Dec 30, 2013


today i thought about jumping on the "snowga" bandwagon and going outside to take yoga photos.  then i looked outside and i thought 'fuck that.'

Dec 28, 2013


merry christmas babies!  

i spent christmas in colorado for the first time in years!  i usually don't enjoy the u.s. holiday madness but it was pretty damn nice curling up by the fire in my pajamas with my guy and a cup of hot cocoa.  ahem, brandy hot cocoa.  here's the recipe:

cup of heated almond milk (or regular milk)
hot cocoa (mix your own or use ghiradelli like i did)
generous shot of brandy
cinnamon stick
star anise (just one)

i hope everyone got just what they wanted for christmas. xx

Dec 25, 2013


                                                                                   joy and glee

it's been a non-stop baking frenzy since we got home.



Dec 24, 2013


i am so impressed with this class.  they always made their health a priority, focusing on yoga, studying, eating well, and exercise over the party scene that can be all too easy to fall into in samara.  i loved all the time i got to spend with this smart, fun, friendly, beautiful group of women.
congratulations mariposa class!  you're all going places.


                                                                                          student luncheon day

Dec 23, 2013


"a vase, like a building, like a body, has two spaces - the one that it contains and the one that surrounds it.  when we begin asana we worry about the shape of the pose, that is, how we look in the mirror, in other words, the space we exclude.  by now we should be worrying about the space we include, the space within, for it is largely that which gives true life and beauty to the asana.  it is called yoga svarupa - the self assuming its perfect form through yoga.  that is achieved through the inner distribution of space.  essentially that is how yogasana becomes effortless, with the natural beauty of molten gold being poured from a vat."
~ bks iyengar

i love love love this quote from light on life.  for most of us, those not trained formally in dance or gymnastics, etc,  the body can feel like a heavy weight that we're lugging around and attempting to manipulate.  we don't occupy every bit of it, living mostly in our minds.  we forget that the universe, or space, is always expanding, and that our physical bodies are made up mostly of space.  that same energy of expansion is within us.  
one of the best things about deepening my yoga practice has been becoming familiar with the inner space and the amazing and expansive nature of my inner self.  through steady practice, meditation and effort i have begun to occupy each room in my house, spreading from my mind down throughout my body.  when i want to move my foot for a giant step it is no longer being done from a distance.  my mind is no longer yelling down the chain of command, 'hey leg, drag that thing up here' my mind is in my foot, and my leg, and everything moves as one.  
to some people this is going to sound like some crazy hippy nonsense i know.  and it's early, i'm still drinking my coffee; maybe not the best time to convey philosophical musings but what it comes down to is this: as you practice yoga shift your concern from how you look in the pose to how you feel in the pose.  start to move from this inner feeling.  all the things that are always being repeated, remember to breathe, be present, blah blah, they are all helpful tools to get you to

this moment
in life
in space.
which you are.  

namaste bitches, xx.

Dec 20, 2013


                                              rightside up

"we are all just the main characters in the story we tell ourselves.  if we cast ourselves as the victim we will continue to be victimized.  if we say that we are fine and nothing is wrong, we will continue to accept wrongness.  only when we're able to perceive what's happening without any narration or casting, only when we have true perception, will we change our story.  this is the place that objective decisions come from.  where nothing is done because that's what the story necessitates and everything is done because it's right and good." from my journal

obviously i've been thinking alot lately about perception. 

Dec 19, 2013


"the clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness."
-j. muir

Dec 17, 2013


to commemorate our one year anniversary we went adventuring, of course.  first there was the early morning canyoneering trip that found us rapeling down 250 foot cliffs and canon-balling into jungle pools.  we followed that up by river rafting down rio clara, which is one of my favorite things to do, and capped it off with a late lunch at an operating hacienda, complete with wood-fire cooked food (amazing), singing and music, and moonshine (rum de casa).  it was the perfect celebration of one adventure filled year together.

(our touring company was amazing!  if you ever want to go adventuring in costa rica these are hands down the people to arrange it for you.  desafio)

photo by: jaime guzman jose

Dec 16, 2013


 "..russ is a person who asks big questions casually.  questions that, at the time of our meeting, i'd stopped asking myself.  so when he asked, "what do you really want from life?" i had to search for the answer.
"i want to keep going further."  i responded.
of course i had to explain what i meant by that.  i'd already gone pretty far; across the world a few times, withdrawn from community and society, out of touch with family and friends for long stretches as i delved into the wild.  when i said further i meant it - i wanted to go longer, farther, and discard more.  i wanted to see marvels and keep seeing them; no breaks, no rest, just adventure after adventure, deeper into the thrill of unknown territory.  but, and this i didn't say at the time, i no longer wanted to go alone.
i'd been far and seen much by myself.  i'd filled up on solitude.  i wanted to share the amazement of this journey with someone.  someone ridiculous and brave.  someone fun and smart.  someone most comfortable on the road.
and just like that; he asked, i answered and it was done.  i didn't realize it then but i got everything i wanted in that moment.

and the journey goes on..."


                                                                                            mridang bandha - drum lock

"life is about rhythm.  we vibrate, our hearts are pumping blood, we are a rhythmic machine, that's what we are."
-mickey hart

"eat drums! eat cymbals!"


this is just a reminder:
head-standing after lunch isn't a great plan.

Dec 12, 2013


the following is a greatly abbreviated story of hanuman the monkey:

when hanuman was a young, little monkeygod, he thought the sun was a mango and went after it, meaning to swallow it.  the king of the devas, indra, was so enraged that the eclipse had been prevented by hanumans gluttony that he threw a thunderbolt at hanuman, smiting him.  as hanuman lay unconscious his father vayu, who was the god of air/wind, began to grieve, going into seclusion and taking all the air with him.  
in order to appease vayu the devas revived hanuman and each bestowed upon him an epic gift; shape-shifting, invincibility, amazing strength, and much more - essentially making him a super hero.  however he was also a young mischievous little monkey so they decided it best to place a curse on him so that he wouldn't be aware of his own powers and therefore couldn't use them against others.

fast-forward years down the road.  hanuman is devoted to lord rama, whose wife sita has been kidnapped and taken to a far away island.  it's so far away; impossible to get to. all seems lost, when hanuman's friend, the wise bear, jambavantha tells him, 'hanuman you have to go, you're the only one who can save her.  you have to jump to the island.'

hanuman says, 'there's no way.  i can't jump that far!  no one can jump that far.'

jambavantha tells hanuman that he is indeed the only one who can do it, he tells him that he is amazingly strong, incredibly brave, that he's invincible, protected, magical!  as hanuman listens to the words of his friend his belief in himself grows, breaking the curse.

hanuman takes a flying leap of faith, jumping all the way from india to the island of sri lanka, and rescues sita.  

this pose, hanumanasana, represents that great leap. it represents power that we all have if we just believe in ourselves, and the power that comes when others show their faith in us.

"the burden of all difficult tasks of the world become light with your kind grace." ~  hanuman chalisa



don't listen to your mind, too often it says "i can't."  listen instead to the quieter, steadier voice of your heart and believe it when it says "i will."

Dec 11, 2013


"... a year ago i left the states; flying out o f san francisco and traveling to costa rica.  when i think of that period of time, those first couple weeks in pavones, it feels like a period of awakening.  after the isolation, tedium, drama of the hill; the community and cold of impending winter in town, the car shuffle as i drove to arizona and flew back the next day - i finally emerged in the warm, lush tropics.  everything was sunshine and freshness and bigtime adventure.  i had no idea at that time just how much that trip would change my life.  
it was a transitional period with no expectations or solid plans.  i'd unknowingly left one life but hadn't yet met the next.  i hadn't found where i was meant to go.  all i had was a house with a view, my yoga mat, my new friends, a quad that sometimes worked, and a property full of fruit trees.  i had the ocean, the jungle, adventure, fireflies, tucans, sunrise, anticipation and wonder.   i awoke there, from my hills cacoon, into pura vida.  i will always think of that time so fondly, full of flowers and colors and life..."

Dec 10, 2013


"be kind to everyone; forgive everyone for everything."
- sri dharma mittra

.... i needed to remind myself of this today.

Dec 9, 2013


costa rica

Marin McCallen
Dec 7 (2 days ago)

to John
yesterday after teaching yoga and going to spanish school for my friday exam day, russ and chibelo, a local tico rasta dude, picked me up and we went off adventuring.  first we went to barigona, "the mel gibson beach" as russ calls it.  it is a few playas up the coast, REALLY hard to get to.  i was amazed and quite concerned at some of the treacherous points we rallied up.  but it was so pretty and magical.  it was worth it.  chibelo kept having us stop so he could forage various trees.
we now have a pile of limes and limon dulces on our counter : )
after barigona we went to a little roadside soda and hungout (i.e. drinking pilsen and telling snake stories) for a few hours.  i'm starting to really understand spanish!  que bueno! then we went on another less treacherous drive to another beautiful nearly vacant playa full of agates and polished quartz.
on the way home the car overheated and we had to scavenge water from some locales.  we got as far as the river, where we stopped and filled the radiator with jungle river water while in the darkness the lightning bugs put on a spectacular show.
it is very green here right now and the drive was so beautiful,  i was noticing lots of orchids in trees.  it made me think of you and wish you were here.
love you.

Dec 8, 2013


this is just a reminder:
when you feel like you've hit a wall and the possible seems impossible, often all that's needed is a change of perspective.

"it always seems impossible until it's done."
-mr. mandela


i'm doing another instagram challenge called the 12 days of yoga; going along with the 12 days of christmas.

1. i didn't notice how many birds are gifts in the 12 days of christmas.
2. i didn't notice how many bird poses there are in yoga.  

this is a variation on the pose given for day 4 - "four calling birds",  it's called front bird.  i'd never really tried acroyoga before.  it was so fun!  i can't wait to get to the states and take some classes. 

Dec 7, 2013

Dec 5, 2013


open your shoulders open your practice:  start focusing on your shoulders a little bit (or alot) everyday.  here is garudasana, or eagle pose.

"...Thou art like the fire that shall burn all creation at the end of the world. Thou art our great protector, the ocean of holiness. None is purer than thee. Thou art the dispeller of darkness. We are unable to bear thy divine radiance, for it is threatening to burn us. O terrible one, O mighty Garuda, please reduce your brightness, so that we can see you normally...."

- description of the mythic eagle, garuda, in the mahabharata

Dec 4, 2013


hello partridge pose, i love you i hate you.

partridge pose, such a good pose to mirror your attitude towards life.  (and like life it's deceptively challenging), do you say "i can't, i can't,"?  or do you say "i will."?  whichever your go-to attitude is you will know once taking this asana.  "i can't" will only eat dirt, "i will" will only eat dirt as a first course, but the second course - ah that's where it gets delicious.  where "i will" turns into "i am!"  the "i am" is where you feel the layers of your being.  

i am strong
i am flexible
i am balanced
i am beautiful
i am fierce as fuck

and then..... i am falling.  dirt again.

such is life. 

Dec 3, 2013


radical health challenge:
between thanksgiving and christmas go on a mini-cleanse; for two or three days eat only fruits, veggies and fresh squeezed juices.  no alcohol, no refined anything, and (if possible!) no caffeine.  be sure to drink plenty of water, and by plenty i mean a gallon, or close to it, each day.  have a water drinking contest with yourself!  this season is for sure a time of indulgence but anything is possible for a couple days - so go for it.  namaste bitches, xx

p.s. am i the only film nerd who noticed how much the edges of this photo look like film?


aaaand i'm thankful for you too zephyr. xx

Dec 2, 2013


i am thankful for my health and the health of my friends and family. 
i am thankful for yoga, adventure and photography.
i am thankful for easy access to good healthy food.
i am thankful for all the opportunities that come my way.  i feel so lucky.
i am most thankful for my love.  you make my life so much better, more fun, more interesting.

happy thanksgiving babies. xx


i post a lot of pretty yoga pictures; i decided to post a sweaty mess picture too, it's a little more accurate.  living in costa rica, everyday is hot yoga.