Nurture Yourself


Are you feeling a little tired and rundown? Then it is time to take a day out of your busy schedule to nurture yourself and show yourself a little self love. It’s good for the mind body, and soul.  So turn off your cell phone, cancel your plans, and make some time for the most important person in your world – YOU.

A day for YOU:

Steps to having a great day!

  1. When you get up, start your day with a big smile and thank the Universe for the gift of another day, another chance and new opportunities. Then start your day with a little mediation or mindful breathing- slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.  Imagine your breath nourishing and renewing your body. Let go of stuck energy and anything that isn’t serving you and then imagine all the toxins leaving your body.

  2. Opt away from coffee and instead squeeze some lemon in a mug of hot water.  This further helps you to eliminate toxins in your body and gives your skin a healthy glow.

  3. Now either roll out your yoga mat (visit Empower Yoga), go for a run (or walk) outdoors, or go for a swim. This is your moment to connect with your breath and your mind. Exercise is a great way to clear the mind and gives you energy.

  4. After your morning exercise enjoy a delicious smoothie. I love going to my favorite juice place (Tico’s Juice Bar) for one or I’ll make one at home. I like to add greens (kale or spinach), banana, pb, chia seeds, hemp seed, and coconut water to my smoothies and then blend it all up!! Yum!

  5. Take a bath, maybe add some bubbles, light some candles, and/or relax with a good book. Enjoy the simple pleasure of just being in the moment.

  6. Dress in comfy clothes and plan a leisurely walk in the park. When there, maybe stop to journal on a bench (start a new gratitude journal)  or just stop to look around and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds you.  

  7. Lunchtime make yourself a nourishing salad that will feed your mind, body and soul. My personal favorite is spinach or baby kale; avocado, baby tomatoes, cucumbers, and some grilled chicken with a little oil and balsamic vinegar.

  8. Spend the afternoon in self love. Burn your favorite essential oils, play some of your favorite tunes, and set your creative inspiration free. Maybe create a vision board, setting some goals for yourself, create a bucket list, or just start to declutter an area of your home you’ve been putting off. Get rid of what you don’t need and make room for good things to come.

  9. In the evening, enjoy a delicious meal- maybe some hearty soup. After, unwind with a cup tea (my favorite is raspberry) and climb into bed.

  10. Before you fall asleep, revisit your new gratitude journal and write down three things that you are grateful for. Close your eyes, take a mindful breath, and get lost in your dreams.


Keep the Past in the Past

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It’s time to let go of your past.  

I've had many sleepless nights. Nights when I was so worried about something that had happened and that I let it dictate my future. We’ve all been there at some point. You're not alone.

Whether it’s something small (i.e saying something you wish you hadn't) or something big (i.e a divorce, death, job loss), harping on negative experiences is painful and can cause so much unneeded stress and anxiety.   

We need to not dwell on the past and think about something more positive.  Here are some ways to help:

1. Learn from the past and move on.

Not all experiences we have will be good. However there is something to be learned from them all.  Take time to reflect on your experiences and use them as a tool for self reflection so that you can learn and grow but don't dwell on them.  Dwelling to much on things keeps the negativity around.  

2. Express yourself.

It’s good to talk about your feelings. Don’t keep them bottled up inside.  Whether it’s talking to the individual who has harmed you (or who you harmed), venting to a friend or writing it down, expressing your feelings can assist you in sorting out what, if anything, needs to be done to move on.

3. Accept Responsibility for your actions.

Sometimes when things happen, we don’t always accept responsibility for our actions. We get defensive, and we want to play the victim.  The problem is, blaming others harbors anger and prevents you from moving forward. Accept responsibility for what happened and move on.

4. Focus on the present.

One of the best ways to let go of your past is to embrace the present. Instead of reliving the past, keep yourself active and enjoy the current moment.

Be mindful- enjoy time with people you love and doing the things you love (i.e. going to dinner, running, taking a yoga class, having coffee with friends, etc.).  Accept that negative feelings are a part of life, but you can choose to look at the positive and make your own happiness.

5. Disconnect for a while.

Allow yourself to take some time away so that you can clear your head. Maybe meditate, find a quiet spot to read, head to the beach (my favorite place to disconnect). When you return, you’ll have a better perspective on the past and look more positive towards the future..

6. Let go of negative people in your life.

Are there people in your life who are bringing you down? Are they preventing you from moving forward?  Move away from these people to find more positive people who will empower you. Meet people at your gym, yoga studio, running group, etc.

7. Practice forgiveness of both yourself and others.

We’re all human and we make mistakes. Forgiveness is essential to spiritual growth.  If you’ve been hurt by someone, harboring feelings of anger or animosity just perpetuates the problem and continues to make you angry, forgive and move on.  While you’re at it, forgive yourself too.  Its ok to make mistakes, as long as you're learning from them, cut yourself some slack.

8. Make new memories.

Start making new, positive memories to replace those negative memories from your past. Spend your time with the people you love, and doing the things that bring you happiness and peace.  


Here's to living in the NOW!!


Break Up With Your Poor Body Image!


Most of us are not very kind to ourselves, myself included. When we look into the mirror we hate what we see. We think things like - I am fat, I’ve got a big head, big butt, small breasts, big breasts, too many curves, not enough curves etc… whatever it may be, we always find something wrong.  However, coming face-to-face with ourselves and confronting these negative beliefs can be one of the most difficult things, yet one of the most critical steps in our journey to true self-awareness and self-love.

Negative beliefs and feelings about ourselves can be really persistent. Often these ideas have been deeply ingrained into our psyche since childhood. As a result, we think these things or say things to ourselves without even realizing it.   We also may not  understand how these negative thought patterns are affecting us, our relationships and our life.  However, now is the time for these negative thoughts to end. We need to acknowledge these old beliefs, bringing awareness to them so that we can let go of all the negative thought patterns that hold us down. By letting go of them for good, we can begin to love and accept ourselves more and help ourselves move on.

We need to stop fixating and focusing on what it is about our bodies that we don’t like and begin to find things we do like, so we can begin to feel more confident in our skin.

The more time we spend being negative about our body image, the more all of our thoughts turn to the negative. Some believe that focusing on their flaws will help motivate them to make changes to their lives, but often it doesn’t.  Motivation comes from compassion and gratitude. Critical and negative thoughts stress and depress us, making motivation to change harder. So the more positive you are with your body, the better you will feel emotionally and physically.

I have struggled with body image and eating disorders from a very early age, and to this day I still feel insecure at times. However, I have gotten much better and have begun to embrace my body and let my poor body image go and you can too.

Here are some ways to help you improve your body image and confidence.

  • In order to overcome negative body image – forget about what society portrays as “normal” or “attractive” and do what is right for you, your life and your body type. Do you often compare yourself to the men and women you see in magazines? Remember, those people/celebrities are not “average” people. Celebrities have an entire team of people who make sure they eat right, exercise and take care of their skin and hair just so they can look better on camera. In many cases they are even photoshopped.

  • Don’t be mean to yourself or anyone else. What you think about others are often the same thoughts you use when you judge yourself. Stop looking to compare yourself to others or put someone down to make yourself feel better. The more you do that, the more your preoccupation about your looks and can reach very unhealthy levels.

  • Forget about a diet. It's all about healthy choices and moderation. People who constantly diet have a higher risk of developing eating disorders and are more likely to binge eat which will then cause a domino effect of physical and mental health issues (i.e. depression & anxiety). Plus, most people cannot sustain a diet so they’ll gain back the weight they lost or gain more. Eating right, regular exercise and sleeping are your weight control keys to success!

  • Instead of spending so much time obsessing over your outer self/appearance, consider focusing your attention on other things… how smart you are, the talents you have, hobbies etc… You have a lot to offer the world.  

  • Know and accept your body. Maybe you inherited your mother’s hips or your father’s broad shoulders. Our genetics play a huge role in our unique body type. Everyone is different. Learning to love and accept our bodies and let go of things we cannot change, is the first step in working with our particular body size and shape.

  • If you’re overweight or out of shape and want to take up yoga, running, biking, build more lean muscle mass, etc... know that progress takes time. So set reasonable and realistic goals for yourself and remember healthy weight loss is considered by experts to be one pound per week. So over the course of a year, you can lose more than 50 pounds! Losing weight the healthy way increases your chances of keeping it off for good!

  • Celebrate you. Love yourself, respect yourself and appreciate all the wonderful things about you. This will help to make you more confident, increase your self-esteem and make you more attractive to others. Remember, you are more than a number on the scale. You are not defined by how many inches your waist is, your clothing size, or  whether or not you have six-pack abs. You are unique and special, embrace it. Be your biggest fan!

Remember that your body is the only body you’ll ever have. It’s the one body you were given and it does so much for you each day. It allows you to live, love, help others and make a difference in the world. Begin today by treating your body with a little more respect!



Male Yoga (Broga)

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Do you consider yoga to be a little too ladylike?

Well fellas, yoga is not a women's only club. Yoga offers plenty of benefits that appeal to men too. And for this week’s blog, I decided to dedicate it to all the men out there who have been afraid to do yoga because they can't touch their toes, or are hesitant to walk into a class with all women.  


Here are 10 reason to get on your yoga mat:


Check your ego at the door. There is no competition here!

Men are very competitive and are taught this at an early age.  Well there is no competition in yoga. In yoga, what the person next to you is doing doesn’t matter. It’s just you and your mat. Each day is different and some days you might be able to do more than others and that's ok. Yoga teaches us to live in the present and accept where and who we are. Each time we step onto the mat, we explore our boundaries, nurture our bodies, and work on being kinder to ourselves.

Total Health:

Yoga looks at the full spectrum of health and not just at being strong, having ripped muscles, a tight body or being flexible. If your mind isn’t calm and your heart isn’t open, if you feel anxious, or depressed, but you have nice muscles, who cares?

Being strong, having pain-free movement, being flexible and existing peacefully is where it’s at and yoga encompases all of that! Yoga allows you to explore your boundaries and opens you up to wonderful experiences physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Improves Sex Life:

Yoga has been know to boost your sex drive. A study completed by the Journal of Sexual Medicine said that yoga improves all sexual functions in men, including desire, performance, erection, and ejaculation control.

Yoga increases body awareness, which helps reduce anxiety and increase blood flow to the genital area. It also helps rid the body of toxins that affect sexual performance.

Prevents Injuries:

If you often experience aches and pains and soreness either from being physically active or sitting at a desk all day, yoga can help. Yoga improves flexibility and range of motion, which helps lengthen muscles and eliminate tightness and strains. Yoga also improves joint durability by strengthening connective muscle tissue.

Builds Muscle:

Weightlifting is not the only way to build muscles. Yoga uses body weight and resistance to build lean muscle mass. Yoga lengthens muscles and tissue, which improves blood flow. Better blood flow means more oxygen to the muscles, which helps recovery and helps your muscles grow.

Enhances Productivity:

Research found that people who frequently participate in a 20-minute yoga session had improved memory and inhibitory control (or the ability to focus and retain new information). These people made confident work decisions, had better energy, improved work relationships, and had better focus and memory retention compared to those who jogged or walked for 20 minutes.

Boosts Immune System:

Yoga classes can support your immune system, nervous system, digestive health and more! Studies show that when people practice yoga regularly, their immune system gets stronger and their body's ability to fight off germs and viruses improves significantly. Yoga does this by flushing the body of toxins, particularly if you do any form of hot yoga (i.e. at Empower Yoga)

Yoga Challenges You:

Yoga offers a whole body workout gathering support from the cardiovascular, skeletal, muscular, and endocrine systems.

Whether you're trying to master a new pose, arm balance, inversion, or just trying to focus your mind during a hectic day, yoga can help teach you how to grow and get stronger, challenging you to be your best and strongest self both physically and mentally.

Relieves Stress:

Studies completed by The Mayo Clinic show that people who did yoga regularly had lower levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga activates the parasympathetic nervous system, a counterweight to the fight-or-flight response of stress, ultimately reducing levels of cortisol, a primary stress hormone.  When cortisol levels are high it can harm thyroid function, damage muscle tissue, increase blood pressure, cause inflammation, and more if cortisol is too high.

Improves Self Confidence:

When you feel stronger, aligned, in balance, have increased body awareness, are more flexible, and have an increased sex drive, you will most likely begin to feel more confidant.


So maybe it’s time to man up, and get your yoga on ;)



Refueling Post Yoga


Practicing yoga is the perfect way to stretch and tone your muscles while clearing your mind and relieving stress. In order to get the most out of your practice, nutrition is key. Eating before class is not ideal, but eating and replenishing your body after is necessary!

When getting ready to practice, it’s not recommended to practice on a full stomach. Attending a yoga class with a full belly could cause stomach aches, nausea, and embarrassing gas. The general rule is to stop eating one- two hours before class. This will help alleviate any digestive difficulties. If you’re worried about being hungry, a good pre-workout snack is a small portion of fruit, vegetables, salad or soup. Avoid heavy, slow-digesting meals, high-fiber vegetables, beans, as well as rich or spicy foods. You’ll regret that when you go to invert or twist.

After, is the time to eat, refuel, and replenish your body with nutrients that will fully enhance the effects of your yoga practice.

Here are five tips/snacks that will will keep you fit, full and fueled after class and for the remainder of your day.


After a yoga class,especially hot yoga, make sure you hydrate and restore your electrolytes. This will help avoid dehydration, soreness, and cramping. You should already be drinking at least five to six tall glasses of water a day, and even a few more if you’re working out. You can try infusing your water with cucumbers, lemons or limes to make it more flavorful. Additionally, I love to drink coconut water to help rehydrate. Coconut water is refreshing, natural, and has tons of electrolytes.

Drink a smoothie

Drinking smoothies is one of the best ways to consume more healthy foods both before and after class. They're convenient, simple and save you the time and stress of preparing a full meal.

When making a smoothie try adding leafy greens (i.e. kale or spinach), fruit (fresh or frozen- i.e. blueberries, strawberries, bananas), protein powder (I LOVE Orgain plant protein) and a liquid (i.e. water, coconut water, or almond milk) together, then blend and enjoy. For an extra boost and additional protein, I also like to add PB powder, chai seeds, and/or flax seeds to mine.

I find smoothies to be filling, hydrating and most importantly, easy to make. This post-yoga snack is healthy and satisfying; especially if you have a sweet tooth like me. For more about making smooties, visit:   

Scrambled egg whites and whole-grain toast

Perfect for anyone who practices in the morning. Egg whites contain plenty of protein without the fat from the yolks, and whole-grain breads have complex carbohydrates that will keep your energy high for hours. Maybe even scramble your eggs into an omelet, add your favorite veggies and enjoy. You can even add nut butter (i.e. peanut or almond butter ) onto your whole-grain toast for added protein and “good fats” that keep your heart healthy.

Greek yogurt

Great for any on-the-go yogi. This is a great snack that’s packed with extra protein and calcium to boost healing.


Skip the plain old garden salad and go for a colorful combo of leafy greens, fruit, and  protein (i.e. nuts, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, fruits, and nuts). Not only are these types of salads packed with vitamins, but these enhanced types of salad can also help eliminate toxins, cleanse your body and even give your skin a healthy glow. Eating fresh, natural foods that are high in protein and filled with nutrients will enhance the toning effect of your yoga practice and keep your post-yoga glow going for hours off your mat. For more green salad ideas, visit:

Whatever snack you choose, keep your ingredients fresh and watch your portions in order to ensure the most health benefits possible. Enjoy!




What is Yoga & Other Frequently Asked Questions

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Whether you're new to yoga or have been wondering the same thing for years, I’ve got some answers to some of yoga's most frequently asked questions.

What Is Yoga?

When you think of yoga, do you think of people hopping up into handstand, doing seemingly impossible balances, and weirdly twisted poses? I bet some of you do… well yoga is much more than that. Yoga is a 5000 year old Indian body of knowledge and was derived from the Sankrit word "yuj" which means "to unite or integrate". Yoga is all about harmonizing the body with the mind and breath through the means of various breathing techniques, yoga postures (asanas) and meditation.

What Does Namaste Mean?

Nama means bow, as means I, and te means you. Therefore, namaste literally means “bow me you” or “I bow to you.”

Namaste is a gesture/greeting that represents the belief that there is a Divine spark within each of us that is located in the heart chakra. The gesture is an acknowledgment and universal recognition of spiritual energy. By stating namaste, your souls is recognizing and honoring the light in someone else's.

What Does Om Mean?

Om is a mantra, or vibration, that is traditionally chanted at the beginning and end of a yoga class. It is said to be the sound of the universe. The entire universe is moving nothing is ever solid or still. There exists a pulsating, rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of the sound, but it’s there. You can hear it in the blowing of the leaves, the waves crashing on the shore, or inside a seashell.

Chanting Om allows us to recognize the universal movement through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy. We begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.

Do I Have to Be Vegan or Vegetarian to Practice Yoga?

The first principle of yoga philosophy is ahimsa, which means non harming to self and others. Some people interpret this to include not eating animal products. There is a debate about this in the yoga community. I believe that it is a personal decision that everyone should make for themselves. If you are considering becoming a vegan or vegetarian, be sure to take into account your personal health and perhaps consult your doctor. You do not have to be either to practice yoga.

How Many Times Per Week Should I Practice?

Yoga is strengthening, cleansing, and detoxifying. Whether you practice once a week or everyday you will still see and feel the benefits of yoga. However, when you go more frequently you will experience the shift in your body sooner. I suggest starting with two or three times a week. Go when you can. After a while, I am sure your desire to practice will increase and you will find yourself doing more and more.

How Is Yoga Different From Stretching or Other Kinds of Fitness?

Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. Yes you’re body will become stronger and more flexible as it would if you just stretched, but so will your mind. Through yoga we are able to connect the movement in our bodies with our mind and to the rhythm of our breath. When we do this, we begin to direct our attention inward, allowing ourselves to become more present and aware of our experiences. Yoga is about building awareness in our bodies without judgement.

Is Yoga a Religion?

Yoga is not a religion. It is a philosophy that began in India an estimated 5,000 years ago. The father of classical ashtanga yoga (the eight-limbed path) is said to be Patanjali, who wrote the Yoga Sutra. These scriptures provide a framework for spiritual growth and mastery over the physical and mental body. Yoga sometimes interweaves other philosophies such as Hinduism or Buddhism, but it is not necessary to study those in order to practice yoga.

I’m Not Flexible. Can I Do Yoga?

Yes! You are a perfect candidate for yoga. Many people think that they need to be flexible to begin yoga, but that’s not true. Come as you are and you will find that your yoga practice will help you become more flexible as well as balanced, stronger, and more coordinated. 

What Do I Need to Begin?

All you need to begin is an open mind and a desire to learn. When you begin, look around and find a studio and style that’s right for you. Consider investing in a nice pair of leggings or shorts and a t-shirt or tank.  Make sure they are not too baggy and maybe get some things that are sweat wicking. We practice barefoot, so there is no need for shoes and socks, leave them at the door! Bring a water bottle and towel, as well as a yoga mat to class if you have one.  No mat? That’s ok, most studios have mats you can borrow. 

Why Are You Supposed to Refrain From Eating 2–3 Hours Before Class?

In class we will twist, turn, and bend. So if you have not fully digested your last meal, it may make you feel uncomfortable. If you’re afraid that you might get hungry or feel weak during yoga class, experiment with a light snack such as yogurt, a few nuts, or juice about 30 minutes to an hour before class.