#yogaforkids

This was truly one of the most incredible experiences that I hold dear to me. I was honored to lead these kids through yoga in their classroom. These are kids that come from poverty and some, far from ideal family environments, yet with positive reinforcement, love, compassion, empathy, guidance and support, they thrive. They engage. They enjoy learning!

I have learned and witnessed good people doing bad things because that is what they know. Even if they have the intellect to make a shift, they don't because of fear of losing all they know. Sometimes they are without the means to get the help they need or the strength in using their voice for fear of repercussion and judgement. The only constant is the comfort of falling back to what they know- impulsive thoughts and actions, addictive behaviors, unlawful actions all resulting in a chaotic, unhealthy, lonely, empty life. People are afraid of the unknown BUT the more we, as individuals and a community, do our part to provide support and education, change happens. It may not be overnight, but, it happens. And before we know it, when we look back, each baby step has led to leaps and bounds! A new way of thinking and being is possible for most.

The more we strip judgement and walk through life open-minded and no expectations, we unite. The more we extend a helping hand rather than pointing fingers, we unite. The more we talk less and listen more, we unite. The more we recognize there is more than one path to reach the same or similar outcome, we unite.

These kids give me hope that we will unite!

‪#‎yogaforkids‬ ‪#‎yogaisunity‬ ‪#‎liveyoga‬ ‪#‎livelove‬ ‪#‎connect‬

#stopdropandyoga

To practice yoga is to practice connection. The asanas are a vehicle to drive me closer to my Self. The ability to progress into asanas I had only dreamed of has been a big fucking bonus physically,  mentally and emotionally, thus, leading to a deeper connection of Self. Today I was tagged by @melonnn11 to #stopdropandyoga. I had an epiphany about irony and connection which led me to drawing out my Instagram post.

The reason I know @melonnn11 is because I won a scholarship to @rinayoga yoga teacher training through the #resolvetoevolve 30 day challenge on Instagram.  @melonnn11 was one of the hosts. I was beyond stoked because all I had to do was post a yoga pose chosen by @rinayoga each day for 30 days, and write about what the postures represent for me and peel away the layers as I wrote. Sounds simple, right? It was. I told myself I was going to be nitty gritty raw and be as vulnerable as possible because I wanted to win this damn challenge. Bad. Sounds easy, right? It wasn't. Buttons were pushed and triggers were activated. What I was winning was the opportunity to receive greater knowledge to practice and pass on to you, from a badass yogi and yoga teacher - Rina Jakubowicz @rinajaku. So, I put myself out there for the world to read about my fears, insecurities, opportunities for growth and strengths that keep me moving forward. The world also learned more about why I am a yogi, yoga teacher and now, surfer. I won! Holy shit! For the first time, I won something that, to me, was priceless. I've believe every "thing" has a price tag. The irony is I won the teacher training, however, I will not receive the training because I can not afford the trip where the training is taking place. It does sadden me that I can not make the trip and I'll miss out on the training, however, I still consider myself a winner. The 30 day challenge represented me working toward connecting deeper. That is what I accomplished, so, in my eyes, I still won.

After 13 years in the salon world as a makeup and eyebrow artist, I left a lucrative career to pursue my passion and fulfill my soul of teaching yoga. My goal is to being able to facilitate a space for adults to feel included and connected and that is where yoga classes, yoga & surf workshops and camps all come into play. I knew it was going to be a challenge, but, fuck, it has been an up-hill battle. I pendulum between feelings of strength, being overwhelmed and stressed, and defeat. When It's all in one day, I want to tap out; but, I pull myself together and keep charging because it's what I do. 

It was those feelings of defeat that lead me to recently meeting an incredible woman, Kate Brenton @wisdomofone. Kate is a limi limi practitioner and is, seriously, a gift. Jen Pastiloff @jenpastiloff is from whom I received the referral. Funny thing is, I have yet to meet @jenpastiloff, but, her energy and vibrancy is so potent from her posts and videos from Instagram and Facebook, that I feel connected to her. I instantly felt connected to Kate as well upon seeing a video of her that Jen recorded after her session with Kate. Less than 24 hours later after viewing Jen's video, I had my first session with Kate. These two beautiful souls have filled me with energy and have touched me in a way that I felt included and connected; in turn, they, helped picked me up off my ass when I've been down. Inclusivity and connection are meaning behind why I do what I do and these ladies are living it as well. 

I find it interesting that my backbends have opened up drastically as of recent. This pose represents my will to bend so I don't break. My will to bend to make it over a hurdle. This backbend represents a feeling of connection. I close my eyes and open my heart and welcome in the unknown. The power of connection is electrifying when we stop and close our eyes, open our ears and hearts to giving and receiving. Connection comes through surrender and acceptance. It is through practicing yoga and surfing that I strive to connect to as many people as possible in a way that I have connected with Jen and Kate. It is a feeling. It is an instinct. It is a love without labels or judgement. I want you to know - I hear you, I open my heart to you and I believe in you. I believe in the power of connection. 

One Foot In Front Of The Other

As the LA Marathon continues to carry on, I am reminded - so does life. In 2011, I ran the LA Marathon as a bucket list item (no finish time in mind) and I swore I would never do it again. I endured physical sensations and feelings that I would never like to experience again. Overwhelming emotions of feat and defeat flooded me throughout the 26.2 miles. And, thoughts...thoughts that filled my being with love and hatred for what I committed myself to completing. That year, no training in Los Angeles could have prepared me for the conditions I faced- record breaking rain, 30 mph winds and a temperature roughly in the mid 40's. 

Fast forward to 2012. I learned my dear friend, Amanda, was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 31. Instantly, I wanted to help/ do anything I could to make this experience anything but the horrific  experience she was about to face. I knew my wish was pretty far fetched but the intention was pure. I thought about what I could do to actually help and not get in the way. Fundraise for medical bills is what came to mind. So, I set forth with my idea and thought, oh hell, time to do it again -  run the LA Marathon. Oh boy. I committed, yet again, to what I swore I'd never do again. Side note- don't ever say never. Through this process I wanted to push myself in a way that I had never done before. I knew at that point there was nothing I could do to truly put myself in Amanda's shoes but I wanted to empathize the best I could. I saw how hard she fought and stood face to face with cancer so why couldn't I endure a handful of hours of multiple levels of discomfort? 

For the second go around I set a goal for myself with a finish time and that was in between 4:30:00 and 4:45:00. I finished the marathon at 4:43:00. I shaved off an hour and 19 minutes from my first marathon one year prior. The words inspiration, motivation, commitment, consistency, effort, support, faith, determination, perseverance and love were some of the many words that rang true to me that day. 

I learned that when we choose to set our mind to follow a pure intention we are more than capable seeing it through. A challenge is just that - a challenge. It is not an automatic defeat just because sometimes we fall so low and hard that it may feel like we are done. Support from loved ones does wonders. I encourage you to surround yourself with those that lift you up and release those that hold you back...even if they are your comfort. You will find a new comfort level with every step forward. Tripping over your feet is a moment to dust yourself off and keep going, not to give up. I find that keeping a realistic goal in mind and focusing on the action needed to attain the goal actually feels attainable and empowering. 

I am still in shock some days and very much saddened that Amanda was taken from us way too soon. Although Amanda is not with us physically, her selfless, loving spirit lives on and continues to inspire me and the lives of so many she deeply touched.

The Sound Of The Ocean Within

The beautiful sound of the ocean that we are so connected to and helps keep us present can be created within...

Our number one tool to be present and connect, is- BREATH!

Without our breath, we lack oxygen which is literally our life force… and then how can we surf?! We can’t. Soooo, our breath is our tool to keep our shit together when we are on and off our yoga mats and surfboards. Would you like to achieve greater focus, mental clarity, strength, flexibility, balance, and peace of mind? Yes? I thought you would say so! IT ALL COMES DOWN TO OUR BREATH. 

Ujjayi breath which means victorious breath, also known sometimes as “the ocean breath,”  is balancing and calming which increases oxygenation and builds internal heat in the body. It is a diaphragmatic breath, which first fills the upper abdomen, rises to the lower rib cage, and finally moves into the upper chest and throat. Ujjayi breath creates full expansion of the lungs which is important as you know for breath holds in the event of a wave hold down…or multiple wave hold downs.

Inhalation and exhalation are equal in duration and both are done through the nose. The "ocean sound" is created by the vibration against the back of the throat as the air is being restricted by the one of the main vocal folds as it passes in and out. The restriction creates a regulation of the volume of air going in and out which is slower, smoother and has a quieting effect on the mind and calming effect on the body.

HOW TO:  Open your mouth and create a HHHHHA sound as if you were fogging up a mirror.  Now close the mouth and create that same fog sound, slow and controlled, without creating tension in other parts of the body. Jaw and tongue are relaxed in the mouth.

Now, for a full breath- close the mouth, inhale slowly and deeply through the nose, feeling the abdomen expand, the chest rises as the lungs expand completely…then, slow and controlled, begin to exhale through the nose feeling the breath vibrate against the back of the throat as if you were fogging a mirror. Feel the abdomen contract completely and then naturally fill up again. Continue this rhythm, feeling the length, depth and consistency to the breath whilst creating an audible sound, like the ocean, which helps to steady the mind by giving it a focal point. 

Our breath not only gives us life, but, mindful and purposeful breathing is our foundation to feel most alive!

Go give it a shot now, and holler with any questions!

With love,

Kimberly 

Welcome!

Hi all!

I welcome you into my world!  I use this platform with the intention to connect to others that would like encouragement and need to be uplifted and loved. We all have a story and a past and although that story may be different, often the feelings that result, are similar. I have learned over the years- the more I think of others, reach out, open up and give love, the more I feel I am living a meaningful life and making a difference. You are not alone. We are not alone. And, together, the more we act in such a way where we have nothing to prove and no need to hide, we will connect in more meaningful ways.

Throughout my blog you will come across useful tools and tips for yoga for surfing/surfers, personal experiences which have led me to yoga & surfing, insight & opinions...and, you very well may come across- sh*t & f$%k- the two words that, I believe, drive a point home! ;-) Take what you need, leave what doesn't serve you, and have yourself a badass day! Feel free to contact me with any questions. 

All my love,

Kimberly