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Tips launch your day into the BEST DAY POSSIBLE

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part 1 of this post, “How a Yoga Health Coach Starts Her Day” for a detailed conversation about the importance of a morning routine and a detailed outline of what my mornings look like.

  • Ditch perfection. Start small if necessary. Begin with trying some new morning routine habits 1-2 days a week and let it grow from there — I guarantee it will. If you can only do 1 minute of jumping jacks and 1 minute of sitting in silence — do that! If getting up early sounds impossible, just try waking up 15 minutes earlier and going to bed 15 minutes earlier and build from there. Don’t let the “perfectionist mind set” convince you that if you can’t do it all, why bother. There’s always something you can do to set yourself up for a better day than if you did nothing.
  • Set yourself up for success. The night before you go to bed, put your sneakers at the door for your morning walk or roll out your yoga mat. Have your hot water in the pot and ready to push play. Blend your smoothie the night before. Trust that changing habits and establishing new routines takes time, but they took time to establish in the first place.
  • Most importantly, envision HOW you WANT your day to unfold before you get out of bed. Your habits determine the experiences of your life — pick them with caution.
  • Presence spirit and know who it is that you want to show up FOR and AS in the world. It’s too easy to hit the ground running and remain in “GO MODE” all day and then crash, burn, and do it all over again. We all want and need to get things done, but before doing so, use your morning routine as a place to step into your day feeling grounded, vibrant, rested, and able to present your best self to the world — for yourself and others.
  • Experiment, Experiment, Experiment. Try one or a few of these practices for one week — I CHALLENGE YOU!!! Then pay close attention to how you feel, what comes up for you, and what resonates as something that is GOOOOOOD for you.
  • Take baby steps in the direction of your goals. Let them build and, over time, the new way will be the natural way, and the old way — the way that wasn’t supporting your desired health, lifestyle and dreams — will seem outdated and no longer applicable.

 

Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!

Paula Pister -Yoga Teacher and Health Coach

 

#ODDlight Feature: Caitlin Randolph

Each month we feature a member of the #ODDfam. Caitlin is OG ODD – The first work trade person, part of the second teacher training ever, and has been on the mat, at the desk, and teaching classes for 5 years of O.D.D.  She’s responsible for every caption you read and every post you like as our Social Media Manager.

Name: Caitlin Randolph

 

Nick Name: Red is about the most common one. Ducky calls me Ging’

 

Hometown: Reno Nevada – well, technically Sparks if you know the area.

 

Favorite Place: Outside.

Favorite color: I think its changing! It was purple for years. Now I’m thinking green!

What’s your sign? Taurus. (My birthday is May 18th!)

Most embarrassing moment? 

This happened this year and I thought “now I have an embarrassing moment to share”. I was at a big show for First Aid Kit. They always do an acapella part, they were excited to try it in a bigger amphitheater. I decided to record part of it, I did it in instagram stories. The feature automatically replays what was shot… AND I COULDNT GET IT TO STOP! I turned off the volume, I closed the app, and it still played!!! It was probably only 10 seconds of breaking the quiet acapella to hear me replay the acapella, but it was enough time for faces to look at me and SHHHHH me. I never record anything in app now (come to my social media workshop). My date for the show doesnt even remember this happening. Telling how we view embarassing moments.

Oh also, one time in high school a bagel came flying down the hallway and bounced off of my forehead onto my friends head. Not sure if it was aimed at me, but I remember it!

 

Fun Fact most wouldn’t know about you?

I went to burning man for the first time when I was 17, my dad came too. I went for 12 years in a row after that. I’ve been acting since pre-school, my grandpa was a local stage actor.

Im in the purple.

Share a story or anecdote with us – something magical, changing, funny, or adventurous. Something that you love to tell. 

I manifested my dog. I wanted a corgi with a little bit longer legs and a tail. BAM. I found Arrow on a facebook group called “pembrokes with tails”. I was obsessed with finding an undocked corgi. I saw some dude post pictures of baby tailed corgis. I messaged him what turned out to be an hour before the adoption papers were due. Out of 100+ people across the USA applying for this litter of puppies, I was picked to get my first dog. These were all people who helped donate to this corgi dude who rescued a pregnant corgi. So if you look up #WillasAngels, Arrow is kind of a big deal in the corgi facebook community. Part of the adoption agreement was to update in a facebook group.

 

 

When you aren’t at the studio where can you be found (favorite past time)? Probably cuddling or walking Arrow. Camping? Camping is my favorite and it also includes cuddling and walking Arrow.

 

 

How do you define yoga? A metaphor. The metaphor changes as you change. Lately it’s been “Flowing through it” sometimes its literal “to yolk, to bring together”.

 

Why do you teach? To be more connected. Friends and people are actually pretty challenging for me. I only managed to stick with yoga once it became a community and lifestyle rather than a class I have to get to.

 

What brought you to become an instructor? I kept finding myself in class wanting to make suggestions to other students – not in their alignment, but in how they can be kinder to themselves. Grabbing blocks even if I didnt need them, so somebody near me would get the kinesthetic response to do the same. To remind the tiny girl and the big dude that she may be able to fold in half but chaturangas may be hard for her yet his arms are burning holding those big arms up, they both have strengths in the diverse practice. I felt like I could reach those who didnt think yoga was the most accessible. When I was super broke and before I found ODD I started making playlists to measure how long to do yoga for. 20 minute playslists for a home practice. I realized other people might want to hear my playlists and do my flow’s too.

What is your favorite song to play in class? Balance by Future Islands

What is your favorite pose or flow? Why? Dragon/Lizard – Utthan Pristhasana. It feels both strong and flexible.

Memorable yoga moment? MY FIRST YOGA CLASS WAS A BLESSING! My aunt was a teacher back home. I went to her class in highschool and at the end of the first class ever a man with a long white pony tail took the slowest roll down from shoulder stand…. farting loudly and proudly the entire time. Couldn’t have asked for a better intro.

 

How did you first hear about One Down Dog? Jessica was the Liza (manager) of a studio in Studio City. I did work trade there – cleaned for classes. When Jessica left there I kept in touch, went to one of her pop up classes in a cafe, I was the only one who came that day. When she opened ODD at the first location I got in touch to see if she did work trade. It was so new the system was “here are fliers, please tell people and come to class.”

 

What is your favorite yogi prop or piece to wear or use? (favorite mala etc) I’ve been really enjoying stones and malas for every day all day – it keeps me feeling grounded and the reminder of where to keep my head.  I love 2 blocks, but I didnt learn yoga using them!

If you could have any super power what would it be? to create clean water.

What was the last book you read? The Goddess Pose about Indra Devi – currently. Last finished: Slaughterhouse Five.

What special causes or non-profits do you hold dear to your heart? Queens Best Stumpy Dog Rescue. I’ve been following this one woman build this place up over the past 4 years. She can tell you first hand, corgi’s are assholes. – http://www.queensbeststumpydogrescue.org/ 

Are there any links, @names, and #hashtags you would you like us to use in promoting you and your happenings?

Find me as @caitran (cait ran is simply caitlin randolph shortened)  Twitter, instagram, facebook.

AND NOW I HAVE A ‘YOGA ACCOUNT’ – Follow @DoshaDiets for the Ayurvedic Perspective.

Come to my Sattvic Social Media Workshop! We’ll flip the perspective and conversation to a positive sustainable one about internet use, get some tips for branding, and make some photos! Saturday May 5th – 2-4pm

 

#ODDbeats – Yoni Berk’s Spotify Playlist – Influences from 90’s to – ’08.

Being a well playlisted yoga studio brings us pride. But we don’t make those playlists. TEACHERS DO!

Yoni teaches Monday and Tuesday nights in Silverlake. He’s a pretty classic teacher, with O.D.D. on brand bad jokes, and AMAZINGLY DIVERSE PLAYLISTS!

Take a listen and check us out on Spotify –

Master Your Morning Routine: How a Yoga Health Coach Starts Her Day

Paula Pister – busy mom, yoga teacher, and health coach – lets talk morning routine.

I have FINALLY — in the last few years — come to the realization that if I don’t have my morning routine crafted — intentional and automated — I will not experience the ease, flow, and productivity that I desire in my day.

Morning Routine Reality

I’ve always loved the mornings but never really had a structure around them. They used to be dictated by my work schedule in TV production that was all about “burning the candle on both ends.” When I moved to New York City and fell right into the flow and pulse of New York, perpetuating the same less than life-affirming habits that worked in opposition of my daily rhythms. Again, staying up late, eating late, waking up early to teach yoga classes, and then running around the city chasing auditions. Next up, I moved to LA and had kids. Kids can put a serious wrench in any parent’s habitual routine (good and bad) and more often than not, creates a ton of chaos on many fronts.

So if you are a busy, productive person in the world juggling career, family, personal life and all that entails, it is absolutely imperative that you have a morning routine that grounds you, energizes you, and sets you up for an intentionally AWESOME day. If we only have approximately 25,0000 adult mornings (that’s another blog post), then how are we going to spend them?

Jumping out of bed to the sound of an alarm clock, hitting the ground running, and depending on caffeine to wake you up is over time going to take its toll on your health, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally, too.

Imagine waking up early, greeting a new day feeling naturally energized, and having time to take care of YOU before the kids wake up, the emails get started, and your day shifts into GO MODE. Imagine having time to meditate, hydrate, and eliminate BEFORE your day transitions into taking care of duties, responsibilities, and other people.

My precious morning routine has simply saved my life, enhanced my creativity, and made me a better mom and spouse. It has empowered me to become the best version of me on so many levels. A regular, intentional morning routine will change your life — I guarantee it.

 

How To Create and Intentional Morning Routine

A productive and glorious morning routine HAS to start the night before. If you want to get up early and experience the best part of your day, you need to set it up the night before. Get to bed early so that you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep and eat your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. If you do this, you will wake up with the sun, feeling light, energized, and ready for action.

I’ve literally trained my body to wake up at 5 a.m. every morning. It took a while and required an alarm clock, but now the birds are my cue. Nature is such a great reminder to expand my awareness outside the four walls of my room and into the bigger picture. Do you think the birds think, “Oh shit, another day, here we go,” or snuggle back into their nests and pull the twigs over their heads feeling resentful that they have to wake up? NO!!! They wake up and see the morning as an opportunity to feed themselves, nurture their families, and continue their lifeline. We have to learn to take our cues from nature, because there’s no denying it — Nature does know best.

One last thing — I realize sometimes it’s impossible to have my routine exactly as I like it. Life happens, there’s travel, illness, and other unexpected events that sometimes play interference. Starting my day right is my KEYSTONE habit (the one habit that if I don’t do, everything else falls apart). I will do whatever I need to set myself up right from the beginning, even if it’s a 5 minute practice. It’s all about establishing this self-care habit in your day at this time. Once you begin to feel the effects of a positive morning routine, you will eventually do whatever it takes to make it happen, even when life throws you a curveball. It’s just one more powerful tool in your wellness/ happiness tool belt, and an even better one to teach your kids early in life.

My Morning Routine goes like this (in a nutshell) 

  1. Wake up at 5 a.m. I spend a minute visualizing my ideal day and expressing gratitude for yet one more morning I get to be alive. I then have my “workout” clothes available so I don’t have to think about whether or not I do my breath body practices later on…. I just roll out of bed and get dressed. This is called setting yourself up for success.
  2. Scrape my tongue
    That white stuff on your tongue in Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga) is called AMA= TOXINS. That’s the body trying to rid itself of left over undigested food and gunk. Your tongue is a roadmap to the health of your organ body. Google an Ayurvedic tongue map and you can learn to understand what’s going on deep inside.
  3. Hydrate
    This is not for hydration purposes, this is for peristalsis and elimination. Within 10 minutes of waking up I guzzle a large Mason jar of warm water with lemon. Think of it as a tidal wave whooshing through your intestinal tract to stimulate a bowel movement. Ever been constipated? Nobody wants to walk around all day with fecal matter stuck in their colon — literally junk in the trunk. Get that s&*t out and THRIVE in your day.
  4. Eliminate
    This may be easier said than done for some. Me, I’m like clockwork at this point and you want to be, too. If pooping is a problem, let’s nip that issue in the butt. If you’re constipated, your system is not operating optimally and over time that buildup of undigested food and AMA turns to inflammation and eventually disease. Never mind the fact that if you’re not a pooping machine (it’s possible), you’re suffering on a daily basis because of it. This is worth taking the time to remedy. Start with a huge morning water flush. If that’s not instigating movement, start to look at your diet and where you can add in foods that stimulate the digestive process naturally.
  5. Meditate
    The yogis refer to this time between 3-6 a.m. as “Brahma muhurta” and call it THE most magical and creative time of the day when consciousness is the most expansive. This is when I settle onto my meditation cushion, where I’ve established a special place, to sit for 15-20 minutes and open my mind to a bigger perspective, connect with my inner guide, and get intentional.
  6. Do breath and body practice
    This usually is 15-20 minutes of movement. Here’s when we get out of our sleepy heads and into our bodies. If I’m teaching yoga that day, I’ll practice my class. If I’m taking a yoga class later in the day, I’ll balance it out with more of a cardio workout — jumping jacks, burpees, light weights, or a short vigorous walk. No matter what you have planned “exercise- wise” later in the day, choose a practice that cultivates the opposite. Another example: If you’re taking a long run or have a date with weights at the gym, keep your morning practice more fluid with stretching & yoga. Point being, MOVE YOUR BODY FIRST THING in the morning, somehow, some way. If this sounds impossible, start with 1 minute of jumping jacks. You’ll feel the benefits and naturally want to do more. Build from there.
  7. Nourish my body
    I make a green smoothie. This is the best way to get a good shot of chlorophyll into the bloodstream along with all the nutrients that dark leafy greens offer. When you make your smoothie, lean more toward greens and less toward sweet fruits, as it’s easy to load up on unnecessary sugars that don’t offer the same benefits. You want to drink this on an empty stomach. If 20 minutes later you have a larger appetite, eat a healthy, easily digestible breakfast like oatmeal, stewed apples, toast, and eggs.
  8. Intentionally imagine & plan my day
    If and when I don’t do this, my entire day is a crap shoot — who knows what’ll go down. After 45 minutes of taking care of my body’s needs, opening to a bigger picture of life, and moving my body, I now have 15 minutes before the kids are up to curate my day. I’ll take this time with my morning smoothie (these can be made in batches the night before and kept in the fridge for 1-2 days for optimal freshness) to pull out my journal and open my Google calendar (and if you’re like me also use other systems to keep myself aligned with my daily/weekly/yearly goals such as S.M.A.R.T sheets and 12-week scorecards). I check in with what I have on my calendar and confirm it’s doable. If not, it gets moved. I’ve developed this habit and streamline it every day – it only takes 5 minutes. If I can I’ll tap into this creative time of the day and write for my website, my blog, and others. Twice a week I wake an extra half-hour earlier to JUST write.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post which will include some handy tips for setting yourself up for the best day possible!

Paula Pister -Yoga Teacher and Health Coach 

Adventures in Sanskrit

This is Catherine Weiss. She’s about to drop some knowledge on you with some glory and grace.
Sanskrit for Yogi’s workshop this Thursday – onedowndog.com/workshops
How did your sanskrit journey begin? 
My Sanskrit journey began last spring in my 200 hour teacher training at ODD. Reading the Yoga Sutras I referred over and over to the pronunciation guide at the back of Heart of Yoga. For my final project I decided to teach a short lesson on phonetics (which letters produce which sounds) and diacritics (the accents, dots and lines above and below letters).  The lesson was a big success, and Jessica Rosen suggested I study Sanskrit at LMU.

What do you love most about the language? 
Sanskrit is fascinating. It can encapsulate lots of meaning within a few words, making it super poetic and also super potent. In English we use all these filler words (like, as, this, that, in, on, beyond, etc.), to make meaning. In Sanskrit these filler words are folded into the main words of every sentence, so the language flows beautifully. Translation is really challenging, but it’s also really fun.
Why is it important for teachers to use the language?
I am not of the opinion that every teacher must use the Sanskrit names of poses. However, I do think a basic familiarity with the language is important. Cultural appropriation and decolonization are big buzzwords these days.  Learning more about where yoga came from is a way for practitioners to honor its culture.  Awareness of Sanskrit pronunciation and spelling will better enable teachers and students to engage in meaningful dialogue, both with texts such as the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, and also with practitioners from India.
Any advice for new teachers/yogis who are intimidated by Sanskrit?
Bring your beginner’s mind! Learning any language is a little bit awkward, but a willingness to try despite that awkwardness will go a long way. Making unfamiliar sounds is challenging at first, but eventually with practice the sounds of Sanskrit will feel normal. Remember how foreign yoga felt the first few times you tried, but eventually the poses feel like home.

What are you hoping people leave with after taking this workshop?I want people to leave feeling more comfortable using Sanskrit terms.  The main focus will be on pronunciation of transliterated Sanskrit, with emphasis on words and phrases common in the yoga studio.
And just for fun: What is your favorite Sanskrit word or phrase?
Sukham bandhāt pramucyate –Bhagavad Gītā verse 5.3
“Sweetly from bondage one is liberated”.