Category Archives: daily intention

with an open mind and heart

At the beginning of each day, I like to take time to set an intention. This helps me focus my thoughts and energy throughout the day. At the end of the day, I’ll reflect upon how well I was able to focus on the intention. What went well, what did not. 

Today’s intention: to have an open mind and heart. Taking everything in with an open mind and heart in New York is truly eye opening. So many people with so many interesting stories. Everyone is rushing and has some place to be. The best way to see someone’s true character is when we are in traffic. We caught four Ubers and each driver had their own way of dealing with traffic. Some got mad, some were chill, others were calmly breathing through the whole time. 

My biggest take away today: to listen more, smile more and practice forgiveness. We all could be more open and show more compassion. 

Tomorrow, set an  intention and review how your day went. Would love to hear your story, please comment below or talk story with me on Twitter @jlieu! with love and aloha ūüíô namaste 

Now What?

The election happened and now what? Everyone is handling the news in their own way Рsome are happy, sad, angry, and the list goes on. If anything, yoga has taught me that what we practice on the mat, is just as important when we apply our practice off the mat. We cannot change things that we cannot control. We can control ourselves and inspire others through our actions and words. Breathe with intention and speak with intention. Treat each day as a gift. Life is short and we never know what will happen. Right now it might be a good time for you to unplug.

When I took a break from social media, I learned a lot about myself – who I was and who I want to be. Don’t let one day or one person make/break you. Be the best version of you. Sometimes finding that best version means taking time for yourself and remembering why you do what you do for work, family and friends.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Steve Jobs

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Photo Credit: Moana Lani Spa 

 

5 Podcasts for adulting

jlieu fact #286 РI absolutely love listening to podcasts. Of course I subscribe to the usual shows like Freakonomics, This American Life etc however, below are my top five recommendations to help with #adulting. Whenever I am done listening to an episode, I feel super inspired.

Feelings include: YES! Let me save more money! YES! I can be a better leader! (you get it)

Hope you check out the list below and  get inspired to take on the adulting challenges in your life too!

  • Paychecks and Balances: C.R.E.A.M. Need to get your finances in check? These guys¬†give practical advice and make saving seem fun and easy. As I age into my mid-thirties, everything here seems more and more relevant.
  • The Longest Shortest Time: I am not a parent but absolutely enjoy listening to how parents deal with the good, bad and everything in between. If you are thinking about starting a family, listen to this podcast for tips on to do and what not to do. Funny, clever and makes me happy I don’t have kids of my own. Not yet anyways.
    (If my husband is reading this, I am kidding about the last sentence.)
  • Manager Tools: Difficult or challenging situation at work? Turn to Mark and Mike for advice. They run through all sorts of scenarios of what could happen at work – and give options on how to solve your problems! What is the difference between asking Mark and Mike opposed to your friends? These guys have coached managers from Apple and FedEx. Learn more about them¬†here from the Wall Street Journal.
  • The Hidden Brain:¬†What do you get when you add science plus amazing story telling? Yep. The Hidden Brain! This podcast opens up my mind and understand how things work together. Interesting stories that inspire!
  • Modern Love: Single? Dating? Married? Somewhere in between? Modern Love is well put together podcast, sharing stories about about all things regarding love.

 

Letting Go the Ego

I work really hard at trying to see the big picture and not getting stuck in ego. I believe we’re all put on this planet for a purpose, and we all have a different purpose… When you connect with that love and that compassion, that’s when everything unfolds.
– Ellen DeGeneres

There will be times when you may find yourself in situations where you wonder why is something happening to you and not someone else. Or maybe even the opposite of why does someone else have something and you do not. Either way, take a deep breath, step back, and remind yourself, to let go of the ego.

During one of our Yoga Teacher Training courses, Laura Mary mentioned the book, Ego is the Enemy. I have not read the book but but intend to. I bring this up because a mentor of mine once told me “Let Go the Ego”. He would say this to me quite often and as a young 20-something I remember feeling that it was not me – it was them. Whoever I was frustrated at, it was them that had the problem, not me.

As I have gotten wiser and gotten some more life experience, I’ve learned that things happen for you and not to you. Thinking this way has helped me let go of my own ego. This might not work for everyone but letting go and taking myself out of the equation has helped me get through tough times. Perhaps next time you are in a frustrating situation – try taking yourself out of the equation. Try to see if there is another way to look at the situation and if there are solutions to make it better for both parties.

“Virtue begins with understanding and is fulfilled by courage” – Aristotle

Below is a video that sums it up. It is a great intro to understanding about the ego and how ego is the enemy. Lead more with love and forgiveness. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Namaste

9 Weeks Offline

‚ÄúAnd, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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Photo credit: Moana Lani Spa

I’m baaaccckk! After a 9 week break off social media, I am excited to be online. During this time, I focused on training to become a yoga teacher. The course was intense consisting of practicing yoga with a senior yoga instructor five times a week, two days of lecture per week and one hour of meditation per week. This did not include time to study and practice teaching. There was not a whole lot of time for socializing outside of the yoga circle. This was not a bad thing, in fact it was probably one of the most memorable and exciting times of my life.

During my time away, I focused on my physical and mental practice. Many times you don’t realize what you are capable of. Laura Mary led my YTT (Yoga Teacher Training) and four other students (now teachers) joined me on this adventure. I have made lifelong friends and am so blessed to have a great group. We laughed, cried, and shared many wonderful experiences together.

In the beginning I was blogging my adventure, and as time went on, it got harder and harder to keep up with the blog, practice, work, etc. During YTT we kept a journal and I wrote pretty frequently. I recently reread my first journal entry about what I was hoping to gain from class and I can confidently say that I have gotten so much more. Reading about the first time I taught, being so shy, crying and feeling I was horrible and would never be able to pass, it makes me smile to know I have come so far!

Now, I have subbed two classes, several private classes and plan to teach more in December. I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to learn from Laura Mary and my classmates. YTT is really life changing. You learn a lot about yourself, and have the chance to deepen your practice. If you were ever thinking about taking YTT – I would say, do it.
If you want to sweat with me, let me know when you are free here!

Oh – and I forgot to mention why I was offline. When you take YTT, we followed Patanjali’s 8-limbed path. Pratyahara, the fifth limb, means withdrawal or sensory transcendence. It is during this stage that we make the conscious effort to draw our awareness away from the external world and outside stimuli. This included staying off social media, TV, etc. Some may wonder – how did you do this when your job is mainly social media?

Answer: I did my job, I stayed present. I did what I needed to do and focused my energy on social media that was relevant to work. There were many times I was tempted to look at my friends page or look up videos but I had to resist. It was hard but at the same time, I felt so free. I was able to read more and focus on my personal growth and journey. That does not mean I am abandoning social media forever. I am back, and still love following everyone’s journey, just with a bit more balance. Namaste

Photo Credit: Laura Mary Flynn

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING WEEK 6

9/19 Monday
8:15PM ¬†–¬†Shelby’s Class

Wow. This class is tough! She kept it real – slow and intentional movements. We held poses super long and I know Kellie loved it. Tulsi and I were dying but overall it helped me go to bed.

9/20 Tuesday
8:15PM –¬†Laura Mary’s Class¬†
YAY. Vinyasa is most def my style. I love the way class flows and that it is like a song…. you have a strong build up and then let the beat drop. Super fun stuff!

9/21 Wednesday
Fun day – went to pau hana with a good friend.
Note to self – I need to make more friends that are single.

9/22 Thursday
FARM FIT! I think if more people farmed – they would not have to go to places like cross fit. It would be duo purpose – make healthy food and then get a work out. Win/Win!

9/23 Friday 
6:30PM –¬†Laura Mary’s Class¬†

I really needed yoga today – the flow had the perfect make up of core and yet feel good basics.

9/24 Saturday
11:00AM – Yoga Business
Today’s lecture was super exciting. I am looking forward to plan my vision and mission not just for yoga but for life!

9/25 Sunday 
11:00AM – Missed class
So sad. I know I missed a good one

12:00PM – Yoga Ethics
Make good decisions and just stick to yoga!

6:00PM ¬†–¬†Derek’s Class
Today’s class was a killer core class. Tonight he led us into peacock pose and from class – I am not ready. Meditation was a great one. We did a brief vision/goals meditation and really envisioned what we want our life to look like in the future. I see yoga, art and family in my future. So exciting stuff!

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING WEEK 5

9/12 Monday
Wrist pain. so. much. pain. I think this is from falling out of my handstand. Note to self – Listen to your body Jennifer!

9/13 Tuesday
8:15PM –¬†Laura Mary’s Class

Tonight was an awesome flow. I really needed yoga. It is amazing what happens when you start letting go Рmentally and physically. Recently there has been a lot weighing on my mind from the big move Рto financing the move and remodeling, studying etc. The list goes on. Tonight, during practice, I let go and focused on how my body moved, how I felt. There were time when my mind did wander and immediately, I would fall out of a pose. But when I focused РI was able to take hurdlers pose for the first time. I have been practicing forever and I finally held the pose for a couple of seconds. Next step Рto hold hurdlers for a solid 20 seconds! #yogagoals

9/14 Wednesday
So excited to draft my new flow tonight. I am going to practice twice before the weekend – maybe more. Wish me luck!

9/15 Thursday
5:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class
Being outside really changes your practice. There are so many more distractions and at the same time, I love being able to listen to nature. Listening to the sound of the wind and the sun on my face.

9/16 Friday
6:30PM – Laura Mary’s Class
Another fun Friday – hurdler’s pose – I will get you! In addition – I will also go into bridge pose and walk my hands up a wall. BOOM. Feeling like a baus!

9/18 Sunday
11:00AM – Laura Mary’s Class
Sunday Funday! It is never a dull moment on Sundays. We had an energizing flow and it inspired Tulsi, Kellie and I to practice our handstands and forearm stands! The day is not done so I am trying to conserve energy but yet so excited to feel so much stronger!

12:00PM
In class today we learned what to consider when there are pregnant women in our class. It was an eye opening experience and I have a new respect for women who are pregnant. Balance, space and energy are so different with these types of women! We used balloons to act as if we were pregnant and I kept falling over and did not have the same type of balance. Note the balloon was filled with helium and it was still so difficult to practice. We also learned more about the anatomy of the ab muscles and that it really helps women to have a strong core before giving birth Рso abs are always going to be top of mind for me. Gotta work on that core!

6:00PM – Derek’s Class
Meditation was a lot better this week. We did not have so many sad things to think about. I think what helps me the most in meditation is when I have a combination of a focus in mind along with sitting more comfortably. This week I was on my back and I felt like I was able to let go. I did not furrow my brow and it was nice to just clear my head. I am excited to try it this week!

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING WEEK 4

9/5 Monday
Today I held three yoga practices and as I taught each student, I learned something new each time!

9/6  Tuesday
8:15PM –¬†Laura Mary‚Äôs Class

Today was a super fun and exciting class because I was able to accomplish¬†Astavakrasana – kind of. It is not 100% perfect but almost! I am one of those people that when I just do something – and don’t think too much, I can accomplish more. The moment I know I am doing well – it all falls apart.

Perhaps when I am in yoga, I am relaxed and I let go which is why I was able to accomplish this. On another note – I am getting better with my glasses. Getting to a point where I am able to focus on the cues and listening to my body. This YTT has been amazing. I say this over and over but the feeling is indescribable.

9/8 Thursday – 2:30PM
I am so excited for 5:30PM class today! I need some vitamin sea! Ala Moana Beach Park – while is not the prettiest, I think people take it for granted. YTT has helped me appreciate and find beauty in almost everything.

5:30PM РLaura Mary’s Class
YAS!!!! That sunset never gets old!

9/9 Friday ‚Äď 6:00AM
It was a great day! I started off my day teaching a friend at 6:00AM. Feedback consisted of practicing the Sanskrit names but other than that ‚Äď a good flow. I felt good, and am excited to share this with the group on Saturday. Tonight I will be attending Laura Mary‚Äôs Friday Fun night! Can‚Äôt wait!

6:30PM РLaura Mary’s Class
Tonight was FUN!!! ‚Äď awesome music, friends and yoga. I could not ask for anything more. Today was the first night (from last week Wednesday) I was able to wear my contacts to class. I felt strong and energized. I excited and motivated to teach tomorrow. In class I am now more aware of the pace and listening to how cues are said ‚Äď as the inhale and exhale breaths are not cued every single time. Oh ‚Äď and small wins, I was able to get into hurdlers for a hot min. Next time I need to engage more to stay longer in the pose. WOOT WOOT!

9/10 Saturday ‚Äď 11:00AM
‚ÄúPromise me you‚Äôll always remember: You‚Äôre braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒChristopher Robin to Pooh, A.A. Milne

Looking back at today‚Äôs lecture there were a lot of feelings. Today we presented our sequence/flow. Everyone seemed to have one with a specific intention and had designed flows that had advanced asanas. I was up next ‚Äď I started to feel super small and felt that the flow I wrote was too basic and started to feel embarrassed. I started to breakdown. My whole week of practice went down the drain. First we verbally talked about it and there were some places where I needed to improve. Next we demonstrated the flow to our partner. My partner was our instructor, Laura Mary. I was already nervous and this made me super duper nervous. I don‚Äôt know why ‚Äď and I blanked out. It was one of those school moments where you know all the answers to the test but then freeze. I had the hardest time getting the words out and I know Laura Mary tried to reassure me that I was doing okay and I just needed to practice a bit. Overall, I felt super low but I know that this will make me stronger. Her tips will guide me be a better teacher. Trying to stay strong.

9/11 Sunday
11:00AM –¬†Laura Mary’s Class

The more I go to yoga, it is like reading a good book, each time I pick up the book, I learn something new and I don’t want to stop. Today, I felt like I read 4-5 chapters. I am so happy to have taken the chance to invest in myself.

1:30PM
Received some really difficult news. I don’t want to write too much about it but in short – sometimes, letting go can be hard to do but it is also the right thing to do. If someone or something is not serving you in a positive way and it harmful – it is better to let it go.

6:00PM –¬†Derek’s Class
Note to self. Do not eat chili¬†right before going to a yoga class. I was all amped from YTT and wanted to help balance out my vatta dosha with chili but no Jenn. Not right before class! We had many opportunities for inversions and that dreaded dolphin pose but I felt so sick, I took it easy. Afterwards, we had very deep meditation. We reflected on some of Buddha’s teachings – some examples are to accept that we own nothing and can only control ourselves. Things that make sense and then there were some topics that were tough to think about such as losing our loved ones. Our homework this week to do have a 3 second hugging meditation with someone we love and to hold on tight. Not to take the people we love for granted. This is very fitting as it has been a very tough day.

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING Week 2

per¬∑se¬∑ver¬∑anceňĆp…ôrs…ôňąvir…ôns/¬†noun:¬†steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

It has been absolutely crazy busy in my world this last week. One of my goals is to journal/write every day about something, even if it is just one line of text. YTT has really taught me to persevere during tough times and to appreciate the good and bad. Emotions are important but to not hang on to each one. Letting go has kept me happy and positive Рeven with chaos.   

8/22 Monday
I. am. so. sore.¬†I’m still in shock that I am doing yoga teacher training. I don’t have much to say but I need to keep hydrated and keep going. These next couple of weeks will be exciting.

Note to self: Sleep on time!  

8/23 Tuesday
8:15PM –¬†Laura Mary‚Äôs Class

Today was amazing. Each time I go to class I feel so blessed. In the beginning of class, Laura Mary shared with us a quote, and it said we need to treat our ourselves like the way we would treat our best friend. She is so right. Most of the time, we wake up, go to work and worry about everyone and everything else and do not care for ourselves the way we should. I am very guilty of this. Throughout class I reminded myself to do my best and tried to wipe out any negative self talk. (This is SUPER hard for me.) Small wins!

During class, we had the opportunity to play with arm balances. Sounds fun right? I attempted a handstand and it went pretty well until it did not. Part of me is scared of letting go, however, letting go is the only way I will be able to get into the pose. It is a work in progress and I am determined to improve. Next class is on Thursday and I am looking forward to challenging myself again and being outdoors! Practice has been mainly indoors and feels like a sauna. The humidity does not help either. Signing off today!

8/25 Thursday
In the past 5 days I have seen a lot of positive change in my overall well-being. My top three changes include: IMG_0921.jpg

  1. Eating Habits
    If anyone knows me at all – they know I love food. I am always eating. It can be a good thing because if I am eating, I cannot say the wrong thing as I have food in my mouth.
  2. Personal and Professional Pace
    My normal speed is to go – go – GO! I try to get things done quickly and want to check everything off my list. While sometimes this can be a strength, I have learned to slow down. To take more time to do everything with intention. While I feel like I am slowing down, it is helping more to be accurate and not have to do things twice.
  3. Physical and Mental Strength
    Prior to YTT, I felt very dissatisfied with myself. No matter what I did, it was not enough. I was not training hard enough, fit enough etc etc. A lot of negative self talk. With yoga, self acceptance has helped me to gain back back confidence and has reminded me to love myself. To take care of me before trying to do so much.

5:30PM РLaura Mary’s Class
red. ants. everywhere.
Today, class was outdoors and while I do love Ala Moana Beach Park – I was very distracted by all the red fire arts running around my mat. I did my best to ignore them and to focus on my practice. In class, Laura Mary spoke about sometimes, when we ask a question, we already know the answer. She gave the example about asking the doctor about her ankle and if she would be able to run. The doctor said no, and she already had a feeling that it would be t

8/26 Friday
6:30PM –¬†Laura Mary‚Äôs Class

Fridays are always so fun. Mix positive energy, music and flow and you get the best yoga class ever. It was great seeing everyone in class – everyone smiling and excited to work out! We practiced a flow today that was similar to Tuesday. Lots of calf strengthening. My favorite was we had time to practice inversions and arm balances. Hurdler’s pose¬†– I’m coming for you!

Laura Mary worked her wisdom as always and explained how we should practice not just on the mat but off the mat and it can make a world of difference. I was really able to relate to this as I am participating in YTT, and we have to be aware of how everything ties together. I left feeling like I was on cloud nine. I cannot wait to do this again tomorrow!

8/28 Sunday
6:00PM – Derek’s Class
Derek is baaaacccck! What does this mean? A major sweat session. The theme was a focus on the glutes. Boy was I sore but I loved it. After class we meditated and I felt super distracted. I think this week I will try to meditate more – in small time slots so I can practice.