Healthy Yoga, Surf, Music Road Trip up the Historic CA Highway 1

This past August I embarked on a Yoga, Surf, Music Road Trip up the California Coast! Starting point: Hermosa Beach, Destination: San Francisco. We headed to Outside of Lands 3 day Food, Music, Wine, and Art Festival in Golden Gate park and intended to squeeze yoga, surfing, healthy eating, and lots of exciting adventures in between. Minor detail… to keep things interesting, we rolled up to SF in style by crusin’ up the coast in a mint green 1979 VW bus named Betsy. Ohh yes we did. Besides showin’ up in a FRESH ride, we had another goal in mind…keep it as healthy as possible. Here I summarize how it is realistic to keep road tripping and camping healthy. With a little planning and positivity, here’s how we kept the trip from LA to San Fran fun, fresh, and free of preservatives! We strived for all of our fruits and veggies to be local and organic and our meat to be free-range. If you’re planning on coasting the Legendary California Highway 1 while trying to keep it healthy, you’re at the right place. I give you recipes throughout, highlight some of our most memorable stops, chronicle our trip via some RAD photos, and at the end of the post, I provide a copy of our grocery list, some of our healthy camping meal ideas, and list off all the things from A-Z we thought was necessary to bring along on our yoga, surf, music roadtrip!!! If you have any questions about our healthy road trip, connect with ar-yoga on the Facebook Like Page and ask away. Look forward to hearing from you :)

  • Hermosa Beach: took off munching on some HOMEMADE TRAIL MIX: almonds, sunflower seeds, dried apricots cut in small squares, farmer’s market dried cherries no preservatives
  • Found a perch with a great view to eat our super spinach salads- Vegan & gluten free. Super easy & simple ingredients too! SUPER SALAD: Spinach, cooked quinoa, shredded carrots, dried cranberries, grape tomatoes, garbanzo beans, roasted pumpkin seeds, edamame. CARROT GINGER MISO DRESSING: carrots, olive oil, sesame oil, water, ginger root, shallots, seasoned rice vinegar (water, rice, sugar, sea salt), shiro miso (organic rice, organic soybeans, water, sea salt, koji), and salt.
  • Cayucos state beach to check the waves
  • Arrived at Big Sur & coasted around the cliffside bends wishing it wasn’t past sunset…oh well, you live, you learn.
  • Esalen hot springs at night overlooking the expansive ocean lit up by the moon & stars for $20. Yelpers are LOVING this spot & so did we!
  • Got a campsite at Pfeiffer state park to make brunch. $10 for a day pass which was valid at all state parks until sunset
  • Did a bit of back tracking because we heard McWay Waterfall trails was a MUST and I do concur it was STUNNING even on a semi foggy day. Check it out!
  • We were going to check out Nepenthe Restaurant, but decided to park at an overlook and watch the sunset there instead. No matter where you stop it’s always a rad view, but I hear Nepenthe has a stellar overlook and it’s worth doing a glass of wine there during sunset.
  • Slept at the overlook & woke up to a cop telling us it was illegal to sleep on the side of the road. Ooops! And he told us we were going entirely too SLOW and that we had about 30 cars behind us the previous day and we needed to pull over more often…double Ooops! Guess you stick out like a sore thumb when you’re in a mint green 1979 VW bus, huh? We didn’t mind the early wake up call because it was MC’s birthday! Honoring the fact that it was a day to both celebrate and meditate, we were excited to party & squeeze in some yoga!
  • We headed to Santa Cruz to check out Steamer’s Lane, world famous surf spot. We did bring along 2 mini cupcakes & purchased 2 chai teas at a local coffee shop to do a bit of guilt-free birthday indulging on our trip. By this point, we deserved it :) All in moderation. We met up with an old friend who gave us a tour around town and of the Digital Media Arts Center at the University, so fun!
  • Did some birthday vinyasa yoga at Donation Based Urban Flow Yoga in SF. Got down with MC Yogi, who taught a super dope class with an intelligent and intuitive sequence and was an incredibly chill dude. You gotta go!
  • To balance out the previous day’s flow, we hit up Bend Yoga for a restorative class in preparation for 3 days of MUSIC! It was a great class in an intimate studio, and just what we needed.
  • The next 3 days at Outside of Lands Music, Food, Wine, and Art festival at Golden Gate Park was INCREDIBLE. Words don’t describe, so happy I got this as my birthday present this year :). There was food trucks galore, good music to jam out to, people watching for dayyyysss, not to mention that we were surrounded by life and nature. BOMB.COM. I learned from the veterans I was with, first and foremost, key is to go with a group of friends. Spread out a blanket and all your belongings (backpacks & water bottles allowed) at 1 stage with most of the acts people want to see. Everyone wanders around going to check out the different stages and sets while 1-2 people are responsible for holding down the fort. Works like a charm! No body gets lost because you always come back to home base, we also had fun sign (the gaggle we called it) we threw up from time to time so people knew where we were when they tried to find us! Genius!
  • We were told at MC Yogi’s class we had to go to Rusty Well’s class on Sunday…it was described as “going to church.” And that it was! Challenging flow, but the energy in the room was joyful, and Rusty brings it. A mindblowingly spiritual vibe connected the room and we left vibrating at a higher frequency FOR SURE! Highly recommend it.
  • Fav Restaurant: Zazie’s for brunch- Lemon Lavender water, need I say more? Long wait, but check out Finnegan’s bar right next door, garden is great on a sunny day :) We lucked out, weather was perfect.
  • GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE…Betsy made it :)
  • Headed up to do a bit of R&R with friends in Healdsburg, CA. Checked out the local bar and grill for lunch, fell off the healthy wagon for a second and treated ourselves to mango sorbet & honey lavender gelato..(yum) from powell’s sweet shoppe, went kayaking, Picked fresh lavender, veggies and fruit straight from our friend’s mega magnificent garden, made a farm to table fresh dinner (oh my! can you taste the difference!!), drank good wine with good people, and slept well. Just what the doctor ordered.
  • Made our way back to LA on the 5…man oh man is that route a drag. Nothing but sand and 110 degree weather. Pick up fresh fruit and healthy snacks in SF if taking this route, nothing but gas stations and fast food for the majority of it. Right when we though Betsy survived, she died on us turning into the alley to the driveway. Hahah! We pushed her into the garage and were grateful we had a BEYOND amazing trip. No worries, she was back in working order the next day after a quick alternator belt fix and good ol’ fashion jumper cable start.
  • Hope your travels up the California coast are just as memorable and health conscious :)

Cincopa WordPress plugin

water granola cereal hasbrowns, grilled
ice eggs artichokes, eggs, fruit
baked garbanzos trail mix BREAKFAST #2
apples nectarines honey nut granola,
nuts gum almond milk, banana
dried apricots banana LUNCH #1
almond milk carrot cake balls super spinach salads,
celery sticks chicken chicken, carrots,
hummus salmon hummus, fruit
almond butter fingerling potatoes DINNER #1
grapes artichokes brown rice, fish/
carrots salads chicken, veggies,
oatmeal salad dressing wine
rice cakes edamame
avocado veggies for stir fry
seaweed chips dry mango
olive oil granola bars
seasonings berries
SURF PERSONAL floss aluminum foil
booties Drivers License deodarant paper towels
drying rack ID body lotion trash bags
fins Debit Card body scrub/soap dish soap
fin key Credit Card first aid kit tuppaware
leashes (extra) Cash lip balm sponge
pickle Passport razors spatula
rash guard keys shaving cream knife
surfboard cell phone aloe vera cutting board
towels phone charger toilet paper grill forks
wax camera toilet wipes tongs
wax comb camera charger vaseline bottle opener
wet suit memory card towels can opener
YOGA watch wash cloth cups
block books bucket for water mixing bowls
book magazines hand sanitizer gel ziploc bags
mat TOILETRIES tweezers pots/pans
strap medication nail clippers flash light
CAR mirror CAMPING bug candles
car phone charger shampoo cooler bug spray
extra gas & oil conditioner lantern water filter
jumper cables hair brush/comb batteries chairs
proof of insurance hair tie air mattress scissors
proof of AAA bobby pin mattress pump duct tape
CLOTHES make up blankets pocket knife
sunglasses hair products sheets
hat face wash mattress pad
laundry bag make up wipes tent
swim suit mosturizer/SPF sleeping bag
towels for face & eyes hammer
flip flops glasses pillows
running shoes contacts grill
jeans contact case matches
belt contact solution fuel/propane
shorts eye drops charcol
t-shirts q tips fire starter
socks cotton balls newspaper
sweatshirt/jacket sunscreen plates
underwear kleenex bowls
bra/ sport bra mouthwash silverware
beach towel toothbrush baking sheet
yoga clothes toothpaste skillet

Birthdays: A 365 day journey around the sun is worth the meditation

celebrate & meditate birthday cakeOn Your Birthday, Celebrate AND Meditate!

I recently celebrated my birthday! A few days prior I was finalizing the end of my doctorate program’s summer school session & I hadn’t slept in 3 days, but the Leo in me has an indefatigable LUST for LIFE & I was determined to put my best foot forward for the glorious occasion known as my birthday :) A 365 day journey around the sun was necessary to get to the next year in my life & best believe I would make time to toast to that very enjoyable ride!

I firmly believe a birthday, especially our own, is a unique day meant to be acknowledged & celebrated with sparkles, glitter, & gold. The Meditation Society of Australia backed me up on this. They offer nearly 50 free online courses featuring a step-by-step guide for people learning to meditate, complete with guided meditation exercises & music that you can download & play. Class #27 is dedicated to learning how to value your birthday a whole lot more. Heeyoo! The excerpt below is taken straight from Class #27′s lesson (click the link here to check out this meditation in it’s full glory).

Your Birthday- the day of your Soul.

birthday carrot cakeThe birthday is an extremely important day to the spiritual aspirant. Whether we realize it or not, we do arrive at a particular time and place for a specific reason. There is nothing random about you being born on the date and time you were born.

For this reason we should treat our birthdays with real reverence.

On that special day our highest vision of our journey here was born. We have all sorts of grand and magnificent potentialities and our birthday is a time to reflect upon our highest image of our self. Realign and centre ourselves.

Brutal honesty is needed on our birthday. Are we progressing towards that highest vision? Are we loving more than we have in the past? Are we more unconditional with our love? More on target? Are we evolving the fastest? Most of us are not able to answer all these questions in the affirmative. So if not, our birthday is the day to rededicate ourselves to the real in us, with renewed vigour and renewed commitment.

eaten birthday carrot cakeMake your birthday an example for the rest of your life. Say to yourself “what would I do on a perfect day? How would I live?” And then just follow your heart. In this way each birthday becomes a visionary precursor to the following few years.

We recommend you spend at least 1 hour in meditation or more on your birthday. If you can, take a break from all your routines. If you are working, ask for the day off. If you have a holiday, spend the day doing things to pamper your soul. Be in nature. Go to the beach. Read a book. Listen. In silence.

Astrologers will tell you all sorts of things about your birth date and your natural tendencies. We each are different players on the same team, but we do play at different positions. This is how the team will be the most powerful. Imagine what would happen if we were all the same, if we all wanted to play at full back or full forward. It would be a mess. That is why our birthday is so important. Every minute of every hour of every day, the world is changing. The planets are aligned another way, the tides somewhere else. There is not a moment that has passed that is the same as another and not one in the future theaten birthday carrot cakeat will resemble another from the past. Our birthday shouts to us that each of our paths are unique, and to value our experience, our intuition.

We each are unique and magnificent creations. Born at exactly the perfect time, with the most perfect of potentialities. As we manifest our highest we make all of us a little better, a little higher, a little happier.

Celebrate the joy of life, the wonder of you. You are an awesome creation and a magnificent and glorious creator. Take the time on your birthday to glance back at the journey so far, but to make yourself more determined than ever to manifest your highest vision of yourself.

Our birthdays are our soul’s visionary days. Treat them with reverence. Our special connection with the infinite is more powerful than ever on our birthday.

birthday sushi dinner with friendA Birthday Reflection.

Because I’m a Leo, I naturally extend my birthday celebrations into more of a birthweek affair and I encourage all signs of the zodiac to draw out birthday festivities for as long as people are willing to tolerate you ;) BUT for realsies, my celebrating would not be so sweet & oh so complete without the company of fabulous family, lovers, & friends. To be able to surround myself with the uplifting people in my life & have them raise their glass in my name is certainly a moment to cherish & be grateful for. During my birthweek I spent time in LA & Chicago and I had the opportunity to….corepower yoga south loop chicago view

  • Say booyah, boom, done! to my 2nd year of school at USC & officially get to call myself a 3rd year Doctorate of Physical Therapy Student (mind you 3rd year=FINAL year!)
  • Admire my marvelous friends as they surrounded me in good company at an overflowing dinner table at Fusion Sushi in Manhattan Beach
  • Partake in the devouring of 4 carrot cakes over the course of 3 days.
  • Engage in some well deserved self care & got a birthday remix manicure & pedicure
  • Be silly & wear an absolutely ridiculous/fabulous outfit to my birthday breakfast, just because I could.
  • Spend time near the ocean & marvel at the madness that is Manhattan Beach 6-man volleyball tournament. Hello to a 20,000 person birthday party.birthay breakfast
  • Sleep for 12 hours straight without judgment.
  • Use my new surf board to catch some waves with my main squeeze
  • Travel to Chicago to see my family & life long friends
  • Check out the fascinating Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibit in Chicago with my bestie. Go see this NOW!
  • Eat a deliciously satisfying (& healthy!) dinner in Chicago at the Karyn’s On Green. Vibe: Contemporary, Stylish, Vegan with delicious food & a vibrant bar scene. Yumm, highly recommend this beautiful eatery.
  • Enjoy a rad view of the Chicago skyline from my yoga mat during a yoga jam & kirtan meditation sesh at Chicago’s South Loop Corepower Yoga. BREATHTAKING VIEWS of Chicago from your yoga mat guaranteed. DO it.

core power yoga south loop view

When I go to bed I certainly count blessings, not sheep! Making a list of the positive experiences I’ve had this week allows me to be so much more grateful & appreciative of all the joy in my life. How could I possibly think anything is lacking?! On my birthday I also made it a priority to reflect on everything that has been accomplished over the past YEAR. Whoa.

As this week wraps up, I get to have my teeth shined by the dentist tomorrow right before I fly back to LA. Soon after landing I’m embarking on a Yoga, Surfing, Music ROADTRIP up the legendary Highway 1, from LA to SF, in a Mint Green 1979 VW Bus. Yep, life is good. Stay tuned. In the meantime & in between time I’ll be busy acknowledging the awesomeness that already exists in my life today & expanding my vision of what is possible in my life :)

Horoscope says, “By choosing to embrace a mind-set of abundance, you will automatically put forth powerful energy that can transform birthday nails and oceanyour reality.”


Check out more meditations under the focus page!

Lots of dopeness went down this week from celebrations to meditations. Much love & many thank yous to all the fabulous souls from LA to Chicago who made my birthWEEK a celebration of ever-grateful proportions!







visualize & nuture your dreams, talents, goals, & gifts into a reality

Imagine you’re on your death bed & standing around your death bed are the ghosts representing your unfulfilled potential, the ghosts of the ideas & dreams you never acted on, the ghosts of the talents & gifts you didn’t use. They are standing around your bed angry, disappointed, and upset. They say, “We came to YOU because YOU could have brought us to life & now we have to go to the grave together.” Today I ask you, how many ghosts are going to be around your bed when your time comes?

Denzel Washington recently gave The University of Pennsylvania’s 2011 commencement speech. He addressed the students with a very powerful message regarding never turning your back on your own infinite potential, a concept he borrowed from inspirational speaker Les Brown.

I try to write a monthly piece on keeping up with your all the goals & new year’s resolutions that were set back in Jan 2011! May’s topic is about the power of positive thoughts, your ability to write your own recipe, & the infinite potential we all have in manifesting our dreams into a reality!

Take a moment & visualize this metaphor: You fast forward to your death bed & you can see, hear, smell, taste, & touch all the potential you didn’t tap into in your life, all the dreams you never acted upon are all there scattered at foot of the bed staring at you. The ghosts that represent your unfulfilled gifts and talents say, “We came to YOU because YOU could have brought us to life, YOU could have shared us with this world & now we have to go to the grave together.” Sit with that for a second…

Okay, Okay, let’s come back to the present. This metaphor speaks to me quite vividly right now because I was recently focusing on how I feel very connected to my dream of living near the ocean. The ocean’s expansiveness makes me feel grateful, it’s pure essence clears my head, it’s rush brings me bliss, & it’s healing ways make me incredibly happy. Because I feel so drawn to it, I’ve been visualizing & entertaining the idea of setting up shop in a beach town & truly taking it all in. It’s been a dream in the making. It’s been MY dream in the making. How could I not feed this dream, MY dream? How could I sit here and not attempt to give it life? I recently wrote about how I was manifesting my beach town livin’ dreams with the Law of Attraction. AND GUESS WHAT…Searched some websites, filled out a few applications here, checked out a few listings over there, most importantly put in pure raw positive energy & intention, & literally overnight (in the past 24 hours) it happened! I’m movin’ a mile away from the beach next weekend :) Sounds crazy, right? Truth be told, this dream of mine has been 2 years in the works. It even made it’s grand appearance on my 2011 vision board. Yep there it is, in the lower left hand corner, plain & simple…move to the beach. My vision board is hanging on my wall & I have the delightful opportunity to stare at my dreams everyday of 2011. The most significant part about this chapter of my life is knowing that I set the goals & I consciously CHOSE to act upon them. It requires intention, heart, dedication, & patience. All of this DID NOT just fall in my lap overnight. I visualized it, I feed it positivity, I prayed for this to happen only if it was for my highest good, I nurtured this bad boy like there was no guarantee of tomorrow because I didn’t want to lie on my death bed having to ask myself why I didn’t make my dreams a reality. So, today I ask you, how many ghosts are going to be around your bed when your time comes?

Check out min 13:30 to Fast Foward to Denzel talking about infinite potential!

Law of Attraction.

hermosa beach glowing.

Law of Attraction: Each thought is an investment that pays immediate dividends, so invest wisely. You have the power to choose your thoughts & align them with love, peace, & harmony. The Light & Source of all that is, at your request, will gladly attune your energies to higher frequencies.


Good Morning :)

I’m in the process of manifesting many delicious things in my life….nourishment & support from friends, family, & even strangers to feed into the mad love I have for everyone, energy & inspiration to finish up the last year of my Doctorate Program so I can continue on pursuing a fulfilling career within Physical Therapy that will delight & humble me everyday of my life….to name a few. In this very moment, there is one thing that I’ve been REALLY working on attracting into my life :) I’m getting ready to move out of my place, so I’m definitely investing a lot of my positivity & good vibes into this hermosa beach bike ridesituation. I’m currently bringing to life the idea of living near the beach because the ocean is SPEAKING TO MY SOUL. The logistics of it all has definitely been tricky & frustrating at times, but I know that I need to continue feeding the situation with patience & love. And if YOU my friend want to send my circumstances a lotta bit of love & positive vibes, then that would be magnificent & greatly appreciated! As things unfold, I concentrate on staying grounded. Remaining grounded during the moving process is an important focus because the 1st chakra is susceptible to getting out of balance when you’re dealing with your home, living situation, patience, structure, stability, & security. The 1st chakra is all about your roots, foundation, & home base, THUS staying centered is key! Your structure, stability, & security can be a touchy subject, but I often remind myself of the importance of realizing that where I place my attention is where my energy goes. Think positively & you attract positivity. Stress & think negatively & you attract stress & negativity. When it comes down to manifesting my new beach digs there’s no sense in worryingbecause worrying is like praying for what you don’t want to happen to happen. If I’m grounded & realistic, then why stress & psych myself out about money, not having enough time, & self-doubting negativity? No thanks, NOT worth it. I’d rather be in a positive place and know that whatever happens will be for my highest good. As I go through the ebbs & flows that come with the act of moving, I remain

surfing & sun at hermosa beach.

grateful for everything that I ALREADY have. The most important thing about using the Law of Attraction is to ask & then not become attached to the outcome. Expectations ARE the mother of all frustrations. When we get so wrapped up in something and can’t let it go that’s when we are no longer working for our own good. This mentality can be applied to any situation…relationships, breakups, jobs interviews, school, work…mmm LIFE! Just let it go & let the universe run it’s course! If it doesn’t work out, there’s always a lesson to be learned & it’s most certainly a blessing in disguise if it wasn’t meant to be because that means there are BIGGER & BETTER opportunities in store for you. Alright, I’m off to drop of my application for my future beach town pad…thoughts of sun, sand, surf, beach bike cruisin, running on the strand, & playing beach volleyball are dancing in my head :)

Bursting at the seams with lots of LOVE & JOY always! xoxo ar

Diversify your sound with Cultura Profetica. Puerto Rican Reggae. music is always a go to for me when I’m in a mellow yet uplifted mood. Cultura Profética has easily become one of my favorite bands to listen to. They are a Puerto Rican band, with reggae roots, that made their debut in 1996. The majority of their songs are in Spanish, but they also do songs in English (their Tribute to Bob Marley album is UNREAL). They’ve toured across Puerto Rice, but have also touched down in the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Mexico & the United States. In English, Cultura Profética, tranlates into Prophetic Culture.Don’t speak/understand Spanish? Who cares, listen anyway. I know Spanish, so in this specific case it may be a little easier for me to say these things, but I still love listening to music in languages I don’t understand. Listening to music in other languages is a stimulating & dope thing to do! Plus, music is like a whole different language in itself. I think that Cultura Profetica’s music is living, breathing proof that you can feel connected to music even though you don’t understand every single lyric. It’s sometimes all about being able to “feel” the music, and that right there puts you on a whole different level of “understading”. Cultura Profetica hits you with laid back cat mellow music- harmonies that make you feel light and airy, rhythms that uplift you, & super soulful lyrics. Their sound is rich, complex, & very admirable. If you find yourself enjoying their music & venture down the path in which you feel that you absolutely HAVE to know what they are singing about, then here’s a little insight into what they say they are saying…

“Conscientes de las realidades socio-políticas de su Puerto Rico natal y la geopolítica en general, deciden levantar su inspiración en favor de la libertad, la igualdad, la naturaleza y el amor, a través de canciones motivadoras y originales. Armadas con buen sentido poético, sus creaciones resultan frescas y espontáneas, con carácter contemporáneo y valor universal.”

TRANSLATION- We bring consciousness to the realities of Puerto Rico’s socio-political & geo-political issues. Our original & motivating songs are inspired by freedom, equality, nature, & love. Armed with a poetic sense, our songs are fresh & spontaneous with contemporary character & universal value. PERSONAL DROPPING OF KNOWLEDGE SIDENOTE: Geopolitics describes the relation between politics & territory. It comprises the art & practice of analyzing, prohibiting, forecasting & using political power over a given territory. Puerto Rico is an organized unincorporated U.S. territory which has been given internal self-governing powers. This gives them their “Commonwealth” status. Under the Constitution of Puerto Rico, Puerto Ricans have some degree of freedom from this little external authority figure known as the United States. When the United States just so happens to be your “little” external mother figure, you can naturally assume that there’s a lot to say & debate about the topic. Thus, Cultura Profetica often sheds light on the geopolitics of their motherland.

Diversify your sound & check out my hour long, groovy mood, feel good Cultura Profetica playlist on YouTube! Happy listening :) xoxo ar

Right Brain vs Left Brain. The neuroanatomy of awareness & meditation.

right vs left brain image yoga meditationright vs left brain image yoga meditation









I’m currently in the process of attaining my Doctorate of Physical Therapy at USC and I have an exciting accomplishment to report…I JUST wrapped up my 2nd year. Ahhhh….How amazing that feels. This past year was intensive in neurology (The branch of medicine or biology that deals with the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system). We acquired SO MUCH knowledge it was unreal. We hit up several aspects of the subject…neuroanatomy, neuroscience, neuropathology, clinical management of neurological dysfunctions, and much much more…OoOh wee! After a countless hours studying, tons of hands on practice & experience, many long nights that turned into early mornings, and a slew of assignments, projects, & tests ALL that info is jammed packed somewhere in the confines of my brain. Humbling.

One of the things i find incredibly fascinating is the complexity of this creature called the brain. The thing is absolutely bah.nanas. The human brain is split smack dab down the middle into 2 hemispheres- Left & Right, which are connected via the corpus collosum. Pretty distinct & well known features, but what I find super intriguing is that scientists continue to explore how some functions tend to be dominated by one side or the other, that is, how they are lateralized or specialized to one side. Broad generalizations are often made about certain functions (e.g. logic, creativity, speech) being lateralized. Of course, these ideas and generalizations need to be treated carefully because it’s important to note that BOTH sides of the brain contribute in some way to several of these functions- BUT its a fun topic to explore none the less.

I created the images above to display how opposite, yet complementary both identities of the brain can be. It’s a popular belief that some people are more “right brain dominant,” that is they are super creative, in the moment, vivid, intuitive, see the big picture, and tend to be “feelers” of certain situations, while those who are “left brain dominant” are logical, linear in thinking, can analyze the past and future, can break down the situation into details, & are very verbal (speech is lateralized on the left side in areas known as Brocas & Wernickes). I think what’s a more important thing to take away from this little discussion is that we need to be AWARE of our capabilities so that we are able to tap into BOTH ways of thinking. In my humble opinion, this is something were NOT taught in school, but I feel should be heavily emphasized.

For example, meditating can be considered a big time right brain activity. First, we need to calm down the monkey brain, which enjoys spending its time jumping from thought to thought. We do this by acknowledging, but then slowly letting go of the mental chatter of the past & futre (left brain) in order for us to transcend into the moment & feel connected to the big picture (major right brain). On the other hand the left brain is the rock star when it comes time to solve a complex, multi-step math equation. You need to tap into your left brain’s ability to break down the problem & process in a sequential way so that you can arrive at an accurate and exact answer.

This website is all about a holistic view- acknowledging & incorporating all aspects of the Self in order to allow for a deeper understanding of life, encourages following your passion & intuition, promotes movement & living from a place of free-spirited bliss & happiness. HELLO right brain. Because I feel that it’s a little neglected in mainstream academics, we are going to show the right brain a little love right now. Here are some fun exercises to get the right brain juices flowing…..

Drawing with your Right Brain- Don’t call yourself an artist eh? Try calling upon the abilities of your right brain to help improve your drawing skills! The right brain is all about visual-spatial tasks. When you actually take a moment to simply draw exactly what you see, your drawings will actually appear realistic. We limit ourselves when our very logical left brain butts in and says”excuse me it’s not going to be possible to draw this 3-D figure onto this paper, because my logical self realizes that I’m drawing on a flat piece of paper, thus it’s only possible to draw in 2-D. You should probably stop trying to confuse me.” You let your left brain take over and then what happens? As you’re attempting to draw things & include the component of depth, you add things that aren’t really there just to satisfy the part of you that can’t possibly believe that it would be a “complete & realistic” picture without that minor detail that you JUST.HAVE. TO. include. Try this awesome, quick, right brain drawing exercise….

Meditating- You can honestly do this anywhere and any way you see fit. One of the easiest ways I incorporate meditating into my daily life is actually while driving. Were going to do a little exercise in which you VISUALIZE 2 scenarios. So this is driving with my left brain on full throttle….I’m driving to the beach. I’m GOING to be on the beach in 30 min. I can’t wait to be on the beach. I am going to go surfing WHEN I get there. THEN, AFTER I am done surfing I am going to play volleyball. I CHECKED the weather & the surf conditions BEFORE I left. This is GOING to be amazing. Did I remember my towel? My wetsuit? food? What time is it? Based on the time now I have BEEN driving for 20 min, which means only 10 more min UNTIL I get to the beach. Phew. I am FINALLY at the beach! That all entailed what I was GOING to do in the near FUTURE & processing the immediate PAST. This is my driving meditation with my Right Brain in full control….I am CURRENTLY driving to the beach. I don’t care what time it is because no matter how fast or slow I drive, I’m going to arrive at the same destination. I AM consciously making the effort to ENJOY EVERY MOMENT in between my front door step & my first step onto the beach. All the moments in between are the PRESENT MOMENT, which I am incredibly grateful for no matter how mundane they may appear. I SEE the RED, BLUE, BLACK, GREEN, GOLD cars in front of me. I NOTICE the vibrant flowers along the side of the road. I bask in the SUNSHINE that’s CURRENTLY beaming down on me & I don’t need to arrive at the beach to appreciate that. I AM GROUNDED AS I acknowledge my inhale & exhale. I FEEL RELAXED as the chaos of downtown LA traffic swirls around me. I DON’T GIVE into the the rush hour, bumper to bumper, road rage, negative mentality because the fact that I’m “stuck” in traffic is reminder for me to SLOW DOWN anyway. The drive IS more picturesque, and dare I say more enjoyable, the more I am able to surrender to the NOW. I take in all the colors and unique architectural designs of all the building that come together to form the LA skyline. I am driving, I approach the beach, & I SMELL the scent of the salty ocean breeze filter into my car, the beach landscape on the horizon IS more vibrant, the sun IS a little brighter, & even the mountains in the distance have a whole lot of character to them. EVERYTHING COMES TO LIFE. I get out of my car, step onto the beach, & I am incredibly happy, blissful, in a good mood. & even feel a little lighter- all because I ENJOY the molecule of EVERY MOMENT. It’s that easy- where you choose to focus your energy is where your attention goes! Check out more on meditating on the focus paage!

To bring all this left brain right brain business to a close- you HAVE TO HAVE TO watch this…’s WORTH every second of it. It’s an incredibly interesting, affirming, powerful & thought provoking story narrated from a compelling, informed, engaging, & unique perspective!

Stroke of insight: Jill Bolte Taylor on

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive left hemisphere stroke. As it happened — she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied & remembered every moment. This is a powerful story of recovery and awareness — of how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another. (Recorded February 2008 in Monterey, California. Duration: 18:44.)

fun funky fresh dope yoga playlist preview

2 new songs that I’m totally DIGGIN’ right NOW in THIS MOMENT!

Lupe Fiasco feat MDMA: Album Lasers- Coming Up

Adele: Album 21- Set Fire to the Rain

Definitely make the cut for my sculpting yoga class playlist:) I’ll set the mood for a fun, fresh, invigorating, incredibly dope class, you’re responsible for bringin’ the funk! Oh! PS & by the way WestSide/Southbay party peeps…Believe Fitness Studios just got featured in Living Social as the BEST PLACE TO GET CREATIVE WITH YOUR WORKOUT! We’re installing ANTI GRAVITY YOGA this week…so that statement is a FACT :) Due to this much anticipated installation, Believe Fitness Studio will be closed March 28th-April 3rd. Classes resume MON APRIL 4. Get it! I’ll see you in Sculpting Yoga & Zenergy meditation! sign up here…