Off The Mat - Balance Through Transition

By their very nature, transitions are all about change. They are about movement from one place or task or activity to another. They are about the in between. Quite often, they are the opposite of stable.

But we can control how we move through transition. We can move haphazardly, throwing caution to the wind and mindlessly attempting to get from point A to point B. When we do this, we find ourselves easily distracted, taken off course, or taken away from our initial intention. Or we can move with care. We can plan to the best of our extent, we can be cognizant of the sensations we experience, and we can adjust our course of action based on those sensations. We can maintain a sense of mindfulness and control, even in these unstable feeling moments. We can find a sense of balance.

This week, on our mat we take this idea quite literally and play with moving in and out of balance postures. We focus on using our breath, our gaze, and our muscular activation to control, slow down, and gracefully move between postures.

When we take that idea off of our mat can we keep the same concepts at the forefront of our mind? Can we utilize the skills and tools that we inherently have (and that we continue to hone) to find that same sense of stability and balance in all of the “in betweens” and to note how this keeps us focused, on track, and calm?

xoxo

LP

What I'm Into Wednesday - Sore Muscles, Full Hearts

Do you ever come off of a good weekend on a serious high and someone asks you why your weekend was so good and you can't really articulate it? Nothing was extra-ordinary about this weekend but it was exactly what I wanted/needed it to be. And here I find myself in a brand new week with sore muscles and a full heart - just the way I like it.

See

A few months ago we were lucky enough to have gotten some serious (for SoCal) rain in San Diego. And that led to a blooming of wildflowers like nothing I've ever seen here. Places like Tecolote and Mission Trails transformed into bright yellow fields. Trail running was magnificent. And now we're back in more of a normal climate and those wildflowers have died off... but it's left something unique in its place. These chest height reminders sparked a conversation about the life cycle of plants - and how special it is that these plants (that are no longer serving a visual purpose of beauty) will soon fall and decompose to provide nutrients to the plants that will grow in their place. Nature, man. It's special.

Smell

The weekend started on Friday afternoon with a dinner par-tay of sorts with some of my favorite humans. Our friends, Lou and Amanda and Napoli, hosted Puerto Rican night at their house. It was part to just spend time together and part to christen their brand new (and beautiful) picnic table (that was built by my brother in law!). It started with homemade sourdough bread (thanks to the bread queen, Allie) and chorizo and tostones (fried plantains) and then moved to pork shoulder and a rice dish and finished with pineapple rum upside down cake. All deliciousness was washed down with a rum and passionfruit cocktail. To say the house smelled good would be a very serious understatement. And the vibes were perfect for kicking off a weekend!

Taste

This is one of those weeks where I couldn't be happier that smell and taste are under two categories - because I kind of get to double dip. Here's a dirty little secret about me - I LOVE Souplantation. And I love it even more because my trail running friends love it too. From giant salads to chili and cornbread to the gluten free coconut muffins, I'm in heaven. It's extraordinarily mediocre, and there's something special about that. Our NPSUMMIT house reunion on Sunday consisted of Tecolote trail runs for breakfast and Souplantation for lunch and it was bomb diggity. 

Hear

If you've ever taken a yoga class with me, you know I love me some Sylvan Esso. A while ago I was introduced to a new song of theirs, but kind of forgot that with new songs eventually (usually) comes new albums. So I was pretty pumped to come across their 2017 album last night. Give it a listen.

Do

Less. Do less. Plan less. Go with the flow more. While I did have some specific things planned for the weekend (workouts, classes, etc.) I largely left this weekend unplanned. And that was part of what made it so perfect. It left time for wandering, exploring, hitting snooze, chatting a little longer with friends, cracking more jokes, eating extra food, and just generally choosing activities based on what I wanted to do, not what I had to do. So when you can, do less and experience more. 

Off the Mat - The Space Between

We are a generation of schedulers. 6:30AM teach yoga here, 9AM meeting here, 12PM teach again here, and so on and so forth. We move from one event, one person, one activity to the other. And we move without thinking. 

Sometimes we even move from place to place without realizing how we got there. You've experienced the sensation of driving to somewhere, getting there, and not really realizing how we got there or remembering the drive to get there. 

Our mind wanders during transitional times. We wander to past events or to what's happening in the future. Sometimes we wander days, weeks, months in advance.

This week, on our mat, we practice staying present through the transition. Making the spaces between the postures just as mindful and purposeful as the postures themselves.

Can you take that off of the mat with you? Can you purposefully use your time between your "things"? Sit down and mindfully enjoy the space? Take a different route driving and actually look at the scenery? Stay focused during interactions and conversations, even if they are short and in passing?

This week I honor the space between.

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Boston Edition

If you didn't already know that the 5th annual November Project Summit was this past weekend in Boston than you've been living under a rock (metaphorically speaking, of course). 

I'll take any good reason to spend a long weekend in Boston, as it's one of my favorite cities of all time. And this was a very good reason. 

So I present to you, the Boston Edition of WIIW.

See

In my almost 8 years being a resident of Boston there are still a few places that had been unseen by my eyes. I took advantage of having nothing on the schedule for the majority of the day on Friday to meander my way around the city, on my own time, at my own pace, and with my own two feet. Many hours (and 16 miles of walking) later I had come across two of my favorite sights yet - the Mapparium at the Mary Baker Eddy Library at the Christian Science Center and the Boston Public Library on Boylston Street near the marathon finish line. The $6 admission fee to the Mapparium was well worth it. This glass globe has a walkway through it and you're literally surrounded by the world as it was in 1935. A great light and sound show accompanies the tour and it's just a gorgeous piece of art. The public library was a fascinating combination of old world and modern architecture that was visually stunning at every corner. Same city, new experiences - always. 

Do

Between attempting a full tour (running all 37 sections of Harvard Stadium) and running my portion of the marathon relay at Wachusett Mountain - I was pretty pooped. And so, so, so happy. This weekend was a great reminder of how much I like to push myself to my physical limits and that I'm ready to do so again. The past 5-6 weeks since the OC Marathon have been a struggle but it feels as though my body and mind have recovered (finally) and are ready to rock and roll!

Hear

Have you ever heard 1000+ people scream at the same time? Or that scream echo off of a concrete stadium? Or emanate in the woods nest to a mountain? No? Well you've clearly never been to a November Project summit. North of a thousand spandex clad humans converged upon the famed Harvard Stadium for a beatdown of epic proportions and then turned right around the next morning and took on one of the hardest trail races I've ever seen. The vibe, the energy, the heart of these people is amazing. I'm proud to be a part of it. 

Smell

Nothing beats the smell of waffles in the morning. Or any other time of day, if we're being honest. And no trip to Boston is complete without my favorite of all waffles - Saus. This gem in touristy Fanueil Hall is known for (yup) it's sauces - and my favorite carrier for a sauce is a liege waffle. These uber sweet desserts do nothing for your daily nutrition but everything for your daily happiness. Worth it, 100%. 

Taste

Many of you know that I'm kind of a lactard (I say kind of because I ignore this fact about myself very often). For months I've been told that when I'm in Boston I need to get "ice cream" at FoMu. So during my solo day on Friday I made sure my walking adventures took me down Newbury Street and did just that. Holy crap. The only bad part of my experience was having to decide upon 2 flavors instead of being able to eat them all. I settled on the homemade Oreo flavor and the peanut butter fudge. Heavenly. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - Holy Hell It's June Edition

All of the sudden it's June. And all of the sudden we have an 8 month old, 50 lb puppy. And so once again, we're back to some Arlo related things on this week's blog. But not all puppy filled, so if that's not your jam, read anyway. Because I think I do have your jam as well.

Do

Let's get the puppy stuff out of the way first. We started using a Gentle Leader with Arlo for training him to heel and to walk on leash without jumping on everyone, eating everything, and laying down for every dog. It's night and day difference. He's an instantly better trained dog. We don't plan on using it forever, but for now it's helping teach him great habits.

Hear

I visited my friends at Milestone Running the other day and Julie had a Hyperice vibrating bocce-sized ball. I borrowed it for about 10 minutes on my foot (where I'm having some residual heel and plantar and calf pain from the marathon) and it's literally the best I've felt in months. So I went to order one, but I'm a little cheap. I opted for an Acumo ball. It's got the massage feature as well as an ability to heat up! That noise of the vibration against the floor is music to my ears.

Taste

Last weekend we went to the North Park Farmer's Market and stocked up on fresh strawberries (cause, duh). Surprisingly, I couldn't eat them fast enough so Angelo had a great idea to mash them up and make them into a jam (told you I had your jam). SO yummy! We literally just did strawberries and a small amount of coconut sugar. I've been eating PB&Js like it's my job.

See

I'm lucky enough to have friends in my day to day life that have been there for almost 14 years. Through college, and relationships, and jobs, and various stages of adulting - we've seen each other grow and change. Sometimes life gets in the way of old routine and habits and you stop seeing the same people the same way you used to. I've had two chances to spend quality time with some of my oldest and most awesome friends this week, and it's been fantastic to see them - and a good reminder to make time for them. 

Smell

I don't know if this counts, but I'm doing it. I love that Dirty Water. The smell of a city. Not a "San Diego" city but a real urban downtown. That's why I'm stoked to be heading out to NPSUMMIT 5.0 in Boston tomorrow. We're lucky enough to have a great person watching Arlo for us so that we can fully enjoy being away. So thanks Mona! Boston here we come!

Maximize My Month - June

The 6th month of the year is upon us... and as is custom in San Diego, it's rolling in with gray skies (hello June gloom!). This past month has been an absolute whirlwind of activities, teaching, retreats, and events and I have to admit, I'm pretty excited to see not a whole lot extra on the calendar for June.

It was a challenging month to stick to my May directives: I'm not stressed, I'm not busy, and I don't have to do anything. But that was the point! To be challenged. And upon review of the month, I give myself a passing grade... but barely. I was great on not using the phrases "busy" or "stressed" and while my month was packed, I truly didn't feel like either of those words rang true. But I did catch myself saying I have to do all sorts of things. So work to be done still. And most unsurprisingly, this challenge once again helped me to notice the language of those around me. And illustrated more than one person/friendship/relationship that I've found I either need to distance myself from, have an honest conversation with, or let go. Spring cleaning, if you will.

June's challenge is going to go quite literally the opposite direction of May. It's a physical challenge. And one that isn't so serious. 

I've missed my regular handstand practice. In 2015 I set out to learn to handstand and practiced every single day. And like any good skill, if you don't use it you lose it. And I've lost it. 

So for June I pledge to get upside down and handstand every damn day.

Now if you're like, "um handstands aren't my jam", that's awesome! Is there one specific physical activity, skill, stretch, or exercise that you should do every day? Think hard. Great! Make that your June commitment!

Let's see what changes can happen in a month!

xoxo

LP

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Roadtrip Edition

When I was a kid I loved flying places. The entire adventure, from airport to airport, was a blast. But as the flight industry has changed (and I've gotten older) I don't look forward to flying quite as much.

And in exchange, I've found a deeper love for roadtrips! There's something special about the time spent in a car with your loved ones, seeing the small town sights outside your window, and having the opportunity to stop and check them out when and wherever.

So for our third anniversary (and a belated birthday gift to Angelo) we hopped in the car last Thursday and headed north! Our destination? Scott's Valley (just outside of Santa Cruz) for some redwood exploration for a few days and then meandering our way back to San Diego.

Here's what I loved.

xoxo

LP

Do

I am a huge proponent of AirBnb. Many of the coolest places I've stayed and people I've met while travelling have been through AirBnb stays. This time was no different. We stayed in an Airstream trailer with an addition and deck built onto it. It was adorable, perfectly sized, on a great property, and owned by some fantastic hosts. The property also had baby goats (!), a rooster, chickens and baby chicks, ducks, a goose, and wild deer. We loved it and Arlo was fascinated by the animals. Yup, it was dog friendly too!

See

The drive down the 1 along the Central Coast and through Big Sur is one of my all time favorite sights. Unfortunately a series of landslides, planned bridge renovations, and other weather related deterioration has caused the 1 to be indefinitely closed. So we took an alternate route back down from Scott's Valley. It took us through farm land, beautiful mountains, and vineyards. It wasn't the jaw dropping coastal view but it was pretty damn beautiful.

Smell

I don't care that this is essentially a repeat of last week's smell category. The forest. Standing among beautiful, giant, old Redwoods and looking over a river enhances the amazing scent of the forest. Get out. Smell dirt.

Taste

 While in new towns, one must always explore and find the best of the best of a few things. In our case its: donuts, ice cream, and carrot cake (hence why we run so much). The absolute, hands down winner of this trip was carrot cake from Rosine's in Monterey. Some good (and foodie) friends insisted we stop there on our drive back down and holy shit, I'm glad we did. Top two carrot cakes of my life (the other is TRUST here in SD). Giant, dense, and delicious.

Hear

I'm kind of cheating and using hear as another way to talk about food. But this is my blog, so deal. The best ice cream of the trip winner goes to The Penny Ice Creamery in Santa Cruz. But it wasn't the actual ice cream that did it, it was what went on top. Caramelized, flame broiled, homemade marshmallow fluff. Whaaaaaa. And the sound of that torch getting the perfect amount of color and flavor on that fluff was a wonderful thing. 

 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Travel Edition

So, initially I was going to make this all about Portland, using it as a recap of sorts of my very first Vinyasa and Vino retreat this past weekend. But then I realized that I'm travelling again this weekend and that while some of the things I've been thinking about this week have been all about PDX, many others are about travel in general.

So in the spirit of jetsetting... What I'm Into Wednesday - The Travel Edition!

See

One of my favorite parts about travelling, specifically back to the PNW (Pacific NorthWest), is seeing the different terrain and landscape. And my absolute favorite part of the landscape up there is the mountains! They are huge, covered in snow, and breathtaking. I snapped this quick photo after dropping my friend off at the airport at 5AM on Monday morning. The sunrise and the outline of Mt. Hood took my breath away.

Want to see more of Mt. Hood? Go check out November Project PDX - yup, they're official! I happened to be there for the Wednesday they became part of the family and it was special, like it always is. Their workout location sports a sweet view of the mountain on a clear day. Not that you needed any other reason to visit the tribe.

Smell

There's something so unique about the smell of the forest. It's clean, damp, fresh, and weirdly green smelling. We took the retreaters on a Saturday morning hike/adventure through the woods up above the winery. We learned all about the forestry history of the area, the types of trees, and what plants and animals hang out up there today. Not only was it visually stunning and blast to stomp around in old rubber boots, but the smell just got me. 

Taste

I've tasted wine many times before, both officially and just drinking, but not like this. We pulled wine straight outta the barrel, compared the smell and tasting notes to a collection of pure scents of different things (think blackberry vs. bilberry vs. black currant) and then put together our very own unique blend. We landed on a 46% Cabernet Sauvignon, 46% Merlot, and 8% Malbec blend that is just delightful! And then we proceeded to filter, bottle, and cork it ourselves. So fun!

Hear

While I travel I like to listen to podcasts and this trip I got into some Stuff You Should Know. Specifically, "What's the 10000 Year Clock?". I learn something new every time I listen to one of these podcasts and I had never even hear of the 10000 year clock prior to this. A little tidbit about me, I love learning history and I feel like the information sticks in my brain...but I have zero ability to relay it. So I'll spare you a mixed up attempt of explaining the podcast and just suggest you listen to it yourself.

Do

Read. Read. Read. Read. Read. And go visit Powell's Books while in Portland. We did, and of course an hour and a half wasn't a long enough time there, and of course I bought books, and of course I read an entire one on the plane ride home. I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid is one of the better thriller/mystery novels that I've read in a long time. And by better I mean creepy as fuck. In the best way possible. It was a literal page turner that I couldn't put down... and didn't until it was over. 

Off The Mat - Be Flexible in Your Goals and Rigid in Your Approach

As humans, we love to set goals. To have something to work towards. To create benchmarks for ourselves. 

Whether it's a birthday, a new year, a Monday, or even just the beginning of a yoga class, we approach that activity or time frame with a goal in mind. This year I'm going to lose 10 pounds. This month I'm going to read every day. Today in yoga I'm going to do a headstand.

I'm one of the biggest goal setters you'll ever meet. I live for creating goals for myself, writing them down, breaking them into smaller portions, and chronicling my way towards achieving them. So please don't mistake this blog for being one about how goal setting is a bad thing. I don't believe it is at all.

But the other half of setting goals is how you approach reaching them. What changes do you make in your hourly, daily, or weekly life? This is where many of us falter. We don't fail at achieving goals, we fail at making the small decisions each and every moment to propel us towards success with those goals.

How are you going to lose 10 pounds if you continue to hit snooze every morning and miss your workout? How are you going to read every day if you instead pick your phone up out of habit and scroll Instagram during your free time? How are you going to do a headstand if you choose not do focus on your breath and bandhas?

And that's not to say that if you made all of those decisions correctly, day in and day out, that you would 100% achieve every goal you set. There are some things out of your control. Shit happens. Life happens.

Which is why I've been focusing on the idea of being flexible in your goals but rigid in your approach. Conditioning yourself to make those small decisions that move you in the right direction each and every moment of each and every day. But removing the attachment to the outcome.

In a month you might wake up and decide you don't actually want to lose 10 pounds this year. That as you've been waking up every morning and skipping the snooze to do the workout instead you've learned that you are more concerned with doing 10 pull-ups by the end of the year rather than focusing on what the scale says. Your approach hasn't changed, but your goal has. 

Halfway through yoga class today you might find that by focusing on your breath and bandhas you feel stronger and more confident. And when you try to do a headstand, you may still fall over - but instead of feeling like a failure, you feel calm and grounded in your breath and body connection, you realize you've learned something and that you've grown as a yogi and a human.

I'll always be a goal setter. But now I'm also a routine builder, a decision maker, and more mindful of how I approach each day. Because the consistent approach breeds results, whatever those may end up being.

This week, try being flexible in your goals and rigid in your approach.

xoxo

LP

 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Celebration/Recovery Edition

A few weeks ago I posted about some of my favorite things that surround marathon training. The purpose of training for a marathon is to eventually run said marathon, and that happened on Sunday.

I can't stop expressing gratitude towards everyone who has been there along the journey to that finish line. From my running partners, to my life partner, to all of you who read the ramblings - I couldn't have done it without you.

And yes, I surpassed my goal for Sunday's race. I'll be going to Boston to run the marathon in April. And I'm so, so happy.

Now is the time for celebration and recovery. Enjoy my favorites!

xoxo

LP

See

Look, I know I'm wayyyy late to the game on this one but in the days leading up to the race and in the days post race, while I was laying around with my legs up a wall hydrating, I needed something to keep me occupied. Enter Broad City. Holy shit. It's hilarious. I find myself laughing out loud during each episode and I love the fact that the episodes are so short. It's a well written comedy with the perfect actors (I love Hannibal Burress) and it's well worth the binge time. Thank you Hulu.

Hear

When my eyes can't take any more screen time, I've been turning to podcasts. We all know I'm a huge fan of self improvement/development podcasts but occasionally I just want a good story to get lost in. I was a big fan of both seasons of Serial (even though they were drastically different) and I've been meaning to start listening to S-Town. I was wisely warned to not expect it to be like Serial, so I didn't. And I am digging it. The story is fascinating, the reporting is exactly what you expect of Serial or This American Life, and it's just an in depth look at some super interesting people. Sold.

Do

I got surprised post-race with Wanderlust Gypsy Magic - a yummy smelling bath salt bomb with a secret ingredient: CBD. In case you don't know, CBD is part of the marijuana plant, but not the part that gets you high (that's THC). CBD has been studied and found to be great for things like relaxation, pain relief, and inflammation relief. Sounds perfect for post marathon. I added it to a bath along with some other essential oil mineral salts and soaked away. I do have to say that it was so calming and felt so good on sore muscles. And I woke up the next day with a much lower level of soreness than expected. So either they worked some magic or I'm a healing fiend. 

Smell

My all time fav natural wellness brand, Saje, has a fantastic balm for inflammation and pain called Trauma Less. It's got many useful oils in it, but the secret weapon is arnica. I had my massage therapist use it pre-race on some sensitive tendons and ligaments in my foot and I used it post race on the same thing. It seems to be working well combating 26.2 miles of pavement pounding. And of course it smells good. It's Saje after all. I can't find the product online, but I do believe that they have it in store at the new Fashion Valley location!

Taste

Every runner has food and drink that they dream about during the last few miles of a big race or long run. For me it's a blood orange San Pelligrino to drink and the food always varies. Luckily, my boyfriend knows my cravings well and we made sure to hit a breakfast spot with a San Pellegrino AND he purchased a box of Peanut Butter Puffins (which are by far my favorite cereal) and almond milk to have in the hotel room post race. YUM. I would eat bowls of cereal for all three meals every day if I could.