Sandy Beach

Sun Yoga on the Beach

I’ve been attending Sun Yoga Hawaii for a month so far. It has been really challenging since I injured my foot a few months ago. Afraid to further damage the muscle in my foot, my doctor recommended that I stick to yoga and avoid high-impact workouts. So I tip-toed into Sun Yoga Hawaii one day and asked if they had a promotion for new members. I signed up for a full month for $44, after my first month, the membership costs $160/month. The cost is a bit much for my budget, but the facilities are much closer to my house than my old yoga studio and I like the feeling I get once we’re done with the hard poses. Sun Yoga Hawaii’s teaching style is very similar to Core Power Yoga but heat-based, which makes for a great workout and post-workout high for those who aren’t heat sensitive. There are some poses that I miss doing that made me feel taller, but I do enjoy how happy my body feels after. I usually go to Michele’s class in the mornings before work. In her instruction, she includes facts about what each pose does to your body (squeezing your thyroid, strengthening your core, twisting your reproductive system, etc.), things that will motivate you to go hard on that posture.

This past weekend, Sun Yoga Hawaii held their monthly free class called “Sun Yoga on the Beach” at Sandy Beach. It was even more challenging to do those poses in the sand! But it was nice because they have a healthy potluck after.

(I got to play with my new GoPro Hero4.)

Mauna Kea and all things that should remain sacred

mauna keaMauna Kea with my best friends. (Circa January 31st)

In January, I surprised my best friend with a trip to beautiful Hilo, where we indulged in the best strawberry and grape mochi at Two Ladies Kitchen, walked through a colorful farmer’s market and hiked along a dead volcano. One of the highlights was going on a private tour of Mauna Kea, commercially known as the tallest mountain on earth, culturally known as a sacred place where the Hawaiian deity Poli’ahu dwells. It is a place where Ali’i would trek its harsh, freezing temperatures to worship and pay tribute to their gods. It was an unreal experience to have with my friends and it was just a perfect moment in my life.

I could explain to you the controversy that surrounds Mauna Kea at this moment, but instead, I will share some of the things that I believe should be kept sacred, just like this mysterious and beautiful mountain that made it into my “epic memories” folder.

1. Indigenous places of worship and untouched lands. 

It is 2015. We should all be educated and culturally aware of indigenous rights, history and effects of colonization. If you live in the islands, somehow your field of study/work will involve some kind of decision or consideration due to preservation of culture or history. There are so many articles, books and other reading materials out there that even the laziest reader will be able to get the gist of the importance of cultural or historical preservation. Even when it comes to untouched lands, like Pagan, ugh I don’t want to start a rant, but does everything have to be used for bomb practice? Look at Kahoolawe, Vieques and the Marshall Islands. #savepagan

2. Our bodies.

We need to eat vegetables, wear sunblock and do yoga. I may not look like it, but I eat my recommended daily amount of veggies (sometimes more), wear at least SPF 35 on my face and forearms and do yoga a few times every week. Doing this makes me feel great and happy.

3. Your relationship with your God. 

This is a touchy one. I’d describe myself as a sporadic non-practicing Catholic who floats between Catholic and Christian churches. Going to a Catholic church makes me feel comforted and grounded. I feel like I return to who I am and who I imagine myself to be when I get older. But damn, have you heard the kind of music they play at Christian churches nowadays? I mean, they make worship feel and sound fun. I go for the live jam sesh, devos and free food, but when it comes to openly sharing my own struggles with the entire congregation and praying out loud…like with my voice…I start to get uncomfortable. Other than that…I pray every day. I ask my God to give me patience to tolerate the obnoxious, love for those who can’t help themselves, determination to extend my leg in half moon pose and gratitude for everything I have. Whoever your God is, rely on him or her to give you that spiritual boost to continue life in a positive way. It’s better than bitching all day. Bitching makes you look ugly. Don’t do it often. Be tight with your God and moisturize daily.

4. Paperbacks

Being a nerd, I am always on top of the latest technology. Although I love iPads and my boyfriend, the iPhone 6 Plus, I still read paperbacks…maybe a hardcover or two if they’re on sale. I own a Nook, but lost the charger. So it’s pretty fair to say that paperbacks (and hardcovers) should remain sacred because they won’t need to be recharged, updated or bought for more than $15. My Nook is now a coaster on the nightstand.

5. Passion

Passion drives you to do your best in everything you do. Working in the non-profit sector doesn’t make me rich, but it keeps me fulfilled in life. I see lives changed and problems solved. My body and mind may be weary but my soul and heart are so full. My best work was inspired by what I’ve seen and experienced by giving to others.

Also, being in a creative field, if I am not passionate about something, it takes me longer to create it, which makes the client or your director impatient. That’s when you have to delve further into the purpose of what you create or produce. For example, I had to create a graphics package for National Donut Day. I did not have the slightest interest in donuts (first of all, they’re not my fave, second, I didn’t get why it was declared National Donut Day). My director recommended that I read a book to draw some inspiration. After that, I got it. I knew exactly what to do for the graphics package and it became a hit. Passion gets you places. It also shows you how to succeed.

There are probably more things that I could add to this list, but there’s no time. Sometimes it is best to keep a short list of things you consider sacred. It helps to remind yourself about where you come from and who you are.

Finding inner peace

photoHow did this summer fly by so fast?! I couldn’t catch it. Probably because I’m out of breath all the time. Well now is the right time to get back to breathing and finding inner peace and happiness. Namaste.

Yoga on the water

Once in a while I like to browse through some good photography on Flickr. I absolutely love Lululemon’s Flickr feed because all of their photos are so inspirational and positive. Yes, they are all promotional, but the photographer is damn good. (If you happen to know the photog, please let me know.) I found this photo series of the stand-up paddleboard surfers stunning and adventurous. As you can see, they stop to inhale the beautiful nature of the lake and practice some yoga.

Who wouldn’t want to attend a yoga class out on the water? I know I’m probably not capable of even doing the downward dog on a SUP board (I’d definitely make a splash) but I’d like to try this one day. It’s definitely on my bucket list!

All photos >>> Lululemon Athletica




#INSTALIFE >>> Self-indulgence through the lens of my crappy phone

Core Power Yoga, Kahala, Oahu

I finally splurged on minty Nike Frees & a yoga mat + strap from Lululemon

If only my phone took better photos, these wouldn’t be so grainy.

Loft In Space at Fresh Café, Honolulu

Sweet gardenias at Fresh Café



Vinyasa + Zumba = staying healthy + finding happiness

[Photos: Robert Sturman]

Oh, I love the little escapist and inspirational photos circulating on Tumblr. Luckily, I was able to find the actual photographer of the photo above >>> Robert Sturman, an avid yogi and a professional photographer known for his work showcasing yogis behind bars and rehabilitation through the practice of yoga.

Let’s get one thing straight. I’m a big girl. Who loves yoga. And Zumba. I’m probably the only one in my yoga class that’s incapable of doing the Bakasana pose but who cares? Thanks to my Latin and island roots, I’m naturally big-boned and pack on a pound or two with a sinful dish of coconut crab cooked in coconut milk with garlic and scallions. I’m no health nut, although I cut out white rice, white bread, anything white. *** I’ve been down with the brown for a couple years now.

[Photo: Lululemon Athletica]

I’ve been doing Vinyasa yoga for about three weeks in addition to my weekly Zumba routine. Sometimes I even do both in one day. I really like it. I can incorporate stretching, toning and strength training with cardio and booty-pops in one day. It’s taken years…okay, maybe a decade and a half…for me to find an exercise routine that I enjoy. Here in Honolulu, yoga is everywhere. You can see groups of people doing yoga together at the beach, the park and in their backyard. I’m actually jumping on the trend a bit late because my fatass couldn’t feel motivated fast enough.

[Photo: Lululemon Athletica]

I must admit that one of the main reasons I have come to love yoga is simply because I like how it sculpts a body. Take a look at every woman who has practiced yoga for more than five years. Her legs and arms are toned, her back is beautifully straight and her belly isn’t so ripped. I like that natural, normal look. It kind of eliminates the need for competition to look sexier and buff. When I had a personal trainer a few years ago, I remember putting in countless hours of cardio and weight-lifting, only to realize that my body naturally builds muscle faster than it burns fat. My calves looked manly and my sleeves became tight around the arms after a while. I really just wanted to look feminine, not like a body-builder. Another motivating factor was my older cousin, Gayla, who runs and does yoga religiously. She looks like a badass 21-year-old and swears yoga has improved her back.

Lastly, yoga has also provided a new market for trendy workout apparel, it’s awesome to see cute flowy yoga tops that I can rock with jeans. To keep myself motivated, I’ve created a board on Pinterest dedicated to all the yoga cuteness I lust after. One of my favorite brands so far is Spiritual Gangster, which, lo and behold, has a couple shirts and tanks in Spanish with “Gangster Espiritual” printed on the front. I love the whole culture clash and commercialization of yoga to cater to the masses! Other brands I fancy are Lululemon Athletica (photos above), which specializes in yoga and running apparel, and Marika, which is a more affordable outlet for yoga/gym apparel and gear.

*** a reference to the ingenius “reverse-racism” diet mentioned via status update by C.S. Perez.