5 Things my Grandmother Taught Me About Etiquette that were Really Lessons on Mindfulness

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy grandmother was a wise, understated woman of modest height and build, with a beautiful smile and warm nature. She was the quintessential lady with no air about her. Able to make those around her feel at ease, my grandmother had a way of comforting others by her questions, her words or even presence.

As a long time yoga practitioner and meditator I like to think that I bring mindfulness both to the mat and to my life. I learned early on from living in New York that it’s easier to move yourself than to ask someone else to move and paying attention to one’s surroundings is not just a daily practice, but a moment by moment practice. I always figured it was all of my yogic training and part of being a city dweller.  But lately, I’m finding myself looking at others in both in yoga class and outside and as my grandmothers words ring so loudly in my head, it’s almost as if I have to hold my mouth to stop them from coming out. I’m not sure if it’s age, or just that mindfulness and etiquette are one in the same.

Here are five examples of how my wise grandmother was a really Buddhist all along…

1. ”Not everyone was born with good taste or a sense of humor”
I LOVED when my grandmother said this. I would see someone in a crazy outfit or chew gum like a cow, and I would make a face or a comment to her. My grandma would turn to me, not even crack a smile; she would just touch my hand gently and say, “not everyone was born with good taste and a sense of humor” and move on.

Why this is mindfulness? Love everyone equally for who they are and what they have to offer. In short, Lora, who put you on this earth to judge others?

2. Never put bottles, cans or take out containers on the table
To this day I cringe when I see a bottle on the table. I can’t do it. I just cant! When I see others, do it my inner OCD monster emerges and takes control of the situation.

Why this is actually mindfulness? If we take the time to set a table properly, even if it is taken out, it makes us feel more connected and present with the food we are eating and who we are eating with. We also honor the food that we have in front of us.

3. Always take a plate even if it’s just one cookie.
My brothers and I would so often grab a cookie or something from the fridge, and my grandmother would hand us a plate and a napkin. Of course, we would say “but it’s just one” and she didn’t care.

Why this is mindfulness? Walking and eating is one of the most mindless American things we can do. Not only does it not look good, but there is no way the body can register what you are eating. Taking a plate and sitting down to eat helps the body realize when it is satisfied.

4. Sit down and send a thank you note, before you go to bed.
Who wants to write a thank you note at all let alone before you go to bed! My grandmother was not militant about this, she merely “suggested” I do this.

Why is this mindfulness? Being grateful for what you receive when you receive it and acknowledging it not only presences you to the gift, but makes room for more.

5. Dear, uncross your arms and stand up straight.
Hunching is not only poor posture, but is rude body language to send out to the world and not  a good look for anyone

Why is this mindfulness? Body language and posture is not only how you present yourself to the world, but its how you speak to yourself. Shoulders rolled back gently with your arms to the side is like saying, ‘yes” to the world and “yes” to new opportunities. Crossed arms are quite the opposite.

699539573_wZeAT-XL-960x420As a Nutritional muse, author and speaker, Lora has devoted her life to helping women find a pleasurable path to a balanced lifestyle.

Website: lorakrulak.com

Twitter: @lorakrulak

 

How To Reach Your Fitness Goals, the Kind Way

ftLX2OaEXBM-twGkOqFThV4RL3q3kPVSRSSTi3cYrXk,I2WxsuhUFEA9jkWpQn78Qp3nfmubBVWGoOLwMAPfoco,9OmZXGbPdYo0cw_v0gVjNIXgs1kRbBcuuyhqrZwkMXoA super way to ignite your inner Boho while trying to get or stay fit is by doing an outside-without walls-no equipment needed-workout. You would rarely do something that doesn’t bring you joy, why would you ever put your free spirited self in a closed-in gym?  

What makes exercise enjoyable to you — the freedom to do what you like when you like — may also be your downfall as you fight to follow some kind of routine. Here are some helpful hints to help reach your goals while staying aligned with your true north.
  • Go for a hike or to the beach with a friend instead of going out to lunch. Save money while being in nature and soaking up some rays.
  • Give yourself inspiring reasons to exercise. Not every workout can be epic, so remind yourself that being consistent, even if things get a little boring, will help you have more fun later. If you keep your body strong and fit, you’ll be ready for those fun + unexpected activities like cliff jumping, dancing + skiing.
  • Keep having fun. If things get dull, think of what you could do to spice things up — maybe taking a scuba diving course or a pole-dancing class. As a fun-lover, your friends may look to you to come up with new ideas for being active and having fun. Use that aspect of your personality and your confidence to constantly push your boundaries.
  • Remember that the majority of what shows on the outside is what’s happening on the inside. Most important is making sure you are truly happy and doing things that bring you joy. Stay on your path of truth and remind yourself daily of your intentions.
Most of your “fitness” happens in the kitchen, so be sure to keep Philosophie Superfoods in your travel bag so you can sprinkle some on your food while you’re on the run. Make sure you eat as many colors in the day as possible and keep trying new foods so you don’t get in a rut! The fresher, the better. Keep it simple while continuing to challenge yourself to stay out of any box. Use your inner compass to navigate what to eat when, tuning in to get the answer not falling into trend traps.

bday 30th flower childSophie Jaffe is a certified Raw Food Nutritionist and Raw Food Chef. She’s a member of the Yoga Alliance as an advanced teacher, and is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer. After managing a raw foods store in Hollywood which specialized in creating group cleanses, she became dissatisfied with the “one size fits all” model of detox regimens and branched off to create her own company, Philosophie.

Live %100 out-loud, unabashed and real with LA Finfinger.

Lafinfinger2We caught up with Pittsburgh based yoga instructor and artist, LA Finfinger, to chat about inspirations and intentions this past week and the future Wanderlust teacher had some buddhaful things to share with us!

What do you do to inspire your community?

We throw the term inspire around often and I wanted to actually dig into it. I think I can give you a solid yes and here’s why.

I live 100% out-loud, unabashed, and I’m real. That includes a lot of things. It means that I write about the way I experience the world (good and bad).

I collage things together the way that I’d like to see them – images are gorgeous, meaningful, and covered in glitter.

I teach yoga the way I like to practice it – a little hot, a lot of flow, and a lot of real that’s heavily salted with laughter and inspiration.

I also share. Often.

I share with my students, other yoga teachers, other writers, other artists, my family, and my friends.

I laugh at my own jokes. (I can’t imagine why everyone doesn’t do this – if you don’t think it’s funny why would anyone else?!)

I change directions when things don’t work. (This is VERY often.)

I ask for help. (Daily.)

I’m also not afraid to turn unsolicited help down if I don’t need it.

Lafinfinger1I think that being an inspiration means more than just showing up and spewing inspiring things at people. I think it means showing up and living out-loud as yourself day after day even when it’s uncomfortable (especially when it’s uncomfortable).

We all know that life isn’t black and white. I think the more days that we spend seeking beauty – whether we’re creating it, Instagraming it, speaking it, or being it – then the more that we are all contributing to the collective inspiration of each other. It’s not hippie mumbo jumbo – it’s simple and true.

As life happens – make art. I have been known to travel with glitter, Mod Podge and washi tape! Art doesn’t have to be high-brow to be art. (My favorite pieces are quite low-brow and have often been confused as things made by grade-schoolers.) It can be a quick instant photo, a 2 minute watercolor on the back of an egg carton, or a poppy-stained lip before you run out of the house for the day!

My favourite stones are Herkimer diamonds, citrine, and pink jade!

 

LafinfingerFind more of LA Finfinger on her social media channels at: 

The Web: www.lafinfinger.com
Twitter: @lafinfinger
Instagram: @lafinfinger

You can also catch her this summer at Wanderlust in Philadelphia!

 

An Inspirational Chat with Kate Horning

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What brought you to the mat for the first time?

A desire to connect with myself and my breath. The first time I attended a yoga class, I was so intimidated and worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up. What I discovered is that yoga meets you right where you are. I take the same approach with health. It’s not about perfection, but instead, taking things one day at a time. Doing the best you can every single day and being totally present in the moment. It has transformed my life.

How do you set intentions in life?

I set intentions in life based on how I want to feel and what I want to experience in life. I think the most powerful thing we can do to make changes in our lives is to simply focus on being a little better today than we were yesterday. It’s all about being present and truly enjoying the moment, focusing on the only person you can change – you.

What do you do to inspire your community?

I live it every day and simply share that. I try to inspire my community by showing them that I am on the exact same journey that they are.

What inspires me?

My passion for living, my healthy lifestyle and sharing that with others truly keeps me inspired daily. I love seeing people who get what I am trying to do and embrace creating their own healthy lifestyles!

What is your favorite mala and why?

The Clarity Mala. I have always known what I wanted to do with my life and have always chased my dreams but occasionally, I need a little reminder to be thankful of everything I have in life. The clarity mala brings positivity into my mindset and the rich purple color reminds me that I am powerful and have a purpose to serve.

Kate is the author of Healthy Living Redefined, which comes out on April 7th. To preorder your copy visit Amazon.com Join Kate’s community over at simplynutritiousbykate.com and connect with her using the hashtag #LiveItShareIt

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Catching up with Madhuri Phillips

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I started a daily yoga practice 20 years ago with my boyfriend at the time, who taught me a power yoga sequence that he learned from a book. I practiced daily with fervor.

However, it was after a dance injury when I began to study yoga seriously, which led me to live at an ashram in India for 6 months. There I was exposed to a much deeper understanding of what yoga is beyond the physical asana.

I did hours on end of karma yoga (selfless service), chanting, yajna (fire ceremony) and meditation which transformed my perspective not only of yoga but of life and my relationship to it.

The ongoing practice/ sadhana of yoga is about spiritual maturity, which to me essentially means knowing and trusting myself—deepening my expression of love and joy.

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Inspiration comes to me in so many forms: through adversity, in nature, through movement and sound. A glance, a sunbeam, a blooming flower, a smile.

I feel incredibly connected and inspired when I am teaching or working with a client and can feel the transmission of an ancient lineage bringing awareness and love into our consciousness, uplifting and healing.

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My advice would be to listen to your inner knowing, even when it doesn’t make logical sense. Trust in what makes you feel expansive, loving and alive. Trust that you are here to experience joy and learn how to release the blind spots that stand in the way of loving yourself.

***

madhuri9My first experience with a mala was when I was given one for mantra practice. I used a tulsi wood mala for 12 years to chant my mantra daily. I never looked at the mala as it stayed tucked away in its little pouch, potent with the vibration of the sacred sounds. Every mala is sacred and brings such personal meaning, intent and vibration.

Infuse your mala with your hearts desire and let it uplift you and remind you of your highest potential.

Madhuri wants to live in a world where who we are is more important then what we  accomplish and where laughter and joy have precedence over a 60 hour work week.

As a much sought after Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAS), Bio-Energy Practitioner & Yoga Teacher Trainer (ERYT), she’s been honoured to offer her teachings at the Toronto, Victoria & Vancouver Yoga Conferences, the National Ayurvedic Medical Association (NAMA), the International Bellyfit Conference, the Vancouver Yogathon, and on My Yoga Online.

Along with her popular Ayurvedic Yoga DVD, her recently released book, “Your Irresistible Life: 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda & Yoga Practices that Work” is now available.

Explore how to work one on one with Madhuri at www.madhuriayurvedayoga.com

 About Madhuri

Madhuri is an Ayurvedic Practitioner (CAS), Bio-Energy Practitioner & Yoga Teacher Trainer (ERYT). Along with her popular Ayurvedic Yoga DVD, her book, “Your Irresistible Life: 4 Seasons of Self-Care Through Ayurveda & Yoga Practices that Work” is now available. Explore how to work one on one with Madhuri at: www.madhuriayurvedayoga.com

 

 

Our interview with Angela Leigh

971230_10102099047049788_559752014_nI am pretty sure in my past life I was a journalist as I love asking questions of those that inspire me. In fact, I love asking others what inspires them, drives them, lights them up, pulls at their heart strings and essentially what sets their soul on fire.

So, today, I answer a couple questions to see how the other shoe fits.

What brought you to the mat for the first time?

Stress. I was a big ball of anxiety. I was a young, ambitious, career-driven and emotionally-devoid woman who was subcounsciously craving a connection within myself that was clearly lacking. I was always looking outside for the answers…little did I know the answers were already within me. My soul sister, Suzy Nece, dragged me into the studio and within a few breaths & tears I was hooked. I uncovered an outlet to connect to myself in a way I hadn’t experienced before. I was able to turn off everything and be still, honest, raw, vulnerable and open to change. My practice is deeply special & personal…it is a mirror to my soul, it will never lie to me, it keeps me pure and focused.

How do you set intentions in life?

Intention evokes action.

Action creates change.

Change inspires growth.

Growth develops confidence.

Confidence trumps fear.

Fear loses to bravery.

Bravery is necessary to dream beyond what is comfortable.

I set intentions daily. To create pure intentions I changed my lens of life from fear to love. When I changed how I saw myself life became more clear, more fun and much more FULL.

Intentions are only as good as you are willing to take the actions to feel the change. And yes, that takes a leap of faith and probably a lot of courage. But I personally would rather feel the free fall than the safety of staleness.

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What inspires me?

Vulnerability. I connect to authenticity. I respond to realness. I love hard. When the walls are down this heart opens up and it runs deep. That kind of connection truly inspires me to take action and create change. Our world is not going to fix itself. We need to share our stories, support one another and encourage everyone along the way.

What is your favorite mala & why?

Awakening Mala.

There is a purity of the mind, body and soul that needs to be aligned to create intentions and that purity comes from self-acceptance. Without that pure, unconditional love for ourselves it is challenging to overcome obstacles that stand in our way of our intentions. This mala awakens that purity. And I love all things PURE.

-Angela Leigh

#livewithintention Gypset Goddess

“Living with intention starts with being aware of what is most important to me, what I want, and what I believe in. Then I use this knowledge to follow the best path for myself and make conscious decisions that impact my life, the people around me, and the world in a positive way.”- Gypset Goddess

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Our interview with Bridget McGahen

Bridget is a blogger, certified Hatha yoga instructor, and fitness enthusiast.

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What do you do to inspire your community?

I like to encourage my students and my readers to try hard things. So often, the student who is the most scared to try crow pose is the one who ends up being the one who gets the most hang time. I like to cheerfully persuade people to step out of their comfort zones.

What brought you to the mat for the first time?

I was very reluctant to start yoga. At the time, I spent all of my recreational time on long distance running, and I was left with extremely tight hamstrings because of that. Numerous people told me that I should do yoga to prevent injury, but it wasn’t until after a knee injury and a stress fracture while training for the Houston Marathon stopped me from running for several months. I was definitely not good at first, but I was determined. I loved the challenge it was for me to hold postures for long periods of time – even something as simple as warrior 1 was hard for me to hold. And from there, I just kept practicing and practicing, adding in arm balances and inversions along the way. In 2012, I took the jump and signed up for a Hatha certification course; I started teaching part-time in 2013. It’s been an amazing and incredibly rewarding journey that is nowhere near its end.

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Who and what inspires you?

I find inspiration in so many different places: my readers, my students, amazing teachers (like Kathryn Budig and Briohny Smyth, to name a few), my passion for healthy living, scripture, my amazing mother, and all the creative bloggers I follow. Also, I wouldn’t be where I am now without the constant encouragement and support of my husband, Matt. He’s my workout buddy, my confidant, my best friend, and the love of my life.

How do you set intentions in your life?

I try to set all of my intentions based on scripture. As a Christian yogi, my faith is intertwined in everything that I do. I honor the body that God graciously gave me by taking good care of it: eating healthy food, lifting weights, practicing yoga, etc.

What advice do you have for all the boho yogis out there?

Try complementing your yoga practice with weight lifting. You’ll be astounded by how much it will benefit your practice as well as your health!

Oh yeah… and what is your favorite mala?

My mala is one that is currently on my wish list – the River Dance Mala. This one was made to remind you to rejoice at all times, to live in the present (not wishing for or worrying about tomorrow), and to show love and support to those around you. I absolutely think that those are intentions that I set in my daily life. They align with my faith, and they contribute to a joyful life.

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Stay connected with Bridget:

in the present now

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