Meditation

Yoga Music Playlists: How to Put Them Together Appropriately

Yoga Music Playlists: How to Put Them Together Appropriately

Good Yoga Music Playlists? There's no wrong answer to this. You all know this boils down to preference. However, I've led hundreds of yoga and music pop-up sessions and have learned so much about how music affects the practice. Read this article about how to put together a solid playlist!

Yoga Music Playlist 010117 // Rogue Yogi Radio

Yoga Music Playlist 010117 // Rogue Yogi Radio

Try this yoga playlist out for your Power Yoga or creative Vinyasa Yoga class! 

Inner Peace Amidst the Storm, Challenged Dreams, Determination

Life can come in such contrasting waves. Ebbs and flows of static that roll into tsunamis of activity that seem to come together at the same time. For a while, Rogue Yogi was just a concept in my heart with no direction. No clear step for me to take. I just knew I wanted to create a platform where everyone, regardless of religion, spirituality, diet preference and life choices could learn and practice yoga while embracing their natural selves. Rogue Yogi was meant to be an alternative voice for all modern and urban yogis to feel good in their own bodies, establish balance and enjoy their journeys in life. After years of the idea floating around, I finally had the bearings and the courage to go full throttle with it. Still no clear path of how to go about it, but a clear vision and a general sense of how to share it with anyone that resonated.

Funny how timing works.  I fell in love, got married to the love of my life, and made the decision to move to Barcelona in the Fall!

street art, street art yoga, yoga, yoga for beginners, yoga poses

No one can ever tell you what your future holds. Guessing doesn't guarantee the goods. sometimes, it feels like the moment you are clear about a decision, a vision, a dream...the universe throws a solid test in your path. It is as though you're being asked, "Do you really want this? Let's see how bad you do".

Within 2 weeks of embarking on making Rogue Yogi a real thing for you all, I took on a babysitting gig for my girlfriend. Never before had I babysat, never before did I realize how much time and mental energy it would take to keep this cute swaddled bundle of giggling joy from crying. Thinking I could easily write all of my blogs, publish all of my photographs during the daytime, I was proven wrong every single day for almost 30 days. This was an entire month of lessons, realizations and appreciations for parents everywhere. Didn't know how much work you had to put in for us, all the while working your full time jobs and/or building your own dreams.

Babies kind of have a schedule. At some point they'll wake up, become hungry, need a diaper change, need to be held, need to made eye contact with, and some combination of these things.

After I'd go home, I would have to make dinner with my Mongorrian, take care of the errands together, spend time together, but force myself to have the time to work on Rogue Yogi. Because, if I didn't make the time now, the momentum wouldn't happen before our move out of this country. The result: lots of late nights working, lots of waking up early, lots of tasks pushed aside to the next day, lots of exhaustion. When all of this is done, how much more work would I accomplish here? Would I get anything done when we move to Barcelona?

Imagine a wide coastal environment, with the warm sun beaming down onto the beachgoers of Barcelona. Add in a dash of the more relaxed European lifestyle. Sprinkle in a pinch of siestas, and now you have a recipe for relaxation (and a possible derailing of Rogue Yogi).

Triangle Pose, Street Art Yoga

Who knows? Maybe the solid work-ethic and the drive to succeed is an American societal norm. It's possible that the demand for numbers over laissez-faire breeds Type A personalities here. But, maybe, just maybe, it's just in my blood. Maybe I will carry this work ethic with me to Spain, and enjoy the best of both worlds. You know I am eager to try out every yoga class in every yoga studio in this town!

Maybe it's no use to predict the future. To fill this mind up with things that haven't happened, yet. To worry about problems that aren't actually happening. To project our destiny onto the sand.

While these thoughts are going on, there's other shit happening in the current moment. There's a lot of unrest happening all over the world. White cops shooting Black people. White cops shooting Mexican people. Ex-Militants shooting Cops in Dallas. Ex-Lovers shooting gay men in Orlando, Florida. People driving trucks into innocent people trying to enjoy the fireworks of Bastille Day in Nice, France. I don't have all of the facts. This is all that I know so far. And, so far, it's sad.

Then, there's the things in my life that quite going the way I had planned. Situations repeating enough times for me to decide that it is time for me to give energy elsewhere. The feeling of reaching a personal plateau and the need to step outside my comfort zone. The need to stay away from the danger zones. The wanting of staying in my creative zone.  The gradual letting go of everything I've attached to since starting the 2nd phase of my life in SF. It's fucking exhausting. It's important to acknowledge that this is happening. You know none of us can really ignore this, but it's also equally critical to get back to taking care of ourselves. Inner peace in our minds. Feeding into the positivity so everything else doesn't gain power over us. This is sort of like a "Spring Cleaning", where items, people and situations need to be cleaned out. This is necessary to create a wide open space for what's needing to arrive.

standing back bend, yoga pose, yoga for beginners, street art yoga, mural

If you're wondering why I'm passionate about sharing Yoga and Meditation with beginners, advanced practitioners, modern folk, urban citizens and everyone in between, this would be a prime example why. When things are good, they're good. But, when they're bad, they're bad. What can you put into practice now, what sails can you set now, so you can weather the storm a little better?

I'm not immune to any of these issues. None of us really are. That just might be a good thing, because we can come to our senses. We can be woken up to do something about ourselves. Decide how we have a part in the situation. Decide how to handle it. Make peace with our decision, and move forward with light and love.

-Julie

 

 

Making the Most Out of it in Life!

Happy Memorial Day weekend to all of you Rogue Yogis! Here's to all of those who served, and all of their families that stood right by their choice to serve. Cheers to everyone taking this weekend to explore and relax. *This is where I toast a glass of wine to all the BBQs going off everywhere!*

For the hubby and I, we were supposed to spend this weekend (and more) in Maui. It would've been my first time, as I've never been to Hawaii nor any of its islands. We had planned this trip over a month ago--well, my hubby's company planned the trip. The initial location was actually Mexico, but concerns over the Zica virus grew to the point of moving the destination to Maui.

Excitement built up to the day before our flight. I arranged for substitute yoga teachers for my classes at various yoga studios, which wasn't easy for Memorial Day Weekend!

We talked about the hikes, the snorkeling, the food, the food and the food. We even had time-blocked everything so we could get enough time to explore, nap and enjoy everything.

One thing we didn't talk about was the weather.

After he checked the weather, he found out that it would be thunder storming the entire week. We wouldn't be able to hike. Trails everywhere would be muddy. With an assortment of other reasons beyond our control, we made the decision not go to to Maui. No hiking, no exploring, no food.

This is where the old me would have sulked in a cave somewhere, whining about the situation. A lot of people would feel disappointed or attached to something like this. Totally understandable. But, what if you could focus on the new opportunity instead of the old one? What can happen when you seize the moment and get creative?

All this yoga and meditation practice, along with being so busy with Rogue Yogi, and having such a strong desire to explore, there wasn't much time or energy put into the negative. Standing behind my best friend, the love of my life, I wanted him to get a taste of Hawaii without us having to fly anywhere! Fun was still going to stay on our agenda. Exploring, hiking and FOOD were not going to budge, and that's just how we want it!

So, we grabbed our yogi puppycats, Franklin and Bowie, our camping gear, and our meal prep before we headed up north.  Bowie the Traveling Yoga Cat                                                                           Bowie the Traveling Yoga Cat

Poor Franklin. He is taking a bit longer to feel accustomed to riding in a car, despite being in many drives for the past few years. Hiding in his carrier, he couldn't come out to join Bowie in the furry excitement. Bowie the traveling Turkish Angora likes to perch on top of the dashboard, stare out the windshield, transfer to my lap, meow his commentary on the world outside, then transfer to his daddy's lap to do the same. We are a family of Wanderlusts.
According to the dictionary, the definition of "wanderlust" is:
wan·der·lust
ˈwändərˌləst/
noun
 1. a strong desire to travel.

It's fucking awesome to have Wanderlust. So equally amazing to have a life partner that has it, too. Maybe it's contagious! What if we gave it to each other?! Then, we gave it to the cat! If so, then I am not complaining! This is something many of us in this world have. Why not drive somewhere to get inspired by something new?

On his agenda: Muir Beach, Muir Woods, the Zen Center SF, Samuel P. Taylor Park

On my agenda: Spam Musubi, Hawaiian water (100% from Hawaii!), Tuna Poke Bowl with Brown Rice, and Japanese Shabu-Shabu (aka Japanese "hot pot"). Mind you, the last meal isn't Hawaiian, but they have a connection somehow, so I'll take it. Also, we just love eating Shabu-Shabu on camping trips. More on that in another post, because I can keep talking about cooking and food for days. You can read about our camping and Hawaiian cooking ideas here!

flowers, muir beach, camping, traveling, flowers

Together, we made a solid plan to go off-the-grid, get away from the city life, and take all the nature in. What was really cool was that our first stop at Muir Beach had so much modernity to its physical structure. The man-made bridges and walkways on the sand had such clean lines. Our eyes couldn't help but follow the horizontal slats all the way out into the hills. Muir Woods also had equally modern mini-bridges in its park. If you're into architecture and design, these spots would be great for you to visit.

Julie the Rogue Yogi practices Tree Pose (Vrksasana) on the Muir Beach Bridge

 

Next up, the Green Gulch Farm Zen Center SF. Funny enough, we weren't in San Francisco at this point, but the nearby water is technically considered the SF bay, and the main Zen Center hub is in SF. Such a sanctuary. Signs directed us down a woodsy path that passed by the "conference" building. Billowy smoke puffed out of its chimney with scents of fresh wood. Private and shared rooms with large windows got our curiosity going. There were interesting architectural designs of the single rooms. It almost looked like an octagonal pagoda, with each room having a window facing outward.

A lake nearby rippled in the wind (it really was a windy day). Behind it, the farm and garden. Several small Buddha statues adorned the garden. Tags and snippets of paper tied to branches fluttered with the heavy winds. Maybe they were prayer flags from the little Buddhas. Surrounded by tall bamboo trees, these statues looked like they were right at home.

Meditative Buddha Statue Quiets His Mind

 

Nurseries full of baby kale, lettuce, and various plants struck our eyes with deep burgundy and green colors. Volunteers roamed about this area. Some were watering the plants. Others were tending to wheelbarrows. We guessed that these volunteers were doing this as part of their meditation experience. Being of service to be selfless, to quiet their minds, to give good karma.

zen center, farm, nursery, meditation, peaceful, garden

The Zen Center had a separate Tea Room. Next to it was a huge and rustic bell with words of peace and friendship.

Coming from an urban background, this was definitely a big contrast from the city life. Normally, there would be a yoga studio or my tiny-ass den to meditate in. This expansive space of lush greenery set the tone for some deep relaxation.

We work so hard sometimes (or all the time for us work-a-holics). It can be easy to let a lot of time pass by before we realize we need a break. When we finally take that break and breathe deep, we can clear some space from our heads and open up some room for creative ideas. At least, that's what my road-tripping meditation did for me. In the end, we didn't need to go to Hawaii to get this benefit. We didn't need to go far at all.

Check out this experimental short video I made on "hearing zen". Looking forward to seeing how these videos will evolve over time. Let me know what you think in the comments below!

-Rogue Yogi

 

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