Tag Archives: yoga

Practicing Contentment

Want to enroll or find out more about our class: Yoga for Radiance & Beauty? Visit rawbeautyinabox.com. -Xo Raw Girl

Santosha: Practicing The Art of Contentment

yogaSantosha (skt. संतोष saṃtoṣa, santōṣḥ) literally means “contentment, satisfaction.” Other meanings include: acceptance of one’s circumstances, being comfortable with what is. Considering the popular tune “I can’t get no satisfaction,” most of us could use a little santosha in our lives. Shout out to my instructor Yoga Sihnuu for teaching me about this ethical concept in Indian philosophy, particularly Yoga, and is included as one of the Niyamas by Patanjali. To possess or achieve santosha means you are in a place where you do not crave or desire. Sounds cray cray right? We all know what it is like to crave or want something so badly, and what happens when we get it? We are temporarily blissed out, (some people for a matter of minutes), and then we go off again craving something else.

In my recent study of mindful eating, we discussed “Craving at the end of Craving,” an audio made by the Center for Mindful Eating. In the audio, the practitioner describes this cycle of craving, and then craving more. The only way to break the cycle, which is natural to us as humans, is to develop the ability to sit with your cravings and not act on them. To realize that if we do not get what we are craving we can still be happy, or content. Why is santosha important for our lives right now? These days we have waytoo much in popular culture that promotes the opposite of santosha; we want what the Kardashians have, and with one scroll through our Facebook or Instagram feed we may be left feeling our life as it is, isn’t as fabulous as we thought it was. In my interviews with amazing people who have achieved extraordinary longevity, I have noticed that all of them seemed to have achieved santosha in some way or another. They practice gratitude, mindfulness, and stress the importance of a positive outlook. Contentment can keep us from depression, stress, and foster a deeper sense of peace.

Assess your life today. How can you practice santosha or contentment? What can you be grateful for today? -Xo Raw Girl


Goddess On The Go Experience

image (1)It’s wonderful how something you didn’t even know you needed can show up in your experience and feed your soul. This past weekend I got an impromptu invite to attend Goddess On The Go in downtown LA and I am so glad I answered the call. The gathering happens several times a year here in Los Angeles, New York, and Detroit, and was created by Leora Edut to forge healing and community among strong, passionate, powerful women. The mission and vision driving Goddess On The Go is that every woman on the planet lives her best life. Designed as a day long retreat, the event gives any “goddess” the time and space to connect with other women, check in with herself, release any blocks that need healing, and reaffirm intentions for the  future. Through classes, talks, and communion with other women a sacred space is created that can lead to empowerment, self-transformation, and AHA moments. The day included a Kundalini yoga class, a talk and mini-workshop on sensuality, an astrology recap, dancing, and really awesome raw vegan fare including lunch and dessert.

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With one of the lovely AstroTwins!

Beyond meeting a bunch of incredible and inspiring women, some of my favorite moments were the kundalini yoga class, and meeting one half of the dynamic AstroTwins duo, as I read their horoscopes via Elle, religiously. If you’ve never checked out their scopes, you’re missing out because they are well written, witty, and always have a positive angle while remaining spot on with the current planetary energy. The food was certified delicious and provided courtesy of The Springs LA, a wellness hub and restaurant coming soon to downtown LA that will serve 100% raw vegan cuisine, offer yoga, and holistic treatments. Overall the the event was cathartic and left me feeling full to the brim spiritually; I highly recommend it for any woman who is going through a transition, needs a break from their daily grind, or is just looking for something different that may spark some inspiration. To get more information about the next Goddess On The Go or find out about dates in other cities visit: http://goddess-onthego.com/.

Finding Your Inner Bliss



As humans our optimal state is one of unconquerable euphoria. The root of being is pure consciousness: blissful, limitless, and abundant. We are able to access it through the thoughts we conjure up in our heads. With our minds we are able to orchestrate our own Earthly existence. With virtuous thoughts we create enjoyable experiences, and with impure thoughts we harvest seeds of doubt thus bringing chaos and blockage into fruition.  How do we rid ourselves of potential darkness and despair? Well I say, “When in doubt, cut it out!”

Operating from a place of fear and anxiety affects the chemical makeup of the brain altering not only the thoughts we have in the present moment but also those of the future. When we tense up in thought we prepare the body for danger. Worry is the minds way of tricking the body into believing that it is in harms way. From constant worry our body becomes accustomed to being in reaction mode. We are unable to make rational decisions and fall victim to irrational behavior.

“Bliss or pure consciousness contains infinite potential; it is open to any outcome. When you experience this quality, you are no longer bound by fixed habits and beliefs. The horizon seems open, the future full of possibilities.  The greater your experience of pure potential, the more creative you become.”~Deepak Chopra.

This week I challenge you to dig deep and get to the root so you can live blissfully.



To read more about Sihnuu visit here.

5 Myths About Yoga You Should Ignore



As a yoga instructor I have tried countless times to win over the anti-yogi’s who have every excuse in the world NOT to do yoga. Here are the top 5 reasons why they say “I do not do yoga!” Along with their excuses I’ve included some compelling reasons why, if you are opposed to yoga, you may want to reconsider. I hope that once you have the scoop you will take a chance with yourself and get on the mat!

1. Yoga is for rich people. While yoga can be very expensive in some areas, there are plenty of yoga studios that offer work-for-trade programs. Karma yoga is a big deal at a lot of these spaces and they often offer opportunities to perform karmic duty in exchange for yoga classes. I can personally say that Karma Yoga at various studios around the city has saved my life and kept a lot of money in my wallet!

2. Yoga is not challenging. One of the most challenging things for most of us to do is relinquish power and control. It can serve as an obstacle for a lot of us to sit comfortably in our vulnerability and just be. For others, it can be a major task to sit in stillness without fidgeting about. Many people are also very surprised at the amount of strength and control it takes to hold certain postures and breathe through them.  The great thing is that if you are doing it properly you will be challenged wonderfully (even if just a little bit)  during your yoga practice because there is always a way to take your practice to a more rigorous level.

3. Yoga is a religion. Yoga is not a religion. I repeat, yoga is not meant to take you away from your religious practice. Yoga is all about tapping into our sacred source and opening channels within the body for self exploration and thus  growing more deeply in your faith. People from all walks of life can practice yoga and make it their own while still engaging in religious activities.

4. Yoga is for girls. B.K.S. Iyengar, Dharma Mittra, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, Sting!  Need I say more?? Yoga can serve as a full body work out for men since every part of  your body is being worked during a well rounded practice.  When committed to a regular yoga practice men can also receive improved focus, raised energy levels, and more positive thinking patterns.

5. I am not flexible enough to do yoga.  This is really just the worst. If you are not flexible, yoga will increase your flexibility over time. Flexibility must begin in the mind before one can even think of it entering the body.  In almost all instances the way we show up on our mats is a direct reflection of our cognitive process.  Breath is also a major component in obtaining the optimal level of physical flexibility. When you come to practice with an open mind, the possibilities are endless.


~ Sihnuu Hetep

To learn more about Sihnuu, click here


Sweet Surrender

Balasana (child's pose) A surrender to a state of non-doing.

Photo from www.cnyhealingarts.com

What happens when you let go? When you completely let down your guard in practice? Authenticity does. When you invite yourself entirely to your yoga practice, you are able to show up in a way that will serve you and see things you would not generally see on a normal basis. Surrender. Along with strength and flexibility comes surrender. In yoga this is something we often look over however it is just as, if not more important than the other components. If we relinquish control and release expectations, we get exactly what it is that we need. Our body speaks to us clearly but it is up to us to listen. Step into your authenticity and receive your message.

~ Sihnuu Hetep

To learn more about Sihnuu, click here

On Your Toes with the Tiptoe Pose

If you are looking for a way to tone your bottom half without sweaty workouts and countless squat sessions, try Tiptoe pose. A pose which calls for agility and balance, the tiptoe will offer you a calm and peaceful alternative to the standard exercise fare. This asana opens your hips, stretches your thigh muscles, and increases flexibility in your knees, toes and ankles.
Due to the level of attention and focus required in the intermediate variations of this pose, its practice develops a sharpened mental focus, while also improving your memory and balance. Pictured here is a stretch to help you work up to the advanced level of tiptoe.
In the advanced level, the benefits for men are said to outweigh the perks of Viagra! Apparently, the stretch resulting form crossing one leg over the other while still balancing on the toes of one foot, rev up the veins through which semen passes, unblocking and clearing them. The effects of this activity include increased sexual stamina, deepened orgasm and impotency prevention. Surely, this is a pose that will keep you on your toes!

– Sia

To learn more about Sia, click here

The Healing Benefits of Tree Pose


Photo from HealLoveNow.com


Muscle tone in your legs is one of the first things to go when you have a sedentary, computer-centered life. That is why it so good to get up from your laptop every few hours and stand in tree pose.

Vrikshasana, in its call for balance and poise, tones the leg muscles, strengthens the spine and increases flexibility in the feet. A great pose for core building, Tree will increase your coordination, teach you patience and calm your mind.

Like a tree’s trunk you become rooted in your sense of self and grounded with conviction, while also expressing freedom, expansion and a heavenward gaze like the branches and leaves. Hunching over at your desk is commonplace I know, but the spine wants to fully extend, as does the spirit. Open your shoulders with Tree pose to increase your range of motion and improve posture.

Daily practice of this asana will bring waves of inner strength, self-confidence and peace to balance the fast-paced excesses of modern life.

– Sia

To learn more about Sia, click here

The Healing Benefits of Lotus Pose

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Photo from HealLoveNow

Sometimes it is good to just sit still and do nothing. Daily life can be so hectic if moments are not taken to simply be and nothing else. Motionless sitting in the easy version of the yoga Lotus pose can bring about a centering of the mind, body and spirit.

This pose can open up a congested heart and free a troubled mind, bringing about an expanded sense of awareness while decompressing the body. Taking time to consciously relax is what we all need, away from the TV, internet, phone and other distractions. When seated in this asana you will find that tensions stored in a compressed, anxious and tight body begin to release immediately. A more positive and trusting outlook is established and maintained by continued practice of advanced Lotus, as well as its beginner variations. A great position from which to pray or meditate, Lotus pose is like a flower whose petals open at dawn revealing more beauty which each expression.

If you are uneasy, stretching into Lotus can bring serenity.

If your mind is racing, easing into Lotus pose can bring peace.

If you have back or hip pain, Lotus can help relieve it.

If you suffer from exhaustion, Lotus pose can increase vitality and bring on more restful sleep.

This simple, easy pose is synonymous with tranquility, peace and joy. Try it and experience these benefits first-hand.

– Sia

To learn more about Sia, click here

Sankalpa: Reflect and Resolve

Photo from skylarlester.tumblr.com

Photo from skylarlester.tumblr.com

Pop quiz! What is one of the most important tools when doing yoga?

While most of us are always on top of making sure we have our mats, and some of us are making sure that we have on the  latest workout get up before hitting the studio, almost all of us are forgetting the item that holds the most value. Our Sankalpa. One should never leave home without it.

Sankalpa is the inner work of the practice; it is the prayer or the good intention that orchestrates the movement. Seeking out and setting the intention is an essential component in anyone’s yoga, without it, one cannot reap the full benefits of their practice. By utilizing the greatness of Sankalpa, we can work to align our spiritual truths with our worldly behavior.

“The essence of your intention is stored in a cosmic database, every dedication that is in line with your destiny will eventually be released into fruition.”

When setting your intention, be mindful of keeping it just that. Try not to turn it into a request for something tangible by setting a goal. With an intention we always start where we belong. The beginning.  The other wonderful thing about an intention is that you can set it up so no matter what direction life takes you, you are content and receptive to its many rhythms. An example of an intention could be the ability to express joy no matter what adversities you face.

How to turn a goal into an intention:

“My goal is to open up a cafe because I’m passionate about making people happy with my delicious foods.”

Turn it into an intention by saying:

Through my practice, it is my desire to generate happiness.

Now you try!

~ Sihnuu Hetep

To learn more about Sihnuu, click here