New Year, Same Old Recap

It's that time of year. The weird week between Christmas and New Years where you're not quite sure what to do with yourself. 

I always want to start planning, plotting, and rolling new things into action - but without wishing away the last week of the old year. It's a tough balance to find and a weird line to walk.

For me, taking time to review what did and didn't work in the previous year helps me chart a course and decipher a plan for the next.

So let's see what went well in 2017:

1. My business, as a whole. I took on more classes, taught more trainings, and created more opportunity than ever before. And it showed. As the year closes, it's pretty neat to see that I literally doubled my revenue from 2016.

2. Yoga retreats! I held my first two wine and yoga retreats in 2017. They were a test. Would anybody even want to go? Would working with my parents be successful? Would I even like leading retreats? Yes, yes, and yes. So in 2018 we welcome on two more retreats (there's ONE space left for the weekend of July 26-29- otherwise they are sold out) and a single day mini retreat (that is all full). And perhaps think about adding a third? A local San Diego option? Hmmmm...

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3. Teacher trainings. I co-lead my first 200 hour yoga teacher training at Spirit Yoga in 2017 and had an amazing experience. Not only did I get to impart my specific knowledge upon some amazing now yoga teachers, but I got to soak in the immense wisdom of my co-leaders. 2018 finds me heading back to Spirit from January to April to co-lead 200 hour teacher training once again (it's not too late to sign up!). I'll also continue to teach the anatomy portions of teacher trainings at other local studios. And I'm in the early stages of discussing hopping on board with co-production of a brand new teacher training with a dear friend (and amazing yoga instructor) for sometime at the end of 2018 or early 2019.

4. Anatomy. Publishing my first book was a huge highlight of 2017. Perhaps even more exciting was teaching the intensive course to yoga instructors here in San Diego. 2018 brings another local intensive (dates TBD), taking the course on the road (hello, Los Angeles in May), and beginning work on a second book and deeper level anatomy training. A large goal of mine is to teach this course outside of California - so any leads on studios that would love to partner to bring Critical Anatomy to their communities would be appreciated.

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5. Balancing personal life with work. We finally got a dog! We put in the love, time, and effort to make sure his first year of life was setting him (and us) up for success. And I think we nailed it. 2018 will bring more adventures with Arlo, bonding trips with Angelo, maximizing the quality of the time we spend together as a family, and making lots and lots of memories. 


And where to improve...

1. Health and fitness. 2017 was another year spent battling injury. While it had many more highs than the previous year or two, it was still a year with more mornings of "ouch" than I'd like. I'm committed in 2018 to being better rounded - more yoga (my personal practice has been lacking), more strength training (yes, yes, yes it feels so good to be strong), appropriate recovery (hi foam roller), optimal nutrition (for performance, but also life). Because I'm committed to achieving big goals (Boston Marathon, a long trail race of some sort) and to having a year of being healthy.

2. Blogging. From a business standpoint, my weekly blogs, monthly blogs, and occasional in betweeners aren't doing much. And from a personal standpoint it's become something that I honestly am beginning to dread writing. I do not like having to write when I'm not inspired to. It feels less than authentic. So this year I'll be posting blogs when the inspiration strikes, and only when it strikes.

3. Run coaching. As the past two and a half years have led me down a yoga-centered road, I've let my run coaching and run specific teaching take a backseat. And while I had the opportunity to coach a few amazing people in 2017 (Antonette, Jessi, Jenn - to name a few) I want to do more! So in addition to more marketing and making space for more clients, I'll be continuing to teach runner's yoga every week and adding a Run Strong class to my weekly schedule. Plus, stay tuned for hopefully big announcements coming this year about expansion of my Rock Solid Runner programming!

4. Making more time for fun! I get caught up in the feeling that I should always be working. Because if I don't work, my business doesn't grow, and I don't get paid. And while that work ethic is one I appreciate and want to keep I know it is important to sprinkle some fun in. So here's to a year with more time spent with friends, enjoying coffee dates, ice cream scoops, tv shows, movies, reading more books, and playing more games. Also, planning more free events (because those are always fun) through Bodies in Motion. And generally smiling and laughing without holding anything back.


Lastly, what's coming up immediately in January?

1. I'm keeping my theming going for yoga classes. January's theme is "foundations". It's impossible to build a sturdy house without a strong foundation and it's impossible to attempt or achieve an advanced yoga posture without the same. So we'll be focusing on one foundational aspect of our asana each week and building it up to a peak pose.

Come play: 

Mondays - 12PM at Buddhi Yoga

Tuesdays - 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Wednesdays - 7PM at Spirit Yoga

Fridays - 630AM at Buddhi Yoga and 9AM at Spirit Yoga

Keep up to date with my schedule here. 

2. I'm also keeping up with the small changes to my daily routine that I've coined "Maximize my Month". They may not stick as monthly challenges, but they'll be around. The current challenge? To buy less processed and packaged foods. Yup, grocery shopping is changing. No more browsing the middle aisles for crackers, snacks, cereal, and canned foods. Let's stick to the outsides of the store - produce, fresh protein sources, bulk items - as well as visiting farmers markets. Not only will it be better for us, but it will be much more friendly to the planet. Of course, some packaging will be hard to avoid (eggs are a good example) but the less the better!


What I'm Into Wednesday - Christmas Came Early

Last year we ventured to the faraway land of Cleveland, Ohio for Christmas celebrations so this year we made the executive decision to just stay home.

And while I'm stoked for a low key holiday, it was really nice to get to celebrate early with family as well. Angelo's mom, Vickie, came into town this past weekend and we did our Christmas celebrations with her, Domenica, and Mark. 

Pro-tip: always have baked brie at Christmas. Ain't no such thing as too much cheese. 


Part of my weekend that had nothing to do with Christmas was a workshop at MOSAIC yoga in Golden Hill. It was called Visualize 2018. I have to admit, I had completely different expectations for this workshop. I knew there would be an aspect of talking about the astrological predictions for the next year - but I thought that would be a very small portion. The name indicated that we'd be doing some goal setting, or at the very least, visualization and manifestation for 2018. I'd be lying if I said I was disappointed in the workshop as a whole. 

I know everyone has different opinions on astrology. I find it entertaining and I've always been one who likes to be like, hm that's interesting. But the most I read into it is as a way to get me thinking about myself and the world around me. To analyze - just like reading a book or reading a quote or hearing a podcast might do. Seeing it as a predictor doesn't resonate with me.

BUT, because we're all about focusing on the positives, part of this workshop exceeded all of my expectations - and that was Sophie's yin class. That woman is magical. I'll be going back to yin at MOSAIC as many Thursday nights as I can. 7:15pm for anyone who wants to/needs to join me in some serious unwinding, restoration, and renewal. The power of yin is real. 


Monday morning found me in the first week of my Boston 2018 training program. Holy crap, that came up fast. After 28 days off of running, I went for 2.5 miles on Saturday just to test it out. But the real fun began Monday morning with NP.

I was pretty excited to be back for this workout because it was at Park at the Park down at Petco - and working out here has been on my list ever since I was a leader of NP.

It lived up to it's expectation. It was beautiful, clean, and challenging - stairs, hills, and a bridge race. 2.8 miles later my butt was thoroughly kicked - man, coming back from time off never gets any easier. 


This week's podcast shout out is actually two weeks of the same story. This American Life took on "Our Town" - and the issue of illegal immigration. This two part-er examines life in rural Alabama during the 1990s and 2000s as thousands of legal and illegal immigrants flooded their town to find work at poultry processing plants. It looks at employment, crime, education, and most interestingly (to me) the attitude and interactions of the different demographic groups at odds in the town.

On a larger scale, they were looking to answer the very popular questions about how immigration (both illegal and legal) impact Americans. Does it really take jobs away from American citizens? Do immigrants cause increased drug use and violent crime? Do immigrants cost taxpayers money?

In our current political climate, I thought this was super informative and illuminating on the subject. 


So the second part of our "Christmas Day" celebrations consisted of a cookie party with some friends. Here's how cookie parties work:

Everyone makes a different type of cookie. You all gather and eat said cookies. Then you take a bunch of cookies home, swearing you won't want to eat them for a while because of your current stomachache. And then you wake up in the morning and eat cookies. 

When your friends are amazing in the kitchen, you know the cookies are gonna be good. And yes, yes they were. And yes, I've put a self imposed limit of 3 cookies/day on myself. 


Between the cheese in the morning and cookies at night, we figured we probably needed some real food.

Enter Mark to save us! Mark whipped up an amazing Thai dinner Saturday evening - and I swear I've never walked into a better smelling house.

Thai coconut green curry soup with mushrooms and peppers over jasmine rice and a papaya and carrot salad that was bomb.

Yay for veggies! Now to figure out how to cook that way. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - LA is in Retrograde

Ok, so some of you who are tuned into the more spiritual side of things (and Instagram) might know this already, but Mercury is in retrograde from now until the end of the year. Yay. (That's sarcasm.)

Mercury in retrograde lends the universe to feeling a little more chaotic. Technology tends to quit working like it should. Communication definitely breaks down. And you have more of those "WTF are people doing/thinking" moments.

BUT Mercury in retrograde is also a great time for things like creativity, dreaming, brainstorming, and creating in general. So there's that.

Last Thursday I took a day trip to LA and man, was Mercury felt. It started with a plan going completely awry thanks to the serious (and crazy) wildfires and the day ended with me showing up to take a yoga class (that I was super excited about) at Wanderlust Hollywood - only to find out they had cancelled all of that afternoon/evening's classes to hold an event (without emailing or telling anyone - major communication breakdown). 

All of that being said. I still managed to have a great day in LA - so here are some of my favorites. 


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One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was go on a mini architecture tour. Little known fact, I wanted to be an architect for a very long time and I have a small fascination with architecture. So when I realized that there was a Frank Lloyd Wright house in the middle of a park in LA that I had never been to, that went on the list. And that quickly led me to wanting to visit one of his son's houses as well. 

I made my way to Barnsdall Park and got to see the Hollyhock House. Even thought it is fenced off and currently being renovated - it was beautiful. 

From there I took a drive into the Los Feliz hills to search out the Ennis House. This one is much tougher to get to. The drive is windy, narrow, and steep - and surrounded with beautiful, giant mansions the whole way (so fun to look at) and then you turn this corner and BAM the Ennis House is staring out at you. It literally took my breath away. There wasn't a great way to park and get a better look (you could if you walked or biked) but man, was that drive worth it.

Lastly, I sought out the Sowden House (by Lloyd Wright - Frank's son). This was literally on a normal street. You could park and walk right up to the gate.

This whole architecture adventure reinvigorated my love for architecture itself. Now accepting applications of other cool places to see. 



The major win and surprise of the day came in the form of beautiful gardens at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. In my quest for cool architecture, I came across Greystone and was stoked to discover that the surrounding landscape and gardens are open to the public (even though the mansion itself isn't). It was the perfect oasis in the middle of LA. A beautiful, large open space with gardens, fountains, statues, a koi pond and so many small hidden paths. Beautiful views of both the house and the city were aplenty - and on a Thursday afternoon it was almost empty. 

Do yourself a favor and go. It was so perfect and peaceful. 



The other part of my day trip excitement was food (duh) and one of the main stops on my list was the newly opened Eataly. A few things - 1. I totally forgot I've been to the Eataly in Boston (I'm an idiot). 2. I definitely didn't know Eataly in LA was in a mall - until I had to park there. 3. Wow. Overwhelming.

The Eataly in Boston was set up so much more smartly - spread out, easy to navigate, easy to meander through. I felt like Eataly LA was kind of the opposite. Tall ceilings but a warehouse-y feel that was loud, crowded, and difficult to take your time moving through. It felt rushed and like people were impatient. So I guess it felt like LA.

Either way, it's a fun experience if you do go. And yes, some of the food is amazing.



SALT AND STRAW. SALT AND STRAW. They saved my evening after finding out the yoga class was cancelled. I took myself over to the location on Larchmont and indulged. 

Their December flavors are ridiculous - peppermint hot cocoa, a grapefruit eggnog, gingerbread cookie dough, and apple brandy pecan pie to name a few. The clear winner was apple brandy pecan pie. And to my surprise (and delight) they still had sweet potato casserole on the menu from Thanksgiving!

Also to my delight - the lovely guy told me that the Little Italy San Diego location should be open BEFORE CHRISTMAS! There is a Santa after all.



Long drives call for good podcasts. It was tough to pick just one... but this week goes out to:

Radiolab for their episode titled Super Cool.

I won't ruin it for you. Just listen. 

What I'm Into Wednesday - The Most Wonderful Time...

Well, it's officially December - which means we are officially into holiday season. Thank you to the lovely humans who officially waited until December hit in order to decorate, blast Christmas music, and get extra festive. I appreciate it, November is far too early. 

So, in honor of embracing the holidays, here we go - let the holiday themed blogs begin!



This Sunday I had the honor of being the speaker during an event to celebrate the grand opening of Saje Wellness in the La Jolla UTC mall. The theme was talking about community wellness, and how the path to bringing wellness to your community has to start with bringing wellness to your own life. It was an amazing experience (and kind of emotional) to recount my path, my journey, through adolescence, high school, college, and my twenties to where I am today. 

I was so happy with the turnout (such an amazing group of women who came out) and with the space! If you haven't actually been into a Saje store - find one near you. They nail the in store experience and you will immediately feel your wellness improve just by stepping in. 


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We are in the first week of the #Top20of2017 giveaway - and it is a blast! We know that it's always fun to give gifts and presents away to people and this is no different! It's been so enjoyable to play Santa Claus and shower giveaway prizes and gifts - on people I both know and don't know. 

People would be lying if they said they don't love free stuff, especially free stuff that they win. Are you playing along? Follow me on IG @thelpinsd and follow each day's instructions!


Winter means Crockpot season. And Crockpot season means SOUP! This week I made a chicken sausage/lentil/couscous concoction - spicy andouille chicken sausage, lentils, couscous, tomatoes, spinach, bell peppers and chicken bone broth. So tasty, very healthy, and surprisingly filling. 

Any suggestions for other soup recipes to try out?


Last week I started a new end of yoga class tradition - seated meditation. You're probably saying, "what"? That's definitely not new. True, but a consistent seated meditation isn't something I've been doing at the end of every one of my yoga classes and it's something I've been wanting to incorporate.

So last week we started with 60 seconds. This week we're up to two minutes. As I said last week, 60 seconds simultaneously isn't a long time and is also a really long time. In this busy season it can be challenging to find 60 minutes to spend on your mat or 20 minutes to meditate - but you can always find 60 seconds to sit somewhere quiet and listen to your breath. Try it out. It's powerful.



Okay, it's time to confess: cookies are my absolute weakness this time of year. I love love love holiday cookies - gingerbread, shortbread, pepperminty chocolate things. Basically everything in the Trader Joe's cookie aisle. And I'm also okay with indulging. So I bought my first box of holiday cookies from TJs last week - glazed Lebkuchen. These soft, chewy, spiced molasses cookies disappeared real fast. And they were delish!

Best part of holiday cookies? Doing a cookie exchange with friends. What should I make??

Maximize My Month - December 2017

We've made it. The final month of 2017. Together we've tried out and experimented with all sorts of mini life tricks and hacks to see what kind of results we could get each month.

Some were winners and others not so much, but the important thing is that we've been trying. All year, trying. To make ourselves incrementally better. And I think it's working!

November's goal was to not hit snooze. Not a single morning. Guess what? It worked! I woke up with my first alarm this past month. It's been day changing (I feel so so so much better), day in and day out. And I'll definitely keep it up. PS did you know that with the new iPhone OS you can turn off the snooze function all together? Yup. Totally doing that.


So as we move into December, how are we going to finish the year? While I've been great about using the extra 5-10 minutes in the morning to meditate I've also noticed that my habit of picking my phone up to shut off the alarm has led to very early morning social media browsing, news reading, and email checking. Yup, that's what those 4:something AM IG likes are all about.

SO here's what we're up to for December: no e-mail, no socials, no news, no returning texts UNTIL I've meditated. The pieces are all there, now let's prioritize them. 

Because, you see, once I've meditated I'm much more focused, aligned, and excited for the day - which means I'm much less likely to get lost in the black hole of technology.

Small changes. That's what we're all about!

Cheers to one more in 2017!