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Winding Down 2016, Ramping Up to 2017

What up, Rogue Yogis. The time is here. We begin to wrap up 2016 and ramp up to 2017. For some of us, it's kind of hard to do. For some of our Rogue Yogis (including me) there's just been so much shit happening the past few weeks. For some of us, there was so much shit happening the entire year. This blog post is to share with you what's been changed up in our world, provide tips on making it through the holidays (if this season tends to feel lonely), and share updates on what's going to be added in our private FB group for 2017.

It's been real challenging, because we lost 2 people within a 2 week time span. One to suicide and the other to the Oakland Ghostship Fire. Suicide is a tough subject...I can only guess that this person was suffering so much physically that he really couldn't take it anymore. But, when life is taken unexpectedly from people, that also brings sadness. This Ghostship tragedy took away such creative and passionate people. It really brought to light the plight of the artist. As someone that had to resort to living in a really tiny basement annex in order to even get footing in SF, it hits home to see how many creative have to resort to living in less than ideal conditions in order to thrive. Except in a few cases, art just isn't rewarded financially as much as tech.

With all these things happening, the Mongorrian and I were thinking we'd be in Spain by now. But, we're not, and it wasn't initially by our choice. So, we're changing a lot of plans now. A lot of transition is about to happen for us:

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On January 31st, 2017, we're going to Vietnam instead. It was a feeling deep in my heart that we should be there sooner than later, but thought we'd have to put off because of Barcelona. When the Spanish Consulate rejected our application, asked for more information, and stopped responding to our questions and request for another appointment, I took the opportunity to suggest Vietnam. With just a few messages to my cousin, we already had a place to stay with a big family eager to meet the love of my life. We'll be with family for a month, scouting out beautiful locations on the coast for the location(s) of my Spring 2018 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat. We'll be paying homage to my dad, relatives and grandparents. Lots of delicious exotic food will be consumed, and if you subscribe to my Periscope you'll get to see them all.

In March, we'll hit up Cambodia the entire month to meet the hubby's family. THEN, after that we'll hit up Spain for 3 months. Not a year as we had planned, but 3 months. During this time is my Spring 2017 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat in Granada, Spain. What's really great is that we can be able to travel and share this experience while doing what we love. I feel really grateful for this! We also have 5 out of 10 spots filled. Grab one of the last 5 here!

At that point, we don't know where we'll be going. UPDATE: We will hit up France, Germany, Italy, then Mexico in October when we end up in Tulum for my Fall 2017 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat. After that, we will be in Mysore, India for 3 months before my Spring 2018 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat in Vietnam. I will be studying Ashtanga Yoga with Sharath Jois, the grandson of K. Sri Pattabhi Jois (the creator of Ashtanga Yoga). As much as I am about sharing yoga for the urban lifestyle, I'm also about learning about its historical roots and understanding the tradition that yoga came from.

This is not to brag, not to impress you guys, but to share where we're at. And, this next step is a lot to absorb. But, the fact that we're doing this together...let's just say I probably wouldn't be doing this by myself, that's for certain!

Every country we go to, I'll be hitting up a Mysore Ashtanga place, a general Ashtanga or Iyengar yoga studio or some kind of place where I can learn yoga from a good instructor and also practice on my own. That was the non-negotiable part about this journey. It took me awhile to let go of attachment to teaching yoga physically in each country. Once I realized that my number 1 priority is to be a yoga student, the burden just floated off of my shoulders. That isn't to say that I will not be making online yoga sessions. In fact, I will be broadcasting my personal practice as much as I can on Periscope, FB Live, proper classes on YouTube and Teachable. This Rogue Yogi is literally going Rogue. Let's hope I find a good traveling yoga mat that I can lug with my yoga wheel!

(Join the exclusive group and get this content that I'm releasing to the members)

Note: If any one is reading this blog, lives in another country, is connected with a studio owner or an underground music venue, and knows any local ambient/downtempo/deep house DJs, I would love to continue my Rogue Yogi yoga pop-up sessions. The chances of this happening are unknown, but I am putting it out there to make this dream come true.

Side Note: I'm doing my best within the limitations and glitchy inconsistencies that Facebook has. It hasn't been easy trying to broadcast the way I want without FB malfunctioning. So, if the yoga sessions are not happening that well in our private FB group, I'll record the session and load it there and/or YouTube.

So....that's where we're at.

All I can do is be at peace with all these struggles and challenges. It's kind of sad, but a true reality that when you lose someone, you get a wake up call, and some people.. their perspective of life changes. Some things that were a big deal just aren't anymore, and priorities shift to others that used to sit on the back burner.

gratitude, yoga, yoga classes, yoga for beginners, yoga teacher, free yoga classes, yoga for weight loss, yoga at home

[Tweet ""The struggle ends when gratitude begins." --Neale Donald Walsch"]

Struggles don't end forever, it's just for that moment, I am aware of what I do have at the moment, I'm alive, I can breathe, I can practice yoga, I can mentally practice meditation. In that moment, there is no struggle. It's this sense of "wow, I have something very good", and maybe it'll last for 15 seconds, 1 minute, maybe 1 hour. But, for that moment, there isn't really a struggle. It's a practice.

For those of you that may feel like the holidays are rough, lonely, or shitty, it may be difficult or easy advice to say, you can take a look at what you do have.. if you can find some outings with some friends, or have pets, find something that you can look forward to, no matter how small or big it is.. to help you get through the holidays. Because I know what it's like to go through several winters that were lonely and less than idea, and it can be better than that if you shift your perspective for just that moment.

Ramping up to the new year, I won't ask you to make new years resolutions, new promises, new majestic goals all of a sudden.

I WILL tell you to take a look at the past year, look at the lessons you learned, what realizations did you make, what appreciation do you now have or forgot to have...and from those lessons you can apply them into the new year. It's more of a gentle shift, to take it one degree differently, instead of all of a sudden doing all this different routine.

I would say, make a gentle shift. If you need someone to talk to, if you want to share something that inspired you, share it in the group. That's what the FB group is for. You're welcome to share inspiration, meditations and...I actually do encourage you to share your progress in yoga. It's not to show off, but to hold yourself accountable in sticking to your practice.

In the Lounge, I'll be sharing a yoga pose of the week, a meditation of the week and more music, (especially my curated playlists so you can play it in Spotify at your own leisure)

Just more connectedness is what I intend for our members in 2017.

Take on the holidays, the shift and the direction you'd like to move your life to...what's that next small step for you?

With Love,

Julie Tran (Your Local Rogue Yogi)


Track of the Moment: Always Like This (Andhim Remix) - HVOB

https://open.spotify.com/track/7qfLlPC8tlohz2QYwGqkJW

 

 

My Experience of the Rogue Yogi RE:TREAT 2016 [Tulum, Mexico]

Hey, Rogue Yogis! A couple of us just got back from the first ever INTERNATIONAL Rogue Yogi Re:Treat! We went to Tulum, Mexico. Which I had heard so many times from different friends about how magical it is. I had no idea, I can only see pics of the ruins, but i really didn't get a sense of how really magical it was until I got there. yoga, yoga teacher, yoga class, yoga for beginners, yoga retreat, yoga vacation, yoga travel, yoga trip, tulum, tulum mexico, mexico, tulum beach, amansala, amansala tulum, yoga for weight loss, yoga for beginners, camel pose, ustrasana

I'm sharing with you guys what our experience was like being in PARADISE. For those of you who are yoga teachers, maybe you want to throw your own yoga retreat there, or for those of you that missed THIS year's retreat, you'll get a teaser of how NEXT year's Rogue Yogi Re:Treat will be (it'll be hosted at the same eco-chic resort)!

I've uploaded all the highlights of this trip into an album on our private Rogue Yogi Facebook Group. If you're not in that "Lounge", come join in! There's guided meditations, inspiration, Rogue Yogi Real Talk, etc...all of this for FREE. Just as a taste, I'll sprinkle a sample of those highlights throughout this post.

This blog post is a way to reflect back on this unbelievable trip. Coming home to a super cold and rainy San Francisco has me wanting to go back to the warm pristine ocean water already! I wanted to remember Tulum as much as possible as the "real world" kicks itself back in.

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If you've never been to Tulum before, let's just say that the sand is the softest sand you've ever set your feet in. There are speckles of pink in the sand. Imagine walking out to the water, it's so pristine and clear as fuck. Crystal clear blue waters with hint of turquoise and dark blue. You can walk out really far into the water. Imagine you're the only one standing in that water. You take a 360 and look all around you, and there's NOBODY else, except for some pelicans floating and the clouds above the horizon. They're so vivid, with sharp borders of cotton candy. You can see them across the horizon.

Words whispered through the air, "This is your personal Burning Man". (I know the conditions are polar opposite, but the freedom from distractions, the spiritual energy were so conducive to this mental shift and clarity).

You just feel so calm, so relaxed, so peaceful. While it was very hot and humid, while we did have thunder and lightning storms, it was still magical because the rain would pass by so fast.

Just imagine that, because we are there at the eco-chic resort during "Low Season", just before the "High Season", there are just about 2-3 yoga groups. So, the resort is fairly empty. Plenty of lounge chairs, daybeds with wooden roofed-cabanas (made of tree branches) which let enough light shine through but provide some shade. Tons of coconut trees all around.

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The staff, who are Mayan but can speak Spanish and English. They were so amenable. They cooked such fresh and healthy food. Everyday we got infused water, like hibiscus, watermelon. You could tell that they added NO sugar. No extra sweetness, just overall fresh.

They had a fun bar there. I wasn't sure whether or not I would keep this a "dry" retreat, but my group was very dope and chill that having some drinks was not an issue. The group was a hodge podge of friends from NorCal, friends from SoCal and new friends from Ohio, Santa Monica and Dublin (Ireland!!)

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I was able to teach all the different kinds of yoga I love: Power Yoga, Yin Yoga, Deep House Yoga and Yoga Nidra on the rooftop of another yoga studio. Which we didn't realize until we were on the roof that we were surrounded by nothing but jungle. Just lush green. Tulum apparently doesn't allow any other buildings to be higher than this jungle level.

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Our normal yoga shala was by the beach. I got to do my personal practice and see the sunrise each morning. It would happen in just a matter of 2-3 minutes when the sun would rise up through the clouds and fill its warm light into the entire studio.

Tours: We were touristy! We got to ride a bike to the Tulum Ruins, take a van to the Gran Cenotes, we got to snorkel, look down and see this entire underground cave world under the water. There were bats, a turtle sanctuary, and a section of the cenotes where these small gray fishies come up and nibble on your feet and legs! Some people weren't feelin it but I loved it!!! Just 5-6 fishies just nibbling the dead skin off of you!

We also got to ride bikes to the Mangroves, a whole slew of trees that grow from the natural water system that surround a green cenotes. We got to kayak in the cenotes, walk up the stairs to a high platform (high as f*ck, then CANNONBALL right into the cenotes). Swimming in certain parts felt warm, swimming in other parts felt cold. (Those were the natural streams of the cenotes).

We also did a sweat lodge called Temezcal. It's a rite of passage, a way to give thanks to our ancestors, as well as detoxify our bodies, and test our limits. This whole ceremony was spoken and sung in Maya. I also got an amazing massage from a Mayan Shaman. I fell asleep twice and woke myself up from my snoring. I NEVER snore, so that's really how deep I fell asleep!

We did have to deal with running out of pesos and the wild conversion rates in Mexico.

You guys gotta be there. There are a lot of yoga eco-chic resorts in Tulum for sure. It's just a very spiritual-centric town.

Due to popular demand, we are doing Stand Up Paddleboarding Yoga at next year's retreat! Our very own Leora, who's a certified SUP Yoga instructor, will teach us some great asanas!

After coming home, I could do nothing but think about how to expand this experience to others. There's something so priceless about being able to come together as community, take care of our minds, bodies and spirits, eat great nutrition, decompress and explore the world.

So, I spent countless days and nights researching various locations around the world. As of this morning, I have finalized a location for the Spring Season: Granada, Spain (Southern Spain, up in the Andalusia Mountains), and a Fall return to Tulum! My heart just fills up with happiness, knowing that 10 other people will be able to experience a great thing with us.

Ready to join me and the Mongorrian in Granada, Spain? Read all the details, register with your deposit or full payment here!!

 

Love, Julie (Your Local Rogue Yogi)

 

When Your Life Takes an Exciting Detour (BIG NEWS)

It's the 4th of July. The day of Independence, Freedom, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. It's the day that recognized the bravery of several people who took the risk to embark on a new identity, a new life. It's also the perfect day to share with you the big news that isn't of the same caliber, but is of a similar wavelength. I'm sitting here at my laptop ruminating over what words I could even use to share this exciting life change. I've been marinating in this for over a month, actually! Some of you guys already know, and it's still not quite sinking in. Most likely, it'll sink in when it actually happens! Isn't that usually the case with things in the future? No, it's not a baby. We're actually not into having kids and will stick to our kitties and eventually doggie.

No, it's not getting married. We already did that at City Hall the other month! (Haha)

It's been something we began discussing a few months ago. The topic became more serious as we did a thorough life assessment (not only living in San Francisco, but also being in the United States in general).

So, here goes a flashback of my life until now:

As an LA native, born and raised for 33 years, I loved the sunny beaches, the surrounding relaxed beach towns, the warm weather that allowed everyone to roam about in shorts and sandals day and night. The Korean BBQ at Road to Seoul in K-Town, the Japanese Ramen at Shin-Sen-Gumi in Gardena and Daikokuya in J-Town, the Oaxacan Quesadillas on a sizzling cart by a random sidewalk in Echo Park, the Vietnamese spring rolls with a crispy egg roll skin rolled up tightly inside at Brodard in Westminster...damn, the LA+OC food was so fucking amazing!!

Brodard Vietnamese Spring Rolls, Spring Rolls

 

Life felt so chill, so serene. Living by the beach was a guilty pleasure. Constant drives to the coast, moments of meditation on the sand, lots of connecting with the waves as they rolled on by. During this LA life, I realized I had an anger issue with feelings of depression. Along the way, I learned about yoga, meditation, fitness, small business, personal development, and following dreams. A combination of these experiences helped me in such infinite ways. I don't know what I would have done without any of it.

Santa Monica, Santa Monica Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Sunset

Pic from SantaMonicaBeachMom

Eventually, I got certified to teach others yoga, discovered my life calling, started teaching an all-levels yoga class on the beach, and an all-levels evening class in a warehouse, set to tropical house music with healthy happy hours afterwards. This is where I fell in love with cultivating community through yoga, music and health. "Hmm, I wish I knew how to DJ," I thought to myself. DJs were appearing in some studio classes. Not many. It wasn't a popular thing at the time, but the vision of creating community this way was very clear.

yoga class, teaching yoga, yoga mat, yoga practice, yoga for beginners, candlelit yoga

 

beach yoga, sand yoga, yoga for beginners, yoga for weight loss, yoga mat, yoga practice, yoga teacher

Life could have kept going in LA. I could have kept teaching yoga down there, kept driving to the beach, kept going about life the way it it was. But, something inside of me wanted to move. And I mean, REALLY move. Out of the city, out of my home for all of my life, and into a city that felt more like a densely-populated city than a sprawled-out region.

There are tons of motivational quotes about growth occurring outside of your comfort zone. That not much can happen until you take that one step away from complacency and feeling safe. I felt safe in LA, but I wanted a change. Desires of uprooting and re-establishing myself grew and grew. Over the course of 5 years, I wanted to move to SF, but kept making excuses why I couldn't. Commitments to my small business, the cold and constantly rainy SF weather, feeling the need to reach my goals in LA first...nothing lined up until the end of those 5 years. That's when I made the move. I up and left and moved myself into the Bay Area.

golden gate bridge, san francisco, sf, frisco, fort mason,

Even though I had visited SF a few times before, I didn't know how much it had changed. Things like the high cost of living (way higher than what I remembered), the visible poverty juxtaposed with the wealth, the more warmer weather with only few days of rain (and subsequently the California DROUGHT), the beaches being nothing like LA's, and the construction everywhere. The energy that I once felt during my visits years ago didn't feel the same now. There were more tech start-up communities, fewer eclectic and artsy ones (or they seemed to have moved from SF to Oakland).

Almost every billboard up here was about technology. Freeway traffic increased so much. Parking became a nightmare to find. There were so many people certified as Yoga Teachers, with so many studios that were small. Finding studios to teach at were difficult from competing with so many people for so few resources.

But, I can't just complain about all the negative parts of this life change. With all the clouds there's a silver lining! There were also a lot of amazing things I got to experience here. The Deep House music scene is so live here. The vegetable gardening culture is huge. People forage for mushrooms in our parks to study them together. Such a wide variety of organic sources of everything. The local grocery stores with options to refill your olive oil, almond butter, shampoo, dishwasher liquid and buy several-day-old produce for cheap!

Oakland is so eclectic. With monthly outdoor gatherings that take up several blocks. Complete with various food vendors, Zydeco/Big Band music performances, African drum circles, and art gallery openings. The street art is so prominent up here. Murals and graff art is simply a part of the surrounding, part of the building. It's also an expression of the general sentiment here. Lots of protests, anger and speaking out against the police force, racial crimes, and lack of justice. People take action very quickly up here.

Oakland First Fridays

oakland, graffiti art, graff art, street art

Oh, and all the restaurants! Burmese hole-in-the-wall food with genuinely mean old ladies like Yamo, Indonesian food like Borobudur, authentic Shanghainese food with staff hard-selling you on the shrimp dumplings at Shanghai Dumpling King, uniquely creative artisanal ice cream like ShakeDown, Vegan restaurants hidden in between apartments like Shangri-La Vegan and Vietnamese Cafés with authentic varieties of noodle bowl soups like Mong Thu.

vegan, vegan food, shangri-la vegan, emeryville, oakland

The startup culture taught me so much about what it meant to provide service and develop solid relationships with people. It provided me with an easy job of driving with Uber, Lyft, Sprig, and Postmates because the demand for delivery and commuting was so high. There were tons of paid studies from marketing companies who wanted to know about the people of SF. Yoga studios taught me what it took to market themselves, bring students and their mats, and be clear about what kind of yoga to be known for.

People all over the Bay Area were embarking on some idea, some dream, no matter how wacky or how simple it sounded. With those endeavors came the support from everyone else. It wasn't as if everyone literally supported you, but you got the sense that stepping outside your comfort zone to build something beneficial to others was normal.

Failure was also normal. Failure was not expected to be the end. The camaraderie among people, so prominent.

Failure happened a lot with me living in SF. Broken hearts, financial issues catching up, egos bruised like the discount fruit at the organic grocery store. It took me going to a yoga retreat to cry it all out before finding a tarot-like card that said I would be moving near the beach and feeling whole again, a spiritual healer who shared that the root of my issues was with my mom, and a native-american medicine man who shared that when I send a prayer of love for myself and for others I would no longer attract unhealthy people (that they would be repelled away).

I know some of this sounds really airy-fairy, and you don't have to believe any of it. But, if there's one key takeaway from moving here, it's this: this failure was what needed to happen. Everything was necessary for me to shatter the old and bad habits of living, to appreciate the solid friendships and family that I have, to re-establish a connection to myself and my inner truth.

It felt like being run through a gauntlet, honestly. Being thrown into the storm, but coming out of it to see the blue skies.

What happened after this was unbelievable. The blue skies showed up ten-fold:

My Love and I with Jack Skellington!

-Healthy love showed up in the form of my best friend, my love, my husband -I was connected with an amazing woman who produced the very yoga+music+community event I was looking for. It was the first of her series. She was a DJ AND a Yoga Teacher, and she was making it happen! She called it "Deep House Yoga", and we partnered up to grow it into a huge movement that expanded from SF to Berkeley, Oakland, Los Gatos and soon my hometown of LA!. Our project has been written about by SF Gate and SF Weekly. We try not to cry about it, but it is kind of a special thing. -Development of this very platform you are on...Rogue Yogi...an idea that sat around for years but finally is blossoming as an alternative yoga+lifestyle brand that encourages the modern yogis to embrace their inner truth, their bodies, their natural selves and feel better through yoga without having to conform to anything. -Last, but not least...we gained the courage to move out of California.

The "Mongorrian" (the nickname for my husband with his thick beard. He's not really Mongolian), was already in SF for a decade after we had first met. Lots of amazing lessons and gifts, but it was definitely time for us to experience life somewhere else.  Being together, we both felt courage to embark on this knowing we'd have each other to make it through the adjustments. We just didn't know where we should move!

Knowing that there'll always be the pros and cons of living anywhere, we decided on what was the most important thing to us. They were 2: Low cost of living. High quality of life.

He did a thorough analysis of several locations all over the world: South East Asia, Europe, Portland (Oregon), Austin (Texas). Of the top 3, he saw a place called Barcelona, Spain.

He had been there twice and loved it both times. I had never been there but heard of the beautiful architecture. European lifestyle was said to be slower-paced with more afternoon breaks and focus on family time. Barcelona was a beach town with LA-like weather. Out of the entire country, Barcelona and the Balearic Islands were the most popular yoga centers (probably from the high tourism and young professionals). Barcelona, Barcelona Beach, Spain, Ex-Pat, Moving to Barcelona

After some thought, talking to his friends currently living as ex-pats in Barcelona, and laying out the groundwork for Rogue Yogi, we decided to make the move. The move to BARCELONA!

We've started the paperwork. Got our fingerprints taken. Filled out the request for a Non-Lucrative Visa (which means we can't work there for an entire year, but I can totally continue work on Rogue Yogi).

Barcelona, Spain, Ex-Pat, Moving to Barcelona, Visa Application

Passport photos are fun and expectedly not similar to glamour shots, so we got a few of these.

Barcelona, Spain, Ex-Pat, Moving to Barcelona, Visa Application, Passport, Passport Pictures

We also looked into the procedures required to transport our puppycats Franklin and Bowie with us. They just need a certified clean bill of health from their Vet. Certified by the Spanish Consulate and sent with our paperwork.

kitty, kitty kat, cat, meow, purr, furry friend, tuxedo kitty

 

kitty, kitty kat, cat, meow, purr, furry friend, turkish angora

The story continues, and it feels like a whirlwind, but we're ready! It looks like we'll be moving at the end of October/early November. Lots of emotions. Lots of feeling certain kinds of ways. Plenty of "life flashing before my eyes". But, we're looking forward to it.

Stay tuned to this blog. I'm sure we'll be learning a lot about the process of moving, so I'll share it all with you in case you decide to make the move to Spain, too!

Love,

Julie (Your Local Rogue Yogi)

PS. If you've never been to Barcelona, either, check this video that I found while searching for pics! Really cool blend of drone and videocamera footage over the course of 24 hours! You may feel like you've taken a whole tour yourself!

https://player.vimeo.com/video/98123388