Sidewalk Talk

18 hours of yoga this weekend down.

Whew.

I feel like my brain is full of soooo much more knowledge than I had before but it also feels like complete mush hoping to retain everything that I've learned. This is fun. This is super fun. Fun consisting of nerve wracking, anxiety-driven, amazing and scary fun all at the same time.  It's crazy when you've heard certain words over and over and over again yet when tasked to give the cues and lead someone else it all becomes a complete foreign language.

Today was a special day for a few reasons.  For one, Kaitlin came to class with me for the first time in the HOT yoga room.  I've been telling her for awhile how much I love the hot room and she was never fully into it.  She practices yoga almost every single day of her life but isn't the biggest fan of a hot room and I totally get that! This morning she tried it out with me for her first time (along with my friend from high school #theworldissmall) and it meant so much to me for her to be there.  She pushed through every second and absolutely killed it! It made me so happy to have a friend there with me and I was so excited to hang out. Since I live in a yoga studio lately, yes this now qualifies as "hanging out".

After class, Kaitlin left me her pink lady apple that she brought with her in case she needed some nutrition from the hot room; super sweet of her as she knew I had a long day ahead of me.

Fast forward about 5.5 hours. I was standing outside in front of the studio eating Kaitlin's pink lady apple during our break.  One of my classmates, Jeri, stepped outside and sat down on the sidewalk to enjoy her light snack.  I joined her on the ground and we started to chat about the day.  Jeri has been teaching yoga for roughly my lifetime and I am confident I speak for everyone in our class that we all have an incredible amount of respect for her.  The mere fact that she is enrolled in a 200-hour training course after teaching for many, many years validates the notion that your practice is ever-evolving and there is always something new to be learned.  Similar to life.

Jeri and I sat there together on the ground of the Hermosa Beach sidewalk and started to chat.  After discussing the weather and a few people passing by, she asked me what I do for work.  While not yet a full-time job, I told her about 'Your Beautiful Story'.  I explained to her that every woman has a story and a beautiful message we can all learn from, each story giving me a new perspective on life.  She was in love.  She loved the concept and reiterated how important it was for every single person to share their story.  She reaffirmed how unique and powerful every single life story is in this world.  It was awesome.  Talking with her about this as I chomped down on Kaitlin's apple was very symbolic for me, kind of like Kaitlin was there in the conversation with us too.  Pretty awesome.

Our five minute break was up and we head back into the studio to finish practice.

INTENTION:  Embrace that life is ever-evolving.  Learn from each other and continue to share and live your story.

Namaste. xo, Stacey

On a typical weekend, you'll find Stacey playing on the beach, laughing with friends or jogging the strand of her Southern California neighborhood.  As a co-founder of Your Beautiful story, Stacey loves to appreciate all the beautiful things in life, mimosas included.  Follow her adventures with @staceylthomas or her passion to inspire the world with @beYOUtiful_story on Instagram.

40 DAYS TO MAKE OR BREAK A HABIT

I have always thought of myself as a "glass is half full type" of person.  So about 15 years ago when I was going through a difficult time and I had the feeling like I was going deeper  and deeper into a dark hole, well it took me completely by surprise.  I had never felt like that before and for the first time in my life I found that I couldn't snap myself out of it.  I guess you could say I had reached my rock bottom.  Oddly enough, just prior to all of this a friend of mine had told me about this amazing Kundalini yoga course she was studying and it had peaked my interest enough that I went on line and ordered a DVD so I could try it at home.  

One Friday afternoon I was going about my life, being a Mom, running errands when that dark gloomy feeling came in more than it ever had.  I felt stuck and depressed and like life felt bleak.  I knew I absolutely had to do something to snap myself out of this (I didn't even recognize myself).  So I went home, locked myself in my bedroom and all by myself I followed the Yoga DVD and immediately afterwards I took a long hot bath and when I was done, I kid you not but I felt 100% better.  It was so dramatic that I began doing the DVD daily, and my friend mentioned that if you do something for 40 Days you make or break a habit that can change your life, so I continued and completed my 40 Days and from that point on I was completely hooked.  

A big part of why it had such a dramatic impact on me was that prior to that I had never taken time for me. My connection to myself was starving. This was the first time I had put my own needs on my "to do" list.  And it became the beginning of my spiritual journey and having an actual connection to myself.   Life truly began to change for me in a whole new way that I never could have expected.  

Following all of this I took my yoga teacher training, created two of my own yoga DVD's, and I've been teaching for 13 years. I discovered cleansing and all its benefits, went to nutrition school for holistic health and a school for esthetics. Currently I am still teaching yoga (of course) as well as training on a facial machine that has been said to be and "all natural face lift".  All of these modalities are really about creating a feeling of wholeness that comes from being connected to yourself. 

INTENTION: Plant the seed of new growth in your life by starting something new for the next 40 days and miracles will unfold like you've never imagined. Even 5 minutes of focused energy a day can have an enormous impact.

All of my love,

xo, April


 April Bernardi

April Bernardi

April Bernardi has been on a spiritual journey of self discovery for nearly 15 years. She is a Registered Yoga Teacher, the creator of Transformation through Kundalini Yoga DVD & Art of Creation Pre-Natal DVD, co-writer of the children's book "Magic in the Mirror", and a graduate of the Institute for Integrative for Holistic Health and Academy of Beauty for Esthetics & Skin Health. Currently she is teaching yoga classes and getting ready to open a spa with a focus on skin health and an amazing technology that has been called "the all natural Face Lift".

April's yoga DVD's and children's book are available on Amazon. Follow April on Facebook and check out her website www.goldenyogini.com.

KUNDA-WHAT-Y? WHAT IS KUNDALINI YOGA ANYWAY?

It all began when Kaitlin told me about this wonderful, new yoga class at our local gym.  She talked about how spiritual and meaningful the class was to her and, most importantly, how the teacher would give a new spiritual message in each class, something to work on or put forward in your life.  I was super excited and couldn’t wait to try out the class.  Then, she warned me that there may be some humming and chanting during the class. Wait, chanting?  What kind of chanting?  Maybe this is too much for me?

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of yoga.  I attend yoga classes weekly and Namaste my way into the mind and body connectedness on the regular.  This particular practice of chanting and different moves was something I hadn’t experienced before but I was excited to challenge my body.  As the class started, I was quickly caught off guard when the chanting of “umms” and the repetitive humming filled the room.  I struggled to keep my eyes forced shut in an attempt to refrain from bursting into giggles.  If you know me, you know I am constantly giggling so holding this urge back is incredibly difficult.  Eventually, I was able to calm not only myself, but my mind and quietly live in the moment.  Taking in the spiritual aspect of practicing this form of yoga and learning more about appreciating the mind and soul in a way that I hadn’t practiced before.

I started to attend this class on a weekly basis with Kaitlin and it has become an important part of my life.  I seem to learn more about myself in each class and we have developed a wonderful relationship with our teacher, April.   She has shown us the importance of thinking outside the box and challenging our spiritual minds.

In the end, this experience taught me to give new things a try and it’s okay to be intimidated and uncomfortable in a new situation at first.  I may have felt out of place in my first Kundalini yoga class, but I knew that I enjoyed the practice and I challenged myself to stick with it.  Tuesday nights, you’ll find Kaitlin and I soaking up April’s spiritual knowledge and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

INTENTION:  Challenge yourself to commit to something new.

xo, Stacey


Stacey Thomas pic.jpg

On a typical weekend, you'll find Stacey playing on the beach, laughing with friends or jogging the strand of her Southern California neighborhood.  As a co-founder of Your Beautiful story, Stacey loves to appreciate all the beautiful things in life, mimosas included.  Follow her adventures with @staceylthomas or her passion to inspire the world with @beYOUtiful_story on Instagram.