Solstice in Times Square 2016


Every year thousands of people from all over the world travel to NYC to participate in the annual Solstice in Times Square Mind Over Madness Yoga event. As an avid yogi, I have been wanting to attend this event for some time but it often falls on Father’s Day so I am always out of town with my dad.

As I was heading back to the city the day after Father’s Day, I saw photos online about the Solstice event only to discover that it was taking place on the day of my return. I just happened to pack a set of workout clothes in my bag so made my way straight to Times Square upon my arrival.

In yoga, we work to find peace amidst chaos which for many people can be quite a challenge to do in a place that is often packed with tourists, giant Elmo’s, a naked cowboy, and city traffic with honking horns. During the hour long class however, I felt a sense of peace, calm, and it seemed as if I were in a quiet space. I believe the feeling was simply the result of me focusing on my breath, closing my eyes, and absorbing the energy of the large group of yogis surrounding me. I don’t remember even hearing a single horn, siren, or people yelling until after the class had ended.

So skip ahead to my favorite part…the free food!! I went from vendor to vendor getting samples of snack bars, smoothies, “skinny” popcorn, and gluten free crackers that taste like tree bark and rabbit food (not that I know what either tastes like). There was also a section where participants could have their photos taken doing their favorite yoga poses. I enjoyed watching people trying to figure out which poses to do and friends laughing with each other as they took photos practicing together. 

Just then a photographer looked at me and said, “I love your hair. Would you mind if I took a few pictures of you?” “Ok,” I responded. Good thing I was prepared with a cute outfit and a mani pedi! Before I leave the house I always think if I were in an accident of some sort and the paramedics had to remove my clothing, my legs should always be shaved, bikini waxed, I should be wearing sexy undies, and have a fierce mani pedi. I mean, what if I’m sent to a hospital to see a hot doctor?? I can’t be seen wearing sweat pants and sneakers…absolument pas!!

So anyway, I start flowing through a sequence of poses for the photographer while tourists on the sidelines stop to take photos as well. Suddenly, this random guy starts yelling at me about how he loves my hair etc. I politely thank him and continue with my impromptu photo shoot but he continues yelling obnoxiously until security guards eventually tell him to leave. Then I remembered… I’m in Times Square!

*Fin

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Reflection: Restore

  
|| RESTORE || If you are an ambitious person as I am, sometimes you have to remind yourself to take the time to restore. I keep myself busy doing the things that I love, accomplishing goals, and working towards new ones. Before I finish one project, I am often thinking about and working on the next, and the next, and the next one. I stay productive and like to keep the momentum going. My body however, sometimes tells me to pump my brakes, and I have learned to listen to it.

The other day I decided to get an early start, so woke up and took a 7am class. That class was followed by a casting, then gymnastics, then dance, then another class, then teaching Pilates until 9pm. Although I had a lot of energy and felt pretty good throughout the day, I got home feeling completely exhausted and passed out on the couch…clothes on, lights on, no dinner, and no shower (this happens often). 

The next morning I woke up and could barely move. Wtf was I thinking doing so much the day before?? Oh, I know… I was trying to accomplish things and having fun doing so (I really was). I had plans to teach and take multiple classes but decided to end my day early. 

After work, I took a Pilates class which felt good, and then I spent hours catching up with my BFF. I got home early and passed out again but this time at 830pm. I’m pretty sure I slept for about 10 hours that night, and my body definitely needed the rest.

I listened to my body and so made my schedule a little lighter for the rest of the week. I allowed myself to get home and to bed earlier, and I booked a much needed massage. When the weekend came, I let myself sleep in a bit and gave my body 2 days of rest. I still did a morning practice of seated meditation but focused on my breath and being still rather than working out like a maniac.

Monday is here and I feel rested and recharged for the upcoming week. It can be difficult to slow down when you are driven but it is essential that we give our bodies rest. It is fine to work hard and to push ourselves, but if we push to the point of exhaustion, we will have nothing more to give. Do yourself a favor by taking time during the week to restore. In order to show up and be fully present each day with energy and enthusiasm, we must allow ourselves to rest.

[Photo by Aggie Photos]

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Nóli Yoga

 
   
|| N Ó L I || 2015 Collection…

 

 Click on the link below to shop…  
http://www.noliyoga.com

Photos by Masha Creative for Nóli Yoga

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Reflection: Plan B

  
|| PLAN B || Quite often I feel like a disaster in the mornings. In order to be less of a disaster, I have a routine and create a plan to follow when I wake up. My plan however, does not always workout in the way that I imagine.

The other day, I had a plan to wake up and take yoga at 7am before going to teach. After being exhausted and waking up late, I found myself rushing to do my routine and to get ready to leave the house. By the time I shaved my legs and put on mascara (don’t judge me), I knew that I was not going to make it to my 7am class. ‘Now what?’ I thought to myself. 

Plan B. I knew I only had about an hour before I had to commute to work. So, I decided to do a 20min YogaGlo video, Pilates matwork, and 5min of seated meditation. Since Plan B took less time than taking a class, I ended up getting to work super early. I even had enough time to give myself a red hot manicure. See how that worked out?!

If for any reason things do not go according to your plans, make another one. Make a plan B, C, D, and E if necessary. As Tim Gunn would say, “Make it work!”
_______________________________

Tights by Nóli Yoga

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Sun AM Practice 2.22

 

(Photo by Fitness Magazine from my March 2015 feature)

After a week of multiple yoga, dance, and gymnastics classes, I am finally giving my body one day of rest (sort of)! However, even on what I consider to be a day of rest, I do a few stretches and seated meditation in the morning before I start my day. Here is today’s practice:

* shoulder bridge x3

* hundred

* roll up

* rollover

* yogi squat 3 breaths

* forward fold 3 breaths

* Sun A x3

* Sun B x3

* yogi squat 3 breaths

* boat pose 3 breaths

* reverse table top 3 breaths

(repeat 2 above x2)

* rolling like a ball

* abdominal series

* swimming

* cat cow 3 breaths

* downdog 3 breaths

* child’s pose 3 breaths

* seated meditation 3min

* Fin

  

And oh yeah… There was a little interruption during my practice.

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Morning Practice 2.12

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Today I am practicing the Prithvi Mudra during my 10min of seated meditation at the end of my morning self practice. This mudra is said to relieve the body from fatigue and to enhance strength and vitality. The tips of the thumb and ring finger touch while the other fingers are straight and relaxed. Try this mudra on your own and be sure to focus on your breath during meditation. Namaste.

– shoulder bridge x4
– abdominal series
– roll up
– balancing table 3 breaths x2
– cat cow 3 breaths
– downdog 5 breaths
– plank pose 5 breaths
– child’s pose 3 breaths
(Repeat 5 above x2)
– seated meditation w/prithvi mudra 10min (pictured)
*Fin*

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Morning Practice 12/7

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– hundred
– supine spinal twist 3 breaths
– roll up
– rollover
– one leg circles
– rolling like a ball
– abdominal series
– shoulder bridge
– control balance (pictured)
– butterfly pose 4 breaths
– tabletop pose 4 breaths
(Repeat 2 above x2)
– cat/cow 2 breaths
– downdog 2 breaths
– chaturanga, updog, downdog x4
– downdog 4 breaths
– child’s pose 4 breaths
– hero’s pose 1min
*Fin*

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