Bali faves 2.0

I've been a little swept up in the tides and forgot to share my favorites from last month's trip to Bali! We love Canggu, a surf town with great coffee shops and yoga vibes, so we spend most of our time cruising the Batu Bolong strip - which I refer to as the Bali equivalent of Purdy Ave. In the year since we last visited, there has been a surge of development (sad) but some great new spots have sprouted up (score). So if you're planning a trip in real life or just taking notes for your future adventures, here are my most recent recommendations:

Milk and Madu: this place rocks. It's by the same peeps who run Watercress, another great resto. Bali has an excellent coffee shop slash breakfast thing going on, which I'm pretty sure is drawn from the strong Australian influence. And man, do they nail it. Avocado toast, coconut milk chia puddings, incredible cappuccinos with Revolver coffee and gorgeous presentation. Mike and I loved to hit this spot up for brekkie after our respective yoga and surf sessions.

milk and madu

Dandelion: I don't even know how to describe this adorable warung, so I'll just tell you what it offers. Great food, cheap prices, a balinese mariachi band and bunny rabbits that run free around the backyard. Go for dinner, stay a while, tell all of your friends. It's just too cute not to share.

Alchemy: This Ubud joint is famous and I don't know why I didn't make it here last time. This place sets the standard for raw vegan food. High vibration food, great atmosphere, delicious smoothies and cold pressed juice. We loved our lunch up here - it's about an hour from Canggu.

The Chillhouse: This hotel also has some solid yoga teachers, a nice breakfast and offers cool adventurous activities like surfing, biking and more. I loved my morning practice with Octavio.

Deus Ex Machina: Motorcycles, surfboards, music, restaurant... this place is epic. Their revered Temple of Enthusiasm flagship in Canggu is popular for their Tuesday night tradition - tacos and free tattoos. I was very close to getting one... but instead I opted to get inked at a proper place later that week! Surprise! Here I am getting a fresh tat at Mason's Ink Tattoo in Seminyak.

bali tattoo

My little Bali souvenir! A reminder to love through all things - always lots of challenges and times of growth on trips like these.

Mike and I are also planning a super duper dope Bali yoga retreat for 2016 so you can come explore all of these places with us and do some amazing yoga and personal discovery! Stay tuned, info coming soon :) xox

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Travel muffins 2.0

Jet lag is a bitch. Back in Miami and wide awake at 4:30am yesterday, I scrolled through instagram for way too long before I finally got out of bed. In my semi-conscious state, I wandered into the kitchen  - where it seemed like a good idea to make another batch of travel muffins. The same ones I made before we went to Bali. People had been asking for the recipe and I really couldn't remember what I had put into them so I needed to make them again. As I was cracking eggs into the mixing bowl at 5am, I wondered if I was perhaps a baker in a past life. 

travel muffins

I love to bring homemade food on a trip, much more nourishing than airplane junk. Although I did have some decent food on my flights to and from Bali. I request the Hindu Vegetarian option when I fly - which means Indian food and veggies... I even got a pretty yummy saag paneer for one meal. 

namaste muffin mix

Back to the muffins - they are super easy because a) they come from a mix! and b) they don't require a vitamix or anything fancy. I stumbled up this mix in Whole Foods a few months ago and was instantly drawn to it by the brand name - Namaste Foods. Excellent marketing to this yogi. 

It's sugar free and gluten free as well, so that's awesome. A forewarning - when they say it's sugar free, they really mean it's sugar free. No sweet taste AT ALL... so if you like a little sweetness, give it some chopped banana on top, or you can mix some banana into the batter. Older bananas are sweeter but younger ones hold up better as a topping. Your call. It's a brown rice flour based mix and super versatile. You could do all kinds of things with it. 

They're perfect for a long trip because they're quick to make (who has time when you're packing for a big voyage), they hold up super well in your carry-on luggage, they're light and munchy and you can put some chocolate in them which just feels like vacation. Enjoy!

Travel muffins 2.0

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Namaste Muffin Mix (buy online here or at Whole Foods)
  • 1/2 cup alternative milk (cashew, almond, coconut)
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped low sugar dark chocolate bar (or if you don't care about sure, use enjoy life mini chips - they're the best) 
  • 1/2 banana
  • hemp seeds for topping

Preparation:

  1. Mix muffin mix with water and milk - make sure you break up all the lumps. 

  2. Mix in eggs (if you're using mashed banana, add this in here as well) Let this sit for a few minutes to so that the mixture warms.

  3. Melt coconut oil and add it to mixture. If your mixture is too cold, it will cause the coconut oil to harden into little chunks. If that's the case, let it hang out on the counter until everything warms up to make sure it blends properly.  

  4. Add cinnamon, vanilla, sea salt and mix until well blended.

  5. Stir in chopped chocolate.

  6. Lightly grease a muffin pan with coconut oil and drop mixture into the individual muffin shapes. Makes 12 large or 24 mini muffins. I prefer mini ;)

  7. Top with cinnamon and hemp seeds and sliced banana if you're using. Make sure to push the banana chunks down to ensure they stick into the mixture.

  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 13 - 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and then pack up a ziploc bag full of muffins for your trip and freeze the rest for when you come home!

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High vibration

I'm back in Bali. We're back in Bali. There wasn't even much conversation about it between me and Mike - it was more of an understanding. That we needed to get back and plug in. That we needed to experience it. I don't know how to describe it beyond saying that, at least for me, there is incredible transformation and beauty on this island. High vibration. Things shift for me here. 

There is spirit in the DNA of the Balinese culture. It hits you the second you walk out of the airport. The smell of incense rising above the cacophony of taxis and motorbikes. There are temples, offerings, prayer... devotion everywhere. Spirit energy. And we are here during the ten days of Galungan, the Hindu holiday when ancestral spirits come down from heaven to visit the island. Ironically - and unintentionally - we were here during Galungan last year. I swear there are spirits everywhere.

desa seni

Last year's trip to Bali screwed me up, in a good way. I came with expectations for this perfect experience and it was so much different than I wanted it to be. I had to give up my expectations, I had to surrender, believe and trust. I had to let go of a bunch of bullshit and get closer to the truth. Once I did, incredible channels opened up. This past year has been a practice of being open for everything, and I feel like this trip once again is widening those channels.

We've been here two weeks and things are changing. I'm changing. Things are getting shaken up, I'm uncomfortable but this time I'm better at recognizing that it's a sign of growth. The vibrations are getting higher... and I'm feeling that Bali magic hitting me again. 

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Flexivert

I took one of those little quizzes last night on Facebook. You know, the ones that have provocative titles like "What city are you supposed to be living in?"

Mine was Capetown. Which I totally agree with - I love that place. 

capetown

The one I took last night was a "What personality type are you" quiz. It was based on the Myers Briggs test. Since it was just a zippy Facebook link, I didn't overthink my answers like I normally would. Breezing through - yes, that sounds a little like me... no, that does not describe me at all... I made it through and then at the end I was told I was an INFJ.

Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Judging. 

Introverted. I mulled this over. I read the description. Yep, that sounds like me. Creative but struggles to express how I'm feeling verbally. Sensitive. Insightful. Secretive. Believe I'm right. Perfectionist who is rarely at peace with myself. Yes, yes, yes. But introvert? I wasn't sold.

Today I started talking to my mom and she told me how much she loves texting. I agreed with her and she said "I really don't like talking on the phone."

"Yes!" I exclaimed emphatically. "I hate calling people on the phone! I don't even like picking it up when people call! It makes me so anxious." Introvert central.

I love people. I equally love being by myself. Maybe I'm a flexivert. But what's more compelling is why do I always feel like I need a label to feel whole and complete. 

Do I really need another reason to feel good or bad about myself? 

Maybe I'll just move to Capetown and stop taking these little quizzes.

capetown
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Life on a bike

Very few things make me happier than the simple pleasure of riding a bike. The feeling of freedom, instant connection with the outdoors and the fact that you're responsible for moving your own body. I love bikes - and I am especially passionate about biking as a form of transportation. A favorite quote of mine sums it up nicely...

Four wheels move the body, two wheels move the soul
— Anonymous

After happily going a year without a car and just getting around via bike, I'm often asked about what kind of bike to get and how I handle biking in Miami. Honestly, it can be a total clusterfuck. Miami is notoriously un-bike friendly. Rough roads... bike lanes unexpectedly ending... lots of tourists... and crazy ass drivers. Yet biking can be your most beautiful Miami experience at the same time. Whether you have a bike or want a bike, here are some things I've learned from five years of biking the streets of MIA that may help you.

1. Get a bike that suits your lifestyle. Over my lifetime I've had different types of bike - road bikes, mountain bikes, fixes, beach cruisers, hybrids. I love them all for lots of reasons. You have to consider what you need your bike for. Are you taking it to Whole Foods for groceries? Cool - get a hybrid or cruiser with a basket. Are you planning on using it as your car? Awesome - get a fixie or lightweight hybrid (you want it light so you can easily put it on a bus or in a friend's car if you need to). You don't need a lot of gears in Miami since we don't have any hills. When you're ready to get a bike, check out local bike shops or online. Most companies frequently run web promotions or free shipping so have some patience when online shopping. You can also easily buy online and bring it into your local bike shop to have it assembled.

fixie purefix bike miami

2. Once you get it... lock that shit up. While you're at it, get a really badass lock. Between us, Mike and I have had five bikes stolen from Miami Beach. That's 2.5 bikes per person! WTF, right? Invest in a lock. I love my Kryptonite Evolution Mini - I got it on amazon.com. People are ruthless so always lock your bike up to something stable. I've seen street signs ripped out of the street so people can steal the bikes locked up to them - always make sure you're locked up to something secure. And lock your bike through the rear triangle

3. Never leave your bike out overnight in this city. NEVER. I don't care how well locked up it is. 

4. Consider your attire. You want to be able to be nimble and comfortable. Girls - biking in a dress or skirt sucks. You can't go that fast and the fabric might get caught somewhere. Flip flops and sandals can be a pain too - not to mention dangerous. Your most comfortable biking outfit is flexible bottoms and sneakers of some variety. I have a single speed (fixie) that doesn't allow for a basket, hence why you see me wearing a backpack around town. That's how I get my groceries home and it's nice because it keeps the weight centered on your back. For chicks - a purse or even a cross body bag can be troublesome if the weight shifts to one side or the other. I've had scary experiences when a heavy tote bag slipped off my shoulder and almost threw me off my bike. Just good to consider.

5. Know your roads. Euclid is a great biking thoroughfare in Miami Beach - nice and wide with well marked bike lanes. West Ave is a mess right now with all overflow from the Alton construction. Biking down Lincoln Road is a nightmare on weekends but in the very early morning, it is a truly delightful experience.  Google Maps has a bike function for when you're mapping out a route that's helpful. 

6. Check out group rides. Critical Mass is one of my absolute favorite things to do in Miami. Or come ride with us during our monthly Purdy Ave rides. It's such a cool way to see the city and meet new friends. If you're riding at night, make sure you get some bike lights for safety. 

7. It's the tropics, so it's almost a given that you're going to get rained on. You might want to get a lightweight rain jacket. You'll also probably ride in the rain. And unless you have more of a cruiser bike with fenders, you'll end up with a nice wet line on your butt from the spray. You can check our the Ass-savers (yes, it's a real thing!) to keep your booty dry.

And finally... once you're out there on the road, take time to enjoy your scenery and have so much fun! You are treading lightly on this earth when you're on a bike and that's a really good thing. You can discover so much more than you could in a car! Soak in the beauty and art that surrounds you - life just feels a little more magical when you're cruising around this planet on two wheels.

bike wedding
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Slow down

The rain stopped. "Yes!" I said to Mike. "We can still go for a bike ride." I had chosen the Nita Lake Lodge for their great reviews and their complimentary use of 'toys' - bikes, canoes, paddle boards, etc. Although today's forecast was 90% chance of precipitation, the skies had cleared momentarily and I was eager to take a spin through the mountains. 

whistler

We got set up on mountain bikes and actually wore helmets on for a change. As we rounded the first curve, I turned to Mike with a big smile, "I've never regretted a bike ride." 

"Dude!" He replied. "You totally just jinxed us." 

"No way. Don't say that."

We rode through Whistler - around lakes, over bridges, through scenery we would never see in Miami. We switched gears to ride up hills. We waved to people and said hello as we breezed by. It was lovely. 

whistler sky

After a steady uphill climb, we approached the top of a curving steep descent with a warning sign. I immediately thought back to Bali. That island been on my mind frequently. I remembered Mike cruising down giant hills on our scooter while I cowered in the back. I reminisced working through that fear and by the end of the trip, I was successfully navigating my way on the scooter up and down big hills. I came back to the present moment and smiled to myself as I started to cruise down the hill, gaining speed quickly. In hindsight, it was weird - Mike would normally be in front in these kind of situations, yet I was the first one going down. As I plowed ahead, I saw a bend in the road ahead and quickly braked to slow down.

The trail was still wet from the rain and with the combination of fast braking and wet ground, my tire slipped, swerving the bike underneath me and throwing me off. My hip and thigh hit - hard - and I tumbled forward - all in slow motion. I watched from outside my body as my chin finally hit the pavement, the impact enough to rattle my brain. 

Fuck.

Am I alive? There's blood. There's Mike. Teeth in check? Yes. Fuck. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

My tape played out. Frustrated at myself for getting hurt. For ruining our plans. For being human. Fuck, I really like it when I can be perfect and keep my shit together. 

Mike got me up. My shoe was ripped from the force of the fall. We slowly walked back to the hotel, him walking both bikes, me with a leaf over my chin to apply pressure. Blood. "It's not so bad," Mike kept telling me. It was bad. Stitches. He just didn't want me to pass out. Love.

"Slow down," the universe tells me. "You can't always control the journey."

I guess it's time for me to listen. 

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Coconut cashew butter

I woke up today thinking about Bali. And Mike. He's been gone for almost a month - off in Vancouver getting yoga-fied. And we have reached the "ok, that was fun for a few weeks, we need to be back together" point. I'm over the novelty of being by myself and very much ready to have my partner back. I can only keep myself busy for so long - when I slow down and really feel my emotions, I am immediately reminded how much it sucks to be apart.

In missing him, I waxed nostalgically back to our adventures in Bali and also simultaneously starting thinking about food prep - weird, I know. I am going to Canada on Friday to meet up with him and I have been wanting to make something for the trip.

Hmm. Bali was a goldmine of cashews and coconuts. I am on a nut butter kick this week. I need something deliciously filling and portable for the flight.

Bali + food prep + Canada trip... 

"Can they intermingle?" I thought to myself. "Dude. They totally can." And in that moment, coconut cashew butter was born.

*Notable - all of this happened while pulsing during 7:30am FlyBarre class this morning. Moments of brilliance are not limited to when you're in the shower.

*Notable - all of this happened while pulsing during 7:30am FlyBarre class this morning. Moments of brilliance are not limited to when you're in the shower.

Coconut Cashew Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of raw cashews 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon shredded or flaked coconut
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 - 4 shakes of cinnamon

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F

  2. In a large bowl, mix cashews with honey and hemp hearts and spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  3. Bake the mixture for 20 - 25 minutes until golden.

  4. Remove the nut mix from the oven and let it cool off for a few minutes. 

  5. Once cool enough to handle, add the nuts to your food processor.

  6. Let the food processor run for 5-10 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides.

  7. After the almonds stop being meal-y and become buttery (about 5-7 minutes), add the coconut oil, chia, coconut shreds/flakes, salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Let the processor run for another few minutes. Add more oil as you see fit. 

  8. Once it reaches your desired consistency - this takes longer than almonds, fyi - my food processor ran for another good 10 minutes. It will make a big cashew ball but then it will smooth itself out into delicious creaminess. Patience, young grasshoppers. 

  9. Put it all in a mason jar and eat with a banana. Nom-enal. Refrigerate if it's going to last you more than a day or two.

A field of honey coated cashews awaits you...

A field of honey coated cashews awaits you...

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Side effects

I left Bali with my heart fuller, my inner chatter quieter and... my pants a bit tighter. Ugh. I'm blaming it on the coffee. My logic? Since almonds are expensive in Indo, they don't do almond milk, my default milk. And I don't do soy. I'd prefer not to take the chance on more estrogen.

So... I broke the cardinal rule of yogi's everywhere… and got real milk. Whole fucking milk! The horror. And guess what. It was creamy and delicious. So foamy. I loved every drop.

How cute is this cappuccino chirper?

How cute is this cappuccino chirper?

But the obvious side effect... five weeks of full fat dairy left me with more luggage than what I packed when I left Miami, if you know what I mean. So when I got back to MIA, I immediately wanted to resume my "normal" Miami diet. On the plane I was dreaming of kale smoothies with almond milk, almond butter on some Ezekiel toast, raw almonds… yum!

But something weird happened. Yesterday morning, almost immediately after having an almond milk cappuccino and some overnight chia oats made with almond milk, my throat felt scratchy. I got a little headache-y. I didn't feel super great. Definitely didn't feel as good as I did when I was milking it up in Bali. Perplexed, I thought… what could it be? Did I pick up something on the plane? Do I need sleep? Maybe it's jet lag.

More whole milk porn. And journaling.

More whole milk porn. And journaling.

But then I remembered my bud Sharon mentioning she was told she had become slightly allergic to almonds due to overeating almonds. I thought - what the?? Have I overdone it as well?! Naturally I turned to Google to substantiate these claims. And can you believe what I found on MindBodyGreen.

Eek! So - I'm experimenting. Some coconut milk, some dairy. We'll see. But taking a little break from almond life for now. Knowing most of you guys are almond consumers, I wanted to share in case you also happen to experience something like this. Back in Miami also means back in the kitchen so I'll be posting some recipes soon - stay tuned!

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Favorites: Bali yoga

I bid Bali adieu on Tuesday and 44 hours later… I'm home. I'm operating kind of like a jet-lagged zombie but overall I feel pretty good. I'm attributing most of my feeling goodness to the amazing yoga in Bali that filled my cup for the past 5 weeks. Oh, and hydrating. Drinking lots of water on the plane is a must.

Bali is the yogi mecca of the East. LA is the mecca of the West, in case you were wondering. The yoga vibes are contagious. Like, literally, you're breathing patchouli all of the time. I almost certainly would have gotten a chakra tattoo if I stayed any longer. Or at least started wearing more earth tones. The scene is pretty serious. There is actually a nice process to the whole thing - you show up and lather yourself with all-natural bug spray (since everything in Bali is partially outdoors), set up mat/blocks/towel, commence class (which starts on time unless there is scooter traffic), practice, finish, drink coconut water straight from the coconut. And repeat.

They must not have any obstacles here. Ganesha is like the main man in Bali.

They must not have any obstacles here. Ganesha is like the main man in Bali.

I loved practicing in Bali. It totally hit the spot. Spirituality, flow, breath, meditation. I was able to get to most of the main studios - there are a few amazing places I didn't get to practice at, but the ones I recommend below are a pretty solid representation of the Bali yoga scene. Om.

Canggu -

Desa Seni - This gorgeous eco-friendly yoga resort has a great mix of teachers and styles - from Anusara to Ashtanga. I considered this my home studio for a couple weeks and I was always excited to take class there. They have a great yoga community, lots of ex-pats who live in Bali - and they do regular community events and lots of workshops. I practiced mostly with Octavio - vinyasa with some bhakti infusion. Desa Seni has Manduka-ish mats for use and they offer complimentary tea post-practice. Expect to see lots of people from Australia, Canada and the US. Book one of their excellent massages afterwards for a real treat. Yum!

One of two studios at Desa Seni

One of two studios at Desa Seni

Uluwatu

Morning Light Yoga - One of the most beautiful studios I've practiced at. They do two classes a day - 10:30am and 5:30pm. The morning one was my preferred time - so you can see the morning light, of course! Lots of surfers and wives/girlfriends of surfers in class. The teachers are mainly from California and have great sequencing and good vibes. Stick around to chat after class about how the surf is in Java or how good Land's End Cafe is. 

Dreamy set-up at Morning Light Yoga

Dreamy set-up at Morning Light Yoga

Ubud

Yoga Barn - Whoa, yogi. This is yoga central. It's basically a yoga compound. The class schedule is amazing - tons of classes and options. But it felt like everyone took themselves too seriously. They have everything you could ever want from a yoga studio - delicious cafe, showers, massage, tibetan bowl meditations, ecstatic dance classes, Ayurveda doctors, shopping, a tiny bookstore, on site accommodations (which I stayed at) - but overall the vibe was a little heavy for me. Good to visit for a class or two - the teachers totally know their stuff - but I wouldn't practice here regularly.

Radiantly Alive - Beautiful studio and training center with less pretense than Yoga Barn. The airy, light filled upstairs studio was a joy to practice in. I only got to one class (Vinyasa) here but I really enjoyed it. They have a pretty solid schedule with a variety of classes per day, including aerial yoga. This would be my preferred studio if I was in Ubud, just off the vibe alone.

Radiantly Alive in Ubud, Bali

Radiantly Alive in Ubud, Bali

So now that I've been able to get on my mat consistently for 5 weeks, it's time to pass that energy on in my classes. I'm back to my normal class schedule and I'm excited to announce that I'll be teaching a new class - Monday 4:30pm at Green Monkey Miami Beach. I've also got an H2om next week - June 27th at 8pm at the Standard Hotel. Check here for details! xo

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Favorites: Bali food

Whoa. Have we really been here a month? I've slipped into a vortex of scooter rides, 2 hour yoga practices and coconuts as far as the eye can see. Time is losing it's grip on me. I find myself wondering what day it is. 9:30pm feels like midnight.

I could get used to this.

My Bali goals of journaling every morning and beach walks haven't happened with the regularity I would have preferred, but every moment has been perfect and exactly what it should be. What we have not forgotten, though, is eating. With a large and hungry surfer as my traveling companion, we have tried many amazing Bali favorites. And as a yogi and foodie (yoodie?) I am very happy to help Mike sample the fresh and tasty offerings around Bali.

Here are the ones I have to share with you today… categorized by the aforementioned areas of Bali. Note - There are lots of diverse places to eat in Bali, these are my yogi-friendly recommendations. They are mainly vegetarian/vegan and pretty mid-range in price, which is essentially half the price of anything in Miami and twice as healthy and delicious. 

Seminyak - Bali's Miami

Revolver Espresso - where I am writing this blog post from:) Awesome coffee and breakfast/lunch spot with incredible eats and a great local and international vibe. Gun themed menu and venue rocks my world. The Smith and Wesson (read: smashed avocado on gluten free bread) is the jam.

Cappucino at Revolver Espresso. They get a 10 on presentation every time. 

Cappucino at Revolver Espresso. They get a 10 on presentation every time. 

Earth Cafe - This vegan cafe slash grocery store has all kinds of great organic finds. Extensive juice menu and lots of lunch and dinner choices. They have lots of yummy little desserts and energy balls pre-made in the fridge. We eat here basically every day.

Watercress - Such a cool vibe! One of my favorite places in Bali. Great menu with creative salads and sandwiches and they serve Revolver Coffee (the gold standard of coffee around here). Breakfast served all day? Yes, please!

crate cafe

Canggu (my favorite spot - it's like the Purdy Ave of Bali!)

Crate Cafe - Everything I've always wanted in a little cafe. Breakfast served all day, green smoothies, good wifi, amazing coffee and cool people. The iced latte is to die for - it can only be described as a latte slurpee. Mike loves the brekkie board. Oh, and they mix two types of smoothies together in one glass! You really can't go wrong. 

Cafe Avocado - Great casual lunch spot, juices, smoothies and lots and lots of yummy things involving one of my favorite foods - avocado. Coffee is ok. Food is yum.

Betelnut Cafe - Quick, easy and healthy dinner spot. Lots of mexican and salad options. Cool vibe with upstairs seating overlooking Batu Bolong and some rice paddies. They do breakfast and lunch too but not breakfast all day - bummer. Oh and they have the best chocolate chip cookie in Bali.

Old Man's - Aussie beach bar with lots of lounge seating and beachy food options. Not the most healthy but fun to go for the vibes or a drink - they normally have weekend events with live music or DJ's. Big local hangout where you can meet people from all over who now call Bali home.

Sunday nights at Old Man's

Sunday nights at Old Man's

Uluwatu - the dirty South

Buddha Soul - Veggie burger like whoa. We ate here lots when we were in the Bukit and it was consistently great. Cool outdoor seating with umbrellas and lots of nice choices for a tea or smoothies if you want a midday pick me up. 

Land's End Cafe - The best green smoothie I have found in Bali so far. Mike's egg wrap rocked his world. This little warung turned cafe has a California vibe and excellent eats. Looks a little shady when you first pull up but trust me, it's worth it. 

Cashew Tree - A great night time spot, they often have live music. Lots of healthy menu options  and pretty good Mexican fare. Great couches and seats to lounge in and soak up those hazy Bali nights. 

Ubud - Hippie paradise

Clear Cafe - Cool place! Super modern. Organic. My favorite is that they have a shoe valet, which means everyone is barefoot inside, which I love (and is quite common in Bali). Extensive juice menu, raw vegan options, come here more for the vibe and a juice than the food. Little shop in the front where they sell snacks, chocolates and such.

Kafe - Ah, Kafe. I ate here pretty regularly in Ubud. All kinds of yumminess on the menu. Macrobiotic, raw vegan, Ayurvedic. They also have an offshoot inside Yoga Barn called the Garden Kafe. Same menu, but service is much better at the original Kafe on Hanoman Road.

Soma - Raw vegan paradise. Gorgeous place with an awesome vibe, great for hanging out at night. The night we went they had some live music and people with bindis and sarongs were congregating everywhere. Great food, but typical raw vegan small plates so we ended up ordering a few things. Cash only.

Bali Buda - A Bali institution. They have four locations but we went to the one in Ubud a couple times - it's just across the street from Radiantly Alive Yoga. They also have a market around the corner with lots of goodness. Great menu. Amazing pizza and veggie stuff. Not great Mexican. 

Sari Organik - They have a couple spots - the Bodag Meliah one is the one I'm referring to. It is worth it just to go and experience the location. It's in Ubud but feels like a different world. You take a really crazy footpath out into the rice paddies and stumble upon this open air restaurant where they serve stuff straight from their garden. You're sweating by the time you get there so order a coconut (if they still have some left) Excellent salads and the views are amazing. Give yourself extra time to wander around the rice paddies and slip back in time.

sunset over Sari Organik rice fields

sunset over Sari Organik rice fields



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Bali breakdown

Three weeks in Bali. It's been a total adventure - we've been in 4 different areas, ridden on 6 different scooters, stayed at 10 different places and eaten countless fresh and delicious meals. It's beautiful, inexpensive and the people are top notch. I have so much to share on what I've learned and what I've loved.

But before we go there, here is a quick explanation of the different parts of Bali we visited, which I personally wish I had researched a bit more before we arrived. Experience can be the best teacher though, and we have done a good job of getting around. In case you're interested in a visit to this amazing island, here is a quick breakdown of some top places.

Three weeks and we only hit 4 spots. There is so much to explore in Bali!

Three weeks and we only hit 4 spots. There is so much to explore in Bali!

Seminyak: This area north of the airport is mainstream and fun, with lots of cool walkable shops and restaurants for me and good surf for Mike. Kayu Aya and Oberoi are the main drags here. Seminyak has great beaches, and is easy to get around. It feels the most like Miami Beach.

Revolver Coffee in Seminyak. My fave!

Revolver Coffee in Seminyak. My fave!

Canggu: This sunny town houses lots of ex-pats and great surf. The beaches have black sand so they're pretty hot but manageable. Lots of great beachside restaurants, shops and good yoga out here. Canggu is close to Seminyak. Echo Beach is a favorite spot.

Sunny Canggu. Ganesha at Desa Seni with lots of floating flowers.

Sunny Canggu. Ganesha at Desa Seni with lots of floating flowers.

Kuta: Once beautiful, Kuta is now pretty grimy. It reminds me of Ocean Drive on Memorial Day weekend. Most native Balinese people stay away from this area. We normally would stay away too but we had to go here a few times for Mike to sell surfboards at a local dig. If you want an adventure, take a scooter down the very narrow Poppies Lane I and Poppies Lane II. That part was awesome.

Uluwatu: The southern peninsula can also be referred to as the Bukit. This lower Eastern part of Bali is famous for it's world class surf breaks. It's pretty remote but there is a smattering of good healthy restaurants and yoga for the wives and girlfriends of a surfer. No shopping. There is a slightly drier climate down here and amazing vistas and cliffs. Other areas nearby are Padang-Padang, Bingin and Dreamland. It's a surfer's dream. Mike loved it here, I didn't love it as much, there's just not as much to do here for a non-surfer. Gorgeous sunsets though!

Padang Padang Beach at sunset. Pretty amazing.

Padang Padang Beach at sunset. Pretty amazing.

Ubud: This place is yogi paradise. It's inland, basically in the center of the island of Bali. This raw food and yoga mecca is super crunchy. Hippies galore. It had a great local vibe with has unique shops and lots to do. Think silver classes, volcano hikes, eco-bike tours, cooking classes. No beach but most villas/hotels have pools. It's super green and lush with lots of rice paddies to visit and organic food straight from the farm.

Spiritual city: there are lots of tiny temples hiding all over Ubud

Spiritual city: there are lots of tiny temples hiding all over Ubud

Up next, I'll share my fave spots from our time down south in Ulus, Canggu/Seminyak and Ubud. Stay tuned!

Teehee… yukking it up in Seminyak

Teehee… yukking it up in Seminyak

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Silver and softness

Ubud is a magical place. Filled with all things I love – great yoga, creative and delicious vegan fare… and jewelry. Streets filled with beautiful, wonderful jewelry. I’ve always loved jewelry and on and off have played with making it myself. But I haven’t done it in years, instead my time was spent more on yangy things like being productive and working… a lot of doing instead of being.

I’ve blogged about yin energy before. The feminine divine that is present within all of us. She is the mysterious and soft energy, and equally powerful to the more masculine yang. Yin is a flowing and quiet force that requires letting go. Over the past few months, I’ve been giving space for my femininity to surface, acquainting myself more with it, stepping into it. Hanging out in the “she” is not always the most familiar place for me. For me, it means surrendering control, allowing for more softness, more grace, more gratitude. Wearing more dresses. Writing. Taking my time. Practicing less handstands and more hip openers.

The feminine is also the creative. It's no wonder that when I found out that there were silversmith classes in Ubud, I was immediately interested. I had never worked with metal and fire (exciting!) and the opportunity to create my own designs sounded like a dream come true. Armed with our own designs, we each had a silversmith station, complete with a torch and free reign to create whatever we wanted under guidance from master silversmith, Ketut. And working with the silver, making it from nothing into something, I felt totally alive and at peace and myself. I believe that our life experiences – the good and bad - are to help us know ourselves better and remind us who we are at the core. Two classes later, I have some beautiful, handmade jewelry to continue cultivating my femme within and remind me of this journey I am on. 

silversmith station!

silversmith station!

moon pendant to inspire the feminine spirit

moon pendant to inspire the feminine spirit

arm candy!

arm candy!

Rings! I didn't make the middle one though

Rings! I didn't make the middle one though

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Fire and light

So much of who we are is where we have been.
— William Langewiesche
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Travel is such a compelling life shaper because it lights (or maybe rekindles) the fire within you. The first time you go somewhere, it takes you completely out of your element. It brings up stuff. Mike and I learn the most about ourselves and our relationship when we travel. That's probably why we keep doing it. It brings us back to who we fundamentally are at the core. There's no room for bullshit and pretense when you're dealing with the stressors and weird shit in foreign lands. You get closer to you.

The first few days here, we were in Seminyak, which is pretty Miami-ish. Very palatable. Then we got down to Uluwatu, in the south, which is more of a legit Bali experience. It's not super walkable so everyone lives the motorbike life. They drive on the left hand side here and it's a total free for all. Way crazier than Miami.

A couple days ago, we took a day trip from Uluwatu north to Canggu on our scooter, complete with Mike's surf board in tow. I love day trips but this one was pretty ballsy. We weren't totally sure of how to get there and it involved some rather questionable driving on a road equivalent to I-95 during rush hour. And I was on the back of the scooter with big trucks whizzing by me. As the roads got scarier, my internal fire starting rising - my gut instinct was to freak out and want to control everything ("Mike! Slow the fuck down!") but once I started consciously assessing the situation, I was able to harness the fire and embrace what was happening. Then it became really fun. My experience immediately transformed from fear into adventure. Fire is transformative.

We got into some awesome Indiana Jones shit cruising down really narrow alleys in sketchville Kuta. Stuff that I will remember forever. The adventure wouldn't have happened if I let the fire take over. You need fire for illumination. For clarity. To see things for what they are. But not so hot that it burns the experience - or you - out.  

A little fire dance in sketchy Kuta

A little fire dance in sketchy Kuta

A real fire dance at Uluwatu Temple

A real fire dance at Uluwatu Temple


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Bali packing list

We made it to Bali! 

bali

Quite the mission to get here... MIA - NYC - YVR - HKG - DPS. But 24 hours in and I'm totally in love with Bali. It's yogi paradise. Teak furniture and Ganesha statues as far as the eye can see. Beautiful beaches and fresh delicious food with lots of veggie options. Great coffee and nice people. Little altars everywhere. Blurred lines between indoor and outdoor spaces. Simple living. In the spirit of keeping life simple, I packed for a month of travel in one carry-on.

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Given my previous ankle incident, I made a commitment to only traveling with a carry-on from here on out. I struggle with over-thinking when I pack so I wanted to share my packing list in case it might help you. Here is what made it into in my bag for one month abroad - with multiple climates (it's going to be in the 50's in Australia). As you can see below, I was able to fit a good amount of stuff! 

Bali/Australia packing list:

- 6 basic-ish tank tops (mix of lululemon, American Apparel and Purdy Ave, of course!)

- 3 pairs of yoga pants (teeki and lululemon)

- 1 pair of luxtreme crops for hiking and beach walks

- 1 pair of black wunder under crops

- 1 pair of lululemon speed shorts

- 3 dresses which can double as beach cover-ups

- flowy skirt

- 1 crochet tank

- 1 pair of jeans

- 3 pairs of loose lightweight pants in fun prints (basically the pants I wear all the time)

- 2 long-sleeved shirts (one of which is lululemon silverescent for when we go hiking)

- button down chambray shirt

- plain gray t-shirt

- black jacket with a removable hood

- 3 swimsuits (and I just bought a new one here! so 4 now)

- havaianas flip-flops

- gold and leather sandals

- chuck high-tops

- nike frees

- little yoga sneakers from London

- awesome big straw sun hat

- baseball hat

- vinyasa scarf

- 2 purses (day and night)

- 1 travel tote

- 1 collapsible backpack from BAGGU

- umbrella

- sunglasses

- assorted jewelry

- toiletries/make-up

- laptop, cell phone and charger

- great book (The Fault in our Stars) which I devoured on the plane

- yoga mat

- international converter

Also noteworthy is what I didn't pack - a hair straightener or blowdryer. Au natural, baby. I know I can trim this packing list down - I'll revisit it after the trip and note what I didn't use. The less I can bring, the better. Like my mantra from last week, I have everything I need.

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hOMe

trust the universe

The universe is a funny thing. It has a way of directing us back to where we are supposed to be. And for me and Mike, it looks like we are supposed to be in Miami. Due to some circumstances outside our control, we won't be galavanting across Europe anymore. It's kind of a bummer, but honestly I'm not really that upset. I missed home while I was gone. I love it here. It's sunny and warm. We have a great group of friends, familiar faces, a rad apartment in an amazing location. 

Travel is beautiful because your eyes are so open. To what is new and to what is already there. For me, it gave me such a gift of reflection. How important it is for me to part of a community - being alone in a new place not really knowing anyone, I quickly became lonely. I know if we had stayed there I would have made friends - but for the initial few weeks, I wasn't my happiest. I was reminded that my yoga practice is my lifeline. That I need to meditate regularly. That cooking in my kitchen is more enjoyable to me than any expensive meal out. How much I value my daily bike rides. I was so inspired too - by what people are up to, how they see the world, what they're seeing, wearing, eating. This experience, albeit short, taught me so much. I studied abroad in London in college, but this was different. More real. 

This trip also kickstarted some of my goals, rekindling my love affair with writing, launching a blog, teaching internationally, getting published on MindBodyGreen, getting a writing job… and we made some great progress with Purdy Ave. Being somewhere new and not working a normal job gave me creative space that I had never had in my adult life.

meditation

So we are back in Miami for about a month and then heading abroad for some personal travel (honeymoon in Bali!) and we will be home for June and beyond - pretty much permanently - for now at least. I'm excited to get back into this community that I love, create some new possibilities for myself and see can happen from this new space. I'm going to be working on my goals this week to get some fresh energy flowing - I'll post them to share. Grateful to be home. xx, Amy

PS - Yes, I'm also back teaching my normal schedule at Green Monkey. Can't wait to see you there.

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Favorites: NYC edition II

After a full weekend of yoga and walking slash biking the streets of NYC and Brooklyn, Mike and I got pretty hungry. And we love food, especially new places. So here is a round-up of some of our favorite healthy options to add to my list of NYC favorites:

1. Hu Kitchen, Union Square

This place is the JAM. It's paleo based and they have lots of vegan options. They call themselves nutritionally superior and delicious and I agree. They have a super cool vibe and food choices for any palate. The "hu" part stands for Human - as in taking you back to basics. I got a veggie plate and the veggies were insane, lots of roasted options and salads. Mike had the Primal Kale Salad that was off the hook. They also have a mash bar, basically an alternative to DIY fro-yo places. You can pick of their tried and true blends or create your own - choose a base of chocolate or vanilla chia pudding, taro pudding or almond butter and load on favorites like fruit, cashew cream, berries, grain-free granola on top to create a better, yummier and paleo version of a sinful treat. We went for lunch but I hear breakfast is amazing too. 

Somehow after lunch at Hu Kitchen, both me and Mike ended up in a breakdance performance in Union Square.

Somehow after lunch at Hu Kitchen, both me and Mike ended up in a breakdance performance in Union Square.

2. Sun in Bloom, Tribeca (they also have one in Brooklyn)

Vegan, gluten-free and raw kitchen? Yes, please. We stumbled upon this place after a lovely Saturday morning Kula Flow class. We were on our way to La Colombe for coffee (another fave) and happily peeked in here when we saw vegan and gluten-free written on the sandwich board outside. Healthy breakfast and they served La Colombe coffee too?! Score. The coconut kefir with homemade live granola was amazing. I also tried a gluten free carrot muffin with walnuts. The juices looked divine, although we didn't have any (needed coffee first). They had chocolate brazil nut mylk. And quinoa macro bowls with a whole bunch of things you can add in. Mmm. Totally would go here all the time if I lived here.

yum yum Sun in Bloom

yum yum Sun in Bloom

3. Organic Avenue, all over NYC

I like to go into juice bars and see what they're making, just to get inspired by ingredients and combinations. And there are juice bars all over Manhattan so there's lot of competition. We popped into the Organic Avenue near Soho. I wanted one of everything. They are spot on with their juice and smoothie offerings, at least in my humble opinion. They have a smoothie named Green Monkey! And they serve their own kombucha? Awesome. We tried the Royal Red and Matcha Chia juices and were not disappointed by either. They also do soups and entrees. Friendly people, clean place and great flavors. Definitely high on my juice bar favorites list!

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Favorites: NYC edition

Sometimes I like spontaneity when I travel. But not usually. Usually I prefer to know exactly what I'm getting into. In my ideal situation, I'll research before I go anywhere. Like, I look at menus before I go to restaurants. I"ll map how far of a bike ride it is. I'll google things like "best coffee shop to work from with wifi" and then read blog posts and reviews about it. And I appreciate those posts because they help me make an informed decision about how I'm spending my time. In the end, it comes down to efficiency.  

I've been asked a few times lately where I like to do "x" in NYC. X being get coffee, do yoga, eat, shop, etc. I don't actually live in New York. But I visit frequently (I'm in NYC as I write this) and I research things each time so I have a little cache of information to share with you about this fine and vibrant city. Here are a few of my fave things in the city (and Brooklyn!)

COFFEE

This one is first since it's my life blood. If I could get an IV drip of coffee attached to my alarm clock, I would. These two are a close second.

1. Toby's Estate Coffee, Williamsburg. I love this place. The vibe is awesome, huge windows and lots of tables. Super hipster. It's basically a commercial for Apple products and beards. The coffee is INCREDIBLE. It's an Australian import so the baristas have accents and are generally hot and surfer-ish. Great place to do work (if you can get a seat) and hang in Brooklyn.

2. La Colombe, Soho. This gem is small but wow, yum. They don't do almond milk but they do hemp milk (weird?) and it's probably the best latte I have ever had. I didn't get the hemp milk though, just FYI. Perfect spot for a quick takeaway coffee if you're in the Soho area. There isn't much room to sit and do work but the vibe is great and coffee is divine. 

BIKE ROUTES

I enjoy riding bikes on major roads in major cities. It's a total rush. That being said, it is not for the faint of heart. It is a rush because your life is always slightly on the line. The routes below are relatively tame, but it's good to recognize your comfort level and stay true to it. Both of them can take a couple hours so it's a great way to spend a sunny afternoon in NYC.

1. Bike the Hudson River Greenway. It's a dedicated bike/pedestrian street up the west side of Manhattan. Get a bike in the West Village at Waterfront Bicycle Shop and head north. You can go all the way to the George Washington Bridge. It's so scenic - you really never feel like you're in Manhattan. Alternatively, you can get a Citi Bike for cheaper but you have to dock it every 30 minutes, so you end up getting off the Greenway and back on - which can be annoying. Stop at crazy Fairway Grocery store if you need a snack and go in the cold foods section if you want to cool off. It's basically a giant walk in freezer room.

2. Bike from Park Slope to Coney Island. Or from Brooklyn Bridge, like this guy did. You get to ride through Prospect Park (gorgeous!) and there is a path most of the way after that, so you're not in the street as much. You're also riding to a destination that has go-karts and a beach, which is fun. We got bikes from Ride Brooklyn on Bergen Street - they were nice guys and good bikes. We started at the bike shop, rode through Park Slope, through the park and then down. It does get a little sketchy as you get closer to Coney Island but it goes pretty quickly. 

Whee, riding through Prospect Park!

Whee, riding through Prospect Park!

SHOP

1. I love the Williamsburg Brooklyn Flea. I love Williamsburg in general. A sunny Sunday at the Flea with some Toby's Coffee in hand is just so fun. The vendors are amazing. The food is all local and incredible. It's full of inspiration. It's also not that big, so you can do it all in an hour or less and then head over to Artists and Fleas - another winner, with great jewelry.

cute plants at the Flea

cute plants at the Flea

2. 21 Mercer. Ahh. This store. I come in here almost every time I go to NYC just to see what they have. The kicks are so dope and they have an in house Nike ID studio. Love, love, love. 

COOKIES

Yes, this is a category. I have researched cookies in NYC heavily. There's no time to waste calories on sub-par cookies! The cookies at both places are huge so split with a friend or two.

1. Levain Bakery. The one on the Upper Westside. Dark chocolate peanut butter chip. OMG. Walk over to Central Park and enjoy it on a bench there since there is no seating at Levain. 

2. Birdbath. The one in Soho. I mean, they have giant piles of cookies in the window. Yum!

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NYogaC

I love New York City. And, don't judge me... I actually really like doing yoga there. The hustle to make it to class on time, the sweaty bodies squished mat to mat, the way people are fully present in class (like London), the thoughtful sequencing and intelligent cues, the weird music or lack there-of. I dig it.

Sure, there is the crappy stuff - third floor walk up studios, surly check-in people, smelly feet in front of you that have been walking the streets all day. But I’ll take it. I like the vibe. I like the seriousness. I like a whole class flowing like a river of vinyasa, getting me out of my fucking head.  I like how many people are yog'ing every single day.

yogatothepeople

People have asked me lately where I like to practice in the big apple. I am a fan of Kula Yoga in Tribeca. The studio, the flow, the vibe. I went there Monday and wasn't let down by the Kula Flow class. I enjoy it every time. But this trip, for the first time, I went to Yoga to the People with Mike. Packed house. Tuesday. 7:30pm. They filled up four rooms of about 50 people each. That’s 200 people – probably more – moving their asana in just one studio at one time. Who knows how many people are practicing daily in NYC. That is absolutely beautiful. Our mats were centimeters apart. I got anxious when they called superman because my limbs were about to get tangled up with the limbs of ten other people… and it’s all good. Because we are breathing and feeling and being in our bodies and not our heads for a little while. I mean, the music wasn't amazing and the class wasn't anything to write home about but it was all good. We were practicing yoga and that is the part that I care about nowadays.

yoganyc

The part I don’t see as much in NYC is community building. People meeting new people after class. The crowded stairwells at Yoga to the People didn’t lend themselves to creating connection. Hell, there’s barely a place to put your shoes on.

Yoga means union, coming together. An esoteric coming together of body, mind and spirit and I’ve always also interpreted it as a physical coming together. Communing with like minded people. Growing and sharing your journey with people who can intimately relate. That part can improve in NYC (or maybe I just haven't found it yet) but overall it was a pretty rad experience. Watching the rooms fill up again for the 9pm class as we were leaving, knowing that bodies and minds are being opened on a scale that can influence the world. And that's pretty awesome.

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Expect the unexpected

Yesterday Mike and I woke up in London, spent the day in Germany and went to bed in NYC. 

Germany was an unanticipated detour - our one hour connection in Dusseldorf turned into a 7 hour layover. Normally annoyed at this kind of wait time, once we were informed the plane we were supposed to be on was 'broken', we were more grateful than irritated. With no wifi at the airport... what else was there to do? We hopped on a train into town. Thanks to some friendly Germans, we got a requisite pretzel and made it to Altstadt, also known as Old Town. This, we learned, is where the cool Germs hang out. It was adorable and totally what I imagined Germany to look like, given my trips to Epcot as a little one. 

Altstadt, Dusseldorf

Altstadt, Dusseldorf

Without a plan, we wandered about until we got hungry. Mike decided he should probably have some schnitzel at Die Bratwurst. I didn't partake in the schnitzel-ing but it looked pretty legit. As did Mike.

Mike looking Germish

Mike looking Germish

We cruised the riverfront, checked out the cobblestone streets and then somehow stumbled upon the nicest British guy, Garry, who used to live in Altstadt and ironically is a travel writer, so he showed us some of the best little secrets - including some super yum coffee and their main drag, which had an H&M, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany's. So much for cultural diversity. I also saw a make-your-own Muesli store, which looked amazing and fun. What I did not see was a single yoga studio or yoga mat. Although there was this headstand statue.

headstand

There is still so much opportunity for yoga out there, peoples! Berlin is next on our list of places to visit and I hear that yoga is the jam there so I can't wait to try it out. After stomping around the D-dorf all afternoon and learning a little German, we made it to the airport and got on a non-broken plane. I also got my new favorite drink to keep me warm on the flight - legit mint tea. Next on my list: growing my own mint so I can have this daily at home. 

Mint tea with a slice of ginger. Divine.

Mint tea with a slice of ginger. Divine.

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How to look like a Londoner in yoga class

Almost two weeks in, I'm getting the hang of it. How to look like a local in the London yoga scene. It's ironic I'm posting about this because my 2014 message is all about being the most authentic you you can possibly be. But here are ten truthbombs I have encountered over my time here that can help ease your transition into UK-asana.

1. Book online before class. There is no patience at the check-in queue for the lowly Miamian who did not pre-register and pre-pay online. You will be inevitably greeted with a snarky "you didn't sign up online? Oh. Hmm. What's your surname?" Then when you attempt to swipe your credit card instead of inserting it in the chip and pin card reader, you will let out a nervous laugh and they will sigh under their breath. Not a good start to your practice. Skip the hassle, book online.

2. Who brings their own mat? Studios here have mats already set up for you. Some good quality, some not. But you will definitely get the once over if you roll out your own mat. I have been bringing my own mat to most classes but to be honest, it's a huge pain - especially when you're schlepping it all over the city. Or on a Boris bike, like me. But once I roll it out, it's like coming home. So that part is worth it.

Triyoga Soho. And my little elephant backpack.

Triyoga Soho. And my little elephant backpack.

3. Do bring your own towel and water! These are not kindly provided like they are in sunny, sweaty Miami Beach. You will especially want said towel if you are using a communal mat. 

4. Brace yourself for a shit-ton of Sanskrit. Maybe it's the closer proximity to India but these cats are dropping -asanas like I've never heard before. They also layer more philosophy into the classes, upping the intellectual ante. No offense, Miami. You're hot, but you're not exactly the brightest bulb. I find it appealing to me as a teacher but might be a bit overwhelming for the starter yogi.

5. No one comes in late. This I love. There is an integrity to the practice. People take this shit seriously. They are on time and they are ready to go, set up on their borrowed studio mats with blocks, straps, etc. You know what they don't have? Their phones. They commit to being fully present in class and this is something I think we can do a much better job of, Miami.

Ok, stepping off soapbox now.

6. Anticipate hearing chill beats and electronica. I have surprisingly enjoyed this more than I thought. The focus is more on the practice and breath since the music sort of fades into the background. So to look like a native London yog-er, you gotta arrive on time, really practice with awareness and then once class is over...

7. Rush right out of the room after you 'om'. There is no lingering in the room here in London! People have very busy things to do! There is no basking in the post-yoga high, wondering whether to go to Panther Coffee or JugoFresh. These peeps have places to go and you better roll on out with them because there is another class starting in this room right now!

8. Sadly, there is no JugoFresh. Believe me, there are all sorts of other British delights (like naan) but the juice scene is still in the embryonic stages here. I have had a couple decent green smoothies with things like beetroot and rocket in them, but kale is king doesn't apply in the UK yet. 

Post yoga smoothie selfie. Such cute little bottles!

Post yoga smoothie selfie. Such cute little bottles!

9. Walking around all day in your lululemons just isn't as commonplace here. Yes, in sunny MIA people wear their workout gear all the time, even when they don't work out. Here, not so much. Bring some normal clothes to change into post-class. Jeans, even.

10. Finally, my biggest observation. When you get past all this surface crapola… it's all the same thing. The London yogis are still dying to nail their inversions. They all still get annoyed when they have a sub. There is still the chick in the Primark leggings practicing next to the Stella McCartney clad glamazon. We are all the exact same, everywhere. It's all one big beautiful interconnected world and yoga is an amazing microcosmic example. And you just gotta smile and love yourself through it or else the noise can easily take you away.

Stay grounded, stay true, stay you. Namaste ;)

 

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