Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Q + A with Kim Bauman, founder of The One Love Movement

I first crossed paths with local yoga teacher Kim Bauman at our first Mermaid Yogis meet-up in La Jolla Shores in June 2014. Even in a crowd of 100+ yogis, something special radiated from her. Back then, I couldn't quite put my finger on it. But, over the past few months, we've grown closer, and learning her story, I now understand that the light that shines brightly inside of her, the light that fuels her passion of giving back to her community, is actually connected to a dark past not visible on the surface. From growing up in an orphanage in Korea to coordinating what could be San Diego's biggest yoga/service event this upcoming Saturday, Kim sure has come a long way! I'm honored and proud to call her a friend. 

One of my favorite series that I feature on my blog is called "Zen Girl of the Month" where I interview inspiring yoga women with an important story to share. From @yoga_girl Rachel Brathen to San Diego sweetheart Sarah Clark to my best friend Marianna, who lost 100 pounds when she changed her thoughts and welcomed yoga into her life, I've witnessed some incredible stories which have reinforced my need to share them with the world. I've been a little busy lately mermaid-ing it up, but when I finally heard Kim's story, I knew this was one the world needed to hear. From a humble orphanage childhood to pioneering the karma yoga scene here in San Diego and making it "cool" for yogis to give back, Kim's going places and inspiring big things in people, and we're all just lucky to be along for the ride. Here's her story....

1)  Where did you grow up? What led you to call San Diego "home"?  I grew up in Wyoming and South Dakota. Yes - I may be the only Asian that you'll meet from there. Usually I'm everybody's first! Haha :)  I moved to San Diego from Los Angeles about 14 years ago, and I hated it (at first) because it wasn't L.A.  The only reason I moved to SD was because I came home from backpacking in Europe, was confused about my life and broke beyond measure. I had dear friends who are like my parents, they invited me to live with them to support me getting grounded. Now I can't imagine not living in San Diego, my heart is definitely here.

2) What did you do in your past life? What was your life and career like pre-yoga?  In my past life I was disconnected, I didn't know of anything outside my "Kim bubble", and to me a rough day was not having the outfit I wanted to go out in. I've grown leaps and bounds as a person, it took me traveling to an under-served country to “get” life outside of me. When I lived in LA, I used to work for a high-profile movie producer so I was swept away by the LA scene for sure, then when I moved to San Diego I was culture-shocked by the slower pace. I found yoga when I moved to San Diego and it saved me, yoga changed my life. 

3) What is "The One Love Movement" all about? Why did you create it? The One Love Movement is all about inspiring others to want to serve their heart in a way that fits them.  We all have our own cause and our own thing that tugs at our heart. For me it's under-privileged kids, for you it might be saving the whales, and no cause is better than the other, the intention is that we inspire a community that gives back through action. 

I created One Love back in 2011 when I did the “Off the Mat Into the World” Global SEVA Challenge. Off the Mat is an organization founded by 3 influential yogis and their mission is to create leaders.  The first One Love event was in 2011, we raised $21,000 in 6 months, then I took the trip of my life to Haiti with Off the Mat.  That was my first time being in an under-served community and seeing life outside of my bubble.  My world was rocked and I was humbled. I was completely inspired by the kids we met who had grown up in orphanages. I hit a wall and realized that could have been me.  I was once an orphan in Korea and I get to have the life I have from being adopted. That's when I knew that I wanted to touch as many kids as possible in this life. 

Kim with her mom, the amazing woman that adopted her as an orphan from Korea. #bestmomever
Kim's first time in an orphanage as an adult - realizing her purpose - to spread love and hope to desolate communities.

4)  Who do you love taking yoga class from - online or in person?  I love taking class from Taylor Harkness and I love following him. He is definitely my yoga crush. I love his spirit and he just makes me feel happy. My friends joke that I should be adopted a 2nd time by his family because my wish is to be his sister. Definitely someone I look up to who really is yoga -- off of his mat. Locally, my favorite teachers are Mandy Burstein ;), Sheri Colosimo, Beth O'Reilly, and Amy Opielowski.  All such beautiful soul teachers!

5) What's the scariest thing you've done in the last 30 days?  I used to be on the CorePower Yoga management team.  I recently left that career to pursue my dream of growing and creating a movement through One Love.  And now, I've never been happier!  I feel inspired, alive, and so blessed.  Magic is all around me, so much opportunity has fallen into my lap since creating space in life for my purpose. 

6) What advice do you have for others wanting to follow their hearts and create an "outside-the-box" job for themselves? Don't be afraid to dream.  Believe that you can have it all and you will.  The moment you let go, you see more and you give more because YOU become alive.  I live by these 2 quotes:  "If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin" - Ivan Turgenev and "You don't have to see the entire staircase to take the first step"  - Martin Luther King, Jr.

7) Where do you envision yourself in 5 years time? It's September 2019 - what are you up to, Kim?  I am married to a man and we are madly in love with each other. I am traveling the world teaching yoga and working in under-privileged communities. There is a One Love annual charity yoga event in all major cities and thousands of people crowd our events. In fact, we sell out months in advance. Oprah is a One Love ambassador. Collectively as ONE community, we raise $3 Million dollars each year to give back to organizations that take care of our under-privileged youth. We have steady and consistent sponsorship and our One Love clothing and product line is thriving, allowing The One Love Movement to be able to give out scholarships, to mentor leaders for change through our Serve Your Heart workshop, and our staff can fully commit to working for One Love because we can pay them salaries.  

8) What can people expect from the big event on September 13?  A lot of love and good vibes, and hearts touched. We have an amazing team of yoga teachers guiding everybody through a beautiful class that is intended to open hearts, minds, and inspire action towards change and giving back. Kids from the beneficiary organizations will be there.  Beneficiaries are: San Diego Youth Services, an organization that has been around for 50 years and has helped hundreds of thousands of families and kids who are under-privileged and impacted by homelessness.  We also support Outdoor Outreach, an organization that gets these under-served kids involved with outdoor activities, presenting opportunity to them that many of us only know as "a normal life".

For more info on the ONE LOVE Charity Yoga event and to buy your ticket, click here

Monday, September 8, 2014

Today's Pisces Full Moon - How to Ride this Wave of Ocean Energy

Another super Moon has arrived, which is the 3rd and final one of the year, stirring up more emotion and conflicted energy as we wrap up the carefree days of summer and travel into a new season. This particular Full Moon falls under Pisces, which is ruled by the water element. Pisces by nature are compassionate, creative, intuitive yet also highly sensitive people. Whether you are a Pisces yourself, or are just feeling the intensity of this particular moon, notice if you are overly emotional today. If so, that's OK. Use this time to journal, vision board, write lyrics, photo edit -- any creative outlet that helps you embrace this Piscean energy hovering around us for the next few days.

Here is a thought-provoking Full Moon reading I came across and wanted to share with you all. This reading was crafted by Kelley Rosano:

“The Pisces Moon is in a harmonious energy flow with Saturn and Pluto. This can open the door to greater abundance in your life…The abundant life includes love, joy and well-being…We also need to feel strong and effective. This requires self-mastery.  Be the captain of your ship. Be the master of your destiny. Your power lies in how you take care of you. You want to love your Self more than the need for other people’s approval. Otherwise, you are giving your power away to forces outside of you. 

“When you live from the outside, you can end up at the mercy of other people. Lost and confused. This is the dark side of Pisces. When you are empowered, you live from your authentic self, from the inside-out. You are proactive. You are empowered. You are using your resources wisely…” © Copyright 2014 ~ Kelley Rosano All Rights Reserved.

A great mantra to repeat over the next few days is "I am proactive, I am empowered, I am using my resources wisely." If this resonates with you, try saying to yourself (or even better, outloud!) while breathing deeply. This can be during your meditation practice, while stuck in traffic, while doing dishes -- wherever you find a moment of stillness, use that time to find your breathe and repeat this mantra. While most Full Moon Yoga is more grounding and restorative, this particular Pisces Full Moon brings up a lot of emotion, so instead of a typical heart-opening practice, I am opting to teach a more strength-building lunar flow in my classes this week. Some great postures procured from our September #mermaidyogis challenge for this particular Pisces full moon would be the following:

Utkatasana (chair pose - day 8); Anjaneyasana (high lunge - day 9); Tiger Pose (day 13); arm balances, like Koundinyasana (day 14); Titibhasana (firefly pose - day 19) and of course, general core-strength building exercises. Click here to view the full month of challenge poses.

Lastly, here is a great flow I found from international yoga teacher Anita Goa that incorporates all of these strength building elements that are needed under this Pisces moon. Ride the beautiful wave of this ocean-focused full moon and many blessings on your journey! XO

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

ONE LOVE, ONE HEART - karma yoga community flow this Friday!

This Friday, I'll be teaching a special class at The Little Yoga Studio in the Banker's Hill area of downtown San Diego in support of The One Love Movement. My friend Kim Bauman founded this organization to help better the lives of local at-risk youth and create meaningful service projects for the yoga community and a platform from which yogis can give back.  

I'll lead a one hour ONE LOVE, ONE HEART flow that will help you tap into your soul and create deeper connections with those around you. This community flow is the "pre-party" in support of The One Love Movement's big yoga charity event on September 13There are only 20 mats available - please reserve your spot online here.

* This Karma Yoga class is donation-based, supporting The One Love Movement. Please bring your cash donation to class; pay what you wish to support their efforts to empower at-risk youth. RSVP here on the facebook event page to let us know you're coming!  XOXO, Mandy

Sunday, August 31, 2014

30 day Yoga Challenge is back ~ Mermaid Yogis starts September 1st!

Here we are, sweet mermaids ~ at the end of a glorious summer, planting seeds and re-shaping our energy and outlook for autumn to come. Luckily, here in San Diego, we experience an almost year round endless summer, but for those of you that are mourning the loss of carefree days at the beach, know that this sunshine can always exist in your heart. 

Amelia Travis and I have created another 30 day #mermaidyogis challenge to unite all our sweet yoga and ocean-loving mermaid sisters around the world. This month, we've got two new yoginis hosting the challenge alongside of us. Rivka Reynoso (@rivkayoga) lives in Utah and teaches Ashtanga, Vinyasa and SUP Yoga; and Jaysea DeVoe (@seavibesyoga) our resident mini-mermaid, who just turned 13 years old and is the youngest certified yoga teacher in the US. She teaches locally here in Encinitas and trained with Amelia in SUP Yoga. 

This month, we encourage discipline, focus and dedication as we collectively shift our gazes to the closing of 2014. With only four month left in this year, I invite you to ask yourself - What else is left for me to learn in 2014? What areas of my life need more nourishment and more of my focus in these last few months of the year? 

We purposefully chose to start this particular 30 day yoga challenge with a quintessential restorative, healing yoga posture -- Supta Baddha Konasana, also known as reclining bound angle or butterfly pose. By starting the month together in this way, let our collective intention be one of self-care and self-love. Earlier today, I saw this quote from Olivia Wilde and it made me laugh out loud: "Take care of yourself now that you’re old enough to know how. Drink water, sleep eight hours (I wish), and don’t go within 400 feet of a tanning booth or I’ll slap you. Hard."  Haha! Well, that about sums it up! Have so much fun this month. Stay connected to us and the hundreds (thousands?) of other yoginis playing along from all over the world. Make new friends, invite old ones to flow with you and most importantly: spend some quality time out in nature, breathing, moving and taking good care of yourself. Here's to an amazing month!

The four of us hosts (Amelia, Rivka, Jaysea and myself) will be offering variations on each pose every day. Check in with us the night before and morning-of to learn all the different ways you can modify the given pose to make it accessible to you. We will be posting lots of photo and video tutorials on instagram (find me here: @zengirlmandy) and facebook.

A huge THANK YOU to our generous challenge sponsors this month! For the first time ever, we will be giving away this Glide Stand Up Paddle Board and paddle, along with surf-friendly Jolyn bikinis, organic sunscreen by Raw Elements USA, this gorgeous "salty kisses" mala by Blooming Lotus Jewelry,  Teeki leggings,  this traveling-yogi friendly Manduka yoga mat, block and towel set, and also cute shades from Sunskis -- a great company that gives back 1% of its revenue to environmental nonprofits. We only partner with companies whose missions are kind to the Earth and all of humanity.

For more on our #mermaidyogis movement including our upcoming retreat to Mexico and free guided meditations, visit us here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

72 Hours in BAJA: How to Pull off a Birthday Bash, South of the Border

We are so blessed here living here in southern California, where we can drive a short hour or two south and be in a different country. Baja California, Mexico has so much beautiful, interesting diversity to offer, it would be a shame to not venture off the path a bit to explore this unique region.

For the past few years, my husband Devin and I have been hosting these baja birthday weekends which are an absolute blast! The weekends always include: our adventurous amigos, lots of beach loungin', surfing, paddleboarding, delicious fresh seafood on the coast and a day-trip inland to Mexico's famous wine country, Valle de Guadalupe. In 3 days, you really get to experience the best of what Baja has to offer. On each trip, we discover a new place to eat, sleep or watch the sunset.

Baja is constantly evolving and yet still stays true to its traditional roots. 

On one trip, the electricity went out, so we dined in candlelight and made new amigos over almond tequila. Another time, we treated ourselves to the 3 hour minimum prix fixe feast at award-winning Corazon de Tierra restaurant. When our foodie friends Josh and Liz flew in from New York City, we took them to the super-informative underground wine cave tour at Baron Balche, which they loved. And when my girlfriend Chantel decided to host her 29th birthday party in Baja, together we compiled a list of our favorites from over the years and all enjoyed this 12 person BAJA blowout fiesta in her honor . . .

We stay at the beach...

Day trip to the Guadalupe Valley. First stop: El Cielo winery

Next stop: fresh oysters and green juice at Finca Altozano

Private Dinner at Trevista Vineyards - the winery all to ourselves!

Nightcap at Convivia - fun new cantina at Encuentro Guadalupe. Menu designed by Valle de Guadalupe female superstar Chef Flor Franco; creative beverages by San Diego-based Snake Oil Cocktails. The result is a highly inspired, highly inspiring cross-border collaboration that will WOW even the most cultured connoisseurs.

here's what mi amiga Chantel has to share about coordinating a big group south of the border . . . "When planning a trip to Baja with a large group, don't try to have a plan for every moment. Leave some room for the wherever the wind takes us kind of moments. Make appointments, but leave open space to explore too!"

nervous to take your first trip down to Baja? 
try one of these two groups that provide fun (not cheesy!) guided tours:

feeling adventurous?
i'll whip up a customized itinerary and make it smooth sailing for you.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mermaid Meditation #1: Acceptance

California mermaid yogis Janalyn Yanover and Mandy Burstein take you on a 7 week journey through your self, back to your self. Inspired by the ocean and all things divine, these meditations will help bring you clarity and purpose, when it's hard to see the light. Are you ready to dive deeper?

Meditation #1: Acceptance
Mantra: I AM ENOUGH 

[ if video isn't loading properly, click here instead ]

This two-minute ACCEPTANCE meditation was designed for those days when you just don't feel content with yourself or "good enough". We've all had those days! This meditation will build you back up to remember your natural state, your greatness and that tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity to shine.

more here:

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= instagram = @zengirlmandy @horizonlightphotography

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mermaid Meditations - are you ready to dive deeper?

California mermaid yogis Janalyn Yanover and Mandy Burstein take you on a 7 week journey through your self, back to your self. Inspired by the ocean and all things divine, these meditations will help bring you clarity and purpose, when it's hard to see the light. 

Are you ready to dive deeper? This is only the beginning...

meditation #1: acceptance meditation
mantra: I AM ENOUGH
launches: wednesday, august 20

comment below to let us know you will be joining the journey.

- more info -

@zengirlmandy  @horizonlightphotography

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Never Stop Learning - Why 200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training is just the beginning...

Henry Ford once said, "Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or at eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young." This pretty much sums up my experience taking the YogaWorks 300 hour Teacher Training back in 2012. Teaching yoga to the public (instructing the anatomy of yoga postures and also informing others on living a yogic lifestyle) requires such a range and depth of knowledge that a brief 200 hours of training cannot possibly encapsulate all there is to know. For this reason, continuing education in the form of workshops and advanced trainings were created. After teaching yoga in the community for a few years, most yogis naturally crave a deeper understanding of what this all means. Staying curious, open and receptive to new knowledge and different points of view is a sign of a truly great teacher.

In September of 2012, I embarked on almost 7 months of advanced training in the YogaWorks method at Prana Yoga Center in La Jolla. It was a life-changing, purpose-affirming time for me that allowed me to dive deeper into my own learnings and also start the process of specializing in what I really wanted to contribute to the yoga world. My final project, which I presented to my training group in February of 2013 was the creation of a yoga retreat company called ZEN GIRL RETREATS. I'm happy to report that this year, I'm involved with creating and coordinating 3 yoga retreats, all with different themes and demographics, with possibly more in the making. I owe a great debt of gratitude to the program for encouraging me to find my voice and own my place in the yoga world. Here are some of my biggest take-aways from my 300 hour yoga teacher training experience with YogaWorks:

1) Meditation is not meant to be boring
2) Stop stressing out!
3) Your voice is beautiful and necessary - express yourself!
4) How to be a business savvy yogi
5) The importance of mentorship
6) We've gotta take care of the mamas!
7) Sthira Sukham Asanam

If you currently have your 200 hour certification and are ready to dive deep into your studies again, consider the upcoming 300 hour training at Prana in La Jolla. The YogaWorks method is extremely focused on intelligent, alignment and anatomy-based Vinyasa Flow with a concentration on meditation, philosophy, literature, sequencing, developing yourself as a business person and much more.

Training runs from September 6, 2014 - February 8, 2015. Everything else you need to know can be found here. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions! Love and Namaste!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sunset Salutations with lululemon La Jolla

Tomorrow I'll be teaching a class at the Catamaran Resort and Spa in the Mission Beach/Pacific Beach area of San Diego in support of The One Love Movement. My friend Kim Bauman founded this great organization to help better the lives of local at-risk youth and create meaningful service projects for the yoga community and a platform from which yogis can give back.  

lululemon La Jolla is sponsoring this series of classes called Sunset Salutations. I'm teaching a complimentary one hour vinyasa flow this Thursday at 6:30pm, with snack and drinks to follow. Come flow, mingle and learn about the awesome work ONE LOVE does, including their big charity event on September 13th.

I love their mantra ~ SERVE YOUR HEART. Here's more information on ONE LOVE:

One Mission: To be a creator of community & an activist for at-risk & homeless youth, inspiring people to get involved and serve their heart.
One Purpose: To create a better future for at-risk & homeless youth populations locally and globally by inspiring people to get involved & give back, and by raising significant amounts of money for existing youth organizations who are making a difference through support programs and initiatives.

Here are some behind-the-scenes from my photoshoot with lululemon in preparation for our special karma yoga class offering tomorrow...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Simple + Sweet: Blueberry Green Smoothie

My friend Alyson has an awesome blog which she calls the guilt-free guide to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Her latest summertime smoothie caught my eye and I just had to share this simplistic sweetness with you all. I've started my mornings with a green juice or smoothie almost every day for the past few years and love trying new creative recipes. This one's a keeper! 
Direct from the Simply Alyson blog, here's her BLUEBERRY LOVE green drink . . . .  enjoy!

  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 small handfuls of greens (I used spinach)
  • 1 handful of ice
  1. Add all above ingredients in order into high speed blender and blend until liquid! If you don’t have a high speed blender first add all liquid ingredients and greens and blend until liquid. Next add all other goodness and continue to blend (if you slice your banana before freezing it, it will work nicer with a regular blenders).
  2. Pour into two cups, share and enjoy the taste of summer abundance!

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