18 September 2011


Guess who just finished her 8-month long yoga teacher training?  Yes, that's me, if you were wondering  (and by "you", I'm not quite sure who I'm talking to because I'm pretty sure I'm talking to myself).   So, I'd like to share with you something that I think needs to be shared.  Cupcakes, of course.  We all know that those who don't share cupcakes will certainly not be rewarded in the next world, so tread lightly my dear friends.  Besides cupcakes, though, I wanted to share with you a small tip.  Practice yoga. Please, just do it.  I should correct myself by suggesting everyone practice yoga at one point in their lives, even if it is just a one-time, eye-rolling, omg-get-me-outta-here experience.  As a practicing yogini, I feel it is my civic duty to drop this small hint to the world.  

The practice of yoga is not just some boring, yawn-fest consisting of downward dogs and tree poses.  It's  an experience that over time will take over your entire being- the mind, body and spirit.  Yes, I said it- that Triple Threat we hear over and over again being mentioned by those we consider to be "hippie-dippie, La-dee-da and Kumbaya".  Well, seriously, grow up, it's not 1992 anymore! Before you think I'm going to take it on down to Buddha-ville, just listen.  How many opportunities does one get in the day to quiet the mind of those never-ending to-do lists, internal conversations with ourselves about things that happened last night, this morning, or will happen tomorrow, or turn our glance away from our smart phone, keyboard, or remote?  During a yoga practice, one is able to turn their gaze inwards, away from the external, and focus on one's true self.  True, you are doing physical work, but without realizing it, you are actually tuning out the distractions of the outside world and giving your mind the space to exhale.  Perhaps this is why people find yoga to be so painful or boring.  The stimulation is not solely received from the outside which is what most people are looking for, but rather it is found from within- and that, my lovelies, is where the real challenge begins.  

If you practice yoga over a period of time, I can assure you that you will find your stress level has decreased.  The beauty is that it will happen without you having even noticed- effortless!  You will find that your reactions to situations and things normally found to be stress inducing will be altered.  What you have done is trained your mind to slow down and take a moment.  Over the past eight months, I increased my yoga practice to at least three times a week in addition to the weekend long trainings that were once a month. There was definitely a point where I noticed, "hey, why are my circuits not overheating?" when I was faced with a stressful situation at work or with a loved one, et al. It's that moment where you reap the benefits of your practice because really, the yoga we practice on our mats is only a preparation for the real practice that occurs off the mat aka the real world.  

Oh, and one more thing: it's a PRACTICE.  Change will come eventually, gradually, and to those who wait.  Self-acceptance and non-judgement are cultivated as you realize that one day your balance sucks or another day you just can't stop mentally cursing out your teacher when she keeps making you do chair pose.  IT'S OK! You notice these thoughts and sensations but practice the ability to acknowledge them and let them go.  We often don't realize how harsh we are on ourselves.  For what reason?  Truly, our biggest enemy and our biggest fan turns out to be ourself.  So, go easy, stay present, and be good to yourself.  You'll find your best self this way...whatever "best" is that day!

If none of this has enticed you, how about the prospect of having a hot body?

Ok, you may or may not end up with a body like Giselle's, but I think you owe it to yourself to at least try.   Would you ever pass up a cupcake that was offered to you, all frosted and fresh?  Go on, take a bite and enjoy the moment . 

21 May 2011

The Coachella Effect

So, enough about tattoos (for now, at least- I'm still getting one) but I wanted to share with you another life-changing experience that doesn't involve reading books on food/agriculture/environment or Rapture.  Last month, I made the pilgrimage to Indio, California for the hipster event of the year for all that's relevant and irreverent, self-consciously un-self aware, and packs more fedoras and indian feathers in one polo field than any Urban Outfitters global outreach program could provide.  Coachella, you stole my heart.

It was everything I imagined and more.  The moment I arrived I knew there was no where else in the world I could possibly be every year on April 14 other than here.  Barefoot? sure.  Dance to no music?  why not.  Did you know that you can levitate by just listening to a beautiful and heart-stopping set by Arcade Fire?  I didn't think it was possible, but it is.  In more good news, I found out there are a list of other things that you can experience while being sober and simply being immersed in the musical and ethereal surroundings.  You can:

1) get high
2) have an orgasm
3) meet your maker
4) stay focused (sans amphetamines)
5) learn spanish, french, or russian (depending on where you're standing in the crowd)

Coachella.  It's more age-defying, detoxifying, and anti-depressive than any amount of omega-3's, B12's, or worts on St. John.

So, I'll see you in Indio, kids!

03 April 2011

Things That Make You Say....

Something so small as this little anchor tattoo can evoke such a strong desire to deface my own flesh with such.  Maybe it's the combination of it being Sunday today, Kate's freshly cut fringe, the sunlit backdrop, the Dior sponsor, the pale gold color palette and a light-handed cat-eye.... I say not "hmmmm", rather, "I WANT".

What do you think?  Now, I've done some thinking and here are my resolved concerns:

It's certainly small and nondescript enough to pass off as a God-given tattoo, especially if you wave your hands around enough to distract the accuser of your non-existent existent body art.  

You could take engagement and wedding photos without exposing it.  

Your future in-laws (currently a figment of your mind's eye) would not be able to judge you for it at least until you're a good three years into the marriage and by that time you've probably already won them over. 

It does not violate the professional dress code one is supposed to maintain between the hours of 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday and select Saturdays.  

My last concern may, however, remain unresolved and to that I can only defer to the great Madge: Papa don't preach.  

That's right, I've made up my mind....

24 January 2011

Are You a "Love her" or a "Hate her"?

 Joanna Newsom: Her music sings divisive but album art is so magnetic. I'd proudly stick those covers on my fridge any day.

06 December 2010

Eat. Pray. Lulu.

Well, I've recently uncovered a new obsession.  No, it's not Zumba or WikiLeaks.  It's better.  Lululemon Athletica ie the makers of the yoga pants that make your "butt look good".  Yah, I know, I've sold my soul to the vanity Gods, trend Gods, and those love-to-hate energetic pep-in-their-step long-n-lean Gods.  Sorry, guys, I'm hooked.

For some time, I've walked past the Lululemon store and seen packs of women all tucked and snug in their yoga booty bottoms, pony tails swaying, carrying those luscious, pop-art re-usable bags filled with all types of goodies.  I swore to myself that I wouldn't surrender to their spandex sorority...until I found myself wandering into the store just to settle my curiousity.

I give the employees of this store major credit.  No one wants to work in a place where they have to tell women that they "may want to go up a size".  Critiquing women in spandex is about as gruesome as the jobs that garbagemen, telemarketers, and sewage plant operators face.  However, I began to appreciate their honesty and altruistic plight to make sure I had the right pair of bottoms that I was surely convinced  would help me stop world hunger single-handedly.

Well, 12 pairs of pants piled on the floor and almost two hours later, I had to force myself to leave unless I wanted to start looking for a part-time job to pay for a major incurring debt on my credit card. I cheerily received my bag with two pairs of wonder pants kindly folded inside and bounced my way out of the store, a click in my heels and a fling of my pony-tail. "Dear God," I thought, "What is in these pants??!" Well, it's not a sin, rather their signature Luon (tm) fabric, designed with all the tush technology to make you justify the pricetag.  They felt amazing and above all, I felt like I was walking on the Stairway to Health Heaven.  It wasn't just about the way they made me look, but the way they made me feel.  Is that enough cheese for you out there? I hope so, because there isn't much more where that came from.

Lululemon is a company that markets a lifestyle based on positivity, health, and overall well-being in a non-exhaustive, savvy way. People like them because of what they represent, the goodness that they bring and the positivity that they promote.  Sounds just like your favorite frozen-yogurt establishment, huh? Well, that's another healthy obsession of mine- and my backside thanks both of them.

Put the birth control to bed

This is what happens when I reintroduce myself to television.  9 by Design on Bravo follows the design team Cortney and Robert Novogratz and their company Sixx Design. Sprinkled with 7 children, they are the hipster VonTrapp Family, with design being their melody. If a photo of Johnny Cash replacing a baby [insert your favorite, fuzzy farm animal here] in the nursery isn't hipster enough, well, I don't know what is....

05 October 2010

The Grand Legrand

Last weekend I had the pleasure of having my life frosted with a sweet and dreamy trip to La-La land, more commonly referred to as Los Angeles.  The stars were blazing like rebel diamonds cut out from the Hollywood Walk of Fame (thanks, Brandon) and during the day the sun blazed, too. No, seriously, on Sunday it hit a record 113 degrees.  

More importanly, the weekend ended with the reason why it even began in the first place: Vampire Weekend playing at the Hollywood Bowl, with the pro-makeout band Beach House opening. Victoria Legrand takes care of vocals in a beautiful set of melodies and musical arrangement that has kept me listening to their latest album Teen Dream on repeat for quite some time now.  Although I always gave credit to her voice as being the bullet train headed straight for one's heart, that night her performance convinced me that it is Ms. Legrand herself acting as the force.  She'll haunt you, hypnotize you...and have you convinced it's a good idea to air-dry your curly/frizzy hair and wear shaggy bangs that hide your eyes to the outside world. Even if you work under fluorescent lighting.

Vampire Weekend gave a lovely performance to the largest crowd they had apparently ever played to.  I usually don't like to go to stadium shows but for this lineup I made an exception and turned my musical nose downwards. If you don't know much about the band, here's a little bio:

Ezra Koenig (vocals, guitar): - perpetuator of girls fantasies to marry diplomats, intentionally un-self aware, godhead to female groupies of child bearing age (that ranges from age 11-37 depending on where you live and what's in the water), pupil stimulator, "smart and cute and smart and cute...and  omg he's so smart and so cute!", keeps Cupid in business by saying things like "I like this song. It's really fragrant."

Rostam Batmanglij (keyboards, vocals): our favorite un-Iranian-American under the age of 26 who is ok with wearing a rainbow, rocks his Baba Joon's sweater in the summer heat, makes use of the proverbial Persian "classical piano training" we were all subjected to and is actually making music rather than entertaining relatives he doesn't really like that much

Chris.... (drums): somewhat cute and entertaining enough to make you think twice about dismissing the New Jersey fist pump

Chris....(bass): I don't care about him. And I'm pretty sure he doesn't care about me.

The night was magical and in the words of Ms. Legrand herself, "Hollywood is magic."

She may think it's magic, but I sure think it's grand.