Let’s face it, over this pandemic we have all succumbed to online shopping to purchase as much of our necessities as possible. In the spirit of shopping, I wanted to share with you some of my top Amazon picks for non-essential items, that are both very affordable and totally awesome (albeit, random).
As you might know, I try to live a minimalist life. Which means I don’t often go on spending sprees on Amazon, but these affordable products are all so worthy of sharing as they are truly some of my favorite purchases ever. All at a steal price. It also means, in an effort to avoid overconsumption, I practice, ‘in with one product out with another.'
It is also important to mention that I tend to buy less items on Amazon and opt instead to buy high quality brands (particularly for clothes). And as for body products, my general rule of thumb is that I stay as “natural” as possible. If I consume one of the top ingredients listed on a body product, even better!
With all of that said, these products still pass every test and are all LM-approved. Here we go!
I recently shared with you that 95% of my time was spent catering to my academic career. Writing, researching, reading papers, reviewing papers, meeting with students (masters students I mentor, undergraduate students, and fellow PhD students). Aside from all of this and the massive amounts of time spent conducting research in the lab, there are other details that aren’t permitted to be shared on social media and typically require 30% of my time, overall. I’ve decided that rather than strictly keep my Instagram account professional yoga business details, I am going to make it real. Much more real. By extension that means all things social (Facebook, Blog, and Newsletter) will all be more real. In other words, my Instagram account represents all of the social media avenues through which I share myself with the world.
Figuratively speaking, I am taking back ownership of this account. I will share with you the real process of all things beyond the yoga mat, which is simply life really, and frankly much more juicy and interesting. I will still share yoga announcements, but I am finding these perfect little IG squares to be increasingly incongruent with my own life.
With every passing year of my PhD program, I’ve moved further away from this perfect little yogi, who lives her carefree life, as she frolics this beautiful island. Don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying the process (as best as a PhD student can), and I do love this island. However, in an effort to live my values, I feel the need to make a shift. I want to share a more authentic view of my life as I know it. A life in the present that looks very different than the life of three years ago. It is much more mature. It is much more scholarly. It is much more awesome.
Now, as I look at my feed, or where I’ve left it (I rarely post actual photos anymore), it has morphed into a stream of solely superficial shares. Partially, this was due to lack of time, but more likely it was reticence on my part to share the real struggle of life.
Recently, I realized that I felt totally detached from IG. I didn’t even enjoy popping in to see others photos. I was critiquing in my own mind what felt like inauthentic shares by others, yet, I look at my own shares and see that there is little representation of struggle or hardship. Additionally, what is present (mostly yoga) only comprises 5% of my life! I realized that the only way I would continue to use Instagram would be if I were willing to share an accurate representation of my own life.
When we are quick to judge others, it’s usually because we are also quick to judge ourselves.
So if you are reading this, and thinking, oh darn I just shared a non-deep post about an apple, you do you! My point is not that we should all strive for this vulnerability and be open to sharing, my point is that I was unknowingly uncomfortable by how my IG mirrored my own inability to effectively collide these two worlds (academics and yoga).
I am giving myself permission to share the details; because life is messy, hard, frustrating, but also beautiful, brilliant, and even spectacular in its mundaneness. I want to help my worlds collide and in doing so, share my process.
I want to add value. Be of service. Be a light. Be a teacher. Be a role model. And that starts with owning my own truth. It’s nothing radical or life changing, simply more real.
I no longer feel the same exhaustion of teaching thousands of yoga classes, I feel the brain the fatigue of staring at this computer. When I first became a yogi and IG was in its infancy, I was so raw and authentic in my sharing. Yoga opened my heart to a way of living that I had never experienced before and I was singing it from the rooftops, it was my own real life happiness and growth being depicted via these squares. I stopped this when the popularity of IG blew up, because it felt too vulnerable. And then I went back to school and I had a permanent excuse not to post! I told myself ‘I am a professional’ I can’t!
As you can see, with my stack of journal articles 5” thick, on most days I feel like my brain might spontaneously combust. Because I am pulled in so many directions, and this dichotomy of subjects/business was overwhelming me in its differences. I want to give 100% to each of the various hats I wear, as I know we all do. The reality is I am an academic and a yogi and a dog mom, navigating through real life struggles, and honestly ready to share this perspective. Spoiler alert, it is very difficult. But I hope to share some of my yogis tricks of the trade.
Writing the truth in my newsletter the other day - 95% of my time is spent on things other than simply yoga – I realized, it was no one’s fault for not realizing this but my own. It highlighted that I’ve only shared pieces of my life on this account with you, in a way that is wholly inaccurate.
Real talk – my academic life doesn’t care about my yoga business, and my yoga business doesn’t care that I teach and research at a University. I think my own inner frustrations at both sides not realizing this is ultimately what made me acknowledge that I have these two careers – side by side – but no one (other than my husband) knows about it!
I realized that I hold the key to making my own shift, to ameliorating problems, to living more authentically, to truly unlocking more happiness and growth.
In my teaching of yoga classes (see? I always have to specify if it’s academic or yoga teaching), I often share the struggles of academic life. But by no means do I share the nitty gritty, the daily grind, the sheer frustration (Why isn’t this analysis running? Ah there is a data entry error! Where is it? Not sure, let’s go through 1,000 files and find it.)! Likewise, in my academic life, I never fully share the role yoga plays in my life. Cue me sitting in a meeting thinking but not verbalizing, ‘well meditation would help calm the nervous system down.’ My IG account – as an extension of my life - will be that new living truth.
Writing the truth the other day also felt damn good. It was like a big exhale. Because, here is the thing, I do think these little squares can be of service. I do love the platform it offers: to share a window into our own world with a simple photo and the power of words. These little squares are extremely helpful resources and sources of community.
Anyways, thank you for reading this far. I definitely plan to continue to update you with all things yoga offerings (and there are plenty!), but I want to invite you to join me on this new journey that is much more a balance of teaching yoga and navigating my way through the world of biomechanical research. I want to invite you into my world as an female academic, who practices yoga off the mat and in her life. I already feel excited about this new chapter. Maybe I should run a biomechanical analysis of the alignment of handstands? That would be fun! Any volunteers? See? I am stoked!
Lastly, HUGE mahalo to my Goal Chasers Summer 2020 cohort for helping me realize my own potential. I am hearing my own voice more clearly, trying to practice being above the line, living my legacy, and focusing on my values. I am so grateful to these women for being a part of this program that I offer. I said on the first night of lecture, that I’ve opened this work again because I myself need to DIG IN to the heart of the matter and figure my sh*t out. As we progress through the series, I keep finding more clarity, more ah-ha moments, and more hell yesses.
First I want to say thank you to each of you for being a part of my journey. As a doctoral student, I haven’t had the luxury of time in my schedule for the last few years. The unique opportunity to hit pause on my research at the end of my third year, was extremely unexpected, and initially, incredibly nerve wracking. Overwhelmingly, the pause has proved to be a blessing.
Beyond the regularly scheduled programming - my research in the human performance lab - I have been able to dive back into my work with you all. I have been able to apply a lot of what I’ve learned in my studies to all things movement and yoga with students of mine (you!). What has made this time even more special is that many of you on my mailing list don’t live here in Hawaii with me. I have been able to reconnect with so many of you, new and old students, friends from home, college, and friends of my friends!
And for this reason, I wanted to take a moment and say, thank you!! It has been lovely to “see” you on the yoga mat, to read your email replies, and really humbling to grow through this experience alongside you. Thank you for supporting me.
Lukewarm is no good. When I am interested in something, I truly go all in, and here I am. I’ve learned that the moments in my life where I feel my most vulnerable, are the same moments that become those pivotal moments of growth. My husband encouraged me for years to take my teaching online, but I never wanted to. I felt icky about Instagram influencers and I thought, no my students are here in Hawaii and I like to see them in person and I like to physically adjust bodies. I didn’t think online teaching, in any form, was for me.
In hindsight, I see right through this fixed mindset. Really, what was governing me was the fear of effing up! Embarrassing myself online. How irrational is that? To all of my yoga teachers reading, no one is going to care if you cue the wrong thing! Likely, they won’t even notice. Heck, go cue the right leg twice in Sun B for all I care (this is a yoga teaching joke). Additionally, I’ve taught thousands and thousands of yoga classes, teaching yoga is like brushing my teeth at this point.
My Dad has reminded me my whole life: “perfection is for the next life.” I used to wonder what this really meant, one of his many Dad-isms. The meaning of this Dad-ism lands very clearly these days.
Be vulnerable. Be real. Be a learner. Be humble.
So here is me letting go of perfect. I am working with the little free time that I do have, to try to hustle and offer you all that I can! I am juggling my academics and my yoga – because I want to! It has meant many late nights and early mornings, but I am so enthusiastic about this next step, it doesn’t even matter. I am so excited to take my yoga platform online.
Join me online, if you haven’t already! I have a YouTube channel, that I am now filling up with yoga classes. No more bikini handstand videos for this girl. I am making my channel official.
In the spirit of gratitude, I am so happy to share with you these two free yoga classes. I have uploaded these high quality classes to YouTube.
In addition to my Sunday and Thursday 8-9:15am classes, I will be uploading free classes to YouTube! Please subscribe to my channel, that way you will get notified if I upload a new class or video!
I would love to see you live on the yoga mat for a class via Zoom. In those classes, I get to see you and cue directly based on what I see you doing. I also love interacting with you and feeling the sense of community. Again, thank you all for showing up and being the most awesome community network. The links for Sunday and Thursday classes can be found below.
When a wise farmer is considering buying a horse, they always know to examine the horse's mouth. Because the condition of the horse’s mouth reflects the health of its entire body. No farmer will fork over top dollar for a horse with missing choppers or sore gums. In horses, like humans, dental problems signal other health problems.
Poor oral health has been linked to diabetes and ulcers, but the most striking correlation is with cardiovascular diseases (heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis). Several studies have reported that heart disease patients have higher rates of tooth decay and gum disease.
Roberts J. Genco of the University of Buffalo studied 1,372 people over 10 years and reported that heart disease was three times more prevalent for those with gum disease. Another study, published in the Brittish Medical Journal, reported that people with inflammation of the gums had a 25% increased risk of heart disease.
Researchers believe that the oral bacteria that cause dental disease, enter the bloodstream through small tears in the gums. These bacteria cause inflammation in the circulatory system. It seems that if you have good dental health you are likely to have good cardiovascular health too!
How Does Oil Pulling Work?
Oil pulling is 3,000 year old Ayurvedic Medicine practice that is used as an oral therapy. Turns out research supports this practice, oil pulling is believed to help in the excretion of toxic heavy metals, and works to “pull” bacteria, viruses and protozoa from the oral cavity. Oil pulling has been found to be effective in fighting gingivitis, plaque, tooth decay and microorganisms that cause bad breath (bacteria).
How does this work? Well most microorganisms inhabiting the mouth are single-celled. Cells are covered with a lipid (fatty membrane) that serves as the cell’s skin. When these cells come into contact with oil (fat), they adhere to each other.
According to Ayurveda the tongue is connected to various organs (kidneys, heart, lungs, small intestine, and spine). Oil pulling is believed to activate salivary enzymes which absorb toxins (chemical, bacterial, environmental) from the blood and are removed from the body through the tongue. Which is why this practice is said to detoxify and purify the entire human body. One counter argument is that since the oral mucosa is not a semipermeable membrane, toxins of the body from the blood cannot pass through it.
Here are the steps:
First thing in the morning, put one tablespoon of organic cold pressed coconut oil (this is what I use - thank you Costco and Amazon) in your mouth and swish it around. You can start with 5 minutes. And work your way up to 10, then 15, and ultimately reach the goal of 20 minutes of swishing. All you need is a gentle swish, move the oil all around and between your teeth. Do not swallow any of the liquid. Remember this process is “pulling” bacteria and toxins from your mouth. When you are done, this is very important, spit it out in the trash can. If you spit it in the sink, the oil can clog the pipes! Next, thoroughly wash your mouth with clean warm saline water or tap water and clean your teeth with your finger or use routine tooth brushing (use a different toothbrush than your normal one).
I personally jumped right to the 20 minutes per day of oil pulling. I did not have any jaw soreness or tightness, and I thought why not try to extract (pun intended) the full benefit? Admittedly on some days I swish for 15 minutes or 18 minutes. I use coconut oil, because I like the taste and also it has the added benefit of lauric acid which has anti-microbial agents and anti-inflammatory properties.
Your gums should become pinker and healthier. The practice is said to resolve dry mouth/throat and chapped lips. Really there are endless purported benefits, your teeth should become whiter, breath fresher, oral cavity muscles and jaws stronger. I am just going to keep going, but trust me this list isn’t exhaustive.
Prevention of dental caries, gingivitis, oral candidias and periodontitis
Tooth pain reduction
Fixes mobile teeth
Improves oral hygiene.
When practiced regularly it will freshen and stimulate the mind and strengthen your senses. It is beneficial for sore throats, dry face, impaired vision, taste loss and anorexia.
Need I say more?
P.S. please comment below or reach out to me if you have tried this method. I would love to know how it has worked for you. Also, if you try the method after reading this post, please let me know how it goes! Email [email protected], mahalo!
I wanted to share with you this Summer offering of mine. I announced the release of this Goal Chaser Series two weeks ago, before the world changed. The BLM Movement has rocked the world for the better, including my own (world). Nonetheless, I went silent on sharing this since the day I mentioned it. As last week I was immersed in reading about race and all matters related to BLM.
As a PhD student, I generally crawl out of my academic hibernation each Summer and say hello to all of my yoga students and jump back into my life mission work. Given my own shift in focus over the last week, I went back and forth on whether or not I should postpone all of my Summer offerings, or whether I shall proceed as scheduled.
With everything I’ve learned in the last week, silence is deadly. I am choosing to share this offering with you all, and I feel now is as important a time as ever before to take a new look at our goals. It’s as good a time as ever to question how we show up in the world. And no time like the present, we start a week from tomorrow (June 15th)!
Please consider joining me for this 4-week adventure online via Zoom. The weekly lectures are 60-minutes long. There is a bit of homework each week. There is some yoga practice included in the series as well. All lectures will be recorded, in case you live in Germany and don't wish to wake up at 5AM to join the lecture live.
As much as I would like to write a heartfelt reflection for you, I am struggling. I’ve had endless thoughts over the last week on George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement. And though I have felt compelled to share my two cents, I am going to try to keep it very brief.
In my first draft of this email to you, I wrote, "Now is not the time to amplify my own voice. I truly believe that message. Now is the time to shine the lights on black voices." I am noticing my own speech patterns and have been hyperaware of my words, and as such, I sent this email to a black yoga student and friend of mine, Leana.
Her only feedback to me was this:
"Your message is lovely and very clear.
The only thing I would say is that you shouldn’t be silent. (Not saying that you are), but Your voice needs to be amplified. And you are amplifying you’re voice, especially since you are talking about systemic racism and giving your readers suggestions on material they can read to learn to do better. That’s amplification right there!
Black voices are being heard right now but we also need allies, like you, who have a voice in the community ?. I keep telling people that silence is so loud and people notice."
As for the reading material I advise, keep reading. I asked my friend if I should delete the originally stated line, and she responded, "No, no, no. Not at all."
She recommended the correction to write, “Now is the time to amplify my voice.”
And she finished with, "Because now is the time ??♀️." - Thank you, Leana!
So, here I go. I want to acknowledge this important moment in our lives. First came the pandemic and months of fear and chaos. And now the entire world has galvanized around creating lifelong change. We are living in a pivotal moment in history, to say the least. The year 2020 will be in the history books, with a loud message.
Behind the scenes, I have been reading, learning, and talking to family about race. On the one hand, I have never really had these conversations with my family. But on the other, the discussions on ideologies, equality, complicit behaviors and silence, is quite familiar to me. As a liberal arts educated psychology (cognition) major, I took courses in history, sociology, and psychology. Including those on colonization, race, gender, and sexuality. These courses expanded my mind to explore and see life through a broader scope, thank you Skidmore College.
At times, I questioned my own involvement in systemic racism, but never to this current degree. This is the power of the current movement. It is so important, so overdue, it has been silenced, but now it is here. These discussions are difficult and uncomfortable, but ultimately, these conversations will help evolve the world to be a better place for all beings. Before we get there, to that future scenario, Black Lives Matter. Right here, right now, and urgently.
It is not my intention to delve into all of my thoughts here, believe me, this is my attempt at brevity. The systemic racism and injustice strongholds in America are deeply connected to education. I know that is not by any means an all-encompassing explanation, but it is a factor.
How can one begin to question their own involvement in racism if they deny its very existence? Education will help decompose the false conceptualization of a racist as that of a violent outlier. For starters, I can recommend the book White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. It is an uncomfortable but powerful read.
Aside from reading, I have used the resource of social media, but at times it has felt overwhelming.
I’ve stepped back, logged off, and checked in mentally and physically. I’ve gone for long runs, and practiced yoga. I considered canceling both last week’s yoga class and this week’s class, because I am questioning everything. Second guessing whether or not now is the time for yoga.
I concluded that yes, it is. In fact, I can’t think of a better time to practice than right now. We need to stay fit, mentally and physically. We need to show up, and do better, for ourselves, our family, and the world. If you have a million thoughts circulating right now, as I do, let’s clear space and make sense of them on the mat tomorrow.
In lieu of donating to Aloha United Way tomorrow, 50% of the proceeds from tomorrow’s class will go towards Black Lives Matter to help fund the movement.
Respond to this email if you would like to take class tomorrow from 8-9:15am. I will respond to you with the link and password.