Browsing Tag

yogis anonymous

Dear Life., Guest Posts, Marriage

Dear Life: What If We Can’t Figure It Out?

January 18, 2015
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Welcome to Dear Life: An Unconventional Advice Column.

Your questions get sent to various authors from around the world to answer (and please keep sending because I have like 567 writers that want to answer your burning questions. Click here to submit a letter or email dearlife@jenniferpastiloff.com.) Different writers offer their input when it comes to navigating through life’s messiness. We are “making messy okay.” Today’s letter is answered by one of my nearest and dearest: Ally Hamilton!

Send us your questions because there loads of crazy authors waiting to answer ‘em. Just kidding, they aren’t crazy.

Well okay, maybe a little. Aren’t we all? xo, Jen Pastiloff, Crazy Beauty Hunter. ps, I will see you in London for my workshop on Feb 14th

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Dear Life,

I turned thirty a few months ago. I’ve been married to my husband for nearly six years. I bet you know where this is going. We’ve always known we wanted children, but we’ve been putting it off. It’s never been a real consideration until lately. We have dogs and cats and a house and busy lives and full-time jobs that have kept us challenged trying to balance our four-legged friends, our social lives, and our marriage effectively. The thing is that we have done it effectively. We are financially stable, healthy, and enjoying life together.

My husband and I are happy together, but lately, the child question has arisen, and we’re undecided. A big part of me just wishes we’d have an accident so we wouldn’t have to make a conscious decision about creating or bringing a child into our home.

I know there is time. That there are more fertile years ahead (assuming our bodies are in working order for procreation), that we don’t have to rush. The thing is that, lately, I’ve been wondering: why wait? We’re not getting younger. We’re pretty settled together. And yet, I have nagging uncertainty about the whole thing.

Are we going to miss late nights that led to miserable hangovers? Will we have to actually eat dinner before 9:00 at night and not spend three hours at the gym socializing on a Wednesday after work just because? Will we even be able to keep going to the gym? How can I birth a baby if I can’t even manage to birth this second novel draft? How will I keep writing and working full-time and effectively fulfill my duties as a parent? Who would even watch our baby? What if the dogs don’t like the baby? What if we don’t start trying now and wait and then can’t have a mini-me? What if we put it all off and decide on adoption and then have to wait even more years? What if adopting a child instead of having a biological one because I don’t want to push a baby out of my body is a bad reason to adopt a child? What if we adopt, then we can’t have any kids ourselves, and we want really badly to see what a combination of ourselves would look like? What if I get fat? What if we just aren’t ready? Is wanting to give my parents the opportunity to be grandparents a good enough reason? Is wanting to bring someone into our tiny family just so they can be loved a good enough reason?

I’m the kind of person who goes all-in for people she loves. My maternal instinct, despite what people think, is and has always been extremely strong. I’m scared to have a child and then have that child become my everything. I’m scared because I want that. I’m scared that I want that because that’s what I’m supposed to want.

I’m scared to lose myself. And for my husband and I to lose each other.

I don’t really expect much of an answer to these questions past “there’s never a good time to have kids,” which seems like reason enough to plan for a happy accident. But what if it isn’t? What if my husband and I can’t figure it all out like we think we can?

Thanks for anything you have to offer.

–M.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Continue Reading…

Beating Fear with a Stick, beauty, Guest Posts

Hold It All.

June 13, 2014

beauty-hunting-jen-logo-black1-300x88By Ally Hamilton.

When I was 12 years old a guy grabbed me on my way to ballet class. I was walking in the same door I’d walked in for years on West 83rd Street, with my hair in a bun, and my tights and leotard under my jeans, and this young guy walked in ahead of me. The door opened right onto a narrow, steep staircase. At the top of the stairs to the right was the ballet studio. I could hear the piano. I can tell you, even at 12, or maybe especially because I was still so young, I had a vibe. An intuition. I remember the feeling of something being off, and I probably did exactly what he’d hoped I would do. I passed him on the right and started racing up the stairs. But he grabbed me from behind and put one hand over my mouth and another between my legs and told me not to move and that he wasn’t going to hurt me. For a minute I froze. Panicked with the taste of tin in my mouth. Fear undiluted. His hand over my mouth as he started fumbling with his jeans, and all I heard, like an explosion inside my head was, “NO”. Not that I understood exactly what he was trying to do, just that animal part of me, of you, of all of us, that part knew. And then I bit his hand and screamed and threw my elbow into his ribs as hard as I could. He let me go immediately. I don’t believe he expected a fight. I faced him, still screaming, tears and adrenaline and a racing heart, and backed up the stairs, right hand, right foot, left hand, left foot, fast. I remember his face, and I remember being shocked that he looked as terrified as I felt. Eyes wide so I could see more white than anything. He took off down the stairs and when I saw he was out the door, I turned and raced/crawled up the remainder of the staircase as fast as I could. I busted into the office, hysterical, unable to speak, but the guys there, the dancers, they knew. I just pointed and they took off, and three girls who were in the company ran to me and held me until I could speak. Not that I could fully make sense of what had happened. They weren’t able to catch up to the guy, and I don’t know what happened to him.

I share this with you because it exists in this world, and because it happened. Clearly, it could have been a lot worse. I hope it was never worse for someone else who didn’t scream, or couldn’t fight. And I hope he found the help he desperately needed. I believe if someone had photographed my face and his as we stared at each other, they would have looked incredibly similar. I believe he was as shocked and sorry about what he’d done as I was. He looked like an animal with his leg caught in a trap. There are people who are deeply troubled, who need help but don’t get it. Because they fall through the cracks. Or are able to hide their pain from the people closest to them. Or maybe those people are in denial. I don’t know what his story was, but I’d be willing to bet it wasn’t a good one.

The reality is this world can be incredibly violent, but it can also be achingly beautiful. If you want to be awake, you have to hold it all. I’m not a fan of this amazing pressure to be positive every waking minute of the day. Not everything is positive and light. Some things will rip your heart right out of your body with no warning and no logic. People who demand that you be light every minute are running from their own shadow, and it’s only a matter of time before it bites them in the a$$. My thoughts did not create that experience, it was completely outside my frame of reference. There are people who would point to karma, or God’s plan, or everything happening for a reason. I don’t know about any of that for sure, and neither does anyone else. What I do know is that sometimes horrendous things happen to beautiful people. Maybe someday it will all make sense and maybe not. Until then, the truth is we live in a world with darkness, and incredible light. To deny one is to forsake the other. It’s not about being positive, it’s about being authentic. Open. Real, raw, vulnerable. It’s about understanding sometimes you will be so scared out of your mind you’ll crawl up a staircase backwards, not even fully knowing what you’re racing from. And sometimes you will be blinded and amazed by all the beauty, all the gifts you’ve been given, the taste of gratitude like sugarcane in your mouth, and the feeling of sunlight like it was poured directly into your heart. Don’t worry about being positive. Just be awake. Hold it all.

Sending you love, for real. Ally

photo by the talented James Vincent Knowles

photo by the talented James Vincent Knowles

Ally Hamilton is a Santa Monica-based yoga teacher and writer whose work reaches hundreds of thousands of yogis around the world via her online yoga videos and social media following. She’s the co-creator of YogisAnonymous.com, a premier source for online yoga videos, which has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue Magazine, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine, CNN and more. She’s the mama of two amazing kids and one energetic Labradoodle.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station and creator of The Manifestation Workshop: On Being Human. Up next is Vancouver (Jan 17) and London Feb 14. Click here. 

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Jen Pastiloff is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Join her in Tuscany for her annual Manifestation Retreat. Click the Tuscan hills above. No yoga experience required. Only requirement: Just be a human being.

Click to take any of Jen Pastiloff's online classes at Yogis Anonymous.

Click to take any of Jen Pastiloff’s online classes at Yogis Anonymous.

Contact Rachel Pastiloff for health coaching, weight loss, strategies, recipes, detoxes, cleanses or help getting off sugar. Click here.

Contact Rachel Pastiloff for health coaching, weight loss, strategies, recipes, detoxes, cleanses or help getting off sugar. Click here.

Join Jen Pastiloff in Atlanta March 7th. Click the photo above.

Join Jen Pastiloff in Atlanta March 7th. Click the photo above.

Guest Posts, healing, Inspiration

Out To Sea by Ally Hamilton.

December 24, 2013
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By Ally Hamilton.

 

When I was seventeen I began dating a man who was twenty-one years older than me. My parents tried to stop me, but they have nineteen years between them, and even though they divorced when I was four, I was positive my relationship was different. Because I was seventeen and I thought I had all the answers. My previous boyfriend, who had been kind and sweet and awesome in every way, also tried to stop me. But he had moved across the country to go to college, and the truth was, I was heartbroken. I felt abandoned, even though he was talking about Christmas break, and calling every day. No matter; he’d left, and it stirred in me something old and raw and completely unhealed. So I let this guy who was so much older come at me with his cars and his boats and his private plane to his house in the Hamptons. He had a terrible reputation for cheating on everyone he dated. And I signed myself up for the task like I’d be able to fix that. Also, something inside me was believing the idea that I was the kind of person someone could leave. So who cared, really.

The first time we were together it was strange and sad. We flew out to his house, and went directly to the beach where we got in his speedboat. He drove us out to the middle of a secluded bay area. I knew he’d done it before, all of it. It was like some kind of ritual. Something to get out of the way. I knew he didn’t love me. That came a few years later, after he’d broken me and it was too late. But I let him have me, even though I felt nothing. I mean, I was hooked in, I was playing out all kinds of ancient history. But I wasn’t in love with him, and I certainly wasn’t loving myself. Not even a little. When it was over and I was swimming in the ocean, tears came streaming down my face, unexpectedly, without permission. I dove underwater, trying to wash them away, trying to wash the whole thing away. I don’t remember much else about that day, or that night. I think he spent most of the rest of the afternoon working, and I curled up in front of the fire with a book. I felt dead to myself, and also strangely satisfied that I’d done something so unlike me.

I stayed with him for three years. Once he had me, he kept a tight leash on me. It’s funny how people without integrity assume other people also have none. He was threatened by the guys at Columbia who were my age. He’d drop me off on campus sometimes and get upset if I was wearing lipstick, or tight jeans, or short skirts, or pretty much anything that wasn’t a sack. But he cheated on me regularly. He was good at it, I could never prove it, but I always knew when he was with someone else because it hurt. It hurt in the way that sends you under the kitchen table, holding onto yourself as you sob and wonder what the hell you’re doing in this situation, and why you don’t get out. But getting out wasn’t even possible at that point, because I was so attached to getting my happy ending. If I could just be perfect enough to get him to love me. If I could just hang in there long enough he’d finally realize I really did love him. Because after awhile, I did.

I began to see this insecure guy who felt he wasn’t enough, regardless of how many women he took to bed, or how much money he had, or how many sparkly, shiny toys. Nothing did it for him, not even the unwavering love of a good girl. I can’t call myself a woman when I think about this experience, because I wasn’t yet. I had a lot of healing to do, and a lot of growing, but I was very kind to him. And the longer I stayed, the more he gave me reasons to leave. For his fortieth birthday, I planned an elaborate surprise party. I rented a pool hall, had it catered from his favorite sushi place, and ordered dessert from an amazing pastry chef. I sent invitations to all his friends. I made a reservation at a new restaurant that had opened downtown that he was dying to try, and planned to take him to the pool hall from there. I ordered a bottle of champagne to be waiting at the table. It took me months to save up the money to pull it off.

A week before the party he confronted me in the kitchen in East Hampton. He told me he knew about the party, and he wanted to see the guest list to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anyone. At first I tried to deny there was a party, but he kept coming. He laughed at me. He knew it was at a pool hall. He wanted to know if I’d ordered food, and all the other details. He didn’t want to be embarrassed. I stood there in that kitchen and I felt everything fall away from me. I felt like I was made of bones that could disintegrate into a pile of dust on the floor, that his housekeeper could just come along and sweep away, out the door, into the ocean, to meet up with those tears I’d cried the first day. I told him every last detail. He took away any shred of joy I might have felt at having been able to give him something. Three days before the party, he went to the restaurant I’d made reservations at a few months before. So that the night of the party, the only surprise was that sad bottle of champagne, waiting at the table.

You cannot save anyone. All the love in the world won’t get the job done. You can’t make someone faithful or kind or compassionate or sensitive. You can’t make another person happy. They are, or they are not. You can harm yourself. You can allow yourself to be abused, mistreated, neglected and betrayed. But I don’t recommend it. A healthy, happy, secure person wouldn’t have been on that boat with him in the first place. Of course, he preyed on a seventeen year old, and when I look back on it I have all kinds of compassion for myself. But it took me years to get there. And a lot of yoga, and a lot of therapy, and a lot of weeping and writing and reading. Anything you repress, or run from, or deny, owns you. It owns you. And if you don’t turn and face that stuff down, you’ll call it into your life in other ways. The truth wants out. Your heart wants to heal so it can open for you again. Whatever is in your past does not have to define your future. But it probably will if you don’t do the work to liberate yourself. We have such fear. We think these things will overwhelm us, that we won’t survive. But what you won’t survive is the not facing it. That’s the part that kills you. That’s the part that makes you feel you could be swept away in the wind. Looking at your stuff hurts. It’s painful and deeply uncomfortable, but if you trust yourself enough to lean into all that pain, you’ll find it loses its grip over you. If you let yourself weep out the searing heat from those wounds, your whole being can take a real, deep breath, maybe for the first time in ages.

You can forgive those who let you down, who didn’t or couldn’t show up for you the way you would have liked or the way you deserved. You can forgive yourself for choices you might have made that were harmful to you or others. When we’re in pain, we don’t tend to treat ourselves well, and sometimes that also spills onto the people with whom we’re closest. But life can be beautiful. You can close the book on the old, painful story that was just a replaying of your past. And you can start working on this new creation that gets to be your life after you’ve healed. Not that the old pain won’t show up from time to time when you’re feeling triggered or tested or vulnerable, but it won’t grab you and knock you off your feet and show you who’s boss. Because it won’t be boss anymore, it won’t rule your life. You’ll just see it for what it is, an echo of a very old story that came to completion. It can’t be rewritten, it is what it is. But you get to decide where to place your energy and your attention. And I highly recommend you direct it toward love. That’s your happy ending, although it doesn’t end. You get to keep choosing it every day. If you do that, you’ll never find yourself sailing out to sea with someone who doesn’t know how to do anything but hurt you. Your own ship will have sailed. And maybe someday you’ll pass your seventeen year old self, weeping in the ocean next to your ship and you’ll pull her on board and show her your future. Which holds so much joy and gratitude and meaning and fulfillment, maybe she’ll weep there on the deck with you, not in sadness, but in relief.

If you’re allowing yourself to be mistreated and you need help, feel free to message me. Sending you love. Ally

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Bio: Ally Hamilton is a Santa Monica-based yoga teacher and writer who streams online yoga classes all over the world. She’s the co-creator of YogisAnonymous.com, which has been featured in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She’s a regular contributor for The Huffington Post, a wellness expert at MindBodyGreen, and writes an almost-daily blog at blog.yogisanonymous.com. She’s the mama of two amazing kids and one energetic Labradoodle. She believes everyone can benefit from some regular time on a yoga mat.

**Jen has over 30 online classes at Ally’s studio Yogis Anonymous. Click here.

Jennifer Pastiloff, Beauty Hunter, is the founder of The Manifest-Station. Check out jenniferpastiloff.com for all retreat listings and workshops to attend one in a city near you. Next up: South Dakota, NYC, Dallas, Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health, Tuscany. She is also leading a Writing + The Body Retreat with Lidia Yuknavitch Jan 30-Feb 1 in Ojai (1 spot left) as well as Other Voices Querétaro with Gina Frangello, Emily Rapp and Rob Roberge. She tweets/instagrams at @jenpastiloff.

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Click poster to order book!

Free Stuff, Inspiration, Yoga, Yoga Classes

The Time to Be Holy is Now.

December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve morning. I taught my last yoga class this morning before I head off to London.

Class this morning was holy. It was sacred and I don’t care if you are religious or not, it was a moment in time where connection was possible, and not only possible, but rampant.

Where love was there in the room and no one questioned its presence, no one doubted it’s intention or wondered Will you stay?

The class moved like we’d rehearsed (we hadn’t.)

That’s what happens when you allow things to flow, you find yourself all of a sudden in synch with your own life. You find that everything is easy and it may not always be easy but right now in this moment, it is easy. And that feels holy and right.

The class this morning was quiet and powerful and full of laughter and I thought what a gift, what a gift, over and over as I led them through the postures. What a gift I get to meet these people on this day. On any day! What are the odds that with all the billions of people we get to meet? To move together? What are the odds? Now, that’s holy.

I asked the room: “How many of you have had moments of insurmountable joy this past year?”

Many raised their hands.

And then, “How many of you have had unspeakable heartbreak and/or loss in 2012?”

Many raised their hands.

“You see” I said “They always go hand in hand.”

There was a 50/50 spilt right down the center. Perhaps it veered more towards the joy. Perhaps it veered more towards the pain. Either way.

How holy that we meet on this day. That we meet at all. That we connect. That we can say I stood here. I prayed here.

That we can say I was here at all.

What a gift that I was able to be part of that class this morning.

 The time is now.

Move forward from where you are. Take with you the little bits of happiness and the shards of hurt too, if you want, if you want to remember all of it, but move forward, because the time is now.

The time is now to turn inward and see what I see. (You won’t see it exactly the way I see it. That’s okay. It’s not really meant for you that way. Your beauty is for you to give away) but what I am saying is that you must know it’s there.

You must trust its there. You must put on your coat and walk into the light or into the snow or into the house with the fireplace and a glass of wine waiting there and you must know that the time is now to leave the darkness behind.

It ebbs and flows. You can count on that. There might be moments or years where you feel the darkness descending and, when that happens, remember what it felt like to be connected. To be light. To be holy. Or call me. I will remind you. (I hope you extend the same for me because Lord knows, I ebb and flow the hell out of life.)

Remember being in synch. What that felt like. Remember what it felt like to move in time with someone next to you, someone who maybe you’ve never met and will never meet again and if only for that brief moment who you moved with, like you were attached. Like you were connected.

It’s always there even when we forget that it is.

That is why I love yoga. That is why I will never ever stop teaching yoga even as I pair down my schedule and teach less.

The time is now to be holy.

Can you feel it? Can you hear it cracking, that shell around your heart? White as moon and made of the bones of your past? The bones may lay in a heap, and, if you let them, they will slowly rise and trail off for some dinner. They will leave you alone.

They won’t forget you nor you them, but they will soften the grip they have on you. Their fists opening, your heart fluttering away.

Now is the time.

Happy Holidays. I love you guys. Thank you. Stay connected. Stay open. Loosen your grip.

(Enjoy 10 free days of online yoga classes with me by using code jenp10 at YogisAnonymous.com)

Thanks Jenni Young as usual.

Thanks Jenni Young as usual.

Joy, Things I Love

Jen Pastiloff’s “Must Haves” for The Holiday Season.

December 5, 2012

I wanted to provide all my loyal readers with a list of gifts I think should not be missed. So, here they are. In no particular order.

1) The Insomniacs by Karina Wolf and The Brothers Hilts.

Parents, if you do not have this book yet, run to your nearest bookseller or click here to get it. Adults with questionable sleep patterns (like me) will also enjoy.

The wonder of nighttime comes to life in this breathtaking debut.

When the Insomniacs move twelve time zones away for Mrs. Insomniac’s new job, the family has an impossible time adapting to the change. They try everything to fall asleep at night–take hot baths, count to one thousand, sip mugs of milk–but nothing helps. Venturing out into the dark, they learn there is a whole world still awake and a beauty in their new and unconventional schedule.

Ideal for bedtime reading, this gorgeous and lyrical story celebrates nighttime’s mystery and magic.

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2) Instant Happy: Ten-Second Attitude Makeovers by Karen Salmansohn.

This book makes a perfect stocking stuffer. I just bought 5! I swear by this woman and her Facebook posters. Her book includes posters not seen on Facebook. I carry my own copy around in my purse. It’s a must-have this holiday season.

The latest gift book from positivity guru and bestselling author Karen Salmansohn, Instant Happy delivers upbeat shots of happiness and perspective with clever, motivational sayings and graphics.

A self-help book for people who don’t have the time or patience for self-help books.

Click here to order.

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 3) Blooming Lotus Jewelry.

You may have seen me wearing my Blooming Lotus Mala beads (I never take them off so chances are if you have seen me, you have seen them.)

I love this company. If you order a bracelet now for the holidays, they donate $12 to Hurricane Sandy relief. A gift you can feel good about buying.

Click the photo of the bracelet to order one or to browse through all their lovely pieces. I love love love them.

Click the photo of the bracelet to order one or to browse through all their lovely pieces. I love love love them.

4) Juil sandals.

Ok, I love these shoes so much that The Travel Yogi and I bought everyone a pair who came on my Bali Manifestation Retreat with me. If you use my code MANIFEST you even get a 10% discount. I have trekked through Bali and Europe in these shoes.

click photo of sandals to browse JUIL shoes and don't forget to use MANIFEST to get 10% off. I swear my by JUILS.

click photo of sandals to browse JUIL shoes and don’t forget to use MANIFEST to get 10% off. I swear my by JUILS.

5) A Manifestation Retreat® with me.

This holiday season I have had so many people buy their loved ones (and themselves) a spot at one of my Manifestation Retreats. Click here to see the full list. My next week long retreat is Feb 16-22 in Maui with Sommer Dyer, Wayne Dyer’s daughter and The Travel Yogi. Click here. If you are looking to really wow someone, this is the perfect gift.

If not with me or The Travel Yogi, consider buying a retreat for a loved one or yourself. It is a life changing experience!

6) Philosophie Superfoods.

I have done a few cleanses with the company Philosophie and have never felt so good. The Superfoods make a perfect gift for the under the tree. They taste delicious too!

Given the most powerful tools for healing, our bodies will renew themselves and return us to our natural state of unbounded energy, bliss, and balance. The Philosophie’s mission is to activate that joy by making it easy, delicious, and inspired.

The Philosophie superfood powders are blends of the very best plant-based materials on earth. Superfoods are vitamin and mineral-dense substances prized for their unique nutrient profiles and ability to activate the body’s natural potential for cleansing, repairing, and rebuilding.

Click the photo to order your Superfoods today!

Click the photo to order your Superfoods today!

7) Photography by Madison Rosner aka Madshutter. I just bough a print from her because I missed NYC so much (posted below.)

Click the photo to like her Facebook page and to keep up with her gallery showings. This is the perfect gift for the art and photography lover. She has lots of prints to choose from.

Click the photo to like her Facebook page and to keep up with her gallery showings. This is the perfect gift for the art and photography lover. She has lots of prints to choose from. http://www.madshutterindustries.com/

8) Pilates with Libby Bideau.

The only person I will do pilates with. She makes it fun, creative, challenging and accessible. A perfect gift (buy a series even) for the person looking to get in shape over the new year. 

Click the photo of Libby to buy a class or series. Perfect for beginners too. I highly recommend Libby! (Los Anegeles people only however if you email me  I can refer people in other cities.)

Click the photo of Libby to buy a class or series. Perfect for beginners too. I highly recommend Libby! (Los Angeles people only however if you email me I can refer people in other cities.)

9) Renata Youngblood’s latest album. 

You might recognize her voice since I have her on repeat in my yoga classes (the online ones as well) and she actually comes and plays live. Her voice is butter and this cd makes the perfect little gift. Destined to make anyone’s day brighter!

A great gift for anyone who loves music.

A great gift for anyone who loves music.

10) The gift of yoga! Online yoga classes at Yogis Anonymous.

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You can do yoga anywhere with Yogis Anonymous and their huge online library of classes (I have some on here too!)

The most expensive pass is only $15. You cannot beat that. Put it this way folks: it is the only yoga studio I will teach at (besides Equinox.) The best yoga teachers in town.

Click here to get started.

Yoga Classes

Take a Yoga Class With Jen No Matter Where You Are!

November 13, 2012

I am not sure if you guys knew this but I have a weekly online yoga class via Yogis Anonymous, a lovely studio in Santa Monica. All the classes are archived and you can take them whenever you want. Each class has a different theme. Happy yoga’ing and let me know what you think!

Here is the link http://yogisanonymous.com/yoga-video-library.php?teacher=Jennifer+Pastiloff

Click picture to watch an online class with me. There are 8 to choose from!

For those of you that practice with me regularly, these are good for when I travel.

Love to you all. Wish every single one of you was coming to Bali with me xojp

 

 

Uncategorized

Joy.

September 2, 2012

Joy by James Vincent Knowles.

I know what joy feels like.

I do, I really do.

I too recall what it’s like to not recall it all.

I know what it’s like to put it off, to work & work & try to fight & work some more towards that which one hopes will matter, & to take the little free things in life to be all one’s allowed to enjoy, & in between those little things, the smile here & there or moments shared with a stranger you hope will become a friend one day.

But joy itself, that’s an entirely different thing, is it not, than hopes & wishes & dreams?

It’s a feeling from dawn to dusk & throughout the night, that the smile you see in the morning comes from that part of you so thoroughly deep inside your core that nothing can wipe it away.

You sing & dance & move a little differently everywhere you go & give a little extra shake to everything you do & say.

Yes, yes, joy is delicious, the best of all the things we feel me thinks; it’s not something one forgets or thinks might be true, it’s the most real thing of anything that’s real with a me or a you.

It is, however, something that one can lose sometimes, for one reason or another. I wonder now & again if that feeling will ever come back or if it’s gone now, forever

There are those who say they know for sure you cannot get joy from another. But I do not know that nor do i agree at all. Else how is it that when we choose to give joy to someone else, we see their entire being light up & then we feel right off our smile began to glow inside them first? And then we hear the voice of real happiness float across their curled up smiling lips?

So joy then it seems to me is something we give each other. It’s the one gift that must be given & is always free & never taken.

It lasts & lasts forever in our memory. It permeates all around us & percolates back & forth in a joyful exchange that at times has ups & downs … until that special moment in time that’s spent with more-than-a-special friend who takes us by surprise. And that is when, there & then, one finds out joy is always & only here & now & it’s full of grace & gratitude, all the time.

So that’s what I think about where joy comes from, in connections of all sorts to be sure, but especially when it’s with that special one, true, who takes us & makes us sing & dance & shows us we’re their special one too, the one that gives us joy all day & night no matter where we’re at, who never allows us to feel blue. The special deep core hum, infinite ohmmmmm……, vibrating, resonating friend, who’s willing to shout: oi, oi, oi-! hey! I fucking love you~!

 

`~~~~~~~~~~

***To connect with the multi-talented James Knowles through Facebook click here. He is a gifted photographer and author and I am honored to call him a friend.

To book a photography session with James please email: James Knowles <paparazzo1@mac.com>

Here is a sampling. It’s a video he put together from his photos for me from last week’s karaoke yoga class (which was shot at Yogis Anonymous for the British tv show Lorraine and starred Rod Stewart’s wife. Thus the Rod song!)

It brought me so much joy I had to share with you!

Manifestation Workshops, Positively Positive

Positively Positive & Other Positive & Holiday Weekend Vibrations.

May 25, 2012
Click icon to read and/or comment on article.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend, Dear Manifesters!

My latest just went up on Positively Positive and I would love to hear your comments. Please comment on actual Positively Positive post and not here. I will pick a commenter at random and give away a spot at my Manifestation Workshop June 2 in Santa Monica, too. Here is link. It is a very personal one to me and your support and love mean a tremendous amount to me. I read each and every one of your comments and take them to heart. I love hearing how you all define success. Also, feel free to share if inspired.

Click icon to read and/or comment on article.

http://www.positivelypositive.com/2012/05/24/to-me-success-means-blank/

On a side note, I am teaching a very special candle-lit class this Sunday night at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica on 2nd St. I have never taught there and would appreciate the love if you are in town. 8 pm! Candles and deliciousness. If I continue on there, you will be able to see my classes live streamed.

Love you all. Keep manifesting your life, one laugh at a time, and as always, keep me posted on YOU!

Love, Jen

PS, a spot just opened for my Italy retreat July 2-9. Email me if you want to come. One word: MAGIC.

 

Q & A Series, Yoga

Brock & Krista Cahill. iFly Lands at The Manifestation Q&A Series.

May 23, 2012
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Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.

I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.

Today’s guests are my friends Brock and Krista Cahill, which many of you know because you have taken their classes, seen some of their amazing photos, or the best yet, caught some of the work they have been doing for our planet. 

The following interview is a mixture of both husband and wife, as are most of their classes and retreats. I hope you will get a feel for the power behind this couple. The power of flight, the power of love and the power of seva. I am honored to have them with me here today. I also urge you to check out www.kurmalliance.org or to check them out at Yogis Anonymous, in the studio or online. The Cahills and I both teach in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga a few times a year, as well. 

Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?

Brock Cahill: i am most proud to have manifested a community of incredibly strong and dedicated yogis, that are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to show up and put in the hard work in their daily practice, and use our practice as a training platform to activate body, mind, and spirit, …resulting in an elevation of consciousness in decision and lifestyle. awesome work amigos!!

Krista Cahill: It always comes down to the LOVE. I really can’t believe the love I have in my life…it’s incredible… I love a lot everyday, and I feel love everyday from the people who are closest to me. in the most overwhelming way, i really believe that love is the most valuable comodity on earth, we all can use more love.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How did you find yoga, or perhaps a better question would be, how did yoga find you?

Brock Cahill: great question, i like how you put that… yoga found me through a series of horrendous shoulder injuries that the docs wanted to cut and sew back together with no real hope of a true recovery. sounded like horseshit to me… i thought there must be another way. a friend suggested yoga. from day one i was hooked, just as you all were. i felt as if i had finally come home to my Self. as my mat unfolded beneath me day after day, i saw that my true injuries were not living in my shoulders, but in my soul… the shoulders were a symptom of my toxic lifestyle, the heavy partying, the dishonesty and denial, and my own inability to wake up in my own skin and connect to my soul. perhaps you know what i mean? shoulder soldiers unite!

Krista Cahill: 13 years ago I really fell in love with Ashtanga vinyasa yoga. I loved stepping to the side for Standing poses and flowing throughout seated sequences, the many predictable drishti’s and sequencing… now I practice the opposite and Yoga is still the love of my life, so I am excited to see what my evolution will be for the next 13 years. Maybe I will study Iyengar more…

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite yoga pose?

Krista Cahill: Handstand, of course.

Jennifer Pastiloff: I am moved by your commitment to seva. Kurmalliance. Tell us a little about that and how it was born?

Brock Cahill: kurmalliance is our nonprofit org aimed at oceaniconservation and yogactivism. i am very much in love with the ocean. i believe that she is the soul of our planet. not to mention the lifesource! without the ocean, we wouldn’t be here. …& without the ocean we won’t be here. the ocean is alive, and we must fight to save her.

i believe the yogis have the strength and focus to do so …or at least to ignite the revolution. but it is going to take solidarity: it is going to take union: it is going to take yoga. i hope we can band together and make this our fight. in my years as an avid oceanic romantic, i have seen the state of the ocean take a massive nosedive toward unsustainability, with the amount of plastic trash discarded into her guts, massive oil spills leaking all over her pretty face, the rape of hugemongous commercial fishing practices, and the destruction of her coral reefs that is akin to breaking her back with a sledgehammer. i couldn’t sit by and watch… but i didn’t know what to do? the problem is huge, & it is with society at large; how we have chosen convenience over consciousness. when you look at it in macro it is tremendously overwhelming. what difference can i make? how can i change the world? a better question is, how can i not?? she needs us. she needs you. …and all your yogasuperhero friends. she needs me too. on my birthday a few years ago, the sledge that broke my camels back was unleashed. enter the bp oil spill, the worst ecological disaster of all time. i was up in arms about the millions upon millions of gallons of oil that were being spewed into the gulf of mexico, and nobody really doing a damn thing about it. you remember, it was crazy!! and then on june 22, the news broke that bp was sanctioning the corralling of crude oil on the surface of the gulf, and lighting it on fire to try to quell the accumulation of so much of an eyesore. in doing so, they also happened to be trapping extremely endangered juvenile kemps ridley sea turtles that were mired in the surface slicks… and burning them alive. oh fuck… i have always had a very special and fond affinity for sea turtles. from my first days in the ocean, they have accompanied me on nearly every journey, and awakened me to the divinity of the sea. every time i have a chance to look into the eyes of a sea turtle, i see myself a little more clearly. i found a very spiritual bond there… and one that cannot be explained, but can be felt very deeply. these are the kind of bonds that ignite us; that motivate us; that activate us. on that day, i felt like i got kicked square in the balls, and i knew god was saying directly to me, “you just gonna stand around and watch this shit go down?” absolutely not. the kurmalliance was born. kurma is the sanskrit name for the second avatar of god, vishnu. in an ancient hindu parable, vishnu came down to earth in the form of a turtle and was able to churn the elixir of life out of the ocean, in order to save the world. it was our turn to pay the turtles back! the yoga community rallied, and in just a few short weeks we had raised about $35,000, to spearhead a mission to the gulf in conjunction with our buddies at the sea shepherd conservation society, and get to work saving turtles, collecting data, and being an honest witness to the shitspray that bp was attempting to sweep under the rug. I’m happy to say that the evidence that we were able to bring to court in the case against bp did help the people, the turtles, the sharks, and the coastline of the gulf gain some retribution from the crimes committed against them. I’m bummed to say that it wasn’t nearly enough. many were lost. and the way of life in the gulf will never be the same. but the alliance is strong. and we will never give up. not until mother ocean is safe from harm. join us. www.kurmalliance.org

Photo by Jasper Johal.
I take Brock’s class often at Equinox Santa Monica, where we teach together. He is kind, compassionate and kick ass!

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a yoga teacher?

Brock Cahill: using integration, tapping into strength to cultivate balance.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From being a yoga teacher who travels so much?

to stay grounded and focused, no matter what the world throws at you, and no matter what continent you are on, you are home in your body, and with your soul.

Jennifer Pastiloff: From being married?

Brock Cahill: that you can’t do it all alone. it is real nice to have a teammate. especially one that rocks as hard as krista!

Jennifer Pastiloff: From saving turtles?

Brock Cahill: that even if you are not ready, the time is now, and it is not going to wait for you. activate!

Jennifer Pastiloff: From your beloved handstand?

Brock Cahill: to stand up for what you believe in. if you pour your entire self, your focus, your dedication, your devocean into something, there is no stopping you. there will be obstacles. there will be hurdles. get over them! and this is from someone that could not lift his arms over his head when he began practicing! let alone even think about a handstand…

 

Brock and The Yogitoes Prism. Click to connect with Yogitoes.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Krista, what about you?

Krista Cahill: Brock is a very good teacher, the harder he is on you the more he believes you can do better. He is teaching me about my greatest potential. he is extracting the best from within me. it has been a powerful journey. As a yoga teacher the greatest lesson to learn is how to be yourself. People love a teacher because they offer something different, something unique and original…it’s not always easy to be creative, but a daily practice is the only inspiration you need!!! if your getting your inspiration from youtube videos, then there’s is a problem…

My personal practice is my best friend, I have enjoyed every breath, new pose, ideals and friendships. Most of all, it is where I met Brock, so i know it brings you what you need.

Jennifer Pastiloff: How has being married changed your life?

Krista Cahill: Being married to Brock has been a massive life change. I am now yoked to this man for the rest of my life… everything I do I have to consider his feelings and preferences too. For someone as impulsive as me that has been my biggest shift thus far:)

photo of Brock by Jasper Johal

Jennifer Pastiloff: Gratitude is the greatest force In my life. Most of my classes are set to this theme. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?

Brock Cahill: yoga.

Krista Cahill: I would thank Brock, he has shown me that i am a tough cookie.

Photo of the couple by Jasper Johal

Jennifer Pastiloff: How has Kurmalliance changed your life?

Brock Cahill: It has given me purpose. it has allowed me to recognize my dharma.

Jennifer Pastiloff: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?

Brock Cahill: i’ve been doing that a lot lately… thankfully! i was taking everything too seriously, with the state of the oceans and much of the globes apathy to her condition…

So i grew this frickin hilarious mustache. it was comedy. just about every time i would look at myself in the mirror i would launch almond milk out of my nose, cracking up so hard!

Krista Cahill: I laugh everyday, mostly when i am teaching I laugh at myself because I am ridiculous… I try to be tough because it’s what I like as a student, but sometimes I just can’t keep a straight face.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who/what inspires you most?

Brock Cahill: the ocean.

Jennifer Pastiloff: Who has been your greatest teacher?

Brock Cahill: my wife, krista.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is your favorite part about teaching with your wife?

Brock Cahill: that we approach the middle ground from completely opposite sides of the spectrum, and as we meet at the meridian line, our teaching is so much more effective, informed, intelligent, and precise than it ever could have been on its own.

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you could impart one message to the readers of this, what would it be? Your message to the world………

Krista Cahill: Practice Yoga Everyday!!! Find a way to quiet the mind, for some of us that gets easier in an upside-down position…

Jennifer Pastiloff: Some words you live by?

Brock Cahill: elevate! activate! uplift! get conscious, and never give up. ever.

Krista Cahill: Don’t give up, if you want something you have to try and try again.

Jennifer Pastiloff: If you weren’t teaching yoga what would you be doing?

Brock Cahill: i’d be dead.

Krista Cahill: I would be a professional yoga student, i would get the most B.S. job ever and I would practice 2 or 3 classes everyday!! I would wake up for Ashtanga, then take a mid-day Iyengar class and then end the day with a hot’n sweaty flow.

 Jennifer Pastiloff: How can we get involved in Kurmalliance and Pluckfastic?

Click photo to learn more about Kurmalliance.org

Brock Cahill: we are in process of launching five very important projects into the water, including the adoption of a leatherback sea turtle in costa rica, a turtle tagging mission to the cocos islands, development of a turtle hatchery and nursery in french polynesia, and in our very own backyard of the santa monica bay, we are trying to pluckfastic on a grand scale, by organizing beach cleanups, standup paddle excursions to collect plastic refuse along our coast, and bioboat missions out to the rim of the channel islands to document and collect the unfathomable amount of plastic refuse choking our own local ecosystem. folks can help us with fundraising, if that is an avenue that they feel moved to explore. perhaps they would like to make a donation, which is always very much appreciated… or have an idea of how to become an instigator in the yogactivism revolution and create a project that will help generate awareness, as well as funding. …because all these projects require a steady influx of cash to help keep mother ocean afloat. once we have launched our bioboat this summer we will have active opportunities for members of the kurmalliance to spearhead a pluckfastic mission and become a member of the crew, by donating toward fuel costs and then joining us on a cruise to commune with ma ocean!

for more info, please check www.kurmalliance.org

Check out the video of Brock and Yogitoes

Jennifer Pastiloff: What is on your joy list?

Krista Cahill: I’m pretty boring actually, I like a super hard yoga class, a warm snuggly bed, a hot man to snuggle with and 9 hours of sleep.

Jennifer Pastiloff: What’s up next for The Gravity Cowboys?

Brock Cahill: a big big summer chock full of festivals and travel. we will be teaching at wanderlust in tahoe, and vermont. midwest yoga conference in chicago, and our amazing annual retreat… this year we hit aruba! scuba in aruba, anyone?? uh yeah, count me in!

Krista Cahill: I am manifesting Fun and Flight this year:)

Aruba anyone? Click on pic for more info!

They lead retreats all around the world!

Krista poses for Jasper Johal. Every picture he takes of her is stunning!

Krista by Jasper Johal

brock was wearing a pair cowboy boots and a bit of a hangover when he accidentally stumbled across the path of yoga. he was out there fumbling around in the dark, trying to find himself, when the light of yoga clicked on and pointed him in the right direction. through the physical nature of the practice, and his intense dedication to it, brock has been able to enliven the body and clarify the mind, preparing him for a momentous trek on the winding road leading to the self and the soul. it is a road he loves to share..wanna go for a walk?

Krista fell in love with the practice of yoga in 1999 when she took her first Ashtanga class with Tim Miller. Since that day she has devoted her time and energy into exploring the numerous dimensions, both as a teacher and student. “I look forward each day to the possibility that my practice both on and off the mat can promote a greater awareness in our immediate need for global peace and unification. ALL is ONE.”

Krista teaches retreats around the world and regular classes at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, CA. She teaches a vigorous Vinyasa flow class filled with challenging armbalances and inversions; she believes that our obstacles are our greatest blessings.

Click the magazine cover to learn more about Krista

Guest Posts

Blank Canvas. Guest Post by Mary Beth LaRue

May 10, 2012
chataranga

Today’s guest post is by my friend Mary Beth LaRue, or as many lovingly call her “MB”. Mary Beth is a great source of inspiration to me and since the moment I met her a few years ago, I knew she was a sister soul. She and I share many of the same views of the world, both love a good glass of wine, the written word, and a lazy Sunday with our loves. I am thrilled with all the successes that have come her way lately. No one deserves it more. And, the best news? She just got engaged! 

You can see why I have posted her blog below. She also believes in our own power to create the life of our dreams. Day to day. Moment to moment. Brushstroke to brushstroke.

 

 

Blank Canvas by MB LaRue.

I think I was in college when I first read the Danny Kaye quote, “Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.”

Since I was 18, I’ve filled up 16 Moleskine journals with my scribbles, passages that inspire me, bright colors, and cut-outs. They became my canvas, and my space to then begin to create my life. I’ve sat in tiny Italian airports with a box of colored pencils transfixed for hours, filling pages during a break from my desk job, cutting out photos from magazines and gluing them to the pages.

And you know what?

My journals were beautiful.

Sometimes I’d even show them to my friends, my brother. But in real life, I was playing a little small. What I was creating on the page, wasn’t necessarily translating to how I was living my life.

I was at a desk job that didn’t inspire me. I was in a relationship that had run its course. I spent my weekends at bars with friends rather than used bookstores and vintage shops.

My canvas wasn’t very pretty.

I was scared to throw any paint. What if it didn’t look good? What if no one liked it? Or even worse, what if it was magnificent?

Slowly, urged by the advice I’d written on my pages I quit my job, I broke up with the boyfriend, I moved into a beautiful apartment, I started doing more yoga, I filled my walls with collages and quotes, I even ordered a visitors’ guide to Santa Monica.

And you know what? I can honestly say that I am in love with the colorful, sometimes sloppy, canvas I’ve created. It’s filled with farmers’ markets, bare feet, avocados, candlelit yoga, bubble baths, a very lovable bulldog and extra lovable fiance, eyes wide open. It’s full of experience, and living from a space of YES. Of what makes me come alive.

In the day-to-day hustle, it becomes easy to overlook that in every moment we are creating our life. We are throwing the paint on the canvas, and in turn, are responsible for what that masterpiece looks like. Spend some time dreaming every single day. Take a walk without your cell phone. Spend an hour in silence. Go to a concert alone. No matter where you are in your life, it is not too late to create YOUR masterpiece. Throw some paint, and get dirty. Play.

Follow Mary Beth LaRue on Facebook

Visit her inspiring website here

In a fast-paced world, mary beth works to guide her students into a space of joy, mindfulness and compassion. forever a student of yoga and of life, mb’s mission is to inspire and elevate others to live their best life and to fully inhabit, enjoy, and heal their bodies and minds through asana, meditation, and pranayama.

A santa monica-based vinyasa yoga teacher, mb received her 200-hour yoga alliance certification from flow yoga studio in washington, dc, her pre- and postnatal teaching certification from inspired yoga in washington dc, and her 500-hour teaching certification from yogaworks in los angeles. she teaches group classes at two local studios she absolutely adores, yogis anonymous and studio surya yoga.