Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Guest Post: For the Love of Yoga

Friends, meet Krista, my guest blogger for today. Krista has worked with me at Invisible Children for the past year and a half, and we quickly adopted each other as sisters. She is one of the wittiest people I know, and shares a love for reading, cooking, writing, and yoga. Plus, she's a mom and an all-around badass. Enjoy & check out her blog at

This isn't me. But it could be in 2 years time. Gotta have goals, people.

Namaste. Savasana. Pranayama. 
Gibberish, right? Yes. Unless you're a Yogi. Which I think I have become.

First things first, it's (apparently) a known fact that exercise positively contributes to your overall health and wellness. Well, I don't like to exercise. There was a time where I took up running, and there was also a time where I purchased a Jazzercise DVD and did it twice. I'll be honest and say I tend to not stick with things, and I would prefer the fat to just fall off my body while sitting on the couch. A bonus would be if I could just sweat out all my impurities while sitting in a lounge chair next to the pool instead of a hot yoga studio. 

Well dear reader, I am a changed woman. Because I now practice yoga. I bought a mat and everything.

Recommended by a friend (who has been at it for four months and has effectively transformed her body), I decided to try it. First class? I hated it. It was too hard, too hot, I thought I was dying, and I'm pretty sure I saw Jesus. Pick yourself up and try again, as my mother always says before I punch her in the face. So two days later I went back. Easier class (intro beginner amateur hour), little less hot, little more stamina. I started slow, and began trying all the different classes, sweating my way through my lovehandle reserve of beer, and carbs, and artificial sweetener. 

A co-worker of mine goes to Yoga for the purpose of centering herself, relaxing, and getting in touch with her heart & brain & feelings. While all of those are certainly valid reasons, that is not why I go to Yoga. I attend for the sole vain purpose of getting so in shape that people stop me on the street to ask me what the heck I've been doing to look so fantastic. That hasn't happened yet, but I really feel like it could happen soon (sidenote: I can usually be found walking near my work in Barrio Logan around noon M-F.)

Case in point: you should try Yoga. You never knew your legs could bend that way, or that you could sweat so much without passing out. You'll feel stronger, and more flexible, and you'll reduce your jiggles (you know the ones.) And just in case I haven't successfully swayed you to sign up for a free week, here is a shortened list of the benefits of Yoga:

Decreases: blood pressure, respiratory rate, and hostility.
Increases: energy levels, joint range of motion, and the chances your thin jeans will fit.
Improves: posture, concentration, and the chances your thin jeans will fit. 
My final push for you to do everything I do - Yoga is actually fun. After you leave the class and go outside and breath air that doesn't feel like it's coming out of a humidifier, you feel awesome. And thin. And liberated. 

Join me, won't you? I'll be the one grunting in the corner. 


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Bali Packing List

Husband & I are currently exploring Thailand and we're off to Bali tomorrow for some serious R&R. I've always been fascinated with Bali, and I can't wait to visit. My parents vacationed there when I was 11 months old and its actually a pretty incredible story. They were 30-something somewhat-newlyweds, living in Colorado with a house and a new baby (#yourstruly) and great jobs and all the skiing they could ever want, but they had a strong desire to live in and travel around South East Asia. My dad put in for a transfer, they sold their house, and moved to Malaysia... with a baby. I've always admired them for it, but now I'm approaching my 30s, I'm beginning to understand their  adventurous spirit and courage in choosing life experiences over comfort and security. Its a piece of my family history that I treasure, and I like to think its where my love for travel was born.

I've always wished I could remember living in Malaysia and traveling to Bali with them. While this trip is nothing like moving my entire life, I'm still beyond excited to go and make new memories. And of course, blog the heck out of it to share with all of you.

With that, these are my packing essentials for Bali (and really, any summer trip):

  • Tiny, Beautiful Things: A collection of advice columns from the online columnist Dear Sugar. My dear friend Lindsay recommended this book to me & I'm devouring it. Its beautiful, honest, heartfelt and inspiring.
  • Life's Operating Manual: Tom Shadyac's book, structured as a dialogue between Truth and Fear, is so packed with wisdom that I'm reading it again. Its an incredible conversation starter and I'm looking forward to discussing it with husband over long dinners in Bali's jungles & beaches.
  • Farm City: My thoughtful friend Amy gave me this book about a year ago. I'm a little ashamed its taken me this long to start it, but I can't wait to not be able to put it down.
  • My nifty fifty lens to try to capture some of the best moments, a head lamp packed by husband for night adventuring, and of course, our tickets.
  • Sunscreen & a floppy straw hat: to practice safe sun exposure, because I plan on getting a lot of sun.
  • Warby sunglasses: I'll defer my love for Warby to another time, but check them out. They're stylish and cost effective.
  • My most lightweight lululemon yoga pants (similar): I can't wait to wear these while doing my sun salutations at The Yoga Barn.
  • Cute tote: that's easy to pack, great for day trips, and has a sweet message (hold on to something good & don't let go).
And of course I had to do a tiny bit of shopping before the trip. My best finds were:
  • A new JCrew suit: in this adorable floral pattern. I die.
  • These perfect summer sandals: from Hallelu.

What are you planning for your summer adventures, and what's on your must-pack list?