Posts Tagged With: Yoga

Friday Fitness #12 – Downward facing baby!

Remember when you were little and you could do the splits, or at least touch your toes? When it comes to flexibility, one thing is a guarantee, if you don’t use it… you lose it!

I’ve started back to working out (look for some weight lifting posts soon!) which means soreness and tighter muscles. By “tighter” I don’t necessarily mean less cellulite, I mean less flexibility. I sat on the floor in a straddle to play with my little girl and could barely reach in front of me past my feet. Eek! I used to be able to lay my stomach to the ground!

Today’s fitness suggestion is to get back in the routine of elongating your body. It’s been proven time and time again that being flexible is good for your health, beyond just being bendy.

  • Corrects and maintains proper posture.
  • Prevents injury (it helps when you can bend verses snap)
  • Increases blood flow
  • Healthier state of mind
  • Boosts balance
  • I believe it also provides a sound body for better sleep. But that’s just me.

We all know yoga is the prime way to connect with our breath and stretch out, but we also know that not all of us are amped on going to a studio with a few dozen yogis at 4am on a Saturday. Just sayin. So why not do it in the comfort of your own home!

There’s several online instructors that you can put on your device that will guide you through a proper session. Orrrrr you can just get on the floor and stretch. Try reaching for things you haven’t touched in awhile. Fingers to your back, hands to your feet, what about making the bottoms of your feet touch? To give you a visual I thought I’d find the most flexible person in our house to be my model.

Nailed it!

Here are some of our attempts (and excuse to show off Shanti).

Straddle sit with forward stretch.

Cobra pose

(Almost) Pressing the bottom of ones feet together.

(Assisted) reach to touch the toes.

Mom trying to get daughter to touch both feet at the same time (that’s me laughing in failure).

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Body talk… are you listening?

There’s a health fair that’s made a beginning here in Barbados and I’m so thankful to have been here for it! Introducing natural products that many have known for centuries and are bringing to light for the general public.  From homemade soaps to herbs and teas, there was an abundunce of goodies to look through.   

What glorious health-promoting event would be complete without a yoga demonstration by experienced, radiant instructers?  What I didn’t capture was this lovely lady in a superwoman position propped up on the bare feet of another amazing yogi. Stimulating stuff for sure!

 I was impressed with the variety of body work represented.  Soul healing, basic massage, acupressure, Reiki, chinese medicine… and that’s just to name a few!   


As I walked home from this small event, I had the conscious thought of massive gratitude… being exactly where I needed to be at that very moment in time.  New friends that I was supposed to encounter, rejuvenating energy that I was in much need of and a bit more fuel for my fire of open minded experiences. 

Favorite sight of the day?  Naturally…  

Tomorrow will be my favorite place to get local fruit, veggies, snacks and smiles.  Off to the Holders Market with hopes to see the same vendors in years past!

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Getting lost put me exactly where I wanted to be!

When walking the streets in Arequipa Peru you’ll see more taxi’s than cars and more pedestrians than taxi’s. Mingled in with the traffic and rush of the daily busy life you’ll find street side vendors, children in school uniforms and random sights that are typical to the Peruvian culture.

I’ll start with a grand shot of the Center Plaza including the gorgeous mountain that peaks behind it. Although it was surrounded by busy streets, it seemed to bring the freshest air in the city and what appeared to be every bird.






I have no idea.


Leaving from here I made unplanned turns weaving in and out of the alleys and side streets just to see what I could find. Please join me as we get lost!




This is a school bus with all of the backpacks secured on top, I love it!












This next photo is special for several reasons. First off, I think it’s precious! Secondly, I literally stopped in my tracks as soon as I heard a famous American pop song blaring from a small tienda. I wanted to snap a photo of exactly what I saw at that very moment. What a contrast to hear Taylor Swift while melting into a different culture.


I finally found a street that wasn’t bogged down with traffic and as I rounded the corner a four letter word smiled right at me…. Y.O.G.A!



Not only was it a yoga and massage studio, but turns out they have amazing food as well! I decided to spoil myself and indulge in the everything they offered.



Here is the yoga/massage room followed by a photo of my yoga instructor and masseuse (which happen to be a happy couple!).



Brace yourself as I reveal the cost for my day of pampering.
Private yoga class, a delicious lunch and a full body massage = Grand total of $24 US dollars!


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Yoga at La Buena Vida!

It’s my morning off and one of the last days here, so I decided to treat myself to a yoga session back at my favorite little spot in town.

La Buena Vida is an artistic hotel offering private villas, massage, yoga and a variety of sweet treats and healthy meals in there open air restaurant. The owners Michelle Miller and Mike Shogren are a young American couple who migrated to Panama in 2005. After traveling Central America for sometime they knew Santa Catalina was their new home to build La Buena Vida from the ground up. Well done my friends!







Following the signs to get to the studio was such a brilliant way to start the day. I think I liked the location and hike just as much as the actual practice!




At the final turn you reach the top of the hill that welcomes you with creative decor and a peaceful ambiance. A silence that’s only enhanced by the birds chiming in, as the wind brushes through the tree tops. Not to get all poetic, but this place really is a sight to feel.




I was the first to arrive and was invited in by Michelle. I’m sad to say that I don’t have a picture of her beaming smile, but trust my words, her calming energy and sincere eyes are a perfect fit for this little heaven in the jungle.




After completing class, I float back down the hill and return to finish up my days here in Santa Catalina.

To the wonderful girls that I got to connect with at La Buena Vida, I thank you for brightening my experience and I absolutely appreciate your shared energy. Peace, love and a gorgeous sunsets!

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A closer look at Santa Catalina, Panama

It’s been almost a week now working at Cabañas Time Out here in Santa Catalina and the weather has been hugging us with 90 degrees of pure sunshine.

What’s this? A new volunteer who has come to help out! Meet Joseph, a fellow backpacker and a joy to cross paths with as he makes his way north and I head south.


Today we played with some fresh fruit for juice and smoothies. I feel like I’ve seen green skinned oranges before, but I don’t remember ever trying one. The taste resembles a lime mixed with an orange which would make this flavor perfect for a cold lime-orange-ade or a fresh addition to an adult beverage!



I love the contrast between the green and red with this beauty. Sandía (watermelon) is one of my favorites!


Where do we get all of these amazing fresh fruit and veggies? A few times a week these supermen pull up and offer what they’ve got for the day. You pick what you want then they weigh it right there and it’s yours! I think I’ve finally found the adult equivalent to my childhood love for the “ice-cream truck”.




Since Joseph is here to relieve me of some of the chores, I finish up early enough to take a walk and explore the quaint surf village that sits below us.

Leaving the hotel I followed the main road (only road) that led to the edge of town. Here are some random shots in no specific order.









I like her style.


“The Police”


If you were to close your eyes as you pass by this next place, you’d assume you’re hearing the hottest fiesta dance club that’s packed full of locals drinking their way towards a foggy morning.
Well, excluding the strobe lights of a club and a front door… That’s exactly what this is!


Need some gasoline to get out of town? You wont find it here, but next door is a man with barrels of it (that you can smell from the road) who will gladly fill you up!


Judging by what they offer, you can probably tell why this my new favorite hang out in the entire town. Massage, yoga and health food… oh my! Also including lovely people that I consider new friends that provide amazing service for all of the guests.








After snapping photos like a tourists should, I signed up for the yoga class offered here by the owner Michelle. (That experience is posted under the category “fitness”). Here’s a direct link for all of you yogi’s out there: Yoga at La Buena Vida!


I took the beach path home as a way to calm the mind and finish my walk.






As I round the corner I find my little path that leads to the few hostels and homes that share the same road back home.









This is also the same path that provided a sneaky boulder in the way of my foot while I was running the other day. I now have a very close relationship with the beautiful dirt of Panama… and a few new scars to prove it.


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Yoga? You found me! LEAP this way…

*Some of the photos below are borrowed from fellow LEAP lovers.

Depending on how long you’ve been following this blog, you probably get a solid idea that I believe things, people, and places are introduced into your life at the appropriate time. All for reasons that we may not even be aware of. Now enters LEAP yoga and everyone there!

LEAP is a studio located in my hometown of Folsom, California. I would often hear of the place through several invitations from friends who were already attending. At that time in my life, I chose working full time (over time), lifting weights, and dancing were my three priorities of energy expense. I’m not saying that I had chosen the healthier options… It’s just the way it was.

Upon returning to the ever so familiar city of Folsom, I was greeted by my precious (to say at the least) friend Crystal with an invite to join her for yoga. “Let me guess” I say, ‘It’s that LEAP place everyone keeps talking about, right?”. With a huge expression and a face filled with her contagious smile, she replies, “Yeh! So you’re going!”. Feeling the need to focus internally and release some tension, I decided it was a great idea, little did I know…. A brilliant idea! Let’s call it journey changing.


As you enter LEAP you’re greeted with genuine smiles and more often than not an abundance of sincere hugs followed by “I’m so excited you’re here!”









Side fun note: See that sparkling smile in the middle of the instructors photos? That’s Mark, a friend in which I used to trick-o-treat with back in our elementary school days. Now he’s a guiding light here at LEAP! Below is a photo from our old school yearbook, Awh…so cute!


Moving on to the natural calming sense that begins to take over as you make your way to practice. How can you feel stressed out when you approach a waterfall Buddha? Just feel the instant dropping of your shoulders as you enter a warm room filled with peaceful decor.





Im sure we’re all here for a different reasons. Many want the exercise and stretching, others might desire a sort of meditation or therapeutic session. No matter what your intensions are, as you arrive to the practice and you layout your mat, you’re tickled with an “indescribable” feeling. Something that grows within you as you acknowledge your purpose and embrace the beautiful experience. (Those feelings I will attempt to describe in a future post!)

Here is a scrumptious handful of photos to try and give you just a glimpse of the pure energy, sweaty smiles and active room that is… LEAP!














The creators, Cathy and Corey (pictured below) shared a vision for creating a studio where one could feel connected, supported and honored. “At Leap we are committed to building a community rooted in compassion, love and truth. We want to support all of our students in creating their best life.” Mission accomplished my new friends!


They have a modern website that is welcoming and easy to follow. I encourage you to check it out to get a more thorough idea of this magical place! Click here to be directed to

Here are two of my favorite pictures from the LEAP website!



A very deep and personal note of gratitude to Crystal, Jamie, Donna, Mark, Jenna, Michelle, Robert, Allie, Allison and Joy. You each have uniquely enhanced my life with such grace, I couldn’t have planned it for better. Thank you for sharing and enjoying our path crossing!


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