Category Archives: Motivation

Hump Days are Gone, Week 4 is ON!

Today begins the last week of my month-long cleanse. Here’s the synopsis so far…
Week 1: no biggie
Week 2: shoot me
Week 3: I’m bouncing off the walls with energy
Week 4: dunt, dunt duhhhh (we’ll see)

I was so elated to get out of my hump days of week 2 that by the time week 3 came around I didn’t even care that I was letting go of dairy. My energy levels have increased exponentially. I’ve been sleeping well and waking easily. Even my college students have remarked about how wound up I am in my 8am class. I practiced yoga every day this week and a few people have said that I look brighter, which is actually really great validation because I honestly feel brighter. My body feels strong and my skin is more clear than it has ever been.

Week 4 begins the week of healing. This week I’m eating very simple and easily digested foods. Oats, rice, lentils and an assortment of soups will be a few of my staples. There are two ideas about this…

First, if our bodies use less energy for digestion, they can focus their energies where we need them the most. This provides the body with more energy to heal rather than focusing on chomping our food. I can already say that if I wasn’t doing this cleanse right now I would surely be sick. The weather has been up and down- sandals one day, snow boots the next. Everyone around me is sick and hacking. I’ve had this faint cough at night just before I go to bed that I can feel my body overpowering. It’s amazing to feel an impending sickness and know that when I’m taking care of myself I can choose to stay healthy instead.

Second, simplifying the diet after eliminating food “triggers” like refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and dairy (to name a few) sort of “resets” the digestive system. The idea is that once the body is “reset,” you can reintroduce foods into the diet and see how your body reacts. I’ve already begun to notice subtle reactions to foods. This week I realized that the whole grain bread and pita I was eating didn’t really make me feel too good. Although I decided not to experiment too much with gluten on this cleanse, I remember someone once describing how gluten “gums up” the digestive system. That’s exactly how I felt, gummed up. One night my partner and I shared rice noodles in broth and both woke up with sticky mouths and bad breath. Ick! These little nuggets of body knowledge are the real reason why I choose to “cleanse.” It gives me information about myself and about my body that no book or doctor could ever tell me.

I’ve also noticed my mental and emotional states around food are slowly improving. I’m learning to keep my body relaxed even when I’m hungry and fight the desire to just put anything in my mouth to satiate myself like I used to do. I find myself having a little more willingness to wait for food if I know that what I will eventually eat is wholesome and what my body needs. This is by far the slowest piece of the learning curve for me. I’m working on it…

 

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Filed under Action, Ayurveda, Ayurvedic Cleanse, Challenge, change, Cleanse, Empowerment, Fitness, Food, Gluten Free, Goal Setting, Goals, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, overcoming sickness, Personal Growth, Refined Sugar Free, Yoga

YogaWorks

I’ve been thinking about a lot of things in ex-girlfriend analogies lately. This is one of them…

Since moving to New York I have been exploring new yoga studios because moving also meant breaking up with my girlfriend called Vital Yoga in Denver. I was spoiled by this girlfriend. She was fun, top-quality, reliable, just the right medicine for whatever my ailment was. Oh well. We’re over.

I decided to check out YogaWorks (for everybody). They have five studios in Manhattan and a sweet $1 for week of yoga deal. The first studio I went to was their Soho location (pictured above). The place is more like a spa than a yoga studio- three big yoga rooms, a huge locker room with slick mirrors, digital lockers, big showers and fresh towels. I have to say that showers are a big plus for me since it’s a long, sticky ride home that I don’t necessarily want to do covered in yoga sweat.

My first class in the Soho studio wasn’t that impressive. I got a few good instructions on pelvic adjustment but the teacher was a bit snooty. She even bossed her “assistant” around and told her who to adjust and how. Seemed strange that she wouldn’t just do it herself. I did, however, get a nice little tour of the place from a cute boy at the front desk who also walked me through the schedule to recommend good classes (which I obviously needed).

The next studio I visited was their Union Square location. This space was a lot more down-to-earth than the Soho location- two restrooms (and long lines waiting to get in) and a few curtain rod dressing rooms. Apparently there is a shower in the back of one of the restrooms but they don’t really want people using it unless there is no line. There were two studios- both with big windows and one with cool Union Square views. How I got the SAME teacher at this location, I have no idea. Maybe the universe was trying to teach me a lesson. I enjoyed this class better than the first, but was still determined to find someone better.

Since it was now the last day of my $1 week trial I decided to do some research on the teachers before just popping into a class. I found a woman named Elisabeth Neuse. Ok, anyone who does a nine-month, 1,100 hour training has my respect. I decided she was worth my last go at it.

Her class was full but she moved graciously around all of us, offering clear adjustments and excellent cues to keep us breathing as we moved. She played some music, which I love. I was in the back in the classroom so I could soak in the whole room and at one point this sweet, electronic-esque song came on a bit louder than the rest. Her soft voice faded a little from behind the music and I found my groove. I felt a little choked up, like maybe I had found a new girlfriend, or at least someone I’d be willing to date.

Later we returned from savasana and sat quietly with our palms touching in front of our hearts. The room was silent, peaceful. Then from outside came the sounds of loud, long New York style honks. I let out a little giggle just reveling in the irony of it all. Here we were all zen, sending good vibrations out to whoever and getting quite the response in return.

When I left class I made sure to say thank you to my teacher. She was talking with another student but I said a quick thank you. She turned her head so she could catch my eyes and gave a soft “you’re welcome.” After I walked out I realized that she had these bright, beautiful eyes that I had not noticed until then. Yogi eyes I call them. They are those sweet, inspiring eyes that come from someone who has a beautiful soul. When I came across her website later I saw them again.

She’s one I’ll go back to…

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Filed under Empowerment, Fitness, Goal Setting, Goals, Health, Motivation, Mystical, Mysticism, NYC, Personal Growth, Spirituality, Story, Storytelling, Travel, Yoga

Mojo Consultant Gets Over 1000 hits!

Dear Sweet Blog Readers,

Yesterday marked the day of 1000 hits to my blog! I started this blog while doing some deep soul searching. I wanted to figure out what I have to offer to the world, but more importantly, I wanted to figure out what the world needs of me. With the advice of a dear friend I began writing…

Since then I have shared many stories with you- and you with me. Some of those stories are wrapped around my three greatest passions: yoga, communication, and food. Others stories are random- little mystical bites of my life’s travels.

I have promised myself to continue writing and sharing my thoughts and stories with you. It is even more important now as my life begins to focus and what the world needs of me is slowly revealed. I hope you continue reading, enjoying and interacting with me. Tell me what you like, tell me what you hate. Tell me if there is ever something I can do for you.

Love and light,

Jojo

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Filed under Action, Challenge, change, Empowerment, Food, Goals, Health, Motivation, Mystical, Mysticism, Nutrition, Personal Growth, Spirituality, Story, Storytelling, Yoga

The Brooklyn Bridge


Every detail of the Brooklyn Bridge was designed by John A. Roebling, but when he died unexpectedly in 1869, the reigns of this magnificent project were handed over to his son Washington who was only 32 years old. Washington carried out his father’s vision with absolute integrity, following every aspect of the design with unadulterated perfection. Except for one very important detail.

Below the towers of the bridge are the caissons (ˈkā-ˌsän, -s) or “feet” of the bridge. They are huge structures that are sunk to the river bed and then dug into bedrock. The men working below the water in the caissons experienced caissons disease, or what we now know as “the bends.” Conditions were harsh and several men died because of this. The caisson on the Brooklyn side was successfully laid in bedrock but to complete the same project on the Manhattan side would have meant years of additional construction and the projected loss of a hundred men.

Washington was then faced with the greatest decision of his intellectual and, I would imagine, spiritual life- continue to dig the caisson on the Manhattan side until it reaches bedrock, or allow it rest in the unconsolidated soil above. In the end, Washington decided to let it rest. And so he build the Brooklyn Bridge upon a foundation half grounded in bedrock and half grounded in sand.

“What does it mean if foundations vary in their solidity? Can something as shifting as sand, or fading memories, or third hand stories, or remembered writings still support something of this magnitude?
. . .apparently, yes.”
~Rachel Livingston Ahalt, Architect


~ Inspiration drawn from Ken Burns’ documentary Brooklyn Bridge

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Filed under Challenge, change, Empowerment, Entreprenuer, Fear of Death, Motivation, Mystical, Mysticism, Personal Growth, Spirituality, Story, Storytelling, Yoga

Yoga To The People: All Bodies Rise

Yesterday, Stacey and I got the hell out of Long Island and headed to the East Village to get our first dose of New York City Yoga- Yoga to the People. When we got to the subway just outside of Penn Station a woman came up to us and asked where we were going. I guess yoga mats get you a little extra attention in NYC. Once we were on the subway, however, other yoga mats started to appear. First one, then two, then three. Then we’re all getting off at the same stop. Since this was our first time at the this yoga studio, we just started following the mats. As we turned on to St. Marks street the yoga mats were flowing down the sidewalk- a class had probably just let out. I turned to Stacey and said, “I’m home.” We both smiled and laughed.

The entrance to the yoga studio was right next to a restaurant facade. The street was bustling with pedestrians and the sounds of clinking dishes from nearby patios filled the air. We followed the train of people through a large door and down a long hallway. At the end of the hallway a woman was standing outside the door of the studio on the first floor, but directed us upstairs. On the next floor was another studio that I couldn’t get a real glimpse of since we were again directed up the stairs. The room on the third floor was full as well so up and up we went. When we reached the fourth and final floor we were finally able to go inside. We threw our shoes on a rack, popped our $20 donation into a tissue box that the teacher was holding and joined the other forty or so people flooding into the room.

My mat found its home in the back of the room right by the door and snuggled up next to one of the studio’s big brick walls. The place was already packed but they managed to squeeze even more people in the room- there were at least sixty of us at this point. We were mat-to-mat (or mat-to-brick). I could feel the temperature of the room rising from the heat of our many bodies- bodies of different shapes, colors and sizes.

When we were all settled, the door was closed, containing the room’s vibrant energy. Our teacher, a young woman in a loose plaid shirt, short shorts and a wrist full of bracelets grabbed her ipod remote, turned on the first song of the class and then said, “Let’s get started, Childs Pose…”

For the next hour she embodied the mantra of the studio:

There will be no correct clothes
There will be no proper payment
There will be no right answers
No glorified teachers
No ego no script no pedestals
No you’re not good enough or rich enough
This is yoga for everyone
This sweating and breathing and becoming
This knowing glowing feeling
Is for the big and small weak and strong
Able and crazy
Brothers sisters grandmothers
The mighty and meek
Bones that creek
Those who seek
This power is for everyone
Yoga  to   the   People
All bodies rise

There weren’t many alignment cues. No “inner spiral,” just a couple “shoulders on the back.” Mostly she just showed us how to move and then we did it on our own. She would talk us through a short series, then give us the reigns. “Find your flow,” she said.

There was a lot of emphasis on breathing and letting go. I have never heard such uninhibited, “Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh’s,” and “Mmmmmmmhhhhhhhh’s” as people let their breaths be audible. No one seemed to be looking around, just moving. Half the students had pretty scary alignment but then I realized that this class wasn’t about alignment. It was just about us, in this space, moving together…

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Filed under Challenge, change, Empowerment, Fitness, Health, Motivation, Personal Growth, Spirituality, Travel, Yoga

We Are Always One Step Away From Transformation

Dear Mojo Readers,

It’s been quite some time since I have written you. So much has happened since we last spoke. I completed my Vital Yoga teacher training and am now headed to New York City to spread my wings. Currently, I’m somewhere in Middle America enjoying some much needed downtime. It is so nice to just sit and reflect on the amazing journey I have been on. It’s warm, humid and I’m surrounded by trees – perfect combination for some outdoor yoga.

I have realized three passions that keep popping up in front of me: yoga, nutrition and communication. Yoga gets the body opened up and moving, nutrition keeps it pumping, working, productive and communication lets us utilize that space of openness to connect with one another and build relationships.

Those of you who know me or who have taken one of my courses know that I am a big proponent of building confidence and self-esteem. Confidence in ourselves and in our gifts and abilities is the essence of a sweet, meaningful life. This is the life that I desire everyone to have…

I am constantly reminded that we are always one step away from transformation. And when you’re ready to take that step, Mojo is here for you…

With love and kindness,

Jojo

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Filed under Challenge, change, Empowerment, Fitness, Food, Health, Healthy Eating, Motivation, Nutrition, Personal Growth, Spirituality, Yoga

Let Music Drive the Soul and the Goal

danceDo you listen to music when you wake up? At work? During the day? Before you go to sleep? When you work out?

Music can be a motivating force when used wisely. Just as the sad song mix can make us feel gloomy or overly retrospective about old relationships, so too can the right mix make us feel like smiling or literally move us to dance.

Take a good hard look at your iPod and examine how your current music selection is serving you. More importantly, look at how your music selection can serve you better. Maybe it’s time to take yourself on a date to the record store and get some new ear candy to help wake you up and keep you going. It’s no secret that music drives the soul, but it’s up to you to let it drive the goal.

What music moves you? I’d love to hear…

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Filed under Goal Setting, Goals, Me-Time, Motivation, Spirituality