Tuesday, January 20, 2015

First New Moon of 2015 - How to harness the Aquarius Supermoon energy in your life

This Aquarius New Moon is a powerful one! The first New Moon of 2015 is a Supermoon, meaning that it is much closer to the Earth than normal and therefore, we can feel it in our bodies and hearts much more profoundly. If you've been harnessing the New Year energy wisely, you've taken the first three weeks of the year as an opportunity to reflect, absorb and forecast for the year ahead. Instead of setting arbitrary goals and trying to figure out what you want to do this year, you've asked yourself "How do I really want to feel this year?" And from that place of understanding what type of energy you want to bring into your life in 2015, you can then start to craft goals and action items that will invite these feelings and sensations into your reality.

Why is it important to be in touch with the moon? This exact question was answered to me on so many levels this morning. I participated in a New Moon Temple hosted by Goddess Rising and the response was this: The magic Wild Woman inside each of us can be remembered and then revealed once we re-connect with the natural lunar cycles. Let go, let it flow, let the moon guide your soul.

So here we are, friends. The first NEW MOON of the year has finally arrived. But, what does it all mean? Well, a New Moon is the ideal time to plant seeds. To build, to grow and to expand what we want more of in our lives.

How do I make the most of a New Moon cycle? First ask yourself, what do I need to release? Or what am I ready to weed out of my life? Then, participate in some sacred new moon rituals.
- light a candle
- take a few deep breaths
- physically shake out old tension, stress, disappointments and regrets
- keep breathing
- release the old {journal or say out loud what you are ready to let go of}
- plant seeds of new {journal or verbalize what you are ready to create}

Under the January 2015 New Moon, I am planting seeds of . . .
- global cooperation
- supported and supportive energy flow
- an abundance of resources and love
- VIBRANCE: feeling alive and inspired every single day

I am ready to step into my own as a woman and create something new, inspired and radically beautiful. To connect like-minded souls on a larger stage. To connect all the dots. 2015 = infinite! I am ready to show the world that:
love is magnetic, unity is possible, hope is alive, and dreams can be reality. 

photo credit: klaus lange
my new moon alter from today's ceremony - candles, seashells, journal, 
crystals, and the angel card "Dana" - which is also my mama's first name :)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

14 Lessons Learned in 2014

This time last year, I thought I wanted to spend a month in Bali and make a baby. Instead, I went hitchhiking in Mexico, became a professional mermaid, meditated in the jungle, taught a whole bunch of yoga, and thought I was going to die in an Indian sweat lodge. In 2014, the Universe didn't give me exactly what I wanted, but it gave me precisely what I needed. One year of being selfishly, unapologetically focused on me. On my spiritual growth and personal development. A ginormous FEAR DETOX. As someone whose natural inclination (and job) is to focus on the well-being of others, I would not necessarily have chosen this path for myself. But, something in my heart, and in the stars, told me that I needed to remain open to whatever/wherever the Universe wanted to take me -- to stay in the love and to stay in the flow -- and that's exactly what I did. It was a whirlwind of a year. Probably the most growth-filled year of my 28 on this planet to date. Side note: (and this is mainly for my parents' piece of mind...) It was also my highest-grossing year as a yoga teacher to date. Cheers to being able to make money while living your dreams!

Here is a collection of the various lessons I learned in 2014, in the hopes of maybe inspiring something in you.... and remembering what this year felt like twenty years from now when I'm actually in Bali with my babies.

1) I feel best when I listen to my body. I've been practicing yoga consistently for six years now and the tendency as you progress in your practice is to see how much further your body will take you. "Got one leg behind the head? Great! Now, how 'bout both?" Well, a series of minor injuries and wisdom imparted upon me from seasoned teachers made me realize that this year, what my body wanted and needed was more breathing and less accomplishment-based yoga. No doubt, I practiced my handstands and backbends when my body was feeling strong, but the rest of the time, I focused on what my body needed in that particular moment to thrive. I realized that I love how it feels to honor my body and give it exactly what it needs.

2) Find your tribe. In learning more about myself everyday, I'm understanding how important it is (to me) to feel part of a community, connected to a group of people that truly understand you and support your path. This year, we created a movement called #mermaidyogis that welcomed in anyone who feels a deep love for the ocean and yoga. We connected online in the thousands, met up locally here in San Diego by the hundreds, and a smaller, super passionate group even joined us in Mexico for a week of mermaid and yoga adventures. Many of our tribe have found soul-sisters in each other. It's incredible to see people unite around a common cause and make magic happen.

3) Connections in person are SO good for your soul. While building a massive following online was fun, it made me value my in-person time with other humans even more. I crave hugs and eye-contact and remain devoted to taking people from behind their screens and into real life, creating connections that will last a life time.

4) How to take calculated business risks. Something came over me this year. After spending the first four months soul-searching and frolicking in the jungle, I felt compelled to give other people that experience. It felt wrong to hold onto all that positive energy just for myself. I became committed to creating travel experiences in which other people would be able to let go for a bit and tune back into nature. Then, I woke up one day in July and realized I had booked 3 yoga retreats in 6 months. Holy moly! How was I going to pull this one off? Had I oversaturated myself? Were my 3 different business partners going to be mad that I triple booked and never work with me again? The fear started rushing in, so I decided to breathe. And I realized that everything was going to be OK. I took a big business risk, but I did so in a calculated and caring way for all parties involved. The retreats were spaced out enough and themed differently enough that they didn't interfere with one another. I'm happy to report that all 3 were hugely successful and I'm still on good terms with everyone. Clear lines of communication and taking actions with mindfulness and attention to detail go a long way in the business world.

5) Friends don't have to be your business partners; not all business partners have to be your best of friends. As a textbook Gemini, I loooooove connecting with all kinds of people. I love when those people become life long friends and you make magical projects happen together. In an ideal world, this is how it would happen every time. But in reality, there is no need for everything to blend together. Sometimes, it's 100% normal to do business with someone and leave it at that. And most of the time, your best of friends don't need to be your business partners. Keep them as friends, it will last longer that way :)

6) I LOVE home cooking. Speaking of business, 2014 was busy. In the most beautiful way. My husband started his very own law firm and I embraced my inner yoga-entrepreneur. Everything was on the up and up and up. Except our time in the kitchen -- that was on the way, way down. We ate out a lot. More than I'm happy to 'fess up to. Eating out is easy when you're busy, you feel like you've "earned" it on some level. But there's nothing better than putting love and elbow grease into your meals. A little preparation and looking at cooking as a form of meditation goes a long way.

7) You MUST love yourself first. Speaking of food and what we put into our bodies....this year, I deeply connected with the idea that love must first come from within. While I've got an adoring husband and an amazingly loving family and friends, you can't fake true self-love. As a 90's child, I grew up with the energy of eating disorders, body dysmorphia and self loathing all around me. It was cool to cut yourself and/or be a mean girl. But now, coming into my adulthood, I'm so over that mean girl shit. As women, we must uplift and bring out the best in each other. And the only way we can do that is if we truly love ourselves first. When we love ourselves and fill our hearts with authentic compassion and joy, it pours out onto all those around us. Goddess energy flow is what I'm all about these days. Together we rise.

8) It's OK to check-out of life sometimes. Real talk: there is way too much pressure on women these days. The struggle to "do it all" is real and it's just not possible. We need time to re-boot and fill our souls back up so that we have more to give when we come back home. I was so impressed by the mamas who came on my yoga retreats this year. Some with babies as young as 9 months old, full-time jobs and husbands to care for, packed their bags and met me in Mexico for a week of self-care. There's no need to feel guilty for taking time for you. In Spanish they say, haz lo que amas - do what you love. And do what makes you feel love.

9) We are all connected. One of my favorite memories of my time in Mexico this year was hitchhiking with my friend Jenny. We didn't know where we were going, we just trusted that the Universe would provide. And it did. Getting into the cars (or mostly trucks - everyone in Mexico drives trucks) of complete strangers is something so taboo in the US, understandably so. There is lots of fear, mistrust, and frankly, lots of dangerous people, all around the world. But, what we found was that when we put out good energy, it came right back to us. When we looked into the eyes of these strangers and asked about their families, their eyes lit up and in that moment, I realized - we are all connected. We are all made of the same dust and particles as the stars and the grass and the trees. No one is better than anyone else. We all have beating hearts and the same capacity for love. That being said: In full disclosure, I've promised my husband I won't do it again....unless I reallyyyy need a ride and a reminder that we are one. ;)

10) Do what you're most afraid to do. That's where the growth will occur. I had never heard of a temazcal until early in 2014. My friend Ana was doing a tribal sweat lodge on her yoga retreat in Mexico facilitated by a tribe of local Indian healers and it hit my core. Something about it intrigued me to the max. I contacted her for more info and it turned out this particular ceremony would occur on May 24 - the day after my birthday, first day of my 28th year. All the stars were aligning to offer me this purifying experience as I traveled into my womanhood. I didn't think about it too much until right when they shut the sweat lodge door and I had a minor panic attack. I couldn't be that white girl that came and had a freak out! I had to do this - there was no other choice. In a way, I gently forced myself through the process and am so glad I did. It was a beautiful experience that allows you to step into the womb of Mother Earth (pachamama), tap into your inner child, and come out re-born. I loved it so much I completed my second temazcal ceremony on Decemeber 31, the last day of 2014 with my friend Fatima in Tulum. I feel re-born full of love and ready to do more things outside my comfort zone in 2015.

11) Be Strong, you never know who you are inspiring. I got a call from my former yoga student a few weeks ago out of the blue calling to thank me for all the support over the years. Even though we barely talk and haven't seen each other in person since 2012, we keep in contact online. She called to tell me she had just left her lawyer's office to file divorce papers from her husband of almost 20 years. 3 gorgeous children and a seemingly perfect life together had come to an end. She was ready to leave a toxic situation and love herself again. I was blown away by her courage and strength! She said I was an inspiring force in her life, whether I knew it or not. A truly humbling moment for me and a good reminder that each of us has the potential to inspire and uplift each other. Keep your vibrations high, you never know who might need them!

12) Fear is LOUD. Let your love and gratitude for life be louder. Towards the end of 2014, I finally committed to participating in Gabrielle Bernstein's 40 day fear-detox challenge. Her book "May Cause Miracles" has taught me this: fear resists gratitude. Fear wants you to stay low-vibration. The ego seeks out problems and looks for what's lacking in life. Everyday, you must work to build your gratitude muscles and trust that your love is stronger than any fear.

13) Don't settle for a spark, light a fire instead. As women, many of us prefer to dim our lights and let others shine first. On a stormy night in Mexico, during our #mermaidyogis retreat, we were doing a visioning exercise and I was unexpectedly overcome with frustration and sadness confessing to the girls that I do not believe I deserve all the greatness this life has to offer. Caught in a rare moment of vulnerability, with tears running down my face, one of them pulled out their phone and read the group this Marianne Williamson quote: "Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” 

It was my a-ha moment to wake up and realize that I am worthy -- we are all worthy -- of living out our highest goals and dreams in life.

14) There's so much more to learn! I adore being a teacher, but there's nothing better than being a student. I can't wait to see what other spiritual lessons and assignments the coming years have in store for me. May we never stop learning, growing and expanding on this beautiful journey called Life.

mostly all of my photos are taken by my bestie, 
janalyn yanover @horizonlightphotography

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

New Year Detox 2015

Happy New Year, yogis! I love the fresh energy of a new year. It's the best opportunity to leave behind old, bad habits and start a new chapter in your journey towards health and happiness in life. Last January, I had the opportunity to lead the New Year Detox at Bird Rock Yoga and it was an incredible experience. After a sweaty, purifying vinyasa flow, we set goals and intentions for the new year and collectively supported each other in the process of identifying action items to ensure that we would follow through with our goals. I'm happy to report that many of the attendees to last year's detox workshop have come back and shared with me their goals and dreams that have come to life! Never underestimate the power of putting your wishes out to the Universe and having a solid support group cheering for you along the way. 

This year, the detox workshop is back and better than ever! I've partnered with Farm to Fork La Jolla to provide 100% raw, organic, cold-pressed green juices for everyone, as well as health food company, Rickaroons to keep us nourished and on point for some deep soul-searching and goal-setting. Also a new addition to this year's event is my friend, local health coach, Jenny Niezgoda who will be doing a talk on Holistic Nutrition and how to incorporate more healthy options into your diet. The theme of this year's detox is: IT IS ALL CONNECTED - your body, your mind, your soul - what you put into it is a direct reflection of what comes out into your life. This will be a FULL CIRCLE experience to help you kick-start your new year and finally tackle your goals and dreams in 2015. 

Saturday January 10 -- 11am -- $30
Sign up here: www.tinyurl.com/newyeardetox

Can't make it on Saturday? Detox on your own or find a group of friends to support each other in the process. Here are some of my favorite healthy recipes to start eating better in the New Year. Ready to step it up and make your home a totally toxin-free environment? Check out my favorite ways to detox your life, starting with where you sleep. Good luck! 2015 - here we come! :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Zen Girl's 2014 Guide to Mindful Holiday Shopping

Every year, the holiday season brings out the consumer in all of us. There is a general understanding that we shower our loved ones with material possessions, which doesn't have to be a bad thing, if these gifts are coming from a mindful place. In this year's Zen Girl's Guide to Mindful Holiday Shopping, I'm featuring seven of my favorite small businesses of 2014 -- all of which sell presents with purpose. Each item has a story, a message and/or an ability to increase the overall health and happiness of the lucky recipient. I wish you all a beautiful holiday season and encourage you to shop with intention and mindfulness this year! XO!

1) The Bohemian Yogi -The Piece Collection
yoga girls with wanderlust in their hearts will appreciate any item from The Piece Collection. Casey and Allasia are "two girls collecting the world for you, one piece at a time". Their items for sale include: super soft Turkish robes, fringe Moroccan leather bags, handmade jewelry from Nepal, Peru and more. Their pieces have been carefully curated with intention and purpose and are sure t WOW whoever is lucky enough to receive one.

2) The Glamorous Yogi -- Axiology Lipstick
all natural, 100% organic, vegan lipstick. Look gorgeous and practice ahimsa -- the best of both worlds! Axiology founder Ericka Rodriguez lives in NYC and traveled to Bali last year to research the most natural, non-toxic ingredients for her new cosmetics line. She recently introduced her first product, vegan lipstick to the market and it's creating a firestorm of love in the yoga world. Axiology is about to change the way yoga girls shop for makeup. Snag a tube of this lipstick for the holistic hottie in your life!

3) The Fashionista Yogi -- Mermaid by Hand Jewelry
designer Eliza Sloane created the most beautiful pieces of jewelry that any bohemian, free-spirit, ocean-loving zen girl would swoon over. Using seashells, sea glass, big chunks of turquoise and beautiful gems like Australian opal, each piece of MBH jewelry is lovingly kissed by the sea, then crafted into an exquisite bracelet, necklace, ring or other statement piece of your choice.

4) The Mermaid Yogi -- Women's Inflatable Stand-up Paddleboard by ISLE
speaking of mermaids, earlier this year, I had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with San Diego based action sports company, ISLE to create the first inflatable stand up paddle board specifically for SUP Yoga. Of course, I had to make sure it was turquoise and pink and had lotus flowers all over it - duh! :) Not only is it one of the most affordable paddleboards on the market, but it deflates into the size of a backpack, so you can check it as luggage and take it with you around the world. This is a perfect present as it encourages you to stay healthy and therefore happy all year long!

5) The Creative Yogi -- Grizzy Love
we all know that girl who refuses to wear plain jane black yoga pants. Her soul cries out for color, design, creativity! Give this girl exactly what she needs, and wants -- anything from Grizzy Love. With an assortment of leggings that have everything from dream catchers to the colorful chakra system hand-screened down the leg, to tanks that have adorable sayings like child of the universe and OM is wherever i'm with you, this clothing line is full of intention and inspiration.

6) The Healthy Yogi -- Rickaroons
These three-bite snacks have personally saved my life on many occasions. You know those super busy days when you don't have time to sit down for breakfast....or lunch?! Rickaroons are the perfect superfood snack that are so deliciously indulgent but without the guilt. They're 100% organic, soy-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly and paleo-approved. Packed full of healthy ingredients like: chia seeds, cacao nibs, almond butter and coconut, these guys have a 2 month shelf life, making them the crowd-pleasing stocking stuffer of 2014!

7) The Ultimate Seeker -- May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein
this book has totally changed my life! I started reading Gabby's books at the beginning of 2014 and they've encouraged me to dive deep into my spiritual practice, specifically seeking out my fears and transforming them into love. Through her books, I've learned to reflect, notice and understand parts of myself on a deeper level. I'm less quick to judge, get angry and feel scared. For that girl in your life that lives with a heart wide open and has a million unanswered questions about her purpose, the Universe and why we are all here, do her a favor and get her this book! She'll thank you later...

photo source
Books make the best gifts! Here is some other dope literature I got the chance to read in 2014 and totally fell in love with. Consider any of these for the free spirit, zen-seeking mamacita in your life....

8) The Adevturous Yogi -- a ZEN GIRL YOGA RETREAT!
give the gift of world and soul exploration. I've got a fun line-up of yoga retreats and workshops coming up in 2015 and would love to have the Zen Girl in your life join us! I've been lucky enough to witness some major spiritual breakthroughs happen on my retreats and am so excited for next year's bunch of open-hearted yogis. Email me and we can set something up!

Love and Blessings to you all!
Zen Girl Mandy

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Healthy Horchata Green Smoothie

Here in southern California, we are blessed with a melting pot of foods and flavors at our fingertips. One of Mexico's most delicious drinks that we are lucky enough to see regularly on San Diego menus is called horchata. When prepared traditionally, horchata is an ice-cold refreshing drink infused with cinnamon and lots of sugar. While tasty, it's not the most healthy beverage. My friend Alyson (founder of wellness blog Simply Alyson) is an avid green smoothie maker and decided to re-mix the traditional horchata with some farm-fresh ingredients. Here's her take on a Healthy Horchata Green Smoothie, which is the ideal healthy elixir to indulge in this Winter, as it features pears and Swiss chard, which are perfectly in season right now!
  • 2 cups of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 pears (remove cores)
  • 1 banana (frozen will make for a thicker creamier smoothie)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds, optional
  • 2 to 3 big leafs of swiss or red chard without the stems (you can of course use two handfuls of spinach)
  • 1 handful of ice
  1. Add all ingredients in order listed above into high-speed blender and blend until liquid! If you don’t have a high-speed blender first add all liquid ingredients and greens then 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 blender).
  2. Pour into two cups, share and enjoy the tastes of Fall with a friend!
Note: If you are having trouble staying warm this winter, add a teaspoon of maca powder into the mix. Maca naturally warms your body from the inside out and has a nutty flavor, which compliments cinnamon. Also, it's just super fun to say MACA HORCHATA. Thanks Alyson for the kitchen inspiration. Visit her blog for more!

Friday, December 5, 2014

tonight's gemini full moon - are you ready to connect the dots?

This last full moon of 2014 peaks at around 4am California time on Saturday, December 6th and comes loaded with some powerful questions. What type of energy are you putting out into the world? What type of life do you really want to be living?

Gemini, represented by the twins, is a sign of duality. This full moon illuminates the opposing forces in our lives. Notice in your life where the tugs exists. Where are you feeling pulled between two drastically different things? In what parts of your life are you really fearful....and in what parts are you really loving? This Gemini Full Moon brings those opposites to the surface and encourages you to seek balance to find a happy place moving between the two with grace and ease. Own the dualities in your life. This month, stand in your power. And in doing so, take ownership of your life and direct it in the way that you want it to go. 

This Gemini Full Moon is the time to wrap up old, toxic energies that are no longer serving you. We must do the hard work now and move from the darkness to the light so that 2015 can begin on a positive, uplifting note. Use these next few weeks to tie up the loose ends of past pain and move forward into the light. 

Astrologer Kelly Rosano says ~ “Real growth is painful at times. Change is the only constant. Growth is optional. The Gemini Full Moon message is to Step Up. Be brave. Get in the driver seat. Empower yourself.” (via mystic mamma

Gemini is also the powerhouse sign of communication and community. Start articulating what you really want out of life. Reach out to your community. Let them know that you need help and support in your spiritual journey. Don't have a tribe yet? One of my favorite astrologers, Rebekah Shaman has this advice about tonight's moon -- Ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication, Gemini full moon boosts our courage so we can start sharing and speaking our truth. However, Gemini reminds us to also be self aware and take personal responsibility for everything that is happening in our lives. Take time out from miserable, depressing people and use the friendly, communicative, adventurous Gemini energy to find a new positive, uplifting community. This Gemini moon will show us mind-blowing synchronicities, magical meetings and connections and how everything is interconnected when our hearts and minds are aligned with the same purpose."

Gemini is the great connector. Now is the time to connect the dots of your year. Look back with love at 2014. How has each event (good and bad) led you to where you are at in this very moment. How have the people you met shaped your reality? Who has opened YOUR eyes to new ways of thinking? Who have YOU helped see the light? Now, in this final Full Moon of 2014, is the time to see and really, truly believe that WE ARE ALL CONNECTED. We are all one. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

scenes from sweet sayulita >< start 2015 in paradise!

Where better to set intentions for the new year than on a beach with good company? Join me for our 4th annual yoga retreat to Sayulita, Mexico ~ January 15 - 19, 2015 . Get ready for five days of growth, adventure and transformation where the jungle meet the ocean. Classes will be a combination of both challenging and healing to encourage you to step - or leap! - out of your comfort zone to start living a life you truly love.

I put together this photographic journey to show you what to expect on our yoga retreat. I've fallen head over heels for this adorable bohemian surf village and I hope you'll consider starting your 2015 off on the right foot with us down in Sayulita. Every year, I've been lucky enough to witness tremendous growth and spiritual breakthroughs on this particular retreat. If you're ready for a change and some fresh inspiration courtesy of the jungle, this is the right adventure for you!

your retreat guides: heather grisco + mandy burstein
 { yoga teachers, adventure seekers, students of life, part-time mermaids, full-time free spirits }

retreat theme: NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!

retreat intention: lounge in the sun, play in the warm mexican sea; explore the jungle; practice powerful vinyasa flow and deeply restorative, healing yoga; set goals and envision living the life you love in 2015. 

Heather and I first discovered this magical beach town in 2010 and since then, have led yoga retreats every winter there. Only a two hour flight from San Diego, it's become an easy escape for yogis looking to reconnect with nature and enjoy the cool hippie-surfer-artist vibes of this peaceful seaside village. 

accommodations: safe, serene, sweet rustic charm. one block from the beach.
practice space: ocean view, warm breezes rolling through, total bliss.

fun facts about this retreat: 

The entire town will be absolutely buzzing with positive, uplifting energy.

retreat pricing: $999 for shared room. $1099 for private room.

retreat package includes: ground transportation to and from puerto vallarta aiport, 4 nights stay at beautiful Hotelito Los Suenos, green smoothies and breakfast every morning, 2 group dinners, 8 yoga classes, one specialty workshop, and includes Airfare - if leaving from San Diego. *special pricing of $799 if airfare is not needed (if traveling from somewhere other than San Diego and would prefer to meet us at the Puerto Vallarta airport)

questions? ready to sign up? email mandy or heather to reserve your spot!  space is limited; first come, first serve.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Yogi Book Club Starts Today!

Hi friends! It's been a whirlwind of a month and I am so happy to be back home in San Diego! The first half of November was spent in Sayulita, Mexico leading our Mermaid Yogis Retreat in the jungle. It was a truly amazing experience. I was lucky enough to witness some major breakthroughs in the group of goddess girls that attended. This was the 6th yoga retreat in Mexico I had the privilege of coordinating and facilitating and no matter how many groups I lead on these adventures, one thing never changes -- I learn SO much from the process. The participants, their unique life paths, what they reflect onto me and my life, the lessons from the warm Pacific Ocean, the vibrations from the jungle, the messages from my local healers and shaman friends, the late-night conversations and dancing under the full moon -- all of it teaches me so, so much. 

Upon returning home last week, I felt super inspired to stay rooted in my studentship and continue soaking up as much wisdom as I can before year's end. I looked over on my nightstand and this beautiful book caught my eye: MAY CAUSE MIRACLES by Gabrielle Bernstein. 

My grandma gifted me this book last Christmas and I still haven't gotten around to it yet! I let a few friends borrow it, and I've noticed what a huge shift it's made in their lives. This isn't an easy read or something you casually flip through once a week. This is a book that requires dedication, presence, focus and intention. Most importantly, to me, this book is all about accountability. Which is probably why I've "avoided" it for almost a year now, haha! I dread discipline. I'm not so good at staying committed to a task over multiple weeks. In order for this to be a success, I'll need to call on my tribe and create a support system of girls going on this 6 week journey together.

What's the deal? 40 days of deep inner work, reflection and change. Replacing the fear in our lives with love and purpose.

How it works? Every morning, one minute guided meditation. Every afternoon, one minute check-in with your affirmation. Every evening, a journaling exercise. All facilitated by Gabby in this book, she is with us every step of the way.

How will we stay together? This is a very personal, individual journey. While we are reading this book in unison and supporting each other along the way, each person will have a unique experience. It's OK to stay on the same exercise and process it for a few days, or take a day off to deal with life. No worries! We don't all have to start and finish on the same day. Stay connected on instagram via the hashtag #zengirlbookclub to share your experiences with "May Cause Miracles" and how you are learning to release fear and invite more love in your life.

I'm excited to start the journey today, Sunday November 23rd. My personal journey with this book will take me into the first part of 2015, which I am so excited about! Please share and stay connected! Use this blog post and the tag #zengirlbookclub.

Here's to new beginnings! 


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

tonight's taurus full moon - feeling fierce?

Have you been feeling more energized lately? More focused on your goals than usual? If so, you are perfectly in sync with the cosmos!

This early November Full Moon brings the ambitious energy of Taurus into full effect. Typically, the last two months of the year tend to get lost in a haze of holiday gatherings and over-indulging, with more focus on letting loose and less focus on our goals. However, this year is proving to be much different! The opposite energy is circulating right now -- a fierce, determined, Taurus-influenced energy is encouraging us to do the opposite of years past. During this moon cycle, your drishti is on point. For all the non-yogis, that means your gaze or your focal point is spot on. Keep your eyes focused on your goals over the next two weeks. Don't be deterred by a bustling social calendar. Now is the time to indulge -- in your work, in your passions, in anything you have been aspiring towards all year long. It could finally be yours, if you choose to harness this potent, steadfast Taurus energy. 

The perfect yoga pose to practice under this full moon is a posture that truly challenges you. One that makes you dig your hands down into the earth, find your roots and learn how to fly. For me, this is handstand. Some other perfect challenge poses for this particular moon are: pincha mayurasana (forearm stand), koundinyasana (hurdler's pose) and titibasana (firefly pose). 

Taurus is an Earth sign so don't be afraid to practice outside. Now is the ideal time to feel the sand (or grass) between your toes and re-establish your connection with mama Earth.

For those of you that are feeling unclear on your goals, unsure of the next step to take in your career, relationships and/or life in general, don't worry -- we've all been there! I encourage you to soak up this determined Taurus energy and start to focus on what you really want out of life. The answers will come if you take time to listen. Even if you're life isn't making total sense right now, understand that everything is unfolding as it should, and there is indeed a higher purpose.

If this speaks to you, please take the time to experience our latest Mermaid Meditation. Janalyn Yanover and I created a series of seven meditations, inspired by the sea. This is number two. The "confidence" meditation will align you with your divine purpose, give you clarity and that push forward to continue to pursue your goals and dreams. 

I am trusting that I am exactly where I'm meant to be in my life at this very moment.
I have faith that the Universe will take good care of me on my journey.
I release the need to control or over-think the way my life is unfolding. 
I have faith that the Universe has my back. 

{if embedded video isn't working, you can view it here as well}

check out our other mermaid meditations here. namaste!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pumpkin + Maca = Healthy Halloween Superfood Smoothie

Not sure what to do with all that left-over pumpkin pulp after carving your jack-o-lanterns? If you're feeling adventurous and ready to tap into the abundant flavors of fall, here's the superfood smoothie for you! 

As we transition into Autumn here in San Diego, one of the best natural supplements to add into your diet in autumn is MACA. It's a root vegetable that has been grown in high-altitude Andes mountain ranges in Peru for the last 3000 years. Maca has a long list of health benefits and is used medicinally to treat lots of ailments like: osteoporosis, hormone imbalance, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. On a daily basis, especially during the colder months, Maca can be used to increase energy, enhance memory, strengthen your immune system and slightly raise the overall temperature of your body, creating a warming effect. 

Have you heard of Juice Wave yet? It's San Diego's first (and still only!) green juice food truck. My yoga student Chef Arleigh Rose created this concept in the fall of 2013 and within six months, the truck was in existence and serving up healthy juices and smoothies all over town. Lucky for us, Juice Wave has agreed to share one of their top-secret recipes exclusively with the Zen Girl community!

Highlighting fall flavors and the healing power of Maca, here's Juice Wave's 
signature seasonal smoothie, The Smashing Pumpkin:

The Smashing Pumpkin
Pumpkin pulp / Orange / Carrot / Apple / Maca powder/ Almond milk 

Use approximately one cup of pumpkin pulp, one cup of almond milk, and one tablespoon of maca to make one large personal smoothie serving. Start by juicing or blending 2 medium sized raw carrots, one delicious red apple, and the juice from one ripe orange. Blend with pumpkin pulp, almond milk and maca powder and enjoy this healthy Halloween-inspired superfood smoothie!

[follow Juice Wave's local adventures on facebook and instagram]
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