontinuing Plus, which was a carbohydrate tablet that you could add to your nuun, but I'm happy with the replacement. Shhhh.... I still have a stockpile of Plus. If you do too, try chewing them instead of dissolving them. It's a game changer. 

Smell

I'm experimenting with diet as I approach the last month before the marathon. One of my explorations is into the world of gluten and dairy free nutrition. While it's not hard to eat that way on a daily basis, finding pre-run (or during run fuel) that keeps with that is more challenging. Last week I made grain and dairy free banana muffins that were perfect for popping a few before a long run. And they smelled bomb. Like the best banana bread does.

Do

You need to go to Milestone Running in North Park. Go to say hi to the guys (and Julie). Or to pet China. Or to try on cool clothes. Or buy sweet Stance socks. Or stock up on your fav hydration and nutrition. OR buy new shoes (duh). May I recommend... the Saucony Freedom! What?? Not New Balance. I know. I'm shocked too. But they are amazing and will be my race day shoe.

 

So if you remember, send me some good vibes on Sunday, May 7th. I'll need them!

xoxo

LP

Anatomy and Teaching Yoga: It's Critical.

Opinions surrounding yoga vary just as much as the postures themselves. Mental practice versus spiritual practice versus physical practice? Strict tradition and history or modern interpretation? Headstands and shoulderstands: yes or no? Ashtanga or Vinyasa or Hatha or Kundalini or Bikram?

Every teacher, every studio, every school has an opinion and a belief to back up that opinion. And one place we have widely differing opinions is related to training programs, certifications, and what they should include. Without getting into the discussion about the validity and value of Yoga Alliance as a governing body, let's state a fact for the purpose of this discussion: they accredit studios and yoga schools to provide training to teachers. One of the requirements for accreditation is that the teaching of anatomy is mandatory in a teacher training program.

Still, many studios and teachers disagree with this mandate. They use unqualified teachers to teach anatomy, gloss it over, and even completely skip it (just don't tell Yoga Alliance that). Why?

There's the argument that yoga is an ancient practice that was taught long before the anatomy was understood the way it is now and that we should honor that ancient practice. Or that teaching from an anatomical perspective takes away from the spirituality and subtle body-mind-spirit connection of yoga. Or (my favorite) that there's no proof that learning anatomy as a teacher prevents injury in your students.

While I believe that the people that share these viewpoints do not intentionally intend to cause harm or damage, there is a growing body of scientific research, anecdotal evidence, and well informed opinion to support the exact opposite - that in today's world, learning anatomy is not only important as a yoga instructor, but that it is critical. 

The participation of people in the practice of yoga nearly doubled from 2007 to 2012 and currently stands at over 36 million Americans practicing yoga. Yoga related injuries were seen in hospital emergency departments almost 30,000 times from 2001 to 2014, with one study citing that 75% of those incidents were seen in the last five years (implicating a rise in yoga injury). This is the science, the numbers, the black and white. 

Okay, but so what? There's risk of injury with every type of physical activity. What makes yoga different?

Yoga is an ancient practice, one that is deeply rooted in spirituality. The history and tradition is extremely important to keep while teaching yoga in a modern world. But yoga was originally designed for young (pre-teen and teenage) boys. Boys of that age began doing rigorous yoga asana practice daily. Their bodies were more flexible, more malleable, and quicker healing than the modern man or woman who steps on their mat. And the anatomy of the two groups is different. To instruct a 20-30-40 something typical American into a yoga posture and try to make it look like the photo of Iyengar doing the same posture is dangerous (and, quite frankly, stupid). The modern student has different functional anatomy. They may have the same bones and muscles but the alignment of the bones, the health of the connective tissue, and the strength and flexibility of the muscles is very, very different. 

In addition, we live in a culture driven by social media. There's no sense in denying it, especially when it comes to yoga, people are hooked on networks like Instagram. And who can blame them? There's a bevy of attractive, fit, freakishly flexible, and enviably strong men and women doing inversions, backbends, and arm balances in some of the most beautiful places on earth. People see that, they walk into a yoga studio, and they want to do that. The problem lies in the fact that they want to do the end pose without doing the work. Those poses take hours upon hours of dedicated practice. In a culture of instant gratification, people want that now (and this doesn't even begin to account for the fact that anatomy is individual and many people won't ever be able to achieve some of those poses).

And so it becomes easy for an under educated, under experienced yoga instructor to fall into a place where their teaching can become physically harmful. Without understanding basic structural anatomy of the systems of the body, biomechanics (the physics of the body), and functional anatomy (how the anatomy actually works, both in yoga postures and in daily life) even the best intentions can go astray. Complicated sequencing, poor verbal cuing, inability to properly verbally or physically adjust students, lack of knowledge of modifications, and lack of ability to hold students back (and to require them to build an appropriate base) are all too common.

You don't have to teach like an anatomy professor - you never have to use the word "metatarsal" (you can say "foot") or tell people to "externally rotate" their thigh (you can say "rotate outward"). Your teaching style can still be spiritually focused and steeped in yogic tradition. But you do absolutely need to understand the anatomy. 

As for my favorite argument? Why should we wait until we do have to have evidence to prove that knowing anatomy as a teacher prevents injury? That means that not knowing anatomy caused enough injury that we were forced to publish studies about it. That's a critical failure. And, if I'm not mistaken, feels quite like the opposite of the first and foremost goal in both yoga and medicine - ahimsa, non-maleficence, or do no harm.

 

 

*The author of this article holds a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University with over 8 years of clinical practice. In addition, she has been a yoga practitioner for over 13 years and currently holds RYT-200. She teaches anatomy courses for yoga teacher trainings and is finishing a handbook and workbook titled Critical Anatomy. She also hosts anatomy certification courses for yoga instructors and leaders of yoga teacher trainings. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The LA Edition

Work-life balance is something that I am constantly toying with. When your work and your life overlap in almost every single way, is there a balance? Should there be a balance? Does there need to be a balance? Or can they overlap?

I think they can safely overlap, and consistently overlap, but that taking a break from actively thinking about work is important. 

After all, leading an inspired life is what leads to inspired work. 

So last Thursday my friend Amanda and I took a #daycation to LA. LA is a town that is so close, yet so far away. Just far enough that I tend to forget that it exists. This trip was the perfect reminder that La-La-Land truly is nearby and, when done right, is a gem.

So this week's post is dedicated to LA!

xoxo

LP

Do

Hike Griffith Park. Our first stop of the day was Griffith Park, LA's greenest, and most fun, urban trail playground. Our intention was to hike with Amanda's cousin-in-law (yes, that's a thing) up to the Griffith Observatory, which has one of my favorite views of LA of all time. Buuuut we weren't moving that fast. So we opted for pausing most of the way up to take a selfie video of us with the Hollywood sign on one side and then spinning around to showcase the Observatory on the other. Either way, it felt touristy and it was awesome. I know I've said this a few times already on this blog, but the rain in Southern California is doing magical things. The park was beautiful!

Taste

Tofu Banh Mi tacos at Tacos Tu Madre. We bolted down the trail (almost landing on a snake, whoops!) and bee-lined for lunch. Stephen brought us back to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Los Feliz, for tacos at Tacos Tu Madre. They were so good! My personal favorite? The Tofu Banh Mi. It was unbelievably delicious and I could have eaten three more of them. But we were in a rush to escape to...

Smell

Get a scrub and massage and bathe at the Korean Spa. The Korean Spa! We went to Olympic Spa in Koreatown. This is something I've wanted to do for ages and I can't explain how excited I was. You ditch your shoes and clothes in a locker, throw on a robe (for a little while), and make your way to the showers. Rinse off and then a whole bevy of options are yours! Dry sauna, steam sauna, Himalayan salt sauna, mineral bath, hot tub, cold tub. This large, open, room full of other naked ladies is where you spend your time sweating or soaking or detoxifying while you wait for your number to be called. Truth be told, I felt a little like cattle being herded into my pen at first. But any initial wariness wears off quickly. I was scrubbed, rinsed, massaged. I had my hair washed, my face covered in seaweed, and my body moisturized. I was rinsed again and then an hour and a half or so after it started, I was hand dried. And officially the softest I've been since I could be called a toddler. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Get over feeling weird about being naked. It's worth it. 

See

Read books at the Last Bookstore. Our spa-d out, blissful selves had a few more stops to make. Next we ventured downtown to the Last Bookstore. This is a place I've wanted to see for years. Books used as walls, art, and Instagram backdrops. We did a quick walk through, but I'd love to go back and actually explore. 

Hear

Rescue puppies at the Dog Cafe. However, the rescue pups were calling our name. This "dog cafe" is so fun. You pay $15, which is a donation to the rescue organization, to get your coffee and an hour with the pups. There were about 10 adoptable dogs, ranging from 3 months old to a few years old. You literally just get to play with puppies. Be prepared. It smells a little like pee (cause all they do is pee) and you'll still want to take one home.

 

Whew! A whirlwind of a day in LA. Perfect for pressing re-set. 

Maximize My Month - April 2017

As March comes to a close we find ourselves (somehow) a quarter of the way through 2017. Every year I say this, and every year it's true: by the time it sinks in that it's a new year, it's already 25% over!

March was a huge success in terms of my Maximize My Month goals. My goal was to put pen to paper and write every single day. And I did! I've been using my 5 Minute Journal and doing a lot of gratitude journaling this month. It's been a fantastic outlet and way to keep myself noticing the good things in life. I also had a few little breakthroughs from this writing. The one that comes to mind was a free journal entry in which I came up with the phrase "mindful badass" as a way I wanted to act, think, be, and be seen. It just sort of came out and it's stuck. The beauty of writing.

I had a tough time nailing down an action for April. Not because I had no ideas, but because I had too many ideas. After much deliberation I've settled on... duh duh duh... oil pulling!

What is oil pulling??

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice of taking about a tablespoon of (preferably) coconut oil, putting it in your mouth, letting it melt, and swishing it around for somewhere between 10-20 minutes before spitting it out. 

Why? This ancient practice actually has modern science to back it up! Oil pulling helps prevent against plaque, gingivitis, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. It is also thought to naturally whiten teeth. It may also help with skin condition, alleviating allergies, and general body detoxification (although the research is lacking on those benefits). 

How? Coconut oil is anti-microbial and anti-bacterial to begin with. In addition, most of the organisms in the mouth (and body as a whole) are single cell organisms that are covered with a fatty membrane. When they come into contact with another fat (the oil) they adhere, which allows them to be expelled. 

A few suggestions:

1. Doing it while taking a shower is a great time keeping idea, but make sure you don't spit it down your shower drain (it will clog pipes). 

2. You still have to brush and floss. Sorry.

3. I plan to make it a way to get in some foam rolling, myofascial release, or small muscle strengthening by using those 10-20 minutes to roll, stick, or do my preventative exercises that I usually don't have time for. BONUS!

So who's in??

xoxo, 

LP

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Freak the F Out Edition

We all have those days (or weeks, or months, or minutes - it really doesn't matter the length of time) where all you want to do is panic and scream. It could be for a variety of reasons, big or small: someone cuts you off on the freeway, your significant other gives you a weird vibe, your dog eats your shoe. 

None of those were my catalyst. Instead, Monday morning I woke up to an email from my bank saying my account was overdrawn. By a lot. I've never, ever, overdrafted my account. Ever. I freaked out. Turns out, instead of scheduling a deposit from one financial institution to my bank, my financial adviser had accidentally scheduled a withdrawal. Whoops. Big whoops. Especially when he told me they couldn't fix it for three or four days. And, you know, the first of the month is coming up. Where things like the mortgage payment and rent get taken out of that same (already overdrawn) account.

I kept my cool with him, as even though it was his mistake losing my shit on him wouldn't change anything. And I was left figuring out how to rearrange things to get by for a few days. The minutiae, the details, were not a big deal. I know they are temporary and that it will all be resolved. But the aftershock of the reality of the situation kicked in: I'm not where I want to be financially. I'm vulnerable and living on the edge of needing paychecks and autodrafts to all fall perfectly on the right days or else I'm screwed. I know I'm not the only one there but this freaked me out. 

What am I doing? How am I going to make this work? Should I even be trying to create this business and life? Should I go back to my 9-5? All of the self doubt and the questioning and the panic grew really, really loud. 

So this weeks What I'm Into Wednesday is dedicated to the things that bring me back from the edge. That help me to tell myself that I'm okay, that I'm doing okay, and that it will be okay.

Have you ever been in one of these "on the edge of losing it" moments? What helps you?

LP

See

One of my favorite books of all time is called the War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It's all about resistance. Resistance is that force that tries to keep you from doing what you are made to do, what you know in your heart is your calling. Resistance shows up all the time, in many ways. It's questioning friends and family, it's procrastination, it's self doubt. And it gets louder and louder as you get closer and closer to that ultimate goal that it's keeping you from. And as it get's louder it pushes you harder and harder to quit. It has a thousand reasons why you should just give up. This moment was all resistance in my face. Re-reading that book has saved me many, many times. 

Do

It's impossible to be creative and motivated and passionate when you're coming from a place of fear. Sometimes you just need to get out of your own head, away from your work, and give yourself space to be present and to enjoy something, anything. Tomorrow I'm taking the day off and going to LA with my friend Amanda. We're going to hike, get a massage, go to a bookstore, and drink good coffee. And it's going to be amazing. A day off and a day away. It's not selfish, it's necessary. 

Hear

MUSIC! Ah, how it heals. My favorite jam of this week? Soldier of Love by Sade. It's just so good, groovy, soulful. Digging it. Did you know you can follow me on Spotify?

Smell

This Saturday we took our Spirit Yoga teacher trainees to the Self Realization Fellowship in Encinitas to visit and spend time in the meditation gardens. This is another space where the rain we've been getting is magical. The flowers, the greenery. Gorgeous and smelled so good! If you haven't been, it's a perfect space to find a bench and meditate or journal. I spent my time journaling about this idea of being a mindful badass

Taste

Nothing fixes a sour mood faster than a cheese board and some chocolate. A much needed date night happened on Monday night. We created a charcuterie plate complete with too much cheese (never too much) as well as all the accompaniments and headed on a walk to Bird Park to watch the sunset and snack. My favorites? Trader Joe's mushroom brie and pesto gouda and the dark chocolate coconut almonds. Heaven. 

What I'm into Wednesday - Single Parent Edition

People have told us that getting a puppy is like having a baby. I've never had a baby, but I'm not sure I'd go that far. Yes, it changes your routines and priorities and there's an element of lack of sleep that is similar, but I can put my puppy in his crate for 30 minutes to take a shower. Can't put babies in crates.

That being said, I was a single puppy parent last week while Angelo was in LA working...and man, it's tough. I realized very quickly how much I take advantage of having a partner to split parenting duties with and I'm so thankful he's there for it all!

This weeks entries have absolutely nothing to do with the puppy. I just wanted to share that sentiment. Be grateful for those in your life who help you. That's all.

xoxo

LP

See

This viral video of 2 year old toddler twins having a seriously fun fort building, pillow fighting, brotherly bonding night while they were supposed to be sleeping got me. It's adorable. It's hilarious. It makes me want to know what my puppy will do when he's home alone (eventually). May have to invest in some sort of camera. 

Smell

Let's get weird on this one. I like the smell of new yoga mats. It's rubbery, and kind of chemically smelling, but for some reason it's familiar and comforting. lululemon is testing out some new mats with different types and levels of grip and I was lucky enough to practice on them (and have been since Ambassador Summit last year). I'm already a fan of my lululemon mat, and most things lululemon, but these are innovative and awesome. Stay tuned. 

Hear

My good friend Danny was surprisingly in town this weekend and turned me on to a new (to me) podcast: How I Built This. By NPR, this podcast is all about entrepreneurs of businesses and brands you know and love and how they built them. It's a fascinating behind the scenes look into the minds of some of the smartest and most successful business people. And it's shorter episodes (think 45 or so minutes). And it's NPR. So you know it's good. 

Taste

This is sort of obscure, but it's my blog, so here goes. I love applesauce. I've had some amazing homemade applesauce recently (thank you Amanda!) but I'm too lazy. My go to? Sprouts brand original applesauce with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Nothing but apples. And for some reason so refreshing! Hydrating! Satisfying of my sweet tooth. Plus, it's great for baking healthier versions of breads and muffins. 

Do

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it before, but I'm sort of a type A person. Go, go, go, do, do, do and occasionally breathe. A goal of mine was to slow down and do more to decrease my stress levels (hello, cortisol) and boost my parasympathetic nervous system. So, I've been going (almost) weekly to yin yoga with Sophie at Mosaic Yoga in Golden Hill. Thursday nights at 7:15PM this magical class, combined with reiki, goes down and feels like it literally resets all of my nervous system in 75 minutes. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - Camp Edition

This past weekend I had the very distinct pleasure and honor to have been an expert at the March edition of Campowerment in Malibu. The low down: Campowerment is summer camp for adult women. A place to inspire women to re-ignite their lives, no matter the stage in life they're at, their professions, marital status, whether they have kids, etc. It's one of the more inspirational and moving experiences I've ever been a part of and is a place that every woman should get to experience.

Naturally, this week's list is fairly camp centered!

See:

 

The weather was unbelievable this weekend. Camp takes place at the top of a magical mountain in Malibu and while Friday and Saturday's weather were 85 and blue skies, Sunday and Monday brought this awe inspiring low fog. It literally felt like we were in Ireland. Otherworldly and breathtaking. If you ever want help feeling like you're making life changes, shifts, and revelations, standing on a mountaintop in Malibu in the fog is where you want to be.

Hear:

In the few days leading up to camp I was feeling stressed, slightly lost in why I was doing my work, and like I was butting my head against a wall trying to figure things out. I took a break from sitting at my computer to take Arlo for a walk and listen to one of the newer Tim Ferriss episodes with Dr. Phil Zimbardo. Dr. Zimbardo is a psychologist in his 80s who was involved in some fascinating experiments and now focuses his research and work on being less evil and being more heroic. One of the better episodes I've heard recently. 

Taste:

Post camp blues are real. And the best cure for blues of any sort is... ICE CREAM! Luckily our car ride home took us through Venice so my mom and I could stop at Salt and Straw. This month they've brought back 5 of their favorites for their monthly rotation. I had Cinnaholic - a cinnamon ice cream with snickerdoodle cookies and the coconut milk based ice cream with marionberries and shortbread. YUM. 

Do:

I'm a firm believer in passing along information and things and opportunities that I'm passionate about. And camp is one of those things. I had the opportunity to go as a lululemon ambassador on a mini-camp retreat about a year and a half ago. Since then I've been hounding women I know to go (including my mom, who finally went this weekend!). The coolest thing Campowerment has been up to is getting a 501c3 non-profit up and running called Give Her Camp to provide scholarships to send women to camp who otherwise couldn't afford to go. I've been actively looking for a charitable cause that speaks to me to start doing some work and fundraising for... and this is it. Keep your eyes and ears open, cause Bodies in Motion 4.0 will be coming and it will be fundraising for this cause.

Smell:

The only un camp related thing, but kind of related to camping as it has to do with bugs. The ant problem in our house is OUT OF CONTROL. Partially due to having a dog (hello, dog food), partially due to the heat, and mostly due to the fact that our house was relatively, um, quickly?, built. I've been struggling with how to get rid of them since most pest sprays are nasty and definitely not dog friendly. Enter Pest Soldier! This vinegar based spray has been working wonders and smells good (thank you peppermint oil) and I'm stoked.

It's going to take me a while to quit buzzing from this weekend. From teaching these amazing women, to bunking with some awesome experts, to meal times with a Food Network Star, to being on the Today show (WHAT? Yup, stay tuned.) - this weekend changed my world, as camp always does. It is getting me excited for my own retreat! Just a reminder, 3 spaces have opened up for May 18-21. Do you want in? You even get to blend your own custom wine! Let me know!

And happy Wednesday Campers!