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#108DaysofYoga

The #108daysofyoga challenge invites the practitioner to evaluable many aspects of the self:

Commitment.

Accountability.

Honesty.

Forgiveness.

Acceptance.

Today officially marks 108 days of my recommitment to my yoga practice. With inspiration taken from my friend Elle Beau, I embarked on a personal challenge to practice some sort of yoga asana or meditation. At the time I began the challenge, Elle had recently completed her first 108 days of practice and since we often inspire one another, I felt inspired to follow in her footsteps.

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I realized I had a huge opportunity to immerse myself in the SF yoga community more so than I had in the previous months and a chance to recommit to the practice that inspired my profession, my career and my life! While Elle initially committed to one hour of asana practice led by another teacher everyday, I allowed myself a bit more flexibility in the discipline.

For me, it didn’t matter whether I practiced under the guidance of another teacher, if I practiced a quick online video or if I explored my personal practice. I knew myself and sometimes I just needed to sit in meditation or throw my legs up the wall (viparita karani) or lay in savasana.

And I indeed did it all. I took hot and sweaty vinyasa classes. I refined my postures in alignment focused classes. I explored my passion for movement in empty, expansive rooms all alone.

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I completed a 100-hour module of Jason’s Crandell’s Advanced Yoga Teacher Training. Not only did I practice in various studios and clubs around San Francisco, I also practiced in numerous cities that I love: Tahoe, Santa Barbara, Boulder, Vail, Denver & Palm Springs.

I sat in meditation. In my studio apartment. At a winery in Santa Cruz. In the yoga room at SFO.

I laid in savasana and fell asleep numerous times. I chanted. I found my breath.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Breathe.

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When I started the challenge, I was in such a good place, full of energy and vibrancy because I was on the tail end of another personal challenge: an entire month of going dry and vegan.

Since January, my relationship with sobriety and veganism has ebbed and flowed. For the most part, I eat clean with a plant based diet but like many people, I like meat and sugar and I do like to imbibe every now and then. To be honest, at times, its excessive. Other times, I stay clear of the vice. I swing the pendulum often. But thankfully yoga always brings me back to balance.

You might be reading this hoping I’ll say something super profound but I’m not sure I will deliver. I’m an idealist but also a realist and while I certainly benefited from this challenge, I also accepted my humanness; understanding the fact that I’m set up to excel but also bound to fail.

So what have I gained from this experience? Well, I’m certainly grateful that I prioritized my practice everyday and sincerely believe that I will keep it up and that it will continue to keep me humble and grounded. If anything, it has inspired me to get more connected with my personal practice and as a teacher of this discipline, that is of the utmost importance.

This rule applies to all of us.

If we are not connected to the self, how can we be in service of another?

Ok yogis, as always, thanks for reading my musings. Off to class #108.

Happy Saturday!

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P.S. Why 108? The easiest way that I can explain the significance of 108 is to spell out what each number represents like an acronym: (1) Everything (0) Nothing (8) Infinity.

There are many other significant points so if you want to geek out on that…click here.

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My Dry & Vegan January

January was an auspicious month.

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2018 kicked off with the wolf moon on New Year’s Day and the super blue blood moon finished out the lunar cycle yesterday, leaving us with a few potent opportunities to reflect, to reset and to recreate some new ways of living.

Over the last 31 days, I’ve committed to sobriety and veganism. While the time certainly flew by, I am proud of myself for creating and honoring these commitments to my health. My discipline is undeniable and it feels extremely empowering to proclaim resolutions and to celebrate the accomplishments.

NO ALCOHOL

Being dry for the entire month was much easier than I anticipated, considering how much I’ve imbibed throughout the years. Regressive patterns tend to show up without expectation so I was nervous that I would miss the vice. Still, I had enjoyed weeks without it in the past so I knew I could do it and I was overdue for a much needed break.

Throughout the month, I assumed the disclaimer that I wasn’t allowed to have a single drop. Mission accomplished! I definitely thought of how nice it would be have a glass of wine when I got home from a long day or to enjoy a margarita with my (vegan) tacos but it really wasn’t necessary. I genuinely like a good fizzy water (i.e. Seltzer, San Pellegrino, Orangina) so those became nice substitutes. And when I went out for tacos with friends, I tried out something I wouldn’t normally order-Horchata, a rice-milk based cinnamon drink.

Today, I feel great and I sincerely believe that my relationship with substances can be healthy and balanced in the future. And while I’m not rushing to have a drink today, I am going to pitch a new brewery for Après Yoga events tomorrow so I’ll have to sample the product before I finalize the deal.

NO ANIMAL PRODUCTS

A friend suggested I join him in removing red meat from our diets for the month of January but since I rarely eat red meat as it is, I took it one step further and decided to go vegan. (SIDE NOTE: I heard he ate short ribs on January 1st)

Going vegan for the month was actually a lot more challenging than going dry. While I usually prefer to eat a plant-based diet, I’m still not convinced that going 💯 vegan is for me. I absolutely love eating vegetables and helping the environment so I figured it would be an easy change. I was wrong, vegans are a lot more limiting than vegetarians. I was wrong. In the beginning of the month, I found myself craving an Italian sub or a Filet Mignon. The cravings subsided but I still caved twice and opted for fish. (I was served cioppinni and grilled salmon at special events and it was divine!)

Throughout the month, I realized how vegans are a lot more limited in food choices than vegetarians. Luckily, San Francisco is a healthy foodie town so I can enjoy my almond milk latte with a vegan pastry. But a vegan pastry is still a pastry and loaded with sugar. I had less choices when it came to quick and easy eats so I found myself substituting my vices of alcohol and meat for sugar and caffeine.

I know I have an opportunity to get more creative and prepare my own vegan meals at home but I’m a busy woman and I don’t always have the time or energy to make something else for dinner besides soup, salad or a grain bowl. So today, I’m stepping off the vegan wagon but I can see myself favoring the vegan options in the future. I want to eat clean and protect all the precious creatures that inhabit the Earth.

In the end, its all about balance.

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If you are considering going dry or vegan, here are the 10 benefits I’ve enjoyed from my January challenge:

TOP 10 BENEFITS OF BEING A DRY VEGAN YOGINI:

10) Lighter Disposition

I’m a much happier person without booze.

9) Regulated System

That’s right. No further explanation needed.

8) Slimmer Waistline

Less sugar and dairy = less bloat

7) More Energy

Caffeine helps with this too but I definitely feel more energized.

6) Break on the Bank Account

Animal products & alcohol cost more $ than veggies & soda water!

5) Clear & Focused Mind

Look into my eyes and you can see the clarity shine through!

4) Better Sleep

No hangovers allowed, you wake up refreshed and ready for the day!

3) Increased Productivity

More time to do what motivates you every day!

2) Creative Use of “Extra” Time

More time to be present, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Take walks, have deep conversations, meditate.

1) More Strength

This is probably the most obvious benefit for me. My arm balances have been rock solid lately and I can definitely attribute that to my overall improved health and well being!

Congratulations to my fellow Dry January friends! If you ever feel inspired to join me for another challenge like this, feel free to reach out. I would be glad to support you along your path to improved health and vitality. As always, #youdoyou!

Namaste,

Denelle

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10 things I’ve learned about life in Northern California

Its officially been 3 months since I touched down in the city by the bay. Even though I didn’t have the most graceful entrance into my new life in California, I was lucky enough to stay with my cousin while I got settled and have already accomplished so much in a short amount of time.

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Since October 9th, I’ve been fortunate enough to have been welcomed into 6 yoga communities including 2 of the most reputable studios in the area, Yoga Tree & Yoga Works! Check out my regular teaching schedule here.

I have hosted a few Après Yoga events in the East Bay, Sacramento and Tahoe and still have a thriving mobile #yogawithbenefits business in Denver thanks to my outstanding teacher team.

And today, I start the move into my new studio apartment in Pac Heights! That’s right, I’ve committed to life in San Francisco for the entirety of 2018 so I can really give it a fair shot!

Because I miss my Rocky Mountain hOMe so damn much, I find myself comparing everything I experience here to my life in Colorado. So I figured I would highlight the top 10 things I’ve learned so far about life in Northern California. Good or bad, here is what I’ve learned.

1) Diversity!

Hallelujah! As a Native New Yorker, I celebrate diversity of all kinds and San Francisco has it! French, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, African-American, Japanese, Spanish, Iranian…the list goes on. How lovely to be immersed in this melting pot of community, culture and cuisine!

2) San Francisco is more of a driving city than I thought.

While there is much more access to public transportation here than other major metropolitan areas, I still find myself using a car to make my way around town. The MUNI is the seventh largest transit system in the U.S but it is also the slowest and one of the most expensive to operate. It works great when traveling to certain areas of the city but I find myself driving a lot more often or using Lyft/Uber rides. My lease on my car is up next week so I’ll have to get used to the daily commute soon enough.

3) It takes so much time to get anywhere.

Because there is so much more drivers on the road, it takes at least 20-30 minutes to drive 2-3 miles. I walk A LOT and I may just have to dust off my road bike and give those hills a whirl.

4) Tahoe is way further away than I thought.

Damn, I love going to the mountains and I realized how spoiled I was living in Denver. Tahoe is a 3-hour drive from the city at the very least. Throw in some serious ski weekend commuter traffic and I’ve heard it could take up to 12 hours to get there in the car. I do have some flexibility with my teaching schedule so I sincerely hope I can work my way around that.

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5) Everybody is a wine snob.

I took a wine class in college pass/fail and I’m thankful that I know even the smallest amount about grapes and varietals. Everybody seems to know anything and everything about this holy drink and they certainly drink it often.

6) Power Vinyasa Yoga has taken over.

Holy cow pose! Power Yoga is everywhere. Yogis of all shapes and sizes flood into these classes because that style has become so commonplace and accessible to the masses. I see poor form in chatturanga and I cringe at the thought of what is happening to the student’s shoulders. And while I’m happy to step in to sub Power Flow classes, I do my best to weave in the Integrated VinyasaTM Yoga offering so hopefully I plant the seed and show the students there is something to learn about proper alignment and safety in yoga asana. Only time will tell.

7) It rains a lot.

Since Colorado doesn’t really have excessive rain fall, I spent the last 10 years barely using my umbrella or wearing my rain boots. I would welcome the intermittent Mile High summer rain storms as they were a pleasant surprise. Last Friday, it rained all day in the city and I experienced a rude awakening when I tried to walk to the gym in my running sneakers and light rain jacket. My socks and shoes were soaked and I experienced that bone chilling type of cold that I don’t miss from life back east. Looks like it might be time to break out the galoshes.

8) Earthquakes happen and I still sleep through them.

Yup, its true. I lived in LA during the 6.6 earthquake in 1994. At the time it struck, I was at a girl scouts sleepover and completely slept through the entire thing. Early last Thursday morning around 2:30AM, there was a 4.4 rated earthquake in the bay area and I didn’t feel a thing!

9) Opportunities to explore are endless.

While I am no longer surrounded by mountains ranges as far as the eye can see, there are so many new sights to explore. I’ve already driven to Sacramento, Tahoe, Santa Cruz, Point Reyes and Garlic Country U.S.A. I’m looking forward to returning to Tahoe for a few more ski days and sampling some of that fancy wine in Napa and Sonoma too.

10) Its called SF, not San Fran.

Heads up! Locals call it SF, tourists call it San Fran. But like always, you do you!

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#RoadYogi Recap-Tahoe

#RoadYogi Recap-Tahoe

Ahh, Tahoe. You are so damn beautiful. Ponderosa Pines, White Firs and Quaking Aspen trees surround the most picturesque blue lake that caused me to fall in love and make the move to the bay area. Even though Lake Tahoe is essentially a 3-hour drive from San Francisco, it will definitely be my mountain refuge from the city by the bay. With world-renowned ski areas, cute mountain towns and great people, I know I’ll be frequenting Tahoe quite a bit in my new CA life.

Read on for why I fell in love with Tahoe and what caused me to make the move out west.

BEER: Tahoe Mountain Brewing Co.

While driving to my AirBnB in Tahoe City, I passed Tahoe Mountain Brewing Company. I emailed the owner, Aaron, a few months prior to see if we could organize an event together and although scheduling didn’t work out, he was still open to meeting with me while I was in town.

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Upon entry to the Tahoe City tap room, I immediately felt so welcome. Aaron let me sample a few of their beers on tap and I even got to take a few back with me. The following day, I enjoyed a Paddle Board Pale Ale along the shores of Lake Tahoe and in that moment, I knew it was time for a move out west. Thanks for the inspiration and the tasty Pale Ale Tahoe!

YOGA: Wanderlust Yoga

Wanderlust Yoga hosts festivals all around the world but also owns a few yoga studios in Austin, TX, Hollywood, CA and Squaw Valley. I stayed in Tahoe a few days after the Wanderlust Yoga Festival was over and attended a few classes at the local Squaw Valley resort. It was a much needed refuge after a busy and fun-filled weekend working for the festival.

HIGHLIGHT: Wanderlust Festival

While organizing numerous Après Yoga events around the country, I applied for a Section Manager role at the 9th annual Wanderlust Yoga Festival in Squaw Valley. In July 2015, I held the same position at Wanderlust Snowmass-Aspen and had the fortunate privilege to assist my teacher Gina at Wanderlust Squaw that same summer. I had an absolute blast at both festivals that year and was excited for the opportunity to connect with more like-minded yogis in California. Since so much of my #RoadYogi tour was still up in the air at that time, I also knew it would be smart to guarantee some income while on the road. I was hired almost immediately and made plans to host a few events in Reno, Sacramento and San Francisco around that time.

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Upon arrival, I learned that I was scheduled to manage events at The Quiet Place, a studio space set in a grassy meadow far away from all the hustle and bustle of the main festival and home to most of the meditation classes throughout the weekend. I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and there was most certainly a reason I was immersed in all that good spiritual energy that weekend. Just off a 13-hour drive from Cheyenne, WY to Reno, NV, a mindful and meditative weekend was exactly what I needed.

Meditation greats like David Ji and Tracee Stanley hosted most of the classes and they were both so gracious and kind to me and my volunteers throughout the entire weekend. Even though I was mostly on the entire weekend, I had the chance to take two vinyasa classes with the founder of Wanderlust Festival, Schuyler Grant and even enjoyed a yin practice one evening. Since my favorite sake brand, TYKU, sponsored this year’s festival, I even had the chance to hang out with my TYKU sake crew and enjoyed some tasty libations Après Yoga!

Wanderlust Festival celebrates 10 years at Squaw next summer so my big harry audacious goal is to actually be a part of the presenter line up next year. Doing my best to manifest that into reality but actually need to apply to make it happen. Putting it out there now so wish me luck!

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#RoadYogi Recap-Cleveland, OH

#RoadYogi Recap-Cleveland, OH

BEER: Forest City Brewery

On Thursday, July 13th, I partnered with the owner of Balance & Brews, Melissa Klimo-Major, for a special Après Yoga event at Forest City Brewery. I was first introduced to Melissa through one of Cleveland’s biggest yoga advocates, “Zen Jen”, who originally interviewed me on her podcast Planet Prana on a visit to Denver last summer. Jen’s brother, Steve, is one of my biggest fans and most loyal yoga students. I was so humbled when Steve suggested Jen feature me on her podcast and I was extremely grateful for the connection when I decided to take Après Yoga on the road. Once I knew I would pass through Cleveland, I called Jen to ask for help and she was quick to connect me with local beer loving lady Melissa!

Like a good yogini, Melissa welcomed me into her yoga community to share our love of yoga and beer. Our collaboration brought in about 40 yogis to practice in a huge room at Forest City Brewery, the oldest beer garden that ever existed in Cleveland. While the yoga room was expansive, the beer garden was large and quite picturesque. If you find yourself in Cleveland, check out Balance & Brews for great local events and grab a pint of beer at Forest City Brewery.

YOGA: Abide Yoga

With an entrance tucked away in a back alley, Abide Yoga has quite the hometown charm. I attended a slow flow class followed by a guided meditation with Annie Siegel and it was the perfect pairing to start off a rainy Thursday morning in Cleveland. After class, I asked Annie if Abide Yoga was named after the film favorite, The Big Lebowski. Indeed, my assumption was correct.

And just like a good yogi, The Dude Abides.

TOURIST ATTRACTION: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

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I guess you can’t go to Cleveland without going to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The museum is probably best described in one of three ways:

  1. a landmark showcasing the finest musicians that have ever lived since the birth of rock & roll
  2. a glorified scrapbook of top musician’s accolades (i.e. albums, awards, newspaper clippings)
  3. a closet of questionable costumes, ratty wigs and jewels; essentially a hoarder’s paradise

I expected to be impressed by the exhibits but I found myself rather underwhelmed. LaKendra, one of the students that came to Après Yoga with me in Denver and in Cleveland, joined me that day and we were a little surprised at what we saw. Rows of mannequins featuring popular garb from various decades, journals of popular artists and loads of other musician paraphernalia.

What interested me most was the main exhibit featured this summer. It was a essentially a simulation of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Award ceremony and ended with the epic George Harrison tribute and inimitable performance of Prince playing “While My Guitar Weeps.” If you have not seen this majesty yet, do yourself a favor and take 6 minutes of your life to reignite the fire in your soul. It was magical in the exhibit and its still magical to watch on the interwebs.

The top floor of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame showcases the most popular covers of Rolling Stone magazine. Dave Letterman, Britney Spears, Bob Dylan, 2 Pac & The Red Hot Chili Peppers were amongst many famous musicians and artists featured on the cover of the Rolling Stone. The exhibit was a refreshing ending to an otherwise underwhelming tour visit.

HIGHLIGHT: The Best of Midwest Hospitality!

Jen’s Uncle Mike invited me to a BBQ at his home in the Cleveland suburbs. Since I already had an established friendship with Jen and her brother Steve, it was easy to fit in and the entire family was so gracious to host me. I was thrilled to indulge in their midwest hospitality. Grilled Shrimp, Chicken Wings and Pasta Salad were the perfect summer treat to end my time in Cleveland. Special thanks to the Duncan/Zetzer family, look forward to connecting again!

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#RoadYogi Recap-Richmond, VA

#RoadYogi Recap-Richmond, VA

On Sunday, July 9th, I drove south on 95 to Richmond, VA. Somewhere along the way, these two vibrant beings came across Titan & Stout in traffic. Before my trip, I purchased 3 car magnets to promote my Après Yoga #RoadYogi adventure and luckily, I had them showcased on my car on my drive to RVA that day.

 

The moment Tammy saw my magnet, she googled Après Yoga and found our RVA event. On a return trip from a bike race with her partner Todd, the idea of sunset yoga as post-race recovery was exactly what they needed. They said YES, grabbed their travel yoga mats and showed up. After class, they told me the story and I felt so lucky to have recruited these two beautiful souls with the power of a promotional car magnet. Even though 2 magnets were stolen along my journey (ahem Lodo & SacTown), the investment was paid off 2 fold with Tammy & Todd.


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That night, we hosted an Après Yoga & One Drop Yoga on the rooftop of Veil Brewing Company. I partnered with the Queen of RVA Outdoor Yoga, Michelle Lee Landon and Druminyasa, Brad Ellsworth for this special sunset rooftop event. 80 outstanding yogis came out to practice and celebrate our collaboration. I have always been an advocate of “Collaboration over Competition” and it ended up being the most successful event I had all summer. It really goes to show how much connection and community can make all the difference.

 

Even though I only spent about 20 hours in RVA, I packed everything in so here are my go to spots of beer, yoga and eats. Enjoy!

BEER: The Answer Brew Pub

The Veil (not a #GOT reference but could be) was closed after our event so Brad took me to taste some sour beers at The Answer Brew Pub. When Brad told me that the kitchen was closed, I was definitely disappointed but the tasty beer aided my appetite for a short time. Plus, Sandy & her Dad, 2 of the students from our event, were there to keep us company.

YOGA: Om On Yoga

The following morning, Brad drove me downtown to take class with Yogi J at Om On Yoga. Sandy joined us and Michele came to connect with us after class. J Miles is an Ashtanga-based Vinyasa Yoga Teacher in Richmond. With a wealth of knowledge backed by a kickass asana practice, J is definitely my kind of yoga peoples and I thoroughly enjoyed his practice. Om On is a special yoga homestead and I felt so fortunate to be welcomed into this kula, or tribe.

HEALTHY EATS: North End Juice Bar

Michelle frequents this half smoothie shop and half ice cream store on the regular. And I can see why. The waiters were smokin’ hot, the dragonfruit bowl divine and the vegan ice cream delicious. We stocked up on juice, iced coffee and acai bowls and felt completely nourished Après Yoga. If you find yourself in North End of RVA, swing by and nourish yourself.

HIGHLIGHTS: Community

I’m so grateful to the kindred souls I met in RVA and I look forward to more collaboration in the near future. Brad, thank you for your hospitality and support of my #RoadYogi adventure. Michelle, keep rocking the outdoor yoga world. Curly girls will indeed unite again. Sandy, you are a beautiful spirit. Thank you for sharing your light. Tammy & Todd, you two made my trip to Richmond 100% worth it. Thank you for being spontaneous, saying yes and showing up to support Après Yoga. You made a indelible mark on my life and I cannot wait to come back to the RVA yoga community to connect again soon!

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#RoadYogi Recap-Cape Cod, MA

#RoadYogi Recap-Cape Cod, MA

When I received the invitation to my best friend’s wedding on the Cape, I jumped at the chance to make it happen. Since I already had plans to be in the northeast on my #RoadYogi adventure, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to schedule an Après Yoga event near Boston. In addition to the #RoadYogi event, I had the chance to spend a few days at the beach, to discover the yoga and brewery scene on the cape and to celebrate one of my most favorite people in the world. My dreams of a sun-filled weekend at the beach were quickly crushed when I arrived to a wet and dreary town but I still enjoyed a relaxing 2-days connecting with new and old friends on the Cape.

BEER: Cape Cod Beer

On my way into Harwich Port, I stopped at Cape Cod Beer in Hyannis. The taproom is set inside the actual brewery space so you are instantly immersed in the brewing experience. The space was filled with people of all ages on a cloudy Thursday afternoon.

Cape Cod Beer offers every patron an option to try a beer flight, or 5 3-oz pours of different beers. Plus, you get to keep the souvenir glass, all for just $5. The brewers were so friendly and helpful with my choices. I sampled a few of the my usual go to’s (Pale Ale, Wheat, IPA) but I was surprised to discover how much I enjoyed the Cape Cod Porter. Dark, malty and delicious! If you are making your way to the cape soon, definitely stop in for a quick pint or flight of great brew.

YOGA: Power Yoga of Cape Cod

Since the weather was so dreary, I decided to attend a mid-day class at a local yoga studio. I practiced with a lovely teacher named Andrea and we connected after class about the evolving yoga community at large. It was the perfect remedy to an otherwise grey day.

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HIGHLIGHT: My Best Friend’s Wedding

On Friday, July 7th, Steven Fragale married Kelsey June in a rainy yet beautiful ceremony in Harwich Port, MA. Although I originally met Mush (the name we lovingly use for Steven) freshman year at Syracuse University, we didn’t become close until junior year. We traveled abroad to Madrid, visited one another in Rye & Boston several times and shared many memories in the tail end of college and after college. After I moved to Colorado, it became harder and harder to stay in close contact with Mush so I felt so loved when I received an invite to celebrate his love and marriage to Kelsey.

As an advocate of love, I am always ready to praise my loved ones and their love for others. It was such a pleasure to celebrate these two and to reconnect with so many college friends. Some people believe rain on a wedding day is good luck and if that is true, I have full faith that these two will be the luckiest in love. Thanks for the good time friends! Congrats again!

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#RoadYogi Recap-Rye, NY

#RoadYogi Recap-Rye, NY

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So I go home to Rye fairly often. Not only are most of my friends and family still living in or around the city, it is such a wonderful place to call home. A historically quaint and well-manicured New York suburb, Rye is about a 30-minute drive or a 40-minute train ride from NYC city limits. My trips are usually packed in with visits to friends and family all around the city, quick runs and sunrise walks to the beach, lots of homemade meals from my mama, long nights with high school friends and trips to my favorite spots around town for hometown eats.

I feel a little biased writing a recap about Rye since I don’t think I can sum up the appreciation I have for my adolescence in a 500 word blog. So, I’ll keep my memories inside this time and offer up a few quick highlights on favorite things I like to do when I’m home in the RYE.

 

YOGA: Personal Practice or YogaDownload.com Videos

 

Although there are a few yoga studios and spots to practice around town, I usually opt to get outside and enjoy long runs around Rye. At the very least, I run down to the beach and back home. When I’m not enjoying the beautiful outdoors, I get on my mat and practice by myself. And now that I have my YogaDownload videos available to review, my personal practice is reignited.

 

JUICE: Pureganic Café, https://www.pureganic-cafe.com/

 

Owned by one of the most fabulous people I’ve ever met, Pureganic Café is always my go to for fresh juice, cold-brew and yummy snacks. Moshira is an Egyptian goddess (literally) and I’m so grateful to know her and support this local business.

 

HIGHLIGHTS: Family & Friends Time

A trip home is always complete with quality time with my dearest friends and family. I prioritize the people that have known and loved me for several years and I am happy to give them all the love right back.

I’ll be back in Rye this weekend and I cannot wait to reconnect with the ones I love. See you soon New York!

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#RoadYogi Recap-Columbus, OH

#RoadYogi Recap-Columbus, OH

Now that my #RoadYogi adventure is over, people often ask me which city was my favorite. And my immediate response is Columbus, OH! You might be surprised, albeit rather shocked, to hear that from a coastal chic who loves the mountains and never spent much time in the midwest. However, this little gem of a city surprised me with the most serendipitous morning.

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On Friday, June 30th at 4AM, I woke up in my teardrop trailer outside of a friend’s house in Cincinnati, OH. It was rather hot in Cincy that morning so I couldn’t sleep. I had plans to drive all the way to Philadelphia that evening so I figured I would just get a move on and get back on the road.

Feeling inspired by one of my favorite OAR’s songS, the “Road Outside Columbus,” I drove through Columbus that morning to grab a quick coffee. I arrived close to the 6AM hour and while driving through the Short North district in search of a coffee shop, I stumbled upon a yoga studio. I quickly thought to myself “Its Friday at 6AM, its probably time for yoga!”

I quickly gathered a yoga outfit out of my trailer, grabbed my yoga mat and reusable water bottle and ran into Yoga on High. Little did I know Yoga on High was such a prominent of a yoga institution! I was immediately greeted by the girl at the front desk who registered me for the Ashtanga Primary Series class. I walked to the dressing rooms and noticed pictures of Ashtanga yoga legend and Boulder-local, Richard Freeman. Yoga on High hosts many world renowned yoga teachers  including my soon-to-be teacher, Jason Crandell, who is based in SF. I soon realized I was definitely in the right place! Even though Ashtanga is not my usual practice, I was just grateful to be led in a yoga practice in a place filled with such knowledge and experience. 

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I practiced the 90-minute primary series and the girl at the front desk gifted me the class for free after she learned about my #RoadYogi adventure. I asked her where I could grab a coffee near by and she told me about Mission Coffee Roasters around the corner.

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I grabbed my Ozo Coffee Roasters to-go mug and stepped into the Mission. The barista greeted me, asked for my order and took my mug in his hands. Before processing the order, he lovingly looked at my cup and said “Oh I love Ozo; I know the owners.” I thought I recognized him from somewhere and then it clicked. “Yea, me too,” I replied. “Did you used to work at Novo in Denver?” He responded with a resounding “Yes!” We knew each other from CO!

How serendipitous is that?!? He moved back to Columbus for the summer and here I was traveling across the country, not even intending to stop in this college town and just happened to step into his coffee shop. That little meeting made my day. Talk about the power of connection and an eco-friendly reusable mug!

Since I had another 12-hour drive to the east coast ahead of me, I quickly shot over to Native Cold Pressed Juice Company for another pick me up. The lady at Native listened to my serendipitous story and helped me select the perfect juice to get me through my day.

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Call me hipster all you want but I freaking love good yoga, good coffee, good juice and good connection. Columbus, I will definitely be back!!!

HIGHLIGHTS: The serendipity of the morning and all of the magical encounters!

YOGA: Yoga on High

COFFEE: Mission Coffee Roasters

JUICE: Native Cold Pressed

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#RoadYogi Recap-Kansas City, MO

#RoadYogi Recap-Kansas City, MO

Ever since moving to Colorado, I always wanted to visit Kansas City. Many people might be surprised by that statement but I have many reasons for my admiration of KCMO. During business school, I was introduced to Tank 7, a most famous farmhouse ale, brewed at Boulevard Brewing Company. And it has since become my favorite beer. Furthermore, my teacher Gina spent many years building yoga communities in both Kansas City & Blue Springs so it just felt right to follow in her footsteps as the next #yoginiontheloose, aka the #roadyogi. Upon entering the MO side of KC, I immediately felt at home. Something about the energy of that city caused me to feel welcomed and relaxed. Read on about my favorite stops in KCMO!

YOGA: Sage Center for Yoga & Healing Arts

Sage Center for Yoga & Healing Arts is the place to practice, to heal and to simply be in Kansas City! Led by CSOY alum, Sarah Kucera, Sage Center for Yoga & Healing Arts is the reincarnation of my teacher Gina’s studio Kansas Siddhi Yoga. So not only is Sage the home of many Colorado School of Yoga graduates, it is the home of the CSOY affiliate training program in KC. So you know, the Sage yoga community are most definitely my people.

As a proud Colorado School of Yoga alum, I was welcomed in to this immaculate sanctuary on a beautiful Sunday morning in Kansas City to guest teach the weekly community class. I was fortunate enough to teach a full group of loyal yoga students and current teacher trainees. We practiced a bit of myofascial release using the RAD tools followed by an all levels yoga practice and enjoyed some Noosa Yogurt, Bhakti Chai and Good Day Chocolate samples Après Yoga.

Sage offers yoga classes, Ayurveda (yoga’s sister science) and chiropractic work. When you visit Kansas City, be sure to stop in and check out the offerings at Sage in downtown Kansas City. Special thanks to Sage’s owner Sarah and my KCMO CSOY family for hosting me!

Runner-Up: Midtown Yoga Kansas City (MYKC)

Before my trip to the midwest, one of my students in Denver introduced me to a beautiful being of light and love. Kerry Dean Steuart is an absolute gem and the proud owner of MYKC. A retired Air Force veteran, Kerry’s intentions are to offer affordable yoga and mindfulness practices to underserved populations the KCMO area. I visited Kerry’s studio on Sunday afternoon and we shared a brief seated meditation practice with a few friends. It was a true pleasure to meet this angel of a human and I look forward to connecting with him again soon.

BEER: Boulevard Brewing Company

This one is a given. When you are in KCMO, take a trip to Boulevard Brewing Company. Take the brewery tour, learn about great brew and taste the best farmhouse ale you’ve ever tasted.

FOOD: Jack’s Stack

You can’t visit Kansas City without tasting some BBQ. My friend, yoga therapist and fellow CSOY alum, Beth Woodford, took me to Jack’s Stack for take out. We shared a few things with her hubs and paired it with some tasty Boulevard brew. I normally don’t eat a ton of BBQ so this was definitely a special treat to top off my time in Kansas City.

HIGHLIGHT: Woodford Family Home

Almost a replica from Lincoln Log Homes, the Woodford Family Home is further north than KC city limits but well worth the drive. Beth was gracious enough to invite me to stay with her and I was so grateful for the peaceful time away. On Monday morning, it poured rain on the tin roof and the sound of the raindrops encouraged me to stay in and enjoy the security of the cabin. I’m not sure there is anything better than a rain storm to make you feel at hOMe.