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10 Tips for Surviving Your First Yoga Class

10 Tips for Surviving Your First Yoga Class

Are you finally ready to wear those lovely legging to an actual class? Congrats, you’re about to embark on a meditative and healthy adventure! But what exactly should you expect your first time on the mat? Here are my 10 tips for surviving your first yoga class:

How to Push Through New Year’s Resolution Slump

How to Push Through New Year’s Resolution Slump

There’s a certain beauty about the New Year—the idea of a fresh start, a “reset button” for those bad habits we’ve acquired or perpetuated the year prior. But, while it is inspiring to set resolutions, it also can bring up unfair or unattainable expectations: If we falter from committing have we failed? Will we feel resentment or a sense of weakness?

According to an article in Time Magazine, some of the top ten commonly broken New Year’s resolutions are:

3 Secrets to Living Longer, Healthier and Happier

3 Secrets to Living Longer, Healthier and Happier

“Live long and prosper.” — Leonard Nimoy”

Ever heard of a Blue Zone? Prior to my recent trip to Costa Rica, I hadn’t either, but apparently I was in the heart of one. New York Times best-selling author, Dan Buettner partnered with National Geographic to identify Earth’s Blue Zones, longevity hot spots where the average human lifespan is 100+!

The Positive Power of Play

The Positive Power of Play

When was the last time you: let loose, laughed so hard your stomach hurt, connected with your inner child? Science has shown that play truly has a positive effect on our health and well-being by: relieving stress, stimulating brain function, boosting creativity, improving our relationships with others, and so much more! Unfortunately we’ve gotten SO serious as a society that we’ve forgotten what it’s like to have fun. After all, no one wants their boss seeing them hula hooping, right? The truth is, play is not just for children.

Transitioning into Fall with Twists

Transitioning into Fall with Twists

It’s official folks…fall has arrived. While summer is hands down my favorite season, I can’t deny the beauty of this time of year. From the colorful foliage, to the shiny red apples, to the smell of pumpkin spice, it’s pretty spectacular. That crisp air also has a way of making us crave comfort foods and feel like cocooning under a warm blanket, so we may find ourselves slowing down a bit, which is not a bad thing. However, the trick…especially if you like fall treats…is to keep your body in balance. My tip: Transition into fall with twists.

How I Ended A Bad Relationship…With My Cell Phone!

How I Ended A Bad Relationship…With My Cell Phone!

Though it’s super hard to admit it…I’ve become that person…the one who reads emails while walking down the block, races to refresh my Instagram feed after getting off the subway, and feels utter desparation when the “Low Battery” warning pops up on my iPhone screen. It’s a problem, and while I’m fully aware of it, it’s so hard to break free.

Make Your Passion Your Paycheck!

Make Your Passion Your Paycheck!

“The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling.” – Fabienne Fredrickson Click To Tweet If there’s one thing I love almost as much as yoga it’s WINE!  It’s a happy indulgence that I truly enjoy and appreciate.  What’s more, yoga and wine pair perfectly together (in that order of course!).  For me, a nice glass of vino post-savasana just ups the bliss factor.  Perhaps it’s my Italian blood (or should I call it Chianti, LOL!).  Surprisingly, wine and yoga share many similarities.  Like the yoga practice, a fine wine takes time to mature and develop.  It has to be nurtured and cared for.  Yoga and wine-tasting are arts that require awareness, heightening of the senses, visualization, patience and practice.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized…there’s GOT to be a way to blend my two loves together from a business prospective… Flashback to last summer, when I had the pleasure of teaching yoga at the beautiful Wölffer Estate Vineyard in East Hampton.  There was something magical about the juxtaposition of flowing asana amongst the cascading grapevines.  Class was followed by a tasting of my favorite rosé.  It all just seemed to blend so well (wine-pun intended!).  It was there that I discovered a way to merge my passion for yoga and wine during what only could be described as a karmic-reunion. After class, I was strolling around the beautiful grounds when I heard a voice call out my name.  It was a former student of mine named Liz who was there tasting wine with friends for a bachelorette party.  We hadn’t seen each other in...
Huh…Handstands Can Heal?!

Huh…Handstands Can Heal?!

According to the American Thyroid Association (ATA), “An estimated 20 million Americans have thyroid disease of which 60% are unaware of their condition,” and; “Women are 5 to 8 times more likely to suffer from this disorder than men.”  These are staggering statistics, but what exactly is thyroid disease and what can we do about it? I recently had the pleasure of meeting fitness coach Nadia Murdock of Nadia Murdock Fit at a wellness event.  Her upbeat personality was magnetic and we instantly clicked.  She is a what I call a “fitspiration” who turned her struggles with weight loss into a wellness crusade to help others.  I invited her to join me on an upcoming yoga retreat since it had always been on her bucket list.  A few weeks later, Nadia shared with me that she was undergoing thyroid surgery and was unable to make the trip.  Thankfully the surgery was a great success, and she is back in action.  Because leading an active lifestyle played a key role in Nadia’s recovery, she was inspired to create a wellness series on her blog to educate others about thyroid health.  I am honored to be a part of this series, and below I shed some light on how practicing yoga can help regulate your metabolism and keep your thyroid in check. NMFIT: Why is practicing yoga beneficial to someone suffering from thyroid disease? Yoga is a practice of creating balance.  Similar to the principles of acupuncture and reiki, yoga improves the way our bodies and minds function by removing energetic blockages.  When these blockages occur, they can lead to physical...
A Profile of an Amazing Woman

A Profile of an Amazing Woman

The yoga practice is a like a magnet for people with great energy, however in today’s society, yoga has unfortunately also become a catalyst for competition and comparison.  I’m guilty of it too.  When I took my first few classes, I just didn’t “get it.”  I viewed yoga as strictly a workout.  I would scan the room and lose sight of my own practice because I was so focused on what other people could do, and what I couldn’t do.  At the end of class, I’d literally lay in savasana with my eyes wide-open, waiting for the cue to get up and go. It took a long time for me to connect with the true essence of what yoga is about.  I fell in love with what I learned so much that I made it my life’s work to share that with others.  Becoming a yoga teacher has not only benefited my physical health and mental well-being, but it’s brought so many amazing people into my life.  One incredible individual in particular (who I devote this blog post to today) is my student, and now dear friend, Carol. It’s a rare blessing in life to meet someone who truly personifies perseverance, strength and positivity.  I remember the first time Carol stepped in to my Yoga Foundations class at The Yoga Room in Astoria.  While we’d never met, I immediately could sense a warmth about her.  She was quiet and perhaps a bit timid, which seems so ironic now that I know her and her boisterous personality so well.  She headed to the back of the room and rolled out...
3 Surprising Things You’ll Experience on a Yoga Retreat

3 Surprising Things You’ll Experience on a Yoga Retreat

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover.” – Mark Twain I’ll admit it, before I got into yoga I thought all yoga retreats were either silent, involved a strict dietary cleanse, or were only for super advanced practitioners.  The truth is, yoga is for everyone, and you don’t have to fit into a certain mold to enjoy its benefits.  While there definitely are yoga retreats that cater to specific preferences and practices, you can absolutely find a retreat that clicks with your tastes and desires.  Still…What if I didn’t mesh with the other people?  Would I feel trapped?  How would I handle being at the mercy of someone else’s itinerary?  These are all legitimate concerns, and when I decided to become a yoga teacher, leading a retreat didn’t appeal to me because I assumed that others had these similar worries. With a little probing and encouragement from my students, I took the leap and held my first retreat January 2014 in the stunning mountains of Puerto Rico.  I’ve since gone on to lead 3 more because it was such an amazing experience.  But, it was a TON of work to organize and execute, and secretly I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a student on a retreat…to let go of the reigns, the planning, and the responsibility, and just enjoy the ride.  So, last week I traveled with my...