Monday, May 18, 2015

Start/Stop/Yes and....

Last night's new moon in Taurus energy awakened and enlivened the senses. Perhaps you were deeply breathing into your body with yoga...or felt a sense of gratitude expanding your heart...or maybe a connection with Earth's frequency and pulse. Enjoying life's pleasures is Taurus's specialty. New moons are for beginnings. A good time to start something!  However, I would suggest that there may some false starts due to other planetary energies. Saturn opposing the moon last night indicates a foot on the brakes. Shortly after the new moon, the moon quickly entered A.D.D. multi-tasker Gemini. Gemini wants everything all at once and then forgets about all of it with the next distraction. Scattered? Yes (no!) What's more, the dreaded Mercury retrograde begins tonight, through Jun 11th. Did I mention false starts?

Key to Mercury retrograde: take your time. Leave earlier for appointments. Expect delays. Allow miscommunication to bring you back to the present moment. The beauty of this new moon is that it grounded us into our physical bodies. I personally took a barefooted walk, got comfy in the bed, took an extended epsom salt bath, and ate dessert (Coconut milk popsicle). Slowing down is almost always a good practice for me, since I was a born multi-tasker. There will still be mistakes. Make them your wake up call, your moving meditation, your conversation with spirit!

I sense the changes. It's not quite Summer, but I feel the transition. Though it's still Spring, we've had a few cloudy L.A. days. I am personally closer to the end of a project than at the beginning, but now is the time to rework, reframe, review, and revamp the book I am working on. That is exactly what Mercury retrograde is good for. So revise! and any work you can think of that starts with "re-" (relate? reveal? renegotiate? respond?)

In honor of the Taurus New Moon from last night, (I'm already looking back) I share with you a Rolling Stones video, HEAVEN that will bring you to your senses:


Smell of you baby, my senses, my senses be praised
Smell of you baby, my senses, my senses be praised
Kissing and running, kissing and running away
Kissing and running, kissing and running away
Senses be praised
Senses be praised
Your my saving grace, saving grace
Nothing will harm you
Nothing will stand in your way
Nothing, Nothing
Nothing will stop you
And nothing will stand in your way
No one will harm you
No one will stand in your way
No one will bar you
Nothing will stand in your way
Nothing
There's nothing~ The Rolling Stones

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bloom Like a Lotus Flower

Mother Nature can be so delicate and so powerfully fierce. The recent tragedy in Nepal shows us the power of Earth itself and that there is no solid ground. Our hearts have gone out to those who suffer the loss of their loved ones, belongings, and stability, yet it is a reminder to ground and earth ourselves securely in the moment. Today and this moment is what you have. With your body exactly as it is right now. Life is both tenuous and resilient.  Nature provides us with opportunities to grow and shows us that all that is physical is temporary. Each day is a gift, and it is good to remember this, by going with the forces of nature as best we can. For today, you can rejoice in the body that you have and take in all the beauty of the physical world. Today you can see nature's rainbow of colors, swim in the crashing waves of the ocean, walk barefooted on her sandy beaches. Today you can taste Mother Nature’s juicy sweetness in a bowl of blueberries, lay down in the grass and look at the starry night sky. Today you can deep deep breaths and move as best you can, celebrating all you have, while knowing it is impermanent.

The Sun is currently in the sign of Taurus, which is a sign of nature, comforts, stability and value. Last night we saw the Buddha Full Moon, wherein the Buddha auspiciously attained enlightenment. Each Full Moon brings to light the opposite sign, which indicates the pull that we feel between the conscious and sub-conscious. The polarity is represented by the sign Scorpio, the sign of deep transformation, power and desire. Scorpio energy requires the Taurus bull to awaken out of his comfortable slumber and make some changes. We have faced a lot of change over these past several years and especially the recent months. Now it is time to transform old habits, and rouse ourselves from the comfort zone. Taurus energy has the ability to keep it simple, and I suggest you do so by being out in nature. The best work outs for now are long hikes, beach walks and slow yoga. Take your time to connect with the natural elements, and stay open to change for it will be valuable to your internal stability. Graze on plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables this month!

In terms of the world at large: Be generous and give where you can. Maybe it is financial, or in prayer. Maybe you can give your time and physical effort. Or perhaps you are an observer holding space. Know your value and give from that place. Sending love and prayers to those who suffer, and celebrating those who are content.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Universal Love Notes From the Year of the Goat


Dear Everybody,



As we ring in the year of the Goat, and travel through the astrological sign of Pisces, I just wanted to say I love you. Did you hear me? Yes. I mean you. This universe is a magical and wondrous place, and as I write you this love note, I can feel into the beauty that you are. If you take a few moments each day to tap into the invisible thread that binds us together, and allow yourself to surrender to that supportive force of nature, you will feel it too. I am a goat, so I know from experience that these creatures are creative and loving, which sets the tone for the year.

We are surrounded by this dreamy universal love energy when in the pools of the sign of Pisces. Pisces rules creativity, dream time, poetry, film and dance. Astrologically speaking, we are also crashing into our final of seven squares that have been demanding radical and deep transformational change. We have each been asked to make transformational change collectively and individually since 2012 and will feel the reverberation of these aspects well into the Summer. During these "exciting times", it is wise to find ways to mellow out. I know that when I am feeling agitated or angry, it is due to my not taking the time and space I need for myself. Then I have much to give from that place. What if each being took responsibility and cared for themselves enough daily? From there, fill others with that same love. The key is to create space. Dancing and Yoga are highlighted, rather than gym workouts. Be sure to get plenty of rest, adhere to a diet that is high in water content such as fruits and vegetables. Meditation is effortless in the sea of Pisces energy, so now is an ideal time to begin a meditation practice.

Here are some ways to relax and let go: 



CALM powder at night. Magnesium will relax you into a dreamy sleep.

Meditation AM and PM. Press the reset button and listen for cues.

Legs Up Wall Pose. Forward bends will do the trick to relaxing your nervous system.

Rebounder. A great cardio activity will release excess tension. Rebounding is also great for the lymphatic system.

Paint, or find a creative activity like knitting that allows your brain to rest for a while.

Dance. Allow yourself to be fluid and expressive.


As we head into the Spring and the energy shifts, I have some exciting announcements upcoming about a Y28 mind-body makeover weight loss challenge beginning on March 25th. So stay tuned for that in the next couple of weeks. Or visit dietbet.com/mandy for a preview!

In the meantime, reset yourself and be in the love.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Break Your Own Rules

I have a confession to make. I'm an absolute task master. It's true, I'm a natural born disciplinarian. A self starter from way back in the day. It is not something that I learned, or forced myself to do. I was born this way. I make my own rules, and I always have. I came out of the womb a rule-maker. Nobody assigned me any rules to follow, but when there were guidelines I could latch on to, I loved to follow them. If there were no rules, I requested them. Mom and dad did not give me chores, so I suggested that my brother and I be assigned chores, and earn an allowance based on the work we did. Needless to say, my brother was not too thrilled about this set-up and my parents thought it was amusing. The rest is history.
I actually enjoy setting goals and following through to accomplishment. Here's a little secret though: I can get very rigid and follow rules simply for the sake of meeting the demand or hitting the mark. As I say about myself, I like to deliver. This can leave me feeling empty when I am enslaved to the very rules that I created in the first place. What once was a pleasure has become my duty, and I feel bound to it for no other reason than, I said I would. Well guess what else I am? A rule breaker. A beater of my own drum. A rebel and an inventor. Every so often, when I feel responsible to out dated ideas, or after an extended period of work work work, I like to tear off the shackles, and break away from the "same old."
For years, I can marry myself to set of habits or guidelines, and in a moment I can cut loose and run like the wind, away from my former life. Or I can stop and drop into a stillness that allows the swirl around me to slow and I get very simple and clear. I am in a renewal period like this right now. So I have released a lot of what binds me to a persona that I have, or an idea that I have of myself in order to rediscover who I am today, and who I am becoming. This includes stopping the same physical movements that I have been habitually doing and moving in other ways. Dance is the movement of choice for my break-away moment. Moving away from the same rigid and practiced asana into the more fluid and free form circular, and lateral movements of dance has been freeing and renewing. I have been unplugging from hot yoga practice, which I got into a habit of doing over the past year, and immersing myself into the elements by hiking in nature and taking my deep breaths there.
The point is: do something different!
If there is a lack of luster, or if you've lost the pep in your step, perhaps you need to break your own rules. What new movements can you make in order to embody a new aspect of yourself? What rituals and habits have lost their momentum? What new treasures can you find from within?
Have a beautiful and re-creative week!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A NEW ADVENTURE AWAITS: FIND YOUR SACRED SPACE
Happy 2015! I don't know if you are feeling it, but I can sense the new adventure that is before me this year. There have been many twists and turns over the last couple of years, but this new energy feels different. I have landed squarely in my new “asana” and am claiming it. Simplicity is the key to my clarity. First and foremost: a call to healthy habits, and paring down whatever is not necessary. Certain friends, habits, foods and tasks have been pruned from my daily life. I am finding solace in the solitude. Once I mellowed from the missing, I was left with what is essential. And so I sit to write the next chapter. Join me, if you like. I have several events that are open to all. The first will be online. On March 25th,we will take a 28-day journey together on Diet Bets. This four week challenge, although result oriented, is actually an opportunity to come together as I support you through your short term diet goals. Suggested food plan, would be one of the three options in your Yogalosophy book, but you can choose to commit to any food plan suits you. I will provide daily coaching and inspiration, along with exercises, journal questions and healthy tips like the ones below. In August, you may join me in person for a weekend workshop at the Omega Institute. Vision Boards, Yogalosophy and more in the oasis of the prestigious Omega retreat center.

Healthy habits are the cornerstone of all that you are looking to create in the world. Create your daily check-list and make your routine a no brainer. 

Some ideas:
  Begin the day with warm water and half a lemon to cleanse and get your system going.
  Incorporate probiotics to aid digestion.
  Meditate in the morning for 15 minutes.
  Write your thoughts, or gratitude list before you begin your day.
  Move your body 5 days a week: walk, yoga, hike, or a brand new class.
  Finish your day with 2 ounces apple cider vinegar, 2 ounces of Aloe juice diluted in water.
  Dry brush your body before bed.

   Make a loving connection with a living being each day.

Monday, January 5, 2015

One Small Step For A Great Lifestyle Change


When asked what small, simple step a woman could take to make lifestyle changes, I envisioned a woman who pleases herself. As women, we are in an ongoing dance of pleasing others through our multitude of relationships and roles we play. In some sense, equality has amounted to women over-doing. Not only are we now raised to support ourselves, but are expected to juggle family, beauty, health, whilst maintaining a serene attitude conquering the world and the work place, with just the right sense of humor, surrounded by our tribe of equally fabulous women. All this, plus, oh yeah, finding ways to be in some version of an evolved relationship.



As I move through my life, I find myself more frequently asking, am I doing this for me? Who is this for? Is this a desire coming from within, or an expectation I am living up to? The answer to this question is so faint, that the place where I find it is in the quiet stillness of my heart. The absolute best way for me to hear that truth is through meditation. Meditation can sound daunting, but let me make this accessible to you. Sitting in stillness and observing the present moment, which does include the nature of the “monkey mind”, is just another muscle. As going to the gym and engaging new muscles is, at first, a challenge, when the magic of repetition forms a new daily habit, like brushing your teeth, sitting and becoming present as you focus on your breath is simply a trip to the inner gym. Your meditation muscles will strengthen and you will soon go from 5 minutes being a struggle, to sitting for 20 minutes, or even an hour.



Following the call of your inner truth allows you to be an activist for all women. Taking time to connect with your inner compass is a lifestyle change I recommend, and I plan on following in 2015. That, and drinking more water.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Yoga Tricks and Other (Re)Treats

Happy Halloween! October has been a month of intensity. With the piercing darkness of last week's eclipse–our initiation into the dark side of the moon–we have been thrust into a time of transformation. Yoga can push you past the comfort zone of your form, but so can pulling inward and being still, or retreating. I have the tendency to keep myself light and spin my tale in the direction of the positive. However, this a the time where there is more value for me to go toward the unknown, the mystical, the depth and what is taboo and dark. Where there is darkness, there is the most opportunity for illumination. Even the flicker of a candle can light an entire room. You may find there is no boogey man at all. The fear was just a trick!
I still cannot figure out if Teen Witch is the ultimate trick or treat. The funny thing is, when I made this movie, back in 1988 there was no internet and I was positive that nobody would ever see it. Boy was I wrong. This movie became a cult classic, and thank goodness that my willingness to transcend my beliefs allows me to happily share this treat with you, rather then retreat! The trick is, to never take yourself too seriously. Or, as Ram Dass says: remember that everyone you encounter is just God in drag. And with that I leave you! My top three yoga tricks:
               To approach CROW pose, try perching upon a yoga brick to get your knees high upon the triceps.
               Challenge your FOREARM PLANK pose by maintaining the forearms in a parallel position, but flip your palms upward to engage the core deeply.
               HALF HANDSTAND starts in downward dog, with your heels facing the baseboard where it meets the wall. Walk your legs up the wall in an L shape.
My top three healthy treats:
               Kevita Probiotic drink is what I go for instead of a soda.
               Raw Chocolate is tasty and guilt free. Made without dairy or sugar, there are no apologies!
               Freeze dried Mango is tart and tasty. 

Lastly: Retreat. This is how I do. In honor of Day of the Dead.

CORPSE POSE


Lay flat on your back, push your shoulders down away from your ears, and flip your palms skyward. Allow your feet to flop open to the side. Take a deep breath in and on the exhale release your breath, and let gravity sink you down into the mat, as if your body could make an imprint in the floor. Die to the world for 5 or 10 minutes before you return, refreshed.

The day of the dead is a celebration and an honoring of the spirits that came before us, as well as a release of what is no longer alive within us. Release and let go. Transform the depths of your sorrow into a revelation. Use your excess energy to try high intensity cardio vascular workouts like spinning, or push your limits to finally master crow pose, king pigeon, or handstand.

Whatever you do, do not fear the candy. Top That!