A place to start…

Washing our faces, you’d think it would be easy by now…humans made the wheel, we discovered fire, I mean really – how hard could it be?! From what I hear people seemed challenged by this task. What do I use? How often should I be doing this? Why?

I don’t think the act of washing one’s face is what people struggle with. It’s about understanding the benefits: prolong signs of aging, prevent blemishes, preventing dehydration of face + lips, reducing oiliness and so many more. To clean your face you don’t need fancy things. In my first blog post I shared one of my favorite products – Skinny Coconut Oil – like cleans like, oil rids oil. #science

My first trick isn’t really a trick, it’s committing to the cause. What you put in you get out. I typically start my daytime routine with my Clarisonic – two minute setting. I travel with it, everywhere, even 20 minutes to the westside when we stay with my husband’s family. I keep multiple cleansers in the shower to use with it. Right now I have Jurlique Balancing Cleanser (the link takes you to an newer version of the cleanser than what I have) and Peter Thomas Roth Anti-aging Cleanser. I recently went through my  Perricone MD Citrus Facial Wash (loved it!) on deck to replace it is the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. A brand I recently heard some buzz about, especially this face wash, I’m excited to see how it works!

Why all the options?  First, I’m in my thirties – it is NOT too soon to add anti-aging into my regimen. Second, I am a woman and my hormones fluctuate as well as my lifestyle (like eating a corn dog and taffy at the State Fair), I may need something to counter my body’s reactions. Third, my job exposes me to different elements and that can vary significantly during some seasons. Finally, I DO wear makeup occasionally – a full face of it – and my skin might break out if I haven’t washed my brushes in a couple weeks. I take these things into consideration from day-to-day & seasonly. One morning may call for deep cleaning while another (day after a facial) I may go with something more gentle.

I learned about properly cleaning my face by reading various articles as a youth and decided then – if I had ANY role in the condition of my skin I would try. I read: wash at night before bed…ALWAYS TAKE YOUR MAKE UP OFF. This rule is a game changer. I followed through and saw the benefits early on. I rarely wear makeup (#joblove) but I do need to wash off the sweat + dirt from the day so I can go with a simpler cleanser at night.

If you thought this was a lot, please stop reading. NOW. Skip to last paragraph 🙂 ***PRODUCT JUNKIE ALERT****

Sometimes I don’t want all the suds so I use the oil, if my skin is in need of something a little more “aggressive” I’ll use DERMADOCTOR Wrinkle Revenge® 1 which I apply onto dry skin and work in then add water. I also use AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Enzyme Peel which is a powder, add a little water + create soft suds then apply to face, gentle but effective. Like I mentioned earlier, the Oil I use to clean goes directly on the skin and is wiped off with a hot, wet rag after a 30 second compress.

Let it simmer. What I do may seem a bit extreme, but I loved to learn about my skin to and I also love product. (I warned you, #productjunkie). I may have a couple containers full of samples which could some day lead me to my next favorite product – go to Sephora online or stop in at Eva Maison and they’ll hook you up. I may end up with a blemish here and there but this is what works for me. I enjoy the process so I am more likely to follow through. Guys and girls alike, use this at your own discretion. My advice: start simple.

If you’re thinking – this girl says she’s a yogi, does she even understand the meaning of aparigraha (non-possessiveness) or brahmacharya (moderation)? I acquired all of these items over a period of time. It doesn’t cause me pain when I run out, I actually find myself delighted at the opportunity to try something new. My purchases last a long time since I vary in what I use. My friends lovingly joke that getting ready at my house is like visiting the spa, and maybe that’s what I love…that feeling that comes over me as I practice self care. If you need me to say it, to each their own, mine just happens to [currently] include five different types of face wash 🙂

Thanks for sticking it out.

Love & Gratitude,

Xp

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What is Yoga?

Just a few days ago, we started our first day of Yoga Teacher Training. Honestly, I was so excited + terrified that my eye was twitching from the Wednesday before until the morning we started. It was not fear of content or the students, but something deeper…my body was letting me know with those little (annoying) flutterings of my right eyelid.

WTF?! Even in my ‘honest’ words I could say I was nervous, but tried to act calm and collected, my body was saying YOU ARE BLOODY TERRIFIED!! “You don’t know what you’re doing.” “Why the hell did you ever think you could do this?” Even if I wouldn’t let those thoughts come to the forefront of my mind, I was fearful of failure and letting those around me down, so my body was responding. And as if the Universe knew just what I needed, I came across this “Thoughts are the sensations of the mind, and sensations are the thoughts of the body” in our reading from the week – Judith Laster‘s book Living Your Yoga (she is one of the most epic of all time!!). Just like that, it all slid into place. Since we started Sunday I haven’t had any eye twitching 🙂 I was letting fear exist in my mind and my body was responding, after my mind found peace so did my body.

When we try to deceive ourselves, our body will respond. When we go too hard or aren’t honoring ourselves authentically something will force the body into listening. You are forced to stop and take a good hard look at what’s going on NOW. Then it becomes a matter of choice, are you ready to listen? I often tell my students who are injured or suffering when life has challenged them – it’s the Universe presenting them with an opportunity to look through a different lens. I’m not saying you should have torn your ACL, MCL and Meniscus – but maybe it’s time to see your practice as a beginner once again. Remind yourself why you keep coming back to your mat & what you can learn from this new perspective. Often times these challenges are opportunities that will us into remembering – we are enough, ALWAYS – and to check in with that. THIS is what yoga teaches us. In my case, after a few deep breaths with each twitch, let the fear or anxious feelings subside and there I was back to my (mostly) normal self. Applying my yoga while thinking about my yoga 🙂 #ironicbutnotironic

This week’s theme was based around the question of many lifetimes, “what is yoga?” and in all honesty, these students are truly brilliant. #blessed What they each spoke to resonated with me and I believe it resonated with all of them. It was the feelings behind their unique descriptions that were similar and what made it so powerful.

So, what is yoga? I cannot define it for you, we each have our own personal spin on this. Yoga to me is contentment. It is the feeling of knowing that “I got this” when life is tough, it’s the feeling of remaining calm when sh*t hits the fan, the idea that when I “see red” over something horrific or devastatingly upsetting, I remember I am human and these are my lessons to learn and that eventually the sensations will subside. I come back to my True Self and I find peace in knowing the Universe wants me to flourish. The more I live my life in honor of my light, the Universe will support me, and the easier my yoga comes to me.

Yoga is more than a word that is derived from Sanskrit. It is more than the poses on your mat. It isn’t just a few things, it’s EVERYTHING. Embody this practice into your life and you will become your yoga – in your relationships, in your career, as you do chores – everywhere. YOUR yoga awaits you dearest lights. When faced with life’s challenges, ask yourself if you’re living from love or fear? Catch yourself in the present moment with the chatter of your mind and see if you can make the shifts so you are more often living from that source of grace + compassion and not out of the fear. Rinse. Repeat.

You are always in possession of everything you need, you carry it with you at all times. Please, if anything, remember that you are loved. Our experiences do not define us but they help us find our beautiful True Self that has and will ALWAYS be there. Think of all the things that bring you joy and those moments you feel fulfilled (not like bank account fulfilled, but where you feel ease within) and use those to set the tone for your life…that is your yoga. Namaste.

samyati | संयाति


what-the-what? sam-yetee.  huh? sum-yah-te. who knows…

i took etymology in college (A+).  medical terminology post-graduating for the ten seconds i thought about becoming a doctor (A++, and YES that’s possible).  along the way i learned the true power and importance of understanding the words in front of you. just when i thought i had a grip on things then came Sanskrit. it is one of the oldest, most sophisticated languages of all time.  a beautiful language that phonetically resonates within the body – subtle, energetic and physical.  which leads me to: saMyAti.  it was a Sanskrit word i didn’t know i was looking for.  the perfectly imperfect word that founds its way to me.

my family’s native tongue, Gujarati, has helped me along my journey with this ancient language.  i believe where we have been plays a significant role in where we are going.  until today, having my own website was merely just a dream.  i have thought of many names for many things, from the s corp i may or may not have some day to the children i would love to have and this website was one of them.  i was in search of a word that could hold space for the many things i believe in and suddenly it was there.  a rare word, for a rare bird (that’s me!) saMyAti: travel, wander, come together.  how perfect?  I was asked how they could be one and the same, yet so different…this is what i believe:

Travel: to change. to go somewhere.  to be.

Wander: to roam.  to enjoy the journey.  to be.

Come Together: to reconnect.  oneness.  TO BE.

i belive in the vitality of traveling, wandering & coming together in oneness.  i keep discovering more of myself as i work my way through these things over and over.  there is a beauty in being present in life’s journey, when you stop lingering in the past and release anxiousness about the future. the zest for life changes when you take the time to be.  my students hear this from me all of the time which leads me to the intention of this site…i look forward to sharing my experiences here and i hope to create space for you to do the same. let us come together with what resides in each one of us:

peace.  love.  & light.

Xp