This Weekend: MAYfest– Music, Art & Yoga for the whole family.

So, this weekend I’ll be teaching at Mayfest, the Hudson Valley’s first Music, Art & Yoga Festival. I’ll be teaching a Vinyasa class on Saturday at 11am called Finding Your Flow, for all of you out there who want to find your flow (both on and off the mat). I’m excited to be a part of such fun weekend event, and to be teaching alongside some renowned teachers like Sadie Nardini and Justin Wolfer.

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The weekend will basically be like going back to camp (for all ages). The lineup includes great bands, stellar yoga classes, nature hikes, paddle board yoga, a wellness village and so much more– all in a beautiful lakeside location that is just over an hour from NYC.

The best part is it’s totally a family affair. Bring the kids along because Mayfest is also offering a “Kids Canteen” with plenty of offerings for the little ones including story time, yoga, sports, and even nature writing. Plus (best, best part), childcare is available so that mom and dad can totally take advantage of all the adult fun stuff going on.

For more information or to get tickets go to www.MAYfestNY.com. Hope to see you there!

Lessons From The Mat: Being Expansive

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.47.08 PMOver the last few weeks, I’ve been chatting about the idea of renewal and expansion with my yoga classes. How we can expand in our practice– maybe breathe a little deeper, reach a little higher, give a little more– and also (as always with yoga) how we can take that off the mat and put it into practice in our lives.

Sometimes we get narrow– especially when we get uncomfortable or face something difficult. We get anxious, and our mind seems to only focus in on the problem in front of us. Whether that’s in life, or while encountering discomfort in a particular pose, we let that situation overtake us, and can’t seem to see anything beyond that. But what if we could expand beyond the discomfort in these moments? What if we could see whatever that encounter is as trivial or temporary, and look past it, not letting it take us over?

Perspective is such a huge part of being happy. Think about it. What are you focusing on today? Believe me, there are plenty of days I have to remind myself to not get caught up in the negative. Inevitably the “what ifs” and “should have beens” creep into my own mind as well,  and I have to (as Taylor Swift so aptly sings) shake em off. Just last night I lay in bed thinking about what could be different, how I might be happier, and about the things my life is missing. Sometimes we just can’t help but go there, but how detrimental this is!! Thank God it’s a conscious choice to let it go, and go beyond this type of thinking. This morning, I looked around me and was reminded of how incredibly blessed I am am. How full and abundant my life is, regardless of it’s imperfection, and how much I have to be thankful for.

No, life is not perfect. It never will be. And we can always find things to want, things that are missing or things could simply be better. But focusing on all that we do have can flip a switch in us– literally turn darkness into light. Seeing (and focusing on) the abundance that IS there, will only bring happiness and, in turn, more abundance.

A common psychology tool for those who are depressed, is to have them to look up, above the buildings or trees, and into the sky and above the horizon– to see beyond what’s right in front of their feet, or in they’re immediate line of vision. Sometimes when life is hard, we need to remember this. Even when it’s not, how much sweeter is life when we look upward and realize how much possibility exists beyond what we can see?

So today, I hope we can all be more expansive. Reach a little higher, breathe a little deeper and turn our faces to the sky and feel the warmth of the sun. Today, look above the building tops or out into the horizon, and realize how much goodness and possibility exists, and how many more good things are to come.

To Swim Or Not To Swim

SoScreen Shot 2015-04-10 at 11.41.09 AM, the YMCA has been our go-to for swim lessons the past couple years. Aria and I have done two sessions of Mommy & Me classes, and just this past March she began swim on her own in the Pike class. Well, kinda.

The reality of the situation was Aria had zero interest in getting in the water by herself. While the other 3 & 4 year old girls in her class had the time of their lives, bobbing on noodles and jumping off the side into the instructors arms, my little one wanted no part of any of it. The first class she refused to even go in the water, and only after some serious bribery agreed to go in– which in reality meant permanently attaching herself (in a death grip)  to the instructor. The whole class.

Class #2 was exactly the same, and whenScreen Shot 2015-04-10 at 11.40.46 AM we got to class #3 she complained and cried the whole day leading up to swim, and insisted she just wanted “sign out” (btw-I have no idea where she got that from, but good on her for figuring out that that was even an option). This presented a bit of a conundrum though, since I feel like there’s a time to push kids (knowing once she got over her fear, she’s be a full on fish), but  also a big difference between pushing/encouraging and forcing.

In the end Aria got her way (she quite often manages to), and we agreed to postpone lessons until the she feels a bit more positive about the whole situation. We really wanted her to learn to swim since we live on a lake for a good part of the summer, but ultimately I don’t think it works to force our kids in fearful situations. So, we’ll keep on with the water wings and letting her do her own thing for now. Some battles just aren’t worth the fight.

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 Incidentally, the McBurney YMCA is doing SWIM WEEK from April 6-10 and offering FREE SWIM LESSONS for members.

Check out more info here!

Looking forward….

Our last snowy pic of winter 2015 by the amazing Ana Photo!

Our last snowy pic of 2015 by the amazing Ana Photo!

It seems unbelievable that just a week ago we were taking snowy pictures with the amazing Ana Schechter.

It feels like Spring is finally on the horizon now. We hit the playground for the first time this week, and despite slushy puddles and wet pants and socks by play’s end, it was nice to be out, feel the sun on our face, and feel hopeful that winter (and snow) is just about past!

In teaching yoga this week, I’ve been paralleling the natural elements around us, and asking students to consider what we need to let thaw in our own lives. What can we let go of in order to prepare space, and prepare ground where new seeds (and we) can grow?  It’s necessary, and worth considering for anyone who wants to bring in the new, fresh and better stuff in life.

In a practical sense we’ve also been preparing, thinking about next year and our plans for living in the city (or not). Kelcey Kintner, who I adore and seem to be living a parallel life of some days (minus 4 kids of course),  recently wrote about how she lost a piece of herself in leaving NYC (her blog Mama Bird Diaries is a must follow). I’m sure many of us NYC moms battle with the question of going or staying. I know I’ve been for quite some time.

For now, we’re still keeping our love (some days hate) affair with NYC going. Pre-K applications open on March 16 for all the NYC moms out there, and I’m hoping the process is not too painful. Apparently, with the new Pre-K for all initiative, there are many more seats available, but it’s still important to get the application in ASAP.

So, here’s to Spring and many new things on the horizon. Let the sun shine on your face today, and enjoy it!

We are so lucky…

A particularly grateful moment! We are SO lucky to have family in Florida!

A particularly grateful moment! We are SO lucky to have family in Florida!

So, gratitude is a big thing that I try to instill in Aria. And myself. “We are so lucky”, seems to be my catch phrase these days. So much so that just the other day, Aria called me on it and said, “Mom, you say that ALL the time!” And indeed I do.

But realizing how lucky we are is something that I want her to know. I want her to look for all the good in every situation, and always focus on the positive that life hands her. To know that she is fortunate and blessed and to hold on to that.  To not be spoiled or complacent,  but really appreciate every good thing that our life holds.

Quite often she and I will run through all the good people we have in our life– those who love her so much, as well as all the good things we have. Or we recap our day and talk about how lucky we are to spend so much time together doing fun things.

I don’t think we could ever wear out the phrase “we are so lucky.” My hope is that she will always feel gratitude and realize the good and wonderful things life holds for her. After all, we are so lucky.

A Simple Green Smoothie That Will Change Your Life

Ok, so it might not change your life, but this smoothie will indeed make your mornings a little sweeter.

Last summer I got both a Vitamix and Nutribullet (which I LOVE incidentally– read more on that here), and my go-to morning brew is now this simple smoothie. It’s filled with good stuff and the splash of apple juice and ice (surprise–who says green juices need to be room temp?) make it refreshing and oh-so-good.

Kid Tip: Sometimes, after I pour out half for me I’ll throw in some banana and a few frozen berries and blend up the rest for Aria. Totally toddler approved.

green smoothieIngredients:

1-2 Celery Stalks cut up.

1 Persian Cucumber (or about 3-4 inches or so off a regular one. I find the persians sweeter and tastier).

1-2 cups of baby kale or spinach or mixed smoothie greens (often baby kale, chard, and spinach).

1/4- 1/2 cup of Apple Juice (depending on sweetness desired)

1-2 ice cubes

*go organic on as much as you can!

Directions:

Throw it all in blender of choice and blend! Pour into a pretty glass (adds to the enjoyment) and indulge in the deliciousness.

Imperfection is the new perfect.

So, as we start off a new year, amongst other things, I look forward to being more diligent with updating this blog. I got on here today thinking about reposting holiday memories and pictures or posts I intended to do weeks ago– like our fun trip to Botanical Gardens Train Show and thoughts on how the magical wonder of the holidays comes back when you have little ones– but, alas, it is 2015 and it feels like nobody has the need or desire to revisit the holiday season or the year past.

So, instead I sit and think about why it is that I so often have good intentions of writing but then don’t. Sure, time is one factor, and the very un-endearing quality of procrastination that I possess another, but bigger yet is my perfectionism. As great as it is to expect top quality from myself, it’s also my biggest barrier. How many posts have gone unwritten, videos unedited,  projects ended before they began, and great ideas never taken off the ground because they were not “good enough” or “thought out enough”(when indeed they were likely over thought), and, ultimately, how many opportunities have I missed because I never put out there what was imperfect (or at least imperfect in my eyes)?

So in 2015, I say imperfection is the new perfect. Over thinking and perfecting is so 2014. Instead, I look forward to many more posts (grammatical mistakes may be included), and following up in action where my many ideas take me… imperfect and all.