Cultivating a Grateful Heart

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“Happiness is letting go of what your life is suppose to look like and celebrating it for everything you have.” – 3 ways on how I cultivate happiness and gratitude into my life.

  1. Give Thanks

We live in a world where society has created these ideas that we need to achieve certain milestones in our life in order to be happy.  While achieving these milestones is great and gives us a sense of satisfaction, it may not always ensure a path to happiness.  I will admit, I am at fault of being disappointed with myself if I fail to achieve certain goals in my personal life, but for the past few months, I’ve been making a conscious effort to give thanks to the things that I currently have in my life and achieved to this date.  This has helped me put things into perspective so now I ask myself when times get tough or when I’m dissatisfied with a situation; what are you most thankful for at this moment?  I am thankful I have my health, a rewarding  job that helps me put a roof over my head, and the loving relationships I share with my family and friends.   

  1.  Focus on the Present

Being present is one of the most difficult task to accomplish at times.  Focus on what you are thankful for this present moment.  It can be as simple as the sun basking on your face, the beautiful weather, the ability to hear the birds chirping, ocean waves crashing and to feel the breeze blow through your hair.  This morning I was thankful for the few minutes of silence while sipping a warm cup of coffee.

  1.  Thankful Growth

When difficult situations occur, it is easy to focus on the negative and I will admit, I am at fault at times for negative thinking.  The emotional pain that arise can take over and one may focus on negative factors, but know that this too shall pass.  Look forward to the opportunity that you had to learn and grow from any situation and understand that one day you can look back and know why things had to happen the way they did.

Thank you for reading – xoxo

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Coming Together: Wanderlust 108

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This past Sunday was my first Wanderlust event that I was fortunate to attend with a couple of my fitness girlfriends.  I’ve truly been blessed this year to meet so many new fitness minded people, so when asked if I wanted to attend the mindful triathlon, I naturally jumped upon the opportunity.  

The morning started with a 5k breezy, heart pumping run on the sand at the beach.  Nothing can compare to breathing in the fresh ocean air, having the sun shining upon your face, and wind blowing through your hair. The weather was almost too perfect and you can feel the excitement shared in the air.  I would have to admit that this is by far, my favorite 5k to date.

After completing a sweaty morning run, we headed up onto Santa Monica Pier for a group vinyasa dance flow.   I’ve always practice yoga in a small group setting or by myself, so flowing with hundreds of other yoginis who shared the same passion and love for yoga was an amazing new experience.  We connected, laughed and after a few sun salutations everyone gathered toward the stage and jumped and danced to the music to continue the electrifying energy that we experienced after the run.  Once the dancing stopped, we slowly walked back to our yoga mats and progressed through the final phase of the flow, preparing ourselves into Savasana.  It was the perfect transition to the meditation portion of our mindful triathlon.

To be truthful, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the meditation portion of the triathlon.  The thought of sitting still for thirty minutes made me feel uncomfortable due to the hot blazing sun and I believe many people left after the yoga flow for that reason.  However, I’m extremely grateful that I stayed for the remaining portion of the series, as it ended up being my absolute favorite out of the three.  It opened my eyes to the beauty of meditation and my heart to the practice.  It was a pleasant surprise and has truly inspired me to further and develop a more mindful practice; in my daily life, yoga journey and sparked a curiosity to develop a more meaningful discipline in meditation.  Thank you Wanderlust for creating a beautiful event to congregate like minded people to celebrate love, peace, and happiness using our mind, body, and soul.  It was the perfect end to my weekend.

“The Force” – ClassPass Review YAS- Silverlake

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Yas – SilverLake

http://go2yas.com/yas_locations/silverlake/

1932 Hyperion Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

323-665-6011

Classes: First Class $13/ Single class $25 or single yoga class $17, 10 classes $200, 10 Yoga Classes Only $140, Monthly Unlimited $250, Yearly unlimited $2200

  • If you work at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles they offer your 1st class free.  Just show your ID.  $15/Single Class, $130 for 10 Classes

Parking: Free parking available in a small parkade, spots are limited.  Hyperion Avenue provides meter parking if none is available at the studio.

I find exercising after a 12 hour shift at the hospital quite difficult at times, but since YAS is less than a 10 minute drive away from my work, I convinced myself that I had no more excuses. The class consists of 30 minutes of spin followed by 30 minutes of yoga.  The first time I took a YAS class, I was initially thrown off with the 30/30 Spin and Yoga combination.  I’m use to taking one specific type of class at a time, such as either just spinning or just yoga, so the combination of both spin and yoga in one class was a nice change of pace.  It definitely makes the 60 minutes speed by quickly.  After taking care of others for 12 hours, my initial reaction is to go home, shower, grab a glass of wine then head into bed and prepare for the next day.  But I have to admit, the YAS 30/30 is a perfect healthy ending to my long day at the hospital.  Your heart is initially pumping from the cycling, followed by a calm relaxing meditative flow of stretching to end your class.  After class, I head home, take a nice long shower then head into bed, restful and relaxed.  At the end of the night, I feel a sense of great satisfaction knowing that I was able to not only take care of others at the hospital, but also myself at the studio.

 

“An Open Heart” – ClassPass Review of Believe Fitness Studio

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Believe Fitness Studio

http://www.believefitnessstudio.com/

113 Sierra Street, El Segundo, CA, 90245

(310) 648-8023

Classes:  Single Class $25-$35/ Ten Class Package $200-$300/Unlimited Monthly Membership $175-$210

Parking: Free parking available by the front and back entrance of the studio as well as street parking

My girlfriend from NYC was visiting LA for a wedding and since we were both a part of ClassPass, we figured we’d seized the opportunity to take a class together in the LA region.  I initially wanted to take spin class, but she wanted to try Hoops at Believe Fitness Studio.  Since she was visiting, I figured why not.  In my opinion, Hoops is not a beginner class.  While the teacher is absolutely enchanting on the hoop, I have no upper body strength to twirl myself around gracefully and beautifully in and out of the hoop.  Since both my gf and I didn’t have much upper body strength, we didn’t get much of a workout as we were both clumsily transitioning from one move to the next.  Overall it was a super fun class, but I think I may want to build my upper body strength and take more aerial yoga classes before I decide to take my chances on the hoop again.   Learning from my first experience, I decided that for my second class at Believe I’d try the flexibility for your back class.  I absolutely fell in love with this class that I decided to take another flexibility class later that week.  The classes are small and interactive and I loved how the instructor pushes you slightly to your flexibility edge.  After class my shoulders and back were opened and relaxed.  I felt like I came out of an amazing massage, though instead of lying there and letting the masseuse do all the work, I needed to work for the end result.  While you won’t be sweating as much in this class, you will definitely be breathing hard to attempt to relax into one pose to the next.  If you are into aerial yoga, hoops or pole, Believe Fitness Studio offers these to fulfill your inner Cirque Du Soleil.  However as for now, I’m going to stick to the the flexibility and stretching classes for a bit.  It’s such a unique class and I haven’t been able to find it offered in other parts of LA, so I want to take advantage of it.

 

“Upside Down Play” – ClassPass Review Haute Yogi Manhattan Beach

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Haute Yogi Manhattan Beach

http://www.haute-yogi-mb.com

3308 Highland Avenue, Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266

310-802-0225

Classes: Single Class $20/ Ten Class Package $180/ New Student Monthly Unlimited $65/ Monthly Unlimited $175

Parking: Metered Parking available – Give yourself time to get here early, parking may be difficult.  You may park on Rosencrans for free if you don’t mind walking, check signs to ensure they aren’t street cleaning.

Being sore from my previous adventures from bouncing at Sky Zone, then climbing at Hangar18 and ending my evening with a HIIT session at Beastie, I woke up the next morning sore and in need of some stretching and relaxation.  I looked up on ClassPass and saw Haute Yogi MB was available at 830am.  I’ve taken several classes previously at Haute Yogi and have enjoyed seeing how the studio has transformed since it first opened up.  It’s a beautiful studio by the beach that has several amazing instructors.  They offer traditional Bikram style yoga classes to Vinyasa flow, sculpt classes and now high intensity interval training which I still haven’t been able to attend as of yet.  First thing I love about Haute Yogi is that the studio is small, giving it a more personalized and intimate environment.  Smaller classes allow the instructor to give more individualized attention to each student, helping to improve your own practice.  Second, I love that their classes are slightly to extremely heated, which gives your muscles warmth and every opportunity to advance into a deeper stretch.  And Third, I love the personalities all the instructors exude.  They all have different styles and levels in their teachings, all are encouraging, friendly and personable.  The one thing that deters me from coming to Haute Yogi more frequently is the parking.  However the instructors are so inspiring that I give myself plenty of time to find parking so I can make it to their classes.  This past week I decided to take Erika’s class.  Her practice focuses more on handstands and arm balances, which is something that I’ve been trying to incorporate more into my practice the past couple of years.  I believe by taking her class more often, I can achieve this goal.  Haute Yogi is a great studio for both beginners and advanced practitioners wanting to further their study in yoga.  Hopefully within the next year I will be able to hold a handstand for longer than one second, but as for now I’m going to appreciate my current yoga practice and enjoy the journey.

“Just Breathe!” – ClassPass Review Corepower Yoga Redondo Beach

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[“The light in  me bows and honors the divine light in you!”]

Corepower Redondo Beach

https://www.corepoweryoga.com/

4407 Redondo Beach Boulevard, Lawndale, CA 90260
866.441.9642

Classes: 1 week FREE for new students/ $23 Single Class/$199 10 class package/ Black Tag Membership $155/ month for unlimited classes – with your first month for $89. – Groupon currently also has a special getting your first month for $75 unlimited instead of $89.

Parking: In front of the studio or 2nd floor of the plaza

Amenities: Showers & Filtered Water fountain (so bring a water bottle to fill up), Yoga mats can be rented for a fee otherwise bring your own yoga mat and towel

My Solvang 1/2 century bike ride is coming up this weekend and to be honest, I’m really nervous about the ride.  My goal is to finish the race, and to finish it in one piece.  Instead of taking a spin class for training, I decided that I would attend a heated yoga class to relax my tight muscles.  Through Classpass, I’ve taken several classes at Corepower in the past and although I know some people may not be a fan of the heat, I feel that having my muscles warmed by the heat makes stretching a lot easier for me.  Corepower offers several classes that are 60 minutes in length, which is perfect for someone who wants to get a quick stretch in for the day.  A common misconception is that people don’t get in a good sweat when they take yoga class, but with the heat at Corepower you will not have that problem.  The poses are simple enough for beginners that as you take more classes, you will slowly improve your flexibility, balance and strength.  It’s a great starting point if you are new to yoga but also want to get in a good sweat.  Imagine being on a tropical island without a breeze to cool you down, that is how a hot yoga room will feel.  I advise drinking plenty of water throughout the day before your class because I can guarantee you that you will be drenched in your own sweat at the end of the workout.

“Natural Beauty” – ClassPass Review: Yoga Loft

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[The sunset after my yoga practice]

Yoga Loft

http://yogaloftmb.com/

1112 Ocean Drive, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

(310) 372-7334

Classes: New students $30 for 1 week unlimited/Community class $10/Single Class $20/Ten Classes – $145/One Month Auto Renew – $115

Parking: Metered Lot in front of the studio or metered street parking

I’ve only done a handful of classes at Yoga Loft and nothing can beat their view.  So when I do attend a class, my favorite time to go is in the late afternoon.  The studio overlooks the Manhattan Beach pier and just as the class is starting  the sun begins to set.  As you flow from one pose to the next, you can’t help but be in awe of the beauty that lies in front of you.  Watching the waves crashing onto the beach and the sun setting upon the horizon makes my heart happy and at peace.   I’ve taken their Level 2 or 3 classes and while these classes are considered more advanced, I find that all the teachers are very knowledgeable and accommodating to each student’s practice.  If you love being by the ocean as much as I do, I recommend taking a class at Yoga Loft.  You can easily lose yourself within your yoga practice as you admire how nature changes in front of your very own eyes.  And you will be amazed at how quickly time has gone by.